Your Kid Wants Their Birthday To Be One Thing: Exciting

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We wish we could look forward to anything in life the same way a child looks forward to their birthday. The excitement on their face, the way they can’t sleep at night, how much they can’t wait to see their cake, or their friends, or what you have got them, or what you have planned, or just the fact they get to wear a badge that proudly displays that this is their day and nobody else. It is the most infectious type of euphoria we have ever experienced.

 

The problem is, this total elation that bursts out of them like sweets from a pinata really heaps the pressure on us parents. They are so excited about this day and it is our duty to make sure that it somehow exceeds all expectations (knowing that we are setting the bar dauntingly high next year, and all the years after that).

 

But no matter how hard we try to do something special, we always have that niggling feeling at the back of our heart that says we need to do more. We think back to our own childhood birthday’s, think how hard our own mum’s worked to supersede our imaginations and then try and work out how we can achieve the same thing, but on steroids.

 

The thing that probably stands out more than anything, though, is the fact your parents always made every part of that day about you. You’ve probably forgotten what you did, who was there, what sort of cake you had, how many candles there were and the fact you got to tear the wrapping paper off Disney Princess mystery box and fawn over it with momentary joy. All of these details seem to fall away. What lasts a lifetime is that feeling of excitement, and that is exactly what we are going to try and help you take to another level because we have come up with a list of ways you can keep the surprises coming and the feeling of joy bubbling away like a pan of custard left on the hob.

 

This is your kid’s birthday and it is going to be the best birthday yet!

 

  1. Make The Build Up As Exciting As Possible

Your kid is going to be naturally excited by their birthday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fuel that gorgeous little fire a little bit more. As we’ve established, the excitable thing is the best part, so latch onto this and have a countdown that lasts the entire week leading up to their big day. Have a black board in the kitchen that counts down or a calendar where they can mark the days off with a big, fat, red pen. Maybe have a bouquet of ten balloons, and let them take one away every morning. It doesn’t even have to be a countdown if you don’t want. It could be a series of clues, each clue leading them to another until they finally discover their stash of presents you’ve hidden somewhere genius. Whatever you think will get their excitement boiling over, do it. Your kid will love this as much as their actual birthday.

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  1. Nothing Beats A Birthday Breakfast

Every child has a favorite breakfast, that thing usually only reserved for special occasions. Well, whatever it is, make it with sprinkles. Literally. If your kid hasn’t got a favorite, know that you cannot go wrong with the smile-inducing classics. We’re talking a stack of pancakes (covered in sprinkles) or a breakfast milkshake (with extra sprinkles) or a pile of waffles (yes, with sprinkles). Anything that can be deemed fun and special and worthy of the best birthday breakfast ever. Oh, and if you can, try and add a candle or ten just to add to the joviality that much more.

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  1. Decorate The House While They Are Sleeping

Nothing beats that moment where you wake up, rub your eyes, stretch out your arms and legs, ponder the world for a moment and then suddenly remember that it’s your birthday, motivating you to jump up and run downstairs to find the whole house has been decorating in your honor. So go utterly crazy on this front. Buy a selection of shirts for the birthday boy and lay them out for them to choose a birthday outfit from. Hang up streamers and balloons and banners. Get pictures of their life up to now printed out and stick them all over the place. Write birthday messages on the mirror in the bathroom. Absolutely everything and anything you can think and, remember, the wilder your ideas the better. Get all creative on this birthday.

 

  1. Decorate Your Car Too

There is nothing that will make your kid feel like their birthday is 100% their day than having random people and passersby celebrate it with them. They kind of expect you to celebrate it with them, but they do not expect everyone to get involved. That’s why you need to get yourself some colorful window marker and cover your glass in messages like, “Birthday Boy!” and “Ten Today!” And “Honk for Sam!” And anything else you want to add, like pictures of balloons and cakes and all that kind of jazz. Having people honk as they drive past will have your little one smiling and laughing, and it won’t get boring for any of you either. Every single beep of a car horn will fill your little world right up, which is just how it should be.

 

  1. Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

The little thing on their day is what makes all the difference. Things like declaring it a screen free day for their siblings and you, the parents, will ensure that all the focus is directed towards them, which is a nice feeling to have. If it is their birthday on a school day, then why not go the extra mile and wrap every single item in their lunch box in birthday wrapping paper, while also throwing in a couple of balloons and party poppers and that sort of thing. Measure them too. Every kid wants to see how much they have grown since their last birthday, so make sure you have a wall chart you can add to, or start. Make this a new tradition in which to follow because, for them, every birthday is proof of how much bigger they are, and they will want to see that first hand. These are all little things, minuscule and minute things that can go easily unnoticed, but they are things that will make all the difference.

 

  1. A Very Special Meal Out

Go to your child’s favorite restaurant, or to that place that will completely blow their mind because it is more than just food on a plate, it is an experience that will totally blow their mind. This could be somewhere you have heard people rave about, or it could be somewhere you stumbled across in a local magazine, either way, indulge their childish fantasies. Just remember to call ahead and let the restaurant know that it is your kid’s birthday. Like we said with the whole decorating your car thing, the more strangers that celebrate their birthday with them the more special and unique it is going to feel, and nothing says that like a restaurant full of strangers singing happy birthday to you while sliding a cake you didn’t expect onto the table in front of you. This is what magic looks and feels like. These are the things that will stay with them for a lot longer than presents.

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  1. Get All Creative With This Day

We’re not just talking about arts and crafts here, although yes, please do indulge this side of things too. Make a special (non-alcoholic) cocktail or smoothie with them that they can get involved with, and let them name it. Maybe even add the recipe to a book of your creation, one that you can add to at every special occasion. It could be that you make a birthday crown with them too, something they can wear all day and attract calls of “happy birthday” from people everywhere they go. The other type of creative we were alluding to, however, was to do with memories. Set up a special interview with them. Have a video camera and ask them questions while filming, things that will make them smile and laugh years down the line, maybe even prove they were right about their hopes and dreams and aspirations. We live in a world where we can document things like never before, and these will be cherished in time. It doesn’t even have to be a video interview, though. It could be a written one, with you tucking the paper into their memory box to open on their 21st.

 

Making your child’s birthday is all about building their excitement, devoting every part of this day to their happiness and creating memories that will easily outlast the toys that you give them. Of course, the presents are an important aspect, but it is the feeling of this being their day that will make them happiest of all. So get your thinking cap on and think outside the box a little. There are ways to build their glee that you have never thought about, and it is up to you to exploit these.

How To Keep Your Kids Safe And Protected During Summer Break

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Summer break always seems to come around so quickly. One minute, you’re getting school supplies ready for the next year, juggling carpool and homework, and then next it’s all done again for another year. And then comes the fun of the summer. When your kids are off school, you often want to make sure that you’re able to keep them entertained, that they enjoy their time off, and also that they’re safe. But it’s often hard to make all three of those happen at once. One thing that you can control is their safety, so if you want to make sure your kids are protected during the summer, here’s what to do.

 

Wrap Them Up

 

When your kids are out playing in the garden or with their friends, you need to make sure that they’re going to be as safe as possible. So, if you know that they’re going outside to play on their bike or skateboard or inline skates, you need to make sure they’re all wrapped up. Be sure to put their protective gear on them, or make them know how important it is to put it on themselves, and you’ll rest assured that they’re covered.

 

Use Sunscreen

 

But then there’s also another kind of protection that you’re going to want to do. When it comes to the summer, we all know it’s important to keep out littles ones out of the sun, or at least wearing sunscreen when they are in the sun. So, when your kids go out in the garden, or you’re all out for the day, be sure to lather up the best sunscreen, and you’ll know that their skin is protected.

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Top Them Up

 

You’re also going to want to make sure that their health is protected too. Now, this is probably something that you do all year round. But, it is important to make sure that their vitamin and mineral levels are topped up with the right supplements, just to make sure that they’re getting all of the nutrients they need. That way, you know their bodies are topped up, and they’re able to fight off germs.

 

Stay Stocked Up

 

You should also make sure that your home is stocked up when it comes to everything from medical dressing supplies to medicines and home remedies. When your kids are out on summer break, as much as you’d like to wrap them up in cotton wool, you can’t. So there is a chance that they may fall down and hurt themselves while outside playing – or even in the house. But when your supplies are stocked up, you know you’re prepared.

 

Be Strict

 

Finally, you’re also going to want to make sure that your kids are fully aware of your rules ahead of the summer break. If you want to ensure that they stay safe at all times, they need to be able to know that they’re aware of why your house rules are important. Staying within the garden boundaries and not talking to strangers may just be some of them, but your kids need to know why they have to stick to them.

Create The Perfect Playroom For Your Kids

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Your child’s playroom is the one room in the house where you can let your imagination run riot. From bright, funky colors to wonderfully themed wallpapers, there are many ways you can be creative.

So where to start? Here are some ideas you might find useful.

Talk to your kids

Before you make a start on the room remember one important thing. This isn’t your room! You are designing it for your children. You might want to let your inner child cut loose and design everything your way, but you need to compromise. What are your children interested in? Superheroes are the in thing at the moment, but your kids are guaranteed to tell you what they want in no uncertain terms. As far as is practical and affordable, create a room that suits their imagination.

 Flooring ideas

The room needs to be child-friendly. While carpeting will be soft on your child’s feet, it may not be the most practical choice. Instead, you may consider laminate flooring. This is ideal as you will easily be able to mop up any drink spills your child makes.  Another flooring idea is rubber tiles. There are many colorful and themed designs dependant on your children’s age, and it will be comfortable underfoot too.

Older children will be keen to invite their friends over and hang out. Therefore, consider seating, from beanbags to inflatable chairs. Sofa beds are also a good idea as they are perfect for sleepovers.

Storage options

A playroom needs somewhere to store toys and books. You can purchase brightly colored bookshelves and storage boxes that are good to look at as well as being practical. You should also color coordinate them with the overall look of the room. A moveable trolley is also a helpful solution when space is an issue. Remember to be safe. Your child needs to be able to reach their belongings, so don’t store toys on high shelves, and where possible attach storage units to the walls.

You can add to your child’s learning in your storage. On each toy box stick on an appropriate picture so your child can quickly access the toys they need. For example, a picture of a car or a Disney character on appropriate boxes will make it easier for you and them to find what they are looking for. Of course, getting them to put their toys away in the right boxes is another matter.

Creative spaces

Play is one way your children use their imagination, but you should also consider their creativity. Should you have space, create a designated area for whatever they are interested in, from reading to painting, as well as a homework corner. You should allow them to use their creativity in the design of the room, so have one wall that can be used as a blank canvas. Using paint or chalk that can easily be washed away, this is the perfect place to let their artistic imaginations flow.

 

Remember, your children will grow and their tastes will change. You will need to be flexible and adapt the room accordingly.

 

 

 

5 Amazing Family Experiences To Embrace This Summer

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Summer is officially here. People are wearing shorts and sandals, people are complaining about how hard it is to sleep at night and some people are already wearing sunburned sleeves. Oh, yeah, summer is well and truly here and we absolutely love it. The days are long, the kids are outside, the smell of barbecues fill the air and people are just in such high spirits.

However, for all the amazing wonder that arrives with the first days of summer, after about a week, almost all parents suddenly find themselves sweating a little bit because they’ve already run out of things to do with the kids. It happens every year.

Luckily for you, we anticipated this and came up with a summer vacation bucket list to help you keep your kids entertained and happy right the way through. We hope it helps.

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  1. Camping Trip

The chance to go camping as a family doesn’t come around often enough, so the summer weather should definitely be utilized as a chance to break out the tents, buy too many marshmallows and get your outdoor cooking expertise down to a tee. First off, it is the ideal way to have budget-friendly fun and, secondly, it is just one of the most amazing family memories you can make.

  1. Home Makeover

There is no better time to get stuck into some home improvements than when the sun is out and the kids are off school. It is one of those activities that can be super fun and super practical, as this guide shows. Get your kids on the paintbrushes, move some furniture around and just do whatever you need to do to make your home beautiful again, and do it as a family.

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  1. Backyard Garden

Planting your own little garden comes with so many added bonuses. Not only will it teach your kids some vital skills and reduce your family’s carbon footprint, but food from the garden just tastes so much better when you have grown it with love. Fresh food is simply unbeatable. It’s delicious, nutritious and cost-effective too.

  1. Zoo Time

The zoo is one of those places that you can visit and revisit and it never gets boring, a lot of the time because there is too much to do in just one day. Lions, tigers, rare monkeys, elephants, and just about every almost-mythical animal you can possibly imagine. The other great thing is, you can visit different zoos. Start local and then branch out.

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  1. Outdoor Movies

Kids aren’t impressed by films like we used to be impressed by films. Nowadays it is a matter of going on Netflix and watching something at the click of a button. It’s not an experience like going into town on a Friday night, visiting the local video store, studying the shelves, picking two or three films to rent out and enjoying a movie night. So, why not make movie night an experience by taking your kids, even your toddler, to an outdoor movie, getting tons of popcorn and watch as they have their minds blown a little.

Disney Princess Mystery Box

 

Upon receiving the Disney Princess Mystery Box, I was anxious because I did not know what to expect. When it came in the mail I’m not sure if I or my grandchildren were more excited about it. It brings back many memories of me falling in love with Disney movies when I was younger.

Disney movies are a huge part of childhood, and being able to relive the atmosphere of my childhood by seeing these Disney princess mystery boxes has brought so much joy to me. It was a beautiful pink box with “fun has arrived it is playtime!” written on it. Peering inside the box was beauty and the beast themed toys!! Complete with a beautiful gold tiara with a pink stone centered in the middle, sprinkle with uniquely placed colorful stones. Along with a yellow shirt decorated with Belle on it. Beauty and the Best figurines complete with Belle, tea cut, the beast and much more and, a castle to build from the box (which was the coolest part, in my opinion, creating the castle), and a magazine that every little girl will love! In the imagines, you can see all the figurines and beautiful tiara on the beautiful little girl. I like to see items that little boys and girls can share together as you can see.

I love this product because every month it is a new surprise! How fun is it to get a mysteries box of surprises every month? This item would be perfect for a Christmas gift, birthday gift, a “you did well on your test” gift. Perfect for little girls who love Disney princesses. This is definitely something I will recommend to someone who has a little girl who LOVES Disney movies. I cannot wait to receive the next box and the mystery it is going to present. Please stay tuned till next time!!

Tips For A Budget-Friendly Summer

Summer has a way of making us feel carefree; we happily spend more money on treats, family outings, or activities for the kids, only to check our balance in September and realise that we might have taken too much out of the savings account. While it’s true that you can’t put a price on the memories you make with your family, you do still need to have enough put away to make more memories in the future. If you’d like to have your cake and eat it too, here are a few tips so you can have the best summer ever on the lowest budget possible.

Cheap vacations

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It’s tempting to opt for a staycation each summer because this is when flights are usually their most expensive, and you don’t often know if there’s enough in the budget to book in advance. Fortunately, you can still take the family somewhere exotic with a few money-saving hacks. Flights tend to be more expensive from Friday to Sunday because most people want to make the most of the weekend in a foreign country. Since you have the whole summer holiday to choose from, try to book a flight that leaves in the middle of the week to save a few dollars. You can also save if you aim to travel the week before the kids go back to school, as this is when prices might start to drop. Websites such as Skyscanner can help you compare flight prices across a whole month so you’ll know the cheapest days to fly, saving you a potential packet. Going all-inclusive can save you more money, especially if you take full advantage of the breakfast buffets and the hotel swimming pool. Spanish destinations such as Majorca and Tenerife, or Algarve in Portugal, are always a hit with families, so these are good places to start looking for an all-inclusive vacation.

Camping

The great outdoors can be just as engaging as a games console, and it’s usually free. Although some campsite will charge you to pitch your tent, there’s no cost for sleeping in the back garden with your younger kids, or out in the woods with more mature children. Brush up on some simple survival skills and teach them how to survive in the wild, introduce them to the simple thrill of climbing trees, see who can spot the most species of birds, and in the evening you can show them how to make perfect s’mores over the campfire. Not only does this experience get everyone out of their comfort zone and encourage the kids to work together to put up the tent and start a fire, but it will help them appreciate the things they take for granted at home; hot showers and indoor plumbing seems like a luxury after a weekend in the woods. Most importantly, however, spending time outdoors will teach children how to respect nature and the environment.

Rent out your house

You don’t need to have a second home or spare room to make money from a lodger. If you’re planning on spending a few weeks away, and you live in a popular area, you could make some extra money by renting out your house to other holidaymakers. You can sign up to be a host on Airbnb, put out feelers with friends, or by making a website advertising your house to people looking for nice accommodation for their vacation.

Packing for vacations

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Hard as it may be to admit, your little ones aren’t as little as they were last year, and all their clothes from the previous summer no longer fit. Before you start packing for your vacation, you need to make sure you have enough summer clothes that fit them comfortably, not to mention all the other summer essentials you need to buy like sunscreen, allergy medication, and travel sized toiletries. To make sure you still have enough left for vacation spending money, you can go to the stores armed with discounts from Coupon Sherpa and make substantial savings on clothes and other items. It might require you to do a little legwork and shopping at several different stores, but it’s worth it just to save a few dollars.

Active family

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If you’ve been trying to find a way to motivate yourself to do more exercise, there is no bigger encouragement than your children; not just because you want to be healthy, but because they will drive you crazy when they start climbing the walls with boredom and the only solution is to get everyone out of the house. If you have fairly young children, take them to the park and actually play with them; run around to catch them on the slide, push them on the swings, or try getting involved in their game of tag. With slightly older kids, you could get everyone on their bikes and ride down the coast, whip out the water pistols and having an all-out war, or check your local area and see if there are any events that will get them walking. If you show your children the value of getting out of the house and having a good time, they may never catch on that you’re doing this for the exercise.

Rainy day fun

Despite all your best efforts to get the kids away from the electronic devices and out into the fresh air, sometimes the weather will conspire against you. Fortunately, you can still find ways to keep the kids busy without the lure of technology. One way to keep the kids occupied is by teaching them how to cook. Your options are endless; you can have them help you make the family’s favourite dinner, you can choose a new recipe to try together, or you can teach them how to make a really easy dish so they can begin building their cooking skills. If you have them help you with dinner, be sure to compliment them on their contribution and watch their little faces light up with pride.

Baby’s First Home: Buyer’s Guide For Expecting Parents

There’s nothing like having a baby to make you realise that yours and your partner’s ‘young couple’ flat doesn’t have enough space for your growing family. Unfortunately, you have to balance your budget so you can afford both a bigger place, and everything else your little one might need. It’s an overwhelming, but necessary, undertaking. Here are a few tips to get you through this exciting time.

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Brainstorm

When it was just you and your partner, you might have been happy living somewhere within your price range, close enough to work, and not too far from any amenities. Now that you have a baby on the way, you might want to narrow down your criteria. Do you want to live in a good school district? Would you prefer a bungalow so you don’t have to babyproof the stairs? Be clear on what you want before you officially start your search.

Set up alerts

With some much going on at home, you might not have time to search the classifieds, property websites, or peek through the real estate agents’ windows until you find something you might like. Instead, have someone else do the searching for you. Agencies in your local area, such as Manausa Realty, have expert agents that are paid to take all your requirements on board and mind a property that meets all your criteria. Alternatively, you could go to a property comparison site, fill in your budget, area, and room requirement, and sign up to get emails whenever a property that meets your criteria goes on the market. However, you might be better off with an agent; they can let you know about new properties before they go on the website, increasing your chances of getting your dream family house.

Check the surroundings

Remember, you’re not just buying a house; you’re buying the whole neighborhood. Will it keep your kids awake at night if they live close to a busy road, or if the neighbors are too loud? Can you live next door to someone who doesn’t keep their front lawn up to standard? Is it better to live close to a park or a small corner shop? If you think you might like one of the houses on the list, take a walk around the block and see if you can imagine your whole family happy in the area.

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Get an inspection

Before you sign any documents, you should request an independent inspection of the house. The home inspector will look for hidden problems with the house, and you can learn about any issues that may prevent you from buying the property before it’s too late. This may include mold problems, termites, foundation problems and a bad roof. The last thing you need is a faulty house when you have to look after a newborn. The inspection can save you thousands in repairs later on, and you can rest easy knowing your new house is child friendly. If there are problems, you might be able to renegotiate the price.

Your Child & Confidence: Tricks To Implement

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We all want our children to be forthright, confident people, not shy and retiring. It’s a delicate balance to make. After all, we don’t want to be over protective, and it’s important to let our kids find their own way in life. So what can we do to help our children develop in a way that is best for them?

Think About Your Compliments

It all starts when they’re really little. You need to think that if your kids are used to hearing “that’s great” every time they build a tower out of bricks, or they kick a ball, and then they may struggle to understand when it’s actually worth celebrating their achievements. Instead of lavishing praise on them every time they brush their teeth, say “thank you.” It also helps to be specific if they’ve done something that is worth noting. For example, if they’ve done a drawing, you could point out the nice use of a certain color.

Let Them Interact More

If you’ve got a young child (more specifically, an only child) and they don’t interact with people their own age, it can be a harsh lesson in life. If you keep them in their own bubble where they are the focus and attention, it can be a shock to the system when they realize that they’re not the most important person in the world. Conflict is a natural part of life, and if you let them make their own decisions without any recrimination, it will be a big dent to their pride. It’s never too late. Even if you have tweenagers, you can enroll them in debate summer camps or try them with an after-school drama class. The more different types of people they can interact with, the sooner they will understand the concept of conflict. Conflict is really important because it teaches us all the skill of resilience. And this will only be achieved if we do the next point…

Let Them Make Mistakes

Decisions and mistakes are all part of life, and while it can be very demoralizing to constantly make mistakes, this is where you can help them to focus on the glass being half full rather than the other way around! Because if they come home and didn’t get the lead in the school play, it doesn’t help for you to say to them “well, I think you’re a star!” Instead, you can say something like “I can see that you’re disappointed, why don’t we come up with a plan so you can get the part you want next time.” By protecting them from their failures, they will never learn the value of problem-solving. It’s difficult to strike the right balance between being “too sensitive” or hardening up every time they get a knockback, but mistakes are very important to learn. From the very start, you can tell them not to touch something, but if they don’t know why they just feel that they’re being told off for being naturally curious. Mistakes are important.   

How To Plan The A Baby Shower For A Friend

Throwing a baby show for a friend is one of the greatest, heartfelt gifts you can give them. It’s a rite of passage for many women, who are pregnant for the first time, and what better way to celebrate an upcoming birth of a baby, than crossing the line into womanhood surrounded by friends. But this in itself, poses a huge challenge for friends and family, as the challenge is to differentiate your party from every other baby-related gathering or celebration. Luckily there are a few common codes of conduct that are flexible enough to give you creative control and allow you to make a truly bespoke baby shower.

 

The location

There is a whole range of differing locations that present contrasting vibes for baby showers. You could rent out a luxury apartment in the city, in a high-rise building so you can sip wine and enjoy the view while your pregnant friend opens presents. You may find renting of a 40×60 steel building cost is less than a hall venue in a grand hotel, yet provides bigger room and more options for facilities, such as a band, outdoor play area for visiting children of other moms, and a large main room for a large guest list. Parallel to the seating arrangement, you could have tables set up with a buffet food offered to the attendees. If you’d rather do it at your own home, that’s a great decision too, because it’s more personal and provides you with a chance to show the mark of a great hostess.

Image by – Lori

Setting the tone

It’s pivotal to the select a theme that your friend will relate to and enjoy. It’s got to be expressive of their nature, or perhaps from a childhood memory, and possibly even a theme that’s reflective of their baby’s gender. The easiest way to lose a grip on the overall look and interior design of the party is to move forward with just a vague hint, perpetuating a stride with no clear direction. Set out the day and what you want to achieve. For example, the catering, you could start out with a light brunch, reminiscing about the past with a close, tight-knit bunch of friends. Next onto an afternoon tea or lunch, where each person could swap stories about the first time they had a child and exchange tips and tricks on how to cope with a newborn.

Source – TerriC

The plentiful bounty of gifts

Make sure you brief your guests before they come to shower, and inform them well in advance that gifts should be baby proof and practical and something that will be detrimental to raising a baby. Apparatus like a breast pump, advanced guide to the stress calls and crying a baby makes life hacks that will save her time and money with the proper planning advice, clothing for the baby such as hats, mittens, and footwear, etc. These gifts should be given to make the life of the pregnant woman easier and less stressful, so try to steer away from food items and makeup.

 

 

 

 

5 Small Ways to do Your bit for the World

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Every day, the world gets a bit scarier, a little bit more unsafe and a little bit less protected from destruction. Our newsfeeds and TV screens are filled with bias and war, our political leaders are neglecting our planet, and there are so many scandals that they have almost become normal. With all of this going on, it can be easy to feel as though there is little we can do to make a difference in this big bad world. But, as parents of the next generation, we must be strong and bring our little people up as movers and shakers, carers and lovers.

 

Change begins at home, and here are some small things you can do to make the world a little bit happier and healthier.

 

Buy ethical

 

Changing your shopping habits isn’t always easy, but buying local and buying from ethical companies are a big step in changing the world. By purchasing from local suppliers, you will reduce your carbon footprint but not buying products which have been flown halfway around the world to your supermarket shelves, as well as putting money back into your local community rather than in the pockets of big business. There are also many clothing companies out there who use natural materials and stay away from exploitation. An example of this is Il Gufo Clothing, a great alternative for children’s clothing without feeling guilty about where you are shopping!

 

Take time out to volunteer

 

Volunteering doesn’t have to take too much of your time but can be a rewarding way to give back to your community and do your bit for a better world. Volunteering comes in many shapes and sizes and can involve one day a week spent in your local charity shop, planting trees, spending time playing cards with the elderly or helping out at your local food bank or soup kitchen.

 

Offset your carbon footprint

 

If you are a family that flies or drives a lot, there are many ways in which you can offset your carbon emissions. Websites such as carbonfootprint.com and cotap.org allow anyone and everyone, from large businesses to individuals, to calculate how much carbon they use and then options for offsetting it – from tree planting to contributing to sustainability projects.

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Give blood

 

Giving blood is one of the most rewarding ways in which you can give back to both your community and the world. By taking some time out to give blood, you can directly save someone’s life who has been in an accident, needs surgery or even a transfusion. How amazing is that? You also get given tea and biscuits at the end, which is always a win in my books too!

 

Leave the car at home

 

Not only will walking save you money on fuel, but it will result in less pollution and a boost in fitness for you and your family. As a general rule, if somewhere is less than a five-minute drive away, it’s usually within easy walking distance. Using public transport is also a great way to do your bit for the environment, and save you money too!