Thanks to the internet, there are now endless opportunities for savings on a trip to the United Kingdom. You can compare rates online on everything from hotels and flights to UK airport parking. You can even find price comparisons on ferries between France and the UK. If you’re planning a trip to the UK, it would behoove you to spend a bit of time researching the best deals available for your trip.
Make a Loose Plan
If you’re planning a trip to the UK, make a very loose plan of action. This will allow you greater flexibility when it comes to finding deals and taking advantage of them. Some deals, such as those on airport parking, might not be something you need this trip if you’re not planning on flying from the UK airports, but others such as hotel stays or even weekend jaunts out into the countryside can be taken advantage of. The only catch is you have room in your schedule to do so.
Spend a few hours playing online looking to see what sort of discounts are available for various flights, trips and other excursions. You may find that your best deal would be to book a guided trip which includes airfare. Then, push your departure date back a week or two and fill up the extra days with hotel specials and discount weekend packages from bed and breakfasts.
If flights are too expensive, look into adding a short stay in France to your travels and then take the ferry or Eurotunnel over to the United Kingdom. Of course this only works if tickets to France are more reasonable. Be creative in your planning. Book two guided tours in different parts of the UK. Look for packages that include free or reduced airfare, even if you’re not crazy about packaged travel. Book a short trip through a special company promotion, but add extra days to the beginning and end to enjoy yourself.
Travel at the Last Minute
If you’re very flexible, you’ll often find the absolute best deals in the United Kingdom are last minute. Long weekends or off season travel deals may appear in your inbox and if you can swing a few days off the following week, you can enjoy some serious savings.
Step Outside of the Box
Look beyond resorts and hotels for lodging. Are bed and breakfasts less expensive or do you qualify for a youth hostel? Would camping or backpacking be a reasonable way to travel? These options may save you a nice chunk of change as well. Also consider destinations outside of the norm. Travel to the coast during the fall or winter. The sights are the same, but the weather chases most of the tourists (and high hotel rates) away for a few months.
When booking travel, always try to negotiate rates. This is especially true if your traveling at the last minute or booking off season. When hotel rooms are standing empty, resort managers are much more willing to take a lower rate for one. You may be able to negotiate online through websites, too.
Looking for a new TV? Sometimes bigger isn’t better, but often times it can be more fun. When you need a TV, choose the size wisely to avoid wasting money on too much television or straining your eyes to try and see your bargain buy.
Consider Your Location
Where is the television going to be used? This can make the most important distinction in television size. A TV for the kitchen is usually small, twenty inches or less, as it sits on the countertop and you don’t want it blocking any cabinets or hanging off. A television for the living room, on the other hand, should be large enough to be enjoyed by everyone. At the minimum, a family television should be twenty seven inches.
Consider Your Space
If you’re planning on putting your television on top of your dresser in the bedroom, you’ll want something small enough to fit the space easily, but large enough to see while laying in bed. You can opt for a larger television if you plan to use TV shelves to store cable boxes and DVD players as the shelves will put these bulky items above the television rather than beside it. If you have a television niche built in to your living room, find the size of television that fits more comfortably. Be sure to include the dimensions of any stands or carts as well.
Consider Your Budget
Smaller budgets will most likely be buying a smaller television. Of course, you might be able to buy a larger television with a less quality picture, but you’ll have to decide which is more important to you – size or graininess. Look around for televisions on sale to find a bargain on a high quality television in the exact size you need. If you’re forced to buy a small television now, never fear. There is always a place for a small TV somewhere in your home when you’re able to upgrade to the big screen.
Marriage is hard work. When two people decide to share a life, everything is shared. The good stuff and the bad all live in the house with you, and sometimes the bad stuff can make things sticky. If you’ve hit a rough spot in your marriage, here’s how to resolve that conflict.
Identify the Conflict
The first step in resolving conflict is to figure out what the conflict is. There are all kinds of fighters, but the best kinds are not the ones who never seem to actually fight – they are the ones who take the time to figure out what they are fighting about.
If you and your spouse are suddenly at odds, immediately call a time-out. Even if you’ve just been insulted, avoid the temptation to lash back. Be the mature one and tell your significant other you want to take a few minutes to cool off so that the two of you can work this out.
Then work on figuring out why you are angry. Most fights are about symptoms, not causes. You are angry because he didn’t take the trash out, but if you stop long enough to really think about it, you might find the trash isn’t really the problem. The problem is that you asked him twice to take the trash out, he ignored both requests and you feel like he doesn’t value you.
It will seem rather elementary, but when you come back together, take turns. You might even use a timer or pass a feather back and forth to remind you whose turn it is to talk. If he’s still itching to fight, let him go first. Let him put it all on the table without interrupting or allowing yourself to get dragged into an argument. If he asks a question, try to avoid answering in the heat of the moment by telling him you’d rather just let him get it all off his chest before taking your turn.
When it is finally your turn, state your position calmly. Always state the problem in terms of yourself to avoid making him feel defensive (even if he should be) as this will slow down the resolution. Instead of saying, “You always make me feel worthless when you ignore me asking you to take out the trash,” try “I get angry when I feel like you’ve ignored a simple request like taking out the trash.” By making statements about you and your feelings rather than your spouse and his shortcomings you will almost immediately take the flare out of the fight.
Keep Your Cool
You can be angry. You can be furious, but you must keep your cool. Yelling might make you feel better now, but it will most likely only make a problem worse, not better. If your spouse starts yelling, ask him to stop. Simply tell him that you are interested in fixing this problem, and that you’d prefer to talk about it. If he can’t seem to stop, don’t respond in kind. Ask him to let the problem be for now and come back and revisit it later when everyone has had a chance to cool down.
Forgive Your Spouse
A problem isn’t resolved until both parties have moved past it. It’s hard to resolve every conflict by the time the sun comes up, but try to take care of as many as possible the same day they spring up. Discuss what is really bothering both of you then try to find a solution that is agreeable. Finally, forgive each other. Forgive, but don’t forget. Otherwise, you’ll just be having the same argument on down the road.
A marriage is supposed to be forever, and the first few months of forever are easy enough. But as the years drag on, the bills pile up and the kids start arriving, the fun and games of early marriage start to fade away. But you can keep the romance and spirit of your marriage alive – it just takes a bit of work
Start Dating Again
The best way to keep the romance alive in a marriage is to remember what put it there in the first place. Go on dates as regularly as possible. A date is an outing where the two of you leave the kids behind with a sitter or set up a rendezvous with a movie and take out after the kids are safely in bed for the night. In short – no kids allowed.
Don’t just spend the "date" sorting laundry or running errands together. Sit close, cuddle and maybe kiss a little. Laugh at the funny parts of the movie and talk about your hopes and dreams. Enjoy your time together, even if it’s just a couple of hours a week – that may be all you need to stay connected and feel romantic.
One of the best ways to show you care about someone is to bring them little treats and surprises that are meaningful especially to them. Candy, cards and flowers are always a nice treat, but if you know your wife is working hard to lose weight, swing by the yogurt store and bring home some fat free frozen yogurt in her favorite flavor. Or, buy her a romantic nightgown or dress to hug her new shape. Just be sure the surprise is for her not you.
A great many people are verbal communicators. They need to speak and hear the words to feel loved. But unfortunately, romantic words are often replaced with the basic tasks and instructions to get us through the day. If you find you’re not telling your wife how much she means to you, find little ways to tell her. Whisper it to her at dinner. Leave a small handwritten note by her sink. Buy a card and put it on her windshield first thing the morning so she can start the day off with a lift and a smile.
Behind Closed Doors
Finally, keep the romance alive by acting out that romance in the bedroom (or any other room of the house.) Keep things lively and interesting. Take turns on the kind of evenings you have. If you like sex one way, and she likes it another, alternate activities and foreplay so that nobody feels slighted or left out.
Look at new activities together to find something that both of you agree would be fun to try. Then have a good time – sex shouldn’t be boring. Find ways to make it fresh and interesting, even if it means stepping outside of your comfort zone or giving in to just one more massage before the real action gets started.
Graduating from school is quite an accomplishment but and unprepared graduate can soon find themselves facing tough competition when trying to get a new job. If you want to get ahead of you competition, you must learn the tips and tricks on how to win that interview and squash competition more effectively.
Set Yourself Apart From Everyone Else:
If all determining factors for potential candidates are the same, the hiring manager will almost always choose an applicant that stands out from his/her competition. The first thing that you can do to stand out for an interview is arrive early. It’s a simple basic rule but one that often people take for granted Arriving early can also place you in the “lime light” and you may even get the chance to speak to the hiring manager in a casual environment prior to your interview meeting.
You want to make sure that you also research your possible employer. The majority of your competition concentrates on becoming familiar with the factitious contents of their own curriculum vitae or resume. They may know it like the back of their hands but not a lot will go the extra mile to make it consistent or in line with the company’s goals and missions. You of course, will not know the company’s goals and mission unless you do your research first. Doing your homework can impress the interviewer with your initiative, knowledge and abilities/skills that the company could directly relate to their goals.
Prepare for the Unexpected:
It wouldn’t hurt to ask around and read on publications that can help you prepare for some interview questions they might throw at you. Although most applicants are prepared to talk about their strengths, it would be good to know how to respond impressively if the interviewer starts asking you about what your weaknesses are. You don’t want to project yourself as a poor candidate but you have to do positive scripting so that your weakness might turn out to be more of an advantage to you and the company than the other way around.
Interviews will also touch on some of your problem solving skills. It’s not a simple math of two plus two equals four. They want to see and hear how confident you are when faced with problem scenarios that might come with the job you are aiming for. They would want to see someone who knows how to find a good work around when faced with a problematic situation instead of someone who guesses or pulls answers out of their hats randomly.
Above all in your interview, be sure to answer truthfully and with integrity. Honesty can go a long way with a hiring manager and will help you take the extra step to set yourself apart from your competitors.
One of the first fabrics that man fashioned to wear or use, leather has been a popular material from its beginnings. Leather is a beautiful, longwearing, breathable, natural fabric that has multiple uses, i.e., clothing, shoes, furniture, luggage, and vehicle interiors. This valuable fabric is an investment that will last for years if it is treated with care. Owners want to know how to correctly clean leather products because leather can be quickly ruined if handled incorrectly.
Leather hides can be categorized as belonging to several types, depending on the process to preserve the hides. The piece of leather can be smooth, suede, dyed in a variety of ways, coated, or tanned naturally. The dye used to color the fabric can be of different types that demand different handling. A product that works beautifully on one type of leather can permanently stain a different type. It is important to read any manufacturer’s instructions to understand what type of finish was used to create the item.
There are general rules for how to clean leather, however. These rules apply to how to clean car upholstery, belts, purses, jackets or other clothing, as well as furniture, luggage, and leather shoes. All leather needs an environment that is not too wet, not too dry, not too hot, or not too cold. Any extremes in the atmosphere can cause irreparable harm to the hides.
Let’s start off by identifying two types of leather. There is finished leather and there is unfinished leather. It is very good to know what type of leather you have so that you may treat it properly. Finished leather consists of the finer leather on coats or purses. Luggage and leather furniture is usually finished as well.
On the other hand, you have unfinished leather items as well. Unfinished leather consists of work gloves, garden gloves, boots that you use for work, biker bandannas, horse saddles, any type of saddle, basketballs and footballs.
Let’s start with cleaning finished leather. To clean finished leather, you must get a lightly dampened cloth with a dab of moisturizing bath soap (dove) on the cloth. Rub the leather in a circular motion and make sure that there is not too much water on the cloth. You don’t want to stain the leather more because of an access of water. After wiping the leather until the stain is gone, you can then take another dampened cloth to wipe off any soap residue. Remember, DO NOT us water to wipe the leather clean. After cleaning the leather with the second dampened cloth, you can now wipe it clean with a dry cloth and hang the leather product to air dry. It’s a good idea to apply a leather conditioner to the leather once it is dry.
To clean unfinished leather, you will follow the same steps stated above. However, you must use “Saddle soap” instead of moisturizing soap.
Remember when removing spots from leather, always test any cleaning method on an out-of-the-way spot first.
One tip for removing spots from leather is to dip a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol and rub the spot. This can work for removing ink spots (figure B) as well. If this doesn’t work, you can use non-oily cuticle remover. (Note: That is "cuticle" remover, not nail-polish remover.) Leave it on overnight and wipe it off with a damp cloth.
To remove normal spots from leather, use the following Royal homemade recipe:
1 part lemon juice 1 part cream of tartar
Simply work the paste into the spot with a soft cloth, and if soils remain after working it in, let it sit for a few hours. Come back and apply a little more paste, work it in and wipe clean.
Instructions for more targeted stains
1. Mix 1 cup of water with moisturizing soap.
2. Moisten a cloth with the mixture.
3. Apply cloth with a circular motion on the stained area
4. Wipe clean with another cloth dampened by water only
5. Let air dry
1. Mix 1 cup rubbing alcohol with 1 cup water.
2. Moisten a cloth with the mixture and wipe the affected area.
3. Let air dry.
1. Spray the affected area with hair spray.
2. Then wipe it off with a clean cloth.
3. If a leather garment has been soaked in water, let it air dry
slowly and naturally.
4. Keep it away from heat sources.
5. Once it is dry, restore its softness with a leather conditioner.
6. If leather shoes have been soaked, insert shoe trees to restore their shape and let them air dry.
1. These can be removed by blotting the excess grease with a clean cloth.
2. Second, sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch on the affected area.
3. Let the item sit for at least 4 hours before wiping off the powder.
Blood and urine spills:
These can be removed by blotting off excess moisture with a clean, damp cloth. Let the item dry slowly away from heat.
Gum that has become stuck to the leather:
1. You can remove it by rubbing a plastic bag full of ice cubes over it to harden the gum. The gum will then be easy to pull off.
2. If there is any residual, heat the area with a hair dryer and rub off the gum with a clean cloth.
1. Make a solution of 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water.
2. Moisten a cloth with the vinegar solution and dab it on the affected area.
We have outlined how to properly take care of your leather possessions in this article. Leather is a delicate item and can last forever if taken care of properly. We understand that some stains might entail more than just a cleaning. Do not hesitate to hire professional leather cleaner to help you. Remember to ask that professional for a guarantee that your leather will come back that way that you would like it. They need to be legit. They need to return your article back with the same color that the item was in the beginning. If they cannot help with these simple items, then you might need to get a second opinion.
Adding curtains to a window can make a room look much homier and can add a personal and colorful touch to a room. By sewing these curtains yourself, you can customize your curtains to be the material you want, the size you need, and the style that best suits you. While this project may at first seem daunting, don’t let the idea of sewing your own curtains intimidate you.
Measure the Window
The first thing to do is to measure the window. Using a tape measure, carefully determine the height and width of the window. The dimensions of your fabric will not match the dimensions of the window. Double the width of the window to determine the needed width of your curtains. Add eight inches to the height of your window, or if you want longer panels, add additional height. Write down these dimensions.
Prepare the Material
Curtains can be made from almost any kind of material. From polyester-blend bed-sheets to organza, find a material in a style and color that matches the home decorations in your room. Wash and dry the material to prevent shrinking later on, and iron the material if needed. Cut the material to the needed dimensions. To make two panel curtains, you will cut two pieces of identically-sized material, each measuring the whole width of the window and the height plus eight inches or more.
Sew the Curtains
After your material is prepared, you can use a sewing machine loaded with thread that matches the color of your material to hem the edges of your curtains. To do this, fold each side and the bottom over one inch, then again one more inch. Pin the folds in place and sew your hem to prevent fraying.
To present a nice edge to your curtains, iron them. Fold the top the same way, but after the second fold, bring the top down three inches and sew a seam right through the middle. Sew another seam one inch from the top to form the rod pocket. Use any extra material to make tie backs to match your curtains. Use the proper hardware to hang your new curtains in your window, and look back on your project with pride!
If you’re hanging new blinds, before you order, be sure you measure six times. That may seem extreme, but measuring blinds requires three measurements on each window. And you’ll want to measure twice just to be sure you got each one right the first time. Thus, you’ll be doing at least six measurements per window.
To measure for blinds, you’ll need a metal measuring tape, a stepladder, a pencil and a pad of paper. Be sure you use a metal measuring tape as a fabric one can stretch and give you a false measurement.
To measure the window, climb on your stepladder and measure the top of the window first. Then measure the middle, and then the bottom. It’s very common to have different widths at different parts of the window, hence the three measurements. All measurements should be across the window in a straight line to check width. Measure to an eighth of an inch and write down all three. Then measure the length of the window in at least two places. This measurement is not as critical.
Once you have all of the measurements recorded, take the smallest of the three widths and record it as the official width of the window. The blinds will fit most snugly here, and you don’t want them too wide.
When you have all of your measurements ready, order your new blinds rounding your measurements to the nearest eighth or quarter inch – whatever the company uses. Do not account for wiggle room as the company already does this for you. The hardware will cut a quarter-inch off each side of the window, so use your exact measurement (the smallest one.)
When the blinds arrive, you should use the manufacturer’s suggestions for hanging them in your windows.
The shopping is done, the tree is decorated, the presents are wrapped, but something is still missing. When all your guests gather around the table for the Christmas dinner you have spent hours preparing, what will they see? A bare tabletop? Let’s hope not. With a few simple touches, your dinner table can become a showcase for some beautiful Christmas decorations.
The centerpiece will be the focal point of your table, at least until Aunt Mary starts telling embarrassing old family stories. While you can purchase a fresh or silk flower arrangement, a sculpture or figurine of some kind, or a potted poinsettia, there are other options that you can assemble yourself on a budget. Try filling a pair of clear glass hurricane lamps with cheap and colorful glass globe Christmas ornaments. You can also use a vase to hold peppermints or small red and green candies. Use the candy to support a classic taper candle or a small group of artificial flowers fitting for the winter season.
A great opportunity to add a personal touch to your table is with your napkin rings. Napkin rings can be a pricy investment, or they can be a creative outlet of your holiday spirit. For a basic approach, cut one inch segments from the cardboard tube inside your wrapping paper. You can cover these with the wrapping paper itself, or paint or color the cardboard. Hot glue a small ornament to the top of the napkin ring. Another option is to string festive beads or buttons on a piece of elastic. Whatever you create, your guests will appreciate the time and creativity you invested in this Christmas decoration.
For large or small crowds, use placecards to not only help guests find their place at the table, but to showcase your holiday spirit. You can adapt gift tags to be placecards, or glue rectangles of wrapping paper on a stiff backing and write guests’ names on your homemade place card. Another option is to cut a Christmassy shape such as a star or bell out of cardboard and cover it with aluminum foil. A permanent marker will have no problem writing on the surface, making a lovely placecard.
The Christmas Tree is the central decoration for the season. Decorating that tree can be intimidating, especially if you’re trying to work around your existing décor or creating a design that any professional would be proud of. Here’s how to decorate a Christmas Tree.
Create a Theme
The first step in decorating a Christmas Tree is to decided on the theme of your decorations. You may opt for the basic cheerful multicolored balls and lights, or challenge yourself with something more ornate such as finding a theme that incorporates golden decorations and lights into your living room’s existing apple décor. There are many ways to do this.
Shop Around the Theme
Once your theme is determined, begin your quest for decorations. Simple decorations such as bright glass balls and tinsel can be found everywhere, including local drug stores. Golden apples may require a trip to a decorating warehouse or specialty shop. You can also make ornaments using parts from craft stores or have your kids create fun ornaments from any number of household items.
Assemble the Tree
To decorate your tree you’ll need the following:
- A Christmas Tree – The tree can be real or artificial. Both options have pros and cons.
- Christmas Tree Stand – If you’re using a real tree, invest in a good tree stand. Also be sure to water the tree regularly to prevent the needles from drying up and falling off. Stand up the Tree and position it correctly.
- Tree Skirt – A tree skirt can be simple or ornate. It keeps the floor a bit cleaner, provides some extra color and decoration, and hides the tree stand or base of the artificial tree.
- Lights – If your tree is not prelit, and only a few artificial trees are, buy strands of lights. White solid lights are most common, but you can also buy colored lights, blinking or chasing lights, or even specialty lights such as snowflakes or chili peppers for your tree.
Put the lights on your tree before any other decorations. Try to hide the strands in the branches so that only the lights show, not dangling wires.
- A Tree Topper – The tree topper can go first or last, but every tree should have one. If you’re using an angel or star, especially one that is lit, it should probably go on first to be sure you have it hooked into the lights correctly. A large bow should go after the rest of the decorations so that it is line with the rest of the garlands.
- Ornaments – After the lights and possibly the tree topper, hang your ornaments. You may opt to use a collection of ornaments in multiple colors that simply appeal to you or that your children have made. You might use only gold and red decorations to continue with a specific theme such as the apple theme mentioned above.
If you’re going for a more casual look, hang a variety of ornaments including glass balls of every color and include ornaments that are fun and meaningful to you. Be sure to cover the tree evenly from top to bottom and side to side. Hang the ornaments from the tips of the branches in front of the lights.
- Garlands – The final stage of tree decoration is to place any garlands on the tree. Garlands can be strands of tinsel or beads. They may also be long strands of ribbon. Tinsel and beads usually are draped around the tree horizontally.
Ribbons can be horizontal or can be twisted and run from the top of the tree to the bottom. This looks especially nice if the tree topper is a very large bow of the same ribbon. Ribbons go on top of all decorations, but smaller garlands, especially those with beads may be hung following the lights.