Archives for July 2014

Done With Mirrors — Enhancing the Home With Reflective Devices

Done With Mirrors — Enhancing the Home With Reflective Devices

When the time comes to get ready in the morning, we all take a look at ourselves for a quick once over. Whether checking their hair or outfit combination, a reflective surface is an important part of any person’s daily routine. Mirrors in the bathroom tend to get used the most as people prepare themselves for the day that lies ahead, while the one in the hallway allows a person one last glimpse before walking out the door.

While mirrors can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, it’s more than just a useful item to have around the house. They add style and interest to the overall decor in any room. In some cases, the main goal isn’t to allow people to brush up their own look, but to enhance the overall appearance of the room.

Larger styles can be placed in a room to bestow much more depth on the space. Many designers consider these pieces almost like moveable windows that open up the area and bring in some extra light. Before placing a bigger mirror on the wall, hold it up at various locations to see which one brings about the best results. Sometimes, when a mirror is placed correctly, the room can appear even greater in size.

Smaller styles can be installed together to create a striking effect. Instead of a picture, several reflective surfaces all placed in a pattern or random grouping can look great. It’s important to think about how they’re going to be arranged to create a pleasing effect. Look at each one as a different piece of art and gather them up accordingly.

Frames create a more dramatic effect, ensuring that a mirror stands out against the wall. There are a variety of different materials that can be used for the frame, allowing a person to choose just the right style and texture for his or her space. Thicker frames tend to get more notice while thin frames can help a mirror blend into the background while still capitalizing on its benefits.

A mirror without a frame is another great option for a softer look. These styles often have bevelled edges that create the allusion of a frame without any extra colour or excess material. This subtle addition to the wall infuses it with an understated elegance that works well in just about any space.

In most homes, mirrors serve two purposes: they allow a person to keep their appearance in order and increase the aesthetics of a room. When it comes to the mirror mirror on the wall, the options are endless. Shapes, sizes and textures— you can just about take your pick.


Choosing the Right Hunting Dog

Hunting dogs can be much more than just a companion on the hunt. They can also be family pets and life-long friends. The key to finding your new hunting partner is to determine which breed is best suited to your lifestyle and the types of hunting that you are doing. Hunting dogs for sale from reputable breeders will have strengths and weaknesses inherent in the type of dog that they are. You will usually find retrievers, pointers, and many more types of dogs. 

Golden Retrievers

Golden retrievers are gun dogs bred to retrieve water fowl that hunters have taken down. This means that they have an affinity to water and are good swimmers. It also means that they have a soft bite to return the game undamaged to their hunter. Retrievers, and many other hunting dog breeds, can make excellent family pets as they like to be active and play. Retrievers are usually seen as a family dog because they are intelligent, hard-working, and affectionate to their human companions.


A vizsla is a medium sized pointer breed of hunting dog and is also favored for hunting birds of all kinds as well as other small game. They may need to be convinced to get into the water, but vizslas are excellent swimmers. This breed of dogs is also a very active and friendly one, making it a dog that you can hunt with and still bring home to play with the kids. Like all hunting dogs for sale, the vizslas will need lots of exercise and attention.

When looking for hunting dogs for sale you will want to make sure that you find a breed of dog that matches what types of hunting you like to do. You will also want to make sure that you find a reputable breeder who cares as much about the dogs as you do. This can help ensure that the health issues of your pup will be as few as possible and you can have a long and active relationship with your new hunting partner.

For more information, visit


Keeping A Daily Journal Improves Family Life


Link to image

Making the effort to keep a journal in later life could have more benefits than you realise. These benefits are huge, if you happen to have a family. Children thrive on stability and scheduling. You might neglect these two things within your own life, but doing so in your child’s life means that he or she could feel unstable.

Keeping a diary isn’t just for teenage girls. You may think a diary won’t fit your image that it will look tatty and silly. You are wrong. There are many stylish and sophisticated diaries for ladies  that will suit you perfectly, such as the Shinola journals.

Tracking your child’s progress is vital in their early life. Between the ages of three and ten your child will change so much; it might be hard to remember that they were mere babies not long ago. You might want to keep a diary as a keepsake for later life, when you want to look back on your child’s earlier years. Many mothers tend to live in the moment with their children, which is good. But you also need something to remember when your young ones leave home. Here are a few ways keeping a diary can improve your family life.

1. A Diary Can Schedule Your Child’s Life

Do your children take part in many social activities? Do they always swim on Wednesdays and go to their friend’s house on Thursdays? Keeping track of your child’s social life, alongside your own can be a difficult

By noting down everything that you and your children do each day, you can keep track of how your child is progressing. You can also ensure that they don’t miss out on anything they have planned. Your child relies on you to schedule their life, so you need to keep on top of their schedule like you would your own.

The most important thing to a child when they are growing up is stability. Providing your child with a regular schedule that isn’t going to change will help them a great deal. Getting them into the mind-set of planning ahead for things, will mean that they are able to understand what they are doing daily.

2. You Can Write Down Important Memories

It is hard to imagine but in ten or fifteen years time your children are going to leave home. Whether they go away to university or move out and get a job, they will want to be independent. Children moving away is a hard thing for any parent. The thought of not having the whole family together can be upsetting.

If you begin to note down things that happen with you and your children now, you will have some wonderful memories to look back on. Many memories slip away from us or are just too fleeting to remember, by having a diary you can ensure that you never forget a single second. Old diaries and journals make fantastic gifts. You may want to give them to your child to look back on when they reach 18 or 21.

3. Writing Will Make You And Your Children Happier

Writing is a creative outlet. Keeping up this practice will allow you a great deal of emotional pleasure. When you write something down, you will feel happier and less stressed about doing the thing. You can get your child involved in diary writing as well and bond over the experience of scheduling and making memories. Writing is a skill your child will need in later life. If they start early, they can develop a passion for the craft of writing, which will be great for them in later life.

De-worming Your Horse? Read This First!

Horses are lovely companions to have, but they come with a lot of responsibility too. As well as taking care of your horse on a daily basis, you need to deworm your horse regularly to keep them in good health. Worms can have a horrible effect on horses, so you need to act fast. You can usually deworm your horse without much hassle, however if your horse seems to have a phobia then it can be quite difficult. If you’ve never done this before, then this guide will give you some great tips on how to get it done in the quickest, most effective way:


Image Author: Flickr

Weigh Your Horse

The first thing you need to do when deworming your horse is weigh him. This is because you can easily under-dose your horse, which will be totally ineffective and not help your horse at all. You have two options; either use a weight scale with the help of your equine vet, or use a girth tape for an approximation. You can then move on to the next step.

Alter the De-worming Syringe Correctly

Take a look at your syringe – it will have numbers on it, representing your horse’s weight. You need to alter the syringe so that it will only administer just enough dewormer to help your horse. You usually have to move a latch or spin a dial until it lands on the right weight. You can find many deworming medicines and syringes that will do this online, on sites like

Make Sure Your Horse is Secure

Now you need to make sure that your horse is secure. You can do this by using your halter, or have a friend help you by holding him. He will need to be still for your to properly administer the dewormer. You should also double check that your horse doesn’t have any food or hay in their mouth before giving them the dewormer.

Administer the Dewormer into Your Horse’s Mouth

The syringe needs to be placed so that it’s facing the back of your horse’s mouth, towards the back of the tongue. Once you have it in the right position, you can press the plunger and gently hold your horse’s head up to make him swallow.

Watch Your Horse for a Few Minutes

Now it’s time to watch your horse for at least 5 minutes to make sure that he doesn’t spit any out. You should also wait at least 20 minutes before giving your horse food, as they can easily spit out some wormer with the food.

If you have a fussy horse, you have many other options for getting them dewormed. You can use granules, powder to be sprinkled over their food, and even flavoured paste that doesn’t taste like the chemical. Always watch your horse to make sure that they aren’t being clever and separating the food granules from the deworming granules if you’ve chosen that method.

Remember to keep a regular schedule for the best results and the healthiest horse!

Can’t Find The Ideal Family Home? Think About Building Your Own


Will Bakker

Sometimes when we want to move house, it is difficult to find one in the right place. If you do find one for sale there, the chances are that it will not suit your family. I’m sure that you recognise these circumstances. There is a solution; you could build your own house instead. Imagine having a home that you help to design, in a prime location. That sounds like heaven to me.

Most people sit back and think that they don’t have the ability to build their own property, but that is not the case. Let the experts do the job for you, to your specifications. Here are a few ideas that will set you on the road to construct a perfect family home.

The Land

The location is probably one of the biggest decisions you will have to make. Land is at a premium in towns and cities. You might be lucky and find a plot, but it is more likely that you will have to buy an existing property and demolish it so that you can use the land for your new home. Alternatively, you can look online for land releases in prime locations. Developers sell individual plots of land where you can build your own home. They will provide a resource pack which will contain some design guidelines, but the rest is up to you and your architect. Sustainable living is high on the agenda these days; there might be an emphasis on insulation and building materials from renewable sources.

The Architect

Your architect will design a beautiful home in line with your wishes. All you need do is present them with an outline and a few sketches of your ideal home. here are a few features you might want to include.

  • Use the loft for extra bedrooms or a games room. It will probably be large enough to house a bathroom too. The loft is usually an underused space in homes. Make the most of every part of the house.

  • Build a basement that you can use as a games room or craft room for the children. You can use these amazing spaces for almost anything. Most people keep junk down there, but I am sure you can do better than that.

  • A Double garage always comes in handy. Fit an automatic door so that you never have to get wet when it is raining. It would be fantastic to put the kids in the car before you leave the house wouldn’t it?

The Construction

When you have detailed plans, the architect will recommend a construction company to see the project through. Take their advice because they have more experience than you. Work will begin on your new home, and you can relax in eager anticipation of things to come.

Soon enough you will be in your new home. Some people choose to hire contractors and manage the build themselves. They undergo much stress during the process and vow never to do it again. For a family, particularly those with young children, it is best to take the easy route and leave it to the experts.

Well, I hope you find the idea of building your own home compelling. It is the only way to get everything you want in a home.

Smarter Cycling for Better Health and Fitness

Smarter Cycling for Better Health and FitnessCycling is great for your health and fitness when done smartly and correctly. But if you do it the incorrect way it can hurt you and be damaging to your body. Here are some gadgets that can help you make sure you are cycling correctly, whilst meeting your targets and goals.

Garmin Forerunner 620 Premium GPS Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin’s Forerunner 620 Sports Watch will make certain you are riding smarter by the end of your first ride with this gadget. This device can share your ride with your family and friends via the Garmin app, or alternatively you can upload it to your computer and share it that way.

The Forerunner can also analyse where you’re riding capabilities lay and then can help you improve on them. By measuring all of the essentials like average speed and cadence, it will then push you to aim for better results within reason. It will also tell you what you need to achieve on the days ride in order to achieve the targets that you have previously set out. All of these devices are available with free shipping at 99 Bikes.

Garmin Edge 510 Classic GPS Computer

The Garmin Edge 510 Classic GPS Computer will give you the most comprehensive and accurate data available about your ride. This computer can track just about everything you do on your ride, so make sure you don’t slack of because it will know.

You will be able to track every detail during your ride, with the 510 recording your distance, speed metrics and ascent/descent grade. It will even tell you if you’ve achieved any new personal records once you have completed your ride. So it will certainly give you that extra motivation to achieve more or try harder on your next ride.

It’s also possible with the 510 to be able to send your ride data through to your phone and onto social media so your friends can see how your ride went. Another handy feature is the weather tracking. It is done in real time as well so you will know whether you may need to duck for cover during an upcoming weather event during your ride.

Garmin Vector Power Metre Pedals

Garmin’s Vector Power Metre Pedals will allow you to accurately measure just how much power you are using when you ride. The pedals do need to be hooked up to another Garmin device in order for it to give you the specific feedback though. It can even measure how much power each leg is putting through the pedals and what the balance of power is between the left and right legs.

The Vector is the lightest set of power measuring pedals on the market, which is important. It is also very simple and easy to install and can be easily transferred between bikes as it does not require a changing of the original drivetrain, crankset or wheels.

So there are three devices that can help you ride smarter, what are some more and are there any further tips for riders out there?


How to Prepare for the Festive Season Well in Advance

Although we have a whole year in between each Christmas, it doesn’t feel like much time at all once it’s made its way back round again. I used to be a person who let Christmas creep up on me, so I had a million things to do with very little time to do them in. This post will tell you how I now prepare for the festive season well in advance, so when Christmas shows its face again, you’ll have nothing to worry about:


Image Author

Start Saving at The Start of the Year

That’s right – start saving in January. The very start of the year. I realised that I should do this once I spent more than a whole month’s wages one Christmas and was in my overdraft for a good while afterwards. I hadn’t prepared for presents, not at all. If you start saving in January, even if it’s just £10 per week, you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief at Christmas when you realise all of your gifts are covered!

Pick Up Decorations and Paper Right After Christmas

It might be too late for you to do this now, but remember it for next time. Pick up all of your decorations and wrapping paper immediately after Christmas, when they will be much cheaper than they usually are. You’ll need to find a safe place to store them, but you won’t need to pay extortionate prices for them next time!

Start Thinking of What You Can Buy for Your Loved Ones

Don’t leave gift hunting until the very last minute. If you can think of anything you’d like to get a certain friend or relative for Christmas, note it down somewhere safe so you have a ready made shopping list. This will save you a big headache come December. In fact, if you see a gift you think they might like that isn’t going to spoil if you put it in the cupboard or on top of the wardrobe, buy it them in advance! Christmas hampers are always appreciated.

Don’t Buy Cards – Give Donations Instead

Cards get thrown away and are not usually appreciated unless you’re under the age of 10 or over the age of 70. Instead of wasting your money on cards, give a donation in the names of the people you would usually send cards too. This way, the money is used by a good cause, you save lots of trees, and you get a great sense of well being.

Practice Wrapping

I was rubbish at wrapping a few years back. In fact, I once spent a ridiculous amount of money on gift bags just so I didn’t have to wrap! Practice your wrapping by watching videos on Youtube. You can usually make a badly wrapped gift look better with ribbons and things, so decorate them to hide imperfections. It’s what’s inside that counts anyway, right?

Don’t leave anything until the last minute when it comes to Christmas. Plan all of your day in advance; right down to the beauty treatments you want to have leading up to the festive season. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail!


Ideas For Hosting A Legendary Birthday Party That Your Child Will Never Forget

Though most people don’t have the money or time to do it every year, sometimes it is nice to lay on a party for our child’s birthday. There are a few tips and tricks to getting it right, and you must know them because your little one might be judged on it at school. Yes, social politics come into play at a young age these days.


Liz West

We are not talking about a party for a teenager here; it is impossible to please them. It is a party for children who are still in the happy stage of life. It is also a time when you can reap your reward from the looks on the delighted faces of the children.

Here are a few ideas for hosting a legendary party.

The Invites

Send out personal invitations to all of their friends. It is easy to do these days thanks to computers and the free software that is available online. You can print on the insides of the card and use some craft materials to decorate the outside. The time you spend with your little one to make the invites is a valuable part of the party process. Here is some information you should include on the invitations.

  • The name of the host and the address of the party.

  • The start and finish times of the party.

  • Note if the parents can stay too.

  • List the entertainment.

The Food

Jam sandwiches and orange squash are a thing of the past. Kids today want Donald Russell burgers and fizzy pop. Give them what they want, just this once. Of course, the cake needs to be something special. Most people know someone who is an amateur cake maker, so put them to use. Think about your child’s interests. Maybe they have a favourite television character or they like a particular animal. The clues are there.


Leave the magicians and clowns for other people’s parties. Search for entertainment management companies online, and see if you can find a live band that is suitable to play for this private crowd. Kids love to boogie on down to the music from any era, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a group.

Hire a DJ to keep the kids moving before and after the band. Wow, this party sounds awesome!

You could also hire a swimming pool and a bouncy castle for the day. All of these things add up to give a thrilling experience to your guests.

The End

If you have done your job, the children will be exhausted and barely able to keep their eyes open. The sudden rush of sugar from the fizzy pop will have given them enough energy to dance and jump about. Now they should be coming down from that rush, and you will notice how quiet the crowd has become. hand them back to their parents with a party bag containing sweets, cake, and maybe a small present.

Your party will go down in the annals of time. When they are all at university, they will look back at the great party of ‘14 and say “I was there.” Mission complete!

Firm Favourites?

buzzAs parents we all go though it – that time when our child becomes fixated on a firm favourite TV show, film, or film characters, and whatever you choose to do, watch, or talk about, it’s brought back round to, say, Buzz Lightyear.  My nephew (aged 4) is approaching the first anniversary of being ever so slightly obsessed with Toy Story.  My daughter, now aged 8, went through the same obsession at 5, and luckily we still have all the characters lined up in her bedroom, so when my nephew comes for a sleepover it’s Toy Story heaven.  For him, at least.  We’ve been able to pass on her Toy Story DVDs to him, phew, (she was ready to part with them…..honestly) as his are scratched and generally worn out through repeated watching.   

A recent disaster pertaining to his obsession was the loss (somewhere in our house) of Woody’s Hat when my nephew came for a sleepover.  It has never been found, and every time my nephew comes around he strides purposefully into the house, shakes off his shoes and tells me, in his most serious voice that he is ‘going to find Woody’s hat’.  He never does, and I always feel when he leaves he is ever so slightly disappointed in me, or possibly suspicious that I have hidden or disposed of the hat somewhere or somehow.  I haven’t.  Really.

These fixations on films, characters or shows, can (believe me…) make life easy for you sometimes.  So, you’re never stuck for a present idea – although there’s only so many Mr Potato Heads one boy needs, and it’s easy when party time comes around to pick a theme.  In fact, it’s a no brainer – as long as you don’t pick the theme TOO far in advance, and as you are about to throw the perfect Toy Story party, they announce that Star Wars is now all they want to watch, and they deny all knowledge of ever having shown the slightest interest in Buzz Lightyear.

So, why do kids get these obsessions?  And which characters are most popular with children?  And how can you make the best of their favourites when it comes to parties?  Samantha, writing on her parenting blog suggests that not least the repetition of watching the shows over and over gives your children comfort and security, which seems logical.  And psychologist Ian Wallace tells us on  that it’s rarely anything to worry about, that watching and acting out from a favourite film or show can actually increase their confidence.

Current TV show and film favourites include:

  • Peppa Pig, popular with boys and girls.  The mischievous little pig who loves nothing more than jumping in muddy puddles, makes for a great party theme for pre-schoolers.  Ask them to come in their wellies, and play musical muddy puddles with puddles cut from blue paper.  Decorate cupcakes with pink icing and your home with pink streamers, and you’ve got an instant hit!
  • Transformers are popular with slightly older boys, and with the new film just out, it’s sure to be one of the summer’s biggest hits.  Optimus Prime and his fellow Autobots star in an action-packed mission to save the earth.  For a Transformers party decorate your venue with blue, red, yellow and black balloons and streamers.  Get your guests to dress in the colour of their favourite Autobot, and send them on a treasure hunt for Energon, preferably outside….
  • mickeyMinnie and Mickey Mouse are timeless classics.  First created in 1928 both Mickey and Minnie are loved by children right around the world.  Red streamers (with polka dots for Minnie) will set the perfect scene.  Your guests can be invited to come in fancy dress, or why not provide black mouse ears for each of them, maybe make it a craft activity?  For games why not cut out a simple Minnie Mouse shape, just three circles, and play pin the bow on Minnie (or the nose on Mickey….)
  • Doc McStuffins is the little girl with the big talent to fix toys with the help of her stuffed animal friends, and a positive message about healthy living.  Purple and pink streamers and balloons will give the perfect colourful backdrop to a Doc McStuffins party, dressing up as doctors and ‘medical’ role play is always a favourite, and stick the plaster on the cut out version of one of Doc’s friends – Lambie or Stuffy – you can’t go wrong!
  • Oh, and of course, who could forget….Toy Story!  Woody, Buzz and all their friends make for a fab party theme, another one popular with boys, girls, and grown-ups!

For great value party supplies on a huge range of themes (we’re almost certain to have your child’s current favourite covered!) why not visit



The Garden Needs An Overhaul, Its Time For A Move


The house needs painting, that’s a fact, you know the house needs painting when the old paint from the gutters is falling on your head when you put the key in the door. It’s a pebble dash house and I know it’s going to be a big job.

But it needs to be done because I need to sell my house fast, Im moving on to a new town, with a new job.

And I need to move quickly.

So I have been looking for some scaffold to make sure I can reach the top of the gable, because my days of climbing ladders are over. But they aint cheap, and I have only two weeks to get it ready for a sale.

The house is going on the market in a fortnight. I live on the Wirral and need to make a quick house sale. Because the move down south is just too good to turn down. And that leaves me with a lot to do to get it ready.

And not to mention the garden, it’s like an overgrown jungle. And I don’t own a lawnmower, you may be getting the picture now that Im not a natural when it comes to DIY and gardening. Never the less I have to get a move on and make this house presentable to make a quick sale, I have been waiting too long for this new opportunity, and I have to make the most of it.

So I have two choices, pay someone or apply the elbow grease and take on the job myself. And unfortunately because I need to make as much money from the sale as possible, it looks like applying the elbow grease and doing it myself is the only realistic option.

So it’s time to get a shake on, and make some positive progress.

If you find yourself in the same situation then I can only advise you do the same, Im glad to say I did roll my sleeves up and get on with it. The paint job was the biggest, so I took that on first, instead of hiring a scaffold, I looked on eBay and found one for sale really cheap.

And once I had finished the painting, I put it back on eBay and made a small profit. The house looked amazing when it was finished and if Im honest, I wish I had done it years ago.

I borrowed some gardening equipment from my family and attacked the overgrown garden, it was hard going, but luckily the weather was favourable, and once I got into a rhythm I quite enjoyed it.

I decided to carry on the momentum and touched up the paintwork on the inside of the house also, and after all the hard work I was really happy with the overall end result.

So the job is done and the house is ready to sell, I decided to sell my house with a company called Wirral Property Solutions, they handled the sale from start to finish really professionally, and most importantly really quickly.

Allowing me to move on to my new life, with the minimum of fuss.