Sunday, March 24, 2024

Easter is a time of joy and celebration, and while chocolate eggs and bunnies are traditional favourites, there are plenty of alternative gifts to consider. Whether you're looking for something sporty, vegan friendly or simply different from the usual offerings, this Alternative Easter Presents Gift Guide has you covered.

From Tennis Rackets to Sweet Shop Favourites, here are some inspired gift ideas to make this Easter extra special

Indulge in Sweet Delights: Vegan Chocolate Easter Treats
Vegan Chocolate Eggs: Swap traditional chocolate eggs for their vegan counterparts made from dairy-free chocolate. 

The NOMO Easter collection consists of six new products, Ultimate Egg, Bunnies & Mini Bar, Creamy Choc Egg & Mini Bars, Mini Cookie Dough Bunnies, Hollow Bunny, Choc Fudge Egg & Bunny and Choc Fudge Bunny.

NOMO is available in Sainsbury's, Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and on the NOMO website.

Chocolate Gift Sets and Hampers
Spoil someone special with a luxurious vegan chocolate gift set or hamper filled with an assortment of delectable treats. Love Raw is offering plant-based Easter alternatives including the Nutty Choc Balls Box and Choc Cre&m® Wafer these are perfect for showing appreciation and spreading Easter joy.

Serve Up Easter Fun: Tennis Racket as a Gift Ideas
A tennis racket is a versatile gift that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. Whether it's a child learning to play for the first time or an adult looking to stay active, a tennis racket offers endless opportunities for fun and fitness

Roll into Easter Joy
This Easter, make a splash with a gift that's sure to delight and inspire. Roller skates offer endless possibilities for fun, fitness, and adventure, making them the perfect present for anyone looking to roll into a brighter, happier future. So lace up those skates and get ready to roll into Easter joy!

Scent of Celebration: Perfume as the Perfect Easter Gift
Celebrate the beauty of life and love with a gift that captivates the senses and touches the heart. So...? Unique Perfumes offers a sensory journey of discovery, delight, and enchantment, making it the perfect present for Easter and beyond.

Sweet Alternatives: Delicious Sweets as Easter Gifts
This Easter, delight your loved ones with sweet alternatives that tantalize the taste buds and brighten their day. Swizzles Sweet Shop favourites have a sweet treat for every preference and occasion. So why not add a touch of sweetness to your Easter celebrations and make memories that last a lifetime?

This Alternative Easter Presents Gift Guide offers a diverse array of gift ideas to inspire creativity, promote sustainability, and celebrate the spirit of Easter in meaningful ways. Whether you're searching for unique crafts, eco-friendly treats, or memorable experiences, there's something for everyone to enjoy and cherish this holiday season.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024


Ottoman beds are space-saving heroes that let you stash piles of household goods in their hidden storage compartments. Just lift the base to access the tidy trove.

The lift mechanism also means no straining to store and retrieve items. Thanks to their capacity to corral belongings without claiming extra square footage, ottoman beds are a perfect fit for pint-sized bedrooms and homes without airing cupboards.

What Are Ottoman Beds?

Imagine a classic divan bed frame outfitted with a superpower - the ability to unveil a secret storage area at the tug of a lever. That's an ottoman bed for you! Its sturdy base isn't solid at all. Instead, it lifts right up on smooth hydraulic lifts to uncover a sizable hollow space inside for storing all your stuff.

The expansive compartment can hold all your linens, clothes, and other bedroom wares. When not using its storage powers, the ottoman bed secures shut and looks like any ordinary bed frame with a firm base. Depending on the model, its lift-up portion flips up either from the bottom or side of the bed.

Benefits of Ottoman Beds 

They Open Upwards

Unlike traditional storage drawers that open outwards and require clear space in front, ottoman beds lift upwards to reveal the storage area inside. This means that ottoman beds can be placed flush against walls or in tight spaces where drawers cannot fully extend. 

Because ottoman beds don't need any clearance around them for the storage compartment to open, they can be situated anywhere in a bedroom to maximise floor space.

Storage Space

The main advantage of ottoman beds is their expansive storage capacity, which they provide while taking up no more floor space than a conventional bed.

The storage area stays clean, dry, and hidden behind the bed's base. The lift mechanism makes it simple to access items when needed.

Pictured: Bedmr Oscar 3FT Single Wooden Ottoman Bed. Priced £439 (Save £60 on RRP) Available from Bedstar.

Space Saving

Ottoman beds provide ideal storage solutions when the room area is tight. Tucking storage spaces under the mattress takes advantage of space that would otherwise go unused. 

The built-in compartments eliminate the need for a separate dresser or wardrobe to house bedding, clothes, and other items.

Easy Accessibility

The gas pistons that lift the base make opening and closing easy. Side-opening models let you access belongings without walking around to the foot of the bed. Ottoman beds have a device to prevent accidental closing when open.

Pictured: Bedmr Francis 3FT Single Wooden Ottoman Bed – Grey. Priced £459 (Save £140 on RRP) Available from Bedstar. 

Stylish and Practical

Ottoman beds come in various colours, fabrics, and designs to coordinate with any bedroom's decor. Wood, leather, upholstered, and tufted velvet styles give you attractive options to match your taste. 

Placement Tips

Measure carefully to get the right size ottoman bed for your room's dimensions and layout. Side-opening models need space on one or both sides for the lift-up portion to open without hitting walls or furniture.

Leave adequate access space in front of the bed so you can easily utilise the storage area—don't crowd the area with furniture like bedside cabinets or lamps. Position any bedroom furniture or accessories to optimise access to your ottoman storage.

Pictured: Kaydian Medburn 4FT 6 Double TV Ottoman Bed - Marbella Grey. Priced £1499 (Save £500 on RRP) Available from Bedstar. 

Summing Up

Ottoman beds elegantly solve storage needs in compact spaces. Stashing spare linens, off-season apparel, and other bedroom items in the expansive lift-top compartment keeps clutter out of sight without claiming square footage. The handy lift mechanism makes it a cinch to access stored belongings whenever needed.

With choices ranging from refined wood tones to lavish leather upholstery, ottoman beds blend storage prowess with attractive design, too. They provide a fashionable and functional storage fix for small rooms without an airing cupboard.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Are you passionate about helping people achieve their dream of homeownership? Do you have a knack for numbers and a keen eye for details? If so, you may have what it takes to become a successful mortgage advisor. As the housing market continues to boom, the demand for knowledgeable professionals who can guide borrowers through the mortgage process is on the rise. In this article, we will explore the essential skills needed to excel as a Mortgage Broker.

Importance and Demand for Mortgage Advisors
The role of a mortgage advisor is vital in today's real estate market. With the complexities and ever-changing landscape of mortgage products and regulations, borrowers need expert guidance to navigate through the mortgage process. The demand for mortgage advisors has increased significantly as more people realise the value of having a professional by their side.

Key Skills Required to Become a Successful Mortgage Advisor

1. Strong Understanding of Mortgage Products and Regulations
To become a successful mortgage advisor, it is imperative to have a deep understanding of mortgage products and industry regulations. This knowledge allows you to provide accurate and tailored advice to clients based on their specific needs and financial situation. Being well-versed in different types of mortgages, such as fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, and government-backed loans, enables you to recommend the most suitable options for your clients.

2. Effective Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Strong communication skills are crucial for mortgage advisors. You must be able to explain complex financial concepts in a clear and understandable manner to clients with varying levels of knowledge. Being able to translate industry jargon into simple terms helps clients make informed decisions about their mortgage options. Additionally, excellent interpersonal skills are necessary for building trust and rapport with clients. By actively listening to their concerns and addressing their questions, you can create a positive experience throughout the mortgage process.

3. Analytical and Problem-Solving Abilities

As a mortgage advisor, you will often encounter complex financial scenarios that require analytical thinking and problem-solving skills. Being able to analyse a client's financial situation and assess their eligibility for different mortgage products is essential. Additionally, you may need to find creative solutions to overcome obstacles that arise during the mortgage application process. Your ability to think critically and find solutions will greatly benefit your clients.

4. Sales and Negotiation Skills
Mortgage advisors are responsible for not only providing advice but also selling mortgage products. Therefore, having strong sales skills is crucial in this role. The ability to identify and understand a client's needs and match them with suitable mortgage products is key. Furthermore, negotiation skills are essential for securing the best terms and rates for your clients. Being able to advocate on their behalf and negotiate with lenders can make a significant difference in the overall cost of the mortgage.

5. Attention to Detail and Organisation
In the mortgage industry, even minor errors in paperwork can have significant consequences. Therefore, attention to detail is paramount for mortgage advisors. You must meticulously review and verify all documentation to ensure accuracy and compliance with regulations. Additionally, strong organizational skills are necessary to manage multiple client files, deadlines, and paperwork. A well-organized approach will help you stay on top of your clients' mortgage applications and provide a seamless experience.

6. Continuous Learning and Professional Development
The mortgage industry is constantly evolving, with new products, regulations, and market trends emerging regularly. To stay ahead as a mortgage advisor, you must commit to continuous learning and professional development. Staying updated on industry changes and trends allows you to provide the most relevant and up-to-date advice to your clients. Engaging in industry conferences, workshops, and online courses can help you expand your knowledge and refine your skills.

Conclusion and Next Steps for Aspiring Mortgage Advisors

If you are looking for a rewarding career that combines financial expertise with interpersonal skills, a career as a mortgage advisor might be just what you are looking for. By developing the essential skills outlined in this article, you can position yourself as a trusted advisor in the mortgage industry. Remember to continuously refine your skills, stay informed about industry changes, and prioritize providing exceptional customer service. With dedication and the right skillset, you can help individuals and families achieve their dreams of homeownership while building a successful career as a mortgage advisor.

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of the skills needed to become a mortgage advisor, it's time to take the next steps. Research reputable mortgage advisor training programs and courses that can help you acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. Additionally, consider reaching out to established mortgage advisors for mentorship opportunities. By combining education, mentorship, and practical experience, you can embark on a fulfilling and successful career as a mortgage advisor.

Remember, becoming a mortgage advisor is a journey that requires continuous learning and growth. Embrace the challenges, stay committed to excellence, and enjoy the satisfaction of helping others achieve their homeownership dreams.

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