Experiential Gifts inspiration

As good as it feels to give a gift, it can be challenging to find the perfect one. The trick to the art of gifting is understanding and respecting the recipient’s personal taste. You may appreciate decorative gifts that embrace your love of maximalist interior design, but others prefer minimalism and could perceive trinkets as clutter. Equally, sometimes people really are just difficult to buy for. If you’re buying for someone who already has everything they need, prefers to buy their own things or has changeable preferences, you can’t go wrong with an experience gift.

In a busy world, the best present we can offer someone is time. An experience gift is more than a chance to enjoy themselves – it’s an opportunity to slow down and make memories. If you want to give an experience to a loved one but you’re not sure where to start, think about their personal interests.

For movie buffs


For the movie buffs in your life, plan a themed film night. Hire a projector and set up a cosy space with atmospheric lighting, themed drinks and plenty of snacks. They’ll appreciate the effort you’ve gone to just as much as the night itself.

Alternatively, you could take them to a drive-through movie theatre for a touch of classic glamour.

For sports fans

Tickets to go to their favourite sporting event together are likely to go down a treat, especially if you splash out on a box.

For a more relaxing experience, consider a weekend away at a luxury golf retreat together. Enjoy casual or competitive play alongside an indulgent experience of relaxing surroundings and lavish accommodations. This may be particularly rejuvenating, especially for couples who want to spend some time focusing on each other.

For foodies

food festivals

Food is the way to anyone’s heart! The UK has a plethora of fantastic food festivals, from beer events to celebrations of local produce. Buying tickets to a festival you think they’d enjoy and spending the day together with good food is a wonderful way to create fun memories.

If your loved one’s idea of indulgence is linked to haute cuisine, book a fine dining experience for an unforgettable evening of sophistication.

For culture vultures

If you’re giving a gift to someone who loves art, book a private museum or gallery tour around a space which represents their favourite artistic movement.

People may not prioritise cultural experiences in a difficult economic climate, so giving the gift of a trip to the theatre could be a real pleasure. Look up musicals, plays or comedy performances in the location of your choice to find upcoming shows.

For adventure seekers


What’s life without a little adventure? If your recipient loves to feel an adrenaline rush or the nervous buzz of a new experience, there are plenty of exciting options.

Llama or alpaca trekking is a wonderful way to feel the therapeutic benefits of interacting with animals while also doing something thrilling.

To give an impressive gift for those who prefer a bit of danger, snorkelling with sharks or doing a parachute jump would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Activities To Strengthen Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills

Children develop their fine motor skills at different rates and stages in their lives. But when children struggle to develop these skills, they can have trouble with simple tasks such as grasping and writing with a pencil or using tools such as scissors. They can even have difficulty when it comes to using a set of keys or tying their shoelaces. If you have noticed your child is struggling with their fine motor skills, you have come to the right place. Here is some advice from a girl's independent school in Surrey on activities that strengthen your child's fine motor skills.

Allow them to play with play dough. It is a fun aspect of a person's childhood but is more useful than entertainment for children. Young ones can improve their fine motor skills by squeezing, stretching, pinching and rolling the play dough out. You can even allow your child to use cutters and scissors to strengthen their skills further.

Painting is a great way to get children to make use of their fine motor skills. Painting encourages children to focus on hand-eye coordination. Finger painting is also great as it allows children to get messy and use their hands to make their creations. Using a paintbrush helps them learn how to hold the brush correctly to gain control whilst using it.

Water play. Every child loves to play with water so it is a great time to use this to their advantage when it comes to developing and strengthening their fine motor skills. Fill a cup of water halfway and give your child instructions on what to do with it. Allow them to pour water from one cup to another and use a dropper or syringe to draw water out and transfer it to another cup. To make this more interesting, you can colour the water for a fun mixing experiment.

Once your child has worked their way through these activities, you’ll notice a drastic improvement in their fine motor skills.

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Exploring Moral Values With Your Child

When it comes to parents and their goals for their children, the baseline consists of good moral values and a respectful and hardworking child. It is vital for parents to explore moral values with their child from a young age. This will help them learn the difference between right and wrong and the best way to treat others. Through moral values, they will also pick up vital social and communication skills that can be used in the space of a classroom as well as in their adult life. To teach your child moral values effectively, you need to make sure you are guiding them the entire way. Here are some ways you and your child can get started.

mum and child

Teach them how to be kind and helpful. This is one of the most important values your child can pick up. For your child to live in the world harmoniously amongst others, it is vital for them to open-minded and respectful towards other people’s beliefs and opinions even if they do not line up with their own. Encourage your child to be fair and considerate to all around them.

Listen well to others. Listening is a great skill and one that is needed for many aspects of a person's life. No one likes a person who constantly interrupts or speaks over others which is why it is so important for your child to understand how to master this. It will come in handy when they are in both school and the workforce.

Teach them how to take responsibility for their own actions. You want to make sure your child can own up to their actions and take responsibility for them. This will help them work on mistakes and gain the ability to handle disputes better which will be handy in the future.

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Top Tips For Preparing Your Garden For Winter

Summer is officially over and the transition into the colder months has arrived in the form of coloured leaves and frosty mornings. However, it is not only us that need to prepare for the cold weather but the spaces around us including our gardens. The harsh weather conditions mean plants won’t grow as easily so it is time to say goodbye to the outdoor fun until the upcoming Spring. Autumn is the perfect time to get rid of old plants, tidy up borders and clear out gutters. Acquiring new materials for the garden such as this garden storage in London will be perfect for packing away valuables to protect them over the colder months. Here are my top tips on getting your garden ready for Winter.

Tidy up the borders of the garden. To ensure your spring bulbs come through, dig up the soil and plant your bulbs in time. Once they are tidy, spread some bark over the areas to keep them neat over the winter.

Neaten up the lawn. Remove any moss and build-up and follow with a lawn feed to prepare your lawn for the cold months ahead. Give your lawn a good trim as well. If you are wanting to expand on the grass space in your garden, this is the best time to lay fresh turf down.

Plant evergreens. Warm soil and cool temperatures make this the perfect time to plant fillers in your flower beds. They will also add a spot of colour throughout the dull and dreary months.

Maintain your garden equipment. Before storing away all your electricals and garden furniture, it is worth giving them a good clean or service to ensure they are ready for use the following year. Spades and forks can do with a good wash and hose pipes can be put away to give the garden a lovely neat aesthetic for the coming Winter.

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What To Consider When Buying A Wedding Dress

Your wedding day is important in your and your partner's life and as well as wanting to have a perfect day you also want to look your best. The majority of women go for a wedding dress for their wedding day, but how do you find that perfect dress? 

woman wearing wedding dress

There are so many things to consider when buying your wedding dress, from the style, the colour, the material and so on. It doesn't help that there is a vast choice of wedding dresses out there either. However, if you are looking for some guidance then I can help you with this article.  Let us have a look at what to consider when buying a wedding dress. This is an advertorial.

Prepare for wedding dress shopping

Do some research, and use sites such as Pinterest and wedding magazines to find out what styles you like beforehand. this can help you narrow things down. However, I would say it's always good to go with an open mind. Try on many different styles as possible as you never know which styles will suit you until you try on the dresses.

Shopping online

Ever Pretty wedding dress

Shopping online is very convenient if you know what you are looking for. If you are shopping online check out sites such as Ever Pretty. They have a large array of wedding dresses as well as bridesmaids' dresses in a range of sizes. With over 17 years of experience in the fashion industry, they are tuned in to what a bride is looking for. In this day and age, many are looking for budget-friendly options and Ever Pretty delivers on this with wedding dresses under £40  and almost everything under £100. They also offer an exclusive customised style service so you can be sure your gown fits perfectly. Returns and exchanges are also available, subject to conditions (excluding customised styles) so you can have a worry-free ordering experience. 

Who are you going with?

If you are going wedding dress shopping it can help to take someone with you to give you a different opinion. Whether it's your mum, friend, sister, brother, or any significant other think about who would it be fun going with and who would give you an honest opinion.  Wedding dress shops and online are often the best place for the choice available but don't dismiss department stores and vintage and second-hand shops, especially if you are on a budget. You may be surprised. 

Appointments are a good idea

wedding dress shop

If you are going to a wedding dress shop, many allow walk-ins but many only accept appointments and you may have better service if you make an appointment anyway.  So make a list of places you want to visit, check with anyone coming with you their availability and make some appointments. Don't do too many in one go though as you will get jaded. You can always go back to your favourite wedding dress shops again. 

Think about the type of wedding

When choosing your dress you need to think of the type of wedding beforehand. Will it be in a church, will it be abroad, will it be in a registry office or a more informal setting? This may impact the type of dress you want to wear. A church wedding may be more suitable for a full-on grand dress with a train and a destination wedding in a more informal setting will suit a less formal dress. Are you having a theme at your wedding? If so you may want to consider certain styles. At the end of the day though it's totally up to you. 

Material and colour

Ever Pretty wedding dress

The material for a wedding dress is important. Think about what the weather will be like, and what material may be the best. If you are getting married somewhere hot you may want a dress made of breathable fabric and something light and floaty, maybe strapless. If you are getting married somewhere cold you may want to go for a dress that has sleeves and thicker material. White is the traditional colour for a bride but cream is close behind. Of course, if you are going for something non-traditional then it can be any colour your want.


Of course, you have to think about your accessories to go with the dress. Shoes, tiara, veil, underwear and all. Sometimes wedding stores will sell accessories too especially the tiaras and veils but you will most likely have to search in other stores for all the accessories you need. Again it depends on what you want and how traditional the wedding is, this will influence which accessories you choose.


Of course, the last thing I have to talk about is the budget. Actually, this could have been the first thing! Before you go shopping it's always good to think about the budget you have for your dress and accessories. It can help you narrow down the dresses too and think realistically about what you can afford. 

So these are some of the things to consider when buying a wedding dress. I hope this article has been helpful to you.


Helping Your Child Manage Exam Stress

Exams are one of the first times a child will go through heavy amounts of stress due to the impact they could have on their future. This means that their mood can change and they will be spending a lot more time alone and studying. As parents, it is important to support your child in any way possible to help reduce their stress levels. Making sure they have a good working space, getting enough sleep and eating well are ways to support your child through this difficult time. Here is some advice from an independent school in Taunton on helping your child manage exam stress.

Prepare their workspace. In order to manage a heavy workload well, it is important for your child to have a quiet, well-lit space that will motivate them to work hard. Studying requires a lot of focus so you want to supply them with all the tools and stationery that they may need to avoid wasting valuable time. Ensure the area is of a comfortable temperature as well.

Create a plan for their revision. Sit down together and map down all the work they need to get done before their exams arrive. Spreading them out over time means your child will spend an ample amount of time working towards their goals and not risk cramming at the last minute.

A healthy diet. High-stress levels usually mean steering toward food that provides comfort such as fast food and sugary drinks and desserts. These will end up leading to your child feeling lethargic and having low energy and concentration levels in both class and at home. Prepare healthy and filling meals so they are providing their body and mind with the nutrients needed.

A healthy sleeping pattern is something everyone needs. Students require regular amounts of sleep per night to ensure they are energised the next day and ready to study. Encourage your child to stay off devices through the night and avoid late-night study sessions as sleep will provide better benefits to them.

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Fall is Here! Best Day Trip Ideas in SoCal Late 2022

Some folks might think that because southern California exists in such a temperate weather zone that it doesn't experience the visual majesty of autumn the way that other parts of the country do. However, when the calendar turns from summer to fall, southern California explodes into an autumnal wonderland and an explosion of colourful leaves. Now that fall is here, take a look at some of SoCal's best day trip ideas for this dynamic season.

Popular Day Trips Locations in SoCal

San Diego

Hiring a private boat charter San Diego is a great way to experience the sea while visiting a lively city. From haunted houses to apple-picking with lots in between, San Diego in the fall has something for everybody. All autumn long, San Diego is humming with activity.

If you hit San Diego during the first weekend of November, you can make a day out of visiting Old Town for Dia de Los Muertos. All weekend, the historic community will be celebrating with street food, vendors and family-friendly activities on San Diego Avenue. Many local restaurants will be offering special Dia de Los Muertos menu options along with live music and family-oriented activities like face painting and mask-making.

Legoland is in Carlsbad, CA, and besides offering a massive amount of fun to visitors, they put on Brick-or-Treat at Legoland on certain days beginning September 29 and running through October, until Halloween.

Visitors will experience fun, live entertainment and shows, as well as all of the stupendous visuals and inspiring hands-on activities offered at Legoland. Folks are even encouraged to come wearing their favourite costume.

Easy Plan Activities

pumpkin patch
If you're looking for easy to book activity consider whale watching San Diego. San Diego famously has some of the best whale sightings of any city on the west coast. You can still see the blue whales through September. Booking a whale watching excursion is as easy as nailing down your time frame and getting yourself and your family to the boat.

Apple picking is another activity that is fun and there are plenty of opportunities in the fall. There are loads of orchards in SoCal. Willowbrook Apple Farm in Oak Glen makes for an easy family-oriented experience where you can pick your own apples and make your own apple cider. Here are a few other choices for visiting orchards in SoCal:

Riley's Los Rios Rancho, Yucaipa, CA
Parrish Pioneer Ranch, Yucaipa, CA
Volcan Valley Apple Farm, Julian, CA
Snow Line Orchards, Oak Glen, CA

Another great, easy activity is to visit one of the local pumpkin patches. Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center has all sorts of family-friendly activities, like pony rides, hayrides, a straw maze, a bounce house, petting zoo. The general store is bursting with deliciousness, including their classic pumpkin fudge.

When summer turns to fall, the air cools to a comfortable temperature which has two tremendous effects: it makes for great outdoor-activity weather and it makes the leaves change colour. In other words, whatever you choose to do, you'll be doing it against the backdrop of colourful leaves, unless you're participating in San Diego whale watching, in which case your backdrop will be the splendid blue against blue of the sea and sky. Visit a sailing website today to book a cruise around SoCal's beautiful waters.


Bedtime Essentials For A Relaxed Autumn

Pumpkin spiced lattes, cosy knits, snuggly nights in… Autumn brings an abundance of joy. Though one thing many of us struggle with is as the season changes is disrupted sleep. SAD (seasonal affective disorder) affects one in three UK adults, caused by less light and lower temperatures. This can make you excessively sleepy during the day, lowering your mood and energy. Though here’s something to smile about, with a little upping in the self-care department and these magic bedtime essentials you can set yourself up for a relaxed and restorative Autumn.

Mattress magic


They say those that don’t believe in magic, never find it. Though when it comes to comfy, supported nights, magic is out there. The right mattress can transform the quality of your sleep, though what do you look for? Proper spinal support that doesn’t compromise comfort, motion control and breathability are key to better shut-eye. If you are looking to make the most of every wink a bamboo hybrid mattress combines breathable, hypoallergenic bamboo with contouring memory foam and ultra-responsive pocket springs- delivering tailor-made comfort to your pressure points. Staying well rested and relaxed throughout Autumn starts with making bedtime perfect from lights out till morning.

Let the light in

Not a fan of Autumn and Winter? It’s likely down to the lack of light which can lower serotonin levels and zap the ‘perky’ out of your mornings. There are a few things you can do to boost your mood till the sun comes back out to play. Try to open your blinds first thing in the morning to let in some natural daylight. You can also use a light therapy lamp which can help brighten up the darker mornings. The lamp mimics outdoor light, giving you a sunny fix, and providing your brain with the chemicals it needs to feel lifted. Scheduling a stroll in your day is another great way to let in a healthy dose of light and boost your wellbeing. Then it’s home for a cuppa and to put your feet up. Autumn is after all an invitation to indulge in the wonderful art of rest!

PJ Party

Bedtime is the catwalk of the season, which is why this it’s the ultimate time to glam up your PJs. Channel your inner hygge and find yourself the cosiest, trendiest nightwear to make those snuggly nights on the sofa all the more appealing. The best fabrics for Autumn are soft, natural and thermo-regulating. These will be kind to your skin and keep you warm while preventing overheating under that higher-tog duvet. You may also want to add some socks to your winter wardrobe. According to a research study, keeping your hands and feet warm can help you fall asleep faster.

It’s the simple things that really make a difference in the colder months. A mug of hot chocolate in your favourite PJs and a great Netflix series, what could be better? Upping the self-care starts at home. Don’t forget the marshmallows!

Unwinding ritual


How we relax is personal, though this Autumn give yourself permission to really rest. Choose a soothing ritual to unwind in the evening and make it a priority. Whether it’s a long soak in the tub, cooking a delicious meal… Or tucking into that novel you never read on the beach! Giving yourself some screen-free time two hours before you go to bed can help deepen and lengthen your sleep. Blue light keeps your brain switched on, disrupting your circadian rhythm with artificial light. Keeping phones and laptops out of your bedroom reduces the temptation to scroll on social media. Let emails and Instagram wait, you will thank yourself in the morning.

Autumn can be a struggle for those who pine for the longer days and warmer weather, but getting stuck into cosy nights and plenty of R ‘n’ R will make you fall in love with the season. With these bedtime essentials, you will be well on your way to brighter days and before you know it, the sun will be back at your window.

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A Weekend in Antwerp: How to Plan An Unforgettable Getaway

No matter how much you love your job or how satisfying it is, you tend to get stuck in a rut. You often find yourself gazing out the window at work, wishing you were somewhere else. You dread the thought of receiving another meeting request. A single bad day is totally okay. It happens to everybody. However, spending all your time at work can be detrimental to your happiness, well-being, and career. If you’re experiencing a rut because of burnout, take a step back and take a much-needed break. Let yourself off the guilt hook and take advantage of your paid time off.


Get a vacation to have a break from the stress of work. A weekend trip will boost your mental and emotional health. Such a trip is great to recharge your batteries and can be preferable to an extended break. Deciding what destination to visit can be daunting. If you want to be savvy with your free time, consider visiting Antwerp. It’s home to refined hotels, majestic Gothic cathedrals, exciting museums, and cosy places to eat and drink.

If you’re not a frequent weekend vacationer, here’s how to get the most pf a weekend break.

Set Goals and Expectations for Your Trip

Do you want to unplug and find peace for yourself or hit popular nightclubs and bars? Your weekend getaway will be a waste of time if it doesn’t accomplish what you want to do. Take a moment to think about your goals and expectations for the trip. Put everything necessary in writing. A list will help you keep track of your ideas and remind you of your goals and expectations as you plan. Number your interests in order of preference and see which one comes out on top. Plan your itinerary carefully taking into account travel times and tourist attractions.

Purpose gives focus to your planning, offers motivation to move forward, and helps you survive tough times. Don’t become too invested in your job that you can’t take time to unwind. The right kind of break will help you fight negative stress. Create a vision board on Pinterest with images for Antwerp, update the wallpaper on your phone with a picture from the city, read blogs about Antwerp, and start saying “I’m going to…” (not “I want to…). The perfect weekend getaway means something different for everyone.

Figure Out How You’re Going to Get to Antwerp

While flying to Antwerp is possible, you can travel by train. Jump on a train to Antwerp and see the most epic landscapes. Antwerpen-Centraal is regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful railway stations. Its beauty is one-of-a-kind, with a unique and special architectural style. Antwerpen-Centraal station an be seen as a rare combination of historic preservation and adaptation to the requirements of modern technology. A journey from London to mainland Europe takes just over 2 hours.

Some trains now have Wi-Fi so that you can stay connected while away. Regarding train travel, it’s crucial to choose the right train. Find the best fit for your style of travel. You could book your journey with NS International. The trains run well, there are little disruptions or delays, and if you book early you get the lowest prices. It’s an option worth considering. As mentioned before, it’s good to buy your ticket in advance. You’ll have a seat on the trip booked. Sometimes tickets sell out quickly. Also, fares go up in price, right up until the day you travel.

Do Your Research Ahead of Time and Make an Itinerary

Planning is essential to making the most of your weekend getaway and avoiding disappointment. Before you head out to Antwerp, do your homework to know what you can expect. See what the best places to stay are and what the transport options are. You can research what’s going on in Antwerp. Maybe there are concerts, shows, or festivals coming up that you’d like to attend. It’s a good idea to reserve tickets ahead of time. If you have only 2 or 3 days, you won’t be able to squeeze too many activities into your schedule so celebrating every moment is important.

Having an itinerary ensures that you can manage your time. You won’t end up running from one place to the other. If you can add an extra day to your weekend getaway, focus on sites located near or around your hotel. Make a list of what you’re interested in and save the locations on Google Maps. You must remember that you can’t see all the sights, so it would be best to prioritise your wants. You can use the information found on the Internet, but often a travel agent can help you plan your trip or an organised tour can show you the the best places to see and many can be booked in advance or on the day.

Master The Art of Packing

If you pack too much, you’ll carry a ridiculous amount of luggage for your weekend getaway. If you pack too little, you’ll have to buy things you’ve forgotten. Have a list of the things you need for the trip. Include one or more casual outfits, and opt for fabrics that wrinkle less. If you’re going ballooning or taking a yacht cruise, get an action camera. Sunscreen shouldn’t be missing from your packing list. If you plan to have long days of exploring, bring a portable charger. You can take the power bank everywhere with you.

Have a toiletry bag with personal care products like deodorant, toothpaste, eye drops, and so on. Put back anything that you’ve used when you get back from your adventure. You can use a seven-day pill container to organise jewellery and small items. They can get lost in pockets or fall out of bags. You can use the container for things like earbuds, cufflinks, and so on. Packing cubes will help you separate your clothing. You can organise the contents of your itinerary. If you’re travelling with weather sensitive clothing, use a vacuum-sealed compression bag.

So this is how to plan a weekend in Antwerp. Have you visited this city?

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3 Things You Need For A Road Trip Holiday

A more popular type of holiday in recent years is a road trip holiday. This type of holiday allows a holidaymaker to take control of their holiday and do whatever they want to do. Before you set off planning the holiday, there are some things that you will need. Let's take a look.

A Route

map with car

First things first, where do you want to go? Figuring out where you want to go will help you with planning the entire road trip. For example, do you want a spectacular road trip route or somewhere where the destination is more important than the journey?

There are plenty of options in the UK, particularly up high in Scotland, especially around the Highlands. Consider what you want to see, and this should narrow down our choices.

A Vehicle

RV car for road trip

It may sound obvious, but it is worth reviewing all the same. You will need a vehicle for your road trip holiday. A few options are available to you, depending on what sort of road trip holiday you're looking to get involved in. For example, you could look to drive a car, a campervan, an RV, or even have yourself driven around on a public bus/coach, allowing you to stop off at various locations.

This means you need to consider what vehicle you need for your holiday. If you are planning to drive your own car for a holiday, it will be important to have your vehicle in good working condition. It will also be a good idea to bring some spare parts for your car to help you out in case you get stranded.

You could look into getting yourself a new car. This could be quite an expense, so purchasing a car through car finance could be in your best interest. You can compare car finance deals with Quotezone.co.uk. This allows you to search through various car finance deals, helping you save time and find the best deal possible. This can help you get the exact car you need for your road trip holiday, and your life, without spending all of your savings.

Road Trip Essentials

couple picnic on beach

I mentioned how beneficial it would be to bring spare parts for your car on holiday, but there will be other things you should consider. For example, bringing a first aid kit will be a good idea. There are a lot of things that will go into a well-stocked first aid kit, such as plasters and gauze dressings. This will help prepare you and your road trip guests for emergencies while on holiday. Of course, for any serious issues, you should ensure you are going to the hospital.

Regarding other essentials, it will be a good idea to bring food and drink, perhaps in a cooler, to prepare you for when you're away from shops and cafes. Once you find somewhere nice to stop and chill for a short while, you will be able to enjoy some much-needed food and drink.

You should also ensure you have any documents you need for your holiday or vehicle. For example, you will need to make sure you have your driver's licence and your insurance documents ready to be presented to any authoritative figures. You may also need to grab tickets for attractions and events. For ideas on the perfect UK road trip, check out the following road trip articles for more great tips.

Why An Internship Is The Perfect Next Step After College Or University

If you are looking to build your career after college or university, you will be looking at a way of getting into work. It can be hard to get your foot in the door, especially in your chosen career, and you may have to take a temporary job in an area you may not want. However, there is a way of getting into your chosen area of work, by taking an internship. An internship can be a great way to get valuable work and life experience and may lead to the job you want. So let's have a look at some of the benefits of an internship and why it can be the perfect next step after college or university. 


Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

An internship is a period of work experience offered by a business, non-profit or government organisation. An internship is usually offered for a short period from 1 to 6 months or up to a year on average.  Internships can be paid and unpaid so you need to look into this before committing to the experience and this varies from country to country. You may get expenses if the role isn't paid.

Why do an internship?

There are many reasons to do an internship including gaining valuable work experience,  trying out a role, building confidence, networking opportunities, a chance of working for the intern company, and living in a new town, city or country. 

Work experience

Internships can be valuable as students are getting work-specific experience in an area of their choice or field of study and this could get them the job they want.  Areas that are popular for internships include marketing, human resources, finance, engineering, and electronics. You get specific on-the-job training that you won't get on a traditional academic degree. You will get a practical skill base, and gain experience working with colleagues and being part of a team. You will have a role to put on your CV too. 

Trying out a role

woman working on computer

You can see how the job is in reality and work out if this job is for you. You can see the pros and cons of a specific job and find out if it matches your expectations. The reality is often different to what you expect and that can be good and bad or just different. This means an internship can be invaluable when working out if the job is for you. Just remember companies are all different so the same role in one company could be incredibly different in another. 

Building confidence

Work experience gives you confidence. This can be the confidence to put what you have learnt in a college or degree course into practice. You are highly likely already to have an interest in this field of work, so you can also put any other knowledge outside of your degree into practice.  Working with colleagues, finding out expectations and meeting them is great for self-esteem and confidence. Being part of a valuable team and getting work done builds confidence too. 

Networking opportunities

When you work in a company it's always an idea to talk to as many people as possible. You never know if these connections will give you a job opportunity in the future. Be approachable and professional at all times. Be a pleasant person to be around. Remember people move on from jobs too so they could move to a different organisation that you may be interested in, in the future, and could help you land a job there. 

Working for the intern company

If you have an internship with a company and they are happy with your work you will have a much better chance of a job offer if they have a vacancy.  You won't be an unknown quantity to them, you will already know how the company works, and what a role in the company involves, even if you take a side step and are offered a different post. 

Living in a new town, city or country

Internships allow you an opportunity to travel within your country or even internationally. From internships in big cities like London to international internships New York, if you have always wanted to travel or try living in a different city then internships can give you that opportunity without a long-term commitment. It's a way of trying out life in a town, city or country you may not have thought of too. 

So as you can see there are many benefits of taking an internship. An internship can be the perfect next step after college or university and could land you, your dream job. So if you are thinking of what to do after college or university, do your research and apply for an internship that is right for you.


What To Do When You’re Feeling Dismissed And Ignored By Your Physician

In theory, doctors should listen to their patients carefully and take their concerns seriously. Needless to say, that’s not always how things happen in practice. Although most doctors will do everything in their power to provide their patients with amazing care, some will dismiss patients’ symptoms, and refuse to discuss an alternative diagnosis. Instead of listening to what their patients are experiencing and further investigating the issue, they’ll try to convince them they have nothing to worry about because they’re the experts and they know better.


However, the truth is that as well-intentioned and well-prepared physicians may be, they’re still just human and prone to mistakes as everyone else. No one knows your body better than you do, so if you feel there’s something wrong with you it’s probably because there is, despite your doctor’s reassurance.

It can be extremely frustrating when your doctor doesn’t take your symptoms seriously, minimising or ignoring your problem. It can also be extremely dangerous because they can overlook very important health issues or misdiagnose you, and that can have serious health consequences. Resources such as https://www.medicalnegligencelaw.org.uk provide further information on the steps you can take if you’ve been a victim of medical negligence.

You shouldn’t have to struggle to get safe and effective treatment from your doctor, but unfortunately, the medical system is far from perfect and sometimes you have to become your own health advocate. Keep in mind that doctors are often overwhelmed by tons of paperwork and they have very limited time on their hands to assess each patient, and that can also impair their efforts to properly communicate and connect with their patients.

Fortunately, you’re not powerless. There are certain strategies you can use to improve your relationship with your doctor and get them to listen to you. Here’s what you can do.

Take matters into your own hands

First of all, you have to stop feeling like a helpless victim and become your own health advocate. While doctors can provide the quality care you require, you also have to take action and get actively involved in your own health journey. Being passive and waiting for things to get better on their own will only deepen your frustration and problems.

Your physician may not have the necessary time to go over your entire medical history, so you can step in and get them up to speed with the health problems you’ve experienced over the years and the treatments you’ve taken or are currently taking. Make sure your doctor has access to relevant information regarding your health and keep them updated at all times.

Talk to your physician openly

You should think of your doctor as your confidant – a person you can talk to about your problems openly without fear of being judged or misunderstood. All the information that you share with our doctor is confidential, so no one but you two will have access to it.

When your doctor asks you how you feel, you have to be as honest as possible and provide accurate answers, without hiding or sugar-coating the truth. Your physician can’t help you if you leave things out of the picture, intentionally or not. They need all the pieces of the puzzle to accurately asses your health condition and provide the care you require.

Bring someone with you

If you’re having difficulties communicating with your physician and establishing a good doctor-patient relationship, bringing an extra set of eyes and ears to your appointments, be it a family member or a friend, can make a difference. It may seem strange to have a chaperone with you as a grow-up but their presence can be very useful.

First of all, your doctor may change their attitude when they see you’ve brought reinforcement and finally start taking your concerns seriously. Secondly, the other person can provide an objective perspective on what’s happening during the appointment, so they can either confirm or infirm that your doctor is not doing their job properly. Also, it’s good to have someone else with you because they can take notes during the visit and help you process the information you receive from your doctor.

Come prepared

It’s recommended to write down the things you want to communicate to your doctor and the questions you want to ask before you step into their office. During the appointment, you’ll be under the pressure of time and you may forget important details or have trouble gathering your thoughts and formulating your ideas. You might end up giving your doctor only crumbs of information that instead of clarifying things can cause more confusion.

It's a good idea to track your symptoms day by day and write them down in a journal. That way, when you go to your appointment, you’ll have all the information in front of you, so you’ll know exactly what to say and make the most of the time you spend in the doctor’s office.

Look for a new doctor

If your doctor insists there’s nothing wrong with you and the diagnosis you’ve received is the right one, you are in your right to ask for a second opinion. In fact, you can seek as many opinions as you want until you’re finally satisfied with the outcome.

Also, if you think you’ve tried everything to get your physician to listen to you and your relationship still doesn’t show signs of improving, it may be time to look for a different provider who can treat you right. You don’t have to stick with the same doctor just because you’ve been seeing them for years. You have options, and when you have exhausted all attempts at making things better, you should start exploring them.

Patients and doctors should work together as a team, so you have to find yourself a physician that you can connect with and who’s ready to be by your side every step of your health journey.

*Collaborative post

3 Ways To Use Plasterboard For Creative Designers

Plasterboard has been a revolutionary invention for house construction, as it can easily be used to make new walls at a low cost. The handy material isn’t just useful for this purpose, though, and it can serve many different functions. Indeed, if you get creative, there are loads of ways to use plasterboard.

female builder

If you’re interested in adding some depth and style to your walls, or you feel like installing a cheap and stunning storage area, plasterboard is the way to go.

No Need for Expert Help with Plasterboard

If you want to spruce up your home with some new plasterboard ideas, you could opt to call in some extra help if you’re worried about making mistakes. However, plasterboard is generally easy to work with, and most people can get to grips with it after watching a few YouTube videos or reading some guides.


The most important thing to know when using plasterboard is which adhesive to apply. Glue is the perfect choice for plasterboard as it makes putting it up faster. When you place it on a wall in this way, it’s not only faster but there is little mess as well. All you need to do is measure your workspace carefully, cut the plasterboard accurately, and assess the type of wall you’re applying it to. If it’s a stud wall, you’ll need to put glue on the studs. For a concrete wall, you can apply the adhesive to the rear of the panel.

Install Unique Dividers in Larger Rooms

Plasterboard has traditionally been used to create rooms out of larger spaces in a house build. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Instead of turning a big area into two small rooms, how about putting simple dividers in the room to create a unique setting?

For example, you could install a plasterboard divider in the centre of the room but cut it off so it doesn’t cover the whole width. There could be large spaces to walk past on either side. You could then install shelving or a television on one side and have a wardrobe on the other. This idea would work well in a bedroom, and it’s something that’s often seen in hotels.

Add to the Depth and Style of Walls and Ceilings

Having simple straight and flat walls and ceilings is soon to be a thing of the past in interior design, and builders are often adding plasterboard features to add depth and style to rooms. Plasterboard can be used to make crisp lines along the walls. Box designs are also popular, with certain areas sticking out from the rest.

One cool thing about plasterboard is that you don’t need to cut straight lines, so you can go for a curvy interior instead if that suits your needs. This can be used for wall designs, along with fancy dividers in the rooms.

Create Storage Space Using Plasterboard

Instead of buying movable furniture in the house, you can use plasterboard to create built-in storage space. This could range from a walk-in wardrobe to shoe cupboards. By designing your storage areas with this material, you can make them seamlessly fit with the design and colour scheme of the house. If you end up disliking the storage spaces later on, it’s not difficult to tear them down and try something new.

Plasterboard is a cheap and effective way to add some stunning elements to your home’s interior design. If you haven’t considered using the material for these purposes before, you may want to look into it.

15 Must-Have Tech Essentials When Working From Home

If you're working from home, there are some essential pieces of technology that you'll need in order to be productive.

Here's A Rundown Of The Must-Haves:

computer screen

1. A laptop or desktop computer

This is an obvious one – you'll need a computer on which to do your work. If you don't already have a laptop, now is the time to invest in one. Make sure to get a model with enough power to handle whatever type of work you'll be doing. Or, If you prefer to use a tablet, you can pay weekly for your tablet with no credit check.

2. A reliable internet connection

Another obvious one is that you'll need a good internet connection to do your work online. 
Check out the download vs upload speed depending on what you are using the internet for. If you don't have a reliable connection, it will be very difficult to get anything done. 

3. A comfortable workspace

This one is often overlooked, but it's important to have a comfortable space in which to work. If you're going to be spending hours at your computer, you need to make sure that your workspace is ergonomic and conducive to productivity.

4. The right software

Depending on the type of work you'll be doing, you'll need different software programs. Make sure to do your research and get the programs that are best for your needs.

5. A printer/scanner combo

If you're working from home, chances are you'll need to print and scan documents from time to time. Investing in a printer/scanner combo will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

6. A backup drive

It's always a good idea to have a backup drive for your computer in case something goes wrong and you lose all your data.

7. A VPN

If you work for a company that has remote workers, chances are you'll need to use a VPN (virtual private network) in order to connect to the company network. This is a must-have if you want to be able to access all of your work files from home.

8. A reliable email program

Email is still an essential part of business communication, so you'll need a good email program like Microsoft Outlook to stay connected with colleagues and clients.

9. A cloud storage service

Cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive are essential for anyone who works from home. They allow you to store files online so that you can access them from anywhere, which is perfect for when you need to work on the go.

10. A good task manager

Staying organised and on top of your work can be a challenge when you're working from home. A good task manager can help you keep track of everything you need to do and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

11. A noise-cancelling headset

If you work in a noisy environment, a noise-cancelling headset can be a lifesaver. It will allow you to focus on your work and tune out distractions.

12. A web camera

If you need to participate in video conferences or calls, a web camera is an essential piece of technology.

14. An external monitor

If you want to be able to see more than one screen at a time, an external monitor can be a huge help. It's also great for increasing your productivity.

15. An ergonomic keyboard and mouse

If you're going to be spending a lot of time at your computer, it's important to have an ergonomic keyboard and mouse in order to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries.

In Closing

These are just a few of the essential pieces of technology that you'll need if you're going to be working from home. With these items in place, you'll be well on your way to being productive and successful.

*Collaborative post

The Ivy Cardiff An OpenTable Review

AD. Recently I was invited to a campaign with OpenTable. To review a restaurant of my choice booked through the OpenTable website. I paid for the meal myself and the restaurant was not aware I was visiting.

In the centre of Cardiff in St David's Centre is The Ivy Cardiff. Part of the popular chain there is now 37 Ivy grills, cafes and brasseries in the UK.

The Ivy Cardiff

The restaurant chain originally started as a celebrity restaurant in London but it has grown through the years. The restaurant in Cardiff is in the Hayes area and well situated being close to major stores like John Lewis. The closest parking is either at John Lewis or in the St David's car park. 

Specials board

The restaurant has a small outdoor seating area and two floors inside. There are lots of plants and flowers outside and when you enter the building the staff warmly greet you and take you to your table. Booking is recommended as it can get very busy inside. I booked for a weekday lunch and there wasn't many tables free downstairs.  


The building itself is open plan and is beautifully decorated in an Art Deco style, from the sign outside to the menu and the blanquette seating. 


The menu has similar dishes all year round which does not change, as well as seasonal specials. You can get a decent steak, as well as classics like fish and chips and shepherd's pie. For the more adventurous among you, there are dishes like aromatic duck curry and lobster linguine. They do also have a vegan and vegetarian menu with dishes such as wild mushroom and truffle linguine, and Keralan sweet potato curry.  It was nice to see more vegetarian and vegan options than an uninspiring vegetable lasagne.

We were also given a set lunch menu with two courses for £17.95 and three for £22.95. This menu had dishes such as tomato and basil soup, steak chips and egg, seabream and sticky toffee pudding. We decided to stick with the main menu but before that the drinks. 


Our server was Marina, she explained the lunch menu, and the specials, which included grilled sea bass fillet and a roast fillet of beef. There was an interesting selection of non alcoholic mocktails so we ordered some.


Pictured above are the drinks we ordered, the Elderflower Garden (£6.95) and the Movie Star Martini (£6.95). The Elderflower Garden was perfect if you want something not too sweet and refreshing. Made from Seedlip Garden 108 (a herbal blend), Acorn dry non-alcoholic aperitif, elderflower cordial, and Fever Tree tonic, it was refreshing and slightly bitter. You could taste the cucumber in it. If you like gin-based cocktails but don't want the alcohol this would be perfect. 

The Movie Star Martini was a delicious mocktail made with pineapple juice, lime, fresh passion fruit and passion fruit syrup. It came with a shot of Fever Tree white grape and apricot soda. The passionfruit really came through with this mocktail. This is the perfect mocktail if you want a fruity cocktail without alcohol. 

For starters, my husband ordered the twice-baked cheese souffle (£8.95) with consisted of gratinated Caerphilly cheese with grated black truffle and a cream sauce. The cheese souffle smelt very cheesy and he was worried it would be too rich, but he did enjoy it and commented it had a good cheese flavour and was very light.

blackened cod

chicken milanese

For mains, I had the blackened cod fillet (£18.95) baked in a banana leaf with soy marinade, citrus-picked fennel, grilled broccoli, chilli and yuzu mayonnaise, with a side accompaniment of jasmine rice (£3.75) with toasted coconut and coriander. My husband the chicken Milanese with a brioche crumbed chicken breast, with a fried egg, parmesan and truffle cream sauce, with a side of truffle and parmesan chips. 

The blackened cod had a sticky sweet marinade that reminded me of a lighter teriyaki sauce with a hint of chilli. I'm not normally a fan of fennel but it wasn't overpowering, the tenderstem broccoli was chargrilled and the Yuzu mayonnaise added some creaminess to the dish. You could really taste the coconut in the fragrant jasmine rice too. Altogether a light dish that any fish lover would enjoy.

The chicken Milanese (£18.50) had a lovely crust that was really tasty and well seasoned.  The fried egg and parmesan truffle sauce added a great richness. Personally, I think the truffle and parmesan chips stood out as they were simply delicious with big truffle shavings on the top. 

Both of these dishes did need the sides we ordered. I think it would be better value if the dishes had come with a side. We were too full to order a dessert but there is a choice from creme brulee to tiramisu and apple tart fine. I've had the apple tart before and would highly recommend it, as it is flambeed at your table with calvados, a brandy made from apples. It is a great show seeing it flambeed at your table and is sweet and delicious.


The Ivy in Cardiff is beautifully decorated and feels like a real occasion restaurant. 


Even the women's toilet is beautiful as seen above. 

Although it's not an independent restaurant it really feels like the Ivy delivers on food and service. Service is efficient, the food was delivered promptly and the dishes were really delicious. If you are visiting for your birthday it is worth mentioning it as it appeared as if you get a complimentary dessert, and reviews on Tripadvisor seem to confirm this. It's not a cheap restaurant but sometimes you get what you pay for. We definitely recommend visiting The Ivy Cardiff when you want a meal in Cardiff city centre.  

Check out some of the other Cardiff restaurants on OpenTable as well as some of the South Wales restaurants. I have always found OpenTable a convenient and easy way to book a restaurant meal. Let me know, have you been the any of The Ivy restaurants?