Friday, September 20, 2019

Planning The Perfect Big Family Trip

Taking a trip with the family is a great way to enjoy a break and catch up. Families can find it difficult to spend time together, so an annual trip with your extended family can be a fun way to reunite and make some special memories.

Planning a trip is stressful at the best of times, but when you throw group travel into the mix, be prepared for even more stress and chaos - think Home Alone! But with some organization and some useful advice, you can enjoy planning your special family trip.

Plan your next family adventure with these tips for planning the perfect big family trip.

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

Choose the ideal weekend

Getting a large group of people together isn’t always easy. People have different work patterns, different commitments, and there’s always the occasional one-off event like a wedding that can cause problems finding a date for everyone. Try to plan at least six months in advance, and confirm a date with everybody so that they can keep it free. If there’s one date that tends to suit everyone each year, you can make it an annual weekend that will make it easier to arrange year after year.

To help save one person from always being the organizer, each family could take it in turns to help ease the burden and to share the work fairly.

Pick a great place

While spending time with your family can be enjoyed wherever you are, picking a good destination can help make sure that everyone has a great time. It’s a way to tick destinations off your bucket list and gives you a chance to get away from home and all of the distractions that can usually affect your time together. There are plenty of amazing city destinations to visit as a group, while popular places like LA, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston also make some fantastic destinations for your trip.

Make the journey fun and affordable

A trip away can be a treat, but with everyone’s budgets being different, it’s better to keep things as affordable as possible. A charter service from US Coachways allows you to travel as a group in style, which can work out to be very affordable between you all. Plan some activities for the journey - some games and a brilliant playlist can get your weekend off to the best start.

If you’re only going away for the weekend, try to choose somewhere that isn’t too far for everyone to get to. You’ll want to spend time with each other, not on the road, so try to find places that are within easy reach of your home. 

Create an entertaining and flexible itinerary

With weekends together being as rare as they are, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got enough planned to make the most of your time together. A fun and flexible itinerary can help make sure there’s enough time for family activities, while also making sure everyone gets some time to themselves. Activities can include tours, trips to theme parks, etc. or you can spend time together playing games in the park or on the beach! Keep things flexible so that you can change plans depending on the weather or the mood on the day!

Finding things to do as a family can be difficult when everyone is a different age. But trying to find some common ground is important to ensure everyone has a nice time. Food is something that can bring everyone together - everyone’s got to eat. Split responsibility for food between you all, some easy dishes that will feed a crowd can be a crowd pleaser and will help keep costs down on your trip too.  

A group photo is a must

A family photo is the perfect way to capture the memories of your weekend together. It can be very rare to have your family in one place, so taking the opportunity to take a photo is a must. As these opportunities are rare, you’ll need to learn how to take a great group photo to help you get the ideal shot.

Spending time with your family is important, and big group getaways can be full of fun and excitement that helps keep a family close together. With some good planning and plenty of family travel tips to follow, you can arrange a memorable family trip. Many families take a trip as an annual family tradition, so why not make this the year you start yours? Now all you need to do is decide where you want to go!


Friday, September 13, 2019

Supporting An Elderly Relative




Having an elderly relative in your life to take care of can be hard. Not only do you need to worry about all of your life problems, such as juggling looking after a home, and going to work, you will need to spend time ensuring they are well looked after. It can take up a great deal of your time, and often you will feel tired, and that you can't get a break.

You may need to help with several areas of your loved one's life. These may include helping them dress and wash, as well as cooking for them, and buying groceries. You may need to help them up in the morning and into bed at night. They may have mobility issues and require you to take them places. Fundamentally though, if they live alone, they may rely on your company to get them through life.

Ask For Help From Your Family

It is vital to get as much support from those around you during a time such as this. Enlisting the help of your partner, or children may be beneficial and will take some of the burdens off you.

If you have any siblings, you could involve them too. Having as many people who can pop in and visit will mean that there is not a sense of resentment either if it feels that it is all falling on you to do everything.

Come up with a plan between you as to who will go on which days. Try and keep to a regular schedule if possible as this will help you to get the best coverage of care at all times.

Use A Care Visitor Service

There will be private duty care services within your area that will help to take the pressure off you. Hiring a specialist caregiver to visit each day will mean that your loved one will get the best attention possible. You will be able to rest easy, knowing that their every need are being met and that they are in safe hands.

A care visitor will be able to help with all of the day-to-day support that your loved one will need, including assisting them in dressing, washing, eating, and get about.

Get Respite Care

If you are devoting a massive part of your life to caring for your loved one yourself, then it is only natural that you will feel exhausted by this at times. You will need to take a break.

Going on holiday from time-to-time will ensure that you get the opportunity to unwind and recharge. This will help you come back refreshed, and better able to take care of your loved one.

During this time, you may wish to take your family member to go and stay in a respite care center. Have a look for a home that you feel will give them the best experience. Many run social activities and have a very supportive staff that are there 24/7 to take care of all of their needs.

How To Plan Your Next Home Move

If you’re getting ready for a big house move and feel as though you haven’t made sufficient steps to plan the whole endeavor properly, then there are a few steps that can be taken to help ensure that you get things right. Failing to prepare can leave you in a very uncomfortable and stressful situation that might otherwise have been avoided.

Image Source - Pexels

Reduce And Pack Your Stuff

Realistically, before you decide to pack your belongings, it’s best to reduce the amount you have. Whether this is through selling online or simply throwing away, the less you have to move the easier it will be. If you take the chance to sell your old stuff, you will also get the added bonus of more money to spend to improve the experience even more! Once you’ve finished reducing and feel comfortable with what you have, get in contact with some professionals (find local movers here!) that can help you to evaluate which vehicles are needed to transport your stuff and how you’re actually going to get to your new home, as this will relieve a lot of pressure. Attempting to complete this step on your own will be almost impossible unless you already have some kind of van or truck to carry everything safely, so be sure to seek help!

Redirect Your Mail

Leaving your mail to be sent to your old address is such a huge mistake. This could mean that your personal information and private details such as bank card data and medical records will be going straight into the hands of someone else. It’s so simple to get in touch with the most important businesses, organizations, and individuals (such as work, family, doctors, any subscriptions, insurance) so that you can let them know about your upcoming move, but you can also contact your mail service to ‘redirect’ everything with your name on to your new home. It would be so easy for someone with bad intentions to take advantage of your personal information, and you could end up in quite a frightening situation if they are able to decipher a lot of data from your mail.

Prepare For Arrival

Failing to sort out your different energy, water, and any other providers will leave you in a sticky situation. It’s not always an instant change when you start a contract with a new society, so you may end up being left without warmth or power for weeks or even months if you dedicate to try and arrange it all on the day of your arrival. By being proactive and ensuring that you have already established which providers you will be making use of before you reach your moving date, you will save a lot of time, money and effort for the future!

With any luck, these tips should help you to get ready for your home move and plan all of the necessary steps to make it as hassle-free as possible. Reduce your stuff, redirect your mail and establish your different utility providers!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Key Pros and Cons of Online Promo Codes

Photo by Negative Space from Pexels


Everyone loves a good deal – whether it’s on an item of clothing, a food product or free shipping. And that’s where online promo codes come in. When you go to the checkout, you will often be greeted with the ‘voucher code’ or ‘promo code’ box which will then send you to Google to search for a discount code. But are they really all that they seem? Here are some of the top pros and cons that come with using online promo codes!

Let’s start on a positive note – the pros! 

They save you money

One of the main pros of online promo codes is that they are a great way of getting a discount online; available on a wide range of websites, they can save you hundreds of dollars. Everyone likes to save money where they can, and a promo code is an ideal way of doing this. Before applying the code, however, ensure that you read through the terms and conditions – you don’t want to be caught out by the small print!

They are easy to use 

Almost everyone now can use a computer with ease – and promo codes are no different. There are lots of websites (an example of a company that’s on a voucher code website is Fanatics) that lay out the offers to you in an easy-to-use format, allowing you to get the code with a click of a button. You can then copy the code and put it in the box on the website. By subscribing to a voucher code website, you will be informed of the latest offers and deals – allowing you to get fantastic discounts on items just in time for that special occasion!

They will make you loyal to the brand 

When a company frequently offers promo codes you are more likely to go with them. However, it’s important to think about the reason as to why they always have sales or voucher codes – e.g is the quality poor? If they are from a company that you know and trust, you will then recommend them to others, allowing more people to reap the benefits of the promo codes.

So there are three of the main pros that come with using online promo codes. But are there any cons?

They can make you overspend

Everyone has been there. Tempted by more sales items or great discounts, you can easily spend more money than you first intended. Online promo codes are incredibly tempting – highlighting seemingly incredible deals that you can easily use. But when you notice these savings, it’s important to not go over the top and overspend. Yes, you can reap a great deal – but don’t put your finances at risk because of a promotion.

Final Thoughts 


With there only being one major downfall for using online vouchers it’s clear that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. As long as you use the codes sensibly, there shouldn’t be any damage. Before you use the code, however, read the expiration date on the code and reviews on the voucher website itself – you don’t want to risk the security of your device for a discount after all!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Tech For Wedding Planning

When you’re planning for something important, a wedding for example, did you know there are some great online tools out there that are going to help you out?

Getting organized for a wedding can be overwhelming. It can leave you feeling stressed, anxious and worried that you’ve missed out a crucial detail or two.

That’s why you need this blog to help you find some solutions to prevent the wedding build-up anxiety and help you stay in control. Some of these tools you’ll also find super helpful in your work life too so dive in and find some assistance when you need it most.

Asana

This is a general tool that helps you to keep track of your projects and manage the workloads of everyone working on them. Use it to plan, allocate and tick off actions as they happen. Easier to use than many online tools, it’s simple to access and add to and makes collaborative working a dream. Use it to allocate jobs to family members in the run-up to your big day and watch as your wedding project really begins to take shape.


Image from Pexels

Spotify

Yes, as a wedding tool. Upgrade to premium and get your wedding playlist sorted quickly and easily. You can create music for walking down the aisle, leaving the church and your evening repertoire. If you’re trying to save money on a DJ, you’ll even find hundreds of wedding playlists on there that can be fed through the speakers and guarantee you’ll have everyone on the dance floor.

All Seated

If your wedding is on the large side then this is going to help you get everyone organized. As a collaborative app, it can be accessed by anyone you choose, so if you do have a wedding planner it will help them see where you’ve assigned seating.

La Fete

This app has become a godsend for wedding planners so if you’re doing it alone then this is the app for you. It simply does everything and will allow you to take control of everything from setting your budget to choosing your band from sites such as https://www.alivenetwork.com/hirelivemusic/wedding_bands_in.asp?area=Berkshire

Stay in control with this app, specially designed for wedding planning and use tech to make life easier.

Trello

Much like Asana, Trello is most often found in the workplace but like Asana it’s an excellent tool for collaborative working and task management. Use it to assign work to your team and hold them accountable with mutually agreed deadlines.

Weddings can be stressful and you want the day to go as smoothly as possible with few or no hiccups. Tech has provided us with some very modern solutions and as such, you should find some apps that make your life as easy as possible.

Find some enjoyment through creating that perfect list on Spotify and knowing that you’ve got it all covered with tools that bring everyone together. Then it’s time to enjoy the perfect day with the people you love.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tips On Choosing The Right Care Home For Your Elderly Parent




With the passing of time comes the need for change.

Where once your parents looked after you as a child, seeing you through your infant years, the troublesome teen phase, and your entry into adult life, the roles will one day become reversed. There might be a time when you have to become the caregiver, giving your parents the same love and attention that they afforded you when you were younger. And as you take on a more caring role, you will have to consider the options available to you, one of which might be to find a care home for your parent.

You see, while your parents could live at home with you, and while their home could be adapted to cater for their needs, the best course of action might be to find 24/7 care if they aren't able to look after themselves any more. It's difficult to think about, but it's true for so many of us. And if this is the case for you, or if it could one day be the right option, here are some tips to help you find the right care home for your parent.



#1: Understand your parent's needs

Firstly, consider the type of care home that might be right for your parent. There are two types you need to be aware of, and one will be more suited than the other. We are thinking specifically about residential care homes and nursing homes.

Both offer accommodation and personal care, but nursing homes provide specialist health care to the elderly, with a focus on specific conditions such as dementia and Parkinson's Disease. You can find out more about the differences here.

By knowing the type of home more suited to your parent's needs, you will be able to narrow down your choices.

#2: Consider the costs involved

Depending on where you live, residential fees differ, and different care homes might charge more, especially if they are within the private sector. So, when choosing the right care home for your parent, this is something you need to take into account when doing your research. While you could contribute to the care costs of your parent, it might be that your parent has savings that will pay for the necessary fees themselves, so you need to have a discussion with your parent to find out more about their specific situation. However, if they fall below a certain financial threshold, or if they have any specific medical needs, then there might be no cost to them or you at all. The Money Advice Service has some useful information as a guideline to help you.

#3: Research available care homes

When you have worked out your parent's specific needs, and when you know what the financial situation will be, you will then be in a better position to research the homes local to you. You should do this in two ways. Firstly, use this handy search tool, and with your parent, look at the available homes near to you. You can normally learn a lot about a home by the testimonials on the website, the pictures available to view, and the information about the services they provide.

You should then do a Google search for local news stories that might alert you to any problems. As has been highlighted on the news, some homes have garnered a bad reputation for the care of their clients, and have necessitated the need for a nursing home abuse attorney to deal with extreme problems. While these cases are rare, you should still investigate for the sake of your parent.

Then visit the care homes near you, as you can usually learn a lot about a place by stepping foot inside, meeting staff and residents, and checking for such things as cleanliness and the overall mood of the people living there. Use this checklist provided by Age UK to guide your decision.

Finally

Finding the right place for your parent to live might be tough, but talk with them about what it is they require, and together, take your time to explore the best options available. Just remember to visit your parent regularly once they have moved in, and bring their grandchildren too, as no matter how nice the care home is, having your family around will truly make them feel at home.

We hope this article has been useful to you, but let us know. And if you have any other tips for our readers, please share your ideas with us.

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Need For Hope In A World Gone Crazy, And Some Preparation

Do you know the saying: “expect the best, prepare for the worst”? In a world where nationalism is on the rise, the internet seems to be solely focused on selling your data to companies, where some even suggest we are living in a “post-truth” era, it might seem easier just to give up and despair. You don’t even have to go far to be confronted with the worst of humanity and existential threats that are looming over humankind. It’s people denying climate change when clearly the planet’s weather has become more erratic. It’s seeing politicians choosing for business and the wealthy, while the middle class gets decimated and the gap between the haves and have-nots keeps getting bigger. It’s everything you would consider just and fair, being hollowed out bit by bit.

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

Now, you will have two options, either give up and let it all wash over you, or work through the pain. There is a lot to say for the power of hope in these examples. Hope is the belief that the circumstances will get better. It’s not just mere wishing, it’s an actual belief that things will turn out alright. It’s being faced with life-changing adversity but still knowing you will come out on the other side. It’s losing everything you hold dear at the age of 50 and still believe you can start all over again. It’s being told to have a life-altering disease, but still making the most of things.

But in the context of hope (or lack of), it’s not always about these tentpole events in life. It could also be just a lingering feeling. It could be the feeling of not mattering in the greater scheme of things. Think of people who go to work every day, clock in and out, but have been so disconnected from things because of a sense of futility. It could also just be the prospect of better things to come, such as a promotion. And hope or lack of has real-life impact. In a study of mechanical and electrical engineers at a Fortune 100 tech company, the high-hope engineers, on average, missed less than three days of work in twelve months.  The low-hope engineers missed, on average, more than ten days of work in that same period of time.

So hope plays a role when we are faced with significant setbacks in life, or it can be a lingering sense of being stuck somewhere. When dealing with adversity or the sense of “being stuck,” you can see people fall into two basic categories. One is the category of psychological victims. These individuals are passive, pessimistic, and look to the past. They ask, "Who will help me?" They despair and are all consumed by their loss, refusing to help themselves. The other category is one of the psychological survivors. These people are active, optimistic, and look to the future. They ask, "How can I help myself?" They grieve, which is healthy, but they continue to persevere and fight.

If you would apply this to yourself, when facing adversity, you should try to avoid being pushed into the victim role and switch your mindset to surviving. Some people would call this a fight or flight mechanic. If you see other dealing with adversity, let them grief, but also try to help them on their way again. The key to switching from victim to survivor is understanding that the initial step is the hardest one. When in a victim mindset, it will be harder to see silver linings, and when you are in a survivor mindset, you will automatically grasp at any opportunity to see glimmers of hope. This is a way is the hardest and most fascinating thing about a hope, how the momentum of hope accelerates people in, well, being more hopeful.

The positive physiological effects of hope are well-documented, most eloquently in Jerome Groopman's "The Anatomy of Hope," where he writes: “Belief and expectation -- the key elements of hope -- can block pain by releasing the brain's endorphins and enkephalins, mimicking the effects of morphine. In some cases, hope can also have important effects on fundamental physiological processes like respiration, circulation, and motor function.”

Groopman's research showed that during the course of illness, belief and expectation (two mental states associated with hope) have an impact on the nervous system which, in turn, sets off a chain reaction that makes improvement and recovery more likely. This process, he points out, is fundamental to the widely accepted "placebo effect," which is created by a hopeful outlook.

And as great hope is, it can’t be the only thing you rely on. There is no harm in preparing for the worst. This could mean having the right insurances in place, making you sure have savings or have a wrongful death attorneys at your service if the situation calls for it. It’s like general “Mad Dog” Mattis legendary quote on meeting new people: “be polite, professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” Of course, the context is a military one, but the sentiment is one that extends to regular life as well. Expect a positive attitude from everyone, but be prepared for the worst.

It’s hoping for a promotion at work, but also having alternatives if that doesn’t happen. It’s making sure the bills are paid before you go on a spending spree. It’s organizing a BBQ as the weather forecast is looking good, but have a plan B if the heavens open up. It’s fighting the good fight against climate change, but not be disheartened when you can’t change people’s minds. It’s trying to follow your dreams, persists but also know you can evolve if things don’t pan out.

And that’s where we are right now. It’s no longer the era of unlimited hope and the sky being the limit. It’s also not the time of doom and gloom. Being faced with existential threats, the disappearance of the middle ground and the public discussion being held from the extreme wings, the only way through is to keep the hope, but also don’t get taken for a fool.

Monday, June 17, 2019

How To Have A Great Date Night

Special occasion coming up? First date? Or a romantic celebration in order? Then you need to make sure that you can have a great date night. But what shall it be? Let’s take a look.

Do Something Active

First of all, if you’re looking for a different kind of date night to what you’re used to, then why not do something active? Sometimes, it’s really fun to be able to think outside the box and try something new. From go-karting to rock climbing, and everything else in between, this could be the perfect way to have some fun!

Enjoy A Delicious Meal

If you’re a foodie, or you want to be able to enjoy each other’s company and have a good conversation, then going to a restaurant is always a good idea. However, you are going to want to think about the kind of restaurant that you want to visit, as well as what sort of cuisine may go down well. Either way, if you book somewhere special, you’ll often know that you’re going to have a good time.

See A Show

Finally, you may also want to go and see a show too. Now, we all know that you could go to the cinema and see one of the latest films, but you do that regularly, it may not feel all that special. However, when you decide that you want to enjoy a nice date night, then going to the theatre is often perfect. However, what should you see? Take a look at the below infographic to help you to decide.
Infographic Design By theatre tickets