Browse Author by The house that never rests
Family / Lifestyle blog. Sharing our life's fun and adventures with teenage boys living in London.
Pet care., pets

First time crate training

First time crate training

For those not aware, we recently welcomed Coco into our family. Coco is a Siberian Husky girl. Before we welcomed Coco home we made sure we was fully prepared for her as we wanted to make sure we had all the basics in place needed. Before we collected Coco we defiantly wanted to make sure we had a crate.

Reasons to get a crate

Our reason behind getting a crate and crate training her is because we believe a crate can help with preventing destructive and obnoxious behavior when we can’t be with her and keep her safe. We also want Coco to feel that a crate can be a safe and happy place for her to go when things get too much for her and she wants to be left alone.

A crate also helps when going out in our car to make travelling safe for her. Our aim for crate training is purely for safety and positive reasons and is never used as a punishment for her. Coco is never in her crate for long periods of time, an hour at the most.

Type of crate

When the decision was made to get a crate for Coco we then had to decide on what type of crate as there are a few different types to choose from. After our research into the crate we decided that a collapsible metal crate would be best for training her. We then had to decide on the size of crate to get.

With Coco only being a pup but a puppy that will grow quickly we went for a medium size one to start off with and will change size as and when needed. We hope that a medium size crate will be of correct size for her for a while, allowing her to have the height and movement room needed to stand and turn round.

Comfort of the crate

Cocos crate is located in our living room. This is where we are most of the time when we are at home. She can see us at all times when she is in her crate so she still feels apart of everything but feels safe at the same time. Her crate is in the corner of our living room so she gets a full view of whats going on. In her crate she has a lovely comfortable bed for added comfort

Making the crate welcoming

We wanted to make the crate a welcoming place to her, a place she will love to go so we made the crate comfortable with a bed. We made it a rewarding place to go so she gets a treat of some kind when she goes in, either a treat or her meal. We have placed a blanket over the top of the crate to cover the back and sides to give it a den feel to help her feel that bit more safer.

Length of time in the crate

Coco is only in her crate for short periods of time (no more than an hour maximum) when we ask her to go in, otherwise the crate door is left open for her to freely go in and out as she pleases. She always has access to water when inside with the door closed. We gradually increased the length of time she is in the crate starting off with just a few seconds at a time as we didn’t want her to be scared of going inside. The length of time inside the crate with the door closed was increased upon our judgment of Coco being confident enough.

Make it fun

With Coco only being a puppy everything to her is a game. We found that if we turned entering the crate into a game she listened more and picked up commands much easier. It’s a way of making learning fun. To her it is just a game but for us we are getting her to listen and do as asked but in a rewarding way so it’s a win win situation.

When playing ball after a while roll it into the crate – When it’s treat time hide 1 or 2 in the crate and say go crate – We fill her Kong toy up and ask her to go crate to have it and she can only have it if she stays in her crate, if she comes out with it we put it back inside and command go crate, this is repeated until she knows she only has it if in her crate. Another thing we do with coco is when we are doing daily training we now do them inside her crate – such as sit, down, paw etc as each command completed she gets a treat.


Coco wasn’t keen on the crate at first but we allowed her the time to get used to it being there before we introduced her more to it. We started off by getting her to enter the crate using the command go crate and come out as she wished, making it as fun as possible and using the command EVERY TIME we want her to go inside her crate.

We then got her to enter the crate and try and keep her inside for a few seconds with the door open and us sat by the door. Treats are given each time she enters the crate. I use a few treats and then some of her dry food biscuits from her meal, saves on an upset stomach. From here we then went on to feeding her some of her meals inside the crate, after a few feeds we then gradually worked ourselves further away from the crate door leaving it open.

Once we felt Coco was happy enough we then went on to closing the door, starting off with a few seconds at a time and gradually increasing this each time. We always reward with a treat of some kind upon entering the crate, NEVER on coming out – reason being because we want it to be more fun staying put once inside otherwise she will be crying to come out to get a treat. We want her thinking that her crate is a good positive place to be!

We have had Coco six weeks now and she is currently happy to go in and out of her crate on her own. It took a few weeks to get her to do so but being patient paid off in the end. We have now moved on to Crate training Coco in the car – so far it is going very well. If you would like to follow our travels and adventures you can do so over on our travel blog.

Do you have a pet?

health, Winter

Keep warm: Be prepared

Keep warm: Be prepared

Do you hibernate like me when the weather is bad. I hate the cold and I’m always looking for ways to keep warm. Being cold can really takes its toll eventually so its best to protect ourselves the best we can from the dip in temperatures. Being a support worker and looking after the elderly in the community I am always looking for the best ways to help keep them warm. Here are a few tips on how to stay warm during the cold spell.

Ten top tips on keeping warm if going out.

  1. Have something hot to eat and drink before setting out on your journey and also drink plenty whilst out to keep your insides warm.
  2. Layer up. There is nothing worse than not dressing appropriately for the weather.
  3. Wear wool as wool retains the heat.
  4. Carry a hot water bottle with you if you can. Pocket hand warmers are also good.
  5. Wear a hat, gloves and a scarf to help protect you from the cold.
  6. Avoid getting wet the best you can. Wear waterproof clothing. There is nothing worse than having to wear wet clothes all day.
  7. Keep moving and avoid standing around too long. Try and use good grip shoes/boots for safety!
  8. If you can, always try and carry a change of footwear and socks to change in to.
  9. Check travel arrangements before leaving. Check transport times etc so you’re not left hanging around in the cold. Always keep in touch with a friend or relative in extreme conditions and/or travelling a distance. It then saves them from unnecessary worry.
  10. In extreme weather conditions carry any urgent/needed medication with you in case of emergency/road closures etc. it’s always best to be prepared. Always carry any needed chargers to keep gadgets charged so you can keep in contact with friends and family. If travelling via car, blankets and a flask of soup always come in handy in an emergency. Also write down any important numbers and keep them safe, just in case your mobile goes flat and you are unable to charge it.

Ten tips on keeping warm when indoors

  1. Put the heating on. Homes should be at the temperature of at least 18°C. Check if you are eligible for help with heating costs (link below), no one should be scared to have their heating on, especially on cold winter days.
  2. Have extra blankets to hand and hot water bottles.
  3. Block any drafts around doors and windows.
  4. Keep windows and vents closed.
  5. Check radiators are working properly. You may have one or two that may need bleeding. Move away any furniture obstructing the heat from the radiator.
  6. Layer up, several thin layers work better. Wool and/or fleece preferably.
  7. Hot regular drinks to keep your insides warm.
  8. Keep active and this will help you to keep warm. Batch cook some meals, bake a cake or even some biscuits, that way your near the oven for extra warmth too.
  9. Have a hot soak in the bath.
  10. Eat well, this will help keep your body warm. Also helps to fight off any winter germs – homemade soups are a good choice.

Be prepared: 

  1. Have a good stock of flu medications at home.
  2. Check your home is insulated properly before the winter months. This will also help keep the fuel bills down.
  3. Speak with your GP about a flu jab.
  4. Check windows and doors for drafts before winter.
  5. Check if your entitled to a cold weather payment, it doesn’t hurt to check and every penny helps.
  6. Keep an eye on the weather and stock up on your shopping, saves going out if no need in the bad weather.
  7. Check on your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector.
  8. Prepare/protect your pipes for the winter months.
  9. Be prepared for power cuts caused by storms. Candles, batteries etc. Have them in a place ready to grab that all household members know.
  10. Give your car if you have one a winter check.

What are your favorite items to help keep you warm on a cold winters day? >>here are ours<<

Always check on elderly neighbours and relatives. Make sure they are warm and have all they need, especially during cold spells.


Coco 6 weeks on

 Coco 6 weeks on

Some of you may know that 6 weeks ago we welcomed Coco into our family. Coco is a beautiful Siberian Husky. Before we made the decision to get another dog since sadly loosing our beautiful boy Buddy a lot of research was done and then a lot of preparation. Before bringing her home we wanted to make sure our home was puppy safe and that we had all essentials needed for her.

This was Coco when we first met her. She was only 7 weeks old at the time.

6 weeks later…

We have now had her for 6 weeks and what a 6 weeks it has been. She has certainly put a smile back on all our faces and she fills our hearts with so much joy, we all love her dearly. She has us up on our toes where we’d normally be sitting around – we are now up and out on long family walks, chasing leaves whilst enjoying and exploring the great outdoors.

Sadly since we have had Coco we have had to visit the vets every week with her. She has had a bad skin condition. She has been on two different lots of antibiotics and is now on a medicated shampoo to try and help it. She has recently had a test done and we are waiting on the results. We have been advised that is could be a wheat allergy and to check for this in any food or treats that we give her until advised otherwise by the vets. In the meantime our poor little girl has to wear this horrid cone to prevent her from making herself sore with her biting and scratching at herself where her skin irritates her. It is for her own good we know but we can’t help but feel sorry for her. At her last weight check 10 days ago she was 6.6kg.

Still a happy Coco

Even with her uncomfortable skin complaint going on our little Coco has still been a very happy and playful girl who loves everybody and everyone loves her. She loves to be chased, she has a thing about socks at the moment and loves nothing more than to pull them off your feet. Her favorite ball at the moment is one of Lees beer-pong balls that she claimed as hers when he left it laying about (that will teach him to clear his things away) finders keepers after all.

When out walking she absolutely loves to see people and wants sorry expects everyone to make a fuss of her and when they do so loves it. She is currently getting braver with being around other dogs, she has been a little nervous but is getting braver everyday. She is currently going through the teething stage as to be expected so everything that can be moved has been put away or up high when not being used.

Our clever girl

She shocked her vet on her first visit as we trained her rather quickly with a few commands. In her first week of joining our family we had her knowing the commands sit, paw and lay down. We remembered from dog training classes we went to with Buddy and are now teaching the same with Coco. Over the past few weeks we have now taught her to roll over and get in her bed when told. One command we are struggling with and that is to leave, when we put things down we would like her leave it until told she can have it but she is way to keen/excited and wants things straight away. She is still a puppy at the moment so we can’t expect too much from her just yet. We will keep at it as we are sure she will pick the command up soon.

As far as house training goes we are getting there, she has good days and bad days. Coco has a habit of forgetting herself now and then and needs reminding on the odd occasion. Also when playing ball or tug if she gets excited she starts peeing without realising and has to be put in the garden fast. She will soon get the hang of it and is getting better each week.

Coco 6 weeks on

She melts our hearts everyday and brings so much joy to each and every day. Do you have a pet?  

Check out our Instagram if you would like to see more photos of Coco – Instagram

Garden, Garden tips

Preparing our garden for summer – Top tips

Preparing our garden for summer – Top tips

Preparing our garden for summer can be enjoyable for some but for others it can seem quite a chore. With spring fastly approaching now is the time to start planning and getting our garden ready for the summer. For the past few months we have looked out at our garden and seen cold, wet, frosty wintry days so now it is time to turn our garden into somewhere we can sit and enjoy a lovely summers day.

Of course, in order to do so means lots of prep work following the winter months.

Here are our top ten ways to get our garden summer ready:

  1. Repair work. Winter storms may have damaged/weakened fences so checks are done to see if we think they will last or need changing. Our shed is also checked.
  2. Clearing out the guttering, a horrid job but it needs doing. Clearing out all leaves and moss. Whilst there we also do a check on the guttering and drain pipes, checking for any damage – this is done to prevent water damage caused by broken/blocked pipes.
  3. Checks are then done on garden tools to make sure they are in good enough condition to last another summer. Some may just need a little TLC.
  4. A rubbish clearance in then done of the garden, clearing up any leaves, litter and unwanted items from the garden.
  5. A quick check on our pot plants/baskets to see if they survived the winter. Some may need emptying and preparing for new plants.
  6. One thing we recently done was install a water-butt. Much better for watering our plants. Helps the environment and saves £s on the water bill.
  7. The big wash then takes place of all garden furniture, ornaments, patio and even the BBQ.
  8. Checks are done on lighting. In the summer months we sit outside until late into the evening so lighting is a must have. Especially mood lighting.
  9. Garden furniture is then checked and placed in position – although since last summer we have had a garden makeover so this year will be easier once we have purchased a new set.
  10. Once dry enough to do so – mow the lawn and treat/paint the fences.

Once all this is done and the warmer weather is in here we then start making up hanging baskets, planting and looking forward to some homegrown fruit and veg!

Here are some of last years fruit and vegetables.



Last year saw us doing some upcycling and turning unwanted goods into something useful in the garden.

(click on the photo to see the full post on how we made them)

An old wooden crate into a herb garden.

Upcycled project – wooden crate

Old camping saucepans into bird feeder

Upcycled saucepan


Do you enjoy spending time in the garden?

Design, Interior Design

A quick and easy way to transform a room

A quick and easy way to transform a room

Have you ever thought about quick and easy ways to transform a room? a rug can do just that. A rug can inject an instant splash of colour, add warmth, complement your decor and even have a beautiful effect in the smallest of spaces. They also help you to create a focal point in any room. When buying a rug always consider the room and space that it will be placed as some rugs are more durable than others. Rugs are affordable and also very effective if chosen correctly.

There are many different reasons people choose to have a rug – some of the top reasons being:

  1. To add warmth
  2. To add colour
  3. To protect flooring already down
  4. To compliment our decor
  5. To use in high traffic areas

Rugs are highly used in our homes and certainly add that wow factor and finishing touch to any room, but are we using the right rug with the right flooring we have? here is a guide from Land of rugs that you may find helpful.

Home preparation, pets

Preparing our home for a new puppy


Preparing our home for a new puppy

On Friday we will be welcoming a puppy into our home and into our family. Meet Coco our 8 week old Siberian Husky girl.


preparing our home for a new puppy

The decision to get another dog certainly wasn’t taken lightly seeing as we only lost our loving Buddy back in March. A lot of thought had gone into it along with loads of research into the breed of dog we had chosen to see if the breed was right for us. Once the decision was made to get a Siberian husky we began our search. Lots of calls were made and advise seeked.

We was put in touch with a lovely breeder who we had made contact with, she sent us some photos of her puppies and Coco stood out from the off, an appointment was instantly made to go and meet with her last week.

The breeder had questions for us and we also went along with a list of questions for her. Once we all felt happy we then met with Coco and Coco’s mum. We spent time playing with them both, had lots of cuddles and all got to know each other. We learnt a lot from chatting with the breeder and she helped by answering any questions we had.

We chose to collect Coco at a later date so it gave us time to prepare our home, the breeder was happy to keep Coco and fully understands, she was only too happy to help. Not only does it give us time to make our home puppy safe but it gives us time to be 100% sure of our decision to get another dog.

We wanted time to check for…

  • Electric cables she may be able to reach.
  • Small gaps she may squeeze into.
  • Objects she may find tasty looking and chew on – best moved for now.
  • Make sure our garden is puppy proof. No holes in fences, poisonous plants etc.
  • Locks on gates, doors and cupboards to prevent visits is unwanted areas.
  • Add a stair gate to save any falls if she was to go exploring.
  • To ensure our furniture is safe and cannot fall on her if she was to explore.
  • Add fencing to any hazard areas in our garden.

And time to purchase this never-ending list of accessories….

  • A travel Crate for safe travelling.
  • Lead, collar and name tag.
  • Food and water dish.
  • Bed.
  • Crate for indoors.
  • Toys.
  • Grooming kit.
  • Food and treats.
  • Puppy pads/training kit.
  • Blankets.
  • Pet friendly cleaning products for any accidents.
  • Poop bags.

Along with all the above there is also going to be a life-long commitment in place for Coco from the moment we collect her on Friday. She is going to be so loved and looked after with every need met.


  • Training.
  • Walking/exercising.
  • Health checks.
  • Love and comfort.
  • Discipline.
  • Most of all our love, time and understanding.

When we collect her on Friday she would already of had her first lot of injections, wormer and flea treatment so we will need to get her registered with a vet of our choice and have this followed up and kept up-to-date. Coco will also have been micro chipped so she will hopefully always be returned to us if she was to ever get lost….fingers crossed this never happens.

As for pet insurance we have been looking online and have a few quotes she will be covered for her first month with us so this gives us time to choose who we wish to go with.

When we collect her we will be prepared for any travel sickness/anxiety she may suffer. After all it will be our first of many new experiences together.

We are currently working our way through our checklist and are very excitedly counting down to Friday too.

We will be keeping you up-to-date on how she settles in with a follow-up post very soon. We will be sharing photos and videos of her over on our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in the mean time.

Do you have any tips you would like to share with us on ways we can help her settle into her new home with us?


healthy living.

Keeping Your Sports Loving Family Hydrated

6 Tips For Keeping Your Sports Loving Family Hydrated

6 Tips For Keeping Your Sports Loving Family Hydrated

We all know we need to stay hydrated, especially when we are participating or watching sporting events outdoors. We take bottles of water with us on our adventures, but we really give it little thought beyond that. When we are enjoying our outdoor adventures, we are paying more attention to the hiking trails, fishing spots, and biking than how many drinks we have taken from our water bottles. The truth is, even in winter it is easy to become dehydrated, especially for teenagers.

When you venture out, make sure you have the right equipment. You can read reviews on clothing and gear for outdoor activity on Hikers On Run. Sooner or later will find yourself in a spot where your gear must kick in and protect your body. So make sure everyone is protected.

6 Tips For Keeping Your Sports Loving Family Hydrated

The European Food Safety Authority or EFSA advises that men should drink 2.5 litres of water per day. Women are advised to drink 2.0 litres of water per day. This is made up by drinking 70% to 80% in water form and getting the other 20% to 30% from the foods we eat. This is the normal amount of water you need. While doing extreme activities that cause us to lose water through perspiration, we should increase the intake.

Questions your teens will ask you


  • If all drinks have water in them, why can’t I just have a soda or tea?

Water is the only fluid that has no calories, no caffeine, and no sugars. Drinking these drinks increase your caloric intake and drinks loaded with caffeine actually increase your need for (additional) water. The British Nutrition Foundation has set guidelines for drinks and water is the only drink listed as “drink plenty of”.

  • I have been sweating, should I drink an energy drink?

An energy drink can put the electrolytes back in your body when you have lost too much water, too quickly. If you are hydrated before you exert yourself, that does not usually happen. However, if you have been exercising in an extreme sport for 1-hour, you can make use of an energy drink.

  • What are the signs of dehydration?
    • Headache
    • Nausea & vomiting
    • Dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Vision problems
    • Extreme thirst
    • Fatigue

6 Tips For Keeping Your Sports Loving Family Hydrated

6 Tips To Staying Hydrated 

1. drink continuously.

a. Do not wait until you feel thirsty. You should be sipping water throughout your adventure to stay ahead of the game.

2. Eat fruits and veggies that contain a lot of water such as:

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Orange slices
  • Cucumbers

Bonus tip: Use a blender to turn your water-packed melons, fruit, and veggies into a smoothie for a delicious breakfast and a water boost for your body.

3. Set a goal to drink 5 fluid ounces every 15-20 minutes.

4. Drink your water before you begin your meal.

a. This ensures that you will have room in your stomach for your water and will prevent yourself from overeating.

5. Set the timer on your watch to sound hourly. This will remind you to take a water break.

6. Skip caffeine on the day of your adventure.

a. Caffeine found in coffee or tea (and other products) act as a diuretic and actually expel the water you have consumed.

Bonus Tip: Teach your teens to get in the habit of paying attention to the color of their urine. If it is light yellow, they are hydrated. The darker it gets the more water they should consume.

Usually dehydration is little more than an inconvenience and a damper on the fun. But it can become serious if it is not addressed quickly. Hydration has a direct effect on the muscles. Continual dehydration could damage the skeletal muscles. However, muscle cramps are common even in the early stages of dehydration. That is not a lot of fun when you are on a mountain trail.

When you are exercising outdoors in the winter months, the cool air may trick you into thinking you are okay. Just because you do not feel as hot and sweaty as you would in the warmer months, does not mean you do not need water.

Make it a habit to sip water throughout every day, and that habit will serve you well when you are on an adventure.

6 Tips For Keeping Your Sports Loving Family Hydrated

***Collaborative post***
Lifestyle, Top tips

Could you BE more energy-efficient?

Could you BE more energy-efficient?

Imagine for moment you are sat in a scene of the famous sit com friends. You are drinking your coffee in central perk, having a chat with everyone about saving money on your energy bill and Chandler says “Could you be any more energy-efficient?” While this wouldn’t make the most exciting Friends episode, the point I am trying to make is that many of us have the very best intentions of being energy-efficient, but could we do more? Have we explored other options.

Of course, many of us will look at our current bill and aim to reduce it. Often by changing companies or shopping the market you can get a cheaper quote, and that’s the job done. You are saving money on your energy bill right there and then. Perhaps you ask your family members to switch lights off in rooms not being used, maybe remarking that the house isn’t supposed to reflect some light show. But is that all you do? Really, if you ask yourself honestly, many of us do the bare minimum when it comes to being more energy-efficient, so I wanted to share with you some of the other ways you can improve it.

Could You BE More Energy Efficient?

Stop using standby

Switching something off is one way of saving money, but if you put a TV, computer or device on standby then you aren’t saving much at all. That is because there is still an element of energy needing to be used to keep that product in standby mode. Instead, consider switching them off with their off switch or better yet switch the plug off. This could work for anything including smaller appliances like a kettle or toaster in your kitchen.

Invest in your home

It is important to invest in your home, and there are plenty of ways you can do that with being more energy-efficient as your priority First things first, why not consider making sure that the heat stays in your home, especially with the colder months ahead. Replacing your windows and doors from companies like Buckingham Double Glazing could prove a worthwhile investment in this department. Other things to consider would be to insulate your property thoroughly, and even change the light bulbs you use in your home to more energy-efficient ones like LEDS. While all of this has a cost, it can prove to be very cost-effective in the long-term, as well as enabling you to be more energy-efficient.

Consider solar energy

Finally, solar energy could be a real viable option for your home. The panels can be installed onto your roof, so they don’t interfere with the aesthetic look of your home. They can then produce hot water, heat and energy to your home. Often, there is a cost upfront for these panels to be fitted, but there is a big potential saving when it comes to the monthly costs of running your home.

I hope that this has inspired you to consider some of the other ways you could be more energy-efficient in your home.

***Collaborative post ***
Lifestyle, Top tips

Home cinema Ideas for the whole family

Home Cinema Ideas For The Whole Family

Home cinema Ideas for the whole family

A man cave, she-shed, or just a home cinema; call it what you like, but a proper entertainment room at home is something everyone should treat themselves to. If you have the interest in video games or movies and some spare space, you’ll easily be able to build something like this over a short weekend.

Home Cinema Ideas For The Whole Family

How much money you’d like to put into it is up to you, so here is a quick guide to get you sufficiently inspired to get started.

What is it used for?

While you may very well want a gaming room as well as home cinema, you need first to figure out if you want to entertain guests in there as well. As a big family, we need that extra seating space in any way and multiple couches, as well as a large screen, is a must – particularly if guests come over. It’s not quite the entertainment room you imagined when you have to carry in extra kitchen chairs to accommodate people.

When it’s only two of you, and you won’t really invite your neighbours over, you’ll be fine with at least two comfortable chairs or one single couch.

TV or projector?

The next and most difficult step is to pick the right kind of screen for your new entertainment centre. If you’d rather have a TV than a projector, you need to browse through some of these wooden TV stands or a table in any other material you prefer – just make sure it has space underneath for your console and remotes.

Projectors are popular for home cinemas as the room is supposed to be kept dark at all times; not like your living room, for example, where you might want to let the sunshine in even though somebody’s watching. If you’d like a projector, you also need to place it with a bit of distance from the wall so the room should be rather big too.

Consider the purpose of the room and if a TV would be a better fit for a brighter or smaller entertainment room.

Collection library

If it’s purely a gaming room, you definitely need a few shelves to display their games (unless they only have them online, of course) as well as whatever collectables they pick up on their gaming adventures.

Home cinemas should also have a library of movies but most of these are also stored on a hard drive these days; get a display stand in any way to show off your collectables, and you’ll still be able to dazzle your guests.

Have some fun decorating your space as well, by the way, and set a theme if you’re into that sort of thing. What about an 80’s theme with drive-in cinemas and large buckets of popcorn? It would look really sweet if you also have a vintage console to pair the decoration with, such an any old Nintendo.

Comfort and lightning are key terms when you’re assembling your new entertainment room. Just make sure everyone has a soft spot to sit in and are able to view the screen – and you should be good to go. Invest in a proper sound system too either now or when you’ve saved up for it, and you’ll have a hard time keeping the neighbours away.

***Collaborative post***


Design, DIY tips

Brick By Brick: Are You Ready To Build Your Own Home?

Brick By Brick: Are You Ready To Build Your Own Home?

Brick By Brick: Are You Ready To Build Your Own Home?

Let’s face it; house hunting can be a total nightmare. Moving house is stressful enough already without having to constantly worry about whether or not you’re able to find the right home. You almost always have to end up compromising what you really want in order to find somewhere within your price range as well. But what if you didn’t? What if there was a way that you could have your perfect home without having to compromise? Well, there is: build it yourself! A lot of people have always dreamt of building their own home to their exact specifications, but it can often feel impossible even to know where to start. In order to help you get started, here are a few things that you should carefully consider when building your own home.


The first thing that you should think about when building your own home is your budget. One of the most appealing things about building your own home is the fact that it gives you the opportunity to get the home that you really want without having to spend more money than you can afford. That being said, it’s entirely possible for the budget of your home build to end up spiraling right out of control. The best way to prevent that from happening is to keep a detailed budget right from the start that you consistently refer back to every step of the way.


The other thing that can end up getting away from you if you’re not careful is the schedule for your build. Of course, building a house is not a quick process, but it’s important that you factor any potential issues into your schedule. If you plan your life around a schedule that doesn’t allow for issues with planning, materials, weather, or anything else, then you’re going to end up in a pretty difficult position further down the line. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you have somewhere to stay organized in advance. The last thing you want is to end up living out of your car while the build is being finished.


If you intend to build your own home, then you’re going to need the help of a lot of services. From architects to construction crews, there are going to be a lot of hands on deck. Because of this, you want to make sure that you’re getting in touch with the best possible tradespeople. And don’t just think about the big stuff either. Places like are incredibly important when constructing a home and you can’t afford not to consider them carefully. The same goes for carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and even landscape gardeners.   

Sure, building a home can be a lot of work, and it’s not something for everyone. But if you really want to create your forever home, then there really is no better way to do that than to create something totally unique that’s built entirely around the needs of you and your family.

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Lifestyle, Top tips

Handy hints to simplify your home move

Handy hints to simplify your home move

Handy hints to simplify your home move

They say that moving house is one of the most stressful experiences that you can have in your life. And while this may well be true, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to make the whole process easier and less stressful.

Handy hints to simplify your home move

Of course, there are the big things that you will need to organise like hiring removalists, sorting out your utilities and decluttering. But there are also plenty of other hacks to help you out so here are just a few of them for you to peruse.

Organise Your Boxes and Take Photos

Before you start actually packing things up, you should make sure that everything is properly organised into categories so you can find things once you get to your new place. If you want to be extra sure, you can take photos before everything is packed up so you can consult these. This way, you won’t have to go through the frustration of rifling through all your boxes to dig out the things you need.

Use Ziplock Bags for Small Parts

There is nothing more annoying than taking the trouble to disassemble something, only to find that you have lost an essential part when you arrive at your new place. So, avoid this drama by keeping all screws, nuts and bolts in a separate ziplock bag. Label this clearly with a black marker and use a separate bag for each one of your furniture items so you don’t end up mixing these things together.

Wrap Up Cables and Wires with Twine

Handy hints to simplify your home move

A tangle of different cables and wires that you have to spend ages sorting out is the last thing that you need. Avoid this problem by neatly winding up the different cables and securing them with some twine. This way, you can get your electrical items up and running as soon as possible which is extremely important in any modern home!

Pack an Overnight Bag with Essentials

When you arrive at your new place, it is likely that you will be absolutely exhausted and you won’t want to do all that much. So, pack yourself a bag as if you were staying overnight at a hotel including PJs, a clean set of clothes and toiletries. This way, you will be ready for a good night’s sleep as soon as possible and also prepared to tackle the job of sorting everything else out in the morning.

Avoid Over packing Boxes

Though it may seem like a good idea to have fewer boxes, if you over pack the ones you have, they are much more likely to break and tear. And it is an absolute nightmare situation to find that something valuable or sentimental has been damaged during the move.

Moving house is a stressful experience at the best of times, so using these handy hints can help to make things that little bit easier. After that, you can start enjoying the positive and exciting aspects of moving to a new place.

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Interior Design, Kitchen, Top tips

House hacks for a family friendly kitchen

House Hacks For A Family Friendly Kitchen

House hacks for a family friendly kitchen

Everyone loves to get stuck in when it comes to cooking, and as the kids get a little older, getting them involved is the best way to install a little wisdom in them when it comes to cooking and other chores. Making the kitchen a space that is family-friendly is a great way to make life easier for you, too!

House Hacks For A Family Friendly Kitchen

Renovating the kitchen entirely with The Renovation Company is a great option, especially if you want to lower kitchen units and sinks and make things physically more reachable for the youngsters in the house. If you just want to make things a little more accessible and organised, then we’ve got some of the best hacks around for you to tap into and make your family kitchen easy to use.

House Hacks For A Family Friendly Kitchen

  • Keep the crockery and cutlery for the kids in a separate cupboard is a great way to allow them to take initiative and control. Giving children independence is part of teaching them to grow up, and so autonomy over their things is important!
  • Glasses and tumblers are a necessity, but the idea of allowing children to access glass is usually a no-no for parents. Ideally, you don’t want the cups they use out of reach so why not try this nifty little hack of adding magnets to the tumblers? They can be stuck to the refrigerator in reach of small hands – just make sure there’s nothing in them first!

House Hacks For A Family Friendly Kitchen

  • Cereal stations like this one are becoming more and more popular in family homes and for good reason. When the children are old enough to take themselves downstairs in the morning, they can be independent and make their own breakfast. Pots of their favorites in low cupboards, as well as an easy milk dispenser such as this in the refrigerator make for an excellent start to the day!
  • While we’re talking about help-yourself-stations, why not provide a basket in a low cupboard full of prepackaged snacks? You could have one in the refrigerator as well, for cold fruits and dairy snacks. Rearranging your kitchen to allow the children to self-serve doesn’t mean that they can go and help themselves whenever they like, it just means that when you say so they can feel pride in their own independence!
  • It isn’t often practical to have a step by the sink to reach the taps for hand-washing, especially if space is sparse. There are a lot of tricks you can use like the ones on this website so that you can adjust things and make them easier for smaller members of the house!

House Hacks For A Family Friendly Kitchen

Adjusting your home to suit the youngest members of the house doesn’t always mean ripping out entire rooms and starting again. You can make some pretty successful changes with just a few things re-organised. Kids need to learn that they can do things for themselves and you are the person who is going to teach them that. Start by making it easy for them to learn how to be their own person.

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health, Medical

Top 4 commonly Ignored health problems

Top 4 Commonly Ignored Health Problems

Top 4 commonly Ignored health problems

Most of us are guilty of ignoring health problems because it’s difficult to try to fit a doctor’s appointment into an already busy lifestyle. Getting little aches and pains is a normal part of getting older so we often tend to just ignore them and hope they’ll go away. Most of the time they do so you don’t need to rush off to the doctor every time you get a slight twinge. But occasionally, those aches and pains turn into something more serious. Lots of illnesses start off with tiny symptoms that gradually get worse so ignoring the everyday pains you get can be dangerous. These are the top health problems that most of us are ignoring.

Back Pain

Top 4 Commonly Ignored Health Problems

Most ageing people complain about back pain, it’s almost a rite of passage for the older generation these days. It’s just a natural part of getting older, isn’t it? That’s partly true and you aren’t going to avoid it completely but if it starts happening earlier, or gets very severe, you might need to do something about it. Most of the time, back pain is caused or at least made far worse by environmental factors. The most likely is a bad mattress. If you aren’t getting enough support from your mattress then you’ll wake up with a stiff back every day and the pain will only get worse. Luckily, there are plenty of mattresses designed specifically for a bad back. Visit Choose Mattress for some great information on the best ones. They offer much more spinal support which is the key to fighting back pain. You might also be getting worse back pains if you’re working in a job that involves a lot of heavy lifting. Health and safety isn’t exciting but you should listen to advice on proper lifting techniques if you don’t want to have a bad back for the rest of your life.

Grinding Teeth

Top 4 Commonly Ignored Health Problems

Grinding your teeth isn’t something that people really consider a problem. It’s just something that some people do. What they don’t realize is that it can do you a lot of damage. Waking up with a stiff jaw and sore teeth is the last of your worries, the long-term damage that you’re doing to your teeth is a more pressing concern. You risk chipping and cracking them as well as wearing them down in general. You’ll start to find that your teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold and you’ll get more problems with decay if you’ve got small holes in your teeth.


Top 4 Commonly Ignored Health Problems

A recent study found that 27% of people in Britain are experiencing bad sleeping patterns on a regular basis so it’s no wonder that we are starting to accept it as a normal part of modern life. But that’s risky because it’s already doing us a lot of damage and it’s more difficult to notice if you’re slipping slowly towards full-blown insomnia. Not sleeping enough contributes to all sorts of health problems including heart disease, diabetes and obesity. On top of that, it increases stress levels and makes your general brain function a lot slower. Missing out on even a few hours of sleep a night is something that you should be concerned about. See a doctor and ask if there is any medical reason you’re not sleeping, but it’s more likely to be environmental factors that are causing it. Drinking too much caffeine late in the day might be making it harder to sleep at night, and so could using your phone or laptop in bed. The light from the screen tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime and stops it from releasing hormones that encourage you to go to sleep. Why not consider reading a book instead? It’ll make it far easier to nod off later on.


Top 4 Commonly Ignored Health Problems

Chances are, when you get a headache you reach straight for the paracetamol and get on with your day. They’re so common and most of the time they’re probably just caused by stress, but if you keep getting them regularly, it could be more serious. It could be caused by any other medication that you’re taking if it doesn’t agree with you, or it could be a symptom of a larger health problem. Lots of small things like your posture or the amount of red meat that you eat can even bring on headaches. Even if they are stress headaches, you shouldn’t be getting them all of the time so instead of just putting it off with painkillers, do something about it.

It’s always a pain to take time out of your already busy day to get to the doctors but it could be dangerous not to.

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Exterior design, Garden tips

5 ways to change your garden’s functionality for the better

5 Ways to Change Your Garden’s Functionality For the Better

 5 ways to change your garden’s functionality for the better

The more functional your garden is, the more useful it will be. You paid for your home’s outdoor space, so it’s only sensible to want to get the most out of it. If that’s not happening at the moment, it’s time for a few changes. This doesn’t have to be anything too drastic. Simply read on to learn about 5 of the ways in which you can change your garden’s functionality for the better.              

Plan with Privacy in Mind

Privacy matters a lot when you’re trying to make changes to your garden. You don’t want to feel like people can see you and watch you while you’re enjoying your outdoor space with your family and friends. So, always make plans and come up with design ideas while keeping privacy in mind.

Make a Space for Dining and Entertaining

Most people who spend a lot of time in their garden spend it dining or entertaining friends and family. It’s a good way to make use of your outdoor space on a regular and continued basis. So, you will need to have the right table and chairs, as well as somewhere to barbecue. You could even install a pizza often. You might even want to learn how to lay flag paving if you need to create a paved area for the dining space. Make this the focal point of your garden.

Create Zones in the Garden

Zoning is something that you should definitely be doing when you’re trying to make cool changes to your garden. Gardens can look like a jumbled up mess when they are not separated into zones. As mentioned above, you need a space for dining and entertaining. But you might also want a place for kids’ play or growing vegetables or organising your flower bed. All these things matter, and they deserve their own space.


Keep Paths and Walkways Simple

There is often a temptation to add too many paths and walkways in your garden when you’re trying to make it more functional. However, this is a temptation that is best avoided. Of course, you do need to have paths and walkways, but keep them simple and subtle. Don’t add paths for the sake of it; always consider the functional reasons for putting a new path or walkway in place.

Make Space for Tools

There are so many ways to create spaces for your tools in your garden. If you have a bench or table that you use for small DIY projects and repairs, you could add some hooks to the edge of the table where tools can be hung. It’s definitely one idea worth considering if you do a little gardening here and there. Having the right tools on hand can make you much more efficient as a gardener.

Your garden is nothing if it’s not functional for you and your family, so be sure to put some of these ideas into practice next time you want to make improvements to your outdoor space.

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Interior Design

How to get your home looking super stylish

How to get your home looking super stylish

How to get your home looking super stylish

Perhaps you are thinking about how you can give your home some added oomph.  Maybe you are a bored with living in a bland space. You want to create a home that has the “wow” factor. A home that you are proud to show to your family and friends. You want to do some home improvements and create your dream home, but where do you start?

How to get your home looking super stylish

Get Pinning!

Pinterest is a really great place to start. If you aren’t sure what colours you want to use on your walls or what sort of furniture you like, then Pinterest can be a great space for gathering ideas. Decorating your home doesn’t need to feel daunting when you can order all of your ideas all in one place. Focus on different elements of the room and set up a board for each element. You might have one board for flooring, one board for colour schemes and one board for furniture. Have fun and get pinning. Start working out what you like and what you don’t like.

Hire An Interior Designer

You now have your Pinterest boards bulging with ideas. You have discovered a look that you love for your room. You know the furniture that you want but you don’t know where to source it from. Hiring an interior designer like Sasha deBretton will help with that. A good interior designer will be able to find the right furniture for your look. They will also be able to tell you if that massive sofa you have fallen in love with from Ikea, really is a good look for your home. How many times have we seen something in Ikea that we think is amazing only to get it home and find that is far too big for our little space!

Working with an interior designer means that you will save money. They will help you make the right decisions for your home and they will make sure that you stick to your budget. An interior designer is used to working to a budget so they will ensure that you know where every pound is going.

What To Do If You Can’t Afford Everything

Don’t worry If you can’t stretch to a complete overhaul, there are still some great changes that you can make on a budget. Focus on some key investment pieces. This could be a sofa, a bed or a big mirror. These can all make a massive difference to how a room feels. You don’t need to buy your furniture brand new. Look online and you can find some lovely pieces of furniture at very good prices.

It’s The Small Details

How to get your home looking super stylish

Focussing on the small details in a room can also make a huge difference. How a coffee table is dressed can really lift a room. Instead of using it as a dumping ground think about how you can dress it. Stacked books can be used to inject personality into a room and add interest into a space. Think about textures. Could you add cushions and a rug to your room? These small elements will help create a cosy space.

Move Your Furniture

If all else fails then moving your furniture could be the way forward. Trying a new arrangement can really make a room feel like new.

This is your home and so there are no rules. You create the rules. Be bold and experiment with furniture and colour in your home. You want this home to reflect your personality. You want it to be fab not drab!  

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