Thursday, 8 April 2021

Get These Home Improvements Done Before Summer*

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When summer is approaching, you want your home to be ready. Whether you're planning on spending a lot of time at home, and maybe enjoying a staycation, or you want to go traveling, your home needs to be prepared for the summer months. There are some great home improvements that are ideal for completing before summer arrives if you're looking for a project or you just want to make sure your home is offering you more during the summer. Before it starts to get too warm, when you might feel less enthusiastic about doing any home improvement projects, consider making these changes.

Improve Your Home Security

Are you thinking about going away during the summer? If you want to take a trip somewhere, you need to consider what happens to your home when you're away. Some people might get a house sitter to care for their home for them, while others might plan to leave their home empty. If you're taking the latter option, it could be a good idea to improve your home security. One thing you could consider is putting in a smart security system. When you install security cameras, you could get a notification on your phone to let you know if they pick up anything unusual or unexpected.

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Fix Your Air Conditioning

You don't want to be suffering from the heat during the summer. An efficient air conditioning system is vital, so make sure yours is working before the temperature rises. If you don't want to wait to get your air conditioning unit looked at, call a 24 hour AC service to get it taken care of right away. It's a good idea to have your air conditioning serviced before summer to prevent any problems from occurring. It's better to be prepared than to have your AC break down in the middle of summer when you need it the most.

Carry Out Energy-efficient Changes

You can use a lot of energy during the summer, even if you perhaps don't use as much as you might in the winter. You might have your AC running, use sprinklers in your backyard, or even have an extra freezer running for all your ice cream. Before summer arrives, consider some energy-efficient upgrades to your home. A smart thermostat can give you more control over the temperature of your home, keeping it at a comfortable level without using up too much energy.

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Make Backyard Improvements

During the summer, your backyard can become your sanctuary. It's a place to hang out, whether you sit out in the heat of the day or you enjoy the cooler morning or evening hours. As well as tidying up your yard so it looks good for summer, you might want to add some features to make it an even more enjoyable place. Some outdoor seating, lighting, a new grill, a fire pit for evenings, and other improvements could all enhance your yard.

Get these home improvements completed before summer arrives, and you won't mind staying at home.

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Saturday, 3 April 2021

10 Things To Do In 5 Minutes | Part 2

Ever have trouble getting some of your to-do list sorted quickly? Here are a few things that you can quickly do during the day, or if you feel the need to be productive. Pick one of the below, and spend 5 minutes for each of these items, and you'll have a few things checked off for the day!

  1. Empty your inbox. Reply to emails, delete junk mail, send of replies
  2. Clean up any rubbish off your desk, shelves, counter tops, floors, and throw it out
  3. Reply to 10 people on any social media accounts you use
  4. Throw out any expired food in your pantry or refrigerator
  5. Throw out any expired, damaged or empty makeup items
  6. Write a shopping list for your next shop
  7. Swap out your seasonal clothes. Store the old season somewhere safe
  8. Paint your nails, do a face mask, or any pamper you wish
  9. Remove items from wish lists that you now own/no longer want
  10. Put on a good song, and do a quick hoover around the house
What other things would you add to this list, and what things will you give a try? Let me know! Hope you have a great day and keep safe :)

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Thursday, 4 March 2021

Up Your Board Game Skills With These Tips*

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If you are the kind of person who is really into board games, you will know full well just how exciting and amazing they can truly be. As geeky as it looks to the rest of the world, for us gamers it’s just another great way to pass the time. And just as there are good and bad board games, so are there good and bad board game players. If you are keen to improve your board game skills, there are a few things that can really help, so let’s take a look at what those might be right now.

Play The Part

One thing that can really help is if you spend a little more time and energy really trying to play the part of a board gamer. That means that you have all of the necessary equipment, for one: a set of your own personalised dice from SkullSplitter Dice, some fancy card sleeves for your Magic: The Gathering decks, and so on. The more that you are playing the part by having these kinds of things in your possession, the more you are going to bring to the table, literally, and that will improve your skills no end.

Read The Instructions

It’s always going to be easier to master a specific game if you know the instructions inside and out, of course, so that means you should aim to read the instructions every time without fail. As long as you do that, you are much more likely to get as good as you want to be at not just those specific games but also any games that might be looked into in the future too. That’s because a lot of board games do share certain elements, so the more you get used to them, the more you will be able to pick up new games with ease.

Have A Practice Run

It’s always worth having a practice run for a new game, especially if it is particularly complex. Ideally you can do this as a group, but if you want to come to the group prepared, you could practice on your own at home first. There are plenty of places online you can go to legally play games for free now, so you should be able to practice pretty much any game you might be about to play in real life. Consider downloading Tabletop Simulator for somewhere to practice your games.

Get Brain Training

All board games are going to be improved by you having a better ability to think logically and clearly - well, except for those games which are almost entirely luck - so the more you use your brain in other circumstances, the easier you will find it to win board games with your friends. Spend some time brain training in other ways, and you are going to find it translates over to the board game world very well, thereby increasing the amount that you win and improving your standing amongst your friends. The more you put into it, the more you receive.

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Tuesday, 2 March 2021

My 2021 Workout Playlist

I love doing a little bit of exercise, and nothing helps more to get me into a good Pilates or Dancing session, than my 'pump it up' playlist! This is the playlist I've had to motivate me for the past year (with some VERY recent additions), and are all songs I love to have a dance to, even if it's just one of the songs as a super energetic solo bedroom dance session...

Don't judge!

The whole playlist is just over 20 minutes, which is just about all I can do before giving myself a nasty asthma attack - but that 20 minutes is a good workout for the body once or twice a week. So today I wanted to share the songs I use, and see if anyone has similar ones. Here are the songs I listen to for my warm up, cool down and the main session for workouts in 2021!

Warm Up - 2.47 Minutes

Main Exercise - 16 Minutes (approx)


Cool Down - 3.33 Minutes

The good thing with the Zumba songs is they have a dance routine for each of them which I can then do if I'm doing my own Zumba session. And the MNEK one has an accompanying dance from a DVD I had years ago - so I just wing it when the rest come on and try and get in a lot of stretches, squats and jumping jacks during that part.

My warm up and cool down both have a 60 second jogging on the spot as well as numerous stretches to make sure I don't hurt myself!

What are your songs for working out? And do you prefer an upbeat playlist or a more relaxing one? Let me know! Hope you have a great day and keep safe :)

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Wednesday, 3 February 2021

A-Z Of My Favourite Songs | 2021

I've thought of another A-Z post to share with you all! I won't lie, I love doing these sort of list posts, they're fun to do, and it's a good brainstorming session for the alphabet! Today, are a list of songs that I am loving right now for each letter!

A - Alexander Hamilton - Hamilton OST
B - Bad Blood - Taylor Swift
C - Confident - Demi Lovato
D - Dreams - Van Halen
E - Everybody (Backstreet's Back) - Backstreet Boys
F - Freaky - Jesse McCartney
G - Guns And Ships - Hamilton OST
H - Her Majesty - Frock Destroyers 
- Immigrant Song - Led Zepplin
- Judas - Lady Gaga
K - Kings & Queens - Ava Max
L - Let's Groove - Earth Wind Fire
M - Machine - We Three
N - No Excuses - Meghan Trainor
O - One Last Time - Ariana Grande
P - Promise The Stars - We The Kings
Q - Queen Of Hearts - We The Kings
R - Really Don't Care - Demi Lovato
S - Sweet Melody - Little Mix
T - Thunderstruck - AC/DC
U - Ugly Heart - G.R.L.
V - Vacation - Simple Plan
W - When It's Love - Van Halen
X - XO - We The Kings ft. Elena Coats
Y - Youth - Troye Sivan
Z - Zombie - The Cranberries
# - 1999 - Charli XCX

Are any of the above favourite songs of yours? And what are yours for all of them? Let me know! Hope you have a great day and keep safe :)

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Friday, 29 January 2021

Costs To Consider When Selling Your Home*

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Selling a home can sometimes be an opportunity to make money. However, it’s important to also consider the various costs involved when selling up. Below are just some of the expenses involved when selling a home that you will need to budget for. 

Agency fees/commission

Most people use an estate agent to help sell their home. If you do choose to use an agent, you’ll have to pay a seller’s fee or commission. This is usually paid after the sale is made - some of the money you get from the buyer then goes towards the agent. Technically, it’s the buyer paying the agency fee/commission, however it comes out of the value of your home so you’ll end up earning less money from the sale. Most estate agents charge about 6% commission. 

Energy performance certificate

An energy performance certificate (EPC) may need to be acquired when selling your home. This is a document that assesses the energy usage of your home to ensure that it is energy-efficient enough. EPCs typically cost between £60 and £120. If you bought your home less than 10 years ago or have had a energy assessment within that time, you’ll already have a valid EPC and won’t need to apply for a new one. There are sites online that can offer more information on property certificates such as EPCs. Other certificates may be necessary when selling certain other types of property. 

Solicitor fees

To handle all the paperwork when selling up, it will usually be necessary to hire a solicitor. This solicitor will also be able to help with any paperwork involved when buying a new property. There are solicitors that specialise in this process (known as conveyancers) and there are more general solicitors that may handle property matters along with other areas of law. You should consider whether you want to hire a conveyancer or a general solicitor. Legal fees typically cost £850 to £1500, not including local search fees. 

Property taxes

In some cases, you may have to pay tax on your home. This could include capital gains tax if it is a second home or inheritance tax if it is a property you recently inherited. A financial advisor may be able to help you understand these taxes so that you can budget for them (the likes of inheritance tax could be a very large sum). 

Moving and buying costs

It’s likely that you’re not only selling a home but buying a new one. You should also consider the various costs involved in buying a new home - this could include cash on a new property/a down payment on another mortgage, stamp duty tax, a home survey and various other fees. You may also have to consider the cost of hiring a moving company to transport your belongings to your new home. The value of your home may be able to cover all of these costs, however you may have to pay certain fees before you sell your home. Bridging loans are sometimes an option for covering these expenses, but may not be ideal if you want to avoid debt

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Wednesday, 20 January 2021

How To Take Your Driving Experience To The Next Level*

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As the new year fast gains momentum, you may want to make resolutions that will allow you to improve your life in many ways. Enhancing your experience behind the wheel is a good thing, especially if you are an avid road traveller. By mastering the following tips and tricks on car ownership and driving, you could be well on your way to living a much happier and safer life in 2021. 

  1. Improve your car's performance

Making modifications to your existing vehicle is one way to improve its performance and boost your driving comfort. For example, consider fitting performance wheels and tires on your car. These can give you a firm grip and traction on the road as you cruise around. Those who regularly drive through snowy and wet conditions may also want to look at the best winter tires. While many car conscious drivers can't do without alloy wheels, carbon fibre wheels are becoming popular as well. These are durable, light and offer a smoother ride. Also, if you think your old car cannot cater to your needs in the new year, be ready to invest in high-performance vehicles such as BMW models, at a local BMW Garage - if you’re truly after a supercar.

  1. Steer clear of your motoring back pain

Your driving experience in the new year will no longer be fun if you suffer from back pain. According to the British Chiropractic Association, more than 40% of all drivers experience motoring back pain. Two main factors account for the rising cases of drivers suffering back pain at the wheel — bad posture and extended periods of driving. Besides stress, chronic back pain is another health problem that frequently forces drivers to take time off the wheel. Therefore, maintain the right driving posture and steer clear of back pain.

  1. Switch up your car's transmission

Another extraordinary way to improve your driving experience is to shake things up in your vehicle. Tweak your car's main mechanical systems starting with the engine and transmission systems. Switching from manual to automatic transmission or vice versa, depending on your driving strengths and needs, can improve your driving experience. When you opt for an automatic transmission, that could allow you to enjoy your car's features to the fullest. Car owners on manual transmission can consider adding "short throw shifter options". The bottom line is that tweaking your car's mechanics and installing extra features can improve your car's handling and driving comfort. 

  1. Reduce your stress

There is no doubt that stress is an enemy to a fulfilling ride. And sadly, an astronomical number of drivers fall victims to road rage once a while. According to Brake, a road-safety organisation, almost three-quarters of drivers lose their focus when engaging in road rage with other road users. If you are stuck in heavy traffic, it pays to keep your cool. Engage all your senses and avoid reckless driving habits such as speeding and texting while driving. 

These are just a few secrets of boosting your driving skills in the new year.

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Wednesday, 6 January 2021

My 2021 Savings Challenges!

It's a few days into 2021, but HAPPY NEW YEAR, to you all! At the start of 2020 I made the decision to start doing cash envelopes and budgeting, to try and rein in my spending and try and save up a good emergency fund, as well as savings for Florida, car maintenance, medication, and other categories. 


Last year was a year from hell for a lot of us, and I had to shield for 3 months on NHS recommendation due to my asthma, so I was locked up indoors from the end of March, to the middle of June. I could only buy necessities online as I couldn't go out. So food shopping , toiletries, 'fun' money all had to be put into a new bank account, and a new budgeting system emerged for me. I still have some things in cash only, but 80% of my budget is now all digital and done via my online banking app! 

I also dipped into my savings a lot during that 3 months, and then I reined it in a little - only to want a Cricut Joy and all it's accessories, which meant the savings dipped againBUT, I still saved just shy of £500 from my original goal, so not all was lost. But this year, 2021, I wanted to try something different and try and go nutso with my savings. 

So this year, I'm even budgeting my left over number after my main budget is done. Whatever is left is going to be allocated via some fun savings challenges, and other forms of income now have a designed category to fill when I receive them. If you want to check out my budgeting through the year, I have a video once a month on my YouTube channel, so you can join me and see how my savings is going!

So without further ado, here are my 2021 Savings Challenges!

Depop, Blogging, OnePoll

I sell unwanted items on my Depop shop, and last year I managed to sell just over 35 items, but I spent all that income. So this year, any money made from this shop of mine, will be added into my savings. If I make £10.49 from a sale, the £10 goes into my holiday fund, and the 0.49p goes into the extra savings account!
Slightly like above, the same thing is going to happen with my blog and OnePoll income. I usually get round numbers like £10, £15, £25 from both of these streams of extra income, so all of that will be going into my general savings. Sometimes, it can be £6.26, and just like above, any pennies from the amounts will get put into the extra account. 

Sunday Savings - Dice Roll

Each Sunday, I will be getting my sister to roll and dice and pick out a category out of a bag, ranging from some of my cash envelopes, savings, or a category of her choice, and the dice roll will be doubled and added into whatever category is selected. If she rolls a 4, that becomes £8 for whatever of the below categories she pulls out!
  • Holiday
  • General
  • Gifts
  • Dad's Christmas Present
  • Miscellaneous
  • Dinner Out
  • Outings
  • Car (insurance, tax, etc)
  • Christmas
  • Fun
  • Clothing
  • Sister's Florida Fund
There is even a slip in the bag that is listed as her choice, so she can either pull another category, or just choose one. Last week, she rolled a 6, it was her choice, and she chose holiday. So £12 was put into my Florida holiday fund.

I will be allocating £48 a month for this, as I get paid every 4 weeks, so 4x6 is 24, and the dice roll is doubled, so I'll need £48 to cover it if a 6 is rolled each week! Any money left over from the £48 is left as a buffer and then will be used for Save-opoly!


Now this a relatively new concept to me, but it looked hella fun, so I found a few ideas online, but none quite worked for me. So I found an image on Google, and used photoshop to edit it to how I would like it. It's basically a Monopoly board, that you tweak to fit your savings, and you can use it as often as you want. I'll be using this on the Thursday before each payday, to save away any leftover money from the dice roll, and anything left over in my buffer and fun amount that was not spent or allocated elsewhere.

If I have £23 left over at the end of the month, I'll keep rolling until I cannot add another spaces amount to any savings. This amount will be sent into either my general savings, holiday, or gifts, depending on which one I want to fill quicker. Say from that £23 I have 2.50 left that I cannot roll with on the board, that will get put into the extra savings account. 

£5 Notes | £2 Coins | 20p & 10p Coins | 2p & 1p Coins 

This is a pretty straight forward set of challenges here. Anytime I come across a £5 note, or have £5 left from my food or work food envelopes, that will be put in a little money safe that I cannot touch. Hopefully this will add up to a nice sum over the next 12 months.

Same thing for the coins idea. Anytime a £2 coin is given to me, that goes straight into a money can. These are quite rare to come across lately, but I can hope to find a few now and again. 

With the 20p and 10p coins, I'll be sorting these out each Sunday evening. If I have 5 20p coins, and 4 10p coins, the 20ps get put into my money jar that week. And if the amounts are changed around , the 10p coins will get put away. This way I still have some change on me if I need it, but little amounts will get saved. 2p and 1p coins will be put into a piggy bank on my desk each time they appear in my purse so I can save those up too.

Once the jar with the 20p and 10p, and the 2p and 1p coins are filled, they will be emptied out, and paid into my bank account for the extra savings!

The extra savings account is new this year, and is going to be a very small pot, and I doubt will make more than £100 this year from the ways I'll use it above - but any little savings helps! At the end of the year, that extra savings account will be transferred into a category of my choice to help kick of 2022!

I have hope for this year's savings, and I am going to have to really try and be wise with my spending each month - so will see what happens!

Are you doing anything with your savings this year, or like any of the above ideas? Let me know! Hope you have a great day and keep safe :)

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