Midland Melts By Darceys – Review

When I was approached by the lovely Vicky from Midland Melts By Darceys asking if I would like to try and review some of their wax melts I jumped at the chance. I absolutely love wax melts, some people might even say a little addicted. There is just something about having a home that smells lovely.  Continue reading “Midland Melts By Darceys – Review”

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Tips to avoid credit card scams

Nowadays, criminals use a number of different strategies to get credit card data from unexpected consumers, so they can commit credit fraud. One of the most widely used tactics is to convince people to give up their credit card info during a phone conversation. Continue reading “Tips to avoid credit card scams”

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Mynametags.com – Personalised name tags for your childrens items – Review

When I was contacted by Mynametags.com and asked if I would like to try out their personalised name tags for the children I jumped at the chance. If your house is anything like mine when the kids go to school they often come home with missing coats, shoes, PE kits. Jumpers and so on and these things can become very expensive!  Continue reading “Mynametags.com – Personalised name tags for your childrens items – Review”

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The UK’s best campsites to visit in 2018

The UK’s best campsites to visit in 2018

With Christmas and New Year celebrations now feeling like a distance memory, thoughts are starting to turn towards the spring. This season will see a lot of families and couples choosing to go camping as a perfect opportunity to escape their working lifestyles.

Whether you are looking to go on your very first camping holiday or are hoping to find a new location to explore, then Flogas is on hand to help. This is because the camping gas bottles supplier has researched the best campsites to visit across the UK throughout 2018…

Hooks House Farm

When is it open? Between March and October

How to find the site: Whitby Road, Robin Hoods Bay, North Yorkshire YO22 4PE

Contact number: 01947 880283

Upon arrival at Hooks House Farm, one of the first things that you will notice is that the campsite sits high on a hill away from the town near Robin Hood’s Bay, so it provides spectacular views. Therefore, you will be able to relax on a grassy field and choose to look out to sea, along the neighbouring fields, woods, rolling hills or moors.

If you’re looking for something to do instead of being at the campsite during your entire stay and you’re feeling adventurous, it is advised that you take up the challenge of the coast-to-coast walk that will take in the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and parts of the Lake District.

Key amenities:

Caravans & campervans permitted | Dog friendly | Electrical hook-ups

Size: Pitches for 50 tents and 20 caravans or campervans.

Further information: https://www.hookshousefarm.co.uk/

Baysbrown Farm

When is it open? Between March and October

How to find the site: Great Langdale, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9JZ

Contact number: 01539 437150

Baysbrown Farm is a relaxing campsite that is nestled within the middle of an 800-acre farm. It also lies underneath the rocks which make up Bowfell, Crinkle Crags and the Langdale Pikes — three sights which should already be making up your list of places to visit while here.

A quirky feature of this campsite is that you don’t book a designated pitch, but instead choose the spot that appeals most to you and then visit the nearby farmhouse to let them know about your arrival.

Key amenities:

Caravans & campervans permitted | Remote location | Forests & mountains nearby

Size: Around 200 pitches, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Further information: http://www.baysbrownfarmcampsite.co.uk/

Lee Valley Almost Wild Campsite

When is it open? Infrequent dates, though mainly weekends between March and September

How to find the site: Nazeing New Road, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire EN10 6TD

Contact number: 03000 030 632

The name of this campsite should give you a big clue about where it is located — it’s based just off from the River Lee but is hidden within a collection of ash and birch trees.

Once you’ve found the Lee Valley Almost Wild Campsite, you can choose to take a walk or cycle along from Stratford to the Olympic Park, try your hand at some canoeing or simply relax on hammocks that swing from the trees at the site.

Key amenities:

Campfires permitted | Dog friendly | Waterside campsite | Woodland camping

Size: 17 pitches altogether, which includes 12 riverside and 5 woodland glades.

Further information: https://www.visitleevalley.org.uk/en/content/cms/where-to-stay-and-short-breaks/lee-valley-almost-wild-campsit/

Deepdale Backpackers & Camping

When is it open? All year round

How to find the site: Deepdale Farm, Burnham Deepdale, North Norfolk Coast, PE31 8DD

Contact number: 01485 210256

Head to the Deepdale Backpackers & Camping campsite and you should keep your fingers crossed that you manage to enjoy a stay in one of the tipis located there. As well as being well-maintained, each tipi comes with a stove — perfect for heating — as well as comfy faux fur-clad mattresses, a barbecue and a lantern.

Away from your sleeping arrangements, you can also take part in a wide variety of events around the campsite. Why not take up one of the cookery classes which sees meals being prepared using local produce? Or enjoy some stargazing once the sun goes down.

Key amenities:

Campfires permitted | Campervans permitted | Short walk to a nearby pub

Size: 75 grass camping pitches, as well as 7 hard-standing, fully serviced pitches.

Further information: https://www.deepdalebackpackers.co.uk/

Pleasant Streams Farm

When is it open? Between Easter and September

How to find the site: Pleasant Stream Barn, Lower Sticker, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 7JL

Contact number: 01726 74837

Situated beside a lake in a rural part of Cornwall, Pleasant Streams Farm plays host to an entertaining summerhouse that’s filled with exciting games to play and books to read should the

weather take a turn for the worse. The site is also home to ducks, goats, hens and pigs — perfect if you’re an animal lover then!

When it comes to exploring away from Pleasant Streams Farm, take note that there’s a beach within a 10-minute drive and you’ll also be in close reach of the Roseland peninsular, where even more picturesque beaches and peaceful villages can be found.

Key amenities:

Caravans & campervans permitted | Campfires permitted | Electrical hook-ups

Size: Pitches for 50 tents within the site’s main camping field, as well as five vintage caravans available for rent.

Further information: http://cornwallfarmcamping.co.uk/

The Secret Campsite

When is it open? Between March and October

How to find the site: Brickyard Farm, Town Littleworth, Cooksbridge, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 4TD

Contact number: 07730 525560

You really will be returning to a natural way of living when you visit The Secret Campsite. This is because this campsite is for tents only — no cars or pets allowed unfortunately — and is based on a stretch of land that was once occupied by rail tracks but has since seen countryside foliage reclaiming the land.

You’ll be met with a wild feel to camping when you arrive at The Secret Campsite as a result, though you’ll soon feel relaxed as you sit around a campfire pit in a scene that is surrounded by a beautiful collection of ancient oak and hornbeam trees. Just be sure to keep an eye out for a passing deer, as they are known to live close to the site.

Key amenities:

Campfires permitted | Disabled facilities | Perfect for a romantic retreat

Size: Pitches for 15 tents, as well as a Tree Tent and the Gridshell facility.

Further information: http://www.thesecretcampsite.co.uk/

Ninham Country Holidays

When is it open? Between May and September (though ‘Willow Brook’ camping area is only open between July and August).

How to find the site: Ninham Farm, Shanklin, Isle of Wight

Contact number: 01983 864243

The fact that the Ninham Country Holidays campsite is situated within the ‘Garden Isle’ part of Isle of Wright — found to the south-east of the island — should instantly make this a place that you need to book a spot at.

You have a decision to make upon arriving at this campsite though; do you choose to pitch up in the ‘Orchard’ fields with its ultra-modern eco-facilities and both solar and rainwater-harvesting tech, or select a spot on the ‘Willow Brook’ field with its more basic facilities but which are still very

functional and well kept? Whichever option you go with, you’re guaranteed to make so many wonderful memories at this family-run and award-winning campsite.

Key amenities:

Caravans & campervans permitted | Children’s playground on site | Disabled facilities | Dog friendly | Swimming pool on site

Size: Pitches for 140 tents in the ‘Orchard’ camping area, as well as pitches for 80 tents in the ‘Willow Brook’ camping area (though only between July and August).

Further information: https://www.ninham-holidays.co.uk/

Aberafon

When is it open? Between Easter and September

How to find the site: Gyrn Goch, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL54 5PN

Contact number: 01286 660295

You’d have a really good argument for stating that Aberafon is based at the most fascinating location of all the campsites on this list, as you will find a scenic, private sandy beach on one side of the site and the mountains of the Llyn Peninsula in the other direction.

Are you a fan of extreme sports? Then you’ll also be pleased to hear that the surroundings of the Aberafon campsite is perfect for canoeing downstream and paragliding. The nearby Glas Fryn Park sports facility even accommodates wakeboarding lessons too!

Key amenities:

Campervans permitted | Children’s playground on site | Dog friendly | Waterside campsite

Size: Pitches for 65 tens and tourers.

Further information: http://www.maelor.demon.co.uk/aberafon.html

Cleadale Campsite

When is it open? Between March and October

How to find the site: Cleadale Campsite, 13 Cleadale, Isle of Eigg, Scotland PH42 4RL

Contact number: 01687482480

What better way to start hyping up the Cleadale Campsite than to state that renowned author JRR Tolkien used to spend some of his holidays there! Inspiration for the fantasy landscapes that he created in such well-loved series as The Lord of the Rings can certainly be seen all around the site, from the imposing mountains of Rum that serves as a stunning backdrop, to its grassy vantage point that looks out towards the sea.

Even the journey to reach the Isle of Eigg where the Cleadale Campsite is based may be filled with amazing sights, as it’s not uncommon for dolphins, minke whales and an orca to all be spotted during the ferry crossing.

Key amenities:

Dog friendly | Wi-Fi available on site | Remote location

Size: Pitches for 10 tents.

Further information: http://www.eiggorganics.co.uk/index.html

Gimme Shelter

When is it open? All year round

How to find the site: 2 Dales Farm Cottage, Duloch, Nr Dunfermline, Fife KY11 7HR

Contact number: 01383 417 681

Environmentally friendly is a common theme throughout the Gimme Shelter campsite. You won’t find any showers or access to hot water at this site, while the toilets are of a sawdust-composting style.

Before you begin to think that this is a bit too I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here for you, take note that everything at this campsite — based in the meadows and hills, just a few miles away from the Forth Bridge — is self built and sublimely improvised. Just wait until you’re feeling at your calmest around a campfire that is set amid rich woodland and playing host to fantastically designed hand-carved wooden furniture.

Key amenities:

Campfires permitted | Woodland camping | Forests nearby

Size: No size given, as the site consists of a campsite and a holiday cottage.

Further information: https://coolcamping.com/campsites/uk/scotland/near-edinburgh/fife/1094-gimme-shelter-campsite-and-holiday-cottage

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/camping-holidays/coolest-campsites-in-britain/ https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2013/may/01/10-best-cool-campsites-britain https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/content/top-10-cool-campsites-in-england/

*** This is a collaborative post

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Easy ways to cut your fuel bills

Easy Ways to Cut Your Fuel Bills

For many families, keeping the bills paid is a bit of a headache. In the winter, the fact that you need to have the heating on makes things even harder. With this in mind, I thought I would save a few ways you can potentially use to keep your heating bill down. After a bit of research, here are the best ideas I have found.

Shop around for the best deal

Without a doubt, shopping around for the best deal is the most important step you can take. For those of you who heat your home using gas or electric, there are plenty of comparison websites you can use to find the best tariff for you. If your boiler uses heating oil the ´save even more´ section of the Super Saver Oil website contains guidance on getting the best deal.

Insulation is key

Insulating your home properly is the key to keeping your heating bills down. The latest studies show that the owners of an average three bedroom family home can save around £310 just by insulating their loft and walls. You can find out about the various kinds that are available, by reading this article. It also covers the subject of floor insulation.

Stop heating space you do not use much

If you have rooms you only use for storage, turn the radiators off. There is no point in heating spaces that you do not use. However, it is wise to periodically open the door and check that turning that turning the heat off completely is not leading to mould problems. If the room starts to smell musty, turn the heat on low for a few hours, once or twice a month.

For some families, a smart thermometer that can be controlled remotely may be a good investment. You can still set your heating to come on and turn off at certain times of the day. But, if you have to stay late at work you can remotely change the time your heating comes on to accommodate this fact. Being able to do this ensures that you do not waste money heating an empty house.

Sort out your draughts

Even if your home has been insulated you can still lose a significant amount of heat from the gaps between your windows, doors and walls. Therefore, every winter, it makes sense to go around your home sorting out any draughty spots. The materials you need to sort out most issues need not cost you a lot of money and you only need minimal DIY skills to do the work yourself. So, you will not have to worry about labor costs.

Once you have filled any gaps between your exterior doors, windows and walls you can move on to sorting out the draughts inside your home. This is particularly important if you do not heat certain rooms or your hallway. You do not want heat leaking from your living room into the corridor or hall.

Ensure the heat can move freely around the room

If you have large items of furniture located in front of your radiators, move them back a bit. This will ensure that you make the most of the heat that is available by ensuring it circulates rather than getting absorbed by a large sofa.

  • This is a collaborative post
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Surviving the perils of the festive season

Surviving the perils of the festive season

The Christmas and New Year period is a time of highs and lows. We go into it with such high expectations, and although most of us succeed in bringing some of that Christmas magic that the TV tells us about into our homes, when things go wrong, they do so in big style.

Speaking of the TV, everyone’s favourite soaps, EastEnders and Coronation Street are seen as something of an exaggerated or intensified reflection on real life. And there you see it all distilled – families united in love, laughter, happiness, tears, divorce, murder and train crashes. And it all happens on Christmas day.

Of course, in your home or mine, the divorce and murders are muttered threats, and the train crash is of the metaphorical variety, but there is little doubt that many of us come out the other end of the holiday period needing a holiday. Here are some survival tips to keep you going.

1) A little space

Some disclosure, here, the phrase “me time,” is one that makes me cringe, but you definitely need a little space to yourself from time to time. I had a friend who went to a construction sign company and bought one of those free-standing DO NOT ENTER signs that she was able to carry around with her to block doors to the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and so on. It was done in fun, but I think it’s the best £20 or so she ever spent!

2) Share the joy

A phrase that I’m much more fond of is many hands make light work. When you are trying to get things done with the kids under your feet, you get grouchy, they get needy and it all ends in tears. Even the smallest ones can put those tiny hands to good use if you find them something interesting to do – and if it helps you to get the job done, that makes it a win / win! Mixing ingredients in the kitchen, looking up a “useful” recipe tutorial for you on YouTube or creating that perfect dance routine to show the grandparents when they turn up are all highly valuable tasks that they can take from your shoulders!

3) Prioritise

There’s lots going on, we all know that, but if you try to do everything, you will be exhausted, the kids will be over-stimulated and nobody will end up having a good time. Take a step back and think about what is really important. Saying “Sorry, we really won’t have time,” is not going to make you sound like a miserable person or a bad parent – after all, at this time of year, you’d quite understand if someone said that to you, right?

Rest, sleep and downtime are even more important over the Christmas and New Year period than at other times, so make a point of including them in the schedule – for the adults as well as the kids. Have a wonderful, and peaceful, holiday season.

  • This is a collaborative post
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