Thursday, September 21, 2017

Little Passports

Check out Little Passports!


Preparing Your Fireplace For The Cold Weather

If you are anything like me, you will be spending some serious amount of time warming your toes and your tush in front of the fire as the colder weather sets in. That is why it's a good idea to take a look at that area of your home now and get it gorgeous and ready to enjoy. Read on to find out more.

The fire

Now, the first thing you have to make sure is ready is the fireplace. That may mean getting the chimney and hearth swept if you have a real fireplace. It may be replacing an old fireplace with something more up to date. In particular, log burners and faux log burners are very popular at the moment because of the rustic feel they give a room, as well as being a practical way to heat your space.


If cost is an issue, a faux burner may be better because they run on electricity and don't need to be fitted into the structure of your home. However, if you live in an area with easy access to logs, it may work out cheaper, in the long run, to get the genuine article. As free fuel can save you a fortune when heating your home in the winter.

The fireplace

Now, once the fire itself is situated, you need to ensure that the area around it is made as pleasant as possible. One way of doing this is to use a fireplace surround, or mantelpiece.

You may already have one there that you can renovate, but if not don't panic. You can get false ones that just sit against the wall. OK, this may seem a little daft but they actually look great, and no one would ever know they weren't an original part of the house,. Giving you that perfect scene to sit in front of as soon as the snow starts to fall.

Extra comfort

Once you have the immediate fireplace area the way you want, it might also be a good idea to expand your field of vision and look at the spaces either side and in front of the fireplace as well. As these areas can be enhanced with traditional decorations such as a basket of logs and a poker set, even if you don't have a real flame.

Also, don't forget that you can make a truly inviting space around the fire with the addition of finer details like gorgeous Persian rugs or real sheepskins. Making it the perfect relaxing spot for you and your family once the weather has set in.


Dressing a mantelpiece

Lastly, it's important that you get the room decorating side of things right before the cold weather sets in so you can appreciate this space as much as possible. That means picking out a few ornaments to display on the mantelpiece for decoration. A good choice would be some candles for that warm glow on a winter's evening, or you can pick something in ceramic that matches the rest of your decor. For a more modern feel.

Is Your Home Secure When You Exit the Door?

Ask yourself this; when you set off to work and start your commute, do you remember to lock the door? Most people would answer yes, but there’s always that very slight and small possibility that you forgot to do it. What about the windows? Perhaps you left a window open because it was hot last night, but you neglected to close and lock it. It’s easy to open from the outside now, and thieves can climb in, steal your possessions and leave safely before you even come home from work.

These are the types of security concerns that always worry us. As soon as we exit the door, the chances of our homes being burgled increase and it’s always a concern that we need to keep in mind. However, there are plenty of ways to feel more secure when you leave the door, and here are just a couple of those methods.

Deterring thieves

First, make sure you have a way to deter thieves from entering your home. Animals such as dogs are perfect because they’ll bark at intruders, scaring them off or alerting the neighbours. In fact, former burglars actually say that dogs are the best deterrent to thieves because of how loud they are.

Another useful way to prevent thieves is to have CCTV cameras installed. There’s more information about this below, but even if you can’t afford a full system, having just one or two cameras around your home is enough to send a warning. Many homes also have security devices installed on the exterior of their home. These serve as useful devices to keep burglars away, but they also act as deterrents.

If you need to leave home at night, then make sure you leave a light or two on to fake a presence in your home. This is surprisingly effective as long as you’re not being watched. Most burglars aim for houses that are completely empty, and the sight of seeing a light on will keep them at bay. If you have a smart home, then consider installing lights that can be turned on or off with timers or through the use of your smartphone so they look more natural.

Install security cameras

If your modern home doesn’t have an alarm or any kind of security, then you’re putting your entire property at risk. Your home has many different entry points; from the windows to doors to even the basement, there are multiple ways that someone can break into your home. If they’re going to use brute force, then they can easily smash a window, grab your stuff and run off. If you don’t have cameras, then you won’t be able to identify the thieves and you’ll be left with nothing.

Make sure you read this security cameras guide to ensure that you’ve got the right countermeasures to deal with this. If you aren’t able to record the face of those thieves, you’ll have less of a chance to catch them. Plan ahead for the potential situation that they use brute force to break into your home to grab your stuff. Don’t just use proactive methods to keep your home safe, use reactive ones too!

With the right preventative and reactive measures, you’ll have no trouble keeping thieves away and it will even reduce your overall home insurance costs.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Create Happy Tails | PupJoy


Breed Specific Gifts At Cherrybrook

Hey neighbors!!

Here's a great bonus for your pets!

20% Off Breed Specific Gifts with code AUTUMN at! Only on 9/22.

Be sure to visit their site, to see what they have available!

Thanks for stopping by!

A Must Have To Stay Modern

We always want to keep our home relevant and compatible with the modern needs of hygiene, security and home happiness. The products which are implemented with these thoughts in mind will hopefully contribute to a home that can stand the test of time. If you’re building a new house, or simply renovating one you’ve bought to become more compatible with the modern era, you should consider applying the following:

Home Water Filtration

Water filtration systems can help your home tap, and plumbing system only use water which is appropriate for your needs. Many times, chlorine, sulphur, and other toxins can contribute to water hygiene which leaves a lot to be desired. Instead of using a small water filter which you need to clean and constantly fill up, limiting yourself to only a small section of hygienic water in the household, implementing a full tank system found here can help you filter the water as soon as it enters your home. It’s not often a ‘best way’ approaches your purchasing guide, but this is without a doubt the best method of filtering your water from the get-go. It also helps you forget about the whole issue after installation. Just keep on top of the maintenance, and you never have to worry about these issues again.

Smart Appliances

There are many smart appliances around nowadays which can help add convenience and implement a modern feeling into your home space. One of the most affordable and entry-level smart appliances is the smart alarm clock, such as the Amazon Echo among others. These devices allow you to set a consistent sleeping schedule and can help you rise with the best radio information and music as you wake up. They can also help you pre-plan your schedule and give you the best-organized start to your day as possible.


Modern homes are clean homes. The days of cluttered chaos should be behind us by now, and this is due to the advanced amount of storage options we have available. Staggered, tiered, and hidden storage compartments as well as modern furniture with storage underneath can help you keep your home uncluttered and looking as tidy as ever. This can greatly increase how organized and put together you feel around your home space. Your home will feel more relaxing as you clean it, so taking a few moments to bring these items into your home and using them can give you a wealth of benefits.


There are more security measures than just the standard home camera recording equipment. This can benefit you greatly as someone hoping to keep a secure home. This includes, but is not limited to, keypads, motion keycards which can be added to smart wristwatches or as fobs on a keychain, as well as motion detector alarms which can be triggered if there is no keypad confirmation after someone enters the home. For these reasons, spending a full amount on a home CCTV system, while advisable, is not completely necessary. Thieves often use refined lockpicking and breaking/entering techniques to get into the home space of someone with simple locks. The yale lock is a design still used, even though it was invented in the 19th century. Upgrading your home with modern security equipment can help you stay ahead of the curve, and secured from the petty street thief.

These tips can help your home stay updated to 2017 and beyond.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Extending Your Home In The Right Direction

Thinking about adding to your home? Home extensions are a great way to give you and your family a little more space while adding additional value onto your home. It can also be a fun project to take on, even as a DIY job if you have the skill to handle it. For instance, a lot of people decide to build out into their backyard because this allows them to complete a home renovation, without buying up any additional land. At this point, you’re probably wondering what type of extension to build onto your home. We’ve got some of the best options as well as some advice on how to move forward with a project like this.

Loft Or Attic Conversion

On average, this is going to cost you ten thousand which we think you’ll agree is quite expensive. This will depend on the design of your attic. Some have very high roofs and if that’s the case part of the extension work has already essentially been completed for you. Rather than changing the roof all you need to do is add some insulation and work on the inside of the home. If you have an attic with a ceiling high enough to stand up with, it really is in your best interest to complete an attic conversion. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of a fantastic opportunity. Ten thousand might seem like a large cost, and it is, however, you can cover it with a homeowner personal loan. Homeowner personal loans allow you to borrow the money you need and pay for an extension like this. Once you have built the extension, you can pay off the money as you go along. With a loft or attic conversion, you can create an awesome game room or a stunning place for guests to stay. The choice is yours.

Sun Rooms And Conservatory

Looking over the fence, you might have noticed that your annoying neighbor already has a stunning sunroom in their backyard. It probably makes you green with envy, so perhaps you should think about building one yourself. Why not? It might seem like a great idea to build a glass roof as part of your sunroom. That way you get the full power of the sun. However, this will also make the room unusable in the winter and often far too hot in the summer.

Instead, you need to think about building a sunroom with a tiled roof. Don’t worry, it will still heat up nicely if you have windows all around the sides. But it will also be quite a pleasant room to sit in and watch the snow fall.

Room Extensions

Alternatively, you could consider extending a room inside your home, perhaps pushing out the front room a little more. This can be a great way to make your home appear more grand if you’re willing to give up a little garden space. With an extension like this, you will be looking at a few thousand at least depending on the extent of building work.

We hope this helps you choose the right new extension for your home.

The Post-Op Recovery Checklist

Surgery is a daunting prospect, no matter how minor the operation. Even the healthy among us may have to go under the knife at some point. There may be a problem with your appendix, or simply a broken bone that needs put back in place. Whatever the reason, the lead up is often full of worry.

So much so that many of us fail to consider what we’ll do during our recovery. We book the time off work, of course, but the thoughts go no further. Yet, the way in which you recover will make a huge difference to how long the process takes. Which is why we’ve put together a post-op checklist you should aim to follow. Save this for after your surgery. Or, print off a copy and keep it aside should you ever need it!

#1 Rest and relaxation is top of this list. If you push yourself before you’re ready, you’ll do more harm. Instead, take the chance to relax. When else do you get the opportunity to lie in bed all day without guilt? Listen to your body and stay there as long as you need to. Depending on the nature of your operation, this could be for a day, or a few weeks. Your doctor will let you know which. If you’re in it for the long haul, make the time bearable by stocking up on books and DVDs. If they lose their appeal, you could try some boredom busters like those mentioned on If you have a few weeks on your hands, these could be a real game changer.

#2 Thinking of the future may also be a good idea at this stage. You have the time, after all. Facing surgery often gives us a new outlook on life. You may feel the need to take note of your assets, or even protect your future by looking at life insurance sites such as This is one of those tasks many of us put off, so it’s worth turning your attention to it now. Your near-future should also come into account here, as you make plans about when you could return to work etc.

#3 Wean yourself off of medication. If you’ve been on bed rest for a long time, the chances are that you’ll be taking a fair amount of medicines. This is excellent because it keeps the pain at bay. But, it also has the downside of masking your recovery. So, there will come a time when you need to stop taking those tablets, to get an accurate idea of how you’re recovering. Do this gradually to ensure you’re not overwhelmed.

#4 Knowing when it’s time to get moving is about as crucial as your bedrest. If you don’t get going as soon as possible, your injury could fail to heal or you could lose strength. It’s a delicate balance and one that can be tricky to overcome. And, make sure to liaise with your doctor throughout.

It's Never Too Early To Start Saving For Christmas


Now we know it is only September, which means Autumn has barely had a chance to creep onto people’s lips, but we need to talk about Christmas. Don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you where to get the best advent calendar or anything trivial like that. Instead, we’re going to give you some advice on how to save money in what is - let’s be honest - the single most expensive time of the year.

There is now less than 100 days until Christmas and, as any financial-savvy superstar will tell you, the best way to avoid being cash-strapped is to be prepared well ahead of time, instead of scrambling to pick up some extra shifts in the middle of December just so that you can afford that turkey you wanted.

Read on to see our top tips on how to reduce the cost of Christmas:

Set Aside Some Cash Now
This isn’t just so that you don’t spend all of your money in the build-up to Christmas, but also because you could see your money work for you between now and then. By putting some of your money into a savings account, you could see it earn a little bit of interest. So find which bank is offering the best rates and stick what you can aside.


Decide On Presents Now
It may seem way too early to broach the subject of presents but, by knowing who you are buying for and how much you may spend, you will be able to prepare a lot more efficiently. It could be that you and your friends agree not to buy each other presents this year. Perhaps you set a budget for presents with your siblings. Or decide that you will just buy gifts for the children. Whatever it is, now is the time to decide so that you can budget better and even look out for deals.

Time For A Bit Of Refinancing
This could be the perfect time of year to refinance your home through someone like It is a big decision, but it could be the best decision you make and the one that frees up the most cash this Christmas. To name just a few of the benefits, going down the refinancing route could lower your current interest rate, reduce your repayments or even shorten the term of your mortgage; all of which could save you hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars by the time December hits.


Switch Up Your Supermarket
One of the major outlays in Christmas is food and drink. This is an expensive business. That is why you should look at switching your supermarket so that you use one of the more discount stores, such as Aldi or Costco, both of which feature on this best supermarkets list It could just be that you make the most of any coupons that are being offered. It could be that you bulk buy your party-foods from a frozen food company while nipping into another supermarket to get their discount desserts knowing that they taste as good as any of the more expensive options. Whatever your tactic, there is money to be saved by the savvy.

Please add your own hints and tricks in the comments.

Become An Insurance Expert With These 5 Tricks


Many of us pay a fortune on insurance in order to protect ourselves against the unexpected. In some cases this insurance may be mandatory (such as vehicle insurance), whilst others may be optional (property insurance). Insurance companies know how to weigh up the risks in order to get the most money out of you, but this doesn’t mean you can’t beat them at their own game. By learning a few tricks you could save a decent amount on your insurance rates. Here are some of those tricks…

Save money with precautionary measures

There are many cases in which you can take precautionary measures, which make you less of a risk to insurers and therefore lower your rates. For example, when it comes to motor insurance, parking your car in a garage or fitting a wheel lock can save you a lot of money. There are times when precautionary measures may not be worthwhile however. The cost of renting out a burglar alarm for your home may not be worth the lowered property insurance rates that it gets you. That said, you may still find that a burglar alarm is a handy feature to have (also, it must be noted that some companies won’t even pay you out if you don’t have a burglar alarm).

Use comparison services

You should always shop around before taking out a policy. Nowadays there are plenty of comparison sites for doing this. There are even sites such as that can get quotes for you and weigh up various perks and applicable fees. It’s worth taking a look at these every couple years just to ensure that there isn’t a cheaper rate out there.

Use group policies

Sometimes you can save money with a group policy. This may insure multiple people under one policy, such as a family under one medical insurance policy. Alternatively, you may find an insurance policy that includes multiple types of insurance. For businesses, there are many business insurance packages that may include different coverage such as employer’s liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance and perhaps even business property insurance. There are even some general insurance packages that combine vehicle and property insurance.

Up your deductible

Your deductible is the amount you’re willing to pay out of your own pocket before claiming money from your insurer. Raising this can drastically lower you rates in many cases. Just make sure that if a disaster ever arises, you have the money to pay for this deductible. This could be a savings account with an emergency fund. Alternatively, you could pay with credit. The likes of have zero interest cards that can be used precisely for this purpose.

Don’t protect a no claims bonus

Some insurers, particularly motor insurance companies, will have a no-claims bonus in place. This usually means that for every year you don’t make a claim, your insurance rates will get lowered. In the event of a car accident, some people will not make a claim so that they can continue to have lower rates. However, this rarely ever saves you money in the long run. Make a claim and get the compensation you deserve – it’s the reason we all pay insurance after all.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Is Your Family Ready For A New Addition?

adorable, animals, breed

For a lot of people, a family just isn't complete without the addition of a beloved pet! There's nothing quite like the way that the addition of a new, furry family member can bring you all together and improve everyone's lives. It can give you a friend to keep your company, and it can teach your kids responsibility as well as giving them someone to play with. However, a lot of people end up realising that having a pet is often a lot more difficult than they initially thought. In order to prevent you from dealing with any nasty surprises, here are a few things to think about in order to make sure that you're ready to bring a new addition into your family.


One of the most important things that you need to realise right a the very start is that dogs are expensive. Even if you adopt a dog rather than buying one, there are still a lot of costs involved. One of the most significant costs is, of course, food, but you also need to think about things like vet's bills and insurance. Pet insurance might not seem like a big deal, but it can save you huge amounts of money on things like vet bills further down the line. If you're worried about the cost, then check out to find the best possible deals. You need to make sure that you add a new pet to your family's budget before making any decisions that you can be sure that you can actually afford it.   


If your family is incredibly busy, then it might not be the right time to add a pet into the mix. Pets need your time and attention. Whether it's a dog that needs training, or a pet with a cage that needs cleaning, if you don't have the time to properly take care of them then your pet's quality of life is going to suffer pretty seriously. Make sure that everyone in your family is willing to take on the responsibilities of looking after a pet before you commit to anything.


Even a small pet can end up taking up a surprising about of space in your home. Sure, a hamster isn't going to take up the same pace as a great dane, but you're still going to need to make room for its cage as well as having room for it to run around and get some exercise. Think carefully about how you're going to be able to make room for a pet before you bring them into your home.

Of course, you may well decide that all of these things are totally worth it because of the joy that a new pet will bring into your family, and that's great! But you need to be sure of your decision. If you decide after a month or so that it's too much work, then that's going to be incredibly hard not just for you and your family, but for your pet as well.

Is Your Home Damaging Your Health?

Have you noticed that your family has been getting sick a lot more than usual? Are you struggling to determine why that might be? Have you ever considered the fact that your home could be making you and your family sick? It’s a scary thought, but the fact is that sometimes the causes of health problems such as asthma or prolonged coughs and colds, are closer to home than we would like to think.

Is your interest piqued? Wondering how healthy your home actually is? If the answer is yes, then you will want to read on. Below, we are discussing how homes can actually damage our health.

Using harsh chemicals

cleaning products.jpg

The fact is that everyone wants a spotless home because it’s a sparkling home that is meant to be good for ours’ and our children’s health. But what if the chemicals that you are cleaning your home with are actually doing more harm than good? They might kill bacteria, but what if the harshness of them is impacting your family’s health? The fact is that chemicals that give off odors can be dangerous and can have an impact on a person’s health. That’s why so many people are now choosing to swap to steam cleaning and natural cleaning products, to ensure that the fumes from chemicals aren’t making them ill.  

Asbestos fibers

A few decades ago, asbestos was a material commonly used when building homes. However, since then it has been declared severely dangerous due to the fact that its fibers if inhaled, can lead to lung cancer. That’s why the use of asbestos has been banned across the country. However, just because it’s been banned, that doesn’t mean that it is not still a part of some older buildings. If you live in an older property, it could be worth contacting your local asbestos specialist, to arrange to have the property checked for asbestos.

Mold growth


The issue with mold is that often, you don’t even realize that it is there. However, as specialist sites like explain, often mold can grow in areas that you rarely spend any time in, which means that you don’t always know that it’s there. Just because you can’t see the mold, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t in your home, such as in your crawl space. Mould can be severely detrimental to your health, which is why it’s so important to prevent it from growing in your home in the first place.


Asthma is one of the most common childhood health problems, with a high number of children being diagnosed with it each day. Often, the most common cause of asthma in kids is dust particles, which is why it is so important to ensure that your home is as free from dust as possible. To learn more about the impact of asthma, resources like can be useful. The issue is that some vacuum cleaners don’t pick up all dust particles, so it is important to choose a vacuum cleaner that is as powerful as possible, to ensure that it is as effective as possible. Don’t attempt to dust with a duster as this just moves dust around; you need to vacuum it up and throw it in the trash.

There you have it, several things that you need to know about how your home could be damaging yours’ and your children’s health.