Archives for July 2014

Kid’s rugs – add more than just interest to a room!

There are days when the children cannot get outside to play and the bedroom or playroom becomes their base. With the need to easily clean floors that can take the punishment of children, their toys, paints, glue etc. it is no surprise that many parents are worried about adding a carpet or rug to the area.

Spark interest

But children’s rugs are great for adding not only an extra spark of interest but can also be used an educational tool too. Surrounded by plain walls, rugs on the floor can be a great way of adding the senses of both warmth and texture to a room, very much as we do in other rooms within the house. Even with heavily patterns, wall papered walls, block colour rugs can add a feeling of warmth underfoot.

Chop and change!

chopAnother thing any parent will tell you is how quick children change their minds of their favourite toy or favourite thing to do. With alarming speed and frequency, children can one minute be demanding cars to play with and yet, in a blink of an eye, they want to run a farm.

Many of the children’s rugs on the market today are lightweight – so the maps rug can be rolled away, and the farm rug brought out. Some rugs are also two-sided, offering more flexibility and enjoyment.

Part of play

Rugs are also a great way of encouraging independent play, with many children’s rugs offering themes from the solar system, through to a road map, as well as game ‘boards’ and scenes that can spark a child’s imagination.

Some rugs are also overtly educational in that they have the alphabet or words etc. on them and this too can make the basis of some great home-spun games. The choice of children’s rugs is growing all the time, and as they are relatively inexpensive too, it is within most budgets to invest in them.

How to buy a children’s rug

Just like the process of buying a rug for anywhere else in the home, you need to ensure you get the rug right for the playroom or bedroom, so why not follow these great hints? You can also find some more ideas about rug thickness and other considerations at http://interiordec.about.com/cs/articl2/a/kids_arearugs_2.htm

  • Cleanability – it is imperative that the rugs you chose are easy to clean; not just dust mites and general dirt, you also need a rug that will withstand the ‘onslaught’ of paint, glue and a variety of other sticky substances. On one hand you need to be robust, but also withstand the rigours of keeping it clean.
  • Quality – just because you know it will take a battering, don’t assume that you cannot opt for quality when it comes to a children’s rug. They need to be robust enough to withstand cleaning and playing, but this does not mean that they need to be ‘used and thrown’. A good rug, even with extensive cleaning and scrubbing, will last a long time…
  • The material – getting the right material is important, as the material it is made from will determine how easy and well it can be cleaned. Many people opt for children’s rugs made from synthetic materials, as they withstand stains much better than natural fibres. Mystified by which fibre is man-made and which is natural? Find out more here http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/carpet/choose-right-carpet-fiber.htm
  • The size – bear in mind the size of the room the rug will adorn, as well as how often you intend on moving it. Many people like the rugs to be flexible so that they can be moved and rolled with ease. Smaller rugs, especially more than one in a room, can be a great way of adding colour and interest to it.
  • The colours – children love bright things, and this has been linked to their development, especially in the younger stages. It seems that the brighter and bolder the rugs are the better when it comes to children’s rugs. Don’t shy away from bright colours, and vivid patterns as kids can find these comforting, as well as attractive.

Feeling really jazzy…?!

flowersWhy not opt for a shaped children’s rug? There are so many rugs on the market that it can be hard to decide what works best but some children love the shaped rugs that bring even more  interest to the room. They can also help theme a room and you will be amazed at the array of shapes and themes available from cars, lorries and animals, through to beautiful pink castle for the princess’s!

Rugs bring warmth and interest to a room, as well as finishing off the interior design of a space but many people invest in children’s rugs for the educational element they bring too.  Check out the latest kids rugs at The Rug Retailer

The Ultimate Guide To Building Your Own Tree House

Tree houses are coming back into style. Those who have a large tree in their back garden are lucky indeed. The elevated structures can be as quirky as you like. Take a look at the one in the image, it screams fun.

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Spencer Wright

You must be careful when building the tree house because your actions may harm the tree. But if you go about it in the right way there is no reason your family cannot enjoy the new structure for many years to come.

If you are thinking about building one of your own, here is how to go about it. Every tree is different, so you can only use this as a general guide, but the basics are here.

The Design

Not every garden plays host to such a magnificent tree as in the image. Sometimes it cannot be used to bear whole weight of the house. Many tree houses stand on stilts, so don’t worry of your tree isn’t up to the job. You can still build a house around it.

Construction

You must build a platform for the house first. Here are a few ways to go about it.

  • If the tree is sturdy, Fix the framework for the floor using bolts that will not rust.

  • If you are building the house between two or more trees, use treehouse brackets. Fix them to the trees with bolts, and slide the timbers into them. As the trees sway, they allow the beams to move. If you didn’t use these brackets, the trees would pull the house apart.

  • If the house is going on stilts, use concrete to hold them in the ground. Then build the framework across them.

  • Use good quality plywood to cover the framework for the floor and to create a hatch for access. Remember to leave a suitable gap around the tree trunk so that you do not hinder its growth. You can fill the gap with rope to stop any draughts.

Start building the walls. Unless you have many helpers, it is best to build them in situ. Some people prefer to take measurements and construct the sections on the ground before lifting them into place. That sometimes works, but it is difficult to raise the pieces, and they often do not fit properly when you come to assemble them.

Buy some rough sawn wood from your local timber merchant and build a framework for the walls. Working at height is dangerous so use a safety harness at all times. Clad the framework with the material of your choice. You could use reclaimed floorboards or shiplap cladding, both work well here. The roof may need to be a strange shape, but that is fine. Tree houses are meant to look odd it is all part of their character.

Well, if you have got this far your project is nearly complete. You must paint or varnish the structure to protect it against the elements and make it look attractive. Safety is the most important thing, especially where there are children. Make sure the ladder is sturdy, or better still build a staircase.

I hope you enjoy your tree house. It is one of the most enjoyable projects you will ever take on.

Regifting

Regifting is something that comes with a bit of a stigma, and a lot of people aren’t sure if regifting is a good idea or not. You want to be able to accept someone’s gift with a lot of gratitude, and you want to be able to use and enjoy that gift, no matter what it is. But sometimes you simply cannot help it if someone gives you something that you really do not want or need. And rather than letting it sit in your closet, hidden away as it collects dust and takes up space, perhaps you have thought about selling it to make some fast cash, or giving it away as a gift to someone else you think would actually appreciate it.

When it comes to regifting, many awkward mistakes can be made. You obviously don’t want to inadvertently give a gift right back to the person who gave it to you in the first place, and you certainly do not want the new recipient to find out that you are giving them a second-hand gift. But these are just two potentially embarrassing scenarios that can occur when you regift an item.

To learn more about how to regift properly and avoid scenarios in which you may end up feeling like crawling under a rock and never coming out again, check out the helpful infographic below. Simply following the tips it provides will ensure a smooth and effortless regifting situation each and every time.

Top 5 rules of Regifting

Top 5 rules of Regifting is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree

Just Breathe: The Power of Knowing Your COPD Triggers

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease limits the amount of air entering the lungs.  The condition causes shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.  Since the condition can be disturbing and health threatening, it’s important to identify COPD triggers, elements that facilitate its onset.

Such information is beneficial for those hosting the disease as well as friends and loved ones.

Smoking

Of course, any variety of smoke can irritate the lungs, but the act of smoking cigarettes invites the onset of COPD.  Closely related in ambiance and habit, alcohol consumption, can also bring about a fit of coughing or worse.

Those who have dependencies often seek counseling or alternative treatment to help them wean and eventually quit harmful habits.  It’s important for those hosting harmful habits to reconsider behaviors.

Temperature

Extreme temperatures, those freezing or exceeding 90 degrees, invite breathing problems.  Those visiting friends and family members need to take precaution to avoid unhealthy habitats and living situations.  Moreover, additional factors like wind and humidity can exacerbate the threat of extreme temperatures.

While indoors, it’s suggested those with COPD adjust humidity to 40%.  If one must go outside in the cold, cover the nose and mouth with warm materials as not to expose the lungs to frigid air temperatures.

Elements

Beware of dust, pollen, and other elements contributing to air pollution.  In some areas, such as major cities, it may be difficult or close to impossible to avoid such pollution, reason those with serious cases opt to live in suburban and urban settings though allergies to plants and pollen becomes another issue.

In addition, particular indoor elements like paint and mold can disturb breathing, making cases dire if unaddressed.

Infections

In the winter months, it’s common for friends and family members to host colds and other types of minor infections, but the minor seasonal infections can cause great distress for those with COPD.  Furthermore, those with existing conditions, subsequently attracting infections, are prone to pneumonia, which is life threatening.

Seek vaccinations from local hospitals, doctors, and designated commercial establishments.  Furthermore, be mindful in washing hands frequently, especially after coming in contact with public doors, handles and bathrooms.

Alcohol

As mentioned, alcohol, often coupled with bar scenes and cigarettes, is mostly harmless when taken in small quantities yet should be avoided by those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  In addition to particular ingredients creating a flaring of the lungs and subsequent wheezing and coughing, some COPD medications do not mix well with alcohol, causing an increased sense of anxiety and slower rates of breathing, which could be fatal.

Treatment

COPD is an ongoing and chronic disease, which can worsen without the proper treatment.  Moreover, those who do not curb or altogether quit alcohol, smoking, and other threatening behaviors place themselves at higher risks of harming the lungs.

In severe cases, a lung transplant procedure is performed or harshly influenced parts of a given lung removed.  Alternatively, speak to professionals about inhalers, steroids to reduce lung inflammation, and anti-inflammatory sprays and pills.

Steve Tucker spends his days studying images of lungs and effects of treatments. He believes that with a foundational knowledge of lung health and strategies for healthy living, one can manage many lung issues.

 

Things To Consider When Revamping Your Children’s Bedroom 

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Image from flickr

Every few years you may work your way around to the children’s bedroom for a decorating project. Bedrooms are great fun because unlike kitchens and bathrooms, you do not have to spend much time and money installing permanent furniture.

Because you love to see the look of delight on your children’s faces when you present them with something new, you want to get it right. Here are a few things to consider when revamping your children’s bedroom.

Storage

Kid’s toys and other things take up much space, and you must be able to stash them out of the way. Storage is one of the biggest issues in the room, especially when it is tiny. Luckily there are many solutions on the market for you to use. Think about using a large bookcase that has square pigeon holes in it. The manufacturers make square boxes that fit into those holes, and they are ideal for keeping things separate and organised. Use plastic boxes under the bed. There are products for that purpose. Utilise solutions that hang from the ceiling too, there are some great inventions out there.

Space

Children need room to play so keep as much floor area free as possible. Use bunk beds; the best invention since sliced bread. Make the room feel more spacious by opening up the window area too. Remove the drapes and fit modern blinds instead. The curtains will block some light even when they are open, but a new roller or venetian blind will not block it at all.

Flooring

The little ones love to play on the floor, and they will often suffer carpet burns on their knees. Laminate floors are the answer to your problem. Rip up the old carpet and underlay. Measure the room to find the floor area in square metres and divide that number by how many there are in a pack. That will tell you the number of packs you need. Put some underlay down first to reduce some of the noises downstairs as the kids play. The boards click together; fitting them is easy. All you need is a saw to cut the last one of a row. Use the leftover piece to start the next row.

Decorating

You should use bright colours in the room. Make a feature out of one wall with modern mural wallpaper. The image can be anything you wish, there are thousands from which to choose. You may have a picture of your own, or find the perfect image on the internet. Anything is possible these days. Paint the rest of the walls in a single colour so that in the evenings, the night light will cast interesting shadows on them and bring a calming effect to the room.

You will naturally take special care to work to a high standard in your child’s room because you want to do the best for them that you can. It is an enjoyable job to take on. Your reward comes in the form of the grin on their faces and the excitement they feel when they spend their first night in there. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. That’s all for today; good luck with your project.

Take Time for Yourself and Relax: 6 Ideas

Taking time for ourselves to relax is so important in this day and age. With the hectic lives that the majority of us lead, de-stressing by doing the things we enjoy most can be a great help. We’ll enjoy more endorphins as a result, less stress, and a greater feeling of well being. Here are 6 ideas for you to try if you don’t know where to start:

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Image Credit

1. Give Yourself a Facial

If you can’t afford to go to the salon and have a facial done professionally, you can always give yourself one at home. It’s really easy; just cleanse, exfoliate, apply your mask, relax for however long you like, then remove your mask, tone and moisturise. Make sure you use products suited to your skin type in order for it to work well. If you don’t know your skin type, ask for advice at a beauty counter.

2. Have a Massage

Massages are so relaxing and have many other benefits too. Try to get your partner to give you a massage and promise them one in return. If you haven’t got anybody to give you a massage, you could always visit a salon every so often and have one done by a professional. Although it might seem expensive, the benefits will be worth it!

3. Read Your Favourite Book

Reading allows us to relax, and in some cases almost enter a different world. Why not grab your favourite book, or a book you’ve always wanted to read and settle down? Audio books are also an option, so you can simply listen to a book. Top fantasy audio books can be found online, along with other genres to suit all tastes.

4. Have a Hot Bath With Candles

A nice hot bath, decorated with scented candles can help to relieve tension from your whole body and help you to sleep better at night. You could even use essential oils in the bath water, bath salts, and bath bombs. My nan likes to take her books in the bath, but this leaves them all crinkled. Where’s a waterproof Kindle when you need one?

5. Spend Time on Your Favourite Hobby

Think about what you love to do most, and allocate yourself some time each day or week to do it. Whether you love gardening, walking, making jewellery, writing, or cooking, it’s important you spend time doing what you love best. This will help you to feel more positive about life in general!

6. Meditate

Meditating might seem like ‘doing nothing’, but it can help you to totally de-stress and clear your mind. You need to find a quiet place and comfortable position where you can just relax and reflect over all of the positive things in your life. You can even play some relaxing music in the background!

What do you think of these 6 relaxation ideas? Have they worked for you? If so, leave a comment. Maybe you have your own special way of relaxing – let us know about that too! Thanks for reading, and have fun de-stressing.

 

6 Things To Think About When Choosing Flooring For Your Home

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When it comes to fitting new flooring in your home, you could just opt for what looks good but you should think about it in more detail than that.

As well as aesthetics, here are 6 other things you should think about before choosing which flooring type suits your home:

  • How much does it cost?
  • Is it practical for you and your family?
  • Is it going to last a long time?
  • Are you going to be comfortable walking on it each day?
  • Is it easy to install or do I need to get a flooring company to help?
  • How often am I going to need to clean it?

Cost

Everything boils down to cost, so when you find the perfect flooring type for your home, you still need to think about how it is going to get installed. You want a good return on investment and this will depend a lot on how practical the flooring is.

Practicality

If you use your bathroom and kitchen the most then you will need a floor that will be practical and can be maintained easily as well as being durable. Bathroom and kitchen floor tiles are often the best for this.

Durability

Durability is a key factor to think about when investing in new flooring. You want a long lasting surface that can withstand daily use as well as any spills and accidents that happen from you, your children, pets or friends.

Comfort

Arguably one of the most important things, especially for your feet, comfort is something that needs serious consideration. Carpet is your obvious choice for comfort but it isn’t the most durable and practical flooring solution in your home. If someone spills something on carpet it can easily stain.

Installation

If you don’t mind a bit of D.I.Y then installing flooring yourself can save you a lot of money, and possibly time. But, if you’d rather have the professionals do it, you can and they will install it in such a way that means it will maintain its durability.

Maintenance

Having a clean home is important, not only does it feel much better but it also helps to keep the longevity of surfaces. So, you will want to keep on top of the cleaning of your flooring, but not have to do it every day so that it takes up most of your free time. Tiles and wood flooring are again the better option for this as a simple wipe can get rid of any nasty bacteria, whereas carpet has a habit of being a comfy environment for bacteria to nest in.

So, when you next decide to upgrade your flooring around the home, think about these essential tips to help you make the wisest decision possible. Take your time too; after all, this is going to the flooring that stays in your home for a very long time.

7 Warning Signs You Should Take Your Dog To The Vet

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image taken from Flickr

Your dog is part of the family: he’s your best friend, your companion for life. But your dog can’t speak out, so how do you know when to seek medical help? How can you tell if that limp signifies a sprain, or that sneeze requires medicine?

Learn the warning signs that mean you should take your pet to the vet. After you’ve got the opinion of the vet, you can save yourself some cash by ordering pet drugs online. All you need is a prescription for the medication, and you’re in business.

Unordinary eating habits

It’s not out of the ordinary for your dog to skip a meal or two, especially if it’s hot outside. But any more than this should be a red flag that something is not quite right. Two days without eating is a clear sign that your dog should be professionally examined.

Some diseases cause dogs to develop unusual eating habits. So if your dog is usually well-behaved, but begins raiding the pantry and garbage, you should take him for a checkup immediately.

Excessively thirsty

Dogs naturally produce a lot of saliva, so they don’t need to drink like a fish. A dog who drinks too much water could be developing a kidney disease or diabetes. You will be able to tell if your dog is drinking too much water if she has an excessive amount of urine, needs to go outside more often, or has accidents in the house.

Dry coat

Any pet owner knows that a dog’s coat should be thick, shiny, and luxuriously soft. A dull coat, or one with rough, dry, or bald patches is an indication that something is wrong.

The wrong kind of food, an allergy, or a skin disease could be the culprit. Either way, a trip to the vet is a must for a questionable coat.

Tiredness

A lethargic dog is a sign that something may be troubling him or her. A dog that is lethargic may be uninterested in going for a walk, playing, or participating in activities that once brought excitement. While normal fatigue or sore muscles can sometimes be blamed on the heat, if symptoms persist for more than two days, see a vet!

Vomiting

Occasional vomiting isn’t unusual for dogs; animals vomit more often than humans do to get rid of something that doesn’t agree with them. But if your dog frequently vomits or several times in a row, vomits blood, or has a fever, you should call the vet immediately. Severe vomiting could also cause dehydration or diarrhea, so should be treated early.

Sudden weight loss

Even in an overweight dog, sudden loss of weight should prompt you to take him to the vet. Losing weight quickly and unexpectedly could indicate a serious health condition.

Red or misty eyes

Your dog’s eyes are the gateway to their body. Cloudy or red eyes, squinting, or excessive discharge from your dog’s eyes could indicate an infection. Make sure you take your dog for a check up right away; an infection can be cured easily with medication.

 

The Secrets To Preparing Your House Before You Sell It

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Doug Kerr

There are many factors that influence the decision to move home. Growing families need extra space and more bedrooms; nightmare neighbours can drive you insane. Maybe it is because of employment. Whatever the reason, you will need to sell your home to help pay for a new one. Cast a critical eye over the building and ask yourself if it looks attractive to potential buyers. If it doesn’t come up to scratch, you must do something about it. Here are the secrets to prepare your house before you sell it.

The Entrance

You must make the approach to the front door attractive. That begins with a garden gate, so if it looks in poor condition, replace or paint it. It is a job that will only take a weekend at most, but it says much about the house and the people that live there.

The path up to the front door must be clean and weed free. A pressure washer does the job well. It will remove dirt and grime from any material, but remember to brush some fresh sand over a block paved surface afterwards.

The front door must be perfect. Even if it is old it will look good with a new coat of high gloss paint. Fit new furniture to make it look better than it did.

The Frontage

The house must have curb appeal. Is there anything you can do to make your frontage look more attractive than it does now? You must tidy the garden and clean or replace the gutters. New guttering doesn’t cost much, but it makes the home look in good condition. The internal window dressings will affect the view too, so if they look dull, replace them. Your house must look its best when the estate agents in Cobham post pictures of it online and in the newspapers.

Bathroom

Bathrooms suffer from water damage and limescale, so clean it thoroughly. Armed with some white vinegar in a spray bottle you can make the room sparkle again. If the silicone seal around the bath has black spots, replace it because they will not clean off. Scrub the grout between the tiles with a mixture of bleach and washing powder to make it white again. A clean bathroom is vital when people see your home.

Kitchen

If your kitchen is worn out, you can make it look better by fitting some new cabinet doors and drawer fronts. They are easy to fit and are standard sizes. You might need to drill a hole in them to recess the hinges, but that is easy. You will find a drill bit in your local DIY shop.

Housekeeping

Spring clean the entire house. Buy new duvet covers for the beds and scatter cushions for downstairs. Set the dining table as if you were about to have a meal. You must keep the house in showroom condition until it sells because viewers might call round at any time. They say that the smell of coffee makes the place feel homely, but I think everyone is wise to that idea now.

Any house will sell, but if you want it to sell fast and for the best price, you must put in some effort. It is all worth it in the end.