Tag Archives: house

How To Keep Your Home Healthy During Quarantine

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How To Keep Your Home Healthy During Quarantine

Right now, you are probably growing used to spending pretty much all of your time at home. Rather than being a place that you spend your evenings and weekends; your home is now your gym, workplace, and everything else besides. During the quarantine, you may have spent time perfecting your work from home set up, trying to keep yourself entertained, and the majority of it trying to stay in touch with friends and family via Zoom.

One thing that you may not have considered is whether your home environment is beneficial for your health. As everyone is spending far more time at home, it is more crucial than ever to make sure that your home helps your health rather than damages it. Here is how you can ensure that your home is as healthy as possible so that you can quarantine in the knowledge that your home is the best place to be right now:

Deal with Damp:

Dampness is a common problem in many homes and can cause health problems if it is left untreated. Mold and mildew are things that no one wants to see in their house, especially when you are spending all your time there. Ensuring that your home has adequate ventilation can help reduce damp, but if mold and mildew have already developed, you will need to remove them effectively. Using a bleach solution or proprietary mold remover should help clean off the mold and kill the mold spores. Remember that you will need to take care when using these treatments.

Clear the Air:

There is nothing more important than the air that you breathe, but it is easy to forget that you can play a part in improving the air quality in your home. Breathing in low-quality air can lead to a range of health problems and cause some potentially serious issues. Asthma and allergies can flare up when air quality is compromised, and your HVAC system could be causing these issues.

If your HVAC system is not maintained by a reputable air duct cleaning specialist such as DUCTZ, it can cause a range of problems. Over time, dust and dirt collect in your air ducts and if they are not cleaned regularly, then they will be spread throughout your home every time you use your heating and cooling system and pollute the quality of the air that you breathe.

Scheduling regular HVAC maintenance to ensure that your system is working correctly and that your air ducts are kept clean is the best way to enjoy good air quality in your home.

Try a Deep Clean:

Deep cleaning your home is an excellent way to freshen it up and remove any potential health hazards. Deep cleaning removes the dust that can cause allergies and aggravate eczema-prone skin. Having a thorough deep clean of your house will also help to eliminate any harmful bacteria that could be lurking on your surfaces. A freshly-cleaned, healthy home will make staying in it a far more pleasing experience.

Make your home even safer to be at during the pandemic by following the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

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Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

Hey! I don’t know about all of you but, some days, I just feel totally blah. The weather is gloomy, COVID-19 makes me so worried, and the state of the world is very stressful. It’s also easy to feel even more down and out when all of your normal activities with friends, families, and clubs have been postponed until safer times. I’m sure that all of us are itching for a big change and, until that happens, it’s up to us to keep ourselves positive and motivated. Small changes that you can accomplish, despite everything going on, can really help perk you up. So, how about trying the following:

Your Furniture Layout:

If you’re getting sick of being in the exact same living room or home office that you have been confined to for months, switch it up! Rearrange the furniture, hang up some new art work, or create a photo collage with all of the pictures that you’ve been meaning to get developed. It won’t be as nice as a complete change of scenery like going to the beach but it will make the space you’ve been stuck in different and that’s all that matters.

Your Hair:

Perhaps you’re not bored with your location but your appearance. I know that I desperately miss getting all dressed up but, since there’s nowhere to be, the concept of “looking nice” has been long forgotten. If you are interested in changing up how you look, then now is the perfect time to try that new hair style or color that you have always had in the back of your mind. If it doesn’t turn out exactly how you want, it’s no matter – your hair will be back to normal by the time it’s safer to be in public.

Your Perspective:

Whenever I am feeling blue, I try and think about all of the good things that happened to me even though I am at home. For example, last week I went grocery shopping and I told Johnny that despite everything going on I’m thankful that I have him, a fridge and pantry full of food, and a roof over our heads. It’s important to still remember all of the positive things that you have no matter how small they are. If nothing else, be thankful that you are safe at home and preventing your loved ones and perfect strangers from becoming sick.

Your Hobbies:

I think that all of us can agree that watching Netflix or your preferred streaming service is a universal favorite hobby right now. But, getting lost in TV every day is doing your mind and body no favors. Dedicate at least an hour per day to work on your mental and physical wellness. Take a walk around the neighborhood, meditate, or call a friend. I know everything is so monotonous right now but you have the tools to help break that cycle if you choose to use them.

Your Goals:

Creating new goals for yourself can be an exciting way to fill free time and it’s even better when you begin accomplishing them. Make yourself a dream board with all of the things that you want to achieve in the next year or so and work on making it happen. Once you have an idea and a plan, all that needs done is for you to carry it out. What will you be putting on your dream board?

Changes big or small always help me shake away the blahs and I hope that some of the ideas above help make you feel better too!

What do you do when you have a case of the blahs? What are you thankful for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pandemic Worthy New Year’s Resolutions

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Pandemic Worthy New Year’s Resolutions

Hello! I, personally, never make New Year’s Resolutions. But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t help you come up with yours! I’m sure it feels difficult to set goals when leaving the house isn’t the best option so how about some ideas that you can accomplish from the comfort of home? Like the following:

Doing workout videos:

If losing weight is one of your goals, then there are a plethora of work out videos online that you can do from your living room. From yoga and Zumba to simple stretches, there is sure to be something that works for you. Maybe some of the trainers at your local gym even have classes recorded! Start with one or two classes a week and continue adding on from there once you feel ready. Hey, just one half hour class is an awesome achievement if it’s something you’re not used to. And Netflix isn’t going anywhere, I promise. 🙂

Caring for indoor plants:

If you want to improve on your green thumb, try caring for some indoor plants until it gets warm enough to garden outdoors. Not only will they beautify your space but they will help clean the air as well as give you something productive to do. Check out Pinterest and create a photo worthy succulent garden. Or grow some herbs indoors to use while you test out new recipes. It feels good to take care of a plant and help it grow and it will be exciting to track its progress every day.

Scheduled video chats:

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that family and friends do not get to see each other as often as before. If this is something that you have been down about, then pencil in scheduled video chats with those you miss. It is the next best thing to hanging out in real life and it feels nice to have something to look forward to marked in your calendar. I live for my FaceTime dates with my besties and this reminds me that I have to schedule some calls, myself!

Fostering/adopting a pet:

If you have always wanted a furry, scaley, or feathery friend to keep you company, then there is no better time than the present – especially if you are working from home. Do your research and visit a local animal shelter or rescue organization for your new best friend. If you are not ready for the full time commitment of a new pet, then fostering is also a great and much appreciated option.

If you love animals but cannot commit to having a pet, you can also help local shelters by providing old blankets or towels, food, and toys. Organize a community drive and help make a difference.

Work on a new/old hobby:

As always, the New Year is the best time to learn a new hobby or get reacquainted with an old one. Set aside a half hour every day or few days to work on a hobby that is fun for you. It’s impossible to be good at something overnight but the improvements that you will make with steady practice will help motivate you to keep working at it. Learn a new language, paint that picture from a tutorial, or try your hand at Photoshop. Practice makes perfect and by 2022 you will be amazed at how far you’ve come!

Get inspired with the tips above and carve out some time at home to begin working on your goals!

What are your resolutions for 2021? Have you been sticking to them so far? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Your Outdoor Space The Perfect Hang Out

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Making Your Outdoor Space The Perfect Hang Out

Despite the weather being cold and gloomy, it is never too early to think about how to improve your outdoor space this spring and summer. Once the warm weather hits, it will be a lot easier to safely socialize outside which might make you even more motivated to turn your outdoor property into the best on the block. Try out some of these ideas and you will be back to seeing your friends in the warm summer’s breeze before you know it:

Lush greenery:

The first step to turning your yard into the place to be is to get your landscaping just right. Soft green grass, lovely foliage, and bright flowers are a must. It will make your space so inviting and will surely impress your guests when they come to visit. Some people, like my dad, are born with green thumbs. But, if gardening is not your strong suit, then enlist the help of landscaping Toronto for a front and back yard you can be proud of.

Comfortable outdoor furniture:

You will not want your friends to have to sit on the lawn when they stop by, so it’s important to get some nice outdoor furniture to rest on. Wicker chairs with plush cushions, lawn chairs, and benches are a great place to start. As long as you take care of the furniture, that is! Heavy rain and stifling heat can turn that once super comfortable cushion into a moldy disaster.

A fire pit:

There is nothing better than sitting around a bonfire with your friends so maybe this will be the year you invest in a fire pit. It will feel so good to do something “normal” again while being a lot safer outdoors. Can’t you just smell the bonfire and hear the crickets chirping now?

Outdoor activities:

Don’t forget the games! A nice, lush lawn is just begging for some bocce ball, croquet, and cornhole – all of which can be played social distance style. Invite a few friends and have yourselves a garden party. Don’t forget the tiny sandwiches and lemonade!

Made in the shade:

On especially sunny days, it will be crucial to have a spot to cool down in – whether that be a table with a great big umbrella, a Sun Setter, or a kiddie pool to soak your feet in. After all of this time spent indoors, I’m sure many of us will be in our gardens all day come summer time. If you find yourself retreating back inside when it gets too hot, a cool down space to continue to enjoy the great outdoors in will be a must when preparing your space.

In my opinion, winter has been flying by. And, in just a few short months, we will all be able to have the opportunity to socialize a bit more outside so make your outdoor space this summer the best ever!

Boost Your Curb Appeal With These Ideas

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Boost Your Curb Appeal With These Ideas

You can only rearrange your furniture, redecorate, and clean so much inside until you have exhausted all of your ideas to change up your space. So turn your focus to the exterior of your house, instead! Spring is going to be here before we know it and with warmer weather, you can finally get started on outdoor projects. Not only will you love making big changes but they will definitely help boost your home’s curb appeal, to boot! Try out the following:

New windows and doors:

Installing new windows and doors can totally transform your home’s exterior. If you have been living at your place for several years now and are starting to feel blah with its appearance, this might be just the boost it needs. Don’t forget to have fun with your choices, too! A bright colored door can sure make a statement and it will set your house apart from the rest in your neighborhood.

Fresh paint:

If the paint on the outside of your home has seen better days, then perhaps a fresh coat is in order. Chipping paint and discoloration can really lower your curb appeal and makes your place seem less inviting. Fresh paint can fix this quickly and give your house a much needed face lift.

A deck or porch:

Having a place outside for your friends to sit this summer is so important so that you can finally socialize! Maybe your porch is just too small and could be expanded to accommodate company? Or if you have enough space in the back yard, you could go big and have a deck installed. There is nothing like enjoying the sunshine with your friends and a porch or deck will give you the opportunity to do so while boosting your curb appeal.

Repave your driveway:

The driveway might be one of the last things you think about but it is one of the first things that people see when they look at your yard. If winter weather has left your driveway cracked and damaged, then repaving it will definitely be in order as it will stick out like a sore thumb on an, otherwise, well taken care of property.

Expand your garage:

If you have a single garage and more than one car, your property can look a bit jumbled with multiple cars parked on the driveway. Not to mention that playing musical cars every morning when people are leaving is super annoying! Expanding your garage is always a good bet to boost your curb appeal and you will never have to go into a freezing cold or insanely hot car again.

We have had ample time to improve our home’s interior and now we can turn our focus outwards as we transition into spring!

Pandemic Problems: Is Your Home Haven On Rocky Waters?

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Pandemic Problems: Is Your Home Haven On Rocky Waters?

For years, the human species has adhered to the fact that no person is an island. With that in mind, we’ve put ourselves out there and generally socialized as much as possible. In the last year, however, that advice has very much changed and, for many, this shift hasn’t exactly been a smooth transition. Luckily, as we seek new ways to communicate, many of us are finding that we can get by with far less extroversion than we’ve been led to believe. Unluckily, a failure to take care of your island could soon see your mental health suffering regardless.

Our homes have gone from being places where we sleep to being our entire worlds. In many cases, the landscape simply isn’t prepared for this level of usage. That’s bad news for your happiness and efficiency throughout these lock down days, and it’s something you need to address. To help you do that, we’re going to consider three common problems that could be leaving your home lacking:

You haven’t put a personal spin on things:

If you’re used to spending just a few hours at home, you may not have ever done much with the space. That needs to change sooner rather than later now that your home time hours have extended so much. Something simple like decorating to your tastes or framing a few personal snaps could make a huge difference to helping you settle despite what’s happening outside of your four walls.

There’s no space to breathe:

A cluttered home has never helped with mental health, and certainly won’t now. Sadly, getting rid of a mess is harder than ever at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can keep putting it off. There’s no excuse to let clutter rein free when you consider that skip bin hire is still available, and companies have taken significant steps to keep it safe. By investing sooner rather than later, you can get rid of all of the rubbish that’s been building up through lock down. With space to play with, you’ll soon feel like you can breathe again despite continued restrictions.

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You haven’t split the space:

Lastly, your trouble may be due to something as simple as a lack of segmented spaces. With many working from home, splitting work and living areas is fundamental. It also pays to have daytime and nighttime spaces to break things up. Even in a small flat, changing furniture or lighting could be a split enough from day to night, etc. If you have the space, though, keeping each room for a different purpose could soon see you feeling like you’re traveling a whole lot further than you actually are.

We may have been existing solely at home for a while now, but this is still a difficult adjustment to make. Ease your passage by considering these home issues and doing what you can to get your island right at last.

Featured Image By: Pexels

5 Ideas To Fill Your Free Time With

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5 Ideas To Fill Your Free Time With

It’s safe to say that, at the moment, we all have more free time than we ever have had in the past – especially if you are unable to work due to the restrictions that are currently in place or are on furlough. That’s a lot of free time to account for! Back in normal times, you may have spent evenings or weekends with friends and family, going to different events or meetings, or just being out and enjoying different activities. With all of those options depleted, we all need to be able to find new ways to fill our free time. Here are five ideas to inspire you:

1. Reading:

If you know that you usually spend a lot of time watching Netflix or different TV shows and movies, maybe you want to shake that up and choose to read, instead? Reading can be really relaxing, it can help you to expand your horizons, and it’s enjoyable too. It also allows you to have an adventure with the characters in your book!

2. Learning Something New:

Maybe you want to challenge your brain a little more? It could be that you would love to learn something new. Could learning how to speak French fluently be a goal for you? Or how about mastering a new piece of computer software that you have always wanted? This can be a fun and very beneficial way to kill time.

3. Furthering Your Career:

Being on pause from your job can be a bit strange and it can also leave you thinking about what else you want to do in life. If you’ve found that you don’t like where you’re currently at professionally, it will be nice for you to think about what you can do to try and change that or drive your career forward. Maybe you want to earn an mph degree online or learn new skills that will help you to apply for a new job? Sometimes, a career change could be what you need to fill your free time.

4. Something Creative:

It’s always fun to get more in touch with your creative side. So maybe you want to paint something, make something, or sew something? You don’t have to have been into crafts your entire life to turn to a creative pastime and really enjoy it. Why not pick up knitting, drawing, or cross-stitch? There’s no better time than the present!

5. Launching A Business:

It could even be that you’ve always been interested in starting a side hustle. So this could be perfect for you and just what you want to be able to change your career or start something new. Maybe you love baking? Or do you enjoy writing? Or you love the idea of consulting? If you have the time now, why not dedicate some of it towards this? You may find that you not only enjoy it, but it can really take your life in a new direction too.

Use the ideas above to help motivate yourself and turn your time away from work into something equally as productive!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Hosting A Fun Family Game Night

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Hosting A Fun Family Game Night

Many of us have exhausted a range of activities in the midst of societal lock down. We’ve baked, we’ve cooked, we’ve tried foreign cuisine, we’ve read, we’ve relaxed. So, it’s understandable if you’re feeling restless or irritable once your options for activities have been depleted. Not being able to ‘get out’ and enjoy the warm weather (by virtue of it being winter) also limits us a little more. You shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling irritable, as a lot of people are – myself included!

But what’s best for when you’re feeling irritable? To us, playing games and having fun with our family members can really help. Games help us act creatively, to compete in safe settings, and moreover, to have fun and a laugh. Hosting a fun game night with the family can be lovely then, and perhaps a weekly tradition.

But what sort of game nights could you have with the family? Your board game collection is a great place to start or you could order a couple of games online for something totally different. Why not also consider some of the following options?

Word & Quiz Games:

It can be fun to test your general knowledge or show off your Words With Friends skills with a word game. My personal favorite word game is Scrabble and using a descramble words tool can help you buff up before the games begin. Memory games, general trivia, and even games like timed ‘random Wikipedia journeys’ can be a great idea. These games will help you get a brain workout by the end of them! And who’s to say they aren’t competitive?

Video Game Parties:

If you have any video games consoles and games that offer cooperative play, you will be in for a blast. Four play Mario Party can be phenomenal, for instance, helping you enjoy a range of mini games across a players board, building stars, and dunking on others as you go. You’re sure to have fun with Mariokart, Keep Talking, And Nobody Explodes to show you what friendly competition is all about. We would also recommend Human Fall Flat and Fall Guys if you’re looking for something comical and cartoonish.

A Homespun Talent Show:

It can also be a wonderful idea to enjoy a homespun talent show, one that helps you feel connected, appreciated, and able to express your silliest joys. Perhaps you and your partner can do a magic show for the children, while they can lip sync and play air guitar to their favorite song. It sounds very silly, and it is! The goal is for everyone to be grinning from ear to ear. You can all judge and score each act and work up to the semi finals and finals over the course of a weekend. It might be a bit of work, but the outcome will be well worth it!

With this advice, we hope you can enjoy a fun game night with the family – and no doubt end up having a ball. You will feel much better afterwards too! 🙂

Featured Image By: Pexels

Avoiding Stress When Moving House

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Avoiding Stress When Moving House

Thousands of people move home every week. However, many people with their busy lives may struggle to best organize things for an easier move. Making mistakes can lead to dismal results, from unnecessary stress to high financial expenses and even damages. The good news is, that all of the negative things do not have to happen if you manage the move in the right way. Moreover, the process of moving home can be shortened by whole days while saving hundreds of shekels and more, if you just do it right. First, it begins with choosing the right mover.

Start your moving process with careful planning. Take time to really be methodical with what needs to be done. Never leave all of the preparations and packaging for the last few days – a successful home move is characterized by preliminary planning and the deployment of tasks over several weeks. Like any big event, moving house also consists of a variety of “small” tasks that are divided as follows:

  • Packing
  • Locating a moving company
  • Preparation of the new home
  • Moving and unloading the contents in the new home
  • Closing accounts
  • Update addresses

Packing a home for a move:

This is the most complex and lengthy process and, to the best of our understanding, also hated by most people. Despite the expense of certain packaging items, home packaging should not be so traumatic. We will not tell you that it is fun but if you pack the home properly, you can sweeten the pill very significantly. In general, this is the first task that needs to be started. You are not required to pack the entire home on the first day but proper planning and comprehensive inspection can help you decide what to take and what you no longer need and can be thrown away, handed over, or sold. In this way, you can lower the costs of moving since decluttering will leave you with fewer items.

Look at the items you have:

At this point, it is worthwhile to go over the contents of the house with an emphasis on storage and cabinets to discard of items that are no longer in use. This is exactly the time to map out what is needed and what is not. At the same time, it is advisable to start getting quotes for transportation services. Starting a comparison and search for recommended carriers will give you an advantage because at an early stage, most companies will still be available and you can order their services at a reasonable price and at a time convenient to you.

Pack at a pace:

The secret to successful packaging is to start with what you do not need on a daily basis and as you get closer to the time of transition, you increase the pace and start packing the things that are used daily. For example, at the beginning of packing you can pack the closet up, seasonal clothes, or even cutlery that is reserved for special occasions and as you progress, you should start packing items that are used often.

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Take your time with the moving process by beginning way in advance. Complete a few tasks per day and by the time it’s moving day, you will be perfectly prepared.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Bathroom Renovation Ideas For The New Year

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Bathroom Renovation Ideas For The New Year

When it comes to our homes, there are often two rooms that will really sell your house or perhaps add the most value. This tends to be the kitchen and the bathroom. The kitchen happens to be a big job, but the bathroom can actually be made over quite simply if you have the time and investment for it. The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the home, and we want to ensure that it not only looks good but is also very functional too.

You may be wondering what parts of the bathroom you can makeover or even the things you can do easily to improve the look. It doesn’t matter whether you have a full renovation or just make small changes, whatever you do will have a big impact on your home. So what can you do? If a bathroom renovation is in the cards this year, then here are some ideas to consider:

Look for inspiration in different places:

When it comes to deciding on what you want to do, the best thing would be to try and get some inspiration and ideas from different sources. There is a real mix of inspiration out there if you know where to look. Websites like Pinterest are full of great ideas as well as hacks and DIY tricks you can get. Instagram is also a wonderful place to see real life homes and what other people have done. Many share their homes online through their feed and it can be a great source of information and advice. It is a good idea to do this first before you start any renovations or get quotes. You need to know exactly what you want.

Replace the bathroom suite:

One of the biggest and possibly most expensive changes to make would be to replace the whole bathroom suite. This could be an especially good decision if your bathroom is a little dated. You may want to try out a new sized bath or have a standalone shower instead of it being over the tub. If you are doing any pipe work and installation, it may be advisable to look for a plumber in your area. Calling in the professionals is important so that the installation of pipes are correct and don’t leak or cause damage. Otherwise, it can end up being a huge disaster.

Make changes to one area:

Maybe you want to focus on just one change that you want to make in the bathroom. This can still make a dramatic difference to how a bathroom looks and feels. It might be that you replace the flooring or choose a new tile for the walls. It could even be replacing the light fittings or lowering the ceiling so you can fit modern spotlights. Another thing you could consider is the vanity, the cabinets, and the storage. Replacing those can make a big difference. Places like Pinnacle Cabinetry and Design could be a good option to consider. They may seem like small changes but they can make a big difference to how your bathroom looks and could certainly give it the wow factor with little effort and upheaval for you.

Do you want a theme for your bathroom?

A great way to make a simple change to your bathroom is to consider a theme. This is especially easy if you have a blank canvas to work with such as a white bathroom suite or plain walls. A theme can be a great way to add a different touch. It could be a nautical theme where you add subtle features such as toothbrush holders, ornaments, and pictures on the wall. It could be that you want to think about adding a color which we cover a bit more about in the next idea. Finally, a theme could be as simple as going for a modern, vintage, or even retro vibe.

Change up the color scheme:

Finally, a change of color scheme, although sounding very simple, can make a big difference to your space. It could be changing the accessories or adding a splash of color through the towels you have on display, for example. A hint of color here and there or going all out with color everywhere can instantly freshen up a bathroom space.

We’re leaving blah bathrooms behind in 2020 and with some inspiration from Pinterest and help from the experts, this will be your best home renovation yet!

Featured Image By: Pixabay