All posts by mike

5 Tips for Making the IVF Procedure Successful

IVF is a popular treatment amongst couples who need assistance when falling pregnant. Success rates depend on several factors, including the skills of the clinician’s involved and the couple’s health. While there is no single way to guarantee success in each case, there are ways couples can increase their chances of success.

1. Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle

Producing eggs and sperm doesn’t just rely on the hormone treatments involved; adopting a healthy lifestyle is essential too. Clinics like Invimed can offer couples unique advice during the IVF procedure. However, it’s also recommended to quit smoking, reduce drinking, exercise, and eat healthily.

2. Take the Right Vitamins to Prepare for Pregnancy

Women who eat a healthy and balanced diet should get most of the vitamins they need, but taking a supplement like Pregnacare containing vitamin B12 and folic acid prepares the body for pregnancy. Upon falling pregnant, it also reduces the likelihood of miscarriage and aids foetal development.

3. Try to Make IVF Relaxing

Understandably, many couples find the IVF procedure stressful, as they are anxious about whether it will work. However, relaxing as much as possible is central to increasing chances of success. Activities like yoga, exercise, and meditation can reduce stress. Couples who are unsure of their chosen activities can discuss them with the clinicians leading their case.

4. Freeze Embryos for Future Cycles

Unfortunately, IVF isn’t always successful the first time. Clinics like Invimed may recommend freezing embryos for future cycles, which avoids going through the same hormone cycles used during the first treatment.

5. Use an Egg Donor

Couples who find out the woman’s own eggs aren’t suitable during the IVF procedure may want to consider using an egg donor. Providing the egg donor is carefully screened – and those associated with good clinics are – this is an effective way of making the procedure more successful.

Aside from the above tips, couples also receive unique advice from the professionals working with them during the process. Following this is also essential for finding success.

5 Ways Working Parents Can Spend More Quality Time with their Kids

5 Ways Working Parents Can Spend More Quality Time with their KidsMany families today have made the decision to have both parents working. Some parents are lucky enough to work inside the home, but those parents still need to devote a good amount of each day towards their work. These parents often find it difficult to get the quality time that they want with their children. Many go from bed in the morning to the office, only to come home, make dinner, clean up and go to bed. These schedules leave little room for daily time with the kids.

Even when it seems like there is no free time, there are some ways for working parents to make time for their kids. Parents can make time in every day’s schedule to make sure that their kids feel loved and appreciated. These special times are very important to both children and parents, and every family can make this special time happen in a regular basis. Here are five ways working parents can spend more quality time with their kids.

Leave work at work

Many parents, especially those who work from home, have a difficult time leaving their work at the office. This can leave children feeling neglected and make parents even more stressed than is necessary. Parents should do their best to leave all their work obligations at work, even turning off all cell phones and other technology when at home with the kids.

Schedule in one-on-one time

Even only children can feel like they have to take a back seat to a parent’s work at times. Parents can solve this issue by scheduling one-on-one time with each of their children. This will ensure that the kids feel special on a regular basis and parents can reconnect with each one individually, this can range from nightly story time to a monthly weekend outing.

Get some help around the house

Most parents feel frustrated because they need to come home from work and clean up the mess that the kids have been making every day. Parents who have these issues can get some extra help around the house. They can assign their kids each a job to do every day to keep the house clean and help avoid spending all their free time cleaning at the end of each day.

Participate in activities the whole family enjoys

There are a lot of things that parents and kids can do together that will entertain everyone. Families can find certain activities that everyone can participate in that will give them all something to do together. Parents can use Direct TV in Oregon to get the best family friendly channels that are sure to please everyone watching.

Use dinner time to catch up

Dinner time is traditionally the time when the whole family sits around the table and talks about their days. This is an old tradition because it works. Families can use this idea today to grow closer and understand better what is going on in everyone’s daily lives.


How Work from Home Moms Can Save More Money

How Work from Home Moms Can Save More MoneySaving money is a big priority for a lot of families today. Parents want to work less and spend more time with their children, but still have enough money to live comfortably and prepare for the future of their family. This is a dilemma that has led a lot of families to opt for the work from home option. Moms who work from home can not only save a lot of money, but they can also spend more time with their families that they would not have been able to before.

Even moms who work from home, however, may struggle to make ends meet. Work from home opportunities may not pay as well as the office job that a mom left, so work from home moms might still need to find some ways to save extra money to allow them to keep working from home. Luckily, there are a lot of great ways that every mom, even work from home moms, can save more money every month and have the luxury of spending the time that they want with their family. Here are some ways work from home moms can save more money.

Eliminate the commuting costs that are no longer in use

Commuting costs is a big way that work from home moms save money every day. Instead of spending hours in the car and wasting hundreds of dollars at the gas station and car repair shop each month, moms can use that extra money towards their family’s needs. This means that many families will have a car and other commuting expenses that are no longer in regular use. Moms can consider selling their car and opting for a less expensive one they can use to run errands and lowering things like car insurance and the car security systems.

Consolidate the bills as much as possible

There are a lot of bills that are eliminated when a mom chooses to begin to work from home. However, some home bills may go up when moms make the switch, as well as other investments that moms will need to make in order to efficiently work from home. Moms can work to make sure that they are paying as little as possible for bills every month. This can involve consolidating bills with, making their home more energy efficient and buying in bulk to save money on groceries.

Take advantage of tax write-offs

Work from home moms can take advantage of tax write-offs that no one else will be able too. Work from home moms can write off anything that they need to use in order to work from home, from investments in new office equipment to their monthly internet bill. These write offs will only come once a year, but the extra check can help families save more money for the future or treat themselves to a much needed vacation.

Add some odd jobs to the weekly schedule

Every mom will choose the right work schedule that will best suit her and her family’s needs. However, moms who work from home can easily pick up some odd jobs every week to bring in a little extra income each month. These jobs can range from cleaning houses to freelance writing.


Heading to Blackpool With the Kids This Christmas? Here’s What You Need to Know

Blackpool is a great place to take the kids. There is so much to see and do in Blackpool that is orientated around families and their needs. Whether you have older children or young babies, they are sure to love Blackpool and everything it has to offer.

The Pleasure Beach

The Pleasure Beach is a must for any family. With a plethora of thrill seeking rides and rides aimed at the younger market, you are sure to have a great day out. Wristbands only cost £17.99 per person, so it’s an inexpensive day out for many. The Pleasure Beach is home to some of the UK’s best rides. Did you know that the Avalanche was the first of its kind in the UK? Check out the infographic below for more information on white knuckle thrill rides at the Pleasure Beach. When it comes to white knuckle rides, your family will love this day out. It will certainly get you in the festive spirit!

The Arcades

What family doesn’t love to head to the arcades? One of the best things about Blackpool is that it has fun for the family along the Golden Mile. The Golden Mile is packed with arcades and entertainment that is sure to entertain all members of the family. You can play the slot machines or go on the teddy grabbing machines. Everyone loves to play on the amusements. What is more, you can keep warm inside the amusements if the weather is not up to scratch!

The Christmas Illuminations

The Blackpool Christmas Illuminations are something of a UK national institution. The lights are out in full effect and can be seen for miles. The illuminations are a firm favourite with young and old. The kids will certainly love a day out like this!

Infographic Design By Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Black Friday sale madness – no thanks!

I love a good deal as much as anyone, as someone with kids it’s always important to try and save a few pounds wherever I can. Today is Black Friday and my family and friends are writing all over Facebook about them dashing down to the shops. This is not an option for me, I could not think of anything worse than queuing in the cold and fighting over a few discounted TV’s, another sale of deal will come along before Christmas or in the new year.

I prefer to do my shopping online and I have used quite a few sites such as Hot UK Deals, Money Saving Expert and I am subscribed to quite a few email lists to get the latest bargains direct to my inbox.

I have some of the latest toys you can purchase below! These are some of the latest must have toys for this year and what’s even better is this compares all the price in 1 box, so you don’t have to get crushed by the Black Friday sale queues!

The site behind this money saving idea is, which is another site I use on a regular basis to get money off my shopping bills.

What toys are on your kids wish list this Christmas? Let me know in the comments below and please PLEASE tell me your funny Black Friday stories!

Baby Versus Career Infographic – See Which Option To Choose

Did you know that 25 percent of UK expecting mothers feel that they are discriminated at work? This is something that can have a huge impact on the decision to have a baby as there is a feeling that the career will be affected. However, there are moments in which it is far more important for the woman to have a baby than to continue on the career path.
The Baby Versus Career infographic aims to help women decide between the two, making the choice a lot easier. Take a look at it, see the stats presented, the expenses that are listed and decide if it is the right time to have a baby or it is a better idea to choose the career.

How much does it cost to raise a kid?
How much does it cost to raise a kid? is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree

Impossibly Fun Indoor Activities for Kids on Cold Winter Days

Impossibly Fun Indoor Activities for Kids on Cold Winter Days

Winter is here and most kids are excited to get outside and start enjoying all the winter weather activities that they have been missing all summer long. Parents are often happy to let their kids play in the snow outside, but there are some exceptions. Sometimes it is too cold or the weather is just too harsh to let the kids play outside. Parents then have to create some great entertainment indoors for their kids on winter days.

There are a lot of ways to distract kids from the fact that they cannot go outside in productive and positive ways. Parents can set up some easy activities that allow their kids to learn and have fun while staying warm indoors. This is a great way for parents to spend quality time with their kids and for kids to create some wonderful memories that they can recreate with their parents any day of the year. Here are some impossibly fun indoor activities for kids on cold winter days.

Get into the kitchen

Cooking and baking is a great activity for kids for many reasons. Cooking and baking creates heat that will keep the home warm in the winter, helping the family save money on heating costs. Additionally, kids can learn a valuable skill while having fun with their parents indoors. Parents can find simple recipes that allow their kids to participate and create a delicious meal that everyone will love.

Create an indoor winter wonderland

Just because the kids cannot go outside does not mean that they have to miss out on all the wintertime fun. Parents can recreate a winter wonderland inside the home to give kids a fun and safe way to enjoy the snow. Parents can help their kids craft paper snowflakes, give them wax paper ‘skates’, and even make snowflake window clings. These little touches may not be the real things, but any child will have a blast playing with the pretend snow.

Snuggle up for some down time

On a cold winter day, there are few things better than snuggling under a warm blanket with a hot drink and a great movie. Parents can give their kids some down time from playing in the snow with a relaxing movie night. Parents can use Time Warner Cable packages to give their kids a great selection of movies and TV shows to watch on cold winter days. This allows great entertainment for both parents and kids and a simple activity to enjoy any day of the year.

Build an indoor scavenger hunt

An indoor scavenger hunt is a great way to keep kids active while keeping them indoors. Parents can set up an easy scavenger hunt in their home to keep kids occupied for hours while they look for clues and prizes. Parents can even make some household chores a part of the hunt. For example, parents can reward their kids with another clue if they can properly fold the laundry.


5 Great Kids Gift Ideas for Christmas

Buying Christmas presents for the kids is never easy. You can ask them to write a list for Father Christmas, but usually what you get back is a combination of “that’s never going to happen” and “is that all?”. And that’s if they’ll even let you look at their list. Plus, even if your kids have a list as long as your arm, you want to get them something you’ve chosen too. They might be asking for all the latest fad toys, but maybe you want to get them something a bit more interesting. You could get them a gift that will encourage them to learn or spark enthusiasm for a new hobby. It’s difficult keeping the idea flowing every year though, and you want to get them something that both you and they will like. Try these gift ideas to get you thinking for the perfect Christmas gift.

 Something Sporty

 2110287709_b3a9d45e5c_zImage by Wapster

 With video games, TV and the internet, it can be difficult to get your kids to go outside and play. But it’s important that they do, both for their health and yours. Your choice of Christmas gift could help make going outside to play more fun so that they can’t wait to get into the garden or go to the park. A sporty Christmas present doesn’t have to be anything too expensive. Although you could get them a new bike, there are also lots of other things you can buy that will encourage them to exercise in a fun way.

 If a bike is a bit too far out of you price range, you could also try a scooter from a company such as They’re cheaper and easier to ride than bicycles, and they’re great fun to ride to school and back. Plus, they’re easier to stow away than a bicycle, as they fold up neatly. Other sports-themed presents could be anything from a skipping rope to a new football.

 Something Crafty

 8313400182_3f9acc909c_zHey Paul Studios

 You can also use Christmas gifts as a chance to encourage your kids’ creativity. If your children enjoy arts and crafts, then getting them something they can use to express their imagination is a great idea. There are so many arts and crafts things you can buy, and you don’t have to have too much imagination yourself to find something your child will like. If you aren’t very good at coming up with ideas by yourself, it’s easy to buy a kit to do all kinds of things. You can find ones for making jewellery or toy planes, or maybe a small sewing project or card making kit.

 If you want to give your kids a bit more freedom, you can try buying them materials for something crafty and let their imaginations go wild. You can get big art kits to save you having to buy lots of individual things. You might start them off on a hobby that they’ll enjoy for the rest of their life, from soap making to knitting.

 A Musical Instrument

 3503684445_080a51a743_zSteve Snodgrass

 Most parents cringe at the idea of having their child learning a new instrument at home. But although it can be frustrating having to hear their very first attempts at playing an instrument whether it’s a violin or a drum kit, everyone has to start somewhere. To help ease you through the period when they’re just starting out, you could try combining the gift of an instrument with lessons to learn how to play it. Of course, you don’t want to buy them a very expensive instrument that they’ll soon abandon if they get bored. There’s no need to splash too much cash on an instrument. In fact, if you’re focusing on music lessons that you might just want to hire one instead.

 If you do want to buy an instrument, you can easily get several instruments very cheaply. Guitars, for example, are reasonably priced and come in kids’ sizes, both online and in music shops. It also doesn’t cost much to buy a small keyboard, and percussion instruments come at reasonable prices too.

 Science and Messy Stuff

 5500526395_112434448c_zAnnika Backstom

 Kids love to get messy and play around with gross stuff. That’s just a fact. So why not help them develop their skills and knowledge of science at the same time? There are lots of ready-made science kits that make it easy for kids to get stuck in and make them feel like a powerful mad scientist. You can buy things like crystal-making kits, mini laboratory sets and even kits for putting together little robots. As well as lab stuff, kids also enjoy growing their own plants and food.

 Another great way to get a bit messy and have something to show at the end of it is baking and cooking. Try looking at some kitchen gadgets, including cupcake makers and candy floss machines. Lots of adults have got the baking bug recently, and it’s great fun to spend time baking with your kids. Another simple thing is a chocolate making kit. Usually, these kits just involve melting down chocolate and pouring them into moulds to make new shapes. It’s simple, but a lot of fun for kids.

 Something Silly

 2146969296_d6ffd67252_zSource: Wendy

 When all else fails, get your kids something that will make them laugh. A lot of silly presents might be better as stocking fillers, but there’s nothing that says you can’t have lots of little presents under the tree. You need to pick your silly presents carefully though. Get something good, and they’ll laugh at it a couple of times and then get bored. But get them something great, and they’ll laugh every time they see or use it, and love it forever. Eventually, you’ll wish they would stop finding it funny.

 You can find hundreds of silly gifts at just about any gift shop. From novelty socks to water pistols, there are all kinds of delights to make your kids laugh. But as with any gift it could be a risk. Make sure you know their sense of humour, or else you’ll think it’s funnier than they do.

Awesome Ways To Make Your Kid’s Party Special

Is your kid’s birthday coming up? There are plenty of ways you can make your kid’s party extra special this year. Adults sometimes forget what it’s like to be young. When you’re a child, everything is fascinating and fun. Creating a party that is fun for your child is easier than it sounds. Forget having a normal party, where some kids play musical chairs and dance. Instead, create a party that your child will remember forever. Here are some awesome ways to make your kid’s party special.

9395294922_2586c7a1f2_zImage from Flickr

Make it a surprise!

Children love surprises. The good news is that it isn’t hard to plan a surprise party without your child realizing. Children are much less perceptive than adults. When you and your partner have secret conversions, your child is unlikely to notice. Talk to other parents about having a surprise party. Tell your child that you’re going to celebrate as a family. He or she will love it when all his or her friends start turning up as well.

Make healthy, sweet snacks

At most kids’ parties, you will find an array of fatty and sugary food. Avoid giving young children food with additives and fake coloring. Instead, make some healthy sweet snacks for the party itself. You can make some delicious fruit salads and sandwiches that every child will love. Look up recipes for healthy party food so that you can create a wonderful buffet. You might want to theme your buffet. For example, if your child loves robots, you can shape the food like robots. The other parents will thank you for using healthy food, and you will avoid having a party full of hyperactive children.

Add a little magic to the party

Here’s a little secret: most children still believe in magic. By adding a little magic to your kid’s party, you will make the event an extravaganza. You could hire a magician or learn a few tricks yourself. There are loads of simple tricks online. Look at online stores, like Magic Nevin, to find some tricks. Most tricks come with instruction manuals, and so they should be easy to learn. Magic fascinates children, and so you will be the hit of the party.

Make sure that there are lots of prizes

Throughout the party, you will need to play games and have competitions with the children. The best way to keep the children engaged is to give them prizes when they win games. Get some small gifts, such as toy cars and stickers, that you can give to competition winners. Make sure things don’t get over-competitive, though, as some children could get upset.

Use a color theme

What is your kid’s favorite color? Not sure? Ask them. It is that simple. This party is about your child and everything they love. Tailor the color theme to suit your kid so that they love the decor. You can get the other kids and parents in on the act too. Tell them about the color theme and ensure they dress up in the same color. Little things like a theme make the party memorable for everybody.

Grant three birthday wishes

Every child wishes for things. Before the party, ask your child what his or her birthday wishes are. Some will be unrealistic, such as “I want to be a superhero,” but others you can grant. If your child wishes for a certain item or activity, you can make their wish come true at their party. Don’t say anything about your child’s wishes when he or she tells you what they are. Just make a mental note of what they are and see whether you can grant them later.

5 Fundraising Ideas Your Kids Will Love

4400018911_f434e75a13_zThanks to Jenny for the image.

As a mum in the local community, you’ll know that your kid’s school could always use more money. There are no shortcuts when it comes to your child’s education and wellbeing. Sometimes, there just isn’t enough money in the budget to upgrade the gym. Whatever your school or community needs, fundraising might just be the answer. Local communities often come together and help raise money for a good cause.

When raising money for your kid’s school, you’ll want to get the children involved. It’s all about them, after all! They’ll love to help out and it’ll give them a feeling of responsibility. It will also help them learn the importance of community and setting goals. Plus, if you choose the right fundraising idea, they’ll love getting involved to make it happen. Here are our top fundraising ideas to get your kids into the community spirit.

Cookie Sale

It’s a classic, but it’s a classic for a reason. It’s a well tested fund-raising idea and it always works. There is nothing better than a home-baked cookie and people will pay good money for them. The kids will love getting messy in the kitchen and learning how to bake. If your kids are young, go with them when they knock on doors. Stick to neighbourhoods you know.

No Uniform Day

When you’re a child, No Uniform Day is nearly as good as Christmas. There’s something so exciting about turning up to school in your everyday clothes. This one is especially good for early teens. They might be difficult to engage, but they’ll definitely get on board with this idea. They jump at any chance to show off their identity and this is the perfect option. Each child takes a little money for the privilege and you’ll raise loads.

Book Sale

As a family, you’ve probably got hundreds of books lying around. Perhaps even some old audio books. They take up space in your attic and you know you’re never going to read them. Set up a stall in a popular place in the community (or even on your front garden). Then let your children be shopkeepers for the day. They’ll love taking the money and they’ll feel a little more independent.

School Sleepover

This one will take some planning and organising with the school. However, the children will be so excited. Like No Uniform Day, there’s something strangely exciting about staying overnight at school. Set the school gym up as a camping area and stage a sleepover. You can plan all sorts of fun activities through the night.

Recycle Drive

Kids are beginning to understand the damage we have done to the planet. We should help them get into the habit of recycling from an early age. Setting up a recycle drive and letting them run it and promote it is a good way to do that. You’ll want to run this over a month or so and get the whole neighbourhood into the habit.

Fundraising is a great way to teach your children responsibility. They’ll gain a sense of community and learn all kinds of other skills. Best of all, you’ll raise a little money to go towards their wellbeing and education.