When winter time comes around, all anyone wants to do is snuggle up beneath a sheepskin rug by the fire. But what if you don’t have a sheepskin rug? Or a fire? Not to worry, as there are many innovative ways in which you can create a cosy space without having to live on the front cover of a Christmas card. Coming home to a warm and inviting space is one of the most rewarding things when it’s cold and miserable outside. Here are 5 ways to help you achieve a cosy home:
If you want to keep warm without cranking up the heating or putting on every sweater you own, then invest in some cosy blankets which you can throw over your sofa. If you pick the right pattern or colour to go with your room, they can look great when they’re not being used, too. Creams, subtle patterns and tartan are great all-rounders that can fit in almost any setting.
Another way to make your sofa warmer and more inviting is to go big on the cushions. Oversized pillows can really create a space which you can sink into which will feel a million miles from the cold outdoors.
Carpeting not only looks cosy, it is also the best way to help insulate your home. Whereas floor boards let a lot of heat escape, carpet holds it all in, which makes your home warmer and in turn reduces your heating bills – it’s a win-win!
Warm, soft lighting can make a world of difference when it comes to creating a cosy feel. Whereas cold daylight bulbs may be great during the summer, warm, golden lighting is best in the winter months. If you want the best of both, then use colder lighting offset by warm lamps, which can be used to create pockets of rosy light on a winter’s evening.
Heating is obviously one of the easiest ways in which to make your home warm and cosy. Why not go a step further and install under floor heating in your bathrooms? It certainly makes getting out of the warm shower on a cold night a whole lot easier. Heated towel rails are another great way to bring heat into your bathrooms, while electric blankets can give your bed an ultra-cosy feel.
The colours used in your home can also make a big difference to how cosy it feels. By opting for warmer creams or even yellows and oranges, you can make a space feel warm and inviting. Likewise, pops of gold and rose gold can really help to deepen the warmth of a space. If you have light walls, then opt for warm-coloured furnishings and accessories to create a warmer feel.
Using family photos to decorate your walls and shelves is another great way to make a room feel homely and inviting. Plus, the happy memories this brings will certainly help you to make it through the cold, grey winter.
There are so many small touches you can add to prepare your home for winter, so don’t wait till it’s too late – get prepping now!
What to Do When Your External Drive Is Broken
We capture and store a lot of digital files these days. Over 70% of our lives, from the photos we capture with our phones to the vacation videos from a couple of years ago, are stored digitally. Having a reliable storage solution is a must and many of us rely on external USB hard drives as a solution.
Even the most reliable hard drive can fail. If you have had one of your storage media or external drives fail you before, you know how dreadful – and stressful – the situation can be. Worry not, because you have more options than you realize in this type of circumstance.
Spot the Signs Early
You can actually recognize signs that your hard drive is failing early. When you do, you may still have the option to back up your files to another, newer external drive for safekeeping. This is obviously the easiest way to go, so knowing the signs and how to spot them is important.
One of the major signs that your hard drive is failing is a much slower read and write speed. While a slow drive doesn’t always mean that it is failing, a difference in read and write speed (a noticeable one nonetheless) should prompt you to make an additional backup of the drive immediately.
Other signs are more physical and apparent. You may hear a knocking sound coming from the drive when it is reading or writing data. The drive may even make a louder noise than usual or emit more heat than usual. These too are signs to watch out for.
In a worst-case scenario, your drive may be unreadable all of a sudden. If you are using a Windows computer, Windows usually asks you to format the drive before you can use it. Don’t format the drive just yet. In this case, unplug the drive safely and take it offline.
Data Recovery Options
Your drive fails and there is a serious risk that your files may be gone forever; what should you do next? It is time to take a look at your options.
You want to start by testing the cable you use to connect your drive. Sometimes, the cable is the culprit and replacing it is all you need to do to get the drive working again.
If it isn’t the cable, then you need to start weighing some data recovery options. There are software programs that enable you to do it yourself, but the best way to go is by getting the assistance of professional and secure data recovery service provider.
Sending the Drive for Recovery
Here’s the good news: the best recovery service providers can restore most – if not all – of your files without an issue in most cases. The files aren’t accessible with the drive being broken, but they are still there and can be moved to another drive.
Package the drive with bubble wrap and make sure it will stay protected as you send the drive for recovery. Either ship the device yourself or call the recovery service provider to schedule an on-site pick-up for the drive. Wait for the recovery process to be completed and you should have your files back and safe.
4 Reasons Why Microfiber Cloths are Better for Cleaning
There are many products that claim to do a better job than the original, like exercise machines that promise to burn more calories or shoes that claim to be better for your posture. Indeed, many have fallen for these promises and ended up disappointed.
Microfiber cloths are in a league of their own, however, because they really ARE better than rags and other cleaning implements. Don’t believe it? Here are a few reasons why you should buy microfiber cleaning cloths and towels for your home.
They are Better for Dry Dusting
The physical structure of microfiber cloths is what makes them different and more effective: the tiny fibers of this synthetic fabric are split into even thinner, tinier “hooks,” which pick up and hold on to the dirt and grime. Other materials like cotton or cotton blends simply don’t have this property, and that’s why you end up just scattering dust or transferring it onto another surface.
Another benefit of microfiber is that it leaves no residues that often end up attracting more dust. You can even use the same cloth as a surface polisher; just flip over the cloth and buff the surface for a lint-free shine.
They Do a Better Job Removing Grime
Sometimes, you really have to use a wet cloth to get out some stubborn grime, like grease stains or soap spots. The good thing about microfiber is that you don’t need to use special cleaners to do the job — most of the time, a little bit of water will do. If you need more environment-friendly cleaning power, white vinegar will do just fine. Simply moisten one end of your microfiber cloth, scrub the grime away, then use the other end to dry and shine the surface your cleaned.
Microfiber also has another edge over other materials: where other cloths leave lint behind, whether you use them wet or dry, microfiber doesn’t have this problem; it cleans without any lint and streaks. If you’ve ever experienced cleaning something that ended up looking dirtier than before, because of all the streaks and smudges, you’ll certainly appreciate a high-quality microfiber cloth. It’s especially wonderful to use on glass and mirrored surfaces!
‘Calibri’,’sans-serif’; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;”>It’s Better for the Environment
Because there is no need for chemicals and other harsh cleaners, microfiber cloths are safer for the environment. Even the washing process of microfiber is a lot more ecologically friendly — no need for bleach and fabric softeners, just some mild detergent.
What’s more, high quality microfiber doesn’t degrade as easily. As long as you follow the proper care instructions, one piece of microfiber cloth can last for about 300 to 500 washings! This means you also reduce the waste you generate while cleaning. Less waste also means less expenses, so it really is a win-win situation.
It’s Better for Your Health
Apart from the reduced exposure to harmful chemicals, microfiber cleaning cloths can also protect you from physical strain. Why? It’s a lot lighter than cotton even if it absorbs so much more moisture. This saves you from neck, wrist, and back injuries that may be caused by carrying heavy, water-soaked mops.
Microfiber has also been scientifically proven to be able to remove 93 percent of viruses and up to 98 percent of bacteria from surfaces. And because it dries much faster than cotton, it’s a lot harder for bacteria to grow in the cloth; this also drastically reduces that chances of cross-contamination.
Finally, using microfiber cloths and cleaning implements like dusters and mops cuts down your cleaning time. You therefore have more time to rest or do other things like your hobbies, which is definitely better for your overall health.
Over the years, many revolutionary products have come and gone. They may actually do as they promise, but they could be complicated to use or a bit too expensive for many people to access. Microfiber cloths, however, have truly changed our lives for the better. Although not as technological when compared to smartphones and computers, microfiber cloths have definitely made our lives easier, healthier, and more comfortable.
How to Create a Beautiful Garden in a Small Space
There are many benefits to having a garden in your home. The most obvious one of course is that it is a visually pleasing addition to any living space. Tending to a garden has also been scientifically proven to be beneficial to one’s physical and psychological health. What’s more, if you grow crops and herbs, you’ll be able to cut down your grocery expenses as well.
Contrary to what many people might think, a beautiful garden doesn’t need too much space. There are also a lot of plants that thrive even with minimal care, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t have possess the proverbial green thumb. Here are some tips on how you can maximize your yard space and cultivate a small yet charming garden of your very own.
You may not have a lot of horizontal floor space, but you can certainly create more by building upwards. Try planting on layered boxes (think of bleacher benches) or building archways, plant towers, or trellises where plants can craw. You can also consider installing a frame on a wall where you can hang aerial plants. Dividing your garden into sections may also create the illusion of a bigger area. Create the divisions using stones, grass, or even a line of small plants.
You can also try what is called “square foot gardening” for some variety. This simply entails dividing the growing area into individual patches, usually one square foot each, where you plant different kinds of vegetables, herbs, and other plants that don’t take up much space.
Add a Water Fountain
Installing an outdoor water fountain can instantly beautify your small garden. However, just like gardens themselves, outdoor water fountains are often thought of as something that requires a lot of space. This is simply not true, as there are many space-saving models available in the market. Look for tall, tower-type floor fountains or a pedestal model where you can arrange a small collection of plants underneath. If your yard is flush against a wall, an outdoor wall fountain is an ideal choice. Surround it with hanging plants and watch them thrive with the additional moisture!
Go for an Edible Garden
If you’re really going for the maximum output in the smallest amount of space, plant vegetables, root crops, and herbs instead of ornamentals. Edibles are low-maintenance (no mowing or frequent clipping required!), require less watering, and, except for a few species that need specific conditions to grow, can thrive in almost any kind of environment. Plus, you’ll get to harvest fresh, healthy, and organic foods.
Tomatoes are easy to grow and bear fruit quite quickly; they’re also pleasant to look at with their various colors. Blueberries, blackberries, parsley, sweet potatoes, and other plants that can tolerate acidic to moderately acidic soil are also good choices if you aren’t quite a skilled gardener. Meanwhile, if you’re gunning for variety, you can plant quick-to-harvest crops like baby carrots, green onions, lettuce, and other leafy greens.
Plant in Containers
Instead of planting directly on the soil, use various containers that you can hang or stack. Planting in containers easily increases the amount of space where you can plant, and adds mobility to your garden so you can rearrange it to add more plants and crops whenever you want. Planting in pots, boxes, and other kinds of containers also allows you to use spaces that won’t be normally accommodating plants, like window sills or walls.
Bring Some Plants Indoors
Sometimes, you really don’t have enough space in your yard. In that case, moving a part of your garden indoors is a good idea. Bust out the planters and pots for succulents, a variety of cactuses, and flowers. For edibles, pick a spot in the house that receives the most sun — window sills are often the most ideal locations for herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. You can even grow dwarf trees like figs, lemons and limes, mulberries, oranges, and olives using bigger pots that drain well.
You may have limited acreage in your yard but remember: your creativity is limitless! Put your imagination in action and your garden will soon flourish.