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The perks of doing your shopping**

It seems as though every retailer out there has a rewards programme nowadays. This makes sense: one of the best ways that a company can bring back repeat customers is to implement a loyalty perks programme; but what are these systems?

A true loyalty rewards programme is a system in which multiple purchases are rewarded with perks. These perks come in various forms, some of which include cash back, points redeemable at different rewards levels, or discounts. It is a clever scheme, and it makes many customers go back to those retailers time and time again. In essence, a rewards programme keeps customers happy by giving them a little more for their money and helps the store maintain a solid customer base.

Not all rewards programmes are created equal. As a consumer, you should never expect a retailer to give you something for nothing – that is not in their nature. In most cases, the best rewards programmes are those that embody the principle of reciprocity. Traditional rewards programmes would only distribute points to consumers within a certain period of time based on purchases, but today’s most effective programmes go a bit further by offering points for repeat purchase and also brand engagement through social media and other actions.

So many options

Rewards schemes are very popular among online retailers. Thanks to the internet, the retail industry is particularly saturated, so vendors really need to make themselves more attractive to the consumer. This competitive market makes it beneficial to you – as long as you really check the rewards programme out before joining.

There are a number of rewards schemes out there – everything from free delivery of your groceries to free cosmetics from your favourite designer. Some of the programmes even allow you to earn bonus points or cash back when you participate, but those are few and far between. Traditionally, rewards programmes are quite limited, allowing you to use your points or discounts only within their network. However, there are other types of programmes that may offer even more benefits and increased flexibility. Consider Grouptrader – a truly flexible reward system that allows consumers to spend their points on almost anything.

When you join Grouptrader, you’ll get to collect and then spend “GTpoints” at retailers that belong to Grouptrader’s network. Members range from big high street retailers to smaller local stores. You can typically use your Grouptrader card at any retailer that accepts MasterCard, either online or in the store. Not many rewards programmes offer members such flexibility in using their points. To learn more about it, check out Grouptrader’s Wikipedia page.

Because loyalty and rewards programmes are gaining deeper ground with retailers, consumers have a wide variety from which to choose. However, because there are so many programmes out there, retailers must know their consumer and give them exactly what they want – and consumers must choose wisely. With the right rewards scheme, you’ll definitely enjoy the perks of your shopping.

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I can see you……


Not really. I’m not some sort of crazed stalker. I’m talking eyes, or more specifically, eyesight.

During the half term I took both kids to get their eyes tested, as we’d had a letter in the post reminding me about H and C hadn’t ever had one at an opticians, just at the school when he was in reception. So, even though I didn’t think there was anything wrong with their eyes, I thought we may as well get them checked out.

Of course, being kids, they were both praying to be told they needed glasses, I mean, really praying. H actually owns a pair of fake geek glasses that she wears when she’s indoors, they suit her (she suits everything) and I know she think it’s ‘cool’ – or whatever the in word is – to wear them, but she doesn’t seem to realise if you need glasses, you need glasses, it’s not just about the look! Same goes for C, he has a pair as well and he actually says he has to wear them to watch telly, even though they’re fake….. interesting kids I have.

Luckily neither of them needed glasses, in fact, the optician said they had perfect vision, C was told his is ‘super-vision’ which obviously appealed to his Spiderman side! Even though they were both disappointed to be leaving without trying on every single pair of frames in the shop! For the record, both have as expensive taste as I do. It’s in our genes.

The bloke wears glasses, well, he should wear them, we never see him wearing them, I wear them occasionally when I’m reading or on the computer for a loooong time, and both my parents wear them, so I’m not sure where their super vision has come from, but I’m glad they’ve got it – even though medical technology is improving day by day, people still need glasses or lenses at the moment, this piece about Optical Express shows though, that they are trying to work out a way of eradicating it – which, if it happens in this lifetime would be good, especially for those who have to wear them all the time, including the shower! Imagine that, no being able to see all your lotions and potions because you haven’t got your goggles on. Nightmare! I probably should get my eyes tested again, and the bloke DEF needs his done, if you’re reading this husband and you should be, then get that eye test booked ASAP. No excuses!


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Interior Decoration Tips ~ GP

Looking around in your room, if you feel that lighting is not attractive or is too simple, here are some tips that can help you make your room look better and be happy about it.

Know the kind of lighting required in your room
Every room and its arrangement are different. So, it is important to know what kind of lighting will look good in your room.

Have something special in every room
You can fix the same bulbs or lights in every room, but if you can spend some time and think of something different in every room, you can impress your guests. At the same time, it feels good to move in a different environment, every time you switch over to the other room.

We often make this mistake. We choose the paint color first and then look for the furniture and other items in the room. Don’t do this!
Know your furniture, know their places, know the vacant spaces and then choose the paint. Technically, if you choose the paint color last, you can choose a shade that looks perfect for the setting.

Keep some space vacant
It is good to give your furniture some breathing space. Overcrowding your room with furniture will force you to spend more and at the same time will make your room look terrible. So, resist overcrowding your room with furniture items.
Looking for limited furniture items, durability should be your priority. Spending slightly more on good furniture items is a good idea. However, if it is hurting your budget, purchase them from popular online stores like Zoro and use discount coupons to pull down your cash outflow.

If you are planning to hang artwork in your room, make sure that you hand it at the right height. If the ceilings soar, don’t hang the art higher. Relating the height to human scale is important; don’t consider the structure’s scale while hanging the artwork.

Rugs are not important but if you want to place it in your living room, arranging your furniture on it is a decision you have to make.
Here, you have three options: All on, All off and Front on.
All on: If the rug is big enough, you can place every furniture item on it and cover it completely.
All off: This is a cost-effective choice that allows you to keep all legs of the furniture off the rug. This is a good option for small rooms.
Front on: Front feet of your seating pieces should be placed on the rug. This lends a feeling of openness and is loved by many.

Theme or no theme
Generally, it is good to decorate your room without a theme. However, if you are planning to have a theme, make sure that it looks good in your room. There are specific themes that look good in case of small rooms while the others look amazingly good on the big rooms.

Concluding, what else should one do to decorate their rooms?

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Setting Up a Blog – The Technical Bit ~ GP


The other day I was wondering around the web, looking for new ideas for Christmas, and I was amazed to find so many other fashion blogs out there. Quite a few were very new, which reminded me of what it was like to start a blog.
I can’t believe that I started this blog in 2011. It seems like just yesterday. I have enjoyed every minute of it, but for me the steep learning curve was something I could have done without.
Now, I know from some of the notes I get from you guys that many of you would like to set up a blog, but are not sure where to start.
Well finally, I have listened and put together a quick post about setting up a blog or website. Here it is:

One-step at a time
Don’t be daunted by everything you have to learn. Running a blog is just a series of simple steps each of which you can learn in a few minutes from YouTube.
When I started, I knew nothing about writing, posting articles let alone adding images and videos or setting up hosting. To learn each step I just searched YouTube clicked on the most recent video and followed the instructions, which is what I suggest you do.
Therefore, this post is not a step-by-step, click this button, then this button type of article it just outlines the steps you need to take to set up the blog. More of a check list really.

Buy a Domain Name – the first step is to buy a domain name for your website/blog. Try to choose one that will be memorable and reflects what your blog is about.

Buy Hosting – once you have your domain you will need to buy hosting. There are plenty of options. However, avoid the $5 per year type hosting firms. They look like good value for money, but in reality, they rarely provide a good service. If you want to make sure that your blog is not down all of the time, my advice is to buy professional hosting provided by an established hosting provider with a good reputation.

Change the name servers – now you need to point your domain name at your hosting, which means that you have to change the name servers. Sounds complicated fortunately it’s not, just look it up on Google. Also, your domain name registrar will normally tell you how to do it.

Set up content management system (CMS) – again sounds complicated, but it’s not. My suggestion is that you use WordPress as your CMS. It is the most popular CMS, so there are plenty of in depth instructions available.

Post your first article/post – now you are good to go. All you have to do is to get writing. Again, you can learn all about how to write a post, embed videos and photos, from YouTube.

I hope that helps and really look forward to reading your blogs.

Image Source

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Ask any little girl what they want for their birthday or Christmas present and there’s a good chance they’ll say a pony. Beautiful, exciting and fun, ponies and horses hold a special fascination for girls (and boys) of all ages.

Though a good old hobby horse will suffice for the first few years of their love for all things equine, there comes a time when the only thing that will do is a ride on the real thing.

So if your child is fast outgrowing their hobbyhorse and you’re thinking of moving them up to a real-life pony, here are some things to think about when deciding to adopt a horse.

Owning a horse

The ultimate dream of most little girls is to have a pony of their very own. And if you’re thinking about buying a horse of your own, there are some factors you need to consider to ensure you care for it properly.

For example, you’ll need to commit yourself to mucking out its stable on a regular basis, keeping its hooves clean and clear of debris and grooming it ideally on a daily basis.

Having enough space for your horse to exercise and taking it for regular rides are also very important in ensuring your equine addition stays happy and healthy.

Riding lessons

The best place to start your equine education is with riding lessons. By taking your little girl for regular lessons she’ll get a feel for what horses are like in real life, learn how to ride properly and learn the basics of equine care.

There are riding schools across the country, even in towns and cities, so contact your local centre and book in some sessions.

Horse sharing

If your daughter enjoys the lessons and wants to become more involved with horses, sharing a horse or pony is a good way to progress.

More affordable than outright ownership, horse sharing allows you many of the advantages of owning a horse without all of the associated costs.

However, you will have more restricted access to the horse and may be limited as to when you can go for rides.
For further advice and welfare in helping you to make the right decision to adopt a horse, visit the RSPCA horse information page.

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5 Signs You’re Turning into an Adult

What does it mean to be an adult? You may have more responsibilities, less time for staying in bed, and have the opportunity to watch films for viewing by adults only. In many parts of the world, getting a driver’s licence to drive a car is one of the signs of growing up. Learning to drive is a milestone indeed, but to feel like a “proper” grown up, you have to be able to do more than that. With age comes not only wisdom, but practicality and common sense as well, and you find yourself making decisions, especially financial ones, after only weighing in all the factors.

Here are five of the major signs that you’ve entered the zany yet fulfilling world of adult living.

You can drive and maintain your own car. Driving by yourself is a sign of confidence and independence, two things that will make you go a long way in adulthood. Apart from driving, being able to maintain your car also reflects how responsible you are. You take it to be serviced whenever possible, and you can also do basic troubleshooting should your car suddenly decide to die on you in the middle of nowhere.

You don’t rely on mum and dad to make your financial decisions for you. You’re probably earning your own money by now, or have some saved up. When it’s time to make a financial decision, you ask your parents for their advice but the final say rests entirely on you. Being responsible for yourself is something to be proud of—you may make a few mistakes here and there, but it’s all part of the learning process of being a true-blue grown up.

You are building your own nest and can change your own light bulbs. It’s not just renting a house or room we’re talking about here; building your own nest implies settling down, whether with a partner or on your own. Living by yourself by investing on your own flat or small property is a big step and one that will mark you as an adult. Signs of nesting include buying your own furniture, having “best” towels in addition to everyday ones, changing sheets as often as you can, and getting new light bulbs when the old ones conk out.

Independent living also entails paying for mortgage and utilities, maintaining a garden, and keeping a clean, welcoming house.

You can cook a meal from scratch and clean up after yourself. Similarly, you’re turning into an adult when you are able to cook a meal and clean up afterwards. No, none of those ready-to-eat shenanigans and fry-until-it’s-dry things you can buy at convenience stores. We’re talking about a real meal; something you cook from scratch with fresh meat or fish and vegetables. Keep practising and perhaps you can even make your own signature dish! Cleaning up afterwards can be a real chore, but it’s the right—and adult—thing to do.

You budget every month and have invested in life insurance. You’re not getting younger, you may be taking more risks, and you may also have your own family now. Saving up, making a monthly budget, and investing in a life insurance policy isn’t just for you; it’s for your family as well. Through proper budgeting you’ll be able to cut back on unnecessary expenses so you can have savings to tide you over should anything unfortunate happen. By having insurance, you can be sure that your loved ones will be well taken care of even when you’re not around anymore.

Being an adult doesn’t just mean surpassing a set age; it also means having the right perspective and sense of accountability in everything you do. Enjoy your journey!


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