Things To Know Before You Extend Your Home



A home extension can be a great addition to your home, helping to add space and value as well as change the appearance of your home. Home extensions often become necessary when you expand your family or want to increase the size of your home without having to move away from the house that you love.



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While home extensions can provide an incredible end result, they require a lot of planning and hard work to get right. Take a look at some things to know before you extend your home to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
Be prepared to have to stay elsewhere for a while

Home extensions are a large project, and can seriously disrupt your home. This will likely mean that you’ll need to stay somewhere else while the work is being carried out. If you’ve got friends or relatives nearby that you can stay with, then great, otherwise you might need to consider your options more carefully before diving straight in.
Hire designers that know what they’re doing

Choosing the right designer can make all the difference to your end result, so make sure that you choose carefully. Professional drafting services for home extensions will produce the best plans for your home, as well as obtain the necessary permits. Be clear in your brief about what you want to achieve from your home extension to ensure you get exactly what you want. Sometimes, hiring the most affordable option isn’t necessarily the best one - so keep an eye out for those with good testimonials or word of mouth recommendations over price.
Get the right insurance

Having the right insurance in place before you begin your renovations is something many people forget. Many insurers won’t cover your home if you’re changing its structure, so you’ll need to get some site insurance to cover the period of the work.
Be prepared to pay the price

The price of home extensions varies according to the size of your home and the scale of your project. When hiring your design company, make sure you get an accurate total cost to help you budget and plan accordingly. Ensure your finances are in order so that you can cover the extra cost as needed, and don’t get started with plans that you can’t afford to continue should something go wrong.
Consider the demands on the rest of your home

It’s possible that an extension can put a strain on other elements of your home, such as your heating and water system and your electricity. Consider what resources your extension will need and seek expert advice as to whether or not your existing system can cope. If not, you might need to consider investing in a new boiler or upgrade your electricity to keep your home in good working order.


Home extensions are the perfect way to make the most out of your existing home. However, if you’re having doubts or want to wait some time before committing, you might want to look at other home improvement options instead. Take a look at some simple ways to give your home a facelift to help you improve your home while you decide if an extension is the right move for you.

How to Enjoy a Holiday While Pregnant





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Pregnancy is a beautiful time in your life. It’s exciting and exhilarating. It’s also something that you are lucky to be able to do. But, despite this, it’s not easy. Even with the perfect pregnancy, it can be hard work. You’re tired, hormonal and achy. You might have morning sickness, swollen ankles, varicose veins and all sorts of other fun symptoms thrown into the mix. It can feel very much as though your body is no longer your own.




But, life doesn’t just stop for 40 weeks to let you grow a person. Everything else carries on. You have to go to work, look after the rest of your family, prepare for the baby and do everything that you usually would. In amongst all of this, you might decide to go on a holiday to get a break, or perhaps you and your partner want to go away to enjoy some last-minute time alone before the baby arrives. This is fantastic. You certainly deserve it. But, enjoying a holiday while pregnant isn’t always as easy as you might think. Here are some tips to help you.




Find the Right Hotel




When your pregnant, the last thing that you want is to be sleeping in an uncomfortable bed, in a boiling hotel without AC, that’s miles away from the local town, beach or airport. You don’t want to have to spend hours commuting to do anything. So, take your time to find the right hotel. Something like this must-stay boutique hotel that above all offers you fantastic comfort and a place to rest in luxury.




Sleep




When pregnant what you need more than anything else is rest. The more that you sleep, the better you’ll feel. So, plan it in. Schedule anything that you want to do while you are away around early nights, lie-ins and afternoon naps. Make rest the priority of your trip.




Plan Things in Small Doses




If you are heavily pregnant or struggling with morning sickness in the early stages, you’re unlikely to enjoy full days out exploring on foot. You’ll be exhausted and uncomfortable. Instead, plan things in small doses. Plan in activities that only take a couple of hours and then let yourself have a rest. Try to stay relatively close to the hotel, so that you can head back whenever you need to.




Pack sensibly




High heels and tight jeans might well be a thing of the past. Short-term at least. Instead, pack for comfort. You’ll want loose-fitting clothes and flat, comfortable shoes. Light layers are also a good idea as you might struggle with hot flushes. If you are going away for longer than two weeks, you should also prepare for sudden weight gain or shape change. You never know when bump might have a growth spurt.




Listen to Your Body




A big part of coping with pregnancy wherever you are is listening to your body and trusting your instincts. Don’t push yourself too hard. If you’re tired, rest. If you don’t feel like doing any more than sitting in the bar reading a book, don’t. Listen to your body and give it what it needs.

Why You Should Bring Your Garden Indoors





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The current trend within interior design is to keep things relatively neutral. This year, one unexpected and less known interior trend however is that of bringing the garden indoors, by using indoor plants that offer deep green foliage and vibrant flowers to provide a contrast to the neutral walls so many interior magazines are prescribing.




In this article we’re going to look at some of the benefits of bringing the garden indoors, yet first, it seems important to address a concern many people have - which is that of bugs and insects invading their home due to the increased nature.




As a homeowner it’s good to be cautious, and there are companies such as https://www.ecomist.com.au/ that can provide products for insect control, but a lot of times there’s no need to worry - as, after all, just because you have a few cut flowers in your dining room doesn’t suddenly make it unsanitary. Similarly, nobody is talking about turning your bedroom into a jungle where you need a machete to hack your way through to the bed each night.






1. THEY IMPROVE AIR QUALITY

Air quality is of particular concern to those that suffer with respiratory conditions or allergies such as hay fever, yet it’s also something to be mindful of if you live in a large city, as the air quality is often very low when compared to the coast or countryside.

Indeed, even if you live in the countryside, yet your house is near a main road, this in itself can impact the quality of air we breathe into our lungs in our homes, and sometimes we forget how important the air we breathe actually is; unless you have asthma or another breathing conditions.




Of course, there are many old wives tales that spout off the beneficial effects of getting some “fresh air” as a cure all for almost everything, yet the tangible benefit on our physical and emotional health of having plants in our home in order to improve air quality is now being recognised within the scientific community.




The reason plants are a great solution for air pollution is because they absorb carbon dioxide and expel oxygen. Plants cleanse the air from toxic chemicals and raise the air’s humidity by naturally releasing moisture vapour - this can be particularly beneficial for people with respiratory issues.





2. THEY CAN HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER

Indoor plants such as lavender provide essential oils widely known to increase the quality of your sleep and have a soothing effect on the body. Whilst you’re unlikely to get the same health benefits from having a lavender plant in close proximity to using the concentrated essential oil, it will have an affect on your nervous system.





3. THEY INCREASE HAPPINESS LEVELS

Several studies have found patients in hospitals that are surrounded by flowers are more likely to recover than those that have no vegetation around them. Flowering plants in particular are very uplifting and contribute to a feeling of optimism.





4. STRESS REDUCTION

Having plants around can help lower stress and fatigue; in fact several studies have found plants help lower the heart rate and blood pressure.





5. THEY PRODUCE HEALTHY FRUIT AND VEGETABLES



Don’t forget that indoor plants can produce fruit and vegetables; indeed, you can grow your own organic strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, lemons and avocados indoors - all of which provide an abundance of essential nutrients.

Simple Ways To Give Your Home A Facelift



If your home is no longer looking its best, you might start thinking about moving house and starting over. However, today’s property market is a tough one and selling your home can be tougher than you think. Plus, if you like your home - why should you leave it? Sometimes, the best thing to do is to invest in it to not only increase its value but to help you fall in love with it all over again.






Image: Kaboom Pics




Want to give your home some TLC? Here are some simple ways to give your home a facelift.
Try some landscaping

Improving the exterior of your home is a great way for you to refresh its appearance and make a good impression from the outside. A landscaped garden makes a big difference to your home, and will make you far more likely to make the most of your outdoor space. Take a look at the latest backyard and garden trends to give you some inspiration to help you plan your backyard refresh.
Update the outside of your home

The outside of your home can start to look tired after a while, but that’s nothing a little update won’t fix. A fresh new look to the outside can restore that excitement you get when you arrive home after a long day, and it can be one of the most inexpensive ways to add value to your home. Start by refreshing the paint on the doors and window frames, while you could even paint the outside too. If you want to add some modern details to the outside of your home, speak to Architectural Cladding Suppliers about your options. There are many things you can do to the outside of your home that will give it a new lease of life.
Get rid of the clutter

A clutter-free home can make a big difference to its appearance. If you’re jealous of those magazine-worthy living rooms that look so clean and spacious, then why not do something about your own? Decluttering your home is actually easier than it sounds, and although you’ll need to show some great resolve and be ruthless - the results will certainly be worth it. Decluttering helps you to feel more zen, and with less stuff in your home to clean it will be much easier to maintain a tidy, spacious house that you will feel happy and relaxed to live in.
Paint the walls

If you’re fed up with looking at the same walls, then it’s time to make a change. Instead of sticking to generic magnolia or other shades on the cream spectrum, why not try something new and exciting instead? Accent walls and feature walls are particularly popular with those who want to make an impression, but not make a complete change, while choosing from other neutrals like greys and blues can give your home the update it needs. Choose from this year’s must-have colour trends to see if you could bring them into your home.
Refresh your bathroom

Does your bathroom let the rest of your home down? A refresh could be in order. Your bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in the home, with multiple people coming in and out each day. As a result, things discolour quicker and everything starts looking more worn and tired. A simple bathroom refresh could consist of new flooring or tiles, with some new bathroom accessories added in to give things a fresh, modern look.
Renew your driveway

Take a close look at your driveway - is it as neat as it was when your first moved in? Driveways can wear easily, without you even noticing. Start off by using a pressure washer to get rid of old dirt and grime - you’ll be surprised at how fresh and clean things look afterward. Meanwhile, there are ways to patch and repair your driveway that will bring it back to life once again. Take better care of your driveway through regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.


Giving your home a facelift can make all the difference to its look and feel. Even small changes can help you find the love for your home once again. If you’re on a budget, focus on making over different rooms of your home such as redecorating your living room to improve its appearance and help you feel at home once more. Selling up doesn’t always have to be the answer, and there are plenty of ways to make restore your home to its former glory.

Dream Of Running A Smallholding? Get Yourself Equipped!





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If inspired to run your own smallholding, it’s essential to realize that you need to become equipped before you can do so. While keeping a few sheep or geese or chickens or cows could seem like a fun idea, without the right methods of accommodating them, you will not only run an illegal operation based on the smallholding rules of your local authority, but you will have a difficult time gaining anything of value for the animal, or sustaining your land appropriately. For this reason, running a smallholding is in large part dictated by your work ethic, your ability to familiarize yourself with farming code, and the equipment you keep in order to sustain your operation.




Luckily, the installation and purchasing guide you need is here to consider:




Fences




The first consideration if you hope to bring animals into your paddock is to fence off the paddock in the first place. Security is essential not only to protect your farm animals from foxes and other predators but to keep them from escaping. Ensure they are strong enough for the type of animal you keep. Sheep aren’t likely to cause you many problems. Horses could. Fencing should be sturdy, high enough, posted frequently for tensile strength, and in humane conditions, perhaps electrified if working with animals who can take a small shock to dissuade messing with the gate. For example, cows are notorious for leaning on gates, and so this small consequence could truly help.




Water Tanks




It’s always a good idea to ensure you have water tanks in reserve just in case you experience a long period of difficult heatwaves. This could help your land become watered, or at least serve as a great method of ensuring the thirst of your farm animals is quenched, and you keep enough access to water to wash their barns and feeders effectively. Look for tanks in your local area, preferably sold by a retailer with a large collection of multi-purpose items, such as the product line Tanks Direct offers http://www.tanksdirect.com.au/ - purchasing from one retailer can be a lifesaver in convenience.




Trailers




Remember that you’ll need to transport these animals once in a while, either to visit a farm veterinarian for immunizations or other medical work if appropriate, to bring them to auction or perhaps the abattoir, depending on your purposes for running this smallholding. You’ll also need a method of bringing purchased animals to the new environment. For all of this, it can pay to purchase a large animal trailer, one that is up to code, and sizeable enough for easy cleaning and to provide a nice environment for your animals. Remember that different animals will require a slightly different setup. A sheep trailer may be open, but a cow or horse trailer will need to be divided well, and provide enough room for the animal to manoeuvre a little.




These tips are in by no means exhaustive, but purchasing these items to begin with can help you set on the journey to running a rewarding smallholding you truly care for.

Decorating Your Living Room: Making The Most Of It



Your living room happens to be one of the most used rooms in your home. You will probably relax in there, especially on autumn and winter evenings, you will possibly entertain in there, and let the kids play and relax as a family. It is a multifunctional space, but being house proud means that you will still want it to look it’s best. I wanted to share with you some of the ways that you decorate your living room and really make more use of the space.






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Invest in key pieces of furniture




One of the most important aspects of your living room is the furniture, and probably more specifically the seating. This can be an expensive thing to replace but it is worthwhile of the investment. A good sofa or seat needs to be comfortable, durable and something you love the look of. Shop around for bargains. You may even find something that has hardly been used online on websites like eBay and really make some savings on your overall spend.




Focus on the flooring




The flooring is an important element for your home, and so you may want to really consider what you want. Wooden flooring can look clean and chic, but if you love to be barefoot it could feel a little cooler and less cozy and inviting, whereas carpet may feel comfortable on your feet and look like an inviting place to be it may not suit the hotter days of summer. However, the decision is yours to make and websites like carpetmelbournedirect.com.au can really help you make the right choice for your living space and family needs.




Create a feature wall




If you want to create a feature in your living room then a feature wall could be the answer. Painting one wall a different colour, or using a wallpaper can catch the eye when you walk into the room and be a great addition to the decor. You could even use your favourite prints or pictures in frames and sporadically display them on the one wall. Pinterest.com is full of ways you can create a feature wall in your home.




Have fun with the accessories and decoration




The accessories and the decoration side of things can be a lot of fun. This is when you may be sticking to some sort of theme or colour scheme to bring everything together. Cushions and soft furnishings like blankets can help to create that cozy feeling, whereas candles and scents can really bring a room to life, especially in the evening.




Let the natural light in and fresh air




Finally, the natural light and the fresh air can really help to cleanse a room and help it to feel clean and tidy. A living room isn;t just a place to sit and be sociable, it can be a place for you to just sit and feel calm and quiet. Collecting your thoughts for the day ahead. Fresh air can really help with this.




I hope that these tips help you to make the most of your living spaces.

Becoming More Self-Sufficient



Most of us try to do our bit for the planet. We’re becoming more aware of how wasteful we are and how it’s affecting our atmosphere. We’re more educated about what this could mean in the future and what we could do to help. Many businesses are cutting the use of plastic packaging and encouraging recycling. Some countries around the world have even banned single-use plastic bags. Car manufacturers are building more electric cars, solar panels and wind farms are becoming a more regular part of the landscape, and we’re all getting better at recycling.




But, some of us want to do more. We don’t just want to recycle cardboard and use reusable bottles. We want to do more than just cut our food waste. We want to be more self-sufficient.




Being more self-sufficient can mean a range of different things. Some communities are a completely closed loop. They grow everything themselves, create their own power and waste absolutely nothing. In a small community, where there is plenty of help and support and everyone chips into creating a closed loop where nothing is needed from the outside world is entirely possible. However, if you live in a busy city, and you don’t have the backing of a whole community behind you, if you are going it alone, complete self-sufficiency might not be entirely possible. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do more. More for the planet. More for future generations. More for your finances and more for yourself. Even when you live in the busiest, most polluted city out there, there is plenty that you can do to become more self-sufficient. Here’s a look at some of the changes and additions that you could make to your lifestyle.




Grow Your Own Food



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Growing your own food is perhaps one of the best ways to be more self-sufficient. You’ll save money. You’ll eat a healthier diet. You’ll waste less. Your meals will taste better. It’ll even help you to stay fit and healthy by giving you some extra exercise as well as improving your diet.




If you’ve got a large garden, you can get started straight away. Start growing things like potatoes and root vegetables. Plant fruit trees and grow beans. Even in a smaller space, you can grow things like tomato plants in small hanging baskets. If you live in a small apartment, with no outdoor space to grow, you can still grow your own herbs in a window box. You could even rent an allotment and start growing there.




Forage for Wild Foods




Many of us went out berry picking as kids. Making pies and desserts when we got home. This seems to have gone out of fashion somewhat. Now large supermarkets are so widely used, the convenience of buying puddings wins out.




But, foraging for foods is a great way to save money, get some exercise, try new foods and recipe ideas and be more self-sufficient. Check out this guide to food foraging for some ideas and advice.




Use Less Power




Of course, you could come off the grid completely, installing a windmill and solar panels to create your own energy. But, if you don’t want to go this far, using less power is still a massive step in the right direction, and it’s not as hard as you might think. Most of us are guilty of leaving lights and electricals when we leave rooms, or of just putting them onto standby, which still uses power.




Start switching things off instead. The best way to lose less power is to become more aware of what you are currently using. Look at your account usage and become more aware of what you are using and how. Consider a smart meter to help you make cuts.




Reuse What You Can




Upcycling is incredibly trendy when it comes to home decor. Reusing materials or repurposing something that you don’t want is a fantastic way to get an original and unique piece. An old pair of jeans can become a bag or a pair of shorts. A pouffe can become a cool seat. Your old surfboard can become a trendy coffee table. Before throwing anything away, think about what you could turn it in to. If we all did this, less energy and materials would be used in both disposing of our unwanted good and creating new ones.




Darn Your Socks



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We live in such a disposable society. Most of us today have never even considered darning a sock. It used to be a way of life. Now, we throw them away and buy new ones. This doesn’t just go for socks. We throw away clothes, appliances and other goods without even wondering if they could be mended. Start trying to fix things before replacing them.




Make Cleaning Products




Modern cleaning products in the shops are full of chemicals that can harm the planet as well as our health. We’re told that we need them to kill bacteria and keep our homes clean, but they aren’t always necessary. You can clean most things with hot water, vinegar and baking soda. Look at some homemade cleaning supplies for help.




Install a Rainwater Tank




Water waste is a huge problem today. We’re all guilty of it, and again, it’s not necessary. There’s a lot you can do to use less. Like turning the taps off while you brush your teeth, only boiling what you need and having shorter showers. But, getting a rainwater tank from Team Poly is even better. This gives you access to a whole new, natural water supply.




Look After Yourself




Becoming ill means that you need medicines and other resources, but it also means you find it harder to keep up with your self-sufficiency. So, look after yourself. Eat well, get lots of exercise and do what you can to look after your physical and mental health.




Walk More



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Walking helps you to keep fit and healthy but also means that you are using a car or other transport less. Walk as far as you can and only dry if you absolutely have to.

Making The Big Bucks: How Your Home Can Do It For You



Our homes can often be the biggest purchase we make in our lifetime, and as we move up the property ladder they can only get more expensive. We work hard to save for the deposit and pay the big mortgage payment each month, however, the beauty of owning your property is having their asset. Typically house prices stay stable or rise, but you can actually do things to your home in order to guarantee that it earns the big bucks. I thought I would share with you just exactly how you could do it.






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Renovate your home entirely




When it comes to renovations you may need to think about what exactly you want to do with your home. There is so much potential with great the walls of your home, that you could really add some value. Let’s face it, home renovations are not exactly easy to go through. But whether you decide to do something drastic like replace the kitchen or bathroom in your home, or whether it is a complete overhaul where you are knocking down internal walls and changing the layout, it could make the world of difference to your home. Investing wisely enables you to see a return on that investment through the increase in value of your home.




Extend




There is another way that you can add value to your home that can be hugely beneficial and that is through extending. Adding square footage is one of the best ways to add some value to your home. It can be an easy way to ensure that you get more for your home, and it can be done in a few different ways. You could extend just on the ground level, increasing the living space or making rooms like the kitchen bigger. Or you might want to think about going up a level as well and adding on a bedroom or two. Just bear in mind the process of needing permission to add to the property.




Convert garages or loft space




There may already be space in your home that you could utilise better. A garage, a loft or basement space perhaps. Converting these areas into loving spaces is effectively extending your home without the massive work of building walls or foundations to make it possible, or taking up anymore of your outside space. As loft is easily converted to a bedroom, and a garage could provide an extra living room to enjoy. You will most likely still need to gain permissions locally to ensure that the work taken out is agreed, but it may be a more simpler process than applying for an actual extension.




Make cosmetic changes




Finally, sometimes just making some cosmetic changes to your home can make the biggest of differences. New carpets, freshly painted walls, it can really transform a space making it feel more modern and easy to move into. It may not add thousands onto the value, but it could certainly provide you with a hefty return on the initial investment you make on paint and time.




I hope that these options give you some inspiration for adding some value to your home.

Practicing Pest Control With a Conscience





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At some point or another, every homeowner is bound to experience pest within or around their property. This can be irritating and problematic to say the least. After all, unwanted animal presence can cause damage to your land or property, and you can experience other consequences, such as animal faeces being left around your home. However, it’s important to remember that a lot of the time, many animals have no other choice but to stray onto your territory. As the human population is constantly expanding and we are requiring more and more land to suit our own needs, it’s important to remember that we are imposing ourselves on other creatures’ natural habitats. When we construct houses, commercial properties, schools, and other institutions, we are building on land that was inevitably occupied by another creature until we turned up. So, it’s important that we learn to live side by side with these creatures and are considerate of their needs as well as our own. The animals that we label “pests” tend to actually just be the creatures that have adapted to living amongst humans the most effectively - they are creatures who haven’t fled from our communities, but have learnt to live amongst us. So, how do we strike the right balance between maintaining our personal space and ensuring that we are not enacting animal cruelty? Well, read on to find out!




Tackling Hugely Problematic Animals




Most creatures at most cause a “nuisance”. They do things we don’t agree with but they’re not actively causing us injury or damage. However, there are certain creatures which will literally eat you out of house and home given the opportunity. Take termites as an example. While these are sentient creatures, flying termites swarming won’t move on from your property of their own free will, as they have a fairly consistent supply of food - your walls, your furniture, your floors, your beams… the list goes on.So, you need to act sooner rather than later and take preventative measures to encourage them to move on from your property.




Removing Food Sources




Wild animals tend to actively avoid people. So what brings them to our very homes? Well, as we encroach on animals’ natural habitats, the food chain is affected and they may not be able to source as much food in the wild as they used to. Instead, they are likely to turn to readily available food within your property. So, make sure everything is put away and carefully sealed. If they can’t access the food, they’ll take their search elsewhere. Consider options such as securely sealed bins, feeding your own pets indoors rather than outdoors, and keeping bird seed in your home until it is used rather than leaving sacks of seed in sheds or out in the open.




While wild creatures can be an undesirable addition to your property, most of the time all you need to do is understand their motives in order to remove them from your property. If you remove the source that brings them to your home, they’ll quickly turn elsewhere.

The 3 Things that Make the Most Difference at any Party





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When you are hosting a party, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all the things that you suddenly need to do. How can you be confident that your party will be a success? What are the things that will boost it from average to awesome without costing the world?




Well, the trick is in realising that while parties might have different themes and be celebrating different occasions, they almost always come down to the same 3 things. These are the success criteria you need to boost your party and have a great time.
Music

You would never have a party without music - right? But what kind of music should you go for? A live band can be a fun way to bring a different atmosphere but you need to make sure that you like their style and it is appropriate for your event.




A better option in many cases is to hire a DJ. Contrary to popular opinion, not all DJs are cringe-worthy on the microphone and many are quite happy to take a list of suggested tracks from you to get a feel for the sort of stuff that will get you on your feet. Like this idea? You can find more details here.
Decorations

Whether you are hosting a party in your home or you have hired a venue, decorations are the best way to establish a theme - even if that is just a combination of colours. Bunting is an easy win and all you need to do is string some around the ceiling to get into instant party mode.




Other ideas are all still in the realm of obvious but are no less effective. Everyone loves a balloon, streamers add instant fun and other inflatables can bring a theme to life. Cardboard cutouts and accessories are also a great idea if you are planning to set up a sort of photobooth for your guests.
Food

Even if you are just doing a drinks party for grownups, adding a couple of snacks into the mix is a good idea. Cheese and crackers are a great way to introduce food on the cheap without sacrificing the tone of the evening but things like crisps and popcorn are also fun and easy to serve in large bowls.




If you are planning a kids party, the food is absolutely essential as this will give you half an hours respite from all the running around and screaming! Little sandwiches, sausage rolls and fairy cakes will all go down great and will, quite frankly, work at most events. Aim to keep all foods on the smaller side so that people can nibble or fill up a plate as they choose.




Party planning should be just as much fun as the party itself and with a party checklist, you can be sure that you haven’t missed a trick. This is your time to shine as a host but it is also a chance to get exactly what you want!




Go wild! Enjoy yourself!

Why You Should Never Become A Pushy Parent



Many parents have a dream that their offspring will one day win the Nobel Peace Prize, discover a cure for cancer or write a best selling novel. We want the best for our little darlings, and often we translate this into doing well academically, getting the best results in the classroom and heading off to university and achieving a first class honours degree. However, for your little darlings, the world of academia may be horrendously difficult to navigate. Not all children fit the mould when it comes to school. They may struggle with maths, find spelling and grammar ridiculously difficult and simply have no inclination to study. This doesn’t mean that they are lazy or disengaged; it simply means that their talents may lie elsewhere.




Every one of us wants to be a supportive parent, whether that means cheering your little footballing hero on from the sidelines or helping them revise for their science exam. The notion of being supportive only becomes problematic if it transcends into becoming pushy. Just because you love drama and quite fancy the idea of your little cherub becoming a thespian doesn't mean you should be whipping a ponytail on them and sending them off to theatre school. Take a look at why you should never allow yourself to become that pushy parent.






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Resentment




By all means, offer to help your adolescent offspring construct a revision timetable but don’t keep harping on at them about it twenty four hours a day. Push too much, and you could meet resistance that is hard to break down. Although it can be difficult, you must let your child study, revise or put in the effort in their own time. Making mistakes and recognising failure is one of life’s lessons that everyone must learn. While it can be tricky watching the error of not revising unfold, you can feel safe in the knowledge that this mistake won’t repeat itself.




If you push and force your child down a path they don’t wish to travel, resentment can set in. This is the worst sort of relationship to have with your child. They will try to avoid you, not make conversation with you and may even rebel. Not every child is academic with some choosing to focus their energies instead into vocational qualifications or sport. Whatever it is they are putting their effort into and showing commitment to, be there to support, guide and encourage. If they love woodwork, get them some tools and a bench to work on at home. If they adore animals, see if you can get them some work experience at the local vet surgery. If they want to exploit their speed when running, take them to an athletics club for a trial.




Pressure




If your child is keen to do well in the classroom but is struggling with a specific subject, sit down with them and talk about what they feel may help them succeed. Sometimes, a more nuanced and one on one approach to learning can boost progress at school. Consider hiring an experienced and qualified maths tutor to engage your child with their learning. Often children take on a defeatist attitude because they achieve low grades or are told they cannot do something and their self esteem can take a real battering. A tutor can unlock their love for learning once again and teach them using a different pedagogy and teaching style. Securing a boost to their learning can ensure they achieve the grades needed to move onto the next tier of their education without feeling immense amounts of pressure in the classroom.






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Mental Health




In the twenty first century, the stigma of mental health is being well and truly shattered and rightly so. However, children can still suffer the consequences of feelings of inadequacy that can have a detrimental impact on their mental health. As a loving parent, you need to watch out for the signs of depression, anxiety, and low self esteem. This is not the time to nag about studying, demand homework is completed as soon as they return from school or push them to take up a hobby that you want to see them succeed at.




Remember that you should be empowering your kids to follow their dreams, not fulfil your own. Be supportive, take an active interest in their passions and encourage them to maintain a have a go attitude. There can be nothing more heartwarming than seeing your child succeed in their chosen field, be happy and content, and loving life.

Finding Materials Which Sparkle And Shine



When it comes to something like interior design, everyone has their own ideas of what looks best. Some people will prefer modern styles, while other will like to keep their home a little more traditional, and this has lead to a huge range of different options becoming available to those shopping in this field. Of course, though, there are a few common traits which you will find amongst homes. One of the best examples of this can be found in shininess, as this is something most people like, especially when it’s surrounded by softer textures.






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There are loads of products on the market which can provide this quality, giving you plenty of choice when you want to add it to your home. This is so diverse, in fact, that you can even get fabrics which have a touch of shine to them. Achieved by adding glitter or shiny stitching to things like curtains and bed sheets, you can create an effect which will barely be noticable. While it is subtle, though, it will still catch people’s eyes, and you will get to enjoy the sparkle whenever you look at the item you’ve changed.




Of course, while you can get you hands on fabrics which are shiny, it’s much more common to find hard materials which catch the light. Wood is found is most homes already, making it a great place to start. Even when the wood you have in your home has a flat texture, a little bit of treatment could change the way it looks entirely, and this can be achieved with loads of different products. To give you an idea of what is available, it will be worth looking up the treatments available for the wood you own.




Next, it’s time to think about something less versatile than wood, but still very important to modern homes. Glass can be found everywhere when you go to your local DIY store. A glass table top, for example, will be easy to get your hands on if you go to the right place. Of course, you will have to do some regular maintenance to keep this material looking sharp, but this will be worth it once you see it in action.




Finally, as the final material to consider, metal is the last thing on this list. Like wood, it doesn’t matter if you have metal which is dull and flat, as it can usually have some treatment done to give it a shine. You may not be able to do this from home, but you will still be able to choose new items which have this quality. Chrome isn’t as popular as it used to be, though, and this could make it a little harder.




With all of this in mind, you should be ready to start scouting the shiniest materials you can find for your home. A lot of people will love this sort of approach, but some may dislike it, and this is one of the biggest things to consider when you’re working on this.

The Pursuit Of Happiness Needn’t Be A Difficult Challenge



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Leading a happy life is a priority at all times, but it’s very easy to overcomplicate the task. In reality, though, simplicity is the key to keeping the smile on your face. When you focus on the right elements, you will not go wrong.



So, let’s get straight to work.



Build A Happy Home Environment



Your home provides the platform for building a happy life and should be one of the first areas of focus. While it can be tempting to focus on luxury additions, home renovations should be top of the agenda. Knowing that the property is in good health can remove a lot of stress. Daily tasks like sleeping and bathing should take priority over the features that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. One way or another, establishing that happy home environment is sure to work wonders.



Spend Time With Loved Ones



People hold the key to your happiness, and this is something that you cannot afford to ignore for a second. Creating magical memories with the most important people in your world will have a telling impact. These can range from special events like planning a party to daily tasks. Even when you can’t see friends as often as you’d like, modern tech makes it easy to stay in touch with them. When surrounded by the best people, every aspect of your life will suddenly feel brighter. Without them, it can be a very lonely place indeed.



Take Care Of Your Health



For a lot of people, the main incentive for eating well and exercising on a regular basis revolves around image and looks. There is no doubt that gaining a better appearance will boost your happiness. However, the fact that you’ll fight aches and pains is the far greater reward. Likewise, the increased energy levels and boosted mental health can only have a telling impact on your future. If nothing else, this is the perfect way to reduce your stress levels while feeling in control of your life in the process.






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Do Something Productive



We all want to feel validated in life. Therefore, helping others can often be the best way to help yourself. Whether it’s joining a community project, volunteering abroad, or raising money for charity with a fun run doesn’t matter. Meanwhile, simple ideas like reducing your energy consumption and leading a green life can work wonders. Leaving a positive mark on the world may also include following a career path that you can be proud of. Whatever option you take, the happiness it brings will be immense.



Remove Negativity



It sounds a little obvious, but it’s very easy to get trapped in the cycle of maintaining bad habits. From quitting cigarettes to ending toxic relationships, ending those negative factors can make a big impact. The first few weeks may feel difficult. Once you’ve got used to the new ideas, though, you’ll never look back. When combined with the other simple steps above, you’ll be sure to reach a place of greater happiness than ever before.

Why Being Cautious Always Pays Off for Homeowners



If you own your home, you will probably want to be careful with it and careful with the changes you make to it. This is a huge asset, most likely the biggest asset you own. If you make some missteps, you could end up damaging the condition and ultimate value of your home. And there are plenty of things that can go wrong for your home if you don’t take care.




That’s why being cautious is always really important. It pays off for homeowners, and even if you think this might make you dull and boring, it’s worth thinking about because you don’t want to cause yourself more problems than are necessary. Read on right now to learn more about why caution really does pay off for homeowners.






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You’ll Rush Into Fewer Rash Decisions




When you’re more cautious, there’ll be fewer rash decisions that you run into along the way. That’s got to be a good thing for you, so try to keep that in mind as you care for your home. Every big decision you make sure involve planning and careful consideration before a final call is made. If you rush into it, mistakes will get made and you’ll wish you’d spend more time on it ultimately.




The Home’s Value Can Fall Rapidly if You’re Not Careful




All homeowners care a lot about the value of heir home, and this should no doubt apply to you too. You will want to make sure that your most valuable asset retains and hopefully add to its value because then it will be worth more to you when the time comes to sell up and move on for you and your family. It’s important to remember that the value of a home can drop pretty rapidly if you make some missteps and spend money on the wrong things, so you need to be careful.




Suspicious Behaviour Should Always be Reported




If you notice anything strange going on around your building or in the local area, you should tip off the police. This can help them to prevent crimes or intervene before any damage has been done. It’s another example of how you being cautious can serve you well and potentially save you a lot of stress, upset and hassle. A simple phone call to the authorities is all it takes, and you don’t even have to be sure what's happening. It’s about being safe rather than sorry. You will feel much better if you do take this precaution.




Burglaries Hit the Careless Homeowners First




It’s always the people who are careless that get first of all when there’s a spate of burglaries. The criminals target people who don’t look after their properties, don’t lock it up and don’t take steps to ensure that getting into the property is as difficult as it humanly can be. So invest the security of your home and be as cautious as possible. You will have a much less stressful time if you take this approach. And your home won’t be the one that’s targeted.






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You’ll Avoid Things Like Floods and Fires




Talking about fires and floods isn’t a mere scare tactic; these things really do happen and they devastate homes and lives all the time. Most of the time, these problems are avoidable if you look for the warning signs and get problems fixed before something goes badly wrong in the home. A company like ABC Home & Commercial Plumbing Services can keep your plumbing system in good working order so leaking and flooding can be prevented. And you should take steps to improve the smoke alarm systems in your home.




There Are So Many Things That Can Go Wrong




When you own a home, there are plenty of things that can go wrong and cost you a lot of money if you’re not careful. You should keep that in mind and let it influence your decision-making and how you care for your home. There are so many things that can be completely avoided if you’re more cautious with your property. So try to make yourself more cautious going forward. It’s about changing your mindset and how you look at things each day.




As a homeowner, you always have to be looking after your investment and making sure that it retains its value in the years ahead. For you to get that right, you will need to be a little more cautious than you might ordinarily be. It’s worth remembering this because it’ll serve you well going forward.

Love Life In Your Home



Life is meant for living, and one of the places we spend most of our time is in the home. It might be because we’re lounging around in bed, sleeping the night away, having guests around, or even just getting some quality time during the day. Yes, we might have to drag ourselves away from it for 8 or more hours a day, but when we are there, we want to try and enjoy life as much as possible. One way of doing that is to focus on your home, and make the improvements or adjustments that it might need doing. A home is a work in progress, but there’s so many different things that you can do to make sure it’s perfect to you. Some you might not be able to do right away, but others are some that we know you’ll be dying to do before the summer time comes around again. So, here’s a few little things that you could add or change, that we think will help you to love life in your home.






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Feeling Comfortable




There’s nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in your own home. But that’s exactly what can happen if it just isn’t the way you want it, or if a few things are out of place. It depends what type of weather you’re having, because for us in Australia, we’re about to head towards the blistering summer once more. The weather seems to be drying up a little, which is one of the first signs that we’re not too far away from the heat we all know and love. However, the heat we know and love can bring some troubles in our homes, especially if your house is facing so that the sun is at the back of it or on the bedrooms all afternoon. It’s near enough impossible to keep the house cool, even if there is a breeze. So what is our knight in shining armour through the summer? It’s aircon. If you don’t have some installed already, we highly recommend that you get some, ready for the intense summer heat. It can be used as a heater during the colder months, so it is the whole package if you need it to be. We know it might cost a fair bit to run, but that’s why you use it at the right times, such as during the night. You can put a timer on them so that they go off at a certain point in the night as well.




Another way you can feel more comfortable is to clear the air a bit. You could spend all day cleaning your home from top to toe, and it still wouldn’t change the fact that there are going to be little germs lying around. This isn’t due to how clean you are, it’s just down to the fact that homes are so prone to bugs and germs. If you have a young family, consider getting air quality testing companies to review your home, and suggest ways that the air quality can be improved. You might be shocked at just how many bugs you have been living with! This will help to improve your own peace of mind, and it’ll help to reduce the chance of your family getting ill.




Family Vibes




Loving life is all about spending it with your family. As you’re able to watch your children grow, we know all of the major milestones and memories will happen in the home, so making it as family friendly as possible is so important. If your children are starting to get a little older now, you’ll know how hard it is to stay connected with them. If they’re going through their teenage years, then we definitely know that you’re going to feel a gap forming between the family. So, one way of bringing it all together is by creating a little family room. It could be the living room, or you could dedicate a spare room to it. It has to be full of things that you can use during a family night. It could be games consoles, board games, or just a comfy layout so you can all relax and watch films together. If you want to love life with your family, you’re going to have to organise weekly family nights, where you can all sit down and have a joke around. If you have younger children, you won’t have to worry. But would you could do is use a spare room, if you have one, to create a playroom. It’ll engage their minds, and you can join in with the play as and when you want to!




Expand The Home




Now, we did say that you might not be able to do some of our suggestions for a long while, but this is definitely something that you should ponder on. Expanding the home is not only going to be beneficial to you in terms of giving you more space, but it’s also going to be beneficial to you financially in the long run if you did eventually sell the house. The more money you invest, the more money you’re generally going to get out of it. You could extend to add a new room, a bigger kitchen, or a new bathroom. It all depends on your needs at the time, and what you think will add the most value to your home.




Dreamy Decor


We might as well finish with something that’s going to leave you loving your home, as well as your life. There really are some dreamy decor ideas out there, just looking at sites such as Pinterest will point a few out for you. We understand that sorting out your decor is a pain in the bum, so just dedicate two weekends to it, that’s all you’ll need. During the first weekend, you should plan what you would actually like to change. Whether it be the accessories that you have, or the actual wallpaper or paint that you have on the walls. During the second weekend, blitz the house and getting the decorating done room by room. If you need an extra weekend, then so be it. But don’t leave a room half finished, it’ll only drive you bonkers!