Monthly Archives: December 2016

4 Ideas For Giving Your Front Porch A Beauty Boost

If there’s one area of the house that is often neglected when it comes to decor updates, it’s the front porch. This is because most people see it as being an ‘in-between’ space – it’s not a designated area as such, like the hallway, for instance, it’s a space that has no real purpose. However, despite this, your porch should be a pretty space, after all, it’s the first place that your visitors will see when arriving at your home, so it’s important that it makes a good first impression.

Big or small, your front porch has a lot of potential to be a beautiful space. To give your porch a beauty boost, take note of the four ideas below:

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  1. Update the covering (or add one if you don’t already have one)

If your front porch covering is old and outdated, now could be the perfect time to replace or update it. Perhaps it’s looking a little worse for wear and could do with a good clean, if so, take the time to clean it up. If however, your porch doesn’t have a covering, or it’s old and outdated, perhaps now could be the perfect time to add one. To get inspired, have a browse online and then get what you need from a site like Varico, or invest in a ready-made canopy to pop over your door.

  1. Paint your front door

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Has your paint started to peel or has your front door started to look a little worse for wear? If so, now could be the perfect time to do so. Obviously, you could just invest in a new front door, but by choosing to paint it instead, you should be able to save yourself a good amount of money. Plus, you would be amazed at how much difference a coat of paint (or a coat of varnish) can make to the look of your front door.

  1. Add accessories

You may not think of accessories as being something that should be used to decorate your home’s exterior, but believe it or not, they can be incredibly useful. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make all the difference when it comes to the appearance of a space, so don’t discount how useful a few well thought out accessories can be when it comes to beautifying your porch.

  1. Dot plant pots around

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A simple way to brighten up your porch is with the use of potted plants. Pick out some pretty pots that match the colour of your front door and fill them with plants or shrubs that look pretty all year around. You would be amazed at how much difference a few potted plants can make to how welcoming a space looks. You could also string some fairy lights around your plant pots so that at night they get a pretty glow. If you’re going to use fairy lights, make sure to invest in solar powered ones that are made to be outside.

So there you have it, four simple ways to give your porch a beauty boost.

Updating Your Sitting Room? Don’t Forget These Stylish Additions

Black Flat Screen Tv Near Black Chair on Living Room

Once January is here, many of us are ready to turn over a new leaf and start some new chapters in our life. That’s not all, though; lots of people also plan on sprucing up their home and giving some of their rooms a nice makeover ready for the year ahead. And one of the most popular rooms that undergoes a makeover in January is the living room. As this is one of the most used rooms in any home, there is no wonder that homeowners want to make sure that there’s has the wow factor. But how exactly do you add the wow factor to your cosy living room? You just need to remember to add these stylish additions.

A Piece Of Statement Furniture

If you want to really wow anyone who sees your new living room, you should think about adding a piece of statement furniture. What makes the item of furniture a statement? It should stand out from everything else in the room and be a real attention grabber. Most people go for a large sofa as their piece of statement furniture, such as a Chesterfield sofa. Alternatively, you may want to go for a chic oak coffee table that you could decorate with a statement centrepiece.

Brown Wooden Table With Silver Mug on Top

A Mirror

Another great addition to any living room is a large mirror on an accent wall. This will work very well in smaller living rooms as it can help to make them feel a lot bigger than what they actually are. If you want your mirror to stand out as much as possible, go for something very decadent, such as one with a gilded frame. However, if you would prefer a minimal decor, a gilded-framed mirror won’t match the discrete decor. In this case, it would be worth going for a simple metallic frame.

Stylish Light Fittings

Lights are one of the most practical parts of any living room. They are necessary to light up the room, and the right lighting can add a great illusion of space. But why just add the simplest of light fittings to your room when you could turn them into one of the room’s most decorative features? If you have some wall lights, make them look very pretty with some fancy sconce lighting fixtures. You could turn your room’s central light into a centrepiece by adding an elaborate shade.

Brown Wooden Sofa Set With Lighted Table Lamp

Plants And Flowers

One great way to add some colour into your living room is to add plenty of fresh flowers and plants. Not only will they pop with colour, but they will also help to freshen up the air in your living room as well. You’ll find that adding some plants will be a great way to get rid of any musty smells that may be lingering! Don’t worry if you think you won’t be any good at keeping the plants alive; there are plenty of low-maintenance ones that are perfect for keeping in your home. Think about going for spider plants and English ivy.

Has The Cost Of Christmas Got You In a Financial Muddle? Here’s How To Fix It!

A gift list as long as your arm, food, travel, decorations and so much more. Christmas is financially draining; there’s no doubt about it! Once the big event is over you might find your finances are looking a little sorry for themselves, you might have even got yourself in a muddle with money due to missed bills or borrowing. Here’s how you can go about putting it all right.

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Have a No-Spend January

A no spend month is a sensible option after a frivolous Christmas! This is where you spend no money on unnecessary purchases. Once things like bills, food, and travel is out of the way, all other spending should be zero. Instead of expensive days out, have a pamper day at home or set up a family movie or board game night. Use the time to clean and declutter your house and get prepped and organized for the months ahead. Use the money you save to pay off any debts you accumulated at Christmas, or to pay off any bills or things you missed over the festive period. If your debts are more ongoing and you have multiple lines of credit, you could take out a loan to consolidate everything into one payment. This can make everything more manageable and reduce the interest you’re paying to debt overall. You can check your credit score on sites like MyCreditMonitor, knowing your score will give you a good indication as to whether you’ll be accepted for further credit.

Sell What You’re No Longer Using

The average household has thousands in unused items. After Christmas is the perfect time to sell what you don’t need, since lots of new things are likely to have come into the home. Technology like laptops, tablets, and mobile phones can fetch a good price, even if they’re fairly old and outdated. Try places like eBay or use a website which buys used technology. Clothes, shoes, and other items can be sold at boot sales or even on local Facebook groups. Any money you raise is better than it sitting in drawers as unused items, collecting dust. Plus it allows someone else to get something that’s new to them for a good price, so it’s a win-win.

Plan For Christmas Next Year

You don’t need to start saving right away (unless you want to!) but plan, and be better organized for Christmas 2017. If you’ve found yourself in a bit of a mess financially, learn from this and know how to do it better next year. Maybe you could start saving and buying for Christmas earlier in the year to better spread the cost. Many people see the beginning of autumn as far too soon to be thinking about Christmas, but when you have a limited budget, it’s a good time to start. If you start buying small items and non-perishable food items in around September, by December you should have a good amount ready to go, and it will take the strain off.

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Tips On Caring For Your Parents As They Age

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One minute, you’re young and enjoying the freedom of life, and the next, you’re an adult with a family of your own and aging parents. It can feel as if life has passed you by in an instant. You’re doing your best at being a great parent and enjoying the journey as you go. But, you might also find that there’s more to being an adult than being a parent; you’re still a child too.

As your parent’s age, not only do you have to look after your kids, but you have to think about caring for them too. It doesn’t have to be a challenging experience; you can even enjoy it. If you’re starting to care for elderly parents, these tips should make you feel prepared in no time at all.

Be Supportive

One of the most important things for you to do when caring for an elderly parent is to be supportive. Just like when you were growing up, and you needed them, now, they need you. Listen to them and do your best to understand their needs. If they’re moving into a full-time care facility, or even into your home, you’re going to want to support their transition as well as you can.

Be Available

You’re also going to want to be around a lot more. The chances are, you’re pretty free with your time as you are a parent and caring for your children is a priority. But now, you have another set of people to care for, so it can help to become as available as possible. If your parents need taking to the supermarket or their latest round of orthopaedic treatment, they might need you to be there with them.

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Be Flexible

It will also help you all if you can be flexible around your parents. They probably don’t want to have to rely on you at all, but in reality, they may need to. As they age, their needs may change. They may require more assistance with everyday tasks or a lot more independence. Whatever it is that they require, try to be as flexible and accommodating as you can.

Be Kind

This one probably seems straightforward, but it’s a lot harder than you think. Yes, you will be nice to your elderly parents, just as you always have been. But, as they adjust to life in old age, they might need a little extra kindness in their lives. If they’re struggling to accept that they’re getting old, a familiar face and reassurance will see them on their way.

Be There

And lastly, but most importantly of all, just be there for them – whenever you can. It doesn’t matter if your parents are living independently or in your home, just knowing that you are there will help them to adjust. Be someone that they can talk to, vent to, a shoulder to cry on and even great company. There’s no better reward than paying your parents back for the time they spent raising you than returning the favour.

Tips To Improve Your Dog’s Health

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We usually see January as a bit of a fresh start as the slate’s wiped clean from last year, and it gives us a chance to examine our lives. However, while you’re deciding whether you need to eat healthier, get more exercise or prioritize your home life over your workload don’t forget your pets. Improving your dog’s life should be just as important as focusing on your own goals, as a happy, healthy dog and a happy, healthy human can often benefit from the same things.

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Reassess The Daily Walk Schedule

Daily walks should be a key element of every dog’s life no matter how big or small they are. Regular walks stimulate them mentally and physically, keeps them fit and active and also lets your dog breathe plenty of fresh air after being in the house all day. Depending on the breed you’ll be walking your dog at least once a day if not more, so it’s important that both you and they stick to a workable schedule. Dogs are very intelligent creatures and a routine helps them feel secure, happier and safer as they’ll know what to expect such as when it’s time for them to be fed, walked, played with, bathed and even popped into their basket at bedtime.

Try A Memory Foam Pet Lounger

Older dogs can suffer terribly with arthritis and other bone problems, so it’s important your pet is lying properly when sleeping. Memory foam pet loungers are upholstered in a durable, stain resistant fabric and even contain nano-technology to reduce odors as well as being easily cleaned thanks to machine washable covers. A cooling memory foam core helps to keep your dog from overheating at the same time as being a comfy, cozy and soft place for your dog to relax. These orthopaedic dog beds encourage your pet to stretch out into a healthier sleeping position instead of curling up, squashing their legs and affecting their spines.

Check Your Dog’s Diet Is Complete

It’s critical that your pet is getting all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that they need and their diet has a huge role in the overall health of your dog. Look for dog food brands that put a dog’s health at the forefront of their values, feed treats only occasionally and make sure that your dog has dental sticks to chew on. Dogs should not be overweight as it can put a strain on their joints and heart as well as affect their ability to run, play and even breathe properly. If you’re at all concerned about your dog’s weight, then do book an appointment with your vet.

Plan Mentally Stimulating Activities

Dogs need to be regularly stimulated otherwise they get bored quickly which, in turn, leads to bad behavior such as a chewing furniture, whining or being aggressive. Plan a range of activities, have a good collection of dog toys and games and make sure your dog is treated like a proper family member. Dogs love nothing more than catching tennis balls, retrieving sticks and running around outside so make sure you have plenty of time where they can be off the leash safely.

How To Afford The Wedding Of Your Dreams

When you start planning a wedding, costs mount up very quickly. Before you know it, you’ve hit your budget, and you’ve still got loads to think about. Weddings are expensive, there’s no avoiding this. However, it is possible to afford your dream wedding. If you’re getting married soon, and you’re hoping to achieve your dream day without financial stress, take these handy tips on board.

Money-saving measures

When it comes to weddings, you can spend hundreds or thousands, even millions. Every couple has a different budget, and it’s often possible to make massive savings. You can save on virtually every aspect of your wedding, from the catering and the dress to transport and table decorations. One way of reducing costs is to make the most of your creative talents. If you’re prepared to put in the hours, you can save a tonne of money on table and room decorations, favours, and stationery. It’s also a great idea to have a look around you, and think about how your closest friends and family could help. Don’t be afraid to ask for favours if your best friend is a hairdresser or your auntie is a star baker. In most cases, you’ll find that those close to you are more than willing to pitch in whenever possible.

Wedding Reception Sign

Saving strategies

If you’re dreaming of the perfect wedding day, start saving now! The more money you can put away before the big day, the better. Calculate your budget, and work out how much you can afford to put aside every week or month. If you stick to a plan, you’ll boost the balance and prevent overspending on non-essentials. If you haven’t already, open a savings account that is devoted solely to your wedding. This will enable you to focus on saving, and to see exactly what you have available to spend.

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Borrowing money

Many couples borrow money to cover the cost of their big day. In the UK, the average cost of a wedding is around £21,000, and for most of us, this isn’t the kind of money we have lying around. If you’re short, you may wish to consider borrowing. Some people choose to borrow off friends and family, while others look to a personal loans lender. If you are thinking of taking out a loan, seek help from a financial adviser, and weigh up your options. It’s essential to make sure that you can afford the cost of repayments. If you take out a loan and you miss instalments, this can affect your credit rating, and you’re likely to incur penalties. If you can, it may be better to borrow off a family member and set up a repayment schedule, as this will eliminate interest fees.

Loan Agreement

There’s no getting around the fact that weddings are an expensive do, but this is the most important and special day of your life, and you want it to be amazing. If you’re getting married in the coming months, start saving as soon as possible, and set up a dedicated wedding fund. Put money aside when you can, and think about ways you could save money on the day. If you can’t afford the wedding of your dreams, you could consider borrowing either from somebody you know or from a bank or loan provider. If you do take out a loan, always read the small print, and make sure you understand the terms of the agreement.

Milton antibacteria wipe review

I always make sure I have cleaning wipes and products in the house as I am a little OCD about certain areas of the house been super clean and hygienic e.g. bathroom and kitchen.  I have baby wipes – despite not having a baby, they are so handy for when my niece and nephews come over, or to put in my handbag to take out with me, or even wiping down worktops and other items.

Milton antibacterial wipes

They are priced at around £2.05 and come in packs of 30 wipes.  These can be picked up from most stores such as boots, Superdrug, Sainsbury’s & Tesco.  I don’t think they are too badly prices as Milton is a good popular brand.

I would buy this product and recommend it to friends and new mums.

*I was sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tech A Moment To Think If You Need That Household Gadget

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We are constantly under deluge from a range of technology options. We live in the Digital Age, with constant revolutions of tech changes coming every year. It’s easy to see our lives becoming more and more binary in the literal sense – our entire existence brought down to mere 1s and 0s.

It’s easy to let your eyes turn into saucers of excitement, wanting to absorb all of the changes and update every aspect of our lives. Technology promises that things will be bigger, bolder and better – simplifying the things we dislike. We infer from that that we will have more time for the things we do like, and the excitement is palpable.

However, before you go and drop a month’s rent on the latest home tech must have – there are a few important questions to ask yourself.

  1. Is It Fulfilling A Function?

Take an ice cream maker. On the surface, that seems like a great idea. Finally, you can create your own ice cream from whatever flavours you want. You can use any ingredients you want, skipping on the massive amounts of sugar found in store-bought brands.

Except… how often do you eat ice cream? You might think you’ll eat it more if you can make your own, but it’s probably still not going to be that often. You’re looking at a lot of time to prepare your dish – are you really going to be doing that regularly enough to justify the investment?

  1. Do I Understand What It Does?

It might seem a silly question. Few of us understand many of the things in our home – we just need them to work. But look through any reviews online, and you will see a constant stream of a similar kind of complaint. “It doesn’t do what I thought it did” or “it’s not what I expected”.

You see reviews for robot vacuums annoyed they don’t go upstairs or coffee machines that you can’t make tea with. Frequently these are negative reviews when the product isn’t at fault – the purchaser is.

You don’t have to know the absolute nuts and bolts of how it actually works, but you do need to ensure you’re well aware of what you’re getting – and what you’re not getting. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a time-consuming returns process that may even include a restocking fee.

  1. Am I Aware of the Electricity It Requires?

The purchase price is not the only financial concern when buying a new item. You have to be aware of how much it’s going to cost to run, with the foremost concern being electricity. Check the energy rating and read reviews; any mention of “needs to be constantly charged” means you have to factor this into your decision.

  1. Did I Want Something Like This Before?

If you have dreamt of being able to turn your TV on with a wave of your hand, then sure – go for the novelty purchase. But if it’s a brand new innovation to you that you are suddenly captured by, there’s a chance you don’t need it at all and are just falling for the hype.

Ensure Your Home Is Ready For Your Christmas Guests By Doing The Following Things

If it’s your turn to host Christmas this year, it can leave you feeling the heat. After all, there is so much you need to ensure your humble abode is ready. You want everyone to have a pleasant time in your property. And it’s important to also make sure it’s looking its best, so people think that your home is wonderful. Here are a few things you must do to ensure your home is ready for your Christmas guests.

Make sure the kitchen is clean and tidy

Your guests will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen this year. Whether it’s to make themselves drinks or to help you with the cooking, it will be one of the rooms they spend the most time in. Therefore, you need to make sure it’s clean and tidy before your guests arrive. You should give the sides a wipe down and get rid of any old items in the kitchen. Also, you might want to give the bins a thorough wash; the smells from old food might linger in your kitchen! And you should remember to give the oven a good clean before you before you stick the turkey in there this year! Here is an easy guide to cleaning your oven!

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Make sure your heating is working efficiently

There’s nothing worse than your guests feeling cold while they are at your home celebrating the holidays. After all, you want a warm home to have an enjoyable Christmas. Therefore, before your guests arrive, you need to make sure your heating is working efficiently. That way, you can turn it to a good temperature to keep your family cozy. If you are having trouble with your heating, it’s best to get it sorted now before your guests arrive. You can look online to find a company who provide heating services. That way, they can resolve the issue quickly, and you can ensure the home is toasty before your guests arrive.

Get your bathroom all set for the guests

One thing you should make spick and span before your guests arrive is the bathroom. After all, you want it clean for your guests. Therefore, you should make sure you give it a good clean before they arrive. It would be wise to put some towels in the bathroom for them to use while they are visiting. And if you are lucky enough to have another bathroom, it might be wise to move your own items in there while you have guests over for the holidays.

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Clear out your garage

Unless you want to start blocking your neighbor’s homes, it would be wise to sort out the car situation before your guests arrive. It would be a good idea to put your own car in the garage so that your guests can park on the driveway. Therefore, clean out your garage and put your car in there before the guests arrive. And make sure the driveway is in good condition before your guests arrive. After all, you don’t want them to end up with a flat tyre down to your drive!

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And remember to cozy up your property. You ought to add some cozy blankets and cushions. And you should add some scented candles in your living room. As I said before, there are tons of beautiful Christmas scented ones around at the moment!

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Perfect Date Ideas For Outdoors

It may be your first date together, or your tenth – it really doesn’t matter. If you’re going to plan the perfect date, then you should do it right.

Though, doing it right doesn’t mean you have to go crazy or spend lots of money on elaborate activities like getting in a hot air balloon or riding camels through the desert – go for it if that’s your thing, but it’s just not necessary.

Many people think that having a date outdoors means it has to be this big crazy event, but even if this is the date where you pop the question, it can still be a simple outdoor affair where you just enjoy the beauty of nature as it is without going over the top.

Here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing and into date mode.

Open air cinema:

Just like the indoor cinema, people still watch movies together on dates, because who doesn’t love a good movie. This type of date works for every stage of your relationship. In the beginning, it’s a good way of avoiding awkward silences and gives you something to talk about on the way home, and once you’ve been together a while, then you’re getting out of the house and spending some time together on a date. Going to an open air cinema is a fun experience in the middle of summer and puts a fun twist on watching a movie together.

Outdoor sports:

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Whether you simply enjoy nice hikes in the mountains, or you’re into something a bit more daring like rock climbing, or even skydiving, there are plenty of ways to show your adventurous sides together from the first date. If candles and flowers aren’t really your thing, then there are plenty of ways to get to know each other.

No matter what your activity is, you should always bring a flashlight in case the unexpected happens.

 Picnic or BBQ:

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Most of us love to eat outside in the summer – there’s just something pretty magical about it. So whether you feel like inviting your date to a beach BBQ, where you can chill out and get to know each other better over some beers and burgers, or you’d prefer a more intimate picnic in the park, then there’s definitely some options available to you. If you’re not sure what to include in a picnic, you can find plenty of picnic food ideas online to help you get started.

Ice-rink or christmas market:

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Don’t worry if you’re planning to have a date in winter, and think that means you’re limited to indoor only activities. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors in winter, no matter what kind of things you like to do. In fast, in some places, there’s actually more going on in winter that people can do outside at all times of day. In many bigger cities, winter time usually sees the construction of an outdoor ice-rink and a Christmas market with lots of great food, unique gifts and definitely a variety of mulled wine to keep you warm as the temperatures drop. This can be the perfect way to spend an evening getting to know each other and experience a different side of your city, too.