Is Luvanto Flooring a Reliable Investment?

21 June 2021

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post.

 It's been a few years now since we had a huge makeover although last year we did add and update some of our old furnishing due to not having a Summer holiday due to covid-19. Everyone loves to undertake some home renovation over the year but find themselves constricted by a budget, having them source cheaper options to stay within its confines.

luvanto flooring


This can either result in choosing something subpar or discovering a real bargain. Knowing what is reliable and will not need a regular amount of repairs and touch-ups over time is a prime focus for those wanting long-lasting solutions, so it's no surprise that Luvanto luxury vinyl flooring has reaped the benefits for those looking to keep on budget.

Low Maintenance 
When it comes to enjoying your home, you want to be able to sit and enjoy the time without the constant worry of needing to clean up.

One of the main reasons people are turned on to vinyl is the ability to switch off from worrying about the floor. The many manufactured properties vinyl provides include anti-scratch and anti-slip functions which is a relief if you have kids or animals running through your room. The floor has the durability to withstand any potential accidents.

With the added durability and extra cushioned texture, vinyl can withstand much more than other household flooring options which adds further peace of mind.

Inexpensive 
Above all of the style and protection that luxury vinyl flooring presents, you want to know that what you will spend on your flooring is worth the money.

People who invest in vinyl flooring discover it is a much cheaper option over the carpet, laminate or wood/stone featured flooring. What you also can take into consideration is the relative savings in several areas.

Should an individual piece of flooring need to be replaced, it can be done without disrupting your floor by taking out the offending piece and replacing it with another. With the individual planks or tiles being very cheap to buy, you will find that it does not leave you out of pocket or have your budget stretched. Also, when you consider the savings on not requiring a professional fitter for the floor, you can treat it as a DIY project for that person in the house who likes to undertake a challenge.

luvanto flooring


Easy Clean
Everyone fears embarrassing situations where you may need to hide sections of your floor due to spillages from drink or sauces.

Instead of paying out for every kind of expensive chemical to clean up blotches on your floor, vinyl offers a simple solution - warm soapy water, a sponge, or a mop. There are other ways people have taken to cleaning their vinyl with ease to retain its original gloss, and with the benefit of anti-moisture properties, you are ensured that there is no leaking to the subfloor and ruining the long-term prospects of your floor.

Luvanto is perfect for a kitchen where heavy activity requires a floor that can take the heat. When working within a set budget for renovation, luxury vinyl tile flooring is a firm favourite for keeping money, style, and security under your feet.

Michelle
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Where To Spot The Gruffalo In The UK

16 June 2021

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Oh Help! Oh No! It's The Gruffalo! The Gruffalo has been one of our favourite stories since little J was younger and we have followed the Gruffalo trail through Delamere Forest many times to try and find him. Over the past year several of the Gruffalo trails and orienteering have been closed however now as some restrictions have lifted there are quite a few Forestry England places in the UK where you can join in with the Gruffalo Trail. Please do check with each Forest before you visit to check opening times and temporary closures.

boy looking at a Gruffalo orienteering sign


Gruffalo Orienteering
Gruffalo Orienteering is the perfect outdoor activity with fun for all the family. Pick up a map and certificate at the Forest's visitor centre for just £1.50 then follow the route to find the Gruffalo. 

There are twelve Gruffalo markers to find using the simple map. 


Alice Holt
Cannock Chase
Dalby Forest
Delamere Forest
Fineshade Wood
Grizedale Forest
Haldon Forest Park
Mallards Pike Lake 
Salcey Forest
Sherwood Pines
Wendover Woods
Whinlatter Forset
Wyre

The Gruffalo Sculpture


Spot A Gruffalo Sculpture
If you take a stroll in the deep dark wood, you might spot the Gruffalo and it will be good! The wooden sculptures of the Gruffalo have all been carved in to different positions so you can spot him in his different positions by visiting different locations.


Alice Holt
Bedgebury
Cannock Chase
Dalby Forest
Delamere Forest
Fineshade Wood
Hamsterley Forest
High Lodge
Kielder Castle
Moors Valley
Sherwood Pines
Wendover Woods
Westenbirt Arboretum
Whinlatter Forset
Wyre

Gruffalo Sign


The Gruffalo Spotters Trail
Interact with all your favourite characters from the Gruffalo story as you search for him in the deep dark wood. Download the Gruffalo Spotters 2 app before you arrive to help bring the characters to life.


Alice Holt
Bedgebury
Beechenhurst
Cannock Chase
Dalby Forest
Fineshade Wood
Hamsterley Forest
Hicks Lodge
High Lodge
Jeskyns Community Woodlands
Kielder Castle
Moors Valley
Salcey Forest
Sherwood Pines
Wendover Woods
Westenbirt Arboretum

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Comments - I love reading your opinions and thoughts - Have you visited any of the above? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought.

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Michelle
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Changing Our Colour Scheme To Match The Seasons

14 June 2021

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Last October we decided that we would start to change our colour scheme in our living room to match the seasons. We bought lots of oranges and browns for Autumn, red was the perfect colour for Christmas and for Spring we chose yellow. Supermarkets and other shops that have a homeware department are the perfect place to look and you can usually buy most of the items in one place. When it came to Summer I wasn't too sure what colour to choose but we went for pink and grey. 

living room


There are two main focus points in our living room, the fireplace and the walls. We have a rug in front of the fireplace so that sets the tone for the room. Our walls are quite big so we need large pictures or art to fill the spaces so they don't look bare. We found some lovely prints online at Desenio that not only matched our new Summer colour scheme but are personal to us too. 

Desenio was founded in 2010 and has grown over the years to now have an online presence in 33 countries. The idea behind the brand is to offer stylish wall art at affordable prices. 

As well as wall art you can also add Desenio frames, hangars, picture ledges and clips to suit your needs.

Whilst browsing Desenio I looked through the maps and cities section. There are a few places that are special to us and I was hoping that I could find a print of New York and Paris. New York is where we got married and Paris is one of our favourite cities as it's home to Disneyland Paris the most magical place on Earth

Paris in Bloom



New York in Bloom

When I found the New York in Bloom picture it was just a perfect fit. It has a lovely Summer feel, it's pink and it's New York. I then found Blooming Paris which is a similar colour scheme with the Eiffel Tower in the background. 

gallery wall tool from Desenio


These were perfect and I knew they would go together well and match our colour scheme. If I was unsure I could use the Gallery Walls tool. This is perfect for those who don't have an eye for what things may look like. You start the by choosing a background. Our pictures are going above the sofa so I chose the sofa background. You can then choose how many pictures you wish to hang in the space and the sizes. I could then added my chosen prints and the tool showed me how it would look. You then have the choice to add frames to your order giving you a choice of colours. You can select the different colour frames to see which suits your print better. Once you are ready you can add to cart ready for you to purchase. 

Desenio Wall Art


The Desenio prints arrived swiftly and match the colour scheme perfectly. We have ordered some different prints too so we can swap after a few months but for now I love seeing our two favourite cities in bloom in our living room. 

Do you change your colour scheme to match the seasons?

Michelle
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Mardi Gras At Alton Towers

11 June 2021

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The first of five events this year at Alton Towers Resort is happening right now and till June 22nd and it is Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras also known as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday happens the day before Ash Wednesday or 47 days before Easter. It’s a carnival celebration which highlights and celebrates the last day of eating rich fatty food and therefore giving up a certain type of food for lent.

Mardi Gras sign at Alton Towers
Alton Towers have transformed Towers Street into a carnival celebration with lots of themed stages reflecting different areas of the park. The main stage on the front lawn has entertainment throughout the day and you can watch from one of the many picnic benches. For those that would like to sample foods of the world 'food street' is also just under the walkway alongside the towers. You can enjoy Chinese, Greek or Italian food or our favourite a king donut.


Mardi Gras sign at Alton Towers

Mardi Gras sign at Alton Towers

Mardi Gras sign at Alton Towers



Mardi Gras sign at Alton Towers


Whilst walking around the park be prepared to see stilt walkers, dancers, musicians and lots of other family themed entertainment.

The Mardi Gras celebrations are included in your ticket so you can enjoy everything Mardi Gras has to offer at no extra cost.

You will also find some Mardi Gras souvenirs in Tower Street shop including hats, beads and T-shirts.

Alton Towers can be so busy, rushing from ride to ride so it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy the entertainment provided.

Mardi Gras sign at Alton Towers

Mardi Gras sign at Alton Towers

Mardi Gras sign at Alton Towers


As I said earlier this is the first of five events happening at Alton Towers Resort this year. Next is in September when Alton Towers will be transformed for Oktoberfest. Prepare for spooks, chills and family fun in October when Alton Towers is transformed for Scarefest. Another personal favourite of ours is the fireworks display that happens in November and then a nice way to finish off the year is celebrating Christmas time at Alton Towers.

As well as Mardi Gras there are lots of new things to enjoy at Alton Towers Resort including David Walliams World featuring the Gangsta Granny Ride and the four Retro Squad Rides. 

Michelle
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5 Screen-Free Activities to Explore with Your Child | AD

10 June 2021

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Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration. 

It's undeniably difficult for us to get away from technology, especially our smartphones. The same applies to children and lots of parents have concerns about their child’s screen-time. The question is: Are children using their phones and games consoles at a detriment to their physical and/or mental health? 

boys in the woods


Of course, there are lots of benefits to technology. It allows us to stay connected with friends and family all around the world, and the internet is a great source of information. We have also used technology over the last year to help us make homeschooling fun. There are also downsides to technology and parents should try and find some alternative activities to get their kids into so that they’re not staring at a screen every waking moment.  A prep school in Lincolnshire have the following suggestions for some screen-free activities.

Yoga
If you’re looking for something different for your child, and perhaps a way to help them relax, yoga might be a good option. It can be done indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather, and all you’ll need is a mat. Yoga improves strength, endurance, balance, and aerobic capacity, so it’s also great for their physical health.

Scrapbooking
Ask your child to keep an eye out for pictures and words that have meaning to them in newspapers, magazines, or books. They could even print some out and stick them into their scrapbook. Scrapbooking is a great way for children to express themselves and get their creative juices flowing. In school, children are often told they are right or wrong during lessons and are restricted to a timetable. Creative activities like scrapbooking make a nice change because there are no rules, no right or wrong, and no time constraints. 

Cooking/Baking
If there’s promise of a tasty treat at the end, most kids love to get involved with the cooking or baking. It’s actually a very education activity for them, because they learn how to use utensils safely, how to follow instructions in a recipe book and how to calculate oven times and measurements. 

Gardening 
Lots of kids love hands-on activities, so getting them to help you out in the garden might be a good option. Watching plants grow from seeds is a rewarding activity and teaches important life skills, like patience and determination. Gardening is also a chance for children to get some fresh air and exercise. 

Survival Skills
Another way to get your kids outside is to teach them some fun survival skills, like water purification or building a fire. Perhaps it could be turned into a screen-free family camping trip, during which time you get to bond, make memories and teach your child some valuable skills.

One of our favourites isn't mentioned above but we love searching for places to visit in the North West and heading out on a day out. It's such a lovely way to spend a morning, an afternoon or even the whole day. There is nothing better than exploring in the woods, riding a rollercoaster or having a picnic in the park. 

Do you have any screen free activities you enjoy?

Michelle
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Why Are School Trips Important for Children? | AD

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Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration. 

One of the things little J is most looking forward to when restrictions lessen is going on a school trip. It's been well over 18 months now since he last hopped on a coach and headed out for the day with his class mates. Big J is always telling him stories about the time he went to Wales, France and his favourite a skiing holiday with his school friends. First-hand experiences for children are one of the best ways for them to learn, which is why school trips are so important. They can form some of a child’s fondest memories and generally just give youngsters a well-deserved break from a traditional classroom environment. I have teamed up with a private school in Hertfordshire to discuss the benefits of school trips in further detail. 

children wearing wellies


Improves Academic Performance
There’s a unique sense of excitement that comes with bringing a subject to life outside of a classroom. This interactive learning helps students develop a deeper understanding of the topic at hand. It often easier to remember information when it is attached to a fond memory, so students might find it easier to recall facts and figures that they have learnt on a trip, as opposed to from a textbook. As a result, students who attend school trips are likely to have improved academic performance. This is especially true for kinaesthetic learners who are better at absorbing information when they are moving around and engaging their senses. 

Classroom learning is obviously crucial, but without a break from time to time, students can find it tedious and lose their momentum. School trips are great for re-capturing a child’s attention and interest in a particular topic and may even inspire new passions and pursuits at home. 

Builds Relationships
School trips provide an opportunity for students to bond with their peers and teachers. They are often asked to work in pairs or groups during their trips, helping with their interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a team. In addition, they will be able to see their teacher in a different light – someone who can have fun too. As a result, students are more likely to feel a sense of belonging within the school community, helping them with their confidence and feeling of security. What’s more, they may be more comfortable engaging in group discussions and collaborative tasks back in the classroom, again contributing to better progression in lessons. 

A New Challenge
For students who are a little shy and don’t feel comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone, a school trip can force them to face new challenges. They might have to ask for directions or order food without their parents there to help them, which will ultimately help them with their self-assurance. It’s even important for adults to challenge themselves from time to time and try something new.

I am guessing little J's first trip after restrictions may just be a short visit to the park, farm or cinema but he cannot wait.

Michelle
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May 2021 | Looking Back

9 June 2021

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A little late posting our looking back post this month. Half term is always busy here and I try to stay away from my computer as much as possible. We had a nice May and towards the end it was lovely to see the weather starting to perk up a little. 

May book club
I joined a monthly book club through a friend this month. I always say I am going to read more but never do so I thought joining the book club would give me the motivation to read. This months book was 'If I Was Your Girl' and I managed to finish the whole book before our discussion about it. It wasn't my usually genre but I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to getting stuck in to Junes. 

boy and man walking through the shopping centre.
Took a much needed trip to one of our local shopping centres. Due to the warmer weather creeping in both John and little J needed some shorts and t shirts. It actually rained on our visit and for days after so we didn't need to rush out to buy some. 

party table

woman sat on the floor laughing in to her hand
tahiti tshirt


Double birthday celebrations this month for both me and big J. Both of us celebrated our big birthdays (18 and 40) last year in lockdown and didn't get chance to celebrate with anyone so it was lovely to have people round this year. This photo is me crying of laughter thanks to an amazing t-shirt John bought me. It really made me laugh and it was by far my favourite present. If you know you know. 

boy overlooking a wall

boy on a boat

boy playing at a woodland playground
We had two unexpected days out that we didn't plan but we enjoyed both. First we headed to Chester for the day and explored the city as well as taking a boat ride on the River Dee. We also visited Tatton park Farm and Woodland Playground which was also lots of fun. It's just so nice to be able to go out again. 

primark
It was then my turn to head to the shops and stock up on some Summer outfits. I got quite a few bits in Primark and also some lovely t-shirts and tops in Asda. They always have Disney tees so if you are a Disney fan then make sure you remember to take a look next time you are doing your shopping. 

In Other News

We are all now fully vaccinated (except for little J). It does make you have that extra peace of mind knowing you are protected as much as possible. We still socially distance and wear our masks when out and about. 

We are all looking forward to half term and will be heading out on lots of adventures. We will probably need another week off to recover. 

How was your May?
Michelle
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What are the Three Main Learning Styles for Children? | AD

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Disclosure - This is a paid post. 

Did you know that different people process and absorb information in different ways? In other words, we don’t all learn in the same way. There are three main learning styles and it’s important for parents to try and understand which one is most suited to their child so that they are in a better position to help them succeed in school. For instance, you will be able to change the way you explain things or invest in some more appropriate learning tools. A private nursery in London has put together the following information on the three main learning styles.

play dough and tools


Visual Learners
Visual learners like to read, write, and draw to help them absorb information and they often like to doodle. They typically find graphs and diagrams helpful when interpreting data and tend to enjoy the use of lots of colours and visual cues when studying. They also tend to have a good sense of direction. 

Auditory Learners
While a visual learner might like to read for pleasure, auditory learners prefer to listen to audiobooks or podcasts. They are better at understanding information when it is verbally explained to them rather than read from a textbook. They are also great communicators because they are good at listening and also engaging in discussions. If your child is an auditory learner, you may notice them reading aloud while studying to help them process the material at hand. 

Kinaesthetic Learners
If your child is a kinaesthetic learner, they will be drawn to hands-on subjects like drama, art, or sport. They are better at processing information through sensory cues so like to move around and feel things. Kinaesthetic learners typically struggle to sit still for long periods of time and often like to fiddle with something. 

To determine which type of learner your child seems to be, you will need to observe them and consider what sparks their interests. Do they like to get their hands dirty and play outside or are they quite happy curling up with a book for hours on end? There is a chance your child might fall into more than one of the above categories, so that’s also something to bear in mind.

Once you have established what type of learner your child is, you should have a greater understanding of how you can aid their learning. For instance, if you think your child is a visual learner, you can buy them lots of coloured pens and paper to use when they’re studying.

Michelle
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