Sporting Ruses Not Even Sherlock Holmes Would See Through

Most kids fall into one of two categories. They either love sports, or they hate the stuff. This has been the case for time immemorial, and we can all remember which group we fit into. If you didn’t enjoy sports, physical education would become a traumatic experience. There certainly wasn’t any chance of sports in your free time.

Once upon a time, though, that wasn’t so much of a problem. Even kids who didn’t love sport would go outside of an evening and play with their friends. Now, with the possibilities of games consoles and television streaming, it’s harder than ever to get non-sporty kids outside. And, who can blame them when there’s so much fun stuff to do? But, with childhood obesity now up to one in every five children, it’s crucial you encourage activity in your child.

The good news is, not every sport emits the groans that, say, a suggestion of football might do. In fact, some sporting activities won’t even seem like sports to your kids. Here, we’re going to take a look at some prime examples. Encourage your child to do any of these three activities, and they’ll exercise without even noticing.


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 The chances are that you won’t have much trouble encouraging your child to skip. It’s a standard playground game and something that most children will do of their own volition. Yet, jumping rope is one of the most efficient forms of exercise. So much so that your child stands to burn ten calories for every minute they skip. Just half an hour of this could do them a world of good. If you haven’t already, buy them a skipping rope, and encourage them to play with it whenever you can.


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Most kids would love the chance to own a trampoline. It’s just one of those things on the bucket list of just about anyone under the age of 13. And, it might be a good idea to stop resisting them. Trampolining is another incredibly efficient exercise. It uses everything from leg muscles, to those in the stomach. While not as efficient as skipping for calorie loss, this is still fantastic for getting muscles working. Bear in mind that buying a trampoline isn’t as easy as getting a jump rope. You’ll need to ensure you purchase the safest option possible. You can visit Parenting Pod for more information on the best options out there, or do your own research. Once you find a model which fits your need, don’t hesitate to invest.

Horse Riding

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The majority of little girls, and some boys too, dream of the chance for horse riding lessons. As such, it shouldn’t take much convincing to get them to take up this physical activity. At 200 calories per 45 minute ride, this doesn’t have quite the same calorie burning capabilities. But, it’s still physical exercise. And, beggars can’t be choosers when unsporty kids are involved. So, make their horse riding dreams come true, and help them get fit, too.


Cool Hacks To Turn Your Home Into A Movie Theatre


 Our family loves going to the movies, but it’s just so darn expensive these days. The tickets alone are a rip-off, and enough to put us off altogether. If you’re finding it hard to justify paying for the cinema, then don’t worry, here are some cool hacks you can try to turn your living room into a movie theatre.

Hook Up A Projector

One of the main reasons you go to a movie theatre is because they play your favourite films on a massive screen. This is something most people think is hard to recreate at home with a TV. Well, that’s true, you will struggle to get a TV that’s big enough to fit across your whole living room wall. If you did find one, it would cost a fortune. But, the trick is to copy exactly what movie theatres do. They don’t have a giant screen, they show their films through a projector. Well, you can hook your living room up with a projector and create the proper movie theatre experience. Aside from a good projector, all you really need is ample space on your wall to fit the projector screen. Dim the lights, turn the projector on, and you’ve got the perfect setting for an amazing film night.

Create A Movie Library

Naturally, what sets a movie theatre apart from a regular old house? The long list of films they’re showing of course! Luckily, there are some easy little hacks you can use to turn your living room into a movie library without having to buy loads of DVDs. All you have to do is gain access to an on-demand TV service that provides you with a back catalogue of movies to watch at any time. A lot of cable providers do this nowadays, meaning you can watch all the movies from movie channels whenever you want. There are also services like Netflix or Hulu that do this too. In one simple step, you’ve got hundreds of movies at your disposal – your own movie library!

Implement Surround Sound

Another key difference between your house and a movie theatre is the sound quality. In fact, as an avid movie fan, I’d say this is probably the biggest difference. You can recreate picture quality at home, but it’s very hard to replicate the amazing sound quality you experience at the movies. The secret is tackling things from all angles – literally! Get yourself a surround sound system so you can hear the film from all four corners of your room. You’ll be amazed at how much this improves your watching experience, and surround sound systems usually have great quality audio. It will feel less like you’re at home and more like you’re in a movie theatre.

Get Some Snacks!

Finally, round off your experience with some snacks – especially popcorn! I suggest actually popping corn in a pan with the lid on. Okay, this isn’t one of my coolest food hacks, but it’s definitely something you can do to create the cinema experience. This gives you that nice warm popcorn you get at the cinema, and you can flavour it to your tastes too.

Once everything is set up you’ll have a mini movie theatre in your living room! Now, enjoy movie nights with the family, without having to overpay for tickets or popcorn.



4 Household Items That Can Be Fixed Surprisingly Quickly

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We live in a disposable society. The relatively cheap cost of technologies that would have shocked and wowed just a few decades have rendered many of the products we use on a regular basis so readily replaceable that we assume it’s quicker and easier to replace them than to repair them. The trouble with this mode of thought however, is that not only is throwing items that can easily be repaired away is not only inherently wasteful, it can be horrendous for the environment. Since our mindset veers so readily to replacement rather than repair, we’re often unaware at just how easily a whole range of household items from trouser zippers to USB cables can be fixed in a matter of minutes.

Why not set a positive example for your kids and choose to get handy the next time one of these commonly used  items breaks?

Clothes and zippers

The rise in affordable, good quality sewing machines has rendered many a savvy parent a dab hand at fixing the odd popped seam or torn knee. However, if you don’t have one, that doesn’t mean that clothing repairs can’t be made quickly and easily. Torn jeans, for example, can be fixed in moments with small patches of denim and an iron-on hemming web like Wonder Web. Simply turn the jeans inside out, place the patch on the affected area and secure into place with the hemming web. It’s a long lasting fix that takes less than five minutes.

Oh and those troublesome busted zips that we’ve all encountered at least a few times? They can be repaired in just a  few minutes too with just a set of needle nosed pliers. Use the pliers to gently lever the zipper open at the bottom (on the side that has come away from the track), feed the loose track back into the gap in the slider that you have created then close back around the track with the pliers when it’s secure.


Your walk to work wouldn’t the same without music, podcasts or audiobooks to keep you company would it? The trouble is that your phone or mp3 player inevitably goes into your pocket, placing a lot of undue stress on the connecting wire. Inevitably this leads to loss of sound or stuttering sound in one or both ears. Fortunately with a soldering iron, some wire strippers and a little patience this is easy enough to fix in less than 10 minutes.

Scratched furniture

Pet owners know the frustration of seeing their beloved wooden furniture engraved with scratches made by unknowing claws. Fortunately for you (and your oblivious pet), these scratches can be visibly reduced by rubbing them with walnuts. Seriously. Walnuts! Take a shelled walnut and rub the ‘meat’ of the nut into the scratches. Not only will your scratches be filled up, but the oils in the nut will lend the surface a natural shine, making the scratches disappear as if by magic.

Charger cables

USB and charger cables can usually be fixed without even needing to solder them. All you need is a pair of sharp scissors and a four Scotchlok cable connectors. Strip off the damaged section of wire and cut the remaining cable in half. Strip away about an inch and a half of the plastic jacket, exposing the 4 USB wires hiding under the shielding (black, white, green and red). Cut the shielding away and slip the wires into the Scotchloks on either side. Your cable is now completely repaired!

The Greatest Gadgets For Parents With Babies

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Nobody ever said being a parent was easy, but why did they have to put the most difficult part right at the start of a journey? Having a baby is a baptism of fire for a parent, especially when dealing with their first. It’s a steep learning curve filled with sleepless nights and desperately trying to negotiate with a tiny person who seems to want…. Something, but you’ve absolutely no idea what! Watching a baby grow and develop (which they do, really fast) is a wonderful, edifying and life affirming experience… but it’s also a lot of hard work. Fortunately, living in the modern world affords parents a plethora of helpful and surprisingly affordable gadgets that not only make parenting a little easier but provide much-needed peace of mind. We’ve assembled a few of the best right here…

Diaper Pails

Never put disposable diapers in the trash. Ever. They’re not like regular garbage and should not be treated as such. Very few garbage cans can mitigate the inevitable odor that accumulates in a household where diapers are changed on a regular basis. A diaper pail is a relatively low-tech piece of kit, but one that makes a big difference. Click here for more information on what to look for in a diaper pail guide. You’d be amazed how much rosier your worldview gets when the smell of baby poop no longer permeates your home.

The Pacifier Thermometer

Newborns are extremely prone to infection. Checking your baby’s temperature is one of the surest ways to give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that your baby is healthy. The trouble is that getting a thermometer into the mouth of a screaming wriggling baby can be a long and exhausting process. That’s why some bright spark thought of putting one right there in a pacifier!

The MamRoo Car Swing

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, chances are there are some long journeys to catch up with friends and relatives for the holiday season scheduled in your calendar. This can be tortuous when you have an upset baby in the back. Of course, it’s imperative that your baby be kept safe in a car seat but this car swing by 4Moms will bounce and swing your baby just like you do, lulling them gently to sleep with these familiar motions while you concentrate on driving.

Video baby monitors

New parents, particularly first time parents, live in a near-constant state of paranoia. Aside from the ever-present “am I doing this right?” mentality that plagues those early years, there’s the very real worry that nags away whenever your baby is out of your sight. Audio baby monitors have given parents peace of mind on this front for decades, but living in the digital age has made it so much easier for parents to keep an eye on their beloved child at all times wherever they are. The current generation of video baby monitors allow parents to see how their baby is in real time using an app on their smart phone.

Gadgets like these are great for giving parents peace of mind and lightening the load so that they can take some much needed time for themselves.

Parents, Children, And Bullying


Bullying is endemic in modern society. Nowadays, kids don’t even have to meet someone face to face to be a bully or get bullied. Stats show that more than 75% of children have and still experience abuse from their peers. As a parent, it is your job to step in and make sure your son or daughter is not a victim. But, what can you do to keep them safe? Below is a selection of tips which experts believe to be the best steps. Hopefully, they will come in handy for you and your children.

Understand The Causes

First and foremost, it is not your fault or the fault of your son and daughter. However, it is worth pointing out that some factors tend to get a reaction. Clothing is a prime example. Students who don’t have to wear a uniform get to put on casual clothes. Although they are comfy, the apparel they wear is a sign of their social status. Nickis baby Versace and Young Versace range is obviously upper/middle class, whereas t-shirts with holes are low class. No one can help their situation, but parents can try and make their child less of a target. It doesn’t have to be top of the range stuff because as long as it’s clean and hole-free, it’s okay.

See The Signs

Children are not open books and they won’t tell their parents if they are suffering. As a mom or dad, it’s your job to spot the warning signs and act. To do that, you need to delve deeper and read between the lines. Are they not as happy or positive as usual? Do they lack confidence because of their looks or appearance? Does the idea of leaving the house fill them with dread? All of these are signs of anxiety brought about by bullies. It’s not easy yet sitting down and talking is the only way to get a straight answer.

Reduce Online Time

Some parents hate the idea of telling their kids they can’t play video games and enjoy life. However, the internet is a dangerous place where the majority of modern bullying takes place. From Twitter to Facebook, bullies will post and tweet nasty things spread across the cyber highway. Pretending it doesn’t take place isn’t a long-term answer but it does help to take a break. The less time they spend online, the less impact cyberbullying should have.

Talk Adult To Adult

The odds of two children sitting down and working through their differences are long. Typically, it’s the parents who get together and come to a suitable solution. No one likes to have the conversation, but it’s essential to prevent further damage. Bullies, like the majority of kids they fear their parents. As long as they are decent people, they will stop it at once. Of course, it’s never wise to go in all guns blazing because people go on the defensive. Instead, point out what’s wrong and come up with solutions together.

Hopefully, your children will never have to experience bullying. If they do, the tips above should help.

Ready For Life Outside The Nest?

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There comes a time in every parent’s life where they stumble across a night of zero sleep, their brain ticking like a clock on the fritz as they wonder whether or not they did enough as a parent to set their kid up to be successful in life. This usually happens right before your kid decides to leave home.

You will sit there, staring down the barrel of an emptier nest, panicking that you never did enough to prepare them for college, work and just life in general. Well, to help you panic less and rest assured more, we have pulled together a list of essential life skills your teens will need before they close the front door and wave goodbye from the driver’s seat of their first rust bucket. Think of this as a sort of checklist if you will.

What’s Cooking?

Every teen would love to have takeaway pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but this isn’t exactly ideal. Neither is a life of Ramen noodles. That is why you need to teach your kid the life skill that is a few basic meals that they can fall back on and build off. Something nutritious and delicious.

Money Matters

All that time at school, enduring a life of pop quizzes and exams that are meant to get you the best job possible, and yet not a single class on money management or budgeting. That is why you need to make extra sure you teach your kid how to budget, the dangers of debt and how to make their money stretch further.

On Time

Teenagers are famous for their inability to wake up before 11 am, but being on time is a pretty important skill to have. We’re talking job interviews, doctor’s appointments, dentist check-ups, meeting friends and whatever else. Sure, some places use an appointment reminder to help overcome the pain in the-you-know-where of having people not show up, but it’s a skill that will come in handy. That’s a fact.

Social Skills

Getting a great education is super-important, but having the social skills is on another level. Being able to hold a conversation, communicate with others, work well in a team, talk in a way to get people to listen and inspire with the same veracity as, let’s say, Jon Snow. That starts with basic manners like saying please and thank you and ends with sympathising other people’s opinions. You want to make a great first impression and then deliver from then onward.

Lust Or Love

Just think back to when you were young and foolish for a second. All those romantic pit-stops you made, your vision clouded by ideas of young love and finding the one you were meant to be with while working as a barista in some tiny coffee shack in the midwest. It is a time of euphoria and total heartbreak, and that is why you need to help your child understand the difference between love and lust, and why you need to help them recover from a breakup.

Take Christmas To A New Level With These Fabulous Ideas

Christmas is nearly upon us, so it’s probably a good time to begin thinking about preparing for the festive season so that as soon as thanksgiving has come and past, you can concentrate on making this the best Christmas yet. Instead of doing what you usually do, why not take Christmas to a new level with these fabulous ideas?



One of the first things that we begin to notice when Christmas rolls around is the decorations going up in shops and around town. If you’ve been using the same decorations for your home for many years now, or you feel like a change in color then consider going all out for your home decor this year.

Usually, families have a real tree, or a green plastic Christmas tree to decorate in their home. These days, you can get different colored trees to display in your home, either as your main Christmas tree, or one for another room to keep the festivities throughout your home. If your home is stuck to a particular color theme, why not choose a tree that will fit in perfectly with your theme? For example, if you have a black and white theme, a black fibre optic Christmas tree would fit perfectly in your home.

Lets not forget about the baubles either. Depending on what kind of tree you have, or what theme you’re going for you can get corresponding baubles and tinsel to match. Alternatively, decorate and design your own baubles with the kids to make the magic even more real.

Another idea would be to decorate some figures to display in your garden with Christmas colors and fairy lights. For example, creating a snowman out of cardboard or a similar material and decorating him with lights and funky colors would make your home decor stand out from the crowd, and also give the children something to do when the christmas holidays roll around.


It’s likely that in your childhood you have traditions from Christmas that you would like to continue with. While that’s a great idea, creating new traditions for your family will be something that you and your children cherish for the rest of your lives. Simple things like making sure you’re all together on Christmas eve to watch a film, with special treats for the family make all the difference to how Christmas feels to everyone.

Many people have traditions like not opening gifts until they have had their Christmas lunch, which extends the excitement even further. Just make it special for your family, whatever you choose to do.



Even though we all know that Christmas isn’t about the gifts, it is a majorly exciting part of the day for everyone involved, especially the children. Whether or not you’ve chosen to include Santa in your children’s lives, the thrill of opening presents is tremendous for them so remember to create some magic in their younger years to look fondly back on.

Stuck for ideas on what to get your children, or possibly even the rest of your family? Check out these brilliant ideas for stocking fillers to see if you can find some inspiration! While there’s no rules on how little or much you should spend, try to remember that Christmas isn’t just about gifts, and that spending time together as a family is more important.


While the traditional roast turkey might not be something that can be missed off your shopping list, why not consider adding some unusual delights into your cart? Treats like cheeses, wines, pickles and biscuits can completely step up your food game on Christmas day.

One thing that might make Christmas more exciting for the family is to get everyone involved in cooking the main meal. Giving everyone an assigned task and then showing off all of your hard work at meal time will leave everyone feeling accomplished and more importantly, full.

So when the time comes for you to do your Christmas shop, remember to browse all of the aisles for the delicacies that stores tend to bring out around Christmas time. You might even find a new food to add to your list permanently!


While you may be giving gifts to your family, don’t forget about the people who don’t have much in this world and make their year by giving to them, especially in these colder months. You can visit homeless shelters to serve food, create gift boxes for children in poorer countries, donate to charities, and much more.

Not only will this help those that are in need, but it will give you an enormous sense of well being. If you can’t afford to give money, give your time because that’s just as appreciated for many people who are facing Christmas alone this year. If a neighbor of yours is alone, make a point of inviting them over for Christmas dinner so that they can enjoy the day as much as possible. Nobody should be alone at any time in their life, especially Christmas.


Remembering what it’s about

As briefly mentioned earlier, many people tend to forget what Christmas is really about due to the over commercialisation of it through the media. You probably already know that Christmas is derived from the religion Christianity. That’s not to say you must be a Christian to celebrate it, but do try and remember about where Christmas came from, and that it’s not solely about gifts and food. It’s also about much needed family time, and appreciating what you have in life. It’s also a time to build bridges with people, catch up with old friends and generally, a very lovely time of year.

So, step up your Christmas game this year with these fabulous ideas and make it your best Christmas yet! Remember, nobody should be alone at Christmas. The more the merrier!


Dealing With Death: What To Do When A Family Member Passes Away


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Death is one of the only constants in life, this is both sad and true. We don’t like thinking about it, we don’t like talking about it, and this inevitably leads to us struggling to cope with it. When a family member dies, it will be heartbreaking for everyone. But, it’s even worse when you’re totally unprepared for everything that follows. You heap additional stress and worry on your family, making the whole situation a hundred times harder for everyone.

So, while you might not like to talk about it, understanding what to do when a family member passes away will be helpful. Here are some things you need to think about and might not be aware of:

Organize The Funeral

Organizing a funeral is a lot harder than most people think. It’s also incredibly expensive, and you can go here to see the average funeral costs today. You have to do everything from choosing the location to designing the headstone. It’s easily the worst part of dealing with death as you don’t want to go through all of this. But, if you can prepare in advance it will help you. As weird as it may sound, having a few places in mind for the ceremony and wake, along with a headstone company, will help you when the time eventually comes around.

Write An Obituary

It’s customary to write an obituary for a loved one when they pass away. This is basically a short paragraph that explains the person died and informs others when the funeral is. Obituaries are often posted in local newspapers to get the word out about the funeral service and so other people can pay their respects. But, they can also appear online, and you can click here for more info on how to do that. Either way, you need to write one if you want people to attend the funeral. People will often send sympathy flowers to your family upon reading it too, it’s just the easiest way of getting an announcement out there.

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Support Your Children

It’s so important that you provide as much support as possible to your children during this time. They can be incredibly upset and have trouble dealing with their emotions. This is where great parents come into their own as you’re able to provide the emotional support they need to get through this. There are a few things I mentioned in this article here that can be applied to this situation. Primarily, showing love and affection as well as offering advice. Don’t neglect your children’s feelings, regardless of how old they might be. Even kids in their teenage years struggle with death, make sure you’re there to lend a helping hand.

If you learn how to deal with death, it will be less traumatic for your family. No doubt the situation will still be heartbreaking, but you should be in more control. Believe me, I don’t enjoy thinking about this topic either. However, there’s no point avoiding it as we will all go through this experience at some point.