8 Ways To Overcome Worry & Anxiety

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A major problem in society these days is stress, anxiety and worry. Life is hectic, and you likely feel like you’re always busy with work, family or some other obligation. It’s overwhelming and causes many people to feel out of whack, or like the world is ending.

If you don’t take this seriously, your health could deteriorate, and you could face even worse problems in the future. Get ahold of your apprehensions by taking action early to deal with them in a positive manner. You’re not alone and don’t have to worry about feeling silly. See eight ways to overcome worry and anxiety.

Face your Fears

One way to get your worry and anxiety under control is to face your fears. Go to the source and allow yourself to experience what has been growing in your head as a major concern. For example, get on that airplane, talk to that coworker or give that speech. The act of actually doing what you’re worried about has the potential to help you overcome your fear and feel better about it. After you conquer these ideas that appear scary in your head, you realize that they can’t hurt you.

Learn & Educate yourself

A great way to ease your hesitations is to learn about them. Educate yourself and research what it is that’s bothering you so that you can understand it better. For example, if you’re 12 weeks pregnant and unsure of what to expect, you can read about it and feel better in minutes. Become more familiar with the topic and stop letting your assumptions and thoughts get in the way any longer. You can take in the information and accept that there are facts that override what you thought to be true.

Eat Right & Exercise

A sound mind and body comes from eating nutritious foods and exercising on a regular basis. Both of these activities help to reduce stress and manage worry and anxiety. If you’re always sitting on the couch eating junk food, you can only blame yourself for not trying to combat the uneasy feelings. When you eat right and exercise, your mood will lift, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll likely start to drop unwanted pounds. Do it because it’s good for you, and will help your chances of living a long, healthy life.

Talk it out

A big cause for worry and anxiety are emotions, thoughts and feelings that take over uncontrollably. One day you realize that you let them fester and now they’re in a big ball that makes you feel unhappy and unable to concentrate. Learn to be more open with your feelings and let people in. Talk to a trusted friend or family member who can listen and help you make sense of what’s going on in your mind. You’ll feel better after, and will probably receive sound advice at the same time. Holding it all in will eventually snowball and you may have the urge to release your opinions at an inappropriate time.

Get Professional Help

You always have the option to get professional help for your worry and anxiety. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out and letting a therapist help you sort out what’s going on with you. They’re there to be supportive and assist you in working through your worries. It may only take you a few meetings before you’re feeling better, or maybe it’s a deeper issue you didn’t even realize was bothering you. Let the conversation flow and build a relationship of trust with this person, so you can continue to turn to them when you’re feeling lost.

Take Breaks

You’re in control of your life and your actions. Start putting yourself first and take breaks when you need them. Don’t worry about what other people think and just do it. Sometimes all it takes is five minutes, and you’ll be on your way to feeling refreshed and ready to move forward. Use this technique when you’re at work, doing chores at home or anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed. Walk away from what it is you’re doing, and sit in silence until you can collect yourself. Put a reminder on your phone or set a timer, so you remember to walk away once in a while.

Rest your Mind

A lot of people forget to rest their mind when they’re feeling anxious. They think the tension’s coming from their body, instead of realizing that it’s their thoughts. Unplug from your devices in the evenings, practice meditation or read a book. Get proper sleep and stop overcommitting when you know it’s not good for you. Give your mind a rest from thinking and working so hard by paying attention to how you’re feeling. Listen to quiet music and let your thoughts pass by, as you unwind and allow yourself to be at ease for a moment. It may feel strange at first, but that’s because it’s working.

Breathe Deeply

When you get worked up, the first aspect of your body to start working quickly is your breathing, which cuts off oxygen to your brain. Therefore, increase the amount of oxygen to your brain by slowing your breathing down. Use deep breathing to create an anchor of stability and your body will take cues that you’re alright. This works if you’re feeling nervous or self-conscious about a situation. You can use it anywhere, and no one will even notice you’re focusing on your breath. Download an app on your phone if you prefer a guided exercise, and enjoy it at home or on the go.

Conclusion

Be mindful not to let your thoughts get out of control and increase your worry and anxiety to a point of no return. Put these tips into practice early, so your health doesn’t suffer, and you can live free of constant angst. Remember that you’re not alone and there’s nothing to feel ashamed about. Take care of yourself and attend to your needs so that you can function at your best. These are eight ways to overcome worry and anxiety.

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5 Tips on How to Help a Child with Developmental Disorders

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Having a child with autism or any other developmental disorder in the family is not easy, especially for the child above everyone else. Unfortunately, in spite of our best intentions, we often fail to provide them with the help they need because we simply don’t know how to do that. If you can relate to this, then the following tips on how to help a child with developmental disorders are meant for you.

Consistency

Consistency is something that children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) particularly benefit from when it comes to learning. Their condition makes it hard for them to use the knowledge and skills they learn at special school or therapy to some other external environment. This is why you need to be aware of the curriculum that’s in place at those places and repeat them at home to build a consistent environment for the child. You should also keep in mind that your behavior with him/her must also be regular as any significant deviation from the way you usually behave might trigger panic in him/her.

Schedules

To an autistic child, the schedule is of the utmost importance so you need to be consistent with the schedule that you have built up for him/her. Meal time, therapy time, play time, school time, bedtime and just about any other daily activity should be done in the same exact time schedule every day. Now, in the real world, that’s not always a possibility, so when there’s a chance of the established schedule being broken, prepare the child by letting him/her know about it well in advance.

Education

Completing a quality online Behavioral Analysis program will not only allow you to understand your child’s condition better, it will actually enable you to treat him/her as well. Any child with developmental disorders who at least has one parent with an online Behavioral Analysis degree will progress faster and better than others in his class. The advantage is quite obvious really; while every other special child has only school and therapy to rely on, he/she will always have someone at home who fully understands the problem and how to deal with it methodically.

Rewarding

Rewarding or what is known as positive reinforcement in technical terms is a great way to encourage learning and general positive activities in children with developmental disorders. Whenever you find something positive about their actions which you want to encourage, reward it with extra play time, favorite food or anything else that they enjoy.

Communication

Even when they are capable of speaking, autistic children will sometimes choose not to. That however, doesn’t mean they are not communicating with anyone or at least trying to. This is why it is important to understand the specific non-verbal cues which a troubled child usually exhibits in absence of verbal communication. These are not particularly hard to pick up really since they exhibit similar and repetitive behavior which you can learn to interpret with time.

Patience and knowledge are the two keys to understanding and helping your child overcome his/her developmental problems and these tips should give you an idea regarding how to go about it. However, if you take the time to get an online BA degree in Behavior Analysis, things can become a lot easier and more productive for everyone.

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Getting More Hydration Through Your Diet

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As human beings, we often forget that we’re made up of over 60 percent water. Not drinking enough water even for just one day, can lead to drastic changes in the body and mind. Being dehydration is not something that can be sensed so readily by some people. Dehydration can slowly creep up on you. First, you will begin to get dry lips, then a dry mouth, and you’ll notice that your saliva becomes thicker. By then it’s already too late, your mind will be less focussed on the tasks you’re doing, and your body has begun to overheat. This is why it’s so important to have a water-rich diet. This means eating healthy and giving yourself a green option whenever you’re sitting down for a meal. Getting into the habit of drinking more water might take time, but eating is something that we do more routinely. Thus this way is the best way to break the bad habit of not consuming enough water in the day.

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Lunchtime salad and yogurt

The most common forms of lunch are a sandwich, panini and or pasta dish. Carbohydrates are generally going to absorb a lot of water inside your body thus making you feel thirsty. However what would be a good alternative or perhaps an accompaniment to your sandwich is a salad. Make sure it’s green and leafy. Add some bell peppers which are bursting with water content, and also onions. The more translucent a vegetable or fruit is, the higher the water content. Mix in some tomatoes and oranges to give it a bit of acidic punch. A yogurt is also a good food to have with your lunch as the water content is quite high in this food type. The fruit in the yogurt is also able to add a little more water in your diet. The less fat in the yogurt the better.

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Working out

When working out, it’s best not to consume a dense grain bar of some sort. Although it may have properties of quick releasing benefits, most workout bars are made from protein or carbohydrates. This saps your water levels as these molecules expand in your stomach and take on water. Rather than an energy bar, you could drink purer water to boost your body’s functions. Look for the best water filtration pitcher which you can use to purify your water to a high degree in the comfort of your home. There are reviews which take into account features and quality control all many products which are available to you on the market. The benefit of this kind of product is that you filter away the chemicals used to clean the water, as well as any unneeded minerals such as iron.

Getting enough water in your diet is essential to living a healthy life. It’s also important if you want to function at your highest level, which is more a mental need than physical. Working long hours will become more of a drag when you’re hydrated. Water is better absorbed through food than drinking it, but the more pure the water, the better for your body.

 

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5 Great Restaurants for a Kid’s Birthday Party

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When you have a child in the home who’s having a birthday and you want to eat out, there are so many great restaurant chains to choose from that it’s difficult to decide. Most of our restaurant choices have their own kids’ menu with kid-friendly portion sizes and a good number of options for picky eaters.

Here are the five greatest restaurants for a kid’s birthday party.

1.      Rainforest Cafe

Rainforest Café is a chain that has an active rainforest theme throughout, from the lush green background to the kid’s menu. Started in the Mall of America in Minnesota, it has since expanded globally. The kid’s menu comes with a choice of entrées like the Rainforest Rascals (mini burger sliders), Python pasta or mac & cheese. Each kid can also pick a side dish, a drink, and later a dessert.

2.      Pizza Hut

It’s hard to find a kid that doesn’t love pizza. And even if you don’t, these days Pizza Hut also has other dishes for pasta lovers and vegetarians to keep everyone happy. Whether they’ll like Italian style with a thin crust or enjoy a thicker stuffed crust, you’re bound to see many happy faces enjoying their slice or two. To make dining out more enjoyable, this Pizza Hut coupon code 5 off will save you some money.

3.      T.G.I. Friday

The classic T.G.I. Fridays is a play of the “Thank Goodness, It’s Friday” saying that many polite people used to utter. These days, the venerable chain continues to offer American goodness on a plate. From big ribs to bourbon barrel salmon and sizzling chicken and shrimp, the menu can get a little exotic. But there’re also plenty of burgers, fries, and sandwiches in every combination too. The soft drinks menu is considerable. Lastly, the desserts are worth a visit alone with Oreo Madness and Brownie Obsession getting the taste buds going just thinking about them.

4.      Dave & Buster’s

The Dave & Buster’s experience is all about having fun. They have their restaurant and also a games area too. The kids’ menu offers surf and turf, chicken tenders known as Goldfingers, Macaroni & Cheese, or a Parmesan Caesar salad for those trying to watch their weight.

For drinks, there are ice floats like the colorful Grape Candy Chill, fruit drinks, sodas, and their classic milkshakes. In case the kids are still hungry, there are several desserts to choose from too.

5.      Chuck E. Cheese’s

The Chuck E. Cheese dining experience is based around American favorites. For the kids, there is the Mac-Cheesy pizza or one with Cheetos, which is not something you see every day! A variety of pizzas are there to share, the best chicken wings, healthy club wraps, and the tater bites are popular with the kids too. There’re also plenty of drinks options suitable for the younger visitors too.

Any of these restaurants is going to create a fun time for a gaggle of kids. It’s probably best to match the eating habits of the kids coming to the party with the menus from the various restaurant chains, to see which will be the best fit.

 

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5 Simple Ways to Spruce Up your Living Room

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The living room is the first place that your guests see when they visit your home. You may share meals in the kitchen, but your family spends hours in the living room. If you have had the same design for years, revamping the living room may seem a hard task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are five simple ways to give your living room a new lease of life.

1. Use Different Textures

One of the easiest ways to give any space a fresh look is to redecorate. Play around with different textures and materials. For instance, if you have the same texture for your walls, you can change the texture of one or two walls. Another idea is to add new pieces with different materials. Mix decorating pieces made of textiles, wood, leather, metal, and glass, depending on your budget and space.

2. Simplify your Design and Style

Homeowners try too hard to make their spaces stand out until the design looks complicated. Inspect your space and remove all unnecessary items. An over-accessorized space looks cluttered even when the accessories are outstanding. You can place some items in other spaces in your house or use them to revamp your outdoors.

3. Create a New Focal Point

Explore different ideas of a focal point and then get one that works for your space. You can choose a historic wall hanging, a large mirror, art piece, or a free standing electric fireplace. If you have had the same focal point for years, consider replacing it with a new idea. For instance, you can get a new art piece to replace an old wall hanging. The good thing about accessories is that you can use them in other spaces in your home.

4. Rethink the Furniture

One common mistake in many homes is excess furniture in the living room. You anticipate large birthday celebrations and visitors every weekend and hence buy more seats and tables for them. Such an approach is not realistic. The living room should only be functional for your family and probably a few regular visitors. Remove excess furniture in your space to make it more functional. You can also replace the furniture with new pieces that take up less space.

5. Add Optical Illusions

You can make any small room to appear bigger with optical illusions. For instance, you can use vertically striped wallpaper, tall lamps, or long curtains. A classical way of making small spaces bigger is mounting a mirror on one or two walls. Mirrors reflect light and make rooms appear brighter, which makes other pieces in the room visible. Another way of creating optical illusions is to use resin floors, which reflect light to all parts of the room.

Conclusion

You have multiple ideas to create a new look in your living room. You can have a different look every season or year on a low budget if you creatively use decorating pieces. Avoid cluttering the space with too many pieces or mixing different color themes. The living must remain enjoyable and easy to use for your family as you add or remove new pieces.

 

 

 

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Tips for Reaching Your Health Goals

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Each and every year you set yourself new health goals, but do you actually reach them? Whether you want to lose weight, shape up or eat a better diet, it can be difficult sticking to your new regimen. In order to reach a happier and healthier new you, it’s important to make your targets tangible. If you aren’t specific about the number of pounds you want to lose, or how long you want to take you reach your new weight, then the chances are high that you will fail along the way.

So, if you are sick and tired of seeing your health and wellness goals fall by the wayside, then why not take matters into your own hands? First and foremost, work out what is motivating you to lose weight. Do you want to look and feel better in your clothes, and gain more energy? If you are clear about what you want, then you can use this goal to inspire you during your journey.

Have a Healthy Plan

Just as you would do on a road trip, you’ll need to make a plan and stick to it if you want to reach your health goals. If you jump into your new lifestyle without making any plans then you are bound to fail at the first hurdle. Make sure that you take time to draw up your plan. Be specific when it comes to time scale and the measures you are going to use to help you – such as keeping a food diary, or booking in several sessions a week with a personal trainer.

Make Changes to Your Diet

Weight loss doesn’t just happen in the gym; it needs to begin in the kitchen. If you are working out, without fueling your body correctly, then it won’t receive the essential nutrients that it needs. Similarly, you won’t want to make too great a reduction to the amount of calories you consume, as this will make your body store fat rather than build muscle tone. Sites such as My Nutrition Advisor can provide tailor made plans to help you reach your nutrition goals. Being on your fitness journey, doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice on taste or texture at mealtimes either. Why not get creative and try out some new recipes? Be sure to track the amount of snacks that you eat during the day, and jot them down in your food journal.

Be Prepared to Plateau

There will be times when you fall off the wagon, or fail to lose a pound each week. Remember that this is normal, but don’t use this as an excuse to quit when you are doing so well with your new routine. Be sure to use your negative energy wisely. You could decide to try a new class, or even get your friends involved in your fitness regimen. Make sure that you don’t let negative thoughts get the better of you.

Reaching your health goals will take time, energy and determination. However, don’t let this put you off. If you establish your goals and stick to them then you will see results over time. Be patient and remember why you are on a health and wellness journey. Congratulations on reaching a happier and healthier new you.

 

 

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Is a Musical Instrument a Good Christmas Gift for Your Teen Son or Daughter

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If you have a tech mad teen who already has most of the electronics that they want, such as a good cell phone, laptop, games consoles and tablet, it can be hard to come up with a Christmas gift idea that will appeal to their techie side while also giving them some benefits.

A good option in this case can be an electric musical instrument, like an electric guitar, keyboard or drum machine.

Why Is an Electronic Instrument an Appealing Gift for A Teen?

Most young people like music, and even if they have never expressed much interest in it before, they certainly see things like guitars as cool. Electric guitars come in a huge range of styles, and you can check out companies like BuzzHarmony.com to find something within your budget that you think your child will love.

Perhaps an instrument similar to what their favorite musician plays could be an amazing gift, or something that allows them to teach themselves to play using internet tutorials so they can gain a new hobby.

Why Learning an Instrument Is Great For Kids

Another good thing about getting a musical instrument for your kid’s Christmas present is that learning to play it can give them a lot of new skills. Learning how to read music is surprisingly good for someone’s math skills, due to how written music works, and they will also learn good coordination and rhythm skills that will be useful for other things like sports.

Music can also be a really absorbing hobby that can allow them to focus on something other than their school work while still being productive, and with electronic instruments like electric guitars and keyboards they also get to learn about the technology that makes them work and how to program them to get different sounds.

Choosing the Right Instrument for Your Child

Budget obviously plays a big part in what kind of instrument you can get, however things like electric guitars come at different price points and can also be bought second-hand, so it can be an option even if you don’t have a lot to spend. You may be worried about noise while your kid practices, however with electric instruments it is possible to practice with headphones and not make too much noise, so as long as you factor these into the package you buy for Christmas you shouldn’t have to worry about waking the neighbors!

When choosing what to buy, think about what kind of music your child likes. If they are into rock and metal, then electric guitars or drums tend to appeal more as they can learn to play the songs they love. If they are more into pop, then a keyboard could be best as it allows you to create all kinds of electronic sounds and experiment with things like sampling.

Music can be a fantastic hobby and skill that may well stay with your child a lifetime, so if they are tech mad and you are struggling for choices, an electric instrument may well be the ideal gift.

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Ways To Improve Your Relationship With Your Pet

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Pets are funny and have a personality of their own. First-time or new pet owners learn this very quickly and are oftentimes thrown off guard. Even with your pet, it’s a relationship that needs nourishing. They’re definitely a responsibility and require your attention and care.

Maybe you’re busy with work and family and don’t even realize you’re not paying much thoughtfulness to your animal. Be aware that they’ll likely pick up on this and could become more standoffish. Don’t worry too much if this is you because you can make it better. See ways to improve your relationship with your pet.

Learn about their Breed

All breeds are different and require their own kind of maintenance and devotion. Even if you did some research upfront, now’s a good time to revisit what you found and learn more about your particular pet. There’s a lot of useful information out there for you to take in and help guide you to a better relationship with your pet. Energy levels, exercise requirements and demeanors all differ depending upon the breed of your animal.

Make them Feel Safe

It’s very important that your pet feels safe and has a space of their own in the home. Go online to Pet Crates Direct and select the right size and style crate for your animal. This site makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for, so you can buy a little home that your pet feels safe and cozy in. Buy them their own bed and put it in an area of the home that they can call their own. It’s a fine balance between making your pet feel welcome and not letting them run the household.

Get Tips from your Vet

Show your pet you care by taking them to the vet and keeping them healthy. You’ll want to make sure they receive the proper shots and take care of any issues while you’re there. At this time, it’s a good idea to talk to your vet about your current relationship with your animal and get any tips from them. Take notes and give their suggestions a try, because you never know what will stick and improve the bond.

Play with them

If you have a dog, bring them on walks and hikes with you and let them enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors. No matter what kind of pet you have, they all need time to play. Purchase toys that they find entertaining and seem to keep them preoccupied. Show your pet you care and love them by playing with them in and around the house. Not only is it healthy for your pet, but it’ll put a smile on your face and the stimulation is good for your mental health.

Conclusion

Pets aren’t always as easy to take care of as you envision. They require your love and attention on a regular basis to feel safe and satisfied. These are ways to improve your relationship with your pet.

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How to Successfully Train Your New Adult Dog

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Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. In fact, you might be surprised to find it is easier to train an adult dog than a puppy, as they will have more self-control. If you want to develop structure to a canine’s life and prevent accidents, find out how to successfully train an adult dog.

A Dog Crate

Never assume an adult dog is house trained when welcoming him or her into your home. It is important to treat the dog as if he or she is a puppy. For instance, you should identify the best crate for your pooch at Dog Crate Sizes, as it must be comfortable enough for your pet to move with ease and grow with age. You can then keep your dog inside the crate when you cannot be there to supervise. Once you have released him from the crate, immediately take the dog outside to relieve themselves. Fortunately, adult dogs will have greater control of their bladders in comparison to puppies, so it’s much easier to house train your pet.

Be Patient with Your Pet

An adult dog will need time to adjust to the new surroundings. Don’t expect to house train your hound overnight, as the process could take anything from a few days to a month or more. Remember, an older dog will have its own history and may be initially nervous about living in a new home. Once a pet realizes they have found their permanent home, they will settle into the family and their daily routine.

Set Ground Rules from the Start

It is possible an adult dog could do things in their previous home that you will not stand for in your own home. For example, they might have been able to sit on the furniture or jump up at guests. It is therefore essential to teach basic commands to your dog from day one, which may help solve your pet’s behavioral problems. Establish boundaries straight away to help your pet quickly become a happy addition to the family.

An Obedience Class

An adult dog can learn new things. If you want to speed up the house training process, consider taking your pet along to an obedience class, as he or she can learn basic commands, such as sit, lay down and fetch. It will also provide your pooch with an opportunity to socialize with other dogs, and you’ll be able to learn how he or she interacts with other animals and strangers.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective training methods. Provide your dog with both praise and treats when they do something right, and aim to keep the atmosphere both fun and upbeat during the training process. Also, never punish your pet when they do something wrong, as this will make your dog not trust you and potentially fear you, especially if they experienced a difficult life until they arrived at your home.

 

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5 Ways to Spruce up the Outside of Your Home

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Our homes are our so very important to us. We raise our children in them, and use the space to express our personalities, our hobbies and interests. Our homes are an extension of ourselves in these respects. However, we often concentrate our homemaking efforts to the inside of our homes, after all, that is where we spend most of our time, but we need to also apply that love and care and attention to the external areas too. Here are 5 ways to take care of the outside spaces.

Stucco and Cladding

Depending on the design of your home, the most visible areas are the walls and the roof, and using stucco or cladding is one way to make a big difference. You can disguise unattractive brickwork or mismatched brickwork from previous renovations, or even just to add interest to the external walls of your home. By applying stucco or adding cladding to your walls will also provide another layer of external insulation to your home and protect them from the elements.

  • Stucco

A new coating of stucco will tie the whole house together and give it a polished finish. New stucco needs to be applied over a firm layer, so ensure that you rectify any area of loose or damaged materials. You also need to ensure that the new stucco allows your home to breathe to lessen the risk of damp developing in your home. You should use a recommended and professional builder to do the work for you; you do not want to invest in your home and see the stucco cracking after a short period of time. Choose a pigmented stucco so that maintenance requirements are kept to a minimum.

  • Cladding

You can choose from a variety of techniques to clad your home, and you need to consider the pros and cons of each, but pay particular attention to the maintenance required for each one. For example, natural timber cladding is very popular, but you will be required to oil it to maintain its color and protect its durability. There are collections of stone cladding, composite timber cladding, and even fiber cement products to choose from.

You do not need to clad your whole house, you can just wall texture to add interest to an aspect or area to create the look that you want. Rendering and cladding work well together to update the outside of your home.

Porch

The addition of a porch to your house can immediately give great character to an otherwise uninspired and featureless façade. Your porch’s design should complement the design of your house and be sympathetic to its architecture and proportion. Complement does not necessarily mean mirror; you can add a porch with a contrasting design, but it must be able to add aesthetic value to your home and blend in seamlessly with the rest of your house.

You need to consider how the porch will affect the natural light that currently flows through your front door, a well-designed porch may even allow for more. When thinking about the design of your porch, you must consider its functionality, whether it’s to provide protection to visitors from the weather, a space for you to relax in, or even just a place for to store your gumboots and wet coats.

Knock Knock

Your front door is the entrance to your home, and yet, we often find that we neglect its upkeep. Entry doors see a lot more traffic than internal doors, and they are open to the elements and any airborne pollution. You need to check what your door needs to have done to it to restore it to its former glory, for example, a wooden door will require more regular maintenance than metallic doors or those made of synthetic fibers. Your door may be outdated, need treating with a wood preservative and a lick of paint, or simply just need a good clean.

If you are repainting your door, use this as an opportunity to replace the hardware that adorns it. Changing your front door’s hardware is an inexpensive way to update your door. Before you purchase and install your door accessories, make sure that you have a good think about whether your choice of hardware is appropriate to the era of your home. Wrought iron door accessories are lovely, but do they really suit the style of your mid-century house?

Windows

When you are looking to improve the exterior of your home, great care needs to be taken, especially if you are hoping to enhance and retain the character of your home. Your windows are a key feature of your home’s exterior, and as such, they require regular maintenance.

Windows have to withstand a lot of abuse from the elements: ice cold temperatures in winter, and scorching sun and rising temperatures in summer. Over time, the weather will take its toll on the windows, and you need to check that they are still fit for the job. Using a flat-blade screwdriver, gently apply pressure to the wood. If it is soft, it is a sign of decay. You need to also keep an eye out for termite infestation damage (termite trails include powdery digested wood, feces, and eggs), so that you can treat the wood before any permanent damage to the structure of your house is caused. If your windows are damaged beyond repair, you will need to replace them. Damaged windows can lead to water being able to access wall cavities and even the foundations of your home, so it is a false economy to patch them with remedial works.

The first step towards your window replacements is to consider the needs of the window. Do they need to match existing windows elsewhere in the property? Do they need to be made from a particular material? You also need to consider the budget that you have to replace them as purchasing new windows is a big commitment, and one that you need to get right first time. Replacing the windows can dramatically improve the external appearance of your house, and provide you with the added benefit of making your home more energy efficient too!

Landscaping

Tending to your garden can take up a lot of time. If your current garden design requires more maintenance than you have time to give, consider what you can do to lessen the burden. Perhaps you have flower beds that constantly need weeding, or a pond that lies stagnant and is more of a breeding ground for mosquitos than a feature that you are proud of.

Create outdoor living space that you can use to entertain, a deck or patio provides a low maintenance solution to reducing grassy areas, but not at the expense of being able to enjoy the outdoors. You can keep your area green with pots of plants, and introduce screens with climbing plants to add further interest and give you privacy.

Introduce beds of mulch to your garden rather than turf grass. It will be one of the best investments that you make: the mulch breaks down and fertilizes your plants and prevents weeds from growing. Mulch is an inexpensive addition to your family; it requires no mowing or watering, and only needs topping up in spring.

Think about the plants that you have growing in your garden. Roses, for example, are high maintenance, and need year-round care. You can dig up these energy and time draining plants and replace them with less demanding options such as Lavender, Achillea, and Astilbe. You do not have to have a flowerless garden to be low maintenance, just selective with what you choose to grow.

Spruce up your fences and sheds by applying a treatment that has a stain that will enhance the rest of your garden. There are many options available on the market that can really add to your garden’s and property’s appeal. Choose a color that is best for your home’s design; a colonial or cottage style house would suit a crisp white, while a rustic home would benefit from an oak colored stain. Think about how the color will blend in with your neighborhood, your neighbors may consider that a bright yellow fence is more suited to a daycare center rather than a standard brown. If your garden is full of lush foliage, a green or neutral color will help your fence blend in with the surroundings.

By taking as much care of the outside of your home as you do the inside, you can add real value to your property. The value of increasing your home’s curb appeal does not have to be exclusively for prospective house buyers, you can benefit too from having a house that you are proud of from the minute you pull up your car on the driveway. You may not be wanting to sell it anytime soon, but by making the best of what you have, you will feel like you are coming home to a new house in any case.

 

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