Top Tips For Driving In A Heatwave

Let’s face it – for all of the reputation that the UK has for greyness and drizzle, there’s nothing like the great British summer. Perhaps it’s so great precisely because we spend so much of the year waiting for it! 

Unfortunately, though, this might also partly explain why Britons are seemingly so bad at preparing themselves to drive in hot weather. According to a survey by one car insurer a few years back, 4.4 million motorists were supposedly guilty of not taking any safety precautions when driving in warmer conditions.

So, let’s ensure you don’t become a statistic in the sunny weather, with these tips for driving in a heatwave. 

Image source

Check your vehicle before setting off 

It seems like common sense to say that extreme temperatures are bad for human beings. So, why do we not take this as a given for the vehicles we drive, too? 

If, for instance, your car has been left untouched for a while amid the various lockdowns, it’s strongly recommended that you check the engine oil and water coolant levels. 

And for that first petrol station visit after such a break, we’d suggest that you not only top up the fuel, but also pump up the tyres and grab some screen wash, in case you find yourself needing extra in these warmer conditions. 

Have an emergency kit in the car 

You can never be absolutely sure in any conditions whether your car might break down, but elevated temperatures can heighten the risk. And more to the point, if you do break down, you and any passengers might be stuck for a while before help arrives. 

So, it’s a good idea to put together an ‘emergency kit’ that is always in your car for those trips out in the sun. Think in terms of the obligatory warning triangle and jump leads, but also a water bottle and even a reflective emergency blanket for providing shade. 

And you will need to pack multiple drinks to help people hydrate if you have passengers, of course. If you’re travelling with kids, why not even have a cool box in the car – not the boot – containing icy treats and cold drinks, so that everyone can always feel refreshed? 

Make sure you’re well-hydrated 

We covered this one a little above, but it really is worth underlining. Past research has suggested that being dehydrated behind the wheel is as bad as drink-drinking in terms of the number of errors a driver is liable to make. 

That should indicate to you how risky it can be to deliberately drive slightly dehydrated – as some drivers do – in order to minimise the number of toilet stops on longer journeys. 

Dehydration while driving is associated with such effects as poorer focus, slower reaction times, and muscle cramps. So, in the same way we routinely “just say no” to mixing driving and alcohol, we should do the same for driving and dehydration, especially in hot weather.   

Get ample sleep and take regular breaks 

With the Sleep Foundation stating that people who fail to get seven hours of sleep a day are at greater risk of drowsiness leading to a driving accident, you should definitely make sure you enjoy plenty of shuteye before driving in a heatwave. That’s because warm weather can make you feel even drowsier than you would in less sweltering conditions. 

If your vehicle lacks air conditioning, it’s also recommended that you stop for a break at least every 90 minutes, to give everyone the opportunity to stretch their legs and enjoy some fresh air. 

Don’t leave children or pets in the car 

Like the other tips in this list, this is advice you should be heeding in any weather conditions, but it’s of even more critical importance when it’s extremely hot outside. 

Even if it’s just a “short trip to the supermarket”, you should always take any children or pets with you, instead of leaving them in the vehicle. Temperatures within a car can rapidly rise on already-hot days, especially if the vehicle isn’t parked in the shade. 

Speaking of keeping your children safe and comfortable for heatwave travel, it’s also strongly urged that you have them dressed in loose-fitting clothing. It’s a good idea, too, to protect their eyes by using shades on your windows if your vehicle doesn’t have tinting. 

There you have it – a rundown of tips that will help ensure you drive safely and responsibly amid the elevated temperatures we’ve seen lately. And if you don’t yet have a vehicle at all, why not turn to CarFinanceGenie for attractive no-deposit car finance options? 

January Goals – Why I Don’t Do New Year’s Resolutions

The new year is here and so I have done what many people do at this time and think about the next twelve months, the changes I want to make and the things I want to achieve. But, I have one thing to admit. I am a serial New year resolutions maker and breaker. I do the same thing each time. I write a big list of things I want to do and change, and then as the month draws on, and changes haven’t happened so quickly or things have not gone to plan, I give up. I get frustrated, annoyed and feel like a failure. It isn’t the most productive things to do. 

However this year I want to try something new. I want to focus on smaller goals I can achieve that are working to long term changes I want to make. I want to focus on my lifestyle this year and my work. But what I want to achieve isn’t going to happen overnight. So this month I am implementing some habit changes and small goals to help me get to where I want to be. I have recorded a video talking about it in more detail below if you would like to hear my ramblings as I feed my baby girl her breakfast. In brief this month I want to:

  • Dry January 
  • Start my weight loss journey
  • Exercise more
  • Get organised at home, in work and with Logans schoolwork 

Are you a serial new year resolutions maker and breaker like me? What are your plans for 2021? Check out my video below. 


My Favourite Moment Of 2020

There is no doubt about it, 2020 was a rough year. For many of us! The covid-19 outbreak has shocked us to the core, and while I never expected high changes when the clock struck midnight to arrive into 2021, I am hopeful of a better year. 

That being said I couldn’t mark the turn of a new year without thinking about my favourite moment of 2020. There were some incredible highs even in the toughest of times, and one of those times was our baby girl being born. She really has slotted into the family like I never thought possible. 

First picture with our new baby girl

After trying for a few years and the sky gaining three of the brightest stars, we didn’t need to wait anymore. Our baby girl joined my husband and I and our two boys, and we couldn’t be happier. That was my moment. The 3rd of March 2020. Before the lockdown and schools shutting, before all of the craziness. For a few weeks it was normal. While it hasn’t been the first year of her life I expected or planned, it has certainly still been one to remember. I have made a video of our year if you fancy taking a look at some of the other memorable moments. 


Here’s to 2021 and whatever it has planned for us. 

November 2nd – Meal Plan For The Week

Meal planning is something that I always intend to do, and I do really have the best intentions. But often I can forget to plan in advance, and then I have a mad dash to the cupboards and and curse myself for not pulling certain things out of the freezer in time. We have all been there. However, I am determined to get more organised and so I thought I would share the meal plan that I have just come up with for the week ahead. 


Pork a la Creme

This is one of my husbands favourite meals and is a classic Delia recipe his mum told me about when we first met. I had never heard of it before, but it is a lovely flavoursome dish with paprika and uses pork fillet. It isn’t the most healthiest of dishes, but it certainly feels like a nice treat for a Monday. I will serve it with rice and potato croquettes. 

Recipe is linked here


Beef Casserole

Tuesday evenings are a busy one for me when it comes to after school because I need to get Logan off to football training. So ideally I am trying to use my slow cooker on these days and with it being winter it is the perfect opportunity to be organised with it. I use the Schwartz mix for my casseroles as they are so easy. I add in whatever vegetables I have to it. This week will be carrots and parsnips and I will serve it with mash potato and Yorkshire puddings. Logan loves this as well so it is a meal we can all enjoy.


Chicken enchiladas 

I always try and mix things up in the week and try and avoid having the same sort of dishes, as in, casserole after casserole. I tend to cook the same things a lot, and I am trying to mix things up a little. So today I plan on cooking chicken enchiladas and serving with some chips and salad. I use the Old Del Paso kits because again, during the week I need the simplicity. 


Chilli Con Carne

Another dish I plan on putting in the slow cooker. Thursday is usually another busy evening as Logan has football training again, but with lockdown I am unsure even if it will be going ahead. But, even so, I plan to put everything in the slow cooker and serve this with rice, grated cheese and sour cream. 

Recipe linked here


Toad in the hole

All being well our eldest will be with us for the weekend, so I want a wholesome family meal that I can dish up for everyone. So it is going to be toad in the hole. I saw a recipe on Lorraine show that included leeks with the sausages and it looked so tasty. I will likely serve this with mash, mushy peas and gravy. 

Recipe linked here


Take Away

Not sure what sort of take away we will be having but I think it may be either KFC or a curry. A takeaway is always part of the meal plan, I need a day off sometimes. 


Sunday roast dinner – Pulled Pork

We will be having a Sunday dinner this week and it is always a staple on the meal plan when I am organised. I love pulled pork, so will get that in the slow cooker early in the morning and leave it cooking all day. I am going to serve it with roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips and Savoy cabbage. One of my most favourite meals of the week for sure. 

What are you cooking this week? 

Half Term In Tier 3 And Mum Guilt – 5 Things To Know About Motherhood This Week

When I first became a mum, I had huge expectations of exactly the type of parent I would be. There were moments where I used to think the TV wouldn’t be a babysitter, that my child wouldn’t be using an iPad, and let’s not forget the visions I had of my child eating only nutritious food and wouldn’t be the chocoholic he is today. But fast forward to today and I am not that mother, far from it. There are things that have turned out great, but there are situations that I assumed I would react differently to.

1. Mum guilt will never leave you

Being in some form of lockdown due to Covid-19 since the end of march has taken its toll, there is no denying that. Mum guilt would always rear its ugly head every now and again, but this year has certainly taken the biscuit. This week has been half term, and in tier 3 restrictions mixed with typical Manchester weather, it has been tough. We have had to stay at home. With our baby being 7 months old, she’s full on right now, and with a 7 year old boy that wants stimulation and attention, I have felt stretched. The guilt has been unreal. Logan has spent way too many hours playing fortnite, and not enough time spent with me. The mum guilt reached a climax come Halloween, with no trick or treating allowed, I genuinely felt like I’d let my son down. It wasn’t my fault. It was out of my control. But yet here was the guilt once more. I ended up creating some sort of make shift spooky Halloween bath time surprise with slime. Logan seemed to love it and it eased the guilt momentarily. Mum guilt will never leave you, but know this that there will be times when it peaks and when it subsides. Don’t let it get to you!

2. You cannot fight your sons battles

We are at that stage right now with Logan where he is loving playing video games and talking to his friends online. Fortnite is the game of choice, and while I am not so keen on the game itself, or the amount of time I let him play on it, queue mum guilt once more, it certainly got us through lockdown and times after school where I have felt torn between my children. The one thing I have had to learn, especially this week it seems, is that I can’t fight my sons battles. As much as I want to. Being kicked out of games, hearing them say to leave him out. It’s not easy. Don’t be fooled, Logan can be just as bad, but all I want to do is put that headset on and say stop it! I can’t fight his battles. He needs to learn that actions have consequences, and subsequently that things won’t always go his way. I know I have more battles of this nature to come, and will have to resist the urge of interference again in the future.

3. Meal planning helps, do it more often

There has been way too many nights this week that I have scrambled to the cupboards wondering what I am going to cook for tea. It’s a short and simple solution, meal plan. Write it down, stick to it, and shop in advance. When I do it, and I stick with it, there is less stress, less pressure. Will I ever learn?

4. I am not a Pinterest mum, and that’s okay

Who else scrolls through pinterest and gets many ideas of crafts, bakes and play inspiration thinking that they can do the same? Me! Am I the only one? Pinterest is a great site. I love it. But I have to be honest, I am just not a pinterest mum. I long to be able to do the crafts, and create the wonderful things I longingly browse through on a Sunday morning. However, I just can’t do it. This week I tried to create my own wrapping paper for my husbands birthday. Hand prints of Logan’s and Luna’s footprints. In my head, it was going to look amazing. While the end product looks, at best, mediocre, the carnage of creating it was something else. Logan was easy to sort out. He did his handprints, then straight in the bath. Great! Luna was more difficult. How do people manage to get wonderful prints of their babies hands and feet? It ended in tears, me and Luna. The thought was there, I guess.

5. That no matter how terrible you think you are, your children don’t have the same view

Tonight, as I tucked my son up in bed, I apologised for being such a rubbish mum recently. I’ve not had much patience recently, and I have felt so guilty because of the current situation, the changes in his life, and well, having a new baby has stretched me more than I thought it would. He simply said that I wasn’t a rubbish mum, that I was the best mum ever! He loved his slime bath that I panic ordered through Amazon Prime, he’s loved having extra time on his game, and he understands more than I give him credit for that things are hard right now. I’m the best mum to him, he’s happy with me, and well, what more can I ask for?

So there you have it, five things on motherhood this week. Have a great week ahead.