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.


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.

Cheque, Please: Cutting A Monthly Food Bill In Half

Cutting a monthly food bill in half

Men, women and children love food. It’s the fuel that keeps us going, but it’s also tasty and delicious. There’s nothing better than sitting down to a family meal and chewing away the rigours of the day. And, it’s not like you have to be Gordon Ramsay to enjoy the dish. He may have three Michelin stars, but he’s never put a fried egg on top of beans and toast! A side-effect of loving to eat is the cost. Sadly, too many people overspend and put their finances at risk to indulge their taste buds. Anyone that wants to stop should look at the following and take note.

The Pareto Principle

In short, the Pareto principle states that 80% of the outcome comes from 20% of the causes. So, you can save money by revolutionising a small amount of factors. Yep, it is this simple as long as you pick the features that doing the damage. An obvious example is eating out at a restaurant. Although you may do it once or twice a week, the cost takes away a huge chunk from your budget. By cutting down to one meal, or none at all, the food bill shouldn’t be as high in the future.

Organic Produce

Supermarkets have all the answer these days, which means picking up fruit and veg is simple. Just park up, throw the groceries in a trolley, and enjoy a coffee in the Costa café afterwards. What every homeowner has to know, however, is that growing fruit and vegetables is straightforward. The trick is to create a patch of land in the garden and add seeds which don’t require lots of time and effort. For example, rhubarb grows like a weed with a little water and some extra nutrients. Carrots and potatoes are effortless, too. Anyone that wants to go to the next level can build a greenhouse and try and grow exotic produce.

Free Range

Plenty of people hate the idea of producing meat but love to buy it from a shop. Ignorance is bliss in many ways. If you aren’t squeamish, keeping livestock is a fantastic way to get a fill of protein without paying over the odds. You’ll need a nice piece of land, mobile field shelters and lots of food, but the hassle is worth it in the end. Not only do the cuts last for weeks, but you know what is on your plate and from where it came. At the moment, supermarkets aren’t one-hundred percent truthful about their sources.

Bill Analysis

Don’t assume there isn’t any waste regarding your food bill. It may feel that way, but when you look at it properly, there will be things which can reduce the costs further. An excellent tip is to buy ingredients and cook meals that are low in cost yet produce a great amount of food. That way, there is plenty to go around if the hunger pains don’t go away without splashing out. Plus, the remainder of the dish can be used during the week for lunches.


It’s your choice, so which option will you pick?

Embarrassing Home Improvement Faux Pas You Better Not Make

Our homes are a place of luxury and comfort, and it’s understandable that we want nothing but the best when it comes to redecorating or making improvements to our homes. A common mistake that many people make is trying to cut corners when they are improving their homes, which can lead to the end result not coming out quite as planned, or even leaving their homes in disrepair. So that you can avoid making these mistakes, we’ve compiled a list of the most embarrassing home improvement faux pas that you’d better not make.

home improvement


You’ve probably seen on home improvement shows on the TV or internet, and it’s likely that you’ve come across some ‘hacks’ when it comes to your walls. Many people choose to simply paint over old wallpaper, which sometimes can work if the wallpaper is still in tact everywhere and not peeling. However, if you’ve got ripped or missing pieces the paint will only show those parts up more, leaving the room that you’ve just painted looking shabby – and not in a good way. Take the time to strip your walls of wallpaper and replaster if needed so that when you come to paint you know that the end result will be top notch.


Everyone knows someone who’s able to fit a carpet, or get the job done for a cheaper price. However, more often than not the end results aren’t as good as you’d imagined in your head. When it comes to putting a new floor down make sure that you’re using flooring installers, especially if you’ve bought hardwood flooring or tiles to make sure that the job is done correctly. Spending that little bit of extra money will be worth it in the long run!


As you probably already know, messing around with electrics is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing or looking at. Like the point made above, many people are in contact with people who say that they are able to fit and fix electrical outlets. Remember to make sure that if someone is doing your electrics that you should take a look at their certificates to prove that they are qualified to be doing the job. Take the advice for your own safety. Again, better to spend a little extra money to know the job is done right, especially when it comes to electricals.


Having pieces of artwork or pictures of loved ones around your home is lovely because it draws the eye to it as soon as you walk into a room. However, many people make the mistake of hanging pictures wrong and therefore damaging their walls. Make sure that when you’re fixing anything to your walls that you’re using rawl plugs so that the weight of what you’re hanging doesn’t crack or deteriorate the wall even further

To sum up, make sure that any improvements that you’re doing around your home are done properly and without cutting any corners to ensure that the end result will be everything you hoped for and more!

Don’t Be Dim: How To Get Your Lighting Just Right


Although it is somewhat of an interior design cliche, good lighting really can make or break a room. If you get it wrong, you will bring down the mood, make everyone feel tired, and possibly even hand out a few headaches. Of course, if you get it right, then you won’t have to suffer from any of these things, and, as a little bonus, the look of your entire interior will improve too. Because of this, it’s essential to get you lighting spot on. If you aren’t sure how to do that, then keep reading for some helpful tips.


Mix It Up

The last thing that you want to do is solely rely on one light source, such as your main overhead light. This won’t distribute light evenly through the room, so you’ll have some incredibly bright areas and some really dark areas which are inconvenient and just don’t look very good. Instead, you should layer your light by using some table and floor lamps as well as your main light and spread these out in the room. This will avoid there being any dark and dingy looking areas in your room.

Watch The Height

You need to ensure that your light fittings aren’t too low or too high in certain rooms of your home. Your kitchen is a great example; If your fittings are too low above your table, then everything will be too bright, too warm, and you could hit your head as you stand up, but if they’re too high, then there won’t be enough light. When choosing a height, you should take the size of the fitting into consideration. For example, if you have a few clear glass pendants, these can generally be placed lower. Larger fittings, on the other hand, need to be higher.

Don’t Be Bright

Trust me, when it comes to lighting a room, dimmer switches are essential. No one wants to be bombarded with bright lights every time they step into a room, especially a bedroom, but dimmer switches eliminate this completely. They can help set a more calm and intriguing atmosphere, rather than make you feel like you’re auditioning for a talent show. Soft white bulbs are also great, as they aren’t as harsh as brighter lighting, and won’t wash you down unflatteringly


Cupboards And Closets

It is incredibly important to make sure that you can see your entire room, but, even while people are on a mission to ensure this, there is always one place that gets forgotten about; Your cupboards and closets. Most people simply make do and hope that they put on the right shirt before heading to work in the morning, but you don’t need to make do, so why would you? Rather than do this, you could add a strip light to the top of your closet to ensure that you match before heading to work each morning.

Lighting is incredibly important in a home for many reasons, so it’s necessary to get it just right. With the tips above, hopefully, you can do just that.

Clock Ticking? 4 Ways To Stay Forever Young

Medical advances mean that we are all living longer, which is fantastic! As we age, are there any ways to maintain a youthful healthy image, body and mind? It is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and being beautiful and happy on the inside allows a particular radiance and beauty that cannot be bought, from even the most expensive skin cream on the market.

Thankfully we can take action now, to give nature a helping hand in retaining a youthful image as the years roll by.

Tips to stay young

Eat healthily

As you age it is essential to eat a healthy diet and try to maintain a healthy weight. Avoiding fast weight loss, or fast weight gain is important for the elasticity in your skin. Major and fast weight loss can cause wrinkles and saggy skin, that only Cosmetic Clinic & Aesthetic Treatments can combat. If you lose weight slowly over a length of time your body will have time to adjust. Ensure you include lots of foods that contain omega 3 oils in your diet, examples of foods to include are oily fish and seeds. These are healthy oils that will support brain function and encourage skin, that is moisturised and supple.

Stay hydrated with water and pure fruit juices. Hydrated skin will look younger and brighter. Drinking enough fluids will also give you lots of energy as your body can function to its optimal ability.

Look after your skin

The single most important thing you can do for your skin is to protect it from the sun. UV rays are a major cause of wrinkles and can age the skin dramatically. Always use a sunscreen and pay particular attention to areas of the skin that receives the most exposure to the sun ie face, neck and arms.

Exfoliate your skin regularly as it helps with skin regeneration and leaves brighter, clearer skin. Moisturise daily. It is the process of moisturising that helps and you could consider using a natural moisturiser such as almond oil. There are of course many anti-ageing products on the market to consider too.


As we age it is really important to focus on muscle core strength. Keeping your body strong will help support joints. Exercise gives you more energy and is also an excellent mood booster. Try to get out doors everyday and keep moving.


Like your skin, the texture of your hair changes as you age. Sometimes hair can become thinner, or it may become coarser, one thing is for sure, unless you are one of a lucky few you are likely to find an increasing amount of grey’s appearing. The obvious option is to colour your hair with dye, or you could totally embrace the grey – some people really suit it!  

Choose a flattering hairstyle, you shouldn’t always opt for a shorter style just because you’re older – choose a style that really suits you!  

Although we can;t turn back time, the above tips will help to slow down how aging has an effect on our bodies and appearance. The main focus should be to try and live a happy life, happiness shows on the outside and is truly beautiful!

Putting Some Effort Into The Outside Of Your Home

We can see why you’d only ever put the most effort into the inside of your house. It is the main area that you spend time in. The main area that you socialise with friends and family. And it is the main area that people in general think about first when it comes to making things like nice and new. But why don’t we give the outside of the house enough credit. It is the first place people see, and actually does leave a lasting impression on people. As much as there is plenty to be done with the inside of the house, there is for the outside too. The front and the back are where we’re going to draw your attention to. With our tips below, you should have a snazzy looking house both inside, and now out!

Maintain the outside of your home

The Front

The front of the house is probably one of the most important, even if people don’t like to think of it that way. It is the first thing people are going to see, and the nicer it looks the nicer they’re going to think the inside looks. First, let’s start with the driveway. Your car is going to be coming on and off, day in day out. So it’s easy enough for it to experience some wear and tear, and generally not look as good as it could do. One thing we can recommend is a complete new resurface of the drive. You won’t truly appreciate what this can do to the outside of your house until you give it a go. Resin driveway suppliers can help you achieve the most perfect look. A resin driveway finish looks so smart and sophisticated, we highly recommend this finish if you’re going for a resurface. Finally, just to add to the cute aesthetics side of things, hanging baskets are something you need to add. They’re cheap, easy to put up, and only require a water every now and then if you’re not getting enough rain. One either side of the front of your house is going to look so lovely.

The Back

The back is one of the most important areas for socialising when it comes to the nicer weather. If you’re always sat indoors, you’re doing gatherings the wrong way. Just a little spruce up of the garden is going to make it perfect for all your hangouts. First you need to look at a place for you and your friends and families to hang out. It might be that you get an outdoor furniture set, if you do we recommend padded furniture for extra comfort. To ensure you and your guests are kept warm, a patio heater is something you should grab yourself. Now, if you want to make things extra snazzy, then a hot tub is the thing for you. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot either. You can now get inflatable ones for such a low cost. But if you want to go all out, then there are some excellent wooden ones that feature a large seating area inside, as well as funky lighting inside.

Need A New Fitness Goal?

Fitness and weight training

Having fitness goals is important for staying motivated. Without these goals, it’s easy to look at exercise as a chore. Even if you love exercise, you may get frustrated without a goal to work towards. Here are just a few goals to consider that could help to challenge you.

Get slim

The most common fitness goal is to lose weight. Most people set this as a vague objective, which is why they don’t stay motivated. You need to have a clear end goal in sight when slimming down. This could be a target weight or a clothing size that you want to fit into. On top of having an end goal, you should set yourself micro-goals from month to month. Your end goal may seem too far away and unachievable – micro-goals can give you that sense of ongoing achievement you need to spur you on. It’s worth keeping a record of your progress so that you can see how far you’ve come. There are apps that can do this if you want to lose weight solo. Alternatively, you might be able to join a group in order to help you lose weight.

Go the distance

Another goal could be to improve the distance you’re able to run. If you jog a lot or use the treadmill at the gym, such a goal can help you to give running a purpose which could help to motivate you to get off the sofa on a day where you’re feeling lazy. By slowly adding on kilometres, you can eventually build up to 10k runs and maybe even half-marathons and marathons. Long-distance running can be done almost anywhere – you don’t have to pay for a gym membership. It can also help with the dual goal of losing weight. Running apps can help to record your progress and set new goals for you.

Build your strength

Another goal to help spur you on could be to improve your strength. Just like being able to run a certain distance, being able to lift a certain weight can give you a more tangible idea of how your body is improving. Strength-training can help you to bulk up, but it can also help those wanting to slim down. Weight machines at gyms can give you a clear idea of just how much you’re lifting, although you don’t have to join a gym. You might be able to buy home weights or rely on exercises like push-ups and sit-ups.

Fitness and take up a new sport

Try a new sport

Taking up a new sport could give you something new to learn and master, whilst keeping you fit at the same time. This could be anything from swimming to tennis to kickboxing – whatever takes your interest. Certain sports may have grades and qualifications that you can help aspire to. Others may teach techniques which help you to develop muscles and keep off fat in the process. Not all sports can be self-taught and some may require you to take up lessons with a coach.

Consider a career in fitness

If you’re already dedicated to staying fit, but feel you need a new goal to give you direction, you could consider making fitness a career and passing on your knowledge to others. Certain careers such as personal training are ideal for taking your training to the next level. To become a trainer, you’ll need to be licensed, which involves taking a course. There are lots of sites out there that describe what goes on in this course if you want the course difficulty explained. After getting your qualification, you can then start to build up clients. On top of trying to achieve your own fitness goals, you’ll be helping others to reach theirs.

Train for a competition

Training for a competition might also help motivate you to stay fit. This could be a run or a bodybuilding competition or weight lifting competition or a sports competition. Not only do competitions pressure you to do better than others, they also give you a set deadline to train towards that can stop you procrastinating. You don’t have to compete with professionals – there are many competitions out there for amateurs such as local competitions and friendly club competitions.

Getting Prepared for Spring

Spring Clean

Now, as we begin to see the end in sight with regard to winter almost being over, it’s a great time to start thinking about having a good old fashioned spring clean in preparation for much lighter times.

This article offers a four-step process to creating a more harmonious home environment for you and your family, but before we get started, it’s equally important to focus on taking care of the garden too, as this is where a lot of items on our to-do list carry over year after year.  As an example, we’re forever meaning to fix the broken fence and with so many different types of fence panels available, it’s the sort of job that could be an easy fix; we just never get around to doing them as other higher priorities push to the front of the queue.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to create a list of niggling issues such as fixing the dripping tap or broken fence panels, and work your way through it, this Spring.  The surprising sense of achievement that comes with this cannot be overestimated.  So, presuming you’re now armed with a list of tasks that require your attention let’s look at the more general four step process to a good old fashioned spring clean.


There’s a popular saying that states a “tidy house tidy mind”, which is equally true in reverse; in that a cluttered house can contribute to a cluttered mind.  In fact, there have been a number of sociological and psychological studies that link the two.  If you are always searching through clutter to find your car keys, or frantically searching through drawers prior to going on holiday in a desperate attempt to find your passport – then you could certainly benefit from this advice.

This all important step of decluttering naturally leads onto the next phase of ‘getting organised’… as decluttering your home is a natural precursor to getting organised; for how can you get organised when there is clutter everywhere?


Most people need some form of order in their life in order to feel calm, centred, grounded and balanced.  This sense of emotional stability is closely linked to the feeling of stability and order you feel within your home life.  Now that you’ve decluttered your home, you need to get organised, which sounds like a drag but the time investment will pay off as it will make your life a lot easier in the long run.


Whether it’s removing the internal clutter from your house or removing garden waste it can take a amount of time and effort if you do it yourself.  However, there is a surprising amount of money to be made for people willing to clear other people’s junk; and although junk removal prices vary hugely based on the area in which you live, there’s a strong chance it will be quite high; a better option might be to hire a skip, or a a van for the day, that can be used to cart rubbish to the tip.


The act of cleaning your home isn’t a purely physical experience; it has clear practical benefits but there are significant emotional benefits to cleaning too.  It can be cathartic to go through your home and clean every corner of it, whether that is pulling cobwebs down from the ceiling, hoovering each room, or deep cleaning the mildew that has grown around the bathtub.  The process of cleaning your physical home gives you an opportunity to cleanse the energy and emotion stored within your home, and can be a very soothing experience.

In summary, write a list of all the outstanding items that need to be taken care of… then, declutter, get organised, get rid of unwanted items and cleanse your home.

Not So Fast: You May Be Able To Take a Family Trip This Year After All

Now, after the expenses of Christmas and everything else has been factored in, the bank balance might not be looking as healthy as you’d like. And for some of you, the idea of taking the whole family away for a break might seem like a lost cause. But hold steady a second, because that might not be the case. As we’ll see below, people have more opportunities to travel with their loved ones than they usually realise. Take a read, and it might be time to start getting excited!

Family stood on pier

Pick the Right Time

Travelling is not always equal. Depending on when you go, you can spend another 25% or more, just to have the same experience as someone who did the exact same thing the week before, only for less money. While you might have to work within the rules of the schooling system, it’s a good idea to check your destinations peak and low times. For example, there will be destinations that are favoured for their winter sun, but which fall out of favour during the summer. Additionally, you can consider visiting destinations when their weather isn’t perfect if the weather isn’t overly important to you.

Figure Out Your Finances

Your finances can sometimes be deceptive. You might look at the bank balance and think that things look grim, only to discover that actually, all the bills have been paid and your salary is due to go in next week. Even if your finances aren’t as strong as you’d like, that doesn’t automatically mean that you can’t go away. Look at no credit check personal loans, and you’ll be able to pay off the balance of your trip over a longer, more manageable period. There’s nearly always a solution to financial matters if we look hard enough.

Monitor The Deals

We are in the era of tourism. Everyone’s zipping across the globe! And as such, there are many, many companies vying for customer’s attention. They’re in a race to the bottom, offering lower and lower prices, which can only be good news for you! While you might not be able to afford a luxury trip to New York, there will be plenty of trips to places within Europe that will be affordable. The key is to stay patient and wait for the absolute best deals to show themselves. When they do, pounce!

Look at Alternative Options

We have the idea in our collective minds that it’s only a holiday if you’re boarding a plan and lying on a beach somewhere, but this isn’t the case. A holiday is whatever you want it to be! If money really is too tight this year, look at taking a camping trip or other type of staycation. You’ll be all together, exploring somewhere new, out of the routine of the everyday – and isn’t that what a holiday is all about? There are plenty of beautiful places in the UK that you and the family would have plenty of fun spending some time in. Happy travels!

Keeping The Outside Of The Home Healthy

Maintain outside of your house

Now that the winter is starting to wave its goodbyes and spring is right around the corner, many of of are starting to think about doing some projects on the house. The spring is the most popular time to carry out decorating and renovation work in the home because it is much lighter all day and it is warm enough to do it.

A lot of you may have already started to plan what colour you want the living room walls and which tile will suit the bathroom best, but have any of you thought about looking after the exterior of your home too? The outside of the home is crucial to the structural integrity of your home, and it is also the first thing people will see as they pass your home. Why not get some Roofers in to check your roof and make sure that it is healthy? And find someone to check your gutters and brickwork too. Looking after the outside of your home is just as important as inside, and here are some things you could do.

Pressure wash everywhere

The most useful tool you can buy for the front of your home is a pressure washer. It is. It only useful when you want to get bird poop off your car, but it can be a great tools for cleaning your driveway. Use your pressure washer to clean the driveway and lift any dirt, algae and sludge which has built up over the winter season. You can also use it to clean siding on your home, as well as the patio out back. Don’t use this on wood though because it will damage it.

Clean the gutters

You should ideally be cleaning your gutters out every six months, so now that the winter is at its end you can take advantage and give them a bit of maintenance. Once you have checked for blockages and removed anything which is in the downpipes and gutter, you can clean it and check for any damage. It is important to keep your gutters healthy because if they aren’t, damp can get into your home.

The garden

Looking after a garden can be a challenge if you don’t know the first thing about plants, but often you can ask a family member to come over and help you learn which plants you can move and which ones will die if you prune them. Ask your Mum round at the weekend and let her teach you about the plants you have in your garden and how you can keep them looking in tip top shape. It is important to know what you have in the garden because certain plants will need different levels of care. To spruce up the front garden and make your home feel more inviting you could plant a hardy shrub such as a hydrangea and even put a hanging basket by the front door. Trim your lawn once a month during the summer and in the winter you can just leave it as it is.