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Things To Do In Amsterdam With The Kids

If you are planning a family trip to Amsterdam with your kids, there are many activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Things To Do In Amsterdam With The Kids

  • Canal Boat Tour

Take your kids to experience the beautiful Amsterdam canals by booking a canal cruise tour. You can choose to book a ‘hop on and hop off’ tour that allows you to visit several of the city’s’ main attractions or rent a pedal boat and take a self-guided leisurely tour as a family.

  • A’dam lookout

Enjoy a panoramic view of Amsterdam at A’dam lookout observation deck. You’ll see everything in the city, from the historical centre to the port to the canals and get to experience an interactive exhibition of the culture and history of Amsterdam. If you or anyone in your family is a real thrill seeker, you can get the chance to go on Europe’s highest swing located on the sky deck.

  • Kinderkookcafe

Get your kids to become a chef for the day at the Kinderkookkafé (Kids Cook Café) where they will be able to make pancakes, pizza, cookies and more. It’s a fun cooking cafe for kids ages 2-12 years old. For kids ages 8-12, they will be able to cook and serve you a 3-course meal.

  • Hortus Botanicus

Take your kids to see the city’s botanical garden, Hortus Botanicus, that features rare plants, trees, exotic flowers and more!

  • The Artis Royal Zoo

Less than a 5 min walk away from the botanical gardens is the Artis Royal Zoo, where you can take your kids to get close to the animals. This zoo features a small planetarium, nocturnal animal house, zoological museum, insectarium, butterfly pavilion, aquarium, petting zoo and a playground.

  • Museums 

Visit some of Amsterdam’s famous attractions like the Van Gogh museum, the Anne Frank house or Rijksmuseum. There are also several free museums such as the Amsterdam museum or NEMO Science museum. 

  • Parks

Amsterdam has beautiful parks situated around the city, some of the most popular ones include Vondelpark, Amstelpark and Oosterpark. Within these parks are playgrounds, splash pools, ponds and other activities that your kids can enjoy. It is, overall, a great location to spend time with the family.

There are also other various free activities in Amsterdam that you can do with your kids, such as visiting a goat farm where you’ll get a chance to feed the goats or taking a free ferry ride.

Whatever activities you decide to do on your trip with your kids, one thing for sure is that you don’t have to worry about doing the laundry if your kids’ clothes get dirty. With Laundryheap, you can book a collection and have your items cleaned and delivered to your hotel or Airbnb within 24 hours.


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Tips For Travelling Abroad With Toddlers

Travelling abroad with toddlers can be a challenge. They’re at an age where they are just beginning to explore things and are curious about everything. With that comes a large amount of playful energy and occasional tantrums.

To make your trip go smoothly, here are some useful tips for travelling with toddlers.

Tips For Travelling Abroad With Toddlers

  • Take your time to do things

With toddlers, you’ll need to take your time to do things because they love to explore and take their time to do so. Whether that’s going to your gate at the airport or sightseeing, leave enough time for them to be able to explore their surroundings. It will help you keep your cool and avoid them having tantrums.

For the air plane, a trick to get them to behave is to tire them out before the flight so they can just sleep it off once they get onto the air plane. Perfect for long haul flights. 

  • Bring snacks and entertainment

Toddlers get hungry, thirsty and bored quite frequently. On your flight, make sure to pack enough snacks and bring a suitable amount of milk if necessary. During your trip, bring just as enough snacks and beverages, especially if you will be out for most of the day.

Bring your child’s favourite stuffed toy/ blanket- whatever they can’t sleep without and some activity kits. You can also pre-download a few of their favourite series on the iPad or let them play games on your phone.

  • Don’t plan too much in one day

Plan 1-2 activities a day because you will get exhausted quickly trying to do so much. Leave extra time to travel and stay longer in those places you plan to visit so that you can be relaxed. It will help to start the day early and perhaps allocate some downtime in between. For example, leaving early in the morning and going back to the hotel in the afternoon to relax before going out for dinner in the evening.

  • Find activities fun for everyone

Balance the day out with activities that everyone in the family will enjoy. Plan a kids activity in the morning and leave the afternoon/evening for what you want to do, or find family-friendly places for everyone to enjoy.

  • Keep calm 

You want to remain as calm as possible in the events that your toddler decides to throw a tantrum. Think about the worst possible scenarios that your child will put you through and think of a solution for every one of them.

Other than the toddler tantrums, the last thing you want to worry about while on holiday is the laundry! For all your laundry needs, book a collection with a laundry and dry cleaning service like laundryheap. You can find our services available in the UK, UAE, Dublin and Amsterdam.


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5 Tips For Exercising Outdoors In The Summer

Exercising outdoors in the summer is a great chance to get some fresh air and gives you a change of scenery from indoor workouts. Whether you’re jogging in a park, doing yoga or a cross fit work out in your back garden, here are some tips for exercising in the summer heat.

5 Tips For Exercising Outdoors In The Summer

  • Avoid the hottest part of the day

If you don’t have to follow a strict workout plan that requires you to work out midday, the best time to exercise is during the cooler parts of the day which is any time before 10 am and after 3 pm. Generally, morning exercises are the best as it keeps you fuelled for the rest of the day. 

  • Wear cool clothing

Wear synthetic workout clothes that are lightweight and breathable. Choose moisture-wicking clothing as its sweat absorbing properties can keep you dry and cool. Opt for light coloured clothing as it will be able to reflect the heat instead of absorbing it.

  • Wear UV protection

It’s essential to protect your skin from the harsh UV rays of the sun to avoid sunburn as well as other skin related problems. Always wear waterproof sunscreen as this lasts longer on your skin and wear a hat! If possible, stay in a shaded area.

  • Stay hydrated

Keep your body well hydrated by drinking a few glasses of water before your workout. Stay hydrated during your workout by drinking water every 15 mins or so, and when you’ve finished working out, drink more water!

  • Take it easy

The humidity and heat can wear you out more quickly and limit the workouts your body is usually capable of doing. It’s better to keep exercise time short to get your body used to the heat. Try to divide your workout and do, for example, 30 mins in the morning and 30 mins in the evening.

Due to the summer heat, you will sweat excessively and naturally go through twice as many clothes whether you’re exercising or not. If your laundry pile becomes too much for you to handle, let Laundryheap give you a helping hand so you can focus on your workouts.


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How To Wash A Sleeping Bag

Whether you use a sleeping bag for camping, trekking, festivals or caravan trips, over time, your sleeping bag will become dirty and start to smell. Therefore, it is essential that you clean your sleeping bag after every use. Here are some tips on how to properly wash a sleeping bag.

Machine washing a sleeping bag

Most sleeping bags are machine washable but to prevent any damages to it, check the care label first to ensure that it’s suitable to be machine washed.

  • Make sure zippers and Velcro tabs are fastened before putting them into the wash.
  • Machine wash on a cool delicate cycle with a mild detergent. For down sleeping bags, use a detergent especially for the material or Nikwax down wash.
  • Do not add fabric softener or bleach as it can damage the fibres of your sleeping bag.
  • After the wash has finished, run it through a rinse cycle to remove any soapy residue.

Never get your sleeping bag dry cleaned as it can ruin the material, especially for down sleeping bags. It is best to wash your sleeping bag in a front-loading machine. If you do not have one or can’t fit your sleeping bag in your front-loading machine, use a laundry service.

Hand washing a sleeping bag

Hand wash your sleeping bag if it is not machine washable. Ensure that all zippers and Velcros are fastened and wash inside out if it has a waterproof lining.

  • Fill up your bath tub with warm water and add the appropriate detergent. Stir until the soap fully dissolves in the water.
  • Place your sleeping bag into your bath tub and use your hands to gently scrub sections of the sleeping bag together. Leave it to soak for 30 mins to 1 hour.
  • Drain the tub completely and refill again with water to rinse out soap. Repeat until soap is full removed.
  • Roll the sleeping bag to remove excess water.

Never wring or twist your sleeping as it may ruin the filing inside.

Drying a sleeping bag

Air drying:

  • Lay your sleeping bag to dry on a flat surface.
  • Hang your sleeping bag up to dry on a clothes line.

Machine drying:

  • Dry on a low heat setting. Add some towels to reduce drying time and (clean) tennis balls to prevent any clumps in the filing.


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How To Colour Coordinate Your Clothes

Do you always wear the same colours and want to spice up your style but struggle to colour coordinate? Fortunately, I’ve put together a simple guide that can make colour coordinating your clothes easy. For the most part, you’ll need to have a basic understanding of the primary, secondary and tertiary colours on the colour wheel.

How To Colour Coordinate Your Clothes

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  • Complementary Colours

Colours that are directly opposite the traditional colour wheel are complementary colours, like red and green, or orange-yellow and green-blue. Bold as you think they may be, when put together, these colours compliment each other well. Follow this colour coordination for a bold style.

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  • Split Complementary Colours

This colour coordination look is all about choosing one colour, plus two bordering colours opposite the colour you have chosen. For example, choosing yellow and pairing it with blue-purple and purple-red. You can choose softer or more vibrant contrasts of the colours, like a darker yellow instead of a vibrant one.

 

  • Analogous Colours

Analogue colours are colours that are sitting next to each other on the colour wheel. Choose 2-3 colours on the colour wheel that are right next to each other like red, red-orange and orange, and focus on those colours to create your outfit. 

  • Triadic

This colour combination consists of three colours that are evenly divided in the colour wheel. For example, pairing purple, green and orange together. You can choose to style these colours in muted shades if you don’t want a bold coloured look.

  • Monochromatic

Choose one colour and stick with that colour and it’s different gradients only. If, for example, you’ve chosen the colour blue, you can pair blue tones such as denim, teal or stone together.

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  • Neutral Colours

Neutral coloured clothing combinations are one of the most popular style choices that people go for as they work together to create a chic and classy look. Colours such as white, black, ivory, beige, nude, grey, navy, cream etc. fall into this category.

 

  • Match with skin tone

In case you weren’t aware, the colour wheel has two categories: warm (earthy shades) and cool tones. Choosing colours that suit your skin tone will enhance your features as well as complexion, and will look pleasing to the eye. 

For blue/cool undertones, go for the colder side of the palette, which includes colours such shades of blue, green, burgundy and purple. For yellow/warm undertones, go for warmer colours such as red, coral, amber, or brown.

 

Keep your style fresh, season after season, by making sure your clothes are well looked after. If you require a professional laundry or dry cleaning service Laundryheap will collect, clean and have your clothes returned to you in less than 24 hours.


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10 Free Things To Do In Dubai

If you’re planning a trip to Dubai and want to make the most out of your trip without spending too much, here are 10 free things you can do in Dubai.

10 Free Things To Do In Dubai

  • Dubai Walking Tour

Book a tour of Dubai with airotour and see the main sights of the city, from the museums to the markets to the largest skyscraper. It’s a great chance to get to know some of the locals and the culture. Alternatively, you can take a self-guided tour.

  • The Dubai Mall

Do some window shopping in the world’s second largest mall. With over 1, 300 retail outlets, an aquarium with a walk-through tunnel and underwater zoo, a VR Park and many more features, you’re sure to be entertained.

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  • The Dubai Fountain

Enjoy the beautiful display of the worlds largest performing fountain choreographed with classical Arabic and world music. The fountain consist of jets that can shoot up to 150 metres high and is illuminated with over 6,000 lights. You can watch these performances daily from 6-11pm, or between 1-2pm.

  • AlSerkal Avenue Art Galleries

Check out the eclectic, culturally diverse area of AlSerkal Avenue in the Al Quoz district. Wander in and out of over 60 art galleries, pop-up design shops and creative concept spaces.

  • Kite Beach

Wind down and relax at Kite beach by Meraas. It is a well-maintained beach with clear waters and many entertainment facilities nearby. You can spend your time walking along the shore, swimming in the soft waves or relaxing while watching the kite surfers. 

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  • Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

Visit one of Dubai’s urban protected area, the Ras Al Khor sanctuary. This wetland reserve is home to 450 animal species, many of which are birds. Flamingos are the main attraction in this sanctuary, especially during winter months.

  • Al Barsha Pond Park

Chill in the calming environment of Al Barsha Pond Park. As well as spacious areas to relax, this park includes sporting grounds such as basketball and tennis courts, a running track and exercise equipment. It’s a great place to hang out with family and friends.

  • Gold Souk

Walk through the Gold Souk aka the Gold market, one of the oldest and most fascinating markets. You’ll see a wide variety of gold, jewellery and gemstones which are all 100% authentic and regulated by the Dubai government.

  • Al Fahidi (Bastakiya) Historical District

Explore the historical district of Dubai where you can get a glimpse of the remaining preserved buildings of what the area used to look like before all the current developments. 

  • Riverland Dubai

Take a walk in the culturally diverse gateway to Dubai Parks and resorts that is Riverland. With a variety of themed destinations, music and entertainment that will take you to different eras from various countries, you’ll have a fun surprise at every turn.

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If on your visit you require a reliable laundry service, Laundryheap will be able to do the job for you. We offer laundry, dry cleaning and ironing and will collect and deliver your items within 24 hours. 


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10 Camping Tips For Beginners

Camping is a great way to explore the outdoors, get fresh air and enjoy nature. It’s a great city escape and staycation for families. If you’re going camping for the first time and are not quite sure how to prepare yourself for it, here a few tips that will help you get started.

Camping Tips For Beginners

  • Choose the right campsite

There will be a variety of campsites catered to individuals with different needs. Check for campsites that have the facilities you need for you and whomever you’re going with. Look for child-friendly sites that have showers and toilets or check if dogs are permitted.

As a new camper, it’s best to stay on a campsite with shower and toilet facilities, and a town nearby just in case you need some supplies or somewhere to eat.

  • Choose the right tent

Tents come in all sorts of styles and sizes, so it can be difficult to choose one that’s perfect for you. When looking to purchase a tent, always have in mind how many of you are going to sleep in there. Purchase a tent size that can fit two times more than the number of people who will use it. This is so there is more space and it’s comfortable to sleep in. The tent style you choose will depend on what suits your preference.

  • Practice pitching your tent

Once you’ve chosen the right tent, you should practice pitching the tent in your back garden. This is so that you know how to set it up and take it down at the campsite without encountering problems.

  • Practice camping

Once you’ve mastered pitching your tent, try to practice camping for the night in your back garden. It will help give you an idea of what to expect and will help you prepare yourself in terms of what equipment is appropriate to bring.

  • Create a check list

Stay organised and create a checklist to keep track of the items that you will be bringing to make sure that you won’t forget anything when you leave the campsite. 

It’s essential to bring with you the following: a first aid kit, a packet of matches, a flashlight, a sleeping bag, Swiss Army Knife, camping chairs, folding table and cooking equipment.

  • Know your camping gear

If you’ve purchased new camping gear, save yourself from fiddling about with your gear at the campsite by trying it out beforehand to see if it works well and you know how to use it.

  • Set up properly at the campsite

The best place to set up your tent at the campsite is on level ground that is clear from any rocks/ debris. You don’t want anything ruining the outside of your tent nor disrupting the comfort of your sleep. When setting up your tent, make sure it is facing against the wind (if any) and put pegs at a 45-degree angle in the ground for more stability.

  • Know the camping ground rules

It’s essential to get accustomed to the rules of the campsite to avoid unwanted issues during your stay there. Some campsite rules are to respect the space and privacy of other campers, keep the noise level low, and keep facilities and the area clean.

  • Plan meals in advance

If the campsite you’ve chosen allows campfires, prepare your meals in advance to make cooking meals at the campsite easier. Camp meals should be portable, non-perishable and nutritious! Bring food items that are easy to cook, like canned foods and eggs, and bring snacks like fruit and oat bars. 

Research nearby markets and restaurants if your campsite does not allow campfires.

  • Bring enough clothing

It’s okay to overpack clothes when you go camping as the weather conditions in the area can be unpredictable and may require you to need different pieces of clothing. There are also no laundry facilities on site, so it’s best to bring extra clothes to be on the safe side.

After your camping trip, you may have a ton of laundry to do, especially if you went as a family. Save yourself the hassle and schedule a collection with Laundryheap. We’ll have your clothes returned to you as good as new within 24 hours. Our services are available in areas within the UK, Dublin, the Netherlands and UAE.


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How To Clean A Mattress

Many of us often neglect cleaning our mattresses because since we regularly wash our bed linen and don’t come into direct contact with the mattress, we think it’s clean. However, much of our sweat and dead skin cells end up nesting on our mattresses as well as thousands of dust mites.

How To Clean A Mattress

  • Vacuum the mattress
  • Remove stains
  • Sprinkle baking soda
  • Air out the mattress

The first thing you want to do before you start to clean the mattress is to remove all bedding and get them washed! You don’t want to put used sheets back on your bed after cleaning your mattress. 

Vacuum the mattress

Remove all the unwanted dirt, dust mites and debris from your mattress with a vacuum. Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum, making sure it is clean before you use it. Also, don’t forget to vacuum both sides and around the edges/corners before you start the stain removal process.

Remove stains

When going to treat a stain on the mattress, be careful not to add too much of the solution on to the stain, but instead add bits at a time. There are several methods you can try when going to remove stains from your mattress.

  • White Vinegar + Water

Create a mixture of 50/50 white vinegar and water and spray it on to the stain. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then dab with a clean cloth. 

  • Baking soda + Water

Dab a mixture of 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the stain with a sponge and let it sit for about 30 mins before blotting with a cloth. Alternatively, you can use a spray bottle to apply this mixture onto the stain.

  • Washing up liquid + Water

Combine a mixture of water and 1 table spoon of washing up liquid in a bowl and mix. With a sponge, gently wipe and lift the stain and let it sit for 5-10 mins before blotting it with a clean cloth. Alternatively you can spray the mixture on.

  • Washing up liquid + Hydrogen peroxide

Combine 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and a tablespoon of dish soap in a bowl and mix to create suds. Using a toothbrush, gently scrub the stains with the suds created from the mixture and wipe off with a clean, damp cloth.

Sprinkle baking soda

After treating the stains, sprinkle baking soda over the mattress as it will help to remove odour, adsorb remaining fluids and refresh your mattress. Spread the baking soda out evenly with a cloth or brush and let it for 10-30 mins before vacuuming it.

Air out the mattress

Let your mattress air out for a good few hours before putting your bed sheets on. Crack open a window and allow fresh air to circulate in the room for your mattress to ‘breath’ and dry out.

To protect your mattress and to minimise cleaning, use a mattress protector. It’s usually made from plastic and will protect your mattress from stains, dirt and bugs. However, this should be cleaned every month to maintain the cleanliness of the mattress.

If you require a professional dry cleaner to clean your home and bedding items, Laundryheap can get the job done for you in within 48 hours.


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5 Tips For Your Baby’s First Beach Trip

Are you planning on taking your baby to the beach for the first time? If so, you need to take extra precaution to protect your baby’s sensitive skin from the sun. It is advisable for baby’s younger than six months to avoid the sun and sea altogether and stay in the shade. However, for baby’s older than six months, here are some useful tips for their first time at the beach.

5 Tips For Your Baby’s First Beach Trip

  • Stay sheltered
  • Apply sunscreen often
  • Bring baby Powder
  • Bring baby swimming gear 
  • Pack snacks and water

Stay Sheltered

To prevent your baby’s skin from being exposed to the sun for long periods at a time, set up or stay in a sheltered area. Bring a beach umbrella or a beach tent along with a large beach mat/ blanket. 

Hack: use a fitted sheet to create a safe play area for your baby. Just add bags to the corners of the sheets to keep them up and extended.

A windbreak will help give your baby a safe play area, so they don’t wander too far and provides some privacy for you and your family.

Apply Sunscreen Often

Use sunscreen lotion that is made for babies and toddlers, with a high SPF of 50 to ensure maximum protection. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before your baby is exposed to the sun and re-apply the sunscreen every 1-2 hours.

Bring Baby Swimming Gear 

Don’t forget to bring appropriate swimming gear for your baby as well as swimming equipment to keep them safe when in the water. It’s best to let your baby get accustomed to the beach environment first by leaving them on the shore before taking them for a dip in the sea.

  • Sunhat: Although not exactly swimming gear, it will provide extra protection from the direct rays of the sun when going to take your baby a dip in the water.
  • Swim Diapers: Reusable or disposable, choose whatever will be easy for you to take care of after the beach. Just don’t your baby for a swim in regular diapers and clothes as it will not be comfortable.
  • UV all-in-one wet suits: You can choose to purchase a full body wet suit for more coverage if you prefer to use less sunscreen on your baby.
  • Baby float: If you want to enjoy a dip in the sea with your baby without having to worry excessively about their safety in the water, invest in a swimming float pool. Then you can both enjoy and relax.
  • Baby pool: A blowup baby pool is the ultimate versatile tool to keep the baby safely entertained and away from direct sunlight.

Bring Baby Powder

Baby powder will be super useful to bring to the beach because not only is it great for diaper rashes, but it also works wonders in removing sand from the skin and even from the hair.

Pack Snacks And Water

If your baby is already taking solid foods, prepare plenty of finger food snacks like breadsticks, as these are easy to eat. Freeze a few bottles of mineral water the day before, so your baby can stay hydrated with cold water at the beach.

If you’re breastfeeding, you can bring a shawl to cover up or find a private place to do it. Alternatively, you can prepare bottles of breast pre-pumped milk. For formula – feeding, take a few bottles of ready-made formula milk.

 

We know it can get a little messy washing beach clothes with all the sand that may still be stuck on them. Laundryheap can take that struggle away and have your clothes, towels and swimsuits washed and returned to you within 24 hours.

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How To Clean Suede Shoes

Cleaning suede shoes uses almost the same methods as cleaning suede clothing. It’s essential to clean suede shoes properly if you want to keep them from discolouration and permanent marks.

How To Clean Suede Shoes

  • Scuffed edges: Use a suede brush in a vigorous back and forth motion ONLY on the scuffed area, avoiding the undamaged suede areas.
  • Stubborn dry marks: Use a white pencil eraser to remove dry marks and even scuff marks that won’t brush out. Apply light pressure first and increase pressure if marks are too tough.
  • Water stains: Water stains when dry can cause discolouration to the shoe but water applied properly can help remove them. Use a damp sponge or cloth and gently dab it onto the stain. Then, use a brush to brush it out. Repeat the process if necessary but let it dry before adding more water.
  • Mud stains: For fresh mud stains, gently dab or wipe away the excess mud and let it dry before cleaning. Once the mud is dry, use a brush to remove the remaining dirt. 
  • Oil/grease stains: Blot out excess liquid and sprinkle baking soda or cornflour to the stained area. Let it to sit for a few hours until fully absorbed and brush it off.
  • Stubborn stains: Apply a mixture of white vinegar and water to the stain with a soft towel or cloth and gently dab/ wipe away the stain. Let it dry and then brush it out.

If you want to invest in a proper cleaning kit for your suede shoes, you can purchase a suede care kit that can include a mixture of the following: suede shampoo, eraser, protector spray and shoe brush. Alternatively, you can take your shoes to get professionally cleaned by a cobbler.

Laundryheap can’t clean your suede shoes for you, but we are more than happy to take care of any suede garments that you need professionally cleaned.