Friday, 27 July 2018

Providing Your Pooch With the Best Quality of Life Possible*


Believe it or not, the majority of households have at least one pet, and seeing as dogs really do lay claim to the title of man’s best friend when it comes to popularity, chances are that you either have a canine companion or are planning on getting one. So, if this is the case, here’s everything you need to know in order to ensure your pet has the best quality of life possible!

Veterinary Care and Insurance

Your pet is going to need dedicated veterinary care through their entire life, so make sure that they are signed up to a local veterinary practice such as Vetcare. An experienced vet will be able to ensure that your four legged friend gets all of their necessary vaccinations, worming treatments, and flea treatments. They will also be able to carry out more complicated procedures and even surgery if your pet experiences illness or injury. It’s important to remember that veterinary care does come at a cost though, so it’s always best to have a comprehensive insurance policy to ensure you can always foot the bill!

Nutrition

Dog food is widely available and tends to be sold in almost any supermarket or corner shop. This isn’t all too surprising considering so many of us have canine companions. But not all dog foods are created equal and believe it or not, some will prove a whole lot better for your pet than others. Seeing as your dog is entirely dependent on you when it comes to eating a healthy and balanced diet that meets all of their nutritional needs, it’s extremely important that you don’t just throw down the cheapest or most convenient feed in their bowl each morning or night. You need to do your research to find what’s best for them! The best source of information regarding the best food for your pooch is your vet, but you can find the flavours and textures that your dog prefers by a means of trial and error. Once you’ve found something that keeps them nourished and satisfied, you can just pick it up each time you’re at the local pet store or grocery store.

Grooming

All dogs have different coat types. However, generally speaking, there are six main coat types that you should familiarise yourself with - smooth, double, silky, wool, wire, and combination. The type of grooming that your pooch will require, as well as the length of their hair, will ultimately determine what grooming regime you will have to carry out for them. Most shorthaired moulting breeds will only require an occasional bath at home. This is relatively simple to carry out yourself, as long as you are particularly careful around their eyes, and try to avoid letting water running into their ears or mouth. Your vet can then clip their nails and take care of their anal glands. Long haired or non-moulting dogs are likely to be a little more tricky, as their fur doesn’t shed, so will grow and need trimming. Curly haired dogs’ fur is also more prone to matting and will need to be brushed out. For these kinds of dogs, a trip to a professional groomer is preferable. These specially trained individuals will know how to wash, brush, and cut their fur into shape.

These are just a few areas to focus on, but as long as your dog is in good health, is well fed, and is well groomed, chances are they’re going to lead the long and happy life that they deserve!

*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Monday, 16 July 2018

How to Save Money and Still Enjoy The School Holidays


The summer school holidays are quickly approaching and if you're not careful, you could end up spending a small fortune in an effort to keep the kids satisfied. Whether it's last minute trips to an attraction or over-priced buckets and spades from the seaside - it soon adds up and the expenses could have covered a well-earned weekend away once the holidays are over. Although this is my second real 'school holiday' with Dylan, he certainly has a taste for the finer things in life, if finer things include Iron Man toys, Pokemon cards and ice creams every time he hears the van chime along the street. I might as well get shares in Mr Whippy by the time the holidays are over! 

Have some old fashioned fun

There are plenty of articles out there that say children are growing up too quickly. As they grow up with more advanced technology then we could have ever imagined as kids, these tech-savvy children haven't experiences the true joys of climbing trees or going on a scavenger hunt for beetles and funny shaped feathers. Becky from Baby Budgeting shared a fun old fashioned summer holiday checklist of things you can do with the family - and thankfully most of them are cost-free! It includes a number of games such as What's The Time, Mr Wolf? and Piggy in the Middle and my all-time childhood favourite of building dens. I loved all sorts of dens as a kid - whether it was under a load of blankets and cushions in the living room or fashioned out of cardboard boxes in the garden! There's plenty of old favourites to make you feel like a big kid again, too. 


Check out local free events

Where I live in Somerset, I'm quite lucky to be surrounded by plenty of interesting places just beyond the doorstep. By simply googling 'visit (your area!)' you should be able to find out all the local events happening nearby. On the Visit Somerset website, for example, I found out that there is a Kids Fest happening in Weston-Super-Mare and different activities every day at Radstock Museum for children during the holidays. 

Make sure you meal plan effectively! 

Crikey, I could write a whole different post on meal planning but during the school holidays you need to meal plan to a whole different level. Things you could consider over the holidays is being flexible with meal times - I know when my kids are outside playing football, they often don't want to come in mid-match for food. By serving dishes like bolognese, means you can reheat a portion alongside some pasta when they come in. Another thing to consider during the holidays is that you somehow always end up feeding the entire street! If you're lucky enough to have an extra storage freezer, you could bulk it up with easy kid-friendly things like pizza, chicken nuggets and lasagnes. Or, you could grab a load of ice pops and dish those out for when friends come wandering in for a snack too! 

If you're planning a day trip out but know you'll be home in time for tea, make sure you use your slow cooker! Most people make the mistake of hiding the slow cooker away once the weather warms up, but if you're going to be out all day having fun, you want to make sure you don't waste any money on a quick fix tea - like a take away! - when you could have had something working hard in the kitchen for you while you were out! There's plenty of excellent summer slow cooker recipes on Pinterest, so there's no excuse really!

Have a 'Summer Bag' in the boot! 

A quick trip to the poundshop could save you a small fortune over the holidays. By packing up a bag with buckets and spades, frisbees and other outdoor toys, you shouldn't find yourself paying over the odds whilst out on a trip. You could also store a spare towel and some loose change - handy for ice creams and parking! 

I think sometimes the best thing to do over the holidays is to understand that your budget may take a bit of a hit at some point or another. Although we try our hardest to put money away during the year to put towards petrol or hotels for trips away - which we always need to do, with family living halfway across the country! - you can't predict what will happen in the future! If you've tried all these money-saving tips and still find yourself short, then maybe considering a well-established and reputable short-term lender like Cashlady to help you on your way. 

What are your top tips for saving money over the school holidays? 


*Disclaimer: This post was a collaboration with Cashlady. Content written by myself.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Little Loves - Hanging on 'til End of Term

I don't want you all to hate me, but in less than two weeks, I'll get six weeks off from work. Paid. Oh, the joys of working in a school! Of course, this is also marred with the fact that every other child in the UK will be off school, and therefore all the play parks, beach trips and bowling sessions will be heaving. Still, time off with the kiddos is definitely something I didn't want to lose when I went back to work this time last year. Gosh - I actually cannot believe I've been back at work from maternity leave for an entire year! Next month, Robin will be two - sob! - and then less than two weeks later Dylan will be seven. Crikey, better make the most of the holidays! 


READ

I found my kindle earlier in the month which was super exciting. I started reading The Cactus by Sarah Haywood and although I haven't made a lot of progress, I've been enjoying it. There's quite a lot of books I have on my immediate TBR list, including a whopper edition of Little Women and some kindle reads I'd forgotten about too. 

WATCHED

Has anyone else been watching Good Girls on Netflix? I am absolutely loving it! Unfortunately I didn't realise Joe would also want to watch it, so it looks like I'm going to have to stop watching it for him to catch up. I love the three main actresses separately - Retta, Christina Hendricks and Mae Whitman - so of course I should have known they'd be fabulous together. I think I'm around 7 episodes in, and I'm hoping I haven't left myself short with only one episode left or something! Give me more! 

LISTENED

I've been listening to The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon when I walk home from work, and it's been really inspiring. Although I work full-time, I actually have a lot of extra strings to my bow that I work on when I get home or during school holidays. I've been considering launching my own little business to nearly carry all these extra tasks, and this is definitely making me see the potential in myself! 

AND LASTLY

Like I said to start off with, it's really not long until the school summer holidays begin. So far, we've managed to fit in a trip up north - to York, no less! - and I'm so looking forward to it. Ideally, I'd like to grab a few extra summery clothes to wear, but I feel like any extra money we have will be going directly on the trip itself! A girl can dream though, right? Other than that, we have five weeks with no plans! With Joe only working evenings at the restaurant now, I'm hoping we can fit plenty of day trips into our time together and even a sneaky trip away for the two of us on our sixth wedding anniversary! 


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