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Why is Artisan Jewellery Growing in Popularity?

There’s been a marked shift in attitudes towards clothes and accessories recently. People are becoming more interested in making considered purchases rather than spending impulsively and buying into fast fashion.

In this blog, Milina London takes a look at some of the reasons why you should invest in artisan jewellery rather than buying pieces from big names on the high street. 


What is artisan jewellery?




The word artisan is often used to describe products, but it’s important to have an understanding of what it actually means, especially in relation to jewellery.

Artisan jewellery is made by talented craftsmen and women all across the world and buying it is a way to celebrate their skills and creativity. Each piece is individually crafted from a number of materials, including precious metals and natural stones.

Reasons to purchase artisan jewellery


You’ll get a unique design 



Images copyright Milna London

Artisan jewellery is unique and individual. Each piece is handcrafted so it is not widely available in very large quantities and no two pieces are alike. Even though artisans strive for consistency, as each piece is handcrafted, you will still find very minute differences between two pieces of the same design. Therefore, you will have something that is unique and one of a kind.

The jewellery will be of a high quality

Artisans really care about their craft, which is something you don’t get when your jewellery is mass-produced! They will select materials which they know are good quality, whether that’s carefully-sourced precious metals or natural stones. Then, when it comes to the crafting process, each piece of jewellery is given the finest attention to detail.

You’ll be supporting the craft of talented individuals 


Artisan jewellery is made by highly skilled individuals from all over the world! One of the best things about purchasing artisan jewellery is knowing that you are supporting skilled craftsmen and women by helping them continue doing what they love in their local community.

In turn, this will help them to teach their skills to future generations and ensure the beautiful, traditional techniques of making jewellery continue. Artisans make each piece of jewellery with love and it’s great for them to gain support and love for their craft from all over the globe.

You can make a stand against fast fashion

Our fast-fashion footprint is becoming increasingly important and something that needs to be taken into consideration. Mass-produced jewellery may use vast amounts of energy, the production process may not be entirely ethical, and it can promote a culture of buying a piece to wear just once.

On the other hand, although artisan jewellery is a little more of an investment, you are making a lifetime purchase. It is of high quality, unique and beautiful - something which can become a staple in your accessories collection and allow you to make a stand against mass-produced jewellery. 



Where can you find artisan jewellery?


Images copyright Milna London

Artisan jewellery from across the globe is now much more widely available in the UK. Many people choose to look at fairs and markets, but a lot of artisan jewellery that is sourced and designed by independent family jewellers can also be found online.

Milina London specialises in contemporary, handmade jewellery for women. They work directly with artisans and small cooperative workshops to share a wonderful heritage of skills from around the world.

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How to Improve Parent -Teen Relationships


Being the parent of a teenager can be tough, mainly because teens are so unpredictable. It’s a challenging time for both parties and can cause ripples in the family dynamic. Lots of parents find it difficult to navigate around the mood swings and newfound sense of independence, but there are lots of ways to combat these challenges. A Sixth Form in Somerset has put together some tips to help you avoid a suffering relationship with your teenage son or daughter.  This is an advertorial.

Communication is Key


Teen angst is very real and it is likely that your kids will take their emotions out on you sometimes. Try not to take it personally and make it known to your son or daughter that you are always there for them if they need someone to talk to. When you talk to them, let them know that you value their opinions, no matter how trivial. Eventually, they will start to feel comfortable opening up to you about deeper issues. If you and your teen can develop a strong, communicative relationship, you will avoid emotions bubbling over.

Spending some quality time together will help you break down this communication barrier. Make sure you all have dinner together as a family and potentially introduce monthly cinema trips or a weekly coffee in town.  Teens usually spend more time in their bedrooms or out with friends, so you might have to try a little harder than you’re used to in order to encourage bonding time. The more time you spend together, the easier it will be to open up.

Accept their Boundaries and Independence



Puberty is a difficult and confusing time for teenagers; everything is changing and emotions are a little out of control. Your teen might want some alone time after school and will probably become more of a private person. Parents should respect these boundaries and trust them to make the right decisions for themselves. 

Above all, you need to try your utmost hardest to be patient with your teen and don’t be too hard on them. They will eventually come out the other side and it’s important not to damage your relationship in the process. 

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5 Ways To Kill Time While Travelling

The mere concept of travelling brings to mind incredible sights, sounds, and ideas. We imagine ourselves walking through local markets, delighting at the array of offerings; visiting ancient sites; marvelling at sunsets over the ocean - essentially, we imagine a highlight reel of all the best moments. 

All of the aforementioned moments happen, of course; that’s why we travel, and why exploring the world will always be hugely enjoyable. However, there is one aspect of travel that tends to be overlooked: the waiting.

No matter how perfectly-planned an itinerary is, any travel experience will always have time gaps. Whether it’s a bus journey to a historical site or waiting for a connection, these pockets of time must be filled - and here are a few ideas for how to do that productively. T
his is an advertorial.

#1 - Catch up with life back home 


A long wait provides the perfect opportunity to catch up on your home-life admin. You could, for example, use the time to check your bank account, make sure payments have gone out as anticipated, glance through your work email, chat with friends and anything else that you may otherwise struggle to find time for. You can then arrive safe in the knowledge that all is well on the home front, so you’re free to enjoy every moment of your time away. 

#2 - Play brain training games 

You can, of course, play any kind of game on your phone or mobile device, but brain training games are definitely the best choice if you’re hoping to use the time as productively as possible. Brain training is purported to improve mental clarity and enhance cognitive function, with apps such as Peak and Lumosity receiving positive reviews from users. Try downloading a few apps before you leave so you can find which suits you, and you’ll be all set for a brain-boosting few hours the next time you’re facing a long wait. 

#3 - Nap 


Sleep can often feel like a waste of time when you’re travelling; after all, every moment spent catching Zs is time you’re not spending soaking up all your destination has to offer. As a result, it’s far from unusual for travellers to build up a sleep debt while away; making inroads into this debt is definitely a great use of delays. A sleep mask, neck support pillow, and an alarm on your phone should be all you need to catch up on lost sleep.

#4 - Exercise

No one wants to visit a gym while travelling, but exercise is an important aspect of health, so exercising during long waits is the perfect compromise: you can exercise without losing time you’d rather spend immersing yourself in your destination. If you’re waiting at an airport or bus terminal, walking is usually the best choice; carrying your bags with you for extra “strength training” as you pace around. If seated for a long journey, you can tense and relaxing major muscle groups, or try exercises designed for commuters, as the same principle - people spending a long time in a vehicle - applies.

#5 - Study towards an online course

Wifi provision is common on most modes of transport these days, so studying towards an online course when you’re on the move is definitely viable. There are countless options for online classes, so you’re sure to find one that suits you, and can look forward to the opportunity to deepen your understanding - and earn a new qualification that could boost your career. Now that’s a great way to transform lost time into something productive!

The above five ideas can help to ensure that long waits are used as productively and effectively as possible.  What do you think? Do you have ways to kill time while travelling?


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Packing Tips For Moving House

Moving house is exciting but it can also be a stressful experience. Moving house can be a transition in life and combined with the packing stress, it's one event that can send your blood pressure soaring. So let's have a look at some packing tips for moving house that will mean you will get to your new house relaxed and refreshed as possible and ready to make your new house your home. 

Of course, if you don't want to do it yourself you can always use a company like  2removal - The Movers and Packers, this post is an advertorial in conjunction with them. 

Get organised



Organisation is key when moving home and packing, so make a list, or many lists and check them more than once. 

Make a list of what you need to move like boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape and labelling. You may be able to buy this from a moving company if you are using them or try Amazon. 

You also need a list of who you need to inform when you leave your home and who you need to inform when you move in, and a list of local services and takeaways in your new area. When you get to your new address you will be pleased to have your local takeaway number and a number of the local plumber.

First steps




When you move into your new home the essentials things need to be sorted straight away, like somewhere to sit, somewhere to sleep and something to eat and drink. So make sure these areas are addressed. 

For your bedroom and lounge you should ensure your sofa and bed is easy to move into your home first, and if you have to dismantle your bed that you keep all the parts and screws together and the mattress covered in a dust sheet.

Pack a box which is last in the moving van or kept with you in your car which will contain a kettle, UHT milk, tea, coffee, sugar, or squash and some snacks. You want this easily accessible for when you get to your new address.

Also pack a suitcase with your immediately needed clothes, chargers and laptops. It helps that this is a suitcase that is easily identified so you can get out what you need straight away with as less fuss as possible. If you have kids, get them to pack one for themselves with their toys, clothes and other essentials.

Label, label, label


Label the boxes with each room and what is in the box. This may seem like it is time-consuming but it will help you immensely when you are unpacking. It can help the movers (or you) move the box to the correct room saving time and effort.

It's also important to label on the box any fragile items, sharps like knives or toxic materials like bleach and household cleaners. Moving companies may refuse to transport half-empty containers of hazardous substances, so think about disposing of these safely or giving them to someone you know to use.

Packaging and protection



It helps if you have original boxes to move large or awkward items like TVs but if not be sure to wrap well as you don't want to get any items damaged. Towels and duvets can be used for extra protection if needed.

Valuable and small items like jewellery need that extra protection too. Why not allocate a family member to look after these items, and be responsible for them so they get that extra looking after? If you are moving antiques and highly valuable items check that your insurance covers these, you may want extra insurance.

Sort through any paperwork you have before you move and then ensure all your important documentation is accessible in one place, like your birth certificates,  whether that is a folder, filing cabinet or storage box.  Again be sure you know where this information is. 

Some moving companies will not move plants so think about how you are going to move these. Can a friend help you with this? Plants need to be kept watered and protected from extremes of temperature. 

Tools need to be cleaned and stored in a toolbox safely, and sharp items like saws protected well in appropriate storage containers. 

When you get there



Unpack the box with the kettle, tea and coffee. Put on the kettle, sit on the sofa you moved into your home first, make a cup of tea and relax. You've made it to your new home!

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How To Effectively Design And Build A Kitchen

Designing and building a new kitchen is a huge undertaking. When undergoing a full remodel of an entire room in your house, you could feel overwhelmed. There are so many options, features, and styles! How can you possibly narrow it down? As any good kitchen showroom expert will tell you, starting your kitchen design task is easier than you think. Below, you’ll see the 3 major aspects of designing and building a kitchen broken down into detail. These are, listing what you want, making a plan, and consulting experts.  This is an advertorial.

List What You Want 


Before you start shopping around or even looking for new kitchen inspiration, you should start with what you have. What do you like or dislike about your current kitchen, and what would you like to change? Are there functional aspects of your space that aren’t working, or are your desires for change more design-related?

Once you know what works and doesn’t work in your current kitchen, start seeking out ideas for your new one. Do friends and family have kitchens you admire? Narrow down the features that appeal to you most before starting a search online. With so many resources for kitchen design out there, it’ll take you forever to find what you’re looking for without specific search terms.

Hone in on the type of kitchen you want, based on the room’s layout. Is your space more suited to a galley kitchen or an L-shaped kitchen? Would you prefer to have a U-shaped layout or a broken, open-concept design? Identify these keywords and start looking for kitchens in your category.

The layout isn’t everything, though. You should also list the features you’d like. Think about cabinets and base units, larders, an island or breakfast bar, the oven, the hob, the downdraught extractor, the sink, dining area, living area, pantry, and sliding exterior doors. That’s quite a lot of items! Take the time to go through each one and at least gain a general idea of what you’d like. It’ll make the planning phase much easier.

Make A Plan 


Now that you have a vision of your perfect kitchen, you can draw up a plan. It’ll be worth your while to make a detailed floor plan or hire a professional to sketch one for you. With exact measurements down on paper, you can know exactly what you’re working with.

When arranging the best layout for your kitchen, consider function and design. You should take into account what your needs are, what you use your kitchen for. Do you need a lot of workspaces to prepare complicated meals? Then having a kitchen island would suit you. Do you want space for dining or entertaining in the kitchen? Then consider an open floor plan. If you’re limited by size and only spend time in the kitchen to cook meals, you can get away with a galley kitchen. You made a list of what appealed to you in the last phase, now it’s time to choose.

After choosing the layout, you’ll pick the style. Most of this comes down to cabinetry, worktops, flooring, splashback, wall colour, and lighting fixtures. You can go modern, with sleek, high-gloss cabinetry. You can add a coat of paint in a muted shade for the perfect country cabinets, or go for a period design with Georgian and Victorian style. You could also afford yourself some flexibility with freestanding kitchen units. Choose a style and stick to it – you’ll find almost everything falls into place once you have.

Another thing to keep in mind as you plan is your budget. Knowing how much you can spend will narrow down your options as well. If you want major renovations, you’ll also have to think about plumbing or electrical work that goes into your redesign.

Consult Experts

The final phase of designing and building your dream kitchen is consulting with experts. While there are a lot of great resources out there to get you started, talking with industry professionals can be a huge help. Kitchen designers and contractors will know the most effective ways to bring your vision to life – and when to help you steer clear of a potential design disaster. These kitchen experts are essential if you don’t plan to carry out the actual renovations yourself.

Final Thoughts On Designing And Building An Effective Kitchen

Don’t let your kitchen design project overwhelm you! By staying organised and planning everything, you can systematically choose every detail your new kitchen will need. As kitchen designers with a showroom in North London, Multiliving has had years of experience designing and building kitchens. We give the same advice to anyone undertaking a kitchen redesign – do your research, make a detailed plan, and ask the experts when you need help. With these steps, you can’t go wrong.

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What To Do About Hearing Problems

Hearing problems are common especially so in children and the elderly. As you get older they can also become worse.  However, don't worry as there are some things you can do about hearing problems, let's have a look at these solutions. This post is an advertorial in conjunction with Auris Ear Care, a company that provides ear wax removal and an ear cleaning clinic in London

Firstly, it's important to see your GP. If you or your child have a sudden hearing loss or are in pain with it call your GP straight away. If you have a fever, feel dizzy or have something stuck in your ear see your GP straight away too. If you have had gradual hearing loss make sure you make an appointment to see the GP when you can. You Dr is the best person to diagnose what the problem is by looking inside your ears with an otoscope. He will prescribe treatment or further tests. When in doubt always be on the safe side and ring NHS 111 for advice.

Diagnosis



The diagnosis could include the following.

An ear infection
A problem with earwax
A condition of the inner ear called Meniere's disease
A perforated eardrum
Exposure to a very loud noise
A side effect of medication
A problem with the inside of the ear such as fluid (glue ear)

Treatment



Treatment of hearing loss could include the following.

Often a virus will cause ear infections and in that case, antibiotics won't help. The doctor may suggest painkillers, or over the counter remedies, and it should get better of its own accord. In severe cases, antibiotic ear drops or tablets will be prescribed as well as suitable painkillers. These may take a while to work and it's important to finish the course of treatment. If you have finished the course of antibiotics and there is no improvement be sure to go back to your doctor. 

Extensive or problematic ear wax could be another problem. As you get older ear wax hardens too so it can be more difficult to fall out. A pharmacist can give you advice on this and suggest treatments but olive or almond oil is one that is recommended by the NHS. Ear wax removal can be done in private clinics such as Auris ear care. This is helpful if it becomes a recurrent problem, and not all GP practices remove ear wax either. With a private clinic, you can be seen quickly and Auris Ear Care also has a 24-hour mobile clinic so you can get an appointment whatever shift you work.

If you have Meniere's disease the doctor will prescribe medication to help with the problem, and stop with the feeling of nausea. If you have an attack, current advice by the NHS is to take your medication prescribed dor it, sit or lie down and don't make sudden movements. 

A perforated eardrum is a hole in the eardrum. This may get better of its own accord but you should always see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Antibiotics may be prescribed if it causes an infection, and painkillers too. If it doesn't get better this is a chance you may need further treatment and referral to a specialist ENT surgeon, with the chance that surgery may be needed.

Glue ear may clear up of its own accord. If there are more severe problems antibiotics may be prescribed. If it doesn't clear up then a referral to a specialist is required. Grommets may be inserted by the ENT surgeon to help draining fluid away and they fall out naturally after a few months. 

If your hearing loss is a side effect of medication your doctor will assess whether they will change it. If it's because of a loud noise it may get better of its own accord or it may not. Your doctor is the best person to see for advice on this and may ask you to monitor this.

If the doctor thinks you have hearing loss he will likely suggest a hearing test. These can be done on the NHS or there are private clinics that can do them quicker. You can get hearing aids on the NHS but private ones are normally smaller and can be more advanced.

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