Adding Personality To A Blank Canvas Home

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Getting your first home is a massive deal. And for a lot of us, practical considerations have to come before ideal features when getting on to the property ladder. More and more of us are getting our start in life in a new-build – and that brings many benefits, from less maintenance to strong financing deals. There’s only one consideration – and that’s that a lot of new build flats and houses can be a bit featureless. Built en masse and with designs shaped more by accountants and architects, most new built homes are lacking in the depth and personality enjoyed by older buildings. The good news is, there are plenty of ways that you can inject a little bit of life back into these blank canvas homes…

Know Your Style

First off, take the time to understand what your taste is when it comes to interiors. Don’t just rely on decorating magazines to tell you what the latest trends are, and dictate what you should want. Be proactive in seeking out your personal taste. Use an app like Polyvore to create interior mood boards, featuring pictures that inspire you, colours and textures you like, and images of furniture styles. You don’t have to rush into a decision – take your time to get to know the space and understand how you use it before committing to one scheme. Although you can style each room slightly differently, try to stick to tones within the same colour palette. This will tie the spaces together and give a sense of harmony to your home. And rather than impulse buying items for the home, always refer back to your mood board before making a purchase to create a cohesive look where everything sits together well.

Liven It Up

Even if your background colours are neutrals, you can liven up the scheme by layering in colour and pattern. Check out Graham and Brown for some beautiful, bold designs that manage to be both timeless and very contemporary at the same time. Adding just a little touch is really enough, and means that it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Patterned throws and rugs can also add extra dimension and texture, giving sparkle to a more minimal room.

Select a Statement Piece

Choosing a bold focal point for a room can really add impact. Whether it be a statement cluster light or some interesting furniture, the right choice can completely change a room. Check out Old Charm Furniture for some great pieces. The right chair placed in a corner, a beautiful lamp or just the right side table can do a lot to make your space less generic. You just need a handful of out of the ordinary items that do the heavy-lifting design wise.  

Add In Artwork

What you choose to hang on the walls can do a lot to steer your decorating scheme away from ‘vanilla’. A single large, bold print or a collection of framed images grouped together can be transformative. Link different pictures together with a shared colour scheme or thematic influence. In no time at all, you’ll have a beautiful space!

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Should You Say Yes To The House?

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Deciding whether or not to buy a house can be a big decision, especially if it is your first property and you are just getting your foot on the ladder. It’s a huge financial decision and will also affect the whole of your family. After all, you want to buy a house that you can turn into a home easily, and one that you can settle into quickly. You might think that you have found the perfect house – but are you sure it is the right one for you?

Here are a few things you should think about that can help you decide whether you should say yes to a house.

Can You Afford It?

First of all, you need to think about your finances. You will probably need to get a mortgage to finance your home purchase. While it can be quite easy to get one of these specialist property loans, it’s still not a good idea to go for one that is going to be difficult for you to repay. So, it’s best to be sensible about your home choices. Don’t try to buy a home that is bigger than what you need as it could end up being a big drain on your bank balance!

Will There Be Many Renovations?

You also need to ask yourself how much work you are happy to carry out in the new home. If you buy a period property, then there is a good chance that you will need to do more than just decorating. You might have to use a heating and Trane AC repair service to get the home’s heating sorted. It could also be necessary to invest in a new kitchen and bathroom as well if the current ones are very dated. All of this work can add a lot of stress on top of your move, so you need to ask yourself whether it is worth it.

What’s The Area Like?

You should also think about what the immediate neighborhood around the house is like. Before you do commit to buying it, it’s worth checking online to see the average crime rating. Obviously, you don’t want to move your family to a location that is going to be unsafe! There also needs to be plenty of facilities and amenities within easy reach of the house, such as a school, shops, doctors surgery, and public transport links.

It’s A Good Investment

Do you think that the house will continue to rise in value once you come to sell it? It needs to be a good investment of your cash, otherwise you might end up losing some money. Thankfully, there are ways you can increase its value yourself, such as by adding en suites and extending the property where possible. So, when you do view a house, it’s worth thinking about the things you could do to increase its value a little.

Hopefully, this makes the decision of buying a home a little easier for you to think about!

Don’t Let Your Home Get You In A Pickle

Our home is many things to us, and a pickle can definitely be one of them. The more time you spend in your home, the problems it seems to present. But are there ways of avoiding this, or are some of the problems we have just unavoidable? Well, we’re sure that you can admit that it’s a bit of both. Sometimes something happens to our homes, or in our lives that affect our home, and we just think to ourselves, ‘why us!!’. But if so many things are unavoidable, how do you think you’re ever going to get to the point where your home isn’t getting you into a pickle anymore!? Well, there’s a few steps you can take to reduce the problems it does cause, as a lot of the time we will admit it’s down to human error! So, have a read on, have a relaxing festive break, and have a 2019 that is full of far less problems!

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The Issues We Cause

We definitely do cause a few issues in our homes, and some of them are due to the fact that life is just so busy and rushed sometimes, that we don’t make the best decisions. One thing you might not have to encounter, but you will curse if you do, is locking yourself out of the house. Simply losing your house key can leave you in such a predicament, especially if you need to desperately get into your home. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, then don’t think that it is a mistake you would never make! Companies such as SJO Locksmith are called out to so many people who have done something like this over the years! We also cause more issues by not maintaining our homes properly. For example, if you ceiling that has a large crack in it due to age, but you don’t do anything about it, it could only be a matter of time before that ceiling cracks completely, and then you really would have an issue on your hand!

Trying To Prevent Unavoidable Issues

If you’re going to encounter unavoidable issues in the home, you might as well know how you can try and prevent them. We think that one problem that can’t be avoided, is someone breaking into your home. If someone has picked your home to come into, perhaps to get the keys for the car on your drive, they will come in! To prevent it, never leave anything obvious on show. It’ll only draw people in. Then, try using something like a fake security camera to act as a deterrent. The safer your house, the happier you’re going to feel!

Loving The Home You’re In!

Finally, we think you just need to love the home you’re in. The more you love and care for your home, the less issues you’ll find you’ll have. If you always have new appliances, you keep the decor fresh, and you maintain the house, there aren’t many things that will ever go wrong. When something serious does go wrong, you’ll find you’re very unlucky!

Practical Ways To Avoid Weight Gain Over The Christmas Holidays

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Christmas is coming, and while it’s an exciting and wonderful time of the year, it’s also the time when many of us tend to gain weight. With chocolate, turkey dinners, and a more sedentary lifestyle over the coming weeks, we are going to see the effects on our weighing scales after the holiday season is over.

Of course, you could throw caution to the wind, and then focus on using fat burning supplements or a new diet plan in the new year, but there are ways to stay in control of your weight over Christmas, and still have fun.

For starters, let people know your Christmas gift list. They might only buy you chocolates, sweets, and delicious (but unhealthy) food hampers otherwise. Then there are those subscription boxes which are all the rage, but not helpful when they contain edible goodies. Add some of our Christmas gift ideas to your list, and you won’t get any unwelcome surprises under the Christmas tree.

Then make a plan to be active. Rather than sitting down after Christmas dinner to watch The Sound of Music for the gazillionth time, do something else, such as going for a walk with the family, or taking part in some active party games. Make a plan to do something every day too, so get your heads together with the family, and create a festive itinerary to get everybody off the sofa. Go carol singing, head to church, visit family and friends, have snowball fights (if you are blessed with the white stuff); do anything but sit on the sofa where you might be surrounded by  unhealthy snacks and nibbles.

Of course, where food is concerned, you should opt for the healthy options. You don’t need to surround yourself with chocolates and cookies. You don’t need to go for the larger portions when you’re eating your Christmas meals. Take a look at these healthy Christmas treats, and start to prepare a batch now in time for the Christmas season. And when thinking about your big Christmas dinner, you owe it to yourself to consider this menu when you’re planning what to cook everybody on Christmas day. By opting for the healthier options, and by being mindful about the portions you dish up for yourself, you can avoid piling on those festive pounds.

Finally, try and avoid stressful situations. This is easier said than done, we know, especially with all the prep you have to do for the season, but you will maintain your weight if you can put strategies in place. When our stress levels rise, so do our cortisol levels, and that has been linked to weight gain. While it’s difficult to reduce stress, you might still plan everything you need for the holidays in advance, so you’re not flapping like a Christmas turkey, and as we said, you might also factor in exercise during the festive period, which is a known way to reduce stress levels.

These are just some of the ways you can stay in control of your weight over the Christmas season, but let us know if you have any further tips.

We hope you have a very healthy and happy Christmas!

Front fastening bras are a much more comfortable option

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How many times did you fail to properly fasten your bra at the back or waster quite a while with this kind of operation? It is worth knowing that you are not the only one, as it can be rather challenging to fasten something you can’t see, just feel. So, how about trading your regular bras, with back fastening, for more comfortable front fastening bras? With their help, you will get dressed faster and you’ll find it much more convenient to fasten them, due to their fastening design positioned in the front. A front fastening bra from Chums is one of the best decisions you can make, out of a variety of reasons. Just take a look at the details listed below and you will understand why we make such a statement.

This type of clothing item is ideal for carving a smart-casual look, as these bras as both comfortable and capable of giving your body beautiful shapes and lines. When do you need a smart-casual look? Starting with your office attire and up to your look for a dinner night or first date, they could all use the touch of the smart-casual style. What to wear and, more important, what to avoid when looking to dress in a smart-casual manner? First of all, ditch the idea of putting on a T-shirt or wearing trainers. A shirt and a pair of flats or shoes with a low to medium heel will represent a much better option. You can upgrade your attire with a blazer and discreet accessories, and you’ll definitely impress, without wearing uncomfortable clothes. Of course, choosing the right bra will not just make you look great, but will also boost your self-confidence and a great attitude is the best thing you can wear on a daily basis.  

The bras offered by Chums are extremely comfortable while being more than capable to offer the degree of support you need. You won’t feel like wearing a bra and you’re silhouette will look amazingly well no matter what you choose to use. This is due to the high-quality materials used for the making of the bras and their innovative designs. They were made with your comfort in mind, so most certainly you will fall in love with this brand of bras as soon as you try one of the available models. The best part about opting for these bras is that you can forget all about back fastening troubles. Providing front fastening, this part of wearing bras will become easier and more convenient.

We all know just how challenging putting on a bra can be, especially when you’re rushing to leave for work in the morning. Because you’re trying to perform this task faster, fastening a bra at the back can become anything but an easy job. Even if you do manage to close the bra, there are high chances that you’ll do it the wrong way. You will feel it once you reach the office and realise that you are not feeling too comfortable. There’s really no need to get through all of these. All you need to do is try a front fastening bra and enjoy all the comfort it offers. With the help of this lingerie piece, it won’t matter how fast you want to get dressed in the morning, as you will be able to do it without a problem.

Chums is an online store that provides a wide offer of front fastening bras, so you can find the one that suits your needs and preferences best. Each and every one of the bras you will find in its offer comes from reliable brands in this domain, so you can be sure that you’ll purchase high-quality items at all times.

While it is mandatory, your car’s insurance doesn’t have to be expensive at the same time

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What are the precaution methods you take when driving your car on Ireland’s roads? While it may be true that you do take some measures to keep yourself safe, I also want to share a few tips that can be extremely useful in the event of a road trip around the country. The first things you should check are the car’s lights and tires. All the lights of your car, front and back, should be fully functional. Then take a look at the car’s tires. They should be properly inflated, for an adequate internal pressure, and in good shape, so that a rainy weather will not cause you any trouble. Don’t forget to grab a map or update your navigator, or even both, making sure that you will always find your way no matter where you go. Pay attention to the signs present on the road and when you come across unmarked crossings, always respect the right of way. You should also keep an eye on the fuel level, so you won’t run out of fuel in an area where gas stations are far away or scarce. Finally, check your car’s insurance policy. It is not a good idea at all to hit the road without proper car insurance.

Having a car insurance gives you the peace of mind that regardless of what happens while you’re out on the motorways, you will be covered at all times. But, this doesn’t mean you have to spend a small fortune, as cheap car insurance is just as good to keep you covered in a wide array of situations. So, why overspend when you can easily get reliable car insurance at a better price. Where can you find this kind of car insurance? And how can you be sure that you’re getting the best prices? The answer lies in finding a trustworthy partner that is capable of offering competitive prices for high-quality services.

With all these in mind, it is definitely worth checking out the car insurance price offer of Chill Insurance. Every car owner would like to know that his or her car enjoys proper insurance coverage, without the need to reach deep into his or her pocket. But, is cheap car insurance reliable enough? What if it won’t provide sufficient coverage in case of an incident? It is normal to have such worries, but this is why you should read the details of your car insurance policy before signing the contract and opting for a particular type of car insurance. We all want to save money on insurance policies, but at the same time, we have to make sure that the policy will offer the type of services we are looking to obtain. We need to see whether our requirements and needs are properly covered so that we feel safe each time we drive our cars.

This is why you need an experienced car insurance broker. After activating for a number of years in the car insurance domain, such a broker will have what it takes to make you a competitive car insurance offer, based on your needs and driving habits. It really doesn’t make any sense to pay a large amount of money on car insurance policies if you don’t drive your car on a daily basis, for example. Your car insurance broker should ask you a set of questions in order to find out what you need, not just push forward the most expensive car insurance policy, just because it can bring you so many “advantages” or “benefits”. A good insurance broker will always care for the interests, needs, and budget of its clients, instead of trying to make a profit with each insurance policy.

So, if you weren’t sure where to start looking for a more affordable car insurance policy, now you know that Chill Insurance is the brokerage company you need to contact. Give them a phone call or complete the online form, and allow them to offer you a quote.

Four More Reasons To Quit Smoking

Most of us are well aware of the many health risks of smoking. As well as being the leading risk of lung cancer, it also plays a significant role in throat, mouth, bowel, kidney, liver, and stomach cancer. What’s more, it increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, COPD, pneumonia and does a lot more damage besides. But there are other reasons to make the change, as well, that often go overlooked. Here, we’re going to explore a few.

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The aesthetic benefits

Do you take pride in your appearance and like to look as good as possible? It’s likely that a smoking habit is doing a lot to undermine it. Besides discolouring your fingernails and your teeth, there’s evidence, as shown at Daily Record, that smoking speeds up the appearance of both fine lines and deep wrinkles in the skin, particularly on the face. What’s more, quitting can immediately start to make your skin look ten years younger.

The mental benefits

For all the physical damage that smoking can do, it’s important to recognize that it has an impact on the mind, as well. Smoking has been linked to an increase in depression amongst young people. What’s more, while it’s often used as a stress reliever, it has been shown that it increases symptoms of stress and anxiety over time. These are common symptoms of addiction, which can get worse over time, increasing irrational behaviour and making you more dependent on cigarettes and diminishing your own abilities to cope with feelings.

The cost benefits

Cigarettes are expensive. Smoking a single pack of twenty a day, which is below the average, costs around £3,000 a year, which is by no means a small amount. Some of the methods used to fight addiction, like vaping, come with their own costs, from buying refills to SMOK coils UK, but all added together, they are a fraction of what you would spend on cigarettes themselves. There are handy online calculators that you can use to see exactly how much you would save if you quit for a year, taking into account how much you smoke at the moment.

The social benefits

When you’re used to smoking, it can be hard to see just how unpleasant it is. Most smokers aren’t fully aware of just how strong the odour is, for instance. What’s more, the social impact of smoking can actually make life harder for you in some specific ways. For instance, as Property Hawk shows, more and more landlords are taking the stance of not allowing smokers to rent from them. Furthermore, more people are aware of the risks of second-hand smoking, so they have more reason to want to avoid those who smoke, too.

Hopefully, the points above have shown that there is always plenty of reason to make a change and quit smoking. The two most effective methods at the moment are using e-cigarettes as a much safer alternative or going cold turkey. Whatever route you take, consider looking at smoking hotlines which can offer plenty of practical advice.