Make The Future Bright For Your Kids

Make The Future Bright For Your Kids

After you have children, your world revolves around your little one. In fact, your number one aim is to make sure they have the best childhood. Therefore, you and your wife will try and bring them much joy and happiness over the years. But as well as worrying about the present, you need to turn your attention to the future. After all, you want to ensure your kids have the best possible start to adulthood. And you want them to be happy and financially secure, even when you are not around. To ensure this does occur, there are some things you can do now. In fact, here are some tips to ensure your kids have the best future possible.

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Packing It Up: The Family's Guide To Moving Home

Packing It Up: The Family's Guide To Moving Home

Whether you are taking the next step on the property ladder, or simply moving to a place where the rent is cheaper and the rooms are bigger - it's likely that at some point in your life, you'll need to pack your bags and move. When you've got a family, it can be a lot more difficult than say, if you were single, or didn't have kids. Funnily enough, having a family is a big reason for a move - kids grow up and might need more space.

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Saving for University

Saving for University

I was never the most attentive student at school, don’t get me wrong I was fairly smart and passed all my exams I just didn’t put in much effort. I could do the work and seemed to thrive when it came to exams, the issue was I knew this so didn’t try my hardest.

Luckily for me, my girls enjoy school and enjoy learning. Even though they are still in primary school the topic of what they’d like to do has cropped up a few times, with Mia wanting to become a teacher and Aly...well anything to do with computers.

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A Woodland Walk

You can tell when the weather improves and Spring is on its way by the fact that the girls want to go on a walk in the local woods. Last weekend with the weather warming up a little bit the girls asked if we could have a walk in the woods. It was a little muddy but there were lots of signs of Spring plus it gave me the chance to grab some photographs. As a bonus the girls also let me take a few photos of them...this doesn't normally happen.

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As anyone will know the trick to a good woodland walk is having the right sort of stick to assist you. This was Aly's first aim when we ended the woods, some were too weak, some too small but in the end, she found the perfect one.

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Mia, on the other hand, was more than happy just to relax and enjoy the fresh air. There was also some tree climbing to take part in and somehow neither of them fell off which was a nice surprise.

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Below is a collection of photos I captured of them, I'm not very good with words so I'll allow my photos to do the talking.

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Country Kids

It’s Pie Week!!

There are certain times of the year that I remember…the girls birthday’s, the start of the F1 season and pie week. It doesn’t get the credit it deserves, the classic pie should never be forgotten; it's a thing to enjoy and treasure. I’ll admit something…there was a time when my girls were younger that I may have neglected the pie. I’m ashamed of myself.

Fast forward and Aly who’s 9 has developed a real love of having pie for dinner and this means we get to enjoy it lots and it’s our special meal. Of course, there are many beautiful pies you can savour like a warming steak pie but our personal favourite is a chicken pie.

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To celebrate pie week what better meal to have than a chicken pie, some roast potatoes and a selection of vegetables. We’re a busy family with work and after school clubs and working the dinner that we prepared was all frozen. The #PowerOfFrozen is all about tasty food that is high quality and also convenient. It allows us as parents to be able to feed our girls quickly.

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A good pie needs perfect pastry and lots of filing. Too often you get more sauce than actual meat and that’s just wrong. The Iceland pies are bursting with flavour and meat and you won’t be able to tell that they haven’t been made using Nan’s secret recipe. There’s no making of the pastry, no pre-cooking the meat, simply place on a baking tray and 30 minutes later you have an amazing tasting pie.

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There are only 2 pie lovers in this house (shocking I know) and Aly was so impressed with them, she asked if we could have them again tomorrow. Lucky we bought a 4 pack of Iceland’s chicken pies so that we can spread it out across 2 meals! They are full of goodness and I’m safe in the knowledge that if Aly has one of these after swimming that she’s getting a good meal inside of her.

Pie week is something to celebrate, so what is your pie of choice?

This post is in collaboration with Iceland Foods.

Should Your Next Family Workhorse Be An Automatic?

While some people get by with a small to medium-sized vehicle, many parents with families in tow need large people carriers. They offer cavernous space inside and some cars can even seat up to seven people, including the driver. Family cars are useful for the short-haul school run journeys and long-distance motorway journeys alike. It’s no secret that most people in the United Kingdom drive a manual car. You don’t need me to talk to you about the advantages that a manual car offers. But, it seems that automotive technology is influencing car buyers to opt for automatics instead!

Just twenty years ago, you’d only find a few automatic cars on the road. And many of those would typically be high-end cars like Jaguars and BMWs. Today, it’s not unusual to see even small hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Golf with an automatic gearbox of some description.

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Image Obtained From Flickr

If you’re in the market for a new car, should you ditch the clutch and go for an auto box model? The answer is yes, in case you wondered! Confused? Let me explain why that makes perfect sense:

They use less fuel

An automatic that uses less fuel than a manual? Surely that’s got to be some kind of mistake, I hear you exclaim! The truth is, today’s modern automatic transmissions are electronic. Their computer brains make thousands of decisions a second and work with the main ECU in the car.

As a result, a new automatic car can shift up or down quicker than you can in a manual. Don’t believe me? There’s a tonne of evidence online to support that fact!

They are super easy to drive

When you get into an automatic car, you’ll notice that you’ve only got two pedals; the brake and the accelerator! You don’t have to change gears manually in an automatic, so there’s no need for a clutch pedal. Simply stick the gear lever into “Drive” and away you go!

Of course, going from a manual to an automatic can take a lot of getting used to. As strange as the suggestion is, you may wish to consider taking a couple of driving lessons to get used to driving an automatic.

You can still drive the car like a manual (sort of)

There are various types of automatic transmissions in use today. The most popular type is the dual-clutch and Tiptronic designs. They have the typical Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive gears that you’d expect in an auto. However, you can shift up or down five or more gears as if you were in a manual. The only difference is, you don’t need to use a clutch to shift!

No clutch replacement costs

All manual car drivers know that a clutch needs to get replaced every so often in a vehicle’s lifetime. With an automatic, you never need to do that! In fact, most transmissions only need an oil change every 100,000 miles.

So, when will you take the plunge and buy an automatic family workhorse? There’s plenty to choose from nowadays, so you’ll be spoilt for choice!

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Nextbase Dash Cam 412GW from Halfords Review

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In the past few years dash cams have become a growing business and you'll see lots of people on the road with them attached to their cars. In this video, I'll give you a quick look at the Nextbase Dash Cam 412GW from Halfords with some sample footage that I took on a grey dull day.

I love using technology, from cameras to computers, drones to unique gadgets and with any of these things I like them to work well and be easy to function.

This dash cam ticks those boxes perfectly. With the press of a few buttons, you'll have it working and recording in no time. For people who have no real knowledge of setting up something like this, it's incredibly easy and could be used by simply attaching to the windscreen, turning it on and pressing the record button.

Why have a dash cam? The reason they've become so popular is that it give you peace of mind, it helps protect you against false insurance claims and with some companies, it will reduce your insurance premium.

Nextbase Dash Cam 412GW Features

  • Exclusive Powered Magnetic Click & Go mount for easy installation in the vehicle
  • Instant evidence to support insurance claims to help prove an incident was not your fault
  • 140 degree wide angle view with QUAD 1440p High Definition recording at 30 fps
  • High frame rate option of 60fps recording at FULL 1080p HD
  • Ultra clear 3.0” LED display for ease of playback and menu selection
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi to share your footage directly with your mobile via Nextbase Cam Viewer app
  • Super slimline design - Dimensions 10.9 x 5 x 1.8 cm (W x H x D) (37mm incl. lens)
  • Six-Element Sharp Lenses made with 6 layers of glass to provide stunning clear images
  • GPS receiver and G sensor to record location and force data
  • Inbuilt battery with up to 30 minute backup in the event of an accident
  • Easy to install with 4m 12v power cable and Click & Go powered window mount included
  • SOS data protection prevents the impact/ event recording from being deleted
  • Supports SDHC Micro SD cards (not included) up to 32GB

I felt the quality of video produced from this was much much better than I thought possible. So much so that in future photography vlogs I'll use some of the footage to add into my videos.

If you're looking for a high-quality dash cam at a good price I'd really recommend this one from Halfords which is available on their website for £129.

We was sent this item for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Is Your Child Overweight? Here’s What To Do!

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Have you started to notice that your child is looking a little chunky, shall we say? While it’s normal for kids to fill out as they get older, what you don’t want is them gaining weight too quickly and ending up being overweight. At one point or another, most kids go through phases of being a little chubby - normally referred to as puppy fat. However, it’s important to be able to tell the difference between normal amounts of body fat and a child who is overweight or obese.

Photo from Pixabay

In the UK, research has shown that around 30 percent of children between two and 15-years-old are either overweight or obese. Being overweight impacts a child’s health, so if you’ve noticed that your child is a little chunkier than they should be, it’s important to take steps to help them to become healthier, which can sometimes be easier said than done as a lot of kids are stubborn when it comes to what they eat and how they spend their spare time. (For a lot of kids, gaming seems to be the activity of choice.)

The question is, what does it take to help your child lose a little weight and get back to being healthy again? For everything that you need to know and do, read on.

Don’t say anything to them

When it comes to your child’s weight, don’t make the mistake of saying to them about it. Children can be incredibly sensitive about how they look, which is why mentioning their weight to them isn’t a good idea, as the last thing you want to do is damage their self-esteem. The thing is, once a child’s self-esteem is damaged, it can be incredibly difficult to help boost it again. Obviously, if your child broaches the subject with you first and tells you that they feel uncomfortable with their weight, then it’s okay to talk to them about it. However, if they’re unaware that there is a problem, then there’s no need to bring it to their attention, especially if they’re young - you can help them without mentioning their weight to them.

Speak to their doctor

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If you’re worried about your child’s weight, taking them to the doctor’s for a health check could be a good idea. By going to see your child’s doctor, you can have them weighed, and their height checked to see whether their weight is healthy or whether they could do with losing a few pounds. Their doctor may even be able to suggest a weight loss plan to you for your child or may be able to refer you to a dietician, for help getting your child’s weight under control.  

Make changes to their diets

The first step to getting your child’s weight under control is to make changes to their diet. Spend a couple of days monitoring what they’re eating, and then find ways to give their diet a health boost. It could be a case of making small changes, such as cooking all of the meals that your child has from scratch, or you may need to change everything about their diet, from what they have for breakfast to what they snack on. Don’t just change your child’s diet, change the way that the whole family eats, that way your child won’t feel singled out by the changes. Aim to cook healthy, homemade meals every night, swap fizzy drinks and juices for soda water and fruit infused water, swap chocolate and crisps for fruit, vegetables, yogurt, and plain popcorn.

Be a more active family

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One of the most important things when it comes to helping your child to lose weight and become healthier is exercise. They say that when it comes to being a healthy weight, it’s 80% diet and 20% exercise. However, just because exercise isn’t as important as food, it’s still crucial if you want your child to become healthier. To encourage your child to do more exercise, commit to becoming a more active family and lead by example. Kids often mimic their parents’ behaviour, so by becoming more active yourself, you will encourage your child to do the same. As a family, spend your spare time going swimming, taking bike rides, going for walks, and playing sports - the more active you can be as a family, the better. Remember, it’s about creating healthy habits.

Encourage them to join a sports team

One of the best forms of exercise for kids is joining a sports team. To encourage your child to join a sports team, talk to them about all the best things about being part of a team, such as making new friends, learning new skills and taking part in tournaments with loads of other teams. Perhaps you could also tell them about how much fun you had playing sport as a kid and winning loads of football trophies, basketball medals, and certificates in swimming as part of a team? To help your child find the sport that is for them, take them along to taster sessions and let them try out various different sports so that they can find the one that’s the best fit for them. Whether your child falls in love with football, hockey, basketball, or swimming as part of a team, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they find a sport that they enjoy taking part in.

Teach them about being healthy

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Photo source

While you don’t want to mention your child’s weight to them, as you don’t want to risk giving them a complex, it could be worth talking to them about being healthy. A lot of younger children don’t understand how important eating well and exercising regularly is, which is it’s important to talk to them about it. To help you explain to your children about the importance of regular exercise and eating well, there are various books and TV documentaries aimed at kids that you could use, so if you’re not sure how to go about it, don’t stress.

There you have it, everything that you need to know about dealing with a child that’s overweight and helping them to get their weight back on track.

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