Holidays

Everything you need to know about Istanbul

Photo by Anna Berdnik on Unsplash

The city of aromas, colours, flavours. The Istanbul of the imams, of Europe, of the mosques, of the bazaars, of the Bosphorus. The city and everything you need to see even once in your life.

Visit Hagia Sophia

The first thing you will see in the city, for all the reasons, is, of course, the Hagia Sophia, in the area of ​​Sultanahmet, the oldest part of the city, where the Blue Mosque, the Aqueduct, the Topkapi and the famous church that, after being transformed, are located in a mosque, now functions as a museum. The building dates from the 6th century and is one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture. The mosaics that were covered during the 500 years that the church was turned into a mosque are now presented in all their magnificence.

Continue to the Blue Mosque

Directly opposite the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque is the next most recognizable monument in Istanbul. With its characteristic six minarets and the impressive round dome, while its official name is “Sultan Ahmet Mosque”, it is the 21,000 Iznik tiles of blue, white and red colour that adorn its ceilings from the 17th century and from them, it got the “Nickname” Blue. The mosque is still functioning normally today, so you should adjust your visit to hours other than those of the five daily prayers, while on Fridays, the mosque is closed.

Take a tour of Topkapi

Continuing from the two temples, you will reach Topkapi, which was the official residence of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th century until the construction of Dolmabahce. Wealth, aesthetics, art, history. And yes, as far as the life of the sultans is concerned, you will see it here, while you will enjoy the fascinating image of the City, as it spreads at the foot of the Palace.

Shop at the Grand Bazaar and at the Egyptian Spice Market

In the Old Town, the 550-year-old Kapalitsarsi – as it is called in Turkish – is the oldest and largest indoor market in the world, which you can remember from its… roofs, as it shot the first scene of the movie “Skyfall” with James Bond being chased by motorcycles! Get ready to walk among 4,000 benches, where you will find everything from ornaments, Turkish souvenirs, cups of coffee to handmade rugs!

Visit Dolmabahce

After the Bosphorus, it is time to enter the most majestic palace, the residence of the last sultans and the last residence of Kemal. Absolute luxury, an attempt, then, the Ottoman Empire to show that it is not inferior to luxury, art and aesthetics from the West, decorated in the interior by a French decorator, with the most oversized chandeliers in Europe brought from England, with complete order and discipline reminiscent of the last inhabitant of the palace (in fact the palace clocks have been stopped at the time of Ataturk’s death). The visits are made with organised guided tours every hour, with Turkish guides; while inside, keep in mind why photos are not allowed.

Of course, to cross the whole area of ​​Istanbul, you will need to use some means of transport. One option is transportation, but ideally, you could hire a car to move quickly not only to the places mentioned earlier but also to other parts of the city. Explore the famous locations but also the most “hidden” corners, renting a vehicle from the company Enjoy Travel, which has dozens of service points throughout the country, offering you cars at unbeatable prices and offers.

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Common Problems when Moving Home in London

Common Problems when Moving Home in London

Photo by Tetyana Kovyrina from Pexels

There is no doubt that for many people in London is the greatest city in the world living anywhere else is absolutely out of the question. While the house prices are some of the highest in the country, if not the world, many people are drawn to London because of its desirable living areas, good schools And access to a whole range of amenities. That doesn’t mean, however, that the actual act of moving house between two London properties simple, so we’ve put together a list of some of the things that you should bear in mind on moving day if you live in London, or indeed any big city.

Parking

If you’re a London native or have lived there for awhile you know that one of the biggest nightmares in writing is the parking situation. As well as needing to make sure you’ve got somewhere to park your car if you have one you’re moving van he’s going to need space to start to load and unload and if you don’t choose wisely this could leave you with a hefty parking fine. Do a recce of your new area to work out where the best place is going to be to stop and it might stand you in good stead to even speak to your new neighbours and warn them that you’re going to be taking up space on the street on that particular day.

Traffic

Depending on where in London you’re moving to, parking could be the least of your worries if you can’t even get there in the first place, thanks to the heavy London traffic. Moving outside of rush-hour times is a good place to start with tackling the traffic, as well as keeping an eye on one of the many map apps that are available which will show you what the traffic levels are like in a specific place at a specific time. Choosing a moving firm who are specialists in moving in and around London, like M25 Group, means that you will have an expert helping you with your move. Many people who moved to London from somewhere else make the mistake of hiring a moving company from their original hometown instead of one from London’

Cost

Just like everything else in London, moving is an expensive business. Whether you’re renting or buying a property you’ve probably spent a small fortune already on just acquiring your new home. Once you factor in The costs associated with actually taking your belongings from point a to point B there’s a good chance that your wallet will contain nothing but moss! Make sure you shop around before employing the services of a moving company as there are plenty of businesses out there who charge top dollar without actually providing the services to justify their prices.

Measurements

Unless you’re moving to one of the lovely leafy suburbs on the outskirts of London you’re probably going to find that space is an issue in many different ways. One of the things that a lot of people forget to do before they move house is measure their furniture and appliances to make sure that not only will they work in the rooms in the new property but they’ll fit through doors up stairways through gate and generally be able to be put in the new property at all. Make sure you take a tape measure with you and get measurements for everything including door which and even the angle of any new stairwells.

Money

9 Common Mistakes When it Comes to Debts

9 Common Mistakes When it Comes to Debts

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

In this day and age, debts are inevitable for most people. Taking out a loan can be of tremendous help, especially when you are in a financial emergency, be it for business or personal reasons. However, there are many mistakes that people make, leading to a stressful life of debt. To help you avoid becoming a victim, here are some common debt mistakes to keep in mind:

  1. Same Old Spending Habits

We are creatures of habit and spending money is no exception to that rule. That’s because driving the same car, eating in the same restaurants, and buying at the same store proves to be comfortable. However, it could be costing you more than you can handle financial wise. It’s pretty simple- if you do not change your spending habits, then you will never get out of debt. Consider beginning with your morning habits and take breakfast at home. Next, carry lunch from home, rather than eating at a restaurant. In the evening, watch movies or games at your house while enjoying a homemade meal. These simple changes will have an immediate significant effect on how much you spend on a daily basis. You do not have to do what you like or prefer, you just have to make better choices when it comes to it.

  1. Attempting to Get Out of Debt Alone

Almost everyone doesn’t like to ask their friends and relatives for support when it comes to handling debt. A wise remedy is to contact a non-profit credit counseling agency and seek help from the experts. These counselors are well-trained and certified by national organizations such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and will recommend debt-relief solutions including credit consolidation, debt management programs, debt settlement, and even bankruptcy if things are really bad. They will show you how to create an ideal budget and suggest a solution that will match your needs. The best thing about this is that the advice is free. Ask, am I eligible for a debt management plan?

  1. Failure to Create a Practical Budget

It is virtually impossible to gain control of your money if you do not have a practical budget. Many individuals think it is too much work until they reach into $10K or $20K credit card debt and wonder how they got there.

A great solution is to create a realistic budget that addresses common financial needs such as health care, food, housing, education, and insurance, while also creating room for paying your loans. Do away with the credit cards and only work with cash. Yes, this will mean cutting back on things like dining out, hitting the movies, buying new electronics or clothes, but if you really want to get out of debt, having a practical budget and using cash is a solid start.

  1. Getting into a Debt-Relief Program but Not Understanding What it Entails

There is rarely a quick-fix solution for debt issues. If you come across this claim, then immediately look elsewhere. One of the most important things to bear in mind is that debt-relief programs tend to take three to five years and so, you’ll need to be patient. Next, you need to assess the firm providing these solutions. A great place to start the check is the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or the local state attorney’s office. Military bases, universities, and credit unions should also be reliable sources for suggestions. Just ensure the organization you pick is licensed and does not have a record of client complaints.

  1. Trying to Clear Multiple Debts at Once

Many people in debt usually have multiple sources including student loans, credit cards, car loans, mortgages, etc. Unfortunately, they try to handle them all at once. This is a move that will only see you give up and be unable to make progress in clearing debt. Instead, go back to your budget, trim everything to the essentials and create a surplus that goes to the credit card with the highest interest rate. Once that is cleared, go to the next credit card, and so on, until you clear all the debt.

  1. Failure to Put Aside Savings for Emergencies

According to reports, over 55% of American consumers do not have adequate finances to cover emergency expenses of at least $500. You cannot predict car accidents, plumbing failure, unemployment, etc. That’s why every household requires an emergency fund account. Experts suggest putting three to six months of expenses aside to cover any emergency you might experience. It may take time to get there, but if you are determined to pay off your debt, it needs to be part of your monthly budget. So, consider putting aside at least 5% of your monthly income towards an emergency fund. This way, you won’t have to depend on loans to cover an unexpected expense.

  1. Failure to Contribute to a Retirement Account

Yes, it seems good to devote your money to clear your loans today, but it is a costly mistake in the long haul. There will come a time where you need to retire and so, ensure you devote at least 5% of your monthly income towards a retirement savings account. The earlier you begin contributing to that 401(K), the better off you will be when you retire.

  1. Failure to Prioritize Your Debt

We all have bills and many people want to get out of debt. However, many people fail to be focused, and doing so isn’t a priority. One of the best solutions is to consolidate your debts and only make a single payment per month. Another way to stay focused is by writing down the top 5 debts you want to clear. Put this note in a place you will see every day to remind you of your mission. Whenever you see that note, you will remember that you are getting rid of and not adding to the debt.

  1. Closing Accounts When They’re Paid Off

The remedy for this is straightforward, pay off your account but do not close it. Keep in mind that credit score systems not only depend on how much you owe but how much credit you have available.

Beauty · Health

5 Tips on How to Avoid Teeth Discolouration

5 Tips on How to Avoid Teeth DiscolourationWe all want perfect white teeth. Our dentist would like it for us too. There are ways to prevent staining of your teeth if not to completely avoid it.

When our teeth do require whitening, we can call on the services of a cosmetic dentist such as a member of the team at the Turkey Teeth Clinic who will be able to improve the appearance of our teeth.

 Foods and Drinks

Certain fruits and vegetables, such as apples and potatoes, are known for staining teeth. The phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” now seems rather misplaced. The dentist will certainly want you to avoid eating too many apples.

If you cannot resist certain foods that are bad for teeth, then just consider eating them in moderation as opposed to daily or frequently. They can then be considered treats and limited in their supply to you.

Keep the alcohol just for parties and special occasions rather than indulging in it every evening. That can be considered rather a habit and more likely to stain your teeth, not to mention damage your health in other ways. Perhaps a drink on a Friday or at the weekend may be better for you.

Smoking

The nicotine in tobacco will stain teeth, fingers, and the pages of books. If you chew tobacco this will stain your teeth just like when smoking it. Avoid smoking completely if you want your teeth to stay white naturally.

Medications

We should know that if we can avoid certain medications then we will prevent the discolouration of our teeth. This is where alternatives are available, so not to compromise overall health.

The antibiotics doxycycline and tetracycline are known to discolour teeth when they are given to children whose teeth are developing. This means children below the age of 8.

Antihistamines, such as Benadryl, blood pressure drugs, and antipsychotic drugs, have the side effect of staining teeth.

It is then worth asking your doctor or pharmacist if there are alternatives to the above if you are worried about staining your teeth.

However, it is better to protect your health in other ways and then have your dentist take care of your teeth whitening through laser treatment. Certain health conditions should be given the greatest priority when they might be life-threatening.

Poor Hygiene

You should brush your teeth regularly to avoid staining. Flossing between teeth is also to be recommended as this will remove plaque and any stain-producing substances at the same time.

We should ideally brush our teeth twice a day. This will mean at night, particularly, and after breakfast. We want to avoid any build-up of food on them. If you have gaps in your teeth, then make sure food is not getting trapped in them and rotting your teeth. Also consider that your gum health is as important as your teeth health, as it is the gums that hold our teeth in place.

Environment

Fluoride exists in water supplies and excessive amounts of this can cause discolouration of teeth. If you avoid drinking water directly from the tap then this can be avoided to a large extent.

Certain mouth applications such as rinses and toothpaste contain fluoride supplements that you should be aware of when it comes to the discolouration of teeth. Mouth rinses and washes that contain cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine can stain teeth.

So there you have it, 5 tips to keep our teeth relatively stain-free. We should, however, bear in mind the pros and cons of doing so when dentists can help with the staining that has been created on our teeth.

We have to balance whether we should avoid the foods or drinks that we enjoy, the pleasure of smoking that helps people to relax, or the medications that are important to life and living. We can certainly avoid poor hygiene and adopt a regular brushing and flossing routine for our teeth.

We all concern ourselves with the environment and fluoride is in many water supplies. This should be considered if we are drinking lots of water straight from the tap when we could be drinking bottled or purer water, in many cases.

Allow the dentist to compensate for you not following some of the above tips for whatever reason. They have techniques that can help improve your smile, whatever your age.

Christmas · Happiness · Kids · Learning · Music

Christmas Fun with Casio

As you’ll know, if you saw any of my posts on here or on social media, we’ve recently partnered with Casio to review their LK-S250 Home Learning Kit, which comes with an electric keyboard and everything else that BB needs to start learning to play. The kit also gives you access to online lessons which are designed to get even the most basic of beginners playing their instrument, which is a fantastic resource to have access to.

Casio LK-S250 Home Learning Kit

LK-250 Home Learning Kit

  • Touch sensitive, lighted keys
  • Power adapter
  • Adjustable height keyboard stand
  • Headphones for silent practice
  • FREE online lessons worth £49.99

While I’m not exactly fluent on any instrument myself, I do know quite a few of the basics, having grown up in quite a musical family, so I’ve been assisting BB with her learning as much as I can. She’s an incredibly capable little girl, but she lacks a bit of confidence in her own abilities at times, so sometimes she just wants someone with her while she navigates the lessons, which is totally understandable.

Unfiortunately, about three weeks ago I slammed my finger in the car door (as in, the door FULLY closed and I had to open it again to release my poor mangled finger 😱) and broke it. It was my left hand (I’m right handed) which was slightly better but as it was my index finger, it’s really limited how much I’ve been able to do. Fortunately, the splint is mostly off now and I can get back to helping BB with her lessons a bit more, but it was a painful couple of weeks.

My poor broken finger (ignore the tatty nail polish, please!)

Now that the girls are homeschooled, we try to keep as much creative stuff flowing as we can so that their lessons aren’t all strictly academic, so music and art lessons have become a regular thing. Sausage has her own keyboard already, so between the Gigajam lessons and some YouTube tutorials, the girls have been jamming together.

Last week, we decided that all of their homeschool lessons would be fun stuff, just like they’d be doing if they were in a mainstream school, and one of the things we decided to do was get them to learn some Christmas songs so that they could perform a mini concert for us, to get us all in the festive spirit. They learned to play Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Christmas Song and Jingle Bells, all in the space of two days and they’ve been practising them regularly, ever since.

Learning with the LK-S250 Home Learning Kit

We’re planning to have the carol concert on Christmas Eve and I’ve also got a surprise lined up for them – I’ve bought a chocolate fountain and we’re going to have a little buffet of things to dip in the melted chocolate to enjoy together after the concert. I’m really excited as I love nothing more than surprising them. When we collected Maureen from my breeder friend, we told them we were collecting a parcel and they had no idea we were getting a puppy until they were standing in a living room full of 10 week old dogs!

Anyway, I digress…

I’ll be recording the concert, for posterity, and also for the ‘gram so make sure to keep an eye on our social media if you want to see the girls performing their songs. In the meantime, I hope you all have a very merry, stress-free, COVID-free festive period and thanks again to Casio for working with us on this collaboration.

There’s still time to get your hands on a Casio LK-S250 Home Learning Kit, if you order within the next 24 hours! It’s got everything you need to start learning the keyboard and it’s only £249, which is truly an absolute bargain.