Modern Mummy

Monday, 24 September 2018

8 Tips For a Stress-Free House Move With Kids

Moving to a new house is hard work. Many say it’s one the most stressful things you’ll ever do. Trying to pack-up and move with kids tangled around your ankles makes it extra challenging!

Small kids are experts at making house-packing take at least five times as long. You’re all ready to start to chucking stuff into a packing box. But, there’s one problem — your toddler has taken up residence inside it (cue tantrum when you try to remove them).

But, there are ways to reduce the stress of moving home. For instance, services like We Buy Any House can take the pressure off by managing all the paperwork and costs.

Here are eight more simple tips to help you and your kids move home (hopefully a little) more calmly and happily.

1. Plan
There’s lots to think about when you’re selling up and moving home. Even more so when you have kids. You need to consider their needs. Create a plan of action beforehand to help you keep on track — moneywise and timewise.

Things to consider: 
Packing always takes longer than you think. Plan for it so you don’t end up panicking at the end with only hours to go before the removal van arrives.
Timescales — create goals and milestones.
Budget - e.g. the cost of packing, hiring a van, cleaning the property
Be prepared — you will always have more things than you think
No time for nostalgia — pack your things, don’t waste time reminiscing otherwise it will take forever. Children especially can get very emotionally attached to their toys. You need to be gentle and patient with them. Think about the best time to pack their belongings in your plan.
Declutter — organise storage or a skip early.
What are the kids going to do? Organise childcare early and make sure everyone involved knows what’s happening, so you’re not caught short.

2. Listen 
Change can be difficult for anyone but especially for kids. Moving house can be an emotional and upsetting time for them.  Even more so if you’re moving to another city or country and leaving friends and family behind.

It’s important you explain what’s happening.  Talk about the move. Ask them how they feel. Give them choices — do you want to pack this or that? Or, what colour do you want to paint your new room?

Try to make it an exciting adventure. Talk about all nice things you are going to do together once you’ve moved. Be positive. And, if you do feel stressed, try to not show it.

3. Involve the Kids 
Small children love being helpful. They usually just really want to be included. So, include them — create little tasks they can do. You can ask them to pick their favourite toys or to help you put things in the recycling box. For older kids, they can set up a stall outside the house and sell unwanted things. Or make it a competition, who can fill the most rubbish bags in an hour. Whilst, for smaller kids there’s bubble wrap — who can resist popping those squishy air blobs?

4. Childcare Support 
When the kids start to complain they’re bored — it’s time to get help. Organise playdates, ask grandparents to take them out or even better, for a sleepover. With young babies you might prefer to ask someone to come over and literally hold them whilst you get on with things.

5. Never Move During Term Time If You Have School Age Kids. 

6. Don’t Abandon the Routine 
This is important, particularly for babies and younger children. For starters, having consistent nap times and bedtimes means you have guaranteed childfree time. For kids who feel unsettled by the change, keeping a familiar routine (both when you pack and move into your new home) will help them feel more secure and adjust to the new space faster.

7. Take Time-Out 
Don’t forget or ignore your own well-being needs. Practice self-care. Take regular breaks each day away from both the packing and kids — go for a walk, read a book, listen to music, have coffee with a friend.

8. Laugh 
There’s no escaping the fact that moving home can be an emotional rollercoaster at times, Seeing the funny side can help diffuse tension and put stress in perspective. And, let’s face it, laughing sometimes is the best remedy.

Amidst the cardboard box chaos and toddler bubble wrap stamping, try to handover as much as you can. These days you can employ professional packers and house movers to do all the work for you. Also, services offered by House Buy Fast can help you manage all the paperwork and contracts — leaving you free to focus on starting a life in your new home.


Friday, 21 September 2018

Foraging with Kids

It's not often that I'll devote an entire blog post to a book review, but it's been a long time since I've come across a book I love as much as I love this one. Foraging with Kids by Adele Nozedar is utterly brilliant, and so beautifully illustrated by Lizzie Harper that it really does deserve a place on every bookshelf across the nation!

The girls and I are definitely outdoorsy types, even when the weather begins to turn in Autumn (in fact I'd go so far as to say ESPECIALLY when the weather begins to turn in Autumn). We love nothing more than pulling on our chunky knits and wellies and getting out in the fresh air - and being sent this book earlier this year has enabled us to do just that, only this time with a new purpose - to forage for plants and to learn all about them.

Foraging with Kids encourages parents, teachers and kids to get out and explore the natural world. It's jam packed full of easy to identify plants that are abundant all over the UK (in city centres as well as out in the sticks), amazing facts, tips for safe foraging and practical uses for everything you might find. There are dozens of recipes, like crab apple chutney and cauliflower fungi cheese (we're desperate to find a cauliflower mushroom so that we can make this one!), lots of natural 'beauty product' suggestions, like making soap from conkers and bath soak from heather (making potions and perfumes from plants in the garden is one of my girls' favourite things to do!) plus there are some medicinal uses for plants, which especially interested me. Did you know that greater plantain, which is absolutely everywhere, is an amazing healer - the leaves are anti-inflammatory and antibacterial so they're great for treating scrapes and stings.

Adele's passion for the outdoors as well as for foraging is perfectly apparent throughout her book - the way she writes is so engaging for both children and adults; once you've started reading, its hard not to get excited about the prospect of your next venture outside.

If you do one thing today, pop into your local bookseller and pick up a copy or order one online; not only will it give you something incredibly fun to do this weekend, it'll provide the kids with entertainment all year round.

Foraging with Kids is available to buy now, published by Watkins/Nourish Books, RRP £12.99. 

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Blush Beauty, Richmond Bridge: A Review

Does anyone else make a 100 mile round trip to go to a beauty salon? No? Just me?

In the early noughties, when I was a young, carefree, single, twenty something, living and working in London, I discovered Blush Beauty on the East Twickenham side of Richmond Bridge. Fourteen years, two children, a wedding and a divorce, and a move fifty miles away later, and I still make my way back to Blush every two months. When I moved out to Haslemere six years ago I tried to find a local beautician but no one measured up to Adele and the girls at Blush - so I gave up looking and have been making a bi-monthly pilgrimage back to Richmond ever since.

What makes the salon and it's staff so special, I hear you ask? And that's a good question. For me it's their friendliness and professionalism, the premises and their location, and also the very reasonable price list. But most of all, it's the fact that the girls know exactly what they're doing and they do it brilliantly. Adele, the owner, is hands down the best waxer I have ever been to.  If you find 'the one' why keep looking for someone else?!

This visit, I wasn't there for a wax, or a manicure, which are my regular treatments. I was there for two that I'd not had done before - and I was very excited about them both.

First up was a set of Lash Perfect Eyelash Extensions. I'd wanted to try eyelash extensions for FOREVER but had always been worried about the upkeep and what they might look like as they started to fall out. The express set was recommended for my first time - a full set of semi-permanent extensions that last around two weeks. Lash Perfect extensions are really versatile and you can go as natural or as glamorous as you want.... As I had Camp Bestival fast approaching and I knew that minimal make up would be on the cards, I opted for length, with extra lashes in the outer eye.

I had quite a few questions about the treatment, which were all answered for me. I was assured that the lashes are perfectly safe (I'd been in a couple of days before for a patch test of the glue) and I could continue to wear my contact lenses no problem. There would be no extreme 'baldness', as each extension is individually glued to onto a single eyelash and you lose the extension when you naturally shed your own lash. I could get the lashes wet (although not within the first 24hrs after their application) and I could still wear eye make up (no need for mascara, of course) but would have remove it very carefully with cotton buds and a non-oil based make up remover if I did.

The process took around 45 minutes and the lashes lasted six days before the first one fell out. All in all it was 12 days before they started looking a little less full, and I started wearing mascara again. Although I'm not sure I could afford the time and the cash to get them on a regular basis (a full set costs around £60-£80 with 2-3 weekly infills costing around £20-30) I'd absolutely get another set as a one off next time I'm heading off on a break. It was pretty liberating not having to worry about putting eye make up on every day!

My second treatment at Blush was a St Tropez spray tan, which I've never had before. It took about 10 minutes to apply, 10 to dry and then lasted a good 10 days before it started to fade. I use the St Tropez gradual tan regularly at home with pretty good results but have always been too scared to use "proper" fake tan after an incident in my early thirties (entirely my own doing) that left me looking as if I'd been tangoed. The tan would not wash off for love or money; I ended up going into hibernation for an entire weekend and showering and scrubbing hourly!

The St Tropez spray tan was amazing - completely natural, scent free and a bargain with prices starting at just £20 per spray. I worked out that it probably takes two full tubes of my gradual tan to reach the same colour over the course of a week and they're £15 a pop, so the amount of time and money the spray tan saves is just brilliant and I can't wait to go back for another one before my next holiday!

Blush very kindly gave me a complimentary spray tan and eyelash extensions in exchange for this review. All words are honest and my own, and I continue to be a regular paying customer.
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