Having a baby is one of the scariest, most incredible things you will ever do. Your life changes forever, your priorities switch in an instant. No longer are you the most important thing in your life, you now have this precious, tiny baby to protect and look after. Their happiness becomes your number one priority. However, that’s not to say you should stop caring for yourself too. In fact, when you’re a parent it’s more important than ever, since you now have your little one depending on you. Here are some of the ways you can take care of yourself, get in a good place in your mind and ensure everything runs smoothly over the pregnancy and first few months.
Batch cook meals before the birth
When your baby arrives, the early days will be all about caring for them and sleeping whenever you can! The first few weeks and months while you get used to things are particularly challenging, and preparing healthy and home cooked meals will probably be the last thing on your mind. However, nutrition is key, you need the right foods for your body to heal and also to produce good quality milk if you’re breastfeeding. One thing you can do is batch cook meals ahead of time. Most things will be good in the freezer for many months, so you can spend a few months towards the end doing this. Make batches of your favourite meals (including plenty of veg and nutritious ingredients where possible), then divide it into portion sized Tupperware containers and freeze. Once your little one arrives, you have easy access to food that unlike takeout won’t cost you a fortune and isn’t full of hidden nasties. Pop in the microwave and you’re good to go! At the start, friends and family will often look after you by bringing over meals for you, but this won’t last forever. Having a few months of meals cooked and ready to go can really make your life much easier during this time. Invest in some good boxes, and be sure to label everything- writing on it what it is, and the date it needs to be used by. If you cook a number of different meals it will stop things from getting boring, there’s lots of information on batch cooking and recipe ideas on sites like Pinterest.
Take advantage of your nesting instincts
Another thing that’s well worth getting sorted ahead of time is your home. If your current place is too small for a baby and you know you’ll have to move in the near future, moving before they’re born is always going to be the best option if you’re able to. You can get set up in the new place and have their nursery set up (even though they won’t need it right away) just to have peace of mind that everything is sorted. A lot of women get ‘nesting’ instinct before having a baby where they feel a strong urge to clean and get organised- take advantage of this! Having your house clean from top to bottom and fully organised will make it much easier to stay on top of when your baby arrives. Plus, since they’re so sensitive and delicate you’ll want to make sure the home is free of germs, mould, dust mites and other harmful things. It can be worth using natural products or those that are free of powerful chemicals. Consider things like cushions, throws, sofas and carpets which are traps for nasties. Hiring a carpet cleaning company and putting your soft furnishings on a hot wash are ways to resolve this. Organise things like drawers and cupboards so you know where everything is. But importantly, don’t over exert yourself. It’s tempting to want to start pulling out furniture and really getting in there, but you have to be careful while you’re pregnant. Rope in friends and family to help.
Hire extra help
Having your house in order will make it easier to stay on top of the cleaning and housework when your little bundle of joy arrives, but getting through everything is still easier said than done when you’re looking after a newborn. Don’t be afraid to utilise different services out there to make everything run more smoothly for you. You could have a cleaner or maid come in, a few times a week and make sure the house is clean and tidy for you. You could have a laundry service come and wash and iron all of the clothes, this is useful when you have a new baby and are going through lots of clothes. You could even hire a nanny a couple of days a week to watch the baby so you can catch up on some rest. If you have the means to be able to do this, it can make these early days and weeks much more manageable. One of the hardest things is functioning without sleep, and trying to get everything done around the home while also caring for your baby. So utilising the help and services that are out there is a smart move. It could be something you do just for a few weeks, a few months or on an ongoing basis. If you don’t have a close network of friends and family to help you out it can be particularly worthwhile. You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, you’re not expected to be able to do everything! If paying for a company to come in and provide you with a much needed service works for you, then go for it.
Get your finances in order
Having a baby is an expensive time. Not only do you need to potentially move house and buy a new car, you also need to purchase everything they need. Furniture, a pram, baby clothes and much more don’t come cheap and will all add up. On top of this, you’ll need to take at least some time off work meaning your pay is reduced. For this reason, it’s important to be prepared with your finances. Budget carefully, and work out how you’ll afford your bills when you don’t have your full income coming in. It could be worth establishing a side hustle early on, something like freelance writing can be done from home, with no upfront costs and no physical strain to your body. If you already have an established blog, you could look into ways to monetise it. That way you have a way of earning money right up until your baby is born, it’s even something you could return to afterwards if you’re not ready to straight back into the world of employment. Depending on your situation and where you live, you might be entitled to some help from the government so do look into this and see what you’re eligible for. It can make things much easier to know you have at least some income while you’re off work.
Start exercising again- when you’re ready
There’s a huge amount of pressure on new mums to spring ‘back into shape’ after having a baby. With the media focusing on celebrities who seem to shed the excess weight within weeks it can leave you feeling under pressure to do so. But don’t feel that way- most women take some time for their bodies to return to something that resembled their prior shape. There’s no shame in this whatsoever, after carrying a baby for nine months it’s going to take some time! You don’t want to start exercising as you feel like you need to return to your old body quickly, instead, see it as a way to build strength and help yourself recover. Listen to your doctor’s advice, don’t rush it as it can be dangerous. Once you’re repaired enough to start doing exercise then just do what you can, start by taking your baby out for walks in the pram. Later down the line, you could get a jogging stroller such as https://parentingpod.com/best-double-jogging-stroller/ to up the pace and even go hiking. But it all takes time, start small and build your way up. Make exercise part of your life, very few new mums have the time or energy to hit the gym every day. Take your baby to classes,there are lots designed for mum and baby. You could take them for a paddle in the swimming pool once it’s safe to do so.
Looking after yourself mentally and physically is important when you’ve had a baby. These tips should help you to get things in order before the birth, and ensure a smooth transition afterwards.
If you have recently added to your brood you are relocating due to work, the chances are you will need to look for a new home to call your own. You may have loved the time you have spent in your current property but feel that now is the time to move on to pastures new. However, it’s not easy to simply pick up sticks and move to a new home when you have a mortgage and need to sell the one you are currently in. To maximize your profit and ensure that you achieve the optimum price for your pad, you need to implement a plan that sees your home appear irresistible to potential buyers. Take a look at these three simple ways to leap up the housing ladder.
Spend A Little
To facilitate the sale of your humble abode, you need to get it fit for sale. This means dressing it in a way so that it exudes a lifestyle appropriate to your target market. If the bathroom suite of your property is a rather fetching shade of avocado green, swap it for a more modern white suite. If your kitchen cabinet doors are falling off their hinges, either swap them for new more modern doors, or change the units altogether. It’s important that your home is a dwelling that is ready to move into. If it appears to need lots of renovation work, a potential buyer will try and knock you down on your asking price. You need to maximize this in order to leap up the housing ladder.
If you are wondering how you can work out the best list price for your home, head to a site like William Pitt that will provide you with three instant online valuations for your dwelling. This will give you an excellent ballpark figure to help you understand what you might be able to achieve.
Declutter And Decorate
Sometimes your home may be structurally sound but still has a few too many personal touches making it difficult for potential buyers to see how they can put their own stamp on your property. Whip out the white paint and cover the deep damson hue in the dining room and the lemon yellow in the kitchen. By creating a blank canvas you will be showing anyone viewing your home just how simple it will be to move in and get decorating themselves. Most buyers want to do a little something to a new home, so make this easy for them.
Get rid of the toys adorning every shelf and put any unwanted junk in your loft rather than on the floor in the corner of the living room. No matter how small your property might be, you need to make it appear spacious and livable.
Don’t Be Greedy
Just because you may need a certain sales price to get the house of your dreams doesn’t mean this is attainable. Look at the ceiling price for your property and don’t list above this. Any savvy buyer will know the prices and property forecasts like the back of their hand so don’t be too greedy otherwise you won’t get footfall through the door.
Selling your home is a balancing act between achieving the optimum price and selling quickly. Use these ideas to facilitate your next move up the housing ladder.
Whilst you’ll never have to pay a water bill again, you will have to make some initial investments, plus you’ll need to be certain that you live in a suitable area. Here are just several ways to take your water supply off-grid.
Dig a well
The most traditional way of obtaining water is to dig a well. This involves digging a hole that reaches below the water table, allowing you to access groundwater. A well can cost several thousands to build. Getting planning permission in most urban areas is impossible and you probably don’t want to attempt to build a well if you live somewhere elevated (the lower, the better). It’s ideal for rural homes in areas that may not receive much rainfall.
It’s also possible to harvest rainwater. This is commonly done by collecting water in rain barrels. You can buy specialist barrels from companies such as Tanks Direct. Rainwater harvesting is great option if you live somewhere that receive regular rainfall, plus you don’t need planning permission for barrels.
Use a purification system
Rainwater is some of the safest water to drink, however it can still contain contaminants that you may want to filter out. By using a good quality rain barrel that is kept sterile you can avoid contamination. You should avoid collecting runoff from a branch or roof, as this is likely to pick up dirt or bugs. There are purification systems out there available from companies such as Culligan Water that can heat and filter water to help get rid of any contaminants in order to ensure that your water is as healthy as it can be.
Install a septic tank
Without pipes connected to sewerage, you’ll need a septic tank. This is a tank in which your waste goes – this can be collected by a waste company on a regular basis. Installing a septic tank is likely to require planning permission. Tanks are usually place underground in a location that can be accessed by a vehicle in order to collect the waste when the tank is full. Make sure that the tank has some ventilation to avoid odorous gases building up.
Recycle your greywater
Greywater is waste water used when showering or using the sink (this does not include waste water from the toilet). It’s possible to recycle this water and use it for processes such as toilet flushing and watering plants. This involves installing a greywater recycling system, which is a costly job but one that is worthwhile in the long run. Sites like Aquaco offer more information on greywater recycling for those that want to make use of this feature.
When you’re doing home renovations, you probably think about how much value they’ll add to your home. It’s always worth considering because if you can increase the value of the house, that will offset some of the costs of doing the work in the first place. You can think of it as a long term investment. But when people are doing work in the garden, they don’t always have the same mindset. Most people know that a nicely kept garden is more attractive to potential buyers because it improves your curb appeal but it won’t add that much value to the house. If you really want to invest money in the garden, there are plenty of other additions that you can make to the garden. Next time you’re doing work on your outside space, it’s worth considering some of these additions.
A garage is a big priority for a lot of people when they’re looking at houses. It’s a good security feature because people can park their cars in there. It’ll reduce your car insurance as well if you don’t have to park your car on the street. If you aren’t bothered about putting your car in there, it’s a good place to store all of the junk that you don’t use on a regular basis. Building a garage is pretty expensive though and you might not want to spend that much money right now. If that’s the case, you could consider putting a carport in instead. There are some great companies like Stylemaster Patios who can install a covered area for you to park your car in. It’s not quite the same as having a full garage but if you’ve got a nice car and you want to protect it from the elements, it’s ideal.
The way that the garden looks is important, but you need to think about security as well. The garden is a common entry point for burglars and if you’ve got low fences and a broken gate that people can open with very little effort, you’re just advertising your house to criminals. Good fencing is also important if you’ve got pets or young children because you don’t want them wandering off when they’re out in the garden. It’s not that expensive to get some new fences put in but it’ll make all of the difference. If you put higher fences in the garden, you can also use them to grow plants up which makes for a far more interesting aesthetic than plain fences.
Consider Removing Trees
Trees in the garden are great, as long as they’re not blocking the light. If you’ve got a nice patio area where you can sit and relax, it’s no good if it never gets any sunlight because there is a massive tree in the way. If you’ve got a tree that is blocking all of the sun, you should consider getting rid of it so you can get more use out of the garden. It’s also worth thinking about the light inside the home as well. Getting more light into the house is tough, especially if you’ve got rooms with small windows. Often, there isn’t a huge amount that you can do about it but sometimes, you’re not getting much light because there is a tree or a bush directly in front of the window that stops all of the light getting in. If that’s the case, you should trim the tree or, if necessary cut the whole thing down.
Everybody knows that cutting the grass is a pain, especially if you’ve got quite a big garden. If you don’t do it regularly, the garden will look scruffy but doing it every week or two is a big undertaking. Brown patches and dead lawns are a big problem as well and you’ll have to spend a lot of time and money nursing the grass back to health. You can get around that and massively cut the amount of time you spend maintaining the garden by taking up the lawn and putting artificial grass in instead. Not everybody likes the idea but there are some good artificial grass companies out there and often, you can’t really tell the difference between the real stuff and the artificial stuff. It’s so much easier than managing real grass and a lot of people see that as a big bonus when they’re looking at houses.
Artificial grass is a great way to avoid the hassle of maintaining a lawn but if you’re not keen on that idea, you could replace some of the grass with decking instead. It gives you a great place to put some garden furniture for relaxing or eating outside in the summer. Splitting the garden into a couple of different areas also makes it appear a lot bigger which adds value as well.
A Good Sized Shed
A shed is always a good addition to the garden, especially if you don’t have a garage. You can store your lawnmower (if you haven’t already switched to artificial grass), barbecue, and all of your other bits and bobs. But a shed can be so much more than just storage. It can be a nice outdoor area to get a bit of peace and quiet for a while if it’s big enough. If you’ve got a bit of dead space in the garden that you’re not really using, build yourself a nice big shed there.
Nobody really understands why just yet but studies show that being close to the water has an incredibly calming effect on people. Swimming in the ocean or taking a dip in a relaxing tranquility pool will help you take a break from the stresses of modern life and find some tranquility. You’re probably not going to install a tranquility pool in your garden but you can get a similar effect from a water feature or a pond. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting out in the sun listening to the gentle trickling of a water feature or watching the fish swim around in the pond.
If you make these additions to the garden, you’ll create a great outdoor space that you can get more use out of and it’ll increase the value of your property at the same time.
Unless you’ve experienced plumbing issues before and have a good grasp of the water system in your home, then you probably don’t have a clue about water pressure, what it is and also what it can do for you.
Water typically comes into your home through a series of pipes. When you turn a faucet, you can expect water to come out at a relatively high rate, but what if it just trickles out or what if your hot water tap is much lower pressure than your cold one? There could be a number of different reasons why this happens, and it can also be problematic for your everyday life.
Water will flow slowly out of your taps, resulting in poorer cleaning power such as in the shower
Baths and pots will take forever to fill
Temperature changes in the water will take a long time
It could indicate a plumbing issue in your home
It could mean that there’s a leak somewhere
There could be damage somewhere in your plumbing system
Similarly, high water pressure can also cause a number of different issues. For instance, it could damage your faucets and pipes, it could cause you to waste a lot of money on your water bills and it could be uncomfortable to use. You may also put your pipes at risk of damage due to the high pressure.
In short, you should mostly be concerned about the comfort in your home and how it can be affected by either poor or too high water pressure. Nobody likes to have a bath that takes forever to fill and if your water pressure is too low, then it’ll be very difficult to take an effective shower in the morning.
Dealing with water pressure issues is also a smart move for the general health of your water system. If you want todrink a certain amount of water each day then it’s a good idea to check on the quality of the water coming out of your taps because the pressure could be affecting it.
How to fix water pressure issues
There are a couple of ways to troubleshoot pressure issues. The most common method would be to simply contact a plumber and let them know about a lack of water pressure in various parts of your home. They might recommend that you purchaseSta-Rite pressure pumps to help you get more pressure into your home, or it could mean regulating your water pressure to ensure it’s at the right level using the tools and components you already have in your home.
Alternatively, you could also attempt to find the issue yourself and provide a DIY solution. However, DIY solutions are generally dangerous and could result in more money spent repairing the damages. We don’t recommend trying to do your own plumbing work, so if you do notice your water pressure causing issues, then it’s best to contact a professional.
The festive season is almost here and with that the many family visits that will be taking place at your house. Whether it’s your first time hosting guests for Christmas or you’ve been doing it for years, preparing your house can take some serious time, effort and money.
With that in mind, here are 6 ways to prepare your home for lots of visitors this Christmas:
Make Sure You Have Lots Of Beautiful Decorations
One of the best things about hosting people for Christmas is that you get to be even more extravagant with your decorations. Having the whole family around is a great chance to show off your incredible decorations to everyone – so have fun making them the best they can be! For inspiration, you can visit sites like Pinterest or Instagram.
Fix Any Issues Before People Arrive
Throughout the year there may be small issues that need fixing, but you never get around to doing them. Whether it’s a broken cupboard door, a loose tile or something else – fixing them before your guests come to stay is the best time to get these smaller tasks out of the way. Not only does it make your house feel like it’s in order, but it’s much safer for your guests too.
Redecorate Any Rooms That Need A Little TLC
If you’re hosting guests for a few days, you may find that your guest rooms need a little bit of TLC before they can stay in them. As they often become the forgotten room that’s only used to store things, they’ll probably need more than a tidy before your guests arrive. If you’re on a budget you can change the look and feel of a whole room with some wallpaper and a coat of paint. It’s surprising what you can do!
Update Any Old Furniture
Christmas is a great excuse to buy new furniture to replace the bits you’ve been dying to replace for months! Whether it’s a new sofa bed for the guest room or a bigger dining room table – treat yourself to something new before everyone arrives. For inspiration, you can visit Wayfair reviews here.
Get Rid Of Any Junk To Make Extra Space
If you’ve got lots of visitors coming round you’re going to need all the space you can get. Getting rid of any junk that you no longer need (or storing it in the loft) is a great way to free up some space in your house. If you’re really struggling, invest in some extra storage that will allow you to store things in a much smarter way.
Buy Extra Bedding And Towels Just In Case
If your guests are coming to stay then it’s always handy to have extra bedding and towels on hand. If they’re not planning on staying it’ doesn’t hurt to buy extras just in case – you never know what may happen!
Are having lots of visitors this Christmas? How will you be preparing your home? Let me know in the comment section below.