Friday, 28 September 2018

Styling Up Your Home And How You Can Do It

Your home is probably the biggest asset you have. No matter whether you own it or you rent it a big chunk of your money goes on living there each month. So it’s only natural for us to want to have the best looking home we can. But many of us are not blessed with the skills of amazing creativity or having a good eye for home design. That is until now.

Styling your home is a lot easier than we all think. It’s about putting a stamp of your personality on the place. It’s working out the functionality of your home and making it work for you. It doesn’t have to be a scary prospect and home styling, and design can be a lot of fun. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Know your budget and what you have available and stick to your guns. Hunt out the bargains and dig through the thrift shops. So without further ado here is the ultimate guide to home design and styling your home.


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Work out what you want from each room of your home
It is very easy for you to move into your house or apartment and treat each room just like the previous owner or tenant did. But aside from the bathroom and kitchen which have obvious functionalities. Your home can be whatever you want it to be. It is down to how you want to use it. So the best thing you can do from the start is workout what you want from your home and how each room can work for you. Perhaps you need a big home office; then you could sacrifice one of the bigger bedrooms to accommodate. Maybe you need a playroom for children, or want their bedroom to be downstairs. Then you can make that happen. A great little tip would be to draw up floor plans for each room and work out where you want things to go. It will help when it comes to furnishing and decorating.

Think about key pieces of furniture
Once you know what each function of the room will be, you can now start furnishing them. This means adding the furniture you may have and purchasing some new things to. You could even think about having pieces designed for you. Having a carpenter build a frame and then looking online at this website for foam as a seating element. Upholstering with specific material or prints will have you creating a statement and unique piece for your room. Key pieces of furniture can often be the focal point of a room, the bed in a bedroom, a desk in an office. They all have a purpose, and mostly they tend to be larger pieces. So try and workout your sizes in advance of purchasing items. The last thing you want is to order a big bed and it not fit in the room you want it to go in.

Clutter is not your friend
Finally, it is worth remembering that clutter is one of the things that can really take away from the style and look you are going for in specific rooms. Too much of something can be overbearing. Especially if you are creating features and styling up with statement pieces. A quick tip would be to declutter rooms before redecorating, and only having in it what you love, need or want.

I hope these tips will have you eager to start styling your home.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

DIY Renovations: Worth It or Waste of Time?

People love to talk about making a house a home. It could mean a lot of things to different people, but the general premise is that you’re aiming to create a home that you can connect with on a very deep level. Whether it’s soothing colours in your bedroom to help you wake up in the morning or a lovely spa-like experience in your bathroom, there’s nothing quite like a home that is free from IKEA furniture (at least, free from it looking the same as everyone else’s home!) and instead, completely personalized to your liking.

However, getting that kind of work done is expensive. Sure, you can hire a contractor, give them your ideas and create a completely bespoke home, but do keep in mind that this is incredibly expensive and you’re likely going to be left with a huge bill at the end of it. This isn’t really acceptable unless you have money to burn, so what other options are there?


Source: Unsplash


Do it yourself
DIY is a scary term for many people. It usually involves a lot of skill and work, and if it’s something as important as your home then you probably don’t want to mess anything up. Sadly, it’s very easy to break walls with power tools and you’re going to put yourself at risk if you try to do something like install a shelf and completely forget that you could be drilling into electrical wires in the wall.

There’s a lot behind DIY that simply cannot be avoided. It can end up getting really expensive, you could end up ruining your home and you might waste a lot of time, effort and money. As seen from this article at www.mirror.co.uk, DIY disasters can be extremely troublesome and difficult to recuperate from. But is that really it? Should you just forget about DIY and accept that huge price tag that comes with hiring a contractor?

Absolutely not!

So in this post, we’re going to talk about why DIY could be your saving grace and also why it’s well worth your time. It’s a skill that you’re going to get a lot of use out of, so be prepared to learn!


DIY is not as expensive as people think

The initial cost of DIY is, admittedly, quite high. You have to buy things like power tools, materials and maybe even spend a bit of money on lessons or books to help learn. However, that’s all part of the process and sooner or later, you’re going to pick up things that will help reduce the costs. For instance, you only need to buy a set of power tools once and you could even rent them if you’re unsure about buying cheaper budget tools. You could take a look at review website such as www.doityourself.com before you purchase any kind of power tool to ensure that you’re getting something that’s well worth your money.

In addition, once you find suppliers for materials, such as foam from www.easyfoam.co.uk, you can make huge savings and still get plenty of DIY work done. Speciality materials like foam need to be purchased from trusted suppliers–it’s not something you can just buy from Amazon and expect great quality!

So to conclude, DIY is only expensive initially, but once you get used to it, you’ll find yourself spending less and less to complete your projects.


Source: Unsplash

Learning how to DIY is simple
Although you may be tempted to pay for lessons and go to an official school or college, you’d be surprised at how much free information there is available on the internet. Whether it’s searching for tutorials on www.youtube.com or going to an online learning resource to study from professionals, there are plenty of ways to build up your DIY knowledge without having to spend a single penny. Of course, paid resources are going to be a bit more comprehensive, but learning by example is actually the best way to approach DIY.

For instance, you can start simple by installing a shelf or two. This means looking up a video on how to install a shelf, reading the manuals of whatever shelf you bought and then getting yourself some tools. You can start slow and even if it takes you a week to install a shelf, at least you’ve learnt something useful that you can apply to future DIY projects. Next time, you can look at other tutorials such as how to make your own decorations or how to replace a lighting fixture. Over time, you’ll get plenty of practice and you’ll also realize that you’re building up your knowledge and skills at the same time that you’re performing practical renovations.

But is it really worth the time?

This article has probably given you a starry-eyed impression of DIY, but the reality is that you’re going to need to invest a lot of time, money and effort into learning how to DIY. for most people, this simply isn’t worth it and you’re better of just spending that money on a contractor so you can get the work done with minimal effort. This is completely understandable and shouldn’t be knocked. After all, they’re professionals and they’ll usually guarantee quality results or your money back. When you factor in the amount of time you’ll spend and the possibility of failure, then it can seem like the better option for most people.

However, if you want to build up your DIY knowledge, then we’d definitely recommend picking up a set of tools and practising. If you plan to move out in the future then you shouldn’t be too concerned about occasionally messing up your home (of course, as long as you own your home!) and the skills you learn will improve over time as you practice. This means that when you do finally move out, you can take all of that experience, all of your tools and your knowledge to help create the dream home that you’ve always wanted.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Small Changes that will Help Your House Feel Like Home

If you have just purchased a new property then you will know more than anyone how exciting this can be. After all, you get the chance to start a new phase in your life and you may even find that it is exciting to see where life is going to take you. The problem that a lot of people experience when they buy a new home is that they struggle to make it feel like theirs. They feel as though no matter what they do, it still feels like the previous homeowner’s domain and this is the last thing that you want when you have spent a small fortune on the property itself. If you want to get around all of this then here are some top tips that will help you to turn the whole thing around.
Make your Windows your Own
When you move into your home, you may find that the property comes with Venetian blinds or even curtains that just aren’t your style. Every single time you look out of the window, you will be reminded that you did not put those blinds there and you will also be reminded that this is not your family home quite yet. If you want to drastically change the room without having to worry about breaking the bank then making the windows your own is a fantastic way for you to do this. You can showcase your own style and you can even add your own window dressing if you want. When you add curtains, you can seriously improve your home’s own appearance and you can even help to trap the heat in the room as well. This is great if you know that the home that you have moved into is a little on the cold side.

Hang some Art
If you have a lot of bare walls throughout your home then it will seem bland and boring no matter how many colours you use on the walls. If you want to turn this around then it is a good idea for you to hang some of your own artwork. You can easily hang art that you have created in the past or you can even try and hang art that reflects your own personality. If you are not quite sure where to start then auctions are a fantastic way for you to find what you are looking for. The best thing about auctions is that they are very affordable and you can also access a huge range of artwork in your local area. If your kids have painted some pictures in the past that you are very proud of then don’t be afraid to hang these up. Picture framing is one of the best ways for you to keep the artwork protected for years to come and it will also help you to try and keep everything looking nice and neat.

Work on the Smell of the Property
A house that is not very inviting in terms of the smell will never truly feel like a home. There are tons of ways that you can make your property smell nice and believe it or not, there are tons of air fresheners on the market that you can use to try and really boost the aesthetic. Scented candles and even incense are great here and you can also bake to try and get that homely smell. You want to smell whatever you are going for as soon as you walk in the front door because this is one of the ways for you to make your home feel much more like yours. If you are not quite sure which smell option to go with then you can find tons of inspiration online and you may even find that wax melts are a great option as well.
Plants and Shrubbery
If your home has a garden then don’t be afraid to try and upgrade it a bit. Fill it with your favourite flowers and don’t be afraid of throwing away any ornaments that you do not like. Sure, the previous owner might have spent good money on them but if they have not taken them when they moved out then they can’t be that special. If you feel bad about throwing them out then you could donate them if you want. Either way, making your garden homely is just as important as making your home feel like yours so this is one area that you should never really try and overlook. If you can, you should always try and have any plants that you want in every room of your home. The main reason for this is because it can help you to improve the general air quality and it can also make your home look much more beautiful as a result. Plants can also reduce stress levels and they can also really brighten the mood for everyone in the home.
Upgrade the Tub
Now turn your attention to the bathroom. There is nothing quite as luxurious as having a steam shower or even a whirlpool bath to try and take the daily stress of your job away. If you know that the shower is looking a little worn out then try and replace it. This is especially the case if you have a super old suite that you are not quite happy with. This doesn’t cost a huge amount of money and you will be adding value to the home as soon as you move in. When you decorate the bathroom you should always make sure that the design suits your taste but you should also make sure that it suits the taste of any new buyer as well. This means choosing neutral colours, if possible. The main reason for this is because the last thing you need is to have your home valued less because whoever moves in, is going to have to undo all of the work that you have done so this is something that you need to take into consideration.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Negotiating The Best House Loan For Your Dream Future




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Settling down is usually a difficult choice to make because often the excitement can be too much to bear. When you realise that you desperately want to begin your new life, you can feel a range of emotions. Mostly you will feel the excitement, perhaps complete and total love for the person you are settling down with as a team. You may have planned out the next ten years of your family life, or you may have been mentally picturing how you’re going to decorate all rooms of your new home.

This time can also be quite a nervous and apprehensive one also, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s not as if there are manuals written to help you complete adapt to your new life. It’s likely you realise this will take time, but overall it will be hugely worth it. This will also signify the next huge chapter of your life, and often people, no matter how excited, can feel quite nervous in the face of such change.

It might also be that despite the decision to settle down, your financial situation is not as strong as it could be to secure the house of your dreams. You deserve the best when settling down, as this is the home you will be living in and paying for throughout a number of years. Luckily there are ways to ensure that you can find a great home. The best method of doing so is negotiating the best housing loan for your dream future.

First, strengthening your credit score will help you seem more reliable to investors. It’s important to know how to improve credit score fast. It might be working overtime to pay off your loans, or perhaps settling old loans so even a small defaulting record can be assuaged in a matter of months. A great way could be to make easy to repay purchases from a credit card, which helps your credit score grow. It could be avoiding any lending options, such as switching from a pay monthly SIM package to a more convenient no-contract offering. Strengthening your credit score helps you enter the new deal with the strongest financial hand behind you, and that could be essentially important if you’d like plenty of options to consider.

Another great way of finding a more favourable loan or mortgage for your home is to extend the length at which you’re guaranteed to pay it back. It might be that you extend these terms over the course of twenty years instead of ten or fifteen. These types of loan packages are becoming more and more popular, as people are starting to realise that the growing cost of the housing market requires adapting to.

You may also decide to use a guarantor in order to secure part of your payment against the financial standing of a family member (but be careful with this, defaulting could lead to relationship difficulties to say the least.) You may decide to tie the loan to a form of assets, such as your business or some other form of value. You may also decide to ask for a stronger deposit via your family, in order to increase your initial contribution of goodwill and help you gain the best loan possible.

With these simple efforts of negotiation and preparation, you should find the best housing loan to help you live in the best property available to you in future. Now you only need search.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Easy Ways to Increase the Elegance of Your Home


If you’ve always dreamed of having a high-end home, but the amount of work you think it will take, or the perceived cost of achieving your dream home have held you back from fully realising your vision, I have good news for you! It is possible to make fairly minor changes to your home and have it look much more elegant.

Sound too good to be true? Check out these simple ways of increasing the elegance of your home:

The Devil’s in the Details

Many of the most elegant homes aren't elegant because they’ve been lavishly decorated - they’re elegant because the owner has paid attention to detail. For example, they may have taken the time to add quality oak skirting board at floor level and sophisticated cornice at the place where the walls meet the ceiling. This makes any room look more finished and increases its elegance ten-fold with just a little extra time and money ploughed into the process.

The Proper Paint is Important

The colour of the paint you choose to cover your home with will have a huge impact on whether or not it appears elegant. The good news is that, whether you’re a fan of bright, bold colours or you prefer a softer, more muted palette, you can achieve an elegant look. The key is to actually go super dramatic or super understated - anything in between will be lacklustre by comparison. Good options when going bold are rich reds, greens and opulent purples or even very dramatic blacks. If understated if your think, then a rich cream is pretty much always an elegant choice, as is a muted white.

Pile on the Pillows

Another very easy change to make to your home, which will add comfort and elegance, is furnishing (almost) every room with more pillows. Big comfy pillows that are sheathed in pretty materials such as silk, satin, faux fur and even recycled saris, are a great way of adding colour and style, while also bringing more opulence to the room. You need to make sure that they’re big and overstuffed though, or they could end up looking really cheap and not being too comfortable either.

Long, Lined Curtains Add Luxury

When it comes to treating your windows, if it’s elegance you’re looking for, you simply must choose curtains that hang from the ceiling (or as far up as possible) to the ground - curtains that end halfway down the wall often look cheap. They should also be lined and heavy and made from a luxurious material like velvet. Then, providing they match your decor, they will bring the room together and add some warmth and sophistication.

High-Quality Hardware is Best

Switching out cheap door handles and knobs on your furniture for high-quality crystal, glass or silver ones, for example, is a very effective, but inexpensive way of improving the elegance of pretty much any room in your home.

Make as many of these small changes as you can, and your home will keep on getting more elegant. Then all you have to worry about is keeping it clean and tidy, so it stays that way.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Five Tricks To Make Your Bedroom Look More Luxurious

If you’ve ever stayed in a luxury hotel, with a glorious and comfortable bed, as well as fluffy robe and soft carpet, then it can be hard coming back home to sleeping in your own bed, if your own bed is anything but. But in reality, you don’t need to spend a fortune to be able to recreate an expensive and luxurious looking bedroom of your own. You just need to know a few of the tips and tricks from interior designers to do it well, without having the five-star price tag.

So here are some tips and tricks to help you style and design your bedroom, so that you can enjoy a luxury room all year round.



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Layer Up With Pillows and Cushions

What do all luxury hotels have in common? The beds are piled high with pillows and cushions. So if you were only looking for one thing to change, then it would be an easy win to just start layering up with pillows. A considered and luxury bed is always going to be layered up precisely with accent pillows, as well as having your regular pillows for sleeping, of course. Going with an odd number like five or seven can look good too.


Change Your Lampshade


A quick way to upgrade the look that your room already has is with the lighting, and in particular, the lampshades in the room. Luxury rooms always have plenty of lighting, and won’t make a room like dim or dark. So go for a statement lampshade, particular for the centre of the room. A chandelier-style lamp can be an easy way to create a luxe-look too.


Invest in a New Bed

If your room is in need of a bit of an upgrade, then the bed is going to be one of the features that will really stand out in the room. So getting a new, modern, and luxury looking one, like the many stylish modern Italian beds that are out on the market, can be a good idea. The frames and styles of a new bed can give an instant update to the room, and make a really stylish and luxurious focal point in the room.


Add Artwork

No doubt you will have some artwork that is in your home that you have in place to be seen. Which is why artwork can get forgotten about in a bedroom and family photos or wedding photos are often used instead. But getting some striking artwork for the home can be a really good idea. When you don’t have art in the bedroom, then it can be letting the room down, especially if a luxury look is what you are going for.


Style Your Nightstand

No doubt you have at least one nightstand in the room to have a lamp and an alarm clock on perhaps. But styling it up, rather than just making in a place for junk, can be a good way to add an element of luxury to the room. Less is more when it comes to your nightstand.

Friday, 23 February 2018

How To Travel Right Now Without Saving

 

Whilst saving up may be the most effective and sensible way of funding travel, it’s not the only way. In fact, you don’t need lots of money to travel – whilst you do still need to put in some thorough planning, it’s possible to visit your dream destination on any budget. Here are some steps to travelling without saving.

Earn money as you travel

The simplest way to travel when you’re skint is to get a job as you travel. This could involve working in a bar, picking grapes in a vineyard or even teaching English. Such jobs could give you a real experience of not just seeing another country but living and working in it (some employers may even offer accommodation for free or a discounted price). Alternatively, you may be able to do work from a laptop and earn money on the go. This includes jobs like writing, web design and consultancy – whilst you may have to hunt for places with wifi to work from for a few hours, you might be able to use the rest of your time to travel and explore. Sites like
Web Work Travel have more information on such jobs.

Use smart borrowing methods

Even if you’re planning to work as you travel, you’ll likely need some money to fund your initial flight or train journey, as well as having some spending money to get you by. Taking out a personal loan from a site like
MoneyMe could be an option worth considering. Obviously, you don’t want your travels to get you into too much debt, so look for low interest options. You may be able to part-fund it on a low interest credit card – credit cards can also offer a level of security when travelling abroad.

Put your bills on hold

You don’t want to be struggling to pay bills back home as you travel. If you’re going away for a few months, consider whether its worth moving out so that you don’t have to pay rent/mortgage. You can use a self-storage company such as
Now Storage to store your belongings. Similarly, you may want to take your car off the road if you have one and stop insurance payments.


Take advantage of last minute deals

You don’t have to plan months ahead to find good deals either.
Last minute flights can be just as cheap as many airlines are eager to fill last minute seat. Similarly, hotels will offer last minute promotions to fill empty rooms.


Keep to a budget

A budget is still important, even if you’re not saving up, otherwise you’ll get into a lot of debt. Have a set amount that you’re willing to borrow and don’t spend more than this. If you’re taking a credit card, set yourself a limit to avoid getting carried away spending. If you’re working whilst travelling, make sure that your wage is enough to cover costs of living – ideally want to be able to travel around and see local sights in your free time and not just get by.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Surviving In The Working World

It doesn’t matter whether you started your first job last week, or years ago. Surviving in the working world is not the easiest thing to do. You’re hit with curveball after curveball. Because one of the things you realise pretty quick is that your working life, and normal life, soon become intertwined. Anything that affects you at home, seems to affect you at work, and vise versa. One thing we can all agree is that going into the working world just causes one big ball of stress. When you’re a young and naive teenager, a full time wage might seem like the best thing in the world. But as soon as bills and other monthly payments start coming into the equation, the stress of life begins. Even though it will seem to remain this way for a lot of your working life, it isn’t fair for it to. Luckily for you, we’ve got some tips that we know will help you survive in the working world, no matter how long you’ve been in it. If you’re intrigued, then read on to find out more.

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Stresses

It has now become pretty much impossible to meet someone who
isn’t stressed. Even if it isn’t about work, there’s always something to be stressed about. But granted, work is the main reason a lot of people feel like their heads are about to explode. There’s a few reasons for this, and a few ways that you can solve it. The first being the amount of hours that you work. It might seem all well and good putting in the extra hours to get money. But before you know it the pressure mounts and you’re up to your eyeballs in stress. There are easier ways out there to make money than to put in hours and hours at the office. Not only will it make the job you’re doing extra boring really quick, but it’ll also reduce your focus during your normal working hours. We can see why you would want to earn more money, but why not think about doing it from home. Find something you're passionate about, and set up a little something from home. It could be freelance writing, painting etc. All of them might not bring in the same amount of money as extra hours at your normal job would. But if you build up enough of a reputation, you could find yourself bringing in a nice bit of side income.

Another stress that we guarantee you’ll have to deal with at work is those caused by the people who are managing you. Unless you run your own business, you’re always going to feel the pressure from
someone above you. This can grind you down until you feel like the most worthless employee in the world. The important thing to remember about the people above you is that they have the power. Once they get a taste for that power, there’s nothing that will bring them down. This usually leads to arrogance and overstating of their power. But, you’re going to find people like this in pretty much every career you go into. There’s never going to be a job where absolutely everybody is lovely. Someone always have a stick stuck somewhere they don’t want it to be, and they take it out on the people below them. So you’ve got two options here. Either put up with it. Find a way to grit your teeth and smile at them like they’re your best friend. Or, you can take a stand. If you know you’re being treated unfairly, make it known. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to step up and voice their opinions, to let the person at question step down a peg or two.


A Life Outside Of Work

This is so so important if you ever want to survive for the amount of time you’re going to have to until retirement. A life outside of work isn’t hard to achieve. All you need to do is find a way to switch off as soon as your shift ends. Some people like to go out with friends for a drink, others like to take to sport and fitness as an outlet outside of work. Whatever you chose, it is important to have one. But at the same time, it is easy for things in your person life to spill into your work life, and when they do things can get rather stressful. When this does happen, you work should always accommodate, especially if it is something that is massively impacting your life. For example, one thing we’re all going to go through at one point or another is loss of a loved one. It is hard enough to focus on life when this happens, let alone work. Your work should give you bereavement leave to help you get over your loss. But as always, some companies choose to be restrictive, even over sensitive subjects such as this. Peninsulas employee bereavement leave guide will help to show you what you’re entitled to if you ever do go through something like this. Other stresses can get in the way, such as relationship troubles etc. Things like this your employers will not be lenient about. Try not to let personal issues such a relationship break up spill over into the workplace. We know how hard it will be, as the issue will always be on your mind, but if you make work an outlet and an escape, it might make things easier for you.


Workplace Issues

Just like with the overbearing manager,
workplace issues are going to be something you’ll encounter at one point or another. Just like in school, friendships form and cliques appear, especially if your office is bigger. Try not to get involved with any workplace gossip. As interesting as it might be, it might come back on you as well. Your aim should be to be friendly with everyone. Don’t get on people's bad side by sharing gossip you know you shouldn’t. It is easy to feel isolated at work if you keep annoying people.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Don’t Let Your Look Lack Style This Year!

Personality


Typically, people dress to match how they feel and act, and it can say a lot about someone when you see their style. It’s great if you want what you wear to reflect who you are, but you should also make sure it looks good on you! There’s a good look for everyone out there, although it might take some time to find it, giving up is not the answer. Many fashion enthusiasts online share their opinions and thoughts on what’s best for different individuals. Whether you feel short and lacking features, or you’re tall and broad shoulders, you can guarantee that there’s a look that looks incredible on you! The reason many people struggle is because they try to stick to trends; which are made mostly for the general body type. There’s nothing wrong with that! But you might be shooting yourself in the foot psychologically because you just have to wonder why it looks so good on everyone else, and not you.


Shop around!

If you feel that you do not fit the trends of today, and stores don’t generally sell your kind of clothing, don’t hesitate to go to online stores! If you’re not a frequent online shopper, you’re sure to be missing out on plenty of great wardrobe options for you. Don’t be intimidated by the lack of physical appearances, because although you won’t be able to try on any clothes before you buy them, there are often size charts you can compare yourself to beforehand. Not only that, but a lot of sites have a returns policy, meaning if it doesn’t fit or suit you; you can just get your money back!

Online shopping isn’t just the best way to find new clothes; it’s also the best way to get great deals! You have a vast amount of online stores you can purchase from, whether it’s for clothes, accessories or makeup, you’re certain to find the best prices somewhere! Take CNC Shellac, for example, if you’re looking for expensive makeup, the chances are you can’t beat the prices an online store has to offer you!




(Source: Pexels)


Experimenting

Like mentioned before, you should take the time to discover what’s right for you. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by a lack of good results; many people find it hard to find their look. If you don’t know where to look, it can be tedious, but it’s an important step to having your perfect and unique image. Another thing you should consider, trying things you don’t think will suit you. It’s easy to dismiss these items right from the first glance you see them, but you never know when it will work out! It doesn’t hurt to be daring, and it can help you find the best results.


Every year people are getting sick of how they look, and it can become boring for them to stick to the same style. At some point, everyone needs a makeover, an overhaul to change how they look completely. Whether it’s a new winter wardrobe, or changing your approach to the summer, change is always good!



Thursday, 25 January 2018

Make 2018 The Year You Become Fiscally


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Money is something that gives each of us a headache at some point in our lives. No matter how much or how little you earn, it’s very easy to make bad decisions with your finances that can ultimately back you into a tricky corner. However, minimum wage or not, being sensible with your earnings is all it takes to have a comfortable financial situation. You just need to learn how to manage your money effectively and secure a better future for yourself. Make 2018 the year you become fiscally responsible. Here are a couple of tips.

Manage your expenditures.
Obviously, you can’t foresee every expense that’s going to come your way in life. Unexpected accidents can lead to costly medical bills, and legal situations can lead to hefty court fees. However, in many aspects of life, we can control our spending. It’s up to you how you spend your money. Still, there are some unavoidable necessities that we need in life, such as food, electricity, rent money, and gas for the car. That’s why you need to make a budget so as to ensure you know how much disposable income you have after you’ve paid for those necessities out of your earnings. If you’re struggling to afford the essentials because of a temporary problem with your finances then you might want to look into
online personal loans as a solution to get you by until you’re back on your feet. Obviously, this is a solution for those who will be able to afford to pay back the loan afterward.

Of course, cutting down on luxuries is one thing, but you can also do a lot to free up your available income by reducing the cost of necessary expenditures too. This doesn’t mean that you need to compromise by giving up the food, utilities, or other essentials you need. It simply means that you need to be smarter about the way in which you pay for such things. For example, you could save money when it comes to your car by learning to
maintain and repair it by yourself. You could save money on groceries by growing vegetables in your own back garden. You could save money on utility bills by insulating your house so as to better conserve the energy you’re using. There are so many ways to save money that you might be missing.

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Start saving money regularly.
Of course, the best way to be fiscally responsible is to avoid the urge to spend all of your disposable earnings. Instead, you should
set aside a small chunk of your income on a regular basis. In fact, every time you get your paycheck, you should instantly put some of it aside into your savings account. You could set up a standing order to automatically transfer a certain percentage of your monthly or weekly earnings straight to your savings account. That way, you’re never tempted to spend the money that you should really be saving. Ensure a better future by giving yourself a financial safety

Rustic Rooms: One Addition To Achieve The Look

The “rustic” look is a popular interior design theme, and one that never shows signs of going out of style. There is something that cannot be denied about the quaint, homely charms of rustic living-- it’s a style that transports you back to a simpler time, and helps you feel connected with nature even when you’re just sitting indoors and avoiding the rain.

Achieving the full rustic look, however, can be expensive, time-consuming, and… a little too much. If you go too far with this design idea, the interior of your home can begin to resemble a log cabin, and your usual tech and accessories will begin to look rather out of place. For example…

Rustic gone rogue.

Rustic is a look that is best applied gently, with small touches rather than an overwhelming theme that dominates the entire space.

If you want to capture the rustic look, then here are a few ideas for one addition you can make to each room. These single additions allow you to capture the spirit of the rustic look, without crossing the line from “quaint” into “overwhelming”.

THE BEDROOM: Wood furniture choice

The trend for modern bedroom furniture leans towards plain colours; white, black, grey-- and there’s no sign of that changing anytime soon. However, by choosing the rustic look you’re already sidestepping what’s “on trend” and going for a look that is timeless and classic, so you can afford to opt for furniture with a bit more to it.

If you’re aiming for rustic, then there’s one wood that rises above them all: pine. Pine is the quintessential rustic wood, and by choosing to use it for your bedroom furniture, you’ll have captured the country-cottage aesthetic in one fell swoop.

LIVING ROOM: Fireplace or wood-burning stove

There’s simply no other choice for the living room; if you want to achieve a rustic look in this area, then you’re going to want to create an old-fashioned hearth. The best way of achieving this is with a fireplace, which you can accessorise with a basket full of homegrown
British firewood, a poker set, and even a mirror to help reflect the light the fire produces.

If a full-blown real fire isn’t an option, consider a wood-burning stove. Wood-burning stoves don’t require a huge, built-in chimney breast, so they’re a great choice if you don’t want to make radical adaptations to your property.

KITCHEN: Copper pans from the ceiling

The kitchen is the heart of the rustic home, and one that popularised the look in the first place. While there’s no doubt that large unpainted wood tables and huge Aga ranges are attractive, there’s also no doubt that few people have the
kitchen space to accommodate such large additions.

Instead, choose to hang
copper pans from the ceiling to achieve a rustic feel without going full-on mountain cottage. Not only do these pans look good, but this is also useful, as it frees space in your cupboards. There’s a great guide to installing a pan rack in this video, so if you like the idea, you might want to give it a try:

Have fun turning your home into a rustic wonderland!

Monday, 22 January 2018

Throwing A Surprise Party For A Friend – 5 Tips To Make It A Hit

When your friend’s birthday is fast approaching, there’s a huge desire to find the perfect present for them. In truth, though, most people consider spending time with their nearest and dearest to be the greatest gift of all. Throwing a surprise party is undoubtedly one of the best ways to achieve that goal.

If you’re going to make those efforts, it’s vital that you do it in the right manner. Here’s how.

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Plan early
The most important ingredient in the recipe for a perfect party is the guests. As long as all the right people are there, the recipient is sure to have the time of their life. People lead busy lives, though, so make sure you’ve set a date in stone long before the event.
Use social media to keep people updated. Even if it means finding a venue at a later date, knowing that the birthday boy or girl will be surrounded by love is the most crucial element of all.

Appreciate the timing
Many factors can influence your party planning decisions, and the time of year is certainly near the top of that list. Even if you’re planning to host the event at your home, a
winter party carries different requirements to a summer one. On a similar note, the rental prices of some venues may fluctuate greatly between peak and off-peak seasons. Take those influences on budgets and possibilities into account, and you won’t go far wrong.

Embrace tech
Technology can be used to brighten up any party. For starters, creating a Spotify playlist of their favourite songs will make a big impact whether you’re at home or in a hall. Meanwhile, capturing the moment with photographs will be an important part of the celebrations. Take things to the next level by
creating a Snapchat filter, and it’ll be sure to a party that nobody ever forgets. Frankly, that’s all anyone throwing a bash could ever hope to achieve.

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Make it uniquely fun
A party without fun is one that has failed to unlock its potential. The simple gestures often make the biggest impact, and sharing great food is an essential feature.
Popcorn machines and other devices can take the enjoyment to a whole new level. The birthday party is the ideal time to forget about diets and responsibilities. On a similar note, fun games like giant Jenga and sporting activities can inject fresh energy to house parties.

Throw off the scent
Finally, when throwing a surprise party, you need to ensure that it remains a surprise. One option is to host the event a few days before their birthday. Pretend that you are doing something else like going to
the cinema or a restaurant so that they get dressed up. Then ensure that everyone is either at your home or the venue ready to put a shock smile on the recipient’s face. That emotional reaction of knowing everyone has come together to celebrate their birthday is the greatest gift of all.

See, arranging their birthday party isn’t so scary after all. Get those plans started ASAP, and you’ll have no problems creating a magical and memorable experience.

Crafting an Ideal Space for the Perfect Dining Experience



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Sure, dining out is a great novelty, but we all love a good dinner party within our own homes too! This could perhaps explain the profound success of shows such as Come Dine with Me or Dinner Date, which see us watching other people around the country host their own dining experiences. Now, if you’ve been watching these programmes and have decided that you’d like to try out the role of the host with the most yourself, have a new recipe that you’d like to try out on a grand scale, have an occasion to celebrate, or simply fancy a catch up with your nearest and dearest, a dinner party is a brilliant way to get everyone together and connecting with one another over delicious food and drink. But before you start drafting up the guest list and begin sending out invites, you need to ensure that you have a space that can not only accommodate your guests, but that will also be functional, practical, and help to create the perfect atmosphere for your event! Here are a few ideas for you to springboard from.


The Dining Table

Increasing numbers of people are opting to eat their meals from their laps in front of the television. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s most certainly not appropriate for a dinner party. Not everyone will be comfortable with eating from their lap and it’s not conducive to conversation and interpersonal engagement. So, you need to ensure that you have a nice clear dining table with comfortable seats for people to sit at throughout the duration of the meal. This also keeps things more organised and simple, as condiments, a carafe of water, and any bottles of wine can be placed at the centre within easy reach of everyone seated. You can also invest in special tableware for the occasion. Matching dinner service sets, in particular, put across the impression that you’ve put plenty of thought and effort into how you are presenting your guest's meals to them. Also be sure that each person has a napkin of sorts, should there be any spills or dropped food to clear up.



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Lighting

Lighting can have a profound effect on the atmosphere of any given situation. However, when it comes to dining, it can be the make or break of a comfortable environment to eat in. When people are eating, they want to be able to see what they’re doing, so if the lighting is too dim, they may be put off their food or create a mess. However, you also don’t want blaring light, as people don’t want to feel as though their every move is being watched while they eat. If you are hosting a lunch, you’re in luck. Natural daylight should suffice. However, if you’re hosting a dinner, you should ensure that there is warm ambient lighting and this can always be brightened up a touch with candles.

These two aspects of your dining space may seem relatively minor, but they will make all the difference when it comes to how your guests will receive your food and the event in general. So be sure to bear them in mind!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Understanding The Other Red Monster In Your Life

We’ve all experienced anger which seems to do away with our reasoning. Be honest ladies; it happens
to us at least once a month. But, even when mother nature isn’t behind our unholy rage, anger isn't the
straightforward emotion we expect. Sure, it’s sometimes an adequate reaction. But, if you notice
yourself snapping at everything, it might be time to take a step back. Consider whether you’re being
rational. If not, think about where your anger originates. Often our anger is more a result of what’s
going on with us than what’s happening outside. That person you shouted at may have been an idiot,
but did they really deserve that level of rage? Perhaps not. Next time you feel yourself reaching this
stage, don't let stress overwhelm you. Instead, step back and consider what’s going on. To help you
get to the bottom of it, we’re going to look at three hidden factors which could be making themselves
known.

You aren’t sleeping enough
Lack of sleep should be an apparent cause for our anger. In fact, not sleeping enough can cause all
sorts of issues, including low mood and heightened emotions on every end of the spectrum. How many
times have you gone to bed feeling emotionally awful, and woken up good as new? Yet, few of us
consider this. So, when you feel the rage, step back and think about how you’ve been sleeping. If not
well, then why not? Is your mattress playing you up? If yes, head to sites like choosemattress.com to
find something better. Is something else stopping you from sleeping? If yes, address that outside
issue as soon as possible. Whatever the cause, your rage is sure to subside as soon as you start
getting decent sleep again.

You’re hangry
Come on; this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to you. When we’re hungry, we get angry.
There’s a word especially for it, for goodness sake! But, this is more than just ‘one of those sayings’.
There’s actual scientific backing for the hangry argument, and you can find out about it on sites like
www.iflscience.com. Needless to say, when our glucose levels drop, so too does our mood. Next
time you see the red monster, consider whether there’s a grumble in your tummy. The good news is, there’s an easy fix for this. All you have to do is eat. Though, avoid quick fixes like chocolate bars,
and eat a proper meal. Otherwise, your hanger could come back in full force when your sugar rush
subsides.

You’re...thangry?
If you’ve eaten, slept, and still feel raging, thanger may be to blame. Okay, this isn’t so universally
known, but bear with us. Thanger is precisely what it sounds like - anger due to thirst. Much like
sleep, hydration plays a massive part in mood. Water helps keep everything balanced, and even
mild dehydration can cause cognitive decline. Grumpiness is part and parcel of all that. Next time
your rage won’t go, reach for the water.