Boost Trampoline Park Northampton Review

Kids are always hyperactive. We adults, we want to sit down on the sofa and watch a movie instead. Even if it a cartoon for the children’s sake, we don’t mind as long as we don’t have to move.

But you can’t be that selfish, can you. At some point, you got to give in and take them somewhere they can expend all this energy which they never seem to run out of. What could be more fun than trampolining?

I thought it would be quite cool to go there and do some jumping myself. I think charging £10 for an hour session is a bit much to be honest. I’ll happily pay £5 but I don’t think doubling this is justified. Plus you have to buy special socks which cost another £2.

Anyway, like I said before, I wanted to try it. So I booked through the website and there’s a waiver that you need to sign because it’s considered as a high risk activity. Under 18s need to have the waiver signed by a parent.

First impression did not look too good because the car park was crowded. It’s a very small car park so you have to get in there early. Once you’ve managed to get yourself a space, you need to check in. They’ll check your details, make sure you have signed the waiver and then give you a wristband. I think they use different colours for different booking duration (eg 1hr slot or 2hrs slot). Then you have to wait for a briefing which takes about 10 mins, from the time you go in, sit down and get out. Remember there’s a crowd with you so it’s not that fast. So you have to make sure you get to the site at least 20 mins before your session starts.

There are quite a few things to do there, once you’re on the trampoline park itself. You can jump on one trampoline square only (up/down) or jump from one square to the other (forward). I’m not used to jumping on trampolines, so the first time I was trying to jump felt really awkward. You have to get used to it, so take your time. You might see someone doing something which looks easy but if it is your first time, don’t try any skills unless you’re really sure.

You can climb up and jump down onto sponges. Although it doesn’t look too high, when you’re up and looking down, it kind of feel scary. So bear this in mind. There are places where you can bounce against the wall and then onto the sponges. It’s not as easy as it sounds; I tried it and sucked at it badly.

There’s also the rope ladder thing; honestly don’t try this unless you’re fit. Although I exercise regularly and I’m quite flexible, when you reach the top part, the whole thing becomes so unstable and if you’re not careful you will hurt yourself, like I did. The ladder flipped for me and during the movement of me going down, I didn’t let go of the rope, so my shin hit the wooden part of the ladder and I bruised badly. It’s not the company’s fault, it was mine because I should not have attempted something that was beyond my skill level. Even if something looks very easy, take it with a pinch of salt I’d say.

You also have places where you can jump up and down, places to bounce off and play basketball at the same time. There are quite a few things to do. I booked a 2hr slot but that was too much. After 15 mins on the trampoline, you can feel the heat rising up your body. Half an hour in and you feel you’re in a desert and need water badly (do remember to bring your drinks with you, if not there’s a shop there where you can purchase though or a vending machine). At 45 mins, you’re looking thinking to yourself when is it going to end. When your hour is up, you will feel so happy. Mind you that I jump non-stop when I was there, I don’t take much rest. I like to get my money’s worth.

All in all, it’s a good treat for the kids and maybe even you as an adult if you fancy burning a lot of calories while having fun but make sure you don’t end up binge eating at McDonald’s after the session as you’ll be really hungry.

I think the price is a bit dear for my liking. If it was cheaper, I’d probably make this a regular thing. Other than that, I did have fun even if I got injured!

Does car insurance really get cheaper with age?

According to Moneysupermarket motor monitor (June 2012), there is indeed a decrease in overall car premiums with age. While there has been a general decrease (about 5.1-6.8 percent) in car premiums over the years, the age group 20-24 have seen the slightest decrease while those aged between 24-29 years had the biggest drop in premiums. Ironically though, the premiums’ of those aged between 17-19 years dropped only by 2.7 percent while those aged 65 and above benefitted from a 14.5 percent drop.

Insurance companies seek out some information in relation to the risks of accidents and damage before coming up with the proper vehicle coverage such as age, gender (though based on the European legislation 2012, there can no longer be discrimination based on gender for vehicle cover), type of vehicle, area in which the person lives and drives. Basically the lower the risks of making claims, the lower the premiums.

The link with car insurance and age is the fact that young drivers tend to be more involved in car accidents, have their car damaged or stolen than mature drivers. Car insurers, to be on the safe side from giving out money, thus always put the youngsters on the red list. Also, because young ones have just started out driving, they still have to build the no claims bonus benefits.

Over time as the driver gets mature on the road, the car premiums also decrease. A 40 year old driver (with no claim history) will find his coverage less than that compared to a 25 year old driver while a 17 year old driver will find his premiums considerably higher than that of the 25 year old simply due to a lack of road experience. This is why the age group 65 and above has the lowest premiums simply because of experience.

One way for youngsters to reduce car premiums is to add an adult with no claims history to the insurance cover. Though not all insurance companies offer this incentive, it’s worth a try for those aged between 20-29 years. But in no case should the adult put his/her name as the main driver for the insurance cover; in case the insurer finds out if any claim is to be made, the company will not pay out and is considered legally as fraud.

Why organic food is better for healthy living

While a long time ago organic foods were for people with specific health conditions, today organic produce can be found in almost any supermarket and is on tongue’s tip of everyone. But, the word organic is often confused with natural, free range or hormone free. It is important to note that organic means “food that has been produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals, sewage sludge, bioengineering or ionizing radiation”.

Organic foods are produced by farmers who “emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of the soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations; meat/poultry/eggs/dairy products come from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones and spend time outdoors”.

Under the US department of agriculture, organic foods bear a specific seal that allow them to be sold as organic though some foods may not be wholly organic and stated as thus on the seal.

There has been much debate over the years over the organic v/s normal food question but it is generally seen that organic food is much better for a healthy life as compared to traditional foods.

  • Organic foods have higher nutrient values (vitamins, antioxidants and minerals) as compared to normal foods. This is because the soil in which they are grown are allowed to recuperate and re gauge with soil minerals through natural means where by the plants can grow up at a steady rate and be filled with the required minerals while excluding harmful chemicals from pesticides/insecticides/herbicides and synthetic fertilizers.
  • They are free of chemicals especially pesticides. Organophosphates, a common chemical of pesticides (originally used during world war 1 as neurotoxin), release toxins that damage nerve and brain cells.
  • They are safer for babies, kids and pregnant women as there is a lesser risk of chemical traces in these foods which can affect the normal growth of young ones as well as developing babies.
  • Organic foods are far safer for the environment as a whole. There is less stress on the environment since the exclusion of chemicals means that there is no problem of leaching and subsequent pollution of rivers, lakes and other water bodies and degradation of soil quality. Organic farms also pollute less as compared to industrialised farms since they use manure as fertilizers and insects and other natural predators to repel pests instead of chemicals.

Car finance for students

Many factors have to be considered before getting yourself a car if you are still a student. Youngsters who are still at school may want a new car for personal use but they may have a lot of difficulties in getting their loan approved. In order to avoid yourself stressed out, it is better to have all the necessary information before applying for your car finance loan.

The first factor to be considered is your credit history. If you have a good credit history and it is registered at your current address, then you are in the right position for your request to be approved. Students with a bad credit history do not really stand a chance of their loan being approved because lenders actually want to be sure that you can pay them back. But this can be tricky as well because not all banks offer this kind of option, so you need to find out which banks actually offer student car loan.

Most commonly students who opt for a used vehicle are more prone to get approval for their student’s loan, so you need to decide whether a used car will be fine by you or if you really need a new car. This does not mean that you cannot buy a new car, but if you really need one and you cannot afford your approval to be rejected, then most probably the best way for you is to get yourself a used car.

For your car finance loan you need to be having at least a part time job, and earning over £600 per month and having proof of your statement. For those who do not have a proper job or do not earn the amount required, basically the best option is to get a guarantor or have the car financed in one of your parents name.

You need to be having at least a 10 percent’ deposit and a full UK driving licence, and you are ready to go. But before taking such a decision, you should consider how much you are ready to spend on your car. Apart from paying back the loan, you will also need capital for your car insurance, fuel and car maintenance.

Squatters rights and how to prevent them

The last five years has seen an increase in unoccupied housing being seized by squatters, unfortunately it would seem that squatters have more rights to a property than the home owner does. There is very little you can do to remove them without going to court and spending a small fortune in eviction notices. If you are successful you then have the financially draining task of having to re-decorate and furnish the property as most squatters will not bother to clean or keep the property in good shape.

The most worrying trend that seems to be sweeping across the UK is foreign settlers that ‘house watch’ when they find a house that is unoccupied they quickly move all their belongings in, change the locks and take over. Squatter’s rights only seem to cover those that move into a property that is vacant but worryingly houses have been seized when it is occupied. There have been reports of unsuspecting people going about their daily lives of working, going to the shops and going on holiday only to come back and find that people have moved in, changed the locks and claiming the house as theirs.

The police only usually get involved if they have broken in or caused criminal damage, if they managed to find a way in without causing any damage then you will need to have a backup plan. It is extremely disheartening to know that you could go to work in the morning and come back to find that your house has been taken over by low life. Usually squatters are those that cannot afford to pay rent, drug dealers, alcoholics and students are then most common squatters. Then there are tenants who stop paying rent and then claim squatter’s rights.

If you do find that you are a victim of squatters then seek advice immediately don’t let them get too comfortable. Most people will say burn the house down, threaten them or break in but if they were to call the police you would be in trouble not them as you would’ve been the one to make the first move. It’s unfortunate that at the moment there is no law in place to protect homeowners so here are a few things you can do to deter squatters:

  • Have a timer that will switch on the lights automatically every now and then
  • If you have a good neighbour ask them to go in and check the post and draw curtains etc
  • Always make sure the windows and doors are locked, you may need additional security
  • Install security cameras or an alarm you can get them at your local DIY store and do it yourself
  • Put up signs saying ‘no trespassing allowed’ or ‘CCTV in action’ these can also deter squatters and thieves
  • Instruct a security specialist to look after you property when vacant, they can also board up the property using steel rather than timber

 

Takes steps to look after your property whether it is your family home or a let property.

 

Dartmoor ponies selling cheap

We all know that one of the first people to suffer in the recession were those that have pets that they couldn’t afford to keep in the first place, as inflation has increased and the cost of living soared many families found that they were unable to care for their beloved family pets. Cats and dogs were the most expensive small animals to look after as vet bills soared and many households could not afford insurance. The next increase in abandoned or uncared for animals is the Dartmoor Pony.

Horses and ponies have been extremely popular for young children as they grow up together and share a special bond but as the cost of feeding, bedding and care has gone up many families have had to sell or give away their horses and ponies. The Dartmoor pony is no exception, a while ago they would sell for as little as £1 but a minimum price of £10.50 has been introduced, even with these small price tag farmers and breeders are still unable to shift them on to good homes.

On average 100 Dartmoor ponies are slaughtered each year due to keeping the breeding stock strong and healthy but slaughter men have seen an increase in perfectly good ponies being slaughtered due to lack of interest. The cost of breeding a pony and then waiting for a sale adds up to the breeder and the longer it takes to move them on the more expensive it gets.

As unsuitable buyers step forward breeders have no choice to sell them so they can make a profit but keeping a pony in a small shed or greenhouse is unacceptable with many buyers being completely unaware of how to look after these ponies. Breeders who are unable to sell their stock have resorted to selling them off to the local zoo, Dartmoor Zoo. The Tigers are very happy with the premium meat they get and the Zoo has reported that the Tigers have a much better looking coat due to the protein in pony meat.

It is now though that the Dartmoor pony is even rarer than the Giant Panda with only 1,500 left as opposed to the 30,000 we had just a century ago. Unfortunately they need to have a £5 microchip inserted, a £10 pet passport and also a bale of hay costs around £18 and as they cannot digest food properly they have to continue eating. These high costs are what are attributing to the decline of interest in Dartmoor ponies, it is a shame that many children will not know these fantastic animals but unless rules and regulations are not so strict the ponies will continue to be culled.

 

Maxi cosi easyfix base review

I decided fairly early that I wanted a base to go with my car seat as it would be easier and practical in my small 3 door Nissan Micra. I have had my car for nearly 5 years and it is economical, safe and easy to park, having a child was not going to persuade me to upgrade to a bigger car unless I really needed to. Having searched for a car seat and base the best one was of course by Maxi Cosi, also a favourite for celebrities they can cost quite a bit. Before making up my mind I visited Babies r us to have it fitted firstly to see if it was compatible and secondly to see if it was worth it.

There are a few bases available for maxi Cosi car seats and depending on which car seat you want then the appropriate base needs to be purchased. I wanted the base to fit using isofix so opted for the maxi Cosi Easyfix base, the other cheaper one fits using the seat belt only but does the same job of keeping the base secure in the car. It is very easy to put in but the only downside is it is very heavy! I know it will always be in the car but having a small car doesn’t help, we have yet to use it while it is fitted and with a child in but I fear we may need to get a more powerful car in the near future.

I would still recommend the base as once its fitted there’s no need to worry about taking it in and out, the car seat clicks in and out effortlessly which will be very handy on a rainy day or when you come home late and don’t want to disturb a sleeping child.

The Easyfix base can cost up to £150 in some places and is used for only a year so you really need to think if it’s a worthwhile purchase for you. For me personally it is and as I plan to have more children I will most definitely use the base again, also you can change the fabric of the car seat for any future children that may use it so it doesn’t look like you’ve had the same one for years.

To save money you may want to buy one second hand as you can get them as cheap as £20 in most places otherwise you can opt for another brand where they are sold cheaper but are far more bulky such as Graco.

 

Consolidate your debts before they get worse

With the recent financial crisis that is affecting the nation, it’s easy to fall into the red – household bills, credit card payments and loans are just some of the reasons people fall into debt. As the economy continues to become unstable unemployment is also at an all time high, if you find that you are struggling with your financial affairs then debt consolidation may be the answer for you.

Contrary to what many people may think, there are many places that can help you get your finances back on track, eg http://www.debtplan.org/texas.htm. Some are free of charge and some companies charge a small fee to go towards their administrative costs. A credit counseling program can assist you in

  • reducing your monthly payments
  • stop annoying creditor phone calls and letters
  • reduce the years to pay off your debt
  • and best of all consolidate all your unsecured debt into one simple monthly payment

Instead of burying your head under the sand and pretending that all your financial woes will disappear, get help now before you are beyond help and need to file for bankruptcy. If you need to apply for credit in future, it always helps to make sure that all your bills are paid in time. If you have a bad credit history, it can seriously affect your life in the future.

Currently student loan debts are the latest to continue to rise as University fees creep up a little each year. Many are forced to use student loans to pay for their education. As many struggle to pay it back, they may think that they cannot be helped but this is not true; seeking professional help will mean that you can negotiate a lower repayment making your finances easier to manage. In you’re in the Ohio region, be sure to check http://www.debtplan.org/ohio.htm.

If you have gotten yourself into debt, don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed there are more people than you think who are in the same situation as you; seek help now before the financial strain also affects your health.

Cost of staple foods to rise

British consumers are set to lose even more money as the cost of staple foods such as bread and pasta are set to rise. Meat is also set to increase as animal feed has become even more expensive. Bread and pasta are going up to due to drought in the US and the bad summer in the UK has delayed harvests in the UK.

Many vegetables that are harvested in the UK such as potatoes and peas are being sourced from Israel, and South Africa. The rise in food will impact many families as they are already struggling to feed their families as it is, some parents are even having to skip meals in order for their children to be fed. To add to further woes winter is just around the corner and energy suppliers have already hinted at price rises.

Unfortunately there isn’t much we can do as all supermarkets and suppliers will also be hit with the price increase. Some people have suggested buying frozen vegetables instead of fresh to save money but it has been noted that frozen isn’t always cheaper. Consumers have been writing to MP’s to raise their concerns of inflation and how it is affecting their lives but so far no one has responded, the government are also helpless as food being imported will obviously have cost issues.

One way people have thought of to bring costs down is to sell the ‘ugly’ fruit and veg that often get rejected from being sold at supermarkets because they aren’t nice enough. Because some vegetables grow misshapen they aren’t aesthetically pleasing so they get rejected from being sold to the public, by being allowed to be bought people who often stay away from fresh vegetables because they are too expensive will benefit. It could mean that some food prices can continue to stay low and affordable because there isn’t any competition.

 

Olympics traffic

Since the start of the Olympics on July 27th businesses have allowed staff to work from home and the Government has warned people not to travel unnecessarily to London unless absolutely needed, this has worked too well as people have heeded advice and not bothered at all. Roads are empty and London hasn’t ever looked so deserted but as a result of this businesses are suffering.

Taxi drivers, rickshaw drivers, mimes, restaurant owners and hoteliers are just some who have noticed a huge reduction in customers. Central London is usually heaving with people but Soho, Regents Street, Oxford Street and Westminster are practically empty, no cars or people. Underground stations are also desserted.

The Olympics were supposed to attract 300,000 tourists to the capital but barely 100,000 have come, the money that the country has put into the Olympics is a huge loss as the money was supposed to be recovered through tourism it now seems highly unlikely.  As you may well know the stadium was sold last year for nearly £500m but it cost over £1bn to build so already £500m has been lost.

You must have also heard about the Games Traffic Lane that has caused worldwide controversy, before the games there was so much confusion in which of the many lanes were in operation that it caused huge traffic delays and congestion. Now that they are in operation people have decided to avoid these roads leaving them completely empty and traffic free. Westfield shopping centre in Stratford is also usually very busy but that too has been abandoned. People are choosing to holiday in Wales, Scotland or Cornwall to get away from all the hype of the shambolic Olympics.

Just weeks ago high street retailers were slashing the prices of stock because of the washout summer people had turned to the internet to avoid venturing outdoors. Although it didn’t really entice customers they just used the internet to their advantage and shopped from home. Some small shop owners are really suffering as they are not getting as much clients as they used to, a rickshaw driver usually rakes in £150 a day but is barely scraping together £40 for a days work. Restaurants are empty and market stall owners are hardly making any money to cover a days wages.

So don’t believe all you read in the papers there is no Olympics traffic or congestion just empty streets and ghost towns, enjoy while it lasts and spend a nice day out without the hoards of people that are usually present.