Winter Revamp Inspiration For Your Home

Winter is one of the best times of year to give your home a revamp. We all want to feel snug as a bug during the winter, so use these tips as inspiration to get started!

Keep The Winter Blues At Bay
You don’t want to make your home dark and cold to reflect the winter weather outside. That’s only going to make you feel worse! How about giving your home a splash of bright color to keep those winter blues at bay? You don’t have to make it summery. Just choose a bright color you really love and sprinkle it around. A bright color against a neutral base will work really well and give your home way more personality. You could even use a couple if you’re brave enough. Use a color wheel to help you decide on your scheme before buying anything, though!

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Layer Things Up
Layering things up will make your home feel far more cozy. You can layer up things like your pillows, bed linen, throws, and even your carpets! The more texture you have, the more warm and welcoming your home will look. It’ll also add interest, so bear that in mind. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can look online for helpful tutorials.

Add A Cool Carpet
Most homes these days have wooden or laminate floors. However, they don’t usually work wonders for keeping the heat in or making the home winter friendly. You might have heard a few people say, ‘I found my carpet online’, but how do you know if it’s right for you this way? Many online carpet companies will be happy to help you if you enquire with them, and you could find your dream carpet.

Warm Up Your Windows
Consider warming up your windows with curtains. Curtains are great for insulating the home and making it just feel warmer thanks to the look of them. You could go for really long, heavy curtains if you’re in a particularly cold area. You can even have both curtains and blinds together, so you don’t need to worry about getting rid of blinds if you have them already.

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Add More Mirrors
As there’s so little natural daylight in the winter, consider adding more mirrors to your home. The mirrors will reflect light and make your home feel brighter and larger. If you have a small home that you’d like to expand, this is a great tip for any time of the year. Some people even like to make small bathrooms feel larger by making one whole wall a mirror.

Add A Bookcase
A bookcase is perfect for winter. What could be better than curling up in the warm with a good book? Fill your bookcase with great looking books, and even place a comfortable chair nearby to create your very own reading nook.

Use this winter inspiration to revamp your home and make it feel so much warmer and more comfortable for this time of year. Don’t forget to add any of your own tips below!

Get Your Kitchen Cooking With These Top Tips


The kitchen is an important part of any home. It’s where we cook, clean and congregate. Not liking the kitchen you have can stop you wanting to spend time there. It can turn cooking into a chore, and result in eating nothing but ready meals and frozen pizzas! If you do force yourself to cook there, you’re sure not to enjoy the experience. There are many reasons a kitchen can be unpleasant. It may be that the space is too small, or that the layout makes things difficult. It may just be that the decor is uninspiring. Whatever it is, a kitchen renovation is sure to make your kitchen your hub again. Here are some tips for ensuring your project goes smoothly!

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED

First, consider what you need in your new kitchen. Working this out from the off will ensure you get the room exactly how you want it. Think about cupboard space. How much do you need, and where would you like the cupboards to be? Consider which type of oven would be best. Do you use a lot of hobs at once? Maybe a six hob oven top would be best. Do you think you could benefit from an oven with more than one compartment? Remember that you’re turning your kitchen into your perfect room. Don’t skimp on the details, and find yourself dissatisfied after all your hard work.

BUY THE BEST

Buying the best kitchen bits may cost you, but it’ll ensure your kitchen keeps you happy. Expensive appliances will last longer than their cheaper counterparts. They're also much more reliable. Research and see where you can get the best deals. Sites such as www.ao.com will give you an idea of the kinds of things available. As you’re kitting out your whole kitchen, many companies will be able to do you a deal. Make sure to consider everything, from fridges to ovens. From worktops to taps. Forgetting something at this stage will set you back at a later date.



HIRE PROFESSIONALS

It’s tempting to do home renovations ourselves, but it’s often best to hire professionals. Kitchen renovation involves plumbing and electricity. These could cause major issues should things go wrong. If you’re determined to do the work yourself, just hire a professional for installation. Services like http://www.plumberstives.com.au can ensure your renovation goes smoothly, as well as responding quickly should anything go wrong!


FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH YOUR KITCHEN

Once work is finished, you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with your new kitchen. New layouts can take a while to get used to, as can new oven settings! It may take you a while to adjust to your new cupboard layout. Have patience. It’ll become second nature in no time at all. It may also be worth doing some test cooking, to try and familiarize yourself with your new oven. That way, you can avoid any cooking disasters when it matters. Once you get used to things, you’ll grow to love your dream kitchen!

7 Great Ways To Add Value To Your Home

If you’re aiming for your dream home, you will need to be able to work your way up the property ladder. The best way to do this without robbing a bank is to maximise what you currently have. Spending a few thousand dollars making your house look modern and stylish could add tens of thousands to your asking price.


  1. Fix anything that needs it
Structural problems will come to light during a survey and could cause any offer on the table to fall through. Before you even consider aesthetic renovations, ensure the fabric and structure of the building is sounds first.

2. Spruce up your garden
Your garden is an extension of your home, and a considerable part of what attracts people to new properties. Make sure your garden is tidy, and space is optimised. If you have room and a bit of extra money, installing a swimming pool can put thousands on the asking price.

3. Convert the roof space
The more rooms your house has, the more it will be worth. If the roof isn’t tall enough for headspace, considering adding attic trusses or cut roof timbers to increase the height.  If you can convert your roof space into another bedroom or a study, then you increase the floor space, making it much more valuable.

4. Renovate your bathroom
A bathroom is where people go to clean and pamper themselves. A bathroom with a mould problem or old fixtures will be off-putting to potential buyers. It needs to be clean and fresh, stylish, and bright. Companies such as SilQ Interiors specialise in optimising the space and style of your bathroom.


5. Modernise the kitchen
It is essential to most buyers that a kitchen is both attractive and hygienic. Ensure all cupboards are clean, that doors aren’t hanging off, and that the sink area is free from any mould or damp around the seals. It’s also important that the room has modern appliances, even if you plan to take them with you. It makes the room seem more luxurious.

6. Enhance kerb appeal
The housing market is competitive, so you need to make a good first impression. The first thing any potential buyer will see is the house from the road, so it needs to look its best. Ensure all hedges are neatly cut back, that window frames and doors are freshly painted, and that the door number or house name are clearly visible. If it’s a particularly old property it could be worth repointing the brickwork and replacing the eaves.


7. Install new windows
High-quality windows are an essential feature for safety in a home. A potential buyer will look at the locking system and the glazing to determine the security of the building. New windows also offer better light, and make a house look more modern and on trend. If your windows are particularly old or outdated, it could be worth considering replacing them.

Not all the work required when selling a home is aesthetic, remember to make sure the fabric of the house is all in good shape too. Good luck, and happy home selling!

Get Ready For A Storm With These Practical Tips

There are many different emergencies that homeowners need to prepare for. But one that many forget about is extreme storms.

Are you and your family all prepared for the next storm? Sometimes, it is impossible to tell just how strong a storm is going to be. We only realise once it hits. For this reason, it is important that you are always prepared for the worst. Not sure how you can prepare your home for the next storm? Here are my top tips and tricks to make sure you make it out dry!

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Get Insurance

It is incredibly important that you get your home insured against inclement weather. When looking for a policy that will pay out in the event of storm damage, you should look for an all inclusive one. However, if you are on a tight budget, you may find it cheaper to insure parts of your home separately. One of the most important parts to insure is your roof. That’s because it will be the worst hit by the storm and will probably end up badly damaged. You can find out about insurance for roofs online: www.insuranceroofing.com.au.

Create A Home Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is made up of many essential items that you are likely to need during a storm. You will probably also need some of these essentials in the initial aftermath. So what should you include in your emergency kit? Firstly, fill it with important medical equipment such as bandages and painkillers. You should also include practical items such as torches and a portable radio.

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Protect Important Documents

One of the worst things that could happen in a storm is your home flooding and important documents getting damaged in the water. So, as you can see, it is especially important to ensure your paper documents and contracts are correctly stored and looked after. Keep them on one of your upstairs floors so that they are less likely to be lost in flooding. You should also have digital copies of each document stored on a USB stick or a computer. You can find out how to digitise your documents online at www.shoeboxed.com.au.

Keep Up With Home Maintenance

If you keep up with your home maintenance, your property will stand a better chance of surviving a storm. So make sure that you are continually checking all the building work. You should do this as often as possible. Don’t just wait until you hear the storm warnings on the radio! If you wait until then, you may have left it too late and might not be able to get the issues fixed in time. Noticed a small issue in the building work? Don’t leave it until it gets worse; sort it out now. It will be easier to fix and the repairs will work out cheaper.

No one wants to have to live through a severe storm. However, they are something that we are unable to prevent. Rather than deal with all the damage in the aftermath, you should sort out your home now to make sure you are better protected!

How To Make More Time For Yourself As A Working Mum



Balancing kids, home, and work is certainly no easy task - especially if you're used to having more freedom and doing your own thing, but there are lots of ways you can create more time for yourself. It may take some discipline, and you'll probably feel guilty at times, but you shouldn't. You need to be taking care of yourself first, so that you can be there for your family.

Here are some suggestions on how to free up a bit of time each day, so you can focus on the important things, and learn to say no to the rest - there are only so many hours in the day, after all, and you can't be everywhere.

Plan Ahead

Instead of waiting until dinner time each evening to decide what everyone will be eating, why not create a simple meal plan for the week and then take a few hours over the weekend to prep all of your food? You're still feeding your family home cooked food, but are cutting down on the time spent cooking and preparing it. Most things can be frozen, so all you need to do is take out the meal for that evening, and add in some rice, pasta, or whatever else you choose.

Shop Online

When you have small children, the last place you feel like going with them is the supermarket, and if you only have time on the weekend or after work to do this, then you'll definitely feel like you don't get a minute to yourself. Instead, find a supermarket you like who allows you to shop online. Most places do, and will usually offer free delivery above a certain spend. You can also save shopping lists, so you don't have to start from scratch each time - online shopping has been a big timesaver for many parents, so instead of stressful supermarket trips, give yourself 20 minutes a week when the kids are in bed to get your shopping done.

Ask For Help

As mothers, we have this crazy idea that we’re supposed to be some kind of superwoman, but not only will this lead to burnout, it's downright unrealistic and just not true. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the things you need. Most family members and friends are all too happy to help. Hire a cleaner using an app like Whizz if you need some help around the house. These services were invented to help, so make use of them when you need to. You can't do everything with only so many hours in the day.

Practice Self Care

Whether it's a weekly date night with your partner, or a trip to the cinema with the girls, or even just an hour at a nice cafe with a book on your own, these little things will revitalize you and give you more energy so that when you have that time with your kids, you enjoy it even more. Your family needs you to be taking caring of you, so you don't have to feel like it's selfish - it's simply necessary.

11 Golden Rules for Getting Ready For A Girls Night Out

A girl’s night out is just the medicine we need to get us through our daily grind. Here is just about everything you’ll need to remember to make sure the night goes off with a bang.

  1. Call The Girls
They’re obviously the most important part of your night out. Plan far enough in advance that everyone’s available, and make sure you confirm the meeting time and place - nobody wants to be waiting around.

2. Co-ordinate Your Outfit
Try to do this before the day itself, then you won’t be scrambling around trying on everything in your wardrobe at the last minute. If you’re super prepared then you can even plan your outfit right down to your makeup and perfume. Make sure you consider comfort - those heels may look incredible, but you might end up regretting them after you’ve been dancing for six hours.


3. Paint Your Nails
Once the day itself arrives, the first thing you’ll want to do is paint your nails. And since you’ve already planned your outfit, you should have a fairly good idea what shade to go for. Make sure you do this early in the day to avoid smudging.

4. Freshen Up
Next you’ll want to take your time showering and washing your hair. Start early so you’re not rushing right up until it’s time to leave. Use your favourite body creme and hair products - it’s a night out after all, so treat yourself.

5. Have Something To Eat
Perhaps the most important thing to remember: eat! You’ll need the energy to get you through a night of dancing, and it’s always a good idea to line your stomach before a night out.

6. Pamper Yourself
Spend some time going through your skin care routine and applying body moisturizer. You’ll feel better about yourself if you take your time, and you’ll end up smelling delicious.

7. Style Your Hair
Go with a look that’ll suit your outfit, and something that won’t look too dishevelled after hours of dancing. Just make sure it isn’t a style that is tied too tight, otherwise you’ll end up with a sore head and you’ll be in bed by 8.30.

8. Make Up
Emphasise your favourite feature. If that’s your eyes then a dark smoky eye looks great in a nightclub. If there’s any opportunity to wear huge false eyelashes, this is definitely it. Otherwise, a natural eye and a strong lip can be a beautifully daring look. Choose a perfume that is long lasting and strongly scented, and maybe pop a little vial in your handbag for top-up later in the night.


9. Accessorize
Co-ordinate your jewellery with your outfit. If you’ve gone for a classy chic look, try some opal earrings to make your eyes stand out. If you’re more into bold colours and patterns, an Aztec inspired statement necklace can look really cool.

10. Sort your handbag
Make sure you have your ID, phone, keys, money and cards, and any essential make up you might need throughout the night. A pair of flat shoes are also a good idea if you’re wearing particularly high heels.

11. Go!
Get your bag, leave your entire room in a mess (it’s inevitable) and go! There’s nothing quite like a night out with the girls to make you feel good.

What To Consider When You Are Thinking Of Working From Home

Not a fan of the office life? Not all of us are. While some people love the atmosphere and high-pressure environment of corporate work, for others, it can be their idea of hell. There's nothing wrong with either opinion - after all, it's different strokes for different folks! But, if you've just left a corporate position in the hope of working from home instead, there are some things you'll need to know. Working from home is a dream for many people - in fact, studies suggest that around 1 in 3 people in Australia now work from home. It can be an attractive prospect for a number of reasons. If you are a parent, it enables you to spend more time with your kids and to work your job around them; rather than it being the other way around. It also allows you to work to your own schedule, something you can't do with office hours. Some of us are more productive very early in the mornings - so having a 7-2 working day would suit these people down to the ground. If you're ready to make the move to 'remote working' as it's known, here are some helpful tips.

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Try and set a schedule of sorts

You will soon learn that without putting a plan in place, it's very easy for the dream of working from home to fall apart. With so many distractions around and no one to answer to, watching that one mid-morning episode of Gilmore Girls can easily turn into a three-hour marathon. It's all about being strict with yourself. Of course, you don't need to literally time your day down to the hour. But decide that you're going to get at least half of your work done by midday. Then, you can have a couple of hours to focus on housework, doing something for your kids or simply taking a break. Then, you can go back to work at 2, until other responsibilities call. By setting goals for the day, you will feel more motivated to fulfil them and thus become more productive.

Keep on top of your taxes

One of the pitfalls of being self-employed is that you are responsible for your own taxes. You can do your tax returns at the end of the financial year, but in order to make life easier for yourself, it is advised that you keep on top of them as you go. Otherwise, you may end up having to dedicate a good few days to sorting out receipts and insurance forms in order to file your full return. This can be very difficult and time-consuming. So by keeping on top of your returns throughout the year, you can save yourself a lot of hassle.

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Create a brilliant workspace

Whatever you do, don't work from your bed! It can be so tempting - but unless you are ill, having an actual office to go to will make all the difference to your working day. Clear out your spare room to make a space that is designed for productivity. Add a computer desk and some inspiring art; keep it organised and bright. This way, you will actually feel like you are going into work each day, even if your commute is only up the stairs! If you don't have a spare room to convert into an office, simply section off an area of your lounge or dining room to make into a workspace nook.

Throwing A Party On A Budget? Why A Homemade Party Could Be The Perfect Choice

We all want to plan a party to remember. We also all know that party planning isn’t easy or cheap. There are ways to make things cheaper, though! You don’t have to break the bank to make your party a good one. The more you do on your own, the less your party is going to cost. Getting creative with your planning is an excellent way to save yourself money. It also allows you to plan a unique party your guests will remember. Plus, it’s an excellent way to have a little fun! Here are some money saving tips you might not have considered.


CATERING

Catering can be a major cost in any party. Why not cater yourself? You may think your guests wouldn’t enjoy a standard buffet, but they may surprise you. They’ll probably appreciate the effort you’ve put in. Maybe you want to channel your inner chef and make the food yourself. Don’t give yourself unnecessary pressure, though. Most food stores offer a variety of buffet food that will go down just as well. You could go basic with mini pizzas and cakes, or you could go all out with a theme. Maybe serve all Indian food or a variety of Chinese bits. You can also save money on any possible breakages by buying paper plates and plastic cutlery. It’s worth investing in some plastic wine glasses as well. Taking these measures saves you having to wash up as well!

MUSIC

With technology what it is, there’s no longer any need to hire a DJ for your party. Nobody likes a DJ who plays the same old hits, anyway. Why not set up a playlist for the party yourself? You can do this on most phones, or on a computer. This saves you money and has the bonus that all the music will be stuff you like! You could look into hiring a set of speakers, or setting up some you already have. Do you have speakers attached to your television or computer? Why not put them to use? Again, the guests will appreciate the fact that you have chosen all the songs yourself. They’re much more likely to hit the dancefloor this way! If you’re struggling for playlist ideas, there are plenty of examples to take inspiration from.


DECORATIONS

It’s also worth turning your hand to the decorations. A lot of party decorations cost a lot and would be easy to make yourself. Buy some fabric and get creative. Make your own tablecloths or fabric hangings. Instead of buying confetti, you could buy a shaped hole punch and make your own. Make your own table decorations. Old jars can make great vases. Think recycling as you make up the centerpieces. There’s plenty of inspiration online. Take a look and get inspired!  

Following these steps will add a personal touch to your party that money can’t buy. Not to mention, they’ll save you some pennies. Go ahead and show your guests a party unlike any they’ve seen before.