21 February 2019

Staying Safe When You DIY

* I have not been paid to produce this article which has been passed to me for people to raise awareness about mesothelioma.


Home renovation shows and tutorials available online have made finding inspiration for all of your renovation needs easier than ever. Before jumping into these projects on your own, it’s important to be conscious of the unexpected dangers of DIY that could affect your safety and health. If you’re thinking about starting a project, here are some safety tips that can help keep you protected as well as reduce the costs of giving your space the upgrade it needs.

Have The Right Gear

Before starting your DIY project, it’s important to realize that different projects will require necessary protective gear forsafety. During the renovation process, it’s likely that you will be working with a variety of construction materials. Protective gear like safety gloves will help you avoid skin irritation, splits, and cuts, but most importantly keep your eyes out of harms way. If you’re sanding, plastering, or working with paint fumes, make sure you have masks and eyewear that will properly shield you. For projects that require louder power tools, wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to protect your hearing.

If you will be using power tools, be aware of additional precautions. Power tools make renovating projects easier due to their simplicity and efficiency but often propose higher risks of danger. Always be aware of the tools proximity to your body. When you are finished with the tool, turn the safety back on, unplug it and keep it out of reach of small children and animals.

Finally, before starting your project make sure that your attire is free of any possible loose strings or fabric that could get caught or tangled in machinery. To avoid particle pollution in a space work in a properly ventilated room. Taking these additional small precautions is an easy way of protecting yourself.


Protect Your Furniture and Valuables
Home renovations can be messy and have the potential for leaving behind a stain or two,  having the proper coverage is essential  for protecting your irreplaceable valuables. Before starting, invest in tarps and plastic coverings that can be applied to cover furniture, flooring, carpets, and other surfaces that you want to keep clean. If you’re working in the kitchen, cover your countertops, eating utensils, and kitchen appliances to avoid any contamination and ultimately protect your health. Covering your valuables might seem like a tedious task, however, in the long run, this step will protect your belongings from any possible DIY mishaps. 

Identifying and Handling Harmful Substances
Depending on when your house was built, there could be harmful and toxic substances located within the structure, paint, and finishings of your home. For houses built before 1978, there is a high chance that lead-based paint is located across the interior and exterior of a home. Toxic metals in this paint can cause serious health problems if the paint chips or dust is inhaled. Although lead is poisonous to everyone, it has a significant impact on young children and pregnant women. To avoid the dangerous health risks associated with lead paint, seek out professionals for lead paint testing or try an at home testing kit to identify any possible problems.

Testing for asbestos is crucial before beginning your home renovation projects. Prior to 1980, asbestos was used in a variety of building materials. Inhaling asbestos fibers that have been disturbed can cause inflammation and tumors to develop in the lungs. Over time, this damage may lead to a rare cancerknown as mesothelioma. These airborne fibers are extremely hazardous and homeowners should not attempt to remove or disturb asbestos on their own. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), suggest having a licensed and certified asbestos abatement professional inspect the home to determine if asbestos-containing materials are present and what steps to take for a safe removal.

In addition to toxic substances like lead paint and asbestos, beware of the threats caused by mold that thrive in damp locations like drywall, basements, and bathrooms. Exposure to these types of substances could ultimately be damaging to you and your loved one’s health. Seek out professional removal services for assessments as well as the best procedure before starting your renovation project.



Always Be Prepared
Despite taking protective measures, accidents are likely to occur. At the start of your DIY project, make sure you have a first aid kit ready for any small scrapes or cuts. If a serious injury was to occur, seek care from a medical professional as soon as possible. Update the fire extinguisher at your workstation in case of a possible electrical or chemical fire. Finally, if you are unsure of the next steps for your DIY , seek out professional help. Stay cautious, never start a project well tired, and remain positive when tackling your renovation projects.

19 February 2019

The Evolution of You



Looking back over the course of your life, have you ever wanted to meet your past younger self?  

I don't know about you, but I have been very different people over the course of my life so far.  Whilst my core being has stayed the same in terms of my values, the person that I am has undergone so many changes of the years that I am not sure if I would recognise myself if I was to meet me at a different age.

I think of it as being the same person, but simply a different shade or colour.  We are like bell peppers really (bare with me on this).  It wasn't until recently that I learned that yellow, orange, green and red peppers are not different variety of peppers, but merely at a different stage of ripening.  That feels a lot like me.


Everyone has challenges in their life and everyone has a journey that they go on, no matter how large or small.  My journey has been one of finding confidence, finding self esteem, finding body confidence, finding my voice.  I tried to put descriptive labels on some of my different stages.  I share (some) here:

Age 15  -  I am the fat girl in school.  I want to fit in.  There is still wonderment and hope in the world.  I have hope for my future.  I want to be thin so people will like me.
Age 21 - I am so lost.   I am scared. 
Age 30 - There are people on the internet that think like me, that look like me, that say what they think..........  I'm not good enough.
Age 33 - I am writing.  I am wearing colour for the first time.  A LOT of colour.  I am still terrified of rejection.  I still don't feel good enough.
Today (aged 39.99 years) I am never scared to say what I think.  I probably say too much.  My wardrobe of beautiful, colourful dresses is overflowing.  I have confidence in both myself and my courage of conviction.  I have a fella who makes me feel sexy.  I have amazing friends.  I have self worth.
I am happier today than I have ever been in my life.  This happiness is as a result of the journey of life that I have been on.  The challenges that I have set myself.  The heartbreak and the loves.  The highs, the lows.   The girl who decided to become a woman and make her life as she wanted it to be.


I am proud of just how far that I have come in my life and you know what?  I would love to meet 21 year old me.  To give her advice, to give her a boost.  To tell her that she is going to be ok.  

To tell her that she will never suit red hair, no matter how many times she tries over the years to make it work (written now with another shade of red).

What challenges in your life have changed you?

If you are looking for other blogs to read, you can't go far wrong with reading Let Them Be Small