Monthly Archives: May 2017

What Do Your Windows Say About You?

They say that the eyes are windows to the soul. When we’re talking about our houses, the windows are, quite literally, the windows to the soul. Your windows say more about you than you might think. They are the first thing people see. And, they reveal what waits within. Few of us take the time to consider what the perfect windows for our home would be. But, it’s well worth a little thought. At the end of the day, having windows that don’t suit will make it hard to feel comfortable. That’s why we’re going to look at a few different personality types, and which windows would suit each.

THE INTROVERT

Let’s start with introverts, shall we? These are people who want a quiet life. They hide away from socialization and extreme displays of any kind. These are the types of people who would prefer to hide away than be the center of attention in any situation. Even those of us who are loud and proud in many aspects of our lives look for a little introversion in the home. In many ways, a private space is a safe one. There’s no denying that windows in their very nature go against introversion. Whether you like it or not, your windows show the outside world what goes on. But, there are ways to make your windows suit your quiet personality. It may be that you opt for glass replacement on the front windows of your house. That way, you could get clouded glass that won’t allow the world to see in. Or, you could get thick curtains to hide behind. You’ll be able to close them the moment you get home and rest safe in the knowledge that no one can see what you’re doing. 

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THE EXTROVERT

On the other hand, we have extroverts. These are people who flourish in social situations and aren’t afraid to shout loud about what they like. While we mentioned above that some extroverts like an introverted home, it isn’t always the case. The good news is, there’s plenty you can do to inject your outgoing personality onto your windows. Flower boxes are a fantastic way of jazzing things up and drawing the eye, as are bright window panes. You could also opt for some bright and crazy curtains which are sure to cause a stir!


THE MINIMALIST

Where a minimalist is concerned, less is more. This is the ultimate in sophisticated home design. Everything is sparse, windows included. To fit with your style, you’ll want to keep your window panes as neutral as possible. White is your best bet and the most widely used minimalist color. You may not want any curtains at all. The bare window look is sure to suit the rest of your decor. But, bear in mind that naked windows in a minimalist home can feel particularly revealing. Getting blinds installed instead could be a happy medium. These are a no frills way to hold on to some degree of comfort

I’m a Bridesmaid, Now What

I’m a Bridesmaid, Now What?

Congratulations! Not only is one of your closest friends or family members getting married, but she cares so much about you that she chose you to take part in her inner circle. It’s official – you’re a bridesmaid. So…now what?

Begin Handling the Logistics of Becoming a Bridesmaid

If you don’t already have it, your friend will soon give you a wedding date and location. Confirm that you’re available, and if anything goes wrong to prevent you from being there, let her know as soon as possible. It’s a lot harder to change plans close to the wedding date, so be courteous and keep her informed.

Contact other Attendants to Determine Roles

Usually, even small weddings have more than one bridesmaid – necessary for the picturesque line of women in pretty mint green bridesmaid dresses! Get in touch with your fellow bridal party members and find out if there are any engagement parties, bridal showers or bachelorette parties planned. It is customary to share some of the costs and responsibilities of these events, so get clear now on what others are expecting of you.

Get the Lowdown on the Dresses

Find out if you need to provide measurements for those mint green bridesmaid dresses, or if you are responsible for shopping on your own. Is there a colour, fabric or style that you need to buy, or will you choose from a variety of options? Ask for guidelines for shoes, accessories and hair and makeup. If necessary, make appointments for the latter services.

Offer to Help with Pre-Wedding Tasks

Some couples start early and complete all of their own detail work with time to spare. Others never realised that the “small” tasks like assembling invitations or personalizing gifts can take up so much time, and are surprised when everything snowballs. They desperately need help and a thoughtful attendant can really save the day.

The Countdown

Make sure you have everything ready in time for the wedding and try it all on with enough time to make adjustments, but not so far in advance that you fail to detect any personal changes (i.e., you lost 10 pounds and need another round of alterations).

Help host the bridal shower and bachelorette parties, attend them and don’t forget to bring a gift.

Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Get some sleep before the big day!

The Wedding Day

Arrive on time with everything necessary for the day in hand. Either get your hair and makeup done before you arrive or pay close attention to the schedule and be where you are needed at your appointed time. Help the bride get into her gown and make sure she stays cool, calm, and comfortable until the big moment arrives.

You’ll likely be asked to participate in pre-ceremony photos. Afterwards, help the bride refresh her makeup and make her final preparations, and make sure you are completely ready for the main event. Walk in the professional as you rehearsed, and stand with the bridal party during the ceremony. If applicable, participate in post-ceremony photos and in bridal party introductions. Dance at the reception! One role of wedding attendants is to act as social liaisons – help guests feel comfortable by being friendly and enjoying the festivities yourself. Offer a hand to the couple throughout the night if needed. Make sure you act responsibly and safely, and if needed, take advantage of safe transportation home.

A bridesmaid does more than just stand up and look pretty. Start working on your responsibilities early, and you will earn your place among the best bridesmaids ever!

Author Bio

Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

 

Can You Reduce Your Carbon Emissions In The Home?

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Increasingly, more and more people realise that they need to do something about the environment if they want to save it soon. In fact, the quicker we act, the better off we are all likely to be. If you are keen on reducing your own carbon emissions, then one of the main areas you will need to focus is in your own home. This is where many of us spend a good deal of our lives, and it also happens to be somewhere that needs particular attention if we want to improve the environment. But how can you reduce your carbon emissions in the home, and how easy is it to do? Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do towards that end now.

Properly Insulate Your Home

Insulation is hugely important, as it ensures that your heating is as efficient as possible, and this in turn helps to keep your carbon footprint as far down as possible. At its simplest level, insulation means the simple act of making sure to close doors and windows whenever you can. But it also means what we think of as actual insulation – insulating the loft, the walls, and so on. Make sure, in particular, to seal any drafty areas, as these can be a particular problem. Anything that you struggle to fix on your own, you can get a professional to do – and it will be worth it. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, you will also save money at the same time.

Limit Your Use Of Bottled Water

Bottled water is one of the most inefficient products that you can buy. If you are serious about keeping your carbon emissions down, then reducing the amount of bottled water you consume is one of the best single ways to do just that. Bottled water has usually travelled many many miles before it gets to you, making it highly inefficient to use. It is best to use tap water as much as you can, so that you can keep emissions of this kind down as much as possible. Even better, use a company like Nicholls Boreholes to help you gain your own private water supply. This is possibly the most environmentally friendly way of getting water into your home, so it is well worth looking into if you are serious about all this.

Unplug Your Appliances

The way that you treat your appliances when they are not in use is another huge determiner of your carbon footprint. Again, a really big difference can be made simply by unplugging your appliances when they are not in use. You might not think that being plugged in and turned off can make a huge difference. But the fact is, unplugging it will make such a big difference in the long run that there is really no excuse not to do it. Be sure to follow this vital step, and there will be a huge improvement in the carbon emissions from your home.

Tying The Knot On The Cheap! Planning Your Perfect Wedding On A Budget

There are plenty of reasons why a lot of people feel pretty anxious about their wedding. There’s a lot of planning to do, you have to extremely organised, and you’re likely to going to have to talk to more people at once than at any other time in your life. But there’s one thing that causes a lot of wedding anxiety for many people more that just about anything else: money. Money is often right at the forefront of many people’s minds when it comes to their wedding plans and often seems like the thing that stands between you and your perfect wedding. The average wedding can sometimes run up a bill in the tens of thousands, and that’s just not something that a lot of people have the budget for. But do you really have to spend that much in order to have the perfect wedding? Well, luckily, the answer to that questions is a thoroughly resounding no! Of course, if you have the money to spend then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t but if you’ve got a slightly more modest budget then here are some things that you can do to have a stylish wedding on a budget.

Don’t buy, make!

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There are plenty of things that you can buy to decorate your wedding venue beautifully. You can even hire people to do it for you! However, if you’re looking to save a bit of money then why not avoid that entirely by making your own decorations? There are hundreds of tutorials all over the internet that show you how to make beautiful decorations from simple household objects. Not only will this help you save huge amounts of money but it also has the added benefit of making your decorations completely unique and personal to you. You don’t have to worry about your wedding looking like anyone else because your decorations truly will be one of a kind!

Call in favours

Don’t have the budget for a wedding planner? No problem! That’s what your maid of honour is for! They can help you with a lot of planning so that you’re not stuck running around trying to do everything yourself. If you have friends with an eye for design then why not get them to help you decorate the venue! If you have any friends or relatives with a large, beautiful garden then why not ask them to let you use that as the venue for the wedding itself? There are some things that you might want to get a professional in for. Unless you have a friend who is an experienced caterer or photographer, you might want to get some professional help there. However, there are plenty of things that you don’t need a professional to deal with and can call in favours with friends and relatives for free.

Think about things you can compromise

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Ask yourself, what are the most important aspects of your wedding? This should be something that you and your partner discuss together. Figure out what you cannot live without, and that will give you an idea of what you can compromise on. Perhaps you need a specific venue for the day to be perfect, so then, you might be able to cut back on decorations or food. Or maybe there’s a band that you simply have to have at your wedding if that’s the case, then you might be able to save money on something like the venue. By making compromises and balancing things, you’ll be in a much better position overall to avoid bankrupting yourselves.

A Wedding On A Shoestring Budget?

Some people don’t have a lot of money to play with when it comes to getting married, but that doesn’t mean they should have an underwhelming day. Some people could potentially spend the money associated with modern day weddings, but prefer not to for only one day! Here are some tips that could help you to get married on a shoestring budget:

Decide What Your Priorities Are

First off, decide what your priorities are. Do you want the most gorgeous dress ever? Perhaps you’re more concerned about a gorgeous venue, or brilliant entertainment for your guests. By noting down your top priorities, you can then allocate the biggest chunks of your budget. Everything else; beg, borrow, or steal!

Enlist Friends And Family To Help

Instead of having wedding presents, why not enlist family and friends to help you? Ask your brother to be the camera man, your dad to decorate the venue, and your grandmother to make the cake. These are just examples, but they will save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run. It will also make the wedding far more meaningful to you!

Get Your DIY On

There are a tonne of things you can make yourself too. You can make signs, buntings, centrepieces, and so much more. It takes a little extra time, but if you leave enough time to plan, then you will save a fortune!

Take a look at the infographic below for some of the most extravagant wedding celebrations of all time. These weddings definitely weren’t on a shoestring budget!


Credit to Booth-Ology

Is Someone Considering A Proposal?

If you have a family member, perhaps a nephew or a son, who is thinking about proposing, this can be a truly exciting time for all. However, it will soon be discovered that it is also a time of potential stress as well. A proposal always requires a lot of forward planning and attention to detail if it is going to go as well as possible. If you are being asked your opinion or for some help, then there are a few specific things you can stress to them to help them get it just right. With any luck, they will be coming away from the experience with exactly the answer that they were looking for!

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Timing & Certainty

Timing is probably the most important element of all. There is nothing more painful than a proposal which does not land, simply because the timing is all wrong. It could be that the other person does not feel quite ready, in which case it is unlikely to go well. Or maybe you need to ensure that the relationship really has got to the correct stage – this can be hard to discern sometimes, so it’s a good idea to try and give some pointers here. In the most certain of circumstances, both partners have at least subtly communicated their desires to the effect of getting married. Of course, if they haven’t this doesn’t mean it is not a good idea, but it might be much less certain.

The Importance Of The Ring

Finding the right engagement ring is another of those potential headaches which need to be overcome. One of the most difficult elements is often ensuring that it is the right size. Asking outright the ring size can be too obvious, so it is often better to be more subtle about it. This could mean secretly taking a ring which is known to fit, for example, or asking a friend or relative if they know the size. But it’s not just the size; choosing an appropriate ring of the right kind of dimensions and style can be a difficulty, but if done right is likely to impress greatly.

Person Holding Leaf and Ring in Grayscale

Setting

Where the actual proposal takes place is hugely important too, and it is equally likely that they might ask for help in figuring out this. It could be that they return to a favorite spot, perhaps from an earlier – or even the first – date, or that a spot is chosen simply because it is deemed romantic, even though it might be entirely new to both parties. Either of those will work just fine, just so long as a lot of thought has gone into it beforehand. It is the thought that goes into it that really makes a difference, and as long as the gentleman is aware of that it should go off without a hitch. Add to all this a little confidence in terms of being well presented and preparing properly for the big day, and there is no reason they won’t come away a delighted couple.

Treat Yourself, Mum; You Deserve It!

Woman Carrying Baby at Beach during Sunset

A mum’s job is never an easy one. As the pillar of the household, without you, nothing would go smoothly at all. You complete this work without complaint. And, you do it because you love your family. But, this doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve a treat once in awhile. A lot of mums find that they get lost in doing things for others that they find it hard to spend time and money on themselves. One of the biggest and most important qualities of a mother is selflessness. But, it’s still important to be selfish occasionally. To help you out, this post will be going through some of the best things to treat yourself with as a mum. So, now, you just have to get out there and choose what you want!

Being a mum doesn’t mean that you can’t look good. In fact, a lot of mums put more effort into their appearance after having children than they did before. Of course, it doesn’t matter how much effort you put into something like this, as long as you’re happy. But, most people benefit from a bit of clothes shopping as a treat. To make up for being busy, a lot of mums will buy their clothing online. But, this doesn’t have the same sort of gratification that comes with getting clothing from an actual store. Buying clothing from a local business is a great way to get your hands on something more unique and interesting. And, it helps to support people local to you. So, it’s benefits all round.

Of course, sometimes, you’ll want to look for treats which benefit the whole family. Making the house look nicer is a great way to do this. And, you have loads of different choices to make it happen. Ideally, you want to be looking at items which make an impact on an entire room. This way, the treat will feel nice and big. And, it will give you something fresh to enjoy. Options like designer rugs and fancy lampshades can make a room feel completely different. And, you can find them in loads of different places. To get inspiration for things like this, take a look at sites like Instagram. They have loads of user-generated posts about interior design which are easy to sort and search through.

This next idea is something a little more temporary. But, it’s probably the treat you will get the most from. One of the biggest things lacking from a parent’s life is free time and time to yourself. Thankfully, though, giving yourself more time is just a matter of some money. Hiring a babysitter has never been easier. There are loads of services out there which make it easy to find safe people to look after your child. This gives you the chance to spend an evening with dad or with your friends; it’s up to you.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to stop being so selfless for just a heartbeat. Focusing on yourself is a great way to make parenthood easier. A lot of parents feel as though they have nothing for themselves. But, in reality, it’s just a matter of taking it.

Finding The Perfect Pad: Easy Ways To Narrow Down Your Options

Are you buying your first home or attempting to take the next step up the property ladder? If so, you’re probably wondering whether you’ll be able to find the perfect pad. Many of us have a rose-tinted vision of house hunting, but the truth is that buying and selling properties can be incredibly stressful and time-consuming. If you’re on the lookout for your dream home, here are some easy ways to narrow down your options.

Setting a budget

If you have a limitless budget, the world is your oyster when it comes to searching for an ideal home. However, if like most people, you have a budget in mind, this can restrict your options. Before you start envisioning where you’re going to put your sofa or which bedroom you’re going to have in a home that’s way out of your financial league, it’s best to set a realistic budget. Bear in mind that moving isn’t just about stumping up the purchase price. You’ll have to pay fees charged by solicitors, you’ll need to cover the cost of a survey, and there may be renovation or redecoration costs to consider too. Get some firm mortgage offers on the table, and then you can start your search.

Doctor With Money-box

Choosing a location

The next thing to consider once you’ve got a figure in mind is the location of your new home. Some people are adamant that they want to live in a specific area while others are much more flexible. Your choice of location may depend on many different factors. If you have children, the proximity to good schools and other family members may be your priority. If you commute to work, you may want to find somewhere that doesn’t mean you spend most of the day on a train or sitting in traffic. Consider your preferred location carefully. If you can find something within the search area, that’s brilliant news. If you can’t afford it or there are very few properties available, consider widening your net slightly.

Cottage, Suffolk, Flatford, England, Uk, Anglia

Your priorities

You’ve chosen a location, and you’ve set a maximum budget. Now, it’s time to focus on finding a home that ticks as many boxes as possible. Think carefully about what is most important to you. Do you want a large garden or a spacious family kitchen? Do you need a spare bedroom or would you rather have extra space downstairs? Are you hoping to run a business from home or a garage a must-have? Write a list, and start working you through potential options. If something is essential, this will help you to rule properties that don’t match your requirements out. If you’re willing to compromise on some things, but not others, this should help you to draw up a shortlist.

Part of a back garden in Wisbech St Mary

If you’re hoping to buy a new house, you may be thinking about how you’re going to find that perfect property. Before you begin looking, there are lots of things you can do to rule out unsuitable candidates. Set a budget, and choose a location. Once you’ve done this, work out your priorities, and arrange some viewings at properties that seem like they tick most of the boxes. Go back and have a second look if you fall head over heels and look out for the home that gives you that feeling.

31 Weeks Pregnant update

I am now in single figures for my countdown till baby cooper hopefully makes an appearance and till I leave work to go on maternity leave.

Last Tuesday was my 31-week appointment with the midwife at my doctor’s, she was happy with everything, baby cooper is growing and measuring well. Apparently I am a textbook pregnancy, perfect bump and no issues. Just hope it continues into the labour/birth.  

I booked in to have my whooping cough vaccination as advised at my last midwife appointment, more so for the baby than me, so I had this before my midwife appointment instead of after.  My appointments tend to be every 2-3 weeks to make sure that the growth of the baby is ok and that everything is how it should be. I do still find it amazing how the midwife can tell which the head and bum of the baby.

When you say 9 weeks it doesn’t sound that far away at all, but we still have so much to organize and buy, such as a pram. I have also been told by now I should be thinking about packing my hospital bag but it hasn’t even crossed my mind yet, I have got a few bits together for it but don’t know where to start if you want the truth or even what size bag I need to take.

How have I been feeling?

I have generally *Touchwood* been feeling good, other than been tired (Some days worse than others), horrendous heartburn and starting to slowly slow down I have no complaints and knowing some of the issues women go through from the start I really do count myself very lucky. I never imagined I would feel this good especially with so little time left, but I’m keeping going by exercising as much as I can and I do think that is helping.

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Baby Cooper bump at 31 weeks

Better Health Is About Valuing Yourself

For all the health blogs and magazines and all the commercial enterprises dedicated to helping us get healthy, we don’t take our health seriously. We treat it as a lifestyle issue, not a quality of life issue. We don’t frame it with the serious regard and the level of dedication it needs. Why is that? What can we do about it? That’s what we’ll explore now.

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Face yourself

The first step to taking the right attitude towards your health is to take a look at it without artifice or without denial. Many people who worry about their health do it with a kind of casual attitude of false acceptance. The truth is that the reason many of us don’t look at it seriously is because we don’t give ourselves the self-worth and self-respect we deserve. There are exercises to help you do that, however. For instance, look yourself in the mirror and seriously confront yourself about any illnesses, pains, or lifestyle choices you’re worried about. Say them out loud and commit to facing them by writing the steps you want to take on paper.

Realise you’re worth investing in

It might be time, it might be money, it might be effort. We make all kinds of excuses to stop ourselves from investing in the kind of better care we need. We do deserve the cost of private medical insurance and a gym card. We do deserve the sacrifice of less time on the internet or in front of TV. We do deserve the pain of a workout. No-one else is going to invest in your health, so you have to be conscious of the need that you need to do it.

Don’t think of it as a ‘diet’

This might be one of the sins of the ‘health & wellness’ industry of the free market. We treat better health as something on the end of a product and we’re sold it that way. We’re told the one exercise that can help us get a better body or the supplement that can give us more energy. We see solutions, not tools to a greater change. It causes us to yo-yo on diets and to only aim for temporary results from exercises. Instead, look at them as building blocks and permanent changes. With that in mind, many people take smaller steps to living a better lifestyle which tends to end up much more sustainable.

Embrace the full spectrum of a healthy lifestyle

Being healthy also means embracing tools that perhaps we don’t see as fitting the lifestyle that we need. If you say that yoga isn’t for you or that you don’t need a full life’s sleep, you keep denying yourself the importance of your own health. This is most commonly see in the world of mental health. Mental concerns are seen as a risk of being stigmatized and a barrier to life, so they’re tucked under the carpet at danger to ourselves.

The path to better health is as much mental as it is about finding the right physical changes we need to make in life. It’s about realising that we’re making changes, that we’re valuing ourselves, and that we deserve the life that we want.