Turn Your House Into A Home - Choosing A Rug*

*This is a collaborative post*

When I was a little girl I loved nothing more than curling up on our cosy fluffy rug as I settled down by the fireplace with a good book, usually Enid Blyton Secret Seven or Famous Five! I'm now many years older but other than that, not much has changed. When I have time I still love to read although granted, it's more chick lit these days, and I still believe that a gorgeous rug has it's place in every room. It's a textile that can really give a room that 'finished' or cosy lived in look. When added along with other absolute home-ware necessities such as cushions, curtains and photos, it's also the sort of feature that will turn your otherwise ordinary house into a home. Below you'll find an infographic courtesy of Land Of Rugs which gives helpful tips and suggestions on how to choose a rug according to your floor type. 

*Header image via Pexels

The Best Side Jobs To Increase Your Income - Guest Post By Mia Taylor

We all need a couple of extra bucks here and there. Whether it’s to buy that cool new gadget that you’ve been eyeing up, or maybe go on a fun vacation with your buddies, a side job is a great way to earn good cash and feel a little more secure in life. But how do you find something that won’t become overwhelming and end up eating up too much of your time while still earning enough to make a difference? Well, first you’ve got to find the right job! Do you need suggestions on what to look for and how to organize your time around this extra activity? Then read on.

Have a skill that is in high demand? From article writing to web design, signing up for sites like Upwork or Freelancer is a good way to earn some money. The beginning will be the hardest because you need to get some positive reviews before well-paying clients will consider your profile, so you’ll probably spend the first few weeks doing poorly-paid work until you can build up some reputation and start charging more. Make sure to have a good profile photo and to fill out your bio so people would get a good idea of who you are and what you can do.

Teenagers and college kids usually have a really easy time fitting a few evenings a week of babysitting into their schedule. If you’re good with children and know how to handle tantrums and entertain them until their parents are back, hand out your number to the neighbours and let them know when you’re available. Always let people know whether you’re available in the evenings or during the day or coordinate with parents who need your services as the need arises.
Customer service

Customer service jobs usually require no prior experience, and they’re ideal for those who know how to deal with people and don’t get stressed easily. This job can be emotionally draining, but if you start doing it part-time and remain calm and professional, it’s a nice little source of cash.
Online surveys

Being probably the easiest, most effortless job of the bunch, it’s a pretty great pick for busy individuals with little time on their hands. You can get paid to take surveys online and earn money or vouchers that you can use for your favourite stores. Since it doesn’t require much of your time, it can easily be something you do whenever you have time to spare. Simply sign up, and you’ll be sent surveys for various companies and products, and all you need to do is answer honestly.

If you are a talented photographer, you could always offer your services for weddings, parties, family gatherings, and personal lookbooks, but you could also start taking stock photos and sell them on sites such as Shutterstock. This is generally a pretty enjoyable job that’s good for those who seek a little bit of creativity in their life.
Data Entry

Another job that requires no prior experience, data entry is a little boring, but easy to get into. Companies who need data entry services will usually give you a test to pass to see if you’re a good fit for them, and then you will start with tasks like typing up or scanning handwritten reports, typing up data into computer databases, or doing certain kinds of transcriptions. It’s not particularly well paid, but since it requires very minimal skills and can be done from home, it’s a good option for students.

Do you know a foreign language? Perhaps you’re particularly good at math? Plenty of people need tutoring for certain subjects (from high schoolers who just want a better grade, to foreigners who wish to learn English), so offering your knowledge and experience through online platforms such as Preply will let you teach others over Skype and earn a very pretty penny if you’re a good tutor. As with most things, reputation is important and if you are good at what you do and conduct yourself professionally you’ll probably have an easy time finding students. We do recommend that you get a planner and stick to your schedule religiously to be able to organize yourself effectively.
Monetize your hobbies

From knitting to jewellery making, crafty hobbies could actually be a great source of income. Whether you carve little wooden figurines, make homemade cosmetics, or know how to sew really well, you can sell your crafts through sites like Etsy or make your own online page. Advertise through social media and create a small business!
Not only does having a side job help bring in some more money for you and your family, but it also looks really good on your CV. We recommend that you take side jobs seriously and treat them like real work: organize your time, especially if you plan to work from home, and give yourself a “shift” that you will follow every single day. This will help you stay consistent and earn better, so get practical and enjoy the extra cash.

Mia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for www.highstylife.com. She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on the lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty, and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips.
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Age Is Just A Number - Go Out And Live Life To The Full*

*This is a collaborative post*

These days, much as it horrifies me to admit it, I'm nearer forty than I am thirty. How on earth did that happen? 

I remember naive twenty two year old me saying I'd be married with six kids at thirty five. I remember thirty year old me saying okay no worries, there's still time to fit in the life plan. And now I'm nearing thirty six? There's still no ring on finger, still no kids. But hey, I'm honestly totally okay with this. Really I am. 

Sometimes life has other plans

Rarely does life pan out how we expect it to, but this doesn't mean that it can't still be great. Sure I might reach forty and beyond and still not be married but what does it matter if I'm happy, content and enjoying life? Many of us get so hung up on age when it is after all just a number, and yet it needn't have a negative connotation especially when it comes to living life and finding love. 

A lady that has only reiterated this belief for me is my friend's mum. We'll name her Maureen for the sake of this post. Maureen who is over fifty, is undoubtedly one of the strongest and most inspirational women I know. If anyone reading this thinks that they're too old or too past it to do something with life then it's Maureen they need to look to. Not only has she picked herself up after much heartache to find love again - through online dating I might add - she's also carved out a brand new career for herself in healthcare and is living life to the full. Life for Maureen has literally started all over again so if she can do it then so can you!

Finding love in later life

As this over forties dating site says, there is no age limit for love and while myself and Maureen firmly agree with this, many of my over forties friends are still indeed single yet they're all quite the catch. So why is this? Where are they going wrong? 

Perhaps it's actually because they're looking in the wrong places or rather on the wrong dating sites. While there are of course free generic dating websites out there that are for singletons of every age, these aren't always the best option. For starters it can take a lot of time to sift through the time wasters to find a handful of actual prospective takers. POF anyone? At one time it seemed as if everyone was on there, single or not! However, when you're forty and over, most people will be looking for serious takers or at least individuals on the same wavelength as you which is why you should instead check out sites like Older-Dating.com

Lose the stigma that comes with the word 'older'

Try not to get too hung up on words like 'older' or 'mature' and instead focus on the fact that these sites are specifically designed to match you with like minded individuals who are in the same age bracket as yourself. 

It doesn't matter what anyone thinks

It doesn't matter whether you're single because you've just never found the right person or if you've recently come out of a long term relationship, once you join the world of online dating you'll find many like minded people looking for friendship, companionship and/or love. 

The same applies to anyone who has suffered a bereavement. Yes it's impossible to contemplate dating whilst you're still grieving, but that doesn't mean you also have to feel lonely. Many people on these sites will be in a similar position to you and will just be looking for companionship, friendship, or just someone to talk to or enjoy meals out with. They - more than anyone - will understand what you're going through. 

Why choose Older Dating sites?

Other than the fact you'll be chatting to people in similar situations and age brackets as you, a real plus point and something I love about 'Older Dating' is that they've catered to the needs of singletons across the globe. Yes really! You'll find dating sites regardless of whether you live in the UK, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the US. Furthermore, once you've chosen your country, you can then narrow down your search by choosing a specific city or town local to you. The UK list alone features over seventy places. 

Support is at hand

Readily available support is at hand in the form of dating advice, informative articles and also the 'AskJulie' feature which I think is a fabulous idea. All of these features are of course designed to help aid you on your dating journey whether you want to brush up on your online dating etiquette skills, learn some funny chat up lines or simply ask Julie for advice.

With the promise that these websites are safe, secure, easy to use and free to join, you've really nothing to lose by giving it a go!

Making Holiday Memories To Last A Lifetime* - Written By Jason Machin

*This is a collaborative post*

Surely everybody dreams of the kind of holiday where travelling the world, enjoying new experiences, jet-setting from country to country is the norm. Indeed some of us are lucky enough to afford sabbaticals and can take the time to make such memories, but for most of us, we are confined to the workplace expectations of just a week in the sun. Two if we're very lucky. Usually, these constraints leave us heading straight for an all inclusive holiday in Spain or Greece and with just a week off who can really blame us for taking the easy option of a free bar, restaurants on site, pools, sun and entertainment? But what if I told you that you could emulate the experience of enjoying different food, architecture and people everyday without having to take out a second mortgage to achieve this?

Amazingly enough it’s actually pretty easy to achieve and it doesn’t even require a strain to plan. A perfect example is a holiday I experienced in Italy. Undecided on where to stay between Pisa and Florence, I decided that wherever I stayed, I would just travel to the other city and spend the day exploring. This decision quickly escalated to a four day extended weekend, spending a day in Pisa, Florence, Livorno and Luca respectively with only a few hours train ride between each! 

The first thing to point out was that instead of feeling rushed or hectic, this actually felt like I had been on holiday for at least a week, because there was so much to take in and so many memories to make. Italy is one of the best countries to city hop because whilst they’re all so close together, each city has something entirely different to offer. 

Florence was easily the highlight. Possibly the most beautiful place I have ever been. The renaissance architecture, sculptures and art are present around every turn you take through the maze-like streets. Every few turns finds you entering another amazing piazza, littered with gorgeous restaurants serving the best Italian foods and wines. You could find yourself wandering the streets of Florence for weeks and always having something new to do. First on the bucket list surely though... must be the cities infamous Duomo. The tallest building where, after a rather exhausting hike up its staircases you can enjoy the glorious views of the entire city. I challenge you to find a flaw in its artistry from this height. 

Florence also houses Michelangelo’s David, one of the most famous sculptures in the world and a must see when you’re in the city, but once you’ve seen both of those just take the time to explore. I guarantee you’ll find something unique and different to what I experienced and you can make your own amazing memories. 

Pisa, famously brings tourists for its leaning tower and beautiful basilica. It would be churlish to not visit both, if only to pose for a photo pushing the tower back up (or even pushing it down if you’re feeling more devilish!). Climbing the tower is an experience of its own, be prepared for a dizzying sensation as you reach the top as you can really feel the towers unusual structure up there!

What made Pisa really a great experience beyond these points though is how un-touristy it actually is once you wander into the city properly. The restaurants are local ones, serving local delicacies and fine Tuscany wines. It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience Italy as the Italians do. So once you’re in the city, don’t be afraid of the restaurants off the main Piazzas whose menus are in Italian. The owners do an amazing job of translating and being accommodating. They’ll regale you with tales, help you pick out the best wines, and are brilliant with any dietary requirements. You’ll leave feeling like you’ve made some great friends, sure that no matter how many years pass before you return, they’ll remember you.  

That’s really the beauty of Italy, and Europe really as a whole. Livorno and Lucca again had so much to offer, both the city itself and the people. From the ancient walls surrounding Lucca to the beautiful promenades of Livorno, there are so many people to meet with stories to share, that it’s such a shame so many people opt for the all inclusive option. They're just missing out on everything our neighbouring countries have to offer and teach us. 

Perhaps next time you’re looking for where to go on holiday, why not try city hopping? Most cities in Italy have airports that the major airlines fly out to, so you can head over to a booking company to find your flights. Check out Cheap Holidays 2018 - Book Today & Save.
If Italy doesn’t float your boat, there are so many options available so go ahead and make those memories!

*Written by Jason Machin

Beginners Guide To Joint Supplements*

*This is a collaborative post*

Our joints are highly sophisticated units that allow us to move and keep up with our day-to-day demands. Given their importance, we only really appreciate how important they are when they let us down. Unfortunately, joint issues such as arthritis are some of the most common ailments worldwide. This has prompted many of us to pay more attention to our joints and ways we can improve our lifestyle to fight off the issues that are debilitating for so many.

In this article we are going to look at some of the best supplements to take if you are aiming to prevent joint issues from occurring or are looking to combat already present problems.

Why Take Supplements for Joint Health?

All nutritionists would agree that we should try and get every nutrient we need through the diet and only use supplements to make up for any shortcomings. However this is an issue when it comes to joint health, as many of the nutrients that support the joints are not found in any significant amount in the diet.

Although the body naturally creates many of the special compounds the joints need for smooth functioning, factors such as advancing age, injury and a poor lifestyle can mean that we lose the ability to create a sufficient amount. More often than not, this leads to pain which impacts our lives. This is where carefully selected supplements come into play to restore the balance.

Which Supplements Are Best for the Joints?

To ensure the joints remain in good condition, it is crucial to take high quality supplements in the correct doses. In this section, we are going to walk through some of the best supplements for the joints and how much should be taken for the best results.


Glucosamine is the most popular supplement for joint health, with it being successfully used by millions worldwide on a daily basis. Although scientists aren’t 100% sure how glucosamine works, they are pretty confident that it is of benefit because it helps ensure the body has enough collagen. Collagen is a key structural protein in the body that is found in large amounts in the cartilage and connective tissue and therefore is crucial for trouble-free joints.

Glucosamine supplements come in two main forms, sulphate and hydrochloride (HCL). Both of these provide glucosamine, with the only difference being the ‘delivery vehicle’, as glucosamine by itself is not well absorbed. Glucosamine sulphate is derived from crustaceans, so is not suitable for vegetarians or those with a seafood allergy. As HCL is made from maize, it is a suitable option for people who cannot take the sulphate version.

For the best results, it appears that 1500mg per day is the dose to aim for. This can be taken in one dose or numerous smaller amounts throughout the day. Some people see the benefits within a matter of days, but most people feel an improvement to the joints within 4-12 weeks.


Although glucosamine is regularly taken by itself, it is also popular to take it alongside other nutrients which fall under the category of ‘perfect partners’. One of these is chondroitin which is another compound naturally found in the joints.

In the joints, chondroitin works by controlling inflammation – the same inflammation which can accelerate the breakdown of cartilage. Due to this benefit, research has shown that chondroitin supplementation can improve pain levels and flexibility through decreasing joint inflammation and swelling. Chondroitin has been shown time and time again to be a safe supplement, with most research studies using a dose of between 800-1200mg per day.


Rosehip is the fruit from a type of wild rose plant that is native to parts of Europe. It is famous for packing a vitamin C punch, as gram for gram it contains 10 times the amount of oranges! Vitamin C is an essential part of the diet that is known world over for its benefit to the immune system. However, it is also a crucial nutrient for joint health, as it plays an integral role in producing collagen.

Rosehip is much more than its vitamin C content however, as it contains polyphenols, which is the name nutritionists give to powerful plant-based compounds. These special nutrients are known to have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits which don’t just protect the joints but all cells throughout the body.

Findings fresh rosehip is not very common, so it is regularly consumed through extract supplements to provide a convenient daily dose. To experience the benefits shown in the published research, 5g per day is a good amount to aim for.


Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM for short, is another supplement that is effective for joint health by itself and even more so when taken alongside glucosamine. Although it is found in very small amounts in some fruits, vegetables and meats, an MSM supplement is the only viable way to obtain an amount that is beneficial.

MSM is one of the best sources of sulphur, which is a mineral that is used as a building block for healthy bones and joints. It also has a role in utilizing glucosamine to influence collagen production. Like glucosamine, 1500mg per day is the recommended dosage.

Thankfully, like the other supplements mentioned in this article, MSM is a safe supplement with very few side effect ever reported. The same cannot be said for over the counter painkillers which many people rely on to overcome joint issues. 


Throughout this article numerous references has been made to the important of collagen for healthy joints. Although the body certainly has the ability to produce collagen, certain factors can often mean that we cannot create a sufficient amount.

Due to this, supplements that provide collagen have become increasingly popular. Collagen supplements come in various forms, with marine and bovine collagen being the most common. Marine collagen is widely regarded as the best, so make sure you look for supplements that are derived from fish.

Collagen is not just taken for the joints however; it is also used to improve the condition of the skin, as after all, collagen is found in high amounts in the skin where it keeps it soft, hydrated and flexible. To experience the benefits to the joints and skin, 10g per day should be aimed for.

Fish Oils

Not all joint issues are mechanical in nature (osteoarthritis), some are rheumatic (rheumatoid arthritis). Although some of the aforementioned supplements exert anti-inflammatory benefits, they only do so in an isolated area. Fish oils, which are rich in omega 3s known as EPA and DHA are proven to combat inflammation throughout the body, and therefore are very effective for rheumatic pain.

Unlike the other supplements in this article, the omegas 3s are easily obtained through the diet, with oily fish such as salmon and mackerel being the best sources. However, if you do not like fish but still want to reap the benefits, a fish oil supplement is a good alternative. Look for a supplement that provides 250mg of EPA and DHA per day.


Hopefully this article has outlined some tried and tested supplements for improving the health and condition of the joints. However it must be said that their benefits are likely to be accentuated when taken as part of a healthy and active lifestyle, so make sure you make other positive changes for the greatest effect. Before taking any supplements, it is advised that you talk to a medical professional to ensure they are right for you.

*Contributed on behalf of Simply Supplements 

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