If you’re a business owner with staff and an office, you’ll know how important your office design can be.  Through your design, you can turn prospective clients into long-term partners. Office design is a fusion of visual parameters like aesthetics and functional parameters like lighting and infrastructure.

There’s a fun side to this too though, you can express your personality through your design styles. You can apply trending décor ideas to give it a modern look. You can apply green and eco-friendly decor ideas. You can design the best office of your dreams with acoustic felt panels. Acoustic features are an important contributor of overall office room decorum. These have visual as well as functional importance.

If you’re not sure where to start with your office space, here are 12 things to consider:

Try these ideas to make your office space look premium

1. Switch over to open concept layout


Create interactive workspaces for fostering team spirit, with open concept layout. In this kind of environment there is generally a better flow of creative ideas. The space distribution is also improved. You can place felt partitions at strategic locations in the office and you can alter their orientations when required. By doing this you can create a vibrant and dynamic feel in your organisation.


2. Create a theme in your corridor

With wall felt you can fabricate a thematic wall background. So you can reflect your business goals to the observer in an artistic manner. Acoustic felt panels can provide the impression of depth and look more interesting than standard walls. An inspiring corridor on the way into the office can fill employees with enthusiasm before starting on a new day.

If you own an architectural office, you can design a wall with monumental prints on panels. The sight of eye catchy prints on panels stimulates creativity.


3. Acoustic design

Soundproofing a room is a must to have the positive work vibes flowing. Acoustic felt is easy to install, and better listening and message interpretation enable better project design and goal actualization. Acoustics are indispensable for seminar halls and meeting venues.

You can have acoustic ceiling suspended solutions even on unfinished ceilings. These are available in all sorts of designs and they make your ceilings soundproof and add visual beauty to space. Acoustic baffles are available in geometric shapes and colours, so you can create elegant looking halls and cafeterias. Absorption panels are available in multiple styles are colours, and they are pretty flexible in terms of application on walls and ceilings.

You could have felted tiles on your floors and felt panels for your ceilings. Acoustic ceilings help to create a tranquil atmosphere and are available in miscellaneous designs and textures. Clients can also order custom specific designs of panels.

Before purchasing acoustic fiber ensure that it has a high NRC value. NRC value indicates the ability of acoustic material to mitigate reverberations. Refined wool is a natural product with high NRC and valuable properties like insulation and shock absorption qualities.


4. Inspirational quotes on your walls

Motivate your employees by having inspirational art and quotes on your walls. You can also write a thought on whiteboards or chalkboards, placed strategically in the office.


5. Have smart and portable furnishings

Your furniture must be comfortable for your staff throughout the working day.  Think about having quality, adjustable desk chairs for your employees. You can find furniture that can be used in multiple ways if your office space is limited. Think about picking innovative furniture designs to create dynamic interiors. Add closets and cabinets for organized storage.


6. Create a dynamic interview point

New entrants bring freshness and energy vibes to an office. Have acoustic partitions in interview rooms, so that the candidates get a relaxed atmosphere and feel comfortable during interviews.


7. Maintenance

Maintenance is a must to retain a posh office interior. Have linoleum floors, which are easy to clean. Have moisture resistant tiles in your washroom. Go for routine maintenance. Alter your design periodically to make maintenance easier.


8. Apply green and sustainable décor ideas

Go green is an emerging corporate trend. An office owner must opt for eco-friendly appliances as much as possible. Purchase energy-saving lighting installations. If there are many redundant paper files or documents, do not discard them; you can get them recycled to get useful materials paper or cardboard. Recycle your scrap to make decorative items. You can even recycle old and worn put furniture to create new décor items. While purchasing felted tiles, ensure they are made of biodegradable stuff or renewable in nature. In addition these must be free of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). Also check parameters like durability and fire resilience.

Ensure your office room has ample windows and ventilators for natural air circulation. Try to have a mini-garden if you have space. Try to minimize the consumption of air conditioners. Have only energy saving conditioners and use them sincerely.


9. Create a stress-free atmosphere

You can select plush and premium felt designs to provide an elegant look to your office. So the rooms look more engaging, while the employees feel more motivated to accept challenges. You can get a soothing and soft experience with the placement of felted tiles. Pacific and stress-free atmosphere created by the placing of acoustic felt motivates employees to concentrate on the present moment.

 

10. Lighting

Ensure that there is ample availability of light during the daytime. You can control the light intensity with window curtains. Install pleasant and energy saving light appliances for evening or night office sessions. You can have fancy lights at entrance points and corridors.


11. Infrastructure design

Having advanced computing equipment and networking systems adds to the firm’s brand value. Also have security amenities to ensure safety of office assets.


12. Focal points

Focal points add points to your brand value. You can create focal points with your creative décor ideas. You can use acoustic panels at strategic locations like reception or lobbies to create focal points. You can select from among different designs and dimensions, as per your room layout. With 3D acoustic panels, you can create a pleasing sensation of depth. You can add modern artworks or artificial flowers to create focal points.

Conclusion
Having an office space with an elegant view is a goal every entrepreneur has. You can create an office with premium looks by following a few strategies. Create a dynamic and interactive atmosphere. Have optimum lighting and smart furnishings inside. Take green and environment-friendly design initiatives. Invest in acoustic solutions. In an office room with acoustic infrastructure there is better interpersonal communication., and people can exchange their thoughts and ideas.

 

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post

I’m feeling pretty happy right now.  We managed to stick with the Me and Mine project for another year, taking a family photo every single month.

We did it last year, and I remember feeling just as happy as I looked at all our family photos for 2017 at the end of the year.

Our last set of family photos for 2018 were taken not far from where we took December’s last year – in Singleton park.

We had gone out for a walk in the drizzle to stretch our legs after a few days spent doing lots of relaxing at home over Christmas.  Nerys was really excited to go and see the sundial in the gardens, and it turned out to be the perfect height for balancing the camera to take a few photos.

Me and mine

 

Looking back at my post from the end of last year it’s quite funny to see that it was only in December that I really started using a remote trigger to take our photos.  Before that I was setting the timer for each photo, and making a mad dash to get back in the frame.

This year I think all but one of our photos were taken with the remote.  And it’s definitely made the whole process easier, and more fun in a way because Nerys really enjoys being the one to use it.

We’ve got quite a nice mix this year of photos taken in different places that we’ve loved spending time at in 2018.

 

I think we’ve all become used to taking these family photos each month now, so while it can still feel like a bit of a hassle some months, I think we’d all miss it if we stopped doing it.

It’s definitely something I’ll be sticking with again in 2019!

If you are looking to take out an international health insurance plan, there is certainly a lot that needs to be considered. In this post, we are going to take a look at some important pieces of advice and information regarding international medical policies.

We will tell you all about the different policy options that are available, as well as taking a look at some of the essentials every good health insurer should be able to offer.

This should help you to narrow down your search for the best policy. So, let’s get right to it…

Important things to know about international health insurance

 

FIVE THINGS ALL GOOD INTERNATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDERS NEED TO HAVE

 

There are many great benefits associated with international health insurance. Not only will they ensure you are protected in terms of your health, but also financially as well. It is of little surprise that more and more people are turning to this solution. Nevertheless, you do need to make sure you choose your global medical insurance provider with care. So, look out for the following five factors:

 

  1.    Lots of options – You need to have the ability to essentially cater your international medical insurance plan to suit your requirements. Therefore, the provider should present you with an assortment of options, ranging from basic cover to comprehensive cover. This guarantees you will benefit from a policy you are completely happy with.

 

  1.    Great reputation – You should always go for an insurer with a good reputation in the industry. Read reviews that have been left by previous clients to discover what they have had to say about the service they experienced. Would they recommend the insurer? Were they easy to deal with?

 

  1.    Free no obligation quotation – It is vital to ensure that the health insurance provider you are considering provides you with a free no obligation quotation. You should never have to pay for a quote for a global medical insurance plan. Moreover, you should not be tied into a contract by merely requesting a quote.

 

  1.    Online management – It is also recommended to go for a worldwide health insurance provider that allows you to manage your plan via the internet. This will make your life much easier.

 

  1.    Comprehensive geographical cover – The whole point of global medical insurance is to ensure that you are protected no matter where you are. In order for this to be the case you need to make sure the company in question covers a wide assortment of countries. You should never merely assume that this is the case.

 

To conclude, if you look out for the five points that have been mentioned, you should have no issue finding the best provider for international health insurance. Make sure they have a good standing in the industry with great feedback and that they are able to provide you with all of the benefits and cover options you expect from your policy. Of course, choosing the provider is only half of the battle, as you then need to make sure the plan itself is right for you…

 

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY OPTIONS

 

Now you know about the different things you need to consider in terms of choosing a provider, but what about the plan itself? When it comes to acquiring international medical insurance, you have lots of different policy options at your disposal. It is imperative to consider each and every option carefully. You need to be sure that the plan is customised to suit your needs. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the global health insurance options you have available to you…

 

Hospital Network

First and foremost, you should take a look at the network of hospitals, doctors and facilities you are going to have access to. After all, one of the main benefits of worldwide medical insurance is the fact that you will benefit from a much higher level of health care and you will be able to choose what doctor you see, which is something you cannot do if you rely on state healthcare systems. Therefore it is imperative to make sure you choose an international health insurance plan with a hospital network you are happy with. There are also some plans that come with extras, for example, being able to order from an online pharmacy as part of your policy. This can be highly beneficial for those who do not live close to a pharmacist, as well as those who lead busy lives and simply would prefer the convenience of having any medication delivered directly to their door.

 

Policy Coverage

Because these plans are called ‘worldwide’ and ‘international’ health insurance plans, a lot of people assume that they provide coverage all over the world. It is only natural that you would think this. After all, it is in the name! Nevertheless, there are often countries that are excluded, which is why you need to read the terms and conditions of your policy with an extreme amount of care. To be covered in places like the United States, for example, you may actually need to pay more. This is something a lot of people have learned about the hard way when they have assumed that they have been covered for something when, in fact, they have not.

 

Excess

Excess relates to the amount of money you have to pay before your insurer covers you. Therefore, if you opt for a policy with £500 excess you will have to pay £500 of your treatment before your insurer will cover the rest. You need to consider your excess amount carefully. The higher the excess on your policy the lower the premiums will be. Nonetheless, don’t simply opt for an astronomical sum when it comes to the excess, as you don’t want to find yourself in a position whereby you cannot afford treatment.

 

Cover Options

The next thing you need to think about is the level of cover you require. In general you will be able to choose between international medical insurance plans with basic, intermediate or comprehensive cover. You essentially need to decide what cover options you want your policy to have. Do you require maternity care for example? What about dental care or optical care? If you want any of these you will likely have to go for a high cover policy.

 

As you can see, there is certainly a lot that needs to be taken into account when it comes to choosing an international health insurance plan. Hopefully, all of the pointers that have been discussed above will have given you a better understanding regarding what you should be looking for in a health insurance provider, as well as the different options you have at your disposal when it comes to putting together the perfect plan for you.

 

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post

It’s one of the strangest times of the year, where the days sort of roll together and no one has a clue what day it actually is any more.

I’m talking about that void between Christmas and New Year.

For those people who are lucky enough to not have to go into work, it can be a really weird time that no one seems quite sure what to do with.

So for anyone finding themselves at a bit of a loss this ‘twixmas, here is the ultimate list list of things to do in this weird timeless zone between Christmas and New Year.

Ultimate list of things to do between Christmas and New Year

 

Have a clear-out of the children’s toys.

Chances are your children will have a whole pile of new toys that you need to find homes for.

So it’s a great time to go through all their old toys and games and see what can be passed on to younger family or friends, what can be sold or given to the local charity shop and what needs to just be thrown away.

 

Declutter

This strange bit of time after Christmas is actually the perfect time of year to go through all your belongings and have a good declutter.

Work your way round the house room by room, clearing out things you don’t use or love any more.  You can sell old dvds, cds and book with Music Magpie or Ziffit.  Other items can go on ebay or your local Facebook selling page to make a bit of extra money.

I like the Marie Kondo approach to decluttering which basically involves you asking if each item you own sparks joy.  If the answer is no, and it’s not an item you actually need and use on a regular basis, then out it goes.

You might not be able to get the whole house done in the twixmas break, but you can get off to a good start.  If you want to commit to a slightly longer project then take a look at Katy Kicker’s 30 day declutter challenge.

 

Do some digital de-cluttering

Spend a bit of time clearing out and sorting out your digital life.  Clear out your emails, delete old files and folder from your PC, back up all the photos you have stored on your phone.

Katy Kicker has a great post on 11 ways to have a digital declutter that is full of brilliant ideas and tips.

 

Visit the local library  

Check the opening hours for your local library and wander over to get some new books to read.

While you’re there you can also check out the dvds, and see if there are any fun activities on for the family.  Our local libraries often have craft activities on for the children which are always great fun.

 

Organise your photos from the last year. 

This one might take a bit of time if you’re anything like me and take thousands of photos.

Get all your photos organised into folders on your computer.  Edit any that need to be edited.  Print out your favourites and put them in frames around the house.

Choose a whole host of them from the year and put them into a good old fashioned photo album.  Or have them made into a fun photo book for the family to enjoy.

 

Go for a walk 

Nice and simple, just head out the front door and start walking.  If you can though, try and explore somewhere new that you’ve not been to before.

 

Get out for some fresh air

If you need something a bit more than ‘go for a walk’ to get you out of the front door, then Emma from Farmer’s wife and Mummy has some great ideas for getting outside in the country.

Get outside between Christmas and New Year

 

Try a new recipe with Christmas leftovers

I think it’s safe to say that we all buy a little bit too much food at Christmas.

Once you’ve had your fill of turkey sandwiches, get a bit creative and try out some new recipes with the rest of your festive leftovers.

Beth at Twinderelmo has a great post of ideas for turkey leftovers and if you have mincemeat leftover from making mince pies then this Christmas crumble from Kirsty at The Mummysphere is a great way of using it up.

 

Go to the cinema

Whether it’s with the children, on a date with your partner or by yourself for a blissful few hours of peace.

 

Have a cinema day at home

If you’re not a fan of the cinema, or none of the new releases take your fancy, then have a cinema day at home instead.

All you need is a couple of your favourite films, some popcorn and chocolate, and plenty of cosy cushions and blankets to cwtch up on the sofa with.

 

Hit the sales

Pretty much all the shops will have big sales on after Christmas.  If you’re feeling brave then you can head into town and see what bargains you can find.  Or you just stay at home in the warm and check out the online sales instead.

 

Plan out your new years goals/resolutions

Before the New Year rolls around take a bit of time to think about the goals and resolutions you want to make.

Hayley from Devon Mama has this great post on how to set goals and achieve them in six easy steps, to walk you through the process if you’re not sure where to start.

 

Learn a new skill

If you’ve always fancied learning to knit, play the guitar or even juggle, this twilight zone between Christmas and New Year is a great time to start.

Learn to knit between Christmas and New Year

 

Get a jump on spring cleaning

If you like to get your Christmas decorations down quite quickly, then use the post-Christmas-clean-up momentum and get some deep cleaning jobs down now so there’s less to do when it comes to spring cleaning.

 

Have a spa day at home

If you’d rather do something a bit more relaxing then try having a spa day at home.

Get some gorgeous scented bubble bath and a face mask and have a long soak in the tub.  Apply a deep conditioning hair treatment and just relax.

 

Visit a local museum

See what museums or art galleries in your town are open and give them a visit.

 

Go ice skating

If your town has a winter wonderland then chances are there’ll be an ice rink there.

Even if you spend most of the time wobbling and clinging to the edge, you’ll still most likely have fun and the children will love it.

 

Write your thank you letters

Get this big job done and out of the way before the new year and you’ll feel so much better.

If your children write their own letters then get them to do a few every day until they’re all done, rather than making them write a whole pile in one go.  You can get some lovely thank you note paper that makes it easier for them, with less space for them to need to fill than a piece of plain writing paper.

 

Have a playdate with your child’s friends from school/nursery

If your children are missing their school friends then invite one of them over for a playdate.

You can arrange it so their parents stay too, if you get on well.  Or you can let them drop their child off at yours for a bit, while they go home and have some peace.  Just make sure they return the favour another day if you do it that way!

Have a play date between Christmas and New Year

 

Soft play

Perhaps not the most appealing of ideas, but if the children are going stir crazy in the house at least a trip to soft play might burn off some of their energy.

 

Go swimming

Whether it’s with the whole family to the fun pool with slides and a wave machine, or the boring pool by yourself to de-stress by swimming lengths, heading to the pool is a great way to fill this strange in-between time.

 

Indoor climbing

If your children are old enough then take them somewhere to do some indoor climbing.

 

Trampoline park

Children of all ages seem to enjoy a trip to a trampoline park.  Just check opening times online and see if you need to book before showing up.

 

Bake something

If you have children to keep busy then pick a nice and simple recipe that you can do together.

My 2,4,4,4 recipe for fairy cakes is pretty much fool-proof and is fun to make with children of all ages.  If you’d rather something a bit less sweet, but just as tasty, then these Christmas butter cookies from My Everything Beautiful look delicious.

 

Go bowling

An oldie but a goodie, heading to the bowling alley is a great way to spend a quiet afternoon.

 

Get the board games out

If you don’t want to venture out anywhere then get out all your board games, old and new, and get playing.

 

Build a fort

It could be an epic outdoor fort or a cosy indoor one with blankets and cushions.  This time of year I think I know which one I would go for!

 

Make playdough

Playdough is a classic activity for keeping children entertained.  And you can make even more of it by making the dough yourself.

Rainy day mum has got recipes for gingerbread and Christmas cake playdough that would smell amazing at this time of year.

If you’re just after a straightforward playdough recipe, and some inspiration on how to play with it, then head over to The Ladybirds’ Adventures and take a look at their Christmas tree play dough activity.

Christmas play dough between Christmas and New Year

 

Tackle a big Lego set

With all this time on your hands with no work or school to worry about, you can take all the time you need to build that big Lego set your child was given.

 

Take on a big jigsaw puzzle

If all your Lego sets are already happily built, then take on a big jigsaw puzzle instead.

Take over the dining room table and leave it out so you can keep coming back to it until it’s finished.

 

Relax 

Don’t feel you have to fill this time with non-stop activities.

Take some time to just sit back and relax.  Curl up in your favourite chair with a big mug of hot chocolate and a good book and just take it easy.

 

Visit a holiday attraction you didn’t manage to visit before Christmas.

Have a look online to see what attractions are on in your town that you might have missed out on before Christmas.  Lots of places have winter wonderlands that stay open during this in-between stage until the new year.

 

Make plans for New Year’s eve

If you’ve not already make plans, use this time after Christmas to decide what you’ll be doing on New Year’s eve.

 

Fill in your diary and calendar with key dates for next year

This might sound really boring but it’s one of my favourite things to do at this time of year.

Grab your diary and calendar for next year and fill in all the important dates you need to remember.  This for me includes birthdays and anniversaries and school holiday/inset day information.

 

Volunteer somewhere

Give back to the local community by volunteering your time somewhere.

 

Get creative with boxes

Before all the boxes head off to be recycled, let the children have some fun with them.

If you’re not sure what exactly to make with the boxes, then this amazing post from Red Ted Art with ideas for boxes of all sizes should leave you feeling inspired.

 

Do an indoor treasure hunt

This could be as easy as hiding chocolate coins round the house for the children to find.  Or you could put a bit more effort into it and create clues for them to crack and follow to find the treasure at the end.

 

Play cards

Grab a deck of cards and get playing.

Play cards between Christmas and New Year

 

Get the kids to put on a show for you

Let them loose with the dressing up clothes, designate a ‘stage’ area in the living room and sit back and let them entertain you.

 

Make paper aeroplanes

Such a classic activity that my children still absolutely love.

If you want to make it last longer get your children to draw designs on their planes and colour them in before having some competitions to see which plane will fly the furthest.

 

Make a family magazine 

Grab some paper, pens/pencils and family photos and get creative to make a magazine about your family’s year.

You can include interviews with each family member, jokes, favourite recipes, memories of your best memories from the year.

 

Make jewellery

This can be as simple or elaborate as you like.

Young children can make necklaces from pasta and string and older children can be taught to make friendship bracelets.

 

Go fly a kite

On dry, windy days grab a kite and head to the nearest open space to see how high you can make it fly.

 

Paint some rocks and head out for a walk to hide them

There are Facebook groups set up for most towns, with hashtags that you can use on your rocks.  Or you can get involved with something with a deeper meaning behind it, like #WilliamRocks.  These are rocks painted and hidden for people to find, in memory of William Coy.

Paint rocks between Christmas and New Year

Research your family tree

Grab a big piece of paper and work your way back from the youngest family members.

If you’re serious about going back as far as you can then sign up for a trial subscription with Ancestry where you can search UK census, birth, marriage & death records.

 

Write a family bucket list/wish list of things you want to do/places you want to go next year

If you need some inspiration for what to put on your family’s list then take a look at this post from Thimble and Twig.

 

Play hair stylists

If you’re feeling brave then let your children get creative and give you a new do with head bands, hair bands, clips and slides.

 

Try out some simple science experiments

If you’d rather not do any actual experiments, then look at getting something like Stems for the children to play with.  Jayne from Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs has written a great post on being creative with Stems which has some fab ideas of ways children can use them.

 

Get your brain working

If you feel like your brain is turning to mush in this strange in-between time, then keep it busy with a crossword or some Sudoku.  You can get all sorts of puzzle books to work your way through, or you can find online versions to play instead.

 

 

Hopefully there’ll be a few ideas on this list to keep you busy and entertained between Christmas and New Year.

What do you normally do in this little break from real life and normal routines?

When it comes to cleaning my house I like to just get the job done as quickly as possible.  So I tend to pick out products that I know will be effective and efficient, and more often than not this means I end up buying chemical-based all purpose cleaners and cleaning wipes.

I’ve been aware lately though that maybe I should look for more eco-friendly alternatives, that are more natural and less harmful to the environment.

So I was really happy to be asked to try some natural cleaning products from Forest Hog.  I’ve been testing them for a few weeks now and have to say I’ve been really impressed with the results.

Cleaning the natural way with forest hog

 

Forest Hog have a great range of cleaning products to tackle pretty much any mess you can think of.

I was sent some home cleaning spray, laundry cream, dirt buster and dish washing liquid to try out so I could get a really good feel for the whole range.

Forest Hog natural cleaning products

 

I normally use standard cleaning products that I can pick up at the supermarket along with my weekly shop, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I opened the box that arrived from Forest Hog.

When I picked out the first bottle my initial reaction was that it didn’t feel as substantial as the products I’m used to, it had a strange bit of ‘give’ to it when I held it.

After a bit of investigating though I was happy to find that this is because Forest Hog use the most ‘natural’ plastic available to make it best for recycling after use.  This combined with the fact that the contents can change structure a bit in different environments means that the bottles don’t hold their shape as firmly as others do.

I think this actually adds to the product’s charm, and is a nice little reminder that everything in there is as natural as possible.

 

So, time for a closer look at the different products I’ve been trying out.

 

Squeaky dishes – natural dishwashing liquid

This dish washing liquid is nice and thick, so you only need to use a little bit at a time.

Honestly, you really don’t need to use much of this at all.  It’s triple concentrated so a few drops in a sink of hot water goes a long way.

Forest Hog squeaky dishes washing liquid

 

I’ve used this washing up liquid for all sorts of dishes, pans and utensils and everything has come out lovely and clean.

The liquid has a nice mild orange scent, thanks to the orange oil that is one of its very few ingredients.  It’s quite a subtle scent which I really like, and the liquid still foams nicely which, as silly as it may sound, makes using it a nice experience.

 

You can use the liquid in a dishwasher too, just put a little bit in the dispenser tray.  Forest Hog do make a point on their website that every machine is different, so you might need to experiment with exactly how much liquid you put in.  Their advice is to try about half a tablespoon at first – less really is more with this product.

 

 

Laundry cream – natural laundry cleaner

The second product I’ve been trying out is the natural laundry cream.

Like the dish washing liquid, this cream is lovely and thick and you only need to use a small amount to get great results.

Forest Hog laundry cream

 

You can use the laundry cream for handwashing or in your washing machine so it’s really versatile.

It’s hypoallergenic so is great for those with sensitive skin, and can be used for all fabrics including delicates, cashmere, silk and wool.

 

I first tried it on its own on a load of washing that included my son’s PE kit and everything came out perfectly clean.  I wasn’t sure how soft the clothes with be as I normally use a fabric conditioner but was pleasantly surprised to find everything came out feeling lovely.

If your clothes don’t feel as soft as you’d like after a wash though, Forest Hog recommend that you gently rub the items once they’re dry to soften the fibres a bit.

 

We’ve not had any major stains to deal with since I’ve had this laundry cream, but if you do have some to deal with then you can rub some of the cream directly into the stain, leave it for a few minutes and then pop it in the wash.

 

 

Home spray – natural all-surface cleaner

All-surface cleaner is one of the staples of my cleaning cupboard, because it’s so quick and easy to use to get various rooms in the house clean.

This home spray looks like it goes one better than my usual products though.

Forest Hog home spray

 

You can use the home spray on:

  • Dirty marks on walls
  • Windows
  • Window frames
  • Ovens
  • Microwaves
  • Fridges and freezers
  • Kitchen worktops
  • Baths and showers
  • Toilets
  • Sinks
  • Tiled surfaces

You can use the spray as it comes, or you can dilute it 50/50 with water to make it stretch even further.  Either way, like with all the Forest Hog products, you don’t need to use much at all to get great results.

I’ve been using it around my kitchen and bathroom and have been really happy with how clean everything is looking.

 

 

Dirt buster gel – natural cleaning gel

The last product I’ve been testing is the dirt buster gel.  This is a super concentrated cleaning gel that can tackle so many different jobs around the house, and is also brilliant for using while camping or caravanning.

Forest Hog dirt buster gel

 

It’s basically a beautifully natural stain remover that you can use on anything you can imagine.

I’ve used it to clean up my kitchen sink and hobs and it worked like a charm.

You can use it to clean the oven by rubbing a small amount on the grime with a sponge, then wiping off with the scrubby side after about ten minutes.

It’s also great for stains on carpets, clothes, tents and canvas.

 

I really wasn’t sure what to expect before I tried the Forest Hog products, and I’ve been so pleasantly surprised by how effective they’ve all been.

I’m enjoying using the dish washing liquid for quick bits of washing up by hand, and the home spray has been great for giving the kitchen worktops a wipe down each day.  I have high hopes that all the products will last much longer than my usual buys too, making them more economical as well as so much better for the environment.

 

Do you use natural cleaning products at home?  How do you find them compared to other products you’ve used in the past?  

 

Disclaimer: I was sent some products from Forest Hog for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

Sending a parcel abroad is always a worry. However, thanks to advancements in tech, it’s become a much faster and safer process. There are still challenges associated with sending packages abroad, but the good news is there are ways to reduce the risks.

Here, you’ll discover a brief guide on how to send packages abroad to ensure they arrive safely and quickly.

A quick guide to sending a package abroad

 

Ensure the package information is correct

If anything is going to cause your parcel to be delayed, it’s incorrect information. This includes entering the wrong address, filling out the paperwork wrong and selecting the wrong weight.

Did you know for example, that some international delivery costs are based on volumetric weight? This means you’ll need to times the length of the parcel by its height, times the width, then divide it by 5000. This will give you the volumetric weight in kilograms. If any of the information isn’t correct, the package could end up delayed in customs.

 

Choose a reliable courier

An important step before sending a package abroad, is to ensure you’re choosing a reliable courier. You’ll want to check that they specialise in international shipping and they have a great reputation online such as USPS. That way, there’s less chance your parcel will go missing or get damaged in transit.

You can find online reviews of international couriers online and they’ll help you to establish which ones are worth investing in.

 

Making sure the package is secure

When packages are shipped abroad, they typically undergo a lot more handling than they would when shipped nationally. This means the chances of them getting damaged is much higher. To avoid potential damages, make sure the package is secure.

You can do this by including plenty of bubble wrap and reinforcing the sides and bottom of the box. You’ll also want to use the H-tape method to ensure the package doesn’t open up at the top. Although you do want to add as much padding as possible, be aware that this could increase the cost of sending the parcel. So, it’s best to stick to light padding such as bubble wrap which doesn’t weigh a lot.

 

As you can see, there are several factors to consider when sending a package abroad. If you follow the tips above, it increases the chance your parcel will arrive quickly and in perfect condition. Always take your time to find the best courier and compare the best prices.

 

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post

One of the things I’m trying to teach my children as they grow up is how to find balance in life.

My son in particular loves to play on the computer, and would happily spend hours and hours doing just that.  So we make sure he has a balance between computer time, other indoor activities and getting out and about in the fresh air.

If you have slightly older children who absolutely love playing computer games I can imagine it might be a bit of a battle at times to find other things for them to do that they would enjoy just as much.

Here are some activity ideas that will hopefully tempt the gamer in your life away from their computer.

Outdoor activities that are perfect for gamers

 

Escape rooms

Escape rooms have become really popular in the last few years, with rooms popping up all over the country.

The basic idea is that you and a few friends or family members enter a room and then have an hour to solve clues and puzzles to be able to ‘escape’.  Each room has a detailed back story to it, and you normally need to either complete a heist or escape from a situation.

This kind of activity would be great for gamers who love problem solving and lateral thinking.  The whole concept was actually originally a type of video game so gamers would probably love to try the idea out in a more hands-on way.

 

Laser tag

This is a brilliant option for children and teenagers who love games like Fortnite and Call of Duty.

They can see how good their skills actually are in a game of laser tag, which has all the fun of the games they like to play at home, with the benefits of physical activity.

You could even book a laser tag party for their next birthday, so they can take on all their friends in a laser tag battle.

 

Geocaching

A more outdoorsy alternative to escape rooms for gamers who love problem solving games is geocaching.

This is where you use an app and a gps device to find hidden containers, or geocaches.  They have little log books in which you sign to say you’ve found it.  They might also contain little trinkets or toys which you can take as long as you leave something of similar value in its place.

 

40/40 and manhunt

I’m going right back to my own childhood with this one.

Younger gamers who love playing strategy games and things like fortnite may well love the action of these kinds of outdoor games.

40/40 is basically a variation of hide and seek, where you have to hide and then make it back to ‘home’ or base (this tended to be a particular tree when I played) without being spotted.

Manhunt is another version where most players have a head start to run and hide, before the hunter (or hunters) start looking for them.  The aim is to last as long as possible without getting caught, so you don’t just pick one hiding place and stay there.  You keep moving, evading capture as long as you can.

 

Whether you go with the latest trend of escape rooms or keep it old school with a game of 40/40, these ideas are all great fun for gamers in need of a break from their computers.  And the real beauty of them is that they’re brilliant fun for non-gamers too, so everyone can get involved.

 

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post