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Monthly May 2018
How To Choose A Good Contractor

Although working on your home yourself can be a great way to save money, not all the jobs that need doing are going to be possible for you to do; some take specialist skill or even qualifications in order to get right. When this is the case, you will need to seek out a good contractor, but this is sometimes harder than it might seem; there are lots of people out there all claiming to do a great job, but how can you choose the right one? Here are some great tips.

Ask For Recommendations

When it comes to finding a reliable contractor who is good at what they do, asking friends and family for recommendations is always a good place to start. No one is going to recommend someone who did a poor job, or who might not be trustworthy because they won’t want you to have a bad experience. Of course, you might not know anyone who has had the same work done as you want, so in that case you can always turn to online forums to get some names and advice on the right people to use.

Conduct Interviews

It’s essential that you pick the right person for the job, and for you – you need to be able to get on with whomever it is you choose because communication is going to be important if you want to make sure the job is done exactly how you want it to be. This is why conducting an interview (over the phone is fine, of course) to determine exactly how the contractor works and whether you even like them or not is important.

When you contact them, make sure you have a list of questions in front of you so that you don’t forget anything. This should be about the job itself (have they done anything similar, for example, and how long this kind of job normally takes) as well as about their company. You’ll need to know you’re dealing with someone legitimate, so take note of their company number and check they have insurance. Make sure they are fully compliant with data protection too.

Once you have all the answers you need, you will know who you want to come in and quote for you. This saves you time when it comes to being there for the contractor to assess the work and give you a price.

Look At Reviews

Before you commit to a contractor, take a look at their reviews and customer testimonials. These will give you the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to choosing the right person or company for you. Check out their website and read the testimonials there, of course (if they have any), but it’s far better to look further afield on review sites instead. The testimonials on the website are sure to be positive ones, and although they are probably accurate, what if there were many more negative ones around? It’s wise to check this out so that you at least know what to expect and, should you want to, you can avoid them entirely.

What To Consider Before Running For Public Office

Many business people and particularly, perhaps, business leaders, feel that running for political office has something attractive about it. Once they have done all they can do in their work life, it can often be that moving into politics is something that interest them, so they start a campaign and begin a new life. For some this works out wonderfully, but for others it isn’t so great and they soon realize that being in politics is not as ‘fun’ or as ‘easy’ as it might have seemed at first. It takes a lot of thought before moving in this direction, so here are some of the things that will need to be considered first.

You Will Need To Ask For Money

No matter what branch of politics you are choosing to go into, whether you are creating presidential slogans or you would prefer to do something a little more local, you are going to need money to do it. Politics is a surprisingly expensive business, which is why you will most often see those who have already made it in their professional lives (or those who were born into a wealthy family) running for political office – it is simply out of the reach for most ‘everyday’ people.

In order to be able to finance your campaign in such a way that it gets noticed, you will need to ask for money, and lots of it. Political campaigns that falter part way through because the money ran out will not be remembered fondly, if they are remembered at all. A politician who cannot budget and who spends unwisely is not going to be a particularly popular choice when it comes to picking a candidate at the polls.

It can be hard to be constantly asking for money, but it is essential that it is done. If this is not something you feel comfortable doing, you may need to look at another way to help the public because in politics you will need to ask for money time and time again.

Speak To Your Family

Although running for political office is an individual endeavor in some ways, it also needs a strong team to run the behind the scenes parts of the campaign. Some of those team members will need to be your family; they have to be on board if you are running for political office because, like it or not, they will become part of the campaign and they will be thrust into the public eye.

Although as a business leader you may have been able to and wanted to keep your personal life private, as a politician that will no longer hold true. Your opponents will be looking into your past to see if there is anything untoward there, and the press will most likely be doing the same. The more popular you are, the better you are doing in your campaign, the more digging will be done about you.

This is why it is important to speak with your family first to ensure that they understand what is probably going to happen and what might be required of them. If they aren’t happy with the idea you may need to reconsider whether your political office plan is worth risking your family over.

Be Ready For Hostility

Politics can be an ugly place to be and there is often hostility on both sides. It won’t matter how nice you are or what your intentions are, someone will also be against what you are doing. When you are running for office you need to be ready for the attacks against you that will come. If you believe in what you are doing and you are an eloquent person then you need to speak out and be strong. Not only will this wrongfoot your opponent (whether a political one or someone on the street) but it will also show others how strong your intentions are – sometimes someone else’s hostility can be what drives you on and makes you more popular.

Remember, never return hostility with hostility as that will solve nothing. It’s far better to be civil in the face of someone’s ire and anger and maintain a dignified stance as this will better enable you to put your point across and make sense to those who are listening.

Find A Good Lawyer

Having a good lawyer in side will be a useful addition to your team and can stop you from making mistakes when it comes to what you are and aren’t permitted to do during a political campaign – the rules are strict, and if you fall foul of them you might have to remove yourself from the race. This would mean your entire campaign had been a waste of time and money (and other people’s money) so no one wants that to happen. 

Be Prepared To Lose

No one is going to win all the time and in politics, although it is wise to keep a winning attitude, you should also be prepared to lose. If you look at the numbers, you’ll see that the majority of people lose when it comes to politics because there are very few positions open in the first place. That means that a huge percentage or those campaigning will walk away with nothing after the ballot, despite the good feeling created and the money spent.

If you do lose, you should have a plan in place for what you will do next with your life. It will depend on whether you felt that politics was something you desperately had to do, or whether you might now try something else. There should always be a plan, however, so that you are not left feeling low with nothing to do. It is easy to become emotionally invested in your campaign (in fact, it is expected) but this can mean problems when it is all over; you might feel depressed and deflated. So having a backup plan should you lose that means you can get on with the next thing right away will solve these issues and help you to feel better.

 

9 Reasons Debating Is Good For Kids

Many schools offer kids the chance to be on the debating team but not all of them want to take this opportunity up. However, if possible, parents should encourage their children to try debating because it has many fantastic benefits that can help the kids now and in the future. Here are some of the most important reasons why debating is good for kids and why they should at least try it to see if it is for them.

Debaters Win Arguments

It’s a simple fact that those who are good at debating will always win an argument. They will never let anyone get the better of them when discussing something because they will know exactly how to word their points, and how to research their opinion in the first place. It means that as adults in the workplace, they will never have to worry about trying to find the right words to explain what they mean and why – this can help them immensely during presentations, pitches, and other negotiations.

Debaters Don’t Mind Crowds

When debaters first begin, they are only arguing their point in front of the judge and the other team, or even just one opponent. As the competition progresses, there will be more and more people in the crowd and in the final there could be many thousands depending on what level you are debating. Everyone will want to see how you do and will want to watch you closely. This can be intimidating at first, but over time the children involved get used to it. This will help them hugely in the future because it means they will be used to pressure and be able to work – even thrive – when under it. Nothing will faze them.

Debaters Are Good Travelers

Traveling is all par for the course when you’re a good debater, and those who make it to the national levels will become extremely well practiced at traveling through airports and on coaches – they might even take the car. Whichever mode of transport they choose, those kids will turn into adults who are great travelers. They will be able to go anywhere at any point without fuss or worry, and they will probably know how to travel pretty light too with just a few clothes, their notes, and their team baseball caps, flags, and badges.

Debaters Have Fantastic Communication Skills

Arguing your point is one thing, and it’s obvious that debaters can do that, or they wouldn’t be much good at debating. However, communicating and speaking clearly is something entirely different – yet great debaters are able to do this as well. Speaking clearly and concisely is an important skill to learn; it enables others to always understand what you mean, and it denotes a sense of authority, professionalism, and intelligence. Mumbling quickly and not being understood is not going to help anyway, and yet that is exactly how many people who have not had the chance to be a debater do speak. It’s refreshing to find someone who can communicate clearly and this will help your child stand out from the crowd.

Debaters Have Great Memories

When in a debate the rounds are pretty fast paced and there isn’t a lot of time to get your point across. Therefore, a debater has to be an excellent memory in order to be able to put their argument forward and include all the relevant facts and details. Some people naturally do have amazing memories but others require some ‘brain training’ to get there. That’s where debating can help because the more it is done, the better at remembering those facts the child who is debating will be. In the future this skill will help them in their work progression.

Debaters Take Notes

Taking notes is something that all high school and college students will need to be able to do well in order to get the most out of their classes and do well in their examinations. It is also important at work when in a meeting or in an important phone call. It makes life a lot easier when good notes can be taken and lessons can be learned. Debaters need to be good at taking notes, a skill acquired with practice, because if they can’t remember everything (as mentioned above) they will need to have the information written down quickly and efficiently.

Debaters Are Empathetic

Debaters are excellent at looking at arguments from both viewpoints. After all, each debate topics has a pro and a con side to it, and it is only the flip of a coin (or similar) which determines what side your child will be arguing on. So they need to be able to see both sides of each debate because they could be asked to argue either way. Being able to do this and be empathetic to other people’s opinions, ideas, and situations will be useful for a child when they become an adult and have to interact with other people. It makes them kinder, more humble human beings.

Debaters Are Speed Readers

Speed reading is an essential skill for a good debater. They need to be able to find out as much as possible about their given topic in a short amount of time, so it will help them hugely if they can read quickly and accurately. This skill will also help when they get to college whether they are debating or not – they will be able to absorb all the information they need to know and digest it well enough before an exam that they not only know the facts but understand them as well.

Debaters Are Great At Teamwork

Debaters have to work alone when it comes to making their argument, but they also have to work as a team in order to win their rounds. In a debate team, you could be working with the same people for a number of years, so it’s important to be able to strategize with each of them, working out what their strengths are and using those against their opponents. Again, this is a skill that will be a wonderful advantage for the workplace where working in a team will certainly be part of most jobs.

4 Ways To Lose Your Confidence (And How To Get It Back)

Confidence… No one can be confident at all times, no matter what. Even those who seem totally self-assured will have moments of self-doubt, and it can happen for a variety of different reasons. Taking a knock when it comes to your confidence can really be an issue; no one wants to feel bad about themselves, after all. However, there are ways to get over these problems and get back to being a happy, productive, self-possessed person sooner than you might think. Here are some ways you can help yourself.

Judgemental People

lose confidence when judged

People do have a tendency to be judgemental; you’ve probably done it yourself without meaning to (perhaps without even realising it). Unfortunately, these slip ups can cause others to feel bad about themselves, and if you are the subject of someone’s judgement, your confidence can be sorely tested. It doesn’t matter whether you know the person or whether they’re a stranger in the street, the outcome is the same; you’ll go from being a happy person going about your business to someone who is now wondering whether you should just head home and hide.

There are three things you can do if someone makes a comment that you think is judgemental. The first is to take them to task about it, letting them know that their words have made you feel bad (after all, they may have been talking in the abstract and didn’t know that what they were saying would affect you). Next you can walk away and remove yourself from the situation. Finally you can just ignore them. These last two ideas will require you to also remind yourself how great you are in the process, of course, and that can take some practice.

Not Being Praised

If you’ve ever done something great at work or on a personal level, something that you were truly proud of, yet no one noticed or, if they did, they didn’t mention it or deem it praiseworthy, your confidence can take a serious knock. The problem is that it’s not ‘normal’ to ask for that praise either, for fear of being seen as needy or high maintenance, so even if we feel that we desperately deserve some kind of acknowledgment for the hard work we put into something, we can’t demand it.

What can be done? The best thing to do is to speak to the person you feel should be noticing what you’re doing, whether that’s a boss, a partner, or perhaps a parent. Take them to one side and ask them why your efforts haven’t been noticed, or what they think you can do to improve. If you don’t like the answer then it could be time to move on; after all, this is your life and you need to live it the way you see fit. Having all your confidence taken away from you will stop you from achieving the success you deserve if you leave it too late.

Clothes Shopping

confidence when shopping

Shopping for clothes can be a lot of fun, but it can also be something that seriously damages our self-esteem. Body image is something that many people struggle with, and taking a trip to buy clothes can make things worse rather than better. Take the advertisements that use models who have been airbrushed and changed completely – even though we know this is the case, it can still make us feel bad about ourselves. Then there are the mannequins and even though we understand these are not real people, there is a still a niggling worry that we just don’t measure up. Not only that, but as we’ve mentioned above people are judgemental (even when they don’t mean to be) and the fear that someone will say something or look at us askance is real. Add that to the fact that clothing comes up in different sizes in different shops, and there is a real issue at hand.

These issues can be overcome, however. Firstly, choose a shopping buddy. Take someone with you that you know well and trust implicitly. This makes the whole experience much more fun (you can make a day of it and stop for lunch and coffee too) and you can be sure that you can trust their honest opinion when they tell you clothing does or doesn’t suit you.

You can also make a plan before you leave the house and make sure you avoid any shops that have odd sizes or don’t do the size you need (or the style of clothing, come to that). This means doing research, but it will be worth it, making your trip a much happier experience. If you’re really unsure then stick with the shops you know and like – you’re sure to find a great outfit there without the worry of a new place to explore and be uncertain about.

Being Undermined

Being constantly undermined be someone is demoralising and can really chip away at our self-confidence. If this is happening to you at all, you need to speak up. This is a form of bullying and unless something is said it will just continue. Is someone always stealing your ideas at work? Does no one listen to your opinion at home? Does your ‘best friend’ only ever talk about themselves and dismiss anything you might have to say as irrelevant? These things can easily become a regular pattern of behaviour, eroding our confidence over time and leaving us to expect that this is how it has to be.

This is not how it has to be, and it is not how it should be, so talk to them about it and let them know you’re not happy. They may be completely self-absorbed and not realise what they are doing. They may, of course, be totally sure of what they are doing and these are the toxic people you need to stay away from. When you talk to them, pick somewhere neutral where you both feel comfortable and try not to point a finger right from the start. Find out why they do what they do and you might be able to move on.

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Newspaper (national) Sub-editing per 1000 450
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WHAT I CAN DO

Blog Writing

A blog is an essential tool in ensuring your website is seen. I can create regular blog posts that will move you up the rankings and give you a better placement within your industry.

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Have you ever wanted to write a novel, memoir or short story but don’t have the time? Do you have the ideas, but the words don’t flow? I can help. Contact me for a confidential chat.

Articles

I am happy to carry out research, conduct interviews, and write/edit articles of any length. Contact me for more information about my rates and services.

Web Content

From your home page to your about me details and everything in between, you want a website that has snappy, interesting, high quality content. Let me create it for you.

Sales Letters

If you have a product that you want others to know about, you need a sales letter that is going to get attention – and keep it. I can write that letter for you.

Emails

Are you thinking of starting an email campaign but don’t know what to include? Or perhaps you want to send a special email to that special someone, but you can’t think of the right words. Contact me and we can discuss exactly what I can do to help.

Product Descriptions

Selling products online can be an excellent way of making a business, but if your products sound boring and your descriptions are dull, no one will want them. I’ve written thousands of products descriptions, and I can make your products shine.

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Have you written something that needs that extra level of checking? With my years of experience I can proofread or copy edit your work so that it’s the best it can be.

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Getting your digital marketing and social media strategy right is essential. I can provide and implement a social media marketing plan that works for you. Contact me to find out more.

About MeAbout Me

I'm a content writer

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REVIEWS

I studied English theory at university and have always been interested in the mechanics of writing, but it wasn’t until 2010 when my daughter was born that I started to write professionally. Although this was out of necessity (it was a job that I could do from home, and it brought in enough to pay the bills!), it soon became a passion. Since that time, I have been published in over 40 fiction anthologies and have written seven novels.

Find out more about my publications on my Amazon Author Page.

I am now a full-time freelance writer. The majority of my time is spent writing SEO-friendly blog posts for businesses in all kinds of niches from bakeries to florists to roofing specialists and plenty more in between. 

Between 2014 and 2020 I was the features and online editor for insideKENT magazine.

Today I live with my husband, daughter, and a cat called Cheryl in a cottage in the Kent countryside, writing, painting, and – whenever possible – watching horror films.

http://www.facebook.com/lisamarielambwriter

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5 Reasons Why Hiking Is Good For You

Hiking is one of those activities that appeals to different people for different reasons. That’s what makes it so universal; there is a chance that everyone is going to love getting out in the fresh air and discovering new places or even walking across familiar ones and enjoying them for the second, third, fourth (or even more) time. You can explore the world through hiking and meet many like-minded people along the way. Here are some more reasons why hiking is so good for you.

hiking
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava from Pexels

Hiking Gives You Perspective

If you’re finding life is tough going and you need to get away from it all and recharge, hiking could be the answer you’re looking for. This kind of walking has a way of enabling people to get a fresh perspective on the problems they might be experiencing in life and cope with issues in a much healthier way. Hiking isn’t just about going for a long walk and breathing in the good air; it’s about being able to have the time to really think and make decisions that you just wouldn’t be able to do if you stayed at home.

Hiking Keeps You Fit

It’s amazing what this kind of walking can do for your overall fitness; when you are really striding along you can burn up to 440 calories an hour! This can be increased even further by trying Nordic walking, but even if you stick to the standard method of hiking you’ll find your fitness levels will increase. Not only that but your lung capacity will grow too and that can help the circulation of blood and oxygen around your body and make you much stronger too.

Hiking Bring Happiness

Even if hiking did nothing else to help you out, it makes people happy, and sometimes that’s enough. Hiking, like most exercise, releases hormones into the body. Specifically, these hormones are serotonin and endorphins which are nicknamed the happy hormones because they improve the mood. Serotonin also limits feelings of loneliness and between them, they can help to keep you happy in general.

Hiking Brings You Closer To Nature

No matter where you choose to go hiking you’ll find that you are closer to nature than you’ve ever been before. You can really see the breathtaking scenery that it has to offer and the animals, insects, and plant life that are all around you. If you combine this kind of exercise with camping you will get to experience all of this even more. You might even be touched by a level of spirituality and can find some inner peace on your literal journey.

Hiking Is For Everyone

Another wonderful benefit of hiking is that it is for all ages which means you can take your whole family or a big group of friends with you and enjoy some company as you walk along. Who is in the group will determine where you go and how far you hike – some trails are easier than others – but no matter where you choose you’ll all get to enjoy some time together and bonding away from screens and work is a good idea.

Beaverbrook Town House Reopens September 2021

Joining its beloved Surrey sibling, Beaverbrook Town House is the debut London outpost from the lauded Beaverbrook brand, in partnership with Cadogan.

Spanning 15,000 sq. ft., this heritage hotel occupies two masterfully revamped Georgian townhouses, originally commissioned by Charles Sloane Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan, at the end of the 18th century. Surveying the leafy-green, Grade-II-listed Cadogan Gardens opposite, Beaverbrook Town House boasts a prime perch on superlative Sloane Street, in the heart of Chelsea, nicknamed the ‘Town of Palaces’ by Daniel Defoe.

Inside the hotel, rich rewards for guests include 14 theatrical suites, art and antiques galore, a 60-cover contemporary Japanese restaurant and bar, a meeting room, a private events room, and a pretty, perfumed garden, reserved for corporate functions and private hire.

A creative spirit prevails throughout, with delightful interiors courtesy of Beaverbrook’s dazzling design duo: Sir Frank Lowe (advertising mogul and Beaverbrook’s Creative Director), and acclaimed designer, Nicola Harding, whose previous triumphs include The Garden House at Beaverbrook in Surrey.

Drawing upon Lord Beaverbrook’s legendary tastes and predilections (including a certain fondness for mischief), the hotel’s medley of muses includes London’s storied theatres and iconic cultural attractions, Art Deco and Japanese culture.

Inspired by his Lordship

Beaverbrook in Surrey rekindles the spirit of the roaring Twenties, honouring its infamous former owner, Lord Beaverbrook: press baron and wartime MP. Beaverbrook Town House adroitly transports this nostalgia to the Big Smoke. The hotel recalls Lord Beaverbrook’s colourful life in London and his Fleet Street residence, where he hosted his illustrious friends, including Ian Fleming, Winston Churchill, Rudyard Kipling, Elizabeth Taylor and Laurence Olivier.

Private-home

Channelling the charm of Lord Beaverbrook’s London abode, and decorated with antique treasures, vintage toys and saucy curios that could have been plundered from his travels, Beaverbrook Town House affectionately recreates a bygone era of hospitality combined with modern panache. The hotel conjures an atmosphere of generosity, so guests will feel like they’re staying with a fabulous friend. Instead of a formal reception area, there’s a snug little library, brimming with London-centric tomes to borrow; instead of formal staff, obliging personal assistants dispense savvy local recommendations. Upstairs, thoughtful touches abound, including personalised minibars stocked with guests’ preferred treats, help-yourself whisky decanters, tea stations and thoughtful gifts. Once again, Beaverbrook cements its reputation as the host with the most…

Dapper design & inviting interiors

Joyfully referencing the Art Deco aesthetic of the 1920s and ’30s, sartorial highlights include: an abundance of tiles and tactile textures; a playful blend of the old and new; vibrant colour schemes and statement wallpaper, including bespoke marbled collages and pineapple motifs (a symbol of hospitality); and a collector’s stash of prints, posters, photographs, art and memorabilia. Art Deco was influenced by Japonisme, and this translates into cohesive design touches throughout; most notably in the Japanese restaurant and bar, but also upstairs and in the garden, via lacquered planters, brass accents, bonsai trees and flora picked for its lush blossom and autumnal foliage.

Looking closer to home, Nicola Harding has sourced fabrics, furnishings and fittings from an array of local London-based suppliers, including antique chairs from Howe, cushions by Penny Worrall, lampshades by Rosi de Ruig, decorative lighting from Vaughan Designs, ironmongery by Joseph Giles and trimmings from Samuel & Sons. These choices complement the hotel’s heartfelt celebration of historic London.


Theatrical boudoirs

When in London, Lord Beaverbrook relished attending West End shows with his artistic coterie. Thus, each of the hotel’s 14 suites is named after a famous London theatre, and decorated with clues to its playhouse’s past. Additional eye-candy comes in the form of four-poster and half-tester beds, antique bureaus and bedside tables, colour palettes ranging from the bold to the demure, oak floors topped with seagrass carpets and bespoke rugs by Nicola Harding, and opulent, theatre-style curtains, decorated with velvet geometric trims. Ensuite bathrooms star glossy tiles, Art Deco-inspired lighting and lacquered mirror frames in jewel-box hues.

Beaverbrook Town House


Flavours of Japan

Continuing Beaverbrook’s love of contemporary Japanese cuisine, and aligned with the hotel’s sartorial leanings, Beaverbrook Town House is home to the Fuji Grill and Omakase Sushi Bar. Like the Dining Room at Beaverbrook, the restaurant will serve flawless sushi, sashimi and nigiri, alongside signature Beaverbrook dishes such as ‘Charcoal’ Wagyu with Juniper Miso. Restaurant General Manager, Trudi Fairweather, brings a two-decade stint at Nobu to the table; Alex Del (ex-Roka) is Head Chef, and Beaverbrook’s Head Sommelier,  Giovanni Tallu (plucked from a 22-year stint at Annabel’s to open Beaverbrook in 2017) has curated the stellar wine list.

Dressed in soft shades of green, the Fuji Grill showcases an impressive collection of 19th-century woodblock prints depicting the eponymous Mount Fuji by the Japanese Masters, Hokusai and Hiroshige. This artistic treasure-trove represents the ukiyo-e genre, immortalised in Hokusai’s Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa.

The elegant bar has lacquered walls, burnt-umber and berry-bright stained glass (now a Beaverbrook trademark) and raspberry-pink fitted seating. Tables are decorated with new and vintage matchbox covers, sourced from Japan; some enjoyably risqué… Cocktails come courtesy of Alan Cook, Beaverbrook’s much-loved Bars Manager, featuring Beaverbrook favourites alongside London-edition libations. As a fan of Chinatown afterparties following dinners and dances at the nearby Savoy, His Lordship would no doubt approve.

London, unlocked

Like Lord Beaverbrook’s lucky guests of old, visitors to Beaverbrook Town House will benefit from exclusive access to the city’s cultural scene. Cherry-picked partnerships with the best contacts from Beaverbrook’s black book will put London’s crème de la crème at guests’ fingertips. Other prestigious perks will include private-shopping experiences and in-room massage and beauty treatments, devised by Beaverbroook’s Coach House Spa Director, René van Eyssen. Guests can also book fitness classes at nearby KXU, or personal training sessions in the peace and privacy of Cadogan Place Gardens.

Beaverbrook Town House is Beaverbrook’s first partnership with Cadogan, whose stewardship of 93 acres of Chelsea and Kensington spans over three centuries. The project forms part of Cadogan’s strategy to strengthen Sloane Street’s position as the leading luxury shopping destination in the world and complements the existing focus on improved leisure and hospitality. A further £40m investment programme is underway, which includes ‘greening’ the street and upgrading everything the eye touches with the finest materials.

Beaverbrook Town House

www.beaverbrooktownhouse.co.uk

Rates from £400 on a room only basis

Reservations: reservations@beaverbrooktownhouse.co.uk

Wilko Extends Instore Maks Recycling Scheme

An instore scheme to help Wilko customers recycle their masks has proved so successful that the home and garden retailer will extend it by another three months.

The scheme, which allows shoppers to drop off used, disposable face masks so that they can be recycled will now be in place until the end of September 2021. This extension follows an initial three-month pilot and will see the service remain in place at the original 150 participating stores.

Wilko estimates that a huge 400,000 masks could be recycled via the scheme. This equates to a giant 966kg of single-use plastic. Those wishing to take part need to simply visit their nearest, participating Wilko store as part of their usual shopping trip and safely drop their used single-use face masks into the special collection bin. Once full, these bins are then taken away by recycling specialists ReWorked, who together with Metrisk Ltd, Scan2Recycle are partnering with Wilko in the scheme – which was the first of its kind on the UK high street.

Masks collected via the scheme are broken down into raw fibres which can be sustainably refashioned into products ranging from other safety materials for businesses, to building materials and even quality, durable public space furniture.

While masks are no longer a legal requirement, Wilko is still recommending face coverings for team members and customers in busy indoor spaces. The family retailer seeks to respect individual choices while providing a sustainable solution to single-use mask disposal.

wilko

The Covid-19 crisis overall has seen a huge increase in the use of disposable face masks. While the government has encouraged Brits to dispose of face masks via general waste bins, there has been an ever-increasing volume of PPE being discarded in public spaces – meaning there are often greater levels of litter nationwide in areas such as parks, beaches, and high streets; impacting the life and leisure time of local communities, endangering wildlife and ultimately harming the health of the planet.

Disposable face makes are made from polypropylene fabric – a type of plastic. An estimated 8M tonnes of general plastic waste already ends up in the world’s oceans every year, and the impact of the pandemic will only increase those figures if PPE litter continues to increase. Wilko and its partners for this scheme hope by continuing to provide an easy way to safely dispose of used PPE, they can help make it easier for families to reduce litter in the community with a little win that makes a world of difference.

Jerome Saint Marc, CEO at Wilko, said: “We know that our customers care about the environment and this scheme has proved again to us just how much. We’re so delighted that it’s been this much of a success and that our customers and team members are helping to reduce litter in their communities, our partners are helping to recycle the waste, and that we’re able to bring it all together in our stores. It’s a little win that truly makes a world of difference.”

For more information on disposable mask recycling at Wilko and the 150 stores that are taking part, please visit https://www.wilko.com/face-mask-recycling.

How To Manage Lactose Intolerance

One of the most common health concerns is how to manage lactose intolerance. There is no question that this disease can interfere with your daily life; people who suffer from lactose intolerance are unable to digest milk and other dairy products. After eating these items, a sufferer can develop unpleasant side effects such as gas, diarrhoea, or bloating.

There are debates over whether there is an effective method to treat or manage lactose intolerance without limiting one’s diet. This blog, however, will advise anybody experiencing similar symptoms on what they should do to live a normal life free of intolerance problems. The good news is that there are many effective ways to deal with lactose intolerance and avoiding all of these unpleasant symptoms.

manage lactose intolerance
Photo by Marta Dzedyshko from Pexels

Eat Small Portion Sizes

To live a tranquil life free of intolerance problems, you must first learn how to eat small quantities of food more often throughout the day rather than big meals once or twice each day.

Eating smaller portions more often can enable you to digest your meal properly and, as a result, prevent unpleasant side effects such as gas, diarrhoea, or bloating after eating dairy products.

Take Lactase Enzyme Tablets 

If you’re lactose intolerant, this is the best choice for you. As previously stated, lactose intolerance develops when your body lacks an enzyme called ‘lactase.’ When you eat any dairy product that lacks this enzyme, it takes longer than usual to break down milk sugar. This causes unpleasant symptoms such as gas, diarrhoea, and bloating.

If you wish to prevent these harmful effects and manage lactose intolerance, use lactase enzyme pills with every meal that contains dairy products. These tablets aid in the production of the lactase enzyme, which breaks down lactose.

Use Probiotics

Taking probiotics is another excellent way to control lactose intolerance and have trust in your eating habits. Probiotics are ‘good’ microorganisms that can be found in a variety of meals and supplements. Probiotics, in addition to aiding individuals to manage lactose intolerance, can also assist people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a digestive system disease.

Several research investigations have shown that probiotics can help with lactose intolerance management. Probiotics are living bacteria that increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in your intestines, thus preventing side effects such as gas, diarrhoea, and bloating. As a result, they will aid in the digestion of milk sugar, ensuring that it does not have a harmful impact on your body.

Driving Myths Debunked

Driving should be a fairly easy – at least in theory – thing to do. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the traffic, other motorists, or those strange half-truths that seem to float around. Those stories that may or may not be true, the ones that no driver is quite sure about. Here are some of those driving myths debunked, so you can go ahead and enjoy your driving and your car without having to worry.

driving myths
Photo by Alex Chernenko on Unsplash

You Can’t Eat And Drive

Eating when you’re behind the wheel of the car is not illegal – yet. There are potential plans afoot to ensure that no one can munch their lunch when driving along, but at the moment, you are free to do so, as long as it’s safe. That’s the important point; it does have to be safe. Leeds University carried out a study that shows those eating whilst driving were up to 44 percent slower to react to things going on around them. If eating behind the wheel leads to careless driving and the police stop you, you could be prosecuted.

Passengers In A Car Can’t Drink Alcohol

We all know that it’s illegal to drink and drive (and quite rightly), and this is not one of the driving myths we’re talking about, but many people are a little less sure about whether it’s okay for a passenger to nip a sip. The truth is that it’s perfectly fine for passengers to drink alcohol as long as they are over 18, unless, that is, they are supervising a learner driver. As for soft drinks, drivers are legally allowed to drink them. In fact, it’s advised that drivers keep hydrated on the road, especially on a long journey.

Driving With The Interior Light On Is Illegal

Much like the myth of the white van man, the idea that driving with the interior light on is illegal is one that prevails, despite evidence to the contrary. We can accurately state that there is no law that prohibits driving with the interior light on (although, as with any rule of the road, if the police feel that the interior light might be impacting your driving in a negative way, they can ask you to switch it off).

driving myths
Photo by Toni Tan on Unsplash

You Can’t Wear Headphones When Driving

Strangely enough, you can actually wear headphones when driving. This is one of the driving myths that would definitely make sense if it were true, though. Headphones will mean you can’t hear anything that is going on around you, and they could block out important sounds such as sirens, screeching brakes, children shouting… sounds that would put a driver who could hear them on high alert and ensure their reaction times were fast.

It’s Illegal To Drive Barefoot

Another untrue myth – if you want to drive barefoot, you certainly can. It might be fairly uncomfortable, though, and remember that you won’t have the same strength when it comes to pushing those peddles as you would with shoes on. Similarly, you can also drive while wearing flip-flops if you choose to. We wouldn’t recommend it though, as they can easily slip off and get caught in the peddles. Wearing flat shoes is the best idea when driving – you can always change when you get to your destination.

How To Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are not only uncomfortable, but they can also cause infection. The infection caused by an ingrown toenail is more painful than the initial issue and should be avoided. It is essential to take measures against this problem in order to avoid the pain and mobility issues that arise from it. The following precautions will assist to reduce your chances of getting an ingrown toenail.

ingrown toenails
Photo by Deeana Creates from Pexels

Toenails Should Be Trimmed Properly

Ingrown toenails are most often caused by poorly trimmed toenails. Toenails should be cut straight across with no rough edges. The nail’s edges should not curve upward into the sides of the toe. If this happens, the nail becomes jammed into the side which is the first step toward being ingrown. You should also always use sterilised toenail clippers to avoid spreading bacteria to the region. This is due to the fact that you do not want an ingrown toenail to get infected.

Wear Shoes That Fit

You may not connect correctly fitting footwear with ingrown toenails, but they are related. Your toes will be squeezed together in the toe of the shoe if your shoes are too small. This results in trauma, which can lead to an ingrown toenail. If you wear them often, you may develop an ingrown nail by continuously pressing the nail into the skin. Shoes that are too large, like shoes that are too small, can also create problems. When your foot moves around too much in the shoe, it can cause damage to the toes, particularly the big toe, which is prone to ingrown toenails.

ingrown toenails
Photo by How-Soon Ngu on Unsplash

Visit Skilled Pedicure Technicians

If you like getting pedicures on a regular basis, even if it’s just for fun rather than for a medical issue, you should always seek out a board-certified professional. Someone who is licenced and skilled will ensure that all equipment, including the chair’s tub, is clean. They will also know how to correctly clip toenails to prevent ingrown toenails. Some pedicure experts may be able to relieve your pain if the ingrown nail is small and not infected.

Get Recurring Ingrown Toenail Treatment

Some individuals appear to get ingrown toenails more often than others, particularly on the same toe. If this is the case, the issue may be related to the form of the toe or even how your toenail develops. If this is the case, you should seek ingrown toenail therapy to ensure that the recurring issue is resolved. These treatments are often minor and performed in the doctor’s office rather than in the hospital. They must, however, be performed by an ankle and foot expert who is well-versed in ingrown toenail therapy.

It is important to take care of your feet so that you can walk comfortably as well as participate in more strenuous sports such as jogging. You don’t want an ingrown toenail to slow you down if you play sports. Make sure to seek the proper treatment for your ingrown toenail if it occurs, even if you took precautions to avoid it.

8 Ways To Get A Better Job

If you don’t enjoy your current job there is no reason why you should stick with it. It doesn’t matter how long you spent training for it, how much money you spent to get there, what success you’ve had, or even what friends you have made along the way; if you dislike getting up each morning and making your way in, you have a problem. The good news is that that problem can be fixed by getting a different, better job. Here are some of the ways to go about doing exactly that.

better job
Photo by Jacqueline Munguía on Unsplash

Write A Compelling Resume

Writing a resume is not something that many people particularly enjoy doing, but it is essential if you want to find a new job that you’re going to love. It’s not enough just to list out the things you have done, the places you have worked, and all your qualifications. Instead, you need to make it stand out. Your resume is your way in to get an interview, and if yours isn’t interesting then your chances of that happening are slim, especially if there are dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of applicants for the job. You can use online tools to help you make something a bit more special. Remember not to go crazy using different fonts and colors – you still need to look professional.

Look In Different Places

Finding the right job to apply for is something that might take you a little while, but it’s worth putting in the hard work to find the right new career for you. Although the more popular job boards are great (those such as Indeed and Craigslist, for example), it might be better for you to look at the less obvious ones if you want to find a job posting that won’t have many applicants. It’s also a quicker way to go about things, as they will have fewer postings and that means you won’t have to search through dozens of jobs that are no good for you before finding one to apply for. Don’t forget to check out job listings provided to alumni of your college too, even if it’s been years since you graduated.

Try The Company Not The Job

If you’re not picky about what job role you fulfil but you do know which company you want to work for, search through their open postings. You might spot something that you’re qualified for that will get you in with that company to begin with. If you get the job you can then work towards a different position over time if that’s what you want. Or why not simply reach out and ask the company or companies you’re interested in working for whether or not they might consider hiring you – send in a speculative cover letter and resume just to see what might happen.

Learn New Skills

If you feel your resume is lacking in something or you have seen a job posting that you are keen to apply for but you are missing one of the key skills, make it your mission to learn something new before applying for anything else. Having additional skills is another way to make your resume stand out, plus it can be truly useful in your new job. Knowing how to program or getting a business qualification can boost your chances of success, find you the ideal job, and keep your brain active even when you’re bored in your current place of work. 

better job
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Make The Interview Count

Once you have got as far as being asked to come in for an interview you need to make sure you make it count. Dress appropriately to begin with. This does not mean that you have to wear your most formal attire and shoes you would never wear anywhere else – you need to be comfortable in order to make a good impression. However, it does mean that you need to dress smartly, make sure your clothes are clean and pressed, and make sure your shoes are not muddy or scuffed. These little things can make a big difference, even if it’s subconsciously. If you’re not sure what to wear, ask. It shows that you’re thinking ahead and that you want to do well.

Understand Body Language

Having at least a basic understanding of how to read body language can help you out in an interview and will certainly give you an idea of how well you are doing. It’s essential that you show that you are a pleasant, charming person from the outset as first impressions do count for a lot. If you understand body language you can avoid doing anything negative that might affect your chances of being liked. Try not to keep touching your face, for example, or playing with your hair or nails. Don’t bounce your legs up and down. Don’t slouch, but don’t sit up too straight either. You need to come across as professional and comfortable with the people you’re with and in the place you’re in.

Practice

There will be some questions you are asked in your interview that you can practice beforehand. If you already know your answers you will come across as calm and confident, as someone who is able to think on their feet. Even if it does sound rehearsed, don’t worry; this can show that you have done your research and that you are serious about doing well. You might be asked questions such as what your greatest weakness is, where you see yourself in five years, or what attributes you can bring to the company. These questions (and others) don’t have a right or wrong answer as such, they just need to be answered as cleverly, confidently, and truthfully as possible.

Don’t Leave Angry

When you do get your new job it can be tempting to walk away from your old one and burn your bridges behind you, especially if you really disliked the place, the job, or the people there. However, this is not a good idea, no matter how satisfying it might be. You never know when you might come across that company again in a different setting; you never know when you might need to work with them, or need their help. Leave on good terms and life will be much easier further on. Even if you never see anyone from that company again, and even if you never need to call on their services, leaving on good terms will keep you focused and happy.

Your Disney World Holiday Is Coming… What Do You Need To Take?

Summer will be here before you know it, and if you’re thinking of going to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, then you’ll already know there is a lot of planning to get through. Not only do you need to work out exactly which parks you want to go to, where you’re going to stay, and how you’re going to get there, but you need to save for it too.

Once that’s all sorted out though, and you’ve paid your final instalment, it’s time to really get serious. You’re going, and you need to be prepared. Unlike with a beach holiday, there are more things needed and more things to think about when you plan a trip to Disney so it’s best to get planning as soon as you can. Here is a checklist for you to go through to ensure that this holiday of a lifetime is memorable for all the right reasons!

Disney World holiday
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Guidebook

You may not want to look like a tourist when you get to Florida but the thing is… you are one. Embrace it, and get a guidebook so you know exactly where to go and what to do. You wouldn’t want to miss out on anything, especially if this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of Disney World holiday. It’s true that you can look things up online, but it can often be easier to have a handy guidebook in your bag – and you can make notes in it, use markers for your must-do spots, and generally make use of it. It’s a great investment. A second-hand one is even better if someone else has done all the note-taking in the margins already!

Cool Clothes

Orlando is a hot place. Hotter than you might realise. Shorts and t-shirts are required on a Disney World holiday, but remember to pack thin clothing, not just summer clothing. This kind of heat is entirely different to anything you’ve experienced in the UK, and you don’t want to be uncomfortable as you walk around the parks all day. Take a hat and sunglasses too – you’ll be glad you did when you get out there in the heat of the day.

Good Shoes

Whilst on the subject of packing, making sure everyone has good shoes to wear is essential. You may not realise it, but those parks are enormous, and there will be a huge amount of walking to do, plus you’ll find yourself standing around in queues for many minutes (hours) at a time. Fashionable sandals and heels are lovely, but not during the day. You want trainers or breathable shoes. It’s not just about comfort, either. Some of the rules in Disney mean you can’t go on some of the rides if you don’t have the appropriate footwear.

Tickets

The main reason for anyone to go to Orlando is to go to Disney World, but Disney is not just one theme park; it’s a number of different theme parks that make up the whole group. So do a little research in advance to work out where you might like to spend some time. The Magic Kingdom, for example, is where the famous Cinderella’s castle is, and it’s great for younger children. Older kids might like the Epcot Centre. Film buffs will love Hollywood Studios. Plus there are animal parks and water parks to enjoy as well. Knowing where you want to go will give you a good idea of how many days’ worth of tickets you will need. Buying them in advance is the cheapest way to get them, and you might even be able to make use of special deals. A little tip: take a photo of the tickets when you get them, making sure the ticket numbers are shown. If you lose them or they get damaged, you can then get them replaced.

Itinerary

For some people, a holiday is about going with the flow and working out what to do – if anything – once you get there. In Florida, it’s slightly different. There is so much to see and do that if you don’t have at least a bit of a plan and itinerary by the time you get there, you’ll miss out on something wonderful. If you’re staying at a hotel you can get some great advice from the reps and the staff, but if you’re in a villa you’re a little more on your own. The Internet will help you immensely in that case, although you can also ask the park employees for advice on what to do. Orlando is more than just Disney, though, and you might want to find something different to do, even on a Disney World holiday. Days chilling out by the pool are needed just to re-energise (perhaps have a pool day once every two or three days), and hiring a car so you can go a little further afield will show you some interesting places. If you pick a car from a reputable car rental company, then you don’t even have to worry that you’ll break down; they’ll have help on hand should that happen, working with companies that will be able to help you if you need it.

My family in Disney World, Florida

Money

It’s usually best to change your pounds into dollars here in the UK before you leave as you tend to get a better exchange rate. Don’t assume that’s the case, though, and check out the exchange rate in the US before you travel. You might get a better deal by waiting. For a bit of fun in the parks, you can exchange your American dollars for ‘Disney dollars’. They have the same face value and can only be used in Disney itself, but they’re cute and put a smile on everyone’s face.

Extras

There are a number of little extras that are always worth packing when it comes to going to Orlando’s Disney World. They’ll make your trip more magical. Remember, for example, your autograph book and a chunky kind of pen. There will be characters walking around the parks and they will happily pose for pictures and sign your children’s books, so it’s a nice (free) souvenir! A poncho is another useful item. Yes, it’s hot in Florida, but it rains too, and when the heavens open they really open! Showers don’t last for long, but they happen most afternoons in the summer and you don’t want to get caught out. Take a little plastic bag that can fit in your pocket or bag too because there are water rides, and you can protect your phone/wallet/tablet that way.

Enjoy

The final thing to remember when travelling to Orlando for a Disney World holiday is to enjoy yourself. Have fun. Smile. It’s worth every second of packing when you realise you’re in a truly magical place.

4 Ways Work Could Be Causing You Stress

People are getting increasingly stressed at work, which is producing a crisis in management and poor health. Businesses are suffering as a result of workers being forced to take time off due to stress-related illness, despite the fact that the job is creating it. As a result, while they are away from work, they begin to feel better, but when they return, the old difficulties resurface, and the condition continues to worsen. If this is the case, it is apparent that the work you are performing is not the appropriate one for you, and it is time to choose one that will not be causing you stress.

If you’re not sure if stress is the source of your condition, here are several ways work may be causing it; you might recognise your own scenario here.

Poor Organisation

A badly structured workplace is one of the things that could be causing you stress, and it may even force you to take a lot of time off. Workers will be unable to find what they need to accomplish their jobs if a workplace is disorganised. This may include crucial documents, handy stationery, or even the proper equipment to brew a cup of coffee or a drink of water. If you can’t locate what you’re looking for and can’t do the job you’ve been assigned in a timely or satisfactory manner, you may be reprimanded. Even if you aren’t, the situation is tense.

causing you stress
Photo by Lisa from Pexels

Being Overloaded

We’ve all been in situations when we have more work than we can handle, only to be pushed to do more. This isn’t such a horrible thing if it just happens once in a while (though it’s preferable if it doesn’t happen at all); a little overtime now and again isn’t too bad. However, if this is a recurring problem and you are constantly pushed to do more than you have time or aptitude to accomplish, you will, of course, get highly agitated and may need to take time off because you are burning out. If you’re doing too much, then work is sure to be causing you stress.

Work Relationships

It’s difficult for everyone to get along with everyone else, but in the workplace, it’s vital to tolerate your coworkers so that you can all be adults and get your tasks done. This is not always the case, and negative sentiments amongst coworkers might seep into the job itself, causing you stress. It’s difficult to have to go to the same office every day when you’re having a fight with someone or have a falling out with a former buddy.

causing you stress
Photo by Alexander Suhorucov from Pexels

New Management

At work, having a competent manager is critical. Even though we have the authority to work in our own way and on our own schedule, having a manager to ask questions of, as well as get orders and praise from, is vital for maintaining high morale and a sense of stability. A change in management might be another source of stress since the unknown of who will be your boss and what they will be like is unsettling, especially if you were satisfied with the person who was there previously.

How To Get Your Blog Noticed

When you write a blog, you want people to read it; this is the main reason behind writing it in the first place. Therefore, you want your blog to be noticed, shared, liked, and talked about wherever possible. This can be a difficult task, but it is essential if you want your blog (and your website or business) to be boosted high up in the search engine rankings. Take a look at these tips for getting your blog noticed and implement as many as you can. 

Stay On Topic 

Having a blog that sticks to one main topic is a good idea. It means that people will know what to expect when they read your work, and it can prove that you are an expert in your chosen sector. Although some blogs do have varied contents, to really get noticed, you should ideally find the topic you are happy writing about and make that your main focus. Otherwise you can easily confuse people, and they won’t know that they should come back to your blog or that it could, in fact, be useful to them. 

What you write about is entirely your choice as long as you know something (or rather a lot) about the topic and can find a lot to say about it. 

blog noticed
Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Keep It Simple 

Most people don’t want to read something too technical and complicated – in many cases, they are looking for ways to make a potentially tricky yet important topic more accessible. As a blogger, your job is to take that topic and put it in layman’s terms. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing about a tax return, days out with the kids, cooking, book reviews, starting a business, or anything else; the key is to keep it all simple.

Use Social Media 

If you really want to boost your readership levels, you must use social media to promote your blog. Posting your link on a Facebook page (perhaps in a group, or on your own page or your business page) can potentially give you a huge reach, and many more people will read the blog, clicking through to your website, than otherwise would have done. They will also easily be able to share the content with their followers and friends, ensuring that even more people will read it. If you want to have your post in front of many thousands of people, you can even pay to have it boosted, but it may be possible to do this organically, so try that first before spending any money. 

Use SEO To Get Your Blog Noticed

SEO (search engine optimization) will make your blog noticed a lot more. SEO is about identifying important keywords or phrases and incorporating them into your blog post, and it needs to be done carefully and strategically. The search engine ‘bots’ will pick up on these keywords and phrases, and your webpage will be boosted higher up the rankings when people search. There are many different techniques involved in getting SEO just right, so it’s best to read up on them before you begin so that you can make the most of the opportunity to promote your post and make sure it is noticed.