How to Build the Best Garden Shed without Any Prior DIY Experie

Hello Lovely,

If you have never tried to DIY anything before then there’s no time like the present. If your home doesn’t have a shed then it may be a good idea for you to build one. Building a shed is easier than you think, and when you know the steps you need to take, you will soon find that you can build something that will last for years to come.

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Build on a Solid Foundation

The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you have selected the right location to build your shed. Water is known for being wood’s mortal enemy, so you need to choose a location that is dry and ideally, slightly above the surrounding area. This will really help you with drainage and it will also make it way easier for you to maintain it for years to come. It’s very easy for you to build an on-grade foundation here. You will usually use concrete for this, or even skids. Skids are pressure-treated pieces of wood timber. If you don’t have much DIY experience, then it helps to opt for concrete. Cinder blocks should be avoided as they are porous and therefore can’t stand up to the elements.

Ensure Good Air Circulation

Water will erode wood in no time at all, and for this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have a good level of airflow. The mudsill is the lowest part of wood on your shed, and this needs to be around half a foot above the ground level. Leaving around 3ft on either side of your shed will also help, as this will remove moisture and it will also clear away any mildew. Another bonus to this is that it will help you to paint your shed at a later date. If you just don’t feel comfortable building a foundation, then consider building your shed on a concrete slab section in your garden. It will be raised from the ground already and you also won’t have to worry about drainage either. Not sure where to buy products like this? It’s easier than ever to buy building products online.

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Floor Framing

Whether you like it or not, your floor frame is going to take somewhat of a beating. It will get wet from time to time and you will also be walking on it every time you go into your shed too. Your floor framing needs to be able to withstand things like this, so it helps to use pressure-treated timber. Your timber should be two inches thick and it also helps to use exterior grade plywood too.

Roof Trusses

One of the most difficult aspects of building a shed is the roof. The walls, floor and even the door can be very easy to work around, but this takes some skill. It helps to build your roof on the shed deck and then raise it up when the walls are finished. You need to remember that each truss needs to be installed above a stud, but you can easily add the shingling after.

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Low-Maintenance

It’s always a good idea for you to make your shed as low maintenance as possible. This will save you a considerable fortune at a later date. Using PVC trim boards will also save you a ton of time when it comes to painting and it will never need attention either. Faux-slate shingles are also a great investment. You can also use composite decking for the steps that lead to the door. Little things like this can go a long way and you would be surprised at how much of a difference it can make to your shed’s appearance too. The best thing about composite is that it won’t rot, and it also won’t wear away over time either. This is a fantastic way for you to make the most out of your investment and it will also make it much easier for you to avoid future problems.

Property Inspection

When you have completed your shed, it’s always worth hiring a qualified professional who can come to inspect the shed for you. They will make sure that everything is in order and they will also check to see that the deck isn’t going to collapse. The problem with things like this is that you won’t notice them right away. In fact, they will usually only appear a few weeks down the line. Your property inspector can also suggest ways that you can repair your shed if required, and this will save you time and money at a later date.

 

 





How I've Come to Embrace Eating Out Alone & Why You Should Too

Hello Lovely,

The first time I ever ate out alone was completely by choice. I was in my mid-20s, travelling by myself to Miami for a church conference that I randomly decided to go to. I had some time before my flight and felt like treating myself (looking back I really don’t know how I did it financially). I saw a restaurant in the airport called Cafe Kalik. I confidently requested a table for one, sat down with my Joel Osteen book and ordered (I no long read or care for Joel Osteen). I remember eating a fettuccine with a bottle of Kalik beer. It was delicious and an excellent start to my trip! Since then, I’ve had breakfast alone in London, and solo lunch dates in Miami, North Carolina and others.

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Although I love a day in my own company, I’ve never been confident enough to eat dinner by myself. I don’t want to work on this as I really enjoy cooking my own dinners. I know some of you reading this may be thinking, “What does it say of me if I had no one to enjoy a meal with?” Don’t feel bad I used to think the same thing. In fact when travelling, I often buy groceries a) to save money and b) to avoid looking for a spot to eat. But on my recent Toronto trip, even though I bought more groceries than I ended up consuming, I made time for myself to enjoy the city’s cuisine. From a poke bowl from Lahuna Poke at Union Station to a beautiful Indian lunch at Aroma Fine Indian cuisine, I wanted to taste the diversity of the city!

It seems that I’m not alone in being comfortable with my own company. Recent research suggests that millennials are driving a trend in eating out alone and are more comfortable than any other generation doing so. For women this step is particularly significant — research suggests that women feel that they have less of a claim to public space and are judged more significantly than their male counterparts for doing such activities alone. Feeling empowered to eat out without a dining companion overturns the age-old stereotypes suggesting that women’s significance comes from being part of a family unit that still subconsciously pervades modern thought. Although ordering the cheeseboard for one might seem like a simple act, it in fact flies in the face of centuries of social conditioning that orders you to do otherwise.

Of course, the specific circumstances of why we are eating out alone are likely much more complex. We are also endemically lonely. We are more likely to travel alone than previous generations and don’t want to compromise on the quality of our experience when doing so. The rise of smartphones means that you can sit across from an empty chair and still feel connected to hundreds of people. The next time that you’re dying to tuck in to a delicious dish, consider booking a table for one. In a world where self-care is a way of life, you might find that there is nothing more indulgent than taking yourself out for dinner. You deserve it.

Which restaurant are you excited to try on your own after reading this article? Tell us in the comments!

How To Beat Negative Thoughts For A More Positive Outlook

How To Beat Negative Thoughts For A More Positive Outlook

If you feel emotionally tired, angry or unmotivated; you keep overthinking your past mistakes or misfortunes; you want to change yourself, but don’t know where to start; you already tried changing, but got back to older habits; you feel disappointed; you struggle with low confidence: There are ways to beat negative thinking and emerge from it – stronger, brighter and wiser than before.

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How to Create a Travel Itinerary and Why It's Important

Hello Lovely,

There is something to be said for aimlessly roaming the streets of an energetic city popping into quaint cafes and talking to the locals, not knowing what you will find. When I went to Amsterdam, I only had two things on my list that I absolutely had to do: try the local “herbs” and go to the Red Light District. Sadly I never made it to the Red Light District. I planned the hotel with a shuttle to and from the airport and nothing else. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the adventures, street fries and stroopwaffles and I’m sure our drunk shennigans began to annoy one of the bartenders. We literally popped into random stores and restaurants and just wandered aimlessly. It was a miracle I remembered the way back. Ever since then, I try to have an itinerary.

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Here’s how I organise an itinerary:

Do Your Research

If you want to get the most out of your experience, you need to know what you want to do and what will make the ultimate travel venture for you. Are you fascinated by a town’s history, culture or food? Do you want your trip to just be about crazy adventures and a city’s vibrant nightlife? Answering these questions means that you need to do some research for the area you are visiting.

Prior to going to London, I looked up tours of all the must-see Landmarks and booked them (well most of them). Even though I had planned a lot, there were still a few hiccups along the way: immigration, currency, my bus pass…so while you always expect the unexpected, always have a backup plan as well.

Use Symbols and Addresses

What’s key to a successful itinerary is coding. I like to use company logos so that at a simple glance, I have an idea of where I wanted to go. Adding addresses makes it easier to remember where something is. Let’s say you want to go to a specific department store. By jotting down the location ahead of time, I was positive I was going to the right store when I plugged it into my GPS.

Download the map area in advance

If you’re travelling internationally, Google Maps has a handy feature that allows you to select a certain area on the map and download it to your phone. That way, whether you have data or not, you’ll have access to GPS. This helped me a lot when I lost my GPS. And if it’s a place you plan on visiting often, all you have to do is update the download periodically so that it doesn’t disappear.

DON’T TRAVEL WITHOUT THE ULTIMATE PACKING CHECKLIST!    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD    YOUR FREE PACKING CHECKLIST AND NEVER LEAVE ANYTHING BEHIND AGAIN!

DON’T TRAVEL WITHOUT THE ULTIMATE PACKING CHECKLIST! CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PACKING CHECKLIST AND NEVER LEAVE ANYTHING BEHIND AGAIN!

Keep your Itinerary Offline

I really feel like I mastered the itinerary with my Girl’s Trip to Miami last October. It’s so important to keep a version of your itinerary on your phone offline. Papers can get left behind or lost and internet is so unreliable. Save the document in the cloud, and keep it available offline as well as downloading a copy of it to your phone. You can’t be too careful.

Leave Room for Opportunity & Be Realistic

There are always times while exploring a city that something incredible sidetracks you, and if you are scheduled with events back to back you may have to miss out. Of course you’re going to want to see and do everything on your trip, but also be realistic.

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Don’t Forget the Extras

Add your flight numbers, hotel addresses, maps, etc. to your itinerary file for easy access. All my itineraries include this information, plus the currency exchange rate (so I know how much 1 US dollar is worth in the country). It is much easier to look at one file then have to scroll through dozens of emails or check different apps to find what I am looking for.

How To Get My Back to School Hairstyle

Hello Lovely,

Going back to school is a HUGE event! The uniforms, the snacks, the traffic! AHHHHHHHHH! It's a nightmare. This year I changed schools so I had a lot of anxiety to deal with. Of course, I wanted to make a great first impression, so I needed the right back to school look. It took FOREVER to plan the right outfit, but with a lot of strategic pre-planning, I survived my first week on my new job! YAY!

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One of the ways I pre-planned was with a new protective style. I fell in love with this style when I saw it on Tamera Mowry on Pinterest, and thought it would be beautiful but simple! When I told my stylist she was super excited and immediately onboard. The sides are straightforward: two braids that join at the end. We weren't completely sure about the front middle section so I allowed my stylist to freestyle and she did not disappoint! I only expected this to last the first week of school, but it's still holding up pretty well thanks to my awesome stylist!

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This hairstyle is inspired by a hairstyle Tamera Mowry rocked. I scoured the internet looking for other angles of this hairstyle but found none so my hairstylist had to improvise just a little. She always gets my vision and I love her for that! After a wash and deep treatment, we stretched my hair, then started styling. Check out the video below to see the full details on my back to school hairstyle. It's super easy to do and would be perfect for semi-formal functions. After all, what's classier than a high ponytail?

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe for Work

THIS POST WAS INSPIRED BY LAURE AND LAURIE, AND ALL INFORMATION CAME FROM THEIR POST HERE. LIKE AN INSENSITIVE IDIOT I DIDN'T CREDIT THEM BEFORE. ONLY THE OPINIONS AND PHOTOS ARE MINE.

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe consists of  some of your favorite pieces and items of clothing that can be mixed and matched and also worn in many several different ways.

As pictured above, you can see how the same pieces of clothing are being used to put several different outfits together. Before I share my experience with building a capsule wardrobe, I want to share the benefits of doing so, so that you really understand the process that goes into this.

Why Build A Capsule Wardrobe

The main reason why this whole idea of building a capsule wardrobe is so appealing is all the benefits that comes with it.

Benefits : 

1.) It saves time.

I don’t know for you, but for me this is gold. I’ll gravitate towards anything that will save me time in the mornings. Not having to stand in front of the closet forever trying to decide what to wear truly is a good feeling. All the stress of getting ready in the morning suddenly goes away when the clothes you need are already there waiting for you.

2.) It saves money.

Having a capsule wardrobe doesn’t only save time but it also saves money. Think about it, the amount of money you would be spending for work clothes significantly decreases because you’re not buying clothes because you think you have nothing to wear.

3.) It declutters.

For example, in this work capsule, I have outfits that will last me up to a few weeks. And these are not new clothes that I went out to buy. I went through my closet and sorted through my clothes and picked out what I thought would be good for work. In the process I also got rid of things I  know I would never wear.

How To Start on Your Capsule Wardrobe

There is no one way to  build a capsule wardrobe. You can make your own rules when it comes to this just like you’d build a regular wardrobe .

But if you have no clue where to start, let me briefly break down the process that went into creating this capsule wardrobe pictured  above.

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Key pieces   – The key pieces in your capsule wardrobe are those pieces that I call the solid pieces. These solid pieces have the ability to  completely change an outfit. This why they’re so important. In this case it would  be the blazer or duster .

Basic Pieces  – Unlike the key pieces, the basic pieces can be used to wear under a blazer or duster. This can be like a simple top.

Extra Pieces  –The extra pieces are the pieces you don’t need but can choose to add just to spike up your outfit. For example, accessories can fall under the category of extras. I  can choose to add a necklace along with my outfit but it’s definitely not a must. Same thing would go for a scarf.

So how did it work out for me????

I HATED IT!!!!!!! OMG, it was one of the worst experiences of my life!!!! Despite all of the benefits to having a capsule wardrobe it just doesn't work for me. So many days my mum would say to me, "You're wearing that AGAIN?" And I would fee bad because I felt trapped and confined to just those choices. Which is why I introduced so many options. Even then, I had to do laundry every week just so these options were available again. With my wider wardrobe, I have enough clothes to last me at least 2 months without washing, which I loooooove.

The next stressful part was having to photograph every single outfit just for this post. It's hard to take photos of your outfits for 20 days in the morning. Some mornings were ideal but most mornings I was in a mad dash to get to work on time and avoid traffic.

I also lost 2 days every week due to dress up days at work. Every Thursday was the seniors t-shirt day and Fridays usually became some fundraising dress up day. So I couldn't photograph those outfits, making this process even longer. I eventually quit after 12 outfits because I just couldn't stand to do this for one more week.

But just because I didn't enjoy it, doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try. Don't let my experience stop you. It's definitely worth a try and it really forces you to get creative with the same pieces. What do you think? Would you ever try a capsule wardrobe? Share your views and advice in the comment section below.

How to Make Mindful Purchases

How to Make Mindful Purchases

Living a life with intention means being more thoughtful when it comes to making decisions. Making mindful purchases can mean less buyers remorse. I can't tell you how many things I bought on a whim that I really didn't need but in my impulsive moment, thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. So recently, I made a more conscious effort to make more mindful purchases. I’m going to do this by following these 3 steps:

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