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Top 5 Most Luxurious Restaurants in London You Could Visit

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post 

When it comes to enjoying a fine dining experience, there are plenty of excellent opportunities in London – and, with this in mind, we’ve outlined five of the most luxurious restaurants in London you could visit. After all, there’s a reason it’s so often considered one of the most luxurious and expensive cities in the world; and, with fine dining luxury restaurants like these, it’s definitely clear that London is home to multi-millionaires and billionaires alike.


The Top 5 Most Luxurious Restaurants in London You Could Visit
So, you’ve been looking for the most luxurious restaurants in and around London? Whether you’re looking for somewhere to spend an extra special evening, or if you’re simply curious about how the other half lives, we’ve come up with some of the top five most luxurious restaurants in London to help you find an effective solution overall.

The Ritz London in Mayfair
We’ve all heard of the Ritz. However, for so many of us, thoughts of actually dining in this fine establishment are the things of dreams. Indeed, with a single omelette at the Ritz potentially costing as much as £180 (it’s made from caviar, admittedly), it’s clear to see that this level of luxury is restricted to a very specific few. Indeed, you might need to win the lottery or come into a massive inheritance to enjoy a meal at the Ritz – but if you ever got the chance, it’s sure to be more than worth it.

As recommended by the Conde Nast Traveller, f you’re looking for a more soothing and calming dining experience, the Hide restaurant in Mayfair might be just the opportunity you need. In fact, though it’s the newest restaurant on this list, it achieved its first Michelin star within half a year of opening; as such, diners can expect a lot when visiting this truly unique, split-floor dining destination.

When visiting, you absolutely have to try the restaurant’s most iconic dish – the Nest Egg – to enjoy the full experience. An irresistibly rich blend of egg yolk, smoked butter, cream, and gently toasted mushrooms, it’s undeniable that the Hide restaurant has firmly established itself as one of the most luxurious and creative in all London – truly a destination for those wanting a luxury, millionaire-worthy dining experience.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsey
Gordon Ramsey – he’s a household name, and with this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the Restaurant Gordon Ramsey offers an equally unparalleled experience. In fact, the restaurant holds three Michelin stars and has done so continuously since 2001 – that’s over two decades!

One of the most notable features of the Restaurant Gordon Ramsey has to be its tiny size; in fact, with only 14 small tables, booking is irrefutably necessary to get a space. All the same, this small-scale experience ensures that every dish is finished to perfection without compromise, and all guests hence know they will be treated to a truly incomparable experience overall. 

Head Chef de Cuisine, Matt Abe, never fails to pull out all of the stops to impress diners, just as his predecessor Clare Smyth had done. It’s this dedication that ensures every dish is cooked to perfection, and diners hence head into the Restaurant Gordon Ramsey with some of the highest expectations possible.

La Dame de Pic
If you have been looking for a luxurious dining experience in London, chances are, you’ll struggle to find a location that’s more sophisticated or sensual than La Dame de Pic. Indeed, it may not be one you’ve heard of in passing, but La Dame de Pic is a truly iconic restaurant that’s in equal parts a restaurant as it is a fine work of art in its own right.

La Dame de Pic was launched by Anne-Sophie Pic, who came from a long line of Michelin-starred chefs and internationally acclaimed culinary experts. As such, her uncompromising dedication to quality ensures that every diner knows just what to expect when they walk through those majestic doors – and this ensures that La Dame de Pic surely deserves a spot on this list.

Sketch Lecture Room and Library
It might not be quite as iconic as the Ritz, but few locations offer quite the same luxury as the Sketch Lecture Room and Library. Indeed, designed with a palette of deep reds and creams, this stunning property was even listed in the Michelin guide 2020, and for good reason! 

The stunning Grade II listed architecture perfectly compliments the refined and sophisticated feel of the interior; from studded ivory leather walls to luxury velvets and silk, there’s no expense spared for this truly iconic property. As such, if you can afford the meal prices, few celebrations are quite the same as a meal at the Sketch Lecture Room and Library – and, with a full 7-course meal on offer, you certainly won’t leave feeling hungry.

There’s no shortage of fine dining opportunities in London. Nevertheless, choosing that one perfect restaurant can seem like a challenge, in many cases; still, today’s top five picks are surely among the most luxurious restaurants in the big city.

While their prices ensure they typically remain reserved for just millionaire lottery winners and CEOs, there’s still something quite magical about the thought alone. And, after all, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy some time in the big city with these five fine luxury restaurants, too; you might just need to sacrifice a large lump on your savings in exchange for these once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences.

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Christmas Ready With Buy A Battery.

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Disclosure - We have teamed up with Buyabattery to test the latest children’s toys and gadgets as part of its campaign to urge parents not to forget the batteries this Christmas Day.

This year we decided to put our Christmas decorations up almost two weeks earlier than we usually do. We did it over a wet and stormy weekend and it's really helped us get in to the festive mood. Each year we buy some new decorations for the tree and around the home. We also make sure we stock up on batteries. You can never have too many over the Christmas period. 

wrapped presents

We recently came across Buyabattery is a leading online battery store with a wide range of disposable and rechargeable batteries for all of your household and small business needs – making it the must-visit website to help power everything from TV remotes, toys and torches, through to hearing aids, thermometers, watches and car keys. They also supply to many trade and wholesale customers.

This Christmas Buyabattery is urging parents not to forget the batteries when it comes to the big day. Research by the battery retailer has found that more than a third of parents which is around 35%, have forgotten to buy the correct batteries for their children’s Christmas gifts. I know in the past we have definitely been in that 35%. Not having the correct batteries lead to tears on the big day but we have learnt from our mistake and we are always prepared for Christmas now.

putting batteries inside a toy

Buyabattery managing director, Darren Jones has some great advice for all parents

"Always read the information on the box thoroughly to work out which batteries are required for the toy or gadget – don’t forget some toys like remote controlled cars will need batteries for the car and the remote control."

"Before you wrap your presents fit the batteries to make sure that the toys work – this will avoid any disappointment on Christmas Day and ensure that the toy is ready to go as soon as it has been unwrapped. No fiddling around with small screwdrivers required!"

"Make sure you buy quality, genuine batteries. Long-lasting power is key when it comes to kids’ toys so look for advanced battery technology which will give you improved power and shelf life. For example, the new Duracell Plus 100% extra life batteries have more concentrated power than the previous Duracell Plus batteries. They have also been equipped with Duralock which ensures a 10 year power preserve."

"Buy extra batteries so you have spares in case any friends or family members give your children battery powered toys. Most small to medium children’s toys will require AA or AAA batteries. Larger toys may require C or D batteries"

"Having spares to hand will also mean that there are no tears if batteries do end up running dry before the end of the day. Some toys can drain batteries quickly if played continuously."

"Before Christmas Day have a battery amnesty – remove batteries from toys that are no longer used and separate dead or old batteries from those that still work. This will give you a good idea of which working batteries you have and what you might need to buy. It also means that you aren’t powering toys with batteries that are low in charge and may not make it through the day."

"Always recycle your old batteries – there are collection points in most supermarkets, DIY stores, convenience stores and even some clothing retailers. Never put your batteries in the bin – they contain hazardous materials which could enter the eco-system. They should always be disposed of in the correct way."

"Consider investing in rechargeable batteries - instead of burning through packets of disposable, alkaline batteries, invest in a quality pack of rechargeable batteries that you can recharge hundreds of times. Consider having a spare set that are charged ready for when the set in the device run out. Just make sure they are compatible with your device before inserting them."

It’s not just the children’s gifts that might need battery power! Don’t forget to check the battery requirements for any of the presents you are giving this year – to avoid disappointment."

Have you ever forgotten batteries on Christmas? 

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Tips To Help You Prepare For Christmas

Disclosure - This post is in collaboration with Buy A Battery. The idea for this post, thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year. Everything builds up to Christmas day and if you are not prepared it can make Christmas the most stressful time of year too. There is plenty you can do to help you prepare for Christmas day and make it as stress free and enjoyable as possible. Here are our tips to help you prepare for Christmas. 

merry christmas sign
dinner table set

Decide Who Is Hosting
If you have a family Christmas it is wise to decide who is hosting as soon as possible. Making Christmas dinner is a big task and if it falls on you to host you will want to know sooner rather than later. 

Buy Christmas Food Early And Book A Home Delivery Shop Just Before Christmas.
In December we start adding a few Christmas food items and treats to our weekly shops. It spreads the cost and it saves panic buying a few days before when all the shops are running low on stock levels. We always make sure we book a supermarket home delivery a few days before Christmas too as supermarkets are always so busy stressful on the days before Christmas. A home delivery takes the stress away all you need to do is order online and wait for it to arrive. 

christmas presents

Shop To Your Budget
Hopefully by now you will have started your Christmas shopping but if you still have some Christmas gifts to buy make sure you stick to your budget. It can be easy to get carried away especially in the last few weeks leading up to Christmas. We feel the need to buy 'just a few more things' when in fact we have probably got enough gifts already. 

Watch and Wrap
I actually like wrapping presents but when you have a lot of wrapping to do it can become a huge chore. We always pop on a Christmas movie that we have seen many times before and have it playing while we wrap. It makes the time go so much quicker.

christmas planner

Fill In Your Calendar, Planner Or Diary
December is a busy month and you may be out an about more than usual. Make sure you use a planner or calendar to fill in your social events, school activities, days out and get togethers. There is nothing worse than double booking.

Stock Up On Batteries
Buy extra batteries so you have spares in case any friends or family members give your children battery powered toys. Most small to medium children’s toys will require AA or AAA batteries. Larger toys may require C or D batteries. Having spares to hand will also mean that there are no tears if batteries do end up running dry before the end of the day. There are some toys can drain batteries very quickly too if played with continuously.

Enjoy The Day 
We all spend so much time preparing, planning and waiting for the big day to arrive that its easy to get to the point where you actually miss the entire day through trying to make sure that everything runs perfectly. Remember that Christmas is about spending time with family and friends so make sure that is what you do. If you have children then these will be the days they remember the most. They will remember the time you spent with them more than the present they forgot about years ago. 

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

Are you looking forward to celebrating Christmas? Are you Prepared? Leave us a comment below and let us know. 

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Forza Horizon 5 Exclusive Xbox Controller Review

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Disclosure - We were sent the product below for the purpose of this post and is in collaboration with Buy A Battery. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our unless stated. This post contains affiliate links. 

Another year, another Forza game. Probably the most popular franchise in car racing on Xbox sees Forza Horizon 5 release this month.  Alongside the game, Microsoft have released a Forza Horizon 5 controller so that you can really immerse yourself in the experience. 

forza horizon 5 controller

Controllers for Xbox haven’t changed much over the years, however this controller is really striking with its bright neon colours and see through casing. You can see through to the rumble motors inside which themselves have splashes of colour which look great when spinning.  

Since the Series X / S release, controllers have included a new capture button in the centre, a really useful feature for those who like to capture screenshots, live streaming or quick recording features. 

forza horizon 5 controller

forza horizon 5 controller

Another great addition to this particular controller are the rubber grips. A nod maybe to the rubber you’ll be burning in game, these are a fantastic addition and maybe something for all future controllers to consider. The grip is excellent and if you use this and then drop back to a regular controller you really notice the difference. We also own the first series Elite controller and this also benefits from the rubber grips so it’s great to see them on a controller that doesn’t set you back £150. 

forza horizon 5 controller

Coming back to the colour scheme, it really has to be seen to understand how vibrant the colours are. I’m sure some people will think it an eyesore, but compared to the standard vanilla controllers out there, this is my favourite of all of them. 

Finally, I love how Microsoft still allow you to use regular batteries for your controller rather than having to keep it charged. I find it easier to use normal AA batteries rather than remember to charge my controller after use.  I hope they continue this with future controllers.

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Helping Your Child Develop their Fine Motor Skills

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Many, if not all, of our day-to-day activities revolve around fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are the skills needed to use the small muscles found in our arms, hands and feet that can only be developed through practice and lots of play. Activities aim to strengthen these muscles and improve coordination to allow children to develop their own independence.

We have teamed up with a pre prep school in Hampshire to share more on helping your child develop their fine motor skills.


Weaving Wool
All this activity involves is a cardboard cut-out and a reel of wool. You will need to tape the end of the wool to the piece of cardboard and get your child to wrap it tightly around the cut-out until it is fully woven and covered. This exercise offers a great way to get your child to exercise their creativity while getting them to practice their holding and gripping skills. For ease, you might want to choose a shape with a hole to make the process of feeding the wool through easier. This could be a circular or heart-shaped hoop.

Create a Post Box
Another option for getting your child to practice holding and gripping is a post box. This is a box with cut-outs for your child to post items through. These items can be bottle tops, balls or beads. You can just as easily turn this into a lesson on shapes by adjusting the shape of the cut-outs and finding objects to fit.

play dough

Play Dough 
Some may be fearful of play dough and the potential consequences for their carpet, but it can greatly help children in their development. All the squishing and squashing that’s needed to mould play dough can help your child to develop the essential skills needed to press and pinch. As an activity, you could create playdough versions of each other. This can make for lots of fun and stretch your child’s creativity.

Musical Instruments
One less frightening option that won’t create a whole lot of mess is musical play. Instruments such as the guitar and keyboard require a lot of finger work which will help your child to exercise the muscles in their arms too. This could also be a way of getting your child into the arts by igniting a love for music at a young age.

These are just four ways to help your child develop their fine motor skills. There are so many more and you can make it as fun as you like. The messier the better!

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Which Vinyl Flooring is Best for Quality?

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Luxury vinyl flooring can come in a variety of colours and textures, but the one thing that is not different is the overall quality each brand provides to your floor.
Many point to the lowest price Amtico flooring as the name brand that is extremely popular in proving not just the best in perfectly replicated looks, but also the safest investment you can make for the home. If having a more durable lifespan than other flooring is not enough, the ease in keeping it in its best possible shape with small maintenance sure adds to its high points.

Bathroom with vinyl flooring

What is Amtico?
Known as a leading brand in hard plastic flooring, able to perfectly and effortlessly imitate any type of flooring, Amtico has climbed high above many vinyl flooring brands throughout the decades to become the most popular with interior designers.
It looks exactly like hardwood or stone flooring, or ceramic or otherwise. It looks so real that anyone visiting the home will be shocked to discover that it is not the real thing. On top of all this, it is the perfect insulator for heat and sound.
When it comes to vinyl flooring, the Amtico brand sure covers a lot more than just your floor.

Keeping Real
In comparison to other floorings such as carpet or real hardwood flooring, vinyl planks and tiles present a much easier and quicker way to keep your floor's appearance as good as the day it was freshly unboxed.
With a regular sweep of the floor with a household non-brittle brush, you can remove all dirt and dust and dispose of it in no time. Follow this up with a quick vacuum and then mop with warm soapy water or a specialised approved floorcare product so as not to affect the warranty. As little as a few quick mops, a month can keep the floor healthy and looking as it should.
Some people will undertake a deep clean to their floor to keep it in the very best appearance and use a recommended floor stripper once or twice a year.  You will need to redress it with flooring dressing and ensure that all dirt and marks from the flooring are gone before layering the LVT.

Eliminate Risk
Ensure everything is more secure by undertaking a few precautionary measures before laying the floor.
By using protective felt pads under the feet of furniture you can avoid deep scratch marks and scuffs, especially if you have a heavy sofa and chairs that drag around the floor whilst cleaning. As you may end up buying new furniture, it's wise to make sure that furniture contact areas are wider to spread weight.

vinyl flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring is an easy flooring solution to keep in great shape for decades. Always discuss with your supplier any special considerations that need to be taken. When you want flooring that offers the best in quality, look to Amtico.

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5 Important Life Skills to Explore With Your Child from A Young Age

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Children grow up so quickly and giving them a toolkit of essential life skills can serve them well for when you're not there. We have paired up with a prep school in Buckinghamshire to share 5 important skills to explore with your child from a young age.

a child baking

While you might not be looking forward to the mess in the kitchen, teaching your child how to cook can serve them well when you’re ill or when they go off to university. You don’t need to get all the pots and pans out for this one and can just teach them how to make a sandwich or make their own toast.

First Aid
Children can be very clumsy. Getting cuts and bruises all the time. Showing your child what to do in the event that they injure themselves can teach them how to protect themselves and help others. For this, you can show them where to find the first aid kit and how to use all of its equipment.

Knowing how to deal with your emotions is a powerful skill to have and can allow your child to live a healthier and more fulfilled life. As your child grows up, they will face different challenges and knowing how to deal with anxiety can help them to increase their focus and see a clear path ahead. This can help them in their education, work-life and personal life by allowing them to identify how they’re feeling and use calming techniques. There are many mindfulness techniques out there that can help them to be brought back to the present.

This is an important skill that can help when working through tasks in the workplace or when completing schoolwork. Without having the knowledge and skill to organise, it can be hard to create a plan to move forwards and tackle a problem. Teach your child good organisation, get them to do chores from an early age whether it be making their bed or folding the laundry.

It would be unusual for your child not to find themselves in a predicament. Life is full of so many challenges and knowing how to tackle them is a valuable skill. It starts with identifying a problem, brainstorming to think of solutions and brainstorming again to identify their strengths and weaknesses. It’s a process that involves looking at problems from all angles and is something that you can practice with your child by regularly asking questions.

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How Do My Child's Lifestyle Choices Affect Their Education?

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Take care of your body and it will take care of you. Your child is no different and all of their lifestyle choices will inadvertently impact their health, energy levels and their education. We have teamed up with a prep school in Bristol to share more on the effects that they can have on your child’s education and the changes that you can make to their daily routine.

a child reaching for fruit

A Poor Diet 
A poor diet can be detrimental to your child’s health with obesity causing 13 different types of cancer. In the short term, indulging in sugary snacks and beverages can be just as bad by creating a sugar high that is then shortly followed by a ‘crash’. This can impair your child’s concentration in school while making them feel tired and drained of energy. It's not all doom and gloom. A healthy balanced diet can help your child to maintain healthy insulin levels, stay focused and remain energised throughout the day.

We all know how beneficial exercise is for our health in helping us to maintain a healthy weight but there are some surprising facts that you might not be aware of. For example, did you know that exercise can help to improve concentration and promote sharper thinking? Research shows that cardiovascular exercise can actually increase the size of the brain’s hippocampus to improve brain function and memory. It can also make for a happier and healthier life as exercise releases endorphins. To ensure that your child is getting enough exercise, try walking to school 1 or 2 days a week or enrol your child in an after-school sports club.

boy sleeping on work books

Bedtime Routine
The older we get, the more this becomes apparent. Sleep recharges the body's batteries and allows us to perform at our best. On the other hand, a lack of it can lead us to be irritable with psychologists concluding to a heightened threat system. This can impact your child’s behaviour at school and make concentration harder as they have less energy. To help your child perform at their best in school, implement a bedtime routine where devices are all switched off half an hour before bed.

A crazy fact that you probably didn’t know is that optimism can help you to live longer. By challenging negative thoughts and carrying out mindfulness, you can help your child to be more optimistic about their future. This can help them to achieve better grades and get more from life.

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How To Raise A Respectful Child

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To socialise and connect with others, knowing how to be respectful is important. It can prevent miscommunication, help to make a good first impression and be a good member of society. We have teamed up with a boys pre prep school in London to share tips on how to raise a respectful child.


Open-Mindedness and Respecting The Beliefs Of Others
There are over 8 billion of us living on the planet. All different and unique in their own way. Teaching open-mindedness can help your child to grow up to be a respectful citizen, allowing them to connect and learn from others around the world. This is even more so important with globalisation making the world a much smaller place. This encompasses not only religious and cultural beliefs but personal beliefs too surrounding issues such as identity.

Using your manners in front of your child and reminding them to do the same can help it become second nature to them. This isn’t just ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me’. You can teach your child etiquette too. 

Understanding Emotions
An emotionally intelligent child knows how to interact with others respectfully without hurting their feelings. By teaching children what the different emotions are and when they may be felt, they are able to behave appropriately in social situations. To teach this to your child, you can use flashcards with facial expressions and what they mean. 

Exercise Empathy
Without knowing how to be empathetic, emotional intelligence can be rendered useless. It can be hard to teach a child all the societal norms of what is acceptable and unacceptable which is where teaching empathy can help. By placing themselves in the shoes of others, your child can make their own judgements about what is appropriate and inappropriate.

Be Kind To Your Child
It’s contradictory to expect respect from your child and not do the same in return. To teach your child respect you must start with how you treat them. Be considerate and open to what they have to say. Being anything other than respectful to your child can teach them that behaving in this way is okay.

Managing Emotions
As humans, we are not cruel because we want to be. Often there is an underlying emotion that’s brought it out. This could be anger or hurt and whatever it is can be managed. By getting your child to use their knowledge of emotions, get them to label how they feel and ask themselves why. This will help them to identify what is wrong and create a logical solution for tackling it.

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How To Make December Birthdays Special

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As you probably know Christmas starts showing up in stores from September and it's pretty hard to keep away from it especially when you start hearing Christmas songs as you're walking round doing your weekly shop. I always think birthdays that are in the last quarter of the year must be tough, especially December birthdays. You have to wait all year for your special day then Christmas is just around the corner too. It must also be hard as a parent or family member to come up with children's gift ideas for both birthday and Christmas in the same month. I think those that celebrate their birthdays in December should have lots of extra fuss and here are some ideas on how to make December birthdays special.

Happy Birthday sign

No Christmas Until The Birthday Is Over
This may be tough to do if the birthday is in the second half of the month but I think if the birthday is within the first two weeks of December there should be no Christmas until the birthday is over. Make sure you have lots of birthday banners, balloons and other party decorations for the birthday boy or girl. If the birthday falls in the last two weeks of December make sure you still put up lots of birthday decorations, banners and balloons as well as your Christmas decorations. 

Give The Same Amount Of Presents You Would For Any Birthday
Christmas time can be very expensive but it's important not to give the birthday boy or girl less than you would if the birthday was at another time of year. They have waited all year for their birthday and just because Christmas is in the same month they still want lots of presents. 

Keep The Birthday And Christmas Separate 
When buying birthday and Christmas presents make sure you keep the presents separate and use both Christmas and birthday wrapping paper for the gifts. Try to stay away from seasonal gifts too, keep them for Christmas. 

birthday party

Plan A Birthday Party
We all like people to make a fuss about us on our birthdays and what better way than to have a birthday party. The weather in December is likely to be cold so you can choose to throw a birthday party in the house, hire a party venue or if it's for the kids then there are lots of indoor play centres that have great party packages. 

Most Importantly Plan
Planning is the most important part of making a December birthday special. 

Presents become harder to buy in December as there is such a huge demand especially for the most popular items. Make sure you buy well in advance to prevent disappointment. 

Make sure you have birthday cards and wrapping paper bought in plenty of time before the shops are overrun with Christmas. 

Birthday cakes can also be hard to find, maybe decide to bake one instead. 

If you are planning on hosting a birthday party make sure you get your invites out super early as December is such a busy time for everyone, give people plenty of notice. 

I'm sure those that celebrate their birthdays in December don't mind as they are used to it but it's always nice to be made a fuss of no matter the month.

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

Are you looking forward to celebrating any of the days above? Leave us a comment below and let us know. 

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4 Tips That Will Help You Pass Your MOT

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Disclosure - This a is a collaborative post.

If you are planning to go on a road trip with family, you need to make sure your vehicle is fully prepared to embark a long journey. Family safety and wellbeing comes as a main priority for everyone, hence one of the important things to check that will cover all your vehicle safety check is having an appropriate MOT certificate.

cleaning a tyre

What used to be called the Ministry of Transport test has now been shortened to the simple – but much more comprehensive – MOT test. The test looks at your vehicle with a view to ensuring that your car is roadworthy rather than in good condition. This distinction is subtle, but it is important, unless you always book a service concurrent with your MOT test, as servicing looks at the running condition of the car, while the MOT takes care of its roadworthiness.

To make the distinction clear: a car with a failed MOT but in good running order might be difficult for other drivers to see on the road; it might struggle to pull over to the side smoothly and stop promptly; or the number plate could be loose, not present or unreadable.

On the other side of the equation, a vehicle with passed MOT, but in sore need of mechanical repairs to the engine, will be able to activate warning lights, will be able to stop safely, and the stricken vehicle will be steerable while it is in motion. Furthermore if you are driving in London or a nearby area , you can also book an MOT in London by contacting DAT Tyres today.

With these fine distinctions in mind, let us take a look at four tips that will help you sail through your MOT without any issue. 

Brakes, Steering & Lights
These three items: brakes, steering and lights, were the only three checks on the very first MOT tests, back in 1960. The tests were performed on vehicles that were over ten years old, but so many of them failed the tests that the time limit was brought to just three years in fairly short order. Make sure your brakes, steering and lights are always in good condition, and not just to meet the criteria to pass your MOT! Being safe on the roads also means being able to react to other road users in a safe and timely fashion.

Good Visibility
As well as ensuring that you can be seen, you should make sure that you can see as well as possible too. This means fixing cracks and chips on your windscreen promptly, keeping all the windows clear and free from obstruction (no stickers, for example) and ensuring that your mirrors are clean, in good condition and positioned so as to give you the most comprehensive view of the road and the sides of your vehicle.

Solid Body
Having bits of your car falling off – bumpers, number plates, important chunks of the exhaust system – is never a good idea, and having these hanging loose or beginning to wear or fracture is a sure-fire way to fail your MOT and endanger other road users to boot.

Keep It Clean
Having a clean car is good for visibility – it is hard to see through clutter and treat packets blowing around – but it also helps you to keep an eye on the overall condition of your vehicle. Clean bodywork will show up signs of damage or wear much more readily than a car that is caked with mud. An MOT inspector will also fail you should you take your vehicle in for its test in such a grimy condition, so do try to get in the habit of keeping it clean.

Hopefully these tips will help you pass you MOT. Do you have any other tips you could share?

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Our Top Tips For Moving House

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post. 

I have mentioned it before on our blog that last year we had a full home and garden makeover. It was long overdue and although it took almost a year to complete if was definitely worth it. We did think about moving house first as we knew it would be quite costly to have a complete makeover but we also had to consider the cost of moving house. We made a Pro's and Con's list for staying and moving but in the end we decided we wanted to stay where we are. If you are in the process of moving or just even thinking about it, I have created a top tips list for Moving House I thought I would share with you.

Keys on a house keyring

Top Tips For Moving House

1. Start to gather lots of boxes, sellotape, bubble wrap etc as soon as possible. You will need to pack up everything you own so having enough supplies will make the job a lot easier.

2. Declutter your house before you begin to pack. Getting rid of old stuff that you don't want or need before the move saves unnecessary packing. You don't want to take stuff to your new house that will end up in the bin anyway.

3. Start packing early. It can take up to two months to pack up a 3 bedroom house so make sure you give yourself plenty of time.

4. Pack up one room at a time. Once you have chosen a room, pack everything that is not needed first then leave empty boxes to pack up the remainder of the stuff at a later date. Keep all the boxes from each room together until removal day. It will make it so much easier when the boxes arrive at your new home.

5. Label everything

6. Have a large clear tub with items you will need when you arrive at your new home. Think about items such as your kettle, milk, sugar, mugs, paper towels, toiletries, toilet paper etc.

7. Number your boxes or create an inventory. This is probably more for the super organised person but I would definitely create an inventory of everything I've packed so I know if anything has gone missing in the move. If that is too organised for you just clearly number the boxes.

8. Take photos. This is something we have done in the past mainly of different wires and cables that go in and out of the TV, Sky Box etc. It really does help. There is nothing worse than a bunch of loose cables and you have no idea what goes where.

9. Updating your address can be done as early as two weeks for places such as your bank, your doctors or dentist. Also make sure you contact Royal Mail for their redirect of mail service.

10. When it comes to moving day make sure you look for cheap, affordable home removals as some can be quite costly. Also let the house removals company you have chosen do all the lifting and moving for you. You may think it's cheaper hiring a van or getting family or friends to help but it's a big job and I would let the professionals do all the hard work.

Do you have any other tips for moving house?


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Stop The Signs Of Ageing With Botox

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People have been searching for means to stay young and look their best irrespective of their ages for years. Although it is still not possible for you to stop your body from ageing, you can still minimise the signs of ageing with a very effective Botox treatment. Botox is a treatment that is very popular on areas around the face.

Doctors clinic

Lose The Bunny Lines With BOTOX
Bunny lines are those fine lines that appear on the skin around your nose when you wrinkle it. These lines can often extend from the bridge of your nose to your lower eyelid. Botox injections can put an end to this but make sure that the doctor administering the injection has had experience treating this particular sign of ageing, for the best results.

It Can Be Used To Eradicate Crow’s Feet From The Corner Of Your Eyes
Crow’s feet are the fine lines that appear on the skin present at the corner of your eyes at times when you smile or laugh really hard. These are some of the worst signs of ageing that can give way to the fact that you are getting old!

Say Goodbye To Frown Lines
Frown lines are fine lines on your skin that make an appearance on the skin on your forehead when you furrow your eyebrows as you get upset, tired or angry. These lines take up a prominent space as your facial feature with age and Botox injections in this region of your body can help reduce the prominence of frown lines by many folds.

Smoker’s Lines Can Be Reduced As Well
As you age, you can develop perioral or popularly known as smoker’s lines. These will appear when you fan out the skin surrounding your lips.

Neck Cords Or Neck Bands Are Also Reduced Using Botox
As you age, the skin on your neck may start showing cords or simply saggy skin that results in the formation of lines. You can get Botox injected into the platysma muscles of your neck and say goodbye to neckbands. It also relaxes the muscles of your jawline thus giving you a non-invasive neck lift easily!

Botox is a safe treatment and it is recognised by the apex authorities of countless countries including the UK. The trick lies in the fact that you are getting the treatment from a revered skin clinic. Hence, when you search for ‘Botox clinics near me’ on the internet, make sure you are booking your Botox treatment appointment at a clinic that has been operating for a while and has a stellar online and offline reputation, for the best results.

Disclosure - this is a collaborative post 

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Celebrate Summer And The BBQ Season With Jack's | AD

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Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration with Jack's. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

We are finished for the Summer now and looking forward to a much needed break from work and school. We have a few things planned which we are looking forward to including weekends away, days out and play dates. We are praying that the weather is kind to us too so we can fill up the paddling pool and enjoy a BBQ in the sun. Jack's have stocked up their chillers with lots of BBQ essentials so I popped in to have a look and see what I could find. 

bbq food

The chillers had a mixture of Jack's own products and the Fire Pit range. Jack's also sell big brand names however the Jack's products are great value for money and as a regular shopper I know they are quality products that taste great. 

When it comes to tastes we are all different here so I decided to get a wide selection of products for us to sample ahead of our Summer BBQ's. 

sausage on a finger roll with sauces

BBQ's have come a long way over the years and although sausages and burgers are still a family favourite there are plenty more products to choose from. The Jack's prime pork sausages looked amazing and include prime British pork. We teamed it up with Jack's finger rolls and a choice of Jack's sauces. We can also rely on the Jack's 1/4lb burgers to be 100% British beef and tasted great on the Jack's brioche burger bun. 



Kebabs from the Fire Pit range seem to be popular. We went for the garlic and herb chicken kebabs, chicken and chorizo, sweet and smoky bbq beef kebabs and grilling cheese and vegetable kebabs. Like I said earlier we all have different tastes so the choice of kebabs are perfect for those who have fussy eaters. The range is also perfect when you are having a get together over the Summer and catering for more people. 

For those not familiar with Jack's, Jack's is a supermarket that was founded and named after Jack Cohen who is also the founder of Tesco. As well as Jack's own branded products you can also find a selection of Tesco and Britain's favourite brands in store. It's a go to supermarket that is very popular as you can shop quality products that are great value for money. 

As well as selling food and drink you can also browse the toys, games and homeware. 

Jack's has twelve  stores in the UK and they can be found at St Helen's, Sheffield, Edge Hill, Barnsley, Immingham, Wakefield, Liverpool North, Walton, Rubery, Castle Bromwich, Chatteris and Middlewich. A full store locator is available on the Jack's website.


bbq food

bbq food

Jack's is outstanding value for money and we are regular shoppers at the store and have really enjoyed sampling their BBQ bundle. Unfortunately the Great British weather wasn't kind to us so we had to move our BBQ indoors but that wasn't a problem at all. All the products we chose are suitable for BBQs but can also be cooked either on the grill, in the oven or both. 

Are you looking forward to the Summer? Do you have any family BBQ's planned?

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Elegear Cooling Blanket and Pillowcases

Disclosure - We were sent the products below for the purpose of this post and compensated for our time. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own unless stated. This post contains affiliate links. 

I am the type of person who is always hot yet I like to snuggle under a blanket on the sofa if I am watching TV or if I am in the garden in the evening. I would even take a blanket to the cinema if John would let me. As you can imagine finding the right blanket has always been tough. They are either too heavy, too fluffy or too hot so I usually end up with one or two legs out of the blanket or it just draped over my feet. 

woman in the garden with a blanket around her

When I heard about the Elegear Cooling blanket I was keen to give it a try as it sounds perfect for me. The idea behind the Elegear cooling blanket is it can absorb heat and sweat from your body, absorbing the heat helps to keep you cool. It does this by using special Japanese Q-Max 0.4 Cooling fibres. 

The Japanese Arc-Chill Cool Technology Fabric can quickly absorb human body heat. It does this when the human body touches the fabric. The body surface temperature immediately drops by about 2 to 5 degrees, so that the body feels cool.

elegear cooling blanket

The blanket is lightweight which surprised me at first as I thought it looked heavy when I took it out the packaging. There are different 'feels' on each side of the blanket and one side felt more clingy than the other. When I checked one side is made of 80% mica nylon and 20% polyethylene cool fabric which makes this side perfect for hot summers. The other side is 100% cotton so perfect for keeping cool on a Spring or Autumn evening. 

I have been using the cooling blanket on the sofa however it would be ideal as a throw over the bed as the range also features matching cooling pillowcases. The pillowcases work exactly like the cooling blanket, perfect to keep you cool during the hot evenings. 

Unfortunately I haven't been the only one using the blanket, I have had to share with the kids. This means that the cooling blanket has had to deal with sticky fingers and muddy hands. Luckily the Elegear Cooling blanket is machine washable. Wash on a gentle heat of up to 30° and then hang out in the shade. It's recommended that you do not iron, tumble dry, bleach or dry clean. 

We also found that the blanket felt warm after a few days so I would recommend popping the blanket near air conditioning or a fan if you have one. This will help to absorb the cooler temperature in to the blanket. If you don't have a/c or a fan then it can take a while for the cooling blanket to release the absorbed heat. 

However you choose to use the cooling blanket it will definitely keep you cool. It's perfect for the sofa, out on the patio, as a throw for the bed or even for travelling. 

elegear cooling blanket

The Elegear Cooling Blanket and Pillowcases are available to buy online at Amazon and come in a range of colours and sizes including blue, pink and grey. We chose 200x220cm in grey and it's a perfect size for the sofa or our bed. 

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Why Bookkeeping Needs To Be Done By Someone Qualified

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post. 

Running your business is a task that can mix between interesting, challenging and rewarding instances on a day to day basis. However, when it comes to bookkeeping, most business owners find it a negative experience to have to sit and do it alone, preferring not to be bothered by anyone.


Bookkeeping is vital to the success of a business, where the responsibility lies in everything from sales invoicing to managing accounts to VAT returns to keep your business not just afloat, but feeling the benefits of daily operation.

Many business owners are not good when it comes to numbers and filing, and opt to have someone take care of it for them. This means either employing someone specifically for the task or outsourcing professional bookkeeping services.

Tasks at Hand
Dealing with business finances involves much more than filing a few receipts here and there - most of the time a bookkeeper will be on hand to offer support and advice, as well as managing cash flow and payroll processing.

When you pull in a bookkeeper to handle these areas as your business begins to grow, you are gaining a very valuable asset. However, you need to be sure that those responsible for your bookkeeping are qualified to do so, otherwise, you could stand to lose a lot of money very quickly.

In choosing someone not qualified, you may find that you have little to no feedback on debtors, creditors and reporting regularly, which means you will not have a grasp on how well or how bad your business is performing.


Trust Issue
In working with professional bookkeeping services in Manchester, you need to feel that there is a position of trust and communication, understanding what is going on at all times with regards to customers, suppliers and bank accounts. 

Bookkeepers tend to earn that level of trust by always being accessible and providing insight and support not just to how the company is doing but also strategizing with you to help the company financially prosper. Without the knowledge and training that professional bookkeepers have, there is bound to be difficulty in solving any issues in accounting and recording that could end up to a way too late stage to fix.

Working With You
Professional bookkeepers work for many different kinds of clients, utilising many different structures and tools to help them keep on track. They also work well with other divisions helping to guide and support your business such as your accountant.

Whilst an accountant will work with you on tax planning and compliance, bookkeeping services work alongside both of you on your records and VAT. This makes for complete stability for your business where everyone's job aids the others.

Bookkeeping is a qualified profession and one that is tailored to helping businesses grow. Also as an individual bookkeeping is also a great way to save for holidays.

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Is Luvanto Flooring a Reliable Investment?

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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.

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.

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