house renovations

If you’re a single mother — trapped in close quarters with your children and juggling parental duties with working duties — then you, like many others, may be feeling the itch to relocate.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have shifted toward a permanent work-from-home environment, causing many to opt to relocate in order to be closer to family or to profit from lower housing costs now that commuting isn’t a factor. In fact, 14.5% of realtors believe remote work will be the biggest influence on the housing market in 2021.

Not to mention, the whole country is doing their best to quarantine at home, which means families are feeling trapped in close quarters, desperately seeking more space. If you’re a single mother, you may already be feeling a calling to move and give your family a bit more room.

The result? Buyers are surging to the market. Before joining in to reap the perks of buying in the new year, you might want to consider some minor renovations in order to profit favourable in this ever-adapting market.

What renovation projects to avoid or take on

As a rule of thumb, don’t take on more than you can chew. Many people aim too high in their home renovations and often don’t receive an appropriate return on investment.

For example, top real estate agents saw many people taking on huge projects in 2020 — like installing a new pool, creating a home gym, or converting a room into a home office. These huge renovations may seem appealing, especially now that buyers are looking for similar entertainment-driving amenities, but the investment will ultimately outweigh the return.

Instead, focus on the kitchen and baths. Kitchen renovations normally have a very high return on investment, and real estates agents dub kitchen islands, walk-in pantries, and kitchen storage space as the top 3 amenities buyers are looking for in 2021. For baths, something as simple as adding a double vanity will attract plenty of buyer attention.

Another place to focus your renovations? Outside. Now that people feel locked away in their own homes, buyers are seeking desirable outdoor spaces. Adding a fire pit, privacy fence, patio space, or outdoor kitchen will have buyers knocking on your door when it comes time to sell.

Home improvements that won’t break the bank

As a single mother, you might not have the savings for huge renovations, nor the time. Updating your curb appeal is a relatively cheap endeavor that’ll give buyers a great first impression of your home. Tasks as simple as repainting the front door, buying prominent house numbers, planting some flowers, and mowing the lawn will surely have potential buyers looking twice.

In addition — if you decide to do nothing else inside — make sure to deep clean, declutter, and depersonalize. On average, deep cleaning and decluttering your home adds $1,728 and $2,584 in value respectively. The best part? All of this can be done free of cost so long as you have the time and motivation!

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Bingo

The images we have of traditional bingo are difficult to reconcile with the game as it’s played today. Pensioners in draughty bingo halls, hunched over their cards and armed with coloured dabbers have become a thing of the past. While bingo halls still exist, they are in decline, with venues shutting every year. But the game itself has never been more popular.

This rise in popularity has been driven by the online market. Bingo, along with other games like slots and poker, has found itself a new home on the internet. The rapid development of new technology has meant that playing games online, via a computer or a mobile device, has become a normal part of everyday life and made casual gamers out of all of us.

The mobile bingo industry has experienced a huge growth in recent years.

Online bingo appeals to players for many reasons:

  • It is easy to play.
  • While it isn’t free, bingo cards can cost as little as 1p.
  • It isn’t viewed as negatively as other forms of gambling.
  • Games are truly random, and all cards have an equal chance of winning.

Bingo Benefits

Playing games online can have many benefits which might surprise you. When you do something you enjoy, whether that’s reading a book, taking a walk, or playing a game, it can reduce your stress levels. While some types of games can make you more stressed – especially if they are too difficult or involve a strong competitive element – bingo is the opposite. The simple, repetitive task of crossing off numbers is relaxing, and you don’t need to worry about missing any or making a mistake because if you do, the software will automatically correct it for you. This makes online bingo a very relaxing option and a great way to unwind in the evening.

Bingo can be used to unwind

Online bingo also provides a much needed social element through its online chatrooms. Talking to people about something other than work issues is vital for your mental health, and what could be better than a chitchat while playing a relaxing game? You can arrange to meet friends in the same room and chat together or make new ones by engaging with strangers.

Because online bingo is a casual game – it can be picked up and played for any amount of time, without the stress of having tasks to complete to win or advance – it is easy to fit in a few games at any time of the day. Some people like to play during their lunch break or use it as a way to pass a journey or a period of waiting time, such as at the hairdresser. For some, having unproductive periods with nothing to do can cause anxiety, and being able to play a quick game or two of bingo can really help them to stay calm.

How Bingo Has Changed

Bringing bingo online has allowed the game to evolve, and now providers are able to offer a huge variety of different game styles. This is great for players as it means they are always able to find a game that suits them. For really great variety, check out online bingo at 888 Ladies. With more than 20 different bingo rooms, including 90-ball, 75-ball, 52-ball, and 5-line games, and players have plenty of choice. There are also fixed jackpots, mystery jackpots, and progressive jackpots to keep you interested.

Another thing that stands online bingo apart from its bingo hall counterpart is the ability for operators to offer welcome and loyalty bonuses to customers. Everything from deposit bonuses to free plays are available to entice new players to join up and give the game a try.

Because the marketplace is saturated with online bingo operators there are always some really juicy offers about. But remember, some websites are run better than others, and if an offer seems really tempting and almost too good to be true, it might well be. If you want to give online bingo a go, make sure you do your research and choose a site that is well recommended by industry experts and other users.

The New Bingo Generation

With the transition to playing online, bingo has rebranded itself to target a different audience. Back in the 1960s, bingo was a game played by young adults looking for a fun and safe place to socialise, but as the years went on it became associated with an increasingly older generation. But now, online bingo has been reclaimed by younger players. This is mostly because they are more technologically savvy and therefore able to access the sites and apps needed to play.

Almost two-thirds of online bingo players are female, and the majority of all players are under 45. It makes sense when you think about it – these are the people working and/or raising families and dealing with a lot of stress in their lives, something which online bingo can help to relieve.

In Summary

Playing online games, including bingo, can help you to relax and become less anxious. Doing any activity, you enjoy will lower your stress levels, but because online bingo also lets you chat to other players, you get a rewarding psychological boost from the interaction as well. Because you can play on mobile devices, this stress-busting activity is available anytime and anywhere – helpful for those periods during the day when you need to get away.

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Could we be coming to the point where cryptocurrency is an accepted method of payment?  At the moment, there are few everyday people secure in their understanding of digital money. However, with more and more well known payment portals, such as PayPal, investigating crypto, we move closer to it being part of our daily routine.

Crypto: How Can The Travel Industry Benefit From It?

Why is it such an appealing option? With the constant influence of government corruption, the stability of national currency, known as fiat, is coming under pressure. Where there is instability people look to safer options and in the past this would have been gold. However, as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are decentralised and the value dictated by the whole community, investors are also looking to store money here too. In an unstable financial market, it offers another option to gain some control and a safe haven in turbulent times.

However, the revolution in currency is deeper than this. The ability to move money across borders and transact freely has long been an unfair process. Rich banks in developed countries control the flow of money around the world, making it harder for some that others to use the financial system. Cryptocurrency is a solution to this, democratising the flow of money and providing freedoms that should be a fundamental right.

Freedom to navigate

As the world becomes ever easier to navigate, people want to be able to do this easier. When we seek freedom to wander, we can be frustrated by access to cash. It might be that ATMs are unavailable or that there are few ways to pay for goods. Also, in some countries, it is not wise to wonder around with a massive amount of notes in your wallet.

With a mobile phone and a digital wallet that is freely accepted everywhere, we could experience true freedom. With the likes of Apple Pay and Google Pay it is becoming increasingly simple to swipe your phone or watch and make a payment for the goods. You might be surprised to know that ownership of such devices for payment are at their highest in developing countries. For instance, in Vietnam 97% of adults own a mobile device with 90% and more in countries like Kenya and Columbia. Even in the countries where rates are at their lowest, such as the Philippines, it is still at a surprising 70%.

Why is this mobile device ownership so significant? Well, it becomes sensible for hotels, restaurants and shops to use digital payment methods. While at the moment this is attached to our bank accounts and subject to transaction charges, the future is likely to be crypto wallets – and it might happen in the developing world much quicker than the developed world where the need for such stable funds is more apparent.

An attractive sector

The travel sector is an attractive area for cryptocurrency giants such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. This industry is calculated to be worth around $1.7 trillion annual and is still growing year on year. The scale of travel suggests the demand for a global currency is high and a cryptocurrency is in the best place to make this a reality.

While the rise of such technology seems logical, it will still need the support from communities and governments to make globalised currency a reality. An example of where this is happening is in Queensland, Australia. The town near the Great Barrier Reef called Agnes Water has 40 businesses that accept crypto as payment. Such innovation will need to spread more widely if the tourist in the street is to see this as the best option for their travel money.

The global issue of being unbanked

There are 8 billion people on our planet and 1.7 billion of these people are unable to access a bank. This phenomenon, known as being unbanked, is prevalent in countries such as India and Egypt and in places across the African continent. If you do not have a fiat bank account it becomes almost impossible to participate in the global economy, causing an ever-widening gap between the richer and the poorer nations. Developing countries cannot trade in the world market in such a regime, but with the help of bitcoin they could.

In turn, this democratising of the world economy will give a greater proportion of the world’s population opportunity to travel. In such a future, a growing sector will become a dominant force, and at a time of COVID and restrictions, this boost is much needed. Yet, problems of adoption exist.

A VISA debit card is one way to overcome adoption barriers. These cards can convert crypto to fiat and allow you to make payments everywhere. The more and more these are used, the more competition will exist in the marketplace and the more fees will be driven down.

The possibilities for the future of travel and cryptocurrency seem bright, highlighted by the return of Expedia to this space. Therefore, while the travel sector might be struggling now – it is likely that the rebound impact of our desire to be ever more free will benefit both sectors.

 

 

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If you follow me on Instagram stories, you’ll know that I accidentally stayed in bed until lunchtime one day this week reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I’ve read a few Matt Haig books before and I always really enjoy them. He just makes the whole thing so easy. There aren’t those difficult chapters at the beginning where you have to get to know the characters, you never say ‘it took me a while to get into but…’ you’re just THERE, in the story from page one.

The basic premise is that a woman called Nora decides to kill herself, and before she dies she finds herself in the Midnight Library. The library offers her the chance to reflect on her life and her regrets and to try different lives, lives where she’d made different choices.

When I started reading The Midnight Library I figured I knew exactly what was coming – it’s a lesson in living life with no regrets, of not always wishing the grass was greener or imagining what your life might be like if only…

And yes, it is about that – the plot isn’t surprising in that sense – but it’s about something else too, which I’m not sure I had expected or appreciated quite as much.

One of the pivotal moments in the book happens when, in one of her parallel lives, Nora is confronted by a polar bear.

The Midnight Library polar bear

I don’t think polar bears look this chummy in real life

As you might expect, she’s terrified – properly beside herself with fear – but this moment is also the first moment where she realises that she doesn’t want to die, that life might be worth living after all. It’s no coincidence that this strong emotion triggers such a powerful feeling in her, but I’m just not sure I’ve given this enough thought lately. View Post

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Advertisement feature in association with BetterHelp – the online therapy specialists

online therapy

Are you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by the global pandemic? We’re all struggling for sure. These last few months in particular I’ve noticed more and more friends sharing feelings of anxiety and isolation, worrying about getting through the day, the week, the month, the goodness knows how long. There have been times too when I’ve thought about online therapy, when I’ve felt the virus playing havoc with my midlife unravelling and like I’ve needed somewhere to turn.

The trouble is that in terms of our mental health, Covid-19 is a bit of a vicious circle. We’re finding ourselves isolated, bored, lacking in purpose or direction. We’re lonely, stuck at home away from our usual social circles, and it makes us depressed and anxious.

What would you normally do in this situation? What would be your go-to mood booster when you are feeling down? Quite probably it would be to meet up with friends, to socialise. If you felt like a week or two had gone by and you were feeling overwhelmed, you might call up a friend and take them out for dinner.

But we can’t do that.

And so the spiral begins.

One way to tackle it is to think about some online therapy. 20 years ago there may have been a stigma attached to therapy, but nowadays it feels like almost the opposite is true – are you even practising any level of self-care if you’re not checking in with your therapist once a week?

The truth is that talking to a therapist can be hugely beneficial in all sorts of circumstances, not least a global catastrophe like coronavirus. Talking to a therapist allows you to talk through your problems or worries in a completely non-judgemental environment. You can trust your therapist – you know they aren’t going to be thinking any less of you or gossiping about you to friends, it’s a totally safe environment. What’s great too about talking to a therapist rather than a friend is that they will actually challenge you. Whereas a friend may just sympathise, a therapist can go deeper, questioning you about your beliefs and your motivations, making you face difficult subjects that a friend might avoid.

Some people may be concerned about meeting up with a therapist at the moment, and you’d be right to be cautious about meeting someone in person. Fortunately most therapists have been able to easily take their sessions online, and while at first it might feel a little less intimate, sharing your personal stories via Zoom or Skype, online therapy does have plenty of benefits too, not least the fact that you can do it from the comfort of your own home. In many ways this can actually help with your therapy, as you’re already in an environment that feels safe and familiar.

If you’re in any doubt at all that online therapy can be just as effective, take BetterHelp as an example. BetterHelp is a specialist online therapy service founded in 2013. They focus exclusively on online therapy, offered through a team of licensed therapists, and have delivered over 40 million hours of therapy so far! Clearly they are doing something right.

Whether or not you decide that you need some therapy during lockdown, one thing is for sure, and that’s that self-care has never been more important. We have a huge amount of pressure on ourselves, especially if we are in the unfortunate position of having to homeschool and simultaneously hold down a full time job!

We are living through unprecedented times and we need to be kind to others and, most importantly, ourselves, whatever form that may take.

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best countries for wine

Traveling is one of the best ways to experience the culture of other countries. It’s no surprise that someone who likes to travel is more cultured, has know-how on the different cuisines of the world, and is keener for exciting and new adventures.

Traveling By Wine-Tasting

If you’re a seasoned globe-trotter or a budding one, one of the best ways to experience the culture of the country you’re visiting is through its wineries. Aside from the usual touristy excursions like food-tasting and shopping, what’s more pleasant than taking a day trip and packing for a fun daytime wine-tasting experience?

Visiting wineries can be a rewarding experience as they take intention and time. You may arrange for a day visit, an overnight, or several days of stay at a local winery in your destination country. Some wineries even offer tours, picnics, and wine-tasting. Who knows, one might even learn a valuable thing or two about the country’s history and land upon the visit.

Countries To Visit For Their Wineries

For your future travels around the globe, here are the best countries to visit for their wine.

  1. France

France always tops the charts for being the best-tasting and top-producing wine country in the world. The region is known for different grape strains and its sophisticated way of producing wine. 

Bordeaux is one of the most well-known destinations for wine-tasting and vineyard visits. Most wine enthusiasts flock to the region at any season of the year because Bordeaux is known for various activities, even in winter. And with the sophisticated way the region produces their wine, a first-timer in a winery visit won’t be remiss in trying out wines in any season.

  1. Italy

Italy is another top contender when it comes to rich, tasty, and flavorful wines. With its favorable climate for growing different varieties of grapes, the country has bountiful regions cultivating wine to a fine art, from Southern Italy to Piedmont.

The tasteful wine the Italian countryside has to offer is also complemented with the wonderful dishes of the Italians. A simple and fresh pasta dish is always best served with a glass of exquisite Italian wine, after all.

  1. New Zealand

New Zealand wineries have been gaining their claim to fame with their outstanding sauvignon blanc, especially in the Marlborough region. It’s not surprising that Kiwis have developed a discerning taste in their wines. This is apparent in the long ripening period of their grapes due to the colder climate, which makes for the fresh acidity of grapes grown and harvested in this part of the world. 

Wineries in New Zealand are also known for stunning views, be it next to a shoreline or a wonderful mountainside. They offer a wide range of activities, including biking through vineyards or taking a helicopter flight to see the amazing sights from above.

  1. Australia

With a growing industry of wine-making, Australia is known for a variety of wines grown under its perfect sunny weather, especially in the southern side of the country. From cabernet sauvignon to shiraz, Australia is making its way to wine enthusiasts’ lists.

The key to understanding Australia’s wine-growing regions is through its topography. As mentioned, most of the best wines and vineyards are located in the southern side of the country, where the dry, hot climate is most favorable for grapes to grow and be harvested at a proper time. 

The Barossa Valley, a red wine region, is most popular for its shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. So, if you’re looking for some nice sunny days in the southern part of Australia, maybe this is the trip for you.

  1. Spain

Dubbed as one of the most beautiful and has the largest vineyards in the world, wineries in Spain must surely be on your bucket list if you are the globe-trotter who not only indulges in rich food and drinks but also in picturesque landscapes.

With 4,000 wineries scattered across the regions of Spain, there’s not a dull moment in this country. You can start by tasting Spain’s sparkling wine, the Cava, in Codorníu, in the Penedes region of Catalonia. Plus, the Codorniu estate is rich in history that dates back to the 1500s. Not only are you sipping Spain’s finest sparkling wine, but you’re also brushing up on history and culture.

Conclusion

The world is abundant in terms of culture, food, and sceneries. One way to step up your globe-trotting experience is to visit local wineries in your destination country. This article highlighted some of the best countries to travel to for their wines as well as some of the most picturesque wine regions and excellent producers of wine from around the world that can offer you a reprieve from the overwhelming bustle of tourist spots. One might find strolling along vineyards and wine-tasting to be extremely fun. Just make sure to brush up on your wine-tasting do’s and don’ts.

 

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Whether you’re planning a quick week-long trip to Monaco, or a longer adventure to the USA, knowing how to pack and what to pack is of crucial importance. It’s very easy to envisage all types of different travel scenarios and thinking that you have to pack for every single one. And therefore, it’s very easy to overpack. In the interests of traveling light and moving fast, we’re going to look at some clothing items that are absolutely essential to travel but can be used in a multitude of different ways.

A warm and lightweight jacket

Perhaps one of the most important items on this list is a warm and lightweight jacket. It’s important for a number of reasons, and often gets overlooked especially when planning travels to warmer climates such as South East Asia. But even the hottest countries occasionally get cold fronts, and when that happens you’re going to be very thankful that you packed something warm. Down jackets from brands like UNIQLO are ideal for this purpose as they’re lightweight, warm, and can fold up into a very small space.

Waterproof boots

If you’re planning on traveling anywhere that gets even moderate amounts of rainfall then it can’t be stressed enough how much waterproof boots will save your life. When you’re carrying all of your traveling gear and attire on your back, having a pair of boots that have a solid grip and separate you from the muddy ground is going to give you massive peace of mind. If you’re unsure about where to look but want a few different choices, Zalando has quite a broad range of different Wellies that are worth looking at. Wellies are ideal not only because they’ll keep you dry up to your knees, but they’ll ensure you look pretty damn stylish while doing so.

wellington boots

A solid pair of sneakers

Traveling and excessive walking are pretty much synonyms. If you’re going to be exploring a country then there’s no doubt that much of this exploration is going to be done on foot. That being the case, it’s crucial that you invest in a pair of sneakers that are comfortable and will support you through a long day of walking. Most reliable sneaker brands such as Nike, Asics, Adidas, or Puma should be able to sort you out on this front, but if you want to get a bit more in-depth about your selection, check out this guide to picking the best travel shoe.

Merino wool tops

Merino wool is a godsend for travelers and great for a number of different reasons. Firstly, it’s extremely warm, which means even a thin top will insulate you well. Secondly, it regulates temperature, making it an extremely versatile contender in hot weather. And lastly, merino wool wears longer without odors and actually contains natural antibacterial properties. This makes it a firm favorite among hikers who may need to wear their clothes for a couple of sweaty days without being able to clean them.

A hat or baseball cap

No matter where you travel (unless you’re off to some subterranean destination), you’re always going to have the sun to contend with. To keep your eyes in the shade and stop your face from burning, it’s prudent to invest in a hat or baseball cap.

hat for holidays

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Best Epson printer

We may live in a digital world but there are still a huge amount of people who have a need for home office printers and today we are going to take a look at how you can secure the perfect option. Printers come in all shapes and sizes these days and this is why it is so critical that you make the right decision when purchasing for a home office environment. If you visit Konica Minolta Australia then you will see just what we are talking about with regards to the variety of printer options, and this is what you need to be thinking about when choosing which one is right for you.

Role of The Printer

The most important consideration to make here is what you are actually going to be using the printer for. You may be thinking that you have multiple uses for the printer, most of us do, but the key is thinking about what you will be using the printer for most. There are multi-purpose printers on the market but if you want a printer predominantly for photo production, then you have to expect a multi-purpose option to offer lower quality than a dedicated photo printer. Multi-purpose is a great option for light use of each function but if you need one more than the rest, a specific printer makes more sense.

Cost of Purchase and Running Costs

When you are considering how much to spend on the printer you are not just thinking abut the cost of the purchase itself, although that is an important factor. Beyond this however you have to think about the running costs of the printer, because this is really the most expensive part. Manufacturers of the printers understand that the real money is in the ink and that is why they will often have printers at low price points, in order to get as many people buying as possible. With this in mind you should be looking to research how much ink costs and how many prints you can expect to get per cartridge. Don’t fall into the trap of buying a super cheap printer with high cost ink.

If you are buying a laser jet printer then bear in mind that these still require a toner for the addition of color, which generally cost more than ink cartridges.

Connectivity

Thanks to wireless and bluetooth connectivity printers are now ore flexible than ever before. Make sure then that you are looking for a printer which is able to connect to al of your devices with ease. If you are downstairs and wish to print something upstairs from your iPad, the last thing you want is to have to head upstairs and deal with cables and connectors.

Finally be sure that you pay attention to the reviews which have been left about printers, in order to get a full picture of what the user experience of each product is like.

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awkward moment with a plumber

DIY jobs around the house can give you a project to work on, can offer you the chance to save some money on repairs and can give you real feeling of pride upon the completion of the job. Doing repairs in the house however, can often be unsafe and it is essential that you are taking the right measures with regards to ensuring your safety whilst you work. Over the last 12 months there have been more people doing work on their homes and this is why maximizing safety is so critical. If you do have jobs around the house that you plan to do yourself, here is how you can do so in a safe way.

Assess The Job

The first thing that you have to do is assess the job in hand and ask yourself genuinely whether or not you have the capabilities to do this. Most DIYers are those without training or any particular skill, so taking on a job which requires training and experience is not a good idea. All it takes is a nail in the wrong place or playing around with gas connections for things to go very wrong indeed. Be honest with yourself before you even get started.

Getting the Right Materials

One of the most common reasons for people getting hurt when they are carrying out DIY tasks is that they don’t have the right equipment for the job. Trying to use a hacksaw instead of a jigsaw or using a hammer and nail instead of a drill, these are minor changes which can have major implications. Always get the correct materials for the job before you start.

Safety Equipment

Many have too much of a blasé attitude when it comes to safety, and think that they have everything in hand. The truth however is often very different and this is why it pays to be overly cautious when you are about to get started with a project. Check out some of the RISE equipment online which has all that you need to ensure your safety during the job.

Clear The Workspace

It may sound terribly simple but making sure that you clear the workspace is critical to maintaining your safety. A messy workspace means that it won’t take much for you to fall over, stand on a nail or seriously hurt yourself with power tools. Clean the space before you get started and during the job in order to keep yourself safe.

Don’t Push

If something just isn’t working then don’t push it, stop, reassess, try again and if it still doesn’t work then stop altogether and use a professional. It may well be that you are trying to drill into a load-bearing wall, it could be that you are trying to put square pegs in round holes and in most cases there will be a reason why this isn’t working as you wish, a technical reason which requires a professional.

By all means have a go at projects on your own, but be sure to follow these safety tips to protect yourself.

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Chanel nail varnish dressing table makeover tidying tips

Women have a love-hate relationship with makeup. If you’re a luxury beauty lover who don’t ever leave home without your makeup on, your overall make-up budget might be much more. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Makeup can be pricey, but there are a lot of options to save large, so you can get a nice makeup range and also having room left over for anything else you need.

Here is how to spend your money on makeup while you are running low on budget.

Look for Dupes

You just need to start with the basics. It is not necessary to buy a high brand range when you can get a good dupe of a famous brand. Opt for drugstore brands. They are cheap and dupe to most of the luxurious brands available in the market. You can get different palettes in low price with the same pigmentation.

Buy the products you actually use

Don’t waste money in buying everything that you know you will not use. Just go for the products with which you are running low. This technique seems basic, but you would be amazed how many people do not pursue it. Go through your latest beauty range, and stay aware of the items you really use and the others you don’t use. Probability is there are a lot of items that have never made it into the daily beauty routine.

Go for Makeup Sales

You can find an elusive or preferred beauty product online for less than what you would pay for in a store. Do your homework and try out unusual locations such as resale sites and make-up shops. Sales are still very helpful. You will also get to see sales at the close of the financial year, on Black Friday, Thanksgiving and as Christmas comes. You can look for affordable makeup on different online sites like https://roxiecosmetics.co.uk/ for good investment.

Use Discount Codes

This is a world of bloggers and influencers on all over social media. Camera perfect beauty blogs and Supermodels can be a little irritating, but they’re a fantastic source of coupons and codes. Beauty bloggers and influencers continue to taste and share reviews of a wide variety of products from drug shops and high street brands. Make sure you follow any of the huge stars on Instagram and Twitter, and keep an eye out for any coupon codes that their followers share. They are really helpful.

Look for Multipurpose Products

Some beauty items can only be used for one item, while others are shockingly multi-functional. Palettes are useful for this, since they can be used on both the eyes and the face. Pick one of the right colors and you can use a simple palette for your eye shadow, lipstick, concealer, accentuation and contouring-now that’s a steal.

Ask for Makeup Samples

Many beauty stores are able to supply you with a free sample or two of the items you would like to try at home. And if the shop would not advertise free samples, it shouldn’t hurt to inquire. You may also use this technique to nab a preview of your preferred lipstick or eye shadow to postpone paying for a full-size model.

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We beat ourselves up a lot as human beings for our supposed ‘weaknesses’ don’t we? We admonish ourselves every time we eat a third bourbon or indulge in back to back Married at First Sight Australia. We imagine what better all round people we’d be if we only did the washing up immediately after dinner and didn’t ever text an ex after a glass of wine.

The fact is, we all do stupid stuff.

We all do things that we know, on some level, aren’t good for us. We do things knowing they are going to impact our health or our emotional wellbeing or possible contribute to the decline of the British High Street. But do you know what? It’s okay.

It’s okay if you get things wrong sometimes, it’s okay to make mistakes. The point of making this list, with the help of people on social media, is not to shame you, but to empower you. You can read this list knowing that all of these things are done by other people too and that it doesn’t make you a failure as a human.

What’s way more important is kindness, showing empathy, offering support when you are able. Making people laugh, sharing hopes and dreams, loving your family and friends. You can do all of this at the same time as eating too many crisps. If lockdown life has taught us anything it’s that being kind, both to ourselves and to other people, should be the priority.

So here’s my list of things that are bad for you that you do anyway – some aren’t even that bad at all, which proves my point really, that it’s all meaningless standards imposed on ourselves, by ourselves. Hopefully that’s a comfort.

Some are my own, some are other people, all of them are human. View Post

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what does love feel like?

Last night I found myself reading the ‘Blind Date’ feature from the weekend Guardian magazine. Truth be told, I was reading a PICTURE of it – I got my brother-in-law to send me a photograph because it’s the only bit of the whole paper I really enjoy and I’m too tight to spend over £3 just for that.

The idea behind it is simple – two people go on a blind date and at the end then answer questions about each other, separately, and give each other a mark out of ten. The questions are short and sweet – ‘would you introduce them to your friends? Good table manners?’ – that sort of thing.

At the moment of course the couples are having to have their blind dates virtually, and honestly, I feel for them. Zoom is hard at the best of times, but when you also have to rely on it for eye contact, body language, flirting… well, it must be practically impossible.

The couple this week however didn’t seem to be suffering as a result. Their online blind date lasted an incredible four and a half hours – more than most in person first dates I’ve ever been on – and I was decidedly impressed. Daters take note – whether you’re swiping right, using the personals or keeping it local with a spot of Kent dating, having to conduct your liaison online shouldn’t hold you back.

If you do find yourself hosting a virtual date, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Do consider your lighting

Just like you’d get dressed up for a real life date, you want to show off your virtual self in its very best light – quite literally. It’s going to be hard to be alluring if you’re sat in the dark, or if you’re opposite a window and your face is bright white, so choose your spot carefully. Ditto your background – a nicely curated bookshelf is far more attractive than a background pile of washing up.

Plan food and drink in advance

Are you going to eat together? If so, make a plan, otherwise one of you will end up munching away on a pizza while the other just has to listen through the microphone. The one thing I found very strange about the Guardian blind date was that the guy got a takeaway and the girl didn’t eat at all. She said takeaways didn’t deliver near her, but you’d make a sandwich at least surely?

Think ahead to conversation topics

An awkward silence in a date is never fun, but online it’s way more pronounced as you can’t pretend to be looking at your surroundings or other people. It might seem a bit forced, but having a think beforehand about some conversation prompts or questions could help to avoid this and keep the conversation flowing smoothly.

Have an exit plan

I have a friend who will say from the off that she has another call in an hour, just to keep things nice and easy to wrap up, and this isn’t a terrible idea, especially if it’s the first time you’ve spoken to someone and you’re not sure how it’s going to go. Manage expectations, stay polite, and most importantly, have fun!

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