Most of your life will be led either at your work or in your home. As a result, your emotional well-being will be positively or negatively influenced by your home-life ambiance. When you make your home your sanctuary, it will always be there to provide you with rest, recuperation, and calming time when you need it.

Many people think of home improvements as major jobs like kitchen or bathroom refurbishments, but one of the easiest improvements you can implement – and one which can make a huge difference to the way you and others see your home – is to have it professionally cleaned, either as a one-off job like a spring clean, or else on a regular basis. Cleaning firms like Proclean – –  will be able to attend to this for you for a modest sum.

Your home should evoke feelings of contentment. Every home has its flaws, but too many problems can affect the comfort and appeal it should offer you. Some people don’t consider comfort to be an important feature of a home, but it’s extremely important for a happy life. Comfort issues should be addressed rather than avoided. Replace that hard, lumpy sofa or the desk chair that leaves you in pain. You should have not have to struggle to access your storage space. Change the layout of the space, or make sure you have appropriate tools like ladders and stools to reach high shelves. If you keep hitting the corners of a coffee table, it is wise to just get rid of it, and purchase an oval or round one. Your life will be greatly enhanced by these small improvements.

Maximize the space that you currently have, but do not rule out the option of building extra storage space. Keeping your home organized can make the difference between a livable space and utter chaos.

You should add more fun-filled areas to your home. Some great recreational additions are swimming pools, hot tubs, and basketball hoops.

When you are going to be changing the ambiance of a room, it would be good to consider your lighting scheme. Lighting systems can really increase the overall function and appeal of a room. Think about putting in light fixtures near dark corners or updating existing fixtures with brighter ones. Changing out light fixtures is a quick and easy project for even a beginner at the DIY game.

You may want to try growing something lush and green in a garden. Use a small part of your yard as a vegetable garden, or plant flowers around your mailbox. Even if you cannot do this on your own, a gardener can help and still give your yard the same effect. Another benefit of greenery is an improvement of air.

An update to the outside of your home can be a source of pride and enjoyment for you. Enhance your home’s curb appeal with new windows, siding or roofing. Remodel your home’s exterior, and enjoy its enhanced curb appeal.

Having a home you really enjoy can increase your general happiness since you spend so much time there. This means it’s smart to select improvement projects that not only add value to your home, but also will make you happy.


Who Needs Home Care? When to Make the Call

by admin on June 25, 2014

Facing up to the reality of needing the services of a care giver is pretty unpleasant for all involved. Whether it’s you yourself that’s in need of help or any close friend or loved one, it often represents one of those turning points in life nobody wants to face.

Of course, once the call has been made and the provision of care begun, the individual or couple in question will find their lives, their wellbeing and their overalls happiness enriched in such a way they’ll be wishing they signed up much earlier. Care provision has stepped up in a big way for the 21st century and is almost impossible to compare in any way with that of years gone by.

Home care has been steadily growing in popularity for some time now as a welcome alternative to the standard care home. Being able to stay at home and still receive elite professional care is for most much more appealing than moving into a care home on a full-time and permanent basis. Even so, it can still be difficult to admit that you – or perhaps a close family member – really is in need of this kind of care.

It can be hard decision but it is an important one to make.

All cases vary in accordance with personal circumstances of course, but there are certain signs and signals to be aware of that could indicate the need to at least speak to a care professional.

So if any of the following ring true, it might be time to pick up the phone if for nothing more than an obligation-free chat:

Growing Mobility Problems

Most people are guilty of becoming rather stubborn when it comes to mobility problems – especially in their own home. There are thousands of citizens all over the UK that haven’t used or visited the upstairs of their homes for years now, having found themselves unable to climb the stairs but refusing to move or ask for help. When and where mobility around the home becomes a problem, it can take little more than the occasional visit by a professional care giver to help anyone regain full and comfortable access to every room of the home, while at the same time looking after those rooms and areas that are hardest for the resident to get to.

Simple Trips Have Become Difficult

If and when it has become apparent that simple trips out of the home have become a challenge, it might be time to think about asking for help. One of the most common and helpful duties performed by care givers across the UK today is that of grocery shopping or a bill paying on behalf of their clients. The difference made by no longer having to make tiresome trips to the supermarket alone can be huge – all of which can be organised to suit the needs and desires of the resident, right down to the finest detail.

Health Problems Growing in Severity

Health problems are of course the primary reason why the elderly often make the move to a care home, but in many instances the same care could easily be provided in the comfort of their own home. In any case though, if it’s apparent that existing health problems are getting worse or new health issues are beginning to have an impact on a person’s life, it’s a good idea to make the call and seek a little advice.

Hygiene and/or Sanitary Problems

The same also goes for those facing any general hygiene or sanitary issues. It could be that cleaning the home as a whole has become too difficult to manage alone, or perhaps that bathing has become a painful and potentially dangerous process. In all such cases, there’s really nothing to gain from suffering in silence when there’s friendly, affordable and accessible help out there waiting to be called upon.

Loneliness or Depression

And it doesn’t have to be any specific physical or logistical issues being faced either – loneliness and depression can be even more debilitating. Home care giving isn’t all about cooking meals and cleaning rooms – it’s also about a friendly face providing welcome company and companionship to those who need it most. It’s amazing the difference a genuinely wonderful care giver can make to the life of an individual who really needs nothing more in life than a new reason to smile every day.

Home care can help with loneliness.

Family Dependence

Last but not least, when and where an individual or couple begins to put a strain on both the time and the finances of their family and friends, it could be time to call for some advice. Home care provision isn’t only the ideal solution in instances where dependency has become problematic, but it can also be massively more affordable than most realise.

Written by Chris on behalf of the K2 Care Agency, a care and support agency in Peterborough, England.

Image credits: Tonyhall and FixersUK


How To Value Your Luxury Watch

by admin on June 19, 2014

Luxury watches are something very special; an investment in quality which you can’t simply pick off the shelf in a supermarket or regular high street store.

A high quality luxury watch is likely to last a very long time so there may come a time when you opt to sell it to buy a different model instead.

If this is the case you will undoubtedly want to get the best possible price but how do you know what it is worth? Here’s a guide to how your luxury watch might be valued.

Model and serial number

Luxury watches are a booming market and there’s an increasing number of fraudsters churning out realistic-looking fakes and trying to sell them at a huge cost.

Although counterfeit watches are usually obvious to experts, to the average man on the street they can look very convincing, particularly if they come with a serial number.

Serial numbers can help to measure a watches value.

Each luxury watch will have its own unique serial number; you should never give this away to anyone before you sell your watch. This can be used by fraudsters to validate a counterfeit watch and help pass security checks.

When an expert values your watch they will look for not just the model number, but also the serial number.

The model number identifies factors which are generic to a particular period of production; it gives away the materials which were used, where the watch was made as well as the type of movement. The serial number is specific to the actual watch itself.

Both of these numbers are very important to an expert when determining the overall value of your luxury watch.


Although it may seem obvious that the condition of the watch would have an impact on its overall value, there’s more to it than simply being well presented.

Of course any superficial damage or dings could reduce the value of your luxury watch, but there are a number of other factors to look for too.

One of the first signs that a watch may be starting to deteriorate is if the bezel and crown are loose; these should be tight fitting and in pristine condition.

The bracelet is another place where the first signs of wear and tear can be seen; over-stretching and dirt collecting between each link can result in the price dropping. If you have had any of the links removed from the watch, providing you have kept them, the value will be unaffected. If you have had links removed but have not kept them, this will reduce how much you will get as the bracelet itself is part of the intrinsic value.

Type of movement

This is arguably the single most important part of the watch and has the largest influence on its overall value.

There are two types of movement: quartz and automatic.

A quartz movement is arguably more accurate but is not as valuable as an automatic movement, which is typically what is sought after by watch enthusiasts. Quartz movements last for approximately 15 years and watches with these are valued based on their metal composition rather than the internal mechanisms.

Automatic movements are an entirely different matter and have quite literally hundreds of tiny moving parts. Some are produced entirely by hand in-house by the watch manufacturer whilst others are shipped in from elsewhere. Unsurprisingly those watches with in-house produced automatic movements are valued higher as a general rule. Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron are a few of the watch makes which provide these type of unique bespoke movements.

What not to do

Don’t be tempted to value your watch by looking at models being sold on EBay. General auction sites aren’t the best place for high quality specialist items such as luxury watches.

In addition, there’s the chance that some of the watches which are up for sale may not be the genuine article so the price will be lower as rogue traders try to hook innocent buyers.

A specialist luxury watch buyer (e.g. we buy any watch) will be able to give you an accurate and honest opinion of the true value of your timepiece, and if you are looking to sell will be able to complete the transaction for you too.

Make sure you get your watch valued.


There are a number of different factors which influence the value of your luxury watch so it’s important to understand where it comes from and how it was made before you can start to estimate what its worth. You can also play your part by keeping it in immaculate condition and retaining the box and the authentication paperwork to pass on to the buyer.

Image credits: Foeock and PRIM hodinky


Family Activity Holidays in the French Alps

June 19, 2014

Taking the family away for a holiday is exciting but finding the right destination that offers the kind of outdoor activities everyone enjoys can be a bit of a challenge. That’s the beauty of the French Alps, not only can you get there in record time, but the region offers a myriad of exciting and [...]

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Looking After Your Roof

June 4, 2014

Getting new roof can be an expensive part of house maintenance but it is something money should be set aside for as leaving it too late can result is unexpected bills for roof repairs. Roofing work is inevitable but it’s worth keeping an eye on your roof on a regular basis to check for damage [...]

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Mobile Marketing Understood

June 3, 2014

Do you have any idea what mobile marketing is? Have you heard of SMS Marketing?Do you use mobile marketing plan? If you have a plan in place already, are you looking to improve it? Is your mobile marketing strategy working with or against your business? Are you using your mobile marketing plan to your advantage? [...]

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