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!

3 Steps You Need to Take to Plan a School Summer Fair

When it comes to planning a summer party, there is a lot to do! There is, even more, to sort and organise if you are organising a summer fair at your child’s school. There comes a time as parents when we can get roped into helping out. It is nice to be involved with the school, but it can be a little time consuming. So if you are part of the parent and teacher department, the time will come when you will need to organise an event. So here are some ideas to help with planning a summer fair.

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Recruit and Delegate

First of all, you need to have a good team of people around you. If you need some more volunteers, then make sure that you get some. Hold meetings or put sign up sheets by the classroom doors. This can take a little while, so make sure you make it a first priority. If no one comes forward, then it is time just to start making assignments. Encourage people to be involved with their child’s school by asking them to sort something for the fair. Something like helping to decorate or stack chairs away is an easy task to assign, for example.

Then you need to organise and delegate who will be taking charge of what. If you have been left in charge overall, it doesn’t mean that you have to do every single thing for the event. Have sub-committees and divide up the work. It will make things run much more smoothly. Plus, it will help you to be able to relax a little more and not spend every waking hour thinking about the fair. We are all busy but can all fit in time to do something small. So share out the work.

Plan a Main Event

It is a good idea if the summer fair has some kind of theme. It could be all decorated in a certain way, or have things happening that tie in with the theme. As part of that, having a fun main event is a great way to attract people to come and spend the day. There might be stalls and food, but that isn’t enough to keep people engaged. Think about something that people can get involved in. Could there be a mini-Olympics for people to join in with? Could there be a bake-off competition or perhaps even a portable ice rink for people to skate around? Think outside the box to create a fun event for all to enjoy.

Have Refreshments

One sure fire way to get people involved in the summer fair is to have plenty of refreshments. If there are lots of yummy food and drink to try, it creates a real buzz around the event. Could you try a ‘mocktail’ bar (it is a school after all)? Then people could pick the ingredients they wanted to create a drink. Then you could have a caramel apple stall, cupcake stands or even hot dogs. Having plenty of food at a summer fair keeps people happy.

Maintain The Luxury Of Your Home Swimming Pool All Year Round

Sometimes, there is just nothing better than a dip in the pool on a long summer day. In any home with a swimming pool, it becomes the focus of so many activities. Swimming, obviously, but it is also a social focus. Any party that you hold on any half-way warm day will end up in there. A barbecue just isn't a barbecue if it doesn't end up with a quick swim, or a long relaxing soak with a few drinks.
Of course, you want to get the full use of a swimming pool - there's no point having it if you aren't going to get the most of it. It may be a new installation or you’ve moved to a new home, but the basic pool facts remain the same. You need to make sure it is well maintained. For any number of reasons, not least health, a pool needs to be kept correctly. This means making sure it is always clean, that the water is well filtered and that any damage done is repaired in quick time.
Skimming Where You're Swimming
The most important part of keeping a pool clean is regular skimming. Even if you keep it covered when it isn't in use, things can get on the surface. When they're there, they're easy to remove. Once they sink, they can become stuck on and a breeding ground for bad stuff. Remove all leaves, insects, and any other debris by hand or by net every couple of days.
Clean The Filter
All swimming pools have a filter, and they're essential for sifting out any small bits of dirt and other nasties that inevitably get in. The filter can easily get clogged if you don't clean it often enough, but don't do it too often. When you see an increase of about ten pounds per square inch in flow to the pressure meter, that's the optimum time to clean. A little amount of dirt in there actually helps filter other bits.
Repair Any Leaks Before They Become A Drain
If your swimming pool starts to leak, it can compromise the safety of the whole pool. Losing pressure will affect how everything works, and if things can get out where they shouldn't, they can also get in. The moment you become aware of a leak, have it repaired professionally. It will only get worse and more expensive the longer it is left.
Paint Your Pool To Maintain Performance
It's often lost on people that the surround of a swimming pool needs to be painted. The fact of the matter is, it is filled with moving water, and this wears down any finish on the pool. It's not something that need be done too often. People used to do it once a year, but now it is just a matter for when it starts to look like it needs it. Make sure to use specialized protective pool paint, which will be epoxy- or chlorinated rubber-based. Otherwise, you'll ruin the pool and need to do it all again.
There are other things you need to do to keep your pool up to muster - ensuring it is chlorinated, checking the pH level and so on. Keep on top of these and you can have a cool pool no matter how hot things get.