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5 Things You Should Know About Life Insurance

We all need financial assurance to get comfortable in life. This assurance almost never happens to most of us, as we work throughout our life meeting daily needs and then retiring on our pensions and support from our meagre savings and our children. Taking a life insurance policy is a good way of ensuring financial support for the people who depend on you. You can ensure that your family’s basic needs including health and education are met in case you lose your life. There are a few things you need to know like how do you find life insurance policy of a deceased person and others. Here are five important aspects that you should know about this policy.

life insurance

  1.    Always Work with a Professional


Insurance agents can be very tricky if you do not find one that is both professional and can be trusted. It is important that you find someone you can trust, and one who understands the various policies. They will give better valuable advice before committing to any policy.


  1.    Variety of Life Insurance Policies


Life insurance policies can be either temporary or permanent. You should take one that you think meets your needs effectively and which you can pay policies without struggling. Temporary insurance is the policy taken for a fixed period of time. You can consider one that allows you to renew the coverage before the existing one expires. You do not need any additional underwriting or further medical check-ups in most cases. A permanent policy is one in which you pay premiums your entire life. It only matures when you pass on and your beneficiary starts receiving the benefits.


  1.    Various Factors Affect the Cost of Premiums


When calculating the cost of premiums, insurance companies look at your age, health condition, marital status, your profession, where you live among other factors. Generally, the younger you are, the lower your premiums. Your health condition also matters a lot. The healthier you are, the lower the cost of your premiums. There is also the issue of simplified and fully underwritten policies. If you opt to go for a simplified policy, you only need to respond to a few general questions and your end paying higher premiums. Fully underwritten policies lower the costs of premiums since you have to undergo a detailed medical examination.


  1.    You Can Determine the Cost of Premiums


Generally, temporary life insurance policies tend to be cheaper when you are starting out, but get more expensive as you approach the end of your term. Permanent life policies, on the other hand, can be quite costly when starting out, but have consistent and manageable monthly rates. It is upon you to determine which of the policies you can manage based on your family and needs.


  1.    Cancelling an Existing Policy


There are times you feel that an existing policy does not seem to meet your needs or are unable to pay the premiums. If you find yourself in such a situation, do not cancel your existing policy before another one in place. If it is a permanent life insurance policy, consider the cash value, penalties and any tax that it might accrue before cancelling. For a temporary one, you can just stop paying the premiums.

This is a collaborative post

How To Transform Your Garden into a Wonderland

Turning the outdoor space into an extension of the home and your personal garden oasis may sound like a steep hill to climb, but, in reality, it takes much less than you may think. Regardless of the size of your patio, garden or backyard, even a few little changes can go a long way towards transforming the entire place into a cosy, loving, relaxing, and inviting space you will never want to leave!


Here are some ideas to get the wheels inside your mind turning:


Idea #1: Add a water feature

water feature in a garden wonderland

Besides good Feng Shui, adding a water feature is also an easy and quite fast project to even handle yourself if you love doing things with your own hands. Want to hear some good news? You don’t need to be an avid DIYer to get this job done. In fact, you can assemble it in a single day.


Start with creating a fountain around a stone from which the water will flow out into a reservoir that you could fill with gravel. Then, get a pump to circulate the water back up via the rock. Don’t forget to drill a hole through the rock (a rotary hammer drill will be perfect for this job) or hit the local stone suppliers and get a pre-drilled rock instead.


The best of it all? The fact that this type of fountain does not need a collection pond also makes it a low-maintenance project. And, if you locate it someplace where the sun’s rays do not reach it, you will also minimise algae growth (hence, help keep the water fresher too).


Idea #2: Install a screened porch


A screened porch is an excellent option for the summer months when you want to feel the breeze while keeping mosquitos and other bugs out. Again, you may take matters into your own hands and get it over with all by yourself in a few days or hire professionals. If you are comfortable building sheds or decks, the straightforward construction plans make this task perfect for you. And, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated.


Opting for standard dimensional lumber and having open soffit and/or exposed rafters (avoid complex joints and heavy beams) is often all that is required to have an eye-catching and professionally done screened porch.


Idea #3: Build a conservatory


Now, this is probably a project to let professionals handle as it requires quite a lot of expertise so that you have a visually appealing, functional, and practical outcome. Nevertheless, a conservatory will allow you to extend your indoor spaces, add value to your home, and enjoy your garden throughout the winter. Not to mention how much more cost-effective of an option it is compared to any other extension if executed correctly.


One of the most common issues conservatory owners have is the temperatures inside the conservatory. In the summer, it gets too hot; in the winter, it is too cold. This is due to poor roofing insulation. Another problem is glare in the summer and winter, which can be unbearable. To eliminate these problems, consider tiled conservatory roofs, which are created to solve both issues and deliver supreme performance, efficiency, and fast-tracked building application.


Idea #4: Put up a hammock

hammock in a garden wonderland

Most of us have a fun memory at the back of our heads that involves a swing or hammock and cherished people around. You could help your children and loved ones create more happy memories by putting up a hammock in your backyard, which will instantly transform it into a relaxing place.


Idea #5: Make it your personal sanctuary


To add some privacy and not feel like your outdoor space is on display, you could consider using plants to define a more private area. There are many easy DIY ideas to implement, such as plant privacy walls; an affordable and easy-to-create solution. Alternatively, you could block unwanted views and create a sense of enclosure with lattices, fences or pergolas.


Extra Tips:

fire pit

  • Having a fire pit or installing a fire bowl will add a touch of cosiness to your backyard.
  • If you lack large trees, you can create some shade with curtains if you have a BBQ gazebo, conservatory or sunroom.
  • Add to the ambience of your garden with strands of light. There are so many different ways to hang them that you will be spoilt for choice (i.e. suspend them from a pergola or dangle them from a tree)!


Creating your own hideaway and personal retreat does not always take much work, time or money. Sometimes, the small, simple things make a profound difference.

This is a collaborative post

5 Ways Technology Has Changed Our Lives For The Better

Advances in technology have totally changed the way we live our lives today. The speed with which the changes have happened and are still happening is sometimes hard to comprehend!
Everything we do today and the way in which we do it could be totally different in just a couple of years time; for example, advancement in robot technology means parents might never have to battle with children again about keeping their room clean because a robot is being developed that will do it for them!

artificial intelligence technology

Below are 5 ways technology has changed our lives for the better.

1 – Communication

We’ve been able to keep in touch on the telephone for many years, however, phoning a relative abroad could prove too costly for some. The Royal Mail was relied upon to keep us in touch with relatives overseas.
The only problem, however, was that it wasn’t a very speedy way to communicate, it could take weeks for a letter to arrive at its destination. With the introduction of the internet and email, we suddenly had a much faster way to communicate.

Social networks seemed to spring up out of nowhere. letting us find old and new friends. Suddenly we had smartphones that could let us, not only communicate in real time, but also enable us to have video chats, the likes of which had only been seen on Star Trek!

Making a move to live overseas isn’t as much of a big deal now as it would have been back in the 80s.

2 – Money

online banking

Not only do you not need to carry a chequebook or any cash with you these days, you don’t even need to carry a bank card. Your smartphone and an app can pay for goods at the checkout. You can even pay a carpark fee by using your phone.

The number of high street banks is dwindling because we no longer need to go to an actual bank. Everything we need to do such as pay bills, transfer money, check our balance and set up standing orders or direct debits can all be done through a banking app.
If you’re worried about doing your banking online, you don’t need to be; the advancement of VPN technology means all of your online activity can be totally protected and secure. As an added bonus, you can also access content from countries that would otherwise be restricted from your location.

3 – Watching TV

Gone are the days when you’d have to rush to the kitchen to make a cuppa during an advertisement break on T.V. and have to keep nipping back and forth so you didn’t miss any of the programme. Now you just pause it!

We also need not worry about having to choose between the 2 big shows on at primetime; we can record multiple shows on at the same time and watch them at our leisure.
Not only watch what we want when we want, but we can also watch it wherever we want as well, thanks to smartphones and mobile data.

4 – Finding a mate

advances in technology - finding love online

The number of people finding love online is growing year on year. According to the latest research from E-Harmony, over 50% of couples will have met online and by 2040 that will rise to 70%

There are almost 8000 dating sites in the world. Many are started to help people with very specific goals, for example, Gluten Free Singles, Clown Dating, Date a Golfer and many more!

Online dating does have its pros and cons, however.
Statistics show that people who meet online get married sooner than those who don’t and are less likely to end it within the first year.
Statistics also show a rise in people being scammed out of their money when using online dating sites.
It’s important to be vigilant and to take all the necessary steps to keep yourself safe.

5 – Voice Assistants

Whether it’s Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri or Samsung’s Bixby, you’re all probably aware of voice assistants by now.

A voice assistant can perform everyday tasks simply by asking them for help. They can make shopping lists, add events to calendars, find an answer to just about any question you can think of and even control smart home appliances like heating and lights.

Life Changing

We’ve gone from having to search huge encyclopedias, spend hours at the library and having to get up to turn on a light, to just being able to pick up our smartphone and tell it what we need.
Technology is amazing and I can’t wait to see what the technological future holds for us.

This is a collaborative post

4 Things to look for when researching rehabilitation programs for family members

Dealing with a family member who is suffering from addiction is something that can greatly affect every member of the family tree. Relationships may deteriorate or become stronger depending on how the situation is handled. While some families opt to try to help their family members themselves, it might be better to leave it to the hands of professionals. If you have no idea what rehabilitation programs fit with their needs, you may check out the list below for some tips.

silhouette of a man drinking a bottle of alcohol - addiction. rehabilitation

  1. The staff members have the proper credentials and experience – Of course, the first thing you should look at how capable the staff at the center is. This is for everyone, not just the therapists and psychologists but also medical personnel like nurses or aides. Aside from their education or training, you can find out how many years they have been practising and what their specializations are. Your family member may have specific needs and you need to make sure that the clinic or center is prepared for that. Schedule a visit to the place to also see their amenities and the whole atmosphere of the place.


  1. Check whether the treatment they do is something you are comfortable with – This is very important. There are some treatment programs that treat their drug patients by just swapping the drugs they are used to with another drug. While this is certainly legal, there is still that danger that they may also become dependent on that drug. There are also some medicines that can cause liver distress and the like.   If this is not something you are comfortable with, you may want to look for other options that use other means in order to recover from their addiction. Try to ask what their methods are for alleviating the cravings for their addiction.


  1. Look at how they try to involve the families in the process – It’s better for those recovering from drug or alcohol abuse if their families understand and are also a part of their recovery process. The good thing is that there are family support programs in Australia that recognize just how important the role of the family is for those who are recovering. Some programs host Family Night where they can explain more about what addiction is and give tips on how they can support their loved ones.


  1. Check the skills they teach their patients – While the goal of getting them into a rehabilitation program is for them to recover from their addiction, you want the effect to be beyond that. Because once they go out of the center, they will be faced with the same problems. You want them to learn life skills which will help them cope with the stresses of life and the possibility of being faced with the same temptation of drugs or alcohol. You want your loved ones to improve not just physically but emotionally as well.

This is a collaborative post

Rolled Roses Box Frame Cricut Tutorial #Ad

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

We’ve just celebrated Mother’s Day here in the UK and this year we made my mum, Ant’s mum and Aiden’s step mum a rolled roses box frame. We used the Cricut Maker to cut the roses and vinyl for the front of the frame then personalised them for each person, like the one below.

to the world you are a mother but to your family you are the world. Box frame with paper roses

We loved how nice they looked so I decided to make a small one for us, to celebrate the coming of Spring. The following tutorial is picture heavy to make it easier for beginners to follow along.

Rolled Roses Box Frame Cricut Tutorial

You will need:

A Cricut Maker – here’s mine on my shiny new trolley from Hobbycraft! The super wonderful husband added the storage baskets on the side for my vinyl rolls and we’ve ordered a magazine rack for the other side that will store my 12×12 papers 🙂

trolley on wheels from Hobbycraft with my Cricut maker on

  • A box frame. I used a 6×6 white frame from The Range.
  • Medium Cardstock in your choice of colours.
  • A glue gun and glue sticks.
  • A quilling tool.
  • White vinyl
  • Cricut transfer tape.

box frame, glue gun, yellow card, cricut tools

Design Space

Open Design Space and click on Images. In the search box, search for #M3D7E1.
This file is free for me because I have Cricut access. I’m not sure if you have to pay for it if you don’t subscribe.

Design Space - file for creating rolled roses


Click on the image of the spiral and click on Insert Images.

The image will open in Design Space. Click on Duplicate and move one spiral underneath the other.

files opened in Design Space

While holding the Shift key, click on each layer so that they’re both selected and click on Attach at the bottom of the layer palette. This will keep your images in the right place when you click on Make It.

Selected layers in Design Space

Click Save and name your file.

save project in Design Space

Cutting The Roses

Click Make It. Design Space will prepare the mats and you can change some options here before starting to cut.

Design Space prepare the mats

I wasn’t sure how many copies I would need but I estimated around 30-36 should do. Set the number of copies you will need for your frame and click apply.

Design Space select project copies

Click Continue. Design Space will work out how many it can fit on a 12×12 sheet of card and will tell you how many mats you will need to cut.


Design Space prepping mat for multiple copies

I wanted to cut mine on A4 paper because I didn’t have enough of the same colour sheets in 12×12. I went back to Design Space and duplicated the image until I had 6 flowers and arranged them vertically rather than horizontally.

When you’ve set your number of copies, click Continue and select your material type. I’m using a light cardstock. I’m using the green mat throughout.

choose your material

The Load button will start flashing on the Cricut Maker when your material type has been selected. Hold the mat and apply gentle pressure while pressing the Load button then let go and let the mat load.

When the machine is ready, the Go button will start flashing. Press the Go button and let the machine do the job.

load mat

Assembling The Roses

When all the spirals have been cut, it’s time to start assembling the roses.

spirals ready to roll

Using a quilling tool, slide the outer end of the spiral into the tool.

rolling paper rose

Roll the spiral gently and try to keep the edge of the spiral lined up.

rolled paper rose

When it has all been rolled, slowly let go and let the flower unroll until it’s the shape you want it.

rolled paper rose

Hold the flower and turn it upside down. Apply hot glue to the last circle of the spiral.

using hot glue to glue the flower together

Press the circle onto the bottom of the rolled rose.

glued paper rose

Your first flower is now finished. Only another 30 or so to go!

finished flower

When all the roses have been made, cut a piece of white paper to the same size as the inside of your frame. Attach the roses, using hot glue, in any design you wish. We did 3 lines of different colours on the first ones we made for Mother’s day, but this time I wanted it to look a bt different so I placed them on randomly.

framed paper roses

Cutting The Vinyl

It’s now time to cut the viny for the front of the frame.

I used a free download from for the spring vinyl design. Download the file and unzip it.
In Design Space, click on Upload file.

upload image

Click on Browse and browse to the folder where you unzipped your file.

choose file

Click Save

click save

Select the file by clicking on it and then click on Insert Images

load file onto canvas

The image will open on the canvas in Design Space.

svg file opens on canvas

You can resize the image by clicking and holding the circle with the arrows and dragging it to the required size.

change size if needed

Make sure all the layers are selected and click on Attach at the bottom of the layer palette.

select all layers and click attach

The image will turn to all the same colour. Clicking Attach tells the software that you want it to keep the image as it is. If you don’t click Attach, the software will rearrange the image on the mats to save materials.

image will change to all one colour

Click Make It.

prepping the mat for cutting

If your laptop is still connected you can just choose Vinyl for the material type. If not, connect your laptop or phone to the machine.

select vinyl

Follow the instructions to load the mat and start the cut when the machine is ready. There’s a progress circle to show how much cutting is left to do.

cutting in progress

Attaching The Vinyl

Unload the machine when the Load button starts to flash again and remove the vinyl from the mat.

cut vinyl

Peel away the excess vinyl.

removing excess vinyl

Weed the tiny areas in the letters with the weeding tool or a pair of pointy tweezers. The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that I missed a bit in the F on Life. Don’t worry if this happens, you can weed it using the weeding tool of tweezers once it’s been applied to the frame glass.

weeded vinyl

When it’s all weeded, cut a piece of transfer tape big enough to cover your design.

using ransfer tape to transfer vinyl onto frame

Stick the transfer tape to the design and rub over it using the Cricut scraper tool.

transfer paper attached to vinyl

Remove the backing from the vinyl and place the design on the glass.

sticking vinyl and transfer paper onto frame

Using the scraper tool again, rub over the whole design. Whilst you need to apply pressure, make sure you don’t apply too much and break the glass.

I’ve found the easiest way to remove the transfer tape is to pull it back on itself, keeping it flat on the glass. Go slowly and use the scraper for any stubborn bits that didn’t stick.

rub over design to ensure it has stuck to the glass then peel off the transfer paper

And that’s it!


Your new rolled roses box frame is ready to hang where ever it will give you joy 🙂

4 Signs That Your Friend Is In Need Of Help

You may have seen someone succumb to the effects of depression or drugs and alcohol addiction. They may have health problems, a careless lifestyle, problems with law and possibility of death.

However, it can be painful if that person is your friend. Instead of watching, you can decide to do something to help and alleviate the problem. The best approach is to intervene.

Intervening means that you convene a formal meeting with the friend in need of help while including other friends or family members to persuade the person to change.

signs your friend needs help

But, how do you know that a friend is in need of help? Here are signs you can look out for.

  1. Becomes Withdrawn/Social Isolation

One telltale sign of someone who needs help is social isolation. Usually, when one is going through a difficult time, is abusing drugs or alcohol or is dealing with a mental problem, they tend to isolate themselves.

The person can withdraw from social interactions, is no longer interested in activities they used to take part in, avoids people and spends a lot of time alone. If your friend who is normally jovial and loves interacting with people suddenly starts to isolate, then it is about time to find out what could be causing it. This way, you could provide help before it is too late.

  1. Self-neglect

It is normal for people to want to take care of themselves so that they can look and feel great. However, if your friend starts to show signs of self-neglect, then it could be a sign of deeper issues and they may be in need of help.

Look out for signs such as gaining or losing weight. It can happen that your friend who was previously keen on their health, watched what they ate and exercised, no longer cares about his or her health.  This could mean there is something wrong and they could be in need of help.

If your friend no longer cares about their appearance, personal hygiene and doesn’t groom anymore, then you should have a reason to worry.

Has your friend’s behaviour changed and they are acting recklessly? Are they doing excessive drinking or doing drugs and engaging in risky sexual behaviour? These are signs of someone who needs help.

  1. Moody

Severe mood swings, being sad all the time, having uncontrolled anger, crying uncontrollably and being irritable are signs of someone who needs help.

Your calm friend could also start being aggressive at home or with friends. The sudden change of behaviour could be a sign for the need of help. It could be that they are being bullied at the workplace or at school.

If you see your friend behaving like that, they could be battling with depression, drug or alcohol abuse or mental health issues. These are cues that your friend is in need of help.

  1. Has Suicidal Thoughts

Thinking about suicide and death is not normal. If your friend is regularly thinking about death and committing suicide, then you should take them seriously since it is a clue that they need help. In fact, it calls for immediate action if a friend starts contemplating killing themselves or starts looking for ways in which they can commit suicide. Usually, suicidal thoughts are as a result of mental health disorders such as depression and may also be associated with substance abuse.

This is a collaborative post

EasyPress 2 Review And Glitter Iron-On Tutorial #Ad

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

After getting to grips with the Cricut Maker, I turned my attention to the EasyPress 2.
Again, this is my very first time using a machine like this so I can’t compare it to any other, but I can say, it’s brilliant and I’m very impressed!

Sizes Available

The EasyPress 2 comes in 3 different sizes:

Small – 6″ x 7″
Medium – 9″ x 9″
Large – 12″ x 10″

I have the 9″ x 9″ medium version.

Cricut EasyPress 2 and EasyPress mat

Getting Set Up

The EasyPress 2 is so easy to use I didn’t need to read the instructions, however, I did read through the booklet just to make sure I was doing everything right! It’s always a good idea to read the instruction booklet thoroughly whenever you buy a new product like this.

In the box, there’s the EasyPress 2, a base to stand it on, an envelope containing the paperwork and a canvas bag in which to store it if you wish.

Cricut EasyPress 2 machine and stand
Like the Cricut Maker, there’s a mini project for you to try so you can see how it all works.
In the envelope, amongst the paperwork, you’ll find a green glittery Cricut logo and a leaflet with instructions to help you with the mini project.

I switched the machine on and changed the temperature and time to the recommended settings for glitter iron on as shown on the instruction leaflet.

After following the project instructions I now have a lovely glittery Cricut logo on my storage bag 🙂

cricut easypress 2 canvas bag and cricut logo

My First Project

For my first project, I asked my 11-year-old daughter, Ella, to pick one of her favourite quotes. I asked Ella rather than KayCee because I only had pink glitter iron on when I started the project and I knew she wouldn’t want pink glitter on her t-shirt!

Ella LOVES anything pink and especially anything pink and glittery so it was perfect for her 🙂

She picked the following quote:

Sometimes I pretend to be normal, but it gets boring so I go back to being me.

EasyPress 2 Glitter Iron On Tutorial

I’ve taken loads of screenshots for this tutorial so any beginners to the Cricut Maker, EasyPress 2 and Design Space should easily be able to follow along.

First, you need to open Design Space and click New Project

Design Space landing page
I’ve covered some of my projects as I don’t want mine or Ant’s mum seeing the designs and spoiling their Mother’s Day presents!

The Design Space canvas will open

Design Space canvas

Click on the Text tool

Design Space menu

Above the canvas area, you will see a toolbar appear with the different settings needed to change your text.

Design Space toolbar

You can now click anywhere on the canvas and a text box will open.

Design Space add text box

If you want to use different fonts on your quote, just type the first word into the text box

Design Space type in text

Go to the toolbar and click on the Fonts down arrow. If you want to use the fonts you have on your computer, click on the System button and choose your font.

Design Space choose font

Your text will look like this on the canvas. Depending on the font you’ve chosen, you might need to rearrange the letters, especially if they’re supposed to be joined up.

Design Space text added

Click on the UnGroup button.

Design Space ungroup

This puts each letter on its own layer which means each letter can be moved independently.
You can see each layer on the layer palette down the side.

Design Space ungrouped letters

If you have eyes like mine, you may need to zoom in to make the letters bigger and make it easier to place them in the correct position. Just click the + button on the zoom until it’s big enough for you to see comfortably.

Design Space zoom in


Design Space position letters

Click on each letter in turn and move them into position.

Design Space move letters next to each other

This is what your word will like once all the letters have been moved into place.

Design Space all letters in position

Select all the letters by dragging a box around them using your mouse. Alternatively, you can hold your shift key down and click on each layer on the layer palette.

Design Space drag to select

Click on the Group button. This keeps the layers intact, but allows you to move the whole word together without disturbing the placement of the individual letters.

Design Space word selected

Repeat the above steps until you have all the quote in position.


Design Space complete quote

With all the layers selected, set the size using the toolbar.

Design Space set size

When you’re happy with your design, make sure all the layers are selected and click on the Weld button at the bottom of the layer palette.
You will now have just 1 layer with all the text on it.

Design Space weld

Save your design then you’re now ready to click Make It

Design Space make it

You will be taken to a preview of the mat with your design on and it will show you where your design is going to be placed when cutting.
Glitter iron on is different to regular vinyl as it’s placed on the mat with the glitter side down. The back of the glitter iron-on isn’t sticky like vinyl. The glue on the glitter iron-on doesn’t stick until it has been heated. You have to remember to click on the Mirror button so your design will be mirrored to allow it to be placed on the t-shirt with the glitter side facing up.

Design Space mirror image

Design Space Ap

I use Design Space on my laptop for doing the design, but when I want to move over to the Cricut Maker I use the Design Space ap on my Samsung phone. It’s more convenient to use my phone than it is to move my laptop so all the following screenshots are taken from the ap.

Open the Design Space ap. This is what you should see:

Design Space ap - landing page

Click the down arrow next to the All Categories button and click on My Projects

Design Space ap - my projects

Select your quote and click Make It

Design Space ap - choose project

When the mat screen appears, look to the top left of the screen. It will say 1 of 1 and there’s a down arrow next to it.
Click on the down arrow and as before on the desktop version, you need to make sure Mirror (for iron-on) is switched on.

Design Space ap - mirror image

Click Continue

Design Space ap - mat preview

Choose the material by clicking on All Materials if Glitter Iron-On isn’t showing.

Design Space ap - choose material

Scroll down the list until you get to the Iron-On section.

Design Space ap - glitter iron on

Select Glitter Iron-on from the list. I clicked the little star next to it so it will be added to my list of favourite materials.

EasyPress 2 glitter iron-on materials

Attach your glitter iron-on to the Cricut mat. I used the standard grip green mat. Press the Load/Unload button when you’re ready.

Cricut Maker - load mat

Follow the directions on Design Space. The Cricut logo button will flash once the machine is ready to cut.

Now you just need to let the machine do its thing!

Press the Load/Unload button to unload the mat and remove the iron-on from the mat.

The tricky bit now is to remove all the excess iron-on. This is called weeding and whilst I usually enjoy weeding, I didn’t feel the same trying to weed the glitter iron-on!
It’s quite hard to see the cut lines so you need to be careful and go slowly.

I did a Google search to see if there were any tips to help make weeding easier with the glitter iron-on and I found that you can buy a Cricut Bright Pad Light Box. Something to keep in mind if you have real trouble with weeding.

Glitter iron on - weeding excess material

This is what it should look like when all the weeding has been done.

weeded glitter iron on quote

It’s now time to transfer that glitter onto the t-shirt using the EasyPress 2.

Set the temperature and time. If you’re not sure what temperature and time you need to use for your own chosen material, you just need to visit

These are the suggested settings for Glitter iron-on that is being applied to a cotton/poly blend fabric:

EasyPress 2 settings for glitter iron-on being applied to a cotton/poly blend fabric

While the EasyPress 2 is warming up, get your EasyPress mat (or a fluffy, folded towel) and lay out the t-shirt. Make sure the mat or your towel has been placed on a strong surface such as a table rather than an ironing board.
When the machine is at the correct temperature it will beep.

Place the press on the fabric for 5 seconds. This removes moisture and heats the fabric. Never skip this step, it’s very important.

EasyPress 2 heat and time settings

Now position your design on the t-shirt with the glittery side facing you. Put the press on the design and press the Cricut button to start the countdown.

If your design is bigger than the press, repeat the above steps until all of the design has been pressed.

Turn the t-shirt over and apply the heat to the back of the design for 15 seconds.
This helps the iron-on stay put no matter how many washes the t-shirt has 🙂

Turn the t-shirt back over and allow to cool slightly. Carefully peel the clear plastic from the design.

Enjoy the fruits of your labour 🙂

EasyPress 2 pink glitter iron-on quote on a white t-shirt

Ella is delighted with her new t-shirt!

Ella wearing her new t-shirt made with the EasyPress 2 and Cricut Maker

Professional Results

When Ant saw the finished t-shirt, he said it looked like it had been professionally made 🙂

A friend at the charity shop where I volunteer mentioned she had a hen night coming up and they all wanted personalised t-shirts.
I’m going to take Ella’s t-shirt to show her tomorrow and see if she wants me to make them all for her!

Give Yourself the Best Chances of a Long and Happy Life

family at the beach - happy life
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There are, of course, certain things that can happen in life that can compromise our health or wellbeing. However, generally speaking, there are steps that you can take to take control of certain aspects of your own health and vastly improve your chances of living a long life. This is often a priority for those of us who have had children, as we want to be around for them as long as possible! So, what can you do to keep things on track? Here are a few ideas to consider!


Evaluate Your Current Lifestyle


First things first, you should take a long, hard look at your current lifestyle. Consider any current bad habits that you have and do your utmost to kick them to the curb. Look into stopping smoking. Reduce the units of alcohol you consume on a weekly basis. If you find yourself struggling to kick addictive behavioural patterns, you should reach out for support from help4addiction. This isn’t something you have to face yourself. You are much more likely to experience success with guidance and help along the way.


Attend Routine Health Appointments


There are routine health appointments that almost everybody needs to attend. Women generally have to attend cervical screening examinations. Men should generally have regular prostate exams after a certain age. We should all attend the dentist once a year and have our eyes tested at least once every two years. These exams can help to highlight problems that could potentially harm us in the long run. If problems are identified, medical professionals will be able to recommend treatment or prescribe medications that will help to improve your quality of life!


Eat More Superfoods


Superfoods are foods that have been found to hold superior nutritional content to other foods. Sure, you need to eat a balanced diet in general to live a long and happy life. But incorporating superfoods into your meals could hold the potential to make your life even longer. Do a little research, try a few out, and reap the health benefits!


Start Wearing Sunscreen


The majority of us will only wear sunscreen or other forms of sun protection when we are away on holiday. Sure, you may face higher chances of becoming sunburnt or experiencing sun damage when you are in places with higher sun exposure than you are used to. But it’s important to remember that you are exposed to the sun whenever you head outside in the daytime. Wearing sun protection on a daily basis can help you to maintain healthier skin and reduce your exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays.


There are, of course, various other ways that you can give yourself a better chance of leading a long and happy life and you should embrace as many as possible. But these pointers should really help you to get off to a good start. Look after yourself!

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Garden Design Process

The key to a stunning garden landscape always lies within a thorough and effective garden design plan. When finding a company to offer you garden design services, you should make sure that they talk you through the process of how they are going to design the perfect garden for you. If not, then how do you know they are going to create a masterpiece? They could merely plant a few plants and say job done.

Garden Design Process - wooden bridge


This article will enlighten you to the standard processed followed by most companies in order to give you an idea of how the garden design planning process should take place so that you can ensure that you have the perfect garden to complement your home.


The first thing any good landscaping company needs to do is understand your wants. They should have a thorough consultation with you whereby they gain a full understanding of your requirements and your vision.


First and foremost, they should uncover your budget and then they will be able to tell you whether it is realistic or not for the work that you want doing.


After this, they should gain as much information as possible about the vision you have for your garden. They will find out what structures you want to incorporate, whether you want to go for a modern or conventional feel, and what colours you want to utilise throughout. You should also discuss whether you want features like a pond so that the company can price up pond liners and filters. The only way a company can fulfil all of your expectations is by soaking up as much knowledge about you as feasible.


Once they have done this they will begin to put a few ideas together. They will draw up plans for you to look at too. It is important to make sure the landscapers consult you with their ideas along the way so that you can say yes or no to the suggestions they have. After all, they shouldn’t go ahead with plans without seeking your opinion as this would be a recipe for disaster.


The company will come up with their ideas based on several considerations. Obviously, beauty will be one of the main ones. When investing in a garden design you want to ensure your outside area experiences a revitalisation. It needs fresh impetus and energy.


Not only is beauty an important incorporation, but landscapers also need to consider practically too. This is an important point that tends to be overlooked when people do their garden on their own. After all, you need to ensure that your garden is easy to manoeuvre around and enjoy time in. Not only this but most people will want plants and furniture that is easy to maintain and care for.


Aside from this, the company will consider the unique features of your garden, such as the size and the shape of it. For example, if you have a small garden then the landscapers will come up with different ways to make it appear bigger than it is.


Once everything has been agreed on, final plans will be drawn up before the green light for landscaping is given. Remember if you don’t like something then it is always better to say it during the design process. After all, a piece of paper with pencil drawn on it is a lot easier to fix than an entire garden structure.

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Control The Light Ambience In Your Home With These Simple Tips

light ambience in the bedroom

Nasa, ‘A Meeting With The Universe’ tells us: “Nothing is more important to us on Earth than the Sun. Without the Sun’s heat and light, the Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock. The Sun warms our seas, stirs our atmosphere, generates our weather patterns, and gives energy to the growing green plants that provide the food and oxygen for life on Earth.”


The sun is incredibly important to us, and natural light serves many, many purposes, not least giving us warmth and letting us know the day has begun. It isn’t just sunlight that acts as in important light to us. When early man discovered fire, it was revolutionary. To cook with and to provide warmth, but in the evenings, to illuminate the area with soft gentle flickering and to ward off wild animals and danger, keeping the camp safe.


The fact is, we evolved to need light and in the modern world, light makes many of our most up to date conveniences possible; take the blue light from phones or laptops for example. Light creates atmosphere, it influences our emotions, it turns a mere aesthetic into a complete experience. Light is exceptionally important and so, it makes sense that the way you use light in your home sits at a high priority when it comes to making it a wonderful place to spend time in.

Oh, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth. – Roman Payne


To control the light ambience in your home, take a look at these simple tips:

Think Carefully About The Functionality Of Each Space

Different spaces will demand different lighting, and more often than not, different types of lighting at different times. The bathroom, for example, will need a bright light for brushing your teeth and hygiene, lowlights for relaxation time, possibly special mirror lighting for makeup application, and then floor lighting for safe bathroom visits in the night.


A kitchen may have bright practical lighting, display cabinet lighting, under cupboard low lighting, dimmer switches and different lighting for different ‘zones’. The functionality of each space will have a huge impact on the kind of light you use. Establishing how you want to use that space before you plan your lighting will help you to get the most out of that space when it comes to the light ambience.


If you want help creating a lighting plan, take a look at this handy guide to creating a lighting plan from BBC Homes Design.

Let The Shadows Add Texture

Shade can be just as important as light. Consider a starry sky, it becomes more illuminated the less light pollution there is. Try to create a contrast between the lit areas by using floor lamps, candles and other ambient lighting that doesn’t try to ‘fill all of the gaps’ instead it allows gentle shadows to be created, forming a pleasing visual texture and atmosphere in the room.

Get SAD Under Control

1 in 15 people have SAD in the winter months and, it can affect some people to the point they feel very depressed and struggle with day to day life. There are lots of ways to minimise the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder including opening your curtains and blinds and getting as much natural light as possible.


One of the most effective ways is to deal with SAD is to invest in a SAD lamp which is a special lamp that shines a bright light designed to improve your mood, replicating natural light. You can find a really great guide to buying a SAD lamp from WHICH here.

Make The Most Of Natural Light

Natural light is something we can take for granted in the home because it is always there for more than six hours every day. However, we can make more of it for a lighter, brighter home. The Scandinavian approach to life, Hygge, has a huge emphasis on making the most of natural light because it is deeply important to us as humans.


Try these simple changes in your home to make the most of natural daylight:


  • Clear ornaments from window ledges
  • Clean your windows
  • Get into a routine of opening your curtains across the house in the mornings
  • Cut away big trees and bushes outside that block natural light from your home
  • Utilise mirrors across the house to reflect light


It may be that you’ve fallen out of love with natural light in your home because it is either bright and harsh or not, with no in-between. Why not use beautiful window adornments like plantation shutters to control the ambience of the natural light that comes into your home?

Keep Your Eyes Out For Innovation

Always assume that the lighting you know, is not all there is. We can become very small-minded in what we think is available, forgetting the endless innovation around now, and that will continue to grow in the future. Visit decor centres and shops to see the latest designs in lighting. This kind of shopping trip works well if you’ve recently banished bad lighting and want a beautiful replacement.

I like to change. A new lamp, a piece of art, can transform a room. –  Madonna Ciccone

Once you see the potential in your home when it comes to lighting it, you will discover an entirely new area of decor to explore. There really are no limits to the creativity you can apply using light, and the power of good lighting in a home can be truly transformative. Why not try transforming your home with a new lighting plan, it could unleash the potential in your home in a way you didn’t realise was possible.

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