Archive of ‘Tips’ category
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the household chores that you have to do on a day to basis. You may find yourself struggling to cope with the heavy workload at times. What you may not know, however, is that you can make the task of doing your chores easier. With the help of some simple tactics, household chores can be tamed and made manageable.
Have a Regime
One of the best steps that you can take is to have a house cleaning regime. Such a regime might mean that you have days which are dedicated to one aspect of cleaning. For instance, you might have a day that is dedicated to vacuuming. You will want to organise your days in a fashion that is best for you. Time consuming tasks might need to be allocated to those days in which you have a lot of spare time, so that you do not feel under pressure.
If you can, you might want to get the kids to help you. You could choose to delegate and assign tasks based on what you need to do. By having one person who is in charge of a specific room, or cleaning task, you will be able to make things much more manageable. There is also the option of creating a rota, so different people are assigned a different task each week. You will need to make sure you are enforcing any rules you create.
Get Some Help
You also have the option of hiring an outside firm to help you get the household chores done. For instance, you might hire a firm that is willing to do the cleaning for you. The firm you pick will depend on what you struggle the with most, and least enjoy doing. For example, to save time you may want to find firms that do dry cleaning delivery. Such a firm will take your dirty clothes from you and deliver them back to you, cleaned and ready to wear.
Don’t Let Things Get Bad
The steps mentioned are useful when it comes to making chores easier to manage. However, you might find it even more beneficial to prevent things from getting this bad in the first place. There are a number of ways in which you can do this. You may choose to allocate a little bit of time every day, when you do a light bit of cleaning. You may also decide to clean up messes as soon as they happen. Provided that you do a little bit of work each day, you should be able to keep things manageable.
No More Chores?
It is unlikely that you will be able to eliminate your household chores completely. However, you can make your household chores much more manageable. You can do this by engaging the help of everyone in the house. You might also want to call some outside help to assist you in getting the job done. Regardless, you no longer have to feel overwhelmed when it comes to completing your household chores.
Gumtree infographic baby versus career is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree
There are so many things that are mentioned in the media on a weekly basis when referring to teen pregnancy. The problem is that what we see on TV is usually an exaggeration of a reality that is totally different. We can say that those cases are actually a lot less common than we might believe.
I saw this infographic on women juggling children and career and it had some interesting facts. There were things I read that I didn’t know, or expect, before I read it. That is why it is important for everyone to take a look at the infographic. It is a guarantee that you will learn some new things that you had absolutely no idea about.
For instance, it would seem that 49% of women are in their 30s when their babies arrive and that the average age is 29.7. I would have assumed that women had children at a younger age, although I shouldn’t have been surprised, as women are starting to put careers first, which is commendable. The question of whether or not to postpone a family because of a career path that was taken is one that has been daunting on women for a long time. It makes sense to get a steady career first and then settle down to think about starting a family and having children.
Whatever the age of the mother, at the bottom of the infographic you will see some great tips on how to balance a life/work with being a capable and good mother. For example: Delegate, which I like to do as much as possible in life anyway!
Choosing a career over a family can have negative effects on the evolution of the woman and her desire to have a baby as the body will find it more difficult to carry a pregnancy as time passes. The best thing that any woman can do is to simply think about priorities and see what the best situation is. In UK it is not legal to fire a woman if she is on pregnancy leave or if she is pregnant. However, as you can easily notice from the infographic, everything is connected to the career in the sense that you would need to hire a nanny in most cases and that costs a lot of money.
It is a very good idea to take a look at all the information included in this infographic. You can even see the best careers for women that currently juggle both a career and a family. There are always solutions but you have to be dedicated and you need to know what to expect. The truth is that maternity leave does not really have an effect on your finances. With this in mind, you may want to reconsider the career first, family later approach. You cannot wait too long until you get pregnant as this would lead to more problems in the future. Choose wisely or consider the career that is best suited for you if you really want a family.
Your feline friend is your most faithful companion. You want to make sure that she is in premium health. One of the most common illnesses that cats suffer from is worms. While the thought of worms is enough to make you feel queasy, it is important that you are aware of the harmful health effects that worms can cause.
With thanks to Moyan Brenn for the image
The most common type of worm is an intestinal worm. These are known as roundworms and tapeworms. Many infected cats do not show immediate signs of having worms. But, they can become more noticeable as the parasite grows which can affect your cat’s health.
A heavy burden of worms can cause many different symptoms within your feline friend. Typically, the most common symptoms are:
- Weight loss
- Irritation around the bottom
- Failure to thrive
While worms are deeply unpleasant for cats, some worms can be harmful to human health too. For those of us that like to pet our animals, we too can contract worms through sheer love of our kitties. As humans can become ill from worms, you must ensure that you have a worming regimen in place to make sure that your cat is treated against worms. Some medications are preventative, and others are administered to eliminate the burden of worms. Whether you are preventing, or eliminating, worms it is critical that you have the correct medication in order to do so. Wormers.co.uk has a wide range of worming medicine for your cat.
Roundworm and tapeworm can be contracted should your cat have had a recent dose of fleas. As tapeworm are the host animal of fleas, they are contracted through other parasites. While this is unpleasant, your cat will need to be treated.
Roundworms are very common in kittens. Kitten are usually infected by their mother and her milk. If your queen (mother cat) has a burden of worms, it may be advisable to treat all kittens within her litter. It is highly unlikely that one kitten from a litter will suffer from worms.
Worming regimes should be implemented from a young age. There are, of course, recommendations to doing so. Kittens should be treated every two weeks when they are three weeks old until they are eight weeks old. Once your kitten is six months old, you can implement a lesser routine. Monthly or bi-monthly is adequate for a cat of this age. As your cat reaches maturity, administering worming medication should be done every three months.
Tapeworms are usually a problem that is associated with adult cats. Tapeworms rarely affect kittens. However, the two can be a problem for mature cats, so endeavour to purchase medication that is effective against all types of worms. Your cat’s health should be your priority so a dual medication will be needed effectively prevent an infestation of worms.
Medication comes in various forms. The most useful form of medication, according to cat owners, is tablet form. This is because it can be added to the cats daily feed. As a cat owner, you will know the perilous nature of trying to get your cat to take their medicine.
Exchanging contracts on your first property is the first step on the journey to buying your “forever home”.
When moving day has come and gone, you can immediately start adding value to your home – ready for when the time comes to move further along the path, towards your dream house.
That’s how most homeowners wish they would’ve started out. And it’s how the smart first time buyer approaches their journey today.
Here are three home improvements you should be saving for, that will add instant value and enjoyment to your new house.
1. Made to measure blinds
Well designed, made-to-measure blinds will instantly improve the appearance of your home – from both the inside and out.
It’s simple – but it works.
See, blinds are an elegant alternative to curtains and offer a number of practical benefits too:
- Improved privacy – your private business remains just that.
- Sound-proofing – less sound escapes from well fitted venetian blinds so you are less likely to disturb the neighbours.
- Temperature control – blinds allow you to easily control the amount of light and heat that comes through your windows.
- Improved energy efficiency – made to measure blinds prevent heat escaping, or cold drafts coming through your windows.
Because new blinds help to prevent heat loss in the winter, they also help reduce your energy bills. The money saved will help towards the next home improvement – solar panels.
2. Solar panels
Solar panels are quite expensive to buy outright, but the government offers attractive rebates to people using them in the form of Feed-in tariffs (FITs). FITs pay you for the electricity you generate, helping to offset the cost of the panels.
The electricity that your solar panels generate is yours to use as you need. Any electricity that is unused can be sold back into the National Grid, resulting in a lower utility bill.
The units cost around £7000 to buy and install, but experts believe that using solar panels to generate your own electricity will help cut household bills by around £750 a year.
Some households even claim that solar panels generate up to three-quarters of their annual electricity needs.
These savings created can then be put towards the next home improvement – a conservatory.
3. A conservatory or extension
A conservatory is a useful, all-purpose room that will give you more space to enjoy your new home.
There are plenty of designs available, ensuring you will be able to find a conservatory that fits in with the architectural style of your house. You could also consider fitting wooden venetian blinds from Thomas Sanderson to complete the look, or a downstairs extension as your family grows.
It may take a lot longer to save up to buy a conservatory, but the investment will be well worth it in the long run.
The additional living space provided by a conservatory or extension also adds value to your property. By increasing the value of your house, you will have more equity to put towards your next move up the property ladder.
There are two reasons to save up for home improvements – to turn your house into a home, and to add value to the property.
These three suggestions should, over time, help you to create a house that you love, that you can sell for a profit when you are ready.
Got any questions or any more suggestions to add to the list? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.
As the English National Opera prepares to put on Jonathon Miller’s production of Puccini’s classic opera La Boheme, I give you 5 good reasons why you should see this amazing piece of musical theatre.
It’s In the Top 5 Operas
According to Operabase.com, an authority on Opera statistics, La Boheme is third in the top 5 most produced operas in the world. Only Verdi’s La Traviata and Bizet’s Carmen have been produced more times. Also in the top 10 are Puccini’s other famous works Madame Butterfly and Tosca, proving that Puccini had the magic touch when it came to writing hits.
It’s For Everyone
Unlike many of the other opera out there, La Boheme is for everyone and not just the fancy folk in their fancy limos. There is one big classic death scene but is more touching than anything else and does not take an hour or involve beheadings and Viking helmets. It is simply the story of 2 very poor artists and the woman they both fall in love with. It was written in the verismo, or realistic style and features very natural looking costumes and sets. The elitist critics hated the opera when it debuted in 1896, giving further kudos to it being an opera for the everyman.
It’s Set in Winter
Apart from the great Russian operas, most operas are set in summertime. However, La Boheme begins on Christmas Eve and Act III takes place on a very cold and wintery February morning. The story of the artist heroes trying their best to survive in the icy climates is something that most people can relate to.
It Follows the KISS Principle
La Boheme is different from a lot of operas because it follows the principles of KISS, or Keep It Simple Stupid. There is no need to study accompanying notes or to attend university to understand the ploy. It is perhaps one of the most direct and simple story ever told – boy meets a girl, boy loses the girl, boy gets the girl back, boy loses the girl again. That’s all there is to it, along with the side plots of the love story of Marcello and Musetta and the funny and often heart-warming actions of Shaunard the musician and Colline the philosopher. The easy to follow and understand storyline allows the romantic and beautiful music to take centre stage.
Real Acoustic Singing
While you may have seen opera on TV or at the cinema in the past, if you have never seen it at a proper theatre or opera house, nothing compares to the genuine article. Seeing and hearing it live in the flesh and the performers using the oldest instrument in the history of man and the world, the human voice, is nothing short of sublime. As well as being an enticing and pleasing attack on our ears, it is also a wonderful thing to watch and look at, with complex and beautifully designed clothes, sets and lighting, it all adds to the overall experience.
Most people reach a point in their lives where they face a dilemma; move house, or create more space in their home for a growing family. Sometimes they are so happy in the area that they live, relocation is out of the question.
If you find yourself in that situation, there are several home improvements that will give you a little more elbow room. Here are my personal favourites.
A Two Story Extension
If you have the finances and mental strength to undergo a significant alteration to your home, a two-story extension might be the answer. It takes a long time to finish the extension. You will need the services of a reputable architect to get it underway. They will draw some detailed plans to your specifications and submit them to the planning office. When the planning committee convenes, they will study the plans to ensure that they meet with the local regulations. They may decide to contact your neighbours to see if they have any objection to the project before making a decision. Some blueprints are rejected in the early stages so the designer must make changes and re-submit them.
Only when you have planning permission can you proceed with the extension. The building inspector will visit the site at stages of the construction. He will inspect the work and make sure it complies with building regulations.
You feel as if your home has been invaded for three months or more before your alterations are complete. Expect to come to tears during the process; most people do. If the thought of such a project hasn’t made you run to the estate agents in Chadwell Heath in the search for a new home, nothing will. The extension is the most expensive, and intrusive, project.
The loft has a huge floor area suitable for several extra bedrooms. The engineers will tell you, but you often do not need planning permission for a loft conversion. It will cost much less than an extension to build, and take less time. That is why loft conversions are so desirable. If you live in and old property, the roof may not have to be altered, but in modern homes the trusses get in the way. Even if you must replace the roof, the potential space up there makes it worthwhile.
If you have the bedrooms that you need but need more space for lounging about, a cheap and cheerful conservatory might solve your problem. Well, they are cheap in comparison to the other ideas. If it stays within the floor area limits it does not need planning permission. For much less than ten thousand pounds, this extra room could be yours within a couple of weeks.
Instead of building an extension, would you consider converting your garage into a habitable room? Many people do because it is such an easy project. You must make changes to the lighting and power in there and remove the garage door in favor of a patio door or window. Make the walls good with plaster and fit skirting boards. You could do it yourself if you have a flair for building and carpentry, in only a few weeks.
Those are my recommendations for those who need more space. Do you agree with me or do you have a few ideas of your own? Good luck with your home improvements!
image taken from Flickr
From a young age, I’ve always been encouraged to work for something I want. For example, I remember being 12 and wanting a pair of Thierry Henry Nike football boots that costed £55 and was told if I wanted them, I’d have to work for them.
So, I helped out with odd jobs around the house collecting pocket money along the way. By the time I’d saved up enough cash for the boots, they weren’t on sale anymore. That bitter disappointment was my first taste of life as an adult.
As I grew up a little more, generating the cash wasn’t too difficult because I just worked as hard as I could to get the money quicker. The only thing I found impossible was saving it. My parents would always tell me that my money burnt a hole in my pocket – it was like I needed to spend it the second I had it.
That got me thinking. I’m probably not the best person to ask when it comes to the secrets to saving money. But I did a little digging and found some excellent points that will help you save up that pocket money to get finally get what you’ve been dreaming about for so long.
Figure out exactly what you want to do with the money you saved. Cut out a picture of the item you would like to buy and its price from a catalog or magazine. Stick it onto the wall in your room or somewhere where you would see it often. Remind yourself that it’s worth hoovering, and raking the leaves.
Get a piggy bank or other means of storage. Wallets might not be the best choice as they tempt you into spending your money due to its portability and easy access. I used to one of those giant plastic coca-cola bottles. Filling them up with pennies and other short change takes a while but boy does it pay off.
Find a place where you won’t be tempted to get it out and spend it. You may actually have to hide your money from yourself if you get tempted easily. If your money is out in the open, you might be tempted to spend it. But also be sure it isn’t so difficult that you forget about saving or even where you put the money entirely. A sibling or parent’s closet may be a good idea, or you may even have them hide it from you over a period of time. That way you will have to go through them to find money to spend. Make sure your sibling won’t take it though.
Tell someone that you are saving your money, so that they can keep you from spending it. Firstly, make sure you trust this person. You don’t want to find out that they’ve been dipping into your hard-earned. You may get asked “who’s it for”? Or “what’s it for”? So be honest with them and say you’re saving for something you need, or maybe you want to buy a present for a special someone?
Remember that every penny counts. Pick up every little coin you see out there and remember that no matter how little you spend, it’ll make a huge difference in the long run. It’s just like 100,000 individuals saying that their vote doesn’t matter, but together they can make a difference.
If you are going out with your friends, it is suggested that you guys do something that doesn’t involve spending money such as going to the park, or playing football. Also, if you are at a friend’s house or at your own home, instead of buying a water at the shop for £1, save the money and take a trip to your house or just drink tap. It’s free!
There is no question that your body has gone through some very big changes over the past few months. You and you alone have sustained a life, which is an extremely big accomplishment. However, it is not so forgiving to your figure. Every woman’s body changes significantly after they have had a baby, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot feel sexy like you did before the pregnancy.
Most women don’t even think about brushing their hair when they have a new baby, but after a few months, most often after a mother has stopped breast feeding, you will begin to make time for yourself again. You deserve to have time to get dressed up and feel good about yourself, no matter how busy and crazy things get. If you are a new mom who is ready to feel sexy again, here are four tips to help you get your confidence back.
Find a new, great fitting bra
You breasts have changed dramatically through all the swelling and breastfeeding, so they are in definite need or some TLC. Finding a new bra that fits well will make every outfit you put on look better, which is one of the best confidence boosts you can get every day. Consider ThirdLove designer bras that find your perfect fit with half-sizes and a bra-sizing app to help you find the best fit possible. You can find styles that have soft materials for your sensitive skin in beautiful designs that will make you feel sexy and comfortable in your own skin.
Incorporate some exercise in every day
No matter whether you were a fitness fanatic or a couch potato before your pregnancy, you should find a way to incorporate fitness into your daily routine. Not only does exercise help you lose weight and get in shape, but it also boosts your mood by producing endorphins that keep you happy and smiling all day long. Try doing things that incorporate your new baby, like a mommy and me yoga class or going for a walk outside.
Wear fashion that flatters your new figure
Every woman has her trouble areas that she likes to cover up. Post-baby, you may feel like you have more trouble areas to cover up than before. It may take a while for your body to return to its post baby form, so you should find some pieces in your closet that make you feel confident at the size you are now. Flowing tops that drape away from the midsection and skinny jeans is a great staple for any new mom to have.
Surround yourself with supportive people
Sometimes it’s not about what you do, but what everyone else around you is doing. There are many new moms going through the same things you are, so illicit their help. If you are surrounded by people who make you feel self-conscious or insecure, you may be around the wrong people. Try to surround yourself with people who make you feel beautiful, no matter how your body changes. Find people who support your goals and help push you to be better each day. If you are surrounded with people who love you that much, you will feel confident no matter what.
Many little girls dream of owning a beautiful dolls house. They love collecting the furniture and adorning their beautiful dolls house with luxurious fabrics. It truly is like a miniature dream home. For many parents, they seem to think that a dolls house collection will cost them more than their own mortgage, but this isn’t true. If your daughter is desperate to start a dolls house collection, but you don’t know where to start, then read on:
Image Credit: Flickr
Narrow Down Your Search
There is a wide range of dolls house miniatures that you can collect. What is more, there are so many wonderful pieces that you can own that it is difficult to know where to start. Think about the things that you, and your daughter, love. If you want to start small, simply buy a smaller dolls house that you can fill quickly and with ease. This can be either a one roomed dolls house, or something bigger if you desire. Think about what you and your daughter want to achieve from this collection. Will this be a toy to play with, or will it be a bonding activity for you and your little girl? If you want a collection that can be played with, then investing in robust dolls house items will certainly be ideal as they may be prone to breakages from excited children. If you and your daughter are starting a collection as a bonding exercise, then you may want to consider purchasing finer, more delicate pieces that can be admired.
Choose a Time Period
Dolls house miniature collections come in a wide range of themes and time periods. One of the most popular periods of time for doll’s house is the Victorian or Georgian era, as the collectable pieces are simply exquisite. Of course, there are more contemporary pieces to obtain to that are akin to your own homes. It simply is down to personal choice and preference.
What Are Your Passions?
Dolls House Miniatures are usually a reflection of the collectors own passions. If you would like something of a large collection, but you are conscious of space, then miniatures provide a perfect alternative. While these miniatures are small, they are certainly perfectly formed. You can purchase miniatures in quilts, knitting, crochet dolls and so forth. What is more, they are very popular due to their dainty and quirky nature. Full size doll houses may be more suited to very young children, who of course, do not appreciate the nature of miniature dolls and their accessories.
Finding the Right Pieces
Finding the perfect accessories for your beautiful dolls house is not an arduous task. There are many online retailers specialising in dolls house miniatures, which are perfect for your collection. What is more, there are often collector’s fares and so forth, in which you can view other peoples classic collections, or simply purchase more pieces for your own collection. Collector’s fares are perfect for novices who want keen advice from enthusiasts. Your own passion will be fired by speaking to people of a similar mindset.
One of the hardest parts about reducing your home’s carbon footprint is figuring out how to get the things you need from the places that sell them to your house. Even if you’ve got a great eco-friendly, locally supplied grocer within walking distance from your house, there’s the issue of how those goods got from where they were made to the grocer’s. How do you ensure that the supplier of those goods did everything they could to improve their fuel economy and reduce the carbon footprint of the trip?
This problem compounds when it is you who runs that grocery shop or co-op. All business owners, really, have reported problems getting the supplies and inventory they need in eco-friendly ways. The fact is that a lot of how “green” things travel is up to the human actually transporting them. Sure, a lot of companies are only using eco-friendly shippers and delivery vehicles but what if the driver doesn’t know how to economize properly on his fuel consumption?
A lot of company owners are choosing to “green up” their supply chain by using recyclable and reusable containers. These containers often hold more goods per container so the number of shipments needed to stay stocked is reduced. If you do run a grocery or other food based business, reusable containers have proven to be better for the keeping and storing of perishable merchandise (food stays fresher and is less prone to pests when stored and moved in airtight containers). Moreover, because the containers are made of plastic, metal or wood, they can be reused over and over again reducing the need for container manufacturing. Even better, as you can see in the infographic below, using recyclable containers reduces a company’s greenhouse emissions by almost thirty percent.