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LIFESTYLE: HOW TO AVOID ARGUMENTS WHEN MOVING HOME

 Moving to a new home is normally an excellent decision, but only in the long run. The actual process can be stressful and complicated, and certainly enough to cause arguments between an otherwise happy couple. Studies have shown that moving house is one of life’s most stressful events, almost as stressful as a divorce, so it’s no wonder that many couples come out of the process with their relationship a little more strained than before.


However, just because it can be stressful, that doesn’t mean that it has to be stressful. There are things you can do that’ll minimise the stress. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the most effective methods.


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Create a Plan…Together


If you fail to prepare, then you should prepare to fail. That old saying from school becomes relevant again during the moving process when having a solid plan can be so important for ensuring that it’s smooth from beginning to end. In the early days of the move, look at coming up with a plan for how you’ll handle the move. It’s best to create this plan collaboratively so everyone’s happy with the end result. 


Hire Professionals


One of the reasons why moving is so stressful is because, well, most people don’t have any experience of moving. Anything can be stressful if you’re doing it for the first time! As such, it makes sense to hire people who do know how to move a home full of possessions to another property. Rather than doing the task yourself, hire movers to transport your goods. That way, you’ll be able to avoid doing one of the most annoying and complicated tasks yourself yet still have the peace of mind of knowing that it has been taken care of.  


Stay Well Fed


If you’re in a relationship, then you’ll probably know that people can become a little less-than-pleasant when they’re hungry. And they’ll become even meaner if they’re hungry and they’re moving home. A good way to keep arguments at bay is to ensure that there’s a steady stream of calories available. It’s easy to forget to eat when you’re busy, but there’s a lot of value in taking the time to eat a healthy meal


Time Off Work/The Kids


Your time will be stretched at the best of times. It’ll be even more stretched if you’re moving while still having to take care of your work and child duties. If possible, look at taking a break from both of these responsibilities. Your boss might be flexible with your working hours, while your parents might take care of the kids. There’ll be fewer arguments if you can devote all your energy to moving. 


Expect The Worst 


Finally, you’ll be less likely to argue if you expect the process to be stressful and unpleasant. Expect the worst, hope for the best is a good attitude to take into life, and it’s especially useful when you’re trying to move your life to another property. It can’t be bad if you thought it’d be worse! 


LIFESTYLE:Giving Your Homeschooled Child A Well Rounded Education Experience

 Homeschooling your kids is becoming more and more popular, especially since the start of the pandemic. Many parents have found that it’s surprisingly easy to keep them at home and go through a syllabus with them, and some have even discovered their inner teacher and a love for learning. And it’s this facet we want to focus on. Homeschooling your kids is a great idea, but you can sometimes worry they’re missing out on ‘traditional’ experiences. But that’s what this post is here for; you can give your children a well rounded education as long as you plan for it. 


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Don’t Homeschool Alone


Homeschooling can be a lonely experience, and that tends to be what parents worry about the most. But thankfully, many parents can also pull together to run regular group lessons to allow their kids to interact. And you’ll also get a break here too; you can take it in turns to be the teacher session by session, and that means you get to sit back and relax at least once a week! 


Take Time to Find the Right Curriculum


 Investing in teaching tools can be expensive, so don’t buy the first curriculum packet you come across. Take some time to try different ones out; there are plenty of free materials from various homeschool methods available online. Have a week of just going through the different lessons and see which ones your children really respond to. And if you find them hard to teach, throw them away! Forcing yourself to teach something you don’t understand or can’t get on with won’t encourage a passion for learning. 


Arrange Plenty of Field Trips


Going on a field trip is a wonderful way to get outside and let your children explore the world, meet new people, and even strike up a friendship or two. Even though they’re there to learn, they can still have fun and get out of the house, and that makes for a great overall learning experience. From geography field trips to just a couple hours down the science museum, arranging a day out will really help to pad out the curriculum with interesting activities that will hold your child’s attention. 


Create a Routine


Finally, try to get into a routine as soon as possible. Kids thrive off of having a set structure, even when different things occur during these block periods, and that’ll help them to adjust to their new educational experience quickly. It’ll also help you to get into the swing of things as both parent and teacher. For example, if breakfast lasts from 8.20 until 8.40, you get to be their fun and loving parent during that time. That then gives you 5 minutes to clean up and then turn into their teacher before school starts at 8.45. Easy! 


Homeschooling your kids can be difficult to adjust too, but you don’t have to worry about them missing out. You just need to plan with this idea in mind!


LIFESTYLE: The Latest Interior Design Trends

 

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Are you looking for a way to refresh the interior of your home and inspire your family life? This article is for you! In The Latest Design Trends, we cover some contemporary features that can bring your home to life and add value to the property even if you're not selling at the moment. 

Solar Lighting 

These days there is a trend toward sustainability and carbon reduction; there is also the need for more sustainable forms of energy both for the planet and the rising cost of living. Outdoor solar lighting is an excellent choice for your home because it ticks all of the right eco- boxes. 


Solar lighting for the garden is available in different forms, you can buy standing lamps that are more like streetlights, which illuminate the entire area, or you can buy smaller lamps to light the garden path. Either way, solar lights are economical and affordable apart from the initial costs.  

Wickerwork 

You might have noticed more wickerwork furniture in the homes of your friends and neighbors this year because it's definitely on-trend. Wickerwork is a very old craft brought back into style, perhaps because there is an appeal for the past at the moment or there is a sustainability factor.  


Wickerwork furniture is lightweight and sustainable; it's perfect for garden furniture, but don't be surprised to see wickerwork in the living room, either; luxury interior design styles are all about getting back to nature, and indoor wickerwork is an excellent way to combine style and function.  

Plump Seating 

Who doesn't love to flop down in some plump seating at the end of the day? Not only that, but plump seating adds some nice curves and styles to the room. Plump furniture is having a moment in interior decoration; it is comfortable, colorful, and creates interest in the room. 


Plump seating is available as sofas and chairs, but you don't need to have a complete set to get the benefits of it. A single plump sofa is an excellent choice for any room in the home. A single plump armchair is also a nice thing to put in the home office, a hallway, or a waiting room.  

Cyan Hues

Again, cyan hues are having a moment; this interesting pastel color can be found in contemporary art, clothing, interior decoration, and more. If you want to make your home more modern and keep up with the latest style trends, introduce some cyan into your living space. 


What are some good cyan elements to have in your home? You could start with curtains, or why not invest in a plump sofa with a cyan color and combine two style trends into one? No matter what element you bring into your home, if it has a cyan color, you are likely to be on trend.  

Natural Stone 

These days the trend is toward sustainability and natural elements, which explains the popularity of natural stones. Natural stone can be used for countertops, pathways, patios, and bathroom installations. Natural stones include things like marble, sandstone, and many more. 


If you want to introduce a contemporary style trend into your home and increase the value of your property overnight, then choose natural stone. Although natural stone is a little more expensive to buy, it pays off in the quality of the finish and raises the value of the property.  

Colored Concrete

Concrete has a reputation for being dull and uninspiring; the plus side is that it's cost-effective, reliable, and accessible. Now you can have the best of all worlds with colored concrete. There is no shortage of colors to choose from for your home, so you can design the interior you want. 


What is colored concrete used for? It's used for bathrooms, kitchens, outdoor spaces, and more. Colored concrete gives you a high-quality finish, one that is similar to natural stone, without the expense. Investing in colored concrete can also improve your home's value with better styles.

Final Thoughts

According to design professionals, people change the interior of their homes every three to five years. If you have become bored or uninspired by your home's interior, then check out some of the latest and best interior design styles. This list has some of the top style ideas for this year. 


When you are updating the style of your home, it's a sensible idea to try and combine style with value; for instance, choosing colored concrete instead of natural stone might be a shrewd choice in this economy. Additionally, small changes go a long way when it comes to interiors.  


LIFESTYLE: 3 Selfless Activities To Uplift Your Mood


Practising selflessness can be beneficial if you've been feeling blue lately. You get the opportunity to help someone and put a smile on their face. This, in turn, can help you connect with them more. Moreover, doing something from your heart comes with a sense of purpose and fulfilment, which can uplift your mood. Admittedly, being selfless can be challenging if you decide to try it for the first time. Fortunately, you can take your first steps with the right activities. Here are a few you can consider. 


  1. Blood donation 


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Statistics indicate that approximately 400 new donors are needed to meet the daily demand for blood. Likewise, the NHS needs about 135 000 donors yearly to replace those who can't donate anymore. Indeed, many people require blood to have a chance at life, and you can become a donor if it appeals to you. Moreover, you can benefit from a free health checkup. It's also easier to burn nearly 650 calories when donating a pint of blood, which is great if you plan to maintain a healthy weight. 


However, you need to fulfil some requirements before becoming eligible to donate blood. You should be in the age range of 16-65 and weigh between 50 kg and 158 kg before becoming a donor. Likewise, ensure that you're fit and have suitable veins. It's also essential to sleep well, eat good food and drink lots of water before giving blood, so keep this in mind. 


  1. Help the elderly 


Maybe you can't donate blood due to certain reasons. Don't lose hope yet; you can also be selfless by helping the elderly. Seniors require all the help they can get since they are relatively weaker than their younger counterparts. Sometimes, elderly people feel isolated from the world, and being around them can reduce their loneliness and depression risks. Likewise, you can learn many beneficial life lessons when you spend more time with them. Therefore, you want to consider helping the elderly if you haven't already. 


Fortunately, you can achieve this in various ways. For instance, you can offer to regularly clean their homes, shop for groceries or perform other errands on their behalf. Likewise, you can visit assisted living facilities to spend more time with them. As a tip, bring some refreshments and games along to enhance the experience. You can also teach them how to send emails, make video calls or operate other technology, so keep this in mind. 


  1. Volunteer in a non-profit organisation 


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Many non-profit organisations exist to improve many people's lives in different situations. Therefore, you can consider joining these establishments as a volunteer. You can also feel better knowing that you're making a good impact on people and helping your community. Volunteering can also reduce stress while equipping you with skills to advance your life and career. You can consider joining organisations that help the needy or sick in the community. Likewise, being a Christian or a member of other religious organisations can open you up to many volunteering opportunities, so feel free to consider this. 


LIFESTYLE: DIFFERENT WAYS TO INCREASE THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME

 

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With some general tidying up and cleaning, our house will almost surely be more appealing to purchasers. If you have the time and money, larger projects like loft conversions, garage conversions, or installing a conservatory can be quite rewarding. Small things, on the other hand, can make a big difference. Before you start thinking about placing your house on the market, take stock and make any changes that may increase your chances of getting your asking price. Whatever you decide, it is a good idea to consult with a local estate agent about the qualities that make the most of a difference when selling in your region.


Will an Outdoor Office Raise the Value of My Home? 


Garden offices are a crucial selling point and can add value to your home because the number of people working from home has increased significantly. Garden offices are useful for a number of reasons. For individuals who do not have enough space in their houses, a garden office may be the only way to create a productive workplace environment. The possibilities for insulated and double-glazed garden structures are endless, which is why it's vital to undertake thorough market research and inspect buildings before purchase, as they can be expensive. You could also look into a DIY conservatory kit.


Fix Superficial Issues 


While tiny issues and deficiencies are unlikely to be the deciding factor in a property sale, they can give the appearance that the house is run down or poorly maintained. The most popular home renovation is redecorating, and a fresh coat of paint may be done for a reasonable cost. Larger concerns (such as moisture) should not be concealed because they will be revealed in a survey and will come back to bother you later. 


Things to keep an eye out for include: 


  • paint peeling 

  • soiled walls, particularly along door frames and light switches dripping faucets 

  • noisy flooring, doors, or stairs 

  • mouldy kitchen or bathroom sealant 

  • Limescale accumulation on kitchen and bathroom fixtures 

  • laminate flooring that was improperly installed 

  • lightbulbs that have failed


The Entrance Door 


First impressions are important, and the front entrance of your home may tell prospective buyers a lot about the remainder of the property. If you can't afford to replace the door, give it a power wash or a fresh coat of paint to make it seem like new. A new doorknob, home number, or name plaque can also be beneficial. To help your property stand out, make your front entrance look wiser than your neighbours'.


Lighting And Heating 


Set the heating to come on before a scheduled viewing if you are not at home. Potential buyers will want to know that your central heating system works properly and that you are comfortable in your home when it is chilly outdoors. On a gloomy day, good lighting is also vital, therefore turning on lamps in dark corners will help. It is preferable to hold the showing during the day, but if a possible buyer arrives after dark, switch on any exterior lights.


LIFESTYLE: LOWERING YOUR HEATING BILLS IN TIME FOR WINTER

 The cost of living rises are hitting us all across the board. One of the prices that many people are expecting surges in is the cost of fuel. In particular, as winter comes, people are concerned about how affordable it will be to heat the home. Some people will reach a crisis point, and here are a few tips that can help you ensure that you’re not one of them. You can reduce your heating bills without needing to freeze.


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Service your heating systems

If you’re using a boiler or gas heating, then it’s important to make sure that you sort out any repairs or fix any issues that have been affecting its performance. More than that, you should get preventative and look at getting your heating appliances serviced at least once a year. Even if there are no lurking issues to fix, you can make sure that they stay as efficient as possible.


Banish those cold walls

If your walls or floors are cold to the touch, even if you’ve only just had the heating on, then it’s a good sign that your home isn’t well-insulated enough. See if you can get any financial assistance in insulating your home thoroughly. Make sure that you make efforts and close any air gaps in your windows, as well, which can do as much to let the heating escape as an uninsulated wall or roof.


Go old school with your heating

If you have a wood fire in your home, then this winter might be the time to make use of it. While fuel prices might be skyrocketing, wood prices aren’t seeing the same hikes. Installing wood heaters in the home tends to be more cost-effective at the best of times, but it could be even truer this year. Think about whether you should make the investment now to save in the future.


Get smart with your heating

If you are using central heating instead of wood or space heaters, then you could save money by making sure that you’re controlling them more effectively. With a room thermostat, you can program your heating system to make sure that it’s not on any more than it needs to be, adjusting it to your needs day by day. Smart thermostats can even adjust themselves automatically or be adjusted remotely.


Make use of heating pads

One under-utilized tool that can help you keep warm is the microwaveable heating pad. You might have heard already, but microwaves are some of the most cost-effective ways to prepare food, and the same goes for heating. Heating pads retain heat for a long time, and microwaving them doesn’t cost as much. You can snuggle up with a pad under your blanket and you might not even need to put the heating on in the home.


The tips above will help, but you should always keep an eye out for other ways you can improve the heating efficiency of the home. We’re facing a potential heating crisis like we haven’t seen for decades.


LIFESTYLE: HOW TO MAKE EVERYDAY LIFE EASIER

 It doesn’t matter where you look, you will always see that life is hard. The cost of living is going up, the energy crisis is terrible right now, people are finding it difficult to manage the 9-to-5 on a five day work week, so much so there are plans to roll out a four day work week. We all have our ups and downs in life and life is always said to not be easy – so why can’t we make it easy? Why can’t we make things cheaper? 


Life is for living not existing, and it’s quite depressing to spend time working, eating and sleeping and not doing anything fun in between. We should be able to go and buy used cars when we need them or book a holiday because we are exhausted. As much as possible, you need to make every day life as easy as possible and we’ve got some tips to help you to do it.

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  • Get yourself into a good routine. The key to ease in your everyday life is a routine. From waking up at the same time every day to having a solid routine for your food and your work, you’ll be able to fit in time for the gym, your family and friends and even medical appointments. What constitutes a good routine will vary from person to person, but most people like to start the day with a period of relaxation or by movement. As long as you can get yourself into a good routine you can make the day feel good from the moment you wake up.

  • Create an emphasis on self-care. At least 30 minutes every single day should be focused on just your needs, and this is because we all lead such busy lives. It’s easy to put your needs and your what’s on the back burner, if you take that time to focus on making yourself feel good this should not be negotiable. Your life will be happier and healthier and follow stressful as a result when you do it

  • Use a planner. From a large calendar on the wall to notebooks with planning pages, having a visual reminder of what you need to do is a good way to ensure that you are more organized every day. When you know what’s coming up next, you can better plan your times so that you don’t have to rush anything you do. This means you will be much less stressed out by various things.

  • Comparison is the thief of joy. If you want every day life to be easy when you have to make it easy on yourself and that means no longer comparing yourself to other people. Social media has made this very difficult for us as it’s easy to compare our bodies, our jobs and our homes with thousands of other people that you don’t even know. Switch it off, delete apps and start focusing on your life and what you do with it rather than what everybody else is doing around you. You will be happy as a result.