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Tiny Living: 3 Home Hacks To Maximize Your Space

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Tiny Living: 3 Home Hacks To Maximize Your Space

There is something genuinely cozy about living in a small apartment – particularly if you live alone! The silence of a big house and its constant shrieks and sighs can’t compare with the snug as a bug in a rug feeling of knowing what’s going on in each and every room; having only one of them makes it a lot more manageable.

Small living can also be frustrating, crowded, and downright messy sometimes, but let’s try not to focus on that! Here are a couple of helpful tips on how to keep it neat and cozy at all times, so that you don’t have to dream about greener pastures quite yet:

#1 Store Things Higher Up:

The more you have on your floor, the more cluttered it will look. You need the little floor space you have, and the apartment will look so much bigger when you manage to keep it as open as possible. Think about those lofted bedroom sets we used to love as children and make use of the same principle. By elevating your sleeping area the same way, you’ll be able to use the floor underneath to create a small dining space, for example, or a reading corner. Maximizing every aspect of space in your small living quarters will increase the overall functionality of your tiny but well loved one bedroom apartment.

#2 Clear Out The Clutter:

Clear away anything that can be stored neatly away somewhere and forgotten about. That countryside kitchen style with all of your utensils and mugs on display isn’t really suitable for tiny apartments, although the look in itself is quite charming. Choose a few knick knacks and place them in the spotlight – the rest needs to go elsewhere.

Pack away all of your summer clothes from your wardrobe, for example, to make room for all of your cold weather layers, and buy a good shoe cabinet so that your snowy boots won’t make a mess of the floor. A cabinet provides you with more surface space, by the way, so you can place some of your ornaments on it if you’ve run out of options and do not have enough shoes to fill it completely. (I would never have that problem!!)

#3 Consider Matryoshkas:

If you want to live in your little home for a long while, it’s a good idea to invest in furniture that is purposely designed to make small living a lot easier. They might cost a bit extra, but you’ll literally be able to buy an all-in-one furniture set that extends into a bed, bookshelf, corner couch, dining table, and even a wardrobe – all of this from one single piece of furniture.

Seems too good to be true? Check it out for yourself and weep tears of joy at the thought of all of the space that you’ll finally be able to use. The same principle is found in simpler versions, as well, in case you don’t need a full dining area and a bed at the same time; opt for a couch that folds into a bed instead and you’ve already saved yourself some space.

Also consider using blinds rather than curtains for your windows to avoid wearing your tiny space down with heavy fabrics and choose glass rather than wood when looking at coffee tables. Light and airy are key terms when you want to maximize your living space and this mindset should extend to all of your pieces of decor.

That studio apartment won’t seem so bad after all once all of the clutter is gone and you’re able to breathe again – it’s at least super quick to clean, if nothing else! 😀

Featured Image By: Pexels

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Is Your Family Ready For A Pet?

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Is Your Family Ready For A Pet?

Deciding if you’re ready to open up your home to a pet is a big step to take, and it requires careful consideration, especially if you have kids. You’ll need to think about the cost, time commitment, emotional energy, and logistical complication involved in having a pet, and then determine which kind is right for your family. A fish is low cost and low maintenance, but a dog is more memorable, active, and engaging. You know your family best, so if you’re thinking about getting a pet, here are some important questions to ask:

Is our family ready?

Having a pet is a great way to teach kids about responsibility, empathy, and to help them learn to cope with loss. A pet can also be a great resource for kids emotionally, because of the unconditional love and attention they can give. However, very young children might not be prepared for the responsibility of walking a dog every day or changing kitty litter, so if your kids are under the age of ten, be prepared to take on much of the actual work yourself.

Can we afford a pet?

Furry friends can be expensive – Food, toys, and medical costs for a pet can go well beyond your expectations. Buying food in bulk, making toys from old socks or recycling, and taking reasonable measures to prevent heart disease, dental problems, and other costly medical issues can help keep costs down. But if you’re not in a stable financial place, having a pet might only make things worse, which isn’t fair for all parties involved.

Is our house pet-friendly?

Plenty of pets live happily in little houses and apartments, but if you rent, having a pet can cause issues if you need to move to a new place. Birds, rodents, reptiles, and fish are great apartment pets because they’re perfectly happy spending most of their time indoors in a tank or cage. Dogs and cats can be trickier, because they need more outside time. If you don’t have access to a garden or a park, or live near a busy road that might not be safe, think carefully about what kind of pet you can safely accommodate.

Other Considerations:

Not every kid is ready to care for a pet, especially if they’re young or easily frightened. Take a trip to a petting zoo or animal shelter to volunteer and see if your family has the right dynamic to take a pet in. Timing is also important to consider. With a pet, your ability to travel last minute is much less likely. If you have a family vacation you’re planning or a wedding out of town, it might be worthwhile to wait until after the trip to settle down with an animal at home, so everyone can adjust together in a stable environment. Also bear in mind, that while a mouse or a fish might only live a year or two, a lizard or a dog might live fifteen years or more. If your kids are older, when they leave for college, you might be looking after the pet alone. Make sure you’re ready for the commitment before you make any decisions.

If you do decide that your family is ready for a pet, there are plenty of resources on how to train and care for your new family member and prepare your house for an animal. If and when you’re ready to make the decision, there will be lots of new things to consider, but lots of amazing benefits and memories to be made, as well!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Planning On Moving Abroad? Make Things Easier On Yourself!

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Planning On Moving Abroad? Make Things Easier On Yourself!

There are a lot of things to consider when moving overseas. Currencies change, cultures vary, and there are always moving arrangements to consider. Somewhere between all of the planning, packing, and stress, there are a few key factors that tend to get overlooked. Blending into the local environment isn’t always as simple as it might sound. This article is here to help take some of the stress off of your shoulders and help make your transition an easy one:

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Planning For The Unexpected:

No one can see the future, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan ahead for some minor issues. In the same way you’ll take extra care to pack your personal belongings, take a moment to consider what health coverage you will have in the event that you become sick.

Depending on your new destination, it can be difficult to know where to go for advice when you feel sick. Unfortunately, Medicare coverage plans do not travel with an individual when they move overseas, unless you’re planning on moving to a U.S. territory like Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. It might seem overwhelming when you consider having to find new health insurance, but don’t panic just yet.

The vast majority of countries offer an all-inclusive, government-sponsored health care plan. That means doctor visits, hospitalization, prescriptions, and more are all covered under one plan that usually costs a small percentage of your income. Even if you opt for a private plan instead of a public one, the cost is often one-fifth less than it is here in the U.S.

Should you get sick and need to see a doctor, you will require the same medical care that you would here. Thankfully, that coverage is easily obtained and you won’t have to worry when the unexpected happens.

Adapting To The Culture:

There is no single sure-fire way to adapt to every culture on the planet, but there are a few things that you can practice that the majority of cultures do take part in. One of those things is to focus on living a little greener or eco-friendly. While we might not think about it, the amount of waste that we throw away here in the U.S. is astronomical compared to several other first world nations.

A simple rule of thumb is to take something like metal, plastic, or even cardboard and reuse it wisely. In most cases, that just means recycling it properly. Countries like Austria and Germany have the world’s leading recycling programs, which means that it is a large part of their culture.

While you might never get used to some customs, choosing to take part in a country’s recycling habits can help you blend in with them in a heartbeat. It shows that you care about the same things they do. Plus, it’s great for the environment!

Eliminating Some Stress:

It’s easy to pack a couple of bags when heading on vacation, but moving all of your belongings to a new country can seem like a nightmare. Just like you would turn to UPS or FedEx when you need an important package delivered, why not turn to international shipping experts when moving abroad?

What used to be a complicated and expensive process has been made much simpler by a few companies who specialize in shipping luggage overseas. This will help you to avoid extra costs on airline baggage fees (Which can add up fast.), while taking some the burden of moving off of your shoulders. One less thing to worry about is always a good thing.

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Choosing to move overseas is a big decision that requires a lot of planning and work. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can prepare for ahead of time to make the process go over as smooth as possible. Happy travels!

Creative Storage Ideas For Tiny Homes

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Creative Storage Ideas For Tiny Homes

If you have a pretty small home or apartment, then the struggle to find enough space to store things around the home, really is real. But if you’re not quite ready to throw the majority of your things away (Who is?!), then you need to know some awesome hacks for maximizing the storage space. Here are some ways to make the most of the space in a small home:

Floor To Ceiling Storage:

When there isn’t much storage, you want to make sure that you’re using the most of the space you’ve got. So for things like bookshelves or kitchen units, make sure that they go from floor to ceiling. You don’t want any wasted space left at the top of the kitchen cabinets, for instance.

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Floor to ceiling storage is a must.

Create Outdoor Space:

If you have the ability to add space outdoors but don’t have the budget for an extension, then something like a wraparound porch could be a good idea. It is pretty simple to construct, it adds floor space, it won’t cost too much to arrange, and is a great hang out spot for friends and family.

Use Garage Space:

If you’re lucky enough to have a garage, then you need to make sure that you’re using it wisely. If you use it for your car, do you really need to be? Could you make better use of it by using it as an additional room in the home or for storage? It might need some changes to it, through the help of garage door services, for example. But once it is secure and has everything that you need in it, it can be a really invaluable space. Man cave or she shed, anyone?

Embrace Open Plan Living:

To help a home feel larger and more spacious than it is, then some walls are going to need to come down. When rooms are small and walls are thick, it can make the home look darker and much smaller. So it could be time to opt for a kitchen diner or kitchen and living space. Just check what walls can be knocked down before you take the sledgehammer and angsty feels to it!

Use Under the Stairs Space:

The space left under the stairs can be pretty huge (Except for Harry Potter!). But because it is a little awkward, it can often just get left to hang some coats and that’s about it. But if you plan carefully, you can get some shelving and storage under there, for sure. Using every space you have is so important – even the little nooks and crannies!

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LOVE THIS!!

Get Creative With Mirrors:

Mirrors are a great way to help a room look brighter and larger, so make sure that you get creative with the use of them around your home. Aim for at least one per room and the space will feel and look much brighter, lighter, and airy.

Use Room Dividers:

If you’re not quite ready to go open plan, then you could at least think about getting room dividers instead of walls. They could be glass partitions, curtains, or even large sliding doors so that you can open up the whole space if you want to (But you don’t have to have it that way all the time.).

Sweet and small homes are amazing – but your storage might not be! Use the tips above to open up your space and make the most of it!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Building Up Your Health From The Inside Out

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Building Up Your Health From The Inside Out

We all know that being the right weight, eating well, and exercising is good for our bodies. But did you know that your body might still be suffering on the inside, even though you’ve managed to get the outside of your body looking at it’s best? Unfortunately, a part of life includes suffering with ailments. This all depends on your family history, what you’ve done in the past (like smoking), and also what you’re exposed to during current life that could affect your health. Here’s how you can build up your inner health to get yourself back at peak condition from the inside out:

Stomach:

Our stomach puts up with a lot of unfortunate issues, regardless of what you have put in it. We’ve all had stomach bugs where it has caused us to have major yuck sessions, so over time there is bound to be some damage done to our tummy that might even make us suffer as we get older. It’s also likely that you’ve enjoyed some alcohol in the past, alongside rich and spicy foods – all of which will damage your insides.

Making sure that you’re eating food that’s not going to do your stomach any harm a majority of the time will help you out in the long run. Many people experience ailments like heartburn or acid reflux. If this is you, consider changing your diet to something less acidic and also head to your pharmacy for some OTC medication to relieve your symptoms.

Bones:

Your bones are literally what holds you together. However, many of us forget to look after them and end up with conditions like osteoporosis, which is weakened bones that are more likely to fracture and crumble. There are supplements available like AlgaeCal which relieves the symptoms of osteoporosis because of the AlgaeCal plant calcium, which is what our bones need to stay strong and healthy.

If you are worried about the wellness of your bones, be sure to visit your doctor who can arrange necessary tests and scans to check if you have any underlying conditions and to discuss the treatment of your discomfort.

Lungs:

Our lungs are how we breathe (Obvs!) and they send oxygen to the heart so that it can pump blood around our bodies and keep us alive. Make sure that you’re not exposed to things that could be damaging to your lungs like asbestos or anything where you’re frequently exposed to small particles in the air. If you’re worried about asbestos or mold in your home, you should call in a professional to get their opinion. Of course, avoiding smoking will also help you to protect your lungs, as well.

Give your inner self a fighting chance to get stronger quickly and try these bits of advice today. Remember to speak to your GP before self medicating, even if it’s a supplement. Stay healthy and happy!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Mission: Impossible (Friend To Buy A Gift For!)

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Mission: Impossible (Friend To Buy A Gift For!)

We all have that one person, whether it’s your best friend, a sibling, or significant other, there’s always someone who is just excruciatingly difficult to buy gifts for. With Christmas just around the corner, now comes a return of those anxieties, you want to be a good and thoughtful friend/family member/partner, but you have no idea where to begin. So what is the best way to buy a gift for someone who is impossible to buy for? Let’s try and think outside the (gift) box:

A Gift Card Or A Certificate:

This doesn’t exactly scream “well thought out”, but it’s a worthy compromise if you need to buy something for someone who has either got everything or they just haven’t given any hints. A gift card can seem like a cheap gift, especially since you have to tell them how much is on the card! In this respect, maybe you want to give them a gift card that is in conjunction with a few other gifts, such as a dinner out, movie tickets, or maybe a donation to charity, all wrapped up in a bright envelope.

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Who doesn’t love a gift card?!

Buy An Experience:

If you struggle to buy someone a physical gift, why don’t you buy them something that is going to stick in their mind for years to come? An experience is so much more than the typical presents that we buy for everyone. Maybe you want to plan a fun day trip or there’s a concert coming up by one of their favorite bands. At least with an experience, it shows that you put a lot of thought into what they like. And even if you haven’t had the opportunity to put much thought into it, the experience alone is so different from what they normally get as a present, that they will be totally psyched.

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 I want that trip!

Go For The Practical Option:

While this may not be the most earth-shattering of gifts, if you’ve noticed that their curling tongs have broken recently or their coffee machine is on the fritz, then you can buy them a new and improved model. It’s always difficult with these types of items to pick the best one, but there are sites that you can look at to get some reviews, such as top9rated.com, to get some opinions of the best items on the market. With a practical gift, it shows that you pay attention to them and have made a valiant effort to make life a bit easier for them.

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 Pixabay Image

A Subscription Service:

We usually think of a gift as a one-off, but with a subscription service, you can pay for something that they will enjoy the whole year round. Something like netflix.com will always be handy if they travel around a lot and end up getting bored easily. Or maybe they are work out addicts, so you could pay their subscription to the gym for a year. It’s always a nice thing to buy a gift that is part of their lifestyle so that they can think of you every time they use it!

Buying gifts for a loved one should be fun, not stressful. Take some time to sit down, have a think, and figure out the perfect gifts for your BFF/SO/siblings this holiday season.

Top 3 Dog Grooming Essentials For A Beautiful And Healthy Coat

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Top 3 Dog Grooming Essentials For A Beautiful And Healthy Coat

Hi everyone and welcome to a very special guest post written by the amazing founder of NolongerWild, Cindy. Cindy is here to give the 411 on all of the top tips to keeping your four legged friend’s coat healthy and sleek. And remember, these pieces of advice aren’t suitable for human hair! 😉

Top 3 Dog Grooming Essentials For A Beautiful And Healthy Coat

There are 3 dog grooming essentials to ensure that your pet’s coat is healthy and beautiful. Bear in mind that some breeds are more high maintenance than others. If you are thinking of adopting a pet, definitely look into the dog grooming requirements that are needed first.

  1. Bubbles At Bath Time:
  • Nobody likes a smelly dog and that is when you know your friend-legged friend needs a bath. Additionally, bathing will be necessary if your pooch has been rollicking in the mud, too.
  • If your dog is neither stinky nor dirty, take a rain check. Bathing should be kept to a minimum as too much makes their skin dry out because the natural oils are stripped away.
  • Be sure to use shampoos specifically formulated for canines. There are great products available for those that have extra sensitive skin or allergies, too.
  • Using products designed for humans on your pet may cause inflammation and other skin problems because the pH levels of our skin are not the same.
  • My favorite is a homemade oatmeal bath. Not only does it relieve my dog’s dry and itchy skin, but it also conditions her coat making it silky and soft!

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  1. Brushing Basics:
  • Regular brushing keeps the coat healthy by spreading out the natural oils.
  • How often your dog will need to be brushed depends on the length of his/her coat:
  • Dogs with very short hair and smooth coats will only require brushing every few weeks. I use a dog grooming glove to remove excess hair.
  • Short haired dogs with denser fur can be brushed every one to two weeks.
  • If your pooch has a long thick coat that tangles easily, brush at least weekly and before bath time, especially if their coats are matted. Bathing will only make the knotting of the mats more taut and difficult to remove.
  • To remove mats, detangling sprays and specialized tools such as mat breakers are available. This dog grooming tool should not be used like a regular brush. The razor blades are specifically designed to cut mats away as close to the skin as possible and can nick your dog if done incorrectly.

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  1. Trimming & Shaving Tips:
  • Certain breeds may need their fur to be trimmed occasionally. This could be to prevent tangling or be required seasonally.
  • Dog clippers can easily be used on the canine’s body.
  • To prevent hair pulling, keep the blades of the clipper sharp.
  • Except for the tummy area, the clippers should be slowly worked in the direction that the fur is growing. This will eliminate lines and give a smoother appearance.
  • Other areas on a dog’s body that commonly require trimming are around the lower jaw and tushie. Hair around the eyes that could obscure vision should also be cut.

Dog grooming can be a wonderful opportunity to bond with your pet. It is best to start as early as possible when your dog is still a puppy so that he/she can become accustomed to the 3 dog grooming essentials for a healthy and beautiful coat.

Thanks so much again to Cindy for sharing her grooming tips with us! For more facts on all of your favorite pets, be sure to visit NolongerWild. Much love. -Sarah