Stories | Health & Lifestyle

Living in a Condo: Is It For You?

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If you are thinking about buying a home, there are many reasons why you may be considering a condo over a standard house or apartment. Condos have never been more popular, particularly with the Boomer population, who are growing older, starting to downsize and move to homes that are easier to look after. As a result, condos are in high demand.

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How to Enjoy Summer In Your Yard

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Life can’t always be fun, but it’s important that we put ourselves in positions to enjoy the food times when they’re presented to us. Take spring and summer, for example. While there are a few downsides that we have to contend with during the season, there’s also much to love — and does it get any better than spending a warm evening out in your yard, with your loved ones? Not in our book. Of course, if you’re going to enjoy these moments to the fullest, then you’ll need to have a backyard that makes it possible to do so. Below, take a look at a few tried and tested tips for making this happen. 

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How to Spot the Ideal Family Home

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Finding the perfect family home, that both has enough space for all of the family, and which makes family life as easy as it can possibly be, is no mean feat, but it can be done.

If you’re looking for your next family home and you want to ensure that you get it absolutely right, here are some tips to help you spot a good thing when you see it:

Check the Floorplan

If you want to find a home that works for you, it’s always a good idea to check out the floor plan. The way a house is laid out can make life really easy or really hard, so it’s of paramount importance that you take this seriously, For example, if the kitchen is three floors down from the bedroom and you have a baby who you need to make bottle for in the night, the thought of slogging up all those steps when you’re already dog tired probably isn’t a good one, or if you have kids who love having the space to run around, a house with a floorplan that isn’t open probably wouldn’t work out too well. Know what you need and bear that in mind when looking at the floorplan.

There’s Scope to Make Changes

Choosing a family home that has space to extend is always a plus because then you can make it what you want and change it to suit your family’s growing needs. Alternatively, you may want to look at the affordability of the house and land package homes in your area because that way you can have a great deal of input into what your house will be like right from the off., The more scope there is to put your family’s stamp on your new home, the better it will be for you all.

Outdoor Space

If you have a young family, outdoor space is vital. It will give the kids the chance to blow off some steam and allow you to spend some quiet relaxation time out in nature, Of course, outdoor space can be expensive, so if you cannot afford a home with a decent sized garden, look for properties that are close to the beach or parkland that you can all make use of instead. If there are lots of places to spend time outdoors, it’s a sure sign you’ve spotted a great family home.

Plenty of Bathrooms

One of the most annoying things about family life is the ques for the bathroom in the morning. Try to find a property where there are two or more bathrooms, or at least the ability to add more in the future, and family life will get a whole lot better.

Low Maintenance

Family life is busy, so if you spot a home that is in really good condition, and which is unlikely to need much maintenance, make an offer! Oh, and low maintenance doesn’t just mean it’s structurally sound, things like tiles or hardwood floors instead of carpet can make a huge difference too!

Good luck finding your perfect family home!

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Keep Rolling With These Tyre Care Tips

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When looking after your car, one of the most important parts you should consider monitoring is the tyres. Your tyres will be the only part of the car to touch the ground when you drive on the road and this makes them crucial for safety and performance on the road. 

Today we want to take a deep dive into the world of car maintenance and specifically look at the Tyres. Here are all of the things you need to consider when you are maintaining your tyres this year. 

1. Check the pressure 

The first check to do on your tyres regularly is pressure. The pressure inside your tyres is equal to how much air is inside them, and to maintain grip on the road you need to have a decent level of inflation on your tyres at all times. To check your tyre pressure, you should place the car on a flat surface and wait for it to cool completely. Once cold, take a tyre pressure gauge and check the tyre pressure according to your manufacturer’s guide. There may even be a small sticker inside your car near the driver’s seat. Inflate the tyres to the right level. 

2. Inspect for damage

When maintaining the tyres the main thing you will be thinking about is the air inside and whether this has been preserved. This is why now and again you should check the tyres for any small cuts or bulges that may run the risk of letting air out of the tyres while you are driving. If you find anything like this you should consider getting some new tyres. 

3. Check the tread depth

The tread of a tyre is a crucial aspect to maintain. When you drive on the road, the tread will grip the tarmac beneath you in the same way hiking boots will grip the ground below your feet. To avoid slipping you need that friction, and tread does this. It also helps to avoid a phenomenon called ‘aquaplaning’ where water runs between the tyres and the road causing you to slip. Make sure the tyre tread is at least 1.6mm

4. Think about the weight 

It stands to reason that the more weight you put inside the car, the more pressure will be on the tyres and therefore the more strain it will receive. To try and make your tyres last longer on the road it is a good idea to try and lower the weight you put in the car, whether this be taking out unnecessary items or transporting less people. 

5. Avoid the kerb when possible 

Sometimes parking on the kerb is the only option we have, and this is something that you do need to be aware of. When you think about parking on the kerb, you need to be careful of the damage it will do to the tyres. It can often cause more pressure and could even cause the tyre to blow. Be mindful and try to mount drop kerbs first wherever you can.

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Is There Really Such A Thing As A Dream Home?

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Ah, that fabled ‘dream home.’ So many of us want to live in one, but so very few of us do. 

Why? Well, perhaps its because we are a fickle bunch of people, always imagining the grass is greener is on the other side of the fence (or the neighbourhood). We’re never happy with what we have, and continue to long for more. 

Or perhaps its because we don’t have the finances to afford a dream home. We look adoringly at summer cottages and luxury apartments online, but decide to buy something second-best instead because we think we can’t afford anything else. 

And even if we do get the opportunity to move into a ‘dream home,’ we might still feel unhappy. The bills might be higher than we would like. The neighbours could be hellish. And as our families grow, we might resent the lack of space at our disposal. In short, we feel as if we are living in a proverbial nightmare rather than a dream.

So, is there really such a thing as a dream home? Or is it a fabled myth? 

Well, we think the answer is yes, but you need to take the following into consideration.

#1: Remember that perfection is hard to achieve

If you’re looking to move into the perfect home, then you are going to be looking for a long time. There will always be something to tarnish the dream image, be it a bathroom that is a little too small, a neighbour who is both noisy and nosey, or a garden that is regularly upended by moles and other wildlife. If you’re looking to move into the ‘dream home’ then, you might need to alter your expectations a little and remove the idea of perfection from your mind. As long as most of your dream home checklist has been achieved, you might find joy and pleasure in your home, despite the imperfections. In short then, be happy with what you have and not what you haven’t!

#2: Remember that any home can become a dream home

You don’t have to move into a dream home right away! If you find something that ticks all of your boxes, then fine. But if you don’t, remember that you can work on your ‘second-best home’ in the months and years to come. So, renovate your bathroom if it’s too small and fit it out with all of the fixtures that you might have longed for at the beginning. Do the same with any other rooms in your home too, perhaps by decorating them in the styles you love. And get on top of any nuisance problems, be they repair jobs, garden intrusions, nosey neighbours, or anything else, and research ways to manage them. By taking active steps to improve your property, you might soon be living in the home of your dreams. 

#3: Remember to curb your enthusiasm

Before buying what looks like a dream home, rein yourself in a little. Figure out your finances to ensure you can afford both the upfront and ongoing costs. Hire a professional to inspect the property you are looking at for any maintenance problems. And ask investigative questions to the seller before agreeing to buy, as you will then have the ability to make an educated decision. By taking such steps, there is less chance of your dream home becoming a nightmare property after you have moved in. 

Is there really such a thing as a dream home? Probably, but take the above into consideration. By doing so, you should have the opportunity to live in a house that ticks most (or perhaps all) of your boxes. 

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Aspects Of Moving Home To Plan Meticulously

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Four Reasons To Renovate The Bathroom

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Home renovations are a big deal, as they’re your shot at upgrading and redoing the areas of your home that you’re not so proud of having. It can seem like a costly and time-consuming task, and sometimes it can be, but there are so many more reasons to renovate than there is not to do it! You are going to live through a little bit of upheaval, but with the right planning, you can make your bathroom upgrade one that is worth it.

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Buying A Home: How To Know It’s Perfect For You

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3 Things People Forget To Do When Moving Home

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Ah, the joys of moving house.

With much to do and think about, from actually buying a house to sorting out your packing boxes for moving day, you can be forgiven if you forget a few minor details in the process. 

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5 Things To Do Before Starting A Family

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Starting a family is a massive decision, and it will be different for everyone. Some couples will want to start young so they can have lots of kids, some babies are an unexpected (yet wonderful) surprise, and some people decide to wait until much later on before they have kids. There really is no right or wrong answer, it’s all down to you and your circumstances. However, if you want to make things a little easier for yourself, there are a few things you’re able to do in your life before kids come along. It’s not essential, but if you want to plan and be prepared, here are some things you can do before starting a family. 

Consider your career

Working around raising a family isn’t the easiest, and it’s something that couples often struggle with. There was once a time when the man would go out to work and be the breadwinner while the woman would stay home and raise the children, but times are changing now. Many women now have excellent careers, or the drive to continue working around having children. High living costs means that families often need two working partners just to make ends meet, whether they want to or not. If you’re early on in your career, you could think of ways of taking a more flexible route. For example, if you’re a hairdresser or beautician you could go self employed and work from home or mobile once you have children as a way to fit things in around having them. If you have a trade or a skill, you could look to open your own business later down the line so that you’re in control. Lots of types of jobs these days give you the opportunity to work from home which can be useful as a parent as it gives you more flexibility. It’s probably not going to be possible with a newborn, but when your child starts going to nursery or preschool you could use this time to go home and work through your tasks, without the need to dress a certain way, travel to the workplace or anything else that can take added time and effort. 

Find the right place to live

If you’re set on having children, finding a place to live before they come along can save a lot of stress and hassle compared to moving when you’re pregnant or with a young child. If you currently live in a flat, a house that’s difficult to access due to lots of stairs or somewhere that’s just not the type of home or area you’d want for a family then consider moving early on. Get yourself a family home that’s close to schools you’d be happy to send your future child to. Check out if there are things like parks and amenities nearby. If you want a garden and a certain number of bedrooms then ensure those boxes are ticked. That way you can work on doing up the property, putting your stamp on it and getting settled before starting your family. Before you have children, there are lots of things you don’t really think about when you’re choosing your home, and so the place you live in now might not be suitable. When you’re looking for your next property, keep in mind your future family and choose the house as if you already have your child or children. That way you won’t need to go through the stress of moving later down the line. 

Work on your health

Having a baby requires a whole load of complex body and hormonal processes to take place. It’s no wonder it’s called ‘the miracle of conception’ as there are many pieces to the puzzle, and if just one of them is wrong then it simply can’t happen. Getting yourself into the best condition physically is one of the most important things you can do. Getting down to the right weight, eating healthily and exercising- along with keeping your stress and mental health in check will all help you to regulate hormones. This is true in both men and women, and starting a good few months before you conceive is a good idea. Consider taking pre conception vitamins, you can buy these for both men and women and they ensure you have everything you need alongside a healthy diet. If you have any chronic health conditions, speak to your doctor and find out if any changes will be needed before you try for a baby. You could even look into getting more ‘minor’ complaints sorted- eczema treatment for skin problems, dental work and eye tests done beforehand. It just means that it’s one less thing to think about once you fall pregnant, and you’ll feel good knowing that your health is all under control. Hopefully you don’t have any problems with conceiving, but if you do, you can at least rule out a lot of different things if you’ve already spent time working on your health beforehand. For example, if you’re already active with a bmi that’s within normal range, you won’t be fobbed off by the doctor saying that this could be the cause, as it will be clear that it’s not. A great way to take control of your fertility before having a baby is to start tracking your cycles and ovulation so you have an insight into what’s going on in your body. There are a number of ways to do this, from ovulation prediction kits to basal body tracking.

Get your finances in check

Having a baby is always going to be expensive. Along with all of the items they need, from a pram to a cot to nursery furniture, clothes, toys and so much more, you also have to factor in the loss (or at least partial loss) of one income at first, and then the continued loss or the cost of childcare later on if you return to work. Having some savings behind you is one of the best things you can do, open a joint account with your partner then set up a standing order so that a set amount is taken from your main account and transferred over every payday. It doesn’t need to be a huge amount, but if it takes you a year to conceive and then another nine months to grow a baby, even ten or twenty a week each could add up to a couple of thousand to spend as you need once they arrive. Aim to have all debts paid off and have your finances running smoothly before the baby is born. If you set all of your bills to come out of a separate bills account by direct debit, you can be sure they’re paid each month without having to phone up different companies or pay things separately. One less thing to do when you’re caring for a newborn! 

Consider your support system

Having a baby is one of the times in your life that your support system is absolutely invaluable. While it’s an exciting time it can also be full of nerves and anxiety, there are probably a million and one things on your mind. Having a support system there really helps with the ups and downs, chatting things through can help to give you a different perspective. Loved ones can raise you up when you’re down, or just be a shoulder to cry on when you need it. If you’ve drifted apart from family and friends, make the effort to rebuild relationships. The one with your own parents is liklely to be invaluable at this time, as well as siblings and close friends. Having a network of love and trust around you is one of the best things you can do before starting a family, and once your little one arrives they will get to reap the benefits of this too. Don’t feel as though you have to do it all alone, you don’t need to stay strong and keep your emotions in. Sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is let it out and chat it through with someone that cares, and once you get pregnant you might find you need to do this more often.

Are you planning on starting a family soon, or in a few years? What sorts of things are you going to do in preparation?

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Simple House Buying Tips

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When you are ready to buy your first home, there are a lot of big decisions to make. It can be a nerve-racking period, with a lot of unknowns going on. However, these tips might just make the process a little bit easier for you. 

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Why Preparing for the Worst Can Make You Happier

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Most people will hear that you prepare for the worst and consider you someone who’s forgotten to see the joy in life, but that is far from the truth. Anyone who does what they can to prepare for the worst understands it’s not about thinking the sky will fall at any moment, but it is about being able to overcome the problems when they arise. 

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Chest Pains That Feel Scary But Aren’t Life-Threatening

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We’ve all had a least one true moment where we thought we were having some kind of dangerous chest pain. Human beings are such frail creatures sometimes, and even doing something completely normal can trigger a sudden pain. Maybe you’re working out and actually, trying to get healthier. Suddenly you feel a rapid and sharp chest pain right up close to your heart. Are you dying? Should you call 911? Well, let’s not be too hasty because there are in actual fact, many different causes of chest pain that doesn’t mean you’re in cardiac arrest. At the time it certainly feels like it but don’t worry, here are some reasons that will make you more aware of what’s going on.

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5 Ways To Improve Your Home Security This Christmas

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Our homes are an extension of ourselves, making a break-in or theft from our property a personal blow. At this time of year as we gear up for Christmas, we start to fill our homes with the latest gadgets, toys and items, making them even more attractive to opportunistic thieves and criminals. To keep yourself, your belongings and your property safe, here are 5 ways in which you can improve your security over the Christmas period. 

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Anti Ageing Tips For Men

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At some point or other in our lives, we all start to think about the ageing process, and an argument of us consider what we would like to do to slow down the ageing process. The beauty industry has picked up a large following of people who are willing to spend a lot of money on makeup and skincare to prevent this skin ageing. But there are other ways in which we can avoid the appearance of our ageing process.

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Towing A Camper or Trailer? Are You Looking After Your Fifth Wheel?

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Hidden Dangers in Your Home

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We associate our homes with safety and security, but there are a surprising number of dangers lurking within your property. Although you can’t always see them, it’s important to be aware of the hazards which could be affecting your health.

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Natural Ways to Get Your Energy Back

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When you were younger, you may have felt as though you have so much energy in the day. Nowadays, that may not be the case, and you may even struggle to get through without having a nap.

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Safety Tips For Fleet Drivers

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A fleet company can be a wonderful thing. Not only can you work for yourself and make great money and a contractor, but the hours are flexible and you have the scope to work in any part of the world. When it comes to running a fleet company there are a lot of factors to consider including money, environmental impact and logistics. The most important thing to ensure though has to be safety.  This is why today we want to talk about some of the top safety tips to consider. 

Use Technology

Driving for long hours on often dark roads is always going to be difficult. It is incredibly important as a driver not to get distracted and risk an accident. This is why it is important to use technology such as a sat nav, dash cam, and reversing sensors to make the drive easier. As well as this In terms of fleet management, a telematics company can be used to track drivers with GPS and this will ensure you always know where they are. If they ever get into trouble you’ll be able to track them down and ensure that they are safe. 

Pay for a course

One of the great ideas you can use when ensuring the safety of all fleet drivers in your party is a course. Running a course for safety will give both you and your drivers valuable information that will allow you to provide the best safety for your business. Although this will cost a bit of money, it is more than worth it for the future. 

Use rewards

The idea of dangling a carrot on a stick in front of drivers might not seem useful, but when you are looking to ensure the safety of your drivers and the business, rewards can be worth investing in. By offering rewards for safer driving on the roads you will be able to incentivise your drivers to stay safe on the road and not to endanger themselves or others. 

Get great insurance incentivize

The most important thing to think about when you are managing a fleet business is the insurance. It is crucial for you to invest in a good insurance policy that covers drivers against all manner of things. If you deal with the haulage of products, it is important to insure vehicles for contents, and if they are every stolen you will be able to get the money back. 

Maintain the vehicles 
When you have a car at home that you use every day without issue, it is easy to forget those regular checks to keep the car healthy. However when running a business that relies on vehicles; you should be more vigilant. Mark a day on the calendar each month where fluids are topped up, tire tread is safe, and pressure is checked. Make sure that every month you carry out these simple jobs to keep your trucks healthy and allow them to last for much longer. Book a service twice a year if you are able as vehicles are used heavily. This will allow you to keep vehicles safe and the drivers safe.

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Tips that will Help you to Boost your Energy Naturally

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Boosting your energy naturally doesn’t need to be difficult. If you follow the below tips then you’ll see a difference in no time at all.

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