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Cable tidy examples

I created this tutorial for the Buzz Feed website. I loved creating it as it was a bit of a challenge to do something I wouldn’t usually do and be given a little brief for a craft make – it got the cogs whirring!

You can see the tutorial on the Buzz Feed website, but all the instructions are below too!

You will need: two wooden clothes pegs, all purpose glue, washi tape in colours or patterns of your choice, and your headphones.

Step 1

Get your pegs right: First you need to check the pegs are the right size for your headphones. Open one of the pegs and clamp around the wire just below the jack plug of your headphones. If the jack plug doesn’t fall through the end, you’re onto a winner. If it does, you’ll need to get some slightly smaller pegs.

Step 2

Get taping: Bare wooden pegs are OK but you’ll want to add a bit of colour and fun to your cable tidy. To do this add some washi tape down one side of each of the pegs. Pick your favourite colours or patterns, I went for some black and white dots, but you could try neons, or pastels which would look great against the light wood.

Step 3

Glue it together: Once you’re all washi taped up, use the all purpose glue to sandwich the non-decorated sides together. The pegs will need to top-and-tail each other as shown, so you can wind your headphones round it properly.

step 4

It’s a wrap: Woo hoo! You’re pretty much there, you just need to add your headphones – et voila! Start by putting the jack plug into the end of one of the pegs, then wrapping the cable round and round your new creation. Once you run out of cable, open the other peg and secure around the wire under the earbuds.

Step 5

Ready to go: So there you have your super-simple cute cable tidy.

Finished cable tidy

I made a few more and played with some colour combos, for one of them I also decided to offset my pegs slightly to add a little something extra to the design.

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Post image for Tips for Working Mums: How to be Fully Present When You Are with Your Kids

There are two types of working mother mentalities. One school of thought claims that working mums are far more likely to spend their time with their kids in a focused and unselfish way, dictated by the sentiment that their time with them is possibly more limited. The other camp cites the increase in the reliance of smart technology as having a detrimental effect on the time spent with the children. Never being able to demarcate the blurry line between work and home, perhaps with the added pressures of having to work harder to overcome prejudices of part time work, some working mums find themselves nose down in laptop or stabbing away at their Blackberry even before breakfast has finished.

How can busy working mums ensure that the time spent with their kids is spent in a fully focused way?

  1. Make it a “task”. This may sound contentious: Who would consider that spending time with your own children could be considered a chore? This is not what this is about. A task is not necessarily a chore or something that is undesirable. However, tasks often are moved high in the list of priorities because of the perception that they are a requirement, something that must be done. If it helps, think of it as a goal. Too often, the reason that working mums struggle to be fully present with their kids, is because a work or home task has become urgent and has taken priority. If the time spent with the kids is considered in the same way, it then becomes the priority. Create a list of activities that you would like to do with your kids each week, capture them on a calendar and allocate time to them. Then stick to it!
  2. Switch off the phone. Stop it bleeping and flashing. By responding immediately to every request and query you are setting untenable expectations for yourself. When you are with the kids, be with the kids. This tactic will also help your children understand the difference between working time and down time and will be far less likely to interrupt you on the phone during an important business call. Just think, they perhaps consider your answering of the phone during ‘their’ time is a rude interruption and therefore the behaviour is endorsed.
  3. Get out of the house. Especially if your office is your home. It doesn’t need to involve costly entrance prices to theme parks; it just requires a change of scene. By making a big deal of the time, you are shifting expectations of both yourself and your children. Watch as their behaviour improves as the quality of your focus on them is heightened.
  4. Be naturally curious. Of course children can natter on about the most ridiculously meaningless things on a very regular basis, and the temptation is always there to enforce a ‘quiet’ meal time to quell the maelstrom of noise in your head. Occasionally make it your target to find out things about your children you never knew, they will, at times, amaze you.

You’ll hear the cliché many times that the childhood stage is fleeting. As a working mother, it can feel like an eternity at times, however, there will come a day when suddenly the realisation hits that the kids have grown up. Ensure that you have the memories you’ll want to treasure.

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Top 10 UK Holiday Parks
Holiday Parks UK 

Summer is upon us. The fresh air of the great outdoors seems to call out to us, tempting us to believe that wishes for clear skies and sunshine just might come true. What better way to make the most of the fair weather season than to take a break from the humdrum of everyday life. Holiday Parks in the UK offer all the amenities for the perfect getaway, and the home-away-from-home setting means that you’ll feel yourself relaxing as soon as you’re on your way.

Holidays are taken less often than they’re deserved and with a long weekend coming up at the end of August, why not take the opportunity to explore the unknown or head for your old favourite spot. Essential Travel has put together a guide to the Top 10 Holiday Parks across the UK to cater to your every desire.

If you have a favourite UK holiday park, we would love to hear about it. Let us know on Facebook or drop a comment in the box below.

For First Timers

Perran Sands Holiday Park, Cornwall

Perran SandsImage source: Haven Holidays / CC BY-SA

The untamed beaches of Cornwall make for a surfer’s paradise. And Perran Sands, with direct access to the beach and surfing school, is the perfect holiday location for anyone keen to catch a wave. The holiday park also offers heated indoor and outdoor pools and, for the less aquatically inclined, a sports court, paintball, adventure golf, kart hire, circus school and nature walks to explore Cornwall’s natural beauty. With the wide range of facilities, the convenience of a variety of restaurants and bars and the exquisite views, Peran Sands might just become your new favourite holiday destination.

Devon Cliffs Holiday Park, Devon

Devon CliffsImage source: Haven Holidays / CC BY-SA

This five-star holiday park sees guests returning year after year. Nestled on the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, many caravans overlook the sea and sandy beach below. Despite the exquisite cliff-top location, the award-winning beach can be accessed directly from Devon Cliffs, so the only difficulty will be deciding just how to make the most of your time. The holiday park boasts an indoor pool, a multi-level pool complex, boat trips and a luxury spa, as well as a variety of other activities, such as abseiling, archery, ice-skating and Laser Combat. There is also a range of restaurants and bars, and almost-around-the-clock entertainment to make sure that your holiday park experience is everything you could ever want.

For Families

Church Farm Holiday Village, West Sussex

West Sussex offers families the perfect getaway. With a holiday park operating there for more than 70 years, Church Farm is the expert in happy holidays for the whole family. The five-star holiday village has direct access to a nature reserve, lagoon and shingle beach so all the wonders of nature are just a few steps away from your comfortable self-catering accommodation. For the sporting enthusiasts, there’s Crazy Golf, gyroscopes, bungee trampolines, indoor and outdoor heated pools, tennis courts, a bowling green and a nine-hole golf course. If that isn’t enough to get you packing, there is also an array of day and evening entertainment – a large part of which is catered entirely to kids. To top it all off, Church Farm is pet-friendly to make sure that every member of the family gets to be part of your holiday experience.

Primrose Valley Holiday Park, North Yorkshire

Primrose ValleyImage source: Haven Holidays /CC BY-SA

UK Holiday Parks make for the perfect family holiday experience. The wide variety of activities and entertainment mean that there’s something to suit everyone. Primrose Valley is the epitome of this – set in coastal Yorkshire with exquisite views of Filey Bay, an array of activities to keep you entertained and direct access to a sandy beach, you’re guaranteed a memorable holiday. The nearby lake offers you the opportunity to take a boat trip or to try your hand at fishing. Sporting enthusiasts can head for the zipline, climbing wall, multi-sports court or Crazy Golf. The whole family can take a leisurely bike ride to explore the natural beauty of the surrounding area or get your hearts racing in Laser Combat or at the Funfair. With so many activities to choose from, the hardest part of your holiday might be deciding what to do next.

For Young People

Pleasure IslandImage source: Haven Holidays / CC BY-SA

Thorpe Park Holiday Centre, Lincolnshire

Surrounded by fields and nature trails, and less than 200 yards from a sandy beach, Thorpe Park is the perfect getaway for anyone young at heart. Take the time to explore Lincolnshire’s natural beauty or make use of the great variety of activities on offer right at the holiday park. From dune buggies, paintball, abseiling and zipline to golf and lake fishing, there’s something for everyone. Head nextdoor to the Pleasure Island Theme Park to get your heart racing or wind down the day at one of the restaurants or bars while enjoying the live music and other entertainment. Thorpe Park is a favourite time and time again.

Bideford Bay Holiday Park, Devon

Bideford Bay is Devon’s answer to a memorable holiday experience. A short drive from Westaward Ho blue-flag beach and surrounded by the peaceful woodland area, this holiday park offers guests the perfect combination of exquisite natural beauty and an array of activities to ensure that you’re in the holiday spirit from the moment you arrive. Relax at the Spa Bath, head to one of the heated pools or experience the excitement of the flume or hydrodome. Sporting enthusiasts can enter the five-a-side Festival of Football and the nearby horseriding facilities are a great way to explore the area. So get your family and friends together and head to Bideford Bay for the holiday you deserve.

At The Beach

Seawick Holiday Park, Essex

What could be better than a holiday at the coast with the beach less than 500 yards away? Seawick Holiday Park is proud to be situated near to a number of beaches and offers guests the chance to really experience Essex’s beautiful coastline. There is also direct access from the park to St Osyth Beach, where Seawick Holiday guests are welcome to make use of any of the facilities. And after a day at the beach, you can head back to the holiday park to take a dip in the heated pool or try your hand at the many activities on offer. The adventure playground and on-site funfair are the cherry on top. There is also a selection of restaurants as well as breakfast and half-board available, to ensure that your holiday is completely hassle-free.

Peppermint Park Holiday Park, Devon

Dawlish Warren BeachImage source: GaryReggae / CC BY-SA

Devon’s Jurassic Coast draws tourists year round. The rural scenery and picturesque setting see holiday park guests returning year after year. Surrounded by beaches, sand dunes and lakes, and close to the ever-popular Torquay, Peppermint Park is one of the UK’s top coastal holiday parks. With the added convenience of choosing between an on-site holiday home or to bring your own caravan and with the pet-friendly atmosphere, Peppermint Park is the perfect place for a beach holiday.

For Outdoor Activities

The Orchards Holiday Village, Essex

Orchards PoolImage source: Haven Holidays / CC BY-SA

For an outdoor adventure holiday, head to the Orchards Holiday Village. Just outside St Osyth with a beach and nature reserve on either side, the outdoor activities are almost endless. The holiday village has direct access to a sandy beach, there’s a fishing lake with the chance to get fishing coaching, a boating lake for boat trips and pedal boats, a nine-hole golf course, crazy golf, a putting green, a bowling green and indoor and outdoor heated pools. And after an action packed day, you can head to one of the on-site restaurants or bars or enjoy relaxing to the sounds of the live music show or tribute band.

Allhallows Leisure Park, Kent

Close enough to London to escape for the weekend, but far enough to feel like you’ve had a holiday in the countryside, Allhallows Leisure Park is one of the UK’s top holiday parks. And with a variety of outdoor activities to keep you entertained, it might just become your favourite getaway destination. Guests can partake in horseriding or throw out a line at the lake. There is also a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, a multi-sports court and a bowling green, amongst other facilities. And for the water lovers, there is direct access to a sandy beach, as well as indoor and outdoor heated pools with inflatable slides and turbo paddlers. And with a variety of on-site restaurants and bars, including a pub on the banks of the Thames, you’re guaranteed activity-filled days and nights.

Allhallows Fishing Lake
Image source: Haven Holidays / CC BY-SA


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snowman-2

“Remember your manners. Be polite and say thank you when someone gives you something!”

This was my mother speaking all those years ago, but it could be any of a million mums reminding their kids to mind their P’s & Q’s.

It can be nerve-wracking as a parent, as children’s use of manners are usually a direct reflection our own manners. 

Christmas is exciting for most kids. The gift-getting, treats and parties is full-on. Many kids experience a different set of social circumstances at Christmas than they have throughout the year. They may meet relatives they rarely see; go to unfamiliar places; and often make multiple visits in a day. Kids from separated families often get a double dose of gifts, dinners and relatives.

But Christmas is a time when kids’ manners are sorely tested. Parents and guardians need to be mindful of Christmas etiquette as our kids enjoy the festive season.

Christmas etiquette revolves around four area:

1. Party manners: Parties require kids to share, to hold a conversation or play well with others and to fit in with what the host wants. Help kids understand what’s expected when they go out. Simple social graces such as refraining from gulping food down is a good place to start.

2. Receiving gifts: This is a biggie! What to say when you open a gift and you find it’s not to your liking! Hold your tongue, find out who gave it to you and say thank you…………..with eye contact. Lots of presents means lots of thank you…..and kisses and hugs.

3. Family gatherings: Having to put up with the kisses and hugs from that weird aunt can be enough to turn most kids off! But good mannered kids take their cues from others and will put up with well-intentioned relatives. Using names and making eye contact when kids speak are good social skills as well. Using a knife and fork when they eat their Christmas meal is also a basic social skill that some kids lack.

4. Celebrating with friends: Our multi-cultural society means that not everyone celebrates Christmas. Perhaps they can help these friends to feel included at this time of year by giving them a holiday card or gift so they don’t feel left out. 

Teaching etiquette and social graces to children and young people is done in four ways:

1. Modelling: Kids need to see you being polite & considerate of different social situations.
2. Reminding: Some need a reminder of how to behave before going out.
3. Practicing: You need to practise or role play good manner and social skills such as greeting others.
4. Cueing: Some kids need to be quietly cued about doing the right thing when they forget. No fuss or embarrassment. Just a reminder how they should behave.

Help your kids reflect well on you in social situations this Christmas.

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