The Fairytale Collection of Engagement Rings From Savicki Jewellery

A diamond solitaire is the perfect classic engagement ring, but what do you get someone who wants something different, something unique like her? I suggest a ring from the fairytale collection from Savicki Jewellery. This post is in collaboration with Savicki Jewellery.



Savicki Jewellery is an online jewellery store, with over forty years of experience in providing exquisitely crafted and unique jewellery to their customers. Their jewellers are highly trained in making engagement rings, wedding rings and dress rings for their customers as well as gold earrings, necklaces and celebrity inspired jewellery. Savicki Jewellery is always well designed and beautifully made with the highest quality materials. However rather than just talk about how beautiful their jewellery is, let me show you and let me talk about my favourite jewellery from Savicki Jewellery - the Savicki Fairytale Collection.

The Savicki Fairytale Collection is an imaginative range of jewellery, with bold coloured stones such as shimmering sapphires, exotic emeralds and rich red rubies. You create your own fairytale ring by choosing your main stone and then sides stones from a range including many precious stones.

The rings take you into a fantasy world of dreams and hopes, a world of love and affection, a world of forever and eternity. Here are my favourite rings.
white gold and white sapphire and blue sapphire ring £759.20

This white gold and white sapphire engagement ring from the Savicki Fairytale Collection has the look of a diamond ring but with the cost-effective choice of white sapphire instead. The white sapphire centre stone is large and beautifully set in 14-carat white gold and surrounded with small sapphire stones adding extra glamour. A beautiful and different ring that is certainly eye-catching.

rose gold, white sapphire and emerald ring £919.20

If she is a fan of rose gold, then consider this pretty rose gold, white sapphire and emerald ring as the perfect engagement ring. This glamorous engagement ring comes with a diamond-cut emerald stone of 0.50-carat weight and white sapphires set in 14-carat gold. It's a stunning ring and one she won't find elsewhere that's for sure. A unique choice for an engagement ring or dress ring for a special occasion such as an anniversary.



white gold, white sapphire and pink sapphire ring £759.20

Similar to the white gold, white sapphire and blue sapphire ring mentioned above is this stunning ring with pink shoulder sapphires. For the lady who is unashamedly girlie, the pink stones add a pretty hue to this exquisite ring. Set in 14-carat white gold, she is sure to love this ring when you propose.  A beautiful ring for that special woman in your life.

rose gold, ruby and white sapphire ring £912.20

When she loves the warmth of rich red ruby, then this rose gold, ruby and white sapphire ring will surely be cherished. With a 0.50 carat ruby, this gorgeous ring would be perfect for that special moment when she says 'I do' as well as that special fortieth wedding anniversary. 

As you can see buying a Savicki engagement ring from the Savick Fairytale Collection will ensure you have that unique ring for that special woman in your life, ready to propose at that special moment. 

Every item of Savicki jewellery over £250 has a lifetime warranty as well so you have complete peace of mind when you make your buying decision. So whether you are buying something else from their website or a Savicki Fairytale Collection ring you can be assured of quality too.

Let me know, what do you think of the engagement rings from the Savicki Fairytale Collection? 

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Top Tips to Protect the Foundations of Your Home

Did you know that damage can be caused to the foundations of your home by poor drainage, soil shrinkage and tree roots? To avoid severe structural damage and costly repairs, it is important to protect the foundations of your property by ensuring they are dry and damage free. 


Here is some helpful advice from the experts at Screwfast Foundations Limited on how you can protect the foundations of your home…

The first step towards protecting the foundations of your home is by carefully inspecting the land around your property. Have you noticed rainwater pooling in certain areas? This could cause issues to the foundations of your home, as it slowly seeps into the ground. Try to soak up any puddles you find by filling these areas with gravel or soil. Whilst inspecting your property it is also important to look out for signs of water damage. This could be cracks in the walls or mould around the brickwork. It is vital that you act fast and make repairs as soon as possible to stop these issues from worsening.

Clear any debris from your drains and gutters to keep them free from blockages. When foliage and dirt collects in your guttering it can cause water to overflow and leak down the walls. It is also important to look out for any damage or cracks in your drainage pipes that could lead to problems in the future.

Keep your garden well-watered throughout the summer months to prevent the soil from drying up and shrinking around your property. Dry soil can lead to movements in your foundation and cause damage to your home. A great way to keep your grass evenly watered is by investing in a garden sprinkler system.

Finally, it is important to closely monitor any trees that are planted around your property. This is because tree roots can grow rapidly underground and cause major damage to building foundations.


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Signs It's Time To Change Your Flooring

House cleaning is a chore no one enjoys, yet it remains one of the most important household tasks and without it, most households would start to look  a mess and become dusty and dirty. One of the most time-consuming parts is the flooring as it demands extensive care and maintenance to look spotless every day. 


The maintenance of flooring is important and it's something you shouldn't ignore but the question arises - how does one know when to change the flooring? 

For every type of flooring, there are different signs and time periods when you should change it.  Here are some signs to help you detect the right time to replace the flooring.

1. Carpeted Floors


Carpeted floors require the most extensive and elaborate cleaning when they become dirty. When something spills on to the carpet, unless you tackle it straight away the stains can mark it forever especially if it is light in colour. Typically, a carpet's lifetime is 10 years, even less so if you have children or pets at home. Signs that will help you detect when its time to replace a carpet include irregular bumps in the material, wearing and holes, mould and a foul smell that you can’t get rid of.

2. Wooden Floors


Wooden floors are much easier to clean than any other type of flooring. They also have a prolonged life span of approximately 25-30 years. The signs that will make it fairly obvious to you that it’s time to refinish the floor include the finish splitting from the floor, fragments of wood coming off and general damage.

3. Laminate Flooring


Laminate flooring is one of the most popular types of flooring that typically lasts 10 to 25 years depending on the type of material used. The lamination requires replacement when you start noticing that it is starting to get damaged, it becomes cracked and the colour is fading. Another sign is when there are peels, deep scrapes and scuffs on the laminate. The good news is that laminate flooring is budget-friendly, and although it can look like more expensive materials, for example, wood, it's fairly inexpensive to replace. You can also update and modernize the flooring more frequently to keep up with the current trends.

4. Tiles



Tiles come in a variety of materials, from ceramic, marble, glass and cement and often last the longest and don’t require replacement unless absolutely necessary.  Getting the base right is important. Always be sure to have a flat sturdy and level base for the tiling. Only in the case that the tile breaks, cracks or sinks does it need replacing. 

So here are some signs that it's time to change your flooring. What type of flooring do you have in your home?

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Christmas Gift ideas

Let's go on the Christmas gift hunt for 2019! This year, have you have decided to hunt down something different and unique, however, you are missing the right Christmas gift idea? 
You want to make your loved ones happy but don't know what to give them for that unique Christmas gift?   Well, you've come to the right place,  Offer your friends and family personalised and original Christmas gifts that neither you nor they would have thought of - here are some ideas.

Which Christmas Gift To Give A Woman? 



Does she like pretty jewellery? The Nomination engraved bracelet is one of the most beautiful Christmas gift ideas out there. You can choose among fancy bracelets with engraved messages on or compose your own: it's fast, simple to do and you can make it online. You will find many elegant charms suitable for different interests with intricate detailing and vibrant colours.

To store her jewellery why not offer her a personalized jewellery box to go with it - a lovely surprise to go with the personalised Nomination charms.   Your Christmas gift will make her smile all year round.

Which Christmas Gift To Give To A Man? 


A great gift idea for your husband, dad, brother or friend who like wine is a bottle of champagne.  A sparkling Christmas gift idea that is perfect for the end of the year celebrations! You can complete your Christmas gifts idea with an engraved wooden sommelier box personalised with his name. He will have the impression that he has cultivated his wine and this is a great gift for any wine connoisseur.

Which Christmas Gift To Give A Child?

You want to spoil them, but you don't have enough ideas for Christmas gifts for children? For the little ones, a small Teddy Bear personalized with a photo or their first name is a Christmas gift that appeals to children and parents every time. A gift to cherish for years to come and a sweet memory to look back on.


For Christmas Eve, tell him or her the story of their first name through an illustrated and personalised book. This is a fun and educational gift that will encourage letter recognition. You can even work on letter formation and teach their very first word: their first name.

A Christmas Decoration Gift Idea

As the years go by, and you are short of inspiration to find that unique Christmas gift, don't despair. There are many beautiful decorative and personalised ideas out there that will brighten up your loved one's day.  A photo book makes a lovely gift, or what about a personalized photo frame? Another idea is a canvas of city they love, for example, New York, or a gorgeous view, for example The Grand Canyon to put on their wall. Maybe you can use their own original photo to make the gift even more unique.

So here are some lovely and unique Christmas gifts. I hope you have gained some much-needed inspiration to find that perfect gift.  Their smiles are going to be worth it!

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Popular Windows Styles Explained!


As well as providing natural light and stunning views, windows can be an amazing feature in your home. They certainly provide a stunning focal point for the kerb appeal you’ve worked hard to achieve. The trouble is that, when it comes to buying replacement windows in South Wales, many of us are at a loss as to which would be best. That can make it tricky knowing where to start and could even lead to a choice that doesn’t suit your home’s appearance. That will never do, and it’s a risk you can do away with by finding out as much as possible about popular window styles.

Whatever style you choose, of course, you should first think about fundamentals like double glazing. With enhanced security and incredible thermal benefits, unless it is a listed property, this is guaranteed to be the best option no matter your personal preferences. However, which popular window styles should you pair with the double glazing?

Casement windows


  • Versatile design 
  • Ultra-energy efficient 
  • 5-point locking system 
With multiple frame configurations, casement windows are a popular style for many. Their attraction comes from their versatile design and range of opening options. Casement windows are attached to a frame using hinges on one or more sides. They’re a traditional choice, and they could be the ideal option to complement your home. They’re also fantastic for easy opening and cleaning!

Sash windows 


  • Traditional look
  • Classic colour choices
  • Highly secure

Sash windows are a staple of period properties but guaranteed to complete the look of any property. While they used to be made from timber, a traditional tricky to maintain material, developments in uPVC windows have made them extremely durable and easy to maintain. A great way to combine traditional looks with modern comfort.


Tile and turn windows 



  • An innovative two-way opening action
  • Safer ventilation
  • Easy maintenance

Tilt and turn windows are relatively new on the market and their popularity has soared in the past few years. As the name suggests, they tilt inwards for improved safety, easy cleaning, and general aesthetic appeal. Windows like these increase ventilation while ensuring no one can gain access. Even better, their sleek design is sure to fit perfectly with your modern home.

Bay windows 



  • Improved natural light
  • Increased floor space (up to 3 feet)
  • Versatile to complement modern and traditional homes

Last but not least, we have bay windows. These traditionally consist of casement windows, joined together in an arc to form a bay. As well as adding up to 3 feet of floor space or storage to your home, windows like these can be a fantastic feature on modern and old properties alike. Even better, the large size of bay windows guarantees that you’ll be able to enjoy natural flooding light moving forward. 


While the fine details may change depending on where you look, these four window styles are the predominant popular options on the market, and any of them could take your house up a gear. Simply consider what you’re after, and which style you think would suit your property the best.

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The Essential Guide To The Best Music Tech In 2019

Forget CDs and even the on trend vinyl to get your music kicks, technological advancements in the twenty first century have seen a whole new onslaught of musical phenomena to help you get your melodic thrills. Whereas back in the 1980s, it was all double cassette decks and ghetto blasters, nowadays it is all about connectivity and crisp sounds across every device that you have in your home. Read on to find out about the best music tech of 2019.

Spotify

Streaming has become the millennial's modus operandi of choice when listening to the latest tunes. Spotify is an exceptional streaming service because of the sheer quality and quantity of current music and back catalogues. Subscribe to Spotify and you have access to a streaming service without adverts or skips or delays. If you want to listen to Spanish flamenco guitar, followed by the latest Ed Sheeran track followed by some heavy metal, you can do with the power to create your very own personalized playlists. Other people who use the service can also make their own playlists to put up for the niche masses to enjoy. The community vibe on the service also sets it apart from the rest.

Google

The big name of Google has also got in on the music scene. With the best price for a Google Chromecast now at under £20, you can soon plug a device into your TV and have your smartphone access the latest music videos on Youtube through your gogglebox. You can even access Spotify or any other music app through your TV, meaning that your music experience becomes all the more immersive for you.

Garmin Vivoactive

If you love heading to the gym and love pounding the treadmill for thirty minutes every session, the chances are that you need some music to help you find your rhythm. Rather than lugging around your smartphone, consider this nifty Garmin GPS wristwatch. It plays your favourite tunes while monitoring your heart rate, telling you how much you are exerting and giving you tips to help keep your breathing rate up. Within the next few months, you can even stream to Spotify from your wristwatch, and Deezer is already available.

Sony 360 Reality Audio

While this may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, Sony has created an all-immersive aural experience by creating virtual speakers. These are set up in the room or venue of your choice and allow you to listen to your favourite band and feel like you are at a live concert (even if you are just watching a music video on TV.) The technology used is object audio-spatial meaning that the instruments used within the music that you are listening to are placed at specific points within the 360 virtual space, giving you that all immersive musical experience that you crave.

Music tech is advancing at an astronomical pace. With the dawn of big players like Google and Amazon getting in on the scene, it won’t be long before music tech is accessible to all.

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Great Business Opportunities For The Budding Entrepreneur

The world is full of entrepreneurs looking for gaps in the market. These entrepreneurs are all hoping to find a niche that could see their idea be the next big hit. The trouble with this is finding an experimental niche in today's market can be a dangerous move, especially as a budding entrepreneur. 

Something entrepreneurs often ignore is the current gaps in existing trends. These trends tend to go ignored because there is an illusion of saturation. Today we are going to be looking at some of the best business opportunities for the budding entrepreneur and why they could be so beneficial.



Support Services

Support services could be one of the most profitable business ideas in this entire article. Now although the title is quite broad, the service that support is offered in would obviously be that of your skillset.

Nowadays, more companies are outsourcing than ever before. It is far easier for a company to entrust service to an external source now, rather than hiring and managing the position in-house. Some of the most popular services companies outsource are:

  • Accounting
  • IT
  • Call Handling
  • Marketing

There are, of course, countless opportunities, but of the above, IT skills are the most required by businesses. The hiring of an IT specialist is generally one of the most expensive hires a business can make. As an entrepreneur, if you have a skill set that could fit this need, maybe outsourcing your skills in IT could be the answer you are looking for.

Property

Now, when a property comes up in a conversation about business, the thoughts generally turn to investment. Property investment can, of course, be a great business for the budding entrepreneur. Property investment does involve a cash injection of quite a large proportion, so may not be for the aspiring entrepreneur, there are, however, other options.

Property management could be the way forward for any businessman. Property management itself has many different layers, and also presents many opportunities. One of the critical areas of interest today is direct property management (DPM). DPM is probably not what most people think it is, so first let's look at property management on its own.

Property management itself is generally quite simple, you the property manager would find appropriate tenants for the property, take care of the tenants need, collect rent and offer property maintenance, all of the time whilst taking 12% of the rental income.

Direct property management, on the other hand, is far more complex and can be far more profitable, if not a little more complicated. The first step is finding a larger property for rent and contacting the landlord. The key here is obtaining the property on a long term rental agreement with the landlord. You agree on a rental some with the property owner and also arrange a house of multiple occupation (HMO) agreement. You now manage the property and house multiple occupants, such as students. The ROI you generally get from this business is vast, and there are always gaps in the market for entrepreneurs.

Marketing Services

Marketing services as a business idea can be one of the most satisfying and flexible choices when it comes to starting your new business. When starting a marketing business, the number one skill you need is the ability to think outside the box.

Many businesses are reaching out to marketing companies nowadays, as they are desperately in need of a real marketing strategy. Unfortunately, gone are the days when a business could just place an advertisement and hope for the best.

Nowadays, a business must have a strict marketing strategy, and most companies lack the time or the manpower to take on such a task. This is why marketing could be a gap for your new business. The idea behind a bespoke a marketing service requires savvy and smarts.

As an entrepreneur taking on advertising, you would know how to build a complicated strategy and use all digital mediums to your advantage. Nowadays, looking at and targeting specific groups of people is the only way to make a marketing campaign successful. This campaign is usually run and then passed to the sales department for follow-up. The most fantastic thing about considering an option like this, you will some days be able to work from the comfort of your sofa.

So there you have just a few opportunities for the budding entrepreneur. Whether you like the freedom of being a contractor, investing or working from the comfort of your own home, there is something here for you.

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Preventing And Managing Plant Disease In Your Garden

Probably one of the more distressing and upsetting experiences you can have as a gardener is discovering that your garden has been struck down by some kind of disease. Blight is the most common, but there are plenty, some of which affect only a few plants, and some which affect many. It can be enough to ruin an entire year’s harvest, and it’s something which you definitely want to learn how to manage as best as you can. The truth there is that you can do plenty, but you can never be absolutely certain that you are not going to get any diseases in your garden. However, it’s worth trying your best, so let’s take a look at some of the best ways to prevent and manage plant diseases in your garden.



Know The Signs

First of all, you need to make sure that you know the signs well if you want to manage such problems. Having an acute understanding of the early warning signs means that you can catch it early, which could mean you get rid of it entirely, but will at least enable you to do something about it and stop it getting too much worse. There are a lot of signs to look for: you might notice that many of your plants have spots on the leaves, or that they are slowly withering, or rapidly changing colour. It might be that nothing is producing fruit, or much of the fruit is rotten. If you get a number of these signs, it means you need to try and do whatever you can to deal with it as soon as possible.

Remove The Most Diseased Plants

Sometimes, if a disease is particularly pronounced, you will have to get rid of some of the worse-off plants in order to save the others. This can be a shame, even upsetting, but it is vital if you hope to be able to save the garden as a whole. In the worst case, and most important, it can even be that you need to get a tree surgeon in to get rid of an entire tree, so that you can save not just your garden’s trees but the other trees in the area too. This is hugely important, and something you should not hesitate to do if you have discovered it is necessary to do so. It could make all the difference in the world.



Preventing Next Time

Of course, it is best to prevent it happening in the first place, and there are a number of steps you can do to try and make sure of that, or at least make it much more likely. You can use resistant varieties of many plants, for instance, which are less likely to be affected. You can also use good hygiene to ensure that you are not bringing diseases into the garden. And you can consider growing under glass for plants like tomatoes, which can be all they need to survive.

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Branded Merchandising Ideas for Your Business

Whether you’re setting up a new business or you’re running an established company, there’s no time like the present to take your brand to the next level. There are lots of different types of marketing methods you could adopt, and it’s important to weigh up your options, as marketing is a true element of your business’s success. One popular strategy that should not be disregarded is using branded merchandise. After all, who doesn’t love a little freebie? 


Giving away promotional gifts is an excellent marketing tactic, no matter what type of business you operate. It’s ideal because it tends to convert sales by retaining existing customers and attracting new ones. Here are some of your options:

Branded pens and notebooks are highly effective options. You can give them away at client meetings and since they’re functional, your current or potential customer is bound to use them. They might even leave the items on their desk for others to see, giving you long-term visibility.

Are your employees visible to customers? If so, you could think about getting branded t-shirts for them so that they act like a walking advertisement for your company.

Branded chocolates and sweets are great to giveaway on special occasions, such as Christmas, Easter or Valentine’s Day. If you operate an e-commerce company, you could add the confectionary to customer orders so that they have a nice little surprise within their parcel. This is a great way to leave a lasting impression and encourage repeat purchases.

If you’re going to a conference, you’ll have the opportunity to get your brand name in front of a variety of people. Make good use of this opportunity by giving away items such as key-rings or tote bags. People are far more likely to come over to your stall if they think they can get a little freebie.

With some careful planning and the right level of investment, branded merchandise will work wonders for your business. Try and put your imagination to the test and be unique so that you’re not thrown away and forgotten.

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Curve Metal Smart Card Review

In exchange for a year's membership of their Curve Metal account, Curve had asked me to review the service for my readers.  This is a sponsored post however opinions are as ever my own. 

What is Curve?

Curve is a smart payment card and app designed to simplify your banking. You connect your debit and credit cards through one simple application available for Apple IOS or Google Play. Curve has been designed to combine all your Visa and Mastercard accounts into one, so you can leave them all at home, you just use the one Curve card. 

Sign up to Curve here with my affiliate link to get a £5 credit after making your first purchase.

How much does it cost?

Curve has three membership options below.



As you can see there is a range of benefits and the more you play the more you get. The basic package is however free. 

All Curve cards give you 1% cashback on a number of companies, for a set amount of time, fee-free foreign exchange, and fee-free ATM withdrawals. The free account has these benefits time-limited and there are different limits on the ATM withdrawals.

Ordering the card

The Curve Metal Mastercard was easy to order and came quickly. The Curve Metal looks smart with its brushed steel, I went for the blue steel but there is also a limited edition red and a rose gold colour too. It feels luxurious in your hand as it's not made of plastic. Once you receive your card you have to activate it online to start spending. You have to link a card and every time you do a small charge (less than £1.50) is taken to verify it. This is then refunded back to your card straight away. 

You can also select up to 6 retailers listed on the app to get 1% cashback with them when you pay with the card. With companies like Sainsbury's, Boots, Amazon and Uber included then this is a nice little perk don't you think? If you do your grocery shopping with Sainsbury's, for example,  pay on the card and spend £100 a week, the money you could get back works out at £52 a year - better than nothing!

Travel benefits



There are a number of big benefits if you are travellers.  

Immediately on ordering the card I was sent documents via email for the worldwide travel insurance included with the Curve Metal account. The travel insurance seemed comprehensive and is from AXA, a well-known travel insurance company, giving you peace of mind. It included Collision Damage Waiver for car rental insurance and electronic gadget insurance as well up to £800. I was impressed with the coverage as medical coverage was up to 15 million pounds, enough for coverage to the US where medical bills are high.

When you use your Curve Metal card abroad you get unlimited fee-free foreign currency exchange, and fee-free ATM withdrawals up to £600 a month too.  This is a great perk and I can't wait to see how this works when we go to Spain next month. With the exchange rate against all foreign currencies being dire at the moment with Brexit on the horizon, anything that helps you save money abroad is much needed.



The last major perk of using the Curve Metal card if you are a traveller is the discounted airport lounge access with Lounge Key at £15 per person for you and a guest. To access this you need to download and register the Lounge Key app with your Curve card. You can then see what airport lounges are included. I was pleased to see the Plaza Premium lounges and No 1 Lounges at Heathrow included for example, and even our local airport Cardiff is included, as well as hundreds of other lounges worldwide. Just show your card as eligibility when you arrive at the lounge and your payment of £15 per person is taken on the card there and then.  

Time travel



Ok, well you won't turn into Dr Who but they say time travel is included with every card. What that means in practice is that the Go Back In Time feature allows you to switch which card you use for each transaction, within 14 days of your purchase. This is useful if you have personal transactions and want to swap them over to business transactions, or if you have got to the top of your credit limit on a card.

Day-to-day use


So daily use of the card is easy. You use the smart card like you would normally with a debit or credit card. You are allocated a 4 digit pin number but this is then easily changed through an ATM. There is a £200 a day cap on the amount you can take out.



I used the contactless feature on the card to pay for groceries at the supermarket with no problems at all. What is great is that the app categorises each transaction so that it is easy to see what you spend your money on, for example, Groceries, Transport, Travel,  and so on. It also allows you to add a receipt, write a note or mark it as a business purchase. A feature I like is that you can immediately see what you spend as it happens. Other useful features include being able to lock your card with one tap, view your pin and get instant customer support.

Curve also offers its own customer protection in case of things going wrong which is good to know.

If you are interested in trying out Curve for yourself, download it for free with my affiliate link and enter the code JEWEL for a £5 credit after making your first purchase.

As you can see Curve offers some interesting ways to spend and manage your money. Let me know what you think! 

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What to Consider When Renovating Your Kitchen

When you’re undergoing a renovation project in your home, there’s always more to think about than you first presumed. In fact, home improvement projects can often become quite overwhelming for those involved, especially when you’re trying to DIY. You might even start to overlook certain important aspects. To help you avoid any catastrophes or disappointments, both now and in the future, here are some of the things you’ll need to consider if you’re renovating your kitchen. 



A kitchen should certainly have adequate ventilation due to the excess moisture in the air. In rooms where there are higher levels of water vapour, such as bathrooms and kitchens, ventilation is highly important to avoid a build-up of damp, and in some cases, mould. As well as being unsightly and potentially interfering with the structure of the building, damp and mould can cause health problems for any inhabitants of your home. Ventilation normally comes in the form of a small, unobtrusive fan.

You might also want to consider whether or not you previously had enough storage in your kitchen, and if you don’t think you did, you could install some more. This doesn’t have to be an expensive task; you can make cupboards or shelving units using recycled materials that you have painted or upcycled.

The lighting is another important consideration, because it can be used to help define and separate each section of your kitchen. It will also help you see clearly when preparing food to ensure there aren’t any accidents. One great lighting option is hanging a statement pendant over the centre of your island or dining table. You might also want to install dimmer switches so that you can alter the ambiance from bright and airy to characteristic and romantic.

Of course, you’ll probably have already picked out your colours, cabinets and flooring, but the above will hopefully have given you some additional food for thought.


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Lighting Choices To Reduce Energy Consumption As Dark Nights Return

The way you feel about the winter months will determine your outlook on life as the dark nights return.  Cosy nights in front of the telly, need ambient lighting, yet irrespective of comfort, there’s a more pressing matter facing humanity, and that’s climate change. Getting the right eco-friendly lighting can save on electricity, reduce our energy consumption and help to save the planet. Pagazzi Lighting provides an essential range of contemporary lighting solutions perfect for reducing your energy consumption during those dark winter nights when we need them the most. Take a look at what they recommend below to reduce your energy consumption as the dark nights return.

LED Lighting 



LED Lighting is a perfect way of reducing energy consumption within the home. You may be reluctant to move away from the traditional illumination of your standard bulbs, but it must be known the energy savings that come with the faithful LED. Experts say that the LEDs we put around our Christmas trees are long-lasting enough to last as many as 40 Christmases. That’s a lot more than can be said for our bulbous friends who omit most of their energy through heat wastage. We say most, but 90% of their energy is lost through secondary heat. The modernisation of LED lighting has allowed us to create more aesthetically pleasing lighting that provides a wonderful atmosphere in the winter months while also saving on energy, too.

Install dimmers


Not only does installing light dimmers in your house provide you with the ability to dim the lights and create that wonderfully romantic and cosy atmosphere, but it also means you can save up to 20% of your energy because of the reduced wattage. Dimming your bulbs also increases their life span by up to four years – just think of the cost-savings and environmental benefits. It seems like dimmers have gone out of fashion in recent years, but they truly are the Brad Pitt of the lighting world, providing benefits on all playing fields. It doesn’t matter whether it’s energy reduction, cost savings, or improved life spans, the faithful dimmer has your back well into the climate change crisis.

Solar energy is the future 


Although the effects of climate change are being realised more than ever, our understanding of solar energy is increasingly being leaned upon to provide a natural source of energy. It seems silly not to make the most of that large natural light source we have up in our skies, that big ball of energy they call the sun. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the darker winter months either, solar panels on top of your home during the daytime hours power those ambient dimmers long through the wintery nights. The costs of solar panelling have also fallen 99% since 1977 and will continue to decline with further use.

In our life-long search for meaning, there are only two certainties. The first being that climate change is a real and quantifiable phenomenon that needs to be tackled. The second is the warm feeling of comfort you get while enjoying a relaxing evening in front of the TV as the rain batters your windows. Create the ambience you’ve always craved with a range of lighting solutions from Pagazzi. 


Do you think of ways to reduce your energy consumption?

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Gifts That Are Always Eternally Appreciated

It can be very easy to overthink finding the perfect gift for someone.  It’s not hard to see why. We often appreciate the gifts that have had some real thought put into them, irrespective of costs. We appreciate when someone makes a real effort to treat us to something special so choosing something special for others can be a real task.

For this reason, sometimes, it can be worth going back to basics and discovering gifts that are always appreciated. Here are three types of gifts below that you should consider.

A Memento 



A memento or keepsake can serve as a fantastic gift, provided you are careful as to what you choose. You need to remember that a certain item could send a certain message. A locket, for example, is a great memento as it can open to hold a photo or lock of hair of a loved one and keep something precious close to their heart. A charm bracelet can be another memento that can be personalised with individual charms, such as initials of children, birthstones, and hobbies.  Check out stores that sell independent fine jewellery, speak to the experts, and consider what your message is.

A memento, such as a necklace, ring, or watch, can potentially last decades however if you have a limited budget, a souvenir of a trip is another option that can be very much appreciated. I am making a photo book for my husband for a trip we took to the US, driving Route 66. Looking back on the photos together will make, I think a thoughtful and uniquely personalised gift.

An Experience 




They say that investing in experiences is always worthwhile, because the memory is forever yours, and the impact it has on a life can be far-reaching. An impromptu surprise trip to Europe, a luxury afternoon tea for two with champagne, or an experience like driving a supercar (like I gifted my husband), or shooting zombies in an abandoned shopping mall (like I gifted my son) could provide that perfect gift someone will remember for the rest of their life!

You could make this even more special. If gifting this experience to your spouse, for example, you may decide to visit the town or city you both first met for an overnight stay, giving you the chance to revisit old memories, feel nostalgic, and experience the place once again.

Experiences are often eternally appreciated because reliving that memory and talking about it to others, sharing connections makes us feel nostalgic and alive. Some people say, would you rather have a house full of stuff or a passport full of stamps? I know what I would rather have.


Life Considerations 





Like an experience or something that can serve as a memento, purchasing something that can allow your recipient to learn something about themselves could be a cherished gift to give. A course to learn a new skill could be an interesting gift. Another could be learning about your history and heritage.  I learnt about my ancestry through Ancestry DNA and that would be a perfect gift for people curious about their background. 

Helping them learn how their genetic makeup is comprised, or where they might hail from, or the story of a long-lost ancestor could send them on a journey of self-discovery. Giving someone the tools to unlock more about themselves is at once a very personal gift, perfect for family members, good friends and partners, maybe not so great for colleagues you don't really know.


I hope you can use this advice to think of unique gifts for your family and friends that are always eternally appreciated.

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Why You Should Buy A Scooter

Have you ever wanted to buy a scooter but not sure if you can justify it? Maybe your son or daughter are looking to get their first mode of transport and you don't know much about them? There are plenty of amazing scooters out there that it can be hard to choose one. 

I’ve compiled a list of reasons why you should buy a scooter. Check out this post in collaboration with Direct Bikes.

They are perfect for young and old 


You cannot start driving a car until you are 17 but you can start learning to ride a scooter at the age of 16. Whether you are young or older with young family members, a scooter can be a versatile mode of transport that the whole family can potentially use.

The lightweight form of the scooter makes it perfect for people of any age - if you’re a little older, you might be concerned about being able to handle such a mode of transport but this would be perfect for you.

They’re better for the environment 




I bet you didn’t realise just how eco-friendly they are! They produce a much less CO2 than the average car, so if you are eco-conscious, this might be the best mode of traffic for you.

Research different scooters to see which one is most eco-friendly and efficient for you - you are bound to find the perfect fit.

They are cheap to run


Whether you are thinking about maintenance, fuel, tax or scooter insurance, this is inevitably going to be cheaper than running a car meaning your bank balance and your wallet will look a little healthier.

Scooters are very fuel efficient - how regularly you refuel does depend on the engine size, of course - but this is very cost effective for you.

They are easy to handle 

Scooters are extremely light and are perfect for driving safely through traffic as scooters can legally take full advantage of bus lanes at certain times and zip through stationary traffic. They can handle slower speeds better than motorcycles and are less powerful than a motorcycle too which is great if you find it a little daunting on your first outing.

Scooters have a much better urban advantage than other forms of transport. Even if you live in a really congested city, you are able to zip through tight traffic jams. You are able to park pretty much anywhere and the automatic transmission makes it much easier on your body if you happen to get stuck in traffic.

The initial outlay is inexpensive 



If you are looking at your bank balance wondering if you can justify purchasing a scooter, it is important to remember they are much cheaper to buy than cars and motorcycles. In fact, you can usually pick up a scooter for around the price of a monthly paycheck - you wouldn’t be able to do that with a car!

You can even pick up a used one in fantastic condition for a relatively cheap price - of course, doing your research is key so you can find the right scooter for you.

Maintenance is simpler 


Do the words maintenance strike fear into your heart? Scooter maintenance is fairly easy and many people are able to fix simple problems with the basic tools. This is virtually impossible with cars these days. Of course, the most expensive models will have more sophisticated technology, and you should take your scooter to a garage when you don't have the capabilities or knowledge but if you are looking for a simple scooter to learn to drive then simple maintenance is much easier than a car.

They look good 



You might not be a person who puts a lot of stock into their image but if you are, consider this: scooters look great. You can find them all over pop culture - many famous films feature them - what about the classic ‘Roman Holiday’ or even ‘Quadrophenia’? There is no denying it - scooters look good.

Have you ever considered a scooter?

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Ways To Create A More Eco-Friendly Brand

Concerns for the environment are everywhere today and many of us, myself included, are worried about how man has affected the planet we live on. From the huge amount of plastic pollution we produce, and worries about how to reduce our carbon footprint, to the use of pesticides and their effect on the environment, it is something we need to address and something we need to address now. 

Becoming more eco-friendly, however, can be a complicated business. If you are building a new brand or checking out a brand's work practices here are some things you need to consider to create or improve a brand's eco-friendly credentials.

Transportation



Although this can't apply to every work environment, does the brand give their staff the opportunity to work from home wherever possible? As well as saving time on travel, many people have to use a car, bus or train to get to work. If you work from home you can save on transportation costs (and the costs of getting your child to childcare) and the pollution from the environment too.  If you have to travel to work, could you consider walking, cycling or car sharing instead and does the brand support eco-friendly ways of travel? Setting up a bicycle park could be one way for a brand to encourage their workers to cycle to work, having bicycling parking from Barriers Direct would be great step to encourage this.

Resources



An eco-friendly brand should look at the resources they use carefully. Using 'green' energy companies is a great step for an eco-friendly brand but there are other things they can do as well.  From cutting down on unnecessary photocopying and backing up electronically rather than printing out, to using renewable and sustainable resources, there is much a brand can do to be eco-friendly in the resources they use. Eliminating plastic cups, plates and cutlery can be a good place to start, as well as using sustainable wood products. If you have to have business cards, use a recycled card, or email it.  Simple.

Reducing miles





Brands need to consider using local companies for resources. As well as supporting the local community, there are less 'miles' the item has travelled. If the workers wear a uniform, can this be made in the UK? If the brand has a canteen can they source locally produced fruit and vegetables from organic companies or from a farmers market? If items can't be sourced locally are they Fair Trade so that the workers are paid a fair rate and the environment is protected?  Buying local is very important to me as a consumer and brands realise it makes good business sense too. 


Encouraging recycling




There are many ways a brand can encourage recycling, from simply having recycling bins available, and to refilling the printer cartridges they use, to looking at how they can recycle other items they use in the business. Big technology brands often have incentives to recycle their tech products, makeup companies are encouraging recycling of their packaging and clothing companies are now looking at ways to reuse old clothes all for the better of the environment.

So here are some ways to create a more eco-friendly brand. Are there any eco-friendly brands you support?

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