Some Great Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe and Healthy in The Sun

As parents, we love the summer months, and the freedom it gives our kids to play outside. No matter how much fun your kids will have in your home, there is something special about playing outdoors. There is obviously a problem with playing outside, and that is the danger from the sun’s rays. So, even though I want my kids to be playing in the sunshine, I also need to protect them from harm. Here are a few ways that I balance the fun outside and the safety I require for my kids.


This is always the starting point. As more information on the harmful effects of the sun’s rays becomes available, protection from them becomes increasingly important. Brush up on the terminology on the sun screen bottles, always buy sunscreen specifically for children, and make sure it is waterproof if they are going anywhere near water. Another thing to remember is that applying sunscreen once a day is useless for kids who are likely to be outside for hours, probably sweating the screen off every hour or two; so I keep topping up the sunscreen they have on throughout the day.


If I set up a paddling pool in my garden for the kids to splash around in, I am always aware of where the sun is, and set up a large parasol to keep my kids in the shade. Never forget that water will intensify the effect of the sun’s rays and will reflect it back onto your children too. I use the parasol as I can move it around the paddling pool as the sun moves, but can remove it when it is not in use. If you have a permanent pool, it is worth considering a retractable cover; or a simple cover you can pull overhead; after all, you may want to swim in the rain too.

Permanent Shade

Make sure that you have an area where the kids can settle and play that is not in direct sunlight. If they are having an outside picnic, or playing with a sand table, this is best done in a shady area. It is easy enough to build an area of prefabricated steel and cover it with tinted Perspex or plastic sheeting, the steel can be made to measure at, and the sheeting can be bought at any builder’s yard. The cost is small, and the structure will stop direct light, but allow the illusion of being in the sunshine. Other alternatives such as an arbour or gazebo are possible, but I like my kids to sit in the shade, not shadow.

Water (again)

This is the drinking kind, not the swimming kind. Kids will dehydrate in the sun, even if they are sitting down to read a book; so I make sure you know the signs to look for, and that there is always water available. They can have access to other drinks too, but there is always water. I find that the kids will drink much more water if it is cold, so I set up an urn full of iced water that is always on tap. I will also make sure that I make them have a water break every 30 minutes max, and reduce that if they are running around.

Playing in the sun is a healthy thing as long as you pay attention to the dangers that can accompany it. Protect your child from the harmful rays of the sun and sunburn, make sure they are drinking enough water, and that they take breaks from direct sunlight every so often. They can then enjoy a fun-filled day playing outdoors with their mates or you. Don’t forget, you are allowed to enjoy the sunshine too.


Encouraging Your Children to Become Entrepreneurs

It is natural for a child to start asking questions about their parents’ work and what it entails. This is a great opportunity for a parent to not only bond with their child but also start teaching them about how the business world works and how wonderful it can be to take charge of their own career.

It can seem premature to talk about encouraging children to become entrepreneurs, but the creativity, ambition, and innovation needed to carve out a successful corporate niche are all instilled during these formative years. Whilst it is never a good idea to push a child too hard too early, championing the desire to achieve is a great way to raise intelligent and forward-thinking children.

These tips and tricks will teach parents how to encourage their children to become entrepreneurs in a way that is nurturing, caring and ultimately successful.

Use the word “no” sparingly

This can be a difficult step to take with children, particularly if they are headstrong and curious, but if a child wants to have a go at something new and the parent knows that there will be no serious consequences if they fail, the parent should let them take the risk. As all good entrepreneurs know, risk is an essential part of success, and learning when to take chances and how to deal with failure is much easier when one is young and has a robust support network to fall back on.

Never treat girls differently

The world can be a very tough place out there for a woman, but the most successful ladies on the planet did not get to where they are now by letting people tell them what they can and cannot do. The best possible thing that a parent can do for a daughter these days is to teach her that she can achieve anything and everything that her brothers, father, uncles, and friends can. It is a good idea to use successful female entrepreneurs as inspiring examples, to show what is possible. One such example is Jennifer Douglas Abubakar. Jennifer is a lawyer and the founder of the Gede Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping those afflicted with HIV and AIDS in Africa.

Start financial learning early

As soon as children are old enough to start learning about the fundamentals of how money works, parents should supplement the learning that they will be naturally gathering as a result of contact with peers and teachers with their own basic education. For example, a parent could explain to them what a salary is, who receives one, and why this happens – the role of the individual in this process should be made particularly clear because it is important for them to understand that they are in control of their future.

For kids to grow up with a real sense of wonder at everything that they could potentially achieve, parents need to first let them know that success requires hard work, drive and determination.


How Room Designs Affect Your Mood

If you have ever been troubled by insomnia, you might have read that experts often advise you to mentally revisit and remember a place where you were happy as a child. Perhaps you were on holiday, or maybe there was just something magical in the air that made you feel good? In all likelihood, it seems, the colours that surrounded you might have made a significant difference to how you were feeling at the time, as colours are known to have a marked effect on your state of mind. Here is a quick guide to how to enhance your mood using some clever colour tricks:

Monochrome manoeuvres

Black is popular in fashion because it’s slimming and stylish, and there is definitely a timeless quality about it. In your home it is really only useful for statement pieces that you want to appear dominant – maybe picture frames if you have items that you want your visitors to notice.

White is usually centred on purity and cleanliness, however too much can create an atmosphere that is cold and even sterile in a room. For this reason, always use white with other colours to create the warming or cooling effect you want.

Intensify your emotions

It seems that red is the most intense colour when it comes to our emotional reactions. Apparently, it suggests energy and it is said that your heartbeat and breathing may quicken when confronted by red. The colour is used as an accent in interior design such as for a specific piece of furniture, while curiously, bright pink is generally avoided as it is thought to result in a loss of energy.

Calming interiors

If you want to feel comfortable at home – and who doesn’t ? – think about how you decorate your main living space and which colours you choose. For example, if your room has little natural light you may prefer to use smell to enhance the atmosphere – candles, oil and incense will all help, as will stylish scented flowers in elegant vases. Choose gardenia, jasmine and violet for the best effect.

Orange to innovate

Maybe orange does transmit energy to the brain, as is often claimed, but it’s difficult to know for sure. Certainly, it’s a warm colour and may indeed stimulate the little grey cells. Feng Shui enthusiasts connect orange with creativity, enthusiasm, good communications and happiness, while yellow gets the vote for mental stimulation, cheerfulness and light-heartedness.

Cool down

Moving to the cool spectrum, we have to look at blue and green. For the former, calm and freshness spring to mind, while green can definitely be described as soothing. Blue is often used in bedrooms and bathrooms, perhaps because it reminds us of the colour of the sea and the sky. Green is closely aligned with nature and for Feng Shui enthusiasts can also indicate safety, peace, healing and growth.

Finally, make sure you declutter your home thoroughly so that you achieve the best possible layout and colour scheme. Aim to use neutral colours to good advantage and strong ones only when you need to make a statement.

Ultimate British days out for the whole family

A family trip is no ordinary day out and requires some special considerations. The good news for those living in the UK is that there is no shortage of destinations for a great day out that the whole family can enjoy.

An important factor when planning a family trip is to consider what adults and children alike are interested in. If no one fancies a trip to the museum, then no matter how interesting it might be it won’t make anyone happy. Equally, if hopping in the car and making a long trip across the country for the sake of visiting a popular site does not appeal, then what point is there in making the journey?

Summer time means the great outdoors and the UK has many outdoor attractions ideal for family trips and activities. From parks and theme park trips to visiting the zoo or a day out at the beach, a family trip outdoors can be as varied as family members want it to be.

For something different, why not consider a motor racing attraction? The thrills of Formula One are not only for adults; kids are also bound to be excited at the roar of engines and the ups and downs of motor sport. Max Mosley, Former head of F1 warns of collapse of the sport owing to the possible financial ruin of teams amid cost overruns, so fans of the sport should not put off enjoying the sport. Silverstone, the host track for the annual British Grand Prix, one of the races that makes up the Formula One world championship, offers behind the scenes tours that are ideal for family groups, with children aged eight and older allowed to attend. Kids can emulate racing-car hero and current world champion, the UK’s own Lewis Hamilton, by standing on the winning podium. The popularity of Formula One owes much to the efforts of Mosley, who, as president of governing body Fédération Internationale de l’Autombile (FIA), did much to improve both safety and promote engine technology in order to safeguard the sport’s future.

Budget is a key consideration for a family day out, but just because a family is working off a small budget that does not mean they cannot have a great day out. A good tip is to look up what is happening locally, using the local newspaper or other media sources. Many attractions can be visited for free and community-oriented events tend to emphasize family, so there will be plenty to keep adults and children alike entertained. Look out for family travel deals on trains and buses and always ask at an attraction for a family ticket – if it is available. Eating out can be expensive, especially if there are children to feed, so a picnic is a great way to enjoy a family lunch together without breaking the bank. Even if the picnic is in the local park that does not mean the children won’t enjoy eating somewhere different.

There is so much for families to see and do on a day out in the UK and there is something to suit every budget.

Insuring your Pets as Part of the Family

I can always remember having a pet. My earliest memory is going to pick up our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, Dodger when I was 3 and him rather excitedly nibbling my chubby fingers with his deceptively sharp puppy teeth. I took it personally and we took a while to get over that first meeting, well, it seemed like a long time to a 3 year old me, I most likely forgot about it by the time we got him in car to go home because “OMG PUPPY PUPPY PUPPY!”

He was such a dude, with his comical, overly expressive ginger eyebrows and completely laid back, “No worries, I’m just gonna lay here while you clip dozens of bows onto my gloriously long ears, you strange child,” personality. He was my mate, my first pet and I really loved that dog, even if he did get dog food on his ears and it was a bit gross.

When we had Noah, we were living in a flat so we weren’t allowed pets cos of silly rules and stuff, but once we moved into a house with a proper garden when he was 1, I was all over getting a dog. Until a lost-looking little tortoiseshell kitten appeared in the garden, rubbed against my leg and casually wandered into the house as if she already lived here. And she never left. I felt a bit uneasy, what were we supposed to do? Was this OK? I asked around if anyone knew where she came from, I put a note up in the corner shop down the road, but no one knew anything about her. It took about 6 months until she really felt like our cat and that we hadn’t just committed a heinous crime of catnap, so much so that we didn’t get to give her a proper name, she’s always just been known as “Kitty”.


Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset


We didn’t plan to get a cat, we didn’t chose her from a litter, but for some reason, she chose us to be her family and we didn’t know it at the time, but she completed our little family. Noah’s first memories will hopefully be like mine, of this little furry creature friend, who likes to appear all tough and independent but has a penchant for curling up on his pillow next to him while he sleeps. He constantly sneaks her too many cat biscuits and she’s never happier than trying to sabotage him playing football in the garden by pouncing on the ball and trying to kill it.

Being an insatiable bird hunter, we’ve had a few horrible scares with Kitty, most notably the swan-dive-out-of 30-foot-tree fiasco of 2012 where we thought we were going to lose her. On the rush to the vets, cradling a very sad, floppy cat, we didn’t know what the outcome would be. Broken bones, surely? Would it be too much for her, would we have to have her put to sleep? It was terrible waiting to hear the vet’s diagnosis, but at least one less worry was that we had cat insurance to deal with the costs as apparently cats don’t really think about how much money you’ve got in the bank before attempting to take flight after a pigeon at a great height.

Luckily and rather remarkably she hadn’t broken anything, she just had a tiny seizure from the shock of the fall and needed to be kept in overnight for observations. But it certainly confirmed that the monthly direct debits where worth they’re weight in gold and that we truly couldn’t imagine being without her.

Do you insure your pets?



How to Clean and Freshen Your Mattress

Mattresses need a good clean, otherwise you’re exposing yourself to dust mites and allergies. Think about any spillages and stains that you’re sleeping in, after all we do spend a third of our lives in bed! A simple clean of the bedsheets might feel fresh and welcoming but it won’t get rid of the underlying problem- your mattress.

2015 Acts (4)

Give your mattress a vacuum, this is a great way to get rid of most dust mites. But ensure you use a HEPA air filter because these remove 99.97% of particles, if you use a regular hoover, all you will be doing is pulling out dirt, which will bring it closer to the surface, clogging up fabric but remaining trapped inside the mattress, making matters worse.

  1. 1. Remove bedsheets, pillows, blankets and anything else you might have- such as a mattress cover.
  2. 2. Start from the top of the mattress and work your way down, using the hose end of your vacuum and an upholstery attachment, vacuum slowly ensuring you are getting rid of all dirt, dust and waste in general.
  3. 3. Flip the mattress over and give the other side an extensive hoover too.

2015 Acts (5)
Eliminate odour and stains in a few simple steps, after all nobody wants to come home to a smelly mattress!

  1. 1. Apply baking soda to the mattress.
  2. 2. Let it sit for a few hours.
  3. 3. Vacuum it off.
  4. 4. Flip the mattress and repeat steps 1 to 3.

2015 Acts (8)


If your mattress has seen better days and you’ve had it for a while then you could consider buying a brand new one. By following the steps above you can ensure to keep it clean from when you purchase it, so it lasts longer. With such a great range on offer including, pocket sprung, memory foam, latex and open coil, there has never been a better time to treat yourself!

Choose from a range of mattresses; pocket sprung, memory foam, latex, open coil and more- there are so many you can pick!

2015 Acts (7)
If you don’t have time to give your mattress a thorough clean, flip it over! This helps provide extra durability and is recommended to do every 3 to 6 months.

  1. 1. Pull the mattress away from the headboard.
  2. 2. Spin the mattress around.
  3. 3. Flip it over, so that the top is now at the bottom.

2015 Acts (9)mat-prot

If you are looking for ways of providing extra protection then you could consider adding a mattress protector to your bed. This will help guard your mattress against those horrible everyday spills and assist in prolonging its lifespan. There are a range of mattress protectors that you can choose from depending on your bed and the design that you require. See more at: My Next Mattress



Savvy Saving to Start a Family

Is it just me, or is there a mini baby boom happening at the moment? It seems everywhere I look, I see another birth announcement, another blossoming bump and another brand new tiny, pink bundle in a pram… Every time I see another new baby, my ovaries have a little moment. I get an almost light-headed feeling while my head and my heart have a tiny battle all in the blink of an eye. I want that again. I want another baby.

But how? There’s always something that we need to do first. I’d like to be healthier. We’d like to more secure financially. Would we need to move? How would Noah cope with a sibling after having us to himself for so long? So many questions. But people do it every single day, right? And they’re coping OK, aren’t they? All these questions make me think back to when we were expecting Noah, how did we do it then? Because we sort of had to, didn’t we?

First of all, we opened a separate savings account to scurry absolutely any spare cash we had. Obviously check over interest rates, minimum monthly deposits etc so your money works as hard for you as possible. Whether you’re looking to save money for the travel system you’ve been hankering over, or you’re looking at long-term savings such as an ISA, Junior ISA or NISA (a junior cash ISA or junior stocks and shares ISA) to help with your child’s driving lessons and uni fees – do your research. Or perhaps you’re looking to go beyond that with some investments? A great place to start would be with L&G Investments – where everything is explained to get you started.

We also thought about things we could live without – big or small –  to save some extra pennies. Can you forego that holiday and save the money instead? How about the satellite TV subscription? Some juggling around, and indeed shopping around can help you see that bringing a brand new little person into your lives is more than possible with a bit of forward-planning. Switch to a cheaper supermarket for your groceries, sign up to baby clubs for free gifts, samples and coupons, even having a clothes swap with some friends or family to get some baby clothes and blankets (always try to get neutral colours to make things easier if you plan to have more than one child) etc – it all helps in the long run.

Don’t forget the Child Trust Fund and to set up a children’s savings account once your baby arrives and to renew your life insurance.

How did you save to start a family?

1 2 3 4 11