There are plenty of reasons why changing the face of your corporate image might be a great idea. There are also plenty of risks in doing so. What if the move doesn’t work? What if your new look is universally unpopular among staff and customers? There’s no doubt about it, it’s a bold move.If it does work, then you’ve found the silver bullet and successfully created a way out of your image problem. On the other hand, if it doesn’t work you’re back to square one and you’ve spent good money on something that, ultimately, has got you nowhere.
So, how and why would you go for a rebrand? In this short blog we take a look at some of the reasons and how you might go about it. Why? For any number of reasons but the most popular are as follows: you’ve changed the focus of your business and want your image to reflect that. It might be that you’ve been offering the same service and product for so many years that you just couldn’t change your offering without a change in brand, your customers just wouldn’t accept it.
Or you might have found yourself increasingly blending into your rivals and found it hard to show how your brand is bigger and better than anyone else’s. You want a fresh new look that sets you apart from those closest to your brand and an image that gives you the competitive edge.
There are other reasons too and it might be that some bad publicity is following you around like a bad smell that you need to shake off. A rebrand is going to give your business a fresh start and allow you start to building up goodwill capital with your customers once again.
How? The very first thing you need to make sure of, is that you have your full team on board and behind the project. If you can keep them in the loop and give them plenty of input into the project then you’ll find the process is made all the more easy.
After the rebranding exercise you’ll be relying on your staff to eradicate any trace of the previous brand and stick to the new templates. You may need to set aside time to go through any policy documents, particularly in HR, where the old name and logo might still be found.
Rebranding is time consuming and complicated but with your staff on your side and the help of a trusted professional agency you’ll be able to see real progress being made. At the end of the process you should find yourself with a brand that better projects what you offer, alongside your values. Do your research, find an image that works for you and see how a whole new look might change your business for the better.
Updating your home can sometimes require the hand of a professional, but there are some updates that you can do with good old DIY skills. So if you’re looking to update your home, here are some of the ways you can do it.
Frame Some PhotosPersonality is something that should be important to you in your home as you want it to reflect you and your household. There’s nothing more lackluster than a home that has no character or personality. One way that’s easy enough to give some life to your home is to frame some photos. Memories are lovely to reflect on and often enough, most printed photos get stored in an album that just ends up in a cupboard collecting dust. Best4Frames offers a wide range of different frame designs where you could put plenty of photos grouped together, perhaps from a particular holiday or moment in time.
Framed photos and art on the wall can end up adding to the decor of your home, and if you have neutral walls, then this is a way of adding a burst of colour without being too garish. They are the perfect finishing touch to a room!
Add New LightingLighting can really change the vibe of a room, and where you possibly may be lacking natural light, artificial light can make a space more inviting. Spotlights are the easiest to manage when it comes to lighting but then you wouldn’t be able to use any shades or fit any other fixtures. The styles of lighting can come in all shapes and sizes from modern elegance to more rustic features. You can also play around with different shades as the patterned ones will create certain shadows on the room.
Natural light is good to incorporate where possible, and you should make a conscious effort to remove heavy curtains or blinds that stop the light shining through.
Revamp The BathroomThe bathroom is a room in the property that gets the most usage and things like re-grouting your bathroom tiles is something that anyone can do with a bit of practice and a careful hand. Grout can often peel away from the tile or goes horribly discoloured over time. So it’s worth re-grouting your tiles every so often, and it’s a job not necessary to get professional help for. You might want to also think about fitting some mirrors in the bathroom if you haven’t already got any. The bigger the better, especially if you’ve got a household bigger than just yourself.
Colour Your Walls With PaintPaint is a fairly cheap thing to buy, and it’s easy enough to paint onto most surfaces. Overtime walls can become scuffed, and colour can fade slightly. So it’s useful to keep a tin of paint to do touch-ups over the summer, and this can make a big difference in how clean and fresh the room looks. With paint, it’s fairly versatile, so if you’re looking to change things up a little, it’s simple to try out some bolder colours on your wall. A feature wall where only one wall is painted is great if you have a beautiful fireplace that you want to highlight. Avoid wallpaper where necessary as this can be a bit of a pain to put on but to also remove. With paint, you can simply paint it white and then it’s like a blank canvas where you can go over it with any colour. Always do a patch test of colours first before you decide as it can dry down differently to wet paint and it can also look different in another light.
Upgrade Your Door HandlesDoor handles are pretty basic, right? It’s not something we’d usually consider but upgrading your door handles with something a little more unique can actually add some real character to your rooms. There’s plenty of styles that will be available, and vintage pieces tend to be the most popular, and you don’t need to stop there when it comes to door handles. Kitchen cabinet doors can often become worn down, and there’s plenty of materials to use for cabinet door handles such as brass, nickel and stainless. There’s a whole world of doorknobs and handles just waiting to be explored!
Add Some NatureIndoor plants are just like natural light, they are a mood booster, and they also help to clean the air that you breathe in. Whether you pot individual plants or have some hanging baskets at the front or back of your home, it’s pretty easy to DIY them. The more greenery you can add the better, so maybe think about what plants would work well in each room. Taller plants work better in the bedrooms and living areas where ivy and smaller plants like this are more suited to the bathroom. If you don’t like watering plants then get ones that don’t need much care or attention. Cacti or plants like Aloe Vera need very little water to survive if any.
Refresh Your Garden SpaceYour garden or outdoor space is likely to get very much attention throughout the year if you’re not a keen gardener. However, you don’t have to do much gardening to refresh your garden space. Add some levels by installing some decking or fixing in a water feature or pond. For the more adventurous, you can try working with different textures other than grass, like stones or bark. Some outdoor garden furniture will make the space more appealing and will make a great opportunity for socialising with friends and family. Even by keeping it simple it can make a huge difference, mow your lawn every so often and replant flowers or plants when they die.
With plenty of ways to DIY your own home, now’s the perfect time to do those updates to your property that you’ve been meaning to do for a while. Make one of the above your next project and get the whole household involved to make it even more fun.
Over the Easter weekend, I decided it was time to upcycle my rather tired looking Ikea sideboard and TV unit. I have contemplated getting rid of them and buying new as we have had them for eight years and I thought they may be looking a little too tired. However, I received an email from Rust-Oleum which a press-release of how to upcycle a sideboard. I glanced over the email and couldn't believe how easy it looked- so I got in contact and they kindly sent over a couple of products to help me with my own DIY project.
I started with my sideboard which is the Ikea Hemnes in grey/brown. I gave it a really good clean and lightly sanded the surface. I was really apprehensive as I didn't think the paint would cover the colour of the wood. However, using the Chalky Finish Furniture Paint by Rust-Oleum went on really smoothly, I applied to coats and it looked completely different!
The paint is touch dry after an hour, so I didn't worry too much about the children knocking it and then completely dry after four. Once I had applied two coats I then applied the Furniture Finishing wax (in clear), by rubbing on with a clean cloth, leaving for 10 mins and then buffing over with another clean cloth - it was so, so easy!
Once I had finished the sideboard, I didn't want to stop! So I carried on and painted the TV unit too. I decided to leave the top unpainted, mainly out of curiosity to see whether it would look good, I thought if it didn't then I could easily paint over. The process was exactly the same as the sideboard and because I knew what I was doing, it didn't take long to do at all.
If you've followed me for a long time, then you know I love most things that relate to the Nordic region. Be it fashion, home interiors or their way of life - it really speaks to me and something I just naturally gravitate to. I was recently introduced to a new company Nordgreen, who specialise in a minimalistic design with the highest quality. They pride themselves on being honest and sustainable. Not to mention their watches are simply gorgeous.
I was very kindly gifted a unisex watch, in a gorgeous Italian brown leather strap with silver detailing. It's the perfect design and is really easy to pair with all of my favourite outfits.
I have had so many compliments with this watch and people seem to be drawn to the minimal design. In a world where smartwatches are becoming ever more popular, I seem to be drawn to the simpler more classic designs and from the comments I have received, it seems like lots of others are too.
Choosing the perfect duvet set for your bedroom is one of the more enjoyable decisions we have to make, particularly when it comes to luxury duvet sets. What colours will keep your room calm and tranquil? Which filling will avert your allergies? Let’s have a look at our top ways of making the right duvet decisions.
What colour duvet?At Dusk, we recommend that if you are looking for a colour scheme that is stylish yet relaxing then you need to look at whites and pastel shades. These colours are more subdued and generate a more soothing effect in your bedroom, just what you need before you switch the lights out. Have a look at our white duvet set range here.
What kind of pattern should I choose on my duvet? Along the similar lines to colour, it is advisable to opt for a pattern that isn’t too bold or overbearing. Delicate stitching and refined patterns that can be found on our Dusk favourites, the Henley bed linen collection and the Wimbledon duvet set, both examples of the kind of soft patterns that help imbue a stress-free environment.
What about texture or fabric? It’s difficult to find anything better quality than pure 100% cotton. Whether it’s a single duvet or a super king duvet – when it is made from cotton it’s as luxurious as they come. Our range contains cotton percale and cotton sateen, the first offering a crisp and cool quality and the latter, a shiny finish. Each type is durable, breathable and very easy to maintain.
What filling is best? When it comes to the filling inside your duvet, it is a very personal choice. A luxury duck down duvet is one of our best-selling fillings at Dusk. Made from fluffy duck down and feathers and wrapped in a cool cotton casing, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Similarly, the goose down duvet is another firm favourite. It’s made with a perfect blend of 80% pure goose down and a touch of feathers to bolster support. But for some, the Feels Like Down range is more suited to their preferences. This is a 4.5 tog duvet available in all sizes and filled with 100% Microfibre, a filling which helps keep allergies at bay.
Have a look at our full range of duvets and fillings and see which will suit you best. At Dusk, we have the full complement of luxury bedding, from duvets, pillow cases to king size duvets sets and single flat sheets, all made with beautiful 100% cotton.
One of the most important decisions of your child's life is deciding where they're going to be going to school or nursery. Whether they're a couple of months away from going or a few years off, you need to ensure you're making the best possible decision. With so many things to consider, that decision can be an incredibly difficult one to make. To help, here are six things you need to consider before choosing your child's nursery:
If You're Going Private, What Is Your Budget? If you're going to be putting your child into a private nursery, you need to decide what your overall budget is. Private education can be costly so setting yourself a budget will give a good idea of what's to come. Research the local nurseries in your area and their average costs, setting yourself a budget that reflects the schools you'd like them to attend the most. For tips and tricks when it comes to setting a budget, you can visit this site here.
How Will You Get To Nursery Every Day? Although the nursery you choose will be within your allocated district, there may still be a little bit of distance between you and the school. If you've already chosen the place you're going to go, you need to ensure you have also worked out a route there each and every day. Whether you walk, drive or take the bus - you need to be sure it's a route you can easily do with children in tow.
Have You Done Your Research When It Comes To Reviews? If you've managed to narrow your choices down to just two or three places, you may want to consider looking at the reviews of the nursery. There are plenty of places to find reviews for schools and nurseries online, all of which will be given by people whose children have attended them. They'll be honest, in-depth and will give you the best possible idea of what the place is like. Remember to keep an open mind whilst looking, as often one or two bad reviews does not mean a place should be discounted. For more information when it comes to reading reviews online, you can read this site here.
Do The Timings Match Up With Your Work Hours? Although most nurseries are open similar hours, you need to be sure they match up to your work schedule. Whether it's tieing in the times you drive to and from work every day or you're able to get childcare for part of the day, ensuring you're children are dropped off and picked up on time is vital for their education.
What Rating Does The Nursery Have? When looking for nurseries to attend you will be able to find their overall rating as given to them by the government. They will have regular test and visits to ensure they're up to the correct standard, with a score given to them each and every time. Whilst this isn't an indication of the standards of education your child will receive, it is an indication of the overall experience they will have. It reflects the quality of the building, the quality of the staff and the quality of the facilities available. For more information, you can visit Wandsworth Nursery.
Have You Been For A Test Visit? Finally, once you have made a decision about the nursery you would like your child to attend, you will need to go for a test visit where you and your child both spend a couple of hours meeting the staff and testing out the facilities. This will give you the best possible chance to see whether or not it's a great fit and will give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. If you find it's not a great fit, you'll be able to find out before you make any final commitments.
Are you sending your child to nursery soon? What do you need to think about beforehand? Let me know in the comments section below.
With no end of things to see and do, it’s no wonder that the UK is one of the most visited countries in the world.
From historic Roman sites and centuries-old castles, ancient sites are everywhere.
Whether you choose to travel by car, bus or train, you’re sure to have a truly memorable experience. 1. Warner Bros Studio Tour Go behind the scenes and have an enchanting day out at Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter. Witness first-hand sets, magical costumes and real-life props used to create the Harry Potter series.
You’ll even step inside some of the movies’ locations, like Hagrid’s hut, Dumbledore’s office and the Great Hall. Potterheads will be bowled over! Head over to www.wbstudiotour.co.uk if you want more information.
2. Tower of London Rich in history, the Tower of London is one of the most-visited landmarks in Britain. The magnificent Unesco World Heritage Site served as a refuge as well as a royal palace. It also served as a prison and place of execution, not forgetting its status as a royal mint and treasure vault. It was even used as an observatory, then a zoo for five centuries.
3. Warwick Castle
Seeking a truly unforgettable English family day out? Gain a fascinating insight into life in medieval times at Warwick Castle.
Set in the idyllic city of Warwick on the River Avon, this atmospheric fortress has ruled the landscape and history of the area for more than 900 years. Witness medieval-themed events and re-enactments – including jousting festivals, fairs and concerts.
4. London Zoo From tigers and lions to gorillas and penguins, you’ll discover creatures of all kinds at London Zoo. Bordering London’s lush Regent's Park, the zoo is known for its famous lion enclosure.
Witness tigers feeding, see llamas and penguins, and get up close and personal with exotic wildlife and brightly-coloured butterflies.
5. Drayton Manor Theme Park Looking for a good old-fashioned dose of theme park fun? Look no further than Drayton Manor. Boasting 280 acres of theme park heaven, Drayton Manor is the ultimate family day out.
Situated on the outskirts of Birmingham, the theme park has everything from rollercoasters to thrill rides.
6. Stonehenge One of the best UK attractions has to be Stonehenge, Europe’s famous prehistoric monument. Located 10 miles north of Salisbury, Stonehenge has a brilliant visitor’s centre, which uses audio-visual technology to tell the historic tale.
After strolling around the gigantic stones, check out the authentic replicas of Neolithic houses which contain 4,500-year-old tools.
7. British Museum
See some of the finest relics and collections from around the world at the British Museum. You’ll feast your eyes on more than 13 million artefacts from across the globe, with highlights including the Rosetta Stone and Parthenon sculptures.
The Ancient Egyptian collection is the biggest outside of Cairo. And don’t miss the Roman silver known as the Mildenhall Treasure discovered in Suffolk in 1942 – it’s utterly incredible. The best thing? Entry to the museum is free.
8. The Roman Baths If time allows, you can’t beat Bath. This idyllic city is renowned for its spectacular 2,000-year-old Roman baths which surround the city’s hot springs.
What’s more, Bath is also famous for its honey-coloured Georgian townhouses, many of which are found on Royal Crescent.
Bath is also a great base for exploring some of the UK’s most glorious countryside, like the Mendip Hills, Avon Valley and numerous other Somerset landmarks.
9. Kew Gardens A paradise home to thousands of exotic and rare plants, Kew Gardens is one of the world’s most famous botanical gardens.
See trees like no other such as the Madagascan baobab, explore a treetop walkway and find out about carnivorous plants. You may also have the chance to check out Kew Palace and gain a glimpse of the royal kitchen and a nature reserve idolised by the British royal family.
10. Chester Zoo Accommodating more than 11,000 animals and including the biggest orangutan exhibit in Europe, it’s no wonder that Chester Zoo is such a big hit with tourists. You’ll also find the most extensive zoo-based butterfly house in the UK.
Wander around its 110 acres of prize-winning gardens and be sure to take a look at the Himalayan rock garden. Little ones will love having their faces painted like their favourite creature, too.
11. Eden Project Created by Sir Tim Smit, this extensive garden is built in an old Cornish clay pit. Hundreds of plant and tree species fill its biomes. You’ll be able to take canopy walks around the massive Rainforest Biome – the world's largest indoor rainforest.
12. Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo Home to more than 140 species, Flamingo Land is perfect for just about everyone. Enjoy exciting rides, a zoo and live entertainment. Then when you’re famished, kick back in one of its numerous bars or restaurants.
Best of all, the park champions a successful conservation programme for flamingos.
13. Borough Market Possibly the most famous food market in the UK, Borough Market has existed in Southwark in some shape or form for around 1,000 years.
It was renovated considerably in 2016 and nowadays, it’s chock-full with traders from across the globe selling the finest fruit, veg, meat, fish and cheese.
14. St Paul’s Cathedral Designed by Christopher Wren, St Paul’s Cathedral is an unmissable icon of London’s skyline. But it’s more than just that. Rebuilt following the Great Fire of London in 1666, the cathedral has since endured wars, more fires and stood as a testament to brilliant British architecture.
Go inside, and you’ll see the awe-inspiring Whispering, Stone and Golden Galleries. And did you know? It’s still running as a place of worship.
15. Cheddar Gorge and Caves Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff or geology mad, Cheddar Gorge & Caves is sure to delight. It’s England’s biggest gorge, and perhaps one of the UK’s most amazing natural sights. These high inland limestone cliffs climb all the way up to 450 feet. Then there are the beautiful stalactite caverns beneath, created by Ice Age melt-waters over millions of years.
From top-notch museums and ancient monuments to family-friendly outings, we hope you enjoy these fun-filled tourist attractions in the UK.
I have done lots of my annual spring cleaning tasks already for this year, including exterior windows, de-cluttering wardrobes, washing carpets and sorting and clearing the garden. But one task that is still yet to do is my car.
Cleaning my car is a task that I put off all the time. As parents, we all know that it's a big task to give it a deep clean - those pesky (though of course vitally important) car seats seem to attract dirt, random collections of toys and for me, socks (anyone elses children frequently take their socks off in the car?)! Also as a working mum, during the winter months when I get home from work it's usually far to dark to clean and organise so it just gets left. Please tell me I'm not alone?!
However, despite this being a rare job for me, I do have a few tips that I would love to share to help you get your car sparkling.
My Top Tips
Clean with a brush as you hoover - using a small brush to clean in between air vents, and small crevices allows the hoover to collect any floating dust stopping it from settling elsewhere in the car.
Squeegee for lifting pet hair - ever used this trick on your stairs in your house? Using a squeegee on carpet can lift more hair than just hoovering alone, it's the same in cars.
Toothbrush for seat seams - a small brush like a toothbrush can lift those annoying crumbs in the seams of car seats.
Machine wash floor mats - use some vanish and chuck in the washing machine - quick easy and gives them a real deep clean.
Rubbing alcohol on window wipers - makes them last longer and keeps them smear free.
Wind down windows when cleaning- this means you can clean the tops of the windows where dirt tends to collect.
Use small plastic containers to organise your boot. I have one for cleaning products, one for emergency items for the kids which have wipes, spare change of clothes and also a first aid kit.
Use tumble dryer sheets inside car seats - this keeps the car smelling fresh
As well as cleaning, its also a good idea to do basic car maintenance checks. Water levels, washer fluid, oil, tyres. If you're not confident in doing this yourself then there are plenty of garages that can do this for you for a small fee.
For us spring also means car service and MOT - which is really what prompts me to give the car a little extra TLC. Finding a local service that goes above and beyond can be hit and miss, Calmac Tyres facilitate their customers with highly professional MOT in Northampton, their skilled staff and technicians will provide the best service for your car, leaving you feeling confident. Ensuring your vehicle is MOT is not only a legeal requirement but it ensures you and your passengers are safe as well as making sure that your vehicle is kept in good condition - which expands the lifespan of the car.
Do you have any tips for giving your car a spring clean?
On my previous post in this series, we looked at EQ or emotional intelligence/awareness and how it can serve us towards having a more positive mindset. If you missed it, then make sure you read here and have a read through before continuing. In this post, we will discuss curiosity.
“Ten minutes later, I chance a second look. They say curiosity killed the cat. I wonder what that cat was looking at, and was it as interesting as this?” ― Sheena Hutchinson, Discovering April
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.” — Albert Einstein
Being curious is second nature for children. Babies are born learners, we learn through human impulses and of course, curiosity. Children want to figure out how the world works. Curiosity is the desire to learn. It is an eagerness to explore, discover and figure things out.
When we become adults a lot of that curiosity disappears, we often accept reality as it appears. Most of our behaviour is based upon this presumption. For example; "People will think it's weird to do this so I won't do this". Whilst this is true when it comes to things like that of the law, what if we started to ignore this way of thinking/behaving?
When we become more curious, we notice more, we are more drawn to things of interest. We begin to see things differently and use the power of observation more fully.
What are the benefits of being more curious?
Health is one of the main benefits. Associated with higher levels of positive emotions, lower levels of anxiety, more satisfaction with life, and greater psychological well-being, being curious simply makes us feel good.
Curiosity can help to expand empathy, when we are curious about others and talk to people outside our usual social circle, we become better able to understand those with lives, experiences, and worldviews different than our own. Being curious helps build relationships too, in recent studies those that showed real curiosity through conversation were viewed as being warmer and more attractive.
How can you be more curious? For children, as we know, this is natural but for us as adults trying to be more curious is a little more of a challenge. Try the following;
Ask all the questions.
Get out of your comfort zone
Listen without judgement
Embrace the unexpected
Do not dwell on the past
Look at situations from a different/new perspective
Doing this will hopefully start to make you more curious and you will soon reap the rewards that curiosity can have and help you to shift your mindset.