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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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Lifestyle, Slimming World, weight loss

Life changes

Life changes

Life changes

A while back I ended up in an awful car accident. This saw me ending up being cut free from the car, hospitalised for just under two weeks and paralysed down my left side due to nerve damage. I was in a wheelchair for a while and had to learn to walk again.

With not being very mobile this saw the lbs pile on which at the time I was just glad to have survived the accident and it couldn’t have been further from my mind.

Life changes

Once I was more mobile thanks to the intense physio sessions and reflexology treatment I had on a weekly basis I started to gradually build myself back up again. Once more mobile I signed up to attend our local Slimming World group. Back then I managed to lose 3 stone and I was so proud of myself as I had gone through so much and had come such a long way. I had the determination which was amazing and I felt so much better and confident in myself.

My aim back then was to lose about 5 stone, I was over half way there but then life had gotten in the way. Things happened and I ended up suffering from depression due to certain issues. This is where comfort eating kicked in then yes you guessed it, the weight piled back on.
No I am not proud but hey what can I do but pick myself back up and start again. Now I am starting to feel better in myself again I feel that I am in the right mind-set again to try again. I have amazing support around me from Ian, my 3 beautiful boys, work colleagues and even neighbours.
Ian is my rock and said he will help support me in any way he can as he knows it means so much to me to get this weight off and my confidence back.

I have now joined Slimming World again, this time round it is a different group as we’ve moved house since my last journey. I am now 2 weeks into my new journey and I’m currently 6.5 lbs lighter already. I am so happy to be on my Slimming World journey again, I was so happy last time until I sadly suffered with depression.

This time round I am not going to be so hard on myself, I am going to set small goals along the way and little Interim goals. My first little goal is to try and lose 1 stone by my birthday (7th August). This is purely set as a birthday gift to myself. I still have a few weeks to do it in, I feel like I can do it so I’m going to give it my best shot. If I don’t do it then no harm is done I am just happy at the moment with any loss.

To help myself get up and moving I have signed up to do a 5k run. Well they say run but you walk, crawl, skip even hop just as long as you complete the 5k. I done a 5k run a few years back and completed it within 36 minutes. By the time I completed the run yes I did crawl over the finish line and no I couldn’t even talk for 10 minutes but I did complete it and it felt amazing.

All I need to do now is stay as focused as I can and keep telling myself to keep thinking positive.

Lifestyle, Weight loss

Finding myself again

Finding myself again

New group new start

So today saw my first weeks weigh in at my new Slimming world group. Was I nervous? yes. Was I excited? yes. Was I pleased with my result? hell yes. Any weight off in my opinion is good and all I hope for.

I am taking a new approach to my weight loss this time round, I am setting myself small goals rather than one big one. My aim at the moment is to lose one stone by my birthday (7th August) but if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t matter it is just something to aim for at the moment. Today was my first weigh in and I am very excited to say that I am now 5 lb lighter. Next week I am aiming for my half stone award…..I can do this!

Small steps…small steps!

Ian has been a huge support to me, I sat down and explained to him that I am not happy with my weight and sadly haven’t been now for a while. I am kicking myself big time for putting my weight back on that I lost before our move but I only have myself to blame.

I sat and chatted with Ian and we have both agreed to get back into meal planning and batch cooking again. I found this a huge help last time. He is now on board and has agreed to learn new and healthier recipes with me. We both work long days so it isn’t just one of us cooking it is both of us which is why it is best we both learn this together so it helps to keep me on plan.

Diet coke chicken is something different I had heard mentioned a few times in my old group. I recently made it for us all to try and we all enjoyed it. Meal prep plays a huge part for us, with working such long days and not getting home until late, gone 9 pm most nights the last thing we want to be doing then is chopping and dicing vegetables but yet we want a nice homemade meal.

Finding myself again

Batch cooking meals in the only way so far I have found helps us to stick to healthy home cooked meals. Now Ian is on board and is willing to learn this makes it all the more easier to stay on plan. Ian is normally a lover of using his takeaway app to order in when I am out working late. Yes I enjoy the odd takeaway but I’d much prefer a nice healthy home cooked meal. Ian is a good cook and just needs reminding of that.

What we are currently doing is looking at healthy slow cooker recipes and also have a change about with our current eating habits. What I would like to do is find nice recipes that we can all enjoy. I may be out some nights until gone 9 pm but I certainly don’t expect Ian and the boys to wait for me before having their meal, certainly not at that time. Fingers are crossed for a minimum of a 2 lb loss for next week so it will then take me to half stone.

What is your favorite family meal?

 

Lifestyle

The most underrated home Improvements that will transform your family property

The most underrated home Improvements that will transform for your family property

Home Improvements to consider 

Home improvements play heavily on the minds of all homeowners. There’s no doubt that you will make some upgrades over the coming months, just like everyone else will. But how can you be sure that you’ve made the right decisions?

We all think we know where our priorities should lie. However, many of the commonly overlooked jobs are the ones that will actively bring the greatest improvement. Learn to appreciate these seven of the best below, and your property will soon look and feel better than ever.

 #1. Upgrading Security

There’s no greater feeling than the feeling of safety, especially at home. Until your property is properly protected, it will be almost impossible to enjoy it to its full potential. Frankly, this should be one of the first items on your home upgrade agenda.

Improving the security starts with ensuring that all doors and windows are protected by the right locks. Meanwhile, if you are a new homeowner, you may want to get the locks changed just for peace of mind. After all, you never know who the previous owner gave a set of keys to.

Take security one step further by installing surveillance cameras, automated gates, and alarms. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and this is the perfect solution.

The Most Underrated Home Improvements That Will Transform For Your Family Property

 #2. Going Green

Living a more eco-friendly life has become a growing concern for millions as society becomes more aware of the damage being caused to the earth. Protecting nature should provide some motivation but, in truth, personal rewards will give you a far greater incentive. And that’s why the home should be the first place where you incorporate green ideas.

 You don’t have to make the big gesture by installing solar roof panels. The benefits of using LED lights throughout the home are arguably even greater, and it’s one of the easiest tasks to complete. Likewise, saving water with improved dishwashers and energy-efficient toilets is pretty easily achieved.

Many homeowners underestimate how much of an impact those upgrades and home Improvements can have on monthly bills. Those upgrades will pay for themselves, and add comfort for the family. If that doesn’t encourage you to make those switches, what will?

 #3. Painting The Walls

When you enter a room, the colour is the first thing you’ll notice. It might not always be a conscious reaction, but it does happen. As such, the walls essentially set the tone for the entire home, and changing them is the best way to alter the atmosphere.

Painting the walls is a quick and cheap upgrade, particularly if they have been prepped well. You can learn how to do this at DIYNetwork.com. A few new coats of paint will instantly provide a room with fresh energy. However, changing to a lighter tone can actively change perceptions to make the space look larger. That’s something that most families will appreciate.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the desire to add cool artwork and other stylish features, which is all well and good. Nonetheless, the wall colour will have the biggest influence of any single job. Do not forget it.

The Most Underrated Home Improvements That Will Transform For Your Family Property

 #4. Utilizing The Garden

The home doesn’t simply include what’s inside the four walls. Adding external appeal is equally important for the relationship shared with the property. So, if you are blessed with a garden space, it’s imperative that you use it to its full capabilities.

Essentially, this job boils down to giving the space a sense of purpose and function. Decks and patio areas may be deemed a little pointless by some. But once you’ve built one, your afternoon and evening time in the garden will never be the same game. Those benefits will be felt all summer long while the maintenance is easy too. Perfect.

If the thought of maintenance has been the main obstacle for avoiding the transformation thus far, try adding an artificial lawn too. Time is the greatest thing in our lives, and those saved hours will make a world of difference to your happiness.   

#5. Fixing The Temperature

Most homeowners dream of a property that boasts the perfect aesthetic. In reality, the practical features should always take priority. After all, there’s little point in having the flash TV if you don’t have the basic comforts in place.

The heating and air circulation features should be top of the to-do list. Visit OnlyRadiators.co.uk to learn about the best heating appliances along with tips to get the most out of them. Let’s face it; nobody wants to spend the winter months sat on the sofa in three coats and a pair of gloves.

On a similar note, fixing the temperature and pressure of the shower and kitchen taps will have a far greater impact than luxury home additions. Prioritising tasks is crucial. Take a mature approach, and it will pay dividends in the long run.

The Most Underrated Home Improvements That Will Transform For Your Family Property

#6. Finding Floor space

Nobody wants to feel cramped in their home. Unfortunately, you’ll need planning permission and capital to increase the physical dimensions. However, creating added floor space will work wonders for the interactions with each room.

Simple jobs like mounting TVs to walls or adding shelves will make an instant impression. Meanwhile, finding hidden storage space in ottomans can work wonders. Combine those tricks with extendable tables and other furniture that can be made smaller when not in use, and you’ll soon see a massive difference.

You don’t even necessarily need to buy new products or complete jobs to see a change. Even the positioning of furniture can transform the appearance of the room. Try out a few different ideas until you find the most spacious appeal. You will not regret it.

#7. Building A Dream Bedroom

What do you consider to be the most important room in your home? Most people will answer the living room or kitchen. While those areas are crucial areas, they don’t come close to the bedroom. Because if you cannot get a good night’s sleep, it will bring negativity to your mental and physical health.

A great bedroom should be more than a place to sleep, but this should still be the number one priority. Investing in a great mattress is imperative, while blackout curtains or blinds will make a huge difference too. Some people will find that a fan may aid their sleep patterns due to the noise and air circulation too.

 

As for the kids’ bedrooms, Improvements you could consider could be high sleeper cabins as a way to aid sleep and create more room for their playing activities. Either way, when you perfect their bedroom spaces, improved sleep is inevitable. For the sake of their development and your sanity, getting this right is a must. Underestimate its importance at your peril.

Do you have any home Improvements planned?

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Lifestyle

Landlords Vs Tenants – Know Your Rights

Landlords Vs Tenants – Know Your Rights

There are now more people in rented accommodation than ever before. And this means that more and more people have to deal with a landlord. Thankfully, the majority of landlords do their job properly and see to all their tenants issues and problems very efficiently. However, there are some out there who don’t put their tenant’s best interests first.

Are you currently suffering with a nightmare landlord? Your dispute shouldn’t be ongoing as most are very easy to sort out. You just need to make sure that you know your rights. Read on to find out more!

Landlords Vs Tenants – Know Your Rights

Know The Law

You should brush up on the law before you get into any dispute. That way, you know whether you are right to be making a complaint or stand up against your landlord. Sometimes a problem between a landlord or a tenant occurs when one of the parties doesn’t realise that they have broken their side of the contract. So, knowing the law can also prevent you from making a mistake that could end with you in the wrong. You will be able to find out the basic laws by just doing a Google search. But if you want more information, you should speak to a lawyer.

Get Evidence

If you are sure that you have a case against your landlord, you need to gather evidence to prove your point. If you are unhappy with the state of your home, you should take pictures of any damage or improvements that need sorting out. It might also be worth contacting some chartered surveyors to check out the building. If they can show that your home isn’t safe, it will make the landlord act a lot quicker. The surveyors will also be able to give evidence in the event the case is taken to court.

Landlords Vs Tenants - Know Your Rights

Talk Face To Face

Most people contact their landlord through email or letters. However, things can often get misread which might cause the situation to blow up and become a much bigger deal than it should be. If you do find a problem with your home, you should endeavour to speak to your landlord face to face. That way, you can see where you are both coming from, and you will be able to come to an agreement in a very civilised manner.

Keep A Record

Whenever you do make contact with your landlord, you should always keep a record. If you email or write to them, this is easy as you can print out the email and keep a copy of the letter. However, it’s slightly harder if you speak to them in person. But you can still keep a record, you just need to write down the time and date the discussion took place and what each of you said.

Don’t let nightmare landlords bring you down. Follow these steps, and you can help to improve the situation between the two of you in no time at all. If things continue to escalate, then chat to a property lawyer about your next steps.

 

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food, Lifestyle

Diet Coke Chicken

Finding myself again

A new family meal – Diet Coke Chicken

With recently re-joining Slimming World I have been taking a look at some of our family meal times. I can safely say that whilst I have not been attending group our eating habits have slowly gone back to our old ways. When it is Ian’s turn to cook when I am working late he mistakenly thinks that the takeaway apps the oven. Accidentally on purpose of course. This is even done when there is a pre made dinner in the fridge that just needs to be put in the oven so it is ready for when I get home from work.

I re-looked at some of our meals and thought perhaps a change is needed and we needed a change and to mix things up a little to help bring back the love of cooking from fresh food again. In our house time plays a big part in our eating habits. Admittedly we love any dish that can be cooked using the minimal amount of pots and pans and is also quick to make. Slow cooker recipes are a favourite in our house.

With us both out working 12 hrs of the day preparing food and a nice family meal can become a problem if we are not prepared in advance as all we want to do when we get in is kick our shoes off and enjoy a nice long soak in the bath.

Batch cooking is something we used to do a lot and is something we need to start getting into again. We moved house since last attending Slimming world, we are now settled and have re-joined at a different group so hopefully this will all fall into place again very soon.

Slimming World was re-joined again on Wednesday and so far the plan has been stuck to so fingers crossed results will show next week at group. One of our new meals we have enjoyed is Diet Coke Chicken….Yes Diet Coke Chicken!

Diet Coke is one ingredient we have never used before for cooking, have you?

This was one meal we had to try, I must say it was delicious. It was enjoyed by all of us, the teens even asked for more so we can’t complain. Lots of veg was added and it was extremely filling. It had been spoken about in group at our old group and new so I just had to try it out with my boys and see if it’s a possible new recipe that can be made and enjoyed again. The answer from my teens was a big yes. I am so pleased to be finding family meals that can be enjoyed by myself who is currently wanting to lose weight and meals that also fits into meal times that family will also enjoy to.

Ingredients used was:

  1. x 4 skinless Chicken breast
  2. Low calorie spray
  3. x 1 red pepper & x 1 yellow pepper
  4. Can of Diet Coke
  5. Chicken stock – 200 ml
  6. Cup of frozen peas
  7. Kale x 2 handfuls
  8. x 1 onion – diced
  9. Mixed herbs 1 tbs
  10. 8 tbs Passata
  11. 4 tbs Tomato puree
  12. 2 tsp Worcestershire
  13. x 1 tbs dark Soy Sauce
  14. x 2 chopped Carrots

How we cooked Diet Coke Chicken:

We heated the pan and then sprayed the pan with my low-calorie spray.

All the vegetables and chicken was then added until lightly browned.

Once browned the stock was then added, diet coke, passata, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and then mixed herbs.

This was then continuously stirred whilst bringing to the boil.

A lid went on the pan, the heat was turned down and it was left to simmer until the chicken was cooked through and the sauce had thickened.

This was so quick and easy to make, all in the one pan too – extra bonus!

This took us 15 minutes to prepare and roughly 40 minutes cooking time and most of that was simmering on its own.

This meal fed four of us and we all very much enjoyed it. This meal made a lovely change and will certainly be being made again. I enjoyed this meal with cauliflower rice Ian and the teens had rice.

diet coke chicken

Do you have a favorite family meal?

 

 

Lifestyle, Top tips

Ways to reduce the stress of moving house

Ways to reduce the stress of moving house

Ways to reduce the stress of moving house

Anyone that has ever moved house would most probably agree that it is one of the most challenging lifes events, both physically and emotionally that anyone can go through, even more so if you have children.

Moving house can be extremely stressful as there is a lot of changes happening and unfamiliarity to deal with. This can lead to stress and anxiety if not careful. It is important to make sure moving does not become to overwhelming.

We recently moved house and was a mix of emotions. We was happy but also sad, excited but not. Tears on moving day was happy ones but a few sad ones too. Our moving post and reasons for moving can be read here.

We would like to share a few tips on how to have a stress-free house move.

Our top ten tips are:

  1. Our top tip would be to write an action plan as far in advance as possible as come closer to the moving date you wont be thinking straight and will have 1001 things going round in your head. At least with the plan in place it will help ease some of the stress for you and it is even on paper for any volunteers you may have to come and help.
  2. As soon as you have a date set shop around and get your removal company/vans booked ASAP. It would be awful if forgotten or left to the last-minute and there is none available. Plus it would be a tick off that huge to-do list.
  3. Book time off work to allow yourself time. Moving can not only be exhausting but it also gives you time to adjust to your new home and neighbours.
  4. Book re-direction of your mail and start making a list of whom to inform of your new address.
  5. Put a moving day box aside to keep to hand on the big day and fill with handy things such as, medication, drinks, snacks, phone chargers etc. It is important to have means of contact should anything go wrong as well as keeping hydrated and some snacks to hand.
  6. Don’t make the boxes too heavy as the removal men won’t be too happy. If possible borrow or hire a sack barrow as this would be most welcomed when it comes to any heavy appliances. Also a van with a tail-lift would be extremely useful. Minimize heavy lifting where possible.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help on the big day, some may only be too happy to lend a hand. More hands the better, especially if it’s a rainy day like our moving day was.
  8. Moving house is a good time to have a sort out/de-clutter. If honest with ourselves we are all guilty of owning a junk draw or cupboard? do you really want/need to take all that with you?
  9. Take time out for a short break, have a drink, rest and recharge. Don’t forget to eat otherwise you will burn all energy.
  10. The key to a successful move that we found was organisation. Everyone had an allocated job so we all knew who was doing what. We swapped around during the day so we all took turns to help with the heavy lifting, it also gave us the chance to have a much welcomed rest from it.

If you are moving into a house that is in need of renovation works then perhaps self storage may be a safer option to help protect your belongings whilst works are carried out.

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Lifestyle, Top tips

The Garage Clear out Guide

The Garage Clear out Guide

The Garage Clear out Guide

So you have made the decision to go about turning your garage from a junk depository into something more usable. Perhaps you have decided it’s finally time that you were able to keep a car in there, or you might even be contemplating using the space as an extra room on the ground floor of your house as www.mkhomedesign.com.au suggests. Either way, you’ve got big plans and now all you need to do is… remove the years of mess that have been being stored there! No big problem, then.

While this might be a worrying undertaking, there’s no doubt that it can be a beneficial one if you commit the time and energy to doing it. There’s a whole extra space in your home that you haven’t been taking advantage of, so why not roll up your sleeves, put on some gloves, and blast through it in a weekend?

Deciding what to keep, what to throw, and what to do with the mess that’s left is one of the most difficult parts of this project. If you need a few guiding pointers, then there’s a few good ideas that you should be putting into use…

1 – Don’t Get Trapped By Memories

As you peel back years of junk, it’s far too easy to find yourself being trapped by nostalgia. You’ll find boxes of items you’d thought lost; memories of experiences with your kids, their toys, and all sorts of items you have an emotional attachment to.

This is one of the perks of cleaning out an area like the garage, but it’s also one of the biggest time sucks. If you want to do a thorough job, you need to ensure you’re not caught up in an endless parade of attached memories. Rather than reflecting on items, give yourself five seconds to match a quick decision on whether to keep or throw them out. You can go back over them later and indulge as much nostalgia as you want, but the first task is to remove all the rubbish that needs to go, so you can begin to see how much space you have to work with.

2 – Get Rid Of The Rubbish

When you have accumulated a lot of items to be disposed of, then get rid of it as quickly as possible. As mentioned, this helps you to make a more thorough assessment of the space that you have available to you rather than being backed into corners. If you don’t fancy making numerous runs to the tip, then consider using the likes of www.dirtcheaprubbishremoval.com.au to collect and dispose of unwanted items and rubbish for you. Any extra time you have to tackle the mess is preferable!

3 – Separate The Remaining Items Into Sections

If you try and deal with a whole room as a single entity, then it can be overwhelming. However, separating items out into their own space before you decide what to do with them is the best bet. You could have a specific area for items you’re keeping for the sake of nostalgia; a pile of ‘useful’ items such as tools; seasonal items that you only use a few months out of the year – and so on and so forth. This kind of separation makes all the difference when it comes to organising the remnants in the room, as it helps to truly focus you so you can be done as quickly as possible.

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Learning, Lifestyle

Back to your roots: Important skills people are losing In the modern era

Back To Your Roots: Important Skills People Are Losing In The Modern Era

Back to your roots: Important skills people are losing In the modern era

There’s no denying that the age of modern technology that we live in right now is absolutely amazing. Technological advances have improved the lives of thousands of people and have help humanity make huge strides in everything from medicine to communication to education. That being said, there’s a trade-off that seems to have come with this advances that isn’t necessarily quite so positive. Thanks to all of the ways in which technology has made life easier and simpler, a lot of people are losing skills that were once incredibly common. The sad thing is that many of these skills are just as valuable as they ever were, it’s just that people assume that we no longer need them since machines and technology can do everything for you. Of course, that’s all well and good until you find yourself without the technology that you’ve come to rely on so much. With that in mind, here are some of the skills that people have lost in the age of modern technology.

Working with your hands

Back to your roots: Important skills people are losing In the modern era

It used to be that if you wanted something, then you either had to make it yourself or buy it from someone else who made it. Now, thanks to the widespread industrialization of manufacturing, most people are completely removed from how everything that they own is made. Sure, most people are never going to be able to make their own computer or smart phone, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t embrace making things with your own two hands. Whether you’re going to spend your time whittling away a piece of timber, or your garage is going to be filled with welding helmets and other equipment, being able to make something and see the fruits of your labor is one of the most satisfying things in the world. Sure, you could simply buy something instead of making it, but you’re never going to feel that same level of satisfaction that you would if it was something that you made from scratch.

Finding your way around

Back to your roots: Important skills people are losing In the modern era

In the age of smartphones and GPS systems, the idea of having to look at a map or, heaven forbid, ask for directions seems utterly insane to a lot of people. However, you can’t always rely on having your GPS in your pocket no matter what. Being able to navigate is one of those skills that absolutely everyone should have, but very few people actually do. Even something as simple as being able to make your way from one place to another using a compass, some directions, and the landmarks around you is something that everyone should be able to do. Sure, it’s not that likely that you’ll ever be caught in the wilderness without any support, but there are still ways in which a skill like this is valuable. We’ve all had those moments where your phone has died at the least convenient moment and trying to figure out where you are in the event that your car breaks down can be truly terrifying if you have no idea how to get around with it.

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Lifestyle

Fun home features that will bring your family closer together

Fun Home Features That Will Bring Your Family Closer Together

Fun home features that will bring your family closer together

Home is where the heart is and this is especially true if you have a large family. The hustle and bustle of everyday life leaves its mark on you: you grow used to the pitter-patter of tiny and not so tiny feet at all times of the day and night. But many of us will find that at some point our kids will turn into stroppy teens, spending most of their waking hours cooped up in their bedrooms. But not to worry. There are a few effective ways to coax them out into the wider realms of your family home, especially during the summer months when the weather is hot and the sun’s rays are beating down. Here a few ideas to get your imagination going.

Fun Home Features That Will Bring Your Family Closer Together

Gas BBQ

The way to most of our hearts is through our stomachs. So ditch the disposable BBQs responsible for so many charcoal textured hot dogs or burgers and invest in a family size gas BBQ. This will sit in your garden and can be opened up whenever the sun is out. After all, who wants to sweat over a hot stove in the kitchen when everyone is out back in the garden? Look for one that has enough grill space to accommodate enough food for the entire family and pick up the necessary accessories: apron, prongs, and spatulas. The smell of summer perfect food will bring everyone together into the garden.

Fun Home Features That Will Bring Your Family Closer Together

Hot Tub

Hot tubs are a massive novelty and a source of fun for everyone. If you want some quality time with your partner, what could be better than slipping into a warm tub with high pressure, massaging bubbles and a glass of fizz in your hand? If you want a more exuberant time with the little ones, invite them in and splash around together. Quality Hot Tubs are a big investment, so make sure that you purchase from trusted sources and contact reliable workmen to install it. Make sure that any children are supervised at all times when in the tub.

Fun Home Features That Will Bring Your Family Closer Together

Paddling Pools

Paddling pools are a garden essential for toddlers and little ones. The heat can become overwhelming when they’re out in the garden and a dip in a cold pool could be exactly what they need to cool off. Have waterproof toys at hand for some aquatic-themed games and never allow them to play alone in the water. If your kids are older, there are larger pools available. These may take some time to fill up initially, but it’s worth the time and effort. These pools are often large enough to swim in and accommodate you and your kids all at once.

Fun Home Features That Will Bring Your Family Closer Together

Projectors

There’s something especially fun about watching a film through a projector. It’s just that little bit more exciting than watching it on the TV. So recreate the cinema experience in your home by bringing everyone together for a movie night. Project a family favorite on a white wall or roll down screen. Have popcorn at the ready and blankets for everyone to wrap up all cozy in.

 

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Interior Design, Lifestyle

Interior features to focus on when you want to create a traditional decor

Interior features to focus on when you want to create a traditional decor

Interior features to focus on when you want to create a traditional decor

When you love your home, playing around with your decor can be a lot of fun. Not only do you want to create your dream home, but you can often want to make your home right for your family and their needs. So, not only do you want to make it feel cozy and homely, you want it to be functional too. Although many interior themes can be harsh and unwelcoming, there is one that is always perfect for family life – traditional. And when you want to create a traditional decor that will make your family’s life better, you’re going to want to focus on a few key interior features to make it happen.

Wood

The first feature that can always be found in traditional decor is wood. Wood is the main material often used for most things, like flooring, wall cladding and, of course, furniture. If you really want to give a traditional, warm and cozy feel to the decor, you’re going to want to make sure you go for wood when it comes to the majority of your material choices.

Interior features to focus on when you want to create a traditional decor

A Library

Next up, let’s look at a room choice. A library, regardless of how big or small it may be, is always a key feature to a classic house. It’s always a great room to have in your home if you want to be able to relax somewhere serene, or have a cozy corner of the house to read in! You can even make a library style feature wall in your hallway or living space instead of dedicating it to an entire room. Either way, using old books to fill the space is a very traditional decor feature.

Period Furniture

The next thing to think about for your decor is the type of furniture that you buy. If you’re going with anything modern, it may make your decor look a little disjointed. Instead, you’re going to want to go with period furniture. Things like antiques, handcrafted furniture, and a Chesterfield sofa are the exact kind of pieces to consider. Color wise, you’re going to want to coordinate with warm, slightly dark shades that add a cozy vibe to your home.

Interior features to focus on when you want to create a traditional decor

Entertaining Space

In terms of your layout, you’re going to want to make sure that you have an entertainment space to utilize. Traditional homes are all about family and friends. Social occasions and celebrations should always fill your home, so you need a space to host them in. And when you’re looking to entertain, what could be better than a home bar? Whether it’s the in the corner of your kitchen, outside, or even given its own room, a bar area can often be a very classic feature to add to your decor.

Artwork

When it comes to the finishing touches, be sure to add a lot of artwork into each room. Whether this is paintings or family pictures, you’ll find that wall hangings not only add a personal feel to each room, but they make your home feel much more traditional.

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Lifestyle, Top tips, Weight loss

How To Break a Weight Loss Plateau

How To Break a Weight Loss Plateau

How To Break a Weight Loss Plateau

If you have ever embarked on a weight loss journey, you have more than likely come across the dreaded weight loss plateau. This can be frustrating to dieters, particular since it seems to come from nowhere, stalling weight loss efforts that may previously have being going well.

So why do weight loss plateaus occur, especially when you’re doing the same things that made you lose weight in the first place? Here we’ll explore some of the reasons weight plateaus happen and what you can do about it.

Reasons For Hitting A Weight Loss Plateau

To break through your body’s weight set point means understanding what might be working against it.

Decrease of Metabolism: Adaptive thermogenesis is the scientific term for what happens to the body when calories are reduced. Essentially, over time, the body adjusts itself to fewer calories and eventually the metabolic rate drops.

For instance, let’s say you eat 2000 calories in your diet then reduce it to 1,500 calories. It makes sense for your body to grab the 500 calorie difference from your fat reserves, except (unfortunately) it doesn’t work that way. Studies have shown that the body simply adjusts itself to surviving on 1500 calories. This is the body’s way of intelligently preserving itself, great for survival, not so great for your waist line.

Food intake increases: Being on restrictive diet day in and day out can cause a major increase in appetite. This can lead to scenarios when binge eating may occur, causing the calorie deficient for that week to be lost through overeating.

Water weight returns: In the first few weeks when losing weight, there’s usually a rapid drop in water weight. This water is lost as the body utilises carbohydrate stores as glycogen (sugar). Since carbohydrate intake goes up and down day-to-day, it’s not unusual to gain some of that water weight back.

How To Break A Plateau

While it’s good to know why weight loss plateaus occur, it’s even better to find out how to reverse it and start losing weight. Below are some of the methods that are tried, tested and effective.

Lose the Weight slowly: Although it’s exhilarating to see the pounds fly off, fast weight loss usually correlates with fast weight gain. Try to lose no more than 1% of your total body weight per week, which is usually 1-3 pounds.

Change your fitness routine: To take your daily exercise routine to another level, try varying your exercise routine. This means your body muscles don’t get used to working out in one particular way.

Re-feeding: While it may sound counterproductive, you could actually lose more weight by increasing calories. For example, once a week increase your calories by 10-20%. This can stimulate the metabolism which often helps to break a weight loss plateau.

Try Orlistat to increase loss: This is an over the counter weight loss medication vouched for by thousands of people. How Orlistat works is by stopping the absorption of fat in the gut. This allows it to pass through the body undigested and, in turn, reduce the overall calories absorbed by the body.

If you are having an issue with occasional overeating, Orlistat is an effective way to stay on track and continue losing weight, even on “cheat days”.

Final Thoughts

A weight loss plateau does not have to spell the end of your diet. The tips above show that with a few tweaks it’s possible to continue dropping the pounds. Try one or two and see what works best for your lifestyle and body.

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Lifestyle, Top tips

Sardine families: to move Or to extend?

Sardine families: to move Or to extend?

Sardine families: to move Or to extend?

Is your family starting to feel like a family of sardines? If you are struggling to find the room you need in your home, you might feel like you are becoming more and more like sardines living in a tin with each passing day!

So, what are the solutions to making more space for you and your family? There are certain tips you could try but, at the end of the day, the better options for creating permanent space are to move house or to extend your current one. This is certainly a huge decision to make no matter which option you decide to go for. Are you struggling to figure out which one would be best for you and your family? Here are some things to keep in mind.

Sardine families: to move Or to extend?

The Costs

One of the main things that will probably sway your decision will be the costs involved. Over the past few years, property prices have continued to rise, and they are now at an all-time high. Buying a bigger house may well depend on if you can afford to. Extending will certainly work out cheaper, but may still end up in the region of £60,000 depending on the side. If you call a builder, such as detaildevelopmentsltd.co.uk, they will be able to quote you a price for the work. It’s worth contacting a few different building companies to see who can offer you the better price.

Planning Permission

No matter what type of extension you would like added onto your property, you will need to get official planning permission for it. You need to start the application for permission before you begin any work. Otherwise, you might have to remove the extension if permission is denied, and this will cost you a lot of money! If your local planning office refuses to grant you permission, then you might have to start thinking about moving home instead…

A New Area

Moving into a bigger home saves you from all the hassle of having to hire builders and other labourers, and you won’t have to live in a building site while they get to work on your extension! But you will need some time to adapt to your new home, especially if you move to a new neighbourhood. If you can only afford property prices in certain neighbourhoods, you need to make sure that moving there isn’t going to affect your kids getting to school or your daily commute. If the journey to school and the office is going to increase dramatically, you might be better off staying where you are and enduring all the building work that comes with an extension!

If you still aren’t sure whether it is better to move to a bigger house or extend your current one, you should check out other articles such as budgetbreakaway.co.uk/to-move-or-to-extend-that-is-the-question/. Just make sure you do plenty of research before you make your decision. That way, you know it will be the right option for you!

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Home, Lifestyle, Renovation: top tips

Home renovation made easy: the tips you need to know

Home Renovation Made Easy: The Tips You Need To Know

Home renovation made easy: the tips you need to know

Not everyone loves the idea of renovating their home, home renovation certainly be a daunting and overwhelming task to take on. A renovation project could be simply overhauling your current home.Perhaps it has needed some improvement for some time. Bathrooms need replacing, kitchens need upgrading, and there is always that option of extension. However, you may specifically look to purchase a renovation project, maybe always having the dream of creating your own home or renovating properties as a new career prospect. No matter which way you decide to take on the task, it will never be a simple project, and it certainly needs a lot of planning and preparation. Which is why I thought I would share with you some of the tips you should know before you embark on such a project. I hope they offer you some reassurance that you can complete the renovation and create a wonderful home either to live in or sell on.

Home Renovation Made Easy: The Tips You Need To Know

Make sure you are completely up to speed with your budget and financials

One of the first things anyone should do when undertaking such a huge project is working out your budget and know exactly where you are to the penny with your financial situation. Whether you already have the property or even need to factor in the purchase costs, it’s important to ensure that you don’t overstretch yourself right in the middle of the works. A budget is handy to have where you allocate money to different tasks, but one of the best things you can do is have a contingency plan to ensure that you have emergency funds when you need them. You can’t always predict if a job won’t go the way you want, or materials you need will cost more than your expected. These things will happen, so plan and prepare for them within in your budget.

Have a plan of exactly what tasks you wish to take on

It’s also important to ensure that you have a plan of exactly what jobs you want to do within the project. This might be specifically living rooms only, or maybe looking at adding purpose to spaces in the home that don’t get used such as a cellars or loft areas. Having a plan will enable you to start the process of your budget, and also factor in a timescale for completion. This is especially important if you plan to live there, or will still be in the home while renovation works are being completed.

 Home Renovation Made Easy: The Tips You Need To Know

Design the ideal home and seek guidance from the experts

It’s always advisable to have some sort of design plan, be it a floor plan or even drawn up plans. If you don’t have the expertise in this department, seeking guidance from an expert like an architect could be helpful. This is also important if you plan to extend or change the layout of the property in any way.

Obtain any planning permissions or licenses you may need to complete the work

Changing the layout or extending may require you to obtain planning permission from your local authorities. Before any work begins, make sure that you get any necessary permissions in place. You may also need certain licenses for listed building or even to dispose of any waste. Things like skips are required to have licenses if they are on the road these days.

Research where to get building materials and who to use for certain jobs

Sometimes the big costs can be incurred for the building materials you use and the cost of labour. This is why it is so important to ensure that you do plenty of research and gain a comparison in costs before you make any purchases. Things like timber and wood can be one of the biggest outlays you have, so it’s important to check out a range of companies like George Hill Timber. Sometimes going to websites or businesses that specifically trade in certain areas means that you not only get a good price but the expertise and knowledge you need.

 Home Renovation Made Easy: The Tips You Need To Know

Are there other ways to add value to the property

It’s important to establish if there are any ways you can add some value to the property itself. A great place to start would be to add square footage or rooms like converting a loft into another bedroom, or a cellar into another living space. Do you have a garden you can utilise and build on? Then maybe adding an extension to create a larger kitchen, or even adding bedrooms or other rooms onto the side of the property could be a great place to start.

The finishing touches will always bring everything together

Finally, the finishing touches will always piece everything together. This is good flooring choices and paint colours. Adding the right tiles or even considering things like feature walls. Pinterest is a great place for inspiration when it comes to home decor and finishing off your homes look.

I hope these tips help you if you are about to embark on a renovation project.

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Lifestyle, Moving abroad

Is moving abroad as difficult as It sounds?

Is Moving Abroad as Difficult as It Sounds?

Is moving abroad as difficult as It sounds?

If you’ve ever been on holiday and told yourself “I want to move here in the future!” then you’ve probably thought about actually moving overseas. However, those thoughts are quickly forgotten once you realise the cost of moving, the friends and family members you’ll have to say goodbye to, and the kids that you’ll force to either learn a new language or make new friends. It’s a tough decision to make especially if you aren’t happy with your current location, and there are times when simply moving to a new house won’t cut it.

But plenty of people move abroad to find themselves, seek happiness and sometimes for their jobs: but is it really as difficult as it sounds? Let’s dive into the issue and discuss a couple of things about moving abroad. At the end of this article, you’ll have plenty of information to help you make a decision, so if you’re close to packing up your bags and leaving the country, here are some thoughts to keep in mind.

Is Moving Abroad as Difficult as It Sounds?

Is it even legal?

The first thing to consider is: is it even legal to move abroad? There are some legal implications when moving abroad and it’s not entirely easy. For instance, you need to check your visa status and you’ll probably need to have a relationship with someone in the country to legally move over. You also need to look at your rights to see if you’ll be covered by things such as insurance. You’ll also need to apply for citizenship in another country which can be a lengthy and complicated process if you aren’t well-versed in all of the law, so make sure you do your research on this step and consider all the legal implications before packing up your bags.

What are you going to do with your old house?

Next, consider what you’ll do with your old house. If it’s just rented then you don’t need to worry about it much, just end the contact at the earliest convenience, pack your bags then leave. However, if you own your home then you’ll need to contact international removalists to help you carry all of your luggage and furniture to your new home. Alternatively, you could simply rent out your current home if you still have family members or friends in your current country that are willing to give you a hand. There are some steps to take before this can be made possible, but it’s generally quite easy and straightforward.

Where do you actually want to live?

There’s no point moving abroad if you aren’t actually sure where you wanna move. Do plenty of research and consider visiting that country for a holiday several times before you ultimately make a decision. Remember that the decision is reversible, but if you sell your home in your current country, it’s going to be difficult to gain accommodation if you decide to return. There are also plenty of other things to consider when picking a country, and they’ll be explained in detail below.

Is Moving Abroad as Difficult as It Sounds?

Do you need to learn a new language?

Learning a new language can be tricky, but it’s generally easier if you surround yourself with the language and force yourself into unfamiliar situations. It’s worth learning a couple of phrases and taking a serious look at the language before you decide to move. The worst thing you can do is move to a new country with absolutely no knowledge of the language. It’ll be difficult to live your daily life and you’ll find it hard to communicate with anyone. If you’re set on learning a new language to move, then make sure you watch as many shows as possible in that language, speak to people and make friends from that country, and ask them to help you practice your new language skills so that you can become fluent.

Are you prepared for new culture and tradition?

Another important thing to keep in mind is culture and tradition. If you move from Europe to Asia, then you’ll be surprised at the number of things that are different. Everything from wearing shoes indoors to how you present yourself politely at a table will be new, and although some people are accepting of foreigners in their country, others can be extremely offended if you take their culture and customs lightly. Again, it’s important to learn about the country that you want to move to before you decide on it. If you’re not willing to follow their traditions and customs, then you might want to consider another country or simply staying at home.

Can you find work in the country?

A lot of people move to foreign countries to teach English. While this sounds like a great idea, it’s ultimately a job that won’t progress very far. Before you decide to move to another country, try and do your best to find a job. It could be something that relates to your current job, you could become a freelancer, or you could even take a gamble to become a travel blogger or YouTube content creator and make money from advertising revenue. Whatever your decision is, keep in mind that you’re starting a new life and this often means you’ll be back at the bottom of the career ladder. Although you’re probably not moving for the sake of money, it’s important to understand that you need an income in order to sustain yourself.

Are you prepared to say goodbye to friends and family?

Lastly, are you fine with saying goodbye to friends and family? Some of us might not have great relationships with our families and could easily say yes to this, and some of us probably hate the idea of leaving our friends behind. Make sure you’re mentally prepared to say goodbye or else you could end up regretting your decision, feeling homesick and hating your idea to move. Keep in mind that just because you’ve moved, it doesn’t mean you’ll never see those people again. Social media is fantastic at keeping the world connected, and you can always visit each other during the holiday seasons.

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