Thursday, 4 February 2016

Fun Ideas For Half Term

The first half of the spring term is nearly over and while the kids might be looking forward to some free time, for parents it can feel like the longest week ever, especially when you can't guarantee good weather.

We've devised a fantastic list of how to keep the kids entertained without spending a fortune:

Things to do during half term

  • Hold a bake off - You can have fun baking biscuits, cakes, crumbles whatever you like. If you have older children you could always split them into two team! On your marks, get set, bake!
  • Snowtime - If it snows, go sledging, build snowmen, go for snow walks, make snow angels. Don't forget to take your camera with you to capture these magical moments.
  • Cinema - Many cinemas hold special viewings for children during the holidays, advertising 'half term deals', and often parents get to go free too. Check out your local cinemas website for up to date information.
  • Go to the park - Parks tend to have lots of things to entertain the kids, usually they have climbing frames and playgrounds for both younger and older children, scenic walks, animal sanctuary's, trees to climb. You can take your football and bikes, as a lot of parks have introduced mountain bike trails, as well as having lots of low level paths to cycle on for those who want to ride on the flat.
  • Search for free events and offers in your local area - these will be listed on your local council website e.g Visitlancashire.com. Zoo's often offer reduced or free entry out of season, and many museums hold special events over the school holidays, many of which are free.
  • Get crafty at home - Potato stamping is a great thing to do with young children. You can pick up blank canvases quite cheaply, and could get the kids to paint directly onto them and then hang them in their rooms when they are dry.
  • Board Games - If it's particularly nasty weather outside why not get all the board games out and have a board game marathon, or if you have a chess board you could teach the kid's how to play chess, once they've learned how to play they'll be hooked!
  • Swim for free - Many councils offer free swimming for children during the half term holidays, parents can either join in or have a well deserved break in the leisure centre cafe :-)
  • Lots of English Heritage and National Trust sites are free to enter  - they often have activities for the kids too. Have a fun filled day out exploring ruins, gardens, castles and more.
  • Build a den - This is fun both indoors and outdoors, in good weather head to the woods (with a responsible adult) collect sticks and broken branches and create a den. if the weather is poor why not pull out the dining chairs, drape towels and bed sheets over and you've (the kids have) got a nice little den to play in for the afternoon.
  • Collect Blackberries - There are still some wild fruits about, grab some buckets and head out, the kids can have a race to see who can collect the most. When you've got your bucket full of blackberries why not head home and make a blackberry pie. We've found a great recipe for blackberry pie from allrecipes.com
  • Upcycle something - If you've got an old lampshade or some furniture in the loft or under the stairs why not let the kids re-decorate them, see how creative the kids can be with paint, stickers and more.

If you're taking advantage of lower holiday prices in winter and are heading off for some winter sun or just planning ahead for summer we have a great range of suitcases and travel accessories to suit your needs.

Personalised Luggage Strap ABS Children's Suitcases Digital Luggage Scale

Friday, 15 January 2016

Face The Cold Weather In Style

As the temperatures are starting to plummet - a dramatic statement perhaps, but nonetheless the temperature is going to drop, and as it looks like we're finally going to head into winter it's time to consider whether you have all the essential clothing and household items necessary for making winter more enjoyable.

Aztec Brushed Cosy Yarn Cardigan

This Aztec Brushed Cosy Yarn Cardigan By Be You is a great alternative to a coat or jacket and can be worn indoors without people thinking you haven't taken your coat off. You can be warm indoors and outdoors with this cosy number and the fantastic news is that it's now only £9.99. It's available in sizes 8-22.

blanket wraps, oversize scarves, ponchos and capes

We love blanket wraps, oversized scarves, ponchos and capes, they are so snug, warm and stylish. Prices are from only £6.99! A great addition to any outfit.

Sherpa Jacket By Be You

This Sherpa Jacket By Be You is one of our bestsellers this winter. I don't know about you, but just thinking about the Sherpa lining makes me feel warmer! This Jacket is priced from only £17.99 and is available in sizes 8-26.

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Be Snug As A Bug In A Rug


electric blankets, mattress toppers and thermal blankets

It's not just warm clothing you need to consider when heading into winter, preparing your home for winter is essential too. A fluffy fleece mattress topper will add an instant layer of snugness to your bed. An electric blanket will make your bed lovely and warm, even if you just pre-heat your bed prior to getting in it, and then just switch it off. Also, if you love snuggling up on the sofa in winter with a nice film this Heat Holders Snuggle Up Blanket would be a dream! It boasts a toasting 1.4 tog rating, comes in a whole host of colours and is now only £24.99.

heating range

If you suffer from draught coming under the doors in your house a draught excluder is a must. If the draughts come from the side or top of a door a self-adhesive draught excluder is the best option, and if the draught is coming from under the doors a removable draught excluder would be better. As well as ensuring you don't have draughts in your house you need to make sure that your home will be at a comfortable temperature, our heating range has a whole host of electric fires and electric heaters, which will help keep you toasty warm during the cold spells.


Friday, 8 January 2016

How To Exercise From Home

You don't need to join an expensive gym to stay in shape, there is so much affordable gym equipment out there making it easier on the pocket to exercise from home.

Weights and Small Fitness Equipment

Weights and Small Fitness Equipment Weights and Small Fitness Equipment Weights and Small Fitness Equipment

If you're looking for a gentle and relatively inexpensive introduction to exercise a great place to start is with small weights or equipment such as a skipping rope, exercise ball or a weighted hoop. These types of equipment are fairly low resistance so shouldn't put you off using them. They are easy on the pocket and small enough to put in a cupboard when not in use. Pineapple have a great range of smaller exercise equipment with prices starting from only £6.99. Pineapple also have a great range of resistance bands which are great for increasing flexibility.

Shop for Dumbells
Shop for Skipping Ropes
Shop For Exercise Balls
Shop for Weighted Hoops
Shop for Resistance Bands
Shop Pineapple Fitness


Cardio Equipment

Cardio Equipment Cardio Equipment Cardio Equipment

The cardio range covers equipment such as treadmills, cross trainers, rowing machines and exercise bikes. These larger pieces are a bit more of an investment than some weights, but they are the perfect choice for long term usage at home. It's always worth remembering that a lot of these larger pieces can be folded up and broken down for storage, making them much less cumbersome.

Shop for Treadmills
Shop for Cross Trainers
Shop For Rowing Machines
Shop For Exercise Bikes


Weight Benches and Home Gym

Weight Benches and Home Gym Weight Benches and Home Gym

The cornerstone of all strength training equipment is a weight bench. Weight benches can be used with barbells, dumbbells, power racks, smith machines or on their own. The weights bench is the core of any exercise program working out your triceps and chest at the same time. Free weight bench presses will help you increase natural body movement, unlike a bench that is attached to a multi-gym, where the movement is controlled by the machine. A weight bench or a home gym should be a consideration if you are going to focus on strength training.

Shop Weight Benches
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Heart Rate Monitors and Fitness Bands

Heart Rate Monitors and Fitness Bands Heart Rate Monitors and Fitness Bands Heart Rate Monitors and Fitness Bands

If your choice of exercise is jogging, running, walking or hill climbing or some other out of the house exercise, a heart rate monitor or fitness band would be the perfect item to help you track your progress and monitor your goals.

Shop for Fitness Bands

Friday, 4 December 2015

Be The Hostess With The Mostess

Planning


If you're hosting a Christmas party, lunch or family gathering, preparation is everything!

Crockery



Dinner Sert


There is nothing worse than realising at the very last minute that you don't have enough plates for everyone (or a matching pieces). Options are to buy a new or extra dinner set, buy two or 3 of the same design, or buy an extra large set, as you can get some 32 piece dinner sets, which are perfect if you're having up to 8 guests for dinner.

Don't Forget Cutlery



canteen of cutlery


It's a given that we all have cutlery in our homes, but do you have enough for all the courses and all the guests? A canteen of cutlery is a great option as all the cutlery can be packed away for the next occasion. There's enough cutlery for 12 settings/guests and includes serving cutlery and a ladle too.

Cooking The Meal



food mixer pan set roaster


Cooking a Turkey with all the trimmings can be a daunting task, it can be made all the easier with the correct tools and some handy kitchen gadgets. Pans, Multi-Cookers, Steamers, Pressure Cookers, Roaster and Racks are useful, and a food mixer makes things all the simpler.

Sit Down Or Buffet?



buffer server


A jacobs join is a great way of having a get together without the host having to provide all the food and drink. If you don't want to risk everyone bringing the same food/course, you could put the names of dishes in a hat and allocate them at random to each of your guests. If you're happy providing the main course perhaps just ask guests to bring the starters, desserts, and drinks. One thing you do need to make sure you have enough of is serving dishes and serving spoons. Buffet servers are a great way to keep food hot on a buffet or dining table. This Giani buffer server can be used as both a hot tray and a plate warmer.

Drinks



optics set


If you do decide to provide some of the drinks, you can host your Christmas party on a budget by sticking to 2-3 types of drink rather than offering a whole selection. If you start offering loads of different cocktails you’ll have to buy loads of different spirits and mixers, so keep things cheap by sticking to one or two. Mulled wine always goes down a treat at Christmas, and here's a handy mulled wine recipe courtesy of Jamie Oliver. If you find mulled wine a bit harsh why not add a drop of amaretto, it's lovely!

House Guests



airbed foldaway bed sofabed


If you've got guests staying over this Christmas and have fewer beds than people, air beds and folding guests beds are the perfect solution. You could also get character sofa beds for the kids rooms.




Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Get Ready To Party

We're all excited about our Christmas Parties, and even though we all probably have a dress we could wear we know we're more than likely going to treat ourselves to something new. It's the perfect excuse really isn't it!?

For Her

Frock And Frill Grey Beaded DressClub L Zigzag Sequin Maxi DressClub L Sequin Bardot Midi Dress

Shop the glitz and glam trend. This Grey Beaded Dress By Frock & Frill is fabulous, fun and flattering on any figure! The beautiful hand made embellishment makes this dress incredibly unique. The sleeveless dress boasts an elegant sheer embellished overlay and features a scooped back and is available in sizes 18-28 for only £49.99.

If you're looking for something longer, bring glamour to the party with this Club L ZigZag Sequin Maxi Dress featuring sequin embellishment to the body designed in a zigzag style, it's only £19.99 and is available in sizes 8-20.

And if you're looking for a little black dress then look no further! This Club L Sequin Bardot Midi Dress is available in black (as well as many other colours too), it has a close cut bodycon fit, is sequinned with an off-shoulder neckline, and is available in sizes 8-20 for only £12.99.

Shop Women's Partywear

For Him

Smart BlazerSkopes Slim Fit Shirt With Skinny Tie Setmens formalwear

Let's not forget the men when it comes to party wear! We have got a stylish selection of shirts, suits, jackets and waistcoats available, so if suited and booted isn't your thing, we have plenty of other party-perfect looks for you.

Simply adding a smart jacket or shirt and tie to your usual jeans and shoes combination will smarten up your look and make you look party-ready.

If you're looking for a whole new ensemble or attending a more formal event then take a look at our suits and suit pieces, such as waistcoats, suit trousers and suit jackets. Prices are from only £39.95.

Shop Men's Formalwear

For The Girls

Older Girl's Sequin Detail DressLittle Misdress Sequin Bodice DressLittle Misdress Sequin Detail Dress With Bow

Sequins are very much the fashion this season and Little Misdress have got them covered in their fantastic partywear range. We also have faux fur jackets and sparkly shoes to complete the look. Prcies are only from only £7.99

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For The Boys

Older Boys Party ShirtBen Sherman Blazer ShirtYounger

It can be a struggle to get boys out of their jeans no matter what their age, so smartening their look with a shirt or a waistcoat is a perfect way to smarten up their look ready for them running and sliding across the dance floor :-) Prices are from only £6.99.

Shop Boys Partywear



For Baby

Baby Girls 3-Piece Tutu Set & Boys 3-Piece Formal SetBaby Girls 3-Piece Tutu Set & Boys 3-Piece Formal SetBaby Girls 3-Piece Tutu Set & Boys 3-Piece Formal Set

It would be rude to forget to the little ones when it comes to Partywear as they do look incredibly cute in them! These sweet little outfits are available in sizes 3-24 months.

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