Author Archives: Oscar Dyer

More Than One Pet – The Pros And Cons

If you’re thinking about getting a second or even a third pet soon, you may already be weighing up the pros and cons. Having more than one child is a perfectly normal thing to consider. So is having more than one pet any different? There are lots of reasons for and against growing your family this way. Here are some of my thoughts:


Having a second pet means your first pet has a playmate and companion. Let’s face it, we can’t be at home to keep them company all day every day. It could also take the pressure off you having to keep your pet entertained! They will find games to play with each other, and will often enjoy sleeping together all cuddled up. How cute!


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Another pet in the house can also offer you a little more security. There’s another pair of ears ready to listen out for potential intruders or dangers in the home. Two pets together can also keep each other a little more active so they may be less likely to become overweight. Install a pet cam and you may be able to enjoy hours of footage to entertain you as they play together too.

If you have a dog that is prone to bark when you are out, a second dog may help keep them calmer in your absence. And two cats together can offer each other the affection and grooming they so desperately need. If you have two kids, each of them can take care of one of the pets, offering greater opportunities for learning and responsibility.


A second pet doubles the cost of everything. You will need extra food, extra toys, and a second veterinary plan. You’ll need additional flea treatment for cats and dogs. There will be double the vaccinations and twice the treats needed. While you may only be walking them as often as you did before, you will need twice as much attention to where they’re running off to!

There is a chance they just won’t get on with each other. After all, we don’t like everybody we have to spend time with! If they’re not good friends, your home life can become quite unpleasant. You may find they have spats or fights with each other. This could result in breakages of your home items, or even injuries between the pets.


Flickr provided the pic

When you take on another pet, you’ll need to buy new collars, leads, food bowls and beds. Children, of course, can have the hand-me-downs from their older sibling! It’s easy to misjudge how much space you’ll need in the home for another pet too. You may need to make your home bigger as it grows! Perhaps the biggest problem you’ll face at first is getting to know your new pet. Everyone needs time to get used to each other, so it may be a difficult transition.

We all love our pets, and who doesn’t love a cuddle with someone furry? But getting a second pet shouldn’t be a decision you make on a whim. There is a lot to consider. Enjoy your new pet!


Preparing your Toddler for a Sibling


[Image: Unsplash]

We read a lot about preparing for your first child. What equipment will be needed, how to baby-proof the home, how to plan etc. In some respects you might be feeling like a bit of a pro by the time your second child is due. However, there is much less written about preparing for a second child, though this also requires a lot of thinking and planning. Many mums worry about how to prepare their toddler for a new sibling. How will he or she cope with a younger brother or sister? How will you manage to get them both up and dressed each morning? What about meal times?

A Change in Focus

The last time around you were starting from scratch. You didn’t know what baby products to buy, how to prepare your home, how to decorate the nursery or what to expect. This time will be different. You have the knowledge and experience from the last couple of years. You can now change your focus and work out how to incorporate a new little person into the family unit. And if you need a bit of a refresher of preparing for a newborn this article will jog your memory.

Preparing your Toddler

There is no need to tell your toddler straight away. For a toddler, nine months might as well be nine years. Tell them nearer the time when the event will be more immediate. Involve them as much as possible. Ask for their help and involve them in sorting out the nursery or toys.

Enjoy this Time Together

Soon your threesome (or twosome) will be coming to an end. You will have a wonderful addition to the family but the dynamic will change. Make the most of this time together. Celebrate the days when it is just the two or three of you. Plan some special activities you can do as a family.

Prepare in Advance as Much as Possible

This is easier said than done. Try and prepare in advance as much as possible. If you have time, cook and freeze some meals to keep you going for the first few weeks. Accept help. This can be difficult for some people but if there are family and friends around you who are willing and able to help, let them. Listen to these mums talk about their feelings when preparing themselves for their second child.

Bringing the Baby Home

Think carefully about the birth itself and how to handle this with your toddler. When they come to visit you in hospital, remember that they will have missed you. It may be a day or more since they saw you. Make a fuss of them and tell them how much you have missed them.

Try to arrange to take the new baby home together so that you all arrive at the same time.

Include them as much as possible. Allow them to sit with you during feeding. Make sure it is clear to your toddler that there are times just for you and him / her. During these times say openly to the baby that you’re helping your toddler right now.

Above all enjoy these times together. They go so quickly. Cherish the time you have with your toddler and then celebrate the new member of the family when he or she arrives. It can be a challenging time and there will be stresses and strains. But it will also be a beautiful and joyous time. Remember to celebrate that.


Toddler Troubles And How To Make Them Easier

The age of toddlerhood can be the best and worst of times for a parent. On the one hand, you have a cute little person saying and doing the most incredibly funny things. On the other hand, you have a little person who is willful, emotional, clumsy, and noisy. Life’s not easy for either of you at this stage. And to make it even more challenging, this is the time when your baby becomes a little boy or girl.

Growing up suddenly becomes something you can envision for your baby at this age. You might already be imagining what kind of career they could lead. Your baby is about to take an enormous leap into independence, and will suddenly be taking care of themselves more and more. This can be tough for Mothers as they realise they are needed less and less.

It might all start with walking. Those few tentative steps will become high speed running around the park in just a few short weeks. Then they’ll be climbing the slide, and daring to venture ever higher on a climbing frame. There will certainly be a few heart-in-mouth moments for any parent!

Then comes the final goodbye to babyhood. Potty training will be the first step to freeing you of diaper changes forever. It’s one of the biggest milestones of Motherhood! But not all of us are certain our little ones are ready. And figuring out how to get a toddler to sit still and not make a mess is another challenge we have to face. Fortunately, there are lots of helpful guides out there like Potty Training Solved to help.

While your little one may not be dry at night, training pants replace the diapers pretty quickly, and the transition has completed. It’s hard to believe all of this can happen in the space of just a few months. And it will certainly feel like a rollercoaster ride too! So how can you make all these changes happen more smoothly?


Iv22 provided the photography

Preparation for each of them is key. As soon as your little one is standing up, it’s time to encourage those little legs to step forward. Hand holding will soon reduce, and the first unaided steps will lead to thousands more in just a couple of weeks. Doing new tasks over and again makes it easier for your little one to master them. Find opportunities in their everyday activities to encourage a few steps across the room.

Walking as often as possible with a harness for safety will help. Their stamina will build quickly but be prepared to carry them some of the way at first. Eventually, you can say no when you know they can manage the distance.

Once walking is established, it’s time to get familiar with the potty. Talk about it often, especially at changing time. Eventually, your little one will be interested enough to have a go. Perhaps Teddy needs a try first? It may be a long process, but you’ll both get there when you are both ready.

Preparing for these important milestones helps you make the most of each opportunity as it arises. It helps you be ready for those moments when things are about to change forever. Exciting times!


Get More Out Of Your Garage

A garage used to be a kind of afterthought. It was something that would be tacked onto the side of a house. Its uses were functional. It was where you parked the car. If it was bigger perhaps it incorporated a workbench. Tools were stored in it and that was about it. These days garages have become ever more closely linked to the house in more ways than one.



A garage today is virtually another room in your house. There’s a lot you can do to utilize your garage as a family friendly space, as well as using it for many other purposes. So whether you are refurbishing your property or building from scratch, here are some great ideas for getting the most out of your garage.

Thinking about the floor.

At its heart a garage is still the prime space for vehicle or boat storage. So you’ll want your floor surface to be functional and easy to clean. At the same time, as you’ll be using the floor for any number for projects, it will make sense to have a good smooth and level platform. A good self-levelling concrete finish on the floor should be acceptable. Polishing the floor will give you an ultra smooth result. Ideally any garage floor will be at the same level as the house. This will make the transition and moving of objects easier and smoother.

Open up the possibilities

Have a think about how a garage could incorporate other functions. For example it could take on the role of your utility room. Washing machines, sinks and dryers can easily be incorporated into the space. That means you may well be able to free up space inside the house. Other items that work well inside a garage area include freezer and spare fridge options. Again using the garage for this function frees up space inside the kitchen.

Apart from the obvious tool and bench facilities, have you thought about creating a spare room or space for hobbies in the back of the garage? If you have the space it might be practical to erect a stud wall and make a separate room. This space could make an ideal home office, or used for any number of activities.

Due to their functional nature, garages have in the past been sidelined as cold spaces. But there is no reason why a garage could not be insulated and even heated to some degree. Wall insulation simply means erecting a simple timber stud on the inside wall and lining it. As soon as you have created an effective barrier to the outside wall, the area will instantly become warmer.

Storage solutions

As the garage tends to be the leftover area, it can quickly become cluttered and difficult to negotiate. Using clever storage solutions on the ceiling and walls can take a lot of pressure off the area, allowing it to be a more functional space. For instance, both kayak and mountain bikes can be stored effectively on wall racks. These are easy and quick to install.

Getting in and out.

The modern garage also lends itself to a side entrance to the house. Therefore you want to ensure that it is secure. As the garage effectively is seen as a part of the house, it is essential to ensure that it visually integrates with the rest of the building. Stylish and secure garage entrances by Silvelox, are a great compliment to any house and garage design.

Garage doors have come along way from the sparse metal pull up and push down varieties of previous decades. It is now possible to have design incorporated with security. This means that you can have a garage that looks visually stunning as well as offering you security and peace of mind.

As the garage becomes an entrance in its own right, it makes sense to consider having a pedestrian door incorporated into your design. That will make it much more convenient to use. You won’t have to open the entire garage up to have access to the house.

Space above

If you are looking at building a garage then it makes sense to think how you could incorporate any space above it into your design. It might be possible after all, to add another floor and link that area back into the house. That could give you further living and sleeping areas. They could even become separate and self contained accommodation in their own right. You could form a guest unit or even fulfil the romantic idea of a garret above the garage. Perfect for the budding artist in the family.

With a little bit of forethought and planning, it can be possible to turn the idea of a garage around. Whether you are renovating or designing a new build, your garage could offer you a myriad of fascinating possibilities.


Making Your Home Bigger For A Growing Family

As our family grows, we start about moving to a bigger home. A place with a larger garden, more rooms and more space. We think about upscaling and begin the difficult process of choosing a new place to live. But, what if things could be simpler? What if, rather than moving to a bigger place, we made our old home bigger. That’s my advice for you today. Instead of going through the stress of moving, see if you can improve your old home. You might find this a far more enjoyable experience. You’ll be able to craft your home into what you want it to be. So, what are the options for doing this?


The biggest job you can complete when making your home more spacious is an extension that All Professional Remodeling Group, LLC can help you with. Or, you could be adding a new room in your home. You could even be adding a new floor, building on top of your garage. There are numerous possibilities here. You have to decide which one is right for you. The biggest issue about building an extension is to get planning permission. It’s important you get this from your local council before you begin the expansion. If you don’t, you could find yourself breaking the law. This permission usually takes four weeks to two months to be granted. After that, you can move forward with the extension.

Your next step is to decide what you need and want for your extension. For instance, you may need new electricity and water lines. If that’s the case, you will need to hire both an electrician and a plumber. It’s best to get these jobs completed by a professional, even if you are completing the rest of the work by yourself. Also, don’t forget to set a budget for your expansion. These projects can quickly grow out of control.

Attic Conversion


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Of course, if you don’t want the trouble of extending, or you don’t have the room, you can opt for a conversion. One suggestion is to convert the attic into a new bedroom. I suggest you start by cleaning out and getting rid of anything that you are storing in the attic. Once you have done this, you should make sure that the floor is stable is okay to walk on. After that, you can think about how much work needs to be done. Some modern attics are already designed with the possibility as using them for an extra room. Others need a little more work. If you need to raise the ceiling, you might find you have some roofing work that needs doing. Your roof could need a remodel. You can also consider adding other features such as a skylight. Remember, this is going to be someone’s bedroom. You want it to be stunning.

As well as this, when completing a job, you should keep in mind a future sale. While you are not selling right now eventually, you might make the move. A job like this done right can add huge value onto your home.

I hope you have found this information useful. Have fun improving your home.


Follow These Easy Steps Before Renovating Your Bathroom


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Renovating the bathroom can be quite a troubling process indeed. Quite often, the bathroom can be relegated when it comes to decorating the home. But why shouldn’t it get the same level of care and attention when you’re planning your interiors? After all, the bathroom has the rather thankless task of overseeing all your daily habits, so it’s only fair to compensate it, right? Generally speaking, though, it’s also the smallest room in the house. So, finding a way to make it shine can be difficult. Here are some of my ideas to get your bathroom shining.

Space and Storage

Since size is often an issue when it comes to the bathroom, you could be forgiven for just cramming in all of the things you need. Shower, toilet, sink. What else is there? If that’s what you think, you’d be wrong. The bathroom is often the place where we keep some of our most personal belongings. It proudly homes the medicine cabinet and the cleaning products. For that reason, you’re going to have to give some serious thinking to storage solutions.

If you’re not blessed by a spacious, luxury bathroom, you may need to compromise. The shower and bath can be easily combined to save space. The medicine cabinet can hang over the sink. If you do have the room, it’s worth putting a proper storage cabinet in there to house all your supplies. It’s better than having them scattered all around the windowsill. If a lot of space is something you’re graced with, make use of it. Consider putting a vanity unit in there for your personal grooming, though be prepared for the inevitable queue every morning.


Just like any other room in the house, your bathroom shouldn’t go without its share of decoration. Besides, this is the room you’ve set aside for relaxation – make it feel that way. There is a whole host of items you can buy to fully kit out your bathroom. Think heated towel rails, glass soap dishes and toilet roll holders.

It’s probably wise to lay down a bath mat, too, so you don’t drench the floor every time you get out the tub. Water damage can wreak havoc on your flooring, so take the necessary precautions.


While you’re in the habit of doing out your bathroom, you should check out your pipework to make sure there are no problems. With so much plumbing, it’s only natural that eventually you’re going to run into trouble. Consider hiring a leak detection company to make sure everything is in order. You don’t want to leave any problems festering for too long, as water damage can have dramatic repercussions on your home.

The same goes for all plumbing and electrical work. Leave it to the professionals. There are things around the house you should never take care of yourself unless you’re fully qualified. These are two of them.

I hope you learn to give your bathroom the makeover it deserves. Follow these tips and you’ll have a room to be proud of, not just one to take care of your business.

My Guide To Tackling The Cold Weather This Winter



I love my house because I have worked hard at transforming it into an amazing home over the years. Still, no matter how much I try, I can never seem to tackle the annoying problems that always crop up. And, now that winter is approaching, these problems only intensify. There is something about freezing temperatures that make them even more annoying. As you can tell, they can get under my skin! Luckily, I have researched and come up with a few tricks of my own that I am willing to share. The following should help your home in its upcoming winter battle!  

Tighten Up!

The autumn and winter months are the time that you cannot afford any slack in your home. Before you know it, the cold descends and causes havoc. My favourite yet most basic tip is to assess the strong and weak areas. Obviously, the strong areas are fine. But, the weak areas need addressing. I often find that the windows are the main culprits. Cold air comes in through poorly fastened windows and hot air escapes. A slab of double-glazed glass should do the trick if that sounds like a relatable problem.

Keep The Central Heating Turned On

Ah, the central heating is a Godsend when the weather turns frosty. I honestly do not know how I would cope without it! Although there is nothing better than a warm house, heating plays another central role. As any plumbing expert will tell you, metal pipes contract during the winter due to the cold. Then, when they expand again they burst and water seeps everywhere. The heat from the water stops the pipes from shrinking and keeps them frosting over. You don’t have to keep it on all day, just for short bursts during the day.

Start A Draft

By draft, I mean a draft of warm air. Again, this is meant to tackle the pipe situation and stop them from freezing. By opening the door to the attic and roof or keeping the cupboards under the sink ajar, the hot air can get to the pipes. As a result, they can maintain a steady temperature.

Decorate Strategically

The style and tone of your interior design choices can play a big part in heat retention. Certain features and colour schemes are well known for reflecting and absorbing heat. For example, on the inside of your home it is wise to decorate with dark, matte colours during the winter. That way, the heat will not reflect off the surfaces and go to waste. Also, you want absorbing colours on the exterior of your property.

Repair Any Damages

The simplest and easiest method is to repair any obvious damages. Some are not easy to spot like the loss of heat from the windows, doors or roof. Some are that conspicuous you could spot them from space! A gap in the roof or a crack in the window needs repairing ASAP. Otherwise, you will welcome the cold weather in with open arms.

Hopefully, these little tricks will make your winter more comfortable!


My Guide For Helping Your Family Settle Into A New Home

Moving into a new property can be a very exciting time. The whole family will probably help you on the day, but then you’re left to deal with matters yourself. Settling in is often an issue when you have children. They will feel a little scared to find themselves in a new bedroom at night. There are lots of things you can do to make the transition easier. I’ll give you some helpful advice today that should help to improve the situation. All you have to do is use some common sense and try to make the move seem like an enjoyable experience.

Keep the children away on moving day

Young people can often find change rather stressful. With that in mind, you should get someone else to look after them while you relocate. They will only get bored and frustrated if you keep them around. You can welcome your children into their new home once all the boxes have been delivered. Those of you with a little more cash to spend might buy a premium professional service. Some removals companies will even unpack your items and set the rooms up as you request.

Sort their bedrooms first

It doesn’t matter if your living room and kitchen are sorted during the first week of moving into a new property. However, you’ll need to get the kid’s bedrooms sorted as soon as possible. You want them to feel comfortable in familiar surroundings. So, try to keep things the same as they were in your previous home. That way, they will find it easier to fall asleep at night. You can make changes further down the line when you perform alternative renovation work. Until then, you need to ensure your children recognise their bedrooms.

Buy them a new bed

There is nothing quite like falling asleep in a new bed. Experts at John Ryan By Design say the first time you sleep on a new mattress you always get a better night’s sleep. That is very true. So, investing in a new bed frame and mattress for your special little ones could be perfect. The rest of their bedroom will still look the same, and so there is no need to worry. The only difference is they will feel like they’re floating on thin air. Of course, that only lasts for the first few nights while they’re breaking in the new item.


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The only other things you need to worry about relate to meal times. You should try to keep the same routine you used at your last property. Make sure you erect your dining room table straight away, so you can still sit down and eat food together. Routines are important to children because they help them to ignore potentially stressful situations. So long as you can keep their minds active, they shouldn’t get too worked up in your new home. Maybe you should involve them in the process of decorating their rooms? Kids love to be creative and a little more independent. Just make sure you’re happy with pictures of Frozen characters on the walls because that’s what they’ll probably want.

How to Spruce Up the Garden & Outside of Your Home

When people think about how to improve their home, they usually focus on the interiors. But the outside of the home and the garden can be just as important.

Make the Garden a Natural Habitat

The big mistake a lot of people make when they change their garden is that they make it more generic and sterile. Your garden should be a natural environment, full of life. There’s no need to make the lawn look like a carpet or chop down the plants that you don’t like the looks of. You should think about what’s best for attracting new animals and insects to the garden. You can start by adding a good bird box. Then you could think about adding a pond to attract frogs and toads.


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Make Over the Garage

The garage is important to a lot of people. But it’s also one of those places, like the attic or the spare room, that tends to get filled with junk. This isn’t a good thing because it means you can’t make good use of the garage. So, start by going through the junk you have in there and throw away the stuff you don’t want or need. You’ll probably find that most of the stuff in there is pretty useless to you. You could also find a Garage Door Repair company to fix those dents and scrapes that cover the garage door. It’ll certainly improve how it looks from the outside.

Hire a Landscape Gardener

If your lawn is sort of all over the place and not where you want it to be, it could be a good idea to hire a professional landscape gardener. They’ll be able to give the garden a distinct layout that appears more focused and less haphazard. That doesn’t mean you can’t make the garden into a good natural habitat as I outlined above; it simply means it’ll be a natural habitat that also looks good! You could even ask them to incorporate a small area that could be used for growing vegetables.

Paint the Brickwork

The outside of your house is the thing that people will see first, long before they step inside it. And we all know how important and decisive first impressions can be, so it’s important not to have an ugly exterior to your home. If the colour of the paint on the outside of your home is out of date, you should repaint it. This is something you’ll have to do every few years or so anyway. Paint inevitable fades eventually, and it will start to crack and flake as well. That’s not a good look for you home.

Add a Sculpture

Your home and garden doesn’t have to be merely functional. You need some interesting and artistic touches to make it stand out as well. One of the best things to do if you’re looking to add something different is buy a sculpture. They look great in the garden and add something new. It doesn’t have to be something huge or expensive. There are plenty of options, so get out there and explore them.

My Pet Peeves: The Most Annoying Problems Around The Home!

As you may be able to tell by the title, I have a small list of my biggest problems in the home. I’m sharing this with you because no doubt there are people out there that can relate to my issues. So, sit back and enjoy my biggest pet peeves at home!


(Image via pixabay

Creaky Floorboards/Stairs

If you live in a fairly old home, you may be burdened with creaky floorboards/stairs. It may not sound like a big deal, but when your kids are asleep, you want there to be no noise at all. One wrong step on your walk up to bed and a loud creak is all it takes to wake the kids up. Plus, creaky floorboards are amplified times a thousand at night time. When everything else is quiet, a creak can sound like a grand piano crashing down on the floor. What makes it so annoying is that it’s a difficult problem to fix. You’d have to rip up the carpet and change the floorboards, then re-lay the carpet. If you’re remodeling your house, definitely think about getting some new creak-less floorboards in!

Electric Problems

Any problems with the electrics in the home are the bane of my life. It can be very annoying when issues arise because we need electricity for almost everything. Power cuts are the worst. Being stuck in a home with candles for lights, it feels like you’ve been transported back a hundred years. One of my biggest pet peeves is broken lights or blown fuses. If you ever find that you have to change the same light bulb over and over, there’s probably a problem with the light, not the bulb! It’s a good thing there are lots of electric companies around, because I always need their help. Once or twice I’ve flicked a switch at home and then a fuse has blown and everything has just turned off. Thankfully, I’ve had people come in, take a look, and change out my fuse box so, fingers crossed, this shouldn’t be happening again!

No Hot Water

There are few things more annoying then stepping into the shower on a cold morning, only to be confronted with no hot water. Sometimes, this can be down to a water pipe issues on the other side of town that affect everyone. Other times, it can be because someone has been in the shower and used up all the hot water before you. Leaving you shivering away in a cold shower and spending hours curled up in your towel afterwards. I do have another pet peeve that links in here a little bit; people who flush the toilet when I’m showering. When they do this, it takes away the water pressure and the hot water. A double whammy to start off my day, great!


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Uninvited Guests

No, I don’t mean family members that turn up unannounced! I’m talking about animals that invite themselves in and around your home. Mice and squirrels can find their way into your attic and scratch around up there. But, my biggest pet peeve are other people’s cats coming into our garden and doing their business on my lawn! Why? Do you not have litter boxes at home? What’s so special about my lawn?!