Sunday, 26 June 2016

Road Testing Crocs Rain Boots

The boys were thrilled when their Crocs Handle It Rain Boots (£19.99) arrived; they have had Crocs before but never in this format until now.

I think Crocs will be our go to brand for rain boots from now on though, my boys don’t tend to follow the get wet below the rim of your boot guidance I offer!  Generally their rain boot then ends up half full of water… then getting their foot back out with wet trousers is quite a feat!  But the biggest difficulty is always drying out the boots before they start to smell… I have had no such problem with their new Crocs, they have dried out very quickly.  I didn’t need to stuff them full of newspaper to absorb the dampness, they just dried out naturally, without any fuss.

They are lightweight and comfy; the boys covered lots of different terrain with them on and never grumbled about discomfort.  

They dangled their feet in a stream and the water did not enter their boots, so they seem quite watertight!  It’s only when they get a bit carried away that the water actually gets in (but only ever through the top of the boot!).

We love the design details, the bright colours and the handles to help children put them on easily.  At the very top of the rain boot there are three little holes, which can be used to add shoe charms to customise their boot!  I have spotted some Star Wars designs on the Crocs website and a clever spinning helicopter which I think would be popular with my pair.  They certainly make the rain boots even more exciting but as they are now they have been very well received by the boys.  They are vivid rain boots with plenty of personality just like my boys!

We made sure we give them a thorough testing and were very impressed all round.  They seem durable which is good as we are quite an active family, we enjoy long walks, geocaching and outdoor adventures!  Youngest rates his rain boots a double thumbs up!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Blogging and Web Design

The longer I have blogged the more seriously I have taken it, its been a steep learning process that’s for sure.  I have learnt so very much along the way that my little novice blogging self back in 2011 had absolutely no clue about.  My original blog design was a sharp contrast to the more co-ordinated look you see today.  No doubt in the future it will be completely revamped again, I do like having a bit of a re-design as it makes you feel refreshed and re-inspired to keep blogging.

Initially I had no logo, no common theme, later my husband made me a rudimentary logo with a bed and the blog name, which I was very grateful of and it kept me happy for a good while.  But a few years down the line I finally had a logo properly designed as I felt my blog did not have the same visual appeal of similar blogs.  

For an even playing field of opportunities it’s worth investing in your blog if you want to get the most out of it.  When the changes were made I had compliments about the new look, which made me feel the amount spent was worthwhile.
I guess the next step would be to have a complete website re-design, I have been looking through my options with companies like Essex Web Design Studio to work out costings, does it sound a bit drastic for a humble little blogger?  I don’t know, I have found a platform I like using to carve out my bit of the World Wide Web and I want my blog to look appealing to anyone who stumbles upon it, it’s the way I engage with my readers after all.
Apparently there are less casual bloggers now and more of us taking it seriously, this article by the Guardian pretty much sums it up – theblogosphere has actually improved as those bloggers who remain are more committed in producing well-written content on dynamic sleek websites.
This WikiHow article with eight steps to become a professional blogger is worth a read, if you want some additional advice.  Back to the basics of even making sure the spelling is all correct but most of all always remember why you started your blog and try to have fun!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

My husband's commercial property plans

My husband has part ownership of a commercial property through his work, alongside his managerial role he also has to source the most competitive quotes for materials and workmen to keep the building in good condition.  Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed he has taken on a share of this property, because with our own mortgage I panic we might be slightly overstretched!  I am quite risk adverse and probably left to my own devices would never do something like that.

But perhaps he bought in at the right time, as apparently more investors will be looking at commercial properties in 2016He has debated getting rid of his pension (bit risky!) too and investing in yet further property, but I think we should move away from residential properties which he has considered which have less returns and higher stamp duty and think about further commercial property opportunities.  He seems to be doing okay (so far) with this particular property.

He does his best to find the cheapest (but still quality) suppliers even when he is always running around juggling lots of different things, he keeps an eye on the bottom line, it’s all about profit at the end of the day.  It’s quite a sizeable property and in need of regular upkeep to preserve the value of the building.

They have also been making some changes to improve visitors to the building overall experience whilst they wait.  This included installing a sound system and sourcing new flooring, he gets lots of quotes first, Fay Flooring a commercial flooring contractors Essex looked very competitive.  But he does try and ask for recommendations from other people too, knowing how they got on gives you the confidence to try them too.  I do think they need more comfortable seating and hopefully he will start shopping around for that soon, I love IKEA but he thinks it’s too modern usually!!!

Some owners of commercial properties hire in property management companies to assist with all the tasks involved, but hubbie is always keeping costs low.  It’s amazing how much you learn on the job and adapt and become more efficient as you go.