How to achieve the perfect St Patrick’s Day look

St Patrick’s Day, celebrated annually on the 17th March, honours Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. While it is believed that Patrick was not actually Irish himself, he plays a huge role in Irish culture and heritage. Initially, Patrick was allegedly held as a prisoner and slave by a group of Irish raiders, but this didn’t deter him from spending nearly 30 years in Ireland as a missionary converting the Irish to Christianity. By incorporating some of the Irish culture into his lessons, he was able to make the religion more palatable. This helped him to achieve his popularity both amongst the Irish and members of the Christian religion.

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It’s no surprise that St Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated holidays. In fact, according to Irish Central, there are some quite surprising places across the globe that celebrate St Patrick’s Day in a big way.

In the UK, huge parades are organised in many cities and towns across the country, along with smaller parties in homes and pubs the length and breadth of the nation. It’s a serious affair, and partygoers go to great lengths to do the event justice. How can you achieve the perfect St Patrick’s Day look?

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It’s got to be green…

The number-one rule for a St Patrick’s Day has to be that it must be green. Did you know that wasn’t always the case? In fact, until the 1600s, it was actually blue. Whatever you’re wearing – hats, scarves, jumpers or t-shirts – some part of it must be green. If you’re not comfortable in head-to-toe green, why not opt for a wig or glasses?

It’s got to be comfortable and long-lasting…

A St Patrick’s Day celebration can be a long affair, with many parties continuing into the wee small hours. Whatever you wear, you need to be sure it’s comfortable.

For those wearing makeup, try to get a long-lasting brand or one that does mini, travel-sized versions that will be lighter to carry round with you all day… and all night! Benefit makeup is a great choice, and you will find a good selection at Why not try a green eye shadow?

Finally, no serious St Patrick’s Day reveller would be seen without an Irish flag or a shamrock somewhere!a


How Can I Make My Central Heating Hotter?

Do some of your radiators get hotter than others? If so, your central heating system may need balancing. It’s not difficult to do, although you may want to talk to a heating engineer if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. Get it right, and your heating system will work at peak efficiency.

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Why Do I Need to Balance My Heating System?

If you have some radiators that don’t heat as well as others, then you’ll need to balance the system. For some homes in Cheltenham boiler installation may mean that radiators furthest away in the system are taking longest to heat and your heating system is just not as effective as it could be.

To get your entire system to run hotter and more efficiently, you’ll need to get a radiator or differential thermometer from your local plumber’s merchant. These are usually digital and can measure the temperature on the incoming and outgoing pipes. Once you know those readings you’re ready to balance the system.

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How Do I Balance My Radiators?

The first step is to turn off your heating system and let it cool completely. Now open both valves on each radiator before turning the system back on again. You’ll probably need to work with a friend to work out how quickly each radiator heats up and in what order.

Next you’ll need to adjust the lockshield valve – the one with the domed plastic cap. Remove each one with a pair of grips before turning the heating off again and letting it cool. When you fire the boiler up again, go to the first radiator and turn off the lockshield valve before opening it slowly until the difference between the temperature on the two pipes is around 11 degrees C.

You’ll need to repeat this procedure around the entire system, visiting each radiator in order. It’s likely that each valve will need opening a little further until the last one is completely open. Your heating system should now be working in complete balance.

What If My Radiators Won’t Balance?

If some radiators refuse to balance, then you may need to remove and clean them. If that’s still not effective, then contact a heating engineer like to power-flush the entire system.

Follow these simple steps and your heating will be hotter and more efficient than ever.

Five considerations when renting office space

Moving into a new office space can both be exciting and unsettling for employees. Whatever your reasons for moving, choosing a new premises to rent takes extensive research and planning. Here are just five of the more important factors to consider:

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Is there sufficient space?

Consider the way you operate – how much space do your staff need to work comfortably? How many meeting rooms and break-out rooms are required? If your company is projected to grow rapidly, is there sufficient space to grow into?

Do the facilities suit your needs?

Is your office and its washrooms accessible? Do you need lockers for uniforms? Are there sufficient kitchen facilities and areas for employees to take breaks?

Visiting online agents like is a good place to start to get an idea of what facilities you might need for your staff and visitors.

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Is it clean and well maintained?

Check whether existing cleaning services are included in your contract, and whether the space will be deep cleaned before you move in. Renewing and updating fixtures and fittings may be worth negotiating into the contract, so that getting up and running in the new space is as pleasant an experience as possible.

Is it within budget?

Make sure you’ve accounted for any hidden costs, and have budgeted for them accordingly. Advice on calculating the costs of moving such as is a good starter. Your new contract may include the payment of certain bills, as well as covering maintenance and cleaning services. Make sure you know what your responsibilities are before you sign.

Does the space fit with your business brand?

You may be so bogged down with the practical reasons for moving to a new premises, that your company’s image hasn’t had a second thought. Is the location suitable? If you’re looking for large towns with offices to let Basingstoke and similar towns for example, are they a reasonable commute for your staff?

Depending on the type of work your employees perform, open plan may be more suitable than closed offices. How big or small do your meeting rooms need to be and is there sufficient technology to support your communication needs?

An attractive looking office with the right ambience will help attract customers, and attract talent that will help your business continue to grow.


The benefits of a tarmac driveway

If it’s time to think about improving your driveway, there are many reasons why tarmac makes a great choice. Aesthetically pleasing and satisfyingly durable, what are the further benefits of choosing to surface your drive with tarmac?


Tarmac is highly cost-effective, even more so than concrete. You’re more likely to enjoy a discount for choosing tarmac and installation is generally cheaper as it takes less time to lay a tarmac drive than installing a concrete one. Tarmac driveways are the perfect choice for the driveways and parking of commercial properties, car parks and for homeowners who wish to resurface their private property.

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It is also a quick-drying material, meaning driveways and roads are back in use in no time. There is no need to be without a driveway for extended periods of time when you choose tarmac as construction time is minimal. For a Tarmac contractors Yorkshire, visit


Tarmac drives are tough because they are weather-resistant. Whether it’s snow, rain, gale force winds or a heatwave, they are durable and strong. They will also withstand heavy traffic, from cars to people and heavy lorries! The smooth surface of tarmac offers good skid resistance, more effective than concrete roads. The texture also provides greater protection from splashback caused by a build-up of rain, snow or ice.


Tarmac is a good choice if you’re concerned over environmental and recycling issues. It can be reused time and time again. You never need to throw tarmac away, it has endless usage possibilities. A road or driveway made from tarmac can be dug up and used again indefinitely. For those who want to make a sustainable and responsible choice – tarmac is the answer!

Choosing tarmac can also help to preserve natural resources. Other construction materials can run into waterways, however tarmac won’t because it reverts to a solid mass fairly quickly. Choosing tarmac will provide you with peace of mind in this respect.

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Once your driveway is complete, you need not worry about the upkeep and maintenance of your tarmac either. An occasional gentle hose down and a layer of tarmac restorer is all that will normally be required.

Over time, if the tarmac starts to dent or wear out, it’s a simple job to repair the surface. There is no need for a complete reinstallation, but a simple repair job on the patches required.


Foods to help you look younger

There’s not much we can do about aging. It’s an inevitable part of life. However, we can put up a good fight and avoid things that might contribute to premature aging. The food you consume also plays an important part in helping your skin from the inside out. Here are some foods you’ll want to include in your diet to help you look younger:

  1. Green Tea

Green tea has long been known to be beneficial for all manner of things and its high anti-oxidant content helps to protect against the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that form in response to stress and its their instability that makes them damage-causing. Antioxidants prevent them from being able to cause damage.

Green tea is especially high in antioxidants called polyphenols that help fight against diabetes, resistance to insulin and heart disease. They might also be instrumental in protecting collagen, the substance that makes your skin flexible, elastic and smooth. Green tea is highly recommended for keeping skin looking healthy and younger.

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  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is a fat but it’s one that’s super good for you. It’s one of the healthiest fats in the world. Studies have shown that it can be used to help prevent a lot of the common diseases that come with aging.

Extra virgin olive oil can lower the risk of heart disease, help ease metabolic issues, could help in the fight against cancer and lower blood pressure. It’s also great for skin, containing powerful anti-inflammatory properties and helping to prevent damage from the sun. Most of the oil consists of monounsaturated fat which is said to improve firmness and elasticity in skin. If you don’t like these foods, then there’s always Botox Gloucester from to consider for looking younger.

  1. Fatty Fish

This is an anti-aging superfood. Long-chain omega-3 fats are great for fighting heart disease, colitis, inflammation and many other medical conditions. Scientific studies have also proven its efficacy in protecting against damage caused by sun exposure.

One of the best types of fatty fish for your skin is salmon. It contains an antioxidant substance called astaxanthin, which is also what gives the fish its pink colour.

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  1. Vegetables

Low in calories and bursting in nutrients, it’s no surprise that veggies make the grade for skin-healthy food. Veggies contain antioxidants and beta carotene which are good for preventing heart disease, cancers, cataracts and skin aging. They are also rich in vitamin C which is vital for producing collagen, the skin’s natural elastic property.

A fascinating study in Japan showed that in over 700 women who ate yellow and green vegetables regularly, they had fewer wrinkles. So, load your plate with veggies whenever you can for essential collagen protection, sun damage prevention and for their power of the might antioxidants.


Enjoying the delights of a rejuvenating massage

As we work our way into the early part of the year, we can often find ourselves lacking motivation and in need of a little pick me up. There are many ways that you can achieve this whether it is through exercise and trip to the gym or my preferred choice visiting a nice spa to relax and enjoy an aromatherapy massage. Nothing beats the wonderful smells of Essential Oils like the ones you can find at and the soothing feeling of a massage, to help make you feel rejuvenated and more human again.

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It is important that if you choose to have an aromatherapy massage that you do so with a registered professional who is aware of the contraindications of using certain essential oils on individuals with some medical conditions. The first time that you attend a spa they should take some basic medical details from you to ensure that they do not use oils on you that could cause problems with a pre-existing condition or irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction that could have otherwise been prevented. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or recovering from surgery you should always check with your doctor before you have any kind of spa treatments or alternative therapies that involve essential oils.

Combining massage along with essential oils can have positive therapeutic effects on a number of conditions and can help those dealing with the issues that come alongside:

  • Insomnia and sleeping problems
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Stress
  • Menstrual pain
  • Muscular issues

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In order to make the most of your massage experience it is worth making sure that you don’t eat at least an hour before your appointment so as to prevent feeling uncomfortable whilst you are lying on the massage table. You should also take with you a bottle water to drink after your appointment has finished This is because the process of massage can release some natural toxins that are already in your body into your blood stream and the quickest way to remove these from your body is to drink plenty of water and naturally eliminate them. You should also make sure that you don’t have to rush straight back to work or off to collect the children from school as this will completely undo all of the calming qualities of the massage that you have just experienced.

So, now all you have to do is decide when and where you are going to have you massage.

Why construction businesses are struggling to keep up with housing demand

With the demand for housing in the UK continuing to grow, pressure is mounting for the construction sector to supply new solutions to combat the issue. With a new report stating that the current options for housing construction are ill-equipped to deliver the volume of new homes needed, the idea of off-site manufacture is being considered.

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Building for change

In the recent report from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee; ‘Off-site manufacture for construction: Building for change’, proposals are being put forward to increase the number of off-site construction projects to prevent the UK from falling behind in the housing construction sector.

With other countries producing a much higher rate of overall productivity in the construction sector, pressure is increasing on the UK to catch up. Areas such as Northern Ireland are already starting to use off-site construction more as part of social housing projects, whilst the rest of the UK is being encouraged to follow suit and use this method to create more homes at a faster pace.

The use of outdated business processes and the lack of trust between those who work within the sector, are also noted as being part of the wider issue which prevents many from utilising off-site construction more efficiently, thus adding to the shortage of homes in the UK.

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How to speed the buying process along

Whilst the need for suitable homes can slow down the process of buying a home for many potential homeowners, there are other factors that they must consider when looking for a home to purchase. The importance of a good solicitor can help speed the process along, and so when looking for reliable conveyancing solicitors Reading has several options.

Buyers should always ensure that they research any potential solicitors to find a reputable company, not forgetting to look online for the services they can offer. Companies such as will be able to give buyers a quote and a hopeful timescale to get them started on their journey.

So, with the demand for housing increasing, will we soon see an influx of ready built homes constructed off-site? If the recent report has anything to do with it, then this should be an inevitable next step to ensure that the UK keeps up with its construction counterparts overseas.

Five great hot chocolate variations

The humble hot chocolate – a stalwart of chilly days and cosy evenings and loved by small and big children alike. This traditional winter treat has evolved over recent years, moving away from the spoonful of drinking chocolate stirred into hot water or warm milk. As cafe culture has spread from mainland Europe, it has brought with it a whole host of new and exciting ways to enjoy our favourite hot drinks. Here are our top five ways to perk up the classic hot chocolate.

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Mexican chilli

We are not suggesting a drinkable version of everyone’s favourite chilli con carne; instead, we are suggesting the warming and soothing effects of chilli and cinnamon. Inspired by the fabulous traditional Mexican chilli and chocolate savoury dish, this hot chocolate will warm you to your very bones. When warming the milk, add some cinnamon and a dash of chilli powder. Make the hot chocolate as normal and feel the warmth.

Vegan coconut delight

For the dairy-free, use coconut milk – found in the dairy-free aisle with almond and soya milk – as the base for your hot chocolate. The coconut offers a wonderful rich sweetness when combined with a raw cocoa powder mix. Delicious.

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Hot chocolate stick

A Swedish favourite and great for children, these cubes of chocolate are stirred into your mug of warm milk. This is perfect for when sitting in front of a wood burning stove Northern Ireland and the gloomy rain will simply melt away. Are you feeling the Nordic inspiration? Get inspired with stoves from specialists such as

Viennese sophistication

For a rich addition, blend an egg yolk into your hot chocolate for a silky, smooth and decadent drink. Be sure to add a small amount of the warm drink to the yolk separately, stir, and then add this to the rest of the drink. In this way, you won’t scramble the yolk.

Minty fresh

Mint and chocolate is a classic combination for an after-dinner sweet and works fantastically well in drink form; however, be aware that this one is just for the grown-ups. Add a shot of your favourite mint liqueur to the hot chocolate once it is made and finish with a dash of fresh cream and some after-dinner chocolates grated on top.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy these hot chocolate variations.


Your top financial resolutions for 2019

Set a budget and stick to it

2019 brings a new year and with it comes new resolutions. Before you can set any financial goals, first of all, it’s essential to identify what exactly they are and what benefit they will bring you. Perhaps you want to buy a new car, a new home, or pursue a course of study? A budget must be set, otherwise, it’s too easy to get carried away in the excitement.

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There are a number of apps which will allow you to track your spending each month. You can easily see from the results what unnecessary costs you can bin, and you will be able to ascertain if you are frittering cash away on items you don’t need.

A check on your credit report is a good way to begin. Tackle any debts, credit card balances or overdrafts and dispute any listings on the report that appear incorrect.

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Make a resolution to have a no-spend day or weekend each month. Ensure no money leaves your purse or bank account and that way you won’t be tempted by coffee shops, takeaways and store bargains.

Ditch the gym membership and aim to get in shape by copying exercise videos online, or even running, or walking and hiking in local beauty spots.

It’s the time of year when you feel motivated

Speed up your debt pay-offs using any money saved, and this can reduce payments. It’s an ideal element to pack into your new year resolution as this is the time of year when you are feeling motivated and fresh. For those looking for professional help and an independent financial advisor Wroughton based advisors can assist in tidying up your finances. provides professional independent financial advice to individuals and small businesses.

According to Yahoo more Americans are taking financial planning seriously, states Fidelity Investments’ tenth annual New Year Financial Resolutions Study.

It’s easy to get carried away by subscribing to entertainment packages. If you want to reduce outgoings, consider replacing an expensive television package with cheaper options like Netflix or Amazon Prime or even buy a digital antenna.

Finally, aim to save money by carrying out preventive home maintenance, re-evaluating your investment portfolio and making an appointment with your financial advisor. You can also sharpen up your knowledge by subscribing to a finance podcast.

The Environmental Impact of Nappies

Let’s face it: nappies aren’t particularly pleasant for anyone who has to deal with them. For the first few years of their lives, babies generally rely on these before they learn to use the toilet like the rest of us – most parents would probably consider them a godsend (despite being none too pleased when having to dispose of them). But when you consider the environmental impact these little garments have, you might view them in an entirely different light.

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Non-Renewable Components

Most disposable nappies are made up of polymer and cellulose fibres. These are non-renewable components, which essentially means they require a lot of energy to make and take an even longer amount of time to break down when put in landfill. This is obviously a problem when you consider the existing waste issue we have – when trying to cut down on our waste, disposable nappies are ones to avoid.

Hazardous Waste

Given that nappies enable babies to do what babies do best – namely relieve themselves – it follows that they can be classed as dangerous waste both to humans and the environment.

With the above in mind, it’s clear we need to put in the extra effort to cut down on harmful nappy waste where possible. So just what can we all do to make that change?

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So What Can I Do?

There are a few things everyone can do to help. The first thing is to consider a suitable nappy disposal system, particularly if you manage a business or public-facing establishment where it is often required. Companies such as simplehygienesolutions are among the top washroom supplier Gloucestershire and surrounding South West areas have to offer and can provide a more environmentally friendly manner of disposal.

Another method of cutting down on waste is to switch to reusable nappies. These are nappies which can be washed and used again and again, somewhat like actual underwear. Of course, whilst this would cut down on waste, parents should be aware of the increased energy costs involved in cleaning these routinely. With this in mind, it’s been estimated that around £800 is spent on disposable nappies, and this cost could be saved by cutting them out.

What do you think? Will you make the switch to reusable nappies to help reduce the amount going into our landfills?

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