Category Archives: Family

How Combining Utilities Can Save You Both Time and Money

One of the issues facing numerous consumers throughout the United Kingdom is knowing how to effectively tackle rising utility bills. While this concept is certainly nothing new, rate hikes have become more prevalent in recent times. Some individuals are paying close to 40 per cent more when compared to only a handful of years ago. Of course, it is impossible to beat the system. This does not necessarily signify that consumers have no options at their disposal. One effective method of lowering bills is to combine different plans within one single package. Let us look at why this technique is useful before examining some common examples.

The Theory Behind Combining Utilities

The main purpose of lumping all bills into a single package is the cut rates across the board. In fact, companies are beginning to encourage this action. As they are now facing increased competition, they are attempting to lure potential consumers through the use of bundle plans. This is beneficial to the customer, for numerous utilities such as television, phone and Internet can now be grouped into a single monthly fee.

Another issue to keep in mind is that much of the confusion will be taken out of the equation. As opposed to being forced to remember numerous contractual obligations, the client only needs to pay a single fee. Finally, contacting customer service is much easier in the event that an issue or problem happens to arise (there are fewer companies and middlemen to deal with). So, what are some examples of how utilities can be combined?

Internet, Telephone and Television

Phone TV deals are one very common option. These plans are very clear and transparent. As opposed to dealing with multiple providers, the customer will switch to a firm which offers both of these utilities within a single monthly framework. Let’s also note that Internet will be included in the majority of instances.

Larger companies such as Sky and Virgin Media are offering additional benefits. Fibre optic access is one prime example. The main advantage of a fibre optic network is that consumers can leverage higher transmission speeds. So, it is always possible to watch a 4K HD video or to download large files. Although some of these networks are still limited in terms of geographic location, it should not be long before the majority of the United Kingdom will enjoy access to such technology.

Choosing the Best Phone TV Deals

This is the second topic to address. There are literally dozens of different providers on the market and each claims that it is offering the most amenable bundle deals. How is the customer to know which one is the best? The best way to begin this process is to employ the objective expertise of third-party review sites such as Broadband Choices. These independent analysts will cut through the smoke and mirrors; highlighting the most important points of any offer.

A second consideration will revolve around the needs of the potential client. For example, those with families are likely to require higher bandwidth limitations and a greater number of digital television channels to select.

Price is the third and final variable. Since the theory behind any bundle is the ability to save money, compare and contrast at least three similar offers in order to encounter the most appropriate. It is also important to determine what these prices include. Some metrics to address are:

  • One-time installation fees.
  • Monthly line rentals.
  • Upgrades.
  • The length of the contract.
  • Free accessories such as wireless routers or remote controls.

Although the majority of these possibilities will be stated in the contract, they can sometimes be difficult to find within the remainder of the fine print. It is a good idea to contact a customer service representative. He or she will be able to clarify these and other points within a matter of minutes.

Combining common utilities is an excellent way to enjoy a bit of extra liquidity without being forced to sacrifice your quality of life. As always, be certain to read through all of the stipulations before committing yourself to any type of physical contract.


Why it is a good Idea to have an Emergency Fund

Anyone who has had large unforeseen expenses can either talk of how happy they were that they secured emergency funds or how difficult it proved to cover the expenditures. Just like it is with most finance-related issues, it is important to pre-plan in order to weather the storms you are sure to face at some point in life. No matter how financially prepared you are right now, life has a unique way of throwing unexpected curve balls. This is why most financial experts suggest tucking away some money in a savings account for about six months. Understand that all it takes is something as simple as a job loss for you to get from financially tight to destitute. Consider the following reasons to begin building an emergency fund.

Job Loss

This has been listed as the top reason everyone needs an emergency fund. When you are no longer in a position to receive regular pay, cash stashed away can help cover various expenses. Although the rule of thumb is to cover about six months’ worth of expenses, the average length of unemployment today lasts about 40 weeks, which means you might want to build a bigger reserve.
Health Concerns

Some medical conditions can be financially straining, especially if you have no health insurance. Even with coverage and a major operation is involved, for instance, you have to fork out some cash to cover the policy’s deductible. You may also not have planned for fatalities, but if a loved one passes away suddenly, money will be needed. For instance, you may have to travel to the venue or cover bereavement-related expenses, and in such a case, emergency funds can keep the charges off your credit card.

Emergency Car and Home Repairs

Many car and homeowners rush to use their credit cards whenever emergency repairs are needed. Some faults such as a leaky roof, a broken water heater or a cooling system cannot wait. On the other hand, a breakdown can compromise your ability to get to work or even stay safe, which means your car has to be fixed or replaced immediately. Also, your insurance policy may not cover the repairs, leaving you responsible for them. It may be that you carry high deductibles on your insurance policy, meaning that even if you have a cover, you still need to pay for the necessary repairs.

How to get started

  • Define your expenses: The first thing you need to do is to go over your car payments, mortgage, insurance, utilities, credit card and other monthly bills. Then write down your total monthly expenses and multiply the number by six months. This is the amount you should set as your emergency fund goal. However, if you feel the need to save for more than six months, multiply that number by the period you anticipate.
  • Make cuts: After setting your monthly expenses, determine where you can make cuts. Begin by setting aside lose money in a jar each night. Rather than going to eat out frequently, have your meal at home.
  • Get automatic deductions: Does your place of work offer automatic deduction? If it does, ensure a particular amount is deposited into your savings account every payday.


Saving your Emergency Funds

If you are yet to set up an emergency fund, the key is to start small. Understand that it takes some time to accumulate one month’s worth of expenses. However, setting your immediate goals gives you a better chance of reaching them. It is advisable to keep emergency funds in a credit union or a bank account. Having your money in a savings account makes it less likely for you to spend it on everyday non-emergency expenses.

By starting off with extra money left after your daily expenses, you can keep it away and allow it to accumulate. If you get a tax refund, use some portion to increase your savings and deposit money saved by cutting back on unnecessary expenditure. The other way of accumulating your emergency reserves is by asking your credit union or your bank to transfer your checking funds to your savings automatically every month.

If you are feeling confident, there is also the opportunity to make use of your current savings by investing in stocks and Forex, using such platforms CMC Markets if you have done your research well, there is a chance to increase your savings. By having your eggs in a few baskets, you can cover all bases for a successful approach.

It may seem pointless to live below your means right now, but you will be thankful that you did when rainy days arrive and your financial well-being is squeezed.

Rule Of The Family Bed

There are topics that are always up to date and always trigger new discussions. One of these topics is the family bed. I have never written about it, but I would like to do it at last. It is especially important to me to pass on an important message to you that reads: “As long as you are happy, your children are too!”

But that’s just one of the thoughts I’d like to share with you. There are a few more …

When I look around and read reports about the family bed or breastfeeding, I mostly read about extremes. Some are totally for it, the other totally against it. Some operate the family bed quite excessively, the others do exactly the opposite. But what about everything in between? Is the family bed available completely or not at all? The same goes for breastfeeding and many other topics. However, for the time being I only want to go into the family bed.

I wonder how you think about it before and after my article!

Let’s start with that every person is different. This is not only true for our children, but also for ourselves. For example, I am a very miserable sleeper. I have always been! I can not sleep when I think too much. I can not sleep when someone is digging beside me. But I can not sleep if I hear any sounds.

Micha, on the other hand, can fall asleep in every position and position and with so much noise. And I would not say now that this is typical man and typical woman, because I know countless men who tick as I do, and countless women who tick as well as Micha.

What I mean by that: Even when we become parents, we do not lose all our traits. Of course we are changing, that will not last. But we remain WE and that is – as I think – also very important. We have individual needs just like our children. We have own attitudes and opinions. Some parents need more peace of mind, others need extra closeness and security.

There are also other factors: There are parents who work a great deal and in the evening are actually looking forward to the peace and quiet in their bed. But there are also parents who work a lot and feel the cuddly family bed as a perfect balance. Everyone is and feels differently. That’s so important to understand and respect!

The whole thing can be transferred equally to our children, because every child is different.

I have three children and in character, none resembles the other. Lotte, for example, needs a lot of closeness, but she is a very good sleeper. However, she sometimes wakes up at night and then needs a lot of closeness. Lilli falls asleep badly, but falls asleep when she sleeps. And Tom is still in between.

I breastfed Lotte for nearly two years and let her sleep in bed beside me for two years. Lilli slept from the beginning in her crib, but in our bedroom. And Tom slept in my bed for about a year and then moved to his own bed in his own room.

As you can see, we handled it three times completely differently. Not only is there not or not at all. There is still a lot in between!

Micha and I would not want our children to be brought to bed in the evening to fall asleep there. But that does not exclude that they are always welcome with us. First and foremost, when they wake up at night, we try to comfort them in their bed. But as soon as there is more need for closeness and security, our children can ALWAYS come to us and continue to sleep with us, waking up in the morning in our area.

I just want to convey that no mom (and no dad!) Has to feel bad if you can not do anything with the family bed because you have different views. And I want to convey that those of you who have a completely normal family bed need not be ashamed or feel justified in justifying themselves. At the same time, I want to convey that there are a lot of possibilities in between.

Each parent has different needs. Every child has different needs. If you find a middle ground together, everyone is happy. There are no set rules. There is no strict timetable. There is only you and your family who must find the right path for themselves.

Do not be discouraged to stay true to your individual gut instinct! Listen to your heart and not what others say! Do not feel bad if things do not always go the way you imagine! A family means living together and getting together. You grow together and mature together. You get to know each other a bit more each day, respect and appreciate the needs of others, and be there for each other when you’re needed.

Lilli, Lotte and Tom know that their rooms are their kingdoms. They go to bed there and get up there. Usually. But they also know that they can always call for us and always come to us when they need us. They are allowed to sleep with us when they need it. Micha and I feel, if that is so.

So there is not ONLY the family bed or ONLY your own children’s room, there is also a combination of both. Life does not go by script, but by what you make of it!

I think … no matter which attitude you live in, one thing is most important: love.

When we show our children how much we love them and always offer them an open ear and open arms, … when we talk to them and listen to them … when we give them rest but also spend time with them … when we see them perceive as independent little souls, … if we respect their needs and traits, then they will perceive us as well. Then they will also listen to us, comfort us, cuddle us, understand us too, because they have learned the most important values ​​through us. And these values ​​should not spring from firmly established rules, but from your heart.

In this sense, you know your family best. That’s what’s doing to you, which is good for you all, so that you all are well!

I look forward to your experiences on this topic!


Tom has found a new friend. I admit, it’s not an ordinary friend, but a very special one. We are talking about the learning fun educational robot Movi I like you – in cooperation with Fisher-Price would imagine -. Fisher-Price helps children strengthen their cognitive, motor and social skills to become happy and unique personalities. How many thoughts Fisher-Price has made in the development of Movi, you can feel immediately!

Movi has recently moved in with us so that we can get to know him better and then tell you about him.

One thing in advance: Even if you may not be a fan of technical toys for toddlers, you should definitely read this post! Because I’m pretty sure that Movi manages to change your attitude to technical toys. Because the little guy is pretty personable and conquers children’s hearts in no time. Understandably, because he always smiles friendly and is always ready for a fun game. This sympathetic robot character makes it incredibly fun for kids to get involved with Movi and its educational games. Quite apart from Movi keeps kids properly on the go, because through the different game modes so quickly no boredom.

So, if you are still looking for a very special present, keep Movi in ​​mind!

What is the learning robot Movi?

Learning Robot Movi is a new toy from Fisher-Price and has convinced not only us, but many other people in a short time. I think the many positive reviews on the Internet in various online shops speak for themselves, right?

But what is Movi now exactly and what can he actually?

Movi is a learning robot, but at the same time it’s just an entertaining (and quite sporty) robot buddy who brings various interactive games with him. The learning games promote different abilities of preschool children. In addition, children can romp with Movi, move with him or study his first dance steps with his help.

In short: Movi supports children both mentally and physically!

How does learning robot Movi work?

Movi can move in all directions, keeping children moving a lot. Learning, dancing and romping together is fun for children! And thanks to the variety of different learning and movement games, playing together never gets boring.

Movi runs on batteries and can be switched on or off depending on the situation and also be switched off if necessary. There are two switches on Movis head – one green and one red – as well as three more switches on Movis belly. The red and the green switch on Movis head are mainly used to select games and to answer questions. By pressing the red button, for example, any learning game can be repeated, by pressing the green starts the next.

The three switches on Movis belly stand for the three different game modes:

1.) Letter fun and movement

2.) Imagine and show forms

3.) Learn and play games

Depending on which game the child decides, different games start. Sometimes questions are asked that have to be answered, sometimes there are requests that encourage people to move around and play. The movement games range from catching games over simple motor skills to learning first dance steps.

How does learning robot Movi help children?

Learning Robot Movi is suitable for children from 3 years. But even Lotte with her 5.5 years has a lot of fun while playing together and romping with Movi. So that speaks for your kids having a bit of their robot buddy for a long time. =)

As children discover the world above all while playing games, learning games are a great support, because they combine fun games with learning important skills. Be it getting to know and recognizing numbers, colors and shapes, understanding how to understand instructions and performing them correctly, listening carefully and then answering questions, or training fine and gross motor skills.

With Movi supported Fisher-Price children in promoting early childhood skills without overdemand. The learning robot Movi is not about complex tasks and unlimited possibilities, but above all about children having fun learning and imaginatively discovering their environment.

Tom and learning robot Movi

When Tom met Movi, it was like love at first sight. =)

I think the following pictures speak for themselves, right?

Tom thinks it’s great that Movi has a face that makes him feel alive. And he loves to romp with Movi! There is jumping through half the living room and dancing, crawling and running!

Tom understood pretty quickly how Movi works. Depending on the situation, he then selects one of the game modes. He finds it funniest when Movi asks him to catch him.

I find particularly impressive how long and persistently Tom deals with Movi. There is also an hour played and romped.

I think that especially the varied games provide for this extensive joy of playing!

Tom also listens carefully when Movi asks questions and answers most of them correctly within a short time. Sometimes it gets a bit confused, but that’s part of it. When Tom asks Tom to do something, like mimicking animal sounds or jumping on a leg, Tom does it right away. That really fascinates me, because if Micha or I playfully ask Tom something, we’re less successful.😀

So I can only repeat myself: Movi has become a small family member with us. That sounds funny, but it is true.

He lives in the living room and is literally waiting for Tom to come home. And as soon as that happens, they play together at least once a day. Lilli, Lotte and Tom are especially happy to play together with Movi. Then the three bounce and dance like the wilds to the bet.

Conclusion: Movi is more than just an educational toy. He is a small character that makes children’s eyes shine and encourages them to learn and move in a playful way.

I am very curious how you like learning robots Movi !

Xplora Smart-Watch – Alternative To Smartphone?

 When we had our car accident some time ago, a rather heavy rear-end collision in the middle of the city, and then immediately had to go to the doctor, this moment threw our entire daily planning together. In the end, fortunately, nothing worse than a whiplash happened to both Micha and Tom and me, and the car was damaged by just under $ 8,000. But it was a shock anyway! And after we had digested the first big shock – immediately after the accident – and were then on the way to the doctor, we realized the next moment that Lilli would come home from school – due to the time delay – if we would not be there. At that very moment I wished so much to be able to reach Lilli somehow. But that was simply impossible.

So in the end, we had no choice but to rely on Lilli, hoping she would not let herself be confused when she got home and no one was there … that she would either go to neighbors or wait in the garden.

But the other way around, there were already one or the other situation in which Lilli would have liked to tell us something on the way. For example, that she had forgotten that an extra choir rehearsal took place after school and that would make her come home later. Or just to ask if she is allowed to go to a friend’s house after school.

There are so many situations in which it is very helpful to reach the child or be reached by the child. Sometimes they are more serious or more acute situations, often everyday. Either way, accessibility plays an increasingly central role in the growing independence of our children. Because suddenly our children are traveling alone and discover the world on their own or together with their friends.

And even if we want to claim that everything used to work without smartphones and the Internet in the past, this realization does not exclude the possibility that even in those situations like the ones mentioned above, even at that time there were queasy feelings. Either because as a child we once stood in front of a locked door, or because as a child we came home some days later and our mothers were very worried.

That’s why: yes, in the past, life did not work without the possibilities that exist today, but still we would have wished it many times, right?

That’s why I’d like to introduce you to the XPLORA Smartwatch , which I recommended to you on Instagram some time ago , in more detail. Because this special smartwatch for kids is one of the best technical inventions for families I’ve seen in a long time. Modern and useful, but not inappropriate for children. Why, why and why – I’ll tell you in the following!

I also want to give away an XPLORA Smartwatch to you on this occasion! Further information and terms and conditions for the prize game can be found at the end of the post.

What can the XPLORA Smartwatch do?

The XPLORA Smartwatch is a special watch designed for kids that adds some valuable features beyond the clock function. With the smartwatch, children can make and receive phone calls, send and receive messages, and use an intelligent emergency call system when needed.

The smartwatch also has a GPS receiver. This tracking function can be switched off at any time. We also exhibited them.

The display can show both a digital clock and an analogue clock.

The smartwatch is CE certified (including battery safety, non-toxicity of materials and radiation), splash-proof and convinces not only functional, but also visually. In addition, there is the smartwatch in different colors, so that for each child the right watch is there.

XPLORA Smartwatch Vs. Smartphone

The moment will come when our kids are old enough for a smartphone. But for the transitional period – between the ages of 4-11 years – the XPLORA Smartwatch is a great alternative. Seeing the smartwatch is perfect as a first “mobile phone” suitable for children. It allows people to stay connected, but prevents free access to the Internet and access to apps, social media and inappropriate content.

The Smartwatch is a secure mobile phone that has all the technical benefits of a smartphone, but excludes inappropriate features.

Incidentally, children can only call people who have the numbers on their smartwatches. And you can call only from previously defined contacts (eg, mom, dad, grandma and grandpa) or, optionally, depending on the setting of each, to whom one gave the number before. The same applies to the message function.

In addition, the respective contacts can be provided with matching photos. This is especially helpful for children.

Other advantages of the XPLORA Smartwatch

When I introduced you to the smartwatch on Instagram , some of you wrote that it’s not very nice or desirable to send kids to the (elementary) school with a smartphone. But even here, the argument that the smartwatch is not a smartphone in the sense, but only offers the opportunity to stay in touch with each other. Other functions such as access to the Internet, apps or games are not possible with the smartwatch. Accordingly, the smartwatch should not be a problem for teachers. =)

Also: On the SmartWatch can be rest periods set in which no calls are transferred such as during lessons. And there is even the possibility of retrieving the child’s location and / or being informed as soon as the child reaches or leaves a certain area (eg the school). However, the location function can – as I said – also be turned off at any time.

Most of the time, the XPLORA is only a normal watch on the wrist anyway.

How much does the XPLORA Smartwatch cost?

As I wrote above, the XPLORA Smartwatch comes in different colors: BLUE / GREEN , ORANGE / BLUE and PINK / WHITE

Priced the Smartwatch is £12.99 / month with a contract period of 24 months . The cost of the clock and the data flatrate are included in the price.

Note: The watch can not be used with other SIM cards!

Our experiences with the XPLORA Smartwatch

Lilli is really happy to own the smartwatch! Not only for the time in school, but also when she is on her own in the afternoons or on weekends with her friends. I think she feels safer because she knows that she can reach us at any time and that we can contact her any time should something important have happened or are pending. But regardless of situations in which we want to reach acute, the smartwatch is a real help – and for the normal everyday life.

If only to occasionally ask Lilli where she is and when she will come home. Or to remind them that it’s time for dinner, riding or dancing.

And even Lotte went out of the house more often with the smartwatch. Primarily, she gets to know the time with the watch and thereby develops a first sense of time. At the same time, we can reach her anytime, for example, when she’s with friends to tell her something, without having to settle the whole thing over a phone call with the other parents.

Conclusion: The XPLORA Smartwatch is the perfect alternative to the first smartphone – especially for elementary school children. It allows children to be self-reliant and still be able to contact each other at any time.