Category: My Blog

End of Life Care Can Help You to Get the Most Out of Your Loved One’s Final Days

Finding The Right Care Provider

No one wants to talk about end of life care, but doing so will really enrich your loved one’s final days with you.

Arranging end of life care is a difficult step to make – but one that will really benefit you and your loved one. Here’s how great end of life care can help you and your loved one to make the most of the precious time that you have left together.

Making them comfortable

The main objective of end of life care is to make someone as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Whether they have been battling a long illness such as cancer or dementia or their decline has been more sudden, everyone deserves the best possible care at the end of their life. An end of life carer will assess someone’s current situation and see what needs to be done to make to make them as comfortable as possible. This will make their last days so much more positive for everyone.

Stay in their own home

End of life care allows a person to stay in their own home as they come to the end – and this has so many benefits. They will remain in a place that is familiar to them, which will take a lot of fear away from their situation. They’ll also be able to continue to see friends and family without the restrictions of hospital or care home visiting times.  Plus, they will be able to look back on so many wonderful memories.

Takes the pressure off you

It can be incredibly hard to care for someone at the end of their life, and the pressure this puts on a person can actually mean you miss out on so many special moments together. If you hire a carer, then you will be able to take a step back and just focus on creating some beautiful final memories with your loved one. There’s no need to feel guilty about hiring some extra help – your loved one will really benefit from you not having to juggle too much at once.

Expert care

It can be hard to know if you are doing everything right when you are caring for a loved one in the final weeks and days of their life. This can lead to insecurity and worry on your part, which of course will impact on the time you’re spending with your loved one. Enter an experienced end of life carer. They have worked with a great deal of terminally ill people, and have the experience and skills to make the right decisions and quickly solve problems. Your loved one will be in safe hands.

Finding the best care

Of course, you need to find the best providers of end of life care. Fambridge Care have developed a really great reputation in the field. Tailoring their services to the unique medical and emotional needs of each individual, they provide care that’s thorough and compassionate. With live in care available for those who need round the clock attention, there’s going to be an option that’s suitable for you and your loved one.

Beneficial for everyone

Saying goodbye to someone is so sad, but having the right end of life care in place for them will ensure that their final days or weeks are filled with love, comfort and the opportunity to make some beautiful last memories together.

Can You Paint a Car at Home? Yes You Can!

Where to Find The Best Car Paint

If you’re unable to visit a garage during the COVID-19 crisis, you can tackle your car paint job yourself.

If your car is need of a fresh coat of paint, in normal times your first instinct would have been to get in touch with your local garage. However, the coronavirus pandemic means that a lot of people aren’t able to or don’t feel comfortable leaving their homes to visit a garage just yet. There’s no need to neglect your car though! By shopping for car spray paint online, you can do it all yourself.

Find the right location

The first thing that you should do is find an appropriate location for repainting your car. It goes without saying that the great British weather can be unpredictable. So even if the weather looks good right now, it might not stay that way for long! If you can, set aside an area that’s under cover, like a garage. If you can’t manage that, invest in a canopy or similar covering so that you can easily undertake the work outdoors.

Give yourself time

It’s really important to give yourself enough time. You’re not going to get a good result if you have to rush, after all. No two cars are the same, so be sure to closely examine your car and see just how extensive the work needs to be. A car paint job can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weekends. If in doubt, give yourself more time than you think you will need, so you’re not under any pressure.

Start shopping online

Now it’s time to start shopping! If you’re going to achieve a truly fantastic finish, then you need to shop for your equipment and materials from a trusted retailer. Car Colour Services have become a firm favourite with customers all over the UK. They have an extensive range of products for you to choose from, including paint for vintage cars. So no matter the age of your vehicle, you’ll be able to find everything you need.

Prepare your car

Before you start painting, you need to prepare your car. Stock up on sandpaper and a high quality electric sander so that you can make the surface as smooth as possible. You’ll need primer too, as well as a spay gun to apply it. There are lots to choose from, so take your time while you are shopping to make sure that you have just the right one for your project. Be sure to pick up a mask and gloves too, so that you can protect yourself while you work.

Apply your paint

Finally, the part that you have been waiting for! Once you have properly prepped your car, you’re ready to apply that first coat of paint. Be sure to mix the paint with the thinners using the ratios specified on the pack instructions. You’re probably going to need 3-4 coats, and you’ll need to allow for drying time in between those. Before you apply each coat, make sure that the car body is free of any dust or debris.

What are you waiting for?

So there you have it – your guide to painting your car during lockdown! You’ll be able to save lots of money compared to what you would pay for the same service in a professional garage, and you can do it in the safety and comfort of your own home. What’s not to like about that?

What Percentage of Body Fat Do You Need To See Great Abs?

Craving A Six-Pack? What Should You Be Aiming For?

If your abs are somewhat hidden, you may need to reduce your body fat to show off a six-pack to be proud of.

Six-pack abs have become one of the defining features of a person who is deemed to be in great shape. We all have abdominal muscles of course, but those that are visibly on display tend to highlight the fitness of the individual, proving that they’re both strong and lean. If you’ve been struggling to produce that chiselled torso that so many crave, it could be down to your percentage of body fat. So, how much body fat do you need to allow those abdominals to shine?

What Is Body Fat?

When you step on the scales, the number you’re looking at is your overall weight which of course includes fat, muscle, water and bone mass. Body fat is just one of these measurements and the way in which it is stored and distributed across the body can make all the difference to your abs.

Body fat can be divided into two categories, namely essential fat and storage fat. Essential fat assists in vital physical functions including keeping you warm, maintaining hormonal balance and protecting your organs from damage. Storage fat is the type that you’ll see distributed across your body and it is this that many people wish to minimise to gain that six-pack stomach or even drop a dress size.

Losing Body Fat

Working out regularly is certainly part of developing a toned and sculpted torso. But unfortunately, you could do hundreds of crunches a day and it wouldn’t make any difference to your abs if they’re covered in a thick layer of body fat. Therefore, crunches and other fitness work such as cardio is best carried out in combination with eating a clean and healthy diet. Your physical efforts can also be supported by mental techniques such as gastric band hypnosis to motivate you towards achieving your fitness goals.

What Percentage To Aim For?

The first thing to note, is that body fat is handled very differently on men and women. Men with between 6-17% body fat should have noticeable abs on display, whereas the range for women is more like 14-24%. At the upper end of each scale, your abs may be visible, but as you cut your body fat lower, you’ll notice them becoming leaner and more sculpted, perhaps creating more defined oblique muscles along the way.

It’s important to realise that there is no set percentage to aim for, as each individual will store body fat differently. If you tend to store your excess weight around your stomach, then you may need to get to a lower percentage of body fat in order to achieve those killer abs you’ve been dreaming of.

Don’t Go Too Low

Remember that body fat is essential and if you lose too much of it, this can have a negative impact on your overall health. For women this could mean the absence of a menstrual cycle, and for both sexes, too little body fat can cause brittle bones.

Stay within a safe range and lose the fat gradually – a rate of around 1% every 1-2 months should be fine for most people.

Five easy ways to freshen up your living room

Your living room should be a light, clean space that can be used for welcoming guests or simply relaxing in after a long day at work.

However, as the most lived in room in the house, many people find the lounge quickly becomes an all in one – as well as a living room, it’s often a dinner table, office space and storage solution.

From dry cleaning rugs to putting up shelves, here are five quick ways to freshen up your living space.

Get rid of unused furniture and furnishings

Over time, people often add to their furniture and furnishings without getting rid of any old items. What starts as a new cushion soon turns into six cushions, two throws and a bean bag. Sit down and decide which items you truly want and give the rest to charity.

Any leftover furnishings, such as rugs or cushion covers, should be thoroughly cleaned. While they may not seem dirty, it’s amazing how much grime can build up over time. Giving these items a vigorous wash can make them seem as good as new.

Make the most of your wall space

Swapping sideboards for floating shelves is a simple way of making more space without needing to get rid of any of your homeware and accessories. Choose white shelves for a cool, minimal look, or natural wood for a more rustic vibe.

Paint your skirting boards

Repainting the walls is an effective way of brightening up a living room, but it can be time consuming to DIY and expensive to go down the professional route. Freshening up the paint on your skirting boards, windows and door frames takes less than half a day and makes a huge difference to the overall brightness of the room.

Invest in a statement art piece

If you find your living room lacks personality, but you want to avoid the clutter of having too many wall pieces, invest in a singular piece of statement art that takes up space and draws attention. This is a good way of adding personality to the room without overloading the senses. For rentals, it has the added benefit of only needing one or two nails to hang, rather than dozens.

Get a new lightshade

While it seems like a small detail, the lightshade acts as the focal point of the room and if you have one which is bland or does not compliment the rest of the décor, it can leave your living room feeling flat. Finding a lightshade that ties your décor together can turn a room from meh to amazing. You may also want to upgrade your lightbulb to something brighter, as this really opens the living space. If you love the look of a rustic bulb, invest in some industrial style lamps where they look best.

The living room is really the heart of the home, and periodically reviving it can make you fall in love with your house all over again. Luckily, it doesn’t need to be an expensive job – just a few tricks and its good as new.  

Photo Booth Hire for Every Occasion

Photo booths have become increasingly popular over the years for all types of occasions and are a fun, affordable and amusing way to keep people entertained. Also depending on the type of photo booth, they give guests the chance to take their memories with them in the form of a photo strip, a great memento that they can look at, laugh at and display for years to come.

With ever evolving technology there are now many different types of photo booths to choose from whether it’s a traditional booth with funs props, to GIF makers, slow-mo video booths, flip book creators, green screen booths and open air studio booths.

These innovative photo booths are capable of printing photo strips right on the spot, generate digital pics and share and upload instantly to social media. Photo booths are also extremely versatile and depending on the type you get quite often the skin, exterior and props can be customised to suit your event.

Here are some of the many occasions that can benefit from the amusement, laughs enjoyment and delight that photo booth Essex hire can provide.

Weddings

Weddings can be a long day for both adults and children and by the time the evening has come round everyone is looking to relax and enjoy themselves. Photo booths give couples and their guests the opportunity to let loose, be childish and enjoy themselves!

One of the great things about photo booths is that they are suitable for all ages which means that absolutely nobody is left out – providing great pictures of everyone from great grandmothers to little nieces and nephews dressed up in silly props, being silly and having fun! 

Prom

Prom is a big deal to teenagers who are leaving school and moving onto college and the next steps in their lives. This selfie mad generation love nothing more than posing for pictures which makes photo booths the perfect entertainment for any prom or school leavers celebration.

It also provides them with some great keepsakes in the form of photo strip pictures of them with their friends that they will be able to cherish as they go their separate ways.

Parties

There is absolutely no party that can’t be made better by a photo booth.

  • Birthday party
  • Hen party
  • Baby showers
  • Graduation party
  • Engagement party
  • Anniversary celebrations
  • Retirement party
  • House warming party
  • Halloween Party
  • Welcome home party

Whether it’s for young children, retired adults and everyone in-between, a photo booth is a sure fire way to make your party a huge hit and something everyone will remember.

Corporate Events

Whether it’s a black tie dinner, brand promotion, an office party, award ceremony, social media event or launch party – a photo booth is a great way to entertain, enthral and amuse your staff, guests, clients and customers.

Don’t miss a great opportunity to jazz up your corporate event and engage with your attendees with this fun yet subtle addition everyone will love.

Christmas

Photo booths at Christmas parties are always a huge hit, injecting fun and laughter into any seasonal event with festive layouts, themes and props to help inspire your guests to strike a pose. These are a guaranteed way to spread the Christmas cheer and provide a real wow factor for your party guests.

Exploring Suffolk’s Constable Countryside

A Relaxing Break In Rural Suffolk

Why not follow in the footsteps of one of England’s most admired artists and visit the region which inspired so much of Constable’s spectacular works?

Are you looking for a breath-taking escape for your next holiday? How about Constable country in rural Suffolk? The area is lovingly named after the artist John Constable who was born in the Stour Valley in 1776 and spent his life painting the villages and scenery near his home and to which he felt a strong affinity. Art enthusiasts amongst you may be familiar with some of his most famous paintings, including Dedham Vale and The Hay Wain.

Much of Constable Country still looks strikingly similar to the scenery in the paintings, so if you are a fan of these works, you’ll feel a particular joy when you amble across a familiar scene. However, you don’t need to know anything about art to enjoy a visit to the area – when you arrive here, you’ll realise that there’s something for everyone in this beautiful part of the world.

Dog Walking

Of course, you can’t come to a location such as Constable Country and leave your dog behind. The region is a walker’s delight, with a wide variety of trails available depending on how much of a challenge you’re looking for. A pet friendly cottages Suffolk provider explains that The Essex Way and the Stour Valley Path are the two main long distance paths running through the area, but there are also multiple shorter circular routes which will allow you to see the highlights of the area, perhaps taking in Willy Lott’s house or else Flatford Mill.  

Golfing Holiday

If golf is your thing, then you’ll want to visit The Stoke By Nayland Hotel which offers two championship golf courses, as well as spa facilities including a pool. You might start the day by hitting a few balls on the range, perhaps taking a private golf lesson or even having a go in the golf simulator before heading out onto either the Gainsborough or the Constable courses which are both based around scenic woodland, lakes and pretty streams.

Biking Around Constable Country

Cyclists will love the freedom of taking a ride through Constable Country. And if you’re an artist yourself, then you could combine your two passions by taking along your paintbrush and cycling The Painter’s Trail. This is a 69 mile long trail through the Dedham Vale, crossing the River Stour and following the valley down to the estuary near Manningtree. There are plenty of farms and public houses along the way where you can stop for refreshments or stock up on traditional local produce.

Constable Country By Boat

If you prefer the idea of a relaxing boat ride in this picturesque location, then Dedham Vale River Trips are available from Dedham Lock either as a non-landing return trip or else a one-way boat trip enabling you to get off and enjoy a walk before returning later in the day.

If you’re ready to walk in Constable’s footprints and marvel at the scenery that was the driving passion behind his many artistic creations, then now is the time to book your trip to rural Suffolk!

Is It Easy To Change Your Accountant?

When It’s Time For Another Firm To Handle Your Books

Switching accountants might sound like a headache but it’s actually astonishingly simple so long as you make changes at the right time.  

There comes a time for many businesses when they assess their relationship with existing outsourced professionals including their accountancy team. If you decide that it’s time to end your ongoing relationship with your current accountant and switch to a new firm or even bring your accountancy tasks inhouse, then there are a number of considerations and steps to take.

Why Move To A New Accountant?

If your business has grown or changed since you began using your existing accountant to handle your books, then it’s natural that you might want to switch to a different firm who is more suited to a business of your current size. Equally, if your accountant’s business focus has changed, perhaps to concentrate more on a niche sector which you don’t belong to, then moving to a new accountant would be entirely understandable.

Unfortunately, you may also have concerns about the standard of service that your current accountant is offering, and that you’ve been paying for. If you consider that they’re charging over the odds for the work they do, or potentially have made mistakes or haven’t been ahead of the game in the way you’d expect, then it could be time for a change.

Finding Your New Accountant

It’s important to find a new accountant before you part company with your existing firm, but make sure you don’t rush into a new relationship until you’re 100% happy that they’re the right firm for you. Ask questions about their communication methods and preferred software programs to see if they fit in with your expectations. You should also find out about their charging methods and what’s included in their services.

Time of Year

When you’ve decided to make the move to a new firm of accountants, it’s important to do so at the right time of year to minimise any disruption to your business. Switching at key points in the tax year such as the middle of January are likely to cause you a headache. The best advice, as guided by a professional firm of accountants in Peterborough is to find an appropriate time for your handover, from old to new, to occur.

Informing Your Current Accountant

When the time is right, send your current accountant a message to let them know that you no longer require their professional services. At this point, you should tell them the name and contact details of your new accountants who they’ll need to hand over your books to. There are three legal steps that need to be taken at this stage. Your current accountant will provide your new team with a disengagement letter which will include details about any recent work they’ve completed and the stage they’re at. Your new accountancy team will also create a professional clearance document to request paperwork from your old team and it would be typical to be charged a minimal fee for this service. Finally, you should appoint your new team with the authority to handle your books and speak to HMRC on your behalf in terms of your tax affairs.

Moving to a new accountant is simple, so long as you stay on good terms with your previous accountants and don’t rush into any major decisions. Remember that switching can save you money and provide you with a better service which is more appropriate for your business in the long run.

The Importance of Hygienic and Dignified Washrooms for Everyone

Hygienic and dignified washrooms are something that everybody should have access to and whether it is in a workplace, restaurant, school or public area – there is no excuse for inadequate bathrooms.

It is the responsibility of the owner, designated manager or employer to ensure that all washrooms provide suitable facilities for clean and hygienic use of the toilet and handwashing as well as appropriate feminine hygiene units.

Failure to provide facilities with these in place can not only lead to poor hygiene but unhappy employees, customers, visitors and additional environmental, legal and financial consequences.

What is a sanitary bin or unit?

Sanitary bins encourage the discrete and hygienic disposal of sanitary products in washrooms. These usually come in the form of small, enclosed bins that sit beside the toilet and come in a range of styles such as manual, automatic and pedal.

They need to be emptied regularly by an accredited, licensed company to ensure that all disposal is properly regulated and that there is a comprehensive paper trail.

Why are sanitary disposal bins so important?

  • Sanitary bins are crucial for the comfort, dignity and hygiene of females using the washroom to ensure that they have a clean and discrete way to dispose of sanitary products.
  • When there are no alternative means of disposal, most women have no choice except to flush it down the toilet. This can be harmful to drains and sewers causing issues with plumbing that are costly to repair.
  • Flushing sanitary products is not environmentally friendly because they often end up in the sea polluting the water. Even tampons which most people believe are fine to flush actually take around 6 months to dissolve. Sanitary pads or towels can take anywhere between 500-800 years to fully break down. 

Are sanitary bins a legal requirement?

As a building owner, manager, business owner or designated facilities manager it will be your legal responsibility to provide and adhere to sanitary waste disposal regulations. These include;

The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulation 1992 – This recommends that all female toilet facilities contain an appropriate bin or unit for sanitary waste.

The Water Industries Act 1991 – States that sanitary waste should not be flushed down the toilets due to the harm it can cause to the sewer system or drains and that a suitable alternative (bin) must be in place to prevent this happening.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 – This imposes a ‘Duty of Care’ on individual, businesses and organisations, holding them responsible for the correct management of their waste, right up to the point of final disposal.

There is a risk of significant penalties for businesses, owners and individuals who do not take the necessary steps to conform to the required legislations.

No female should have to worry about disposing of their sanitary products and it’s important to put in place necessary measures to provide a clean, discreet, hygienic and convenient method of disposal no matter where the washroom is, be it an office, school, restaurant or high street.

5 Tips To Choose the Right Pilates Class

How to find the best exercise class for you

Pilates classes come in all shapes and sizes, but our top tips will help you to find a class that is right for you.

With its ability to improve posture, strengthen the core and create long, lean muscles, Pilates has soared in popularity in recent years and continues to be a favourite amongst celebrities and regular gym-goers alike.

If you’re keen to try out the trend for yourself, read on to find out our top tips for choosing the right Pilates class.

Start with the basics
Pilates comes in all different shapes and sizes – from basic mat work to complex classes that use lots of different equipment, and even Pilates for pregnancy. We would always recommend starting out with a ‘traditional’ or ‘classical’ Pilates performed on the floor (also known as mat Pilates) so that you can get to grips with the basic concepts of movement and breath. Once you are confident with the basics, you can then experiment with more advanced classes, such as Contemporary Studio Pilates or Reformer Pilates.

Find a good instructor

Finding an instructor that you like and whose teaching style you gel with is perhaps the most important element of choosing a Pilates class, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different classes until you get it right.

All instructors will have different approaches – from soft-spoken and gentle, to hands-on and energetic. But, whatever their teaching style, you want someone who pays attention to the class and is able to make adjustments and suggest modifications to ensure that people of all skill levels are able to get a great workout. It’s also important that your Pilates instructor is appropriately qualified, so do a bit of research to make sure that they are certified through a reputable Pilates training programme.

A great vibe

You are much more likely to stick to an exercise programme if you actually enjoy it, so take the time to find a studio and class with a great vibe. Ideally, you want somewhere with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, clean and pleasant surroundings, energetic and supportive instructors, and friendly classmates – it may take a bit of time to find the right place but, when you do, it will make all the difference to your Pilates workouts.

A thorough induction

As with any exercise, Pilates carries the risk of injury if not performed properly, or if you have any underlying problems that your instructor is unaware of. With this in mind, any good Pilates studio should carry out a thorough induction that asks you about your exercise goals as well as any conditions or injuries that they need to know about. If your gym or studio fails to do this, you should probably consider finding a new one.

Consider convenience

Last, but certainly not least, when looking for Pilates class, try to find one that fits around your current schedule and that is convenient for you to attend. Think also about the location of the studio – if you have to drive for an hour in rush hour traffic in order to get to your class, you’re much less likely to attend on a regular basis, so look for a class that is relatively close to your home or place of work.

Finding a Pilates class is a very personal decision, but hopefully our tips will help to set you on the right track, enabling you to develop your skills and enjoy the benefits of this hugely effective full-body workout.

How to Lose Weight Well For Your Big Day

Walk down the aisle looking and feeling great

From weight loss hypnotherapy to intermittent fasting, finding the right dieting method will help you to lose weight and feel great on your wedding day.

Everyone wants to look and feel their best on their wedding day, and for many people this means shaping up and losing any excess weight. If you’re looking to shed the pounds in time for your big day, these dieting methods may help you to achieve your weight loss goals.

Get active

Losing weight requires burning more calories than you consume, so upping your activity levels is key to helping you shed the pounds. This doesn’t have to mean pounding the pavements every night (unless you want to of course); start out slow and increase the intensity as your fitness and confidence levels increase. Not only will regular exercise aid your weight loss, it will also help you to tone up, and get stronger, fitter and healthier – so it’s a win-win all round.

Count the calories

Combining exercise with a calorie-controlled diet is a tried and tested way of losing weight but try not to be too restrictive as this can often result in you falling off the dieting wagon altogether. Instead, follow a healthy but tasty diet that is full of fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, and lean protein. Having a source of support can really help you to stick to a diet, so, if you’re finding it difficult, you might want to try joining a slimming club or roping in your spouse-to-be.

Intermittent fasting

Another dieting method that has sprung up in recent years is intermittent fasting. There are a few different variations, but the most popular seems to be the 5:2 diet, which involves eating normally for five days of the week and consuming just 25% of your normal calorie intake (500 for women, 600 for men) on the remaining two days. It can be quite an effective dieting tool, enabling you to lose weight quickly as well as potentially offering additional health benefits. However, while this may be great for a quick fix, you may well find the weight creeping back on once the wedding is over and you return to your usual eating habits.

Weight loss hypnotherapy

Having said all that, conventional weight loss methods don’t always work for everyone – particularly if you’re looking to see fast results in time for your wedding day. If this rings true for you and you find yourself struggling to reach your goal weight, you may want to consider trying hypnotherapy for weight loss.

By delivering talking therapies and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy alongside traditional hypnosis and visualisation techniques, this type of hypnotherapy offers a holistic approach to weight loss, examining your relationship with food and enabling you to identify and address any underlying issues that may be preventing you from losing weight.

When combined with nutrition and diet advice, this approach allows for meaningful weight loss and a permanent lifestyle change, enabling you to keep your wedding body long after the celebrations are over.

When it comes to losing weight for your wedding, there is no one size fits all – you need to find the dieting method that works best for you. And with a bit of willpower and some sensible life choices you’ll soon find yourself walking down the aisle looking, and feeling, a million dollars.