8 Effective Tips for Business Card Design


A great business card can make a huge difference to a company’s profit levels. When a business card is given to clients at a conference or after a meeting which is taking place in Northern Ireland, it should make a great first impression. Although a business card can be designed by a company, it is highly recommended that it is done professionally. By choosing printers Belfast, business cards will be created that a company can be proud of. Before hiring a printer’s service, here are a couple of factors to think about: Read more

Balfour Betty Plans On Closing Three Regional Offices In The UK


Two hundred jobs are being risked after Balfour Betty has made an announcement regarding its plans to completely shut down three offices. The regional offices that are going to be shut down by Balfour Betty are located in Rochdale, Doncaster, and Dartford. The proposed closure of these three regional offices is going to go forth as part of a review on the viability of the UK construction business. Read more

Smoking Through The Ages: An Historical Ode To Cigarettes

The act of smoking has been around for more than 7,000 years, which makes it more than 1,000 years older than any known religion. Tobacco was first used in 5,000 BC by the inhabitants of pre-Columbian America and the first smokers evolved from incense smoking to the smoking of reeds to smoking ‘tubes’ and on to pipes and cigars. Over time, the traditional tobacco cigarette was created and this became the staple of smokers around the world for centuries to come. Now however, after dominating the market for so long, it looks like tobacco cigarettes may be nearing the end of their life cycle, as with the advent of e cigarettes and the latest vaping gizmo’s they have fast become the Neanderthal of the smoking world.


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A taste for tobacco

The first tobacco smokers were the Native Americans and they used tobacco for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. It took years for the taste of tobacco to become one that was desired simply for pleasure, and Christopher Columbus can be credited with introducing the plant to Europe as he took seeds and leaves back with him on his travels. However, it was only in the mid-16th century that tobacco really become popular when diplomats and adventurers got a taste or it. France’s Jean Nicot, whom nicotine is named after was instrumental in the spread of tobacco’s popularity and helped introduce the plant to England, France, Spain and Portugal.

In 1612 the first commercial tobacco crop was successful reaped by John Rolfe and it took only seven years for the tobacco leaf to become America’s largest export. In those days tobacco was big business and it continued to be until the E Cigarette made its appearance in the market only a few short years ago. Now, tobacco companies have had to make big changes in the way they operate Sa and adapt their offerings and embrace the electronic market.

A glamorous era of tobacco comes to an end

From the roaring 1920s and all the way through till the mid 1980s tobacco smoking was considered glamorous and sophisticated and smokers were able to light up in malls, cinemas and restaurant. Today this is unheard of and you are barely able to light up outside and only vapers have the pleasure of enjoying nicotine in a less restrictive form.

Over the last 18 months vaping has become much more accessible, and instead of emulating stars like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, the new smoking icons are Katy Perry, Cheryl Cole and Kate Moss who have all ditched tobacco for vaping. With the end of an era in sight and tobacco cigarettes waning in popularity, vaping has spurned a whole new culture and if this trend is anything like its tobacco counterpart, it looks set to be around for many years to come.

Not surprising really, the main benefits being:

Financial Gain

–   More money saved is more money for other things

Health benefits       

  • Lungs improve meaning more energy
  • Teeth – Less yellow stains –
  • Gums – Less inflammation

Confidence improves       – With more money in your pocket why not pop down to your local dentist and get them cleaned. is a Leicester cosmetic dentist all too familiar with a smoker’s mouth and will have you spruced up in no time.

Today, tobacco laws and regulations, health concerns and many other negative aspects surround the tobacco industry. After having been around for so many years it looks like the smoking world has finally evolved and vaping has become the new way to ‘light up’ and will go down in the annals as the alternative that finally toppled traditional cigarettes.

Merry Christmas Mr Bean – Lessons we can learn about Christmas from Mr Bean


We all know Mr Bean has the best intentions – and Christmas is no exception. He just doesn’t always get it quite right – so what can we learn about Christmas from Mr Bean?

DO – have fun – If there is one thing Mr Bean is good at it is having fun. He spent a large amount of his Christmas shopping time playing with the nativity scene characters, introducing traditional Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus to a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a small army of soldiers and their tank, before airlifting baby Jesus to safety with an angel cleverly attached to a helicopter. An important part of Christmas is having fun – often forgotten underneath mountains of chores, so we could all take a leaf out of Bean’s book and try to enjoy ourselves a little more and stress a little less.


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DON’T – Mess up your Christmas dinner! Of course one of Mr Beans most famous mishaps, was not only his attempt to microwave a turkey, but also the fact that he got it stuck on his head whilst looking for his watch that he lost whilst stuffing it! Make sure that you are well prepared and know who is coming for dinner, order online in advance for your delivery – this guarantees that you will get what you want before Christmas and you don’t have to navigate the crazy supermarket stampede! Don’t forget to make your Christmas table festive with decorations, Makower Christmas fabrics from are great for making the table look festive.


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DO – Think about charities at Christmas time – Mr Bean does a great job of conducting the brass band collecting for charity, drawing in quite a crowd with his jazzed up version of carols! Think about local charities in your area that you may be able to give some of your time to around the Christmas period, or maybe you could donate some food to local homeless charities and food banks to help make someone else’s Christmas a little happier.


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DON’T – Forget to send Christmas cards – Mr Bean sent plenty – to himself (all the same design of course!) – make sure you check the last days for Christmas post, for 1st and 2nd class and if you are sending cards overseas check the dates for posting these too. If you are sending gifts by post, it is also worth checking what you can and can’t send in the post to avoid your parcel being destroyed and not reaching the receiver!


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What to know about the HPV virus


HPV (human papilloma virus) refers to a group of over 100 similar viruses that affect the skin and moist membranes of the body. HPV can be sexually transmitted, as it occurs in the mouth, cervix and anus.


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Genital warts

The most common STIs caused by HPV are genital warts, which can be fairly easily treated using creams and sometimes cryotherapy (freezing). They are most common amongst sexually active adolescents and using a condom is no protection against them, as the virus can be spread by areas of skin that are not covered. You can have HPV infection for years before warts develop; therefore, if you suddenly develop them, it does not necessarily mean that your partner has slept with someone else. Although you can get rid of the warts fairly easily in the short term, they may be reoccurring.

Although the warts are unsightly, they are usually painless. It is important to understand that having the low risk strain of HPV that causes the warts does not mean you automatically have the strain that can cause cervical cancer. There is more information on the different strains on the NHS website.

Cervical cancer

Regardless of whether you have the warts, it is important to be aware of the potentially life-threatening effects of infection with the cancer-causing high risk form of HPV. There is no method of home diagnostics for this infection; however, you can perform a test at home for some other STIs and send the samples off to a special lab organised by your local GUM clinic. Chlamydia testing kits screen in this way and resources such as have further information about home STI screening. You can also find detailed explanations of the different STIs online and what you can do to protect yourself and your partner.

The high risk strains of HPV cause abnormalities in the cells of your cervix, which can lead to the development of cancerous tissue. Luckily, cervical cancer is very slow growing; therefore, if caught early, the abnormal cells can be removed and you can make a full recovery.

This is why it is important to attend your smear test, which is offered to all women aged between 25 and 64; in addition, girls aged 12-13 are now vaccinated against HPV, which is expected to save 400 lives every year.

Signs you have a bird infestation


Although birds are attractive to observe in the wild, they can pose a real nuisance when they invade our space, roosting or nesting on domestic or commercial buildings. Here are some of the signs you might have a problem with nuisance birds.


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Increase in the number of birds

If you become aware of large numbers of birds around your home, settling on ledges or roofs or in the trees around your property, watch them to see if they seem to be settling there and whether their numbers are increasing. If so, you may have an infestation and need nuisance bird management.

Bird droppings

You may notice bird droppings around the building and on flat surfaces such as window sills. In addition to making a mess, these can cause damage to your property by eroding metal and other materials. Another hazard is the fact that excessive bird droppings on paths can make them slippery and dangerous. Even dried-up dusty droppings can be a health hazard. According to Medical News Today, more than 50 diseases can be attributed to birds and their droppings.

Damage to property

You might observe damage to the eaves and roof of your property. This is because birds are intent on finding somewhere to make a nest and lay their eggs and will rip holes in the roof of a property to find a suitable place or widen an existing crack in eaves or joints to gain access. A company such as nuisance bird management services can advise on what steps to take. Feathers and debris from nests can block up drainage systems and gutters, causing damage from dampness. If birds get inside a building where goods are stored, they can also damage stock by fouling or pecking.


Birds in large numbers can be very noisy and disrupt your daily life. When they get inside a roof or attic, they can become a real nuisance.

Health problems

Birds can carry parasites such as fleas, ticks and mites that can bite humans, causing disease and discomfort. Sometimes, flies and mice can be associated with bird infestations. In addition to the health problems associated with birds, they can be responsible for creating an unpleasant odour around the building.

If you have a bird infestation, you might need professional help to deal with it.

Interior Design Trends to Look Out For in 2017


As the year draws to a close, an interior designer’s thoughts turn to what’s hot for 2017. And next year promises to shake up some well-entrenched ideas of what’s trendy in your home.


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If you want to create a beautiful house which will be the envy of your friends, you should pay attention to the following list of what’s going to be ‘in’ next year.

Au Naturel

Natural materials are predicted to lead the way in terms of interior design next year. Making a comeback will be cork, say experts, not only in the form of traditional noticeboards but also on surfaces such as coffee tables and wall mountings.

The warmth and sound-proofing of cork make a welcome contrast with other materials, such as metallics.

Also making a welcome return will be terracotta. Warm, matt terracotta finishes, for instance on tiles, will add rustic elements to your bathrooms and kitchens.

According to The Daily Telegraph, our desire for a return of more natural materials could be driven by our increasingly technology-led lives.

Jewel in the Crown

Bold, jewel-like colours are going to be big next year, say those in the know. Forget pastels and go for colourful shades inspired by elements of the cosmos and metals. Opal and quartz will be particularly popular.

Tone these down with soft, floaty fabrics and sheer silks to create a romantic feel to your bedrooms and living spaces. Colours, too, will be more jewel-like and natural. Dark green will help bring the outdoors in.

A Place to Escape

Tied in with this romantic, spaced-out feel will be the desire to create nooks and crannies where you can zone out of the incessant technology we are all faced with every day. If you can’t face throwing out the flat-screen TV and going altogether tech-free, simply set aside a cosy relaxing space in your bedroom or living room where everyone can go for some peace and quiet.

Help create a calming atmosphere with the clever use of large comfy sofas, soft furnishings, chunky rugs and embellished cushions.

If you need help with designing the perfect home interior, there are plenty of websites with clever ideas to inspire you. Your friends will soon be saying what a beautiful house you have.

Redesigning your interior spaces is really not as hard as you might think.

The Effects of Anchor Text


The thing about anchor text pointing to your website is that unless you are in control of the linking website, you can do very little about it. There are still ways to use anchor text to your advantage, but first you need to understand what it is, and what the search engines use it for.


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What Is It?

Anchor text is the text used to link from a particular article to a different website. For example, if you were writing a post about anchor text (such as this piece) and there happened to be a particularly useful article on about it on Moz, then you might write ‘Moz have produced a particularly useful article about anchor text’. If you set this up as a full A HREF link, the anchor text would appear as the link (commonly blue and underlined). The word or words you choose to link to the Moz site are your prerogative, but they would of course need to be relevant to the URL in question.

If you instead decided to link from this page to the same article, but from the words ‘frogs eat flies’, this would still be anchor text. And Moz wouldn’t be over the moon with you linking those words. The difference between the first link and the second link is the signal it sends to the search engines.

If you link in a relevant manner, the search engine can see that Moz provided useful information on anchor text to which you naturally wanted to link. If you link to it in an irrelevant manner, as in the second example, then the search engine will still see the link, but it won’t class it as a relevant link. The importance of link relevancy is explained rather eloquently in the Moz article used as an example above. It gives the search engines an indication as to the subject relevancy of the target page.

Are There Any Shortcuts?

Unless you are a SEO expert (or even if you are), this can all seem a little overwhelming. But it essentially means that as long as you produce relevant content that people will want to share, you should obtain relevant links.

This all contributes towards your SEO objective of ranking closer to the first page of the search engines. However, it must be noted that this does take time. The only way to jump to the first page straight away is to pay for AdWords. It is worth consulting with a full service digital agency that specialise in both web design and development as well as online marketing like Northampton web design agency Easiserv
The other thing that is important in the context of anchor text is that it is no longer necessary to desperately try to shoehorn irrelevant single keywords into your text, as Forbes points out. The search engines no longer see this as useful text, since it is so obviously artificial.

So in summary, the best way to get good-quality, relevant anchor text pointing to your website is to produce good-quality, relevant content that people who are interested in your particular subject area will want to share.

Choose quality to help you get the job done


Whether you’re a professional trades person like a plumber in Woking, a regular DIYer or you just like to be able to fix the odd problem, it’s important to have the right tools for the job. Choosing the correct tool can enable you to complete the work quicker and more successfully. It’s also important to think about opting for quality rather than going for the cheapest option.


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Have a basic tool kit

If you’re new to DIY or want to start building up your stock of tools, it’s beneficial to start with some quality basic items. From this you can build up your kit to include more specialist tools or to have a wider range of certain items. These initial tools should compromise the items you use more often and they’ll enable you to complete the majority of tasks. If you spend some money on this kit the tools will last longer and perform better.

Within your basic kit it’s a good idea to have the majority of these tools:

– hand-saw: this can be used for a variety of tasks, so choose a universal one with medium sized teeth
– claw hammer
– Stanley knife
– retractable tape measure
– chisels: both 8mm and 20mm models are useful
– junior hack saw
– adjustable spanner
– punch
– bradawl
– wrench
– mole grips
– screwdrivers: buy between five and six with a range of sizes across both cross head and slotted
– allen keys
– pliers

Why choose quality?

A workman is only as good as the tools he has and often this can be the difference between carrying out the work to a professional standard and causing problems with the finish. More consumers are looking to do property improvements themselves, but this can also lead to issues if they don’t understand what they’re doing or have the wrong tools. According to research from Santander Insurance, 13% of DIY work will have some type of problem.

Quality products are much more cost effective as they are durable and will last for many years if you look after them. There’s also less risk of them becoming blunt or damaged and they are stronger, so more suitable for the work. Badly finished DIY can often be worse than leaving the issue and can even reduce the value of your property.

Buying tools

When you’re looking to buy a new tool, you need to consider exactly what you need first. Then research what products are available and the different costs. If the item comes with special features check if you’ll actually need and use these, otherwise you could be paying for unnecessary extras. With tools it’s useful to be able to handle them before you buy. This gives you an idea of the weight of the tool and how comfortable it is to work with.

Not all tools are the same and it’s vital that you reflect on the quality and handling of the tool, as well as the actual cost.

3 Tips for Marketing Your Restaurant on Facebook


Over the last few years, the internet has become an integral part of any marketing strategy, regardless of the type of business you have. It can be a particularly powerful medium for restaurants; people need to eat, and unlike some businesses which may never have the same customer again, you have an opportunity to make every customer a repeat one. Facebook in particular can be a very powerful tool for building loyalty, and leveraging your current customer’s positive feedback into getting new people into the door and at the table. Here are some tips for using the ultimate social media tool for the benefit of your establishment. Read more

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