How To Make Your Home Look Gorgeous From The Outside

Curb appeal is usually something the average homeowner only worries about when they’re trying to sell their house. Curb appeal just means making your house look good from the outside. Curb appeal can be used for your house even if you’re not planning on selling it any time soon. You can use some of the classic curb appeal tips for your home to make it look welcoming and beautiful from the outside, to impress visitors, and to make you happy every time you get home and see it waiting for you.

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      1. Trim back your garden shrubs. This is one of the simplest ways to keep the front of your house look a lot tidier and to give it some serious appeal. Cut back any shrubs, bushes or hedges that are getting a bit overgrown and aim to keep them looking neat and tidy all the time. A front garden that has been kept tidy can make the house feel fresh and new again and will always look good.

      2. Add some cheerful plants in pots. Buy some attractive plant pots in a few different sizes. Fill these plant pots with a selection of flowers and green plants. Flowers are a simple way to add a pop of cheerful colour and some visual interest to the front of the house. Choose plants that smell nice too, so you can be welcomed home with a waft of pleasing scents that you can enjoy opening the front door to. Put your new pots of plants around the front door where they will look welcoming and cheerful. Hanging baskets could be a good choice too to add some interest to a plain house front.

      3. Clean the windows. If your windows are dirty, then your house is never going to look at it’s best. You can keep the windows clean to keep your house looking smarter and better cared for. If you hate washing windows yourself, hire a company to do it for you, but keep on top of it. Fingerprints, grubby smears, and other smudges won’t look good, whereas clean windows will look good from both the inside and the outside of your home, and will be better at letting the light in.

      4. Paint the front door a colour you love. Painting the front door a pretty colour will look very eye-catching from the road and can be a great way to add some fun to the look of your house. Choose whatever shade you like best, whereas that’s a more classic shade or something a bit funkier. Don’t be afraid to choose a bright colour, as these happy shades will stand out against the greenery and can’t fail to make you smile when you pull up outside the house.

      5. Clean the front path. Paths and patios can soon get grubby if they’re not cleaned on a regular basis. A good clean with Propel Pressure Cleaning can make a big difference. At the start of the spring, get your garden looking better by giving any pathways or patios a good clean so they look fresh. This will make your house look much more put together, and will brighten up the front of the house.

      6. Add some seating on the porch. If you have a porch with enough space, why not add some seating? A porch swing, a long bench, or a set of smart chairs with a little table all look welcoming whenever someone is coming to visit the house. Some seating at the front of the house also gives you a spot to sit and relax with a cup of coffee where you can watch the neighbourhood go by. For a smaller porch, even a single chair in a material like wicker can look cosy and welcoming, and gives you somewhere to sit to take off muddy shoes before going inside the house.

      7. Make your entryway as welcoming as you can. An entryway that has been thought about and well-decorated, whether a porch or the front steps, makes your house look much smarter. This will welcome visitors in the right way and make a good impression as soon as someone arrives at the house to see you. Repaint the front door regularly so the paint doesn’t start to look faded. Keep the entrance area clean and tidy, and free from clutter like abandoned umbrellas and muddy boots. Put out some bright plants in pots, and keep the front door’s hardware clean. A bright or patterned doormat is a good addition too to add a splash of personality to the front of the house.

      8. Light up the front of the house. Lighting at the front of the house not only looks good but can help to make your home feel safe and more secure too. Automatic lights are very handy for you for when you arrive back at home in the dark. The light will come on to light your way to the door without tripping or fumbling for your keys in the dark, and will also act as an effective deterrent against any would-be burglars coming towards the house. Solar lights along the pathway at a low height can light your way to the front door, or be used to highlight the best bits of your flowerbeds. An automatic light over the door is effective for security, and for lighting your way through the garden.

Curb appeal isn’t just for estate agents. Even if you never plan to sell your home, you can still use these tricks to make your home look gorgeous from the outside, so you can feel proud of it every time you arrive home. Why not make your home as nice as possible for you, and for anyone who comes to visit you, and not just for would-be buyers? With some simple additions, like lighting and plants, you can really change the feel of the front of the house and make the house welcoming, pretty, and ready to greet you when you get home at the end of the day.

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Your Health Has Taken a Hit – What Comes Next?

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Whether it’s an accident, injury or illness, any impact on a person’s health can be devastating. It’s not just the daily pain and inconveniences to deal with, it can affect just about every area of your life from your relationships to your job to your mental health. While it’s never a nice situation to be in, if you have found yourself suffering with poor health then there are some things you can do to make things run more smoothly moving forward. Here are a few ideas.

Improve the rest of your health

Maybe you’ve been diagnosed with an illness which has come about because you haven’t looked after yourself very well- it could be due to smoking, drinking or eating badly. Don’t punish or blame yourself now since that’s not helpful- but do use the wake up call to get the rest of your health up to scratch. You’re not alone, unfortunately many of us need a real scare with our health to actually do something about our ways because it involves breaking the habits of a lifetime. No matter what condition you’ve been diagnosed with, eating well, exercising according to your doctors instructions and giving up your dangerous vices like smoking will all benefit you. This illness or injury now could even be acting as a blessing in disguise, if it causes you to improve your lifestyle choices which could prevent worse health later down the line. You should also make sure that you consult your doctor with concerns that don’t tie in to your main condition. They’re still important and may need to be tackled. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication and treatment or recommend alternative treatments, which you can read more here.

Consider your career

It’s very possible that your health condition or injury could force you to have to give up work. If you previously worked a very manual job for example then it might no longer be possible. But even with pain and mobility problems, numerous doctors appointments to attend and more, it could be hard to even get to a simple desk job each day. One thing worth doing in this case would be to start your own venture; set up something you can do from home and on your own terms. Something like blogging or freelancing for example would work well, it would give you a good income stream without any major commitments and be very flexible around your condition and commitments. Otherwise you could ask your current workplace to be flexible around you, such as allowing you to work from home some days or take time off when needed and make it up elsewhere.

Get professional help

All of this can be a scary situation to be in, but you don’t have to do it alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help if you need it. First things first, you could check and see what financial assistance you’re entitled to, if you can’t work or have been made disabled then you could be given help from the state to cover your basic costs. This can instantly ease the pressure since you’ll know that you won’t be made homeless. If someone was to blame as a result of your condition then you could also look into compensation, from failed back syndrome to neglect at work, injury lawyers cover a large range of scenarios and can get you the money you’re owed. Finally, additional help such as home care, food delivery services, maid service and laundry services can all come in really handy when you’re no longer able to do these things yourself. Even if it’s just in the short term while you learn to cope it can ease the burden massively.

Lean on your support system

Finally, lean on your support system if you need to. Acknowledge that this is a difficult time in your life, having people there for you can make everything feel a lot easier. Don’t be too proud to ask for help or advice, or just a shoulder to cry on. It’s natural for your mental health to take a hit when something like this happens, being open with friends and family will ensure you don’t sink too low. They can keep an eye on you, encourage you and push you into getting help when you need it. They can offer a different perspective to help you to see things in a new way and hopefully cope with everything better.

Have you ever been in this situation? What happened and what advice would you give others going through the same thing?

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Hearing Health Hacks: Simple Ways To Protect Your Ears

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of dancing around to your favorite song or hearing your kids laughing their heads off. Many of us take our hearing for granted, and it’s not until we start to notice that we can’t hear as well that the importance of sound becomes clear. It’s not always possible to prevent hearing loss, but there are some simple ways to protect your ears. Looking after your hearing now will have a positive impact in the future.

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Protecting your ears at work
Some people have jobs that involve exposure to high levels of noise, and many more may encounter risks on their way to work. If you live in a big city, or you commute via train, metro or subway, it’s a great idea to invest in some earplugs to shield your ears during your daily travels. If your job carries a risk of hearing loss, your boss should provide you with the relevant personal protective equipment. If you’re worried that you don’t have sufficient protection, talk to your employer. Examples of jobs that require hearing protection include construction and manufacturing roles, music production and performance, DJing, working at clubs and live music venues, transport and logistics jobs and engineering positions. You might also benefit from wearing earplugs if you’re a dentist using a drill or a flight attendant.

Keeping the volume down
Many of us enjoy listening to music when we work, we clean the house, we exercise or we travel on a train, bus or plane. If you’ve got a playlist on, or you’re listening to a podcast or an audiobook, make sure the volume isn’t too high. If other people can hear music coming from your headphones, you could be doing serious, long-term damage to your ears. If you find that you have to turn the volume up to hear properly, this could be a sign of hearing loss, so it’s a good idea to book an assessment.

Seek advice if you have any problems
If you have any problems with your ears, or you’re worried that your hearing may be deteriorating, it’s crucial to seek advice as soon as possible. Ear pain can be a sign of infection or a build-up of wax, and it’s usually best to intervene early if you experience recurrent bouts of tinnitus or your hearing seems to be compromised. It may be possible to treat underlying causes of hearing loss or to find a solution for tinnitus or long-term hearing problems.

Keeping your ears a foreign object free zone
Many of us will have been tempted to stick something down our ears to remove wax or tend to an itch. Although this might seem like a good idea at the time, it can actually do more harm than good. If you’ve got excess wax inside the ear canal, inserting something like a cotton swab can push the wax further inside the ear, increasing the risk of the wax hardening and causing pain. Your ears are capable of cleaning themselves, but if you are concerned about a potential build-up of wax, it’s important to seek expert advice.

It might not be possible to maintain perfect hearing for the rest of your days, but there are ways you can reduce the risk of hearing loss.

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These Daily Practices Support Your Wellbeing More Than You Think

We all know that achieving wellbeing is a massive challenge. The world is full of things that seek to bring us down and get in the way of lasting happiness.

But it turns out that you can fight back using some pretty simple daily techniques. If you find your mental health is suffering, check out these ideas:

Prioritize Sleep

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According to the Sleep Health Foundation, sleep is one of the most important things that people can do to support wellness. The more shut-eye you get, the more able you feel to take on the challenges of the day and overcome them.

Being Mindful

Being mindful is a common practice these days, but nobody seems to know precisely what it means.

Fundamentally, mindfulness is an act of self-surveillance. Whenever you engage in it, you’re trying to observe yourself from the outside and become aware of the way you’re thinking.

Mindfulness, for instance, is helpful if you’re the type of person who has a habit of ruminating over your fears. If you find yourself playing over events in your mind again and again, the practice helps you intervene. You can step in and break the cycle, thereby improving your mental health.

Invest In Others

The root of suffering for many people is unfulfilled desire. There are all of these things that you want in your life – money, love, power – but you feel perpetually distanced from them. No matter how much cash you have in the bank or how far you progress in your career, it doesn’t feel like enough. There’s always another mountain to climb.

Investing in others, however, helps to reorientate your psyche. Instead of focusing on what you can get, you help other people achieve their goals. This change in focus is powerful because it undermines unfulfilled desires. You stop thinking about what life can give you, and instead focus on what you can give it.

Speak With A Counselor

As Carmel Psych Associates telehealth services make abundantly clear, speaking with a professional counselor is still possible, even during a pandemic. Today, there are more opportunities than ever to connect with experts through the internet. And doing so daily sessions can have a profound effect on your mental state. These people provide an anchor that you can use to pull yourself out of a mental health crisis and feel better about your situation.

Work On Something Creative

Life shouldn’t just be about solving problems. We should all have something creative that we do that makes it worthwhile getting out of bed in the morning. We need something that inspires us and pushes us forward.

If you’re an artist, then perhaps this is your calling. Creating music, painting, or coming up with a new dance are all things that can inject a little meaning and passion into your existence. Many of the most troubled people in the world turned to art in their time of need as a way to express how they felt.

Once you put daily practices in place, you can enhance your mental health tremendously.

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Laying The Foundations For Long-Term Health: Steps To Take Today

Most of us are aware that aging increases the risk of developing certain illnesses and health issues. While it’s not possible to avert every disease or symptom, there are steps you can take to maximize the chances of enjoying good health later in life. It’s never too early to start paving the way for better health and wellbeing in the future.

Living an active lifestyle

Exercise is one of the most effective means of slowing the aging process, reducing the risk of poor health and boosting mental well-being. If you work out on a regular basis, or you have an active lifestyle, you’ll reap the rewards for many years to come. Physical activity improves circulation, strengthens muscles and bones and protects mental health. As you get older, you might find that you have to adapt your routine slightly or embrace different activities, but there’s no reason why you can’t remain active. Many people who are in their 70s, 80s or even their 90s still like to get moving. Inactivity is a significant risk factor for obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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Protecting your vision and hearing

Many of us associate hearing loss and changes in vision to aging. Getting older does take its toll on our senses, but often, the decisions we make in our younger years play a part. If you are exposed to loud noises, for example, this could increase the risk of premature hearing loss. When you’re listening to music, or you’re commuting via the subway, bus or train, it’s crucial to use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones and to set the volume at a level that won’t damage your ears. Hearing aids is an effective solution for hearing loss, but it’s best to try and prevent issues. For optimum eye health, take regular breaks from phone and computer screens, install eye protection software and book an eye test if you do notice any changes in your vision.

Avoiding drinking and smoking

Drinking excessively and smoking have long-lasting implications for your health. Regular drinking is linked to liver cirrhosis and it can also put you at risk of some types of cancer and heart disease. Smoking is a major risk factor for many forms of cancer and respiratory diseases. If you’re worried that you’re drinking too much, keep a diary and calculate how many units you consume in an average week. Even if you have a glass of wine with dinner or you pop for a couple of drinks after work every Friday, you might find that you’re exceeding the recommended intake. You can reduce your consumption by changing your social activities, alternating soft drinks and alcoholic drinks or opting for low-alcohol or alcohol-free beverages. If you’re keen to quit smoking, there is help available. See your doctor and ask about local support groups and treatment options such as nicotine replacement therapies.

Aging increases the risk of developing many illnesses, but the decisions you make now will also have an impact. If you look after your body and mind now, you can reduce the risk of health issues further down the line.

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Small Steps to Make Your Home More Functional

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We all want our homes to be the best they can be. They’re our pride and joy. We invest a whole lot of time and effort into buying them and sprucing them up. We’ll flick through interior design ideas in magazines, scroll through Pinterest boards and browse influencer Instagram feeds. We create colour palettes, settle on different types of furniture and generally sculpt our properties to fit our aesthetic tastes and preferences. But it’s important to remember that there’s a whole lot more to an ideal home than aesthetics and looks alone. Sure, we want our properties to look great. But we want them to be functional and comfortable places to live too. After all, we have to store all of our belongings in here, rest in here, cook in here, clean in here and generally revolve our lives from this spot. Now, there are many steps you can take to make your home feel more functional. Here are a few to get the ball rolling!

Storage

First, let’s focus on storage. This is something that people don’t consider until way down the line, but it’s absolutely essential for any home that people actually live in. Want to know how the most minimal properties manage to have a clean, empty look but the people who live there still seem to cope and actually own belongings? Storage. Want to know how parents with young kids have presentable homes despite the kids clearly having buckets of Lego, arts and crafts materials and endless toys? Storage. Effective storage solutions can really make a property and can keep things neat, tidy and organised rather than cluttered, stifling and overwhelming. So, browse some of the storage solutions available to you. There’s all sorts out there. From wardrobes to underbed storage, baskets, shelves, rails, chests, trunks, toy boxes and more.

Repairs

So many of us brush repair work under the carpet. Unless a necessary repair poses a specific threat to us or our homes, we tend to ignore it. But this is problematic. Very few issues simply go away or rectify themselves – and failing to attend to them early on can just see problems develop further and you have to fork out more down the line. So, no matter what your repairs – whether it’s a leaky tap, a leaky roof, Hot Tub & Spa Repair, a cracked window, AC repair or anything else, call the professionals in sooner rather than later.

Try Double Duty Furnishings

Double duty furnishings are versatile. Consider coffee tables that also have shelves where you can store books and other items. Consider side tables that can also serve as stalls. These kinds of furnishings save space and are extremely practical!

The steps are relatively simply to implement. You just need to consciously implement them! Try them out and you could be surprised by the beneficial results you experience!

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Why You May Have More Money Than You Realize

Of all things that can cause stress, none are quite like our money situation. The problem with finance-related problems (or even just worries) is that it seems like they rarely, if ever, go away; it’s an all-consuming issue. However, while there aren’t any magic bullets when it comes to solving these issues, there is something that could help: you may have more money than you think you do. A lot of this will be wrapped up in untapped sources. We’ll take a look at how to reveal that cash below.

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In the Drawers

Most of us are guilty of buying more stuff than we really need. We buy and buy and buy, to the point where our homes are overflowing with things that we don’t necessarily need (or even want). Take a look in your drawers, and you might just find that you have many goods that you could sell for a significant amount. Go through, figure out the items that you don’t need, and then look at listing them online for sale. Within a week or so, you might have earned the equivalent of a month’s pay.

What You’re Owed

We tend to think that the only source of cash is through our jobs, but that’s not really the case. There’s a lot of money in the world, and some of it may be owed to you. For example, if you were injured and it wasn’t your fault, then you may be entitled to financial compensation. However, it’s not as if that money will automatically come your way: you have to fight for it. The best personal injury lawyer can help you to get the money that’s rightfully yours. You will also want to see if there are any tax credits or other state money that you’re entitled to.

Daily Expenses

If you’re one of those people that reaches the end of the month and always thinks, ‘where does all my money go?’ then it’s worthwhile digging a little deeper, and seeing where exactly your money goes. For example, many of us spend more money than we realize on things like coffee and takeout food. Individually, these things don’t cost too much — but collectively, they can add up to a pretty penny. Just by cutting down on these expenses, you’ll find that you have a lot more money in your bank account.

Putting Your Assets to Work

It could be that you’re actually fairly wealthy — it’s just all your financial worth is tied up in your home or car. If you want more cash in your life, then put these assets to work. You could rent out a room in your house, for example, or offer rides in your car (such as to work).

Earning Potential

Finally, take a look at your earning potential. If you’re currently underpaid, then you’re more valuable than you’re currently being paid. If that’s the case, talk to your boss about getting a raise — if you’re worth it, they’ll give it. You can only ask!

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Never DIY These Plumbing Jobs

No matter how skilled you are at DIY, there are always some household jobs that are best left to the professionals. Attempting a repair job that is outside of your skills set could result in you creating an even larger problem, doing more damage, meaning you have to make a potentially expensive (and embarrassing) phone call to a professional to put right your damage. Some plumbing tasks are among these jobs much best to the professionals.

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Water Line Repair
If your water bill is much higher than usual and you can’t think of a reason why then you should check your water line for a leak. A water line pipe runs underground to provide the water to your home. Because of their position underground, a leak in these pipes is hard to spot, meaning it go on leaking undisturbed for some time. Replacing these pipes needs an expert professional, and are not the kind of plumbing services to tackle yourself. A professional will be able to replace or repair the waterline without causing as much of a disturbance to you and your home.

Gas Leaks
A gas leak can be very dangerous. As soon as you think there may be a gas leak, you must turn off the gas immediately. Call a gas safe, registered plumber and get out of the house. Do not attempt to take on any repair involving gas yourself, as this could be very dangerous. Only a professional with training in safely handling gas appliances should be called. Most plumbers will offer an emergency call-out service for dangers like gas leaks.

Sewer Rodding
Back-ups in your sewage system can cause some very unpleasant and dirty living conditions. Back-ups like this are often caused by a blockage somewhere in the pipes or in the mainline sewer. To clear a blockage, the whole system, including pipes, drains, and sewer lines will need a good clean. This kind of cleaning can only be done via rodding, which must be done by a professional.

Sewer Clogs
The sewer can become clogged if debris builds up in the pipes. You might first notice a clog if you’re getting an overflow of water from your taps, bath, and toilet. The overflow of water can cause all kinds of nasty water damage. To get the clogs cleared, call in an experienced plumber to find and remove the obstruction. They can also help you to repair any damage done by the water overflow.

Drain Cleaning
Call a plumber to clean your drains on a semi-regular basis. This helps you to reduce the risk of clogged drains and the problems they cause. Keeping your drains in good repair is smart to save you from bigger plumbing problems later on.

A good plumber is a very handy person to know. Any responsible home-owner should have the number of a professional, experienced plumber saved, in case of a plumbing emergency. Don’t attempt big repairs yourself, or you risk just making the problem worse, and more difficult to put right.

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