Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

Ten Ways to Keep Your Home Safe Whilst You’re On Holiday

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

It’s the time of year where we jet off to far-away places and escape the worries of day-to-day life. The safety of your house should be the last thing on your mind as you relax by the pool, so made-to-measure blinds specialist Apollo Blinds has put together its top tips on how you can keep your home safe whilst you’re on holiday.

Holiday snap1) Don’t Broadcast

Be honest. Would you trust everyone on your social media feed with your most valuable possessions?

We all want to share our holiday snaps but if you want to protect your home when you’re abroad then keep the social media posts of you on the beach to a minimum.

Once you have published something on social media, it is in the public domain, meaning you no longer have control over who sees it. Try to resist checking into the airport or hotel with Facebook or flooding your news feed with excited status updates about when you are leaving the country. If you must share then keep it vague and don’t give away details of your travel dates, where you are going or how long you will be away.

And whilst you’re being careful in the virtual world, it’s also an idea to watch where and who you talk to about your trip in the real world. You never know who is listening so it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Green venetian2) Install Window Blinds

According to the Metropolitan Police, windows are one of the most common entry and exit routes for burglars, as well as being a showcase for your valuables. Fitting window blinds is a cheap and easy way to add an extra layer of defence to your home, especially if they are made of a noisy material like aluminium that could help to raise an alarm. Venetian blinds, made up of numerous wooden slats held together with cords or tapes, are also easy to become tangled in when trying to get through a window. Just the sight of a noisy venetian blind can be enough to put off an opportunistic burglar.

Motorised blinds3) Add A Motor

Mostly security is just common sense but there are gadgets available that can help to make your house looked lived in, giving the impression that somebody is home even when it is empty.  If you really want to ramp up the security, then add a motor to your blinds. Apollo Blind’s Somfy® automation systems allow motors to be controlled via a timer or light sensor meaning they can open and close dependent upon the time of day.

For more information about Apollo’s made-to-measure blinds and shutters visit www.apollo-blinds.co.uk or call 01924 413 048.

 

 

 

 

Burglar Alarm

4) Fit A Good Burglar Alarm

Protecting your home is all about making life harder for criminals; if they spy a potential obstacle it could be enough to make them move on to the next (easier) target.  A good burglar alarm is an investment in the safety of your home and family, even if it may seem like a lot of money initially.

There are different types of alarm to choose from including, bells only, speech diallers, wireless and non-wireless, so do your research before you commit to paying any money. Always buy from a reputable and use an installer that is affiliated to an inspectorate, such as National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or Security System and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).  For more information on comparing burglar alarms see the Which? website.

5) And Use It

It’s surprising how many people have burglar alarms but don’t use them.  Did you know that some household insurers won’t pay out if you have a burglar alarm fitted that’s not been set?  They see this as failing to take reasonable steps to protect your property, so make sure you’re covered and set the alarm before you jet off!

6) Check, Check And Check Again

Sometimes it pays to be paranoid.  It sounds so simple but open or unlocked windows and doors are an invitation to burglars. Check and double check that you have shut all of your doors and windows before you leave the house.  If you are leaving in the middle of the night, do it the night before when you are less likely to miss something.   Studies have also shown that burglars are more likely to break into your house if the front gate is open, so don’t forget this vital detail.

7) You’ve Got Mail

There’s no better way to signify that a house is empty than a growing pile of unopened post behind the front door.  Cancel any regular deliveries and don’t order anything to come whilst you are away. Ask a friend or relative to call in and pick up your mail or use the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service, which can hold on to letters and parcels for up to 66 days and deliver them when you return.

8) Neighbourhood Watch

Having somebody to watch your house whilst you are away can really help to protect your home. Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on things or hire a professional house sitter.  Use a reputable company such as Homesitters, which guarantees its service because it directly employs and vets its 1,000 plus sitters.  If this is too costly, then try a matchmaking service like TrustedHousesitters.com.  It takes a little more leg work because the onus is on you to vet a potential sitter, however, many of them work for free in return for a break away.

9) Vary Your Routine

It may sound neurotic to think that somebody is watching you but it pays to try and vary the times you leave the house so that it’s less obvious when you’re not following your normal routine. Get up early and walk the dog rather than doing it when you come home. Perhaps drive some days and walk others or take an alternative route to work so that you leave at a different time.

10) Give Your Valuables A Holiday

Leaving everything on show is an open invitation to an opportunistic robber.  Hide your high-worth items around the house or better still ask somebody you trust to look after them whilst you are away.  We’re not talking bulky goods like televisions but smaller portable items that you can’t live without, such as jewellery or tablets. Finally, hide your car keys rather than hanging them on a hook behind the door.

Sources

Which? comparison site – http://www.which.co.uk/

Metropolitan Police – http://content.met.police.uk/Site/crimepreventionbumblebee

Royal Mail – http://www.royalmail.com/personal/receiving-mail/keepsafe

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2011/jul/15/find-housesitter-for-free

http://www.homesitters.co.uk/

http://www.TrustedHousesitters.com

IMAGE Sources

1) floridamasters.co.uk

2) Apollo Blinds

4) content.met.police.uk

6) safesoundfamily.com

 

10 Little Things I Do for Houseguests from The Kitchn

Monday, July 6th, 2015

We saw this post on The Kitchn and liked it so much we had to share it with you.

Depending on where you live and your proximity to a popular summer travel destination (the Grand Canyon? Disney World? New York City?) you may find yourself deep in houseguest season. I don’t live in a particularly touristy city, but I host houseguests frequently, and I think it’s part of the fun of having a house with room to share. In fact, in just a few weeks my husband’s brother and sister-in-law will be piling in with their three kids for a sleepover.

If you’re expecting a guest (or two, or five!), here are a few little ways I prep for them. All are small, and most help me as much as they help my guests!

In the Kitchen

First, let’s talk food, because what’s more important than feeding your guests?

1. Give your guests a meal game plan.

Houseguests come in all different flavors: there are the weekend family reunions, with every meal eaten together; there are the friends just using your place as a crash pad for a city visit; there are visits with little kids, and hence meal times are preset in granite; there are visits where your in-laws prefer to take you out to swanky restaurants every night. (Those are nice.)

I find it helpful and soothing to figure out what kind of meals a set of houseguests needs, and even to send an email ahead of time letting people know what to expect. It can be as simple as, “Hey, let’s plan on going out the first night you’re here, and I’ll handle dinner the other nights, plus some grab-and-go breakfasts. Lunches are on your own — we’ll give you lots of cafe recommendations for your days out!”

And of course, if you’re planning a big get-together with several families or groups, make a meal plan for who cooks when and let everyone sign up.

Just having a general set of expectations set in advance is helpful, and it helps me plan and shop.

Ask ahead about food allergies and preferences.

This is a fairly obvious to-do, but it’s worth mentioning! If you’re feeding several meals to guests, ask about allergies. And it’s also extra-hospitable, I think, to say something like, “Hey, we’ll have some breakfast things around — is there anything you really love to eat for breakfast?”

Delegate the coffee, depending on rising times.

Now let’s turn to the things that look and feel hospitable, but are really more for me than for the guests! If you have promised coffee to your guests (and I would argue that tea or coffee first thing in the morning is a non-negotiable aspect of hospitality) then set up your coffee and tea station in the kitchen and let your guests know how to get it going.

This allows for a variety of rising times and means that I (or, let’s be real here, my husband) won’t have to bolt out of bed first thing to make coffee for our virtuous early riser friend. Instead we say, “Here’s the French press and the kettle — you know how to use it!” Or, when we have a larger group, we haul out our monster drip coffee maker and set the timer for the earliest riser’s schedule.

Make a breakfast and some snacks ahead.

If I am handling breakfast, I always make something ahead — whether it’s just baked oatmeal, or some muffins (here are my favourites), or an egg casserole with sausage for those who want extra protein. Sometimes I pull out all the stops and make cinnamon rolls. Again, this keeps it simple in the morning. Sometimes I also make one special snack, like a dip and some crackers, to pull out during afternoon activities.

Set out breakfast bowls, spoons, and other accessories.

Last but not least, I always set out breakfast bowls, spoons, and mugs the night before, so if guests rise earlier than we do they don’t have to go digging through the cupboards.

In Other Parts of the Home

But the kitchen isn’t the only location of hospitality. Here are a few more things I do. None take a lot of time or money, but people always seem to appreciate them.

Your wifi password, prominently displayed.

The ultimate essential of modern hospitality? Internet access. We write our internet network name and password on old business cards of my husband’s and place them in the guest room. You could also tack one on the fridge for easy access.

Power strip under the bed.

Take a note from the thing hotels never seem to do, and give your guests easy access to power. Besides the total basics (clean sheets, a reading light by the bed), I find a power strip to be really helpful, especially in older homes like ours where the outlets are hard to find or not grounded. I always point out the power strip so people know there’s a spot to plug in all their devices.

Water by the bed.

I also place a carafe of water by the bed, with a glass or two. It’s a tiny touch, but one that always feels super grownup and classy — especially in the summertime when we’re always thirsty.

All the bathroom amenities.

If you have a spare bathroom for guests, as we do (our New York friends call this luxurious setup a Midwest hotel), then make sure it’s all prepped. Clean towels are a must, of course, but think what else people might need. I keep spare bottles of Trader Joe’s shampoo and conditioner in the shower, and face wipes and a hair dryer by the sink.

Flowers, anywhere you can.

The last little touch for guests — fresh flowers. They’re a luxury, but you don’t have to actually spend anything on them. I have a couple teeny bottles saved, and I like to put a sprig of herbs or flowers from the yard — any pretty weed will do — and set it by the guest room bed.

What else do you do for overnight houseguests? Is there anything that makes your life a little easier, especially when guests are staying for a few days or more?

Blog post shared from The Kitchn website.

(Image credits: Sophie Timothy; Kim Lucian; Brittany Purlee; Kim Lucian; Sabrina Friebis-Ruiz; Elissa Crowe)

#MyApolloView Winner Announced!

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

We’re truly excited to announce the winner of our 2015 #MyApolloView competition. Thanks to everyone who entered and who gave our judges an enjoyable and challenging job.

The judging panel have “oohed  and aahed” through over 400 entries. We’ve had stunning views from across the globe, far afield, close to home, land mark moments in life and captures of moments with friends and family – a big well done to you all.

Now, without further ado, come and see the winning entry by Lucy Pasifull @loobypas

#MyApolloView Winner

Lucy has won a fantastic prize worth more than £600 which includes a stay at Carden Park Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort near Chester and an Apollo Digi blind of their winning entry.

Congratulations Lucy!

Wimbledon Inspired Windows

Monday, June 29th, 2015

You cannot be serious? It’s time for the highlight of our tennis calendars? To celebrate this year’s Wimbledon tournament, we’ve put together the perfect guide on how to bring a tennis theme to your windows.  From strawberries and cream, to grass court greens and Wimbledon whites, the design team has also picked out looks for Federer, Nadal and Murray.

Strawberries and Cream

The annual championships wouldn’t be the same without a tasty accompaniment of strawberries and cream.  With ravishing reds and fruity florals, indulge your cravings by adorning your windows in this mouth-watering colour scheme.

strawberries and cream pinks2 Strawberries and Cream Reds

Grass Court Greens

Create your own Centre Court and bring the outside in with grassy greens at your windows.

Gorgeous greensWimbledon Whites

Wimbledon means white.  And there’s no better way to create a bright and beautiful room than using an all-white colour scheme.

So whether your whites are classic like Federer, edgy like Nadal or modest like Murray, keep colour to a minimum and create a crisp, clean finish with our made-to-measure blinds and shutters.

The Federer

Known for his refined style and distinguished taste, Federer is traditional, timeless and effortlessly stylish.  Achieve this winning look in your home with classic white shutters from Apollo Blinds.

 Roger-Federer-Wimbledon-2014-img21048_668    003 bathroom - small

The Nadal

Contemporary and fearless, Nadal brings an edgy twist to traditional whites.

Be brave, modern and minimalist in all white with these Duette energy-saving blinds.

Rafael+Nadal+Day+Six+Championships+Wimbledon+rHB-es8sbiFl   Picture 002

The Murray

Day One: The Championships - Wimbledon 2014  Apollo Blinds Elegance Twilight - Neutral small
Modest and uncomplicated; subtle and reserved. Andy Murray is the unlikely style icon we are always rooting for.

Made with panels of solid and sheer materials, these Twilight blinds provide the winning combination of privacy and light control, creating a delicate contrasting pattern.

All England Colours

Punchy purples and gorgeous greens, celebrate the colours of the All England Club with these bold colour choices.

Perfect purples

Playful purples are perfect in any room.

purple and green

Or go all the way and combine the two.

Game, set and match.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apollo Blinds’ top trend tips for 2015

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Apollo Blinds’ top trend tips for 2015 include a fresh take on florals, muted pastel tones and watercolours, plus some updates on existing looks to evolve window treatments in 2015.

2015’s Colours

Dulux and Pantone’s colours of the year are quite similar, and in fact could both be worked nicely into the same room scheme, with Dulux opting for Copper Blush – a dark pinkie shade that looks fabulous with mustard tones, woods and metallics, especially copper – and Pantone predicting a stronger richer pinkie/red-based shade in its Marsala colour reference.

trends 1

 

Indulgent greens for this year are Aquamarine, pantone’s Lucite Green and Farrow & Ball’s Breakfast Room Green. Aquamarine is a fabulous colour for our homes, evoking thoughts of soothing tropical waters and its ability to co-ordinate with other popular 2015 colours.

tresnds 3

 

Plus look out for moreish custard yellow and toasted almond.

trends 4

 

The Birds, The Butterfly’s & The Bees

In 2015 the nature theme will continue from 2014’s obsession with birds, bees, critters and all things nature!

trends 6

 

Classic Blue And White Bone China-inspired Fabrics

The classic combo of blue and white is interpreted across wallpapers, bedding and lamp shades. Designs range from traditional Chinese patterns and bold blooms to geometrics and cool circles. Think cobalt blues and denims, associated with vintage crockery and antique dinnerware, for this look.

trends 7

 

Homespun Gets Even Bolder In 2015

Heavy textiles – such as rich weaved tapestries and hand died finishes – in bold graphic designs, printed in bright colours will deliver an instant update to living spaces; evolving the homespun folk and tribal theme for 2015

trends 9

 

Add a Touch of Bling to Neutral Rooms

This trend adds a new dimension to a neutral scheme and is ideal for those who follow more minimalist codes. Create calming sanctuaries and escapes with clean lines and neutral hues, but inject crystals, gems, metallics and shiny skin effect fabrics, as well as subtle tones to stark white, to update the home for 2015.

trends 8

 

Muted Pastels

2015 sees an update on the sugary sweet candy colours of previous years to a more complex, dusky and rich colour palette. Colours within this trend are soft sage / leaf green, muted pale blue and palma violet.

trends 2

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on trends. Please get in touch with us via our Facebook page with any ideas or pictures.

New Product Round Up

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

We’re always innovating here at Apollo Blinds. Two new-to-market products we’ve launched recently include Intu Micro blinds and Bespoke Wood Blindsmicro 1 copy micro 2 copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bi-fold and tri-fold doors are on the property wishlist for many perspective buyers and are fitted to nearly a third of all ground floor refurb projects at the rear of a house.

Their popularity is largely down to their ability to connect rooms seamlessly to outdoor living spaces and to allow light to flood into the home.

Apollo’s new range of made-to-measure Intu Micro blinds are tailored to deliver the final, practical touch to a bi-fold door investment.

The new Intu Micro blind offers a clean fitting solution for light control and privacy into the home. The system sits in the door frame, not the recess of the door area, so when doors are open and in a concertina format the blind is attached to the door – delivering a neat look and the fact that they are held under tension prevents blinds flapping around in the wind.

The snug fit also reduces drafts and minimises light gaps. To raise or lower blinds simply move the bottom rail up or down. Safe by design, safety features are integral to the blinds – no free hanging looped cords.

The Micro range follows the popularity of Apollo Blinds’ Intu system for conventional windows and conservatories.

There are two colours for the Intu Micro hardware to match the most popular colour of door frames offered by the main bi-fold door manufacturers. Then homeowners can choose from a selection of SIX Micro pleated fabrics to compliment a room’s décor – from white through neutrals to black all with a pearlescent coating on the back to reflect as much heat and light as possible.

Bespoke Wood Collection

Wood venetian blinds remain one of the most popular choices of window blinds in UK homes, delivering a timeless, classic look to compliment a wide range of interior decors.

wooden blinds 2 copy wood 2 copy

Apollo’s new Bespoke Wood Collection offer more options than ever; totally made to order to homeowner’s exacting requirements, the combinations in terms of slat colours are almost endless, plus they will fit unusual sized windows too.

It includes 100 colour options, incorporating exciting block colour variations new to the UK, available in a choice of four slat widths, colour co-ordinating or contrasting tapes and a brushed aluminium valance.

For either creating a timeless look in a classic styled room, or adding to a sleek modern ambiance, wooden blinds impress from the moment they are installed.

NEW venetian blind trend: Colour blocking

Enjoy a classic venetian blind look with a modern twist achieved with a standout stripe – providing a pop of colour to match a statement wall or home accessories. Add another dimension with coloured tapes too!

From brilliant blues in the games room or perfect pinks in the office, there are one hundred colour options to choose from to match the style and colour of any home.

Coloured tapes add extra personalisation to the bespoke wooden blinds. The tape colour can match the statement stripe or offer its own colour pop on a neutral white gloss or natural wood stain finish.

wood

 

Self-closing toilet seat tops women’s wish list, while men would rather motorise the sofa

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

When it comes to dreaming up motorised household gadgets and gizmos, women want practical things like an automated toilet seat and motorised wheelie bins to help with daily chores, while men just want to maximise their relaxation time by adding a motor to the sofa.

Motorise 2 Motorise 1

The findings were revealed in our new survey of 1,000 UK adults. On the back of soaring sales of motorised blinds, we wanted to see what else Brits would like to motorise in the home.  And the research showed a huge gender gap.

Most men would motorise their chair or couch to whizz them to and from the kitchen or toilet in comfort. The second most popular automated accessory in men’s homes would be a remote control beer fridge. This was followed by a remote control for operating wheelie bins and the dreaded task of putting them out on bin day.

Women, on the other hand, appear to be much more practically minded. They want to motorise things that will help them with the domestic chores. The most popular item was the toilet seat that closes automatically when it’s been left up for more than 10 minutes. Women would also like to be able to automate bed making – with a mechanism to straighten bed clothes daily. Third most popular on the women’s list was a cot rocker.

 

The Top Five Things Men Would Motorise

  1. Chair/couch
  2. Beer fridge
  3. Remote control wheelie bin
  4. Window blinds
  5. Garden weeder – no more kneeling

The Top Five Things Women Would Motorise

  1. Toilet lid shutter/flusher/cleaner
  2. Motorised duvet and sheet straightener
  3. Pram or cot rocker
  4. Dishwasher emptier
  5. Wheelie bins/recycling – moving them outside the house when it’s bin day

 

Mike Stephen said: “The findings on what to motorise also support our research into the current gender split regarding housework.

“In our 2015 study, of more than 1000 UK households, we found that women are still doing more housework than their spouses or male counterparts.”

When asked how long they spent a week doing household jobs like cleaning, laundry, cooking, tidying rooms (excluding childcare) the average for women was a massive 16.5 hours per week.

The largest proportion of domestic time was spent on laundry. Around 6 hours a week is spent loading, unloading, ironing and putting clothes away. Second was ‘cleaning’ rooms such as bathrooms, kitchens and dusting where we spend around 3 hours a week cleaning; this was followed by cooking, just under 3 hours. Also in the top five were grocery shopping and changing beds.

Men on the other hand said that they estimated that they spend just a meager 6 hours doing domestic chores. When asked to list what domestic chores men typically do the top 5 most popular jobs they do were:

Putting the bins out

Mowing the lawn

Ironing

Loading and unloading the dishwasher

Hoovering

Very few were responsible for cleaning bathrooms, with just 6% including this in their regular jobs.

Mike Stephen added: “When we delved deeper into who typically does what inside UK households it was clearer as to why women want to motorise toilet seats as it’s women who generally clean the bathroom. Both men and women want to automate the wheelie bin as this appeared to be a more shared job among married and co-habiting men and women.”

The survey was carried out by www.apollo-blinds.co.uk

 

Photography Competition #MyApolloView

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Here’s your chance to win a luxury weekend away and Apollo Digi blind – simply give us a window into your world

Maybe it’s because summer is almost here that we find ourselves dreaming of a change of scenery. Whether that’s blue skies and sandy beaches, green rolling countryside or the familiar face of a long distance family member or friend.

What’s your favourite view? That is your photography challenge. We want a window into your world.

Share with us a photo(s) of your favourite view(s) – it could be a view out of your window or a glimpse into your home if your favourite view is your home; a pic of your favourite countryside vista or a holiday snap taken beachside; it might even be a nostalgic view that is special to you, or just something or someone you look forward to seeing.

Your view could be a person/pet as well as a place. The choice is yours! However it must be a photograph that you have taken.

We have a fantastic prize worth more than £600 up for grabs. We’ve teamed up with Carden Park Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort near Chester and our winner will enjoy a change of scenery for the weekend, to take in beautiful views of the Cheshire countryside, plus we will digitally print your winning photo on to an Apollo Digi blind made-to-measure just for you.

Apollo Blinds Competition

The prize includes:

  • A weekend away for two at Carden Park Hotel worth £350 including:
    • Two night stay in a golf view bedroom with views over the Nicklaus golf course and Cheshire countryside
    • Full English breakfast each morning
    • Use of leisure facilities including the brand new hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and tepidaroum beds plus swimming pool and gym
    • 10% discount voucher for Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
  • A digitally printed roller blind of the winning photograph worth up to £250

Share your photo(s) with us via our Facebook page or Twitter profile @ApolloBlindsHQ using the hashtag #MyApolloView and our clever Tagboard (below) will capture all the entries (to be entered your entry must be posted with the words #MyApolloView).

Our panel of judges will review the entries (and any accompanying words/descriptions) and the most compelling photos will be selected as the winner. The competition ends at midnight on Tuesday 30th June 2015 and the winner will be announced by Friday 17th July 2015 here on the Apollo Blinds Blog.

Terms and conditions
NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO WIN

Eligibility
 – Open to all UK Residents aged 18 or over on the date of entry, except for employees of Apollo Blinds Limited, participating/associated companies, promotional agencies and any other partners of Apollo Blinds Limited and the families of any of the above. The closing date will be 11:59pm on 30th June 2015. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges from Apollo Blinds Limited and its partners after the closing date and will be notified within 14 days of the draw. If the winner cannot be contacted within 30 days, an alternative winner may be chosen.
Inappropriate Content
Obscene, provocative or otherwise questionable content will not be considered. We retain sole discretion as to what constitutes inappropriate content.
The Prize
 – The winners prize is a weekend away for two adults at Carden Park Hotel which consists of a two night stay in a golf view bedroom with views over the Nicklaus golf course and Cheshire countryside, includes full English breakfast each morning, use of leisure facilities with brand new hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and tepidaroum beds plus swimming pool and gym and 10% discount voucher for Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet. Prize must be taken within 6 months of winner being notified and is for two adults sharing a golf view bedroom. Prize is non-transferable and no cash alterative will be offered.  Particular dates will not be available including the Christmas and New Year period.
The winner will also receive a digital window blind printed with their winning image to the value of £250 this excludes any promotions or discounts. The image entered will be the image printed providing that it is of a suitable quality otherwise an alternative image will be required to be provided. The winner is responsible for providing accurate window sizes and the order must be placed by 31st August 2015. Prizes are not transferable and there are no cash alternatives.
Rights
 – By entering the contest, entrants agree to have their submitted name and image displayed on our website and other media on and offline and used by us for any purpose, at any time, without any fee or other form of compensation. We reserve the right to disqualify users, without notice, and for any reason. Acceptance of the prize constitutes consent to use the winners’ names and photos for editorial, advertising and publicity purposes. Contestants entering agree to be bound by above rules and regulations. E&OE apply.

Featured on the following websites:

More competitions at ThePrizeFinder

http://www.competitionstoday.co.uk/

www.competitionslist.com

Find our comptition listed on CrazyCompers.co.uk

http://www.loquax.co.uk/

Free to enter competitions and giveaways in the UK. Win great prizes and freebies.

www.uk.wins.co.uk

www.photocontestinsider.com 

Summer Recipes Everyone Should Know From The Kitchn

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

According to one of our favourite blogs The Kitchn, there are certain recipes everyone should know and many of them are perfect for the summer picnic and BBQ season.

Surprisingly some of the ‘must know’ recipes are staple foods we typically buy ready made, but homemade they prove to be very simple, much cheaper and far tastier.

Here’s our top pick of the recipes everyone should know as featured over on The Kitchn:

GuacamoleThe Perfect Guacamole via The Kitchn

Juicy BurgersReally Juicy Burgers via The Kitchn

hummous

The Perfect Hummus Recipe via The Kitchn

baked salmonBaked Salmon via The Kitchn

Balsamic VinaigretteEssential Balsamic Vinaigrette via The Kitchn

Blueberry PieBlueberry Pie via The Kitchn

What are your essential summer recipes? Will you be giving any of these a whirl in your own kitchen? Come and share your thoughts and suggestions with us over on Facebook and Twitter.

Create A ‘Brain-Boosting’ Bedroom In Five Essential Steps

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

It’s revision time – thousands of students across the UK are taking to their bedrooms and spending hours revising for GCSEs, A-levels and Degrees.

Betta_Living_Bedroom_Installlation_4

New research shows that the right kind of learning environment can be just as essential to exam success as a solid revision timetable and hours of swatting. From applying the right colour schemes, clearing out the clutter and atmospheric room ambience, stimulating the brain and affecting moods has never been so simple.

Here’s five simple and easy steps to creating a brain boosting bedroom:

1. Choose green and blue in the bedroom

Brain Boosting Bedrooms

Our very own colour researcher, Mike Stephen has found evidence that gentle shades of green and blue help concentration, memory and emotional tranquillity. He says, “Strong blues help to stimulate clear thought and light soft blues will calm the mind. Blue is motivational which boosts creativity. “Green is the colour of balance and harmony and can, therefore, be helpful in times of stress.”

2. De-clutter and opt for minimalist white furniture

Betta Living Cassia White Space Saver Room

Image: Cassia space saver range, in white, from Betta Living.

According to Feng Shui experts clutter creates a low, stagnant and confusing environment that constantly drains energy. Amanda Watson from fitted bedroom furniture firm Betta Living agrees saying: “Whether it is cluttered cabinet tops or clothes shoved on shelves, physical clutter overloads your senses, making you feel stressed, and impairs your ability to think creatively. Clearing the clutter gives students the ‘mind space’ to take in essential information needed for cramming could see teenage brains take in the essential facts that could mean the difference between a B and an A grade!”

3. Fresh air and light/temperature/noise control in one solution

Apollo Blinds Duette - Blue 7

Fresh air is integral to a teen’s feel good factor while revising. Serotonin levels increase with oxygen levels and can significantly promote a sense of happiness and wellbeing. Our Duette blinds are the ideal window treatment for brain boosting bedrooms offering light/sound/temperature control in one solution.

4. Sleep your way to success – Eat, Sleep, Revise, Repeat

reading Brain Boosting

Sleep is imperative to revision and exam success according to mental health charity Mind. Worries can be blown out of proportion if a student is tired. Winding down before bed is key to a rejuvenating sleep and, after a day studying, the one thing that will help the brain recover fully is having a good night’s sleep. The Fine Bedding Company’s Smartfil® bedding products use innovative micro-fibre blends specially created to help induce a great night’s sleep; it’s clever technology for clever minds!

5. Let There Be Light

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Sunlight lifts the mood and improves energy levels, helping you to feel more focused and motivated. Light directly influences our emotions because it reaches the brain through the eyes, and is transmitted to the hypothalamus. Betta Living advises “Try introducing mirrored furniture into the bedroom to reflect natural light or introduce clever natural lighting solutions such as Betta Living’s Illuminate Box Shelf Lights and LED Plinth Lighting to brighten up dark corners. Failing that place a light box next to the bed for a light boost in the morning!” Mirrored wardrobes by Betta Living.

Will you be making any changes to your study bedroom? What interior updates have made a difference to your revision time? Head over to Facebook and Twitter and share your thoughts.