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14 ways to cool the HECK down in Summer

It’s bloody hot right? 31 degrees in Milton Keynes today, hottest day of the year so far and it is only June. This worries me because (whispers) can I let you in on a little secret? I don’t really like the summer! Please don’t tell anyone – it’s like saying you don’t like puppies or icecream – no-one understands. Okay, maybe today you understand, I don’t like it because its too bloody hot! I cannot bear this kind of heat, it makes me grumpy and I cannot sleep. I rarely sleep through the night in the summer because if its not one of my kids waking up too hot it is me, okay it is mostly me! The bright light, the noise from having to have the window open and the heat, that is why I am not a big fan of very hot weather.


Anyway, I digress, so here is my top points for keeping cool in the summer, starting with the top two that have really helped me this week, one of which I only just read about!

  1. Have a cool shower, bath or just generally get yourself wet. This is thermodynamics 101. As the water on your body heats up it evaporates and takes the heat away from your body, thus cooling you down.
  2. Wear damp clothes – when you put a load of washing on, don’t dry the clothes straight away, keep a few pieces damp and then put them on periodically throughout the day, even wear a damp nightie. It feels amazing, especially if you have to do anything physical, it really cools you down (for the same reason as number 1). I only came across this idea this week and it is one of my faves!
  3. Open the loft/attic door and let the hot air escape – another one we only tried this week, we couldn’t believe how much cooler the upstairs felt after we opened it!
  4. If the air outside is hotter than inside, keep the doors, windows and curtains closed. We have a thermometer to check, but it is pretty clear when you just walk outside in this weather! Today it was 31 degrees outside but inside our lounge, with the windows and curtains closed it stayed at 25 degrees most of the day. Apparently this only works if your home is well insulated.
  5. Hot drinks vs cold drinks? I did some research on this one and though hot tea actually cools you from the exterior, the research shows that internally the only drink that made a difference to the core body temperature was slush puppies – so basically drinking tiny particles of crushed ice. Large ice cubes melt in your mouth, but small ones travel to your stomach and cool you from the inside. So have a slush puppy or a cool drink with crushed ice. 
  6. To cool the kitchen down, mop the floor, again the room will cool as the water evaporates.
  7. Hang wet clothes, towels etc from windows, same reason as above (though this works less if it is very humid).
  8. Sleep with a fan on, not only is the white noise soothing and drowns out street noise (or snoring) but it feels very cooling even on the hottest of days (I cannot sleep without a fan on me).
  9. Hang out in air-conditioned places as much as you can. Well this is slightly easier for me as I am on maternity leave at present, but I have been spending a lot more time shopping and going to the cinema this week. Most shops, supermarkets, cafes and of course cinemas are well air conditioned, and it is a lovely respite from the oppressive heat.
  10. Spend time in the paddling pool – not just for your kids, get in there with them, or at least just your feet.
  11. Sleep under a damp sheet.
  12. Fill up a hot water bottle with cold water, freeze in the freezer, then take to bed.
  13. Put wet wipes in the fridge (with a touch of water) then wipe yourself down as needed. Quick and refreshing.
  14. Buy an air conditioning unit. Okay that’s cheating, and can be quite costly, though we managed to buy one about 10 years ago from ebay at a reasonable cost and it was amazing, it actually lowered the temperature of the room by about 5 degrees or so. It was heavy though.

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Paddling Pool Fun

Having a couple of weekends, or at least a few days here or there of hot weather we decided to upgrade Nate’s paddling pool. For the last couple of years he has been content with the bog-standard/cheap paddling pool that also doubled as his ball-pit, which incidentally was his favourite toy up until about 16 months. Now that he is an older toddler (2.5 years), I thought a more fun/interactive pool would engage him more, and would last for a year or two, therefore I did some research to see what was out there. So here are my top picks for paddling pools based on different criteria:

1. Most expensive/splashing out (excuse the pun)/longer-lasting:  It actually looks too fun, like I might ‘accidentally’ spend a whole day playing on this myself! So if you have come into some money, or are eloping to a part of the world where it is sunny every day, what a perfect paddling pool/bouncy castle for your large garden! This is like a super paddling pool crossed with a giant bouncy house/castle: Mega Fun 24ft Water Park Bouncy Castle Inflatable Twin Water Slide

giant bouncy castle

2. The cheapest: This is the standard 3-ring paddling pool that you can usually pick up from most places for less than £5. We bought ours from Asda, in store for about £3 last year.

basic red baby paddling pool

3. The one we almost bought: I liked the idea of the slide, especially when one reviewer said that she (the mum) would lay on the slide as it was great back-support! We almost bought this one from Tesco, but were disappointed by the fact that you cannot collect the same day with Tesco-Direct.

octopus swimming pool

4. The one for a baby/younger toddler: I like this one for babies because it has a sun-shade which is perfect for protecting a baby’s skin.

baby crab ball pit

5. The one we did buy:  This one just seemed perfect for my toddler who loves all things transport, and after a happy afternoon with him sliding in and out, running around, splashing and laughing I would say our money was well spent on this one. It did take some time to blow up without a pump, so don’t forget to purchase one of those too. There is also a useful enclosed section that would benefit from some balls, luckily we already had some. We now call it the hot tub (because it does look like a mini hot-tub), which when filled with much warmer water is perfect for mummy to sit in with legs dangling over the side. The upside of purchasing this one from Argos is that we could collect it the same day, so when we awoke on a Saturday morning to brilliant sunshine we popped straight over to Argos to buy it, and Nate was playing in it later that morning. It comes with the addition of pool toys and floats including: a hoopla game, a blow up car, stop-sign and traffic lights and you can attach your hose to it and sprinklers come out of the side. (The blue slide in the picture is ours and does not come with the paddling pool).

toddler sliding into poolhot tub splashing