Whether you’re thinking of listing your property for sale in the near future, or you’re simply protecting your investment while you live in your home, remodeling your home can increase your property values. Using high-quality, durable materials, creating a visually pleasing and functional space, and paying attention to even the smallest details can increase your home’s value.
Remodel Your Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the highest-traffic areas of your home, and many times, the focal point of your entire interior. When you list your home for sale, and outdated kitchen can make thousands of dollars worth of difference in your home’s asking price and the offers that potential buyers make. Remodeling your kitchen with modern, updated materials will increase your property values as well as the entire aesthetic of your home.
- Replace Your Countertops – worn down countertops can make your kitchen look outdated. Consider replacing your countertops with wood kitchen countertops or extremely durable stone countertops. Keep in mind that it is important to consider the amount of maintenance you are willing to do when remodeling your kitchen. For example, when comparing quartz vs marble countertops, it is important to note that quartz is more durable, while marble is more easily repaired.
- Upgrade Appliances – upgrading your appliances is not only safer for the occupants of the home, modern appliances are very likely more efficient, bringing energy bills down.
- Customize with Color – Consider the options when it comes to solid surface countertop colors, flooring, and backsplashes. Prepare your home for market by recreating the entire aesthetic of your kitchen.
A well-kept, cared for backyard can increase your home’s property values. Upgrading your fence and the components of your backyard can have a significant impact on your home’s value as well as increase the enjoyment of your home. Consider the following when redesigning your backyard:
- Add a Deck – a deck can provide somewhere for you to relax and spend time outside while increasing your property values when you go to sell your home. When adding a deck to your home, consider the quality of the materials. Compare the safety profiles of wood vs composite decking, and keep in mind components like hidden deck fasteners, that create a smoother appearance.
- Upgrade Your Fencing – Durable, high-quality fencing can be a selling point when listing your home on the market. Modernize by replacing your old fence posts with concrete fence posts to increase the integrity of your fence.
- Add Drainage – poor drainage can affect your home’s foundation as well as creates a welcoming environment for termites, mosquitoes, and other pests. Installing proper drainage can maintain your home’s structure as well as your property values.
A clean house is not only appealing and welcoming, but it is also imperative to your health, and sometimes, the actual functionality of your home. When deep cleaning your home, keep in mind that deep cleaning is more than cleaning the inside of your home; deep cleaning also involves the parts you can’t see, as well as components on the exterior of your home.
- Clean Your Air Ducts – in order for your HVAC system to work with complete efficiency, your air ducts must be clean. Prolong the life of your HVAC and your air quality by having your air ducts regularly cleaned.
- Treat Salt Damage If you have a concrete driveway, increase your curb appeal and your property values by treating any salt damage to concrete.
- Address Efflorescence – if you have stone surfaces in your home, such as your walkways, floors, or countertops, chances are you are familiar with efflorescence. Consider an efflorescence treatment to remove the unsightly white splotchy powder forming on the top of your stone surfaces.
Add an Extension
Adding an extension to your home can increase your property values, but your use of space, the quality of materials, and the functionality of your extension play an integral role in how much your property values will increase.
- Be strategic with space – Even the largest homes sometimes don’t have enough closet space, especially if your family is growing. You may want to build a closet to keep your home clean and organized.
- Use Modern Materials – A common trend in modern home design is metal house siding or fiber cement panels. Unlike wood frame construction, these durable materials are visually appealing as well as termite and rot resistant, keeping costly home repairs down.
- Consider an ADU – turn your home into an income generating property as well as add more space by adding an accessory dwelling unit. Whether you turn your garage into a self-contained one bedroom apartment or build a tiny house behind your main home, an ADU can become a rental property, extra space for a growing family, or a guest suite when you have friends and family come to visit.
While the upfront investment of remodeling your home may seem high, your investment will yield high returns as your property values increase, giving you leverage in a seller’s market.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.
Are you looking for new forms of online fun? Perhaps you’re bored with the games you have and want to try something a bit different? It’s always good to attempt a new challenge or fun game, and the digital era has give us so much to choose from.
Online quizzes are great fun, and there are many different puzzle websites out there, but what if we told you there was something very special indeed, a site that offers you truly innovative challenges, puzzles and more?
This is a site where you can enjoy everything from a timed 4 hour challenge to a 24 hour challenge, and there are versions for adults and kids. It’s called the Game Master Network, and we think it is pretty cool! There is something for everyone here, and it’s easy to sign up and join in – if you don’t, you have no idea what you’ll be missing out on!
So, what’s it all about? We took a look at it for you so that you can decide which challenges you want to take or puzzles you like the look of!
What’s it All About?
You’ve seen many different online game formats, but not like this one! Game Master Network features a variety of videos in different categories of games and puzzles, and you can choose which ones you want to try. Do you like the idea of an escape room challenge? You can try one of several on the site, and they are all very impressive and surprisingly well put-together. The visuals are great and you can really get into the feel of the game.
If you prefer to take on a 24-hour spy challenge, they have those too, and they are neatly put together so you can be the spy, and get into the situation in a realistic fashion. There is plenty of choice in term of different puzzles to try and challenges to tackle, and you will never tire of finding something that enchants and entrances you at Game Master Network.
Board Game Challenges
Board games have made a big comeback in recent years, and there are many board game challenges you can try your hand at on Game Master Network. If you’re the sort who gets friends around for a board game night – with food, beer and wine – then you can do it using the network, and if you’re not, you probably want to start! It’s a great place to find exciting new games that you and your mates can play whenever you want.
Fresh challenges are launched all the time, and the people behind the website are clearly passionate about making sure everyone enjoys themselves. It’s easy to join up – you simply register your name and email address and they take it from there – and it’s a great way to spend some of your free time on genuinely taxing challenges. Have a look now and see what you fancy – we reckon you’ll be hooked in no time!
You never imagined it would happen. Yet, here you are today dealing with the fact that you’re divorced. You loved your former spouse, but for whatever reason, things simply didn’t work out. To top it all off you have children together and the separation has taken a toll on them.
You’re trying to hold it together as best you can for your children, but the truth is you’ve suffered a loss. You likely don’t know much about life outside of being a wife and a mother. As a result, your confidence about being a single parent and finding love again is in the toilet.
It’s Time to Take Care of You
As a mother, you’re used to putting the needs of your children before your own. However, failing to take care of yourself after going through a divorce will only drive your confidence and esteem down. Yes, you do need to be there for your kids by spending time with them, developing new routines, and helping them with the transition, but at some point, you have to take care of you. Ask friends and family to support you with the kids right now while you work on yourself.
Rebuild Your Confidence
You question your judgment and likely the last few years of your life. This is all-natural, but after you’ve come to terms with the fact that your marriage has ended life must go on. It’s time to change your mindset by improving the way you think of yourself inside and out.
Accept it For What it Was
The first step to rebuilding your confidence is accepting your divorce for what it was. Though no one gets married with the intention that it will end, sometimes things don’t work out. Look at the lessons that you learned from being married. Hold onto the good times, especially gifts like your children. Most importantly, let go of the negativity because all that pent up energy will only hold you down. Your divorce wasn’t a failure, it was a chapter in your life.
Hang With Friends
Though being alone at times is good for your emotional wellbeing, too much time alone can be detrimental. Your friends can help you remember just how amazing you are. So, take some time to hang with your friends. You don’t have to spend it talking about the divorce either. Instead, do things you guys love that remind you of happy times. Go dancing, have a spa day, go on a weekend trip, just being with your friends again can boost your esteem.
Get in the Gym
A great way to boost your confidence and get a killer revenge body going is to hit the gym. It’s a productive way to blow off some steam and come out feeling energized, healthier, and in good spirits.
Are there things about your body you simply don’t like? Maybe your skin is starting to sag or your breasts never tightened back up after your second or third child? Whatever the case may be, those things can really drag down your confidence. If you have the means to do so and have tried other alternatives in the past, perhaps there are some Beverly Hills cosmetic procedures that could give you the body you’ve always wanted.
Get a New Wardrobe
There’s nothing like a new outfit to make a woman feel confident. Time to ditch the worn-out mom clothes sitting in your closet and trade them in for some more trendy (but still classy) fashions. Have fun finding your personal style with the added bonus that you don’t have to impress anyone but yourself!
Set New Goals
Just because your marriage ended doesn’t mean your life has to. You still have goals and dreams you want to accomplish. While it may take you a bit more time or some adjustments to do this on your own, it is still achievable. Write down the things you want to accomplish, then create small goals to help you get to the bigger picture.
Divorce, whether an amicable split or a violent ending is never easy to go through. It’s the loss of a relationship that at one point you held near and dear to your heart. It can make you doubt everything in life, particularly, yourself. Not to mention, transitioning back into single life – especially when you have children can be draining. Don’t let this moment in time define the rest of your life. Start taking care of yourself and rebuilding your confidence with the advice provided above.
There is nothing better as a parent than watching your newborn learn more about the world and develop new key skills that will remain with them for life. If you are looking to provide your baby with a safe place for your baby to develop, grow and learn, then you need a baby play gym and/or playmat. Beyond that, though there many other great benefits of owning a baby gym or play mat for your child. In the following post, we look at the best reasons why you should invest in one as soon as you can.
They Help Keep Your Child Safe
We’ve already touched upon it, but it’s worth focusing in on the safety that having a good quality baby gym brings. Compared to other toys and rattles that can be choking hazards, baby gyms and mats are designed with the safety of your baby firmly in mind. As well as providing a non-slip surface for them to play on, all the educational accessories and toys are made from incredibly durable materials so will not break easily, despite all the chewing, slobbering and pulling your child might make them endure.
Those toys are also big enough that they aren’t choking hazards.
They Are Very Portable
There may be a lot of travel involved after you’ve given birth, as you go to visit relatives, friends and midwife/nurse appointments. On social visits, it helps to take something that’s a nice comfortable reminder of home, that will keep them safe and entertained. That’s why it’s great that most baby gyms are so portable. They can be easily folded up and put into a special carry bag and taken with you wherever you and your little one go.
They Stimulate The Senses
When children are babies, every bit of their life revolves around their development. Baby gyms are designed and help to stimulate their senses. They are usually made with brightly coloured fabrics with a variety of different textures. Smooth plastic toys, rough and coarse (not too coarse of course) ribbons, plush animals that will appeal to the more tactile youngsters.
Another key accessory that a lot of baby gyms tend to feature is a mirror. This enables your child to see their reflection for the first time. There are also other toys that make sounds when they are moved or pulled.
All of this may seem trivial, but it plays an important role in ensuring their senses are developed properly. Playing with a baby gym can also be used as a way of assessing that they are making the right kind of progress and that there are no developmental issues that need to be addressed by specialists.
Hand to Eye Coordination and Development
Baby gyms, as we’ve noted help with the development of your children. As they feature hanging toys that your children can grapple, grip and pull, this helps with the development of their hand to eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Making a family photo album is one task that most people dread, especially those who do not have the creative juices. There is no reason to be scared! It can be easy, especially if you keep in mind the tips we’ll share in this post.
- Let the Pros Do It
Be honest about your skills. If you are sure that you cannot do it on your own, rely on the pros. Shutterfly is one of the best companies worth checking out if you need help with your photo albums. They have a team of professional and experienced designers who will do everything for you. All that you need is to send the photos that you want to include in the family album.
Alternatively, you can also use Shutterfly if you want to have complete control over how the photos turn out.
- Add Texts
Photo albums can be boring, especially if you just add as many photos as you could. To make it more visually appealing and interesting, we also recommend that you add texts. This can be in the form of quotes related to the photo or texts that narrate the story of what was happening in the photo. This way, it is not just an album but a storybook.
- Print on Fabric
When creating a family photo album, consider alternative materials. Traditionally, people print family pictures on photo paper. If you are looking for a more creative alternative, we suggest that you use photo fabric instead. You can buy one and send it to the printer if they don’t have it. The fabric adds a unique texture to make the photos more beautiful.
- Involve the Kids
Make the photo album more meaningful by allowing the kids to participate. This makes the album more special. Consider it as a scrapbook or as an art project. Aside from the photos, add stamps, notes, and illustrations. Take this as an opportunity for the kids to show off their creativity. After a few years, it is going to trigger nostalgia.
- Mind the Layout
The layout of the photo album is important for aesthetics. See to it that you balance the photos as you lay them out in the album. Each page and spread must have perfectly balanced pictures that will be easy to look at. If the photos are too crowded or if there is a lot of white space, it won’t be as appealing.
- Go Digital
It is undeniable that we are living in a time when print is slowly dying, which is why traditional photo albums are becoming a thing of the past. Consider displaying a digital photo album instead. It is the modern version of a picture frame. You can load and play a slideshow showing a collection of your family photos.
Preserve your family memories through a photo album. Consider our suggestions above to make an album that will bring a smile on your face even after through the years. It is a precious keepsake that you can pass to the next generation members of your family.
People are starting to realize the connection between their lifestyles and their overall well-being. Wanting an improved quality of life has compelled many to take precautions and adopt healthier habits to prevent and/or treat all too common but serious medical issues. As a result, many industries have begun revamping their products and services to appeal to the growing number of health-conscious consumers. This includes the travel industry.
Wellness retreats, though around for a while, have become an increasingly popular platform for resorts and health and holistic professionals to reach their target audience. Though different in function and purpose, the idea of a wellness retreat is to educate participants on various aspects of healthy living that they can easily apply to their daily lives. If you’ve never been on such a retreat, here are a few reasons you should consider going at least once.
Whether you’ve just lost your job, gotten out of a bad relationship, suffered a loss in your family, been diagnosed with a long-term illness, or just finished an alcohol treatment program at one of any specialized clinics for addiction recovery, a wellness retreat can be a fresh start. It’s an opportunity for you to shed the old, let go of the negativity and fill your mind and bodies with positive energy, good nutrition, great company, and much more. After completing the program you’re sure to return to your daily lives feeling renewed.
Get Away From the Norm
It doesn’t matter how much you love your job, your spouse, or your kids, when you live a hectic lifestyle it all becomes stressful at some point. Going to a wellness retreat provides you with the opportunity to get away from the norm. There’s no work, no kids to get ready for school, no house to clean, no bills to worry about. It’s just you, other participants, retreat staff, and the beautiful environment around you.
A Chance to Unplug
The need to stay connected can overwhelm you emotionally and physically without you even realizing it. Constantly checking emails, social media notifications, text messages, and more can cause anything from eyestrain to anxiety and even addiction. Wellness retreats, however, are often held in remote locations where participants are advised to minimize their screen usage. This gives you an easy excuse to let go and relax.
From the very environment, you live in too the types of foods you eat your body is riddled with toxins that, over time, can hurt you physically and mentally. Though the body is designed to detox on its own, it often can’t contend with the amount of junk you’re being exposed to. Many wellness retreats offer an opportunity for participants to detox both the mind and body through proper dieting and meditation. You can regain mental clarity, focus, and productivity while also improving your physical appearance and abilities.
Diet and Nutrition
Our bodies need daily nutrition to function properly and to remain at their best. However, with the types of foods on the market today and hectic lifestyles, most consume more junk than nutrients. Wellness retreats can help you switch paths. With health educators like nutritionists on staff, participants are taught about proper diets and given tips on how to make healthy eating easy at home, in the office, or on the go.
While going on any vacation can be a stress relief, none are as efficient as wellness retreats. During your trip you can partake in stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditation, and spa services like massages.
Here’s a practice that most people take for granted – self-care. Being able to prioritize one’s health, interests, and needs isn’t often possible. Yet, wellness retreats are designed with your needs in mind. From the time you arrive until the time you depart, you’ll be participating in activities and indulging in experiences that help to improve your health from the inside out.
If you’re looking for a fresh start, want to relieve some stress, or just unplug and get away from your daily routines, wellness retreats are designed just for you. From meditation and yoga to diet and nutrition, you can find the perfect program to help you make positive changes in your life.
Toddlers are at a really cute stage of their lives and they should have the hairstyles to match. This is a time when it’s fun to experiment with different styles. There are many styles that will make your toddler look adorable and you can choose a style that you feel suits his personality.
The type of hair products you use for toddlers is important. For example, gel is commonly used on boy’s hair and you need to choose the best baby safe hair gel to ensure safety.
Hair type and texture
When choosing a style for your son, you need to take his hair type and texture into account – straight, wavy, kinky or curly and fine, medium or coarse. This also affects the type of products you will use to style it. For instance, fine hair requires a product that offers good hold. For coarse hair, a product with a moisturizing component is best.
Styles for fine, thin hair
Fine, thin hair is often more difficult to style than thick hair. When dealing with this type of hair, the dapper side part can work wonders and gives your child a neat appearance.
Another style that works well for thin hair is to comb a fringe into an upward spike to draw attention away from the thinness behind it.
A short, spiky hairstyle gives the appearance of thicker hair – even if it’s not. Brush the spikes upwards for an even cuter look.
The best trick with thin, fine hair is to create a focal point. A little Fohawk where you brush the hair up into a spike in the middle on top will work with medium length hair. You will need to use a hair gel to fix the style in place. Let your little boy’s inner rock star out with this style.
Styles for thick, straight hair
A short, spiky cut works well for toddler boys with thick, straight hair. The cut is easy to maintain and you can use gel for a more spiky appearance.
A layered, textured cut is also great for boys with thick, straight hair. Shorter layers on top add volume to hair that falls naturally flat. When styling, brush the hair forward and use a light mousse to define the layers.
For boys with thick hair that falls naturally forward, long choppy layers upfront can look really cool – as long as the hair doesn’t hang down into the face. A short, textured haircut is one of the easiest and most successful cuts for toddlers with thick, straight hair.
Styles for curly, thick hair
Some boys are born for long, crazy hair and that is why the mop-top was invented. Boys with thick, natural waves can also wear a style where the sides are cut shorter and all the curls lie on top. Using a gel or wax for the thick curls on top of the head can give great texture and the appearance isn’t messy because of the shorter hair at the sides.
Boys with natural curls can have a simple haircut that lets the curls shine, whether this is a shorter or a longer style. Thick curly hair can be a hassle but when it is styled correctly, the curls don’t have to be cut off altogether to tame it.
A style for most types
Keeping the hair long on top, shorter at the sides and then slicking it back will work for most types of hair. You will need some extra-hold gel or wax for this style but your little boy will love how cool he looks.
Dating is a complicated process most of the time, but one thing that can make it more complicated is trying to date as a single parent. The addition of a child and their needs and feelings can any potential for romance harder to navigate. That doesn’t mean you are destined to never find love again, though.
In the following post we are going to discuss some great tips that will help you have success when using single parent dating sites and other methods of finding love in these modern times.
There is no point trying to hide the fact you have children from a previous relationship. It’s best, for you, your child and the person you’re interested in, that you get it out in the open as soon as possible. Although there is stigma attached to being a single parent, it is a good way to discover timewasters early on and people will genuinely appreciate the honesty.
Don’t Try to Be Anyone Else
There is a temptation when you are just started dating again to try and be someone you are not. You might do it so you can hide yourself from the other person or because you want to be a people pleaser. However, it won’t ever get you what you want. It’s much better to be the person you really are. For better or worse, that is you. Warts and all and if someone agree to meet you based on that, keep that in mind.
No one said it was going to be easy, but part of the process of finding a new partner and potential soulmate is that it’s enjoyable. You are looking to bring something nice and positive into your life, so don’t let the nerves eat away at you so you can’t find the joy in it.
Don’t Shy Away From Talking About Your Children
Another thing single parents often try to avoid doing is talking about their kids on their formative dates with a person. The thought process behind it is that they are scared they will bore the other person to tears. Remember, though, your children are a big part of your life and if the other person is interested in learning more about you, they need to accept that.
Avoid the Guilt
Guilt is something you are going to face. When you are a single parent, every waking moment, even more so than parents with shared responsibility over children, seems to revolve around them. It can be hard when you first take that time out for yourself. It is essential as a parent that you do that from time to time to unwind and not talk about the kind of thins you discuss with your kids on the daily.
You need to learn as much as you can about the other person, especially if you are going to consider taking them into not just your life, but your kid’s life too. However, not everyone is ready to rush into things or Is ready to open as quickly as you might be.
It’s quite possible that you’ve got maybe one or two bank accounts for your family. Are we right? Generally, this will be a checking account and a savings account. However, it may be time to think of an alternative and more comprehensive, but effective way of handling your family’s income, outgoings and banking with several additional accounts.
When you file your important documentation and paperwork, do you file it away all in one cluttered and messy pile or drawer? It’s likely you don’t, if you take care. You probably keep everything filed like with like and in some sort of order. You can do the same with your finances and although it may seem like overkill it can help to have more than just the standard one or two. In the following post we will discuss some of the bank accounts you should have that you probably didn’t realise you should have. Take these ideas into consideration when you are next looking for accounts from banks near Austin Tx.
Emergency Savings for the Family Account
A good rule of thumb when it comes to savings for your family is that you should contribute 20%of your family income to an emergency savings account. This should be used for exactly what the name suggests – emergencies. We’re talking last resort stuff here. Never use it to pay off debt or any other problems you could, in theory, resolve with other solutions.
Ideally, you want to make sure you have access to at least between 6-months and a year’s worth of money to live off if the proverbial hits the fan.
Family Saving Account for Non-Emergencies
Look at this account as a sort of holding tank. This is a savings account for your family you can use whenever you want or need to. You should aim to have at least 3-months of money in there that will support your family in the event of a slight and short-term emergency or crisis. You should be looking to use it for saving those pre-payment funds for things like new furniture for your home, repairs, vacations, new cars, down payment on house, weddings etc etc.
Checking Account for the Family Income
You should have a main checking account that acts as a sort of headquarters for your family’s finances. This is where all your income should be directed to first. From here it can then be transferred into the relevant accounts. It is also the place where all your family’s bills will be paid, and you need to make sure the money doesn’t stay in there fore too long. Setting up automatic transfers is a good idea, or you would be more likely to spend it (if you can access it, you will spend it).
Separate Husband and Wife Checking Accounts
Although it may seem a little old fashioned, this is a great way to create responsibility and accountability for each parent. By having a checking account with a monthly budget, there is a spending limit for each partner, so that no-one is dipping into the family’s account for their own stuff.
We all love giving gifts almost as much as we love receiving them. There is an amazing joy that comes from choosing something for someone you love, knowing they are going to really like it and seeing their face when they do. However, it’s not always easy. This is something we can all attest to. There are always those people in our lives…whether they are relatives, close or distant or close friends and acquaintances.
It can turn the whole lovely experience of buying for those important people in your life a lot more stressful. Especially if they are the type of people who really seem to have everything. If you are in a bind though, we may have a great idea in the form of matching clothing.
A Great Gift To Highlight a Great Relationship
Matching clothes are a great way to highlight a strong relationship between members of the same family. You can get lots of different options for different people and different relationships. Got and uncle or aunt who has a close relationship with their niece or nephew? You could bring attention to their special relationship with t-shirts that have their title on two halves of the same love heart. So that when they are together it makes a complete heart.
Very cute and very appealing to family members who have a deep affection for one another and a close bond.
T-Shirts and Clothing With Humour
If that sounds way too sappy, you could instead opt for something that includes a humorous sentiment. Without going too far in the other end of the spectrum, it still encapsulates the strong relationship, but with more of a funny side to it. For instance, there are matching clothes for a mother and daughter. With the mom’s version saying, ‘Mother of a Princess’ and the daughter equivalent with ‘Daughter of a Queen’ emblazoned on it.
Other fun options would be to have t-shirts for children, whether it’s nieces, nephews, sons or daughters that say humorous statements like ‘Don’t make me call my (insert family member title)’
Even Couples Are Catered For
It’s not just children and their adult relatives who are catered for with these fun matching clothes gifts. Couples are catered for too with matching t-shirts like the ones that say ‘Hubby’ and ‘Wifey’ on the front. Although they don’t always have to wear them together at the same time, we must admit it does look rather awesome and more than a bit adorable when they do.
Don’t forget the Family Pet
You can even get funny dog and cat-specific clothing these days as great gifts for the animal lovers in your life.
The great thing about buying clothes as a gift for people is that not only do, they convey a loving and positive sentiment, but they are also incredibly practical too. We all need clothes and one that has been chosen specifically that pertains specifically to a person can make a bigger impact. We certainly can never have enough t-shirts and other pieces of clothing. If this sounds like a good idea for the next gifts you need to buy, see here.