Impacts of COVID-19 on transportation

Unfortunately we haven’t seen the back of Covid-19, it has effected many of us all around the world in so many different ways.

When Covid started we were all so worried about catching it and wearing masks and keeping ourselves isolated that we didn’t realise the bigger picture. Covid didn’t just make people ill, it has made massive changes on employment, the economy and transportation.

Image credit : Unsplash

Transportation has been impacted in so many different ways:

– Fuel prices have sky rocketed

– Flights and public transport are more expensive

– Taxis are harder book

– Vehicles are more expensive to buy and run

– Your credit rating could have been impacted resulting in it being harder to get a loan for a vehicle

Image Credit : Unsplash

My husband and I have been looking at selling our car and van and buying a car to share as we really don’t need to be running two vehicles. Once you sit down and work out how much it costs to run a vehicle when you take into consideration insurance, tax, mot, service, fuel and day to day costs it adds up quickly.

When getting a new car there are so many ways to go about it, you can trade in an old one, buy a new one outright or look into getting finance/a loan or leasing. There are options for everyone. The easiest way to work out what we can afford monthly is to try out an online calculator which can help you calculate what you can afford to pay monthly and then you can look into what car you can afford with that amount.

It’s been really helpful to sit down and actually work out what we can afford before we start looking for a new car so at least we have in our minds what we can afford. It’s also important to find out how much car insurance is for whatever vehicle you are looking at before committing to the purchase to make sure that’s affordable too.

Have you noticed how much more it costs to run a vehicle? Or have you bought a new car during the pandemic?

Sarah x

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2022

This post contains gifted products:

If you have been a reader for a while you will know that I love putting together gift guides.

With Father’s Day approaching, it can be difficult to decide what to buy, especially if you have multiple people to buy for. For me, I usually have to decide on presents for my dad, my step dad, my father in law and my grandad. It can get difficult trying to pick what to buy everyone.

Gift Vouchers

Trees For Good Causes


All trees planted by Trees For Good Causes (non-profit) support local charities at the same time.

Trees are planted locally in the UK, and cost only £5 per tree, where minimum of £2 goes to a chosen charity.

Donating a tree it’s a more conscious way of gifting. An example of what the gift certificate to your dad will look like is above.


Echo Three – Building Brick Shape Cushion


This building brick cushion is a fantastic addition to any home. It’s is super comfortable and made with a soft fabric.

It is a really good size and great for a man cave, den or a fun touch in the living room, you can pick from red or blue.



This leather and grey felt lined tray has antique brass rivet fastenings and is perfect as a gift. It is a good size at 10xm x 10xm so can be used for jewellery, change, keys etc. It also comes in a range of other colours.

This tray is really well made and you can have initials added to it to make it more personal too.


Asda Apron – Custom Apron


I am always impressed by the quality of Asda personalised products and had this one made for my dad. We have a lot of things from Asda around the house as they are so easy to create online and are always priced reasonably.

It’s so easy to make this online as you can pick from a good variety of designs. They are always printed well and arrive quickly.

Stickerscape – Sexy and I mow it T shirt


A great gift for a women to give her partners of he is a new dad and needs a confidence boost!

It is a really soft material and is true to size.

It is available in 4 different colours – Black, White, Grey and Navy.


Douvalls – Scents to Uplift Gift set


This set includes 3 different sprays:

Pre & post toilet spray

Destress and revitalise shower spray

Vanilla chilli room spray

I have found these sprays to be quite heavily scented which is good as you don’t need to use much. They aren’t too overpowering though and are in a good size bottle to keep around the house. chemo

I like how they are all made with natural oils so they don’t include nasty chemicals.

Douvalls – Sleep spray


This sleep spray is a new product to Douvalls. It is a great addition to their spray range. It’s so easy to use, you only need a couple of sprays on your pillow and bedding and the relaxing scent helps you to calm down and settle down ready to sleep. Ideal if your dad struggles to get to sleep.

It’s a really lovely scent and as it calming it can help with stress and anxiety too.

Dolma Vegan Perfumes

From £5.95

Dolma have a good range of scents for men, they are all vegan fragrances and are in nice looking bottles. I have tried their female range before and was really impressed with them.

They have four men’s vegan aftershaves, each of which has its individual hints and tones. The classic Sirius is a timelessly masculine blend while Freedom offers a fresh and woody smell. Kwame is fresh and fun, making it perfect for daily wear in recreational settings while Imagine is fruity and uplifting.

Dolma – Discovery Box Set of 4 x 9ml Aftershave / Cologne


This is a great way to try all of their four fragrances before committing to buying one in a larger bottle. If you struggle to pick a scent for someone else then this is a really good idea.


The Cheese Connoisseur’s Handbook


The Cheese Connoisseur’s Handbook is the perfect gift for Dad this Father’s Day as it’s packed with cheese information to increase your understanding and knowledge of cheese. 

Author Svetlana is keen for the reader to learn more about cheese and what cheese is perfect for their palate and how to pair them with a drink for any occasion. 

The book is aimed at those wanting to learn about cheese or increase their cheese knowhow, the book contains something for everyone, in an easy way to learn and enjoy cheese. 

STEALTH MILLIONAIRE: How to Save and Manage Your Money Like the Rich


Another great book to consider would be this one.

The secret to financial freedom is through small positive changes that you do everyday that will compound over time. This book introduces you to the concept of this and how you can start the process today so would be great to give your dad for some motivation.

Find Your Purpose: A Practical Guide for Discovering Your Purpose and Creating a Life You Love


Another great read by George Choy. It’s a quick read and straight to the point. It’s a really practical, step-by-step guide to take you by the hand, directly to your purpose in life. As you go through the exercises in this book, you’ll be introduced to the variables in the Purpose Formula, and learn how to apply them to your life. You’ll also gain a new understanding of nearly every decision you’ve ever made.


Trendhim – Blue polarised sunglasses


These polarised rainbow mirror sunglasses for men have all the style and functionality of an active lifestyle.

Flexible TR90 frames hug your head while rubber temples and nose pad ensure the glasses stay where they are even though you don’t. The mirror layer allows those you converse with to admire themselves in your eyes while hiding the fact you’re not paying attention.

Polarisation reduces the glare off shiny surfaces like metal, water, and glass, making them perfect for driving, fishing, or window shopping.

Engravers Guild – Classic Black Leather Wallet


Premium black leather wallet, personalised with gold, silver or blind embossed initials. This custom wallet is one of the best sellers in the collection, designed to carry both cash and coins, as well as also comfortably accommodating four credit cards.

Additionally, there are three slip compartments and a slip note compartment for all essentials to be carried neatly. The personalised wallet features RFID protection to keep personal data safe, and a Visconti lining is used throughout.

This is such a good gift idea and a really good size. The embossing is really well done and looks so posh.


Roomix DIY – Sealant Replacement


This contains everything you need to remove black mould and replace your kitchen or bathroom sealant:

Step-by-step How to guide
Sealant strip out tool
Clean spirit
Caulk gun
Sealant profiling tools

It comes in different colours and is a great kit for any dad that loves going bits around the house!

Roomix have a really good range of kits depending on what project you are taking on.


Bastion – Aluminum Bolt Action Pen (Purple)


The Bastion Bolt Action pen and pencil collection is the result of a perfect marriage of fine art and cutting edge engineering that is typical of Bastion craftsmanship.

The ballpoint pen is made of 100% aluminium which is lighter than steel and the extremely satisfying ‘bolt action’ mechanism provides a secure lock with hard-wearing parts.

This pen is so nice to write with and comes in a vast range of colours.

Bastion – Aluminum – Silm Bolt Action Pen (Purple)


This is the slim version of the pen mentioned above so it has all the same features but is smaller to hold but just as satisfying to write with.

This one also comes in a great range of colours.

Bastion – Replacement Ink Cartridge for Bolt Action Pen (2 pack)


These refills work with all of the bolt action pens. The Ink Cartridges are fine tip and available in the following colors and ink styles:

Standard ink – Black, Blue, Red
Gel ink – Black, Blue, Red

Shoes – Etnies Ollie Long SMU Skate Shoe


Not only does this website have an amazing range of skateboards and skates they have lots of different trainers to pick from.

These shoes would be a great gift if your dad is into skateboarding!

The Etnies Ollie Long SMU Skate Shoes are a brilliant option for skaters. Skateboarders and Stunt Scooter riders alike can appreciate these hardwearing and tough trainers that feature an sticky rubber outsole designed to help stick your foot to your deck and ensures you won’t slip when riding.


Classic etnies heritage styling
Cupsole construction
Thin tongue and padded collar
EVA cushioning footbed
Grippy gum rubber outsole with internal EVA midsole


Organic & Botanic – Advanced Night & Day Ultra Revive & Hydrate Moisturiser


This is a really great moisturiser and can be used day or night. Ideal for a man that likes to take care of his skin.

An infusion of ginger and ginseng root extracts helps to plump the skin with moisture, seeking to reduce the appearance of fine lines with regular use, while a blend of lavender and chamomile helps to soothe the skin. The formula is supported by conditioning almond oil to enhance a supple skin texture. Applied as the last step in your skincare routine, the moisturiser is suitable for use both morning and evening.

Douvalls – Organic Creamy Argan Body Butter


This natural, creamy, and velvety body butter is a unique blend of plant based oils and extracts whipped together to give you soft supple and ultra-hydrated skin.

Packed with a high content of 100% pure argan oil which nourishes and repairs.

This is great if your dad likes to take care of his skin or has sensitive skin. It soaks in really well.

Douvalls – Argan Bath and Shower oil


I love a good bath and shower oil and argan is so good for your skin so this is another great suggestion if your dad likes to pamper himself.

This bath and shower oil transforms into a milk when in contact with water to thoroughly cleanse and nourish your body, leaving your skin silky soft.

Douvalls – Organic 1st cold pressed Argan Oil Moisturiser


Douvall’s cold pressed Multi tasking 100% Pure Eco-Certified Organic Argan oil moisturiser known as liquid gold in Morocco is fast absorbing, light weight, extremely high in vitamin E, essential fatty acids and antioxidants, which deeply hydrates, nourishes and repairs the skin, can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

This is another great skincare product to try if he likes to look after himself.


Anker – Soundcore Life Q30


I have always been a fan of Anker products and these headphones don’t disappoint.

You can link them up to an app on your phone and can adjust them to lots of different settings depending on your surroundings and type of music you are listening to.

Key Features:

Hi-Res Sound: Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones have 40mm drivers that reproduce treble up to 40kHz for full-bodied sound with excellent clarity.

Multiple Noise Cancellation Modes: Choose from Transport, Indoor, or Outdoor modes to maximize the active noise cancellation’s effect depending on where you’re listening.

Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation: Low and mid-frequency ambient sounds and up to 95% of engine noise are detected and filtered out by a digital active noise cancellation chipset, as well as external and internal microphones on each earcup.

Calls with Excellent Clarity: Enhanced voice pick-up and noise reduction ensure you’re heard clearly while using Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones for calls.

40-Hour Playtime: Listen for up to 40 hours in noise cancellation mode and 60 hours in standard mode. Get 4 hours of listening from a quick 5-minute charge.

Lightweight Build: Life Q30 active noise cancelling headphones weigh just over 9oz (260g) and have memory foam earcups with a protein leather cover for all-day comfort.

Ergonomic Design: Life Q30’s earcups rotate by up to 15° to adjust to the shape of your head and its headband can also be adjusted for a more comfortable, secure fit.

Transparency Mode: Press the touch control on Life Q30’s right earcup for 1-2 seconds to activate Transparency mode to allow you to hear voices and traffic at a natural level when needed.

Soundcore App: Select an active noise cancellation mode, update firmware, customize the EQ or choose a preset, and create a soothing white noise soundscape when you want to relax.

NFC Fast Pairing: Tap your Android phone on Life Q30’s right earcup for extra-fast pairing.

Multi-Point Connection: Life Q30 Bluetooth headphones can be connected to 2 devices at once for easy switching.

Oppo Enco – Free 2


These are a great option if he prefers ear buds rather than headphones. They are so comfortable to wear and the sound quality is really good.

Offering long-lasting reliability, 30 hours’ playback and IP54 dust and water-resistance means listeners can enjoy music wherever life takes them this summer. Touch controls, smart pause and Bluetooth 5.2 means staying seamlessly connected to their favourite summer tracks is a breeze.

Striking the perfect chord, the Enco Free2 adapts to any schedule with a Triple-Mic Call Noise Cancelling feature for crystal clear voice capture, and users can tune in or tune out as much as they want to, with Transparency Mode to hear ambient sound while on-the-go. The Enco Free2 are available in both black and white and are compatible with Android and iOS.

Subbytech – CliX Magnetic Charging Cables

£9.99 each

These charging cables come in glow and non glow options but both are just as cool as each other. The magnetic ends mean you only need one cable for three different chargers!

The connectors are designed to stay in your phone all the time and the magnets do the connecting for you. When you’re done charging, just break the magnetic seal and the cable stops drawing power until connected again.

Each cable comes with all 3 charging types included. iPhone, USB C and Micro USB.

The cables can do data transfer while charging, good for moving files to and from your phone.

All cables are Quick Charge 3.0 compatible with the USB C connector if you have a quick charge capable plug.

Glowing effect looks like electricity is flowing up the cable and into your phone, very cool looking in low light.

Food & Drink

Simply Cake co – Father’s day combo box

from £27.45

This letterbox friendly brownie box is perfect if he likes cake or brownies. It has a massive slab as well as the months favourites included. It’s packaged really well and stays fresh for up to two weeks.

You can personalise the box with whatever brownies you want and can also pick your own message and know that the recipient will have it delivered even if they ar

Virginia Hayward – FATHER’S DAY HAMPER


This is a great hamper for your dad this year. It has such a good selection of gifts in and it comes packaged really well.

It contains:

‘Busy Being a Dad’ mug

Mighty Fine Milk Chocolate Honeycomb Bar

GNAW Milk Chocolate Buttons

Salted Caramel Popcorn from Popcorn Shed.

Desert Salt and Vinegar Potato Crisps from Savoursmiths

Jar of The Dormen Caramelised Peanuts

RJs Peppers Sauces

£9.99 each

RJ’s Peppers is a small batch hot sauce company based in Stafford, UK. Since 2021 they have been creating delicious hot sauces made with fresh chillies.

These two sauces are a selection of what they have to offer and I am really impressed with them. They are perfect to have on chicken wings or to use when cooking on the BBQ so if you dad loves BBQ food or wings then you need to get him a bottle to try!

Guylian Seashells


Guylian, the premium Belgian chocolatier, is renowned for its iconic Sea Shells, which are a harmonious blend of dark, white, and milk chocolate filled with the signature praliné filling. Guylian is now 100% Fairtrade certified, and its time-honoured, traditional recipe has been improved, using only the best hazelnuts, roasted in house in their shells to guarantee the best taste. The result is a more intense and less sweet hazelnut flavour, to make them even more irresistible.

These are my dads all time favourite chocolates but I hope he will share them with me

Boomf – The Bumper Sweets Gift Box


Boomf have a great range of boxes to pick from and what’s special about them is that when you open them it shoots confetti everywhere!

You can then remove the lid and find the gift underneath. This particular box of jam packed full of sweets and ideal if your dad has a sweet tooth!

I really hope I have inspired you and given you some good ideas! I have teamed up with Douvalls to offer 3 lucky winners one of their Argan Glow Beauty Boxes, head over to my twitter to enter to win!

Sarah x

Can Car Maintenance Be Convenient?

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Image credit : Pexels

Most of us know that when there’s a problem with our vehicle, it usually signals expense and inconvenience. For starters, a problem with our car can sometimes mean it becomes inoperable or difficult to drive, and for this reason, we’re down a vehicle for a set people of time. Not everyone has a library of cars in the garage they can choose when the moment takes them.

Additionally, mechanics tend to have a lot on their plate, meaning that attending to our particular repair and waiting for the correct parts to come can take a little time. There’s nothing that really subverts this process, it’s just an event we have to live with, but it can be mitigated with choosing reliable vehicles and driving as sensibly as possible – as well as having good insurance that might help us with a temporary vehicle in the meantime.

It can also be that preventative maintenance can reduce the number of times our vehicle may need to be seen to. But can car maintenance be convenient, outside of the situation we’ve laid out above? We believe so. Let’s discuss three tips for making that a practical reality:

Visiting Maintenance Services

When we need a quick repair, it can be tiresome to head to the parts store or to the mechanic service in order to be quoted a price for a full replacement. It might be that using a service like Platinum Wheel Repairs can ensure your issue is attended to immediately, with a focus on preventing that issue from taking place in the future. With this example, replacing your alloys may actually help you avoid the cost of a full replacement, saving an incredible amount of money. With the benefit of a callout service to hand, you don’t even have to go out of your way to plan for that saving.

Baseline Checkups

It’s good to read through your vehicle’s manual so you know its operational capacities back to front. Sure, this might not make you an immediate mechanic, but it can help you identify some problems with a little more certainty. It will help you understand the exact meaning of a certain warning light on the dashboard, as well as give you a better feeling for how the vehicle drives. It will also help you learn how to change your tyre, check your oil levels, top up your tyre pressure, and more. These checkups help you become a more responsible car owner, even if that just means knowing how to reset your car fob.

Insurance Coverage

Opting for a better package than you may think you need means that in the long run, emergencies can be more manageable. An immediate courtesy car you can drive to get to work and for daily essentials can help when your own vehicle is in the shop. Expenses will be lesser. And being towed if you break down can help you avoid needing to use expensive one-off services. In the long run, great insurance is the ultimate convenience of all.

With this advice, we’re certain you’ll plan for convenient car maintenance so that issues don’t have to become overwhelming should they occur.

Sarah x

Should You Ever Buy A Home Without Viewing It?

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Image credit: Pexels

A home is one of the most expensive and most life-changing things you can buy – so it makes sense to step foot in it and look around before you commit to buying. However, you don’t have to view a property before making an offer. In fact, there are many people that buy homes without viewing them first. 

This post explains the circumstances where you may want to buy a property without viewing it and how you can reduce the risks of buying a home ‘unseen’. 

When to skip the viewing

Buying a home without a viewing may be necessary if you’re planning on moving long-distance. You may not have the time or money to travel out and view properties beforehand. Buying a property unseen allows you to move directly into the home without having to spend time/money travelling to a viewing beforehand. You could always rent out temporary accommodation locally so that you can view homes in person, however this is an added cost to budget for.

Obviously, if you’re buying a home that hasn’t been built yet, this may be another time where you have to skip the viewing. New housing projects in prime locations often get a lot of interest – if you want a chance of snapping up one of these properties, you may have no choice but to buy ‘off-plan’ before the property is built. 

Buying homes unseen was also popular in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. For those who are worried about getting sick or spreading sickness, it can make sense to skip the viewing. 

Reducing the risks of buying a home unseen

Buying a home unseen does mean that you could end up with a property with unexpected flaws. You can only gauge so much from looking at pictures on a property listing site. This is why it’s often worth taking other measures to make sure the property is right. Below are just a few ways to reduce the risk of buying a home unseen.

Visit the display home

If you’re buying a property that hasn’t been built yet, it’s likely that there will be a display home to look around such as this Dubbo display home. These are prototype homes that you can look around in-person. Your home may have a slightly different orientation, but you’ll generally get a good idea of the space and the feel of the home. 

Try a virtual viewing

When it comes to viewing a property in a location that you cannot travel to, another solution could be to ask an agent or seller to conduct a virtual viewing. This involves carrying out a video call with the agent/seller so that they can tour you around on their phone. Check out this guide to virtual viewings at Portolio

Get on Google Street View

To take a look at the outside of the property and the local neighbourhood, why not try going for an explore on Google Street View? This can give you a good idea of the surroundings. Just be wary that Google Street View may not be up to date and the area may have changed since the photos were taken. 

Organise a home survey

It’s worth hiring a surveyor to look around the property to inspect it for hidden damage. They can then relay any concerns to you over the phone, potentially preventing you from buying a property that could be expensive to repair in the long run.

Sarah x

Finding The Right Dog For Your Family

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Getting a dog is a huge investment of money, time, and effort. It’s important to ensure that your dog can fit in with your household needs and that you can tackle the new responsibility. The breed of dog that you adopt is one of the most important considerations to keep in mind before taking one on. However, it’s more than worth the extra effort to ensure that your new furry friend can settle in as part of the family. Here are just some great family dog breeds to consider.

Image Credit.

Australian Cobberdogs

Ausmate Australian Cobberdogs are fantastic all-rounders, and you have the advantage of knowing exactly what you’re getting. They have soft, non-shedding fur and are very trainable. This breed is often used as assistance or therapy dogs, because of their intelligence and loving nature. 

These dogs are bred from pedigree, genetically health-tested dogs so that you know that your pet will be healthy. The breed is tightly registered and each dog or puppy should come with an MDBA pedigree. There are three different sized of the Australian Cobberdog so that you can find one that best suits your lifestyle.

Golden Retrievers

The golden retriever is a hugely popular breed, and for good reason. These strong, athletic dogs thrive with plenty of exercise, which makes them ideal for active families who want a companion to keep up with them. However, golden retrievers can be calm indoors, so you can settle down and relax as well.

They are intelligent and obedient, which makes them particularly easy to train as puppies or adults. They adore humans and get on well with other dogs as well. These dogs are playful and adore retrieval games like fetch.


Beagles are a medium-sized breed, so they can fit a bit better in smaller properties. They were bred as hunting dogs but make wonderful family pets as well. Most beagles have relatively few health problems, so you can enjoy them at their prime for longer with proper care.

These dogs love exploring the outdoors and are remarkably calm and tolerant, so they’re good with children. They’re hardy and active but can settle down and relax as well as any dog at times. Brush their hair regularly to keep them looking healthy and to minimize shedding.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

These dogs are considered on the borderline of small and toy in size, which means that they can fit comfortably into smaller properties and apartments. While they’re perfect as adorable lapdogs, cavaliers can be surprisingly sporty and active, easily keeping up with most families.

Cavaliers are also adorable and friendly, they love kids and other dogs alike. They can have some major health problems, so make sure that you get your cavalier from a trusted dog breeder who health checks their dogs. 


Despite their glamourous appearance, poodles can be as playful and as exuberant as any other dog. They were bred originally as hunting and shepherding dogs, so they’re very intelligent and active. Poodles come in three sizes, and all of them are intelligent and sport a fluffy, hypoallergenic coat.

Sarah x

5 Tips to Quickly and Easily Move Your Stuff

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Moving is a huge task. It can be overwhelming to think about all of the things you have to do in order to get your moving done as quickly and easily as possible. This blog post will give you five tips that will help make your move go smoothly. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a quick and easy move!

Via Pexels

1) Start packing early: 

The earlier you start packing, the less stressed you will be when it comes time to move. Start by packing up items that you don’t use daily. This way, you can gradually work your way through your things and avoid being overwhelmed by the task of packing everything at once. Packing early also allows you to get rid of anything you don’t want or need before you move. This will save you time and money in the long run, as you won’t have to pay to move items that you’ll just end up getting rid of later.

2) Get organised: 

Moving is the perfect opportunity to get your life organised. Create a packing plan and make sure to label all of your boxes, so you know what goes where. This will save you time and frustration when you’re trying to unpack at your new place. You can also use this opportunity to create a new system for organising your things. This will make it easier to keep track of everything once you’re settled into your new home.

3) Purge your belongings: 

Moving is a great time to get rid of anything you don’t need or use. If you haven’t used something in a year, chances are you won’t miss it when it’s gone. Go through your things and donate or sell anything you don’t need. This will lighten your load and make packing and unpacking easier. It will also save you money on moving costs, as you won’t have to pay to move items you don’t want.

4) Pack an essentials box: 

When you’re packing for your move, be sure to pack a box of essential items that you’ll need right away. This should include things like toiletries, medications, cleaning supplies, and bedding. This way, you won’t have to go through all of your boxes to find the things you need when you first arrive at your new place. Having an essentials box will make the transition to your new home much smoother.

5) Get someone to help you: 

Moving is a lot of work, and it’s often difficult to do everything on your own. If you can, get some help from family or friends. They can help you with the heavy lifting and quickly make the process go. If you’re hiring professional movers, be sure to get an estimate in advance to know how much it will cost. Two Men And A Truck is a company that provides moving services. They will give you an estimate of how much it will cost to move your belongings.

Moving is a big task, but following these tips will make it go more smoothly. With a bit of planning and preparation, you’ll be settled into your new place in no time!

Sarah x