Tuesday, August 22, 2017

When you find yourself in the position where you’re wondering how you can afford to pay all of your bills, and still eat is a very scary position to be in. Unfortunately, the majority of us don’t seek help where we should and end up in bigger debt than before. There are simple ways that you can free yourself from the clutches of constant calls and letters asking you for money. In this article, I’m going to share with you some ways that you can get yourself out of debt.

Payday loans
Depending on the severity of your debt, payday loans can be a quick fix to all of your problems. If you know that at the end of the month you will have enough money to get yourself back on track then taking out a quick loan will do the trick. Do be wary of the high interest rate though, and if you do decide to take one out then make sure that you will definitely be able to repay the loan back on the agreed date, otherwise you could land yourself some hefty charges.

Debt relief
If the amount of debt that you’re in is too high to be resolved by using a payday loan, and you’re a homeowner, you should consider homeowner loans for debt consolidation. This will allow you to completely wipe all of your debts at once, meaning any letters and phone calls will stop because you will technically be debt free. All you will have to concentrate on paying now will be the consolidation loan which are normally set up in affordable repayments for you. If your income does decrease however, be wary that you may be unable to lower your repayment charge each month.

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It’s understandable that not everyone has this option, but asking your friends or family for some financial help might be the perfect answer for all of your problems. Even though it can be debilitating, it may be worth borrowing money from family rather than trying to do it alone. Often, family members are more than willing to help especially if it’s not a regular occurrence. Consider asking a trusted family member for a short term loan and maybe some advice on how to better look after your money.

Be prepared
Don’t let yourself get into the situation where you’re stuck for money. Much easier said than done, but there are ways of ensuring you have financial stability. Not allowing yourself to get into any debt will prevent you from ever having to take any of these routes. Or, if you’re currently in debt, use this as a lesson so that in the future you can look forward to financial stability.

Remember, for many solutions to solving your debt like using a payday loan, your credit score will be affected. Consolidation loans boast that this isn’t an issue but some companies won’t be able to give you a good deal if your credit rating is low. Take the steps today to get yourself out of debt. Don’t let debt ruin your financial future.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

It seems like just yesterday when you were looking to invest in a small-family home, and now all your little birds have grown up and left the nest. Suddenly that house that seemed perfect ten or so years ago feels a little big for just you and your spouse. There’s a whole new chapter ahead of you, but first you need to decide what to do with your empty nest.

Sell it
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Your first instinct might be to sell your house and move into something a bit smaller; after all, it’s too big for an older couple with grown kids, but it’s still perfect for another young family. It would be easy to get in touch with a local real estate agency or reach out to manausa.com or Zillow to sell your house. But you might not want to do that so quickly; your kids could visit during Thanksgiving or Christmas, or they might need a place to crash during the summer while they search for work. Many graduates end up moving back home after college because they can’t afford to move out completely. Even if they do manage to afford their own place, there’s always grandkids to consider; it’ll be easier to have the whole family visit in a big house than a smaller one built just for an older couple. 

Home Office

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Most people are now taking the option of working from home, so if you’re one of them you’ll need a proper place to work. Experts recommend that you shouldn’t bring your work home with you, but this is a tough rule to follow if you work at home. The best solution is to set yourself up in a now-empty room and eliminate as many home touches as possible to make the place feel more like an office. Bring in a desk, an ergonomic chair, and set up your laptop. 


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It’s a cliche to turn your child’s room into a gym once they leave, but if it encourages you to do more exercise then there’s nothing wrong with it. All you need to do is clear out all the furniture - make sure you pack up the personal items and store them somewhere safe - and put in whichever machines you’d like to use. You might also want to put up some mirrors along one of the walls so you can keep an eye on your posture.

Rent it out

If you’re open to making some extra cash, then why not rent out your empty bedrooms to a lodger. It could be a student from a local college, an international student, or someone who’s moved for work but hasn’t been able to sort accommodation yet. Each of these options means you’ll have a temporary tenant, so you can try it out for a few weeks to see if you like the arrangement. At the very least, you’ll be getting help paying the bills, and maybe some help around the house if your tenant is considerate about the mess they make. 

Did you know that having clutter around your home can stop your creativity from flowing and can prevent your mind from working properly? Having a clean and organized space to live will increase happiness, productivity and general well-being. This is because everything has it’s space, and there is nothing confusing the mind from more important things. Here are some ways in which you can organize your home for a cleaner mind.

This isn’t a suggestion for you to bomb around your home and throw everything away. These are simply going to be some tips on how to make your home less cluttered. Follow these four tips and you’ll soon start reaping the benefits!

1. Put things away
Making sure that all items have a place within a cupboard, drawer or closet (obviously unless it’s ornamental) is key to keeping your home tidy and organised. If some of your items don’t currently have their own place, then it’s time for a sort out. A good rule to go by when having a clear out is the six month rule. If it’s not been used in the last six months, and you don’t expect to use it in the next six months, then it’s likely that you’re holding onto it ‘just in case.’

2. Kitchen clean up
Don’t leave your kitchen out of the mix either. There are so many ideas online that you could adopt to organize your kitchen cupboards. Why not go the full whack and organize your refrigerator too? Not only will it make it easier to find the food you’re looking for, but if it’s done properly you can properly avoid any cross contamination within your refrigerator too.

Having a special place for your utensils, mugs, plates and everything else you use within your kitchen will make it easier to keep your kitchen organised even after regular use.

3. Toys
One thing that many parents struggle with is where to put their children’s toys when they’re not in use. Buy a large basket, or ottoman in which you could put their toys after use. It’s likely you’ll be able to find storage that matches your decor and keeps it feeling like home. Make sure your children get into the good habit of putting their toys away when they’re no longer playing, as this may affect how tidy their bedrooms are too!

4. Make room
Making room in your garage or shed for items that you don’t necessarily want in the house, but you know will be used again, or are sentimental items is a great way of keeping your home free of clutter, yet being able to hold on to the things that you really love.

Keep your home free of clutter and too much noise will create a much more pleasant atmosphere within your home. Having an organized home makes it easier to keep clean too. Why not apply these tips today and see the improvement for yourself?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

For many people, financial stability is a dream for them. They want to have money when they need it, then want to be able to splash on luxuries for themselves and their family, and they want to be free of debt for the rest of their lives so they can live a comfortable retirement. Sadly, this can seem like a monumental task especially if you’ve made questionable financial decisions in the past. However, resetting your financial situation and sowing new seeds for financial stability is possible—it just takes a lot of work and discipline. To help you get started with a fresh new financial start, we’ve compiled a list of tips.

Get rid of your debt as soon as possible

The more your debt lingers, the more interest you’ll end up paying. This is never a good thing, and it’ll start to eat into your wallet, your paycheck and even your sanity. One of the best ways to clear up your debts quickly is to look at debt consolidation. How this works is you take out a lump sum loan that clears up all of your existing debts. This accomplishes a couple of things. First, it lowers the amount of interest you pay. Because interest is added on top of your monthly repayments, you end up paying less if you’re able to repay your loan early. This is the first major advantage of debt consolidation loans and why it’s an attractive choice.

Secondly, it helps you by lowering the interest rate that you would’ve paid. Debt consolidation loans can be negotiated so that you get a low interest rate, which is great if you’re currently struggling with your financial situation. Lastly, it helps with your stress and mental situation. Paying several companies to cover your debts in addition to interest on top can be daunting, which is why it helps to consolidate all of those payments into a single loan. You can get more help at www.debtconsolidationloans.com if you’re interested in a debt consolidation loan. If you’re serious about starting a new financial life, then you need to clear your debts as soon as possible before they have time to fester and create more problems later in the future.

Controlling your spending

Spending is a major problem that needs to be tackled before you can sow the seeds to financial stability. The first hurdle to overcome is instant gratification, which is a habit where you completely forget any financial lessons you’ve learned and splash your cash on something meaningless or out of your budget. If you struggle with instant gratification, then this article from http://blog.iqmatrix.com/ will serve as a guide to help you beat your habits. Instant gratification is usually a tactic employed by companies to get you to spend more money. Short-duration deals and sales are typical in the world of business, which is why you need to learn how to avoid these traps in order to save money.

Spending habits can also be changed. For instance, do you really need all of your luxury subscription services? Whether it’s a subscription to several on-demand video services or premium services for your favourite piece of software, ask yourself if they’re really needed in your lifestyle. Take a look at this article from https://www.forbes.com/ that shows six different subscriptions that you can live without. It goes into detail with some common things such as a landline telephone and expensive gym memberships which aren’t needed in most of our lives but simply serve as luxuries. There are cheaper alternatives and there are times when we don’t even use them (as is the case with a landline telephone) so it can save you a lot of money.

Bleeding money with subscription services and microtransactions is a quick road to debt, so make sure you take better control over your finances by learning how to budget and manage your spending. It might help to set up a budget app on your smartphone or to simply be more aware of how much money is coming in and going out. Regardless of how much money you make, you should always be in the positive and have money left over to save for emergency situations and you should never be forced to live from paycheck to paycheck.

Personal finance options

There are plenty of ways to learn more about your personal finance options. For instance, you could invest your money once you’re finally out of debt instead of saving it in a bank. Most people use their savings account as a way to save up money, but saving too much money can be a bad thing. As explained in this article by http://www.investopedia.com/, there’s such a thing as saving too much money. It’s usually caused by people who have an obsession with saving money, and there’s nothing worse than reducing your quality of life for no reason. Money can be spent to improve yourself and lives of your family members, so don’t hoard it for no reason when it can be used in a positive way.

You can also make more money with your own business, a part-time job or even through your investments. This will help ensure that you always have money on hand for anything that you need, which is one of the biggest components of financial stability. Once you learn how to use your skills and multiple sources of income to grow your net worth, you’ll find that your money is better spent on investments for the future than simply rotting away in your savings account. Of course, it’s always important to have emergency savings, but the amount you need isn’t as much as you might think. Take control of your personal finance options and make sure your hard-earned cash is going to the right things instead of being wasted or given no purpose.

Hopefully, these tips have given you some insight into how you can reset your financial situation and sow new seeds to financial stability. With the right budgeting mentality and controlled spending, you can discipline yourself to manage your finances with ease.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Nature is amazing. Nothing beats lush, unbroken expanses. In a world where untouched areas are harder to come by than ever, such natural beauty is revered and loved by all. Poems have even been written about its healing qualities!

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We’re all busy, though, and finding the time to head to nature reserves and beautiful locations isn’t easy. In fact, for most of us, the only contact we have with the nature is our backyard. Yet, instead of creating the untouched natural areas we crave, many of us turn our gardens into manicured spaces. Why? Because it’s the ‘done thing.'. Your neighbors can see your garden, and you wouldn’t want them thinking it’s a mess, would you? 

But, it might be time to reconsider how we approach our yards. If you want to make full use of your outdoor sanctuary, it may be worth letting go of how you think a garden should be. Forget perfectly symmetrical lawns and gardens lacking in greenery. Let nature have its say. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be practical to let things go altogether. As a lawn is an enclosed space, it doesn’t quite have the freedom of open expanses. As such, you do need to keep some control to ensure it’s still a space you can use. So, how do you achieve a balance between majestic nature and wild mayhem?

Know Where You Can’t Compromise

Before you start the journey, it’s important to know where you can’t take your eye off the ball. Some areas will always need your attention. Forgetting about these could undo your efforts to create a more natural space. 

So, where can’t you compromise? The most notable area would be your lawn. Rather than looking beautiful, long grass looks scruffy. Plus, it can make the space less habitable. Who wants to spend time outside when they have to fight through tangles of grass to get there? So, there’s no getting around the fact that you still need to mow the lawn on a regular basis. The good news is, you can do this without disturbing the more natural image you’re working towards. Something like the zero-turn mowers mentioned on this site will ensure you can get close to your flowerbeds without cutting anything you don’t want to. They’ll also take the hassle out of the job to ensure your natural yard remains low maintenance! 

Patio areas also need some attention. As this is a man made area of the garden anyway, letting it run riot wouldn’t look right. There’s nothing beautiful about weeds sprouting between paving stones. Make sure to remove them as soon as they appear to stop things getting out of control. 

Let Your Flowers Run Free, But Only Where You Want Them

Flowers are, of course, the most beautiful aspect of the natural world. As such, you’ll want these to run free in your natural haven. But, how can you let them loose and still keep some control? Raised flower beds are your best option here. They keep the flowers separate from the lawn you want to keep clear and ensure seeds don’t spread. Within the flower beds, those flowers can go as crazy as they want to without looking messy. It’ll be an organized chaos. 

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To ensure these beds look stunning, it might be worth mixing all different types of flowers. Too often, we plant in clumps or stick to color schemes. That’s not how plants would act in the wild, and it looks contrived. Instead, mixing things up is sure to get that wild image you’re aiming for. One thing’s sure; your flowers will create an eye catching display this way. 

Inviting Wildlife Into Your Garden Without Letting It Do Damage

Of course, no natural haven would be complete without an injection of wildlife. Yet when many of us hear wildlife and garden in the same sentence, we shudder with horror. Animals have a way of ruining gardens. They eat plants, dig holes, and make mess. So, most of us do anything we can to keep them away. 

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But, is there a way to invite wildlife without worrying about a ruined garden? We think so. In many ways, those raised flower beds will help here. Applying a fine mesh fence around the edges will ensure animals can’t creep in and eat your flower supply. 

It’s also worth creating some spaces for those animals to live so that they don’t destroy your lawn. Wood piles, quiet corners, and areas of dug up mud should do the trick. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

We currently live in a world where we are far more conscious of the foods we eat and the activities we do, which means we are well-versed in looking after ourselves far more than we used to be. As you go through each decade, you start to look after yourself more and more in the hope of self-preservation.

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A big part of future-proofing your body and trying to guide your health through each decade of life is knowing exactly what you need to brush up on. You need to be able to look after yourself enough so that you don’t succumb to illness that can be fairly debilitating. No one wants to get to retirement age and feel like they are physically crumbling, despite the fantastic care at retirement villages that is available. You can watch a testimonial here about that. While no one is totally safe from illness, you can still take steps to keep your body as healthy as possible so that you can feel in control of your body for as long as possible.

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To do any of this, you need to ‘future-proof’ your body. You cannot stop the years from turning, but you can slow down the aging process! Take note of the steps below and give your body a shot at feeling younger for longer.

1. Exercise. Everywhere you go, there is advice that says that just thirty minutes of exercise a day can make a difference to your whole healthy outlook. From high intensity cardio like running, to low intensity like yoga or swimming, you can find an exercise that works perfectly well for your body and your own personal limits. Listen to what your body wants, though, as while you may feel like running a marathon, your knees may warn you against it.

2. Food. There is a phrase that says you are what you eat, and it has never been truer! It’s not as simple as an apple a day keeping the doctor away, but fueling your body with good, healthy foods and only indulging every once in awhile, can make a difference to everything from your skin tone to the fat around your heart.

3. Hydrate. Humans need what they are made of, and we are made of water. Keeping up an intake of at least 2 litres a day, every day can keep you hydrated. Headaches and dizziness, as well as general body aches, can all be alleviated by good hydration.

4. Limit Caffeine. There is a lot of food that contains caffeine, but coffee and tea are the main culprits. Switching your morning coffee to a morning hot water with lemon can shift your metabolism and get it working faster and longer.

5. Sleep. Believe it or not, sleep can keep you healthy. The body repairs its ailments while you rest and take time out and getting a full 8 hours of sleep a night can do wonders for your health.

6. Meditate. Among all the healthy options, keeping your mind healthy is crucial. You need to be able to keep on top of your mental health and you can read all about that here.

Whichever way you choose to live your life, keep your health at the forefront of your mind. It could save your life one day.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

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Moving into a new home is one of the most horrendously stressful, complex and exhausting things anyone can ever do (if you’ve done this then you’ll no doubt be nodding furiously right about now). There’s all the paperwork, the financial stress, the back and forth between you and seller, the agent you’re not sure you trust and then the physical act of moving. But, as if that isn’t enough, there is then the daunting realization that your house isn’t a home. 

You know that this comes with time, and you’ll make it your dream home very soon, but there are just certain things missing and little annoyances that keep making you grunt and things you wish you had to right now to make the homely feeling burst to life. 

As such, we have come up with a list of useful, fun and thoughtful things you should buy yourself as housewarming presents, to you from you. There’s nothing wrong with doing that. 

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Tools For DIYing

There are certain things you are going to want to have ready for those moments of magic where you suddenly realize what needs to be done (or those moments of frustration where you need a solution). We’re talking tape measure, hammer, extension cables, screwdriver, level, those sort of bits. 

Internet Extender

We pretty sure that this isn’t the official name and that they’re actually called powerline network adapters, but whatever the case they are super useful, especially when you have just moved in. We do recommend you look at http://www.thesmartfuture.net/powerline-adapter-reviews/ to see which would suit your needs, but they will all do that thing you will really want, which is bring you internet and data to the far corners of your home. Madness managed. 

New Locks

This may not sound like much fun, but it will definitely help you get a good night’s sleep. That’s because you don’t know who has keys to your current locks. Neighbors you haven’t met, agents you didn’t use, maintenance people you haven’t heard of, coworkers to the previous owners. Yeah, time to change the locks, or put some deadbolts on. 

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Bluetooth Speaker

Nothing makes somewhere more homely than a little bit of music, which is why you should definitely splash out on one of the speakers found on this list http://www.trustedreviews.com/guide/best-bluetooth-speakers. A waterproof one could be a great shout too, you know, to let you have a little sing in the shower. Music gives the world a soul and your new house a bit of je ne sais quoi. 

Temporary Artwork

If you have artwork tucked away in some of your removal boxes, then pull it out and get it up. You don’t need to go all permanent and hang it on the walls, just lean it up. If you don’t have any art, grab something fun and temporary, even if it is just a frame and piece of paper inside that reads, “I’m still saving for my Van Gogh”. 

As you can see, making a house a home is all about the little things.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

You don’t have to believe that we each have a duty towards the environment in order to want to do something to help it. If, like many others, you have come to realize that you could probably be doing a little more to help out the environment, then it is worth taking a look at some of the things you could do towards that end. One of the most common things stopping people from doing more is that they do not think that they can actually achieve much. They think that one person is not going to affect in any positive or lasting way the future of the Earth. But this is not true, and we hope to show you why in this post. Let’s have a look at some of the best ways to make your home as green as possible.

Take A Look At Your Water Consumption

It is surprising how few people look at how much water they are using when they hope to be a little greener at home. As it happens, your water consumption is going to be one of the biggest changes you can make, as well as actually being one of the easiest all in all. You can do plenty to improve your water consumption. It begins with little acts, such as switching off the tap as you brush your teeth. You can then move on to limiting your shower time, or washing your clothes less often or hand-washing them instead. By doing this, you can easily and swiftly reduce your consumption, and that will help the environment immediately and hugely.

How Is Your Home Powered?

One of the biggest changes you can make is to look at how your home is actually powered, and change it to a greener, more environmentally friendly option. You actually have a number of options here. First of all, it might be worth contacting a solar panel company to see how easily you could get some panels installed on your roof. These can save a lot of energy and soon pay for themselves, meaning that in the long run they are a financially viable option. Another common green energy source is to have heat pumps installed, which draw heat from the ground in a sustainable way to heat your home. However you do it, changing the power source will likely make a huge difference, and is well worth doing.

Using Appliances Rarely

As a general rule of thumb, you should endeavor to only use appliances when absolutely necessary. You might be surprised at how often you can wash your clothes in cold water, or how rarely you really need to use the dishwasher. Using appliances as little as possible will make a most significant difference to how much energy you use, and therefore how efficient your home is. It is also a relatively easy thing to incorporate into your home, so consider making that essential change today. You just might be the one who makes the difference.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

We all have financial woes at some point in our life, and whether we are working our fingers to the bone already, it can be difficult to try and save money when your outgoings are much more than your total income. While we can all try to get an extra part time job, does it result in as getting a lot more money? Not really. In fact, it may just be enough to get you by, so why don't you try and make the most of some of the most popular ways to make money on the side right now?

Going Freelance

Have you got a skill that you don't use much? If so, why don't you make the most of that and work freelance on the side of what you're already doing? If you can play an instrument, you could teach students online or if you blog, there are plenty of content sites that will pay for your opinions. Or if you like taking photographs there are stock photography sites. Have a look at www.careerfoundry.com/en/blog/career-change/successful-freelancer/ for more information on how to do it properly. There are plenty of options for you. And on the topic of expertise…

Writing Ebooks

If you have a skill set that is very niche, and you have enough knowledge that could fill a book you could write an eBook and sell it via Apple's iBooks or Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon. In fact, Amazon pays 70% royalties on books that are priced between $2.99 and $9.99 which is a decent amount of money if you sell enough eBooks. But it's always best to do your research first if you can find a gap in the market that you can fill.

How Many Old Smartphones Do You Have?

With every new phone contract every couple of years, you've probably got piles of old mobile phones stashed away, so why don't you sell them? There are plenty of websites that pay for your old items such as Buyback Express which can pay you easily via PayPal, check out www.buybackexpress.com/sell-electronics/ for additional information on what other electronic devices you can sell for a quick cash injection. If you've been using a mobile phone for around the 20-year mark you've probably got a few stockpiled somewhere, so why don't you make the most of them?

Focus Groups

Various focus groups will pay you for your time and opinions on products or services, but the best way to make the most out of this venture is to sign up with more than one focus group company. This will increase your chances of being called for a group. And as far as costs are concerned some can pay upwards of $300 but the vast majority pay much less, which means it's a good way to earn money on the side rather than a full-time money-making venture.

As well as these, there are plenty of other options you can find online such as taking surveys or doing transcription work. But it's always important to realize that there are plenty of options out there for you if you want to make some more money on the side without having to work a night shift in a supermarket!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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Gardens can really determine if a home is good or great. There are loads of houses that might look great on the outside, be wonderfully decorated on the inside, but have an awful back garden that lets it down. 

The main problem is, people just can’t keep up with regular garden maintenance. There are lots of things to do; mow the lawn, water the plants, get rid of weeds, sweep up leaves, and so on. As such, many people decide that a nice garden just isn’t worth their time and they don’t bother making it look nice at all. 

But, I’m here to tell you that you can have an amazing garden without all the maintenance. Here are some ideas that show you exactly how:

Lay Down Some Artificial Grass

Gardens with grass look so beautiful as the green really complements the area. Naturally, the problem is that you have to mow the grass and tend to it, so it stays nice and green. Well, you can have an amazing lawn without needing to maintain it if you lay down an artificial grass rug instead. These days, artificial grass looks and feels very real. So, you can have the perfect lawn without worrying about grass dying or getting too long, or having weeds grow through it. 

Get Some Fake Potted Plants

I think that every garden should have some sort of plants or flowers in it. They add some great color to the place and really make it look better. Again, plants come with the extra baggage that is regular maintenance. You need to water them, feed them, and make sure they don’t die out. But, if you get some fake potted plants, you can have gorgeous flowers without the extra work. They’ll sit around your garden and remain the same regardless of how the weather is, and you never have to feed them. As a consequence, you never have to fret over plants dying out and making your garden look horrible. 

Install A Patio Area

For me, a patio is a great thing to have in your garden. It gives it an extra dimension as you have a patio and then the grassy area too. It makes the garden feel more complete, and also provides extra functionality. With a patio, you can sit out on some deck chairs and eat dinner during the summer. Or, you could have a barbecue and host a garden party. The best thing is, patios require almost no maintenance at all. Compare this to wooden decking, and you have loads of extra maintenance to do. It’s a great thing to add to your garden if you want it to look nice without having to do extra work. 

You see, it’s easy to create an amazing garden that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Now, you’ve brought your whole home together by ensuring your backyard is just as gorgeous as the rest of your property. Not only that, but you’ve given yourself a garden you can go out in and enjoy. There’s a grassy area for your kids to play on and a patio for you to sit on a chair and relax. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Getting older and entering your golden years can be challenging for anyone; people can become frustrated that their bodies don’t do what they used to be able to, and with the health deteriorations that can occur in old age. Therefore, it’s vital that you do all you can to ensure that your elderly loved ones are able to feel young at heart and enjoy a great quality of life. You’ll want your older family members to remain a part of family life for years to come, and enjoy lasting memories with them. The following are some things to consider if you have ageing loved ones and want to make sure that they a leading a full and happy life.

Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/couple-elderly-man-old-34761/

One of the most debilitating things to any person’s welfare is the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Therefore, keeping up a regular line of communication with your loved ones is a crucial part of making them feel needed and a key part of your family. Ensure that you phone or video call the seniors in your family on a regular basis; set a time each week, so that it’s something that doesn't get forgotten in busy household life. The odd call here and there, or a greetings card during the holidays, will make your relatives feel like an afterthought; so make as much effort as possible to contact them as much as you can.

If the distance is not too far; ensure that you visit your older family members and have face-to-face contact. As people age and their families grow up; their social life can often become narrow, so occasions where they mingle and go places will lessen. Be the one to invite your relative over for lunch at the weekends, or to watch your kid’s football practise at the school. You can learn more at www.agingcare.com on how to keep the elderly active, so pick up some advice and tips. Keeping someone as an integral part of family life will keep them feeling young and able, and will be a positive part of them getting older.

You should enjoy the various members of your family; older relatives can often provide an insight into life that you won’t have because they have been through more experience. Advice is another benefit of a mature loved one; learn from their hindsight and ideas on life. Grandchildren will always help to keep their grandparents young; there’s nothing quite like the innocence and humor of kids to keep an elderly person laughing and sharing stories. Therefore, make sure that you keep your ageing parents close to your family, by making them an integral part of bringing up your children.

It’s essential that you make allowances for health and mobility issues; don’t make your loved ones feel like a burden, if they have any problems, just accept them and adapt your plans so they can get involved successfully and enjoy their time with you. Many of the older generation don’t want to feel like a burden to their families, so make sure that you remind them of how important they are in your lives and you’re thankful for all they do and have done. Making your elderly relatives feel appreciated is the best way to keep up communication with them, and will prevent them from feeling isolated and unloved.

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As mentioned earlier; your ageing family may be experiencing certain health and mobility issues, that prevents them from doing what they want to each day. You don’t want a person to deteriorate because they are under stimulated and depressed from a lack of normal life, so make sure that you’re doing all that you can to keep them active, well-fed, and thinking regularly. Simple gestures, like bringing over a hearty home-cooked meal and staying to watch a movie with them, each week, will be something they will look forward to and keep them in the loop of everyday life and entertainment.

Sometimes, you loved ones will need more care than you’re able to give them so that they can have a great quality of life. Therefore, it’s essential that you know when and where to seek expert help, care, and advice for your family. Whether your parent is afflicted by bad memory or mobility issues; there are a number of facilities that can assist them and will give the peace of mind that they’re being well looked after. You can learn more at www.parcprovence.com about how qualified carers can enrich your family member’s lifestyle and what their environment will be like. Care homes and facilities will still allow you to visit and communicate with your parent or relative regularly, so don’t be fearful to research into utilizing one.

Your elderly loved one’s needs will change with time, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about seeking help outside of your family environment. Often, nurses and carers become a new member of your family, and you’ll begin to put your faith and trust in them to look after your relative and to make sure that their needs are being met. Don’t be nervous to ask questions, and keep checking on the progress of your family member. You may be able to spot an issue that a professional can’t, as you’ve known them your whole life, so speak up and change things if needed.

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The best thing that you can do for the senior members of your family is to understand their process and changing needs. It can be difficult to relate what someone is going through if you haven’t experienced any of it for yourself. However, putting yourself into the shoes of your loved ones may help you to see how daily life could be a struggle and a challenge. You have the power to help to enrich their life and encourage them to stay young at heart; so it’s worth taking every opportunity to do so. You’ll end up getting just as much out of helping and enjoying your elderly family members as they do; just give them your love, time, and patience.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Finding a housewarming gift for someone for when they move into their home can be tricky, especially if you’re unsure of items that they may or may not already have. The typical houseplant or set of plates is an easy gift if you’re unsure of what to get, but if you want to get something a bit more thoughtful, particularly for couples that you’re close to, you may want to think of something else. These great gift ideas are some of the ideal suggestions for welcoming a couple into their new home.

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A boxset/Netflix subscription

The expense of moving into a new home could leave little room for date night or dinners out, so a boxset or a subscription to Netflix will be the gift that keeps on giving. Give them a list of shows they should watch, and you’ll effectively give them their date night viewing for months or years to come! Taking time to chill in front of a thrilling TV show at the end of the day is a good way to unwind, as well as give couples a shared interest to enjoy together.

Matching bathrobes

Nothing is more comforting than snuggling up together in a fluffy white bathrobe. Get some matching bathrobes that can give that ‘luxury hotel’ feeling. Even if they already have bathrobes, they make useful items for guests that come to visit so you can be sure that they won’t go to waste. An additional touch could be to have them embroidered with their names or initials or simply a his/hers design.

Personalized glassware

Etched and engraved glassware is another great way to welcome a couple into their new home, after all, you can never have too many glasses. Get them personalized with the couple’s names or the date they moved into their home for a gift that can either be used or displayed as a wonderful reminder. Alternatively, you could choose personalized coffee mugs, pitchers or other items that will make a very thoughtful housewarming gift - the choice of products is endless, but that personal touch will make it special.

Food gifts

Food gifts are another great idea for a housewarming gift, and you can find several creative food gift ideas on Pinterest. You could choose from recipe books or a hamper of ingredients to make a particular type of dish or even cookery lessons that they can take together to learn how to make something great in their new home. A hamper of fruit or baked goods is another great suggestion if you have a limited budget for your gift. 

If you’re still struggling to find the perfect housewarming gift, then this article on making a house a home could give you some inspiration based on personal touches to transform a home. Whatever gift you decide to give, it’s important to remember that it’s the thought that counts and the happy couple will be touched that you’ve taken the time to choose something for them to celebrate a huge milestone in their lives.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

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A home is your castle, the place you feel the most comfortable. It is the place you yearn for after a hard day’s work and the building that holds the most memories. It makes sense, then, that your property is a home and not a house. What is the difference, you ask? Well, simply put, a house is a property that lacks personality. Scratch that – it’s a property that lacks your personality. As the owner, it is your job to imbue it with as many of your character traits as possible. That way, the transformation process can begin. 

Obviously, adding personality isn’t as easy as saying it out loud or in your head. To make it happen, it is essential to take action and start the process. So, if you don’t know where to start, you should take a look at the following. These are the tips that will instill character into your house. 

Move Out

‘Seriously? I Need To Move?!’ No, you don’t have to go if you don’t want because it is a long and stressful process. However, a new property is a chance to stamp your authority into a property. The problem with old houses is that they have too much going on to be able to concentrate on one area. If you look around, it is probably almost impossible to see where you are going to make any changes. Indeed, homes are notorious for being stubborn from a design perspective. Thankfully, a new house allows the owner to start over again. The right property is a blank check, and, like a painter’s easel, it is waiting for you to throw color. Anyway, the average person moves more than eight times in a lifetime. For those who are below this number, then moving might be on the agenda in the future. Better to get ahead now than to react later. 

Visualize & Buy

Okay, moving out is a bit too much for now. That isn’t a problem as there are other options. The first is to add furniture throughout the house. Furniture is important in any property because it takes up lots of space and acts as a focal point. From an interior design perspective, the right pieces will add warmth and the style you want. More importantly, the comfort of the furniture should play a part in the decision process. A sofa, for example, is a place to sit and relax to take off the edge after a stressful day. As such, it’s vital to picture yourself using the item before you sign on the dotted line. Armchairs that aren’t comfy or mattresses that aren’t relaxing don’t fit the brief, and the only way to tell is to try before you buy. 

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Play Around

Once you have the items at home, there is no reason to keep them in the same place. Static furniture is boring, and it soon loses its appeal. Even if it adds a level of character, it is hard to see it when you aren’t pleased or perceive a different reality. The solution is simple: restructure the room. It is worth noting that some fittings will have to stay put, like the shower or sink. Still, the ones that are moveable are the perfect candidates for a restructure. All you have to do is swap the armchair with the sofa, or turn the attention away from the TV to an alternate focal point. This is a minor change but it makes all the difference in most homeowners’ minds. It is amazing what a play around with furniture can do for the entire property. 

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For now, let’s focus on the furniture because accessorizing the whole house is a big deal. Thankfully, decorating furniture is a lot easier. The trick is to add cushions and pillows and blankets to give the piece a new contrast. The fact that you do this, and it is unique to your home, makes it personal. However, it is possible to add personality by accessorizing the accessories. What does this mean? It means you can take one and add another level of character. Think about a throw pillow for a moment. Most people buy them from the store and stick with the same style. But, you can change the pillow’s cover by knitting a new one which is less generic. Or, in the case of the blanket, don’t buy an industry one. Instead, use one that you have had for a while, one that has sentimental value. You can even take it further by stitching one together with your belongings. 

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Add Artwork 

The great thing about art is that it is incredibly personal to the individual. So, there is no reason to use a piece that has been in your family for years. Let’s face it; most families don’t have a piece of artwork they pass down through the generations. Therefore, you can go out and buy the pieces which take your eye. They don’t even need to have a backstory as art can simply make you feel a certain way. Of course, using pieces that have sentimental value does take it to the next level. If you like to paint, don’t be afraid to use your drawings and paintings around the house. Or, you can opt for artwork that a friend has created with you in mind. A reminder: artwork doesn’t have to be a painting or a drawing. For all you pottery buffs, homemade antiques are a perfect addition. Artwork is a broad term for anything creative. 

Decorate With A Hobby

There aren’t many things more personal than a hobby. A hobby is something you do a couple of times a week which keeps you occupied and happy at the same time. As a result, it is a huge part of your life. The good news is that you can use a hobby or hobbies for interior design purposes as long as you think outside the box. Take music as an example. A musician like you will have instruments lying around the house. But, instead of ushering them into a corner, you can put them on the wall or create space. Not only are they striking, but they are a beautiful addition to any home. Just think about how often you see a home piano and think ‘I would love one of those.’ This works for any hobby, from a sports enthusiast to a gym lover. 

Display Achievements 

When you reach a certain age, accomplishments are more readily available. The problem is that they don’t have the same glamor when you are older. It’s something about having perspective. As such, most people hide them away or put them in storage and forget they exist. Apart from being a sign of disrespect, it is always a missed opportunity. Achievements are personal to the individual because only a handful of people can say they have done the same thing. Therefore, they are unique and need displaying around the house. Whether it is a trophy or a medal, or a plaque or whatever, there is no better way to add personality. Plus, looking at them evokes memories, and memories are another great way to set to create an atmosphere. 

Finally, don’t forget about the exterior. Everyone thinks turning a house into a home is all about the inside when it is not. If anything, the outside of the home has a big a role as any to play because people make quick judgments. Also, it’s a huge space which you can tailor to your needs and wants. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

There comes a time when you realise that your house just doesn't look or feel the same anymore. The appliances are breaking, the door keeps getting jammed, the window still hasn't been replaced, and the roof has holes in it. Sound familiar?

This happens to the best of us, but then one thing seems to add to another, and it feels as though the whole house is going to come crashing down on us!

It's not a nice feeling, and it can really take its toll on you mentally, because it's a constant stress hanging over your head, (literally). We begin to question why we even bother trying to sort it out. It's too much time, effort and money, right? - But what's your plan? You're just going to wait until you're forced to move out? - There's no need. You just have to tackle your problems head on, and once it's done - it's done. You don't have to think about the issues anymore because they no longer exist!

Here's how.

Start with a few
Don't try and get everything done at once. Although it's tempting, you will just exhaust yourself, and it will work out being even more difficult than you originally expected because you are limiting yourself to time, and that's not only stressful, but unrealistic in general. So instead, pick a few things, and give yourself a week (or more depending on the job) to complete them. Then you can cross them off your list of things to do until there's nothing left.

Know your DIY Limit
You'd be surprised by the amount of things you can actually fix yourself with the right YouTube video and tools! Having said that, know your limit. If the task is feeling rather intimidating - it's for a reason, so don't push yourself otherwise you could end up breaking whatever it is you're trying to fix for good, or even worse, cause yourself an injury. Instead, get a quote fast and see whether your expenses can cover it. Then you can take it from there.

Don't cut corners
If you have a repair in which requires you to purchase the top of the range materials - do so. Otherwise, you won't be doing it properly, and even at the time it may look and feel as if there's no problem, but after a while, you will come to realise why you should have got the more expensive stuff. 

It really isn't worth being cheap, especially because you will just end up buying it anyway! The same goes for paying someone to do the job for you - you get what you pay for.

Befriend online forums.
Nowadays the internet is the only source of information you need, and forums are just a gold mine for issues.

People come together collectively to share tips and tricks from all aspects of life, whether that be Mommy tips, business ventures or relationship advice. So put out your issue and wait to hear back from other people that have gone through it and are more the wiser.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Modernizing your home might seem like a daunting project to take on, but it doesn’t have to be. And just focus on the outcomes; your home will look stunning and up to date, and that’s worth the effort and investment required. If you’re wondering which steps to take in order to get started, read on and get inspired.

Brighten Up the Exterior

You should start on the outside. After all, people always see the outside of your home before they see the inside. If you want to make the exterior look fresh and modern again, you should start by brightening it up. This is easy to do, but it has a big impact on the initial impressions people get of your home. If the windows have shutters, you should paint them bright and vibrant colors. You should do the same with your front door. Add some flowers, and the transformation will be complete already.

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Make the Most of Contemporary Art

Adding some new contemporary art to your home could have a big impact on how modern and up to date it feels. It will make the space fresh and interesting. If your home currently feels stuck in the past, this modern blast could be just what it needs to switch things up a little. There are so many options out there when it comes to choosing modern art. And you don’t have to just stick to hanging paintings on the wall. You might want to choose sculptures instead.

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Install Solar Panels and Embrace Renewable Energy

Installing solar panels is a great way to make your home modern. Sure, it doesn’t necessarily do much for how the home looks, but looks aren’t everything. You also have to make sure that your home functions in a way that is modern and up to date. Solar panels allow you to embrace renewables and live in a way that is clean and green. This is just what you need if you want your home to be modern. Solar panel installation is affordable and easy these days. And you’ll end up saving a lot of money, so take action today.

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Opt for Some Unexpected Colors and Patterns

Older homes can often seem a bit drab and dull. If that’s the case in your home, you should make an effort to liven up the space a little. By doing that, you can give the home a new look right away. It will be bright, vibrant and striking as soon as anyone walks in. It’s even better to opt for colors and patterns that are not usually associated with older homes. When you make design decisions that are not what most people would expect, you can make the home feel new and modern again, which has to be a positive.

There is no reason why your home has to be stuck in the past just because it’s old. If you take the steps mentioned above, you will be able to blend the old with the new in a way that works wonderfully.