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Boiler Maintenance Tips

One of the problems that homeowners mostly dread is the boiler breaking down. The boiler always seems to choose the worst possible time to stop working. They always go during the winter, when it’s cold, leaving you with no heating and no hot water when you need it most. By looking after your boiler properly, you can help it to run more efficiently and prolong its life. By keeping your boiler in top condition, you can save money in the long run and stop your boiler from breaking down at the worst time. 



Lag your pipes

The best time to lag your pipes is before the worst of the winter sets in, as preventing problems is easier than fixing them. Lagging is also not that complicated. Most DIY shops sell ready-made pipe lagging that can be easily slipped over your pipes. This lagging is usually cheap to buy and very quick to install.

Switch off your boiler

When the weather begins to warm up, switch your boiler off. Combi-boilers can be turned to hot water only to turn off the heating and save you money. If the boiler is left off for too long, however, you can find you have problems when you switch it back on. To prevent this, switch the boiler on for a few minutes each month.

Keep the pressure up

Your boiler won’t run properly when the pressure is too low. Keep an eye on your boiler’s pressure gauge. It should be between 1 and 1.5 bar. If the pressure is wrong, you can learn how to adjust it using online tutorials.

Flush your boiler

Over time, debris can build up inside your boiler, which makes it run less efficiently, costing you more money to run it. The best way to stop this from happening is to have your boiler deep cleaned by a professional. Find boiler quotes for this kind of maintenance, and have the muck cleared from your boiler and radiators. You’ll get the most amount of heat out of your boiler for the lowest cost. A regular clean also extends the life of your boiler.

Have your boiler serviced

Boilers need to be looked after. Have your boiler serviced regularly to help it to last as long as possible and work more efficiently. This will save you money and worry about your boiler. Always use an engineer who is Gas Safe Engineer to do any work on your boiler, whether service or repairs. The engineer can check your boiler is safe to run and will be able to carry out performance tests to make sure it is functioning correctly. They can also carry out any repairs that your boiler needs.

Taking proper care of your boiler is well worth the investment of your time and money to keep it in the best working condition. A properly working boiler is cheaper to run and will last much longer, saving you a fortune in repairs.

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4 Key Questions to Ask Before Considering the Idea of Cosmetic Surgery

When you are thinking about getting cosmetic surgery, you no doubt have many questions. You will begin your journey into plastic or cosmetic surgery with a consultation. This is where you will be able to ask any questions and get all the information needed to make the decision to get your surgery or to keep what you have without changes.

Whether you are thinking about getting rhinoplasty or breast enlargement or reduction surgery, you should think about what this surgery means; in the short term and the long run. 

Here are 4 key questions you may want to ask your surgeon before you schedule your cosmetic surgery.

1. How Often Do You Perform This Surgery?


You want an experienced surgeon to be operating on you. Check how many of these operations they have carried out, and ask to see photos of before and after surgery. You can get a sense of their aesthetic style then too. Some of the best surgeons carry out research and training too to advance the industry, so check if your surgeon does as this could be an indicator of a specialist in their field.

2. Are You Board Certified?

The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is tasked with certifying the doctors that will be performing plastic and cosmetic surgery. There are a number of forms and tests that a surgeon must go through before they are granted certification. In the UK you should look for a surgeon on the specialist cosmetic surgery registers like the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).

If your doctor is not a member of this or another well-known board certification group, it is best to search for another doctor. A certified doctor has taken the time to be sure he or she is getting the most up-to-date information and abiding by all the guidelines set by this type of governing body.

3. What Type of Anesthesia Will I Be Given?


This is an important question to be discussed with your surgeon for it will also determine if your procedure is going to be scheduled as an inpatient or an outpatient operation. It is also important to let your doctor know if you are allergic to any type of medicine.

You will also want to make sure that your anesthesiologist is also certified by a governing body. Certification is important again to show that they are a specialist in this area and follow the latest guidelines.

4. What is My Recovery Time?

This will be an important question, yet it will have different answers depending on the type of surgery and your personal health. Not everyone is going to heal at the same rate. However, there is a rough estimate of time, within a week or a few days, that you should plan on being at home to recover.  It's important to ask about any bruising, scaring and any potential complications so that you are well-informed.

When it comes to cosmetic surgery, there are no stupid questions. This is your health you are talking about. Do not be afraid to ask all the questions you need to make an informed decision. I hope this article helps you make an informed choice, please do more research before deciding if cosmetic surgery is right for you.

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Activities To Keep Busy And Healthy With Your Kids

It’s not always easy to find something to occupy kids and teenagers during this period of isolation. Being confined in close proximity can easily drive family members crazy especially when parents are working from home. Here are some activities you can do as a family to keep busy and healthy. 

Gardening

Gardening is a great activity to take up if you are self-isolating. Give your child responsibilities such as taking care of a plant, have them water it and check on it every day. You could also take on a bigger project, especially if you have older children, for example you could install a polytunnel or a greenhouse in your garden to grow exotic fruits and vegetables such as avocadoes or chillies. It’s a great way to teach your children about the different varieties of plants you can potentially grow in the UK. 

Yoga

You don’t have to be fit and super stretchy to start practising yoga. All you need is a mat and a guided video. You’d be surprised how much your kids will love doing some stretches with you! In fact, children generally love moving and exploring how far they can push their bodies so maybe try to spare 10 minutes every day to learn some yoga. 

Walking


We’re still allowed to go for a walk once a day so make the most of it and go for short strolls with your children. It doesn’t have to be longwinded or arduous; you can just walk around your neighbourhood or explore your local green area. So, go outside and explore if you want to but try to keep your distance with people as much as possible, especially in places such as playgrounds, for example. 

Physically Active Video Games

Sometimes it can be hard to keep your kids away from screens, but it doesn’t have to be mind-numbing… There are loads of games out there which require you to move and burn energy. Games such as Ring Fit Adventure by Nintendo are a great way to get moving. 


Biking 



If your little one loves riding their bike, then there is no reason for you not to cycle! All you need to remember is to be extremely careful as you don’t want to get injured and add more strain on hospitals. But by all means, you should definitely start exploring your neighbourhood with your kids for a short period of time once a day. 

Keeping your children happy and healthy doesn’t have to be hard work, but don’t feel bad if you keep your little ones inside for days... The most important thing is to stay home as much as possible and keep your children’s health your top priority.

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How To Remain Optimistic In Tough Times

Most of us go through tough times, be it a relationship breakdown, a health scare or money worries. At the moment the world is having a serious pandemic with the Coronavirus and it can be hard to be optimistic but it can be done. Here are some ways you can remain optimistic throughout these worrying times, I hope this helps.

Change your mindset


Rather than think about the negative in a situation try and turn it on its head and find a positive in a situation. Now this can be difficult if you are a naturally pessimistic person and some situations can seem well and truly impossible but it's definitely worth a try. For example, if you are self-isolating think of it as a chance to catch up with that box set you've wanted to watch for ages, to start that online course,  or to write the first chapter of a book you've always wanted to. Starting new things is exciting, so try to focus your energies on this instead of dwelling on negative things.

Give Back

Think of giving back. Whether you want to start to pay it forward on a regular basis perhaps donating to a food bank, signing up to give blood or helping out an elderly neighbour with their shopping, giving back can help others and make you feel great. You can sign up for an individual event so it doesn't have to be an ongoing commitment if you can't afford the time. Every little helps others and helps you mentally with that feel-good feeling.

Change things that you can control

I am a worrier but I am also a believer that it's not worth worrying about things you can't control as you can't change it. So whatever happens in your world, and the world, from unemployment, to a pandemic to Brexit, why not try and focus on what you have control over instead. If you are panicking with all the worrying news you see on social media, check-in with news updates just once a day. Did you know you can mute words on Twitter? A constant drip of negative news on the TV and social media can really affect your mindset, so be in control of what you see and when. If anxiety is getting to you, try learning meditation. There are meditation apps out there like the Calm app, there are relaxing videos on YouTube with the sounds of nature like rainfall or waves and there are relaxing tunes on Spotify or other audio sites. 

Practice gratitude


We all become complacent and take things for granted, it's human nature. Instead, think of what you are grateful for on a regular basis and write it down! Something as simple as that can help you refocus negative thoughts. Maybe pencil in an evening once a week where you plan for the week ahead and also at this time think about what you are grateful for and write it down. It's great to look back on this in tough times.

Look after Yourself

If you are a naturally caring person and/or have to look after others on a regular basis, then you often put others first. You need to value and look after yourself too. If you don't look after yourself then the care you give to others can suffer, and your mental health can as well. So make sure you are eating properly, taking exercise (don't forget you can do this indoors as well as outdoors), give yourself treats and take time out on a regular basis to do what you love. Exercise is super important as there are many links to positive mental and physical health from exercise, that it can have an immediate effect on your mindset. So check out YouTube for exercise videos, get your trainers on for that brisk walk or dust off your bike and get moving.

Treat yourself

Treat yourself every day, yes every day! This can be something simple as taking time to have a relaxing bath, read a book or watch a Netflix film. Or what about buying yourself a bunch of flowers, giving yourself a pedicure or baking a cake to share with family? Yes, sometimes it feels good to be a bit naughty. I love fantasy holiday planning, planning out what I would do if I had the money for a big holiday, and this is something we could do in these times of pandemic worry. We all need something to look forward to, the world will go on and normality will resume in the future - eventually. 

Check out these other optimistic posts The Lockdown Silver Lining and 21 Feel Good Tunes To Chase The Blues Away.

I hope these ideas will help you remain optimistic in tough times. You will pull through, I know you will.

How Do Family And Friends Party During The Lockdown?

Social gatherings are forbidden during the lockdown. However, while you can’t meet up with friends and family in person, it doesn’t mean you can’t throw a party. A party? On your own?

Yes, we hear you. But, believe it or not, it can be done if you’re a little creative. Are you up for a challenge? Here are ways to share the fun and spread a positive attitude from your home.

They decorate the room



Being stuck indoors is the best excuse you can get to inject some funkiness into your decor. If you want to elevate the mood, just opt for party-inspired style, with LED strip lights, which you can find on here: https://www.lepro.co.uk/12v-led-strip You can add a few colourful touches on the shelves using your best DIY skills. You don’t need more than a few bright sheets of crepe paper glued together to build an exciting backdrop for a party photo. If you’ve got some balloons at home, don’t hesitate to get building. Nothing says fun as much as a balloon arch! Alternatively, you can create a fun-looking garland with a string and some strips of tissue paper tied together. In short, there is plenty you can do if you are happy about being creative. Check out Pinterest for inspiration.

They clean, organise and declutter 



What would be the first thing you’d do if you were throwing a party at home? You would clean the place all over! So, do the same and pretend you’re having overnight guests to motivate yourself for deep cleaning action. Declutter the space. You can even use the time to reorganise your shelves and your cupboards for clarity and style. A beautifully organised pantry or bookshelf can boost your mood. Besides, your home will look and feel party-ready, even if you’re not inviting anyone.

They zoom it!



Now, to the party side of things. Granted, a party at home with nobody to talk to can sound gloomy. But you can use a webchat platform such as zoom to reach out to your friends and relatives. If anybody has got a birthday coming during the lockdown, you can sing them ‘Happy Birthday’ via zoom or FaceTime. If you’re not familiar with Zoom, think of it as a modern Skype. You can find a handy guideline here from Business Insider on how to get the conversation started and spend time together, even though you are in different places. The key is to invite fewer people than you would for a typical party, as you want to have a meaningful conversation with all of them. Try to cap your party at ten persons to make the most of it.

They share tips and ideas



How does Gina get her fantastic party tiramisu? What’s the recipe for Pete’s sweet and naughty’s after-hour cocktail?

Everyone has a party dish. So, why not make the most of your digital gathering to exchange tips and recipes? You can recreate some of the party staples at home and show your friends your own version of their dishes.

The bottom line is to stay safe at home, but don’t think that self-isolation means you can’t be together. On the contrary, while it’s a different kind of gathering, you can still reach out to the people you cherish and throw regular web parties. It’s a fantastic way of lifting the mood and sharing a good laugh.


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Win Leggings With Love Leggings Ends 30/04

I don't know about you but I live in leggings. They are so versatile. Pair them with a t-shirt for exercise or a casual look, a shirt for work or a tunic for a day out, leggings are certainly a wardrobe staple in many women's wardrobe.

However, finding good quality leggings can be difficult. They have to be comfortable, that's super important of course. Then they have to be the correct length. My pet hate is companies that think we are all 5ft 6inches. Some of us are tall, some are short but we are all different. Stretchiness is important too, especially around the tum. Having material that is good quality and not see-through is also vitally important, no one wants to see my bum! I also find that many leggings just fall down, and I'm forever pulling them up which is so annoying, so as you can see I am looking for certain things when I buy a pair of leggings. So when Love Leggings offered me some to try on a complimentary basis I was keen to oblige.


Love Leggings is a site selling, guess what? That's right, leggings, but leggings for all shapes and sizes. There are leggings for every day and leggings for sports. There are leggings for maternity and leggings for kids. Also curvy leggings for us curvy girls and tights too. 



So what did I think of their leggings?  I thought they were great  -  stretchy, decent quality cotton and the seams were sewn well.  I don't think the seams would come undone any time soon. They were super comfortable on too. Take a look at their Trustpilot reviews, and you’ll see that nearly 3,000 customers think their products are great, with 95% of their customers scoring us 4/5 stars. 


I really like the fact that the high waisted leggings stayed put better than any other leggings I've tried and that the petite size also comes in cropped too. The everyday leggings are also available in a range of 17 colours from black and navy to white, and oatmeal and even red and purple. 


At the moment they have a sports sale on until the 8th of April so check out this if you want some sports leggings.  

Today on my blog I am giving one lucky reader the chance to win two pairs of leggings of their choice. Entry is easy via the Gleam app below, and once you are registered all it takes is a click on a button to enter. Good luck!

Win Leggings From Love Leggings