Archive of ‘Home’ category
If you got a mortgage a few years ago to purchase the perfect family home, you probably felt really happy to have your own place with enough space for everyone. However, since then, you might well have had more children, and so now things are becoming a little more cramped. Whilst you could opt to sell up and find somewhere larger, this is a big task and could mean you have to move out of your desired area. So, I think it would be much more suitable for you to build and extension and increase the size of the property you currently own. With that in mind, give me your attention for the next few minutes, and I’ll do my best to present you with some reasons why this is a wise move.
1. Your home will be more valuable
First and foremost we need to talk about money. Extensions are usually very expensive to build, but you should look at this as an investment. While you might have to spend a few thousand to achieve your goal, the final product should add almost double this amount to the value of your property.
2. Your family will have more personal space
Building an extension on the front or back of your home will usually mean you add an extra bedroom and more space downstairs. This means you shouldn’t get under each other’s feet quite as much, and so fewer arguments and bad moods should present themselves.
3. You can have a games room
Some people choose to simply extend their kitchen or lounge, but those with a little more creativity see more potential than this. For that reason, you could have a dedicated games room downstairs with enough space for a pool table and such. Just make sure you try to save as much money as possible along the way by using reputable builders and a reasonably priced timber supplier, as pool tables don’t come cheap!
4. Your neighbours will be jealous
This probably won’t apply to everyone, but if you have the kind of neighbours who’re constantly boasting about their home, you will shut them up effectively when they see you’ve improved yours beyond all recognition, and now it’s become more valuable than theirs. Of course, they’ll probably get so envious they end up doing the same thing, but at least you’ll have got there first.
5. Your family can stay whenever they like
Having more space means you can have more people sleeping in your home at the same time. So, if you’re sick and tired of traveling halfway around the country at Christmas time to see the clan, building an extension will mean they can come to you for a change. Now that’s got to make it all worthwhile even if none of the other reasons have resonated with you.
So guys, you should now know exactly why building an extension could be the best thing you ever do, I hope you’ll start making plans sometime this summer.
Best of luck!
Parents are facing many dilemmas in modern times in their efforts to do right by their children. It was a routine practice forty years ago that if a child received a couple of bouts of tonsillitis, the offending glands were removed. On one hand people are told that dirt and bacteria are good for children as it helps to boost their immune systems, but others recommend surgical cleanliness in order to promote good health. The chemicals used to kill bacteria are strong poisons and more people than ever are asking what effect their long term use can have on children. After all, children spend a lot of time with their fingers in their mouths and the fumes given off by strong chemicals could easily affect young lungs.
If you are looking for some more natural ways to keep your home hygienic and healthy without causing harm, there is some valuable advice for you here. Read on and see the obvious benefits of cleaning the natural way.
The Power Of The Lemon
Citrus juices are naturally acidic and are great for cutting through grime around the home, It is so powerful that you are advised to mix it with equal parts water before use. It is suitable for use on all surfaces except wood and it will kill bacteria and leave a surface hygienically clean. Use it wherever there is a grime build up on kitchen tiles, work surfaces, on the sink and taps; it is a very versatile cleaning fluid. Put the solution into a spray gun for convenient use and carrying through the home.
All Hail The Vinegar
Do you spend lots of money on descaling chemicals for use in the bathroom and kitchen? Well, you need look no further than your food cupboard for a more environmentally friendly solution.
Spray taps, tiles, or any other problem areas with vinegar and leave it for five minutes to do its work before rinsing the limescale away.
Boil white vinegar in your kettle to bring it back to its former glory.
If the plug holes in your home are constantly giving off a bad smell, use one third of a bottle of vinegar down each one to kill the bacteria there.
A cup of vinegar boiled in the microwave will give off an acidic steam that cuts through the grease that has built up in there, making it simple to wipe out afterwards.
Of course, bad smells are also a sign of blocked drains so don’t wait to call for a professional survey if you suspect a problem with them. I recommend the use of drain CCTV in London. Headaches would be diminished if you leave it down to someone else!
Those are the main two chemicals needed around the home to complete most cleaning tasks, but there are other products, such as baking soda, that can also be put to use. Baking soda is great for removing smells. Place a cup of soda in cupboards, in the fridge, or even sprinkle it over fabric furniture for a few minutes before vacuuming it off to leave a fresh smelling sofa.
That is all the advice I have for you today. Remember, things you do now may give your kids a healthier life when they are older, so be sensible about chemicals of your choosing. Safe cleaning!
I’m sure that when most people think back, they can remember a childhood pet. Whether it was a dog, cat, rabbit, or stick insect, that little critter had a place in our hearts. Children seem to have a natural empathy with their pets, and, especially in the case of dogs, the pets reciprocate.
Nowadays, owning a pet is more complicated than it was years ago. Dogs back then were allowed to roam the streets, so the hardest thing some owners ever did was to open the front door. Also, if someone was scratched by a cat or nipped by a dog, they never considered running to lawyers in an attempt to prosecute, and gain as much compensation as they could get away with (I am, of course, only referring to very minor injuries). There is also the cost of modern treatments to consider. In the age of the internet, we have access to online pet prescriptions which have helped keep the cost down. But the pet’s healthcare can be expensive nonetheless.
Owning a pet does have benefits to a family with children, here are a few reasons why.
Children learn by having some responsibility for the pet. Yes, it comes naturally for the first couple of weeks before the novelty wears off. The cuter the pet, the more eager the kids are to please, and play with it. A little puppy, for example, is far better than a little brother or sister in a child’s eyes. They will take good care of the pet for the first two or three weeks until they become familiar with it, then little jobs will slip. It’s not good to be hard on the kids, their behavior is quite normal. Before you buy the pet you should be aware that the ultimate responsibility for its welfare is yours. Just a little reminder every now and then that the hamster needs feeding or the dog needs brushing is all they need.
A puppy, if that is your choice, will provide companionship for a child, even when they are tired and are a bit fed up it tugging at their socks. Think back to your favourite pet; it was a good feeling. If a pet is introduced to the family when the child is at a young age, it we be as much a member of the family, in that child’s eyes, as anyone else is.
If the family pet is a dog, everyone can benefit from the daily walks. Yes, soon enough you will be arguing over who took it out last, and whose turn it is now, but everyone will get a little more exercise in the long run.
The biggest drawback with owning a pet, is their lifespan. Most are considerably shorter than ours, therefore, at some point, heartbreak is virtually assured. The time will come when a grave will need to be dug in the garden for the little hamster, or maybe the goldfish will be flushed to a watery grave. Even this experience has benefits. The child will learn that nothing lives forever. It also gives them a chance to get a new pet. Yes, the grieving will be over quite quickly and a visit to the pet shop will ensue.
There are few drawbacks to a child owning a pet of their own. Vicious dogs are obviously a bad choice for a family pet, but a little hamster, a mongrel puppy, or a fluffy kitten can only be good for a child’s happiness. Get a pet today, you are just as excited as the little ones really.
We all know how important it can be to have a hobby when you’re a child, and so today we’re going to take a look at some ideas you might consider pushing on your own little ones. Obviously, they’ll need to show some interest themselves to ensure they stick at them, but so long as you seem really enthusiastic about the suggestion, they’re likely to pick up on this and follow suit. With that in mind, give me your full attention for the next four or five minutes, and I’ll try to present you some with really cool ideas your children are bound to love. The best thing about them? They won’t cost the earth, and they could keep the smallest members of your family occupied and out of trouble.
Admittedly, some kids do find porcelain dolls to be a little spooky, but so long as you don’t let them watch horror films where these toys come to life (and there are a lot of those), they probably won’t pick up on some of the fears others have. At the end of the day, there are millions of different dolls to choose from, and many of them do become highly sought after collectable items after a few years. So, buy a decent glass cabinet and start filling it up!
There probably aren’t many girls who want to start collecting stamps, but for whatever reason, boys have always loved it. The Royal Mail is constantly releasing new versions, special limited edition designs and more, so it does actually become quite interesting when you get involved. Just make sure you buy a decent quality presentation case or folder, as you’ll want them to stay in tip top condition.
Again, this one is usually appealing to boys, but some girls also show an interest, so don’t completely rule it out for your little princess. Whether they like formula one models or touring cars, you’ll have no trouble finding some really good quality ones online or in your local shopping centre. Just remember that you’ll need to keep the boxes unopened if you want them to be worth anything in the future.
Most people start a keyring collection without consciously meaning to, and this is because you end up buying things like this when you go on holiday. Even so, kids do seem to really like stuff of this nature, and keyrings are never going to cost you more than around £5, so this hobby certainly won’t break the bank. Also, if you tell all your relatives about it, they might even bring your children keyrings back from different destinations when they’ve been on holiday, and this will be exciting for them.
Now we’ve reached the end of this short article, I hope you’ve managed to find something suitable for your children to collect. If you haven’t, I at least hope you’ve gained the inspiration needed to think of the perfect hobby.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I’ll see you soon!
When you and your partner are traveling on the road with kids today, it’s important you have the safest car possible to ensure everyone will be fine should the worst occur. You obviously don’t want to spend a lot of time considering “what if”, but it’s still vital you select a model renowned for having lots of safety features and a good reputation. With this in mind, I’m going to spend the next couple of minutes drawing your attention towards those vehicles I consider to fit this category. You don’t have to take my advice, but I can state with total certainty your children will thank you for it in the long run.
You see; most people simply look for aesthetics when purchasing a new car, but you need to spend a lot of time performing research online to find the best model to suit your needs. It’s not always about looks you know! In fact, sometimes it’s the less than appealing models that offer the greatest security. So, give me your full attention, and we’ll begin.
The first Mini Coopers were released in the 1960s, and while they were incredibly stylish, they weren’t really that safe for passengers. Luckily, the manufacturer decided to relaunch this model a few years ago, and since then it has become one of the safest and most reliable cars on the road. You aren’t going to break the land speed record, and it’s probably not a good idea to spend too long in the outside lane on motorways. Still, if you’re looking for something smooth and sophisticated with enough airbags to keep everyone from injury, you could do a lot worse than contacting Jardine Motors or another reputable dealership to discuss your requirements.
If you like the look of larger cars like the Ford Galaxy, but you want something that actually makes you look cool, the Renault Scenic should be at the top of your list of considerations. This model also comes as an automatic, which means people with leg injuries or joint problems like arthritis can still get around without causing themselves too much pain. Also, this is a brilliant family car, and the seats fold down and can be removed completely if needs be when picking up flat pack furniture or heading away to the beach with a lot of equipment in tow. In addition, this model is rarely involved in serious accidents, as the safety features are so well made.
Lastly, families that want something a little smaller might like to take a quick look at the Peugeot 308. While there are obviously many other models available from this manufacturer, this one is by far the most popular amongst people who regularly carry children. Maybe it’s the sleek design, or perhaps it’s because there are airbags fitted in the back of the driver and passenger seat – who knows? Regardless of the reasoning though, there can be no denying that this is a seriously safe car that all responsible parents should consider.
Well folks, now you know about the safest family cars available on the market today, I hope you’ll be more inclined to avoid opting for a model because of looks, and instead choose one based on performance and safety.
See you next time!
Houses are used for many things, mainly to keep a roof over our heads, but when we decide to renovate our homes we need to consider how we are going to use it in order to make it as practical as possible.
For example, if you have young children, providing them with a ‘play room’ might be a practical move with that spare bedroom or if you have pets, something as simple as putting a cat or dog flap in the back door could be worthwhile.
If your home is regularly filled with friends and families and you host a number of parties then you will want to ensure there are parts of your home that are practical for when people come to say hello. For instance, the heart of the home often refers to the kitchen, where you will find you and your friends spend a large chunk of your time chatting and drinking. This will mean the kitchen will need to be practical and durable.
To make it practical but still look great you will need to invest in a flooring that is easy on the eye, durable and easy to clean and there is no better option than kitchen floor tiles. Kitchen floor tiling is hard-wearing and it comes in a number of styles and designs so you can simply install it to suit your existing décor. There is no need to completely change your kitchen by removing units and painting walls, just by adding a flooring that stands out, you can completely transform a room.
If you’re predominantly known for hosting the family barbeques though, you will need to turn your attention outside. The garden can be what turns your great home into an unbelievable one, but is one of the hardest aspects of your home to keep looking beautiful all year round. For parties, it might be advisable to install a patio or decking area for people to sit and enjoy the sun, away from the fumes of the BBQ. Grass looks beautiful when it’s bright green and healthy, but again this is very difficult to keep on top off so the best alternative is artificial grass. With very little maintenance and a guarantee that it will stay green all year round, it is perfect for children, pets and even adults.
Back in the house, and if you and your friends enjoy a little tipple every now and then and are struggling for space for your bottles of wine, a simple and cost-effective way to store them is by using a wine rack. Wine racks come in a lot of shapes and sizes and can add a great feature to your home, even if all it does is hold your copious amounts of red wine. Still, it’s practical and perfect for entertaining.
So, if your home is the headquarters for parties, it could be time to up your game and improve your homes practicality so parties can be easier than ever.
Renovating your kitchen is the opportunity to create a space for your family that is personal, practical, and stunning. Here we look at some aspects that should be considered when planning your ideal space.
Clever Planning is Key:
If you are going to invest bucket loads of time, energy and money renovating a kitchen, it is crucial that clever consideration is given to planning the whole project before you start. Regardless of whether you are totally restructuring, or just tweaking a few bits, adding new appliances and replacing tired units, you will still need to give a great deal of thought to the process. The most important factor has to be functionality, as your kitchen needs to be practical. A great principle to work with, is keeping the three most-used areas, the hob, fridge and sink, situated in a triangle shape, with no more than six feet in between them. This immediately maximises usability and convenience, regardless of what shape or size your kitchen is. When planning your kitchen, don’t scrimp on the cupboard and storage space; think creatively, making use of any small, tight spaces, and try to fit cupboards right up to the ceiling, rather than leaving a pointless gap that serves no purpose. Deep drawers are another useful way to maximise storage space. One last major consideration is lighting; this is often overlooked, but is a crucial component of an efficient kitchen. Overhead lighting in a kitchen is often impractical because it can create shadows on the surfaces you are working on. It is a much better idea to include under cabinet spot lights, as these will shine right on to the counter-top; they can also be switched on only where you need them, rather than lighting the whole kitchen, which is energy-efficient. Light bulbs direct do all kinds of spot lights, at a reasonable price. You can buy them from here.
Make it All About You:
The kitchen is often the most integral part of the house; the place where the whole family gathers. Therefore, put your own unique stamp on it. Why not go with a theme, and incorporate it all over the kitchen? This doesn’t need to be anything too elaborate; choosing a colour scheme with coordinated accessories is enough to add your own personal touch. Although kitchens are traditionally quite bare of paintings or photos, it doesn’t have to be that way; filling up your walls with bright canvases and favourite family pictures will allow for a feeling of warmth. Similarly, you may not wish to clutter valuable surface space with decorative items, there is no reason why you can’t find a spot in your newly renovated kitchen for a display; use a simple shelf to show off items you cherish, or your favourite plate collection.
Install Smart Appliances:
Although it might be tempting to cut corners and use your old appliances, this is rarely a good idea; they will simply look out of place in a new kitchen. Go for modern, updated versions, as these smart appliances do what they say on the box by offering innovative ideas that are often far more economical and user-friendly than their predecessors. A great example is a double drawer dishwasher like this one: these fit into the space of a standard dishwasher, yet provide a flexible (each drawer can be run on a separate cycle, at the same time), energy-saving, and practical option.
Another smart appliance rapidly increasing in popularity is a convection oven. Although they have been commonplace in commercial kitchens for some time, they are now taking off for home use. These ovens can reduce cooking time by 25%, with means that meals are conveniently ready much quicker, using less energy.
If you live in a hard water area, then installing a water softening system like this one is a must-have during any kitchen makeover. Hard water causes untold damage to pipes and electrical appliances, and leaves unsightly marks in toilet bowls, and in sinks and baths. Installing a water softener is simple, as most models will fit easily under your kitchen sink. The benefits will be remarkable: energy costs will dramatically reduce, and the efficiency of appliances will be greatly improved. Not only that, but less elbow grease and fewer cleaning products will be needed, as unsightly marks will be a thing of the past.
Keep Your Surfaces Practical:
Give careful consideration to your work surfaces and floors; what might look visually stunning could prove a nightmare to maintain. For example, stainless steel looks amazing, but is easily scratched. Go for a surface that is easy to clean, and takes wear and tear well. Butcher block counter-tops are affordable and relatively low maintenance, and they offer an attractive, yet functional option. Alternatively, you could opt for granite, caesarstone or soapstone which would all add a touch of luxury to your kitchen. When considering your floor surface, again practicality should take priority; try not to be swayed by beautiful floors that will be difficult to clean or maintain, especially with a young family. Whichever you choose, the material should be non-slip, porous and easy to look after.
Put Safety First:
For families with small children, safety in the kitchen is often one of the biggest concerns. Renovating offers the opportunity to re-design the kitchen in a way that is practical and safe. Place your oven at adult height, rather than floor level, to prevent accidents. Use counter-tops that have rounded, rather than sharp, edges, and choose drawers that are soft closing to reduce the likelihood of trapped fingers. It is also a good idea to invest in some cupboards that are lockable, as this will ensure that hazardous products (such as bleach) are secured away from inquisitive hands.
Flickr author here
If you’re a single parent, or your partner works away a lot, it can be difficult to find suitable employment. That is why starting your own home based business could be the ideal solution to all your financial problems. On top of this, staying at home with a child can become very tedious if you don’t have some kind of outlet, which is precisely the reason you pay close attention to all the business ideas listed in this post. Most of them are pretty simple to set up, and you’ll be able to work around your schedule, which has many obvious advantages.
I’ve personally worked from home for around three years now, and I can honestly say it’s the best move I’ve ever made. While it can be a little nerve racking to begin with, once you establish yourself and build a regular client base, things soon become more relaxed. So, give me your full attention and let’s take a quick look at some of the ideas you may wish to consider…
Washing And Ironing Services
You probably spend a lot of time doing your own washing and ironing when at home with the kids, so why not start a business where you get paid for it? There are many people who live alone and work long hours, and some of them simply don’t have the time to deal with these jobs. So, there’s definitely a lot of potential for earning if your skills are sufficient enough to make a good impression. You can either spend a couple of mornings each week collecting the clothing from your clients homes, or you could even allow them to drop it off to you. Obviously, you’ll need a commercial washer to cope with the increased loads, but these are cheap to buy from specialists like Alexanders Direct.
Freelance Writing / Design
There are lots of freelance websites around at the moment where companies and individuals post large and small jobs they need to complete. Presuming you have sufficient English skills or you’re a dab hand at design work, you could earn a good wage through these sites. Once you’ve established yourself in the industry, you should find it simple to attract clients outside of the freelancing sites, and so your earnings should increase even further. Just make sure you only ever bid for work you know for certain you’ll have the time to complete, as any late submissions could work against you.
Childminding / Babysitting
If you’re spending all day with a child anyway, you might as well look after other people’s for pay. Most families don’t earn enough for a parent to stay at home with the kids, and this means they have a lot of trouble sourcing care when the school holidays come around. Most childminders charge around £10 per child for every hour they’re with them, so it’s possible to take hundreds every day if you make the right adaptations to your home and obtain all the proper licenses and insurance.
Well ladies, there you have it. After taking time to read through those suggestions, you should be more hopeful about starting your own home based business in the near future. It’s important to work if you’re able, as this gives you a sense of purpose.
Good luck with the new business, whatever you end up doing!
Everyone needs to be able to keep warm in winter but how do you keep your home warm in the colder months? Many Australian homes are designed for the hot climate and it can be hard to keep your home warm without spending a small fortune on energy bills.
Here are 5 ideas to help you do just that.
Install a Wood Fire Heater
Wood heaters are a cosy source of radiant heat and make spending evenings indoor highly enjoyable. There is a wide range of wood heaters available so you will find something to suit your needs. Barbeques Galore have a great range of sizes and styles to suit most spaces.
When deciding which wood heater to buy it is a good idea to talk to the retailer about the size of the space you wish to heat. Ask for advice on what size heater you will need and choose one you find aesthetically pleasing. It’s not a good idea to buy a wood heater that is larger than your needs as you will use more fuel than necessary to heat your space. You will also need to clean your wood heater out from time to time to remove ash and charcoal, so it’s best to get one the right size for your room to avoid unnecessary cleaning.
A wood heater will add to the interior design of your home and should be placed in your most used area, usually the living room. A wood heater will often really enhance the ambience of a room and encourage families to relax and enjoy sitting around the firetogether.
Keep the Heat in with Curtains
Glass windows will allow the heat to escape from inside and will also let the outside cold in. Up to 40 per cent of household heat can escape through uncovered windows, so it’s a good idea to hang reasonably heavy curtains for the cold months.
Insulation is a must if you want to save energy keeping your house both warm and cool. If a house is correctly insulated you will save significantly on power costs for heating and cooling.
Seal up the Cracks
Cracks and gaps, including gaps under doors, can be responsible for a whopping 25 per cent heat loss in your home. Use weather stripping around doors and windows and a gap filler to seal any cracks in the walls. An old fashioned door snake will keep the cold from escaping under the door.
Also, close off any rooms that you aren’t using. If you have your wood fire burning in the living room, close off empty rooms to keep the heat in the area of the house you are using.
Let the Sun Shine In
During the day let us much sun into your home as you can. Open the curtains wide and let the sun shine in to warm your home. Remember to close curtains and seal off gaps before dark sets in.
Getting a good start in life involves getting a good education, and what better way to thank the ones that have had the most impact in your child’s life than giving them a little gift.
Over the last few years this has become a trend, more and more parents are prepared to give a gift to their child’s teacher.
However, according to reports, some parents are taking this too far, spending more and more money on gifts for teachers in an attempt to outdo each other. This takes competitive parenting to a whole new level. In a survey conducted by UK parenting website Netmums, parents are spending, on average, £10 on a gift, while the number of parents spending more than £20 has increased by more than 50%.
Putting all this aside, when my Daughter finished her school year I felt it important to buy her teacher a gift, as a thank you for teaching her this year.
Here are five things that you may want to consider buying as gifts for teachers:
The usual suspects: Flowers
Although a little predictable, a bunch of flowers with a card would make a nice surprise gift for any teacher. To make it a little more personal, try and find out what the teacher’s favourite flowers are. I’m sure if you were to receive a gift, this amount of thought would go a long way.
The supporting act: Chocolates
Like flowers, chocolates can also make a great gift. Again, try and make it personal and find out what the teacher likes.
A little something of everything: The Hamper
There’s much to be said about a hamper. Of course you can by one from your local supermarket, but the best hampers are always personalised to the recipient, with plenty of thought but in to the contents of it. Again, research plays a big part in getting the hamper just right for the teacher. Find out what biscuits or sweets they like, what they enjoy to drink, maybe even go as far as finding out their favourite author or magazine. Also, try and think about what you would like to receive in a hamper. Would you like some bath salts or oils, hand cream or a face mask? I’m sure you’d appreciate; teachers would love the time to relax too.
Vouch for something special: Vouchers
If you don’t know your child’s teacher that well, vouchers can be an extremely thoughtful gift. Think about vouchers for stores that stock a little bit of everything, maybe a Walmart or other department store. A voucher may not be as personal as other gifts, but it will be warmly received and hugely appreciated just the same.
Subscribe to success: The Magazine Subscription
Again, you don’t need to know your child’s teacher that well to get them something that they will love. If your child’s teacher teaches a particular subject, have a look at what specific, or more niche magazine titles that they could subscribe to, and purchase a 6 or 12 months subscription for them. Alternatively, you could buy them a subscription to a more general lifestyle magazine.
Hopefully this will give you some great ideas.