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Think It’s Time To Move House? Let’s Look At What You Should Do

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You’ve been comfortably living in a fitting home for a while now, and whilst it’s been a blast, you think the tenure here has reached its last legs. It would be lovely to stay here forever and not have to put in the effort regarding relocation, but that’s not the world we live in. As weeks, months, and years go by, your life changes and your situation changes. You’re a completely different person or a completely different family to what you were just a few years ago, and it’s time to find a place to suit your new needs.

If you’ve been through this stuff a fair few times before, then you’ll know all of the aspects it entails – and there are quite a lot, huh? Whilst it’s not a hugely troubling affair, it does need some thought. Let’s have a little look at some of the stuff you should do in the lead up to the potential move.

Plan Things In Advance

Like a lot of things in life, you should probably have a little plan of action written down for you and those around you to follow. If you are doing everything off-the-cuff, then it may get a little confusing as there are many steps.  

Get Your Home Ready To Be Sold  

When the current home eventually leaves your grasp, you’ll want more than enough money in return. If you can afford to invest heavily to hike the price up, then good for you, but you don’t always need a big overhaul – little aesthetic changes can up the value a lot. When it comes to actually letting go, you can go through the traditional process, or you can sell quickly. You can visit the Flying Homes website and others that are similar if you want to take a lot at how that system operates. It is good to make sure everything is looking fresh and smart before leaving as you don’t want potential buyers think it’s a sty!                                                                                                                                                   

Figure Out What Type

There are a bunch of different styles of house in the world, and it’s up to you to choose which would be best. Your initial thoughts are probably to find something similar to what you have now but upgraded or downsized, but there might be something unorthodox out there that suits you perfectly.

Look Up Movers

The whole thing takes a lot of effort – and physically is needed on the day as you’ll be on your feet lifting stuff. If you want some help, then you should probably research companies that handle this process for you so that you can kick back when you have the chance.

Don’t Stress!

It’s easier said than done, but this entire process doesn’t need to keep you on edge throughout. Sure, it can occupy your mind quite a lot as it’s a significant chapter in your life, but there’s no need to worry about it. The moving process is something everybody goes through, and if it were so difficult, nobody would get it over the line! It’s a piece of cake, so enjoy it as much as you can.  

Make Your Life Easier as a Mumpreneur

With childcare costs at an all-time high and earnings not really falling into line, it’s little wonder that so many women are turning to the idea of running their own businesses from home. The advantages of working in your own home are numerous, allowing you to set your own hours, work around school times and school holidays, and ultimately save a lot of money on childcare. It’s not for everyone, and some people struggle with the challenges of running a business in their home, but if you’ve got the drive and the patience, it can be a great alternative to a traditional 9-5 career.

If you’re thinking about becoming a work-at-home-mum, or even if you already are and are looking to make your life a bit easier, we’ve got some tips on how you can delegate certain tasks.

Get an Assistant

If you’re not keen on the idea of having someone coming to work alongside you in your home office every day, virtual receptionist services could be a great solution. For as little as 30p per day, you could have an automated service to handle all of the calls you don’t have time to deal with. It also means that you’re not tied to a desk and have the freedom to work from absolutely anywhere without the risk of missing important calls or losing business – far cheaper than a human assistant!

Outsource the Cleaning

Having a cleaner may seem like a luxury you can’t afford, but when you think about how much time you spend cleaning in a week, and then consider the fact that you could spend that time working on your business instead, can you afford NOT to have a cleaner?! Taking the domestic chores off of your plate can free you up for more important things and increase your earning potential.

Co-Parenting

As we mentioned above, childcare is a massive expense for many families, which is why homeworking is good for parents of younger kids. However, when you’ve got a deadline or an important meeting to deal with, having kids around isn’t always doable. Teaming up with another Mumpreneur could be the answer – arrange to cover each other’s childcare during important times and the reciprocal arrangement means your childcare won’t cost anything and you both have the opportunity to develop your businesses when you need to. This can also work when you have to start doing school runs – take it in turns each day to take the kids to school while the other works.

Do Everything Online

The world is set up so that most things can now be one online, so set aside a couple of hours each week to get as much done online as you can. From your weekly shop to paying bills and even booking appointments, doing things in a set time slot each week can save you lots of time and give you a clearer head for dealing with work-related tasks. You can even use services which will not only remind you that someone’s birthday is coming up but will also send a card out to them without you even needing to go near a post box!

Get Your Beauty On!

If you’re the kind of person who likes to look ‘put together’ but struggle for time, there are a few things you can do to help you feel good without spending hours in the bathroom each morning. A Brazillian blow dry will cut down on hair styling time and keep your mane sleek without too much heat. Having your eyelashes permed and tinted could help give you the confidence to go out without mascara and having your eyebrows micro-bladed could save you loads of time each day, too. Think about your beauty priorities and see if there’s a permanent or semi-permanent solution.

Dress up Your Outdoor Windows for Summer

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As we move into the warmer weather, you may want to give your home a fresh look to reflect the change of season. Not only can you make interior décor changes to fit the summer vibe, but the exterior of your home deserves some TLC too.

Do you ever walk past a lovely-looking house and admire decorative features in the driveway, beautiful windows, or a brightly painted door? First impressions are everything, and what your home looks like from the outside can instantly boost a home’s curb appeal.

With so many styles to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to do a complete overhaul of your home’s exterior, so take it one step at a time, and begin with your windows.

Here are four ideas to dress up your outdoor windows for summer, using the classic English House for style inspiration.

Select Your Window Type

Don’t underestimate the power of your window frames as they make all the difference when preparing your home to “pop” from the outside. Sash windows are the perfect choice to achieve the English House look as the “sashes” form a frame to hold the panels of glass. They’re an elegant and timeless way to finish off a period-inspired home.

You can choose between uPVC Sash Windows or Timber Windows, each of which offers you a range of styles and configurations. From dual swing to tilt and slide to casement and sliding sash, you’ll be sure to find the right option to suit your home. For a classic English House style, a timber window with the sliding sash style would be ideal.

You can also choose any colour for timber windows if you treat the frames with several coatings of specialised paint. White window frames offer a classic English House style and look great against bricks or stone. View sash window inspiration here.

Add Window Flower Boxes

When properly arranged and placed, window boxes are a wonderful addition to your home’s exterior to add some colour and to make heads turn.

The best window boxes compliment the style of a house, so make sure that the size is correct (not too wide) and that the depth gives your flowers enough room to grow, without blocking the window’s view.

Pick your favourite summer flowers and you can look at them with pride every time you return home. View window flower box inspiration here.

Install Decorative Exterior Shutters

Typically, window shutters are used on the inside of the window frame to control the amount of light that comes through. However, you’ve likely seen them on the outside of people’s homes and wondered do people actually open and close them? Although window shutters were originally designed for privacy and security, they are now more commonly used for decoration and style.

Exterior window shutters add character and charm to your home’s appearance and require little in the way of maintenance. View exterior shutter inspiration here.

Consider Window Awnings

Window awnings are another great addition for aesthetic purposes as the overhang above the window adds an extra dimension to your home’s exterior. With so many, colours, patterns and designs available, it’s easy to choose an awning that will match the style and décor you are trying to create. View window awning inspiration here.

Awnings also prevent the sun from shining in through the windows and protect the window from above.

Not only are these window additions great for curb appeal and your own enjoyment, but they can also translate into a higher resale value of your home — in case you ever decide to move.

Now take a step back and admire your Pinterest worthy outdoor windows you’ll be amazed at how much they doll up the exterior of your home!

How To A Choose TV Stand That Best Matches Your Living Room

What is the most significant, most exciting feature in any living room, that is looked at for the longest time by the collective household, usually unblinkingly, and serves as the gateway from one’s humble abode to the world outside? Yes, I’m talking about your TV! And what is imperative to make the most of your TV? The perfect TV stand! Make sure you are not detracting from your TV experience by following these helpful tips to choose the best living room TV stand.

Placement is Paramount

What’s the point of investing in a good TV, if the viewing experience itself is ruined by suboptimal placement of the stand? Whether in a corner or along a dominant wall, depending on the size and layout of your living room, the TV stand can be positioned anywhere that is convenient. A few points to keep in mind are the size of the TV itself and the number of people that may be watching it. Keeping the stand located to complement the rest of the furniture and maximise the zone of comfortable viewing for the entire room will guarantee satisfaction for all.

Decide on the Dimensions

The height of a TV stand determines viewing comfort to a large extent. Once the position for the TV stand has been decided, ensure that the one you choose has the appropriate height, is wider than your TV width (to prevent overhang) and has enough depth to provide sufficient support to prevent the toppling over of this expensive gadget. Typically, the centre of the screen should be 35-45 inches from the floor for an ergonomic viewing height to prevent prolonged strain on the neck and eyes. This is just a guideline and should be checked with the height of your living room sofas.

Sustain the Style

Being a prominent feature in any living room, it is best to go for a TV stand that complements and seamlessly merges into the décor of the room. Straight, geometrically designed stands in pale greys or whites will add to the refined look of minimalist furniture, while the rich, dark wood tones of oak or mahogany stand to integrate well in rooms with more traditional furniture. For retro styled living rooms, high gloss or metal and glass TV stands bring both support and style to the TV and the room. If required, stands with shelves help in organisation and storage.

Material Matters

TV stands are commonly found in wood, glass, metal or high gloss finishes. Along with décor, it is essential to keep in mind which material would be most suited to the family. For homes with not many pets or kids, glass stands reinforced with metal frames are an option. Where glass or high gloss ones might be cracked or scratched, sturdy wood stands will stand the test of time and rough use and are highly recommended for larger households.

To find the TV stand ideal for your living room at the best prices, check out Furniture in Fashion, and you won’t be disappointed!

How To Add an Accent Colour and Futureproof Your Rooms

When it comes to home decor, trends change on a pretty regular basis. Every year, new colours come into fashion and lots of people jump onto the bandwagon, using the colours all over their houses. For the last couple of years, grey has been a major interiors trend, and be honest, how many people do you know who’ve got grey in at least one room of their house now?

The problem with following trends is that, in a few years time when the colour is out of fashion, your house could end up looking pretty dated if you’ve got it everywhere. So today, i thought I’d show you a few ways to add on-trend colours to your house without leaving you needing to redecorate again in a years’ time!

Flooring

Grey is a nice neutral colour, so using it for something like a floor won’t leave your room looking outdated for years to come. Our tip? Lifestyle Flooring UK have a large selection of solid wood flooring here https://lifestyleflooringuk.co.uk/solid-wood-flooring that are easy to buy and fit and allow you to change the whole look of a room without going overboard and painting every surface.

Feature Walls

Choosing one feature wall in your room to paint and keeping the rest of the walls a neutral colour is a great way to add an accent with minimal effort. It’s easy to paint over when you want something different, won’t require the whole room to be prepped and covered with dust sheets and is achievable in one afternoon, if the rest of your room is in good condition.

Soft Furnishings

If your room us a pretty neutral shade and the accent colour you like goes well with it, you could simply invest in cushion covers, lampshades and curtains or blinds in your chosen accent. These are all relatively low cost items which can totally transform the look of a room.

Faux Flowers

Keeping a constant stream of fresh flowers in your house is both expensive and unsustainable. However, investing in some good faux flowers can add a splash of colour to your room and will last as long as you need them to. Faux flowers have come on a lot in the last few years, and some of them look more real than the real thing!

Art

Adding a piece of art to the wall can help you to add a stunning splash of colour to a room, and if you hang it in a central place, you can change it as often as you like. There are companies who make large canvases with traditional art pieces on them, or you could even try making your own with a blank canvas and some paints in your chosen colour.

Our Ideal Home

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The other day, Sausage and I were chatting away in the car and she asked my what my ideal house would be like. I love the location of our current house and there are things about it that I like, but if money were no object I realised that my ideal home would be pretty different to this one! It got me thinking about what my ideal home would be like, so I thought I’d share my vision with you all here:

Bedrooms

Ideally, I’d like us to have four or five bedrooms, so that we could have one room each for Husband and I and both girls, and then a spare room for guests and a room where Husband can use as his office. Our current house is three bedrooms, but the girls currently share as we’ve got an office, but Husband is going to be giving his space up soon so that Sausage can have her own room. I’d also love to have South West Upholstery come in and give us some bespoke upholstery in the house.

Garden Room

I’ve always loved the idea of garden rooms, and having a space that I could set up as an office/sewing room/reading nook, so that I could have everything set up in order for me to be productive. If it was inside the house, there would be a temptation to be in it all the time, but if it was at the end of the garden, I’d have my own space but a healthy amount of separation so that I’m not checking emails at midnight!

Kitchen

I don’t need some massive state-of-the-art kitchen, but I would like a LOT more cupboard space. I’ve also always had a bit of a thing for kitchens with an island in the middle, which I’d love to have some sort of breakfast bar at one end so that the kids could eat there in the mornings and people could hang out in the kitchen with me while I cooked.

Conservatory

I’ve always been a sucker for a conservatory – I blame growing up on a council estate in the 80’s and 90’s where a conservatory was a sign that you’d really made it in life! I’d love a conservatory with enough space for a dining table so that we could eat there on summer evenings, as well as some sort of sofa so that we could sit out there and enjoy the sun even on cold days.

Cupola

This one is a bit niche, but bear with me! There’s a house where we live with a cupola on the top and every time I go past, I fantasise about living in a house with some sort of cupola or turret so that I can sit up there at night and look through a telescope at the stars, or snuggle up in a blanket on a rainy day and read a book with a cup of hot cocoa. Imagine watching a lightening storm from inside your own cupola?! I know finding a house with one is probably a pipe dream, even with a hefty lottery win, but it’s always been something I’ve loved.

Outside buildings can often add value to your property so if you’re thinking about adding some additional space, it might be well worth it in the long run!

Tips to Refresh your Home at the Start of 2019

As we move into 2019 many people will be looking to refresh their homes with a new modern look. Here we cover several top interior design tips you could use in order to do so.

• New theme

Changing the style to your home is a very good way of giving it that new updated look. This could be done through simply changing the colours around your home. Using a selection of no more than 2-3 core colours is usually the best approach.

• Making a statement

Many people are now looking to make a statement with the style of their home, whether this be through a floor rug or a modern composite door such as the ones at Truedor. Rugs add comfort to almost any space, the right one can push forward a striking statement. It is important to look over the proportion of your room prior to selecting a rug.

• Artwork

Adding artwork to walls can completely change the overall look of the room as on many occasions these are neglected. There are an endless list of different ones to choose from, so you can give your home that preferred style you are looking for.

• Plants

Adding greenery to your home or workspace can really improve the space. It can be a ready compliment to the room, when added to a neutral colour scheme.

• Style right

Choosing the correct décor is very important. Simply keeping things arranged in groups of different heights, textures and tones instantly gives the room that greater visual interest.

• Lighting

Lighting is possibly the most important factor when it comes to creating a modern inviting home. This can be through allowing more natural light into your home through the correct windows in place. Or simply adding floor and table lamps around the living space to create a bright home. Creating a warm glow to a room, is a great and simply way to modernise the space.

• Minimalism

The final tip is being simple. Minimalism is continuing to grow in popularity and is a great way to not only give your home a modern look, but will enable you to enhance the space around the room and home in general.

Top tips for first time property investors

Property investment is one of the most significant assets currently in the UK. It adds billions of pounds to the economy each year. Many people consider embarking on a property investment venture, however are unsure how or feel uncertain about the prospect. Make sure you follow these simple guidelines to ensure the process can be as smooth as possible.

Research the best areas

The UK is blessed with an array of prosperous cities, that may feel you feeling a little overwhelmed with the choice of multiple locations claiming they possess the greatest rental yields. It is imperative to spend some time before you commit to a specific area, to discover whereabouts will be the most lucrative for you. Northern cities like Liverpool and Manchester have established a secure reputation as a true investment hotspot for 2018. There are several contributing factors that dictate the success of investment across these cities. These include a growing population, demand for quality, and increasing capital growth.

Get in the mind of your tenant

This is a key strategy to really understand the what your target tenant requires. If you are interested in investing in properties for students, for instance, it is important, think about what the student may want from their accommodation, such as being close to extensive transport links or being in walking distance to university campus. These demands are somewhat changing so it is important to be aware and keep up with any emerging trends. The 21st Century student favour more of a luxury standard. Spacious city centre apartments are on the rise over the old cramped style student accommodation halls students have become accustomed to. Alternatively, if you wish to rent to families then proximity to high achieving schools may be at the top of the list. Researching the changing demands of each type of tenant is key in ensuring your void periods are kept to a minimum, which is great news for investors who wish to keep their return on investment high.

Which property is for you?

There are multiple types of properties that are available for investment, some more lucrative than others. Deciding between off plan, new builds or period properties is just another point to think about, as all come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Those who prefer a property with a little history may like to invest in period properties, however these are often not as energy efficient as a new build may be, producing higher maintenance costs. New build properties are said to save around £624 a year on energy bills.

Off plan properties present a multitude of different advantages, low prices, strong potential for capital growth, and popularity with tenants, however these will not be appealing to those investors who are in the search of a completed property. Property investment companies like RW Invest provide an extensive portfolio of both new build and off plan opportunities. These are an enticing prospect for many investors as they offer a significant savings at below market value entry prices.

Consider your finances

Finance is important to ensure you don’t leave yourself short. From the outset you need to devise a financial strategy, and work out essential elements such as potential rental yields that can be obtained, the amount of tax you are likely to pay, which have changed this year so be sure to double check this, and whether or not you will require a mortgage for your purchase, as quite often investment companies reject purchasing with a mortgage and deal with cash buyers only.

Why Nitrile Gloves are a Home Essential #GloveIsAllYouNeed

Nitrile GlovesAs you’ll know if you read my blog on the regular, I’m far from a domestic goddess. Housework is not massively high on my list of priorities, however we do like to maintain a good standard of cleanliness even if tidiness isn’t our forte! One thing that I do like to keep a stash of at home to help me with my domestic duties is disposable nitrile gloves – they’re something that I find absolutely essential for so many things, so I thought I’d share a few uses for them with you here:

Oven Cleaning

This is one that I learned the hard way – oven cleaner is VERY caustic and if it gets on your skin can cause blistering and irritation. I once got oven cleaner on my hands and my skin was in a bad way for days afterwards, so now I make a point of never even going near oven cleaner without wearing a good pair of thick nitrile gloves.

Cleaning Up After Pets

Even though we have a long poop-scooper, I always wear a pair of gloves when I’m cleaning up after Maureen, just for an added layer of protection. Animal droppings can cause myriad health problems and ensuring there’s no bacteria transfer is really important. We have also now added two budgies to the family, so gloves are worn when cleaning out their cage.

First Aid

This one, thankfully, is a much ‘fewer and farther between’ use for gloves, but nitrile gloves are so important when doing first aid. As well as ensuring that my hands are sterile when dealing with cuts and scrapes, it gives me an added layer of protection too, as I’m a bit rubbish with blood!

Car Maintenance

Another thing I’ve blogged about in the past is that I try to do as much car maintenance myself as I can. This means that changing batteries and bulbs, filling up oil and water and even changing wheels and spark plugs are all within my remit, and it it MESSY work! I discovered, after too many times of ending up with ground-in grease on my hands, wearing nitrile gloves while doing car stuff protects me from dirt and grease.

Hair Dying

Although I don’t tend to dye my own hair anymore (TOO risky!), Sausage has had pink, blue and purple dip-dyes for the last three years running, and gloves are absolutely essential for this. The ones that come in the box dyes are worse than useless, so I always end up raiding my own stash of gloves instead, so that I don’t end up with multi-coloured hands.

Plumbing Emergencies and Tips on How to Deal with Them

Plumbing problems are uncommon, especially when you live in an old house. While a good plumbing system can run with minimum maintenance, there are still many things that could go wrong. In a worst-case scenario, you may have to deal with a plumbing emergency in the middle of the night.

Knowing how to deal with the most common plumbing emergencies is something that everyone needs to know. Taking the right first steps helps to prevent those emergencies from becoming bigger problems that aren’t always so easy to deal with. To help you prepare for the next plumbing emergency, here are some of the things you need to know.

The Right Tools for the Job

Before you are forced to deal with plumbing-related issues, you want to make sure that the right tools are available in the house. Simple things such as a forced cup and plunger can be very handy; not having them, on the other hand, can make dealing with plumbing emergencies difficult.

You also want to have a big enough bucket and leak-sealing tapes. These let you deal with leaks before you can contact the best plumbers available for the job. At the very least, you can prevent water from spreading before the emergency plumber arrives.

Other tools are more common; you probably have them around the house already. Some Allen keys, wrenches, a set of screwdrivers, and a tool caddy for keeping them organised are all useful tools to own. Complete the set by adding blind caps and towels or rags.

Know Your System

Next, you want to equip yourself with some basic knowledge on how the plumbing system is set up. At the very least, you need to know where the main water shut-off valve is located. When there is a sudden leak, you can shut off the water immediately and prevent further damage.

A good plumbing system also has a number of isolation valves. Their main purpose is so you can shut off the flow of water to certain areas around the house, making dealing with specific issues easier. For example, there is usually a shut-off valve below a sink, so you can isolate the taps without turning off the main’s water supply.

When working with the plumbers, it is also a good idea to have professionals inspect the system thoroughly.

Who to Contact

24/7 services are handy because the best service providers can be contacted at any time. That said, you want to find the best plumbers to contact so you don’t have to go through the hassle of searching for one when you have an emergency to deal with.

Asking the plumbers to inspect the system prior to dealing with an actual emergency is a good idea for this very reason. If you’re looking for a recommendation, you can start by contacting the Bristol plumbers at Plumbing Care Services. You can get a fast quote by filling in the contact form on their website or simply give them a call if you have an emergency. They strive for a 60 minute response time so are a good option to consider if you’re in an emergency.

Having the number of a reputable plumber to hand prior to an actual emergency also allows you to compare quotes and estimates better. By the time you need their services, you already have their day rate and know how much the job is likely to cost.

The Right First Steps

Shutting off the main valve or the isolation valve to a specific area is always a good first step to take when you have a plumbing emergency to deal with. However, it is far from a permanent fix. In fact, leaving the master valve closed for too long is inconvenient.

Remember that you have more tools to use, which means you can deal with many emergencies yourself. In the event of a leak, for instance, you can use Teflon tape to seal the leak temporarily. You can also use blind caps as a quick-fix for broken fixtures.

Wrenches are handy for when you have loose pipes, or when you need to replace some fixtures yourself. You can use a plunger to fix a clogged drain or toilet. Use a cup plunger for smaller drains, or a forced cup plunger for sinks and toilets.

Keep a bucket handy, especially when you need to open fixtures or drains. Even when there is no water visible from the top, the system may still have water inside. Opening pipes and drains could mean letting a lot of water out of the system, something you want to do with buckets and rags handy.

Here’s another reason why knowing who to call is a must: you can ask for first-aid advice over the phone. If you are not sure about what to do in the emergency, contact your local plumber and ask for a step-by-step direction.

With the main issue solved – even when it is only temporarily fixed – you don’t have to worry about the plumbing emergency turning into a bigger problem or damaging other parts of the house. You can then sit back and wait for the plumber of your choice to come and deal with the bigger repair.