Fitness

3 Weight Loss Workout Plans That Actually Work!

Workout plans

Let’s be honest. Most of us want to start working out in order to lose weight – this rings true for men as much as it does for women. Social media, peer pressure, and the societal norm for beauty have somewhat influenced the way we value physical appearance. And although some people may refute the thought of conforming to societal standards, fact is that maintaining a healthy weight does not only feed people’s vanity; it’s also a big physiological necessity.

Reducing your weight (for those who go above their BMI requirement) or maintaining it (for those who are already within the normal range) is a huge must if you want to live a long and healthy life. Many life-threatening illnesses and diseases, after all, are attributed to disproportionate weight. Being too skinny or too meaty risks you of many health problems, including: heart failure, obesity, diabetes, and many others.

But of course, any problem has an ideal solution. On top of maintaining a healthy diet and positive attitude, exercising is something you must really need to do in order to keep your mind and body fit 99.99% of the time. When you discipline yourself in these three key health areas, expect great changes in your life. You can expect a better, lighter, newer YOU.

With that, allow us to help you get started. Below we have listed three (3) highly effective workout plans that are guaranteed to make you lose some weight. These workout strategies have been tested and proven by experts and the many people who’ve gone ahead and tried them (including me, btw).

So without further ado, here they are:

Grind It With Cardio

3 Weight Loss Workout Plans That Actually Work!

For decades, cardio workout has been positively linked to effective weight loss. Thus, it is safe to say that you should include cardio exercises in your weight loss workout plans. Cardio-focused exercises, after all, encourage people to sweat – a lot. And sweating is a good sign that you’re beginning to lose those love handles. The best part about cardio workout is that you don’t need much to get it done. All you need are two things: a moving body and a load of energy.

Cardio exercises involve a lot of hand, leg, and hip movements and is usually up-beat or rhythmic. Jogging, cycling, jumping jacks, rope skipping, and stair climbing are just a few examples of specific exercises you can do when you’re following a cardio routine. It basically keeps your blood pumping and pores sweating throughout the exercise – perfect for people trying to burn off extra baby fat. Along with a healthy, glow-food concentrated diet (leafy greens, fruits, and other fresh vegetables) and good hydration (6 to 8 glasses of H2O); you’ll get back to shape in no time!

Burn It With Tough Muscles

If you don’t have the energy to do cardio, then maybe you have the stamina to do heavy muscle workout. Why do it, you ask? Well, it’s because the more muscle you have in your body, the more active your body’s resting metabolism becomes (see reference). And when your metabolism becomes faster, the less likely is your body going to store excess fat. Everything is processed and all food particles are digested (or excreted). This lowers your chances of gaining pounds far from what is necessary and will help you expel all the fat you’ve accumulated before you even started muscle training. You can start by training with small weights but focus on repetitions. You can then go gradually higher from that point. Add a little bit more each day and challenge your own limits. Religiously sticking to your training day after day will eventually help you achieve stronger, well-toned muscles. And with it, you also get to enjoy a healthy and fat-free body.

You Can Never Go Wrong With Full Body Workouts

Last but not least, the final weight-loss strategy we can share with you today has something to do with diversification. If you don’t want to do ALL cardio, nor keep your focus solely on muscle building, you can try creating your own full body workout routine. This workout method will require the participation of your entire body and makes use of cardio, muscle, and other types of exercises in order to achieve desired results. When you do a full body workout routine, you must be prepared to catch your breath. It may be brief but it is loaded. However, it should be the perfect remedy to your chubby issues.

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moving house

Making Your House Move A Positive Experience For Your Family

 A positive move

Whether you’ve bought a new family house or are about to move into a fresh rented apartment together; moving property is always something that people dread. Moving can be as stressful as a relationship breakup or even bereavement, as there’s so much to organise and various things to consider. However, it doesn’t have to be all that bad; if you prepare in the most efficient way and ensure that you have a plan of action, you’ll be able to look at the move as an exciting fresh start and new chapter to your family’s life. The following are some hints and tricks to help ensure that your moving day goes as smoothly as possible.

Start to pack ASAP

As soon as you know that a move is happening; start packing the things that you want to keep, but don’t need to use until you’re inside your new abode. A great place to start is with your home’s decorative items, like photographs, artwork, vases, and other interior accessories that make your space look beautiful but provide little function in your day-to-day life. Books, clothing, and equipment should be next; try to think seasonally and what you can live without easily until it’s time to move in. This is the perfect chance to have a clear out and de-clutter of the items in your life that you don’t need or haven’t used in over six months; give bags and boxes of stuff to charity if they’re in good condition, otherwise dispose of them accordingly.

The sooner you’re family have packed things, the better it will be on the days of your move; you don’t want to be rushing around grabbing everything last-minute as this will risk items being broken and a messy moving day. Therefore, make sure that the whole family are on board and ready to go.

Prepare accordingly

Labelling each of your boxes with what room they’re to go in when they arrive in your new place, is a great way to prepare for when moving day arrives. Labels will also help those who are loading up the van, and the home removalist company you’ll need to hire won’t risk breaking anything fragile. Look into reputable removalists like Bekins Moving Solution so that you’ll feel confident in the safe transportation of your precious items and furniture. Make your signs and labels large and bold so you can have a smooth, straightforward, and stress-free moving experience. Alongside a professional moving company; get your friends and family in on the action; you can pay them with a home-cooked meal once you’ve settled in, and the more people power you have, the quicker the process will be.

Making Your House Move A Positive Experience For Your Family

Remember that unpacking is just as important as packing, especially after the removal business have left and you’re finally inside your new home. Think about what you’ll need to do first in the coming days; unpack your essential kitchen equipment so that you can create something simple to eat and drink in the coming week, and get out a capsule wardrobe, toiletries, and any electricals that you can’t live without on a day-to-day basis. It’s a good idea to have made yourself an essentials box, so you’ll be all set and ready to unpack the rest of your stuff and settle in successfully. Utilise checklists, be smart when you’re packing, and ask for the right help where you need it, and you’ll be prepared to move home with your family, smoothly and with ease.

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cleaning

Don’t Let Life Grimed You Down

Don’t Let Life Grimed You Down

If only cleaning fairies were real

One of the secrets of helping to keep your home clean is to stop the dirt, dust and grime from entering it in the first place.  Of course, how you deal with the dirt and dust matters as well. If you dust your living room, for example, with a dry cloth, all you will do is put the dust into the air and it will settle somewhere else. You need some dampness for the dust to cling to, which could be created by a spray furniture polish or by wiping the dust-up with baby wipes.

Let’s take a look at ways to help to keep the amount of grime and dust lower, and easier to cope with once it appears so that you can have a more fulfilling life…

Doormats

Doormats are a very simple solution to keeping some of the grime out of your home. People tend to automatically wipe their shoes before they enter, if a doormat is provided, and especially when the weather is wet, that can be a real plus to keeping your housework down. The secret for doormats to do their job effectively is to clean them on a regular basis. Do not forget to clean underneath them as well, as dirt and dust will fall through them and form a layer underneath.

Easy Clean Flooring

Don’t Let Life Grimed You Down

Nothing is more annoying than when you have just finished cleaning a floor and the dog or the kids run across with mud on their feet. If you have carpet on the floor that can be disastrous as it is not unusual for mud and dirt to create a stain mark.

However, if you have laminate flooring, which you can find at Factory Direct Flooring, it is very simple to deal with and will be clean and sparkling in no time at all. It’s also very affordable, which is another reason to consider it.

Pets

Dogs and cats will leave pet hairs around your home and dust seems to cling to them. In no time at all, it builds up along skirting boards and starts to make your home look very unclean. It is usually a simple job to sweep or vacuum it up, but you can reduce the amount of fur they leave everywhere. Regular brushing will help to get rid of any excess hairs and then hopefully there will be fewer of them on your floors and furniture.

Check Your Vents

If your vents get dusty every time air blows through them it will bring dust with it. It is not just the vents from outside you should clean, the ones from air conditioning or heating units like the ones at Debenhams, will behave in just the same way. Then air can flow freely around your home without creating another layer of dust.

Empty Your Vacuum Outside

Don’t Let Life Grimed You Down

Once you have vacuumed your home do not make the mistake of emptying the machine inside the house. Even sealed bags will let some dust out, and f you use a bag fee cleaner, this can be even worse.

It is little tricks like these that will help toward keeping your homes a bit less dusty and dirtier, and you might be surprised by how much they actually work.

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Health and fitness

Get In The Know With Pilates Pal Website

get in the know with Pilates pal website

What is Pilates?

Pilates (pronounced puh-lah-teez) is a system of exercises developed by the German, Joseph Pilates during World War 1. The system was named after him but he referred to it as “Contrology.” He firmly believed that there was a definite connection between physical and mental health. The intent of these exercises was to strengthen both mind and body. If practiced consistently, Pilates will build strength, improves flexibility, and develop control and stamina. Pilates is practiced globally especially in countries in the Western Hemisphere. You can learn about the Pilates procedures and equipment used in the exercise programs at Pilatespal.com, Inc..   

Principles of Pilates

Joseph Pilates never created a system of beliefs for his method, but the principles included here are evident from the pages he wrote and other documented materials. There is no set order in which the principles are presented, the list here is as follows: breath, control, concentration, center, flow and precision.  These principles are the basis of many techniques of Pilates and they are normally accepted as the base of the system.

Breath

There is equal importance shared among the basic principles, but breath involves much more than respiration.  In Pilates, breath is the energy of the driving force and the engine that propels the art. It can be viewed (as regarded by Joseph Pilates) as of life, of the mind, spirit and body. Breath then is observed here as the mutual thread that goes through every foundation principle; joining them together.

Breath is an important key to life. The only skeletal muscles necessary for life are the respiratory muscles, but too often breath is taken for granted.  Understanding the anatomy essential to breath can assist in the optimum use of breath.

Concentration

The focus of this principle is the procedure involved in doing the exercise rather than on exercise itself. In this principle, it is important to concentrate on the body’s alignment, and keeping the correct alignment and equilibrium during the entire exercise session. It is vital that the practitioner maintains mental concentration throughout the session.

Center

In Pilates, a practitioner’s control of the body must begin somewhere: the center.  Of the Pilates method, the center is the primary point. The body’s “powerhouse” are the set of muscles in the middle of the body, those surrounding the abdomen, hips, upper and lower back, inner thighs and buttocks. In addition, center is the point where if the body was suspended it would be balanced fully in all directions. Learn more about Pilates exercises here:  https://www.wikihow.com/Do-Pilates

Control

“Contrology” was the preferred name given by Joseph Pilates for this principle. It focuses on muscle control. Every exercise is executed with control.  Control becomes refined with practice. Refined control is related to fewer errors, greater coordination, exact alignment, greater balance and improved ability to duplicate the exercise effectively over many attempts, by the use of minimal effort and evading unnecessary muscle tensions.

Precision

Precision is the precise manner by which an action is performed. The difference between precision and other exercise routines is the way it is done.  Knowing about anatomy will assist the practitioner in realizing precision.

Flow

Flow is effortless, continuous movement; a physical energy applied from the center that will direct movements of the extremities.  Achieving precision will ultimately lead to flow to and from and within each exercise to build strength and grit.

Equipment used in Pilates

The exercises are done on mats placed on the floor or on exercise apparatus developed by Joseph Pilates. These workout machines use pulleys and resistance from the body weight of the participant on the equipment and progressed spring levels. The reformer is most likely the most famous resistance equipment to be found in a Pilates workroom. Read here for more on Pilates.

get in the know with Pilates pal website

Pilates is appropriate for both males and females whether you are a professional athlete or you are just an ordinary person or retiree trying to get back in shape. Pilates low effect and usefulness have made it the preferred foundation exercise techniques for many individuals around the world including celebrities.

When done correctly and regularly, and with the correct instructions that will assist you in embracing the main principles, Pilates will bring a change in your life. It will also enhance your lifestyle giving you healthy appearance.  

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Top tips

Tips For First-Time Horse Owners

Tips For First-Time Horse Owners

Tips For First-Time Horse Owners

If you have decided that you want to add a horse to your family, you are bound to be feeling incredibly excited about it. However, there is a lot that needs to be considered when owning a horse for the first time. Diving right in can be a bit of a disaster, with a lot of people making the mistake of ending up being matched up with a horse that is not right for them. With that being said, read on to discover some useful tips for first-time horse owners.

Take an experienced horse owner with you

The first thing you need to do is take an experienced horse owner with you. An experienced trainer or owner will know how to look for the signs that the horse in question rides well and is healthy and sound. After all, if you do not have any experience, these are all things that can easily be missed. You may be thinking that you don’t know anyone with this sort of experience, well, the next point can assist you with that.

Invest in some riding lessons

By investing in riding lessons, you will get to know people who are experienced with horses, and so this can assist you with the former point. Not only this but investing in riding lessons will make sure that your new family addition does not keep bucking you off again and again. Knowing how to ride a horse and knowing the basics regarding care are both essential.

Consider a mobile field shelter

You have many different options available to you in terms of your horse and the stable it is going to stay in. It is certainly worth looking into mobile field shelters. These buildings are much more convenient, providing you with a flexible solution for your home. Built to last, they offer great value for money too, making them a great option for any new horse owner.  

Find out about the history of the horse

Last but not least, it is important to make sure that you find out about the history of the horse. Why is the seller selling the horse? How long has he or she owned the horse? Does the horse have any registration papers that are going to be signed over to you once the sale is complete? Never be afraid to ask as many questions as you like. The more you know, the better!

Hopefully, you now feel more prepared in terms of choosing the right horse for you and your family. Not only this, but you need to make sure that your horse has the right environment and that you continue to learn at all times. If you do this, you can ensure your new family addition fits in perfectly. Good luck!

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Summer, Top tips

How to Get Your Home Ready for Summer

How to Get Your Home Ready for Summer

Getting summer ready

If you want to get your home ready for summer then all you have to do is follow this helpful guide. Here you can find out everything you need to know about getting ready for the best weather of the year as well as finding out what you can do to make your home more inviting for any guests that come over.

Service your Air Conditioner

There’s nothing much worse than having your air conditioner break down when the heat just gets too much. For this reason you will need to make sure that everything is well-maintained in spring if possible. The first thing that you need to do is change the filters as this will be making the unit work way harder than it needs to. It will also cost you way more to run as well and this is the last thing that you need. The next thing that you need to do is make sure that everything is working properly, and you’re good to go.

How to Get Your Home Ready for Summer

Clean your Windows

Spring is the ideal time for you to move any hard water stains from your windows. Fill up a spray bottle with some window cleaning solution and then use a sponge or even some newspaper to get them really streak-free. If you have sensitive skin then it is a good idea for you to wear some protection here as this will help to stop the liquid from touching your skin. When you are cleaning, check out for any dry rot or even any water damage from the winter. Check the window seals and also make sure that you really make sure that everything is nice and clean.

How to Get Your Home Ready for Summer

Summer Tools

Lawnmowers really are the key to keeping your yard looking neat. For this reason, you have to make sure that your equipment is up to the task. If you have a gas mower then clean up the equipment and change the gas if you need to. Now is also a good time to give your BBQ a good clean and to replace the gas in there as well. If you are not comfortable checking over this for yourself then you can hire a professional to take care of that for you.

Your Decking

If you have decking then it’s a good time for you to give everything a good hose-down. You need to re-finish your decking if this is required and it also helps to get the grime out of the grooves as well. After all, when you are setting up the BBQ, the last thing that you need is to have to do is clean everything at the time so do keep this in mind when the time does come for you to get started.

Of course, if you want to really get your home ready then it helps to clear out the shed, tidy up the flowerbed and just get everything looking great. After all, when you have parties to host and guests coming over, you want to be proud of your home and you’ll also want to avoid those last-minute cleaning sessions.

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wedding

Give Your Wedding Guests A Day To Remember

Give Your Wedding Guests A Day To Remember

A wedding day to remember

Okay, so it’s your wedding day, and the guests are just the extras, right? Wrong! If you are getting married soon, then while you do need to focus on what you need/want on the special day, remember that your guests are important too! The last thing you want to do is make their day a dull and boring one, especially when they have made the effort to celebrate the day with you, so you need to give them a day they will remember… for all the right reasons!

So, thinking about the ceremony, don’t let them remember it for the incredibly long length, prolonged wedding vows, and uncomfortable temperatures. Let them remember it for the creativity you have put into the wedding ceremony, perhaps with the unique ideas here that add a new twist to the traditional wedding formula. And choose a comfortable venue, checking out the place before you book it to make sure it lives up to your (and your wedding guests) expectations.

After the service, don’t leave your guests standing around for a long while you model for the photo shoot. It’s always worth having some food on standby for a start, especially when the wedding meal is some time away. So have a buffet, and plan some games for both the adults and the kid to wile away the time, or if the adults are content to stand and chat, do the kind of things you would do at home, and turn the outdoor space into a fun area for the children. After all, when the kids are bored, they are less likely to be polite about it!

When you get to the wedding meal, try and be creative with your food and drink choices. From champagne popsicles to hands-on chef stations, check out these wedding menu ideas that are different from the normal sit down meals so familiar at any wedding party. And spice things up for the guests too! No, not by adding hot spices to your wedding dishes (unless you are going for something curry-themed), but by adding entertainment for your guests as they eat, be that a magician going table to table, or a cabaret band playing music in the corner.

And please don’t go on and on with the wedding speeches. While they can be incredibly touching and emotional, you don’t want to elicit tears of agony rather than joy by letting them go on too long. Your wedding guests will never forget the boredom they felt, so give them happy memories by keeping things short and sweet, perhaps setting a timer for anybody who is prone to waffling on!

Finally, let the wedding end with a bang. No, not with fireworks (although that would be an excellent idea), but rather an exciting evening of fun and entertainment that everybody will enjoy. Music is key, so consider the fabulous wedding bands from Alive Network as an example, rather than hiring your cousin’s band with their questionable music choices. Play party games, have a quiz, indulge in a karaoke, or have a talent show where your guests can show off their skills. Do anything that guarantees fun and laughs, ending your special day with something truly memorable.

Give Your Wedding Guests A Day To Remember

If you are getting married soon, we hope you (and your guests) have a fabulous time!

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Interior Design

Genius Bedroom Ideas For Teen Boys

Genius Bedroom Ideas For Teen Boys

Teen Boys Bedroom Ideas

Boy’s bedrooms can be hard enough to get right as it is, but when they enter their teens, they can be a real nightmare. After all, you want them to look and smell half decent, but you want your kids to enjoy their space as well. Luckily, there is a way to achieve all of these things and its something you can read more about in my post below.

Decoration

Thomas the Tank Engine duvet covers just won’t cut it when the boys get into their teenage years. Of course, they’ll probably have some ideas about the way that they do want their bedrooms decorated, especially, as they become something of a retreat space from the rest of daily life during the teen years.

However, it is essential that you also get some input on how your teen boys rooms are decorated, as some can tend to go for darker colours that make a space look smaller and dingier.

Instead, it’s always a good idea to go for white walls and add in some bright and masculine pops of colour with things like these blue roller blinds, as well as more mature plain or striped bedding.

Wall decoration is another option here too, and if you have some nicely framed pictures on the wall, it can keep the posters to a minimum. Something that can be a godsend for any mother that wants her home to retain some sort of cohesive style.

Storage

Mess is something else that it can be challenging to get a handle on in your teen boy’s bedroom. In fact, there are many mothers all over the UK right now lamenting the fact that their sons can’t seem to hit the laundry basket with their dirty clothes, but would much rather throw them on the floor.

Of course, there are some ways that you can encourage your teenagers to be less messy. One is to provide them with enough storage that clothes, school books, and collectables can be stored away and out of sight, yet still be in easy reach.     

In particular modular shelving units with baskets work partially well here.  Especially as they are often available in many neutral colourways, with the option of choosing baskets in shades that will compliment the room well.

Tech

Whether we like it or not, technology is a huge part of our son’s lives, and with this being the case it is necessary to integrate this into their bedroom space.

How you do this may differ on what their preference for tech is. For example, if they are a console gamer, it may be worth installing a TV set up so they can play in the comfort of their own room whenever they like. It is also something that means you don’t have to miss out of Coronation Street or Eastenders because they aren’t at a save point when playing in the communal space too.

Genius Bedroom Ideas For Teen Boys

Adding in a desk space for a PC and laptop is always a great idea for homework as well, as it can help your son’s room become a useful and practical space that is essential to their lives.

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Exterior design, Garden tips

Why You Don’t Need Green Fingers To Achieve A Perfect Garden

Why You Don't Need Green Fingers for a garden

Ways To Achieve A Perfect Garden

You may look through your French doors at the rear of your humble abode and feel your heart sink just a little bit. The outside space that makes up your back garden might be overgrown, full of weeds and jungle-like. You might have dreams of creating a well-coiffed patch of greenery to call your own. There’s only one problem; you don’t have a single horticultural bone in your body. You don’t know your fuchsias from your foxgloves or your primroses from your pansies. Instead of worrying about the types of shrubbery, flora, and fauna you might select for your back garden, why not transform your outside space into something totally different. You don’t have to succumb to a lawn, borders and a garden shed. Instead, think about creating a more unique outside area for your pad.

Zones

It always pays to create set zones within your garden. This means you can utilise your outside area in the best way for you. If you have no inclination to grow your own tomatoes, chilli plants or rhubarb, then don’t bother. Instead, lay some decking for an al fresco dining space complete with outside heater and barbecue. Consider installing one of the many styles of patios that are available. You could enjoy a gable roof patio, some traditional brick groundwork or a more exclusive shale base. You could couple your patio and decking with a rockery, a patch of lawn or some elevated gabion walls. Clear zones will help you construct the perfect space for your entire brood.

Water Features

If you are after a relaxing space in which to unwind after a particularly stressful day at work, consider installing a water feature in your garden area. The sound and sight of water has a calming effect and can elevate a boring garden into something much more special. You might want to select a giant gravity defying water orb, a more traditional fountain or a multi level mini waterfall. Select a feature that you will enjoy looking at every day and keep in mind the sort of water sounds you want to listen to when you are outside relaxing in your garden.

Flowers

OK, so the whole notion of planting anything was going to be avoided. However, alongside your al fresco dining area, your little patch of lawn and your awned patio, you might want to see a splash of colour. While planting out some borders with the odd patch of daffodils, marigolds and sweet peas might be a stretch, you could easily experiment with a pot or two. Ceramic pots can be highly patterned, you can plant flowers that require very little hands-on care, and you may find yourself developing a newfound love for all things horticultural. You’ll be deadheading, pruning, and sowing before you know it.

Gardening itself doesn’t have to be all hard work and toil. Instead, you can create your dream garden with a splash of fauna that allows you to use your garden like another room of your home.

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Dangers

Sniffing Out Dangers In Your Home

Sniffing Out Dangers In Your Home

Dangers In Your Home

Bad smells in your home may not just be unpleasant to live with – some of them could be potentially hazardous to your health. Here are odours that you don’t want to smell in your home and what you can do to get rid of them.

Burning smells

This one is kind of obvious – unless you’ve got a fireplace lit, any burning smell should be an immediate warning sign. Fires may not always be visible although there will generally be some smoke. Electrical fires are some of the hardest to detect as the fire may be taking place within the wall for some time before you notice – if you smell burning from an outlet and there is heat coming from it, this could be a clear sign of an electrical fire. In all cases, call the fire brigade and get out of the home.

Gas smells

Smelling gas in your home is never a good sign. It could be a leak from an oven hob or a pipe. In all cases, you should avoid lighting any matches or smoking as well as leaving all electric appliances and switches alone (these switches could cause electrical sparks). Having an affordable emergency plumber on call is handy for these occasions – they will be able to repair the gas leak for you. Whilst you wait for them to arrive, open all the windows, turn the gas off at the mains and wait outside your home.

Musty smells

Musty smells can occur for all kinds of reasons but are commonly the result of damp or mould. Most people don’t realise that living with mould can be dangerous – mould spores can cause respiratory problems and skin allergies. Keeping your home well ventilated could prevent mould, although a water leak or rising damp could also be to blame. You can clean mould off yourself with a dry sponge.

Bad bathroom smells

If there’s a nasty sewerage smell coming from your toilet that won’t go away, it could be a blockage in a pipe or a drain. On top of causing a foul smell, this odour could be potentially dangerous too. Blockages often produce sewer gas, which can be a toxic combination of methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and other gases. This can also be highly flammable making it a fire risk too. Call in a plumber to try and diagnose this problem and get rid of this smell – in the meantime, keep windows open and avoid using the toilet if you can (you may have to use someone else’s bathroom or a portaloo).

Fresh paint smell

Many of us like the smell of fresh paint and in many cases it can be harmless, however there are some paints in which this smell is the direct result of VOC chemicals. These chemicals can cause sinus irritation, nausea and headaches when breathed in, whilst lengthy exposure could cause more serious conditions such as dyspnea and even cancer. You can avoid the hazardous properties of this paint by only using low VOC paint or by staying out of your home until the paint dries and stops giving off vapours.

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Exterior design, outdoors

Making Your Backyard A Functional Space

Making Your Backyard a Functional Space

 Functional Space Ideas

Many of us neglect our backyards. The majority of our focus when it comes to our properties lies on the maintenance and improvement of our interiors. While this makes sense (seeing as we tend to spend more of our time indoors than outdoors), it’s also a shame that we tend to let the potential of our outdoor spaces go to such waste. After all, with a little work and dedication, our backyards could prove to be accommodating areas where we could spend plenty of time enjoying ourselves. So, it’s time to make a change! Here are a few different things that you can do in order to make your backyard a truly functional space!

Invest in Seating

If you intend to spend time in your backyard, your first focus should be seating. Why? Well, you’re only going to stay outdoors for so long if you have to stand the whole time. Your legs will quickly become weary and you’ll retreat indoors to the comfort of your sofa. If you have outdoor seating options, you can spend hours at a time away from the interiors of your property. If you want to go cheap, a standard plastic garden chair will do. However, these are likely to crack or break with extended use. Preferable options include deck chairs, wooden garden tables and chairs, or even outdoor suites that will have comfortable cushions.

Create Cover

While you may want to spend more time outdoors, you may not necessarily want to be exposed to the elements at all times. The good news is that you can consider covered decks, which will allow you to sit outside while providing you with a form of shelter at the same time. This way, you really can have your cake and eat it!

Invest in a BBQ

When it’s hot out, nobody wants to be slaving away over a hot stove in a sweaty kitchen. So why not take your culinary skills outdoors? A BBQ is great for all sorts of occasions. Whether you’re just feeding the family or are entertaining more guests. It allows you to make food while still engaging with all the fun that’s happening outside. Now, there are plenty of disposable BBQs out there, but it’s easy to under-cook food on them and difficult to feed more than a couple of people at a time. Instead, you should invest in a high quality gas BBQ. This will cook food more evenly and can cook sufficient amounts of food to feed your whole family plus guests all at once. If you don’t want to leave it out all of the time, consider options with wheels that can be wheeled into a shed or another storage space while it’s not being used.

Consider Your Lighting Options

Most families will have some sort of security light installed in their backyard. This will light up whenever a person or animal steps foot in your garden, adding a sense of security to your property, as the burst of light will generally cause the trespasser to flee. However, if you intend to spend time outdoors in the evenings, you may want to look into alternative outdoor lighting options. There are plenty on the market. For a subtle glow, solar-powered lights are great, as are outdoor fairy lights. However, you cannot entirely depend on them for constant and bright source of light. If you want something a little higher power, consider spotlights that can be installed by a professional throughout your outdoor space.

Provide Heating

What use is having great lighting options if nobody can spend time outside once the sun has set due to the temperature dropping? Well, there are plenty of options on the market that specialise in providing heat for those who want to spend time in their gardens later into the evening. One options are chimineas. These have gained a lot of popularity in the last decade or so and have been incorporated into tens of thousands of backyards as a result. They can be placed on your patio and will burn wood for hours on end. They are generally freestanding and made from clay, so are resistant to most weather conditions. While you may want to tuck it away in a shed for storage in the winter, it should never be used in any enclosed space. They have vertical vents which means smoke is exuded through the top and shouldn’t pose the problem that open fires often have of smoke blowing in your face. A second option is a fire-pit. This is a more permanent installation that you might want to try out if you find that the chiminea isn’t quite living up to your expectations. Fire pits can be larger and will provide heat for a larger number of people.

Keeping On Top of the Lawn

If you’re going to spend more time outdoors, you need to manage the lawn correctly. If the grass is of a manageable length, you may be able to simply run the mower over it. But if they are long and reaching part way up your calves, you have a bit more of a job on your hands. Your first responsibility when dealing with long grass is to check for debris. You don’t want to run the lawnmower over anything other than grass, so pick up any litter, rocks, or chunks of other materials. Once everything’s clear, you may want to use a strimmer to hack the grass down to a manageable length. Finally, run the lawn mower over the whole green expanse and you should have a wonderful lawn in no time. Rake up the cuttings and you’re good to go! If you want a particularly neat finish, you can run the strimmer around corners and hard to reach areas too.

As you can see, making your backyard a functional space is going to take a little planning, hard work, time, effort, and investment. But you don’t have to carry out all of these changes at once. You can implement one alteration or improvement at a time and slowly transform your outdoor space into an area that you, your family, and your loved ones will actively want to spend time in. So, start making some small changes today and your backyard will be the talk of the town in next to no time!

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damp, DIY tips

How To Protect Against Home Damp Problems

How To Protect Against Home Damp Problems

Tips to help fight damp problems.

Mould, condensation and damp can prove to be a big problem in high number of homes. Nobody wants to see it appearing in their house, but not enough people are taking steps to stop it from forming in the first place.

How To Protect Against Home Damp Problems

If you already have a serious damp problem in the home, you can get in touch with a damp proof specialist. But if you are simply looking for a few ways that you can keep your home damp-free, here are some of the best ways of doing so.

Deal with Outdoor Home Maintenance Quickly

To start off with, you should make sure that you are keeping on top of your outdoor home maintenance. Check your room for damage on a regular basis, especially if there has been any storms or rough weather recently. Clear out your gutters and fix or replace them when any damage occurs. You should also take the time to inspect your brickwork to check whether there is any visible damage for which you need support from a professional to investigate thoroughly.

Keep Your Home Warm

This may not be so much of a problem in the warmer months of the year, but damp thrives in cold conditions, which is why it is so important to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Some of the most obvious solutions include getting loft and wall insulation, as well as installing double glazing. You can maintain a constant temperature by setting your thermostat to a lower temperature over a longer period of time during the day. Updating to a smart heating system can also help out in a big way.

Ensure Your House is Well Ventilated

As well as being warm, you also want your house to be well ventilated to deal any damp issues which you have been having. Check that your washing machine and tumble dryer are installed and vented properly. If your kitchen and bathrooms don’t already have an extractor fan, now is the time to install one. Remember to open your windows from time to time to allow some air to flow through your home on a regular basis.

Cut Back on Moisture Production

Drying your clothes indoors can end up creating a lot of condensation, so use a tumble dryer whenever you can. Even during the winter, clothes can still dry well when they are hung up outdoors. Try to avoid the home improvement or cleaning jobs which create a lot of moisture when the weather is cold and wet as you can’t comfortably open a window to let it out again.

Take Precautions When Cooking

How To Protect Against Home Damp Problems

Covering up your pans with lids when you are cooking is a simple solution for cutting back on the moisture levels in your kitchen. You also need to replace the filter on your cooker hood on a regular basis to make sure that it works at its most efficient level.

Protecting against home damp problems can be as simple as putting these solutions into action.

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Finance

The Ultimate Home Saving Cheat Sheet

The Ultimate Home Saving Cheat Sheet

Money saving tips ideas

The idea of being able to afford your own home during your twenties might seem like a million miles away for many of us, and it is something which can be difficult to think about saving for. Saving for a house  is a nightmare and it can be hard to balance paying for our car, phone and rent as well as having money left to save up. However, it can be done if you follow these simple tips.

Increase your credit score

When you come to apply for a mortgage, the lender will look at your credit history and they will want to see if you have a good enough track record to be trusted with the loan. It means that you need to spend time finding out how to increase credit score quickly to make sure you are accepted for your mortgage immediately. If you have any outstanding debts you need to pay these off before applying.

Stop partying

There are a lot of people in their twenties who are reluctant to save for a house because they want to have a fun life. However, if you want to start making your future you need to balance things out. If you go out every weekend with your friends, you can instead think about going out every two weeks or once a month instead. Reduce the money you spend on alcohol and instead put this money into a savings account to go towards your home.

Have a stay-cation

Rather than spending all of your money on a holiday abroad this year, book a last-minute cottage in the countryside and enjoy a week away from work but spending less money than you would abroad. You will notice that you can enjoy your time without worrying about cash, and any extra money you would have spent abroad can go in the savings fund!

eBay it

If you have clutter and random things in your home, the best thing you can do with it is put it up for sale on eBay for some cash. There’s no point simply throwing things away if you can get some money for it instead! Take some time this weekend to clear out your Home and think about what things you could sell on. Remember, you can also sell your old clothes so don’t forget to clear out your closet too!

Budget for food

Food shopping can be a huge cost for us to deal with each day and this can often be the biggest cost we have throughout the year. If you spend far too much on food, you might want to start thinking about cheaper meals and meals which have less ingredients in them. You can use a book like 5 Ingredient Meals by Jamie Oliver or look online and you should find some budget friendly options to try for your family. You can save any money leftover from your food shop and this will soon accumulate to help you buy a house.

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DECOR, Lifestyle

Bring Your Home Into The Modern Age

Bring Your Home Into The Modern Age

Ideas to help bring Your Home Into the modern age

Your home is your place of solitude. Your home is the place that you love to make your own, and one way we think you should be doing that is by bringing it into the modern age. We’re talking in terms of design, technology, and everything to do with the outside of the home. There’s just something about a really modern looking home that makes it feel fabulous, and it’s a look so many people are going for. But, unless you’ve bought a new build home, you aren’t exactly going to find this easy. The transformation might be big, expensive, but it will be one of the most rewarding ones that you have ever done. We want to show you a few simple ways that you can bring your home into the modern age, so have a read and see if you would like to do any of them to your own home!

Bring Your Home Into The Modern Age

Using Modern Decor

Modern decor really does have the power to change the whole feel of your home. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest changes that we’re going to suggest that you make. So, the main thing you need to think about is the colours you’re using, and the accessories that you’re putting in. At the minute, we think that modern is nice and bright, and the best colour to achieve that with is white. You could go for a white wall look, with one grey feature wall, and have grey accessories. It’s such a smart and modern look, and a lot of homes are going for it at the minute. All you would need to do would be to secure yourself some fancy grey wallpaper, or even just stick to paint, and change the colour of the carpet to grey. If you then go for grey furniture and silver accessories, you’ve completed the perfect look in either your bedroom or your living room! Plus, it doesn’t take that much effort to try and sort it.

Having A Modern Renovation

A renovation is a scary thing to a lot of you because of money, but once it’s done it lasts for years, and the value it can add to your home is going to be so good for you when you come to resell. Mccormack Plywood Kitchens is just one company you should check out if this is something you would be considering. If you’re going for something as big as this, you need to make sure that it’s perfect for you, and that it’s nice and modern. Most kitchens are, and you can visit a showroom to decide which one you would like. We like the darker coloured kitchens at the minute!

Get Some Modern Technology

Technology is obviously one of the best ways that you can bring some modern to your home. One of the coolest that we think you could try is home automation, because you can control your home from your phone. It’s not only cool, but super practical if you’ve left the heating or lights on when you leave the home!

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Plants

Bedroom plants: for science!

Bedroom plants: for science!

Bedroom plants Ideas

The American College and NASA have joined forces to bring you the best in natural air-purification systems for your bedroom. Basically, which flowers you should pop in your bedroom. With DM Design, Glasgow kitchen suppliers and bedroom designers, we take a look at the prime plants for your bedroom.

Why should you put flowers in the bedroom?

In order to fully appreciate the list NASA and the American College have set forth, let’s explore the benefits of houseplants as a whole.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medalist Ian Drummond brought his interior landscaper expertise to The Telegraph by outlining the practicality of houseplants for homeowners. He explains: “Many people now live in cities with no outside space. We all have this longing to have some green around us, and houseplants are the perfect solution.”

Houseplants are, essentially, low-cost air-cleaning systems that also bring a great fragrance to your home. Studies have shown that houseplants have been found to help with concentration, promote better sleep and reduce anxiety among people who live around them on a day-to-day basis too. The Plants-man, when reporting on a 2016 piece which was published in the RHS’s journal, underlined: “As placing indoor plants in rooms is one of the simplest changes that can be made to enhance the environment, it stands out as a practical and affordable support for health.”

Bedroom-worthy plants

With the benefits of houseplants, no doubt you now want to get some in your home! So let’s take a look at the list of plants NASA and the American College recommends you display in your bedroom:

      Areca Palm

Dypsis Lutescens, the Golden Cane Palm, Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens, the Bamboo Palm, and the Yellow Butterfly Palm are all names for the Areca Palm, so you might have heard of it before under a different guise.

You can pick whichever name you like for this plant; it’s one of NASA’s top 10 plants for air cleaning. What’s more, the plant has been said to be great for those who often have colds or sinus problems due to it regularly releasing moisture into the air.

If you’ve got a tropical theme to your bedroom, you’ll love the Areca Palm plant’s long and elegant leaves.

Be mindful of direct sunlight turning the Areca Palm’s leaves yellowish-green; this plant needs indirect light to flourish.

     Chinese Evergreen

The Chinese Evergreen plant is one of the easiest plants to care for, if you’re a little less green thumbed than others. This is because the plant can grow even in areas of low light — no need to worry about placing it in a dark bedroom then.

The longer the plant is exposed to a space, the more toxins it removes from the air.

You can’t just neglect the plant entirely though; it still needs a little TLC. As well as keeping it away from bright sunlight (which can actually scorch its leaves), the plant should be watered regularly with cool water and fed with plant food once every three to four weeks.

      Aloe Vera

Moisturising, healing, and cooling, Aloe Vera already has an impressive array of benefits to its name that have been celebrated for thousands of years. This is because the clear and cool gel of an Aloe Vera leaf can be applied to burns, cuts, rashes and areas of sunburn to provide instant relief and speed up the healing process.

NASA has also given Aloe Vera a new benefit to brag about: the plant is one of the top plants for purifying the air. This is because they release oxygen on a regular basis during the night, not to mention fighting against both benzene — an ingredient of detergents — and formaldehyde — found in varnishes — to ensure a room’s air remains pure.

It’s best to keep your Aloe Vera plant indoors, as their high water content makes them weak to frosty conditions. They also need plenty of sunlight. Furthermore, plant them in a spacious pot that contains soil which has been well-drained beforehand.

     Boston Fern

Keep your bedroom stylish and healthy with the beautiful, cascading leaves of the Boston Fern plant. It is also ranked in ninth place on NASA’s list of the best air-purifying plants. A key reason for this is that the plant is very adept at removing formaldehyde from rooms.

The Boston Fern can be easily damaged by chemicals. Smoke which come from coal fires and wood burners can also be toxic to the plant, which means that they should be placed away from any spaces susceptible to draughts.

The Boston Fern looks brilliant on a shelf edge or hanging basket, thanks to its tumbling leaves.

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