I love books! What else is new?
I also love collecting pictures of bookshelves, because being surrounded by books makes me happy!
Let me invite you today to Bookworm Paradise!
The ultimate for a bookworm is to have books to read while have a long and luxurious soak in a tub! Believe me, it’s divine. When I was about ten, we lived in a large bungalow and I had one massive bathroom, complete with an old-fashioned bathtub. During the summer holidays, I would sneak in a book, fill up the tub and soak while I read! Times have changed, but I can still dream of this happening again, can’t I? While I’m dreaming, it wouldn’t hurt to look at these:
While I’ve moved on to reading my Kindle in bed, I’m not averse to having bookshelves in my bedroom. Sample these dream bedrooms:
Fancy a book nook? I think it’s the stuff that a bookworm’s dreams are made of! Take your pick.
Here’s my favourite book nook:
I hope you have as much looking at these as I did putting this post together. Which one of them would you like for your home?
Is there anything more stressful than struggling to fall asleep? When you’ve run out of farmyard animals to count, and the hour can be numbered with a single digit, it seems the longer you lie, the harder it becomes to surrender to unconsciousness. While the first consideration is often physiological, environmental factors could be at fault, and making a few adjustments to your surroundings could make all the difference between sweet dreams and calamitous insomnia.
Deep Sleeps and Diligent Days — Creating a Peaceful Resting Environment
Tire out your eyes
Your brain secretes melatonin, a sleep hormone triggered by natural darkness, so ensure the shades or curtains over any bedroom windows are thickly lined and artificial sources of light have been extinguished to benefit from its full effect. It might be tempting to curl up and indulge your latest TV addiction on your tablet or phone with a little bedtime binge-watching, but it’s not conducive to quiet repose, so make your room a retreat from the stresses of email, missed calls and that latest high score on Angry Birds. Your shuteye is, from now on, a strict no technology zone.
Decorate for dreaming
Bright colours and patterned wallpaper are too hectic to introduce into the bedroom; they only stimulate your mind and draw the eye. Powder pastels and neutral colours work best. It’s harder to sleep when things feel unfinished, so keep the room pristine and clutter free for utmost chill potential.
Make a list of demands
Often, we’re kept awake by the worries that occupy our thoughts, whether rational, or in the form of chance mental ramblings that will seem irrelevant come morning. Keep a pen and notepad somewhere close to the bed, and if an amplified worry comes to mind, write it down as a promise to yourself to deal with it in the morning.
Feed your senses
The soft scent of cotton linen, a gentle breeze through an open window, a cup of herbal tea; quality sleep is not about just closing your eyes and hoping for the best, it requires the cooperation of all your senses. Stock up the bedside table with an emergency sleep kit; this might include scented hand cream, a face mask to block out the light and, crucially, a cold glass of water in the event of mid-slumber dehydration.
Though very easy to neglect, sleep is critical to your health, and lack of it can cause hypertension, impact hormone levels, decrease your immunity and even make you gain weight! Make it a priority to get the most out of your eight hours a night, and you could see more visible benefits than from changing any other aspect of your routine.
It’s been over a month since we moved into our new place and we don’t have a single picture up on the walls yet! Yes, we’ve had all sorts of issues of a more pressing nature, but…. It’s not like we have to buy pictures – since we brought a few with us and my brother has offered us some as well.
Home Is Where The Heart Is?
So what’s keeping us from hanging up the pictures, besides our good old friend, procrastination? I was wondering about this when I came across an article from Laura Benko , a holistic design expert.
Laura’s article examines whether your home decor reveals your anxieties. She says that our anxieties manifest themselves in our surroundings. Interesting? I thought so.
Here’s what she has to say:
Fear of Success/Low Self-Esteem – is manifested in having artwork and mirrors hung very high. The feeling? You can never measure up.
Uncertainty – leads to surrounding yourself with loads of things, hoarding.
Fear of commitment – procrastination on buying more expensive stuff, hanging pictures etc.
Fear of change – you never update the decor – it’s been there since you first moved in.
Fear of losing control – being over-meticulous with order in your home. Anything out of place leads to anxiety.
Fear of failure – procrastinating on everything, leading to clutter.
Does this resonate with you in any way? Read the article to see what she suggests one can do to deal with these issues.
Photo credit: Free Images
Your bathroom is one of the most used rooms in your home. Whether it is designed for family use or as a place for relaxing in, it is important that your bathroom is tailored to cater for your needs. As the focal point in the bathroom, your choice of bath will be a critical success factor in achieving a bathroom you can love. Not only that, but your bath occupies a vital part in your daily life by helping you to get yourself ready for the day ahead and can also provide a haven for you to rejuvenate and invigorate the body and spirit after a stressful day.
Getting the Right Bath for Your Bathroom
However, choosing the right bath for your bathroom is not as easy as it you might think it is! These days, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to the selection of baths available to select from and as a result, all considerations must be carefully thought out before you make that purchase.
Before you view any baths, be sure to measure the space that’s available in your bathroom so that you can choose the correct size bath for your bathroom. There are different sizes of baths for all bathrooms – both small and large – so don’t be put off choosing a bath if your bathroom is small. In addition, make sure that the size of bath you choose fits you too! Take the time to ensure that the bath offers adequate support to your head, neck and back.
Shape & Design
Baths come in a variety of shapes and designs, and your choice will be dictated by a combination of both the size of your bathroom and your personal preference. From traditional, rectangular baths to corner baths, Jacuzzi baths and free standing baths, there is a wide selection for you to choose from.
Consider what you will use the bath for – bathing, relaxing, washing children etc. A combined bath and shower may be the best choice for a more functional bath while a deeper, double ended bath that has taps and overflow in the center of the bath may be batter for soaking and relaxing in.
You must also give some thought to the material from which your bath is made of. Baths can be acrylic, cast iron, porcelain, marble and fiberglass. The material you choose will depend primarily on your budget as baths made from marble and cast iron will be much more expensive than their acrylic or fiberglass counterparts. How often you intend to use the bath, its durability and how easy it is to maintain will also factor into your decision. What type of tiles or other materials you use on your bathroom floor and walls will also play a major factor in your choice of material so make sure to keep this in mind too.
Nowadays, baths can come with a variety of features, but be warned that additional features will warrant additional cost so be careful that you don’t get carried away. You can choose baths that incorporate light and music with inbuilt digital controls.
Jacuzzi style baths are fitted with whirlpool systems, heating elements and water jets, which when combined offer you a luxurious spa-like bathing experience in your own home.
José and I enjoy the luxury of working from home. There’s something wonderful about being your own boss and having the flexibility to work when your energy levels are high.
Working from home is better for the environment as you don’t have to travel to an office on a daily basis. However, if you work from home you might find your energy bills go up. You still need to be conscious of your energy consumption if you want to save money and reduce your impact on the environment.
There are lots of ways to reduce your energy footprint when working from you. All it takes is a little thought, preparation and an awareness of the energy you are consuming on a daily basis. Here are 14 ways to save energy when working from home.
1. Switch your laptop off
Turn off your laptop and any appliances when you are not using them. Constantly leaving your computer or laptop on standby, as well as other electrical devices can drain a huge amount of energy. When you finish working for the day getting into the habit of turning everything off.
2. Use LED lighting
Check the lightbulbs in your office at home and if they are old replace them with LED bulbs. Paul at Saving Light Bulbs says “LED light bulbs are far more energy efficient and will last for years”.
3. Wrap up warm
Instead of turning the heating up when you work from home put some layers on. Your heating bills will go through the roof if you have the heating on during the day when you work from home all the time.
4. Only boil the water you need
Remember you are only making tea for yourself, not the entire office at work. Every time you make yourself a cuppa be aware of how much you fill up the kettle. Don’t constantly boil more water than you need.
5. Recycle paper
Have a recycle bin in your office at home and make a conscious effort to recycle as much as possible. Use both sides of each piece of paper if possible to reduce the amount of paper you use.
6. Have video meetings
Instead of having someone come and visit you at home, or travelling long distances to visit clients try and have video meetings instead.
7. Let the sunshine in
Don’t forget to open your windows and blinds in the morning, this will let more natural light in. The sunlight will keep your house warmer so you want need the heating on as much. According to the Channel 4 website “Daylight energises us, affects our mood and breathes life into the interiors of our homes”
8. Make sure your home is well insulated
Check that your home is well insulated so that it retains as much heat as possible. A drafty house with poor insulation will lose a lot heat and require far more energy to stay warm.
9. Buy energy-efficient office equipment
When you stock up on office equipment try and buy eco friendly products. Go for equipment that is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
10. Be aware of your energy usage
One of the best ways to save energy is simply to be aware of your energy usage. Be considerate and only use what you need.
11. Be productive and work smarter
The more productive you are the less amount of time you will have to work each day. Work smarter not harder and organise your time effectively.
12. Condense your gadgets
Do you really need 15 different gadgets for work? Go through your numerous smart phones, tablets, laptops, computers and work equipment and review what you actually need.
13. Work in a cafe
Working from home all day every day can sometimes get a bit much. You can go a bit house crazy, sometimes it’s good to change your environment. Spend a few days a month working in a nearby cafe and you will also save yourself a few days worth of energy.
We live an apartment building in Mumbai that is over 50 years old. Therefore, it is not possible to get other residents to agree to installing solar panels for the building. Though we are aware of the high costs for initial installation, my husband and I have decided that if we ever decide to build/buy our own house, we will invest in solar panels to make sure that our home is energy-efficient. This is a sponsored post about making solar power more affordable.
As renewable energy sources are becoming more central in meeting the world’s energy needs, designers and engineers are focusing more and more on developing the technology behind solar power. There is also more funding being made available for improving these technologies.
One of the main disadvantages of solar energy is the low conversion ratio between the amount of sun radiation and the subsequent amount of electrical energy that is produced. A company based in California have concentrated the sunlight to make a 43.5% ratio, which is a vast improvement from the average of 20% which we currently have. The efficiency of commercially available PV solar panels has increased very slowly over the last 10 years unfortunately.
Another disadvantage is the high cost of the initial installation. Scientists are trying to find ways of creating the same or better efficiency ration but using cheaper products which would mean that solar power is more affordable for the entire world.
Konarka, a plastic solar cell make has developed a transparent solar PV cell using organic nanotechnology. Its efficiency is about 9% and can be incorporated into many types of materials such as plastic and canvas, e.g. tents and clothing.
Català: Planta de concentració fotovoltaica a Torregrossa (Lleida) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Whilst there appears to be no realistic alternative to PV solar panels, there are developments in these, and recently added to the market are flexible PV solar panels, which give a wider range of areas where they can be fitted. Also currently being developed is a PV cell paint, which means that it would be possible to be applied to cars and building etc.
V3Solar is claiming to have created a new device dubbed the ‘spin cell’. Its rotating motion keeps the device cool and therefore prevents it from over heating, thus allowing more intensely focused sunlight. They are claiming to improve the efficiency of the PV cells by 20% over standard solar panels. It is also in a conical shape which allows the sun to hit the panels at infinite angles.
Recently in Australia, AGL Solar has got funds approved for installation of Australia’s biggest solar energy plants which will include 2 million photovoltaic solar panels at two sites in the NSW. This is an investment of $450 million and will help supply 50K homes with electricity in coming years.
Former NASA engineer, John Mankins, commissioned by NASA to investigate sending solar energy from space to the earth has invented a cocktail glass shaped solar power satellite. His technology means that the energy from the sun is absorbed by millions of curved, mirror like pieces which move around to collect as much sunlight as possible, and then transmits this energy to power stations which then dispatch to customers. The inside of the SPS-ALPHA would also have PV panels converting solar radiation into microwaves which would also be beamed down to earth. He is claiming that it could be supplying a third of humanity’s energy requirements by 2025.
With the growing world population and ever increasing need for renewable energy sources, the development of these technologies is vital. Solar technology has improved a lot over the last few years and seeing the introduction of solar powered road signs and potentially cars. It is only inevitable that these developments will continue at a great speed.
Author Bio: John is a professional copywriter and he is passionate about exploring more about renewable energy sources and sustainability. He has recently worked with AGL Solar Energy Australia to write a series of articles on renewable energies. AGL has been a trusted energy company for 175 years. AGL is one of Australia’s leading renewable energy companies. Their commitment to renewable energy means they know solar PV and solar hot water and how to source cost-effective solar solutions for our customers.
Photo credit: Fotolia
It is surprising how many people choose their mattress and bed sheets with care but pay little attention to the quality of their pillows. Of course, a comfortable mattress is one of the key components to getting a great night’s sleep but if you are sleeping on inadequately supported pillows, you may be risking pain building up in your neck.
Some pillows are soft to the point of providing no support and other pillows can be so robust that they force the head into unnatural positions and this can lead to waking up with a real pain in the neck. We think that everyone should get the most out of their pillows and each pillow should be soft enough to be comfortable but with enough support to carefully cradle the head and neck, preventing sore and tired muscles and joints.
Why Do Memory Foam Pillows Help You Sleep Better?
Memory foam pillows are the ideal accompanying comfort to any bed. Made from uniquely designed material first developed by NASA, memory foam pillows carefully align every small bone in your neck to ensure that the head and neck are held perfectly in place, no matter which position you sleep in. The material moulds itself smoothly to every curve of your head, ears and neck to provide the ultimate in support and after a night or two sleeping on a memory foam pillow, it could be a revelation to the sleeping space.
There is no need to worry about overheating, as the foam is created from breathable material in order to keep the body and head at the perfect temperature. With a range of smooth pillowcases available to provide that extra layer of luxury, pillows have never been so versatile. Moulding to each curve time after time and springing back into shape when not in use, a relaxing sleep is easy to achieve no matter which way you turn in your sleep.
Ideally, a memory foam mattress and pillow should be used in conjunction to give absolute maximum satisfaction and a perfect night’s sleep. Memory foam reduces pressure build up around joints and a good night’s sleep means that things are easier to deal with during the day, tiredness can be a big problem if sleeplessness occurs over time. With a memory foam pillow it could be easier to achieve a restful sleep due to the design of the material so tossing and turning could be a thing of the past.
We know that sleep is important and anything that provides a soothing and relaxing method of getting to sleep is a very valuable thing indeed. Memory foam is such an innovative material and could be the answer to struggling to sleep as it allows the body to feel a sense almost of weightlessness and cushioned softly it is easier to sleep and quality of sleep will be higher. Of course, the best way to find the benefits of memory foam pillows is to try one for yourself so why not see how your sleep could be transformed with the power of this wonder foam?
9 Inexpensive Updates To Make Your Kitchen Shine
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. Not only is it the nutritional hub for your family, it’s where many people spend a great deal of time preparing food, too. Kitchen remodeling projects are the number one type of remodeling project Americans do year after year.
Yet, remodeling your kitchen can be expensive. Cabinets, appliances, and flooring add up, and fast. The good news is you don’t have to take out a second mortgage to breathe new life into your kitchen and make it shine.
Here are some relatively quick, simple, and most of all affordable updates you can implement that will make it look like a different place altogether:
Give it a new coat of paint. One of the remodeling tasks that gives the most bang for your buck is a new coat of paint. If you’re thinking about selling your home sometime soon, think about using a neutral tone. That way, prospective buyers see the kitchen walls as a canvas, and can imagine it the way they want to see it. If you won’t be selling the home anytime soon, feel free to choose whatever color scheme you like. As long as it’s pleasing to you and your family, feel free to get a little creative.
Replace door and drawer covers. You don’t have to completely remove all of the cabinets from your kitchen to make it shine. In some cases, all your cabinets need are some new doors and some new fixtures. You’ll be surprised just what a difference shiny new cabinet knobs can make for your kitchen.
Stain your cabinets. Rather than replacing cabinets, consider stripping their original finish and re-staining. Stain comes in all sorts of colors, so pick what you like. You’ll want to make sure that the topcoat you use is one that won’t yellow over time, which tends to be problematic in the kitchen. Alternatively, you can paint your cabinets, or consider using vintage wallpaper for your cabinets.
Change your counter-tops. Counter-tops are one of those areas that can become a huge expense if you’re not careful. That being said, there are inexpensive counter-top options that really don’t look too bad, and may at least help to modernize your kitchen a little bit, if nothing else.
Replace your faucets. A new faucet can brighten up an otherwise dreary kitchen sink. Faucet replacement is a relatively simple proposition, and you can get all of the tools and equipment you need at your local hardware store. You can find faucets in all sorts of styles and price ranges, and even some budget faucets can be tremendously attractive.
Replace some flooring. Family life can be hard on your kitchen floors. Here again, there are options in all sorts of styles and price ranges. Tile, hardwood, and even vinyl are all valid options. If you can’t find something in your price range, consider a thorough scrubbing and a coat of wax to help that kitchen floor shine – at least for a while.
Add or change window dressings. Windows let light into your kitchen and they also control the flow of energy from inside the home to outside the home. Choosing the right blinds or other window dressings can not only help your kitchen to shine, it may actually save you some money on your heating bill each month.
Set up some track lighting. Track lighting helps your kitchen to really pop. Today’s track lighting isn’t bulky and awkward the way it used to be; you might have a thin cable with shaded lamps above your center island, or even an artwork-style lamp. Try out different configurations, different types and colors of bulbs to create the right setting in your kitchen.
Bring it all together. While you might need to do your updates one at a time because of budgeting purposes, you should still map out a master plan that will take you forward. Those window dressings should complement the counter-tops, which should accent the cabinets, which should look good against your new flooring.
A coordinated approach to kitchen design is key, especially when you’re on a budget. Your kitchen can look amazing, even if you have limited funds. Consider some of these inexpensive updates to add a sparkle and a shine to your kitchen today.
~ Nick Simpson