How to Prepare Your Home for Christmas House Guests

While Christmas is a magical time, and for many their favourite day of the year, it can also be quite stressful, especially if you are hosting! If you are not only going to be cooking the Christmas dinner this year, but also playing host to guests, now is the time to start planning so that you can be well prepared for everyone arriving. Here, we are going to be taking you through our top tips for how you can prepare your home for Christmas if you are going to be having house guests.

Decorate the Spare Room

If you know in advance that you are going to be having family or friends coming over to stay this Christmas, the first thing that you will need to do is make sure that the spare room, if you have one, is fit for purpose. Clear away any clutter that you may have lying around, particularly if your spare room also acts as storage, an office or so on so forth. This is also the perfect time to make sure that the guest bedroom is ready for the winter season and you can find some great tips in the following article by Fishpools: https://www.fishpools.co.uk/blog/2018/09/transform-bedroom-winter/.

Their tips include updating your lighting to create an ambient feel, adding some cosy throws to the end of the bed, or updating the bed sheets to fit in with a more wintery and cosy theme. This will ensure that your guests have the best possible time while staying at yours over the Christmas period.

Create Some Storage

While your guests probably won’t be unpacking a lot of clothes in their winter wonderland room, but it is still nice for them to have a little bit of storage space and we are sure that this is something that they will appreciate. Investing in a folding suitcase rack is a great idea as it will allow your guests to have their case open to get out what they need without having it cluttering up the floor. What’s more, we would also suggest that you try and clear some hanging space for your guests. People will feel much more at home if there is some space for them to hang up a few key pieces, especially if they have brought a lovely Christmas outfit or glam new year attire.

You can find some useful tips on storage ideas for your guest room here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/04/14/clever-storage-ideas-for-your-spare-room/.

Purchase A Clock

This is one that most people tend to forget about when they have guests staying over, but a good idea is to make sure that you have some sort of traditional clock in the room. As we are all glued to our technology, it’s easy to forget something like this but it is still a nice added touch. Your guests will feel much more comfortable with this in the room as they will know when they are sleeping in too late or if they are making a lot of noise early in the morning!

Provide the Essentials

A great way to make your guests feel right at home is to gift them with the essentials. We all have toiletries at the bottom of our cases from our last holiday that are from the hotel. You will most likely never actually use these, and so why not pop them into a little basket at the end of your guests’ bed for them to use during their stay.

Leave Out Towels

Alongside the toiletries, it is also a good idea to leave out some nice towels for your guests. People can feel uncomfortable having to try and find towels or having to ask, so why not simply leave out some towels on top of their bed and this is one less thing for everyone to worry about.

Look Out the Sofa Bed

Not everyone has a sofa bed, but they are quite handy for occasions such as this. If you do have one, you will want to give it a check over before your guests arrive to make sure that it is still in good working order and that the springs have not broken. During this time, we would also recommend that you make sure it is fitted with a clean sheet and that there will be enough space here for your guests. If you don’t have a sofa bed, another option that many people like is to get an air bed which you can inflate for your guests.

Switch Up Your Lighting

If you tend to rely on having just a main ceiling light, then we would suggest that you look into getting some smaller lamps for your home. No one wants to have to switch on a big main light to read a book in bed, plus having some lamps will make a huge difference to guests who need to make a bathroom trip late at night and maybe are not as familiar with the home layout.

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Emergency Recovery For Personal Finances

Sometimes, it seems like both budgeting and making money is a breeze – while, other times, it is anything but simple. The problem with planning out your personal finances and budgeting for the future is that we simply don’t know what the future holds.

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That’s why you need to have an emergency plan ready for when it’s not going the way you anticipated so that you’re able to safeguard yourself a bit better.

Start by having a look at the simple steps below; it won’t necessarily save you from bankruptcy, but at least it will keep you from having to approach your family members for a short-term loan. It’s the kind of stuff that builds confidence and makes it easier to stay afloat, in general.

Here is a quick guide to recovering your personal finances when times are tough.

#1 Cut down on all costs

When you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of not nearly having as much money as you used to have, it’s necessary to have a look at your budget again. Try to cut down on everything that’s not vital.

Your electricity bill can certainly be lower, you might want to find a cheaper mode of transportation, and you should definitely have a look at this article to cook up some affordable and delicious meals at home.

You might want to consider selling some of your unused stuff, by the way, as it will free up a few extra assets for you. Plus, it’s going to make your home way neater which is a great benefit on its own.

#2 Could you get compensation?

If you are in this situation because of some unexpected medical expenses, you should have a chat with a lawyer about compensation. While your medical insurance may have covered most of it, you still won’t be able to work as much as you used to – and the impact an accident or an injury has on your personal finances is simply not fair.

Consider the reason for your medical bills and have a look here for attorneys experienced at handling truck accident claims. Keep in mind that you will be able to get compensation for most accidents, though, as long as you’ve done your homework and gathered as many details as possible of the accident.

#3 Continue to save

Sure, it’s going to be hard to find money to set aside for an emergency fund when you’re currently selling your stuff in order to stay afloat – but, as soon as you’re able to, it’s important that you continue to save.

In case you should find yourself in difficulties in the future, you will have this emergency fund to fall back on and it will help a lot in terms of the emotional stress we suffer when money is tight.

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The Best Fat Burning Cardio Exercises

Excess fat in one’s body has proved to be dangerous on several occasions. It can lead to conditions like high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks. Lifestyle conditions like diabetes and cancer can also be triggered by excess fat in one’s body. Working out turns to be one of the best ways you can get rid of excess fat in your body. Apart from shedding pounds, you also gain an increase in muscle mass.

Combining your workouts with supplements like musclesfax will help you achieve more gains. Cardio exercises are also useful in helping one shed off those extra pounds. These are exercises meant to increase one’s heart rate and even metabolism. There are various cardio workouts that help burn excess body fat you can try out. They include:

Rope Jumping

It is one of the best, and easiest cardio exercises you can try out. This exercise involves jumping over a rope slowly as you increase your speed. Common among athletes, it helps improve one’s foot speed and also movements. You get to burn more fat within a short period with this type of exercise. You should try it because of how cheap and effective it is.

Stair Climbing

It is another effective way to burn more calories within a short period. It also helps make your leg muscles stronger because they are the most used in such exercises. You need to find some stairs or steep area where you can carry out this type of training. Remember to monitor your progress.

Cycling

You also get to burn more calories through cycling. One can try out this exercise using the cycling machine which is stationary, or you can use a real bicycle. You get to use more energy which is vital when it comes to burning body fat. It is also good for your knees and the joints found in your ankle area.

Elliptical

It is a form of stationary workout which can help you lose a lot of fat within a short period. This type of exercise involves the use of an elliptical machine which works by simulating running. It is best known for cardio workouts that are of low impact. Common in many gyms, you can try them out to get quality results within a short period.

Running

This is a simple cardio exercise you can try out anytime and in different environments. You don’t need to go to the gym because you can do it in an open space near you. Morning jogs help one burn more calories. In the gym, you can try out different equipment that can help you monitor your progress. The treadmill is the best for this type of exercise.

Swimming

One can also shed off some extra pounds as they entertain themselves. Swimming is one type of exercise that can keep you occupied as you also gain some health benefits. Fast swimming will help you burn a lot of calories fast. One can also do it at several intervals and wait for some quality results.

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From One Great Career To Another

Your career is something that’s going to stay with you for life, so you’re going to have to make the most of it. Even though that’s the last thing that any of you are going to want to do! Your career can take you many places however, you just need to know where to look and what potential you might have. Don’t be that person that stays at the bottom of the career ladder because they can’t be bothered with the effort of finding a new career. Be that person who uses their knowledge of their original career to jump from one to the next. Because each career can lead to something equally as great, you just need to make sure you’re discovering the potential of each one. So, if you’re wondering how one career can lead to another, and how to make sure yours does, here’s our top tips on moving from one great career to another!

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Specialising

There are so many careers out there that would allow you to specialise in another area, therefore moving from one area of the career to another. Take nursing as a prime example. When you first qualify, you will just be a normal staff nurse which is great. But over time, you’ll pick up skills and find out where your interests lie, which could lead you to go onto specialising. For example, you could take a online dnp fnp program which would allow you to become a family nurse practitioner, meaning you’re dealing primarily with families and are more community based. For those who don’t like the drama and the face based environment of the hospital, this could be a fabulous idea! So, think about your career at the minute, and think about what you can specialise in. Whether you have to go back to education or not, you should consider moving around to keep your interest in the career alive!

Transferable Skills

The career that you want to move to might be completely unrelated to the career that you’re in at the minute, but that’s fine. You could have transferable skills that would allow you to move from one career line to another, therefore allowing you to progress to something that’s going to make you happier! Because the career you’re in at the minute might just be getting you by, when you need something that’s going to spark an interest for life!

Something You’re Interested In

You need to find something that you’re actually going to be interested in. Something that you’re actually going to wake up in the morning and think that you can’t wait to get out of bed to experience the working day! To find something that you’re truly interested in, try doing some volunteering work out side of your normal job. It will help you to gain valuable knowledge and experience within the field that interests you, and will allow you to see if it is actually something you would be interested in doing full time. There would be nothing worse than to move to a career you think you would like, only to find out you hate it!

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How To Be More Productive When Working From Home

When you finally take the plunge and decide to start working from home, it can be difficult to adjust. Working from home has many benefits but finding the motivation to be productive can be hard and many people struggle to adapt to their new routine. This is why we have put together some tips on how you can be more productive when you are working from home. Keep reading this article if you’d like to find out more.

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Get Dressed

You might want to take advantage of the fact that you don’t need to wear smart business attire when you are working from home, but this is often a mistake that people make. Of course, you don’t need to get dressed up to work from your spare room, but you should make sure to get out of your pyjamas. This will help you to be more productive and you will get more work done.

Create A Home Office

If your current working from home set up involves you working from your bed or your dining room table, you should think about designing your own home office. This will help to recreate the office atmosphere in your home, but you can design it to match your own personality. Think about converting your spare room or even investing in an outdoor steel building. If you don’t have the space inside, a steel building can be the perfect office solution and will make you feel like you aren’t just working from home. If this is something you want to look into, you can view the options available at armstrongsteel.com who are one of America’s leading providers of steel buildings.

Set Hours

Do you often find that you do some work and then get distracted by the TV or your kids? It might be time to set yourself some working hours for when you are working from home. This might be difficult, especially if you are working from home because you need a flexible schedule, but you should be able to make something work. The stricter that you are on yourself, the more productive you’ll be.

Take Breaks

When you work in an office, you get a lunch break and maybe even 10 minutes or so to chat with others. These breaks give you time to clear your head so that you are ready to return to work when your break is over. You might find that if you are working from home you are not giving yourself the necessary breaks and so your work is not the best it can be. Make sure to give yourself some breaks and you will be a lot more productive when you return to work.

Take Breaks

When you work in an office, you get a lunch break and maybe even 10 minutes or so to chat with others. These breaks give you time to clear your head so that you are ready to return to work when your break is over. You might find that if you are working from home you are not giving yourself the necessary breaks and so your work is not the best it can be. Make sure to give yourself some breaks and you will be a lot more productive when you return to work.

Get Rid Of Distractions

Our final tip for those who want to be more productive when working from home is to make sure that you get rid of any distractions. If you need to use your phone for work then you cannot avoid this but make sure to remove things like TVs, books and anything else that might distract you. This is your time to work and the more distracted you get, the longer it will take you to get it done.

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Dealing With a Job You Hate

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If you’re in the position of having to deal with a job you hate then it’s likely that many friends have given you the advice to leave the job, and find something better, yet – you remain in the job you hate, and might even question yourself as to why this is the case.

The reality is that people value security and stability in their lives; it’s a nice feeling to know you can afford to live, whereas the idea of letting go of something that provides an element of financial security can feel very uncertain. Then, there’s the fear of change.

Indeed, many people choose to stay in jobs, or even relationships, that don’t serve them because they are afraid of change – meaning they fear that they will lose the benefits of what they currently have in their life (however minimal) in fear that they might exchange it for something worse.

For instance, in a relationship context, people fear that if they leave a bad relationship they will end up alone and nobody will ever love them again… this tends to be the reason so many people stay in unhappy relationships, and why many people have affairs, or don’t leave a relationship until they have something else lined up – like Tarzan swinging from one tree to the next, it can be a scary prospect to be flying through the air without a branch to cling to.

This is particularly true with jobs, even jobs you hate, as the sense of certainty and stability that comes from it is addictive.

The truth is, people often feel trapped and like their options are limited – but this is like a horse with blinkers; it cannot see the whole landscape because it is focused on only one aspect of a much larger picture.

In reality you could do anything, for instance, you could spend your time learning to compare trading styles when it comes to spread betting and the stock market; meaning you might not even have to work in any job, presuming you invest wisely and follow a solid strategy.

The point is, you don’t have to live a miserable life where you feel trapped and limited; you could find a way to create passive income that allows you to go on travel adventures with your family rather than beholden to an unappreciative boss.

As humans we are limitless in our potential to achieve anything – we don’t always feel this way, as we are subject to fundamental limitations; for instance we cannot sprout wings and fly – but we don’t have to… instead, we find a way to fly, by use of coming up with the idea of an aeroplane, an air balloon, and even a spaceship!

In summary, if you’re having to deal with a job you hate then the most fundamental principle is to reconnect with the possibility of life; and remember you’re not limited in your options – the world is your oyster, but only if you allow yourself to perceive it in such a way.

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How to Make Your Garden Appear More Spacious Than It Really Is

Not too long ago, we discussed how to refresh your outdoor seating space just in time for summer. Well, summer is almost over, but that doesn’t mean you should stop maintaining your garden. Your garden can still set a tone when you design it correctly. Besides, you can have a beautiful space to look at in the winter.

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One of the things you can do to improve your garden is making it look more spacious. With a few simple tweaks, you can create the appearance of a larger space, even when you have a relatively small garden. We have just the tips and tricks on how to make your garden appear more spacious in this article.

Make Space

The end of summer is the perfect time to do some garden modifications. You’ll be surprised by how even the smallest tweak can alter the way your garden looks entirely. Before you start adding things to the space, however, decluttering is needed.

The last thing you want is a cluttered garden. Even a big garden can appear small when there are a lot of things in it. It is even worse when the plants and other items in the garden are not arranged properly.

To start with the decluttering process, move everything that can be moved to one corner or outside of the garden. This includes the furniture you add to the space as well as plants and garden accessories. Decluttering lets you get a good look of your space and allows you to start from the beginning.

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Create Areas

One of the ways you can make the garden appear bigger is by adding different areas to the space. This doesn’t have to be a particularly complex process either. Space – or the illusion of space – can be added by elevating a portion of the garden or introducing lines to the landscape.

A pathway is a functional way to divide your garden. You can use the pathway to reach different parts of the space. The lines and curves you add to the landscape also helps make the entire garden appear bigger.

Another way you can add areas is by using fencing. Garden fence panels are not only affordable, but also very functional. There are fencing panels in different designs and colours that you can choose from too.

When you do use fence panels to add a firm border to the space, make sure you think about the rest of the garden. Choosing a design and texture that complements the space amplifies the effect further. Be sure to browse this range of fence panels for some great options.

Play with Heights

You can also add dimension and depth to your garden by playing with height. There are two ways you can do this. You can use platforms for potted plants and introduce heights to the space this way. You don’t need bigger plants to achieve the desired effect.

Doing it the natural way is an option too. Plants naturally come in different sizes and adding height and dimension to your garden is only a matter of choosing the right plants to use. If you are not sure about which plants to use, consult the local gardener about how big your plants can grow.

Use Lights to Your Advantage

Lighting is a mix between art and science. On the one hand, you want the space to be lit in a way that makes it moody and comfortable. On the other hand, you also have the option to use lighting to make the garden more spacious than it really is.

Lighting is an instrument you can use to your advantage. During the day, using shades and natural light to accentuate certain parts of the garden can really make the entire space feel more comfortable and warmer.

For the evening, use LED lights of different shapes to achieve the same goal. Aside from the usual LED bulbs, there are also LED strips and lights in other different forms that are meant to be used in the garden.

That last part is important. When lighting the garden, make sure you use lights, cables, and fixtures that are designed to withstand the elements. The garden isn’t that harsh at night but remember that those items still need to stay out during the day.

Fake It ‘Till You Make It

Everyone wants a big garden that looks beautiful and spacious, but not all properties have the space for one. Another trick you can utilise to make your own garden look bigger is by faking the available space. Yes, you can fake it.

Many landscapers and designers use mirrors to add more space to a relatively small garden. A well-placed mirror can change a lot of things about your garden. Another thing you can do is to add faux doors or windows to your fence panels.

You can also create the illusion of space with water features. Water reflects things around it, which means a well-placed water feature or pond can be just as effective as mirrors. On top of that, you also make the garden look fresh and welcoming by adding water to the space.

Make It Functional

Last but certainly not least, add areas that are meant to be functional to the garden. Your own potting station, a comfortable sitting area, or even a nice outdoor lounge is easy to set up. These areas don’t need to be excessively big. In fact, it shouldn’t be too big.

When thinking about adding a seating area or a functional space to the garden, make sure you also consider scale and proportion. You want the area to match the rest of the garden nicely. You can then add elements like plants to act as a frame for the space to further enhance the effect.

Proportion is also important when it comes to the garden furniture you add to the garden. As mentioned before, the last thing you want is a garden that looks cluttered and too full of things. Using scale, you can avoid this entirely and have a garden that looks much, much bigger than its actual size.

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8 Ways To Make More Money Without Working More Hours

Whether you’re trying to save for something special or dealing with a difficult financial situation, there is always a good reason to make more money and boost your income. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the time, energy, or motivation to work any more hours than you already do. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can make some extra cash without the extra effort. Here are eight popular methods to flip your work to earnings ratio on its head and make some more money.

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1. Open A Better Bank Account
One of the easiest ways to boost your income is switching bank accounts. If you’re anything like most people, then your current savings account interest rate is far from the best, but that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for it. By taking ten minutes out of your day and moving to a bank account with a decent interest rate, you can easily earn several hundred dollars more each year. Of course, this won’t appear overnight, but it will make things a little easier in the long run.

2. Opt For Less Desirable Shifts
You may not want to work any more hours than you already do, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stick with the shifts you’ve got. Most companies offer financial incentives and rewards to employees working shifts they deem undesirable. These include overnights, weekends, and public holidays. If you were to switch over to one of these less desirable work patterns, you could earn significantly more than you already do, even though you still have the exact same job.

3. Drive Around In A Billboard
The long commutes to work each morning may seem like a huge waste of time, but there is a way you can make these tiresome journeys completely worth it. Depending on your car and how long you drive for each day, you could use your vehicle as advertising space for companies and businesses. This can seem a little tacky, and sometimes even embarrassing, but considering just how much you can earn, without any effort whatsoever, it’s worth thinking about.

4. Sell Your Body To Science
When most people imagine selling their bodies to science, they think about the various organs you can buy on the black market. Thankfully, the reality is a whole lot different. While some procedures, like sperm and feces donation, can earn you some pocket money, egg donors and those partaking in sleep studies can easily make thousands. Of course, there are requirements and restrictions, but, if you were to be accepted, the rewards are much greater than the work.

5. Set Up An Online Store
Crafty hobbies, like painting and knitting, offer plenty of fun and stress relief, but what most people don’t realize is how easy it is to make money from them too. There are plenty of places that you could sell your creations, from online stores, like Etsy, to local craft fairs and car boot sales. Selling your products online is probably the easiest way to go, as you’d only need to post them to your customers, rather than manning a stall every weekend.

6. Rent Out Your Spare Space
When you have a spare room in your house, it can be tempting to turn it into a games room, guest bedroom, or even just storage. Unfortunately, none of these ideas are going to make you any money. Instead, you should consider renting out your space on a short-term rental platform, like Airbnb. The room will need to be cleaned and kept in good condition, but, other than this, there’s no real work you need to do.

7. Invest In Local Real Estate
Of course, you might not like the idea of having strangers staying in your home, in which case, you could invest in real estate and have them sleep in another one. Unfortunately, this investment opportunity is far from cheap, but, if you have the money spare, you could gain a steady income with very little effort whatsoever. All you’d need to do is hire a property management company to do all the work.

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8. Use Cashback And Reward Cards
Every time you visit a store or restaurant, make sure that you check to see whether or not they offer some sort of reward card or loyalty programme. These days, most of them do. All you’d need to do is present your card every time you shop, and you’ll receive points, which you should be able to exchange for a discount, freebie, or another reward. You may even get the odd surprise throughout the year. This will save you some cash and inevitably boost your income.

If you want to make more money without working any more hours, then consider the methods listed above.

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