Monthly Archives: April 2017

The Baby Show NEC 2017 – WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS

This will be the 3rd year in a row that I will have attended the NEC Baby show in Birmingham but this time will be very different as I will be 33 Weeks pregnant with my first child.

This fantastic event brings together over 200 plus brands of pregnancy and infant essentials, offering demonstrations, expert advice, and fantastic deals to help your budget go that little bit further.

Are you pregnant or have you recently had a baby and looking for items and don’t want to trawl round lots of different shops?  Well, look no further than heading to the Birmingham NEC Baby show this May, running from 19th – 21st.

Everything you could every want and need all under one roof to make it easier for you.

I have one pair of tickets to give away to a lucky reader. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter Widget to be in with a chance of winning. Please ensure you complete the entries as directed as they are validated and any incomplete entries will be disqualified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Taking Care of Yourself When You’re Stuck at Home

Suffering from an illness? Too tired to go to work? Or perhaps you have a debilitating condition that’s making it difficult for you to even make yourself a cup of tea. Whatever it is, don’t despair. Taking care of yourself when you’re homebound is easier than you might think. All it takes is a little creative thinking, a little “me” time, and a couple of phone calls.

Woman in Grey Shirt during Daytime

Do what makes you feel better

There’s honestly no right or wrong way to take care of yourself at home. What does matter, however, is how happy you feel after each task. If you’re feeling upset or down, then perhaps watching a romantic comedy will cheer you up. If you’re stuck at home because you broke up with your partner, then get on the phone and speak to your friends, or head over to Facebook and message a few people. Feeling hungry? Cook up (or order) your all-time favourite food and indulge yourself. Whatever you do, just make sure you’re thinking about your personal enjoyment and improve your mental state instead of worrying about other people.

Get things delivered

Whether it’s fast food to sate your hunger or a prescription home delivery service to deliver your medicine from the local pharmacy, get things delivered. It’s understandable that you want to stay cuddled up at home in comfort and warmth, but it’s also good to stay at home and rest so that you don’t expose yourself to the outside and catch something or worsen your symptoms. Use modern technology and be lazy for once. Don’t go outside, stay indoors and let things come to you instead.

Mind your health

If your health is on the decline because of an illness, or if you’re simply feeling mentally stressed due to work and need a break, then take good care of yourself. Eat healthily and only eat the occasional unhealthy meal. Open the windows to get some fresh air (unless it’s really cold outside) and practice a bit of yoga. It’s important to maintain a regular workout schedule to keep your mind and body healthy. You could also practice meditation if mental stress is the reason for you staying at home. Simply sit down on a comfortable seat or on the carpet, close your eyes, and breath naturally. Focus your attention on your breathing pattern and calm it with each breath you make. Inhale and exhale naturally, and let the stress melt away.

Indulge in small pleasures

With more time to yourself, it’s a good opportunity to get a few things done around the house. For instance, you could clean the curtains and give your home a good dust if you haven’t done so for a while. Perhaps you could sit down and respond to a couple of emails that your friends recently sent you. Maybe you could sit down with a hot cup of tea and watch your favourite movie in peace. You could even have a long, relaxing soak in the bath with some candles, soothing music and a lovely fragrance. Whatever it is, stop multi-tasking and enjoy the things you do to the fullest.

5 Awesome Ways To Add Practical Utility To Your Spare Room

Image result for offices flickr

Just purchased your new dream property? Has your child flown the nest? Have you just finally de-cluttered all of the boxes in your storage room?

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what to do with a spare room if you have already managed to do without it. There are absolutely ways that you can fill the space though, even for the smallest families. It might take a little investment in time, energy and funding, but properly considered, a spare room can transform your home life for the better, and even increase your property value.

Follow this list for some of the best ideas to apply to your new open space.

  1. A study/office.

Sometimes our careers need us to spend time at home researching the topics we are involved in. Maybe you’re a freelancer, or maybe you run a home business. Having an extra space can be a huge advantage here, especially if you have children.

It’s good to have a place where you can sit down and think free from distraction. In order to really make the most of this space, purchase and fit a large desk for all your working needs. A home seamstress would need more space than a freelance writer for example.

Also, make sure to fit your room with a comfortable chair. If you’re spending the tail end or majority of your workday in this room, your buttocks will thank you for providing a relaxing place to sit.

  1. A rec room.

Sometimes it’s difficult to find a space to entertain guests. If you don’t have an expansive outdoor area or the weather isn’t that good, having a recreation room is a nice throwback to a time where gentlemen and ladies would retire after their meal to discuss politics and enjoy a stiff drink. Modernising this room with parlour games could be a fun addition to your home, as well as serving as a talking point for future guests.

  1. A pet haven.

If you have a few dogs or something more exotic this could be very useful. Having a room dedicated to grooming, housing toys and keeping dog hair (as much as possible,) out of the rest of your house can be greatly beneficial when it comes to your weekly cleaning routine. This room could also serve as a useful place to keep a home aquarium or glass tank if you keep lizard. This will also make lighting setups much easier to assemble.

  1. A home gym.

Having a home gym really excludes the use of any excuse to work out in the future, and you’re much more likely to keep a schedule going when you’re less than a minute from your gym. If you’re filling the room with home gym equipment, be sure of the dimensions of the room before you purchase anything. If the room is upstairs, also be sure to consider the weight limit of the flooring, as you don’t want to throw down a heavy barbell and have it crash through to the kitchen.

  1. A spare bedroom.

This will be the most popular and practical item on the list. If your child has flown the nest and has a stable place to stay, why not transform it into a spare bedroom for any other familial guests that visit? All you might need to do is a simple redecoration. This is also great if your child has to return for any reason, or a parent might need to move in for caring reasons.

Remember, this is your chance to have fun with your new space. Make the most of it and this could be an engaging project to enjoy!

Interior Design: Hit Your Lighting On The Head

The lighting in an interior can change the mood and mien of a home, as well as how large a space feels. Aside from the important aspects of type and placement, you need to think about colour schemes, the space you have available, the availability of natural light and the furniture you have in your home. If you’re planning to tweak the lighting in your home, here’s a closer look at the different factors you need to consider…

File:Interior lighting, Diwali Decor with Candles.jpg

Managing Colours

The way you use lighting in any given space can add or take away from the existing colour scheme in the many surfaces the light will cover. Darker colours can make a room feel smaller and cramped, whereas light-coloured surfaces will have the opposite effect. The illusion of more space is determined by the light that reflects off the surface of the walls. Some kinds of lighting can make a room feel larger and more breathable, like the panel LEDs covered in this guide: How to select LED Round Panels / Downlighters. Aside from that, directional lighting, for example a track light, can soften the colours of a wall. Then you have pieces like recessed can lighting, which casts a gentle, downward glow that illuminates the floors, rather than the surrounding walls. If you’ve got areas of a space that always seem dark and gloomy, the careful application of this kind of lighting can make all the difference.

Functionality

Of course, one of the major roles of lighting in any home is functionality. After all, if your lighting doesn’t serve a purpose, it will simply be wasting electricity. Chandelier-style lighting, for example, is not only used in hallways and large foyers because of their central placement, but also because they spread their illumination throughout the whole room. Wall lights can create an illusion of greater length and space in a hallway, as well as lighting the way. When you’re browsing the market, be sure to consider the style of lighting you want to ensure the best luminescent or directional type for the setting. When it comes to desks and similar work areas, look for task-specific lighting, as functionality will be more important here than overall illumination.

Directional Lighting

Non-natural light in a room can either be used to illuminate the entire space, or draw people’s attention to specific elements. One perfect example of directional lighting is track lighting. When hung from a ceiling or mounted on a wall, the flexible necks of these lamps can be pointed and adjusted to highlight specific elements of the room. If you’ve got a canvas on your wall, a vase of flowers, or an entryway table that doesn’t seem to be standing out as much as you like, some directional lighting could be the perfect way to highlight these features in your home. You can even buy special mirrors and picture frames with attached LEDs to highlight areas of a wall. Though these can look garish and out-of-place in many instances, it’s certainly not impossible to make them work.

Creating The Dressing Room of Dreams!

A room especially for getting dressed and pampering yourself in? What a luxury! Most women dream of a gorgeous space like this in their home, but actually, it’s more doable than you might have realized. If you have a spare bedroom that only gets used for guests a few times a year or worse is just stuffed with junk- how about transforming it into your own girly paradise? Here are some of the ways you can utilise that spare bedroom and create the dressing room of dreams.

Close-up of Pink Flowers on Table

Clear it Out

First things first you will want to clear everything out, give yourself a good idea of what space you’re working with. Once you’ve removed, the bulk of the items take down any dusty old blinds or curtains, light fittings, pictures on the walls or anything else. Give everywhere a really deep clean- layers of old dust aren’t a good foundation for your gorgeous new dressing room!

Redecorate

Redecorating will give the room a new lease of life. Smooth, plain white walls look ultra glamorous and also make the most of the light in the room. White wooden flooring is also a beautiful touch, plus it’s easy to clean if you spill a bottle of nail polish or palette of makeup. This stunning, serene white room is the ideal base to get started. Very Pinterest- worthy and something you’d see in a home magazine!

Furniture

The main items of furniture you will need are wardrobes and a dressing table. To create that stunning ‘walk in wardrobe’ look, how about going for fitted units along one or two of the walls. Choose a dressing table which gives you enough space for your daily essentials, if you can’t find exactly what you’re after go with something simple and customize it. For example, you could switch out the mirror to a large, wall mounted mirror with Hollywood style lights all around it. You could commission some consignment furniture– perhaps a unique looking stool or chair to finish the look. You might also need additional storage for makeup and beauty products. A tall and slim set of drawers will give you plenty of storage without taking up much floor space.

Lighting

With such a calming neutral room, you can really have fun with one or two of the features, and statement lighting is definitely something to consider. You could go with a glamorous chandelier or something really modern and edgy. You could have LED strip lights or fairy lights run along cupboards. You might also need to invest in a good light up makeup mirror too, ideal for getting your makeup just right when there’s not a lot of natural light.

Close-up of Woman Make up

Decorative Items

Finally, the key is to add just enough decorative pieces to make the room look personal and homely without being cluttered. With all of your shoes and perfumes on display and clothes hanging in the cupboards, there’s already going to be a lot going on. You could put a vase of fresh or faux flowers on the dressing table or a set of drawers. You could add some prints to the wall, or a couple of smaller trinkets on a tray. A fluffy white sheepskin rug and cushion would look great on the dressing table chair.

Does Your Body Have Something To Tell you?

Your body does more for you than you realise. It sifts through anything you put into it, and keeps going against the odds. We work ourselves to the bone, and our bodies keep up without any conscious help. So, we should worship them as the temples they are, right? We should marvel at their wonders, and take small steps to make things that bit easier for them. But, do we?

Few of us give our bodies the love they deserve. Worse than that, we often fail to listen to anything they have to say. Not being open to signs your body sends you could have grave consequences. It’s true that, most of the time, your organs and such can care for themselves. But, every now and again they may need a little help from you. Failing to realise this could result in impaired function and severe illness. You should be doing everything possible to keep your body as healthy as it can be.

So, what signs should you listen out for? There are quite a few things your body may try and tell you. Let’s start with the most important – the need for the right nutrition. To allow your body to work at its best, you need to provide it with a healthy diet. Nutrients in food go a long way towards ensuring healthy functioning. If your body isn’t getting everything it needs, it will have a hard time keeping up. So, make sure you’re eating a varied diet which offers plenty of nutrition. Do a little research into what you need. For the most part, you should be fine if you eat a decent amount from each of your major food groups. Of course, it may be worth cutting out the bad stuff, too. Your body can help out here, too. It’s not only pregnant women who get cravings. If you have a desire to eat something, the chances are it’ll do your body good.

It’s also important to listen out for warning signs. If you aren’t in the best health, your body will send you different signs to let you know. From changes in your nails to rashes and lumps. Make sure to check your body regularly for any signs of change. And, if you do spot something, it’s important you find out what it means. Of course, you won’t want to head to a doctor for every little thing. Instead, search online, or download a healthcare App which can give you some ideas. And, just knowing the problem isn’t enough, either. You need to find out how to rectify it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Often, you’ll find that issues relate back to bad nutrition, but that’s not always the case.

Once you start listening to your body, you’ll realise that it can work with you, instead of against you. And, you’re sure to function better as a team. Give your body what it needs, and it’ll reward you by helping you feel fantastic!

Charming Curb Appeal Ideas For The Home

Home is where the heart is and when you’re buying a new one you need it to look good. Think about the time you spent meticulously looking for a beautiful house to live in when you were searching for your forever home. What is it about a house that draws you to it? It’s not going to be the inside layout – it’s the outside.

Some houses have curb appeal and others look far more unappealing. You’re not supposed to judge a book – or a house in this case – by its outside, but we do. It’s natural! Some of the most beautiful home interiors are let down by the lack of outside curb appeal, but your house doesn’t have to be one of those. With our amazing tips, you can get to work on the outside of your home so it looks good enough to buy!

Brick Staining, House, Residential, Curb, Appeal

Expanding your home is always a good idea. If you’re planning some renovations, go for an extended garage. Your home may be a family home and families always look for a decent sized garage for that extra space. Big projects can always transform the look of your house, so go big or go… somewhere that’s not home!

Getting to work on the look of the exterior of your home is important. Half-finished shutters or a house that has paintwork left to touch up needs to be sorted out as soon as possible. It’s easy to get started on a job and get distracted to the point that there are splatters of paint on the concrete or the patio. Get sorted with paint spill removal and finish touching up the actual house. A little elbow grease never hurt anyone and it’s going to make your home look fantastic. Think about going for an all over pastel colour for the house, it’ll brighten up the whole street.

Image result for Three gables, 10 windows, blue shutters, yellow house in Washington Park neighborhood, Seattle, Washington, USA flickr

Getting to grips with the landscape can change the entire look of the front of the house. There’s not one home improvement that transforms as much as the landscaping of the yard. You can add so many features, from water fountains to lights along the path to the front door. Make the lawn neat and the flower beds shine with colour. You’ll have the house that turns heads by simply adding some natural colour to the outside. If you prefer low maintenance, why not go for fake grass like this? All the greenery and none of the hard work!

Working on the windows to make them look beautiful is going to make a huge difference to the exterior of your home. Dress the windows as if you are the one buying the house. Paint the shutters, add valance to the windows on the inside and use frosted stickers like this one for privacy on the front door. Your windows are the eyes to the house and they need to look perfect.

Your home may have been your forever home when you bought it, but when you decide to put it up for sale you need to pretend you’re buying it all over again.

Your Dream Home For A Dreamy Price

Having the right home lays the foundation for your life because a home is the starting place of love, hope, and dreams. But building your dream home isn’t easy. In fact, building your dream home tends to be expensive, which is why so many people don’t even consider this as an option. But having a palace built to your-your wants and needs and desires doesn’t mean having to pay more than you need to.

That’s why we have done the good old thing of tapping up some construction wizards and picking their brains for some top tips on how to build your dreams for less than the norm. We’re good like that.

So here it is, a list of ways you can stay within budget without compromising on your dreams. Amazing huh.

Best With A Builder

Using certified builders is your best bet when it comes to achieving your dream home ambitions because they will be able to keep costs down to where you need them to be. They will have relationships with contractors and suppliers and maybe even architects. They will know what is the best affordable material to use. They will know where they can use an alternative and where there should be no compromises made. They will have the experience of being smart with money and still be able to achieve your dream.

A Lot For More Than Just You

When it comes to building your dream home, the big expenditure is going to be your lot. Lots just cost a bob. It’s land and no one is making more of it. But you can be smart with it by going in with a family or friend and buying a slightly bigger lot than you could then fit a couple of houses onto. This is going to make the land you buy so much more affordable, and that much more reasonable. Just make sure you get on with the person you are going to be living next door to.

The Undesirables

Yeah, lots are given a grading and a lot of them are classed as undesirable for building purposes and so they go for much, much less. These are the ones on hillsides, the ones that are narrow, or the ones considered to be in-fill properties. But as we all know, life is about playing your hand as best as possible; it is about being smart. So get a good contractor to come have a look at one of these undesirable lots and see what magic they think they can do to turn this undesirable spot into your dream home.

Magically Inexpensive Materials

Building materials can be expensive, but they can also be cheap if you know what to get. Metal roofs may cost more to install but they will cost less to buy and they will last longer. Glass is relatively cheap too, and it looks modern. Hempcrete is another great way to be resourceful with your money. There are plenty of materials out there that are cheap and good, so go with these.

One Person’s Junk Is Another Person’s Treasure

It’s true and that is why you should go and salvage some things that could look gorgeous in your dream home. Old barn wood, used bricks, distinctive wood doors, driftwood mantlepiece; all of these things are ideal when it comes to giving your home some character without having to shift a small fortune in return. After all, these will be the small things that make your home more pleasing. So hit up those reclaim yards and demolition sites and see what diamonds in the rough you can find.

Don’t Let Anything Stop You from the Standard of Life You Deserve

A standard of living refers to the necessities that should be afforded to people in their certain areas and classes. No matter where you live or what class you lawfully fall under, you deserve a good standard of living. Nothing should come between you and the comforts that are rightfully yours, so don’t let them. Below you can find a few instances where one may not be being subjected to the standard of life that they deserve, and a few ways to rectify them.

 

First of all everybody deserves to be surrounded by a good standard of cleanliness. Nobody should have to live in squalor or dirty surroundings. If you have a mountain of rubbish outside your home that is still growing then you have every right to have it rectified. Nobody deserves heaps of junk sitting outside their home so make sure you seek the services of same-day rubbish removal company if this relates to you. If rubbish has been dumped in a place that compromises your home then you every right to have it removed. Whether it be because the waste is getting in your way, because it’s an eyesore or because it smells horrific, you should have it taken away. Nothing should stop you from protecting the little world of your home.

You also deserve a good standard of living in relation to your health. Your health is amongst the most important things in the world. If it has been compromised by external forces then you should seek what you deserve. Nobody deserves to be the victim of medical malpractice, but sometimes accidents do happen. However, even if you do find yourself the victim of accidental malpractice it doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to claim what you deserve in the aftermath. If this is the case for you then you should seek the services of medical malpractice attorneys to fight your claims for you. If you put your trust in a health giver and they break this trust, even accidentally, you shouldn’t let anything stop you getting what you deserve.

But there are also ways you can protect the health and standards of living for other people. Specifically, if you have any children then you are the one who is charged with providing them the best standard of living possible. Because of this you should never yourself do anything to negatively impact their life. To do so you could refrain from smoking around them. You could make sure they have enough food in their bellies to last them throughout their day. You could provide them with the necessities they need for school. The point is, it’s your job to provide them with a good standard of life and you should do all you can to do so.

So, whether you’re on the receiving end of a bad stand of living or you are providing one to others you need to fix the situation. Each and every person deserves a good life, so make sure you never do anything to stand in the way of this.

Those Common Kids’ Health Problems To Look Out For

Laughing Boy Sitting on Table during Daytime

If you have kids, or you look after them in any capacity frequently then you will know that one of the most important things of all is ensuring that you look after their health. This can often be much harder than people think, and it means that children are not always looked after as well as they could be. However, as long as you focus on a few areas of their health, you should find that you are able to look after them much more effectively. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common kids’ health problems which you should be looking out for.

Poor Eyesight

This first one is both quite serious and yet quite difficult to diagnose at first. Even the child might not be aware that their eyesight is poor, especially if it is only a vague poor eyesight. There are many reasons why a child might have this problem. It could be genetic, as is often the case, or it could be the result of an accident. It might even just be that they have strained their eyes from looking at screens too much or too much reading. Whatever the cause, it is important to know the warning signs and act on them. If they are having recurring headaches around the eye area, then make sure you get them checked out, as this could be a sign of poor eyesight. If it turns out that they do, there are a number of options available. One of the most popular is laser eye surgery. If you got for this, be sure to explain to them how to prepare for lasik eye surgery, so that they don’t panic too much. With any luck, it will fix their problem forever.

eye, eyelash, eyelid

Asthma

Asthma can affect anyone of any age, but there is a particular occurrence of it happening in children. As such, it is something that you definitely want to watch out for from as early as possible. There are a number of warning signs that you can watch out for, and it is helpful to know what they all are. If the child is frequently short of breath, than that is an obvious sign. If they are coughing more than usual, you definitely want to get them checked out. If anything persists for a long time, it might be that they will be prescribed with an inhaler. Something strange about asthma is that it might also go away of its own accord after a few years, so not all is necessarily lost.

Diabetes

When diabetes strikes on a child, it can be quite devastating. This is a serious disease, a lifelong one, and you will find that the child is quite distraught at the news. However, it is in your interests to watch out for them, to support them throughout the process, and to make sure that they are doing everything necessary to improve the condition. This can be a difficult disease for everyone involved, so make sure that you are there for them.