Happy new year to all my family & friends! Hope you have a good one!
I just changed the bulb in my cooker hood and to my shock there was not 1 in there but 2. After closer inspection, they are both 40 watt bulbs totalling 80 watts in total! That's more than the total wattage of the bulbs in the ceiling.

I'm pretty energy conscious but these were a few bulbs that escaped my attention. If you're a power monger like me then don't overlook these bulbs and get some energy savers in there the next time you're in the kitchen and have a small screwdriver to hand.

A few more Xmas tooones:-)
It's almost mas so time to get festive!
Anybody got a solution for protecting the kitchen door that is on the cupboard right underneath the kitchen sink? The door has been there for about 6 years and water drips onto it every time the pots are washed. Now the panels on the door have started to swell, expand and are coming away from the door, as well as going a rather dark shade of grey/green, possibly mould.

I know buying a new kitchen door is a the simple solution but I'm looking for a long term one with preventative actions. Any ideas? or do I just bite the bullet and buy one? I can get them from the site below http://www.diy-kitchens.com/kitchen-doors/ but does anyone else have any other sites that I can compare the prices against?

Wireless Door BellWireless Door Bell
I was thinking of doing some DIY the other day as the doorbell that is wired to the box in the kitchen no longer works (checked the batteries etc and still dead). 

As the wires seem to be behind walls, I had a bit of a dilemma, try and figure out what was wrong and possibly have to get a new box or feed some more wire through or get one of those doorbells that you simply plug into a plug socket, anywhere in the house for 20 quid.

I have to say the latter won hands down and only took 10 minutes to setup, the hardest bit was screwing the new doorbell in the door frame. The beauty of these door bells is that you can place them anywhere you want. I have placed mine in the dining room as it is the most central place in the house and now I can hear it ring no matter where I am.

Some of you may be thinking, don't I lose a plug socket if I plug a door bell receiver into one?

The answer is yes and no. There is a also a passthrough version of the receiver that allows you to plug something right into the back of it.

I got mine from B&Q (http://search.diy.com/search#w=wireless%20door%20chimes&asug=) and they have loads to choose from. If you're not bothered about multiple chimes, just go for the basic ones.

I was reading an article the other day on the Country Design Style blog called Quick Cleaning Tips. I especially like the wear your cleaning tools section, so that you can carry all the cleaning bottles around with you, rather than have to go back to the cupboard every 5 minutes!

This in my eyes is absolutely essential as the older we get, the more we forget and find ourselves in rooms that we had no idea how we got into or what we are meant to be doing in them lol. With the house cleaning belt on, you'll always have a gentle reminder of what you should be doing:-)

Actually, I think this idea is that good, I may even try and prototype the idea and get my rear on Dragon's Den. I'll give them 10% for a £100,000 cash investment!

The full article is here: http://countrydesignstyle.com/2013/11/26/quick-cleaning-tips/

lol at the homemade cleaner:-)

Hum, do I go with an induction hob or a standard electric one? Is an induction hob all hype or does it have real benefits? I'll do the research and get back to yo'all soon:-)
Home Makover
Home Makover
Really loving the new 60 Minute Makeover programs at the moment that feature Peter Andre helping to improve people's houses with a quick makeover. In all honesty though, they really should call it "Home Makeover" as the makeover takes a day and no longer one hour.

Personally, I think that taking a whole day to perform the makeover makes loads more sense as a lot less rushing is involved and the whole 60 minute thing was purely a gimmick anyway.

What really does annoy me though is all the negativity that I see on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/itv60mm). People are entitled to an opinion and the makeovers are not everyones cup of tea, granted, but the amount of comments that I see that say "Why is that person having a makover" are wholly uncalled for.

The show is enriching the lives of 30 families, which is a massive undertaking. We need more shows like this and less people resenting the good that is being done to other people. 

There are hundreds if not thousands of people in this country that could benefit from an act of kindness like this, but as you can image, it's not possible to help everyone.

One thing we do need to understand though is that the people that have had a makeover on their homes have been recommended by friends and family, for a good reason. Most of these people are pillars to their family or community and always push forward and get on with their lives.

If all the "complainers" do is complain all day long, think the world is against them and never seen the good in anything then who in their right mind is going to recommend them? Food for thought there.
My advice to these complainers is to "sow more than you reap" and one day, lady luck may come knocking at your door!
DIY or ‘do it yourself’ is a familiar and fairly self-explanatory term that pervades in today’s society. It refers to methods of home improvement, without getting a professional to do it for you, hence the term ‘do it yourself’. For some, it’s a preferred hobby, whilst for others, it’s the stuff of nightmares!

The Beginnings of DIY

The popularity of DIY really took off during the 1950s which has even been referred to by some as the ‘Decade of DIY’. Many homes had been destroyed or badly damaged during World War II, and as such many new, modern style homes were being built. Bought by young, middle class couples, they sought to put a stamp on their homes, hence the boom in the do it yourself culture.

An extension of the 'make do and mend' mentality fostered during the war, DIY’s popularity soared during this decade, and a monthly DIY digest at the time proclaimed ‘there isn’t a room in the house that will not offer us some chance for improvement at a modest outlay.’ Kitchen and bathroom improvements proved most popular though, and innovations in new materials and products such as Formica, wallpaper adhesive and filler products, as well as new electrical items for the home, meant that there was no better time for people to begin making their own home improvements.

Whilst writing this blog post I stumbled upon (not the web site), just me and my internet browser clicking routines, this site that allows you to build your own kitchen and select any kitchen units you like!  

DIY Today

The DIY trend of the 1950s has proven that it is no mere fad, and today the DIY market means big business. In 2012, UK households forked out over £10.5 billion on home improvements, which works out at around £400 per household. However, in truth, this represents a decline in the spend on DIY, with the peak spend sitting closer to £15.5 billion in 2004. The UK recession, along with the burst of the housing bubble helped contribute to this dip, but as the first signs of economic growth begin to show, and house prices begin to recover, no doubt DIY will go from strength to strength.

A DIY Timeline

There are literally hundreds of different DIY projects that people can undertake to spruce up their home. These can range from small, one off tasks to trickier, longer projects that can take up a substantial amount of time. Some popular projects include sprucing up a kitchen by replacing the cabinet doors, counter tops and kitchen units, which can take as little as a day or two with the right tools and know how, or giving your garden a makeover.

Other projects include freshening up your home with a new lick of paint, giving your carpets a deep clean with a hired carpet cleaning machine, replacing the grout around kitchen and bathroom tiles or giving the patio a good clean with a pressure washer. Many of these tasks can be done in a weekend or less, though it depends upon the knowledge and skill of the DIY-er! For instance, in a survey held last year, 50% of respondents said that they had been involved in a DIY project that took them over a month to complete, whilst 26% replied that they had never spent more than a week on a DIY task. 

DIY Demographics

In 2003, it was reported that one in three women did the majority of DIY tasks in the home, although apparently this was often to finish a task left unfinished by a male! However, DIY is still typically a male dominated sphere, with one survey showing that whilst 70% of men in the 25-33 age group would do it themselves, only 25% of women would do the same. 

DIY Bloopers

Another recent survey revealed that home improvements caused 220,000 Brits to take a trip to the hospital last year, and in 2011 it was estimated that home-owners in the UK could waste around £540 million on unfinished, over-ambitious DIY tasks. If you don't know what you're doing, you could risk disaster, and a massive 14 million men have admitted to wrecking their homes by undertaking a DIY project that was a little beyond their capabilities!

So, next time you dust off your tools and prepare to indulge in one of the nation's most popular pastimes, don't forget, you're taking part in a proud and long tradition!