Your Dream Home: The Ultimate Guide for Barn Conversions

If you have the potential to buy a barn, then you may be interested in converting it. The main thing that you have to remember is that there’s only one rule that you need to be following- and that is to stay true to the building. If you ignore this rule then you will be losing out on personality and you may even find that your home isn’t as natural as it could be as well.

Repair the Walls

It doesn’t matter whether you have timber, brick or stone walls because you need to make sure that you repair them where possible. If you want to have a seamless blend between the original wall and the repair work then you may need to repoint the wall, as this will make it look much more stable. Adding new walls can also be an option. You do however need to make sure that they match in with the original materials. If you are unable to do this for any reason, then it’s better to go for something completely different. When you can then create a nice contrast between old and new.

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You will need to insulate your barn conversion if you want it to meet all of the right regulations. Leaving some brick exposed can be a very nice touch, but if you do then you may find that you let way more cold into your home than required. One way for you to get around this would be for you to add some cladding or even a fake brick surface. When you do, you can easily get the brick look you want without having to worry about losing what looks like an original feature.

Repairing the Roof

The roof will quite possibly be one of the most predominant features of the barn. Most of the time, you will need to remove the roof entirely so that you can repair or alter whatever’s required. You may also need to add a membrane and some weatherproofing as this will help you to really get the best result. Insulation can be applied beneath the rafters but if you have rafters which look especially interesting then it may be worth keeping them exposed so that they can then become an internal feature. Remember that the irregularity of the roof can be a good thing, even if the timbers have twisted or bowed over time.


Dormer windows are usually not very appropriate so any new window openings will have to be rooflights as this means that they will sit flush with the roof. If you have too many rooflights then this won’t look good at all so you need to keep them at the right elevation.  If you have some additional land outside your barn, you may want to have your windows overlooking this, with the possibility of having some field shelters installed if you want to keep animals. This is a great way for you to make your land more profitable and you would be surprised at how much it can make a difference to your home.

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The Top 5 Restaurants for Mother’s Day in Miami

Your mom has spent the entirety of your life cooking for you, cleaning for you, folding your laundry, helping with homework, lending you money, teaching you the ways of the world, and  even loving you through those difficult teenage years. This Mother’s Day, it’s time to show your mom just how much you appreciate all the sacrifices she’s made for you over the years. And while presents are nice, if your mom’s a foodie, Miami is replete with top-tier restaurants with menus guaranteed to wow her. If you’re headed out in the Magic City this Mother’s Day, look no further than these epic eateries:

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink | 130 NE 40th Street

If your mom loves elevated American fare, head to Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the Design District. The brand’s flagship restaurant opened its doors in 2007 and has since become an icon of the Miami culinary scene. This Mother’s Day, treat your mom to delicious fare like yellowfin tuna crudo, kimchi eggs benedict, or breakfast pizza, and end the meal with a sweet treat like Mexican spice French toast, chia pudding, churros with dulce de leche, or mini donuts with chocolate custard.

Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company | 90 NE 39th Street

Treat your mother to a seasonal (and scrumptious) meal this Mother’s Day at Sweet Liberty. Start with an order of tuna poke, have their famous Bangin’ Brunch Burrito, made from braised pork butt, scrambled free-range eggs, queso fresco, and roasted green chiles, and sip some delicious and creative cocktails along with your meal, like the peach and almond bellini or a chamomile margarita.

Swan | 90 NE 39th Street

Does your mom enjoy a decadent meal? If so, she’ll go wild for the fare at Swan. This stylish eatery’s menu is full of over-the-top dishes, like French toast with pecans, candied oranges, and amaretto whipped  cream, bourbon caramel cinnamon rolls with sea salt, wagyu pastrami hash, and ham and truffle omelets. Swan also serves some of the city’s most delicious cocktails, like the Flowers, a combination of prosecco, St. Germain, rose, and lavender, or the Mon Chérie, a mixture of cherry-infused buffalo trace bourbon, vanilla, angostura bitters, and white chocolate.

Blue Collar | 6730 Biscayne Boulevard

In search of a stick-to-your-ribs meal for mom this Mother’s Day? Blue Collar has got you covered. Whether she orders the pork and beans with fried eggs and toast, the brioche French toast with bananas foster sauce, the duck confit muffin, or the four-cheese mac and cheese, she’s sure to leave just as delighted by the meal itself as she is by your company.

Bagatelle Miami | 220 21st Street

Elegant, intimate, and home to some of Miami’s most creative French Mediterranean fare, Bagatelle is the perfect place to treat the mom who deserves a little something special this Mother’s Day. Start with the acai parfait with coconut, agave, banana, chia, and granola, enjoy a black truffle flatbread pizza for your main course, and have a few mimosas, bellinis, or a carafe of sangria along with your meal for good measure.

Whether she’s in the mood for cocktails, crudo, or kimchi, there’s a restaurant in Miami guaranteed to wow your mom this Mother’s Day, so make this one special and book those reservations before someone else scoops them up. 

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The Top 5 Beaches You Can’t-Miss to Surf in California This Spring Break

With winter’s icy chill in the rearview and the long, hot days of summer on the horizon, there’s no time like the present to shed the confines of that luxury condo or corner office and enjoy the great outdoors. People from New York City to Texas are flocking to California to enjoy the sun and beautiful beaches. And for those who love surfing, there’s no better place to do it than one of the beautiful beaches in California. So, where should avid surfers head to ride the curl? We’ve rounded up the best beaches for you and your board:

The Wedge, Newport Beach: While Orange County’s Newport Beach is largely known for its tony real estate and annual boat races, it’s also home to some of the best surfing you’ll find anywhere in the state. The Wedge is perhaps the area’s most famous waterfront hangout, and with good reason: this Balboa Peninsula surf spot is home to some truly spectacular boarding conditions. It’s the area’s western rock jetty that helps to create these perfect-to-ride waves, which are often so tall that huge crowds gather to watch them swell and break on the beach.

Huntington, Huntington Beach: While you’ll find its beachfront packed during most summer days, the temperatures are mild enough in Huntington Beach that dedicated surfers will hit the water year-round. And rightly so: prime surfing conditions tend to crop up in the winter time, which just so happens to be when the beaches are less crowded, meaning you won’t find yourself crashing into anyone else when you ride your board.

Rincon Point, Santa Barbara: Eager to enjoy a stunning surf spot that’s not overcrowded with tourists? Then head to Rincon Point in Santa Barbara for prime beach conditions. Just off Highway 101, this beach doesn’t draw the vacation crowds you’ll find in places like The Wedge, but the waves are no less remarkable. And luckily, there are three spots with very different surf conditions to enjoy: The Cove, with gentle, medium-sized waves, The River Mouth, perfect for newer surfers getting in some practice, and The Indicator, where you’ll find the biggest waves and the most challenging conditions.

Laguna Beach: Laguna Beach is famous for more than just the reality show bearing its name. This beautiful beach is also home to some of southern California’s best surfing conditions, with crystal clear water, massive waves, and fewer crowds than you’ll find at beaches closer to Los Angeles.

Cardiff Reef, San Diego: Go a little bit further down the California coast and you’ll find some truly amazing surfing conditions in San Diego. At Cardiff Reef State Beach off Highway 101, you’ll find four distinct beaches: San Elijo, Pipes, Cardiff Reef, and George’s, each with ideal conditions for beginners and experienced surfers alike, with petite waves and massive swells, as well as plenty of placid beachfront to relax on after you’re done on the water.

Whether you’re just getting your sea legs or have been boarding for years, the California currents are sure to present a fun and exciting challenge to you yet. If you’re eager to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, get some exercise, and connect with nature, any one of these California beaches has more than got you covered.

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The Treats You Definitely Need

Life should be full of treats, but how many of you can admit that that’s what your life is full of at the minute? It’s probably rare that you actually properly treat yourself. Instead, you might treat others, or put the odd chocolate bar into your shopping basket. Because as you get older, you realise more and more how little you need to treat yourself compared to others. It’s almost drilled into you that you should be saving your money all of the time, only to treat people when it comes round to special occasions. But little old you is left with pretty much nothing in the grand scheme of things. But we’re well into the new year now, and if nothing has changed already, then we’re here to try and make you! We know how much treating yourself is going to be good for your soul, and we know how much ignoring yourself is going to be having a negative effect on your body. So here’s our top ways that you can ensure you’re looking out for number one, and that you have all of the treats that you need this year!

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The Big Treats!

The big treats are the ones that people tend to ignore the most, because they’re fully aware of how much they’re going to damage the bank account. But the big treats are the ones that are going to have the most impact on your life, and the ones that you definitely should consider! Life is too short not to have the things you want, and the thing that people most commonly ignore that they want so much, is a new car. So much stigma of expense surrounds it, but if you’ve been saving, there’s no reason why that shouldn’t be where your money is going! An audi would be a lovely treat for yourself. They’re sleek, fun, and a long lasting car to ensure. Audi service & repairs aren’t too common, so you won’t find yourself paying out to fix the car all of the time! Just make sure you check out the insurance quotes before you buy it to ensure you’re not breaking the bank in other respects as well!

The Small Self Indulgence You’re Ignoring

It’s not all about splashing the cash and making yourself feel good through the money that you’re spending. You should be focusing on the daily things that you can do that would be treating yourself. The first for us, is to take an hour each day purely to yourself. Some of you might be wondering how you could have the time to do such a thing, but if you make the time for the things you want, they will happen! It’s a small self indulgence that’s just so needed when you most likely feel like you’re constantly surrounded by people! Have a bath, read a book, watch a film, just do anything that draws you away from the stresses of life! Or, go and see your friends and do something fun! This is definitely something that a lot of us are missing out on in life!

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Top Home Healthcare Products for 2019

2019 sees us firmly into the digital age, with a wealth of products we can use in the home – and buy cheaply and quickly – that make our lives a lot easier. This is true in terms of home healthcare products, too, where technology and mass-production has brought prices down considerably. What, then, are the top home healthcare products for 2019?

Let’s have a look!

Help for the Elderly – this is a category that is widely contested by a number of top brands. As we grow older, so our capability to live our usual daily lives becomes impaired. For this reason, there are a number of products that are readily available for the elderly and infirm, to help them lead as full a life as possible, including:

  • Strollers for people who have trouble walking
  • Alarm systems that can alert the right people
  • Bath mats for those who have trouble getting in and out
  • Stair lifts for getting about
  • Comfort pads and other simple items

All of the above are easily obtainable and serve to provide help to people in need, and are worth checking out.

Home Self-Treatment – there are many products that enable the individual to perform acts themselves that they would normally have attended a doctor for. When we talk of things like this, we mean the following:

  • Medication boxes so that the correct pills are taken at the correct time
  • Antiseptics and other items that can be applied to minor grazes
  • Bandages and slings for help with arthritis
  • Mole removal pens for getting rid of those unsightly moles

For the latter, you may want a mole removal pen for younger people too, and these are very effective little devices that get rid of unsightly moles once and for all. If you want to find out more, see this article where the best mole removal pens reviewed are described in detail.

Digital Aids – it may not have occurred to you but home healthcare can also include digital communication aids. For example, someone who is infirm could wear a push button that connects with relevant people, or you might want to give them a simple mobile phone with the right numbers on speed dial.

Then, there are the likes of footwear aids – insoles for shoes that make life more comfortable – and bathing aids, that make life a lot more comfortable for people who have trouble moving around.

Of course, home healthcare is not just about the elderly, it’s about everyone, and especially children. There are many excellent aids that can be used in the home to help children of all ages, and they are worth checking out carefully.

In an age where our emergency services are on full demand, it helps to do whatever we can ourselves, and the sort of home healthcare devices we are talking about enable us to do this. If you do have an emergency, always call the emergency services, and meanwhile have a good look at what you can buy to make things easier in the home.


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Move Home Hassle Free

There is no getting away from the fact that moving home can be a huge pain in the neck. That’s the case whether you have finally been able to buy your own house or you are simply moving into another rented apartment. Moving all of your belongings and furniture between two properties can be extremely stressful work indeed!

It doesn’t have to be that bad, though. With a bit of careful planning, you will be able to move without too many problems. Everything should go as smoothly as possible if you follow these tips.

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Write A To-Do List

One of the first things you need to do as soon as you know you will be moving out is to write up a to-do list. This should include everything that you need to do before you move. Make sure you don’t leave any job off the list, or think that you will be able to remember it. If you try and hold everything in your head, there’s a good chance that you will forget a lot of important stuff and the move will end in complete chaos.

Hire A Moving Company

It will also be a lot easier for you if you hire a removal firm to take care of moving all the furniture and boxes for you. The movers will do all the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to worry about injuring your back in any way. Plus, as they are experts at moving large, bulky furniture items, they will also be able to expertly carry all sofas and wardrobes out of your old home and into your new one. You won’t have to worry about any large items getting stuck in between doors or up staircases!

Make Sure Everything Is Insured

It’s a good idea to take out plenty of insurance for your moving day as well. If you are doing a DIY move and hiring a van for all your furniture, make sure you have a good van insurance policy in place. You will then be covered for any faults or damage caused to the van on the day. You should also take out moving insurance that covers all your items. This will cover items that get damaged or go missing, so you don’t have to worry about any financial losses in that respect.

Start Packing Early

One thing so many people get wrong is that they always end up leaving their packing until the very last minute. It’s essential that you give yourself plenty of time so that the whole packing process doesn’t end up too rushed. If it does become a rush, then you might forget some things or could pack a few things incorrectly and they might be more likely to get damaged in transit. Don’t forget that well packed boxes are also easier to unpack too!

As you can see, there are plenty of tips that you can use to ensure that your next home move stays as stress-free as possible. Here’s hoping that everything goes well for you!

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A Guide to Choosing the Right Uniform When Working in the Healthcare Sector



Cleanliness and hygiene is paramount in the medical and healthcare industry and this extends to your uniform. Medical uniforms that have been specially designed for the healthcare industry will protect doctors, nurses, receptionists and any other personnel from hazardous substances and spillages whilst also minimising the spread of infection.

Not only do medical uniforms have a practical function, but they also make a positive lasting impression on patients and boast professionalism. When appropriate, you can also personalise your uniforms with a logo, professional title or name as personalised embroidered workwear will increase familiarity between members of staff and patients and subsequently instil a sense of trust.

It can be tricky to decide what medical uniforms you want to use in your surgery or practice – should doctors, nurses and receptionists wear the same? Should you have a colour scheme? Should each member of staff have a different and unique uniform? Well fear not, today we explore the range of different options that are available to you.

Receptionist Uniform

Receptionists are more than likely the first face your patients will see and therefore a receptionist’s uniform should make a positive impression. For some, visiting the doctors, hospital or any other medical institution can be a frightening thought and your receptionist should wear bright coloured clothes to create an inviting atmosphere and approachable persona. If reception staff are wearing a white uniform, it could make the whole process feel clinical and impersonal and result in patients feeling uneasy. Medical professionals have a duty of care and if patients don’t feel welcome, they could end up trying to tackle their issues themselves or ignoring life-threatening problems.

Nurses Uniform

Medical nurse tunics, also commonly referred to as ‘scrubs’ have a number of benefits, the key benefit being that it protects nurses from bodily fluids, chemicals and spillages. Depending on company policy, nurses can wear colourful patterned scrubs to create an inviting and welcoming atmosphere similar to that of a receptionist’s uniform. Scrubs also make nurses easily identifiable for both patients and other medical professionals. It is of the upmost importance that a nurse’s uniform is clean and hygienic and to ensure this, scrubs must be thoroughly and rigorously cleaned using special chemicals and a high temperature machine that would damage personal and regular clothing.

Doctors Uniform

Typically, doctors have more freedom when it comes to uniforms and can choose from casual jeans and a t-shirt, to the clinical white coat, to full protective scrubs, to a full three-piece suit. Doctors may opt to wear a suit in order to stand out from other medical personnel whilst presenting themselves as professional and trustworthy towards their patients. However some doctors believe that wearing a suit makes an appointment feel more like a business meeting rather than what it is, and these doctors choose to take a more casual approach. While wearing jeans and a t-shirt may seem somewhat unprofessional, it can instead help to develop a relationship between doctor and client based on familiarity and friendliness. If a doctor wears a casual uniform it can make patients feel at ease, as if they are talking to a friend rather than a medical professional. Other doctors prefer to wear scrubs for the same reasons as nurses – to protect themselves from any bodily fluids or hazardous chemicals.

When choosing a uniform for a doctor’s surgery, hospital or any other medical institution, the most important thing to consider is that all members of staff feel comfortable in what they wear. There are no set rules on uniforms in the healthcare sector and essentially, it comes down to personal preference and the relationship you hope to build with your patients.

This article on healthcare uniforms was provided by health and safety clothing provider, Image To Suit You.

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Concrete Steps You Can Take to Become More Eco-friendly



If you’re looking for simple but effective ways to do your bit to protect the planet, keep reading. In this blog, we suggest concrete steps you can take to become more eco-friendly in your day-to-day life.

Don’t send your litter to landfill

If you have a bad habit of discarding all of your rubbish in regular bins when you’re out and about, now’s the time to stop. As environmental and safety product provider Glasdon points out in its eBook ‘Socially Responsible Me’, one way to become greener is to make sure you use recycling bins whenever you can. These eco-friendly containers are now easy to find on the streets, in supermarket car parks and elsewhere, meaning there’s no excuse to send plastic, paper, glass and other recyclable materials to landfill.

Instead of getting drinks in disposable cups or bottles when you’re on the go, why not invest in a reusable drinks holder? Try to steer clear of plastic-wrapped sandwiches and salads too. If you can, prepare your food at home in advance.

Reduce waste at home

Before you do your food shop, check your cupboards and fridge to see what you’ve already got and what you need. By making sure you only buy what you’ll actually use, you can minimise any wastage. Also, when you have leftovers after meals, try to get into a routine of freezing this food rather than binning it.

Think about how your household uses energy too. The chances are, you can take simple steps to cut your usage of gas and electricity. For example, make sure you switch off your appliances and lights when you’re not using them. You might also want to lower the temperature in your house during winter. By dropping the thermostat by a degree or two, you could significantly lower your energy consumption. If you get a tad chilly, simply reach for a jumper. Another way to become more environmentally-friendly is to ditch your tumble dryer in favour of a clothes line whenever possible.

Think green in the office

It might be time for your company to conduct a waste audit to see if you’re using any resources unnecessarily. While you’re at it, why not try to make the shift to a paperless office? This will mean you get through less paper – and it has the added benefit of making it easier to keep your workplace organised.

Although these actions may not seem like much in themselves, put together they can seriously reduce your carbon footprint and mean you’re much kinder to the planet.

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Dispelling Common Homeowner Myths


Building a happy home situation is a priority shared by everyone. After all, this forms the foundations for your day-to-day life. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to fall into the common traps that are largely created by the wrong mindset.

Here are three of the most common problems that could prevent you from unlocking the real potential of your home life.

Owning A Home Isn’t The Only Answer

Society tells us that getting married, having kids, and buying a property is the way to do things. However, the most important thing is to do what feels right for you. If you’re not ready to settle down in a location, renting is probably advised. Not least because you won’t have to worry about maintenance.

If you do buy a house, there are several ways to find your dream home. Alternatively, you could consider the prospect of building the property from scratch. Keeping the options open will inevitably give you the best chance of finding the perfect solution for you.

Council houses can be an excellent option for those that want a comfortable living space without the same level of expense as owning a property. While many people find that the standard homeownership is the best option, appreciating the options is vital.

Patience Isn’t Always A Virtue

Most of us are taught to be patient with money from a very early age. In truth, saving up for your holiday or a luxury necklace is always better than taking on extra debt. When it comes to the home, however, some issues need to be fixed ASAP.

Leaving a leaking roof untreated, for example, can lead to far greater problems than if you’d acted early. Even if your current cash flow is tight, instant loans from Payday Pixie can fund the jobs needed to get your home back to its best. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Green upgrades like water-saving appliances and better insulation should also be made at the earliest stage. After all, they’ll pay for themselves in the long run by reducing your energy bills.

Size Isn’t Everything

Most people have aspirations of living in the big house with a fancy garden and huge living spaces. You need enough space to satisfy your needs. Nonetheless, the way in which you use it is far more critical. So, accepting a slightly smaller property needn’t be the end of the world.

The HouseBeautiful guide to maximising the potential of smaller spaces will serve you well. One of the best things you can do, however, is learn to sell or recycle items that you no longer need. You’d be amazed by the amount of space that is being consumed by those products.

Another common mistake is to have a guest room. If it’s not going to be used, you might as well turn it into an office or home gym. Aside from adding value to the property on a financial front, it’ll boost the value of the home to your family.

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The Ultimate Money Guide For Your Best Summer Life 2018

If you are anything like me, you will notice that your social calendar starts to fill up come mid-June. After that, it’s something of a roller coaster ride all the way through until September. Now I’m not saying this isn’t fun, because holidays, weekends away, and get together with old friends are the best. However, you may be scratching your head and wondering how to pay for all this? Happily, if you check out the advice in the guide below you won’t have too many problems in this area. Read on to find out more.

Are you subscribing your budget away?

Subscription boxes and packages are everywhere these days from Birchbox to Netflix. You can even get you dinners prepared for you with cooking boxes. However, while they are super convenient, and it’s always fun to get a surprise gift to yourself through the post box, you have to ask whether they are they the best use of your money?

Sadly, the answer is probably not, especially when you have multiple subscriptions to pays for. Or even worse you and your SO or housemate are doubling up because one of you forget to cancel it when you moved in together! Arghhh!

Of course, the solution here is easy, and it’s to cancel the one that you don’t need. This means taking some time to work out which one you use and the most and ditch the rest. Then you can save what you would have spent on them for summer revelry.

Claim back what you are owed

Next, too many of us go through life not claiming money that we are genuinely entitled to. It may be in a small way like that bag of Primark clothes you didn’t try and can’t find time to take back a to get or refund, or it may be in a big way like not claiming for a situation in which you suffered medical negligence.

Obviously, in both cases, this is money that could be put to better use living your best life during the summer. To that end, it’s always a good idea to contact professionals like The Specter Partnership to help you with any legal claim you may have. Also, and if you possibly can, get those clothes returned ASAP, or at the very least bung them on eBay and recover some of the purchase cost to put towards your summer holidays.

Go veggie/vegan

Lastly, you can’t have failed to notice how on trend it is right not to be veggie or vegan? In fact, your social media is probably bombarded with all the benefits for your health, for the planet, and your pocket, and it’s this last one that we are particularly interested in.

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Vegan food is not only delicious and healthy, but cheaper too!

Yup, that’s right vegetarian, and vegan diets are on the whole lot cheaper than ones that contain meat and dairy products. There is no shortage of delicious recipes to follow either, so it makes this the perfect time to make the swap. Then you can tuck away the saving you make on your weekly shopping and put them towards summer fun instead.

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