Friday, 31 October 2014

Hints and Tips for a Successful Mortgage

We have been living in the same house for four years now and every now and then we consider buying a house that would suit the needs of a family of four. Last year we extended our rent contract for two years so we will be definitely here for another year but in the meantime we are keeping an eye on  the properties in our area.
Obviously taking out a mortgage whether it be for your first home, a new home or for your existing home can be a big decision. I have heard from friends that it is an overwhelming and stressful period. Therefore the more knowledgeable you are, the more time and money you can save.
A couple of my close friends recently bought a house. So there has been a lot of chat around this very subject. A couple of things I have learnt from our chats is:

  • Finding out how much you can afford is the most important thing. It may seem obvious but I have heard a lot that many people end up losing a property as they cannot borrow as much as they think they can
  • Check out the mortgages types. If you are not sure about the option that is best for you, check out the Santander  mortgages.
  • The photos you seen on the ads may not always reflect the reality. Make sure you visit and see a property for yourself before making any decisions whether it is positive or negative.
  • Meet the neighbours and have little chat about what it is like to live on this road.
  • View as many properties as possible. You will want to buy your dream house but at times it is better to buy a house that needs a little renovation.
  • Try not to rush. Even if you get very excited, it is always good to calm down and have a good think if this is what you want. Even so, play it cool when you are making an offer.
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Must-Haves for Holidays in the UK

I am one of the 20 bloggers  holidaycottages.co.uk chosen to take part in a must-haves competition so I’ve put together my personal list of things that I  can not bare to leave behind when holidaying in the UK. This is my entry for the holidaycottages.co.uk must-haves competition.


As we are originally from Turkey, every summer we fly to Turkey for the summer holidays. While it is great to fly back home, we always struggle with the luggage weight restrictions. When we are returning back to the UK, we always bring lots of stuff such as some Turkish books for ourselves and the children, movies, snacks and special foods that we cannot find here. So we have to make sure we only take the essential items with us to leave room for when coming back.
There are so many lovely places to see in the UK and with no language barrier, no stressing about the flight and luggages, currency exchange etc,  holidaying in the UK has its own advantages.
  •  If you have young children, it is easier and more practical to stay in the UK. 
  • You can be more flexible about what to take with you. 
  • You can be more spontaneous and can arrange a last minute break.
  • You can organise  group holidays so that you can go together with extended family or with a group of friends. This way, you can share a cottage or villa and share the cost as well.
  • You can even do your online grocery shopping and arrange it to be delivered to your cottage. 
  • If you have one,you don't have to leave your dog behind as you can find dog-friendly accomodation and enjoy the company of your dog whilst on holiday.
Holidaycottages.co.uk has  over 1800 destinations to choose from in popular destinations across the UK.

So what are my must-haves for holidaying in the UK:
  • My herbal teas
  • Books 
  • Wellies,raincoats and umbrellas
  • Chocolate
  • Board games to play as a family.
  • More books
  • Bikes and scooters as well as outdoor toys such as kites and balls
  • My net book and camera
  • Some of my favourite Turkish snacks
  • Lots of spare clothes
  • Toys for the children
  • CDs

What are your family's must-haves?

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Why it's important to teach your children about first aid

Childhood would not be childhood without the odd graze, bump or bruise and, thankfully, most of the injuries kids endure require little more than a plaster and a cuddle from mum or dad. However, as your children grow, it’s important that they know how to take care of injuries by themselves in order to gain independence. And it’s not just minor scrapes that you need to prepare them for. Would your little ones know how to cope if a friend started choking in the school cafeteria, a sibling burned themselves with a hot drink or you collapsed at home? You may worry that children will find discussing such issues frightening, but this doesn’t have to be the case. It is possible to teach girls and boys crucial life-saving skills in an age-appropriate and positive way. Doing so will enable them to spot dangers, stay calm in emergency situations and make a vital difference to someone who has had an accident or become seriously ill.

Starting the conversation

A first aid kit serves as an excellent prompt for teaching your children about how to cope with threatening situations. By talking through each item in the kit, you can start conversations on a range of different topics, including what situations might cause bleeding, burns or choking, how to tell if someone is breathing, when and how to call the emergency services, how to perform CPR and how to keep themselves safe and calm in a crisis. Encourage your children to ask questions and express any worries or concerns they might have. If you cannot answer their questions, there is a wealth of advice and information available online on the topic. You may want to consult the NHS website or first aid kit providers such as St Johns Supplies. You could also get some books on the subject or enrol on a first aid course to ensure that you and your children are as well informed as possible.

What to include in your first aid kit

A kid-friendly household kit should contain a range of plasters, gauze dressings and bandages, sterile eye dressings and burn gels. You might also choose to keep a pair of scissors, tweezers, an eye bath, a thermometer, safety pins, rash cream, insect repellent, painkillers and antihistamine tablets in this container. However, if your child is not mature enough to handle potentially dangerous items, it may be worth keeping some of these things out of reach in a medicine cabinet. In any case, your children should be given strict instructions on what is safe for them to use and how to use each item properly. You should also make sure that all members of the family know where the first aid kit is kept.

The benefits of teaching first aid

With fewer than one in 10 people trained in first aid, every year too many people are losing their lives in situations where first aid could have helped them. Not equipping your sons and daughters with the skills and knowledge they need to assess risks, take appropriate action and make a positive difference means that they could find themselves unable to help themselves or someone else in the future.

Familiarising younger members of the household with the contents of the family first aid kit and the basic premises of first aid will enable them to treat a variety of problems by themselves, including bleeds, burns, and foreign objects lodged in ears, eyes and noses. If your children are too young to utilise the kit by themselves, simply being able to tell someone where it is in the event of an emergency may make all the difference.

Beyond the practical benefits, educating children about first aid can improve their confidence, self-esteem and sense of independence. It can also make kids more compassionate, caring and empathetic individuals.

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