Archives for November 2019

Creating a Cozy Home This Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching. You might already be shopping for gifts or planning your home decoration. The streets are lined with lights and other displays, Christmas music is playing in stores and festive markets are thriving. If you’ve got kids, you might be planning fun events like visiting Santa or going ice skating, and letters to Santa might already be written. 

One of the best things about Christmas is getting cosy at home. Nothing beats cuddling up on the sofa in our PJs with a Christmas movie on Netflix. Sipping hot chocolate and indulging in our favourite festive treats. It’s warm and comfortable, and part of the season that most of us love. 

But, sometimes, getting cosy at home is harder than we’d like it to be. If your home is cold and sparse, or your rooms are particularly large, you might struggle to feel warm and cosy. You might even have a hard time filling it with Christmas cheer. So, let’s take a look at some of the things that you can do to create a cosy home this holiday. 

Add Some Texture

Texture is a crucial ingredient when it comes to creating a cosy home. Add texture with cushions, heavy curtains, throws and blankets, and rugs on engineered wood flooring. Try to use different materials, such as velvet, wool, and cotton, and include some reflective surfaces to maximise the effect. Colour can also add the appearance of more texture. Use multiple shades of the same key colours in your decor, layering them to add depth and texture to your rooms. 

Keep it Warm

It’s almost impossible to feel cosy and comfortable when you’re cold, and there’s very little worse than being cold when you are at home. Be sure to get your boiler serviced, bleed radiators if they need it, and invest in, or make draught excluders. Add throws and blankets to your sofa, and don’t underestimate the power of a hot water bottle and slippers. 

Use Festive Shades

Christmas and cosy go together like peas in a pod. So, make the most of the connection even before you decorate for the holidays. Add accessories and soft furnishings in festive shades such as red and dark green. 

Add Lighting Options

Lighting can have a massive effect on the atmosphere in our rooms. Bright overhead lights can make even smaller rooms feel open and spacious. Dimmer, soft lighting can have the opposite effect. They can make a room feel smaller and more romantic. If you want a truly cosy atmosphere, nothing beats candles and fairy lights. 

Bring the Outside In

What’s the first Christmas decoration that you think about? For many of us, it’s the tree. So, why not bring more of the outdoors in to create a more festive atmosphere? Bring natural elements in with wreaths and other displays. 

Make the Most of Festive Scents

Most of us have scents that we associate with Christmas, as well as colours and decorations. These scents can help your home to feel more festive, as well as cosier. Think mulled wine and cinnamon, winter spices, vanilla, Nordic pine, and other Christmas favourites. 

How To Make Sure Your Blog Stands Out From The Crowd

Writing a blog is a great hobby or passion that anyone can get themselves into. The idea of writing great content for others to enjoy online has quite the appeal. The practice of then building a network of fellow bloggers, and become part of a huge group is also enticing. It’s a great way of building friendships in a particular fraternity of people. If you take it one step further, you can make a very healthy living from it, and it can be something you could do as a full-time job. It sounds a little strange if you’ve not really caught up with the times, but, yes, blogging is a great way for one to earn a very successful living. 

If you’re fully invested in the idea of creating a great little blog and turning it into something profitable, then you’ll need to make sure that it’s more than just a website with a few articles on it. If you want to rake in some money, then your blog will need to stand out. Much like with every other business in every other sector, you have to show people that you possess what others don’t. People are attracted to new, fresh, and different content, so that will be important. 

How can you really stand out from the crowd though? Well, it’s all a big game of creativity, critical thinking, and hard work, but there are heaps of things you can do. It’s just a case of actually doing them. Here are a few examples:

Think About Exploring New And Unpopular Areas

You often find that when you approach completely new and strange ideas, you end up finding a goldmine. Now, it’s easy to head into something that’s already popular (and you can do that if you wish), but that market will be so very saturated, and it’ll be super difficult to stand out from the crowd. When there are thousands of blogs about the same topic, it’s kind of hard to show others that YOURS is better than everyone else’s. 

Coming up with something completely new and out of the blue gives you the chance to pique the interest of everyone that casts their eyes. At first, it might seem strange to talk about something that seemingly nobody cares about, but if you can create a buzz and set a trend, then you’ll be laughing! Maybe you like something that nobody else cares about that much – perhaps you should enter that particular realm and see where it takes you. If you want to head into a topic that’s already popular, then you could always amalgamate it with your unpopular ideas somehow!

Work With A Web Designer

If you want your blog to shine, then it’s going to have to look the part. So many blogs out there are all over the place in terms of the aesthetics. It’s commendable that you’d like to share information and provide quality content, but if the page is cluttered, then people are going to click off straight away. If you’re not exactly an expert on websites, then you’ll probably want to get in touch with a web designer – they’ll be able to do exactly what you want.

Don’t Behave Like Every Other Blogger

We said that you’d want your blog to be different from others in general, but you’ll also need to act differently. So many bloggers stick to the status quo in terms of the way they act and approach the game. If you have the same mannerisms, catch-phrases, styles as everyone else, then you’re just going to look like a random John/Jane Doe in the middle of a herd. Be yourself – don’t conform because it seems like the right thing to do. 

Take In New Skills And Knowledge Regularly

Like with any journey or venture you head through, you’ll want to constantly pick up new things. If you wander through it all with an empty head, then you’ll probably get stuck. When you get stuck and start to think there’s no way past, you tend to become apathetic. Learn how to master certain parts of blogging – it might be tedious at times, but it will land you in a much better position in the future. 

Treat It Like The business It Is

If you’re going to be taking this seriously, and you want to be able to make a handsome living from it, then you’re going to have to behave like it’s a top, top business. Don’t see it as a little, fun side project that you do on the weekends. Behave professionally; use things like an official office address for a virtual company; conduct yourself well in all forms of communication. If you treat it as something that needs no validation, then so will others.

Get On Social Media

If you have a blog, then you need to supplement it with a social media presence. You could get away with building something away from it, but it’ll help you attract all the right people. Social media marketing is a quick, easy and cheap way of getting your name and blog out there. There are hundreds of millions of people staring at their feeds and timelines; make sure you’re in their eyesight!

Network!

If you want to become more popular, then you might need to get in touch with the right people. In business, success tends to arrive when you have the correct contacts and know who can help you – blogging is in that conversation, too. If you can collaborate with the right people, then your popularity can skyrocket. 

Get The SEO Side Right

SEO (search engine optimisation) is the practice of getting your website to the top (or as close as you can to the top) of an internet search engine. When you Google something, the top answers don’t just appear by chance – they put in work to get there. It’s such an important part of digital marketing. Have the right content, use the correct words, building links with other sites – do all you can to make your SEO score as high as possible and many more people will find you!

Good luck!

5 Ways to Travel With Your Children

We tend to think that our days of travelling are more or less over once we have children. And it’s not hard to see why — it’s more difficult to set off on a grand adventure when we have so many responsibilities in life, and then there’s the whole matter of the logistics and practicalities of looking after your little ones when you’re out there on your travels, too. But if there’s one thing that life has taught us, it’s that everything is possible. If you really want to travel, even when you have a family, then you can — it’s just that you’ll need to make a few adjustments!

Choose Your Location

If you want to travel with your children, then you can make things much easier for yourself by choosing your location wisely. There are some destinations that just aren’t suitable for kids — or, at the very least, are more difficult to handle. You might have your heart set on visiting, say, New York, but unless you’re something of an expert when it comes to exploring a super large, busy city with your little ones, it’s probably not the best place to start. Look at visiting somewhere that is a little more laid back — you will appreciate the ability to spend quality time together above all else once you’re there.

Set Up a Base

It can be stressful enough trying to figure out the logistics of moving around, checking into hotels, finding food, and all the other aspects of travel when you’re by yourself, let alone when you have your children with you. When you just want to have fun, there’s nothing worse than not knowing where to eat, or checking into accommodation that falls well below your expectations. One way to get around this issue is to look at investing in a second home abroad. If you own a condo overseas, you’ll have a space that feels just like home, where you can return to again and again. You can buy food from the local supermarket; it’ll be comfortable, you’ll know what to expect. It’ll allow you to get down to the business of having fun, secure in the knowledge that the essentials have been taken care of.

In the Outdoors

It can, admittedly, be kind of difficult to find a destination that suits both adults and children alike. You might decide to go to an all-inclusive resort, which is excellent for children, but which can feel a little unexciting for adults who are used to travelling with more things to do. A cultural city can be fun for adults, but not for children who just wish to have fun. Thankfully, there’s one type of destination that can cater to all needs: the great outdoors. Taking a trip to a natural spot will give adults the sense of adventure they crave, and give the children plenty of space to have fun. And the good thing is that there are plenty of different types of adventure holidays, too. You could go skiing, or take a hiking or cycling trip, or go rafting down rivers. The outdoors is the natural playground of the world, after all.

Visiting Friends and Family

You’ll always want to use your time off work to go exploring, but it’s just a fact that this sometimes is not the easiest thing in the world. It takes a lot of time, energy, and money to arrange a smooth overseas adventure with your family. One way to get your travel fix and reduce the number of headaches that it can induce is to visit any friends and family you have in other parts of the country and the world. This has multiple benefits. First, it gives you a chance to reconnect with your loved ones as a big clan. Second, they’re likely to be set up to accommodate your family’s needs more than most other places, especially if the friends and family that you’re visiting have children of their own. 

Go with the Flow

Finally, make sure that you’re taking steps to make things easier for yourself. The best way to do this is to not create unnecessary problems. If you can have a relaxed, go with the flow attitude, then you’ll find that your journeys with your children, which can of course be stressful, are much easier to manage. Things will be tough at certain points of course, but on the whole, the travels and the experience and memories you create will be worth it!

How Can You Commemorate Your Baby’s Birth?

Baby Lying On White Fur With Brown Blanket

There are few things more wonderful and exciting that the birth of your baby. The only problem is that it can often feel like the time flies by far too quickly. There’s so much going on that you end up in a whirl of excitement and exhaustion that can often leave you struggling to take note of the little moments that really help you appreciate this amazing time in both yours and your baby’s life.

It might not be easy, but it’s important to take some time and slow down just a little. It’s so fleeting that, if you don’t, you’ll find that it’s gone before you even notice. But what can you do to preserve those memories and make sure that they aren’t lost in the whirlwind that the first year of your baby’s life?

Here are just a few simple ideas for commemorating the birth of your child.

A newborn photo shoot

They say a picture paints a thousand words and that’s definitely true. You can tell stories about your baby when they were first born for years to come, and you probably will, but you’ll never quite be able to capture exactly what they were like in that tiny moment when they were firstborn. A newborn photoshoot is a great way to help preserve that moment. If a newborn photoshoot sounds cheesy or unpleasant then don’t worry, photographers who specialise in newborn photography take great care to make sure that your baby is both safe and comfortable. Whether you want a little photo to stick into an album, or you want to be able to put them up on the wall in some a4 frames, there’s no better way to preserve the first days of your child’s life than a photograph.

Footprint moulding

Footprint molding is fantastic because, unlike professional photoshoots, this is something that you can do at home. You can usually buy the clay that you need at plenty of different stores, and all you need is your baby’s foot, or hand, to be pressed into the clay gently. After that, you’ve got a lovely mould of your child’s foot that you can use as a decoration in your home. Something you might want to do after that is to take a new mould of their foot every year so that you can see how much they’ve grown.

Home video

There’s an amusing stereotype of the dad obsessively filming everything that their baby does from the moment it’s born. Of course, that can understandably get a little irritating but here’s the thing. Do you really think you’ll ever look back and think “gosh, I wish we had less video footage of the first days of our child’s life?” Probably not! Now with smartphones, taking a high-quality home video of your baby’s first moments is easier than ever! You can see their first moments in full motion, rather than just a static image.

It can often feel like these kinds of things aren’t that important but the truth is that time flies by a whole lot faster than a lot of people realise when they have a baby. It’s always a good idea to do what you can to preserve those precious memories when you can.

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