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A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

Things Everyone Should Do When Moving Into a New House

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Moving into a new house is a time for many transitions, and it is a time where change is bound to follow. However, for many new homeowners, there is confusion as to what should specifically be done in order to make for a smooth transfer (visitconveyonline.com.au) to make a smoother transfer).There are essential things to do upon moving into a new house. Being someone who has moved a few times in their lifetime you could say that along with those moves I have learned a thing or two and what you should make sure you do before settling in. 


Have The Locks Changed

Making sure that the locks are changed should be your priority when moving into a new residence. This is because the danger of having a stranger having a key to your front door exists. Change the
locks before you enter your home, and you will be able to have a secure transition and security at the same time. In addition, having the locks changed before having your belongings transferred inside can prevent them from being exposed to the period of lock changing.

Change The Toilet Seats

If you want to make your new home feel like yours, you will want to change the toilet seats. This will keep you from worrying about who used it and what happened to it before you got there. It's recommended to consider a detachable toilet seat because sometimes it can be frustrating scrubbing the hinges of the toilet seat. Having a detachable seat will make for easier and more efficient cleaning.

Get Maintenance Out of the Way

General housekeeping items should take priority, and this may be the biggest move in your transition that you can make. From vacuuming out the coils behind the fridge to flushing out your water heater of any sediment, you need to tackle a list of major tasks in order to make sure your home feels good as new. Instead of assuming the last time where certain tasks are done, you should just be prepared to set a time as to when you plan to do them yourself. It will always benefit you to start from a clean slate, and ensuring your house is up to date with maintenance is the first step. Another maintenance tip you will want to make sure of is ensuring there are no leaks. This is done by checking the water meter and ensuring that it only fluctuates when the water is being used. Consult help if you see that the meter doesn't read the same when no one uses any water.

Update Your Address

This seems obvious if you are changing locations, but it is something that you will have to do. The
USPS offers mail forwarding for movers and you can change your address through simple steps. Eventually, when it comes to more complex items such as credit card, subscription accounts, and other services, you may need to this manually. However, you can buy yourself time by getting set up with the USPS first.

A Letter To My Sister on Her Wedding Day

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After all the meticulous planning, finding your dream dress, trying to get you to stick to one colour theme and being on your case about how unorganised you are. It’s over. It’s your wedding day and I can’t quite believe that my little sister is finally marry the man of her dreams. Today is the day that you have been dreaming about since we were as a little as I can remember. We always knew that this day would be something so special, and I know that you have made even more that I could have ever imagined. I honestly cannot wait to see you walk down the aisle in your beautiful dress towards the man of your dreams to start a new chapter in your life.


Looking back, Sarah-Jayne, you were an amazing little sister to me. If I'm being completely honest with you I don't think I really appreciated all you did for me growing up. Pretty much every single one of my memories as a child has you in them. We have climbed trees, paddled in streams and got into some mischief. We would spend most of our time playing together and loved to dress up in mum and dad's clothes, you had the quirkest style, I will forever remember that gorgeous blue dress of yours and you deciding to pair them with muddiest boots you could find. Or that time me, you and Stephen decided to make our own tent out of blankets and made plans to sleep in the garden after Mum and Dad told us no. As we were send to bed, Stephen helped us sneak out the back door, and he followed shortly after. We were all so excited that our plans had worked, until the thunderstorm came and we all got drenched, along with all our pillows, blankets and duvets! I don't think I even need to go into the time you locked us in Dad's Mini when he was doing some repairs on the engine, he was so mad! We really were little terrors, our poor parents. We great partners in crime. We have grown up side by side with one always catching the other when we fall, and making sure that we encourage each another during time of success.




We have been through so much as sisters and I feel so lucky to be able to call you my sister, my best friend. And even though we have had battles in our time we have seen them through the only way sisters can come back from. We have learned so much from on another. You have taught me to be kind and patient, and gave me the best advice when I came into the wonderful world of parenthood. A friendship may know all of your best stories, but a sister is the one who lived them with you. That's exactly what we have through those years, lived. 






There was no one else I would have wanted by my side as I married the man of my dreams and now I get to do the same for you. Our bond is stronger than most and stronger than ever before, and I will stand beside you today like I have our entire lives and continue to do so no matter where life take us. I am so thankful to you have a sister like you! You have finally made it into marriage club! 💕


Love your best friend and sister for life, Kelly-Anne. 

Our First Easter Egg Hunt.

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Easter just isn’t Easter without an egg hunt. This year we have decided to put on a little egg hunt for our little bunny. We took our daughter on a hunt a few years ago but I don't think she could really appreciate it at the time. However this year both my husband and I decided to host our own one in the back garden. But it was really important for us to make it special for our bunny loving girl. Good weather? Check. Cute little basket? Check. Eggs, eggs and more eggs? Check, check and check. Let's go hunt.


Well we wasn't expecting an early wake up call from the little lady, we think it had something to do with the fact that the noisy neighbours headed out into their garden in search of eggs at 6.30 in the morning. Well she's up now so we may as well get prepared for the egg hunt. Considering it's a bank holiday weekend the weather has been glorious, we decided to do the Easter egg hunt outside. Thankfully the grass was only a little damp, giving me enough time to scatter the eggs everywhere before the sun came our way. We ate hot cross buns and my husband decided to try and entertain our daughter while I set up the Easter egg hunt without my daughter knowing. I sneaked back into the house and she was already prepared with her bunny ears and basket. 



As soon as we opened the back door the scattered eggs immediately caught her eye and she let out a very excited shriek. With our little one we chose to use visual clues, rather than written ones. You could cut out arrows out of pastel coloured card to direct your little hunters in the right direction, it's always a great way to help you stay on track. If I made the hiding spots too tricky she may unleash an almighty tantrum or make her super grumpy. And no one wants that!




So I decided to hide the eggs in obvious places rather than under or inside other objects. As I wanted to keep our little hunt really simple and easy. We picked up a pack of bunnies on sticks to guide our little egg hunter and used ready made pointers and directions. A pack was only £1 and it saved us a lot of time, so we can indulge in a little chocolate. When it came to hiding the eggs we tried to be as creative as we could. Planters and tree branches are some of the more obvious ones, but we also placed some in our hanging baskets, under her bike seat and beside the bin making things a little more challenging.





It was so much fun watching her getting so excited while filling her little basket with treats. It was so lovely to hear her be so grateful for each and every egg that she found. At one point she said that she had too many and that the Easter Bunny should have given some to the other children. She's a cutie isn't she? However, our Easter fun wasn't over because there was one more surprise waiting inside for our little bunny. Over the last few months we have introduced pocket money to our daughter in return she has to do daily chores like making her bed, eating her vegetables and tidy her toys. We also ask that she has good behaviour at school and at home. I have to say that introducing the pocket money has been amazing and given her a little incentive to be extra good. There's a toy that she's been saving her pocket money for, a Sylvanian Families Village Bakery. So my husband and I decided to give her something a little extra for Easter and get her the Village Bakery. It's safe to say that she soon forgot about all those delicious eggs she collected. 




So what did you do for Easter Sunday? Did you host a egg hunt or did you adventure out into the wild to look for eggs?

The Herodrive DC Superfriends Collection

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Little girls like superheroes too. My daughter loves Batman, Wonder Woman and any kind of superhero really. She also likes dinosaurs, cars, princesses and fairies with a passion.. She sleeps, breathes, and lives for these things. That's why she was very excited to see these little Herodrive DC Collection come through. We were kindly sent the Herodrive DC Superfriends Mash Machines Batman Police Car as well as a set of four Speed Squad Minis. 


Mash Machine Batman Police Car

Herodrive Mash machines are mash-ups of your favourite DC super friends with rescue and urban vehicles. These adorable character cars come equipped with flashing lights and character sounds. Push the symbol on the front grill to start the action this is the ultimate Batman Mash Machine with working lights and engine sounds effects. The Mash Machine Batman Police Car is pretty big, perfect for those inquisitive hands. My daughter loved to press the buttons for the lights and sounds on the Batman Police Car, they are pretty loud too, so parents be wary. But my daughter loved introducing this new car to her collection so she can allow her imagination run wild. 



The colours are bright and funky, which will certainly appeal to many little ones. Appropriate for 3 years and up, it is great because batteries are already included. I don’t know about you but I hate it when you buy some toys and you then need to get batteries too. You push the symbol on the front grill to activate the light and sounds, which my daughter thought was really cool. There are a few to collect and each vehicle retails at £7.99, so they are reasonably priced enough to build a collection.




Speed Squad Minis

We also got a set of four Speed Quad Minis which are small vehicles around 2.5 inches, however they are just as much fun as the Mash Machines just in a miniature size. As a busy work from home mama, I like to take these little minis on adventures as they can easily be popped into a bag, backpack or even a pocket. Does anyone else's child insist on taking a truckload of toys out with them promising you that they will hold them all the time, until two minutes into the adventure and the toys are tossed to you? Sound familiar? Well, because these are miniature size it won't really matter. In this set of four we got Batman, Superman, The Flash and The Joker and these are available individually or as a four pack. Herodrive DC Superfriends Speed Squad mini vehicles feature Wobble Wheels, these PVC vehicles are fast and fun racers with Batman you can chase down bad guys in the alleys of Gotham City. 



There are other toys available in the Herodrive DC Superfriends range such as the Signal Squad, Power Pals, and a very cool Batman Racer (which is next on the list). The toys are aimed at three to six year old but personally they could be for any age, what's not to love? They and are on sale now in ASDA. Selected items are also available on Amazon. And we hear more items are launching soon so there's lots more superhero action in the making!

We were kindly gifted a bundle from Funrise International for the purpose of this review. But as always my words and images are my own.

How Get Organised and Throw An Epic Easter Egg Hunt

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Preparing for Easter helps us embrace the full meaning of this important celebration, but it's also time for a little fun and laughter with the little ones. Easter just isn’t Easter without an egg hunt. Now doing our own Easter egg hunt isn't something that we have actually done. We took our daughter on one a few years ago but I don't think she could really appreciate it at the time. Now that she is going to school and has been learning about the real reason we celebrate Easter, it's time for her to embrace the fun. The Easter Bunny!


As a child, the Easter Bunny didn't exist! We never did an Easter egg hunt. We used to go away with my parents and grandparents for a little holiday. So the whole Easter bunny and hunt thing didn't really interest us. However the same cannot be said for my bunny loving little girl, about a week or so before the school term ended the Easter Bunny was mentioned a few hundred times. So this year both my husband and I had to create a little Easter egg hunt in the garden, and make it a brilliant one at that. Good weather? Check. Cute little basket? Check. Eggs, eggs and more eggs? Check, check and check. So now it's time to plan an Easter egg hunt? For those that don't have a clue, don't worry use these egg-stra helpful tips, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t all go to plan and leave you with happy chocolate covered faces. 

Easter Decorations...

Get your house ready by hanging pastel balloons outside your home and an Easter decoration on your door so everyone knows where they are going. You could go and hang some pretty pastel bunting, and anything bunny-esque. You don't have to go overboard decorating for the egg hunt. I have seen a lot of Easter trees in the supermarkets, I was tempted but I didn't want to go overboard with the decorations this year. 


Eggs Galore...

Well, you can't really call it an Easter egg hunt without a few eggs, right? You need eggs galore. If your hunt will include more than one child, avoid the tears by colour coding the eggs and ask each child to search for only a certain colour. Or make everyone a list of the colour or numbered eggs they need to collect, so they tick as they go. As this is our first Easter egg hunt in the garden we went a little crazy with the eggs. We stocked up on these gorgeous pastel coloured eggs from the supermarket, and even managed to get hold of some Peter Rabbit Easter Hunt chocolate eggs, mini eggs and chocolate lollipops. In addition to these eggs, we also brought a couple of boxed eggs that are slightly larger in size and come with extra goodies. We couldn't wait to get our hands on the Lir Chocolate Egg that was beautifully handcrafted and decorated Belgian Milk Chocolate Eggs, and will be sold eggs-clusively in selected Tesco’s stores across the UK this Easter. Accompanied by an assortment of four uniquely flavoured chocolates from Lir’s hugely popular Discovery Collection, including Cinnamon and Cream, Salted Caramel, Hazelnut Gianduja and Coffee Crunch, these luxurious eggs are the perfect gift to treat both yourself and your loved ones this Easter. 


You’ll Need a Basket...

As every egg hunter knows, preparation is everything and this means having a suitable basket or bag to collect all your sweet treats. You can buy these from craft shops or supermarkets to be used as it is, or you can customise with bows, ribbons and Easter themed stickers. But, if you don’t have time for baskets then don't worry a bowl or paper bag will be good enough. It’s all about what’s inside that counts here! CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE AND CHOCOLATE!!!

Now, Plan Your Route...

Everyone's house and garden comes in all shapes and sizes. But the most important thing to understand with the little ones is that the hunt has to be as safe as possible, ensuring that all children won't get lost or feel completely overwhelmed. If it's a beautiful sunny day, make sure that all children are wearing their sun hats and have plenty of sun cream on, if it gets too hot or too much for the little ones you could move the hunt to inside the house. Wherever the hunt take place, be prepared to stay with it for the long haul. Little people tend to take their time with things like this, or they are over excited and miss the directions or clues. 

Hide Your Eggs, Be Creative...

With little ones it would probably be best to choose to use visual clues, rather than written ones. You could cut out arrows out of pastel coloured card to direct your little hunters in the right direction, it's always a great way to help you stay on track. Just bare in mind that making the hiding spots too tricky may unleash an almighty tantrum or make your little one super grumpy. So hide the eggs in obvious places rather than under or inside other objects. We plan on keeping our little hunt really simple and easy and picked up a pack of bunnies on sticks to guide our little egg hunter and used ready made pointers and directions. It was only £1 and I think that this will save up a lot of time, so we can indulge in a little chocolate. When it comes to hiding your eggs try and be as creative as you can with little ones. Planters and tree branches are some of the more obvious ones, and small baskets and bins make things a little more challenging.


Have Fun...

When all the eggs have been found, eaten or stashed away why not play some Easter themed activities, you could sing some songs about bunnies, ducks, or sheep. You could even play some games. A few games could include an Egg Dance where you place a few eggs on the ground and turn on the music. The whole idea of this game is to dance among the eggs while breaking as few as possible and the winner gets a prize. Another great game to play is Egg Tapping which involves two contenders holding hard boiled eggs, here each player takes a turn in tapping the other's egg without cracking their own. Bunny, Bunny, Hop which is like duck, duck, goose with a hop. It's the perfect Easter activity. Change the words to bunny as you tap each child and hop when one child is selected. Instead of running around the circle, players hop with their feet together. Egg Hunt Acting which is like the classic game charades, this Easter egg hunt idea is perfect for adults! Once the eggs have been found, gather inside for a festive Easter-themed acting contest. Divide into teams and see who can guess the most! 

Lastly, Make The Eggs Last...

Even though it may be tempting to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, after all it is Easter. It's always a good idea to try and make the chocolate last as long as you can, so as soon as the hunt is over stash as much chocolate as you can away or at least out of eye level of little ones. I know that this year I will try and avoid the eggs as much as I can, so try and avoid dipping into the chocolate stash while the little ones are asleep too, even though it's more than tempting. 

Are You Thinking About Buying a New Car?

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Are you thinking about buying a new car? Well, hopefully you have come to the right place as buying a car can be stressful and more than a little tricky. That's without even thinking about the practicality and safety of a car for any special cargo you may have to chauffeur around. My husband and I have always purchased our cars. We have brought a couple of cars outright and had some on finance. So you could say that over the years we have picked up a few tips and tricks when it comes to buying a car and perhaps this post will give you some ideas or at least give you some questions to think about. 


There’s a wide range of options when it comes to purchasing a car, and sometimes it can be confusing and stressful trying to figure out the best deal for you. There's so much to consider from researching, booking test drives, understanding the best models and manufacturers and that's all before one of the most important factors, the cost. It's easy to get over-eager about a new car without reading into the fine print. The easiest and most obvious way to get a new car is to buy one outright, but that's not always an option for everyone. More people are choosing to get the cars in different ways, such as using personal loans, hire purchase and leasing. Today I thought that it would be a good idea to talk about leasing as a way to get access to a car with monthly repayments without the hassle.

As you know over the years both my husband and I have changed our cars every few years. We have brought cars outright or used a personal loans but one way that we haven't really thought much about is leasing. At a glance, it could be just what we are looking for when it comes to getting a brand new car without any hassle with trading in selling the car on when the time comes. Leasing is a brilliant way of driving a brand-new car and accessing the many benefits that entails. However, you do need to be happy that it’s right for you and be comfortable with the company you’re dealing with. 


Leasing a car can vary from company to company, but generally, they specialise in car leasing where a financial agreement to made and set over a period of time such as 18 months, 2 years or more, where you pay a monthly contract for the car. But you don't own it. Instead, you reach an agreement with the car leasing company to pay a deposit (typically between three and nine months payments) and then recurring monthly payments for the term of the lease. At the end of the lease you return the car to the leasing company with nothing more to pay. So consider a few things before heading down the leasing road.

Before committing yourself to a car lease its necessary to shop around and get the best quotes, and actually understand them. I think that the most important question you should be asking yourself when it comes to a car lease is the cost. Would you be able to afford a monthly repayment? With any purchase, you must budget to make sure you can comfortably afford the monthly payments. Car leasing can offer the advantage of fixing many of your motoring costs as you know exactly what you will have to pay and when you have to pay it, helping you to budget. Leasing arrangements may include other costs, like servicing, tyres, tax and insurance. You don't have to worry about depreciation. Any value the car loses over time is not your problem as you don't own it. At the end of the term you simply hand the keys back to the dealer. So you need to ask yourself, how comfortable will you feel about never owning the car? 


Whether business contract hire or personal leasing, there will be an annual mileage limit. At the start of the lease, you will set an estimated annual mileage with the leasing company. It is therefore important to choose the right deal, as should you exceed the mileage over the agreed term there will be more to pay at the end of the leasing deal. As you don't own the car when you use contract hire and leasing you will need to have fully comprehensive insurance. Third party insurance only covers damage to other people's property in the event of a claim, leaving you liable to the cost of repairs for damage to your vehicle. You should also consider things like the length of your lease. Before taking out a lease, you need to feel confident you will see out the lease term, because terminating early can incur additional fees. So keep these in mind when choosing the length and type of lease. 


Due to the fact that you would be leasing the car, you are more than likely to lease it over a period of time. So will the car you choose continue to suit your lifestyle? So if you're planning in having a football team with your partner, you may need to consider a mini bus instead of the BMX 4 series Coupe. So when taking a lease, think about what you’ll need from a car for the next few years to help you make the right choice.

Is it Best to Loan or Lease a Car?

Well that's the question really, because it all depends on a number if factors financially and personally. With loans there is a lot more to consider such as your personal finance, your credit rating and how much you borrow and at what rate. However, because of this reason a personal loan isn't always an option for everyone. With car leasing the most important benefit is financial. As they offer the advantage of fixing many of your motoring costs and you know exactly what you will have to pay and when you have to pay it. And there are no worries about depreciation as at the end of the term you simply hand the keys back to the dealer. Leasing is the simplest way to drive a new car. Blue Chilli Car are independent specialists at providing competitive vehicle leasing and financing solutions to small businesses and individuals alike. So if you are considering leasing a car then go over and browse their extensive selection of vehicles and perhaps even those BMW leasing deals that will sure to tempt you with no hassle.

This post is written in collaboration with Blue Chill Cars. 

Easter Woodland Trail

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Easter is just around the corner and I don't know about you, but I am really looking forward to being able to spend some more time outdoors. Spring is my favourite time of year, there's nothing better than seeing all the beautiful flowers, the days getting brighter and enjoying afternoons relaxing in the garden. But with spring brings Easter, which was always a favourite time of year as a child. Now that I have my own child it's exciting to get involved with a little Easter fun again. 



Our first adventure was an Easter Woodland Trail that was hosted by a local under 5s group, now I must admit this event was a first for us with the local group. But I can tell you it won't be the last because we all had wonderful day with all those involved. We were able to walk at our pace on the Woodland Easter Trail where we all followed clues around the wood with a little woodland magic. We followed the trail clues with the help from the fairies and also the wood wizard of course. At the end of trail after we collected all our clues we even managed to collect a sweet Easter treat. 



But what made this nature trail even more exciting was that on your way around there were several opportunities for the little ones to stop and get a little creative. First we stopped at the potato painting station, yes we all got a little messy but it was lots of fun. Every child on the nature trail got to opportunity to dip their special potato stamp into some vibrant colours and stamp away. We soon discovered that the stamp were in fact footprints from some of the woodland creatures you may come across during the trail. It was so much seeing all the children get involved and get messy.




A quick stop for a photo in the egg, and we came across an Easter card making sessions. Again this was a very well organised activity where every child on the nature trail got the opportunity to make their own Easter card. We all had a little fun using all the colourful designs and sticking them to our card. You could choose from colourful eggs, chicks, sheep and of course bunnies. Each child was handed a card and told to select a little sticker from each of the three baskets and get as creative as they could.




Further along the children got an opportunity to make their own hats. Who doesn’t love a vibrant, feather covered hat for Easter. Over the last few years my daughter and I have always made an Easter Bonnet together, doing this made a little difference. There were two more activities on the nature trail, however the children decided that they just wanted to explore the woods and find some insects instead. But as we walked by each child was offered the opportunity to plant their own bulb and make their own nest for chicks. At the end of trail after we collected all our clues we even managed to collect a sweet Easter treat, but I thought that a lovely gesture from the Under 5s Out and About Team was the fact that they has fruit stations for the little one on the way round, ensuring that there are no hangry toddlers in the midst. So if you're local and want to do something with your under 5 then please go and check out their Facebook page and see what events they have coming up. It's a really affordable event for £1 plus it give the little ones a chance to be at one with nature and get exploring.

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