Important End Of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist - Commonly Overlooked Spots

You’ve packed up everything into the boxes and the moving truck and are ready to go, your mum is taking care of the dog and the kids while you do the cleaning up, and you’ve got yourself organised with lots of rags, rubber gloves and cleaning sprays. We’ll assume that you haven’t made the common mistake of packing up your cleaning tools like the vacuum cleaner and the mop and sending it ahead to your new home like I did once! This is an advertorial.


However, in your enthusiasm or, more likely, your desire to have the whole flipping lot over and done with, you may easily overlook some of those spots that are out of sight and out of mind. Every house has places that get forgotten during the end of tenancy cleaning. Usually, time pressures have a lot to do with this, but you sure end up kicking yourself when the landlord points out the forgotten spots and you lose some or all of your deposit money.

You could, of course, call in a team of professional house cleaning specialists. After all, trained professionals usually have a checklist and because every house or unit is new to them, they see and notice things and places that you don’t. 
What’s more, if you can produce that a receipt from a moving out cleaning company, landlords tend to be a bit happier and more satisfied – and you get your deposit money back. 

What Do Inventory Clerks Definitely Check? 



However, if you’re still keen to do the job yourself, you need to think about these commonly overlooked spots so you can do your end of tenancy cleaning properly.

The Garden Shed

If your house has a garden and it’s got a shed (I have hardly ever seen a garden that doesn’t have some form of a shed somewhere) then the shed often gets overlooked. You might make sure that you take the kids’ bikes and the lawnmower out of it, but there are all the other bits and pieces in the dark corners – and whatever you’ve got stashed behind the shed as well. Although cleaning out the garden shed isn’t something that landlords fuss about too much, some can. In the case where you’re selling your home, the new owners will appreciate the garden shed being clean and free from your old junk.

The Cupboard Under the Stairs

Thank you, Ms Rowling. We now refer to this sort of cupboard as the Harry Potter cupboard, or at least we do in my house. This seems to be the hiding place of all those things that don’t belong outdoors but need to be kept somewhere. This is often the ideal spot for storing cleaning equipment. When you’re doing your end of tenancy cleaning, you will certainly take the vacuum, the mop and the buckets out from the cupboard under the stairs but once they’re out, don't forget to clean it thoroughly.

The Lightbulbs 


Lightbulbs are something that we use to look at other things; we don’t usually spend time looking at them unless they’re some sort of feature. Even so, light fittings are often overlooked during the end of tenancy cleaning – in fact, this one thing that picky landlords can often get bugged by. Mostly this is because light fittings and lightbulbs tend to be collectors of fly spots, dust, cobwebs and dead moths. The amount of dirt they can collect is quite astonishing.

Toilets

Yes, of course, you’ve remembered to scrub out the toilet bowl and give the seat and the top of the tank a good wipe down with disinfectant. However, when you’re moving out, you need to really deep clean the toilets. This means getting into all the weird little nooks and crannies. It may mean unscrewing the seat and lid so that you can get rid of all the old dried-on pee that will inevitably have collected under there if it has ever been used by a man (in other words, all toilets anywhere except the ones in a convent that aren’t used by visiting priests and nephews). 

You’ll need an old toothbrush to do the job really well – this is something that professionals just about always do! Don’t forget the outside of the toilet and around the back on the floor.

Washing Machines

If you own your own washing machine, well and good. It’s up to you whether you clean it or not. However, if a washing machine was one of the appliances provided by the landlord, then it’s going to have to be cleaned as well. It may seem counter-intuitive (the fancy way of saying “totally bonkers”) that something that’s designed to get things clean can actually get dirty. However, just go and have a look at your washing machine. Look around the sides of the interior, in the detergent dispenser and under the lid – and look down the back! The good news is that most of the gunk is pretty easy to wipe off. You can also try running a cycle with the machine empty on a hot cycle and a generous dollop of white vinegar instead of detergent to make it super clean.

Blinds


Yes, we know that cleaning blinds can be a right pain in the 'you know where', especially cleaning Venetian blinds. However, they are still absolute dust magnets, and flies and spiders love all those little hiding places in a nice sunny location.

For roll-up fabric blinds, unroll them completely and have somebody hold it out for you while you use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. In the case of Venetian blinds, you may need to get one of those special tools that slide between the slats to get the dust off – or improvise with an old sock slipped over your hand. 

If the blinds are in really bad condition, it might be worth your while replacing them – you’ll probably be able to find something that fits more cheaply than your landlord can, so you’ll end up better off buying a new blind than if you forfeit your deposit money. Just make sure that it fits and is the right colour.

Walls

You would think that a smooth vertical surface wouldn’t get dirty, but the odd coffee spill, artistic scribble from a toddler, fly spots and scuff marks can mean you definitely need to wipe over your walls.  You can bet that your landlord will see all that as well, especially in a well-lit room  At least glossy and semi-gloss paint is fairly easy to wipe down with a damp cloth and a bit of detergent or your favourite cleaning product.  Don’t forget baseboards, dado rails, skirting boards and architraves. An inventory clerk will definitely have a peak there.

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Interior Inspiration For Child And Baby Rooms


Whether you’ve got a new arrival on the way, or your child’s room simply needs some major redecoration, you need the right inspiration to create something that is not only appealing to a child but something to fit in with the theme of your home, too.

However, choosing the right style and products can be difficult, and the budget is usually a big issue for many of us. No matter how old or young your child is, or even what their interests are, it’s simple to create something that everyone loves with the right inspiration the right budget. 

Go subtle

A child’s bedroom doesn’t need to be loud and in your face, no matter how much your little ones might disagree! Subtle colours and patterns can go so much further and also give a much more modern feel to fit in with the rest of your home’s decor. Choosing a couple of colours and varying these shades can create a calm haven for your children to learn and play in. You can always add a couple of wall stickers for the fun aspect.

Add quirky furniture

To make a room look and feel like a child’s room, the furniture can really make all the difference. If you have a young child, there are many new and different furniture choices for practicality and style. For example, a cabin bed with drawers is modern yet perfect for storage, and high sleeper beds can create an extra study or play space underneath. 

Patterned walls

For a child’s or baby’s bedroom, patterned wallpaper creates a unique look, and with the right colours, it can create the perfect balance of fun and calmness. There are so many different styles you could choose from, whether you like the look of more striking patterns or think that less is more. Look online and check out sites like Pinterest for more inspiration.

Stay neutral

Especially for baby’s rooms, or when you’re creating a nursery in advance of giving birth, neutral decor and furniture is a common theme. This is especially true if you’ll be getting a surprise in the delivery room! However, if you know the gender of your child before you give birth, decorating with delicate shades of blue or green, and pink or yellow can really set the tone.

Feature walls


For a little extra personalisation, to your child or a theme, a feature wall is a great way to keep things stylish and fun. Simply applying wallpaper to the main wall in your room instantly draws the eye and will be a great talking point for any visitors. Instead of using wallpaper for your feature wall, you could also create a gallery of important images or even make shelves for all those favourite toys to live! Large wall murals are fun too. If you or your partner is artistic why not paint a Disney mural?

Make the most of your space

Whether you have a large or small space to work with, there is always a way to create a fun, cosy space for your children. Again, it’s a great idea to look online for inspiration, but investing in smart storage, lighting and furniture will give you more room to work with. Minimal decor and even placing a mirror on a wall can help to create the illusion that you have a bigger room than you actually have.

Use this inspiration to create a child or baby room to be proud of.

If you’re looking to redecorate a child’s room or nursery, keep this inspiration in mind. You’ll have a space your child loves to be in and looks great in no time. What do you keep in mind when you redecorate your child’s bedroom? Let us know in the comments below!

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Three Of The Best Local Landmarks To Visit in Malaga


Located on the southern coast of Spain, Malaga is a picturesque port city with plenty to do for those lucky enough to visit. Known for its high-rise hotels and sprawling, sandy beaches, it’s unsurprisingly popular with tourists, but some of its greatest treasures remain relatively hidden.



That’s because a lot of visitors to this beautiful place are content to remain poolside, baking themselves in the balmy summer heat. While this idea is undoubtedly appealing, doing so means missing out on some truly amazing local landmarks, which is why I’d encourage you to venture out.

Here are just three of the spots that will make you glad you did.

The Alcazaba of Malaga



Built around 1057 AD by the mighty Hammudid dynasty, the Alcazaba is one of Malaga’s greatest cultural treasures. The best-preserved citadel in the country, the palatial fortification represents an important period in Spanish history, when a Muslim king reigned and Arab influence in the region was strong. Renovated in the late 13th century, the building’s original purpose as a military stronghold is still evident in its design today. Once you’ve finished exploring it, you can head on down to the Roman theatre that lies adjacent to the entrance. Dating back to the 1st century BC, this provides a further fascinating insight into the rich history of the city.

Malaga Cathedral



For those who want to properly explore the city, it’s often worth renting a vehicle for the duration of your stay, and Malaga airport car hire is available from as little as one euro per day through companies like Marbesol. Once you’re behind the wheel, Malaga Cathedral is another place to add to your itinerary. Built in a traditional Renaissance style, this Roman Catholic church was constructed between 1528 and 1782. Only partially completed to this day, it lacks the originally intended south tower, hence its nickname: ‘the One-Armed Lady’. Nonetheless, its gothic altarpieces and grand artworks make it one of the most beautiful and peaceful spots in the area for those looking to gain a greater appreciation of the city and its history.

The Botanic Garden



Last but not least, visitors who wish to do more than sunbathe should head across to the Botanic Garden. Spread across an incredible 25,000 square metres, the garden was created in the 1850s by an aristocratic couple with a love of nature and beauty. Located a little outside of the city centre, it’s a short drive by hire car or can be easily accessed by bus. Home to more than 2,000 different varieties of plant, from places as far-flung as Asia, Africa, and Oceania, it also boasts a huge number of bird species, many of them endangered. Combining both immaculately designed formal gardens and lush tropical habitats, the wonderful world inside its walls is enchanting.

Valued for its balmy climes and beautiful beaches, Malaga is a wonderful place to visit, but it has much more to offer than the glossy pictures you’ll find in travel magazines. Isn’t it time you discovered its wonders for yourself? 


Let me know, would you like to visit Malaga?

How Decorating Your Walls With Stickers, Murals And Wallpaper Can Change Your Home

Your home is your sanctuary.  Many of us work from home, and we also relax at home.  Sometimes though, staring at the same four walls can drive us a little bit crazy.  If you want to brighten up your home or change the style then there are many things you can do in this modern age. As well as paint, there are cool wall stickers, fun tile stickers, bright and cheery murals and chic wallpaper. Let's have a look at some of these and how you can decorate your walls in style. 

Wall Stickers



Wall stickers can be a great way to brighten up your home. The main benefit of wall stickers is that they can be a temporary solution. This is great if you are living in rented accommodation or are prone to change your mind.

Wall stickers are also reasonably priced, so if your budget is small its a very cost-effective solution. They also come in a huge variety of designs to suit everyone.

Wall stickers can be applied by anyone. You don't have to be an expert to apply wall stickers, just read the instructions carefully and away you go. 

Wall stickers are generally free of mess and you don't have to have any special equipment to apply them. No cleaning up and no fuss. They can be stuck to virtually any surface too.

The last benefit of wall stickers is that, if you want to take them off the wall, they leave no marks. 

Tile Stickers


Tile stickers are a solution to change your tiles when you don't want to or can't replace the tiles in question. Again this is a great solution to change the tile design if you are renting accommodation.

Reasonably priced, tile stickers are also a cost-effective solution to design. You don't have to be an expert to apply either. Tile stickers are available in a variety of designs but generally not as many as wall stickers.

Again you don't have to be an expert to apply tile stickers, so you can save money by not employing a decorator. 

Tile stickers are not difficult or messy to apply and need no special equipment. Of course, if they are easy to apply then they are easy to remove too, so a great way of changing the design fuss-free.

Wall Murals



Wall murals are excellent if you want to make a bold statement and totally change a wall.  The sheer size makes a wall mural a way of getting attention and it can hide imperfect walls.

Wall murals are more expensive than stickers but generally cheaper than wallpaper, although this does vary on the design. 

Wall murals come in a number of designs and you can even get your own design custom made. 

Due to the size of the wall mural, it's advisable to have someone else to help you apply it, to the wall. Read the instructions and have a look on YouTube for help in how to apply a wall mural.

Some wall murals are removable so this is a good solution if you change your mind frequently, or like to change designs with the season or current trend. You could even change the wall mural based on the photos of your travels every year. 

Wallpaper



Wallpaper is a traditional way of decorating your home and is favoured by many people. 

The main benefit of wallpaper is that it can hide uneven and imperfect walls, so you don't have to have them skimmed over to make smooth for painting.

Wallpaper also comes in a huge selection of designs, from bright colourful flowers, animal designs and geometric prints to classic lines and textured paper.  

Wallpaper can last a long time, come in a range of prices and is affordable to most people. They do however need some knowledge to apply, so you may have to pay a decorator if you are not sure how to do it yourself. Wallpaper isn't suitable for humid rooms like wallpaper and bathrooms as it can peel away. Wallpaper can be more difficult to remove than stickers or murals, but you can remove it yourself with a little knowledge.

Using wallpaper in your home can make a huge difference to a room and can be a big style statement.

So these are some ways to change the look of your walls and bring your home bang up to date. Let me know, do you use stickers and murals in your home, or are you a fan of wallpaper? 

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Why Businesses Should Use a Multifunctional Printer

Whether you run a big company or a small business, expenses are something a business owner needs to keep a close eye on. Reducing your expenses can take time and may require trying out new systems and technology in order to help your business run more efficiently.




A great place to start is by carefully assessing your printing and copying devices. Where could you make improvements? Perhaps your business would benefit from a multifunctional device - This is a useful piece of office equipment, which combines a printer, copier and scanner into one convenient machine. Read on to learn more about the advantages of a multifunction printer (MFP) and why your business should consider using one…

MFPs are Convenient 


One of the biggest advantages of a multifunction printer is that they are so convenient to use. Documents can be printed, copied and scanned in one place, without having to use several machines. An MFP is also space saving as you do not have to find space for multiple devices in the office.

MFPs are Cost-efficient

As well as not having to purchase separate devices for each task, MFPs are cost-efficient in the long run, because you only have the running and maintenance costs of a single machine. In addition, most MFPs have a very low cost per page rate and offer accounting features that let you restrict printer use or allow default settings, such as double-sided printing to reduce your costs.

MFPs are Smart

Most modern MFPs allow you to connect your printer with either your smartphone or tablet for wireless and cloud printing. This means you can print important documents, even when you are out of the office. In addition, every document that you copy, scan or fax using your MFP can be directly sent to your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Some models also allow users to check and send emails directly from the machine.

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6 Tips On How To Organise Kids’ Clothing


Children tend to leave their stuff everywhere and if you don't get them into the habit of organising their things when they are young then it will be more difficult as they get older. That’s why it’s important to instil in children the habit of organising.  This is an advertorial.

Keeping the kids and their stuff organised may seem like a difficult task, but it’s not impossible. Like any process, do it one step at a time and the closet is a good place to start. Here are a few tips to help you get your kids into the organising habit and tidy up their clothes.

Make It A Family Activity



Nothing can make things more interesting for a child than doing things with other people. Make tidying up a fun activity he or she can do with you or their siblings. 

Pair up or assign groups on different tasks to complete. This not only cuts down the time spent but also becomes a great bonding moment for the family. Before you know it, everything is back where it should be.

Start With A Clean Slate

Take everything out of the closet so you know exactly what you will be dealing with and how much space you have. This can also be a perfect opportunity to think of what goes where.

Tip: while taking things out of the closet, make sure to have a box or a caddy where the kids can put toys and other things that do not belong in their closet.

Create A Donate Pile And A Sale Pile

Of course, cleaning the closet is also the best time to get rid of clothes that don’t fit anymore. Make two separate piles: one for donations and the other to sell.

You can set up an online shop for preloved clothes or other items that you can sell after a declutter session at home. There are a lot of online platforms to easily do this. As kids grow quickly, many parents will find your items a money saver that's for sure, and with that, organising the closet can also be profitable for you.

Divide Items Into Categories


Now that you’ve finalised what stays and what goes, it’s time to divide them into different categories. Keep everyday clothes in easy-to-reach places. Lay shoes neatly on the floor or on fun shelves where the kids can see them. This will be easier for kids to pick which shoe goes with their outfit.

Keep off-season clothing at the back, and rotate them when the weather changes or at the start of a new season. Store undies and socks in separate areas to keep everything organised.

Play Games

The truth is, kids may not always find organising fun. Keep things exciting and interesting by making each activity a game. This method can help develop children’s organisation skills while keeping the house tidy. It can be as simple as a game of who finishes a task first. Make each task a “mission” that they can accomplish and get rewarded for once completed.

Set Aside Time Savers

Got a preschooler? Save some time, and set aside clothes for school in a separate area where the kids can easily reach them. This will make preparing for school faster and easier. Make sure to ask your kids which clothes they want so they’ll still feel comfortable wearing them.

Tip: if using drawers, group clothes into outfits, and fold them together. You can also make this a weekly “mission” they can do during the weekend so they can prepare for the upcoming school week, so saving time in the morning.

Decorate!

Ask for their help in decorating to make the space truly their own. Hang drawings on the door, or put stickers that can act as labels on different drawers.

You can also install a whiteboard where the kids can draw different pictures or leave notes when they want to. There are plenty of closet decorating ideas that the kids will love, check out Pinterest for inspiration!

In the end, keeping the kids’ closet neat and tidy is a continual process for both parents and children. Start building the habit at a young age, and eventually, tidying up will become a no-brainer for each member of the family.

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Accepting Loss in Grief Counselling

This is a guest post by Marie Miguel. Marie has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression. This is an advertorial. 

Loss is painful 


When you lose someone you love, it's a painful experience. Death can come as a shock, even if you're expecting a loved one to die. Whether you lose a parent to old age or a friend dies in an accident, those feelings of loss are powerful and real. You may feel powerless, sad, scared to accept the truth, or angry at death. These are all valid emotions, and ones that you can talk about in grief counselling. But, grief counselling isn't just about a loved one passing away; it's about so much more.

What is grief counselling?

Grief counselling is a form of mental health treatment where you discuss the loss. It doesn't only involve death. You can lose many things in life besides a loved one. When people lose their jobs, it's painful. Going through a divorce is traumatic. In grief counselling, you cope with many sorts of loss, including emotional, physical, spiritual, or social. When a loved one dies, it hurts. You miss that person, dearly. You may experience similar feelings when a relationship ends, or you miscarry a baby. These are different kinds of losses and ones that a grief counsellor understands.

How grief counselling works

A big part of grief counselling is learning to confront that trauma and move through it. When someone dies, or you lose something in your life abruptly, it's traumatic. It's common to get stuck in a holding pattern of sadness. It's natural to feel paralyzed by grief, but it doesn't have to be that way. Loss is a part of life, and it's painful, but there are ways we can learn to cope with it. When a person feels like they're having trouble functioning in their daily life because of grief, they could benefit from grief counselling. A counsellor will help the client learn coping skills to deal with loss. They will support the person in processing what they've been through and encouraging them to learn to care for themselves.

The stages of grief

Elizabeth Kubler Ross is known for identifying the stages of grief. She worked with patients that were terminally ill and helped them learn to cope with the harsh reality that they were dying. The stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These patients learned that they were dying and had a hard time coping with it at first. Over some time, as they moved through the various stages of grief, they came to accept it. After some time, the Kubler Ross model was adapted. Now it's used for people who are coping with the loss of a loved one. Grief counsellors reference the stages of grief to guide people through the grieving process.

Complicated grief 


Approximately 15 per cent of people who have lost someone they love experience "complicated grief." That's a form of grieving that lasts for a year or longer. When you are feeling this way, it's crucial to seek mental health support. Grief counsellors know what it's like to have trouble letting go of a loss. It can feel nearly impossible to get through these painful feelings, but there's a definitive way to process them - confronting the emotions in counselling.

Do you need grief counselling?

You may be wondering if grief counselling is necessary for you. Here are some reasons to consider seeking grief counselling: 

You have recently lost a loved one
A pet has died
Job loss
Divorce
Grieving is lasting a year or more and not getting better
Grief is getting in the way of enjoying life

These are just some reasons to consider choosing grief counselling. Grief is a part of life, but it doesn't have to dominate your days. You can learn to cope with loss, and begin to heal by seeking professional help. Grief counsellors are sensitive and caring individuals who understand that it's not easy to face a loss. You can take your time speaking about what or who you've lost and reach a place of peace. It's possible to heal from grieving if you allow yourself to seek support.

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Why is Artisan Jewellery Growing in Popularity?

There’s been a marked shift in attitudes towards clothes and accessories recently. People are becoming more interested in making considered purchases rather than spending impulsively and buying into fast fashion.

In this blog, Milina London takes a look at some of the reasons why you should invest in artisan jewellery rather than buying pieces from big names on the high street. 


What is artisan jewellery?




The word artisan is often used to describe products, but it’s important to have an understanding of what it actually means, especially in relation to jewellery.

Artisan jewellery is made by talented craftsmen and women all across the world and buying it is a way to celebrate their skills and creativity. Each piece is individually crafted from a number of materials, including precious metals and natural stones.


Reasons to purchase artisan jewellery


You’ll get a unique design 



Images copyright Milna London

Artisan jewellery is unique and individual. Each piece is handcrafted so it is not widely available in very large quantities and no two pieces are alike. Even though artisans strive for consistency, as each piece is handcrafted, you will still find very minute differences between two pieces of the same design. Therefore, you will have something that is unique and one of a kind.

The jewellery will be of a high quality

Artisans really care about their craft, which is something you don’t get when your jewellery is mass-produced! They will select materials which they know are good quality, whether that’s carefully-sourced precious metals or natural stones. Then, when it comes to the crafting process, each piece of jewellery is given the finest attention to detail.

You’ll be supporting the craft of talented individuals 


Artisan jewellery is made by highly skilled individuals from all over the world! One of the best things about purchasing artisan jewellery is knowing that you are supporting skilled craftsmen and women by helping them continue doing what they love in their local community.

In turn, this will help them to teach their skills to future generations and ensure the beautiful, traditional techniques of making jewellery continue. Artisans make each piece of jewellery with love and it’s great for them to gain support and love for their craft from all over the globe.

You can make a stand against fast fashion

Our fast-fashion footprint is becoming increasingly important and something that needs to be taken into consideration. Mass-produced jewellery may use vast amounts of energy, the production process may not be entirely ethical, and it can promote a culture of buying a piece to wear just once.

On the other hand, although artisan jewellery is a little more of an investment, you are making a lifetime purchase. It is of high quality, unique and beautiful - something which can become a staple in your accessories collection and allow you to make a stand against mass-produced jewellery. 



Where can you find artisan jewellery?


Images copyright Milna London

Artisan jewellery from across the globe is now much more widely available in the UK. Many people choose to look at fairs and markets, but a lot of artisan jewellery that is sourced and designed by independent family jewellers can also be found online.

Milina London specialises in contemporary, handmade jewellery for women. They work directly with artisans and small cooperative workshops to share a wonderful heritage of skills from around the world.

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How to Improve Parent -Teen Relationships


Being the parent of a teenager can be tough, mainly because teens are so unpredictable. It’s a challenging time for both parties and can cause ripples in the family dynamic. Lots of parents find it difficult to navigate around the mood swings and newfound sense of independence, but there are lots of ways to combat these challenges. A Sixth Form in Somerset has put together some tips to help you avoid a suffering relationship with your teenage son or daughter.  This is an advertorial.

Communication is Key


Teen angst is very real and it is likely that your kids will take their emotions out on you sometimes. Try not to take it personally and make it known to your son or daughter that you are always there for them if they need someone to talk to. When you talk to them, let them know that you value their opinions, no matter how trivial. Eventually, they will start to feel comfortable opening up to you about deeper issues. If you and your teen can develop a strong, communicative relationship, you will avoid emotions bubbling over.

Spending some quality time together will help you break down this communication barrier. Make sure you all have dinner together as a family and potentially introduce monthly cinema trips or a weekly coffee in town.  Teens usually spend more time in their bedrooms or out with friends, so you might have to try a little harder than you’re used to in order to encourage bonding time. The more time you spend together, the easier it will be to open up.

Accept their Boundaries and Independence



Puberty is a difficult and confusing time for teenagers; everything is changing and emotions are a little out of control. Your teen might want some alone time after school and will probably become more of a private person. Parents should respect these boundaries and trust them to make the right decisions for themselves. 

Above all, you need to try your utmost hardest to be patient with your teen and don’t be too hard on them. They will eventually come out the other side and it’s important not to damage your relationship in the process. 

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5 Ways To Kill Time While Travelling

The mere concept of travelling brings to mind incredible sights, sounds, and ideas. We imagine ourselves walking through local markets, delighting at the array of offerings; visiting ancient sites; marvelling at sunsets over the ocean - essentially, we imagine a highlight reel of all the best moments. 

All of the aforementioned moments happen, of course; that’s why we travel, and why exploring the world will always be hugely enjoyable. However, there is one aspect of travel that tends to be overlooked: the waiting.

No matter how perfectly-planned an itinerary is, any travel experience will always have time gaps. Whether it’s a bus journey to a historical site or waiting for a connection, these pockets of time must be filled - and here are a few ideas for how to do that productively. T
his is an advertorial.

#1 - Catch up with life back home 


A long wait provides the perfect opportunity to catch up on your home-life admin. You could, for example, use the time to check your bank account, make sure payments have gone out as anticipated, glance through your work email, chat with friends and anything else that you may otherwise struggle to find time for. You can then arrive safe in the knowledge that all is well on the home front, so you’re free to enjoy every moment of your time away. 

#2 - Play brain training games 

You can, of course, play any kind of game on your phone or mobile device, but brain training games are definitely the best choice if you’re hoping to use the time as productively as possible. Brain training is purported to improve mental clarity and enhance cognitive function, with apps such as Peak and Lumosity receiving positive reviews from users. Try downloading a few apps before you leave so you can find which suits you, and you’ll be all set for a brain-boosting few hours the next time you’re facing a long wait. 

#3 - Nap 


Sleep can often feel like a waste of time when you’re travelling; after all, every moment spent catching Zs is time you’re not spending soaking up all your destination has to offer. As a result, it’s far from unusual for travellers to build up a sleep debt while away; making inroads into this debt is definitely a great use of delays. A sleep mask, neck support pillow, and an alarm on your phone should be all you need to catch up on lost sleep.

#4 - Exercise

No one wants to visit a gym while travelling, but exercise is an important aspect of health, so exercising during long waits is the perfect compromise: you can exercise without losing time you’d rather spend immersing yourself in your destination. If you’re waiting at an airport or bus terminal, walking is usually the best choice; carrying your bags with you for extra “strength training” as you pace around. If seated for a long journey, you can tense and relaxing major muscle groups, or try exercises designed for commuters, as the same principle - people spending a long time in a vehicle - applies.

#5 - Study towards an online course

Wifi provision is common on most modes of transport these days, so studying towards an online course when you’re on the move is definitely viable. There are countless options for online classes, so you’re sure to find one that suits you, and can look forward to the opportunity to deepen your understanding - and earn a new qualification that could boost your career. Now that’s a great way to transform lost time into something productive!

The above five ideas can help to ensure that long waits are used as productively and effectively as possible.  What do you think? Do you have ways to kill time while travelling?


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Packing Tips For Moving House

Moving house is exciting but it can also be a stressful experience. Moving house can be a transition in life and combined with the packing stress, it's one event that can send your blood pressure soaring. So let's have a look at some packing tips for moving house that will mean you will get to your new house relaxed and refreshed as possible and ready to make your new house your home. 

Of course, if you don't want to do it yourself you can always use a company like  2removal - The Movers and Packers, this post is an advertorial in conjunction with them. 

Get organised



Organisation is key when moving home and packing, so make a list, or many lists and check them more than once. 

Make a list of what you need to move like boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape and labelling. You may be able to buy this from a moving company if you are using them or try Amazon. 

You also need a list of who you need to inform when you leave your home and who you need to inform when you move in, and a list of local services and takeaways in your new area. When you get to your new address you will be pleased to have your local takeaway number and a number of the local plumber.

First steps




When you move into your new home the essentials things need to be sorted straight away, like somewhere to sit, somewhere to sleep and something to eat and drink. So make sure these areas are addressed. 

For your bedroom and lounge you should ensure your sofa and bed is easy to move into your home first, and if you have to dismantle your bed that you keep all the parts and screws together and the mattress covered in a dust sheet.

Pack a box which is last in the moving van or kept with you in your car which will contain a kettle, UHT milk, tea, coffee, sugar, or squash and some snacks. You want this easily accessible for when you get to your new address.

Also pack a suitcase with your immediately needed clothes, chargers and laptops. It helps that this is a suitcase that is easily identified so you can get out what you need straight away with as less fuss as possible. If you have kids, get them to pack one for themselves with their toys, clothes and other essentials.

Label, label, label


Label the boxes with each room and what is in the box. This may seem like it is time-consuming but it will help you immensely when you are unpacking. It can help the movers (or you) move the box to the correct room saving time and effort.

It's also important to label on the box any fragile items, sharps like knives or toxic materials like bleach and household cleaners. Moving companies may refuse to transport half-empty containers of hazardous substances, so think about disposing of these safely or giving them to someone you know to use.

Packaging and protection



It helps if you have original boxes to move large or awkward items like TVs but if not be sure to wrap well as you don't want to get any items damaged. Towels and duvets can be used for extra protection if needed.

Valuable and small items like jewellery need that extra protection too. Why not allocate a family member to look after these items, and be responsible for them so they get that extra looking after? If you are moving antiques and highly valuable items check that your insurance covers these, you may want extra insurance.

Sort through any paperwork you have before you move and then ensure all your important documentation is accessible in one place, like your birth certificates,  whether that is a folder, filing cabinet or storage box.  Again be sure you know where this information is. 

Some moving companies will not move plants so think about how you are going to move these. Can a friend help you with this? Plants need to be kept watered and protected from extremes of temperature. 

Tools need to be cleaned and stored in a toolbox safely, and sharp items like saws protected well in appropriate storage containers. 

When you get there



Unpack the box with the kettle, tea and coffee. Put on the kettle, sit on the sofa you moved into your home first, make a cup of tea and relax. You've made it to your new home!

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How To Effectively Design And Build A Kitchen

Designing and building a new kitchen is a huge undertaking. When undergoing a full remodel of an entire room in your house, you could feel overwhelmed. There are so many options, features, and styles! How can you possibly narrow it down? As any good kitchen showroom expert will tell you, starting your kitchen design task is easier than you think. Below, you’ll see the 3 major aspects of designing and building a kitchen broken down into detail. These are, listing what you want, making a plan, and consulting experts.  This is an advertorial.

List What You Want 


Before you start shopping around or even looking for new kitchen inspiration, you should start with what you have. What do you like or dislike about your current kitchen, and what would you like to change? Are there functional aspects of your space that aren’t working, or are your desires for change more design-related?

Once you know what works and doesn’t work in your current kitchen, start seeking out ideas for your new one. Do friends and family have kitchens you admire? Narrow down the features that appeal to you most before starting a search online. With so many resources for kitchen design out there, it’ll take you forever to find what you’re looking for without specific search terms.

Hone in on the type of kitchen you want, based on the room’s layout. Is your space more suited to a galley kitchen or an L-shaped kitchen? Would you prefer to have a U-shaped layout or a broken, open-concept design? Identify these keywords and start looking for kitchens in your category.

The layout isn’t everything, though. You should also list the features you’d like. Think about cabinets and base units, larders, an island or breakfast bar, the oven, the hob, the downdraught extractor, the sink, dining area, living area, pantry, and sliding exterior doors. That’s quite a lot of items! Take the time to go through each one and at least gain a general idea of what you’d like. It’ll make the planning phase much easier.

Make A Plan 


Now that you have a vision of your perfect kitchen, you can draw up a plan. It’ll be worth your while to make a detailed floor plan or hire a professional to sketch one for you. With exact measurements down on paper, you can know exactly what you’re working with.

When arranging the best layout for your kitchen, consider function and design. You should take into account what your needs are, what you use your kitchen for. Do you need a lot of workspaces to prepare complicated meals? Then having a kitchen island would suit you. Do you want space for dining or entertaining in the kitchen? Then consider an open floor plan. If you’re limited by size and only spend time in the kitchen to cook meals, you can get away with a galley kitchen. You made a list of what appealed to you in the last phase, now it’s time to choose.

After choosing the layout, you’ll pick the style. Most of this comes down to cabinetry, worktops, flooring, splashback, wall colour, and lighting fixtures. You can go modern, with sleek, high-gloss cabinetry. You can add a coat of paint in a muted shade for the perfect country cabinets, or go for a period design with Georgian and Victorian style. You could also afford yourself some flexibility with freestanding kitchen units. Choose a style and stick to it – you’ll find almost everything falls into place once you have.

Another thing to keep in mind as you plan is your budget. Knowing how much you can spend will narrow down your options as well. If you want major renovations, you’ll also have to think about plumbing or electrical work that goes into your redesign.

Consult Experts

The final phase of designing and building your dream kitchen is consulting with experts. While there are a lot of great resources out there to get you started, talking with industry professionals can be a huge help. Kitchen designers and contractors will know the most effective ways to bring your vision to life – and when to help you steer clear of a potential design disaster. These kitchen experts are essential if you don’t plan to carry out the actual renovations yourself.

Final Thoughts On Designing And Building An Effective Kitchen

Don’t let your kitchen design project overwhelm you! By staying organised and planning everything, you can systematically choose every detail your new kitchen will need. As kitchen designers with a showroom in North London, Multiliving has had years of experience designing and building kitchens. We give the same advice to anyone undertaking a kitchen redesign – do your research, make a detailed plan, and ask the experts when you need help. With these steps, you can’t go wrong.

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What To Do About Hearing Problems

Hearing problems are common especially so in children and the elderly. As you get older they can also become worse.  However, don't worry as there are some things you can do about hearing problems, let's have a look at these solutions. This post is an advertorial in conjunction with Auris Ear Care, a company that provides ear wax removal and an ear cleaning clinic in London

Firstly, it's important to see your GP. If you or your child have a sudden hearing loss or are in pain with it call your GP straight away. If you have a fever, feel dizzy or have something stuck in your ear see your GP straight away too. If you have had gradual hearing loss make sure you make an appointment to see the GP when you can. You Dr is the best person to diagnose what the problem is by looking inside your ears with an otoscope. He will prescribe treatment or further tests. When in doubt always be on the safe side and ring NHS 111 for advice.

Diagnosis



The diagnosis could include the following.

An ear infection
A problem with earwax
A condition of the inner ear called Meniere's disease
A perforated eardrum
Exposure to a very loud noise
A side effect of medication
A problem with the inside of the ear such as fluid (glue ear)

Treatment



Treatment of hearing loss could include the following.

Often a virus will cause ear infections and in that case, antibiotics won't help. The doctor may suggest painkillers, or over the counter remedies, and it should get better of its own accord. In severe cases, antibiotic ear drops or tablets will be prescribed as well as suitable painkillers. These may take a while to work and it's important to finish the course of treatment. If you have finished the course of antibiotics and there is no improvement be sure to go back to your doctor. 

Extensive or problematic ear wax could be another problem. As you get older ear wax hardens too so it can be more difficult to fall out. A pharmacist can give you advice on this and suggest treatments but olive or almond oil is one that is recommended by the NHS. Ear wax removal can be done in private clinics such as Auris ear care. This is helpful if it becomes a recurrent problem, and not all GP practices remove ear wax either. With a private clinic, you can be seen quickly and Auris Ear Care also has a 24-hour mobile clinic so you can get an appointment whatever shift you work.

If you have Meniere's disease the doctor will prescribe medication to help with the problem, and stop with the feeling of nausea. If you have an attack, current advice by the NHS is to take your medication prescribed dor it, sit or lie down and don't make sudden movements. 

A perforated eardrum is a hole in the eardrum. This may get better of its own accord but you should always see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Antibiotics may be prescribed if it causes an infection, and painkillers too. If it doesn't get better this is a chance you may need further treatment and referral to a specialist ENT surgeon, with the chance that surgery may be needed.

Glue ear may clear up of its own accord. If there are more severe problems antibiotics may be prescribed. If it doesn't clear up then a referral to a specialist is required. Grommets may be inserted by the ENT surgeon to help draining fluid away and they fall out naturally after a few months. 

If your hearing loss is a side effect of medication your doctor will assess whether they will change it. If it's because of a loud noise it may get better of its own accord or it may not. Your doctor is the best person to see for advice on this and may ask you to monitor this.

If the doctor thinks you have hearing loss he will likely suggest a hearing test. These can be done on the NHS or there are private clinics that can do them quicker. You can get hearing aids on the NHS but private ones are normally smaller and can be more advanced.

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What To Do If You're Moving House in 2020

For people looking into moving house, there can be a lot of things that need sorting out in order to make the process as seamless as possible. From finding your new home to thinking about what you’ll want to take with you to your new home, your days are going to be filled with endless to-do lists of everything that needs doing.

Here are some of the things you’ll need to look into. Allow plenty of time to plan and execute the plan, too- life is a marathon, not a sprint. This is an advertorial.

Pack It Up And Clear It Out



Moving out also means having to clear out a lot of the junk that accumulates over a certain amount of time of living in one place.

Moving somewhere smaller? Measure up your new home to check your large furniture has a place to live, too. If not? Sell it and use the profits to add finishing touches to your new place.

This can be a great opportunity to clear out the things that no longer serve a purpose in your life- while it’s nice to hold onto some memories, your job now is to look toward the future.

When clearing your stuff, create four piles: keep, sell, donate, and dispose. The keep pile is for the stuff you use every day. If the item still has life in it and it could be worth some money- sell it. If someone else can make use of it- donate it. If it has seen better days and is completely unusable- time to let that thing go.

Research Moving Companies

Now you’ve chosen the city and the place, it’s time to think about how you’re going to get there.

Whether you choose to arrange the process yourself or use the services of professional companies like Bekins Moving Solution, you’ll want to make sure that your possessions get to their destination unscathed.

Some companies will also provide boxes and packing materials as part of their service, but it’s best to ask around for extras- you can never have too many boxes!

There are plenty of extra things to do when moving to a new place— do your research and plan well!

Let Loved Ones Know Where You’ll Be Going 


In amongst the stress of planning to move, it can be easy to forget the basics- letting your friends and family know that you’re moving, and more importantly, to where.

For bigger moves to a different part of the country, you might want to host one final get-together so that those you’re leaving behind get an opportunity to say goodbye.

It might be tempting to break the news on social media, but for your nearest and dearest, reach out to them first before extending it out to your wider network.

Ensure people that your new home is open to them once you get settled in- why not even plan a painting party to get some help with the decorations?

Moving home doesn’t have to be stressful. Plan well and execute carefully.

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Three Gemstones That Are As Beautiful As Diamonds

When we think of gemstones, we often think of diamonds but there are many gemstones that are equally as beautiful. Prized for their use in jewellery, gemstones come in many colours and have a natural beauty whether they are used unpolished or whether they are cut, shaped and polished for use. Let's have a look at three gemstones that are as beautiful as diamonds and their properties. This is an advertorial.

Emerald


Emeralds are a beautiful gemstone. Loved for their green emerald colour, this popular gemstone is a variety of the mineral beryl. Beryl scored 7.5 to 8 on the MOH's hardness scale making emeralds a hard tone but not as hard as diamond. Emeralds are used in a variety of jewellery including emerald rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

The natural inclusions in emeralds are often oiled to fill in some marks so you can't see them with the naked eye.  This can improve the colour too. Natural emeralds with no inclusions are extremely rare and very expensive. 

Emeralds are thought to have healing properties, and is the stone of wisdom, thought to nurture love.  Emerald is the birthstone of May and is the stone for a 55th wedding anniversary. 

Ruby



Rubies are a stunning gemstone. Adored for the rich red colour, the ruby gemstone is from the corundum family of minerals. Rubies are a hard stone scoring 9 out of 10 on the MOH's hardness scale. This makes them a good stone for rings especially but also for a variety of jewellery. 

Rubies are often heat-treated to improve their appearance, the clarity and colour and some can be glass filled. You should presume a ruby is treated when you buy it. Rubies are rare and rich red rubies of high quality are expensive.

Ruby is thought to protect against negative energy and helps to recharge your energy level. It's also thought to encourage sensuality. Ruby is the birthstone of July and is a popular gift for a 40th wedding anniversary.

Aquamarine



Almost everyone loves aquamarine. This light blue coloured gemstone is also from the beryl family of minerals. It's a popular stone for both young and old and is a great alternative to a diamond in an engagement ring as it's a more affordable gemstone. It scores 7.5 to 8 on the MOH's hardness scale.

Most of the aquamarine you can buy are heat-treated to improve the colour and clarity.  Aquamarine is cheaper than emerald and ruby but no less as beautiful. Aquamarine is the birthstone of March and is thought to protect one's wellbeing, as well as being a stone that calms, reduces stress and is soothing. 

As you can see these three stunning gemstones are as beautiful as diamonds. If you enjoyed reading about gemstones, check out the website Learning Jewelry, an online resource for learning about jewellery. Let me know, do you have a favourite gemstone? Do you covet an item of jewellery made with a precious gemstone? 

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