Hidden Holidays: Gems of the World

August means holiday time for most and looking online there are plenty of great packages that can help you get that tan without having to worry about where to get dinner. Although there are many inclusive holidays, they all seem to target a group of specific popular destinations repeatedly. Where are the hidden gems of the world? Whilst browsing around for alternative #travellinggoals, I found some beautiful destinations. They may not the seven wonders; but these natural, secret escapes are guaranteed to make your holiday unforgettable.

The Short Hop: Croatia

Photo by Ivan Ivankovic on Unsplash

This beautiful place is located South East Europe and best enjoyed during an off-peak season for the most authentic experience. Croatia is a brilliant option for those wanting to explore heritage and coastal surprises. The coastline boasts breathtaking caves great for avid snorkelers or sea babies. An example of this magnificent seashore is the Blue Grotto based in a small bay called Balun. It is said the best time to go is between 11am and noon when the sun is hitting the cave at just the right angle to reveal the sea of ‘silver’ objects below the gorgeous blue water.

If you are more for land, Croatia is home to some stunning national parks like Palenica and Plitvice. These two walking trails are the most popular, so best enjoyed in the less tourist-y seasons. If you are visiting during the peak times, there are some quieter places for an active holiday. Vis Island was not accessible by tourists before 1989 as it used to be a military base.  All that time away from the crowds has ensured preservation of character. There are wonderful local food and wines to enjoy in the evenings too.

The Long Haul: Bolivia

Photo by Wikimedia

Located in central South America, this place is a stunning destination for those excited to explore some of the world’s most awe-inspiring creations. Bolivia is bursting at the seams with both natural and historical heritage, with spots like the Casa Nacional de la Moneda, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a gorgeous one at that. This destination is also perfect for foodies, with a mix of Spanish cuisine and exotic ingredients that are sure to please your palette.

As if that’s not enough to tempt you, this breath-taking country is also home to the ‘largest mirror on earth’. Salar de Uyuni or the Bolivian Salt Desert is the biggest salt flat in the world and during the rainy season when it floods, the flats create an incredible endless reflection of the skies above it. When planning your Salar de Uyuni tours, keep in mind the season, as winter (August – December) is dry so you won’t see the mirror effect in its full splendour, however it will be drier for the rest of your Bolivian adventure!

City Break: Marseilles

Photo by Wikimedia

Discover a lively scene in Marseille, France and explore boutiques and quaint coffee shops.  Marseille has amazing architecture and historical sites such as the famous Notre-Dame de la Garde or the old port of Marseille, which is great for kayaking adventures. For social butterflies, the Friche la Belle de Mai comes highly recommended as the place to be for the art and social scene. This looks like it would be lovely on a warm summers evening

Much like Bolivia, this place would be a foodie’s dream. There are many gourmet cultural restaurants that cook cuisines from all over the world. Form North African delicacy’s like Le Souk, to Classic French food like Chez Fonfon.

Beach Break: Isola Bella, Italy

Photo by Wikimedia

This is the type of destination that the locals don’t want you knowing about! Going for a beach holiday can be stressful with crowds of people rushing to get the best spot in the mornings. However, you can’t get more quiet or discrete than this stunning little islet. The beach, named Taormina, is a scenic destination full of fun activities like scuba diving and boat trips.

This island originally started out as a small fishing village before becoming a sought-after location featuring the Grand Palace – which looks like something out of a Disney film! This beautiful spot has treasures waiting to be explored like the vibrant garden full of botanical marvels. If you are a music lover, every year this island plays host to the Stresa music festival presenting a variety of classical and jazz musicians.

On my online adventure to find a getaway off the package holiday track, I truly have discovered some real gems! From the biggest mirror in the world, to a man-made island of the utmost beauty – these places have definitely made it onto my bucket list.

Have a dream destination you’d like to share, leave it in the comments!

Three Ways the Beauty Industry is Changing

I discovered makeup at a very young age, probably the same way the rest of you reading did too. Mum was in the kitchen and I thought I’d take it upon myself to coat my face (and the majority of the bedroom wall) in whatever I could find at Mum’s makeup table. Years on, I’m still can’t perfect winged eyeliner, or the perfect contour. I’m past the stage of stressing myself out over it now, I’m hoping that my husband (after many years of happy marriage) still sees me as the person underneath it all.

When I look at the kids and teenagers of today though, I can’t help but feel like they’re far worse off than I was. Eye liner and a touch of black lipstick (don’t act like you didn’t have a goth stage either) was enough for sneaking out of the house on a Friday night. But nowadays, thanks to the rise of social media…teenagers can’t help but compare themselves to the Kylies, Kendalls, Hadids and Delevingnes that dominate the media spotlight. While, each of those women are undoubtedly, absolutely gorgeous, it can’t be healthy for young girls to assume that they always need to be seen with that level of makeup on.

While I love reading up on the latest beauty trends, I can’t help but note that things are very different from when I was younger and I’m sure you feel the same.

It begs the question; how is the beauty industry changing, and what’s coming next?

Evolving Beauty Trends (Or Are They?)

As I’m writing this, I’ve had to move my laptop from my lap to the kitchen table because I’m wearing high waisted shorts and my laptop has decided to try and scold my thighs! High waisted shorts aren’t anything new, though. Women wore them in the 60’s too and they looked just as gorgeous doing so. Ten years prior to that, Grace Kelly, Hepburn and Monroe were demonstrating flirtatious, winged eyeliner (the same style that I’m continuing to fail at all these years later). We even saw women stripping back to pencil thin eyebrows in the 1930s, or shaving them off completely and drawing them back on – much the same as many young girls today!

While there will always be new eyeliners or Kylie lip kits, we’re probably going to be using them just the same as we have been over the last hundred years! Are there any beauty trend you’d love to see make a reappearance?

Personalisation

Any Mad Men lovers out there? Early on in the first series of the critically acclaimed show, Don Draper, Creative Director of a fictitious Manhattan advertising agency reveals his pitch for a new marketing campaign to represent Belle Joilie Lipstick: “Every woman wants choices, but in the end, none wants to be one in a box of a hundred.”

We come in an infinite number of shapes, colours and sizes. The foundation that works for me is far from ideal for my sister and we’re related! How are makeups meant to accommodate the three and a half billion women on earth with a one-size-fits-all approach.  The answer, that many companies are now looking to pursue is creating personalised makeup. Finding Ferdinand are an example of a startup that give men and women the opportunity to create a, unique personalised makeup palette for their skin. Could we see makeup companies start to create products with personalised ingredients to accommodate our skin’s reaction to allergens or irritants in future too?

Source: https://68.media.tumblr.com/87315bbe8e4b3857233dffff04916ecc/tumblr_o0i549NbJC1sjchkho1_1280.jpg

Personal Makeup Packages

Where do you get your makeup from? When I was little, I used to share it with my mum. Then, when I decided to find my own style (embrace that goth stage) I went to the local pharmacy to get my shampoos, eyeliners and lipsticks. When I got my first paying job (in a tiny café), I would buy an enormous amount of makeup, much to the expense of the other poor local women. In fact, sometimes I had to wait for the pharmacy to restock my eyeliner (that’s how goth I was!). It was a small village, in fairness!

Nowadays we can simply order our makeup online, or pop down to supermarkets or cosmetic retailers. Even the chemists stock more makeup than ever before. But, if we’re going down the route of personalised makeup – could we soon see pharmacy wholesalers stocking our local chemists with our unique makeup creations, much like repeat prescriptions? Instead of going to Boots or Superdrug, we’d simply have to pop by the chemist to pick up a package with everything we’d need to last us the rest of the month.

What do you think girls? Where do you think we’re going and what would you like to see from the beauty industry?

Classic Ways to Spruce Up Your Home

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Summer is all about getting out in the sunshine and enjoying the environment, so why not release a breath of fresh air into your home interiors as well? Every now and again, our dwelling needs a little love and care, whether that be lick of paint or a new pair of curtains. Sprucing up your house is not just a fun and engaging prospect; a good session of ‘out with the old and in with the new’ can be very calming and refreshing for the mind too. Without further ado, read on for three classic ways to spruce up your abode this Summer!

Minimalist & Modern

Photo by Pixabay

Follow the advice of iconic designer William Morris and ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’ All that Summer air clears the mind and what better time to have a look at your home with a fresh pair of eyes. Clearing the clutter that you no longer use will create more space and allow for features and accent furnishings to shine.

Remember that 2017 has seen minimalistic interiors boom, with many sticking to natural colours and textured finishes. This look often employs one colour in different shades to create depth and contrast within the space. I love browns and greys to give a nautical feel without the obvious bright blues and stripes, making this a very transitional look throughout the year.

Fabulous Focal Features

Photo by Breather on Unsplash

You can create the perfect focal point whilst at the same time re-energising a room and creating conversation. You may even have a potential feature without realising! Windows and fireplaces are commonly overlooked, but accentuating these features with colours and embellishments is an affordable and easy way to develop a room’s unique style.

If you are not keen on feature walls and accent pieces, hanging art is a lovely means of bringing beauty and interest to any space. With the never-ending combinations of mediums and movements, you can find a piece that ties together your colour scheme whilst creating a wonderful centrepiece. Even better, if you don’t have time to browse local galleries, there are lots of places to buy art online whether you are looking to invest in an original painting or simply something bright to compliment what you have already.

Snug Staples

Photo by Eduard Militaru on Unsplash

If there’s anything that comes above style, it’s comfort and your house should not only be visually pleasing, but also a cosy place to socialise and relax after a long day. Essential furniture like beds, sofas and tables should be of long-lasting high quality. With summer here, there are plenty of summer sales to help you get your hands on some affordable yet chic furniture. Choosing new curtains for example, can give a whole room a face-lift and shelves no longer need to be boring. Box shelves and wall units are a very popular way of creating storage solutions that also act as an interesting focal point.

To sum up, your home should be a calming environment which reflects your favourite style and tastes. A healthy change to your habitat can make it an inspiring and motivating one to dwell within. Some view this as an added expense, however the quality of life, experience and added value you will gain from an interior refresh will have a positive effect on all aspects of your life.

 

Glow for Pride: The Essentials

Source: Wikimedia

Get your rainbow colours on because it is that time of year again! Brighton Pride is just around the corner and the whole city is super excited to get out there and celebrate in style. It promises to be bigger and better every year, and my, does it deliver. Eccentric floats and extreme outfits make Brighton Pride the highlight of my Summer, not to mention it’s right on my doorstep! This joyous occasion does brilliantly in bringing everyone together to celebrate equality and diversity. As a spectator, you aren’t required to dress up however, it is the perfect time of year to splash on some colour and be confident in your skin.

This is our ultimate Guide to Pride 2017!

Photo by Andrew Robles on Unsplash

Beauty

The key to avoiding beauty disasters is to have a good base to work with. Not your foundation base – but the skin beneath it. It is important to look after your skin all year round, however for special occasions you can up the ante a little to get that extra glow. Using the correct skin care products for your skin type can revolutionize the way the makeup sets on your face. Pride is all about being your best self with confidence and what better way than to show off with a confident summer glow.

Highlighters and radiance cremes have been massive this year, they are perfect products to help you get luminous skin when you need a little pick me up. Unicorn and, of course, rainbow highlighters are a hot favourite for this year. The rainbow metallic style colours are just beautiful and will have you lighting up at the parade like a disco ball!

Once you have that smooth, naturally glowing base…time to get creative!

Scouring Pinterest, it is almost obvious that rainbow eyes are the classic favourite. From rainbow eyeliner to colourful brows, there is no stopping the force of the rainbow! If you are wanting something a little less bright, but still a showstopper, confetti or glitter liner is a great way to go. Layer on the glitter and light up the room, like the true star you are.

Clothing

The weather will play a huge part in what you choose to wear but my advice to you is, be prepared. The UK is famous for its irrational weather, especially with Brighton being so close to the sea. Saying that, the past few years have been bright and sunny so I am hopeful that this trend will continue.

If the weather is a temperamental, don’t be caught out! You will likely be dancing and drinking well into the night too, so ensure you wear more than one layer. A light cardigan or jacket can easily be tied around your bag to free your hands up for dancing.

Standing and watching the amazing floats can take its toll so well fitted, comfortable shoes are an essential. Clothing-wise, leave the dark colours at home and dress in bright colours – loud and proud. The rainbow flag is the iconic symbol of the LGBTQ+ community and during the parade there will be a sea of rainbow colours, so get involved. Usually there are people who walk along the parade route before the event starts selling rainbow flags and accessories, a perfect chance to add some more colour to your outfit.

Bag

No one wants to carry a bag around Pride, however you’ll likely need one to pop your essentials in. Aside from the basics like your purse, phone and keys, here are three things that you may not have considered taking:

  • Portable Chargers, these will be your lifesaver. Unlike us humans, phones do not have the party-lasting power. The last thing you want is to lose your friends and have a dead battery. To avoid any loss of communication, bring a charged up portable charger so your phone can last as long as you!
  • Sun cream, if the weather is good bear in mind that most pubs and clubs will be jammed encouraging you to take the party to the streets. In all the fun, you may forget to apply sun cream. Don’t risk waking up the next morning with a hangover and Reapply factor 30+ every two hours to protect your skin.
  • Identification, most people carry this key to pubs and clubs any way. However, some don’t – double check you have this little card with you before you leave the house otherwise you will not be getting in anywhere!

Transport

The parade as fun as it is, makes getting from A to B near enough impossible. Make sure you plan your route in and out of there. Check the Brighton and Hove Buses social media and website for updates, even the app will have news and information regarding bus times and delays. Book a taxi in advance and beware that the fares may be a little higher than expected as it can take longer to get into town. Returning to your home or hotel, it is best to book a taxi before in advance – trust me, you do not want to be waiting in a long queue at two in the morning.

Along with those awesome tips do remember the safety basics as you would whenever you go out. Have a confirmed meeting point with your friends if you lose each other, never put down your drink and trust your instincts. With all that in mind, have a wonderful, safe and glowing Brighton Pride!

Three Dresses You Will Definitely Be Seeing Everywhere This Summer!

The weather of has been unusually warm in the U.K. recently and Summer fashions have been hotter! With such beautiful conditions, the last thing I want to do is wear my skinny jeans because I might actually melt. Dresses and shorts are a warm weather go to and as the UK isn’t all that sunny most of the time, digging into my wardrobe made me realise that I might need to make some new purchases. Of course, my other half was not happy to hear about being dragged round the shops! However, I did reassure him that he has no reason to moan as I will be trying to do most of my shopping online.

So, I have been on the hunt for the latest fashions and anything else that may take my fancy. Flicking through online fashion magazines got me thinking about what’s been popular this year so far. Through my endless scrolling and looking at these magazines, I have found a trio of of dresses you will be seeing everywhere this Summer – especially in my wardrobe!

  1. The Tea Dress


Source: Pinterest

I am not sure if this is the correct technical name for the dress, however these romantic, floaty v-neck dresses are super Summery. This is something I imagine I would wear to a garden party or summer wedding as these can easily be dressed up or down. This type of dress comes in many styles, the wrap style is a current favourite as it is perfect to accentuate an hour glass figure.

 

  1. The Throwback Dress

Vintage trends have recently made a comeback with chokers and denim skirts dominating fashion magazine pages. Recently, the slip dress has had a renaissance on the red carpet with Selena Gomez rocking a beautiful Coach design. The popularity Styles such as halter necks, a-line and shifts mean retro dresses never go out of fashion. These should be staples in your wardrobe for those special occasions like date nights.

 

  1. The Asymmetrical Dress

This is a new exciting dress trend, which I personally love as it has a gorgeous quirky feel. The uneven design makes for an outfit that looks a little bit different and interesting. Off shoulder, high-low hem and one-sided ruffles dresses are all examples of asymmetrical dresses that can be paired with sandals for a day look or heels and accessories for those balmy summer evenings.

What I adore about all of these dresses, is that they can all be dressed up for special occasions or down for more laid-back events. With magazines raving about these styles, you will definitely be turning heads whilst staying cool as a breeze  in the heat!

A Home Improvement Project (It’s About Time)

Have you outgrown your space too? These sorts of things happen all the time and are often the fault of tiny little (new) family members. But, in our case we simply have too many things! Unfortunately, creating the illusion of space through use of natural light and brighter accessories might not cut the mustard this time. My other half and I have been heatedly discussing a potential renovation and getting builders in to help create new space. This would be a huge project but I am super excited already, especially because this project would give me a chance to enjoy a space that is actually mine without the unwanted intrusion of golf clubs or paperwork.

We’ve talked through plenty of ideas at great length so far, but here are the ones that seem most realistic:

A Garden Room

We began by looking for something that didn’t need planning permission and we’re thinking that the extra space we’ll get from a garden room might make this one a winner. As long we don’t breach the planning permission guidelines, we are good to go! I always think of them as glammed up sheds with electricity, creating perfect little areas for an outside office or relaxing room. As we’re in the middle of summer now, it could be an ideal DIY project as it isn’t necessarily something we need to get the builders in for! But with that said, I’m pretty hopeless at all things woodwork-y!

A Basement

What about digging downwards? We initially didn’t think of this as a viable option as we think there are far too many pipes and important things beneath our house that enjoy breaking when it’s cold outside without our help. However, if we’re looking at creating a more meaningful sized space, we’re thinking this might be the only option. We found a basement company in London that converts basements into amazing spaces like media rooms and cinemas so we’re definitely feeling inspired! We also found that basements are becoming increasingly popular because of the unlimited options that a basement gives! My husband loves screaming at the “bloody referee” on the telly and I can’t think of anything better than if this was to take place well below the ground (and out of earshot). In all serious, I would absolutely love to create a media space downstairs that we could invite family and friends to enjoy. It might be a costlier option, but I’ve read that the value a basement adds to the value of the property will pay off the cost of the conversion outright.

Source: http://ahorangeries.co.uk/our-favourite-conservatory-designs/#post/0

A Conservatory

Back above ground now. A conservatory would be a brilliant way to let light in all year round and brighten up the home. I have seen some gorgeous conservatory additions to kitchens that have really transformed spaces. It doesn’t just have to be a kitchen, it could be a light and airy addition to our living room too. During the winter, I might be even more thankful as an east or west facing conservatory will catch the rising and setting sun –  trapping any heat. This would also be an ideal way to bring the outside in, minus the bugs and English weather.

An Open Plan Layout

In recent years, open plan layouts have become really popular. They involve merging kitchens dining rooms and even living rooms to create a more social space. I would love to be able to organise food in the kitchen and talk to my guests as they relax on the sofa during a dinner party. As we have a modestly sized property right now this would be an effective way to maximise small areas and make them look spacious.

I used to think upgrading to a bigger home or having a garden/loft extension was the only way to expand a home, but I’ve since discovered that there are many, many more ways to create a happy home for us to enjoy for years to come.

I’ll keep you all posted.

The One With The Mutual Appreciation

Image Source: https://cdn2.hercampus.com/2014/11/09/Friends-season-10-014.jpg

I think it’s fair to say that our best friends go drastically unappreciated the unfortunate majority of the time. Though we might shower them with gifts on birthdays and Christmases, there aren’t too many other times when we can sit back and truly appreciate how wonderful our friends really are. With International Day of Friendship just around the corner (30th July!) I’d like to dedicate this piece to the guys and gals that put up with us at our very worst, so we can strive to be our very best.

If any of you are like me, then you’ll understand that we probably compare our lives to that of our family and friends about a dozen times a day. From checking Instagram in the morning, to sharing your nieces first steps on Facebook in the evening – there are few moments throughout the day when we compare ourselves, not to our friends…but to who we were last month, or last year.

Self-reflection is painful. Maybe you didn’t send that email you were meant to, or you skipped dinner yesterday…or you bought a takeaway curry instead (guilty). Thinking back though, there’s been hundreds of occasions where I’ve been poorly behaved, or embarrassing, or relied heavily on my friends to bail me out.

So, in no particular order, thank you to:

The ones who feed the cats when you’re on holiday.

The ones that are there when you’ve had a little (lot) too much to drink.

The ones who bring back your DvD in the same condition you gave it to them in.

The ones that lend you their Netflix password.

The ones that comment on your Facebook pictures to get the ball rolling.

The ones you call when you’ve had a bad day

The ones that offer to drive you back from the bar.

The ones who tell you when you’re being an idiot.

The ones who know when that dress isn’t you.

The ones who let you down gently.

The ones who remind you who ‘thingy’ is on Game of Thrones…again.

We live our lives at breakneck speeds, without ever really taking the time to appreciate what we have or how we got where we are. I look now at my loving husband as he attempts to conjure together a risotto with a wry smile across as his face as he realises he’s forgotten the rice. It was my turn to cook dinner tonight, but he offered to so that I could work on my blog.

I spend hours of my week talking to family and friends on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, venting our woes back and forth (often with each other) without ever picking up my phone with the intention to say thank you to any of them.

I’m not trying to be soppy, but it’s not often I can actually sit back and reflect on how lucky I really am. With so much going on in the world, it really puts it into perpective that the biggest worry I currently have is when I’m going to find the time to get the car it’s MOT. How feeble is that?

But, in the past…when things haven’t been plain sailing; the car’s broken down, dads found himself in hospital again and things aren’t going well at Mike’s work – I’ve been able to lean on the people closest to me, so I don’t spend all of my time in a horribly teary mess.

We’re very lucky that life is comfortable at the moment, so I’m going to pay it forward and order some thank you gifts for my family and friends. You never know when you’re going to be out on your luck and I know what that’s like. My closest friends, who are far less communicative with their feelings could be going through some really tough times, thinking that they can’t share that load. This is me letting everyone know that it’s time for me to give something back.

If I only get one Facebook message about someone’s tough day, it will have meant that I’m finally starting to give something back. I hope this inspires some of you to do the same.

Gift Ideas for the Women Behind Your Wedding Day

Credit: Pixabay

When the big day arrives, it is all about everything running to plan. And when things go awry, it is your family and friends who come to your rescue. Which is why it so important to show your loved ones how much you appreciated their time and help. This is not about giving wedding gifts to all of your guests, for these guys think about getting smaller wedding favours. These presents are specifically for your close wedding party as a gesture of gratitude for all their hard work making sure you both have the perfect celebration.

Here are a few suggestions of special and sentimental gifts you could give to those special behind the scenes women, who went the extra mile to ensure you had the best big day!

Mother of the Bride

What do you get the most important women in your life? What better way to show appreciation than gifting a sentimental, personalised present! A piece of jewellery is such a lovely, thoughtful gift that’s ageless, and engraved necklaces can be a beautiful addition to their jewellery collection. If your mum has enough jewellery as it is and has been working extra hard to ensure you have the perfect day, could a pamper day be the answer? Make her feel extra special with a relaxing session at a spa or DIY a spa gift set of all the favourite soaps and pampering products your mother likes to use to unwind.

Mother in Law

This could be a tricky one, depending on how good your relationship is with your other half’s mum. It’s one that sets the bar high and creates an impression, so for this, speak to your other half to find out exactly what she likes or enjoys doing. Like every mum, jewellery is always a safe bet. Take note of what she like wearing or seek information from your fiancé about her style. However, if he is anything like my husband – he won’t have a clue! In these cases, jewellery boxes are timeless, adaptable gifts that will help store and protect any delicate pieces she has in her home or on the move.

Hens and Girlfriends

Little keepsakes like keyrings, bracelet charms or a lovely set of earrings are thoughtful ways of showing appreciation to your girlfriends. Or add to their everyday handbag essentials with a compact handbag mirror engraved with their initials. Not only is this gift useful, but it will remind them of a special day every time they get it out. What is also popular at the moment is delicious smelling candles, which you can tailor with the initials of each of your girlfriends.

If you find yourself still super stuck, any edible gift is probably the most appreciated and yummiest of gifts you could give. After a long night of celebrating, what is better than a snack for the ride home or next morning! I recently came across marshmallows that you can print pictures on, I love the idea of plastering choice photos from your hen night on them. They would make a super fun reminder of happy times, and if they are a little risqué your best friends can always eat the evidence!

 

 

Three Ways To Reduce Stress When Selling Your House

Credit: Pixabay

Whatever the reason for selling your home, there is no denying that it will be a stressful. Whether it’s troubles finding somewhere new, disputes over building control or sorting through your life contents – there will be lots of challenges to overcome! Although there’s no avoiding some stress, these three tips will help you avoid simple mistakes and make selling your property a little less tense.

Clean Thoroughly

Credit: Pixabay

People like to think they have limitless imagination, yet when it comes to buying property we are all guilty of being a tad small minded. When a potential buyer walks into a home that is cluttered or worse dirty, they will be distracted from the permanent features that form the actual property. Your house should resemble a five-star hotel in cleanliness and neatness. Where necessary; bleach grout, change and make beds, clear away personal items and replace worn towels. An uncluttered house which looks and smells clean and fresh, will sell for more than the exact same house with less care.

Stage Beautifully

Credit: Pixabay

As with cleaning, when it comes to furnishings relying on the ability of potential buyers to see past what is directly before them and visualise the possibilities, is a dangerous trap to fall into. Furniture that has seen better days or bare rooms with little to attract the eye cannot compare to a house that has been specifically dressed to sell. Using a home staging company, who can work with you to create a beautiful interior design package and then rent you the furniture, will do wonders when selling your home. It will be the difference between someone walking into the property and thinking maybe they could live there, to them feeling at instantly at home and longing to return.

Photograph Clearly

Credit: Pixabay

In the age of the internet, selling a house just like any other product hinges greatly on beautiful imagery. The first impression most buyers are going to have of your property, is the images on your estate agent’s website.  If there are only thumbnail pictures with bad lighting, you will lose potential interest before anyone has even stepped through the door, no matter how beautiful your home. Instead, once your house is clean and staged, take steps to create high quality photography that showcases its best aspects. If you can afford a home photographer, they are certainly worth the investment. Otherwise follow this step-by-step guide to achieve near professional quality photos yourself.

Although selling a home will never be completely stress free, taking the time to photograph your house and make it beautiful and clean will allow visitors to envisage themselves living there. This imaginative jump is what will help potential buyers decide that your property is the one for them. What could reduce anxiety more when selling than a ton of offers and a quick sale?!

Five Emotions That Are Totally Normal When Moving

Credit: Pixabay 

I remember when we exchanged on what was soon going to be our new home, we were so excited! The house was (and still is) perfect with the right amount of space for the two of us. We could not wait to get into it! As the time came closer to moving in however, it started to feel like I was on a roller coaster. An emotional one. I experiencing so many different feelings – both good and bad. Mum did reassure me that it is natural to feel this way when jumping into the unknown, after all moving to a new house is a major event.

Excitement

Although, towards the end I was sad to be leaving – I was also excited that I was going to be taking on new adventures. I had new neighbours to get to know and new spaces to play with! My other half was definitely not impressed with my constant rambling about how I was going to design each room. It is like a fresh slate or a clean canvas – one you can decorate with whatever you want! Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration on storage solutions and DIY ideas! You will have ample opportunity to rip kitchens out and paint the walls to your heart’s desire.

Sadness

I remember handing our keys over to the Estate agents and being surprised by a wave of sadness that our old home officially no longer belonged to us anymore. Over time, it is a given that you will gain some sort of attachment, whether it be to the house, neighbours and even the smaller things like your garden! I know that we have some many great memories, from furniture shopping to our first dinner in our own space! Try not to think of the experience as moving on, think of it as moving forward to better things.

Credit: Pixabay

Regret

Did we make the right decision? Have we moved to a better place? We did tons of research on our new local area, however I did keep questioning if this was the right thing to do. Moving is a lot of money and there are so many formalities to go through, you have to be completely sure when making a decision. Me and my other half fell in love straight away with our new home, the neighbourhood was lovely and it wasn’t all that far from central Brighton. We knew at the time it was right for us, and we still do! There will be strange feelings, but they will make you appreciate the experience more. All that you need to do is remember, you are going from somewhere you are comfortable to somewhere you don’t know anything about – it is normal to feel a little unsettled!

Stress

Like I said before, you are jumping into the unknown! It is natural to feel a little anxious. Not only that, with conveyancing solicitors, estate agents and banks to deal with there will undoubtedly be tension. Not to mention when the removal guys don’t turn up on time (I speak from experience), this can contribute to feelings of agitation. From speaking to lots of different people, it is evident that moving is stressful, no matter how many precautions you take! Saying that, try and reduce your cortisol levels by just taking a moment to breath and realise the bigger picture – which is that you will soon have a new place to make your very own!

If you are moving and feeling this whirlwind of  emotions – be reassured that this is normal! I was once in the exact same place but as soon as I stepped inside our new house, I was once again, absolutely in love!