Top 3 Regeneration Areas for First Time Buyers

Buying a new home is exciting however you decide to look at it but what’s better is discovering somewhere new that ticks all the boxes especially for price. Regeneration areas are a great way to get onto the property ladder with something luxurious and bespoke for a deal that’s just as tasty! So sink your teeth into some of these areas and see what you think. All designed with a new generation of buyers in mind, that has a generous deposit behind them, they’re pretty unrivalled when it comes to the market and what they have to offer.  This post is an advertorial.

Samuel Square

If you’re looking for something that oozes a sense of real sophistication then Samuel Square certainly makes the cut. Located in the upscale area of West Kensington, Samuel Square is surrounded by leafy streets, Georgian architecture and artisan bistros, perfect for young professionals and families alike. These homes are all in-keeping with the sleek decadence of the area and exude a 1920s glamour and elegance that you simply can’t find anywhere else. One, two and three bedroom apartments are available. The cosmopolitan location puts you at the heart of London while still being a safe distance from the crowds. With West Kensington offering a whole host of dining, drinking and leisurely experiences, there’s plenty to excite you if central London is a little to much for a weeknight.

The Artisan 


As the name suggests this development is one that’s unique suaveness is sure to draw you in and have you falling in love with the place. The Artisan is located in the Brighton town of Hove, a stones throw from the beach and a short walk to the train station. With the apartments boasting balconies and terraces, sitting out in the sun during the warmer months will be a breeze with these kitted out little abodes. Finished to an impeccable standard, The Artisan is an opportunity not to be missed in the South of England.

Greenwich Millenium Village 


Located on the Thames barrier overlooking the iconic views of the river, Greenwich Millennium Village is a great way to live in the centre of London while not feeling completely overwhelmed by the urban surroundings. With the water at your window, the apartments are instilled with a tranquility that is far from the hustle and bustle of the centre. With new parks, an ecology centre and a yacht club close by, the area is enriched with things to do and places to see. Close by to the O2 Arena on Canary Wharf, Greenwich Millenium Village is a steal for London’s housing Market.

So if you’re looking for something with a little more to it than just practicality, these developments in regeneration areas are idyllic whether you’re looking life by the sea, the city or something in between. With all the benefits of an area that’s been invigorated with a new lease of life, regeneration areas are a great opportunity to get onto the property ladder and surround yourself in a new revamped space, attracted the next generation of entrepreneurs and buyers.

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Movie Stars Compensation Claims - How Much Would They Get?

Are you accident-prone? I know a number of people who are and in fact, my mum herself fell down the stairs with me when I was a baby, cradling me in her arms. Maybe you crash the car on a regular basis or trip up in the street frequently, and maybe sometimes it's not your fault.

In the movies falls and crashes can add to the drama or can even be funny, think of the slapstick movie moments of Laurel and Hardy where buildings fall around them or they walk into planks or the Harold Lloyd TV series, where he dangles from buildings on a regular basis. Or what about the National Lampoon films, Chevy Chase is always so accident-prone or the Home Alone films where the burglars walk into boob
y traps? 


Films are full of these types of characters where they are prone to numerous accidents from falls, to burns to electrocutions and car crashes. Check out this infographic below from Compare Compensation that compares compensation. It's a light-hearted look at movies and the range of accidents and if they were real, the amount these characters could claim.  The broken nose from 10 Things I Hate About You is worth £2760 and the burglars from Home Alone would have received £114,370!  That's a lot of money.


Of course in real-life accidents and injuries like this are no laughing matter. If something happens to you that is no fault of your own, did you know that you may be able to claim compensation for that crash or fall? 


It's always worth finding out if you can and comparing sites, such as if they offer no win no fee, whether you receive a home visit, a courtesy car and more. Using a site to compare compensation is free and you are under no obligation to go through with anything from a comparison site. 

Let me know what you think of the infographic!

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Christmas Proposal Inspiration

It’s official – Christmas is the most popular time of year to get engaged – that’s according to a survey by Wedding Wire. This is followed closely by Valentine’s Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day. If you’re planning to pop the question this festive season and need some creative inspiration to make your proposal stand out from the crowd, you’ve come to the right place. 


Engagement ring retailers Angelic Diamonds have put together this list of Christmas proposal inspiration to get you started. This post is in collaboration with them.

A Christmas Market or Christmas Carol Concert 


Christmas Markets are now in almost every city, so you don’t have to travel too far to find one. To make this engagement extra special, you could plant small, thoughtful gifts at different stalls, commemorating your relationship together — these could be inside jokes, things you know they love. Make your way around the stalls until you get to a Christmas tree where you can drop to one knee and ask those special words, ‘will you marry me?’

You could also take your partner to a Christmas Carol Concert. If they’re a fan of taking part in traditional Christmas songs, you could check out local events and surprise them during one of their favourite carols.

An Ice Skating Adventure at The Natural History Museum 


Unless your partner has two left feet on the ice, proposing at an ice rink is one of the most romantic things you could do this Christmas. With a Christmas tree in the centre, the Natural History Museum’s ice rink is enveloped in trees illuminated by hundreds of fairy lights. A romantic atmosphere is set with the 12th century gothic Natural History Museum as the backdrop to your question. Day or night, your partner is bound to be in awe of the location.

If you contact your local ice rink, they’re usually happy to help you plan the engagement and may even offer special discounts and treats. Hiring professional flashmob ice skaters is a fun way to surprise the person you’re proposing to, turning fellow ice skaters from strangers on the rink to a unique event dedicated to him or her. And chances are, they won’t be expecting it at all.

A Cosy Lake District Getaway 


You could plan a cosy Christmas getaway for you and your loved one this year. If you both love the outdoors, the Lake District offers plenty of scenic winter walks to embark on together, during which you could pop the question against a backdrop of magnificent mountains and frost-coated trees. Afterwards, nothing beats relaxing in a snug cottage with a roaring fire to keep you warm and toasty.

The Lake District also offers plenty of Christmas events throughout the month of December. From the Carlisle Christmas market to the Keswick Proms. For a more luxurious proposal experience, Lake District Country Hotels are offering a three-night Christmas package, where you can enjoy mulled wine and gourmet food.

Your Local Christmas Tree Farm 


If you think your partner would prefer more of a low-key proposal, an understated yet traditionally festive location such as a Christmas Tree Farm could be what you need. This is also an excellent way to catch them off guard whilst in the midst of a festive activity.

It’s worth getting in contact with your local Christmas tree farm and asking if there’s a secluded area where you can decorate, and maybe even hire a photographer to hide and snap pics of the unforgettable, private moment. You could even take the Christmas tree you got engaged next to home!

So, there we have some of the best Christmas settings to pop the question this year, check out Christmas events at cities near you for more inspiration. 

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OzKleen - Eco-friendly Household Cleaners That Work

In my attempt to be more eco-friendly I have been looking for more natural ways to clean my home, other than relying on chemicals like bleach and home products that can damage the environment, so I was delighted when OzKleen got in touch with me. This post is an advertorial with OzKleen but all opinions are my own. 



OzKleen is a company producing eco-friendly cleaning products that they say work. Developed 20 years ago in Australia and from humble beginnings with one shop they now have an international business. 

I was keen to try these out as I'm always looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly, and put their claims to the test.  As an avid cleaner, I must admit, my home wasn't ingrained with dirt so I was intrigued to see if the cleaning products made much of a difference. 

How are OzKleen eco-friendly?

All OzKleen products are free from chlorine, ammonia and phosphates and manufactured in facilities powered exclusively by solar energy and developed using only natural ingredients such as deionised rainwater. This makes the OzKleen brand a safe and effective cleaning option for consumers worldwide.

Bath Power



The OzKleen Bath Power bathroom cleaner is so simple to use. Spray on. Leave for 30 to 60 seconds. Rinse off. Wipe. Done. Now I didn't think it would be so easy, as almost all the cleaners I've used in the past take more effort and you really have to go over the area a few times with the spray, but not with OzKleen. The smell of lemons really adds a freshness too. I must say I was impressed.







As you can see the taps are so shiny and clean they reflect the environment around! I tried not to get my reflection in the photo.

Kitchen Power



The OzKleen Kitchen Power was again incredibly simple and easy to use. Spray and leave on for 30-60 seconds. Rinse off. Simple. I was impressed with the power of a product that is so eco-friendly. The lemon essence cuts through the grime and stains as well as limescale.






It removed the tea marks on the stainless steel too as well as the watermarks. No need for scrubbing. In the past, I would have used bleach to remove the tea stains, so I am extremely pleased I have found an alternative to bleach on tea stains finally.

Carpet Power



The OzKleen Carpet Power again was simple to use. Spray on, leave for up to five minutes, then rinse by using a damp cloth and a small amount of water, dabbing gently on the stains. I used it on some small marks on our hall carpet runner. These were tea stains that had been there for some time. 




The marks seemed to literally disappear in a few seconds on spraying. Again I really was impressed. I also think it's important to point out that the OzKleen Carpet Power had a light fragrance of lavender and would not overpower any room fragrance you use.

The OzKleen eco-friendly household cleaners are suitable to clean a range of household items. I was very pleased that these products lived up to the claims of the stickers which states, "Shock! This product actually works!", because they do. If you want a range of environmentally friendly cleaning products that actually work in no time, you can do no wrong with OzKleen. 

OzKleen’s product range includes Carpet Power, Grease Power, Mint Kleen, Bath Power, Kitchen Power, Multi-Surface Mint, and De-scaler Power. Products start from just £3.80 and are available online or in selected UK retailers including Costco, Wilko, Robert Dyas and Waitrose. 

Let me know, would you use the OzKleen products? What areas of the household do you need help with cleaning?

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Laundryheap A Useful Service For Your Laundry Needs At Home Or Away

If you love to travel, and maybe you also juggle a family and a job, sometimes you may look at your pile of dirty laundry and think help! Well, what about getting your laundry washed on holiday? 


Laundryheap is an app and website that provides a useful service - your dirty laundry picked up and returned the next day, clean and washed. But that's not all, they iron too. Of course, if you live in the areas they cover you can also get your laundry done in your home city, making it a convenient service when you haven't got the time or haven't got the facilities to do your laundry. This is an advertorial in collaboration with Laundryheap.

How does it work?




To book a collection is easy, just go online or on the app which is free to download. You just enter your postcode and select your address. You include all items that can be washed and tumble dried. Each bag is up to 6KG in weight and the standard is a mixed wash. You can also pay for two washes, with light and dark clothes washed separately. Dry cleaning and ironing can also be done and covers clothes as well as bedsheets, tablecloths and towels. 

A great plus point is bedding such as duvets can also be cleaned. You don't have to cart them down to your dry cleaners, which can be awkward as they are so bulky. There is nothing nicer getting under clean bedsheets in a clean duvet!

You then choose a pickup time, which can be in two-hourly slots or an eco-friendly time which is a four-hour slot, where your washing is dropped off with another close by. Collection can be picked up and dropped off at reception, useful if you are staying in accommodation when travelling.

How much does it cost?
A 6KG load of washing costs £14.95, dry cleaning and ironing is from £2 an item and home and bedding is from £8 per item.

What areas do they cover?



Laundryheap is based in London but also cover Manchester, Birmingham and Coventry. Internationally they have services in Dubai, Dubai, Amsterdam and Sharjah. So if you are jetting off on holiday in Amsterdam for example or Dubai and only have hand luggage then getting your clothes washed and dried can be cheaper than paying for luggage. Something to think about for sure!

Why should you use them?



Laundryheap is convenient. You can get your items picked up and dropped off the next day all within 24 hours. 

Laundryheap is reasonably priced. Prices are good and you get value for money.

Laundryheap saves you time. You don't need to buy washing powder, put the washing in the machine then dry it.

Laundryheap is brilliant if you are travelling and especially if you have only hand luggage, saving money, and weight on luggage.

Laundryheap use no harsh chemicals, protecting the environment.

Laundryheap give a 100% satisfaction guarantee and will reprocess your clothes if you are not entirely satisfied!

Let me know readers, would you try the Laundryheap service?

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Handmade Curtains from Couture Living

We live in a world which is fast-paced and we live in a throw-away world. A world where clothing can be bought cheaply and for relatively little cost, a world where your whole home can be furnished at a fraction of the price of twenty years ago.  This is not always a good thing.

Often when something is manufactured cheaply the quality isn't there and the product doesn't last as long. I don't know how many times I have bought something in the past and the stitching has come undone, the buttons come off in no time or holes appear quickly.  So I've made a decision to buy more quality products, that may cost more but will last longer. Many of us are doing this too, going back to old school values and buying sustainably, buying quality, and buying British. 

I love supporting British businesses and business that are unique and different, businesses that handmake their products and really put their heart and soul into them, businesses like Couture Living. This is an advertorial in collaboration with Couture Living.



Couture Living is a company selling quality bespoke hand-made curtains and blinds made in Britain.  The company employs well-trained craftspeople that have years of experience producing blinds and curtains for properties from London apartments to beachside villas and five-star hotels around the world. Every hand-stitched blind or curtain is inspected for quality checks to ensure no customer is ever disappointed in the items they produce.  

Here are some very different designs from Couture Living that I think will appeal to most people. 



My favourite designs from Coutre Living are the floral patterns that remind me of an English country garden. Of course, when you choose floral curtains, the striking pattern can influence the whole room. I would suggest picking out a couple of the colours used in the pattern and using that for a colour palette. The design above from the Kew Park collection is a modern floral look I love in grey, pink and purple tones.


If you are wary of colour, then choose a neutral colour palette, in white and grey. The floral curtains in this design above are from the Kelso collection and are much more understated, cool, calm and collected. Add a soft grey throw and velour cushions to add warmth to a cosy bedroom. A fresh clean, modern look that everyone will love.



A totally different look and one I am completely in love with is the tropical pattern which is so on-trend at the moment. Bright, vibrant and fun these tropical print curtains called Floreale from the Fauvisimo collection will add a pop of colour to any room and will have you dreaming of tropical climes in no time. Accessorise the room with leafy plants and mementoes from your Caribbean holidays



The last design I have chosen goes back to traditional florals and is the Michelham design from the Ashdown collection by Nina Campbell. This really is the epitome of English country florals and works well when you are trying to get a traditional floral or boho-chic look. The red, brown and pale eggshell blue is just gorgeous. Team it with pale pastel walls or a floral print in white and the same colour of blue for a grown-up feminine look.

Couture Living provides a made to measure and fit service, where you arrange an appointment for someone to come to your home. They also offer a measuring guide to help you measure correctly if you want to do it all yourself.

Couture Living are also on Instagram,  Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, so it's worth checking out their social pages for the most up-to-date information and for photos of their most recent designs.

Let me know, what do you think of the designs from Couture Living?

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How To Do A 30s Skincare Routine

Many women panic around the time they hit thirty since it marks a new decade in their life. Along with other emotional, mental, and physical changes, you may also be experiencing skin changes that may want you to start re-evaluating your skincare routine and habits. When we start hitting our 30s, our skin undergoes changes that may call for a new skincare routine. Read on to know more about having a skincare routine in your 30s.

Your skin begins to undergo significant changes once you start hitting your 30s. The biggest concern among women this age is skin ageing and the visible signs that go along with it, such as the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, and reduced skin elasticity. You can add skincare items like Klairs that can provide aid to specific skin issues like those. Buy Klairs products that can help you address your concerns, you can find them on Yesstyle.

Here are some of the problems you may have on your 30s skin.

Skincare problems


Slower skin cell turnover 

Your skin cell turnover begins slowing down once you’re in your 30s. Skin cell turnover is how fast your skin cycles old skin and produce new ones. From childhood up to your late 20s, it takes about 14 days for your skin to complete a cycle of shedding mature skin and regenerating new ones. When you hit your 30s, it can take around 28-35 days before your skin can complete a full skin cell turnover cycle. This deceleration can cause your skin to look duller as you age because dead skin cells may take a longer time to be renewed out.

Reduced skin elasticity

Your skin also starts producing less collagen and hyaluronic over time, which, along with hormonal changes, can cause skin problems. The decrease in collagen accounts for fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin since collagen is responsible for keeping one’s skin firm and lifted. Less hyaluronic acid production may cause your skin to be more prone to dryness, and hormonal changes such as lessened estrogen production may cause your skin to look more lackluster and less radiant than before.

Hyperpigmentation

As you age, you may notice that you develop more dark spots that weren’t there before. Dark spots, or hyperpigmentation, are mainly caused by UV exposure over the years.

Skincare tips


The best way to mitigate all these skincare concerns is to develop a healthy, suitable skincare routine. Here are essential tips for developing a skincare routine in your 30s:

Use a mild cleanser

Since your skin begins to be less hydrated in your 30s, you’ll want to start switching to a gentler cleanser. Stronger cleansers may strip off moisture from your skin and make your skin drier.

Antioxidant serum

Antioxidants are the prime ingredients for combatting free radicals that cause accelerated skin aging. Choose antioxidant serums loaded with Vitamin C, because it is the most multi-functional antioxidant that boosts skin elasticity, fights off free radicals, and helps promote faster skin cell renewal.

Exfoliation

You should exfoliate once a week. Exfoliating promotes faster skin cell turnover, which lessens the appearance of dull skin by sloughing off dead skin cells. This method encourages your skin cells to regenerate faster and create a radiant, glowing look. I use a gentle exfoliator suitable for sensitive skin.

Moisturiser

You need to keep your skin hydrated, especially as your skin starts to slow down on moisture retention. Choose moisturizers that deeply hydrate the skin, such as algae extracts and hyaluronic acid. Also, keep in mind to avoid moisturisers that can clog your pores. Use a special moisturiser for your eyes as the area there is fine and delicate.

Sunscreen

You should do your best to lessen the damage caused by sun exposure, such as accelerated fine lines and hyperpigmentation. Start using sunscreen daily in your 30s. Nothing ages like the sun.  Choose a broad-spectrum SPF that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and always apply SPF even when the sun is not visibly out, such as in winter months. Moreover, you should apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out.

Final Thoughts 


Aging is a natural process in life, along with experiencing various bodily changes. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a skincare routine, it’s easy to keep radiant and glowing skin by prioritizing one’s health and making needed changes to do so. Make sure that you adjust your 30s skincare by what you need instead of what you think others your age are doing.


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How to Pull Off Wearing Jeans That Make Your Figure Look Amazing

Jeans have been part of our culture for 140 years. Invented by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis, they were originally sold as extra-sturdy denim workwear. Over the years their designs and uses have changed and jeans are now wardrobe staples for most women. Once considered casual wear, jeans are now seen everywhere from executive offices to fashion week's catwalks. They are long-lasting, attractive, and adaptable. Better yet, manufacturers offer so many styles that any woman can find jeans that flatter her figure and become part of a comfortable, trendy wardrobe. If you follow a few tips from fashion experts, you'll be surprised at how many on-trend, attractive looks you can create with jeans.

Find the style that's best for your body type 


Jeans can suit all body shapes, you just need to know what styles work best for your shape. In general, most women's body shapes fall into a pear, hourglass, apple, or athletic category. Once you have determined your shape, it is much easier to find flattering jeans at sites like fillyflair.com. For example, boyfriend styles look best on athletic and apple shapes. Flare jeans enhance pear and hourglass bodies. Apple, hourglass and athletic shaped figures also look great in straight-leg jeans. Trendy skinny jeans are not just for ultra-slim women either!

Choose a flattering rise

Each pair of jeans is made with a particular rise that affects how they look on you. Most styles fall into low-rise, mid-rise, or high-rise. Low-rise styles sit about 2" below the navel and are ideal if you want to showcase curvy hips. If you have an athletic build, they will look terrific on you, but you should wear a fitted style with stretch to keep them from hanging too low. Most women can wear mid-rise jeans, which sit just below the navel and pair well with a variety of tops. High-rise jeans sit at or above the navel and are considered classics. For example, a recent piece in Forbes recommended tailored high-rise flared jeans for shoppers who want a pair that never goes out of style. High rise jeans are ideal for athletic women with small waists and those with hourglass figures.

Decide on the ideal wash 


Jeans are also a fashion favourite because denim is available in a variety of washes. Basically, that means they are sold in different shades that range from pale blue to dark navy blue. While there is no fashion rule about denim washes, the darker hues are generally considered dressier and the lighter shades have more beachy vibes. Manufacturers also sell jeans in a rainbow of colours. If find that one shade goes best with your lifestyle, let that be your guide when you want to narrow down your choices.

Enjoy a few trendy pieces

Once you have found jeans that fit and flatter your figure, you will want to buy several pairs that you can use to build a wardrobe. Your closet should include several tried-and-true classic jeans and you will always own one beloved pair that feels absolutely perfect. But that doesn't mean you can't have fun experimenting with the latest trends. Every year fashion designers add new touches to old favourites and create on-trend looks. For example, you might be a plus-sized woman with several pairs of well-fitting skinny jeans but want to branch out. You could try a style recently showcased in New York Magazine. The article featured a pair of in-vogue high-rise carpenter jeans with wide legs.

Opt for jeans that suit your life stage 


While jeans have universal appeal and women of all ages are wearing them, some styles simply mesh better with women in specific stages of life. Very young women can wear almost any style and look cute. But then, teens and college girls don't always spend a lot of time in meetings or in upscale settings. Torn denim, overalls, and midriff-baring low-rise jeans are perfect for them and anyone who lives a laid-back lifestyle. But if you are a working woman or just need to maintain a polished look, more classic styles will help you do that. There's no age limit on jean style, either. The most fashionable over-50 women routinely create trendy looks with styles that include Capri, straight-leg, relaxed fit, and stretch-high rise jeans.

Stick with favourite designers

On your journey to find the perfect jeans you will find that certain companies tend to sell styles that fit you best. Unfortunately, there is no standard sizing for women's clothes and manufacturers tend to size them for their core customers. Once you find one or more brands that flatter you, buy several pairs. Not only will that boost your confidence, it makes shopping easier. Depending on your budget, your choices might range from designer fashions to affordable basics. When you are creating your look, you might find it easiest to stick to classics like Levi Strauss products. The company is still a go-to source for many shoppers who like classic denim.

Use jeans to create stylish looks 


Once you begin building a wardrobe of good-looking jeans, experiment with them. Try pairing each style with a different top and accessories. You might be surprised to find that the well-tailored straight jeans you wear with a t-shirt and sneakers also look terrific with strappy sandals and a dressy blouse. Be adventurous. Some favourite looks from recent runway shows included skinny jeans under a dress as well as white-cropped jeans worn with a shirt, jacket, and heels.

Few wardrobe pieces are as flattering or adaptable as jeans. You can find them in sizes and styles to suit any body type and it is not hard to build a wardrobe of jeans that make you look amazing. The key is to choose the style, rise, and wash that looks best on you. Select styles that mesh well with your lifestyle and throw in trendy pieces for fun. Shopping is easier if you stick with a few favourite brands. A well-chosen collection of jeans can take you anywhere, from day-to-night and from casual to upscale.

*Collaborative post

Wallpaper Trends From I Want Wallpaper

If you are looking to decorate your home you may have considered using wallpaper for the many benefits it has. Wallpaper can provide a canvas and hide imperfections, which is great if your walls are not up to scratch. Wallpaper can help co-ordinate a theme for a room and blend the design and wallpaper can also create an impact. One thing is for certain, wallpaper can totally alter the look of a room.

When you are looking for wallpaper where do you go? There are big DIY shops but they lack creative designs and patterns. There are home decorating sections of department stores but they lack specialists in the area. Why not go to a specialist in wallpaper online instead?

I Want Wallpaper is a leading UK supplier of wallpaper, wall murals and wall stickers and a specialist in their field. They sell high-quality wallpaper products that can transform a home. Let's have a look at the items they sell, some of the trends of the moment and some of my favourite designs. This is an advertorial post in collaboration with I Want Wallpaper. 

Marble 

Holden Decor Azurite Abstract wallpaper

The marble trend has been around for a while and is going nowhere fast. Giving a luxurious look at a fraction of the cost, using a marble wallpaper can totally transform a space instantly. This azurite abstract wallpaper from Holden Decor is a modern premium wallpaper with a paint swirl effect that looks amazing on a feature wall or all over for a bold effect.

Metallic


Arthouse Mother Of Pearl geometric wallpaper

Metallics are a fast-rising trend and the perfect wallcovering design if you want to bring your home up-to-date. Choose from a subtle shimmer to glamourous rose gold and copper prints that add a lovely glow to your room and make it oh so cosy. This mother of pearl geometric design by the company Arthouse is chic and classy.

Jungle
Arthouse Copacobana pineapple wallpaper

From a full-on jungle pattern to a more tropical vibe, bring the outside in with the focus on jungle and tropical designs. Choose a feminine butterfly pattern or a fun lion and monkey print - perfect for the kids, or what about a bright vibrant songbird print?  My favourite is this Arthouse Copacabana pineapple design that brings back the holiday mood, I can almost taste the pina colada now!

Pastels
Arthouse glisten damask wallpaper

Pastels are a good choice for a pretty effect and are currently on-trend. From pastel striped wallpapers in mint, to linen inspired paper in pink, to spring floral patterns and vintage flamingo designs there are pastel designs galore. I suggest you go old-school vintage with a damask design. I like this wallpaper by Arthouse with a silver sheen. Grown-up and sophisticated this design will turn people's heads that's for sure.

Unicorns

Arthouse Anatasia unicorn design

For a fun design, you can't beat a unicorn pattern. There is something special about a unicorn design as this mythical creature appeals to the young and young at heart. Go all out with colourful designs containing rainbows, stars and sparkles all over your wall or consider a feature wall that is sure to appeal to adults. The Arthouse Anatasia unicorn design is just gorgeous and paired with a soft tone wallpaper will transform a room.

So here are five trends in wallpaper you can buy from I Want Wallpaper. If you use code MEL20 you can get 20% of too! This code can be used from the 4th of December to the 17th of December, so be quick as it won't be around for long. All orders over £40 have free delivery and free next day delivery if you spend £60. With a score of 4.7 on Trustpilot out of 5, the customer service is next to none as well.

Let me know, what do you think of these wallpaper trends? Do you have a favourite design?

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Get Your Home Winter Ready With These Tips

As the days get shorter and the temperature begins to drop, it is a good idea to make sure that your home is ready for the months ahead. We have already seen our first frosts, and we aren't in the depths of winter yet. You don't have to be a DIY goddess to get your home ready for the winter months - a few simple tasks to do and things to check, and hopefully, you will get through it without any significant home hiccups!



1. Get your boiler checked.

If you do one task before the winter really sets in, it is this. The last thing you want at any time of year is your boiler system to break down and be left with no hot water or central heating, but over Christmas, it would be even more of a nightmare. Get it serviced ASAP by a Gas Safe registered engineer, and if you don't already have it, take out boiler cover in the unfortunate case of any break downs.

2. Sweep the chimney


If you have a chimney, now is the time to get it swept. The damage and devastation a chimney fire can cause should never be underestimated, and for the sake of the few quid it costs to hire someone to come and do the job properly, it just is not worth the risk.

3. Clear the gutters and drains

This is one of the easiest things on the list, but one of the most important. Debris and leaves can block the gutters drains, and if water can't flow away from the house properly, it's going to flow into it instead and cause all sorts of leaks and damp issues and believe us, you don't want that. Make it part of your home maintenance routine to clear out the drains and gutters regularly, especially after storms and before the winter properly sets in.

4. Get insulation

The Energy Saving Trust reckons you can save £145 a year on average by merely having insulation put in. Around one-quarter of the heat from your home is lost through the roof, so starting with the loft is a good idea, as well as cavity wall insulation. For some people, grants are available to help you out with the cost of having insulation installed, and there are schemes to subsidise the cost. It isn't something you will regret - the benefits in the long term will definitely outweigh any short term expenses it incurs.

5. Protect Your Pipes

One of the biggest problems that face homeowners in the winter is burst pipes. This usually happens when the water in the pipes freeze up and expand, cracking the pipes and causing leaks. The best way of preventing this is by protecting them with a layer of foam, called lagging.

By putting these tips and tricks into practice, you can potentially save yourself a whole lot of trouble and money over the winter months and in the coming years. What are you waiting for?

*Collaborative post

Making An Impression : How To Make Your Mark At Conferences

Whether it's an event related to jewellery, blogging or something more relevant to your career, there will be occasions where all of us venture to a conference.
Particularly in relation to the latter, these are regarded as excellent networking events and can make the world of difference as you bid to progress your career.

However, regardless of who you are, these conferences can be daunting. Quite often, there are a lot of people in attendance, and this can make it difficult to make an impression and ultimately get your point across, especially if you are not the outgoing sort.

This is where today's guide enters the picture. Let's now look at some actionable advice that you can take on-board as you bid to make that elusive positive first impression at these conferences.

Forget your comfort zone



Sure, some of you will approach these events and will enjoy them. You'll be completely in your element and love every minute. Unfortunately, this isn't going to happen for everyone. Some of us are terribly shy, and conferences can be intimidating places.

The only advice we can offer here is to step out of your comfort zone. If you don't, you will walk away having spent a lot of money on the ticket and other expenses, yet reaped no results from it. I know I've made some great contacts from blogging conferences, so don't be afraid to talk to businesses and other conference attendees.

What's the worst thing you can do? Don't be a lurker. Don't approach someone half-heartedly, stand in the background, and leave everyone in that awkward position of "what happens next". If you are blogger, practice your 'elevator pitch' to ensure you know what to say to businesses about why they should work with you.

The old cliché; dress to impress




It's one of the biggest clichés going, but there's a lot of truth in the statement about dressing to impress.

Sure, each conference will have its different dress codes but generally speaking, edge on the side of “slightly” formal. Smart casual boots like these are a great example of what you can wear on your feet, while any business casual garments will also work and do the trick. Some conferences a suit is often worn, I know when I attended jewellery conferences my husband and I would wear a suit when meeting with jewellery brands.  I would say if you are a woman, don't wear your highest heels as you want to be comfortable and some of these conference halls can be huge.

Take a stack of business cards


You might be anything but the social animal that these conferences appeal to, however, if you are just going to prepare in one way, make sure you take some business cards along. This is at least an easy way to wrap up a conversation with others, whilst it also shows that you mean business and are looking to take things away from the event in question. If you are a blogger, take a media pack with all your information on one A4 sheet - similar to a CV.

Sometimes it's not just about the present



This final tip revolves around both how you should be approaching conferences, and what you need to be doing afterwards.

In short, attending a conference isn't just about the present. You also need to do some legwork before, in relation to who you are reaching out to, and the aims you want to approach the event with. If there is a downloadable guide to who is attending, check it out before you get there and make notes on who you want to meet and why.

Nevertheless, the bulk of the work is going to come afterwards. It's at this point that you have made your contacts, taken in the material, and you now need to act on the advice. If you have collected contacts, try and reach out to them in the day or so after the conference to maximize your chances of reaping something from the relationship. Send them an email or give them a ring if appropriate.

Let me know, have you attended any conferences? Do you have any advice?

*Collaborative post

Drinking Wine Is Easy While Tasting It Is an Art: 5 Things You Should Remember About Being a Sommelier

Wine tasting has become a very popular activity in the last few years. From paint and sip events to wine tasting day trips, wine is more popular than ever. What was once considered a drink reserved for rich people has become accessible for people of all social classes. 

You don’t have to trek all the way to Napa Valley on the West coast or the Finger Lake region of Upstate New York to experience wine tasting events. If you’re in a landlocked, midwestern state like Missouri, try visiting hermannwinetrail.com to plan your next wine tasting experience.

What You Need to Know to Elevate from Wine Drinker to Sommelier


Perhaps you’ve recently watched the documentary Somm or visited a fine-dining restaurant with a dedicated wine expert. Before you quit your day job for a wine-tasting gig, there are a few things you should know about the profession first.

1. You’re still in the hospitality business. Being a sommelier is a lot more than pouring wine and chatting with guests. There is a lot of hard work to be done, such as polishing glasses and carrying crates of wine into the wine cellar. These jobs are usually given to the newer team members to ‘pay their dues’ before moving up the ladder. Don’t expect to be given the cushy tasks immediately. 


2. Wines don’t have to be super expensive to be good. This misconception traces back to the idea that wine is only for people who can drop thousands of pounds or dollars on vintage bottles. Price doesn’t always indicate quality. On the other end of the spectrum, those cheap bottles sold in grocery stores often have chemicals and other ingredients added to them so they can be mass-produced. Your local winery offers quality wines at reasonable prices. 


3. You have to train your palate. Sommeliers do a lot more than just drink wine. They are responsible for describing the different wine tastes in common terms that their guests can understand. They also need to be able to recommend wines when given vague or confusing answers about preferred flavours. 

4. Brush up on your wine knowledge. Different wines come from different areas. To be a successful sommelier, you need to have a basic knowledge of the wine regions across the globe whether you’ve been to that area or not. As a sommelier, you will likely want to make your knowledge authentic by visiting as many wine regions as you can, but that is an expensive endeavour that may not be financially feasible because: 

5. It’s not as glamorous as movies make it seem. Any work in the service industry is backbreaking physical labour on a low salary. Be realistic with your expectations and be willing to put in the work.

Is Certification Necessary? 


The topic of whether a sommelier certification is necessary is a controversial issue in the wine-tasting world. A certificate teaches you but doesn’t provide real-world experiences. The type of establishment you’re seeking employment from may require a formal education while others may see it as optional. You should weigh the pros and cons of pursuing a sommelier certification first.

If you have a more than passing interest in wine-related topics, then being a professional sommelier may be something you should consider. However, it is a competitive field that requires dedication and hard work to be successful, much like any job worth having.

*Collaborative post