Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ways To Keep The Family Healthier At Home

Running a household is exhausting. Not only do you have the mission of keeping your children healthy and happy but also you and perhaps even your partner healthy and happy. It’s a 24/7 job, and you never have any idea if you’re doing it correctly or not because there’s no boss who can tell you either way. However, there are basic guidelines you could follow when it comes to maintaining a healthy standard of living and a home which is hygienic both in terms of the household itself and the people who live within it. Here are some ways in which you could keep the family healthier at home.


The diet.
It’s so important that you get the family diet right. No “fad” diets; ensure that what you’re eating is healthy rather than cutting down on the amount you eat. Skipping breakfast does more harm than good, though you likely wouldn’t let anyone in the household do that anyway. Think about replacing empty carbohydrates with nutritional ones wherever you can; ditch the majority of the sugary snacks in the house and stock up on a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. Keep things interesting. Strawberries and bananas can be sweet too; start a healthier snacking ritual.

Be a role model.
This probably applies more to your children than your partner, but if you want your kids to start living a healthier lifestyle then you need to lead by example. Start eating well and getting active; give your kids the same meals as you so that they don’t feel as if they’re missing out. Do some aerobics in the living room, and your kids might even want to join in if they think it looks fun. It’s all about positivity and tackling healthy living as a family. You could all even head out on a family bike ride to ensure that everybody is keeping themselves fit and healthy.

Look after your teeth.
This is a big one. You and the family need to value the importance of a healthy set of teeth; don’t share toothbrushes, and change toothbrushes every three months. That’s a good place to start. Additionally, think about the food you give to everyone in the family; cut down on sugary snacks. Flossing is also a great accompaniment to brushing your teeth if you want to avoid gum problems, so encourage the family to start these healthy dental habits. You might even consider a more affordable family dentist so that you can all go to get checked up together; it’s important that the entire family feels comfortable at the dentist as you want your kids to get into the habit of understanding the importance of looking after their teeth rather than seeing it as an insignificant chore.


Get a dog.
The kids have been nagging you to get a pet and you keep saying “no”, but perhaps you might want to eat your words and finally give in to them. Having a dog (or any sort of pet) in the home is surprisingly an excellent way to improve the health of people in a household. The obvious benefits in terms of happiness and a healthier brain might be evident to you, but the fact that this leads to healthier and happier hearts may not have been something you considered. In fact, the health impact stretches further than this; having a dog in the household can help to keep you and your family resistant to allergies and ward off unwanted pests.

Feeling Safe Again: What Are The First Things You Need To Do After A Break-In?

Having your home broken into is one of the most unpleasant things that you can possibly experience. Sure, there's the initial horror of the damage done to your home and the loss of valuable or expensive possessions, but there's something that goes deeper than that. There's simply something horrible about having to face the idea that someone was able to invade the place that you consider to be your sanctuary. That someone was able to get into your home, the place where you're supposed to feel safer and more secure than anywhere else in the world, and that they were able to do it without you ever knowing. This kind of emotional trauma is something that can be far more difficult to deal with than many of the practical effects of a break-in. So what can you do? Well, if you find yourself the victim of a break-in, here a few things that you should do right away in order to feel safe again.

Remove all evidence of the break-in

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It's going to be borderline impossible to process and move on from the trauma of a home invasion if you're constantly being presented with the evidence of it. Make sure that you have any broken windows replaced, have your home deep cleaned, and try to replace anything that was taken as fast as you can. If you had insurance policies in place, then you're going to be in a much better position to do that since you won't have to face as much of a financial burden. Even something as simple as the empty space where your TV once was can be enough to leave you feeling truly awful, even a long time after the break in.

Increase security

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It can be incredibly difficult to feel safe again after a break in. Sure, you're not more likely to suffer a break-in now than you were before, but being forced to confront the fact that it's possible is often enough to make a lot of people feel constantly vulnerable. The first thing you want to do is to change the locks since there's a chance that the intruders may have taken a spare key when they broke in. You can learn about locksmiths here to find the best possible advice on the kinds of locks that can help your home feel more secure. You might also want to install some kind of security system. It generally doesn't need to be hugely complex. Even something as simple as motion activated floodlights outside your home can make a big difference when it comes to discouraging intruders.

Talk to your family

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The impact of a break-in is probably being felt by your entire family. Make sure that you all take the time to sit down and talk about how you're feeling. Being there for each other is one of the very best ways that you can help fight against that feeling of vulnerability that often comes after a break-in. Make sure that you're all working together to support each other and helping each other feel as safe and secure as possible.

Emergency Guide to Extreme Summer Weather: Securing Your Home

Summer brings warm and long days you can enjoy in the sun. Sitting outside in the garden, watching nature and sunbathing, it doesn’t even seem likely that the warm season also can threaten to pull our tiny home up with its roots; hurricanes, tornadoes, and hailstorms are known to pay us a visit during our summer holiday. Make sure your home is weatherproof and ready to house you if it hits again by using this handy list - most of it is quite simple to do on your own and will give you a peace of mind for the coming months.

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Image by: Pexels
The Windows

The windows of your home are often a weak point; frail and old glazing is a scary companion when you hear the winds pull outside, and they should be one of the first things you check. If they’re especially old and you have a bit of extra to spend, it might be time for an upgrade; go for strong double glazing, and you’ve already increased the quality of your home quite a bit. If you don’t have that much to spend, don’t worry - have a look at these hurricane shutters instead. They will make sure you stay dry and safe during a storm, as well as increasing the value of your home - that’s what they promise, any way.

The Roof

Your home puts a roof over your head, literally, but it’s no help if the roof has a leak when the heavy rain starts to pour. Have an inspection done well in advance, to repair any leaks and fix any loose tiles. A damaged roof can cause so much more trouble than water inside your attic. You’ll feel a lot better if you can face the end of summer without paying for a water damage repair or patching up your roof after a storm. Have a look at this article for a DIY guide to how you can fix a leaky roof yourself if you’re especially handy.

Think about other things that can go flying off in a storm; loose things in your yard or on your patio can quickly become a hazard when the wind lifts it up. Storm-proofing your house means taking everything into consideration, also the area surrounding your home.

Emergency Kit

Just like you should keep an emergency kit in your car, you should also keep one at home in case of a hurricane. Stocking up on non-perishable supplies, so you know you won’t go hungry during extreme conditions is obvious, but you should also remember to include a flashlight, medications, blankets, radio, clothing, and enough water to last you through the storm.

You should consider making copies of your most important documents as well, and keep them with the emergency kit or somewhere they’ll be safe from the hurricane - if the weather partly destroys your house, you need to be able to prove that it is yours. Don’t let the weather take everything.

When you pack a kit, keep in mind that you never know exactly how the weather is going to affect you - maybe it will last for a lot longer than predicted, so it’s important to prepare yourself for the worst as well as your home.

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Image by: Pexels
Basic Homeowner Insurance?

Most of the basic homeowner insurance doesn’t cover flooding or items damaged by water, so you should make sure you have one that covers this. Contact your insurance provider or renters to get a flood insurance and protect your possessions from the storm, too - even if you don’t live near the coast, it’s important to remember that anywhere it rains it might flood. Water damage is an expensive problem, and probably the last thing you want to deal with when the extreme weather has passed. Check out this article to find the best flood insurance for your home.

It seems like something out of the movies, but tenants and homeowners have experienced the same horrors when extreme weather hits; windows shattered all over the floor from heavy winds, basements completely flooded after heavy rain, and loose tiles leaping of people’s roofs. Not only is this an expensive and frightening experience, but it can be dangerous for both the people inside your home and the ones outside.

Make it a safe and happy summer with these precautions, and you can happily watch the storm rage outside, knowing your roof will stay where it is.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Budgeting Advice: Unexpected Home Repair Costs You Might Face This Year

Many homeowners choose to create monthly budgets for their families. They do that because money is tight and they need to ensure there is enough for the essentials. However, there are lots of unexpected issues that could throw your plans into turmoil. That is especially the case if something breaks and you have to pay for repairs you didn’t predict. With that in mind, I’ve listed some common problems in this article. Hopefully, reading about them now will encourage you to keep some extra funds in your rainy day account. When all’s said and done, these are important jobs, and you won’t have time to wait. Without careful planning, you might struggle to find the money.


Kitchen appliances

Your family won’t survive for long if you don’t have somewhere safe to prepare food. Sure, you can eat out until the appliances are fixed. However, that’s going to cost a small fortune and money is already tight. So, you need to put some cash aside for possible kitchen appliance repairs this year. Maybe your stove will stop working so you can’t heat food? Perhaps your fridge will go bang and leave you unable to store fruit or vegetables? Before you do anything, you should check to see if the device is under warranty. In some instances, you can force the manufacturer or seller to provide a replacement. Still, most people will have to call an expert out and ask them to undertake the repairs.


Furnaces and air conditioning

The last thing you need is for your furnace or air conditioning to stop working. That is especially the case if you live in a climate where temperatures reach extremes. You’re going to melt during the summer if your air conditioner ceases to operate. Likewise, you’ll have to pay for a fast furnace repair in the winter if you don’t want to freeze. Do yourself a favor and research average costs for both of those jobs. You should also make yourself aware of how much you will have to spend for an entire replacement. Do your best to keep that money in your savings accounts at all times. You can guarantee the devices will stop working when you need them most.


Plumbing issues  

A burst pipe could flood your home in a matter of minutes. The water might damage all your personal belongings and heirlooms. So, there is no time to waste, and you can’t hesitate when it comes to paying for repairs. If you do that, your family could become exposed to infections and diseases from any stagnated water in your property, or mold. Of course, it’s wise to keep a close eye on your pipework so you can spot any issues before they become too severe. Either way, you need some cash in your accounts if you want to get back to normal. That is because most plumbers will charge extortionate callout fees.

Make sure you consider those unexpected home repair costs when planning your monthly budgets this year. If any of those instances occur and you don’t have enough cash, your family will face serious problems. You might have to move out of your home temporarily, and you will have to get into debt. With that in mind, it’s much better if you have the money at hand.

The Top 5 Best Ways To Freshen Up Your Driveway


Everyone knows that people judge a house depending on how it looks from the street - even you do - it's hard not to. If you drive up to a house with a messy driveway full of cracks and weeds growing through them, you're not going to think that it's the most beautiful of houses, are you?

So whether you do plan on selling your home, or you just want to make it look better because it's your place to do with what you will - go for it. Tidy it up and add some color - it really isn't as much of a job as you may think once you get stuck in.
Here's what you can do.

Clean up the edges
If you leave your driveway unkempt, you can expect all different weeds to grow around the sides, so you will want to either pull them all out by hand or get some weed killer and sprinkle it down where you see fit. If you keep on top of this regularly, the weeds will reduce the speed in which they grow, and may even stop growing there altogether, so even though you may find it frustrating to see them all back there after a week's time - keep at it.


Plant some color
Flowers can be used in so many different areas on your driveway, but one place that will never seem to let you down, is along the sides. It's a very pretty way to create a border that flows nicely with the shape of your driveway. Just bear in mind though that if you plan on arranging them there, it's best if you keep them all the same size and width. This will make it look clean rather than overgrown, plus you don't want something too crazy otherwise you will be having more to maintain.

Clean it up
One of the simplest ways to do this (if you haven't got a pressure washer) is with a bucket of hot water and an old hard bristled brush. You could even add some of the weed killer product to the hot water if you needed to. Then empty the bucket and scrub as hard as you can. Keep doing this until all bits of dirt and stains have been removed.


Spruce up the concrete
Now it's time for a bit of concrete restoration. Once have given your driveway a good scrub, you will want to apply a sealer to ensure everything is looking new and fresh. Having said that, if you notice some rather big cracks in your concrete, it would be wise to call in the professionals so they can evaluate the area to make sure it's safe.

Add some solar lights

Solar lights are great because not only do they come in all different shapes, sizes, and styles. But they are also really good for the planet because, in the daytime, the sun charges them up, so when night time comes, they are able to glow brightly without using any sort of electricity or battery. Plus they will look lovely and inviting for when you have guests over.

Improve the Fire Safety Features of Your Home with This Advice

Everyone needs to make sure that the space they live in is prepared for a fire. There are certain steps that can be taken to make sure that you are prepared to deal with a fire in your home if one does break out. Of course, most people will never have to face that situation. But fires can start in all kinds of ways, and sometimes can be hard to predict. To avoid and be prepared for this situation, follow this advice.

Use the Right Doors

The right doors can help you to stay protected. When there is a fire, you want to stop it from spreading. Everything from having the best access doors to good interior doors dividing rooms can help. Strong and fire resistant doors can help to slow down the spread of the fire, and that can be the difference between life and death. It’s not something that you want to take a chance on, so give them some thought as soon as you can.

Avoid Overloading Electrical Sockets

Overloading sockets is one of the most common causes of fires in the home. If you don’t pay attention to the electrical outlets in your home, you are going to pay the price sooner or later. Don’t let that happen. Buy extenders that are surge protected. Electrical fires are all too common. It can be a good idea to have the outlets in your home safety tested as well to avoid the worst.

Have an Escape Route

Every household should have a known escape route that everyone who lives in the home is aware of. That way, everyone will know what to do and where to go. You can create a fire room in your house if you’re not able to escape through the downstairs doors. This is a room that faces the exterior and has a window big enough to get through. You can then wait there for the fire brigade to arrive and help you out of the building. Discuss all of these issues with your family.

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Fire Alarms

Finally, you need to make sure that your home is fitted with the right kind of alarms. If you can do that, you will be able to make sure that you don’t notice there is a problem until it’s too late to get out of the building. Smoke alarms should be located in each floor of your home. Most homes will need at least two. Large homes will need more than that. And you should test them regularly to see if they’re working. Carbon monoxide detectors and alarms should also be fitted in your home because carbon monoxide can be very dangerous too.

Every home needs to be prepared for the worst, and this means preparing for a fire. If you are not prepared for this potential scenario, you and your family will be at risk. Don’t let that remain the case for any longer. Use the advice outlined above.

Greener Home Life and Plant Philosophy: A Trend?

We all long for the fresh outside air, the sound of a river nearby, and the chirping of birds in the morning. Undeniably, living among nature has an intuitive appeal to humans, it’s just as well to admit it and start living the way we want to.

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Image from Pexels

It’s odd how such a natural need is supposed to be a trend these days; bringing the outside in, breathing fresh air, and even using common Scandinavian phrases, such as ‘friluftsliv’ to label it a philosophy. I think we all know, even those who make money off it, that living with as much nature around you as possible is not a philosophy - it’s possibly a lifestyle, but a very natural one, in that case.

Here are a few ways you can feel a bit more like nature and get back to basics, without only keeping succulents or spending all of your savings on building fancy tree houses.

Find Your Plant

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a few plants die on me. It’s sad and makes you feel like a bad plant parent; I even avoided replacing the poor thing altogether, out of fear that I might ruin another one. The truth is that some plants will simply hate it close to your bathroom or right by your window. As they’re plants and not people, they don’t want to move around at all  - so find the one that’s right for a particular spot. These plants are good for your bathroom, for example, while these would prefer it far away from a window.

Find the Light

Soaking up sunlight is wonderful for your mood, and you should do your best to bathe your entire home in it every morning. If your windows are old and frail, it’s a good time to invest in new ones and make sure they make your home as bright and airy as possible. I know it’s a bit of an investment, but replacement windows can make a big difference in how your home feels - especially if they weren’t really much to look at. If you go for the low e-glazed glass to save energy, you don’t need to worry about your plant’s health either, according to this article.

Use Colors

Another thing we do that has been labeled a trend lately; using fruits and vegetables on display to brighten up a home. Although it certainly adds a splash of color in your kitchen and on your living room table, it’s something you do for the sake of the fruit itself. Bananas, for example, would happily stay in your fruit bowl rather than your fridge - the same goes for cucumbers and tomatoes. They will taste a lot better that way, and you don’t have to bite into a cold banana when you want one.

Surrounding yourself with nature is not a philosophy or a trend - it’s the way it should be, and we better teach this to our children. The Norwegian ‘friluftsliv’ does not include communicating with nature or having a calm mind; it is just an umbrella term for camping, walking in the forest, and even hunting. If you’d like more of this in your life, simply go out there and do it - nothing fancy, and no hocus-pocus to it.


Monday, June 26, 2017

What Do You Need To Become A Farmer?

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Working with animals and living off the fat of the land is a dream for many. But like any career, the road into farming isn’t clear and simple. For some farming is a family business that gets passed down through the generations, making it easier to pick up skills from a younger age and get subsequent jobs. For those with no farming experience, it can be harder to get one’s foot in the door but still perfectly achievable. Here are some of the criteria you’ll need to follow your passions.

Getting agricultural training

You don’t need a degree in agriculture to become a farmer, but having some schooling can help. You should start by reading up on farming from books and possibly volunteering on a farm. From here you can consider a college course or other form of training. www.hotcourses.com has lots of classes to choose from. There’s a lot of science and technology know how involved in farming nowadays (e.g. agricultural mechanical engineering, crop science, veterinary medicines, drone technology) and knowing some of these modern skills is important if you hope to eventually turn farming into a profitable business.

Finding experience

Your next step should be to get some paid experience on a farm. You can find vacancies by applying to farms individually or by using job listing sites such as www.indeed.com. The pay as a labourer is generally very low, so bear this is mind. However, this experience will give you the opportunity to learn all the skills of being a farmer hands on. You may be able to take on more responsibilities over time. Be prepared to move somewhere rural as commuting to and from the farm could be costly.

Buying your own farm

After a few years, you may be proficient enough to consider running your own farm. Buying a farm off somewhere else is likely to be much easier than starting your own from scratch – or at the very least less expensive.

Know what your farm’s purpose is. For example, if you’re starting a horse farm, you may need a certain amount of land to keep these animals on, as well as constructing a stable – this site www.jumpintogreenerpastures.com can help you out. If you’re growing crops, you may need to budget for the cost of machinery such as tractors and ploughs, as well as fertiliser.

Understanding the costs and commitment

Starting up a farm is very expensive. You have the cost of the land to consider, as well as any equipment. On top of this, you may want to buy livestock which will also come with high maintenance costs. On top of this you have the physical demands of being a farmer. You’ll often be working more than 8 hour days and getting up before dawn, carrying out a lot of manual labour throughout the day. Eventually you will make your money back and the drain of getting up early will dissipate as your body gets used to it, however it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into first.

Spot Pests With These Tell-Tale Signs

So, you think you’ve got pests in your home?

No one ever wants to uncover a pest infestation but, unfortunately, they can’t be completely prevented. Thankfully, they are very easy to deal with once you have found the infestation. But that’s the tricky bit! Some homeowners go for years without noticing all of the pests that share their home!

Are you worried that you might be living with some unwanted house guests? Here are some useful signs that you should look out for.

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You Hear Scratching In Your Home

Have you or anyone else in your family heard any scratching or other sounds in your home? If so, then it sounds like you might have an infestation of rats or mice on your hands! The usual sounds to listen for include scratching, squeaking, and gnawing. You will probably hear these noises coming out of your attic or other upstairs areas that don’t get a lot of foot traffic. If you have a basement, you might also hear noises from down there.

You Could See Droppings

As well as hearing noises, you might spot some animal droppings. Of course, these are a sign of mice and rats, and you might find both fecal matter and urine. Unfortunately, the waste matter from smaller pests, especially insects, can be a lot harder to spot. It is necessary to check in your spare bedrooms and other rooms that are rarely used regularly so that you can find any droppings in these areas.

There Could Be Damage To Furniture

If you notice any damage to your furniture and belongings, there is a chance that this could be from pests. Rats and mice might gnaw wooden furniture while other insects and pests might try to burrow in to find a place to breed and lay their eggs. Termites are commonly found in wooden furniture, and if you think that you have them in your home, you should arrange a termite inspection to get the issue sorted as soon as possible. Termites can breed very quickly and what is originally a small pest problem could quickly turn into a major issue!

You Might Find Evidence of Nesting

After they move into your home, rodents will make nests for themselves out of anything they can find. And you might find evidence of this around your home. For example, you could find shredded paper, scrunched up leaves, and grass around your home. If you do find this evidence of nesting, you will need to look for the nest so you can then rid your home of rodents. Most of the time, rats and mice will create their nests in discreet places, such as under the floorboards and in between the gaps in walls.

Make sure you keep your eyes peeled so that you spot these tell-tale signs. Once you realize you have pests or rodents, you can then contact a pest control company to come and solve the problem for you.

So, why not take a look around your home today to see if you spot any evidence of pests!?