Is Your Home Efficient?



The chances of your home being the most draining thing on earth are high. We guarantee you’ll have bill after bill attacking you on the first of the month, and maybe the odd one or two through the month as well. They’re just a pain in the bum to deal with, but they’re often so high due to our homes not being efficient enough. Sometimes the home is to blame, most of the time we’re to blame. So the question you need to be asking yourself is, how efficient is your home? Or what can you do to make a big difference? Making a difference will not only help to bring your energy bills down, but it’ll also help the environment just that tiny bit. So have a read on to find out what you could do differently.






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Efficient Heating/Cooling




These two are the biggest drainer in Australian homes, and American for that matter. But, they’re both essentials that you can’t live without. So, how can you change the way they’re both working? Well, for the cooling, you’re obviously going to be using air conditioning. To make it more efficient, you need to make sure that it is running more efficient. Companies such as Peninsula Air Conditioning can service and install newer and more economical versions compared to the one that you’ve got. Sometimes if the one you’ve got is a bit outdated, then it isn’t going to be doing the best for your bills. But we understand that having a complete new system is rather expensive. But you need to weigh out the cost. If the unit you have at the minute is costing you so much extra a month to run, shouldn’t that mean a newer, cheaper to run unit, is going to be more cost efficient in the long run? As for the heating, if you want it to be more efficient, you need to pick your time of when to use it. During the day is obvious, you don’t want to be cold. But having it running all night is unnecessary. You should have it set on a timer so that it turns off around midnight, and back on around an hour before you plan on waking up. That way the home will still be nice and warm when you wake up.




Efficient Electricity




Rather than the home being to blame, it’s usually the owner here. There’s not many of you that will be able to admit they’re careful with their electricity use. Instead, a lot of people will say the opposite. It’s hard to remember to do the little things, but it’s the little things that can help you to save so much money. Turn the plugs completely off when you’re not using them, turn the lights off if it’s day time and use natural light. Don’t fall to sleep with the TV on. They’re all little things that you can do that can make a big difference. One of the biggest electricity drainers of parents out there is the tumble dryer. During the cold and wet months, you sometimes don’t have a choice but to use it. But the amount of electricity it drains is incredible




Apart from the tips we’ve listed below for you, see if there’s anything you can do to make your home more efficient.

Decluttering Your Home For a Good





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Decluttering our homes can be a big challenge, especially when so many of us are sentimental and keep things for years because they hold special meaning to us. It can be difficult to say goodbye to items in our home but sometimes can need to make space for new things in our lives and make a fresh start.




Before you hire Platinum Furniture Removals and get rid of every item in your house all at once, you can use some of these handy tricks to make your decluttering process much easier, and much more permanent!




One item a day




If you are someone who is incredibly sentimental and you struggle to throw things away, you may need to think about taking a slower approach to your decluttering process. Start off by trying to choose one item every day which you no longer want or need. It will take time but the difference it will eventually make to your home will be a big one.




Fill one bag




If you don’t have a lot of free time on your hands but you still want to clear out some of your things, you can try using the one bag method. Get one trash bag out and focus on one area of your home. Fill it to the top and then stop and carry on with the rest of your day. You can also do this with a charity bag or a box to take to the charity store.




The hanger experiment




If you are a clothing hoarder, you are not alone. Most of us keep clothing for years in case of a rainy day, or if they lose a couple of pounds. However, clothing can build up to a point where you don’t even remember every item you own. To make things easier you can try the hanger experiment. Hang your clothes in the reverse direction, and whenever you wear an item out it back the right way. After six months you will be able to see the clothes you haven’t touched, and these should be thrown away to make space for new items.




Plan your assault on the house




List every room in your home plus every area within each room you need t clear. For example, in the bedroom, you might have the wardrobe, dresser, vanity table and under the bed. Start working your way around the house one area at a time, that way, once an area is clear you can tick it off your list and start the next, and so on until your whole house is cleared and fresh.




One for one


If you have a lot of items in your home which can go to charity, you can experiment with the one for one challenge and make sure that every time you pick an item for the trash, you pick another for charity. This will mean twice as many items are leaving your home and half of them are going to an very good cause.

Reasons To Try Scuba Diving This Year





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Summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to try new things and leap away from your comfort zone. It is a time when our biggest fears can be faced and we get to learn about who we truly are.




One of the most popular and widely feared activities you can do during the summer is going scuba diving. Diving is a fear for many because it is all about going somewhere unknown and having to completely trust another person with your safety. There are many different places you can go scuba diving, and you can take a look at this website for some great options. Diving is something which will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for you and should be a permanent fixture on your bucket list until you take the leap. Here are some of the amazing reasons you should go scuba diving this year.




It can reduce stress


Although the act of diving into the water might fill you with anxiety, once you make the transition from boat to water your perspective will change completely. What once seemed like an impossible task will become a meditational experience for you to enjoy. You’ll be floating in calm waters, being able to see some of the most stunning sights you will ever see. Your sight will be filled with colour, texture and life under the water, and it is a perfect form of escapism for you in your stressful life.




Discover something new


Our oceans cover over 70% of the earth, and we know almost nothing about it. This blue planet which coexists with our world is amazing, mysterious and always surprising. If you are the sort of person who loves to learn about the world and see new things, a dive is one of the ultimate activities you should do. You could enjoy spending time in a largest coral reefs of the world, delve into an underwater cave, or watch an underwater river flow. There are surprising things to view down here, and it is well worth the effort.




Ignite your passion for the world




One of the things we often don’t do in this day and age is taking stock of our planet and stop to see how wonderful it truly is. The earth is a phenomenon in the solar system and holds the secret to life in our universe. By taking yourself to a whole new world for a while this year, you will see a completely new way of living and your passion for nature will ignite.


Protect life in the sea


With the constant use of plastic in our modern lives, we are becoming a huge problem to sea life all over the world. Plastic is often dumped into the sea and this can trap small animals, injure them, and even be eaten by them when mistaken for food. We are doing a huge amount of damage to our world, but by diving, we can see the importance of changing our ways, and this can cause us to spread the word and make better choices in our lives.




See some stunning animals




The main attraction with a deep-sea dive is the animals you have the pleasure of seeing while you are down there. When diving in a coral reef specifically, you will be able to see animals such as sea turtles, clownfish, reef sharks and octopi. You’ll likely also bump into a few creatures you’ve never seen before!

Self Love: The Missing Ingredient?






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A common challenge couples face is that a relationship can act like a magnifying glass for whatever issues each partner faces, in that a relationship exacerbates and aggravates such issues - often resulting in a state of conflict.





At this point, relationships can require services such as bluesky counseling for couples to help them work through their challenges, yet, often there’s a simple way to start making progress in this area, which is to increase the amount of self love, self acceptance and self care each respective partner gives themselves.





See, in a relationship we often tend to our partner by showering them with love; thinking that they will then tend back to us, and meet our needs, by showering us with a reciprocal amount of love - yet this often isn’t the case, and when it’s not, love can feel somewhat transactional where resentment builds.





Tony Robbins explains that love is not a place to “get”, it’s a place to “give” but the first person we should be giving to is ourselves. Think of being on an airplane. The first thing they say is to tend to your own oxygen mask first before helping anyone else. This is the true of love. If you are struggling to breathe, because you haven’t secured your own air supply your attempts to help anyone else will be futile.





Also, in relationships, we often spend a lot of time focused on the problem rather than the solution. When we focus on the problem, our attention is trapped in this area, and we don’t have the headspace or emotional energy that is required to focus on finding a solution.





There’s an idea that energy flows where attention goes; meaning if you’re putting all your focus into the problem, it’s just going to create more of the problem. This is why it’s so important to shift your focus toward self-acceptance, self-love and building your own self-worth rather than trying to fix the relationship through ‘changing’ your partner.





In today’s society, we use a lot of energy looking to external solutions in order to fix internal challenges - as an example, we could demand that our partner is more tactile and affectionate, or we could indulge in some retail therapy to compensate for the uncomfortable feelings we have.





We often look to another person to fulfil us in the sense of an intimate relationship, yet, as John Gray, the author of Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus states; we first need love ourselves and fill ourselves up with self love, rather than clambering onto another person like a thirsty person in the desert desperately trying to squeeze juice out of something in order to quench the insatiable thirst.





See, when we lack self-love, we often end up chasing people that don’t value us and we engage in behaviour that isn’t always in our best interest; whether that’s being sexually promiscuous, jealous, or needy.





Indeed, a chronic state of neediness that is often so common today, comes from a place of low self-worth and low self-esteem. We are essentially depending on others to make us feel better about ourselves, and when they fail, which inevitably they will, we get angry and upset - blaming them for making us feel a certain way, rather than taking responsibility for our own emotions and doing something about them.





The fundamental truth is that nobody can love another until they first love themselves.

Ten Ways To Keep Your Puppy Happy And Healthy



There are few things more thrilling in life than bringing home a new puppy. They’re adorable, of course, but they’re also lovable, funny, and so intelligent. Despite all this, it’s important to remember that puppies are also a big responsibility and that it’s now up to you to make sure that your furry friend stays as happy and healthy as possible. Luckily for us, puppies are quite easy animals to please, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few extra things that you can do to ensure that your pooch is properly taken care of. Keep reading for ten great tips.






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1. Don’t Overfeed Them

Your dog would probably love nothing more than to be let loose with an entire bag of kibble, but they won’t thank you for it later on. Overweight dogs are unhappy dogs, as they’re left feeling warm, uncomfortable, and frustrated because they can’t play for as long or in the same way as they used to. They’re also left at risk to a list of dangerous health conditions. Because of this, it’s much better to maintain a healthy diet, providing recommended food quantities.






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2. Switch Up Their Toys

If you want your dog to be happy, then you shouldn’t leave all of their toys out all the time. Like humans, dogs get bored when they do the same things every day, and enjoy trying new things once in a while. Because of this, you should gather all of your dog’s toys, give them one or two, and then, when they start to look bored, put these toys away, and give them different ones. When they get bored again, you can do the same again. This is incredibly simple, but it does work.




3. Get Them Microchipped

Similar to how moms hate taking their babies for vaccinations, dog moms hate taking their puppies to get microchipped. In fact, we hate taking them for vaccinations too. No owner likes to see their pet in pain, but the pain only really lasts a second, and these things are absolutely vital for the health and safety of your dog. Many owners fail to see the importance of chips, but the fact is that millions of dogs get lost each year, and I doubt you want yours to join them.






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4. Brush Their Teeth

Some dogs put up with having their teeth brushed, and others completely hate it, but it’s important nonetheless. Of course, it will help to reduce the dog breath stink, which I’m sure will make you happy, but it also removes plaque and tartar, which could lead to gum disease if not handled. However, you shouldn’t use regular toothpaste on your dog, as it can be dangerous to swallow, so make sure you get proper pet toothpaste and a special brush.




5. Install A Pet Door

As much as you hate your puppy scratching on the door and using your living room as a bathroom, they don’t really enjoy it either, which is why it’s important that they can get outside when they need to go. To ensure this, you could hire a company, like Professional Glass to install a pet door for you. Once this is done, all you need to do is teach your puppy how to get out of it, and then they can go to the toilet whenever they need to, without you having to move.




6. Play A Game

Puppies get bored really easily, but they love to play games, so if you want yours to be happy, then you should play with them as much as you can. Even fifteen minutes a day would be beneficial and would help to keep your dog entertained and build a bond between the two of you. You can use this time to develop your dog’s senses too. For example, hide and seek would help to improve their hearing and sense of smell.






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7. Go For A Walk

Along with playing, it’s also important that you’re taking your dog for daily walks. This, of course, helps to keep your dog in shape, but it’s another boredom buster to keep your pooch happy and entertained. While you’re out, you’ll encounter a number of new and exciting smells, so your dog is going to be sniffing around a lot. This may be a little annoying for you, but it keeps your dog happy, so just leave them for a while before making them move on.




8. Clip Their Claws

Long claws can be incredibly uncomfortable for your puppy, so it’s important that you keep them at a proper length and don’t let them grow out of control. Walking your dog regularly can help to file their nails down a little, but you’ll likely have to clip them once in a while too. This can be quite a tricky job if you don’t know what you’re doing, so, if you’re unsure, you should probably ask a vet or groomer to do it for you.




9. Visit The Vet

Speaking of vets, it’s vital that you visit yours regularly and take your puppy for check-ups. This may seem like a waste of time if there’s nothing wrong with your dog, but there could be a problem that you just haven’t spotted yet. If there is an undiscovered issue, then your vet will be able to spot it early, meaning that they can start any necessary treatment right away, rather than later, when the problem could be worse.






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10. Train Them Properly

Dogs like to make their owners happy, which means that, if yours is unruly and untrained, then they’re not going to be very happy, because they don’t know how to please you. Because of this, it’s vital that you teach your dog basic obedience so that they understand their boundaries and rules. You could do this yourself, but if you’re having trouble, then you could go to a puppy training class or hire a private trainer.




Puppies are generally happy creatures, but the tips above will help to ensure that yours is as happy and healthy as can be.

How to Plan a FUN Family Road Trip









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Many parents see time in the car with their kids as something to be endured rather than enjoyed. But actually, with some pre-planning and preparation, you can enjoy a road trip which lives long in the memory. In this blog post, we are going to be talking you through a few of the ways that you can achieve this feat no matter where your destination and how long you have to spend in the car.





Plan Together





Rather than leaving your kids out of the planning stages, you could instead get them involved in organising your road trip. This way, they will feel a lot more included right from the start. Not only does this allow you to all have your input on stopping points etc, you can also help to alleviate any travel anxiety by showing your kids exactly where you will be going on the map and how long you expect it to take.





Make Stops Along the Way





Don’t be that person who is so obsessed with making ‘good time’ that you try to forego stops along the way. While some stops along the way can be planned, others may end up being spontaneous. There are those inevitable bathroom breaks that you will need to make along the way, but you may also spot a sign for a tourist attraction which simply looks too interesting to miss out on. Go on the road trip with the mindset that it is all about the journey and not the destination.





Load Up the Car





You need to make sure that your car is packed properly with things both practical and non-practical. First of all, you need all the obvious equipment like a spare tyre, first aid kit, jump leads etc. And you should also make sure that the car is stocked with plenty of drinks and snacks. But you may also want to plan for any roadside stops by getting an awning from 4WD Supacentre. Also, if you are planning on playing some music and listening to audiobooks, now is the time to get or download them.





Prepare the Entertainment





The best way of keeping yourself sane when you are on the road trip is by making sure that you have plenty of entertainment options. We have already talked about the music and audiobook options above, but you could also bring back some classic car games which engage the whole family. Just make sure that you learn the rules beforehand to avoid any arguments! When all else fails, you always have the iPad options to fall back on - but try to limit the screen time of your kids if possible. Otherwise, you won’t have a trip which is full of family bonding.




Planning a fun family road trip is something which takes a bit of preparation. But follow the tips that we have talked about in this blog post, and you will be well on your way to organising a fantastic adventure.

Worthwhile Investments For Your Summer Garden





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Summer is finally on the way (woohoo), and you will finally be able to relax in your garden. You are probably already considering spending money on those worthwhile investments that will make your summer garden complete. So what should you buy? As well as an extra garden gnome or two - can you ever have too many? - we have picked out some other essentials to spend your money on.





1. Lay out some decking




Before you hire a timber firm to install your decking, consider what you are going to use it for. As examples, you may want an entertainment and seating area for your summer socials. You could also use decking as an extension to your garden, with a raised platform for you to enjoy the benefits of your green fingers. It can also be used as a safe playing area for the kids (away from those nasty nettles), or a centrepiece for a garden feature. There are many options, so when you know what you want, get something built to order for the specific purpose you are looking for.




2. Get out of the house and into a summerhouse




A summerhouse is terrific for so many reasons. Not only is it a place for you to take shelter from the hot burning sun, but it also enables you to stay out in your garden environment for longer should the weather take a turn for the worse. Of course, a summerhouse is not just about taking shelter. It can be multi-functional, such as an impromptu play area for the kids; a place of refuge and Zen-like peace when you need to relax, or as an outdoor home office where your garden’s natural beauty can bolster your productivity. Build it accordingly, prepare the space for functionality, and remember the benefits of buying roller blinds online when you are looking for that all-important shading.




3. Activities for fun in the sun




Bring the fun factor into your garden with a range of summer essentials. Examples? A paddling pool is great for cooling off, a water slide provides endless entertainment, and giant garden games are a perfect way to bring the family together. Don’t forget the frisbees, footballs, water bombs, etc. to further wile away your time when you’re out in the garden. Stock up on as much as you can so nobody gets bored. If the sun is shining, you want your kids to be outdoors as much as possible, and not indoors spending their downtime on video games or watching tv for extended periods… and the same applies to you!




4. Chill out and hire a gardener




For all we know, you may have the greenest fingers in the country, so you probably have no need for any extra help. On the other hand, if you want to spend more time chilling out than working this summer, hire a gardener to keep on top of your landscaping. While a professional will give you the best looking garden on your street, you could also employ one of the many people looking for summer work, such as students or teenagers looking to make some extra pocket money. Either way, you can sit in the sun while they sweat it out on your lawn. Just don’t forget to pour them a lemonade occasionally!





Did you agree?




We have given you our ideas, but what about you? What would you consider to be a worthwhile summer investment? Be sure to let us know. Thanks for reading.

Uninspired By Your House? Time To Give It The "Showhome" Treatment






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If you’ve ever walked around a showhome before then you’ve probably been enchanted by the contemporary style, spacious rooms, and glitzy centrepieces that are all designed to woo you and reel you in. Of course, a real-life household isn’t like a showhome. It’s full of clutter, broken things, and (often) faded or outdated design pieces. Still, your house likely has personality and sentimentality attached to it. That’s something you can’t say for a lifeless showhome that has yet to become a place of memories for a loving family. But it would be nice to combine the design aspects of a shiny new showhome with the character of a “lived in” family home. Let’s talk about how you can give your uninspiring house the “showhome” treatment.





Create a minimal design.


Minimalism is a timeless trend because the goal is to simply make your home more spacious, and that’s something everybody wants. Whether you live in a huge mansion or you prefer the intimacy of a small cottage, nobody wants to feel cramped in their own home. That’s why minimalism works so well. It’s practical and pleasing to the eye. For starters, you should declutter your house from top to bottom. Get rid of belongings that you don’t want or need anymore; many of us are guilty of hoarding a growing collection of possessions. You’ll find that your home feels much bigger once you let go of the clutter you don’t need, and this is the first step towards creating a minimal design.





In terms of the belongings that remain in your house, you should think of smarter ways to use the space in your home so that it doesn’t become cluttered again. For example, you could put up shelving on the walls so that you create additional storage for your belongings. If you leave a lot of crockery lying around on kitchen surfaces then this might give you more storage space for those utensils. Additionally, you need to get creative with the space you have available in your house. You could convert the space under the stairs into a cosy reading corner for people to enjoy. You could even convert your attic into a games room. There are many ways to extend your home that you probably haven’t considered.





It’s all about the art of illusion.


Continuing on the topic of spaciousness, the art of illusion is crucial to making your home feel big and inviting. Showhomes use this trick all the time, but it’s an important trick; it makes your household feel more comfortable and welcoming. And making your home more inspiring is all about improving your perception of it, at the end of the day. As suggested over at https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/, the simple addition of a large area rug to a room can make it feel much larger. It’s an impressive illusion. Additionally, you should use mirrors to make rooms feel bigger. There are so many ways in which you can alter your perception of your home to create a more comfortable and spacious environment.








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Let there be light.


One of the biggest things that ruins the design of any home is a lack of light. You could buy all the contemporary furnishings in the world and rearrange the layout of a room a thousand times, but it won’t look as powerful and well-designed as you imagined if it’s poorly-lit. We’ve discussed the importance of natural light in another post on this site. Perhaps a room lacks light because of poor placement when it comes to the windows. You should use mirrors and reflective surfaces so that the light bounces around and fills up the room. Additionally, you should think about the colors you use for furnishings and wall paint. White is a good option; it’s a neutral color that reflects light and will definitely help to brighten up the space in any room.





Obviously, artificial light is important too. You need to think about making your home look nice once the sun goes down and you can’t rely on daylight to brighten up your household anymore. Think about the type of lighting that each space demands. For example, a kitchen countertop needs bright lighting so that you can see what you’re doing when you prepare a meal. However, bright light will not work if you’re relaxing on a couch in the living room or sitting down to eat at the dining table. You need to choose warmer and softer lighting for places of relaxation. Dimmer switches are great too; you can choose low lighting when you’re settling down with a book or a Netflix show before bed and brighter lighting for a gathering with many guests. As mentioned over at https://freshome.com/, dimmer lighting is essential to creating the right mood in your house. The point is that lighting has a huge impact on the appearance of a room.





Classic design is essential.


It’s important that you know the distinction between classic design and old design. Old design is that outdated wallpaper which looks like it belongs in a house from the 80s rather than a modern-day home. Classic design is a granite countertop or stylish wooden flooring. Classic design doesn’t go out of style, and that’s exactly what your house needs if its aesthetic is looking a little faded and uninspiring. As mentioned over at http://www.homelife.com.au/, vintage design can add some character and luxury to a home. With a lick of paint and a quick clean, a thrift shop purchase can add a bit of elegance to the appearance of a room. Think of the magnificent centrepieces you often see in showhomes, such as a chandelier that makes the living room look extraordinary or a majestic grandfather clock in the hallway. That’s what your home needs. You need a chic aesthetic piece to give your house some character.





Natural design is very classic if you’re looking for a place to start. We’ve already mentioned wooden flooring and granite countertops as perfect examples. These materials give rooms a timeless appearance because they’re natural and don’t belong to any specific era of design or fashion. Nature isn’t bound by manmade style. That’s why you could make simple but powerful improvements to rooms in your home by getting more plants and flowers to spruce up the place. Nature adds some colour to the aesthetic of a room. Whilst showhomes might be quite sparse and minimalistic in appearance, you’re bound to see floral arrangements of some kind in the house (perhaps it’ll be a fake floral arrangement for the sake of maintenance, but the point still stands).








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Work on your home’s front exterior.


Of course, glitzy interior design means nothing if your home still looks old and run-down from the outside. You should work on the front exterior if your house if you want to feel inspired by your home again. After all, you wouldn’t feel intrigued to look around a showhome if it looked unimpressive from the curb. You should make sure that your house looks colorful and inviting from the outside. It should have a welcoming and vibrant exterior. Perhaps you could do a little bit of gardening; some potted plants on the windowsills or flowers lining the path that leads to the front door could completely change your perception of your home. You should be inspired by your house’s exterior appearance.





You could repaint or perhaps even replace the front door; the entrance to your home should be vibrant and captivating. You might even want to check out http://www.prestigegaragedoors.com.au/ for modern and high-quality garage doors so that you can spruce up your home’s front face. A brand new aesthetic can really revitalize a tired and worn-out household exterior. It’s all about creating a look that has a powerful impact on your family and any guests who might visit your home. You and your family want to return home every day and find yourselves greeted by a visually impressive sight as you stroll up to your front door. Reinventing your home’s exterior can change your entire perception of the house. After all, first impressions are everything.





Work on your garden.





Once you’ve finished with the exterior of your house from the front, you might want to take a look at the back of the property. How does your garden look? Maybe you mow the lawn frequently to keep the space looking neat and tidy, but it might not necessarily be an exciting patch of land to admire. Yet, your garden should be just as visually stunning as the interior of your household. Your outdoor space is still a part of your home, after all. You should create a cosy patio area to enjoy with your family. Most showhomes have a homely garden space to impress buyers, so you should have one too. You could get a dining table, some cushions for the seats, and a string of fairy lights to really create the right ambience. Give yourself a reason to spend more time in your garden.

Uninspired By Your House? Time To Give It The "Showhome" Treatment


If you’ve ever walked around a showhome before then you’ve probably been enchanted by the contemporary style, spacious rooms, and glitzy centrepieces that are all designed to woo you and reel you in. Of course, a real-life household isn’t like a showhome. It’s full of clutter, broken things, and (often) faded or outdated design pieces. Still, your house likely has personality and sentimentality attached to it. That’s something you can’t say for a lifeless showhome that has yet to become a place of memories for a loving family. But it would be nice to combine the design aspects of a shiny new showhome with the character of a “lived in” family home. Let’s talk about how you can give your uninspiring house the “showhome” treatment.

Create a minimal design.
Minimalism is a timeless trend because the goal is to simply make your home more spacious, and that’s something everybody wants. Whether you live in a huge mansion or you prefer the intimacy of a small cottage, nobody wants to feel cramped in their own home. That’s why minimalism works so well. It’s practical and pleasing to the eye. For starters, you should declutter your house from top to bottom. Get rid of belongings that you don’t want or need anymore; many of us are guilty of hoarding a growing collection of possessions. You’ll find that your home feels much bigger once you let go of the clutter you don’t need, and this is the first step towards creating a minimal design.

In terms of the belongings that remain in your house, you should think of smarter ways to use the space in your home so that it doesn’t become cluttered again. For example, you could put up shelving on the walls so that you create additional storage for your belongings. If you leave a lot of crockery lying around on kitchen surfaces then this might give you more storage space for those utensils. Additionally, you need to get creative with the space you have available in your house. You could convert the space under the stairs into a cosy reading corner for people to enjoy. You could even convert your attic into a games room. There are many ways to extend your home that you probably haven’t considered.

It’s all about the art of illusion.
Continuing on the topic of spaciousness, the art of illusion is crucial to making your home feel big and inviting. Showhomes use this trick all the time, but it’s an important trick; it makes your household feel more comfortable and welcoming. And making your home more inspiring is all about improving your perception of it, at the end of the day. As suggested over at https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/, the simple addition of a large area rug to a room can make it feel much larger. It’s an impressive illusion. Additionally, you should use mirrors to make rooms feel bigger. There are so many ways in which you can alter your perception of your home to create a more comfortable and spacious environment.


Let there be light.
One of the biggest things that ruins the design of any home is a lack of light. You could buy all the contemporary furnishings in the world and rearrange the layout of a room a thousand times, but it won’t look as powerful and well-designed as you imagined if it’s poorly-lit. We’ve discussed the importance of natural light in another post on this site. Perhaps a room lacks light because of poor placement when it comes to the windows. You should use mirrors and reflective surfaces so that the light bounces around and fills up the room. Additionally, you should think about the colors you use for furnishings and wall paint. White is a good option; it’s a neutral color that reflects light and will definitely help to brighten up the space in any room.

Obviously, artificial light is important too. You need to think about making your home look nice once the sun goes down and you can’t rely on daylight to brighten up your household anymore. Think about the type of lighting that each space demands. For example, a kitchen countertop needs bright lighting so that you can see what you’re doing when you prepare a meal. However, bright light will not work if you’re relaxing on a couch in the living room or sitting down to eat at the dining table. You need to choose warmer and softer lighting for places of relaxation. Dimmer switches are great too; you can choose low lighting when you’re settling down with a book or a Netflix show before bed and brighter lighting for a gathering with many guests. As mentioned over at https://freshome.com/, dimmer lighting is essential to creating the right mood in your house. The point is that lighting has a huge impact on the appearance of a room.

Classic design is essential.
It’s important that you know the distinction between classic design and old design. Old design is that outdated wallpaper which looks like it belongs in a house from the 80s rather than a modern-day home. Classic design is a granite countertop or stylish wooden flooring. Classic design doesn’t go out of style, and that’s exactly what your house needs if its aesthetic is looking a little faded and uninspiring. As mentioned over at http://www.homelife.com.au/, vintage design can add some character and luxury to a home. With a lick of paint and a quick clean, a thrift shop purchase can add a bit of elegance to the appearance of a room. Think of the magnificent centrepieces you often see in showhomes, such as a chandelier that makes the living room look extraordinary or a majestic grandfather clock in the hallway. That’s what your home needs. You need a chic aesthetic piece to give your house some character.

Natural design is very classic if you’re looking for a place to start. We’ve already mentioned wooden flooring and granite countertops as perfect examples. These materials give rooms a timeless appearance because they’re natural and don’t belong to any specific era of design or fashion. Nature isn’t bound by manmade style. That’s why you could make simple but powerful improvements to rooms in your home by getting more plants and flowers to spruce up the place. Nature adds some colour to the aesthetic of a room. Whilst showhomes might be quite sparse and minimalistic in appearance, you’re bound to see floral arrangements of some kind in the house (perhaps it’ll be a fake floral arrangement for the sake of maintenance, but the point still stands).


Work on your home’s front exterior.
Of course, glitzy interior design means nothing if your home still looks old and run-down from the outside. You should work on the front exterior if your house if you want to feel inspired by your home again. After all, you wouldn’t feel intrigued to look around a showhome if it looked unimpressive from the curb. You should make sure that your house looks colorful and inviting from the outside. It should have a welcoming and vibrant exterior. Perhaps you could do a little bit of gardening; some potted plants on the windowsills or flowers lining the path that leads to the front door could completely change your perception of your home. You should be inspired by your house’s exterior appearance.

You could repaint or perhaps even replace the front door; the entrance to your home should be vibrant and captivating. You might even want to check out http://www.prestigegaragedoors.com.au/ for modern and high-quality garage doors so that you can spruce up your home’s front face. A brand new aesthetic can really revitalize a tired and worn-out household exterior. It’s all about creating a look that has a powerful impact on your family and any guests who might visit your home. You and your family want to return home every day and find yourselves greeted by a visually impressive sight as you stroll up to your front door. Reinventing your home’s exterior can change your entire perception of the house. After all, first impressions are everything.

Work on your garden.

Once you’ve finished with the exterior of your house from the front, you might want to take a look at the back of the property. How does your garden look? Maybe you mow the lawn frequently to keep the space looking neat and tidy, but it might not necessarily be an exciting patch of land to admire. Yet, your garden should be just as visually stunning as the interior of your household. Your outdoor space is still a part of your home, after all. You should create a cosy patio area to enjoy with your family. Most showhomes have a homely garden space to impress buyers, so you should have one too. You could get a dining table, some cushions for the seats, and a string of fairy lights to really create the right ambience. Give yourself a reason to spend more time in your garden.

How to Lose Weight Super-Fast with Hardly Any Effort



Have you tried to lose weight before but never quite been able to? Maybe you just feel as though you are going to the gym all the time but nothing you seem to be doing is worth the effort. Losing weight really is all about science, and once you understand the science behind what you are trying to do, it is very easy for you to get your weight loss back on track.




No Sugar or Starch




The most important thing that you need to do is cut back on starch or even sugar. When you do that, you’ll soon see that your sugar levels will go down and you will end up eating far fewer calories as well. Instead of burning your carbohydrates for energy, your body will then start burning off any stored fat that you have. When you cut carbohydrates, your body will also lower your insulin levels and shortly after, your kidneys will start to shed off any excess water and sodium. If you struggle with water weight then this is ideal because it means that you won’t feel as bloated and you won’t feel as bulky either. It’s very common for people to lose 10lbs or more when they eat this way, so it’s great for those who are struggling. If you are really struggling, why not look into liposuction cost? This is one of the easiest ways for you to remove a lot of fat and in a very short space of time.





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Focus on Protein




Every one of the meals that you have needs to contain a protein source. You also need to make sure that you are eating low carbohydrate vegetables and a fat source as well. When you build your meals in this way, you will bring your carbohydrate level into a suitable range. This is between 20 and 50g a day. If you want to eat meat that will help you to lose weight then focus on things like beef, lamb, pork and chicken. Whole eggs with the yolk are great as well, so don’t listen when people tell you to just eat the white.





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Lift Weights




You don’t need to exercise in order to lose weight but it is highly recommended. The best thing that you can do is go to the gym three or even four times a week. You can even do a warm up so that you can burn even more calories as well. If you have never been to the gym before, then try and make sure that you lift some weights and also try and set a routine. Your body will lose more weight when you have a steady routine in place. A lot of people believe that cardio is the only way for you to burn fat, but if you lift weights as well then this is also very effective. If you don’t like to do cardio then lifting weights on their own will do great things for your weight loss routine, so do keep that in mind when the time does come for you to sign up at the gym.

: Creating the Perfect Summer Bedroom



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It is not only our wardrobes that need changing with the seasons; it is our homes too. During the winter, your bedroom needs to be as warm and as cosy as possible. But when summer arrives, this sort of bedroom is going to be way too hot and stuffy, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and finding it impossible to relax. Of course, this does not mean you need to embark on a massive redecoration project every six months. However, you do need to make a few changes that will make sure your bedroom is summer-ready. Here are some suggestions to help you get started…



Change your colour palette – What colours do you have going on in your room at the moment? If you have not gone for neutral and pastel shades, then your room isn’t going to feel serene and tranquil during the summer months. It is always good to keep the environment as light as possible. If you go for dark colours, the room will retain too much heat and you will feel hemmed in. Instead, you need to keep things as welcoming and open as possible. This does not mean that your room needs to be boring, or that you need to stick with white or magnolia. There are plenty of light yet stunning shades that are bursting with personality, from rose pink to mint green.



Ditch the heavy curtains – During the winter months, it is likely that you have heavy curtains in your bedroom so that you can keep as much heat in the room as possible. However, once the weather changes, it is important to opt for lighter fabrics in your bedroom, and curtains most definitely come into this category. Invest in some made to measure curtains in a light fabric so that you can keep everything as airy as possible.



Invest in some plants for your bedroom – The importance of having plants inside your house should never be overlooked. More and more people are recognising the benefits of houseplants. Not only do they look great, but they create a more comfortable environment too because they improve airflow. This is something that is especially beneficial during the warmer, summer months, when your bedroom can feel like there is no air circulating around there at all!



Take some weight off your bed – During the winter, we like to cover our beds with blankets, throws, and scatter cushions. Throughout the summer, these items can simply become an annoyance. Scale things down on the bed front in preparation for summer. You will also need to switch your duvet from a winter duvet to a summer one. This means going for a lower tog. Somewhere around the 4.5 mark is ideal.



Bring in some fresh and summery smells – When changing the mood and feel in any room in the house, you need to focus on more than just what you can see and what you can feel. You need to engage all senses. After all, the things we smell and the music we listen to have an impact on how we feel too. Because of this, you should look for ways to bring fresh, relaxing, and summery smells into your bedroom. Mandarin is a great choice, and it does not cost a lot to buy a few oil diffusers or scented candles.



Get rid of clutter – There is nothing relaxing about clutter at the best of times, but it can become even more frustrating during the summer when all you want is a bit of space. Now is the perfect time to get rid of all of the clutter in your bedroom. Ask yourself; do I really need this? Don’t hold onto something on the off chance that it could become useful one day. Moreover, if something does not have a place, then it has got to go. And, by place, this does not mean a random corner in your bedroom. Once you have got rid of all of the clutter in your room, you should operate the one in, one out approach. This means that whenever you buy something new for your bedroom, you have to get rid of something else to accommodate it.



Let there be light – Last but not least, you should never underestimate the importance of your lighting choices. They play a much bigger role than you may realise. This is especially the case if your bedroom is an awkward shape and does not have big windows. The last thing you want to do is be sleeping in a dark and dull room throughout the summer. So, firstly, you need to let as much natural light into your bedroom as possible. This does not mean that you have to go knocking down walls to put new windows in, although skylights are the perfect solution. A well-placed mirror could make all of the difference. Light will bounce off the reflective surface and back into your bedroom, making it look bigger and more welcoming. Aside from this, do not merely rely on one harsh overhead to power your entire room; make sure you use a variety of lights.





Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for creating the perfect summer bedroom. It does not require a lot of effort, but changing the colour palette in your room and addressing matters like your duvet and your curtains can make a massive difference. The result will be an airy and fresh room that will enable you to be comfortable and relaxed throughout the summer months.

Embracing Al Fresco Living All Year-Round: Versatile Additions For Your Garden



Do you love to spend as much time outside as possible? If you tend to head out into the yard as soon as you get home from work or not a weekend goes by when you haven’t got friends round and the bbq fired up, it’s a good idea to ensure your garden is a versatile space. The weather can often put pay to plans to relax and hang out in the outdoors, but if you choose the right additions for your garden, you should be able to enjoy it all year-round.






Picture credit https://pixabay.com/en/patio-cover-outdoor-kitchen-tile-1748371/





A gazebo

A gazebo is an excellent option for those looking for a simple, affordable means of providing a little shelter when there are clouds around threatening to spoil the party. You can choose from a portable structure that can be erected in minutes or a more solid, permanent option. Gazebos provide shade on a sunny day and respite from passing showers, and they come in a range of different shapes and sizes, so you’re bound to find something that suits the style of your backyard.




Patio awnings

If you’ve got an entertaining area, it’s a great idea to have a look at patio awnings. There are several different styles to choose from, and adding an awning can make your garden a fabulous place to be come rain or shine. Skillion awnings are ideal for smaller spaces while gables are perfect for larger gardens and traditional homes. With an awning, you can embrace the trends of bringing the outdoors in and al fresco living simultaneously. You can enjoy your outdoor space, gather friends and family around for drinks and play with the kids even when it’s chucking it down.




Pool cover

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, it makes sense to use it as much as possible. If it’s chilly outside or it’s raining, you don’t want to be sat inside gazing longingly at the inviting blue water. With a pool cover, you can swim throughout the year without worrying about contending with torrential downpours. If you don’t want a permanent structure dominating the garden, you could consider a retractable roof. It’s worth shopping around, comparing prices and looking at different styles.




Summer house

A summer house is a wonderful addition if you have children, you work from home, or you like to spend time in the garden at any time of year. Summer houses are versatile, you can use them for work or play, and they look great. Go for a rustic wooden log-cabin style design for a traditional home or add a modern twist with flat roofs and oversized glass panels.






Image by http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4599522





If you’re looking to make your garden more versatile, it pays to bear the weather in mind. If you love to spend time outside, you don’t want rain clouds to put pay to your plans. Investing in permanent or temporary structures enables you to shelter from extreme heat and take cover from showers, giving you the chance to enjoy your outdoor space all year-round.

A Millennial Mum’s Guide To Juggling Parenthood With Business



The days of families surviving on one income while the other parent takes care of the home and parenting duties are, for the majority, a thing of the past. As such, finding a balance between parenting and career goals is one of the most difficult challenges facing any modern mum. It may seem difficult, but it is possible.



Try implementing at least some of these tricks into your life, and you should have a far better shot at discovering that winning formula.






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Find A Job Or Business That Suits Parenting



While a successful career is an important ambition, you mustn’t forget that being a mum defines you. There is a slight catch 22 situation as you essentially work to provide for the family. Nonetheless, you cannot afford to let your work get in the way of spending time your loved ones. Finding a more practical job puts you in a far stronger position.



When starting a small company of your own, choosing one in which you can actively spend time with your young kids can be hugely beneficial. This is one of many reasons to consider a childcare business, not least due to the fact it'll still suit your needs when the kids start their school lives. Another option is to become a teacher as you’ll get the school holidays off.



Working with kids isn’t for everyone, but you should at least look to find a job that still allows you to be a mum. If possible, finding one with less travel and fewer weekend hours should be on the agenda.



Build A Suitable Home Office Space



Whether you’re an employer or an employee, the ability to work from home is a blessing that puts you in far greater control in all aspects of your life. Even if you only get to take advantage of this opportunity once a week, it’ll make a huge difference to your world. But you will need a suitable home office space to make it happen.






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Turning a guest room into a home office can transform your life by boosting the work-life balance. Crucially, it could also increase the value of your home by a five-figure sum. Furthermore, that added sense of organisation can only have a positive influence on other commitments.



Or, if you don’t have enough space for a designated office, you should at least get a decent laptop stand so that you can work from the sofa or dining table. With paperless technology, even a perceived lack of space needn’t be a major issue.



Find Financial Stability



Very few people, including non-parents, enjoy spending so many hours at work. Even if you love your job, dedicating 50 or 60 hours of your week to those activities can feel very draining. Sadly, this will limit your ability to enjoy time with the family too. Unfortunately, the need for money means that many of us don’t have a choice. Or do we?



Earning more money per hour (or growing your business faster) may put you in a position to cut your hours slightly. Meanwhile, you should consider using coupons and price-comparisons to reduce your monthly expense. This helps remove the pressure to earn quite so much at work.




Finding better savings accounts or choosing smart investments can increase your personal wealth. This goes a long way to reducing the strain at work. While money isn’t the most important thing in this world, having more of it will enhance your opportunities greatly.






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Create More Time



Spending time together is the foundation of happy family relationships, but it can be one of the hardest things to achieve. In addition to juggling parenthood with a career, you need to think about keeping the home in great condition. Unfortunately, this is one issue that can harm any hopes of creating family time.



While a good spring clean gives you a solid foundation for keeping things in the right condition, you must follow it in the right fashion. Technology can be very helpful in this regard. Cooking meals in a slow cooker, investing in a dishwasher and using automated features can work wonders. In many cases, you’ll save money as well as time.



Other ideas can include quitting the gym in favour of home workouts or running on the street. Any life adjustment that ultimately allows you to have more time with loved ones can only be a step in the right direction.



Take Care Of Yourself



The kids will always be your priority, and maintaining their health and happiness is paramount. However, you cannot possibly achieve this if you’re not in great condition too. Above all else, you need healthy energy levels to get through your work commitments without being too tired to create family memories.



Healthy eating and regular exercise should be at the heart of those endeavours. It’s often possible to combine this with family time by cooking with the kids or playing sporting events as a group. Perhaps more importantly, you need to encourage better sleep patterns. Aside from the physical health benefits, this step will often offer huge benefits to your appearance.






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A mum that looks after herself is far more likely to look after her family in style. Besides, your partner and kids will soon spot any signs that you’ve let your health and energy slide. This will inevitably reduce their happiness as well as yours.



The Final Word



Parenting and a successful career are best achieved when the two items go hand in hand. There are many factors to consider. Yet, it can ultimately be attributed to establishing control and balance in all aspects of your world. This can cover taking care of your mind, body, and finances.





Arguably the most crucial element, though, is to gain a little perspective. Making a few sacrifices here and there may be necessary to maximise your parenting success, and that includes new career choices. Still, if it can unlock greater happiness for the whole family, you could not ask for anything more.

Beat The Home Renovation Blues



Making the decision to renovate your home starts out as being incredibly exciting. But let’s be honest, it soon turns into an incredibly difficult time. In fact, research suggests that couples and partners tend to fight a lot more during home renovations, and anyone who has experienced building work nightmares will easily see why! There are, however, a few things you can do to ease the pain and beat the home renovation blues. Let’s take a closer look.






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Good planning




As with everything in life, good planning can save you a lot of trouble when it comes to home renovations. So, take your time to choose the right interior architect and building team for your project. Make sure you have everything cleared from your local authority with regards to planning permission. And be prepared for the job to take a lot longer than you expect.




Spend within your budget




When you are working out your budget, make allowances for extra costs. While the best builders will give you as accurate a quote as possible, the simple truth is that ‘things happen.’ It’s never a good idea to max out your budget on the project, without allowing for additional costs and time. Otherwise, you‘ll find that work stops with your house in disarray until you can afford it.




Leave home




This isn’t for everyone of course - not all can afford to move out. But if you can, it’s worth doing, You’ll find that the builders work quicker when there is no one around to disturb, and it will also give you peace of mind regarding safety if you have kids.




Communicate




Good communication can help your project go off without a hitch. It’s important you are able to talk to everyone on the project team, to instruct and understand what needs doing and what might not be possible. Also, make sure you are talking to your partner. As we discussed in the intro, couples argue a lot when undergoing a renovation, and it’s best to keep things open and honest if you want to avoid doing the same!




Remember why you’re doing it!




When a project is taking months, it’s easy to think that what you are upgrading wasn’t really that bad. But no one goes through the expense and strain of a renovation without good reason. So, remember why you are doing this - take pictures of your grotty kitchen or bathroom and have them on hand as a reminder. It will help when you feel like the project is taking an eternity!




Be realistic




Finally, be realistic. There will be supplier issues, days where rain stops work, sickness and all kinds of other issues. It’s vital that you are realistic about the length of time your renovation will take if you want to keep your sanity. Expect your project to overrun by anything up to 25% and you won’t be too disappointed when it actually happens.




Have you experienced the home renovation blues? Share your experiences in the comments section below!

What To Do With Those Savings





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There is no better feeling than finally managing to get all of your money together and actually find some room for savings. When you realize one day that you have built up a lot in savings, you come to the conclusion that you need to find something worthwhile to do with it. There are so many option available to you here, and depending on where your priorities lie you may or may not know what you want to do with it immediately. Either way, there are some essential things which most people will consider, and that is what we are going to look into today. Here are some of the best things you can possibly choose to do with your savings.





Buy A Car




If it has been a long time since you have treated yourself to a new car, then now might be the time to make that happen. Buying a new car is always exciting, and when you realize you have the funds to treat yourself to one it is often something you want to make good use of as soon as you can. If you do decide to spend your money this way, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are doing whatever you can to get hold of the best possible car you can buy. This means thinking about all of the different qualities that your ideal car might have, and ensuring that you do not overlook anything that you might personally consider vital. Done right, you are bound to be delighted with this as an option for spending your hard-saved cash.





Renovate Your Home




Maybe instead of a car, you would rather spend that money on your home. This is another very popular option, and something which you should seriously consider if you want to make your money go further. If you do renovate your home, it will mean that you add value to the home, so in the long run it is likely to come back to you anyway. Of course, it is vital that you make sure any home renovations you do are within your budget, as you don’t want to make the mistake of accidentally overspending and eating into your money. The last thing you need is to turn your savings into debt; but done right, this won’t happen, and you will end up with a fantastic new home to spend your time in.





Take A Holiday




When was the last time you really got away from it all? If you feel as though it has been a long time indeed, it might be a good idea to take a holiday. Taking a holiday - whether on your own or with your friends or family - can be a great way to refresh your life, and it is arguably one of the best ways to spend your money. So if you have enough in your savings, you should absolutely always consider a holiday somewhere exotic. However you do it is up to you, but it is definitely worthwhile to spend money on experiences rather than things.