As moms, you know that it’s tough to stay on top of the list of things to do at home. There’s that constant battle whether or not you’ll clean the house, or take care of the children’s needs first. Perhaps you may have even started cleaning the house, then the next time you turn your head, suddenly, another mess has been made. The list goes on and on of a never-ending cycle of chores.

With the holiday season starting, you’d better expect that guests are suddenly going to pop up. There are family and relatives who may be in town. Then some friends may also be looking for a place to stay overnight. What a nightmare it may be for you if the doorbell rings and guests start coming in, and your house is looking like a hurricane has just hit it. You need to clean, and you lack even the basic supplies to keep your guests comfy.

The good news now, however, is that there are things you can buy and do, that can help make your house guest-ready anytime. Yes, even when it’s not as spic and span as those homes on the magazines you’ve been viewing. Here are the top five of them:

  1. Extra Bathroom Supplies

Some moms may be on the fence about this. Some are totally up for keeping a stockpile of supplies, especially when they’re on sale. While some like to buy only when they’ve run out. To break down the truth for you, it’s better to have extra bathroom supplies on hand. It’s going to save you some of your sanity.

Guests usually bring their bathroom supplies, yes. But, supposing they haven’t brought one, you’re going to have to offer some. You don’t want to have to make a last-minute run to the supermarket to get bathroom supplies. Stock up during the sales. Have at least 2-3 bottles of each staple, on hand.

Doing this comes in handy, not just when visitors suddenly arrive, but even when you run out and you can’t find the time to buy one.

The Old Stocks, Stow on the Wold, Glos.

  1. Vacuum

When you don’t have the time to do a deep clean of your home, a trusty vacuum will do the trick. Guests like to walk in a house with clean floors and with a non-dusty atmosphere. The last thing that you’ll want is for them to walk on some leftover spaghetti from last night (gross!). Run around the house with your vacuum. Then your home will instantly feel clean.

A bonus tip also is to pick things up while you go through each room. You can quickly put them in drawers, or the proper place as you run through your entire house.

  1. Extra Pillows, Mattress, And Sheets

Throughout managing your home, you will have already accumulated a good number of pillows and extra sheets. If you haven’t started collecting yet, then do so little by little. Again, take advantage of sales. When stored properly, these pillows, sheets, and mattresses can last you a very long time. It also comes in handy when guests show up, so you can prepare a comfortable space for them to sleep in.

Mattresses are space-consuming, yes. But if you take a good look around, some airbeds are of excellent quality. You only have to plug it, so air gives it shape. When your guests leave, you can deflate the bed and pack it up.

white bedroom makeover tips

  1. Kitchen Appliances

Your house may already be updated with the latest kitchen appliances. Great! If it isn’t, then start investing in some, too. This is a good place to start with improving your kitchen, among all others. You don’t need your kitchen to feel like a café, have the basics. Investing in the proper kitchen appliances can come in handy when you need to cook faster, in larger quantities, and even for the general comfort of guests.

For example:

  • Coffee makers and tea maker, so your guests can make their coffee as they please
  • Microwave, for faster re-heating of meals
  • Toaster helps make breakfast cozier, with breakfast sandwiches
  • Dishwasher, so you don’t have to do a lot of manual washing
  1. Well-Stocked Pantry

When you grocery shop and you find good deals on certain staples, go ahead and bring them home. Don’t just stock up for the rainy season, but do so also especially for the holiday season when there are parties left and right, and guests will come in. Having a well-stocked pantry helps you calm down, such that you can easily whip up more food than usual. Just be mindful enough to buy food items with an expiration date that’s way farther ahead.

Conclusion

Having guests in your home is a big deal. At all times, you’d always want them to feel welcomed and cared for. Moms love to give out their best hospitality to anyone that comes by their house. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy, especially when there are just about a million things to get done in a day. This list of five things is a good place to start. Do them or have them in your home, and you can be assured that your home will always be ready even for the most surprising of all visits.

Follow:

When you are planning a vacation to Cancun, you can see more than the beaches and resorts. You can travel inland to see the Mayan ruins that were left behind from a forgotten people. Planning your trip becomes much more exciting when you go to these locations, and there are a few tips that will help you plan a fun trip for you and the family.

Find A Good Place To Stay

Cancun vacation rentals are the best place to stay when you come to the area. You can use these rental homes as a home base for your trip, and you can rest there at the end of the day.

You might rent a place that is in the middle of town where you have street access, or you could rent a bungalow that is close to the beach. You might get an ocean view when you come to a place like this, or you can be close to the clubs and bars you enjoy most.

Plus, you should get to know your landlord because they can give you preferred rates and the dates that you want. You can bring friends on your trip, and you can host parties in a villa that has a full kitchen and extra bedrooms.

Find A Tour Guide

When you come to Cancun, you need a tour guide who will take you outside of the city. Yes, the tour guide can show you around the ruins. However, you need to make sure that the tour guide can take you to the ruins, show you the surrounding area, and introduce you to the locals. The ruins are beautiful, but you need to meet a local expert who will help you truly enjoy the area.

The tour guide should have a vehicle that they will use to drive off-road and take you out to the ruins. You do not want to use your rental car to leave the city, and you should not try to drive there by yourself. The remote parts of Mexico are hard to navigate if you have never been there before.

Which Sites Should You Visit?

Chichen Itza is one of the most famous ancient sites in the world. The site is so popular that you will meet other travelers there, but you need a tour guide who can give you a full tour of the property. A proper tour of the area will tell you all about the history of the ruins, when they were built, and which ruins you can get close to.

The Tulum ruins are not that far away, and they give you some good places to take pictures. The El Rey Archaeological area is a place that is still being researched today. You can go to the site to meet the scientists who are unearthing artifacts from the past, and you can walk among the open ruins.

If you want to go closer to the water, Xel-Ha Park has many archaeological finds that you can survey for yourself. Most people who come to this area will see an untouched part of the coast that they would have missed otherwise. Plus, you will learn about the seafaring Mayans who lived in the area.

What About Your Trip Back To Cancun?

You can ask your tour guide about the places in Cancun that you should visit including the popular Hard Rock Cafe, inland river kayaking tours, and a tour of nightclubs in the city. You can have a fun time in the city when you have come back from the ruins, or you could split your time between historical sites and the city. Ask your tour guide how they would create your itinerary before you leave for your trip.

Conclusion

Coming to Cancun is a great way to get away from your daily grind. However, you need to find the best places to visit, the Mayan ruins that will take you back in time, and a tour guide who will make the trip easier. A tour guide can take you anywhere in the area that you like, and you can rent a beautiful vacation home that gives you access to the beach, the city, and your favorite shops.

Follow:

Advertisement feature

save money at Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year – frosty mornings, mince pies, mulled wine – there’s a lot to love. There’s also a lot to worry about for many people, especially if you’re on a low income and Christmas puts a strain on your family finances. If you find yourself thinking more about Christmas loans (Representative 466.37% APR) than Christmas cakes then I’ve got four top tips to help you save a bit of money this Christmas.

Go for a homemade Christmas

It’s a cliche because it’s true, homemade gifts and things to eat just ARE nicer. Things like homemade mince pies are often cheaper, especially if you’re cooking in bulk, and family members always appreciate a homemade gift, especially if it’s made by the kids. You could even save on wrapping paper costs by buying a big roll of brown paper and getting the kids to decorate it. Or have a go yourself and create this beautiful Christmas wrapping theme using old stamps. View Post

Follow:

‘Tis the season for Christmas decor! And while everybody wants to deck the halls for the holiday, nobody wants to break the bank doing so- enter in creative Christmas decor DIYs. You can go all out this holiday season without shopping till you drop on new decorations. Whether you are looking for crafts that include the whole family, or a new DIY to do with friends over a glass of mulled wine, we’ve rounded up 5 creative DIYs for those looking to get crafty this winter.

Pearl Ornaments

DIY ornaments have never been easier! You can pick up plain glass ball ornaments inexpensively around holiday season and there have never been more ways to decorate them. Try adding white Freshwater pearls to the inside and topping off with a stylish bow. Add a holiday saying to the outside with a metallic sharpie or leave plain for a classic look. For another take on pearl ornaments, glue loose pearls on the outside of the ornament for a textured and glam take on ornaments. Layer different sized pearls to cover the space easier and ensure no gaps. For more DIY ideas with clear ornaments, they can also be added with sprinkles, confetti, paint, glitter, or a hot chocolate mixes for a sweet holiday gift! And if you’re going all in on a pearl-themed Christmas this year, make sure to coordinate with your décor by opting for a classic white pearl necklace to complete your festive look.

Assorted Christmas Garlands

This Christmas DIY is great for the whole family to partake in. There are so many different variations of garlands you can make and they look amazing layered across your mantle. Paper garlands are some of the easiest to create. To achieve the Christmas tree garland, head to your local craft store and pick out green paper (try out variations in colours or patterns). Cut three triangles out of the same paper in the same size, fold each one in half lengthwise, and affix the back of each triangle together to assemble a 3D tree. Now just punch a hole at the top and string them! To assemble the pom pom garlands, just string pom poms of assorted colors using a needle and string to hang. If you want to continue layering them but you’re ready to be done crafting, head to the trims section of the store to find an already made pom pom trim.

Wood Block Card Holder

To create this easy holiday decor, gather wood craft blocks, painters tape, your favourite colour paint, and jewelry wire. To start, tape half the block off and paint in assorted colours. This is an easy step to enlist the whole family in. Use brass jewelry wire to create paper clip-shaped photo holders and a thumbtack to poke a hole to attach in the block. Gold sticker letters can help spell out whatever holiday message you want to share to complete the look. You can now display the various holiday cards you receive all winter long.

Christmas Light Wreath

Light up the room with this Christmas light wreath! All you need to complete this colorful wreath is hot glue, vintage lights, and a cardboard ring. You can layer different colours and sizes to complete the look! This vintage moment looks best for an understated holiday appeal, but for those looking for brightly coloured decorations try using newly saturated coloured bulbs.

Regardless, this easy DIY decor only takes 3 items to complete.

Tealight Snowmen

Tealight snowmen are a great DIY craft to do with kids as they are fairly simple to create. Use a sharpie to draw eyes and a mouth on the tea light. Cut strips of black felt (approximately 1-¼” wide) to fashion into a tophat, while pipe cleaners and pom poms can be used for earmuffs. Wrap a 4.5” piece of ribbon around the neck to complete the scarf! Use hot glue and another piece of ribbon to turn this tealight snowman into an ornament perfect to hang on your tree.

Hopefully these decor DIYs have inspired you to get crafty this Christmas when it comes to decorating your home for the holidays. Which craft project are you excited to take on next? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow:

Advertisement feature in association with TikTok

When I mention TikTok to anyone over the age of about 30, the usual response is a kind of blank stare. ‘What’s TikTok?’ they ask, saying ‘TikTok’ in the same slow, confused way that my mum says ‘mobile data’, sounding out every syllable with equal emphasis, like it’s a foreign language.

Chances are though that even if you don’t use TikTok, your young adults do. As we all know, responsible parents take internet safety very seriously and definitely don’t just watch Gardener’s World pretending not to have noticed that their teen is an hour over the screen time limit.

Seriously though, it is important to at least have an understanding of what TikTok is about, and how to use TikTok’s safety and security features, even if you’d rather be planning next year’s borders. It’s important to understand how to use it safely.

I’ve put together a TikTok guide for parents to help you get to grips with what it’s all about.

What is TikTok?

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a free app for 13+, (available on Android and IOS), that lets you record, share and watch short videos. They often involve goofing around to popular music, (I said ‘popular music’ in my head like an old person – ‘ooh is that in the hit parade?’), and TikTok can actually be influential in turning songs into hits.

Belle uses TikTok a lot for making short dance videos or odd montages where she jumps in the air and lands in a different outfit. The last thing that Belle made and showed me was a short video, set to music, of her pushing one of Joey’s toy cars slowly towards a woodlouse on the carpet. No, I don’t understand either, but this is what counts as funny nowadays apparently. My point is that there is a massive range of content on TikTok and it’s a great platform for exploring your creativity. View Post

Follow:

Advertisement feature

Do you have a picture in your mind of your dream house?

Mine is full of light – floor to ceiling windows looking out onto beautiful countryside, possibly a lake. In the garden I can see my husband, a young Colin Firth, taking care of the shrubbery. Inside is bright and colourful – not too cluttered but definitely not one of those minimalist apartments where everything is white or made of marble and you wonder how anyone ever has a cup of tea and a sit down without making the place look messy.

I have to admit that I’ve always had a bit of a secret hankering for a lift too, either one that opens onto my penthouse apartment, like the super cool people have in all the films, or perhaps one that travels up through the centre of my huge house, taking in the views of my priceless artwork as it goes. Colin and I could smooch in it. It would be terribly romantic.

(A girl can dream can’t she?)

Me checking my make up before stepping out into my penthouse apartment.

View Post

Follow:

It’s 10 years ago now since I gave up the nine to five and became self-employed.

Bee and Belle were fourteen and seven at the time and I made the decision for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I may have been drunk. Secondly I was sick of wasting my time for not much money – it felt like I was spending hours at my desk and often accomplishing very little. Not (always) because I was being slack, but because there’s always so much down time, waiting on decisions, waiting on management.

There has been a lot of research in fact into the amount of actual WORK that people get done on the average working day and most of it, like this study, concludes than in the average eight hour day at the office, most people do less than three hours of work.

It’s ridiculous isn’t it?

I hated the rigidity of it, having to turn up and be at your desk between set hours, just because that’s what everybody does. It felt so pointless, especially when, as a single parent, I was having to do things like forgo school performances and pay for extra childcare. I spent five years after Belle was born stressing myself out, working badly paid, part-time jobs for which I was generally over-qualified, driving from one job to another on my lunch break, scoffing a sandwich in the car. It wasn’t much fun and I didn’t make much money.

I knew that if I worked for myself I could get the flexibility I needed to prioritise my children. I also knew that I was smart and could work quickly and would probably end up working far fewer hours for the same money, if not more.

I was right.

Fast forward 10 years then to last week, when I was listening to a presentation about business growth.

“Put your hand up,” said the speaker, “if you would like to grow your business.” He smiled and kind of chuckled, as though that was an obvious question. Who wouldn’t want to grow their business? Dur.

I kept my hand down. View Post

Follow:

Winter has got the ability to create extreme effects on your home. Windows are one of the most vulnerable elements that you have got at your home during the winter season. Due to the same reason, you need to learn how to take care of your windows and conservatory during the winter season. Here are some useful and effective tips, which you can use to take care of the windows during the winter season.

window maintenance tips

  • Remove debris and dirt

You need to make sure that you are removing all sorts of leaves, sand, dirt and debris trapped in the windows before the winter season. Otherwise, they can create damages to the sliding windows and other moving parts that you have in the windows. All you have to do is to simply brush them. Once you close the windows, you can also think about creating a tighter seal.

  • Get double glazed windows

Double glazed windows are in a position to deliver better results to homeowners during the winter season. Due to the same reason, you can think about going forward with them without having any second thoughts in mind. You will be impressed with the durability and energy efficiency that you can get out of double glazed windows. You don’t need to worry too much about double glazing cost because you can cover up the expenses within a short period of time.

double glazing cost

  • Replace the weather stripping

You need to take a look at the weather stripping that you have around the windows. If it is loose or worn out, you need to think about replacing it. Otherwise, it will create a pathway for cold air to get into your house. As a result, your heating system will not function efficiently.

  • Repair all the damaged surfaces

You need to do a proper inspection of the windows and check to see if there are any damaged surfaces. If you can spot any damaged surfaces, you should go ahead and get them repaired as well. Then you will be able to make sure that there is no possibility for moisture leaks to take place. Otherwise, you will be creating a pathway for a variety of problems to take place.

Simply keep these tips in your mind and you will be able to get the most out of your windows during the winter season.

Follow:

During the winter season, heating system that you have got at your home is playing a massive role. Due to the same reason, it is important for you to have a solid overall understanding about the heating system as well. Then you will be able to get the most out of it and make sure that your house is a comfortable place to live during the colder months of the year.

home heating options

As the first thing, you need to understand the different methods that are available for you to heat your house. This is where you need to pay extra attention towards the combi boilers. Combi boilers have been able to receive an excellent reputation throughout the past as an energy efficient method to heat up houses. Due to the same reason, you can go for a combi boiler without keeping any doubts or second thoughts in mind. Even though the combi boiler prices are high, you shouldn’t be worried too much about it because you can cover up these expenses within a short period of time.

Then you need to take a look at the central heating installation cost. You are spending a considerable amount of money on energy expenses during the winter season. Hence, it is important to have a solid understanding on how to cut down the expenses. This is where you need to take a look at the methods available to increase energy efficiency of the house. Along with the methods to boost energy efficiency of the house, you will be able to reduce the overall central heating installation cost.

home heating tips

Last but not least, it is better if you can have a basic understanding about the functionality of a basic heating system as well. A heating system has two main components. The first component is the one that is responsible for generating heat. Then you will be able to find the second component, which is responsible for distributing generated heat throughout the home. If you can keep this functionality in your mind, you will be able to locate the best heating system that is available in the market to cater the specific requirements that you have in your mind as well. Along with that, you need to have a clear picture on how to control a heating system as well. Then you will be able to take control over the heating system that you have got at your home and receive the most out of its functionality.

Follow:

If you are looking forward to moving from your house to a new one, you need to think about seeking the assistance of a mover. Still not convinced? Then you must take a look at these reasons on why you should be hiring an expert mover for all your moving related needs.

house moving tips

  • You can get a faster moving service

Professional moving services have a solid understanding about the job that they are supposed to offer to you. Therefore, you will be able to receive an excellent overall service from them at all times. You will be able to reduce the time that is taken for the moving job to be completed as well.

  • You can rely on them

Getting the help of a mover can be considered as a reliable option available to consider. In fact, it is more reliable than getting the help of your friends and family members. The professional movers have gone through training and they are aware about the best moving techniques. In addition to that, they maintain professionalism at work by providing a reliable service to you.

  • You can save money

Most of the people think of getting the help of a mover as an unwanted expense. This fact is not true at all. If you have to go through the moving process on your own, you will be spending a considerable amount of money out of your pocket. Apart from that, you will have to spend a lot of time to get the job done as well. When you compare this with the service that you are getting from a mover, you will figure out that contacting an expert is a great option available to save money. Hence, you don’t need to worry too much about removal costs.

tips for moving house

  • You can ensure the safety of goods

Moving certain belongings that you have at home should be done with care. Furniture removal is a perfect example to prove the above-mentioned fact. The expert movers are aware of appropriate techniques, which should be followed at the time of moving your goods. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about the safety of your expensive goods. They will take appropriate measures to deliver all your belongings to the new home in their pristine condition at all times. This will help you to keep peace of mind throughout.

Follow:

Advertisement feature in association with Funky Pigeon

I’m going to be completely honest here and say that in my younger days I would have found the idea of personalised Christmas gifts a little tacky. I say ‘my younger days’ like I’m referring to the 1870s or something – I just mean when I was maybe in my early twenties and still clinging to the illusion that if I just tried hard enough, and walked with enough nonchalance, that I could be COOL.

Obviously I can’t – I have a collection of Nancy Drew books and the Inspector Morse box set – but the lovely thing about getting older is that you don’t actually care any more. I love that sassy girl detective and you can like it or lump it. Plus I just remembered that when Belle was a baby I had a photo of her and Bee put on a mousemat, so, perhaps I’ve always secretly loved personalised gifts.

If you fancy putting the face of someone you love on a Christmas bauble this year then you’ve come to the right place! I put this post together with the help of Funky Pigeon’s range of first Christmas gifts and with the exclusive code JO20 you can get 20% off baubles, cushions, snow globes, and photo blocks until December 23rd.

This Christmas will be our first with baby Joey, which opens up lots of opportunities for personalised ‘baby’s first Christmas’ items. Joey is adorable – put him on a personalised cushion and seriously, what’s not to love?

Personalised cushion

View Post

Follow:

A good credit score is necessary, especially if you have plans of acquiring loans in the future for a home or car purchase, wherein paying with cash upfront may not be deemed as a viable solution. However, this entails the need for you to maintain a good credit standing. Thereby, here are some tips to ensure that you have an acceptable credit score that will guarantee you a loan approval.

Settle your dues on time

In order to maintain a great credit standing, one of the basic things you can do is to pay your dues on time. Settling your bills even before the due date will guarantee a healthy credit score. While certain bills are not reported to credit bureaus, they may still have an impact on your credit score in the event that you fall behind the necessary payments.

Maintain a low credit card balance

While credit card companies provide you with a certain credit limit, avoid getting the impression that this is an extra cash for your perusal. There is a great possibility that if you have a higher balance in relation to your credit limit, your credit score will be worse. A good rule of thumb is that all your credit card balances should only account for at most 30% of the sum of all your credit card limits. Charging more than this is often risky, even if you intend to pay off the balances before your due date.

Manage your debts

You can manage your debts by initially making a list of all your dues, together with the due dates of each. This is to ensure that each of your payment dues are settled on time until the entire balance is paid off. Your credit card balances are not the only accounts that affect your credit score, but all your other debt and loan balances as well.

Monitor your credit report

It is a good practice to check your credit score from time to time in order to perform the necessary measures if it starts dwindling down. Additionally, monitoring your credit report will allow you to immediately verify and ask for corrections for any error that may unintentionally transpire in the report. A thorough monitoring of your credit score will also help you to track credit card frauds and report any discrepancies promptly.

In addition to this, it is important to know what goes into your credit score because knowing sufficient details will make it easier for you to maintain a good credit standing. Generally, your payment history, level of debt, credit age, a mix of credit, as well as your recent credit, are the factors that affect your credit score.

A good credit score is vital in your future endeavors in terms of loan applications. It can also be that a good credit standing will pave the way for you to be eligible for lower interest rates. Thus, it is highly recommended to put up your best efforts to maintain a great credit score, which will prove to be beneficial for you in the long run.

Follow: