Christmas Fragrance Ideas

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There’s so much to love about the Christmas season. Although it’s only just November — and there’s still Thanksgiving to navigate — it’s inevitable that around this time, thoughts begin to turn to the most wonderful time of the year.

Most of us have memories of Christmases of our childhood. If you think about the memories you have, you might be surprised to realize just how many of these memories are sense-based. The taste of cranberry sauce; the fragrance of pine needles and incense; the satisfying feel of a sliding fingers beneath wrapping paper in anticipation. Of these, by far the most pervasive memories tend to be fragrance-based. This is of no surprise, given how inextricably fragrance is linked to memory– for many of us, one inhalation can transport us back in time to another point in our lives, all based on memory alone.

Many of us now find ourselves playing hostess at Christmas, meaning that it’s the fragrances of our home this year that will last in the memories of our children. Even if you don’t have the traditional snowy weather, you can still use scent and fragrance to ensure the most “Christmassy” feel for your home– and a lifetime of memories for your children. Let’s explore some of the best ways to introduce fragrance to your home this year, as well as offer some tips on the most Christmas-appropriate scents that you’ll want as part of your celebration!

The Art Of Controlling Bad Smells

First and foremost, ensuring your house smells divine means you have to have neutral scents on which to work your fragrancing magic. Therefore, your first focus should be on neutralizing bad smells so that your home can become a cornucopia of fragranced delights.

The most obvious source of bad smells is the kitchen, especially if food burns or the trash hasn’t been emptied in the rush of last-minute preparations. If you don’t have a kitchen fan, then there’s still time to put one into place in time for Christmas. This will help ensure that any bad smells that do develop aren’t left to linger.

Another common bad smell that you might find yourself having to deal with is cigarette smoke. No vent is going to be sufficient for cigarette smoke; it’s notoriously stubborn, so your options are more limited. You could insist that smoking only takes place outside, or encourage the smoker in your life to head to Ecigwizard to stock up on vaping supplies. You’ll still need to remove the lingering smell of previous cigarette smoke, however; there’s a few great ideas to try listed here.

With your home now a scent-neutral zone, you can go to town on introducing the fragrances that will play such a huge role in your Christmas.

The Spice of Christmas

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If a single fragrance was to be named the fragrance of Christmas, then without a doubt, it would be cinnamon. Cinnamon is a scent that we all associate with Christmas; it’s the scent of baked Christmas cookies, of incense, of candles burning over the hearth. You’re definitely going to want to make use of cinnamon for your festive fragrance needs.

There are various ways to do this. You can use the classic options, like candles, wax tarts, and incense burners– but there’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh cinnamon. Thankfully, cinnamon sticks are rather pretty, and can be made into lovely decorations that will go well with the rest of your Christmas decor. Tie a few sticks with some festive ribbon and you’ve got a simple ornament that also has a delicious scent when you stand close to it; add a few vanilla sticks in for a really Christmassy fragrance.

If you want to push things further, then these cinnamon ornaments are a fun DIY to do with your kids, so definitely worth considering!

Natural and Herbal Options

Of course, the one downside of using cinnamon as a Christmas fragrance is that it can make the whole household hungry! If this is an issue for you, you might want to use a blend of natural or herbal smells for your scent choices. Here are a few great options:

  • The smell of pine needles is a guaranteed memory-stirrer for Christmas, as we all associate the fragrance with Christmas trees. Many of the major candle suppliers now do pine needle scented options, or you can buy bags of dried pine needles for use in homemade pomanders.
  • Christmas roses don’t have a particularly different smell to standard roses, so you can use anything rose-fragranced you already have for this purpose. Rose fragrance goes well with pine needles and cloves to really enhance the Christmas feel.
  • Berry scents are also popular for winter, especially dark berries such as blackberries. To prevent berry scents from smelling too edible, pair them with pine needles, pinecones, or heavy spices such as peppers– cinnamon or orange may make them smell too sweet.
  • Finally, oranges make for a wonderful Christmassy fragrance, which work well when combined with essential oils such as clary sage, basil, or even lavender. These essential oils help to highlight the botanical, rather than culinary, notes of the oranges. You can also use star anise to decorate oranges for the perfect decoration.

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You can use raw herbal and natural products, but they are less likely to fragrance an entire house. Essential oils, candles, and diffusers are the best option if you truly want the fragrance to permeate. You can use real products for decorations, just don’t expect to be able to smell these from more than a few feet away!

Mix and Match

Of course, there’s no reason you have to restrict yourself to just one or two of these options! Christmas fragrance should be indulgent and enjoyable, so play with ideas in different rooms. Berry options are wonderful for living spaces, whereas culinary choices like cinnamon and vanilla are a natural fit for the kitchen. Play around with whatever works for you, and you and your family will soon be enjoying a fragrant Christmas that will live long in your memories.

Keeping Your Home Safe…When You’re a Renter

There’s no shortage of advice for keeping your property safe and secure, but the problem is that most of this advice is aimed at just that: “your” property. If you’re renting- as opposed to owning – when you live, then you’re normally at a disadvantage because most of the security aspects will be dependent on the landlord of the property, not on you. However, that’s not to say you have to just settle for whatever you end up with. Some aspects are in your hands, as we’ll see below.

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See What You Can Do

There’ll be limitations to what modifications you can make on your property, but that’s not to say you can’t do anything. The first thing is to speak to your landlord; they might be fine with your reinforcing your doors, adding extra security to your windows, and so on. However, we must stress that it is imperative that you run everything by them beforehand. Even if they’re happy with the changes you’ve made, if you make a mistake and cause damage to the property in any way, you might have trouble when it comes to getting your deposit back.

Consider Changing the Locks

You’ve got the keys to your property, and so does your partner. Alas, the people who used to live in the property might also have a set. While it’s highly unlikely that they’ll return and break in when you’re not home, that’s not a chance you’ll want to take, especially if you live in a part of town with a higher than normal crime rate. Again, you’ll want to run it by your landlord, but it is possible that you can add a lock and then change it back to the one that was there when you moved in when you decide to leave.

Camera Security

You won’t be able to add a complete home alarm system to the property, and even if you could, the expense of doing so would probably put you off anyway. However, you can add a security camera. These are inexpensive and high-quality; you’ll be able to see what’s going on outside just by looking at your computer.

Protecting Your Contents

Even with all the security in the world, there’s always a chance that something might go wrong with your rented property. And if it does, you’ll want to ensure that you’re protected should anything bad happen to your belongings. As such, it’s a good idea to check renters insurance providers and find a level of coverage that’s right for you. You hopefully won’t need it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you had the foresight to take out a policy!

Knowing the Neighbourhood

Finally, don’t underestimate just how valuable your community can be. If you get to know the neighbours, you’ll be adding an extra level of security, as there’ll be able to keep an eye on your property when you’re not at home. It’s better to have dozens of eyes watching your place as opposed to just you!

Prevent A Pest Invasion In Your Home

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Have you ever had an issue with pests, insects or animals in your home? Well, if you haven’t yet, you could in the future. Animals and pests in the home can be a real nuisance, damaging your property, causing environmental dangers and they might even make your home unsafe to live in. Some animals can be rather vicious, and that’s why they need to be dealt with straight away. But before we look at the ways to deal with animals and insects entering your home, let’s explore some of the options to stop it from ever happening.

Holes In The Roof

If you find that there is a bird or animal living in your attic at some point, there’s a good chance they have entered through a hole in the roof that you haven’t noticed. It is possible for a hole to develop in the roof and for no one to pay it the slightest amount of attention. Think about it, how often do you go in the attic? If the answer is as little as possible, a hole could be there for weeks or even months. That’s more than enough time for a pesky bird to enter your home and perhaps even build a nest.

That’s why you should be checking your roof and the attic after spouts of bad weather. You never know whether a large gust of wind might have blown a few tiles off, leaving an opening big enough for a visitor.

Keeping The House Clean

If you want to avoid insects entering the home, it’s best to keep it as clean and tidy as possible. Don’t forget, insects are like any other living creature. They have basic needs to survive. If you take one of these needs away like a food source, then you can instantly ensure they don’t creep inside your home. So, make sure you’re not leaving food crumbs on the floor, and you should never see a trail of ants wandering across your kitchen.

Secure Your Trash

Of course, some animals will be attracted due to a food source outside of your home like your trash. You need to make sure that your garbage is properly secure so that critters like racoons can’t get in. To a racoon, your trash can will be an all you can eat buffet. However, if the lid is secure, it won’t be able to get in and will scuttle off to your neighbour’s house. Don’t forget, once on your property, they might decide to live somewhere like your attic. At this point, a professional racoon removal service is your only option. You can not deal with an animal like this by yourself as it could actually attack you or your family. It’s also important that they are dealt with humanely.

Contact An Expert

There are very few situations where you can deal with a pest or insect infestation yourself. If you’re not careful, you might find that you don’t solve the issue completely or that you end up in a dangerous situation. Both are something you need to avoid at all costs.

Take this advice, and as well as being able to deal with an infect infestation or a pest invasion, you’ll be able to prevent one as well.

Boost The Value Of Your Flat or Apartment

When it comes to houses and other kinds of property, there’s plenty you can do to sway a buyer. You have outside space which you can transform into gorgeous gardens, you can build off road parking on your plot. You can create tonnes of kerb appeal by upgrading the front of the property by painting the bricks, having rendering or another kind of covering to generally make the property look its very best. However when you’re selling a flat or apartment, you’re much more limited. Because you only own the apartment itself instead of the building, there’s a lot that’s out of your control. But there’s plenty you can still do to boost the value and attract those all important buyers.

Get It Tidy

One of the main issues people have when it comes to apartment living is finding space for all of their possessions. If a buyer sees that you are struggling for space, they will assume that they will too. Getting the place very clean, tidy and organised will create a far more welcoming appearance. It will sell buyers a kind of lifestyle, and show them how they could be living if they bought your property. Clean carpets, windows, skirting boards, anywhere that would normally get missed on a regular day of cleaning. Organise your possessions so that the flat doesn’t look cluttered or full to the brim, this could be an excuse for you to start your packing now. Box things up you wont need and put it into self storage, that way you make it easier to make your home look beautiful and give yourself less to do when it does sell as well.

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Paint it Neutral

Buyers in general love neutrals. Light neutrals like white, cream and very light grey all help maximise the space and look modern and clean without being distracting. In a smaller property like a flat or apartment this is even more important, since you absolutely have to make the most of the space and light to stop it looking cramped and dingy. Sand the walls, fill in any holes and make them look completely smooth. If they’re in bad condition, you may need to hire a plasterer to re-skim them. Give them a coat of paint and you will quickly see the space transform and open up. You could always add a clock, a piece of art or perhaps a shelf with a plant on if you feel it looks too stark. But avoid colour (especially dark colour) and pattern which can close rooms in, and anything too personal. A buyer needs to be able to come inside and imagine their own life there, with too many personal trinkets it’s distracting and difficult to do so.

Get The Right Lighting

Speaking of maximising the light with colour, your actual lighting is very important too. You need to make sure rooms are well lit, particularly if you’re going to be having viewings later in the day when it’s a bit darker. Spotlights are useful in kitchens and bathrooms, they look modern and prevent any dark corners. A couple of lamps in rooms like bedrooms and the living room help the place to look cosy and set the ambiance. Make sure main light fittings are neither too large or too small, a huge chandelier in a small flat for example could look a bit strange. But you don’t want something too small either that’s going to make the room look dull and dim. Another way to get the lighting right is to maximise natural lighting. You might need to switch up your blinds or curtains, let as much daylight in as possible during the day. Placing a large mirror opposite the windows too will reflect it back and brighten the space further.

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Give It The Edge

One thing you could do is look at other similar properties for sale to see what kind of thing is on the market, sites like http://rumahdijual.com/jakarta-utara/apartemen-pulomas allow you to look through tonnes of apartments. Once you know what kind of thing is currently out there, you know what you need to do to make yours better. Certain features will give yours the edge. Maybe it’s a new, super modern kitchen or beautiful bathroom. It could be something simple like switching up the taps, or you could have built in furniture installed. It can be difficult parting with cash for these things when you won’t be around to enjoy them, but it could mean adding thousands on to your asking price.

Finish The Odd Jobs

Any cracks, chips or unfinished jobs in your flat won’t be missed by a buyer. Even if they aren’t big problems, a buyer will assume that they are. In a house it’s bad enough, but in a smaller space any issue is going to appear like a much larger one. So get any black mould cleaned up and repainted. Any chips or cracks should be sanded and filled. Any wobbly door handles, wonky doors, loose toilet seats or anything else should be put right before you invite buyers in for a viewing. Otherwise you’re cheating yourself out of a larger asking price, you might put some buyers off altogether.

Utilise Your Balcony

If you’re lucky enough to have a balcony or any outside space at all, really make the most of this. Give it a clean and tidy, paint any railings and spruce it up with pots or hanging baskets. You could even get a small bistro set to show people that there’s space to sit outside. A balcony or outdoor space is a huge bonus when it comes to flats and apartments so you should do what you can to draw attention here.

There are some particular challenges when it comes to making a flat or apartment look its best for property viewings. But bear in mind these simple tips and you will increase your chances of it selling quicker, and for the best price possible.

Smart Home Products Are Changing The Way We Live

Although it wasn’t always the case, our homes are gradually becoming repositories for modern technology. Here are some of the ways that smart home products are changing the way we live.

Improving The Air We Breathe

Unfortunately, our homes are filled with particles which can potentially damage our health. Dirt from outside gets dragged into our carpets, exposing us to toxins and making us more susceptible to allergic reactions. But now a company called Airdog has come up with a home filtration system that you can use when you suspect air quality issues.

Essentially, it’s a gas-mask type product which slips over the nose and mouth and has an additional unit, connected to via a pipe, which connects to the arm.

Air dog hope that people can use their filter in their homes while they’re doing things that throw up dust, like the vacuuming, or when the windows are open in the summer, and allergenic particles are flowing in through the open windows.

Improving Our Home Security

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Home security systems have come a long way in the last few years. The majority are now properly integrated with private security providers through the cloud who can monitor practically everything that’s happening in your home. Now though, drones are being refitted for the purposes of home surveillance. Powered by Qualcomm, it’s hoped that these new drones will give homeowners the ability to safely monitor criminal activity on their property without putting themselves in direct physical danger.

Giving Us Cheap Sous Vide Immersion Circulators

Sous vide is a cooking method usually reserved for swanky Michelin star restaurants. But it could be coming to a smart home near you, thanks to a combination of smartphone apps and mini sous vide cookers which look a little bit like blenders from a company called Anova Nano. The company says that its new sous vide machine, which is about the size of a toaster, can sit on your kitchen side, poaching food to perfection, with the help of the companion app.

Improving Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches have been around for decades. But now the components company Belkin has decided that it wants to take the experience of dimming the lights up a notch. It’s invented a dimmer which it claims is the “second generation” of dimmer light switches for smart homes.

Doing The Vacuuming For Us

Will smart vacuums ever take over the world? Probably not. Until now they haven’t been able to successfully take over our homes. At this year’s CES, Black and Decker unveiled their first ever smart vacuum product. The company claims that its better than the offerings from other businesses in the market so far and that it’ll suck up dust from your floors for less cash.

Giving Us App-Controlled Lighting

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Despite its obvious benefits and simplicity, app-controlled lighting is still a rarity. Having said that, some companies, like GE are trying to offer customers smart lamps. GE’s smart lamp can be controlled by its own app and looks like something right out of the film Tron. This is futuristic stuff!

Creating The Perfect Home Office In 3 Easy Steps

A home office should ideally be a place within your humble abode that is away from the distractions of modern life. You don’t want to be busy beavering away looking through important documentation within earshot of the kids playing Xbox in the living room. At the same time, you don’t want your office to be totally devoid of human interaction otherwise you may as well be working on site. Working from home has given us the freedom to enjoy our comforts while, at the same time, allowing us to strive to be as productive as possible. Take a look at these tips to help you create the perfect home office.


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Space

Ensure that you have enough room to set up a desk, chair and any equipment that you might need. If all you need is a laptop and a desk lamp, the space you require will be considerably smaller than if you need to set up lots of photography equipment for your business. Make sure your designated space is light and airy, and conducive to working. A dark, dank space will not motivate you in any way and will see you retreating to the comfort of the couch. It would be ideal if you had a view and plenty of sunlight to inspire your productivity.

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Alone Time

It’s important that your home office remains solely for working purposes and doesn’t take on other uses such as a laundry room or a place to store the latest junk you’ve acquired. When the usage becomes blurred, you are less inclined to want to work in the space. Your mind will be preoccupied with cleaning up mess or organizing the room.

It’s vital that the space is private. A small area inside your living room is ok as a final resort, but if the rest of the family is chilling out watching a good movie, you’ll inevitably find yourself getting distracted. It might be a good idea to invest in a small extension to create the privacy you need. You could take a look at personalloan.co and investigate the different types of loan that are available to you to cover the costs of the renovation. Then, you’ll have the privacy you crave, and you may have added value to your home.

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Be Organized

There’s nothing worse than an untidy desk or an overflowing waste paper bin. There won’t be a magical cleaning fairy who’ll dispose of the rubbish in your bin overnight, so you must ensure that you keep on top of cleanliness. Use stationery holders and binders like the ones seen on lifehack.org to organize your equipment and documents. Every time you switch your laptop off or put your pen down to retreat back into your home, ensure you leave your office tidy ready for the next day.

Creating an office space within your home can create a great working environment. As you become more productive, you can take advantage of the emergence of agile working and utilize your home office space to its full potential.

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