LIFESTYLE: IDEAS FOR THE ULTIMATE HOME PAMPER NIGHT

Pampering yourself at home isn't quite the same as going to a spa and having somebody else do it for you, but you can still use it as a great way to relax, recuperate, and de-stress. With the ideas here, you’ll barely know the difference between your own home and the spa - read on to see what you can do next time you want to treat yourself!


  1. Set The Scene

Start by taking your time to set the scene. Doing this before you take the time to relax can make your relaxation time even more effective. Try the following:


  • Dim the lights.

  • Light some candles or turn on your fairy lights, starry night projector, salt lamps, and other mood lighting you have. Just be careful if you do use candles - you don’t want to knock one over in your relaxed state and have to worry about starting a fire. 

  • Use some room spray, an aromatherapy diffuser, or incense to make it smell amazing. 


Prepare as much as you can in advance, too. If there are snacks you want, prepare them early on so you can just grab them later. You could even change your bedding and plump up your pillows so you’re ready when it’s time to lay down and chill. 


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  1. Take A Long, Hot Bath 

Run a bath using bubbles, bath salts, and even some essential oils if you have them. Just make sure you choose your oils carefully, as not all of them are suitable for certain conditions - pregnancy, for example. You could even find a bath caddy so you can have your kindle, tablet, or phone in there and watch something while you chill. You can have a tea or another drink of choice on there, and you can also fit a few pamper products on the tray. Always read reviews to ensure anything you buy for the bath will last and isn't going to go mouldy. The same goes for bath pillows! 


  1. Use Masks Galore

A pamper night is a great time to get your mask on. Face masks, hair masks, foot masks, and even body masks can be a great way to feel cleaner, softer, and fresher than ever before. Take your time with them, and make sure you select masks suitable for your particular concerns. For example, don’t use a peeling mask on your face if you're concerned about dry skin. 


  1. Treat Your Skin

After your masks, treat your skin. You could try the korean skincare routine that everybody is raving about for ultimate moisturisation. 


  1. Play Relaxing Music

Relaxing music can help to set the scene and get you into the right mindset for relaxing. The type of music you find relaxing is personal - you might like classical, but playing chilled out R&B or pop music is fine too. 


  1. Order In Some Food 

You’re probably not going to want to cook when you’ve spent time in the bath relaxing, so order in some food in advance. You can do this early on in the day so you know exactly what time your food will arrive and ensure you’re ready. Treat yourself to a yummy pizza or anything else your heart desires.


LIFESTYLE: RENOVATIONS WITH A PERSONAL TOUCH

We all dream of having exclusive walk-in closets, luxurious bathrooms, and mind-blowing kitchens. If you're considering renovating your property, there are a few things to keep in mind. These things will depend on your budget and what exactly you want to renovate. 

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

If you don’t have the funds to renovate an entire property, you can try revamping one room at a time. It will not only enable you to get your dream home but will also increase the value of your property dramatically. That is if the work that has been done, was built with high-quality material and good workmanship. Remember, you’re not renovating your property for your friends who visit once a week - you’re doing it for yourself. Make sure to renovate the areas you spend most of your time in. Here are some tips for the most effective and affordable places to renovate on your property. 

Kitchen

This can usually be seen from most areas of your home. A nice kitchen instantly changes the value of a property as well. Many individuals consider the kitchen to be one of the most significant parts of a property. If your kitchen cupboards are falling apart and your plumbing is leaking everywhere, you should consider renovating your kitchen. These days you can simply buy a kitchen set from your local hardware supplier. You’ll have to find someone to install it for you though, that is if your hardware supplier doesn’t have installation options. Don’t forget to take care of all the plumbing in the kitchen, like drainage pipes and washing machine outlets. 

Bathrooms

Seeing as most of the people that visit your property will use your bathroom, it can be an outstanding room to captivate and showcase your style. Like the kitchen, you’ll also need professional help like DWH Plumbing Solutions Newcastle to finish off the plumbing of your new little sanctuary. Having a modern and stylish bathroom will elevate your property to a whole new level and give you a renewed feeling of satisfaction.

Image by Barry D from Pixabay 

Patio

What's better than an ice-cold glass of wine on a steaming hot summer day while firing up the grill and relaxing with your friends and family? Maybe take a refreshing swim as well? The only thing better than this is doing it on a newly renovated wooden deck with modern luxury finishes. Impressing your friends will no longer be on your to-do list, and the barbeque is coming along nicely as well. 


These are only a few quick and relatively easy renovations that will transform a completely sub-par property into a luxury living experience. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to depict your dream house, so start small rather than not starting at all. If you don’t force yourself to take steps in the right direction, you may be disappointed in a few years. So what are you waiting for? Start getting your quotations, put your stamp on your property and rule the world from your luxurious homestead.

LIFESTYLE: HOW NOT TO FAIL ON YOUR NEXT HOME DIY PROJECT

 If you’re thinking of beginning a brand new DIY project in your home, you should stop and consider a few things first. It’s all too common for people to throw themselves into a big project without planning and preparing for it first. That’s how you end up failing and wishing you’d never taken on the project to begin with. But you don’t need to let that happen. Here’s how not to fail on your next home DIY project.


Set a Budget and a Deadline Ahead of Time


Setting a budget for your home DIY project is really important. One thing that so many people do when taking on a new project is overspending and letting the costs of the project get out of their control. On top of that you should set a clear and strict deadline because the last thing you want is for this project to drag on longer than it should.


Do Research and Invest in the Tools You’re Going to Need


Doing a bit of research and investing in your tools is a good idea. If you’re going to do all of this, it makes sense to do it properly. And sometimes, you need to have the right tools at your disposal if you’re going to achieve the professional grade outcomes that you’re looking for. It’s lazy to see a workman is only as good as his tools, but it’s also kind of true when it comes to DIY.


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Put Safe Working Plans in Place


Putting your safety first is something that’s massively important and it can’t be overlooked. If you’re going to be using dangerous tools and equipment or you’re going to be using ladders, you need to do so safely. Nothing matters more than staying safe.


Have a Plan for the Waste That’s Generated


There are so many things you have to consider when preparing for your next DIY project, but one of the things that is often overlooked is how to deal with the waste and junk that’s created. Find some waste bins for hire and have them delivered to you ready for the start of your project. That way, you’ll have somewhere to keep the waste and not have it build up on your property.


Know When It’s Time to Ask for Help


It’s okay admitting that you need a little help and assistance. No one can get everything right 100% of the time, and if you find yourself overwhelmed. Instead of burying your head in the sand or making things even worse, instead get in touch with someone who might be able to assist you in some way. You won’t regret it.


As you can see, there are lots of tips out there that can help you to get more out of your DIY projects and steer you away from failure. All too often people bite off more than they can chew and don’t prepare properly for the challenges that lie ahead of them. Don’t let that be you.


LIFESTYLE: MINIMISING CLUTTER IN YOUR HOME

 

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2020 saw many of us spending a whole lot more time in our own homes and 2021 seems to be set to go along the same path. The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has wrought havoc over the past 12 months or so and it looks like we’re going to be trying to deal with it and its consequences for a while longer yet. Of course, spending more time at home is important. It means minimising contact with others and slowing and reducing the spread of the virus. This protects ourselves, others and reduces pressure on local healthcare systems. But it can get pretty overwhelming spending time in a space that isn’t really enjoyable to spend time in. If your home is messy or cluttered, you may find yourself feeling stressed or burdened on a day to day basis. If you’ve experienced this, it’s time to make some change. Decluttering your home will allow you to make your home clean, tidy and an enjoyable space to spend your time in. Whether that’s working from home or spending your free time enjoying hobbies and other activities. Of course, decluttering is often easier said than done and you may not know where to even start with this process. Here are a few steps you can take to get the ball rolling in the right direction!


Organise Your Belongings


We all have plenty of belongings. They build up over the years. From things you’ve brought to freebies, chances are your home is full of bits and bobs. But it’s important to determine what items in your home you genuinely need or use and which can go. It’s time to start clearing out the items that are unnecessary and just taking up space. Start out by everything you own into piles of things you use regularly, things that have sentimental value and things that tick neither of these boxes. Be honest with yourself when dividing your belongings.


Use Storage Options


Chances are you have items that you use occasionally but not all of the time. Festive decorations, occasional items and more. It’s a good idea to invest in storage options for these. This way, you don’t have to throw them away, but you don’t have to have them inside your home taking up space either. Look for options with Storage Smart Entry so you can easily access your belongings as and when you need them.


Sell Unwanted Items of Value


If you have any items that you no longer want or need, but that are worth something, you may want to sell them. This can put some money in your pocket at the same time as freeing up your space. Most people opt for online sales platforms like eBay, Etsy, Depop or alternatives. Sure, they take a fee, but they can help you to find a buyer much more easily.


Recycle and Donate


If you have items left that you don’t need and don’t have much value, try recycling them or donating them to charity. This will prevent them from ending up in landfill.


These steps are pretty straightforward, but so few people actually follow them. Hopefully, they will help you on your journey to a clutter free, comfortable living space!


LIFESTYLE: 6 WAYS TO CELEBRATE VALENTINES DAY IN LOCKDOWN

 

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash


Valentine’s day is just around the corner and with lockdown likely to be in place until March at the earliest, you’re going to have to celebrate it at home. If you’re usually someone who goes all out for Valentine’s day, then it can be easy to get disheartened that you can’t take that trip or go to your favourite restaurant for a romantic meal. 


With a bit of planning, you can still make a valentine’s day special at home. Check out some ideas for lockdown valentines. 

  1. Cook a romantic meal

Find a recipe that you’ve never tried before and really push the boat out for your romantic dinner. Buy a good bottle of wine (or even some champagne), turn off your phones and spend some time getting dressed up, as you would for a night out at a restaurant. You can even buy each other something to wear. Kenzo for men does a great range that will fit any occasion and you’ll get a great new outfit too. 


So channel you inner Nigella Lawson and try something a little outside your comfort zones.

  1. Have an ‘at home’ spa day

If you’re the type of couple that likes to visit a spa every now and again, then you’ll know how relaxing it can be. Devote valentines to your own relaxing spa day. Buy in all the products you’ll need for massages and beauty treatments, get some lunch delivered so you don’t have to spoil the relaxation by cooking. Then you can spend the day in your robes, listening to relaxing music and giving each other treatments. Bliss.

  1. Movie date night

OK, so you might have spent the last year watching a lot of Netflix, so how would this be any different? If you can reach back into your memory and think about when people were actually allowed to go to the cinema, this is the feeling you want to create. 


Rent or buy a movie that’s just been released, something you’ve never seen before. Recreate the cinema food you love by having popcorn, hotdogs, pick and mix and ice cream.  


Then you need to set the scene by getting your room as dark as possible and making sure that you can’t be disturbed. 


You might not be able to match the size of the cinema screen, but many studios are releasing their new movies straight to streaming at the moment, so chances are you will find something your want to watch. It will also be a lot cheaper than buying cinema food, and you won’t have to sit through 30 minutes of adverts and trailers before the movie starts. 

  1. Have a carpet picnic

Even if you have a garden, February is probably not going to have weather nice enough to be outside. Recreate the perfect picnic, right in your living room. Throw a blanket down on the floor and fill it with all of your favourite foods. 


If you don’t want the hassle of shopping and prepping everything yourself, there are lots of cafes, restaurants and hotels who have set up special afternoon tea deliveries that arrive straight to your door, no prep required. 

  1. Learn a new skill together

Thanks to online shopping and YouTube, you and your partner can do something fun together in learning new skills. Whether you want to try wine tasting, cocktail making or learn to dance, you can easily set this up. There are many how-to guides online for virtually anything. 


You’ll have a lot of fun doing something different that will definitely break the monotony of lockdown. 

  1. Make future holiday plans

You’re probably getting cabin fever now and dream of the days when you can get on a plane again.  Well, why not stop dreaming and start planning. While it’s probably not advisable to book something right this minute, set some time aside together to plan out a dream trip properly. Where will you go, where will you stay, what will you do when you’re there? 


Setting some firm plans, rather than just staring wistfully at a photo of a beach can really lift your spirits and get you excited about spending time together as a couple, without being confined to the house.

Final thoughts 

It can be difficult to get excited for valentine’s day this year. But rather than deciding to just wait and do something at a later date, why not add a little excitement to lockdown by doing something different. It might be the little lift you need to get you to the end of lockdown. Finding things to celebrate is important right now. So make your valentine’s special. 


LIFESTYLE: TIPS FOR LOSING THE BABY WEIGHT AFTER PREGNANCY

 

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Giving birth is an extraordinary and amazing miracle and gift. Having a new baby around the house puts a smile on your face and makes you feel proud to be a mum to your beautiful newborn.

No matter how much joy it brings you, the reality is that you’re going to gain weight when you’re pregnant. The weight can be stubborn, and try to stick around well after the baby is born. Be glad to know there are tips you can use to help you lose the baby weight after pregnancy once and for all. You’ll notice a positive change in your self-image and will have more self-confidence when you’re looking great and feeling more like yourself.  

Set Realistic Goals

It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself when you’re trying to lose the baby weight. Remember that it took nine months to put it on so it’s going to take a while for it to come off. The transformation won’t happen overnight, and you need to be patient with yourself and the process. It may help to write down specifically how much you want to lose and changes you’re going to make to your habits to achieve these objectives.

Make Exercise A Priority

Plan to move more and fit in daily exercise when you’re trying to lose the baby weight after pregnancy. Find fun activities that get you moving and out of the house, such as organising a rugby team you can play on. Check out this Rugby Kit to help get you started and on the path to burning more calories and having a good time while you do it. You must break a sweat and get your heart rate up often if you’re going to shed unwanted pounds in a timely manner.

Cook Healthy Meals at Home & Stay Hydrated

Cooking may be last on your list as a new mum. However, it’s vital that you not eat out all the time if you’re going to lose your baby weight. It may help to do the grocery shopping and some healthy cooking on the weekend and freeze meals that you can pull out during the week and eat. Have healthy snacks around the house that you can munch on when you get hungry, and avoid consuming sugary drinks and snacks. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol as much as possible if you want to keep losing weight.

Track Your Progress

You’ll likely find that you lose weight more effectively when you track your progress and results. Be honest with yourself and step on the scale each week to see how you’re doing. If you notice you’re not losing week after week, then you may need to make some tweaks and adjustments to your routine and approach. It may also help to keep a food journal and write down exactly what you’re eating.

Conclusion

These tips will put you on the right course to losing the baby weight after pregnancy and keeping it off. Be patient with yourself because it’s a journey and may take some time before you fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes again.