Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Keeping Your Home Safe When You're Away ǀ Travel

Summer is classically the time when many people choose to go away on holiday; that is certainly true for us and so it's also the time when (potentially) your home is at most risk.  We are lucky that we have never had anything untoward happen whilst we've been away...unless you count the time our garden table exploded glass everywhere but it still pays to be cautious.

Chill Insurance recently created an infographic which features some surprising statistics about home safety and they asked me to share with you my thoughts on how we keep our home safe when we go away.

1. Check home insurance
If it has been a while since you sorted your insurance, or since you went away then make sure you look over your policy and check that it remains valid whilst you are away.  Some insurance policies feature exclusions such as your home only being covered for a certain number of days when you are away so it is always worth re-reading the small print.  If you need to sort insurance then head online; companies like Chill are a good place to start for home insurance quotes.

2. Don't leave it looking unoccupied
My dad always used to tell me that nothing makes a house look more conspicuous than curtains drawn during the day and this is so true!  Although it is tempting to keep curtains drawn, there are other ways to deter potential burglars.  Invest in a timer switch to turn on lamps and lights when evening draws in, cancel any regular deliveries (such as milk/newspapers) which may obviously build up and mow your lawn just before you go to make it less obvious that no-one is home.

3. Tell a neighbour
We always ask a nearby neighbour to keep a lookout for our home whilst we are away, and we do the same for them.  We have exchanged numbers with our close neighbours and know that they would contact us if something were to happen to our property.  We also do small things such as parking on one another's driveways and taking the bins out too; all to make it look as though someone is home.

4. But don't tell everyone!
There's no need to advertise to everyone that you are going away, and there's also no need to leave things out on display whilst you aren't home either.  Put valuable somewhere secure and don't leave them out on display.  This is pretty good advice for any day of the week when you may not be home but is especially important when you go on holiday.

So there you go...just some quick tips on how to keep your home safe whilst you are away.

Have you got anything else you would add?

This is a collaborative post.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Our Summer Adventures... ǀ Week Three

I feel as though the summer holidays are shooting by so quickly and I have done a terrible job at keeping the blog updated.  I think in part the last week has something to do with it; we went from brutally awful weather to glorious sunshine and I wanted to get out of the house and really make the most of it.

Well, that's my excuse anyway.

I am still caught up in the balancing act between spending time with the kids and getting my freelance work done.  I managed to reduce the load right down but there are still times when I find myself at my desk, wishing I was in the garden watching Meg and Eli play.

They need me so much less now but I'd still love to make myself a part of their games if I could!

So following on from our (rather wet) adventures in Wales we took things at a slower pace for the first few days.  James was back at work and everyone else was a bit grumpy and tired so we tended to just mooch around the house and the garden.  

We did venture out to the beach on one of the days and despite the horrible weather with gale-force winds the kids did still venture out into the sea.  As Meg told me, 'it's what wellies are for Mum.'  Rightio.

Possibly the only highlight of getting blasted in the face by grains of sand and having my hair whipped into a salt-tainted frenzy was the fact that I got to see a red squirrel for the first time since we moved up north.  Hurray!

Then we had the stunning weather we had so hoped for and that saw plenty of water play in the garden.

We had a lovely day out exploring Tatton Park in Cheshire.

And the Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

The rain is back now of course, typically, so we've ended the week with a visit to another trampoline park.  This one was a little further away and bigger than the last one we went to but the kids still had a really good time and although it was busier than we had hoped, the hour seems to last for ages and they do really get worn out by it.

And what else is there to do when you've exhausted yourself on a trampoline and the rain is still hammering down on the window?  Movies and treats!