65 articles Tag home

Starting Your Own Business as a Stay at Home Mum

Being a stay at home mum can seem like a full-time job. Sometimes, though, you want or need a paying job alongside minding your own children. Luckily, you don’t have to give up being a stay at home mum to have a job.

Instead, you could always try starting your own business as a stay at home mum. You’d be surprised how many options you have when you are trying to choose what business model is best for you. Here, we will look at just 7 options to help you get inspired.

1. Child Care Service

If you don’t mind watching more children than just your own during the day, you could always start a child care service. After all, you already have things that a child around the age of yours or younger would need such as toys or sippy cups so you won’t incur too many starting costs.

You can make a lot of money off of this idea because there are plenty of mums and dads that have to work during the day. With this business model, you aren’t dependent on people making purchases on a whim, you’re serving a necessity.

2. Etsy Store

For those mums who love to craft or sew, something like an Etsy store might be the best option for you. Here, you can sew clothes or craft anything you can think of and sell it to interested persons.

Running a shop is like a running a business. Therefore, branding your Etsy shop is important. Logo, header image, product photography, social media presence, SEO are all important parts of your Etsy marketing strategy. Moreover, when creating your handmade goods, you will want to make sure to add a tag with your own logo or classic printed ribbon to the items you make. This way, they are marked as uniquely yours. This also helps to cut down on someone buying your items to simply resell them as their own handmade items later.

3. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is exactly the same as any other assistant. You would do things like handle phone calls, scheduling, or anything that a standard assistant would do. The major difference is that you do it from a distance. Instead of being at your client’s side all day, you would be in near constant contact with them via phone or the internet and you would take care of the tasks they set out for you.

4. Financial Planning

If you have a knack for numbers, you could also start a business in which you help others work a budget and live the best they can within their means. You’d be surprised at how many families would appreciate a little help planning their finances.

A great idea would be to learn to help others budget for college. After all, this is one of the biggest financial decisions a family has to make and they might see some help planning as a wise investment.

5. Teach Music

For those mums who are interested in music, you could always consider being a teacher for private lessons for the instrument of your choice. Not only is this a great way to make some extra money, you’ll probably get some enjoyment out of it too!

In addition, teaching music will help you to keep your own skills sharp. This is because you will be teaching the basics and the theory behind an instrument to someone else, forcing you to practice these rudimentary skills once again.

6. Pet Boarding

Much like child minding, if you love animals, you could always consider animal boarding as a stay at home business. With this business, you would take in other people’s pets and watch them while the owners are away.

You might want to have some restrictions on the animals you’ll take in, though. For instance, you could only take in trained pets. After all, you don’t want to accidentally allow an aggressive animal into your home when you have children around.

7. Freelance Writing

For those mums with writing as a passion, you could always write from home. This is a job with a lot of open opportunities. Whether you want to dedicate your time to writing novels or articles, there is a market for it.

It might take time with freelance writing, as with the other business ideas on this list, to build up a client base. If you’re patient, though, you will find these business ideas can become quite lucrative.

How To Stop the Health Damages of Noise Pollution At Home

noise pollutionNoise pollution brings about negative effects to human health. Especially for those living in areas where noise has already become part of their daily routines, addressing the issue of noise pollution should be considered a primary concern. Let’s look at some effective tips to protect us from health risks caused by noise pollution in our homes.

Brief Background on Noise Pollution

Globally, noise pollution is considered one of the most pressing environmental issues. The World Health Organization mentions that exposure to noise pollution usually results to health risks such as heart illnesses, cognitive abnormalities on children, and sleep deprivation that could lead to serious mental health disorders.

Responding to the threats of noise pollution has become a trend in global politics. For one, the United States Environmental Protection Agency summarizes the provisions of the Noise Control Act of 1972, which identifies the major contribution of the transport sector and business establishment in the problem.

Techniques To Protect Yourself From Noise Pollution At Home

The home should serve as a relaxing haven to rest our tired bodies, but that won’t be possible when ambient sounds disrupt the tranquility. Here are some tips to control the noise in your home:

Install soundproof windows

One of the best and most effective ways to soundproof your home is to install soundproof windows. Laminated glass or a combination of glass-plastic-glass are perfect materials for windows to reduce noise. This works well in homes that need soundproofing against plane noise pollution or any disturbing outside sound.

Ensure that windows are fit perfectly

The entry of noise is lessened if the gaps in your windows are lessened, or better, if they are completely sealed.  Furthermore, choosing perfectly fit windows makes it easier to manage air and noise pollution, which are common issues when a home is located in areas where transportation modes pass by.

Use thick curtains

Although using thick curtains is certainly not enough, doing so goes a long way in blocking the noise you need to spare yourself or family from. Choose stylish drapes that not only reduce heat from sunlight but also block the noise from the outside.

Consider using thick carpets

Whether it’s your bedroom or an elegant loft, putting carpets may effectively absorb ambient noise entering your home. Carpets are not only a stylish way to decorate your home, but are also effective pieces for soundproofing.

Use personal protective gear

If you have no control over the source of the noise and if you cannot afford window or carpet installation, your next best solution would be to wear earphones and similar protective equipment. These things can protect your ears from constant noise and are much cheaper than other options.

Ask help from authorities

You may approach government agencies or local authorities to handle the noise situation, especially when it’s beyond what you can control. In most cases, they can address the sources of noise and allow you (and your neighbors) to enjoy a more peaceful community.

We all dream of sufficient rest whenever we are home, and this can only be achieved if we reduce unnecessary noise coming from the outside environment. Although we cannot do anything about most sources of noise, the least you can do is soundproof your homes. That way, you can protect yourself from the health damages of noise pollution.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/usa-manhattan-contrasts-new-york-1777986/

Are You Ready To Buy A House?

Buying a house is a big step to make. It’s the time when you can exercise your true independence, with all the choices and decisions on your side, as well as have all the say in where your money goes. And because of that, it’s something a lot of people look forward to in their life! We can’t blame hordes of young couples and burgeoning families for having huge house plans, right down to the shade of the skirting board around the edge of their lovingly cluttered living room.

But there’s a lot you’re going to have to go through before you get to this stage; mainly, you’re going to have to be able to manage every facet of buying and running your own household without anything to go easy on you the way a rented apartment is easier to manage! And whilst getting both you and your house ready to sell is hard, being ready to buy a new home is still going to be twice as hard! After all, there’s a much bigger chance of a loss occurring here, and that’s never a good start to settling down!

So let’s stop and ask ourselves a few questions before we take the leap into buying a house. Here’s some of the best ones to consider first (but this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means!).

A sight a lot of people dream about… Not something you’d want to make a mistake over purchasing however!

(Image)

Are Your Bills All Paid Up?

Because if they are, it’s a good sign you’re managing daily living from month to month, and you’re unlikely to experience any trouble in continuing with this lifestyle. And if that’s already comfortable on your budget, then maybe you could upgrade a little? Move up in life with the size of your home, and finally get those sea views from the top window you’ve always wanted? After all, being able to afford the amenity consumption you’re going to be using for the rest of your life at such a steady rate already is always a good sign! Don’t worry, the amount of money you’re paying out rarely changes.

So if the bills coming in and out of your household are paid immediately from your direct debit, and you’re still storing about 20% of your income away in a savings account, you’ve got some breathing room to get used to standing in a bigger living space with bigger living responsibilities. But of course, only you know how finely you’re cutting it each month with your cash flow, so this readiness is completely up to you to decide. Just let yourself think about this symbolism for a while…

Could You Afford a Mortgage?

Mortgages. The scariest monster of the real estate world. The idea that stops a lot of people from finally going all in with their savings on a house of their dreams. The mortgage is the loan that guarantees you’re going to be living in comfort in a space you’ve been building up to your whole adult life; you know, as long as you have the ability to keep up with repayments and the right projection when you head down to the bank with your current credit score.

So, can you afford a mortgage? With all the different loaning options and repayment amounts out there, who is to really say? Well, your local bank is going to have a huge stake in this, as well as any trustworthy lender you can find online. And most of these people run on the same loan calculating formula, even if you don’t know what that is. Sometimes it feels like you need to have at least ten degrees in the finance sector to understand anything to do with money and how it makes the world go round!

But there’s a quick check you can make yourself here, as long as you have the information at your fingertips. Open up your email account and get some of your records out: it’s prediction time for your household! Use a mortgage and loan calculator to make sure you’re in with the right chance for affording that home you saw in the estate agent’s window, the one you’ve been practically drooling over every time you passed it in the street, and sneakily checked no one had put their own interest down on it yet.

Are You Itching for a Change?

Change is one of the most revitalising things in this world, and that means a lot of people are itching for it. However, a lot of people can’t afford to scratch such a tremendous itch like this, and likely won’t be able to for a long time. And that’s an unfortunate reality of the real estate world, and one you’re probably worried the most about, even amongst all the changes you’re going to have to adapt to when you actually do move.

But when people want a change, and truly want one, they’re going to go out of their way to make sure it happens. And whilst that might not take the form of being able to move and live elsewhere quite yet, it’s still an effective process that’ll change the way they think about their home. Take a leaf out of their book! If you’re in a position to buy a house, and you absolutely know for sure it’s what you want because of how stale your current surroundings are, this is the time for you to make your move. It’s a little point, but it’s often your emotional and spiritual wellbeing that tips people over the edge when it comes to purchasing a house of their own.

Feeling Ready Yet?

There’s no harm in not being sure, but make sure you don’t take too long to think about it. Ruminating over the same decision for years on end is never a good way to live your life! Take your chance now if you know you’re in the position to make the right household change.

Improving Your Home’s Kerb Appeal

kerb appealMost people agree that when they’re viewing houses, they make their mind up within a few seconds of seeing it from the outside. This means that it doesn’t matter if your house is a palace on the inside, if it lacks kerb appeal, you won’t get the sale. There are lots of things you can do to improve your house’s kerb appeal, and these are five of them:

Update Your Exterior

It’s a well-known fact that pebble dashing is one of the least popular exterior wall coatings, but even rendered walls and brick can look past their best. Take an objective look at your exterior walls and decide if they could do with sprucing up, as this investment could pay back easily when you sell your property.

Front Door

Front doors are the main entrance to your house and one of the first things that people see, so if your UPVC is looking tatty or a wooden door needs a rub down, this can affect how people view the whole property. Updating a door can be as simple as giving it a clean or a lick of paint, costing very little but improving your chances of a sale.

Lawns

If your lawn is overgrown, patchy or full of weeds, it’s going to make your property look tatty. It takes very little effort to sort out a front garden and an afternoon of graft could make your house look SO much smarter. Invest in a few plants or ornaments to give your garden a nice finish. If you’re really keen on giving your garden a proper makeover, re-laying turf would also be a winner.

Window Coverings

Technically, this is an interior thing, but you need to take a really objective look at your window coverings from the outside of your property and decide if they do your property justice. Blinds which look tatty or net curtains which have seen better days not only make a property look less-than-clean, they also make the whole place look dated, and can make it really hard to envision a modern look. Replacing nets with privacy film on half of the window, or even investing in shutters, can give your property a modern, luxurious feel and can make your home look fresher with very little effort. At the VERY least, wash and rehang your nets so they look clean and new!

Woodwork

If your home has wooden window frames or wooden fascias, are they looking well looked after? Wood needs to be cared for, be it with varnish or paint and can degrade quickly if it’s not, so giving them a rub-down and re-paint will not only make them look better, but it will show prospective buyers that you’ve cared for the property too – it can be a huge turn-off if it looks like buyers will need to do a lot of work on a house, especially if they’re looking to move straight in and not do any work.

Do you have any great tips for improving the kerb appeal of a home? Leave me a comment below.

Your Style Guide to find the Best Rug

rugWhen it comes to choosing the best rug for your home, each rug style will offer something unique to help keep your decor focused. Whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting, wood flooring or tile, adding a stylish rug to your home will not only give your home a finished look but protect your floors too. Below we discuss some of the top rug styles and where they are best placed to help you find your ultimate rug.

Modern rugs

Modern area rugs are a brilliant neutral design element to help centre or focus a living space. Opt for cut-loop rugs or low-pile hook-and-loop in neutral hues and with subtle or solid patterns. The secret behind decorating with modern rugs is to allow the rug to complement your décor and furniture rather than overpowering it. The great thing about modern rugs is their versatility. There are so many variations and styles available from this one trend. Consider, geometric prints, ombre and striped.

Vintage rugs

Vintage and vintage-style rugs are always on trend. From hip bohemian lofts to traditionally styled homes, vintage rugs are making a statement across home interiors. If you want to splurge on a truly vintage carpet, then it’s going to be quite an investment. However, if you’re simply on the lookout for a quality rug that has the allure of an antique to add style and interest to your space, then opt for the budget-friendly option of a distressed traditional-style rug.

Likewise, traditional rugs are a very popular choice, with designs including Persian motifs designed with intricacy such as flowers, vines and scrollwork. Traditional rugs generally have inner borders filled with intricate patterns, which make them perfect for centring and defining spaces such as living and dining rooms.

Bohemian rugs

Bohemian rugs are both stylish and whimsical. They usually include bold designs, vibrant colour palettes, flat woven techniques, distressed patterns and natural fibre constructions. If you want to achieve a Bohemian look with a rug, the key is to layer traditional antiqued carpets with natural, fibre, flat-woven rugs. You should choose rugs with distressed design and fringe details to capture the boho vibe.

Moroccan rugs

Moroccan rugs are both distinct and recognisable and go perfectly with a range of different interior design styles. Search for rugs that feature the authentic zig-zag or criss-cross pattern of traditional Moroccan rugs, or tie in a bolder Moroccan pattern such as latticework or geometrical trellis.

Transitional rugs

Transitional style rugs fall directly between contemporary and traditional design. By incorporating both modern and classic design elements, transitional rugs showcase the perfect balance of both simplicity and sophistication alongside muted colour palette and traditional patterns like large-scale vines and scrollwork, or, distressed oriental motifs.

Southwest rugs

Southwestern rugs are known for their flat-woven and blanket-like texture. The patterns are typically inspired by tribal motifs and patterns which originate in the southwest regions of the United States. These patterns tend to feature rich earth-tone hues and heavy geometrics. Southwestern area rugs are typically used in boho chic design and rustic design. In many cases, they have been modernised with jewel tones and bright neon hues to complement contemporary interiors.

So there you have it, your style guide to finding the best rug for your home, whatever the interior style you’ve gone for!

Upgrading our Bathroom on a Budget

A few months back, our landlady visited to take a look at some things around the house that we were having issues with, and while she was here she said a sentence that sounded like music to my ears:

“You could probably do with a new bathroom, couldn’t you?”

Don’t get me wrong, our current bathroom is functional, but there’s nothing nice about it, and I’d be ecstatic to have a newer one fitted. She’s planning to have it done over the summer which gives me plenty of time to fantasise about what I’d love to be done. Here are a few of them:

New Shower

Our current shower runs off of the taps, which is fine, but the water pressure isn’t hugely high and our heating relies on LPG deliveries, meaning that when we ran out in the dead of winter we were stuck for two weeks over Christmas without being able to have a shower or bath! I’d love her to replace it with an electirc shower, so it wasn’t reliant on gas, and I’m hoping her plumber will compare a range of shower pumps at Pump Sales Direct so that we end up with decent amount of pressure!

Re-Enamel the Bath

Our bath is actually a really decent old cast-iron bath and while there’s nothing wrong with the structure, it could really do with a new coating of enamel as the surface has gone a little patchy. Re-enamelling a bath is a great way to update an old model without needed to spend masses or do tricky plumbing work.

Tiling the Walls

At the moment, we have tiling around the splash-back of the sink and on the wall that the bath adjoins to, but I’d love for the tiling to cover all of the wall surfaces in the bathroom. This would make it super easy to keep clean and looking nice, and would also help to hide the problem we have with mould in the rooms upstairs. I also have a huge thing about white tiles with grey grouting, so if I could manage to convince her to do this, I’d be one happy tenant!

Replacing the Floor

At the moment, we have carpet in the bathroom, which means it’s pretty warm in the winter but I find it a really impractical as it gets wet all the time. Also, who wants to vaccum the bathroom?! If I had my way, I’d go for some beautiful blakc and white checkerboard tiles on the floor to give it a classic, clean look which can be dressed up with accessories of any colour.

Storage

At the moment, we have one, very small, bathroom cabinet which offers very little in the way of storage and I spend my life trying to find places to discreetly stack the masses of bathroom products that we seem to accrue. I’d love a cabinet around the pedestal of the sink or even a sliding bath panel so that we could utilise that empty space under the bath.

What would you add if you had the chance to design your dream bathroom?

Tips for Creating a Cosy Living Room

When I was a kid, I used to love being outside when it was starting to get dark; people would turn their lights on inside and it would make the world look really cosy. Sounds weird, but hey, I was a weird kid! Now that I’m a grown-up, I love settling down of an evening into a living room which feels warm and cosy, and I thought I’d share a few tips with you on how we give ours a super cosy feel:

Lighting

Lighting is probably the most important aspect of a cosy room. I hate sitting down to watch TV with glaring overhead lights on, so we tend to have lamps which we can use to create little pockets of light, rather than the whole room being bright. It helps the girls to get sleepy and we don’t get glare off of the telly if we’re trying to watch something.

Cushions

Although we were lucky enough to be gifted a new sofa, just before Christmas, we also like to have lots of scatter cushions around so that we can sit comfortably. Cushions are also a great way to change the look of the room without needing to spend a lot or make massive changes.

Blankets

As well as lots of cushions, we also tend to keep a stash of blankets in the lounge so that we can cover ourselves up if we start to feel chilly. The girls love getting cosy and dozing on the sofa rather than having a set bedtime, which is something we’ve done since Sausage was a baby, and it’s lovely to all spend time relaxing together.

Rug

Our living room is carpeted, but the floor underneath is concrete, so if you sit on the floor for any length of time, you start to feel the cold. We recently invested in a nice, thick rug and the difference it’s make to the cosiness of the room is huge! As well as keeping it warm, it feels lovely and soft underfoot and makes playing on the floor with Maureen the Pup much nicer!

Fragrance

This might sound weird, but I always think a room feels cosier if it smells nice. In the winter, I tend to use a cloth to rub essential oils (clove or cinnamon around Christmas!) on the top of the radiators. Once they warm up, the smell starts to radiate too and it makes the room smell incredible, without needing to burn anything or use plug-in diffusers.

Do you have any tips for making your home feel cosier?

Ceiling Mounted Blinds: What You Need to Know

Ceiling Mounted Blinds: What You Need to Know

Window treatments can generally be mounted in a variety of ways. Typically, blinds are mounted either inside the window area if it has any depth to it, or on the wall just above the window pane. In some cases, you might want to mount the blinds on the ceiling above the window.

Here’s some tips from selectblindscanada.ca that you need to know when mounting your blinds on the ceiling.

Brackets

Every type of window treatment will come with brackets, which are essentially sturdy metal pieces with a variety of holes in them. The distribution of these holes will allow the blinds to be secured from different angles around the window.

If you’re going to be mounting blinds from the ceiling, make sure the brackets are designed in such a way as to allow this. Fortunately, most blind and shade brackets are universal, meaning they can be used for a variety of mounts, including a ceiling mount.

Note that Roman shade brackets are a bit different but will usually have holes at the top for ceiling mounts.

Where would you need ceiling mounted blinds?

Ceiling mounts are uncommon for window treatments, but there are certain situations that will call for them. For example:

The window is too shallow and there’s no space on the wall

In this case, you wouldn’t be able to secure the blinds inside the window or just above it on the wall. Your only option would be a ceiling mount.

On a patio with no pillars on the sides

If you’ve got a covered patio and you need blinds for privacy and sunlight management, your options for mounts will be limited by the structure. In some cases, you’ll have to affix the blinds directly to the ceiling of the patio’s roof if there are no secure pillars around.

Covering large or multiple windows

If you need to cover a large window or several windows with one shade, a ceiling mount can be a better option. If it’s properly secured, it can be great-looking solution in this case.

How to secure ceiling mounted blinds

When installing ceiling mounted blinds, make sure you are mounting the blinds into rafter beams, studs or joists. If this isn’t possible, you can use drywall anchors to secure the mount, but check their specifications to make sure they can support the weight of the blinds.

If the ceiling is shared with an attic floor, you can always add extra support like a beam or joist in the attic to secure the blind mount.

If you secure the ceiling mount well, it should result in a sturdy installation. As we’ve said, this type of mount can actually work better for large windows.

Trust the experts

Mounting blinds in your home shouldn’t be a headache. Ceiling mounted blinds are a great solution if installed properly. If you’ve got unusual windows or outdoor areas that need different mounts than the conventional ones, do your research online to find the best solution.

Games To Play If You Love To Decorate

Image

There seems to be something about playing with paint colours and placing furniture which fascinates us as people. We love to create designs and order things in a new and exciting way. If you love to play around with interior design then here are some of the best things you can play!

The Fictional Furnishings Quiz

If you think you know Monica’s apartment from top to bottom or you think you could easily recreate hogwarts from memory then this quiz is perfect for you. You’ll have a piece of fictional furniture appear on the screen and you need to work out what show or film it is from, it’s the perfect way to kill time and relax in the evening.

The Sims 3

There’s nothing quite like using the motherlode cheat on Sims and then spending the next five days creating the perfect mansion from top to bottom. Whether you decide to recreate your own house or build the palace from your favourite Disney movie: it’s super relaxing, fun and you can really go as crazy as you like! You could create a castle with 4 floors and even make a home cinema if you want to, it’s all about being creative and taking your time to make the most fun house you possibly can. Just remember to put a ladder on the side of your pool!

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade

If you are a fan of the Facebook favourite Farmville, then harvest moon will be the perfect addition to your game collection. The whole idea of this game is to run your own farm successfully, get married and then build your home together from scratch. It’s the perfect way to spend your time and is seriously addictive.

Design This Home

If you are looking at decorating your house in the next few months you can actually use this app as a fun way to test what things you want and how you’d like it to look. You can create a virtual version of your own house and have fun playing around with colours, furniture and fittings. You can then use this as a guide for your renovation project and it saves you having to draw it out!

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal crossing is one of those games which makes you feel happy and relaxed. It’s comforting and super fun to play on in the evenings. Your task is to look after a small village, build up your home, pay a mortgage and even plants flowers outside. It’s the ultimate game for anyone who loves more chilled out games and would rather run around catching butterflies than race cars.

Theme Park

If you fancy a different kind of design, one of the most iconic games of all time is theme park. As the owner of a piece of land you will have the task of adding tides, restaurants and facilities, hiring staff and even building roller coasters from scratch. It is supper addictive and will keep you occupied for hours and hours!

Getting Your House Ready to Sell

Getting Your House Ready to SellIn our experience, there seems to be two types of house sellers – the first kind are the ones who want to do as little as possible to a house and generally just sell it in whatever condition it’s in. The second kind are the ones who want to really revamp a property and invest in making it look amazing before selling it, to maximise their profit. If you’re one of the second type, then we’ve got some great tips to help you to really make the most of your investment.

Floors

I don’t know about you, but one of the quickest ways to put me off of a property is to walk in and see ancient carpets, tatty laminate or something equally as unappealing on the floor. Updating your flooring can be the best way to revamp a whole house, and needn’t be a massive task with something like Quick-Step, which is really easy to fit and looks absolutely stunning.

Woodwork

It’s all well and good painting the walls and getting them looking fresh, but if your woodwork (skirting boards, dado rails, etc) are tatty and marked, the whole room is going to look worse for wear. Touch up your woodwork for a clean, polished finish. It’s estimated that buyers are willing to pay up to 25% more for a house which is freshly decorated, so a few quid on paint could see you making a much bigger profit.

Front Door

They say that most buyers make a decision about a house within ten seconds, which is why kerb appeal is hugely important. A tatty front door will ruin your kerb appeal straight away, so if you’ve got a uPVC door, make sure it’s clean and if it’s a wooden door, give it a fresh lick of paint to make it look good as new.

Gardens

In the same way as the front door, a front garden that looks like a rubbish dump will put off even the most hardcore renovators. Equally, a back garden which looks like Tarzan’s hangout is very likely to feel like too much work to many house buyers, so make sure the lawns are trimmed, pathways swept (or even jet washed), bushes are trimmed back and flower beds are free from weeds.

Bathrooms

Although it’s actually pretty cheap to buy a new three-piece bathroom suite these days, we aren’t suggesting you have a whole new bathroom fitted (unless you have an ancient, avocado-coloured bath and then we wholeheartedly recommend you do!) – however, there are things you can freshen up cheaply like the grouting of your tiles and the caulk around the bath, which will make your bathroom look good as almost new, with little effort or expense.