September 2019 | Modern Mummy

Friday, 20 September 2019

Spending A Night In London’s West End

London is known for a lot of different things, though theatre is one of the few traits which has stood the test of time. Throughout history, people in this part of the UK have been enjoying performing arts, from the earliest days of Roman settlement in the area, and this trend is still very much alive today. Spending a night in the West End is one of the best ways to experience this part of London. To make your planning all the easier, this post will be exploring the different aspects of a night like this, giving you some ideas and pushing you in the right direction.

Before The Show 
A lot of theatrical performances end up being quite a bit longer than people expect, and it can be uncomfortable to go into this without first having a bite to eat. Thankfully, London is filled to the brim with some of the most popular restaurants in England, and getting to them is easier than you might think. The West End itself has plenty of options, though these often get booked up quite quickly, and you may have to go further afield if you don’t book in advance.

Getting Around The City 
There are loads of options for transport in London, and you don’t need to have your own car to get around quickly. Uber is very popular, making it easy for those who already use this app to find rides around the city. Along with this, you could also think about the tube system or buses, as these can also be very quick, and will be a lot cheaper than using taxis. If you want a more quaint experience, talking to one of the many rickshaw riders in the West End will give you the chance to see the city at a slower speed.

The Show 
Picking the show you want to watch should always be done before the day, as tickets will be booked up by the time the night rolls around. West End tickets can be found across the web, and will give you access to a huge range of different shows, from classic hits to modern gems, without costing you a small fortune. The sooner you book the better the seats you will be able to get, though some people like to wait and get a better deal.

After The Show 
Once the show is all done and dusted, you will probably have a little bit more time to fill before you want to settle for the night. Nightlife in London is like no other city, with an eclectic mix of rowdy nightclubs and high-end bars. Live music is very popular, though those with different tastes will be happy to have the option to watch some poetry or smaller theatrical performances.

Hopefully, this post will leave you feeling inspired to spend a night in London’s West End. A lot of people miss out on this opportunity, often underestimating the power of a live show. If you like movies and television, you’ll love theatre.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Going back to work after being on Maternity Leave

Returning to work after a spell of maternity leave can be a little bit stressful for many mums. It’s easy to feel uncertain about the situation, and even those of us who’ve been in the same job for years can feel as though we might have forgotten how to do it after just a few month’s break.

Different mothers react to this problem in different ways. Some will be keen to hit the ground running and make up for lost time. Others might prefer to ease themselves back into things gradually. Here are a few tried-and-tested tips that’ll help you to make the transition less overwhelming whichever camp you're in!

Inevitably, things are going to be a little different now that you’ve had a baby. You’ll need to adapt your routine so that it’s fit for your new circumstances. That might mean leaving the house slightly earlier so that you have time to drop them off at nursery. While you’re dealing with all of this, you don’t want to have to think about all of the smaller items you need to take to work; treat yourself to invest in a quality work-bag, and you’ll get that little bit of peace of mind you’ve been craving.

To avoid stress in the mornings, it makes sense to do as much preparation as possible. Every evening, you can make a point of getting yours and your childrens' clothes and lunches prepared for the next day. Learn a few easy recipes that won’t require too much attention in the kitchen. It’s important that you find time to eat properly; if you don’t then you’ll end up feeling fatigued. The same applies to sleep; don’t stay up late on social media.... you’re going to need all of the rest you can get!

What if my child gets ill? 
You should come to terms with the likelihood that your child will pick up an illness of some kind during the first few weeks – nurseries are rife with them. This isn’t a bad thing, per se; in the long term, their immune system is likely to benefit. But it will make fitting work in a little bit more awkward. Try to come to some arrangement with your spouse, friends or family so that you don’t have to surprise them by asking for a favour at the last minute. If you’re having trouble deciding whether to keep your child out of nursery, you can check the NHS’s advice.

I’m scared! 
It’s perfectly natural to be nervous about going back to work. You’ve got a point to prove, after all: that you’re a valuable member of the team, and everyone’s going to appreciate having you back. For best results, it’s worth allowing yourself time to reacquaint yourself with the nuts and bolts of the job before you tax yourself too much. Make a note of any changes that have been made in your absence, reacquaint yourself with the things that have stayed the same, and avoid taking on any major responsibilities to begin with. Ideally, you’ll want to return to work in the middle of the week, so that you have just a few days before the weekend hits and then you’re free.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

5 Ways To Help Your Kids Use Computers Safely

There’s no escaping the fact that kids these days want - and need - to use computers on a regular basis. As well as digital communications with their friends, tech plays a central role in their academic growth and also prepares them for the modern business world. Nevertheless, no parent wants to put their child in a potentially vulnerable position. Here are five simple steps to ensuring your tweens and teens are safe online.

#1. Help Them Play The Right Games 
Most kids will use their computers to play games. But some of the web-based titles can pose risks such as downloading viruses or being bullied by other players. Teach them how to play games on Mac through Stream and other platforms for far greater results. When your children are under 10, finding age-appropriate educational titles can be very useful too. When games actively support the development of key computer skills, the results are far greater. This can extend to programs that ease children into things like graphic design or music production.

#2. Find Alternatives To Social Media & Gaming 
Social media and gaming are the primary leisure activities enjoyed by youngsters on their computers and devices. However, these are the only options at their disposal. Whether it’s watching films on Amazon Prime, editing home videos, or another solution doesn’t matter. Mixing things up is a key step to helping children get the most out of their time on tech devices. They’ll develop various skills and passions rather than limiting themselves to one aspect.

#3. Monitor What They Do
As a parent, you have to place some trust in your child. Still, the dangers lurking on the internet are far too grand to ignore. Most broadband providers will offer parental controls. These allow you monitor what has been downloaded as well as activities. It’s even possible to have these developments sent to your smartphone as a notification, enabling real-time control even when you’re not at home. As a parent, this is arguably the best tool of all, not least for your peace of mind.

#4. Set A Computer Curfew 
The dangers of using computers aren’t limited to fraud, bullying, or bribery. Screen addiction has become a very common problem in modern society and harming children at younger ages than ever before. Therefore, it’s important to establish barriers at an early age too. Using computers right before bed can lead to damaged sleep patterns, so setting an early evening curfew is advised. The final hour or two before sleep should be dedicated to other tasks that help us prepare for bed. This could mean relaxing on the sofa, reading books or packing tomorrow’s school bag.

#5. Be In Control 
Letting your child use the computer is almost a necessity in modern life. However, this shouldn’t make you cave in to their demands. If you’re not comfortable with your child using Snapchat, don’t be afraid to say no. Your son or daughter needs to respect your decisions and rules while also feeling grateful for the computer time they are allowed. Only then will they truly maintain a positive relationship with computers and other forms of technology. Stay switched on at all times.


Monday, 9 September 2019

HOME // five ways to warm up your home this winter without spending a fortune

The modern trend for clean and uncluttered design has made a lot of homes feel more contemporary but it has also left them feeling a little cold. This is particularly true in open-plan spaces where there is so much space to fill. It’s nowhere near as difficult or as complicated as you might think, however, to transform those spaces and make them feel warm and cosy this winter. So, here are 5 easy and affordable decorative tips for warming up your home this year.

Rugs - It’s common in more modern spaces for hard-surfaces such a vinyl flooring and laminate flooring to take precedence over traditional carpets. While these floors are easier to clean and can lend a contemporary flair to your home, they can also be a little cold underfoot and lack the warmth and comfort of carpeting. A good shaggy or sheepskin rug could act as a perfect middle ground, softening the edges and giving the room an extra dimension.

Curtains - In the summer months, it might seem tempting to swap out those long billowy curtains for thinner blinds but once the summer gives way to winter, you’re going to be longing for those soft and cushiony curtains.

Lighting - Soft lighting has been proven to make a space feel warmer and more ‘lived in’ so if your lighting is a little harsh, consider installing a dimmer switch or perhaps even going a step further with smart lighting that allows you to set lighting levels based on the weather and time of year or day. 

Colour - Changing the colour of a room can not only affect the aesthetics but could also warm up a room if you go for more earthy colours (reds and browns) over ‘cleaner’ colours like blue and beige. White and grey might make your space look bigger and more like a show home but in the winter when you’re spending hours curled up in front of the TV, you don’t want bigger and posher, you want warmer and safer.

Furniture - Swapping out your furniture is perhaps the most obvious way to change up your living space without causing a major disruption. Add a layer of homely sophistication by changing up the pieces of furniture that can easily be replaced. Move the glass and metal coffee table into the conservatory and put a nice, upcycled wooden table in its place or put some woven baskets in the corners of the room to store firewood. Natural textures will do wonders when it comes to bringing warmth to your living space.


Friday, 6 September 2019

HOME // Five Easy Ways To Be More Comfortable In Your House

When it comes to your house, there’s nothing more important than feeling happy and comfortable. Here are some tips that will help you to feel just that in your house.

Fix Your Roof 
Winter isn’t that far away, which means that now is the time you need to check up on any home repairs and half-finished DIY projects, particularly on the outside of your home. If your roof has any missing slates or tiles, now is the time to repair those, before you get into the wetter and more windy months. Missing tiles can lead to leaks, which can be extortionately expensive to repair - and more than that, leaks can damage prized possessions and things with sentimental value. Water damage can also occur if your guttering is broken or if it’s full of old leaves and other debris. You can either get up on a ladder and check out that guttering yourself, or hire an expert to do it for you. If you don’t love heights, don’t be a hero - splash the cash and get in a roofer for your own peace of mind.

Invest In Your Bed 
If you don’t sleep well at night, it’s almost impossible to be happy during the day. Of course, there are times in your life when your sleep will be interrupted - particularly when you have a baby or young children - and if you’ve experienced that, then you’ll know that sleep deprivation can be incredibly difficult. If you suffer from poor sleeping or from insomnia, there are a few things you can do in your bedroom to try to help. First of all, invest in a white noise machine. This will cover up noises from outside - when garbage trucks come and rattle their way down your street, they won’t wake you up. It might also help if your partner has a snore that could blast its way through a wall. You should also invest in a pillow that supports your neck at the best angle for you. Everyone sleeps in a different way so you should experiment to try to find the best one that suits your body. If your pillow is wrong, you could get back aches and neck aches that can really affect you all through the day.

Make Sure Your Home Is Warm 
At this time of year, it’s particularly important to make sure that your home is warm. If you don’t have much insulation, now is the time to get down to your local hardware shop so that you can purchase some. It’s also a good time to get your boiler checked to make sure that it’s going to last you through winter. A cold shower might be bearable during the summer, just about, but during the winter it wouldn’t just ruin your day - you’d probably have to have a lie down in a dark room under a pile of blankets for at least a week afterwards. A wall heater might be an idea if your home heating system needs a revamp. You can time them to come on whenever you want them to, and they also don’t take up too much space. If you don’t have carpets on your floors, you might want to consider investing in a rug or two for your colder rooms. Not only will they be much more pleasant on the toes, but they’ll also prevent coldness from coming up through your floors. Finally, if your doors and windows are draughty, it’s time to get them repaired, or to invest in a hefty draught excluder to put next to the door so the cold air doesn’t come in.

Improve Your Home Security 
One of the best ways to feel comfortable anywhere is to know that you’re safe, which means it could be time to upgrade your home security. Naturally, the best way to do this is through a home alarm system. Some of them go off if your house is broken into, while others send messages to your phone to alert you to intruders. No matter which you choose, it’s a good idea to make sure that it’s obvious from the outside of your home that you have an alarm and a home security system. A lot of break-ins are opportunistic, so anything that deters a potential thief is a great idea. Likewise, make sure that you keep your windows and doors closed - although this will be a lot less of a challenge over the upcoming months than it was over the summer! Finally, it might be a good idea to be careful with your use of social media. Because a lot of burglaries are crimes of opportunity, potential thieves can stake out houses to find that opportunity, and a great way to advertise when your house is empty is online. Don’t post pictures of your holiday on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter until you’re home. 

Declutter Your Space 
Finally, now is the time to start to declutter your space. It’s said that a tidy desk leads to a tidy mind, and that’s true of the entirety of your home. If you get home to mess and clutter, you’ll find it hard to relax in the evenings. This is particularly true in your bedroom - if you can see the shadows of heaps of unwashed clothes on the floor, how are you supposed to sleep soundly? Marie Kondo, the queen of tidying, suggests that you declutter your possessions by category instead of by room, because it means you don’t just transfer things you’re unsure about from one room to the next - so one day you’ll do your clothes, another day your books, and so on. Throw out everything - or donate everything - that doesn’t either serve a purpose or give you a sense of joy. If you find it hard to get rid of things, Kondo suggests that you say thank you to those items for their role in your life before discarding them.

Remember, you don’t have to break the bank to feel comfortable at home! Living in a neat, safe, warm house will give you all the comfort you need.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

HOME // Important Things To Consider When Moving

So, you’ve finally signed all the paperwork and have a moving in date for your big move to your new home but where do you start with all the planning? It can be really easy to get caught up in all the excitement of buying a home and forget about the moving aspect. Moving is well known as one of the most stressful things that you can do in your life so it's imperative you spend some time thinking about how to prepare for it in order to make it have as minimal stress as possible.

There are often areas of moving that people forget to think about or don’t focus on so let's have a look at some of the things you should make sure you’re planning in advance:

The Boxes 
You may think that it’s silly to think about the boxes however there is a lot to cover when it comes to thinking about boxes. From the boxes, you use to how you pack them there is a lot that can go wrong. Some at the things that you should be thinking about include:
Type Of Boxes- When it comes to thinking about the boxes you use, you want to make sure you are using robust boxes that are fit for purpose. The last thing you want is for your moving company to be lifting your valuable item for the bottom of the box to fall through. If you don't want to spend a fortune try using boxes from the supermarket as often these have already proven they can carry heavy stock.
Labelling- It’s really important that you think about labelling your boxes as you're packing. It’s often something that is forgotten and it can spell disaster at the other end of the move, how are you supposed to know which rooms the boxes belong in if you haven’t labelled them properly? It’s also a good idea to use indicators such as heavy, fragile, unpack first to give you an idea of what may be in the box and when to unpack them.
The Amount- Another thing to think about is the number of boxes you may need and the range of sizes, you're not going to need massive boxes as this can make it difficult to lift.

Arranging Storage And Movers 
These tend to go hand in hand together. You want to make sure that you’re are organizing all the finer details such as your storage requirements and arranging movers if you plan to use them within plenty of time. It’s no good packing all your stuff up and then realizing you could have done with a handy storage unit for the items that you're unsure will fit in your new home. The same applies to arrange a moving service, they will want to make sure that they are able to provide the correct and adequate service for your needs and sit down to sort of a plan of action for each end of the move, If you leave this to last minute you may find it difficult to secure a decent service.

These are only a few areas that you should be considering when moving, there are others. Do you have any that you can share in the comments section below?

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