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Quirky Gifts Christmas Gift Guide - Support Small Business This Christmas - FAN GRRRL

This year has presented challenges like no other for small businesses and there's no escaping the fact that there will be hundreds of livelihoods hanging in the balance right now due to the uncertainty that COVID-19 has created. Thousands of businesses have had to close their doors to the public and are relying on internet orders so I wanted to do my bit a create a series of Christmas gift guides featuring small businesses

Today's feature business is FAN GRRRL. Here's a bit about the business:

"FAN GRRRL STARTED OUT AS LA LAND IN 2010. IT IS ADORED BY POP CULTURE VULTURES, BLOGGERS, CAT LADIES, INSTAGRAM QUEENS, GIRL GANGS + FAN GRRRLS AROUND THE WORLD. BASED IN GLASGOW, EVERYTHING IS ETHICALLY MADE IN THE FAN GRRRL STUDIO BY SARAH"

I've picked out a selection of products which are perfect for Secret Santa gifts, stocking fillers and gifts for people that seem to have everything:


Y U SO CUTE Art Print (£10.00)

Bridget Jones Art Print (£10.00)

I Just Hate the General Public Mug (£10.00)

Tom Hardy Fan Club Mug (£10.00)

I Got Dressed Today Baseball Tee (£28.00)

Biscuit Club President Pencil Set (£4.50)

Dog Person Pencil Case/Makeup Bag (£12.00)

Anti-Social Club Gold Foil Art (£12.00)

FAN GRRRL offer worldwide delivery and payment via all major cards, PayPal and Klarna. 

If you are a small business owner and would like me to feature your business in a gift guide please contact me: j.hewitt4468@gmail.com. These gift guide features are completely free of charge!

Decorating Tips for Landlords

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If you’re planning to rent out a property to tenants, it’s probably a good idea to doa bit of decorating first. Doing so will make your property more attractive to the kind of tenants you’re trying to encourage and it will give you a chance to get to know the property better.

Whether you’re a seasoned property developer or someone who’s getting ready to let their first property, here are a few decorating tips that you may find useful:

Tiles are a great choice

When it comes to decorating areas like the kitchen and bathroom, it can be tempting to save money by using cheaper materials like laminate, paint and linoleum, but this could well be a false economy. Not only do they look much less attractive, but they are also less likely to stand the test of time, which means you’ll probably need to replace them very often. Tiles, on the other hand, can typically be refreshed by simply re-grouting them and giving them a quick scrub, which is obviously an advantage.

Keep it neutral

It probably doesn’t need stating, but when you’re decorating a property for other people, it’s smart to be cautious and stick to neutral colour schemes. Not only will bright, bold and garish decoration put some potential tenants off, but it will also age your property far more quickly than walls that have been simply decorated in shades of white, cream or maybe even grey. By sticking with the basics, your property will have more appeal, and refreshing your real estate will be a whole lot simpler. Not only that but if you choose light neutral colours, they will give your property the illusion of spaciousness, which is always a big selling point.

Avoid cheaper fixtures and fittings

From door handles and letterboxes to lamps and lights, buying the very cheapest you can buy will save you money in the short-term, but you’re more likely to be called up by your tenants when they inevitably rust, snap or break in some way. Choosing affordable, but good quality fixtures and fittings will be a far better choice in the long-term. Chrome is good as it’s durable and affordable, but see what’s out there before you make your final decision.

Prevent mould

Mould is very common and it can be a real pain in the backside to deal with. Since you can’t control how often your tenants will have the windows open or the heating on, it makes sense to do what you can to prevent any future mould, whether that means treating and removing existing spots or using anti-mould paint additives when decorating. Yes, it may cost you a little more, but you’ll be glad of it when you don’t have to deal with a spreading mould problem a year down the line.

Go for dark carpets

If you plan to carpet your property, it’s a good idea to go for darker shades of brown, which will disguise any dirt and debris much more easily than lighter colours, so you won’t have to clean them quite so often.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of carpet, the thicker the better. Again, thicker carpets may be more expensive, but they will stand up to wear and tear far better, which means they won’t need to be replaced as often. Using underlay is also a good idea for similar reasons.

Avoid wallpaper

Wallpaper is more likely to peel off and it’s almost impossible to remove stubborn marks and stains from it unless it happens to be a very high-quality washable style, which can be pretty expensive. That’s why it’s a good idea, as a landlord, to use paint throughout the home. If you really want to add some wallpaper, just put it on one feature wall so it’s a bit easier to remove and refresh as and when needed, but try to keep that as neutral as possible too lest it put your tenants off.

Keep it natural

If you need to install new skirting boards, doors, etc., it can be a good idea to simply stain them rather than painting them, Why? Because not only will they look great, but any knocks and scrapes won’t be quite as noticeable as they would if the wood was painted white, cream or some other light colour.

Decorating as a landlord doesn’t have to be stressful. The above tips will help you to get it right without spending a fortune or having to put a huge amount of ongoing time and effort into the process.

Why The Property Market Has Grown Since Lockdown

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The property market has seen an unexpected increase in growth since lockdown restrictions were lifted in May, as estate agents were allowed to return to work and could start to sell properties once again. The explanation for the sudden growth could be attributed to certain factors including Brexit and the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

With the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, many people chose to wait until the outcome of the December general election had been announced. This meant that those who were waiting to buy and sell properties after this had to postpone plans even further when the country went into lockdown in March.

Lockdown may have motivated more people to continue with their plans to move once restrictions started to ease up. People were no longer confined to their homes, which enabled them to start the process of moving into a new property. Estate agents reported being overwhelmed with people looking to put their homes on the market and with new potential buyers searching for properties.

Another factor that could have contributed to the growth was the Stamp Duty being reduced to 0% for first homes up to the value of £500,000. This was introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, as a way to get the property market up and running again which proved to be a success.

If you are interested in seeing the stats on how the property market shot up post-lockdown, take a look at the infographic from Mansell McTaggart below.


Infographic By MansellMcTaggart

Feeling Tired? Try These Tips

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Feeling tired sometimes isn't unusual, but when you're always tired, something has to change. Wanting to fall asleep all the time could indicate a bigger problem, and it definitely won't leave you at your best. You can find that you're forgetful or disorganised, and it could be dangerous if you're driving or even just walking around. Having energy and feeling alert is important, so you need to do something if you're feeling tired all the time. Some lifestyle changes could be what's needed. Here are some of the steps that you can take if you're tired and you want to change things.

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Prioritise Sleep

To start with an obvious one, you could be feeling tired because you're not getting enough sleep. Even if you think that you're sleeping enough, you might not be getting as much sleep as you could. Seven or eight hours is usually the recommended amount. If you're not sure how much you're sleeping, try wearing a fitness tracker to bed to track your sleeping patterns. There are some steps you could take if you need help falling asleep, from meditation to crafting a good bedtime routine. You can also make sure your bedroom has the perfect conditions for sleep.

See Your Doctor

If you are sleeping enough, it can be a good idea to make an appointment with your GP. This is especially true if you have suddenly started to feel fatigued, and you can't think of any reason for it. Your doctor can ask you about your lifestyle and any other symptoms you might have. They can make some suggestions about how to have more energy or carry out some tests to find out if there might be something wrong. It's not always easy to get to the bottom of things when you're feeling tired, but there could be an underlying cause that can be addressed.

Get Your Vision Tested

Are your eyes feeling tired? If your eyes feel dry or you're struggling to focus, you could be having problems with your vision. Not being able to see properly can cause strain on your eyes, and the effort of trying to focus can make you feel tired too. You should have vision tests every two years or any time you think that you might have a problem with your vision. If you do need glasses, you'll have a selection of eyewear to choose from. Wearing glasses just gives you a new accessory that you can choose to wear. Or you can use contact lenses instead.

Move More

Being tired could actually be improved by moving more. Exercise might not be your first thought when you're feeling tired, but regular movement can help you to have more energy and stamina. If you don't get much exercise, consider building it into your routine. Start gently and slowly build up the level of activity that you do to get moving more.

If you're tired, don't just let things continue as they are. You can solve the problem by confronting it and working out what to change.