How Influential Is Your Pet?

How influential is YOUR pet? A new algorithm has been created which calculates how influential your dog or cat is through their Mieows or Woofs! The research is getting along well, but now they need BETA testers to verify the effectiveness of this new technology which will be soon showed to the world!

BuzzooleI’m totally putting forward Marley – why don’t you participate with their dogs or cats through photos or selfies with your 4 legged friend using the hashtag #buzzmypets on Twitter and Instagram?

buzzmypets

How influential do you think your pet will be?

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Practical Kitchen Design for Your Busy Family Kitchen

A busy family kitchen is the beating heart of your family home. But it’s also a room that is put under a lot of pressure from mess, wear and tear and competing family priorities. Here are some great kitchen design ideas and tips to help you to get the most out of your family kitchen, some of these tips are suitable for DIY novices, others need a bit more specialist attention!

Optimise your kitchen’s golden design triangle
Before you start thinking about the ins and outs of your new kitchen design, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the golden triangle of kitchen design. A handy design concept, the principle of the golden triangle is that all the basic functional elements of your kitchen are in a triangular line for easy access and usability. The triangle ensures that you can get around your kitchen space in the best possible way, minimising wasted space and knocking into things as you go.

Don’t worry too much about going round with a tape measure and sketching out invisible triangles around your kitchen, but keep these principles in mind when re-designing:

  • What areas do you use the most? How do these spaces overlap?
  • Is your kitchen functional? Could you improve things by moving things around or swapping storage space around?
  • What’s your current usability score? Are you banging yourself on corners or walking into things on a regular basis? Do you need to put more things way or make some essentials more available?

Switch to an acrylic splashback for an easy splash of colour in your kitchen
One super simple way to refresh your whole kitchen in one go is updating the splashback as kitchen splashbacks age quickly and tend to look tired and grubby really easily. Why not switch to a stylish acrylic kitchen splashback for a durable and child-friendly kitchen

Benefits of an acrylic splashback for your family kitchen:

  • Extremely durable as a kitchen material
  • Easy to clean, so you won’t have to use heavy duty chemicals to get rid of dirt and grease
  • No ugly grouting to get mouldy and dirty
  • Acrylic plastic comes in a whole range of cool colours: aubergine, tomato, lime, duck egg blue- the sky’s the limit!

We love this gorgeous red acrylic kitchen splashback from SimplyPlastics that perfectly complements the kitchen’s sleek grey cupboards. A contemporary, yet classic look.

This cute lime green kitchen splashback adds a fun splash of colour and would be great for style-conscious homeowners.

Rejig your storage solutions

Don’t underestimate the power of kitchen zen. Often a kitchen isn’t quite working due to a lack of storage space: you might find that by just optimising your kitchen storage you will have a completely renewed sense of space. Here are some practical kitchen storage solutions to incorporate into your design:

  • Corner storage: a rotating storage unit embedded in a corner cupboard is one of our favourite space-saving kitchen storage solutions. Once you go corner, you never go back.
  • Shelving units: shelves are in demand in family kitchens. The great thing about shelves is that you can either display your kitchen items by stacking them up, or use storage boxes to hide your messy kitchen sins! Try surprising shelving materials: repurposing industrial shelving units is great for an industrial kitchen look.  Remember to stack shelves safely and keep chemicals high up, away from curious kiddies.

If storage is really issue, it might also be an idea to rethink whether you really need all your kitchen appliances, crockery and cutlery. Often over the years we unconsciously collect unnecessary items into our kitchen cupboards. Don’t hold on to a smoothie maker if you haven’t touched it since you bought it: pass it on. You might even make some money from your kitchen clear out…

Update your colour scheme

One of the easiest ways to update your kitchen design (and hide any kitchen sins) is to repaint your kitchen wall or units: go for both at once for a complete overhaul. Here’s some things to consider:

  • Use waterproof paint in the kitchen to protect surfaces from inevitable contact with water and steam. You really don’t want surfaces in a family kitchen that you are unable to wipe down!
  • When selecting a colour scheme, think about practicality, complementary colours and the longevity of the theme you have selected. It’s better to favour classic, clean designs and colours, especially if you will be upgrading to a larger family home soon.
  • If you are painting wooden kitchen units, sand them down first to ensure an even coat.

Refresh your lighting

Lighting is such an important factor for a good kitchen so don’t skimp on this step. The best lighting you can get is LED lighting: good for the environment and long-lasting. You want to have a lot of light so consider installing some kitchen downlights and spotlights as well as traditional ceiling lamps. Your choice of colour will also have an impact on light, so if you have a kitchen that struggles with natural light, paint its walls a lighter shade.

What makes a great family kitchen? Share your kitchen stories with us below!

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What I Would Change About My House…If I Could

There can be so many problems when privately renting like we do. I pretty much consider it ‘my house’ but then there’s so much I would like to do with it that I can’t. Do you find that if you privately rent? We’ve been living here for over four years now – Jack has only ever known this place after moving in when he was one month old – but there are still some things I would change if I could. So what are they?

 

1. Make the kitchen bigger

I knew what I was getting into when I moved into this house – my great gran lived across the road and all houses are set out the same so I knew that the kitchen would be quite tiny. If it was possible, I would knock the kitchen through into the dining room and make it open plan – I think it would look really good and would make more space for us too.

2. Get hardwood flooring

Whilst the cottage we lived in before Jack was born was extremely tiny, it did have one advantage to this place…the hardwood flooring. I’m not a big fan of carpets everywhere in a house – especially when Jack was a little younger as some things can really stain – but I really would love some hardwood flooring in this house if it was at all possible. I have been looking at different hardwood flooring sites and have really been missing the floors from the cottage. If I could make the change here, hardwood flooring would probably be the first thing we added – Steve is very much in agreement with me.

3. Extend

Obviously this would never be an option whilst privately renting but we have talked about eventually buying this place and we would definitely want to extend if so. The garden is too small anyway for our needs so what harm would an extension do – plus there is a big green right behind our house anyway where Jack meets his friends for games and picnics. Jack’s bedroom is quite small but large enough for his needs now. However if we were to add to the family, he would eventually have to share that room and then it wouldn’t quite be large enough. An extension would solve those problems.

These are just a handful of the things I would change about my house if I was able to. Do you ever find yourself thinking and dreaming about the changes you would make to your house if you could? What things would you change?

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Live a Little – Being Bad is Actually Good for You

Is it just me, or adult life is getting harsher by the minute? I’m not going to reminisce about the wonders of childhood, worry not, though I remember it being pretty fun. But adulthood can sometimes be really hard!

The reason I feel the life is getting harsher is because the list of things we shouldn’t do is getting longer by the minute. So many things are all of a sudden bad for us, right? Sugar, dairy products, meat, gluten, caffeine, alcohol – is there anything else left besides kale?

This is just about our diet. There are many more things that are bad for us. Playing online games, like slot machines or bingo for example, for money or not, is considered a ‘waste of time’.  Gamers are often scolded for not putting their time into better use.

But, there are also gaming sites that let you play for free before trying to win real money like on the slotspinners.co slots site.  So you can practice because as they say practice makes perfect!

I can understand why. Many of the online games are very violent, and apparently also addictive. A while ago I read an article about gaming rehab camps in China and Korea for teenagers. Apparently if you spend too much time online, playing games or anything else, it is not easy to stop.

More things we can’t do because they are bad for us: watching silly sitcoms, plain old daydreaming, longs naps in the afternoon.

Well, I don’t buy it. I believe we have to cut ourselves some slack here and there. We can’t be the perfect adults, always super-functional, multi-taskers machines. We weren’t made for it.

I’m not alone in this belief. Actually, a lot of studies support this and even take it one step further claiming that ‘being bad’ is good for us. Let’s look at a few of them.

livealittle

Go Ahead, Get Angry

We are always told not to get angry, that it’s not good for us because it raises the blood pressure. Right? Wrong.

A study in Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found that people that respond with anger to irritating situations actually maintain lower blood pressure than those who bottle up their feelings.

So next time something, or somebody, annoys you, it’s OK to get angry. It’s even healthy. Of course, as long as no one is getting hurt—that’s not okay.

Take It Easy

You don’t have much choice, you have to be productive. There is so much stuff to take care of, especially if you have a family. If we steal a few minutes here and there the little voice in our head keeps nudging us about what needs to be done.

Well, next time you feel like taking a break, do it. Public health expert Professor Peter Axt says that “lazy-ing about” is important for long life. His research found that people that jog long distances in their 40s and 50s are wasting energy that the body needs for cell renewal and fighting diseases. Professor Axt advises: “waste half you free time”. That’s advice everybody should probably adopt.

Online Fun & Games

The Internet has been blamed for so many things it is hard to keep up. I’m not advocating spending all of your free time playing online games, but according to a research done in the University of Miami, that examined the effects of online gaming, we are in the clear on this front as well.

The research concluded that playing online games have a positive effect on health, if done in measure and don’t substitutes real sport. The head researcher said that “it’s better than just sitting and watching TV”.

That’s great news! Who doesn’t love playing games, online or not? So next time you have some free time on your hands, don’t feel bad about logging into your favorite gaming site, be it an online slots casino like PrimeSlots where you’ll win real money, or the really fun Papa’s Bakeria, and play along, guilt free; spin the reels of a slot machine and hopefully make some money along the way.

This is Your Green Light to Be a Little Bad

Everything is not black and white. There are ups and downs, there are two sides to every coin. I really believe that being bad sometimes is liberating. It makes us feel young and carefree, and it is usually a lot of fun.

Don’t be too hard on yourself – be a little bad here and there. And you even have the research backing it up. Enjoy!

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What Are The Most Important Items In Your Home?

What would you say are the most important items in your home? Apart from your partner or children, what would you say? Would you say your pets, your gadgets or your memories (photos, cards etc)? Chill Insurance recently conducted some research among Irish people to see what people would say about their security habits and what the most important items to them were. The results can be seen in this handy little infographic below.

home insurance

I find the answers very interesting. I too would count family photographs as my most treasured possession but my computer comes pretty high up as it has a lot of photos and memories on it too. I totally understand the person who mentioned their books being a treasured possession too – I really identify with that, my books are special to me too, especially the collections I have such as my Agatha Christie and my Harry Potter collections.

I think it is nice to see family photographs being top above technology and jewellery. Far too often items take precedence over mementos and I find that quite sad so it is great to see a third of people choosing their photographs.

What would you say is the most important item in your home?

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