health

Test Clear Reviews – Clear Drug Tests for Employers Safety

Test Clear Reviews – Clear Drug Tests for Employers Safety

Drug Tests for Employers Safety

Due to the numerous competitors in the labor market, employers are forced to “sharpen” their methods of employee selection. This way, they can reach the best solution for an open job position. It is noticeable that an increasing number of companies are introducing additional testing to check which candidate fits best in the potential job profile.

Also, it became a standard practice to check employees from time to time, to see if they bring results and how they fit into new business trends. In addition to a well-known intelligence or personality test, and various case studies, employers have introduced another way of examining their workforce, which threatens to become mandatory – drug testing.

What kinds of drug tests exist, as well as how reliable these are, read on this page: https://www.livestrong.com/article/146391-what-are-the-different-types-of-drug-tests/.

The topic of drug use and abuse is something we hear of every day, but drug testing became a current theme lately. It’s a public secret that the number of light drug users is on the rise. While many think that only immature kids do drugs, they would be surprised to find out how many mature people and professionals use some of the opiates.

Pre-Employment Drug Tests

The right of every employer is to know what kind of worker they are hiring. Besides great job-related recommendations, they may also be interested in your private life and have you ever had problems with the law. All this is in the domain of the law, and employers maximally use this right. Especially for highly responsible job positions that carry a certain risk for the worker, the company, and other participants (for example, pilots, bus and truck drivers have drug controls several times a year).

Today’s methods of testing are quite advanced; anyone who consumed any kind of narcotic, at least once in a lifetime, will be frightened of the drug control. And you’ll never know when your employer can announce the testing. You can expect a pre-employment drug examination in every serious business offer.

“Surprises” for Employees

The use of narcotics in private life is a matter of free choice. The right of every employer is to provide safety and security in the workplace, and consuming opiates is something that can jeopardize it. Employers do not want to take risks, and they will try to ensure their business through regular drug testing.

Every company has a legal right to engage a health service to conduct employee drug checks at any time. Often, tests are announced several days in advance, except in the event of an accident at work. The results and information about employees are confidential, and the further procedure depends exclusively on the results of the test.

Drug Testing after Accident on Workplace

In the case of regular testing, the most commonly performed drug tests are urine or saliva method; when some work accident happens, every company will require more reliable sample and testing. These two tests are not considered completely reliable (according to TestClear, you can easily “fool” them).

In specific situations, where the interests of the company are endangered, employers usually insist on a blood test. This is the most expensive, but also the most reliable variant for checking the presence of opiates, therefore this method is only used in serious and risky situations.

Some employees want to “profit” after getting an injury in the workplace. Usually, employers have to pay costs of treatment and compensation for any damages suffered. Denying can seriously affect their business reputation. So they want to protect themselves in such situations, especially if there are reasonable doubts about the abuse.

Can Employee Refuse Drug Test

The right of every man is to reject the test, but the employer usually knows what to do in that situation. In that case, every corporation can prescribe certain sanctions, to protect their interests. If you are applying for the first job in some reputable company, it may be wise to accept testing. There are various methods that can help you pass it if you have any doubts. If you refuse it from the first, you probably closed the door of this company.

Depending on the business area, job positions or situation at work employers opt for routine or targeted testing. Each drug test brings costs for the company, so they don’t want to waste their money. If you deny it at the very beginning, they probably won’t force you. But expect the unexpected then.

Employers sometimes can use methods of announcing “false” drug testing; based on the reaction of employees, company’s psychologists can judge whether or not someone use opiates. You’ll never know what the truth is, so our advice is to always accept the testing, and to use those few days before examination to stay clean and eliminate opiate trails.

***Collaborative post***

competition.

Ghost Deep Night Perfume Competition

Ghost Deep Night Perfume Competition

Competition time

With Christmas just around the corner your either really organised by now and have your gifts bought, wrapped and ready to hand to friends and family… or your like my husband, totally unorganized and runs round in a last minute panic….Christmas eve to be precise. A Christmas tradition of his that he does each year without fail.

Which one are you? Whatever one you are we wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy New year.

Today’s post will be short and sweet. This post is just to inform all of you lovely readers that WOW FreeStuff are currently hosting a competition, offering you all the chance to win 1 of 100 bottles of Women’s Ghost Deep Night Perfume. This is one of my mum’s favourite perfumes and it smells absolutelty lush. 

Gift contains:

Ghost Deep Night Perfume Competition
30ml bottle of Women’s Ghost Deep Night Perfume.

The fragrance:

The perfume itself comes in a stunning cresent moon shaped bottle. This powerful fragrance is mysterious and seductive. The powerful scent introduces the exotic fragrant flower – Indian Rose. The sweetness of Apricot and Peach is blended with base notes of vanilla and white woods. Giving you the most amazing floral, fruity fragrance. A perfect blend for everyday.

Entry requirements are:

WOW FreeStuff are offering 100 lucky winners the chance to go into 2019 smelling absolutely lush. You must be over 18 to enter, based in the UK and happy to like their Facebook page and sign up to their news letter.

You have until the 1st February 2019 to enter making this the perfect gift for valentines day. Or simply a perfect gift just for you. Go on, treat yourself. You have to be in it to win it.

Fingers crossed for everyone who enters the competiton hosted by WOW FreeStuff. If you are lucky enough to win please do pop back and let us know.

To enter the competition click  >>> here <<<.

GOOD LUCK

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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.

***Collaborative post***

Home, House move

7 Reasons To Hire Professional Movers

7 reasons to hire professionals

A lot of people in the USA relocate for many reasons. They might want to move closer to their elder parents, the apartment is too small, their home is too expensive, they have found a new job and want to get closer to work, and a lot more.

Moving can be considered as life-changing especially in the US. You will have to be accustomed to the new neighbourhood. You have to find the nearest grocery shop, the nearest park, and try to navigate the new city that you are in. If you are not familiar with the neighbourhood, you might even get lost while you are in the process of moving house.

Moving house can also be difficult. You have to pack and transport everything. You need to inform your work about the new address, you have to find the perfect date when moving will be most convenient for you. For these reasons, you might consider hiring a professional mover or getting the entire job done yourself. You can know more about movers in this link here.

     Reasons Why You Should Hire Professional Movers

Getting the help of professional movers in the US can result in a stress-free and seamless moving experience. You might do some researches first on why you should hire movers. However, you might find conflicting ideas on the internet and they can confuse you even more. To simplify things, it will really depend on you on whether you should hire movers or not. However, you have to consider these things before doing everything yourself.

1. Get Peace of Mind

Sometimes, just planning the move can leave you feeling stressful and drained. You haven’t even packed the boxes but you are already overwhelmed with the tasks that you needed to do. On top of that, you have to figure out the best routes on your state in order to avoid traffic and accidents. For more information about traffic routes, you can visit the website of the Federal Highway Administration here: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/. Professional movers can help you pack, carry, and deliver the furniture in an organised manner. Accidents can also be avoided since movers are already accustomed to lifting heavy weights. They know the best way to navigate the roads in the US. They have trucks that can protect your belongings during snowstorms or rains. This is why many people tend to be at peace when they know that professionals are handling their precious valuables.

2. Reliable

Unlike friends and families who have the tendency to cancel last minute plans, movers definitely shop upon the time and date of relocation. Even if one mover is not available, moving companies in USA generally find a replacement that has the same training and experience as the other one. They are the most reliable option that you can find in order to avoid delays and injuries. Note that not all of your friends and family members move things frequently from one state to another. They might do some scratches on your sofa if they are not careful and there’s no way that you can charge them for a replacement.

3. Smooth and Fast

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This is one of the main reasons why people hire professional movers. The service is often fast and quick. This is especially true if you are able to find a company that is very familiar with the state where you are moving. Expect them to pack your things without too much chitchat. They are friendly but they also value your time so you can expect a prompt service that can simplify the relocation process in no time. Another bonus is that movers can squeeze your appliances through a narrow staircase because they are already trained for it.

4. Efficient

Movers have the build and experience to handle heavy objects. Bulky items do not have to undergo any unnecessary damages when you are relocating them. The furniture needs to be transferred into trucks and has to be carried out and lifted to the new home. If you are doing these all alone, you won’t likely be finished in a week. Professional movers are here to help you efficiently move everything without damages and accidents in the process.

5. Accountable

Your things are listed, packed, and labeled when it comes to moving companies. You can rest easy that everything will arrive in your new home completely and intact. If there are unavoidable accidents, the company can reimburse you with the full amount of the damaged items. Because professional movers are highly trained and experienced, they already know the right ways of moving your things without risking any damage on them. If you have too many valuables and precious items, then you should not consider moving things on your own.

6. No Lifting Involved

Heavy lifting can cause back strain and injuries. You might have worked all week on your job so don’t need unnecessary stress and tiredness caused by lifting heavy equipment and furniture. Some people do not have the build and the training to transport things properly. When hiring professional movers, you can just supervise them while they do the heavy bulk of work for you. You can even grab a cup of coffee after giving instructions to them.

7. Safe Moving

When it is your first time moving, choosing the right boxes can be challenging. If you don’t have the right items where you can wrap your lamps and porcelains, you might find them broken and splintered when you arrive at your new home. This is not the case with professional movers. They are able to provide you with secure wrappers and boxes that are made for moving items. They can also have plenty of space in their trucks for big pieces of furniture.

If you want to know the best movers in the US, you can do some research. You can call a company that can refer you to the most efficient movers in your area. Save yourself the hassle and get to know your new neighbourhood sooner by hiring a moving company today.  

***Collaborative post***

fishing, Fun Outdoors

Choose the Best Fishing Equipment Based On Reviews

Choose the Best Fishing Equipment based on Reviews

Of course, we all want a fishing rod that will help us catch the most fish. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more that goes into catching the big one other than just the rod that you’re using. For starters, it depends on where you’re fishing, the time of day, the season, and simply whether or not you’re in the right place.

Still, understanding and choosing the best fishing rod can save you a lot of hassle when it comes to snagging the catch of a lifetime. Online sites like Pro Fishing Gear Reviews website, are excellent resources where you can find plenty of tips for anglers of all skill levels. You’ll also find plenty of information on the best tackle and accessories to use, which will make your next fishing experience that much more enjoyable.

Choosing the Best Fishing Rod Setup

In order to choose the best fishing rod, it’s important to consider how each component of a rod work. When shopping for a fishing rod, the three most important components to consider are the rod itself and what material it’s made of, the type of fishing reel, as well as the actual ergonomics of the rod and the way it feels it your hands.

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The biggest and most important benefits of using the best rod is to allow you to have the tools necessary to catch the fish that you want to catch. But unfortunately, when many people start fishing, they go out and buy lower priced fishing rods, thinking that there’s not all that much difference in quality.

However, what they don’t know is that cheaper rods are much more prone to issues such as snags, tangles and backlashes. Also, cheaper fishing rods break more easily than their higher priced counterparts and a broken rod can be disheartening when you’re out on the water having a good time.

What Type of Fish Are You Targeting?

You must also understand the different types of fishing tackle to get a better idea of what type of rod is right for you. This will be determined by the type of fishing that you plan to be doing with your rod. For example, if you plan on targeting larger game fish, than you might want to consider using a larger baitcaster reel, which is designed specifically to cast larger bait.

Read more about targeting different species here.

Another factor to consider is whether you’re looking for a short or long rod. Shorter rods are excellent for helping you land game fish that love to dive and fight as you reel them in. Whereas, longer rods tend to be better for helping you cast longer distances.

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With this in mind, it’s a good idea to research the type of fish that live in the area you plan on fishing in and then choosing one species in particular to target. Then, as you improve your angling skills and understand what works best for different types of fish, you can expand your arsenal and begin experimenting with different rods and other species.

Your Fishing Budget (Time and Money)

If you’re a new angler, it’s a good idea to take some time to think about how much time you’ll be investing in the sport.

If you’re uncertain that you’ll be out on the water often, it’s better to start with a beginner rod, which are typically much less expensive than more advanced rods. This type of rod will help you get used to angling and can give you a better idea of what you like in a rod such as its length, weight, balance and action.

On the other hand, if you’re sure that you’ll be fishing a lot, it might be a better idea to invest in medium cost rod and then as you get better, you can work your way towards purchasing a more advanced fishing rod.

Regardless, beginners should always try to aim for rods rated with a medium action, meaning that the rod is flexible, but not too flexible, which will allow you to feel when a fish bites down on the bait.

Choosing the Best Fishing Rod

Using a quality fishing rod will not only save you a lot of headaches when you’re out on the water, it can also help you catch more fish. It’s important to understand that the type of fishing equipment you use can play a crucial role in your angling success.

Read more about different types of fishing rods here: https://www.fishingnortheast.net/how-to-guides-videos/types-fishing-poles-rods/

Often, beginner fishermen will spend their time waiting for a fish to bite, but when they reel in their line, they discover that their bait is gone and that the fish has gotten away without them even realizing it was there.

Therefore, it’s important to do your research, understand the different components of a fishing rod, the type of fish that you’re targeting, and then you’ll be able to choose the best setup for your particular fishing needs.

***Collaborative post***

Finance

Finding Deals to Pay Necessary Bills

Take the time to save money

There is always a good time to sit down and think about your finances, to work out if you could actually be saving a little bit more than you already are. Savings don’t just have to be for a rainy day fund. Instead, you could be looking to a family holiday or to make sure your Christmas presents are extra special this year. So here are some suggestions for you to make sure you aren’t spending unnecessarily when you could be preparing for something big.

Bills

The bane of everyone’s life, bills. From electricity to water and everything in between we don’t want to pay them but we have to. Fortunately, there are options out there to help you save. Starting with household bills, consider using comparison websites that are designed to specifically reduce your outgoings. You might think it isn’t worth it, but actually, the savings can be quite significant especially with so many companies competing for your business.

In addition to running the house, you also have the other expenses. The ones we don’t need for heat or health, but we wouldn’t be able to do without. These are your phone, internet and other subscriptions. Once again you should be looking at comparison websites for your internet, but don’t be afraid to give your provider a call if you think you aren’t getting the best deal. Often the customer service representative is under instruction to keep business and will therefore go above and beyond to help you.

Finding Deals to Pay Necessary Bills

When it comes to mobile phones, the cost can be staggering. This is especially true when you have a family that all want their own data and text message options. However, the providers of these plans are starting to get wise to this and as a result fairer prices plans like Xfinity Mobile phones are starting to become more popular.

Make sure any bill you sign up for is done with thorough research. It may seem tiresome, but you’ll be thankful when you’re feet are up on the beach next year.

Food Shopping

Our grocery bills are also one of those things that can be significantly affected by having more mouths to feed. The average cost of a weekly food shop for a UK household is up to £89, but it can be reduced by shopping around and once again using the internet to help.

There is a bountiful of websites out there which are offering discount codes and vouchers to use in supermarkets around the country, so make sure you are taking advantage of these options when you are getting out there to shop.

There can sometimes seem to be a social stigma attached to using vouchers, but there shouldn’t be. We should take pride in finding good deals and paying less for our weekly shop when possible.

Once again, don’t think about the stress now of findings these deals. Think about the happy faces at Christmas when your hard-earned savings has helped the family to extra gifts.

***Collaborative post***
Building Design

Things to Consider Before You Start Your Home Extension Project Or Renovation

Things to Consider Before You Start Your Home Extension Project Or Renovation

Things to Consider Are

If you feel like you have grown out of your home and would like to improve your lifestyle, you will have to choose between turning unfunctional spaces into storage or living area, or adding space through extensions. Unfortunately, both projects will come with a lot of mess and you will need to compare the benefits and the cost before you start making plans. Apart from the finances, you will also have to work out how long you will need to be without a bathroom, central heating and air conditioning, and other services. Below you will find a few tips on how to make your home renovation project work for you.

The Look Of Your Home

The first thing you have to do is make sure that you are going to be happy with the end result. This means that you should create professional plans and check how your home will look like from the inside and the outside. If you are planning on adding an extension, the shape and style of your home will change completely, and you might as well ruin the curb appeal of the house. Engage with a professional and find out how you can improve the look of your home without breaking the bank or reducing the value of your real estate.

Style

Things to Consider Before You Start Your Home Extension Project Or Renovation

You will also have to choose a style that matches your taste and the current property trends, After all, you want to be able to sell on the home when the kids have flown out or you need to relocate. The more popular the layout and style is the better chance you will have to make a good return on your home improvement investment. Home renovations cost a bit, so you need to ensure that you are able to improve the look of your home while making it more comfortable for yourself and your family.

Cost

When decided whether to renovate your property or to add an extra room or two, you need to make sure that you can save money and your sanity, too. You will be able to improve the lifestyle of your family, but at what cost? You might get into debt to pay all the contractors and not even get the results you are expecting. It is always better to invest more in the beginning in your plans to make sure you are not wasting money on features and services you don’t really need.

Stability of Your Home

Things to Consider Before You Start Your Home Extension Project Or Renovation

When making structural changes to your home, or adding extensions, you need to make sure that nothing compromises the stability of the walls and the foundation. If you want your extension to be as strong as your home, you can buy Reinforcement Products Online and join the existing foundation with your new build extension. This is important when it comes to insulation and structural stability.  

Heating and Electricity

When you are doing a full renovation in your home, chances are that you will need to upgrade your boiler and your electricity as well at the same time to support the increased number of outlets and radiators. Changing your existing plumbing and heating system is not cheap, so you will need to get a couple of quotes in to find the best solution; extending your system or complete replacement.

Permissions

Your architect firm might be able to take care of the permissions for you, but you also have to check local authority’s building regulations to avoid being caught up in a legal battle. Ask your neighbours about their views, especially if you are looking to complete an extension or a garage conversion. If you live in a townhouse, the noise that comes with the work might upset some of the residents, so you have to make sure you are not creating more problems than necessary.

Roofing

When starting a home extension project, you will also have to consider whether or not to improve your roofing and insulation. The last thing you want to happen is one half of your house looking completely different from the rest, of having problems with dampness and guttering. Consult with a roofing specialist and compare the price of matching your existing roof or replacing the entire structure and all the tiles.

If you are considering a major home improvement or an extension project, you need to be aware of the difficulties ahead and calculate the total cost, or you might end up in debt and never be able to finish the work on your own.

***Collaborative post***
DIY tips

10 Top-Tip’s To Help You Stay On Budget With DIY Projects

10 Top-Tip's To Help You Stay On Budget With DIY Projects

Projects made easier

With Ian being multi-skilled we are very lucky when it comes to DIY projects around the home as there isn’t much he can’t turn his hand to. We find that we very rarely need to call in help from tradesmen as Ian is more than happy and capable to do things himself. This helps us hugely when we are working to a budget on a project.

Ian worked for a family run business for many of years. He really enjoyed his time working for the company. It is working for this company that he managed to do an apprenticeship as well as gain his skills and knowledge needed for his chosen career which was to become a fully qualified electrician.

Whilst working for this company he would work on many of different sites. He would work alongside many of different tradesmen and this is where he gained a lot of extra skills – skills that are very handy today!

Two of our sons are now following in Ian’s footsteps. Our eldest son Danny works on different jobs on different sites. He also works alongside different tradesmen and is also learning different trades just like Ian did. Bradley our youngest is currently at college on an engineering course which he is really enjoying.

We have put together a list of ways you could help yourself save some money when working on a D.I.Y project yourself at home

10 Top-Tip's To Help You Stay On Budget With DIY Projects

10 way’s you could help yourself to stay on budget with your D.I.Y projects:

  • Plan ahead– Good planning saves you from any surprises that could occur later in your project that is not planned or budgeted for. Good planning saves you time and money. It helps you to be organised and prepared for the job in mind.
  • Set a timescale – Set a timescale per job to work with, allowing enough time to complete it safely and to plan. That way you will know roughly how long each job should roughly take.
  • Set a price – Set yourself a realistic budget to work with. Try your best to stay within your budget. I know it is easy to get sidetracked when busy but keeping track of your outgoings will really help you keep track of the money being spent.
  • Allocate jobs – Do you have a friend or family member in the trade? Call in favours from friends and family. You will probably be surprised how many will be more than happy to lend a hand for a few hours. This will help you keep to your timescale and also help you keep within your budget.
  • Always shop about to find best prices – It is always worth shopping about to see what deals are about. You never know you might just find yourself a great bargain and be pleasantly surprised. Also try and borrow tools needed for jobs rather than buy them, money saved here can be saved or spent elsewhere if needed.

Take notes of everything and always have them to hand – It always pay to check everything twice

10 Top-Tip's To Help You Stay On Budget With DIY Projects

  • Communication – Communication is an absolute MUST. With drawings, measurements or even written instructions. Anyway in which you find helps you communicate with anyone helping on your project then do it. It helps massively and could save from missed communication problems which could result in delays or even prove costly.
  • Keep track of everything – It always helps to keep track of everything so take notes where possible. Of time on/left on jobs, budget spent/left, jobs done/left to do. Keep hold of all receipts collected and also contact details of any tradesmen used.
  • Pitch-in – Don’t be afraid to get stuck in. Bring out any hidden D.I.Y skills you may have, make the tea, clear up, fetch/carry. It all helps at the end of the day and time is money.
  • Make compromises – If you find you are getting a little to close to your budget for comfort then have a little re-think…..do you really need all of your chosen items? could you make a few changes to possibly get something a little cheaper or even do without one or two items? opt for cheaper if needed.
  • Work as a team – A little give and take on a project is always needed. We all have our own way of doing things, our own skills etc, but working as a team is always best. Sit down together and put a project plan together. Put a list together of jobs to be done and agree an order in which you all agree to work in.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help where needed

We have done so many different D.I.Y projects at home, our latest being our garden where Ian called in help as it was in urgent need of a makeover and he has friends in the trade. We all got stuck in and helped them the best we could but they done the bulk of it. Ian will turn his hand to many jobs but one he hates is plumbing and drainage so he avoids those sort of jobs and leaves them to the drainage services. To be honest I don’t blame him either!

Do you have a job you hate doing and leave to the experts?

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Renovation: top tips

Saving Money (And Your Sanity)

Saving Money (And Your Sanity)

Preparing Your Family For A Big Home Renovation

The topic of renovating our homes throws up so many concerns. But if we are to get through this, not just in the way that ensures your bank balance doesn’t take a major hit, but also so your emotions are intact, preparation is vital. But what if you’ve got a family and children that rely on you to do so much that you have to get the house done and completely finished under a tight timescale and also keep track of every other aspect of your family life?

Saving Money (And Your Sanity)

Getting Organised

Organisation is essential when you’ve got family anyway, but now that you’ve got to overhaul your home, it’s time to step it up a gear. As every spare moment will be spent dealing with professionals, working through the budget, and taking on a lot of the tasks yourself, you have to ensure that it doesn’t completely overwhelm you, nor take over your life. A good working relationship with professionals is essential in this instance. Whether you’re working with contemporary architects, standard builders, or on the phone endlessly to the council, developing your relationship so that when issues arise, they can be dealt with swiftly without causing much stress, can take some time to achieve. But this is where you have to get yourself organised. If you’re not a naturally organised sort of person, planning ahead, making lists, but also structuring your life, won’t just benefit the job, but the family too.

Keep An Eye On Every Outgoing

A natural offshoot of being organised is keeping track of every single financial component. Your outgoings will be stretched to the very limit. The very important parts at the outset include preparing a budget, but also understanding things can go over budget, and when you’re making financial plans, operating with a financial buffer will help. You can apply for loans to help, but you have to be aware have this could impact your credit score.

Understand The Scope Of The Renovation

We usually operate with the idea of what the house will look like, rather than think about the hardship we have to go through to get to that end product. Understanding the scope, in conjunction with the budget, you need to figure out what you would like to see completed in a short-term time scale, as well as over the next 12 to 18 months. This links directly to your goals, and if you are looking to gut your house out completely, this can result in the budget spiralling out of control. Compromise can help, and if it gets to the point where the project is going on far too long, then you will have to lower your expectations.

We have to consider the impact on our family as well as our financial situation. If our children have limited access to the kitchen and the living room over the space of a year, they can feel somewhat hemmed in. And when life is so busy as it is, adding the task of total renovation can make for a stressful environment. Preparation is vital, not just for your family, but for your own sanity.

***Collaborative post***
Finance

Kick High Bills To The Curb

A few ways you could lower your bills…

Nobody wants to spend all their hard-earned money on bills. But, for the average person, high bills are just an accepted part of life: something they put up with without question. The problem with this is that paying out lots of money on bills reduces your disposable income and prevents you from doing the things that you want to do with your life.

So what’s the solution? Here we’re going to take a look at some of the interesting ways you can reduce your high bills and get your outgoings under control.

Switch Energy Providers

Kick High Bills To The Curb

Energy providers operate a kind of cartel. There are only so many providers in the market, and so competition is necessarily low. Most people don’t go to the hassle of seeing whether another provider is willing to take them on for less money because they don’t think the savings will be that great.

But the market has changed a lot in recent years. Competition among price comparison websites has actually made it beneficial for many people to switch. Not only do you end up with a lower bill at the end of the month after changing contracts, but these sites will often throw in freebies to entice new customers. It’s not unusual, for instance, to receive gift vouchers for merely logging in and changing who supplies your energy.

Stop Paying For Data You Don’t Use

There are two types of phone contracts: contracts where you pay for both access to the mobile network and the handset, and deals which pay for the network only. Network-only contracts tend to be cheaper because you’re not paying off debt on the handset, but they still aren’t necessarily an efficient use of your resources. For instance, many people end up paying for data and minutes that they don’t use, and those unused data do not get rolled over or taken off their final bill. There are, however, some companies that do pay customers back when they don’t use all of their monthly allowances, providing much better value for money than standard providers.

Install Solar

Solar energy has come down in price dramatically over the last few years to the point where it’s economical in practically every location. Although it’s unlikely that solar will provide for all your energy needs, it can take up the slack for some of them, reducing the amount you are forced to rely on the grid. Pair solar with a battery and you can build up a ready supply of energy in the day and use it in the evening when you need it most.

Stop Leaving Appliances On Standby

Although the quantity of energy electronics use while on standby has gone down to negligible levels over the past decade, many other low-tech appliances haven’t followed suit. Coffee machines, for instance, can cost up to £10 a month to keep on standby. The same goes for electrically heated towel rails. These appliances are expensive to run, so use a smart plug or meter to ensure that they only operate when you need them.

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pets

Why we got a second dog

Why we got a second dog

Our reason behind getting a second dog

As regular readers of our blog will know, we did have a beautiful boy dog for over 10 years called Buddy. He sadly passed away just under two years ago. Back in January this year the emptiness from not having a loving dog around the home was just too strange and the decision was made to not replace Buddy as he is irreplaceable and will always be forever in our hearts and could NEVER be replaced but to get another dog.

Fast forward a little and we was soon welcoming home a beautiful Siberian Husky girl who we have named Coco. She was 8 weeks old when she joined our family. Coco has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives since joining our family. We had 10 months dog-free before Coco came along and it just felt so strange not having a dog around. After losing Buddy we didn’t think we would be able to get another dog let alone love another but the emptiness just got to much. We’d often find ourselves looking at dogs for sale but then quickly looking away thinking no way, the heartache of losing them is just too much and not wanting to go through it all again. The subject was quickly changed.

So what changed our minds?

A family member visiting you and showing you photos and videos of their friends dogs pups is what. The next day we went to see them and before you know it research on the breed was being done and a day or two later we was visiting Coco a deposit was left and our new adventures with Coco began!

Coco being a Siberian Husky means lots of energy, lots of walking, lots of bikejoring all in all lots of fun adventures. She has been with us 10 months now and has already been on four holidays with us. A caravan holiday, camping holiday, boating holiday and a log cabin holiday. We enjoy forest walks, river walks, bike rides, trips to the park/seaside – her favourite game is to play ball, she will have you throwing a ball for hours on end. She recently enjoyed a fishing trip and enjoyed laying by the river.

Why we got a second dog

We take Coco with us where ever pets are welcome. She has joined us on pub lunches, dinners, for coffee at local cafe’s, she even joined us on a trip to choose our new tent at Go Outdoors as pets are welcome in our local store. Sadly pets are not welcome everywhere which is understandable and there are times she has to stay at home.

We became dog fosterers…

With Coco having lots of energy and being socialised from when we very first got her we became dog fosterers so she would have a friend to play with. We fostered Goldie a beautiful Labrador who was the same age as Coco. She loved having a friend and welcomed Goldie straight away without any problems. Goldie was with us for a week and as lovely as it was for Goldie to find her forever home it was also sad. Coco had gotten used to having a friend about to have fun with and we had all taken rather a shine to Goldie, she was a beautiful girl. As choked up as we all was we had done a good thing and provided a safe and secure temporary home for a dog in need.

Seeing Coco be so happy with having a friend to charge about with (who has much more energy than us) cuddle up with, burn off energy with it was sad to see her on her own again. When out on walks/bikejoring she gets so excited to see other dogs she just loves company. The hunt was on to find Coco her very own friend, one that was to come and to stay this time.

Coco cuddling Goldie our foster dog

Why we got a second dog

Then came dog number two….

The search was then on. Research was then done as some say two of the same-sex are best avoided but then I panicked about two dogs different sex and what we know could happen. The search then began and the cutest of all dogs just stood out and stole our hearts. The boys kept on asking for another German Shepherd dog but to be honest I was very unsure but agreed to look and see what happens.

This is what happened…..

I am a sucker for cute fur babies, look at this 8 week old boy, how on earth could I say no to this.

Why we got a second dog

A week later he joined our family and was introduced to Coco who was very keen to charge about with her very own friend. He is a joint birthday gift to Ian and Coco from us.

Why we got a second dog

Coco loves her new best friend dearly and follows him everywhere.

For anyone wishing to follow Coco and Hunter’s adventures they both have their very own Instagram accounts

Why we got a second dog

 

 

 

Why we got a second dog

We now have two fur babies and love them both dearly. Lots of new fun and adventures now await us which we are so looking forward to.

Do you have any pets?

Finance

3 Ways To Recover Unhealthy Personal Finances

3 Ways to Recover Unhealthy Personal Finances

Ways you can recover

Life is full of ups and downs, just like our bank accounts. Sometimes, however, we need some extra help in order to get back on our feet after a particularly mean couple of months and the help is always within reach. If your finances have been suffering lately, or even for the last couple of years, you need to find ways to recover and nurse them back to health.

It is, in fact, possible to maintain a healthy financial state and live within your means as long as you pay attention to what you’re doing instead of ignoring the warning signs.

Here is a handful of ways to help you dig your way out of the financial pitfall and get back to prospering again.

#1 Go over your debt

The biggest problem to most people with poor personal finances is that the amount of debt they kept, consuming any hope of ever getting back on their feet. How are we supposed to be saving up for an emergency fund when those bills are putting us in minus each month?

If you haven’t tried debt consolidation yet, you should certainly give it a shot. It could, after all, be what you need in order to dig your way out of that hole and get back to saving money again. Start by having a look at https://www.debtconsolidation.co and go over the different options.

The point is that, by consolidation your debt, you’re making the monthly payments a bit more bearable and can actually gain an overview of all your debt.

3 Ways to Recover Unhealthy Personal Finances

#2 Slice your expenses

When you’re starting to get all of your financial ducks in a row, it’s time to look at what you can do to keep your finances healthy. Since you’ve been building up quite a bit of debt, chances are high that you’re spending more than you’re earning. You need to slice your expenses, in other words, and preferably as much as possible.

Live on rice and beans if you have to, sell your car and take the bus, spend your Sunday on cooking up lunch for every day of your working week – in short, do everything you can to cut down on that spending. Have a look at https://www.budgetbytes.com for some great and affordable recipes.

It may feel tough, to begin with, but this is what people do in order to stay afloat when recovering their finances and this is the only way for you to lead a healthier financial life.

3 Ways to Recover Unhealthy Personal Finances

#3 Work out a new budget

Finally, you need to sit down and work out a proper budget now that you’ve managed to sort out your debt and know how to cut down on your expenses. Maybe you’re even able to save up for that emergency fund now that you’re spending less money on eating out.

The most important part, however, is that you have enough money to pay off that debt. Focus on that, first of all, and enjoy the feeling of moving forward with your life even if you have to live off rice and beans for a while.

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Bedroom design

4 Beautiful Bedroom Design Trends

4 Beautiful Bedroom Design Trends

4 top trends

Many people will agree that their bedroom is the most important room in the house. After all, this is where you get your eight hours sleep a night (…hopefully). Therefore, it needs to be a room that perfectly emits the feeling of relaxation. Moreover, the bedroom is the ideal place to let your personality shine through. There aren’t many rules in terms of design, especially when contrasted with the likes of the kitchen or the bathroom. If you are considering redecorating your bedroom, this post is just for you. There are lots of fantastic bedroom design trends that have come to the fore so far this year. Read on to discover some of the best…

Girly Oriental

First and foremost, let’s begin with ‘girly oriental’. This trend takes inspiration from traditional Japanese designs, yet you give your bedroom an undeniably girly edge with a pink colour palette. Look for some signature oriental pieces, such as a bamboo chair or something with an Origami-inspired pattern. Yet, keep the room minimalistic and ensure you stick to shades of white, red, and of course pink.

Neutrals and Greys

4 Beautiful Bedroom Design Trends

If you ask someone to describe the word ‘grey’, a lot of people will often deem it to be boring. However, this trend is far from dull. Emulating this trend is simple – stick to neutral colours and various shades of grey. Yet, the effect is astounding. Firstly, you create a place that looks contemporary yet is extremely relaxing. Moreover, by keeping the colours simple you allow various shapes, patterns and textures to come to the fore. Your ceilings and flooring are especially important with this trend. Check out the flooring at Carpet One for some inspiration. These are attributes that tend to be lost when loud and dominating colours are present in the bedroom.

Moroccan Inspiration

You can create a stunning and serene bedroom by taking inspiration from Moroccan culture and traditional designs. The great thing about a Moroccan inspired bedroom is the fact that you can create the perfect balance, i.e. a room that looks glamorous yet is also extremely comfortable. So, how do you create a Moroccan vibe? Begin by painting your walls in a crisp white shade. Once you have done this, you can then bring colour into the room via your choice of fabrics. A mix of bright cobalt blue with dark navy works extremely well. Geometric patterns are bang on trend at the moment and they work brilliantly with this theme, as do pom-pom trims.

Tartan

Last but not least, the final bedroom trend you should consider is tartan. Of course, tartan is a pattern that is not for everybody. However, it is definitely making a massive comeback and has already dominated the runways as of late. Now we see it make the move into interior design. Nonetheless, don’t feel as if you have to stick to the traditional red shade. One of the best ways to use this pattern is to create an industrial vibe. If you take a look online you will see a lot of teal and lime green tartan patterns – a popular adaption of the traditional design. This is an option you may wish to consider.

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games

A Garden In Which Play Never Ends

A Garden In Which Play Never Ends

A few ideas to help keep active outside

Having a large family of young children means the household will always be somewhat noisy. So many people eating at tables and in bedrooms, typing on computers and laptops and going in and out of the house. You need something to keep them occupied and fighting off the boredom by themselves. When kids are bored they get restless, they get agitated. A bunch of frustrated children in confined quarters is never a good thing. Either they’ll end up annoying you, looking for something to do or they’ll somehow end up arguing with each other. A home that doesn’t support an active lifestyle is bound to have these kinds of issues. It’s only natural for growing kids to want to expand their energy no matter if it’s hot or cold, wet or dry outside. The garden comes to the rescue many times, but the fall seasons can make it less than desirable. But here’s how you can keep it active.

All-weather get together

The main goal of a garden that will keep the kids occupied, is flexibility. No matter what the season is your garden should still have something that makes it fun. When it’s hot, late nights out in the garden will become more and more frequent. And, when it’s the fall camping outside with a fire is going to be just as fun for the kids. So, buy an all-weather garden tent that is for families. Designed to be strong and spacious, these kinds of tents vary in their shapes. Some offer more room than others, so it depends on what you require for the size of your family. When the summer comes around they can use the tent as an obstacle to hide in while playing with water guns. Yet when the winter comes, they can use it as cover for a snowball fight.

Less work more play

You have enough on your plate you don’t need more garden chores to be added onto your schedule. Mowing the lawn and keeping it in good condition so the kids can play their sports on it takes a consistent effort. Is the pay off really worth it in the end? Instead you can buy LazyLawn which is an artificial lawn that can be easily fitted to your garden. It’s going to be available to use and play on all year round no matter what season, weather or temperature it is. The highly trained installers know how to fit both a commercial or domestic applications so they already have plenty of experience underneath their belt.

Giant Jenga

A classic game played indoors, now can be made bigger and played outdoors. Giant Jenga blocks can be placed on top of each other and then, let the games begin. The kids can play this outdoors as the pieces are heavy enough to not be blown around by a gentle wind. It’s all about patience and a steady hand in this game.

Getting the kids active is no problem. But, getting them active day after day becomes a challenge. They will get bored before you do so try to make your garden fun all year round. Whether it’s a tent or artificial grass so they can play their sports, change your garden to fit all the seasons.

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moving house

How to pack and prepare for your house move

How to pack and prepare for your house move

Make moving house easier

If you know that you are moving house then you will also know how important it is for you to try and get everything sorted out well in advance. You also need to make sure that you are putting the work in to try and arrange your moving company, and pack up your belongings as well. This is easier said than done and this is especially the case when you have so much on the go as it is right now. If you want to avoid all of this hassle and fuss then there are a few things that you can do about it.

Declutter Everything

When you are moving house, you really don’t want to move items that you know you are going to throw away as soon as you arrive. For this reason, you need to sort through everything and you also need to make sure that you get rid of everything that you don’t think you’ll need as well. When you are able to do this, you can then feel confident knowing that your move is going to go smoothly and you also know that you aren’t taking all of your clutter to your brand new home as well.

Furniture

It is so important that you are able to picture your new home and whether or not you are going to picture your furniture in there. The owner of the last house should have given you a document which gives you the dimensions of every single room in the home and this gives you the information you need to try and work out what will fit and where. If you can’t find room for something then there is a high chance that you will need to sell it or even give it away. When you do this, you can then feel confident knowing that everything else will fall into place.

How to pack and prepare for your house move

Removals Company

If you can, you should always hire a moving company. If you don’t then this can cause you real issues at a later date. After all, if you happen to break something then it won’t be insured and you will have absolutely no cover when it comes to your insurance either. If you do hire a moving company then you know that they will be able to cover everything for you and they can also give you the help and support you need when it comes to getting everything packed up and loaded too. On top of this, they can save you a lot of time and they can also work with you to make sure that you are more than happy with the service that you have been given so you won’t have any issues there. Companies such as Grange Removals are great for that.

Identify your Breakables

Most of your items can go right into boxes and this is great, but at the end of the day, you do still need to try and work hard to identify any breakables you have. If you don’t then you run the risk of having them shoved into a box and then crushed, so doing this is the best way to get around that.

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