Getting Your Child Ready for Their First Day at School

Your child’s first day at school can be very exciting, but many children experience anxiousness and worry alongside it. Preparing your child for their first day at school is more than just buying their uniform, giving them a packed lunch and dropping them off with a kiss at the school gates. Before your child starts school for the first time, here are some things that you need to do.

  1. Teach them how to do things alone

You should start teaching your child more independence in the months leading up to the start of the school term. Your child will come to rely less on you when it comes to things such as dressing, doing homework and going to bed. By the time school starts, your child will feel ready to brave the new school and wave goodbye to you for the day. This will make things much easier for you, especially since you won’t have to cope with the tears of a child who is too dependent!

First Day at School

  1. Buy all the necessary equipment

You need to buy all the necessary equipment for your child’s first day at school. You should try and do this in advance so you don’t hit the rush in the weeks before the start of term. However, for uniforms, it’s a good idea to wait a bit longer, since children can grow quite quickly at this age, and the last thing you need is a uniform which is too tight! Primark school bags are popular for kids, and they come in various designs and styles. Most of them are large enough to fit all your child’s equipment in, such as pens and pencils, a lunch box and even a couple of small toys.

  1. School is exciting!

Don’t speak negatively about school in front of your children, and try not to let them hear other children talking badly about their school experiences. Children at such young ages are easily influenced by what others have to say, and the whole idea of starting school will become even more daunting than it already is. Talk very positively about school, and share your favourite stories from when you were younger. Tell them about the benefits of school, such as making lots of nice friends, learning new information and having fun.

  1. Teach your child to be nice to others

A lot of problems are caused in schools by children who fail to treat each other with respect. While you may argue that this is just because they are young (and there is some truth in that), one of the main reasons why children bully others is because their parents don’t take the time to really teach them how to behave in school. Many children will be all too happy to follow the crowd and make fun of others, so be sure to explain to your child that it’s okay to stand out and be nice rather than follow any bullies they might encounter.

Wedding Band Tips

Wedding bands last forever – hopefully your wedding will too! There are a lot of choices these days for wedding related items – wedding cakes, wedding planners, wedding tiara, even wedding vows. Why should wedding rings be any different? Below are some basic buying tips that should lead you in the right direction towards the wedding ring of your dreams. Brides and grooms alike should pay close attention, plan ahead, and do their research before purchasing a wedding ring.

What type of metal should I use?

Before we even get to the right diamond to purchase, we should look into the various types of metals that can be purchased. Even if the average couple has to decide between gold and platinum, there’s still quite a bit of choice to choose from.

Wedding Band gold

With gold, it is important to know that gold is measured on a karat scale. At the top is 24K gold – pure and soft, but not a great choice for a wedding band. A wedding band will be something that you will wear every day, and such a soft grade of gold will surely bend. To address this problem, gold comes in lower grades that have other metals like nickel and zinc added to strengthen the material. An inexpensive choice would be 12K, which would be hardened enough but the gold content would not be as high as 18K, which is made of 75% gold and other metals.

Even if you choose a grade of gold you want, it still leaves room for other choices, such as the color. Gold comes in white, rosy-pink, and classic yellow. Choose the color that looks best on your hand.

Platinum Band gold

Couples that are looking for a different type of wedding band may look to platinum over gold. Although a heavier metal, platinum provides a nice finish and a good fit on the hand. Platinum is simple in appearance, but there are also different grades of platinum to consider here as well. There is 900 Plat, which is 90% platinum and 10% iridium, a metal with similar properties to platinum. The more expensive option is 950 Plat, which is 95% platinum and 5% iridium.

The 3 D’s – durability, display, and dollars come into play when we talk about metals. Platinum is heavier, denser, and stronger than gold, but costs far more. One ounce of gold costs about $300, while one ounce of platinum is about $600. You will generally pay a 20% increase in costs for platinum jewelry over gold jewelry. However, platinum is harder to work with, and wedding ring sizing can take several hours of work, while gold wedding ring sizing takes about 15 to 30 minutes.

Other factors in choosing a ring

Size and shape are two important factors that are often overlooked. Men’s wedding bands tend to be wider, and simpler in appearance (i.e. no stones). The women’s wedding rings tend to favor a more narrow design, as a lot of brides slide their wedding ring next to their engagement ring. Continue reading Wedding Band Tips

70s fancy dress costumes

The era of the seventies was one of the most dynamic, exciting & influential times of the last century. The styles of the time were so impactful that they still drive trends today.

The combination of music and fashion made its biggest impact on the scene. New market entrants are creating their labels on the traditional 70s fancy dress look. The current styles always include vibrant colors, all part of the era. A flick through today’s categories show just how deeply the era entered the main stream. For example there is the disco scene with its disco pvc boots, high heel platform boots displayed by Nancy Sinatra in her hit “boots were made for walking”, pimp costumes worn by Huggy in the popular TV series Starsky and Hutch, and Elvis costumes. Yes, Elvis had a big impact on the 70s. Taking these all into account it is easy to see why the decade is so perennial.

Disco fancy dress

The Disco was where it all happened, where you could hang out, dress like the stars and do your thing on the dance floor. Remember the psychedelic colors used in clothing design, or Woodstock and the hippie generation? All these in turn, were heavily influenced by 60’s costumes including pvc boots.

You can relive these moments from the past simply by taking a look at the influence they have in today’s fancy dress industry where demand thrives. You could do a lot worse than plan an event based on 70’s fashion by visiting online suppliers for ideas. Their ranges seem to get stronger every year, catering for everything from false tashes and afro wigs through groovy dresses and flares, to shiny PVC go-go boots.

For a party game here’s an idea. The music for the 70’s stood out so gather everyone on the dance floor and pick two people to be the judges. Then play these tracks: The Hustle, the Bus Stop and the Nut Brush. Dancers have got to dance through with as few mistakes as possible. Judges have to spot errors and ask those people to leave the floor. And as with the best of games, the last person still dancing is the winner. Tell people in advance what you’re planning and they will be more ready. Some may even practice beforehand.

Plan things well ahead to build up the excitement. Buy your invitation cards to suit. Start looking through the music of the time and collecting what you could put together for the night. Set up one or two of the most memorable films from the 70’s. Have them ready to play. Ask people in advance to think of a specific year in the 70’s of the things going on in their lives at the
time, which they are willing to share at your bash and set a time where they can share their memories.

If you plan this by setting it up in your invitation, and just getting the word out, people will come prepared and it will really help to make your 70s fancy dress party special.

abba fancy dress

The pop group Abba also had a big influence on this time. So perhaps you could make a complete party based on their outfits, and add some music for even better effect. So much of the 70’s was on copying the icons of the era! We look nostalgically back on the excitement of those fashion creations, and looking like the top performing artists we knew so well. It is important that you take the time to purchase something that really appeals to you. Dress up from head to toe so you can really play the role well. Make sure that you look like you just stepped out of a time warp.

Perhaps you are now starting to get excited at the power of all these suggestions will bring to your party. If you take the time and trouble to plan ahead you will strike an atmosphere where you recreate the time in a very powerful way, much more so than any one thing on its own.

What to look for in a sexy clubwear dress

Wearing a beautiful looking sexy clubwear dress could be just what you need to look your ultimate best. There are thousands of people who have had troubles when wearing a sexy clubwear dress because they just can’t make them look good on their bodies. Everybody has a different look and something that can make their entire body look better. In this article, you will learn all that you need to know about getting the perfect sexy clubwear dress.

sexy clubwear dress

– It has to flaunt either your chest or legs

The dress should always show just a certain part of you, but you should always make sure that you choose only one. For example, do not get something that showcases both your legs and chest. Try to find a middle ground and get one that only shows one of each. The sexy clubwear dress that you wear should showcase either your chest or legs, and try not to go and wear something that shows both.

– Nice print

A Cheetah printed or zeebra printed type of clothing is worth having on your body. The simple truth is that not all kinds of printed clothing is going to look nice. You want to always wear something that has either cheetah or zeebra type of skin. There are many people who forget about this aspect, but always look out for a unique print.

– Sparkly

Sparkles are important to have to help make the entire dress more seen and obvious. There are times when most people struggle on finding the perfect sparkly dress. Sparkles can help add that special look to your entire dress, so consider looking for the right sparkles to be shown in the dress.

What to wear with your sexy clubwear dress

– High heels

High heels that can help enhance your bust are great to have on when you wear something nice. High heels aren’t easy to wear all the time. Remember that not all high heels are going to make you look your ultimate best. Be sure to consider looking for the best high heels that is only going to enhance your overall look.

– Jewelry

The jewelry is great to have all the time whether you are wearing a dress for clubbing or not. The jewelry should be a great addition, and you should make sure to always take your time when deciding what kind of jewelry you personally want to wear. Try to use a nice set of jewelry that is going to help enhance your clothes.

There are thousands of people who have never been able to succeed and get their entire set of clothing to look well with a clubwear dress. If you want to look good all the time, then you really need to consider the above tips for finding the best sexy clubwear dress and making it look even better.

Children at weddings

Deciding to have children at a wedding can be a bit of a nightmare. Whether your friends and family’s children are little devils or little angels, the combination of children with a long day, lots of people, and an abundance of cake can be a recipe for disaster. However, unless you are having an ultra chic, super formal, black tie evening wedding, it will probably seem unreasonable if you state ‘no children’ on your invitations. Guests with children may be bitter about them being excluded, and will also have the additional stress of trying to find a babysitter in order for them to attend your wedding.

If the children belong to the bride and/or groom, involving them in the ceremony will help them to feel valued and important. Traditionally, younger children can be page boys, flower girls, or ring bearers, while older children can be bridesmaids or groomsmen. You can also ask them to do a reading, such as a poem or bible verse, or perhaps incorporate a family sand ceremony or unity candle to make them a part of the proceedings.

Children at weddings

The best way to makes sure that children (and therefore adults) stay happy and enjoy the celebrations is to be prepared. Think about the age ranges of the children who are likely to be at your wedding. If there are young babies and toddlers, check the nappy changing facilities at your venue. You do not want bare bums and worse on your reception tables!

Think of fun ways to keep the children entertained. While your father’s speech may be a carefully crafted masterpiece of wit and sentiment, children are going to miss the point entirely and get bored – fast. Bored children will normally then try to create their own entertainment which can range from anything from screaming at the top of their lungs, to running around and under tables, to flicking peas across the room with their fork. Ideally parental discipline would step in at this point, but if the child is full of sugar, and the parents are full of champagne, then this solution may never happen.

Simple ideas to keep young ones busy include having a children’s play area at the venue. Set up a table with colouring sheets (crayons and pencils – not marker pens!), small toys (try and avoid cars or dinosaurs, that just won’t be as much fun without loud sound effects) and puzzles. If the layout of the venue allows, you can even set up a TV with a popular DVD for them to watch. Give the children something they can play with at the reception as a favour, such as bride and groom bears, yo-yos, or wedding bubbles.

Hiring a child-sitter is a great way to let the parents relax and enjoy the day with you. Child-sitters can be available for your whole wedding and reception, and will look after and play with the children. Be sure to ask them what ages of children they are willing to watch, if they are willing to change nappies or feed younger children, and what entertainment they might provide. If hiring a child sitter, you should make sure that the parents of each child meet the sitter to exchange guidelines about discipline and behaviour. When introducing the children, try not to use the word ´babysitter´ with older children, as this may invite trouble.

Entertainers such a balloon artists, clowns or magicians are also a nice option to keep children happily occupied. You may also be surprised at how many adults enjoy the show!

Baby Photo Frames: Top Picks!

Your kids change daily. They grow up so fast that one moment you’re changing nappies and the next they’re losing their first tooth and starting school. When chronicling these happy moments, you’ll want to find the perfect baby photo frames to display them for each friend or family member.

Showing several photos in one display can help tell a story of how your baby is growing up, but individual baby photo frames define the uniqueness of your children and their most memorable moments. Above all, you want baby photo frames that keep your children as the centre of attention.

But out of the hundreds of thousands of attractive frames to choose from, how do you decide which baby photo frames would make a good gift?

Here are five beautiful frames that you can’t go wrong with:

1. Tiny Hands and Feet Home Imprint Kit

Tiny Hands and Feet Home Imprint Kit

This precious gift saves two pieces of childhood in one delightful baby photo frame. The easy-to-use, do-it-yourself imprint kit allows you to capture two physical memories of how tiny baby really was. Then you can hang the feet or hands imprint next to a picture that depicts how little he or she was. This gift is perfect for babies eight months old or less and includes the imprint dough, glue for mounting and a simple handmade wooden frame.

2. Royal Selangor Winnie the Pooh Picture Frame

Royal Selangor Winnie the Pooh Picture Frame

This is a gorgeously detailed pewter picture frame depicting one of the most beloved children’s characters of all time. Your baby will be surrounded by simple scenes of Winne the Pooh trying to save his honey jars, emphasising the innocence of youth.

3. Large Glass Baby Photo Frame

Large Glass Baby Photo Frame

This baby photo frame provides almost its entire, large surface area for seeing your beautiful baby. Measuring 13 cm x 10 cm, the glass surface magnifies baby slightly, making your picture the focus of attention. Little etched feet dance across the bottom of the glass giving this baby photo frame a simple, modern feel to it.

4. Shadow Boxes Rocking Horse Photo Frame (Boy or Girl)

These shadow boxes are just as much nursery wall decorations as they are baby photo frames. Both versions have decorative balloons and hearts framing the rest of the piece. ‘Shelves’ of classic children’s toys, including a teddy bear, booties and a rocking horse are on the left side while a place for baby’s photo is on the right side. The girl’s version is tinted pink and has “BABY GIRL” spelt out in toy blocks, while the boy’s version is tinted blue and has “BABY BOY” in the same spot.

5. D for Diamond Silver Photo Frame (Pram or Football)

Another set of frames for a boy and a girl, the D for Diamond series is very sleek, simple and elegant. The main attraction is your baby’s face with a beautiful silver-plated frame around it. On one, a single silver-plated football sits on the bottom of the frame, set with a single diamond. On the other, an enamelled pink baby pram set with a diamond sits in the same spot.

If there’s a new baby in your life, remember to chronicle their early life with lots of photos, and what better way to display them with some of these gorgeous baby photo frames?

What to do when your child won’t read

For reluctant readers (especially boys), books can be a real turn off. Here are some top tips from to get them engaged without books.

Let your child ‘pretend’ to read with books and tell a story. There’s a lot more to reading than just decoding words on the page – context, expression, vocabulary and ‘storytelling’ are all part of reading. When kids tell stories without books, a part of their brain is seeing the word in their minds eye.

Learn “how to.” Is there something your child would really like to do, such as perform magic tricks or add sequins to her jeans? Encourage them to read about it….more.

child reading

Collect trading cards. There are card series to appeal to most interests, from sports to space travel, gogos to Beanie Babies.

Play board games. Scrabble or Boggle are specifically good for building vocabulary and spelling.

Get cooking. Invite your child to help you bake a cake or a special meal together. If necessary, simplify and rewrite a recipe’s instructions so he can read it to you.

Make cards. Have your child make her own cards for holidays, birthdays, party invitations, and thank-yous. Help her write a personal message to each recipient. Continue reading What to do when your child won’t read

Top Ten Tips on getting your Kids to eat Fruit and Vegetables

Most of us know that it is very important for our children to get the right balance of nutrients whilst they are growing up. A vital part of a child´s diet are fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately for most parents it is not that easy to get their children to eat these foods.

To set children up for a lifetime of healthy eating, follow these tips to encourage children to eat good foods without kicking up a fuss.


Here are Top Ten Tips for getting your kids to eat fruit and vegetables…

1. Plan meals together with your children; if they help you create the menu, they will be excited to taste the results.

2. Give the kids two vegetable options to choose from at dinnertime; if they get to choose themselves they are more willing to eat their greens.

3. Grate carrots and courgettes and add to beef mince to sneak some vegetables into a burger, lasagne or shepherd’s pie.

4. Fruit smoothies are a tasty way to get your kids eating lots of healthy fruit. And you can even add hidden vegetables: try carrots or sweet potato in a strawberry smoothie.

5. If you have a garden, get a small vegetable patch and allow your child to get involved in growing the vegetables that you serve.

6. Children learn by example; let them see you eating and enjoying a variety of fruit and vegetables, and they will be curious to try the same foods. Continue reading Top Ten Tips on getting your Kids to eat Fruit and Vegetables

Would you take your children out of school for a holiday?

Lots of parents do it, but is taking your children out of school for a cheaper family holiday ever acceptable, asks Lorenza Bacino?

Barbados at £6000 for a family of four or Barbados at £2000 for a family of four, but departing just three days earlier – what would you choose?

Well, it seems like a no-brainer doesn’t it? But when you’re confined to going away during the school holidays, the issue of children missing school can be a real dilemma for many families.

It’s very tempting to be able to save up to 70 per cent on hefty holiday costs, but what do head teachers think……?


One headteacher of a primary school in Barnet says he’s not necessarily against children skipping school for a family holiday, but he makes decisions based on the age of the child and how they are doing in school. This, of course, can lead to some parents getting annoyed when their holiday request is rejected yet another family’s is accepted in the same week.

Mum of four, Belinda says taking her children aged between four and 12 out of school is the only way she can afford a family holiday. ‘Last year we went to Italy and took three days off school which saved over £1,000.’ But when Joanne took her four and six-year-old sons with her on a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to Florida, she says she felt very bad after returning home to a warning letter from the head regarding ‘unauthorized absence’.

 So just what are the rules when it comes to taking your kids out of school?

Government guidelines much as you’d expect, are very much against taking children out of school during term time and head teachers do have the power to authorise up to ten days absence a year, and more, in ‘exceptional’ circumstances. 

If you don’t get permission, or are refused and go anyway, schools can issue ‘fixed penalty’ fines as, effectively, you’re allowing your kids to ‘truant’ from school.

 But as travel expert Peter White says, ‘a fine of between £50 and £100 isn’t much of a deterrent when parents can save thousands of pounds by taking a holiday during term time’.

 But aside from the positive effects on our bank accounts and ‘savings’ to be made; what effect does time out really have on your child’ education?

Primary school teacher Lynne says that before the GSCE years it’s fine for children to take time out. ‘It can be a culturally enriching experience in many ways and something many kids wouldn’t get to see otherwise, so I’m all for it. When they’re older though, exams are important and so skipping school takes on more serious dimensions and I would urge parents to think twice about it.


As a mum who has taken her kids out of school for an extended period to go abroad for my husband’s work, I have to say that the experience is something that will stay with us as a family for a very long time. Of course, I spoke to the school about it first and made sure we got approval and a workbook from the teacher to do when we were away, but because Nepal is so very different from a first world country, what the children learned about living in a third world country was invaluable and I hope they never forget it. I don’t regret it for one minute.

Looking For Unusual Baby Gifts?

Unusual baby gifts create lasting memories for baby and parents alike, and finding the perfect baby gift shows how much you care about the new parents and their new bundle of joy. Unusual baby gifts stand out from the rest of the ordinary gifts many parents receive when a new baby is born, so if you want to stand out from the crowd, look for unusual baby gifts to welcome the newborn.

Bubble Blower Wand

Bubble Blower Wand

Here’s one of several unusual baby gifts that will last all through childhood and far beyond. This stunning, magical bubble wand is handcrafted from pewter, and then dipped in sterling silver for a lovely gift that will literally take the new parents’ breath away. The whimsical stars make unusual bubbles that will enchant the entire family. This elegant keepsake will last throughout the child’s life, bringing them countless hours of enjoyment from this unusual baby gift. If you want to give the new baby a treasure to remember that they can pass on to their own children someday, think of unusual baby gifts like this Bubble Blower Wand as the perfect gift choice.

Name on a Canvas Dragon

Name on a Canvas Dragon

If you’re looking for unique and unusual baby gifts, a personalised gift is an excellent choice. This adorable canvas dragon is the perfect choice for a new baby, because it is personalised with their name. It also includes a history and country of origin of the baby’s name, and after it is personalised for the new baby, it’s mounted in a frame, making it a gift that will last throughout baby’s life. The bright, cheerful colours of this unusual artwork will brighten baby’s room, too!

Mother and Baby Basket 

Here’s one of the most original unusual baby gifts you can find, because it’s a gift for the new mother and the new baby! This handy basket contains products from the Celtic Herbal Company, which produces all natural herbal products that mother knows will be safe for baby’s bath time. It also contains an adorable soft teddy bear, a hooded towel perfect for wrapping baby up after a bath, and rubber duckies for baby to enjoy during the bath. Unusual baby gifts like these really show you care about mother and baby!

A Baby Kit

Save the Children Baby Kit

Did you ever consider babies born to underprivileged mothers when you think of unusual baby gifts? Many mothers can’t afford even the basic necessities to take care of their newborn baby. Purchasing unusual baby gifts like this Save the Children Baby Kit helps these mothers care for their new baby, and gives them hope for the future, too. The kit includes nappies, soap, a bowl, towels, and a wrap. Give an underprivileged newborn a chance at happiness with unusual baby gifts that go beyond giving and create hope in a new mother’s heart.

Hopefully we’ve given you a good idea of the different types of unusual baby gifts available online.