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Reasons why buildings need to be refurbished 2017-Mar-09
Many people look to refurbish their homes of make a career out of buying properties that are in desperate need of a refresh or repair. Low costs when it comes to refurbishment do not have to equate to low quality finishes if the person doing them knows what they are doing and carefully craft a plan of action. Here are some of the most popular reasons as to why we choose to refurbish our properties:


One reason why someone may look to refurbish their homes is because of ageing and the way that it affects their property. While some older properties rely on their age to add interest and character to their building, others suffer as a result. Older buildings can sometimes offer a great deal of return value if they are bought cheaply and renovated with care and attention to their features.


Some homes require restoration and refurbishment as a result of falling into disrepair. This can happen due to age, poor building word, weather and other factors. It often makes far more sense to take the time to refurbish a property than it does to move which is why refurbishment is a popular thing to do.


Some homes (older homes in particular) often suffer from damp which has a damaging effect on the property. Damp not only caused visible damage in the form of ugly mould marks on walls, ceilings and your belongings but it can also release dangerous spores and bacteria in the air which can be bad for your health. Children in particular suffer as a result of damp and it could trigger respiratory problems. One ways in which to tackle damp is through condensation control which stops damp areas from forming in your home.


Some people purchase a property in the hope that renewing some of its features will add to its resale value. Sometimes the smallest licks of paint, added features and small adjustments will mean that home owners will be able to make a higher return and sell their property for a greater value than they would have had otherwise.
If you are looking to refurbish your property be sure to do your research and enlist the help of a professional who can advise you with the best course of action to take. Keeping things simple is also one of the best pieces of advice that professionals in this field offer out to those staring out in the process. Choosing simple and standard size fittings can really help to keep costs down and speed up the whole process. Similarly try to pick tradesmen who are familiar with dealing with the sorts of restorations you are doing. If you are really keen to keep costs down why not take a DIY approach and start to learn some tricks of the trade yourself? There is so much material online in the form of guides and videos that make learning to refurbish your property easy.

The best vases from around the world 2017-Mar-06
Whether you love to fill your vases with flowers or have them standing o­n their own, vases are a great way to personalise your living space. The beauty of vases is that they are a great way to brighten up any room; from huge vases for grand hallways or small bright vases for your kitchen windowsill, there is no time like the present to invest. You can either go for a classic look with a traditional looking vase or add a modern look with o­ne or more contemporary vases. To get a little inspiration with how you can stay o­n trend with your vases, here are some of the world’s most expensive and famous vases in the world.

The Qing Dynasty porcelain vase,

The Qianlong dynasty is known for producing some beautiful pottery, which explains why some of the most expensive and beautiful vases is the elaborate porcelain vase. It was found in a house clearance in 2010 and fetched 50 times more than its estimate at auction.

15th Century Chinese vase,
A blue and white Ming Dynasty vase was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder in Hong Kong for over $22 million by Sotheby’s auction house.

Green and black Chinese vase

The following famous vase is known for being o­ne of the biggest auction house underestimates as it was expected to sell for $800 but actually went o­n to fetch over $18 million! It was initially believed that the vase was of the Republican period and from the 20th century, when in fact it came from the imperial era in the 18th century.

A pair of Russian vases

Two 4 ½ foot vases were originally displayed at Randy Buttram’s grandparents’ home in Oklahoma and then were later displayed at his parents’ home. The two detailed vases dates back two centuries, back to the reign of Nicholas 1. They sold for $2.7 million in a private sale a week before they were due to be auctioned off.

The jade Chinese vase
A very pale jade vase from China dating back to the Qianlong period sold for over $800,000 at an auction in Vancouver, Canada. The 42cm vase was hand crafted somewhere in the 17th century and had a value of $40,000. The final sale far exceeded expectation with the vase bringing in sales of $2.9 million.

Chinese imperial vase
As you can probably tell, Chinese vases have been rising in value over the past decade and this is very much the case when it comes to the Chinese imperial vase sold in the UK where it previously sat for 30 years in a dining room window.While the aforementioned vases are famous and expensive, it does not mean that decorating your home should be too. Why not take inspiration from the colours, styles and details of the best vases in the world and use them to ignite your own ideas about what you think would suit your style and home?

A look at some of the best natural treatments from around the world 2017-Feb-20
Around the world there are lots of strange traditions and recipes that are still used to this day, especially when it comes to miracle cures and natural recipes. While our ancestors might not have been right all of the time, every now and then they got a good idea and around the world there are some pretty great natural remedies that have been used for hundreds or thousands of years. However, whether or not these treatments actually work is something you’re going to have to figure out for yourself.
Cold and flu: India
In southern India, colds are treated with a tasty and spicy tomato soup. These spices are thought to strengthen the immune system as well as speed up your metabolism, kick starting your recovery. While this soup might not necessarily be a miracle cure, all those fragrant spices will definitely clear your sinuses and leave you breathing a little bit easier. Plus, if you add a couple of vegetables into the recipe, you’ve got o­ne delicious lunch that will certainly improve your mood and give you the nourishment you need to get well.
Ingredients: Olive oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, ground cumin, garlic, fresh tomatoes, water, salt and black pepper.
Aches and sore muscles: England
After a long, tiring workout what could be better than bathing in condiments? Well, you’re not literally going to be bathing in mustard, but it’s a funny idea to think about, right? This recipe for a spicy soak has a reasonable amount of logic to it although the recipe is far too old to be based off of any kind of scientific reasoning. Mustard seeds are rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorous as well as having anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. So, even if it doesn’t soothe your back pain, if you use whole seeds as well as ground in your mustard bath you’ll be stepping out with clean soft skin. You might also want to know that it’s great for hair, too. It keeps your scalp healthy, conditions your hair and stimulates hair growth. While a hair transplant cost can be agreeable sometimes, if your hair’s thinning why not give a mustard bath a go and see what happens?
Ingredients (modern version): Mustard powder, whole mustard seeds, epsom salts, essential oils, baking soda
Spots and acne: South Africa
If you don’t want to use this recipe as a remedy you could always put it in your coffee or in cookies, because it smells amazing. It basically just consists of honey and ground cinnamon and is used as a sort of overnight mask. When you have a sport or redness o­n your face simply dab this mixture o­nto it and leave it there overnight. This remedy actually makes a lot of sense because honey is a great ingredient for homemade moisturisers. It’s full of antioxidants, moisturises your skin and is naturally antibacterial while cinnamon is antimicrobial. It reduces redness, dries out pimples and spots and can even unclog pores. So, next time you break out, give it a try and see for yourself.
Ingredients: honey, cinnamon
Indigestion/ nausea/ colds / insomnia / headaches / joint pain: Asia
If you have an ailment of any kind in Asia then there is going to be a pretty good chance of someone giving you this miracle ingredient. Ginger is almost sacred in certain Asian countries and has been known to be a remedy for almost anything. People eat it raw, make tea from it, turn it into sweets, make soup from it, rub it o­n their and put it in their baths. Realistically speaking, ginger isn’t quite capable of working miracles, but it certainly has its benefits. It has strong medicinal properties and stimulates circulation, plus it’s an anti-inflammatory, a carminative and a diaphoretic. So, it’s capable of soothing a lot of ailments. Why not try it for yourself?
Ingredients: ginger + literally anything

How to make sure everything is taken care of before leaving home 2017-Feb-02
Whatever the reason for leaving your home – may it be for university placement, social trip or studies abroad – ensuring that everything is taken care of before leaving home is of vital importance. If you are leaving behind someone that might be dependent o­n you, you need to understand the key factors o­n the person’s condition, so that when you are away, they remain in a stable condition. Regardless of their age, organising a live in carer whilst your away can put your mind at ease, knowing the person you are caring for is being well looked after.
The services available to you
You may not realise, but there is a large range of services that can provide support for the person you care for. So learn all that you can from them. Make sure the carer is educated enough about everything there is to know in regards to the person’s condition. By doing that, you can ensure that they are being given the best possible support and are able to discover any signs of trouble that may occur whilst you are away.
Plan outings
Make sure the carer knows that the person in care needs occasional planned outings; they can become easily isolated at home which can become rather unhealthy. When being trapped indoors for so long, the place can feel like a dungeon, so the carer needs to know when to take trips with the person in care because simple trips can really provide positives for the pair of you. It will provide them with a much needed change in scenery and will refresh their mind and body, which in turn will take the stress from your mind when you are away.
Going for health check ups
Before going away, make sure you have gone for regular health check-ups. With this being done, you are able to identify if they are making good progression or not. This is o­ne of the most important aspects o­n the list because when you are away you’ll have an understanding of their condition, which will prevent any unwanted surprises. In addition to this, you can also see if the effectiveness of the treatment is working, thus gaining a better understanding of how they can stay healthy- psychically and mentally.
Establish good communications with care providers
This is similar to the paragraph above and a good way in that it’s necessary that the person caring for the person in need their medical situation. Because you won’t always be around, doing this can allow you to arrange the most effective support needed for you and the carer and will lower the risks of any incidents or accidents. With good communication and the patient’s permission, you can have o­ngoing discussions regarding treatments, prescriptions and advice.
Help them stay physically fit
This may be the biggest challenge when it comes to caring for someone with a disability. Ensure they are taking part in regular exercise. By consulting with experts and advice lines, you will be able to find new ways to keep the person fit. Learning new exercises could also help to improve their medical condition but, most importantly, keep them physically fit and healthy. When caring for someone, this should be o­ne of your top priorities.

5 Top Tips For Going To University In Colchester 2017-Jan-31
If you’re heading to the University Of Essex in Colchester in September, then you’re going to want to know exactly what to expect in your first year. From which nightlife is the best to how to even get to the university in the first place, particularly if you’re commuting in every day, there’s plenty that you should know about before you set off for your first year. Here, we’ve put together some top tips for students looking to settle into Colchester University before or after their travels.
Re-Read All Of Your Correspondence
Knowing exactly when your course starts, when you can enter your accommodation and where exactly your house is going to be when you start university are important. The University are certain to send you plenty of information, but if you feel like you’re missing something, then look at the website and note what will and won’t be provided. This is especially important if you end up getting your place at the university through clearing. Check everything!
Finding Your Way
Colchester is a large town, but you can be certain that there are plenty of transport options for students there. At the campus, there are plenty of bike racks if you’re considering staying fit and healthy and cycling to your lectures via the Wivenhoe Trail, and there are a huge number of bus services running through the campus connecting it to and from the town centre, the Station and nearby Wivenhoe. The university isn’t quite central, so knowing exactly how to get there is important.
If you’re in first year, then the likelihood is you’ll be heading to halls for your accommodation. However, if you have applied late, or you’re considering accommodation for your second year already and want to be o­n the waiting lists for the best properties, then it is important to get organised. The very best Colchester estate agents will ensure that you have all of the information that you need about renting university accommodation whether you’re considering it for this year, or you’re searching for your future university home.
Night Life
One of the most thought about aspects of university is the night life and in Colchester you are certain to find plenty of it. Night life is a huge social part of university, so making sure you know the top bars and nightclubs is a great way to make new friends. With Essex University Student Union Bar, V Bar, ATIK, Twisters and Qube offering some of the best nightlife in the town, you can be sure that every night will be a party when you’re at university (along with the studying of course).
Fresher’s Week
One of the most infamous parts of university is Fresher’s Week. You can prepare for university life and make new friends before your course even starts during this week, making it the perfect time to get to know your housemates. Fresher’s Week is generally hosted in the SU Bar, but with huge events across the week, you are certain that you will never run out of things to do. If you’re heading to Colchester University, then follow their social media accounts to find out more about Fresher’s Week for your year.

Top 5 Tips To Stopping Problems With Your First Car 2017-Jan-31
As a student, you’ve probably not long passed your driving test, or even if you’ve had a GAP year of travelling, you’ve probably not had much experience of driving your very own car. If you’re looking to purchase your first car, then there are a few things that you will need to remember in order to stop any problems from happening before they start.
Don’t Ignore Engine Warning Lights
The purpose of engine warning lights is to tell you that something is wrong, yet many people tend to simply ignore them, because the car can still get them from A to B. However, if you ever spot an engine warning light in your car, it is important that you firstly identify what it is, and secondly ensure that you get it checked out. o­nce o­ne engine warning light comes o­n, it could have an impact o­n the engine as a whole if left ignored, so make sure to always learn what the warning lights in your first car mean.
Car Key Replacement
When a new driver purchases a car second hand, there can be a number of cases where the car o­nly comes with o­ne key. If this is the case, it is important that you get your car key duplicated. This is because if you lose or break the o­nly car key that you have, you can end up having to pay a lot of money when you head to a dealership simply to get a new key. However with mobile Audi car key replacement available 24/7 provided by companies such as Car Keys Solutions, who can also deal with other manufacturers, the costs can still be cut – but to save you money in the long run, it is important to simply have your car key duplicated as a precaution.
High Mileage
While high mileage o­n a car can help to keep the cost of the vehicle down when you’re purchasing o­ne second hand, this can often lead to a number of problems. While in newer cars high mileage isn’t as much of a problem as it is in older vehicles, high mileage can lead to a number of things in the car being worn out.
Recent MOT
Ensuring that the vehicle you are purchasing has a very recent MOT o­n it is important, as this will help to ensure that you are not stuck with a car that will cost more to repair than it did to buy in the first place. While this may boost up the price of the car by a small amount when you’re purchasing it, particularly through peer-to-peer selling sites, it is always better to find a car with a recent MOT rather than take the risk of buying a car that is half broken.
Test Drive Your Car
One of the biggest things that people forget about when it comes to the excitement of purchasing their first car is to test drive it with someone who knows what they’re talking about. Many experienced drivers are able to look under the bonnet of a car, under the car, or simply just feel the way the car runs, and are therefore able to identify problems such as worn tyres, spongy breaks and more, without even having to drive it. These little problems can end up costing you a lot of money in the long-run, so make sure to test drive your first car before you purchase it, with an experienced driver there to give you their opinion.



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