The final move

This is a collaborative post.  Getting on the housing ladder these days is tough. Back in the early 2000s, it seemed easier. You could self-certify for a mortgage through a broker and that’s exactly what I did. As a first time buyer, I purchased a relatively large, detached house in a nice area. If Instagram had been around then, you’d have seen a strong young woman doing well for herself. But things are not always as they seem. Moving day I moved into my first home on my 23rd birthday. On the same day, I was accepted into a job…

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23 West Midlands days out May Half Term 2018

Half term is rapidly approaching! In fact so rapidly that I’m a bit late sharing what’s going on in and around the West Midlands. Better late than never, here are 23 brilliant family events taking place around the region this school holiday. Alton Towers, Staffordshire Older children probably already have Alton Towers on their radar. From the age of about eight, it was always top of my list of places to go for a day out and not much has changed. The new ride this year is the Wicker Man, which is definitely not for the faint hearted! But these…

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#RedApe versus palm oil: What if…

Did you watch BBC2’s Red Ape documentary? If not, I’ll fill you in quickly. Orangutan in Borneo are facing extinction. The dedicated team featured in the documentary are fighting with every ounce of their being to save them. But it’s not enough, because they’re fighting against us. All of us. Palm Oil: The real battle It is a sad fact that what these incredible people in Borneo are doing will never save the Orangutan. They might save one, a hundred or a thousand. And they will undoubtedly keep fighting until the last one breathes its final breath. But unless we,…

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Thursday photo #210

We’re still very much in birthday mode here. Lia’s birthday was last Thursday and in her own inimitable way, she didn’t want much. We bought her a bike last September when we felt she was ready for one, and she had a scooter last year. So, her birthday consisted of lots of little things wrapped up and put into a big box, and an impromptu day out with friends. The birthday party The girls’ birthdays are relatively close together and I am relatively lazy. So, I managed to persuade them that it was a good idea if they had a…

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10 tips for packing a campervan for family travel

This is a collaborative post.  Just before the Easter holidays, we finally bought the campervan we’ve dreamed of owning. Its high top means we can use it in all weather and there’s plenty of space for adults, children and canines. Since then, we’ve made the most of the freedom it offers and headed for the coast on several occasions. And we’re loving every minute of it. But there’s also a steep learning curve when it comes to packing. Here are our top tips for clever packing. 1. Vacuum storage bags These are a revelation. If you travel without them, it’s…

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Grab 40 per cent off A Snapfish Father’s Day for the Dad who has it all

Let’s face it, there’s one of ‘those’ people in every family. You know the one, and you probably have the same conversation with him every year. “What do you want for Christmas / birthday / Father’s Day?” “Oh, there’s nothing I need.” “I don’t care, you know I need to get you something from the kids and if I just choose something, you won’t like it.” “It’s fine, just get me anything.” “Happy Father’s day.” “I don’t like it.” In case you hadn’t guessed, that someone in our family is my dad. And my husband isn’t much better. So, thank…

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A family tale of triumph over adversity

This is a collaborative post. I was asked by Premier Care in Bathing to think back about Untold Stories in my own family. The first thing that came to mind was my family’s own tale of triumph. Aren’t families amazing? I grew up with dad’s stories about his side of the family and even as a child, I was never bored by them. Because their tale was quite remarkable and it started in a little village called Oberharmersbach in Germany’s Black Forest. The meeting When my dad’s great grandfather, Anton, was a young adult, he was called to a meeting by the village…

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