Archives for February 2019

Ron Cadman – The Benefits of Investing in a Garden

For most people in the USA, investing in a garden is something that very few of us actually want to do. The reason for this comes down to the amount which you will use it, and this is why other areas of the property are considered when it comes to spending money. My friend Ron Cadman got on to me for many years about updating my garden, and 2 years ago I eventually cracked and decided to borrow a little bit of money from a lender, to renovate the garden area. I must confess that this was something which I had been wrong about in the past and that having the garden completed has given me a lot of benefits.

Property Price

Something which I completely failed to realize when I was carrying out this work on the garden was that the money which I had invested in it, would be recouped thanks to the increase of value on the property. Not every part of the house can increase your property’s value when you renovate it but the garden certainly is one which will. There is a great demand across the country for nicely designed gardens and that is why you shovel think about spending a little bit of money to get a nice looking garden and add a little to the value of your property.


I would be something of a fraud if I told you that I had enjoyed gardening all of my life, the truth is that I never have enjoyed it and since a young age I actively sought to avoid it. It was surprising for me then that once I had a garden of my own, I suddenly felt an urge to get out there and interact with the garden. Two years on and I currently spend most evenings and weekends in the garden, and I even have a subscription to a gardening magazine! You may find that you also have green fingers and if so then you will really enjoy seeing your work come to light.


During the summer months we would often go to someone’s home for a BBQ or a outdoor party yet we could never repay the favor because our garden was always in such a state. The first year after the garden was finished however we were able to invite friends, family and neighbors around to our garden for a BBQ, without feeling any shame. You know how it is amongst neighbors and our improved garden helped us with our social status amongst them.

Looking Out

There is something extremely gratifying to look out of your home window and see a beautiful looking garden rather than an outdoor area which looks more akin to a bomb site. I never realized just how much I hated my old back yard until I invested in it, and now I can enjoy gazing over it with my morning coffee, a lovely little benefit of having the work done.


How to Make Quiet and Shy Little Girls to be Poised on Your Wedding Day

There are some children who are too shy when it comes to mingling with other people. This could be one of the concerns of most parents, which sometimes affect their decisions in involving their children on activities. Let us have a quick review on some pediatric matters. According to Erik Erikson’s stages of development, the first four stages would best explain this concern. Flower girls also fall on these stages as they usually range from one to ten years old. With the first stage of development (trust vs mistrust), the children develop fear of the environment if they are unable to develop trust. The second stage however is about autonomy vs shame and doubt, in which the children usually develop confidence. Third stage would explain about initiative and guilt, wherein the children will be involved in social interactions, whilst the fourth stage will focus on industry and inferiority, wherein the emphasis is full social interaction. At this stage, they have also started going to school. With these stages of development, it would at least help parents and young ones to overcome the anxiety felt by these young ones while they are growing up.

As the wedding is fast approaching, how then can we help these young princesses to be confident when the day comes. Here are some tips:

1. Relationship with the Bride

Before the bride hands out the invitation with the names of the little girls written, she should at least communicate with the children and built rapport. She can show photos of flower girls or Disney characters especially if the children are too young. She can also give them dolls, wearing lovely gowns and explain that they will be wearing similar white flower girl dresses during the wedding day. In this way, the children will be used to seeing the bride. Having a good rapport will help the flower girls gain confidence during the wedding day.

2. Playmates/Buddy

The law of attraction: Not all the young members of the bridal party are shy, some have great confidence especially when it comes to discussion of their characters wearing lovely dresses. Hence, allow your child to play with the other young members as normally, these sociable young members will always start the communication and will help to overcome your child’s shyness.

3. Encourage the Child

Parents should encourage the children to join the rehearsals for them to get used of how the environment would look like the following day or the wedding day itself. Whilst having their buddies with them, the experience they will gain from the rehearsal alone will help them gain more self-confidence not only during the grand day but also on their daily activities.

4. Goals and Rewards

As parents, you can also set goals for the little girls and give them rewards after. Setting a goal like asking them to wear their beautiful flower girl dresses, walking down the aisle while throwing the flower petals would do; whilst giving them a reward such as fulfilling their request after the goal is met.


Your wedding could be a great experience and a great help for the children to overcome their anxiety and shyness. Aside from having the bridal party complete, making the wedding day fun and memorable, you have helped your friends and their children. It was twas hitting two birds with a stone. Congratulations and best wishes!

5 Essential Things To Do For An Addicted Loved One


“Addictions … started out like magical pets, pocket monsters.

They did extraordinary tricks, showed you things you hadn’t seen, were fun. But came, through some gradual dire alchemy, to make decisions for you. Eventually, they were making your most crucial life-decisions.

And they were … less intelligent than goldfish.”


– William Ford Gibson, U.S.-Canadian cyberpunk fiction writer

I don’t have an expert knowledge of cyberpunk, but that quote above is pretty spot on, pretty accurate. Nope, I don’t think I’ve ever even read a cyberpunk novel period, but one thing I do know is this. Unless you find help and treatment, substance addiction will ruin your life, impacting upon it like the proverbial bull in the china shop, smashing and shattering everything in sight, and maybe, just maybe, even end it.

However, if you’ve managed to dodge the bullet of addiction, and it can be very nondiscriminatory, all is good. Unless, of course, it missed you and hit a loved one – your spouse, your partner, another family member or a close friend. It’s important for you to understand you are not – I repeat, not – powerless in helping them.

I know this because the help, the support and, ultimately, the addiction treatment that I received for my years of the severe abuse of meth and alcohol all emanated from the love my own Mom had for me. Maybe, that should read “still had for me.”

My mother and father had had enough of their own suffering too after years of watching their son slowly implode his life through substance abuse that had led me from one dark corner to another, and finally to the darker corner of a prison cell.

So, when at one of my lowest ebbs, as drunk and high as I could get, and not long after my release, they threw me in the back of the family car and drove me to the next state over, where I would spend the next few months rebuilding my life behind the walls of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. Successfully, too.

My family’s actions that day were the beginning of my addiction recovery, one that has continued to last for over 9 years now. However, throwing an addicted and loved someone in the back of your car is not what this article is about.

In 2014, according to official government U.S. studies, 21.5 million of their citizens, and starting at the age of 12 years old, no less, were addicted to drugs or alcohol or both. 12 and over? That is a lot of parents, family members, friends and others all emotionally involved in those addicts’ lives.


So what exactly can you do to help when you are confronted with this chronic and incurable disease that has your loved one in its sinister grip?

Here are the 5 essential things you can for an addicted loved one, and, trust me, no-one has to get thrown into the back of anything (it’s still an option though…). Firstly, it’s about education:

#1. Back To School

Imagine if your loved one had another illness, another disease, that you didn’t really know about, instead of addiction. It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’d be Googling that medical term for it faster than you could run. Yes, guaranteed. Why? Because you want to help them, and nobody likes to see a loved one in distress, physically and emotionally.

Addiction is defined as “a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” In other words, someone doesn’t simply wake up one day and think to themselves, “Hey, today I’ll become an addict.” It simply does not work or happen like that. So, it should not be considered some kind of moral failing or personal weakness on their part – it’s a disease, one that may kill the individual eventually if no treatment is sought.


Educating yourself (and other family members) as much as you can about the disease of addiction will put you in a much better position to help your loved one. All the information about getting help and being treated for addiction that you require is there at the touch of a button. Just make sure your read up from recognized sources.

Additionally, you can attend AA meetings, seek advice from physicians, mental health doctors and addiction professionals, and seek out additional information from the range of addiction recovery books that are out there.

#2. Lose Any Guilt

Once you are more educated about addiction itself, you will understand one important fact – none of this, absolutely none of it, was your fault. With a clear conscience, you can lose any guilt that you may be feeling regarding your loved one’s addiction.

They didn’t become addicted because of you, and you certainly did not guide them that way. Importantly, you also need to remember that you sure can’t cure this either and you can’t control it either, but you can always help.

#3. Enabling Is Not Causing

Ok, home truth time. Bearing in mind what has been written above, there is something that happens very often in these situations, and it is called “enabling.” Enabling is the misguided attempt to try to control what’s going on with the addiction itself. In other words, enabling is simply misguided love.

In practical terms, your actions may be allowing the addiction to continue. Please look at the questions below and please answer them truthfully:


  • Do you find yourself apologizing on their behalf? This could be to other family members, their work colleagues, even their school.
  • Do you give or loan them money?
  • Do you support them financially in other ways, like pay bills, etc.?
  • Do you find yourself trying to hide their dysfunctional behavior from others?
  • Do you clear away evidence of their addiction?
  • Have you ever protected them from being arrested?

No, they are not easy questions to answer, by any means. However, the more honest you are with yourself about the situation you are in, the better placed you will be to help your loved one.

Think on this. If you actually do any of the above things, they will feel protected and will look upon your actions as some kind of approval; “It’s all ok. They love me. I don’t have to stop using/drinking.”

None of this will be easy, least of all, this part. The most positive action you can now take is to allow the consequences of their actions to happen naturally, as hard as that may be. Like I said, none of this is easy. However, the chances of them accepting help and its treatment will increase dramatically.

#4. Oxygen Masks In Airplanes

The best analogy that comes to mind… Remember the flight safety instructions you hear and see prior to your plane taking off? Remember that important part about oxygen masks? The part that says you must always put your own oxygen mask over your mouth before helping others with theirs, even your kids sat next to you?

Welcome to helping an addicted loved one. You are now facing a similar situation, and hopefully without the impending crash. The most vital part of all this is you. You must help yourself first. I repeat – you must help yourself first. If you don’t, and this is another home truth, you may well end up being no help at all.

Sadly, having been such a part of their lives for so long, it may have taken a toll on your mental health. Unbeknown to even you, you may be suffering from one of the following:


● Depression

● Anxiety




So before helping them, help yourself. See your doctor, get yourself checked over physically and have a good, frank discussion about how you are feeling and the situation you are now facing.

#5. Intervention

Progressive and chronic addiction can be deadly, just like any other disease. Therefore, you must speak with them whenever they are sober and insist they seek the help of a professional. If there is no agreement, your next step is an intervention. An intervention, instigated by you and with professional assistance from an addiction specialist, and possibly other family members and close friends, can get them into a rehabilitation facility that can help them find a path to recovery.

That’s my advice to you – the 5 essential things you must do if your loved one is facing addiction: educate yourself, lose your guilt, think about the harmful effect of enabling, looking after yourself (you are still your biggest priority), and intervention. Remember, if they are aware that your love and support throughout what follows will definitely continue, their chance of recovery increases. May I wish you both well.

The Best Ways To Improve The Interior of Your Home

If you’re on the lookout for creative ways to improve the interior of your home, simply continue reading to discover a few inspirational interior decorating tips and tricks.

The best ways to improve the interior of your home:

1. Get custom curtains made for your home

One way to instantly transform your home’s interior is to get custom curtains made for your home. As an example, if your lounge currently features plain neutral curtains, you may want to switch out your plain curtains for patterned or textured curtains. As an example, just imagine how great your lounge would look with classic jacquard print curtains or luxurious velvet textured curtains.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in renovating your master bedroom, you may be interested in investing in blackout curtains, which are just as practical as they are stylish.

2. Repaint some of the walls in your home

Another way to quickly change the look of your home’s interior is to repaint the walls in your home. As an example, you may want to modernize your home by using a dark grey paint to paint your lounge, study and master bedroom.

3. Upgrade your flooring by installing laminate flooring in your home

If your home’s current flooring, such as the flooring in your kitchen and bathroom look tired or outdated, it’s well worth upgrading your home’s flooring by covering your current flooring with fuss-free yet stylish Quick-Step Impressive Laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is a great option as it’s simple to install and is incredibly hardy and is sure to stand the test of time.

Better yet, laminate flooring comes in a plethora of different styles and textures. As examples, you can purchase laminate flooring which simulates the look of hardwood flooring as well as laminate flooring which simulates the look of stone flooring.

4. Use decorative rugs to dress up your home

One cost-effective way to update your home’s interior is to purchase a few decorative rugs which you can use to dress up multiple rooms in your home. Such as your lounge, your bedroom, and your study. If you’re looking for an effective, simple way to make your home feel like a warm, inviting space to spend time in, you’ll love how cozy your home will feel after placing a few carefully chosen rugs around your home.

5. Don’t limit yourself when it comes to textures, prints, and patterns

While some individuals may try to limit the number of textures, prints, and patterns which they use to decorate their home, your home will look far more stylish if you try to incorporate a few different textures, prints, and patterns into your home’s interior decor.

As an example, you may want to furnish a lounge which features a leather sofa, patterned pillows, a suede ottoman, a wood coffee table, and a glass vase.

6. Create a backsplash for your kitchen using modern white tiles

One way to give your kitchen a contemporary aesthetic is to create a stylish backsplash for your kitchen, using modern white tiles.

So if you’re looking to transform your home’s interior, it’s definitely worth using the six interior design tips listed above, to help you achieve your goal.

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The World’s Coolest Airports: Right Now and the Near Future


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From the family who occasionally flies to a vacation destination to businesspeople who find themselves on an airplane once a week, most people will eventually spend time at an airport. For some, the process of getting through security checkpoints and then waiting for the plane to arrive is a boring task on their way to the next destination.

Others, however, have the good fortune of traveling to or from some of the world’s coolest airports in terms of design, architecture, amenities, or technology. Below are just a handful of airports that travelers may want to add to their bucket list.

Los Angeles International Airport

Known as LAX to the flying public, the inclusion of this airport on a list of the worlds’ coolest may come as a surprise to some. As the busiest airport on the West Coast of the United States, LAX has been primarily known for its congestion until beginning a modernization project in 2010 that will not commence until 2023.

The upgrades will include the addition of 12 new aircraft gates in the Mindfield Satellite Concourse, renovation to several terminals, and an Automated People Mover (APM). The latter is a train system that makes a 2.25-mile loop and stops at six stations to connect travelers to pick-up and drop-off locations, rental car counters, and the regional rail system.

Singapore Changi Airport

An airport receiving a nomination as the best in the world from Skytrax is similar to an actor winning a Golden Globe. Based in the United Kingdom, Skytrax is a consultancy firm that ranks airports and airlines. Singapore Changi Airport received this award not once, but five years in a row.

Considering that this airport comes complete with a free movie theater, swimming pools on the rooftop, a 40-foot slide between floors on Terminal 3, and a butterfly garden with 1,000 occupants, the Skytrax award is easy to understand. Walking from one gate to the next is quite an adventure here.

Beijing Capital International Airport

Affectionally called the Big Starfish, designers created this two-mile airport to look like a dragon when looking at it from an aerial view. Its colorful design represents all colors native to China. Thanks to its sustainable lighting, visitors to Big Starfish will enjoy yellow and red lights bouncing off the roof. They might also wish to visit the rooftop garden.

Beijing Capital International Airport has earned a reputation as an environmentally friendly and extremely modern airport. This is a good thing since layovers here can last an entire day. With Tiananmen Square not too far away, those waiting for their next plane can make a day of exploring the local culture.

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport

Architects in Spain understand that traveling by plane can be stressful. This is the reason they designed this airport with paned glass instead of solid walls and carefully planned illumination effects. They also created a dome roof to allow natural light to shine inside of the airport. It didn’t take long to prove that these measures helped to dramatically decrease the stress of people traveling by plane.

These airports join a few dozen others in the world that regularly inspire the wow factor in travelers. They bring new meaning to the expression “Getting there is half the fun.”

To read more on topics like this, check out the travel category.