How Colleges Are Improving Support For Students With Additional Needs

Starting college or university can be a stressful time for every student but especially for students with additional needs.

A student would be classed as requiring Special Educational Needs (SEN) if they have a learning difficulty or disability which requires special educational provisions to be made for them, and they may also have a disability which falls under the Equality Act. 

Colleges and schools have specific statutory duties when it comes to supporting students with additional needs, but many have made it a priority to provide extra support and have dedicated teams who are able to offer advice, support and guidance.

Newcastle College in Newcastle upon Tyne is one such college offering pastoral and academic support for all students with a team of Learning Mentors who work with all students to help them develop the skills and behaviours needed to progress beyond college.

The level of support on offer was praised in the latest Newcastle College Ofsted report, particularly the support available for learners with high needs.

Here are some of the ways colleges such as Newcastle College are supporting students with additional needs.

Neurodiversity Support Teams

Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. This includes young people with labels such as Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyscalculia, Autism or Tourettes. Each person with these conditions face their own challenges and a neurodiversity support team will assess and take each person's abilities and challenges into account

A person with ADHD may face organisation struggles, whilst someone on the Autistic spectrum may have problems with the transition from school to college and a timetable. Support can come in many forms, such as mentoring, provision of assistive equipment or providing a safe and secure space on campus.

Disability Support

Whilst physical disabilities are more visible, they also come with individual support requirements. Many will have access requirements, whilst others may need assistance with medication, assistive technology, or more personal care. Support such as this is usually arranged through an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), but again, many schools and colleges offer additional support to ensure student wellbeing.

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology (AT) can really help those with additional needs reach their full potential, by helping the student become independent in their learning.

The technology ranges from mouse and keyboard alternatives to portable magnifiers, Dictaphones, automatic page-turners, voice recognition technology and specially adapted pencil grips.

Additional Support at College

Many educational institutions have put learning support at the forefront of what they offer, ensuring they are able to cater to almost any student need and provide a safe and inclusive learning environment.

Newcastle College has a Learning Support Team which works with students who have a wide range of needs including sensory, wellbeing, autism and learning or physical disabilities. The team also offers support with Dyslexia and exam access arrangements. A dedicated Assistive Technology Team offer transcription adapted materials and specialist equipment.

When you think that 300,000 children have additional needs, being able to turn to a support team is vital for them to progress into further or higher education and get their most out of college or university. 

*Collaborative post

Interior Design For Small Homes

When it comes to home decor, we all have different challenges we need to overcome in order to create the perfect home. For some people, this hurdle is that their home is small. 

If this applies to you, I have some great tips and pieces of advice to help with. Continue reading to discover everything you need to know.


The first thing you need to do when it comes to a small home is to make clever use of mirrors. The reflective surface of a mirror is something that can be used to a huge advantage in a small property. If you place mirrors opposite windows. The sunlight from outside will reflect off the surface and bounce back into the room. This will open up the space, making it look brighter and feel a lot bigger too. You can make the mirror the statement feature of the room. There are lots of stunning and striking mirror designs on the market today, like these Hollywood mirrors. Reflective surfaces also have the same sort of effect as high gloss furniture too.

Clever use of storage

Another tip when it comes to small homes and rooms is to get clever with storage. If you take a look online, you will find tons of inspiration in this regard. Instagram and Pinterest are also excellent resources. Something as simple as choosing a divan bed can make a massive difference, as you are going to benefit from lots of storage space under your bed. When you look at each room, consider how you can add some extra storage options to the space without it detracting too much from the overall interior design. 
For example, a hanging storage bag for the back of a door can help you store shoes and accessories. Can you use the space under tables to store possessions? 

Choose colour wisely

In addition to the suggestions that have already been mentioned, you also need to be careful when it comes to your choice of colour scheme too. Some colours can open up a space and make it bigger whereas others can make it smaller. In general, it is best to go for a light colour scheme. Neutral shades and light hues work really well. You should also consider painting your ceiling the same colour as your walls, as this can make your rooms look bigger because it does not cause such a distinct separation between the ceilings and the walls. Instead, your eyes continue upward, and this can create a feeling of there being more space.

Multi-use furniture

When you buy an item of furniture think if it can use for more than one purpose. If you don't have a room for guests consider buying a sofa that can also convert to a bed, other ideas include a stool that can be used as a bedside table, and of course suitcases can be used to store clothes and bed linen when not in use. If you have a very small apartment you can even have a bed that fits on the wall that you can pull down at night.

Don’t Forget To Personalise

The last thing that I am going to say is that you don’t want to forget to personalise your space. You want to be able to look at the memories that you hold so dear to yourself, giving you a little dopamine boost every time you see them. You can get things like perspex frames without breaking the bank to frame these memories, and display them in a way that gives a personal feeling to your home. You want to be reminded that it’s yours from the second you walk in, and this will really help.


All in all, there is no denying that having a small home can be a bit frustrating in terms of creating the perfect interior environment. However, it does not need to be this way. If you follow the tips that have been provided in this blog post, you can make your property look a lot bigger than it is. You will also find the design process a lot more fun rather than just being frustrated by it.

*Collaborative post

Our Favourite Places To Eat On A Route 66 Road Trip - Diners, Cafes and Restaurants

Our road trip driving Route 66 from Chicago to LA in June and July this year was a bucket list experience that was fantastic. Driving this historic route with my husband took 23 days and over 3000 miles in the end with detours along the way. We didn't argue too much! We ate in a number of interesting Route 66 restaurants, bars and cafes along the trip, from 50s style diners for which Route 66 is known as well as burger joints and smarter more expensive restaurants. 

Here are some of our favourite places to eat on this Route 66 road trip. I have rated the restaurants and cafes out of 10 for ambience and food quality, and the price range from 1 to 5 in dollars depending on how expensive they were. This is not a definitive resource of the best restaurants, how can it be as there are thousands on this route? It's just our personal experience from driving the whole route on this occasion. 

Elm Street Eatery, Lebanon, Missouri

Elm Street Eatery describes itself as a breakfast and brunch restaurant. Selling a range of food from omelettes to soups, burgers to taco bowls. I had a beef taco bowl which was really tasty. The food is reasonably priced too. We were recommended this restaurant by a local and it did not disappoint. Unfortunately, it does not have a website.

Elm St Eatery, 135 W Elm St, Lebanon, Missouri 65536, +1 417-588-2700
Rating 7/10
Price range $

Taste Of Italy, Precious Moments Chapel, Carthage Missouri

When we stopped at the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage Missouri we ate at the newly opened Italian restaurant called A Taste of Italy. I have to admit what the large spacious room lacked in atmosphere, it made up for in the quality of the food and the excellent service. I had pasta in a mushroom sauce which was very good and came with complimentary warm bread and a fresh tomato dipping sauce as well as fresh salad. With drinks, a meal for two came to about 20 dollars which we thought was brilliant value. A total surprise much like the quirky chapel itself which is adorned with cartoon characters depicting the bible!

Precious Moment Chapel, 4321 S Chapel Rd, Carthage, MO 64836, +1 800-543-7975
Rating 7/10
Price $$

Juniper, Tulsa, Oklahoma

If you are looking for a nice upmarket meal, in downtown Tulsa Oklahoma, check out Juniper. Close to the attraction called the Centre Of The Universe, and not far from the Loews Downtown Tulsa hotel, this farm to table restaurant is an excellent choice for a meal where you want to get dressed up a little. Think seasonal risotto, bone-in pork chop with polenta fries as I had above and seared duck breast. Everything was presented beautifully and tasted great. Bookings highly recommended.

Juniper 324 E 3rd St, Tulsa, OK, 74120, +1 918-794-1090
Rating 8/10
Price $$$$

Pops, Arcadia, Oklahoma

For good diner food in an interesting setting stop by to Pops, in Arcadia, Oklahoma. This diner and gas station is a new iconic stop on Route 66. You can spot it from the gigantic pop bottle by the side of the road. There is a large shop selling 7000 types of soda and a diner inside. I had the chicken fried steak - a steak breaded and fried like chicken, which is popular in this area, and Mr W the 7 layer salad which was huge and tasty. A place to stop for a good hot dog or burger in a fun setting.

Pops, 660 OK-66, Arcadia, OK 73007, USA +1 405-928-7677
Rating 6/10
Price $$

Midpoint Cafe, Adrian, Texas

The Midpoint Cafe is a popular stop on Route 66 as it is halfway between Chicago and LA, being both 1139 miles to each point.  This cool little diner has a basic menu of hot dogs and burgers. We had a hot dog which was a bit pricey and just ok but the best thing to have on the menu is definitely the Ugly Crust Pie for which the cafe is known. The pies vary and include coconut, key lime and lemon meringue. The lemon meringue pie was simply amazing! So stop here for some coffee and pie and then browse the little Route 66 gift shop attached.

Midpoint Cafe, 305 W Historic Route 66, Exit 22 I-40, Adrian, TX 79001-2014, +1 806-538-6379
Rating 7/10
Price $$

Kix on Route 66 Tucumcari, New Mexico

This old school super retro-style diner Kix on Route 66, is a short walk from some iconic route 66 motels in Tucumcari - the Blue Swallow Motel and Motel Safari. This is a great place for breakfast and lunch. I had a ham and mushroom omelette with hash browns and this came with toast. It was delicious and well priced too, and I think this was our best breakfast on the route.  It also serves burritos, quesadillas, french toast and more. The perfect Route 66 diner stop in Tucumcari New Mexico.

Kix on 66, 1102 East Historic Route 66, Tucumcari, NM 88401, +1 575-461-1966
Rating 7/10
Price $

El Rancho, Gallup, New Mexico

El Rancho in Gallup New Mexico is a well known historic hotel on Route 66 with a restaurant attached. It was built by the brother of film director DW Griffiths and housed many famous film stars in the '30s and '40s who were filming Cowboy and Western films in the area. It was cool to see signed photos of John Wayne, Burt Lancaster and others in the hotel. Attached is a restaurant offering Tex/Mex food. Mr W had the chilli which was very spicy and I had apple pie with ice cream and cream which was very good. A super cool stop if you are a fan of old school Hollywood.

El Rancho, 1000 E. Highway 66 Gallup, NM 87301, +1 505-863-9311
Rating 6/10
Price $$

Dinner For Two, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Dinner For Two in Santa Fe New Mexico is an upmarket restaurant, perfect for occasions and romantic meals. Dishes included crab-stuffed rainbow trout, veal marsala and bananas foster. I had a very good filet mignon as shown above and a delicious key lime pie.  This is an excellent restaurant and one worth visiting if you have the money. Bookings highly recommended.

Dinner For Two 106 North Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501, +1 505-820-2075
Rating 8/10
Price $$$$

The Turquoise Room, Winslow, Arizona

The Turquoise Room is an award-winning restaurant situated in the beautiful historic La Posada Hotel in Winslow Arizona. The food is locally sourced where possible and the menu contains some interesting choices for vegetarians and vegans as well as meat-eaters. I had a very good and tender pepper steak. Dishes on the menu included an Arizona grown vegan salad bowl and shrimp with Paparella pasta. For the quality of the food, it was well priced too and slightly less than other restaurants of this quality. Bookings highly recommended.

The Turquoise Room at La Posada, 305 East Second Street, Winslow, AZ 86047, +1 928-289-2888
Rating 8/10
Price $$$$

Guy Fieri Kitchen and Bar, Las Vegas Nevada
As a detour off Route 66, we stopped in Las Vegas Nevada. We ate at a number of decent restaurants here. Our favourite place for a quick service meal on the Las Vegas strip was Panda Express. It's a chain selling well priced tasty Chinese food. Our favourite burger place on the whole of the trip was Guy Fieri's Kitchen and Bar at the Linq hotel. You may have heard of him from his show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It's a busy and noisy venue as are so many restaurants in Vegas are but the bacon mac 'n cheese burger was oh so good and Mr W's turkey burger was excellent too! Other dishes included ribs, lobster tacos, and blackened salmon.

Guy Fieri's Kitchen and Bar, The Linq Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, +1 702-794-3139
Rating 7/10
Price $$$

Cafe del Rey, Marina del Rey, Los Angeles

Cafe del Rey in Marina del Rey Los Angeles is a fabulous restaurant with a waterfront setting, about 4 miles from Santa Monica Pier, the official end of Route 66.  A great place to go for a special meal, the restaurant serves locally sourced food with an emphasis on quality ingredients. There was a good selection of salads on the menu, fish and seafood (the grilled oysters were particularly good), as well as wagyu steak. A lovely spot for a special meal, I recommend the strawberry shortcake for dessert, it was light and delicious. We were given a complimentary meal as part of a press trip here, but I can honestly say it was fantastic. 

Cafe del Rey, 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292, +1 310-823-6395
Rating 8/10
Price $$$$

Cozy Dog Drive-In
Last but not least is the Cozy Dog Drive-In.  Although one of the first stops on the route we took being in Springfield Illinois I wanted to mention it last as it's really a snack stop. The Cozy Dog can't be forgotten though as it's an iconic Route 66 stop and has been here since the '40s.  The Cozy Dog is a corndog (hotdog sausage covered in a cornmeal batter and fried). On the menu is also breakfast sandwiches, hamburgers and fries. A super cheap stop on your trip and the Cozy Dog was actually as good as a hot dog in batter can be and surprisingly tasty! 

Cozy Dog Drive-In, 2935 So. Sixth Street, Springfield, IL 62703, +1 217-525-1992
Rating 6/10
Price $

So here are some of our favourite restaurants and places to eat on a Route 66 road trip. There are so many places we could have eaten on this trip, so this is just a taste of where we stopped and where you could eat if you wanted to as well. While you are here check out my Route 66 road trip planning if you are thinking of doing this trip. 

Pin for later

Have you driven Route 66? What do you think of the places we ate? Do you have any recommendations on where to eat next time?

This Is How To Transform Your Garden Into An Outdoor Room!

How would you like to add a whole extra room to your house, without having to lay an extension? Well, that is precisely what you can do if you take your garden and make it into an outdoor room. You can even add things that will allow you to enjoy your garden room in the sunshine or in the rain. Just keep reading to find out how. 

Carpets & flooring

If we are to treat our garden as a room, then it makes sense to breakdown the transformation into chunks we would recognize indoors. That is why we are starting with carpets and flooring. Of course, you won't actually be laying carpet down, but there are a lot of other options to consider here.

One is a lawn, something that can provide a lush green colour as well as some comfortable ground which to sit, walk, or play. You can even choose to lay fake grass if the upkeep of a real lawn is too much for you.

In addition to the lawn, many people also install decks in their garden. Something that can help to provide the perfect space for a table, chairs, BBQs, or even an outdoor sofa.

Of course, it is entirely possible to lay a deck yourself, as long as you can source the timber supplies and other materials needed to do so. In fact, you will likely find that doing so can save you a great deal of money, especially if you want your deck to be on the larger side of things.


Rooms have ceilings, which, for the most part, is how we know they are rooms. Of course, that means your garden room should have the same. Don't think for one minute; however, that means you have to build a sunroom or conservatory over your outdoor space.

In fact, for a ceiling, you can choose a sail, shade, or veranda that protects your outdoor space from much of the weather but still leaves the sides open to the elements. Something that ensures you get all the fresh air you need, and you retain that sense of space outdoors. 


Most rooms inside also have furniture, and so it is with an outdoor room as well. In fact, carefully choosing sun loungers, chairs, sofas, and the like should be a priority when creating a room out of doors.

The reason is that if you want to spend as much time enjoying it as possible, you will want to be just as comfortable as if you were lounging on your sofa in your front room.


Just because your room is outdoors, it doesn't mean that you can decorate in a similar way to how you would inside. In fact, there is a definite trend for adding objet d'art and ornaments into the garden now. 

The good news is because it is so common, you won't be limited to slightly risque garden gnomes. In fact, you can get all sorts of items from the more traditional fountains and statues, to the novel pieces like garden mirrors and even fairy houses. All these will help you to add interest dimension, and even a little magic to your outdoor room.

*Collaborative post

Is Your Bed Good For Your Health?

There are a number of health problems out there such as a bad back, and sleep apnea that can affect our sleep quality. However, with the right bed and the right bedding, it can be possible to improve our sleep and get around these health problems to some extent. Here are just a few ways to build a bed for your health needs.


For some people, headboards and footboards can offer support, whilst for others, they can be an obstacle. Some beds such as those with a heavy-duty divan base don’t have any boards or posts – they are well suited to people that are living with obesity, and with a good supportive mattress can give an excellent nights sleep. When it comes to beds with headboards, these may be better suited for people with back or neck issues, or people bed-bound as they allow greater comfort when sat up. Footboards meanwhile are thought to prevent foot drop and are used to relieve the weight of the bedclothes and to maintain proper positioning of the feet while a patient is confined to bed.


Your mattress is also worth considering. Firmer mattresses tend to be better for people experiencing back pain – they offer more support to the spine. Softer mattresses meanwhile can be useful for side sleepers with issues such as hip pain. There are orthopaedic mattresses out there that you can buy catered to specific health conditions.


Pillows can also be an important factor to consider when it comes to dealing with various health problems. There are pillows specifically designed to help neck pain and pillows specifically designed to help with sleep apnea. These can be bought online from orthopaedic bedding stores. There can also be ways of arranging pillows to help with pain, such as putting a pillow under the legs or behind the back when lying on one’s side. Be wary of pillows containing feathers if you have a feather allergy.


It could also be important to consider the material of your bedsheets. If you’ve got a skin condition such as eczema, it could be important to use a natural material such as cotton. Synthetic fibres can often contain chemicals that can make skin conditions like eczema flare-up. Make sure to regularly wash your sheets to cut down on dust mites and cut down on irritation. 

*Collaborative post

Anti-Ageing Wrinkle Fillers

With advancing age, wisdom grows, but at the same time, the skin can lose its glow and youthful exuberance. Taking care of your skin by using a face cream with an SPF, of course, is what we all need to do, and having good genetics is key to looking youthful, however, we can't stop ageing and wrinkles is one of the signs. Some of us wish to let nature take its course, but if you want to try and turn back time, why not? There are many treatments available for reducing these marks and making one look younger, but the one with the most noticeable effect are injectable neuromodulators. In more layman terms, Botox injections are the miracle wrinkle-erasers that are suggested. Looking up for best Botox® in London might land you with many search results, but before you jump into it, are you aware of what options you can have and what the process does? 

Botox Cosmetic, Jeuveau, Dysport or Xeomin are some of the popular names that you might come across when consulting for a neuromodulator injection. There are certain things that you should keep in mind about the process, be it in the consulting phase or the actual cosmetic procedure.

Everyone’s facial structure is different and the extent to which the facial muscles stretch for each person is also different. Your doctor will be observing these facial muscles before making some marks on the face, at the points where the injection is to be done. This helps in identifying the origin points of muscle movements on the face. Doctors with many years of experience in this cosmetic procedure can do this, to make sure symmetry is preserved after the injections start taking effect.

Typically, after a minute or two of the Botox injections, nerves that stimulate the muscle movement are blocked from sending any signals. This can feel a bit odd at times but rarely lasts long. After the muscle movements are constrained, the body naturally starts to repair the wrinkles because it detects no muscle movement there. Based on the product used, the patient's physiology and the area of the injection, the effect of this wrinkle filler has varying onset times, typically three days to show its effect, with peak results at around one and a half weeks for most individuals.

Based on how neuromodulators work differently with different people, no two people can have the same type and dose. After a careful analysis of the facial structure, muscle movement and strength, doctors can advise different types of anti-wrinkle treatment for different patients. Every dose and maybe even every consultation can have differences based on the physiology of the patient. Neuromodulators often come in the form of a powder and need to be diluted in saline water so that they can be injected. Based on the body’s physiology, small bumps might appear near the area of the injection, but they could last only for 30 minutes at best before being absorbed back into the tissue.

The process of using a neuromodulator is very subtle and needs expert calculations as you don't want a frozen expression or looking continually angry. Yes, the results will wear off in a few months, but if you choose a doctor who has years of experience in this procedure, every session can be a beautiful and safe one. 
As always check out the clinic, the credentials of the staff and its reviews carefully before you agree to treatment.

Would you have this type of anti-wrinkle treatment?

#Collaborative post

Sodastream - Getting Bizzy With The Fizzy

If you are a child of the 80's you may remember having your first Sodastream. I know I do. It was so exciting making my own fizzy drinks. Well, Sodastream has had a resurgence, but are they as good as they were? Sodastream has sent me a Sodastream Spirit to try out so let's find out!

The Sodastream Spirit is a cordless design that needs no electricity. In the box is a gas canister, instructions, a clear Sodastream water bottle and the Sodastream itself.

All you have to do is take off the back of the unit, and attach the gas canister as it says in the instructions.  Then slot the back of the unit on again.

Next you fill the clear water bottle provided to the fill level and insert it into the machine until it clicks.

Then you press the top and hold down for 2 seconds each. If you want a light fizz, try 3 times and a strong fizz then try 5 times.

It really is that simple.

Then add your favourite flavour to the sparkling water. Sodastream do make a variety of flavours that you can order from their website, such as watermelon fruit drops which is an unsweetened natural flavour essence and organic blonde cola, you can however, use any type of cordial or squash that you can buy, or even make your own syrup to use. If you want to use it just to make sparkling water you can too.

A full cylinder of gas makes up to 60 Litres of carbonated water. To refill your gas you can send it back to Sodastream by using the website and paying £12.99 to have it refilled (plus a deposit for the bottle).

The good thing about the Sodastream is that it stops you buying bottled carbonated water and therefore saves on plastic. It also saves you carting heavy 2 litre bottles of carbonated water home in your shopping.

On the Sodastream website, there are some cool recipe inspirations too. I like this recipe for a Cuba Libra.

• 30 ml of dark rum
• 30 ml of Soda Press Co. Blonde Cola syrup
• 200ml sparkling water
• ½ fresh lime, cut into wedges

• Fill a long glass with ice and squeeze two wedges of lime over the top, followed by the dark rum, blonde cola syrup and topped off with sparkling water.
• Stir gently and enjoy garnished with a wedge of lime

So was the Sodastream as good as I remember? The Sodastream is a simple but clever device that carbonates water. It's easy to use and saves on buying plastic 2 litre bottles of water. If you drink plenty of fizzy water, like your fizzy drinks or are looking for a way to be more eco-friendly, it's convenient to use and would make an ideal present. Check out what Steph at Renovation Bay-Bee thought about it too on her Soda Stream review.


*Gifted product 

First Impressions Really Matter: How To Make Your Home Exterior Appealing

Whatever you approach in life, your decision is almost completely swayed in the first few seconds. They say first impressions matter and that's certainly true, but why - because our brain focuses on first impressions to be efficient.

First impressions are vital in so many aspects of life, and your house is just another example of an object that gets judged immediately. Your home may be absolutely gorgeous on the inside, but if people don’t like what they see, on the outside to begin with, then it could be a negative when selling you home.

For those of you that would like to give the exterior a little shake-up in order to make it look a lot more attractive to guests and passers-by alike, here are a few ways you can make the front a lot more appealing:

Neaten up the driveway and front yard

This is pretty obvious, but it’s a job that can be tedious. A driveway is traditionally just a plain patch of concrete or tarmac that a vehicle sits on, but it can get dirty pretty quickly. Perhaps you could get a pressure washer and spend twenty or so minutes blasting the floor. You’d be surprised at how much this can improve the appearance. Annoying little weeds like to rear their ugly heads every now and again – dealing with them would go a long way in terms of aesthetics and kerb appeal.
You’d be surprised at how much small things like these can improve the appearance. Or if it needs a bit more love you may want to install a new fancy stone driveway. But where do you start? 

One of the first things that may cross your mind is 'how you're going to dispose of your old driveway' and 'which dumpster is best for tearing up a driveway?' If this is the case you will want to contact a local dumpster firm as they will be able to advise you on what you'll need and provide you with a quote for the work. However, if you don't want to commit to such a big project you may opt to just resurface your driveway which would save you both time and money. On the other hand, if you have a fairly damaged entryway in terms of fencing, then perhaps you could install some aluminium gates or something similarly stylish. Saying ‘hello’ to people in style would score major points from the outset.

Add some accessories and extras

In terms of the driveway, you could add some large plants and ornaments near the front door to highlight the entrance or even a Flagpole, this is a great addition to your drive, with a variety of flagpole parts and accessories available online, you can customize it to your preference. What about a welcome mat too, as this shows you like to invite people into your home. Don't forget that the door can often do with some tender loving care too, so why not polish the brass and give it a lick of paint if it is looking dejected.  

Think about your windows

You obviously need great windows in order to protect privacy, allow natural light, and to keep yourselves warm during the winter. They’re important in terms of the exterior too, though. You may not notice average windows, but you’ll certainly focus on ugly ones! If you have old and damaged windows then perhaps it’s time to upgrade to something like uPVC.

Be safe and sound

When a house gives off an air of security, people feel more secure. Having a home that is safe and secure allows us to get on with our lives without having to look over our shoulder at all times. When people see that a home has lots of safety precautions attached to it, they automatically feel more content. If you have the funds, then you could install things like CCTV cameras and security systems. We talked about lighting in terms of aesthetics, but you could also add larger lights in gardens and courtyards to deter any burglars. Criminals like operating in the darkness so motion sensor lights are a great idea.

So here are some ways to make your home exterior appealing. Are there any tips or tricks that you know?

*Collaborative post

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? 


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.


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. Solid wood flooring also has 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?

* AD

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!