Giving your new furniture a new lease of life

January is the month of the year where we are watching the pennies more than ever, but there may be a lot that you want to get on with around the home at this time of the year. If you fancy some new furniture but don’t want to stretch the credit cards even further, why not think about up-cycling what you already have, or some old furniture that you might have come across in a charity shop that could benefit from some TLC? Another benefit of upcycling, apart from the fact that you save a lot of money, is that you end up with a piece of unique furniture.

Before you paint a piece of furniture, always ensure that you prepare the surface before you begin. Use wire wool or sandpaper to give it a clean smooth surface ready for you to work on. Don’t be tempted to skip this part as I will give the furniture a better quality of finish that will last longer.

Think about the colour that you are going to use and what sort of paint you may need to obtain the desired finish. You can visit a DIY store that will mix paints for you to achieve the colour that you want. Chalk paints are ideal for this and tend to come in pretty pastel colours – perfect for a shabby chic look. Use two to three thin layers of paint rather than thick layers and finish it with varnish to protect it afterwards.

If you are feeling creative, why not experiment with stencils – have a look around and don’t be afraid to experiment – this is your opportunity to create a really unique piece, and if you really don’t like it, just paint over it! Wallpaper is another great way to create unique and effective pieces of furniture. Choose a wallpaper that you like and use it to create an expensive looking statement piece. Cut a piece of wallpaper to the correct size, paste it onto the front of a drawer and let it dry. Varnish over it as you would with the paint and you have a great new piece of furniture!

When you have completed your piece, think about accessorising – for example have you created a beautiful shabby chic dining table? Make your own unique tablecloth in a pretty cotton poplin fabric for the perfect finish.

Principles of SEO

If you have a blog on your website, then writing good quality content is only part of the process. If you want search engines to find you, there are certain principles of SEO or search engine optimisation to stick to. blog. The higher you rank in searches, the more visitors to your site, simple.

  1. Ensure your pages link to each other

Maybe your blog article has dozens of backlinks but another page on your site has only 2. This means the lower page will have a tougher time ranking on Google. By linking the page with more backlinks to the lesser page, it will enjoy something called link equity, enabling it to rank better. Thankfully, you don’t have to do this all manually. For example, WordPress has plugins for such internal linking. For help with your site, think about Local SEO services with https://www.elevateuk.com/seo-services/

  1. Get rid of old non-ranking articles

If there are any articles on your site that are older than two years and are no longer read, then delete them. If you want to keep them, be sure to ‘noindex’ the articles, so they don’t negatively affect newer, better linked articles.

  1. Flatten it out

The way that information is laid out into pages and subpages and how they link together is known as site architecture. This architecture can be either deep or flat, and you want flat. Search engines think the top pages of deep sites are more important, as webcrawlers locate the category pages first. Basically, if the main content of your site is more than 3 clicks from your homepage, search engines will not see lower pages as important and might not even index them. The flatter your site architecture, the better.

  1. Know your keywords

Think about the words that people are going to search for. Every page on your site should be geared towards using keywords important to your business. When creating pages for your site, use the best keywords in every post. Google has a tool called Google Keyword Planner that can guide you towards popular keywords to use and how many monthly searches are happening with those words.

  1. Tag Images

Visuals are an important part of blogs and articles, and most sites rely on them heavily to make an impact. It’s surprising how many don’t tag their images though. When Google indexes a site, it needs to know what the image is and how it should be presented. If images are not tagged, then Google doesn’t know how to identify them.

  1. Work with Google

For the long-term good of your website, it’s always best to co-operate with Google and not try to employ so-called ‘black hat’ SEO tactics to boost your rankings. These techniques aim to outsmart Google and artificially boost rankings. Whilst you may see temporary improvements, they won’t last, and you could end up being slapped with a Google penalty. Organic SEO is a long-term commitment to building a website that is an asset to you and that continues to attract traffic to your high-quality of engaging content for the customer.

How to make more storage space in your home

We all have things that we need to store, whether it’s out-of-season clothes, Christmas decorations, your children’s old school projects, or garden furniture.

However, houses in the UK have been getting smaller in recent years, leaving far less space for storage. What can you do with all of these belongings that you don’t want to toss?

Onwards and upwards

Many people turn to the loft when it comes to storage. Having some flooring laid and a ladder fitted for easy access isn’t that expensive. Keep in mind, however, that lofts are usually uninsulated and therefore subject to wide variations in temperature throughout the year. Don’t store anything up there that might be damaged by these changes.

Using the height is also something you can look into doing with your kitchen cupboards and wardrobes. There is often dead space at the top of cupboards, and adding extra shelves or hooks to hang objects can help utilise this space. There is also often space below hanging clothes at the bottom of wardrobes that can be used to place storage boxes for shoes and other items.

Outbuildings

If you have a garage or shed, that can give you much-needed extra space, too. Adding garage shelving and hooks to hang tools means you can store items in your garage and still have room for the car. If you’re wondering, who are Garage Shelving?They can provide different storage solutions to suit a range of needs. If anything could deteriorate from damp, make sure it’s stored off the floor.

Sheds are handy for storing garden tools and outdoor furniture. Make sure they are weatherproof and protected from vermin, and ensure that they have good security measures to guard against theft.

Deeper and down

Many older houses have a basement or cellar that provides an ideal area for storage. Again, it’s important to make sure that it’s dry and that you have adequate lighting so you can see what’s in there.

Wherever you choose to store your surplus items, make sure you do so neatly. Sort objects before you put them away, and store small items in labelled boxes so you can find them again easily when you need them. Transparent plastic storage boxes are inexpensive and help you to organise your items whilst keeping them protected.

Cheap Ways to Have a Luxury Bathroom

Want a luxury bathroom but don’t want to pay designer prices? Lots of people decide to spruce up their home in the New Year but budgets are often tight after the excesses of Christmas. Here are some clever ways to get a dream bathroom without maxing out the credit card:

  1. Add a plant

The most glamourous and luxurious bathrooms have a touch of nature incorporated into the décor. Something bright, fresh and clean. An indoor plant is a cheap and effective addition, transforming your bathroom into a spa like ambience. White flowers, whether real or artificial offer a fresh, clean feel.

  1. Roll up your towels

Instead of hanging your towels willy-nilly and watching them slip onto the floor, roll up your towels in a posh hotel style and neatly stack them on display. Another touch of hotel class is to include a tray for decadent items such as perfume bottles, glass jars or vases, candles and soft face cloths.

  1. No mix, more match

Most of us have a mix of towels from over the years but putting any old towels and mats into the bathroom can make it look messy. Invest in a complete collection of soft, fluffy matching bathroom textiles in neutral or subtle tones for the ultimate in luxury glam.

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  1. Clear away clutter

Whether you treat yourself to drawer compartments or hide everything behind a sink skirt, have a clear out of old shampoo bottles etc and leave your surfaces clean and clear.

  1. Update your lighting

The most expensive bathrooms never have harsh lighting. Their design incorporates clever use of spotlights and mood lighting in different areas. Letting in lots of natural light is also important, so updating your blinds might be in order. Choose modern Waterproof Roller Blinds so you can adjust your light levels to suit. For more information, visit http://www.ucblinds.co.uk/Roller-Blinds/Waterproof-Roller-Blinds

A cheap way to pinpoint light in places where you need good visibility is to add strip lighting to the bottom of shelving or behind a mirror. This way you’ll get all the benefits of lots of light, but it will be softer and more diffused around the room.

  1. Add natural elements

Natural elements are very on-trend and designer at the moment. Think about incorporating things like natural stone, floating wooden shelving or a bamboo screen, for example.

  1. Smell good too

Make sure your bathroom tantalises all your senses and include some delicious scents. Nothing too overpowering but a fresh, clean scent is a must-have for a luxury bathroom. Diffusers are simple to install and use while also providing an extra touch of glam.

A guide to jumpstarting your car

There are a few basic vehicle maintenance jobs that everyone should know, if they are driving a vehicle. Relatively simple tasks like topping up your windscreen washer fluid, checking your oil and changing a tyre. Knowing how to jump start a car with a dead battery is another useful thing to know to get you out of a fix.

Having a dead battery can leave you in difficult situations and normally happens at the worst possible time – getting to work or on the way to an important appointment. Carrying some jump cables in your car is recommended as it could help you get back on track without having to call out recovery. Here’s how to jump start your battery:

If your car won’t start due to a dead battery, you might be able to use jump leads to get it going again. You’ll need another willing vehicle driver to lend you some juice from their battery. It’s important to ensure that the helpful driver of the other vehicle has at least the same voltage as your battery.  However, if either your vehicle or theirs has an electronic ignition or alternative fuel, using jump cables could be damaging.

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Here’s how you safely jump start your car:

  1. Retrieve your jump cables from wherever you store them in your vehicle. It’s always a good idea to have a set with you or you will have to find someone who can not only help you jump start but borrow their cables too.
  2. Make sure both vehicles are in neutral gear or park mode and turn off ignitions. Also apply the parking brake in each vehicle.
  3. Clip one of the red clips onto the positive terminal of your battery. This will have the letters POS or a plus sign on it. The positive terminal is larger than the negative terminal.
  4. Clip on the other red clip to the positive terminal of the other vehicle.
  5. Fix one of the black clips to the other vehicle’s negative terminal and the other black clip to a metal surface on your vehicle that’s unpainted and isn’t close to the battery. You could use one of the metal hinges that holds up the bonnet.
  6. Start the engine of the working vehicle, letting the engine run for a good few Then,see if you can start your vehicle.
  7. If nothing happens, make sure you have the cables correctly connected and leave the working vehicle’s engine running for a few more minutes. If your car still won’t start, it’s time for a new battery. For a speedy replacement Car Battery Supplier, Groves Batteries are the UK’s go to Car Battery Supplier
  8. If jump starting your car works then whatever you do, don’t turn off your engine! Go for a drive for 15-20 minutes to give your battery a chance to recharge. If the same thing happens the next time you try to start your car, the battery is no longer holding any charge and will need to be replaced.

Why the government wants to build on brownfield land

The housing shortage in the UK is a pressing matter for the government, which has decided to move ahead with accelerated development on brownfield sites such as railway stations that are no longer in use, shopping centres that have been abandoned, and rundown central areas of towns and cities.

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Investment in infrastructure

The government had announced a fund of £5 billion to spend on construction of up to 250,000 new homes, with £2 billion set aside for developing new roads and other infrastructure to make construction possible. Developers will be granted special planning powers to boost building on brownfield land with the aim of creating 25,000 new dwellings on brownfield sites by 2020.

Campaigners have long urged using brownfield sites for home building and have claimed efficient use of these areas could yield 1.5 million new residences, according to a report in The Guardian.

Protect the green belt

The National Association of Estate Agents has supported the government’s intention to develop brownfield sites for new housing. By using more brownfield areas, this will protect valuable countryside and green belt areas from being developed. The Council for Protection of Rural England has voiced concerns about green belt areas being eroded to accommodate new housing developments while brownfield sites were a self-renewable resource that was not being used to the fullest. A council spokesperson said that the government should support local councils to make remediation of brownfield sites a priority, adding that these areas could provide space for at least a million new dwellings.

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If you are considering the possibilities of land remediation and would appreciate some expert advice, it might be time to consult a reputable organisation such as http://www.ashremediation.co.uk/tank-decommissioning/. An experienced firm in this area can give you plenty of tips and guidance on the best ways to carry out land remediation.

It cannot be denied that the housing shortfall must be addressed. It makes sense to use brownfield land that has been abandoned. While it just sits there, it is of no use to anyone, and bringing it back into use takes the pressure off developing rural areas. As a bonus, some of these brownfield sites are in excellent locations that already have all the infrastructure that new inhabitants could possibly need and are not too remote.

Guidelines to Hire Managers Effectively

When it comes to hiring managers, the company finds it little tricky. It is because of their experience, expertise, salary, and availability. Yes, just not one factor, but many are included in the interview process while finding a candidate for a manager position in your company. Request you to not take that as pressure. If you can follow the steps given below, then you can hire not only managers but any resource without any challenges.

Fool proof Steps in Effective Recruitment

  1. Understand the requirement before you start your interview process. First talk to the concerned authority to know whether the resource is hired for an existing opening or a new position. If it is replacement position, then talk to the current employee and know about the skills both technical and soft qualifications for that job. On the other hand, for a new job, speak to the decision maker about the expectation from the candidate. You as a recruiter can make a better plan to identify the right resource.
  2. Once you got an idea of the requirement, then you must design the interview process. You must prepare a job description and obtain consent from the stakeholders. Written JD is essential for candidates to understand the position better. Never talk to manager level candidates without having appropriate details in hand.
  3. After talking to them with the job details, you must explain the interview process. They must not only be aware of the job details, but also the process involved and the time frame. Tell them about your company aptitude tests, telephonic interview, face to face discussion and every other interview process in detail. Do not create any wrong impression and be open to let them know about the process and significance of the process. Senior candidates must be treated well, and only then you will find them cooperating with your method.
  4. Make sure you stand up for your promise. Do not over commit. Stick to the timelines and respect their time. Share feedback with them and openly communicate with them. Involve them in the loop and let them feel important. Ask them for their convenience before scheduling an interview and allow them to make decisions. Do not sell your open position. Make them feel responsible even for getting an offer. Introduce them to the interviewer and let them know who will interview them.
  5. Never negotiate salary, and you must know what they expect even before they are called for a discussion. Do not waste their time as senior people might get offended quickly than others. Explain to them what your package is when you start the process to avoid any clash with the existing team. They may talk to other managers in your firm during the interview, so you must exercise caution to avoid any conflict. Being on the recruitment team, these are the basic guidelines to follow when hiring a manager.

In a nutshell, be professional and take recruitment process seriously. Your one wrong move though not intentional will have a severe impact on the business.

Gluten-Free Pizza vs Celiac Disease

Pizza makers over the years have moved from making traditional pizza into making gluten free pizza. It is important first to understand the term gluten free pizza. The gluten free pizza is made of various ingredients with the addition of agar, xanthan gum, pulverized legume grains, and various starches. The ingredients are mixed and baked together. The gelatins and starched ingredients then form a bond that holds the mixture together. The mixture is what results to a gluten free pizza which is gentle enough to digest in the stomach of someone who suffers from celiac.

Gluten is the only protein found in food that is indigestible. It contains molecules that can slip through the intestinal lining leading to inflammation in the intestine especially for people with celiac disease. People suffering from celiac disease have been medically prescribed to a diet free of gluten as the only treatment to celiac disease.

Gluten free pizza offers the following health benefits specifically to people with celiac disease:

Get more energy: Pizza free from gluten improves your digestion and lowers your cholesterol levels meaning that you are healthier and feel a lot better.

Help with autoimmune disease: Celiac disease is an example of autoimmune disease. Eating gluten free pizza helps you reduce the risk of getting another autoimmune disease in the near future.

Help in bloating: Celiac disease is caused due to inflammation in the intestine which basically leads to bloating. Therefore, removing gluten from your pizza helps you reduce the chance of bloating and also help you to lose more weight.

Manage your insulin level: Gluten based foods increases your insulin level which causes it to drop or spike drastically. Gluten free pizza helps you to reduce this drop and spike tendency.

Improve vitamin absorption: Celiac disease is caused by consuming gluten protein which is indigestible. Therefore, consuming pizza from gluten especially vegan pizza allows the digestive system to easily absorb the nutrients from the pizza you are consuming. This also leads to increased vitality.

Better digestive health: If you suffer from persistent digestive (Celiac disease) issues immediately after taking traditional pizza, then it is recommended you consume gluten free pizza. It helps you reduce abdominal cramping, stomach upset, gas, diarrhea, and constipation especially for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

Better mood: People suffering from celiac disease have been known to experience headaches, anxiety, and low mood. Gluten free pizza is recommended as a way of fighting low moods and at the same time improving your health.

Victim’s son calls for change to criminal record checks

Pamela Batten, a 90-year-old woman, was hit with a hammer and stabbed in the neck by 52-year-old Abosede Adeyinka, a carer who had previously looked after her husband. A 21 year prison sentence was imposed on Adeyinka in November.

Background checking

Care company, Avant, who employed the carer on a zero hours contract, claimed that all the pre-employment checks that were required were carried out, including a DBS check. This did not reveal a previous conviction for actual bodily harm or any history of violence, although the company was made aware that Adeyinka had been convicted previously for shoplifting and fraud. The company said that she would not have been employed if they had known about the assault conviction.

Sammy Batten, the victim’s son, is shocked that Adeyinka was considered suitable to be employed in a position working with vulnerable people such as his father with her convictions, and has called for changes to be implemented to prevent similar occurrences. He said that, in his view, there was no reason for ignoring results of DBS checks.

Anyone working with vulnerable adults should get a DBS check now from carecheck.co.uk or another provider. It is important that an enhanced check is carried out before anyone is employed to care for people in this group.

The assault

Abosede Adeyinka had previously cared for Mrs Batten’s husband and had continued to visit her after she had ceased working at the address. She built up a relationship with the victim and was aware of her usual routine. When she went to the house, there was no reply when she knocked on the door, so she let herself in using a key from the key safe outside. Pushing the victim down, she also hit her over the head with a hammer and stabbed her in the neck.

Although Adeyinka had attempted to disguise herself by covering her face, Mrs Batten recognised her. She was able to pull the knife from her neck and throw it at her attacker. She also told her that her son was on his way and Adeyinka left.

According to the Metropolitan Police, Mrs Batten should be commended for the fact that she attended court and gave evidence about the attack.

A spokesperson praised the victim’s courage, resolve and integrity, contrasting this with her attacker’s behaviour.

Five great ways to use reclaimed timber

Reclaimed timber can be almost any kind of wood that was once used for a particular purpose and has been restyled and used again. It is a wonderful way of not only making the most of a precious resource but also a superb and practical method for incorporating wood with unique character into your environment.

Furnishings

Imagination is generally the only limit when using reclaimed timber, but headboards for a bed are a popular choice and can add some rustic charm to a bedroom. Whether a minimalist rectangle or something more ornate, a headboard of reclaimed timber can add a personal touch to your bedroom.

Add loads of character throughout your home by reusing doors salvaged from other buildings, or even making your own doors from reclaimed planks. You could have a collection of bespoke doors dressed with carefully selected handles and doorknobs that make every door an example of how to use wood in an individual way to enhance your living space.

Apart from reclaiming furniture for stripping and staining, or even distressing its surface, you can make furniture from reclaimed planks of timber, wooden pallets, or even by taking discarded furniture, pulling it apart and making something else. Dining tables can really show off reclaimed timber to its full advantage, creating a great gathering space that can age with style during multiple gatherings of family and friends. An article in the Guardian has more tips on how to make a table on a small budget using found materials. Reclaimed wood is also great for making desks.

Walls and floors

Reclaimed wood can be used for wooden floors to generate a rustic ambience and a warm atmosphere. Reclaimed wood can also make an attention-grabbing feature wall that creates a variety of moods, depending on the lighting and furnishings chosen to complement it. If you want to find out more about the potential of reclaimed timber wall cladding for your home or office, speak to an expert such as http://www.wilsonsyard.com/products/timber-wall-coverings/reclaimed-timber-wall-coverings.html. Knowledgeable professionals will be able to give you all the tips and guidance for reclaimed timber wall cladding you could possibly need.

Wood is one of our greatest resources. Timelessly practical, its beauty can be untapped in a variety of ways to enhance all kinds of spaces.