Friday 28 August 2020

Visiting Nymans, National Trust, West Sussex in Summer

View from temple at Nymans
View from the Temple

We've really enjoyed getting out to many National trust sites over this strange Covid summer. We've found all the sites to be excellent at taking pre-booked customers and ensuring there is plenty of room for distancing, as well as being stunning to look round of course.

Miss E decided to join my husband and me on our trip to Nymans in July, and it is a perfect place for wandering and chatting to your family as you walk the stunning grounds. The National Trust describe Nymans as "a garden lovers' home for all seasons, with an extensive yet intimate garden set around a romantic house and ruins." 

There is a one-way system around the site at the moment and we found it easy to follow as a map is available. They have also mapped out a more accessible and level route for those who need it. At the moment the cafe and bookshop are closed but the shop was open and beautifully stocked.

It is worth noting that the only toilets available at the moment are the ones in the car park as Nymans are having some extensive work done to create a large suite of modern and accessible toilets for future use. 

I think pictures speak a thousand words, so have a look at Nymans in the sun. 

View to Nymans woodlands

The view out to the wider country estate with woodland, lakes and bird hides, perfect for exploring and seeing what wildlife and birds you can spot. The woodland walks are again open and there are circular waymarked routes of between 0.75 miles and 2.5 miles. Here is a map of the gardens and woodland. 

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Eight Considerations for Successfully Converting your Loft Space

Photo by SEASHELL IN LOVE - Kristin on Unsplash

                              {This is a collaborative post}

If your house is starting to feel as if you are outgrowing it, but you can’t afford the expense of moving, have you thought about renovating your loft and converting it into another bedroom, or maybe a study or playroom?

Financially speaking, loft conversions are always a good idea as they can add a large amount to the value of your home. Of course, there will be some disruption to your comfort of living whilst the renovation is going on and a new staircase is installed but the extra space and the value you gain will be totally worth it in the end.

Check out these eight considerations for successfully converting your loft space –

Do I need planning permission?

If you are mostly intending to do internal work and just put in some roof windows to gain light, you shouldn’t need to seek planning permission. Generally, a small-scale loft conversion is considered to be permitted development, but of course, it is always worth checking for your specific circumstances at the time, as there is nothing worse than having to apply for retrospective planning and potentially having to undo your hard work if planning consent is not given.

Does building regulations approval apply?

If you are creating a liveable space (that is a space that you’ll regularly use as part of your home) then UK building regulations are sure to apply and you’ll need to ensure that internal and external walls, floors, roofing, drainage, electrics and doors and windows all meet the regulations. If you are new to this area it is definitely worth contacting Building Control to discuss your plans and seek feedback on what they need from you.

Thursday 20 August 2020

Getting Your Fill Of Fitness As You Get A Little Older

Image Credit

{This is a collaborative post}

As we get into our middle-ages, it can become all too clear that we don’t have the physical prowess as we did in our youth. You might not quite be over the hill just yet, but keeping yourself in good condition becomes a little more work. As such, here, we’re going to take a look at what you can do to make sure you’re getting the exercise you need as you get a little older, and how to make sure you’re doing it safely and securely.

Get your heart pumping 
First of all, let’s talk about making sure you’re doing the right kinds of exercises. Aerobic exercises typically tend to be the easiest ones to get into since they don’t require as much equipment. Simply put, this is any exercise like jogging, skipping, swimming, and dancing that gets your heart pumping, improving your cardiovascular system. For instance, you can make use of a walking app to get 20 minutes or more in, 3 or 4 days a week. To make sure you’re not pushing yourself too hard, you want to exercise at a pace where you can carry a conversation, as this ensures you’re able to get enough breath to support the processes of the body during exercise.

Support your body 
You don’t have to want to build a body replete with rippling muscles in order to see the benefits of some strength training. In fact, as we grow older, it becomes more important than ever to build the muscle that will help support the rest of our bones. This can help prevent issues in bone strength in later life, as well as improving your posture, reducing your chances of a back injury. There are plenty of body-weight strength-building exercises that can help you build a reliable level of bodily muscle. However, you can also look at using light hand weights for a range of simple exercises. You can add these into your cardio exercises or do separate sessions, whichever feels most comfortable.

Stay limber and stay happy 
As we get older, one of the biggest risks to our bodily independence is when we find we’re not able to move as well as we could before. You might feel right now that you can’t bend over as much as you could in the past or aren’t quite as flexible. As we get older, this can extend to things like an inability to climb up the stairs or into the bath. The best way to prevent this is with stretching and flexibility exercises like yoga. These can help you greatly increase and retain your body’s range of motion. Furthermore, you should be stretching before and after every single exercise you do, anyway. Otherwise, you can end up injuring yourself, delaying your next workout session which can, in turn, diminish the results of your otherwise healthy lifestyle.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Understanding the Reverse Mortgage Calculator

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

The contrast between the busyness of your working life and the idyllic days of doing everything on your own terms in retirement can be massive. Once the phase of family responsibility, child-rearing, climbing the corporate ladder and seeking status passes, you should be left with a world in which you are free to relax and create a space in which you can peacefully exist without worry. 

I think most of us dream of our retirement days, where we have a chance to enjoy our passions, engage in hobbies and perhaps, even travel the world but of course, one cannot consider retirement without addressing the elephant in the room – financial stress. How are you expected to exist, never mind build a lifestyle of your choosing, without a regular salary? Sadly for some people, it is a step too far and they'll have to work long into their seventies and maybe even eighties if they want to live comfortably. 

However, if you are in the fortunate position of owning your home, the reverse mortgage (also known as equity release) might be a welcome ally in retirement. Let's investigate more about what it is -

Friday 14 August 2020

Super Hot Reasons to be Cheerful

I have to admit that I don't much like the heat. I'm really not built for it and unless I am on a sun lounger, under a parasol, reading a book, by the pool then I'm not interested. If I had my way, I'd just stay in and be cool, but of course with kids and especially being away from home I had to head out and make the best of it. Usually, I'd slip into a supermarket for a bit to enjoy the air-conditioning but right now with Covid and masks, I'm staying away from those as much as possible.

Despite the crazy heat here in East Sussex, it has been a great month and here are some of the things that have been making me super happy.

My Mum and Dad came to stay in the cottage we have on-site here and it was lovely to spend a whole week with them, visiting lots of open spaces.

I've had a few trips to Bodiam Castle recently as it is super close to my home. Here is Miss E feeding the ducks, they do seem to love her.

Tuesday 11 August 2020

How much do you know about Laser Hair Removal Treatment?

Image Credit: Thérapie Clinic

{This post is written in collaboration with Austin K}
For those who are tired of plucking, tweezing, shaving, and waxing their unwanted body hair away, laser hair removal treatment could be your perfect choice as it is one of the most advanced hair removal treatments chosen by thousands of people each year, because of its outstanding outcomes.
If you are looking for a permanent hair-free solution within just a few treatments, then search no more, as laser treatment could be your answer. As a cosmetic treatment, the laser is known for its non-invasiveness, precision, and speed in treating unwanted body hair anywhere on your body. The concentrated laser beams target and destroy the hair follicles that are present inside the skin’s surface so that hair no longer grows back and it only affects the specific structures of the hair and follicle, leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
If you’ve held back, worrying about how much it will hurt, then fear not as the cooling technology attached to the laser will reduce the pricking sensation and make the entire process mainly pain-free and super simple, whilst being very effective. A top tip is to avoid caffeine before your treatment as this can make your skin more sensitive.

Saturday 8 August 2020

5 Things to Consider when Preparing to Rent your House Out

Handing over keys
Photo by Maria Ziegler on Unsplash
{This is a collaborative post}

Like me, you might never have considered becoming a landlord, but what I now know is that it is far easier than I feared. I have a couple of local friends who are in the same situation as me, where we get our houses provided with our husband's jobs and whilst they both went for the renting option, we decided to sell our old house. Well, now they are quids in and we are £130K down! Yep, you read that right, in the last 7 years, the house we sold has risen by £130,000 without any works having been done on it, as we did all those before we moved out.

I think because our move was quite a quick one, it just felt far too scary to rent our house out and to live over 100 miles away from it, but I need not have feared as I now know that is what a good Lettings Agent does for you. If you're in the position of thinking about renting your property out because you're heading abroad for a bit, been given a house with your job or for another reason entirely, read on to see what you need to consider when you rent out your property and become a landlord -

1.  Do your Preparation and Research

Have a look at sites like Zoopla and Rightmove and see what kind of rents people are achieving in your area. Think about what kind of people you think your home might suit best - a professional couple, a small family, roommates? Each different demographic comes with their own pros and cons, so have a think about this and who you think it might be best to let your property to. Do you want to let your house furnished or not?

Also, work out your budget, how much does it cost to pay the outgoings for your property each month, add on the cost of the letting agent and any profit you with to make and you have an idea of what you need to be charging. Hopefully, it will fall in line with what you have discovered others are charging for similar properties.

Tuesday 4 August 2020

3 Inspiring House Warming Gift Ideas

Photo by 8-Low Ural on Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

With the coronavirus-induced lockdowns easing slowly, we are now able to meet people outside and enjoy some socially distanced company. If you are eager to head around to your friend’s new place, you might want to take something with you for a house warming gift.

With the world having been closed down for the past three months, it can be difficult to work out the tone of the gathering that your friend is hosting. House-warming soirees are usually full of hugs, congratulations, and close contact. This cannot happen at the moment, so you are restricted with what you can experience at the new dwelling. A house tour may be off the cards but a garden barbecue might not be. Take a look at these ideas to inspire your housewarming gift-giving during this time of pandemic -

Go Personal 

The most thoughtful gifts are those that veer away from the generic. Rather than picking up some tea towels for the kitchen of your nearest and dearest, you could opt for a more customized approach. Tea towels printed with their faces, their names, or a Google street view of their new pad can be quirky and raise a smile. Alternatively, consider personalized mugs, glassware, and coasters. Gifting them something that is bespoke will ensure that your present remains in the home for a long time and will be a memorable addition to their new pad. If your friends are cooks, his and hers aprons could go down well. Or perhaps some personalised egg cups will generate a few laughs. You know them best and there are so many great personalised gifts out there now, go wild and choose something special.

Staying Safe on Holiday in Columbus, Ohio

Photo by Oz Seyrek on Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

Going on holiday with young children can be incredibly daunting. While you are familiar with your local area, going out of your own county/ state or even to a different country can pose new challenges. You may not be certain on the laws of your destination, or about how to navigate your way around with children.

There are also a number of reasons which may cause illness or injury on holiday. Even something as simple as the tap water at your residence, the meals you consume, or bites from insects local to the region can cause illness, injury, or distress. If something does go awry, you may find it beneficial to speak to a personal injury lawyer (based in or around Columbus).

There are also a number of ways in which you can reduce your chances of issues arising whilst you're away, read on to find out...

Plan Ahead in Case Children Get Lost 

Even younger children may be able to understand some basic instructions regarding what to do if they get lost. Instructing them to speak to a Columbus police officer, or shop employee can be a good way of them getting help. Giving them information such as your full name, as opposed to “my mommy” and we're you're staying will also help officials find and reunite you.

Alternatively, you could also look into means of tracking your child via GPS. Whether you use a watch or stick-on device, knowing that your child’s location will always be a click of a button away can give you some peace of mind.

A trip anywhere can pose dangers if you do not consider all aspects beforehand. By planning ahead, and ensuring everyone knows what to do in the event of separation, you will be arming your family with the tools they need to navigate common dangers they may face in life, not just on holiday.

Saturday 1 August 2020

Eat Out to Help Out - Find out who is Offering 50% Discount in August 2020

Orangery Tea Room, Ashburnham Place
Orangery Tea Room, Battle, East Sussex

Do you feel ready to join in with the Government's August scheme to help boost spending within the hospitality sector? From the friends I have spoken to, this scheme feels like a mixed blessing. On the one hand, they are keen to get out and have a meal, enjoying a sense of normality in this strange time, but on the other, they can be fearful that too much of a sense of normality is what will lead to a rise again in cases of coronavirus.

I've been out for a couple of meals since restaurants were allowed to re-open again at the beginning of July and personally I have found them to be fine. We booked for a time we knew would be less busy and found there is excellent distancing between the tables and considerate servers. So, for us, we will be joining in with this scheme and enjoy taking advantage of 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks at participating businesses.

I felt it was apt to be organised, as all restaurants have less capacity than normal and booking is encouraged for most good restaurants, so I have booked for one night a week to try out a few new places and have some (hopefully) really enjoyable meals. My husband said to me to book for the ones that are normally more expensive and we might avoid, as this gives us an affordable way to try them out.