My Gecko Box – Craft Subscription Box Review

Recently the children have been learning about Rainforests. Little Man and Little Miss have had great fun discovering what plants and animals can be found in the Rainforest. To finish off our topic we were kindly sent a Rainforest Discovery Box from My Gecko Box. The children spent a happy few hours creating their own Rainforest diorama complete with a Tropical bird, Caiman, Snakes and various creatures made with pom poms.

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Hall Makeover With Laminate Flooring

We have lived in our current home for over ten years and in that time we have done a lot of upgrading including replacing the carpet upstairs, putting in a new kitchen and most recently a new bathroom. The next think on our list is a hall makeover with laminate flooring. The hall is the one area in our home that has been completely neglected but I want to transform in into a bright welcoming space that instantly makes us feel at home.

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Looking Behind The Curtain When Home Viewing

Being a home buyer should only be a temporary state. You’re moving home, and you’re currently in the process of searching for a new house. Viewing homes can be a nightmare, or it can be a great experience. Sometimes the seller will try to avoid answering certain questions and other times you’ll see that what they have said previously on the phone isn’t true. Very rarely will a home that looks too good to be true turn out to be that way. Viewing a home and getting an accurate picture of the home in just a few minutes takes skill. Most of all it takes a sharp eye to see behind the curtain and figure out what kind of home it really is. On the surface it could look strong and sturdy, but during the winter the floorboards might creak and crack underneath the pressure. So what do you need to do to get the most amount of information from a viewing in the quickest time?

Never trust face value

It might sound harsh, but the main thing you must not do is believe every word the seller or the real estate agent is telling you. When you enter the home, keep a sharp intellect about you and focus on what you see and what you don’t see. The agent will be giving you a tour but no doubt, they and the seller worked out a deal or a plan to only show the best bits of the home. For example, they will take their time showing you a great garden. However, they will rush through a room that has mould and mildew on the walls, signs of a leaking water pipe as the wallpaper has bubbled and risen off the surface. So, just for good practice, never trust what the person giving you the tour says at face value.

 

Venture further in

When viewing a home, it’s your right to inspect every available part that’s open to you. Go into each corner of the living room, look at the skirting boards, the floor colour in the corner compared to the rest of the room. You should be checking the corner of the ceiling too, and look for cracks and signs of structural fatigue. When you’re shown a window on the 1st floor or any floor for that matter and the focus of the agent is the view, go further in to have a look at the window sill. Sometimes an issue can be right in front of you but the job of the agent is to momentarily distract you away from it. Can you see signs of rainwater leaking in?

Check the logistics

If a home has passed your eye inspection, then call in a professional team that will give you the low down on the logistics of the home. Check out homebuyer surveys and costs to see what will happen when you do. They’ll check the quality of the roof, the strength of the walls, make sure the electric, gas and oil are costed accurately, and also check the quality of the drainage and insulation.

Be on your guard to sweet talk when you’re home viewing. The agent is working for the seller, and they both want to get paid. By polite but be sceptical also. Call in the experts when you think you have a winner and venture further in to inspect every nook and cranny.

 

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Turn Your Living Room Into A Giving Room

For those of us who aren’t blessed with the largest property or the most expansive rooms in our humble abode, we need to think outside of the box when we are decorating. While we may not feel like we have enough room to swing a cat, we may be able to utilise some nifty space saving techniques that can also save a bob or two. Our living rooms are our sanctuaries. These are the spaces that you kick back, relax and spend most of your time in, whether it’s catching up with your favourite soap on the box, reading a book with a glass of wine, or having a good old catch up with pals. Take a look at how you can transform your living room into a giving room.

More Uses

Your living room may be a one trick pony at the moment, especially if you are struggling in terms of space. However, your lounge interior doesn’t have to just be that area where you sit on the sofa watching mind numbing TV every night. Consider creating a couple of zones within the room. Choose one corner to situate your TV rather than having it mounted onto a wall. This way, you are cordoning off your gogglebox capabilities. In another corner, invest in a comfortable chair. You might want to opt for a mid-century style vintage egg chair or a Scandinavian rocking chair. These are perfect for relaxing in with a cuppa or reading. A bankers lamp to the side or a floor lamp can make a pleasant change from being forced to read with the main light on.

If you have kids and you don’t have enough square footage for a playroom, an extra large rug will fill the space within your living room and give them enough of a play area for their toys in the centre of your room. While not ideal, trying to make your living room fit your lifestyle is the perfect solution for those more cramped pads.

Storage

No matter what size your property is, you will inevitably struggle with storage, and the dreaded clutter can always begin to encroach on your environment. The type of furniture and storage solutions that you try to incorporate into your living space can transform your lounge from a simple one dimensional space into a multi-functional room that can make your life easier. Footstools can come Ottoman style with storage under the stool. You might want to look at period pieces that merge drawers storage with a coffee table. These Danish inspired sleek designs utilise every iota of functionality and can ensure that your knick-knacks don’t clutter up your space.

If your kids are of an age where they have a ridiculous amount of lego and bricks and other toy paraphernalia, you will be keen to ensure that your living room doesn’t morph into a playpen. Get hold of a toy box that doubles up as a window seat or hide all of that kid clutter under the stairs. Storage solutions don’t have to look like filing cabinets or exposed shelves. Instead, you can find those nifty storage ideas within pieces that offer up both form and functionality.

Your living room is the most heavily utilised and enjoyed room within your home. Give it a new lease of life and turn it from a living room to a giving room.

 

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Five Ways to Ensure That Your Food Business Is Successful

Small restaurants have it rough when it comes to becoming successful. Both medium and small sized restaurants have a tough job of maintaining a satisfied customer base while also trying to ensure that they have room to grow. So to help you out, we’ve prepared five unique tips to help you ensure that your food business is successful, even if you’re just in the planning stages.

1. Ensure that there is an excellent customer experience

Your patrons are going to expect you to deliver a top-notch quality experience. This includes impeccable service and excellent food. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to make everything absolutely perfect for the customer. As a small food business startup, you’re allowed to be more laid-back and casual. As long as your customers aren’t being treated poorly, your food, service and the experience as a whole will spread and you’ll get plenty of positive reviews.

 

2. Focus on food safety to build customer trust

Customers aren’t going to trust you if you’re not following any kind of food safety procedures. It doesn’t matter if you are following them either–the idea is to show that you’re actually following them and show that you’re following them by using signs. Catering signs promote food safety and they’re visible to both staff and customers. This puts the customer’s faith in your ability and it also keeps your staff reminded of how to handle food in your business. Be it the kitchen, in the dining room or even while serving, it’s often important to remind your staff of standard food safety practices to ensure that they’re following protocol.

 

3. Utilize social media as much as possible

One of the most underrated ways for small restaurants and food businesses to grow their brand name is to use social media. While it might sound strange, social media can be a fantastic way to grow a user base and get more people interested. Not only that, but if your products are successful and popular, then they’ll quickly spread throughout social networks and you’ll start to see more and more customers popping up thanks to online recommendations from influencers and friends of theirs that have visited your food business. 

 

4. Friendly and knowledgeable staff

It’s also important to have staff that are knowledgeable and capable of delivering excellent customer service. No one wants to visit a restaurant that is unfriendly, boring and where the staff has no clue about the menu. If one of your waiting staff is asked “What do you recommend?” or “What’s the special for the day?” then they’re expected to know.

 

5. Good food is a must

The atmosphere and the experience are also important, but perhaps the most important aspect of starting a successful food business is to actually have good food. The food will ultimately be the star of the show and no matter how good your restaurant or store is, the food is what you want all of your patrons to remember you for. Without good food, you don’t have a foundation on which to build your food business!

 

This is a collaborative post.