How to Winter-Proof Your Home

Winter can be a dangerous and costly time for homeowners due to the bad weather. Wind, show and rain can damage the roof and paintwork, while cold weather can make the house cold and damp. There are various things you can do to weather-proof your home in the winter months.

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You should check your boiler to make sure the pressure is optimum at around one bar. It is also good to keep your home heated for at least one hour per day even if you are away, as it keeps the boiler ticking over. You can often set it by a timer to make sure it goes on and off at appropriate times.


Radiators are vital for keeping warm in the winter, but many homes have radiators that are not operating at peak efficiency. If yours are hot in one place and colder in another, they probably need bleeding.

To bleed a radiator, you need to turn off the radiator and get a bleed key and then turn the top valve anti-clockwise until it hisses. Water will flow, and you need to catch it with a cloth and then tighten the valve up again to finish.

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Double Glazing

Another way to keep energy costs low is to invest in double glazing. There are many experts who can fit double glazing, such as Tewkesbury double glazers Firmfix. However, even if you are not looking for double glazing in Tewkesbury and are searching for a glazier in a different city, there will be many options. Simply fitting double or even triple glazing can save a lot on heating bills over the winter. Also remember to use draught excluders to prevent draughts from window frames, doors and letter boxes.


Winter is an important time to give the gutters a clear-out. Sticks and leaves can mount up in the gutters and could cause blockages and overspill problems. Pipes should be able to carry water away, as this also prevents damp from getting into walls.

If pipes freeze they could burst from the pressure build-up, which could lead to damage. You should know where the stop cock is so you can turn off the water in an emergency. It is normally a lever under the sink on the copper pipes – to turn it off you should turn it clockwise.

What should a man pack for a weekend away?

What sort of packer are you? Do you just stuff a couple of T-shirts and some clean underwear into a carry-on bag? Or do you end up cramming most of your wardrobe into a suitcase and end up sitting on it to get it to close?

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In many ways packing for a short break is much harder than for a long one. You’ll find lots of advice online, but if you’re only going for two or three days you don’t want to be lugging a huge bag.

Type of trip

The first thing to consider is what type of trip this is, how you’ll be travelling and what you’ll be doing. On days when you’re travelling choose comfortable clothes with things like T-shirts, hoodies and jackets that you can layer to take account of conditions. Remember that the things you’re wearing won’t take up space in your case.

Take account of the weather too. In summer you’ll need shorts and since these take up less space in your bag you should pack them and wear jeans or long trouser to travel. In winter you’ll need bulkier jackets and jumpers, again wear what you can to save space. For beach breaks don’t forget swimwear, sandals and a beach towel.

Whatever type of trip it is there may be times when you need a semi-formal look, for meals out, say. You don’t need to go overboard, a smart long-sleeved shirt and tailored trousers or chinos are fine. You can always use the shirt with rolled sleeves or over a T-shirt during the day too. If you’ve travelled in trainers you’ll need to pack some smarter shoes too. For more formal weekends you may need a smart jacket or blazer.

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Whether you’re staying in luxury Birmingham apartments like No.8 Waterloo Street apartments or in a hotel, there are some things you’ll need for every trip. These are the things like underwear and socks, shaving kit, wash bag, toothbrushes and paste, deodorants, sunscreen and so on.

Finally, think about technology – your phone charger is pretty much essential but are you taking other gadgets like a camera, tablet or Kindle? If any of these things charge via a USB socket you may be able to pack just a single charger to cope with all of them.

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Top Positive Effects of Kratom

In its native land of Southeast Asia, including countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, Kratom is used for a number of everyday purposes. However, its popularity has also reached the Western world and now people are using it to achieve a variety of health benefits. Depending on the dosage taken, Kratom can serve as a stimulant and sedative both. These properties has enabled people to use this herbal remedy for dealing with a wide array of illnesses and diseases. Initially, the plant gained popularity in Europe and how now been legalized in the US too. It can be found in the form of capsules and people can also take it in powder form made by crushing its dried leaves.

But, what positive effects of kratom can you expect when opt to use Kratom as an herbal remedy? Some of the top ones are highlighted here:

  • Stimulation

If you take Kratom in small doses, you will discover that the plant can actually be very energizing and is especially good on days when you just don’t have the energy to get out of bed. Kratom also comes from the same plant family as coffee so it is quite similar in effect. But, like coffee, Kratom will not increase your heartrate or make you restless; instead, you are only going to experience a surge in your energy levels and this will allow you to focus more on the tasks you have to perform. This herb can be taken in small doses by students, managers or even athletes as they are often under a lot of stress. White vein Kratom products are the best option for stimulating effects.

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  • Relaxation

When you up the dose a little bit, you will find that Kratom will help you in feeling quite calm. You are going to feel your muscles relax and even your mind is going to calm down as the effects are really soothing. This can be immensely useful for those who are suffering from anxiety. A number of people consume Kratom while lying in a darkened room and listening to music. It helps you relax and forget all your problems, which can reduce your stress levels considerably and enable you to feel better about yourself. Moreover, you will find this herb also useful in improving the quality of your sleep. You can relax before sleeping and your mind will be clear of any negative thoughts.

  • Pain Reliever

For decades, Kratom has been used as an herbal medicine for relieving pain and other side-effects associated with other diseases. It is an affordable, safe and fast way of reducing the painful sensations you experience. One of the best parts about using Kratom as a pain-reliever is that it doesn’t produce a physical addiction as its impacts different from that of opiates.

  • Weight Loss

Kratom has also been found useful for suppressing appetite. This can be extremely beneficial because the less hungry you are, the less you will eat. In this way, this herbal supplement can aid you in losing weight as you don’t snack and prevent overeating.

The Golf Course Is Great For Games And Events

It is always fun to spend the day at the golf course after a long week. There are many golf clubs that offer a variety of amenities, such as the Hiddenbrooke Golf Club. You can plan a friendly game with friends or host a special event at this golf course. Here are several amenities of the Hiddenbrooke Golf Club.

The Clubhouse: The Clubhouse is a great place to rest after a friendly game of golf. You can enjoy your favorite drink as you admire the view of the bay area golf course from the spacious deck.

The Sports Bar and Grille: A day of fun at the golf club can work up an appetite, and you can grab a bite to eat at the Sports Bar and Grille. Chat with friends as you enjoy a delicious meal, or sit back with a cold beverage as you watch the game on TV.

Golf Outings: Host your fundraiser, awards ceremony or corporate event at the golf club. The standard package includes range balls, green fees and cart fees, and the additional options include a private menu, tee prizes and golf seminar. The team at the golf club works with you to ensure your outing is a success.

Weddings and Banquets: There are several wedding and banquet options at the golf club. You can choose The Garden Lawn for a beautiful outdoor wedding, or you can enjoy the glass windows and ceilings with The Pavilion. The Garden Room option features a spacious banquet facility with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and The Clubhouse is adorned in wooden accents and warm decor to create a cozy atmosphere. Your wedding is a special moment in your life, and this is why the staff works hard to ensure your day goes smoothly.

The golf club is the perfect place to play a game with friends or host your special event. When you need to rest, you can spend time in the Clubhouse or Grille. You can reserve your golf tee times or book your event by visiting the official Hiddenbrooke Golf Club website.

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Understanding Anxiety for Better Treatment

Feeling anxious, nervous or fearful is a part of life. You may experience anxiety when you are out late at night and all alone or you may feel the same when you have an exam. This kind of anxiety is actually useful because it makes you careful and alert. Once you are out of that situation, it will automatically end, but for millions of people it doesn’t go away. In fact, it ends up getting worse at times so much so that they are unable to sleep, eat or function and have to deal with nightmares, chest pain, headaches and what not. It gets so bad that you may not be able to leave home.

There are different kinds of anxiety disorders that you may experience such as post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias like fear of heights or crowds, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. You can start taking medications instantly when you suffer from anxiety, but the fact is that all treatments are useless until you understand the cause of the problem.

What causes anxiety?

It is not a single factor that causes anxiety to develop; usually, it is a combination of several factors that play a role in its development. People who have a family history of mental health conditions are said to have a genetic disposition to it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen. Personality traits can also make you susceptible to anxiety like those who are timid, easily flustered, perfectionists or those who lack self-esteem.

Ongoing stressful events such as job change or work stress, loss of a loved one, emotional, physical, sexual or verbal abuse or even family problems can cause anxiety. Moreover, there are also physical health problems including asthma, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension and mental conditions like depression that lead to anxiety. In some cases, substance abuse can also be responsible. It is essential to bear in mind that the causes can vary for everyone.

What are anxiety symptoms?

There are three categories for anxiety symptoms, which are:

Physical: Tightening of your chest, a racing heart, hot and cold flushes, panic attacks, restlessness, edgy, wound up or feeling tense and rapid breathing.

Psychological: Obsessive thinking, excessive worry, fear and catastrophizing.

Behavioral: Avoiding situations that can flare up feelings of anxiety and impact your work and personal life.

These are only the basic symptoms of anxiety. Lots of people experience other symptoms as well, but they vary according to their disorder and condition.

What are the treatments available?

There are generally two types of treatments that have been known to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Firstly, certain types of medications such as benzodiazepines like Klonopin, Etizolam, which is a different class of drug, but very effective in relieving anxiety and even insomnia, and tricyclic anti-depressants like Anafranil. Other than medicines, cognitive behavioral therapy, a psychologic treatment is also beneficial not only identifies the causes and triggers of anxiety, but also teaches you skills for coping with anxiety in the future and facing your fears.

Best Selling Vans of 2017

The sale of vans and pick-ups in the UK is stable which is a good sign for the automotive industry and good for UK businesses too. There has been 1.5% growth compared to the same time last year showing that the van is still an absolute necessity for many business owners. Let’s take a look at the most popular selling vans this year:

Citroen Berlingo

One of the most popular van models, the Berlingo offers value for money and great practicality. With a comfy interior, it has been said though, that they don’t drive the best of all the vans on the market today. It is one of the oldest models still available, having first been launched back in 1996 and going through several versions since then. Its payload rating is comparable to similar vans on the market and isn’t particularly impressive but it’s miles per gallon record is excellent.

Ford Transit Connect

Ford’s small van offering is handsome and nice to drive, also available in an M-Sport model. It offers great practicality and efficiency, is available in both diesel or petrol and even has an Econetic model which offers the lowest running costs possible. It has been rated the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its class and the third most reliable which is only what you’d expect from Ford. The cabin is both comfortable and durable.

Renault Trafic

If comfort is key then you’ll love the Trafic with its stylish and high-quality cab interior. Not a massive payload capacity at 1,280kg but is 21cm longer than the previous model. It’s available in two lengths and two heights and comes with a choice of three trim levels. Renault offers a stylish, robust van with increased crash protection and a choice of diesel engines. For the services of a Man and Van Slough, visit

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Peugeot Boxer

Top notch for efficiency and big payloads but not the best driving experience. The latest fifth generation offering doesn’t seem to offer much that’s new since its launch back in 2006. Other vans have moved on and been refreshed but the Boxer still feels a little left behind. It is, however, one of the most fuel-efficient vans you can buy and comes in more varieties with four body lengths, three heights and three different wheelbase lengths.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Quality, yes. Price tag, higher than others. With loads of safety features and a smooth ride, the Sprinter has been a popular choice this year. It’s been given a makeover, is more fuel-efficient and offers an impressive package of technology. The van comes in different wheelbase lengths, a choice of four-wheel drive and different engine size and body styles. The only negative is the payload capacity which is one of the smallest on offer.

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Vauxhall Vivaro

The only van still to be built in Britain, the Vivaro pairs value and quality. It’s very similar to the Renault Trafic as they are part of a joint venture between the companies. The only real difference is the front bumper, internal headlight style, bonnet and front grille design. Available in two trim levels, the Vivaro 120 ecoFlex is the most fuel-efficient model on the market.

Benvenuto in Italia!

Surely everybody loves Italy – what’s not to adore? It’s a top tourist destination due to its warm climate, amazing cuisine and fascinating ancient history. Known for their flair, passion for life, romance and exuberance, Italians have long been key influencers of global culture. Let’s take a closer look at why Italy remains a firm favourite with visitors from across the world:

#1 Tuscany

With romantic landscapes and sunny hills, Tuscany is home to 3 UNESCO heritage sites in the forms of Florence, Siena and San Gimignano. Home of the Italian Renaissance, the museums of Florence contain more art than any other city on the planet. Culture vultures flock here to soak up the art, history and fabulous architecture and the wine here is pretty good too.

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#2 Sicily

A warm welcome awaits visitors here as Sicily is renowned for its welcoming, friendly atmosphere as well as its sunny weather. The food here is nothing short of heavenly, probably due to the influence of so many different cultures throughout the island’s history.

#3 Places to explore

There are many iconic and highly visited locations but Italy has the ability to remain a bit wild and authentic with plenty of undiscovered gems to explore. You’ll find many of these off-the-beaten track delights in the regions of Sicily and Puglia. It’s also a land of huge contrast, from the compact bustle of the Venice waterways to the serene expanse of Lake Garda.

#4 History

Those who love delving into the tales of the past, Italy offers history like nowhere else on earth. With so many archaeological sites and museums, the problem is knowing how to fit it all in. The Colosseum, Pompeii, Rome, the Vatican and many ancient monasteries, churches and cathedrals are just a tiny sample of the wealth of heritage that Italy oozes.

#5 Food

Famous dishes like pasta, pizza, lasagne and cannelloni are enjoyed and loved throughout the world. The dishes are a perfect mix of flavours, don’t require long and complicated ingredient lists and can be made relatively easily, by almost anyone. Authentic Italian food is all about local availability, freshness and seasoning perfection. Food for the people, by the people. Unpretentious and absolutely delicious. For Italian Restaurants In Dublin, visit

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#5 Fashion

Italy is home to some of the world’s top fashion houses with designer shops in Milan, trendy boutiques in Capri and a healthy culture of street markets. It’s here that you’ll find handmade crafts and artisan’s treasures alongside the top names in the world of fashion like Prada, Fendi, Armani and Versace.

#6 Cars

The Italians know how to express their passion, with food, with fashion and with driving very fast! Italy has produced some of the world’s most desirable sportscars like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati. Italian cars have won the European Car of the Year Award more times than any other country with today’s automobile industry being dominated by the Fiat group.

How to build a great web development team

While business soars, you need to ensure that your online presence keeps up the pace. Although areas like customer service, sales and finance management are often at the forefront of any successful business, the importance of your website is right up there with them.

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Here are some tips on how to build a great web development team.

Find talent on professional and social networks

Before going through the hassle of creating job advertisements and carrying out interviews, why not, first of all, ask friends, family, colleagues, business connections or employees whether they know anyone matching your specification. Referrals are often far more likely to work out and are usually cheaper to hire.

Alternatively, you can get in touch with agencies in your area, like London SEO agency Elevate UK (, to find the resources you need to complement your existing web team structure.

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Be prepared to take time and be patient

Patience is key when building a team, especially with so many candidates coming together to achieve your goals, all with differing experiences and skills. While some may be able to get going at the drop of a hat, others may need time to learn the ropes, so give everyone the chance to improve.

Remember, change can’t happen overnight so you need to trust that your web development team will bond and begin to work together in harmony. Patience is not only a virtue when it comes to building a team, it also brings numerous benefits to your business –

Set out clear objectives for your web design

Web designers are usually able to get a feel for your business, however, if you are re-launching your design, it is important to explain the purpose of your business and identify your strategies. By telling them exactly what you want to gain from your ecommerce setup and web design, you can limit any ambiguity and be confident that the end result will have all of the essential features that you want for you and your customers.

Depending on the type of business you run, whether it be a service-oriented organisation or a product sales-driven company, you will need a stronger emphasis on certain aspects, which the team will establish while discussing the nature and culture of your business with you.

What makes a good buy to let?

With the additional 3% stamp duty introduced in April on second homes, and recent huge property price increases, the buy to let market has taken a few severe blows, but month on month, the market is slowly recovering. Surveys suggest that by 2021, as many as one in four people in the UK will be renting, so buy to let could represent a major investment opportunity.

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Do your homework and find a location with a demand for rental properties. Decide whether you are going to manage the property yourself, or hire someone else to manage it, remembering that if you are managing yourself, the property would be better nearer to where you live. Deciding on what kind of tenant you are aiming for will determine the location you choose. A sought after location with properties near good transport links and near amenities, like shops, pubs and restaurants, and locations with growing employment opportunities, will attract long-term tenants, whereas locations near universities will attract students, leaving you with no rent during summer months.

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Single-family homes will attract long-term renters, and a couple is financially more viable than a single person, as they will have more income between them. What sort of property is best for buy to rent? A new build will have fewer maintenance problems and will be available to rent immediately, whereas older houses have more character. If you are prepared to do a bit of work, a bargain can be had with a character home in need of renovation. A house with a small garden, shed and off road parking will be more appealing to a family, whereas a flat would suit single individuals.


Look at several properties before you make a definite decision and remember you are in a strong negotiating position, having no chain, so drive a hard bargain. Regardless of what part of the country you live, estate agents are plentiful. If you are looking for buy to rent houses in Gloucester, for example, have many properties available.


If you are financing the house with a mortgage, make sure you acquire the best rate and remember that landlords can no longer offset their full interest bill against tax. Don’t overstretch your budget, as there will be unexpected bills, like maintenance and insurance, and periods when the property is empty.

Why it’s great to drive a new car

Most of us would love to drive a brand-new car but many of us cannot afford this luxury. If you’re tired of always buying used and second-hand vehicles then there is another option you should consider which will give you the chance to drive a brand-new car every year. What are the benefits of driving a new car?


One of the best advantages of driving a new car is the manufacturer’s warranty will still be in place. If there is a problem with your vehicle during the first few years, the cost of putting it right will be met by the manufacturer. Whilst there are extended warranties available on used cars, these tend to run out after 10,000 miles or will have an excess to pay. You can have great confidence that your car won’t break down and if it does, the problem can be taken to the manufacturer. When leasing a car, the warranty will usually cover the period of the lease meaning hassle-free driving for you.

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As soon as you buy a new car, its value begins to depreciate. There is a saying that goes ‘if it appreciates, buy it but if it depreciates, lease it. Leasing gives you the opportunity enjoy the benefits of driving a new car that might otherwise be completely out of your price range. You might also find that road tax is included in the terms of the lease, giving you one less thing to worry about. For Car leasing in Leicester, visit

Imagine being able to drive a brand-new car every couple of years with all the benefits of the latest technology, fuel economy and improved performance that new cars offer. Well, this is all possible when you consider car leasing.


Vehicles today have strict safety guidelines and requirements set by professional organisations to make them as safe as technology can currently manage. Crash tests and tougher passing grades for safety testing has resulted in new cars that are more robust, have more safety features and offer greater protection than ever before. Leasing a new car means you can benefit from these advanced safety features as well such as collision avoidance, rear cameras and automatic braking.

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Newer cars come with a greater range of technology to make driving a smoother and more enjoyable experience. You could be driving a vehicle with internet connectivity, voice-texting, access to social media and advanced infotainment systems. If these are add-ons that appeal to you, then leasing can give you the opportunity to enjoy such benefits without the huge expense of buying a vehicle.

Fancy a change?

If you enjoy change and trying new things then buying a car and keeping it for years might not seem a very attractive prospect. The great thing about car leasing is that you don’t need to get bored but can change your car as often as your mobile phone! You get to enjoy that wonderful new car smell and experience the rush of excitement at having a shiny new vehicle to drive.