Family, General, Home Improvement, Self-Care

How To Adapt To A New Home

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.) 

Living in a new home isn’t going to be for everyone. Whether you love the idea of buying a character home, or you’d prefer to renovate something old to the standard you’d like, perhaps buying a newly built home isn’t in the cards for you? But, for a lot of people, a new home will be the perfect way to buy a property. Not only is it brand new, so everything in it should be in perfect condition, it can often be a more affordable option for a lot of people. However, when you’re not all that used to living in a new home, or you feel as if the place seems impersonal, you may need to figure out a way of adapting to your new digs.

(Related post: Where in the World Should You Live?)

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First Things First

To get yourself started, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re buying somewhere safe. Of course, you’re likely to get a survey done, but you may want to do with something a bit more specialist.

With something such as the Solex Group professional home inspection, you should find that it’s an efficient way of ensuring your new place is safe. When a house has just been built, it’s going to be essential for you to check that it’s what it says it should be and that you’re not at risk in any way by living there.

Add Some Color

Now, you’re next going to want to think about adding some color. Because if there’s one thing about new homes, it’s that they tend to be quite neutral. Of course, sometimes, you actually get to pick of the colors yourself.

But if you don’t you’re going to want to add in some color so that the home comes to life a little more. Doing so is also a great way of making the home more you’re own.

Inject Some Personality

Next, you need to think about working with some personality. Because, again, a lot of cookie cutter homes are very standard – and yours may be identical to your neighbors. But by working in a few personal choices, from the flooring to your home furnishings, you’re going to be able to feel more comfortable there.

 

Create Some Character

And from here, you’re then also going to need

a bit of character

. It’s not always easy to work in character to new places, but you can do it with some personalization. From trimming the windows to working in a fireplace, you’re going to find that these tips can completely transform the space and make it feel a bit more unique.

 

Adapt The Outside

Finally, you’re going to want to turn your attention to the outside. Because you may be able to create something custom inside, but your home may look identical to all others as soon as you walk outside. So why not spruce up the garden or even completely redo it? You may also want to change the front door or entryway, or even repaint the house exterior to ensure that it is one of a kind now.

General, Self-Care

Five Tips to Learn How to Switch Off

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Most of us living a busy life find it hard to get a good night’s sleep or turn off the distracting thoughts that prevent us from enjoying leisure activities. If you have been suffering from stress and restlessness for a while, it might be time to learn how to relax and switch off. You will not only get a better night’s sleep but also learn to appreciate your life better. Below you will find five ways to learn how to relax.

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Try Hypnosis

 

In case you have been suffering from sleep deprivation for a long time, you might need to get professional help. A

hypnosis treatment

can deal with the issues that your mind keeps on focusing on during the day, without you noticing the thoughts. It can also help you get rid of negative emotions that impact your life. Search for therapists or online tracks to get started with hypnosis for better sleep and relaxation.

Go for a Jog at Night

 

If your body is not tired, you will find it hard to fall asleep. You should tire yourself out at night by going to the gym or jogging around the block. Any exercise that exhausts your muscles will do. Night exercise has several mental and physical health benefits and can help you deal with issues that keep you up at night.

Learn Yoga

If you don’t feel like going out, you can take an online yoga course and learn some basic relaxation breathing techniques that you can use whenever you need them. If you prefer to attend a class, you will surely find an after-work club in your neighborhood. Yoga helps you take a step back from your life and focus on movement and breathing, and this way you can learn how to relax more and stop worrying about things you cannot change.

I personally enjoy looking up yoga videos on youtube and doing them at home when I have the time.

Practice Mindfulness

 

If you would like to enjoy a relaxing time at home, you might need to speak to a professional who can teach you some mindfulness meditation techniques you can use to clear your head. If your thoughts keep on buzzing long after you have gone to bed, you need to learn how to let them go and change your mindset. Instead of allowing negative thoughts, such as self-doubt and anger take control, you can learn how to change the perspective and let go of anything that is holding you back.

(Related post: 3 Simple Ways For Moms To Relax At Home)

Find Out What Relaxes You

You are an expert when it comes to choosing activities and techniques that help you chill and let go. Does a night out make you more relaxed? Do you need help chilling? So how does CBD make you feel? Make sure you check the laws in your state before trying it though!

When trying to let go of pain and hurt, we often need to find ways of relaxation that are suitable for our personality and temperament. Pay attention to your behavior to learn to relax and switch off.

Sleep deprivation and stress can lead to serious mental health problems. Find a way to learn to relax and let go of negativity in your life.

Cleaning, General, Self-Care

Space-Saving Solutions!

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

While we all may dream of the perfect house, with the perfect amount of space, for many of us that dream is some years from becoming a reality. In the meantime, we have to fit our family into a space that might not be quite adequate for our needs.

The inconvenience that this poses is fairly overwhelming. Not only do you have to deal with the simple reality of living in too-close quarters with other people, you also have to find a place for all of your stuff. All houses have stuff; not junk, not clutter, just necessities that have to be in a room, but completely dominate the space therein.

So how can you make the most of the small space you have available, without sacrificing the things that you can’t go without? What you need are a few clever solutions that can help remove the need for space-stealing items; here are some suggestions to get you started…

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You need… an electronic pressure cooker

Pressure cookers may seem a little old-fashioned, but the technique has definitely come right up to date in the past few years. Electronic pressure cookers are the perfect gadget for your kitchen, purely because they offer so many different functions in one. They can boil, steam, cook rice, and even make yogurt– so you can eliminate four space-stealing gadgets and replace them with a single device, and many electronic pressure cookers will have even more options. Especially the InstaPot that every single one of my friends seems to want/have.

If you’re tempted, start with a cheaper device and see how well it works for you. There are plenty of pressure-cooker-friendly recipes to try, and you’ll delight in the sudden space you experience in your kitchen.

You need… Baseboard heaters

Central heating is all well and good, but it’s also expensive, and many households rely more on space heaters than an overall system. Space heaters are useful in the colder months of the year, but they have a significant downside; they take up a huge amount of space. They’re large, clunky items that have to be located near a power outlet, making them both inconvenient and unattractive.

The solution to this problem is baseboard heaters, which use the baseboard space in your home to provide warmth throughout the year. This frees up much-needed floor space and will make any room look larger; if you’re intrigued, then visit Stelpro for more information on how these clever devices might work for you.

You need… a stepladder

Okay, so a bit of a cheat here: a stepladder in and of itself is not going to resolve your space issues. However, what you can do with that step ladder is.

When you’re dealing with a confined space, the goal is to use as little of the floor and/or surfaces as possible. To achieve this, you’re going to need that stepladder so you can put up shelves, display units, even brand new cupboards– all of which can be used to house items that may have once lived on the floor. Don’t overlook the vertical storage options available to you if space is at a premium.

Hopefully, the ideas above will help you save space in your home– good luck!

(Related post: 5 Great Tips For Bringing Your Home Back To Life)

General, Home Improvement, Self-Care

Where in the World Should you Live?

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

The world is a big place. Incidentally, it’s also your oyster, which means that you have no reason to live forever in the same place. More and more families choose to move abroad for a variety of good reasons, and very few of them find the need to come back. They are happy in their new life. If you find yourself in a position where you need to move to a new country, it’s important to know that it could be a positive step in your life.

There’s one important question that needs to be answered at first: Why would you want to move abroad? A lot of people move for professional reasons: They are offered a promotion and take the next logical step in their career. Others choose to move for family reasons. Finally, some people need a change in their life, and they decide to get a fresh start away from their everyday stress. There are many circumstances in which you can decide where to live. So where is right for you and your family, assuming you were in a similar situation?

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The expat life, what for?

When you’re thinking about moving abroad, it’s natural to feel nervous about it. Moving homes it stressful, but changing country in the process can feel overwhelming. However, don’t panic because the expat life makes you happier, healthier and – best of all – wealthier. According to this article telegraph.co.uk/expat/health/does-expat-life-really-make-you-healthier-wealthier-and-happier/  that reviews the experiences of expat citizens in the world, a whopping 69% of expats found that their life abroad has had a positive influence on their health, which is over 10% more than people who have not left their country. Don’t they say that a change of air is good for you? The expats agree about it: Living in more than one country makes you healthier. More importantly, 63% of expat reported that they were happy in their life, with is again 10% more than people who stayed at home. While this might sound too good to be true, in reality, a lot of expats struggle when they go back to their country of origin, as they found that living abroad was stress-free and more relaxed. They’ve redefined home as the place where they feel good in their skin, and more often than not, that place is under a new sky.

Plan mindfully

If this has convinced you to live in a different country, you will need to take things slowly at first. It’s big decision to take, especially when you have a family, so it’s essential to plan it carefully and to discuss it at length with your other half and your children. Kids, especially young ones, thrive routine and stability, so you can expect an international move to throw them off balance for a time.

(Related post: Things You Need To Know Before Moving To A New Country)

Therefore if you want to live the expat dream described above, you will have to take the time to introduce the idea to your kids and to help them understand the implications. Take their feeling on board too: Being scared and stressed is to be expected, and you shouldn’t ignore their fears. In fact, the more you talk to them about it, and explain how the other country is going to be, the easier it’s going to be for them. Additionally, kids are not the only ones to stress out. Moving abroad means that you need to think of finding a property, dealing with a new healthcare system, and getting used to new foods and routines. In short, the earlier you start to gather information and plan for your new life, the smoother it’ll be.

But there is still the question of where to move, where you expat life is going to be. If you can pick a destination, it’s crucial that you stay true to your priorities and to the things that you have built your happiness on. Below, you will find a few ideas to get started to look into new destinations around the world.

Somewhere close and known

If you don’t want to dive into a completely unknown and unfamiliar culture, you could try to look into the neighboring countries. Canada, especially, is an excellent choice for families as the population is renowned for being one of the friendliest on the planet. Canadians are indeed incredibly welcoming, and they seem to be kinder and easier-going than most other countries – which isn’t to say that Americans aren’t friendly.

There’s also a clear advantage to living in Canada, and that is the absence of language barrier. While a lot of Canadians are bilingual French and English, you can get by if you only speak English in any part of Canada. And if you decide to live in Quebec, you will soon pick the language anyway! You may also be thinking of the breath-taking landscapes in Canada. But there’s something that most people forget about the country, and it’s the cleanliness of its air. Whitehorse, the largest city in northern Canada, has some of the cleanest air in the world, compared to other urban areas according to the WHO.

Somewhere with shorter working hours and more family time

If you worry that you won’t have enough time for your family in your expat life, you may be interested in the family-friendly approach in the Swedish society. Sweden offers a very long parental leave for both parents that can be taken up until a child turns eight. Additionally, with always at heart the desire to improve the work/life balance, Swedish companies have tried a 6-hour working day for the past 2 years with a lot of success. The media have dismissed the experiment as being costly, but the social and health benefits to the Swedish households were positive. Who knows? The Swedish government might introduce a new regulation on reduced weeks?

Somewhere far away for a new start

If you are up for a brand new start in a new culture, you’ll love the idea to move to Indonesia. This is the life that this couple has started in Jakarta and they don’t regret a minute of it. They have household help at home, which a standard habit in Indonesia and they also enjoy a lot of free time together to visit the world and learn Asian languages. If you’re feeling inspired by their story, you might want to take a look at the real estate market in Indonesia, rumahdijual.com/cibubur/apartemen-cibubur-village. The cost of living and housing is cheap, and you can get a big property at a bargain price!

Somewhere warm and affordable

For all those who crave a warm spot in the sun in a country that isn’t too culturally different from the US, but that remains refreshing, give Portugal a chance. According to this expat guideline livinginportugal.com/en/why-portugal/one-of-the-best-places-to-live, this southern European country is one of the places to live and own a house. Not only is the climate extremely mild with around 3,300 hours of sunshine per year, but the cost of living is affordable too. Lisbon, the capital, is one of the cities in the world with the best quality of life, which combines as said the cost of living and the taxes, but also the friendly population, the relaxed lifestyle and the geographical location.

So with this abundance of choices, now’s the time to ask yourself where your expat life should take you.

Family, General, Self-Care

6 Ways To Deal With Empty Nest Syndrome

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Most parents dread the same thing, and that is the day when their children move out. Even though it is exciting to see kids move off to start their own lives in the world of work or at college, it can still be quite upsetting for the majority of parents. After all, your babies have left after a lot of time together!

After their kids grow up and leave, most parents develop empty nest syndrome. This is when you experience extreme emotions and feelings, such as grief and loneliness. Thankfully, though, there are many ways you can prevent this syndrome from setting in once your children do move out.

So, are you expecting to say goodbye to your little ones over the next year? Here are some tips that can help you stay well away from any symptoms of empty nest syndrome!

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Downsize

When the kids move out of your family home, you will be left with their empty bedrooms and a lot of extra space in your house. Many people find that all of this excess space reminds them that their children no longer live with them, and this can worsen their feelings of loss and grief. There is one solution to this, though.

Home downsizing involves moving into a smaller home. When you and your partner find a house that is big enough for you and all your belongings, you will find that the home doesn’t feel quite so empty and you won’t rattle around in it so much. It’s still a good idea to get a new house with a spare bedroom, though – your kids will want to come back to stay sometime!

Talk To Your Partner About Your Feelings

I’m sure that your partner will be going through the exact same emotions and feelings as you are once your children move out of your family home. I’m sure that you will both benefit from being open and honest about what you are going through right now. Plus, talking about any issues will help you feel like you’ve let a weight go from your shoulders. You might even be able to come up with ways each of you can try and take your minds off things for a while.

Get A New Hobby

Now that you don’t have to spend so much time caring for and looking after your kids, you will have a lot more spare time to yourself in the evenings and on the weekends. So, why not do something useful with your time and get a new hobby?

Not only is this a great way to spend all your new free time, but it will also take your mind away from the loneliness and sadness that might have been getting you down since the kids moved out. If you have been meaning to get in shape for a while, now is your chance to do it by taking up a new sport for a hobby.

For example, you might want to look into joining a local running club so that you can start running and meet some new people. There are lots of hobbies that don’t involve sports if you don’t like getting active. For instance, how about joining a book club or taking part in a cooking course?

Get A Pet

Some couples like to fill their empty nest by bringing a new pet into their home. Your kids might be jealous of this new pet and they might even threaten to move back home! Joking aside, though, this is a good idea as it provides you and your partner with a brand new companion.

You’ll find that a new dog or a cat can bring a lot of joy into your home, and you won’t be quite so lonely anymore. Another benefit that comes with getting a dog is that it will help you stay fit as you will have to take it for a walk each and every day. If you and your partner are at work every day, you should try and get a peaceful breed that won’t be too bothered about being left alone all day.

(Related post: Don’t Forget Your Dog This Christmas!)

Keep In Touch With Your Children Regularly

Just because your kids have moved out doesn’t mean that you can’t keep in touch with them! In fact, if they have moved quite far away from you and you will no longer see them on a regular basis anymore, there is, even more, reason for you to try and keep in regular contact with one another. And you will find that keeping in touch can help to alleviate any loneliness or sadness that you might have been feeling. So, if you are ever feeling a bit down and miss your kids, pick up the phone for a quick chat with them!

Make Some Plans

Quite a few parents find that making plans helps to take their mind off their empty nest syndrome. So, it’s worth taking a look at your calendar for the coming months to see if you have any time to plan some days out or vacations. You and your partner might like the idea of going away to an adults-only resort, for example. Or perhaps you want to book a weekend away with some of your friends.

In fact, why don’t you visit your child and his or her new town or city for a weekend? You will, hopefully, find that packing your calendar with plenty of plans can help you to stay busy and can turn all your thoughts of sadness to excitement instead! If you do book some holidays, it’s a nice idea to see if your kids want to join you on a few of them as well. You will find that they will never be too old to accept a free trip away with their parents!

Hopefully, you won’t end up suffering from the empty nest syndrome for far too long. The ideas above should help you change your sadness to happiness!

Cleaning, General, Home Improvement

5 Tips for Freshening Up Your Home

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

There’s nothing more disappointing that feeling as though you’ve lost some of the passion and excitement that you once had for your home. However, it is a pretty natural thing. After all, you’re never going to be able to live in one place for years at a time without becoming so familiar with it that it loses some of its excitement. Of course, that’s not the way that things have to be!

Before you decide that your only option is to pack your bags and move somewhere else, why not try a few of these simple ideas to help bring you home back to life?

(Related post: Thinking of Moving to a New Country?)

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A new coat of paint

You would be shocked at how much of a difference a simple coat of paint can make the way that your home feels. Without even having to change a single structural element of it, you’re able to create a new and fresh atmosphere all throughout your home.

The kinds of colors that you choose are going to be down to you, but it’s worth taking some time to consider which ones you want. A lot of people tend to avoid using too much color on their walls for fear of it turning out garish and ugly. And while that’s a sensible idea, in theory, people often take it much too far. Having every single wall in your home be either white or magnolia is going to make the place feel dull and uninspired. Why not embrace color and go for some splashes of vibrancy throughout the house?

Of course, painting your entire home can be something of a chore, like there are companies like this painting company who you can hire to handle that side of things for you. You get to be in charge of the creative stuff while leaving the legwork to the professionals.

Rearrange the rooms

Sometimes the issue that a lot of people have in their homes is that the way the rooms are arranged are either inconvenient or uninspired. Moving things around can make a room feel like a new space. A lot of people make the assumption that there’s a single “right” way to arrange any given room and it’s usually the most obvious and boring way possible.

Why not break out of that mode of thinking and try something a little bit different? Be a little bit creative with how you arrange the rooms in your home; you might end up finding something that’s unusual, but incredibly effective.

Of course, if you do decide that you actually preferred things the way that they were, you can just move things back to the way they were. And that kind of change in your home isn’t going to cost you anything more than the time it takes to move some pieces of furniture around!

Refurnish

Speaking of furniture, it can often have an even bigger impact on the way a room feels than the room itself. After all, most homes are little more than blank canvases for people to use things like furniture to decorate upon.

Now, you might be thinking that the idea of refurnishing rooms in your home is going to be expensive but that’s not the case. For one thing, if you’re willing to look around places like thrift shops and second-hand stores, you can often find some incredible deals on beautiful pieces of furniture.

Not only that but you don’t have to replace every single piece of furniture in your house. Sometimes finding a couple of attractive statement pieces for your home can create a much greater degree of visual interest in the rooms that there had been before.

Create more space

One of the biggest complaints that many people have about their homes is that they don’t have as much space as they would like. The thing that a lot of people fail to realize is that creating space in their home is much easier than you might think. Many people assume that you need to fully renovate and extend your home in order to make more space but in reality, a few subtle changes can make all the difference.

For one thing, the arrangement of the rooms can help you to create a much better sense of space. If you’ve got things sitting in the middle of the room, then you’re not using the floor space as well as you could be.

Not only that but if your home is cluttered, then it’s never going to feel especially spacious. Make sure to use your storage areas effectively so that you don’t end up with things spilling out and taking up areas that you’re actually trying to use.

Don’t forget the outdoor spaces

People have a tendency to exclusively focus on the interiors of their home since that’s the part of it where they spend most of their time, but if you want your home to feel as full of life as possible, you can’t neglect the outdoor spaces.

For one thing, the front of your property is the first thing you’ll see when you come home every day, by making sure that it’s well presented you’ve always got something pleasant to look at the moment you arrive home.

Not only that but an overgrown garden is enough to make anyone feel stressed so many sure that you put garden maintenance on your list of regular chores so that it’s not something that’s  hanging over your head.

A lot of people assume that the kinds of changes that you need to make in order to improve and revitalize their home are going to be expensive and therefore not worth the effort. Hopefully looking at these simple tips has shown you that that’s not the case. The reality is that if you want to improve your home, there are plenty of options out there that are effective but that aren’t going to cost you the earth.

Cleaning, Family, General

4 Ways to Make Your Kid’s Clothes Last Longer

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

One of the biggest struggles for parents is clothing. You’ll need a lot of it to cover different occasions and weather, but kids grow so quick that many items are unwearable after a short period of time.
Add in the fact that children will play, get dirty and fall over, leaving clothes ruined.Kid’s clothes are expensive, so if you’re looking for ways to get more for your buck – take a look at these top tips for helping your kids’ clothes last longer.

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Stock up on the basics

Just like you have a closet full of basics, it makes sense to have the same for your children. Items like plain t-shirts, socks, and underwear are worth buying in bulk so that you always have a good supply at home that can be washed. You can get some great multi-buy deals that offer good values on kids clothing to help you save some money. Try to put them in basics most of the time so that nicer clothes are kept clean.

Buy a size bigger kids

Clothing comes in many different sizes, usually by age until they reach adulthood. If you’re investing in clothes that you want to last, it makes sense to buy clothes a size bigger that you can alter at the beginning, leaving slack to pull back out. If you’re not great with sewing, there are some excellent no-sew DIY clothing hacks out there that could save you a ton of problems.

Buy quality clothing

Investing in quality clothes can make a real difference to how long they last. While you might hate spending more on a coat or sweater, buying from a quality brand will mean that the items last longer, resulting in less frequent shopping trips for you. Take a look at the latest collection from Stone Island Kids – there are some great items there made from premium materials for looks that last. Quality clothing can easily be handed down as well, so it’s certainly a great idea to invest in items that can either be passed on to younger siblings, given to other kids or donated to Goodwill.

Learn how to tackle different stains

Kids can spill all sorts of things over themselves, get muddy or fall in the grass that leaves their clothes looking a state. As a parent, you’re going to need to become a whizz with the washer and learn how to remove stains from kids’ clothes.

Granted, it’s not always easy – but being able to remove the majority of stains will help your money stretch further and keep your child happy with their favorite sweater or dress gets dirty.

We all know that kids are messy, and if they aren’t getting their clothes dirty, they’re ruining your floors. Learn to prevent spills from staining so that you can protect your carpet and other surfaces from getting spoiled. A good arsenal of cleaning tools is a great thing to have around the house, ready to tackle whatever mess your kids get into next!

(Related post: Tips to Prevent Spills From Staining)

General, Home Improvement, Self-Care

Creating a Home Office

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

There is nothing more precious than your family, but when it’s difficult to get any work done at home because your precious family are climbing all over the place, and threatening to delete your work, it can feel a bit overwhelming, to say the least.

(Related Post: 3 Ways You Can Do More To Make Your Family Happy)

This is why you should get a home office, and especially if you are one of those parents that have to work at home on occasion, that idea of separating your work from home life can be difficult when you to work at home. So, a home office is the solution, because you can go in there, do your work, and shut the door once you’re done, not to go back in until the next working day. But, what are the best ways to make a perfect home office?

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Getting The Fastest Equipment

If you’ve got children who are prone to clogging up the router with endless Netflix watching, this could impact your Skype calls so you would be better off getting your own internet connection. There are suppliers like Suddenlink and their wireless internet that actually include Netflix packages as part of the deal! Speed and efficiency are vital to your internet when you are working from home because you can’t afford to have any technical mishaps, so the best approach is to get your own connection for your office.

Keeping Yourself Motivated

You can easily fall into the trap of complacency when you’re working at home because everything you need is in the next room or downstairs. Keeping yourself motivated as one of those difficult things to get right when you are working from home. The way to do it is to minimize all distractions in your home office, and pepper the room with everything that inspires you and keeps you focused. You may need industrial headphones to keep you focused and to drown out the background noise, but if it works, then why not?!

Designing It For Productivity

Creating a home office isn’t just about getting the essentials in there, but it’s also about making sure every aspect works so you can work! It’s pointless if you aren’t able to fit everything into the home office, so you are cramped and unable to work properly. This means figuring out where everything is going to go beforehand. So you may want to think about the size of the desk, in relation to the resources you need to hand. It’s a delicate balance to get everything that you need in the office so you can accomplish the tasks effectively because if you have resources scattered all over the house, this will slow you down.

Working from home in many ways is a blessing, but it can also be a very difficult thing to get right. So this means that you’ve got to have a plan of attack before you start laying out the office. And remember, the benefit of a home office is so you can get work done. This means implementing a barrier between the office and the rest of your family. If this is the way for you to get things done, then by all means, do it.

Family, General, Home Improvement

Thinking of Moving to a New Country?

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

When you have a family, the thought of packing up your entire life and moving across the world can bring about two pure emotions: pure excitement, and pure terror. It might be simple to convince your partner to move across the world, but it’s not so easy to get the message across to the little ones in your life.

Kids thrive on routine, stability, and order. When you tell them you are moving away and that they have to leave school and friends behind it can create a huge amount of stress in children. It is hard for them to adapt to change and you do need to be more mindful of them before you decide to up and leave.

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The most crucial thing to remember is to make sure you involve your child right from the start. You can’t expect to turn around one day and tell them you are moving away. Before you even start looking at destinations you need to be discussing the idea of moving with your child. They might hate the idea at first but if they have ample time to get used to it they will likely be much more open to trying new things. Try looking into getting a property for rent in the country you plan to move in and staying there for a few weeks to get you and the family used to the lifestyle and prices of things in the new place. After being there for a few weeks you might decide it’s not for you which is fine. It is better to try and at least experience everything first before you pack everything up and go.

Before you leave for a new country you will need to make sure that you have all your medical stuff up to date. Visit your PCP and tell them about the move. They may send you for vaccines and they can also try to give you some advice on the healthcare system abroad. The last thing you want is to be in another country and not have a clue how to get to the doctors if you are ill.

To make your children more comfortable, try and take their favorite toys with you when you leave even if it might make the move more expensive for you. Children need to comfort of things they know and this might be the perfect way to help them adjust to life in a new country away from their friends and other family members. Make sure you make room in your hand luggage so that they can have the toy with them on the plane.

The same thing applies to other objects that your child uses each day. They might have a pushchair, a pillow or blanket they love or something. If you are going to take your child across the world make sure they have some of these things to make them feel more at home when they arrive.

If your child is still a baby or toddler, you will need to check the regulations for bottles and milk in other countries. Every country has different regulations for child products, and some are stricter than others. For example, if you are in the USA, you can’t take your items to the UK because they contain banned materials for that country. It might be that you have to buy all new equipment so make sure that you have the funds to do it.

Bring lots of memories with you when you move. Children love visual reminders of things, so if they have had to leave friends behind or their old home: take photos of them to bring with you. That way your child can look at these pictures when they are struggling to adjust and remember the things they had back home. It is important because it shows that you acknowledge what they have given up to come here and that you respect those memories. You could even keep it as a surprise when you first arrive in your new home and show it to them.

Moving to another part of the world can be incredibly stressful and it is understandable that you will have a lot of things to sort out. You might need to find a job, register at school, find your new local GP and lots more. However, you also need to make sure you are present in your child’s life in those first few weeks or months. They will find it incredibly difficult to adjust and it will be even harder if you aren’t there to tell them it’s ok.

Stay connected with people back home. Just because you live somewhere new doesn’t mean that you can never see your family and friends again. Set up the laptop for regular Skype calls home and let your children talk to their friends. They will feel more connected to home and it will make the process much less stressful for them.

Once you have finally landed in your new home, make sure you include your children in the decisions for the house. Let the, choose their bedroom and where everything will go, and even let them pick out new furniture if you need to buy some. Giving them jobs to do and making them feel part of the process will help them to forget about their homesickness and be excited to start living in this new place. You could also let them choose the first place you visit while you are there.

A great idea when you’ve settled into your home is to invite the neighbors round for a party. It will give you the chance to get to know the people and the area, and will also be a perfect opportunity to introduce your children to other kids in the area. They will be able to go off and play while you are mingling with the adults, and they may even finish the party with a new best friend.

Christmas, Family, General

Don’t Forget Your Dog This Christmas!

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Often enough, our pets are our world, along with the rest of our family. Some of us even consider them our “furbabies”! They’re important enough for us to celebrate their birthdays, and we spend a lot of time running around after them. So we devote a lot of time to them, and we feel like we love them like we’ve never loved anyone else before in our lives! Let’s face it, they’re cute and fluffy, and immediately understand the word no! With Christmas around the corner, don’t let them get left out of the festivities. It’s no fun just to see your dog sitting out of the way while everyone else is having fun.

(Related post: How To Help Your Kids Sleep On Christmas Eve!)

So you’ve got everything for the kids sorted, and you’ve got the presents all wrapped up under the tree for the little one to marvel at. Then you turn around and see your dog sitting right behind you, a sad look on their face. Sound familiar? If it does, pamper your pooch a little with a couple of their own presents on Christmas day. While they may not understand what’s going on, they definitely know what attention is and how it makes them feel! Here are some quick things to pick up for your pets just in time for the big day.

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Why Not Get Them an Advent Calendar? Maybe a Stocking?

There’s a market around niche products for dogs, and for any animal really, so next time you go to the pet store, pick up a doggy chocolate calendar! This won’t hurt your favorite friend to eat and you can stop the kids from trying to feed Rover their chocolates on the sly!

Similarly, you can also buy them stockings to hang up on the mantelpiece next to your little ones’, and fill it with small treats and toys. Just make sure your dog doesn’t catch a hold of the tail because the smell got too overwhelming for them and they just had to try out the merchandise! Hang them up high, or get a premade stocking that’s well sealed, meaning you’ll be able to get to it before any real damage is done.

Bag Up Some Good Treats!

Christmas is a good time to share in food and delights, and just because a dog’s diet is different to our own doesn’t mean they can’t take part. Healthy treats can be given to a good dog in bigger quantities, but of course not too many! It can be a lot cheaper to buy natural treats instead of the processed stuff we find on the supermarket shelves: buy up packs of treats that have foods like chicken and beef in them in large concentrations, which a lot of the bigger companies don’t have, and you can save about $10 to $20 on the food.

Dogs love to eat; just look at how many of them tend to beg for a bite off our own plates! Direct Fido elsewhere if he’s doing this a lot, and give him good reason to. A dog is always going to love something tasty to chow down on, so why not pick up some Betsy Farms dog duck treats for them to rip open on the day? Dogs have a natural tendency to sate their innate hunter’s drive, and tearing up some festive wrapping paper is a good way to do this! Just be sure you got all the little bits from under the sofa.

Buy Them A Ball or Treat Launcher

Following up from the point above, dogs love to chase and get a reward at the end of it. So, if you find that your pooch has boundless energy and your arm gets tired after a few short minutes, there’s a treat in store for you too! Invest in a launcher!

This covers a lot more distance and gets your dog to run faster and for longer distances. You can waste a little more of their energy out this way! Similarly, you can pack a launcher with whatever you want your dog to chase after, whether it’s some treats because you’re trying to get your four-legged friend to exercise more, or a ball because it’s their all-time favorite. This is the best gift for them!

Go Out and Buy Them Some Clothes

Animal clothing is cute and fluffy and makes a lot of Instagram worthy moments. Everyone loves to see a pet dressed up in headbands and with a scarf around their neck, so why not go the extra mile and get them a whole set? It makes a great Christmas card to send around, and you’ve got yourself a good moment for the family photo album.

A lot of people think it’s silly to dress an animal up and take some fun and creative photos with them, but you’re not hurting anyone and it’s a good way to introduce more fun to your family! If you have a smaller dog, the options are endless, and you can invent yourself a mini reindeer, elf, or Santa himself in the shape of your canine companion.

For a bigger dog, the options are a little more limited, but that doesn’t mean your Great Dane has to miss out! Make your own clothes for your little buddy; you can cut, paste, stick, rip, sew, and bedeck material with sequins. Plus, it uses up a lot of the kids’ creative energy, so if you leave it til’ just before the big day itself, it means they’re more likely to settle down to sleep on Christmas Eve!

It’s all about making this Christmas one to remember! If you have a pet, particularly a dog, include them in your plans for a lot more variety during the festive season. You could go for walks in the park through the snow, an activity a dog will always love, and you can get your dog to sign cards with their pawprints when dipped in safe paints or food coloring. It’s a nice touch and people are guaranteed to love the extra affection.