Why Winter's The Best Time For Home Improvements

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Christmas is just around the corner, so you’ve probably got a lot to think about to say the least! You’re going to have to source everyone’s presents in time, go through the chaotic ordeal of putting the chrimbo decorations up again, and that’s all before you worry about arranging the big dinner! As much as you have on your plate, this time of year is a great time to get started with some home improvements...
So Here are some of the main reasons why…

Image from Wikimedia
It’s Cold, and It’s Going to Get Colder…
As I’m sure you’ve heard a million times over the past week, it’s pretty nippy out there. Temperatures are only going to drop as we move into January and February, so now’s the time to carry out some home improvements which will make the winter a little more bearable. The most effective way to assure that your home won’t get too cold in the next couple of months, and won’t become an oven in the summer, is to upgrade your doors and windows. An attractive new front door will increase curb appeal significantly, and will do a great job of keeping the warmth in if you choose the right one. Double glazing wherever you don’t have it will also prove to be a great investment when you come to sell, and will keep you and your family warm through the freezing weather ahead of us. As always, you’ve also got the added advantage of saving money on your heating bills, which brings me onto my next point…

Energy Efficiency
With the weather getting colder all the time, your home is going to become more and more expensive to heat. This is why winter is the perfect time for home improvements that will make the whole house more energy-efficient. Getting some double-glazed windows and doors, along with loft insulation if yours is wearing out, will ensure that you and your family stay nice and toasty, and will help you save a lot of money in the long run. There are a lot of companies these days which offer “high-energy performance glass”, which is designed to retain heat in the winter, but also keep the interior cool in the height of summer. Though it probably wasn’t as much of a big deal when you bought your home, energy efficiency is more and more of a selling point in modern times, so make sure these changes come high on your list.

http://www.pippajamesoninteriors.co.uk/2013/interiors/scandi-christmas/

Earlier Nights + Expensive Presents = More Burglaries
As you’ve probably heard before, there’s always a spike in reported burglaries around the Christmas period. With the days being so short, there’s longer and darker nights which burglars can work in, not to mention all the valuable Christmas presents which are going to be sitting under the tree! There’s little that could ruin your Christmas more than the house being burgled, so right now is the perfect time to do some home improvements on the security front. Again, a new, heavier door, possibly with some upgraded locks, can be a great improvement for this time of year. Window lamination or double-glazing can also be a big deterrent against burglars. If possible, consider re-arranging the lounge in a way that’s not only more attractive to buyers, but makes it harder for would-be burglars to peer in and see the valuable items in your home. If your burglar alarm is purely for show, then consider getting a new system installed. Here are some Guardian Protection reviews to get you started.

Act Now and Beat the Rush
If I’ve brought you around to planning some home improvements through the winter, then I’ve got one piece of bad news for you: you’re not going to be alone! Whilst the Black Friday mobs were scrambling over one another to get the most in-demand presents for their friends and family, a similar thing is happening on the home improvements front. After all, there are worse things you can get yourself than a few extra zeros on the asking price of your house! Simple things like painting a room or sprucing up your garden can be done at any time. However, with the more complex improvements like replacing windows, doors and insulation, you’re going to find it pretty hard to get them done before the winter really starts to get cold. The sooner you act, the better chance you’re going to have of beating the rush. Start doing your research and getting those quotes right now!

Festive Christmas Front door:

Conclusion I am not saying have the work done right now! Heaven's no!...but something to think about for the New year...well really I want you all to be in my shoes, as it looks like my Mum will finally be moving house either just this side or just after Christmas...and also we are having a wetroom and a lift being installed with work starting on January 3rd! Oh dear! Yes well as I said...if you are gonna go for it...you might as well do it sooner rather than later...lol! So If you’ve been tossing around ideas for home improvements, now’s a great time to set the wheels in motion!...and come back and tell me how you got on!

ADD A LITTLE GLAMOUR TO YOUR HOME


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ADD A LITTLE GLAMOUR by Turning Your Home Into A Hotel Experience
We can all agree that everyone’s life could do with a little more ‘wow’ factor. We see celebrities in glitzy gowns on red carpets and then we look at our own lives and long for a little more excitement and glamour. However, it’s very possible to inject a little luxury into your everyday life and into your home – here’s how to (and how not to!) do it.
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What To Do: Make sure that you make your bed every day. Coming into a tidy bedroom with an inviting-looking bed is one of the best things about staying in a hotel. Make sure that your floor is clear and that your surfaces remain uncluttered. If you’ve had your comforter and pillows for a long time, it’s a good idea to go out and look for new ones. Not only will a good pillow help you out if you’re suffering from neck or back pain, but they’ll also help you get to sleep more easily at night.
What Not To Do: Don’t put a chocolate on your pillow. You might forget it’s there and wake up in the morning with melted chocolate stuck in your hair, which is the exact opposite of glamorous. You probably also shouldn’t spend too much time attempting to fold your towels into animals every day, no matter how nice it was when the hotel staff did it for you that one time.
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What To Do: Update your bathroom. Invest in good quality towels so you can wrap yourself up in warm softness after you get out of the shower, and consider updating your tub with waterfall taps and a rack where you can set your book so you can relax in the bath for as long as you like. You could also treat yourself with some good quality toiletries and scented candles so you can really enjoy your evening soaks.
What Not To Do: Don’t spend too long in the bath or shower. Not only is it terrible for the environment because of all the water you’ll be using up, but you might run out of hot water – and there’s nothing like the shock of a cold shower to bring you back to everyday life with a bump.
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What To Do: Learn to cook. Take some cooking classes and learn some quick and delicious recipes so you aren’t stuck eating chips and salsa and takeaway pizza for dinner three nights in a row. You might not be working at a Michelin standard, but that’s okay – serve a simple three course dinner once a week and you’ll feel like a star.
What Not To Do: You might have seen food being presented on silver platters on TV and in films, but in actuality it isn’t very practical. Not only can they not be microwaved or put in the dishwasher, but spending hours polishing silver doesn’t add much wow factor to your everyday life. Stick with your normal plates – although get rid of the chipped and cracked ones. You deserve better than that!

Decorating Your Home in an Eclectic Style


The Do's and Dont's of Decorating your Home in an Eclectic Style

Decorating your home in an eclectic style can be tricky to pull off. It is a style that is so easy to love. Take the table and chairs in Rachel and Monica’s apartment in Friends, for example. When you use different colours and styles for each chair, it is an eclectic style. We might see other ideas online or in magazines that we just love. But when we try and pull it off, it might end up looking a little like a jumble sale. There are certainly some do's and don’ts which I will share some of them with you today.
I hope it helps if you are looking to decorate in this style.

A Happy Loves Rosie Display...:

DON'T: Forget to use a Focal Point

The eclectic style is about mixing a few different styles, colours and time periods. When you are pulling it all together, though, it gets that messy look when there isn’t a focal point. The room still needs some kind of focus. So choose one piece and work around it. It might be a piece of traditional furniture, a piece of wall art or some flooring. Just make sure that you make that be the focus and everything else, though different, should complement it.

HAPPY LOVES ROSIE: Happy Craft:
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DO: Think About the Layout

You might have lots of different ideas of how you want things to look. But without a proper plan or layout in place, it can just look cluttered. So don’t forget about placement and what looks well together. Measure out the room and decide where exactly you want certain pieces to go. You might find that you don’t even have room for a french style chaise longue after all.

DON’T: Stick with the Style in One Room

When you are inconsistent with your home decor, it just looks confusing and a little messy. So don’t just have an eclectic style in one room and then a super simple monochrome look in the rest of the rooms of the house. It makes the rooms flow better when they all complement each other. So if you are choosing this style, it is a bit of a commitment to carry the look through the home. Otherwise, things just look disjointed.

A little corner in my sitting room.:

DON’T: Think Eclectic Means Anything

If you are choosing to decorate in an eclectic style, it isn’t an excuse to go crazy at your local charity shop. It doesn’t mean just using anything and everything. It can be quite a fine line between busy and messy to layered and together. So for each room, you might want to decide how many of the contrasting styles or periods you want to focus on.

pillows, can never have enough of them:

DO: Use Symmetry

If you can find balance in the room, then you are onto a winner. So in your layout, think of pieces that are similar and that can create symmetry. It has been said that things with similar lines are perfect for design harmony. So think of the overall look, even if the pieces are from different time periods or styles.

All pictures have been taken from the different homes I have lived in through the years.

ARE YOU IN DENIAL ABOUT HOUSEWORK? ME TOO!

These glasses are AMAZING! My whole house is spotless now!:
Hah Hah!
Just had to post this today...this is a bit of me at the moment!
Found on Lindy Bop
XHAPPY SUNDAY PEEPS X

Bella Our New Doggy Arrival

Cavachon dogs are so loving

I am pleased to introduce to you our new Doggy Bella!

cavachons have such cute faces

After the death of our beloved Westie Max, we were all distraught (as you can imagine) we talked about getting another Dog but felt that it was best to mourn Max first...I was having a very bad reaction to his death...Freddy literally thought I was having a breakdown...I didn't stop crying for about a week...then one Sunday afternoon...all of a sudden...my heart seemed to heal a little, then a little more and so on...as the days past and my heart was gradually healing, the house still felt so empty...we had Max cremated and when his ashes came back to us, I put him on our dresser with our Red Teddy holding his little box and it felt like he was home again and my heart felt much better.

I talk about him all the time and always give his box a little kiss when I am dusting around...He was just the sweetest little doggy you could ever imagine...


Cavachons are the best pets

Then quite by fate, some of Rosie's friends were moving back to the area and could no longer keep their three and a half year old, Cavachon Bella and to cut a long story short, we were asked if we would like to have her!

I felt a bit guilty at first, as I didn't want Max to think that I was replacing him, even though he is now in Doggy Heaven, I know that he is watching down on us, but we said yes anyway as she is so blooming adorable and I hate having an empty home as a house without a dog just doesn't feel right to me!

A pretty Cavachon Dog

She is absolutely adorable and is so funny, what with her little quirks and habits...she has helped my heart get better and I tell her about Max everyday...I even think his spirit has morphed inside her, as she gets up to the same mischief that he used too and that makes us smile.

I took her for a walk to the Bootfair a couple of Sundays ago! Hah! That was a mistake! She was constantly pulling on the lead and trying to say hello to everyone! Then if someone paid her some attention, well she would throw herself on the floor and roll over, for them to tickle her belly!...she particularly liked to roll over for men in shorts! What a flirt!
  

Our rescue Dog Bella Rose

She is a very loving girl and gives everyone lots of cuddles and kisses, she is getting better fitting into our routine...we are trying to train her not to bark at night in the garden and she is gradually learning...

Max was my dog...he would follow me around, no matter how comfortable he looked, as soon as I got up he would follow me and he would obey my every word.  Whereas Bella is a people pup...a little free spirit...sometimes she wants to be with me and sometimes she wants to be alone or with Rosie or Freddy...she always loves a tickle belly and if your stop for one moment because your hand is aching!....lol! She will kick you with her paws to make sure you carry on with the tickles! bless!

I am sure she has a sense of humour, if that is at all posible in a dog!

I want to thank our Friends Tina, Zoe and Courtnee for giving Bella to us, it must have been a very sad and difficult decision for you and for that I am truly grateful
 xxx

Protect Your Home From Natural Disasters


Fox Photos / Getty
15th July 1937. Flooded streets in Chadwell Heath after a sudden cloudburst over Essex and East London.

WATER WIND AND FIRE



As Pliny the Elder once said ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is.' So it’s terrifying to think that anything can take that away from you. But there are natural elements out there that have no qualms about savaging the four walls you hope will always keep you safe. Today we’re going to look at some of the ways you can help protect your home from disaster. And the actions you should put in place right now. And if you want to look at how you protect your home from burglaries, take a look right here too.
Fox Photos / Getty
28th February 1933: A delivery boy gives a lift in his basket to a lady in distress in a flooded street in Bath.


The Wrath Of Water


Natural disasters are becoming more common all across the world. High winds, tornadoes, storms and floods all have the potential to damage our homes, sometimes in irrevocable ways. If you are in a high-risk area, put actions in place today to help protect you against the wrath of those unpredictable elements. If you live in a zone susceptible to floods, make sure you have the correct insurance in place. If you know a flood is on it’s way move all your valuables and important items to the highest points possible in your house. And be sure to keep important documents in waterproof sealable bags. Invest in sandbags to protect your home when water does hit. But do bear in mind that sandbags take time and hard work to fill and will not keep all water out. Silicone sealant is a more viable option on entry points that sandbags can’t cover.
Fox Photos / Getty
January 1928: A mobile PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) clinic attends to animal flood victims in London. (The Thames flooded in January 1928). A sign says ‘Animals Treated Free. Flood Victims Collected’.
If you are in a flood zone, it is worth raising electrical sockets and wiring a foot or more above the expected flood levels. And you should also consider investing in air brick protection. If your home has flooded and significant damage has been caused you will need to call in the services of a water damage company. These professionals will be able to sop up excess water immediately with high-tech thermal equipment. This can potentially save some of your damaged goods. They will also make sure your property is sanitized, cleaned properly and mold free.

Fox Photos / Getty
January 1928: Residents survey collapsed outhouses in their back yards.


High Winds


If you live in an area prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, there are actions you can take to safeguard your property. Consider investing in hurricane straps to help secure your roof. And install storm shutters to prevent glass in your windows from breaking. If you know a hurricane is on its way make sure there are no loose tiles on your roof or any broken fences that could cause more damage. And ensure that all garden furniture is stored safely away. No one wants a flying trampoline landing in his or her neighbor’s garden. Also, consider investing in a vertical bracing system for your garage door to stop it from blowing out. And always have an emergency kit prepared for any natural disaster. Include food and water supplies, torches, rain mac’s, wellies and an extra mobile phone.

Topical Press Agency / Getty
31st August 1912: Families in Norwich moving household goods after floods made their homes uninhabitable.


When The Wildfire Blows


Dry climates can be susceptible to wildfires. If your home is in a wildfire zone, you need to make sure you have proper protection. Move any potted plants or shrubs that may catch on fire to another place. Once these catch fire they can quickly take hold in your house. Also remove any firewood, dry grass, decking and wooden fencing. IT may not seem worth the effort, but again if it catches, you’re in serious trouble. Also, make sure your eaves and vent openings are fully secure. If embers fly into any open holes, they can start a fire in less than 30 seconds.

A. R. Coster/Topical Press Agency / Getty
8th August 1918: An open topped bus crosses a flooded road on an outing given by Mr Weinthal for convalescent colonials from Richmond Hospital.
If you are in a wildfire zone, make sure your roof is made up of tile or steel. The roof is the most defenseless part of your house when it comes to wildfire. Also, make sure your siding is not made of wood and that your windows have outside non-combustible shutters. Remember that fire is incredibly unpredictable. And the more protection you have in place, the better chance you have of minimizing any damage.
All pictures taken from THIS artical...very interesting indeedy!

Autumn Is Here!...

...So Let The Big Garden Clean Up Begin!
Now that Autumn has officially arrived, it’s time to get back in your garden. Once summer comes to an end, many homeowners think that they don’t need to garden until next year. However, this is untrue. Autumn is an essential time for gardening. It allows you to clear away the debris from summer and get your outdoor space ready for the colder weather ahead. Not doing so could mean your garden gets damaged and stop looking it’s best. It can also give you more work to do next year to return it to it’s former glory. So if you want to enjoy your garden for a little longer, let the Autumn clear up begin.
Rejuvenate your lawn
Autumn is the perfect time to breathe new life back into your lawn if it’s been damaged by the summer sunshine. Start by giving your lawn a cut with your lawn mower then remove all grass clippings from the surface with a rake. This will keep it looking fresh and tidy rather than wild and overgrown. Autumn often brings inclement weather, so you need to ensure your lawn’s drainage is up to scratch too. Use a pitchfork to create holes across your entire lawn or install drainage solutions like catch basins. To really help your lawn withstand the winter weather, cover your lawn with an autumn lawn feed. This will promote growth and keep your lawn looking lush and green.
Plant some evergreens
A garden without any evergreens can look lifeless during the winter. So if your garden doesn’t currently have any, now is the perfect time to buy and plant some. There are many different types of evergreen to choose from. Daphne evergreen plants can flower during the coldest of winters and fill your outdoor space with life. Bay and holly bushes are also popular and welcomed additions to any garden. Head to your local garden center to see what possible options you have.

Before you start buying evergreens, make sure you weed and remove any dead plants from your flower beds. This will allow you to see just how much space you have and what gaps you need to fill. Put all dead plants, weeds and leaves that you remove into your compost bin ready for next year.
Remove shade
Shade can be beneficial during the summer to help keep your garden cool. But once winter arrives, the days become shorter and less sunlight will enter your garden. So it’s vital that you ensure your garden gets as much of it as possible by removing the shade from your outdoor space. Cut back trees and climbing plants which could be blocking the sunlight from smaller plants and bushes. Also, remove any trellis fencing you have and clean the windows of your greenhouse if you have one. That way you can maximise the light and help your garden look better for longer.

With the help of this guide, you can prepare your garden for winter while also keeping it looking fabulous for the autumn. Why not buy an outdoor heater so you can continue entertaining in your beautiful garden, even when the temperature drops.
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