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My Single Friend’s Romantic Rendezvous Blogger Competition.

Let’s just start this post with this sentence – £150 worth of ASOS vouchers up for grabs! Think of all the bikinis you could get with that, if you were going on a holiday this year…… {let’s not get me started on that}

To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is write a post about your most romantic moment. It can be absolutely anything you want it to be (as long as it’s true and happened to you, Pretty Woman doesn’t count) Maybe from when you were young and had your first kiss, to the wedding proposal – anything you like! Use your own pictures, music, extracts from letters, the more romantic the better! Be creative, and have fun with it! (make sure you link to My Single Friend)

There are three prizes for the lucky winners,  the first prize is £150 worth of ASOS vouchers, second prize a £75 ASOS voucher, and the third prize a £50 ASOS voucher.

If you’re interested in taking part, just drop Debbie an email debbiefletcher90@gmail.com and she will give you all the details and the t&c’s.

Entries close on 28th July – so get writing!

If you win, let me know what you buy!

SP

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Creating an outdoor play area for the kids.

Do you spend a lot of your time worrying about how to keep the kids happy when they aren’t at school? Are you, like many parents, quite old fashioned in your beliefs that children should spend as much time outside as they can rather than being cooped up indoors?

While kids do usually love playing out in the garden, they can get easily bored and try to return to their video games indoors. So, why not create a play area that will keep them engaged, occupied and entertained?

Here are some tips on creating the perfect outdoor play area; it’s actually a lot simpler than you think!

Creating a safe environment

Before you go out and buy anything for the play area, you first need to ensure its safe. Try and look at the area from a child’s point of view. With falls and accidents a probability, it’s important to make sure the area has a soft floor. If your garden is currently made up of paving slabs, there are a few materials you can buy that will help to make the area safer – rubber flooring, synthetic turf and soft bark are all fantastic options.

It’s also a good idea to provide shade in the hot summer months. Consider installing an exterior awning for added sun protection. Not only will it keep your kids safe, it will also look fantastic too.

Let your imagination take over

Designing your kids play area is the perfect opportunity to release your inner child. There are endless possibilities which you could try and you could even ask for your kids for their input in order to create something truly special that the whole family will love.

Obviously your budget will play a part in what you can do, but there’s something out there to suit all price ranges. If you are lucky enough to have large trees in your garden, an off the ground den could be a great idea, or how about a built-in trampoline? This may be a little costly but it will be a great crowd-pleaser at children’s parties and summer barbeques and will also ensure older children can enjoy the new outdoor play area as much as their younger siblings.

Outdoor chalk boards, sand pits and swings are some of the other pieces equipment you might want to consider and might be more affordable than you realised.

There really is something to suit all budgets and preferences –all you have to do is let your imagination run wild!

This is a guest post, please see my disclosure policy for all the boring stuff. 

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How can you make the most of your evening once the kids are in bed?

It is the belief of many parents that they must place their child’s needs first before anything else. This is a noble idea in theory but in order for parents to be best able to deal with their kids, they also must allow time to relax in order to take care of themselves not only physically but mentally as well. For this reason, it is important that parents find some time to enjoy activities they enjoy. For many parents an ideal time to do this is after the kids are in bed as there is often a nice slot of time until parent must go to bed themselves. There is a wide range of activities in which parents can engage.

Some parents find that this is a great time to get caught up keeping in touch with friends and family which can be done through a number of ways including social media. Some parents enjoy spending time catching up on other people’s activities as well as reporting their own. This can be done via Facebook or Twitter but some people also find they enjoy chatting real time using Skype, this gives parents a chance to visit with other adults without having to leave home.

Gaming is another activity that many parents find both relaxing and engaging. For instance, online casinos such as www.i-phonecasino.co.uk provide a wide range of casinos games for the novice player as well as the expert and couples may choose to play certain games together. For instance, craps and roulette are fun group games in the casino and can be just as fun at home. With bonuses offered, it is possible to get some free play in while at the online casino.

A third option for parents would be to catch up one reading, this could be: a book, newspaper or magazine and electronic readers are quite popular but the important thing to remember is that the reading should be for pleasure and not work-related. Reading is a past-time that is slowly disappearing from children’s lives which is quite a travesty; this particular choice could be the one you would like to pass onto your children when they wake.

{GP}

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Superhuman Heroes!

If a child could build a superhero powers he or she may choose X-ray vision, flight or the ability to shoot flames from their hands. These are impossible of course – but there are people walking this planet who have seemingly-impossible powers that mere mortals would find unbelievable.

For example, Stig Severinsen went 22 minutes without breathing in 2012, while Chao Lu showed that he can memorise more than 67,000 numbers – and recite them back over the space of a day.

Ready Steady Store has prepared a quick list of world record breaking achievement that stretch the limits of credibility – for more information check out the infographic above.

Provided by readysteadystore.com

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Webloyalty infographic reveals summer holiday plans

Just thought I’d share with my readers this pretty interesting infographic about summer holidays! Webloyalty is an online marketing company, and they frequently released in-depth reports looking at the UK retail sector. These reports often look at holidays, and what people are planning for their time off each year.

Recently, Webloyalty released a new report and infographic, looking in depth at our 2014 holiday plans. I don’t know about you, but I’m planning to stay in the UK this year as we have so many weddings to go to.

The Webloyalty report shows that in total, people in the UK spent £8.95 billion on summer holiday items last year, and this figure is forecast to rise to a whopping £9.18 billion this year! It seems like a lot to spend on flip flops and sand trowels, but I suppose flights and accommodation are always a little on the expensive side.

The Webloyalty infographic, which accompanies the research, reveals that the item we are least likely to go on holiday without is our smartphone, but that we are most likely to forget to pack our phone charger! This can be particularly annoying if you are travelling outside of the UK, and you have to think about adaptors, and there may also be a language barrier..

It’s no surprise that 22% of women said that they could not go on holiday without their hair dryer – but I was quite surprised that 3% of men said this too! It’s quite a bulky item to take on a plane, so maybe this is a reason most people do not wish to take theirs with them.

Here’s the infographic to accompany this research, but if you’d like to read more about it, just head over to see the full report on the Webloyalty website.

Webloyalty UK Summer Research Report 2014

You can find Webloyalty on twitter @WebloyaltyUK and they share all their reports via Slideshare on Webloyalty UK.

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Gap Years: A Wise Choice?

It can be very daunting deciding to set out on a trip across the world, especially when others around you are plowing through their university lives. Gap years are such a tantalizing concept for students and young adults alike that it’s strange that they’re not more popular than they already are.

Research conducted by foreign exchange company World First found that £995 million was spent on funding gap years by British parents last year. That’s an incredible amount of money and a total that is expected to increase over the coming years.

But are these trips worth it? Sure they’re great while you’re on them but if the trip puts you back five years on a career ladder, is it just short-term joy in exchange for long-term pain? Well not exactly.

In fact 88% of those who have gone on a gap year believe it has increased their employability and 66% said that it made them focus more on their academic work when they arrived back.

Travel broadens the mind but does it inhibit your aspirations? Take a look at the graphic below and decide for yourself.

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An infographic by World First
 
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