Friday, 22 February 2019

Chester Zoo 2019

Chester Zoo is one of my favourite family attractions in the UK and holds a special place in my heart. As a child we often visited Chester Zoo whilst on family holidays and it was always a fun and exciting time, as such our visits there are some of the fondest memories I have from my childhood.  It was also one of the family attractions we visited when on our first family holiday with our eldest child when he was a toddler. He was so excited to see the amazing animals as we explored the expansive zoo. 

Fast forward a few years and we again visited Chester Zoo again during our first holiday as a family of four. Again we created many fun memories that I treasure during our visit to Chester Zoo. Back in the summer of 2017 during our first family holiday as a family of four the boys loved seeing the magnificent animals, adored the boat ride on The Islands and had lots of fun playing in the PLAY! Space.

As we are planning a UK staycation family holiday for this summer where we will be travelling from Pembrokeshire up to North Wales and then across the North of England, we have decided to stop in Chester for a few days. As we love Chester Zoo and have had many wonderful visits there it is no surprise that we plan on visiting yet again this summer. With that in mind as part of planning for our summer 2019 family holiday I have been looking at what plans Chester Zoo has for this year.

Staycation 2019

This year we are planning a UK staycation family holiday for the summer where we will be travelling from Pembrokeshire up to North Wales and then across the North of England visiting a number of locations including Chester, Blackpool, Leeds and Scarborough.

Whilst it is going to be lots of travelling we are going to breaking up the journey with a few days at various locations where we will be exploring the area and visiting local family friendly attractions. Not only is it a lovely way for us to see and explore more of what wonderful Great Britain has to offer but by heading North it allows us to also visit Lee’s family in Leeds.

How your garden can help tackle air pollution


Rising air pollution is a big problem. Air pollution can cause both short term and long term effects on health. In fact 40,000 deaths each year in the UK are linked to toxic air levels. The severity of this invisible killer is highlighted in the fact that one girl's tragic death could mark the first death certificate to have 'toxic air' cited as the primary cause of death.

With toxic air impacting on our health it is no surprise that people are considering what they can do to tackle air pollution.

Looking at our carbon footprint and making positive changes to lower our carbon footprint can help fight against rising air pollution.

Another way to change toxin levels in the air is to look at things that will clean the air – PLANTS! Thankfully there are a number of plants that can be grown in your garden and community areas that are ideal for fighting air pollution as they help purify and clean the air. Let's venture outdoors and look at the best plants to help purify, filter and clean the air.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Smart ways you can add value to your home


There has been a growing trend over recent years where people are looking to perform work on their homes strategically, for the way it can boost the selling price as opposed to simply renovating their home just because they fancy a change. But what are the top ways in which you can add value to your home?

Extensions and Loft Conversions
Reconfiguring your home could be the most cost-effective way of creating more bedrooms. On the whole, it is more affordable to transform a two-bedroom house into a three-bedroom living space over purchasing a new house with an additional bedroom. A good builder and architect would be able to work together in order to redesign your floor plans to make the most of the space that you have available throughout your home.

Adding a brick built single or double height extension is one of the most popular ways to add value to your home. Providing your building works are well executed and planned meticulously, an extra can add around 12% to the value of your property.

Similarly, loft conversions can dramatically transform your home for the better, often with a smaller expense compared to that of an extension. Some say ‘build upwards not outwards’, as this is the most effective way of maximising your returns when you come to sell, adding around 15% to the value of the house in the long run.

One of the main things to bear in mind when trying to add value to your property is to avoid overdeveloping. You should speak to a local estate agent to discover the ceiling price of your home, this way, no matter what you do to it, your property can’t command an asking price that is too much higher than that of the other properties on your street.

Updating your rooms
Renewing tired rooms throughout your home can be a great way to start if you are looking to add value to your property. Choosing to update your bathroom may not necessarily add heaps of value, but it can certainly boost the appeal, making it more attractive for new buyers. You need to consider your bedroom to bathroom ratio. For instance, if you live in a four bedroomed house with only one bathroom, it may be worth adding in a second one which can add value too, as much as 9%.

Kitchens are often referred to as the heart of the house, and for some houses, this is where most spend their time. The kitchen ranks as one of the top projects to renew and update, as the value adding benefits are solid. Like the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the main things that people look for, therefore boosting the appeal of your home if you chose to modernise your kitchen design.

Decorate the exterior
What if I said that most home buyers make up their minds before setting foot inside a home? While you may be focusing all of your attention on the beautifying the inside of your home, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Therefore the exterior of your home is equally as important as what your house looks like from the inside. Improving the kerb appeal of your property doesn’t need to be costly, nor time-consuming, but simple tweaks can make viewing your home that extra bit delightful.

Brightening up your exterior colour by providing a fresh lick of paint can go a long way in attracting new buyers. Although this doesn’t necessarily boost the value of your home directly, it will also be sure to make your home look more enticing.

Eco-friendly features
Green living is one of the most dominating trends in home living and can actually make all the difference when it comes to selling a home. Green features and finishes make your home stand out against other competitors in the housing market and can often help to secure a sale. 

To ensure you get the best possible price for your home, it makes sense to add sustainable and energy-saving features to traditional fixtures in your kitchen and bathroom. Properties from offer smart lighting that provides each homeowner with the added benefit of reducing expensive utility bills and an elevated style of living. This comfort knowing that you are only paying for what you are using is a desirable factor when considering where to buy.