Category Archives: Collaborative Posts

Remember, Remember: Safety Tips To Make Sure Your Bonfire Night Is A Cracker

Remember, remember the fifth of November. But that’s not all you need to keep in mind. If you’re hosting bonfire night at home, there’s a lot more that you’ll be having to think about than just keeping the date free. The key to keeping your bonfire night lit is to make lots of preparations. This isn’t only important for keeping everyone happy and entertained, but for yours and your guests’ safety too.

Safety First

Bonfire night is full of sparkle, light and flames. It’s beautiful to watch. But you need to bear everyone’s safety in mind throughout the entire night. No matter how great your party is, it’s not going to be remembered as a fun night if someone gets hurt. So here are a few precautions that you might like to take.


If you have fireworks, keep them well out of the way until they’re being used. Make sure that your garden is big enough to host guests and a firework display at the same time. Make sure that the fireworks are lit far from your guests and that they are pointed directly up before being lit. You don’t want a skyrocket hurtling into a crowd of family and friends. If a firework has been lit but hasn’t gone off, leave it well alone. It could just be taking its time. If not, call a professional to remove it. It’s best to avoid it going off in your hand. Buy your fireworks from a trusted source. Online deals might be cheaper, but it’s best to make sure they’re coming from a reliable, trusted and tested source.


Fireworks are noisy. That’s part of the appeal. But remember you need to look after your ears. Nobody wants to go home with burst eardrums. Use the best ear plugs possible throughout the night. Distribute them amongst your guests or advise them to bring their own. These will protect even the most sensitive of ears and ensure there are no tears as the fireworks explode in the sky.


Kids love sparklers. They come in classic white or multicolour, and you can use them to draw out pictures, shapes and words in the night air. They’re cheap and relatively safe, as long as they’re used correctly. Always supervise children when they’re using sparklers. Ensure that they are wearing gloves, in case small sparks hit their hands. Also, make sure that there is a bucket of water ready to put the burnt out sparkler sticks in.


The bonfire. The huge centrepiece of the party. Many local councils have cancelled bonfires due to health and safety hazards. But a reasonable correctly made bonfire in your garden shouldn’t pose a threat. Just don’t get too excited. Make sure that the bonfire is controlled and away from fences which could catch alight. Make sure there are barriers all around it to prevent young children from getting too close. Also, make sure that any pets are indoors before lighting the bonfire. At the end of the night, make sure that it is properly extinguished before going to bed.

Wedding Fashion: How To Look Stylish Whatever The Weather

Summer wedding season may be over. But that doesn’t mean that aren’t occasions to attend. Many people choose to hold their big day in the autumn and winter months. Crisp blue skies, colourful leaves, and snow-covered landscapes make for beautifully romantic scenes. If you’ve been invited to a wedding in the coming months, you may be wondering what to wear. Don’t panic. These styling tips will help you to look the part whatever the weather.

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What to buy

If you’re going to a wedding in the summer, it can be much easier to plan an outfit. Most people tend to go for dresses or skirts. Bright colours and light fabrics are the order of the day. In the cooler months, putting an outfit together can be tricky. You want to look great. But you also want to be warm and comfortable. When temperatures fall, think about opting for thicker materials and autumnal shades. Jewel tones, metallics, and bold colours like pillar box red work well. You can still wear dresses and skirts, but think about the conditions. You may want to add a jacket or a coat. You could also consider going for a long-sleeved dress and adding tights. If you’re wearing a patterned skirt, keep your eyes peeled for plain bodies with sleeves.

Dressing for a wedding doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a long skirt or a dress. There may be other options you wish to consider. If it’s a less formal event, you may prefer to wear trousers. You could choose a chic suit or go for a jumpsuit.

Where to shop

Choosing an outfit for a wedding is made all the more difficult when you consider that hundreds of other people are doing exactly the same thing. You don’t want to turn up in exactly the same dress and shoes as another guest. Try and be original when you’re designing your ensemble, and avoid popular retailers. If you can, shop online, or visit independent retailers like Frox of Falkirk. Another option is to look for styles and pieces you like and then ask a dressmaker to create a similar version with customised touches.

Cold weather wedding essentials

When it’s chilly outside, or there’s a risk of rain, it’s important to have all bases covered. If you’re going to a winter wedding, don’t forget to check the forecast. You may need a coat, or a shawl to throw over your shoulders. Take an umbrella with you. If there’s walking involved, and you want to wear heels for the ceremony, take a pair of flats with you.

Weddings are wonderful events. You have the opportunity to spend time with friends and family and be part of a special and unique celebration. When the weather is unpredictable, it can be tough to choose what to wear. Hopefully, these tips will help you to put together a stylish, comfortable outfit suitable for sun, rain or snow. Have fun shopping, try on different styles, and don’t be afraid to go for something a little bit different.

The Essential Elements of a Marriage Proposal

Proposing to your partner, whether they’re a man or a woman, can be anything you want it to be. Some people plan elaborate occasions and even invite friends and family to watch. Others propose over a glass of wine on the sofa at home. Sometimes a proposal might be meticulously planned, while other times it’s spontaneous. However, much of the time there is some planning involved. There are some key elements to most proposals if you’re planning a romantic affair. Think carefully about the things below before you decide on the big moment.

The Answer

Proposals can be brilliant surprises, but there’s one thing you don’t want to be a surprise. Asking someone to marry you and having them say no is not going to be great for your relationship. Even if you’re pretty sure your partner will say yes, you need to be approaching 100% certain, if not actually there. The main thing to remember is that you should have discussed marriage before. If you’ve never mentioned it and talked about your feelings relating to it, it’s not a great time to propose. You should know about each other’s feelings on marriage in general and in relation to each other.


The Location

If you’re certain the proposal is a good idea, you need to consider when and where to do it. The location is a lot more important than some people think. It doesn’t have to be on top of the Eiffel Tower or by the Grand Canyon. In fact, the main thing to think about is how public it is. There are many people who would hate a public proposal and feel like they’ve been put on the spot. Even if they definitely say yes, they may not want to have witnesses to their answer. Before you choose a public place or invite anyone else to watch, think about how your partner will feel.

The Ring

For some couples, an engagement ring (or rings) is no longer important. However, many still want to have a ring for one or both of them. When it comes to proposals, the ring can be a surprise or it can be something the couple chooses together. You can browse sites like Tacori or go shopping for rings in person. If you’re buying a surprise ring, you need to tread carefully. You might know your partner’s tastes very well. However, if you don’t, you could ask for hints, either from them or from their friends.

The Words

What you say when you propose could be the most important part. However, for some couples, it’s everything else that matters more. A simple “will you marry me?” is all you really need. But you might want to come up with some other words to say, to elaborate on your reasons for proposing. You don’t necessarily have to come up with a rehearsed speech, though. Just say what comes naturally and leave the rest for the wedding.

Your proposal doesn’t have to follow a set formula, but there are still some issues you can consider. You should create an experience you’re both happy with.

Computer Says No – The Most Annoying Things About Home Technology And What To Do About Them

Have you ever seen 2001 a space odyssey, where the computer that controls everything goes a bit nuts and starts refusing requests? Well unless you are super tech savvy our own homes can feel a bit like that sometimes. Despite our best efforts nothing seems to work the way it should. But don’t worry it’s not just you, some fairly common problems happen to us all. Read on to find out how to fix them.

Your TV picture is awful

Probably one of the most frustrating things about technology in our home is when we can’t get a good quality TV picture. TV’s aren’t cheap so you wouldn’t expect to be dogged by a bad image in this day and age.

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Unfortunately, the picture quality is rarely anything to do with the TV itself. Most TV’s are in HD now so than means there are more pixels than even our eyes can recognize. So the problem usually lies with your reception. A good solution to this is to speak to a profession aerial installation company. They can install an antenna on your property that will help boost your signal giving you a better quality picture.

Some people choose to go with satellite or cable TV to resolve this problem as well.

Your Printer is being ignorant

How many of us have faced that situation? Where our printer connected wirelessly to your PC yesterday, but now it acting like it doesn’t exist. It’s as if they have has a massive fight and the printer is playing the ‘i’m ignoring your game.’

If you have switched it off and on again several times, then the next thing to do is check out the website of the brand that makes your printer. They may have a solution or even a patch that will help correct the error. In some cases, they may be able to offer telephone support or ask you to return the machine for repairs. Or you could just use a cable? Jus saying.

You internet likes to cut out – a lot

If you are having trouble with a wobbly internet connection, it can be pretty annoying, especially if you work at home. Use your PC’s settings to see if you can repair the connection. But if it is happening regularly then it is worthwhile speaking to your internet provider.

Remember that they sell their products partly on the speed of the connection in all those flashy adverts. So you are well within your right to complain if yours is not performing. Sometimes resetting it from their end is all that is needed to clear the problem.

You can’t get a mobile phone signal in your home

Another super annoying issue if you discover, you can’t get a cell phone signal in your new home. As most people rely on their mobiles these days, it’s not on to have to go to the bottom of the garden or hang out the bathroom window just to be able to send a text.

Luckily most providers will give you a free booster box, which connects to your WIFI, which will allow you to use your phone as normal.

Getting The Party Started At Your Wedding: How To Compile The Perfect Playlist

It’s your big day, and you can’t wait to celebrate with all your closest friends and family. Once the I do’s are out of the way, it’s time to turn your attention to getting the party started. You want everyone to have a fabulous time and let their hair down. So how can you make sure that the dance floor is rocking all night long? Here are some tips to help you create the perfect wedding reception playlist.


Old favourites and wedding classics

No matter how cutting edge your music tastes, wedding classics should be a staple of every celebration. You know the ones. Those tunes that are guaranteed to get everyone out of their seats and onto their feet. We’re thinking the Abba or Dirty Dancing megamixes. Or anything by Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder or the Spice Girls. Old-school crowd-pleasers like Oasis’ Wonderwall are also a good shout.

Personal favourites

It’s your wedding day, so make sure you include a few tracks that are important to you as a couple. Perhaps you’ve got memories of holidays, or songs you used to play over and over again when you started dating. You could also include songs that hold special meaning for your friends and families. Do you have a song that was on everywhere on your stag or hen do? Is there a tune that brings back memories of when you were younger or something you always sing when you get together for family events?


If you’ve got children or teenagers at your wedding, throwing in a few recent chart-toppers is guaranteed to go down well. If you’re not sure what’s hot at the moment, consult with your DJ. Firms like We R DJs can help you to plan and personalise your playlist to suit all your guests.


It’s a fantastic idea to get your guests involved in planning your playlist. One easy way to do this is to ask for song requests on your RSVP slips. If you have a wedding website, you can also ask guests to post suggestions online. If you liaise with your DJ, you may also be able to add a few requests on the night.

Slow jams

There are certain tunes, like Mr Brightside and Jump Around that are guaranteed to get everyone bouncing. But it’s also a good idea to include some slow jams. It is a wedding after all, and it’s all about sharing the love. Drop in a couple of gentler tunes to give your guests chance to recover and create a more romantic vibe.

There’s nothing like a good wedding party to send people home in high spirits. If you’re planning your wedding, take a bit of time to think about what to put on your playlist. Go for a mixture of old and new. Add some personal touches, and invite your guests to send in requests. Think about songs that will get everyone dancing, but don’t forget to add a little romance too. Ask your DJ for suggestions and don’t be afraid to embrace the old cliches. There’s a reason they get played at almost every wedding in the country!

Planning A Revamp? Home Improvements That Are Worth The Investment

When you’re planning a revamp at home, you usually have to use both your head and your heart. You may want to make changes, but they do make financial sense? If you’re thinking of doing some DIY or you’re keen to renovate or refurbish, here are some home improvements that are worth the investment.

Windows and doors

Are you thinking of selling in the near future? Or are you concerned about your own expenses? If so, replacing windows and doors is often beneficial. If you have single glazing, or your windows and doors are old, it may be worth investigating new and improved versions. Some people looking for a new home may be put off by shabby window frames or single glazing. Investing in new models will also save you money on your energy bills, as your home will be more efficient. If you search online, you’ll be able to find companies like Poplar Home Improvements, for example. Once you’ve got contact details, you can arrange some visits, and compare quotes.


Modern kitchen

If you surveyed a group of buyers, you’d probably find that the kitchen is a priority for most. These days, many of us use the kitchen for a range of purposes, and it acts as the heart of the home. If your kitchen is dated or cramped, investing in a new and improved room will always pay dividends. If you have limited space, there may be ways of creating a larger room. You could extend into the back garden, or knock a wall down and turn two separate spaces into an open plan kitchen. There are hundreds of different designs and styles out there, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve a beautiful result. Take a look through some magazines and check out interior websites to get some ideas. Take photographs or cuttings of looks you like and piece together a design in your mind.

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Roof repairs

Have you got damp ceilings? Can you see holes in the roof or a few missing tiles? If so, it’s always best to remedy roofing issues as quickly as possible. If there are problems, they’ll only get worse with time. You’ll be at risk of leaks and damp, and potential buyers may be put off if you decide to sell. When you’re looking for roofing firms, ask colleagues, friends, and family for recommendations. You’ll find local companies in telephone directories or by searching online.



Have you outgrown your home? If so, it may be possible to add an extension. Extending your home will add value, and give you an alternative to moving if you love your current property. You’ll need to call some building firms and get an idea of costs, timeframe, and planning constraints. Once you have drawings, you can submit an application to your local council.

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Are you thinking of making some changes at home? If so, it’s advisable to think about your finances, as well as aesthetics and practical concerns. If you’re spending a lot of money, you need to make sure that it’ll be worthwhile if you decide to move on further down the line. Hopefully, this list will help you to create a beautiful home and make sound investments.

Why Exotic Pets Bring Challenges – And How To Live Up To Them!

It’s often said that we Brits are a nation of animal lovers. Which is probably true, but is also a little weird. There aren’t many nations across the world where people don’t keep pets. However, one thing that is true is that we spend a lot of money on our pets. Survey after survey shows that we spend, as a nation, billions of pounds a year looking after them. And we don’t resent a penny.

One thing that is even more interesting is the wide range of pets that are kept in homes. Walk into any vet surgery around the country, and there’ll be price lists on the wall for treatment of various pets. Dogs, of course. Cats, yes. Rabbits and guinea pigs, naturally. But read further down, and you’ll see more and more exotic ones. Including an increasingly wide range of exotic birds.

If we’re a nation of animal lovers, it’s a broad and all-encompassing love. We love our cats and dogs, and food is widely available for them in supermarkets and local stores. But walk into a supermarket and ask where they keep the parrot food – they’ll look at you as though your words had been spoken by the parrot itself. You need to go further and wider to find the right stuff.

Why It’s Harder To Look After Exotic Pets

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You’ll remember clearly the moment you saw a hand raised Eclectus for sale. The excitement of knowing that you could have one of nature’s most colourful, entertaining birds in your home. The determination to get it before anyone else swooped in. The dawning realisation that it wasn’t going to be child’s play to look after it. If you live near to a large pet store it’s a bit easier – but a lot of us spend hours comparison shopping to find the right items online. If it’s worth paying for a pet, it’s worth paying for the right items to look after it.

Why We Love Exotic Birds

Parrots are a favourite pet for many reasons, not least their colourful plumage. Shades of blue, red and orange that you’re just not going to get with a cat. Unless you dye it – and good luck with that, because they won’t be happy with you.

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Added to that, there’s the talking thing. It never stops being amusing when a parrot picks up on something you’ve said. And keeps repeating it – so just make sure you don’t gossip too much when the parrot is within earshot.

What Do They Eat?

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Although a lot of people will treat their birds like domestic garden birds and feed them seed, most parrots will not be keen on this. In the wild, they are arboreal creatures and prefer fruit and nuts. Pay heed – you may be tempted to buy rejected fruit from a local grocer. If you want your eclectus to thrive you should be feeding it fruit you’d be happy to eat yourself.

Exotic, exciting birds make excellent pets, as long as you are prepared to put the work in to look after them. They may not be as welcoming when you come home from work, but they’ll certainly know who you are. And if you care for them well, they’ll come to love you too.

E-Cigarettes: The Trendiest Way To Help You Quit Smoking For Good

If you are someone who smokes tobacco, you are one of over a billion people in the world who do the same. Tobacco has grown naturally in the wild for the past 8000 years, but it only started being smoked around 2000 years ago. Back then, it was chewed or smoked as part of significant religious or spiritual ceremonies. Nowadays, it is a multi-billion dollar industry. The top tobacco companies make a combined profit of around $35 million yearly. However, it wasn’t always known that tobacco could pose a risk to our health. An unknown English author published a report about the dangers of tobacco in 1602, and since then we have been well-educated about the health risks tobacco can cause. Unfortunately, smoking tobacco is highly addictive and many people struggle immensely to give it up. But around a decade ago, an alternative was created – the e-cigarette. That being said, e-cigs and ‘vaping’ have only really come into the mainstream over the past few years. Here’s why so many people are choosing them over traditional cigarettes, and why they could be right for you. contain fewer harmful chemicals

Some health professionals have cited that e-cigs are almost 95% safer than smoking, due to containing far fewer chemicals.  Traditional cigarette smoke can contain up to 4000 different chemicals, 43 of which have been linked to causing cancer. E-cigs contain a liquid, which heats up when the device is used, causing the liquid to vaporize and produce nicotine. Many forms of e-cigarette also contain flavoured vapor, similar to smoking shisha. In order to use e-cigs effectively, the user will need to replace the cartridge which contains the liquid after every few uses. The liquid in question is propylene glycol, an additive that is FDA-approved and is found in many types of food.

They can help you quit smoking

Even though most of us know the risks posed by smoking cigarettes, we continue to do it because we are addicted. Many people find smoking e-cigarettes a great way to help them cut down and even quit smoking tobacco for good. E-cigs and refillables are available on most high streets these days. Plus, there are even specific vaping shops which sell e-cigs, such as Shoreditch Vape. They still contain nicotine but are much purer than regular cigarettes. It is also easier than going cold turkey because e-cigs still mimic the physical use of a normal cigarette. Many people smoke simply because it is a habit, and they are used to having a cigarette in their hands or going out for a smoking break. If they are permitted to continue this behaviour, but just with a healthier tool at hand, they are more likely to be able to quit in the long run.

They are more socially acceptable

It’s never pleasant when you are trying to have a nice meal somewhere and a person from the neighbouring table is blowing cigarette smoke everywhere. In fact, many countries have already taken action on this by banning smoking in public places. Ireland, Britain, Sweden, and France are just some examples of where the smoking ban has been implemented. However, this is not the case world-over. If you are addicted to nicotine and need to smoke in public, using an e-cig is far less offensive to those around you. You can also buy flavoured liquids for your e-cig, resulting in what many people consider a pleasant smell to emit from it.

Keep The Little Ones Happy: Easy Ways To Make Your Bathroom More Kid-Friendly

It’s always hard to make sure your bathroom is perfect for little kids. After all, there is so much they can harm themselves on in the room. And on top of this, you need the bathroom to be fun to get them to use it! And even if you haven’t got your own child, you want the room to be safe and fun for when you have nieces and nephews over to stay! Therefore, here are some easy ways you can make your bathroom more kid-friendly to keep little ones happy.


Invest in some non-slip mats

It’s so easy for kids to have slips in the bathroom which cause a trip to A&E. Therefore, you need to prevent this by getting some non-slips mats for your bathroom. They should be placed right next to areas that get wet easily such as next to the bath and shower. As this feature says, a good non-slip mat should have suction cups to prevent the mat from sliding across the floor once the little one steps on it. That way, they won’t end up face planting the floor once leaving the shower. Just make sure you regularly give it a clean, so no mould ends up growing on there.

Choose a secure shower enclosure

It’s also so important that you choose a secure shower enclosure that kids can use in your home. After all, that stylish one with the complicated door movement might be good for you, but it certainly won’t be good for little ones. They could end up getting stuck in the shower or even end up hurting themselves on the door. Therefore, you need to choose a modern shower with smooth closing doors. That way, they can get in and out as necessary. You might even want to go for a walk-in shower. That way, it’s the same level as the bathroom floor, and they are less likely to slip and hurt themselves. You can find a good range of shower cubicles online such as dilusso enclosures.

Keep products away in cupboards

A lot of people have so many skin and hair products in their bathroom. But if it gets into a little one’s hand, it could lead to danger. After all, they might not understand it’s not edible and could end up swallowing some shower gel by mistake. Therefore, to make your bathroom more child-friendly, you should put all potential hazard items away in the cupboard. That way, they won’t be able to get their hands on the item and get sick because of you! Remember it’s not just lotions; razors and scissors need to be put away for safe keeping too in the bathroom!

Add some fun accessories

If you want to make your bathroom more kid-friendly, you need to add some fun accessories. And we’re not just talking about adding a rubber duck to your tub (although that is a must). You should add some brightly coloured towels and fun artwork to the room. You can even find some great tablet holders so that kids can watch their favourite cartoon while they are in the bath!

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And you can check out my previous blog on ways to make your bathroom perfect with little stress.

3 Amazing Destinations For The Perfect Family Holiday

Getting the family together for a trip abroad can be a lot of fun. In our busy day-to-day lives, we often don’t get to see even our immediate family all too often. Plus, when we do, we are often reeling from the stresses of work and childcare, which doesn’t make the time spent together what most would class as ‘quality time’. Going on holiday together gets rid of this problem completely. You’ve got all the time in the world to relax, and there’s plenty of fun and exciting things to do together. But when you’ve got a big family that includes lots of children, knowing where to go can be the first of your problems. There are plenty of resorts that cater for children but aren’t so great if you don’t like being woken up at 8 every day by an entertainer. On the flip side, booking a luxury spa will only mean that you have to deal with ‘x amount’ of very bored children. Choosing somewhere that appeals to everyone can mean you end up with a family holiday to remember.


America is a perfect option if your children are quite young or if it is their first time abroad. There is the added benefit of having no language barrier, which should help them feel comfortable from the start. Of course, there is always the long-haul plane journey to deal with – which as any parent will tell you, isn’t that fun when you have kids! Plus, you will need to make sure you have all your documentation in order by visiting Once you are there, both children and adults alike will love the hot climate and the huge amounts of entertainment. Visiting Disneyworld and Universal Studios are a must on a trip to the US with kids.


Or, to be precise, the Spanish coastline. Both the Costa Blanca and the Costa Del Sol provide perfect spots for family holidays, although perhaps ones with slightly older children. There are plenty of cultural attractions to visit, and the beach in itself can provide hours of entertainment for children. Be sure to stock up on inflatable dinghies and floats to help your children stay safe in the sea. This also gives you the perfect chance to relax with the adults and enjoy some ‘me’ time. Another advantage of this area of Spain is that food and drink are both relatively cheap, meaning your summer holiday doesn’t have to break the bank.


If you are looking for something a little more exotic, why not consider a family holiday to India? Sure, it may not be the top of everyone’s list when you think of kid-friendly holidays. But with vibrant cultural attractions, stunning scenery and great food, it will be an experience to remember. The kids will be amazed by mystical temples and the hustle and bustle of major cities like Delhi. India is a great way to introduce children to other cultures. Plus, many resorts are used to catering for British tourists, so you will still be able to have certain home comforts.