Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Leading A Healthy Lifestyle: Its Not Just About Eating A Well-Balanced Diet



When someone says the words: “I’m going to make a real effort to be healthier this year”, your mind usually jumps to eating a healthier diet, and spending countless hours in the gym trying to achieve that infamous perfect body. However, a healthy lifestyle goes a lot further than the aesthetics on the outside and is a lot more about what is going on internally. Of course, eating a well-balanced diet will ensure you feel energised, and prevent any cholesterol and blood pressure issues, but there are plenty of other things to consider too. Here is a gentle reminder of a few things that may have fallen by the wayside due to a busy lifestyle getting in the way. 


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Go For A Check-Up Regularly
Even though paying a regular visit to your GP is essential to check your blood pressure, and have a blood test to check everything is in working order is advisable, there are a few other check-ups that should be pencilled in your date book this year. If you can’t remember the last time you sat in a dentist’s chair - either through fear or never making the time - you may want to place an appointment at your nearest Family 1st Dentist or local private dental practice, at the top of your priority list. It's recommended you see a dentist every six months and even though you have to pay for each appointment and a deep clean, it could save you money in the long run. It is better to pay out small amounts to help keep your teeth healthy, than having to pay out a hefty amount when it comes to having a decayed tooth or gum disease. You may also want to book an opticians appointment while you are sorting your date book out too, as they are recommended every one to two years. Even though you may not wear glasses, it is important to have your eye health checked regularly as it can show early signs of diabetes and other underlying health problems. Many opticians also offer a hearing test, which is recommended annually, as it is harder to recognise symptoms of hearing loss in comparison to a toothache or eye strain.

Mental Health
You may have struggled in your past, be struggling at the moment or have never been affected by mental health problems - if the latter is true, it essential to know the symptoms of suffering. If the former is true, you will already be aware of the symptoms and the importance of asking for or seeking help. If you find yourself unable to get out of bed in the morning, not wanting to take care of yourself or eat, not wanting to leave the house or talk to your loved ones, experiencing feelings of hopelessness and isolation, or thoughts about hurting yourself or suicide, it is crucial you talk to someone about it. That can be someone you trust - a family member, friend, or colleague, or it can be an anonymous phone call to a help-line. You are not alone in how you are feeling, and you will get through this period in your life and learn how to deal with your anxiety and depression if it is ongoing. Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of - in fact, it is admirable you have the courage to talk to someone, and have taken the first step in starting to feel like yourself again.

Taking Time Out For You
If you struggle to say no to every weekend and evening plan that comes your way - whether it's a playdate with your children or coffee with your work colleagues, it can have a huge toll on your overall wellbeing. If you cannot remember the last time you curled up on the sofa to under a blanket or when you took a Disney day with your family, or lost yourself in a good book in a hot bubble bath - it may be time you took a look at your social calendar. Taking the time to relax and focus on yourself will not only help to reduce your stress levels, but it can also help to maximize your productivity. Having some me time or a pamper evening to look forward to after a long hard work week can be the motivation you need to keep going. Even if your perfect timeout is a quick workout  session - it is still taking the time to do something that is solely for your own benefit. It can give you important reflection time, maximizing your happiness as you have time to focus on all the good things you have going on in your life - rather than punishing yourself for taking longer than you thought to achieve a certain goal. Even though this suggested timeout may seem counterproductive, it can actually help you to become more focused and prioritize goals to achieve them quicker.

Leading a healthy lifestyle can become overwhelming from time to time, as it takes a lot of commitment and perseverance to prioritize your health over anything else. Evaluating which area in your health is lacking and putting some time aside to focus on that area, will work wonders for you and your health.

Thinking of Moving? What Have You Forgotten To Check?



Image Credit: Pexels

When moving house, there are a lot of things you need to take into consideration. You need to find a home that you like, for the budget that you have and then work out how to transport all of your things to this new home. However, before you put an offer down on a house, there might be a few things that you have forgotten. Here are a few.

Are You Happy With The Property?
This is so important. Are you happy with the property? Are you? If you are not 100% happy, what is it that makes this house loose some of it's luster in your eyes? If you feel like you are settling for something that you aren’t happy with, then you need work out why that is. You might have made a compromise with your partner as it is their idea of the perfect home. Or you might be rushing because buying a house is a long drawn out process that can take a lot of time and effort. If it is the latter, then you need to assess whether you are going to be fine with that happening. Can you see yourself living in this house in 10-15 years time? If not, then this might not be the house for you. You shouldn’t feel like you need to live somewhere you don’t want to because of factors like pressure to buy, a cheap deal or any thing else that might come into play. You should buy the house that you love and that you can imagine living in for years to come.

The Local Area
One of the things that people often forget to do when buying a house is to explore the local area. You need to see what is around, who are the people that live here and how you will get along in this new area. This is because as much as you are going to live in your new house, you are also going to live and probably work in this area as well. This means checking out local schools, shops, entertainment and events. If anything isn’t to your liking, you need to decide whether you can live with or without it and how it impacts whether you want to buy the house you were looking at. A good idea is to speak to your neighbors and try to get a feel for what it is like to live in the area and what their opinions are. You don’t need to take them at face value, and you can form your own opinions, but more information is always better.

Add Up The Cost of Hidden Charges
There are a surprising number of hidden charges when buying a house. You need to factor in more than just the cost of buying the house or putting down a deposit. You also need to calculate how much moving costs will be, house valuation, legal processes, survey and a slew of other things that you might not have thought about. If any of these end up pushing your budget beyond the realms of possibility, then you want to know before you start down the path of buying the house. All of this doesn’t take into consideration any home repairs or improvements that you will need or want to do to the home in order to make it completely yours. Don’t be caught by hidden charges.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Moving? Check Out The 4 Ps Of Success

Moving can be a stressful situation. There are endless to-do lists, tears, tantrums and moments where you feel like you should just stay where you are to avoid all the stress. If these behaviors sound familiar, then perhaps you didn’t have the four Ps up your sleeve. Not to be confused with marketing - these four Ps could actually help make moving a far simpler process that has you sailing into your new home with a smile.


Image: Pxhere

Read on and learn the secrets to stress-free moving.

Preparation
“By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.” These are wise words from Founding Father Benjamin Franklin. While he may not have been talking about moving to a new home here, it’s certainly a phrase that fits the bill. It’s good to start your moving preparations as far in advance as you can. Work backwards from moving day to establish when all of the essentials need to be done, such as booking the movers, getting the house cleaned and when unwanted items need to go. Make lists, set up a schedule and stay on task. You’ll be glad you started planning well in advance by the time the big day arrives.

Being prepared will save you a lot of headaches, including finding ways to avoid losing money when moving. Get yourself a notepad and start writing down everything that needs to be done ahead of moving day.

Packing
Packing (and the subsequent unpacking) is one of the least favored parts of moving to a new home. If you plan on doing everything yourself, make sure that you have enough packing materials to see you through. Alternatively, hiring a company to pack and move your things can save you a lot of time and stress. A professional moving company like Jersey Shore Moving Storage can take the burden of packing off your shoulders so that you can focus on getting your new home ready.
Pitching In
Even if you are the self-elected project manager of your move, it will go a lot smoother if all of the family are involved. Even small children can pack up their toys and games, helping to make things less stressful for you. Assign everyone their own task and give them ownership of it, checking in now and then to make sure it’s all in hand. You’re all in this together, so you all need to do your fair share.
Positivity
It doesn’t do any good to fear the worst, so maintaining a positive outlook throughout your move will instantly make things cheerier and less stressful. If something isn’t going to plan, laugh about it. Find ways to stay positive during a move that will help keep you and your family going, even when it’s getting too much. Whenever the moving process gets you down, think of the exciting things that are to come instead. Play cheerful music and plan breaks to have a snack or play a quick game.

Moving doesn’t have to be the nightmare that you envisage it to be. Make sure you’ve got your four Ps covered, and you’ll be well-prepared to start the next exciting chapter of your life. Remember that the pain is temporary, and you’ll forget all about the trauma once you’re settled in your lovely new home.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Is Your Older Dog Really Getting the Care That They Need?

If you have an older dog then you will understand more than anyone how important it is for you to look after them in their old age. You need to ensure that they are getting all of the help and support they need and you also need to make sure that you are looking after their general health as well.

A Protected Living Environment
As your dog ages, you may find that they can’t find their way around the house and you may also find that they need to take shelter from various hazards that are around the home. This could mean that you tidy up any areas they are allowed in and you will also want to make sure that nothing is left out in their pathway.  Older dogs tend to have poor eyesight and hearing, and with this it can be hard for them to understand their own environment. If you know that your older dog is having troubles with their eyesight then try and keep the living room layout the same. Don’t change the sofas around or the tables if you know that your dog uses them to navigate around the home, as this will help them to feel comfortable.

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Access to Fresh Water at All Times
Making water available to your dog at all times is very important if you want them to maintain a high standard of health and energy. When you have an older dog, you may find that they forget where their food and water bowls are and you may even find that they don’t drink at all. If you notice that your dog is not drinking much, then you need to encourage them to drink so that they can stay hydrated throughout the day. This is especially the case if you take them out for long walks.

High-Quality Diet
Overweight humans can experience a huge range of serious health problems. The same concept applies to dogs. When you own a dog, you have to make sure that you follow all of the dietary requirements made to you by your vet. This is because the information that they give you will be based on the size of your dog, the level of activity that they have and even their breed as well. It’s also a good idea for you to provide them with healthy treats from time to time as well, as opposed to scraps. If you are continually feeding your dog scraps then this will only contribute to obesity and it may also cause them long-term damage as well.

Vet Checks
Your dog may hate the vet, but at the end of the day it is their job to make sure that your pet is as healthy as possible. Your vet can provide you with all of the information needed to understand your pet’s vaccination schedule and they can also help you to know whether or not they need to be dewormed. Another huge benefit of taking your pet to the vet is that they can provide flea treatment for your pet while also taking care of any parasites that may be living in their skin. Ultimately, your vet isn’t just there to help your dog when they are sick and injured because they are also there to help you with their general health as well.

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Arthritis
All dogs can be subject to arthritis, but it is much more common in older dogs. Turmeric for dogs is a great way for you to put an end to this because it has plenty of anti-inflammatory properties. It works wonders if you know that your dog has very stiff joints and it is also great if they struggle to go out on walks because of their condition. You may be able to talk to your vet about this because in some instances it may not be suitable for them because of another health condition. Either way, your vet should be able to give you all of the help and support you need with this so you know that you won’t have any problems at all there.

Exercise and Staying Healthy
It’s very important that you give your dog plenty of exercise. You have to make sure that they stay fit and you also have to make sure that your dog is getting out of the house often enough as well. If you don’t then this could cause serious problems for your pet and you may even find that they can’t enjoy the activities they used to love doing. By giving your dog a level of fitness, even if it isn’t high, you can keep them much healthier and happier. It may get to the stage where your dog doesn’t want to exercise and this is completely normal, but it does help to encourage them to some extent while also giving them the chance to play in the house.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-animals-beautiful-daylight-275717/

Dental Care
Your dog can’t brush their own teeth and there are a lot of breeds out there who are very prone to gum disease. This can have serious effects on their health and it can also cause a number of other problems for them as well. Gum disease can even go on to cause infections in the organs, and this can include the heart valves. Premature tooth loss is also an issue in dogs, so if you want to keep your dog’s teeth clean then you need to make sure that you give them a diet of dry food or give them plenty of dog treats that double up as dental sticks.

Clipping Nails and Grooming
Even as your dog ages and slows down, you still need to clip their nails and groom them regularly. Overgrown nails can make it very difficult for them to walk and can actually cause pain. Their nails will also be much more prone to breaking if they are not trimmed regularly. Their coats will still need groomed just as often as before.
 
Take time to take care of your aging pet.

Hygge Your 2018



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Hygge is a Danish principle and way of living which is all about being cosy and homey. The idea behind it is to make the most of being at home in the house, spending time with the family, and simply being content.

It is a principle which is spreading like wildfire across the world and one which we should all try to incorporate into our every day lives for the better. Here is how you can add some hygge to your life this year.

1. Candles
Lighting is the first major part of living a hygge lifestyle. The people who practice the hygge lifestyle every day believe that the lighting you have in the home affects the way you think and feel. Natural light is preferred which is why candles are a large part of this cosy culture.

Candles can be used in any season, not just the colder months, and it is always good to have some plain white candles or tea lights in your home. In the winter, the Danes burn candles all day to invoke that feeling of coziness and warmth in their homes, and in the summer they light them as the sun sets and the homes are shrouded in darkness. The reason candles are such a big thing is that they provide natural, warm and soft light. So get yourself some candles this weekend and enjoy the feeling of living in natural light in the evenings.

2. Invite Friends and Family
Hygge is all about being homey, and being homey ultimately involves being surrounded by the people we love. Invite your family and friends over for a meal one night and spend the evening talking, eating great food and sitting by the fire. Leave your mobile devices in another room too so that you can all enjoy each others company uninterrupted!

3. Go for a Long Walk
As we said, a big part of living a hygge lifestyle is being present in the moment and enjoying life as it comes. This is why many love to enjoy going for long walks in the countryside or on the beach. It is a perfect time to think, talk and enjoy the company of your companion.

4. Have Some Quiet Time
A big thing in Hygge is cosiness, and being cosy in our own homes can mean a number of different things. It could be that you sit down with a good book and a blanket at the end of the night, or maybe you all watch a movie as a family. Enjoy your relaxing time at home and do something that makes you happy.

5. Make your Home Hygge
Make the time to detox your bedroom, clear out things you don’t need and spruce up the space you live in. Danes value their homes and the time they spend living in them, which is why it is important to make that bit of extra effort with your home. Make sure there are plenty of house plants, candles and simple furniture in your home to make it feel homey and uncluttered.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Your Home Could Be A Health Hazard- Take These Steps to Put it Right!

You might think that your home is a place of comfort and protection against the world- but actually the average home can be something of a death trap! It’s no secret that more accidents happen at home than anywhere else- that’s at work, in public and on the roads combined! Our homes can also be the source of many serious health issues, for this reason it’s important not to get too complacent and do what you can do make your property as safe as possible. And the start of a new year, what better time to go about it! Here’s how you can keep yourself and your family as safe as possible at home.



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Be Aware of Slipping, Tripping and Falling
There’s a reason why slipping, tripping and falling feature so heavily in any employer’s health and safety training. These are some of the most common accidents, the same applies to the home too. Wet floors after mopping can be a slipping hazard, and loose carpet or a mess on the floor can cause serious trips. This can lead to major accidents such as falling down stairs, hitting your head, pulling muscles or breaking bones. In the elderly this is particularly dangerous, older adults tend to have weaker bones and things like hip fractures can cause sever problems.  This can often cause permanent problems.  Make sure carpets and floor coverings are properly secured, and floors and walkways should be clear of messes, shoes, kids toys, anything that could cause someone to trip over them. Create a routine when you come home where shoes, coats, bags and umbrellas are all put away properly in a cupboard rather than being left out.

Get Rid of Black Mold
One of the biggest health hazards at home is the presence of black mould. It develops quickly especially in the colder months. When walls and windows are cold from outside then warm air and moisture from inside (cooking, baths, even just breathing) touches it you’re left with wet surfaces which is the perfect condition for mold. This stuff can grow behind furniture so you might not even be aware of it until you pull things like beds and wardrobes back. But it releases spores which can cause respiratory problems, these are bad enough for the average person but anyone who is vulnerable due to their health, medical conditions or allergies can really suffer. Have an extractor fan installed in kitchens and bathrooms to remove most of the steam. Get into the habit of regularly opening windows to air out the house- even on cold days. It’s so worth it to avoid the build up of mold, plus your home will generally feel fresher too. If you already have mold growing, use an antifungal cleaner- you can find these in most DIY stores. Next time you redecorate, use anti mold paint in the rooms that are worst hit to prevent it completely.

Tell Pests to Bug Off
Not only are pests creepy and unpleasant to be around, but they can also pose a real issue to health. Rodents can spread diseases like hantavirus that can be fatal to humans, and the urine and feces of both rodents and insects can cause respiratory issues too. Pests can affect any home, but keeping your place clean can help you notice the signs of infestation early and take action before it becomes too expensive. Keep food covered at all times, remove crumbs and residue from floors and surfaces and store the items in your pantry in glass jars. Having things like flour, grains, sugar, cereals, herbs and spices on hand is useful as a home cook, but these can be a feast for pests. If you store them in glass (use a label maker so you don’t forget what anything is) there’s no way pests can get inside, and everything will stay fresher for longer. Keep doors and windows shut on warm days when a lot of pests will be around, or you could buy a curtain designed to let the air into your home through the door but keep insects and pests out.

Invest in Fire Protection
Fire is one of the most dangerous and damaging things to happen to a home. A fire could quite literally destroy everything, including the lives of your loved ones so it’s crucial to protect against it. Smoke alarms on every floor are a given- make sure you’re regularly checking the battery. Go a step further by purchasing a number of fire extinguishers, make sure to check what each should be used for. For example, you should have a fire blanket in the kitchen since this will extinguish things like pan fires- where foam or water extinguishers will make it worse. Work out the risks in each room, and select the right extinguisher to combat it if a fire were to break out. Your chimney and fireplace should be scoped out by a professional such as Capitol Chimney to make sure there’s no debris or dangerous combustible deposits that could start a fire. Electrical problems are one of the leading causes of fires in the home, if you’re in an older house or somewhere the wiring hasn’t been looked at in a while, it’s worth calling out a professional. Some areas (or the entire thing) might need rewiring to bring it up to current safety standards.

Check Over Power Tools
Another way people can get seriously hurt at home is using power tools. Common sense is essential here, if you don’t have the skills or experience to manage these kinds of things then you’re much better calling a professional company to do the job. Follow safety precautions such as using eye and ear protection where necessary, and give all tools a regular check over. The cord should be free of damage, and tools should be stored somewhere they won’t get damp or potentially damaged. That way you reduce your chances of getting injured due to a power tool malfunctioning.


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What steps have you taken to ensure your house stays as safe and healthy as possible?

Friday, January 5, 2018

January Swago Promotion!



The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts during their January "Swago" promotion starting Monday, January 8th at 9am PT and running until Monday, January 15th! Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:  
  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!
     
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
     
  • You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, January 15th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
     
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely. 
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you'll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, January 15th to use all your spins.  

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.   

Click here right now and click "Join" to get started! If you don't already have a Swagbucks account, you'll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of January, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Kickstart Your Healthy Life With These 3 Tips

Treat yourself
When it comes to ensuring your wellbeing, nothing is too much effort. It’s not like you’re going to work for nothing, and that effort has gone to waste, as it goes straight to your health! You’ll find that once you get yourself on the track you’ll be feeling both physically and mentally better. It’s scientifically proven that a healthy body can help with a healthy mind, so why not give it a try? You can really only feel better, satisfaction is guaranteed!



Getting motivated
It can be quite difficult to get yourself into a schedule without any other motivation, as it’s not like you’re going to be letting anyone down; well, except yourself. First off, the way you see yourself has a lot to do with your determination, so you should learn some self-respect! It can take a lot of work, and you have to be willing to do that for you. If you find it hard to get your own motivation, you can try relying on other people at the start to help encourage you. There are many great speeches and videos out there that show you what other people have accomplished and can inspire you to accomplish your own goals. Something to get the body going and the blood pumping, just make sure you find a way to keep that going so you don’t crash!


Health Checks
While it might not be anything of concern, you should always get yourself checked out by a doctor when things aren’t quite right. Obviously, if you know why you’re having sudden aches and pains then there’s no need to have it explained, but what if they’re sudden? It’s important to have these checked just to make sure there’s not a serious problem. You might want to book yourself in with someone working in cardiology, or other medical professions to make sure if you do have something, then it’s caught early on. The quicker you find the problem, the more they can do for you. That’s not to say that random symptoms are definitely serious, as a lot of the time they’re caused by something minor that you wouldn’t have taken note of.

Start a New Diet
There’s no better way to fight off your temptations than with a new and healthy diet. You’ll find that if you’re used to eating what you want and when you want, fighting that temptation off can be very difficult. It’s important you don’t give in because when it rains, it pours. A diet is something you should be extra strict with, as once you start allowing yourself little treats here and there, you may find that you slowly work your way back out of it.  Plan for the times you are going to have treats rather than just randomly breaking your diet.  If you can be strict at the beginning, then it is easier to stay on the diet.

It can take a lot of willpower to bring yourself into a healthy lifestyle, but you have to find ways to stay motivated. If you lack in willpower, that motivation is likely the only thing that’s keeping you going, so find a source and cling to it! Whether it’s listening to other people’s stories, spending time with people who inspire you or thinking about your future! Never forget who you’re doing this for, and make sure to remind yourself why you’re important.

Taking The Bore Out Of Your Chores



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It’s very rare to find someone with a passion for housework, gardening, or the other chores you’ll find around a modern home. Instead, these sorts of jobs are often some of the lowest on the list of things you’d like to be doing, but highest on the list of things which have to be done. Of course, though, it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right time and effort, it should be nice and easy to turn your chores from boring into something you don’t even think about, and this post is here to help you out. It will be exploring some of the best ways to achieve this sort of goal, while also giving you some ideas to try for yourself.

Make A Game
Like most creatures, humans like to play and will thrive when rewarded for their work. Of course, you don’t have to give yourself treats for doing the cleaning, but you could find some ways to make the job itself more fun. By giving yourself targets, like fastest mopping time or shiniest windows, you’ll motivate yourself without even realising it. As time goes on, you will be able to give yourself more and more challenges, eventually making all of your jobs into their own little games. This sort of approach may seem a little childish, but the results will speak for themselves.  Not to mention it works great when your children are helping with chores as you can challenge them to see who has the fastest time.  Maybe you could keep a chart for them.

Share The Load
With the price of modern housing, it’s quite unlikely that you live by yourself. This means that there will be other people around with the power to help you with the household chores, and you can enlist their help to make it a lot easier for yourself. The best way to do this will be through a strict rotation chart which lets everyone know exactly what they will have to do. Of course, you can’t expect the kids to do the same amount as the adults, but they can still do a little bit to help prevent the rising tide you’re having to deal with.

Having Someone Else Do It
Thankfully, even if you hate all of this work, there are still ways to make it easier for you, and this final one should be able to cover everything. If you want to move, but don’t want to deal with the stress, a moving company should be enough to take things out of your hands. Likewise, if your garden is starting to look bad, you could consider hiring someone to come and take care of it for you. Nowadays, more and more people are charging fair rates for this sort of work, and this is only making it easier to let someone else do the hard work.  Often young teens are looking for a way to make money, so consider hiring a neighbors child.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working towards making your chores more fun. A lot of people struggle to keep this part of life under control, especially as life is getting busy and children are hitting the scene. Of course, though, with the right effort, you should be able to make each chore disappear.

Wanting More Comfort From Your Home?

Comfort is Everything in a Home
I am sure you are aware of how annoying small issues can be when it comes to living in comfort in your home.  The small things are often the most annoying, because we let them go rather than do something about it. Something as simple a cold draft can create an unwelcoming atmosphere, and if you want to achieve a warm and comforting home, then that’s something you should seek to fix!

Invest in your home
When it comes to your living space, there’s no reason to shy away from spending money on improving it. It’s somewhere you’re going to be spending a lot of your time, which can have quite a significant effect on your mood. Having a home you can be happy with, and feel that it’s inviting can really change how you feel when you are there, you just have to splash a bit of money on it first. It doesn’t have to be a large amount either, as there are inexpensive changes you can make that will make a difference in the overall tone, you just have to know where to start. For some people, making changes to the color of the paint and the wallpaper is the answer, whereas some might need a complete overhaul of their furniture and structure. It can be hard to get inspiration at first, but if you took the time to look into what others have done, then you might spark some ideas of your own.


(Source: Pexels)

Problem-solving
Sit down with a pen and paper and write down any issues you can think of that need fixed in your home, big or small.  Then figure out the best ways to go about fixing the issues.  If it is something that you can fix/repair plan on purchasing what you need and set aside the time to fix it.  If it is something more technical or that requires training to repair, see if you have a friend with the necessary skills and perhaps you can trade work for each other.  When it comes to areas like weatherproofing your home, especially if you already have leaks, it might be best to seek out services like roofing contractors to ensure your house is safe from heavy rains and winds. Make an effort to prevent an even bigger inconvenience, as you really cannot predict the weather.

Giving yourself a comfy and safe environment can be a huge relief when that’s something you need, no more dreading going back to your cold and unwelcoming house, and no more trouble falling asleep on that hard mattress or listening to a leak drip under your sink. Your very own living space is a luxury that everyone deserves, and you should try to keep it as nice and comfortable as you can. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Where Can You Gain Inspiration For Your Home’s Interior Design Upgrades?

With a new year upon us, there’s never been a better time to think about the home and how you can make it an even happier environment in 2018 and beyond. Before putting those plans into practice, though, your first job is to gain a vision of what you wish the property to look like.

There are several useful places which can provide this inspiration. Here are some of the best options at your disposal.


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TV & Media
Home improvements are big business. As such, they are a hot topic for TV shows, magazine articles, and general media content. This makes them the perfect resource to pick up ideas on the latest trends and styles.

While some sources will tell you solely about things you can buy, there are plenty of guides available too. These ideas can be very useful when trying to improve your DIY game. After all, inspiration isn’t just about finding items with the right appearance. Financial responsibility and making your money work harder is equally vital.
Of course, it’s important to stamp your personality on those products too. Still, there’s no doubt that the media is a great starting point when formulating your ideas. Ultimately, there is a reason why those items have become so popular.

Other Homes
Most people will visit showrooms and interior design outlets during their planning stages. This is one of the best ways to gain insight into the products that are currently available, as well as the pricing. But your ventures shouldn't end there.
In truth, you should also want to see items in person. One of the best ways to do this is by booking property viewings in the local area. As explained by The Balance, you needn’t even use an agent. This means that you won’t even need to waste anybody’s time. If moving is a possibility at some stage, these experiences are a positive thing.

Try to choose properties with similar dimensions to yours for greater results. Meanwhile, looking at the photographs on local listings can be useful too. Seeing ideas in a practical environment rather than a store offers a far fairer reflection.

On Vacation
The thought of decorating and upgrading the home can be quite daunting, and there will be some stressful moments. Getting away to recharge the batteries could be very rewarding on an emotional level. However, it could also aid your hunt for ideas.
Hotels tend to embrace modern and stylish touches. Staying at places like the Park City Marriott gives you a chance to gain inspiration while creating magical memories on a short break. Whether it’s picking up ideas on color schemes or feature items, bringing those vibes into the home can only work wonders. Besides, nobody needs an excuse for a short vacation.

On a separate note, the visit offers a chance to pick up decorative souvenirs that will brighten the home while adding sentimental value. Once you return, you’ll also be refreshed and ready to complete those transformations.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Sign Up with SwagBucks in January Receive $3 Bonus!

Looking for a way to rebuild your finances after the holidays? 

If you haven't tried Swagbucks before, you can get a bonus $3 for signing up as my referral during January. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.  

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a $3 bonus! Here's how:  

1. Sign up using this link 

2. Earn 300 SB total before 2/1/18. You'll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!  

3. If you want even more bonuses, you'll get a $10 (1000 SB rebate) bonus for making your first shop purchase! That's in addition to the SB you earn for every dollar you spend.   

That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned over 7000 Swagbucks over the holidays and was able to purchase gifts!! 




Thursday, December 28, 2017

Less Can Be More When it Comes To Storage Space

When it comes to living standards, many people want to have it all. Yet, why shouldn’t you be able to live a life in your own home where you can solve all your problems no matter how small or large they are? Like the old saying goes, an Englishman’s home is his castle. Even if you’re not English, the phrase still applies to you too. This is why manufacturers and companies all across the world are constantly thinking of new solutions to even the most nitpicky of issues home owners regularly find themselves wrestling with. There’s simply a wave of products you can buy that will take away the clutter that comes with having young children, hide away an overabundance of various items like glasses, coasters, books, cutlery and just about anything you can think of. There’s no reason why you can’t have as many things as you’d like, as home storage space comes in many different forms.


Source pxhere

Enough Clinking and Clanging
One thing that almost every family in the world can share a laugh about is the over-accumulation of cutlery that seems to occur over the years. One day you open your drawer where you store all your forks, knives and spoons and every slot is filled to the brim. If you’re even having trouble re-closing the drawer, it's time to consider a compact cutlery organizer. The trouble is, as the slots in the drawer overflow they bash into the countertop lip. With a cutlery organizer, each utensil goes neatly into its own pocket, saving space as well as collating among its rightful grouping. It instantly declutters a kitchen and takes away a little bit of unneeded stress. No more bashing of metal cutlery that causes scratches and scrapes will occur with this sort of helpful item.


Source pxhere

Vertical in the Kitchen
Many families find that because they have so many plates, they end using space that would otherwise be useful for something else. Cupboards, where you could store something else like a vacuum or a pet’s toy box, is taken up by mountains of plates. Running out of horizontal space is no way near the end of the matter because there are kitchen storage units that transcend upward. With such units, you can store plates vertically, one on top of the other. The products are made out of metal and thus can handle the weight of the multiple plates being stacked on top of each other as well as rows upon themselves too. You can go for the heavy duty route if needed with a shelf organizer that provides compartments for easy storage. There are glass options if you want to remain a little stylish in the process. There’s also an underbed which could be useful for storing some of your more highly priced plates reserved for important guests.

You may just think you have less and less space for storing your kitchen items. That’s not the case if you’re clever with how you sort and organize your items. Keeping them compact, closer together while avoiding them bashing into each other is entirely possible with modern storage solutions. If you’ve run out of cupboards and drawers, think vertical storage instead.



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Time To Move? Don't Panic, We Have It All Covered



(image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/home-real-estate-106399/)

Congratulations on that house offer having finally been accepted!

Moving is one of the most stressful things you will ever experience. Luckily you will only have to do it once or twice, but research suggests the average individual moves up to eight times in their lifetime. If you have done it before, you will know that this comes with its own stress and tension, that can be likely to spring up between you, your partner and even your kids.

If you haven’t moved previously, you are in for an experience in a league of its own. Don’t worry, like everything else, moving also gets easier the more you do it and as a result, you should start seeing this experience as something beneficial rather than a hindrance. The below guide will help you with some of the main aspects of moving, so read carefully.

The Move
Nothing is more exciting than having all your stuff packed and boxed in your old living room. The date has finally arrived and you are about to load all your belongings into your friend’s van. Until that is, you discover that the size of the van is rather small and you definitely won’t be able to fit all the boxes in. Being in an already stressful situation, you don’t want to make moving a worse one by relying on a friend to help you move. Even if the size is right, moving should be done by professionals and that is why you should get a little help from those who move stuff for others for a living. These are some of the moving companies to look out for.

The New Neighborhood
Arriving at your new destination and stretching out on the naked floor with a cup of coffee can be tempting, and in fact, this might be what you want to do all day long until your stuff is sorted and the decluttering process has finished. It is, however, important to familiarize yourself with your new surroundings and whilst you should be doing this gradually, you nonetheless must start getting acquainted with your new home and what it has to offer early on in the process. Make sure you befriend your neighbours by offering them a cup of tea or inviting them to your housewarming party.

The Surroundings
How exciting! You have now finished unpacking and are ready to start living life in your new home. Why not spend the first few days organizing outdoor trips in order for you and your family to settle into your surroundings? Activities like going to a restaurant, watching a movie at your local cinema or going for long walks will help you get acquainted with your new town. Adapting oneself to a new environment is never easy, so make sure you do this gradually. Your immune system might even have weakened in recent weeks due to the stress of moving, so take it easy at first and make sure you get plenty of sleep and eat the right amount of vitamins to help you stay healthy whilst exploring your new town.

Being Your Active Self: How You Can Do It



Let’s be honest, it isn’t easy being active each day. We all know that it is so much better for us to have some form of healthy and active lifestyle, not over indulging too much with the junk or sugary foods, exercising a few times a week and generally taking good care of ourselves. However, it can be quite difficult to maintain this sort of lifestyle and with the recent holiday period now in the past, it is fair to say that many of us will be feeling less than our best when it comes to our energy levels and our waistlines. Which is why I thought I would share with you some of the top tips to help you become more active generally on a day to day basis. I hope it inspires you to become your best active self.


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Setting Realistic Targets
Now is the time when many people set themselves targets for losing weight or getting more fit, partially because they may have set themselves a goal as part of the new year resolutions. It is also just as important to set yourself realistic targets to help you achieve that ultimate goal. You won’t lose a lot of weight over night, and you certainly won’t go from running nothing to a marathon within a week. You can set smaller obtainable goals for yourself, that will not only help you stay on track, but also keep you motivated to succeed in the long term. Resolutions should always be for long term gain, not short term failings. So ensure you keep everything in mind when you embark on the active lifestyle. Start off small, maybe walking somewhere instead of driving or choosing to be more active each day. You can slowly build this up over time.

Being Active Doesn’t Mean Daily Gym Sessions
Many people associate being more active with heading to the gym, but the truth is, gym sessions aren't for everyone. Some people feel motivated and pumped up in a gym environment, others can feel overwhelmed. So find something that works for you. Walking your dog, going for a run locally, or joining local fitness sessions within the community can all be great ways to stay active and increase your fitness levels without the worry or pressure of going to a gym.

Having the Right Gear and Equipment
It is all well and fine having the best intentions to make a your fitness dreams become a reality, but if you don’t have the right gear and equipment to help you do it, the journey can end as quick as it started. Therefore, you must invest in the right activewear and equipment to help you succeed. From the right running shoes to protect from injury to custom baseball uniforms to help you or others feel part of the team, make sure you do yourself a favour and invest in the right things first time. Not only does the right gear help you feel good, but it can also help you succeed and keep you safe from injury.

I hope that these ideas help you get more active in the new year.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Flint Rollers Perfect Gift Idea



Hey neighbors!!

Flint rollers make a great small gift idea.  I am pretty excited about them for my daughters.  These little gadgets retract inside a decorative tube, which makes them perfect for travel, to toss in your purse or gym bag.  They won't stick to everything in your purse, and you wont't have to tear off the outer layer because it got dirty bouncing around in your gym bag. ($7.99 - $14.99)  You can also purchase refills on their site. ($3.00 - $5.00)



The Flint rollers come in many different designs, so you are sure to find one for just about anyone.  You simply twist the base and the the lint roller comes out the top.  When you are done, push down on the roller until it is back inside the cover.  Just like normal when the outside sheet gets too dirty, peel it back and tear it off.  Another nice benefit is that Flint rollers are refillable.

My daughters take several small trips each year, including a cruise, and these Flint lint rollers will be traveling with them.  They can pack them in their bathroom bags, and toss one in their purses.  This way they will be ready to remove lint or pet hair any time.



Be sure to follow Flint on their social media pages.
Facebook - HERE
Instagram - HERE
Pinterest - HERE

The Flint rollers will make a great gift idea for parents, dog and cat owners, business men, etc. Be sure to grab a couple for stocking stuffers.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Beautiful Outside As Well As Inside



Image Credit: Flickr

If you are planning to sell your home, you will surely have already read all about giving your house the curb appeal it needs to tempt in prospective buyers. But what about if you have found the house of your dreams and it needs a revamp to get it back to its original beauty?

The process for making the outside of your house as beautiful as the inside is exactly the same, whether you are trying to sell or want to restore your happily ever after home to its former glory. It’s simply a case of knowing where to start and how to allocate your budget wisely.

The Roof
Making sure that your roof is in perfect working condition is just as important as it looking good. The roof isn’t just a nice hat that encloses the four walls, it is also an ideal space for adding extra insulation, it keeps out water and it also keeps you safe in storms. This means that choosing the right type of roof is vital for its longevity.

Commercial roofing contractors NJ will be able to advise you on the best materials to replace your roof, such as shingles or something more alternative like aluminium. These materials won’t just protect your house from the weather, they could also be a way to make an architectural statement and do something really different.
The Walls
To make your walls feel brighter and cleaner, a pressure washer should usually do the trick. This will blast away any dirt that has accumulated and will restore your bricks or siding to its original glory. It may be a messy job, but pressure washing is something that you can do yourself quite cheaply and efficiently if you rent the equipment.
Once the walls are clean, you might want to consider adding a colored render to give your walls a sleeker look. This is quite a personal choice, but is very popular on modern buildings, especially with people who are already fans of minimalism. There are lots of colors to choose from, but be wary of choosing bright white as you may find it is mud colored again within a few weeks! An off-white tone is usually a safer choice.
The Yard
Now that the house itself is looking much better, it’s time to turn to the yard. Lots of people tend to leave their yard space as a simple lawn with a border around the edges, but even with children, it is possible to achieve something a little more exciting. Trees will bring height to your yard, and if you are already fortunate enough to have an older tree, a swing is always a charming addition.

Adding garden furniture will give the sensation that this space is something more like an outdoor room and there is nothing like feasting under a large umbrella while the sun is shining. You could also consider introducing deck chairs and even string a hammock between two well cemented posts for the ultimate garden luxury.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tech Your Home To The Next Level



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Millennials, also known as the wired generation, are off buying houses. How mad is that? It also brings in a lot of home technology advancements. With a generation so used to having the world at their fingertips, with having technology as part of every bit of their lives, it only makes sense that, as they start buying homes, the techniverse keeps up with them. Automatic coffee machines, fridges that let you when you’re out of milk, pet video chat? Let’s be honest; if we were offered it all tomorrow, we would go for it!

Talking Fridge
Want to make a new recipe, just ask the fridge to download it. Hands full with cooking dinner but have run out of an ingredient? Ask the fridge to add it to the shopping list. Kids can draw on it, and you can video chat while cooking. You can even see what’s in the fridge without having to open it. It’s like living in a castle which is why the talking fridge is definitely the list of awesome tech.

Singing Bath
Continuing on with the real-life creation of an ultimate castle - let's have a bath that serenades us. Well, it plays our pre-downloaded playlists, but the sound waves mixed with the warm water creates the ultimate relaxation tool by implementing hydrotherapy into your bathtime.

Smart Lock
Along with the new age group, home surveillance camera, the tech world has come up with the smart lock. It connects to Siri and only opens at the sound of your voice. No more keys - no more losing your keys. However, you could still lose your phone, or let the charge die...

Mr Coffee
This one is the perfect addition to this list. A wifi coffee machine. Who could ask for more? You can lazily flip it on from your bed, lounge about until the delicious aroma wafts up to you. Drift downstairs, and there it is, waiting for you. No more spilling grounds everywhere, or dumping too much milk into the mix because you’re half asleep still. It would be the perfect gift to yourself.

Pet Feeder
You know those days when you have to work late, or you get caught in traffic on the way home, and you feel so bad because little Fido is at home waiting for dinner? Well, not anymore! The automatic pet feeder measures out the perfect portion and dispenses it at the right time. It’s also great for when you’re on vacation, that way fluffy is still going to get her kibble at the right time, and not have to wait for the neighbour to pop in to feed her.


Pet-cam
And, while you’re making sure your furry friend is getting fed at the right time, you can also check in on them. Ever wonder what your pets do while you’re not there? Here’s your chance to find out. A pet webcam allows you to call them from afar, see what they’re up to and even give them a treat for being so darn cute. You can even get toy attachments so that you can interact with them more than just staring at them through your phone.

Swap Discomfort For Deep Sleep With This Bedroom Makeover Guide

If you spend more time rolling over trying to get comfortable than you do sleeping in your bed, then it’s time for a change. Actually, it’s quite urgent that you make changes now to avoid ill health. A lack of sleep can be quite dangerous. If you choose to drive your car tired, it can be dangerous for others too. So get up from under the covers, grab your dressing gown, and let’s get started with a bedroom makeover.

Temperature
What’s the temperature in your bedroom? One of the biggest causes of light sleeping or difficulty falling asleep is the wrong temperature. It should be quite cool in your room. Don’t turn up the AC so high you can see your breath, but do keep the temperature a couple of degrees cooler than other rooms in your house. Typically, this means a room temperature of about 18 to 19 degrees Celsius.


Keep the sun out of the room to keep it cool. Image source

Now consider your comforter, blanket or duvet. Will that make you too warm, or leave you feeling chilly? Pick the right weight of bedding to suit your choice of nightwear and the temperature in the room. You don’t want to get sweaty in the night, and you don’t want to end up shivering. And yes, it is perfectly acceptable to have your own blankets and your sleeping partner to have his.

Light
No light should be in your bedroom when you’re ready to fall asleep. It shouldn’t be absolutely dark in there, but there should be no light sources. This includes light from the street. Passing car headlights can easily disturb your sleep. The best option here is a blackout blind or very heavy lined curtains.

You should also avoid using blue lights in your bedroom. These might come from decorations, or even from your TV or phone. Lights of this color tend to keep us awake. They can promote a release of hormones that the brain and body use to waken in the morning! Chances are these aren’t helpful for falling asleep.

Quiet
Shut your bedroom door, but only if you need to so you can block out intrusive noises. It’s nice to let the air flow freely when you’re asleep. A closed door can lead to stuffy or stale air. This does not promote restful or restorative sleep. If you’re a bit of an insomniac, you might actively be looking for distractions from falling asleep. Noises from music, cars, or TVs can make you tune your ear and attention in. This won’t help you fall asleep at all.


Sometimes it’s best to pick a different bedroom for some quiet. Image source

Keep your room as quiet as possible. When we’re asleep, we tend to notice noises less, but a sudden sound can wake us. This feels horrible so avoid it if possible. Add secondary glazing if you live near a road. Shut the internal doors if you have noisy housemates. Cover your ears with your blanket to cut out intrusive sounds.

Body Comfort
There are many ways to prepare your body for sleep. All of them involve relaxing the muscles and giving the skeleton a chance to stretch out to release tension. Light stretching early in the day can be a great way to energise and refresh the body. The stretches help the muscles relax and tone. The breathing brings fresh oxygen into the body. All of this helps your body and mind to feel good for sleep at bedtime.

A warm bath also works very well to relax the body. Warming up in the water, then rapidly cooling when you come out helps to trigger the mind and body for sleep. Lay in bed in a comfortable position to read a few pages of a favorite book. This gives your spine a chance to elongate again and should help to reduce pain and discomfort in the muscles and joints.



It’s essential to stay comfortable all night. Image source

The mattress itself is a major part of sleep. There are several different types. Some are sprung with coils. This can offer a good bounce, but if your sleeping partner moves about a lot, it can disturb your sleep. Memory foam is designed to hold your body in a natural position. This can offer a great deal of comfort. There are more of these to choose from so you might find a detailed review of the Lull Bed here quite helpful. Others offer a mixture of types to offer the best of both worlds. Of course, they also share the disadvantages of each type.

Pain
If you suffer from pain that is worsened at night, then consider speaking to a medical professional. Most doctors are very concerned by anything that prevents you from getting a full night of quality sleep. Pain will stop you from getting comfortable. This, in turn, stops your body and mind from relaxing enough to fall asleep. Some pain is so severe it can wake you from your sleep too.

Lots of causes of pain can be identified by your doctor. In some cases, this gives you the opportunity to fix the problem. Others take more time. The more you sleep, the better your condition should get as sleep offers cell regeneration and healing. Some pain can be relieved by altering your sleeping position. This can be achieved by adding a bed bolster or using pillows to elevate parts of your body. They can be used to stop you rolling onto the affected area too.

Many pains in muscles and joints can be helped by gently moving and exercising every day. This can improve mobility and promote better circulation. This can help promote healing as well as a reduction in the discomfort. Choose a bed that is at an appropriate height to allow you to get in and out with ease. Keep a bedside cabinet close so you can easily reach a light or drink of water.

Finishing Touches
Choose decor that is soft in color to help promote relaxation. Lighting should be gentle and dim rather than bright and stark. Finally, add a comfortable chair so you can easily change for bed without aggravating the pain. All of these should help you feel comfortably relaxed all night long.

Decorating Your Home with Natural Materials

When you consider the concept of a home, the reality of the situation may surprise you. These structures are designed to shelter and protect you from the elements, keeping the outside world at bay, while also giving you somewhere to keep your possessions without them getting ruined. This makes it quite strange, then, that people work hard to bring the outside right back in. How exactly is this sort of approach achieved in the modern world, though?


(Image Source)

Wood has long held the crown for the single most popular building material out there. Of course, in most applications, people don’t choose to leave their wood looking natural. Instead, they will be painted or covered with a veneer, hiding the natural look of the wood. Companies like Corndell furniture don’t take this approach, though, instead choosing to use finishes which bring out their wood’s inherent appeal. Each different kind of wood will offer a different feel. It can be worth doing plenty of research to make sure you’re choosing the best for you.


(Image Credit)

Next, it’s time to think about the furniture and accessories which use other types of materials. For many people, leather may not be a go-to option.  A leather sofa will be hard wearing and beautiful for years to come, while also being very comfortable surrounded by your other natural furniture. For those looking to avoid materials like leather, natural fabrics like cotton and wool can also be a very good option.


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It’s hard to talk about a natural home without considering the plants you have around. A plant is a great addition to any room, giving it new life and beauty. It will break up the order and linear nature found in most human-made design, contributing something different and adding some flair to your rooms. Many homes lack the addition of plants but this is a shame as this sort of decor can give a new look to your rooms. There are plenty of different varieties of plants out there which all give something different to the space around them. Bonsai trees are very popular but they require a lot of care and attention to keep them alive for a long time. Instead, you could consider getting something which is easier to manage.


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Finally, this last option will be free for most people, and is something you can get started with right away. Natural light is one of the best ways to make a room feel bigger and more open. Materials usually show their very best qualities when they’re under the light. This is especially true for most natural ones. Keeping your curtains and blinds open will let large amounts of light into your home. And, this is something which can be done for absolutely no money at all.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working towards a home with more natural touches. Not a lot of people go for this sort of approach with their home. Instead, they will simply buy factory made furniture and be happy with the options available. But, to have a home unique to you, it’s important to put the effort into it.