Healthy Habits we can Teach Our Kids

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As parents, our number one priority in life is for our kids to grow up happy and healthy. And one of the most important things we can teach them is how to achieve this themselves, how they can grow up to make good food choices and live an active life and have fun in the process. When they’re little we’re responsible for making these kinds of decisions for them, but by teaching them the value of a healthy life we can pave a good path for the future. Here are some worthwhile habits to teach our kids.


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Three Ways to Get Ahead as a Millennial

There are few generations quite as interesting as us millennials. We’re widely criticised and misunderstood, often considered as lazy and self entitled by older folk. But as a demographic, we’ve done a lot of good. We’re entrepreneurs who are carving new paths in business and career thanks to the fact we’re savvy with technology. We’re the most ethnically and racially diverse generation, meaning we’re more accepting of others- we’ve pushed forward movements such as gay marriage and gender equality. And as a generation, we’re more educated and informed than others that have come before us. However, it’s not all good news for Millennials and if we’re looking at general trends, there are a few things we could be considered ‘guilty’ of. If you’re looking to get ahead, here are some things you can do.

Buy your own home

Millennials are less likely to be homeowners compared with older generations, and there are a few reasons for this. First, we’re the age group that grew up in the recession, which has meant many of us are jaded with our feelings around borrowing money. High house prices and a struggling economy (that’s only just recovering now) meant that even those who did want to own homes, doing so was often out of reach. Millennials also tend to like living in and around big cities where there’s plenty to do, where house prices are even higher. It’s always worth getting on the property ladder, if you’re able to save up for a deposit then it’s best to do so. You could even buy something cheap and fix it up over a couple of years- get new windows and doors, rejig the layout and have a new bathroom and kitchen fitted over a period of time. This would allow you to add value and own a home that you wouldn’t have been able to afford in a ‘move in ready’ state.

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Learn to drive

Millennials drive much later than previous generations have. The high cost of living is one thing to blame here, high driving lesson prices along with zero hour contracts and money being tight can have people feeling like learning to drive isn’t a priority. Again, coming back to the fact that Millennials tend to like cities, where public transport links are good but your can’t really drive your own car easily, it’s no wonder so many put it off. But learning to drive is a smart move, you never know when you might need it. What if you want to move away and transport links aren’t great, or you get a fantastic job offer but it requires you to drive?

Get your finances in order

Millennials are known for spending on frivolous things– expensive coffee, meals out, artisan products and more. This is despite the fact that due to the economy, many are struggling financially. Get your budget in order, stick to a plan and be careful of overspending.


Tackling A Home Renovation When You Have Kids

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Making a home perfect for you and your family is a dream for many people. The idea of being able to create a custom-made space to suit your needs, decorated exactly as you like is hugely appealing. And with the costs of moving house so high, it’s little wonder that embarking on a home renovation is a popular choice for many. And although the end results can be amazing, you do have to live through a fair amount of chaos to get there, especially if you have children. While the ideal scenario is to move out while construction works are taking place, that isn’t possible for a lot of people, So, can you survive a home renovation project while also tackling the day to day issues of family life? Read on for some top tips…

Plan One Room At A Time

If you have a property where multiple projects needs carrying out, and you can’t afford to move somewhere else, then tackling lots of areas at once simply won’t work. Instead, you need to prioritise the most important rooms to get done and tackle them in order, so that you can close the door on the chaos and dirt as you go. Only you can decide what order to go in but as a general rule, if you have lots of ground floor rooms to reconfigure, it’s wise to make sure the bedrooms are sorted first so there’s somewhere calm to retreat upstairs. If it’s the bedrooms and bathrooms that need an update, make sure your family room is liveable downstairs.

Accept The Longer Timescales

It’s easy to get frustrated if things aren’t moving quickly enough, but when there’s a young family involved you have to learn to be patient. There’s no point in beginning to strip old wallpaper impulsively one evening if you can’t get it finished and will be waiting weeks for a painting contractor. The slow approach really is something you have to live with and especially if you intend on doing some of the work yourself. Get used to grinding a halt during nap times!

Timing Is Everything

When trying to accommodate a family and do major works to your home, you must take advantage of the most favourable times to do things. Fit in your major building works from September to November and January to May. This leaves the summer holidays and the Christmas period to concentrate on family activities and gives everyone a break from the noise and disruption of renovations. If there are things that need doing outdoors, schedule them in for April and May when the weather is likely to be kinder. Try to suit the activity to the time of year and the conditions, as much as possible.

Remember To Take A Break

You also need to look after yourself and stick to healthy habits. Working, raising a family and renovating your home is a lot, and there are bound to be times when you feel tired and stressed, so make sure you’re also taking down time out for yourself and your partner – even if it’s just a quiet walk or an afternoon curled up with your Kindle. Life has to be about balance so make sure you don’t put yourself in danger of burning out.


The Challenge Of Controlling A Hot Home

During the winter, we may moan that it’s too cold and that we don’t like how freezing our fingers and toes are. Yet when it comes to summer we almost kid ourselves that hot weather is better. In fact one could argue that for safety concerns, winter is far better. At least in winter, you can control your body temperature by putting layers on and turning up the heating. When it gets hot what can you do other than take layers of clothing off? What if it’s so hot that the ground and air outside makes opening windows and doors useless because there’s no breeze? Now you have a safety concern especially when you have a young family. You could run a cold shower but for how long can you be in the water? So what can you do when your home is hot and you don’t know how to control the temperature inside it? Firstly you have to realize that you should prepare for summer just like you do for winter. We know winter is going to be giving us certain challenges like cold mornings and ice on the roads, so we prepare our cars and homes for it. The same approach should be adopted for summer.

Heatwave mode

Heatwaves are no joke, hundreds of people die every year from essentially just baking to death. The young and the old are more susceptible to this kind of fate so if you have young children in the home, cooling your home down should be taken very seriously. Go into a heatwave mode in your home. Shield your windows so the hot sun cannot penetrate into your home. Fix louvers to your windows so you can shut out the sunrays. You can also use thick blankets that are hung from the windows to achieve this but they might transfer heat from themselves to you. Plug the vents or extraction fans in your home so that cool air cannot escape and hot air cannot force it’s way in. Put bottles of water in the fridge so at any time someone can drink something cold and regulate their body temperature this way. Stock up on foods that are going to be stored in the fridge also, such as salads, sandwiches and cold meats.

Repair and prepare

Air conditioning units take a hell of a pounding during very hot summers. Don’t forget that they have many moving parts and because they are made out of metal, they expand due to the heat. This can cause friction and a sudden seizure that stops parts from functioning properly. Be prepared to call someone like Trane ac repair that can come directly to your home no matter where you are or what time of the day or night it is, and get your air-conditioning unit fixed. They have a 24-hour emergency callout service, with a 5-star approval rating and can get to you in around 45 minutes. Have their details on standby in case you are in trouble.

A hot home can act like an oven for the occupants inside. Your family should be prepared for a heatwave scenario and take it just as seriously as you would a deep freeze winter.

Family, Parenting

What To Do When Your Child Has Been Injured

Suffering an injury can be stressful and upsetting. This is even more so the case if it happens to your child. However, rather than sit back and accept what has happened, you can make a claim for compensation if the incident was not your child’s fault. This money can go in a trust fund until your child is 18-years-old, as well as being used to help with their recovery and any other costs relating to their injuries. With that being said, read on to discover some of the things you need to do if your child has been injured.

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5 Simple Ways To Cut Back on the Family Budget

When you’re raising a family there are a lot of costs involved. From back to school shopping to the holidays, as well as the day to day groceries and school trips, there is plenty that is going to cost you money. Most of us are going to know the more simple tricks of couponing or buying in bulk as a way to save money in the long term. But what are some habits to get into to really help you to save money, especially on the things that you have to buy? Here are some things to be thinking about, if your family budget is a little stretched of late.

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Could You Be Owed Money You Didn’t Know About?

Isn’t it great when you put on a coat that you haven’t worn for a while and find that there is some money in the pocket? Even though it’s not much, it’s enough for you to feel like you’ve got lucky and won the lottery! Well, imagine if you tried a bit harder to look for some lost or forgotten cash. You’ll be surprised by the amounts you find!

In fact, there are quite a few different places where you might find some money. You need to put in the hard work to find it all – it’s not going to come looking for you! Here are some of the best places to start the hunt for potential stashes of money.

Could You Be Owed Money? - The Southern Smiths

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Freeing Up Time to Do the Things You Want to Do

We spend a huge portion of our lives doing things because we have to do them. There are all sorts of tasks that we have to carry out just to keep things ticking over. We have to work to generate an income and keep a roof over our heads, our properties warm and comfortable, and food in our stomachs. We then have to carry out a whole host of other routines when we return from work. It’s not all too surprising that many of us end up feeling that we are in a constant cycle and that we rarely get a chance to do what we enjoy. The key to breaking this cycle? Finding ways to make our lives easier for ourselves. There are actually all sorts of short cuts or ways that we can transfer responsibility to others rather than bearing the weight of absolutely everything on our own shoulders. This frees up time which we can use to incorporate a little more fun in our lives. Whether that’s kicking back and relaxing with a hot drink and a book we’ve been meaning to read for months, travelling to a place we’ve had on our bucket lists for an extended period of time, or picking up a new hobby or class that we previously couldn’t fit into our hectic schedules. Here are just a few different responsibilities that you can outsource, helping you to chase your dreams!

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