December Birthdays Aren't All That They're Cracked Up To Be

December Birthdays Aren't All That They're Cracked Up To Be

Three reasons why December birthdays are the worst.

In my nineteen years of life, so many people have told me they are jealous that my birthday is in December. This is the weirdest concept for me, because I have never once liked when my birthday is, and I’m sure my fellow winter babies agree with me.

It’s such a hectic time of year, with Christmas and finals and New Year’s, and I can’t think of gift ideas for anyone else, much less myself. Honestly, this year the only thing I want for my birthday is to get an A on my astronomy final, but sadly, no one can give that to me as a present. Believe me, there are many reasons why having a December birthday isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

1. The weather sucks.

It is so cold in December, so it’s hard to enjoy your special day. Throughout my life, many of my birthdays were snow days, so I couldn’t even see my friends at school. It’s also usually snowing too hard or the roads are too icy to drive anywhere, so I can’t do anything fun.

2. Asking for gifts is hard.

By December, I’ve forgotten every gift I’ve ever wanted in my entire life. People always ask me what I want for my birthday and Christmas, and I can’t think of a single thing. It’s such a weird phenomenon, but it happens every year.

I have no reason to get gifts the entire year, and then suddenly I have so many reasons for presents, and suddenly my mind is blank. I have a lot of sisters, and I’m supposed to tell each of them two gifts that I want? Impossible. (For the record, I know this isn’t a real issue, but it’s still difficult. I feel like an ass if I tell people I don’t know what I want, because that makes their lives harder. This December birthday thing is too hard.)

3. It’s too close to Christmas.

This is my biggest issue with having a December birthday. It’s not that you get shafted when it comes to getting two gifts from people because I totally understand that money is tight around Christmas.

My problem is that you only get presents once a year. Do you know how many winter clothes I have? I have so many sweaters and boots because that’s what I get every year for my birthday and Christmas. The thing is, I have NO summer clothes, because I have to buy them myself, and like every other college student, I am broke as hell.

I would LOVE to have a summer birthday and be able to get presents at two different times of the year. And I wouldn’t have to think of everything I’ve ever wanted in one month. Also, birthday pool parties? I’ve never gotten the chance to have one, and I’m pretty upset about it.

If you have a December birthday too, you feel my pain. It’s a crazy and stressful time of year for everyone, and adding a birthday on top of it all just makes the whole month super hectic. But I guess on the positive side, happy birthday to all of you with December birthdays! May we survive this month together.

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Turning your barn into a livable shed for your guests

If you ever wanted to turn your backyard barn into a livable area for your guests, then continue reading.

If you ever wanted to turn your backyard barn into a livable area for your guests, then continue reading.

There are several reasons why you may want to do this. Maybe your home is too small to accommodate guests, or you have visitors coming over who need privacy (sometimes, too much closeness can be overwhelming).

It could also be for your kids to have some time camping out of the house. After all, every parent needs some breathing space from the kids once in a while. You could also use it as a place for working on projects away from the distractions of the home.

Whatever your reasons, here are 8 tips courtesy of shed building experts at Wide Span Sheds for converting your barn into a livable shed.

  1. Seal up holes and cracks –

It wouldn’t do for you or your guests to receive unwanted visitors such as roaches, squirrels and snakes while living in the shed. Your first port of call therefore should be to seal up all the cracks and holes you can find.

Sealing up cracks and holes also help prevent heat from going out and moisture from coming in. This is a small task that you can probably finish up in one day. If your shed is worn out or have rickety walls, you may need to have the walls replaced or shored up. You have to make the place as comfortable as you can for whoever will stay there.

2. Allow more natural light –

Depending on the size of the existing windows, you may need to install an alternative source for natural light. A good idea is to install a skylight in roof of the shed. This usually involves cutting out a part of the roof and fixing either a fixed glass or Perspex. You can also put up a movable window which can be opened to allow in fresh air. A skylight brightens up the shed and makes it more livable and comfortable.

If you are working on your shed during the rains, ensure that you fix the skylight properly to prevent water from dripping inside.

3. Install electricity –

Electricity is a basic necessity and you may need to install it in your shed to make it more comfortable. Even if you’re expecting outdoorsy visitors who enjoy the outdoors and natural light; at the very least, it can be used to charge phones, laptops and other devices. You or your visitors can also use it to power a small camp television set or stereo for entertainment.

You actually need overhead lights for reading and writing, as well as outdoor lights for evening activities. Electric lights in and around the shed is also an important security measure. Lighting your isolated shed prevents intruders and strangers from lurking around.

4. Add windows –

Sheds are usually built to serve as storage, so they may not come with windows. If your shed does not have a window, then you absolutely need to install some, at the very least, two. Without windows, the shed will be musky and unpleasant. Two windows positioned across from each other will allow for proper ventilation and good natural light. For most people, this is a simple enough task, but others may need to get an expert to handle this or every part of the project.

5. Give life to your shed with a new coat of paint –

Colours give life to anything, and your shed is no different. Regardless of how good your shed currently looks, a new coat of paint inside and outside would do a world of good. Since most sheds are tiny, this aspect will take only a small amount of time to complete.

You can choose a colour scheme that complements the main house, or you can go with a unique scheme if the shed is some distance from your home. Your colour choice however should be warm and welcoming.

6. Put in some basic furniture –

Unless you plan on spending your whole time in the shed on the floor, you need to put in some basic furniture. The type of furniture will be determined by the size of the shed and the purpose it is being refitted for. However, items like a chair or two, a table, a lamp stand, a couch or a bed are basic requirements. Some of these items can be gotten cheap from second hand goods store, or you can raid your basement for furniture you no longer use. Alternatively, you can build some of these items by hand, if you are comfortable getting your hands dirty and know a thing or two about building furniture.

7. Put in plumbing

Plumbing may be necessary if you intend to have a toilet or bath area in or around the shed. For sheds that are close to the main house, this may not be necessary. However, if you decide you need plumbing, setting up one will not be too difficult. You can simply install a rudimentary shower system. For the toilet, a simple portable toilet can serve, or you can go with a pre-fab toilet, like those used in motor homes and campers. Once you have your pipes in place, you can easily tap water from the main house source.

8. Personalize your shed and make it welcoming

Finally, after putting everything in place, you need to make the shed welcoming. Maybe add a few personal touches like your favorite foot rug, a couple of picture frames, a potted plant or even some basic amenities like a small TV set. Another way you can make your livable shed welcoming is to ensure that it is free from insects, bugs and mosquitoes. Nothing frustrates a sound sleep as much as insect infestation. It will be a good idea if you can fumigate inside and around the shed before your guests arrive.

There you have it, eight simple steps you can take to convert your barn into a livable shed. Not only is this a very easy project, it is also quite low cost. Once you are done transforming your shed, you will have the perfect place to keep visitors, and a ready getaway for a bit of quiet time.

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