Simple Tips For Low Cost Home Improvements

Have you been thinking about remodeling your home? Keep in mind that you can often achieve your goal without a giant expense. Small improvements introduced in almost every room, including the exterior of the house can make all the difference.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Keep it clean and keep it simple!

A clean and neat house is appealing and eye-catching. You can start improving the appearance of your house simply by cleaning out the debris. Try making your garden look like an ideal place with some weeding and cleaning out the flower beds. Paint the front door to give your home a more welcoming feeling.

De-cluttering is also a part of cleaning, so get rid of things you don’t need to make room for new ones. The first glance is usually enough for a selective buyer to quickly estimate a house.

Does the exterior of your home need repainting? Is there a walkway that you can highlight by introducing some flowers? Remember to keep it simple. Focus on making things neat and tidy.

Two hot spots of every home:

The two most closely inspected rooms of a house are the kitchen and the master bathroom. If you are looking to focus on two hot spots, these are the interior rooms where the most value can be added during a sale, so make them look their best to increase your return on investment.

Is your kitchen may be in need of an upgrade? A well updated kitchen will dramatically increase the value of your home, so focus on spicing up this room to grab buyer attention. Renovating your kitchen using modern décor is going to instantly improve the value of your home. Many times a buyer will compromise on other rooms and will buy a home just because its kitchen is well-maintained and inviting.

The same holds true for bathrooms, especially the master bathroom. You will charm open house-goers with modern upgrades like dual vanities and soaking tubs in your master bath. Replace the faucets and clean up the bathroom counter. We would again emphasize on simplicity because for easy maintenance.

What to Invest in?

So, you’re done de-cluttering, cleaning and upgrading. What’s next? Well, if you are willing to make a good upgrade investment, it is recommended to divide your renovation plan into four parts to bring impressive improvements to your home. Here are the four areas you may want to seriously consider upgrading:

Lighting: If you are not satisfied with the lighting system in your house, replace it.

This would entail buying lighting fixtures and other equipment for each room to make it look consistent and attractive.

Plumbing: Many old homes have rusty pipes and some leakage in the plumbing that needs attention. Your home will not sell fast and at a price you have in mind if you haven’t already upgraded the plumbing system.

Flooring: Most people nowadays look for hardwood floors or alternatives that are easy to manage and provide health benefits instead of carpeting. Tiled floors are also fairly acceptable. If you think this improvement would bring you higher profits, make the investment without delay.

HVAC Replacement: Today new energy-efficient HVAC systems are being introduced to the market that incur a one-time cost and help you save huge amounts of money on utility bills. You can add a unique selling feature to your house by making this replacement part of your home improvement strategy.

What’s really worth repairing?

Remember that not all things are worth repairing; some need to be thrown out and others need to be replaced. This is a good principle to follow when staging a home.

Inspect every aspect of your home and then come up with a plan within your budget to bring a fresh crisp look to your home. You may want to replace outdated appliances in the kitchen with new modern models. Repairing old appliances is not an option. If your budget doesn’t allow an appliance upgrade, simply give the ones you use a color-boost to improve their appearance.

If you already have wooden floors installed at home, look for scratches and be prepared for some refinishing. Wooden floors are highly desirable, even if they are old and worn. Give them a little lift-up to make them more attractive and appealing.

Nowadays energy-efficiency has found its way into many of our systems including the windows. Home buyers look for the latest windows and other systems that are designed as energy-efficient since they provide a number of economical, health and environmental benefits. Replace your old windows for new energy-efficient windows to improve the value of your home.

If your bathroom floors are tiled, look for any flaws or cracks especially if the tiles are white or light-colored. These types of flaws are hard to conceal even if you arrange everything else very neatly. So, before investing in other bathroom accessories replace a cracked floor tile.

Make Home Improvement on Budget a Reality

Home is the place where the heart is. One of the best ways to improve quality of our life is to spruce up the home we live in. Although home improvements can cost unlimited amounts, it does not always require a fortune to improve the interiors of your home. You can carry out amazing changes in your apartment on budget.

Identify Misses

First of, when you are on budget it is important to identify the areas which require replacement or improvement in your home. For, the prime purpose of home improvement is to ensure no pending repairs post the renovation. This would help you plan the direction of the entire home repair project. Depending on the nature of projects you can decide upon the budget, duration and other factors for home improvement.

Gear up for change

Now you can gear up for the change you need. You should research online and visit home décor shops to get ideas for the purpose. You can save a lot of money by DIY on your previous, used or antique furniture, fittings and cabinets. It is important to check out price differences offered by second-hand shops, antique shops and online lists.

Knowing the expenses helps you get ready for the expenditure too. You can also check out your credit limit available. Home improvements can be one of the smart ways to enhance the valuation of your home. You can also check out if you are eligible for homeowner loans. Leveraging home equity you can draw substantial funding without any hassles.

Some handy home renovation hacks on budget

Kitchen

Kitchen is one place where whole family meets multiple times in a day. A change in the look of kitchen space can transform the feel of your entire home. You can consider changing the colour or cabinet doors for this. Do not forget to visit thrift stores or reuse centers to find the surprisingly cheap deals. Go for contrasting colour and you would revolutionise the appearance of your home. Also pay attention to kitchen lighting. If you need to replace any of the electronic or kitchen gadgets, opt for energy-efficient replacements. It would save you energy bills and keep your home updated.

Living Room

A renovation cannot be complete without bringing change in the living room. For low-cost home improvement, consider redoing the furniture placement. A simple shift of couch from right to left can bring more than expected alteration to your home view. In case you have a centre wall, consider using a bright and unique colour for that wall. Then deck it up with picture art, wall art or an embellished stole gifted by your grandma. The bright walls can steal the attention from other little flaws around.

If you need a new couch, consider using the old frame and get it covered up in a contemporary style. This would bring the modern look with least expense.

Bed Rooms

Changing bed room furniture could be expensive. You can consider changing the bedding, rug, curtains, cushions and every other add-on in your room. If your side tables are old-fashioned, you can consider using attractive wall paper on the front of drawers. It would not only bring a new look but would also cease the boredom owing to old furniture.

Another quick hack could be using darker colour for ceiling. Change in the colour of ceiling would bring a novel look in your personal space. We watch more of the ceilings in the bed rooms after all!

Lavatory

Do not overlook leakages and chipped paint as they are common in the bathroom area. Change faucets if there is any fault. Try to organise if you have too many objects in your bathroom.

Besides, simply changing the mug, bucket and rug can beautify your lavatory. You can introduce an attractive canvas cover for the new feel.

Front and Patio space

For small apartments, an additional sitting space can add enough value to the property. You can consider de-cluttering the backyard and incorporating chair for 2 people at least. You can add a beautiful cushion to an organiser and create a seat. This add-on would not cost more than £20 and enliven the dull space in your home.

Needless to say, do not leave the broken nuts and bolts on window panels or side entries. A new colour for outer walls is a must even if you have decided to keep the inner walls untouched.

In case your room walls are already neat, pick one wall in each section and use your creativity to bring the desired look.

Hope these tips prove handy when you begin your next home improvement project.

Keep Kids Engaged the Healthy Way While You Complete Your Office Work

Today with both parents working, it is becoming difficult to keep the kids away from the gadgets and inculcate the right values in them. Parents use the gadgets as baby-sitters for their precious ones, little realizing the long-term adverse effect of it. The problem is worse with nuclear families where the kids go unmonitored engaging in any device of their choice. However, it does not imply that you need to leave your great career path simply to look after your children. You can always keep your kids engaged in healthy activities while following your professional goals. Here are some easy ways to achieve them.

Puzzles: Puzzles have always fascinated kids in their various forms. They are beneficial for your kid’s mind and cognitive development. It helps your child to work in coordination with the environment and alter the shape. Little kids would learn hand-eye coordination through picture puzzles. Their finer motor skills (such as handwriting) get developed. Toddlers could develop their motor skills through stacking blocks and other puzzles. They develop their important skill of problem solving and learn to take logical decisions. Puzzles help in the enhancement of memories. Lastly, they teach the child to set small achievable goals. Older kids could engage in word puzzles, Sudoku, Rubik’s cube and mirror cubes. Such puzzles make their brain sharper and increase the concentration. They teach the child the traits of perseverance, focus and patience.

Board Games: Board games are entertaining and filled with many advantages. They are good for children of all ages and even adults like to indulge in them. Some of the popular board games are Scrabble, Checkers, Chess, Monopoly, and Clue. These games provide lots of fun and develop a feel good factor. Some parts of brain like prefrontal cortex and hippocampus get affected which help in memory formation and development of complex thoughts. The risk for any mental ailment gets reduced. They help in speeding up your child’s responses. They give growth to positive thoughts and feelings which in turn help in development of immunity. The child learns to develop reasoning and logical skills. The games also help the child to enhance the communication and verbal skills. Board games are also used by doctors for therapies for people suffering from physical or mental disabilities.

Craft Work: Children of all ages like to engage in craft work. It could be simple sketching or drawing with water colors to making attractive patterns on table-cloth. There are numerous benefits of arts and crafts such as bonding, boosting self-esteem, self-regulation, fine motor coordination and bilateral coordination. Hence, encourage your child to make cards and other gifts for their family and friends and display their craft works on the wall of honor to boost their self-esteem.

Stories: Children of all ages are fascinated by stories. Little kids like to go through colorful picture books while the older ones like to read a paperback of their choice. You can also ask your kids to write stories of their own or enact a given story in their own style. Stories serve a number of purposes. They stimulate the child’s imagination. They introduce the child to new words and new ideas. They enhance the reading and listening skills. They make your kids connect with their cultural roots and get them introduced to new cultures. Good stories impart much social and value based knowledge. Children also learn to understand different types of emotions.

Science Based Activities: There are many science based activities that you can ask your children of different age groups to try on their own. Younger kids can work on clay models to develop volcano, flowers, human anatomy, plant, rocks, etc. They could also engage in color mixing activities to create new colors from two or more different combinations. The older kids could engage in prism making, pin-hole camera, kaleidoscope, or even a homemade radio or computer system. The possibilities are endless which would not only engage your kid but, also increase his or her intelligent quotient.

Addiction to electronic gadgets is very harmful in children. It distracts them and the children develop behavioral issues. They tend to isolate and distance away from socializing. They become couch potatoes and start becoming obese resulting in other health problems. This is slow-poisoning. So engage them in the right activities to stay healthy and cheerful.

Striving to Be Better Will Make Us Happier

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You must do the thing that you think you cannot do.” Her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) the 32nd President of the United States of America said, “Above all try something.” So, what do these quotes, or words of wisdom, from one of America’s most famous power couples have in common? It’s all about striving to be better. It’s not about succeeding all the time, but at least striving to be better. With this striving comes a deep satisfaction that tends to make us happier, like someone smiling and beaming with pride after just finishing a marathon even though they are tired. This level of fulfillment that striving brings us cannot be accomplished through our modern-day instant gratification of remote control television or microwave popcorn. These pleasures cannot replace true effort and accomplishment.

So go ahead and strive, however, beware, not every day will go perfectly. Things can and will go wrong. And when they do go wrong you might be tempted to retreat inward in an attempt to avoid this big bad world that hasn’t been so kind to you recently. Don’t. It’s a mistake. Retreating and surrendering won’t bring you happiness. It will only push and pull you further down the slippery slope of despair and depression. And the further you slide down that slope, the longer it will take you to climb out of it.

So, there you have it. We really have had the secret to our own happiness and success within us all along, haven’t we? The secret is what the First Couple alluded to at the beginning of this article, isn’t it? Get up and move. Get up and try. Try something and something will happen. And if you don’t succeed, you’ll at least feel better for trying… And who knows what could happen…

Now teens, go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Always remember that striving to be better will make you happier. And once again, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…

Award-winning author, speaker, and educator Dan Blanchard wants you to try to do something to be better than what you are today.

Dress Up Your Child for Her First Day at Kindergarten

Mothers like to dress up their little princesses in Barbie dresses and frilly frocks. However, kids need to wear clothes that are comfortable rather than decorative as they need to spend a specific length of time at school. If the child sees the school as an extension of her home, then she would learn to relax and adjust to her new surroundings. Hence, her clothes must be practical rather than fancy. Of course practical could be pretty, but it need not be frilly. You must keep a tab on the following things and your child would be attire wise ready to go to kindergarten.

• The dress should be comfortable: Choose comfortable over fancy. This would allow your child to integrate and enjoy all the various activities. Your child could run about unhindered and without danger of accidentally having it caught in the playroom equipment. The fancy outfits could easily be worn for more special occasions.

• Pack an alternate set of dresses: Children are very liable to soil their dresses and dirty them. So, it would be handy to always have an alternate set of dresses ready for emergency.

• Dresses (especially pants) with elastic bands are great: Young children struggle with their toilet impulses. Hence, easy to manage clothes which open easily are good for these lovely tiny tots.

• Get body protective and season suitable clothes: Your child’s clothes should be body protective and season suitable. Inadequate clothing would make her uncomfortable. Besides, he would be unable to participate in any outdoor activity. Also, remember that if she needs to play in sun then she has covered dresses and hats to save her from the damaging rays of the sun.

• Prefer cotton dresses: Cotton dresses are most comfortable fabrics as they are stretchable and soft. They absorb sweat easily and are comfy in all seasons (save for rainy when they take hours to dry). They are breathable and keep your child relaxed in all sorts of activities. It is also a wonderful insulator keeping body warm in winter and cool in summer. It is hypoallergenic that rarely leaves behind any allergic reaction on a sensitive skin.

• Choose more colors: kids love bright colors and it makes them happy and energetic. Moreover, colorful dresses seem to hide any marks or stains on them. So, dress up your child in colorful dresses and see her energy level escalate.

• Get no-nonsense shoes: Shoes are an integral part of any attire and should be suitable to the feet. Shoes and socks are the ideal footwear for kindergarten going toddlers. However, since most kids haven’t mastered the art of tying their shoelaces, hence, it would be better to buy shoes which have Velcro-tabs or slip-on.

Our kids are our most valuable resources and hence, we must nurture our young ones with love, patience and tenderness. Hence, as a parent it is our responsibility to provide innumerable opportunities to our tiny tots so that they are able to tab on their strengths and grow up empowered, responsible, intelligent, independent and contented.

How to Keep Children Safe As They Explore Around the Home

It is always the priority of parents to keep their children safe. As a matter of fact, when parents are absolutely certain about the safety of their children, they can really enjoy watching and experiencing all the “firsts” of their little ones. If your home is baby or child proof, all you need to think of is to ensure the cleanliness of their play area. The following are some tips that you can consider in baby proofing your home:

Baby proofing Your Bedroom: Babies and toddlers often perceive cabinets and dressers as a step ladder, and they might use it to climb up and get objects on top. To counter this, it is a good thing to secure cabinets and furniture to the wall using furniture straps. In addition, always secure medicines and other hazardous substances in a cabinet or closet through the use of baby proof cabinet latches or locks.

Baby proofing Your Bathroom: Even if you emphasize to children that the bathroom is not a play area, they still become interested about the grooming items placed inside bathroom cabinets. As your children or babies start to become mobile, they become aware of the cabinets and drawers inside your home, and they become curious what’s inside these compartments. Therefore, it is important to keep it close and securely lock. There are several types of cabinet safety locks. These are magnetic cabinet locks, dual action multi-use latches, and cabinet locking latches. You can install any of these depending upon your needs and preferences. The installation of door knob covers and cabinet latches or locks is a great way to allow your little ones explore around your home without compromising their safety.

Baby proofing Your Kitchen: Children oftentimes enjoy playing with switches, electrical appliances, and even stoves when they are in the kitchen. So, door knob safety locks, electrical outlet covers, and stove knob covers are some stuff that you need to make your kitchen child proof.

Baby proofing Your Living Room: Whether you have a crawling baby, a terrible two, or a three, it is a good idea to allow them to freely play and explore in a designated area in your home. However, there are some areas in the home that are off limits for the kids. These areas include the garage, home office, laundry room, basement, and bathrooms. Installing pressure mounted gates or child safety gates is an important measure to consider. This way, your little ones can remain inside the safe area.

Baby proofing the Hallway Doors: Hallway doors can lead to child-restricted areas in your home such as the laundry room, basement, and garage. The best thing to do to prevent your little ones from entering these restricted areas is to install door knob safety covers. It is ideal to install door knob covers on the top portion of your door to prevent your children from being attracted to these pieces. Child safety door knob covers are intended to prevent kids from entering off-limits areas in the home or from leaving their designated rooms or play area. These products are engineered to fit standard door knobs and blend with your home decor. These are ergonomically designed to entirely wrap the door knob, thereby allowing parents to have a better grip when they enter a particular room. To use this, you just have to latch on to the door through its holes and gently turn it.

Children’s Increasing Bonding With Smartphones

Today’s young generation has changed the mobile phones usage. It has become more of a toy for them that they can use any time, explore, contact and send messages to their friends without knowing its pros and cons.

Living in the 21st century of iPads and iPhones and newer technologies, we must be aware of what our children are watching on the smart phones, as excess usage of mobile phones is harmful for them due to the high radiations. We should also restrict the use of mobile phones by the children by providing them the time limit for every activity they can do daily, with this they will learn the importance of time and discipline.

We all are aware of the consequences of game ‘Blue Whale’ invented by a Russian lady named Ilya Sidorov. Around 130 children worldwide (5 children in India) had committed suicide after playing this game, because they didn’t get to know when they enter their mind and get trap to reach at the top level. Whole day their mind is in the game only, how to be on the top and they are unaware of the surroundings.

We need to always keep an eye on our children-what they are watching on mobile phones-to prevent them from any danger and teach them lessons of life and help them differentiate between the real and fake.

Children are the future of our nation so we need to be protective and cautious about them so they don’t get harm or spoiled. All new technology is introduced to make our living simple but in another way they are creating trouble in our life by their high radiation. So it is important to know their use but in a way that they don’t harm our mind and body.

There is no doubt that the new apps have made the learning simple and easy and we are thankful to the upgrading technology, if we remain aware of the pros and cons and how to use them, then we get more benefits from it then any harm. In this fast moving world we want everything fast and readymade.

In India also schools are introducing the new methods of learning through tabs, so that a child doesn’t has to carry a heavy school bag and they can adapt themselves to the new technology. It is a good step taken by the schools. If right education is given to them no one can stop them from becoming tomorrow’s champions.

Child Safety Electrical Outlet Covers

Electrical stuff such as power outlets, chargers, computer cables, and extension leads play a major role in our lives every day. However, it is a fact that this can pose a risk of harm for your babies or children if you don’t make a way to child proof it.

The most common child proofing options when it comes to electrical safety is using electrical outlet plugs covers or outlet caps (these terms are actually interchangeable). These plastic pieces are directly plug into the outlet sockets and are most suitable to be used in outlets that are never or seldom used. Usually, the exposed back of these plugs is a bit rounded or flat, thereby making it hard for your child to hold and remove.

Outlet plugs covers are intentionally designed to keep children or babies from experiencing accidental shock. This is certainly a good buy if you have open electrical outlets in your home that are easily reached by children. The extra-tight child-protecting fit that is usually featured in many outlet plugs ensures that the caps will stay in place and will not become loose or easily removed. There are several outlet plug types that can fit well to both 2-pronged and 3-pronged outlets. In addition, the usual installation process is absolutely convenient. You just have to insert the plugs into any open electrical sockets and tightly push it. As for the removal, you can glide your nail or any flat, non-conductive object under the edge of the cap and pull. That is how easy it is to use.

There are several types of electrical covers that you can choose from in the market, and most of these are of high quality. Some companies offer multiple plugs in one pack. You can opt for the 36-plug pack if you have several electrical outlets that you need to cover in your home. But before you purchase a pack, it is best to buy a single item first and test it whether it can fit well into your outlets; otherwise, you’ll end up throwing some away. Again, ensure that it is well fitted into your outlets, or else your little one can just easily remove it.

This comes with a notch on the top part so that you can easily remove it using a non-conductive object (items made up of plastic), not paper clips. Keep in mind not to use your nails as well, or it will have a tendency to break.

Moreover, before buying these pieces, make sure that it has passed the small parts test. You can do this by thoroughly reading the item description and taking note of the size of each plug.

Electrical outlet plugs are considered must-have items for those who have babies or children in their homes. This would be a great help in ensuring the safety of your little ones. But always remember teaching your children to exercise caution while they are near electrical outlets is also essential.

How to Keep Your Little Ones Safe in Your Home

If your little one starts to crawl or walk, it is important to keep your home safe. Most parents don’t mind about child proofing anymore after their baby is born since during this time they’re already busy taking care of their newborn. Therefore, it is best to begin baby proofing your home before your baby is born. The following are some of the ways to keep your little ones safe:

Get down on your knees and hands: This method allows you to see the things or objects that could possibly harm your baby as they crawl or walk. These could include sharp objects, sharp furniture edges, or items that the baby can pull over. If you have encountered any of these, it is essential to do the necessary actions such as placing sharp objects or harmful items up high and adding child safety corner guards to sharp furniture edges.

Use electrical outlet covers: One of the most popular child proofing procedure is covering electrical outlets. Since most outlets are situated near the floor, these are easily reached by babies. There are several options of outlet covers that you can choose from like clear, sliding, and swing-shut covers.

Install cabinet lock and door knob safety covers: As your baby begins to get around, they might start to open drawers and cabinets or the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry door, which could allow them to have access to toxic substances and dangerous objects. Therefore, installing latches or safety covers to door knobs and cabinets is a good way to keep your little ones safe.

Install baby or child safety gate(s): Baby gates serve as a protective barrier to prevent your little ones from entering unsafe areas in your home such as the laundry room, bathroom, or kitchen. These gates also prevent them from going near the stairs, which could avoid the risk for falls.

Use the Toilet Paper Roll Rule as a Guide: Using this method allows you to protect your child from choking hazards. The toilet paper roll can be used to identify objects that could possibly choke your child. Any items that are smaller than the cardboard tube of a toilet paper roll should be placed away from your child.

I hope these tips are helpful as you take care of your child or baby in your home. Keep in mind that these are only a few of the ways that you can do. There are still a lot of safety methods that you can consider.

Pursue the Abilities of the Elite With Unwavering Determination

According to Dr. Carol Dweck author of, Mindset, effort is the key ingredient of all people who have a growth-mindset. Through unwavering determination and an all-out effort successful people are actually having fun when they are working hard. And because they thoroughly enjoy what they are doing, success comes almost as a byproduct of what they naturally want to do, which is to work hard at their dreams. All their hard work eventually gives these future winners comparable abilities of other elite people in their field. Thus, making them eventually one of these elite people. In a nutshell, their hard work and unwavering determination help them achieve whatever they are focusing on.

Teddy Roosevelt was one of these people who pursued the abilities of the elite with an unwavering determination. He was one of our toughest Presidents. The funny thing is that Teddy wasn’t always a rough and tough guy. He was actually a sick weakly boy who most people didn’t expect much out of. He was determined though to prove everyone wrong. Thus, through much effort, he took up hiking, horseback riding, boxing, wrestling and a whole lot of other things with an unwavering determination that would constantly test and prove his resolve. Teddy often said that all Americans should lead a strenuous life because that was the secret to success and happiness. Imagine that… One of our greatest presidents said that we all should lead a strenuous life!

So, basically, it looks like that if we want to become more successful than I guess we all need to just dig a little deeper and ignite the fire in our bellies that has been sitting down there dormant and just waiting for a chance at greatness. With a fire in our bellies and an unwavering determination, who knows how far we can go.

Now teens, go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Remember to pursue the abilities of the elite with an unwavering determination. And once again, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…