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Easy ways to make money as a parent

fun questions to get the conversation with your teenager started
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No matter what the reason for deciding you need to start making more money, below I have listed 30 clever ways to start making money this weekend.  These are things to get you started or not down a to-do list to help you start making money this weekend.

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garden ideas
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Now summer is officially here I want tO share with you some of my top favourite items for the garden.  Having teenagers can be a testing time during the summer.  So these furniture ideas will help you to keep them busy and entertained as if they were on holiday!  Bringing the outdoors in during this weather is just magical.  Indeed we are also saving up to do a little more work on our home and would love bifold doors as they are truly a wonderful addition to bring the outdoors in!


Garden furniture is the first step to ensuring we have a fantastic summer spending time in the garden.  So whether you are planning a redesign, want to update your outdoor space, or just want to bring the outdoors in, these garden must haves will help you transform your outdoor living space in no time at all.


garden ideas


I just love lying back and sipping some win in a summer’s evening.  Loungers therefore are ideal for creating a peaceful zone in your garden.  It can be placed anywhere you have space.  I love opting for traditional wood in terms of loungers as you can fold them away when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Add a matching side table that can also be folded away to carve out your own space to kick back and unwind in the summer sun.



garden ideas

This wicker furniture is perfect for the outside space. The natural, woven wicker, along with the white furnishings, helps enhance the seaside setting and perfectly complements its surroundings by adding to the natural, fresh, bright, beachy feel. Wicker is lightweight, airy, and comfortable, and the variety of seating options makes it the perfect space for seaside dining and socialising.



garden ideas

Use garden furniture to create a cosy nook in the corner of a large country garden. This garden adds a rustic, country-style, classic dining set in wrought iron to create a dining area. Cream cushions match the honey-cream paving and the matching parasol acts as a focal point whilst providing shade for protection and comfort throughout the day. Plant climbers, lavender and pruned bushes for a garden that oozes old world country charm.



garden ideas

For a simple communal seating solution, try a bench. This bench offers a minimalistic, modern, and stylish take on the traditional picnic bench and is ideal for dining. Wood is hard-wearing, strong, durable, easy to maintain, and can kept outside all year, making it ideal for outdoor use and simple communal seating and dining. If you want to update or rejuvenate the plain wood to suit your style, simply add a lick of paint in your desired colour.



garden ideas

Choose a table with a built in fire pit to add intrigue and establish a focal point in your outdoor space. Adding a table with a fire pit helps you optimise the time spent in your garden as you can warm yourself by the fire on cooler days and chilly evenings and create an intimate and ambient space for long summer nights outdoors.


Transform Your Garden with Garden Furniture


Transform your garden using these garden furniture ideas – from loungers for peaceful relaxation, seaside wicker, and country charm dining sets to minimal wooden benches for simple seating, and fire pits for long evenings in your new garden. There are loads of ways to transform your garden with garden furniture and create your own ideal outdoor space that you will enjoy spending time in for years to come.





Need inspiration to transform your garden? These 5 garden furniture ideas will help you transform your outdoor space. #garden

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garden ideas
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Summer is finally here.  I honestly can’t believe this weather.  We don’t often get treated to such a prolonged spell of sunshine in the 20s.  It means that the garden for us as a family is even more important than ever.  Summer is a time of happiness, a time for families – and especially teenagers – to crank open the doors and spend some quality time in the garden.  From lazing on a lounger, playing ball or even having a paddle in a pool to keep cool.  Of course, another great way you can use your garden is to host parties, BBQ’s or birthdays.  It doesn’t have to be expensive but there are a few things you could do to make the most of it.


garden ideas


Write a shopping list

Shopping lists aren’t just for the old, boring and super-organised. They are a great way of keeping down cost because you can head to the store and buy everything you have on the list. If you don’t have a clue what you’re supposed to be getting and just look for inspiration down every aisle, it is almost guaranteed you won’t need 50% of the things you end up buying. Garden parties often attract hungry guests and buffet type finger foods are perfect for people to just help themselves. If you don’t have time to create a jaw-dropping spread, why not go for something everyone loves? Think hotdogs with bowls full of different toppings and a basket for the buns – guests can build their own according to preference and you can keep the cost down without seeming cheap.


Get DIY Savvy

A bit of garden DIY never hurt anyone, and you would be surprised at how well you can decorate and furnish your garden without forking out a lot of money on fancy furniture. The basics required are a table and chairs when entertaining guests but this doesn’t mean you need to buy any. If you really are a dab hand at DIY then you can fashion your own out of old pieces of wood (upcycling is all the rage now) but if, like most, you wouldn’t have the first clue how to use a saw, then there are plenty of old things that will suffice as seating! Think huge old tyres with cushions, old wooden crates or even hay bales! Oh and need somewhere to chill the beers? Fill an old barrel or wheelbarrow with ice. There are a huge amount of possibilities that will not only save you money but will also look great.


Consider opening up your space

Have you thought about opening up the space between your indoors and outdoors?  It can bring such a magic element to your home and it allows you interact with your guests who would be outdoors while you are preparing food indoors.  These types of aluminium windows and aluminium doors is also ideal if you have small children as you can see clearly what they are up to!


Consider using garden lighting

Garden lighting is a must not just when the sun goes down but to set the right asmosphere for you and your guests.  Lighting creates mood and is just fabulous.  There are so many different options to choose from so get creative.




This post is in collaboration with Three Counties Limited


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teen gifts
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I just love crafting.  It’s also a great activity to do with your teen.  These Easter teen DIY projects will keep your teen occupied and hopefully have some fun.  It’s also an excellent way to stay connected to your teenager.  Let’s face it we all love to have some fun.



Paint Filled Eggs

paint filled eggs

Found on Play Learn Grow



Easter Egg Bath Bomb


teenager Easter crafts


Found on The Suburban Mom



Sparkly Dot Easter Eggs


Easter teenager diy


Found on Domestifluff



Painted Easter Bunny Jars


Found on Make Life Lovely



These are just some fun crafts you and your teenager can do together.  Other tips can be found on my other posts such as:


We give so much attention to the TV and our smart phones these days.  It’s important to protect family time together.  So prioritise having dinner together as a family after all the world will still be there after 30 minutes!




Do you know that your teenager wants to talk to you?  Remember to listen to what your teenager has to say. Don’t offer advice unless you are asked.  I know it is difficult as a parent not to go in to advice mode but it does make for a better relationship if you hold off until asked and just listen.


It doesn’t have to be a serious chat if it isn’t needed.  Take turns to select music or choose dessert.  It really doesn’t matter as long as you chat and spend time together.


Related posts:

5 Mistakes I have made as a parent of a teenager

When is the time right to take a step back and let your teenager take the lead?

5 Things my teenager needs

How to stay connected to your tween




These Easter teen diy projects will have your teenagers having fun! #parenting #teens #teenagers


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teenage fashion
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The teenage years are stressful.  They are stressful for teenagers but they are also stressful for parents.  It can be tough allowing your teenager to find their style and even more so trying to find a place that is good value for money.  But don’t worry I’ve put together a handy list of top places to shop.



There are hundreds of different brands to choose from on the ASOS site.  They also have an array of prices too.  You can get the basics here from plain t-shirts to more branded fashion wear.


River Island

River Island offers original fashion, lovely designs and cutting edge styles for teenagers.  A great choice from casual basics to going out fashion styles.



Topman is a fashionable brand. Stocking a wealth of on-trend items from school wear through to going out wear.  A great variety of choice online and instore.


New Look

New Look offers a great range at a very affordable price.  The range is extensive from school wear, fashion wear, weekend wear and summer wear.



Next have a older boys range which caters for teenagers although the range isn’t as extensive as some of the other stores mentioned.  They do have a great offers though on bulk buy t-shirts and long sleeve t-shirts.



H&M have a range for age 8-14 year olds but the size of these would probably suit up to 16 year olds.  A great range of basics as well as hoodies, jeans and summer wear.



You may not have known that Zara offer a range for boys up to age 14.  They offer a very stylish range from hoodies to their new 80’s range!


These are just some of the fashion stores that cater for teenage boys.  Of course for the majority of teens love sports brands which can be purchased directly from the likes of Adidas, Vans or Converse.


I hope the above suggestions of where to shop for teenage boys helps you no matter what your budget.  Are there any other shops that should be in this list?  Just let me know below!




Where do you go to buy clothes for your teenage son?  These online stores are just some of the places you can get clothes for your teenage son.  #parenting #teens #teenager




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We are just back from a family holiday to France and Germany with our teenagers.  I wanted to share with you some tips I have come back with!  It wasn’t all plain sailing to be honest but I do believe we all had a good time.


Below are some suggestions if you are planning a holiday with teenagers.



Of course they are still young but we opted for some of the trip to have the teenagers in their own hotel room.  It seemed to work well and not just for our boys but for us too!  Having the space after dinner certainly helped us and them.  As we all know teenage years are difficult, so having space for them to go to their own room is a great solution.



It doesn’t have to be an expensive holiday or you don’t have to fork out a small fortune to keep them entertained.  The majority of our favourite things on holiday were spending time talking and going for walks in the forests and taking pictures.  It also helped one of the hotels had a swimming pool for the boys to go and get a good work out!




Just like at home you will need to guide your teenager.  We found that being allowed to have free reign over the buffet was not the best thing we could have done!  This resulted in an upset tummy!  It might be helpful to guide your teenager through the food options and while they may wish to be adventurous, hopefully they won’t feel too bad after eating something they don’t normally eat!



The key to our success on holiday was being prepared, packing together, talking about what everyone should bring and allowing the boys to take responsibility for their own items and luggage.  My advice is to be prepared but also involve your teenager in the decisions – including times and places to visit!



Your teenager will be free from all the usual pressures they normally have at home.  They will also be without their favourite games console so be prepared for a little grumpiness!  Having said that being on holiday with teenagers is a great time to reconnect and talk about things without the pressures of home life.


If all else fails you can console yourself that soon you will be able to holiday without your teenagers!




tips for holidaying with teenagers


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The lovely people at Exploris kindly provided us with tickets to try out the new and improved Aquarium in Portaferry.  It is Northern Ireland’s only aquarium which reopened after a £2m refurbishment, having been closed for almost two years.  It was also threatened with complete closure back in 2013 but thankfully it remains open.


Exploris is located in County Down in the lovely little town of Portaferry.  We decided to take our boys there as we haven’t been in many years – since the boys were very young.  Our day started by getting the ferry from Strangford over to Portaferry.  The boys were extremely excited but so was I – it was a big adventure as we normally don’t travel by ferry unless we’re going on summer holidays.


We visited Exploris during the Easter holidays so it was pretty busy but there was still plenty of room to get a good look at all the fish with staff available to answer any and all queries that we had!  Our boys were thrilled to see the sharks and be able to get up really close and personal.


They were also delighted to see the new reptile section with snakes and alligators.  This is a welcome addition as the boys would watch Steve Backshall in Deadly 60, so seeing these animals up close was a welcome surprise.


At the time we were visiting we also got to see a baby sea otter being fed.  Of course this attracted quite a crowd but our boys are so tall they could see fine!  Another favourite was getting to see the seals swimming especially when they came really close to the glass-sided tank.




No visit to Exploris is complete without taking time to have a hot chocolate in the restaurant.  While it was busy, there was no waiting time as staff were very quick at serving.


I have no hesitation in recommending Exploris for kids of any age and with lots of other things to do nearby it is the ideal place to visit as part of your day out exploring Portaferry and the surrounding areas.





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