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.

Look for These Neighbourhood Necessities for a Healthy Home

Being healthy is important to many of us. In fact, most people think about their health in some way. You don't have to be a fitness freak to want to treat your mind and body well. Where you choose to live can have a profound influence on how healthy you feel. A variety of factors can affect both your physical and mental health. So if you're about to look for a new home, you should try to keep a few different criteria in mind. Looking for certain things in your new property will help you to live a healthier lifestyle when you have moved.


Checking for Recreational Outdoor Spaces

If you want to be healthy, getting outside is one of the primary ways to do it. Australians love to be outdoors and enjoy our beautiful weather. We're a nation of fitness-loving people, and it's no surprise with the amount of sunshine we get. When you're looking for a house, don't forget to check for outdoor places you can enjoy. It might be anything from a public pool to nearby parks or running trails. Some neighbourhoods, such as Yarra Bend, feature several ways to enjoy nature. You can discover cycle paths, lawns, and parks that are ideal for enjoying the outdoors.

Traffic and Pollution

When it comes to undesirable features, busy roads are often at the top of the list for many. They can affect your health in several ways. Firstly, they are often noisy, which can prevent you from quietly enjoying your home. They can also produce pollution, which you don't want. You also need to consider whether it could be dangerous if you have kids or pets. Before moving into a new home, it's always a good idea to check what the traffic is like. It may be quiet when you visit but don't forget to check it out at different times of the day.


Transport and Getting Around

Another transport-related concern is how you can get around. You might want to know if there is public transport and whether the location is friendly to walking and cycling. If you plan on using public transport, don't forget to check buses, trains and other methods of getting around. You want to know where they go and how often, including on evenings and weekends. If you prefer to get someone on your own steam, the presence of cycle paths and safe walking routes in important too.

Neighbourhood and Community

Another thing that can affect your health is the people around you. Bad neighbours can turn out to be a nightmare, causing you stress and even illness. The last thing you want is to discover nightmare neighbours after moving in. You should make an effort to get to know the community and what it's like. Is everyone friendly and do they do things together? Perhaps you want somewhere with friendly neighbours but where you can be left alone. The right environment can make a big difference to your happiness.

It's important to consider the location of a home if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. Remember these important factors when you next look for a home.

Make Moving To Your Dream Location A Cinch With My Advice


Moving home is always going to be stressful. When you’re considering moving to another part of the world, you can add a few extra problems into the equation. First, you need to think about whether it’s even possible for you to move to the country you’d like to live in.

I know after the American election results were announced, the Canadian immigration website crashed. Apparently, a lot of Americans were investigating whether or not they could immigrate there easily. I can answer that question for them right now without looking at the site.

You can’t, immigration is always difficult. Most countries have strict immigration rules, and you may even need to pass a test to get in. Essentially, you need to show that you’d be an asset for that country.

Canadia isn’t the only country with strict immigration guidelines either. There are plenty of others such as Australia and America. In Europe, you will only find it easy to move if you are relocating from one country in that continent to another. If you’re heading over from somewhere like America, you’ll encounter the same roadblocks. So, what are the other challenges of moving internationally and how can you make things easier?



Find A Reason To Move


Ideally, you should be looking for a reason to move before you put your house up for sale. For instance, you may want to start researching and applying for jobs in that particular region. If you do this and you gain interest from employers, you will immediately find it easier to move. Some employers may even help you deal with the issues of immigration. The best thing that could possibly happen would be for you to be headhunted. If you’re headhunted, a business will part seas to ensure they get you on their team. You’ll need to demonstrate an excellent level of achievement in your field of work.



It is possible to get a short-term visa for most countries. This will allow you to visit the region and explore different job prospects. You can also get a feel for where you are moving to and hopefully find a job. It’s also useful to do this to research the housing market. Don’t forget that the market in the new region won’t be the same as the one in your home country. It’s unlikely that you’ll get lucky with high housing prices in your home country and low housing prices where you’re moving to. Although, you might find a good exchange rate will help. For instance, in the past, it was easier for British people to buy homes in America due to the fantastic exchange rate.



Finding A Home



Once you have established a reason to move, you’ll need to start looking for a home. In most cases, you will need to rely on an estate agency to find and recommend a home for you. It’s important that you choose this agency carefully. In the past, estate agents have targeted foreign movers. They were recommending terrible deals or homes that wouldn’t sell. They do this because they know that international travelers are desperate for a fast sale and won’t know any better. If you’re worried about this possibility, you need to research different agencies. Make sure you find one that is genuine with good reviews. You could even discover an international agency that has ties to your home country.



Moving Everything Over



If you were thinking that moving abroad would be expensive, you’d be right. There’s really no way around this. Think about how much it would cost to travel a few hundred miles away from where you live now. It would probably cost at least a couple of thousand. However, if you research international removalists, you should be able to keep that cost as low as possible. You may find it takes some time to get the belongings over for your home. If possible, it’s worth one person moving over earlier and helping transition your life across to the new location. If you do this, you’ll be able to avoid the worry of items getting lost or misplaced.



Sorting Out The Family



Although I’ve left this until last, you’ll probably consider it first. How is a move like this going to affect your family? Well, there are plenty of issues here, particularly if you have kids. Children will find moving incredibly difficult and heading to a new location across the world can be straining. They will miss their extended family, their home, and the place where they grew up. You must do everything you can to make it easier for them. But your primary concern must be their education and finding a great school. Luckily, you’ll be able to find rankings for schools online.

I hope you find a beautiful new home for your family, no matter where you’re moving to.

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Cooking 101: How To Beat Kitchen Stress And Cook The Best Meals Of Your Life

Do you grimace and roll your eyes when you hear someone say that they find cooking 'therapeutic'? Or maybe that they find it 'enjoyable' or 'calming'? For many people, cooking can indeed be a way to help them relax and chill out after a long day. But for others, it can be quite the opposite situation. Kitchens can be hot, they can be messy and for some of us, it all makes for a pretty stressful situation. If this sounds like you, you may think that there's nothing anyone could do to get you to fall in love with cooking. But actually, there are a lot of simple steps you can take to making your cooking experience a more pleasant one - and it can help you get healthier in the process too.

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Organise your produce

Falling at the first hurdle is the first thing that's going to put you off cooking for life. When you buy ingredients for the week, think about where you are going to store them. Having to empty your whole fridge just to find the one pepper you want is a real pain, so having some kind of system can only be beneficial. For example, you may want to keep green produce such as lettuce and salad in one fridge drawer, and have peppers and tomatoes in the other. This way, you will know where to go straight away to look for something. Investing in reusable produce bags can also be a great way to store your vegetables and to make sure that they stay fresher for longer as well.

Using a timer

In most other parts of our lives, we don't look upon timers or alarms that favourably. They either mean it's time to get out of bed, or they let you know when you're running out of time in an exam. But your kitchen timer, on the other hand, could well be your new best friend. If you have multiple pans on the go, even the best chefs can find it difficult to keep on top of everything. There's nothing more disappointing than spending ages cooking a meal, only to serve it and find that some parts of it are over/under cooked. Using a couple of timers can help keep your cooking schedule in check, and can help ensure that you serve something delicious at the end of it all.

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Getting the right equipment

Just as with any skill - sport, painting, or dressmaking - if you don't have the right equipment, you can't be expected to get very far. There are a few must-have items that even the most amateur of cooks needs to have in their kitchen. If you choose to invest in them, you're likely to notice a difference in the quality of your food right away. A good set of knives is essential and will save you a lot of time. Having a good variety of pans is also helpful as you can use them for different things, and a non-slip chopping board will help you stay safe and protect your surfaces too.