cleaning, Kitchen

Deep Cleaning Kitchen Guide

Deep Cleaning Kitchen Guide

The prospect of deep cleaning your kitchen may seem a little daunting, however, once you know where to start and what to tackle, you’ll soon be on your way. 

Before You Get Started 

You firstly need ot make sure you have all of the basic supplies such cleaning products, rubber gloves, sponge scourers, a number for ductwork cleaning services, paper towels, etc. 

Some of the cleaning products you may want to think about include: 

  • Disinfectant spray 
  • Surface cleaner
  • Floor cleaner
  • Over cleaner
  • Wood or metal polish
  • Anit-bac cleaner 
  • Floor cleaner 

Make sure any washing up is done and put away and you are ready to start your deep clean.

Kitchen Cupboards and Surfaces

Surfaces and cupboards should always be your first port of call when you are doing a deep clean: 

  • Clean the insides of the cupboards. Take out everything from inside and use a disinfectant spray to wipe them down. 
  • Scrub down any outer surfaces, including any shelves and the extractor fan. 
  • Use a friendly cleaner on the cupboard doors, or even a bowl of warm water and soap. Bear in mind any solid wood may require a specialist cleaner. 
  • Shine any handles, especially id they are looking greasy. If you need to, remove them and soak them. 
  • Once you put your belongings in, do one final sweep. 
  • Spray down the worksurfaces and tiles with a warm cloth and disinfectant spray. 

Kitchen Appliances

The largest cleaning jobs in the kitchen are usually the refrigerator and the cooker, however, if you deep clean these together you can save a lot of energy and time. Start by cleaning your oven, the oven cleaning kits are brilliant for this, but make sur you keep the kitchen well ventilated. Then move onto the fridge; remove any food and chuck out anything that should have gone a while ago and wipe the inside down thoroughly but quickly. Anything that you plan to put back inside the fridge shouldn’t be left out for more than 20 minutes. 

When you want to deep clean smaller appliance such as the microwave, you should wash any detachable items in the sink and then scrub the insides when they are switched off. You may want to consider using a descaling product on the kettle. 

The Final Touches 

Thoroughly scrub your sink as the last job, after all, you are using it to clean almost everything else so it’s bound to get a little grubby. Leave some warm water with either limescale remover or bleach for a few minutes before you drain and wipe the surroundings. Remember to always use non-scratch scourers if you have any tough stains. 

Then clean your floor. Vacuum or sweep the floors and use a diluted solution to mop your floor thoroughly, leaving it to dry. This means your deep cleaning session is complete! 

Most kitchens need to be deep cleaned every 1 to 2 months, as long as you keep it clean day-to-day. Following the tips above every few months, your deep clean shouldn’t take more than a few hours each time. 

Home, Home preparation

Upgrade Your Home During Lockdown With These Tips!

Upgrade Your Home During Lockdown With These Tips!

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There is nobody out there right now that’s happy about another lockdown. The world is supposed to be getting better, not worse, and while we can all do or bit to support the recovery from a pandemic by social distancing and wearing masks, we feel pretty useless. The shops are shut, the restaurants are closed, the arts are crumbling – it’s all very depressing as a start to what should have been the Roaring Twenties once again. The one thing that has been pulling us all through is our combined ability to come up with things to do – even when we are stuck inside the house!

Your day may be looking a little like Groundhog Day every day, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it more interesting. With a little forward thinking and assessing of your own interests and skills, you can fix it up so that you are able to indulge in something to make lockdown more bearable. Lockdown has drowned everyone’s plans for holidays and nights out but it doesn’t have to change your home renovation or upgrade plans. How long has it been since you really spent time in your house? Most people spend their time out and about or at work, and that makes it hard to see where things are looking a little worn out or in need of some love. Being at home and working all the time makes you see the areas that have become a little tired. You may be tempted to whip out the glue guns and start making fancy things for the walls, but what you really need to be thinking about is how you can get upgrading the main rooms of the home. Below, we’ve got some of the best ways that you can start upgrading your home during lockdown – and upgrading your lockdown experience, too.

Look At Your Layout

You may not be able to move and erect new walls and extensions right now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t play around with the layout of your home. Look at the living room and the bedrooms and make a point of switching and swapping the bed, the rugs and even the bookshelves. The shabby looking furniture can be upcycled with fabrics and new upholstering, and the older pieces can be moved out and the newer pieces moved in to make the space look more modern. Change the ornaments and vases to be more central to the rooms and give everything a thorough clean. You can get so inventive with the layout of your home and even if it doesn’t work, you can just do it all again – you’ve got time.

Make a Move Outside

If you have a patio in your backyard, it’s time to give it a boost. Pressure washing the stones and cleaning down the mud is one thing, but you can get creative with your patio decorations. You may be tied inside because of lockdowns, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make your patio as beautiful as possible during this time. This is your outdoor bubble; the space in which you can sit and bask in a slice of sunshine. Adding flowers and pot plants is going to give it colour, and adding outdoor artwork is going to make it fun. Take the time to source some outdoor seating if you have the space, too. If you don’t have room for a table and chairs, think about an egg chair that you can hang from an installed bracket.

Play With Colour

You’re staring at the same walls for the foreseeable future, so you may as well brighten them up. You can order paint online for delivery and start decorating your rooms one by one. Plain white walls can be upgraded with a little masking tape and some new colours to make stripes and mosaic patterns. Give the window panes a buff and sand down, and then repaint them with new, bright colours to brighten up the windows. Paint isn’t the only way to add new colours, either. You can buy fabrics and upholster your armchair, replace your bedsheets and blankets with pretty patterns and transform the space entirely.

Declutter It All

Anything you didn’t get through during the first lockdown can be changed now. Those hidden closets stuffed with your things, the drawers with the old clothes in them? They are all in desperate need of a good sort out! You can declutter all of the spaces you have and approach everything with a minimalistic outlook. You can rearrange everything and sell anything you don’t use on Marketplace so that others can collect and reuse your older things!

Winter It Up

Christmas is coming. 2020 has been full of March – every day is more March – but it’s also somehow nearly Christmas and the festive season is bearing down upon us. So, upgrade the house with trees and decorations and tinsel and baubles. So what, it’s not December just yet? So what if it’s not actually Christmas for a month? Bring in the fluffy cushions and blankets with Christmas patterns and put a Christmas tree in every room. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that there are no rules this year! You can make Christmas last for weeks if you want to and no one can stop you.

Upgrade Your Workspace

Are you working from home right now? It’s time to think about your workspace. No, we don’t mean the chair and the laptop on your lap that you’ve been doing so far – we mean an actual workspace! A desk in the corner, a comfortable chair and something to rest your feet on is going to make a huge difference to the way that you work – and don’t forget a filing cabinet for your stationery and paperwork.

Upgrading your home during lockdown can be as creative as you want it to be. Whether you break out knitting needles or glue guns, the paintbrushes or cookie cutters – make lockdown fun!

Pet care.

Tips To Make Your Home Suitable For Pets

Tips To Make Your Home Suitable For Pets
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Buying pets is a serious commitment, especially for those that will live for years. It’s important that you also make your home a place that is suitable for the animal in mind. Here are some tips to make your home suitable for animals to live in.

Have Plenty Of Outdoor Space

Having an outdoor space is important because it’s good for those animals who need to stretch their legs and perhaps have quick access to go to the toilet. You’ve also got animals like horses who will need a lot of land to be able to use and places to store food from Equi Supermarket. If you haven’t got the available space or perhaps limited with the space you do have, you might want to reconsider or think carefully about the types of animals you were looking at having. For their own health, it’s important to have lots of outdoor space available, otherwise, it will likely impact their health and also their happiness. 

Consider The Flooring

The flooring is an important element to consider in your home, especially if you’re going to have animals that are running about on the carpet. Anything with claws or nails might end up damaging the carpet you have, and it’s important to clip them whenever they get too long. However, if you let them grow, then you could damage your carpets regardless. It’s probably a good idea to have wooden flooring or vinyl flooring where you can simply wipe up the problem, rather than having to deal with soiled carpets. This can be especially relevant when you’ve got puppies or kittens that don’t know how to go to the toilet properly for the first few months.

Keep Valuables Out Of Reach

With pets, there’s a risk that valuables or anything that’s sitting or hanging too late can end up getting damaged. It’s important to keep your valuables out of reach, just like you would if you had young kids. By keeping things out of reach, you stop some of your favourite things from getting ruined. Whether that’s a pair of fancy slippers from getting torn apart or anything small that might accidentally be swallowed by the animal who gets hold of it. Before you get the animal, perhaps go around your home to make sure everything is kept away, and that will hopefully help you to keep on top of it.

Invest In Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are something that can come in handy when cleaning out cages or dealing with soiled areas in your home. It’s a good idea to invest in the right products that will make cleaning up easier. However, it’s also important to pick the ones that aren’t going to be toxic to the pets you have in your home. There are certainly ones that you can use on floors and areas where they’ll be that are non-toxic for them.

Making your home suitable for your animals is essential, so make sure to do it before having them.

Home, Home preparation, Spring, Top tips

Preparing For Spring

Preparing For Spring

Spring is finally here! the clocks have now gone forward an hour and the nights are staying lighter for longer. Are you ready to start packing away your winter blankets and start getting ready for the lovely much-needed warmer sunny day’s? we most certainly are!

I hate the winter months, the day’s are long, cold, dark and miserable. There is nothing worse than waking up and it still being dark out, cold, frosty and very uninviting. They are certainly months we definately don’t mind waving a goodbye to.

Are you ready for the warmer sunny day’s? we most certainly can’t wait. No more winter wear cluttering up the hall. No more winter blankets or hot water bottles for added warmth. But hello sunshine, picnic blankets and outdoor fun!

Preparing For Spring

Refreshing Our Home For Spring

We are going to be busy over the next few weeks welcoming in spring by getting our home into warmer-weather shape by have a seasonal spring refresh. We will be doing this by de-cluttering common areas, tidying cupboards, packing away winter and welcoming spring.

Spring Cleaning Ideas

I guess it’s not called “spring cleaning” for nothing. Now is a great time to have a good sort out at home and prepare yourselves for the summer months. Are you spring ready?

  • Washing blankets, big heavy quilts, winter jumpers and winter coats. Getting them all washed dried and put away until next winter and swapping them for lighter spring wear.
  • Having a wardrobe tidy/sort out. We all end up adding to our winter wear over the cold months don’t we? our weight has even changed since last summer. Now would be a good time to have a good sort out of our wardrobe to see what fits and doesn’t. Perhaps bag up a few items to donate to a charity. Not forgetting that shoe pile as they easily mount up too!
  • Tidy cupboards. Is your home like ours and has what we call a “clutter cupboard”? – OMG this cupboard drives me crazy. It is a cupboard where we store all our cleaning products, such as our hoover, steam cleaner etc. It is always a mess as everything just gets chucked in it. This is a cupboard in desperate need of tidying and re-organising.
  • Clutter zones. Another massive hate of mine are clutter zones. I think every house has them, whether it be a shelving unit, sofa or table. We have two areas in our house that tends to get cluttered and is currently in desperate need of sorting.
Preparing For Spring
  • Kitchen cupboards. Need I say anymore? where do all the lids to food storage containers disapear to? please don’t say it is just our cupboards that end up with odd lids and food storage containers that are no longer of any use? time to match lids to containers or dispose. As for the food cupboard it is time to check the date on food lables as things tend to get pushed back and before we know it food ends up out of date before we have used them.
  • Surfaces. Time to clear all surfaces, remove any clutter that has accumulated over the winter months. This is when I enjoy to have a little change around. Add in splashes of colour to brighten our home up a little.
  • Bathroom/Toilet. Time to dig out that steam cleaner I think and hope all the attatchments are there. A job I hate but it is deep clean time for the bathroom.

Adding splashes of colour

Once everywhere is all nice and clean, also winter and clutter free it is nice to start brightening up our home by making it more bright, cheerful and welcoming. This can be done in many way’s. Here are a few ideas to help brighten up your home.

Preparing For Spring
  • Cushion covers – A simple quick change in style or colour of cushion covers can make all the difference to a room. It helps instantly to give a room the look you are working to acheieve.
  • Plants – A perfect way to brighten shelves, corners and tables. They instantly add colour to rooms and plain, boring dark corners.
  • Rugs – An instant way to add a splash of colour to tired looking flooring. Not only add colour but you could also add a pattern too if you wish. A rug can brighten up and transform any room instantly.
Preparing For Spring
  • Bedding – Fancy freshening up your bedroom and giving it a little makeover? Had the same coloured bedding for a while now? how about a change? add a splash of colour to your bedding it will help brighten up your bedroom.
  • Pictures – Having a change about with photo’s displayed or artwork can help change a feel to a room. A little re-position or update can make all the difference.
  • Table cloths – A nice new table cloth and a new centrepiece can help add a nice feel to a room. A table in a room can be a main focus point and looks lovely when nicely displayed.
  • Mirror – Mirrors can be a perfect way to help brighten up dark shelves and walls. They are a perfect way to make small rooms feel bigger, and also a perfect way to add light to dark rooms.
  • Ornaments – Had the same ornaments out on display for a while? fancy a change around. Changing a few odd items that are on display can make all the difference to a room. Either a little re-position or change completley depends on the look you are hoping to acheieve.
  • Curtains – Do they go with the look/colour scheme you are hoping to achieve? if they do then a quick freshen up is all they will probably need. Or you could add a different look by changing the tie-backs and/or the curtain pole. If they don’t fit with your new room update then shop around for a new set of curtains completely. It will help to instanlty give your room a new look.
Preparing For Spring
  • Lamps – I do love lamps in rooms, they make perfect mood lighting. They can also help to set a style in a room too. There are so many different lamps to chose from and they can help fill a gap on a table, shelf or even a corner in a room.
  • Upcycle – Have a tired looking piece of furniture that is too good to dispose of? then don’t – upcycle it! there are so many brilliant ideas you can find online these day’s, why dispose of good furniture when you don’t have to.

A few small changes to your home can make all the difference. It doesn’t have to prove too costly either!

DECOR, Design, flooring, Interior Design, Lifestyle

Why Choose Laminate Over Wood Flooring?

Why Choose Laminate Over Wood Flooring?

As laminate flooring is gaining more popularity with time, it would be only natural to consider laminate flooring for your house. And for those who are still deciding, here are the reasons why laminate is better than wood flooring.

1. Affordable And Cost Effective

This is the first thing people see when they have to choose between two things. Laminate flooring is way more cost effective than wood flooring. You can spend a little amount but will get fantastic styles in laminate. The styles, color options, diversity in design and width and grades will make your floor really charming.

Why Choose Laminate Over Wood Flooring?

2. Easy Installation

The installation process is the other reason why laminate is better than wood flooring. If you are not a pro, you can still install laminate at your house. It takes a lot of less time than wood flooring and can be completed within a day. With wood flooring, you will have to hire any service and it will increase your cost too.

3. Durable And Powerful

Many people are worried about scratches on the laminate floor. But it is not a problem at all whether you walk with high heels or drag office chairs. The floor will endure all such rough stuff without leaving any scratches. You can perform test to see how wood and laminate floors react. Laminate floor tolerate the test and shows no scratches.

Why Choose Laminate Over Wood Flooring?

4. Stain Resistant

The wood floor is really expensive and gives a luxurious look. But you are always worried about the stains, scratches and spots as they will ruin its charm. However, this is not a case with laminate flooring. It is stain-resistant and easy to clean as well. Chemicals don’t affect it either so you can use acetone to remove the stains and make it look like the new floor.

5. No Gap Between Planks

You might have noticed that fixing wood planks is really hard. You may end up with gaps. But in laminate flooring, you will not see anything like this. The whole surface is smooth and neat without gaps. The multiple layers in laminate hold it strongly and leave no gaps within planks.

6. Family Friendly

For a wood floor, you to be really careful as the kids may damage its upper surface that is all wood. Repairing can prove expensive. But you should not be worried about the laminate flooring. It is family friendly. The finishing material, installation items and other chemicals used are user-friendly and not toxic at all.

Why Choose Laminate Over Wood Flooring?

7. Great Floor Look

This is one of the reasons why people should use laminate over wood flooring. With low cost and affordable price, you can give your floor a nice and decent look. The charm stays for years without any damages and stains. You will be surprised to see how durable the laminate flooring is.

8. Easy To Clean

Flooring cleaning is a daily job or you have to clean the floors very often. If you have kids and a bigger family, this becomes even more necessary. With laminate flooring, you will feel safe because cleaning it is simple and easy. With a good chemical, you can make it like a new laminate floor within minutes.

What flooring do you prefer?

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Pet care., pets

Your Healthy, Happy Dog

coco and hunter

Pet care advice

Bringing a dog into your family is an exciting time, giving them a loving family home while also adding a new member to your household. There’s a lot of responsibility involved, but a lot of fun too.

Looking after your dog’s health and wellbeing is as vital as looking after your own, and there’s a lot you can do to make sure they’re loved and looked after. Here are some tips for caring for your happy, healthy dog.

your healthy, happy dog

Give them a comfortable place to sleep

Giving your dog a warm and cosy bed to sleep in will help them feel at home, settle them into a routine and protect your furniture too. Where you keep the bed is up to you – some like to keep their dog downstairs, while others like keeping them in their bedroom. Wherever you choose, it should be warm, comfortable and away from anything that could be dangerous. Giving your dog their own bed can help them settle down in the evenings, giving you a restful sleep too.

Make sure they get plenty of exercise

Exercise is very important for your dog to ensure that they are happy and healthy. How often you should walk your dog depends on their age and size, but regular walking is recommended for all dogs. When dogs are exercised regularly, they are able to maintain their weight, socialise with other dogs and they get the chance to explore. Giving them plenty of exercise will stop them from getting bored, which will stop them from damaging your furniture, flooring and clothing. Walking the dog is good exercise for you too, so why not take them out in the mornings and evenings to help you get some exercise too?

Look after their teeth

Many dogs suffer from neglected teeth, and it’s no wonder – there’s not much they can do themselves! However, you, as a responsible dog owner, can do your bit to ensure your dog maintains healthy teeth and gums. Brushing regularly and checking their teeth for problems can help to prevent issues which will require a vet later on, while maintaining a healthy diet can also help to keep teeth strong and gums healthy.

Dogs should have regular things to chew on so that they can help keep their teeth strong. Special dental chew treats are great for dogs, or you could try a deer antler dog chew as a more natural alternative. Having plenty of chew toys around the house will stop them from chewing like your textiles and furniture, although it’s best to keep dogs away from anything you’d rather have left in one piece!

Groom them regularly

Most dogs enjoy a spot of grooming, and it can be a good way for you to bond with your pooch! Grooming also has many benefits, including to keep your dog’s in a good condition and to spot any potential issues that they might have such as fleas and ticks. There are different ways to groom your dog, and dogs with particularly long hair might be taken care of if you take them to professional dog groomers.

your healthy. happy dog

Get them vaccinated

Just like people, dogs can benefit from being vaccinated to protect them against different diseases. If you get your dog as a puppy, it’s likely that they’ll have had their initial vaccinations before you bring them home. Register your pet with a vet to put a vaccination programme in place that will keep them safe and healthy. Regular check-ups with the vet will keep an eye out for any potential health problems, so don’t forget to put those appointments in your diary.

Make sure they have plenty of fresh water

Dogs can get dehydrated quickly, especially during warmer weather, so make sure they drink often and keep fresh water to hand, even when you’re out and about. The amount of water a dog needs a day depends on their size, so it’s worth researching this to help them get the right amount. Keep an eye on your dog’s drinking habits, you’ll be able to work out where and when they like to drink to help you make sure that they get enough. If you’re going on long walks, consider taking a bowl and a bottle of water with you to keep them hydrated on the move.

Play with them

Dogs love to play, and spending time with them can help to train them, burn off excess energy and make them happy. What you’ll soon realise is that playing with your dog will help boost your mood too, so even if you’ve had a bad day – some time spent with them will soon perk you up. Come up with some different doggy games and get the whole family involved in keeping them entertained. A frisbee or a ball can provide hours of fun for a dog as long as they’ve got someone to play with.

your healthy, happy dog

Ensure they have a good diet

Dogs rely on the right nutrition to keep them healthy, strong and to stop them getting overweight. While many people might give their dog some scraps from the table or let them have some foods that they shouldn’t, it’s not advisable and could soon lead to some bad behaviours. You can ensure a balanced diet for your dog, and stop them from being unwell by not giving them chocolate and other foods that could cause serious harm. Monitor your dog’s diet regularly to make sure they’re not putting on weight or that they’re getting food from sources that they shouldn’t.

Train them

A well-trained dog can be a joy to live with, and can help you to raise a well-behaved dog that you can trust around your family as well as other people and animals when you’re out and about. Training your dog helps to keep them stimulated, by helping them practice their instinctive behaviours. You can help keep them stimulated by varying their route and surroundings, introducing them to new people and other animals and teach them new tricks as often as you can. This is a wonderful way to bond with your dog and can be a lot of fun for the both of you!

Don’t leave them alone for too long

It’s not recommended to get a dog if you are going to be away from home for long periods of time. Dogs enjoy company and being left alone all day can cause them to feel lonely, bored and start acting out through barking, scratching and more. Different dogs have different needs, and you should get to know how long is too long to leave your dog at home alone. If you’re going to be out of the house for too long, why not think about getting a dog walker or enlisting a friend or family member to spend time with your dog during the day?

Keep your home clean and hazard free

A dirty home can cause many issues, but as your dog spends a lot of time close to the floor, it’s important that you keep it as clean as possible to stop them picking up germs, etc. Keeping your home clean is more of a challenge with a dog around, but making a list of regular chores and splitting them up between the family will make it easier. It’s also important that you keep hazards out of harm’s way, including small objects, cleaning products and anything else that could be harmful to your pet.

Bath them when they need it

Baths can help a dog stay clean and keep their coat in good condition, but they don’t need one as often with you might think. Around once a month should be fine for a dog with normal skin, as any more often could mean they end up developing dry skin. Use a specialist dog shampoo to help them keep their natural oils balanced and to stop you using anything too harsh. If you’re worried about your dog smelling in between washes, there are things you can do to keep your dog clean in between baths.

Give them some space

Some dogs like a bit of alone time – a space where they can go to feel safe when they need it. When there are fireworks nearby, for example, it helps to give them a safe space to hide away in while they wait for it to be over. Sometimes they just want a bit of peace and quiet – especially if they’ve been playing and exploring all day!

Your dogs are an important part of the family, and keeping them happy and looked after will give you some incredible memories to share. A dog is a lot of responsibility, but they have a lot of love to offer and will love being a part of the family. Provided you care for their needs and give them the love and attention they deserve, owning a dog will be extremely rewarding and one of the best things to happen for your family.

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Safety, Safety tips

Are These Hidden Dangers Lurking In Your Family Home?

Are These Hidden Dangers Lurking In Your Family Home?

Keeping your kids safe is the number one priority for all parents, and that starts at home. Obviously, you’ve already baby proofed the house and put any dangerous things like knives and cleaning chemicals out of reach. But there are a lot of other dangers around the house that you might not have even considered before. These are some of the biggest hidden dangers lurking in your home.

Clutter

Clutter is a big problem in the home because it eats up all of your space and makes it difficult to stay organized, but that isn’t the only reason that you should consider having a bit of a clearout. If you’ve got things lying around all over the floor, that’s a trip hazard. Kids are always running around all over the place so it’s likely that they’ll fall and hurt themselves if there is too much clutter on the floor. If you’ve got particularly young children, you’ve got to think about choking hazards as well. If you aren’t on top of all of the clutter, there might be small things that they could swallow and choke on, so always make sure the house is clean and tidy.

Paint

You probably don’t think of the paint on your walls as a potential hazard but it can be. If you live in an older property and you haven’t decorated since you moved in, there’s a chance that the paint on the walls could have lead in it. You can get home testing kits to check the paint for lead. If you find some, you need to get professionals in to strip it off for you and paint the walls again. It’s not just lead you need to watch out for either, most modern paints have some pretty nasty chemicals in them and all of that stuff is floating around in the air in your home. You might want to consider using eco-friendly alternatives that use more natural ingredients.

Bad Wiring

You should already know that you need to keep the kids away from plug sockets but that’s not the only electrical danger in the house. If you’ve got bad wiring, there’s always the chance that they could get a shock from using electrical appliances. With kids spending so much time on computers and games consoles these days, that’s a big problem. It’s worth getting a professional company like Analogue Electrics to check the wiring every so often to make sure that everything is in good working order. If there is a problem, you need to catch it as soon as possible.

Air Humidifiers

Air humidifiers are a good purchase if the air in your home is particularly dry because it can cause skin problems, but you’ve got to be careful with them. Most people don’t clean them anywhere near often enough and that’s a big problem. All sorts of bacteria can build up in there and it’s getting recycled into the air in your house. If you’re going to use a humidifier, always make sure you clean it regularly.

If you’re not on top of these hidden dangers, you could be putting your family’s health at risk.

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Pet care.

Essentials For Anyone Thinking Of Getting A Dog

Essentials For Anyone Thinking Of Getting A Dog

Dog Essentials

We’re sure you’ll all agree, when you have a dog, they become a member of the family. Every decision you make as a family revolves around whether your dog is included and if not, what care you can arrange for them. Dogs can need as much (if not more) of your time, love, and care. That’s why, if you’re thinking of adding a pooch to your family tree, you’re going to need more than just a bed for them to sleep in. Take a look at these essentials if you’re thinking about getting a dog so that you can make sure your new furry friend has everything they need to live a happy and comfortable life.

Eternal access to drinkable water

Have you ever suddenly realised how thirsty you are? Think about how far you were from getting a drink, and how important it is that you keep up your water intake. The same goes for dogs, as they can become dehydrated just as fast (if not faster) as we can. Make sure that not only does your dog have a full water bowl at all times, but access to drinkable water even if they’re not in the house. For example, you can now get water fountains for dogs that allow them to operate a water fountain for them to drink from. So, even if you’re out and you’ve let your doggo loose in the garden for a little while, they will be able to stay hydrated and reduce the risk of becoming ill due to dehydration.

Safety measures

Much like children, you will have to make sure that what your dog is doing isn’t going to harm them. We’re sure you already know about leads to prevent them from running into a busy road or straying too far away from you, but the safety shouldn’t stop there. Even if you’re taking your dog out in the car, you will need to ensure that they are strapped in with a dog car harness so that they are as safe as you are in the car. Imagine having to make an emergency stop and your pooch suffering because they haven’t been strapped in – it doesn’t bare thinking about.

You should also consider placing safety gates around your home too so that your dog isn’t able to get into anything that could harm them. For example, many dog owners like to put a gate on their kitchen door so that their dog isn’t able to get into cleaning products or food that isn’t theirs and could potentially harm them. Baby safety gates usually do the trick, but you can get dog gates if you wish.

Play time

Think about how dull your life would be if you didn’t have those moments of enjoyment? Whether you’re someone who would rather curl up with a book, or even go skydiving, without your favourite things to do, you’d get bored quickly. The same goes for your dog. Dogs have a lot of built up energy that needs burning off each day, so it’s important that when they aren’t out having a walk with you, that they have toys to entertain them. You can choose from a plethora of different dog toys from your regular pet store, but some owners even choose to build their dog something in the garden so that they are able to get as much exercise as possible.

Don’t just leave your dog to play by themselves either. Make sure that you’re giving them time out of your day to spend giving them a fuss, and playing catch or tug of war. This will create a bond between you and your dog and they will also be able to learn the difference between playing and when you’re serious.

Insurance

Unfortunately, dogs get sick just as much as we do. However, dogs can’t be treated on the NHS like we can, so it’s important to make sure that you’ve taken out a reliable insurance policy for your dog. That way, if your fur baby does fall ill or become injured, you can rest assured that you can bring them back up to full health as much as possible.

It’s also a good idea to have your dog micro chipped so that if they do wander off on their own, you have more of a chance of having them returned home, as your vet will be able to trace them back to you.

Essentials For Anyone Thinking Of Getting A Dog

Rules

Again, very much alike children, dogs need rules. You often hear people complaining about their dog being naughty when in fact, it’s down to the discipline that they’ve been given (or not been given). Whether you’re getting your pup from an early age, or you’re rescuing a dog from a shelter, it’s important to establish ground rules from day one so that they know how to behave in your home and also around people.

If you’re struggling to discipline a dog that’s come from a rescue shelter, then dog obedience classes might be the right route for you to go down. Remember that dogs can learn to behave from tone of voice rather than actions, so make sure that you’re practicing a stern voice for those times that you’ll need it!

Somewhere to feel safe

Like humans, dogs become scared from time to time. Whether they’re scared of the post man or a bad thunderstorm, it’s important to have somewhere ready for them to curl up and feel safe from everything. Your home by itself should be a safe haven for your dog, but you may notice that when they are scared, they will go to the same spot each time. Once you’ve established this, make sure that it’s always available to them so that they can feel protected at all times.

Finally, dogs will often choose an item of comfort too, like a squeaky toy or teddy bear. Keep track of it so that your dog can find that sense of comfort whenever they feel it’s needed. Doing this will ensure that you’ve got a happy and healthy dog at all times!

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cleaning

Don’t Let Life Grimed You Down

Preparing For Spring

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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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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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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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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health, Lifestyle

Way’s of coping with a chronic illness

Way's of coping with a chronic illness

Way’s of coping with a chronic illness

Living with a chronic illness can make life very difficult indeed, as those living with one will understand. Yes I have a chronic illness but I am also a mum and wife still wishing to live my life and not let my health get the better of me.

I suffer with Endometriosis and have been living with the condition now for 16 years, resulting in surgeries. I also suffer with Fibromyalgia and depression – both of which recently diagnosed. A cocktail of medication is taken daily for various of reasons. I don’t like taking them but know they are for my own good.

Due to my health deteriorating I am having to sadly reduce my working hours and step down in my position at work. This is reluctantly being done as I love my job and I wish to continue working for as long as I can. I work as a support worker out in the community – currently on light duties and only working three day’s a week.

Daily chores are apart of everyday life and if not managed they soon begin to pile up…..If only the cleaning fairy was real.

The chronic pain really does make my life difficult, but things are still needing to be done at some point. At the moment I am currently under the care of consultants and attending pain management in London. I am trying to live life as comfortable and to the full the best I can, following specialist advice.

Hopefully soon I am due to start a specialist treatment plan but this sadly doesn’t start until October as these plans only run a few times a year and I have been booked on the next plan. In the meantime I am going to do all I can to manage my chronic pain better and make life easier for myself and my family.

Way's of coping with a chronic illness

Below is a list of my way’s of coping to still feel like a mum and wife whilst suffering a chronic condition. I may suffer a chronic condition but I am still a mum and wife with bills to pay and a house that needs cleaning.

Here are a few of my self-help tips

  • Make a list of jobs – Making a list of jobs that I know I can do and making up a weekly jobs planner to help me keep on top of things so they don’t pile up.
  • Post-it-notes – It is probably medication related (well I hope it is) but my memory is awful at the moment and I am easily forgetting things. Leaving myself little notes/reminders are currently helping massively.
  • A little bit each day – I have made a point to try and do a small amount each day. Long gone are the days of rushing around and trying to blitz the house in a day or two. I now have to go day-by-day doing what I can depending on how I am feeling.
  • Make chores more manageable – By using light-weight cleaning tools/aids it helps a great deal. No more big heavy hoovers, mops and buckets. My stomach muscles are not what they used to be due to my Endometriosis and surgeries.
  • Medication reminders – I am always asking myself “have I had my medication” – I purchased a dosset box. This gets filled up on a weekly basis and all I have to do is check the box. If my medication is still there for that day and times of day then it helps to remind myself.
  • Online shop – Online shopping is a godsend. No more having to struggle with heavy bags/trolleys. Ordering online makes my life so much more easier. I order our weekly shop online and pretty much everything else needed to be honest. I am even going to try online healthcare at some point.
  • Ask for help – I have always been a very independent person and to be honest asking for help is something I struggle with and absolutely HATE doing – but is something I have to start learning to now do. Ian is always telling me off where I overdo things and end up in pain.

Working from home will make life so much easier for me

Way's of coping with a chronic illness

  • Work from home – It goes without saying, reducing my working hours with my employer is having a knock-on-effect with our monthly income. I am currently trying to work more from home so I can be resting but also be working and helping pay the bills.
  • Plan ahead – On what I call “a good day” I like to plan ahead, by organising myself more. This can be anything from preparing for any upcoming family events, paying bills, meal prep/batch cook and reply to missed emails from a “bad day” as when I am in pain I tend to let things slip. Things are then easily missed or forgotten so I try my best to catch up with things and try and plan ahead the best I can.
  • Talk – I can sit and talk for hours about a load of gibberish but I must also learn to talk about my feelings more. Recently at one of my hospital appointments I was asked “how I was feeling” – this was done over a few questions in different ways. I ended up breaking down because to be honest I just feel useless now. A few years back I used to be able to do so much, be so organised and I look at myself now and how little I manage to do, I just feel like a complete failure. I have recently joined support groups to try and help me open up about how I am feeling and not hold it all in.
  • Rest/relaxation – Learn to rest would be a huge help to myself. I am always looking round and seeing things that are needing to be done, I just need to learn that it will still be there later/tomorrow and not everything can be done in a day. Or learn to ask for help and see if someone wouldn’t mind helping me. We are currently trying to form a family daily cleaning jobs list. If it works the way we hope then we will all have 1-2 jobs a day each and things shouldn’t get that bad.

Way's of coping with a chronic illness

  • Not stay indoors – Getting out for some fresh air is important. Staying shut away indoors isn’t good and it is good to get out even if just for a little while. I do enjoy walks with Coco, someone always comes with me just in case It gets a bit much. I do have to rest along the way but I do enjoy the fresh air and the walk. It helps to clear my head.
  • Weight loss – Trying to shift some weight is something I would love to do. I managed 3 stone loss a few years back and I would love to do it again plus more. Weight loss will also help my health. I am currently trying to do light exercise at home alongside trying to eat more healthy.
  • Sleep – I seem to have forgotten what sleep is lately. It has been ages since I have had a good full nights sleep. Some day’s I wake feeling more tired than when I had gotten into bed. I am constantly exhausted from the pain but just can’t sleep. I must look into way’s of helping to get a good nights sleep. A good nights sleep makes a huge difference when suffering chronic pain.

Do you suffer with a horrid chronic condition?

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health

5 Ways to Help Out Your Grandparents In Their Old Age

5 Ways to Help Out Your Grandparents In Their Old Age

5 Ways to Help Out Your Grandparents In Their Old Age

I’m sure I speak for most of us when I say that our grandparents are some of the most treasured people in our lives. It’s always difficult seeing them get older because it’s a constant reminder that they’re not going to be around forever, but they are indeed getting older and as a result of that we should really do our best to help them out when they need it!

If you’re interested in ways you can help your grandparents then read on – after all, they’d do it for you!

Ask your parents how you can help

If your grandparents aren’t as spry as they used to be, there’s a good chance your parents will already be caring for them in some way – so they’ll have a better handle on the situation than you. It’s best you ask them how you can help before you just blinding go do chores around their house – otherwise the same job will be getting done twice!

Pitch in with the cleaning

As people get older their joints start to ache and they become a lot less mobile than before – so therefore their house may fall into disrepair. It’s always a good idea to offer to do their cleaning once a week. It doesn’t have to be anything drastic, give the place a quick dust, hoover up any debris and maybe even mow their grass – nobody wants to live in a dump!

Help them get around

As I mentioned previously, their mobility can become a real issue when they reach a certain age. Offering to give them lifts in your car (or even just accompanying them on the bus) can be a huge support to them when they need to get out the house.

If they value their independence (and don’t we all) it might be a good idea to get them a mobility aid. A mobility scooter is the perfect gift for anyone who suffers with getting from A to B but absolutely refuses to let anything stop them from doing just that!

Cook up a storm

It’s probably a safe bet that they’ve cooked you plenty of lovely meals of the years. So don’t you think that it’s about time you repaid the favour? Don’t go serving them up any old rubbish though, give them some proper nourishment. Oily fish and green vegetables are a tasty and healthy way to keep your body in tip-top shape – they also do a great job in improving your mental functions!

Engage in a good old chin wag

They say the youth have lost the art of conversation, well, prove ‘them’ wrong! The elderly absolutely love it when you dedicate time to listen to their stories, after all, it can get really lonely sometimes when nobody wants to devote attention to you. Who knows, you might even learn a thing or two from all that sagely wisdom!

So there we have it, 5 things you can do to brighten up your grandparents day just that little bit more. Feel free to comment below if you come with any more!

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Garden, Lifestyle

Our top five summer must have items this summer

Our top five summer must have items this summer

Our top five summer must have items this summer

Hopefully the horrible cold wintry days are now behind us, and the sunny summer days will fastly be here. With that in mind it has got us thinking about our summer must-have items for this summer. There is nothing we enjoy more than relaxing evenings in the garden after work. Since last summer we have had a garden makeover, we now have a garden that can be enjoyed by us as a family.

Also since last summer I have had to reduce my hours at work due to illness so we are always looking for the latest deals to be had.

We love to entertain and we are known for our parties, especially garden parties. This will be our first summer in our newly revamped garden and are yet to update our garden furniture. This Rattan Corner Sofa has caught our eye, it will be a great way of bringing the comfort of our living room outside with us. A perfect way to enjoy summer in comfort whilst wearing lovely summer dresses.

Seating area

Our top five summer must have items this summerA swing chair is something we use to own previously at our old house, it is also something we miss owning and are considering purchasing again. It use to be a great way to sit back and relax whilst swaying in the breeze. Ian use to relax so much he’d fall asleep on it.

 

Our top five summer must have items this summer

Relaxation 

With my birthday luckily enough being in the summer I have added a hot tub to my birthday wish list. Owning a hot tub has been a dream of mine for so long now and we now have the space for one since our house move.  I think I have managed to persuade Ian to add a bit of luxury into our garden. What a perfect way to relax and indulge into some luxury than purchasing a hot tub.

Our top five summer must have items this summer

Garden maintenance

Back in January we welcomed Coco into our family, our Siberian Husky puppy. Since then we have worn our old pressure washer out keeping our garden clean and tidy. We are now looking for a new pressure washer with additional patio cleaning accessories for making this never-ending task easier and faster.

Our top five summer must have items this summer

Summer cooking

Now we have a nice new patio with a canopy over the top, we are now looking at replacing our existing coal BBQ with a gas BBQ so that we can then BBQ in all weathers come rain or shine. This will be a perfect addition when entertaining at our garden parties.

 

Our top five summer must have items this summer

What is your favorite way to pass time in your garden?

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