Ensure Your Child’s Safety When Driving This Winter.

When driving, it’s a big responsibility transporting any passengers, and extra care and preparation is needed when younger children are in the car.

Are you really driving as safely as you can?

Keeping Your Car in Tip Top Condition

You need to make sure your care is road worthy, that tyres are in good condition, oil and water and screen wash is kept topped up, and that you have a battery charger for those cold winter days when it just won’t start. For the best equipment for your car, you can look at Best Buy Auto Equipment  who can also be a stockist for car parts if you find your car suffering from problems with the engine, clutch etc. Here you can find out the answers to questions such as how much does it cost for a car lift? and can get the best price for equipment.

Distractions

Even taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can be extremely hazardous. In a few seconds you’ll have travelled several yards, and in that time the situation in front of you can change rapidly.

Are you prone to, say, looking at the radio or heating controls instead of the road? Do you tend to look back to address people in the back seat? Try to curb these tendencies. You owe it to your passengers to maintain focus.

Preparation

Ensure you know the laws regarding child seats. Make sure young children are properly seated and secure. If you’re using child seats, are they still up to the job? Can you fix them securely?

Have you remembered to switch off the airbag if your child is seated in the front? Indeed, can you switch off the airbag in your model of car? If not, be careful of what size child sits in the front as an airbag going off could injure rather than protect them.

Why not re-acquaint yourself with the rules of the road? Your knowledge may be outdated, so check the Highway Code and try some of the questions asked in example driving theory tests.

Check that you have the correct car seat.

Check that you have the correct car seat.

Tiredness and being alert

Do you drive when tired or fatigued? If so, be aware that reduced reactions can have dire consequences. It’s important to take breaks or not even drive in the first place if you think you’re not 100% alert.

Using phones and other equipment

While against the law, do you still use your mobile hand-held while driving? As in ‘distractions’ above anything that takes some or all of your attention off the road is highly dangerous to you and your young passengers.

Use a hands-free Bluetooth device if your car doesn’t have it built in. Even then, protracted and in depth phone conversations on the move are not advisable.

The same applies to adjusting music devices such as iPods or stereos.

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Margins for error

While modern cars have many safety features designed to reduce the likelihood of accidents, don’t become complacent. For example, in wet conditions slow down rather than rely on your car’s anti-skid features such as stability control and anti lock brakes to get you out of trouble.

Safety equipment is there to help as a ‘back up’ but it can’t compensate for irresponsible driving.

Using sat nav

While sat navs make a big difference to finding the way in unfamiliar territory, be aware of your actions while following directions. When you’re told to turn or change lanes, don’t forget to take the usual precautions such as checking the mirror and indicating properly.

Set Sat Nav before you start driving, or stop to reset it.

Set Sat Nav before you start driving, or stop to reset it.

Safety first

Driving yourself and young family members about is a major responsibility, and there’s much you can do to be safe. A lot is common sense, but preparation and keeping your focus on the driving plays a major part. While you must focus on seats etc, remember that the vast majority of the things you can do to ensure your child’s safety involves your own performance as a safe, responsible driver.

 

Looking For A First Or New Home

I have to say that, at the moment, I am perfectly happy and content in my home. It is cosy and homely, in a nice area, and has the perfect school for Joe just on the doorstep. But in September next year, Joe will be at High School and the time maybe right for a move, and an upgrade.

Funding For A First Or New Home

When we bought our first home, in 2003, we were right in the middle of the housing boom, and you could still get 100% mortgage in the UK, which was handy if you had not been able to save for a deposit. Now it is getting harder to get onto the housing ladder, particularly if you are a first time buyer, even more difficult if you are a first time buyer with a low income. But if you live in the US, you may be able to get help through an affordable housing programme like the Chenoa Fund, which helps help credit worthy families to realise the dream of home ownership by providing hopeful home buyers with the financial tools to purchase a home. It takes away the problem of having to have a deposit ( a minimum down payment) which can often be a barrier, and is helping more and more families to get on the housing ladder. When combined with your first mortgage, qualified borrowers can receive a second mortgage or grant to purchase a home with little or no cash investment.

If you are able to obtain your funding for a mortgage, or through an affordable housing programme, the real fun starts as you are able to look at what you require in your new home. For me I would look for somewhere that would be both practical as a family home and yet large enough for family and friends to stay over, and there are certain features that would definitely make a home more attractive.

What to look for in a new home

1. A double garage

We have both a car and a van. One is currently parked at the back of the house, one on the road. A double garage would be both practical and a security measure too.

Double Garage from Warwick garages

Double Garage from Warwick garages

2. A dressing room.

I have a lot of clothes, more than a couple of wardrobes can handle. And despite the fact that I cull my clothing items regularly, a dressing room with some walk in wardrobes would be just lovely. I’d be happy to share it with the hubby too – he’s a bit of a clotheshorse too!

Love this!

Love this!

3. Period features.

I am not a fan of modern and new build houses, I currently love in a Victorian terrace that has lots of its original features, and would definitely be looking for something similar – a Victorian villa or a Georgian townhouse are two styles of house I truly love.

How fantastic is this Georgian townhouse in London.

How fantastic is this Georgian townhouse in London.

4. An exposed staircase and entrance hall.

One of the things about living in a Victorian terrace is that you literally walk straight into my dining room once the front door is opened – there is no entrance hall. I would love a proper entrance hall with a beautiful winding staircase exposed. Our stairs are currently hidden behind the living room door – they are steep and literally just a staircase, with no hall space.

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5. A large garden with lots of grass.

We have this currently – almost 100ft of garden with a large grassy area . The garden would need to be big enough for two sets of goals – we play a lot of football in our current garden so this is probably the most important space in the whole house and garden.

A garden big enough for a game of football is a must for my family.

A garden big enough for a game of football is a must for my family.

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What would you look for in your next home?

 

Portable North Pole spreads Christmas Cheer

One of the most magical things about having a child is their belief in Father Christmas. I have always been a lover of all things Christmassy, but my joy in the festive season changed completely when I was once again able to see if through a child’s eyes. My Joe is almost 11, m not entirely sure he still believes in Santa, when he receives a message from the man himself through Portable North Pole,he still gets really excited, although trying to act cool. It is a real magical moment.

Portable North Pole is a brilliant concept which delivers a personal message to your child from Santa, direct from the North Pole.  Very easy to create, you can upload all the things that make the message personalized, from photographs of your child on special occasions, a picture of your house so Santa can show he knows exactly where you live, and also information about what your child would like as a gift, any special achievements this year, and even the names of friends which are added to Santa’s library. The attention to detail is unique and impressive, and the video are also funny, this year they have added more, from The Magic Carousel, The wrapping machine and the elves magic door. There are also calls from the Man in red himself that can be added to your package.

This year, Christmas Eve will be even more magical than ever thanks to the brand new special multi-device scenario straight from Santa’s sleigh delivered on Christmas Eve! Children will join Santa as he reviews his flight plan for the big night in a personalised video message for an excited child or children – the perfect way to get them to go to bed early too! 

Here’s a full list of what’s new this year:

  • A brand new special multi-device scenario straight from Santa’s sleigh on Christmas eve with a personalised video message from Santa on one device (desktop, smartphone, or tablet) and integrated into the video message is a call from Santa to your phone during the video message. This message can be made for one child or the whole family.
  • 2019 kids and grown-up editions of our free personalised cinematic video messages from Santa with amazing outdoor shots featuring husky dogs and reindeers.
  • Download messages in 1080 HD.*
  • An all-new Premium personalised birthday message from Santa that can be enjoyed all year long. *
  • A total of five new Premium personalised videos with even more ways to personalise the message. *
  • Another new multi-device Premium video scenario with a group option. This is great for parents looking to encourage good behaviour from their children in the days leading up to Christmas.*
  • Two new Premium personalised video calls. *
  • Six new Premium personalised voice calls. *
  • The Reaction Recorder is now available on Google Chrome for desktop and laptop, as well as on the PNP mobile app to capture the moment your little one realises it’s Santa speaking to them directly on one of our Premium videos to create a lifetime keepsake.*
  • Fun games in the Kid’s Corner section on the PNP mobile app for year-round play.
  • New personalisation options. Santa will know even more about your loved one, than ever before.*

This is such a wonderful idea that adds a little more Christmas sparkle to the most wonderful time of the year.

Check out all the products offered by PNP by clicking here.