5 Top House Cleaning Tips For Dog Owners

Being a dog owner has many, many benefits but it always comes with one unavoidable nightmare – dog hairs, which can and do spread like wildfire and get almost everywhere! Having two large dogs paired with two long haired cats I know something about this nightmare. So today I want to share with you my main house cleaning tips which hopefully will help you minimise the hairy mess our pets can make.

Being a dog owner has many, many benefits but it always comes with one unavoidable nightmare – dog hairs, which can and do spread like wildfire and get almost everywhere! Having two large dogs paired with two long haired cats I know something about this nightmare. So today I want to share with you my main house cleaning tips which hopefully will help you minimise the hairy mess our pets can make.Generally to keep your house clean as a dog owner you have to remember that cleaning the house itself is only one part of the solution… keeping your dog in perfect health is another…

Good diet

Some of you might think at this point what the hell does their diet have to do with keeping a clean house… well, a proper diet for your dog will help you with unnecessary shedding. Healthy, well-fed dogs, which have a well-balanced diet will shed less, which as a result means less hair to clean up in general, which means less cleaning!

Daily grooming

No this isn’t a joke. A daily 5 minutes dog grooming session will go a long way. It will remove all the dead hairs from your pooch and significantly cut down on the amount of loose hair floating around the house. Grooming during their daily walk is the best way to go. We normally do it near the end of the walk when the dogs are tired and less distracted.

Buy a good vacuum

Invest in the best vacuum you can afford.  Read the recommendations and make your choice wisely as this will be your main cleaning tool. I personally use a Bosh Athlet ProAnimal for my mid-week daily cleaning and a Dyson Animal for a proper weekend cleaning session. And yes, you really need a vacuum designed for picking up dog hairs… it makes things so much easier!

Create a dirty dog zone

If possible, designate a dirty dog zone somewhere outside (or inside your house) where you can clean the pooch after muddy walks. In our last home we used the conservatory for this purpose, now we use a half enclosed porch. This space should be used for cleaning your dog before they are allowed into the rest of the house. If you can’t find the space for a doggy zone, you can simply lay a big dog towel (also known as that old towel you don’t want anymore) by the main door and train your dog to sit on it after entering the house. This will give you time to clean your dog’s paws before they get mud all over your floors.

Clean as dirt comes

I know we are all busy and a daily cleaning routine isn’t always on top of anyone’s fun list but if you clean every day the little mess your pooch left behind, you will greatly reduce the spread of the hair all over your house, you will get rid of pet odours and you will be able to enjoy fairly clean pet friendly home (I said fairly because as much as you might want and try you will never have The perfect home with pets around, but you know what… that’s ok… they are worth it).

Those are my basic cleaning tips for keeping our house in order whilst enjoying the company of some very hairy friends.

What would you add into my list?

Have you found some secret top tip for aiding us in keeping our houses clean?

How To Use LED Lights to Adorn Your Home

Colourful LED strips are a great source of light, and they also contributing to an impressive ambiance. This has made them take the centre stage in the world of exquisite lighting ideas. The best thing about these strips is that the possibilities of incorporating them into homes, outdoors, offices, etc. are endless.

how-to-use-led-lights-to-adorn-your-homeIf done right, they can look cool and futuristic. Being thin and flexible, they can find a place even where the reach of traditional lighting sources had been impossible such as that under the panes and cabinets and in drawers, etc. The way they shed light on things and illuminate the space in a perfect manner, one thing can be made out that they are here to stay.

If you are imaginative enough, the ways in which you can put to use LED light strips are many. And those who are looking for ideas to start with, read on to find out some beautiful ways in which you can bring LED light strips to a home as a decorative feature that will last and will also go easy on your pocket.

how-to-use-led-lights-to-adorn-your-home-led-glass-balustradeLED glass balustrade: Your staircase need not be a run-of-the-mill feature of your home. Even if you get a fantastic staircase whose design oozes creativity, after a certain point of time, things will stop looking as fantastic as they used to. But, when your frameless glass balustrade will be powered with an LED lighting strip, there would be virtually nothing that can stop your staircase from looking as great as any other centrepiece in your home. Although this idea is increasingly becoming popular, using it for decorating your home with LED lighting strips is what you too should look up to. Just imagine in the dead of the night with no lighting feature on, how beautiful your staircase will look emitting a dim, coloured light.

LED coffee tables: You can add excitement to the corner of your room by installing LED light strips beneath the edge of your coffee table. You can use this table for your date nights when you want to have dinner in the dim illumination of something equivalent to candlelight.

how-to-use-led-lights-to-adorn-your-home-led-bed-lightsLED bed lights: For a goodnights sleep, darkness is really necessary to lull the sleeper to sleep, which is why it becomes imperative to turn off all lights before you prepare to sleep. But without any lighting, it would become really tough for you to cover even a short distance maybe from your bed to the washroom in case you are required to attend nature’s call. Having LED light strips underneath the bed along the border would be the best thoughtful solution to all your problems. Such light strips offer just enough visibility for you to do the movement in the darkness without hurting yourself.

LED vanity mirrors: There is something exquisite about LED vanity mirrors, which is why every modern home’s bathrooms are furnished with an array of these. It is not that you need to have any special or new vanity mirror for the purpose. All you need to do is get the strips installed around the mirror. And voila, you have given a new life to your bathroom.

There are more ideas that you can put to use like LED couches, shelves, refrigerators, kitchen cabinets and shelves, decks, drawers, etc., etc. Any which way, you will end up turning your space into a fancy, beautifully glowing place by bringing LED lighting strips into your home.

* Picture source: 1|2
** This is a collaborative post.

Autumn Home Decorating Tips

As the autumn is in full swing and the winter months start to draw in, many people think about redesigning their homes to make them warmer and more cosy. The bright colours and pastels of spring and summer are no longer on trend, and warmer colours start to dominate more homes during the run up to Christmas. Along with that, now is the ideal time to start bringing in those warm and cosy accessories, a great excuse to go on a shopping spree for warm throws and plenty of soft cushions!

autumn-home-decorating-tipsRepainting

Although repainting and decorating is more of a summer job, there’s no reason why you can’t get it done on an autumnal weekend, either. If you don’t want to open the windows to air out the smell of paint whilst it’s cold, sticking to re-wallpapering feature walls to include more autumnal colours and patterns can be a great alternative idea to this. Whilst during the summer people tend to decorate in bright and breezy colours to open rooms up and make them look larger, the colder months are the perfect time to decorate using darker colours to create a warmer, cosier atmosphere inside away from the cold.

Cushions and Blankets

Now is the season where nights out become cosy nights in, and movie nights with friends and family become your favourite activity to do on a cold evening or weekend. Stocking up on cushions and blankets makes for a cosier and more comfortable atmosphere in your home, creating the perfect little warm and comfortable haven from the cold weather outside. Throws can be used over sofas to create more warmth and cosiness, or even used as a blanket to wrap up warm in.

Autumn Scents

The autumn and winter season is the perfect time to introduce warm and spicy scents into your home. The floral, light scents that were so popular during the summer can now be replaced by scents that not only make your home smell great, but also warm you up and relax you at the same time. Whether you enjoy candles, burning incense or essential oil diffusers, opt for spicier, warmer scents such as ginger or cinnamon.

Set the Scene

Getting the right lighting in your home is important, especially as the nights become longer and darker during the winter months. With the sun setting at an earlier time each day, homeowners have to make sure that they have the perfect lighting in their home along with keeping their energy usage as low as possible. Low lights and lamps can be an excellent alternative to a main bright light, with spotlights over areas which are going to need more focus, such as over the hob in the kitchen. Not only does low lighting often create a cosier atmosphere, it can help you to relax and wind down before bed.

How are you decorating your home to make it more warm and cosy this year?

* This is a collaborative post.

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives

Knives are the most basic of essentials and a must have in every kitchen. No matter how many wonderful gadgets you have in there, without a set of good knives you will still struggle. Cutting, chopping or slicing, every job belongs to a different knife and it’s good to know why.

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of BelgraviaYears ago, when I was a child, I remember my grandparents having just one big sharp knife for all the jobs in the kitchen. My gran always said that this was all she needed. Well, I am not sure I would be able to function in the kitchen with just one knife. Yes, I am sure things would still get done but at what cost? As humans we like to make our lives easier so why not start with such basics as the right kitchen knives?

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of Belgravia precision knives - Chef’s knifeChef’s knife

Size: 6-14 inches

Blade: straight

Main task: All round knife, which will be able to handle most jobs around the kitchen. Its large size allows for cutting of large ingredients or large quantities with ease.

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of Belgravia precision knives - Paring knifeParing knife

Size: 3-5 inches

Blade: straight

Main task: paring fruit and vegetables. The knife has a short and sharp blade therefore it is very easy to handle while peeling or coring. Perfect tool when dealing with small ingredients such as shallots, garlic or ginger.

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of Belgravia precision knives - Bread knifeBread knife

Size: 6-10 inches

Blade: serrated

Main task: as per its name it is a bread knife. This type of blade allows you to cut through any hard crust of the bread without crushing any of the inner softer parts. The bread remains light and airy during cutting process resolving in a perfect slice.

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of Belgravia precision knives - Slicing knifeSlicing knife

Size: 6-12 inches

Blade: straight with scallops on both sides

Main task: well… slicing! The scallops on each side of the blade serve two purposes, firstly it helps eliminate food sticking to the side of the blade through suction and secondly it reduces the drag on the knife while slicing and this all allows easier separation, which results in paper-thin slices.

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of Belgravia precision knives - Filleting knifeFilleting knife

Size:  6-11 inches

Blade: thin and straight

Main task: filleting and boning. The knife has a long and flexible blade which allows you to make cuts in meat that are in difficult areas such as the backbone or for gaining under skin access which isn’t achievable with other types of knife (or at least not with ease). The shape of the blade provides supreme control and resolves in tight clean cuts.

Getting the right type of knife is one thing, but getting a “good” knife is something totally different. Good knives will last a lifetime, they will be well made with a no stick blade which will stay sharp for longer and once dull will be easy to sharpen. I have had the pleasure to work with some Edge of Belgravia precision knives for a while now, and I am not able to fault them in any way. To see the full range please visit Edge of Belgravia or you can purchase them from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

#EverydayWins with Bosch – My Month with the Bosch Athlet ProAnimal

For the last month I have been sharing with you my journey with the Bosch Athlet ProAnimal vacuum. Any pet owner knows that pet hairs are a nightmare but as it ended up there is a way to make life easier.

#EverydayWins with Bosch – My Month with the Bosch Athlet ProAnimalAthlet ProAnimal was designed especially with pet owners in mind. This light and powerful vacuum can really make a huge difference in everyday life. It’s perfect for anyone who isn’t crazy about household chores yet still wants to keep their house in picture perfect order; anyone who doesn’t have hours to spare for every day cleaning; anyone who simply needs just one tool to do it all!

So what were my highlights during this month with the Athlet?

Well, let’s see….

Performance must be on the top of my list. The Athlet works perfectly on any surface and it is extremely easy to interchange between upright and handheld machine.

#EverydayWins with Bosch – My Month with the Bosch Athlet ProAnimalWeight is also right up there at the top. I still can’t get over the fact that it is only 3kg. Have you ever attempted to vacuum stairs with an upright machine? If you did, you know that it is almost impossible and definitely super uncomfortable… well doing stairs with the Athlet in an upright position is not only possible but it is easy. The vacuum is so light that you have totally no problems to vacuum stairs with it… yet the job might be even easier if you swap it into a handheld mode, but you don’t have to, the choice is yours.

Storage also ended up being quite important. The Athlet is small and narrow, yet it has no problem with supporting its own weight and it will stand upright in any place you chose. The fact that it doesn’t require any specialist charging station makes life even easier, you can simply plug it to any electrical socket of your choosing.

The accessory kit that is provided with the animal version of the vacuum also proved to be a very valuable addition too. The choice of different brushes which came with the ProAnimal is spot on and they really allow you to clean even in the trickiest places. The pet hair brush works perfectly picking both pets and human hairs from all over the place.

SensorBagless technology proved to be a great feature too. There is no longer any need for remembering when your filter was last cleaned, the vacuum will remind you when it is time to take care of it.

Battery life is pretty impressive as well. When used on setting one, which one would normally use for daily vacuuming, there is no other cordless vacuum on the market which can beat 75 minutes of running time. That’s five 15 minutes sessions from one charge, handy isn’t it?

#EverydayWins with Bosch - My Month with the Bosch Athlet ProAnimalI really like my new vacuum. If I had to pick just one reason for someone to buy it, it would be portability. The Athlet can be used everywhere; any place you can think of you will be able to take it there. For me the moment of truth was cleaning the loft. We just had our house insulated and the loft was left in a mess. Can you imagine cleaning it with a standard upright? It wouldn’t be a lot of fun, would it? Well, the Athlet totally aced that challenge – swapped to handheld with no cord to suck up all the dust and so I was able to clean all the corners with ease. Bosch can really make your life easier, it is that simple!