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Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

It’s been estimated that at least a third of us enjoy making New Year’s resolutions every time December rolls over to January, but the vast majority of us never actually stick to them. How many times have you found yourself making the same resolution as you made last year, but saying it with a little less confidence than last time?

Unfortunately, a lot of these resolutions tend to be about our health. We’re aware of the problems we may be facing and the risks we might take unnecessarily, but we’re still reluctant to change our habits. Perhaps the problem is we aren’t thinking through the potential benefits of making straightforward, realistic commitments and planning how to stick to them. Here are a few examples that you may benefit from in 2017.

1) Weight Loss

This remains one of the most commonly proclaimed resolutions: next year I’ll be lighter! One of the most common problems with actually sticking to this is that people expect great results very quickly. In reality the process should be as gradual as possible, because this vastly increases your body’s chances of adjusting correctly and not bouncing back to your old eating habits as soon as things get difficult.Continue Reading

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Rescue and Transform Old Furniture

How do you normally start when you’re thinking about redesigning and redecorating your home? If the first thing you do is pick up a brochure or head online to start picking out your new furniture and buying pieces, we might suggest you’re going about the process completely backwards. Sorry!

We would recommend a slightly different approach, focusing more on what you already have. You can achieve some incredible results by refreshing old furniture and giving old pieces a brand new lease of life. This can in turn inject some much needed freshness into your rooms! Here are a few tips for saving old furnishings from the scrap heap and turning them into something you’ll love to feature prominently in your home.

Firstly, don’t worry about making it perfect. The finish on your old piece of furniture may be a lot less pristine that it was originally, but that’s certainly nothing bad. If you don’t want to put it through a proper restoration process, you can just enjoy a shabby chic finish on your piece instead. You might even distress it intentionally for a real rustic feel. This is the perfect way to disguise imperfections and make them into a feature.

Paint is going to be one of your primary weapons on this mission. Tackling an ugly old piece and trying to turn it into something attractive may not be easy, but with a fresh coat of brightly coloured paint you’d be shocked at what a difference you can make. Spray paint can be particularly effective in unusual colours, and again you don’t have to focus on getting a perfect finish. Try taking a tired-looking vintage piece and colouring it so it takes on a completely polar opposite identity.

If you’re feeling confident you might want to look at customising your furniture too, in the process of salvaging old and damaged pieces especially. Sometimes you may inherit a desk without all of its drawers, a chair with a missing leg, or perhaps something with a lot of potential that’s being ruined by just one particularly ugly element. Don’t be afraid to amputate old-fashioned or unnecessary parts from your furniture if it helps you style it the way you want to. For example, taking a vintage desk top and replacing its thick legs with much thinner, more sophisticated ones and then painting it a vivid colour could be the perfect way to revamp it.

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What You Need To Know About Cervical Screening

There are many misconceptions about cervical screening, including the purposes and benefits of it, as well as the fears women have which prevent them from having regular screenings. In particular, women below the age of 30 have a particular aversion to the idea of smear tests and gynaecologist clinics in general, perhaps assuming that they are in a low risk group, although this is not necessarily true. Millions of women every year choose to avoid cervical screenings entirely, but unfortunately this carries dangerous risks, most notably the risk of cervical cancer developing undetected and passing the stage where it is easily treatable.

In the UK, the NHS Cervical Screening Programme was set up, as well as Cervical Screening Awareness Week (13th-19th June 2016), to help ensure all women are aware of the importance of regular check-ups. On average only around 75% of women who have been invited to be tested have actually had the test completed, and despite cervical cancer being detectable from an early stage, it still causes hundreds of deaths every year.Continue Reading

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Luxury Features You Need In Your Bathroom

If you’re not planning to remodel your bathroom, we have great news. After reading this list, you will be! We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite bathroom features and once you’ve seen all these for yourself you’ll wonder how you managed without them all this time. If you were already thinking about ideas for your new bathroom, then you’ll definitely want to re-think before you miss any of these.

Designer Radiators

Radiators are pretty much essential in any bathroom, but there’s no reason you should be stuck with basic designs that don’t match your style. Designer radiators come in a variety of styles and hardly cost more than traditional options, but can add so much to your design. Choose pure white or black to complement a monochrome style, a classic column radiator design or a flat panelled look that looks great with wooden features. Our favourites are tall, narrow radiators with a shiny metallic finish which are very popular at the moment and look amazing in most modern bathrooms.

Heated Towel Rails

To add a touch of luxury to your re-modelled bathroom, you needn’t rely on your central heating to enjoy a warm towel every time you step out of the shower. Although many fabulous designs can be plumbed in like radiators, you also have the option of freestanding heated towel racks powered by the flick of a switch. Depending on the look of your bathroom, you might opt for a small, classic silver design, thicker poles that look impressive and make it easier to hang your towel, or a full-sized metallic rack that looks perfect with a modern colour scheme.Continue Reading

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Creative Ideas for Folding Tables

In modern households, a common problem is not having enough space or flexibility. Bulky furniture can dominate a room and limit its function, so when redesigning your room layout it can become a problem and often these large, impractical pieces are the first to go. Luckily, much more practical folding tables are available and getting ever more popular. Folding tables from Mogo Direct for instance, come in a massive variety of styles and serve a wide range of functions — so whatever you need in your home there is probably a foldable option! Here we take a look at some of the most creative ideas around, some of which you can buy online and others might be harder to come by.

Affordable folding tables for small rooms

The great thing about folding tables is that they’re always in fashion. When does it not look better to provide more space in your room with compact, tidy furnishings? It’s also easy to find options that suit a small budget as well as a small room, thanks to a range of low cost and stylish options available from UK folding table suppliers & furniture stockists. With a choice of designs and materials, you can ensure your table suits the rest of the room and gives you the functions you need without taking up all-important space.Continue Reading

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E cigarettes, a Healthier Alternative to Hookahs

The development of technology has made it easier for smokers to avoid the negative health effects brought about by the smoking of normal cigarettes or hookahs. There are many dangers associated with smoking hookahs. The good thing is that there are also many alternatives available on the market that will offer you the satisfaction you want. Here are some of the dangers associated with smoking hookahs.

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Just like the normal cigarettes, hookah smoking is very addictive because of the presence of nicotine. This makes them just as toxic as smoking tobacco. Despite that, many hookah smokers consider the practice less harmful than smoking; this habit has similar health risks to normal cigarettes. Hookah smoke has similar harmful toxins to cigarette smoke. This means that if you smoke hookah, you are in high risk of developing diseases such as respiratory illness, lung cancer, periodontal disease or low birth weight if used during pregnancy. According to the World Health Organization, hookah smoking expose smokers to high amount of smoke for a longer period of time compared to smoking of normal cigarettes. A one hour session using a hookah pipe can be has harmful as smoking 100 cigarettes.

Another risk involved in smoking hookah is increased risk of cancer. The charcoal that is used to heat tobacco increases the risk because of the production of smoke that contains high amounts of metals, carbon monoxide and other chemicals that cause cancer. In addition, smoking hookers poses a greater risk to those who are exposed to second-hand smoke.

To prevent the above health risks posed by smoking hookahs, you can use mechanical mods with nicotine eliquids ( additionally with e-liquid flavour concentrates ) as a healthier alternative. The good thing is that they produce water vapour instead of smoke, and you can choose to use them with or without nicotine so they are perfect if you are looking to reduce your nicotine intake. They also do not pose the same health risks to non-smokers as there is no known passive smoking risk.

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Benefits of yoga and exercise, and how a Personal Fitness Trainer can help

It is always important to ensure that you are fit and healthy at all times. Unlike the notion that many people have, it is not only eating a well-balanced diet that can help you be fit and healthy. There are several ways that you can improve your health. Exercise and yoga are two other strategies that can help boost your health. Here are some of the ways that yoga and exercise can help keep you fit and how a personal trainer can allow you to create a more personalised fitness plan to help you achieve your targets.

 

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How a personal trainer can help you

In order to get the best results, it is important to ensure that you have a highly qualified personal fitness trainer like Simon Long to help you achieve your goals. Most of the trainers have the ability to help you come up with a plan that is easy to implement in the most effective manner. You will be advised on the right exercise and yoga poses that will help you without making you strain. You get advice on the food you need to eat to ensure that you get enough energy and have strong muscles to perform the different exercise. The personal fitness trainer will be in a better position to help you come up with realistic goals that you can achieve within a given period of time. Overall, you can be assured that you will get the best results with a personal trainer.Continue Reading

Different Types Of Holidays To Enjoy

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Choosing a type of holiday to enjoy can help to bring the holiday planning together. Whether the trip is for sporting, shore activity, or an exotic safari, selecting a theme for a vacation will assist in finding the best hotels and places to see. For example, on a ski trip, having the best accommodations will be determined by the level of expertise of the skiers staying there. However there are a variety of rentals available in France, especially for family ski holidays, so anyone will have the privilege to stay in luxury chalets. The same is for the golf enthusiast. The lodgings may be categorised according to the certain activities that the golfers have planned. For example, if there is a school for the budding athlete, then the lodging will be in a certain location.

Package deals are prominent with the themed tourist. Golf and ski packages are popular. Beach events frequently draw in visitors. Beach events may include concerts, romantic getaways, and visiting athletes. Going to an event as a tourist may be one way to vacation. At the same time, the visitor is looked after by the event planner. A family trip to a certain sports tournament may be a way to entertain but, at the same time, all events will be a well-planned.

Package holiday plans can save money. For example, if you are booking a South Africa safari holiday, a lot of packages will include the flight, accommodations, transportation upon arrival, meals and possibly even expeditions or the safari trip itself. These deals are usually called all-inclusive and are just that. Everything is included in the one price. Most of the time, the all-inclusive certainly saves on the food cost of any vacation. Trips that are further away from home may be better as a vacation that includes everything. Communication may not be as effective for foreign destinations. Knowing that the tour group has planned out every detail may be a better choice and, also, less expensive.

There are non-inclusive choices that can be looked into. These plans include the flight or train trip and transportation to and from the airport. If exploration is more of the plan for the traveller, then this option is available. The vacationer is able to choose the restaurants for dining. The specific trek or tour is selected by the visitor. These types of plans tend to be more expensive and time-consuming, however. The transportation to and from the selected tourist venues is the responsibility of the tourist.

Why do people travel?

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If you ask people why they travel, you’ll probably hear the most common reasons including new experience, culture, sightseeing etc. But you may not realise that there are deeper reasons why we travel. Those reasons have more to do with the benefits we gain from travelling.

Broader mind

Travelling can open and broaden our mind. We realise that there are many different realities and lifestyles in the world. You also gain more knowledge and history about another country that is different to our own.

Enriches our life through new experience

Travelling enriches our life as we get to do new experiences that we’ve never done before. This makes our life more exciting and can make us feel more alive.

Feel vibrant and makes you interesting

Most of our daily lives probably consist of doing our usual routines and seeing the same place every day which can sometimes be tiring and boring. But with travelling, it gives us something to look forward to which can enhance our mood. After you’ve travelled, you can share your experiences with other people, and this will make a more interesting person in the eyes of others.

Energising

Travel enhances our enthusiasm as we are looking forward to seeing new places, experiences and people too.

Health

We get to explore on our feet to new places, and this gives us a chance to do new activities which are good for our overall health and fitness.

Independence and confidence

Travelling by yourself will make you more independent as you realise that you can handle new situations without any help from your close ones. This can also make you feel more confident about yourself and your capabilities.

A chance to try new things

You never know what to expect when you arrive at your new destination. You may find that they provide activities that you’ve never heard of before. You also get the chance to taste new foods as well!

How To Organise A Garden Party

As we finally head into summer, many people are starting to think about hosting outdoor parties when the weather improves. Although we had some fantastic weather in the UK just before Easter, the Bank Holiday weekend itself was a little disappointing this year in comparison, so most of us are still waiting for the first proper garden party of 2017.

If you fancy doing this yourself, there are a few things to consider…

Accounting for the weather

Realistically this has to be one of the main things you consider. Although it’s usually possible to judge a week or even a fortnight in advance when the weather is due to be good, you never know for sure when you live in the UK. A good solution might be to have some kind of covering erected outside, or in the worst case scenario, let guests come back inside to avoid the rain for a while.

Setting up outside

One great way of keeping the weather at bay is to have a marquee or some other kind of outdoor shelter set up. This also gives you a good place to put your catering equipment, set up a bar or keep the entertainment system somewhere safe. Decide what kind of furniture you will need, including tables and chairs, and make sure these can be positioned appropriately.

Providing food and drink

If you want a more high-end party, you might decide to provide all of the refreshments yourself or even hire a catering company to do it for you.There are many wholesale catering supplies that offer very good prices, that is why you may consider this option and contact them.  However, many less formal events will rely on people brining their own drinks at least. Sometimes for barbecues it can be good for people to contribute some food too, especially if they have any special requirements. This can make the whole affair more relaxed and fun, but it;s up to you. Just make sure you communicate this decision with your guests.

Creating an atmosphere

If you’re lucky enough to get some great weather on the day of your garden party, this will really help to create a pleasant atmosphere for all of your guests. However, some pre-planning can always help things to run more smoothly. Once everyone arrives, what’s going to keep them entertained? Decorations are great for initial impressions, but you also need to consider the length of the event and how to plan the time.

The Ultimate Guide To Stress-Free Packing & Moving

Moving house is considered an extremely stressful experience by most people, and is known for being one of the most complicated processes most of us go through in our lives. In fact, on average we move eight times in our lives. Once you’ve done it before, you might pick up a few tricks to make it easier, but the process is still usually a lot to cope with.

That’s why we’ve compiled this straightforward guide to cover all the essential things you can do to make the process easier. Enjoy your (relatively) hassle-free move by following all of these steps…

1) Get professional help from the beginning

Many removals companies will be prepared to assist you when moving between cities, across the UK or even internationally, but it is best to go for a local company if possible because it will be easier to make prior arrangements with them and have your possessions collected from your current home. The other advantage is that you can easily ask around the local area for recommendations. For example, Brycelands is a great example of a reputable company providing removals in Essex. They also offer short and long term storage, from Brentwood to St. Albans and across the region.

Thinking of handling everything yourself? We wouldn’t advise it. The costs of figuring everything out yourself tend to massively outweigh the apparent saving you might expect from not hiring a removal firm. On top of that you have all the added hassle and complication of handling your own logistics. Nobody needs that!

2) De-clutter and de-stress

Once you have had your initial discussions with your chosen removal and storage company, you can get to work on deciding which possessions will end up coming with you you your new home and which won’t make the cut. It’s always a good idea to do this, but if you’re downsizing it will be absolutely essential.

Most of us don’t like having to part with our worldly goods, at least to begin with. That’s why it’s important to start the process with a clear head in a relaxed state. Make a preliminary list of things you can probably afford to get rid of. Give yourself some time to think about it, with a deadline in mind. When the deadline arrives, throw out, give away or sell anything you can live without. You might be surprised how liberated you feel, and how much easier you’ve made your packing.

3) Stay highly organised

An important point to consider throughout this guide is the need for a good, solid working plan. You need to write down the phases of your move, making changes as you go, and always know what’s next on the agenda.

This includes making notes of what you need to arrange before moving. All your utility suppliers will need to be aware that you are moving out, and the same goes for whoever will be sending you bills at your new address.

Whether you enjoy being organised at home or not, you will need to get into the habit if you want to keep track of all your stuff during the move. It’s worth investing in some great quality storage boxes, whether these are simple cardboard ones or a more permanent plastic storage solution.

After that, labels will be extremely important. Never rely on your memory to find everything once it’s been packed away. You will simply have too much on your mind to remember every detail, so why make it hard for yourself? Label everything accurately and you’ll be able to find it again with no trouble

4) Pack items with common sense

We can’t stress this point enough. Even if you have professionals to move your stuff, it needs to be packaged correctly otherwise you risk damaging it. Delicate and unusually shaped items can be difficult to wrap up safely, but there is a technique to get the hang of. For small and fragile items like plates and glasses, layers of paper in between each item will prevent scratches. Stacking them on top of each other is more risky, so try to avoid this.

For larger items that are likely to get damaged or odd-shaped things that won’t fit neatly into a box, you may need to pad them out with specially folded pieces of cardboard before wrapping them up in layers of film or tape to smooth out the edges and create some protective padding.

Remember to never overfill boxes and make them too heavy, or you’ll risk your boxes breaking open at the wrong moment, or even getting somebody injured. It’s better to have lots of small boxes that are easy to move around, as this is safer, more practical and more efficient when it comes to storage space.

If you’re able to complete these four main steps, you are well on your way to a much happier and more manageable move! Congratulations on your new home, and we hope you enjoy it.