Is it time we re-thought our shopping habits?

Now that we’re halfway through January, we’re all suffering a little waiting for our next pay cheque to come in.

The excesses of Christmas 2014 proved pretty fruitful for retailers everywhere. A tradition from America known as ‘Black Friday’ has made its way over to England in recent years, and this year proved to be a Black Friday nightmare for many shoppers.

If you’re not familiar with the concept (and are perhaps blessed if you haven’t), it’s more or less a tradition which sees high street stores dramatically slashing their prices the day after Thanksgiving. In more recent years, the ‘Cyber Monday’ phenomenon has also gained in popularity – the Monday following Black Friday sees online retailers such as Amazon slashing their prices.

Amazon UK is one retailer that benefited particularly from the Black Friday madness. Last year, it broke records when it sold an incredible 5.5 million items in one day. This is either a testament to just how far Amazon will go to get a sale, or perhaps how much of a slave we are to a well-placed sale. Now we’re all suffering from empty wallets, it is perhaps time to ask: is it time we re-thought our shopping habits?

An article published by Forbes recently put this question to the test. Aptly titled: “The road to bankruptcy is paved with good deals,” it addressed just how much we can all be a sucker for a good deal. We might all feel like we’re getting a great deal at the time when we’re sucked in by these Black Friday deals, but we should really ask ourselves: do we need the item in the first place?

According to the Daily Mail, the average woman in the UK purchases half her body weight in clothes every year, which equates to a total of 22 unworn items in her wardrobe. Over the pond, the average American woman spends 3 per cent of her household income – $1,700 – on clothes each year.


But, as the article highlights, we need space to accommodate all these new items, and this too can come at a cost. So the moral of the story is – do we really need to keep treating ourselves? We’re all midway through our New Year’s Resolutions, and while many of us are working on trimming back the fat, it is perhaps our spending that we should work on cutting back on.

So there’s a positive message for you for 2015 – cut back on your shopping, and you see how much better off you’ll be!

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How to Style your Skinny Tie

The skinny tie was an absolute must in the 60s, with mods rocking the look and encouraging a generation to join them. They then went out of fashion again when the power suit made an appearance in the 80s and traditional, wider ties reigned dominant. Thankfully, skinny ties are now a complete wardrobe staple for the modern man and a great way to look smart and stylish in a more trendy way. At DQT, they have an incredible selection of over 100 quality, affordable skinny ties in a range of patterns. From stunning plain colours to polka dots, stripes and traditional tartans, they’re bound to have something to inject class into your outfit. Once you’ve chosen yours, here are the three top rules to styling it for maximum oomph.




Rule 1 – get the basics right


The general rule with a skinny tie is that the width is between 1.5 to 2.5 inches, so keep it around that size to fully embrace the trend. As with normal ties, the perfect length is to have the tie right up to your belt without overlapping. DQT has a great range of quality skinny ties that give you the best possible start.


Rule 2 – try to avoid novelty pieces


You want your skinny tie to complete your outfit, not completely stand out, so make sure that your tie and suit complement each other well. With DQT’s affordable prices, you could even get one in every colour! If you do want to step outside the mould and go for a strong, clashing look, try a contrasting pattern in the same colour hues for a styled but sleek look, e.g. a striped lilac shirt with a purple tartan skinny tie. DQT has some brilliant tartan skinny ties that look great with woollen winter suits.


Rule 3 – different ties need different styling


The fantastic thing about skinny ties is you have a lot more scope to mess around with how you style it. Wear it like you want to, not because you have to. Try twisting it before securing it with a narrow tie pin or tucking it into the middle of your shirt like Frank Sinatra for a laid back weekend look. Go for a more casual knot as well. Fun knots work best, such as a four in hand.


Check out DQT’s extensive range of skinny ties today.



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How to find the perfect property in which to start a family

Starting a family is an exciting time which marks the beginning of a long and rich process. In order to prepare yourself for the challenges which lie ahead, it’s important to know that you’re starting a family on the strongest foundations possible.

One of most important elements of your family’s foundations is the environment in which you live.





Here, we take a look at a 4 tips which can help you locate the perfect property in which to start your family.


1. Sticking a pin in the map

Before you can start searching for a home, you need to settle on a part of the world to live in. The criteria here will differ from one family to the next – the important thing is to understand the things which matter to you. Common things to consider are proximity to work and extended family, along with the average cost of property, which tends to vary greatly from place to place.


2. Finding a neighbourhood

Having a rough idea of the part of the country you’d like to live in is a good start, but there’s more to finding a perfect location. Neighbourhoods can vary hugely, so it’s important that you spend some time looking around the local area – consider things like proximity to the good local schools.

They say it’s smarter to buy the worst house in the best street than the other way around – and it’s true. You can work on your property, but there’s not much you can do to drastically change your neighbourhood.


3. Determine your criteria

Everyone wants something different from a property. Finding the right property for you is simply a case of matching homes to your own set of criteria. If you’re looking for style and low maintenance, consider new build homes in St Albans. If character and a bit of DIY is more your kind of thing, it could be worth heading to a local auction to pick up something in need of work.


4. Speak to locals

There’s no better way to get to know an area than to speak to people who live there. Speaking to young families in your desired area could be an invaluable part of your experience, giving you the inside knowledge on the pros and cons of starting a family in that part of town.

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Bingo Games Add on the Special Look

Online bingo is the current rage of the nation. The games are absolutely synonymous with fun and the same can be easily seen across online bingo sites. The crowd of bingo players at bingo sites is in on an increase every other day. With the growing number of fans and increasing demands of bingo players, bingo sites face a stiff competition in the online bingo arena. With the existence of big gaming brands and each one trying to be better than the other, there has been a massive explosion in new trends and special deals fitted to the games to make them look all the more special.

An interesting feature across all these online bingo sites are the amount of promotions stacked in to it. There is big cash, shopping vouchers, holiday offers and even cruise trips. All bingo sites are dedicated to mark the fun of bingo glued with bingo promotions.


The bingo specials can be dedicated to any particular occasion or may be an important day in the history. To name a few special days they are, Thanks Giving Day, Halloween Nights and Burns Night and there are much more to this list. At time there are bingo specials to mark certain events like FIFA, Wimbledon and many more. On seasonal festivals too, bingo sites add the festive specials to the games so that players feel the festive spirits while playing bingo games. Now with Christmas coming up soon, all bingo sites will be stacked with the fun of Christmas special. In fact, a few bingo sites have already got lauded with the Christmas deals and playing them, players can get the opportunity to have their Christmas shopping bills being paid by the bingo sites.

The Christmas promotions are stacked with prizes like cash and shopping vouchers, so it is easy for the players to cut down on their Christmas budget. Ensure to keep an eye out for GameVillage Bingo. This bingo site does not miss out on offering some really excellent bingo sprees during special occasions. For the upcoming festivals, you can expect a real gala of bingo fun at this bingo site.

Following this is the New Year special! On this day the site will be flavoured with a special range of bingo games to play and take away something special. To know more about the fun, check GameVillage Bingo now.

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The best day out ever – start planning your trip

There are some sporting events that are so quintessentially part of British culture that you just have to go once to be able to say: “I was there”. An FA Cup final, Royal Ascot, a Rugby League Challenge Cup final, the Oxford-Cambridge boat race, Wimbledon, test cricket at Lord’s and many other sports events could be on this list.   8626731119_3d0dcc93b8_z Chief among them all for me, though, is the Grand National, the world’s most famous horse race.

This is a day out like none other. It brings together 75,000 people from all parts of the UK, along with quite a few overseas guests – and people from all strata of society. This is a true festival of racing and of British culture – at Aintree racecourse near Liverpool. It’s also great as it’s usually held on the first or second Saturday of April and it’s often the first real hint of sunshine and warmth of the year.

But to get here – you need to start planning early. The 2015 Grand National will be held on Saturday April 11th so book your tickets well in advance as they go like hot cakes nearer the time.

Try to get your bets on early too. If you can find a runner that will definitely be going for the big race barring injury and you like the look of it – take a chance and back ante-post at long odds as they tend to come right in on the day.

If you look at the horse racing statistics down the years, you’ll see that the winner is likely to be a sound jumper, be aged 8-11, and carrying 10-11 stones. It will also like the ground and be quite highly rated. If your horse matches these criteria and the trainer says in an interview leading up to the National that the horse is being lined up for a crack at the big race – then take the odds early. It’s very likely that you’ll be able to lay it back for much shorter odds should you wish to.

Otherwise, let it ride and have fun. And big fun you will most certainly have here – whether or not you have the winner.

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