The Ins and Outs of Freestanding Baths and Why They Are So Popular

In a time not so long ago, freestanding baths were owned only by the rich and famous, and upmarket hotels. Now, however, anyone is able to own a bath like this. However, before you buy one, there are a few things that you should know.

How Is a Freestanding Bath Different?

Most normal baths are attached to a supporting wall. As the name suggests, a freestanding bath can be placed anywhere on your bathroom floor. Furthermore, they can also have feet or claws to support them.

What Should I Look for in the Bathtub?

The name of these bathtubs conjures up images of large rooms with a great deal of space. However, in real life, most of us don’t actually have that much space. Hence, we have limited options available to us. Luckily, however, bath manufacturers understand that we have space limitations but continue to have a desire for freestanding baths, so they have been coming up with nifty solutions. You can now purchase these tubs in a range of different shapes, sizes, weights and styles. Indeed, you can even find freestanding tubs that can be placed against the wall.

You should start by studying your bathroom. What sort of feeling do you get from it, and is that what you want? This will help you figure out the style of bath you need. Freestanding tubs are generally either traditional or contemporary and you will have to choose between those two. Traditional styles tend to have more character, but they can also be a bit old fashioned.

Traditional models are either roll top or slipper baths. However, they can also be somewhere in between. Generally speaking, a slipper bath is quite high, which means you do have to make sure that you can actually get in and out of them safely. Contemporary models, on the other hand, are much simpler and look creative. It is all about deciding what sort of overall feel you want to create in your bathroom.

Some Things to Consider

There are a few things to be aware of to make sure you pick the right bath for your needs. These include:

  • Heavy materials, like copper or stone, can only be used if your floor is strong enough, or you will need to build additional joists.
  • You must think about where to put the bath waste. On a freestanding model, the waste is below the level of the floor. This means you need to think about the structural implications as well and you should know what the possibilities are before you purchase one.

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Hints and Tips to Allow Your Creativity to Flow in Your Garden

Your garden is a place in which you can really let your own creativity shine. It isn’t just about planting fruits and vegetables, although this can be a great idea as well. Most of us, however, want to create something that is a place of beauty and use some fascinating garden designs. Getting this right isn’t too difficult, particularly with the following guidelines.

The Golden Rule

There is one golden rule for creating a garden, which is to always think before you plant. You need to make sure you actually create a plan of what you want to achieve and how you intend to achieve that. Don’t worry if you’re not the world’s best drawer. So long as you know what you put down on paper, that is good enough.

The Purpose of Your Garden

Next, think about what you want your garden to be used for. Do you want people to stroll through it and have romantic conversations? Do you want to entertain in a huge open space? Do you want to become self-sufficient? Do you have children or pets? Is your garden out in public or your own private space? These are all important factors to take into consideration to get your design right.

Think Landscaping

You need to consider the overall landscape of your garden space and your house. Your garden needs to match this and compliment it. Your house is obviously the biggest thing in your space, and if your garden doesn’t match with the overall style of your house, then it won’t look as beautiful either. Do bear in mind that contrasting designs can go really well together.

The Type of Garden

Now, start to think about the type of garden you would like. Do you want something formal or semi-formal? Do you want it to be completely natural? Each of these styles require different styles of growing. Natural gardens, for instance, have many wildflowers and very few discernible lines. Formal gardens are the opposite, with topiaries and shaved bushes that are completely level. Semi-formal, as the name suggests, is a bit of a combination between the two.

Think about a Theme

You may want to make your garden follow a theme. This is a personal decision and one that only you can make. Themes are great because they stand out, but they are also quite restrictive, as you are stuck with only a certain type of plant. However, you can always play about with colours, which is something you can always do by the way, to make little changes here and there if you feel the theme is too dominant.

Effectively Managing Your Team

Effectively managing your team is actually the first step towards successful team building. If a team is without proper leadership then the opportunities for them to deviate from the right path become ever present. By constantly monitoring your employees without becoming overbearing you can help to keep them on the right track and guide them in the right direction. However, managing a team is about more than just keeping an eye on your employees. You must also be able to listen to and understand their needs and provide resolutions to a wide range of problems that can occur.

Team building can only be successful when everyone on that team is willing and able to work well together. It is never advisable to simply remove a member of your team because of small issues they might have created. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be unwilling to terminate a person’s contract if you feel their presence is detrimental to the team as a whole. This is a step you should particularly look to taking if the person’s presence is a source of resentment for other more productive members. When someone isn’t pulling their weight then this can quickly cause a problem within any business and the appropriate action should be taken to reach a resolution!

Once you have the best people for the job you will have all the ingredients for a great team! This team will now require careful nurturing and strong leadership to excel at the job you need them to do. When it comes to organised team building activities devising ways to encourage communication amongst your employees will be of great benefit. Activities that boost confidence and encourage employees to have a good perception of themselves and their skills are also important. This is where the differing strengths of your team will come in very useful. By identifying the various personalities of your employees you can figure out who will be best suited to lead and who is happier to learn from the expertise of others. However you should make it a priority to find at least one strength of every individual that they can assist others with learning.

Whenever you are engaging in team building one of the most important things you can do is give credit where credit is due. This also extends into accepting the blame yourself when things go wrong. Nothing will make your employees look up to you more then when you are willing to accept responsibility for your mistakes!

Golf Fitness for the Best Golf Game and Healthy Body

We know that professional golf players, such as those that play the Augusta Golf Masters, are getting stronger and a lot more flexible.  Hence, we are hearing more and more about the physical fitness that golf players should focus on.  Of course, they all have professional trainers working with them, so what is available to those who just play as amateurs?

The Golf Swing

Firstly, you have to understand that the swing is an athletic movement.  It involves the entire body, from the tip of your toes to the tip of your fingers and the top of your hear.  It isn’t just about the club, or just about the grip, or where your head is pointing towards.  Instead, it is about your entire body going through a set of movements, and doing so with the right timing as well.  You have to start with the right attitude and finish with the right movement as well.  This has to be done in an efficient and consistent manner, and that means sticking to a number of physical rules.  And in order to be able to follow these physical rules, you have to be able to do manipulate your body the right way.

Exercise for Golf

Golf is a sport like no other, which means you can’t simply walk into the gym, spend an hour on the treadmill and push a bit of iron and be done with it.  You have to actually exercise the muscles that you will need when you execute your swing.  This means that you can really divide the exercise you do in a number of categories as follows:

  • Flexibility – you have to be able to move your body properly so you don’t injure yourself.  Your lower back is at particular risk of injury.  This means you should work on exercises that stretch your entire body.  Yoga or Pilates are particularly good sports for this.
  • Balance – in order to play golf properly, you have to be fully balanced from head to toe.  Again, yoga and Pilates will help with this, because it will teach you to stand in full balance and to exercise your core muscles appropriately.
  • Muscle strength – this is obviously important, because the more strength you have, the harder you will be able to hit your ball and the further it will travel.  Try to focus slightly on building the muscles in your arms, chest and back for this, and you can simply use machines in the gym to achieve this.

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What Do eCommerce Consultants Do and Do You Need One?

A lot of people who want to start an eCommerce site do so without any help from others.  Of course there are benefits to doing this, such as learning very quickly and being very cheap, there are also numerous drawbacks.  If you don’t know what you’re doing with eCommerce, perhaps because you’re not an online specialist, you will probably make a lot of mistakes.  This could cost you a lot of business and at times even make your business go under.  This is why you should always work together with an eCommerce consultant.

What Is an eCommerce Consultant?

eCommerce consultants are highly experienced in the world of designing profitable websites and they will provide you with their expertise.  Some of the benefits of hiring one of these consultants include:

  • They are highly experience, meaning you will be able to avoid the most common mistakes.
  • The know how to make sure your site is totally successful, because they will have proven experience of how this works.
  • They know what sort of things you need to look out for.
  • They are well-versed in marketing websites online, so they can help you get more traffic and hence be more successful as well.
  • They know how you can make your business a success in as little time as possible.

Yes, it costs money to hire an eCommerce consultant, but sometimes you have to spend money to make money.  The return on investment you should be able to see is amazing, unless you happen to be an unknown natural talent and doing online design.

Where to Find eCommerce Consultants

One of the best places to find an eCommerce consultant is, obviously, online.  Generally speaking, they will have their own websites as an example, since their own service is technically an eCommerce service.  The ease with which you found them, and the overall look of their own website will tell you a lot about what they will be able to do for you.

However, don’t base your entire opinion on their website alone.  Make sure you get a few references from the consultant and follow these up.  Take a look at other sites they have designed and see how you feel about them.  Also, try to find some independent reviews from people that have worked with the consultant you are considering and ask them for their opinion.  Try to make this truly independent, since it is unlikely that the consultant would ever refer you to someone who isn’t really happy with the work they have done.

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Why Decorating Your Garden Is so Very Important

We all live such busy lives that we are often looking for an area where we can escape from all of that.  One such area is our garden.  It is a space that can give us peace of mind, an area to unwind, get rid of all our stresses and generally meditate and relax.  So how do you achieve that with a garden?

Make it Unique

Your garden is your space.  It is somewhere that allows you to get back to nature, but which part of nature inspires you is a personal choice.  You may love deserts or you may prefer the rainforest.  Maybe you like mountains, or perhaps you prefer great planes.  It is about understanding your own likes and dislikes and combining this into a unique space.


Many historical gardens build strongly on symbolism and this is something you can learn from.  What is it that you feel is lacking in your life?  What is something that allows you to lose yourself in a world of imagination?  If you have always dreamed of being a mermaid, add some water to your garden.  If you find purple an uplifting colour, include many purple flowers.  If you enjoy witchcraft and paganism, why not create a little elf door on one of your trees?

Your Imagination

It is all about your own imagination.  You can create a path that to any other person may just look like a way to get from a to b.  But perhaps, for you, it is representative of the path of your life, with hidden and interesting mysteries around the corner.  Perhaps a little garden statue looks tacky to someone else, but to you, it can be a representation of a mystical creature.  Remember that the space is about you and you don’t have to explain to others why you have chosen certain items over others.

Your Personality

Take the time to do some real soul searching and find out who you are.  Are you a natural optimist that always sees the best of life and shines through a bright personality?  Choose yellow flowers and other bright colours.  Are you someone who likes mystical things?  Go for reds and purples.  It is about identifying who you are and what sort of shapes and colours best represent that.  Once again, this is a personal decision to make and one that you don’t have to explain to anything else.  If you identify with a daffodil, then that is your prerogative and you can plant as many daffodils as you like.

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Steps to Follow to Get the Right Glass Block Windows for Your Home

When you are looking at the sizes of glass block windows, you have to step away from the old idea of measuring twice and cutting once.  This is because you cannot do any cutting with glass blocks.  If it doesn’t fit properly, you will have to reorder them, because the structural integrity of your block will be compromised if you were to cut it.  This means no energy efficiency, no safety and no privacy either.  Of course, you have to have a little bit of skill and knowledge in order to take measurements, but you don’t have to be an astrophysicist either.  Here are the steps to follow in order to get the measurements rights.

Steps to Measuring for Glass Block Windows

  1. Where will you use the window and what is the material that will be supporting it?  Remember that if you have to lift the glass blocks very high in order to fit them, you will struggle on a physical level.  Very often, glass block windows come not in individual blocks, but rather as the entire window, which means that you would have to pick the entire thing up somehow if you want it positioned off the floor.
  2. Measure the opening where you will place the window, be that an existing one or one that you will be creating.  The opening is the most important measurement you will ever take.  If you get this one wrong, your new window won’t fit properly and this could be a real problem.  Because many glass block windows are made to measure, you often cannot return them if you took your measurements wrong.
  3. Choose your pattern, the design and colours you like, where you will put your air vent and decide on which sizes of blocks you want.  This has a lot to do with the measurements you took, as these will determine to some extent what choices you actually have.  For instance, you may only want a few very small blocks, but if your opening is massive, you will have to choose slightly bigger blocks, unless you’re hoping to create a mosaic.
  4. Consider getting a professional in to do the work for you.  If you decide to do this, everything will be done for you, which is a wonderful experience as well.  The only decisions you will really have to make is what sort of colours and patterns you like, but the professional could even help you with that if you really don’t know where to start.

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Hints and Tips for a Great Hair Care Regime

Hair is a true reflection of your personality and your overall health.  Interestingly, hair is pretty tough.  It is made up mainly of the keratin protein, but it has no blood supply or nerves, which means it is technically a dead element.  However, this doesn’t mean you should not care about it.  Indeed, your hair care should be part of your daily ritual.  One of the things you have to get right in order to have beautiful hair is your nutrition.  You must eat a healthy diet that is full of fruits and green vegetables in order to get all the vitamins and minerals you need.

After your nutrition, you need to think about conditioning.  Always condition your hair after washing it, and leave the conditioner in your hair for at least a minute.  Then rinse it and pat your hair dry with a towel.  Do not, under any circumstances, vigorously rub your hair with a towel, as this will damage it.

There are lots of bad habits that have an effect on our hair as well.  Alcohol and smoking are terrible, but then so is stress.  Hence, make sure you do a few things to reward your hair for putting up with your unavoidable bad habits.  Treat yourself to a head massage and use a really good quality hair mask every once in a while.  Make sure, as well, that you don’t develop bad hair habits.  For instance, don’t leave your braids in for more than two months.  Do not brush your hair when it is wet and try not to colour it every week.

A Few Useful Hair Care Tips

Hopefully, the following easy tips will help you create beautiful, lustrous hair that is a true reflection of your personality and your overall health.

  1. Castor oil will help your hair grow and look healthy overall.  Apply directly to your hair, or take as a regular supplement.
  2. Make sure you eat plenty of green vegetables, as these are full of iron, which will help the blood flow to your hair follicles.
  3. Use tea to wash your hair at least once a week.  The results are amazing.
  4. Make sure you use good quality products.  Natural products are best if they are there.  Also make sure that the product is actually suitable for your kind of hair.
  5. Wash your hair with water in which you have just cooked rice, which will give it extra strength.
  6. Give your scalp some toning with a nice serum and a good head massage.
  7. If you go out in the sun, protect your hair with a UV blocking shampoo and conditioner.
  8. Do not use a rubber band to tie your hair back.  Your hairs can get caught and get really damaged.
  9. Make a mask out of an egg white, two tablespoons of castor oil and one tablespoon of glycerine and use this to massage your scalp and hair.

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How to Hire a Band for Your Next Party – Some Hints and Tips

More and more people are using booking agents in order to find a party band.  This is a great idea, because this means all the real legwork is done for you.  However, you have to make sure that your agent is actually good.  Very often, agents are band members themselves and they will use the power of persuasion to make you pick their band over any other.  So, how do you tell a good agent apart from a bad one?

A Focus on Talent Scouting

Good agents should be able to show you how they scout about for talent.  They should always be on the lookout for new bands and singers.  This means they should be out and about a lot, particularly at night, when they are out listening to bands.  Any agent that can always be reached is a suspicious one!  Always ask what sort of recent bands they have discovered to confirm they are on the lookout.

Professional Reviews

A good agent will also have a template for reviewing the bands they manage.  They should be able to provide you with these before they actually start advising you on which band to choose over another.  This is a great way to make sure that they don’t just recommend their own band over any other.  Their reviews should demonstrate that they have seen the band play live.  They may also have a video to show you, so you can determine yourself how well they are playing.

The Legality

When you hire a party band, you need to sign a contract with them that outlines exactly what you expect of them and what they expect of you.  If you use an agent, they should have a contract available that explains these things as well.  Some of the things that should be covered in the contract include:

  • Date, time and place of the gig.
  • Duration of play, including breaks.
  • Fees and what they include (equipment hire, insurance and so on)
  • How payment will be made.
  • What happens in case there is a cancellation, either from your side or from theirs?
  • Where the PA system is going to come from.
  • Whether you need to provide the band with food and drink during their performance.

Hiring a band through an agent is a great idea, but only if you know what you are doing.  If you do know of a good agent, then the rest of the search process will indeed be a lot easier.  Hence, it is up to you to weigh up those pros and cons.

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Determining Whether Your Managed Service and IT Support Is Sufficient For You

The current economic climate being what it is, nobody wants to waste money, and these days that is one of the reasons why so many companies around the world outsource their non-core activities such as IT support and managed services. The trouble for many business owners, however, lies in knowing whether or not their IT support is really doing the best job it can, for the money that they are paying.  When it comes to ensuring that you are getting the best possible value for your money, there are certain factors that you should be ready to look out for, including:

  • Responsiveness
  • Technological Knowhow
  • Cordiality


Possibly one of the most vital factors in assessing your IT support team will be finding out just how quickly your outsourced team can respond to any issues that might arise within your company. Things such as servers going down, viruses and other issues can crop up for various reasons, interrupting the flow of work, and thus the productivity in your company. Make sure that your IT support service is capable of reacting immediately to these situations, and that they are proactive in offering effective solutions. A really good support team should be able to anticipate serious problems before they arise, monitoring systems that might alert them to potential issues before they cause you any down-time at all.

Technological Knowledge

In simple terms, your managed service IT support should know exactly what they are doing when it comes to dealing with any specific issue. Check to make sure that the people you hire have the correct certifications and qualifications to get the job done. Consider finding out just how long the company has been in business, and search down recommendations from other clients that they have worked with before. If you find that the company you are considering hiring are always offering promises that they fail to deliver upon, don’t allow yourself to be bought off with excuses. Remember, the support team is there to ease your workload, not add to it.


It may not seem important that your tech support is friendly and easy to talk to, but your employee base should feel comfortable contacting them without feeling condescended or chided whenever they cannot deal with an issue themselves. Ensure that the company you hire treat your employees with respect, as if they don’t feel comfortable enough to ask your specialists for help, then you are wasting money on assistance that no-one is willing to access.

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