Operation Preparation: How To Get Ready For Hospital Procedures



Whether you have a medical or cosmetic treatment, surgery and operational procedures can be an incredibly scary experience. There will be a lot that is racing through your mind but taking a few small, smart steps before your operation can help you approach the big day with confidence – and ensure a smooth recovery. Here are a few tips that will help you deal with and prepare for surgery.

Read the instructions!

All surgical procedures need you to do a few specific things before the big day. Your consultant or doctor will give you all the information you need to prepare properly, and it’s vital that you read it all and take it in. Many people turn up on the day of the op without giving their info leaflet a second glance, and it will just end up as a waste of your time – and the hospital’s resources.

Quit smoking

Every doctor will tell you to quit smoking, of course, but it’s even more important to do so – even if only temporarily – at least a few weeks before the big day. Patients that smoke are more complicated to deal with when they go under the knife, and if you want to avoid the prospect of complications, you’ll need to kick the habit.

Overcome your fears

Fear of surgery is a common issue, but it’s essential that you don’t let your anxiety cause you to cancel or postpone your procedure. Putting it off will just delay the inevitable, and if you are suffering from an illness, you will only be allowing it to worsen. Timing can be critical in some cases, and sometimes only surgery can reveal the full extent of your disease. So, if you have concerns about the op, speak to your doctor. They will be able to point you in the right direction for help, and ensure that you approach the big day with confidence rather than fear.

Be active

Be as active as you possibly can before your operation – but always chat to your doctor beforehand to ensure you are doing the right type of exercise. Going into a surgical procedure when you are fit and healthy will reduce your recovery time and have a positive impact on your outcome. Also, you might be spending a long period recovering on healthcare furniture and beds while you are in a hospital, and could be unable to exercise for a few weeks after the procedure. The fitter you are beforehand, the least impact your inactivity will have.

Arrange your follow-up care

Finally, make sure that your loved ones, family, and friends are all aware of your needs after the operation. Give the people in your life the time to learn new skills – maybe they will need to put dressings on or change your bandages, for example. Some people don’t like to make a fuss, and won’t ask for help – but a speedy recovery might rely on others giving you assistance.

The vast majority of surgical procedures occur without a hitch. And much of the success is due to how you prepare for your big day and plan for your recovery. Get these simple things right, and with a little luck – and a lot of skill from the surgeon – your op has every chance of success.

From Scratch: Is It Worth Building Your Own Furniture?

Of all the home improvements we could do, very few people think about getting into a workshop to make their own furniture or commissioning some work from a reputable vendor. Chances are, if you want to renovate a home you’re probably going to buy furniture from a store such as IKEA or something similar.


But if you want to renovate your house on a budget, or if you want to add a bit of style and customisation to your home, then take a moment to consider building your own. To get you excited for building or commissioning your own furniture, here are a couple of good advantages on why you should.

How to custom make

There are a couple of ways to build your own furniture on a budget. For starters, if you have the necessary power tools and workbenches, you could start working on 2×4 wood and buy a bucket of screws. If you need assistance, you can always look online for furniture plans to help you get started. The other option is to do an “IKEA hack”. Since IKEA furniture always comes flat packed, it means that you can build your own furniture using multiple pieces of IKEA furniture. You could start with a simple desk and install a shelf on top of it, or you can mix and match table legs with tops.


It’s cheaper

Even if you buy from a cheap furniture store, you’re always going to end up paying a premium for a brand name and for labour. If you’re DIY-savvy or if you have friends who are willing to work together and help you, you could create wonderful pieces of custom-made furniture for extremely low prices. All you need is a couple of power tools, some raw materials and then you have all the ingredients to furnish your very own home.

For example, a drawer made from third-party stainless steel drawer slides and some 2×4 wood will cost a fraction of even the cheapest drawers you can buy from IKEA or any other furniture store, and you have the option of customising the dimensions, colours and add other accessories.

Everything will fit

If you have an awkward part of the home, such as a dip in the wall or a slightly uneven floor, you might have trouble installing furniture because it just doesn’t fit. When you have large open rooms, even floors and plenty of ceiling clearance, furnishing a house is very simple. But if you want to make the most use of your space and have everything fit perfectly, you’re going to need to invest in some custom-made furniture.

When you create your own furniture or commission it, you should always get a tape measure and write down some measurements. If you want a desk to sit in an enclosure or specific part of your home, measure it out and draw up a sketch of what you want it to look like before you get to work. If you need shelves at specific heights, or if one leg of a table needs to be slightly taller, then make sure you are writing all of these specific details down so that you or your contractor knows.

Exploring The World by Air, Land and Water

With some many stunning destinations across the world, investing your time and money in travel is something you will never regret doing. But there’s so much more you can do than simply jetting off to a country and lying on the beach topping up your tan. Here are some of the ways you can truly explore and appreciate each place you visit.

By Land

Whether you travel by foot, vehicle or animal- there are plenty of incredible ways you can get around destinations by land. You could go on a camel trek in the Australian Outback or horseback riding in Oregon. You could ride Vespas in Italy, or travel Amsterdam by bicycle. For something a little faster, how about a road trip along Route 66 in an RV, or whizz down the famous Trans-Siberian railway by train. To really immerse yourself in a culture and destination, backpacking is an amazing, humble way to see the world. As well as moving around on foot you will be mixing with the locals and using public transport too. If you’re looking to really do things in style, you could hire a high-end sports or muscle car and get around your destination in this! Either way, there are a ton of great ways to travel each offering very different experiences.



By Air

Travel by air is incredibly exciting, perfect for thrill seekers! You could take a helicopter ride over London, or ride a hot air balloon in New York. You could go paragliding, parachute jumping or even ride a zeppelin which is a lot like a blimp. Since blimp tours are no longer available to the public due to safety concerns, this is a way you can get a similar experience. One of the best things about traveling by air is the epic views you see of your destination. Having a bird’s eye view is a unique way to see a place and something that will be ingrained in your memory forever!


By Water

If being out on the water with the wind in your hair is more your kind of thing, how about exploring the oceans, rivers and incredible lakes of the world? Salt Lake City, for example, offers a range of watersports surrounded by breathtaking scenery. You could look into yacht rental in Dubai if you want to see the fascinating city from a different viewpoint. You could go snorkeling or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, go fishing, swimming, kayaking and so much more. There are immensely beautiful beaches, harbors and bays all across the world where you can jump on a boat and feel the freedom that comes with being out on the water.

Have a holiday booked this year? Why not look into some of these epic ways to explore your destination and get the most out of your trip!

Funky Fixture Ideas For Your New Kitchen

The kitchen is the hub of a home. It’s where all the activity for meals happens and it’s most of the time the place the gossip happens when you invite your mum over. Celebrating having a kitchen installed should be done in style and it should include you injecting a little personality into your home. You may be a dab hand at sorting out your bedroom – your haven – but what about the busiest room in the house? It’s not one that can be changed around on a whim, so you have to make some serious decisions about your upgrades. Be funky, but be thoughtful in your endeavour.

Installing a brand-new kitchen is a big job and can take an awful lot of time to be properly fitted. It’s not just the few days that the builders will be ripping one kitchen out, it’s the replacement fittings and cupboards going into the kitchen that you’ll have to live with. So, this means you will be well-deserving of a treat and that treat should come in the form of some quirky fixtures for your kitchen. Swerve convention and favour the unique and original with some of these excellent fixtures ideas:

  • If you love the bare wood look, head to your local timber yard for some pallets. Pallet furniture is becoming SO popular, as are floating shelves made from pallet wood. Not into pallets? The yard will still have some fantastic finds and you can create beautiful and original tables out of discarded wood. Call in a carpenter to help if you must, but invest some time and elbow grease into creating something truly unique for your home.
  • Trawling the antique and junk shops and car boot sales for gems is a fun hobby that most people love doing and on their travels, they find some serious treasures. Boost the look of your kitchen by adding in lampshades and old display cabinets that ooze vintage fun!
  • Love to go a little modern? How about installing in some funky chrome fittings? You could go for a new look sink with a garbage disposal and boiling water taps. Works like a kettle but instantly. Now there’s a little modernism for you!
  • Rather than go for the standard beige or grey, why not choose to install brightly coloured cabinets? You could truly inject a little style into your home by simply choosing a bright and bold colour. If you love red accessories in your kitchen space, go for red doors. It’s a simple concept but one that gives a tired kitchen a refreshed and clean look.


You don’t have to be a genius interior designer to choose new kitchen fittings. All you have to be is yourself. Your home should reflect your personality and if you take the time to choose fixtures that make you stand out from the crowd, you can ensure that your kitchen is the one most talked about among your friends.

Why You Should Renovate Your House Rather Than Move

Everybody gets bored in their homes after a while. They look around and see the same old rooms, the same old designs, and maybe one or two minor problems all of a sudden become much bigger problems in their heads. It’s at about this stage that some people decide to cast their eye to their market and see what else is out there on the market. Looking around at the homes available in estate agents, they’ll see what they imagine to be their perfect home – only, of course, it isn’t perfect: the attraction is just because it’s new. There are ways to combat home boredom; in fact, one of the simplest way to see your home through refreshed eyes is to simply move the furniture around!

But if that doesn’t do that, then you do have another option: renovating your home. This option, on paper, as exciting as picking up all your belongings and starting afresh in a new house, but it does have a bunch of advantages – and in many cases might be the most sensible option available. Take a look at some of the reasons below why it might be better to renovate than move.

Friends, Family, and Community

You’ve lived in your current home for how long? If it’s more than a year, then you’re probably part of the community! Don’t discount just how much you’ll miss having people you can rely on nearby. While you’ll of course make new friends when you move, if you already have roots in a community then you might be surprised at how much you miss it once it’s gone. Your children may have friends living on the same street; your dog might have a few friends of his or her own also. Your local shop, bus driver, library…all these things are an important part of daily life and shouldn’t be given up without serious consideration. So before you move, think of Bob, and Janet, and Ralph, and all the other characters you have in your local life.

It Can Be Cheaper

And now we’re talking! Yes, renovating your home can be cheaper than moving to a new house. Even if, say, you sold your house for one value and spent the exact same amount of money on your new home, it would still be costing you money – because there are so many unexpected fees that can crop in a house move. It’s not just estate agent fees either, but taxes, solicitors, movers, and all the rest. You might even have to take time off work, which while not “costing you money” will affect your cash flow. A home renovation isn’t cheap, of course, but look at the big picture and it might be cheaper than you think!

Designed In Your Own Creation

The main advantage of renovating your home is that you get to design it in your own creation. That is, you’ll be able to have the areas of the house you renovate exactly as you want them. Even if you did this when you first moved into your home (and you might not have), it’s exciting to be able to create a new and modern look from scratch. It allows you to get creative and really put your personality into your home. It also gives you an excuse to upgrade all the features of your home; if you’re doing the dining room, you might want to splash out for that vintage dining table you always wanted; in the bedroom it’ll be a plush Feather & Black bed; in the kitchen, a high quality knife set, and so on.

Adding Value

You’ll be getting the house the way you always wanted it to be, and you’ll also be adding value to your home! Renovations that cost several thousand pounds can add up to 10 percent to the value of your home. If your home is worth £250,000, then this could mean an additional £25,000 just for the cost of improving one area of your home that you really wanted to improve anyway! Some renovations are costlier than others, though these also attract the higher increases in home values. Of all the renovations you could do, converting a loft into another bedroom is the one that would cost the most, but also bring the biggest rewards. An added bathroom, especially an en-suite, is another good option; they can cost as little as £2,500, but can add 6% or more to the value of your home.

Long Term Goals

When you’re thinking about renovating, it’s important to think about the long term goals you have for your home. It might not be about selling at all. It might be that if you decide to stay put and renovate that you’ll end up staying forever, more or less. If this is your thinking, then you’ll have to ask yourself: how many bedrooms are we likely to want in the future? This is the biggest question when it comes to renovating, because while most other things can be adapted or modified, there’s only so much bigger you can make a house. Essentially you’ll have to consider how long you plan to be in your home once the renovations are complete.

You Don’t Have To Move

It’s an underrated advantage of renovating your home: you don’t have to move. If you’re already in a home then you probably already know how stressful it can to pick up your entire life and move it to another slice of the world. The day itself can be a nightmare – ranks higher on the stress levels than divorce! But even beyond that manic first day, you have months of not being fully at home, figuring things out, finding unexpected problems and other issues you just hadn’t considered before you took the plunge and bought the house. Renovating might not be a walk in the park, but it’s less stressful than a big move!


With all that being said, we can’t write an article on renovating without mentioning some of the pretty big pitfalls of renovating. For starters, it’s time consuming, and it’s entirely possible that your home will resemble a building site for 3 – 6 months, or even longer if the job is complex. It also doesn’t always make financial sense. For instance, if you upgrade the number of bedrooms you have from 3 to 4 then it will add value to the cost of your property, but if it’s not in the right location then there’s a chance no one will buy it. This happens in communities of starter homes, where people generally are just looking to get on the ladder and not stay to raise a big family. It’s also worth remembering that there are limitations to what you can do; renovating your home is actually renovating just a few rooms in your home – you can’t completely overhaul your property as that would be wildly expensive.


Renovating a house isn’t for everybody. Some people just want to get away and some have simply outgrown their property. However, it should be considered more often than it actually is. It allows homeowners to really put their stamp on their house and mould it in their own design. With a bunch of other advantages, and with home prices in the UK getting more and more out of hand, it might be that the coming years we see a surge in home renovations rather moving. What will you do: will you stay, or will you go?

Bedroom Basics: How To Design Them Right



Designing any room in the home can be an exciting, interesting, exhausting, and rewarding experience. A lot of the time, you get a theme in mind and want to stick to that. However, it can also be an idea to note down a few important functions for each of the rooms in your house. While your living room space might be saved for rest, or togetherness and family time, what do you immediately think of when it comes to the bedroom? Sleep! So, when you’re working on bedroom design, try to channel all of your energy into creating a sleep-inducing effect.

The Feel

Design does matter, but when you’re creating your bedroom, it’s the idea of achieving a calming space that is the most important factor. You can create a room that promotes sleep, and still looks stylish. But, if you focus on fashion over function, you may struggle ever to get a decent night’s sleep. To achieve the right sleep inspiring vibe, you need to focus on serenity and do what you can to avoid clutter, stress, and anything too stimulating.

The Bed

Alongside the overall feel, you try to create in your bedroom, it’s important that your bed is perfect for sleeping. It can be tempting to opt for the cheapest style or something that works well with your taste, but it’s more important to make sure that it’s comfortable and will support you to sleep. It’s the same for your little ones too. Whether you’re looking for a new mattress for you or beds for toddlers from Cuckooland, you’re going to want to make sure your choice is right.

pexels-photo-90319The Space

Next up is the layout. Although you might be tempted to cram a lot of furniture into a small space, it’s important to keep the primary function of your bedroom in mind. If the room feels chaotic and small, it may hinder your sleep levels. Instead, you want the room to facilitate sleep – so it needs to have a calming, open presence. If you can, try to keep dressing facilities or working areas in another room in the house.

The Colour

You might think that color is a big part of the design or aesthetics. And while it may be, it can actually have a big impact on the overall feeling of a room. There are certain soothing colors that you might choose to use in your bedroom in order to facilitate sleep. They’re a much better choice over harsher, more brash colors, as they will aid you in your relaxation, rather than prevent it.

The Furniture

And then there’s the furniture. If you’re stuck for space, then you might find that you have to add storage and dressing facilities into your bedroom. If that’s the case, then you’re going to want to make sure that they’re as understated and as minimal as possible. That way, clutter, and chaos won’t affect the calming vibe that you’re trying to create; instead, the room will appear polished, minimal, and channel a sound sleepy feeling.

Four Great Rules To Live By That Will Truly Affect Your Appearance



There is so much more to looking your best than dressing well and expertly applied cat-flick eyeliner, unfortunately. Not only do we have to consider our weight, hairstyle, and fashion, there’s all manner of seemingly innocuous things that will sneak up on us and make us look tired, old, or just plain drab. It can seem like a bit of a minefield, but there are four basic rules to follow.

  1. Prioritise a good diet

A bad diet can have a really detrimental effect on our appearance, and it’s not just our weight that suffers. Eating fatty or oily food in high quantities can make our hair limp, and our skin look dull or spotty. We also need lots of vitamins and minerals, protein and healthy fats in our diets to ensure strong hair growth, clear skin, and healthy skin rejuvenation. Water is also crucial for keeping skin looking clear, aiding weight loss, and just making us look awake. Yo-yo diets can also cause poor skin and lifeless hair, and even result in weight gain. The best way to look great and benefit from clear skin is to enjoy a healthy balanced diet and good hydration – easy peasy.

  1. Avoid bad habits

It might surprise people to know that there are so many bad habits that people associate with poor long-term health which can also have an immediate impact on physical appearance. Smoking, for example, not only compromises life expectancy and health, but it can seriously affect looks too. Lines around the mouth, skin discolouration, dull skin, and a bad odour are all almost immediate side effects of smoking. Drinking too much alcohol can also cause the skin to look dull and tired, and weight gain is also common.

  1. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason

If you’re a stranger to sleep, you’ll be no stranger to dark circles and maybe even other skin complaints. When we miss out on sleep, our bodies produce cortisol, known colloquially as the stress hormone, which worsens inflammation such as acne or psoriasis. Our bodies also rely on sleep to rejuvenate and create more collagen, which is essential for keeping skin plump and elastic. Missing sleep can even speed up the aging process, so don’t skimp on it!

  1. Consider your medications

Some medication can have side effects of skin problems, and it can be difficult to know what to expect before you start taking them. This is especially the case for contraception, as the use of hormones can have a significant effect on skin clarity. The two major types of contraceptive pill, the mini pill or the combined, such as the Yasmin pill, use different combinations of hormones, so will affect the body differently. On the plus side, if one has a negative effect, the other might work perfectly, so make sure you speak to your doctor if you think this could be a problem for you.

There are so many factors which affect our appearance, many of which we never consider, even though their impact can be significant. Just remember, if you’re worried about anything it’s really important to see your GP for advice.