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Family / Lifestyle blog. Sharing our life's fun and adventures with our 3 sons living in London.
Child safety, children, family fun

4 Tips for Creating the Perfect Play Area for Your Kids at Home

4 Tips for Creating the Perfect Play Area for Your Kids at Home

Kids love to play wherever they find themselves, whether at home or anywhere else. As a parent, you don’t want to deprive your kids of their playtime, but at the same time, you want to make sure they have a designated area and time for them to have fun, so you can easily monitor them. Research shows that children are playing outside for an average of four hours a week. Planning the creation of a play area can involve both an outdoor and indoor area to give the kids a full experience. Here are a few tips to help you achieve that.

Utilize what you already have

You may already have the basics needed for a play area. For example, you can allow them to use one of your large walls in a less busy area of your home; all they need is some paper, crayons, etc., and their imagination can run wilds. These walls can be used for bulletin boards or have easels lined up in front of them for the kids’ art projects. You can also try painting the wall with chalkboard paint, if you don’t mind, so your children can be creative.

Remodel unused space into a playroom

Empty rooms or rooms that are not being used to their full potential can be remade. Remaking rooms like basements, storage rooms, dens, or offices is a good choice, as you can transform these areas into a multipurpose space holding both a play area and somewhere you and the family can lounge.

Why not combine brightly colored walls and cute furniture for your kids with adult-sized furniture, a television, and a video game area? This would mean that you can also use the room while the children play to enable you to keep an eye on them and ensure everything is in place.

Give your kids a feel of nature using your backyard

Giving your children a feel of nature is why having a play area in the backyard is a good choice. Having a backyard is a plus because you can use it in multiple ways. You can be creative and incorporate fun with education by making stepping stones with numbers and alphabets on them.

You can create a mini garden for the children, so they learn how to plant and cater for crops. This helps inculcate a sense of responsibility in them at a tender age. Just in case you do not have a green backyard but still want your children to have a sense of being out in nature, you can use artificial turf.

Use your yard for their amusement

Your home not having a green backyard doesn’t mean this should leave you out of the fun! You can turn your yard into a mini amusement park for the children. You can accomplish this by recycling materials like old tires or items from your garage or storage area. For example, you can use the tires to make hurdles filled with soft materials so kids can have fun without any injuries.

 Playtime has excellent benefits for your child’s growth and development in so many ways. Letting your kids enjoy playtime while learning new things helps their brains and bodies to thrive. This also allows them to establish social bonds, so you might want to let them have a playdate in your perfectly created play area.

Building Design, Design

Those Unmissable Steps In Any Home Construction

Those Unmissable Steps In Any Home Construction

When you are looking for ways to improve the overall look of your home, there are a lot of things that you will want to consider. Probably most important of all is considering some kind of renovation, which can easily be achieved in a number of ways. If you are thinking of carrying out some kind of construction in your home, there are some essential steps that you should be aware of. In this post, we’ll take you through some of those steps, so that you can ensure you are going to get it done much sooner and with greater success.

Ideation & Planning

First of all, you need to be really clear on what you want to change in the home and why. Only by having a strong idea that you love will you be able to find the necessary motivation to carry on, and you are going to find things so much easier in this way. So, spend some time asking yourself what kind of ideas you want to put into place. How do you want your home to look and feel, and what are you going to do to make it a reality? This is going to be essential in getting started.

After you have your essential idea, you then need to draw up a basic plan for how you are going to achieve it. That can be a difficult part of the process, but it is also one of the most important, so it’s vital that you do not overlook it if you can help it. This plan should include what you want the home to look like at the end, as well as what you are going to do – in the major steps – to make it a reality.

Of course, you can go very detailed into this plan if you like, but you should bear in mind that this is not always going to be easy to do, and you might need to keep things simple instead. It’s all about finding the right balance for you and your project. But one thing is for sure: some kind of plan is bound to be essential.

Finding A Team

If your project is a considerable one, you are probably going to need to find a team who can work alongside you. This is not always going to be easy to do, but again it is likely going to be essential, so you should make sure that you are thinking about it for that reason in particular. Most of all, you need someone to help with the blueprints and plans, such as a qualified architect. You will also need to look out for a construction team whom you feel you can trust, of course, and that can be something of a challenge in itself.

The important point here is not to land on one option too quickly, but rather to try and find a team who are likely to work with you and offer you the best opportunity that you would hope for. This means spending time shopping around, and trying to follow your nose with regard to finding a team you feel you can trust.

Carving Out Time

The project in question is always going to take some time, so you need to make sure you can find it. That might mean you need to take some time off work, or even that you need to think about doing something along the lines of shaking things up in your life in a more profound way. The important thing is that you are going to have enough time to get the project done, but without having to rush and cut corners – as that can often end up causing a lot of problems in itself.

Once you have landed on a particular time frame, you are going to find it so much easier to get the ball rolling in a significant manner.

Put Up Scaffolding

Before any actual construction can be done, you need to find a team who can construct the scaffolding for you. In most cases, this should be a pretty straightforward affair, but there are always going to be times when you need to find a specialist team who can offer you in house design scaffolding instead, which can help to make the project much more successful and easier to complete. Without this vital step, it is unlikely the construction work is going to go ahead as planned.

Sourcing Materials & Equipment

In most cases, your construction team is going to come with many of their own equipment and materials, but there will likely be a lot that you also need to source separately. Anything that you are going to use for the construction of something new is necessary for you to source, for instance, so that is something that you should consider. It’s important to think about this before you get them in, so that you can be sure they have work to do the moment they arrive. They are unlikely to appreciate it if you are not doing this, and it could delay things considerably too, which is not going to help things along.

Review

While the construction is taking place, you should consider how much of an active role you want to have, and act accordingly. However, whichever level of action you get involved in, you should also make sure that you are frequently reviewing the construction process, so that you can update the plan as required along the way. One rule of thumb is that you can always expect your plans to change, and you never know quite how they are going to change. Being on top of things and paying close attention at all times is therefore going to prove to be a useful skill, for you and everyone involved.

If you can bear that essential process in mind, you should find that your home construction is much more likely to succeed, and that you are going to have a better result at the end.

Lifestyle, outdoors

How to Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces Better

How to Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces Better

If you’re not making use of your outdoor space as much you would like to, it could be because your home and your outdoor space are not properly connected. When there’s a clear lack of cohesion between your indoor and outdoor spaces, your spaces become less functional and underused, which is not what you want.

We’re going to talk today about the ways in which you can better connect the indoor and outdoor spaces of your property. Each of the ideas we’re about to discuss will help you to create a positive flow between your patio space outdoors and your kitchen and dining space. So read on now to find out more.

Make the Flooring Continuous

One way to make it clear that the indoor and the outdoor are combined and connected is to make the flooring continuous between the two spaces. You can choose some new floor tiles that work in your kitchen space while also functioning well and looking good in the outdoor patio area where your outdoor dining space is located. It’s the small things like this that make your indoor and outdoor spaces much more connected and cohesive.

Install a Skylight

If you want to bring some more natural light into the home while also connecting it with the outdoors a little better, you should definitely think about having a skylight installed. These allow you to see the sun, the sky and the trees overhead even when you’re indoors. It’s a great way of bringing the outdoors inside and making your indoor space feel much more natural and appealing. It’s an intervention that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Create a Shelter in Your Outdoor Space

If you want to make better use of your outdoor space, you need to make sure that it offers the practical features and functionality that it needs to in order to be usable. For example, your patio area will need some kind of protection and overhead cover, such as a canopy or some other sort of roof structure. That way, you’ll know that you’ll be able to use your outdoor dining area even if the weather suddenly changes.

Find the Right Outdoor Furniture

Finding the right outdoor furniture will be essential if you want to make better use of your outdoor space in the summer months. It’s up to you to ensure you put the right furniture in place, and be sure to make it comfortable and suited to your particular needs. The kind of furniture that’s right for you will depend on a range of factors; most important, how you’re going to use the space.

Invest in New Patio Doors

If you want to connect your indoor and outdoor space, it makes sense to invest in new patio doors. By having large sliding doors put in place, you’ll be able to open up that space and ensure that there’s no visual barrier between the kitchen-diner space of your home and the outdoor patio area. If you want to find out more about putting these kinds of patio doors in place, this guide will give you the information you need.

Create Great Second Floor Views

It’s also a good idea to think about how you connect the upper floor of your home to the garden as well. For example, you might want to have a balcony created to make use of the outdoors from your bedroom. Or you might simply want to reconfigure your office space so that you have appealing views over the garden when you’re working from home. There are many ways of doing this, so get creative.

Design the Space to be Used as One

When you’re creating an outdoor space that connects and flows into your indoor space, you should try to design the space as one single entity that’s to be used as one. That way, you’ll be able to make sure that the whole space feels cohesive and as if it’s one space that straddles these two aspects of your home as opposed to two different spaces entirely. This consistency can be achieved in a variety of ways through the right design strategies.

Connecting the inside of your home with your outdoor space can enhance both of those areas. If you want to connect these spaces better, be sure to make use of the ideas and solutions discussed above. You’ll be very glad you did so by the time the summer months roll around once more.

Home

3 Amazing Tips for Decluttering Your Home

3 Amazing Tips for Decluttering Your Home

Do you feel like you have too much stuff in your home and not enough space to store it? If you do, it might be time to do a deep declutter in your house.

 Decluttering is beneficial in multiple ways. First, getting rid of things you no longer need or use frees up space to keep the things you actually use, like a galvanized pipe. Secondly, decluttering gives you a sense of control over your life. This can help improve your self-confidence and self-belief. Additionally, decluttering makes it much easier to organize your home and live a more purposeful life.

 Despite the numerous benefits of tossing items we no longer use, many people find it difficult to part with their possessions. For some, decluttering is hard owing to the emotional value they place on an item. Others find it hard to get rid of stuff because they find the process too overwhelming. This is particularly true for those with a lot of things to get rid of.

 If you are stuck about how to declutter your home, here are a few useful tips.

Have A Plan

 The first step in a successful decluttering process is creating a plan. Start by setting a goal. What exactly do you want to get rid of? Where is it located? How long will you need to get all the unused items out of your home?

After creating your goal, you should then take steps to accomplish it. Allocate time to declutter each room. Make sure to give yourself a reasonable time frame for accomplishing your goals. This will save you a tremendous amount of stress and frustration.

 For instance, you may be able to declutter your closet in two hours but may need two weekends to go over all the stuff in your garage.  Let the time you allocate for decluttering match the number of things in different rooms.

Create A System

 Once you start decluttering, it helps to go about it methodically. This will enhance productivity and prevent you from creating a mess. Choose a sorting system that works well for you and stick to it.

 A great sorting method that you can use is the three-box system. Before you start decluttering, pick three large boxes for putting your things. You can have a recycle box, a donation box, and a garage sale box. Place items in the appropriate box as you sort through your stuff. That way, when the sorting is done, you will know what to do with the items you no longer need.

Deal with Your Emotions

 People often hold on to things because of attachment and fondness, even when those items no longer add value to their lives. To avoid falling into this trap, always acknowledge and validate your emotions as you go through your things. Acceptance will make it much easier to let go of things you don’t use anymore. 

Conclusion

 Mess attracts stress. If you want to live a more organized and less stressful life, you ought to declutter your home soon. Also, consider decluttering regularly to ensure that you don’t accumulate a lot of unnecessary items over time. Moreover, be sure to follow the tips on this blog for more efficiency in your decluttering process.

Home

Four Ways To Make Your Home Feel Like New

Four Ways To Make Your Home Feel Like New

Living in our homes, it can be very easy to do general wear and tear, making it feel a lot more dated in parts. As we spend most of our free time at home, it’s good to find ways to make your home feel more like new, so here are four ways to make your home feel like new and to take it back to that moment where you first moved in for the first time.

Give It A Fresh Coat Of Paint

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is a simple but effective way of making it feel like a new home. Whether you’re touching it up with a fresh coat of the same color or you want to switch it up with something new, it’s a good idea to find the highest quality decorators who can do it all for you. Make sure that when you’re swatching new paints, you’re thinking about the rest of the room and the theme you have running throughout the rest of the home. Swatching paints, you’ll also want to look at them in the day and in the nighttime. 

This is because lighting can certainly affect the color slightly and you want to get it right. General wear and tear can add scuff marks to your walls and so it’s only natural that you’ll want to give it a bit of an update every now and then. Painting is an affordable and effective way of doing that!

Fix Things That Are Broken

Sometimes, a home can look dated when you don’t take care of the furniture or appliances within it. There might be something around the home that is broken or in need of fixing slightly. If that’s the case, make a list and go around the home to replace and repair anything that needs doing. It’s important to do this because it can be nice to have new things or those items of furniture that you love and that simply need a bit of TLC to help get it back the way it was originally.

Rearrange The Furniture

Rearranging the furniture is something that costs absolutely nothing at all but in fact, can make a really big difference to your home when it comes to appearances. Rearrange the bigger pieces of furniture where you can first and then work on the smaller pieces. You might even want to get rid of some furniture completely in order to free up the space. Going for a more minimal space can make your home feel more functional too, so it’s definitely worth doing.

Add Some Indoor Plants

Indoor plants are small but much-needed additions when you’re trying to give that new home feeling to your space. They bring in a bit of color but also contribute to giving you healthier and cleaner air to breathe. The appearance of indoor plants can definitely help benefit the space a lot.

If you’re looking at ways to make your home feel like new, then these tips will definitely help.

Garden, Garden tips

How To Upgrade Your Garden To Create A More Luxurious Space

How To Upgrade Your Garden To Create A More Luxurious Space

***Collaborative post***

When you walk outside into your garden how do you feel? Do you find that the space instantly relaxes you or do you spend time thinking about how you would like the space to be? The fact is that if you’re not happy with your garden as it is, then you will never be able to completely relax while you’re outside. That’s why, if you’re not completely happy with your garden and its design, it’s a good idea that you take the time to think about how you could upgrade and overhaul the space. 

If you want to create somewhere that you can relax and unwind in, it’s important that you think about how you can upgrade the space. Believe it or not, adding a little bit of luxury to your garden is far simpler than you might think; it’s just a case of working out what you wish your garden had and creating an outdoor space that mimics some of the features of your dream garden. 

Wondering what steps you can take to upgrade and overhaul your garden to create a more luxurious space? Below are a few tips and ideas to take note and think about incorporating into your space! 

Get inspired 

The first step to creating a beautifully luxurious garden and making your design dreams a reality is to take the time to get inspired. A great way to work out what kind of space you might like is to do some browsing of garden design ideas – you can find lots of sources of inspiration online. Pinterest, for instance, is a great resource for coming up with design ideas – you can even save your favourite ideas onto a mood board to refer to later on. 

Incorporate focus features 

It’s always a good idea to create focal points within your garden; this means taking your time to think about what kinds of focal points you might want to create. It might be that you want to build your whole garden around a hot tub and outdoor seating area, for instance, and you need some outdoor seating ideas for that. Or, it might be that you want to build your whole garden around a relaxation space or an impressive decked area. It’s up to you what your focal point is – pick something that you feel a synergy with. 

Don’t forget the little things 

When it comes to your garden upgrade, it is important not to forget the little things. Often, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference to the look and feel of your garden, which is why it’s so important to take the time to incorporate them into the space. You want to think about features such as lighting, outdoor decor, and outdoor features such as waterproof furniture cushions or a waterproof rug for your deck. It really is the little things that make the biggest difference when it comes to the look and feel of a space. 

Hopefully, the ideas above will help you to create a more luxurious garden that you enjoy spending time in. 

Home

A Modern Household: 3 Pros and Cons of Smart Door Locks

A Modern Household: 3 Pros and Cons of Smart Door Locks

As technology advances, more and more devices are added to make life more convenient. One such advancement is the smart door lock. These locks provide homeowners the ability to access their homes with a smartphone instead of fumbling around for a key.

As with any technological advancement, with the benefits and convenience, there are also some drawbacks to this device. It is important to understand both the pros and cons of smart door locks before making the decision to have one installed.

Pro: Convenience

The greatest convenience of a smart door lock is that it can be easily connected to a smartphone. This allows the homeowner to check whether their door is locked or unlocked whenever or wherever they wish. Homeowners can easily find a locksmith that can install the system for them.

Pro: Remote Opening

The homeowner can also open their door with their smartphone from their vehicle when they need to bring in groceries. When kids get home from school, the babysitter arrives, or any other friend or family member shows up when the homeowner is away, they can be let in easily without leaving a hidden key around the yard.

Pro: Smart Home Syncing

Many smart door lock systems can be easily synced with the other devices in a smart home. This can allow homeowners to control their lights, locks, and various other devices in the home with their smartphones. If they use a digital assistant in their home, they can lock or unlock their door hands-free. This can also increase the effectiveness of a security system and keep that smart home safe.

Con: Cost

One of the biggest drawbacks of having a smart door lock installed is the cost. These locks, depending on the type and features, can cost between $150 and $300. There is then the cost of installation and any maintenance for the device. This is considerably more than traditional locking systems for a home.

Con: Power Loss

Power or Wi-Fi outages, dead batteries in the lock, and dead batteries in the smartphone are all issues that can make it impossible for a homeowner to lock or unlock their smart door lock. If the homeowner forgets or loses their smartphone while out, they may not be able to access their home.

Con: Security

Smart door locks are about as secure as traditional deadbolts. Although it is difficult to pick or break a deadbolt, it can be done, and the smart door lock is no exception. In addition, since the system is accessed over the internet, there is a potential for hacking. Cyber attackers can access the entire home if the Wi-Fi system is not properly secured.

Some people also complain that these smart lock systems are bulky and unsightly. Fortunately, there are more discreet versions becoming available that may please some homeowners. There are even systems that have a longer battery life—some up to a year.

There are even some systems that still offer key or code entry for various problems that may prevent using the smartphone to unlock the door. A secure Wi-Fi, monitoring battery life, and keeping current with software updates can help to keep these locks just as secure as a traditional lock.

These systems are quite convenient and really appeal to younger homeowners that enjoy the benefits of having a smart home can bring. Homeowners should weigh the pros and cons to best determine if a smart door lock is the best option for them.

car accident

Injured as a Passenger in a Vehicle: What Are Your Rights Regarding Compensation?

Injured as a Passenger in a Vehicle: What Are Your Rights Regarding Compensation?

What happens when a passenger becomes the victim of an accident? Can they sue the driver of the vehicle they’re in? What are their rights regarding compensation? Many injured passengers have a lot of questions and concerns after an accident.

They may not realize their options for seeking fair compensation and may not know who to turn to for help. Sometimes, injured victims need to seek help from an attorney so they can learn what steps are necessary to get started.

Passengers Are Never at Fault

Injured victims must understand that, as a passenger in a vehicle, they can never be held accountable for an accident. The driver of a vehicle has the sole responsibility of driving with due care. They must drive safely and according to the rules of the road. Hiring an attorney will help victims to understand all they need to know regarding abogado de accidente.

Because an injured victim can never be held at fault, it entitles them to full compensation for their measurable damages. When someone becomes an injured passenger in a vehicle accident, they may sue multiple parties, including the following:

·         The driver of the vehicle they were a passenger in

·         The driver of the other vehicle

·         Both drivers

·         Local authorities

·         The vehicle manufacturer

What Are the Rights of Injured Passengers?

Injured victims have certain rights afforded to them under the law. When a car accident occurs, it is imperative victims understand their rights and learn how they can be protected at all times.

One of the most important rights an injured victim holds is the option of getting legal counsel. In most cases, it is wise for injured victims to seek a consultation appointment with an attorney.

Injured passengers also have the right to pursue fair compensation for their measurable damages. Economic measurable damages may include the following:

·         Medical bills

·         Future medical bills

·         Lost wages

·         Disability

·         Household costs

·         Costs for canceled trips and changed plans

Non-economic measurable damages may include the following:

·         Loss of enjoyment of life

·         Pain and suffering

·         Mental anguish

Sometimes, injured victims can also seek punitive damages that are meant to punish the person who caused the accident. Not all states allow punitive damages.

Seeking Help from an Attorney Is Critical

It can be difficult navigating through the waters of personal injury claims. Although not all accidents require legal help, those with serious injuries or complicated liability issues usually need at least some degree of legal intervention.

Injured victims should at least seek a consultation with an attorney before making any major decisions in their case. Consulting with an attorney will offer help in understanding the options that are available and what steps should be taken.

An attorney offers many services to their injured clients. The peace of mind received from getting legal help is important for those who are dealing with mental anguish after an accident.

How Will the Attorney Help?

First, an injured person needs to schedule a consultation appointment. During this appointment, the victim will discuss their injuries, how the accident happened, and any other pertinent facts.

Injured victims will need to be prepared to answer any questions asked by the attorney. The attorney will need to know as many details as possible to be able to offer sound legal advice.

Attorneys take over all the steps involved in pursuing a personal injury claim. With car accident claims, the first pursuit is typically the at-fault driver and their insurance company. Negotiations between the attorney and insurance adjuster can sometimes be lengthy, but the goal is a fair settlement offer.

If the negotiations are proving unfruitful, there is the option of suing, but the victim must file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations has passed. The statute of limitation period varies, according to state laws, but is typically one to four years.

Injured Victims Need an Advocate

When an attorney is hired, he or she will become an advocate for the injured client. The attorney fights for the rights of their client and works towards obtaining the highest compensation available under the law.

The attorney will gather evidence and work towards proving liability in court. They will file all the paperwork necessary for the lawsuit and oversee their client’s case from start to finish.

Pursuing an injury case takes time. Although many personal injury claims are settled outside of court, this is not always possible. If the attorney feels a lawsuit will benefit their client, they will start the process as early as possible.

Do Not Wait to Seek Legal Help

It is wise for injured victims to seek legal help as soon as possible after their accident. Important evidence can sometimes become lost or forgotten when victims do not seek immediate legal assistance. A personal injury attorney will often work on contingency, which means the injured victim will not be forced to pay any fees or attorney’s costs unless they win their case.

Hiring an attorney early on in the process will help to ensure they secure all evidence. It will also prevent injured victims from making mistakes that could end up costing them a fair outcome. The attorney will take over all the steps involved in pursuing fair compensation, whether inside or outside of court.

Conclusion

Dealing with the aftermath of a serious car accident can be stressful, especially when the victim is a passenger and had no control over the events. Injured victims need to make sure they do everything possible to protect their rights.

Getting help from an attorney may seem intimidating for those who have never sought legal help, but attorneys are there for their clients and offer emotional support along with their services. When an injured victim hires an attorney, they are more likely to experience a fairer outcome, with less stress, than they would by going through the process alone.

Those who have been injured because of a driver’s recklessness or negligent actions should seek a consultation appointment right away. Getting started now will offer direction and peace of mind.

Home, Lifestyle

Before You Buy An Older Home, Consider These Key Factors

Before You Buy An Older Home, Consider These Key Factors

Are you thinking about purchasing an older home? Typically, people will take this step as a way to save money on a property. It’s true that older homes can be more budget friendly. However, they can also come with issues that you will likely not be prepared for and this is something that you should keep in mind. So, let’s explore whether an old home is the right choice for you.

Does It Have Asbestos?

Any home that was built before the 1980s does have a strong chance of containing asbestos. Up until that point it was used as an insulative material in the walls. If you are worried about this issue, then you should make sure that you are completing an asbestos survey. This should tell you whether the home does have this issue. Be aware that some owners will not allow you to complete this step. If that’s the case, approach with caution. There’s a good chance that they are merely intent on hiding the issue and hoping to sell it without revealing the problem to a buyer. Asbestos will cost thousands to remove and full removal is the only way to ensure that your home is safe. 

Are There An Issues With Insulation?


Older homes are also more likely to have issues with insulation. Unless a previous owner has made this home improvement, there’s a strong chance that the windows of the home will let in cold air and this can be a massive issue. It can cause your home bills to hit the roof. Now, it is possible that you can deal with this problem by upgrading the windows yourself. However, that’s always going to be expensive so you’ll need to make sure that you have this in your budget.

Are There Any Repairs?

You might also want to consider whether there are any repairs that need to be completed before you commit to a purchase. Be aware that it is possible to ask the current owner to complete these repairs for you. This is going to save you an extra headache once you purchase the property. While minor issues won’t be much cause for concern, major repairs should be the responsibility of the current homeowner. 

Are There Signs Of Wear And Tear?

Finally, you might want to consider whether there are any signs of wear and tear around the property. You should consider whether the home has been well looked after by the previous owner. While you might be hopeful that this is the case, you should always check over the property. If it looks unclean and untitdy there’s a good chance that there are worse issues lurking beneath the surface. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the key points that you should keep in mind if you are buying an older home. By focusing on these factors, you will be able to guarantee that you know whether this is the right choice for you. Remember, an older home can be a smart choice but only if you are ready for the challenges that come with it. 

dog, pets

How To Give Your Dog A Very Happy Christmas

How To Give Your Dog A Very Happy Christmas

Christmas is coming, and many of us are currently in the midst of our festive planning. It might look a little different this year, of course, thanks to the continuing disruption caused by the pandemic, but there is still much to look forward to.

But while in the planning stage, we shouldn’t forget about our four-legged friends. Dogs love Christmas too, so we should do what we can to ensure they have a wonderful time over the festive period.

Here are some ideas both you (and your dog) will find useful.

1: Buy your dog a present (or two)

When you’re busy unwrapping gifts with your family on Christmas morning, you don’t want to leave your dog out of the equation. Admittedly, he might be more than happy with the wrapping and cardboard that he can chew into after you have created a merry old mess, but you should still buy him a gift or two of his own. Ideas? Well, how you could buy a calming dog bed, that is both comfortable to sleep on and a place for him to calm down if he gets anxious or overly-excited. Or how about some new toys to play with? Especially if his other toys are looking past their best, he might appreciate something new to chew on. Or perhaps something functional, like a new water dish, a brand new collar, or a warm jacket for his winter walks.

2: Keep safety in mind

Your dog won’t have a very happy Christmas if he becomes ill over the chilly season, so do all you can to create a hazard-free zone. Put your tree out of reach if you can, as pine needles, once consumed, can cause your dog to feel unwell, and the same applies to your tree decorations. Holiday plants can be toxic to dogs, such as mistletoe and berries, so think about this when decorating your home. And while your dog will be desperate to eat the leftovers on your Christmas dinner plate, remember that some festive foods are bad for dogs. Brussell sprouts are okay to feed him (your kids will be pleased), but check out this list of toxic Christmas foods before putting anything in his dinner bowl. 

3: Spend time with your dog

There will be times when you might have to shut your dog away for a while, such as when you’re entertaining any guests with fur allergies, or when you’re busy decorating the tree or cooking dinner. However, don’t leave pooch alone for too long. Christmas is a time for families, after all, and your dog is a valued member of your clan! So, let him sit with you all when you’re watching your Christmas Day movies. Play with him when he starts to get a little restless. And keep up with your usual walking routine, as both you and your dog will need the exercise after eating bounteous amounts of festive food. 

So, paws for thought, and do what you can for your dog this Christmas. Like you, he will want to have a good time over the festive period, so treat him well, keep him safe, and enjoy spending time with him.

Bedroom design, Interior Design

Choosing The Right Bedroom Lighting

Choosing The Right Bedroom Lighting

***Collaborative post***

Your bedroom has to be a cosy, comfortable space to relax and enjoy. You sleep here, you rest here and it’s the place where you wind down after a long day at work. A bedroom should be soft, soothing and muted in its decor, and the lighting should be just as soft as the decor you choose.

The first decision that you have to make for a bedroom is the lighting that you choose. Some people choose to bring in an electrician to rewire the house and introduce new lighting to the room, but the first question you must ask yourself is what type of light you need for the space. There are ceiling fixtures and accent lights, task lights and standing lamps and they all have a place in a bedroom. The light that you choose needs to balance the natural light that flows through from the windows and an interior designer is the best person who can help you to get that balance right. So, with that in mind, here are a few tips to help you to choose the right bedroom lighting.

  • Ceiling Lights. When you have a ceiling fitting installed, you should consider a modern pendant or spotlight, or a classical chandelier if you want to have a home that looks more luxurious. The lighting that you choose should have an LED bulb or two to really illuminate the room and save money at the same time. Consider the size of the lighting based on the size of the room and choose a ceiling light fitting that matches the rest of the room, too.
  • Reading Lights. Sitting in bed with a good book is one of the many pleasures in life, but without the right reading lights, you have no functions in your room. A wall sconce is the perfect addition to the bedroom if you want to read in bed, and you don’t have to have an old-fashioned one. You can choose modern sconces and enhance the look of the bedroom. Ask your electrician for best placement before you go ahead and install anything.
  • Accent Lighting. Your bedroom should have a relaxing air to it and lamps will help you to do it. Whether you have standing lamps or dresser lamps, you can soften the look of the room with a gentle glow in the corner or next to the bed. There are plenty of table lamps that will help you to enhance the decor and the look of the room, and these accents will add to the room, too.
  • Size Matters. When it comes to bedroom lighting, think about the size and shape of the lampshades and the bulbs. Too big, and you end up with ridiculous looking lights in your room, and too small, and you don’t get the lighting that you need. You need to illuminate the space and the best way to do that is to measure the space properly before you go for any installations. Choose wisely for the best look.
Home, Home preparation

Upgrade Your Home During Lockdown With These Tips!

Upgrade Your Home During Lockdown With These Tips!

***Collaborative post***

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!

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

Social Living: Make Your Home Ready for Guests

Social Living: Make Your Home Ready for Guests

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Your home isn’t just for you and your immediate family to enjoy. It’s also there for your friends and extended family, too. In an age when it’s more and more difficult to go out to pubs and restaurants, many of us are looking to host people in our homes — or at least, they will be in the future, when the coronavirus restrictions have been loosened a little. But of course, if you’re going to host people in your home, then you need to put some effort into making sure that it’s possible. Below, you’ll find some useful tips that’ll ensure that this is the case.

Clean and Spacious

If you’re going to invite friends around, then you can’t present a dirty and cluttered home. They’ll only figure that something is wrong with the atmosphere, even if everything else is perfect. The first step should be to make sure that everything is clean and spacious, and that your home is an all-around pleasant space to be in. If you know that you’re going to have guests around, then be sure to put in some elbow grease, and make the space spotless. It really will be appreciated by your friends and family!

Well-Stocked

Sometimes, you know that people are going to visit you. At other times, you don’t know — they just turn up. And there’s nothing wrong with that; it’s always nice to be surprised when you’re at home, providing that you’re not busy. However, you might feel a little uncomfortable if you have nothing to serve! Water is good, but it’s not a social drink, that’s for sure. You can make sure that you’re ready for whoever to turn up by having a well-stocked pantry with a selection of drinks, alcoholic and soft, so that there’s always something to serve. It’s recommended to have a few extra snacks lying around too, just in case.  

Room to Relax

Take a look at your home: is it set up to receive guests? As in, is there a place where everyone can unwind and have fun together? If there’s nothing, then look at making some changes. There are a few different ways to do this. If you know you’re going to host parties in the future, then opt for the open-plan kitchen — they’re great social spaces. You should also pay attention to your outdoor space, because who wants to cooped up indoors when the sun is shining? Invest in some garden furniture from Dreamo Living, and you’ll be able to spend long hours in the outdoors with your loved one. And don’t forget to buy a BBQ too! If you have friends and family who live far away, then be sure to set up a guest room. 

A Welcoming Attitude

Finally, remember that attitude is key! If you have a welcoming attitude, one that allows people to really feel at home when they’re in your house, then you’ll already be most of the way towards creating a special space for your friends and family.

beauty.

Keeping Your Skin Smooth: What Is the Best Type of Wax for Each Part of Your Body?

keeping your skin smooth

Men and women may discard waxing as a hair removal method because they
aren’t comfortable with someone else being so up and close with their
bodies. However, they would use this method if they could do so in the
comfort of their own home. Fortunately, waxing at home continues to
become easier, and one way in which it has done so is in the different
products offered today for this purpose. Body parts differ greatly and may
require different body wax. Not only do the body parts differ, but the wax
products do as well. Certain areas remain very sensitive and others can be
hard to reach. There is a wax for every body part. It’s simply a matter of
knowing which to use where.


General Rules When Waxing

While different body parts require different types of wax, certain rules apply
regardless of what wax is being used and where. Always allow the hair to
grow to a minimum of a one-quarter inch before attempting to wax the area.
Wax cannot adhere to hairs shorter than this length. Instead, it adheres to
the skin and makes the process uncomfortable. Additionally, women should
avoid waxing during their period, and both men and women need to avoid
alcohol before waxing. Both increase skin sensitivity and make the process
more painful. Nobody wants this. Finally, know which type of wax to use on
which body part for the best results.


The Underarms


The underarms remain one of the hardest areas of the body to wax, so
women should use hard wax beads. They help address the thick hair found
in this area while adhering to the curves of the armpit. When melted, this
wax applies much as soft wax does, but the thicker consistency allows it to
adhere to the hair as opposed to the skin. In addition, hard wax won’t run
like soft wax does, so this need not be a concern for users. Finally, the wax
beads work better than strips, as they are easier to apply at awkward
angles. Once the wax solidifies pull it straight from the skin. When applying
the wax, pay attention to the direction of hair growth for the best results.
This may mean the person needs to apply the wax multiple times to account
for different growth patterns.

The Bikini Line


When it comes to sensitive areas of the body, most women list the bikini line
as among the top two or three. This area lacks surface area, which leads
many women to use hard wax as opposed to the other options. Hard wax
sticks to the hairs while leaving the skin along, and this means the woman
will experience less irritation. Women find they need not use strips with the
hard wax because the user simply peels the wax once it solidifies. If hard
wax isn’t available for any reason, a person may use pre-made wax strips in
the area. This option often leads to more irritation, however, and women
need to consider this when making a choice. Use small wax strips on the
bikini line to ensure more hair isn’t being removed than desired.


Arms and Legs


Soft wax works best on sizeable areas of the body, such as the arms and
legs. While this wax irritates the skin more than hard wax beads, it’s more
cost-effective and easier to use on body parts that cover a large surface
area. For those who don’t like soft wax because of its messiness, pre-made
wax strips serve as an excellent alternative. Read the directions to ensure
the wax works as intended and provides the desired results. If any stray
hairs remain, use a cellulose or muslin strip to remove these hairs.


Back


As with the arms and legs, the back covers a large surface area and benefits
from the use of soft wax. This remains the least sensitive area of the body,
so men and women find they can use soft wax or wax strips with no
difficulty. If nobody is available to assist with the waxing process, the strips
work best because they can reach areas that you might miss with soft wax.

Face


Areas of the face are very sensitive, which is why most people recommend
making use of pre-made wax strips to remove hair from the eyebrows, chin,
upper lip, and more. The fine hairs respond well to the strips, leaving behind
a smooth face. Look for smaller strips designed for use on the face or take
larger strips and cut them down to size. The goal is to create strips that only
adhere to the hair to be removed taking no excess hair.


Hands and Feet

Men and women might find they have excess hair on the hands and feet and
want to remove the hairs for smooth skin. Fortunately, these areas of the
body are tougher and more resilient, so people can choose the wax method
they feel most comfortable with. However, most people find that pre-made
strips work the best. In fact, strips made for use on the face work great on
the hands and feet as well.

Stomach


Some people find they have unwanted hair on their abdomen and wish to
remove it. The skin on the stomach resembles the skin on the face in many
ways, meaning it is sensitive and fine. For this reason, experts recommend
using the pre-made strips on the stomach. Another option to consider would
be sugar waxing.


Once an area has been waxed, remove any stragglers using clean tweezers.
Never wax an area a second time to remove any hairs left behind. Doing so
can cause skin irritation or actually burn the skin. In addition, be prepared to
address any ingrown hairs, red bumps, or bruises that appear after waxing.
A person may reduce the risk of these issues by exfoliating the skin before
waxing. Finally, always finish up by applying an aloe-based gel or lotion or
an after-wax lotion to the area treated. This helps to keep the skin healthy
and smooth.