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Even Superheroes and Villains Need a Holiday…

Super Sun,

It’s exhausting waking up to find some egomaniac tearing your neighbourhood apart, or some superstar with shining teeth pounding your minions for the fourth time this week. When that happens you need to be up and at ‘em, not pulling the covers up over your head and hoping the screaming stops soon. If that’s what you’re doing, then you need a holiday.

Islands

I know what you’re thinking: secret lair. Something under an active volcano, with all that geothermal power. Free power, limitless power! Power, yes, for the robotic factories, then you can have as many Spinning whatchamacallits of Doom as you want! Yes, enough even to stop Ki-

Stop it, señor. Forget about the annoying teenager and her forgettable sidekick. You could be lying on a Greek island beach, listening to the waves rolling onto the shore. A soft sound like the sea will soon soothe your mind. You’ll have lots of sun, and endless blue skies. Yes there are some tourist traps. Mmm, traps. Stop it! If your diabolical mind starts to stir, then divert it with ancient Greek culture.

We Are Sailing

You’re thinking a ship would be perfect for collecting the life in the dark depths, and it could hold a secret lab. You’re thinking you could collect manta-rays and transform them into something resembling those alien dragons.

You’ve been spending far too much time in your secret lair. Modern cruises are fun! There’ll be lots of people around, people of all different ages, professions and outlooks for you to meet. Make some friends and have some fun together. With Royal Caribbean Cruises there’s lots of activities, dining for all tastes, even theatre, and all with an endlessly changing backdrop.

Retreats

You’re probably thinking of some monastery in the mountains with high, white walls. Something that blends in with the snow so well you wouldn’t see it unless you got close. Some place that looks like a haven for the just, but has been quietly perverted by some shape-shifting master of…

Hold it right there, Jack. Not every retreat holds despicable minions waiting to march down upon the innocent in a torrent of destruction. There are quiet places all over the world you can go to do just about anything you can imagine. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, nutrition, or anything else that brings you peace, it’s out there just waiting to be found.

Unreality

When you head back to your life of heroic heroism or villainous villainy, it’ll be these lives that seem unreal. That’s how good today’s super-holidays can be.

 

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What’s fun about online games?

There are millions of people who login to casino sites around the world every day. And the majority aren’t going there to try the vast selection of games that are available, just as you’d find in any land-based casino – like roulette, baccarat, blackjack or poker. No, most players are at online casinos to play the category of games that has always proved to be the most popular in the land-based casinos too – slots.

The one-armed bandits used to take up acres of space in the Las Vegas casinos and they were always mobbed. Even now, the slots sections in casinos are always packed and busy. And the same goes for at online casinos like 32red. So why is it that so many of us are attracted to playing slots online?

Variety

You just need to take a quick look at what a huge variety of games is offered on a casino site to see that there’s a pretty endless choice of differently themed games. Whether you’re into comic book superheroes or you prefer the old fashioned fruit machine style slots, you’ll find a game to suit you. As an example, there are more than 300 32red slots to choose from, and new games are always being added to the site.

The prize potential

When you play slots, you’re not just playing because the games are fun and entertaining. They’re both of these things but they may also bring you a life-changing amount of money if you’re lucky enough to land a jackpot win. That’s what draws so many people in. And since slots have been online, the prize amounts have just kept on growing, especially on the progressive games where players at lots of different casino sites are all feeding a percentage of their bets into the prize fund. The winning combination of symbols could land at any time, so anyone could be a winner, whether it’s their first time playing the game or their hundredth time.

Accessibility

The other big draw of playing slots is that you can play them anywhere, at home, in the office or on the move. Most casino sites only have some of their games available in mobile format, and many of these are slots, so they’re often a popular way to pass the time on the way to or from work. You can also play a few spins when you’ve just got a couple of minutes to spare – waiting for the kids to come out of their after-school classes, or while you’re waiting for an appointment.

It’s so easy to play slots

Slots are a great choice if you want to unwind and relax – there’s no need for you to think about a strategy. Nothing can affect the outcome of the spin of the reels as random number generator software controls the game. So, all you need to do is decide how much to bet per spin – unless you’re just playing for fun in demo mode, where you don’t place real money bets.

Slots are easy to play, accessible and offer endless variety. It’s no wonder so many people enjoy playing them!

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How to Choose the Perfect Sidekick (Pet) For Your Family

Bringing home a new pet affects all members of the household, so everybody, even the kids should be included in the discussion. The animal you decide to bring home, or in my case ‘sidekick’, will become a loving member of the family, so it’s essential that everybody is on the same page. You need to use common sense too; you shouldn’t buy a cat if you already have a pet mouse or gerbil in the home! Let’s take a look at ways you can choose the perfect pet for your family:

How Much Time Does Your Family Have to Care for a Pet?

You need to consider how much time your family has to care for a pet. If both adults are working and you don’t have time to give the pet round the clock care, you need to be careful as certain pets will be unsuitable. Some animals are lower maintenance than others, so you’re probably better off getting one of those if you don’t have much time.

Some good low maintenance animals include; goldfish, rabbits, cats, and geckos. Chinchillas, dogs, horses, and macaws take more work. Bear in mind that dogs can live for 10-15 years, while cats can live for 20. Rodents can last about 5 years, horses can last about 30, and large birds should be included in your will, just incase.

Take Your Living Situation Into Account

Where you live could play a part in the kind of pet you get. If you live in an apartment for example, it probably isn’t a great idea to get a dog. If you have lots of land or a huge garden, then a dog would be suitable.

How Old Are Your Family Members?

If your family members are too young to help take care of the new pet, you’ll be looking after it all on your own, so it’ll be hard work.

Does Your Family Have Any Allergies?

If a family member has a certain allergy, this should play a part in your decision.

Are Your Family Members Scared of Any Kind of Animal?

If one of your kids is afraid of snakes or lizards, it’s obviously not a good idea to get one of those. Discuss the animals your family don’t like.

Hold a Meeting

Is your family ready for a new member of the family? Discuss whether you think you’re ready, and take your family’s opinion into account.

Take Your Time

This is a big decision. There’s no reason you should rush into it. Choosing your new pet is a big commitment, and they could live for a very long time. Take everything into account when deciding.

How Much Money Do You Have to Commit to Your Pet

Dogs and cat can take more money to care for than a hamster or gerbil. You may need to purchase different kinds of treatment from www.365vet.co.uk. You should be prepared to spend whatever it takes on your pet in order to keep it in good health; if you’re not, you need to reconsider getting a pet.

Good luck!

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Why Is My Child Snoring?! Reasons and Solutions

You thought things were bad when your partner started snoring, but now those vibrating rattling noises are coming from your precious child – just how can a person so cute and tiny make such loud, annoying noises? Snoring happens when there is a blockage of airflow through your toddler’s nose and throat. The sound you can hear is the vibration of certain structures in the mouth and throat rubbing against one another. 10% of kids snore, according to the National Sleep Foundation, and there are many different reasons for it. However, you’ll want to get this issue sorted, especially if your toddler’s night time rattlings are causing vibrations and getting on your nerves. Here’s how to find a solution:

Colds, The Flu, and Allergies

Upper respiratory infections are common culprits found behind snoring children. This happens when your child’s nose gets stuffed up and mucus blocks their airway. This creates turbulence in their airflow as it goes through the throat. Since allergies are known for causing congestion, they also might be the reason your child had started snoring.

Enlarged Adenoids or Tonsils

The adenoids are a bumpy lymph tissue located where the nose meets the throat. The tonsils are two lumps of lymph tissue located at the back of the throat. Both of these things protect your child from infections by trapping inhaled viruses and bacteria. In the process, they sometimes become infected and swollen. This means they get in the way of airflow and cause your toddler to snore.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

If the loud snoring is interrupted by pauses in breathing, your little one might have something called obstructive sleep apnea. This is a serious conditions where are can’t get through to the lungs. The pauses in breathing can sometimes last for more than 10 seconds, and this can happen many times throughout the night. This can be dangerous, break up your toddler’s sleep, and be very worrying for you. Your child can be very grumpy due to this, experience extreme fatigue, have difficulty concentrating, headaches, and growth problems. This is usually caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids, being overweight, or having a certain facial feature like a receding chin. Usually, your child will need to stay overnight in a sleep lab to work out whether they really have this condition.

Solutions

If you’ve noticed snoring paired with breathing problems, it’s a good idea to take them to a pediatrician. Here are some possible solutions:

  • Elevate your child’s head while they sleep with an extra pillow. If your child is still in a cot, place a pillow under the mattress.

  • Cpap masks and accessories are great for adults who snore, so you may be able to find the solution for your child with them too.

  • If allergies are a trigger, you’ll need to remove all allergy triggers from their room. Medication is also an option.

  • A doctor might suggest your child has their tonsils/adenoids removed surgically.

It’s important that you work out why your child is snoring and find a solution to it – don’t just ignore it!

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7 Easter DIY Decoration Ideas to Make with the Kids

The easter holidays will be upon us in a matter of weeks and our children will be off school again. A two week break raises the possibility that the younger kids will become bored and need a little help with activities. The teenagers tend to keep themselves occupied with friends and video games as they are too ashamed to be seen interacting with us wrinkleys. The weather may not be good enough to play outside so the tension begins to build indoors. The kids need something to do.

What can I do to keep my young children occupied?, you may ask. Well here are a few craft ideas that you can use to hold their attention for an hour or two and pass the time a little more peacefully.

Tree of Eggs

Going with the Easter theme, how about building a tree from eggs? Is is a very simple project. All you will need is a cone, some mini eggs, a glue gun, and some hot melt glue sticks. The craft shops will be full of Easter crafting materials now so you will have no trouble finding coloured eggs. The cone can be made from cardboard. Simply glue the eggs onto the cone. Start with a ring at the bottom and work your way up. Fill any gaps by gluing in wrinkled crepe paper.

Egg Stand

This project is really cool. You will need:

  • Plastic dish
  • Large plastic plate
  • Small plastic plate
  • Cardboard tube
  1. Place the dish, upside down, on the table and glue the large plate onto the top of it.
  2. Cut a piece of tube 4 inches long and glue it vertically in the centre of the plate.
  3. Glue the small plate on top of the tube.
  4. Cut a further three inches of tube and glue it vertically in the centre of the small plate.
  5. Now you have your own stand that resembles a cake stand. Paint eggs and lay them on a bed of shredded paper, on the stand, to finish off your table centrepiece.

Egg Painting

Use acrylic paints for the children to decorate their own hard boiled eggs. The kids love doing this and come up with some fantastic designs that will amaze you.

Eggshell Vases

This is a very simple project. It involves making a hole in the pointed end of the egg big enough to place a few short flower stems in. It is a delicate procedure so make sure you have plenty of eggs to allow for breakages. Simply make the hole and empty the egg contents out. The empty shell will need to be washed out under the tap. It can then be painted. Paint an egg box to hold a few vases and send the kids out to pick flowers.

Egg Garland

The kids may need a little help with the egg garland. Using the same plastic eggs you used for the tree, make a hole through them at the fat end of the egg. Using a darning needle and some wool, the children can thread the eggs until they end up with an attractive garland. Knott the wool at each end to prevent the eggs coming off and the garland can be either hung or simply placed on a table as a great work of art.

Easter Chick

Using yellow wool and two rings of cardboard, make two pom-poms, one larger than the other, in the traditional way. Sew them together to act as the chick’s head and body. Now the kids can glue on cardboard eyes and a beak. Set the chicks in a nest of crepe paper.

Rabbit Garland

Use decorative paper or card to cut out bunny shapes. These can then be threaded through holes on their ears, onto a ribbon. This is a very quick project. The garland can be strung wherever you choose in your house.

There are hundreds of projects you can undertake with the kids over Easter, these are only a few. Hopefully the holidays will fly by and your sanity will prevail, but get some wine in just in case. We all need a little help sometimes.

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Fun Ways to Teach Your Kiddies German

If you’ve wanted your children to learn a new language for a long time, but you haven’t known how to go about teaching them, this article is exactly what you’ve been looking for. You see; being a supermom or superdad is great when you’re playing and having fun, but you need to carry that enthusiasm over to the field of education. Unfortunately, most schools don’t start with language classes until your kids are over the age of eleven. Although they probably will learn a few words and phrases at that time, their minds are much more likely to understand new information when they’re younger.

With that in mind, this post has been constructed with a view to assisting you when teaching foreign languages from an early age. Thankfully, you aren’t going to need your superpowers for this one, so put those x-ray specs down, remove that invisibility cloak and call your children into the room. Today, you’re going to hear about a couple of techniques that might help them to learn German. Excited? You should be.

Use Modern Technology

These days, there are a number of computer games aimed at teaching language to kids, and as they spend so much time on the PC, PS4 or Xbox anyway, you might as well encourage them to use an educational game. Don’t worry though, most of those products tend to teach via slightly underhand means, so the little ones probably won’t even realise they’re learning another language. Alternatively, websites like http://learngerman24.net/ can be a great place to start.

Hold Competitions (with prizes)

Most kids are terribly competitive, and so turning learning into a competition could be one of the best ways of making them learn. How about this? Every morning, give your children five new German words or phrases to learn. If they manage to recite them perfectly to you after dinner, you let them have ice cream for dessert. Although some parents find using psychology on their children to be a little unfair, in truth, this is a proven technique, almost guaranteed to produce the kind of results you’re after.

Book A Trip To Germany

It can be difficult for children to even understand the concept of foreign languages, so taking them to the country in question to explore is usually a good way of helping them to gain some perspective on their education. Also, this will make learning become more straightforward and fun. Whilst you’re over in Germany, be sure to visit all the sights. There are some pretty amazing museums, and stunning restaurants you really must try. Incidentally, encouraging your child to order meals and deal with entrance fees at museums could also improve their skills.

If all else fails, and you really want your kids to become fluent speakers, just refuse to speak any English at home until they understand.  Also, you’d be surprised how quickly children learn when you switch all their computer language settings to German. Call of Duty won’t be the same until they pick up the lingo.

Good luck!

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The Only Porcelain Doll Buying Guide You’ll Ever Need

Porcelain dolls are usually thought of as the ‘historical past’ come to life. There are many doll manufacturers today that make these dolls for collectors, and plenty of people choose to decorate their home with lifelike displays – or buy them for their daughters, like me! However, buying a more modern porcelain doll is very different to buying an antique doll made from vinyl. This guide is the only one you’ll ever need when it comes to choosing a porcelain doll, whether it’s a gift for your daughter, yourself, or somebody else:

Before You Buy a Doll

Before you even look at porcelain dolls, you need to decide what you want to get out of the doll. A buyer needs to know whether the doll will be a collectors item, a decoration, or a toy. Knowing the purpose of the doll will help you pick the perfect one in terms of price, material, and brand. In my daughter’s case, some of her dolls are decorations and others are toys – I choose the kind of doll accordingly. If you’re looking for an original antique porcelain doll, you need to make sure you get proper documentation when you purchase it, so you know that it’s genuine. There are many collector’s editions out there as well as certificates that will prove their authenticity.

Choosing the Perfect Doll

When looking to buy a porcelain doll, it’s important that you buy an authentic porcelain creation – meaning the doll is really made from the material it’s supposed to be made from. Check the doll for markings, material and design, damage, and characteristics – these should help you distinguish the doll genuine from fake.

Identifying Authenticity

There should be a mark from the doll maker on the doll showing it’s authenticity, as doll makers want credit for their work. You may find this on the head, shoulder, neck, or foot. You will also get a certificate for the doll if it is authentic.

Check Material and Design

An antique doll will have painted on hair, while newer dolls will have seemingly real hair rooted on to their heads. Older doll’s clothing styles will be made of leather, while newer dolls will have stuffed bodies with Victorian style outfits.

Check for Damage

Any damage to the doll will bring down the value, so make sure there are no cracks, holes, or rips before purchasing, if doing so second hand.

Characteristics

You’ll be able to tell if a doll is antique or more modern quite easily by looking at the characteristics. Eyes that are set into the doll and don’t move are a characteristic of an 1800’s doll. The characteristics of a doll from the 1800’s and a newer doll will be very different – newer dolls tend to look more lifelike.

With this guide you should be able to decide on the perfect porcelain doll, whatever the occasion. Buying for display purposes means you can afford to buy a fully porcelain, perhaps even antique doll, whereas buying for your daughter like I do will mean you have to be a little careful and choose a soft bodied doll!

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Essential Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe Around Water

Teaching your child to swim has a whole host of benefits, and can be a great bonding experience for the two of you. Not only will you be teaching your child a great skill that they’ll use for life, you’ll have loads of fun! Here’s how to teach them the tried and tested way:

Think Confidence, Then Skills

You shouldn’t be in any rush to get your child to swim a length before teaching them water confidence. That’s not to say that your child couldn’t be a great swimmer, it’s just that pushing them too hard can hinder their progress and even put them off swimming forever! If your child learns to love water then it’s possible they’ll develop a swimming habit that will last forever!

Don’t Over Teach

Skills should be encouraged over a certain amount of time without trying to give them too much instruction in one go. Children need to learn and explore for themselves, so there should be more learning than teaching.

Make It Fun

Swimming should be a fun and playful activity, so make sure you always talk about going swimming in a way that doesn’t make kids think they’re having a lesson. Storytelling and songs can be a great way to help get messages about swimming across. Splash About have some great tips and tricks on how to do this!

Don’t Use Aids

In a pool where a child who can’t swim and is out of their depth you’ll need to give them constant support. I don’t recommend you ever take your attention off them anyway, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Buoyancy aids are counterproductive, as they don’t allow your child to explore their own buoyancy in the water. Finding a natural balance is made difficult, and they teach a child that they need them to float when they don’t!

Getting in the Pool

At first, you’ll have to teach your child how to get in the pool safely by climbing backwards down the ladder. However, when they’re happy to get their face in the water you can teach them to jump in!

Hold Your Child But Don’t Hold them Up

It’s tempting to hold your child so they’re on top of the water, but this way you’re holding their weight and not teaching them anything. Simply use your hands to guide them and reassure them. Dress them in an all in one costume as these are easy to hold.

Splashing

You and your child should have fun splashing each other, and use different plastic toys like cups and watering cans to get water over their face. This should be encouraging them to put their face in the water. You also need to teach them how to hold their breath as they hit the water.

Dealing with Anxiety

Some children are scared of going totally under the water, and this is totally normal, although it can take patience to help them overcome it. Don’t talk about them putting their face in the water, as the more you talk about it the more importance you attach to it. When they eventually get their face wet make sure you praise them. However, if they end up getting upset, don’t comfort them because you’ll reinforce that something bad has happened.

Be patient with your child, don’t push them too hard, and simply concentrate on having lots of fun!

 

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A Guide to Choosing Your Next Timepiece: For Females

A watch is a must have accessory for any female; it can help to dress up an outfit that looks a little bland, make an outfit pop, make our wrists look pretty, and also help us to tell the time (for when our smartphone runs out of power that is). Watches still have a place in today’s modern society, so if you don’t have one you’re missing out. With so many watches out there, it can be difficult to choose just one watch – that’s where this guide comes in. Ladies, choose your next timepiece with ease by using this guide:

Budget

First you need to consider your budget. If this is a birthday present or a gift from someone for a special occasion, it can be a little harder to set a budget as you don’t usually feel as if you can come straight out and ask them. You can find quality watches for under £100 depending on the brand you choose and where you decide to get it from, but then again you could spend a few hundred, or even a few thousand – it all depends on how much you’re willing to spend on your new accessory. Most lower end designer watches range from £100-£300, while brands like Rolex and Breitling will set you back thousands.

Leather or Metal?

What kind of material suits you best? A watch that looks great on your best friend won’t necessarily look great on you. You need to decide on the material that’s most comfortable and suits the kinds of things you enjoy wearing. A metal watch in silver or gold can look great when complemented with similar jewellery and going out/smart casual outfits, while a leather strapped watch can look lovely for everyday wear and is comfortable too. Shinola watches are a lovely choice for somebody who wants something understated but timeless.

Your Wardrobe

What do you have in your current wardrobe? You want your watch to be as versatile as possible, so it’s important that it goes with the majority of your outfits and accessories. There’s nothing to say you can’t be a little different with your choice of watch, but you might regret it when you realise it doesn’t match anything else you own. If you prefer to wear silver jewellery, then you’ll likely feel more comfortable in a silver watch. If you prefer to wear warmer coloured clothes, then gold would probably look best. A leather strapped watch can go with almost any outfit!

Dressy or Casual?

What do you want the watch for? Is it a watch for special occasions, a watch you can wear every day, or a watch you can throw on for any occasion? A dressier watch might include gems and special features like a mother of pearl dial, while a casual watch might be very understated and almost ‘plain’ (but still pretty).

By carefully considering these points, your watch will look amazing with anything you choose to wear. Let us know how watch shopping went in the comments!

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What Would You Consider To Be A Female-Friendly Car Dealership?

For some reason, it can be a genuinely intimidating and sometimes terrifying experience for a lone female to walk into a car showroom with a view to purchasing a new car. Although being sexist is illegal in many countries around the world (it is a form of discrimination), the ugly truth is that this still happens even today.

Many “old school” car dealers think that only men should buy cars and that women should be at home cooking and looking after the children. This kind of sexist and backwards attitude towards gender equality is something that, unfortunately, can still be seen in many car dealerships.

Even if the women concerned are high-flying businesswomen and have done a fair amount of research on the cars they want to buy, I’ve seen a lot of examples where such women are treated with little respect by the car salespeople that they talk to.

The news isn’t all bad, however. This is because there are a growing number of “female-friendly” car dealerships that women can visit without feeling intimidated or being disrespected by sexist salesmen. But what would you consider to be a female-friendly car dealership? Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

Honest car salespeople

I know a lot of people think that honesty and sales are two words you would never see in the same sentence unless it is a negative observation about salespeople, but one thing that women find very important when it comes to deciding where to buy their car from is how honest the salespeople are in the dealership.

All too often, many old-fashioned car salespeople see women as a soft target and will try their best to sell them all sorts of unneeded optional extras for the cars they are interested in buying, and these salespeople stereotypically think that men know what they want from a car more than women.

When you walk into a trusted car dealership such as Chelmsford Toyota, you will immediately notice that the salespeople do not treat women any differently to men, and actually listen to their potential customer’s requirements rather than trying to sell them something they don’t want!

Gender-friendly environments

I remember walking into a car dealership once and was shocked to see topless girls in calendars being displayed in the main showroom area where some of the sales advisers’ desks were!

A car dealer that both women and men would be happy to visit is going to be one that is a gender-friendly environment.

The smarter car dealers know that they aren’t going to make much money by treating women as stupid people, for example, so it’s in their interests to cater for a variety of customers whether they be women, men, disabled people, fleet managers or millionaires!

I consider a gender-friendly environment to be one where it is obvious the dealer has taken great steps to ensure that the staff they employ are both female and male, and that none of the males employed treat women like they were second-class citizens.