Happier on the inside. Ways to spruce up a drab home

Do you feel that your home needs a shakeup? It can be very difficult sometimes, if you really want to change your drab home environment to find the right style that suits you, your family or housemates, and also something that comes in under budget. Changing up your home is very expensive, but here are a few options that are cheap, and effective, and not just to improve your home, but to help make you feel better in your home environment.

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Covering Up Furniture
This is a simple option, it's cheap and it helps your furniture look almost like new, because of the handy disguise! If you are looking for different covers to help depending on the time of year, you can purchase reversible covers that have opposing colors, so one side has wintery colors, and the other side is more summery.

Moving Items
Not moving them out of the house completely, but moving items into different rooms. By giving it a new purpose, this will help to keep things fresh in your home. A good example is to move that big mirror in your living room, and put it into a spare room.

There are plenty of professional services like Eco Painting that's can completely shape up your property in a quick turnaround. It's easier for somebody else to paint the house from top to bottom, and it's a simple way to create a new style for your home, and also if your home is currently a drab color, or needs a new lick of paint, painting it a fresher color, such as a neutral blue, will be a lot better for your mood.

Let More Light In
This is another thing that is great for your mood as well, if you live in a part of the world that doesn't see much sunshine, especially in the lead up to winter, you need to figure out ways to let the light in, so remove any thick dark curtains, as this will create a better atmosphere, and also mirrors are a godsend when it comes to reflecting light back into the property.

Add Some Lamp Shades
If you've got big lights that are focal points of specific rooms, you could change the lampshades or get different colors to shake it up. If you've got lampshades that aren't very stylish and point the light in one direction, you could benefit from purchasing more opaque shapes, or go all out and get some stylish chandelier-type fittings. By creating lighter spaces, this will help to lift the mood of everybody in the house.

Make Use Of Space
Either by adding to other areas, or by going completely bare, it will help you to refocus the attention of specific areas of the room. It also is a great reason to start clearing out some items to make up a bit more space for your home.

A drab home can be a massive impact on anybody's state of mind, and if you make some stylistic changes, in combination with some ways to help let the light in, this will have a very positive effect on how you feel.

Five Reasons Happiness Is The Best Medicine

In today’s world, there is a multitude of different medicines for a range of illnesses. From depression to a broken limb, there is a drug to treat any complaint. So, the idea of ditching the drugs for a happier life won’t appeal. In fact, it will appear reckless and stupid.

What the majority of people don’t understand is the link between happiness and health. Scientists believe a person who is content will benefit from an improved immune system as well as healthier vital organs. And, those aren’t the only reasons to try and beat the Monday blues.

Here are the ways happiness can help look after your body and soul. Remember that these are the connections they know about. Scientists are still attempting to untangle the relationship.

Protects Against Heart Disease

Diseases of the heart are the biggest killers in the western world. Not even the big C word can compare with the number of fatalities. It makes sense to try and limit the triggers as much as possible, and happiness is the way forward. As it turns out, happiness is a leading factor in lowering blood pressure and heart rate. It doesn’t stop there, either, because a 2008 study uncovered a link between happiness and HRV. HRV stands for heart rate variability, and it’s the length of time between heartbeats. Scientists believe a longer HRV increases the chances of heart disease. Guess what? The people in the study who were content had a remarkably low variability.

Boosts The Immune System

Why bother being happy when you can get an immunization? Well, it’s because there is no reason to expose your body to the illness. Seriously, a group has done it already and the results are conclusive. A NCBI study in 2003 asked more than 300 patients to expose themselves to the virus which causes the common cold. Before coming in, the nosy scientists called and asked the individuals to note how often they experienced positive vibes. It shouldn’t come as a shock that the happiest people suffered less from the strain of the illness. Anyone who thinks a cold isn’t a strong enough strain should take a look at the test which used hepatitis B.

Regulates The Mind

Mental illnesses are more apparent today than ever before. In the past, no one cared about the bipolar vs. depression argument. Nowadays, it is vital to answer the question to diagnose a patient correctly. After all, a misdiagnosis means a person can’t get better. Although it’s hard to quantify the effects on the mind, it is possible to note stress levels in the body. Anyone who suffers from stress knows it weakens brain activity. Plus, the knock-on effect can lead to anything from lashing out physically to mood swings. Not surprisingly, people who are content find it easier to deal with stress. Why? It’s because participants from a study from the same NCBI study produced 23% less the amount of cortisol. Cortisol, by the way, is the hormone which causes stress. Good riddance.

Unhappiness Is Painful

Pain is a result of receptors in the body and the brain working together. Once there is a connection, the body feels pain and you scream “OUCH!” Okay, you may say something else but that is the sanitized version. The non-scientists in the room won’t realize there is a way to numb the pain. Yep, it turns out happiness can impact how much soreness a person feels. Those good people at NCBI did it again in 2005 and found that women with chronic pain and positive emotions complained of aches less. Yes, it didn’t numb the soreness altogether, but their feelings helped keep it in check. In this case, by the way, chronic pain refers to arthritis.

Leads To Longer Life

Apart from being old, the one thing seniors have in common is a positive outlook. Because stress is a killer, it isn’t possible to live a long life without repercussions. The cortisol levels may not be the reason for a fatality, yet they lead to significant complications. Indeed, a study by PNAS found that happy Brits aged from 50-75 lived up to five years longer than their miserable counterparts. And, there is also the curious case of the excitable nuns who lived up to tens years longer in an APA study. Everything from diet to exercise can affect life expectancy, but happiness is a factor too.

Anyone who says an antibiotic is the best medicine has never been truly happy.

It’s Never Too Early to Get Ready for Winter

We’re already deep into October and the autumn season is soon about to end. Within a couple of weeks, winter will begin and before you know it, we’re going to be wrapped in blankets huddled around the fireplace to try and save on heating bills. However, that’s no way to force yourself to live and you should always prepare for the winter several months in advance. In this post, we’ll be going through a few ways to ease yourself into the harsh winter months without breaking the bank or using too much effort.

Get Practical Supplies Ready

Let’s not beat around the bush: winter can be dangerous. If power cuts and water stoppages are normal for you, then it’s best to prepare for what the cold can do. Make sure you stock up on a little food and water in the event you’re snowed-in or the water supply is frozen and cut off. If you regularly experience long cutouts each year then double or even triple the food supply so you have plenty to live off if you end up in a blizzard or snowstorm while being stuck in your house. If you need to use a backup generator, then stock up on fuel so you can keep it running when the power goes down. If you cut your own wood for a fireplace, then do it now before you’re forced to chop trees in the freezing weather and keep them stored in a nice dry place so they are easily accessible. If you’d like to learn more about supplies to keep with you during winter, then check out this article from CDC.gov.

Get Your Appliances Fixed

It makes sense to get your appliances in order before you reach the winter. If they haven’t been checked for a long time then there’s a good chance they could be broken or break down when they’re most needed. Get your appliances sorted before the cold actually starts for that peace of mind. This isn’t something you want to do yourself unless you have experience, so make sure you remember to hire a professional that knows what they are doing. Services like AcademyAir.com are fantastic for fixing all manner of appliances. Be it heating machines or cooling machines, contractors will typically fix them on the same day they arrive unless they need extra parts and pieces. In that case, they’ll usually come back within the week to repair whatever it is you need fixing. You may also want to replace the batteries in any kind of smart device that you have so they keep on working and don’t randomly stop.

Decorative Preparations

DIY doesn’t always have to be about fixing things. DIY can be creative and you can focus on things like changing your blankets and pillow sheets to something a little more wintery. Blue, white and green colours are incredibly popular around this time and it’s never a bad idea to switch into winter garments and accessories before the cold starts. You may also want to completely change your wardrobe to suit the winter months. Grab lots of big and comfortable coats to stay warm wherever you are and don’t forget to wear extra pairs of socks to keep your feet nice and toasty. These decorative preparations are simple, fast and practical and can contribute to getting ready for winter.

Gutter Cleaning

If you have trees around you then you’d understand how difficult it is to clean gutters. The leaves can fall onto your roof, slide down due to the wind start clogging up your gutters. In order to fix this, make sure you hire someone that is capable of safely climbing the ladder up to your gutters so they can use a stick or specialised tool to clear the cutters out. This will ensure they don't get clogged and also guarantee that there are no nasty things laying in the gutters. You can also do this yourself by looking at gutter cleaning guides, or you can choose to hire a professional that understands your situation

Clean up the Garden

Your garden is one of the main culprits for dead leaves and plants. Sweep them up, pile them up then consider using them as compost. If your garden is surrounded by trees then this may take longer than you would expect. Sweep all the debris and dead leaves then prepare your garden for winter. If you have any furniture or appliances out in the garden then you’ll want to pack them up as well so they get out of the way. Stow your lawn mower away, get all the tools back into the shelf and consider moving your garden furniture into the garage or your own home for a little while. Take a look at this article from BHF.org.uk for some excellent winter gardening tips.

Reverse Ceiling Fans

Most people don’t realise that the two settings on their ceiling fans are for winter and summer. The summer one pushes air down to create a unique breeze-like cooling effect. However, in winter, a switch is flicked either on a remote or the ceiling fan itself. The switch swaps the direction the ceiling fan is spinning so it pushes the air upwards instead of down. By swapping the direction it spins, the ceiling fan draws cold air upwards and essentially lifts it away from your home.This is great if you have large rooms and it can assist in saving you plenty of money on electricity bills. As mentioned already, there are many people that don’t know this about their own ceiling fans and it can actually be a cheap and effective way to reduce your heating bills. It’s certainly not as effective as heating or air conditioning, but it doesn’t require much of an effort to use.

Get Emergency Numbers Ready

If you find yourself struggling with power or electricity during the cold months then make sure you write down the phone numbers of important emergency services. This can include your local electrician or gas supplier. The idea is to have their phone numbers ready so they can quickly respond to your emergencies no matter what time of day or night it is. Keep in mind that not every supplier of energy or gas has a 24-hour emergency system, so make sure you look it up before you trust those numbers in an emergency.

Seal Drafts with Caulk

Small gaps can always appear in your home that left in drafts. Whether they’re caused by rodents or other forms of damage to your property, it’s never a bad idea to find them. You can do this by sitting near areas where you feel a breeze then sealing it with a caulk gun. Some common sources of drafts are in knee walls, attics, recessed lights or even the wiring in your home. Check these locations first to determine if you’re actually suffering from a draft. If you don’t find anything, then it might just be from your windows, in which cause a caulking gun can come in handy to seal the breeze. Check out this useful article from PopularMechanics.com to learn more about how to save money by sealing drafts in your home.

If you leave the winter preparations too late then you’ll find yourself getting colder and also more frustrated when a crucial appliance breaks. Just remember that it’s never too early to prepare for winter. The earlier you prepare, the easier your journey will be.

Remodel Your Office Fast & Get Back On Track

From time to time, it becomes necessary to give your office a new lease on life. This is true for every business out there, and it is worth remembering that it’s something you want to put a lot of effort into. However, sometimes you also just want it to go as fast as possible, and when that is the case it can be hard knowing how to do that. To remodel an office with speed and without causing any big problems can be a real difficulty. But with the right approach and the understanding of a few basic things, you should be able to make it a reality in your business. Let’s take a look at a few of the things you should consider if you want to remodel your office and get your business back on track as fast as possible.

Knowing What You Want

If you want the whole project to be smooth and quick, you need to make sure that you really know exactly what you hope to get from it. This will ensure that the whole process is faster, and that you know when the project is actually finished too. This is important because a common reason for people to allow such projects to continue for too long is that they are not sure when it is actually done. Be clear: make a solid plan that is set in stone, and be sure to really stick to it the whole way through. This should ensure that your project is much faster to get off the ground, and that you are able to finish it in good time as well.

Swift Disposal Of Unwanted Goods

A big part of any remodelling is that you will come up with plenty of goods which you no longer want or need. Often this will just get in the way, so it is going to be important that you find a way to be rid of it. Fortunately, there is always a way to do this, and it’s worth thinking about finding a solution for rubbish disposal before you actually start your remodelling project. Using a Same-Day Rubbish Removal service is often the best way to go, as this way you can just get rid of anything unwanted as soon as possible. If you do decide to go down this route, you should try to ensure that you get rid of as much unwanted rubbish as you can, to really make the most of it.

Not Disturbing The Business

One of the most important reasons that you want your remodel to go swiftly is so that you don’t upset the rhythms of your business. There are many things you can do during the remodelling to ensure this as well. It is often worth relocating your employees during the process, perhaps allowing them to work from home, so that your business can still essentially operate in many of the normal ways. In this way, you can expect your business not to suffer too much from the remodelling, and that will mean good things for its future.

Feeling Under The Weather? Perhaps There Is More To It

Many of us can complain of feeling less than perfect from one day to the next. Perhaps feeling what can only be described by the common phrase of “feeling under the weather” or not quite 100%. It tends to be when you don’t feel yourself but you can’t pinpoint an underlying reason as to what is wrong. However, more often than not there is a reason and it’s just a case of trying to identify it. So if this feeling of “blah” seems to be more common than you would like maybe one of the below concerns could be the reason.


Are you stressed?

Some people can feel stressed and not even realise that stress is the cause. Maybe you have a particularly demanding job, or you have had some form of life change like adding to the family or a change in the dynamics. Stress can be brought on through all sorts of circumstances, and often we don’t really notice we are stressed and put down those feelings of being unwell to other factors. However, stress can cause you headaches, can make you feel anxious and sick and can take over your thought process. So the next time you are not feeling yourself look at your current lifestyle and see whether or not stress is the cause of it.

Is your gut trying to tell you something?

You don’t need to have picked up some form of sickness bug or got yourself a bad dose of food poisoning for you to have gut problems. Our guts, stomachs and digestive systems can be to blame for all sorts of factors in our life. Stomach pain, trapped wind or even just feeling a little nauseous could be the underlying reason of why you feel a little rubbish. Often booking in to see experts like Gastroenterologists could highlight other issues going on with you gut that you weren’t aware of. If symptoms in this area of your body persist, there may be more going on than you realise.

Could a lack of sleep be to blame?

Getting enough sleep is one thing many of us would agree that we would like more of. So often when you don’t feel yourself a lack of sleep can be the main cause. The best advice would be to look at your current lifestyle and see whether or not you are burning the candle at both ends. Late nights and early starts may be part and parcel of your lifestyle or even work, but it is also important to enable your body to catch up with itself every once in awhile.

When was the last time you got your eyes checked?

Finally, if you feel tired, getting headaches and generally under the weather then maybe your eyes are to blame. Straining your eyes to see things at a distance or read things up close can cause you to feel under the weather in other parts of your body. It can make you feel sick, give you a headache and in some cases you can make your eyesight worse by not getting the help you need. Book in for an eye test at your earliest opportunity to at least rule it out.

Simply Be

A couple weeks ago I was asked to do a blog review of some items for Simply Be. 

When I was picking my outfits for the review I came across this shirt and I ADORE pineapples so this was the first thing in my cart and wow is this ever comfy, it is light and airy, I wore it on a boat tour and I was so comfy. 

I fell in love with this color bra so I also added those. They are gorgeous 

the detail on the straps is perfect. 

I fell in love with this dress as it is perfect for the fall type weather and again very comfy, it was super hot today at church but this dress kept me cool this morning. 
Dress 2 is the perfect fall date night dress. Dress it up some with heels or you can wear it with flats and do a messy bun and your all set to go for a date. 
This dress is cozy and not heavy at all for a jean dress. it is very "in season"

 I was so happy to get to review these items and will check them out from time to time for date night casual or office attire. You can check them out here 

Dresses here 
Shirts here 
Bra here 

I had a great experience from the ordering to the shipping and to the wearing. 


Be A Skeptic: 3 Pseudoscience Identifiers 

There are times in life when we’re vulnerable. Times when we’re not able to cope with the world as we know it, and have a tendency to turn elsewhere in search of answers and assistance.

It might be that we’re unwell and conventional treatments don’t seem to be helping. In fact, as pointed out by Divine Magazine, chronic illness can make you uniquely vulnerable. Or you might just be going through a difficult time, and don’t have your sceptical guards up in quite the same way as you would usually.

It’s into this vulnerability that pseudoscience has a tendency to wade. Pseudoscience is a term used to describe a variety of “alternative” therapies, which offer the secret to health and healing-- for a price. If you’ve been consistently under the weather and don’t seem to be improving, then you might find yourself contemplating investigating these treatments and ideas-- what’s the harm in giving them a go, right?

The reality is that the harm can be very great indeed, potentially to your body and very definitely to your personal budget. Pseudoscience takes your vulnerability and makes it a commodity, something to be taken advantage of. To ensure that you’re always able to spot these problematic treatments by keeping these three factors in mind.

1) There’s A Promise To Fix Many Unconnected Illnesses

The amount of medications available to us as patients is staggering. The reason there are so many different medications is because there’s no “one size fits all” approach. Yet you will hear about alternative therapies -- pseudoscience -- that claims to be able to fix everything, from mental health problems through spinal problems. This simply isn’t possible; the more ailments a treatment claims to fix, the more sceptical you should be.

2) Demonisation Of Existing Scientific Fact

Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that has crossed over into scientifically-backed fact, a feat it managed without demonizing existing medicine. Acupuncturists have always billed their therapy as complementary and additional, not an outright replacement for conventional medicine. It’s never an “us versus them” battle. If you see an alternative therapy playing the “us versus them” card, then you need to be very sceptical indeed.

3) There’s A Reference To “Ancient And/Or Eastern Knowledge”

Just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s beneficial. For example, doctors in Tudor England believed that it was possible to have too much blood in your body. That’s an old, ancient belief, but you won’t see anyone advocating leeches as a cure for all ills! If you see a reference to ancient, mystic, or foreign knowledge, then be on your toes. Obviously, there are exceptions -- acupuncture has its history in Eastern medicine, for example -- but it’s always wise to do a little research about how verifiable the “source” of this knowledge is. Often, it’s little more than marketing nonsense.

By being on your guard for this three signposts of pseudoscience, you should be able to ensure that any treatment or therapy you embark upon will be genuinely useful to your life. Being sceptical is healthy; after all, if you’re too open minded, then your brain might just fall out.


The Hot New Trends To Improve Heating In Your Home


Winter is on its way and many of us will be starting to use our heating more often. Now could be a good time to consider a heating upgrade both to keep you cosier and to potentially bring down the cost of your energy bills. Heating technology has come on in leaps and bounds in the last decade alone. Here are some modern pieces of tech that your household may be able to benefit from.

Smart meters

Not every homeowner has an energy meter, but these can be useful for letting you know exactly how much gas and electricity you’re churning through. Whilst some meters may give you a guideline of your bill, more modern smart meters can provide a more accurate figure, linking up the data in your meter with the data that your billing company receives. Smart meters can also be accessed from your phone. Upgrade to smart heating and you can even control the thermostat from your touchscreen. This could allow you to turn off the heating whilst in bed or alternatively allow you to turn it on as you leave work so that your home is nice and toasty for when you come home.


Tankless water heaters

Tankless water heating isn’t new but a large number of homes still don’t have it despite its many benefits over standard tank heating. Rather than relying on a large tank of water to be heated up, tankless water heaters only heat up water when a faucet is turned on. This can dramatically save energy costs, plus the space taken up by a large water tank can be used for something else. It’s worth reading tankless water heater reviews as there are many types on the market to choose from all with different perks. Some are less costly to install than others.


Some homes are now going gas-free as a way to save costs and save the planet. There are many ways of doing this. Air-source heating works much like the reverse of air conditioning, whilst ground-source heating using natural heat from the earth. There’s then biomass heating, which uses organic mass as fuel. Another alternate option could even be to switch to electric heating but to fit solar panels so that this electricity is directly generated from the sun rather than fossil fuels in a factory.


Customisable induction hobs

Induction hobs are the new method of fast cooking. Unlike traditional gas burners or even standard electric hobs, these new cookers can heat up food in an instance, so you don’t have to wait long periods for pans of water to boil. Some companies are now bringing in customisable induction hobs in which you can decide the size and layout of rings. This may help you to accommodate for large pans or multiple small ones.

Cyclonic wave cooking

Microwaves are also becoming more advanced thanks to cyclonic wave cooking. This form of cooking is able to more effectively defrost food so that you’re not left with random cold bits. Waves are more evenly distributed so that every part is evenly cooked – an issue that has cursed microwaves for many years


Just like old. Restoring wood furniture

For a lot of people, there is nothing more satisfying than doing some DIY jobs around the house, and one of the more satisfying jobs you can do is to restore some antique furniture. Antique furniture adds a sense of class to your home, it makes any room look infinitely better, and it's something you can take a lot of pride in at the end of the day. Of course, with the word antique comes a hefty price, but you can restore cheaper furniture and make it look just like new, or old. So here is how you do it.

Step 1: Strip The Furniture
This can be messy, so make sure that you do it in an area where you don't want chippings of oak everywhere. Make sure that you use an old brush, as the old ones were better, and that sense of roughness helps with the application of the stripper. You add a mix of vanish combined with polish to the furniture and then let it dissolve, and leave for up to 30 minutes until the finish has dissolved. If this trick that hasn't done its magic and removed all the layers, just add the paste again and repeat the process.

Step 2: Neutralizing The Chemical Stripper
You do this by using some steel wool, which has been soaked in white spirit or wax and polish remover. Make sure that you follow the grain of the wood, if you don't neutralize the stripper, it can reactivate the surface. Once this is done, make sure that you clean the rest of the surface, using cotton rags, and leave it for at least 24 hours. In the meantime you can clean dirt and polish by using ear wax remover, again using a steel wool pad

Step 3: Sanding Down
You use a sanding block or some glass paper to smooth the wood fibers that have been raised during the stripping and make sure that you work with the grain, not against it. After this is done, tackle the bleached wood areas, especially if the item in question has spent time in the sun, as this can bleach the wood color. You could either add a wood dye to give it a color that is suitable, or you can use some special paint, such as real milk paint. This is an old paint that was mixed by hand, but some companies do it now such as the Real Milk Paint Company, and you can find the Real Milk Paint Company information on their website. Make sure that when applying any of this paint that you try not to lose the shine.

Step 4: Improving The Sheen
Once you have waited 5 hours at least, rub the surface with steel wool, and keep reapplying finishing oil using a brush or cloth. The more coats you add the better the sheen. Once this is done and you are happy, apply some furniture wax over the item in question, leave for an hour, and then polish. And that is it! Voila! Enjoy, and make sure it's left out of the sun!

Weighing Up the Pros and Cons of Moving

Sometimes, you just can’t beat a good old fashioned pros and cons list! And if there is an event in your life that calls for one of these to be made, it is certainly moving house. After all, it is regularly ranked amongst the top five most stressful life experiences and biggest decisions that you can go through. Of course, your specific pros and cons will vary depending on your individual situation, but this article is here to get you thinking about some of the things that you may want to include on your list.

The Pros of Moving House

There is no doubt that moving home is a very exciting prospect, and there are a whole host of new opportunities that are ahead of you. You have new places to visit, new streets to explore and new friends to be made. A big move may challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone which is usually where the most exciting life events take place.

You may have moved for a new job or to be closer to work, in which case you will be able to enjoy the time that you have left over from your lessened commute. Another common reason for moving is to get more space, and you have more options of what you can do with this. Alternatively, you may be looking for a simple change of scenery because you are bored with your old neighbourhood.

The Cons of Moving House

The downsides are moving are fairly obvious, but they are worth thinking about nevertheless. First of all, there is the packing and logistics that you have to think of. Many people lessen the stress of this by hiring a moving company so click here if you think that this may be an option for you. But there will inevitably be other costs involved in moving home such as connecting up the utilities.

There is also the stress factor that we mentioned at the start to think about. But you should remember that if this is something that you really want, stress is only short-term and the upsides may well more than make up for this. If you are going to be moving a long way away, homesickness is likely to be a problem. There is always an element of risk involved that you won’t like your new neighbourhood as much as your current one, but it is very difficult to tell how strong this feeling will hit you until you actually make the move.

Draw Your Conclusions

Once you have made your list of pros and cons, you will have a much better idea of which side you are leaning towards. Either way, the simple act of getting these things down on paper can help you to clarify your thoughts so everything isn’t getting jumbled up in your head. Even if you decide that a move is not right for you at the moment, you can always change your mind somewhere down the line.

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