Category Archives: Anything & Everything

Yearning for Learning: Why You Should Never Stop Studying

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Yearning for Learning: Why You Should Never Stop Studying

Regardless of what stage of life you are currently at, learning is something that you should always be doing. A lot of people think of studying as something that is just for kids or young people at college, but the truth is, is that there are a whole range of advantages that will open themselves up if you commit your life to learning. As well as being a more well-rounded person, you will also constantly be developing new skills that you never know when will come in handy.

Whether you have lessons in something, take an online college course with Find Your Context, or study independently, here are just a few of the reasons that you should commit to lifelong learning:

You Will Become Happier: Studying can be very hard and frustrating, but there is nothing like the feeling that you are actually getting smarter. Even better, is when you can start putting these skills into practice and impressing people with what you have learned. There is nothing like reaching a goal that you have set for yourself, so you should make sure that you are constantly striving for bigger and better things. Having something to work towards is a great way to focus your mind and give you the feeling that you are always accomplishing something. Personal development should get you on the fast track to inner peace and happiness.

You Will Become Irreplaceable at Your Job: If you can show that you bring valuable new skills to your company, you are much more likely to impress your bosses. Not only will this keep you in your job role, but you should also start jumping to the front of the queue when it comes to promotion time. If you do decide that it is time to move onto new pastures, the more skills that you have, the more likely it is that you will end up landing yourself the job of your dreams. The rapid rise of technology means that more people are becoming replaceable; continual learning ensures that you won’t be one of them.

You Will Become More Cultured and Knowledgeable: If you stop learning at a certain point, that is exactly where you will become fixed. A person who is well-read and has numerous different skills finds it easy to carry a conversation on a whole range of different topics with ease. The more you learn, the more avenues of your mind you are opening up and the more well-rounded you will become as a person. Rather than making it seem like you are trying too hard to impress people with your knowledge, people will naturally start turning to you as a source of wisdom and excellent conversation.

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You Will Become More Passionate: The pursuit of knowledge is a major passion in itself, but the more you learn about different topics, the more passionate you will become about them. You may even end up discovering things that you love that you would never have thought of before. Try to be broad with your learning so that you don’t become too fixed on a single area and you will truly get the most out of expanding your horizons.

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In The Right Place: The Things You Should Prioritize When Relocating Your Family

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In The Right Place: The Things You Should Prioritize When Relocating Your Family

Moving can be incredibly hard for one person, not to mention a whole family. There are a variety of reasons as to why someone might like to move their family elsewhere, from dissatisfaction with the local schools, to affordability, or simply just needing more space, sometimes it’s best to take the plunge and start drawing up an ideal new life for your closest and most loved.

This can feel like a gargantuan task. If you don’t have an area in mind for a career or other family members, how do you choose the best area out of a seemingly endless list? There are a few items to consider before fully making that choice:

Transport: This is a big one. Not only do you have to assess if you’re going to have a convenient time traveling outside of your new nest, but you need to plan ahead. Imagine your children are five or even ten years older than they are now. Can they access their friends with relative ease? Are they able to make it to town to have a reasonable chance of earning money at a part time job? Try and look back to your childhood, what was important to you at that point in your life? In that self-searching exercise, you might find things that surprise you.

A good way to reassure yourself that this point is taken care of is scheduling a practice run around the area where you go to view your potential new house. Driving around and figuring out where everything is can give you a valuable understanding that can save you future headaches. If you have the funds and the time, consider allocating a few days to explore the new area while staying at a hotel or B&B.

Additionally, how easy is it to move your belongings there? Getting a quote from moving companies can also be worthwhile at this stage.

Opportunities: This is the second half of the earlier point about imagining your children’s future. Do they have ease of access to jobs? How are the schools rated in the local educational authorities inspection reports? If you’re going somewhere to relocate for a career, this still needs to be kept in mind. Adding a few miles to your commute could be worth getting into a better school’s catchment area in the long run!

Locals: This is a less measurable resource, but figuring out how the locals interact with each other can be quite important. Perhaps going to a cafe and getting a fix on how you’re greeted and how people interact can be enlightening. Of course, take this with a pinch of salt, you never know who’s had a bad day. Try striking up a conversation with a few people at the market in town and see if anyone’s receptive. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised!

Crime Rate: You can find the crime rate of a local area online. This is important for your peace of mind and overall safety of the family.

Price: Last but arguably the most important is the price. How affluent is the area? What are the surrounding houses like? Can you expect your house value to improve? Is a higher startup cost worth the surroundings? This is a highly subjective value that will be different for everyone who moves, so take the time to weigh the pros and cons, while offsetting them against the price.

Best of luck to anyone moving house! This is an exciting time for you to redefine how your future will be. Make the most of it! 🙂

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Why Does My Shower Take Forever To Heat Up?

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Why Does My Shower Take Forever To Heat Up?

If you’re like most people, you probably set your alarm to leave just enough time to get up, have a quick but warm shower, get dressed, and then out the door and on your way to work. If you have days where you have to spend ages waiting for your shower to heat up, you’ll know how annoying this can be. Here are the most common reasons for your water taking forever to heat up:

Your Shower’s Far Away From your Water Heater: Most homes have a single heater, with a network of piping that takes the heated water to various fixtures around the house. Depending on the size of your home, hot water may have a long way to go before it comes out of your shower head. Remember that plumbing doesn’t travel in a straight line, so if there is 50 feet of distance between the heater and a fixture, it’s typical for 60 to 70 feet of piping to connect the two. If this is the issue, then unfortunately you’re pretty screwed. The only way to get around it would require a large and expensive bit of renovation that simply isn’t worth it.

Your Pipes Drain Heat from the Water: The colder the pipes are, and the denser the material, the more heat they’ll draw from the material, slowing down the time it takes for the water to heat up to a comfortable temperature. When they’re not being used, the pipes leading from the heater to the shower become cold, especially if they’re exposed at any point in your home. Furthermore, heavier piping, made of materials like copper, can retain more heat than commonly used materials such as CPVC. This, the outside pressure, and whether the pipes are insulated or not, can all have a major effect on how long your water takes to get hot. If you think that this is the issue, consider wrapping your pipes with heat tape or a similar insulating material.

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Flow Rate is Too Low: The lower the flow rate on your shower head, or any other fixture for that matter, the longer it will take for the water to warm up. Flow rate, as you’ve probably guessed, refers to the amount of water that can pass through the shower head at any given time. This is measured in GPM, which stands for gallons per minute. When your shower has a low flow rate, it will take longer for it to force out any leftover, cold water that’s left sitting in the pipes. Unless your shower head was installed in the nineties, you probably have a flow rate of around 2.5 GPM, but newer ones can be even lower. If you find that your shower head is a low-flow model, you may be able to fix the issue by getting a high flow shower head. Just remember that this is going to be less conservative with your water, meaning that you’ll have higher bills and a less eco-friendly morning routine.

If you’re sick of getting hypothermia just to leave the house on time, we hope this post has been a big help! 🙂

Featured Image By: Pixabay

4 Products That Are All You Need To Clean Your Home

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4 Products That Are All You Need To Clean Your Home

Walk down any grocery store aisle designated for cleaning products and you will see an array so vast it’s impossible to know where to begin as try to tackle your spring cleaning. Do you want to degrease? Descale? De…whatevertheotheroneis? It just goes on and on; every single product promising to make your home better. Shinier. Sparklier.

The idea that you can skip this entire aisle and reduce your cleaning products and tools into four items might sound outlandish. How can it be possible to clean an entire house with just four products? If that’s the case, then why do all the other ones exist? The main reason is because the four you need can’t be trademarked. They can’t be profited from. So there’s pretty much no reason for companies to produce them and market them as aggressively as they do their own concoctions; not when you could buy generic versions of the big four for a fraction of the price.

Oh – did that not get mentioned? Yes, these products are nice and cheap – so it’s probably time to tell you what they are:

Star of Every Show: Bicarbonate of Soda (AKA Baking Powder)

Bicarb is the Holy Grail of cleaning products. It can be used for so many purposes that you’ll find yourself panicking when you don’t have a scoop of it on hand and are faced with a room that needs cleaning.

Its uses include (but are definitely not limited to):

  • Removing grease and food stains from pans, ovens, whatever – it’s incredibly abrasive, though, so use with caution.
  • Surface cleaning, when dissolved in water and used as a solution.
  • Deodorizing. Sprinkle some bicarb onto fabric, carpet, or upholstery, leave it for a few hours and then vacuum away – the bicarb will take the bad smell with it.

Acid Speaking: White Vinegar

White vinegar doesn’t taste great so it’s unlikely that you’ll find it in your cupboard, but it’s worth investing in as a cleaning product alone. Check out its uses:

  • White vinegar cleans glass and mirrors better than any other product known to man. Ever.
  • It’s also antibacterial in nature, so use it in the kitchen for both shine and efficacy.

Clothed Wonder: Microfiber Cloths

If the pros at Saltaire House Cleaning and even Martha Stewart speak well of microfiber, you know that you’re onto a winner. Microfiber is a revolutionary cloth fiber structure that traps and whisks away dirt in a way conventional cloths just can’t. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to use a product with it – plain old water will produce the same effects.

Bleach Bliss: Hydrogen Peroxide

While hydrogen peroxide is best known for hair bleaching, it has many uses around the home. The one that it’s best at is bleaching all of those white items in your home that have a tendency to turn gray, such as:

  • Bathroom and kitchen tile grout
  • Tiles
  • Shower curtains covered in soap scum

Use it heavily diluted and always build up the strength as you go, rather than going full throttle out of the gate. You’ll be amazed at how a little of this product goes a long way.

Ready, get set, save money, and spring clean!

Featured Image By: Congerdesign

The Ultimate Guide To Appliance Maintenance

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Home appliances can cost a lot of money. If you are on a budget, then it can be a major blow to have to replace or repair one of your frequently used appliances. By taking good care of the appliances that you already have, you can extend their lifespan and avoid having to pay out for new ones. Here are some top tips for keeping your home appliances in good working order for the year:

Refrigerator Maintenance: Almost every home has a refrigerator in it, and you’d be pretty stuck without it, so it is a good idea to keep it well maintained. A good refrigerator can last you up to twenty years if you look after it properly, and you don’t need to do much maintenance on them. The coolant inside the fridge will never need replacing, you just simply need to vacuum the coils on the back of the fridge. A lot of new models these days come with a dust cover to stop anything from getting into the back, so you won’t need to do much maintenance at all.

Be on the lookout for water build up in the tray at the bottom of the fridge, which can cause mold. This can be easily stopped by emptying and cleaning out the tray once in awhile. If your fridge does end up breaking, it is cheaper to get it repaired than to buy a new one. Click here to find repair services in your area. But, if you do end up getting a new fridge, then you need to make sure that you properly prepare it before using it. It needs to be left for twenty four hours before being switched on otherwise the coolant will not settle properly.

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Stove Maintenance: There are many  different types of stoves, and most of them tend to be electric but a lot of people are opting for gas these days. If you want to make your stove last, then you need to give it proper, regular cleaning. Your oven may have a self cleaning option but this will use a lot of electricity and are not always as effective as putting some serious elbow grease into your cleaning. Cleaning it just after using is the best way to maintain your oven.

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Spick and span!

Washing Machine Maintenance: An older washing machine that is not properly looked after can be prone to leaks. This can be very damaging to your home and leave you with an expensive bill. But, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that this doesn’t happen. Most leaks come from the pipe in the back of the machine, so it is best to use a threaded pipe. Avoid over tightening it because this can cause the washer to crack and the washing machine to leak.

Putting too many clothes in at once will also damage the motor in your machine, and putting too much detergent in can cause clogging. Make sure that you measure the correct amount each time to keep your machine running longer. And, if you live in an area with hard water, then it is worth running some vinegar through the machine every so often to stop limescale from building up.

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Cleanliness is godliness!

The Countdown To Summer – Look Fab on Your Next Vacation!

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The Countdown To Summer – Look Fab on Your Next Vacation!

A vacation is a chance to get away from it all – a week or two of fun, sunshine, and great food. When it comes to your annual trip, it’s nice to know that you look your best and are feeling as confident as possible. Not only will you look great in your pictures but you won’t be held back by insecurity. Here are a few things that you can do on the run up to your vacation to ensure that you look the best ever this summer:

Figure: Getting your body into shape is a great way to give you confidence. Eating right and exercising will not only sculpt your figure and allow your clothes to fit better, but you’ll feel fitter and healthier too. If your vacation is going to involve a lot of walking, then this is especially good, because you don’t want to be struggling and lagging behind when your fitness isn’t up to scratch. Focus on a clean, balanced diet. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and protein from lean meat and/or non- meat sources should all give your body everything it needs.

For exercise you could hit the gym or find an activity that you enjoy that requires a lot of movement. Whether it’s running, swimming, a sport, or just working out at home – anything that gets your body moving will tone muscles, burn calories, work your cardiovascular system, and shape your physique so anything goes! If you find you have stubborn areas of fat that don’t respond to diet or exercise, liposuction could be an option. This isn’t a weight loss technique, though, it’s generally performed on people who are already a healthy weight who want to shape their body rather than decrease in mass.

Teeth: Want a gorgeous set of pearly white teeth to set off your holiday tan? Teeth whitening trays from the dentist take around six weeks or you can have laser teeth whitening in around an hour. Both of these treatments can lift the color of the teeth many shades and have a dramatic effect on the way you look and smile!

Hair: As the saying goes, ‘your hair is the ballgown you never take off’. Shiny, happy hair is the best accessory that you can own. In the weeks and months leading up to your vacation, you could give it some extra TLC. Use deep conditioning masks and oils to replenish and repair dry or damaged hair. Visit a hairdresser to have the split ends removed and have a fresh new color applied. It’s a fantastic way to give you confidence. If there are going to be nights during your trip where you want to dress up and look your best, clip in extensions are also a good option. It might be a little warm to wear them during the day, but they can add instant glamour for an evening outing. They add both length and thickness and look great either straight, curled, or in an updo.

Hair Removal: No one wants to deal with stubble or constant shaving while they’re away. Since holiday clothes and swimwear tends to show a lot of flesh, chances are you want to be as smooth as possible – for as long as possible! Going to the salon for a waxing treatment before you jet off will leave you hair-free for a number of weeks. For a longer lasting alternative, electrolysis and laser hair removal are effective.

Shellac Nails: Unlike regular nail polish, Shellac lasts for around two weeks. Meaning you get a chip-free manicure without the hassle of having to repaint your nails while you’re away. Most salons offer this and it’s cheaper than gel or acrylic nails.

Ready, get set, get pampered, and enjoy your vaca!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Spring Clean Your Life!

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Spring Clean Your Life!

Spring has well and truly sprung, and there is now no time like the present to get the spring cleaning done. Don’t worry – you don’t have to reach for the mop and bucket just yet. It’s more in the sense of clearing out your wardrobe, makeup, and even your lifestyle to make way for bigger and better things.

Clothes: Quite a few of us are holding on to clothing items that we no longer need – either due to nostalgia, wanting to fit into them at some point in the future, or pure laziness for not clearing them out. It’s a vicious cycle that we often find ourselves in, but you will benefit so much more for having more of a bullet-style wardrobe than having clothes hanging around for the sake of it. They would be much better suited on another person or going to a better cause. Have a look through and sort out your wardrobe. If you have been holding onto something longer than a year without wearing it (taking into consideration season changes, which can affect how often you wear a certain item), you don’t need it cluttering your storage space.

Offer unwanted clothing around to your friends, take them to a charity shop, list them on a site like eBay, or give to a school or community project. There are a whole host of places that will take your clothes from you with no questions asked and no extra strain upon yourself. This shouldn’t leave you short of things to wear, but it’s a good excuse to get shopping for more updated items to line your wardrobe with. There are online clothing boutiques  available for you to get your staples from, and it’s never been easier to order from the internet. It gives you more choice than going into a store and saves on fuel, too.

Hair: This is more about going over the products that you have related to your hair and thinking about whether you need to replace, replenish, or reuse what you’ve already got. Hairbrushes need a thorough clean out of all of the build up of loose hairs that accumulate within them, but this should be done more than yearly for hygiene’s sake. It also provides a great time to rid yourself of any bottles of shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, and all other products which you’ve gotten to the bottom of but still are clinging on to with the hope that you can squeeze one more use out of them. It’s time to throw them away!

On the back of bottles there is usually a time span for the amount of life that they are meant to have once opened (e.g. 12 months, 24 months for the most common examples), but if you’re at the end of the bottle and you’ve been hoarding it for a long time, it only makes sense to throw it away and buy a new one. If your brush is missing bristles, your comb has a few teeth missing, and shower scruffies are reaching their straggly last days, it’s time to replace these, too – for the benefit of your hair and body over anything else.

Makeup: Makeup should regularly be sifted through and sorted out, but a spring clean gives a great opportunity for you to remember to do so. This goes for the things that you use to apply the makeup with, too – brushes should be cleaned with designated shampoo or a mild baby shampoo if you don’t have the proper stuff – it does the same trick. Go through everything thoroughly, and if it’s looking a bit gooey, cakey, doesn’t glide on correctly, or isn’t holding the same pigmentation as it was when you first bought it, it’s time for it to move on to a better life … in the bin. This is more for your health and safety than anything else; there have been a lot of skin conditions which have been attributed to wearing makeup that has gone far past its best-by date.

Friends: You shouldn’t have to wait until the spring to rid yourself of any toxic friends or family members that you may have, but it sure does get you thinking about it. Those who are in your life only to give you a hard time or bring you down aren’t worth keeping – no matter how long they’ve been a part of it. You want to surround yourself with people who don’t necessarily have the same interests as you (as that would be boring and leave little to no time for debate and reasoning), but have the same moral principles as you and the same vision for their life. Seek out the friends who can keep secrets and not use them for gossip, those who are kind, hard-working, and motivated without stepping up and over people to get to their place on the career ladder. Think about what you look for in a friend and hold the people you surround yourself with to those standards.

Your Environment: There are certain things around you in your home which will need a fair bit of TLC and a spruce-up, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be all about keeping it clean. Simply decluttering your bedroom can have a massive effect on how you lead your life and your mood when you first get up in the morning. This can then impact how your day goes. Choosing new bed sheets, picking new ornaments and pictures to be hung, and even moving furniture around your bedroom can be a great take on the spring clean – and a better way to get you feeling focused, motivated, and ready to take on the months that lie ahead. Spacing it out so that your room has more of an open, airy feel is akin to the freshness that this season brings, rather than the cozy and muted winter that we have just come out of.

Isn’t this version of spring cleaning loads better than actual cleaning?!

Featured Image By: Pexels