Devonshire Woman

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Hot Tips For A Summer-Ready House!

The change in the season is one of the exciting times in the year and not just because of the sales. The blend of the colder seasons into the warm influences us all to take a deep breath and start getting our homes prepared for the hotter weather.

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Some people don’t realise that there is quite a lot involved in getting a home ready for the longer days, and it’s more than just preparing the garden for those lazy summer evenings. You need to think about the repairs that the house may need and the changeover of the décor. With these hot tips, you can spend your summer cooling off in the shade of the house instead of feeling hot under the collar!

  1. Think about the décor of your home. If you are someone who loves to swap out their throws and cushions to match the season, it’s time for an update! Swap those Christmassy cushions and photo decorations for pastel, bright colours and artwork with a beach motif. Think seashell photo frames and sunny canvases that simply ooze a summer feel.
  2. The décor of the home isn’t just about the inside, either. Think about the fact the weather being drier means you can repaint the outside of the house and touch up the window frames without running too much risk of rain ruining your fun! By repainting any peeling paint outside, you’re securing the wood for the summer ahead and helping it to dry out and repair with less risk of rot and damp.

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  1. If you’re fortunate enough to have air conditioning facilities in the home, get googling ac repair near me so you can make sure that your air conditioning unit is in tip top shape. There’s nothing more comfortable than sitting in a house blasted with cold air when the sun is scorching outside, but if your unit isn’t working properly you could be setting yourself up for a potentially dangerous situation. Being safe is always better than being sorry.
  2. Bugs like mosquitoes, flies and ants are always a problem as the weather heats up. You may be fortunate that your kitchen stays ant-free but what about those annoying little flies that seem to always find their way in through an open window, but can never get back out again? It may be a little dated, but net curtains like these on the windows are the perfect remedy. If you don’t have air conditioning, you’ll want to throw open the windows to tempt in a summer breeze without the side dish of flies. A net curtain can help you bring in the breeze but trap the bugs along the way.
  3. In the absence of a decent AC unit, a ceiling fan is a popular option. Did you know that your fan is designed to change direction based on the season? Clockwise helps to circulate the heat but counter-clockwise at a fast pace can encourage the distribution of cooler air.

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Your home can be a cool haven away from the scorching summer rays and it takes some preparation to get there. Enjoy the heat in absolute comfort this season.

The Kitchen Conundrum

The kitchen is a place you all have to spend time in. Whether you like it or not. Cooking can be either a chore or a hobby. As such, it can be great to try and make the kitchen the best possible place you can. The style will vary from person to person, but everyone will want their kitchen to look good so that it is a nice place to work in. The conundrum is the fact that there is so much people need to cram into their kitchen, it leaves little room for anything else. As such, getting your style buzz can be awkward. You may want cookbooks that can’t fit, or a chair that won’t tuck in anywhere. These tips can help you make little changes that make all the difference. You may have considered some of these, so follow them through and see what positive impacts you can make.

Overhead Space

It can make a huge difference not to have any clunky lampshades or awkward light fixtures in your kitchen. It looks far less cluttered and makes it a cleaner sweep of space. There are a huge range of LED Spotlights available for you to peruse and see what could be a better option. The same is said of needless cupboards. If you don’t need it, then get rid of it. You can then paint or tile it so that it is similar to the rest of the kitchen and as so more spacious in the end result. Space makes the place seem bigger than it actually is and can let you feel better about the place you’ll be cooking food in.

Move Some Appliances

If you have the space for a utility room then consider moving some appliances to it instead of having them all crammed into the kitchen. If you remove an appliance like a tumble dryer you can then use the space to tuck things into or for something else entirely. If you don’t have a utility room then consider the garage. You can use it for a tumble dryer or something similar and then utilise the space in your roomier kitchen. In some cases this simply won’t be possible. But what you can do is be clever about it. The next time you renew your washing machine be sure to get one which doubles as a tumble dryer. By doing this you take away the need for a tumble dryer in your home and can then use the space as you see fit.

Use Shelving

If you are someone who loves to cram all manner of books and ornaments into their kitchen then you could make use of shelves. They will keep these kinds of products off worktop areas and as a result you won’t need to clear away clutter every time you want to cook or make a snack. Sure, shelving will add the the amount of things in the room. But if you love to fill it with all manner of things it can be a good alternative to having them strewn all over the place so that things begin to get in your way.

One, Two, Three: Holiday Inspiration For All

 

Planning a holiday is something that should be straightforward. Let’s face it, there are enough complicated decisions in life; the last thing we should be doing is making the joyful ones stressful. Yet somehow, there’s always a risk of making the holiday-booking process complicated.

If there is one rule to live by when it comes to booking, it’s this: don’t go by everyone else’s recommendation. There’s a wide world out there that, in time, you can get to see. What’s important when booking a holiday is to take the touring party into account. If you’re going it alone, the world is your oyster, but if there are more people coming, that’s trickier. But, one way or another, booking a holiday can be as easy as 1 – 2 – 3…

Holidays For 1: Get Your Geek On

 

The thing about solo holidays is that they’re usually a little shorter than family breaks. That’s no bad thing; you can come to miss human interaction after a few days. But the benefits are countless. You get to see your own itinerary; this should ensure you pick something to please you and you alone.

Friends may recommend great beaches, adventures, and wild nightlife. As you’re going it alone, if that’s not your cup of tea, you can ignore them and set your own agenda. Maybe you’re a fan of the newly en-vogue true crime genre, so you can hop to London and indulge with a Jack The Ripper tour, your fandom love with Comic Con or perhaps your tech geek dreams can come true with a pilgrimage to CES. You don’t have to be cool or explain your obsessions – you can do whatever you want with your solo trip.

Trips For Two: Share A Common Bond

 

How you go about booking a two-person holiday depends very much on the duo that’s going. Heading away with a significant other can be romantic, but if it’s your best friend you’re going with, then irreverent fun might be best on the agenda.

Whoever you’re taking along, keep in mind the interests you share. A break in Paris or Rome can be romantic, or you can avoid such romance clichés with the likes of a chalet break in the Swiss Alps. If you’re going away with a friend, what unites you? If you love adventure, then maybe give Chile a chance to impress. For culture, then Oslo is a great unsung option.

Three Or More: Be Cautious But Imaginative

 

If parents and kids (or just a single child) make up the touring party, you may need to ditch ideas of ditching the California wine trail (for example). You can definitely put the Himalayan hiking tour to bed, too.

This doesn’t mean you have to sentence yourself to endless, dull, identikit “family beach holiday” ideas though. You might benefit from letting your kids school interests lead your family holiday choices. Do they love languages? Pick from any number of destinations in France, Germany or Spain to cover the basic curriculum. Are they keen on history? Take a trip to a place they have covered at school – such as the Palace of Versailles in France – and let them see it for themselves. That way, they get an education boost, and you get a fascinating trip to enjoy.

Get Fit as a Group

 

Getting fit on your own can be tough. There’s no one there to motivate you but you, and it can also get boring with no one to keep you company. If you want to get fit and you have friends or colleagues who want to as well, why not do it together? You can keep each other motivated and hold each other accountable too. Plus, you can make everything much more fun if you’re working out with friends. If you want to get a group of people together to work towards your fitness goals, there are lots of things you can do together. Try the suggestions below to help everyone get fit.

Complete a Challenge Together

One way to get everyone motivated is to work towards a common goal. You might all have different objectives when it comes to getting fit. But you can still bring everyone together with a challenge that you all complete. There could be several things you decide to do, from completing the Race for Life to doing the Three Peaks Challenge. If you want to do something abroad, a company like Global Adventure Challenges can help you to arrange something. Climb a mountain, go white water rafting, or even take a team of sled dogs across Lapland.

 

Make Fitness Dates

Getting everyone together to work out isn’t always easy. It can be hard to match up everyone’s schedules when you all have commitments. But you can do your best to find a day, time and place that works for everyone. If someone can’t make a session or two, they can come to the next one. If you make fitness dates, you’ll feel responsible and motivated to keep your promise. On the other hand, it’s all too easy to not bother if you work out alone. But when others are counting on you, you won’t want to let them down.

Hire a Trainer Together

Hiring a personal trainer when it’s just you can get expensive. But you might be able to save money if you hire someone as a group. Many trainers have special group packages to help you save money, and you’ll still get professional instruction. You don’t have to have a trainer helping you all the time. Just having them for a session now and then can help you all learn new things and perhaps get the encouragement you need to keep going for your goals.

 

Compete Against Each Other

If you’re a competitive lot, you might find that competing against each other helps to motivate you too. You can set challenges and see who does best, maybe with a little wager to make things interesting. There are apps you can use for this, such as BattleFit. However, everyone has to want to do this for it to work. If some people are only going to get discouraged, it’s not going to be the best idea.

There are lots of ways to motivate each other if you want to get fit as a group. However, remember that everyone has individual goals too, and will want to work towards them.

Invite Nature Into Your Garden This Spring

Are you someone who’d always loved nature, from the beautiful flowers to the birds and the bees? If you are somewhat of a nature lover, your back garden should reflect that by being a space that invites wildlife in. There’s nothing nicer than a garden filled with wildlife, especially as having lots of wildlife in your garden ensures that there’s always something for you to look at, and if you’re a photography lover, take photos of. Now, the question is, what does it take to make your garden more of a wildlife friendly place?

Put up nesting boxes

If you want to encourage birds to nest in your garden, it’s a good idea to put up nesting boxes. Each bird species favours different kinds of nesting boxes, so it’s worth looking into the types of boxes the species that you want to bring into your garden likes. Ensure that all bird boxes that you put up are high enough off the ground that predators like cats won’t be able to get to them. It’s also important that any bird boxes you put up have some shelter protecting them from the wind, rain and cold weather. To encourage birds to nest in your garden, hanging bird feeders around should help.

Grow wildflowers

Although insects like butterflies and bees like all flowers, they tend to be more drawn to wildflowers. If you want to encourage more wildlife to visit your garden, especially insects, it’s a good idea to plant some wildflowers. If there’s a certain insect that you want to attract, such as butterflies, it’s worth researching what plants tend to attract them best, such as a buddlea, for instance. The best wildflowers to plant are foxgloves, bluebells, crocus, and thistles because these are known for attracting all manner of wildlife.

Create a nature pond

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden that’s large enough to build a pond in, this will diversify the ecosystem living in your garden. If you don’t have the room for a pond, a small water feature like a bird bath or fountain will also encourage more wildlife to visit your garden. However, building a nature pond is the best option. To do this, you can place a pond container in the ground, or you can dig a hole, cement it, use pond paint to seal it, and add a pond liner. While the second option is more time-consuming than the first, these types of ponds tend to last longer. A nature pond will encourage frogs, newts, and dragonflies to visit your garden. To make your pond as appealing as possible, planting pond plants in and around the pond is a good idea. It could also be worth popping some oxygen weed in there too, to help oxygenate the water.

Design a wilderness area

Instead of keeping your entire garden neatly mowed, section off one area to be a wilderness area. Allow the grass to grow long and the weeds to grow to create a meadow-like area that will help to encourage more wildlife to visit your garden.

If you’re a bit of a nature lover or a photography enthusiast, then creating a garden that will invite wildlife in could be an ideal project to undertake.

Transform Your Home Into A Dream With A Complete Remodel

Are you tired of having a home that doesn’t reflect who you are or what matters most to you in life? If that’s the case, you might want to think about completing a home remodel this year. There are lots of options to consider here but before you get out the hammer and saw you need to plan your redesign.

Check Out Design Blogs

We bet you’re looking to save some money already and that’s a good idea. Home remodels can be expensive, and the budget often grows out of control. You can save money straight away by forgetting about hiring an interior designer. Instead, take the ideas for your home redesign from some cool fashion blogs. You’ll find some great concepts completely free of charge.

Get A Builder

Next, you want to think about getting a builder for the work that you’re going to be completing. Don’t make the mistake of choosing the DIY route. This is such a bad idea because you’ll probably make mistakes that need fixing, thus increasing the cost. Hiring a builder straight away can cut out an issue like this.

No Money?

Once you have the design and the team to complete it, you might run into a roadblock. There’s no money in your account for your cool redesign. So, you have two options here. Either you abandon your plans, or you borrow. Borrowing money isn’t as risky as most people think. You just need to make sure that you are using a reputable online lender. You can find out all about that in the infographic below.

 

Infographic Created By Cashfloat

Treat Your Mum To Something Special This Year

When you become a busy mum, you start to realise how much your own mother did for you.  It’s not that we didn’t appreciate all her hard work when we were younger.  It’s more that you begin to notice the sacrifices, you understand how much you juggle and even more, how strong you have to be to deal with the emotional journey your children go through.

Motherhood is amazing and having children of your own really strengthens that bond you have with your own parents.  Perhaps it is different for men, but for women motherhood becomes a gentle nod of respect to anyone else who has managed to survive it all with their sanity intact.

So, this year is a great opportunity to really make your mum feel special.  Chances are she is the one who will plot with your children to make you feel valued.  It’s Spring, so Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  Check out these great ideas for saying a small thank you to your mum, however old she is and whatever type of mum she is.

A really lovely gift to receive is something that is clearly from the heart so it is worth considering a little personalised art.  Perhaps there was a song your mother used to sing to you when you were sleeping.  A phrase she always said.  Perhaps you like the idea of a family tree or a beautiful framed piece photo of the whole family together and a line from a poem or song which means something to her.  Getting personal is ideal when you are trying to show someone you love them.  So get creative and really work out what would make your mum happy.

When we were kids, we are bound to have broken something that our parents cherished.  A lovely idea is to use Ebay to try and source the broken item.  It’s a lovely sign that the incident really had impact on you.  When our parents were running around after us as toddlers, the internet didn’t exist and even if it did, sites such as Gumtree, Preloved and Ebay weren’t the successful enterprises they are today.  The chances are this item was never replaced because locating it was impossible.  So see if you can bring back the memories and surprise her.

Of course, the chances are what she would really love is some time with you.  When was the last time you and your mum went out without any distractions.  Perhaps you could book a spare day or, even better, a day out shopping.  Even just an afternoon with a glass of wine in a nice bar or dinner in a country restaurant would probably go down a treat.  Afterall if someone asked you what you would like to do for Mother’s Day, wouldn’t your first thought be to spend it with your children?
Put some real effort into making your mother feel really special this year.  You have a lot to thank her for and probably a good few years to make up for!