Categories
Napa

10 Things To Do In Napa, California

California has something for everyone. There are endless possibilities of wild and fun entertainment, beautiful sightseeing opportunities, museums to reflect upon, wine to taste, and delicious food to eat. So where exactly does one start when arriving in Napa? Here are the top ten things to do in Napa, California in 2017!

Number One:

Wine. Let’s just get it out of the way first. There are a zillion places to take a wine tour and savor the wonderful wines the valley has to offer.

Number Two:

Chocolate. Obviously, this is second only to Wine in Napa. Book a tour of a local chocolatier and see how these wonderful treats are brought to life. Also, you get to eat the candy. Did you get that? Eat the candy.

Number Three:

Book a private session with hollywood stylists. You can try on clothes from your favorite movies and have professional photos taken – just imagine!

Number Four:

Hire a professional photographer to follow you and your crew around for a day. It’s like having your own personal paparazzi – worth every penny.

Number Five:

Rent a cycle and hit the road! You and a friend can ride the road in style and take in the sights on your own time by renting a cycle and making your way around Napa.

Number Six:

Cheese. Yeah, Napa does cheese. And actually, cheese should probably be number three on this list. Wine, chocolate, cheese. Yes, please. You can schedule a private cheese and beer pairing, or cheese and wine pairing. Learn how to make the flavours come alive with wonderful cheese pairings. This is great for a small group to enjoy.

Number Seven:

Hike the waterfalls. Grab some friends and start a trek into beautiful flowing waterfalls all over Napa. Guided tours are the best way to go if you aren’t familiar with the area, and they are reasonably priced to boot.

Number Eight:

Spend the day riding a refinished railcar, enjoy a delicious private dinner and drinks aboard as you tour the area with friends and family. What a great adventure. This is a little pricier than the other options, but it’s worth it be treated like royalty.

Number Nine:

Book a date night adventure for you and your loved one and take flight on a hot air balloon! See amazing sights and enjoy the scenery from high above the Napa Valley floor.

Number Ten:

Take a cooking class: you can learn to cook anything with the right instruction and a little time. Try a new food or make over a classic favorite. You won’t be disappointed. Napa really does provide an entire world at your doorstep. Whatever your heart desires can be found and enjoyed in Napa. There is lots for the kids, the couples, the grandparents, the single folks, and the business professionals. No matter what you are looking for, Napa has it. When you are ready to book your visit to Napa, check out.

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Football

Life Skills That Can Be Learned From Playing Football

We have been thinking about life skills that can be learned from playing football.  Football has been a big part of our family life for many years. When I was younger, I remember going on a school trip to France, while my brother went on a school football tour to Blackpool.  He has always been a brilliant footballer and has played just about every week since he was about five years old. We always used to watch him play in football tournaments in our local area.  I think we were out most weekends to take him to football training and to football matches.  It was always very chilly as a spectator but we went to support him each time, without fail.

Life Skills that can be Learned from Playing Football

Playing football can teach children many useful life skills.  Here are some examples of life skills that can be learned from playing football:

Being a team player.

Being a part of a team and working together to achieve the same thing is an important aspect of playing football.  Players hope to score goals and win, while stopping the other team from scoring.  It is great to work towards a common cause.

Planning and strategy.

Discussing the formation of the team with their manager, as well as the particular strategies they will use during a match is a useful skill to have.

Listening to instructions and acting upon them.

During training, it is important that they listen to what they need to do.  The players need to act sensibly and help each other so that all of the team members improve.

Making new friends.

My brother made many friends from going to football training, matches, tournaments and on school football tours.

Commitment and perseverance.

All the players are required to attend training sessions each week.  They are expected to attend matches and tournaments too.  I think this is a good way to help children to decide on something that they want to do and stick with it, overcoming barriers as they meet them.

Responsibility and accepting responsibility for their actions.

If a child fouls another player, the referee will give them a red or yellow card.  If their emotions get the better of them, they are told that it is not acceptable to act that way and the consequences are immediate with the card system.  Also, one player is team captain for each match.  This gives them the responsibility of helping to lead their team.

Understanding that to be good at something, you need to practice.

Can you do 100 keepy-uppies?  Neither could my brother until he practiced.  Now he can do many more.

Respect

Sharing a big win with your football team after playing in a game or tournament is amazing.  Your whole team can celebrate together.  You are able to offer your sympathies to the team that lost.  Shaking hands and thanking opposing team members for a good game shows a great amount of respect.

How to calm an emotional team member.

Football can be a very emotive sport.  Spectators and team players can get very upset about certain decisions during the football games.  Knowing that one particular child is often prone to feeling angry when they are frustrated at themselves for not scoring, what would have been, an important goal, is a good thing to be aware of.  Knowing how to calm this team mate shows that emotional intelligence is an important skill to be able to practice.

Travelling to different places.

Some children only have the opportunity to stay within their own locality for much of their childhood.  Going on school football tours and taking part in matches as well as tournaments in different areas of the UK and abroad, helps them to understand that their world is bigger than they had previously thought. These are the main life skills that can be learned from playing football.  Going on a school football tour can support all of these skills.

School Football Tours

It is a great idea to go on a school football tour, if possible.  They offer many wonderful destinations, including Holland, Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic.  With some transportation included, as well as accommodation, coaching and the chance to play friendly games against local school teams or clubs, in addition to a tour of the destination chosen makes these trips extra special.  Some of these tours include involvement in a European football tournament for children.  I think these tours sound perfect for any child that is interested in playing football.

Categories
Winter

Ways To Keep Warm This Winter

This week has seen the return of the colder weather so we have been thinking about different ways to keep warm this winter.  We tried to hang on to autumn as much as we could but now we have to accept that winter is finally here.  As someone that really feels the cold (yes me, who sits in a jumper during the summer months), keeping warm is something that I often think about.

Ways to Keep Warm this Winter: Hot Chocolate and Warming Food

This time of year, I absolutely love enjoying a hot chocolate now and again.  For the rest of the year, I tend to drink tea and coffee but save the hot chocolate drinking until winter.  This not only makes me feel warmer but it also gives me that cosy feeling too.

Ways to Keep Warm this Winter: Fleeces and Big Coats

There is nothing worse than going out and shivering throughout the duration of your trip.  The school run is usually a good indicator of how many layers I should have on and which coat I should wear. I think that this waterproof, windproof and breathable 3 in 1 jacket from Engelbert Strauss would be lovely and warm for this winter.  At the moment I am in my big, thick, winter coat as the mornings have been quite frosty.

My children are in their winter coats too.  They have been feeling the cold lately though so I have bought vests to go with their school uniforms and have been looking at buying additional fleeces to help them to feel warmer in the mornings.  I really like the look of these  from. I like that they come in different colours, that they are light as well as breathable and that they have reflectors on them.  My children tend to wear dark clothes and during winter, I often worry that they won’t be seen when it gets dark.  Engelbert Strauss has a good range of clothes for women and children as well as work wear.

Ways to Keep Warm this Winter: Walking

Although it sounds crazy, I often find that a long walk warms me up.  The cooler air around me makes me realise how warm I actually was inside the house.  Exercising like this also means I automatically feel warmer.  Also, when I have come in from my walk, the warmth of my home hits me and I immediately feel less cold. When I think about getting up to go outside for a walk, I rarely want to but I am always glad that I did.

Categories
Finance

Ways To Improve Personal Finance

As the end of the current financial year is fast approaching, I’ve realised that I need to start thinking about my personal finance and how to improve it for the coming year.  As a single mother, managing my finances is something that is often in my mind.  Here are some things that I’ve been considering lately.

1. Use Personal Finance Spreadsheets

For each new financial year, I set up new spreadsheets to keep track of my spending.  I find these extremely useful and as I have done these for many years, I now seem to be quite accurate in my predictions of the total amount of money I have in the bank at any time.  My spreadsheets are quite simple.  I include the date, a description of the activity in my account, incomings, outgoings and the total amount in my account.  I do this for each day of the financial year.

2. Use Online Banking

I tend to check my spreadsheet regularly to see if it is similar to my actual bank account.  Now and again, I do have unexpected expenses, such as car repairs but generally I keep within the predictions that I make.  I find online banking to be a great tool for keeping an eye on my personal finances as well as my business finances.  An online bank account is useful for me as I am able to check the current state of my financial affairs anytime I’d like to.  Keeping my spreadsheet information and bank account details in mind seems to keep me in check so that I don’t overspend.  I’ve been reading about how to get the most from my current account recently to see if I need to change or update anything.

3. Read Financial News Regularly

I spend a few minutes per day looking at news reports on finance.  I read, amongst others, the BBC reports from about when the interest rates are likely to rise so that I can keep some money aside for when my variable rate mortgage interest will increase.  I have a look on News.Markets to read about UK and worldwide financial matters that might affect me.  I also have also looked into how to get personal loans, when my workplace had difficulties with paying their employees.  Getting my personal finances in order is a priority for me as without these being well organised, it is more difficult to get my business finances in order too.  Forbes has a fab article on this subject.   Reading and finding more about finances can help you to organise your own finances better, in my opinion.  As they say, knowledge is power.  Being oblivious to Council Tax rises, interest rate rises, the share market and not knowing about help that you can get on low income, for example, can make managing your own money more difficult.

Categories
Money

Reasons Why You May Need Money Fast and How to Get it

No matter how much you budget, there are always times when you may need to find ways to get money fast. It is always disappointing when you work so hard to provide the essentials for your family and then they suddenly break. There is often very little warning.

3 Reasons Why You May Need Money Fast

Budgeting is something that I think all of us try to do. Sometimes though, the best laid plans go awry. Here are 3 reasons that you may need money fast:

  1. Your car may need repairs. This happened to me very recently. After loading my car with luggage, my children and my dog, I found that my car wouldn’t start. I had only just had it serviced and MOT’d three weeks earlier. The mechanic told me that the battery was flat and that I needed a new one. This unexpected expense was something I did not know if I had the money for.
  2. A kitchen appliance may break. I had a terrible run of bad luck one year, where my fridge freezer, tumble dryer and washing machine all broke within the space of about two weeks. It is expensive enough to replace one of these machines, let alone three!
  3. Your laptop/computer stops working. For me, this would be a disaster! I rely on my laptop for my work. If it were to break, I would need a new one very quickly and so would need to find the funds very quickly too.

How to Get Money Fast

There are a few ways that you can get money quickly for these types of emergencies. You could ask a family member or a very close friend if you could borrow the money for a while. This can sometimes be awkward though. Another way to make money fast would be to sell something you own that you don’t need any more. Maybe you have a lot of things that you could sell on a car boot sale, through Facebook groups or via Ebay.

A third way that you could get money fast, would be to visit a reputable Payday Loans Bad Credit website such a Cash Lady that offers short term loans. If you decide upon this option, please make sure that you read the terms and conditions of the loan very carefully and that you are able to afford to pay the money back within the time agreed with the lender. Late repayments can cause serious money issues. Cash Lady has lots of clear information on their website about how to get a short term loan quickly and easily. You can visit The Money Advice Service for more information on short term loans.

Thinking of the Future

Finding myself in the position of needing money quickly, meant that once the expense was paid for, I started saving more. Putting a bit of money away in a savings account each month has really made a difference. Even putting away £10 per month can ease the burden of an expense you didn’t know was going to be an issue. Fingers crossed that everything stays in good working order for a little longer though! Have you ever had any unexpected expenses, where you have needed to get money fast? How did you deal with the situation?

Categories
Family

Reasons Why Family Is Important

Here are 3 reasons why family is important to us and how we try to include family time as much as we can. Throughout my life, I have always been close to my family.  Christmas would always involve having a big family meal with my grandparents, Great Granny, aunties, uncles, cousins, everyone!  Some years we hadn’t seen each other for the whole year but we still met up for Christmas dinner.

Reasons Why Family is Important: Making the Most of the Time we Have Together

Christmas nowadays is different.  Since becoming a single parent, a lot has changed within our family unit.  A lot has changed with our extended family too.  Some of our family members have passed and for others, they have got married and had children so their families have grown.  The dynamic is different.  We see each other at different times, in smaller groups rather than one large meet up now.

Christmas is still lovely but it is totally different to how it was several years ago.  I think making the most of the time we have with family is very important.  So many great memories are made during these times.  I still have great memories of putting an assortment of party hats on a sleeping Grandad and having a giggle.  He always had a nap after lunch! Things aren’t the same forever so it is best to enjoy these family gatherings as much as we can at the time.

Reasons Why Family is Important: A Support Network

My family is my support.  I support my children and my parents support me and my children.  My brother, Sister-in-Law and Gran support us too, as we do them.  Our whole family is always there for each other through everything. I spend most of my time with my children.  They are amazing but sometimes do push me a bit too far.  A quick chat to my Mum and Dad on the phone usually helps me to adjust my perspective and to feel happier again.

Reasons Why Family is Important: Child Development

A stable, not necessarily traditional, family support unit can help children to develop well.  Children need to feel safe, loved and be cared for. Nowadays, there are many different types of families.  Whether your family is a single parent family, a foster family, a traditional family or any other type of family, children need to have this network around them. If children don’t have their basic needs fulfilled, they will find it difficult to develop as quickly as those who do.  Families are an important part of this and are the primary people that will fulfil the needs of their children.

Choosing a Law Firm to Help with Family Matters

Of course, not all family matters are straight forward.  Sometimes, professional help is needed.  Slater & Gordon Solicitors have produced this brilliant infographic for you to read.

Categories
Back Pain

Proven Methods To Improve Back Pain

Having a back pain is an awful experience that many people have to suffer on a daily basis.  I have written about how I get a good night’s sleep with a bad back before.  There are other ways to help your back pain feel better though, especially if you use office furniture.

How to Improve Your Back Pain: Your Posture

As I work from home and my office is in my living room, I often find myself sitting on the sofa to work.  This is not ideal.  My back pain always tends to get worse when I do this. Sitting on my chair at the desk always reduces the pain I feel.  Sitting up straight makes me feel more confident too.  Slouching often just makes me feel less motivated and a bit down.  It is amazing what a little adjustment to your usual way of sitting can do for your confidence levels.

How to Improve Back Pain: Your Office Desk

Having a desk that is the right height and has enough space on it for you to do your work is very important.  I have quite a long desk as I tend to spread my papers out quite a bit.  Some would say that my desk is messy but I would say that it is organised to suit my needs.  These office desks from Furniture at Work are affordable.  There is also a great range of desks on there to suit many different styles.  You can read more about messy desks and other amazing tips in Furniture at Work’s free ebook.

How to Improve Back Pain: Your Office Chair

I used to have a small office chair that dug into the middle of my back.  It also had very little padding on the seat, which made me feel like I needed to re-adjust the way I was sitting every so often to keep comfortable. I think having a good, supportive office chair is a must.  If you are working from home or within an office environment, a great chair is something that every worker should have. Keeping the chair at the right height, in relation to the desk and your laptop is essential for relieving back pain.  I would say that this is the most important piece of office furniture I own.

Other Useful Tips

Having everything positioned so that your eyes are at the same level as the top of your laptop can help a lot. Your eyes naturally drift downwards so keeping your laptop in this position helps with eye strain and helps you to keep your back in the right position. A good chair will also encourage your hips to feel more aligned.  If you are sitting on an uncomfortable chair that means your hips are twisting one way or another (just as I was with my old chair), this can affect your back pain too. Is your office furniture causing your back pain to become worse?  Which, of the tips above, did you find most useful to help with your back problems?

Categories
Mothers’ Day

Activities To Give Yourself A Belated Mothers’ Day Present

As you know, being a mum is a daily duty, with no breaks, time to relax or take care of you. It’s not because you don’t care about you, it’s because your schedule is changing all the time and doesn’t give you an opportunity to make an appointment. But now it’s time for you to make a little space in that busy schedule and have a good time with these activity recommendations for giving yourself a Mothers’ Day present.

Manicure & Pedicure

These two are the perfect match for having a massage while getting your nails nice and pretty. The good thing about this activity is there are many places around the city, giving you the chance to take a little break and go to your closest nail salon. Also if you have an itinerary, you can get an appointment in your favourite salon. Don’t forget to choose the best colour for your nails to complement your daily outfits.

Shopping Online

Sometimes you are driving around the city, but that doesn’t mean you have the time to make a quick stop at your closest shopping centre. Online shopping and smartphones can improve every spare moment you have; waiting for the kids at football practice, waiting in line at the supermarket, etc. It’s easy, fast and you don’t have to worry about not having time to go to the stores. Check out Dorothy Perkins, they have the best clothes for you; find your perfect outfit, accessories and shoes. Also, check out Groupon, they often have great coupons for Dorothy Perkins.  You just need a couple minutes to look around, put it on your wish list and buy it.

Beauty day at home

If your itinerary lets you stay at home for a couple hours, you can have your own beauty day at home. The first step is to organize your schedule for making sure you will have the time for the home treatments. Then after getting all the products together and choosing the area to relax, it’s time to enjoy yourself; also you can play some music and put candles to elevate your experience. These activities prove to you that every little break you have you can improve you life. Relax and recover your energy for the next day whenever life allows you to.

Categories
Travel Bucket

Travel Bucket List with Destination2

At this time of the year, I find myself wishing that I was somewhere warmer. I have been dreaming about my 2018 travel bucket list with help from Destination2.co.uk. It is wonderful to have a think about where I would like to travel during. There are some great options for travel destinations on the Destination2 website. From holidays in the Middle East, the Indian Ocean, Caribbean, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia,

China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Europe. Before I was made aware of the Destination2 website, I had not really thought about visiting some of these places. Looking through some of the featured destinations though, I think that some of these places would fit very nicely on my 2018 travel bucket list. This website caters for wide price range. From luxury hotels with flights included to cheaper stays with hotel only prices, there is are several options to meet the needs of different travellers. We would be looking at the three star hotel price ranges, which all look amazing.

Our Travel Bucket List

Here are our top three places that I have been thinking of taking my family for relaxing holidays in the sun:

  • Greece. I have always loved the idea of visiting Greece. It always looks such an idyllic place and the blue waters in the photographs always look so inviting. Several friends of mine have visited Greece and they always tell me about the wonderfully relaxing time they have had there. One major appeal with Greece is the rich culture and history there. Trying out some authentic mezze would be awesome too. I just need to decide whether Crete or Kos would be the place for us to visit.
  • Bali. Visiting Bali would be an absolute dream. I think experiencing the culture over there would be eye-opening for my young family. I can just imagine us having some wonderful adventures and making some lasting memories of taking part in water sports or just taking in the beautiful scenery.
  • Maldives. This stunning place has always been on my life long travel bucket list. Again, the clear blueness of the sea and the white beaches are perfect for encouraging us to relax and unwind. We are forever rushing around in our everyday lives so I think that it would be the best place for us to enjoy having a relaxing swim and to sunbathe on the beaches. Bliss!

I really hope that we get to visit at least one of these places in 2018. Which destinations are on your 2018 travel bucket list?

Categories
Uncategorised

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