10 Places to Find Your Inspiration

You’ve hit the creativity brick wall.  Whether you’re a writer, a painter or a creator of professional stock photography this happens to all creative types from time to time.  No matter how imaginative you think you are, there will be occasions here and there where you will need a proverbial kick in the creativity pants.

The next time this happens to you, take a deep breath and look around.  Sometimes the next great idea materializes right in front of you when you search these tried and true themes for your inspiration.


Tired of creating still lives of Christmas lights and ornaments?  Look to some of the more unusual holidays celebrated around the world for your genius.  There is a day dedicated to just about any food, fetish or trivia somewhere.  Search the web and you’ll find a wacky holiday, festival or celebration sure to be a catalyst to your creativity.


It’s hard not to be inspired by the beauty of nature.  The majesty in a sunset, the colors of the rainbow or contrasts in fields of flowers are all awe inspiring.  But the trick is to see beyond the obvious draw to find originality.  Look small – at the tiny spider building a web on that stunning flower.  Look big – at the storm clouds parting to form that breathtaking rainbow.  Draw from contrasts of light and dark, hot and cold, big and small.  Look not as an observer, but as an artist and you’ll be sure to see a new side to Mother Nature.


It’s easy to create awesome imagery when traveling to exotic places, but try to be a tourist in your own backyard.  Think like someone who’s looking to book a trip to your area – or better yet, think like the tour director, travel agent or pamphlet designer looking to promote your area.  What is unique to your geography? To your history? To your climate? To your architecture, or people, or traditions?  Use these as your muse.


Sometimes we simply take art – and ourselves – too seriously when all we really want is a good reason to laugh.  Use your naturally silly side to capture practical jokes, caricatures of folks you know, or just a good old fashion pun.  Think of any person, place or thing and then see how many different ways you can use that in a humorous setting.  Don’t forget to poke some fun at yourself while you’re at it.


Geek is the new chic!  Every avenue of scientific research and study can be a model for your thoughts.  Go to an observatory, or science and nature museum, with an open mind.  Read scientific magazines or watch television shows that discuss astrology, chemistry or any other scientific field.  Or just watch The Big Bang Theory for a few days to see what physics can inspire you to do.

News and Current Events

We all read a paper or watch the evening news so why not use the relevant topics as motivation.  See what’s trending on social media for insights into what the world is talking about and challenge yourself to see how many ideas you can brainstorm from a single hashtag.  Look at the topic of the latest viral video to see what they bring to mind – if nothing else, you’re sure to see some really cute videos of kittens to make it worth your time.


And speaking of animals, they are a great boost to ideating.  They can be used as a subject in their own right, or studied to identify characteristics that translate well into art;  kitten/playful, fox/sly, dog/loyal, crocodile/cold, etc. etc. etc.  Use them to represent universal themes like a butterfly flying free.

Everyday Life

List all the things you do on an average day.  What are the weekly or monthly items on your to-do list?  What annual events centered on home, work and family occupy your time.  These can each be an impulse to an idea.  Close your eyes and let the mundane become exceptional.


We’re already a world of food paparazzi; why not use the daily bread to add incentive.  If you like to cook, think farm to table to uncover unique examples.   If you like to eat, think happy times with friends and family shared over a kitchen table.  An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  Fish is good brain food.  Every aspect of the food can generate a wealth of new angles to consider.

Health, Nutrition, and Fitness

We are bombarded daily with the importance of balancing nutrition and fitness for good health and the consequences of not doing so.  Instead of obsessing over them in your personal life, let the topic encourage new visions.

A few additional tips to help with your creative flow.

  • Keep a notebook or journal to jot down great ideas when they come to you.
  • Try doodling as a brainstorming technique. It’s amazing what can come to you when you release your mind to the creative process.
  • Get moving! There is scientific proof that motion helps to improve creativity, so take a walk to help get those juices flowing.

Images copyright Karen Foley via Dreamstime.com.

5 Top Sleep Tips for New Parents

For nine months, parents are sleepless with excitement, but as soon as you welcome your new family member into your home, you discover that the many joys of parenting will inevitably be riddled with challenges – sleep deprivation included. However, too many parents take this at face value and simply embrace the fact that sleep will be scarce and that they won’t have a single moment to themselves until their offspring grows up a little bit.

Still, this is not entirely true. It definitely pays to reevaluate your attitude, to pick up a few handy tips from versed parents and to start adjusting your routine to make more room (and time) for proper rest. Now that you’re embracing your new roles, it’s time to introduce some self-care practices and prepare for the new, extraordinary chapter of your life, preferably while not gluing your eyelids to keep ‘em open. These tips should do the trick!

Nap while your baby sleeps

One key way in which parents can get more rest is to use the natural sleep cycle of their little ones. Whenever your baby falls asleep, you should pick up your favorite pillow, a blanket, and get some rest yourself. Tune out all distractions and make sure that you always have a comfortable place with no noise and chaos around you so that you can fall asleep more quickly and without any trouble. 

Ensure comfort for you and your partner

Too many of us are completely clueless about what kind of beds, mattresses, and bedding we should get, let alone the right positions for our spine and neck and how we should sleep to get the most of our downtime. The right choice can mean the difference between getting ample sleep and ending up restless during the night, so it pays to find out more about the right bedroom essential to get enough rest.

Start by choosing a mattress that will give your entire body enough support while also ensuring ample comfort to help you fall asleep faster without causing any pain. A hybrid mattress that blends the memory foam with steel coils, for example, which makes it a great option to ensure comfort and support.

Set up a schedule

You and your partner have decided to bring a baby into this world, and you’re in for one rewarding, yet bumpy ride. It’s vital that you share every single obligation when it comes to taking care of your little earthling since you’ll also be cherishing all the joyous moments together. A schedule for those shared responsibilities is a great way to set up a system that both of you can develop together and adjust according to your needs. 

For example, you and your partner can take turns getting up during the night for feeding your baby, whereas you can also switch when someone makes meals, takes care of the dishes, and handles nappies. Some parents easily communicate these chores, but just in case one of you feels overwhelmed, you should share your concerns and find a fair way to share chores with a newborn schedule.

Build a support system

Moms and dads everywhere: you’re not alone. Your friends and family members are also there for you, as they should be, and you can and should ask for help when you need to get some rest. There is no shame in letting your loved ones know that you’re exhausted, so they can jump in occasionally to take care of your little one while you get a few hours of sleep.

In case you don’t have a big family and none of your relatives are able to help, there are professionals whom you can hire. A sitter or a trained nurse can be of great help from time to time. 

Practice sleep-inducing rituals

It’s easy to think that you’ll fall immediately asleep as soon as you put your little angel down for the night. As many parents will attest to, this doesn’t always turn out to be true, because many parents are too tense or have many other chores to think of, so they end up revising their to-do lists for hours in bed instead of falling asleep. To help your body unwind and turn on that sleep mode in your mind, you can introduce relaxing rituals. 

For example, you can use scented candles with lavender to add this lovely, soothing fragrance to your bedroom. Also, you can prepare and sip on a cup of chamomile tea while you read a book to let go of all those daily worries. Some stretching and belly-breathing can also be of great help!

Parenthood is a time of revelation, beauty, and of course, ups and downs. Take downtime seriously, because you will have more energy to bond with your baby, you’ll reduce your risk of developing postpartum depression, and you’ll also preserve and deepen your connection with your partner. Hopefully, these tips will help you get your shuteye and rest more easily, and ultimately help you enjoy your new role for months to come. 


Seeing some parenting books can be very handy.

2021 What Nobody Tells a New Father cover

About the author

Mia Taylor is a 33 year old blogger who writes about beauty, fashion and travel. She had always been passionate about fashion and over time she had developed a style of her own.  Mia loves to mix and match and inspire girls with her advice about outfit and accessories. She loves telling a story about her travels, providing beauty tips with readers.

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10 Home Maintenance Tasks Every Parent Should Know How To Do

Our home requires a lot of care and there are plenty of things we can do to make it comfortable, functional and in perfect condition for years to come. The key lies in a good organization, taking preventative measures as well as being prompt about any potential issues and it also requires a little time, effort and skill. There are some home maintenance tasks and repairs; everyone should know how to do – take a look at them!

1. Clean front-load washers

When it comes to home maintenance, there are some things on that checklist that we somehow forget to do. Cleaning front-load washers are one of them. Have you noticed that sometimes your clothes end up smelling icky after being washed? That’s because these washers are perfect for breeding mildew and mold. It’s essential to clean these washers at least once a month. It’s done quite simply: just set your washer to the hottest and longest washing cycle, add two cups of vinegar and a quarter cup of baking soda and let it run the cycle. After it’s done, take a damp cloth and clean the inside of the drum, and rubber seal.

2. Clean front-load dryers

The same goes for front-load dryers. The cleaning process is even simpler when compared to washers. Clean the dryer vent as well as the duct. Unplug the dryer and check the duct for lint. You might need to replace the duct if vacuuming it doesn’t help.

3. Take proper care of your garbage disposal

Your garbage disposal can easily start to smell bad. That’s because of all the food residue in it. You can eliminate the odor by pouring half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar down the disposal. Remember to put a stopper on it and leave it for a few minutes. Flush it down with hot water afterward.

4. Keep your drains clean

Keeping your drains clean is one of the most important things as far as home maintenance is concerned. This is one of those issues that can cause you a lot of problems and that will require you to hire professional help eventually. Unclogging blocked drains is something you can try yourself with a plunger and different chemicals. However, if it doesn’t work, you can always hire professionals to deal with your problem.

5. Keep your gutters leaves-free

The main function of gutters is to collect water and dispose it away from the roof and foundation. And if they are full of leaves, they can’t perform their function and they can easily cause damage to the foundation and invite pests. Make sure to clean your gutters at least twice a year.

6. Replace air filters

Replacing air filters is also an important chore that we often forget about. They have multiple functions that consist of supporting the longevity of the AC, conserving the energy of your home and preventing mold. You should replace them once a month.

7. Replace damaged window screens

During harsh weather conditions that our homes usually face during winter and fall, window screens can get easily damaged. In order to prevent them from causing further damage and being functional, we should replace any damaged ones when spring comes.

8. Clean the carpets

Our carpets are the spot to which we drag all the dirt from outside. We should vacuum and clean the carpets to keep them dirt and debris-free.

9. Get rid of clutter

Getting rid of unnecessary clutter is something that requires quite a lot of consideration and time. But once done, it makes your home a so much better place. Think about all the things you haven’t used for a while and get rid of them.

10. Replace batteries in safety devices

One of the things most often slips our mind: replacing batteries in safety devices. You should check if all the safety devices such as alarms and smoke detectors have functional batteries and replace them from time to time.

Doing these simple things around your home promptly can bring you years of peace and tranquility when it comes to more serious and demanding home maintenance tasks that require professional help.

Essential Elements of Home Extension in the Melbourne South East

House extensions can change how you live in your home without expecting you to move to another property. Regardless of whether you mean to reach out up, out, or to the side, there are some key things to know before your venture starts from the legalities and coordination to spending plans and developers. To assist you in exploring your home extension venture here, some factors you have to know before your plan starts rolling.

House Extensions Need to Coordinate with Building Regulations 

Regardless of whether your home extension in Melbourne southeast can be worked under Permitted Development rights and won’t need arranging authorization, the work must get Building Regulations endorsement.

The Building Regulations set out the least necessities for necessary respectability, fire wellbeing, vitality effectiveness, clammy sealing, ventilation, and other vital angles that guarantee a structure is sheltered. Most of the fix works are avoided from Building Regulations, with the individual cases of substitution windows, underpinning, and reworking. In any case, aside from specific new structures, for example, sheds, storehouses, and some conservatories, all-new structure work, including alterations, must conform to the Building Regulations.

Common Examples of Work Needing Approval Such As:

  1. Home extensions in Melbourne southeast, for example, needs statutory approval for a kitchen, room, living room, and so on 
  2. Loft transformations 
  3. Internal auxiliary modifications, for example, the evacuation of a heap bearing divider 
  4. Installation of showers, WCs, which include new seepage or waste pipes 
  5. Installation of further warming machines
  6. New fireplaces or pipes 
  7. Altered openings for new windows

1. Do House Extensions In Melbourne South East Add Value?

For house expansions to bode well, you have to ensure the worth included is more prominently than the expense of the venture recorded. It tends to be hard to evaluate yet finding comparable neighborhood properties and perceiving the amount they’ve sold for, and it can be a helpful guide. Knowing about the roof is an incentive in your general vicinity, and you can plan for setting up to modify your arrangements if vital.

2. Limitation Of The Extension

Frequently extenders get engrossed with just thinking about the venture regarding square meters, not as far as what that size is adding to the house. Greater isn’t in every case better with regards to home extensions, and there are conventional methods of making the sentiment of more space without including an enormous expansion. This is usually accomplished through the smart plan of the new space, yet in addition, what is as of now there. On the off chance that you are expecting to coordinate your home expansion in Melbourne southeast to the current property, you have to source coordinating materials (which is once in a while more complicated than one might expect).

3. Pick the Right Designer For Your Home Extension In Melbourne South East

With regard to the structure of your expansions, there are various choices you can look over.

These include:

    • Architects 
    • Architectural professionals 
    • Designer specialists
    • Package manufacture organizations’ in-house design groups

Request suggestions from companions, family, and neighbors, yet in addition, look online for practices that have planned activities like what you want to construct.

4. Plan In Efficiency Early On

By concentrating on the texture of your new house expansion, you might have the option to overwhelm the essential esteem far and airtightness levels determined by the Building Regulations.

In any case, adding a thermally-effective expansion to an inadequately protected home won’t make it less expensive to run medium-term, and you should hope to improve the effectiveness of the principle house while the developers are nearby.

5. Stretching Out Above A Single Story

While it might appear to be intimating to expand a single story or the garage, these structures may not be able to help the total load. There are choices where the old structure isn’t adequate: support existing shallow establishments, fortify or sidestep the current with a steel outline slept within new solid cushion footings, or obliterate and revamp. The last is frequently preferred as the most practical choice.


Home extensions are an essential part of our modern culture. With the requirement of more space, this option becomes a very viable one.

7 Lovely & Affordable Home Renovation Projects

Are you looking to give your home a fresh look? Or are you thinking about getting a minimalist cloakroom suite? A home renovation project can be just the thing: with the right project, you can make your home look amazing without spending a ton of money.

Besides, the right home renovation project can be fun. Here are 6 that fit the bill.

1). Paint Makes Everything Fresh

If you’re looking for a relatively simple, beautiful, and affordable home renovation project, one of the best places to start is a fresh coat of paint. This is because the magic of paint is to make everything new: with a fresh coat of paint, old and shabby becomes new-looking, crisp, and clean.

The beautiful thing about this approach, too, is that it can be applied to both your interiors and your exteriors. Whether you’re looking to make your bathroom, living room, dining room, or exterior look fresh and new, paint is the way to go.

As Colorado-based painters Teaberry explain, “a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the look of your home.”

It’s easy to see why they’re right: so many of our design problems with older houses have to do with the décor, i.e. awful wallpaper, questionable choice in paint, etc.

You can even hire painters to help you at very affordable rates—this may be important if you’re worried about stains, or if there’s a challenge reaching the area you’re looking to paint.

2). Brand-New Bathroom

There are some surprisingly interesting ways to make your bathroom over, and you can find budget-friendly ways to do practically all of them. We’ve already talked about paint; how about tile?

With tile, if you’re trying to save money the most obvious way to do it is to limit the areas you plan to tile. Instead, focus on specific areas that are especially obvious to the eye and important, i.e. the floor.

What’s more, do you really need tile all the way up and down your wall? Why not one horizontal strip, followed by paint? For that matter, if you must tile an entire wall and you like a more-expensive tile, why not do one strip of the more-expensive tile and use it as an accent against a much cheaper tile?

Another good way to go with a bathroom is updating the fixtures. We’ve talked before about renovating your bathroom for safety, and that can be an important part of this. Instead of a granite countertop, invest in updated light fixtures, sink faucets, racks for the towels, and drawer pulls, as well as rounded edges, skid-proof mats, and other things.

3). Classy Crown Molding

Have you ever noticed how much some rooms look like the inside of a box? If that describes a room in your house, the answer may be crown molding.

Crown molding is simply trimming for the edges of your walls and ceilings. It’s visually more interesting than looking at the inside of a box, as it were.

Crown molding is very cheap, and all you really have to do is very carefully measure how much you need, cut it, and install it. This is a weekend project at most—it’s likely that you will only need a few hours to complete it.

4). Get Creative With Your Closets

Do you have a closet that’s always full to bursting with clothing and other stuff? Try organizing it. Closets are remarkably easy to optimize.

Getting creative with closets can start with something as simple as a proper set of drawers, one that’s large enough to accommodate everything you need it to. You don’t have to stop there, though: try some elegant, attractive baskets, and maybe some nice hooks to hang things on.

You can also paint the interior walls of your closets to make them look more interesting. Get creative, and see what your closet looks like as a result.

5). Book Tree Shelves Are Amazing

Want to know what’s better than a bookshelf? Try a book tree shelf, an object designed with shelves positioned like the branches of a tree.

Not only is it functional, it provides a visually-interesting way in which to store your children’s books and/or toys. They’re available online at quite reasonable prices, but you can also make your own. You can also hire a tree service like Sacramento professional tree care.

6). Trade Blinds for Blackout Curtains
Blinds have become common in many homes, but if you’re in the mood for adventure, try blackout curtains. They add an air of mystery, they won’t break the bank, and they’re also great for helping you sleep.

7). Create A Remodel Plan

Once you establish a list of your remodeling needs, it is important to then create a plan complete with estimates. You should make note of every detail down to the fixtures, furniture, paint, and hardware needed for each room. It’s also important to include appliances in your remodeling plan. New appliances come with the cost of the initial purchase as well as delivery and installation fees, so it’s crucial to note how that could potentially affect your budget. By making a list of everything you want or need for each project, it allows you to calculate the cost and see how it aligns with your budget. If you prefer using technology, mobile apps like HomeZada make it easy to manage your home improvement project details and budget. They also store financial records, which you can use if you decide to sell your home down the line.

Make sure to speak with contractors about your remodel to receive professional advice. Connecting with top-rated electricians or plumbers in your area is smart if you want to accurately assess the cost and needs of your project. By bringing in two or three professionals, you will have a thorough idea of the project and how it will be completed, with the security of knowing the job will be done right.

Honorable mention

When designing a kitchen remodel, there are the obvious things to think about – countertops, backsplash tile, cabinet hardware, etc. And while those are all very important aspects of the design, the real pièce de résistance is the cabinetry. It’s not only essential for storage and functionality, but it’s usually the largest factor (and expense!) in any kitchen and can make or break the overall design. – Tip by Mackenzie Wood for Bandd Design


Home renovation projects can be amazing opportunities to improve your living space. The right project can be remarkably doable, not to mention affordable and a great deal of fun. Try any of these 6 projects, and see the results for yourself.