What Is The Cheapest Way To Finance A Car?

If you’ve never taken out finance or a car loan before then you may be looking for an extra little bit of guidance. Making sure you get a deal that’s right for you is really important and no one wants to pay more than they have to! So why settle for anything less? It’s a common misconception that car finance can be expensive and have high interest rates, it doesn’t have to be. Let’s take a look at the ways you can get the cheapest car finance deal possible.

Work on your credit score

car

Have you got a good credit score? Great, you’re off to a flying start! Many car finance lenders use your credit score to get an inkling of what type of borrower you are. If you have a solid history of meeting your repayment deadlines, you will usually be more favourable to lenders. Having a good credit score also means you can benefit from lower interest rates and are more likely to get approved for a car loan.

But what if you have bad credit? Don’t worry, there are many bad credit car finance specialist companies who help people get approved for an affordable finance deal. However, if you want to get the best deal possible, it’s a good idea to improve your credit score before applying for finance. This can mean that you are more likely to get accepted for finance and get offered a better finance deal. If you already have high levels of existing debt, you should consider clearing your existing debts first before you start applying. Meeting your repayment deadlines each month is really important as it shows good financial responsibility to potential lenders.

Save up for a deposit

If you don’t need a car right now, you should consider saving up for a finance deposit prior to your car loan application. Putting down a car finance deposit can reduce the amount you need to borrow for the lender. This can help you to get approved if you have bad credit and can also lower your monthly payments. Having a car finance deposit for a Hire Purchase car finance agreement can be really beneficial as the loan is split into affordable monthly payments.

Shop around

A common car finance myth is that shopping around for car finance is bad for your credit score. In a recent survey of Refused Car Finance customers, nearly 80% of customers thought that it did negatively affect your credit score,  however, this is not true. If you are shopping around for car finance, you should stick to soft search credit checks only. A soft search credit check is a type of check a car loan lender uses to look at your credit file. It is an initial check which isn’t recorded on your credit file and isn’t visible to other lenders. 

You could consider using a car finance broker who can help to shop around for you. You only need to apply with a car finance broker once using a soft search credit check and they do all the leg work for you. A car finance broker acts as the middleman between you and the lender. They have access to a wide lending panel and can even help people with bad credit.

Don’t focus on the monthly payment

shake hands

Most people have a monthly finance budget in mind when they apply for finance. You should never borrow more than you can afford to pay back as it can result in serious financial problems. When working out your car loan budget, you should also take into account the length of the finance term and the agreed interest. Spreading the cost over a longer term can reduce how much you pay each month, but it also increases how much interest you pay overall.

Research different types of car finance deals

As mentioned earlier, a car finance deposit is great for a hire purchase deal but what about other types of finance and which is best for you? Depending on how much you want to pay, your credit score and how often you want to change your car, you may be better suited to a car finance deal over the others. The most popular car finance agreements in the UK include a personal loan option, hire purchase car finance and a Personal Contract Purchase agreement.

Personal loans are usually offered by banks or building societies and can be harder to obtain if you have bad credit. Personal loans tend to be the cheapest way to finance a car. You would apply for the amount you want and if accepted you will then pay back your agreed loan, to a set term with added interest. The loan can be used for anything you want so you aren’t limited to a new or used car and you will also be the automatic legal owner of the car so you can do what you want with the car.

A hire purchase car finance deal is really straightforward. You spread the cost of a chosen car into monthly payments with added interest. At the end of your agreed term and once you have made all the repayments on time, you will then own the car. It’s also good to note that the loan is secured against the car throughout the agreement, this means that if you fail to meet to repayments, the finance company have the right to take the car off you.

A personal contract purchase deal is similar to a hire purchase deal. However, you don’t spread the cost of the full car so monthly payments can be lower than other options. This is because, at the end of the agreement, you have three options instead of just owning the car. You can pay the balloon payment and keep the car, use the resale value of the car for a new PCP deal or you can hand the car back from the dealer and walk away.


So getting the cheapest car finance deal, depends on a number of factors. I hope this post has been useful for you.

*Collaborative post

What To Look For In Your Next Lease Car

When it comes to getting your new family car, it can be tough to know what to look for. After all, different families have different requirements for a family car, and some may also have some preferences on the brand or the fuel type.

There are also many other things to consider – have you got the funds to buy outright or are you looking at leasing a reliable car? Here are the things you should be looking for when looking to get a new car for the family.

Plenty Of Space

car for the family

When it comes to families, a car with plenty of space is a must. No one family is the same, so whilst a family with two parents and two kids might be happy in a small to medium size car, a family with more children are going to need one with more room inside. Add in the fact that you might also have a pet dog and space really becomes a necessity. Don't forget the boot space for shopping too!

The perfect family car has enough seats and plenty of boot space so every member, furry or human, can be comfortable on any journey you have to make. If you have children in car seats, it is worth seeing if they will all fit in comfortably. A medium size SUV can be a good choice for a growing family. 

It’s Got To Be Comfortable

A big thing when it comes to buying a car is how comfortable it is. It is important that a family car is comfortable for all people in the car, so it is worth getting the family to come and test the car out too. For the driver, lumbar support and an adjustable driving position are important, and everyone will benefit from a more plush and padded seat in the car. 

If the children are teenagers, why not give them a say in which car they prefer? Perhaps narrow it down to two you like and allow them to pick.

A Good Safety Rating

Safety is paramount when it comes to cars and if you are buying a car for the family, you will want to be sure it is of the highest of safety standards. Do your research – if you come across a car, you think would be perfect, make sure you know exactly what safety rating it has. If it is anything less than excellent, look for something else.

It shouldn’t be too hard to find a family car with a decent safety rating as most modern cars have a relatively decent safety specification but the one with the best safety credentials will always be the safest choice. The Money Advice Service have a guide on some of the safest cars to drive which is worth checking out.

What Is Your Budget?

family car

Whether you are buying outright or leasing a car, you will have a figure in mind of what you want to pay. Family cars do tend to be a little more expensive than smaller cars due to the size, so it is important to know what budget you have available. Once you know, then you can narrow the search to find something suitable for you. 

Maybe a longer lease agreement will make the car you want more affordable every month, although it could add to the cost in the long term. 

Added Extras

These are the things that you don’t necessarily need but are a nice addition. Some cars have smartphone integration which means you can link up accounts such as your Spotify and Audible – a decent audiobook will definitely keep the kids entertained on long journeys. Rear camera parking is another added extra that can be useful when choosing a car, as well as sun protection from tinted windows.  Whilst some people may not want these, these added extras are a must for some people, so they are worth considering.

These are just a few things you should consider when looking to buy a new family car. What are your musts when it comes to a new car?

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Great Gift Ideas For A Newborn Niece Or Nephew

Having a new niece or nephew is an exciting time. I mean, who can resist a cute baby and especially so when they are related to you? A new parent will need a myriad of items for their newborn, from a pram and cot to clothes and toys. So when you are looking for gift ideas you will have a lot of choices, but you may not know where to start. To narrow this down I have an article for you today on gift ideas for a new niece or nephew, your welcome! Let's have a look at gift ideas for a newborn niece or nephew to make your shopping easier.

Soft and comfy sleepsuits

baby sleeping
When a baby is born, having a stock of clean baby sleepsuits are essential.  They have to be super soft for the baby's skin, and easy to undo for those multiple nappy changes throughout the day. So gifting baby zip up sleepsuits are a good idea. Why not get a few different sleepsuits in a gift set if you can afford it. You can get some with cute designs and you just know that they will be greatly appreciated.

Soft toy suitable from birth

baby and toy
There are many soft toys suitable from birth and as well as being cute they can also help with developmental goals. It's important though that the soft toy has the safety mark to ensure it is safe and also check the age it is suitable for as all toys aren't suitable from birth. 

Baby photoshoot voucher

baby
A baby photoshoot is something that will give pleasure for years to come and is a very personal gift. A photoshoot with a number of photos for the parents can be a great gift that family members may all want to contribute to in cost. A family photoshoot is also an amazing gift so everyone can be photographed with the baby.

A baby record book

baby feetThe first milestones are precious, like the first word a baby makes, and when they first walk, so a baby record book makes a great gift. It's lovely to have somewhere to keep precious items like the hospital record cards, a souvenir of baby's first haircut, baby hand and footprints and more so a modern take on this is a keepsake box.

A savings account

money
A savings account is a lovely gift for a baby niece or nephew, and a great legacy for the child when they are older. A baby savings account can be started for as little as £1 and can be added to on a regular basis by yourself or other people. When the child is older they can add to the account themselves, and this can be a nest egg so they can access it when they are 18. Maybe you want to put money in the account every year on their birthday and at Christmas. You will be surprised how this can add up throughout the years.

So these are some great gift ideas for a new niece or nephew. Let me know if you have any ideas of what to buy a newborn baby.

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5 Ways to Renovate Your Bathroom On A Budget

If you want to renovate your bathroom but you don't have much budget you may not know where to start. However, it can be done on a budget and it can be successful too. You don't need to spend thousands to get the look you want. Let's have a look at how to renovate your bathroom on a budget and see if you can pick up soma tips. 

1) Do it yourself is the key

bathroom
The first thing to save money is so to do any work yourself. You don't have to be an expert but if you are unsure start small and that will build your confidence. There are tutorials online, check out YouTube for simple DIY tasks. Rope in family and friends to help you and share your vision with them. Maybe they have certain skills like painting, tiling or regrouting you can utilise? Prepare well, get the equipment and get stuck in

2) A lick of paint can do wonders

A lick of paint can really do wonders and make a bathroom look like new. There is nothing like white paint to make a bathroom look fresh. Blues and greens can also work well for a fresh look. You can even paint the tiles if you don't want to retile. Just be sure to clean the tiles properly, prime them with special paint then repaint with tile paint.

3) Redo the tiling and you will be smiling 

By redoing the tiling you can have a whole new look without the cost of remodelling the whole bathroom.  As mentioned before, repainting the bathroom tiles is a great idea and at a relatively little cost too. If you want to retile with patterned or mosaic tiles then it is a bigger job but it can be done, or maybe replace a number of strategic tiles that will fit in with the current look. Regrouting can also work wonders to get a fresh clean look. 

4) Replace the shower and the taps

sink
Replacing the taps is a relatively straightforward job but replacing the shower shouldn't be too difficult either. If you are on a super tight budget even replacing the showerhead or hose can add a different look to the bathroom. If you want to replace the whole shower you may have to pay for a tradesperson if you are not able to do it yourself as it could be a big job, but it will still be cheaper than doing major work in your bathroom.

5) Stylish storage can help the clutter

Storage is relatively cheap and can help declutter surfaces. Put up some wall mounted shelves for towels and toiletries, or buy some big rattan bags for towels. Under the washbasin you can put a wall hung vanity unit to store what you need and it won't take up any surfaces either giving the illusion of more space. You can even hang an organiser behind the door to keep everything you need in, at relatively little cost. Check out the sales for new storage, new towels and new fixtures and fittings.

As you can see you can renovate your bathroom on a budget. Let me know if you have and how you went about it?

3 Ways to Turn Off When Working from Home

Since the pandemic swept across the world, many of us have said goodbye to our daily commutes and have taken up working at home instead. As millions of us around the world were sitting at desks in our homes, we discovered a whole new world of working. However, with this new world of working, we also found the potential downsides of remote working, with people struggling to separate work from home life. If you’re finding it hard to switch off from work when you’re remote working, this article will provide you with 3 top tips for taking back control of your working week.

1. Distance yourself from your workspace

working on laptop

One of the biggest problems with working from home is that it can be a challenge to distance yourself from your workspace. If you work from home, it is highly recommended that you do not work where you sleep or spend your time relaxing.

It’s really important to find ways to separate your work responsibilities and tasks from your day-to-day living. For example, setting up your desk in your bedroom would be advised against as you want to ensure you can separate work life from home life. Working from your bedroom could cause your brain to associate that room with work and not with sleeping and resting. You want to be able to switch off at the end of your working day and give yourself some time to rest and relax.

2. Choose your work attire wisely


When you are working from home, make sure you are comfortable! There is nothing worse than sitting at your desk all day in tight uncomfortable clothing that disrupts your workflow. If you’re at home, you have more freedom when it comes to workwear so embrace it.

If you don’t have any meetings scheduled, why not go for a super comfy and casual look? Wear some simple yet classy loungewear that allows you to crack on with your work in comfort. If you’re winding down for the day, try throwing on some thermal socks so you can really start preparing for a cosy evening at home.

If you’re remote working, embrace it to the max and do what brings you comfort!

3. Stay active

woman walking outside

Another great way of turning off when working from home is to stay active. Looking after yourself with a little daily exercise is so important so it keeps your mind and body healthy and active.

If you’re having a stressful day and you can’t wait to slam that laptop shut, get out and get active, Exercising on a daily basis is so good for your body as the link between physical exercise and mental wellbeing has been heavily documented. When you exercise, you release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain, and when you release these, you stave off low mood and loss of libido. Furthermore, you’ll feel better about yourself and soon that stressful day at work will be long forgotten.

So, there you have it, three helpful and easy ways for you to turn off when working from home. Don’t let working take over your life, take back some control now!


*Collaborative post 

7 Top Attractions In The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a very underrated country in my personal opinion. Often referred to as Holland, it is known for the laid back capital Amsterdam, but there is also so much more to see and do outside of the city. Here are my top attractions in the Netherlands.

1. Boat down the canals in Amsterdam

canal Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the most well-known city in the Netherlands. Known for its culture,  and its laid back attitude to life, one of the best ways to see this vibrant city is through a boat trip on its tree-lined canals. The canal trip we took included a night tour with cheese and wine. It was lovely sipping red wine whilst hearing about the history of Amsterdam and seeing the city lit up at night. There are so many reasons to visit Amsterdam and a boat trip on the canals is one of them.

2. Have a drink at the Heineken Experience

Heineken Amsterdam
The Heineken Museum in Amsterdam is well worth visiting to find out about the history of this popular lager. When we visited we enjoyed seeing how the lager was made and the immersive attractions, where we were jostled like a bottle in the factory and bounced up and down as if we were on the back of the shire horses which used to deliver the beer. The displays may be different now as it's constantly changing but what is cool is that you get free tastings of the lager as you walk around and you can sample more at the end. 

3. Visit the Rijksmuseum


The Rijksmuseum is the Dutch National Museum located in Amsterdam. A museum full of fabulous art it is known for the 'Old Masters' and its Dutch antiques which date from 1809. Allow the best part of the day to explore if you are an art enthusiast as it's a big museum and well worth the time spent there. I enjoyed seeing works of art by Vermeer and Rembrandt. 

4. See the colourful tulips at Keukenhof

Keukenhof

The Netherlands is known for its beautiful tulips and the best place to see a display of colour is Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe. The largest public garden anywhere in the world, stroll among the 70 acres of flowers and over 7 million bulbs of tulips that are planted every year. If you are inspired to create a garden of tulips when you return then tulip bulbs can be bought easily online or at your local garden centre.

5. Explore the pretty village of Marken

Marken

The small but perfectly formed village of Marken is a lovely spot to visit on a tour of the Netherlands. On the Ijsselmeer Lake, visit to see the painted houses in bright colours on stilts, and the fishing boars on the lake. The best time to visit is when one of the festivals is on so you can see the traditional dress and the woodworkers making clogs in the olden way.

6. Eat some cheese in Edam

cheese in Edam
Edam another pretty town in the Netherlands, is home to the famous Edam cheese. The 12th-century town produces Edam with a yellow rind, not the red rind we all know. When you are here visit the 18th-century cheese warehouses and see the cheese being weighed, or you can visit the cheese markets on a boat tour of the area.  You can combine a trip to Marken with Edam and Volendam.

7. Take the kids to Efteling 

Efteling
My last attraction to visit in the Netherlands is the theme park Efteling. It is famous for being one of the oldest theme parks in the world and is divided into different zones based on legends, myths and fairytales. With a range of attractions aimed at little ones to big coasters aimed at adults and adventurous teenagers, it's a fun park for all the family. 

So here are my top 7 attractions in the Netherlands. I have only skimmed the surface as there are lots to see and do. I hope this has given you some ideas so you can carry on with your own research if you are visiting the area.

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How To Decorate Your Home

Your home is your sanctuary. You want it to embody not only your personality but also want to be comfortable in your home. Putting your personal stamp on your home is so important once you move in, whether you rent or buy.

Of course, it is all about considering how to do this. Whether you are looking to complete this by adding your own furniture, personal furnishings and photos or making eco-friendly home improvements, you need to have a plan in place. Here I will be looking at ideas to help you make those changes and get that embrace that cosy space you are looking for.

Set The Tone From The Curb

curb appeal


To create that sense of serenity from the second you arrive home, you need to give the exterior a little TLC. The second you see your home you want to feel welcomed back. Spend time investing in how it looks. Plant some flowers, paint the fence and freshen up the front door. A lick of paint can go a long way.

Choose Your Colour Scheme

When it comes to decorating downstairs you want the house to flow from one room to another. Whether you choose retro furniture, traditional oak or grey painted furniture for a modern look you need to choose your colour palette accordingly. Creating a sense of cohesion is very satisfying. By choosing a colour palette you will be able to adapt the wall colour to complement and find colours that go with grey painted furniture that you have already chosen.

Dress The Room

hygge

Now that colours combinations have been decided, the next step is adding those homely extras. When putting your room together you need to consider texture. The texture of items makes such a difference. By mixing them up you are adding depth to your space whilst enabling the room to become more comfortable and inviting. For example, in your living room, you may choose to add a chunky knit throw to your chair, to invest in a thick pile rug, or add some velvet cushions. These ideas all add comfort and texture.

Get The Right Lighting

The lighting in any room not only provides light to fill the space but creates an ambience. When decorating you should be aiming for three types of lighting to be present in each and every room. There is the main ceiling light, which is designed to provide an overall light to the whole room, then accent and more decorative lights. This could be in the form of lamps or up lighters. This acts to draw the eye to a particular area such as a reading corner or to shed light on decorative pictures. Then the third is mood lighting such as having candles dotted about the room to be lit and create that dim warm glow that makes any space inviting.

Don’t Clutter Your Space


It is important to ensure that you are adding your personality to every room but remember less is more when it comes to your home. If you get carried away you can create a space that becomes overstimulating and doesn’t embrace that relaxing cosy space that was originally envisioned.

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Reasons To Wear Perfume

Perfume always feels like such a luxurious item to own – the smell of perfume is distinctive and unique and prices can range from very affordable to expensive. Many women love the idea of having an array of perfumes to choose from, but why should you wear perfume?


So whether you buy perfumes online or in-store these are my reasons to buy perfume. This is a collaborative post. 

A Good Fragrance Can Mask All Sins

Perfume helps to keep unwanted body odour at bay and ensures you smell good at all times. If you are worried that you aren’t smelling your freshest, why not spray a little of your favourite perfume? You will be smelling fresh again in no time!

It Is A Fantastic Accessory

So many women won’t step out the door for a night out if they haven’t put some perfume on. A spritz of their favourite fragrance is as much an accessory to them as shoes or a handbag are, it can be their signature smell.

Wearing It Is A Great Confidence Booster

How many times have you worn one of your favourite perfumes and someone has passed a compliment on it which has really lifted your spirits? Spritzing some scent can be great for making you feel attractive and boosting your confidence.

It Enhances Your Mood

perfume bottles


As well as boosting your confidence, it may also enhance your mood. Sometimes you can be feeling really down but that little confidence boost from wearing some fragrance can make you feel a lot better.

It Can Make an Impression

Even now, certain fragrances evoke certain memories for me. I only have to smell certain scents and I am taken back to another time and place.  Wearing perfume yourself can make a lasting impression on someone you know or someone you meet for the first time. Perfume is known to trigger memories so make sure they trigger good ones!

There Are Many Benefits To Perfume

As well as the other reasons above, there are many other benefits to perfume. Did you know perfume has relaxing and therapeutic benefits? Certain types of fragrance can help to calm and soothe your body and mind and may even help to keep your stress levels under control. The fragrance of lavender, for example, is said to relax and calm the body and mind.

It Might Attract Someone

Perfume can make someone even more desirable than they already are as it can often work as an aphrodisiac. Perfumes act like pheromones that attract others and make you seem more desirable to a potential mate.

You Might Find Your Personal Scent

Some women love to have a selection of perfumes to choose from, but some like to stick to their own personal scent that they will use time and time again. Historically, important figures would have had their own personal scent which was exclusive to them. Finding your signature scent may involve trial and error and there is the chance that your scent may be someone else’s signature scent too. However, if you do choose to keep to one scent, then you might even become recognisable for that scent and people will know you are nearby.

These are just a few reasons why you should consider wearing perfume.   Do you wear perfume often?

*Collaborative post 

Tips For Planning A Destination Wedding in Goa

The destination wedding is a popular trend for modern couples. Generally, people like to organise their weddings in places known for their scenic beauty. Hence, Goa is a common choice for the venue of a destination wedding. So here's how to organise your wedding in Goa and make wonderful memories for your happy day.

Choose A Date

Goa

First of all, a suitable date for the wedding should be decided by the new couple and their families. This wedding date is essential to proceed with other aspects of the wedding preparation. If you are flexible on the date it will be easy to find the venue of your dreams. Bear in mind any COVID restrictions if you do not live in Goa.

Finalise Your Budget

The new couple needs to set a definite budget for their destination wedding in Goa. Having a budget in mind will help you stick to your plans and not go over what you can afford. Weddings can be a costly business and it is easy to get carried away. 

Hire A Wedding Planner

It is useful to hire a wedding planner who has prior experience in organising weddings in Goa. He/she will be able to use all the connections in Goa for selecting the suitable venue and suppliers. This expert planner will also negotiate with relevant people to stick to the given budget of his/her client. They can also help find accommodation in a range of prices for the guests as their budget may differ from yours.

Consider The Weather

Due to the tropical climate, Goa experiences hot summer, with humid monsoons from June to September, and mild winters. Winter is the preferred season chosen for organising a wedding there. The heat of summer or the downpour of monsoon can ruin the mood of a destination wedding.

Book Your Wedding V
enue

Plenty of wedding venues are available all over North and South Goa. However, many people prefer the venues close to the prime beaches so that their guests can enjoy the natural landscape. Hence, beach resorts are more popular for holding destination weddings and the booking costs of these wedding venues vary from high to low range.

Send Invites


Prepare a guest list and once the guest list is ready, the next step is to place an order for suitable wedding cards as per the theme of the new couple and their budget in this regard. Now, people can send Indian wedding invitation online to their guests, which helps in saving their time, money, and energy. Also, guests can receive their invitations instantly via digital platforms.

Wedding Decor



A professional wedding decorator can be hired to decorate the wedding venue in Goa. The wedding planner or the resort representative can help in this regard. The type of wedding décor should depend on the theme chosen specifically for that wedding. The decorator will create a magnificent design in keeping with this theme.

Reception Theme

The selection of a theme for the wedding reception is an important decision.  You may want to theme the wedding décor for the ceremony, the wedding attire of the bride and groom, as well as the wedding reception function. New couples in India can choose from a  traditional royal theme, fairytale theme, Bollywood theme, or Goan carnival theme amongst others as per their tastes.

Confirm Details With All Vendors

Wedding management needs the services of several vendors in different fields. Hence, it is better to confirm all their details beforehand so that they can be contacted whenever required if you need to ask any questions.  The wedding planner can help coordinate this on behalf of his/her client, to ensure the success of the wedding.

Coordinate professionals

All the normal pre-wedding and post-wedding professionals need to be coordinated. For a traditional Goan wedding arrangements should be made by taking professionals, like a Mehendi artist for the Mehendi function and a DJ for the Sangeet ceremony to Goa. The wedding planner can help in making all these preparations.

Wedding Outfits, Accessories And Makeup

wedding outfit


The colours of the wedding outfits of the bride and groom need to match the chosen wedding theme. However, vibrant colours or shades of red are often preferred for the bride’s attire if you are going for a traditional Goan wedding. An expert makeup artist and hairstylist can be hired for the final touches

Food And Drink

Generally, it is wise to hire a local caterer in Goa, to serve the best quality food and drink to all wedding guests. The resort representative or the wedding planner can help in finding a well-reputed caterer for this job. Various Goan delicacies are expected on the wedding menu, along with exotic drinks.

Transportation And Photography

All wedding guests should be offered easy transportation facilities to travel from their home cities to Goa.  An experienced wedding photographer should be hired to capture all the precious moments from the preparations to the wedding day and you may want a videographer too.

Enjoy Your Big Day

By following these tips you can organise a memorable destination wedding in Goa when it is safe to do so.

*Collaborative post

Should You Get A Portable Air Conditioner This Summer?

According to a Which? survey conducted in 2019, only 8% of responders owned an air conditioner of some form in the UK. There are many UK residents that struggle to see the value in a Portable Air Conditioner given the UK climate only really has a handful of hot summer days compared to our continental neighbours. These days though, a Portable Air Conditioner can provide further use beyond just keeping you cool in the summer. Here are some things you might not know.

Portable Air Conditioners keep you cool

air conditioner



This is obvious really. Portable ACs draw in warm moist air in the room, move that air around a condenser inside the unit and then pushes dry, cool air out through a high powered fan back into the room whilst pushing the hot air out the window through a hose. On those hot, uncomfortable summer nights when the temperature increases leaving the home feeling muggy, you could really benefit from a Portable Air Conditioner to cool down your room.

Some units also provide heating!

Many UK households have an oil-filled radiator or space heater to warm the home when it gets cold in the winter but these are often underpowered for larger rooms and rather unsightly. If you could repurpose a stylish looking Portable Air Conditioner, such as this 10,000 BTU unit from Devola (https://www.airconcentre.co.uk/products/devola-10000-btu-portable-air-conditioning-unit-cooling-heating-dvac10chw), in the winter to warm even the largest rooms in your home and take advantage of their high powered fans you would see an instant benefit.

They can also help dry your washing and help reduce damp

The majority of portable ac units on the market are called “3-in-1”. This means you can run the unit in one of three modes: Cooling, Fan only or Dehumidifier mode. As I mentioned, portable air conditioners take warm, moist air in and push out cool & dry air when in cooling mode. When in standard dehumidification mode, the returned air is just not cooled. If you were to take your washing out of the washing machine and put it on a clothes horse you can point your AC at the washing, put it in dehumidify or dry mode to effectively dry your washing all year round. This is a clear benefit to those of you who don’t want to run a loud, energy-hungry tumble dryer in the colder & wetter months whilst still being able to quickly and effectively dry your laundry.

Dehumidifiers are also amazing products for removing damp from the home. Mould forms in humid climates so reducing the moisture level in the air stops the spread of mould effectively. This is beneficial to people who want to protect their homes from damp and also benefits people who suffer from damp related asthma.

Can I really use one all year round?

Yes, you can! Selected portable air conditioners can keep you cool in the summer, warm in the winter and help to reduce damp and dry your laundry all year round!

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Tips To Help You Select The Best Engagement Ring

An engagement is an exciting and important event however buying the ring and preparing for the proposal can be nerve-wracking. The ring can be a considerable expense therefore it is vital you get it right for your loved one.

engagement ring


The following are some tips to help you select an engagement ring and make it a perfect proposal:

Figure out the ring size

It is important that the ring fits properly. It should slide on easily and must also possess a little resistance making it certain that it does not come off at the time it is worn. When couples shop together then it is not tough to get the right size. However, if you want the proposal to be a surprise then you need to be a little more secretive.

A ring size chart is helpful here. You will have to measure the finger of the person you want to give it to and get the one that is the correct size. An idea is to find a ring in her jewellery box that she wears on the same figure on her other hand.  There may be a slight difference in the size though. Or buy a ring with a plain shank on the back so it can be resized later. 

According to where you want to buy the ring there are many engagement ring London stores and as well as stores nationwide where you can pop in and have her ring size measured.

Select the ring setting style

A ring’s setting is the surround of the precious stone . It is part of a ring's personality. The setting must reflect her personal style. Would she prefer something chic and simple in style or does she like sparkle? A simple solitaire in a plain shank would be good for the former and a diamond set band for the latter could work well. Does she like antique rings or a vintage style? All these considerations will help you when you choose an engagement ring.

Choose the ring’s precious metals

The setting can be composed of different metal types as well as colours. The ring’s metal adds to the personality of its design. It can also enhance the appearance of the gems that it is supporting. The following are popular choices when it comes to engagement rings:

  • Platinum- This is the sturdiest jewellery metal and will hold a diamond securely. It is rarer than gold so is more costly also. It is hypoallergenic as well. 
  • 18 carat gold - Gold tends to the most popular precious metal for engagement rings. Pure 24 carat is too soft for daily wear, 18 carat is better for an engagement ring. It is softer in comparison to platinum but more affordable too.
  • 14 carat gold- This is cheaper than 18 carat and popular in the US.
  • 9 carat gold- This is often used in the UK and is the cheapest precious metal to buy, although if you are on a tight budget you can get silver engagement rings.

Different alloy mixes create various colours of gold. The most popular precious metal colours for engagement rings tend to be yellow, white and rose gold.

It is important to choose the best engagement ring UK as this is a precious ring and the memories of it will stay forever. Look at the options available and do your research before choosing one.

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Is Smart Lighting Worth It?

Smart lighting has come a long way in recent years. It’s now easier than ever to get your home lighting set up and customisable without the need for an electrician or difficult to set up home hubs. Smart Lighting brands such as 4Lite Wiz Connected (https://www.ledbulbs.co.uk/collections/4lite) have all of the “smart” technology contained within the lamp itself making them as close to plug-and-play as smart lighting can get.

Why 4Lite?


If you’re looking to add smart lighting to any or every room of your home then you can manage them all from your existing devices without the need for a hub. They’re all retrofit, meaning they can be added to your existing light fittings. Put them into pairing mode (you’ll need to read the documentation that comes with the lamp to find out what to do with the specific lamp you purchase) and they’ll appear in Google Home or SmartLife apps instantly.

From there, you can set lighting modes for specific lamps or add them into groups to light entire rooms with the click of a button.

Once they’re added to your smart home app of choice you’ll be able to link them up to your voice assistant. Whether it’s Google Assistant or your Amazon Alexa, the set-up is simple and allows for intuitive control without the need for your phone.

Is it expensive?

LED Lighting in general used to mean a large price tag. As technology has improved and competition within the market has flourished, prices are becoming lower and lower all the time. Whilst the initial cost of the LED bulb is larger than traditional halogen or CFL bulbs, the price over the lifetime of the bulb is much lower. LED bulbs are thousands of times longer lasting than their antiquated contemporaries meaning you’ll need to replace them less often.

You also don’t get the same feature set with halogen or CFL that is available on LED bulbs. When you add their longer lifespan, the ability to change the colour with a touch of a button & smart control together, they end up being incredibly well priced.

Find the perfect range of smart LED Lighting from 4Lite now at LEDBulbs.co.uk.

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Do You Wish To Save Money And Still Make Wiser Choices? Here Are Some Smart Ways To Do So

 




With every New Year's resolution, many of us aim to cut our spendings. However, every year we often end up giving up this resolution. Being able to filter out your needs and wants and applying the smart ways to shop is actually a skill that could help many of us.

Here are some simple steps that can single-handedly help us curb spending and make wiser choices with money.

Make a list and check it twice


Not jotting down what you need beforehand is the biggest mistake to make. Whether you are out for groceries or shopping for some clothes, it's always sensible to make a list of what you need. This will help you save time, save energy and save money! The rule here is to follow a checklist you've made before your shop, ticking off what you get as you go. This shopping list technique always works as it will discourage you from window shopping, and help you stay focused. .For example, if you want to buy trainers, you will only visit the Nike outlet , collect the specific one and leave the store, saving you from moving from aisle to aisle and stopping you from picking up things at random, which ultimately leads to impulsive buying.

Keep an eye out for sales and promotions
sales

Sales and discount offers are a great way to spend your money wisely. This will not only save you money but will let you buy quality branded clothes at a bargain price. Therefore, always buy all brands on Supersales. Many chain stores with genuine products arrange annual or occasional sales. Sales on Black Friday, Boxing Day, and New Year sales are all worth checking out. are worth. Why not make a note in your calendar for when the sales are likely to be on. By doing this you will be able to save in advance for the sales too. Additionally, promotional deals on grocery items can also save you some money. All you need to do is to be aware of these deals, either by SMS alerts, email subscriptions, or online notifications. The supermarket apps are good for highlighting deals like 2 for 1s or round pound deals.


Collect and use coupons 
Another money-saving move is to use discount coupons. Signing up for loyalty cards is a good idea to earn discounts. Moreover, you can get discounts on grocery products by collecting coupons from magazines or print them from online websites. You can even get your shop for free!

Only take the cash you need
This is another important way to prevent yourself from impulsive shopping. Using a contactless card is super convenient but leads to impulse buys. So only take the amount of money you need when you go shopping. Who can spend money which you don't have with you?

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How To Buy The Right Glasses Frames

If you need some new spectacles or are buying glasses for the first time there are many things you need to take into consideration.  In this post, I will be looking at how to buy the right glasses for you, and what to take into account.  This post is an advertorial, all opinions are however my own.

Strength

glasses
Before you buy a pair of glasses it's important to know about the strength of your lenses. If you are very short-sighted for example your lenses may be quite thick. This will have an impact on the frames you buy. A thin metal frame may not be able to hold a thick lens or the thickness will show more. You could pay for extra thin lenses if this is the case, but it’s something you have to bear in mind and is an added cost.

If you need reading glasses you may go for a varifocal pair too.

Face shape

Your face shape can affect which glasses you buy. A frame shape can flatter your face shape, and here are some suggestions below, obviously these are just suggestions, so go with what you like! 

Oval shape - suits many shapes of glasses, square or round are good.

Square shape - round and oval shapes can soften your look.

Round shape - rectangular frames and wayfarer frames are a great look.

Heart shape - wraparound frames or rounded frames. 

Many websites allow you to upload a photo and try on your glasses virtually. This can be a huge help if you have bad eyesight and won't be able to see well with clear lenses in store. Buying glasses online like this is convenient too.

Material 

There are many materials you can choose from. The more traditional materials are plastic, metal and acetate. A new breed of glasses is around and today glasses frames can be made of carbon fibre, titanium and aluminium too. Titanium and aluminium are both very strong and corrosive resistant so a good choice if you work outdoors or are rough on your frames. These new materials will have a higher price tag so it's something to think about but there are still plenty of cheap glasses around if your budget is smaller. You may also want to consider rimless frames especially if your lenses are thin.

If you want to find out more about the materials that glasses are made of check out this article here.

Colour and design

Of course, the colour and design play a big part in why you choose a glasses frame. You may want to consider your skin tone and how this suits the colour or the glasses frame. I like warm browns as this suits my skin colouring. 

Some frames have a subtle or more obvious design, such as tortoiseshell colouring, brand logo e.g. Gucci,  Swarvoski crystals, or a very obviously bright colour. The frame choice can be harmonious or make more of a statement. 

As you can see there are a number of things to consider when buying the right glasses frames. Although this is a simple guide I think at the end of the day choose what you like, and what you can afford as that's the most important thing.

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How Much Data Do Companies Really Hold On You?

Do you know what data companies hold on you? Do you know how much, and do you care? Data protection is something we should all care about, but it is something many people turn a blind eye to.

So many of us will visit a new website or app and click accept on a pop-up, often without actually reading it, but do you know exactly what you are granting access to?

Rightly have launched a campaign, helping people to identify exactly what data certain companies may or do hold on us all. This post is an advertorial conjunction with them, all opinions are my own.

What Data Do Some Brands Hold?

social media

Would you believe that ASOS hold many different details on you? As well as the usual name and email that you would probably expect, they also hold information on your gender, age, addresses, phone numbers, social profiles and marketing preferences. Amazon and eBay on the other hand do not hold quite as much but still hold a handful of these details.

We all know that online retailers use basic data to help them with their advertising, but I am sure you didn’t know that they will sometimes harvest data from other sources such as your social media profiles to help them get a better picture of the person you are and your interests?

Following on from that, social media platforms tend to hold the most data on you and it would actually probably be easier to list the data they do not hold on you. Another type of site that holds a lot of data on its users are gambling sites – it's expected they will collect a little more personal data during the onboarding process due to gambling laws and age restrictions, but it is quite shocking just how much data they do hold on you.

If you are interested in finding out what data different companies hold on you, then you can check out Rightly’s campaign, which explains all about your personal data and what companies hold on you.

Should You Consider a Data Detox?

data


Much like a spring clean, you should be clearing out your data regularly too. With the strengthened GDPR rules in place since 2017, we possess the power and can ask companies what personal data they hold on us and what they use it for. If we are unhappy with what they are using it for or even if we simply no longer want them to hold it, we can ask them to delete it.

A data detox is definitely a positive thing. With a data detox, we can ensure you aren’t constantly bombarded with unsuitable advertising or contact from companies. Rightly can help you by communicating with over 10,000 companies on your behalf for free to see which brands have information on you and they can then help you to update it or delete it once it has been obtained.

Let them know what you think about data protection right now and if you’d consider a data detox of your own, using the hashtag #MappingMyData on social media.

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Don’t Go On Holiday This Summer Without Packing These Essentials

We have been through a particularly hard year and more, and we have also been through a particularly cold and rainy spring, but summer is finally nearly here with rolled back restrictions and (we’re hoping) some glorious sunshine.

If you are packing up your suitcases and heading for a holiday this summer, then you are going to want to make sure that you have all your bases covered so that it all goes as smoothly as possible. Here are a few essentials that everyone planning a summer break in the UK shouldn’t be without.

Don’t Forget Your Reusable Water Containers

water bottle


Even though restrictions are lifting, it is important to remember that we should all be doing our best to minimise unnecessary contact and that means that we should all try to avoid going in and out of shops where we can. Reusable water containers are a great way to save on money, they’re a great way to keep you from going in and out of newsagents and supermarkets every hour or two, and they are a much better choice for the environment.

Don’t Forget Your Masks And Hand Sanitiser

As mentioned, some things have changed but we still need to make sure we are wearing our facemasks when we go indoors, and that we are washing our hands regularly. Packing extra supplies of masks and hand gel doesn’t exactly scream “summer holiday”, but it’s so important and it will give you that extra peace of mind for you and your family.

Don’t Forget To Take A Good Book

One of the most appealing things about taking a holiday is, perhaps surprisingly, the idea of spending a few days away from our screens. Whether it’s peering at the laptop as you work from home or feeling your eyes glaze over as the next episode cues up on Netflix, we’ve all had more than our fair share of blue light in the last year or so.

A holiday is a great opportunity to dive into a good book. Whether you’re finally getting round to starting a classic, diving into a brand new thriller, or reading a children’s book with your little one, we all love a good read. Check out these book deals to find great bargains on an amazing range of titles. Fresh Deals works with WH Smith, Amazon and other sites to find the best offers for you.

Don’t Forget To Prepare For The British Weather

rain

Even though we are all hoping for a bit of sunshine, most of us know that if you book a holiday in the UK, you need to pack for all four seasons. May has definitely reminded us of that important lesson. So, be sure to take your sunglasses and suncream, but you should also make room for that big jumper and your waterproof coat.  Remember, if you take the cold weather clothes with you, then you probably won’t need them!

Finally, Don’t Forget Your Phone Charger

How many times have you gone on holiday without your phone charger? Seriously, double-check it now and save yourself the hassle of buying a new one when you’re trying to relax!

So these are my packing essentials for a summer holiday. Do you have any packing essentials especially for a holiday in the UK?

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Why It Is Not Too Late To Get Clear Aligners

During the past year, many of us spent a significant portion of our time communicating with loved ones and work colleagues on video calls. Whilst the pandemic certainly had an impact on many industries, one sector that had an unlikely boom was cosmetic dentistry.

The cosmetic dentistry industry saw an increase in the number of individuals interested in undergoing some form of dental treatment. Having spent hours on video calls, many began to notice aspects from themselves from the shoulders that they would like to alter. The most common change was their teeth. Although many would assume that as an adult it is too late to have your teeth straightened. This is not the case, as many adults are eligible for treatments such as clear aligners. In undergoing the treatment, you can help to increase your confidence and achieve a perfect smile.

If you are on the fence about whether to have clear aligners, here are just some benefits and things to consider that may help with your decision.

Speak With Your Dentist

smile


The best way to check that you are eligible for clear aligners is by speaking with your dentist. Dental clinics, such as Argo Dental, will go into great detail about whether having a clear aligner will work for you and if your teeth are healthy enough to undergo the treatment. In addition to this, if you are eligible, then they can walk you through what to expect if you decide to go ahead and have clear aligners.

Benefits Of Clear Aligners For Adults

After deciding to have clear aligners, you have opened the door to welcome any of the benefits that can be included. The main benefit of clear aligners is that they are practically invisible. As the name suggests, clear aligners are incredibly difficult to notice when you are wearing them. It is this discreet nature why many adults choose them over traditional braces. Since wearing braces can have an impact on a person’s self-confidence, clear aligners help to combat the issue of being self-conscious.

Improve Your Overall Oral Healthcare

When wearing braces or clear aligners, how you brush your teeth and maintain the changes. You become more conscious about ensuring that you have properly brushed your teeth, even increasing the total of times to three instead of two. As such, how you care for your teeth whilst wearing a clear aligner significantly improves.

Potentially Save You Money

Although the cost of having clear aligners may seem like an investment, having straight teeth could potentially save you money in the long run. This is because, various benefits come with having straight teeth, which include reducing the need for fillings or toot wear treatments in the future.

See What’s Available

One of the main reasons why clear aligners are the most popular alternative brace choice is their invisibility. Additional benefits of having clear aligners are that they are less obtrusive and painful compared to other traditional forms of braces.

However, there are other ways to achieve straighter teeth such as braces or Invisalign. The only issue is that clear aligners are often the most affordable choice that also requires less maintenance than traditional braces.

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