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Why Move When You Can Improve?

Do you stay or do you go? A large dilemma for most homeowners is whether they should stay in their property and renovate, or move to a new one with more space. The cost of moving is, of course, higher than the cost of upscaling the home, which is the obvious draw of doing something more with the house. Improving the home is - however - a big job. 

Homeowners have a lot of planning to do if they decide to improve the home instead of moving to a new property. The trouble is that there must be adherence to the law, too. For example, a permitted development in a conservation area may not be allowed to include a few things, and so it’s important to know whether it will be legal for you! Below, we’ve got five things to be mindful of when it comes to those home improvements. 
Two Light Red and White Pillar Candles Beside Pink Orchid Flowers in Kitchen
  1. Think About Your Neighbours. If you have an extension idea that you are planning, then you need to think about your neighbours and their right to natural light. If you build an extension that blocks out what your neighbours need, there are going to be issues.
  2. Extra Bathrooms. Did you know that you can now place toilets in the home wherever you need to? It used to be the case that you would have to install a door lobby between the toilet and another room and that was designed to stop smells. This is pretty much the best thing to happen for homeowners, as now you don't have to worry about where you place your toilet! Your architect should be able to help you with the building regulations, too.
  3. How High Is Your Ceiling? If you want to extend the rooms in your home upward, you can do so as long as you are sensible. There is no longer minimum ceiling height to worry about, but you want to have at least 2.1m of height from floor to ceiling.
  4. Think About An Added Room. If you really want to improve your home, what about adding a new room entirely? You could add more storage to your home with plenty of space added. A new room could be as small as you like for storage, or big enough to have an extra bedroom. No matter which way you look at it, you can use a new room to make improvements.
  5. Renovate The Basement. Your basement could be very useful to you if you gut it out and get it set up for a new bedroom suite or living area. You could convert the basement into a huge new kitchen, or you could even add a whole wall made of windows so that you can see directly into the home, too. There is so much that you can do with the money and space when you have the time!

If you want to move to a bigger home, you can do so, but remember that you need to spend time searching for a home, listing your existing house and packing. Why move when you can improve?

What Type Of Holiday Should I Choose? The Ultimate Family Break Guide

Holidays are one of the most exciting events that you can do together as a family. However, they can also be a source of much confusion and procrastination as well. After all, there are so many options available, how can you possibly know that you are making the right choice for the perfect family break? Well, instead of sitting around scratching your head, check out my ultimate holiday type guide below. Something that should make your final holiday choice that much easier. 

Catering options
Most people start with accommodation options, but I think what you really need to consider first of all is catering. After all, it's no good picking a gorgeous hotel if they don't offer the meals that you and the family will need on-site. 
With that in mind, there are two main catering options to consider. The first is the legendary all-inclusive, which literally male that all meals are included in the price you pay. Of course, you can expect these types of breaks to cost a bit more when you book. Although it may work out cheaper, in the long run, to go all-inclusive as a family. Especially if your kids will want lots of soft drinks and snacks during the day. After all, all those things can really add up. 
However, having said that, you need to be careful to read the small print when blowing an all-inclusive break. The reason being that not all of them include snacks. Some have other restrictions, such as only offering house alcohol to adults rather than name brands too. Which it is smart to be aware of before you book. 
At completely the other end of the spectrum to all-inclusive, you have self-catering. This is when you prepare your own meals for the family while you are away. Although, whoever gets the job of doing this ain't getting much of a break! Of course, you can also go self-catering and then go out to eat every night instead. Something that can work really well if you find yourself in a European location where meals are a little cheaper than in the UK. 

Accommodation options 
Once you have established the type of catering option you and your family will want, it's time to consider your style of accommodation. In fact, there is a massive range of options when it comes to accommodation from camping to caravaning. You may even wish to stay in a fancy hotel in the middle of a city? 
You also may wish to consider leasing a holiday rental for your family break. In fact, this can work particularly well because you won't be restricted by the set meal times, or lack of space that staying in a hotel as a larger group can put on you. In fact, by leasing an apartment or house, you can get a real 'home away from home' feeling that the kids will surely appreciate. All while getting to explore a new location and take a break as well. 
Of course, these are not the only accommodation styles that are available to you as a family. You may wish to try something else instead, such as a cruise. In fact, cruises can be very successful choices for families for several reasons. 

The first is that they tend to have lots of entertainment onboard. Something that will keep the kids amused all through the day, and so give the parents a rest. Additionally, because they stop off in some of the world's most exciting places and ports, you are only ever a few days away from exploring a new and fascinating city. Something that can provide a great pace to a family holiday, balancing both relaxation and activity. 
You may even wish to try one of the cruise and stay holidays that are now available for your family. These being a combination of a traditional cruise with the option to customise stays in places of interest. Something that means you can get the benefit of both types of holiday all in the same break. 
Travel options 
There is another consideration that you need to think about when it comes to boosting your family break, and that is how you will travel to arrive at your destination. In fact, even if you are going on a cruise, you will still need to get to the part where your journey begins. 
The options for travel tend to be overland by vehicles such as self-driving a car or on a bus tour or flying by plane. Although some families may wish to take a ferry to certain places. The thing to remember here is that the more extended and more restrictive your travel option, the more difficult it will be to believe it with the kids. 

Therefore if you have a choice between a long haul plane trip and a shorter drive and ferry crossing, going for the latter is often the best choice. After all, if you self-drive, the kids can get comfy and spread out in the car, and you can stop for a break when needed. Something that means you won't all be exhausted before you have even reached your holiday destination. 
Alternatively, it's always possible to combine the travel option of your trip, with the accommodation. Something you can do by hiring an RV and going on a road trip. In fact, such breaks can be particularly exciting for kids as you can stop and visit places and see landscapes along the way. 
Location options 
Finally, another consideration you need to make is where in the world you and your family would like to visit. In fact, the world truly is your oyster! Yes, it can be challenging to navigate long haul flights with younger kids. However, such breaks can be a very educational and horizon-broadening experience for them. 

However, do not forget that there are often some pretty amazing places to visit and holiday closer to home. In fact, visiting Uk counties such as Cumbria and Northumberland are next on our family’s holiday list! 

Overcoming The Causes Of Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem can affect everything in your life. It can affect how you see yourself. It can affect your perception of how others see you. And it can affect what you do in life, or, as is more likely the case, what you don't do in life.

So, let's be honest. Having low self-esteem sucks, as it's not something any of us want. We want to feel confident in our skin. We want to feel confident around others. And we want to have the confidence to live our lives without limitations.

Thankfully, we don't have to live with low self-esteem forever. By getting to the root causes of why we lack confidence, we can usually take steps to overcome them. It's easier said than done, we know, but to boost the way we think about ourselves, we really do need to try.

Below, we list some of the root causes of low self-esteem. We also offer a few suggestions to overcome them. Have a read, and if you relate, do what you can to give yourself a more confident outlook in life. 

Cause #1: Feeling negative about the way we look

Hey, none of us are perfect, right? Even the celebs in the magazines we read have been digitally airbrushed to make them look their best. So, it doesn't matter if you aren't the epitome of heavenly beauty, although we're sure there are some aspects of you that are just fine. However, many of us make it matter, and this is partly because we compare ourselves to others and partly because we feel embarrassed about our imperfections. It might be an issue with reoccurring acne. It could be a broken smile because of gaps in our teeth. And there could be other aspects of ourselves that we don't like. 

So, what should you do if you relate to this point?

Well, you should stop comparing yourself to others for a start. Remember that everybody is different, so even though somebody else might have particular features that you wish you had, try to think of your best features instead of dwelling on what you don't have. Embrace your natural beauty and fear not how others look or what they think of you. 

Secondly, change what you can if you think it will help your self-confidence. Speak to your doctor about any skin problems you are having. Have comfortable dentures fitted if you are missing any teeth. And if there are any other cosmetic changes you could make for the benefit of yourself, and not for the benefit of others, then consider them. When you are able to look your best, you can feel your best, so do what you can if you are sure your confidence will be lifted as a consequence. 

Cause #2: Other people

People can be so unkind. They can say and do things to us that make us feel poorly about ourselves. A put down here and a snooty glare there can make us wither up inside and feel terrible. Of course, other people are not always the problem. Our low self-esteem can create false perceptions, so with oversensitivity, we can assume other people are belittling us. Sometimes, we also take offence when people don't like or respond to us. We assume that it is something we have done or said to turn them against us. Again, this perception is due to the oversensitivity that can be created by low self-esteem.

So, what should you do if you relate to this point?

Well, while it's easier said than done, we know, but try not to take the unkindness of others to heart. There might be people in your life who genuinely do make you feel bad about yourself, but you don't have to let their words or actions hurt you. In fact, it is they who have a problem, as their personalities clearly aren't A-grade! 

Secondly, know that it's okay for you to stand up for yourself. If somebody hurts you, tell them how you feel. Even if they don't make any attempt to apologise, you will feel better for saying something rather than nothing in retaliation.

You should also ditch those people who constantly put you down. Be it a so-called 'friend,' work colleague, or even a neighbour, spend as little time as you can with them. Instead, look for those people who will lift you up and make you feel good about yourself, and spend time with them.

And finally, remember that not everybody will get on with you. You can't please everybody, and you can't make them be your friends. It's a fact of life. So again, find the people you can draw close to, and don't worry about the rest. 

Cause #3: Past mistakes

Mistakes happen! As we said before, none of us are perfect. We can screw up in all kinds of ways, be that in our workplaces, our relationships, and in our attempts to try something new. When mistakes happen, we can start to feel like failures. We hesitate before taking those steps in life that could cause us to fail again. Because we then place limits on ourselves, we can compound those feelings of low self-esteem because we feel terrible about not having more confidence to be better. And we can also suffer from low confidence because of the guilt we feel, especially if our mistakes have impacted on another. 

So, what can you do if you relate to this point?

Well, action is better than inaction. Rather than let your failings defeat you, you should make attempts to try again. You could take educational and personal development courses to better yourself, as they might give you the confidence you need. You could also seek advice from others, as with their support, you might be able to overcome those aspects of your life that have caused you to make mistakes.

You should also make amends with others if your mistakes have hurt them. While they might be hesitant to trust you again, doing something to apologise is better than doing nothing. 

And finally, rather than dwell on your past mistakes, think about the things you have done well in life instead. By focussing on your good points, you might start to build your confidence levels, and have greater impetus to build on your positives. 

So, if you suffer from low self-esteem, consider what you might need to do to improve the way you feel. Consider our suggestions, and then look elsewhere online for other advice. You deserve to feel good about yourself, so confront those obstacles that are affecting your confidence levels, and do what you can to eliminate them.

How to Build a New Lifestyle Abroad

Image Credit: Pexels CC0 Licence 

Everyone dreams of a magical lifestyle abroad. Maybe you imagine yourself strolling down a Parisian boulevard or drinking the perfect espresso in Rome. Perhaps the dazzling city lights of New York are more up your street or the cool vibes of Melbourne could be tempting. 

Wherever you dream about settling down and whichever city you go for, you have to be prepared for a bit of a culture shock. It doesn’t matter how much research you do or how many holidays you have, actually living in a new place is always going to be different. 

So, here are a few tips to help you settle in. 

Be Wary of Homesickness

Moving to a new area is a good chance to start again, or at least discover a new side to yourself. But beware of changing too much. Completely overhauling your life in a new place can easily lead to homesickness - a craving to go back to what you know, even if it wasn't for you. 

To combat homesickness, the best option is to continue with some familiar things and prepare for homesickness. So taking a Firestick with you and set up a VPN might be good so that you can watch TV from home - see troypoint.com for instructions. Figuring out a way to get in touch with friends and family back home is also really important. 

Explore Your New Area

Just as you would explore a new city on holiday, you should start to explore your new local area. Going on a walking tour is often a good way to get to know a new city because you will start to learn the routes to various places. However, do be aware that these tours often focus on tourist spots, not necessarily the places you need to find! 

One of the best ways to get to know a new city is to allow yourself to get lost. Simply going for a wander and see where you end up will help you to create a kind of map in your head, connecting the places you usually frequent. Getting lost is also one of the best ways to discover hidden locations such as bars and cafes that tourists rarely visit. 

Get Involved and Make Friends 

Going out to meet people can be daunting but there are plenty of opportunities in most cities. Going to classes, frequenting the same cafes or bars and getting to know the people around you is a good start. You could also start to build your friendship group by inviting friends of friends. This is actually a great way to meet like-minded people if you are shy because everyone will be pre-vetted! 

Building a new lifestyle won’t happen unless you are willing to put yourself out there and make new friends. It might feel weird to begin with but the more you start to integrate yourself with the local community, the more like home it will feel. But the best advice is to simply take your time to adapt. 

Do You Have Gold Jewellery You Don’t Wear?

A lot of people are taking up the option to sell their gold at present. After all, the value has increased and in the current economic climate, added cash is certainly a bonus. Nevertheless, if you want to make a quick profit then you need to find a credible company to sell your gold to. Thus, there are some key things you need to contemplate when deciding where to sell gold online.

First and foremost, you obviously want to ensure that you get a good price for your gold. Thus, the valuation is highly important. You should get several quotes and compare them against one and other. Never pay for a valuation – it shouldn’t cost you to discover how much your gold is worth. Moreover, when deciding where to sell gold online make sure you go for obligation free valuations. This means you will not be forced to sell your gold to the company in question once they’ve evaluated it.

You also need to consider your situation as well. For example, if you want to sell your gold wedding ring because you are going through a divorce, it is worth speaking to your divorce solicitors to determine whether it is going to be better to sell this before or after the divorce proceedings, as this may impact your overall settlement if the ring is of a high value. 

Aside from finding a good valuation, you need to make sure that the company has a good reputation and that their level of service is of a high standard. In order to decipher this you should read the reviews that have been left by previous customers. A good company will have these readily available on their website for everyone to read because they will be proud of their feedback. While the Internet presents a lot of money-making opportunities for businesses today, there is no denying that it has also given rise to a number of fake companies that are simply looking to take people’s cash. This is why you need to be extra cautious when you are dealing with any person over the web 

And finally, when deciding where to sell gold you also need to make sure that you are satisfied with how quickly you will receive your money. A lot of the top online companies nowadays promise to release the funds into your bank account within 24 hours of receiving your gold. At the end of the day, you shouldn’t have to wait long to get your cash.

All in all, if you consider the three main areas of contemplation touched upon in this post then you will have no trouble finding the best place to sell your gold online today.

5 Tips for Buying Your First Home

Are you starting to think about taking that first step on the property ladder? Perhaps you have been saving hard for that deposit and now feel ready to take the plunge? Buying your first home is an exciting experience, but stepping into the unknown can be a little scary, which is why today we want to break the process down for you in our 5 tips for buying your first home. 

Get some mortgage advice

The first thing to do is get some mortgage advice. You need to ensure that you are in a position to borrow the amount that you are hoping to and check that your credit history enables you to get a mortgage.

Your mortgage advisor should talk you thought the full process and they will be able to let you know how much you will need to pay back each month and over the full term of the mortgage. 

Think about location

Now that you are happy that you can borrow what you need, you need to pin down the ideal location for your first home.

You might choose to be near to your work, your family or your friends. You might choose to do something completely different and set up home in a neighbourhood that you have always dreamed of living in. 

Think about the reality of your chosen location. Does it fit your needs on a day to day basis and are the properties affordable to you in that area? 

List your must-haves

We all have these when it comes to buying a house, so you need to write a list of your must-haves for your first home. You might be keen on it being a house, or perhaps you love the idea of apartment living. You might need a certain number of bedrooms, or it might be outside space that is key for you. 

Note down those things that you want and then divide them up into things that are essential and then things that you would be willing to compromise on.

The property hunt

Armed with your preferred location and property must-haves you can begin your property hunt. While you can do a lot of this on the internet, it is always worth getting in touch with local estate agents too. Brief them on everything that you are looking for, advise them that you are a first time buyer and that you have a provisional mortgage offer in place. 

Agents love a first time buyer as you can move quickly on a sale and they will let you know of any new suitable properties about to come onto the market.

When you find that perfect pad, put in your offer, and fingers crossed it will be accepted.

The practicalities

Now that you have found your home, you need to place a full mortgage application with those property details, instruct a solicitor and arrange a removals company for the big day itself, you could try https://www.mybekins.com/locations/henderson-nv-movers/ 

A house sale can typically take between two to four months, so work with those timescales and keep in touch with the agent and your lender and solicitor throughout the process. 

Before you know it you will have those keys!

Paris Travel With Kids

Famed for high brow culture, the city of lights, Paris is an ideal city destination to enjoy with the whole family. Even if the cultural side of Paris isn’t what the kids might have in mind they’re sure to enjoy eating roadside crepes, diving into the famous sweet shops, Disneyland Paris and climbing the Eiffel Tower. Paris is a very exciting city with an unbeatable ambience. The museums are kid-friendly, there are fun transportation choices and fantastic food. There is really easy access to the main tourist attraction too which makes it ideal for even the littlest of kids.

Have a look below at some tips on travel to Paris with kids:

Things To See And Do

There is plenty of kid-Friendly things to do and see in Paris. It’s packed to the brim with museums and although some are more kid-friendly than others, with a little bit of research you’ll know exactly which ones to hit. Try not to force them upon the kids as some adults have been known to. Take two days to explore a place like the Louvre, it’s important to make sure it stays fun for both you and the kids so, take it slow and play it by ear.

As well as it’s museums Paris has a fair few churches that show off a range of architectural styles. From its Gothic-style churches like Sainte-Chapelle, and the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, that sadly was struck by a devastating fire in April this year, there is plenty to see.

The Eiffel Tower is always a hit with kids as long as they aren’t afraid of heights, it has three hundred steps, but there are two levels of elevators if you have smaller children with you. The Eiffel Tower even has a special guidebook available to visiting kids. In it, you will find the answers to questions that children may have about the tower.

Places To Stay In Paris

Whether you chose to rent an apartment or look for Paris hotels for families there is a wide range of choices when it comes to places to stay. Wherever you choose to stay it’s a good idea to make sure it will accommodate a family and isn’t too far from all the places you want to see. If you’re planning on visiting Disney Land Paris you might want to stay a little outside of the main city.

Outside Paris

On the outskirts of Paris are two completely different attractions that are both are ideal for the kids. You have the Palace of Versailles which is a World Heritage site with amazing outside gardens and mazes and then you have Disneyland Paris, which is world-famous for being a magical place to visit with the kids. You will find that the attractions and characters are completely different from its American sister and the music is played in French. Be warned if you don’t want to go to Disneyland as it’s advertised all over Paris city.

These are just a few of the top tips for travel to Paris with kids there are other things to consider such as travelling there and how you’re going to get around the city. Do you have any other tips that you can share in the comments section below?

Mookie xx

Why You Should Consider Adding Lash Extensions to Your Repertoire As A Mobile Beautician

Why You Should Consider Adding Lash Extensions to Your Repertoire as a Mobile Beautician
If you are running your own beauty business, then it can be good to sometimes add new things to your menu, and be able to offer your existing clients a more varied service, as well as potentially bring in new people. If you currently do make-up, nails, or hair, or all of the above, then there are various other beauty treatments you can learn how to do, stock up for, and provide. These can mean things like eyebrow shaping with threading, waxing or conventional plucking, pedicures, acrylic nail extensions, and all kinds of other popular treatments you are likely already well aware of the market for. However, one option you may not have considered, as it is still really just starting to catch on as a conventional beauty treatment in some areas, is lash extensions.
Why Are Lash Extensions A Good Service To Offer?
Lash extensions have been popular for at least a decade, but are now really moving from being a special occasion thing or something only the most glam women have, to a fairly normal part of a lot of people's beauty habits. Having lash extensions can mean a better and more defined eye shape and lash line, while also saving the wearer time by meaning they don't have to apply eye make-up every day to have a reasonably made up look. Lash extensions can range from very long, thick party lashes that can even feature bright colors or metallic effects, through to very natural lash looks that simply enhance the lashes by making them appear much thicker, longer, and darker, without any mascara. 
Why Are Lash Extensions Good for Mobile Beauticians?
One great thing about lash extensions is that to be able to do them for people at home, you don't need to carry a lot of expensive, heavy tools and kit. The lashes themselves, as you might expect, weigh next to nothing, so you can keep a wide selection in your collection in order to create the perfect look for your client on the fly. Other than that, you only need the special adhesives and basic beauty tools like tweezers. Lash extensions are also great for repeat custom, because they do need to be replaced fairly regularly, and they are great for when somebody wants a new look for a special event.
How Easy is it to Learn?
Check out The Lash Professional, who can offer all of the eyelash extension supplies that you need to get started and also offer a one day online eyelash training course that teaches you how to use the products. The more stylistic side of learning to apply eyelash extensions will also be covered in your eyelash extension course, and is not too tricky for people who are used to working around the eyes - for instance people with experience in brow shaping and eye make-up, and you'll soon have a great feel for how to create all different looks with different lashes.
If you are looking to add a new service for 2020, then it is well worth looking into how you can begin to offer eyelash extensions to your clients, and plan how to advertise your new beauty offering!
Mookie xx

Settling Down Abroad? What Are The Best Places For First Time Expats?

Becoming an expat is a big move in anyone’s life. If you’re going to sum up the courage to move halfway across the world to a country that you weren’t born in, you’re taking a huge step, that anyone would find hard to undertake themselves! And of course, some places are better for us than others.

So, if you’re curious, we’ve listed three of the best places for a first time expat to move to below. Or maybe you’re thinking of upping sticks and want to know where to head first? Maybe you’re the picky pal in your friend group, and you want to be sure you’re headed somewhere you know will work out for you. Either way, these are some great suggestions for you!

Person Wearing Beige Sweater Holding Map Inside Vehicle
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Australia is a big country, famous for its hot weather and exotic wildlife. And if you’re looking to become an expat for the first time, moving to Melbourne might be the best first step for you! It’s a big city, with lots to do, and that’s just what you want from your first foray into foreign culture. You’ll have access to all kinds of arts and entertainment, and there will be plenty of doctors around if anything goes awry with your health - it’s a traveler’s dream!

New York City

The Big Apple. It’s the wonder of many travelers, and it’s only many bucket lists the whole world round. You’ll get to know the infamous subway system, and you’ll learn how to walk fast and keep up the pace; there’s a lot to see, and a lot of people on the streets. Very few people use their own transport here, so if you don’t have a car to take abroad (because that gets pricey too), you’ll fit right in!

But finding the right nyc address can be a bit tricky, of course. It’s quite a high profile, high traffic area, and rent costs can be high. But if you’ve saved up for a 3 or 6 month trip away, you’ll want to splash the cash to stay here - it’s common to have roommates here too, so you’ll definitely be able to mingle with the locals whilst you’re away!


Maybe a bit further afield than you were thinking, but Tokyo is a great city for a first time expat. You’ll travel halfway across the world, which is an achievement for any traveler, and there’s always something going on in this city.

It might be a bit of a cultural shift, and you’ll need to look up the social norms before you go, but it won’t be too much trouble for your already impeccable manners! And there’s a great nightlife scene, and all kinds of new experiences for you to get to grips with; ever heard of a capsule hotel?

Settling down abroad can be scary, but if you want to go, check out these big destinations first. They’re great for first time expats, and you might just find a new home.

Mookie xx