February 2018 archive
Raising children comes with sacrifices. One thing you may have overlooked is how you’re going to find home decor that will brighten up your living room but still be appropriate with a school-age kid running in your home. By now you’ve probably realized that clutter is an uncontainable force and mess a constant threat. Despite your best efforts to contain the chaos to the kitchen or the den, your living room, where you’ve painstakingly selected the home decor, is a constant mess of toys, crayons, school supplies, and glitter.
You don’t have to give up your fashion-forward home decor ambitions just because you’re raising children. There are plenty of family-friendly ways to create a chic living room that doesn’t just look like it’s been taken over as a playroom.
Round Coffee Tables – A must-have in any home with young kids, rounded corners on your wood coffee table will help you sleep easy. Sharp corners, glass coffee tables, or metal edges are all things you want to avoid when you’ve got kids. They’re going to get rambunctious. They’re going to try jumping off the couch when you’re not looking. Fortunately, a rounded, solid wood coffee table can help elevate your living room.
Neutral Tones – Gray, greige, and charcoal furniture are very much in style right now. Gray upholstering also has the added advantage of disguising wear and tear. Advances in technology mean engineered textiles look more and more like natural textiles but are considerably more durable.
Movable Seating – Light, portable ottomans and plush poufs that you can rearrange are great for living rooms with kids. You can also create more storage space with an ottoman to cut down on clutter.
Toy Storage Window Seat – Not only are window seats the perfect nook to curl up with a book, they can also double as storage space. Open up the window seat storage to toys and kid stuff to keep it out of the way. You’ll make cleaning up the living room easy with nearby storage.
Sofa Storage – An ideal solution for homes that are tight on space, you can find chic leather sofas with storage space underneath. You know that raising kids requires a lot of stuff and a lot of storage.
Embrace Casual – If you keep losing your battle against chaos, you might try embracing it with a casual, thrown-together look. A light-wood coffee table decorated with coffee table books and plants can help absorb the chaos of toys and school supplies. Add some throw pillows that can be used on multiple pieces of furniture and easily movable chairs, and you’ve embraced the stylish but casual living room.
Don’t forget that besides home decor it’s also up to you to establish boundaries as your kids get older. Establish rules like “no drinks in the living room” or “no coloring on the coffee table.” As long as there’s a space where they can play and create without having to worry about making a mess, you can feel free to make some space of your own. Keep the rules clear and consistent and you can enjoy a stylish living room even with kids around.
The chef’s knife is the single most important tool in the kitchen. It is used in the creation of virtually every dish, from preparing meat to slicing freshly baked bread. Whether you decide to chop, slice or dice vegetables, it can make a noticeable difference to the flavor they add to a meal, and if your technique can have such a marked effect, then so can your tool of choice.
That is why getting the right kitchen knife is so important. When you are creating dishes, the knife is the connection between you and your food, carrying out your minds will on the ingredients on the table in front of you.
Up until recently, a high-quality knife was a costly expense and often the purveyor of only professional cooks, but advances in technology have driven prices down, and even the best knives are now well within the price range of the home chef – you can pick up a high-quality knife for under £40.
With so many different knives out there, buying the right one might seem like a daunting task. Here are four features to consider when purchasing the perfect kitchen knife for you.
A comfortable handle
The single most important factor in choosing a knife is that it has to be comfortable. A good knife will feel light and balanced and fit in your hand when you hold it in a proper pinch grip. Textured handles give more grip which is especially helpful if you like to wash your hands frequently while cooking.
The right weight and length
A heavier knife always used to be equated with quality, but you don’t want a knife that is so heavy you have to put in a real effort to fight against gravity every time you use it. Pick a knife that feels reasonably light in your hand and doesn’t make maneuvering tricky. The blade length is also important. If it is too short, you’ll be leaning into your work, and if it is too long, you’ll be too far away from it.
Make sure it is sharp
The sharper the knife, the better the cut. Part of that sharpness comes down to the blade material which we will come to a minute. Knives will naturally go blunt over time and while sharpening them used to be a costly task involving sending the item off to an expert, there are all kinds of tools on the market these days such as electric knife sharpeners listed by knifeista.com that allow you to do it from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Get the right blade
There are many different metals that are used in the blades of cooking knives. If you want to keep costs down, go for stainless steel which is the cheapest, but as a result, it requires regular sharpening. Carbon steel is more expensive but harder and doesn’t lose its sharpness as quickly while Damascus steel provides a mixture of both, having a carbon core surrounded by layers of stainless. There are also ceramic blades which are ten times harder than carbon, yet so much lighter. The downside to them? They are prone to chipping.
Designing your baby’s nursery is really exciting, especially when it comes to choosing all of the gorgeous furniture pieces that you’re going to include, and you want to make sure you do it right. It can be so easy to go crazy when it comes to the designing stages, buying every cute furniture item you see without really thinking about how practical or necessary it may be. The best thing to do is focus on the essential furniture pieces, and then you can add a few decorative touches to enhance the décor and create the perfect space for your little one.
Investing your money in the right places is important with your child’s nursery, as you want to know that the products you are purchasing are safe, reliable and durable. Starting with your baby’s cot, you need to find a design and style that works for you. There are lots of different cots available, from chic wooden designs with a slide down side, to chunkier designs that have a half-side to prevent your little one from escaping at any time. Look for your favourite design, with the right colour and style to suit the nursery décor to ensure you’re keeping to the décor style you want to achieve. Once you’ve decided on your cot, you can start to look at other items including a wardrobe to keep all of the little clothing hanging ready for use. Wardrobes are great for adding character to the room and maintaining the style that your cot has introduced. Try to keep the furniture pieces similar, whether that’s from the same range or using the same material to keep the décor within the nursery flowing smoothly.
Even though your baby is only going to have small clothes, you’d be surprised just how much room they take up. Investing in some simple storage items such as a chest of drawers and an oak blanket box will help you to keep the nursery clean and tidy, with everything stored away safely. Whether you decide to stock the chest of drawers up with essential nappy changing products, or your blanket box is actually used to keep the teddy bears neat and out of the way, these stylish furniture pieces will help to keep the nursery organised and fresh with no clutter.
Whilst these features may not necessarily be furniture pieces, they work hand in hand with furniture pieces to keep your little ones safe and content. One of the most important things to include in your baby’s nursery is a set of blinds or curtains. Once you put your little one down for a nap mid-afternoon, you want to know they have a dark space to snuggle down and sleep, and blinds or curtains are ideal for this. The last thing you want is the sunshine shining through and interrupting your little one’s nap. Similarly, you may want to look at including a colourful lightshade, a soft rug and a calming mobile to help them drift off to sleep peacefully.
Once you’ve chosen all of your essential furniture pieces, you can look at the traditional touches that most nurseries have today. From a talk oak bookcase with a selection of classic nursery rhymes and stories, to a delicate trinket box on the windowsill and some cute teddy bears sat in the corner, you can create a special space for your baby to grow up and enjoy.
Just because you’ve become parents, doesn’t mean your adventurous streak has diminished — do you find yourself reading your child a bedtime story about far-flung lands and the great outdoors, only to wish you could pack up your bags and leave as a family tomorrow?
A lot of parents would say that while your child is still toddling, that’s the best time to take them on the road; once they’re of the age to go to school, you’re limited to official vacation times, which can make traveling as a family more expensive. As such, you may be thinking about taking your toddler on a family adventure soon.
Why you should travel with your toddler
Little people benefit from travel in all the same ways that adults do; it’s great for their development to explore new places and take in new experiences, especially if you can expose them to cultures and languages they don’t encounter at home. Of course, it’s also advised to try and maintain some of their daily routine, especially if you’re trying to potty train or encourage a new behavior. Attempt to wake them at the same time every day, regardless of where you are on the road, and get them settled in bed at a reasonable time too.
What you’ll need to pack
You may be aghast to discover how much more luggage you’ll need when you’re packing for a toddler too — from toys to bath products and spare clothes, you’ll soon fill up the bags! If your little one is yet to be potty trained, make sure you’ve packed some swim diapers if you’re going anywhere with water. If you’re in the process of potty training, you’ll be relieved to learn there are lots of travel size models available, including fold-up and disposable potties. Check out a parent guide to see which one is best for you and your toddler.
Depending on your child’s temperament, you may decide that taking a road trip is preferential to flying with the family, as such you should look for an adventure that’s closer to your doorstep. If you do opt for a flight, check with your air carrier to see what their policy is on traveling with strollers. Either way, make sure you’ve packed a lot of patience — as well as toys and games to keep the little one entertained!
Do your research, and see what child-friendly activities will be available on your destination. Remember that toddlers will want to move around and be stimulated constantly, so if your ideal vacation involves a lot of relaxation you may need to make some sacrifices! If you’re seeking some peace and tranquility, manage your expectations and make sure you place your child’s favorite toy at the top of the ‘must pack’ list!
There’s no time like the present…
While your child is still too young for formal schooling, you’ve got the freedom to take longer trips, at a time in the year that works for you. So, as long as you plan ahead and pack your bags properly, there should be nothing stopping you traveling with your toddler.
Dogs make wonderful pets and companions, and each and every one of us has a favourite breed that we enjoy the most. For many people, bigger dogs make the best friends: the likes of German Shepherds and Labradors are wonderful family pets, but they do take a lot of looking after!
For others, it’s the smaller breeds that make more sense, especially in homes where there is limited space. Cute, miniature dogs are wonderful to have around the home, and who can resist the glorious cheeky face of a Miniature Schnauzer?
Friendly, charming and a great friend for everyone in the family, these little and lively dogs are a truly wonderful pet. The problem is this: what can you buy as a gift for your Miniature Schnauzer-owning friend? The answer is there are many gift ideas out there – you just have to look a little bit deeper for some ideas!
Let’s have a look at why these lovely dogs are a great choice, and what you can buy as a gift for your friend.
Some Great Gift Ideas
So, you’re looking for gifts for your Miniature Schnauzer-owner friend? There’s plenty of choice, and some very simple ideas among them too. You might think first of all of a photo frame, into which you can put a favourite photo of the dog; this one always goes down well, as pet owners do like to keep pictures of their pets.
Or perhaps you could choose from one of the many examples of fridge magnets – popular with lots of people – and we have seen some excellent miniature schnauzer versions! We also found mugs, a great and practical idea that will certainly be used, plus a great choice of small schnauzer toys for all ages. These are not expensive, are great fun, and will certainly bring a smile to your dog-owning friend’s face.
We found everything from wall plaques to cushions, clocks and calendars, and even keyrings and more small and inexpensive items that would make a great gift for your dog loving friends, and it’s worth looking for the most original ideas – and none of them will break the bank!
If you’re looking for a great tip for buying gifts, check out what your friend already has next time you are at their house. You might see they already have some of the things we have mentioned, so you can choose something different. There are plenty of original gift ideas for dog lovers out there, and you will be able to find something that costs very little and yet will be appreciated by your friend.
Check out the many ideas and reviews on the website we linked to and you’ll find some really great ideas, and all at sensible prices, plus plenty more that may interest your dog-owning friends. Your gift will be one that goes down very well, as everyone knows that for dog owners, the dog is the biggest thing in their life!