Winter-Proof Your Home In A Few Easy Steps

If you're not fortunate to live in a place where it's warm all year round, you're going to have to start thinking about winter-proofing your home. Granted, it’s many people’s favourite season, but it can also be a testing time if you’re not properly prepared. Snow, ice and freezing temperatures can all wreak havoc with your property and your family's quality of life.. Modern technologies such as advanced insulation and double glazing mean we're not as exposed to the elements as we once were. However, there are still some steps you can take to ensure that you and your family have a cosy winter in your home.

Prevent draughts

Got a door or a window that lets a nasty draught in? Aside from the obvious cold air, the whistling noise a draught can bring can start to grate on you after a while. Solve this problem by hanging a thick curtain over the door or window. This is less destructive than having your door filled in, meaning that you may not be able to open it again without having more work done. It can also be a decorative point. Choose a thick but attractive fabric and it can add to that cosy, winter look we all love in our homes around the festive season.

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Image source

Prioritise your privacy

As the nights start to draw in darker, our human instinct kicks in and we want to bed down for the night. When it's dark outside, there's nothing worse than nosy neighbours peering into our warmly lit homes. Dress your window with a set of blinds to keep your home all to yourself. It's easier than ever to find cheap blinds online, and there are a variety of styles to suit any interior.

Don’t bring the slush in

If it's started to snow, pop a heavy-duty doormat outside your door to scrape the worst off your family's shoes. Choose one with a rough texture or a plastic one so that it doesn't fall victim to water damage. Put an alternative one inside for your children to step onto and place a shoe rack next to the door. That way, the wet or muddy boots can go straight on the rack and not all around your house! To get your little ones to co-operate, consider buying wooden boxes to act as a shoe rack and paint their names on each one.  

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Protect against ice

Ice can be dangerous. It's heavy, solid and can offer quite the blow if it falls from a great height. If ice gathers on your gutter during the winter months, consider using heat tape to prevent it. You'll need an outdoor electrical socket to use it and you can purchase it in varying lengths depending on how much you need. Although those icicles on the outside of your home may look pretty and festive, remember they can be a hazard.

Programme your home

Work out when you and your family will be most in need of central heating. If you work from home, your bills are likely to be a little more, but if no one is in the house from 9-3pm it makes sense to save your cash and keep the heating off. Programme it to come on half an hour before you are due home, and you can enjoy the luxury of walking into an already toasty home.

What Kind of Flooring Will Be Best For Your Home?

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When it comes to interior design, flooring is often extremely underrated. Focus tends to go to accessories and furniture or unusual indoor lighting. Flooring may be subtle, but it is undeniably influential when it comes to the atmosphere you create within a room. You may not pay much attention to flooring in a photograph. But, you definitely will once it is underfoot and something that your body comes into contact with every single day. With so many types of flooring out there and so many rooms to fill, it’s nigh on impossible to consider every option that might suit your taste. That’s where we come to your aid. We’ve taken the trouble to research go-to flooring types and to review their suitability for certain rooms through your house.
Hallway
Whoever enters your home - guests or potential buyers - the hallway is the first thing people see as they enter your home. It may be a small space or a grand space. Either way, it needs to make a positive impression. After all, first impressions last. As the hallway is a high traffic area, you’ll want a sturdy and long-lasting flooring that is easily cleaned. Wooden flooring is perfect for this space. It can be mopped if people walk in with dirty or muddy boots. It also won’t wear as easily from constant entrances and exits from the front door.
Lounge
The lounge is a place to kick back and relax. It should be cozy and welcoming. This is the perfect kind of room to have carpeted. Whichever flooring choice you opt for throughout your home, always buy from a trusted dealer, such as the carpet specialists Carpet One. Trusted brands will offer the best customer service and end product. Most flooring is difficult to fit yourself, so you might also want to look into carpet fitters too. Lighter, neutral shades are best for this kind of rooms. They will keep a light, and airy feel to the atmosphere. Especially if the walls are painted a brighter color. If you combine dark walls with dark carpet, a room can begin to feel stifling or even cave-like. It could give your guests feelings of claustrophobia, or being overwhelmed and suffocated. A soft, thick pile will be comfortable to walk on. If there are any mishaps or spillages, you can always hire a carpet cleaner machine or employ somebody to professionally shampoo and dry your carpet now and then.
Bathroom
Bathrooms tend to be a no-carpet-zone with good reason. The bathroom is a room which is likely to get wet. When carpets get wet too frequently and don’t have the chance to dry, they can develop mold and a musty, damp odor. This isn’t pleasant. For bathrooms, we recommend a tiled floor. Not only will it give your bathroom a bright shine, as light will reflect from the tiles, but it will also be extremely easy to clean. Tiles are an altogether more hygienic option.
Bedroom
The bedroom is your personal space to relax and feel comfortable. If you splash out on any room, make it this one. It’s your private sanctuary and should have a touch of luxury. Carpet is perfect for your bedroom. Choose the softest pile possible in a shade that will complement the rest of your furniture and decoration. Keep the room light and airy with white, pastel shades or cream. Or perhaps you’d prefer sultry tones. Midnight blue, deep red or even black.

Homeowner Emergencies And How to Deal With Them

Whether you rent or buy, being responsible for a family home, means that you will probably have to deal with a fair few issues and emergencies. These will probably come when you least expect them, at the most inopportune time and when you can least afford them. That just the way life rolls sometimes. But you can deal with common issues without pulling your hair out. Read on to find out how.

Locked out

A friend told me a tale of when she was in between rental and her parents kindly let them stay at theirs with her husband while they were away. But they only had one set of keys. So whoever left the house first had to post the key back through the letterbox so the other person could lock the door after them. A perfect system, yes? Well, no.

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The thing is she posted the key back through the door when she was the last person to leave the house. Essentially locking them both out. Just to add to their woes, their parents were a four-hour drive away!

Luckily a very kind locksmith came to their rescue and got them back in the house in no time at all. Meaning she didn't have to confess what she had done to her parents. If you are ever in a similar situation, don't hesitate to call a professional company like Lock, Stock & Farrell.  Lock, Stock & Farrell are an award-winning locksmith company, so with someone like them, you know you'll be in safe hands.  

Boiler Breaks

There is nothing worse than the boiler breaking in the winter. Cold showers all round are definitely not that popular when there is snow on the ground. Of course, it also means that your heating isn't going to work so you’;; ll be freezing as well as unwashed. Yuk! If this does happen called a repair specialist as soon as possible. A good way of avoiding this type of os stressful situation is to get your boiler service in the autumn, so it's all ready to go when the colder weather hits.

Storm Damage

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Depending on where you live, your home may be at risk of storm damage. However, your priority is a storm is to keep cool and make sure all the family is safe. If you are dealing with high winds, then it best to take shelter in a basement or other secure location. If your home is at risk of flood damage, make sure to go upstairs or to higher ground. Always know the safest alternative exits to your home in case of fire or emergency. Remember possessions can be replaced people can't.

Break In

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Heaven forbid you suffer a break-in, and if you do my heart goes out to you, but they do happen. They can be both practically and emotionally stressful. Its is often the emotion that causes the most lasting damage as people can feel unsafe in their own home. Installing a new burglar alarm or even getting some victim support can help you cope with this.

Protecting Your Treasured Family Home

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There’s a lot to think about when it comes to protecting your property. There’s a worrying amount of things that can go wrong with your treasured family home, and so it’s always best to take precautions and make sure you’re completely protected. As a homeowner, here are some of the things you’ll need to think about in order to keep your home and family as safe as possible.

Home Security
Home security is extremely important, and even if you live in a nice area it’s important not to be lax with this (in fact, thieves often target homes in nicer areas as they know there are more things worth taking). Anyone can be a victim of burglary, and so make sure that you have the right defenses in place to keep your home secure. A sturdy front door with good locks, good quality secure windows and garage doors will make it difficult for a thief to gain access. Have a burglar alarm fitted by a reputable company, and lock away all valuables including family heirlooms, passports and cash in a safe that is hidden from view and bolted to the floor. Further preventative measures such as cctv, and training your dog to bark at the sound of the door can also be helpful in preventing your home being targeted.

Fire Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
A fire could be caused by anything from an appliance being left on, to electrical wires shorting out. If something like this were to happen when you were either asleep in bed or out of the house, it could cause a huge amount of damage or even danger to your family before you were able to do anything about it. Smoke alarms should be fitted towards the centre of rooms, in a position in the house where you can hear them from your bedroom. Since carbon monoxide poisoning can kill very quickly with no warning (it is tasteless, odorless and colourless) it’s important to have your home fitted with audible carbon monoxide alarms too. This kind of poisoning can occur due to appliances not being fitted correctly in the home, so always have work done by qualified engineers.

Protection Against Natural Disasters
If you’re struck by a natural disaster, your home could suffer extreme damage leaving you out of pocket for any repairs. Choose a buildings insurance that covers natural disasters, or get insured against any disasters that are high risk in your area. Storms can cause fire damage due to lightning, this can happens all over the world and highlights the importance of lightning protection. Floods are again something that happen worldwide, if you’re in an area that poses any kind of risk make sure you’re covered.

Boiler Protection
A working boiler is vital in the home, without it you’ll be left with no heating or hot water. And since boilers are incredibly expensive to replace, you don’t want to be caught short and find yourself in a sticky situation. Taking out an insurance plan to cover your boiler means it will be repaired or replaced without you having to shell out for a new one or expensive repairs. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of winter with no heating, or not be able to get a shower because there’s no hot water!

Hacks Every Woman Should Use Before A Big Night Out



Whether it’s a night out with your girlfriends or with work colleagues, big nights out can be a lot of fun. It’s a chance for you to let your hair down after a stressful week and can make you feel full of life. The key to enjoying these nights out to their fullest is by preparing in advance. From finding an incredible outfit to getting your makeup done, you understandably want to look amazing. But not taking the time to plan ahead can stop you feeling as confident as you should be. So if you’re still unprepared for your next big night out, here are some hacks you can use.

Use your freezer

Whether you’re wearing a floral swing dress or jeans, heels can make any outfit look good. But it would be a shame to cut your night short because your new shoes are painful. Thankfully, your freezer could prevent this from happening. The night before your big night out, fill two freezer bags with water. Put them into the inside of your shoes then place them inside one of your freezer’s drawers. As the water inside the bag freezes it will expand and widen your shoes. So when you get them out to wear the following day, they will feel more comfortable to wear. For more ideas on making heels more comfortable see http://www.gurl.com/2015/11/24/make-high-heels-more-comfortable-tips-tricks-hacks/.



Get your smile in check

There will undoubtedly be plenty of photos taken throughout the evening. So as well as getting your shoes organized you also need to get your smile in check too. You could whiten your teeth, but the effects might wear off before your big night arrives. To get a smile that is the envy of all of your friend, why not consider veneers instead. These are an ideal solution if you want a more confident smile but feel embarrassed about your discolored teeth. Veneers can give you instantly white teeth that you will be desperate to show off all night and beyond. Visit www.smilebydesign.com.au/cosmetic-dentistry/porcelain-veneers for further details.


Download the Uber app

The last thing you want is to be stranded and unable to get home after your big night out. So organizing transport needs to be a top priority. Download the Uber app, which can provide you with a ride home instead. Once installed onto your device, the app allows you to choose a location and destination. You can also choose the time you want to be picked up in advance. Not only that but it can also provide you with an approximate fare and a description of the vehicle picking you up. It’s a convenient and safe way of getting home after the best night out ever. You can download the app from https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/uber/id368677368?mt=8.


So if you’ve got a big night out coming up in the next few weeks, why not try the hacks in this guide. Even though you are going out to enjoy yourself, remember to drink responsibly and never leave anywhere on your own.

Puppy Love: Welcoming Home The Newest Family Addition

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Image sourced from Pexels

There are so many joys to experience when you welcome a new puppy into the family. It’s a time of excitement and adventure as you discover your new puppy’s personality. But it’s also a bit like bringing a new baby home. Ok, so puppy won’t be crying all the time and will probably cost you a lot less in the long run. But, a puppy also needs a lot of care and attention in those first few weeks. He’ll need familiar food and toys, comforting blankets, potty training and all the love in the world. Here’s a survival guide on what to buy just before your new puppy arrives.

Toys, Bowls and a Favourite Towel

You’ll know there’s a puppy in the house when your apartment is overtaken by half eaten brightly coloured toys. Stuffed animals will have ears and limbs missing, and chews will be scattered with gay abandon around the house. Puppy is still learning to find his feet! Make sure that before your puppy arrives, you have bought food and water bowls, lots of fun toys and a comforting soft towel. Choose a stylish plastic food bowl with a removable stainless steel insert for easy cleaning. Opt for a ceramic bowl for water. Get squeaky donuts and bright fluffy animals to ignite your puppy’s senses. Also, invest in some training toys. These will be your lifeline over the next few weeks! Spring clean your home just before puppy arrives, so that you can ensure it’s a safe and healthy environment for him.

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Pixaby

ID Tag and Microchip

Make sure to get an Identification Tag before your puppy arrives. By law, all dogs must wear one. Put your surname and address on one side of the tag. On the other side put your home and mobile number. Most owners refrain from putting their dog’s name on the tag, as it’s an easy way for pet thieves to familiarise themselves with your dog. There are lots of funky ID tags to choose from, so make sure your pet is a stylish pooch! If there is space on your ID tag, also include the fact that your dog is chipped. Make sure your puppy is microchipped. Places like Oz Microchips ensure your puppy has a small electronic chip implanted under his skin. This microchip contains all the crucial information needed if your dog is lost or stolen. This information is scannable on the puppy, ensuring the authorities can get your puppy home when he’s found.

Grooming Kit

Even pups get bad hair days! Invest in a grooming kit for when your puppy arrives. He may not need it for a while, but using a grooming kit gets him into the early habit of being brushed. Some dogs hate it, so start practising straight away. It’s also a great bonding experience for you and your puppy.

Puppy Crates and Bed

What puppy doesn’t want a stylish bedroom? Granted, as he grows older, you may find him creeping on to the sofa or even trying for your bed. But for now, your puppy needs a safe and secure place to sleep. Also, invest in a training crate. He’s going to have to learn a few house rules! Crates are brilliant for toilet training. Make sure you keep the crate in a lively area of the house. Puppies don’t like being isolated. Use a VetBed in your puppy’s training crate.

Shower your new puppy with love and cuddles and don’t be tough on him when he chews on your shoe! Most importantly, takes lots of photos and videos of your puppy at this stage, because they grow up fast!

Gardening: A Simple Definition

The simple definition to the question of what is gardening is that it is dependent on your own perspective. It's funny, but gardening means different things to different people. Some people think of it has the backbreaking work of weeding and laying patios. While others see it as planning when to plant things and designing the layout if the garden. But however you define gardening there are a few constants that it is important that your address.

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Lawn

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The first is the lawn. Nearly all domestic outdoor gardens have some type of grass lawn. It provides spaces for activities, or to sit and enjoy the fresh air. Laws are relatively easy to maintain, in fact, grss is one of the only pants that thrives better the ore that your cut away at it. That doesn't mean that you can't run into some issues with keeping your lawn as green as healthy as you would like. If you live in an unusually hot and arid client, keeping your lawn green and lush can be tough. It will need a lot of watering and some plant food to get it to be as healthy as possible. Just make sure that you observe any hose pipe bans or water conservation laws in your areas. A good way of doing this is by using grey water. Grey water is when you use the water once to wash up or bath in and then save it and use it on your garden.

Plants

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The next thing you need to address is the plants in your garden. Most of us make do with the plants that are already there. But if you have a particular look you are going for then you may want to add in some of your own plant and foliage choices. I've seen some fantastic city roof gardens with lush jungle-like plants that work well. Or if you have a larger garden you may want to include a vegetable patch or rah card so you can eat as well as grown your own produce.

Seating

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Another thing that is a pretty universal item to see in gardens is a seating area. Whether you go for a grand patio or a rustic bench, it's important to have somewhere to enjoy the fruits of your labours.  You can go for a nice table and chair set, which makes alfresco dining a breeze. Or you can dot gazebos or pergolas around your garden for some quiet space perfect for contemplation.

Maintenance

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One of the most important thing about a garden is that unfortunately it rarely looks after itself. You will need to perform regular maintenance activities like pruning, wedding and water for your garden to look its best. Little and often is the way forward here, rather than trying to get everything done in one go. Try to think of it as active and outside time, rather than as a chore and remember that you garden is alive and will need some TLC from you to flourish.

Three Massive Errors Other People Make When Moving - So You Know What To Avoid

It's a well-known fact that moving home is one of the stressful things that people can go through. If people know you're going through a move, then you're going to hear that a lot. People seem to take great joy in telling you that fact, repeating it over and over until you feel like snapping at them for it. In fact, hearing it becomes one of the most stressful things about moving almost.

With all that said, moving isn't fun, is it? With your new home bought, there's going to be endless upheaval, never knowing where things are. You have to update a seemingly endless number of companies with your new details. It's no wonder that most prospective renters tend to spend days leading up to the move desperately scouring the internet for moving tips. Every little helps, right?

So, let's add a few more, but with a different twist. Rather than telling you what you should do, let's focus on the things you definitely shouldn't. By learning from the mistakes of others, you can make sure that you avoid them. And you can laugh at their naivety. Schadenfreude is a powerful emotion, after all.

Error Number One: Moving Gradually

There are almost certainly a bunch of ideas online about moving gradually. Take your time, they say. Don't do it all in one go; it's too stressful! There's that word again.

But moving bit by bit makes you complacent. You think: well, half of the work is done. You forget what's been moved, or don't move enough because you're sure you've got more time to figure it out. Then the actual date of final departure comes, and you realize how much left you have to do.

Make a plan for one moving day. Take a few items over beforehand if you want, but the general bulk should be kept altogether. It's a lot harder to lose track when you do things like that.

Error Number Two: Forgetting The Basics
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There's a simple checklist of things that you need to have active before moving into a new home.

  • Electricity and gas. It goes without saying that you're going to need energy, but ask yourself if you have full control. Do you know who to contact if there's a problem? If you're on a meter, do you have all the keys you need and money loaded onto it?
  • Water. Make sure you know how to turn it off from the moment you move in.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. These are an essential safety feature, so make sure you know that they're working before you settle down for the first night.
  • Trash collections. You're inevitably going to accumulate a lot of trash during a move, so don't miss a weekly collection from the off.

Error Number Three: Not Being Ruthless

Most of us accumulate junk drawers and other clutter, and we think when we move we have to take it with us. What if we need something? Well, assess every item. If you haven't needed it in the last six months and can't think of an immediate need for it in the move, get rid of it. Every extra item is one little bit of extra stress- and we all know you've already got enough of that, don't we?

The Only Guide To Healthy Teeth And Gums That You'll Ever Need

We all want healthy teeth that shine brightly whenever we smile. But getting perfect teeth takes a lot of work. You can’t just ignore your teeth and expect them to look great. You need to take good care of them to ensure they stay in top condition. So how do you get a winning smile for all your holiday pictures? By following this ultimate guide to healthy teeth and gums!


Brush Your Teeth

The best way to ensure your teeth and gums stay happy and healthy is to brush them frequently. The minimum you should be brushing is twice a day. First thing in the morning and last thing at night. If you have time in your day, it is also worth brushing after every meal to ensure you don’t have any bits of food left between your teeth.

Little Extras

Don’t forget using little extras when you brush your teeth, like dental floss and mouthwash. These can really make a difference to your oral hygiene. Flossing can help you reach those small bits of food that your toothbrush can’t reach. And a good antibacterial mouthwash can help slow down tooth decay and plaque build-up.

Visit A Dentist

If you ever have any toothache or other problems with your teeth, see your dentist. He or she will be able to quickly treat the problem. Even if you don’t have any issues, you should still aim to have a checkup with your dentist every six months. This way they can ensure your teeth are in top condition. If necessary, they may even recommend some work to help your teeth look even better, like braces.


Cut Back On Sugar

Many people have bad teeth because of their diet. Sometimes, if you eat a lot of sugar, there is no amount of brushing that can save your teeth. So it is a good idea to cut back on unhealthy foods and swap them for healthier alternatives. So next time you fancy a snack, don’t grab a chocolate bar. Instead, how about celery dipped in hummus? Not only will these healthier options be better for your teeth, but they can also help your overall health.

Stop Smoking

Smoking is not only bad for your health, but it can also have a negative effect on your teeth. Regular smokers will find that their teeth discolor and turn yellow. These stains can be removed by a dentist, but if they get very bad, there can be no going back. That’s not all, though. Smoking can also increase your chances of gum diseases, including certain cancers. So to be good to your teeth and gums, stub out that cigarette! You’ll feel a lot healthier in the long run.

Looking after your oral hygiene is very easy and doesn’t take up too much time. So there really is no excuse! The better your teeth look and feel, the more self-confidence you will have. You’ll love flashing your pearly whites at the camera as you will have so much to smile about!