Monthly Archives: May 2017

Best Ways To Introduce A Beautiful New Baby To Your Home

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Having a child is an amazing, beautiful process. It also comes with its degree of stresses. In fact, it can come with an overwhelming amount of stresses, as any new parent will tell you. Nothing can prepare you for having a child, but when you do, you’ll never be the same again, and that’s in a good way. Having a baby helps us emotionally mature and feel whole, even if some of the duties you need to take care of before the little one arrives can seem endless.

One of those duties is ensuring your home is safe, clean, and the ideal home for a child to grow up in. Another is to make your baby’s room look as great as possible. Obviously, they probably won’t remember it, but a nice, warm atmosphere for your child to rest in during his or her first days will give you peace of mind that you’re providing everything you can, and is a nice, fun way to welcome them to this world of ours.

The following list goes into some of the nicest ways to decorate your baby’s new room.

Warm, Tasteful Colour

You want the walls of your child’s room to have a nice, unimposing shade. Deep reds or dark colours are to be avoided. Instead, consider painting your child’s room a nice beige or blue to help the night time look less oppressive, and increase the ability to see in the room when it’s dark and you’re fumbling for the next diaper.

A Soft Crib

A soft, well secured, stable and clean crib is the foremost thing your child should have access too. While it might be tempting to use one that your parents give you, it’s better to buy new. You want one that’s soft, with fresh linen but with plenty of room for the child to wriggle about in, without being able to roll over.

Letters

Spelling out the baby’s name with plastic sign letters on a shelf or chest of drawers can be a great way to put the child’s stamp on the room in a tasteful way. It’s also a great way to finally conclude what to name your baby if discussions haven’t yielded concrete results as of yet.

A Clean Place To Store Clothing & Other Essentials

You want to store the baby’s essential items: Diapers, pacifiers (if of appropriate age,) and other hygienic products, as well as clothing, out of reach and in a cool, dry place. Don’t store them on the floor, because this habit can potentially lead to nasty fall hazards. Sometimes purchasing a new piece of storage furniture can be a great investment, because it can last for the formative years of your child’s life and beyond.

Having a child is a wonderful, scary, ultimately thrilling ride. Be sure that in your quest to be the greatest parent imaginable you tend to your child’s needs, but also be sure to look after yourself. Expect plenty of lost sleep in the beginning, but catch up on this where available. Your mind, body and emotional state will thank you. Good luck!

Is Your Family Ready For A New Baby?

Preparing for a new baby is probably one of the most exciting times for a couple. It’s better than holidays on white sugar beaches and it’s better than that end of year bonus. A baby is the biggest commitment a couple can dedicate themselves to and being ready for one takes some time. There’s nothing quite like choosing nursery equipment and colour schemes for the newest addition to your family. It’s a rite of passage for parents – especially fathers – to paint the nursery and build the cot.

Image result for New baby and mama. Our new addition was born at home with the help of midwives earlier this week and is doing great home. 7/366 flickr

You can have all the furniture and all the nappies in the world, but if your house isn’t ready for a baby then you need to get on it, and fast. Preparation is about being financially ready for the new little light of your lives and even if you are on a budget, you can make sure you are secure for your new baby. So, how can you prepare your home for a new baby?

Finances. There is never a good time to be ready for a baby invading your home. You could have all your ducks in a row and the perfect circumstances, and have it all snatched from you in a second. Babies are born into a variety of financial situations every day so all you need to ensure is that your rent is covered, the bills and food are covered and you have the appropriate contents insurance sorted online with renterinsurance.co. Insurance for your home when you have a child joining the family is not only going to be helpful to you on the event of a break-in, but when your child grows up and accidentally boots that football into your flat screen television, you’ll be thankful.

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Plan for extended maternity or paternity leave by saving up enough money to cover your outgoings while one of you is not working. Draft your baby budget and include emergency funds to cover midnight dashes to the local hospital, car breakdown cover and other sundries that can crop up at the last minute when you have a baby in the house.

Safety. This doesn’t just cover your car seat options, but baby proofing in the home. You won’t need most safety features until your little one is old enough to walk, but that shouldn’t stop you getting things ready early. Your house needs to be appropriately finished so that sharp corners of units and plug sockets are covered safely. A new baby in the home means making changes, like moving ornaments and consoles up and out of reach, and if you have stairs installing stair gates to prevent terrible accidents. Home safety costs money, so don’t be afraid to shop around and add the costs to your savings that we mentioned earlier. Always think ahead for your children and their safety and if you are going to be having family or friends babysit, make sure their houses are also suitably equipped for the safety of your child.

Preparing for a new baby is an exciting and emotional time, but try to think practically about your financial situation and what that means for your family along the way.

Areas of Your Home That Need a Bit More Love

Your home is perhaps the most expensive investment you’ll make in your life next to your children. Even if you’re currently renting a home, you most likely have plans to buy a home in the future for the sake of your children or to have a place to retire comfortably in. To accommodate your plans, you’re going to need to invest in your home and make the most out of it.

Everything from changing the decor to adding new furniture will all be down to you. Sure you could hire an interior designer that will assist in planning your arrangements, but you’ll need some inspiration in order to obtain your dream home. While you’re probably thinking of big projects like bedroom furnishing, a new kitchen or a living room renovation, there are other parts of your house that need a bit of love as well.

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Initial Considerations

First of all, there are a couple of things to mention before we dive into these underutilised ideas.

First, inspiration. Below are going to be a handful of ideas that you can add to your home, but they’re not the only improvements you can make. For starters, take a look at websites such as Pinterest to get some inspiration for your next home improvements. You should also think about practicality when looking up ideas. If you see a fantastic basement renovation and want to pull it off, then take a look at your own basement and judge if it’s large enough to get the work done.

Next, you should think about who to contact to get the work done. If you have local contractors, then it’s recommended you get to know them and ask them to help you with your renovations. Since a home is a costly investment, it pays to make friends with local contractors in order to get great deals and quality service over a long period of time. Alternatively, if you’re DIY savvy and have friends or family members capable of giving you a hand, then that’s also a good option. However, keep in mind that hollowing out a basement, renovating a kitchen and other large projects can be costly and time-consuming, so it’s recommended you leave those to the professionals.

So without further ado, here are a couple of home improvements for the lesser utilised parts of your house.

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Basement

Your basement should be thought of as an extension of your home. Don’t use it as a storage dump where you keep large boxes, random bits of garbage and old things you don’t use anymore. Declutter your house well enough and you’ll find that you don’t actually need much storage space. Clean it up, give it a nice coat of paint, and consider hiding any exposed piping and wiring with walls. That way you can make your basement a little more sturdy and section it off into smaller rooms, or if your basement is already quite small then you can turn it into an extra room.

If your basement is too small for any meaningful renovations, then you could consider extending it. This will require planning permission and help from contractors, but it’s a fantastic way to get lots of extra space to build a games room, hobby room, additional bedrooms, or even a home cinema setup. If you’re really fancy and want the ultimate in luxury, then a basement pool is another option if you have a fairly large home.

A simple renovation that most people can afford and have the time for is to just cover up the basement look. For instance, hide the piping and any exposed wires, paint the walls the same colour as the rest of your home, and add proper flooring or even carpet. The idea is to make the basement look like the rest of your home instead of making it stand out. With a blank room to furnish, you could essentially do whatever you want with the finished project.

Take a look at these fantastic basement renovation ideas for a couple more ideas on what you can do with that extra space. Just remember that every square inch of your home should be used up, and your basement is no exception. Don’t treat it like the ugly tail end of your house, give it some love like the rest of your home.

Black Classic Car Inside the Garage

Garage

Most garages are abandoned due to the convenience and speed of simply storing your car outside of the garage in the driveway instead. In fact, the garage doors are probably caked in dirt, grime or just dust and refuse to move now. Get rid of those ugly shutters and instead, replace it with new roller doors. The better quality your garage doors, the more safety you’ll have if you’re worried about your car being stolen and the more likely you’ll actually use the garage itself.

However, it’s understandable that most people use the garage as an extra storage area due to the amount of space it offers. Much like the basement, however, you could simply declutter the house and sell off any unwanted belongings you have in order to make room (and money) for some much-needed home improvements.

For starters, you could convert your garage into a productive and feature-rich car shop. Get a tool board to hang all of your workshop tools, get things such as a car lift and use the storage space for spare tires, engine parts and so on. This is a fantastic renovation for anyone that loves their cars, but it’s understandable that this isn’t for everyone.

Another fantastic use of your garage is to turn it into another usable room, such as an extra kitchen, bedroom or hobby room. This is only doable if you don’t plan to use your garage to actually store a car, but if the room is large enough then you could potentially renovate it into a multi-use room that can store cars in addition to housing entertainment or hobby equipment.

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Laundry Room

A laundry room is something that is usually forgotten about despite how much we use it. Old homes typically don’t have a laundry room and it’s not uncommon to see the washing machine and dryer mixed into the kitchen in some cases. However, for those of us lucky enough to get extra space to dedicate to laundry, here are a couple of ideas to give it a little more love.

First of all, don’t treat your laundry room like a dump. It’s an essential part of your home that serves a very important function, so treat it much like you treat your kitchen. Clean it up on a regular basis, make sure the exhaust is free of dirt and dust, and have plenty of storage space for things such as extra linen and washing items.

Secondly, add a couple of unique additions to your laundry room to make it even more useful. For starters, if you have pets and your laundry room leads to your garden or a side entrance, then you could install a pet washing station. The reason we keep these in the laundry room is so that we can clean our pets, be the dogs or cats, as soon as they enter the home so they don’t get their dirty paws all over the furniture. The pet washing station can also be used to blast dirt and grime off things such as shoes and boots before they’re stored away inside the home.

A great way to think about your laundry room is to stop calling it a laundry room. Instead, refer to it was a utility room, a place to do more than just washing and drying. You could store an ironing board in your utility room, or perhaps build a sliding one that is convenient to use and store away. You could even set up a sewing machine to give you a convenient location to repair all of your damaged clothes, sew on buttons that came off in the washing machine, or even build a shelf to store your shoe collection.

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Storage Closet

Most storage closets are large enough to house a small bed, a desk or even an extra toilet. These renovations aren’t common due to the amount of storage space people need, but that can be fixed with a bit of decluttering. As mentioned before, by getting rid of some of your possessions, you could make extra money to put towards your renovations and clear up rooms that were exclusively being used for storage.

People typically don’t treat their storage with much respect either. For example, you might find yourself stashing boxes in a storage room and leaving them inside to gather dust, you might throw stuff in just so you can forget about it, or you might just dump clothes inside and neglect to fold or even hang them properly. If you have some useless storage closets, then you might want to consider clearing it out, giving it a good clean and then installing something else inside.

It could be a miniature study room, a little hobby area, or even an extra bedroom. It might be a little claustrophobic, but if all you’re doing is sleeping inside or doing a bit of extra work, then you don’t exactly need all that much space. If all else fails, you could always knock it down to give your other rooms some additional space.

Surviving That Sweltering Sun

Keeping the home cool isn’t always an easy task. Especially if you don’t want your energy costs skyrocketing because you have the AC on all day. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here, we’re going to look at little habits and more permanent changes that can cool the house down without burning your cash.

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Switch up the bedding

Perhaps the most difficult thing to do on a warm day is getting some sleep at night. It’s a good idea to crack open the windows when the sun goes down, but you won’t want to do it all night. Instead, get to changing your bedding more often. Fresh bedding feels much cooler, after all, and using the right kind, such as light natural fibres will trap a lot less heat when you’re trying to catch some shuteye.

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Check your electrics

It would be nice if you could simply switch off all the appliances in the home but for many people that just isn’t viable. Maybe you want to watch TV, maybe you have to do some work. But all electrics use energy and create heat while they’re doing it. Upgrade to more energy efficient models where you can justify it, and turn off anything you’re not using. If you’re stuck in the home office, then clean the computer of dust by opening it up and using a compressed air can. Desktops are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to generating heat in the home.

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Get a different view

How much you let light into the home is going to make a big difference. For instance, consider keeping the curtains closed more often and fitting in more effective window treatments. Wood blind slats are a lot better at keeping light out than fabric, after all. However, many people don’t want to shut the sun out completely. Instead, you could opt for options like Premier Tint windows. You don’t necessarily have to shut yourself off from the whole world to enjoy a cooler home. It also reduces the annoying glare that strong sunshine can bring with it.

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Get the barbie going

You’re going to want to do it anyway. However, the fact is that cooking indoors creates a lot of heat that remains trapped in the house throughout the evening. Get out and get grilling a bit more often.

Black Table Fan

Become a fan of fans

Sometimes you just need a little technological help cooling the house down. However, choosing a good house fan such as those shown by The Good Guys can be a lot cheaper than turning on the AC. If you feel like it’s not doing any good, then make sure you have it set so that the fan is turning counter-clockwise. It creates a very pleasant cool breeze effect. A glass of ice water behind the fan can make it even more effective.

As a final tip, you should always make sure you check the home for any crevices and especially roof breaches where air can travel freely. It’s not just a good tip for the winter. In hotter weather, the heat will look for somewhere to go and your nice cool house might provide just that opportunity.

How to Celebrate Your Niece’s Birthday

So, you’re the auntie to a little girl and her birthday is coming up. You want to do something special but you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes either. It’s not your job to throw her a party or have presents waiting when she wakes up on the morning of her birthday, but you’re in a unique position to do something she’ll always remember. If you’re looking for ideas on how to spoil your niece, look no further.

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Pamper Day

This is a great opportunity to have some one-on-one time with your niece but she may want to bring a friend too. There are lots of ways you can do a pamper day. You can choose to book in at a salon or a hotel and go all out with afternoon tea on top. If you’re on a budget, pampering doesn’t have to be costly. You can pick up a few cheap face masks and some nail vanish for a facial, manicure and pedicure at home. Pair it with some popcorn and a movie and you have yourselves the perfect evening.

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Outdoor Activities

If your niece is more of a tom-boy and loves to get in a mess, outdoor activities are an ideal choice. There’s plenty to choose from, including children’s assault courses, horse riding, go-karting and archery. These are the days where you can make real memories, so you may want to take a camera with you. If your niece is a bit more fragile than she likes to think, you may want to read up on some pain relief 101 just in case.

Shopping

Shopping with your niece is best left until after her birthday. She’ll probably receive an array of gifts on her birthday and during a birthday party. If you make plans with her to go shopping after her birthday, she’ll have the opportunity to buy something she didn’t have that she may have been hoping for. Not only is it quality time, you may be able to save the day if her parents weren’t able to get their hands on a particular present.

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Buy the Birthday Cake

Buying the birthday cake can turn into somewhat of a tradition. If your niece knows you’re responsible for buying her cake every year, it’s way of telling her you’ll always be there and you’re reliable. You can be as adventurous as you want with the cake, whether you surprise her each time or let her choose. Here are some perfect ideas for girl’s cake.

Let Her Choose

As your niece gets older, her ideas of fun may change. She may not always be a girly-girl or a tom-boy and there may be years where she doesn’t want to spend time with you at all, unfortunately. Start to make plans with her a few weeks in advance of her birthday so she can tell you exactly what she’d like to do and you have time to organise it. Whatever she chooses, you can rest safe in the knowledge that each year your relationship with her will develop into something beautiful.

Auntie to a Special Little Angel

Back in October 2016, I became an Auntie again to baby number 5, but this time round I was a very proud Auntie to a little niece to go with my already 4 nephews.  It felt amazing having a little niece now and when she grew up and was old enough I would take her shopping and spoil her rotten the same as the others.

My sister called her Teri-Rae, she was born on 25th October 2016 and weighed just 4lb 7oz at Heartlands Hospital, and was born early at 37 weeks & 3 days.  I was so excited and couldn’t wait to go and meet her, cuddle her and tell her who I was.

My mum, dad and nephew Jack went to see my sister and niece before me as I was working.  I got sent some adorable photos of them all together which made me smile.  My nephew Jack was very excited to go and meet his half sister.

Teri-Rae & family
Mum, Dad & Nephew Jack with Teri-Rae

I finally went to meet her at the weekend a few days after she was born.

Me & My Niece
Kisses from Auntie Kim

She was so tiny and all her clothes just swamped her.  I brought her some clothes and a little penguin to keep her company in the hospital and her Moses basket when she was allowed home.

She was finally allowed home after a week of been in hospital and my sister was so relieved, back to her own home comforts.

My first outing with my sister and niece was to Solihull to do a spot of shopping.  We spent a good few hours walking around with me pushing her in her pushchair, I wouldn’t let my sister push her – Proud Auntie moment.

Teri-Rae
Snug as a bug

She slept pretty much the whole way round until she woke up because she was hungry and wanted feeding.

A few weeks later I went round to my sisters on the weekend and she asked me if I wanted to help bath her, I said yes straight away, to say my niece wasn’t best impressed at all, she cried her little heart out.  We bathed her quickly and then got her out and wrapped her up snug and warm in her towel and got her nice and dry before getting her dressed again.  I love the freshly bathed baby smell.

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First bath with Auntie Kim

I spent a good 3 hours with her that day playing with her settling her and getting her to sleep while my sister was able to get on with some jobs around her flat. I loved just watching her and listening to her gurgling away, throwing her arms and legs around.  I could have watched her for hours.

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I texted my sister every day to see how they were both doing and settling in at home and getting into a routine.  My sister sent me lots of photos every day of Teri-Rae and both of them together having cuddles or in her adorable cute outfits ready to go out on trips to the shops.  Certainly brightened up any bad day I was having at work.  I would always show pictures of her off to people at work.

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Christmas then finally arrived and I was excited to be spending it at my mum and dads with my sister, nephew Jack and my niece Teri-Rae.  We had a lovely day opening pressies, laughing and playing with all of Jacks new toys and games.  My mum cooked the best Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and we laughed and laughed.

First Christmas

I don’t think Teri-Rae was best pleased with us putting a Santa hat on but she looked super cute in it.

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Me, Jack & Teri-Rae

The day our lives changed forever

Just after Christmas tragedy struck, On the 2nd January my beautiful gorgeous 2-month-old niece had gone for her afternoon nap like normal and never woke up.  I got the dreaded phone call from my dad at 6.30pm on Monday 2nd January to say could they drop my nephew around ours and explained what had happened but didn’t know much else.  My sister did CPR, phoned for an ambulance and paramedics tried everything in their power but sadly she couldn’t be saved.  It was heartbreaking and the worse days of our lives. My mum, dad and me raced to the hospital to be with my sister.  I didn’t know what to say or do that would make it better and bring her daughter, our niece and granddaughter back.  It felt like a sick nightmare.

Four months has now passed, she should be 6 months old now.  Due to the circumstances, we have only just had the funeral but she had an amazing send-off with all her closest family and friends around her and my sister did her so, so proud.

I can’t believe she has gone and never coming back, I miss getting the daily pictures from my sister saying “Morning Auntie Kim” I miss cuddling her and will certainly miss that she will never get to meet her little cousin when he/she is born in July this year.

Not a day goes by when I don’t think or miss my niece, I could spend hours staring and looking at all the pictures I took of her in just the 2 short months I had with her.

RIP little Angel, until we meet again.  

Gone but never forgotten, Always in our hearts.  25/10/2016-02/01/2017

* This has taken a lot of courage for me to be able to write about this and share our story with the world.  I wish no one to ever have to go through this.

Moving House With Kids Is The Absolute Worst

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Divorce. Death. Tax. Moving House. That is pretty much the top four most stressful things in life right there. Moving house is the obvious dark horse, but packing up your entire life and effectively starting over once again somewhere else is bound to be stressful. What’s more, moving house is something you have to manage in between, well, life as normal. It is immensely stressful. But what takes it up several notches on the old stress-o-meter is kids.

Moving house with kids adds a whole new dimension to the situation because there is so much more to consider than just yourselves. To help you get a better grip with these considerations, though, and make the move more of a breeze, we have compiled a quick list to help you manage your priorities a little better.

Acceptance Is The First Step

You are moving house, which means you are going to be living among unpacked boxes for the best part of a month, easy. Accept that fact and don’t worry about it. What you should be focusing on is your kid and making sure their transition is as smooth as possible. To achieve this, concentrate on their room first. Get their rooms set up and looking perfect before you do anything else. Don’t even bother setting up your bed until they have everything in place. It will help them relax and it will help you finish the unpacking.

Last Minute Essentials

What makes setting up the kids room first quite a challenge is that it is going to be the last thing you pack away. You’ll want to keep their room at your old house as unaffected as possible until moving day. This means things like their cot, their pram, and all other everyday items. Just remember this, and make it easier on yourselves by telling your removals team this too. They’ll understand and make sure it gets sorted efficiently.

Space is The Final Frontier

When you get to your new house, and there are boxes filling every room, and your kid is crying because they miss your old house and you can’t find the box with their toys in it, you’ll wish you had space to think. So why not start off with space to think. Seriously. Don’t be afraid to contact the guys at Squab storage and put some of your less pressing items in a container unit. This will give you more space to operate, it will make the process seem less daunting, your kid won’t feel as claustrophobic and, who knows, you may even realize a lot of the stuff in storage you can live without. That’s a lot of birds with one stone.

Cleaning Will be Needed

When you leave a house you are contractually obliged to leave in it the state you got it, which is another way of saying clean. Yup. You are going to need to pencil in some cleaning time once everything is packed and on the truck. This is usually easy. With a kid, though, it is mission impossible. Think about this beforehand by having your partner take them for a walk for a couple of hours, or to the park, or better yet, leave them with a family member, like your parents or sibling. Then get out your checklist of what to clean. Seriously, though, trying to clean while your toddler is still in the house will be like trying to rearrange the furniture on the Titanic; pointless.

Financially Planning for a Baby

A baby will change your life in so many ways, especially if it’s your first. Many first-time parents are surprised by the amount of needs a baby has and the amount of money it costs to supply those needs. If you’re able to financially plan before baby arrives, it could take a lot of weight off your shoulders when baby is here. You’ll be able to enjoy your time as new parents, instead of worrying how you’ll provide for your child or cover all of your bills. Here are some tips to planning ahead for your baby.

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While You’re Pregnant

While you’re carrying baby, there may be certain things you need that you didn’t need before. For example, you may have to purchase maternity clothing, nursing bras and you may have to satisfy some cravings. It’s wise to put some money aside for the unexpected. If you know you’ll be paying for scans of the baby and maternity photography, you’ll have to put money aside for those things too.

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Pre-Baby

A baby needs one or two (or thousands of) things. Baby will need somewhere to sleep, somewhere to be changed, somewhere to be bathed and bottles to be fed. You may also need a breast pump and bottle cleaning essentials, even if you plan on breast feeding. Many mothers to be find that they’re inundated with newborn clothing but those clothes won’t last very long. Babies grow quickly! Then there will additional expenses like toys, blankets thermometers and a range of other things. Planning your finances ahead will mean you can stick to a budget and then ask for help if you need it. Another alternative is using Credit24 to buy the larger items.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

You’ll have some time off work when your baby arrives but you may find that you’re paid less than you normally are. For some people, you’re paid less than you are when you’re taking an annual holiday. If this is the case, you need to financially plan to cover bills, food and baby things when you’re on your leave. This is a time where you get to bond with your baby and help them to grow. You don’t want it to be overshadowed by money worries.

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Post Baby

When your baby arrives it’s an exciting and emotional time. Make sure you’ve planned for the amount of money you have to spend in the first year. A baby will need diapers, formula, new clothes, teething toys, medicines and eventually baby food. It may not sound like much, but these are all items you’ll have to buy in bulk. You could be using up to ten diapers per day for one child, double it if you’re having twins.

Planning for a baby in all aspects will ensure you have the time to enjoy your child. The more you’re aware of and ready for, the less stress bringing a newborn home will be. Of course, as new parents it’s okay to forget things and remember to ask family and friends for help and advice when you need it.

Updates That Can Change The Whole Shape Of A Room

Sometimes, it’s not enough to welcome a new piece of furniture or a new accent into a room. When you stick to the same old plans time and time again, it’s never really going to look that much different. Instead, you need to think about the shape and size of the room as a whole. Here, we’re going to look at updates that fundamentally change the way a room works. You won’t have to go as far as extending the property, either so don’t worry.

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Rearrange it

Sometimes, the best way to start with a room if from the very beginning. If you’ve had the furniture arranged the same way for years but you’ve just been replacing one bit for another, then the amount of space in a room will remain much the same. That’s despite the fact that the actual size of the pieces has changed drastically. It’s worth taking the time to rearrange it, bearing in the mind the measurements of your current furniture choices. You might be able to make use of the nooks and crannies and odd spaces that weren’t accessible to any of your furniture before, for instance.

Think about the footprint

You can make additions to the room more sensibly in future, as well. When using a finite amount of space, getting more efficient with your choices can give you a lot more room for arrangement and much more room around every individual piece of furniture. The way to do that is to think about the footprint of a piece of furniture vs. the amount of space you actually use. For instance, chairs with arms wider than their bases are using space that otherwise might be useful.

A focus on the vertical

Standing space in any room is important. There are some items that could seriously alter a room just by getting lifted up and focusing vertically with them. For instance, grab a column radiator instead of one that ranges horizontally across the room. It might give you more wall space to place a seat without worrying that you’re blocking the heat throughout the room. Elevate what you can. For instance, floating the sink in a bathroom can give you space beneath it to add more storage.

Have some visual follow through

From the entry to the room to the farthest point. If you create a line of sight and, even better, a path that cuts directly across, it makes a room look much bigger. This goes against some of the assumptions that, in a living room, the very centre should be where the coffee table goes. If it frees up some follow through, consider orienting the coffee table off to the side, instead. The illusion of more space is just as effective at making a room feel different as actually changing the available space.

It’s not too difficult to drastically change a room without having to shell out for a renovation or extension. Hopefully, the points above give you some ideas on how to open a room out and give it an entirely new feel.