Best Storage If You Have A lot Of Belongings

Keeping your place tidy is may be one of the toughest things to do especially if you have a lot of things of daily usage. This is the era of managing your house through smart choices utilising the space across the houses including your hallways. The hallways in a home are often not considered as places to have furniture, drawers, or cabinets but they can be employed extensively through smart selections, or as we call it hallway furniture. Through this furniture, you can make your life easy while making your home trendy and chic with excellent usage of walls and corners-even the tight ones. These items will not only be useful but will also give a great first impression of your place, and our products will make you and your home, fashionably-smart.

Best Storage If You Have A lot Of Belongings #homedecor #interiordesign

Following are some products, which you can use and install as hallway furniture:

Hallway Furniture Set

This Hallway Furniture Set is a modern multi-purpose article which not only looks good but also saves the space. The set consists of a cupboard, a shoe rack, cloth hanger section, mirror and a second smaller cupboard. This set-in your hallway-can hold numerous daily usage items including clothes and shoes. Installing this product in your hallway will give you a proper place to hang your coats, sweaters and scarfs right after entering your home which would be highly helpful especially in a raining season. Secondly, you can look into the mirror while going out-you know one last look to check if everything is proper. The shoe rack is may be the most critical piece of this item because a shoe rack in the hallway will definitely keep your home clean and dirt-free. We have this set in different latest designs with high-quality material and a cost which is not pocket-heavy.

Umbrella Stands

Whether it is rainy or sunny, you need an umbrella to protect you and your clothes from direct sunlight and to get wet. Installing our Umbrella stand in your hallway will allocate a proper place for the umbrellas in your home, and you will not have to search them in the time of need making it a critical time-efficient and time-saving item for your household. Further, it will give the hallway a modern and tidy look with a proper place can be used by you and your guests. The low-cost stands are available in different designs to hold more umbrellas with less space.

Where are my Keys?

This is may be the most commonly asked in a house because they seemed to be lost, especially at the time of need, i.e. going out. The issue can be resolved in a simple way-install our key boxes. They are small, fashionable and extremely useful. Install them in your hallway near the door, and voila, you will never lose your keys. The beautifully designed vital box will be a small but significant article of your house. Install it a bit higher, and your keys will also be safe from children. So, check our designs and have one of your own choices at the perfect price.

 

*This is a collaborative post.

The Importance of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are a legal requirement for anyone building, selling or renting a property (with some exceptions). However, beyond simply being a necessity, they are actually very useful to help you understand how energy efficient your home is and what can be improved on. The certificates show clear action points, broken down into cost of investment. If the recommendations are followed, this in turn can help save money on energy costs and make your home more eco-friendly.

The Importance of EPCs title with EPC background image

You can look up EPCs of other properties, in order to compare energy performance with similar homes, for free on the EPC register. You will also have been supplied with an EPC for your own home prior to moving in, unless you have lived there since before they came into force.

I looked through mine, which is now due for renewal, as they expire after a decade. It is very informative. For example, my home is rated D (on a scale of A-G) which is average. It is good in some aspects, according to the certificate, but it is poor on main heating controls, for example. It then gives lower cost measures to improve my home, a list of non-cost simple actions that be done to save money and reduce environmental impact, and a higher cost recommendation to invest in a better central heating unit.

To better understand the importance of this heating unit recommendation though, bare in mind that in a typical UK household, more than half of the fuel costs are for providing heating and hot water. Therefore an efficient heating system is essential, and a key step to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, as well as your energy bill.

As is the case for many homes in the UK, mine is a central heating system, with a boiler that runs on mains gas. I use a clean energy company for both my gas and electricity too, to try to be more environmentally- friendly.

As well as recommendations written on the EPC, I found some further suggestions on Energy Saving Trust and other websites for further energy-saving improvements to gas central heating systems too:

• Replace your boiler with a newer model. This is especially important if you don’t have a condensing boiler, as these are most efficient.

• Make sure the heating control unit allows you to decide specifically where and when you want heat.

• Switch to renewable technologies for generating energy to your home, or at least choose a green energy company to supply your home.

• Make sure your home is well insulated and draught-proofed.

So whilst EPCs might seem like an inconvenience and unnecessary cost, they are actually very useful. Paying attention to the information, and perhaps making some investments, can offer long term gain on both reducing your bills and impact on the environment too.

*This is a collaborative post.

Sustainable tourism: Are we doing this right? A Guest Post by Midlands Traveller

Everybody likes travelling, right? It’s a fact! The idea of discovering a new country is thrilling. Or sometimes, visit again that destination that brings back memorable memories of past holidays.

But have you stopped to think that every time we pack our stuff and go on holiday somewhere, we also take with us the responsibility of making tourism more sustainable? At least, we all should think about it.

But I have some good news for us! According to a booking.com survey released last year; the green travel trend continues to increase considerably with the majority of the global travellers (87%) saying that they would like to travel sustainably.

However, the survey also points out that nearly four in 10 (39%) people can confirm managing to do so. Is it a big figure? Probably. But we need to make it better!

The thinking globally, acting locally is a reality that can’t be ignored. Popular travel destinations such as Venice has started campaigns and actions to promote responsible tourism. The #EnjoyandrespectVenice is a campaign to bring awareness to the impact that careless tourists can cause in the environment, landscape and natural beauties of cities like Venice.

It’s a serious issue, and unless we change the behaviour now when travelling anywhere, it will be too late to save our planet and natural sources.

Here are some of the tiny and important tips to go green when travelling…

Sustainable tourism: Are we doing this right? A Guest Post by Midlands Traveller

Go further!

It seems silly, but if you’re thinking about jetting off soon, it’s always better to choose a further destination. We all know that aviation industry causes a massive impact on the environment and fewer flights taken, means less damage to the planet.

So, maybe it’s time to save for that dreamt visit to New Zealand, for example, instead of going three times a year to Benidorm, right?

Buy Local

It’s something I already do when travelling and I do recommend it. There is nothing more exciting than trying the local food, buying artisanal and experience the local culture.

Travelling is about indulging yourself in a different culture. It not only helps the local economy but also sustain people that live from this income.

Greener Accommodations

The best memories I have from the hotels and b&bs that I have stayed before are always related to how the green alternatives they offer. I have been to an apartment in London that left me organic food and natural beauty amenities. It was a game changing for me.

So, it doesn’t matter what kind of accommodation you are going for, it’s always important to research what sustainable measures these places can offer you. It can go for a simple garbage recycling collection to solar panels; even sophisticated hotels in Las Vegas are offering “eco-luxury” facilities nowadays. No excuse, huh?

If it’s packed, avoid it!

Most of the destinations we want to live in life have attractions and landscapes that will be crowded. Who doesn’t want to go up at the Eifel Tower once in life or step on one of the famous Italians historical bridges? You can still do it, but it would be better for the environment if you plan your trip carefully and visit your favourite city when it is less crowded. It’s a win-win! You can try, at least.

Walk out & about!

There is no other better way than knowing a place than walking through it. I did it in Dubrovnik, New York and lately, in Porto. Unless you have any special need and need to use transport, please walk along the streets, avenues and narrow lanes of your destination. Not to mention, it’s an excellent exercise as well.

So, think greener when travelling next time. It may be easier than you think to make a difference in the planet.

About the Author

Simone is a journalist with both Brazilian and British citizenship who has been living in Birmingham since 2011. She is vegetarian, with a passion for plant-based food. She also has a keen interest in green living. She writes at Midlands Traveller; a blog about business opportunities, the travel industry and well-being. You can find her on twitter, instagram and facebook too. 

Top Tips For A Less Stressful Move

Most people find moving stressful. It takes time, money and energy. There are often mixed emotions and always plenty of practical considerations. Whether you are single, a couple, or a family of any size, there are ways to minimise the stress involved with moving….

Top Tips For A Less Stressful Move

Consider Costs

Moving home can be very expensive, so taking into account of the costs, and budgeting accordingly from the outset will prevent financial worries further down the line. If you are buying a property, you will need to remember stamp duty, solicitors fees and surveyor costs, amongst other things. For renting, you will need a deposit and there may well be agent fees to pay too. In either scenario, you will also have actual moving day costs, possibly as well as energy supplier and other services set up costs too.

Be Organised

Try to declutter as much as you can beforehand. Moving is the perfect opportunity to get rid of your old junk so you only take what you really need. Sell unwanted items, take them to a charity, or pop them on a freecycle site, to avoid contributing to landfill if possible.

Also, try to start packing your belongings you won’t need prior to the move into boxes as soon as possible. It often feels more manageable to do it in small stages rather than have mammoth task all in one go. (Unless you decide to pay someone else to do it of course!)

On the day, make sure your solicitor is available to receive the money and release the keys as early as possible if you are purchasing a property. If you are renting, ask the landlord or agent how early you can get the key.

You will also need to notify utility companies. It is likely that you might also need to get broadband and other services booked in to be set up asap too.

Get help

My advice is to get as much help as you can. Whether it is someone to entertain the kids, having friends round for a packing party or hiring professional assistance, extra pairs of hands will make the workload lighter.

If your budget will stretch, and especially if it is a big move, you might want to take a look at removal companies. For example, GetAMover will help you to find removals London and elsewhere, and other services to assist your move. This also saves time and fuel costs, which could be significant if you have a fair distance to cover and/ or would have to make multiple trips yourself. When you factor this in, it certainly goes some way towards countering the cost of hiring removals.

Key in hand at front door

Moving is rarely an easy time, but if you plan your budget, get organised and enlist some help, it can certainly minimise the stress for everyone involved.

What are your top tips for moving home?

*This is a collaborative post.

Top Destinations in Malaysia for Foodies

Malaysia is world famous for its island, beaches, and rainforests, and the Southeast Asian country carries Chinese, Indian, Malay and European cultural influences. Kuala Lumpur its capital is home to colonial buildings and busy shopping districts. However, if you are going to Malaysia, you are in for another real treat, and it is the food. So, if you are a foodie, head for Malaysia, book your flight with a reliable tour operator like the Traveloka app/website that offers cheap Firefly online booking. There are leading online travel portals that offer the cheapest options for hotels and flights for travelers. Look for cheapest flights booking online and a great experience.

When it comes to food, Malaysia is a haven for the foodies, as it is a country of diversity that reflects Chinese, Indian, and Southeast Asian Malay flavours. The flavours here are special as the food is prepared with fresh local ingredients and special cooking techniques.

Here are some of the top destinations in Malaysia that every foodie must visit!

Top Destinations in Malaysia for Foodies

Kuala in Perlis

As Kuala is located near the border with Thailand, therefore some of the food here has the Thai and Sumatran influence. Also, seafood is the main attraction here. Be prepared to taste some of the greatest Ikan Bakar in town.

Sungai Petani in Kedah

When looking for food in Kedah, head for Sungai Petani as it makes for a perfect choice. One has to try the Fish Curry Noodles and with Ice Kacang. Another iconic dish is Laksa Kedah. Favourite restaurants include names like Hussain Nasi Kandar, EUPE Foodcourt, Nasi Lemak Cinta Sayang. MM Nyonya Delight, Hotmas Restaurant and more.

Butterworth in Penang

Butterworth is another popular site for food lovers. Here one can enjoy delectable street food and at affordable prices. Some of the most popular eateries are Kedai Kopi Hwa, Zi Wei Yuan Steamboat, and Ju Heng Tom Yam.

Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan

It is a must to include Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan when it comes to the top destination for food in Malaysia. There are many choices of resultants where one can eat the famed Curry King Bun and a lot more.

Yong Peng in Johor

Most of the residents in Yong Peng are Chinese, and here you will be served authentic Chinese dishes like Hockchiew square bread, Hockchiew Egg Soup, Duck Noodles, and Fishballs.

Teluk Kumbar in Penang

As the main occupation in Telok Kumbar is fishing, needless to say, the humble village is famous for its seafood. Hai Boey Seafood is very popular among the locals and the tourists looking for fresh seafood and good Chinese “Tai Chow” dishes.

Kampar in Perak

Another good spot for foodies is Kampar which is just about an hour drive away from the city of Ipoh. It is a must to try out the smooth and silky rice noodle cooked in clear soup, the Kampar lou shu fun. Local have this for breakfast, and another favorite is Claypot chicken rice.

Tuaran in Sabah

Tuaranis the birthplace of noodle dish created by the Hakka Chinese community. The popular dish is called Tuaran Mee and served with Chun Kien slice, Char siu, and Vegetable.

Kuala Kangsar in Perak

Kuala Kangsar is a magnet for food lovers as it boasts of a large variety of food. The small town offers famous Malay Laksa, and some of the popular restaurants include Laksa Pak Ngah and Hainanese coffee shop.

Temerloh in Pahang

Temerloh boasts of a huge variety of delicious food and is known as the hole of the favorite dish Patin, aka Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak, which is popularly served at most of the restaurants in Malaysia.

Muar in Johor

Muar lures tourists, not just because of its historical attractions but also those palatable delicacies. The small town is most sought after for foods like Mee Bandung and Otak-otak.

Of course, if you are vegetarian like me, you will also be searching for tasty vegetable dishes, which can also be found at some of these places to! Whatever your diet, Malaysia is an excellent place for foodies to explore.

*This is a collaborative post.

5 Ways To Tell When Your Sash Windows Need Servicing Or Repair

Do you have sash windows? If so, you might find it useful to know when they need service or repair. Here are five ways to tell…

5 Ways To Tell When Your Sash Windows Need Servicing Or Repair

1. The joints on your lower sashes

When considering the structural condition of sash windows, the first place to look is outside. Almost all wear and tare occurs externally. The most common points on a window to fail are the joints of the lower sash. These are mortice and tenoned together and bound by wedging and epoxy glue. This is a joint that can hold for more than a hundred years in UK weather conditions but will eventually fail. This occurs when paint begins to peel away and moisture penetrates under the rail. This swells the stile and makes it pull away from the lower rail. Also, the moisture helps to deteriorate the joint of glue and timber so it’s a double effect.

Fortunately there’s a simple solution to this. Make sure you keep the lower rail of your sash well painted to moisture can’t penetrate. Maintenance before repairs will save a fortune. The cost of replacing a lower rail in this situation is around £400 as the window needs removing, then the rail repairing, and then the sash needs refitting with new sash cords which is a lengthy process.

2. The sash cords are beginning to fray

Sash cords begin to fray after twenty years. This assumes they are high quality nylon core, lower quality cloth only cords might only last ten years. The problem with a sash cord that frays is the possibility of breaking panes of glass when the window is open. You open the window for some fresh air and then walk away, only to hear a loud crash and that dreaded broken glass noise. As the sash falls it lands on one edge first causing the shape to distort as timber has a lot of flexibility. Unfortunately glass doesn’t and this pushes the edge of the glass into the pins that hold it in or frame of the sash.

On the other hand if the glass was installed correctly with a 3mm gap around the edges and the putty holding glass to sash firmly then you might be lucky, the glass might not break and you’ll only need to replace the sash cords. Most sash window repair companies will offer this service for around £200. Historic England offer plenty of sound advice in their PDF with regards to traditional window care.

3. Sash window sill starts to look rotten

When sash window sills start to look weathered and rotten they can actually be replaced without replacing the window entirely. There are sash window repair specialists that can cut out the effective timber, treat the remaining section, and then splice timber back with a resin bond to ensure a lasting job. The repairs are then primed and undercoated. You might not ever realise your windows have been repaired if done properly.

4. Misted double glazed units

If you already have double glazed sash windows, which is perfectly normal since they were introduced twenty years ago, then you might be the first to have a glazing repair bill. Some sash window companies will simply remove the sash affected, replace the double glazed unit, and put the window back together. Other sash window specialists refuse to carry out these repairs and deem the window beyond economical repair, attempting to push more new windows. That’s fine if you’re happy with that, but certainly not necessary.

5. Flaking paint on the outside of your sash windows

When paint starts to flake outside its time to paint, as we mentioned in the first and third point it is the beginning of significant repairs and the basis to keeping your windows in tip top condition. If painting is kept up then you’re going to cut sash window repair bills considerably.

*This is a collaborative post.

Green Homes Need Green Gardens 

More and more homeowners have transformed their interior decor and lifestyle to create nature-friendly attitudes at home. You might have switched all your light bulbs for LED solutions that are not only cost-effective but that also dramatically reduce your energy consumption, for instance. Perhaps you’ve been encouraging your family to take shorter showers and turn the tap off while brushing their teeth. It is not uncommon, as well, to pursue your green motivations into the kitchen, where your grocery shopping focuses only on the most sustainable options, from packaging to production. In a word, you have a green home.

However, if your green home is surrounded by a grey and dull garden, your efforts in protecting the ecosystem might seem vain. As a nature-lover, you need to invest time and energy in turning your yard into a green and lush garden. Why so? Because the best way to protect the environment is to create a space where wildlife can roam freely and safely directly at home.

Green Homes Need Green Gardens 

Is it flooded in places?

Home maintenance is the responsibility of the homeowner. You wouldn’t dream of putting your house at risk by falling your maintenance schedule, from cleaning the gutters to keeping your HVAC system under control. However, the same level of care isn’t passed onto the garden. If the gutters on your driveways tend to flood easily, for instance, it might be a sign that they’re blocked. The excess water can lead to wet patches in your garden, which affects not only the vegetation but also the overall soil structure. Additionally, the presence of stagnant water in your garden can also be a health hazard for pets and children. In other words, you want to ensure that rainwater has a clear escape path.

Soil needs nutrients to be productive

Unless you’re a professional gardener, you probably don’t know the soil composition in your garden. However, you can observe if there are visible issues. For instance, if plants struggle to grow, your soil might not be fertile enough. You can use feeding solutions such as Seasol to give your garden all the nutrients it needs. Additionally, you can also make your own compost bin, using biodegradable garbage – fruits and vegetable peels are a favourite, but you can also use eggshells, for instance – to feed your soil. Besides, using composting benefits not only the soil but the environment, as you can dramatically reduce your wastes.

Is your soil too compact or overcrowded?

Last, but not least, if you notice a lot of wet or empty patches where nothing seems to grow, it’s a sign that you might need to dig deep. Indeed, the presence of rocks and other large obstacles – such as bricks or even construction rambles from a previous construction site – in the ground affects its ability to absorb water. Consequently, your garden appears to flood when it rain, even though you’ve got a water evacuation system. Additionally, plants can’t grow roots in the proximity of stones, and therefore they can’t survive. Large obstacles might need breaking up or even professional equipment to be removed safely. For small stones and rocks, you can use a shovel to solve the issue.

Gardening pic of a shovel and a wall

A green garden is a welcoming place for wildlife. It provides shelter and food for small animals and insects. Additionally, it also actively purifies the air around your home and makes your green home lifestyle come true.

*This is a collaborative post

Shopping for Big and Tall Men

Clothing for big and tall men is potentially frustrating. If you know someone who wears big and tall sizes, you’ll need to consider several factors. For instance, he might be tall, but he’s not big. Or it might be the other way around. On top of those problems, you might find a big and tall clothing store that simply doesn’t know the difference even though they sell big and tall sizes.

Shopping for Big and Tall Men

Determining Which is Right

Tall men usually fall in the category of 6’2” or above. These men are considered tall, but may not be big. Big men usually have larger hips, waists, and chests. This type of man might need a big shirt, but not necessarily a long one. Additionally, a big man might need a broader waist size, but don’t require a longer inseam.

It should be a straightforward exercise to determine which the man in your life needs. Does he have a short torso and long legs? There’s the potential that he can buy either his pants or his shirts from a regular clothing store, but might need to purchase the other from a big and tall shop.

Finding What He Needs

Keep in mind that knowing what you need and finding what you need are two different things. It can be difficult to find store clerks who can help locate exactly the right size. You might find a big size but not a tall size. Or vice versa.

Also, some clothing manufacturers have clothing sizes that don’t make much sense. Plus, sizes aren’t consistent across clothing lines which makes finding the right fit even more frustrating.

Going Well-Armed

The best thing you can do when shopping for big and tall clothing is to have the most accurate measurements you need. This gives you the ability to make better purchasing choices in a challenging area of clothing.

Rack of mens suit jackets

Remember, big and tall clothing doesn’t have to be confusing. Just be sure you’re armed with the knowledge you need.

 

*This is a collaborative post

Introducing McDonald’s Vegetarian Happy Meal and Spicy Veggie Wrap (AD)

*Disclosure: This post is part of a paid project with McDonald’s UK and BritMums, promoting McDonald’s Veggie Happy Meal and the new vegetarian menu items.*

McDonald's vegetarian wrap Happy Meal

I have some exciting news! McDonald’s has just launched a brand new Vegetarian Happy Meal and a Spicy Veggie Wrap, available now. As a vegetarian myself, and Squiggle has chosen to be too, I am delighted that there is a new meat-free option available. And of course, you also don’t even have to be vegetarian to appreciate more variety on the menu!

I love that McDonald’s are always looking for new ways to improve their menu; hence why they have introduced the tasty new veggie wrap, which is available as a Happy Meal and as a Spicy Veggie Wrap for adults. The flavour of the vegetarian wrap was chosen following an exclusive BritMums tasting session, where bloggers and their children helped taste and select the final flavour, so these new menu items were genuinely created with the help of real families!

McDonald's veggie wrap Happy Meal - ordering new vegetarian options

As you might have spotted on my Instagram stories, we went to McDonald’s to try out these new permanent menu items. Squiggle is sometimes reluctant to try new food but she was delighted that they have introduced a Happy Meal veggie option for kids and was keen to tuck in. This tasty wrap is made from red pepper and pesto goujon with tomato ketchup and shredded lettuce wrapped in a soft, toasted tortilla. She said it was yummy and gave it the big thumbs up! And at 209 calories it is a reasonably healthy option, especially paired with carrot sticks, as Squiggle had. The RRP is £2.49 which is great value too!

Squiggle opening McDonald's happy meal veggie wrap

I also tried out the brand new adult Spicy Veggie Wrap, which is 364 calories, RRP is £2.99 and absolutely delicious! It is made from two red pepper and pesto goujons, with tomato, lettuce and red onion, and a generous dressing of spicy relish, all wrapped in a soft, toasted tortilla. It’s really tasty and full of flavour. I was really impressed! (And I confess I have already had another since – they are THAT good!!!)

McDonald's spicy veggie wrap

We are thrilled to be part of this BritMums project and really enjoyed being amongst the first people to sample the new vegetarian options. Thank you McDonald’s! Why not pop along to your local branch to try them out yourself too…. and don’t forget to let us know what you think!

Squiggle and Katie Living Life Our Way holding McDonald’s Vegetarian Happy Meal and Spicy Veggie Wrap

Future-Proof Your Home And Reduce Future Costs

You never what is going to happen in the future. And that is especially the case in the home. There are lots of faults that could occur to the various systems in a property, and these could end up being very expensive to get fixed. Plus, small accidents could leave some furniture and other items in your home in need of repair or replacement. All of these little jobs might not seem like such a big deal when they occur, but over time all of that work and maintenance will eventually add up. When you look back, you might be shocked to learn just how much it’ll cost you.

That’s why it’s a good idea to think about ways you can future-proof your home. This just means that you protect it from things that could go wrong in the future. To find out more about this, read on to learn some great tips…

 Future-Proof Your Home And Reduce Future Costs

Get Your Heating System Serviced

It can be a real pain when a home’s boiler breaks down or has a major fault. You will need to find someone who can fix it as soon as possible, especially if it breaks in the winter months, and this might not be cheap. Thankfully, there is one way to reduce your risk of a fault with the heating. You just need to see your local HVAC contractor and see if they also carry out services. If you get your system serviced at least once a year, then any potential problem could be stopped dead in its tracks.

Make It Eco-Friendly

Lots of people are now very mindful about how their way of life impacts on the environment. As many more people are becoming conscious of this, lots of homeowners are now thinking of ways in which they can make their home more eco-friendly. For instance, you might want to replace your furniture with pieces made from sustainable or recycled materials. It could also be worth installing solar panels to your roof. Not only do they provide your home with greener energy, but you will find that they can also help you reduce your monthly energy bill as well.

See To The Gutters On A Regular Basis

One of the main jobs that gets neglected by homeowners is cleaning the gutters out. Even though this may not seem like such an urgent job, keeping on top of your gutters can help you prevent a lot of damage to the property. When gutters get blocked, the rainwater that collects in them can’t flow down to the drain. Instead, the gutters overflow and the water runs straight down the wall. Water damage is extremely expensive to repair, so you need to stop this happening by cleaning out your gutters on a regular basis!

 

Choose Easy To Clean Floors

Carpets may look nice, but they can be problematic if anything gets spilled on them. To make sure you don’t have to go to the expense of replacing a stained carpet, opt for easy to clean floors, like laminate or wood.

You really do need to look after your home well into the future!

*This is a collaborative post.