3 Genius Indoor Improvement Ideas

Growth in home improvement product sales is expected to grow by 4.8% in 2018, according to a recent survey by the Home Improvement Research Institute. Today, homeowners are spending more to improve the look of their indoor. An interior space that has character is not only engaging, but it also dramatically increases the value of your home. As time goes by, the interior of your home may not look as appealing as it was years ago. If you are looking for ways to revive and freshen it up, worry no more. With a few adjustments, you can create a space that is more enticing, inviting and comfortable. Below are some useful improvement ideas.

Add a Water Feature

To make your indoor area stand out, you need something unique and alluring. Here, a water fountain can add the perfect splash to your home. Installing an indoor water fountain means bringing the sound and sights of nature to the inside of your home. The sound of flowing, bubbling and dripping water is tranquilizing and relaxing to the human brain and invokes a sense of calmness to you and your family. Fountains come in varying size, shape and designs thus they give you the much-needed flexibility. With many selections around, you can easily find a fountain that blends into your house design. A Huffington Post article notes that a water feature adds an elegant touch and makes everything else in the room seem luxurious.

Light it up

When it comes to interior design schemes, the lighting fixtures you select play a critical role. Lighting transforms the look of your home into a comfortable and welcoming space. Before selecting your illuminating fixtures, you should first understand three light layers. Ambient lighting ensures you can move around your home without bumping into objects. Task lighting is essential to helping you complete everyday chores within your home. For the third option, DIY Network describes accent lighting as a decorative element, allowing you to highlight your favorite items such as paintings, artwork and other decors. Keeping your lighting scheme and theme in your home consistent is recommended to avoid confusing the eyes and causing uneasiness. From your kitchen to the living room, the right lighting combination can make your space appear larger, warmer and cozier.

Add a fireplace

A fireplace can be a perfect architectural signature in your home. This retreat not only helps you stay warm, but also brings the family together. According to an article on The Spruce, a room with a fireplace feels welcoming than one without. Whether your room is traditional or modern, there are many fireplace designs and shapes that can perfectly suit your home. From stone, brick, slate, glass to mosaic designs, you have many adorable materials to pick from. You can also opt for a green fireplace which is easy to install and maintain, and safe for your family and the environment. With these valuable features, you will surely make a powerful focal point in your room.

Adding features to your interior space can give you the dream home you have always wished for. With the right plan, you can easily transform overlooked spaces into bright, fascinating and interesting areas. Whether you have a large or small home, these three features will leave a lasting and inspiring impact in your home!

An Insider’s Guide to Buying Off-Plan Properties in Dubai

Off-plan properties have become a popular residential housing option for investors and owners alike in the UAE. Now, it has become a lot easier to be convinced to buy property off-the-plan, what with the popular use of new technology like 3D virtual reality and online reservation tools so clients can do a property walk-through and reserve a property online.

Similar to any investment, purchasing off-plan properties also comes with risks. So if you are considering buying an off-plan property in Dubai, here are crucial things you must know before making that final decision, and signing on the dotted line.

Off-plan property – what is it?

An off-plan property is a type of property that is not yet constructed and bought directly from the developer or from the first owner who bought it directly from the developer.

When buying from a developer, you may need to pay a 10-20% down payment at the time of purchase and sign a sales purchase agreement or SPA. The rest of the payments can vary depending on the developer, but this is usually linked to construction milestones. As a precautionary measure, developers are required to keep an escrow account for real estate development projects in order to protect the interests of serious investors.

Possible risks

Change in market conditions

If there is a downward move in property prices, it can result in the property devaluing or becoming worthless making it a bad investment. Though this risk is inherent in real estate, it affects off-plan property more because they are harder to liquidate especially when the project gets delayed or canceled.

Delayed completion time

In some cases, developments do not always get finished according to plan. Some are completed after their scheduled date of completion, or get finished but as scaled down versions of what was in the original master plan.

It is for this reason that you must be meticulous in choosing to deal with a specific property developer. Check their track record and make sure that the sale agreement you are about to sign says that you will be compensated for any delays.

When can you sell it?

There are plenty of measures put in place to make sure that the Dubai market is a secure market for you to invest in. One of them has an impact on buyers who wish to sell their property before completion.

Some developers require original or first owners to pay at least 40% of the total payments before they can sell it to a new owner. Remember that this varies from developer to developer so check with your developer should you wish to sell your off-plan property before it is completed.  

When the minimum repayment threshold has been settled, the process of selling it is the same as selling a ready property. Both the seller and the buyer must agree upon the price and terms, sign the contract, and apply for a “No Objection Certificate” (NOC) where the new buyer takes over all the unpaid payments once the transfer is complete.

Six steps in buying off-plan property

Step 1: Determine the type and area of the property you want

With plenty of options out there, searching for the best off-plan property can be overwhelming. To narrow down your options, it is crucial for you to have a list of preferred areas and the type of property you want. For instance, decide if you want to buy a villa or an apartment in Dubai Marina or Umm Suqeim.

Step 2: Know who you’re buying from

Make sure that you are familiar with the developer you are buying from. Are they reputable? Do they have an excellent track record? Looking into their past projects is important because these are great indicators of what you can reasonably expect.

Step 3: Be aware of the project details

You must learn about the project you are going to purchase. Be familiar with the project you’re considering and the master plan.

Some important considerations in determining whether or not a development is right for you include the property size (number of units, area, etc.), parking arrangements, available amenities and facilities, materials to be used, proximity to other structures, and how the master development will affect your prospective property.

Triplanet real estate developers in UAE try to provide a model unit for viewing early on. But at the earlier stages, investors usually rely on digital 3D walkthroughs and mock-ups comprehensively used in the developer’s marketing material.

Step 4: Decide on what exactly you want to buy

After deciding on which development to buy into, decide on what kind of unit you want to invest in. This means paying close attention to the unit size, floor layout and height, unit position and orientation within the development, and the views from the bedrooms and living areas.

You also need to know everything that is included in the purchase such as furniture, white goods, and landscaping. By fully understanding these factors, you can calculate your initial expense and project future gains. Knowing exactly what comes with your purchase also ensures you get what you paid for.

Step 5: Carefully read the contract before signing

Before signing, you must understand what the contract is saying. Be fully aware of your obligations along with the developer’s obligations. Getting professional advice is highly recommended to leave no stone unturned.

If you are dealing with a sale and leasing real estate agent, make sure they are qualified and certified. Ask questions and probe so you get all the necessary information out in the open.

Step 6: Budget properly

Buying off-plan properties won’t require full payment upfront. Instead, you will need to allocate a budget for staggered payments depending on the construction milestones. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, make sure to know your payment plan obligations and meet them as required.

By investing in off-plan properties, you get a brand new property that is built to the latest building codes, and at a much lower price compared to ready properties.

But not all developments are created equal, so you must do your own research. Get professional advice, and follow this guide so you end up getting the best value off-plan property.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Juwaad Beg is the Chairman of Elite City Real Estate. Since 2005, the leading UAE developer has focused on developing residential real estate propositions in prime areas of Dubai. With their pricing, location, layout, amenities and after care service being second to none and priced at unbeatable rates, Elite enjoys 99% occupancy rates on all delivered projects.

 

5 Daily Problems You Can Solve With Storage Services

One of the most common complaints that today’s adults have is how busy they are. They have work to take care of plus household responsibilities to stay on top of, and some even have a growing family with very young members that demand their constant attention.

As such, many are constantly looking for ways to simplify their life. This way, they’ll be able to do everything that they need to in a highly efficient manner.

When it comes to solutions for simplifying activities in your overall routine, taking advantage of local storage services comes highly recommended by organizational gurus. Most communities today offer a range of self-storage facilities and these provide a variety of solutions for people who need to properly organize their homes.

If you’re struggling with your daily routine, consider using the services of a trusted storage company. This one decision can provide the answer to some of the productivity and mobility problems you encounter every day.

What issues, exactly, can storage services effectively address?

 

1.     Your tendency to get stressed on a busy morning

There’s clutter everywhere. You can’t find the things you need when you need them, and your family members can’t, either (and they’re bugging you to find them). You don’t have to deal with such a situation if the only things in your home are the few items that you really love and those that you actually need and use every day.

You can kill clutter by placing the possessions that you don’t really need (yet) in a storage unit. Doing this will create more space for your home, and at the same time, make finding what you need every day a whole lot easier.

 

2.     Your inability to easily find the right outfit for work

Clearing your closet of the clothes that you don’t need for the season and putting them in storage will allow you to put together a capsule wardrobe that contains your favorite and most relevant pieces of clothing.

When you only need to sift through a few clothes (that you reach for constantly, anyway), putting together an ensemble you’ll be happy with every day will be a breeze. You’ll be out the door ready to take on the world in no time.

 

3.     The excessive amount of time you spend on chores

Altogether, chores can take a long time to finish.  If only you had fewer things to clear off the coffee and dining tables, fewer dirty clothes to put in the wash, and fewer plates and utensils to wash, you could get your chores done quickly and have more time to rest.

The problem with having so many items at home, particularly plates and drinking glasses, is that your family members will get this idea: They won’t bother washing a glass after they drink from it, for example, and opt to leave it at the table so they can use it again later instead.

Alternatively, they might use one plate or drinking glass, neglect to wash and put it away after use, leave it on the kitchen or dining room table, and then return after some time and take out a clean one to use, since there are plenty more clean ones.

The result? Dirty plates and glasses cluttering the room. A mess that you have to constantly clean up.

So if you don’t have any spare cash for professional cleaning services to assist, by placing spare supplies into storage, the whole household will learn to pitch in with the chores. They will use only what they need, and promptly wash and put them away afterwards..

Store all the extras in a storage unit, and your chores will be easier and quicker to finish.

 

4.     The problem of constantly bumping and tripping over things

When you have a lot of items lying around where they are not supposed to, you have to strategically navigate your home. On crazy days when everybody’s rushing, you can get careless. It’s so easy to stumble over things on the floor, knock over piles on the table, and just get into minor accidents.

By putting décor, furniture and other belongings that you don’t currently use in storage, you can create enough space for comfortable movement in your home. Everyone can avoid bumping into things or breaking valuables because there’s not enough room to comfortably move around in.

 

5.     The guilt you feel for not being able to keep a clean house

A tidy home is an important responsibility for every homeowner. If you take it seriously, but truly go through day when the list of things to do can be overwhelming,  you probably feel guilty for not being able to uphold it well, and at all times. Perhaps you may even feel like some kind of failure.

If you tuck much of your possessions away in a storage unit, cleaning here and there will automatically become a lot easier. Tidying up won’t be a huge deal every time.

Most people fail to automatically see the connection between an easier, more comfortable life and the use of a storage unit. Hopefully, with the list provided here, you’ll look at storage services as a reliable means of elevating the quality of your life and making your home a truly comfortable haven for the whole family.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Chris Humphrey is the General Manager of Easytruck Moving & Storage. In 2013, the company combined their expertise in professional moving services & storage to create an entirely new approach to the business – and mobile storage was born! Easytruck now operates over 30,000 sqft of air-conditioned facilities in three convenient locations in Dubai and is the only Mobile Storage operator in the UAE.

7 Cleaning Habits to Keep Your Home Always Neat and Tidy

clean home

Keeping up with your everyday housekeeping needs can be daunting and time-consuming. But professional cleaners and maid services providers say that keeping your house clean and tidy does not have to take up all your time.

It is all about starting some good habits that you eventually get to follow instinctively. The more habituated you become, the easier it will be to maintain your home.

Here are seven habits you can adopt to help keep your home clean and orderly all the time.

  1. Make your bed daily

People think that making their bed every day is a waste of time. But this makes a huge difference in keeping your bedroom neat and orderly, and it will only take a couple of minutes of your time.

To make things a lot easier, simplify your bedding. For instance, cut out your top sheets and just use a washable cover and a duvet. But if you love top sheets, you can use a large enough duvet or comforter that you do not need to tuck in the sheets, and minimize the number of your pillows.

  1. Prioritize accordingly

All cleaning is not created equal. Create a list of the things you like to get done and prioritize what must be completed today, and what can wait until the next day or what can be done on a weekly basis.

Stick with the things you must do right away before trying to do the other things on your list. For example, you can’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight, nor should you postpone cleaning off the mess in your oven. But cleaning the bathtub or places like the attic or garage can wait.

  1. Involve the whole family

It seems a lot easier to do the cleaning job yourself, but spending a significant amount of time teaching your children to perform age-appropriate jobs is important for the both of you. With them, you get extra hands to help, and they learn to perform small tasks and develop a concern for cleanliness and responsibility.

Begin by having your kids put their shoes and coats away if they come in the house, clean their own rooms, and put the dishes in the dishwasher. As they are able, you can ask them to do more tasks.

Getting your family involved will make a huge difference in making your home clean and tidy when these simple things are done. Your kids may need supervision for the first several weeks, but cleaning up will become a habit eventually.

  1. Declutter

Taking some time to declutter and organize your home will help cut down the time needed to clean. Fewer items on the surface tops and counters will cut down on dusting, and make cleaning faster and much easier.

  1. Dust and vacuum regularly

By dusting and vacuuming once or twice a week, your house will stay cleaner. This will also help you save time since you do not have to do a major cleanup every time you want to tidy up in your house.

  1. Wipe surfaces after each use

Whether you just cooked a meal, made a sandwich, brushed your teeth or put on your makeup, make sure to wipe down the surface you just used. This task will only take a few seconds and will keep the area clean and ready to be used again.

Remember that when you let dust, grime and grease build-up over time, it will be harder to clean up some surfaces.

  1. Get some help

If you are time-crunched and you want to spend some time with your family, it is time for you to enlist the services of a professional. There are professional cleaning service providers ready to tackle your cleaning requirements.

Professional cleaners can perform routine cleaning. This service includes making beds, the thorough cleaning of kitchens and bathrooms, dusting all surfaces, and mopping. You have the option to limit the service to some areas or rooms as well.

But if your house has not been cleaned for quite a long time, you may need some sort of deep cleaning service. Depending on your budget and needs, you can arrange for professional cleaners to come weekly, monthly, twice a month, or some other variation.

A professional cleaning service may not be for everyone, but when chores are already a major source of stress, or have become too time-consuming, spending a little extra money will go a long way. And if you don’t want to keep hired help all the time, just maintain the cleanliness they have achieved for you.

Just like becoming successful in other parts of your life, keeping a well-maintained home boils down to your daily habits. If cleaning is done regularly, your home will always be in great condition.

AUTHOR BIO

Rania Bellos launched Dust Busters Cleaning Services with the help and support of her husband after spending 15 years working in the banking and finance industry in France, Lebanon and the UAE. She welcomes the daily challenges and exciting opportunities provided by the highly competitive residential and commercial cleaning services market.

 

Keep the Worries Away While You Travel: Seven Ways to Secure Your Home

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning for your vacation that you could forget one important thing to consider: your home’s safety while you are away. Burglary is a crime you need to be wary of. In the US alone, a burglary happens every 25 seconds. This amounts to about 3,456 home break-ins every day. The great news is that with the right information, you could easily prevent this. The following are measures for keeping your home safe while you travel.

Photo courtesy of FelixMittermeier via Pixabay

Keep your valuables in a safe

It’s always best to prepare for the worst when dealing with your most prized possessions. While you should do all the necessary measures to prevent a break-in, a contingency plan must still be in place in case a burglary does happen. For such worst-case scenarios, it’s wise to make the work much harder, if not impossible, for the burglars. One way you could do this is by installing a reliable safe. Make sure that it is bolted down so the thieves can’t just carry it with them.

 

 

Install a home security system

A report by the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology of the University of North Carolina shows that 60% of convicted burglars revealed that the presence of a security system had effectively deterred them from targeting a home. You can take full advantage of this knowledge by installing a DSC home alarm at home. Make sure your system is as visible as possible. You should also use window stickers and yard signs to alert burglars to your security system. Make sure the signs could be seen from every angle and not just the front entrance. You should also opt for home security systems that can be controlled remotely. This way, you could stay on top of things. This will buy you not just property security but peace of mind as well.

 

Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay

 

Create the illusion that someone is home

Make it appear like it’s business as usual at home. Burglars often scout for their next target before they take action, and they love homes that appear vacant. To make your home appear busy, install timers on your lamps in various locations of your home and program them to turn on and off at about the same time they would if you were actually home. A more techie way to go about this is by investing in smart lighting. The technology learns your lighting patterns and consistently applies them even when you are away. You may also install light bulbs that you can control remotely.

Also, retain the same appearance of your house from the outside. If you normally leave your blinds and curtains open, then keep them so even when you’re not at home. Do remember to keep all your windows locked tight though. Make sure they can’t be opened from the outside. To further enhance the appearance of someone being home, you may also leave a car in the driveway.

Photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

 

Enlist some people to spend time in your home

More than just creating the illusion that someone is home, you could actually just make it so. You can enlist some trusted friends or relatives to help keep an eye on your property by spending time in it while you are away from home. You should also inform your neighbors of your travel plans so they could watch out for any suspicious activities. Give them your contact info so they can get in touch and keep you informed. Also, ask them to collect your newspapers and mails so they don’t pile up in your doorstep. Make sure you promise to return the favor when it’s their turn to travel. You can also enlist the services of a professional house sitter who could stop by to attend to your property and carry out basic maintenance like mowing the lawn, watering the plants, and caring for the animals. If you are currently using landscaping and house cleaning services, keep them active even while you are away. Just make sure they are from providers you trust. Keep in mind that an unkempt place could easily tip off burglars.

Photo courtesy of Stevepb via Pixabay

 

Keep away from social media

All your precautions to make your home look occupied will be useless if you broadcast on social media that you will be travelling. This is even worse if you are maintaining a public account, as there’s no telling who could be checking your profile. Although it can be tempting to update your network and followers about your travel plans and to post as things happen, you should keep your activities discrete while you are away. You can just start posting when you’re finally back home. You can console yourself with the idea that your posts will be better curated then.

Photo courtesy of Foundry via Pixabay

 

Make sure your GPS is tucked away

You may have parked your car in a hotel parking lot or at the airport with the GPS visibly hooked to the windshield. This is something you must avoid moving forward, as doing this could make you an easy target for burglars. Thieves could break into your car, turn on your GPS, and find out exactly where you live. And as you are parked in a hotel or at the airport, they could easily surmise that your home may be vacant and is an easy target.

If your GPS is portable, avoid leaving it in your car while you travel. If what you have is the built-in type, simply change the programming so it reveals a random business establishment and not your actual home.

Photo courtesy of DariuszSankowski via Pixabay

 

Keep your travel routine varied

As much as possible, you should vary your travel schedule. One thing you must know is that the majority of burglaries are committed by people who live nearby. As a matter of fact, burglars often live within two miles of their target home. As they are practically your neighbor, they could easily track your movements and predict when everyone is away for travels. This could undermine all your other efforts to make your home look occupied. The best recourse is to make your travel plans unpredictable.

While you should always work hard to have a secure home, you must remember to not let paranoia seep in. Have confidence in the fact that you’ve taken the necessary precautions, then just sit back and relax. And of course, enjoy your travels!

 

The Ultimate Moving Day Toolbox

moving day

The essentials you need to get those first jobs nailed

The big day is here. You’re finally moving into the property that has occupied most of your waking thoughts for months and sometimes years.

Consider yourself a master planner and reckon you’ve covered every eventuality? Good. If only we all had your confidence. But, sure as night follows day, there will be unforeseen circumstances at either end of the journey that will test your patience to its limits on a day where tensions are already running high.

That’s why the moving maestros at Smoove Move want to help you shrug off moving day mishaps, delivery disasters and upping-sticks upsets by arming yourself to face any eventuality.

When the movers leave, it’s going to be down to you and nobody else. But don’t worry, there’s a select group of tools and essentials you can take that make short work of those unexpected problems. Tick these off your list and make sure you’re ready to fix anything from minor electrical problems to leaking taps, at least until you can find a local professional to get things sorted.

Torch
Absolutely, definitely, positively the thing to put right at the top of your moving day toolkit. There are many tales of movers arriving at their new home only to find the outgoing occupants have taken all the light bulbs with them. If there’s a problem with the fuse box, you’ll need to locate it and chances are it will be in a cellar or dark recess. Plus, the water stopcock is usually located in a dark, hidden alcove. Make sure you have a working torch and replacement batteries, preferably a head torch so you can keep your hands free when carrying out fiddly tasks like finding trip switches on the fuse box, or climbing ladders to the loft.

Craft Knife
You know those boxes you so carefully sealed with metres of tape to keep your prized and possessions safe and sound on their arduous journey? They’re going to need opening. And to prevent broken nails and other injuries resulting from using completely the wrong implement (bread knife, nail scissors, claw hammer…) only one tool is right for the job; the trusty craft knife. They’re cheap enough to buy a few so everyone can help, and will get through even the toughest tape or cardboard in seconds. Even better, if you manage to blunt the blade a quick snap and you’re back in business, sharper than ever.

Scissors
When cuts get complicated, put down your craft knife and pick up the scissors. Things like cable ties (that you’ve used to hold like…er…cable together) and packing tape that’s hard to access can be dealt with quickly and safely with a sharp pair of scissors. Partner with their slightly more technical cousin the wire cutter and there’s nothing stopping you.

Electric screwdriver
If you’re assembling furniture like beds or wardrobes, this is a must. For around £20, you can buy an electric screwdriver with Allen and hex key heads that will save you hours of hassle and also save your wrists from RSI. They’re essential to help with anything from assembling flat pack furniture to putting up curtain rails. Some can even be used for drilling to help with tasks such as hanging pictures. And don’t forget, a good night’s rest will be top of your list so if your bed’s been dismantled, this is what you’ll need to reconstruct it fast. Just don’t forget the charger.

Tape measure
The humble tape measure certainly goes the extra mile to help with many different jobs before, after and even during the move. It’s always better to find out a large or bulky item of furniture is too big to squeeze through that door or round that corner before it gets stuck. And guestimating just doesn’t measure up when a few millimetres can mean the difference between smooth transition and scratched paintwork.  

Fuses
Not really a tool, but something you should always keep in your moving day toolbox. Take a selection of 3, 5 and 13 amp fuses for plugs in case any of your appliances have blown, or the ones that have been left need them. The last thing you want to be doing at 9pm in a new neighbourhood is running around looking for a place to buy fuses.

Bolts and fittings
Again, not technically tools but worth keeping in the same place. Keep specific screws, bolts and fittings (and instructions if you still have them) from anything you have dismantled. These can be put into sealed bags and clearly labelled for each piece of furniture. Put these bags in your toolbox, or attach them to dismantled furniture with tape.

Gaffer tape
Gaffer tape is an amazingly versatile item that can do everything from stopping leaks to keeping wing mirrors on your hire van. When it comes to quick fixes, it’s the boss of them all. Perhaps that’s why it’s called gaffer. It’s strong, durable and adhesive enough to temporarily bond virtually any surfaces together and the more you use, the stronger it gets. You don’t even need scissors to cut the stuff…your teeth will normally get things started and a quick rip is all it takes to finish the job. We love gaffer tape. Equally as much as we love its opposite number…

WD40
…the yin to gaffer tape’s yang. Whereas the grey sticky tape’s sole purpose is to prevent things moving, WD40 does the exact opposite by getting things shifting that are stuck fast. Think seized bolts, locks, window latches that may need some encouragement, particularly if your new des res has been standing empty for a while. It’s also brilliant at silencing squeaky hinges and even creaky beds and floorboards.   

Spirit level
Don’t trust your eye. The good old spirit level is your friend and argument-settler and essential for making sure your framed ‘home sweet home’ sampler hangs true on the wall. Haven’t got one? Fear not. Download a digital one from the App Store or Google Play and you’ll always be on the level.

Knife and fork
Finally, two implements you’ll be grateful are in your toolbox when the shifting’s done and you’re settling in for your first evening in your new home. Chances are your best cutlery will be buried somewhere in a box marked ‘kitchen’. Don’t leave it to chance. Pack some emergency cutlery and job’s a good one for that first well-earned takeaway.

Health Benefits Of Fashion And Art, And How To Get Some Great Deals For Them

When talking about fashion or art, not a lot of people would associate either subject of providing any health benefits. As any shopaholic or hardcore art enthusiast can tell you, however, there certainly are amazing advantages to both industries in terms of promoting wellness. Naturally, the benefits would depend on several factors since too much of a good thing can be detrimental as well.

Fashionably Healthy

One of the biggest health benefits of fashion would have to be its effects on self-esteem and how it can reduce stress. Even on its face, the health advantages of being well-dressed, looking stylish, and having confidence in one’s appearance are obvious. However, it goes even deeper than that.

You see, although past trends in the fashion industry have been harmful, the current attitude towards lifestyle and beauty have changed to become more wholesome. These days, it’s no longer fashionable to be stick thin. The industry now encourages a healthy body image and companies are following suit, which leads to many women pursuing healthier lifestyles.

This is visible in how clothing and cosmetic companies have radically shifted their marketing campaigns as well, to become more inclusive of all body types, skin color and so on. You can see this for yourself, when you visit online retail sites likes Sephora and while you’re there, maybe you could get your up-to-date discount voucher using Sephora offers.

Artful Wellness

Perhaps more than fashion, art has been known to have enormous health benefits. Regardless of which activity you prefer, investing in artistic pursuits could have both incredible physical and mental effects. Even simply setting up a canvas outdoors to paint mountains or trees can provide a huge health boost, especially in today’s sedentary culture.

Those who have more rigorous artistic hobbies such as sculpting will naturally gain bigger health benefits, what with having to lug around wood, stone, or metal in many cases. In either scenario, the practitioner has much to gain.

It is worth pointing out that even just the simple appreciation of art can also come with some wonderful effects on wellness, and not all art needs to be stuffy. Even geeky interests can also be art, as you can easily tell when you visit retail sites like Abubot. If you see anything you like, you could take a look at the top 10 up-to-date Abubot coupon promo code offers that are available.

DIY Budget-Friendly Kitchen Remodeling Tips

If you’re tired of the look of your kitchen, there are many great DIY Budget-Friendly Kitchen Remodeling Tips that you can try. Here are some to get you started.

Paint

A little bit of paint will go a long ways. You can repaint cupboards, walls, or simply paint one wall as an accent wall. You will draw attention to the one wall without having to do a whole lot of work.

Curtains

Most kitchens have windows. If you update the window treatments it will make the kitchen look new and sparkle. Make some curtains or buy some but try that for a do it yourself project. You could also install shutters or faux shutters to give your kitchen an entirely new look.

Fixtures

Those old fixtures are annoying and detract from the appearance in your kitchen. Installing new fixtures is quick and easy and can give your kitchen an entirely new appearance. It only takes about half an hour and your kitchen will look much better.

Handles

Drawers and cupboards often have handles on them or knobs. Try getting some new ones or even (if you’re adventurous) painting the old ones. It’s amazing what new handles on the drawers and cupboards can do for the appearance of your kitchen.

Linoleum

There are many inexpensive types of linoleum on the market today. Go to your favorite flooring store and ask to see some linoleum. You may find that they have some special discounts on a stock that wasn’t moving or on remnants. It doesn’t take long to install and it will make an amazing difference in your kitchen.

Hang A Pot Rack

If you can’t find an affordable pot rack, create your own. An old ladder from bunk beds, or simply find a wire rack that could work as a pot rack. Install this near the cookstove and you’ll have a new look, more storage, and a great designer pot rack for your kitchen. It will give it an entirely new appearance.

Backsplash

Add in a new backsplash near the sink, by the stove, or both. There are a variety of great backsplashes on the market today. Choose a tin tile, a brick look, or something totally unique. It’s all up to you and what you might have on hand. Old leftover tiles, old bricks, or even a wallpaper of faux brick or tile will work well as a great backsplash.

Plants

Install a few shelves and some plants that love the light and bring in the outdoors. Airplane plants (aka spider plants) or aloe vera all work well to purify the air and bring the outdoors into the kitchen.

Linens

Get new hand towels and dishcloths and get rid of those old ones that are less than whole. Combined with some of the above ideas these will give the kitchen a brighter and nicer appearance.

Utilize Wall Space

Hang a wire partway up a wall and use that to hang utensils on and lighter weight pots and pans. This can declutter the counter and give the kitchen a neater and tidier appearance.

Lighting

Switch out the lighting. Swap out one style of lighting for another. Put a focal point in the kitchen and a spotlight over the focal point.

Incorporating the various ideas above into the DIY kitchen remodel will go far in making the kitchen appear newer. Mix and match the ideas for a truly unique and one of a kind look that transcends time. Most of the ideas are easy to do yourself and all of them are fairly inexpensive. Your kitchen will look great.

 

6 Easy Tips to Deep Clean Your Bathroom

Clean Bathroom

Everyone loves a sparkling-clean bathroom. But we hardly get around doing it as a result of the misconception that it will take an eternity to keep the bathroom clean and tidy.

That doesn’t really have to be true. Here are some practical and simple tips that will allow you to eliminate the dirt and bacteria that have turned your bathroom into a bacteria infested playground.
 
Vacuum first
If you thought vacuum is only for carpet and living room, then it is time to change that thought. The first step towards ensuring a well-cleaned bathroom is to get rid of dust and particles from the bathroom. When you remove the dirt and bacteria first through vacuuming, it makes the next steps of cleaning, which is usually mopping a lot easier. If you happen to keep your washing machine in the dry area of the bathroom, then keep it on a trolley stand so that you can easily move it and clean underneath.

 

Magic of Lemon
If you live in an area with hard water and are wondering how to get rid of the stubborn dirt and white residues accumulated on your tap, then worry no more. You only need lemon to keep the tap clean and dirt-free. Cut a lemon in half and use a half to scrub the affected thoroughly. Leave the lemon on the tap for a couple of minutes before rinsing it off to give your tap that clean look you have always desired.
 
Flush Your Sink
The sink drain is the number one spot for bacteria accumulation in your bathroom. If you don’t pay attention to the sink when cleaning your bathroom, you have only done half of the cleaning.
To start the cleaning, pour a mixture or vinegar and baking soda down the skin drain and flush the baking soda and vinegar with hot water. Then, clean the drain, faucet, and the surrounding area with disinfectant to prevent bacteria from lingering in the sink after washing it.
 
Shower
Although many people usually ignore paying the right attention to the shower when cleaning the bathroom, it is actually one of the areas of the bathroom that deserve the best attention. This is because the shower can also store more dirt that you can imagine.
All you need to clean the shower is warm soapy water, tub cleaner, bleach, and a cleaning agent. Fill your bathtub with the soapy water and add the tub cleaner, bleach, and the cleaning agent of your choice. Then, pay attention to the bathtub and shower walls and clean them thoroughly with the soapy water. When you are through with the scrubbing, allow everything to sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
 
Don’t forget the toilet and countertops
The shower and the sink are not the only parts of the toilet that deserve your attention. Don’t ignore the countertops and the toilet too. A good bathroom cleaner will make your job easier. Pay close attention to these parts as well as the areas around the bowl and the parts behind the toilet seat. Let the multipurpose bathroom cleaner sit for a couple of minutes on the parts to loosen up accumulated grime and dirt.
Use a clean sponge to clean these areas thoroughly before rinsing them thoroughly with clean water. You will be marvelled at how sparkling these parts will become after the cleaning.
 
Clean the walls, tiles, ceiling
This part of your bathroom deserves as much attention as the other areas. You need to keep your tiles, walls, and ceiling as clean as your toilet, sink, and the rest. When contemplating cleaning these areas, get a multipurpose cleaner and spray the countertops, tiles, ceiling, and the walls with the cleaner.
Turn your shower and hot water on for about five minutes until steam builds in the bathroom. Then, turn off the shower and close the bathroom door so that the steam can mix with the cleaner for about 20 minutes for the best result. After that, wipe everywhere clean with a clean cloth.
If there are some high spots in the bathroom, you can use a dry and clean microfiber mop to mop those hard-to-reach areas. When you are through with them, don’t forget the tiles too.
 

With these few tips, you can always keep your bathroom sparkling clean always. If you do this repeatedly, your bathroom will always be clean without any room for dirt to accumulate.
Are there any other tips that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments.

3 Ways to Use The Goal Book to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Goal setting 2018

The New Year is almost here and most people are already making new resolutions. There are those who want to lose weight, get better jobs, start a relationship or a business and workout in the gym among many other resolutions. Making resolutions is pretty simple. It’s the commitment to them that gets tough. Most people stick to their resolutions within the first two or three months of the year and then lose focus by the sixth month. Below are tried and tested ways of remaining committed to your resolutions.

  1. Break Your Goals into Small Milestones

Big goals are not easy to manage. In fact, they can leave you devastated. You should, therefore, look for ways of slashing your goal into small manageable milestones. Small goals are actually more realistic. Besides that, they still contribute to the main goal. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you should have a figure in mind so that you can know exactly how many pounds you need to drop. You should then do the math to see how many pounds you need to shed every month.

Moreover, you need to factor in on your diet. This is because you will lose weight fast when indulge in a balanced diet. And that’s not all. You have to sacrifice some of your time for training in the gym. This is because working out will help you burn extra calories. In this scenario, one goal has been broken down into three sub goals. This is just an example of what you can do to make achieving your resolutions much easier. At the end of the day, all the small goals are dependent on each other. For instance, if you don’t succeed in eating well, you will still not lose weight.

  1. Persist

Keeping New Year resolutions is not a walk in the park. This is because you will fail many times. Most people tend to give up after going through several hurdles. And perhaps that’s why savvy entrepreneurs use The Goal Book to complete their goals.  When you are on the verge of throwing in the towel, just remember that it’s overcoming failure that will make achieving your goal meaningful. You can encourage yourself by reviewing the milestones that you accomplished in the last few years. This will help you figure out that you are still the same person. If you have a partner, that’s even better because you can compare notes and encourage each other.

  1. Embrace Change

Resisting change can transform you into a stumbling block. You can not achieve anything without embracing change. Adopting change will make you start seeing things differently. That way, you will able to know why you have been failing in accomplishing your resolutions. In fact, there are times when your strategy may not earn you anything. At such a time, you need to go back to the drawing board and look for another strategy.

But this doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your resolution. No. You are only going to use another strategy to achieve the same goal. For instance, if you want to make more money by selling crossbows, you might opt to sell your merchandise at reduced prices. But if this doesn’t yield anything close to what you expected, you can try selling your crossbows at market price but include free arrows in the package. At the end of the day, customers will prefer to buy crossbows from your store because they will not need to budget for arrows.