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What To Do With All Your Garden Waste

Like many people in January, you’re trying to keep yourself occupied and looking ahead to happier times. So, you’ve been out in the garden getting things ready for the spring months. As a result, there’s a lot of garden waste that you now have to get rid of - or at least do something with. Some of the waste is natural - we’re talking twigs, weeds, plant trimmings, leaves and so on. But, you may also have some waste that’s not natural - like rubbish that’s blown into your garden, old broken plant pots, etc.


What do you do with all of this waste? Well, here are some ideas:

Separate your garden waste

As we just mentioned, you’re going to have different types of waste in your garden. Generally speaking, you can separate this waste into two categories:

  • Green waste
  • General waste

Green waste is anything that’s naturally occurring in your garden. This will include some of the things we already spoke about: grass cuttings, twigs, weeds, plant trimmings, leaves, wood chips, soil, shrubs and so on. All of these things can technically be reused or recycled in one way or another, so you should avoid chucking them in a bin.

General waste is anything that’s not naturally occurring in your garden. Alongside the rubbish and plant pots mentioned in the introduction, this can also include bricks, plastic bags, etc. You need to keep all of this separate from your green waste as it will be dealt with differently.

Create your own compost

Organic compost is used to help infuse your soil and make plants grow nice and healthy. It’s pretty expensive to buy, especially when you can make it yourself. If you have any old soil or leaves and twigs, you can leave them in a little compost bin in your garden. Some people will add their food waste to this as well, and it’s a smart way to recycle your waste and reuse it in your garden. You won’t be able to turn all of your garden waste into compost but you can get rid of a lot of it this way. Effectively, all of the green waste you separated earlier can be used as compost.

Collect the rest of your waste in a skip

Using a skip to store all of the other garden waste is a good idea for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it saves you from making numerous trips to your local waste disposal centre. Secondly, you have companies like Sheridan Skips that will dispose of your waste for you, trying to be as eco-friendly as possible. In essence, these companies are waste management experts, so they know what can be recycled and what has to be thrown away. When you make individual trips by yourself, you can often throw things away that can be recycled or chuck things in a recycling bin that actually can’t be recycled. So, using a skip just ensures that all the general waste from your garden gets disposed of correctly.

After these three steps, your garden will be clean and tidy. Any green waste will be reused as compost - give some to your neighbours if you have too much - and all the other waste will be nicely recycled or thrown away.

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What Clothes To Pack For New York In Spring

New York is one of those destinations that many people have on their bucket list. It's an iconic destination, with so much to see, from the Empire State Building, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square. 

New York

If you are thinking of visiting New York in the Spring then you've chosen a great time to visit. Now the weather in New York is known for its extremes, think hot muggy summers and freezing cold winters, but Spring and Autumn are the best times to visit for more ambient temperatures, that are better for sightseeing. The weather can be unpredictable though so it's good to be well prepared on what to wear. So let's have a look at what clothes to pack for New York in the Spring.

Comfy trainers

New York is a huge city and you will be walking miles. Ditch the flip flops and open-toed shoes, instead pack some comfy fashionable trainers to cover the miles walking. The last thing you want is for your feet to be aching and for you to get blisters. Protect the trainers with a waterproof spray so you don't get wet feet.

Long sleeve cotton tops

Layers are a great idea for the Spring weather in New York. It could be cold in February whilst April will be much warmer but still showery. Make sure you pack a selection of cotton long sleeve tops that will also be breathable when it gets warm. Neutral tones are always good for a capsule travel wardrobe but personally, I like a splash of colour with bright blue florals or pink or red designs.

Lightweight waterproof coat


No packing for New York would be complete without a lightweight waterproof coat. It won't take up much space in your suitcase, can go in a backpack when you are wandering around the New York streets and provides much-needed protection from the showers you will get in the Spring.

Dark denim stretch jeans

Stretch jeans are my go-to for every day where and dark denim stretch jeans are comfy and are smart enough so they can be worn day or night. Pair with a long sleeve shirt for those spring days or a camisole and sparkly top for nights in the New York bars. 

Evening tops

New York has an abundance of great restaurants and cool bars and people do make an effort to visit the theatre too, so pack some smarter clothes for the evening. Most places don't have a dress code, I even saw someone super casual in simple jeans in a Michelin star restaurant in New York.  I personally though feel better if I make an effort to dress smarter when going out to a nice restaurant or bar.  

Stylish trench coat

In the evening you want something smarter than a lightweight coat. Pack a stylish trench coat in a neutral colour so it will go with everything. A trenchcoat provides another layer of warmth but a waterproof layer when you are walking to that cook bar or restaurant. 

Classic boots

Classic boots are a wardrobe staple that can be worn day or night. Again go for comfortable boots and avoid high fashion designs with tiny heels as you will be walking a lot. If you pick the right style, a classic boot can be worn with jeans or dresses.

Woolly knitwear

top of the rock

Remember I mentioned layers? Well, it's important to pack a cardigan or sweater for those chilly days. Also New York in February will be must colder than New York in April so when you are thinking of any knitwear to pack, then pack accordingly, 

Essential Accessories

The weather changes a lot in the Spring so pack some of these accessories for the different climates. Pack some cool sunglasses for those sunny days with a good sun protection factor.  Pack some woolly gloves for those cold mornings and evenings. Pack a scarf for those windy days and trips on the Staten Island ferry. 

Anything else?

Just add some socks, underwear, nightwear, and a folding umbrella and you are good to go! Lastly don't forget a backpack or day bag for your essentials and an evening bag for those smarter places as well as a couple of pieces of your favourite jewellery.  Let me know, have you visited New York in the spring?

Check out my post on how to use the New York Citypass for inspiration. 

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Understanding The Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment containing female hormones used to replace the estrogen (also called oestrogen in the UK) or estrogen and progesterone that the body stops producing during menopause. Hormone replacement therapy is mostly used to treat commonly experienced menopause symptoms such as night sweats, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, mood shifts, weight gain, and sleep problems.

Hormone replacement therapy is also a good way to prevent bone loss and reduce fractures in postmenopausal women. However, there are some risks associated with the use of HRT. These risks depend on the hormone therapy that one uses, the dose, the period the medication has been taken, the age a woman starts it and the individual health risks.

It is generally thought that the benefits of HRT outweigh the risks, however, to have the best results on HRT, you should ensure that you evaluate your hormone replacement therapy often in collaboration with a doctor.

The basic hormone replacement therapy types


Hormone replacement therapy mainly focuses on replacing the estrogen and progesterone that the body no longer produces after menopause. The two main types include:

• Systemic hormone therapy

The systemic hormone therapy comes in a skin patch, pills, ring, cream, gel, or spray form typically containing a higher level of estrogen that is absorbed all through the body. It can assist in treating the common symptoms of menopause.

• Low-dose vaginal products

Low-dose vaginal products come in tablets, ring, or cream forms. It helps to minimize the absorbed amount of estrogen in the body. Due to these facts, low-dose vaginal preparations and normally used to treat urinary and vaginal symptoms of menopause.

Benefits of hormone replacement therapy

HRT may:

  • Relieve night sweats and hot flashes
  • Help with better sleep
  • Ease itching and vaginal dryness
  • Relieve pain when having sex
  • Prevent fractures that are caused by osteoporosis
  • Reduce the chances of heart diseases in some women
  • Lower the chance of dementia
  • Lowers the chances of depression

The risks of hormone replacement therapy

Research has proven that in most cases the benefits of hormone replacement therapy typically outweigh the risks; however, HRT may raise the chances of:

• Endometrial cancer brought about by taking estrogen without progesterone while still having the uterus.

Blood clots

• Stoke

• A slight increase in breast cancer with combined HRT 

The risks vary depending on:

• Age

Women who started hormone therapy at 60 years or older or more than ten years from the start of menopause have a more significant risk of getting the above conditions. However, if the hormone therapy starts before 60 years or before ten years of menopause, the advantages should outweigh the risks.

• Type of hormone therapy

The risk of hormone therapy depends on whether the estrogen was used alone or with progesterone—the dose and also the kind of estrogen matter.

• Health history

Your personal and family medical history and risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, blood clots, osteoporosis, and liver disease are essential factors in determining if HRT is suitable for you.

Who can benefit from hormone replacement therapy?

The advantages of HRT may be more than the risks if a person is healthy and:

• Has average to severe the hot flashes

Systemic estrogen therapy is still the most suitable treatment for the relief of hot flashes and night sweats.

• Has many different symptoms of menopause

HRT can relieve vaginal menopause symptoms like itching, dryness, discomfort with intercourse, and burning as well as low mood, aches and pains, dry skin, and low sex drive.

• Needs to prevent fractures and bone lose

Systemic estrogen assists in protection against the bone-thinning illness called osteoporosis.

• Has estrogen deficiency due to a hysterectomy or experienced early menopause

If your ovaries were surgically removed before 45 years old, or you stopped receiving your monthly periods before this age, then your body is exposed to a lower amount of estrogen than women who experience normal menopause. HRT is indicated to help prevent symptoms such as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, mood changes, and dementia.

This post is for information purposes only and does not offer medical advice. As always research is ongoing into the effects of menopause and treatments. Always see a menopause specialist for further information and a treatment plan.

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How To Make A Small Business More Sustainable

Many consumers these days are changing their behaviour in the pursuit of a more sustainable lifestyle. A recent survey by Deloitte of over 2000 adults discovered that 85% surveyed were making more sustainable life choices than previously and 31% actively seek out brands with a strong sustainability and ethical focus. 

As a small business you may have already thought about how to make your business more sustainable for the benefit of the planet but it makes great business sense too. Why? Well, it can drive consumers to your company especially if you actively promote your eco-credentials. 

You may have already been looking at what actions you can do, but let's have a look in more detail at how you can make a small business more sustainable. 

Source sustainable products 

protect the planet

Source products that are ethically made and use sustainable practices. For example, Fairtrade produce where workers, farmers and artisan craftspeople are paid a fair price for their goods. It's important to look at the supply chain too. When I had my own jewellery shop, we always sold diamond jewellery that adhered to the Kimberley Process, which helped prevent conflict diamonds.  We knew where the diamonds were coming from and could trace the source. 

Use eco-friendly packaging 

Use eco-friendly packaging when needed and don't overpack or use too much packaging. The world could do with less packaging that ends up in landfill, don't you think?  Seriously avoid plastic bubble wrap, styrofoam and plastic wrapping. For sustainable packaging that literally won't cost the earth then check out companies like Tyler Packaging, which make affordable sustainable packaging including compostable, biodegradable and recyclable packaging. 

Conserve energy

light bulb
Buy low wattage light bulbs to conserve energy. Consider motion sensors for corridors to only see light when needed and that will turn on only when dark. Turn down the thermostat in the office or workspace. Switch off computers at the end of the day. Encourage staff to turn off lights when not in use. Smart meters can help you keep track of how much you are spending. If you have a kitchen in the work environment, only use the dishwasher when it's full. Consider creating your own energy by having solar panels installed. 


green car
If you have a company car, then a hybrid or electric car should be considered, and avoid a diesel car for its pollution. Encourage cycling to work by installing a bike stand in your office or workspace. Encouraging working from home, even part-time can help prevent pollution from car fumes.  Maybe you can car share and give other workers a lift?

It's the little things

Small things that you do can really count. Rather than print everything out go paperless. If you have to print,  set the printer to double-sided to conserve paper and use recycled paper.  Use eco-friendly ink or refill your cartridges. If you have to give a traditional business card, use a recycled card.  Be sure to make the recycling bags clear and in an obvious place so everyone knows what to recycle.  It's the little things that matter. 

Write a sustainability policy

go green

Write everything you are putting into practice down into a sustainability policy. You and your staff can see what you are aiming to do, the action plans and how your business is helping preserve the planet. These eco-credentials should be on your website, in your literature and promoted when you advertise. This will then attract customers who want to buy from a business that has eco-friendly practices. 

So here are some ideas on how to make a small business more sustainable. Do you have any ideas? Is it a selling point to you, if a business is eco-friendly?

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How to Style Your New Home Layout With An Architect

Having your home renovated or changed can be a big investment, and you want to make sure that it is absolutely perfect before walls get knocked down and the floors come up! The design stage of any home renovation project is the important phase, as this is what will determine how your home looks and feels when construction is completed. Working with your architect during the design process will be key in ensuring your project is perfect for your tastes and your budget.

You can personalise your home in several different ways, fitting to all budgets and styles. If you need more space, for example, a new bedroom, then a loft conversion is usually the best way to add an extra bedroom to your home. It is essential to have an architect involved in the loft conversion process, as you are going to be changing the structure of your home – and you will be spending a lot of money!

architect plans
For a loft conversion, there are many ways you can style your new space with help from your architect. You can choose to have in-built storage placed under the eaves, which would normally be wasted space. Your architect can split your new space into multiple rooms, including an ensuite bathroom, walk-in wardrobe or even a roof terrace! Adding multiple rooms to a property can improve its value, especially when they are beautifully designed and laid out by a good architect.

loft plans

Of course, a loft conversion may not be viable for your home, in which case you may be considering a home extension. Extending your house can either add width to your property, length or both. Extensions come in different shapes and sizes, and there is a lot of room for artistic license. You can work with your architect to style a glass extension or an extension that creates multiple rooms in a creative format. The best way to approach styling a home extension with your architect is to think of what you want from the space and how it will be used. From that, your architect will be able to propose viable ideas and architectural plans for your new living space.

Now, if you have a big budget, a great home renovation idea is to add a basement. Whilst costly, a basement adds a whole new level underneath your home – and the design options are endless! Have you ever thought of having an indoor balcony? This is a mezzanine and can be created to allow you to look down from the ground floor down to the basement level. You can have a basement kitchen, basement swimming pool and sauna – anything your heart (and budget!) desires! Your architect will be the key to making your dreams a reality.


Luxury French Lingerie By Maison Lejaby

As I get older I appreciate quality more and think that it's worth paying extra for a little luxury. One of those luxuries I love spending money on is lingerie. Quality luxurious lingerie is beautifully designed, well made,  and makes you feel special. It's a luxury that is my new guilty pleasure.

One lingerie company that is worth buying from is the French lingerie company Maison Lejaby. This is an advertorial with Maison Lejaby but all words and opinions are my own.

Who Are Maison Lejaby?

blue lingerie

Maison Lejaby is a luxury lingerie and leisurewear company established in 1930 in Lyon France. Using the finest materials and expert designers they have created a reputation as having some of the best lingerie, especially cotton lingerie in France. Materials are bought from European fashion houses and cut and sewn together with impeccable skills and craftsmanship. Over the years they have become known as experts in lingerie due to them employing the best craftspeople in the area. 

What Types Of Products Do Maison Lejaby Sell?

cotton lingerie Maison Lejaby

Maison Lejaby products are designed with French know-how and encompass beachwear, sportswear, t-shirts, Yoga and Pilates clothes as well as swimwear, loungewear,  pyjamas and lingerie. 

black lingerie

Their lingerie includes bras that are full cup, push-up, underwired, strapless and post-surgery as well as full briefs, tangas, thongs, and shapewear.  They use high-quality fabrics in their products such as satin and velvet as well as cotton in their cotton lingerie and plant-based natural fibres.  

Their cotton lingerie range is called 'Cotton's Desire'. Cotton is a natural fibre that is breathable and is super soft against the skin. It absorbs natural sweat and drys well. The cotton lingerie Maison Lejaby range combines absorption, and softness with exceptional design and comfort. I love the neutral tones for daily use in the cotton lingerie range, perfect lingerie for everyday luxury.

Inclusive sizes 

lace lingerie

The company had a range of bra and panty sizes. The bra sizes 
I feel are inclusive from A cups to FF, G and H cups. Sizes are from 30 to 38. Sizes in other clothes such loungewear, pyjamas and yoga and pilates clothes go from an XS up to an XL. 


La Petite Lejaby

Maison Lejaby is committed to limiting waste and its ecological footprint at every stage of the company's activity to preserve the planet.

Their 'Renew Cult' products for swimwear are made from 100% recycled and recyclable yarn that is regenerated from fishing nets and their Modal is made from spinning plant-based fibres. Their 'Re-make' line is made with unused materials from the rest of their production chain, notably the French lace from their 'Crystal' lingerie line.

100 per cent of their packaging is recycled and recyclable and they are working hard to ensure 30% of their products will be eco-responsible within a year. Their products are delivered by lorry to reduce their carbon footprint too.


Mason Lejaby bodysuit

Maison Lejaby is a luxury French lingerie and leisurewear company that has some beautifully made lingerie including cotton lingerie. If you are looking for exceptional lingerie check out their website https://uk.maisonlejaby.com/.