The Hottest Gadgets You Must Own

Verbatim 500 GB Portable Hard Drive

The Verbatim Portable Hard Drive safely stores your important documents, pictures, videos and music from your PC or Laptop. The Verbatim Portable Hard Drive is easy to carry around and has 500 GB built in capacity and is also available in four colours.

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20 Tips for Green Living and Saving Money



1.Switch off electrical items such as televisions, kettles, toasters, games consoles and DVD players at the wall rather than leaving them on standby.

2.If you haven’t done so already switch to low energy light bulbs.

3.Use the timer in your boiler so that your heating is only on when you need it. You can also save money by turning your heating off altogether and wearing more layers. If you do need your heating on, a constant low heat rather than a high heat is more energy efficient.

4.When making hot drinks only boil the kettle with only enough water for the cup of tea that you’re making. This means the kettle isn’t working as hard and that it boils quicker.

5.To save energy and money switch off your computer monitor when you pop away from the PC. As long as you’ve saved your work, it’ll still be as you left it when you come back.

6.Switch your washing machine to 30 degrees instead of 40 degrees to save energy and lower your energy bill.

7.One that is a bit more risqué is to only flush your toilet on a number two and not number ones. It saves water and money, but may be best if you live alone.

Paper & Plastic

8. With all the mail that we get both at home and in the office we could make use of the envelopes and re-use them. Simply remove or cover over the original stamp and make and address label out of some scrap paper to stick on to the envelope.

9.Make use of paper that has been printed wrongly or junk mail that is only printed on one side. These can be stapled together and used as a note pad.



10. Now that some stores have started to charge for plastic bags, use cloth bags instead when shopping. They look great and can cost from 50p to £1. For reward points at certain stores give plastic bags back on your next shop.

11.Buy fruit and vegetables that are in season. This means they have less air miles and are cheaper then more exotic options.

12.Buy products with less packaging. Loose fruit and vegetables are often cheaper than the ones in packages.

13.For people who buy lunch at work check if your local sandwich bar or deli accepts returns of plastic food containers. Some shops may give discounts based on this – after    all you’re saving them money.

14. Make use of the contents of your kitchen cupboards to make your own beauty products. This reduces the amount of packaging you’re throwing away and is a cheap,      natural alternative to shop brought products. Mix olive oil, almond oil and honey make a fantastic hot oil treatment blend oatmeal, honey and yogurt to make a fantastic facemask. Do some research online for more ideas on homemade shampoos, conditioners and moisturisers.

Life Style

15. Cutting down on the amount of meat you eat is not only cheaper and healthier but with the destruction of the South American rainforests to grow the soy that feeds the livestock, you’d be doing the planet a favour too.

16. Walk, cycle or use public transport rather than the car. With MOT, insurance, road tax, petrol, servicing and maintenance, cars are an expensive game. If you must drive, use a service like StreetCar, which works as a pay as you go car hire service. Driving without the commitment and cost!

17.When driving, pay attention to your speed and the gear that you’re in. Driving in the right gear and avoiding harsh breaking will save you petrol.

18.Stay-cationing is the new way to holiday. More and more people are choosing to holiday at home rather than abroad in order to save money and play their part in reducing the environmental impact of flying. If you want to holiday abroad, travelling by train, boat or ferry can add to the sense of excitement.

19.Mothers with babies may want to look into using reusable nappies instead of disposable ones, which end up on landfills and adds to waste. It means that you’ll be doing more washing but the benefit on your pocket and the environment outweighs the extra effort. Biodegrable nappies are also available on the market.

20.Ladies, look into using mooncups for your monthly cycle. They are the chemical free alternative to sanitary towels, most of which contain bleach and fibres, which can enter your body. They are washable and be reused, thus saving your money on sanitary  towels, which like nappies are not biodegradable and end up on landfill sites.


Keep up with our Features Writer and Presenter Claudine Thornhill on TWITTER @simplymissc






W| By Claudine Thornhill

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Energy Efficient Ways To Save Those Pennies

With the cost of living increasing on a daily basis, it is becoming even harder for people to generate enough money to have a sufficient amount that they can even attempt to call ‘savings’.  People automatically assume to try and save money involves limiting expensive splurges, switching energy providers or reducing the quantity of petrol they use.  All of which are essential ways to cut your outgoings. Here are some small, but effective steps to save on your energy consumption.

Standbythis is a lazy person’s method of believing that you have turned off your appliances.  Whereas, in reality you are still burning electricity in order for that little light to still be on!! OK, I do understand the convenience of it, as I am guilty of this crime too.  Just before going to bed, check if you have switched everything completely off.


Energy-saving light bulbs– previously if you wanted to use this type of lighting, you would typically have to wait a few minutes until it fully became bright enough for you to even see anything.  Additionally, they were really odd shapes that would be a real eye sore in anyone’s room.  With the advances in technology, now they emit immediate brightness and come in different sizes/shapes.  In my house I have tons of spot lights and use to feel like I was committing a sin each time I turned on the light when I use to use the old, conventional light bulbs.

Insulation– it is all well and good trying to warm up your house, especially during the winter months, but if your home is not properly insulated, it will be unable to retain the heat. Try to ensure all gaps and cracks are sealed. On the contrary, this is also imperative in trying to keep your household cool during the hotter seasons.

Thermostatsome people perhaps has never even heard of a thermostat before.  This little device controls the temperature of your household, whereas others never even adjust the temperature throughout the whole year.  Yet, by just turning it down by 1 Celsius, you could potentially save 10 per cent on your heating bill.

Household applianceswhen purchasing items like fridges and washing machines ensure you take a look at the energy efficient rating, which is usually labelled on the appliance. The higher the grade, the less energy it will use and more energy efficient it is. Obviously they are more expensive than the lower grade ones, but the overall savings you will make, will benefit you in the future.


Gardeners– I am an avid gardener. I would say it is a passion of mine, but the amount of water you need to guarantee that your flowers and plants flourish can really take a toll on your water bill.  It is wise to invest in installing a water butt in your garden, so you can collect and use rain water instead.

Double glazingmany think that all households in the UK have double glazing, which is really not the case.  Many would argue that the main thing is that you have windows. However, studies have shown that by fitting double glazing reduces the amount of heat lost by 50%.

There are countless energy savings steps that you can do, some big and some on a smaller scale. Either way, there are huge potential savings to be had whilst also helping the environment.Yet, there are some steps you can implement in your day to day life to curb your spending.  Finding ways to cut the energy you consume is a sure method to slash your monthly costs, plus it seems to be the in-thing nowadays to be eco-friendly!!



Keep up with our Finance Editor and Features Writer La-Toya Kadesha on TWITTER @Toyz305




W| By La-Toya Kadesha




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Is a daily Eco-Luxe Facial the new beauty phenomena?

Women and men and teenagers around the world are constantly bombarded with new and innovative methods to care for their skin at home, recommended monthly staple spa treatments and must-do exercise regimes to keep the mind, body and soul in tact.

The biggest inquiry I am mailed is “ how exactly should I use my chosen skincare regime” to which I happily respond with a comprehensive step-by-step guide I have given the signature mark ‘Eco-Luxe Facial’.

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1 2Watch: ODF Clothing

Dress sense, style, swagger… whatever you want to call it, there is no denying that fashion plays a big part of our lives. Whether you consider yourself an ‘up to date’ fashionista or fall more into the retro chic category, the clothes you choose to don are a representation of you. One UK designer that is set to make sure that your swag is turned up full blast is 22 year old Nicholas ‘ Supanova Dex’ Amfo, founder of ‘Ow’ Du’ Feel (ODF) clothing. Founded in 2007, when the UK designer market was turning over a cool £1.9 billion, ODF clothing had aspirations of introducing a new line of clothing that was ‘original, diverse and fresh.’

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How To Go Back To Natural and Keep Hair Healthy

As many of you know for all ethnic hair the #1 trend right now is going back to natural, and it doesn’t just pertain to texture. Many are going to back to their natural hair color, and also letting those hair enhancement systems (weaves) go. I’d like to focus on going back to your natural texture for this article for two IMPORTANT reasons.

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The Girl In My Head

Is it wrong that I am thinking, of the person in my heart?
How do I tell her how I’m feeling? How do I even start?
A happiness that’s possible; that’s what I want to show
But will I ever be able? Will she ever know?

I long to have her near me, and hold her through the night
But would this be welcomed? Or would she turn in flight?
A mind that’s clear and clever; a wonderful sharp mind
This girl is truly amazing; a one in a million find

Her body toned and sculpted, a smile that lights up every room
I’d love to think that one day she’s my bride and I her loyal groom
But is it wrong to think this? To think so far ahead?
But how can I help how I feel? When it’s her inside my head.

There are times I feel like Midas – afraid to try to touch
But how can I resist my feelings, when I think of her so much?
These times are tough and fraught; lined with pure frustration
But I’d be hers all her life, for its long and happy duration

Maybe one day I could tell her, but by then it maybe too late
She may have flown beyond my grasp and found another mate
I’ve gazed upon her picture and focused upon its power
Its content beauty though more sweet; and greater than any flower

My mind is wandering, but in its contents; she’s the most prolific
I just want to grab the phone and say ‘hey babe – you’re terrific!
I want to make you happy and wash away your pain –
I just want you to know I’m there for you and you can smile again

I’ll make sure each day, you’ll never feel unloved
As you give me such feelings, as soft as the wings of a dove
I just want you to know, the way you make me feel
The feelings make me warm inside and feel so very real

These things are always with me – she’s always in my head
I want her every day within my life and at night within my bed
I want her now and every day and these feelings are growing more
But how do I tell this angel – that it’s her that I adore?


Follow our Features Writer Gareth Long on TWITTER@allchangeplease

W| By Gareth Long

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Archives, Money Matters Comments Off on Beware of the Store Cards |

Beware of the Store Cards

It is quite natural for shoppers to go into stores and get enticed by the buy one get one free (BOGOF) offers, 20% off full price time items for 3 days only or the other notorious offer of buy one get  the 2nd item half price.  This is usually when I run around New Look trying to find a 2nd pair of shoes in my size.  However, there is one type of offer that I choose to steer clear from.  Not because the offer is not a good option, but I do not like the commitment element of it, which is signing up to the company and the constant temptation of encouraging me to buy more unnecessary items. If you are still unclear what I am talking about, obviously you have not read the title of this article…..I am talking about store cards.

Let me set out a typical scenario.  You go to the till to pay for your item(s), in my case, most definitely ITEMS, as I can never seem to leave a shop with less than 3 items.  Whilst the sales assistant is scanning your goods, they usually drop that sales talk with that annoying tone of voice as well, “Excuse me Madam/sir.  Are you interested in opening a ’____________’store card today? You will be entitled to 25% off your first purchase”. At this point, some cannot be bothered with the hassle, others know that this is a no go area, whilst a majority of consumers faces would light up at this point and only remember hearing 25% off.  The next stage is the purse or wallet giving birth to yet another plastic card.  Don’t get me wrong there are benefits to store cards, like being sent and being entitled to receiving other promotional offers throughout the year.  If you pay the balance in full at the end of each month, then you are able to evade those ghastly interest charges.  So some would question, what are the dangers, if you (I) can often receive special offers?

When taking out a credit card with a bank, often you may speak with someone about all the ins and outs of the product before deciding to get the specific credit card.  Yet, typically these sales assistants are not equipped with the right amount of knowledge to explain to you the high interest rates that you are likely to pay and the other potential charges.  The main purpose is to get as many people to sign up with their store card, often resulting in the customer not receiving the correct information.  Some store cards highlight in big, bold lettering, INTEREST FREE, then in the small prints you see for the first month only, then rocketing to an astronomical high interest rate.

Did you know that most store cards APRs (annual percentage rates) are typically twice as much as your conventional credit card?

As mentioned before, if you pay your balance in full each month.  Then you are ok. Conversely, the customers that only pay the minimum repayments are the companies’ best customers.  To demonstrate, if you bought a TV around £250 with a store card, and you only paid the minimum amount each month, you could end up spending £500 for the TV.  Hardly worth it!!

These companies are very smart, as usually around the holiday times, e.g. Christmas/January sales they heavily endorse these products with tantalising offers.  At these periods of time, everyone is looking for a bargain, yet the way they make back their money is by increasing the interest rate to even higher! Sometimes store cards are believed to be an alternative name for a loyalty card. With loyalty cards, you are able to gain points every time you spend, e.g. Tesco Clubcard.  Whereas, the store cards is simply a card that can only be used in that particular store, unlike store credit cards, e.g. Marks and Spencer’s, which is like those issued from the banks.

Overall, I would not say that no-one should never get a store card, as there are some benefits, but you must ensure you are savvy whilst using it, to guarantee that those River Island platform heels that were £70, that got reduced to £45 in the sales, not forgetting signing up to a store card, making them now £34, could eventually cost £75.

Hardly worth it in the long run, is it?




Keep up with our Finance Editor and Features Writer La-Toya Kadesha on TWITTER@Toyz305







W| By LaToya Kadesha


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