How to tell your partner that you have an STD

One of the most important first steps to take if you have an STI is to tell any sexual partners, past or present. It is essential they know, as their health or future fertility could also be at risk. If the STI is curable, both partners must be treated in order to prevent reinfection.

Image Credit

A New Partner

It can be awkward telling a new partner you have an STI. However, if the roles were reversed, you would expect to be informed. It is best to honest and direct. Let the conversation proceed naturally, and be prepared to listen to your partner if they have questions or concerns. They may need some time to think about things. It is important not to rush this process. Telling a new partner about an STI is a brave thing to do but is the right thing, and they will respect you for being honest and caring enough to broach such a difficult topic.

In any case, for those just starting a new relationship it is a good idea for both partners to go for a full sexual health check.

A Current Partner

If you are in a relationship and find out you have an STI, it can be an emotionally difficult and confusing time. Bear in mind that it doesn’t automatically mean one of you has been unfaithful, as some STIs can take several weeks, months or even years before they show up.

It is vital you both get any necessary medical care straight away. Take some time to talk to each other, and above all be honest. Follow the advice of your health clinic or doctor and take any medication exactly as described.

Previous Partners

If, once diagnosed, you feel you may have been infected for some time, it is vital to make previous sexual partners aware of the situation. Again, this is not an easy task but it is an important one.

Image Credit

Getting Tested

For those living in London STI testing kits are available from and other sexual health sites like

Sometimes people can have an STI and feel perfectly fine, with no signs or symptoms. This can cause problems in the long term, as STIs rarely go away on their own. It is recommended therefore that individuals who are, or have previously been, sexually active should be tested for STIs regularly.

Tips for Buying the Perfect Fragrance for You

Buying the perfect fragrance to fit your needs is never easy. To make matters worse, there are a number of places that sell quality perfume for cheap prices. Below are some tips that you can use to find the perfect fragrance to fit your individual taste. Whether you buy perfume from a site such as or from a local perfume provider, these tips can help you find the right scent.

Don’t Choose a Perfume Based on Description Alone

The description of a perfume is a great way to get a better idea of how a fragrance smells. Any perfume can contain hundreds of ingredients that are designed to make its smell unique, so don’t base your choice off of a small description. No two perfumes smell the same even if they feature many of the same scents. Just because a perfume contains a scent that you typically don’t like doesn’t mean that you won’t like the overall fragrance.

Your Skin Doesn’t Change the Smell of a Fragrance

A popular myth is that fragrances smell differently on everyone. However, everyone’s skin has roughly the same pH. It’s not your skin that’s changing the smell of the fragrance. It’s other products that you already have on your body, such as moisturizers and body washes. However, instead of washing off these products, go through your normal beauty routine before trying new fragrances. This way, you’ll know exactly how that scent will smell on you on a daily basis.

Spray Fragrances on Other Parts of Your Body Besides Your Wrists

The most common place for people to spray fragrances that they’re testing is on their wrists. After all, it’s an easy place to reach. However, metal bracelets can affect how the fragrance smells. Instead, spray the fragrance on the upper part of your arm. Then roll down your sleeve, and wear the scent for the rest of the day. This will give you a much better idea of whether or not you like the scent. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about the smell of your jewelry affecting the way the perfume smells.

Wait for the Fragrance to Dry Completely Before Smelling It

Many places that sell perfume offer blotting paper so that you can test fragrances without putting them on your body. While the blotting papers are nice, many people don’t use them correctly. When you spray the fragrance on the paper, let it completely dry before you smell it. Unlike your skin, the paper won’t absorb the fragrance right away. Smelling it before it dries doesn’t allow the true scent of the fragrance to come out. The longer that it sits, the better that the true scent will emerge. One good option is to put the blot in your purse, and forget about it. When you go to open your purse later, you’ll get a whiff of the true scent of the perfume.

Give Your Senses a Break

When people go perfume shopping, they often smell dozens of scents before they pick one. However, your senses can and will become overwhelmed. When this happens, it’s hard to tell one scent from another. Before you jump between fragrances, give your nose a breather or something different to smell. One of the best things to carry with you is a small container of coffee beans. The smell helps reset your nose and get you ready for the next fragrance.

Pick Something That You Like

It’s important to pick a scent that you like. While you want a scent that your partner will love, it’s just as important for you to like the scent because you’ll be wearing it all the time. However, don’t pick a scent that your partner hates. After all, you may not notice the smell after wearing it for a while, but your partner will. The goal of fragrance is to attract people, not push them away.

Using these tips can simplify the challenging process of picking out the perfect fragrance. While a lot of websites provide reviews on perfume, remember that everyone has different tastes and likes different smells. Instead, focus on using these tips when it comes to picking out a fragrance.

Add it to your ‘virtual’ basket

More and more people prefer to make their purchases online these days due to the many advantages and benefits. But what is important to an online shopper? It’s important to understand the psyche of the online shopper and if you get it right then they will be flocking to your online store. Here are some of the benefits to be able to buy items online:

From shopping in the middle of the night to convenience for the elderly and disabled, the consumer will find the advantages of online shopping far outweigh the negatives. There is wider choice, no temptation to over-buy, better prices and a benefit to the environment.

image credit

Convenience: There is no other way that you could go shopping in the middle of the night from the comfort of your own bed. You don’t have to wait in a queue or wait for the shop assistant to help you with your purchases. You can do your shopping in minutes, even if you are busy and save time and avoid crowds. Online shops give us the opportunity to shop 24 x 7 and also reward us with ‘no pollution’ shopping as we are not using transportation.

Better Prices: There are many deals online that you don’t see in the shops. You can get better prices and cheap deals because products come to you directly from the manufacturer or seller without middlemen involved. Many online shops also offer discounts, vouchers and membership benefits. For Cotton Poplin Fabric, visit

Fewer Expenses: When we go into town for the shops we can often spend much more than we intended to. The costs of travel and maybe grabbing a coffee or sandwich plus the impulse purchases we make and it soon adds up.

Comparison of Prices: When shopping online it’s far easier to make comparisons and research different products and prices. To do this physically would take a lot of effort and travel, to visit multiple stores. Online shopping also gives you the opportunity to read reviews and feedback from other consumers so you can make a more informed decision.

 Crowds: Some people can’t bear being stuck in crowds as these force us to rush and make hurried decisions. Finding a parking space can also be tough and walking back to your vehicle loaded with bags isn’t much fun either. Online shopping saves you from all this hassle.

 Compulsive Shopping: When we visit a store we might inadvertently spend more than we wanted to due to an assistant’s ‘upselling’ skills or being tempted by attractive displays and offers. We can also suffer from a lack of choice and local stock might be limited and so we are forced to compromise on what we buy. Why settle for a limited choice when there are thousands of products available online, not restricted by geographical location.

Image credit

 Variety: When shopping on the internet, you can get several brands and products from different sellers at one place. You can purchase the latest international trends without spending money on travel and shop from retailers in other parts of the country or even globally without being limited by geographic area. Online stores offer a far greater selection of colours and sizes than you will find locally. If you find that the product you need is out of stock online, you can take your business to another online store where the product is available.

How to maintain your wooden climbing frame

It is important to check that any wooden climbing frame on your property is safe for your children by carrying out maintenance each year.

Image Credit

Level placement and anchoring

Start with an initial check of the ground to ensure that the frame is still sitting on a level surface – use a spirit level to check this. Next, make sure that the ground anchors are fastened securely; if they are loose or detached, the whole frame is less stable. Either move the frame to a part of the garden in which the soil structure is denser and the anchors are gripped more tightly, or concrete the anchors into place so they cannot move.

Cleaning and preserving timber and fixings

Check that the climbing frame has not become sticky, dirty or slimy; if it has, it will need cleaning before the children start using it again. You can use water and a mild detergent to clean the wood. Take this opportunity to look for any cracked or warped parts of the climbing frame and check that the supporting joints are in good condition.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has some good advice on the safe maintenance of children’s play equipment and points out that, as a natural material, wood is prone to cracking.

Image Credit

There will normally be no great effect on the strength of the wood structure if the cracks are no wider than 10mm; if they are wider than this, they can be a ‘finger trap’ for children, as they may try to use the cracks as grips to help them climb. This particularly applies to climbing frames for older children, in which case you may wish to purchase a replacement from a supplier such as

It is often difficult to tell whether wood has rotted simply by looking at it, as the outer wood may appear sound while the inner wood has rotted. Tap the wood with a rubber hammer or simply knock on it – decayed wood will sound hollow. You will then need to probe the area with a thin steel spike, such as an awl, and pick out some fibres of wood to examine them. If decay seems a probability, this part of the structure must be replaced to ensure the structural integrity of the climbing frame.

A guide to shirt fabric types

The type of fabric used to manufacture a shirt is one of the most important factors. Poor-quality fabric leads to a poor-quality shirt that is not pleasant to wear, does not look good, and won’t last as long as a shirt made from superior fabric. In addition, some fabrics lend themselves better to casual shirts, where comfort is far more important than appearance, while others are better suited for use in formal dress shirts where a classic look is desirable. Here’s a brief guide to some of the most popular shirt fabrics.

Image Credit

Oxford cloth

Oxford cloth is a coarse fabric that is used in many men’s shirts. It’s comfortable and soft yet can withstand a lot of wear and tear. As Primer Magazine points out, the enduring popularity of the Oxford shirt is partly due to the fact that it’s a durable and hardwearing item of clothing It has a unique textured appearance and is great for colder weather as it tends to be fairly warm.


Twill is generally used for more formal shirts and has a rich texture that gives twill shirts a lot of depth. It’s commonly used in dress shirts and is popular because of its elegant appearance.

Image Credit

Reputable retailers such as offer a variety of shirts, including mens Farah shirts in a huge range of styles and colours, making it easy to find the perfect shirt for any occasion.


Poplin is similar in weight to Oxford cloth, but it has a smoother and generally more refined appearance. This is because it is woven using both a fine yarn and a thicker yarn. It’s a popular choice for informal, casual items of clothing and can frequently be found in striking patterns and a wide variety of different colours.


This type of fabric boasts a distinctive pattern that resembles the bones of a herring. This is commonly used in outerwear because it is a heavy and durable fabric. It is warmer than many of the other fabric types listed here, and it is also tougher and more resilient.


This is a very fine fabric that is frequently used for formal shirts. It is made by weaving yarns tightly to create a solid, smooth texture. It displays intricate and delicate patterns very well thanks to its close, tight weave.

Some of the most popular fabrics used in architecture

Fabric structures are becoming more and more popular. Attractive, flexible and hardwearing, they can increasingly be seen in anything from shopping centres to churches, exhibition centres and markets, but what exactly are the fabrics made from and how do they withstand the wear and tear of everyday life? After all, fabric buildings must be able to withstand the elements in addition to being strong, durable and safe.

Image Credit

According to digital media publisher, the fabrics used in such structures are not only very strong but also easy to repair if the worst happens.

Here we take a brief look at the most popular fabrics used in architecture today and see just what makes them so special.

Outside use

The fabrics used for outdoor structures are usually made from one of two different materials: polyester cloth coated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or glass cloth coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE – also known as Teflon). Both have long lifespans and both are easy to keep clean, meaning they will retain their good looks for many years.

Those with a PVC coating contain additives such as fire retardants, UV stabilisers to ensure they do not fade quickly, and antifungicides to keep away the mould. A PVC membrane can also be protected by fluorinated polymer lacquers, which will improve its cleanability.

For more information on this type of tensile structure, visit the website of a company specialising in tensile structures, such as

Inside use

For interior use, there are three commonly-used fabrics: cottons, glass mesh and glass cloth.

The most widely available and economical, cotton comes in a wide variety of colours and is ideal for areas in which a more natural look is required. As it is liable to shrink and stain over time, it is not suitable for long-term use.

Glass mesh, which can be coated with PVC, is more durable, but has more of a gauze-like feel; meanwhile, glass cloth is usually coated with polyurethane, which makes it hardwearing while giving it the appearance of a more natural cotton.

Glass cloth can also be coated with silicon, which has a high resistance to fire. In some instances, where more strict fire regulations have to be met, pure glass meshes can be used.

In certain circumstances, materials such as Lycra and silk have been approved for use indoors.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Dry Shampoo

We all know that over-washing hair can strip away beneficial oils while rinsing away dirt and grime, and this has led to recent increases in the sale and use of what are known as ‘dry shampoos’.

Image Credit

What are Dry Shampoos?

On the market since the 1970s, a dry shampoo absorbs oil, removing grease and dirt without the need for wetting the hair. It also has other advantages such as adding volume to limp strands. Applying dry shampoo after a trip to the gym can refresh hair. Additionally, those with coloured hair may find that reducing washing and using a colour enhancing dry shampoo means a reduced need for recolouring, saving both time and money.

Common Mistakes

Dry shampoo comes in powder, liquid or aerosol forms, and each brand will differ slightly from the next. If the first one that you try doesn’t work for you, try another one, and keep trying different ones until you find the one that works for your hair.

Tinted products are available, so remember to double check that you are not accidentally using the wrong one.

Grease and oil comes from the scalp, and so only roots need treating. However, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and if using an aerosol don’t succumb to the temptation to spray too close to your hair.

Once the product has been applied, leave your hair untouched for a couple of minutes as this gives the product the time it needs to absorb the grease and grime. Using this time to complete your morning make-up or to clean your teeth means you will hardly even notice it, but it will make a huge difference. Then rub it firmly into your scalp until any residue is removed and style to finish.

One final point – dry shampoo is not a replacement for wet washing. You are essentially coating your hair with a product, and in the same way as you wouldn’t leave make-up on from one day to another, ensure your follicles don’t get all clogged up by alternating dry washing and wet washing with a nourishing product such as KLORANE shampoo with mango butter, which is available from retailers including

Although dry shampoo is an essential part of any bathroom cabinet, it is not a replacement for wet shampoo.

How to Choose the Right Metal Coating

Metal components are found all around us. Their strength, conductivity and malleable properties make them highly usable. However, they are subject to corrosion.

Image Credit

The cost of corrosion is significant. According to the World Corrosion Organisation, the annual worldwide cost of corrosion is US $2.2 trillion (more than 3% of the world’s GDP). 20-25% of these costs could be saved by using corrosion control methods. Costs are related to materials and repair work, the loss of function and loss of material. Prevention is better than cure.

Passive protection, in the form of coatings, provides a barrier between the metal being protected and the corrosion reagents and water.

Established Epoxies

The most common and long-standing coating technology is epoxy. They are often applied to the products in the factory and offer excellent resistance to impact, moisture and chemicals. Their metal bonding adhesive properties mean they are also often used as priming layers.

Strict environmental regulations surrounding the use of Volatile Organic Compounds have led to the development of 100% solid content epoxies.

The downside to epoxy coatings is their lack of flexibility and brittleness at low temperatures, which can both lead to cracking. Furthermore, they can become discoloured under UV exposure.

Polyurethane Protection

This has led to the development of polyurethane coatings, which, alongside the positive attributes of epoxies, also offer good flexibility and a high-gloss, high-pigment finish. They can be applied as a thin coat for weight saving, and they cure quickly, even at low temperatures, with the use of a catalyst.

Polyurea Developments

Moving on from polyurethane, these coatings cure more rapidly and without a catalyst in more challenging conditions. As thicker layers can be built up, they also offer some structural attributes. Polyureas should not be used for thin coat applications.

The coatings must be mixed exactly and special equipment and training is required.

The Best of Both

To achieve the preferential properties of polyurea but the ease of application and finish of polyurethane, hybrids of the two technologies have been developed by companies such as

This reduces the cost compared with polyurea but offers higher performance when the application environment is not so challenging.

Which Way to Go?

Selection of the most appropriate coating will be dependent on several factors: the finish required, time constraints for curing, application environment, desired properties and budget.

Weird and wonderful catering trends

The holiday season provided us with some wonderful evidence of new trends emerging in catering for big events. Here, we look at three of the most intriguing and innovative ideas that emerged to excite revellers recently.

Image Credit

Ben Spalding is one of Britain’s most exciting young chefs, and he has really been making waves in the national press over the last couple of years, whether that’s from refusing to cook chips or taking up a role as executive chef at the Aqua Shard at a tender age. His new brand PuzzleProjects covers anything F&B industry-related, and it is no surprise that such an innovative chef created two of our emerging trends.

Freaky Fudge

The first of Spalding’s innovations is a range of savoury fudges that were devised for an H+J event in London. This involved such delightful tastes as chorizo fudge, a foie gras fudge, and even a Szechuan fudge with peppers. To accompany the fudge, Ben delighted diners with insect-infused praline chocolates. Added to this were dramatic touches that really set off a successful event, such as levitating canapés and some fabulously inventive cocktails.

Who was dreaming of a Black Christmas?

A range of chefs were involved in the Black Christmas Feast put on by the rum brand The Kraken in December. By sourcing ingredients that all feature black as a component, the feast delivered on its theme. This involved a rare roast beef served with black potatoes and beef dripping gravy. This was followed by a rich black Christmas pudding infused with Kraken rum.

All of this was served up in black tableware which can be sourced from catering supplies such as if you want to emulate this successful event.

Chicken on a brick

The second innovation from Ben Spalding was introduced at The Future is… event last November. The menu included such wonderful ideas as a full roast dinner in a pot, adding unusual ingredients to the traditional roast such as pomegranate jewels and a deep-fried Yorkshire pudding with bacon, finished with a roast beef gravy jelly, and all served up together in a pot rather than on a plate.

The chicken on a brick is a wonderful creation using a butter-poached chicken breast with dark caramel, along with a chicken liver and brandy parfait topped off with a blackberry gel to create a truly astounding taste sensation.