Category Archives: Self Improvement

How To Make A Small House Feel Spacious

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Learning how to make your house more spacious is a bit of an optical trick, sure. But it is a trick that is not only for aesthetic purposes. Making your house appear more spacious also give you a subconscious feeling of more breathing room. Many of us can become a bit claustrophobic in a tight space. Small spaces can also give slight general anxiety. Frustrations are also more common in tight spaces, due to the aforementioned feelings. By creating the feeling of more space in a room, we can alleviate these feelings. Plenty of studies have been done showing that those who have less day-to-day anxiety live happier and more productive lives. Making a house more spacious may seem like a small improvement. Nevertheless, consider the long-term effects of being a little calmer and at peace with your surroundings.

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Mirrors

Be it a large or a small room, placing a wall-size mirror in it can help the room feel larger. The reason being that the eyes feel they have a greater distance to scan. When we have a bare wall, we focus on the limitation. When there is a mirror placed along the wall, our eyes see to the wall and then all the way back to the opposing wall. In essence, you have doubled the amount of space your eyes have to view.

Do Not Cut Off Corners

When you cut off corners with furniture, you are essentially sacrificing space. By placing furniture against the walls lengthwise and avoiding cutting off the corner, you open up the room. Having an open room leaves you with the sense of more space to work with. That is because you quite literally do. It is amazing how restrictive cutting off just a square quarter-meter can do to tighten up a room.

Monochromatic and Neutral Schemes

When you use a single color in a room, the furniture and set pieces can blend more easily into walls. This helps make the room look more continuous and not blocked into particular pieces. Just like using mirrors, this is a simple optical illusion that makes it easier for your eyes to use a continuous scan. You can also use neutral colors. Using colors that are too vibrant or clash can cause segmentation to the eyes that make the room seem smaller. Using neutral colors and going from lighter to darker colors will help the room seem taller, thus bigger.

Give Entrances Space

Crowding the entrance and exit of a room can make it feel constrictive. Instead, allow space between furniture and the doorway. This opens up the room to seem more inclusive and not as closed off. Try to utilize additional components that make the doorway seem wider and more open as well. This will give the entire room a more open and extended feel.

Using each of these simple, but often overlooked tricks can help your eyes take in a room as a larger space than it really is. While the room may not truly extend in size, you can feel like you can spread out just a bit easier.

10 Family Friendly Meals You Can Make Ahead of Time

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Not everyone has time to prepare three or more meals for his or her family. In fact, some people do not have time to make even one meal, due to all the running around the modern parent has to endure. It is quite an often occurrence that parents and spouses can only hurriedly throw together a meal, unless they plan ahead. But one way to save time is to prepare meals that can be finished or heated up to perfect at a later time.

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Stir-frys

If you need something that can be prepared quickly and finished even quicker, then trystir-frys. You can cut up and marinade the meat, as well as chop up the vegetables and pre-make the rice. Just throw the content into a pan or wok, and have a meal ready in 7 minutes.


Meatloaf

A meatloaf is an American tradition that can be easily made and kept for longer periods of time than other foods. You can also prepare a meatloaf for cooking later if you would like it to be served fresh. The meat tends to retain their general flavor. This makes them a perfect meal for the family that is pressed for time.


Lasagna

Anold Italian favorite that can be premade and set aside for the family, with ease. While this meal does take considerable time to prepare well, it can be prepared in rather large quantities. It is also a great on-the-go food in your favorite Tupperware containers. Lasagna prepared properly will always taste just as good as the first time it is cooked. You can also prepare it as a ready-for-the-oven meal.


Enchiladas

Think of enchiladas as the Hispanic version of the Lasagna. They may take a little time to make, but they can be made in large quantities, and are great food to take to work or school. They are also easily portioned. That way, the portions can be rationed out to family members without much conflict on “who got the bigger portion.”


Stews

Stews are great family-friendly food because they can be ready to serve whenever you would like. Stews are very difficult to overcook, as they slow-cook throughout the day. That means that a stew is practically “on call” for when the family is ready to eat.


Stuffed Bell Peppers

A great portable food for the family is a stuffed bell pepper. Instead of loading your spouse and kids with preservative-filled snacks and meals, you can give them a ready-made edible food pod. You can stuff bell peppers with meats, veggies and cheeses, and the bell peppers will stay fresh and ready-to-eat for at least 48 hours.


Chicken Pot Pies

A quality chicken pot pie can be kept in the fridge for quite a while. The content can also be kept in a ready-for-the-oven fashion for days at a time. That means that you will have a ready to please and family friendly food on deck whenever you need it.


Meat, Beans, and Rice Plates

You do not have to spend a ridiculous amount of time preparing foods every time. Sometimes, a simple mixture of protein and carbohydrates is a great mix. Add some steamed veggies or a salad on the fly to fill out the nutrients your family needs.


Sandwiches and Subs

Sure, some people have forgotten that a sandwich can be a meal, but it is all about what you fill the sandwich with. Choose your meat, your veggies, and then place them in the fridge. Leave the condiments off to keep the bread from becoming soggy.


Soups

Once again, you do not have to always over-think a meal that can be consumed later. Soups are like stews in that they can be made far ahead of time.


Pasta Salad

Throw some spices into some noodles and add some tomatoes, onion, sunflower seeds, and so on. You will have a healthy and easy-to-eat meal to be eaten whenever there is time.