Archive of ‘Tips’ category
A great bag can literally make or break your outfit. Wearing a fun bag can be a great way to show off your personality, impress your friends, and even impress your boss (perhaps enough to give you that promotion!). If you choose the wrong bag, your look can suffer greatly – nobody wants that, do they? Perhaps you’re not sure of how exactly to buy the perfect bag that will compliment any look you choose. Well, we are – so sit back, relax, and learn everything you need to know about buying a great bag!
Image Source: Flickr
In the same way you’d choose a nice top or pair of jeans, a handbag should fit your body type. I don’t mean that the shape of the bag should match your figure, rather you should choose the opposite of your body type. If you’re a tall, thin woman, then a large oversized bag could look amazing. However, it’s all about what makes you feel comfortable, and if you don’t like something you should pass on it. A nice, classic design will last for years while maintaining a sense of style.
Fakes and Lookalikes
If you’re looking to get a designer bag, you need to watch out for fakes. A fake is something that has totally ripped off a designer bag, complete with their logo. A lookalike can also be called a ‘dupe’ where a bag is simply inspired by a designer piece (a lot of womens clothes stores do this). If your deal seems to be too good to be true and you’re thinking of buying from a market or eBay seller, then it could be a fake (although eBay is good for bargains at times). Make sure you only buy your bags from reputable sellers.
You must have had a bag at one point or another that was uncomfortable for you to carry. This is usually down to the handles. Some people like to carry their bag over their shoulders, others like to wear them cross body. Whatever your preference, don’t stray too far from it. You’ll carry your bag with you every day, so you need to be comfortable. To get an idea of the kind of bag you could be carrying with you day to day, check this out from Shinola.
It might be tempting to buy a big oversized bag for fashion purposes, but if you don’t have a lot of things to carry with you, it’s pointless. You’ll end up overfilling your bag, and rummaging around for what feels like an age looking for what you’re after. Buy a bag big enough to fit your essentials; purse, phone, I.D, glasses, lipstick, and anything else you need. This doesn’t have to be huge!
Colour and Pattern
You don’t need to be boring when choosing a new bag. Although it should be versatile, you can still choose a colourful or patterned bag that will go with most of your wardrobe. In fact, your bag could make a lovely focal point!
Go on ladies, go out there and buy the bag of your dreams!
Nobody gets married with the intention of splitting from their partner a few years later and getting involved with a messy child custody battle, but unfortunately, this happens quite a lot in the modern world, and so you need to be as prepared as possible for any eventuality. I recently went through something like this, and although it was stressful and upsetting, with the right advice from my lawyer, I managed to pull through. With that in mind, today I’m going to relay some handy tips that could make the process a little more bearable for all involved. Of course, your partner may act incredibly unreasonably in this situation, but that doesn’t mean you have to bring yourself down to their level.
Image link here
At the end of the day, you want to get through this is the quickest time possible to avoid it having adverse effects on your children. I can tell you from personal experience that family breakups can have a massively negative impact on your child’s mental health, and it’s not always obvious until they’re a little older. Indeed, my own parents split when I was four years old, and it took me until the age of around 22 to completely recover from it. That might sound extreme, but it’s the god’s honest truth.
So, take a read through some of my tips, and hopefully you’ll limit the chances of this happening to your kids…
Tip #1: Always Remain Calm
Situations will almost certainly become heated quickly during a child custody battle, but you need to remain calm and rational at all times. This is the best way to show the authorities that you are the best parent for the job.
Tip #2: Never Lie In Court
You might be tempted to tell a couple of small lies in court, but this should be avoided like the plague. Any lawyer with the same level of experience as Attorney Mark Goldstein will tell you that getting busted for one lie means your entire case falls apart.
Tip #3: Think About The Child
Child custody battles happen because two parents each believes they’re better for the child concerned. Even so, don’t try to get residency for your kids if you know in the back of your mind that your ex partner would do a better job.
Tip #4: Be Patient
Divorces can take a long time to come through, and child custody cases aren’t that different. Your son or daughter will have to speak with social services representatives to help determine their happiness levels, and you’ll have to jump through a lot of hoops. This is just something you have to accept.
Tip #5: Don’t Be Vindictive
In situations where a couple co-owned a property, it’s usually the partner who keeps it that gets custody of the child. However, as I’m sure all the rational people reading this article understand, that is not a good enough reason to fight for a child you’re unable to look after properly.
Well, hopefully know you’ll be a little better prepared should anything go wrong in the future. None of us like to imagine things like this happening, but they do, and so we shouldn’t avoid the issue.
Follow my advice, and everything should go smoothly.
When time is so precious you do not want to spend the whole week cleaning. You are a Mom, your children need you, want you, you want them, need them, and cleaning will always play second fiddle to this.
However, cleaning will always need to be done. Do not worry, there are a few things you can do that will help save you a little time, allowing you to concentrate on the more important things in life.
(Thanks to The Italian Voice, via Flickr for the image)
Time and money saving cleaning tips:
Use a timer
You only have so much time in the day to clean, so decide how long you want to clean for and use a timer to divide up your time into task chunks. You must remember to stick to your time allocation for each cleaning activity, as you will also find that you work that little bit harder and quicker as you have a deadline to reach.
Avoid concentrated products
Concentrated cleaners clean just as effectively as standard cleaners. You are only wasting your money if you buy into the brands claims. Providing you follow the recommended cleaning guidelines, a cleaning product will either do its job, or it won’t. For example, adding more bleach will not kill more germs, or if you add more cleaning product to a bucket of water it will not make your floor more clean.
Get some help
As a Mom you would probably appreciate that four eyes are better than two, and eight hands are, well, better than two. The same goes for cleaning. If you can get some extra help, especially with the cleaning that you do not like, then try to get a cleaning company in. You can also get more specialist cleaners in, for example you could search for ‘Oven Cleaning in Sheffield’ and you would find companies that are quite happy to come and clean the oven for you. If you do not live in Sheffield, then just input the name of your own town or city.
Clean your windows for less
You can even make your own glass cleaner by adding 100ml of white vinegar and a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to 4 litres of warm water, and keep it in an old plastic spray bottle. Simple.
Give your sink a bath
Your sink is probably in constant use, and with this use comes extra tough stains and marks. You may have used abrasive products to remove these stains, however it never looks great on your sink. You can give your sink a bath by pouring in some herbal solution and let it soak overnight, freeing up some of your time.
Buy extra basics
Another time saving tip is to keep cleaning products on each floor, saving you time and energy having to carry a heap of cleaning products around the house with you.
Buy a squeegee
Great if you have a lot of glass and mirrors. The squeegee has been around for years, and it is easy to see why. They are so quick to use and leave your glass smear free.
I hope these tips help you save a little time! Let’s face it, life is for living, not cleaning. Good luck!
Working long hours, cooking, cleaning, running children to and from school and after school activities, occasionally catching up on some sleep, a mum’s life is all go go go! When it comes to cleaning, take a few of these tips from other busy mums and make cleaning your house daunting!
- Be efficient: Mum’s are really good at multi-tasking, use this to your advantage! Incorporate moving around the house with tidying, never leave a room without taking something with you to put away. Keep cleaning equipment throughout the house, so whenever you have a spare second (an advert during your favourite TV programme) you can grab the nearest duster and attack your dining room cabinets! Your dishwasher doesn’t just have to be for dishes, efficiency is everything! Load your dishwasher up with ice dispenser grates, stove knobs and grates and kitchen sponges – this cuts down on the time you spend cleaning. Combine your tasks, take your sponges into the shower with you and wipe it down when you’ve finished!
- Use your helpers: The majority of your cleaning will be cleaning after your children, and they do say that 3 pairs of hands are better than one! Combine fun and playtime into your cleaning, and get your children interested in helping you. Children-sized vacuum cleaners are a great way to get them enjoying cleaning – with any luck they’ll be asking to vacuum everyday! Set a time limit, say 15 minutes, and have a mad cleaning sweep all around the house including tiled areas. Pull together all the items that need to be put away and start the timer, 15 minutes a day means your house should stay clutter free (the majority of the time!)
- Tricky places: There are a few tricky places of the house that need a bit of extra time and care to clean, but with a few tips this can easily be sped along. Boiling water in your microwave for 5 to 10 minutes mean it will easily be wiped clean. Putting slices of orange, lemon and lime in the water it will keep your microwave smelling clean and fresh! Use a one-inch painter’s brush to get in all the nooks and crannies of you cabinets, the bristles will loosen up dust so the surfaces can be easily wiped away.
Talk to other mothers about further tricks of the trade, all mums have plenty of their plate and will be happy to share their secrets to make cleaning more effective and more efficient!
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.
The family car sector is big business for the motor industry, with leading global manufacturers competing for the chance to sell the best and most-popular models to parents all over the world! As you can probably imagine, there is a plethora of different models for mums and dads everywhere to choose from, ranging from frugal hatchbacks to luxurious motorway stormers.
But did you know that a lot of parents end up buying the wrong cars for their needs, because they have not remembered (or weren’t aware of) the golden rules to buying a family car? If you are planning on buying a family-oriented car soon, make sure you take the following points on board before you part with your money – otherwise you could end up making a costly mistake!
The importance of having the perfect (car) body
One of the biggest epic fails that a lot of parents make is buying a car with the wrong body style:
Saloon cars are good for families with children that do not need prams, as the boots of such cars are rather inflexible and limited on space;
Hatchback cars are popular for parents with growing families, and make it easy to load cargo in the boot and in the back of the car;
Estate cars are more difficult to park but provide the ultimate amount of cargo and cabin space, especially if you have to transport pets at the same time.
Avoid three-door cars like the plague
Have you ever had to regularly get a baby in and out of the back of a three-door car? It’s a rather stressful experience, and one that should be avoided at all costs! Whatever car you buy, make sure that it has five doors instead of three.
Some larger vehicles, such as the Ford S-Max, have large doors which offer the most amount of flexibility for getting babies and baby paraphernalia out of the car.
Luxury cars can be affordable family cars too
There is a common misconception that the more-luxurious vehicles on the market such as Mercedes cars are typically expensive and completely out of reach for the average Vauxhall Astra driver, for example, but they can still be bought – as long as you are willing to limit yourself to only used models!
To be honest, I wouldn’t buy a brand new car anyway because of the depreciation hit that I’d have to take, but for those that don’t want to experience the joys of diagnosing strange noises, sounds and smells from mature cars, you could buy nearly-new models as they will save you thousands off the list price of new ones.
Make sure you can disable the passenger airbag
Unbeknownst to many people is the fact that not all cars offer you the ability to put your baby at the front of the car with you. Therefore, when researching what family cars to put on your shortlist, make sure that they offer you the ability to disable the front passenger airbag when you’ve got your baby on board and acting as your co-pilot!
Collaboration with US Mechanics EDU
In today’s busy world we are lucky if we get five minutes to ourselves. As a Mom it is even harder. Take the kids to school, go to work, pick the kids up, do dinner, rush, rush and rush.
Certain household work, like cleaning, is very time consuming. How are you supposed to find the time to do it?
Well, help is at hand. Here are seven cleaning tips that are guaranteed to save you time, allowing you to make time for other, more important things in your life.
You are attempting to clean your house in a day? Let us be completely realistic. You will not be able to do it all. Instead set some realistic goals.
It helps being organised, so try and make a list at the start of every week. Write down what cleaning you want to do, and pick a couple of things from that list each day. Remember to make it manageable. A lot of this depends on the size of your list. The trick is to be realistic, and do little and often.
Get rid of clutter
Is your home messy or dirty? If it is just messy you may want to consider opening a big black bag and tossing things in there you don’t want, need or use.
You may have clothes you no longer use, or kids toys that are no longer played with. Get rid of them to make your cleaning load lighter and provide a better room to relax in.
Clean as you go
A simple, yet effective, tip to save time during your deep clean. Place packs of anti-bacterial wipes around the house, in the kitchen, bathroom or other room that require them. Then just wipe down as you go.
This way, your home will stay fresh and clean every day.
Deep clean time
This will happen at some point, whether you choose to do it weekly, monthly or every season.
If you choose to do this monthly, instead of doing it all together and trying to tackle the whole house in a day, try picking a room each week and spreading out the work.
You may think this is a little old fashioned, but it works.
The tip here is to buy a feather duster with real feathers, as they attract dust. If you happen to get one with faux feathers, these will just distribute dust around the house.
Again, the trick here is to do little and often. Rather than trying to do all your washing in a day, and failing, spread the load.
As you know, it is not just the washing element, it is having the space to dry your laundry too.
Sometimes you are just too busy to do the cleaning yourself, so hiring a cleaning services company may be just what you need.
Depending on your own circumstances it could actually be better for you and your family. Freeing up your time so you can do exactly what you want, when you want.
It is a common conception that Grey hair is considered unflattering, can make women look older and give the impression of ‘I don’t care attitude towards her appearance’. For women, greying hair often occurs when they are undergoing significant physical changes, such as the menopause; therefore the need to cover the grey hairs becomes a very emotive issue. However, anyone can start going grey at a relatively young age but usually grey hairs begin appearing in your mid 20’s developing throughout the next years so that in your 40’s you may have the inclination to cover your grey hair.
It is best to start covering grey hairs as soon as possible so you can’t be tempted to pull a single grey hair out! By succumbing to the urge of pulling out the grey hairs you can traumatise your roots which will either encourage courser and thicker hair to grow or no hair to grow. It is a myth that pulling out one grey hair causes two new ones to grow in its place, however, traumatic alopecia (baldness) is a very common issue that can occur due to the root trauma.
Grey hair naturally has a different texture to non-grey hairs, which makes colouring and styling harder. However, it can be done successfully. One way to hide your greying hair is to style your hair differently to cover the grey hair at your temples, which will create a more flattering look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a textured fringe or sides just because you have always worn your hair up and away from your face.
If you are inclined to colour your grey hair do you go to a salon or home? Millions of women have had success with colouring their hair at home. Here are 6 golden rules for home colouring:
- No Peroxide. If you don’t want to damage your hair at all then steer clear of hair colouring products that contain peroxide. Although peroxide is an effective hair lightener it is harmful for your hair. Daniel Field hair colour is the only non-peroxide, non-ammonia permanent hair colour for greying hair.
- If a hair colouring product containing peroxide claims it has “special conditioners and benefits” you should take it with a pinch of salt. The cosmetic shine created by these colourants is only cosmetic – the shine lasts up to 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks you are left with (to some degree) structurally damaged hair.
- Don’t go too dark! Be aware that as you get older your skin gets paler – so choose hair colour shades that are no more than one shade darker than your natural hair colour.
- Be subtle. The idea of colouring your grey hair is to ensure that no one notices, so be subtle with your colouring and stick to shades as close to your natural hair colour base as possible.
- Grey hair only suits women who have the correct combination skin tone (neutral skin) and eye colouring (grey/blue) and look good in blues, lilacs, greys and pinks.
Choose appropriately to your budget. Full head colouring gets more expensive the more your chosen hair colour is from your natural hair colour. If you have 100% grey hair coverage, the darker the hair colour you choose the greater the re-growth. Also if your hair is still quite brown and you want to go lighter than this will be very high maintenance! If you are a busy person, on a budget or travel a lot than it is advised for you to stick to your natural colour.
Article written by Daniel Field Mail Order – we are passionate about our natural hair products, suitable for vegans, all designed and created by professional hairdresser, Daniel Field. Our natural hair colours are free from ammonia, peroxide, alcohol and PPDs.
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.
When you’re a teenager, one of the things that you start to look forward to is the freedom to drive your own car whenever you want, and wherever you want to go. It’s also something of a status symbol for many youngsters, as it’s “cool” to have your own car rather than having to take the public transport everywhere (or blag a lift off your mum and dad whenever you want to go into town)!
But what many teenagers don’t realise is how dangerous driving can be. According to statistics from Brake, the road safety charity, a shocking one in five new drivers are likely to crash their car within the first six months of driving, and it probably comes as no surprise that young men are far more likely to be involved in a crash than women.
Quite often, teenage drivers will end up being taught how to drive by their parents, and many of those youngsters will go on to pass their driving tests. If you have teenagers and they want to learn how to drive, here is what you need to know in order to do a good job!
Have you got what it takes?
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself whether you are cut out to be a driving instructor to your children. There are certain qualities and legal requirements that you will need to possess before you can even consider becoming a driving instructor to your kids:
- Personal qualities – as a driving instructor you have to be patient, have the ability to stay calm under pressure and be able to guide your child through any dangerous situations;
- Driving licence – in the UK, you will need to have held a full driving licence for at least 3 years;
- Car – obviously a car is required for this particular task, and it needs to be road legal (i.e. having valid MOT and tax). Both you and your kids need to be insured to drive the car.
One crucial thing that you must not do is pass on any bad driving habits to your kids; pretty much everyone will have picked up bad driving habits at some point in their lives. Some parents opt for taking an advanced driving course first to help them be better drivers, so that they can pass on those positive driving skills to their offspring.
Preparing for the big day
When you’re both ready for the first driving lesson, it is important to teach your kids the basics of your car (or their car, if they have their own car to learn in). This means going through the controls of the car, and familiarising them with the different components of a car so that they can check they all function correctly.
Once you are both ready to begin, make sure the stereo is turned off, and both of you have seatbelts on. Get them to adjust their mirrors and seat to ensure optimum visibility and comfort, and then you can begin the lesson.
In a hurry to pass?
Some parents feel it is better to get approved driving instructors to teach their children how to drive, so if they are in a hurry to learn how to drive, it might be more beneficial to book some intense driving courses for them once they have mastered the basics of driving in your car.
This gives them the confidence to progress as they will have had previous driving experience (with you at their side) and it will obviously be cheaper too.