Wedding Planning Mistakes You Will Want To Avoid



Your wedding day is meant to be one of the best days of your life. For this reason, the last thing you’re going to want is for anything to go wrong. Unfortunately, there will be some disasters that are simply unavoidable, but there are so many more that can be managed with proper planning and preparation. With that in mind, here are a few common wedding planning mistakes you should avoid for a wedding day without too many hitches.






Source

Overwhelming Your Spouse-To-Be

You and your partner may be excited to get the planning process started, but there is only so much that one person can take at a time. If you’re constantly bombarding your spouse-to-be with decisions, questions, and choices, then you could get frustrated with one another. To avoid any unnecessary tension before the big day, you should assign days where wedding talk is off limits.




Forgetting About Your Guest List

Planning a wedding involves a number of important decisions, but none of these can be made until you choose your guest list. From your function venue to your catering company, almost every choice you make is determined by the number of people attending the ceremony. Never assume that some people will RSVP “no”, as this could cause major problems later on.




Spending More Than You Have

With the number of things you have to consider and buy, budgeting for a wedding is an absolute nightmare. To avoid paying more money than you have, you should add a cash cushion to your budget for any unexpected expenses. Unfortunately, this may not always alleviate your problems, in which case, you may have to make compromises to cut costs here and there.




Saving By Skipping A Videographer

After hiring an amazing photographer, you might not see the need for a professional videographer. After all, pictures tell a thousand words, and videographers are another expense you may not want. That being said, most people who skip the addition do live to regret it later on. Instead of missing out on seeing special moments of your day, cut costs in other ways.






Source

Trying To Do Everything Alone

As exciting as it is, planning a wedding is a long, exhausting, and complicated process. Although it is possible to plan a wedding without anyone else’s help, trying to may lead to unnecessary stress and mistakes. With that in mind, you should consider hiring a wedding planner to help you out. You should also ask friends and family to lend a hand wherever possible.




Poorly Planning The Day’s Schedule

No one wants to run out of time on their wedding day, but this will happen if you plan the schedule poorly. Because of this, it’s crucial that you speak to each of your wedding suppliers and see how everything is going to take, from the hair and makeup to the ceremony itself. This way, you can spread everything out a little more so that you don’t need to feel rushed.




Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, there will always be the chance that something goes wrong at your wedding. That being said, there’s no reason why it should spoil your day. Instead of worrying about the small stuff, focus on your new spouse and the wonderful life you have planned together.

4 Things Every Luxury Home Buyer Wants





Image source




There are certain synonyms attached to the word luxury living, especially when the context is a luxury home. But while most people conjure up gorgeous thoughts of a well-appointed home, those in the market for a luxury abode are looking for moments that make them pinch themselves; moments that will make them feel utterly spoiled and ridiculously comfortable. They want to be shrouded in the same opulence as royalty and the same extravagance as a Hollywood icon.




Yes, the cliched luxuries still go a long way to make the hairs on the back of their neck salute - luxuries like heated pools, secret saunas, basement gyms, backyard tennis courts, cinema rooms et al. But these don’t always translate into the luxury moments a homebuyer is looking for when shopping for a luxury home.




With that in mind, these are the must-have items that luxury home buyers want more than anything else according to those experts in the luxury design game:




1. Smart Houses

It probably comes as no surprise to hear that today’s big spending home buyers want it all when it comes to technology. They want to be catered to on this ever-wowing tech-trend. They want homes that can be controlled at the touch of a screen. From locking their doors to controlling their home’s climate to adjusting the lights and being all over the alarm system. That’s the dream.




2. Fully-Loaded Kitchens

Nowhere feels more like home than a kitchen. It’s the beating heart of every abode, no matter how big or small. But if there is one that makes opulent living ring true it’s a fully-loaded kitchen - something magnificent in every sense. Every million-buck home needs a commercial-grade kitchen that would put a boutique hotel’s to shame. Wine fridges and warming drawers, restaurant-quality appliances, secret storage compartments, and a walk-in store room. All of it.




3. Going Up In Life

When it comes to living a life of total luxury, nothing is more important than making convenience look astonishing, which is why a growing number of luxury home buyers are looking for an elevator company to come in and add a more convenient way to get around their huge abodes. But that’s not all because less and less people are content with pressing a button in an overly-lit box with no views, which is why they are looking for homes that have external lifts that boast views like no other. It’s extravagant, but that’s what luxury is.




4. Superlative Storage Space



When it comes to a bedroom of total luxury, there is one thing powerful people want more than anything and that’s a dedicated dressing room; a place for them to place to store and show their most extravagant purchases, whether that be suits or shoes, purses or watches. Of course, that’s not the only reason. The other is space. Bedrooms are meant to be places of sanctuary, so having a dedicated room for all that clutter to be perfectly organized is a must. It’s the best way to start a day.

6 Mistakes To Avoid When You're Building An Extension

When your family starts to get a bit too big for your house and you’re constantly battling for space, you might consider moving out. But finding a good place is a nice neighborhood is difficult these days and if you love the house you’re living in, moving isn’t the best option. However, you’re still going to need that extra space, the kids aren’t going to stop growing and the place will get more and more cramped as time goes by. Your best option here is to build an extension on the house. It’s a great way to get the space you need and add value to your home, but you shouldn’t rush into it. If you get it wrong, you’ll be stuck with a half rate extension on your house and it’ll cost you a lot to fix it. If you’re thinking about building an extension, make sure you don’t make these mistakes.






Maxpixel




Not Doing Enough Research




There’s a lot of work that goes into building an extension and there are a lot of decisions you have to make. That’s why doing plenty of research before you start is essential because there are a lot of things you need to know about building an extension. You need to find the right designer, look into how to do planning permission applications, work out who’s going to build it for you etc. If you rush into any of those decisions without doing a good amount of research first, you might end up with a bad design or a poor workmanship. If you know anybody else that has recently had an extension, you should speak with them and get some advice before you move forward.




Not Getting Insurance




When you make large scale changes to your home like building an extension, it affects your home insurance policy and some insurers won’t cover the house any more. If you just leave it and you don’t check whether you’re still covered or not, you’ll be in big trouble if you get broken into. Before you even start building, get in touch with your insurance company and let them know about the planned extension. Then you can update your insurance policy so you’re still covered.




Rushing Through Planning Permission




Planning permission is a bit of a pain and nobody wants to jump through all of those hoops, but it’s a big mistake to rush through it or skip certain parts. It might make things quicker and you can start construction first but it might come back to bite you. The authorities are willing to knock down an extension even after it’s completely finished. Check with the local authorities and find out what the procedure is. Make sure that you do everything by the book and you won’t have any problems.




Forgetting Your Neighbours




Your neighbours will have a say in the planning permission application because the extension might impact their view etc. If you don’t handle the situation properly, they might be annoyed and they’ll be far less likely to give you their blessing. You should go straight round to your neighbours and speak to them about it. Then you can compromise on a design and size for the extension that they’re happy with.




Forgetting About Waste




Building an extension is a very disruptive process and it creates a whole lot of mess. But you’d be surprised how often people forget that. Your contractors might deal with it for you but you’ll need to find an expert rubbish removal to get rid of the bulk of it. If you forget about this until you’re nearing the end of the build, you’ll end up with a big pile of rubbish outside your house until you can make arrangements to get rid of it.




Choosing The Wrong Materials




When you’re designing the extension, you need to think long and hard about your choice of materials. The most important thing here is to make sure that the extension blends well with the rest of the house, otherwise, it’ll stick out like a sore thumb and ruin the exterior. Try to find materials that are as close to the original building materials as possible. However, you also need to consider how the materials work together. Combining modern building materials with older ones can sometimes damage the original house. You should seek the advice of your contractors here and they’ll be able to help you come up with a design that is stable and fits well with the existing house.




If you can get through the build without making any of these mistakes, you’ll come out with a great extension.

Back to School: How to Get Your Kids Into a Routine

Th

e weather may be going towards fall but it’s not that easy for families to transition from holiday mood to weekday mood. Particularly not when you have children - suddenly you’re supposed to go from lazily hanging around the house with your friends to a structured and rigid routine.






Image from: Pexels




It may be nice to get back to school and see all those friends again, but settling into a proper routine is a whole other story.




Luckily, there are a few way to make the whole ordeal a bit easier for families. Start by making use of the handy tips below, and you might actually find yourself with energized and awake school children around the breakfast table.




First: Start gradually




What a lot of parents do wrong is that they don’t understand just how important it is to start early. When school is due to start in half a week, it’s already a bit late to ease them into going to bed earlier and waking up at the crack of dawn - they need to do this gradually.




By spending the last half of your holiday month on saying goodnight a little bit earlier than the day before, they’ll hardly notice that their routines are shifting. By the time they have to wake up for school for real, they’ll be much more rested than if they slept until 10 the day before.




Starting gradually is the key to easing your kids into a steady school routine so don’t skimp on this one.




Next: Create a calm bedtime mood




Every parent knows just how dreadful it can be to make kids go to bed. Some may be easier to convince than others, but they all have their tantrums - and you don’t want to deal with this the night before school starts.




By emphasising a calm bedtime routine, you need to follow through with this for yourself as well. Make sure that the lights are dimmed and that the mood is quiet before you’re off to bed. Start to do this as soon as dinner is over and you might find that they’re quite sleepy by the time you tell them to go to bed.




Get them excited about school




Another way to motivate them to get into their routine is to make them a bit excited about going back to school. Most children look forward to seeing their classmates and teachers again so this shouldn’t be too hard to do; just shop for some fun school stationery, get them a new backpack for the school year, and talk about the interesting subjects they’re going to have.




They will only be excited about school for a few more years, in any way, so you might as well take advantage of this in order to make them settle into their weekday routine.

Summer Style File

Need some ideas on how to up your summer style game??

with Summer just around the corner its time to start adding some pieces to take you through summer in style and in comfort. Here is my top 4 additions to take you stylishly into summer.

Image result for summer australia
Image australia.com

Up your Sunglasses game. Try a new pair of sunnies, some Ray Ban sun glasses are sure to add some serious street cred to your summer style. Try a new style, something new and fresh

Ray-Ban - Clubmaster Classic
Ray Ban Clubmaster Classic

A rattan bag can add some boho beauty to your style. There are tons of styles around, find one that fits your phone, wallet and keys and add it to your weekend look for some serious boho vibes

Miz Casa and Co - Poppy Round Basket Bag
Poppy round Basket Bag

Add a splash of color with earrings, the more unusual the better. Hit the markets for something handmade or stalk your favorite instagram styler and find some instagram makers and support local.

Image result for bright earrings handmade clay
The Sophia 

Slide into some comfy leather sandals, slides or pointed mules. Find some comfy and seriously stylish sandals and walk through summer in style and comfort

Betts - Rafter Woven Leather Loafers
Rafter woven leather sandal




7 Scientifically Proven Stress-busters





Image Source




Many people don’t realise that stress is actually our body’s survival mechanism. When we are stressed, we release a chemical called cortisol which tenses up our muscles, increases our blood pressure and makes us more alert – this can help us to react and move faster in a fight or flight situation.




Unfortunately, human beings have evolved to experience stress in daily situations that aren’t dangerous – whilst it was useful for running away from predators as cavemen, it’s not so useful when delivering a speech or moving house. Experience stress to often can lead to a state of chronic stress, which is unhealthy for our body and mind. Constantly tensed muscles can lead to fatigue, constant alertness can lead to sleep deprivation and constantly high blood pressure can lead to heart disease (stress is often said to be the biggest killer for this reason).




Avoiding stressful situations isn’t always easy, however you can take steps to destress when you start to feel your body tensing up. Here are just seven scientifically backed stress-busters to try in order to flush out that cortisol from your body.




Exercise




Stress gets our body ready for a fight or flight situation – the best way to release all that tension is to do something active. Exercise can help to release feel-good endorphins that flush out the cortisol from our bodies. This could be any form of exercise that you see fit, whether it’s going on a run or taking out your stress on a punch bag. Stress could in fact be something to take advantage of as a natural energy boost – you could find that your perform better at exercise when you’ve got some stress built up inside you.




Find something that you work into your daily schedule. If you’re at work and you’re feeling stressed you could use five minutes of your lunch break to do some quick exercise. If you’re getting stressed over motherhood duties, consider getting out the house for the little one and going for a walk. So long as your releasing that energy, you’re certain to get rid of the stress.




Music




Listening to music that we love has also been found to lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels. This is thought to be for a variety of reasons. Firstly, out mind loves patterns and finds the organised nature of music soothing. Secondly, music can help serve as a distraction from the real world, allowing us to detach ourselves from the things that’s stressing us out.




You can combine music with exercise for a double combo stress-buster. You could also consider looking into music lessons and learn a musical instrument – playing an instrument or singing can be even more of a stress-reliever as it can help us to release our emotions. Classical has often been the go-to genre for calming oneself down, but really you should play/listen to whatever genre makes you happy whether this is smooth jazz or heavy metal.






Image Source




Hot baths




Ever wondered why a hot bath is so relaxing? The feeling of immersing oneself in hot water helps to flood our body with endorphins, helping to get rid of stress-causing cortisol. A hot bath also relaxes our tense muscles and gets blood flowing more freely.




A hot bath isn’t something you may be able to take in the middle of the day whilst at work, but it could be the perfect way to destress in the evening, helping you to feel relaxed and improve your ability to get to sleep. You can improve the destressing effects of a hot bath by using essential oils with calming aromas such as eucalyptus and lavender.




Waking up early




If you spend each morning rushing about to get ready, it could be worth getting up an hour earlier. Our stress levels throughout the day are affected by how stressed we are in the first hour of waking up - start the day stressed and you’ll continue to feel it for the rest of the day. Give yourself enough time to get up and get ready at your own pace.




This could mean going to sleep earlier in order to get a good night’s sleep. You can also try using a sleep app that wakes you up with an alarm when you’re in your least deepest sleep around the time when you want to get up.




Decluttering




Getting rid of clutter and organising things can also be a good destressing activity. When things aren’t going to plan in life and you’re feeling stressed, the task of decluttering can help you to feel as if you’re restoring some order to your life. Our minds react well to organisation and structure and are more able to concentrate - you could find that you work more productively with a tidy desk or that you’re able to get to sleep more easily in a tidy bedroom.




Next time you’re stressed, try taking steps to declutter a part of your life. This could be anything from tidying a room to rearranging files on a computer. You may dread the idea of such a chore, but once you get started you could find that your stress levels deplete.






Image Source




Laughter




Laughter is also good for our bodies. A good belly-aching laugh releases feelgood endorphins into our body, which helps to flush out the cortisol. Laughter has also been found to improve the immune system and even relieve chronic pain.




Next time you’re stressed, consider sitting down and watching one of your favourite comedies or going out with some friends who you often have a laugh with - anything that will get you chuckling.




Meditation




Meditation is also a stress-buster when done correctly. The act of meditation is all about removing yourself from the situation and refocusing your thoughts in a more positive way. On a stressful day, five minutes of meditation can be valuable for helping to reassess the situation and realise that things aren’t as devastating as they may seem, helping to lower your blood pressure and cortisol levels. Even when faced with tragic or traumatic events, you can use meditation to take yourself away from the situation and find peace by comparing your situation to the grander scheme of things.


Most people find that the best way to meditate is to close their eyes and isolate themselves so that they haven’t got any distractions. There are meditation classes that you can take and there are instructive meditation albums that you can use. You can accompany meditation with music to help bust the stress. You can even combine it with exercise - as is the case with sports such as yoga and pilates. Find your own way to disconnect - there’s no one way to meditate.

4 Ways to Stop Financial Waste in the Home




Image via Pixabay




Our homes are our personal castles, those places where we’re meant to be able to retreat from the annoyances of the world and settle into a state of extreme relaxation and contentment.




If all goes well, this is exactly the role our homes do indeed fill in our lives — allowing us to chill out, recharge our batteries, and focus on the things we find most important in life, like family, or a particular hobby of ours, instead of what’s going on in the office.




Of course, there’s plenty of stuff that can go wrong in the home, too, and besides all of that, it’s also possible that through our inattention or unfortunate habits, our homes might actually be an ongoing source of financial waste in our lives. And, of course, there’s nothing relaxing or fun about losing money for nothing.




For the sake of helping to safeguard your sanity and the sanctity of your home — not to mention your wallet -- here are some ways to stop financial waste in the home.





Be very conscientious about addressing any leaks




If you have a pipe that’s leaking a considerable amount of water directly onto your kitchen floor, the odds are pretty good that you’re going to notice it and get the problem addressed in pretty short order.




The thing is, pipes also run underground and through walls, and you could be losing a lot more water, and money, than you might think if there’s even a small leak in one of these pipes.




Consider, for example, that leak detection experts warn that even a 0.5mm hole in a pipe can result in a loss of 475.2 litres of water per day.




If you have any reason to suspect that you might have a leak — or even if you’re just cautious by nature — it could be well worth your time to contact an expert to assess the state of your plumbing.






Turn off the lights and electronics when you leave a room




You’ve probably heard this one from your parents on and on while growing up, and yet a huge number of people will still routinely leave lights on in a room when they go to another part of the house, even if they should know better.




Of course, this is a sheer waste. You’re not benefiting from the illuminated room that you’re not in, and no one else is, either. Really the only benefit to you is going to be that you don’t have to exert the bare minimum of effort required in order to flip the switch back on when you re-enter the room.




Meanwhile, your electric bill will be shooting up.




It’s simple enough, but it bears repeating. Turn off the lights when you leave a room — and the electronics, too. Ok, so you don’t need to switch off your computer whenever you go to the bathroom, but exercise your common sense here and try not to be needlessly wasteful.






Err on the side of minimalism, instead of constantly shopping for new ornaments




Some people are compulsive shoppers; they anchor a good chunk of their emotional well-being to their visits to the store in order to acquire new items. A lot has been written about the psychology behind this, but it goes without saying that if you routinely find excuses to buy things, and then don’t really get much, if any, use out of them — it’s a waste of money.




Shopping for home furniture and ornaments is one of the big ways in which this kind of compulsive spending often manifests itself. If you find that you’re constantly on the lookout for new trinkets and ornaments, consider adopting more of a minimalist home decorating ethos, to reign yourself in a bit.





Keep things organised so you always have a good overview of what’s going on




This point is pretty closely related to the previous one in this article, but it’s simply the case that when you have a tidy house, you have a much better overview of what’s going on in the home, which belongings you do and don’t have, and so on.




This level of organisation will naturally have a ripple effect on your mindset, and on the rest of your life as a whole, and can contribute to making you more attentive to detail, and more mindful of the actions you take — both in and out of the home — financial decisions included.


On a primitive, psychological level, it can seem a lot like a waste of time to carefully monitor your spending, or attempt to impose structure on your life in general, if your home environment is chaotic.

Child-Friendly Garden Ideas Even Adults Will Love



When it comes to what children want and what adults want, it can often be difficult for them to both agree. Kids will always go for the funner options, which aren’t always the most practical. Whereas adults will try to go for something stylish and usable that is going to last for quite a while. Take gardens, for instance. Your kids will want to fill yours with cool games and play equipment, such as a jungle gym, while you will no doubt want to try and keep it as a tranquil space where you can relax after a busy day at work.




So, how are you meant to create a beautiful family garden that both kids and adults will be happy with and want to use as much as possible? Here are a few tips that should help you end this dilemma.






Pexels




Ensure Your Lawn Stays Healthy




First of all, it’s worth taking a look at your lawn. In fact, you might want to increase its size by replacing any hard paving or stones with more grass. This is a great way to improve the safety of your garden, as it will ensure that there is a soft floor for your kids to land on if they ever trip up or fall over. It’s not just kids who love playing on lawns, though - adults like them too! Ok, so adults won’t end up playing on the lawn, but they make a great area for garden furniture and are also easy to maintain. If you need some help in improving the condition of your lawn, you might want to go here to find out about lawn feed. You will just need to improve this feed to the grass to improve the overall growth of the grass.
A post shared by Charlotte Rowe (@charlotterowegardens) on



Stick To A Natural Theme




When it comes to adding items to your garden, it’s worth keeping things natural. You don’t always need to buy play equipment to keep kids entertained in the garden, for example. In fact, your kids will be highly amused with natural materials, such as tree stumps and stepping stones. You’ll be able to use all kinds of natural materials to make obstacle courses and mazes for the kids. At the same time, they will add some natural style to the whole garden.




Make It Sensory




It’s also a really good idea to try to create a sensory garden. This just means that you need to add different elements that will stimulate all of your children’s senses. By doing so, you will be adding various layers of interest to your garden which can help enhance the aesthetic. This is something that adults will like, as it will make the whole garden look very pretty indeed. Rustling grasses and plants with seed heads that rattle will be a great way to stimulate your children’s hearing, for example. To stimulate their sense of smell, simply add a small herb garden. You can find more great tips on creating a sensory garden online.






Pexels




Remove Poisonous And Toxic Plants




Next, it’s worth taking a look around your garden and removing any plants that could potentially be harmful to humans and pets. This is especially important if you want to let your children play outside in the garden unsupervised, as you never know what they might end up doing with some of the plants out there. Removing all the toxic ones will make the garden a whole lot safer, and you won’t have to worry about the hazard that they pose to your kids.




Add Some Zones




One top tip that many professional gardeners will recommend for a family garden is to add different zones to it. This doesn’t have to be too complicated, and you might just want to add two or three different ones. This allows you to create an area for the adults and one for the kids. Ideally, the zones should be in kind of rings, and radiate off from the house. The zone closest to the property should be the safest and it should be easy to see young children playing outside while you are inside the house. You might want to place a dining area outside, slightly further away from the house, so that the adults have their very own space in which they can relax away from the noise of the kids.



Remember Some Shade




It is imperative that there is plenty of shade in every garden, whether it is a child-friendly one or not. This is important for a variety of reasons, but it’s mainly because you will need shaded areas for in the middle of summer when it gets very hot. The shade provides some protection from the strong sun, and playing or sitting in the shade can prevent you and your children from getting sunburnt. Of course, you will still need to wear plenty of sunscreen and take further sun protection steps. There are a few different ways to create shade, such as by growing large trees or by adding a wooden canopy or sun house. Another reason why shade is so important is that it will provide plants with shade so that they don’t have to endure high temperatures and strong sunshine all day.



Add Some Garden Paths




Adding some garden paths to your garden can provide your children somewhere to ride their bikes down. If you want, it’s worth making some fun paths by snaking them through your lawn or all the way around your garden. Not only does this create more path for your kids to bike on, but it will also improve the overall aesthetics of the garden. Plus, having a solid path in the garden will mean that you don’t always have to walk over the lawn, which could get quite muddy after long periods of rain. For the perfect path, make yours using recycled paving slabs.




So, your garden doesn’t have to be better suited to either children or adults. There are plenty of ways you can make it suitable for both!

How To Feel Good About Your Appearance








Image Credit




The interesting things with beauty, is that it’s totally subjective yet heavily informed by the media with somewhat unrealistic expectations, particularly on women which can make people feel unnecessarily self conscious and uncomfortable with the way they naturally look.




In truth, your looks are genetic and whilst they can be manipulated with use of cosmetic surgical interventions the majority of people find this way too extreme to consider viable - yet, we all want to feel good about the way we look and there are a number of things we can do from hitting the gym to keeping on top of our daily skincare regime.




Now, first off, if you notice we’re dealing with a feeling - it’s about you feeling good about your appearance and in order for you to feel good about your appearance you don’t require anybody else’s approval.




The most important person in terms of judging your appearance, is you, yet unfortunately we can often be our own harshest critic and rather than appreciate our best bits we tend to focus on the areas we like less about our appearance.




In this sense, the first tip is to shift your focus - as energy flows where attention goes and the more you focus on something the more it affects you. This can really knock your confidence, and sometimes people make a huge deal about something, that nobody else really notices, yet because they focus on it so much they view it as a crippling aesthetic disadvantage.




Similarly, when it does come to external opinion, we all like different things - for instance, if you feel your breasts are too small or your hips are too wide, it might be a good idea to consider the fact many people prefer small breasts or wide hips; and try to let go of your own hang-ups on the basis that everyone has different tastes.




Take comfort that this aspect of body consciousness doesn’t just affect women, either, as we all know how men can feel insecure about certain parts of their body too.




We all need to make the most of what we have, and learn to accept our bodies for what they are rather than wish they were different. In this sense, the best thing we can do is learn to optimise our appearance and make the most of what we have.




Here are three tips:





STYLE YOUR HAIR

Go to see a great hair stylist in order to optimise the way your hair is presented. Your hair is one of your most predominant features and often the first thing people notice.




MAKE UP

Use high quality makeup, and watch YouTube makeup tutorials to learn the best ways to use makeup for your unique skin tone and face shape. Pay specific attention to your eyes which are known as the gateway to the soul.




CLOTHES



The clothes you wear can make a huge difference in how people perceive you but they should be aligned with your unique taste rather than fitting in with the latest fashion magazines; this way you can develop a congruent personal style that isn’t constantly changing

Back' to Basics: Simple Ways to Look After Your Back



Most of us take our back health for granted, it’s only when something goes wrong that we can appreciate just how important it is. There’s nothing worse than pain when sitting, standing or moving, a bad back can hinder activity and generally make your life a misery. If your back is hurting or you just want to prevent back pain, here are a few things to bear in mind.






credit




Improve your posture

Most of us have sedentary jobs, we spend our days sat in front of a computer working away for forty hours a week in most cases. If you’re not sitting correctly, that’s forty hours where you’re putting pressure on your spine and back muscles and making yourself uncomfortable. At work you should be sat in a chair that provides proper pelvic and lumbar support, if yours doesn't speak to your manager or ask if you can bring your own chair in. In the car and at home, use lumbar pillows when sitting to support you in the right position. If you know you’re guilty of slouching when walking or standing then make a conscious effort to correct your posture, you could invest in a brace that goes around your back and shoulders and keeps you in the correct position.




Upgrade your mattress

Mattresses degrade over time, and most of us will notice a ‘dip’ in the bed where most of our weight is distributed eventually. When this happens, your back is no longer in line and it can put serious pressure points in the hip, neck and shoulders. If you’re noticing an aching back especially if it’s worse in the morning your bed could be to blame. You can get good deals on mattresses if you look in the right place, you can view more here. Make it a habit to replace it every seven years which is the recommended time mattresses should be kept.




Exercise

Exercise has so many benefits for both physical and mental health, if you needed yet another good reason to get active then a healthier back is just one of them. Strong core and back muscles keep your pelvis in line, preventing it from tipping forward and pulling the muscles in your back. Any exercise you enjoy will help with this, you could hit the gym, go swimming, drag out your bicycle or go hiking with your dog. Anything that’s getting you feeling worn out and slightly aching the next day is great and means you’re constantly getting better.




Speak to a professional

Most of us experience back problems at one time or another. Often it’s a result of a minor injury and will feel better once its healed. However, ongoing problems will require you to need medical advice. You could have a slipped disk or a trapped nerve. Your spine could be out of alignment, in this case a chiropractor could help. Either way, don’t just suffer with it as you could be making it worse. Speak to a professional to find out the cause, and what you need to do to resolve it.

Make Your Wedding Memorable - Choose A Theme!



If you have a wedding to organise you will know how much planning is involved. There are so many aspects to planning a wedding that you really need to be organised way ahead of the event. Your wedding day is the most memorable day of your life and you could make it even more memorable for all the right reasons by adopting a theme. This will help tie together all the planning, as you will be following a theme and will keep your guests talking for years to come! The wackier the theme the better, you could go for a theme which is unusually traditional such as Victorian, or Hollywood glamour!






image source




Whichever theme you choose, you will want to buy wedding rings and jewelry that reflect the importance of the day. Excellent quality jewelry should last a lifetime if jewellery care is given the importance it deserves. Regular cleaning by a professional should ensure the rings remain sparkling for years to come.




If you are still trying to decide on a theme for your wedding, read on for inspiration.




Vintage

A vintage theme is perfect for a wedding as bygone era’s conjure up visions of tradition and romance. The nations love of everything vintage continues to grow. You could create your wedding as if from a scene in Downton Abbey or just add a few vintage touches here and there.




Decide on a particular period in time and research weddings from that era. The Victorians incorporated lots of poetry into their courtship and weddings, they were formal, but incredibly romantic with invitations and venues festooned with roses and lace. You could consider writing your other half a poem to be read out during the ceremony - how romantic!





Beach

Having your wedding on a beach or with a beach theme throws up so many options. Perhaps you would like to jet off to sunnier climes with your loved one and a few close guests or perhaps you live close to a beach and want to theme the wedding around it. If you choose to go long haul it’s worth remembering that the travel logistics for your guests may be tricky, meaning that a few key people may not be able to attend. On the other hand if your closest friends and family can make the journey the wedding will be lovely and intimate.




There is a lot of flexibility around what the dress code can be for a beach wedding. If you are travelling long haul check local laws and customs as to what is appropriate. Your dress can be as formal and ornate as you like, but footwear should be casual or why not go barefoot!




Tropical flowers and seashells that sparkle and shine, would be lovely decor theme for a tropical destination, along with bright colours. A more traditional seaside resort calls for nautical elements such as striped bunting, rock, candy floss and deckchairs. Buckets and spades would make great gifts for the guests, perhaps filled with rock and sweets. You could also hire an ice cream van and hotdog vendor to add to the effect. Dinner could be fish and chips complete with a newspaper wrapping! The possibilities are endless and you can have great fun deciding.





All the fun of the fair!

Incorporating the fun of the fair into your wedding will certainly be memorable. If you and your partner have fond memories of dates at the fair or you love the thrill and excitement, why not bring it to your special day? The photos would be amazing and everyone is guaranteed to have fun!




Choosing your venue will be your main issue. It may be possible to find a theme park which offers wedding facilities, but a better option would be to hire fairground attractions at a venue of your choice. You will need a large amount of space and you will need to ensure all regulations and insurances are in place for health and safety reasons. Don’t forget the finishing touches of traditional fairground food, balloons and entertainers if your budget will stretch to it.




There are so many more themes which you could consider. A popular choice is medieval - think Game Of Thrones! Disney is popular as well as James Bond and Hollywood. Whatever you choose, with lots of research and planning your wedding is likely to be remembered for years to come. You never know, your wedding may be featured on the pages of “Hello” magazine in the future!




Have an amazing day!

How to Transform Your Living Room on a Budget



We all want our home to be as welcoming as possible, and our living room is the place where we usually entertain guests and family members. If you don’t have the budget for a full renovation, you can start small and begin by transforming your living area so you can enjoy your space and impress your guests. Below you will find a few budget-friendly tips on transforming your living room.



Image via Thought Catalog
New Cushions

Sometimes small changes can make a huge difference. If you can’t change your seating area completely,you might opt for a new sofa cushions. No matter if you are getting new seat cushions made to improve your comfort or back cushions with personalized embroidery, you can add color and style on a budget. Throws and cushions can make your home feel warmer and inviting.
Curtains and Blinds

Of course, you might also want to pay attention to the eye of your room; the window. Decorate it with stunning curtains made to measure, or get a blind that will allow you to control the light, no matter if you are having a morning conversation or are looking to black out the room for a family movie. Match the color of the existing soft furnishing and you will create the perfect stylish living room on a budget.
Area Rug

In some cases, simple additions can improve the look of your home and give your entire room a facelift. An area rug in the middle of the room will define your space and create a warm feeling. If you have wooden, tiled, or laminate floor, you might opt for some unique Hali handmade rugs that will help you make a statement, add color and style, and create a sophisticated look in your living room.
Sofa Upholstery or Cover



Image via DESIGNECOLOGIST




If you don’t want to say goodbye to your old sofa, and you don’t think that you would be able to afford to get the same style, you can put your DIY and sewing skills to good use and create your own covers. If your sofa cover and seat covers are removable, you can use them as templates to add color. Just because of one small tear on the cushion, you shouldn’t get rid of your sofa. Get creative and add some style, show off your skills, and enjoy your fresh seating area.
Color Facelift and Feature Wall

In case your paint and wallpaper are tired looking, you can transform your room in just a day. Give your room a lick of paint, cover up imperfections, and design your own feature wall. The good news is that you don’t have to be particularly talented or steady handed: there are plenty of wall decals available that will make your job much easier.




You don’t have to spend thousands to make your living room look fresh and inviting. Focus on the things that are easy to notice and add color, style, and sophistication. Up your DIY skills, get creative, and you will be able to impress all your guests next time they come around.

Simple Tips for Becoming a Self-Sufficient Homesteader When the Odds Are Against You




Image via Pixabay





Have you ever dreamed of settling down with your own little plot of land and becoming properly self-sufficient? Growing your own food, supplying your own water, and relying very little — if at all — on anyone else, for your material needs?




“Homesteading” was once a way of life for the vast majority of people, out of necessity. Today, it’s more of a hobby for those of us who want to enjoy a more essential and self-reliant existence. There’s a lot to be said for the lifestyle, not least of all, increased peace of mind.




The only issue is, it’s not always straightforward getting a homesteading project to actually work out, when all is said and done. Some of us live in desert areas where hardly anything will grow, others don’t have the required time to tend to our land due to commitments from work, and yet more of us aren’t really sure where to even begin getting started.




Here are some tips for becoming self-sufficient with your plot of land, when the odds seem stacked against you.





Consider hydroponic systems for growing food in harsh environments




People living in arid regions — like many areas of Australia, for example — often have a real problem when they want to set about turning a homesteading vision into a reality.




Whereas this was once a major problem, and generally had to be solved through a community-wide effort, it’s now possible to grow things in places you never would have previously imagined, using hydroponic systems and technology.




Hydroponics involves growing plants without soil, and relying instead on nutrient solutions dissolved in water. With a hydroponic system to help you out, you can produce your own food in areas with dismally poor soil quality. Click here to learn more about hydroponic technology.






Focus on various methods for getting your own water




If you want to be truly self-sufficient with your plot of land, your key priority should really be finding a way of sourcing your own water. As the bit of folk wisdom goes, you can survive weeks without food, but only a few days without water.




There are various things you can do to try and become water-independent. Digging a well or a bore-hole, assuming your property is over a natural aquifer, is perhaps the ideal solution.




Other options involve establishing rain barrels and more sophisticated collection systems to store rainwater. Thi is particularly useful if you live in an area with high annual rainfall.






Consider various ways to monetise your land




To become a truly self-sufficient homesteader, you’d ideally want to come up with a means of generating income that doesn’t interfere with your homesteading project, but that actually helps it. Furthermore, you’d want to make as much of your money as possible through entrepreneurial ventures.


Considering some ways to monetise your own patch of land can be a great help in this regard. Perhaps you’d be able to start raising an exotic species of animal, such as alpacas, in order to open up a petting zoo? Or maybe a scenic outdoor coffee shop or garden centre?

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.



Image: Pxhere




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





Unsplash




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.