Thursday, February 14, 2019

Small changes that can make a big difference to your finances

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Everyone wants to save money right? Well, it’s not as easy as you might think. Looking at your monthly outgoings and searching for lost pounds and pennies to be saved can often be a fruitless exercise. But instead of cutting out things, why not look at alternatives to things you want to still pay for! We’ve come up with our top tips for saving a few quid where it counts.
Fix (don't ditch) your clothes 
Button on your nicest jacket just fall off? Well don’t despair and reach for the latest replacement, but instead try your hand at fixing it yourself. If you’re not so familiar with a needle or sewing machine, try and a find a decent tailors/clothing repair shop, who are a lot more reasonable than you might think. Either way, you’ll be bagging a bargain with your born-again clothes rather than consigning them to the dustbin.
Changing up your cable
With the Internet being as vital as water and electricity these days, you want to get the best bang for your buck for your ever-increasing online needs. A quick check on a comparison site and  will get you the best broadband deals for your requirements and save a bunch of money while you’re at. Depending on the deal you go for you can save up to £278 on average when you switch broadband provider. To get a clearer idea fill in your postcode and check your area.
Buy second hand video games
Video games may continue to get more bigger and better by each passing day, but sadly so do their prices. So why not swap the shiny new version for an already played copy of your latest new gaming addiction? You get the same great game for a fraction of the price, and the only thing you’ll be missing is the cellophane wrapping!
Grow your own vegetables and herbs
Is there that one vegetable you can’t get enough off and is never far away from your plate or lunchbox? Well, if you’re lucky, it could be something like a tomato, rocket or spring onions, or even herbs like coriander, parsley or rosemary. For all these treats have a look at donning your gardener’s hat and try growing them yourself. Most of these can even survive on your  balcony in the good months, and will definitely shave some costs off your weekly grocery shop.
Switch banks
You might be a fan of the colour of the credit and debit cards from your local bank, but switching up your bank can be a really simple way to save a bit of cash. Banks are always on the lookout for new customers and many offer great incentives to welcome you in, such as big cash joining bonuses, preferential rates or even vouchers to splurge on.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Brands We Love: Cuddledry

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Cuddledry - creators of the multi award winning hands-free baby towel have always been serious about ethical sourcing, and are passionate about making products that are not only safe to use, but that follow fair and caring social and environmental policies. 
 
Cuddledry have recently been making a splash with the launch of their brand new eco-friendly toddler towels.
 
With an exciting revamp to their adorable toddler range, their much loved Cuddleroar towel has been joined by two new characters - the Cuddlebunny and the Cuddlepanda and will soon be joined by the adorable Cuddlemonkey.
 
With a commitment to providing high quality, eco friendly products, Cuddledry have once again used their signature bamboo and cotton mix to create a silky soft fabric that is 60% more absorbent than normal bath towels. As with all other bamboo products in the Cuddledry range, the toddler towels are unbelievably soft, naturally antibacterial and oh so cute!
 
“We use bamboo in our products because it’s extremely eco-friendly and 100% biodegradable- it’s pretty amazing stuff!” Explains Helen Wooldridge, owner of Cuddledry, “Bamboo is the world’s most sustainable crop, and by supporting its use in baby products and clothing, together we can help make a significant impact on carbon emissions. Not only does bamboo grow naturally without any need for chemical pesticides or fertilisers, but it is also incredibly soft and super absorbent.”
 
Fans of the cuddly bath towels will love the new range, which caters for happy little tub splashers aged one to six years. All three beautiful designs are available in the two new sizes, 1-3 years and 3-6 years, providing luxurious and practical bath time fun for all. Designed to keep little ones warm and cosy, the new loveable characters encourage imaginative play and make getting out of the bath just as much fun as getting in!
 
All of Cuddledry’s products comply to environmental certifications and are quality checked by SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. This means that every single product you buy from Cuddledry has been tested and certified not only safe, but of optimal quality. 
 
Not only are Cuddledry’s products ethically produced but they are designed to celebrate bath time, transforming it from one of the most potentially stressful times of the day, and instead bringing smiles and laughter to bathrooms all around the country. We think that’s pretty great!!

4 Ways to Style Art Deco

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Decadent and bold, Art Deco brings a distinctive charm to any setting with glamorous details and opulent finishes. This year, it takes on a trendier, millennial feel , mixing modern hues with classic silhouettes.

Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture Choice shares 4 ways to embrace a modern Art Deco-inspired look at home.
1. Style with modern, minimal colour palettes
 

In the living room, taking a minimalist approach to Art Deco styling, with its strong colours and shapes, can beautifully set the scene for contrast and impact. With both light and dark colours being a mainstay of this look, and gold and brass elements coming into play, creating a polished visual statement with simple colours is surprisingly easy to do.
​​“Neutral beige tones, cool greys or soft pastel tones provide a nice backdrop to mix and match with statement making furniture,” advises Rebecca. “This is ideal for highlighting key furniture such as a classic navy blue Chesterfield sofa or a cosy statement armchair. The clean palette of the room really draws attention to the graceful curves and sleek accents of these centrepieces. And when adding accessories, a few well-placed pops of contrasting hues and metallic accents can really help to tie the whole space together. ”

2. Create a bold contemporary look with dark walls
Statement walls are always on trend and a great way to bring out Art Deco’s bold side. Dark walls are a bold, elegant look that immediately adds visual style and panache to your space, pairing well with both lighter furniture (such as a clean white sofa) or jewel-toned classics, such as a royal blue Chesterfield.  For a fully amped up look, accentuating the space with accessories such as elegant lighting and artwork will also bring a chic, modern approach to Art Deco.
“Dark walls lend a striking look when paired with light coloured furniture,” says Rebecca. “A cream sofa against a black wall creates a  dramatic monochrome effect and a graphic pop. On the other hand, a navy-on-navy approach makes for a great play on texture and contrast, not with colours but with materials and fabrics, with the sheen of velvet being a particularly vivid, appealing choice here.”

3. Experiment with Art Deco patterns

Delicate patterns and details are one of Art Deco’s most recognisable features - they’re also lovely decor elements to experiment with at home.  Whether it’s scallop prints or geometric patterns, these motifs instil a playful yet stylish tone to any space.
“For this latest interpretation of Art Deco, it’s all about striking a balance between patterns and other home furnishings,” Rebecca adds. “The aim is to achieve a stylized, modern look that ties the entire space together as a whole. For example, a dainty backdrop of scallop prints is a great way to showcase a contemporary, monochrome dining set. Decorating with statement furniture is another way to work this style. A scallop-printed side table will sit pretty alongside a classic Chesterfield sofa, offering a fresh look that’s eye-catching and chic.”

4. Go for a subtle approach and play with textures

It’s not an Art Deco look without gold and marble, but they can overpower a room  in large quantities. The trick is to go for key elements and minimal accessories, offering a hint of visual interest while also drawing attention to a specific part of the room.

“Gold is an Art Deco staple that’ll pop in any space,” Rebecca advises. “Elements like mirrors or even a simple gold vase will elevate a dark wooden table, giving it a dose of character and glamour. This luxurious finish will shine against velvet, so style it with a cool grey sofa, or a rich blue velvet armchair for a chic touch.”

“Marble is another finish that offers a bold, edgy vibe. Elements like framed art and cushions are easy ways to showcase marble around the home. This statement texture can be matched with soft neutral furniture, or layered up with rich, jewel shades for a dramatic look.”

6 Ways To Save More Money This Year

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As we’re well into this year’s ‘No Spend January’, everyone’s comparing notes on the best way to keep from opening their wallets. So with so many ideas flying about we thought we’d collect our top six to help you save your precious pennies.

Making your own lunch

Even if you manage to find a great meal deal or collect enough loyalty stamps to make it seem worthwhile, going out to buy your lunch every day at work can soon add up! It might take a bit of getting used to, and some pre-planning is definitely involved, but with a little patience and some good recipes, you’ll soon be tantalising your taste buds with your own homemade lunches which will taste even better when you see how much money you’re saving each month!  

Cost-effecting your commute

Commuting to work not only stresses you out, but it can also put a strain on your finances. If you commute by train, see if you can get a season ticket (some companies may even provide a loan), or if you’re lucky enough to have the option of a tube or bus, try the four wheeled option to see the savings roll in.

Making your mobile phone last a bit longer

The ever increasing number of shiny new features that companies cram into mobiles phones each year can make it difficult to not throw your old phone in the scrap pile and run for the latest model. But despite how appealing they may be, the latest phones come with a hefty price tag. Why not instead wait an extra or even two to replace your phone and avoid those hefty early adoption costs? If you’re bored of how the thing looks, try a cheap cover to breathe some new life into your digital friend for a few more months.

Regifting

Ever had that moment you receive a gift that you would never think to buy yourself in a million years and it makes you question if the person who gave it you even knows your name? Well, we’ve all been there, but instead of sulking in the corner, take solace in the fact you can probably find someone else out there you know who it might find a good home with and save it for a re-gifting come their birthday or other celebration.

Selling books, CDs and DVDs

With ever diminishing house and apartment sizes and the ever growing popularity of minimising your possessions, why not join in and shed some of your belongings that don’t bring you joy in the form of selling the stuff that crowds up your shelves, like books, CDs and DVDs? If you don’t want to lug a chest full of these goodies to your local shop to sell, there’s several places online that can freepost your goods to and they’ll pay you directly into an online account.

Energy saving lightblubs

Light bulbs might not be the most exciting items in your house, but they can be a burn on your finances. If you haven’t already, ensure you’ve got the latest and most efficient energy saving varieties in your sockets to light your way to savings, which, though not monumental, shouldn’t be trifled with.

Do keep in mind that these are slow saving,if you need quick cash then using a short term loan company like CashLady could be an option for you.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Lifestyle Factors That Can Influence Hair Loss

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Hair is the ultimate fashion accessory. What else can you style so easily and relatively cheaply to create such different versions of yourself? Want to look like you don’t care, let it grow long and shaggy, want to have a throwback to the 1950s, grab that hair pomade, and for the ultimate in smartness, you can’t go wrong with the crew cut.
But sometimes your best pal atop your head might not be in the best of health. So how can we help our follicled friend to maintain its thick, luscious shine?
Fighting fit
With the start of the year, it’s no surprise everyone is taking the ‘new year, new me’ motto, and getting into new exercise routines, gym membership or even prepping to run a marathon. Of course exercise is a good thing for your overall health, but it’s important to remember that it is a stress on your body and that combined with other stresses this can have a negative effect on your hair health. So make sure you’re not too overburdened with stress, build up your routine slowly, and we’ll see you at the finish line!
Cigarettes

Everyone knows smoking isn’t great for anyone’s health, but what they might not be aware of is that it can also be really damaging for your hair (more information here). How’s that you may ask? Well, it seems puffing away can not only inhibit blood flow to your scalp, but also increases hormone production leading to damaged follicles, both things nobody wants. 
Booze
It may be Dry January for many people, but in terms of your hair health, you needn’t worry about having a few drinks. Despite what you may have heard, there’s no link between going over the recommended allowances of alcohol and hair loss. That said, the side effects of going heavy on the sauce can have a negative impact on your follicles, the prime one being dehydration. When you get too dehydrated, this can lower your mineral count, which in turn leads to brittle, dry and fragile hair – a definite no no. In addition, a lack of hydration can also lower your body’s stores of iron, which can cause temporary hair loss, also known as telogen effluvium.
You are what you eat
While a healthy diet might seem like common sense these days, what you eat can play a major part in your scalp and hair health. While steering clear of too many greasy take-away meals is a rather obvious step for your general health, to ensure your hair’s well being vitamins like Vitamin A, B, C, and other nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium are where it’s at. These key components are abundant in vegetables like spinach, greens and sweet potatoes, as well in salmon, chicken and eggs, so throwing together a meal with at least a few of these, shouldn’t prove too difficult.


4 Ways to Live Fiercely Like a Female T. Rex

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You’ve seen Tyrannosaurus rex in movies, but T. rex, whose name means “tyrant lizard king,” was undoubtedly one of the fiercest animals to walk the planet. Despite being crowned “king,” fossil evidence indicates the female T. rex was even larger than the male! So, what would life have been like for the ferocious dino? For sure, it would not have been easy in the dinosaur-eat-dinosaur world in which she lived. To survive, however, T. rex possessed a few qualities that are important for us to have as well.
Elaine Howard, author of Passion in the Bones: A Guide to Breaking the Chains of Negativity and Living Your Own Adventure , is sharing “4 Ways to Live Fiercely Like a Female T. rex” (below) and is available for interviews, commentary and bylines.

  1. She knew she was fierce.  T. rex could grow up to 40 feet long and weigh up to nine tons, so it’s safe to say she was not easily intimidated by other dinosaurs. While she may have caught a glimpse of her reflection in the water, there were no mirrors in the Cretaceous Period, so she primarily relied on an inner knowing of how powerful she was. While human beings do not have the size or physical strength of T. rex, we are, in fact, even more fierce because we all have the power to make a positive difference in the world. That is the most important power of all. If you find yourself questioning your self-worth or someone makes you feel less than confident, channel your inner T. rex and know how powerful you really are!
  1. She moved forward.  Scientists have conducted research to determine whether T. rex ran fast or walked slowly. The most recent research suggests the latter. Regardless of the pace at which she moved, there’s no dispute that T. rex, like other animals, moved forward and not backward. Even if T. rex had the ability to take a few steps backward, there would have been little benefit in doing so. In order to get where she was going and find her next meal, she needed to keep moving forward. Likewise, while human beings may be more equipped to look and walk backward, we will not get where we want to go by moving in reverse. Like the mighty T. rex, we must keep moving forward in order to achieve our goals in life.
  1. She was focused.  T. rex had forward-facing eyes, indicating she had binocular vision, which made it easier to focus on an unsuspecting herbivore. In order to be successful in hunting, she had to both focus on her prey and take action to go after it. The same is true with us, when we want something in life, we must focus on it and then take action. No, not all your efforts will be fruitful just as T. rex did not catch every dinosaur she pursued. But, in order to build the life you desire, you must focus on what you want and then take action to pursue it.
  1. She did not allow her disadvantages to stop her.  There is no doubt T. rex was very big and very scary. Her skull alone was about five feet long and had over 60 teeth which she used to crunch through bone. As menacing as T. rex was, she had one apparent disadvantage- her small forearms- which were tiny in comparison to her body. Nevertheless, she did not allow that disadvantage to stop her from going after what she wanted. Instead, she used what she did have, including her massive size- and all those bone-crunching teeth- to her advantage. As a result, she was one of the most ferocious creatures to ever live.

Passion in the Bones: A Guide to Breaking the Chains of Negativity and Living Your Own Adventure is a dinosaur-themed step-by-step guide on how to change your mindset, explore your interests, identify and nurture true passions and share them with others. The book reminds readers that you have the power to enjoy your life and make the most of it, and that passion provides us with a purpose. With foreword by popular British paleontologist Dean Lomax, Passion in the Bones offers a valuable guide to unleash your personal power and live the positive and fulfilling life you deserve. Throughout this book, Howard reviews case studies about specific people’s passion journeys and how each of them are not only reaping the benefits of their passion pursuits, but also making a positive difference in the world.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

8 Interior Trends We Are Loving Right Now

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When the January blues strike, where do you turn to for a pick-me-up? At Chaplins, we tend to immerse ourselves in everything that’s new and exciting in the world of interiors. A bold and vivacious offering, our 8 Interior Trends to Try in 2019 reveals the latest metals, textures and styles that will be shaping our homes over the coming year. You don’t have to try them all, but feel free to mix and match, taking advantage of exclusive discounts in the Chaplins Winter Sale.​

Cool Chrome


For the last three years, modern homes have experienced the 'Midas Touch' with gold and warm metallic acting as the go-to accent. However, in 2019, chrome will be taking over, imbuing homes with a mirror shine and contemporary touch. Whereas gold is traditional and opulent, chrome is forever cool and the metal of choice for many mid-century modern designs. It boasts a very pure design language and can be as subtle or all-encompassing as you like.
 
Unusual Glass Effects

In keeping with the desire for a warm and welcoming home, we're starting to see a shift in how one of design's most ancient materials is being used. Leading the fore are brands like Fiam and Glas Italia, whose daring experiments with glass have transformed it into a soft and tactile element. From the lava-like ripples of the Magma Coffee Table through to the billowing forms of Bocci's 73 pendant, glass in 2019 is astonishingly full of life.
Oversized Loungers


The pursuit of comfort is an active obsession in the world of contemporary design. In 2019, it will be expressed in the form of oversized armchairs and sofas, with sumptuous cushions and impressive padding. Key to all of these designs is a contrast in materials – think bulbous cushions restrained by Italian leather straps– all of which serves to give the impression of barely contained softness.
 
Wicker, Cane & Weaves


One of the physical symptoms of a tech-driven society is a heightened awareness of tactility. When so much is consumed via a 2D screen, it’s refreshing to be able to indulge in real-world textures. It’s perhaps not surprising then that materials like wicker and French cane are increasingly being found in contemporary homes. Designers like Gubi have been quick to satisfy this desire with new releases like the C Chair and 9602 Floor Lamp.​
 
Optical Illusions


Great design should take you on a journey, expanding horizons and challenging perspectives. This season’s selection of statement rugs do just that, serving up optical illusions with hypnotic hues. The patterns are bigger but slightly less abstract than last year, with many clashing colours for maximum impact.​
 
Glossy Finishes


Design is made up of reactions and counter-reactions. Those who pay attention to this shifting landscape will have noticed that the pendulum has swung away from the monopoly of matt and into more lustrous territories. Comprising high-shine lacquers, this trend champions all that is polished, in a direct reference to the glossy interiors of the 1990s.
 
Vintage Glamour


2018 heralded the return of scalloped edges, velvet loungers and art deco influences. Such nostalgic flourishes are symptomatic of a wider trend of retro-glamour, reminiscent of Old-Hollywood interiors. In 2019, such influences will inspire the swapping of geometric lines for curved silhouettes and plenty of monochrome accessories.
 
Bauhaus Revival

2019 will mark the 100th anniversary of the influential Bauhaus art school. The gatekeepers of modernism, they nurtured some of the finest designers of the 20th century, establishing a pure, rational design ethos. In celebration of this seismic legacy, we're predicting the return of iconic tubular chairs and striking storage in simple primary colours — just some of the tenets of their iconic style.​