We were loaned the Skoda Karoq for a week for the purposes of this review. No money changed hands. All views my own.

Skoda Karoq review front profile

That’s a lovely big growly car face isn’t it? This Skoda Karoq is saying ‘I’m going to get you to the supermarket and to school and on holiday goddammit and I’m going to do it in comfort and style.’

 

As I’m sure you’ve realised by now, I love a cheeky car review.

Not that I really KNOW anything about cars, but I like to think that’s a good thing, because it means I talk about them in a way non-car people understand and appreciate. I focus on the important things, like the number and size of the cup holders, rather than the stuff no one actually cares about, like the engine size and power. (Yawn.)

Also I love that for a week or so at a time I get to drive around in a car that fools other people into thinking I’m a grown-up, rather than in a 12 year old Renault Clio Campus, which looks like it should be parked outside one of those student houses where you can barely see the front door for the stacked empty Papa John’s boxes. Belle likes that she gets to connect her phone and play decent music instead of listening to my mid-90s folk CDs.

A couple of weeks ago then, I drove around for a bit in the new Skoda Karoq. To be completely accurate, it was the ‘Karoq SE L 1.5 TSI 150 PS 6G Man’, according to my booking confirmation email.

I’m not sure what most of that means.

Did I mention the cup holders? View Post

When Bee told me she was pregnant, back before Christmas, I was very excited.

Partly I was excited at the thought of stopping to chat to people with the baby in the street and them being SHOOK when I said ‘Oh no, it’s not MINE, I’m Granny!’ They would say things about how surely I wasn’t old enough, and I would laugh coquettishly and then ruin it by muttering something about just having greasy skin.

Partly I was looking forward to the opportunity to try doing things differently, to have actual money to spend and to have someone excited to go to a farm with me again.

Mainly I just wanted to be able to get one of those tiny baby feet and put the whole thing in my mouth and say NOM NOM NOM.

Bee was adamant that the baby was going to be a girl, and that she really, really wanted a girl. In fact, so sure was she that her and her boyfriend would be devastated if it wasn’t a girl, that they decided to find out the sex of the baby at their 20 week scan last week, just so they could give themselves time to get used to the idea.

It was a boy.

Of course Bee realised immediately that it didn’t matter at all, and if anything she seems even more in love with the baby than ever before.

I on the other hand was shook. View Post

Despite the youth-centric hustle and bustle of London, it can still be a great place for the elderly to visit. While you may not think of London as the most relaxing get away destination for older people to enjoy, you would be surprised at just how many tourist attractions are not only interesting for older generations but are also easily accessible by even those who find it hardest to get around.

If you’re visiting London with elderly relatives or you live there and would like to find some great attractions for when they come to visit, we’ve researched some accessible royal attractions in London for you. You might not think of places like Buckingham Palace as being wheelchair or disability friendly, but in fact you’d be surprised at how many places of interest are more than easy to get around whilst taking in the culture and grandeur of it all.

Buckingham Palace

Probably one of the most visited tourist attractions in London, you may be put off by thinking it’s going to be busy and crowded. However, did you know that the State Rooms, which are open for ten weeks in the summer to the public, are actually access friendly? Step free access needs to be pre-booked, so make sure you plan ahead, but apart from that you’ll be free to explore the wonders of the Queen’s royal residence and all of the spectacle it has to offer. It really is a must see if you’re visiting the capital and especially one to do if you visit London often and haven’t had the chance yet.

buckingham palace accessibility

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is now the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but it originally opened its doors in 1605 and was the home of Queen Victoria during her childhood. There’s only a week left to see the exhibition dedicated to Princess Diana, but if you’re planning on visiting later in the year there are still plenty of things to see and do. Luckily for elderly visitors, the whole palace is wheelchair friendly with ramps already provided to make it easier to get around.

Kew Palace

You may be familiar with the beautiful Kew Botanical Gardens, but have you ever stepped inside Kew Palace itself? This strikingly beautiful building is no longer in use to the royal family, but is still a great place to visit. You can even interact with the staff there dressed in Georgian clothing to get a real sense of the history of the place. Even better, the palace and gardens are accessible to all, with staff trained in disability awareness. There are even concession tickets available at discounted prices for visitors with limited mobility.

kew gardens accessibility

It is important to avoid bankruptcy by all means possible. As we all know, debt is a normal way of life for many consumers and as such, filing for bankruptcy would have a devastating effect on your credit rating. We all want to be able to borrow at any time the need arises. As such, it is advisable that one should seek ways of saving themselves from bankruptcy. Before you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is advisable that you should at least consult your relatives to help you sort out your debt so that you can be creditworthy again. If your relatives are not an option, perhaps consult with a financial advisor to help you get back on track before you throw in the towel and give up altogether. There are many things that one can do to avoid bankruptcy. In this article, we shall discuss some of the things you can do to avoid this state of affairs.

Here are 4 things you can do to avoid bankruptcy:

  1. Sell some assets to pay off debts

If you have some assets that can be sold to offset some of your debts, then this is the best route to take. It makes no sense for you to apply for bankruptcy while you own some items that can be sold to offset some of the debts. You should not wait till you are behind payments for you to sell the assets. Do it as soon as you notice you may not be able to service the debts. You can sell some of the items on Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, and so on. This does not mean that you can’t replace these items in the future. This is just a temporary measure that can save you from bankruptcy.

  1. Pay your debts and renegotiate with your creditors

This is another plausible option that you have. If it is possible for you to pay your debts over a staggered period of time, this would be a good thing to do. You can reorganize your budget and your overhead costs so as to cut out costs that you can do without. You may also decide to look for a second or a third job so as to increase your income. This way, you can service your debts and avoid bankruptcy.

  1. Your creditors can help you avoid bankruptcy

You should talk to your creditors to understand your difficult financial situation so they can allow you to repay the debts when you can.  It is vital for them to allow you to repay the debts and on easy terms instead of them losing their money when you apply for bankruptcy. Many banks and even credit card companies have some form of hardship programs that can help you out of this problem. Before you can get into this program, talk to your creditors to lower your interest rates as well as your monthly repayments.

  1. Seek help from friends and family members

This is one of the things that many people fathom. However, when you are on the verge of bankruptcy, it would be a good idea to seek help from friends and relatives. Have a plan on how you will repay these friends and relatives once they help you offset some of the bad debts. Remember that you should easily ruin the good relationship you have with them if you do not honor your promise.

 

You know how sometimes life is feeling a bit like too much hard work, and you really just need a couple of days to take some deep breaths and have a break from home? I’ve felt like this for the last few months, and so our weekend at Bruern Cottages in the Cotswolds could not come soon enough.

Sometimes with a mini-break you go away and it’s nice but also you feel like you could have had the same experience just having a bit of a tidy up at home and watching a film.

Bruern Cottages was NOT like this.

Bruern Cottages review

Bruern cottages reviews

There are a few standalone cottages in the grounds I think, but the main area is this sweeping courtyard, with joined cottages forming three sides of a square around the edges.

I find the term ‘cottage’ a bit misleading really. I think of a cottage as generally being small, maybe a bit gloomy, but the cottage we stayed in, which you can see in the second picture above and was called Wychwood, was bright and spacious and basically bigger than my house. View Post

In collaboration with LionsHome

Hey, it’s Bee again. Maybe I’ve mentioned it once or twice on the internet, but I’m having a baby in July.

Lately I’ve been feeling really envious over people’s nurseries. I try not to look at sites like Pinterest because they’re totally unachievable goals as far as I’m concerned and I don’t know how to upcycle anything from Ikea into something else so what’s the point really?

nursery decor ideas

I’ve been looking at the nurseries of people I know though and thinking a) how cute they are and b) how expensive it must be to kit one out. I know that it doesn’t HAVE to be and you can get loads of stuff as hand-me-downs or in charity shops but they always look so nice that I can’t believe it didn’t cost them a fortune. What’s worse is that I can’t even start now because I don’t have a second bedroom. I’m waiting to be able to move house so I can get a place with two bedrooms, so I can’t even plan it out in my head because I have no idea what the room will be like.

Anyway, once I am able to start collecting things I’m going to have to think about what kind of stuff I want. I am finding out the sex of my baby if possible, but I don’t want this to impact too much on how I decorate the room. I really love neutral colours on babies as I think they’re the cutest – things like white and grey are my favourites and I’d like to incorporate lots of these into a minimalist yet cosy kind of design.

nursery decor ideas

I was having a look at some of the things that make nurseries extra special and cosy online. I would like to have some things that are personal to the baby, like pictures of us in a family and some nice soothing artwork on the walls as well as some personalised stuff when I finally think of a name (how the hell are you supposed to pick ONE name for your kid to have FOREVER?)

I was looking on the LionsHome website and came across some really cute things in the baby accessories section. I especially love looking at GroBags – there are so many cute designs and they have so many to choose from on the website. I think cute sleepy babies in a bag are the best thing in the world, plus it keeps them so nice and cosy. Also from looking at the website I’ve decided that I probably want to get a white cot – it’s gender neutral and it’s so easy to match everything to it. White cots also never go out of style so if I ever had another baby (gah wait what?!) I could use it again!

What nursery essentials did you buy? Do you have any good recommendations?