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Five money saving tips to keep your house warm

Surely it is not that time of year already? But the kids are back at school, the days are getting shorter and October is almost upon us, which is when most households start to switch on the central heating.

Heating our homes accounts for almost three quarters of domestic energy consumption, so even the smallest measures to cut costs could have a significant impact on the bill by the end of winter. Here are five things every household can do to keep warm without breaking the bank.


image via glitterinc.com

1) Smart use of curtains

Curtains are not just there to stop the neighbors peering in at you. They can also be very handy for free domestic heating. Open them up first thing in the morning to let all that glorious sunlight into your home, then shut them later in the day to keep the heat in. Doing this will help to reduce condensation, too.

2) Top up with fuel now

Over the next few weeks, people will start to switch on their heating, and the oil suppliers will be getting ready for a deluge of calls from customers who are running low. Prices inevitably rise during the colder months, so even if your tank isn’t empty, get a top up now. It is easy to check the prices and place an order online through a site like emo.ie. Not only will you get a better price, you will also have the reassurance of knowing that is one expense out of the way that you don’t have to worry about for a while.

3) Check the insulation

You probably feel you have been having this drilled into you since you were in nappies, but that’s only because it’s true – houses lose around 25 percent of the heat generated straight through the roof. An additional 25cm of insulation can make an enormous difference and will soon pay for itself. It’s not difficult to install, but make sure you or your willing volunteer wears the right safety equipment, as it can irritate the skin and eyes. Long sleeves, gloves and a dusk mask are essential.

4) Turn down the heating

Sounds obvious, right? Turn down the heating and your fuel bills will be lower. But that is not to say that the entire family needs to be sitting in the living room wrapped up in coats and hats. Research has found that turning down the thermostat by one degree can cut your heating bill by 10 percent. Public health England says 18C is just fine for a living room – what temperature is your thermostat on now?

5) Keep out draughts

Remember those sausage dog draught excluders? Well here’s a secret worth sharing, you can still get them, and they could knock another £20 or so off your annual heating bill! Draughts also come in around poorly fitting windows and doors, so it is well worth investing a few pounds in a tube of sealant and doing a thorough inspection before winter sets in.

Disclosure: This post was written by the client. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be a good fit for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

5 Things that make living in the UK better than anywhere else in the world

There are many places to live in the large world in which we live. Most of the time people tend to live near their family and rarely venture off to a new area of the world. If you are adventurous and planning on moving to a new place that is vastly different from where you currently live, you may want to consider the UK to set up your new home. This article will highlight some of the best aspects of living in the UK that makes it better than anywhere else in the world.

1. Historical remains. The UK boasts many offerings to its inhabitants, one of which is a plethora of historical remains that are located throughout the country. In both the sprawling countryside and within bustling cities you can find some of the most magnificent historical landmarks that have been preserved for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. For example, if you lived in London you would likely be walking along and stumble upon Benjamin Franklin’s house, or old parts of the London Wall. If you are a history buff, the UK is for you!

2. Tiny villages. “Living off the grid” is becoming more and more popular as time progresses. With the over usage of smartphones and social media, some are finding that they want to disconnect from the world and move to a place that is more quaint and tranquil. The UK can offer a hybrid of this type of lifestyle. There are many tiny villages throughout the UK that offer a quieter, slower lifestyle than what you may find in a busy city. While living in a village will not take you completely off the grid, you will be able to disconnect from the hectic life of the city and slow down to live a quieter life; one in which you can disconnect from social media and instead enjoy the company of others that live and work around you. Some great villages to consider are Avebury, Port Isaac, or Staithes.

3. Greenhouses. The UK can offer great access to some of the best greenhouses in the world. Greenhouses are wonderful for those who are interested in growing their own produce or enjoy growing flowers and other plants that would benefit from greenhouse living. Whether you want a small or large greenhouse, you are likely to find what you are looking for in the UK. For starters, check out https://www.greenhousestores.co.uk/. For great areas to live that offer access to greenhouses, consider Todmorden as it is the greenest city in all of the UK.

4. Seaside towns. The UK has something for everyone and that includes beautiful seaside towns. A seaside town is a great option if you enjoy the oceanside and quiet in the off season but the hustle and bustle of tourists in the warm weather. Seaside towns offer friendly people, beautiful coastlines to explore and enjoy, as well as great food! Living close to the coast is great for those who have a hankering for fresh seafood and the cool sea breeze. Some great towns to consider are Brighton, Tintagel, or Cornwall.

5. National parks. Living in the UK will not leave you with a shortage of things to do. During your free time you can explore many national parks and enjoy exploring castles and museums with ancient artifacts. Whether you are in England, Wales, Ireland, or Scotland, you will be able to find something that suits your fancy.

Disclosure: This post was written by the client. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be a good fit for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

5 Tips to caring for a new piercing

Piercings are popular and are quite the fashion statement. Whether you are going for a dainty look with small piercings or a more daring look with several piercings in a variety of places, it is important to take care of your piercings and your body. Getting a new piercing is an exciting move but it does need to be cared for properly to prevent infection and irritation of the skin. If you are interested in learning more, check out all that there is to know about piercings on Pierce body. In the meantime, check out some of these tips on how to care for your new piercing.

1. Use a needle instead of a piercing gun. The reason it is important to ask the technician to use a needle instead of a gun is because the needle can go through the right amount of tissue for the piercing without causing much damage. The piercing gun creates a great deal of force and can damage tissue which can lead to long-term problems.

2. Clean the piercing. Be sure to clean your new piercing with soap and water or saline solution twice a day. The easiest way to remember to clean your piercing is by doing it first thing in the morning and at night. While many piercing places in the mall may tell you to use rubbing alcohol to help clean it, avoid doing this as it can dry the piercing out and make the skin around it crack and feel raw.

3. Be careful if you touch it. Be sure that you touch your new piercing with clean hands. Be sure to wash your hands before handling the piercing in any way. If you want to turn your new piercing, you can do so, but make sure that it is wet. Otherwise it could hurt a great deal or get caught on dried skin which could be painful.

4. Ice. If you notice any swelling, it is a good idea to clean it with soap and water and apply some ice to the area for 20 minutes. Do this as often as needed to decrease the pain and swelling.

5. Signs of healing. Depending on where you get a piercing, the healing process could take from two weeks to a year. For example, if you get your ears pierced, you can expect to be completely healed within weeks or months. However, if you get your cartilage pierced, you can expect the healing process to take several months to a year. The best thing to do is to be patient and check for signs of healing. Your piercing will appear to be less swollen, red, and will no longer secret liquids. It will also no longer cause you pain.

The healing process will take less time if you are diligent, patient, and take great care of your new piercing as if it was an open wound or sore. Follow these tips and you will be sure to have a piercing that is well cared for and looks great!

Disclosure: This post was written by the client. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be a good fit for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Beauty Favorites

If you are a Nordstrom cardholder you can shop their anniversary sale early — seven days earlier than everyone else — to save big on brand-new arrivals. Check out some of my beauty must haves that are currently available during the #NSALE and stay tuned for outfits and more beauty favorites coming next week.

Happy shopping!

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Just Bought a New Home? Thank Your Real Estate Agent with One of These Gifts

Saying Thanks
You just bought a new home you love. Congratulations! You may be feeling anything from quiet joy to giddy glee.

You’d like to say “Thanks!” for the guidance and hard work of your real estate agent that helped you reach this state of bliss. He made everything go more smoothly than you imagined it could. She had an endless supply of listings, good advice, and patience. Even your dog loves her.

If you want to express your gratitude for a job well done, many agents say the best gift is your words of praise. They appreciate a thank-you note or a drawing by the kids. They also appreciate your referrals and good reviews. Thank your agent by recommending him, talking him up at parties, and letting the online world of home buyers know about his wonderful work.

The Right Stuff
Still wanting to do that little bit extra for her? Here’s a list of great gifts for real estate agents:

1. Something Simple and Useful
Try a simple gift that makes her work day better, such as a personalized mug, travel mug, or lunch bag. A gift card to where you know she gets her morning coffee. A whole gift basket—who doesn’t love snacks in the break room?! And you can’t go wrong with ordinary gift cards, either.

2. Something Thoughtful
Did you connect over a shared interest as you explored homes together? If it’s wine, that’s an easy one, in a lovely basket with some cheese or glasses. If it’s gardening, get flowers or a plant delivered to brighten up the office. (Flowers are also great when you simply have no idea what else to send.) Do you both have animal friends? Wrap some fabulous dog or cat toys, or a castle for the aquarium.

3. A Gift That Makes Her Job Easier
If your agent loves all things tech, look for things to make work easier, in the office or “on the go”, such as a solar cellphone charger, a voice recorder pen, or small portable speakers. Is there some other device you love that you know she could use?

4. Try a Nice Pen or Datebook
Does he “kick it old school”? A beautiful pen, date book, or organizer might be perfect.

5. Make Something Yourself
To make it more personal, even more heartfelt, knit him a scarf in colors he wears. Crochet an afghan, or build a birdhouse. Bake something in your new kitchen for her to enjoy.

Make Sure to Write a Thank You Note!
Whatever gift you choose to give, include a note of thanks with some details of what you’re grateful for. Some folks like to hang these in the office. Let her know she can count on you for word-of-mouth and online testimonials, and then follow through on that promise.

Now go ahead and make your real estate agent’s day!

Disclosure: This post was written by the client. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be a good fit for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.