Should You Choose a B&B or a Hotel?

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Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, finding the proper lodging is important. However, with so much choice, should you think about a bed and breakfast over a hotel?

Among the biggest benefits of choosing a bed and breakfast above a resort is the cost. As bed and breakfasts are often family-run, they offer you a competitive choice to hotels — even funding hotels when you book ahead of time. Plus, when you use a cost comparison website such as Toprooms, you will be able to find discounted B&Bs to save even more money.

Unlike chain hotels, where each bedroom looks the same, bed and breakfast in Taunton are centred about individuality. Therefore, if you’re looking for a special getaway where each component of your trip is special, then you may want to consider the advantages of a bed and breakfast resort. Additionally, it’s possible to find a real gem if you look in the right places, so do your search and determine where other men and women stay when they head to your chosen destination.


How can we list the benefits of a bed and breakfast without discussing the most important meal of the day? Sure, resorts are likely to have larger kitchens and accommodate to certain needs, however a traditional Full English from a B&B can’t be beaten. Delicious!

Bed and breakfasts are, quite commonly, located in central locations in key towns and cities across the country. If you’re looking to stay near a conference centre for your business presentation, or you are interested in being near attractions like theme parks with your family, then you may find bed and breakfast lodging convenient.

Whether you’re searching for information on where to dine in the city, or you need a hand choosing something to do on a rainy day, a fantastic bed and breakfast proprietor will become a personal tour guide. It is this level of support that just cannot be replicated in a chain hotel, and it’s a quality that keeps many travelers coming back to the same B&Bs year after year. What’s more, this service may be expanded to other elements of the stay — like a lengthened checkout, bags carrying and even an additional slice or two of bacon!

Supporting the local economy
When you choose to remain in a bed and breakfast, you are encouraging the local economy and making sure that your money remains in the city you’re sleeping in. Most bed and breakfast owners encourage other community business owners, for example florists, dry cleaners and farmers, so you are supporting multiple regional companies by avoiding multinational chain hotels.

In addition to receiving a private service and staying at a building that is full of character and personality, you’re going to have the ability to enjoy a traditional breakfast and also save money on your journey, too. Wherever you are headed, enjoy!

Getting Your Lawn Ready For The Summer

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The long, frozen winter of 2014-2015 is finally roaring to a close, and the thoughts of avid gardeners are turning to the outdoors. Spring bulbs are blooming, and there may be just a hint of green beneath the dry, brittle thatch of last year’s lawn. So, check the air in the wheelbarrow tyre, and make sure your rubber boots don’t leak, because we’re about to get your lawn ready for summer.

To Burn or Not to Burn

Burning off the thatch of your lawn is actually illegal in most areas. However, if you live in an area that allows it, the ash can be very beneficial for your soil, restoring valuable nutrients as you water it in. So, if you are allowed to burn, and can do so safely, it won’t damage the lawn itself. However, keep in mind that this can destroy other plants, trees, and shrubs.

Scalping the Lawn


Scalping the lawn consists of mowing it down to the roots. Check with your local nursery to see if your type of grass responds well to this treatment. Lawncare UK can tell you whether or not this practice is recommended. Basically, you will set your mower on its lowest setting. Since the majority of lawn grasses have very strong root networks, clipping the grass extremely closely not damage it. The up-side to scalping the lawn is that with all of the thatch removed, the soil will warm up quicker. This stimulates grass growth. Scalping also cuts most weeds off at the ground, giving lawn grasses a head start in claiming their territory.


Even though the freeze thaw cycle has probably loosened the soil quite a bit, this is still a good time to do further aeration. Manual aerators are operated much like a shovel. You place the aerator spikes onto the ground and stand on the top edge, just as you would a shovel. This pushes the aerators into the soil and pushes out a plug of soil. The holes left behind hold water and fertilizer. This is especially useful for high traffic areas of your lawn, such as dog trails or areas where you just haven’t gotten around to pouring that sidewalk.



Pre-emergent herbicides give you a great advantage over the ever present weed seeds. These chemicals will keep seeds from germinating. Some people who have pets are reluctant to use these chemicals for fear for their pets’ health. Be sure to read the instructions and cautions carefully before you apply the treatment. Many treatments must remain undisturbed for a certain number of hours, while others should be watered in. In some cases, you need to stay off of the lawn for the specified time period. This restriction applies to pets, as well. With herbicides and pesticides, pets can absorb the chemicals through their feet. It will also get on their fur, where they will lick it off.

When you follow these tips, your lawn will start the summer thick, green, and healthy. And, you won’t have as many weeds!

5 Ideas For Building With Timber

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To paraphrase an old pearl of wisdom, I would say “Give me a piece of furniture, and I have furniture. Give me a circular saw and some timber, and I have an avocation.” Working with timber is one of the most satisfying hobbies and/or careers a person can perform. I helped my dad build the addition to our house when I was a child. The scents of sawdust and of wood overheated by a dull saw blade still make me feel at home. The sound of a nail being driven into the wood, with its pitch rising with each successive blow, is music to my ears. I still analyze the grains of wood to determine hardwood or softwood, ash, oak, mahogany, white pine, or yellow pine. In short, I am a dedicated timber nerd. I can spend hours strolling through the home improvement store, just enjoying the scents. But, enough about me. Here are 5 things you can build with timber.

Raised Planting Beds


This is a pretty simple assignment – build a raised planting bed. It is, basically, a box. They are used in city-scapes, home gardens, and interior spaces. The raised planter gives you the opportunity to have plants around you regardless of soil conditions, because you get to determine what kind of soil in in the planter.
When you build a raised planting bed, use timber that is resistant to rot. Redwood or cedar are the most common choices for this. You also want boards that are of a pretty substantial weight and size, so that it will withstand the weight of soil and water, and the pressure of plant roots. Dig out a trough for the boards, and make sure they are level before you screw them together. Some people line their planter with plastic, but make sure that it can drain properly to avoid root rot.

Timber Retaining Walls


These are beautiful solutions to property that is steeply sloped. You can build up your lawn or garden, once you have build a sturdy retaining wall. This is often done with landscaping timbers that are laid horizontally and staked to the ground in successive layers. Others will sink the timbers vertically into the ground, with reinforcement behind to keep them from splaying. This can look great with a home that features timber cladding.


Decks are particularly popular with homeowners, because it gives them the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors without having to slog through mud or other inventions of nature. The deck can be an outdoor living area, complete with floor space, steps, shade, and planters. Timber of various sizes can be used for this project, giving you more opportunity to try your joining skills.


Dress up your garden with a beautifully crafted timber gate. Patterns abound on the internet and at woodworking stores. You don’t have to work in wrought iron to build a beautiful gate.



If you elect to build stairs to your home or deck, remember this – each riser should be EXACTLY the same height, and level. Otherwise, people will trip.
Now, go – enjoy working with wood and power tools.

Why A Weight Loss Retreat Might Be Your Best Option

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Losing weight is such a pain, sometimes, isn’t it? People get sick to death of trying to lose weight, and with winter and the holiday seasons approaching, we often feel like we are in a no-win situation. Even any exercise regimen we may have started is disrupted with the change in the weather, and colder weather makes us want comfort foods full of calories. That’s why a weight loss retreat might be your best option for getting your weight under control.

Get Away From it All

The pressures of needing to lose weight can drive a person crazy. You are rushing around trying to get the morning started and get to work, then meeting deadlines at work, only to rush home and cook dinner. Then, there is the pressure of selecting something that everyone will eat, but that will fit within your diet plan. That is if you actually cook dinner, rather than getting take-out.

With a weight loss retreat, you can get away from it all. Any appointment is for your benefit, rather than for others. You have a schedule to follow, and it is the same every day – not changed because you had a flat tyre or run out of gas. You can do your yoga routine without having to answer the phone or pick up a sick kid at school.

Meals at Weight Loss Retreats

Weight loss is greatly linked to your food intake, as we all know. At weight loss retreats, your meals and snacks are all planned for you, and you do not have to make any decisions harder than “which delicious meal will I choose tonight?” Weight loss retreats have their own dieticians on staff, and most of them employ chefs. They prove that food that is good for you can also taste good. In addition, most of them will provide special diets for medical needs, such as diabetes and allergies.


Your exercise regimen at weight loss retreat will be geared toward your abilities and your needs. You will be there with other people just like you, who are trying to better themselves and be healthier. Most weight loss retreats will assign you a personal trainer who can spur you on to greater accomplishments.


You will also find that many weight loss retreats have a beautiful setting. There is usually a garden to enjoy, and many of them have full view of countryside and even beaches. The rooms are almost spa-like, and you have access to a masseuse and hot tub at most retreats.

The Right Track

Attending a weight loss retreat can get you on the right track. You lose a few pounds, detox your body, and find your inner balance once again, so that when you go home, you are stronger and more able to take care of yourself.

A beautiful setting, comfortable lodging, delicious foods, attainable goals, and appropriate exercise are all available to you when you go to a weight loss retreat.


Cultural Diversity Encouraged By One Direction

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This may seem a bit out of place on my shopping blog but I absolutely love One Direction!

Singer Harry Styles knows how to make a “splash” whether it is through singing or “whale spouting” during a particular song. This week, however, he took his showmanship one step further in wishing everyone an enjoyable Eid Mubarak.


While Styles did not need a translation agency to spread the well-wishes, the sentiment was well received by his fans. He went on, later, to tweet

Better load up now. Yom Kippur just around the corner.”

Styles is good about staying in touch with fans of One Direction, tweeting frequently about activities and incidents. This brings fans into the fold, making them feel like part of his life and of the workings of One Direction.

Liam, as well, scored points with fans when he mentioned that Tampa is, “hands down” the best crowd. He went on to say,

Not even halfway through the show and I can early tell.”

Liam had spent a great deal of his childhood in the Tampa area, and says he loves the area.

Finally, some fans were very relieved to discover that Harry’s tattoo of the name “Anne” on his knuckles is done with a sharpie.

Why An Adventure Activity Holiday Makes A Perfect Gift

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Planning a special holiday is a lot of fun. You may be anticipating your own 10 year wedding anniversary, or a graduation gift. Maybe you want to pitch in for a retirement trip for someone special, or a honeymoon for the newly-weds. Regardless of the occasion, don’t overlook the fun of an adventure activity holiday for those lucky people! Why settle for a mere cruise, when you can send them zip-lining in Costa Rica?

Zip Lining

Well, you don’t actually have to go zip lining in Costa Rica, although the Arenal Volcano Park in Costa Rica does have a fabulous opportunity. Every country has zipline activities, often as a package that includes jeep tours and kayaking. The great feature about this is that most ziplines now involve a full harness that keeps the tourist safely strapped to the line – as they travel up to 30 miles an hour across a canyon!



Believe it or not, you do not have to be in peak physical shape to go kayaking. This simple pleasure is available at most holiday destinations, I very much love Kayaking in North Devon and can be a welcomed relief from crushing crowds. A kayaking adventure trip can be as challenging or as easy as the traveler wants, with plenty of cool lagoons and calm springs to kayak through. Of course, the white water rivers see their fair share of action, too! So consider a kayaking adventure trip as a gift.


Don’t make that face! Yes, you, too, can surf! Surfing is not just for the buff, sunburned flower children of the 60s. Everybody surfs these days, mostly because people have learned to enjoy the ocean without feeling the need to compete. Boogie boards, bun boards, short boards, long boards, all combine with on-the-spot instruction to teach you how to paddle out to meet the waves and ride the swells of water back to shore. It’s not nearly as hard as you might think, and it gets you into the water as more than a wader or fisherman. Probably 60% of surfers never actually stand up on their boards. They just paddle out, and ride back. It’s great exercise, and fun.


Now you are getting into the more demanding of activity holidays. Coasteering may actually involve more physical strength and stamina that surfing or kayaking. That’s because you have to be prepared to swim, climb and hike, usually all in the same outing.
With coasteering, you will probably need a wet suit and some floaters, because as you travel the coastline, you’ll undoubtedly have to do some swimming – some of it through rather rough surf. You should also travel with a group, because you could be in some dangerous situations without help. If you don’t think you are going to get wet on this trip, you are not coasteering.
Since part of the activities including scrambling up cliffs and climbing rock faces, you’ll need good rock climbing shoes. Of course, the payoff is getting to jump off that cliff into the waters below.
There are some adventure activity holidays suitable for everyone on your list. Give it a try!

Looking For A Short Break? Try A Bed And Breakfast

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If you are looking for a short break, consider a bed and breakfast. You can have all of the amenities of a fine hotel, without the crowding and activity.
Busy Holidays

My last holiday was somewhat short of restful. Although I had requested a room on an upper floor of the hotel, there was still a floor above us. Unluckily for us, a family reunion had reserved the entire floor, and the constant tramping, running, and door slamming was not conducive to a restful night. For a nice hotel, our stay was not so nice. Breakfast the next morning was similarly noxious, as the restaurant was full of people at an early hours, and children were running everywhere.
It was a relief to get out of the hotel and onto the streets for our shopping trip. Later, we ventured into the countryside for a lovely stroll on nature trails. We did not want to return to our noisy hotel room. Of course, we couldn’t use the hotel hot tub, because it was overrun.

Bed and Breakfast

On the next weekend trip, we decided to try something new. We selected a Somerset accommodation in a small town. This was actually a farmhouse that had been converted to a B&B so that the owners could maintain possession of their property.
The stay was, to say the least, heavenly. There was one other couple staying in this charming house, and they were on the other side of the structure. Our hosts spoiled us with quality meals that took into account our low-sodium diet. Not only that, our room had a private garden. That’s right – A PRIVATE GARDEN! There was a bird bath with all kinds of wildlife around, and in the mornings we could hear the lowing of cattle in the barn as they awaited their morning milking.
I know it sounds like a fairy tale. But since we have been won over to Bed and Breakfasts, we have discovered that this is more often the scenario than not. Owners of B&Bs often will consider dietary needs of their guests, because there are, typically, few guests. In addition, the country setting of many B&Bs means you have access to the parks, moors, and heaths, along with nature trails, without the struggle with traffic.

City B&Bs

You can even find B&Bs in the city, and believe it or not, it will feel like you’re in the country. These houses are often just a few blocks from all of the action, yet sequestered in quiet old residential neighborhoods. Within minutes of your room is all of the city activity you want.


B&Bs are often characterized as cramped, over-furnished bedrooms with floral print on everything. Many expect the bathroom to be down the hall. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. This is literally a “cottage industry”, and your room will probably be furnished tastefully, according to some kind of theme, and have a state of the art private bathroom attached.
So, for your next short stay, try a bed and breakfast.

Lingerie As A Gift

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Bit of a saucy topic this time round, we’re getting to that christmassy time again. Lots of gifts to buy and hopefully lots of gifts to receive. It’s always better to be on the receiving end, that’s what I always say. But have you ever received blushhh lingerie as a gift, and what was your reaction to being given something like that?

Some people are happy with lingerie and find it comfortable to wear, others might only use it for “special occasions” but if your buying it for someone like that is it really a good gift? Or are you just buying it for yourself? There are certain things that you should always remember when buying lingerie, and here they are!

Know What She Likes

Knowing what she likes is an important part to buying lingerie as a gift, you don’t want to go out and just buy anything, or else she’ll think you put no thought into it. You have to think whether she likes feminine clothes or whether she is a sophisticated dresser.

Bask In Luxury

Why not make your gift extra special by adding a touch of luxury to your purchase. Have a look at some of the wonderful silk lingerie you can pick up and see if she will be interested in any of it. There’s nothing quite like a bit of silk.

Make Sure She Wants It

Not every woman is interested in lingerie. There are several things that you must consider before making that purchase. Would she be interested in nightwear? Silky nightdresses can be even more comfortable than you can imagine, but which would she really prefer?

You have to take all of these things into account otherwise you might end up with a bad gift! So keep it thoughtful!

Shopping For A loved One, Some Ideas…

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Shopping for a family member, your boyfriend, or whoever can be a difficult job. There are so many things to buy these days that it’s difficult to know where to start. Well, let’s have a look at some interesting ideas that might be helpful to you.


The way I worded it may not make it sound too appealing, but trust me on this one, it is! The extra bonus about this gift is that you get to experience it too (if you want)! This is of course, booking a meal at a fancy restaurant. Pictured here is Gordan Ramsay’s restaurant in London, Foxtrot Oscar. But obviously you have the choice to book a restaurant wherever you like. If you’re interested of course.

A Weekend Away

If your interested in buying your loved one a short retreat there are loads of places you can book. Obviously if you want to take them to a location such as London to walk around then the accommodation isn’t too important. But if you’re looking to make the accommodation the experience why not try something interesting, like The Pop-up Hotel? There are other interesting places you can book too, Treehouses, Huts and lot’s more, keep your eye out for something.


There are always events going on at some point around Britain, and there could be an opportunity for you to book something for a family member or loved one. Comedians are usually something interesting, (as long as they are funny). There are lots of ideas to come up with here, has a lot of interesting bookings you can make, so keep an eye out and I hope you find the perfect gift.


Keeping Up With Ladies Fashion

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Fashion is constantly evolving, and its a wonder that anyone even keeps up with the rates that things change. If you’ve tried following fashion before, you will most likely know what I’m talking about. I’ve been keeping tabs on the upcoming winter fashion lines, as you know I like my shopping and I thought I’d take a look and see if I could pick up something in line with what has been on display.

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It’s difficult to find something similar but luckily some of the high street shops do something similar that will help. Shops like Matalan will hire people to make very similar ranges to what is in line for the next season. Quite sensible really, especially when it’s down at a fraction of the price. There are other places too on the highstreet that sell a wide range of brands, from Masai Clothing to NYDJ.

I always wonder if the proper expensive clothing is actually worth the money that they sell it for. Is it manufactured to a better standard? Is there something about it that makes it stand out any more? What about the materials? Are the fabrics more expensive? Or am I only paying for a name? Following fashion can be very expensive, just remember, you don’t have to follow it completely!