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Buying your first home is exciting, but it can be daunting too. As the largest purchase, you’re ever
likely to make, this task is one that deserves a lot of time and thought. Far too many first-time buyers
try to rush the process and settle for properties they’re not entirely happy with. This silly mistake
wastes time and money, resulting in unnecessary stress. Before viewing a potential property, you
must be prepared. Buying a family home is a life-changing experience, after all, and should be
treated as one. With that in mind, here are seven house viewing tips you must know.


Write Down Any Questions
The experience of viewing a house can certainly be overwhelming. Because of this, it pays to make
a list of questions you want to ask before you arrive at the property. If you don’t, you risk forgetting
to ask something important, which could cause problems later. There is no such thing as too many
questions, so write down every one you think of. Even if you don’t end up asking them all, you should
still have the chance to. These questions can be on paper or on your phone.


Look Into The Area
With the internet at your fingertips, there is no excuse for visiting a property without researching it first.
When you arrive at a house, you should already know where the bus stops are, what the schools are
like, and other important information. Learning these facts ahead of the viewing means that you won’t
waste time asking them later. Depending on what you learn from this research, you might decide that
a property isn’t for you before you even attend the viewing. 


Arrive There On Time
When buying a home, first impressions count. After all, the homeowner will make the decision whether
or not they want to sell to you. For this reason, you must make sure that you arrive for the viewing on
time. Leaving the homeowner waiting around isn’t going to reflect well on you. You might also miss
your chance to view the property if there are other appointments shortly after yours. If you think you
might be late, at least take the time to call and let the homeowner know. 


Bring A Friend Along
Although it might seem easier, you should never attend a viewing by yourself. Make sure you always
take a friend or relative with you, or, better still, attend the viewing with your estate agent. Two heads
are better than one because it always helps to bounce ideas off another person and ask for a second
opinion. Viewing a home in pairs is also a much safer choice. Houses might seem like very safe
spaces, but you never know what could happen in a stranger’s home. 


Take Plenty Of Time
When you buy your first home, it’s one of the largest purchases of your life. Because of this, you
shouldn’t allow someone else to rush your decision. Make sure that you take your time during
viewings and be as thorough as you can be. Look in cupboards, check under the sink, and turn on
every tap. Homeowners that have nothing to hide shouldn’t have any problem with your inspection.
If, at any point, you feel pressured or rushed, you must stand your ground or leave. 


Keep Emotions In Check
You should always be able to imagine yourself living in a house before you buy it. However, you
shouldn’t make the decision to buy just because you do. When you view a property with rose-tinted
glasses, you tend to overlook glaringly obvious problems. You’re also more likely to pay than you
necessarily should. This is why you must keep your emotions in check. Don’t allow yourself to fall
in love with a home, or it could ruin your chances of finding the right one.


Visit More Than Once
With so much to think about, covering every point you need to in one viewing is difficult. That is why
you should go back for a second look. It’s important that you view potential properties at least three
times - Once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening. Houses can look different
at different times of day, especially in big cities and near busy roads. Going back for another look with
either confirm your first thoughts or chance them entirely. 

Viewing a home is an important step to take towards buying it. Hopefully, with the advice above, every
viewing that you attend will be successful.

Collaborative post

Anything rainbows, sequins, big bows, you name it - my girls love! So when the girls were kindly sent the new Rainbowcorns Plush Big Bow Surprise they were super excited. There are 3 Rainbocorns Big Bow Surprise's to collect: Bobbi the Llama, Bowi the Unicorn and Belle the Flamingo. Each Rainbocorn come in their very own large egg which your child will need to hatch open to reveal their very own Rainbocorn.

Not only is there the flully most adorable Rainbocorn plush, but there are lots of surprises to be found too! 25 surprises to be exact - which is fantastic. From fluffy wristbands, beaded bracelet, unicorn headband, big bows and 3 surprise mini eggs called Bow-Bowcorns, inside! They're super adorable. Each mini egg has a figure and a ring that you can wear. You can also use your Bow-Bowcorns as pencil toppers - how fab is that?! 



Each Rainbocorn comes with their very own big bow which you can on the outside of the egg, you need to detach it from the inside. Also, on the outside of the egg is a sequin heart that you place in your Rainbocorns. Which sequin pattern will you find? My girls found a burger pattern - which they loved.

The Rainbocorn Plushes are just so adorable and they are most definitely going to be a hit this Christmas. Selling at just £39.99 (October price) at Smyths Toys, I personally think it's a reasonable price with everything that is included. Which Rainbocorn will your little one hatch?






- we were kindly gifted these items in return for an honest review
maple leaf illustration


Keeping your wardrobe up to date throughout the year can be overwhelming, and no matter how many clothes
you have, there still never seems to be enough. Nothing ever seems right, and this can affect your preparation
for when the weather twists and turns you on your head. 


But it doesn't have to be such a struggle. Instead of waiting until the last minute to restock the family's wardrobe,
get ahead of the game. There are so many different events and places you'll visit throughout the year that you
need a plan before these things happen. 


Outdoor Fun


Who doesn't love going on adventures whether they are spontaneous or labouriously planned? Getting out into
the great outdoors is a chance for exercise, fresh air, and something different than sitting watching TV.


Whether you love to hike, climb or play, you can ensure the house is full of clothes for whatever the weather is
like outside. In summer, shorts and t-shirts are ideal, and when the weather gets colder, you'll need coats,
jumpers, and jeans to cope with the temperature. Make sure you get the right shoes for the occasion, too. You
don't want to wear your finest flats and come home with them soaked in mud. 


Party Time


Even before celebrating, you're having fun. There's something about getting dressed up in your best clothes
ready for a night of excitement that helps you forget all about the stresses of regular life. But this stress can
rise again when you realise no one has anything to wear to go out. 


Whether it's anniversary parties, date night, or kids' birthday parties, having everyone's wardrobe stocked is
essential. You need to look classy, but not too classy. You also need to be comfortable, so anything too tight is
out of the question. You don't get to celebrate very often nowadays, not like you used to, anyway, so when the
opportunity comes you must take it. 


The Serious Stuff


As much fun as it is getting outside, there are still jobs to go to and school to attend.
While the school uniform is easy enough (despite the rising prices, especially for large families), you've got to
think about you and your spouse, too. 


The clothes will depend on the job, of course. But modest office attire is cheap and easy to find at most budget
shops in the city or even supermarkets if you need something in a pinch. If you need something a little more
casual, consider reimagining your old clothes or shopping at charity shops to give something back while you
get something new to you. 


Ready For Anything

The UK weather is, in a word, unpredictable. We've all had the weather play tricks on us, with the gorgeous sun
emerging from grey and windy mornings and, likewise, caught in a downpour when the weather was crisp and
delicious when you step out the door earlier. Being prepared for the inevitable will save you getting soaked to
the skin or sweltering in your jeans so take advantage of it when you can.

I must start this post by saying that I had originally written a completely different post for the review of this amazing product. It was a difficult post to write as it was about my beautiful Nain. But sadly, she passed away before I published the post and it doesn't feel right to publish the post now. This post, however, is all about treasuring your family memories and capturing those precious moments.

Kids grow up too fast, life goes too fast, before we know it the days, weeks, months and years have flown by. The kids don't want as many snuggles on the sofa anymore, they don't want to go for family days out, or visit family as much as they used too and this is why it's so important to be sure that you live for every single moment in life. Capture all those special memories, the birthdays, special occasions and even the random days. Take those selfies, capture those random moments the kids are dancing in the living room.

It's so important to be sure that you capture as many photos as you can throughout your life, especially with your loved ones. It's always lovely to look back on photos throughout the years, and certain photos are even more special and important after a loved one has passed. Many people don't like getting pictures taken, but once you have lost a loved one, you will cherish every single photo.


These days not many people print out photos and I am one of those people. I adore capturing the moments and capturing special memories but I rarely print out any photos. This is where the Nixplay Seed comes in. This smart digital frame is a very modern way of showing your photos. You connect the product to your Wi-Fi and your phone.

There is an app to download on your phone where you can make albums and then choose which album you want to show on your Nixplay Seed. The digital frame has a honeycomb pattern back with a woven power cord to stand it up. The quality is amazing and you are able to choose the style of the slideshow you want.



Having the Nixplay Seed has been great in our home, we have lots of old and new photos being shown and I love that there's a mix. The kids will ask for stories of the photos sometimes and that's a lovely way to bring us all together. Not forgetting special photos of my Nain too.





- I received this product in return for an honest review. However, all words and images are my own.



Although I haven't passed my driving test yet, I am a person who thinks strongly about safe driving. I think strongly that no one should be behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, or even behind the wheel while texting or on the phone to someone. I am a very anxious person as it is, but I think it's very important to keep to the driving rules when you are actually behind the wheel. If you do not follow the rules then not only are you putting yourself at risk, you are putting other families, children, the elderly and other people at risk too.

Kwik Fit have currently launched a campaign called Driven to Distraction where they have created an interactive quiz where you can see how easily distracted you can be when a mobile phone appears. I have also taken the quiz, and I was shocked by how slow I actually was. The phone and text messages sure did distract. Here were my results:



I thought I'd share five ways to drive safely, there are many other ways too, but here are five:

Silence Your Phone
Mobile phones can easily distract you when you're driving. From texting, phoning or catching up on notifications. When you hear your phone ring or beep, it's tempting to take a look, but from the second you move your head to concentrate on your phone your distraction and concentration on the road becomes less and less which causes you higher risk at causing an accident. 

Don't Speed
Speed limits are there for a reason. You might think you need to somewhere quick, but being a little late somewhere is better than causing an accident on the road. It's so important to keep at the speed limit, there is no point speeding. It's not worth the risk.

Be Alert
If you are feeling tired, stressed or upset, take a break or a nap if needed and don't drive until you feel awake, calmer, and refreshed. When you're behind the wheel, you need to be able to concentrate on what you are doing and have quick reactions if needed. 

Don't Drink & Drive
The last thing you want to do after a night out is to be behind the wheel. Not only are you risking your life, but you're risking other people's lives too. If you know, you are going out for a drink or two or more make sure that you have planned your journeys home by booking a taxi or possibly having somewhere to stay nearby if you have a friend that lives close by. 

Car Maintenance 
It's important to make sure that your car is in good condition and up to date with all car services. Especially if you are planning any long car journeys. It's also a good idea to make sure you check your car over regularly too. 

* This is a collaborative post. 


There’s nothing worse than seeing those parents at the school gates who are boastful and pushy.
They regale you with their little darlings achievements from running the local cross country event
in a course record time to the fact that their little cherub achieved the highest grade ever in the
most recent maths test. When you see the kids come out of school, your kids are beaming and
full of toothy grins, while their offspring look miserable and tired. You need to find the perfect
balance between being supportive and pushy. Some kids need a little bit of extra oomph to get
them engaging with anything, but turn pushy by trying to live your life through your child and you
build nothing but resentment. Instead, look at these ways to flex your supportive parenting muscles.


Listen


As the adult, we can become a little too used to hearing our own voices within the home. Instead
of lecturing your kids, allow them to express their views freely. Listen to your little darling when
they explain that they are having friendship issues at school or that they are struggling with a
topic in lessons. If you don’t you risk your child bottling up their feelings which is not conducive
to their mental health. Instead, you need to help their self confidence to flourish. Suggest hiring
the services of a tutor or encourage them to check out some of the worksheets available from
Cazoom Maths if they are struggling with number, trigonometry or algebra.You might fancy giving
them some extra tablet time to explore educational games and apps. Make sure that you don’t put
too much pressure on them and simply listen before rushing in and trying to rectify a problem.
Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.


Encourage


If your child is not academically gifted, they will have other talents that you should encourage.
Don’t put pressure on them to get better at maths or English or science. Many parents
dream of their kids becoming lawyers, doctors or financial experts. However, not every child has
an aptitude for this sort of career. Even if they do, they might prefer to explore their artistic, creative
or sporting abilities. If your child shows an interest in a hobby, support them. They might want to try
martial arts, learning a musical instrument or acting. Find them a local club and let them explore their
passions. These hobbies may peter out but they might become something more. Be there and be
supportive. Extracurricular activities will do wonders for your child’s confidence and will help them
in new social situations when meeting new people.


Talk


Many families struggle to spend time together in the twenty first century. Social schedules may
mean that you are like ships passing in the night. While this is natural, it’s vital that you make some
time for quality family moments. This might be a movie night every Saturday and having at least three
dinners each week together around the dining room table. Here, you can talk about your days, your
plans and your exciting family holiday for that year. Being together is key to foster your supportive
parenting skills.


Being supportive means being encouraging rather than pushy. Follow this guide and your kids will
appreciate your parenting skills.

Collaborative post




When you have kids, your life inevitably begins to revolve around them. Not only do you begin to
prioritise their wants and needs - putting them before yourself - but you also have the commitment
of ensuring they’re in certain places at certain times. You’ll find yourself occupied with the gargantuan
task of ensuring they become healthy, happy and well-rounded adults. You’ll find yourself running
them back and forth to nursery, school, after school clubs, extracurricular activities and more.
All things considered, it’s not all too surprising that many parents find themselves struggling to fit
their own exercise routines into the mix. Where are you supposed to find the time? But it is extremely
important that you remember you need sufficient exercise too. It is generally recommended that the
average adult gets one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week or seventy five
minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week. The good news is that this is generally achievable.
Here are some tips and tricks that will help you hit these targets - no matter how far off they may
initially seem.


Remember Exercise Doesn’t Need to Be Expensive


When we have kids, we tend to find ourselves being pretty frugal with our own purchases. We’ll find
ourselves thinking that money spent on ourselves could be better spent on our kids. But it’s important
that you give yourself a little here and there. Exercise really doesn’t need to be expensive. You just
need to prioritise the areas you choose to invest in. You should make sure you have good gym wear,
like a reliable and supportive pair of running trainers, breathe easy fabric tops and stretchy gym
bottoms. It’s also important that you ensure you have any support you may need, like knee supports,
ankle supports, shoulder supports, or other supports. Once you’ve got the basics, exercise can
actually be completely free. A run around the nearest park doesn’t cost a thing!


Consider Personal Training


Another reason people often end up swerving exercise is because they find themselves running
around after their kids instead. We’ll end up taking our little one to an extra activity instead of heading
to the gym like we planned. Or we’ll just feel worn out by the general demands of our little ones and
choose to rest and do absolutely nothing when we find ourselves with an hour or two free. But you
do need to exercise and there are ways to encourage yourself to stick to your routine. The most
effective thing to do is often to get in touch with a personal trainer. Knowing you’re paying for
personal training, or that you’ll be letting your trainer down if you don’t turn up to your session is
often sufficient reason to stick with your plan and keep up with your fitness routine. Personal trainers
can also create a workout that ticks all your boxes and will help you achieve your goals more
effectively. Take a look at some reliable and recommended personal trainers at expertpt.co.uk.


Exercise With Your Kids


Exercise can actually be a family affair that you can get your kids involved in too if you find you
don’t have time away from the kids to carry out your own work out. In fact, exercise can be a fun
activity and a great bonding experience. Consider taking a bike ride through the park if you all have
bikes. A walk through a nature reserve can also be fun. Swimming is a great day out where your
little ones are bound to enjoy splashing about - and it can teach them a valuable and potentially
life saving skills at the same time. Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to take place outside of the
house either! You could stick the stereo on and have a little family disco, where you all dance
about the house and build up a sweat with smiles on your faces.

These, of course, are just a few ways you can incorporate exercise into your already hectic schedule. While exercise may not feel like a top priority, it really is essential for your health. It’ll improve your stamina, build your strength, optimise your flexibility, and general make you healthier all round - this is beneficial for you and the little ones you’re looking after. So, lay more emphasis on it and make it one of your priorities!

collaborative post

Both my girls are now at the age where they love finding new collectable toys. They've collected a few different toys throughout the last few years, but when they received the new Pop Pop Hair Surprise Collectables, they were super excited. I personally think these Pop Pop Hair Surprises are different from all the other collectables out there. There are over 25 characters to collect, and they are sold separately.

Pop Pop Hair Surprise are 3 characters in 1, and you need to open the Pop Brush to reveal the surprise inside. The brush becomes a spray bottle, and it also includes 4 hairbands, and 2 hair clips for you to use on your Pop Hair Pets or on your own hair which my girls found super cool (their words!) Aswell as over 25 characters to collect, there are over 4 different themes too.

These adorable Pop Hair Pets are definitely going to be a big collectable this and next year. They are super adorable, and not only can they go in your hair to style, but they are also pencil toppers too. Great for taking to school and showing their friends their new Pop Hair Pets.






Which Pop Hair Pet will you find?!

- We were gifted some items in return for this honest review.

If you're a reader, then you may know that I went back to work, from being a stay-at-home Mam, in February. It's been a significant change to our lives, mentally and financially. We're all getting used to the change slowly and something I love having back is knowing that I have a payday to look forward to at the end of each month. But saying that, something I have struggled with was budgeting my wage after payday. 

PayPlan have recently realised a new quiz, called Diagnose Your Spending, to help people think about their spendings throughout the month after payday, and also share some of their advice and some resources to help them improve their financial situation in future. I've taken the quiz myself, and it's given me some great information to help me deal with my spendings throughout the month before my next payday. 

I thought I'd also share some of my top tips on how to budget your money beyond your payday, to help you not get into any financial troubles before the next payday. 

1. Direct Debits 
Any bills you are paying, from TV License to your internet providers, setting up a direct debit will help you not miss any monthly bills. Many people decide to pay their bills themselves instead of direct debit, this mostly ends up in late payments and then the person receiving some letters reminding them to pay. Direct Debits are great for getting bills paid on time.


2. Write Everything Down
If you're someone who struggles to budget. Try writing all your spendings down in a budgeting notebook. This will let you see correctly what spendings need to go out and what expenses you could possibly cut out such as takeaways etc. This will help you massively budget between one payday to the next. 

3. Bank Savings
You could take a look at possibly opening a second bank account to place some savings into it. This could be anything from adding as little as £1 per week or even your loose change at the end of the week. Having some savings could be a great help in future if an emergency arises such as as a large household item breaks that need replacing. It's always great to have some money aside in case of an emergency. 

4. Prioritise Your Bills
When payday arrives, make sure you pay your most important bills first and then pay the rest of the bills that need paying. Never budget your money for the rest of the month until you have completely paid your bills first. If you don't do this, it may end up in financial problems. 

5. Budget Your Food Shop
Whether you do a weekly, fortnightly or monthly food shop, doing it on a budget always helps. The first thing you could do is to look around and see where you can find the cheapest supermarket to buy your food. The second tip for budgeting your food shop is to write a list of the foods you want to buy, making sure you check your cupboards etc. first incase you double buy. Thirdly and lastly, by making sure you only buy what is on the list. 


What are your top tips to keep in budget? 

- This is a collaborative post.
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