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Three Fabulous Ways to Transform Your Living Room

Of all the rooms in our house, the one that we tend to give the most attention to (besides the bedroom) is the living room. Not only is it a comfortable space where we want to be able to lounge while we watch TV, read a book, or surf the internet, the living room has to be a well-designed space that looks amazing, and provides ample seating for guests.

living room

Once you’ve established a living room, it can be a massive project to try and redecorate. You spent so much time the first go round choosing the perfect colour scheme, picking the couch and sofa to provide maximum relaxation, and arranging it in a way that works for everyone. With all of that effort and all of that investment, it can be draining to even think about changing up the living room, no matter how bored you might be with it by now.

 

But you don’t have to launch a full redecoration effort for your living room. Following are three simple, but fabulous, ways you can transform your living room into an even more inviting space!

 

Introduce a New Rug to Your Space

Rugs are the perfect furniture accessory to transform any living space because they’re so diverse. Not only will a high-quality rug allow you to introduce beautiful colours and patterns, but you can also put it to work protecting the rest of your living room.

Transform your living room with a new rug

A good quality rug will enable you to round out your colour scheme with a variation on a colour you’re already using, or a colour from the opposite end of the spectrum that beautifully compliments what you already have. In addition, a rug can be used as a buffer between your carpet or hardwood floor, reducing scuffing and preventing tears and rips in your carpet.

 

Use Crafts Projects as Decorations

If you love to do arts and crafts anyway, why not take full advantage of the time you’re investing to make those beautiful, personal works, and use them as decorations for your living room! Your handmade crafts will help to round out your colour scheme and give a personal touch to your living room that no furniture shop can match.

 

Obvious choices that will have an amazing effect include wall decorations and plant pots, but you could also design your own photo frame, sew your own cushions, or even knit your own blankets and throws. You could even customize further by embroidering the names of your family members onto their own personal cushions they can keep on the sofa!

 

The possibilities are limitless when it comes to using crafts as decor, and the only constraint you need concern yourself with is the limit of your own creativity.

 

Bring Your Garden Indoors

If you’re a person who loves to garden, you probably take pride in growing your own plot of gorgeous flowers and preparing meals with ingredients that you just picked off the vine. But you can also use that same love of nature to bring an organic, earthen beauty into your own home.

tulips in a living room

Consider hanging your own cornucopia on your wall, and fill it with fruit and vegetables from your garden. Alternately, you could use two bouquets of beautiful flowers to frame another element in your living room that you want to draw attention to, like your family portraits or wedding photos.

 

You could even use your produce or flowers as a natural decoration to spruce up your coffee table or entertainment centre, so long as you can remember to swap them out now and then.

Encouraging Hard Work & Determination In Children

We all want our children to be happy and successful throughout their life. Encouraging hard work and determination in our children is a great way to help them build their self-esteem.
Helping them to become responsible adults is a very important part of our job as a parent or educator. Here a few ways you can help children become happy and successful adults.

Encouraging Hard Work

One of the best ways to encourage children to keep working hard on something is to praise the effort.
Children naturally want praise so they will keep doing something that they’re getting praised for. If you put the emphasis on the end result and they haven’t managed to achieve what they set out to do, they’re going to get disheartened. They’ll just think that it’s too hard and it’s easier to give up.

By praising the effort and not the end result, you’re telling them that determination and hard work is what counts.

Encouraging hard work - Blackboard with Never give Up written on it in white chalk

Let Them Do Things For Themselves

It’s all too easy to jump in and do things for children because it’s easier for us. The thing is, if we don’t let them try, they’ll never learn. If they feel you’re getting impatient with them because they’re not doing something as fast as you’d like, they’re going to stop trying.

As long as it’s safe for them to do so and you’re not in a hurry to get somewhere, encourage them to try. We all know practice makes perfect and this is where praising the effort comes in again.

Give Specific Praise

Children need to know when and what it is that they’re doing right. Just saying, Good Job, or Well Done doesn’t really tell them anything.
For example, it’s much better to say, I’m very proud of how hard you’re working to learn your lines for the play.

Again, this reinforces the effort they’re putting in. They’ll want to please you by working even harder and will be proud to show their results.

child playing a guitar - encourage hard work and practice by praising effort

Reward Hard Work And Determination

We all like to be rewarded for a job well done. A bonus in our pay packet is always welcome when we’ve done a particularly good job! It’s the same for children.

Popular rewards in schools include certificates and stickers for personal achievements. Points added to a chart which will give the whole class a treat at the end of the week is a great way to help encourage teamwork.

Other rewards that are popular are mini trophies, a reward jar where the child can pick an item out of the jar such as a new eraser, pencil top or silicone wristband. Wristbands are very popular with children right now and silicone wristbands, in the UK, can be purchased from Lancaster Printing and personalised with the school name and logo.

Let Them Fail

Don’t be scared to let children fail. It’s one of the fundamental ways in which we learn. The saying goes, you learn from your mistakes and this is true of adults and children alike.

Nobody likes to see children fail. We know what failure feels like, but it’s a necessary part of growing up. We have to show children that no matter how many times we fail at something, we have to keep trying until we do it.

They will remember the feeling of failure as we all do. However, they’ll also remember the feeling of euphoria when they finally succeed, especially if you’ve been praising their hard work along the way.

 

This is a collaborative post. 

 

The Importance Of Coffee Cup Recycling #MySocialSpirit

We’ve all seen the news reports and TV programs about the horrific effect our plastic usage is having on our seas and our wildlife right now. We’re all more aware of the impact we are each having on our planet and many of us are […]

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The Top 3 Reasons College Students Should Focus On Their Studies Over Partying

Partying in college is a common phenomenon. Overdoing it will affect a student’s performance in exams. This will have an impact on their career as well, especially if they drink too much. Most students complain that quitting drinking is hard. This is mainly because they do not have the necessary guidance and counselling as well as the support. If you are determined to quit drinking, you can. You only need to seek help from effective online as well as rehab centres. Support from friends and family will also help you a lot. There are many reasons to focus on your studies. Let us discuss a few. You may party later after you graduate. But for now, ensure that you focus on your studies.

student studying, not partying

Here are the top 3 reasons college students should focus on their studies over partying:

  1. Career development

In order to further your career, the company you keep is very important. You should develop interests in hobbies that can help further your career. Drinking regularly with your friends blocks your opportunities to attend webinars, lectures and other social gatherings that may help in developing your career. Most colleges organize for college talks, career coach and professional talks from various experts in all fields of study. Attending such professional meetings exposes you to available job opportunities in the market. If you spend less time partying, you will get time to attend such motivational and educational seminars.

  1. Economic aspect

Partying costs you a lot of money. In college, the pressure to live a certain lifestyle is on. In addition, the cost of living in college is also very high. When you party all the time, you exhaust your financial resources fast. This may lead you to commit crimes and this may have legal consequences. Partying also takes up most of your time, you will not get time to make money through available part-time jobs. You may use such income to supplement the financial support you get from friends and family. Sometimes, just having some extra time to pursue other interests, sleep or even just relax at home or with friends in college is more relaxing than partying. Again, you avoid that pressure that comes with such parties.

students studying

  1. Better health

When you stop partying a lot, your health tremendously improves. In most parties, you will find lots of alcoholic drinks and other substance abuse. This has an effect on your health in the long run. Too much alcohol consumption can lead to fatigue, brain fog, and a decreased immune function. This has adverse effects on your studies. Research shows that too much alcohol also affects memory and mental focus. It may also affect your blood pressure in the long run. If you stop partying too much, you will enjoy healthy weight management, better and longer sleep and more energy. This will lead to improved performance in your studies.

If you are struggling to quit drinking or any other addiction, you need to seek professional help. It can be done. You will reap the benefits of living a healthier and happier life. Do not spend long hours drinking and partying. It affects your studies too.

Half-Term Holiday – Car Safety Checks #TYREKNOWLEDGE

The October half-term holiday will soon be upon us and we’re all looking forward to it this year because we’re going on holiday to the seaside!

Checking The Car

Even though our new car was checked thoroughly by the garage we bought it from and it’s recently been to our local garage for various bits and bobs, it’s always a good idea to check your vehicle before going on a long journey.

One thing we didn’t realise when we bought the car was that the spare tyre was missing. After doing some checking online, I found that we can get tyres from TyrePlus and what’s great about them is that they even have a mobile tyre service.
They have also prepared an E-book to help with all things tyre related.

New Spare Wheel

Once we have the new spare wheel, the car will be all ready to go. More importantly, we’re all more than ready to get away for it all for a week. It’s been a bit of a stressful year so far so it will be nice to forget everything for the week and relax as a family 🙂

Ready For The Break

It’s been a while since we’ve been on holiday with KayCee and Ella. We usually have a half-term holiday in October, but last year they went to Butlins with my best friend and her husband for the Easter weekend, then their sister, Kellyann, and her boyfriend, Ian, took them to Disneyland Paris in September.

We weren’t going to go again this year because KayCee went to Greece with her best friend and
while KayCee was in Greece, Kellyann treated Ella to a long weekend visiting Liverpool and Wales.

Half-Term Holiday

I didn’t realise how much we’d all miss it, however, so a few weeks ago I made a snap decision to book us a caravan on the Lincolnshire coast.

We’re now all very much looking forward to our holiday and it’s going to be lovely making the journey now we have our new Vauxhall Zafira.
It’s usually a squash and a squeeze when we go on holiday. Having two girls who worry about having the right shoes and bags for each outfit means we end up with a lot of luggage!

new car Vauxhall Zafira

Plenty Of Room!

KayCee and Ella take the portable DVD player when we go on holiday which is brilliant because it keeps them quiet for the whole journey. We don’t have to listen to them bicker which makes the journey enjoyable for everyone 🙂

The back seats fold flat so all our luggage will fit in the boot without KayCee and Ella having to have luggage on their laps all the way there!

KayCee and Ella

Aiden

Even though Aiden’s not coming with us on holiday, he’s looking forward to our holiday just as much as we are because for the first time we’re leaving him in the house on his own! He usually goes to his dad’s when we go on holiday but he said it’ll make a nice change having the house to himself.

 

This is a collaborative post

Staying Motivated On Your Fitness Journey

Staying motivated on your fitness journey is key if you’re going to get the results you want as well as live a healthy life in the long term. Many people end up joining a gym only to stop going after a few weeks or even a few months. The ideas below will help you if you know you struggle to stay motivated on your own fitness journey. Take a look and see what you can do:

 

  1. Know What Your Goals Are

First thing’s first: set your goals. You need to have goals or you won’t have a solid enough reason for working out, and that will eventually lead you to stop as you wonder why you’re going through all of this effort. By writing down a couple of big goals and a few smaller goals and putting them where you can see them, you will keep them fresh in your mind and be reminded of why you’re doing this. Your goals could be:

 

  • Get to a lower body fat percentage, e.g. 25% down to 20%
  • Be able to squat your body weight
  • Be able to sprint for 20 minutes in 20-second intervals

 

They are just a few examples. Having somebody based goals and fitness based goals is a good idea. Don’t forget, you need more reason to work out than just looking good too! Here are a few ‘why’ reasons:

 

  • To live longer
  • To have a higher quality of life
  • To perform better in daily activities
  • To improve mental health
  • To have happier days

 

There are all kinds of amazing reasons to work out, so know your ‘why’!

 

  1. Come Up With A Plan

Now you know your goals and your why, you need to come up with a plan. How will you reach your goals? Perhaps you’ll work out three days a week, to begin with and go from there. Perhaps you’ll follow a plan laid out for you by a personal trainer, or download one you found on a reputable website.

 

  1. Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress is key! However, it’s important to remember that progress is not linear. You may seem to fall behind again one week, but as long as you keep on moving forward, the general progress you are making will be improving.

woman exercising - staying motivted on your fitness journey

author

 

  1. Aim To Learn As Much As You Possibly Can About Fitness

By learning as much as you possibly can about fitness, you’ll know why you’re doing certain things, the effect things have on your body, and more. For example, do you know why you need lots of protein? Do you know where to get carbs and fat, and the ratio you should be eating of all three macronutrients? Do you know which muscles certain exercises work? You don’t have to learn absolutely everything, but don’t go through the motions without knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing.

 

  1. Help Other People To Achieve Their Goals

Sometimes, helping other people to achieve their goals can be a big motivator. Do you know somebody that might need a little help? If you really love fitness, you could become a mobile personal trainer and help that way! If you don’t plan on training, you should probably stick to helping out friends and family.

 

  1. Look At It In The Long Term

The worst thing you can do is look at this in the short term. No fitness journey is a quick fix. Look at it in the long term instead; as something that you’re going to do forever. A healthy lifestyle that’s going to benefit you in numerous ways. You can’t simply reach your goals and then quit, because you’ll go back to the way you were before. Start looking at this with a more long-term mindset and it’ll do you the world of good.

 

  1. Start A Fitness Instagram

Many people find that making themselves accountable with the help of a fitness Instagram can be very useful. A fitness Instagram means you are putting your goals and progress out there for people to see. If you post motivational captions or actual tips that have helped you, you might just end up building a large following. Some people even get represented by fitness brands this way. However, you shouldn’t start a fitness Instagram for that reason alone! Start it for yourself, show off your unique personality and make sure it’s motivating you.

 

  1. Exercise In the Morning Before You Have Time To Make Excuses

One of the best tips you’ll likely ever to receie, is this: get yourself exercising in the morning, whether at the gym or out for a run, before you have time to make excuses. You might have every intention of working out later in the day, but what happens when life gets in the way? What about when something happens at work that brings you down and all you want to do is get in your pyjamas with wine? There’s nothing wrong with doing that from time to time, but if you really want to make progress, it’s usually better to exercise in the morning when you can’t make excuses. Plus, you’ll reap the benefits of exercise for the rest of the day. You should have more energy and focus and notice that your mood is improved, too!

 

  1. Find Balance

Any fitness journey should have an emphasis on finding balance. Balance is key for your mind and your body. Doing things to extremes may work for a while, but there’s no way this can work in the long term. It can be very damaging for your mindset, too. You need days off the gym and you need a little of what you fancy to eat. You shouldn’t beat yourself up. If you’re not doing a fitness competition, why wouldn’t you want to enjoy your life? Fitness should be a part of your life, not all of it!

 

  1. Focus on Developing A Positive Mindset

A positive mindset is key. Work on a positive mindset not just surrounding fitness, but yourself, too. You can’t love your body when you start off hating your body. Find things to be grateful for now, no matter how small.

 

  1. Don’t Focus So Much On Your Weight

Your weight is not an accurate representation of how much progress you’re making or how healthy you are. It can easily make you feel bad when you have absolutely nothing to feel bad about. Too much of our value is placed on this number, and it’s ridiculous! You should pay attention to how your clothes are fitting, how you feel, how much progress you’ve made, and even your measurements if you want to measure progress that way. You shouldn’t be using weight as the sole indicator of what’s going on with you. Your weight can fluctuate for various reasons and be totally different on different days. It’s just not a smart thing to do!

 

  1. Make A Vision Board

A vision board can help you to get more visual about your goals and keep them in the forefront of your mind. You could print out pictures of fitness models and use them, as well as healthy recipes and stick them on there too. This is your vision board so make sure it excites you, and put it somewhere you can see it!

 

  1. Find Ways To Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself with food can be a dangerous thing to do if you don’t have a healthy relationship with it already. How about rewarding yourself with things like new gym clothes, spa days, and salon treatments? You deserve it!

 

This is a collaborative post

Top 5 Craft Ideas For The Family

DIY craft ideas are a wonderful way for the families to bond well and enjoy some fun time together. Whether it is about making voguish decorations for celebrating Christmas, renovating your kid’s room or learning a new fix, craft projects pack in a lot of thrills and excitement for kids and parents alike. Use the following interesting project ideas to engage your spouse and young ones in a fantastic art session where you will enjoy unleashing your creative potential and aesthetic prowess.

Fun Snowman From Plastic Cups

Have fun building a snowman with only plastic cups. This DIY activity is even more fun than creating customized family photo albums through Mixbook.com/Photo-Books or planning a road trip to one of the exotic beaches in the Caribbean. You do not really need snow to make your own personalized artful snowman. It is an easy-to-do craft project, which only requires inexpensive plastic cups. You will need some glue, a stapler, coloured paper, and some clear plastic cups. Use these materials and a little bit of your creative prowess to create splendid snowman decor with your loved ones.

plstic cup snowman
Image Source & Tutorial

Peppermint Christmas Ornament Candies

Did you know that peppermint could actually be used for making your own customized peppermint candies? These candies will have just the perfect flavoring to spice up your noshing or binge eating sessions. Use some nice candy brand and peppermint for this amazing DIY activity to create sweets that you can use as birthday embellishments, Halloween giveaways, or party decor.

Peppermint candy Christmas ornaments - craft ideas
Image Source & Tutorial

Stylish Candy Sleighs

Your kids will absolutely adore this amazing DIY craft featuring vibrant candy sleighs, which you can easily use as Thanksgiving souvenirs or New Year decor accessories. While you might find these cute little candy sleighs with colourful ribbons tied around a bit hard to build, they are actually easy to design. Just use a handful of kit kat or Hershey’s chocolate bars and a few multicoloured decorative ribbons to create your own handy sleighs. Apt for a Christmas giveaway as well, these will need candy canes, some glue, and a few candies.

candy cane sleighs
Image Source

Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments

Are you thinking of getting a bit creative this winter season? How about some cool handprint ornaments made right out of salt dough? You will need some flour, water, and salt. Put them together in a bowl, make cute shapes and decorate them using good quality acrylic paint. Think of nice colourful patterns to paint on your salt dough accessories. Do not forget to cover them up with a sealant. It will allow you to use these as decor items for a long term.

salt dough handprint Christmas ornaments from Olive Juice Mama
Image Source & Tutorial

Cinnamon Dough Ornaments

You may like eating Cinnamon doughnuts but know that you can create marvellous decorative cinnamon accessories with only these four ingredients: flour, salt, cinnamon, and water. Your kids are sure to have a great time making these fancy ornaments that require no cooking. This kid-friendly craft project keeps you engaged for hours of creative play while you think of artistic patterns and shapes for these cinnamon embellishments. You will enjoy the fragrance once these ornaments are done. You can show this decorative artwork to your friends and relatives and I am sure they will definitely appreciate your creative flair.

cinnamon dough tree ornaments
Tutorial

This is a collaborative post

5 Ways To Help Soothe Your Tired Eyes

There can be many reasons why you get tired eyes. Staring at screens all day, whether that be computers at work, your phone or the TV can have an impact on your eyes, as can working in an area without adequate lighting or lighting that’s […]

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5 Ways to Improve Your Brand Visibility By Learning New Tricks

If you are running a professional business from home, chances are that you will want to succeed on a tight budget. While you might not have the funds to splash out on marketing campaigns as large companies and consultancies, you will have the determination that […]

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How to Bring the Mediterranean to Your Home This Winter

It’s beginning to get colder and darker outside, which is perfect timing to give your home a warming winter makeover. Mediterranean designs have proved to be popular in Hollywood homes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to have an A-list budget to achieve this stylish design […]

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