Thursday, December 6, 2018

Why You Should Plan A Family Camping Holiday



Picture by Free-Photos


Booking a fortnight, a week, a weekend or even a night away is a must do for all families. Most are
probably already on board with this idea, and as the cold nights draw in, are looking for the next
vacation to drown out the stresses and strains of daily life. From trying to balance work and family,
paying bills and grocery shopping, it seems like a never-ending cycle. If you don’t plan a holiday
away at some point you could burn out and what’s all the daily effort for anyway if you can’t take a
big step back to enjoy life and live in the moment.


For regulars and new holiday bookers, everyone has a standard of holiday they aim to book each
year or every few years. Whether it be staying with family in another town to keep costs low and mingle
with people you and the kids haven't seen for a while, or you might save up your dollars to go
somewhere fancy like the big apple. There’s usually a pattern and reason for the type of destination
you choose, and below are just some of the reasons and benefits of why you should break that rhythm
and try something that may be out of the ordinary, camping.

Camping Accommodation Has Evolved

Everything from tents to campervans has evolved to do one thing, make people more comfortable.
Some of you may prefer to rough it and stick with your rollout polyester sleeping bag, and that’s fine,
however, others may prefer to sleep in an enclosed space like an RV and have some creature
comforts and a flushing toilet within sheltered walking distance. Just to give you an idea of how many
different types of accommodation you can choose from, here are a few examples; recreational vehicle,
camper-van, hybrid trailer, tent or a yurt. These are just a few which stem off into different models,
shapes, and sizes. With a wide choice of accommodation to pick from you can also choose what
best fits your budget, which is essential because breaking the bank for a holiday isn’t worth it.
Once you’ve got the hang of all the different places you can lay your head after a day of relaxing
and/or activities, you may begin to steer towards your favorite. Whether it’s a Rockwood Roo or a
second-hand tent from craigslist, you go with what suits you, your living style and your budget.

It’s What You Make It

If you’ve stayed to read you’re probably even considering camping as an option and that’s great.
Everyone interprets what camping is to be different. If your Dad dragged you to the woods when you
were little to go fishing and sleep in a tent at night, this might be how you see camping, if the only
connection with camping is that which you've seen on TV, you probably imagine cooking smores
above the fire and star gazing. Some of these ideas are right for some people, but the best way to
camp is to tailor it to it you and the people you’re with and not follow another way that you think you
should be doing it. For instance, whether you want to park your trailer up at the side of the road by
a national park and awe at the view. Buy an inflatable bed to save sleeping on the hard ground
amongst the bugs. Or maybe you want to cook shrimp on the campfire instead of smores, well that’s
up to you, and it’s all apart of the fun.


Picture by Amanda Klamrowski

Family Bonding

The decision to go away is usually based on needing a break from your daily routine, but it also has
its benefits in helping you and your little ones form a stronger bond. Without the usual lug of homely
duties weighing you down, you get to spend more time with the kids, and your partner. Research
conducted by the Camping and Caravanning Club shows that out of all campers 93% said it made
them feel happier. To top this, 8 out of 10 people camping thought it brought them and their families
closers together. Perhaps camping could offer you more than your other usual holiday types, with
76% of kids camping being aware of more bonding time declaring their parents had more time to
give them hugs.

Stress Buster

Above all, camping does precisely what you need it to do and shifts away from the stress and strain
bearing your shoulders. Being amongst nature, in particular, helps you to breathe literally and
figuratively, with lots of fresh air proven to improve blood pressure and boost your immune system.
What’s more, on most camping sites there are usually outdoor activities at hand giving you and
your family the chance to stretch your legs and join in on the fun. If that doesn’t float your boat you
may just take a walk through the woods close by or a bike ride beside a lake, either way, the benefits
of exercising outdoors will ensure you and your family or due for a good night's rest. Being around
trees and plants of any kind is known to alleviate stress and reduce anxiety, and the effects haven't
gone unnoticed. The Camping and Caravanning club researched that the majority of children camping
can tell their parents were less stressed and 76% said their parents were less likely to shout and flip
out.

The reasons above highlight how taking up camping as your next breakaway could improve your
mood, wellbeing, and health to make sure that your holiday does what all holidays should do, make
you feel re-energized and stronger to take on your home and work duties when you arrive back
home and to spend quality time with your family. The points above cover just a few of the benefits
of camping, there are other reasons such as; you can stay close to home if needed to save time
and money on traveling. You can take your pets with you along for the fun on your holiday, which
is especially handy if you have no one to house sit. Plus it beats having to spend an excessive
amount on flights to your usual holiday destinations and there will be no usual jet lag either. If you
have a car, all you need to do is pack a few essentials, a sleeping bag, and a tent, park up at a
campsite, and there you have it, you’re camping in nature, under the stars, bliss.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Christmas Presents For the Whole Family That Will Warm Their Heart

If you are a family centered person you will need to make sure that the presents you are giving your
loved ones for Christmas this year are not only practical, but also meaningful. You might use this
opportunity to encourage them to take on a new hobby, pursue a passion, or take part in family
programs that will take you closer to each other. Below you will find a few tips on getting a heart
warming present for the entire family.


Image via PxHere

A Family Show

If your family doesn’t have a Christmas show tradition yet, it might be time to introduce your kids and
family members to the magic of the theater. You can book a Christmas panto or a musical that
everyone will enjoy. You can get a table at a restaurant close to the theater, and make it a day out
visiting the traditional Christmas markets, sipping mulled wine and herbal tea, and making the most
out of the time you spend together.

Christmas Getaway

Another great way of celebrating family this Christmas is booking a
family travel before or after the holidays. If you have a larger family, you will certainly have to spend
some time with your distant relatives, and either visit them or invite them to your home. However,
taking a break from the routine and giving yourself  a break from cooking and doing household
chores might be a great way of ending the year and starting the new one.

Experience Days

If you are simply busy during the holiday season, or your work doesn’t allow you to book a holiday,
you can still get your family members booked in to an experience day. No matter if you are visiting the
home stadium of your favorite soccer or baseball team, learn new skills together, or even go to a
breakout room to take a break from the screen, you can create a present everyone will remember for
a long time.

Something Related to Their Passion

Another good way of creating a meaningful gift for your relatives is giving them something that is
personal to them and related to their passion. If they are involved in sports, you can get them
memorabilia or even branded merchandise. Look around the local stores or visit shops selling
Youth soccer uniforms so you can surprise the little ones.

Personalized Cushions and Tableware

Image via Pixabay


If you would like to bring your family closer together, you might even decide to get them personalized
signs, tableware, or cushions. You can show everyone that they have a seat at the table and they are
allowed to be themselves. Encourage your kids to express their personality and be proud of how
unique they are by giving them personalized gifts this Christmas.


If you are on the lookout for a unique present this year that will help you make the most out of your
Christmas and get your family members to connect, these ideas will certainly help you achieve your
goal.

A Mom's Guide To Being More Productive With Your Free Time

If you compare your life pre-pregnancy to post-pregnancy, then there’s a whole list of differences.
So many things change when a child comes along, and one of the most significant things is that you
don’t always get as much free time as a mom. It’s just the way life goes; you have way more
responsibilities now, so it’s rare that you get time in a day where you don’t have to do something for
your child.

But, I’m not suggesting that all your free time goes out the window. There will still be times when your
parents can look after your child for a spell, or your partner takes responsibility for a while, or they’re
fallen asleep. Then, fast forward five years from their birth and your kid is now in school, which means
you get a little bit of extra free time as well.

For me, one of the most important aspects of being a mom is learning how to manage your free time
and be more productive with it. I think the worst thing you can do is sit around for an hour or so
procrastinating, which basically means you’ve wasted any free time. So, here’s my guide to using
your time better, complete with plenty of suggestions for things to do with it:

Make a list of odd jobs

When you’re busy being a mom, most of your attention is focused on your child. You’re watching over
them, keeping them entertained, feeding them, bathing them, putting them to sleep - the list goes on
and on. As a consequence, certain odd jobs tend to get pushed to the side for later on. These can
include anything from getting the screenwash changed in your car to posting Christmas cards to
friends/family. You know what I’m talking about, right? All those little jobs and errands that you need to
do, but they aren’t essential enough to drag you away from your child.

As such, when you have some free time, it’s the perfect opportunity to do all of these odd jobs. In my
experience, the best plan of attack is by writing a list. You could do it the old-fashioned way, but I think
downloading an app on your phone works better. There’s a post on www.digitaltrends.com that runs
through the best to-do list apps out there right now so it might be worth checking that out to find one
for you. Basically, you make a list of all your jobs, and then you can go through it checking them off
as you complete each task. With an app, you can get notifications to keep reminding you at certain
times - which is ideal if you know you’ll be free at a specific time, so you can set up a reminder. Now,
your time is more productive as you’re doing things that need to be done, which prevents the list from
getting longer and longer!

Start exercising

Exercise is such a productive use of your time, and it’s often something we neglect after giving birth.
This is usually because we feel like there’s not enough time to do anything, but when we have spare
time we just waste it doing nothing! So, make it your mission to try and dedicate a short fraction of your
free time to exercising and getting fit. As it shows on www.MomsIntoFitness.com, you can do
workouts that last around 20 minutes and can be done in your home as well. So, even if you have an
hour free, you can use a third of this time to exercise, meaning there are still 40 more minutes to be
even more productive as well!

Why do I think this is a smart use of your time? Well, carrying a child for 9 months and giving birth will
take a lot out of you physically. Think about all the cravings you had during the pregnancy, all those
pizzas you ate for dinner because you needed something naughty! Unless you’re on a dedicated
fitness regime, it’s natural to gain a few pains and get a little out of shape when you’re pregnant. As
such, this can help you shed those pounds and start looking and feeling better. This also makes it
easier to be a busy mom as you’ll be fitter, so carrying a child around, walking with bags of shopping,
and chasing your kids around the house will feel less taxing!










Tidy the house

This might not seem like a fun use of your free time, but it’s an incredibly productive way of doing
things. You see, when you’re spending hours looking after your child, it means you don’t have time
to really clean up after their mess or keep the house as tidy as can be. This makes it a nightmare if
any friends or family call around unannounced, as your home looks like a tip! If your child is asleep
or being looked after by someone else for a couple of hours, then it’s the ideal excuse to do a little
spring cleaning.

I’m not saying you have to give your house a thorough clean from top to bottom, moving all the
furniture around and working up a sweat. Essentially, you just need to make sure everything is tidier.
This does two things; firstly, it almost prepares your home for when your child is back and ready to
play again. Instead of adding more mess onto existing mess, there’s a cleaner slate to start with, so
the mess isn’t as bad! This leads to the second thing; it makes your home easier to clean. Small
bursts of frequent cleaning in your free time will prevent instances where your home is overrun with
clutter, meaning it takes days to get it back in shape! There are some useful tips on
smartmomsmartideas.com that can help you clean better and more effectively, so they’re worth a look
at.

Arrange something with friends

Remember the days before you were a mom when you had so much time to go on coffee dates with
friends or go out for lunch together? These occurrences become less regular when you’re a mom -
particularly if your friends are moms as well! It’s sad because it feels like you drift apart, but it doesn’t
need to be that way! Whenever you have some free time, try and arrange something with friends.
Even if it’s just a quick little chat in Starbucks for half an hour - it’s better than nothing. Heck, even a
phone call will suffice - if there’s no other option!

Obviously, everything depends on their schedule as well as yours, but there’s bound to be at least an
hour during the week where you and one friend are free together. For me, this is a very productive
use of your time as you get to be social once more. Having a child is the biggest blessing anyone
could wish for, but there are times when you can feel alone. So, seeing your friends for an hour or
so per week is exactly what you need to strike a balance between being a mom with responsibilities
and just being your old self for a bit. You’ll laugh, catch up, exchange stories - and might even get
some advice if they’re also moms with experience.


Take some time to relax


Lastly, one of the best ways to be productive with your free time is to just relax! I know, this sounds
entirely against everything I’ve been saying as you don’t really do anything when you rest. So, how
is this productive? Well, it’s a productive way of using your time to refresh and regenerate! It’s rare
that you get a chance to just lie down or sink into a big armchair and not have anything to worry about.
This stops your brain from frying, which will work wonders for your mental health.

If you never take time to relax, then your stress levels regularly go on an upward path. At some point,
you’re going to have a breakdown of sorts as you’re just not taking care of yourself. You don’t have to
laze around for hours, just take half an hour or so to recharge your mental batteries. There are loads
of things you can do to relax- I enjoy reading books, particularly parenting ones as you can learn stuff
while you chill! If reading doesn’t do it for you, then there’s some advice on www.kidloland.com that
gives a few more relaxation ideas. Also, I’ve linked a video above this for a nice relaxing yoga routine
that I think is well worth doing whenever you have some time spare.


On that note, you’ve come to the end of my guide. It’s worth pointing out that my definition of ‘free time’
is any time in your day where you’re not looking after your child in some way. If you feel like you never
have any free time, then make some for yourself! Call your parents and ask them to take care of your
child for a little while so you can do some of these things. These tips will help you make the most out
of any spare time you have, which ultimately leads to you feeling more fulfilled.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Putting A Bit Of Money Back In The Bank This Christmas



We all know that December is the most expensive time of the year. Not only do you have presents to buy but
the cost of all of the food for the festive feast amounts to a lot too. With that in mind, it is a good idea to try
and look for ways to put some more money back into the bank. Here are some suggestions…


Assess your bills
There is only one place to begin, and this is by assessing how much you pay for your bills at the moment. Could
you move onto a cheaper electricity and gas tariff? Would Sprint phone plans be cheaper for you? Take the
time to get in touch with all of your suppliers and use comparison websites to find out whether any savings
can be made. You will probably be shocked by some of the great deals you get offered.


Matched Betting
This is a great solution for those who are looking to make a bit more money from the comfort of their own
home. The first thing you need to know about matched betting is that you do not need any experience to get
started, which is great news. You don’t need to be into sports nor do you need to be a gambler. By using a
specialist match betting solution, you will have instructions on what to do every time, ensuring you make the
right moves to generate a profit. Despite this, you should never make a bet that you cannot afford. This is a
way to make money betting without risk, but only if you do so correctly. Mistakes can happen, or an unforeseen
incident could occur, for example, you could lose your Internet connection before placing one of your bets. This
is why you should never lump on money that you cannot afford to lose. In addition to this, it is always advisable
to start off small so that you can get to grips with matched betting and fully understand the concept before
going full steam ahead. The first month of matched betting tends to be the most profitable because of all of
the welcome offers, so now is a great time to get started.


Do surveys
Another way to put some money back into your bank account during the Christmas period is to spend
some time taking surveys on the various survey sites that are available. Swagbucks is a great place to start with
this. You simply need to give your opinion on different matters and you will be awarded points, which can then
be converted into cash.

If you are looking to put a bit of money back into your bank throughout the Christmas months, follow the three
suggestions that have been presented above. You will be able to balance out the Christmas outgoings with
these money-making solutions.

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