University students

A University Student’s Guide to Staying Safe

Whether you’re planning to study in Tunbridge Wells itself or you’re heading further afield to complete your course, you’ll need to take the issue of safety seriously. As a new student, it’s easy to let your newfound freedom go to your head and, if you do, you could end up putting your wellbeing at risk. To ensure you don’t fall into this trap, take a look at this guide to staying safe.

Don’t get caught in the moment: protect your sexual health

University’s a great place to meet potential partners, but it’s important to take a responsible approach to sexual health. If you don’t plan ahead, you could find that you get caught in the moment and end up risking unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are lots of different types of contraception to choose from, including condoms, diaphragms, patches, injections, implants, the combined pill and the progesterone-only ‘mini’ pill . You can find out more about your options online by visiting websites such as or by speaking to your doctor.

Bear in mind that the only type of contraception that can protect you from STIs is a condom, so it’s always useful to have some of these on standby. If you ever think you may have contracted an infection, book a test at your GP surgery or a sexual health clinic as soon as possible.

Know your limits on nights out

Students aren’t known for shying away from alcohol, and nights out in pubs, bars and clubs can be a great way to get to know people and to relax. To stay safe though, you’ve got to be aware of your limits and exercise some self-restraint. If you drink too much, you could end up making yourself potentially seriously ill. To enjoy a good night out without wrecking your health in the process, make sure you pace your drinking, and don’t try to keep up with the biggest boozers. Also, it’s important to stay in a group when you’re out at night and never be tempted to walk home alone.

Protect your possessions

From your laptop or tablet to your mobile and MP3 player, you might have a whole range of valuables with you at uni. Unfortunately, students aren’t always the most sensible when it comes to protecting their possessions, and this makes them a prime target for thieves. To minimise the risk that your things will be stolen, make sure you always lock the doors and windows in your accommodation. Also, don’t leave valuables lying around in public places like libraries and pubs. Even if you only leave your possessions unattended for a matter of seconds, this can give an opportunistic thief enough time to take them.

As long as you follow suggestions like these, you should be able to make the most of student life without putting your safety at risk.

Difference between using an online estate agent against a traditional

If you have a property you want to sell, then you’re naturally going to want to make the right choice with who sells it. Traditional estate agents are always an option, but there are numerous ways in which taking the process online will get you a much better deal. Rather than put up with a tedious selling process, months of waiting, and plenty of unforeseen costs at the end of it, selling with an online agent makes everything quick and simple, and saves you money too.

When you sell your property, you deserve to know just how much it is going to cost you in advance. However, traditional agents have numerous practices to ensure they get the most money out of you that they can. These range from charging you for valuations and assessments, although they often won’t explicitly tell you that this will cost you, to adding an average 1.6% of your property’s sale price to the final bill. We don’t agree with this way of doing things, which is why we only charge our customers a one off payment of £595 up front, which covers the whole selling process- right down to producing floor plans of your property.

We also do our best to make sure that word of your property gets out there to as many potential buyers as possible. Whereas most traditional agents have contracts with certain property sites which mean they can only list your house on those, we make sure to post on all of the most popular sites, and to present your property in the best way possible. We know that you’ll want to get things sorted as quickly as possible, which is why we take so much care over getting your property seen.

Online agents are also one step ahead of the game in the way that we arrange property viewings. It has been shown time and again that rather than have a sales-driven estate agent show them round, buyers much prefer the honesty and knowledge that comes with having the owner conduct the viewing themselves. That’s why we make this our standard procedure, so that you can highlight all of the things which make your property perfect for a buyer. By adding this personal touch, you’re far more likely to make that sale!

Thanks to all the extra effort we put in to selling your property, you’ll be left with a better result in the end. We are happy to say that we achieve on average 99% of your asking price – without deducting anything off the top like other agents do. Coming in at 3% better than the industry average, that’s a result sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. We care about each and every one of our customers, which is why we’ve done away with all the unnecessary practices of traditional agents. With us, you’re getting a better deal that’s far, far simpler.

Research by UK¹s Leading online estate agent

Low-Cholesterol Cooking for the Whole Family

If you or your partner have recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol it can be pretty tough to know what to eat. The minefield of which foods are good and which foods are bad can be difficult to navigate at the best of times. But if you’re living with children, it gets even harder.

Kids are highly likely to have little understanding or experience of the healthier foods that come with a low cholesterol diet. So to help you plan meals that will be nutritious and tasty for the whole family, we’ve put together 5 top tips.

  1. Explain Why Your Diet is Changing

Children are much more likely to co-operate with change if they understand the reason behind it. Start this process by sitting them down and explaining what’s going on. This can be a great learning opportunity, not just about cholesterol and heart disease, but the importance of staying fit and healthy in general.

  1. Get Their Input

If change is simply imposed on little ones it becomes something to be struggled against. If you need to start creating a low cholesterol diet, research the different options and possible recipes, then get your children to give their advice on what the family should eat. You could create a traffic light system to help them understand the good and not so good foods. Take them shopping so they can pick out which vegetables and unsaturated fat products they like best.

  1. Try a Range and See What Works

Although we often think of healthy, reduced cholesterol diets as restrictions when you start looking into it there’s so much that can be enjoyed guilt free. So while it’s tempting to find just a few good recipes that you enjoy, work hard to develop a real range of different meal ideas. That way, kids won’t see it as being stopped from eating lots of nice things, they’ll be excited about this new array of foods you’re introducing to them.

  1. Introduce Diet Changes to Children Gradually

Even if you do all this, there might be times when the change-over feels a bit tricky. Switching over from one way of eating to another is a long-term move that’s going to set your children up well for life. But it doesn’t need to happen overnight. If you or your partner have been told to start a low cholesterol diet immediately, switch your own meals but introduce new foods to your children slowly. That might mean cooking two dinners each night, but only temporarily. By the end you’ll all be enjoying the same food.

  1. Make Sure it Tastes Good!

Lastly and most importantly, the key to eating healthily at any age is making sure it tastes good! This is so important and can be used to teach your children that good health doesn’t have to be about sacrifice. Research products, meals and ideas for foods that fit with your diet and which you actually enjoy (and your kids think taste good)! There are lots out there … it just takes a bit of looking.

So, in summary, explain what’s going on and involve your children thoroughly in the process. Get them to find foods they like and introduce the change gradually. Once you find all those tasty, low cholesterol foods you love, neither you nor your children will ever go back.

Bedroom Trends For Kids

From zebra stripes to neon colors, there are a few new trends with kid’s bedroom furniture that add a touch of contemporary design. You can find furniture of all styles, including Hickory Chair Furniture designs. Items that you can add to the room include beds, chairs and dressers.

Storage beds are an idea for children who might have a small room and need extra space for books and items that tend to get lost. These are often in a platform design so that there isn’t a set of box springs. This can make it easier to cover the mattress with a sheet and blanket while giving a little more support under the mattress.

Vintage designs are coming to the forefront with children’s furniture. Items include handmade pieces, such as quilts and rugs as well as elements that bring a timeless feel to the room. Thee could include a poster bed that is made of metal or a record player that sits on a large vanity with a mirror in the background. The key to this room design is to use lighter colors, such as beige, pink or a baby blue. If you have small children, consider a tricycle or dollhouse that is from an older decade to add a charming effect to the room.

Gray is a color that is good for any child’s room. Begin in the nursery, and work your way to the room of a teenager with this neutral color. You can find chairs, couches, desks and beds that are made with gray materials. Add soft colors, like yellow or peach, for a beautiful look. The color also makes it easy to add decorations of other colors, and they can easily be changed later when the child wants a new design.

Some children enjoy being able to sit in the bedroom while watching television, entertaining friends or doing homework. Miniature seating is an idea. A pouf is a combination of an ottoman and a bean bag chair. It has a button design, and the pouf comes in a variety of colors. It’s lightweight, and can be placed in any area of the room. You can also get a small recliner with a foot stool to place in a corner. Another option is a daybed so that there is sleeping and sitting space. A trundle can easily be added underneath the bed so that there is somewhere for guests to sleep when they visit.

Rejuvenating Degraded Decks And Fences

A Common Real Estate Dilemma

Today, home owners and real estate brokers considering vacation home properties in the Arkansas and Ozark Mountain region frequently encounter a significant issue. Does a faded deck or wood fence actually enhance the value of the residence, or not? Many mountain retreats that appeared fashionable during former decades now appear degraded and unsightly due to worn, aged surfaces. Most buyers appreciate rustic settings, but not dilapidated, weather beaten exteriors.

Especially when a deck strikes most visitors as degraded and heavily worn, a sales agent might consider recommending discounting the value of these items in any listing. Yet does this approach really serve the best interest of the client? Sellers sometimes require every penny in order to relocate to another place comfortably.

An Innovative Solution

During former eras, sellers could usually address this situation in one of three ways. First, ignore the problem and hope buyers don’t make low offers based on an unsightly vacation home exterior. Second, discount the price significantly to help offset a perceived decline in value through poor maintenance. Or third, foot the unwelcome costs of tearing down an ugly fence and deck and/or replacing these items.

Fortunately, technological advances in this century offer property owners and real estate brokers a much better solution to this type of common Ozark Mountain Region problem. Now, depending on their individual circumstances and inclinations, home owners can often rejuvenate degraded decks and fences very cost-effectively.

Giving Vacation Homes a Face Lift

During the past decade, considerable progress has occurred in many areas of materials science. Consumers notice this situation during daily life. From permanently sharp ceramic-style kitchen knife blades, to more easily stored automatically expanding and shrinking garden hoses, to floor sweeping robots, products available on the marketplace today offer some amazing new features.

One of the most impressive areas of progress has occurred in chemical finishes and home improvement technologies. For instance, Renew Crew of Northwest Arkansas uses a specialized three step process to restore the vitality of some heavily faded exterior residential surfaces. By employing a special pre-soaking foam, a controlled pressure rinse and a unique high tech UV-resistant surface sealer, the company offers many property owners a very affordable way to rejuvenate and upgrade decks, fences, porches, wood siding and other residential exteriors.

Offering Home Sellers More Options

Real estate brokers and property managers today enjoy the ability to provide sellers with more options for addressing unsightly wood features in Ozark mountain retreats. Not every solution will work for every property. However, it makes sense to investigate all the available possibilities before urging a seller to lower the listing price. Renovation may prove far more cost effective than replacing an entire deck.

5 Of The Best Reasons To Visit Lapland This Winter

The summer is over and the winter is well and truly here, but that doesn’t mean that the holiday season is over. In fact, holidays in the winter are becoming just as popular as holidays at any other time of year. Yes, we all love the sun and relaxing on a beach in an exotic country, but it can get tiresome. It is time to try something different, and visiting Lapland ticks that box. Lapland is without a doubt one of the most amazing places in the world at winter time, and here are a few reasons why.

It Is Home To Father Christmas

We all know that Santa Claus lives in a grotto in Lapland so why not go and visit him for Christmas? The kids will never forget the time they traveled all the way to the North Pole to see Santa in the flesh, and the look on their faces is priceless. Plus, it is a great place for the adults to spend Christmas time, too. What with all of the snow and the fairy lights in the pitch black, the adults will feel a little tingle or Christmas joy also. In fact, the adults may like it just as much as the children!

The Northern Lights

In simple terms, the Northern Lights are a once in a lifetime experience. If anyone gets the chance, they should grab it with both hands because it might never come around again. The Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon that only happens during the winter and spring months. But, the winter is the best time to see it because the chances of catching a glimpse lessen the closer it gets towards summer. And, because Lapland is pretty much within the Arctic Circle, there are not too many better places to catch a glimpse than Finland.


Heather Sunderland

Exhilarating Adventure Sports

Winter time is without a doubt the best time to get the blood pumping. The environment is perfect for skiing, snowboarding or skating on a frozen lake, and Lapland is home to the best spots in the world. Adventure trips in Lapland are always a level above adventure trips in the rest of the world because the environment is so harsh. The cold and freezing conditions only add to the thrill of hurtling down a hill at speeds of up to forty miles an hour.

The Wildlife

The animals that inhabit Lapland are spectacular. From reindeer to huskies and wolves, they will blow your mind when you see them in their natural habitat. In fact, you can get even closer to them because there are dog sled treks that are available. You might never get to see lots of the wildlife again as most of them only survive in the freezing conditions.

The Natural Beauty

The Northern Lights have already been mentioned, but there is more beauty to behold in Lapland. In all honesty, the entire area of Finland is beautiful. From the rolling hills to the snow covered mountains, there is not a place in Lapland that isn’t full of natural wonder.


Top family activities for 2016

A piercingly bright curtain of stars is the backdrop for this beautiful image taken by astronomer Håkon Dahle. The silhouetted figure in the foreground is Håkon himself surrounded by just a couple of the great dark domes that litter the mountain of ESO’s La Silla Observatory. Many professional astronomers are also keen photographers — and who could blame them? ESO sites in the Atacama Desert are among the best places on Earth for observing the stars, and for the same reason, are amazing places for photographing the night sky. Håkon took these photos while on a week-long observing run at the MPG/ESO 2.2 -telescope. During this time, the telescope was occasionally handed over to a different observing team, giving Håkon the opportunity to admire the starry night — as well as to capture it for the rest of us to see. The Milky Way is brighter in the Southern Hemisphere than in the North, because of the way our planet’s southern regions point towards the dense galactic centre. But even in the South, the Milky Way in the night sky is quite faint in the sky. For most of us, light pollution from our cities and even the Moon can outshine the faint glow of the galaxy, hiding it from view. One of the best aspects of La Silla Observatory is that it is far away from bright city lights, giving it some of the darkest night skies on Earth. The atmosphere is also very clear, so there is no haze to further muddy your vision. The skies at La Silla are so dark that it is possible to see a shadow cast by the light of the Milky Way alone. Håkon submitted this photograph to the Your ESO Pictures Flickr group. The Flickr group is regularly reviewed and the best photos are selected to be featured in our popular Picture of the Week series, or in our gallery.Just because Christmas is here doesn’t mean that we should stop planning fun activities for the whole family. The cold months of winter are packed full of great opportunities to get out there and enjoy some of our nation’s best events, so here’s a quick rundown of what to look forward to in the next few months.

Movie fun

Winter is the perfect time to escape the cold weather by visiting your nearest multiplex to catch up on the latest movies. Although all of the hype is around the latest Star Wars release, there’s so much more to enjoy in the upcoming months, and all families will definitely be looking forward to the updated version of the Jungle Book that even features Bill Murray singing the Bare Necessities!

Comic book adaptations are particularly big at the moment and your kids can look forward to the likes of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film, along with X-Men: Apocalypse and Suicide Squad in the upcoming months. And adults can even revisit some of the favourite films of their youth with the all-female cast of the Ghostbusters update looking especially promising.

Sporting highlights

The Euro 16 Championships in June and July in France should provide your children with the perfect opportunity to let off some steam in the summer months. But before then there’s always the London Mini Marathon on 24 April that can provide a great day out in our capital whether taking part or merely spectating from the sidelines.

The capital is currently hosting the highly-competitive Professional Darts Corporation Championship that can easily be enjoyed by anybody regardless of age range or skill level. And adults can always add a little excitement to the PDC World Championship event thanks to the Coral sports betting site that provides an exhaustive range of odds, as well as all of the latest news stories from this gripping event.

Out and about

Just because the weather may be a little chilly doesn’t mean that we have to stay indoors to have fun. One good thing about the long dark nights of winter is that it makes for perfect stargazing. And many observatories up and down the country like Kielder Observatory will be hosting family-friendly stargazing events that are perfect for introducing your family to the mysteries of the night sky.

And although it’s been a very mild winter so far, there’s always the chance of snow, so make sure you get the sledges prepared for some traditional winter fun!

Everything You Need To Kit Out Your Kid’s Bedroom

Kitting out your child’s bedroom is very important. If you want any hope of getting your child to sleep in there each night, then they’re going to need to like how it looks and feels. Be sure to follow this guide to have less sleepless nights and enjoy stress-free parenting, where you’ll have time to relax yourself.


‘Pic Credit’

Decorate To A Theme

This is probably the most important step. If you kid has a favourite TV show like ‘Paw Patrol’ or really likes the movie ‘Frozen’ then use this to your advantage! Luckily, for you as a parent, retail stores sell bucket loads of branded merchandise to fill your child’s room to the brim with. Duvet covers are a great place to start; kids love it when their bed has their favourite TV and movie characters on it. Match this up with relevant pillow cases and maybe a throw at the bottom of the bed in a suitable, matching colour and you’re away! To continue the theme throughout the room, pick up some posters for your child to stick up on a noticeboard. Then, to complete the new look, paint the walls in matching colours to the duvet set. Or, if you’re lucky, and can find some, plaster your kid’s wall in their favourite TV show or film’s wallpaper! They’ll love it.

Make Their Bed Comfy

Giving your kids a comfy bed to sleep in can be a masterstroke. Not only will they spend fewer hours awake terrorising you, but it’ll help them perform better at school the next day. The key to comfort in bed is a good mattress. A durable, long-lasting and comfortable solution is a latex mattress. Your little one is only going to need a single bed, which will keep costs down. So, why not take a look at some of the double latex mattresses available to treat Mummy and Daddy after the kids are sound asleep? These are great luxurious mattresses that guarantee a good night’s sleep. Be sure to get your child some nicely plump pillows and a suitable duvet. Ideally, children cannot sleep under anything at all warmer than a 10.5 tog. If you stick to those tips, then hopefully, you’ll have plenty of silent nights!


A great kids bedroom needs to be packed with their favourite toys in order to keep them occupied for hours! Every other child will be envious of your kid’s awesome pad when they come over for playdates in this case. Open-ended toys are great for inspiring creativity within your kid. Things like building blocks and arts and crafts materials can really engage your kid’s mind, which is great when they’re at such a young age. Educational additions to the room could be a clock, to help them learn to tell the time. Or even a globe, to aid their understanding of geography from an early age! Try and avoid filling your child’s bedroom with violent toys. Toy swords or guns, etc. aren’t the best method of upbringing for you kid! Instead, perhaps try Play-Doh or a musical instrument. These might seem messy and noisy – but they’ll certainly keep him or her occupied!


Make sure you kid’s room is tidy! A messy environment will teach them that that is okay to be untidy. If you make sure their room is orderly and teach them that that is the way that things are meant to be kept, then they will learn to be more responsible. Pick up some large, plastic storage crates for all your child’s favourite toys. These can be hidden away under a bed or at the top of a wardrobe so that the clutter is only there when your kid is playing. There’s also no incentive for you child to get out of bed to start playing with toys in the middle of the night then, too. Keeping the bedroom tidy will also stop either your kid or you tripping over toy cars or stamping on LEGO bricks! The best part of storing the toys away is that none of them are ever going to be lost! We as parents know how horrendous it can be if a child’s favourite toy goes missing. Avoid this!

Hopefully, all of these additions and tips will make your kid’s bedroom incredibly enjoyable, safe, and cosy for them. It is important for children to love their bedroom. If they do, they’ll spend a lot of time engaging with the important stuff in it, and get more sleep! This has its health benefits, too. Follow this handy guide and enjoy bringing up a learned child and indulge in more pleasant night’s sleep!


Celebratory jewelry for those important times in your life


There are a number of life-enhancing (and life-changing ) events which happen when you have children. From them being born, to their baptism, taking their first steps to starting at school, they are all incredible milestones for the family to remember.

One very special way to celebrate these times is to buy a small piece of jewelry which has relevance to the occasion.

Birth of a child

Other than getting married, the birth of a child is perhaps one of the most important life events. It’s a time for joy and happiness and the baby will be showered with gifts. A beautiful way to mark it would be to buy a charm bracelet complete with the first charm with one then given for each birthday. It will build over the years into a stunning piece which can be worn by the child as they grow up and then pass on the tale of each charm to their own children.

For Mom, a Houston jewelry diamond ring to wear alongside an engagement and wedding ring set would be a perfect and stunning way to mark the event.


Baptism jewelry is a thoughtful way to mark the first important event in the lives of many young babies. Popular choices are silver or platinum bracelets which are often then engraved inside with the date. A personalized necklace is another choice with either the initial letter of their name as the pendant, their full name or perhaps their birthstone.

First birthday

For those who have purchased a charm bracelet, this is the time to choose the next item to add to it. A grow-with-me bracelet for a child celebrating their first birthday means they have a piece of jewelry they can wear immediately and then for the rest of their lives. They are designed in small sections which are complete with gemstones and are then re-sized as the years go by. For young girls they are especially popular to be worn from their time as a baby until they become a bride.

First hair cut

Baby hair is very precious and so the first hair cut is one to be marked as a real developmental stage in their young life. Many parents like to retain a small piece as a keepsake but unless it’s stored with care it can become damaged or lost over the coming years. The way to keep it safe is to buy a locket and to enclose it within. It can then be worn as a necklace alongside a photo of the baby at the time they had their hair cut as a wonderful and permanent memory.

First day at school

Heading to school for the first time brings tears of joy and pride that a child is now old enough to begin their first steps into the wide world. It’s a memorable day for all to see a once tiny baby now wearing their uniform and heading through the gates to make new friends. Celebrate by buying a customized piece of diamond jewelry in the shape of perhaps a butterfly, a star or a wise owl.

What To Consider When Choosing A School For Your Child

What To Consider When Choosing A School For Your Child

Only a parent knows when his or her own child isn’t excelling in school.

Whether it’s the social environment, school curriculum, training of the teachers and a plethora of other possible hindering issues that may be interfering with your child’s education—transferring schools may be the only realistic alternative. But like all major changes in life, this should be a well-calculated decision that’s carefully measured and thoughtfully considered.

From Sunday school to charter school, if you’re in the process of finding a different education for your little one, here are the essential things to consider during your pursuit towards a new enrollment:

What is the ideal education you’re looking for?

Before beginning your search, it’s imperative that you think carefully about what subjects and/or themes that are most important to you and your child’s education. Refine your search by evaluating which methods of learning best appeal to your child. If, for example, he or she excels in math—make sure that the impending educational environment maintains a high regard, as well as a viable, well-respected reputation in this subject area(s).

Weigh ALL of your options

If you’re struggling to find the “perfect” school for your child, you’re most likely going to endure a difficult time trying to find such a place. The reality is, the perfect school simply does not exist. That’s why it’s important to not consider one alternative over the other.

It’s very plausible that a homeschooling organization may better suit your child than of a highly regarded private school, or that an online education may provide a stronger focus in a specific area than of a charter school. At the end of the day, each school is unique and has their own strengths and weakness that differentiates them from the other.

Look carefully into each school, but let “the numbers” be the overriding factor…

During your search, it’s important that you gather as much information about a specific school as you can before making a decision. Some schools may have betters numbers regarding grades, student to teacher ratio, diversity in class subjects, etc., however, this doesn’t mean that they are better for your child to enroll in.

There are plenty of reputable sources online to help you divvy up information regarding a specific school. But it’s important to mention that you utilize these tools with a grain of salt approach; in other words, use these services to help guide your decision, not confirm it.

Physically visit the school before settling on a decision…

Marketing exists everywhere and in every industry and school administrations are no different.

Many schools that you research online will visibly appear better than how they actually look in person—so it’s crucial to never judge a book by its cover. Making the trip to the actually campus and visit the school with your own two eyes along with your child. This will give a much better perspective versus an image up pulled up while surfing the web. During the visit, be sure to invest time and really dive into the school’s routine and overall personality.

Schedule an interview with the principal, knock on the door of a teacher after class, talk with other parents, and do your best to gain an idea of what your child will be experiencing day-to-day.

Here are a few important questions to investigate during your visit:

  • What is training-level and expertise of the teachers and staff?
  • What is the difficulty-level of the class’s agendas and/or topics?
  • What is the quantity and quality of the homework assigned?
  • What are the behavioral procedures of student misconduct, bullying, etc.?

Don’t result to hearsay…

Word-to-mouth is a good and valid source to consider pursuing, as well as referring back to your own school experience when evaluating or comparing.

But it’s important that you don’t let subjective-knowledge to override any decision-making. What should be evaluated is a measuring ALL your research before reaching a conclusion.

Don’t underestimate deadlines for enrollment

It’s crucial that you know when, where and how to enroll if you have any interest for a particular school. Some schools, such as specialty schools, may require an interview, letter of recommendation or portfolio-check before considering your child to be enrolled. It’s also important that you gather up all the necessary documentations (e.g., birth certificates, residency card, medical vaccinations, dental records, etc.), so that you have the information handy need be.