Browsing Tag

kids

Activities Family Life

9 Scavenger Hunts To Do at Home with Kids

This period of staying at home has taught me one thing. To eek things out so they take as long as possible otherwise all my ideas are done by 1010! We all really enjoyed an indoor scavenger hunt yesterday and it was popular with your guys on Instagram so I have collated a few hunts from Pinterest for you to print and use at home.

NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT

Nature Scavenger Hunt

EASTER THEMED TREASURE HUNT

Easter Themed Treausre Hunt

ALPHABET SCAVENGER HUNT

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt \

TREAURE HUNT 

Home Treasure Hunt

BACKYARD (GARDEN!) SCAVENGER HUNT

Backyard Treasure Hunt

SPRING SCAVENGER HUNT

Spring Scavenger Hunt

5 SENSES SCAVENGER HUNT

5 Senses Scavenger Hunt

INDOOR SCAVENGER HUNT

Indoor Scavenger Hunt

PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT

Photo Scavenger Hunt

I hope this helps and fills up a few minutes in a fun and non stressful way! This post on activities for kids may also help! 

Love from Lucinda xx

Family Life Reviews Services

40 Guilt Free Educational Online Resources To Keep The Kids Entertained

To make this article timeless, I am not going to comment on the situation. I am no expert and it is evolving at rapid rate so I will leave that to the experts. However, the current climate has driven me to collate a list educational resources to aid us in keeping the kids entertained for when they are at home for a longer period to time than usual!

Katie’s Classroom

Pocket-size English and Maths revision cards for parents and teachers with children in Reception all the way up to Year 6/SATs/11+ Use TEACHER50 50% off your order and Katie’s Classroom Subscription Based Online Tutorials 7 day free trial and then £4.99 per month

Reading Eggs

I can vouch that this online resource to gt your kids reading is brilliant. It makes learning to read interesting and engaging, with great online reading games and activities.

London’s Little Thinkers

A trusted online community which inspires Little Thinkers with a huge amount of resources. Also follow them on Instagram for bite size inspiration

My Busy Bots

Busy bags and activities for toddlers and young kids

Twinkl

The trusted home of teacher-created planning and assessment materials and teaching resources! Perfect for inside and outside the classroom. Use PARENTSTWINKLHELPS for 1 month free

TT Rockstars

Timestables!

TTS Group

School supplies for primary and secondary education and free downloads for home learning

ICT Games

Free educational games created by a UK teacher

Education City

Engaging, educational resources and games for students aged 3-12 years, as well as time-saving tools that support teachers in the classroom and at home. You can try for free.

Phonics Play

Phonics games, planning and assessments. Free for parents and schools.

Oxford Owl

Discover FREE expert advice, educational resources and free eBooks to support children’s learning at primary school and at home, from Oxford University Press

IXL

Recap what your child should know with an in-depth look at the curriculum for the year.

Teaching Packs

High quality resource packs for educators

SENECA

Free virtual Homework and learning for GCSE & A Level

 

HISTORY

The Big History Project

A joint effort between teachers, scholars, scientists, and their supporters to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to knowledge to lifelong learners around the world in a series of wonderful videos.

 

GEOGRAPHY

World Geography Games

Geography games online from Reception to year 12!

National Geographic Kids 

Games, quizzes and videos

 

SCIENCE

Mystery Science

Free science lessons!

 

ICT

BLOCKLY

Learn computer programming

SCRATCH

Creative Computer programming

 

LANGUAGES

Duolingo

Learn a language for free!

 

DOWNTIME

Done enough work? Some great light hearted ideas for what to do with kids.

iDEA

Free mini courses for kids one ervtyhing from coding to e-safety

Hand In Hand Parenting

Fun ideas to keep the kids amused like Skype playdates and youtube tutorials

Playtivities

10 real life challenges for your kids

Virtual Museum Tours

12 of the most worldwide museums are doing virtual tours. I can’t wait to sit with a cuppa and have a look, especially the Uffizi Gallery in Florence!

Nature Detectives

Age related outdoor activities

Tinkercad

A free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!

Red Ted Art

Easy craft ideas for kids

Blue Peter Badges

Apply for a Blue Peter Badge!

BBC kids show!

Apply to be on a kids show!

Rooster Money

Teach your kids the value of money in this digital age. Free trial.

The Kids Should See This

Wonderful videos on everything!

 

Let me know of any others! hello@thelondonmummy.com xx

For more tips and recommendations have a look at The Ultimate Directory

Family Life

Fabulous Art Party with The Little Art Society

I always admire the mothers who enjoy getting out the craft and completing a project beginning to end with their little ones.  Colouring pencils and a colouring book is as far as I go, much to the disappointment of 2/3 of my kids. My oldest (7) and youngest (4) love any type of craft and could happily sit all day sticking cutting, painting and sculpting. When the lovely Rachel who set up The Little Art Society offered for us to review a craft party – I jumped at the chance.

Hosted by my lovely pal Issy, we decided on sticking with just our combined 6 kids (as it feels like there are 12 when they are together!) and chose to use the outside table as it was such a beautiful sunny day.

Rachel

Rachel decided on 3 activities to suit all ages. We started with badge making. Rachel has everything prepared in advance so there is no waiting around. They loved designing their badges and thought the process of making them was excellent!

Badge making

She advises The Little Art Society parties and workshops are for age 5 and upwards. However we squeezed the two 4 year old girls into the group and they really enjoyed it, despite needing a bit of extra help.  Here they are gluing on tissue paper to create a decoupage letter.

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The highlight was the T Shirt printing with NEON PAINTS!!! Well it was my highlight nonetheless. She has chosen age appropriate white t-shirts and kindly laser cut some football figures at my request for the football crazy one – in the end he chose a hedgehog though!!

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The children were thrilled with the results and it was lovely that they had useful, good quality and long-lasting items to take away with them. Here are 2 very proud T Shirt wearers!

Neon T Shirt

I highly recommend booking Rachel for a kids party. They will absolutely love it. Or why not get a group together in the holidays and all chip in for a craft afternoon?

Rachel can also put together bespoke parties for adults too – I like the sound of her lampshade decorating workshop – great for a mums Christmas party or a hen night!

Based in London and the home counties so everyone can have a go!

Contact Rachel at The Little Art Society

Book a Craft Party

Attend a Workshop

thelittleartsociety.co.uk

 

 

Reviews Spotlight

SmartMats : Keeping Kids Mealtimes Fun and Interactive

Let’s not judge the family next door who are letting their children play with their iPads during mealtimes. But oh, the family next to them are really engaging with their children.  Aren’t they good parents. Oh look at that family, that kid can’t sit still however his parents are trying his hardest to amuse him… and so on. Oh that family is dreadful letting their kids run around the aeroplane (so us…)

We can all identify with each situation and if there was a solution to having calm happy kids in a restaurant or aeroplane – we would all know about it.  Until now, when there is an answer!

I recently came across the genius idea of SmartMats – quite simply, educational and interactive paper placemats.  Nathalie, the founder of SmartMats is here to tell more…

What are SmartMats?

Brightly coloured paper placemats which redefine kids dining experiences. SmartMats engage with kids through interactive and dynamic subject matter. Parents are kept happy too with the educational content of the mats.

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We are also a socially aware company. Social responsibility is very important to us. We give 10% of our profits to the NSPCC and only use 100% recycled paper.

Why did you set up SmartMats?

As a mother of three young children I saw and studied the considerable physical, mental and emotional benefits of regular family mealtimes. With this often came the challenge to create a positive experience away from technology. SmartMats enable children to interact with each other and their parents through the use of a fun, unique, educational tool. Creating fulfilling family mealtimes and expanding children’s knowledge.

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Who are SmartMats designed for?

SmartMats are aimed at children between the ages 2 and 12. They are divided by age group, 2-4, 5-7 and 8+. However, each mat has a drawing and colouring section which can be enjoyed by all ages.

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SmartMats can be used at home, in restaurants, hotels, airplanes. These mats are filled with games and activities to keep kids busy, happy, and off screens!

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We used them after swimming and they were particularly useful for our mixed age group.

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How Can We Buy SmartMats?

SmartMats can be purchased directly from the website  and are also sold on The Event List 

 

If you are looking something to keep the kids entertained whilst also mentally stimulated  – get a pack of these for the summer!!

 

Natalie’s Favourites

Shop : Hours are spent at Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street. The kids love sitting in the corner of the shop on the little chair and trying out various books before buying.

Website : I spend much too much time browsing Net a Porter as well as Trip Advisor.

Restaurant : River Café on the river in Hammersmith for special occasions. I also love The Fromagerie in Marylebone for a quiet breakfast away from the craziness of London life. The kids love the pizzas at a small pizzeria Olivetti.

Hotel : As a family we have spent many, many happy times and adventures in the treehouses in Chewton Glen. Situated in the New Forest in Hampshire. Being outdoors and hiking in the beautiful, lush countryside and having picnics on the nearby beach is perfect.

Holiday Destination : Each time I visit Venice I am amazed by its rich history, beautiful architecture and the wonderful Italian culture. Above all walking between the canals and exploring secret passages is so much fun.

Parenting Tip : What you do has a far greater impact than what you say. It is important to lead by example through actions, not just words.

Activities Days Out Little Reviews

The Little Grand Tour : Art Tours For Kids

One thing I fondly remember of my father, is he knew the answer to everything. I have never known a person with such a good general knowledge and knew if I was on his Trivial Pursuit team – we would definately win. Sadly however, I lack this knowledge!! I don’t know whether it is nature or nurture, but I am very keen to help my kids excel in their pub quizzes over the years! If you are with me and want to give your children an understanding of art history, The Little Grand Tour is just what you need to know about.

During the 18th and 19th centuries men and women ventured across Europe on a ‘Grand Tour’ to experience high culture and see first hand the wonder of Italian art and sculpture. Isabel and her team want to inspire a community of little grand tourists across London to its many secret and varied collections in well known and not so well known galleries and museums. Together with their LGT passport, children can enjoy their holiday and weekend tours. Lasting 2-3 hours depending on the tour, with a necessary picnic pit stop, they focus on a number of works of art which we hope will not only encourage a love of art but also contribute towards school learning.

My oldest son and his friend went a Myths and Legends Tour at the National Gallery yesterday.

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I dropped them off at 10 with Isabel and Annabel and 4 other boys and let them get on with it.

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When they arrived back at the same spot two hours later, they were telling me 3 paintings they saw – all under late rennaissance era.

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From never having been inside an art gallery to all of a sudden knowing who Titian was – that’s not something I could have ever taught!

There is something about them being with a stranger that makes them behave (in my opinion!) so Isabel encourages parents to drop the kids with her rather than join the tour (as much as you will want to!)

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As Isabel has two children (age 10 and 6) herself, she has an immediate way with children and knows how to engage them straight away.

They were given a Little Grand Tour silicon bracelet, a neck tag and a ‘passport’ to collect stickers each time they go on tour.

Boys

For the individual tours, they fill in a small form of what paintings they saw and have time to recall their favourite painting and redraw and colour it on the back of their worksheet.

Worksheet

Isabel knows how to bring art alive and I am looking forward to booking them on another one – I love the sound of ‘Picasso and Colour’ at Tate Modern!

Here is a list of what’s coming up

Wednesday 18th July: Cedric Morris & Floral Fun at The Garden Museum (10.30am-12.30pm)

Friday 27th July: Picasso & Colour at Tate Modern (10am-12pm)

Wednesday 15th August: Tate Britain (10am-12pm)

Wednesday 22nd August: Victoria & Albert Museum (10am-12pm)

Friday 27th August: Picasso & Colour at Tate Modern (10.30am-12.30pm)

Tuesday 28th August: Flower Fairies at The Garden Museum (10.30am-12.30pm)

Thursday 30th August: Flower Fairies at the Garden Museum (10.30am-12.30pm)

Contact Isabel to book hello@thelittlegrandtour.co.uk

thelittlegrandtour.co.uk

Services Spotlight

London Home Tutors : Finding a Niche

Balham based Mary Lonsdale bought London Home Tutors 4 years ago from a family in North London where her friend, who was also a teacher, had run it for over thirty years. She trained Mary up for 6 months and then sold her the business. It’s now Mary’s family business which she runs with the help of two local mums.

Mary Lonsdale

So Mary, what is London Home Tutors?

London Home Tutors is a family-based business, over thirty years old and has helped more than 90,000 London school children since 1982. We specialise in one to one tuition for the main academic subjects taught in UK schools and London schools’ entrance exams, particularly the 11+ and increasingly the 7+. We also provide Academic Assessments for primary aged children.

What sets you apart from other tutoring companies?

We believe the quality of our tutors sets us apart. 80% of our tutors are qualified teachers with many senior teachers, Heads of Departments and Examiners amongst our tutors. We don’t employ under graduates or graduates and all our tutors have significant teaching experience.

We think this makes a real difference to the experience your children will have, because the tutor we send you will have a toolbox full of techniques and bags of experience to help your child whatever their situation and learning style. Whether they need a confidence boost or have a block on a particular topic, are feeling unhappy at school or have additional needs and need to learn in a particular way…our experienced teachers will know where to start.

We also have lots of tutors that specialise in school entry for specific schools. So if you call us and want to prepare your child for the Highgate School exam we can send you a tutor with a track record of success for that particular school.

What is your speciality?

Our particular speciality is providing Academic Assessments to help London parents understand their child’s suitability for competitive London day schools. We know from experience how stressful planning a school entrance campaign can be, especially when both independent and state primary schools don’t always tell parents clearly where their child is relative to their peers’ attainment wise.

It is also difficult to know what their potential might be and hence choose a school where they will really thrive and be happy.

Our assessment tells parents both where their child is now and what they are capable of, two crucial pieces of information that enable parents to plan properly and reduce their stress levels enormously!

This means school visits can be tailored and any tuition minimised. The assessment includes a full 11+ practice test and a tailored assessment report with age-related, standardised scores; comparing your child with British school children of the same age.

What is your niche?

Our niche is to help families in a holistic way. Of course, parents are pleased when grades go up and exams are passed, but what parents often value more than anything else is seeing their child’s confidence return and watching them enjoy learning again. Parents often mention that one to one tuition improves their child’s focus and concentration and as a result they become much calmer about stressful situations such as exams. With the right teacher helping them, it’s amazing how many parents tell us their child’s behaviour at home and at school has been really positively affected.

Mary’s Favourites

Shop : I love our local toy shop QT Toys on Northcote Road in Battersea. I’ve spent hours in there with my kids comparing boxes of Lego and train sets…such fun! I think it’s really important to support our local shops on high streets in London as we’ve had so many lovely shops close down.

Website : When I have some free time I like to watch videos on www.TED.com because the subjects are so varied and fascinating and it reminds me that there are so many big unsolved problems in our world, it gives me perspective on whatever I am worrying about that day.

Restaurant : My local Italian in Clapham, Numero Uno. It always reminds me of good times with my family and lots of much needed date nights with my husband when my children were tiny. The food is scrumptious and the staff so welcoming.

Hotel: Limewood in Hampshire. It’s not too far from home in South London and is grown up heaven when you get there. Having a glass of champagne in their outdoor jacuzzi is my idea of bliss.

Holiday destination : I love the quiet north of Ibiza and particularly the area around Benirras beach where the sea is crystal clear and the bay is nestled amongst fragrant pine cliffs. I love the sunsets and the sea food!

Parenting tip : Daily reading is the most important habit you can instil in your child that will set them up for life long enjoyment, intellectual curiosity and exam success!

londonhometutors.co.uk

Family Life Little Products Reviews Spotlight

Mini Epic : Take The Chore & Bore Out of Party Invitations

Have you noticed how each class or school send children’s party invitations? There are three different groups. Some flick the date out on whatssapp (my worst – umm hello, I have lost the date before I can say ‘another whatssapp group’), loads use an online tracking service – sorry, I do love my kids and their friends and the convenience of having it all in one spot, but I won’t be paying for a coin for each invitation thank you very much. The majority of parents, send a paper invitation home in the book bag. Yes, this is lovely for the kids and if I was more organised I would put it in my inbox and reply straight away – however often not….

None ideal.

So, when I discovered husband and wife duo (a professional animator and a media producer) who had created Mini Epic as an alternative  way of sending kids party invitations – I was very excited!

 

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As parents of two young girls, they know the importance of getting invitations done as quickly as possible but also wanted something a little more entertaining than paper or a static image.

 

Party invitations rarely capture the excitement of what’s to come on the big day, so we wanted to create a new kind of invitation that’s entertaining, functional and makes the whole process of sending and managing invitations easier.

 

Mini-Epic is a fun and fast way to send online animated party invitations for kids’ parties.

  • You simply pick an animated template
  • Add your party details
  • Upload a photo and within 60 seconds your personalised invitation is ready to view.
  • Then you can send it by email and track your guests’ RSVPs (or download your invitation to share via WhatsApp)

And the good bit?

All for just £9.99!!!

 

Mini Epic

 

If you have a party coming up, you could try a free preview… 

 

I know for a fact a little girl who would love this 0ne…

UNICORN PARTY INVITATION

 

DANCE PARTY INVITATION

 

An oldest son who would like this one (although he isn’t allowed a video game party quite yet!)

VIDEO GAMES PARTY INVITATION

 

and a second son, who would like this invitation – he would watch it on repeat!!

FOOTBALL PARTY INVITATION

 

And they do adult invitations so I may just be winning in the original stakes when I decide to have a party!

Jonathan’s Favourites :

Restaurant : Antipodea in Kew Gardens – their Brew Melt is a family favourite for breakfast on a lazy weekend.

Hotel : The Dorchester – there’s something special about having afternoon tea there with our daughters once a year.

Holiday Destination : New York – we have family across the pond and we always make sure we fly in to the Big Apple – so much to see and do.

Shop : Hmmmmm…very difficult to say, but I do like Reiss, my wife’s a fan of H&M and our daughters love Smiggles at the moment.

Website : Vimeo – inspiration, inspiration, inspiration!

Parenting tip : If you’re serving food at your child’s party, try individual packed paper lunch bags. Not only will each child get the same portion, but you can easily cater to any food allergies and it makes clearing up a whole lot easier too. Oh, and go for juice boxes or small bottles of water – less chance of a spillage!

Website www.mini-epic.com

Twitter : @the_mini_epic

Facebook : @TheMiniEpic

Instagram : @mini.epic

One off £9.99 includes invitation and tracking.

Family Life

London vs Country

Yesterday I was listening to a (London) radio station. The interviewer was saying that she thinks everyone lies about liking living out of London. The interviewee exclaimed ‘they say that it’s great for the kids, breathing in the country air. I say how boring for them!’ and they both cackled with raucous laughter. I could almost visualise their black hats and broomsticks as they rolled around the studio mocking country folk.

It actually really pxxxxd me off. I thought how judgemental and small-minded. But then it was a London radio station so they are entitled to talk up their own book I suppose.

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Perhaps they have never had that countryside itch that so many of my pals and I have discussed over the past few years in-between breast-feeding and prosecco and 5pm.

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Perhaps they are just staunch Londoners.

I have great respect for people who are unwavering.

I never was. I always knew we would move at some point.

But never thought it would be so soon….

When the kids are 9, 7 and 5. They have to all be at out of nappies, buggy’s and preferably at school.

We have done it 2 years earlier than planned.

In the summer holidays, there were a few changes of events in our circumstances and totally spontaneously and quickly even for those with ADD, we rented our house out, found 3 places at the local prep school and moved out to a house in Hampshire.

We KNEW we would move out one day, but not for a few more years. But life had other plans and we saw an exit point a few years earlier than planned and went with it.

Every door we pushed, opened and it just felt right.

Why didn’t you ‘announce’ it on The London Mummy?

Ummm, because who really cares? I thought it was a bit too much, to go ‘da naaaaaa’. Also, I wanted to get my own head around it first!

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So, what about The London Mummy?

If I was given a quid for every time someone asked me what I would do with The London Mummy, I would be able to buy a new Mac.

It is a very normal question to ask someone. Perhaps I was a bit defensive as it started to grate on me and I almost felt like a few wanted it to fail outside the confines of London. It reminded me of being told ‘I bet you want a girl’ when I was pregnant with my 3rd. (You can read about that here).

So here is my answer to that question…

I have never planned what the next chapter is for The London Mummy. From the off set when I set it up to shout about friends small businesses I never thought that people other than friends would read it. Then I added a few other categories. Then product reviews. Gift guides. Travel. Interiors. Then a directory and now my little shop.

None of this was planned. All of this is enough for meat the moment, but I have no idea what’s around the corner.

I really want to continue writing TLM and will just see where it takes me as I always have done. I was a London mum and am now a London mum bringing up her kids in the countryside. I have very intention of keeping my finger on the pulse of what’s going down in London town (!) so for the time being it will be predominantly London focused.

On an aside – I am loving doing my fashion posts and these seem to be the most popular style so that may increase…  Don’t you think I dress my daughter well? ha

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And only an hour from London, I can whizz up and back if I have a meeting or an event or want to catch up with some friends. Knowing it (London) will always be there is the most cathartic aspect about moving out. I don’t miss it as it as I know it will always be there.

Is it misleading? If people worry that I am misleading them, I am flattered they have taken the time to think about it!!!

So what’s it like living out of London? 

Da daaaaaa. We have only been here a few weeks and it hasn’t been reality as we have been unpacking, settling, exploring etc but so far so good.

Apparently the winter is the magnitude of ‘what you have done’ sets in, but I don’t suffer from SAD so not too worried about it!

I was going to write disadvantages and advantages but it is not as cut and dry as that. Each to their own, whatever works for each family. Lots of people are worried about amenities and friends but I think that is small fry – you make friends and can find coffee pretty much anywhere in the country.

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It’s the commute. That’s what I hear most of the time. I have no experience of that yet but will let you know when I do!

So, here a few things.

I have to drive to get a coffee rather than walk, but I don’t get stuck in traffic like I used to so that’s a joy.

I don’t bump into friends out and about but that’s ok. The car park is rammed with lovely people at pick up and drop off anyway!

The light is something else – you can actually see the whole sky which I never could from my garden in London.

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It is very very quiet but I am sure that’s good for the soul. I definitely more peaceful in da country than I did in the big smoke. Must be the sheep that I see each morning!

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There is also something about being able to pick your own fruit!

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I don’t have neighbours if I were to scream in the middle of the night but I feel safer as not even the postman can find our house, so I doubt anyone else would!

We have to drive everywhere but we don’t have to leave the house at the crack of dawn we used to as the kids aren’t climbing up the walls.

I may not be being stimulated at every corner by unusual clothes and magnificent monuments but trust me, lots of the mums are up to London standards – if not more!

Life After London is a great website set up by Bee Aspinal for those that are investigating different areas.

I also recommend the following search agents –

Hart & Vine – Tonbridge/Sevenoaks

No Place Like Home – Home Counties

Property Potential – Surrey

Also, if you are renting out your property in London and want someone (excellent) to manage it – head to A & L Property Solutions. 

Let me know if you have any others to recommend!

Whatever you do, don’t worry about your life being over when you leave London – it has only just begun (joke)

Oh but, one thing that is killing me that makes meant to drive up the M4 after drop EVERY DAY is the wifi or the lack of it. It comes and goes like an errant teenager and it is giving me a stress headache. This post has taken me all day to do on and off and means I have to go and tidy or cook – heaven forbid!

Of anyone has hints and tips for what we could do, please let me know – I wouldn’t want it slow TLM down!! x