21 October 2016

Preparing for When You Bring Your New Baby Home

Motherhood is one of life’s most amazing journeys. If you’re in the late stages of your pregnancy, then you’re most probably starting to think about what will happen when you bring your new baby home. By now you’ve probably read all of your baby books from cover to cover, and have got a good idea of what to expect when your newborn arrives. However, that doesn’t mean that when it comes to bringing your new addition home, you’re properly prepared. After all, there’s a lot that you need to think about and get ready for.

With that in mind, below is a list of things that you should consider doing in preparation for your new arrival.

Stock up the nursery--

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The chances are that by now your nursery has been beautifully decorated and has all of the essentials in it. Although your nursery probably already has a cot, changing table, and wardrobe in it, it may not be stocked up with other essentials. If you’re yet to fill your nursery with the items that you will need while in there, now could be the perfect time to get the room stocked up. Ideally, you want to pop a store of diapers under the changing table, as well as baby wipes, and diaper rash cream. You should also put all of your baby's clothes into the nursery, so that they’re easy to access when you need them. It’s also worth putting a couple of books in the nursery so that you’ve got something to read while you’re in there with your newborn.

Get any last minute advice--

If there’s anything that you’re worried about, now is the perfect time to get the advice that you need. Whether you’re concerned about birth complications or are worried about how to feed your baby, now is the ideal time to get the help that you need. Say, for example; you’re worried about breastfeeding and whether it’s the right option for you. Seeing a lactation specialist could help you to make a decision. Sometimes, an expert opinion is all it takes to give you the peace of mind that you need to relax.

Fill the freezer with frozen food--


Once your baby arrives, life will become incredibly stressful and hectic. So it’s a good idea to stock up your freezer with lots of healthy, homemade food that can be easily heated up. Make up batches of things like lasagna, chili con carne, chicken stew, and risotto to freeze. Then, when you’re too tired to cook, all you have to do is take something out of the freezer and heat it up in the microwave.

Pack your hospital bag--

Last but not least, if you haven’t already packed your hospital bag, now could be a good time to do so. To ensure that you can dash to the hospital when the baby comes, it’s a good idea to have your hospital bag in the car. That way, whenever you go into labor, you can just hop in the car. When it comes to what you should pack in your maternity bag, your baby books should include a comprehensive list. So take a look at them to get an idea of what you’ll need to take.

Hopefully, the above tips and advice will help you to prepare for when you bring your new baby home and start the path of motherhood.

18 October 2016

From the Iconic to the Ergonomic, There Is a Chair for Each Room

Each piece of furniture in your home should complement the next, and chairs are certainly something you should invest a lot of thought into. We use them to sit and relax, to dine at the table, to work in the office and even to sit down to put our shoes on. From ergonomics to lounging, and upright to reclining, there are so many different styles of chairs available for all of our everyday needs. Design wise you can go contemporary, trendy, stylish, iconic, classic and so much more. You also have to consider angles, depth, height, width and lumbar support. Who knew so much thought could go into chairs? Today we’re going to look at chairs for every different room in your house and the reasons why you should pay careful attention to your choices.

Living Room--

We probably spend the most amount of time chilling and relaxing in our living room at home. Therefore we want the space to be picture-perfect and well designed. It’s crucial to get the right sofa in this room to suit all your family needs. In many ways, the sofa is the focal point of the living room. And that’s not just for watching TV. It’s also a place to unwind, read, play board games and snuggle up. If you have a large living room and either have a big family or do lots of entertaining, an L-shaped sofa may be your best choice. They’re also great if you have kids that like to lounge and climb. If you live alone or are a couple, you can get away with more contemporary lines and lighter fabrics. The most important thing to bear in mind for your living room sofa is to make sure it is comfortable. Is there enough depth to the seat? Is the back comfortable? Can you cozy up on it? If you love movie nights, then choose a sofa with a pillow back. If you’re more into entertaining and having cocktail parties, then opt for something super stylish with a high back design. If you love timeless design perhaps go for a Chesterfield. If you want the room to feel cozy, then go with an oversized sofa. If you want the room to look larger, choose a sofa with raised legs and a low back. Test out many sofas before you invest in this big purchase.


If your bedroom is large enough, it’s rather decadent to add a chair into the mix. Fabrics that work well in a bedroom include linen, leather, and velvet. Here you can be a bit bolder with your color choices and opt for pinks, reds or yellows. If space permits, you could even invest in a love seat for added indulgence. There are some great ideas and inspiration for bedroom chairs at www.homestratosphere.com/bedrooms-couches-loveseats/.  A chair in the bedroom offers extra space to read and relax. And it also works well for the ladies when they want to put on hosiery and shoes. The bedroom is the perfect place to choose a chair that makes a statement. For extra style points, you can even go for an iconic recliner such as a leather Eames lounge chair or a Le Corbusier chaise.   

Family Den--

For the ultimate family room, why not create an at-home theater space or a family den? All it takes is a spare room, an oversized TV, lots of DVDs and some super cozy lounging chairs. Check out companies such as www.SackDaddy.com for the perfect giant foam chairs that will go down really well in a secret hideaway den. These foam chairs aren’t like your typical bean bags as they are stuffed full of high-quality foam to create an out-of-this-world relaxing experience. And when it's pizza and movie night with the family, this is exactly what you want from your chair. If space permits, invest in a couple of 6 ft loungers for the den or otherwise opt for individual four ft Sack Daddy’s. Add fairy lights, pajamas and everyone’s favorite movies for the perfect family night in.

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Dining Room--

The ideal dining room chairs will much depend on the style you are trying to set. Stylish, iconic chairs come in the form of the prolific Kartell Louis Ghost chair or the Charles Eames Eiffel Tower chair. But if you are going for a country cottage feel you’ll be better suited to choosing rustic solid wood or Shaker-style chairs. Want to add a Parisian flair to your dining room? Then opt for Café style chairs with curvy lines and super chic design. Or, if you tend to entertain a lot in the dining room you may want to consider commissioning a bespoke cushioned bench or banquette along one wall. If you are into upcycling why not scour antique stores for your ideal chairs that have a story behind them? You can always then reupholster or decorate to your own specific needs. Or perhaps you like a traditional and classic feel to your dining room. If so, upholstered chairs in luxe fabrics may be the best option for you.



If you work from home a lot, you are going to want that perfect office chair for your office. And by perfect, we don’t just mean looks. If you are going to be spending hours at a desk and looking at a computer all day, you need an ergonomic chair that takes care of your posture. Take a look at this useful infographic and advice from http://ergo-plus.com/office-ergonomics-select-ergonomic-office-chair/ to help you choose the right office chair. Sitting in a chair for long periods of time can cause stress to your spine, neck, and shoulders. That’s why it is crucial to invest in an ergonomically designed chair. Make sure that the chair you chooses enables you to adjust the height easily. Also, ensure it has enough depth and width to support your tush. Make sure the chair offers good lumbar support and has a back rest. Test out chairs to guarantee you have enough support and that you won’t start getting into the bad habit of slouching. Your ergonomic office chair should support your spine. The correct chair should manipulate your back to stay in a natural S-shaped curve. This will help prevent back pain and strain. Of all the chairs you choose, if you spend a lot of time in your home office, this should be the one you research the most.

Just Moved In? Changes You Can Make to Save Money Instantly

Have you recently moved to a new house? If so, this is a great excuse to check your finances and make changes to save you money. Once you’ve unpacked your boxes and settled in, follow these tips to start saving instantly.

Home Insurance--

If you’ve moved to a new house, you’ll need to update your home insurance policy. Instead of simply calling up and renewing your current plan, take time to do some research. Often, we agree to continue existing policies without even thinking about alternatives. The truth is that sometimes, you can save a lot of money by shopping around. Insurance is a hugely competitive industry. Providers will often offer incentives to attract new clients. If you switch to a different company, you may get preferential rates, as well as a welcome bonus. It may seem like a hassle to change your policies. But you’ll need to update your details anyway, and the Internet makes switching really easy. Using a comparison site, you can enter your details, and get results in seconds. You can compare prices, and see what level of cover you get from different providers. If you want to change, all you need to do is click on the link, provide more information about your home, and set up a payment plan. If you don’t want to switch, you may find that your current provider offers a better deal if you mention competitor prices.

Internet and TV--

Have you been with the same Internet or digital TV provider for as long as you can remember? A house move is a great time to make some changes that may save you money each month. There is a growing number of Internet companies out there competing for your service. This means that you can often take advantage of special offers or discounted rates if you choose to switch. If you’re sick of a slow connection, or you’re keen to upgrade your broadband package, consider options for your Internet. Search online to see what different companies are offering, and give your current provider a call to see if they can offer you a better package.

If you have a digital TV subscription or you’re interested in signing up in your new home, it may be worth looking into bundles. Many Internet providers also offer TV and phone services. Often, you can create a tailored bundle that works out cheaper than paying for individual services.

Insulation and Reducing Energy Bills--

Most of us would like to have more money left over at the end of every month. Energy bills are often one of our most significant expenses in the winter months. If you can make savings, this could make a massive difference. When you move into your new home, check out its energy efficiency rating. It may be possible to add insulation to increase efficiency and reduce your bills. You can research loft and cavity wall insulation. Or you can take a trip to the hardware store and buy simple additions to increase heat retention. Sealing doors and windows, for example, can be hugely beneficial.

You may also wish to consider changing your energy provider. It may be easier to stick with the same company you had before or the provider chosen by the previous owners of your new house. However, you could save money by moving to a different firm. We often assume that it’s stressful to switch. But you may find that your new company does all the legwork for you. Make some calls and do some research online. You may find better taxes/rates/fees and be able to negotiate additional benefits over the phone.

Updating Appliances--
When you move house, it’s a great opportunity to get rid of appliances you no longer use and replace older models. Initially, you’ll be paying out. But investing in new, smart appliances will save you cash in the long-run. In this day and age, manufacturers offer all kinds of fancy features, which make appliances more efficient. Using these products not only saves money. It also contributes to greener living. If you’re keen to update washing machines, fridges or kettles, look online. You can compare prices for models you like and read reviews. Some retailers also offer the option to spread the cost using finance. If you’ve moved house and things are a bit tight, this can help to make life more affordable.


Any changes in circumstances call for updates in your budgeting plans. If you’ve relocated, it’s a perfect time to revise your budget and get to grips with your finances. Moving may alter your income or outgoings and affect your existing budget. If this is the case, it’s essential to adapt as quickly as possible. If you take your eye off your finances, you may get a nasty surprise at the end of the month. If you know what’s coming in and going out, you have a much better chance of staying in the black.

Once you’ve sorted all your bills out and made any changes to Internet, energy or insurance providers, make a new budget. Write down everything that comes out of your account on a regular basis. Make sure you have up to date costs that take any alterations into consideration. Add up how much is coming out and how much you’ve got coming in. Once you’re done this, add extra costs for the coming month. This column should include one-off expenses. Perhaps you’re going away for a weekend, or you’re going to buy a new sofa, for example. When you’ve got everything written down in front of you, you’ll have a good idea of what you’ve got available, and where you need to make savings.

Moving can certainly be stressful, but there are many advantages. Change can often be a good thing. You get the opportunity to have a clear out, and to put your stamp on a new home. Moving also provides a chance to assess spending, and have a look at ways you could be saving money. When you relocate, it’s often wise to compare insurance, Internet, and energy providers. A couple of phone calls and a few minutes online could save you a significant sum.

16 October 2016

The Perfect Secluded Hideaway Home: A Cabin in the Woods

Do you dream about your own little secluded hideaway? Whether it’s for a permanent home or somewhere to take vacations, a log cabin in the middle of nowhere sound pretty perfect to me! No noise from the street or loud traffic, just birds singing and the rustle of the trees. If you want to live a more self-sufficient life or enjoy a more rural, natural setting, then this is your perfect choice. To make your cabin in the woods a reality, here are a few things to take into consideration.


Wood Maintenance--

Unlike brick or stone, wood is much more susceptible to damage from the elements. Regular wood maintenance is essential, and may even need to be done every year in some areas. Stains, wood cleaners, caulking, chinking, and preservative products are all things you’ll need to invest in when it comes to cabin maintenance. While a log cabin is often cheaper to buy outright, you do have to factor in the time and cost of maintaining it.


One of the main benefits of living in a cabin out in the woods is that you’re away from everyone else! However, this can cause problems. You will likely need to find workmen who specialize in log cabins to fit things like your electricity. Unless you want to be completely off-grid, but let’s face it- secluded cabin + WiFi and electric sounds pretty perfect!

Heating/ Air Conditioning--

You’ll need to make sure your log home is comfortable all year round. Your heating or air conditioning choices will largely depend on the climate of where you live as well as your budget. Wood burners look fantastic in log homes. You could also add secondary forms of heat such as underfloor heating and electric oil filled radiators. Making sure it’s well insulated will also keep in any heat that you do use. You can buy climate control air conditioning units which are quiet and economical to run. These are ideal for outdoor buildings such as log cabins.

Pest Control--

Log homes are more susceptible to insect damage and rodent damage, and so prevention has to be taken seriously. Log houses are particularly difficult to deal with since certain creatures are attracted to wood. These bugs can cause expensive damage in the form of bored holes in the logs. Ants, bees, flies, ladybugs, and beetles can all pose a problem. Protecting against pests should be part of your regular maintenance checks, ensuring that the correct products are used. If you find yourself with an infestation, calling out pest control could be an option.


Would you ever move to a secluded cabin in the woods? Or would you prefer this as more of a vacation getaway?

Time to Move On: How to Say Goodbye to Your Old House

Your house has been on the market for a long time. You have started to wonder what's wrong with these buyers? Don't they like your house? Isn't it a good house? You think it's a good house. It's why you bought it. So why don't they agree?

Then, it happens. You get the call, and your house is sold. You're ready to book the moving company, start picking your new decor and get out of there already. In the midst of the frenzy and stress of packing, it hits you: this isn't going to be your home anymore.

It's Totally Natural--

Even if you are moving for the best of reasons, to a home you adore, it's still a wrench to leave your current home behind. Soon, someone else will walk through your front door, sit in your kitchen and tend to your garden. This house, which you loved and cherished, is no longer yours.

If you disliked the house, the feelings of sadness might come as a surprise. You want to be gone; your new home is better, and you can't wait to be there. But still, the feelings come. You begin to feel nostalgic for all the things you will no longer do.

Give Yourself Time To Record Memories--

One day, you might want to look back at the old house and remember what it was like. At the moment, you think it's impossible you'll ever forget it. It's been home for years, and you feel it's ingrained on your memory. But it isn't going to stay that way; the memories will dull with time.

So in the midst of packing and organizing, set aside a little bit of time to take photographs of your home as it was. At worst, you waste a bit of time snapping pictures you'll never want to look at. At best, you have a long-lived history just waiting to hit you should the nostalgia bug bite.

Focus On The Positives--

It sounds so simple, and such an easy piece of advice to give - but it's not so simple to do. You're leaving behind the world you know; you might even be changing areas. Suddenly, the new house is not glossy and exciting - it's a world you don't know.

Focus on the positives of the move and the reasons you decided to change home. Then go and reinforce them. If you don't know your new area well, give yourself an afternoon before the move to go and walk around. Let it feel familiar and less daunting.

If All Else Fails, Keep Yourself Busy--

If you're still carrying around a sense of melancholy, then the best thing to do is distract yourself. Luckily, moving home requires a tremendous amount of planning and co-ordination. If you throw your efforts into that and any repairs, you'll be less distracted by what you're feeling.

It Will Fade--

While you may be having buyer's remorse and wanting to stay in your current home forever, it will pass. Try and keep that in mind during the early weeks of adjustment at your new abode, and soon, you'll be feeling better about it too.