Your First Home: How To Make It Perfect For You

Moving into your first home can be one of the most exciting times in your life, whether it’s a tiny rented studio apartment or a house that you’ve spent years saving up for. That doesn’t mean that it’s always easy, however - but there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself...

Budget Carefully

First of all, it’s absolutely crucial that you make and stick to a budget. There’s no point in finally getting on the property ladder, only to get into debt because you’ve developed an addiction to buying kooky mugs from Urban Outfitters! Make sure that you don’t go over budget and that you prioritise what you need to buy - for instance, a shower curtain is probably more important than extra pillows for your couch. Putting aside a sum of money each month to buy house supplies will help you focus on what exactly you need to get first instead of doing too many huge furniture hauls and buying way too much.

Buy Some Quality Pieces

You might not want to blow too much cash to start off with, but you should bear in mind that one way to stay financially healthy in the long term is to invest in good quality items that will last the test of time. Chesterfield leather furniture, for instance, will look better the more battered it gets over time (and remember that leather couches are always a good call because they wipe clean, so you won’t have to be too distressed when something scary happens on TV and you accidentally spill your spaghetti). Ideally, you’ll want to keep some pieces with you as you move into different places and your life changes over time, so bear that in mind when you’re choosing your furniture.

Focus On The Flow Of Your Home

Make sure that your home is a comfortable place to be - you want to make sure that there isn’t anything out in the way that’s easy to trip over or walk into, and you want it to be a comfortable environment whenever guests come over (after all, what’s the point in moving into your first home and decorating it carefully if you don’t get to show it off?). Make sure that you utilise your space carefully - make sure that there’s plenty of floor space, and invest in plenty of storage so you don’t have too much clutter. Remember that the more you have out, the more you’ll have to clean and dust, and no one wants to deal with that.

Add Personal Touches

Finally, it’s important to really make your new home your own by adding as many personal touches as you can. No one’s saying that you have to put framed family photographs on every single surface, but it’s time to start figuring out your own taste and what you really like. Pick out pieces of art that you can display on the walls, whether that’s prints by your favourite artist or pieces that you’ve picked up at your local markets and thrift stores.

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A Party for Grown Ups

When we think about throwing a party, our teenage brain might go back to red cups and beer pong - but when you reach adulthood, it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way (but if you want to it to be , then go ahead, nobody’s stopping you, enjoy the nostalgia!). There are so many ways to have a fabulous evening - the grownup way.

Fancy Dress

You don’t necessarily have to do fancy dress as in costume characters from your favourite movie; you can take this as an actual fancy dress, where you don your best outfits. Whether it’s ball gowns, tuxedos or old prom dresses that haven’t seen the light of day in a good few years, giving yourself the opportunity to utilise these clothes outside of a wedding or formal event is definitely the way to go. It makes for a proper evening, one that you can go all out on - while pretending that you’re someone you’re most definitely not, which is the most fun thing about it.

Set the Scene

Whether you’re having a themed party with pineapples or a throwback to the 1920s, you will always need to set the scene. Even a simple chill party can be made better with a few scatter cushions thrown around and candles to bring you into the mood and vibe of the party that you want. If you are having a themed party, make sure that you get everything right for it, and well in advance; you don’t want to be rushing around on the day putting stuff together haphazardly in high hopes that it’s going to look good for the evening. People appreciate presentation rather than a lack of effort - so put in your best!

Utilise the Rooms

Think of the rooms that you have in your home. You could throw a dinner party and make good use of your dining room if it’s not sat in regularly; make sure that you have all of the correct dining room furniture to host a sit-down meal rather than scraping around for spare chairs. It’s a good excuse to finish off this room if it’s never really received any love and attention, too - if it’s got a specific event to be ready for, you’ll be more inclined to get it up to scratch. Making sure that everything matches isn’t necessarily key here - it’s more about creating a room which reflects your style first and foremost, but also being able to be used correctly as the room it was intended to be.

Keep to Character

Again, if you are having a themed party (even a themed dinner party - murder mystery nights are great fun!) make sure that you stay in character. It’s easy enough to break if you need to, but it makes the party all the more interesting - especially if your guests have to uphold accents and demeanours which they totally can’t. It sets a precedent for the rest of the evening and can be something that you look back on to with fond memory.

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Are Selfies Zapping Your Self-Confidence?

If you go back a decade, you’ll travel back in time to an age where we used tripods or timers on cameras to take a shot of ourselves in front of dramatic scenery or bucket-list worthy attractions. Fast forward, and you can’t move for people trying to take that perfect selfie. There’s a lot to be said for being able to take photos easily, but has the selfie played a part in zapping our self-confidence?

Drawing on your flaws

When you look in the mirror, you probably don’t spend hours analysing what your teeth look like or whether your cheekbones are prominent enough. Selfies have given us the opportunity to see ourselves all the time, and every time we take a photo, we tend to spend time looking at the detail of it, and sadly, rather than focusing on the positives, we dwell on our flaws. Dentists, for example, have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people seeking cosmetic dental treatment and asking for information about whitening products such as those available on since the dawn of the selfie. Everyone, even those with beautiful teeth, wants that flawless Instagram-worthy smile. The reality of the situation is that the same person can look completely different depending on the angle of the shot, the proximity of the phone and the lighting.

Many of us aim for perfection, and this simply doesn’t exist. You may start to zone in on problems you’d never ever noticed before due to the magnification and the angle of the shot. If you took a normal photo, for example, your nose would probably be in proportion. When you’re shooting a selfie from close range, your nose may look a lot larger than it is in real life, and this can breed a complex out of nothing. Try not to focus on one bad photo in a set of 10 or 20. Even supermodels don’t nail every shot.

Comparing yourself to others

When you take a selfie, what do you do with it? Do you keep it to yourself or do you share it with others? Most of us are happy to upload photos onto sites like Instagram and Facebook, and this opens us up to the opinions of others and encourages us to compare ourselves to other people. Comparing ourselves to others is a human trait, but it can be really damaging. Even a good filter can change a shot dramatically before you start throwing in editing or airbrushing apps, and this can present us with an ideal, which we can’t live up to in reality.

If you find yourself comparing yourself to others, and using social media brings you down, put your phone down, and take a break. Sometimes, it can be liberating to focus on yourself, rather than what other people think, and life can be much simpler and more enjoyable when you’re not waiting for notifications or worrying about how many people have liked your photo. If you’re considering a break, you may find this article interesting

Many of us suffer from a lack of confidence, and often, this relates to the way we look or the way we think we look. Selfies can be fun, but don’t let them take over your life. It can be damaging to spend too much time analysing your appearance, especially if you tend to zone on features you perceive as imperfections.

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Last Night Of Freedom: Why No Wedding Talk Should Be Allowed

Traditionally, the hen night is the night the wedding festivities truly begin. After a lot of hassle, arguments, the occasional tantrum and discussions about finite details you’d never thought about before - you have the chance to enjoy the bright lights, laugh, and really blow off some steam.

If you organised the hen night then it might not be without its stresses. Ensuring people have a good time is top of your to-do list, but with the right planning and the right venue, it’s unlikely to be something you have to worry about too much. Okay, it’s a stress leading up to it, but on the night itself? Time to party and relax.

While there are various things outside of your control that can make the night stall for enjoyment, there is one major consideration: excessive talk about the impending wedding.

How Can That Be A Problem?

It’s a hen night. Someone is getting married; as the organiser, it’s probably a close friend or relative of yours. She’s a bride-to-be, so it’s natural that the wedding is going to be on everyone’s mind.

That’s what you tell yourself when it begins. Maybe the talk is started by an out-of-town friend or a chirpy bridesmaid, harmlessly querying how they chose the wording for their invites or whether they have written their own vows. The bride-to-be, delighted to have a captive audience, sits down and explains the answer is excruciating detail.

So that’s it - and there’s no harm done, is there? It’s a moment of light discussion, nothing to be concerned about.

Except… People Are Polite

Here’s where the problem comes. As the bride-to-be answers one question, others are going to want to be polite - or genuinely curious as to the answers. So the innocent question morphs, as someone asks a follow-up such as what flowers did they choose or where did they get those invites from, exactly?

You’ve now lost control of the night.

Is It Really That Bad?

Is it going to be a catastrophe? No - let’s keep things in perspective here. But nothing spoils a night of revelry like focusing on the finer details of the wedding. Not only does it become boring for those in the party who don’t much care about these things, but you also risk an overly-emotional bride. She becomes distracted from the ‘last night of freedom’ as she suddenly remembers… she didn’t actually call that caterer back, did she?

The mood is ruined, no one is having fun, the bride is fretting, and the night is unravelling.

The “No Wedding Talk” Clause

The only way to handle this situation is to confront it head on. At the start of the night, suggest that anyone who has any questions about the wedding that can’t wait until tomorrow, go ahead and ask them. Get it out of the way, move on, and all agree that there will be no more wedding discussion.

If despite this someone brings it up, then it’s harmless fun to suggest a penalty for doing so. Wearing a ridiculous sash or silly hat for 10 minutes should keep everyone else from making the same mistake - and thus, the night is saved.

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