Ways to Take Control of Your Life Today

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Do you ever feel like life is just happening to you? That you’re driving along wherever the wind takes you and not doing or achieving those things that you most desire? Most of us feel like this at some point in our lives (some of us feel like this all the time), but it is possible to take back the reins of control and lead a more intentional life that is better and more akin to the life you really want to lead.


Here are just some of the ways you can take control of your life right now:


Work Out What You Really Want


Obviously, the first step to taking control of your life is working out what you really want; what your ideal life would look like. If you’re unable to do this, then you won’t be able to work towards achieving it. So, sit down and spend some time really thinking about your hopes and dreams. Do you want to start your own business? Travel the world? Get a promotion? Really think about it and then list your wants from the most to least important so you can target those big ideas first and foremost.


Be More Optimistic

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If you’re a negative nancy or Norman, then you won’t really believe that you can take control of your life and do the things that you’ve only dreamed of right now. So, although it might be difficult at first if you’re naturally a glass-half-empty kind of person, start to be more positive about your life. You can do this by appreciating what you do have, writing a gratitude journal at gratefulness.org, and always looking for the nugget of positivity in every tough situation you encounter. This will make you stronger and more resolved to take control and build your ideal life.


Get Your Finances Under control


If you’re in debt or living with too little to get by, it can be pretty tough to feel like you’re in control. The first step to getting past this is to actively start making plans to sort out your financial life. So, draw up a budget, head to personalloan.co and take out a loan to consolidate your debts, get a second job or do whatever it is you need to do to improve your finances starting today. The sense of control you feel will be amazing, and once you’re back on a more even keel, the extra money you have will mean that you can think about starting a new company or going travelling for a while after all.


Just Do It

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Ultimately, you’re never going to be in control of your life or do the things you most want to do if you don’t take the plunge and make that first step towards your dreams. You need to acknowledge the fact that you might fail, but do that thing you most want to do anyway because what will be worse in the end, never trying to do it or trying and failing? I think we all know that it’s the former deep down.


Time to lead a more purposeful life?

Turning Ideas Into Reality: Essential Considerations For Amateur Interior Designers

Have you recently moved house or are you planning a style overhaul at home? Whether you’re revamping your bedroom, fitting a new kitchen or remodeling and redecorating the entire building, there are some essential considerations to bear in mind. If you’re an ambitious amateur interior designer, here are some tips to help you turn your ideas into reality.


Your budget

Interior makeovers can cost anywhere from a hundred dollars to a million dollars, depending on the scale of the project, the materials you use, the products you buy and how much you work you undertake. Unless you have a limitless budget, it’s always wise to start a remodel of any kind with a figure in mind. Budgeting can help you to plan how you’re going to spend your money, and it can also reduce the risk of overspending. Before you even look at brochures or interior magazines, check your finances and see how much you can afford to spend on the project. The next step is to get some quotes for the work you have in mind. If you’re looking for a decorator, a builder or a designer, or you want to fit a new bathroom or kitchen, it’s worth contacting several firms to compare prices before you make a decision. If you’re placing orders, paying bills or buying accessories, paint or furniture, update your budget as you go, so you know exactly how much you’ve spent.

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Your health and wellbeing

Most of us consider our home a safe haven and a place where we can relax, be ourselves and enjoy quality time with our nearest and dearest. When you’re planning a revamp, bear your health and wellbeing in mind. If you suffer from health issues, you’re recovering from an injury or an accident or you’re keen to ensure that your home is an oasis that promotes positive wellbeing, it’s important to make plans accordingly.


If you struggle to get around and mobility is an issue, for example, consider the layout carefully when remodeling the kitchen. Wide, open spaces are a lot easier to negotiate than cramped kitchens that are packed with units and islands. If you have back pain or you suffer from discomfort related to conditions like arthritis, consider seating options carefully. You don’t want to be sat at the dining table on a hard, wooden chair or curled up on a couch that doesn’t have a high back. If you’re exploring alternatives to a traditional sofa, it’s worth checking out options like an overstuffed lounger. This comfortable bean bag is designed to support your entire body no matter what position you’re in, and it can be hugely beneficial for those who find it hard to get comfortable when watching TV or reading a book. If you’re keen to turn your home into a retreat and improve your mental health, devote areas to hobbies and interests and try and create spaces that are geared towards peace and tranquility. Your bedroom, for example, should be a sanctuary that makes you feel relaxed and calm. If you’ve got a spare room you never use, you have a large kitchen, or you don’t need the whole of the garage to store tools and house cars, you can use these areas to indulge your interests and passions. Whether you enjoy reading, writing, playing music, singing or doing DIY, it’s important that your home affords you the chance to spend time doing the things you love.

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Your lifestyle

Your lifestyle should play a part in determining how you design your home. Think about how you live your life, how your family unit functions and how you spend your time. If you’ve got kids, for example, you need to bear practical considerations in mind. If you’ve got a tiny kitchen or bathroom, your home may not lend itself to family life, but don’t write it off just yet. It may be possible to add an extension or to knock walls through to open up the space. If you’ve got a huge laundry room or a dining room next to the kitchen, for example, get some quotes and go through some plans to knock through and create a much larger, more open kitchen-diner. This is much more practical for a growing family, and it could also add value to your home. If you’ve got a separate bathroom and toilet upstairs or you don’t need a guest room, you could also explore the option of switching the location of the bathroom or knocking down a wall to create one big bathroom. Adapting your home to suit your lifestyle doesn’t have to involve major changes in the layout or the structure of the building. Simple touches can often make all the difference. If you have small children, for example, it may be beneficial to section off an area of the kitchen and create a playroom. If you’ve got teenage kids, it could be an idea to put a desk in the spare bedroom to provide a quiet spot to do homework.


Think about how your home suits your lifestyle and what kinds of changes you could make to ensure your house works for you. Do you enjoy watching movies together as a family or are you a couple famed for throwing the best parties on the block? Are you outdoorsy types or do you work from home? You can use the space you have available both indoors and outdoors to cater for your lifestyle. Set up an office in a garden room or turn a spare room into a studio. Convert part of the garage into a bike, kayak and outdoor clothing and shoe store, or kit out the living room with floor cushions, bean bags and a projector ready for movie nights.  

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Your future

Interior design is all about making your home look the business, but it’s always wise to think about how the changes you make to your home will impact your future. Often, doing work to a property will increase its value, but this is not always the case. There are certain projects, which are likely to be much more lucrative than others. If you’re hoping to add value at the same time as enhancing the aesthetic of your home and making it more suitable for your lifestyle, it’s beneficial to do some research, get quotes and talk to real estate agents. If you’ve got prices for an attic conversion in front of you, for example, you can ask agents how much value the project is likely to add, and when you’ve got an answer, you can see if it’s worth going ahead with the remodel. Thinking about the future isn’t just about money. You may also be thinking about how your home could cater for your needs in years to come. You may be considering getting pets, you may be planning to start a family, or you might be thinking of adding to your brood. Perhaps you’re toying with the idea of running a business from home or asking your parents to move in with you as they get older and need more help. Whatever your situation, it’s a good idea to have one foot in the future. You may want to move in the next five years, but if you don’t, it’s worth considering how you could modify your home. Examples of projects that usually add substantial value to a property include attic and basement conversions, conservatories, kitchen makeovers and extensions. If you are mulling over ideas, get in touch with local experts and compare quotes before you make any final decisions. Make sure you have a written breakdown of costs before you sign on the dotted line or make a downpayment.

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Your taste and style

If you’re interested in interior design, you’ve probably noticed that trends come and go incredibly quickly. Trends influence us, but it’s important that you put your stamp on your home and you prioritize your taste and style. Don’t feel like you have to deck out a dining room in velvet curtains and animal print cushions just because you’ve seen the opulent trend featured in glossy magazines or coffee table books. Take a look at blogs, social media platforms and magazines, and pick out looks that you like. There is always a plethora of themes on the hot list in any given season, and you don’t have to embrace them all at the same time. Combine elements of looks that appeal to you and create an overall aesthetic that reflects your style and personality.

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Are you thinking about revamping or refreshing your interiors, or are you looking to renovate or remodel your home? If your mind is bursting with ideas, the next step is to try and turn these musings into reality. Plan ahead, draw up a budget and work on designs that suit your lifestyle, reflect your personalities and promote health and happiness. If you are undertaking major projects, do some research beforehand, get several quotes and think about how the work will affect the value of the house.

Don’t Let Burglars Steal Your Summer! Hot Tips To Keep Them At Bay



Warning! Your home is under threat this summer from unwanted visitors. And no, we aren’t talking about cousin June and her family brood. Rather, we are talking about that other unwelcome guest, the burglar! A home-break-in is no laughing matter, and your summer will be ruined if this devious swine gets into your home. Here are some tips to keep the miscreant at bay.


  1. Always check your doors and windows.


It’s tempting to leave doors and windows open during the warmer days, especially when trying to cool down your house from the suffocating heat. Bad mistake! Any entrance into your property is a temptation to the would-be thief, and the skilled burglar can get in and out within seconds, particularly if you have valuables lying around in plain sight. Our advice is this: avoid opening any access point, and rely on your aircon instead. If you do need to open a window, ensure you fully shut and lock it when you have to leave the house.


  1. Invest in a home security system


Not only useful during the summer, but considering you may be away from home on a vacation during the season, these nifty devices will deter any burglar from gaining access. Should they still try and bypass the system and gain entry into your home, the security system will notify the law. Check out some of the home security reviews at Homesecuritysystem.co, and find something that fits your needs and price range.


  1. Burglar-proof your garden


No, we aren’t talking about planting a minefield amongst your roses! Instead, reclaim your privacy from any burglars stalking the neighbourhood (and your nosey neighbours), by following some of the ideas listed here. From planting shrubbery tall enough to lose a giraffe in (that was a slight exaggeration) to securing your fence as much as possible, the burglar will likely give up the chase of your valuable goods and sniff out your next-door neighbour instead.


  1. Don’t broadcast your holiday plans


Of course, you’re excited about what you’re doing on holiday, but remember that a burglar could be in earshot, or checking through your social media posts online. So be careful what you say. Don’t, for example, have a daily Facebook status counting down how many days it is before you head out on your annual summer vacation. It’s only 3 more days until you get on the plane, which in burglar speak, is only 3 more days until your home is a welcoming target!


  1. Enlist the aid of your neighbours


Assuming you are on speaking terms, and can trust your neighbours, ask them to be on the lookout for you. Even if you are only going away on day trips, it still pays to have somebody watching your back, or in this case, your home and garden! Give them your number in case they see something suspicious, and if you are away for an extended period, ask them to collect your mail and turn your home’s lights on and off under the pretence that you are actually home.




A burglar will ruin your summer and steal all the peace and relaxation you were hoping for. Follow our tips to keep your home safe, and hopefully, you will be able to rest well, whether you’re at home for the summer or sunning it abroad.


Everything You Need To Research About A Potential New Neighborhood

We all think that the most important things to find out about when moving house are related to the house itself. For instance, you will certainly need to know the asking price, and it’s also a good idea to get a survey so that you can uncover any potential issues with the house’s structure. But is that really all that you need to know?



It’s also a good idea to research the house’s surrounding area as well as you can, especially if you are moving to a completely new region and don’t know much about the various different neighborhoods. After all, this is where you will be living for a few years to come, hopefully, so you will want to make sure that you end up in an area in which you feel completely settled.


Thankfully, you can a lot of neighborhood research online these days, making it a lot more convenient for those of you who are moving long distances. However, if possible, it is always best to try and visit a potential neighborhood in person so that you can get a feel for what it would be like to permanently live there.


So, what exactly should you find out about a neighborhood that you might end up moving to? Here are some key points that you should look into.





If you have kids or are planning on having some anytime soon, you should make the effort to look into the local schools. You will probably have to choose one to send your kids to before you move in and, in some cases, you will have to apply for them to go there. But before you do that, you need to find out which will be the best for your children. It’s easy enough to find the average grades and teaching standards of each school online, and it’s also worth looking at message forums, such as Mumsnet, to see if you can find any reviews from parents who already send their kids there. It’s also worth contacting the local educational board or council as they will be able to send you a brochure about each school, which should give you an overview of all the information and data you need to know.

A pop of minty fresh color in Capitol Hill. 📷: @dezhester #MyDCcool

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Proximity To Amenities


Each neighborhood should have its own key amenities, such as supermarkets, banks, and gyms. However, they might not all have their own hospitals, doctors surgeries or hairdressers. There might also not be quite as many entertainment facilities, such as cinemas, bowling alleys, and restaurants, in the immediate vicinity. So, you need to take all of these into consideration. Do you absolutely need to be so close to all of these amenities and entertainment facilities? If not, then you won’t mind moving into a neighborhood that is very residential and doesn’t feature quite so many of them. However, if you believe that it might be a problem, you might only want to look at houses on neighborhoods that have lots of amenities within easy reach of all residents.





A lot of prospective home buyers are very interested in the crime rates of all the neighborhoods they look for properties in. After all, no one wants to inadvertently move to an area that suffers from extremely high rates of crime – there is no way that will be the best place for your family to live. So, while you are considering your shortlist of potential neighborhoods, it’s a good idea to disregard any that have above-average crime rates. It’s possible to find out the exact rates by checking the local police station’s website. Most websites will give you a detailed breakdown of criminal activity and incidents that have occurred over the past few years.



Public Transport Links


Next, it’s a good idea to think about a neighborhood’s public transport links, even if you have your own family car. Good public transport links will help you feel a lot more connected to the rest of the town and city. Plus, it will encourage you to leave your car at home a lot more often, which will be better for your budget and for the environment. Not only that, though, but it will give your kids a lot more independence once they hit their teenage years and they won’t rely on you for lifts around town so much. And it will save them a whole lot of cash on taxis once they start going on nights out with their friends.

#spring #may #berlin #tram #yellow

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Communication Capabilities


Did you know that not every neighborhood will have as good mobile and internet connectivity as some of the others in the same town or city? Unfortunately, it’s true. So, there is no point just assuming that your new home will have brilliant internet or cell phone reception. In fact, it could be quite a bit worse than what you are used to! If you work from home all the time, or even just a few days a week, this is obviously going to cause you some problems. Thankfully, you should be able to check a property’s current connectivity even before you are moved in. You just need to go onto an internet or cell phone providers website and enter in the address. Most offer this function and, once you have entered in the address, the site will tell you how fast the internet will be and how good the 4G in the area is.



Future Building Plans


There’s nothing better than moving into a home that has a pleasant view out of its back window. But imagine how disappointed you would be if someone built a house or a housing development right out your back. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to stop this if the plans have already been passed. But, you can find out exactly what is planned to be built close to a potential home by looking online at recent planning permission applications.


Remember all of the points above, and you will be able to find the perfect neighborhood for you and your family.

Can A Smart Home Be Stylish?

We’re hearing more than ever before about smart homes. But let’s be honest, it would be no surprise to hear that you hate the idea of dozens of technology devices cluttering up your home. However, if you are worried that too much tech will only be an eyesore, it might be time to think again. While smart homes might have been the preserve of the technology nerd in the past, things are changing quickly, and it’s more than possible to have a smart home that is stylish as well as clever in the tech department. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

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Consider the Control


OK, so the first step in creating a smart, stylish home is to have a good think about where to put your ‘control’ device – in most cases, your voice-control devices, like a tablet or media console. It will need to go where people spend most of their time in the home, so consider placing it on a kitchen unit or in a central area. It’s also a good idea to give your unit a few beautiful companions. Take the Amazon Echo unit, for example. Standing on its own it might look obvious and out of place. But in amongst some other decor pieces, it can blend into your everyday life.


Upgrade your devices


Tired of your ugly wireless router? Want something a little better looking than the standard DVR box you keep jammed in beneath the TV? If so, why not look for some upgrades. There are some seriously beautiful devices out there, such as the TiVo Bolt – it looks like a piece of art – and the Eero router, which is a rounded router that resembles a decorative piece.


Shake up your lighting


The great thing about smart lighting is that there are so many good value options that don’t require a massive installation project. If you read the review at BestSmartLamp.com for more info on smart lamps like the Philips’ Friends of Hue series and many more, you will see what kind of thing is available. There are some incredibly smart lighting options that can produce stunning lighting displays in any room – and many are controllable from your Alexa or Google Home devices.


Smart refrigerators


Let’s head back into the kitchen and take a look at your refrigerator. If you are planning on upgrading soon, why not go for a smart fridge? There are some spectacular options out there, but the vast majority of them are exceptionally beautiful to look at. As pointed out by CNet.com, you should take the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator as a great example. It has a super slick stainless steel design and also has a digital bulletin board where you can put family tasks and notices up. It also links up with an app so you can pull up a shopping list of everything you need when you are at the grocery store.


As you can see, a smart home doesn’t have to mean your living spaces look like something from a movie depicting some kind of dystopian nightmare. There are plenty of stylish options out there that give you everything on offer from modern tech, and look the part, too!

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