How To Spend A Cheap Family Weekend In London

London is a great city with loads to do, so it’s perfect for a family weekend away. But once you’ve done all of the usual touristy stuff, it’s a bit boring the second time around. But don’t write it off just yet, it’s a big city and there are plenty more things that you haven’t discovered yet, a lot of them perfect for the family. The only problem is, London is an incredibly expensive city which puts a lot of people off. But there is still a lot of fun stuff for the whole family that won’t break the bank. Just follow this guide to a cheap family weekend in London.

London

Where To Stay

Accommodation is going to be one of your biggest expenses when you’re staying in London. If you’re staying in a hotel somewhere near the centre you’ll have to get a couple of rooms, one for you and one for the kids, and it’ll be expensive. It’s often better to get an apartment that you can all stay in. Visit http://www.londonservicedapartments.co.uk/ to see what’s on offer. Staying in an apartment of your own is often better than a hotel when you’re with the family because you can all stay together and it’s a lot more comfortable.

What To Eat

Eating out in London is another huge expense, but if you’re staying in an apartment you’ll have your own kitchen. You can still go out and enjoy some nice restaurants, you are on holiday after all. But you can save a good amount of money by cooking your own breakfast and lunch back at the apartment, rather than spending upwards of £10 each on something to eat every time.

Where To Go

A lot of the attractions in London are expensive but there are plenty of free ones too. You wouldn’t expect to find farm animals around London but if you head over to Hackney, there’s a great city farm there. The petting zoo is sure to be a hit with the kids.

If you’re there in the summer, why not spend a day in one of the many parks around the city. You can take a picnic down there and just relax in the sun for a day while the kids play.

There are also loads of great free museums around if you want to make the trip educational as well as fun. The British Museum is absolutely huge with so many great exhibitions on ancient Egypt and Rome and some interactive exhibitions where the kids can pick up some of the artefacts. You can easily spend an entire day in there and you still won’t see it all. Visit http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on.aspx to see what’s on at the moment.

The Natural History Museum is another brilliant one, housing some interesting exhibitions on Earth science. If you’re interested in the history of the city itself, head over to the Museum of London. It takes you through the entire history of the city up to present day and you’ll learn so much interesting stuff that you never knew about our capital.

It’s true that London is expensive but if you know what you’re doing, you can have a great weekend there without spending that much at all.

 

Turn Your Garden into a New ‘Room’

garden

We tend to think of our homes as being within the confines of our walls but the garden is just as important a room as any other. It might not have a ceiling but with the right ideas, this can be seen as a huge advantage!

The British weather is not really known for being fabulous for longer than about 5 minutes, but, if you are willing to try out a few small experiments, you can enjoy your garden all year round, drizzle and all. Here are a few ideas worth looking into.

Create a Fire Pit to Sit Around

The central focal point of the living room, kitchen and even bedroom in years gone by was the fire. Whether it was ornate with a fabulously carved mantel or just a simple coal-filled grate, man and fire go back thousands of years. In fact, we are now scrabbling around for focal points for our modern, radiator-filled homes.

Firepits are very easy to construct and as long as you have a good supply of wood and a few eco firelighters to hand, it won’t be long before you are toasting marshmallows either. Add a few seats and bring out some cushions when it is clear and you have the perfect entertaining space.

Build a Patio with a Shelter

Having somewhere to sit is always at the top of the list for a room and creating a space for that in your garden is a good plan. A patio reaching out from your door is a great idea, especially if you use the same flooring inside as out to give the illusion that the room just keeps on going.

Even in a small garden, adding some shelter will tempt you out in spite of the weather. Seating is also easy to arrange, and you can either choose an outdoor sofa or make your own by recycling some old pallets. This is a cheap but effective way to build some seating and you can make exactly what you want to fit.

Use Tall Plants to Stop the Wind

Though you might think that a small garden can’t take tall plants, used in the right way, they also provide a bit of protection from the wind as well as provide screening for privacy. Do consider the size of the leaves when choosing the right plant, though as larger leaves will look better on a larger scale than smaller ones. Proportion is everything in gardening.

Putting tall plants around the perimeter is the most common way to create screens but you can also segment your garden too. Tall grasses work really well in trough-style tubs and will wave in the breeze, not quite blocking the view down the garden.

With a bit of planning and careful design, you can create an all-year garden to enjoy. Fire and shelter were all our ancestors needed and with a few rugs and a mug of tea, it can be all you need in the garden too.  

Say “I Do” To A Personalised Wedding

Planning a wedding

When it comes to planning a wedding, you will no doubt be met by a few cliches. That’s because there are so many traditions surrounding weddings and marriage that most people end up having the same kind of day as everyone else. You know the kind of thing – church ceremony, a nice meal at the reception, and then an evening party.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with your wedding following these very traditional lines, but it can be nice to add your very own personal touches wherever and whenever possible so that you can help your whole day stand out from all the other weddings out there.

Wondering what you can personalise? Here are some fun ideas.

Invitations

Why start with the wedding itself when you could personalise it before it has even begun?! The way to do that is to send out some personalised invitations to all your guests. There are now lots of firms, like Paper Themes, that give you the chance to add some personal touches to the cards and invites you buy. Alternatively, you might want to have a go at making your own invitations. That way, they can be as personalised as you want!

Wedding Favours

The wedding favours are the small treats and gifts that are placed at each setting on the tables at the reception. These are often small presents that the bride and groom buy all their guests as a thank you for joining them on their special day. These lend themselves to being personalised. For instance, you might want to gift each guest a personalised bag of sweets or a tin of mints. Whatever you get them, I’m sure you could add their name onto it somewhere!

The Wedding Cake

You may not think that a cake would be easy to personalise, but it actually is! Of course, it won’t be the cake itself that gets personalised – but you can add some unique touches to the topper that sits on top of it. For instance, it’s now possible to buy wedding cake toppers that are brides and grooms made out of icing that look exactly like you and your partner. You might need to find a specialist bakery or cake topper company that provides this service, but it will certainly be worth it!

Drinks

Lots of breweries and specialist drinks companies now offer you the chance to create your own drink with them for special occasions, and many couples are now taking advantage of this for their wedding. For instance, your local brewery might be able to brew a one-off beer for your big day. You will get to name it and design the label for the bottles. It can then be served to all your guests at the reception and evening party.

These are just a handful of ways you might want to personalise your wedding. There are so many more; I’m sure you’ll be able to find some great inspiration for fun personalisation!

All the best for your wedding day!

You’ve Tried Everything To Lighten Your Dark Living Room, But We Bet You Haven’t Tried This

Dark rooms are never desirable. No matter where you are in your house, a dark space can feel claustrophobic and restricting. Never is this more of an issue than when your living room is at fault. This is the place where you spend most of your time at home. It’s where you come to chill out and kick back. It’s where you head to, quite literally, lighten your load. Only, none of those things are possible in a room with oppresses you as soon as you enter it.

Sadly, if your living room isn’t blessed with natural light, this is likely the reality you face. As such, there’s every chance you’ve tried all the tricks in the book. It may be that you’ve painted the walls white, or done everything you can imagine to get your lighting just right. Still, you can’t achieve the level of brightness you’re after.

It may seem, then, that you’ve come to the end of the road. Your attempts have failed, and there’s nothing else for you try. Or, is there? In truth, there are many more steps you can take to brighten that all important space. All you need to do is think outside the box to achieve them. Or, you could carry on reading and find out that way!

Where are the windows?

Windows

It’s likely you’ve been trying to avoid any significant renovation work during your attempts. After all, no one wants to embark on a voluntary building project at home. But, by installing more windows in that dark space, you can renovate with little work. This could mean getting skylights installed in that sloping roof, or expanding the windows you have. You could even join two windows, and install sliding patio doors which can bring more light than you would ever imagine. Once these additions are in place, keep them clean to enjoy a brightness you’d never achieve otherwise.

Shining surfaces

It’s also worth making use of shining surfaces within the room. You might have tried the mirror trick without success, but it’s time to take things up a notch. Reflective surfaces are fantastic for creating the illusion of both brightness and space, each of which is sure to help your cause. You could go all out with metallic wallpaper on a feature wall. Or, you could invest in a coffee table with a reflective surface which will do the job just as well.

windows

Take it outside

During your attempts, it’s likely that you’ve focused on your living room interior. And, that makes complete sense. After all, the room itself is the problem. But, by taking your efforts outside, it’s possible that you’ll have more success in brightening things up. Cutting back trees outside your windows can work here, as can focusing on those further away. While you don’t want to get rid of your garden wonders, you do want to make sure they aren’t impacting your light quality. So, don’t be afraid to prune branches which are getting in the way.

What To Do When Your House Breaks Down On You

No one looks forward to a house breaking down, but there’s a lot that can go wrong when it comes to the structure you’re living inside and the systems that keep it functional. Lights can flicker, there can be a water shortage, and your bath might just tipple over and start leaking into the rooms below. And because something is going wrong inside your own personal haven, you’re going to feel terrible about it. But don’t worry, this post is here to help!

Even if you know your home has a lot of value to it, there’s always a chance something is going to stop working, or blow up in your face, or fall through the ceiling when you least expect it to. Not to mention how ill prepared you’re going to be to deal with these events! So when it comes to working on your house because of something that’s broken and severely impacted your quality of life because of it, you’re going to need some tips.

Home

When You Find Damp

Damp can strike anyone at any time, and it always looks incredibly ugly on an otherwise nice landscape of the rooms you’ve decorated yourself. Not only that, but it can completely remove the effectiveness of any plaster, making the house weaker and colder at the same time. So we can immediately understand finding damp around your house is going to be one of the worst things for your health.

Try to get a dehumidifier in your rooms to make sure any excess condensation is out of your house, and open windows whenever you can. Similarly, make sure you don’t overfill any baths or take too long showers. Until you can get the problem actually solved, these methods will stop it from getting any worse.

When the Radiators Stop Working

If the central heating in your house has stopped working, you’re immediately going to be able to notice because of how much shivering you’re going to be doing when the nighttime rolls around.

If you’re living in a home you don’t own, contact the landlord or council services who do own the house to try and get someone out to solve the problem. You can’t go on with no heat in your house when we live in such a mild climate! Even the water won’t be the same. If you do own your house, always contact your provider to see if the problem can be repaired by them or if anything has changed on their end. For example, you can ring up customer services for British Gas and keep asking for a supervisor or details of your contract until you get the information you came for. Or you can hire out a private service, although this might be a bit more pricey.

There’s a lot of common problems that can happen around the house, and the above are the most likely to happen to you. Don’t worry, they can be resolved simply, and you don’t have to suffer long.

Beauty Begins In The Bedroom

We can all appreciate that looking good makes us feel good, especially when we’re out and about at work or on leisurely activities with our friends. While most of your concerns deal with the moments when you’re out in public, it’s the factors behind closed doors that make the biggest influence. Frankly, beauty begins in the bedroom.

 Here’s how you can put the right foundations in place.

Beauty

Love Yourself, Love Your Look

 The combination of good makeup applications and a winning outfit can go a long way to enhancing your natural charms. However, building the best possible canvas should still be considered the priority. While beauty shouldn’t be the only incentive for leading a healthy lifestyle, those benefits are telling.

 There are many aspects to consider at home, such as removing makeup at night and staying hydrated. Most importantly, though, getting a good night’s sleep will keep your skin, hair, and general wellbeing in great condition. Hiding exhaustion is probably the hardest beauty trick of all. Besides, that extra energy will enhance your happiness.

 Healthy living and smarter lifestyle choices should extend beyond the bedroom. Nonetheless, what you do at night will establish the best foundations.   

 Take Care Of Your Possessions Too

 As already discussed, makeup and clothes can transform your appearance to leave you looking and feeling better than ever. It’s one thing to buy products that look great on day one, but keeping them in great condition is another altogether.

 Buying organic makeups can benefit your skin while also staying in top condition for far longer. Embracing winning habits regarding storage should help too. One issue where many women go wrong, however, revolves around their brushes and other tools. Failure to care for them will result in more damage than good, not least for your budget.

 To keep outfits looking great for years, learn to organise your wardrobe spaces. Meanwhile, your shoes can be protected with various sprays and precautionary measures.   

 Create A Space To Become Beautiful

 A beautiful canvas (your natural looks) and the right enhancements (makeup and clothes) will work wonders. However, you still need a place to make that magical combination come to life. The bedroom is easily the best location.

 The right dresser table gives you the perfect place to get ready in a comfortable manner. This can also add to the aesthetic of the bedroom, especially when coupled with a quality Hollywood mirror with lights. To complete the look and function, treat yourself to a comfortable seat. Getting ready in style never felt so good.

Unlike getting ready in the bathroom, you’ll have the right type of lighting and won’t feel rushed by other family members. For a better room and better daily appearances, this is a pivotal investment.

 Final Words

 Feeling confident in your skin shouldn’t be limited to the special occasions. You deserve to look and feel your best every single day. Utilise the tips above to make sure you always leave the house in style, and you’ll reap the rewards all day long.

Giving Your Rooms The Wow Factor

We all do our best to ensure that our homes are clean tidy and tastefully appointed, but we also want them to serve as a physical embodiment of who we are and what we like. It needs to reflect our taste and that idiosyncratic sense of style. Your guests need to feel as though they are walking through a manifestation of your personality rendered in plaster, timber, brick and mortar. Thus, while it should reflect our modest and tasteful side, there should be at least one room in the house that shows off the flamboyant and extroverted side that you maybe keep under wraps in front of most of your friends and work colleagues but that only the truly privileged who are closest to you get to see. To show this slightly more decadent, impulsive and wanton side, you need to take some risks in your design aesthetic. Only by doing this can you give a room the wow factor.

 

Wow factor

What is the wow factor?

The wow factor is exactly what it says on the tin, something that makes guests literally stop and gasp in disbelief. Most of us have homes full of things that are… nice. Nice is nice, but it does not bring the wow factor! The same principle can be applied to the way you dress. Most of us have a very particular type of garment in mind when we go shopping, and this is defined by our personal taste and what we think people generally expect us to wear. Thus, we make a lot of safe choices. There’s nothing wrong with them and they look good on you, but they don’t turn heads. But a good tip to bear in mind is that you should always try on at least one thing that scares you every time you go shopping. It might be a little more daring than how you’d usually dress, it may be a bolder color or it may be a type of garment than you’d usually consider. It’s these risky choices, the scary choices that bring the wow factor. Even though your first reaction may be “nope, not for me”, it’s these items that we find ourselves reaching for every time we feel like something a little special.

Use juxtaposition

Just as you wouldn’t expect every item on every hanger in your wardrobe to be one of the bolder, scarier statement pieces that we just discussed, nor too should every room in your home contain a statement piece. The wow factor is borne of juxtaposition, and can only work when combined strategically with more conservative elements of your decor. This is what will allow them to pop. You can achieve this by juxtaposing quiet colours with loud, light with dark or soft textures with rough, plain with patterns but it’s in this effect that your statement piece will be allowed to truly shine in the eyes of your guests. Fortunately, 2018’s spring design trends are full of ways to help you do this, and it can even add value to your home.

Invest in wow!

The wow factor inevitably comes at a price, but if it helps, look at this as an investment. If you think you may be selling your home at some point in the near future, a statement piece can capture the imagination of prospective buyers. If you decide that the best wow factor would lie in a renovation of the kitchen or bathroom or even the addition of a conservatory or loft conversion you may find that it not only makes your home more appealing but adds significant resale value.

Statement walls

Your walls are a canvas upon which you can be as expressive as you like. One of the best ways to make a bold statement is with a statement wall. The beauty of this is that you can be as bold with it as you like. If you’re feeling conservative you could simply opt for a wall with a different coloured paint or even a darker or lighter shade that compliments the surrounding wall. This can really pop if you hang some art on the wall (more about that shortly). You could go for a textures wall covering like a textured wallpaper or even loft effect tiles. You can opt for a huge mural, visit wallpaperink.co.uk and transform your entire wall into a work of art. Or you could go for something more abstract like a statement design wallpaper. Geometric shapes are huge this year and so versatile that they can add a classy sense of mathematical intrigue to any home.

wow factor

Art pieces

Wall art is great because it adds a much needed focal point to a room, around which the rest of the room’s aesthetic can be based. The right piece can really pull a room together while also setting the tone and mood. It can, however, be tricky marrying your artistic sensibilities with the function of the room. Choose your piece wisely, and think about the following when selecting and displaying it;

  • Don’t hang the piece anywhere where it will clash with other design elements.
  • Consider the size of the piece carefully, don’t crowd it with other art of photo frames.
  • Centre it at eye level; this will vary depending on whether you’ll be spending most of your time in the room sitting or standing.
  • Consider how it will interact with the room’s lighting. If the piece is in a glass frame, will this reflect light away from itself?

It’s all done with mirrors

Mirrors are wonderfully versatile. Not only can they make a room look bigger and create an illusion of air and space, they can also make a bold statement, especially if you’re able to invest in a large wall mirror or even a judiciously placed freestanding mirror.

Have it all with ombre

Can’t decide between two colours and / or shades? You can have it all with ombre! Ombre comes and goes in interior design, but it’s really taking off this spring. The beauty of ombre is that it can be incorporated in a number of ways depending on how ready you are to commit to it. If you want to play it safe, you can incorporate it into a statement vase, a prominent lampshade or a hanging print or even in your curtains and bedding. If you want to go all out and put it on a wall here’s how you’d go about it.

A High ROI: 15 Smart Ways to Increase Home Value

We commit to a lot of things when we buy a home. They’re places to raise a family, relax after a long day of work, and all-around settle down. But they’re also something else, too: probably one of the biggest investments we’ll ever make! As such, we need to protect that investment, and if we can, to make sure that it yields as high a return as possible when it comes to cashing in and moving on up to a different house. While there are some things about your home’s value that you can’t control – such as how trendy and well-connected the area is – there are many things that you can influence, and many of them don’t take all that much effort. Below, we take a look at fifteen of the best ways to move your home value in the right direction.

Increase home value

Talk to an Expert

It’s unlikely that you have all the knowledge you need to identify the areas of your home that you should improve. And while the internet and articles – such as this one – can help, every home is different. As such, consider recruiting an expert to take a look at your home and suggest what would add value to your home. If you’re thinking about selling, then have an estate agent come around and take a look. If you’re not, then hire a home planner – you’ll need to pay for the service, but it’ll only take an hour and may be the best money you’ve ever spent if they give you advice on how to boost your home’s value by a significant amount.

Go Beyond Cosmetic

A home can look amazing, but like most things in life, it’s true value will be determined not by what’s on the surface, but what’s going on “behind the scenes,” as it were. If your home has fundamental issues, such as deteriorating infrastructure, then it won’t matter how beautifully decorated your living room is – the value is going to be severely compromised. Before you get to work on making your home look at its best, make sure that everything else is in order. Rotting floorboards or floors that slope to one side might not be the most fun things to correct, but they’ll be money well spent when it comes to selling.

Get Smart With the Spare Room

If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, then have a think about what you do with it. To understand what will attract buyers, try to uncover what kind of people will be looking at properties like yours. If you live in a young, professional area, then turning it into an office may be a good idea. If you live in a family zone, then an extra bedroom may be the right way to go. If it’s a large room, then a home gym or cinema room will showcase the potential of the house.

Redo the Front

First impressions count for a lot in all aspects of life, and this is also true of home values. A home would have to be pretty special on the inside to make up for an outdoor area that makes it look like the house should be demolished! Painting the home or rendering the external walls will greatly increase the home’s curb appeal, which is one thing that many home seekers look for. Painting is relatively inexpensive, rendering less so – but you can typically double the amount you spent on rendering in home value.

Increase Home Value

Focus on the Garden

It’s not just that physical front of the home that you should focus on, either. You’ve got a garden there: make the most of it! Typically, people like there to be a semblance of decoration and care. Flower beds, trees, a well-groomed hedge are all aesthetically pleasing. And there are also two other benefits to taking care of the garden in the front: it’s easy to do, and can be therapeutic!

Add Extra Parking

Parking is less important if you live in a rural area, but if you live in the UK, then the chances are that you live in an urban area, where parking is premium. People much prefer to have parking on their property rather than off-road, so if you have the space, consider paving over your front garden and creating a place to park a car. It’s not like anyone sits out in their front garden anyway, so it’s not as if anything will be lost.

A Summer Room

People want to be outside, but alas, in the UK the days when we can sit out in the back garden are few and far between. Even if the sun is shining, the heat seldom reaches the “it’s warm enough to sit out” level. When you have a conservatory, you’ll have the perfect place that allows you to sit outside (in effect) and stay warm. They can be put up quickly, and don’t cost all that much, but are attractive to buyers. Just make sure that it will fit the style of your home before you give it the go-ahead – they’re not suitable for all home types.

Loft Conversion

You may have another room in your house, and not even realise it. A loft conversion is one of the most sought-after rooms in a house and is hugely popular with buyers. It can quickly turn a three bedroom home into a four bedroom home, and what’s more is that you lose nothing in the process – even the building process is relatively peaceful.

Increase Home Value

The Showpiece Room

Of all the rooms that a homeseeker looks for in a house, none are quite as important as the kitchen, which can rightly be the regarded as the home’s showpiece room. If your kitchen is looking dated, then it’ll be worth looking at your kitchen refurbishment options and find a solution that maximises cooking and social space. The only word of advice would be to make sure you have a kitchen that matches the style of the rest of the home; a hyper-luxurious kitchen will not necessarily add value if it exists in a non-luxurious home, for instance.  

Make it Efficient

The homes of the future will be ones that have energy efficiency to the max. As such, ensuring that your home is as efficient as possible will be money well spent, in more ways than one. A simple loft insulation and efficient central heating is inexpensive but adds several thousand to the value of your home. It’ll also decrease the amount of cash you spend each month on your bills, which is something that should be considered when you’re thinking about how much your home costs you.

Focus on the Flaws

Some problems in the house are less to do with the home, more to do with what it is – or isn’t – letting in. An overly noisy house will dramatically reduce the value of the home, as will a lack of natural light. You can get around this by looking at ways to reduce noise pollution, and by adding more windows/doors with windows into your home. Essentially, focus on the pet peeves you have about your own home – and then try to eliminate them.

Don’t Underestimate Cleanliness

Having a quick tidy up is not going to affect the value of your home (though it may make it look more appealing to visitors). However, the deep cleanliness issues really will affect the value. A carpet or curtains that have never been cleaned will make the room look grimy – and give it a corresponding dip in value to match. Stay on top of the really cleanliness issues of your home – they’re hard to recover if they’re allowed to go too far along.

Knocking through Walls

People like to have large homes, but they’re less enthusiastic about having many rooms, especially if they have a family. If your ground floor is large but divided up, consider knocking through some walls and creating a much larger space. It shows the potential of the home.

Avoid Overdoing It

Sometimes, the best way to increase the value of your home is to avoid overdoing it. For example, spending money bringing your bedrooms to perfection would be a waste of money – they’re about the first things people change when they move into a house. Also, adding things that aren’t in fitting with the rest of the home may actually hurt the value of the house, no matter how much they cost. The extreme example is the swimming pool, but it’ll be true of most anything extravagant, too.  

Brighten it Up

Finally, keep in mind one of the oldest tricks in the book: making the home look brighter, more spacious, and all-around more inviting. Nail the lighting to show off the space, and use mirrors in those small rooms and narrow hallways to make them look bigger.

Do any of the above, and you’ll be adding value to your home – whether you’re selling or not, it’s also good to know your investment is in safe hands!

Are You Living To Work, Or Working To LIVE?

Live to work

We’ve all heard the saying working to live or living to work, haven’t we? It’s a phrase which strikes some level of fear into many hearts. After all, who would want to live to work? Okay, that’s not entirely fair. There are workaholics who love what they do, and good for them. Being happy enough in your career to dictate your life around it is admirable for sure.

But, the majority of us would admit to a desire to work so we can live. In short; that means we want our lives to come before our jobs. Only, this is easier said than done. Even those of us who try to embrace life as much as possible can get into a rut here. You know how it is; you get up, go to work, come home, repeat. It’s a terrible feeling and can lead to increased stress, and even depression in some cases. After all, it’s difficult to stay happy when you don’t have time for the things you love.

The good news is, there’s now more focus than ever on achieving a better work-life balance. Fewer people are happy just to roll over and accept their work-focused fates. Instead, we’re doing what we can to alter the scales in our favor. But, what can you alone do to make sure your life gets the time and attention it so deserves? Read on for a few ideas to help you get this right.

Seek remote opportunities

live to work

Thanks to a little thing called the internet, remote working is a big business right now. And, guess what? Working when and where you want ensures that you can make the time for things you love. That’s a definite win for team life. As such, it’s worth seeking remote opportunities if you can. If you’re willing to make a complete change, you could look out for a full-time remote position. This would be the ultimate way to take back control, as you would never need to adhere to office hours again. As long as you were available for meetings and such, you’d be free to work whenever was convenient for you. Opportunities here include everything from personal assistants to digital marketing roles.

If you would rather stay in the role you know, it’s worth asking if there are remote possibilities. In most cases, it should be possible to work at least one or two days from home. And, even that small shift could make a considerable difference towards living the life you dream of. After all, you could work into the evening, and free up large parts of your day. You could run out and complete errands without the whole office noticing it. What’s more, you would get the much-needed opportunity to set up in a new and exciting environment. That’s sure to inspire you more than your work office.

Develop a decent relationship with your boss

The idea of a decent working relationship with your boss is nothing new. This is essential for ensuring happiness at work as a standard. What you might not realize is that this is also crucial for work/life balance. If you’re on bad terms with your boss, they won’t have any real drive to make allowances for you. Heck, you might not even be on their radar. But, if you take time to please your boss and stand out from the crowd, you may find you have a little more leeway to play with. As a valued team member, you would stand a better chance of acceptance when asking for early finishing times or flexible shifts. After all, your boss won’t want to lose you. What’s more, opening communications can help them understand, and try to meet your needs. This could help in a variety of ways, namely getting time off when you need it. It may be that you need to finish early each day to pick up your children. Or, perhaps you have an unwell relative, and need allowances with work hours, as well as time off should things take a turn for the worse. As you can see from articles like Peninsulas employee bereavement leave guide, your manager doesn’t have a legal obligation to give you time off in this case. More, the matter is down to their discretion. And, if they understand your position, you’re far more likely to achieve the balance you need.

Stick to your guns

That said, it’s still important to stick to your guns with issues such as overtime and workload. It’s tempting to take on all those extras to get in your boss’ good books. But, it’s a catch 22 situation which you shouldn’t approach in that way. After all, taking on extra work to impress your boss is not going to lead you towards better life balance. Quite the opposite. You’ll end up working far more than you would otherwise. Instead, it’s crucial to know your limits when it comes to issues like these and stick to your guns. One piece of overtime a week could well be necessary for impressing and work in your favor in the long-run. But, anything over that would be tipping the scales very much the wrong way. As such, it’s essential you learn to say no to extra work. If you’re already used to doing extras as standard, slowing down your life like this would free up an astounding amount of time.

Planning precision

living to work

credit: https://www.cleanandscentsible.com

Another simple way to get this right is to get into the habit of planning workdays. Something as simple as writing out a to-do list can keep your work flowing in the right direction. And, increasing your productivity can ensure you finish earlier than you’re used to. Once you start monitoring your tasks, you’ll likely to come to notice how much time you waste in the office. And, that’s obviously going to tip the scales towards work. But, by tackling your timings, you may find you can leave the office early, guilt-free and ready to embrace more living.

5 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

sleepAccording to the experts, we need at least 8 hours sleep a night. Most of us fall below this, however. The lure of the tv, problems with insomnia, and late night habits can prevent us getting the shut-eye we need. Can you relate to any of the following signs? If so, then you are probably one of the high percentage who is not getting enough sleep, either.

Sign #1: You wake up feeling irritable

When the alarm clock wakes you up in the morning, you are probably tempted to throw the darn thing across the room. Getting out of bed, you probably scowl at yourself in the mirror, shout at the cat, and stomp out of the house to work. Let’s just hope nobody gets in your way on the daily commute.

Sign #2: Your day is unproductive

There is so much to do in the day, but if you are still suffering from a lack of sleep, your productivity level will be low. The household chores won’t get done, you won’t complete your work to a satisfactory level, and you won’t get through half of the things you intended to do during the day.

Sign #3: You fall asleep during the day

A power nap is okay once in a while, but if you are sleeping more than you should, you know your body hasn’t had the rest it needed the night before. From falling asleep at your desk to curling up on the couch when you return home, your sleep patterns will be in disarray if you don’t do something about it soon.

Sign #4: You become forgetful

A lack of sleep reduces brain power. So, if you walk into a room and don’t know why you did, or you can’t find that word you are looking for, even if it’s right on the tip of your tongue, sleeplessness may be the answer. This is problematic, especially if affects your performance at work.

Sign #5: You have a reduced libido

“Not tonight dear,” you say to your frustrated partner for the umpteenth time this month. You just aren’t in the mood, and that may be because sleep deprivation has reduced your libido. If this is a regular occurrence, it will cause problems in your relationship. Our advice: get the sleep you need, so you have the energy and passion levels to regain a better sex life.

The solution

The simple solution is this: get to bed at a decent time! Of course, that’s easier said than done. There may be issues affecting your sleeping patterns that go beyond your nightly Netflix binge and late night partying. To ensure you get a good night’s sleep, try the following.

  1. If your bed is uncomfortable, head to the Bed Shop and purchase something guaranteed to give you a better night’s sleep.
  2. If your bedroom is cluttered and badly designed, check out our calming bedroom ideas to give you a fighting chance of getting to sleep sooner.
  3. Meditate before going to sleep. Whether it’s through prayer or a simple mantra, focus your mind and remove any distractions from your head before you go to sleep.

Finally

Assuming you didn’t fall asleep reading our article (we are blaming your lack of sleep if you did), we hope you found it useful. A good night’s sleep is vital, for both your state of mind and your daily living. So, do what you can to get your z’s of a nighttime, and hopefully, you will feel refreshed and invigorated instead of tired and sluggish when you wake up at the start of each new day.