Fireworks Displays - What To Consider

With many fireworks displays happening around the country this weekend, I wonder if you are attending one? There are quite a few happening near me and I am pretty sure many around the different parts of the UK too.

There are so many things to consider when it comes to a firework display - I’ve compiled a list below for you - talking about what occasions you might hold one for, the best ways to organise one and even what safety precautions you need to take. Do you have any tried and tested tips you can offer?

They don’t just have to be for Bonfire Night 

There are many different occasions where you might find firework displays - Bonfire Night being just one of them. In my local area, we have seen firework displays for different religious festivals and there’s also wedding firework displays which seem to be quite popular.

People tend to use fireworks for celebrations so it is little wonder you see them at such events. They are also often used to mark the end of something - a large music festival, a big sporting event. They are used to mark something special for those in attendance.

How can you organise one? 

First things first, you need to consider the safety of both yourself and your guests. Are you organising a big event or something small at home? If organising a big event such as a display for the whole village, then you will want to get a committee together to organise it, fundraise for it and advertise it. 

If you are choosing to host a fireworks party at home, make sure you do a proper safety check, warn your neighbours that you will be letting them off and ensure you know what you are doing one hundred percent. There is no room for error when it comes to dangerous items such as fireworks. 

What safety precautions do you need to take? 

Whether you are hosting a large event or a small gathering, safety is paramount. 
Always follow the firework safety code. But what safety precautions do you need to take? 

  • Only buy fireworks with the CE mark, keep them in a closed box and use one at a time.
  • Make sure there is always an adult supervising - do not let children light the fireworks or leave them unattended with items such as sparklers.

  • If giving children sparklers, make sure they are wearing gloves and consider putting them in items such as carrots to make them easier to grip and to keep the ignited part further away from their body.

  • Make sure you use a torch if needed to read the instructions and move a safe distance away immediately after lighting your fireworks.

  • Never point them towards someone and supervise younger guests to ensure they don’t do it either.

  • Make sure you have items handy should you need to put anything out. Never return to a firework when lit.

  • Make sure you know exactly what you are doing before you even consider buying them and setting up a display.

These are just a few things to consider when it comes to fireworks and attending displays. What types of firework displays have you ever attended? Have you ever organised one yourself - do you have any tips?

*Collaborative post

Why Sri Lanka Is a Great Beach Destination

Sri Lanka isn’t the first place on everybody’s mind when thinking about where to take their next beach vacation, but it has gorgeous beaches and a large investment in tourism means resort facilities are better than ever. 

Travellers from the UK should check if they need a visitor’s visa for Sri Lanka that can easily be requested online through websites like for example, and it's best to always check the Foreign Office advice if travelling for safety in light of the attacks in April 2019. Sri Lanka is slowly recovering and accepting tourists once again and needs all the support it can get.

If you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka in the future or need to know more about why you should consider it for your next beach destination read on.  
I thought I’d share a few of the best beaches in Sri Lanka and what makes them so special. For what to pack check out for beach products and reviews. 


Located about 90 miles south of Colombo, Unawatuna is one of the most sought after beaches in Sri Lanka. It is not a large beach, and you can walk along the small bay with soft sand at Unawatuna in under 15 minutes. It is an accessible beach without many underwater hazards, where you can easily pass an afternoon on the beach, go snorkelling and simply soak up the sun. As such, it is a great spot to visit for family travel.


Mirissa is particularly popular amongst budget travellers and surfers. With a strip of brown sand and beachside amenities such as guesthouses and beach restaurants, you can easily pass some relaxing time here. It is also a spot to visit for whale-watching, and sometimes dolphins can be seen, as well. If you want to wade out into the water a bit from the main shoreline, you can reach a rock island where you get a different perspective of the gorgeous view.


Hikkaduwa is a wide beach that follows the main highway, set up to accommodate visitors with beach chairs during the high season. Though this isn’t a particularly charming beach, it has everything you need, plus surfing lessons for beginners! Plus, if you simply want to stop off here before heading further south to another beach, it makes for a great place to stretch your legs and take a dip in the water.


Weligama is mostly known for its surf camps and calm beach setting. You’ll find fishermen, fishing boats, fresh seafood, and Taprobane Island here.

Hiriketiya Beach and Dickwella Beach 

Hiriketiya Beach has a small horseshoe-shaped bay that may even be too busy to find if you visit later in the afternoon. Dickwella Beach is located close by, only about a 30-minute walk west. Although Dickwella Beach may not be quite as charming, it does have more space and if you can’t find a spot at Hiriketiya Beach or you simply want to be somewhere a bit less crowded, it is a great spot to go to.

All of these things can culminate to the perfect exotic beach getaway from rainy winter skies and cold fog… and with the cold season upon us, I am dreaming of a Sri Lanka visit in the future. 

For more travel inspiration check out my other blog 

*written in collaboration with Emily J 

Why You Should Take Vitamins And Minerals And Win Epsilon Life Multivitamins Ends 11/11

Vitamins and minerals are essential to how the body performs and your overall health. These important nutrients have a whole host of functions and many of us get the vitamins and minerals we need from our food, but if we can't or need some extra health insurance then a vitamin and mineral supplement is a good idea. 

Let's look at the benefits of taking a vitamin and mineral supplement, who should take them and how you can win some! This post is in collaboration with Epsilon Life, a small family-run health care company based in London. All the vitamins they sell are made in the UK and are of the highest grade. Check them out if you are looking for vitamins or minerals to supplement your diet.

Why should you take vitamins and minerals?

Vitamins and minerals are essential to the body's performance, and if you become deficient it can manifest itself in a number of illnesses or conditions. 

Here are some common deficiencies and how they show in the body.

Vitamin D deficiency - muscle weakness, bone loss, hair loss, muscle pain, rickets
Vitamin A deficiency - dry skin, dry eyes, night blindness
Iron deficiency - tiredness, weakness, pale skin, cold hands and feet, impaired brain function
Calcium deficiency - confusion, weak and brittle nails, muscle cramps, rickets, osteoporosis
Folic acid deficiency - tiredness, weakness, headaches, palpitations, behavioural disorders

This isn't an exhaustive list just a guide to what a deficiency could cause. If you are having any of these symptoms it's important that you visit your GP to get checked out in the first instance. Also, seek out food containing these vitamins and minerals. However, if you know your diet is lacking in one area then it's worth considering taking a supplement to help prevent these illnesses.

Who should take vitamins and minerals

Some people like to take a regular vitamin and mineral supplement as an 'insurance' that they are getting what they need. Also, there are certain groups of the population that should also look into taking a vitamin or mineral supplement. Some of these people are below.

Women with excessive bleeding during menstruation
People with a diet that is very restrictive
Children especially those who do not eat a range of food
The elderly especially those with chronic illness
People who have lost their appetite
People on very low-calorie diets
Vegetarians and vegans that may be new to this lifestyle
Illegal drug users
People with malabsorption problems

Pregnant and breastfeeding mums should take a supplement specially formulated for pregnant and breastfeeding mums. Breastfeeding mums could also try this lactation product from It will really help every mother in their milk production.

How you should take vitamins and minerals

It's important to always read the information about the supplement you are taking and never take more than the recommended dose. 

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding always check that the supplement you are taking is suitable for you and your baby. Women who are considering becoming pregnant should also take folic acid as it as been shown to help prevent spina bifida. The NHS advises pregnant women to not take any vitamin A supplement as it could harm your baby. Read the NHS advice on vitamins and minerals in pregnancy here.

Most vitamins and minerals are meant to be taken on a daily basis. It is recommended to take them at the same time once a day so that you remember. Some vitamins are recommended to be taken with food but others should be taken on an empty stomach. That is why it is always important to read the label. Always store vitamins and minerals in a cool dry place to prevent the tablet degrading.

Epsilon Life multivitamin complex

Epsilon Life multivitamin and mineral complex provides all your recommended daily allowance of essential vitamins and minerals in one tablet a day. They sent me a three month supply and this is what I thought.

Firstly I was pleased to see that the tablets are suitable for vegetarians. I think this is so important in this day and age, and who wants to take gelatin that is in some gel tablets anyway? Secondly, the tablets are shaped so that they are easier to swallow than round tablets. Thirdly the GMP symbol was reassuring, this means it has a Good Manufacturing Practice symbol which means it is manufactured to quality standards. Finally, it's handy to have just over a three months supply in one bottle, as the bottle has 100 tablets.

I have been taking the tablets for a week now and I feel my skin has improved slightly with less breakouts. Of course, you are not going to immediately feel like superman, but the reassurance that you are taking everything you need in a tablet is great!

You can find Epsilon Life multivitamin complex tablets on Amazon, and priced at £13.99 I think they are well-priced too.

On the blog today you can have the chance of winning a winter's worth of multivitamins and vitamin D3. Enter below for your chance to win, and good luck!

Cosy Up The Home This Winter

Decorating your home is fun. When you finally are able to put your own stamp on a home it is a great feeling and it is important to make the most of it. Now that the temperature outside is dropping and winter looms, it is a great opportunity to make some changes to your home to create a cosy living space.

Today I are going to take a look at some easy ways that you can create a cosy living space this winter without spending the earth.

Update your bedding

There is nothing better than a fresh set of bedding. That crisp cotton feeling is just amazing and it creates a cosy bed for a good night’s sleep. As well as replacing the bedding, you can think about adding extra layers to swapping to a thicker duvet or sheet. This is a great way to warm you up and once you wrap up in bed you’ll never want to leave.

Put slippers by the door

When you get home after a long day at work, the first thing you will want to do is wrap up and get warm. This is why a great idea for a cosy home is to stash slippers just inside the front door to change into when you get in the house. This will be an amazing way to get cosy and comfortable and it will make all the difference to you in the cold weather.

Add thicker throws and pillows

The living room is like the beating heart of the home and it is a place we can always enjoy. It is important for us to be able to feel cosy and comfortable in the winter and one way to do this is swapping out your summer pillows and throws for thicker ones. There is nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa under a thick throw in the winter, and there are some amazing ones you can find online.

Soften the lights

One of the best ways to bring a sense of cosiness to your home is to soften the lights and replace it with candles. Candles are the epitome of cosiness and they will give a stunning glow to the room. If you have children or pets it's worth getting battery-powered candles for safety. Consider installing Philips Hue light bulbs which you can dim when you are relaxing in the evenings, and make use of your fireplace if you have one to bring soft light as well as warmth to the home.

Choose deep warm tones

One great way to decorate the home and make it feel cosier in the winter is to choose deep warm tones on the walls and furnishings. Colours such as red, plum, and orange will make the home feel immediately warmer and can make you feel like you are cosying up by the side of a fire. Adding some Old Charm Furniture in wooden tones can also be a great way to warm the place up. Implement these tones wherever you can to create a warm feeling space for the winter.

*Collaborative post

The Benefits Of Owning A Mobility Scooter

A mobility scooter can be a useful addition to anyone that has mobility problems and there are a number of benefits of owning a mobility scooter. Let's check out what they are. This post is in conjunction with Fenetic Wellbeing, a company providing easy to buy mobility products online.


The convenience of owning a mobility scooter cannot be underestimated. A trip to the shops or a wander around a tourist destination is easy with a scooter. Just pop on your scooter and you will be at your destination in no time. It's convenient having a scooter and it saves time. It also helps ensure that you are independent so you don't have to rely on other people.

Less exertion

A mobility scooter or power wheelchair is great if you have heart or respiratory conditions which means you find it hard to exercise. Less exertion will mean you can comfortably get about if you have a medical condition and not worry about the stress on your body. It is also a bonus to those that are frail or recovering from surgery and thus stops you from relying on others to get you around.


With less exertion, comes comfort. A mobility scooter is great if you find it uncomfortable to stand for a long time, so if you have a distance to travel or have to queue for something this can help your physical comfort. Theme parks will almost always allow you to take a mobility scooter in, so if you are younger and have mobility problems or travelling with older adults then they can come with you too.

Increased independence

A mobility scooter can improve independence tenfold for some people, and can help you stop relying on other people for simple things like getting your shopping, walking your dogs, or going to the Post Office. Whether you have mobility problems or health conditions that can restrict you from getting around, then a mobility scooter can be a huge help. You can also take some mobility scooters on public transport so this is a huge bonus too, allowing you to travel further than your local vicinity. Check out more information on what types of mobility scooters can be taken on public transport.

Prevention of isolation

Due to the ease of getting around, a mobility scooter can help prevent isolation. So many older people (and younger people too) are confined to their homes due to health conditions and a mobility scooter can help them get around once more. Whether you want to meet up with family or friends or visit local community groups, a mobility scooter can help prevent isolation and improve your social life.


Driving around on a mobility scooter can be fun! Mobility scooters are powered by electricity and can be quite sporty. There are even scooters that come with interchangeable coloured panels. A mobility scooter can be a fun way of getting around that's for sure.

From increasing independence to prevention of isolation, a mobility scooter can be a worthwhile purchase as you can see. If you are thinking of getting a mobility scooter, check out the mobility scooters from Fenetic Wellbeing.

Let me know, have you ever used a mobility scooter? Have you or anyone you know considered buying one?


Different Stones That Complement Silver Accessories

Gold jewellery isn’t solely the priority in every woman’s jewellery collection these days. Sterling silver is highly fashionable and affordable too and to add beauty to silver jewellery, you could consider silver jewellery enrobed with gemstones. Let's find out why.

The beautiful thing about sterling silver jewellery is that it’s highly adaptable and can go with many different precious stones, it is very affordable and it can be worn with a variety of fashion looks.

Whether you are wearing a precious diamond or stunning coloured gemstone, there are various factors to consider when shopping around. Silver By Mail earrings are adorned with stunning gemstones of different colours, cuts, carats and clarities. For example, you can discover Cubic Zirconia, Pearl, Opal and Turquoise to name a few, to add to your current collection and create a new dimension to your jewellery.

Stones that look good on silver jewellery 

When looking at coloured gemstones, it’s important to consider the depth of colour, the hue, and the clarity. When a stone has a stunning colour that really stands out, the other elements can be somewhat overlooked. Here are some of my top recommendations as far as coloured gemstones and sterling silver are concerned. 

Emeralds - Shades of emeralds are loved for their gorgeous hues and really complement sterling silver jewellery. Consider light green emeralds for a spring fashion look. As emeralds are expensive stones, you normally get emeralds set in gold so if you find an emerald silver ring then snap it up as they are rare.

Pearls - Pearls on silver jewellery have a classic and elegant look. They are timeless and will always go down a treat whether you are purchasing it as a gift or for everyday wear. These can be dressed up and dressed down as they look formal with some outfits and casual with others but either way, are wonderful additions to any look. 

Sapphires - Sapphires actually come in a range of colours but blue sapphires, in particular, match well with silver jewellery. Some of the most highly valued blue sapphires are velvety blue to violetish blue in colour and of asymmetric design. Again sapphires are often set in gold as they are a precious stone highly valued. If you find a sapphire and silver ring, the stone will be more natural and not as polished often but that can add to its beauty and charm.

Turquoise - these are absolutely stunning on a silver bracelet, necklace or earrings as the blue/green shade really stands to the front and commands attention. This eye-grabbing colour can complement a mixture of sterling silver items. 

Top Tip: Remember to always have one colour that is dominant. Coloured gemstones can be a striking addition to any look, and if you wear jewellery with different coloured gemstones they may compete for attention, so the overall look can become confused. You need colours to work together properly to have the desired impact. So as long as you don’t have a shade fighting for first place, then this will create the right impact and perception of your silver jewellery.

As you can see, there are plenty of beautiful gemstones that work wonders with silver jewellery. What's your favourite gemstone?

*Collaborative post

How To Save Time Looking After Your Garden

If you have a garden, you will know how much work can be involved in keeping it in a state that you can enjoy. When it comes to relaxing in your outdoor spaces, it can be hard to do this when everything gets overgrown and messy. If you want to get the most out of your garden, you will need to keep on top of the lawn mowing, weeding, as well as planting seeds and maintaining your plants as they grow.

With all of that work that needs doing, if your priority is to sit back and relax with a book for a glass of wine, or to socialize with friends, then you will want to save time on the hard work and continual maintenance that your garden requires and skip to the fun stuff.

There are ways that you can enjoy a much simpler approach to garden maintenance. Here are a few tips to help you along on your way.

Saving Time On Lawncare

If mowing the law is not your thing, you will want to make this easier. Spending hours each weekend on getting your grass in shape is not an ideal scenario. There are a number of ways that you can do this, you may want to consider changing the shape of your own to make it much easier to navigate a lawnmower around. Ensuring that your lawn is flat and even all over will also make things that you go for yourself when mowing.

A much easier way of having a green space in your garden may be to get artificial grass laid down. offers the opportunity to have a lawn that you can enjoy without the need to mow or water it. You can also lend your mower to your neighbour permanently, as you will never need it again.

A Simple Patio Or Decked Space

If you enjoy hosting barbecues, then you will want to have a simple and easy to maintain patio space. Think of adding some decking from a company like Birmingham Decking & Fencing Pro and you will get an effective, low maintenance area which will be easy to keep clean and tidy. Once you have some garden furniture and a few planters and ornaments set up around the place, your garden will be set for entertaining.

Using Planters To Make Garden Maintenance Easier

Flower beds can be a bit of a pain to look after. There is constant digging that will need to be done, along with worrying about weeds and pests. Using planters along the edges of your patio or decking area will minimize the spread of weeds meaning that you will save time when it comes to looking after these.

Think about planting perennial flowers that will last for a couple of years. Some good examples of low-maintenance plants that you can go for include hydrangeas, peonies and dahlias. You may want to look into planting low maintenance bushes and topiary in pots too to give a bit of depth and colour to your garden.

*Collaborative post

How To Remove Vomit From Upholstery and Carpets

Upholstery cleaning is often a laborious process that requires a certain amount of knowledge and plenty of time. However, there is a special type of pollution, which is not easy to cope with. This is sick or vomit - the mere mention of which causes most of us to cringe with disgust. However, those who have small children in their families, or pet owners often have to face the problem of how to clear up vomit on a frequent basis.

How to save upholstered furniture from vomit

Even adults are not able to prevent the consequences of vomiting. If you have had food poisoning you may know what it's like, and many of us can recall, when you get to my age, at least one night where you or your friends have drunk too much and ended up being sick everywhere. Therefore, it is useful for all adults to know how to remove stains from vomiting from upholstered furniture. The unpleasant smell and mess on the furniture upholstery, carpet or clothing will have to be cleaned up quickly to remove the smell. So let's look at how to do it.

How to remove vomit

Initially, the remains of vomit should be removed from the surface of the sofa, chairs, using paper towels, toilet paper, or rags.

After that it is necessary to use a damp sponge, gently washing away any residual dirt. Don't use hot water to remove spots from vomiting because it: 

  • promotes the penetration of vomit deep into the fibres of the upholstery and the filler of the sofa;
  • at high temperature provides protein folding, so it will be more difficult to wash off such dirt from the upholstery;
  • provokes the spread of the smell

For upholstery cleaning from vomit, it is recommended to use cold or slightly warm water. If it is impossible to overcome squeamishness, then you should generously sprinkle on cat litter, which perfectly absorbs not only the liquid of vomit, but also the unpleasant aroma emanating from it. After soaking, the resulting substance can be gently sweeped onto a scoop, and the rest removed with a vacuum cleaner.

Bicarbonate of soda is also reported to work well to help neutralise the odour. Sprinkle the area liberally and leave to absorb the smell for a few hours, then vacuum away.

For the upholstery cleaning process you can also use salt, which also absorbs moisture well and contribute to the elimination of pollution.

How to eliminate the smell of vomit from furniture or carpet?

You can buy special cleaners with bio enzymes which will help eliminate the distinctive smell of vomiting on the couch, sofa or carpet. If you can't find them in your local department store you will be able to find them online on Google shopping. These include carpet cleaners which act as stain removers and are able not only to eliminate the trace of vomit on the upholstery but also to neutralise the stubborn smell. 

To neutralise the unpleasant "aroma", in the air you can use the air fresheners with odour neutralisers, and these you should be able to find in any supermarket.

A real salvation for people trying to remove the persistent acrid smell of vomiting from furniture, are the professional upholstery cleaning services that you can get.  Prolux Cleaning experts work with the most powerful eco-friendly cleaners by Prochem, which not only will cope with the problem but also will do it in the safest way possible. Prolux Cleaners are well known for their reliability and professional attitude towards work.


The 5 Things That Truly Turn A House Into A Home

What truly makes a house a home?

It's a concept that is regularly mentioned on home improvement programmes, and when companies advertise their products, they will tell you that you need to buy from them if you want to create a homely feeling.

Yet surely a home is about more than the bricks and mortar walls around you. Surely it's about more than the items that your home accumulates.

I think the following are what truly makes a house a home.

#1: The people (and animals) that live with you

It's the sight of your children playing games in the garden. It's the sight of your partner curled up in front of the television and the dog on the sofa.  It's the feeling of family when you're sat together with your mid-week roast. And it's the buzz of life that exists whenever you step through the front door. You know you're home when you see the people you love. You know you're home when you're then swept up in the everyday swirl of family life.

#2: The sounds you hear

It's the sound of your dog barking at the neighbour's cat. It's the sound of your children laughing and playing together. It's the sound of your partner rustling the newspaper. It's the sound of conversation, singing, and yes, even arguing. Mr W you know what I mean! It's the sound of familiarity that you hear day after day, and the sounds that you know are unmistakably connected to home.

#3: The memories

It's the marks on the walls measuring the growth of your children. It's the dinner table that hosted your family Christmas get-togethers. It's the photos on the walls that chart your family adventures. It's the house extensions that were added to welcome in the arrival of new family members. It's the cabinet filled with models and paintings your children produced at school. Within your home, there are memories at every turn. You think of people still here, and of people now gone. And you remember the faces and the voices of your loved ones through the passages of time. Memories; your home is flooded with them.

#4: The lived-in feel of your home

It's the dip in your sofa that you have sat in time after time. It's the dings and scratches in the woodwork that your children have played near. It's the hole in the garden where your dog hides his bones. It's the mess that, despite your best efforts, often appears. And it's the familiar smells of home cooking, unwashed children, your cosy bed sheets, and the other unique scents your home provides. This isn't a bricks and mortar house that has stood empty for an age. This is a lived-in home, and there is evidence to prove it!

#5: Your regular rituals

It's the Friday movie nights sat in front of the TV with the bowl of popcorn. It's the monthly games nights played with family and friends. It's the Sunday afternoon sleep after lunch and the Monday morning work routine. It's the time you go to bed and the time you wake for breakfast. It's the things that you do on a regular basis. They're the habits that are created within the life of your home. They're the traditions that form a part of each room. These are the things that offer you comfort, familiarity, and the feelings of being home.

What things do you feel make a house into a home?

*Collaborative post

Vinyl Versus Laminate Planks: Two Popular Kitchen Flooring Choices Compared in 7 Areas

Your kitchen is often the focal point in your home and it is the hub of family life which means that you want it to look good while offering excellent functionality and durability.  You may decide to appoint kitchen remodeling contractors in order to help you achieve the professional finish you are looking for but there are a few design decisions that need to be made before they begin work, such as what type of flooring to choose.

Here is a look at the fundamental differences and pros and cons of choosing either vinyl or laminate planks so that you can decide which one might be the best option for your lifestyle and needs.

Coping with moisture

If you are looking for one headline difference between vinyl and laminate flooring it would be the ability of either one to contend with moisture.

If moisture resistance is an important factor it would be sensible to opt for vinyl flooring as it offers better protection on that score compared to laminate. That means that vinyl flooring would be the most suitable type of floor covering if you were remodelling a bathroom, where moisture levels are going to be high, but it would not be such a major issue in a kitchen area.

You will find that all types of vinyl flooring will offer superior water resistance and current versions available will cope perfectly with damp conditions.

Laminate flooring features a fiberboard core and that means that if it gets wet it might not recover, although some manufacturers do state that their product offers water resistance when installed correctly.

Doing a cost comparison

It is often the case that your remodelling decisions might be influenced by budget and you might be tempted to choose one type of material over another based on price alone, so how to vinyl and laminate planks compare?

In general terms, laminate and high-quality vinyl flooring are pretty similar in price but if you compromise a bit on quality it is likely that you will probably find a vinyl floor covering that is less expensive than laminate.

Comfort underfoot

You want your floor to look aesthetically pleasing but as well as being easy on the eye another prime consideration will be the desire to have a covering that feels comfortable to walk on.

It has to be said that vinyl floors tend to feel a bit cold on your feet, especially when you are laying the covering over a concrete base. You could invest in a denser vinyl floor that has an underlay if you are concerned about comfort and that decision should allow you to enjoy a more comfortable underfoot experience.

Laminate flooring can feel comfortable if you install a foam underlayment beneath and this could help with potential noise issues when you are walking on this type of floor.

How its made

The composition is another factor to consider it can be relevant as a point that might influence your final purchasing decision.

Vinyl flooring is often manufactured using synthetic materials and multi-layered to create the desired level of thickness.  You can get vinyl flooring that comes in planks so that it can be layed to form a floating floor.

By comparison, the laminate floor is manufactured with a core that is produced from wood byproducts that are also bonded with resins. This process helps to create a hardwearing and transparent plastic wear layer that is designed to give you a decent length of service once it has bee installed in your home.

A noticeable difference to bear in mind when it comes to composition is that the average thickness for laminate flooring planks is somewhere between 6 mm and 12 mm. In contrast, you can expect vinyl flooring to average 1.5 mm to 3 mm for sheet vinyl although you can get luxury vinyl planks that offer thickness of about 5 mm.

If you are judging by looks

It is really a matter of personal preference and perspective when it comes to deciding whether you prefer to install vinyl or laminate flooring.

Both offer the ability to mimic more expensive materials successfully and if you want to enjoy a flooring option that looks like real wood, for example, both vinyl and laminate offer you the ability to achieve this option.

As you might expect, as technology and manufacturing process have evolved in recent years it has resulted in laminate and vinyl floor coverings that look very realistic in appearance.

A genuine hardwood floor will cost you a lot more than laminate or vinyl alternative but the good news is that you can get a product that looks and even feels like the real thing without having the price tag to match.

Other considerations

There are a couple of other points to consider when you are trying to decide whether laminate or vinyl is the right type of flooring covering you want in your home.

We all have to think about the environment these days and laminate flooring scores a small victory over vinyl because of its natural wood content found in the fiberboard core.

Having said that, it is fair to say that vinyl flooring is now more eco-friendlier than in the past and some manufacturers are now able to offer customers a product that qualifies as a low-emitting material.

Finally, you might also consider whether a DIY installation will work for you and if that is the case, which option would be best to choose.

You should find that laying a laminate floor or installing a vinyl floor covering is a task that is possible if you have a reasonable level of DIY skills. However, sheet vinyl might prove a challenge as it is heavy and hard to work with.

It can often prove to be the case that if you want to get the maximum value out of your purchase with a great looking floor that is comfortable as well as looking good you might want to consider hiring a professional to get the job done, regardless of whether you decide to choose vinyl or laminate.

*Collaborative post

3 Inexpensive Ways To Improve Your Home

We all like to improve our home, either its comfort and appeal or its value, but we also know that it can be costly to do that. A new kitchen or brand new flooring throughout would be lovely, but just not practical for all of us. However, there are some things that we can do that do not need to break the bank, so today we are sharing with you 3 inexpensive ways to improve your home. 

These suggestions should help you to enjoy your home again by giving it a fresh look.

Create a feature

Creating a new feature in your home can be a fun project to work on and will add interest to any room.

This could be absolutely anything that you want it to be. Perhaps you will give a wall in your living room a coat of paint, a bold colour that draws the eye and alters the feel of the whole room.

You might add interest to a shelf or ledge with several plants, accessories or candles, creating a little corner that makes you smile whenever you walk into that room.

If you have a fireplace or hearth you can play around with different ways of dressing it, perhaps add twinkling lights, logs or seasonal decor.

A good tidy up can work wonders

This one is going to require some time and effort, but it will be well worth it in the end. There is a lot to be said for tidying up your home, and a weekend of hard work can make some drastic changes.

It is worth tackling outside first, so take a good look at the front of your home and assess its kerb appeal. Get up any weeds, sweep up leaves and repair any fencing or posts that are looking worn. You could add interest with plant pots, hanging baskets and ornaments, or perhaps brighten it up with a new house number or doormat.

If you are not green-fingered, look into beginner's tips and make a start on your garden. There are plenty of things that you can do out there structurally that will give it a much tidier look, such as mowing the lawn, weeding the paths, laying gravel and cutting back shrubs and plants.

Once you are happy with the exterior, declutter inside and tidy up. Give everywhere a good clean, and if you can make it work, rearrange your furniture to freshen up your rooms.

Look to save money before spending

Our final tip is to ensure that you look to save money before spending. There will be times when you do need to upgrade items in your home, replace broken appliances or need to spend to make your home more comfortable.

Shop around before committing to new appliances and parts for your home. Take your time to ensure that you are getting the best price and the best workmanship, whether you are buying hot water cylinders or kitchen units. Get a few quotes if you do need a tradesman to carry out the work for you and take into consideration their punctuality, reliability and feedback from other customers.

*Collaborative post

Renting With Pets

Whether you like animals or not, there’s no denying that Britain is a nation who adores their pets! The proof is in the numbers, with 10.9 million pet cats and 9.9 million pet dogs keeping our nation company. The problem is that more and more people are renting well into their thirties in the UK and beyond, however many landlords will do what they can to enforce a no-pet policy.

Renters do actually have rights when it comes to keeping their pets in rental properties and although a landlord can refuse a pet, they must have the right grounds to do so. If you’re trying to move into a flat with a Great Dane, understandably your landlord can refuse. If you’re trying to move in with an unproblematic cat, it may be more difficult for them to refuse - but unfortunately, it’s definitely not off the table.

Why do landlords so often refuse pets?

Let’s be fair; if you’re not keen on animals, you’re not going to want your tenant's pet running around your property. As loveable as they are, pets do raise one or two issues. They’re issues that are easy for us as pet owners to overlook but for a landlord, things like damage and odours can become a real worry.

If you own a pet, you’ll know that pets are not house proud. They might entertain a bit of scratching here and a bit of biting there and for a young and untrained animal, toileting inside is not an issue. Another big worry for landlords is pet allergies. Pet fur gets everywhere and if a future tenant with a pet allergy moves into the property, this could cause issues for the landlord.

What can I do to persuade my landlord to let me keep my pet?

If your pet knows right from wrong, it can be frustrating when a landlord rejects you. Pets should be treated as a case by case basis, and if you can prove that your pet is well behaved then your landlord shouldn’t have the grounds to say no. If it hasn’t already been mentioned, ask your landlord if you can put down a higher deposit in order to keep your pet. This extra money in the bank can go towards any repairs or cleaning costs when you come to move out.

A landlord will almost always have landlord insurance, so it’s worth asking them whether their policy covers accidental pet damage. If not, there’s plenty of landlord insurance policies out there to compare that’ll cover against a number of pet-related worries.

Encourage your landlord to meet your pet in your current home so that they can get a good idea of its characteristics. Chances are, they’ll see how lovely and well behaved your pet is and it’ll put their mind at ease. If you’ve rented previously with your pet, you could even get a reference from your previous landlord to prove how wonderfully well-behaved they are!

Definitely chat with your potential landlord and explain your situation. If you’re the perfect tenant in all other aspects, hopefully, they can overlook any reasoning to reject you on the basis of your pet. If you don’t have a pet yet but you’ve been renting from your landlord for a little while and would like to bring one into your home, work on building up that trust and rapport with your landlord that’ll make it difficult for them to say no. After all, if you’re settled in a nice place to rent with your pet, it’s unlikely that you’ll be moving out and leaving your landlord to find new tenants anytime soon - a big plus-point for both parties.

*Collaborative post

Top Tips on Dressing For An Interview

Interviews can be stressful ordeals, even for those of us who’ve attended dozens of them. You’re under pressure to present yourself in the best possible light, to remember all of the clever answers to likely questions, and to ultimately secure the job. But there’s one aspect of the interview process that can undermine a candidate’s case before they’ve uttered a single word: the clothes that they wear. Inappropriate dress is among the most notorious red-flags among interviewers. It presents a poor first impression that’s near-impossible to shake, however well the rest of the interview might go.

So, what’s the right way to dress for an interview? Let’s find out.

Research the company's style

What works for one interview might not work for another. Many modern businesses take a casual approach to the office, even if what they’re doing is relatively serious. Take a look at the company’s website, and see if there are any pictures of workers lounging around on sofas during meetings. If there aren’t (or you can’t find any pictures), then you should default to more formal dress. Of course, you can always ask what’s appropriate over the phone – some employers might view this as an encouraging sign that you’re willing to take the initiative. When in doubt though go for a smart appearance. You can always dress down when you have the job.

Avoid revealing clothing

Avoid anything that’s overly revealing. It's important to dress appropriately so avoid skirts that are ultra-short, and tops that show too much cleavage. You want the interviewer to focus on your skills and qualifications.

Avoid excessive accessorising

A little bit of glitz will not harm your chances – provided that it’s only a little bit of glitz. Quality over quantity is important when it comes to jewellery. It shouldn't be the first thing the interviewer notices about you is the quantity of jewellery you’re wearing. A decent tote bag and some classic jewellery like small stud earrings or a simple necklace are perfect, or cufflinks and a bracelet for a man.

Clean your shoes

One of the most often-neglected items in an interviewee’s wardrobe is a pair of quality shoes that have been maintained well. Gleaming black leather will give the impression that you pay attention to every detail; dull and dirty leather will make it seem like you’re lazy or oblivious. If you’re attending several interviews over the space of a few days, then just give them a quick once-over in the evenings.

Don’t underestimate comfort

If you’re wearing something overly restrictive, then it might actually be a distraction that undermines your performance. So make sure that you field-test every item you’re going to be wearing so that you can be fairly sure it won’t make you feel uncomfortable.

Lay out everything in advance

You don’t want to be thinking about your clothes the moment before you leave. Doing so might cause unnecessary stress and delay. Instead, make sure that everything you’re going to wear is prepared, ironed, and ready to go. Now all you need to worry about is answering the questions!

*Collaborative post

Ways To Borrow Money When You Need To

Sometimes we may need to borrow money. There may be a million reasons why. Jobs are no longer secure, with the worry over Brexit, zero-hour contracts and casual work all too common it's a worrying time for many money wise. If you are self-employed then an episode of illness could affect your bank balance and unexpected bills like the boiler or car breaking down, your windows need replacing, or a large dental bill can leave a big dent in your finances. Ideally, you would have a pot of money saved for emergencies like these but sometimes you just need to borrow money. 

This post is in collaboration with Polar Credit, a finance company that offers a credit line form of credit. This is an ongoing form of credit which you can use to borrow money when you need to. For more information on the application process, using the credit line and the repayment process read about Polar Credit here.

This post does not offer financial advice but explains simply the different types of way to borrow. So let's have a look at the different ways in which you can borrow money. 


An overdraft is part of a bank account that allows you to take out more money than you have available. There are two types, arranged overdrafts and unarranged. It's good to have a small overdraft facility to use in an emergency. The interest rate will usually be high on an unarranged overdraft, whilst an arranged overdraft interest rate will usually be much lower.

Guarantor loan

A guarantor loan is a type of unsecured loan that requires a guarantor to co-sign the credit agreement. This means that they guarantee payments if the person defaults on the loan. You both need to go through the application process and that can take time. They are useful for large loans and long term loans but both parties will need a credit check. 

Credit card

A credit card is a card that allows you to buy something and pay for it in the future. You can get interest-free credit on a credit card if you pay the credit back on time, so they are useful for short-term credit however long term credit can soon be costly. You may be able to get a good deal on a new credit card such as 0% interest for a set amount of time but there may be an arrangement fee. There can be a lengthy application process.

Credit union

A credit union is a financial co-operative which provides savings, loans and a range of services to its members. It is owned and controlled by the members. 
A credit union are not for profit so will generally have decent interest rates but a credit union may require you to have a savings account first and live in a certain catchment area to access their loans or savings accounts.

Family and friends

Borrowing from family and friends can be a great way to borrow if you have people you know that will lend you money, as often it is interest-free, however, tread carefully as there will be expectations on both sides. What happens if you can't pay it back on time? Will they expect payment once a month? Borrowing like this can strain relationships for sure but could be interest-free so you need to balance this up.

Credit line 

A credit line is an ongoing form of credit which you can use when you need to.  You pay interest on only the amount borrowed not the credit limit agreed. It is usually faster to open a credit line account than a credit card and it has a much lower rate than a payday loan but more expensive than an arranged overdraft. A credit line is useful in the short term and can be convenient to borrow if needed as you can access the credit limit almost immediately.

Payday loan

A payday loan is a short term unsecured loan often used in an emergency. They can be convenient but usually, they have very high rates of interest. If you do not pay the payday loan off as expected the companies charge a late payment fee and interest skyrockets.

With all types of borrowing ensure you can see the annual percentage rate to compare products (APR), check if there are any arrangement fees and the total cost of credit and ensure you have everything in writing. When you apply for credit it will be recorded on your credit report.  If you default on any repayments this will be recorded and may affect your credit score and your ability to access credit in future.