A Must Read for Anybody Looking to Extend Their Home

 

Perhaps your family is growing, or maybe you have some savings that you are keen to invest in your property; whatever your motivation for extending, make sure to thoroughly research the project before you spend any money. It seems that most people you talk to have a building horror story to tell. Whether they hired a rogue firm, or their neighbor’s new conservatory collapsed after two months, make sure that whatever happens your home improvements don’t end in disaster. With so many things to consider it can seem hard to know where to begin! Try here:

 

  • Permits

 

The first thing you must figure out is what the application process is for building construction or alteration is like. Before you spend money on an architect or plans, assess how likely you will be to get permission. In most cases, altering an existing building requires a permit. Do not get trapped by an illegal extension, you may be forced to take it down.

 

  • Get Inspired

 

Before any plans are drawn up you must decide what kind of extension you are looking for, remember this will have permit implications. If you want a two-story extension, look around at what other local homeowners have done to similar properties. Maybe you like the idea of a conservatory, or a glass fronted building. Do a bit of research to see what works and what doesn’t. Make sure that whatever you are planning, you are not going to be overlooked by the neighbors.

 

  • Get help with the Plans

 

Unless you are a qualified tradesperson, don’t try to save money by doing the plans yourself. Even for a simple building, the calculations are complex and if done wrong, could lead to a nightmare situation for you and your family. If you are planning to extend across multiple floors, or if the proposed work will interfere with the weight bearing of the original structure, you will need a qualified structural engineer to conduct a thorough survey. Although it is tempting to try and cut costs when building an extension, doing so could cost you money and potentially put you in danger. If you are going to do it, make sure you do it properly.

  1. Careful of over-improving

When extending your home, it is easy to assume that bigger is better. But nothing feels less welcoming than a vast, unfurnished space that looks spliced onto the original structure. While it might be true generally that a larger house has a higher sale price, this is not always the case. If your new extension eats away at the yard, for example, it might put off potential buyers with families or keen gardeners. Furthermore, is your proposed extension in line with the houses in your neighborhood? Watch out for the pitfalls of over-improving.

 

  • Go Slow

 

The best thing you can do when looking to extend your home is relax and take it as slowly as possible.  Make sure you have considered all the possibilities and eventualities before making any decisions, if you rush through the details you might find yourself in a difficult situation. It is often the case that by trying to save time or work quickly, things are not done properly. Remember, the tortoise wins the race in the end.

 

Octonauts Calling All Sharks #sharkweek

Octonauts Calling all Sharks

For most of us it’s Shark week.  With all the great shows on TV your kids might want to get a little shark knowledge of their own.  Well now they can learn all about sharks with out staying up scared all night.  Octonauts has released their new DVD Calling all sharks.  My son loves the shows, in each one they have great charters and he gets to learn something new.  If you want you kids to join in on the fun and learn a little something make sure to pick up this great DVD this week.

Octonauts Calling all Sharks

Dive into adventures with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate Kwazii, and medic Peso Penguin, along with other Octonauts as they explore the world s oceans, rescue the creatures who live there, and protect their habitats above and below the waves! On this exciting DVD, join the Octonauts aboard the Octopod as they come face to face with a trio of pesky Cookiecutter Sharks, look after an injured Lemon Shark and stop a Whitetip Shark who is chasing the Gup-A!

To get your own copy head here

I got this free in exchange for an honest review

Try The World #trytheworld

Try the World

If you are looking for fantastic foods from all round the world then Try The World subscription box is a must have.  They have a few different ones you can chose from.  You can get a new special country every month or even do the pantry box.  The pantry box you get to choose the kinds of foods you want, and they send you a great box every month filled.  They have a great price point and my shipment has never been late.  I have found so many fantastic items that I would have never known about if it was not for this fantastic company.

Try The World

 

In my box, I got

Try the World

Belgian Beef Stew Spices from STOP Spices in Belgium

Try the World

Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Oleum Hispania in Spain

Try the World

Hilopites from 776 Deluxe in Greece

Try the World

Mushroom Risotto from Terrigena in Italy

Try the World

Green Apple Vinegar from Mendes Goncalves in Portugal

Try the World

This box had a great selection of spices and oils that I am excited to use.  The Try The World box really spices up our everyday meals and makes them into something very special.

Try The World

I got this free in exchange for an honest review

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Magical Movie Night Giveaway

My Little Pony DVD

Do you remember the My Little Pony from when we were younger?  Did you know that they have grown up?  The My Little Pony Equestria Girls is a grown version of the great show we loved when we were little.  your kids will still get the great story’s and great lessons, just with a little older pony’s.  This is not only a fantastic DVD for little ones but it will also speak to pre-teens.

My Little Pony DVD

MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLSTM – MAGICAL MOVIE NIGHT

COMING TO DVD AUGUST 8

 

Los Angeles, California – Grab your popcorn, because the Equestria Girls are back for a magic-filled triple feature! There’s a reason these seven girls look familiar. . . as they step through a magical mirror, they transport from the world of My Little Pony, transforming into teenage girls at Canterlot High.  Full-time students and part-time magical pony-girls, the Equestria Girls are always ready to save the day with the Magic of Friendship! So, gather round for three mystical adventures when My Little Pony Equestria Girls – Magical Movie Night comes to DVD on August 8, 2017 from Shout! Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. Pre-order is available now atAmazon.com and ShoutKids.com.

 

Dance Magic

With the Camp Everfree fundraising deadline looming, the Equestria Girls realize they need a new plan to raise more money and are ready to try new things. Rarity finds out about a music video competition, with a huge cash prize, and she’s eager to convince her friends at Canterlot High to enter the contest. However, the girls soon learn that Crystal Prep Academy is also interested in participating in the contest. The students at CPA have many more resources and are better dancers! The girls learn that sometimes coming together instead of competing is the best plan of all!

 

Movie Magic

The Equestria Girls have been specially invited by A.K. Yearling to go on the set of the upcomingDaring Do movie and they are overjoyed. For super-fan Rainbow Dash, watching behind the scenes as her favorite heroine comes to life is a dream come true. However, when a rare and important prop from the set goes missing, putting the movie on hold, Rainbow Dash’s dream becomes a nightmare. The Equestria Girls take it upon themselves to track down the missing prop and end up trotting into a real-life Daring Do adventure!

 

Mirror Magic

As the pages in her journal run out, there’s only one thing for Sunset Shimmer to do: return to Equestria as a pony to get a new journal! There, she meets new pony Starlight Glimmer and agrees to bring her back through the mirror portal to experience life as a human girl at Canterlot High. However, while Sunset Shimmer is away, a revenge‐seeking Juniper Montage finds a beautiful hand mirror enchanted with Equestrian magic. Not only can it provide a window into another land, but if you push the right button, It can also make things disappear into limbo, trapped between the two realms! Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer return to find the Mane 6 missing and Juniper Montage acting extremely suspicious. Will Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer save the girls, or are the Mane 6 lost in limbo for good?

 

Bonus Feature:

Sing-Alongs

 

Find this and more My Little PonyTM titles at ShoutKids.com.

 

magic-filled Equestria Girls triple feature, My Little Pony Equestria Girls – Magical Movie Night, which comes to DVD on August 8. Pre-orders available now at Amazon.com and ShoutKids.com

Guess what all.  We even have a great giveaway 2 lucky U.S winners will get their very own copy.

My little Pony Magical Movie Night

I got this free in exchange for an honest review.

An Introduction to the Montessori Method of Learning

Montessori has become one of the most popular ways to teach young children. Combining different types of play, practical learning techniques, and other learning activities ensures that Montessori is also an effective way to teach children. Below are some the main points you should know about Montessori.

Areas Montessori Addresses

Montessori helps develop a wide range of abilities in children. Active Learning is a key goal of this form of education, whereby children learn in a more practical way and develop a range of skills, including problem solving skills, that will be extremely important in later years. If you’re looking for the best private nursery school in Romford, Oakfields Montessori School is one of the leading schools in this area.

Creating a sense of self-sufficiency is another important area that the Montessori method of learning focuses on. It encourages young students to become more independent and recognise themselves as individuals, instead of just being part of a crowd.

However, some aspects of Montessori also address the notion of teamwork. In some situations, it’s essential to cooperate with other people and work as part of a team so that everyone in that team can achieve greater things together. The person teaching a Montessori class will create scenarios and situations where teamwork skills and the abilities of students are put to the test; they will also show students how to work more effectively with other people, which is crucial when children are older.

Encouraging Creativity

Unfortunately, over the years, traditional teaching methods have failed to embrace the creative side of students. However, creativity is encouraged in Montessori classes and students take part in a wide range of creative activities that stimulate the creative side of the brain. Promoting creativity in this way makes classes more interesting and students are more likely to engage and cooperate more with their teachers and fellow students.

Montessori is not a one-size fits all educational solution. Different age groups have different learning requirements, which means age-appropriate activities are provided to students in different age groups. This once again encourages participation from students because they will be more likely to take part in activities that are suitable for their particular age.

Montessori Concentrates on Students Interests and Strengths

Different students have different interests and strengths and Montessori allows a student to look deeper into their interests and improve their strengths. This keeps a student interested and they are more willing to learn new things.

Key Principles of Montessori

Montessori follows a clear set of principles that set it apart from other methods of learning. First of all, the child being taught has to be respected by their teacher. Children are encouraged to educate themselves and continually absorb information and knowledge. To ensure that children learn in the most effective way, it is then the role of the Montessori teacher to prepare the appropriate learning environment for their students.

Montessori has changed the way huge numbers of teachers teach and the way huge numbers of children learn. The unique approaches and methods used through this method of learning, empowers students, equips them for the outside world, and makes learning more enjoyable.

Lemonade Stand Cookbook

Lemonade Stand Cookbook

As a kid, I always wanted a lemonade stand.  I never did do one, but now whenever I see one on the side of the road I always have to stop.  They have become so much more creative than they were when we were kids.  During the winter, I see warm drinks and hot cookies.  During the summer, I see everything.

Lemonade Stand Cookbook

When the Lemonade Stand Cookbook showed up I was so excited.  Kids these days are doing so much more.  Not only does the book have tips and tricks for you.  They also have a ton of fantastic recipes that are sure to make your stand a hit.

Lemonade Stand Cookbook

This book is a great way to have fun with your family and teach them a great work ethic.  With kids doing so much more at a younger age this is a great stepping stone.  Weather they are raising money for something that they really want or for charity, this book will get them started in the right direction.  Encouraging our kids to earn what they want in life is one of the biggest lessons we should be teaching them.  It also teaches social skills they have to talk to costumers and be able to answer questions.

Lemonade Stand Cookbook

If you are looking for something fun to do this summer with your kids make sure to pick up the Lemonade Stand Cookbook and get cooking with them.

I got this free in exchange for an honest review

Minnie’s Happy Helpers On DVD

minnies happy helper

When Disney Junior comes out with a new DVD we must have it.  Minnie Mouse is one of my nephew’s favorite.  He can watch her all day long.  So, this DVD is not only perfect for when he is not feeling well but also when we travel.  Just pop it in and he is as happy as can be.

minnies happy helper

This DVD has 6 episodes and even a bonus episode.  It also comes with a magnetic “helper” chart your kids will have their very own chart to keep track of how they have helped you.  If you have a Disney lover in the house Minnie’s Happy Helpers is a must have.  I love that it is a great cartoon that also teaches them how to help others.

Download Minnie's Happy Helpers Activities

 

Minnie and Daisy are here to tackle adventures big and small! MINNIE’S HAPPY HELPERS will be making its Disney DVD debut on July 25th, and you won’t want to miss these best friends in action! The Happy Helpers make friendship fun; going around town helping their loved ones with a song and smile. From antics like babysitting an egg about to hatch to planning the perfect party, MINNIE’S HAPPY HELPERS is an entertaining tale fueled by friendship, fun, and going the extra mile!

Join Minnie and Daisy as They Run Their Own Temp Agency
Helping Friends and Neighbors!

 

MINNIE’S HAPPY HELPERS

 

Bring Home the Adventures on Disney DVD July 25th

 

Includes a FREE Exclusive Customizable Happy Helpers Chart!

 

Synopsis: The Happy Helpers are on their way!

 

When Minnie and Daisy aren’t racing around Hot Dog Hills, they’re helping their friends with fun, odd jobs as TheHappy Helpers. And no task is too big or too small for them to tackle! With a quick spin in their Turn-Styler, theHappy Helpers are ready for anything that comes their way. Whether they’re babysitting an egg that’s about to hatch, planning the perfect luau for a client, or fixing London’s Big Ben just in time for tea, Minnie and Daisy are ready to go the extra mile, with a song and a smile!

 

Voice CastRussi Taylor as Minnie Mouse; Tress MacNeille as Daisy Duck; Bret Iwan as Mickey Mouse; Daniel Ross as Donald Duck; April Winchell as Clarabelle Cow; Jim Cummings as Pete; and Bill Farmer as Goofy.

 

Executive Producer: Rob LaDuca

 

Co-Executive Producer and Supervising Story Editor: Mark Seidenberg

 

Episodes:         Egg-Xasperating!

                        Happy Hula Helpers!

Tea Time Trouble!

Happy Birthday Helpers!

Bed, Breakfast and Bungled!

Gone Fishin’!

 

Bonus Episode: Teed Off!

 

 

I got this free in exchange for an honest review

July Adore Box #subscriptionbox

Adore Box

For a lot of us beauty lovers it can get really expensive.  There are so many products out there.  Some we hear a ton about and some we have never heard about.  When we see them, we must try them.  It can get so expensive.  With the Adore box however you will get a great selection of full size and sometimes trial size beauty products for less than one product will normally cost you.  I have found so many awesome new products that have made a huge difference in my beauty routine.  I love that I get them at low price and if I fall in love for a lot of the products I can hop on too Adore Box and have them delivered right to me.

Adore Box

In this box, I got the Rimmel London Double ended eye shadow.  24k Collagen Gold Powder eye mask.  These were awesome I could use these every day.  The Reserve Company Bath tea was amazing if you have sore muscles then this is a must at the end of a great workout.  The GLO by Glory liquid lipstick was a fantastic color and lasted for quite a long time.

Adore Box

There was not one thing I did not love about this box.  Everything in it I would not only use but some of them I know need more of.  If you are looking for the best beauty subscription box out there you will not beat Adore Box one for quality and price.

I got this free in exchange for an honest review

6 Key Considerations for Creating Memorial Jewelry

Thanks to modern technology, we don’t have to say goodbye forever to our lost loved ones. Now, we can preserve their memory and love by turning their cremated ashes into memorial diamonds. This new technology is becoming increasingly popular, making it easier than ever before to have your own created. But what do you do with your diamond once it’s made?

Diamond Ring

Picture credit

A piece of memorial jewelry ring symbols your everlasting love from your beloved. He or she will be with you forever in this brilliant cremation diamond ring.

A popular choice for honoring your cremation diamond is by setting it in customized jewelry, particularly rings. Memorial jewelry rings made from ashes diamond are by far the most sought after type of setting for a loved one. Setting your diamond into a precious metal will take some creativity on your part, and there are some pros and cons to it, but the result is always beautiful.

 

Here are six key considerations to keep in mind when creating your cremation diamond jewelry.

 

  1.    Sketch Out Your Vision

It’s important to take the time to sketch out exactly what you want your cremation diamond ring to look like. You may be allowed to alter the setting’s design at some point, but once memorial jewelry ring or pendant is finished there’s no going back. So, except the color and carat of your cremation diamond, you need to consider your likes and dislikes as well as what you think your loved one would have liked.

 

You should also consider the purpose of the ring. Maybe you want to buy your future wife an engagement ring with our sophisticated diamond from hair? Or maybe you want to design a subtler fashion piece? This may influence the design, so ensure you take it into consideration.

 

Maybe you like large stones but your wife prefers small ones. Maybe you like platinum but he liked gold. Whatever you decide, just be sure that your vision is designed around your cremation diamond so that the setting is proportional to it.

 

Consider your differences between memorial jewelry and general jewelry, while honoring what you think they would have preferred and draw it on paper to show to a designer. This leads us to our next consideration.

 

  1.    Choose Your Metal

Most memorial rings are made of platinum, white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold. Platinum and white gold are the most popular choices of settings for cremation diamonds of higher quality. Platinum is very durable, but it is usually the most expensive, whereas yellow gold is more affordable but also more susceptible to scratches and damage. Consider your budget as well as your fashion tastes as you design your memorial jewelry ring made from ashes.

 

  1.    Choose a Reputable Designer

Begin by asking people you know if they can recommend a designer they have used in the past. If there is no one to ask, make a visit to respected jewelry store in your area and review the styles on display. When you find one you like, ask the salesperson about the designer and if the store provides a liaison service with them. Many jewelry stores are willing to work with you to help you connect with a designer.

 

If you find a designer you like online, reach out and ask them about their professional credentials and affiliations, their experience, and where you can find their work in your area. If they don’t have any of their work near you, find another designer. It is important to personally handle their work and inspect it for quality construction before you agree to work with them.

 

Once you have chosen a designer, be sure they are someone you feel comfortable working with. A good memorial jewelry designer is open to your ideas while letting you know what’s possible or not. Stand confidently by what you sketched and be detailed in your description, but allow the designer to guide you through the process through his or her own sketches as they are incorporated with yours.

 

  1.    Questions to Ask Your Designer

After you have chosen your designer, ask about how they will guarantee their work. Ask how they will make sure that the final result will match what you sketched and verbally described, and what recourse you have if you’re not satisfied with the memorial jewelry design. Your designer should feel comfortable asking any question you have at any time.

 

Consider putting in writing every element of the design together and putting your signatures on it once you have made an agreement. List what kind of metal you want as well as its purity, all the details of the setting, the ring size, and any other specifics you discuss. Then write down the agreed delivery date and price.

 

Be sure to ask them to supply an appraisal report so you can have your ring insured. Have them note on the report that it is a customized design with a cremation diamond plus the name of the designer. Having a properly prepared report will help you guarantee the replacement value your insurance company places on it.

 

It’s so important to get everything in writing. Take the time to fully discuss every detail of your memorial jewelry ring design and working relationship until you’re in agreement. Then, write it all down and both of you sign it. Doing this could potentially save you a lot of trouble in the future.

 

  1.    Stay in the Loop

 

Your designer will take the ideas you both agreed on and create a CAD, which means “computer aided design.” A CAD can be a 2D or 3D model depending on the software your designer uses. Most designers make a 3D model of your memorial jewelry design and put it into a wax mold. You will be shown the wax mold for your inspection when it is ready to ensure that memorial ring or pendant is keeping with your vision, and they will allow you to try it on.

 

CAD design software allows clients to have different perspectives of the memorial jewelry ring made with a solitaire heart cut cremation diamond.

 

Any changes that are needed will be done during this point of the process. Don’t be nervous about expressing your displeasure or any change of mind you have. It’s very common to make changes, so don’t be shy. Your designer should be comfortable with you calling to check up on how things are progressing, especially if the delivery date has been delayed.

 

Stay updated on your cremation diamond ring’s progress so you can stay ahead of any potential issues.

 

  1.    Don’t Rush the Process

 

You waited months for your cremation diamond to be created. Continue being patient while its setting is designed and made. Typically, the process of creating a customized memorial jewelry ring made from cremated ashes does not take very long. Once you and your designer have agreed to the design, its details, and price, it should only take about 10-14 days to receive your memorial ring. However, any changes that need to be made such as a resizing could add to the time it takes for you to receive the final piece.

 

Consider the time frame for which you need the cremation diamond ring completed, but try to be flexible with your designer. Quality designers are true artists and will make every effort to fullfil your wishes. Your patience is always most appreciated.

 

A Thing of Beauty

Setting your cremation diamond on a piece of jewelry can be a lengthy and expensive process from the initial sketch to the finished piece, but you will find it well worth it. Your loved one will forever be with you through a personally inspired, unique creation that reflects the love you shared for years to come. As cremation diamond is becoming more and more popular in UK, US, Canada, Germany, and Australia, memorial jewelery is also becoming a new trend in these counties. Memorial jewelry is not only a thing of beauty, but also a thing of treasure.

Catch and Learn from PlaSmart

Catch and Learn

I love when I can find great learning game for little guy.  When I first saw the Catch and Learn Game from PlaSmart I knew it would be a big hit.  We come from a fishing family so he got to go fishing in the house while learning.  I did not know that my nephews would also go completely nuts for it.  The older nephew filled out the fish cards and the two little ones went fishing to match the numbers and letters.

Catch and Learn        Catch and Learn

This was so much fun.  The little fish cards are dry erase cards with a magnet in it.  You write on them like 5+5 on one and a 10 on the other. Then you use the worm with a magnet on it to pick up the matching cards.  It was a fun way to learn.  As you can see my nephew got so excited every time he got a card.

Catch and Learn        Catch and Learn

The boys had so much fun with this game.  It was not a play once and done game.  We played this for hours every day.  Best part is you can let them play on their own.  I did not have to sit there for hours watching.  They came up with their own stuff to put on the cards and had a blast.

Catch and Learn

If you are looking for fun learning games for your little one PlaSmart is so the way to go.  They have a great selection of toys for any age kid.

Catch and Learn

Don’t forget to join PlaSmart’s on Twitter and Facebook

I got this free in exchange for an honest review