Monday, 27 March 2017

Washing Machine Broken? Don’t Panic!

Life can be stressful enough without having to worry about a broken washing machine. You want to be able to come home, throw your laundry in the machine and know that you will have clean clothes tomorrow and the next day and so son. Sadly, washing machines are one of the most common appliances to breakdown, and when they do, it can cause problems for the whole family. But, a broken down washing machine doesn’t have to be the ned of the world, and you don’t have to panic.

Instead of getting all worked up about your washing machine, keep calm and check out these useful tips:

Go Online

If you come home to find that your washing machine is no longer working, the first thing you should do is log on to your computer or smartphone and search for the make and model of your washing machine plus ‘repairs.’ A lot of the time, your machine will only be suffering from a minor issue, and there are many people online who have experienced the same problem, offering solutions. If you can find the right solution, you can make the repair quickly yourself at little or no cost to you.

Call the Manufacturer

If your machine is under warranty, or even if it’s not, the best thing to do is call the manufacturer and ask their advice. If the problem isn’t easily solvable, they will arrange for an engineer to visit your home and make a repair. If you haven’t got insurance or a warranty, many companies will fix your machine as an act of goodwill, so it’s always worth a try getting in touch with them.

Call a Repairman

If you have no joy fixing it yourself and the company doesn’t offer a free repair, it is usually cheaper to hire a local repair man than it is to hire an engineer direct from the company or to buy a new one. If money’s tight, you might consider poor credit personal loans, which will help you get your machine going again quickly. Just make sure you will be able to afford the repayments before you go down that route.

What to Do in the Meantime?

If you’re unable to get your washing machine up and running quickly, you will need to find alternative solutions for a few days, at least for your work clothes and the kids’ school uniforms. Ideally, asking a friend or family member to allow you to borrow their machine is the easiest, most cost-effective solution. Just make sure you take your own powder and offer them a little something for the cost of running the machine.

If that’s a no go, you could always take your family’s clothes to the launderette, but that could get quickly expensive. It’s probably a better idea to wash your clothes by hand. Sure, it’s more work than a machine, but it’s a lot cheaper, and you won’t have to bother anyone else. Just ensure that you know how to wash clothes properly by hand before you get started and enlist the help of hubby or the kids to get the washing done quicker.

Where to Spend and Where to Save in the Home

Whether you’ve just moved into a new home and you’re looking to put your own unique stamp on the place, or you simply want to redecorate your place this spring, you will probably find that there are so many home decorating options that it is easy to feel overwhelmed. It is likely that you will also find it hard which items to buy for your renovations because there are so many different price points that it’s tough to know what to do with the best.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of some of the things it is worth paying more for and which items you can afford to spend less on.


The sofa is a difficult item to determine a spending budget for. On the one hand, you are going to be spending a lot of time relaxing on it, so you want it to be comfortable, but on the other hand, many sofas are more expensive than they really need to be because of the choice of fabric that is used.

What this means for you is that you should spend a decent sum (say £1000 minimum) on your sofa, but you can make savings by choosing a less expensive fabric like a linen blend, instead of expensive leather. Just remember to buy a sofa that is filled with a denser foam, feathers, and springs, because it will be more comfortable and keep its shape longer than a cheap sofa filled with a less dense foam.


If your spring spruce up is going to consist of nothing more than adding a few seasonal accessories, you will be glad to know that this is one area where you should aim to save. Cheaper candles, photo frames, and plants can look just as good as the more expensive versions, with the added bonus that you won’t have to feel bad if you decide to switch them up every time the trends change.


Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial in everything from looking good in the morning to being able to concentrate on your job and can even help you to lose, weight, so it’s safe to say that it’s worth paying more for a mattress from a high-end retailer like John Ryan by Design, which has been well made, than it is to buy a cheap bed. That being said, what words for one person can cause a world of pain for another, so it is never a bad idea to visit your local mattress store to check out whether sprung or memory foam mattresses work best for you. You can the right mattress for you online for less.


If you’re planning on sprucing up your home with a new coat of paint in a different colour, I would highly-recommend that you leave the bargain basement cans alone and at least plump for a mid-range product. You see, very cheap paint tends to be bulked out with a range of chemicals, which are not only potentially bad for you but which make the paint thinner and this means that you will need to apply more coats of cheap paint than the more expensive stuff. Cheap paint is false economy, and it will take up more of your time when decorating.

Throwing a new rug down in your bedroom, living room or kitchen is a quick way to add a touch of colour and give the room a new look, but do you need to buy an expensive one? It depends. If you are putting the rug in a low traffic area, where it won’t see much wear or tear, it’s fine to buy a low-cost synthetic one. However, if it’s going to be in a high traffic area, choosing a rug made from natural fibres, which has been expertly hand-knotted will be the best use of your money. These more expensive rugs might cost many times more than a cheap one, but they will last many times longer, and they’ll still feel softer long after than synthetic rug has lost its appeal.


If your old desk is falling apart, don’t worry because a home desk is one of the things that you can buy cheap. A cheap flat-pack from Ikea will do just fine, providing you splurge a little on the accompanying chair if you’re going to spend a lot of time at the desk because it’s the comfort and support your chair offers that will keep you from getting a bad back, not the desk.

What are the home essentials that you always spend more on? Which ones do you buy cheaply?

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Struggling with School Costs? Try This...

Going back to school after any holiday during the year can mean buying new school supplies. While you might replenish everything in September, you often need to buy things throughout the year. Uniform wears out, and stationery breaks or gets lost. And then there are school lunches. These expenses can be hard to handle, especially if you can only buy uniform from one retailer. If you're struggling with the cost of school supplies, there are things you can do.

Help from the School

Many schools are also struggling with a tight budget, but you can still approach them about how they might be able to help. One thing you might be eligible for is free school meals, which you can access if you receive one of a number of benefits. Look on the government website to see if you're eligible.

Find Ways to Save

If you're struggling to come up with the cash when you need it, improving your saving habits can help you be prepared. This might require a rethink of your budget so you can put away more each month. There are many ways to cut costs, from saving on food to reducing your energy bills.

Look for Long-term Solutions

Patching up money problems temporarily isn't going to solve anything for good. Looking for long-term solutions like getting a better job or managing your debts can help you to create a better financial future. You need to take a look at your income and your money management habits to make permanent changes, not just temporary savings.

Cashfloat UK

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Basic Invite - The perfect way to get the word out

When we have an event to organise, whether it be a wedding, a christening, a graduation or a birthday, we want to make sure we get the word out to our nearest and dearest in the best way possible and the way to do that is with a striking invitation.

I was recently contacted by Katie from Basic Invite and after looking at the website I fell in love with the massive range of beautiful bespoke invitations and stationary they offer. They cater for every occasion you can think of and wow what a selection they have!

When I was browsing the website, I found that they offer the chance to have a custom sample sent out to you to get your approval before the final order is placed which I think is fantastic and it's something you don't get from most companies. It's a great idea as sometimes when you order online, it can sometimes not be what you wanted but this way it means you can alter it to suit you and they will not go to print until you are 100% satisfied.

They also do a fantastic range of personalised guest books which really caught my eye. I've seen guest books many times and they can be quite basic but having a personalised one really adds a special touch. I love this one called 'under the stars' Of course it's covered in stars which is what drew me in at first but you can personalise it in any way you like and also decide how many pages you would like and whether you would like lined or blank pages. It is 100% about what you want.

Another great feature of basic invite is that they offer a range of coloured envelopes for your invites. Let's face it, a white envelope is classic but it can be boring so receiving an invite in a brighly coloured envelope is always going to be exciting!

I really wish I had an event to organise so that I could really go to town with these amazing invites but one thing's for sure, when that time comes I'll definitely be heading to Basic Invite and no where else!!

Basic Invite are active on all social media platforms, go give them a follow and definitely check out the website, you won't be disappointed.


Monday, 6 March 2017

Stepping Out: Keeping Your Children Comfortable Throughout The Day

As soon as our children start to walk, so does our never ending task of buying the correct shoes.  Buying adult shoes is simple.  We know our size, we know the style we like and then we buy a pair that should last us a lifetime.  Children however are still growing and developing so making sure their shoes fit perfectly is a must.  If you don’t look after them now you could be causing future problems.

Toddlers who are in the house need shoes and are pretty easy to buy for, their first pair is an exciting milestone and whilst they will have an idea of what they like, they probably won’t be too fussy.  As soon as your children start walking outdoors though, they will need a good form of foot protection.  You have eighteen years of shoe shopping to get through and as the years go buy, your children will develop their own style and might become a little more selective.  This means you job is going to get tough.  However we have some great advice for new mums and experienced mums to help ensure your children are wearing the best fit for their feet.

Checking your children’s shoes is something you ought to be doing constantly.  There can be periods where their growth appears to plateau and there are times where they grow so quickly you might find you are buying two pairs of shoes across a six week period.  Young children won’t be able to verbalize their shoes are causing them grief, so every time you get them dressed, have a good feel of the fit.   

Measuring their feet is also important.  You cannot do this yourself as well as a proper shoe shop can.  If you have to then you could use a piece of paper to trace the outline of their feet.  You can then take a measurement from the heel to the furthest toe and across the ball of the foot.  This will help you to purchase shoes without long queues to get it done in store.

Younger children need a flexible sole.  Due to small bones and soft tendons, stiff soles can prevent the foot from growing properly.  Unfortunately softer shoe materials don’t offer much protection or support and will wear through much quicker.  So if your children are more active then you will need a stiffer sole.  

Look for shoes that are made with breathable materials such as canvas or ones with vents in them. Kids are very high-energy and may play active games for hours on end. Their shoes should allow their feet to breathe and get air.

You should ensure your children have their shoes off as often as possible, so get them used to taking them off as soon as they are indoors.  Their feet need to be free to move and grow without being restricted by leather or tight shoes.  This will ensure you have happy children with happy feet and as a result, you will have a happier relationship with shoe shopping.

Which is really good.  Because you are going to be doing an awful lot of it over the coming years! 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Hacks To Make Travel With Little Ones Less Stressful

If you are planning a family holiday, then it can be both exciting and overwhelming. There can be a lot of things to organise, such as passports and holiday documents as well as tickets and what you will be doing when you are there. Not to mention packing, foreign currency and getting your home ready to be empty for a little while. With all that in mind, it can become a little stressful. But if you’re planning a trip over the Easter break or this summer, then you can rest at ease. Here are a few ideas and hacks to make your family travel as simple and stress-free as possible.


Plan Travel For Specific Times

This can be trickier for more long haul journeys unless they are overnight trips. But if you are choosing more budget airlines for shorter journeys, and your kids still take naps, then plan your travel around the times that they would normally take a nap. When sat down on a plane or train, the motion and constant humming sound will send them right off to sleep. Which is going to be more enjoyable for everyone concerned.

Don’t Get Lost

If you’ve ever been to a large theme park like Disneyland with your family, then you will know how easy it is to lose little ones as there are people walking in all directions. You might have also seen people dressed in the same t-shirts. Sometimes large family groups will wear the same colours shirt or even have their last names on so everyone knows that they are together. As a way to avoid losing your little ones, then you could look into custom t-shirt printing for your trip. Then if one of your children does wander off, they can be easily identified as yours, and the staff can bring them back to you much quicker.


Pack a New Toy

It can be hard to keep kids entertained for a long time with the same old toys or gadgets that they have. So if you can be organised enough, the getting something new for them is a great idea. You could even wrap it up like a gift, so that takes extra time up and keeps their interest for longer. Think about taking toys and books that can be used at your destination too. They will be without their normal things and having something like a book to read at bedtime is a good idea so they can stick to their routine.

Do Your Research

When you’re packing for a trip with little ones, it can feel like you are taking all of your earthly possessions. So one of the best things to do is to see what will be near to where you are going to stay. If you’ll be near to a supermarket, then you don’t need to stress out too much about taking the right amount of nappies, as you can always buy more when you are there. So look for the things that you might need, and it could help you to pack more lightly.