Category: Life Style

Is Buying Your First Home An Impossible Dream?



Pretty much everyone has a deep, personal connection to their home. After all, it’s the place where you spend most of your time, where you connect with your family, or simply where you can spend some alone time to decompress and recharge. Of course, if you’re renting, then there’s always a slight sense that you’re not really in control of your own living space. Because of that, a lot of people feel as though they’re never going to feel totally at home until they can own their own home. Of course, that raises a whole bunch of issues by itself. For many people, the idea of buying their first home seems pretty much impossible, especially in today’s market. However, that’s not necessarily the case. With that in mind, here are a few ways to turn buying your own home from an impossible dream into a reality.


Find the best possible mortgage deal


The word mortgage is often a pretty scary one for a lot of people. It’s the kind of word that leaves them feeling as though they’re never going to be in a position to own their own home. However, thanks to services like, it’s far easier than ever before to find the right mortgage for you with the most competitive rates. Sure, there are still going to be a lot of challenges and obstacles to overcome, but at least by finding the best deal for you, you’re not going to be constantly worried about whether or not you can even get a mortgage in the first place.


Think about the kinds of property you want


The reality of buying a house is that you may be able to buy a home, just not the one that you currently have in mind. The truth is that you may well have to try and be just a little more realistic about the kind of properties that you look at when buying a home. Sure, you might want loads of space in a great location in a style that really speaks to you, but being willing to compromise some of these things is the very best way to increase your chances of actually finding a home that you can afford.


Start saving early


When a lot of people say that they can’t afford a home, what they mean is that they can’t afford a home right now. Those two things are very different. If you have ambitions of owning a home, then the best thing that you can do is to start saving for it right now. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of only thinking about the financial implications of owning a home at the moment you start looking at mortgages.


One of the most important things to remember is that you don’t necessarily have to buy your home at all. Plenty of people are perfectly happy renting for many years without issue. Of course, if you do feel as though you’re not satisfied with renting, then there’s no reason why you should hide your head in the sand and convince yourself that buying your home is going to be impossible.

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Roofing Problems That You Might Encounter In Your Property

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When’s the last time you honestly thought about your roof? Chances are that it was a while back, or perhaps never. But don’t worry. Many homeowners will give the exact same answer. It’s not all too often that we spend time in the loft of our property, and minor problems with our roofing may not necessarily be visible from the ground outdoors, so it’s not very surprising that this is perhaps the most neglected aspect of any property. But when you consider how important it is to have a roof over your head, you might want to give your roof a check over to ensure that everything is in ship shape. Here are a few roofing problems that many people encounter. If you’re aware of them, you can identify them sooner and potentially minimize the damage that they can cause!




Leaks in the roof can be caused by a whole host of issues. The deterioration of roofing materials over time, improperly sealed vents, shallow slopes, a build up debris in guttering, and holes left after the removal of TV antennae are just a few potential causes of water gaining access to your loft space. However, no matter how small the leak may seem, it can cause extensive problems in your loft space which can also spread to the rest of your property if left long enough. So, unless you want rot, damp, mold, or even flooding, it’s best to call in a professional roofer to identify the problem and fix it as soon as possible.


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Lost Tiles


When roofs are installed, the individual fitting it should nail the shingles into designated areas. But if the individual fitting your roof is relatively inexperienced, or simply not dedicated to doing a good job, they may not nail everything down properly. This results in tiles being blown off by the wind, or falling off when birds land on them or tree branches knock against them. This is one of the most common installation errors carried out, but can easily be avoided by hiring a reliable roofer with experience and good reviews.




If you do have gaps in your roof, you shouldn’t be all too surprised if you soon find that there are all sorts of animals living in your loft space. Who can blame them? They’ve essentially been given free access to a warm, dry, and safe space indoors! Now, encouraging these animals to leave can be difficult, so it’s best to ensure any gaps are dealt with before they make their way in. But should you find animals in your loft, you should be careful and proceed with caution. Many species are actually protected and cannot be legally moved. Others will be able to be moved if you remove any food sources and block up their entrances once they have left. Always be kind and practice humane and ethical removal.


These are just a few problems that can come hand in hand with an unkempt roof. As you can see, all of the results are relatively undesirable. So, tackle problems early on and keep on top of the condition and quality of your roofing at all times!

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It’s a boy!!



Baby shower fun!

Baby showers are always so much fun. When I found out one of my really good friends was having another baby I was so thrilled. Between my son, my two nephews and my friends four sons we had baby boy stuff everywhere you looked inside and out of our houses. We were much too eager to loan our baby clothes, and toys to her. Even though she had already received A LOT of baby stuff, what is having a baby without the baby shower??

I recently helped host a baby shower for her. We had a very good turnout. When you have been friends with someone for so long, their family starts to feel like yours. About 6 other people helped host the party so it was no expensive, and we all split the cost of the main gift which was a double stroller (she has a 2-year-old little girl so a double stroller was perfect for her).

The food that was served there was amazing. For starters, she had a beautiful baby boy cake, with cute matching cupcakes and cookies. There was a fruit trey, and two cheese, meat, and crackers treys. There was also chips with a could of dips to choose from, and a few more finger foods to choose from. I was impressed by the food and also by the decorations. The decorations were blue (of course). The tables had diapers bundled together with a thin net covering over it with balloons tied to it, and each table had about two. The bulletin board had blue balloons stapled to the border giving it a nice pop.


Overall I was so impressed with the food, decorations, and games. My friends baby shower was a blast and success. I have another baby shower at the end Marchrch and I am looking forward to being able to write my experience from there also.

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Tex Ren Fest

One of the tops shows on television right now is Game of Thrones. It has all the appeal of a magical land of knights, princesses, and dragons. Unfortunately, there is no such real-life environment. At least for most of the year. But this last year I got to attend The Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, Texas, just a 15-20-minute drive outside of Houston. There, you step into that magical land. They have knights, beggars, kings, and queens. They have jousting, archery, and ax throwing. They have unique shops, exotic drinks, and delicious food. From the Greek Amphitheatre to the medieval coliseum, to the pirate ship, with its different areas throughout you can stop, you can put dress up and bee anyone.  It’s a place everyone should take time to visit. When I visit the Tex Ren Fest I always make sure I entrust my house cleaning to Cleaning Exec. With this company only hiring the best I know my house is in good hands and will be cleaned to the T.  

So as my first experience, we are driving out and it kind of feels like the boon dock country. But every few minutes as we’re driving down this road, there are signs “Tex Ren Fes This Way” so we just kept going. And when you get there, you’re immediately immersed in the world. You park in a field, the rows set by these tall trees. The main road that takes you into the festival has chariot runners that for a fee will run/walk you up to the entrance. Depending on how far down you are this might not be a bad idea. And the driver’s, true to character, act like 10th-century road-rager yelling at passersby “Get out of the way!”, “My dead mother moves faster!”, “Speed up or I’ll turn you into a chariot bump!” It’s all hilarious and in good fun and these people never break character. As you pass by you’ll be passing, knights, archers, princesses, pirate wenches, captains, monks, and a variety of fantasy dressed characters. But these aren’t employees of the festival. These are the attendees, dressed to immerse themselves in the world. We didn’t dress up this last year but next year it’s definitely on. As you enter the gates (and yes, I mean like caste gates) you see this layout of shops lining the streets on either side. It’s exactly as a bazaar or medieval marketplace would look, just with more modern clothes and souvenirs. Everything is decorated on point, from the aged wood, or the stone built walls, it looks and feels like you’ve entered a new world.


One of my favorite spots in the festival is the enchanted garden. A path that winds through next to a stream, with beautiful flowers and vegetation everywhere. Every so often you reach a spot that will have a new statue or landmark from a different part of the world. At these spots, they have unique sitting places. From Greek statues to Chinese elephants, every one of these stops has a photo opportunity. In the enchanted garden, they also have a place where you can learn dancing. The classes are at different times but it looked like a fun experience.

That is one of the coolest parts of the entire festival, the different interactive shows. Each area has a show that they put on at a designated time, with the centermost show being the jousting show which instead of being a one of the show, it actually carries a story throughout. And when I say interactive, I mean interactive. In the Coliseum, depending on where you sit, you are asked to cheer for your knight as they take on the other “nations” knights. Or at the barbarian belly dance show, they ask for volunteers to come up on stage with them. Much of the same is found throughout at all the shows and it just adds to the experience. And if you’re not an out-going person, no worries, with the crowds at each place, there are no worries of feeling like you’re the only one. And who knows, after a few rounds of mead you might even be the one raising your hand for an event.

Speaking of edibles, each section has their own specialty drinks and food. I highly suggest trying a little bit from each one throughout the day. They all have your normal food and drink, coke, hamburgers, margaritas, but each also has something unique. My personal favorite was the honey mead in the medieval section. Absolutely worth the price if you’re of legal drinking age and want something different. And the food is some of the best you’ll ever have. Even the simple foods like chicken tenders are top quality.

Besides immersing yourself in costume, and stepping into a new world, the Renaissance Festival also has things you might not get to try elsewhere. They have an archery and ax throwing station where you can try your best and compete against your friends. Or you can dunk the village idiot or village wench. Now I know this sounds the same as something you’d do at the local town fair, but trust me it’s far from it. These people know how to throw some real insults that can get under your skin. It’s so funny to watch a random person pass by and get bombarded with these side-splitting insults that they can’t help but pay for a chance to throw something at them. Where else also, especially in Texas, are you going to get a chance to ride an elephant? Yeah, a real elephant. That’s a story will make your kids the king of the playground. There are tons of activities there that for a small fee you can partake in that you might not get a chance anywhere else.

Finally, after a long day of photos, eating, drinking, and having one of the best days of your life, you get to come back to the Coliseum and see the grand finale: the pyrotechnic show. You crowd into the stadium to get a seat and watch as professional fire dancers play with fire like we do jump ropes. The show is very mesmerizing. And when you start to think it’s through, BANG! The fireworks show, that puts almost any other to shame, starts. For 15 minutes or so you get to watch this amazing fireworks show continue with a finale that leaves stars in your eyes.

At the end of it all, those same cart runners will be there to take you back to your car for a fee, which after a long day on your feet is worth every penny. The neat thing about the Renaissance Festival is it’s always different every year. We plan to make it an annual event and we are going all out this next year. If you’ve been before and are looking for new things to do, there’s a camping ground, where you can meet other’s and enjoy a different experience around a giant bonfire. And not to worry, the groundskeepers are also in character. The Renaissance festival is a great place for families to have fun and create lasting magical memories.

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Update your Resume in 2018!


It can get to a point in life where you have been in the same job for a while and have gotten everything you can out of it. And so you become stuck in a rut where the only thing that is making you walk through the door every day is the fact that bills need to get paid. But what is really stopping you from trying something new? Maybe there’s a new area, connected to the job you already do that you can move into, or perhaps it’s just the company you work for. Maybe you need a whole new career path and begin again. However you go about shaking things up, you need to make sure your resume is up to scratch.


Up To Date


It’s a good idea to keep your resume up to date regardless of whether you’re looking for a new job or not. Even if it’s just a note stating the day you started your role, dates if any promotions, and the extra responsibilities or training you have received. That way there’s no guesswork, and you won’t miss anything out. But it’s not just your employment history you need to modify; look at your cell number, home, and email address – are they correct? Have your objectives and hobbies changed since you last edited your resume? And, if you do include an image, is it a recent one? Your resume is an outward statement of who you are now and not who you were five years ago.




To give your resume a boost, and to provide you with an excellent hobby that has nothing to do with work, consider volunteering. There is a whole range of things that you can do that might or might not link in with your chosen career path. Volunteering on its own shows a willingness to go beyond the basics, to spend your time helping others. It can show leadership, initiative, teamwork, and care. Which all goes a long way to an employer. If you are looking for a promotion, perhaps your volunteering invokes getting involved in new projects and spending some of your time working on them. If you’re looking to move into zoo keeping, for example, volunteering with animals at a shelter, vets or farm will work in your favor.




If you have plenty of experience in the area you’re moving into, then you shouldn’t really need any more qualifications. If you do, it will quite often be something the company offers to provide. If you’re looking elsewhere, then you might need to look at adding to your education. If you want to move into public service, then doing an online criminology BA would work wonders. As would a degree in social care if you’re going to move into social services. Quite often you can find that future employers are happy to allow you to study alongside your new job, so never think that you can’t apply for something just because you haven’t finished studying. You might get lucky and have them offer to pay for your course – who knows?




Everyone has different skills to their name. However, there is a list that pertains to pretty much anyone who has held down a job, and done well in it, for more than a couple of years:

  • Team Player
  • Time Management
  • Organization
  • Time Keeping
  • Meeting Deadlines
  • Multitasking

If you have worked with money, you can add ‘money management’ to the list, if you have led a team then add ‘team leader’. They might sound simple, but a list of viable skills such as these gives any potential employer a good insight into how you work. You should also rank your skills according to what you feel is more important to the role you’re applying for. A job as a manager would need leadership and organizing right at the top, for example. If you have any critical skills with computer programs, add them to your list. And not all of your skills need to be work-related; adding that you play the violin to the list shows perseverance, hard work and that you have a hobby.

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