The Benefits Of Dark Wood Flooring

Most of us like to keep our homes light and airy, opting for brighter shades for the walls and warm honey tones for our flooring. It’s no surprise that engineered and solid oak flooring tends to be the best seller, offering a warm and hospitable statement as well as being very versatile, going with many different furnishings and interior themes. But how exactly do dark hues compare to lighter alternatives? We are going to explore how dark flooring can work in harmony with your interior décor. This is an advertorial.

With a whole range of options and benefits dark wood has to offer, you’re very likely to get your flooring wish. Whether style is important to you, or practicality is something you just have to prioritise, they’ll be something for you. From walnut, dark distressed oak to acacia, they are all guaranteed to bring their own unique charisma and character to your home. Still, leaning towards lighter colours? Here are some reasons we think dark wood flooring might just be for you…

Easier maintenance 

When we’re looking for new flooring, most of us will want to know how easy it is to keep clean and maintain, especially if you come from a busy family household! Modern life is getting busier and busier and generally we don’t get around to cleaning as much as we’d like to. Luckily though, dark wood is actually better at keeping your house looking fresher for longer.

The dark tones are great at hiding a build-up of dust and debris – you can only imagine how many hours you’ll save on sweeping and vacuuming! This also works with scratches, stains and dents – real wood already has a long lifespan, but this can add many more years of your flooring looking new.

Chic tradition 

Dark wood tends to provide a more modern, elegant look than lighter wood floors. Equally, the dark rich colour can offer that traditional grand look, many homeowners opt for it to give a lavish and striking impression. It also shows off the wood’s natural imperfections of knots and grains better than a lighter flooring. Additionally, the darkness will contrast charmingly with lighter furniture and walls, it will really offer a vivid and bold statement!

Brings proportion to larger spaces

Most of us could probably do with having a little more space in our homes. The only thing is when we do have a large space, sometimes it can look rather empty, in turn, your interior can look cold and uninviting.

The good news is dark flooring can help bring proportion to a larger space. Because it absorbs more light, it helps the room feel smaller without taking away from that fantastic space.

Less likely to fade

When you’re indulging wood flooring, you want to feel sure that it’s going to last and cope with the wear and tear of everyday life. However, it is important to consider how much natural light your floor is going to be exposed to, as unfortunately, wood flooring can discolour over time. You’ve probably guessed where we’re going with this…darker wood is much less prone to looking washed over time, requiring less sanding than a lighter flooring.


Carpet Cleaning Professionals On Cut Pile and Loop Pile Carpet Construction

If you haven’t had much to do with carpet in the past and the only things you’ve really noticed are either the colour or the fact that the carpet needs a jolly good clean, then it can all be a bit confusing when you are looking at replacing the carpet. If you’re in a rental property, if you’re still living with Mum and Dad, or if you’re an employee further down in the ranks, then you don’t get much say about the carpets really and you don’t have to give much thought to the different sorts out there. Then comes the day when you own your own place and/or you get the responsibility for picking out some new carpet (or at least something of a say) and it all gets a bit confusing.

What’s the difference between all the different types of carpet? How do different types affect the way the carpet will wear? What about the cleaning factor – are some types of carpet easier to clean than others? 

Whether you are familiar with all the different sorts of carpet out there, or not, here’s a little guide, written by carpet cleaning professionals to get you started. This is an advertorial.

Loop Pile

This is the hardest wearing type of carpet and it’s really good for heavy traffic areas. In a loop pile carpet, the strands of yarn (whether that’s natural wool or a blend) are woven through the backing but they aren’t cut open, so the surface of the carpet consists of lots of little bent-over bits of wool that have both ends stuck to the bottom of the backing. To understand why this is so hard-wearing, grab a bit of yarn, whether you raid something from your own knitting stash, borrow some from the crafter in your life or merely look at a bit that’s frayed off some ancient knitwear. First, make a loop with the yarn and give the top of the yarn a poke. See how it bounces back again, especially if it’s a nice tight loop, which is what happens in carpets. Now do the same sort of thing to the end of the yarn, and you’ll see that it gets a bit floppy. This is what happens at a larger scale all over your carpet.

Carpet manufacturers can also have fun playing around with different loop heights. This can be done to add texture and a bit of a pattern to the floor.

From a cleaning perspective, loop pile is straightforward to clean (well at least it is straightforward to the carpet care technicians at and it can stand up to more vigorous methods. The use or non-use of water in cleaning them will depend more on the type of material used to make it. However, because it’s good for high-traffic areas, and doesn’t have problems with what’s known in the carpet care industry as “shading” or “tracking” (i.e. marks left after something’s moved across the surface), it responds well to bonnet buffing. 

Cats seem to love loop pile and will try to sharpen their claws on it (aaagh!) like they do on the sofa arms. Although loop pile is hard-wearing, this sort of treatment will shorten its life. Maybe you could put a bit of loop pile carpet on a scratching post?

Cut Pile 

Cut pile is the slightly posher sister of loop pile. In cut pile, the loops have been cut, so what you want on and put your furniture down on are the open ends rather than the loops. This gives the nap or surface of the carpet (the part you see) a finish that’s softer to touch and more velvety to look at. Now, if you’ve ever worn clothing or sat on a seat made from velvet or velour and you’ve had to sit around getting bored without a phone for a bit, then you may have amused yourself by drawing doodles on your clothing or the seat by dragging the pile of the velvet against the grain (don’t tell me I was the only person to do this!). The same sort of thing happens on a cut pile carpet. The construction of a cut pile carpet means that it will show tracks from vacuum cleaners and from feet a lot more readily. This means that cut pile carpet, especially the really plush sort, is best for areas that don’t get as much traffic.

Cats can’t get their little claws into cut pile carpet to do that annoying claw-sharpening manoeuvre, so it’s a good option if you love cats.

From a cleaning perspective, the cut pile can be deep cleaned in the same way as loop pile, although it can get a bit crushed by bonnet buffing. Dry cleaning and steam cleaning (if the material suits this) work well and leave the carpet nice and fluffy. Steam cleaning, in particular, helps to resurrect flat, tired cut pile carpet.  Steam cleaning, in particular, helps to resurrect flat, tired cut pile carpet. You may want to leave this sort of cleaning to the experts like Novasteam, who are a team of Tri-Cities Premier Carpet Cleaner & Odor Removal Specialists. This will just ensure it is done to the highest standard.

And those vacuum cleaner tracks? Well, you shouldn’t stop vacuuming your carpet as this is an absolute must for taking care of your floors. Your best bet is to work systematically. After you’ve vacuumed one section, finish it off by “brushing” it into the direction that you like the look of best. Do the same with each section, finishing off by smoothing it all down in the same direction, like you’re grooming your dog or brushing your child’s hair.

Shag Pile Carpet 

This might be associated with the 1960s and 1970s but they’ve come a long way since then. A shag pile carpet is like a cut pile carpet but a lot longer. They are sometimes called frieze carpets or deep pile to stop you feeling that you’ve hopped in a time machine and have to start throwing around words like hip and groovy. Your classic shag pile is long enough to run your fingers through – at least half an inch long. The strands are so long that they flop over, giving the surface a shaggy finish; hence the name. Shag pile is usually cut pile – long loops are best avoided as they catch in everything.

Shag pile carpet requires a lot of cleaning because the deeper the pile, the more dust and grime that can hide in there. You really need to get the vacuum cleaner out quite a lot to make sure that nasties don’t start living down there. You can’t skimp on the deep cleaning either. From personal experience, I wouldn’t recommend shag pile for children’s rooms for cleaning reasons. Those long strands might be fun to touch but they are often deep enough to lose Lego bits, bobby pins and Barbie accessories – these are not kind to vacuum cleaners or to bare feet. Sticky substances are a particular nuisance on shag pile, as there’s a lot of carpet for it to get stuck on – bubble gum and modelling clay are particularly nightmarish and really are a job for a professional carpet cleaner.

Some vacuum cleaners don’t play nicely with shag pile carpets. However, other vacuum cleaners do. If you love shag pile, then look for a vacuum that doesn’t have a rotating beater bar. Those beater bars or rotating bars catch and pull on the long piles and get tangled. This rules out a lot of the upright types of vacuum cleaner. However, there are some out there that allow you to switch off the beater bar; canister vacuums (the pull-alongs with long hoses) usually play nicely with shag pile.

If you love the look and feel of long piled carpet but don’t want the hassle of all that vacuuming, then you might want to consider getting a shag pile rug or mat instead. These can be picked up and taken outside and given a good shaking to get out all the loose crumbs, bobby pins and lost Legos (and earrings and…) then vacuumed. A mat or rug, whether it’s shag pile or any other finish, will need to be deep cleaned just like the rest of your carpets do. You may as well get them done at the same time as the rest of your carpets get steam cleaned.


Great Tech Gamers Should Invest In

We are truly in the age of gaming, both online and offline. There are lots of incredible new games out, with new ones being released all the time. The general tech behind the games has also improved dramatically, along with the gaming equipment. Then there’s virtual reality, which is completely transforming the way we play and experience games on every level.

So if you’re ready to get more serious about gaming, it’s time to invest in some incredible tech. Below I’ll take a closer look at some of the best tech on the market right now, from the top rated gaming mouse to virtual reality headsets. 

Gaming TV and Speakers

Today, pretty much any TV and sound system that are great for watching movies will be great for video games, but of course, some products are better than others. If you want one of the best gaming TVs money can buy, one TV that is great is the LG B9 OLED TV. It has a 4K Ultra HD display, an α7 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor, AI compatibility, and so much more.

Odds are, you’ll probably wear a gaming headset most of the time when gaming, especially if you’re playing an online social game. If you also like to play Xbox or PlayStation games solo or with friends, a soundbar will be a great addition to your gaming TV. For a serious investment, the Bose Acoustimass 10 Series V Home Theater Speaker System or the Samsung 7.1.4-Channel 512W Soundbar System are two incredible speaker systems you could consider.

Gaming Computer

If you’re more into online gaming, you could look at prioritizing replacing your current computer with a gaming computer. Doing so will dramatically enhance all types of gaming, from long eSports tournaments of Dota 2 to the classic version of one of the world’s most popular card games, blackjack and its different versions. You’ll want to invest in a gaming computer with the works: Great tech specs (RAM, graphics, and processor), a beautiful display, and gameplay-enhancing accessories like a gaming mouse, keyboard, speakers, and ergonomic gaming chair.

The Alienware Aurora Gaming Desktop is a great option that is moderately priced but can be highly customized. If you need some help figuring out what type of gaming computer would be best for your needs, just check the recommended specs for your favourite games, and then get the best computer you can within your budget. For gaming monitors, check out if you want 4K resolution and HDR, or will a 1080p screen be enough? 
Visit Abunda to find a gaming PC that fits your budget.

New gaming headsets and controllers, for PC and TV gaming, can also go a long way and make a huge difference in the gaming experience. Logitech is a great brand and the Logitech PRO X Gaming Headset and Xbox One controller are two of the best you can get right now and are recommended by many gamers.

Virtual Reality Headset and Gear

If you’re all about Ready Player One, now is a great time to get into virtual reality gaming because the tech behind it has seriously improved over the last few years. There are some pretty incredible VR headsets on the market right now, and some even better games. The Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift are two of the best headsets right now, and both are reasonably priced, but if you want an even better headset, go for the HTC VIVE Pro headset or the HTC VIVE Cosmos headset.

As for VR gear, the tech behind it is still catching up. But if you want to experiment with what’s available, you can purchase haptic suits and gloves to enhance your VR experience. If you’re able to, though, wait a few years on some of this gear — many new startups are cropping up, and plenty of VR gear businesses are just landing funding.

If you’re serious about gaming, then it’s time you looked serious about gaming. Treat yourself to some new equipment and gear and watch your gaming world immediately transform for the better.

*Collaborative post

How Colour Can Affect A Room

Colour can have a dramatic effect on a room. You have to choose wisely or you can pay greatly for the mistake. But what actual effects do they have and what wallpaper colours should you be opting for in your household? Wallpaper from the '70s a small designer wallpaper manufacturer got in touch with me recently and this post is written in conjunction with them.

Going forward into 2020, there are plenty of wallpaper trends to look ahead to. What colours should you be opting for in the New Year and why should you be choosing them? Lively bold colours are soon to be big! Regardless of trends though, it is important to choose the colours that best suit you and reflect the message that you are trying to portray.

The colours you choose for the rooms in your home are a direct representation of your personality. It may not be something you give a lot of thought to but the colour of a room can affect us in our day to day life. Specific colours can garner certain reactions from people. I’ve picked five wallpaper colours that you might want to use and tell you what effect they can have.


You may not have ever considered yellow wallpapers but they are perfect if you want to create a happy space. It brings the colour of sunshine and will brighten up any day. The best rooms to use this colour in are kitchens and bathrooms as these are bright and open spaces which lend themselves to bright and happy colours such as yellow.

It also works really well in small spaces as it makes them look a lot bigger and more cheerful. It is best avoided in larger rooms such as the living rooms or bedrooms unless they are also quite bright and airy with plenty of natural light coming in. It was definitely a colour I considered when renovating my kitchen.


The colour blue is the perfect choice if you want to provide a calming and relaxing space for your friends and family. It is a great choice for bathrooms for this reason - after all, who doesn’t love to laze in the tub and just relax?

It is also a great choice for bedrooms but if using light blue, it is best suited to rooms which have a decent amount of natural light. Warmer and darker blues are great for living rooms and family rooms.

There are so many different shades of blue that you really are spoilt for choice with wallpaper - it is a colour, which in its variety of shades, can easily decorate a whole house. It is important to get the right blue for the right room though.


Purple can be quite an intense colour to choose as wallpaper. Whether you are choosing the darker hues which seem quite sophisticated or lighter versions which feel quite relaxing, it’s an amazing colour to use in bedrooms - a wonderful place for rest and relaxation.


Another bright and intense colour that may not be your first choice, is orange. This colour makes a wonderful addition to living rooms and bedrooms. It is an incredibly fun colour and evokes a lot of energy so is also a fantastic choice for a playroom. It is also a great colour idea for a home gym as it will certainly inspire you to get exercising.


This is not a wallpaper colour for everyone but it can make such a difference to a room. The colour is not best suited to a full room - it can really darken a room and restrict the amount of light that comes in. It is better used as a focus colour - used on one wall in particular. It can evoke many different emotions so it is best to use it in small doses.

With so many different colours of wallpaper to choose from, it can often feel overwhelming to opt for a particular colour. This is why it is important to do your research, work out what you want from a room and choose the wallpaper colour that best aligns with that decision.

I am planning on changing up some of my rooms in the New Year - opting for some different colour schemes in some rooms in the hope of making them a more welcoming and friendly place to relax or have guests over in.

What colours do you have in your rooms? Did you choose them for a particular reason?

Ethical Jewellery With Jacqueline And Edward Jewellers

This year I feel has seen a change in how we view the environment and our surroundings. Many companies are really thinking about how they can make their products eco-friendly and some start with a strong environmental ethos. One such company is Jacqueline and Edward Jewellers. This is an advertorial.

Jacqueline and Edward Jewellers are a small Yorkshire based jewellery company that turn UK gold into artisan handmade jewellery including wedding rings and pendants.

Their unique selling point is that they go back to traditional ways of finding gold by panning for gold in the wilds of the UK countryside. How different and unique is that? The company was set up over 30 years ago when co-founder Mark ventured into the world of gold panning with his late father Edward. Mark then set up the company named after Edward with his wife Jacqueline and so the company Jacqueline and Edward was born.

Panning for gold is a century-old activity that is non-evasive and does not harm the environment as traditional mining for gold can. You can even go on a gold panning experience with Jacqueline and Edward Jewellers and use some of the gold to make your own wedding ring in combination with ethically sourced recycled gold. A very memorable way of sourcing your wedding rings, one you will remember forever.

Jacqueline and Edward Jewellers will then make your own bespoke wedding rings by hand in their workshop to the highest quality. 

An important collaboration that Jacqueline and Edward Jewellers are involved in is the Tree Of Life partnership with Trees For Life. Trees For Life is a not for profit charity which is working hard to replant the native Caledonian forest in Scotland, providing space for wildlife to survive.  Jacqueline and Edward Jewellers have agreed that for every ring or pair of rings purchased they will plant a tree in their very own grove for you. The tree can be named after you or your partner too.

The Tree Of Life initiative has now expanded and when purchasing a Christmas tree pendant, Jacqueline and Edward Jewellers will plant a tree for you too - a tree for a tree.  So you can give two gifts in one!

Jacqueline and Edward kindly sent me one of their Christmas tree pendants in exchange for this review. 

The Christmas tree pendant arrived beautifully presented in recyclable packaging and topped with a gold fabric ribbon. The gold detailing on the box really stood out, making it look very classy.

The gorgeous necklace inside, made of 18 ct rose gold is really beautiful. The warm rich colour of the rose gold really makes the necklace stand out. On an 18-inch fine curb chain, a dainty tree pendant dangles from a bale and shines in the light. One side of the necklace is polished whilst the other side is matt, so you can wear it both ways.

The Christmas tree pendant comes with a card explaining that by purchasing a pendant with Jacqueline and Edward Jewellers, they have planted a native tree in the Caledonian Forest on your behalf. Giving back to the forest and the environment. This is a super initiative as trees contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife.

The pretty Christmas tree pendant is available in either white, rose or yellow gold and also in silver.  The silver necklace is priced from £75, the 9ct necklaces from £125 and the 18ct necklaces from £210. For the quality of the jewellery, the fact that they plant a tree for you too and the message behind the necklaces, I think these will make a precious gift at Christmas time or any other time of year.

I really love my rose gold necklace, and to know that the gold is ethically sourced is the icing on the cake. Mining for precious metals can be damaging to the environment with the chemicals used and the mining process.  Using gold that has been found by panning in the wilds of the British countryside is an eco-friendly way to make jewellery that can be treasured forever. 

Let me know what you think of the Christmas tree pendant from Jacqueline and Edward Jewellers. What do you think of their ethos? Would you like to try panning for gold to make your wedding rings? Let me know.

*AD Gifted

Beauty Sleep is Real: How You Can Get Your Necessary Beauty Sleep

For many years, the phrase ‘I need to get some beauty sleep’ was dismissed as either a common saying or a joke. However, beauty sleep does exist and it is needed if you want to look your best every day. 

Beauty sleep isn’t just about sleeping for extended periods of time, as many would have you believe: it’s about getting a high-value, comfortable sleep for the right amount of time. With the right strategy in place, you’ll be able to enjoy truly nourishing beauty sleep every night. 

The benefits of getting high-quality beauty sleep include fewer breakouts, brighter eyes, even skin tone, and your skin will heal faster, according to Web MD.

During sleep, your body heals itself. So, after a long 16-hour day, your body needs seven-to-eight hours to get to work on repairing your skin. If you don’t sleep well during this necessary recovery period, however, your body isn’t given the chance to revitalise, leading to tired, worn-looking skin. 

Not to mention that the majority of people are plagued by several sleep disorders. If you suspect you have one or are diagnosed, it is important to use the right tools and equipment to get the deep sleep you need. If you use a CPAP machine to help you breathe evenly during the night, it is important to regularly clean and sanitize it as with other accessories to ensure that your skin doesn't break out.

Modern life is stressful, so getting proper beauty sleep is more important than ever. But how does one make the changes necessary to achieve a state of beauty sleep on a nightly basis?

Get the right bed

There are many reasons why you might not be getting the perfect night of sleep, but the most common cause is the bed – or more specifically, the mattress.

It’s integral to make sure that you have the best mattress to achieve better sleep in a comfortable bed as if it’s uncomfortable, you’ll often struggle to get to or stay asleep. Many will boast about the need for a memory foam mattress, but the best quality mattress is made from many different components. The Casper mattress design and engineering team found that for the best night sleep, people need comfort, support, temperature regulation, and durability in their mattress

This is why they created their high-quality range of supportive mattresses as a hybrid of all great mattress materials. The hybrid mattresses feature a breathable top layer, pressure-relieving memory foam, transition foam to add support, and further support-adding zoned coils.

Many celebrities who rely on being beautiful at all times, such as models and actresses – see Naomie Harris above – know that having a high-quality mattress is integral to their beauty sleep. The mattress is the best place to start.

Having a comfortable bed in place is the first step towards achieving beauty sleep as it will give you the hours of comfort needed. The next step is giving your body an assist in the recovery process.

Give your body the fluids it needs

Modern-day life is full of stresses and demands, with one of the few dependant reliefs and boosters being that of caffeine. If you’re feeling drained or unmotivated a cup of coffee or even a cup of tea can give you the boost that you need to crack on. However, caffeine has its downsides too – primarily its impact on your sleep.

As detailed by the NHS, it has been found that having a dose of caffeine akin to what’s in a large coffee can disrupt your sleep even when taken as long ago as six hours before bedtime. So, if you aim to go to bed at midnight, don’t have any coffee after 5 pm. The caffeine dose was found to reduce the total amount of sleep time by an hour, which robs your body of important recovery time.

It’s a tough habit to crack, especially if you take your work home with you or your job is particularly tiring, but it’s important for your beauty sleep. The key is to replace your bad habit with a good habit. As a fundamental part of your skin’s health is hydration, drink plenty of water in the evenings.

You won’t want to drink any within an hour of going to bed as you may get woken up when nature calls, but plenty of water in the evenings will benefit your skin greatly.

Beauty sleep is real and you can reap the benefits of younger, healthier, and more beautiful skin by making sure that your nights are as comfortable and uninterrupted as possible. Start with a high-quality mattress and then build a new routine to benefit your body.

8 Sights You Will Only See In Scotland

If you have never been to Scotland before, you are going to be blown away by your first visit there. This country at the top of the United Kingdom is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and especially so if you are a fan of romantic highlands and lowlands and ancient history. There really is nowhere else like Scotland, in terms of its natural beauty, fascinating history, and interesting people. But what can you specifically expect to see if you go there? In this post, we are going to take a look at a number of sights that only Scotland can offer you. Any of these should be enough to convince you that Scotland is a fantastic next destination to consider, no matter where you are coming from. This is an advertorial.


One of the most famous things about Scotland is its lochs, but many people around the world will only have heard of one. We are talking, of course, about the famous Loch Ness, home of the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Many a tourist comes every year to try and get a glimpse of Nessie, and that is certainly something that you might want to do if you are going to visit Scotland. But remember: there are dozens of lochs situated around the Highlands, and something would be amiss if you only stopped over at Loch Ness. Many people would even say that Ness is not even the most beautiful or impressive of the lochs; Loch Lomond, another famous one, is truly stunning, and huge too. A drive through the Highlands will show you many of these lochs, so you don’t have to do anything to seek them out except get in your hire car. And they are something that you are just not going to see anywhere else in the world.

Highland Cattle

Many people are amazed when they see Highland cattle for the first time. If you don’t know what they are, you will probably be amazed too just to see a picture of them. But seeing them in the flesh is another experience altogether. These fluffy, friendly-looking cattle with impressive horns roam all over the Highlands at all sorts of levels, some wild and some farmed, and wherever you find them they are always adorable. This is the only place that you will find them naturally occurring, so they really are one of those creatures that are an inbuilt part of the natural landscape. Visiting Scotland and not seeing a Highland cattle or two would be a serious mistake, so make sure that you seek them out when you are exploring the mountains.

The World’s Largest Comedy Festival

There is one time of year in particular when Scotland gets a lot of tourism, especially Edinburgh, and it is during the time of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This famous festival is now the world’s largest comedy festival, although that is not the only type of act you can see there, and nor is it with comedy that the festival started in the first place. It began life in 1947, when a group of performers turned up to an arts festival uninvite and started performing, despite not being on the bill. Years later, it is going stronger than ever, as the largest arts festival anywhere in the world. It is run with the ethos that no act is to be vetted, and this has made it a truly unique and open kind of festival - unlike any other run anywhere else in the world. If you want to see an incredible arts festival of this order, then Edinburgh is the only place to do so.

The Highlands

Of course, you can see mountains in many parts of the world, but there is nowhere else that offers you anything like the majesty of the Highlands. Many people struggle to really picture these ranges without going there, and everyone who has ever visited will tell you the same story: that it was a much more impressive sight than they had assumed. There really is no natural landscape like it anywhere else in the world, and that uniquity is one of the main selling points that brings people back to it again and again. It’s truly breathtaking, but you will only appreciate just how much by visiting yourself and taking a look.

The Highland Games

It’s not just the Highlands themselves which you can only find here, but also the Highland Games. Other parts of the world might sometimes try to replicate it, but it is never going to be the same as the actual Games themselves, in the natural setting where it was born. The Highland Games are an old tradition of many kinds of physical games, in which burly Highland men perform incredible feats as part of a competitive event. Here, you can see things like the caber toss, tug of war and the hammer throw - and you will be amazed by just how impressive these sports really can be. If nothing else, you will be blown away by the sheer strength of the men, and this is an event that you are unlikely ever to forget. It’s amazing that they still have it going every year, and it is still in the traditional manner, so if you want to see Scotland in all its cultural glory, this is one of the best ways to do so.


Many Scottish things are so unique to that part of the world that most people elsewhere have never even heard of them, and that is certainly often the case when it comes to tablet. If you don’t already know what tablet is, it is simply a kind of fudge that is only genuinely produced in Scotland, and which has existed there in some form for many, many years. It is not exactly like fudge, however: it is more like a crumbly, hard version of it, and it has a slightly different taste. Either way, it is delicious, and it is a real Scottish treat that you should absolutely try when you are visiting Scotland.


Many of the Scottish idiosyncrasies have been copied elsewhere, and so there is a good chance that you have seen someone wearing a kilt at some point, even if you live nowhere near Scotland. But a true Scot would not accept that as genuine, and the truth is that you can only see a Scot wearing a genuine kilt, and in the appropriate setting if you are to visit Scotland itself. You might assume this is one of those things that don’t really happen, but Scottish people are proud of their heritage and on special occasions, weddings and so on, Scottish men do occasionally wear kilts of their clan.


Now, this really is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is something that is profoundly Scottish, and you will probably want to try it if you are keen on getting as much of the Scottish experience as possible. Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish going back centuries, and while not exactly vegetarian-friendly, it is a taste of Scotland in its truest form, and something you can’t find anywhere else in the world to the same quality or degree. It might be worth trying just to get the full Scotland experience when you decide to visit this beautiful and fascinating nation.

*Collaborative post

Should Teens Get Their Nose Done?

Teenagers are still growing until about 15 or 16 years of age in girls and a year or two older in boys. Normally, doctors don't operate on bones and cartilage that are still growing, except in very special cases. The fact is, most teens have no choice but to wait until their facial growth is complete, and that occurs following puberty. This is an advertorial.

Rhinoplasty, which is the proper name for a nose job, can produce amazing and wonderful changes in a person's face. It is often combined with septoplasty, usually done for deviation in the septum. Not only is this one of the most requested surgeries spanning coasts, but this is also the most highly requested procedure amongst teens.

Why do you have to wait? 

The nose is in the centre of facial growth. Surgery on growing bone and cartilage can slow or stop the growth, or even accelerate it. Manipulating the tissues can change the direction of the growth. The result can be disastrous: a nose too small or too big for the face, or a deformed nose. This is one of these situations when a teen's parents must weigh out the pros and cons, reasons to and not to.

There are a wide variety of reasons for having a rhinoplasty, and they vary from repairing an injury to just being unhappy with the way your nose looks. However, one key factor surgeons often keep in mind when deciding whether teens qualify for the procedure or not is motivation. Rather, the motivation a teenager wants to change their nose.

Motivation is a little different than a reason. A good surgeon will want to know what your real reasons are. Are you trying to meet the expectations of someone else? A boyfriend or girlfriend? Your parents? Is anyone pushing you to get this done? Have you been bullied about your nose? The questions are endless, but these are things potential patients must think about before and during a consultation with their doctor. You have to want this for yourself, and you have to be fully committed, as even the outcome of your surgery depends on it. Your ability to commit yourself to follow the instructions, given by your surgeon, is essential to a beautiful result, as these guidelines will prevent terrible side effects and complications from occurring.

The surgery

There are several changes a surgeon can make in your nose.

  • Changing the size - making the nose bigger or smaller.
  • Straightening the nose - eliminating deformities in the bridge.
  • Smoothing out bumps or humps in the bridge of the nose.
  • Changing the size of the nostrils - making them bigger or smaller.
  • Remodelling the tip of the nose - usually making it smaller or less pointy.
  • Opening up the sinuses for better breathing.

Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure. That means you go to the surgery centre in the morning, have the operation, and go home when you're fully awake. The surgery is done under general anaesthesia. In other words, you'll be asleep. You won't feel anything. When you wake up in the recovery room, you will be given pain medication. Obviously, you will need your parents to drive you home.

You should plan to have the procedure done when you're on vacation from school. It will take at least two weeks for the swelling and bruising to disappear. You will need pain medicine for several days. Don't plan to do much more than lie around watching TV and sleep for the first few days. No strenuous activity or sports for at least 6 to 8 weeks. Otherwise, you'll be back to normal in three weeks.

What are your expectations? 

You are not going to look like a movie star after the surgery. Rhinoplasty will improve your looks, but it won't change who you are, aesthetically or not. You need to talk to your surgeon about what can and cannot be done, and how much change it will make in your appearance. It could improve your breathing if you have had problems with this.

What are the risks of rhinoplasty?

As with any surgical procedure, rhinoplasty may pose some risks, though the chances of them happening are minimized when in the hands of an expert surgeon.

  • Scarring - especially at the base of the nose.
  • Numbness - You may notice some numbness, but it should disappear.
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nerve damage - This can result in either permanent numbness or pain.
  • The risks for any operation include bleeding, infection, and untoward reactions to the anaesthesia.

If you are ready, and your body is mature enough, you need to pick the best plastic surgeon in your area. Take a long look at the testimonials on the website. Talk to your own doctor. He or she can often direct you to a surgeon with an excellent reputation. Find a doctor who specializes in rhinoplasty.

In Princeton, New Jersey, the Glasgold Group has an international clientele. Drs. Mark and Robert Glasgold are known across the country and beyond for their brilliant technique and beautiful results. Both are board-certified plastic surgeons. Both have published articles in journals, as well as lecturing at conferences here and abroad. And both have received awards for their work.

Dr. Robert Glasgold specializes in rhinoplasties and has a large teenage patient population. He takes the time to talk to his patients, evaluating and teaching them, making sure they understand the procedure. He also assures that they will follow through.

The Glasgold Group is one of the best plastic surgery centres in the country, as attested to by patients New York, Pennsylvania and all over America.

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5 Best Gifts For New Mums That She Will Actually Use

New Mums are not always the easiest people to buy gifts for at Christmas. There are a few places to start, something for the new addition, but as she's probably had a baby shower a few months ago she is likely to have everything a new Mum could possibly need. What else? Alcohol is probably a bad idea, especially if she is breastfeeding, and if not with festivities in full swing there are plenty of chances for a tipple anyway. So what to get a new mum that she will actually use?

I have pulled together 5 brilliant gift ideas for new mums! This is an advertorial.

1. Subscription Box

These make absolutely brilliant gifts and are guaranteed to go down a treat each month when the latest box arrives. With the number of options available now, choosing just one can be a challenge. Decide if you are buying as a treat for her or for a way to make life with a newborn just that little bit easier. With this in mind, you can easily find the perfect subscription box.

2. Personalised Clothing

Again, an ideal gift and also can be bought as a gift for mum or their child. The personalised clothing market has grown exponentially in recent years with the growth of independent clothing companies and individuals desire to stand out and be unique. The options for what garment you can buy as a gift are almost limitless, as are the personalisation options. If you think this is a great idea check out personalised clothing specialists Banana Moon Clothing, these guys are here to make buying personalised clothing a breeze, with a brilliant garment designer on their website and a huge range of garments from the leading brands. You could even make matching Disney t-shirts for the families first trip to Disneyworld Orlando.

3. Mum Bag

This gift brings some function into the mix.  Every new mum needs to make lifestyle changes and one of these is having to take everything for your new baby with you when you travel. A new mum needs a bag big to hold everything needed for Mum and baby but it still needs to look good.  When looking for a suitable bag take a look at the specialist retailers as well as the high street as these bags are made for a specific purpose and will have dedicated internal compartments, helping to keep a little order within the recently acquired chaos.

4. Pamper Session

With the madness of Christmas adding to the already hectic life with a baby, you can expect the new Mum in your life to be feeling a little more stressed than usual. Use this opportunity to get a thoughtful gift such as a pamper day to help destress and leave them feeling fresh and ready for the festivities and life with the baby.

5. Gift Vouchers

This idea seems like a cop-out and can appear as if limited thought went into this one, but if you choose wisely you could be on to a winner. Take for example the necessities bought for the baby shower, they will run out. The baby will also grow out of the beautiful newborn. You get where I’m going with this one! Gift vouchers are brilliant to treat oneself to.

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Living in Dubai? 9 Things You Should Read Before Traveling To Azerbaijan

If you’re living in Dubai and interested in a vacation, then you may want to consider a trip to Azerbaijan. It’s not that far away, and it actually has a lot to offer to tourists. Here are some important tips to consider before travelling to Azerbaijan so that you’re adequately prepared. This is an advertorial.

Country’s history

Before you book your Azerbaijan tour package from Dubai, you should know a little about the country. It’s a country that was formerly part of the Soviet Republic and is located within the Caucasus Mountains. It has a deep and rich culture that is a blend of both European and Asian influences, so it’s definitely not like anywhere you may have been before.

Relatively new

Azerbaijan is roughly 100 years old! That makes it pretty new in comparison to other countries. It came into being on May 28, 1918, which is marked as Republic Day. What’s even more remarkable is that it was the first parliamentary democracy in the East with the creation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

How to get there

The easiest way to get there is by plane. If you do not have a car consider hiring a car from a company like Renty to get to the airport. 

Because it’s within the Caucasus Mountains, air travel is the fastest means of transportation. It’s best to always check the prices of aeroplane tickets in the different seasons to ensure you get the best prices. 


Thankfully, travelling to Azerbaijan from Dubai is pretty affordable. Staying in a hotel there is also not expensive, so if you budget wisely, you can spend a long time in Azerbaijan without going broke. It’s definitely a vacation destination you should consider.

Best time to go

If you’re looking for snow sports, such as skiing, then January and February are the best months to go. Spring is when the city starts to get busy again and people come out to do their shopping. The summers themselves can be quite hot, from July to August, while September to October is when the mild, more comfortable temperatures are present if you like that kind of weather.

You will get questioned

You may be asked by immigration authorities whether you went to Armenia or any nearby conflict areas. This is because they want to ensure that you were only in Azerbaijan for tourist activities and nothing else. It’s a way for them to keep tabs on those who are coming in and out of their country.


The first thing you should really do is visit the walled city of Baku. It has been kept in the same condition that it was built in, in order to preserve a part of the country’s rich history. Other great sites to visit are the Shirvanshah’s Palace and the Maiden Tower. These locations are so important that they’re even printed on the country’s money.

Things to do

The country is known for being popular for those who like playing outdoor sports. There are plenty of places to go climbing and hiking, and the nearby ocean provides a lot of opportunities for watersports. If you’re not into either of those, then you may be more interested in attending one of the many natural hot springs.

The cuisine

Kebabs are a popular meal in Azerbaijan, as well as a rice dish in broth called plov. Azerbaijan is well known for its black caviar, which is considered its most famous delicacy. And never pass up some black tea; it’s the national drink of the country.

If you’re looking for an affordable trip to take from Dubai this year, then Azerbaijan may be right for you.

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Contemporary Classic: Can Such A Kitchen Exist?

Interior design is one of the most complex parts of a home; if not the most, however, once you get your head around the different styles, and what their themes are, you’ll be able to get a grip on what works and what doesn’t. 

To gain an understanding of the history of interior design you should be reading modern home magazines. For example, there is a style called ‘classic’ and it's one of the more popularly chosen styles. It's not quite a traditional kitchen, as it doesn’t use aged and or varnished wood. It uses modern wood that isn’t as expensive and is painted and not kept separate from the background theme. However, there’s also another more popular style called ‘contemporary’ which is as the name would suggest. It utilizes modern materials like glass, fibreglass, steel, and vinyl. 

So, what if you wanted a few contemporary materials and design, merged with the classic style, could such a kitchen exist?


A delicate cabinet balance

Just like the traditional style, the classic style always uses wood for the cabinets and cupboards. However, this would be slightly frowned upon by contemporary kitchen lovers. However, you can merge the two styles by having an oak or beech wood cabinet door with stainless steel handles. You may also wish to include the glass windows but if you’re going to do that balance it back with some wooden shelves inside. Rather than having glass shelves, the additional wood would be the yang to the yin that is the metal and glass. 

Now for the look. Classic kitchens don’t always stick to white. They feel most comforting when they’re following a slight country house vibe. So go with a rustic blue or perhaps a cool grey. It should be a kind of matte finish with a hint of sheen. Laminate wood would give off an artificial shine, but one layer of low-gloss paint will do the trick. 

Standing with your elbows out

A contemporary kitchen has somewhat of a small island because the edges now provide a great surface. However, in a classic kitchen, the larger cabinets don’t provide a lot of headroom for you to utilize the surfaces. They are usually used for open storage of items like knife blocks, fruit bowls, decorative plants, and flowers as well as kitchen appliances like dough mixers. Other than that, the island will be the only working surface to a classic kitchen. But if you’re going to do it right, it must have it's elbows out. In other words, it has to look like an aircraft carrier in size. The island should dwarf the edge surfaces and demand respect in the kitchen. Yet, we’re also trying to merge it with a contemporary vibe so using a lighter wood such as maple or yew would be authentic. It's a good idea to laminate the wood too to give you a smudge-resistant effect.

Still unsure of yourself?

If you’re new to interior design or perhaps, just don’t quite know how to merge such dominant styles together, contact a professional kitchens and bathrooms designer. They will have a process whereby they sit down with you to discuss the kinds of styles you want and like. You’ll consult with their designers and using their knowledge and expertise, they’ll draw a clear picture of what your kitchen will look like. This company will not only design your kitchen with you, but they will deliver the new kitchen as well as fit it for you. Their professionals will install the kitchen to the design spec and take all the worry and hard work out of it. This is a great way to begin your home redesign journey. Once you feel comfortable with this process, it can also be repeated in your bathroom.

Contemporary lighting

There is no compromise to be made on your lighting. It's perhaps the weakest part of the classic style, so you’re only going contemporary on this one. Glass light shades in the form of pendants, dropping down from the ceiling would be the icing on the cake. Don’t be afraid to be outlandish here, choose complex glasswork light shades and copper or iron stems.

It seems like if you give the larger items in the kitchen to the classic style, it overshadows the contemporary effort. Flip roles and you allow yourself a contemporary kitchen, using modern materials, but with a classic layout. It's the best balance and successfully merges two styles that are separated by several decades.

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Have You Ever Wondered What Happens to Your Rubbish in Birmingham And The UK?

Most of us put our rubbish in the bin and then forget about it. This is by no means the end of the journey for our waste, though. As the UK consistently produces 230 million tonnes of waste per year – averaging about 1.1 kilograms of waste per person per day – it’s time to start thinking more about rubbish and where it ends up. This is an advertorial. 

The rubbish removal situation in Birmingham is no different. As of 2017 in Birmingham, 23% of all waste collected is recycled, one of the lowest rates in the UK. And the recycling rate has gone down since 2015. An estimated 8% of Birmingham rubbish goes to landfill. Rubbish removal in Birmingham has been a sensitive subject in the last year or two, with the bin strikes and decreasing recycling rate. With more spotlight on the rubbish collection, perhaps residents of Birmingham have given a thought or two to where their waste ends up. For those that don’t, though, here’s a list of 7 things that happen to your rubbish after it’s collected.

Rubbish in Birmingham is burned

It was reported in 2018 that up to two-thirds of rubbish in Birmingham is burned. Incineration is the number-one method of waste disposal in Birmingham, and the city’s incineration rate is one of the highest in the UK.

Burning waste has become more common across Britain, with debates over whether it’s environmentally friendly or not. Proponents say that energy from Waste facilities are helping to keep rubbish out of landfills. Those against argue that incineration worsens air quality by releasing more harmful emissions. Either way, incineration has contributed to Birmingham’s decrease in waste being sent to landfill.

UK rubbish is sent abroad

Another waste management practice that has generated headlines recently is the transfer of UK rubbish to other countries. Until 2018, Britain was sending some of its waste to China. China then put a stop to this process, citing public health concerns. The UK then turned to other countries for transferring waste, like Malaysia and Indonesia, but these countries, too, are worried about the effects of imported waste on public health.

Energy Recovery Facility

How else is waste disposed of in the UK and in Birmingham? Energy from waste processes, like the one prevalent in Birmingham, is practised at Energy Recovery Facilities across the UK. At these treatment centres, waste is brought in and sorted out into what can be reused and what can be converted into fuel for power and electricity. These materials are used instead of coal or gas to produce energy.


Unfortunately, a great deal of waste in the UK and in Birmingham is still being sent to landfill. Organic materials that cannot be reused, like food, or hazardous materials like asbestos, go to landfills. As of 2016, 24% of the UK’s waste went to landfill. In Birmingham, the number is lower, at 8% of all waste going to landfill.

Household Recycling Centres

Waste may also be sent to Household Recycling Centres. These centres are located across the UK and take local residents’ commercial waste and recycling. They’re established to help people recycle materials that cannot typically be taken in normal kerbside collection. In Birmingham, the Household Recycling Centre will ask you for a photo ID and confirmation you’re a resident there. You may also have to queue to drop your items off. It can take up time or be a hassle going to these centres, but they make a difference in increasing the recycling rate and keeping rubbish out of landfills.


Another fate for your rubbish could be composting. This method, along with household recycling centres, puts more of the waste management responsibility on individuals. Composting is a great way to reuse your garden waste and turn it into fertiliser. Reusing your waste at home, without having to send it somewhere else, is one of the most sustainable ways to manage rubbish.

Final thoughts 

Whether you need a full house clearance in Birmingham or basic rubbish removal services, it’s important to think about where your waste ends up. Doing so will make you more conscious of the waste you generate. Professional junk removal companies who are committed to environmental sustainability can also help to mitigate the junk problems that might plague Birmingham.

At Junk Hunters, for instance, they are committed to recycling 80% of everything they collect. Being fully aware of the route rubbish might take once it leaves your home or office, they aim to be as sustainable as possible. So if you’ve ever wondered what happens to rubbish after you throw it in the bin, or you’re wondering how to make your waste disposal more ecologically friendly, then consider calling professional rubbish removal in Birmingham.