Category: General

What You Need to Know About Motor Traders Insurance

Motor traders insurance, also known as traders insurance, ensures that companies and their employees are covered when working or driving in their clients’ vehicles or those owned by the company.

Usually, the most critical aspect of this sort of cover is its flexibility. If you’re operating a garage, for example, it may be used by any employee—even a new one—to drive any client’s vehicle.

In addition, the policy can protect the business against any unintended damage or other issues that stem from mechanics fixing a vehicle.

Even if your business doesn’t usually drive clients’ cars—if you operate a mobile tyre replacement business, for example—you might need some sort of trade cover.

What’s covered in motor traders insurance?

Motor traders insurance policies are usually customized to the specific requirements of a business, so it’s worth considering what kind of activities and risks you really want to be insured. This will help you avoid any surprises in case your claim is deemed uninsured and therefore rejected. It also ensures that you aren’t paying for insurance you actually don’t need.

Here are some common aspects that are usually covered by motor traders insurance.

Road risk

If you take cars to the public road, you need to get road risk insurance. This might be true if your employees are delivering vehicles to buyers, or you operate a mechanics service and you have to take vehicles out to inspect faults. If your service doesn’t need vehicles to be taken on highways, you should consider parts-only policy, which is far more basic.

Just like standard motor insurance, you may go for road risk policy which is third party, third party fire & theft, or comprehensive.

Employer’s liability insurance protects your service from claims by your employees—you need this if you’ve got staff no matter if they’re driving or not.

Public liability insurance covers you as well as your staff against claims by members of the public or customers. If you run your business from a building that clients visit, then you must provide them with a safe environment. If a customer trips over and gets hurt, this policy provides cover should he/she decide to seek compensation.

Product liability insurance protects your business if you install a new component in a client’s vehicle, but the component then becomes defective.

Material damage cover covers any equipment or vehicles you own. For instance, if you operate a motor dealership, this means your unsold cars are insured. This insurance can automatically rise in value in the peak registration periods of March and September.

Combined motor traders insurance covers your business for things like road risk and equipment as well as your premises. It can be inexpensive to go for this kind of cover instead of several separate covers, but make sure it insures all of the vital parts of your service to an adequate level.

Extra drivers—for plenty of businesses, it’s vital that their motor traders insurance covers all their employees. But choosing an “any driver” cover could be more costly than restricting cover to only a few employees, or naming insured drivers in the policy.

Vehicle types—if you’re looking for insurance that covers your employees who drive vehicles like HGVs, vans, or cars, it could be far more expensive. Ensure that your policy covers only the vehicles you drive.

Who needs motor traders insurance?

In addition to the types of business mentioned earlier, you may need motor traders insurance if you run a car valeting company, a scrap yard, a repossession company, or a vehicle-restoring business. Generally, if your customers’ vehicles or your own vehicles are under the care, control, or custody of your employees, you’ll need this kind of policy in some form.

Keep in mind as well that it’s not only limited companies that require motor traders insurance. If you have your own business but are still responsible for other folks’ cars, it’s important that you have a proper policy in place.

In some cases, clients’ own policies might cover other drivers, although on a third party basis instead of comprehensive. Even though this has been quite a common theme in the motor insurance industry previously, it’s now highly unlikely to happen. Therefore, it’s vital that motor trade businesses arrange their own sort of cover.

Get the vintage look

Remember the time when men were men and women were women? Yeah, neither do we. But if you’re a fan of old movies and vintage styles from the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, you may be wishing you lived at a time when style was more precise, tailored and dramatic. But don’t let the inevitable passage of time stop you from living the dream. The vintage and retro scene is alive and well and you can still look and even live the part if this is the look you want. From fashion to hair, makeup and lifestyle, you can add as much or as little vintage flair as you want. The following article will give you some tips and tricks on how to research and achieve your vintage look. Luckily for you, while the Internet didn’t exist in the first half of the 20th century, it certainly exists now, giving you all the information you need to go back in time. Ironic, isn’t it?

Vintage Hair

Obviously, different periods had different hairstyles, from the short crops of the 20s to the beautifully curled styles of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Traditionally women used leave-in curlers and “do rags” to curl their hair overnight. Some women still choose to do that, leaving their curlers in wrapped in a hairnet or a towel. But nowadays you can achieve the look in a faster, easier way by using curlers plus a hairdryer or a dedicated curling iron. To be honest, most women don’t have the time nowadays to start working on their hairstyle a day or so in advance. This is especially true if you have a last minute invitation to a party and want to wow everyone with amazing hair.  Don’t worry if you’ve never used a curling iron before. There is plenty of info available online, such as this perfect introduction with all the basic concepts explained by That’s Foxy.

Many vintage hairstyles actually work better with unwashed hair. Maybe women in those times didn’t wash their hair as often? Either way, curling seems to take much better to hair that’s not as smooth, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your pre-event schedule.

Complete your vintage hair look with vintage accessories such as hats, fascinators (those tiny little hats with flowers and other cute things on them), bows or even flower clips for that lovely tropical look.

Vintage clothes

Depending on where you are in the world, getting your hands on authentic vintage clothes can be an expensive pursuit. The further you go back in time to your favourite decade, the more expensive the item will be. 20s flapper dresses? Expect to pay through the nose for those! You can often get some good finds in 2nd hand and vintage markets, shops or online stores (also on online auction sites). But unless you want to be 100% authentic, you can still get the look without shelling out the big bucks.

If you’re handy with a sewing machine or know someone who is, you can still buy vintage patterns online quite cheaply. Sometimes these are printable PDF files, rather than actual physical patterns. The same goes for vintage knitting patterns – plenty are available for sale. All you need to do then is simply buy some material and make your own vintage clothing item that’s also brand new.

Alternatively, there are plenty of modern day designers who make “vintage-inspired” clothes. These vary in price but are bound to be cheaper than many of the originals. They may not be as unique as your own vintage piece, but can definitely help you complete a look at the very least, if not form the basis of one. Even the most common vintage-inspired dress can be made more unique if you pair it with vintage jewellery or a hat.

Another option is to go retro rather than vintage. Styles often repeat themselves throughout the ages and many vintage styles were echoed later on. For example, there are many 80s dresses that are very much inspired by the 40s and the 50s. Unless you are a fashion pedant, they may appear almost identical to those from earlier times, or at least close enough to give you the coveted vintage look for a cheaper price.

Vintage Makeup

Complete your vintage look with makeup styles true to the era. Again, each decade had its own style, but luckily there are plenty of online guides that’ll teach you everything from how to style your eyebrows to eyeshadow styles and even how to paint your mouth with lipstick. While you’re obviously not going to go hunting for actual vintage makeup made in the 50s, many makeup companies make specifically vintage-inspired styles. Lipsticks were generally matte in reds and pinks, while eyes were often smoky. Because we are living in the 21st century, you can also add a bit of sparkle to make the look slightly more modern while keeping the spirit alive.

My garden table

A while ago I decided to take down the fence at the bottom of my back yard and replace it with a hedge. The wooden panels were still in good condition so I took them completely apart and kept them stored in the garage, not sure whether I’d give them away or use them for something else. As it turned out it was something else. I like to have a barbecue from time to time outside and invite friends around. I have a couple of plastic tables and chairs but nothing really suitable for putting on a nice barbecue. So, my part of my old fence has become my new garden table. Here’s how:

Obviously I cut my own wood. I actually saw a picture of the type of table I wanted to build, so I came up with a plan that would enable me to use the panels that I already had. Within reason, you can change the dimensions that you cut to – if it’s your first time, ask someone who has more experience to take a look at your plan before you start cutting. This is going to be a lot easier if you use a miter saw (take a look at straightkerfs.com for some good ones).

Cut the apron ends according to your plan and with 45 degree ends. Then mark them at roughly 10-inch intervals, or whatever fits your plan, as this is where you should attach the supports. Always use glue with your screws. Most people find it easier to predrill and countersink the screw holes. Once you’ve done that you can attach the end aprons and square the frame.

Lay out the boards as they will be on the table top. Place the frame in the correct position on top of these boards, then screw them in. That’s the top of your table. You can put it to one side for now as you make the legs.

Your legs will be the outdoor ‘X’-type made of two of the longer pieces, cut according to the scale of your plan. Place one on top of the other, making sure that the angles at the end of each piece are correct. Screw them together. Do this again for the set of legs which will hold the other side of the table top up. Once you’ve done that, make sure the screw you used to attach the two pieces is on the inside (it looks better) and centre and screw the legs to the side apron.

The last piece of wood you need is for the stretcher – which keeps the legs from moving too much. Screw it to the center of the ‘X’ of each pair of legs.

Now, you’re free to paint and seal is as you see fit. I’ve done mine in dark brown with a waterproof sealant.

Now that’s one job out of the way and another created – now I have to make some chairs! I’ll get around to it some day…

I’ve Had an Epiphany; I Want an Epiphone!

They aren’t Yamaha, but if there were a “runner up” for the most influential brand of electric guitars in North America – and perhaps in the world – today, it would be Epiphone. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee – one of the major centers of the music scene in America today – Epiphone is a major producer of electric and acoustic-electric guitars, known the world over for the quality of their work. Epiphone guitars have wounds up in the hands of performers such as Rhett Atkins, Alondra, Paul Brandt, Wayne Avers of The Monkees, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, and Antsy of Trailer Park Troubadors.

Epiphone guitar reviews praise the melodic sounds of each instrument. What they don’t necessarily do, and certainly not on an individual basis, is tell you which Epiphone guitar is best for you as a beginner… or as an experienced player, looking to try something new. Or as a former Epiphone guitar owner, looking for your next instrument – whether to replace your primary, or just to add a new item to your collection. Epiphone has been manufacturing fine guitars since the late nineteenth century; owning an Epiphone is definitely the mark of a certain kind of prestige, like you’ve suddenly found a place in music history.

The following list includes three Epiphone electric and electric-acoustic guitars. We browsed a few prominently placed affiliate reviews, as well as the accounts of former buyers – all of it content from high-traffic websites, sites which get a lot of attention and evidently have a certain following. We then took that information, and boiled it down, picking out the three instruments which seemed to have received the most positive – and the most consistently positive – feedback.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar

This, by general consensus of trending Epiphone guitar reviews, appears to be the go-to choice for a “starter guitar” from Epiphone. It has a Mahogany body, with a maple top and a rosewood fretboard. The overall effect? Dark, with a streak or two of brightness – like a flash of energy or inspiration, from within a moodier and more contemplative sound. There is a deep, almost wholesome richness to the music you can make with this guitar – it isn’t inherently “dark” in the negative sense of the word. If you’re visually inspired to create art, this might just be the Epiphone guitar for you – whatever your level of experience. The fretboard offers a 24.75 scale. The guitar also comes with Alnico Classic Humbucker pickups. Overall, it’s a great piece to pick up by way of strumming out your first few chords in accordance with those instructional videos you found on YouTube.

Epiphone Casino Electric Guitar

This baby is cherry (no, I mean literally; it’s cherry-red). The body, top, and sides are all made of laminated maple, while the neck is a rich, dark mahogany… like the stem of a cherry. They really do go all the way with that particular theme… but y’know, it works! It’s flashy, shiny, and definitely draws the eye away from other elements of one’s surroundings. It looks and feels like something special when you’re holding it. It adds an air of sophistication to any musician’s profile. This shiny piece features a lot of chrome, especially in the binding; it comes with two Alnico V P-90 pickups, and its rosewood frets offer a 22.75 ratio.

Epiphone Acoustic-Electric Guitar

This Epiphone Acoustic Electric Guitar was inspired by the 1964 Texan acoustic, and it remains true to the potential of its forebear while at the same time offering the uniqueness of an acoustic-electric hybrid. It features a solid spruce top, and solid mahogany back, which combine to deliver to a deliver a full, rich tone. The guitar’s neck is made of a single piece of mahogany, secured by a glued joint and incorporating a rosewood fretboard. The guitar is faithful to the appearance of a traditional Texan acoustic, and according to multiple online reviewers it offers “a lot of bang for its buck,” generally being deemed at once affordable and to have a great feel to its handling.

My Espresso isn’t Your Espresso

The holiday season is a time to reconnect. It’s a time to join with friends and family who, over the intervening year, you might not have spent as much time with as you should have. It’s a time for togetherness and its a time for thankfulness. It is also a time for parties.

The hallmark of any good holiday party isn’t the buffet, or the wet bar, or even the desserts. No, the hallmark of any holiday party is the coffee. I’ll explain. No matter how fun the party is, no matter how long it lasts, no matter the size of the bar or the quantity of the food, at some point it must come to an end.

When it comes time for the end of any holiday party coffee is key. The important reason for this is because its hopefully the last drink that someone will have for the night. As such it both helps to ground the over imbiber and it helps wake up the unenthusiastic designated driver who has been dozing on the sofa for the past two hours. That is, of course, unless you’re at the holiday party I recently found myself attending.

So this was a yearly gathering. It’s grown over the years from a small gathering of five friends from high school to a group of about thirty people. The additional people being the addition of college friends, significant others, and graduate school friends. This eclectic group likes a good party.

So, it was with no small amount of anticipation that we all got together this year for the annual party. I was particularly excited this year as I knew our host had just purchased a new espresso grinder after relying on the quality reviews on http://www.espressogusto.com/best-grinders/. The new grinder would, undoubtedly, grind the fresh espresso beans into the perfect coarseness for the espresso machine. I’ll be honest, the espresso that this espresso machine kicked out was my personal highlight of the party.

So, as the party slowly began to draw to a close, I looked forward with an ever growing sense of anticipation for the farewell espresso from my favorite espresso machine. The buffet was put away, some of the guests had already left, the wet bar was nearly dry and it was going on towards three in the morning when the new coffee grinder finally made it’s appearance.

The espresso beans went into the grinder. The grinder was fired up and ground the beans into the pert consistency. The grounds weren’t too small, nor were they too course, it was, in other words, the perfect consistency for what was sure to be an excellent cup of espresso.

Those of us still at the party, or still standing, gathered around the espresso machine and awaited our cups of perfect coffee. The grounds were scooped out of the grinder, they were slotted into the brewer and damped down with the metal pestle.

We waited in patience as the espresso machine went to work heating the water and using pressure to force that water through the grounds as it pulled out a shot of espresso. The first shot collected into the cup below and I’ll be honest, I thought it was a little more foamy than was normal. But, since it smelled alright, I ignored the extra foam and watched as one of my friends took the first glass.

It only took a few more moments for the other shots to be pulled. Soon, the seven of us left, all held hot cups of espresso in our hands. It was, undoubtedly, sure to be an absolutely delicious cup of espresso.

We toasted the holiday season, we toasted good friends and strong traditions and we all took our first sip of what was always the highlight of the holiday party. Sadly, this year it was not.

You see, that extra bit of foam, the foam that I commented on earlier, turned out to be soap in the espresso machine. Now, soap, of course, has no business being in an espresso machine. Unfortunately, my friend’s boyfriend didn’t know that. So, before the party had started, indeed, while my friend had been out doing the last minute shopping, he had run soapy water through the espresso machine trying to clean it. And so that was that.

That espresso machine, that had helped to make so many fond memories over the past six or seven years, has sadly now been retired. Hopefully, there will be a new espresso machine next year, one that will never feel the touch of soup coursing through its important parts, one that will never taint the perfect espresso it should be producing, one that will make many more new and lasting memories.

What is it with Cold Sores and Kids? Causes and Cures

Cold sores are also known as fever blisters and it is commonly known to be caused by a virus.

The question to be answered is this; why do some people get cold sores?  Or in particular why do some children get cold sores?

The statistics are interesting and also somewhat confusing.  When you read that 80% of us have a latent HPV -1 or herpes simplex virus type 1 it does not seem to make sense. However, when you realise that an actual cold sore attack can appear days, weeks or even years after exposure to the virus does it make more sense.

Before we continue looking at some of statistics, causes, cures and so on check out the best over the counter cold sore cure treatments here.

Worst case scenario

At their worst cold sores can spread to fingers and eyes, so watch out! Any formation of sores around the eyes will need urgent medical attention.

The very worst onset is called gingivostomatitis causing fever, swollen lymph glands and several blisters inside the mouth making it difficult to eat and drink, it goes without saying to take your infant to the Doctor if these symptoms occur.

If you have a child susceptible to cold sores you need to ensure they get into very good hygienic practices.

Types of Herpes Virus

Although there are 8 different types of human herpes virus, we are only really concerned with the recurring Virus HSV-1.  (HSV-2 can occur on mouth and genitals, although again not really associated or to be confused with the common HSV-1)

The first outbreak is usually the worst so can seem alarming for a child or parent/guardian. It may come with fever, swollen glands, sore throat, upset tummy, headache, vomiting or nausea.

Medical names

If you happen to glance at your child’s medical notes do not be alarmed to see cold sores referred to as oral herpes, labial herpes, herpes labialis or herpes febrilis.

How

The main body fluid involved in transmitting this virus is saliva.  Although it is unlikely to be contracted from a parent or other caregiver and more likely to be spread by kids variable hygiene habits it is worth mentioning that it can happen.  A very small child can be susceptible if they already have any injury or skin problem such as eczema or diaper rash. The best advice is to always take extra care with applying zinc creams or emollient creams with a very young infant.

No one really knows why the virus remains latent in many people (hidden in the facial nerves of the nervous system) and why it can recur in others.

There may be some genetic factors but it does not seem to be particularly hereditary.  Perhaps adults knowing they have the latent virus are more likely to be careful not to infect other people.  Some of it will be due the combined parents immune system, some people are lucky to have parents who have different immune systems offering a good combination of immunity from many diseases.

With children it can be stress, trauma, fever, colds and sunburn that trigger the cold sore to rear its head.  Food allergies and some food sensitivities may cause an outbreak.

The first sign

The first time your infant suffers it will be worse and can last up to 14 days and is best treated by a physician rather than trying to treat it yourself.

Thankfully if they get recurring outbreaks of cold sores it is not usually as bad as the first time.

Early treatment

The earlier the treatment starts the better. Treatment will reduce the time factor and pain. Children will feel the sensation beneath the skin, around the mouth or base of nose, this is prodrome stage.

  • Day 1 is prodrome described above, time to start treatment
  • Day 2 or 3 the blistering will appear. The blisters are usually on the border of the lip, occasionally on the roof of the mouth
  • Day 4 is ulceration or weeping stage, the blister is reddish and inflamed, it is the most contagious time
  • Day 5 to 8 is when the blister starts to dry up causing a crust or scab, this is just due to antibodies (usually yellow or brown)
  • Day 9 to 14 is the healing stage when the scabs form, you have to discourage your infant from picking these scabs to try and keep it clean and let it heal

Self help

  • Sores should be washed twice a day with warm, soapy water and gently dried. A bandage may help to prevent scratching and spreading the virus.
  • You can use ice to ease the pain.
  • Zinc ointment can aid healing.
  • Extra fluids can help
  • Plenty of sleep is healing
  • Your pediatrician can advise on any other painkillers suitable for the age of your infant

If you have this problem within the family you do need to be more vigilant with hygiene.  Your health care practice can advise you.  You can also seek help with available treatments in the link above or perhaps you have to start eating healthier, in that case I recommend you visit the juicer expert over at LinkedIn. They can point you in the right direction to start consuming more fruits and vegetables.

How To Guide To Get Your Cat Use The Litter Box

Many cat owners will quickly find that after bringing a new cat or kitten home they aren’t too receptive to using the litter box; at least we learned this upon bringing our new kitten home. With this said, we immediately began looking for solutions to potty training, finding out how to get her to go in the litter, and avoid making a mess all over the home.After running a quick search on Google for: “how to train a cat in 30 days” I found there were a few books about the topic and potty training in general. Within 30 days not only did we get her to go in the litter, but our home smelled cleaner, fresh, and we didn’t have to worry about stepping into accidents upon walking through the front door. These were some tips I found useful, when looking for the best methods of how to train a cat in 30 days.

Use your bathroom

79168075-cat-litter-box-location-632x475Placing the litter box in our bathroom was a great way to start the training process. On day one, I placed the litter box directly nearby to the toilet. It did take a couple of days for her to get used to the location of the litter box, but upon doing so, she immediately knew where to go when she had to use the bathroom. In addition to moving it to the bathroom, I was instructed to raise the litter box’s height, which I did. Eventually we raised the litter box high enough so that it was even with the toilet, which our cat did not have any issues reaching when she had to use the bathroom.

Place a bowl of cat litter in the toilet

pPETNA-1822115_main_t300x300This step I found to be a little odd, but following the online guide advice, I placed a metal bowl into the toilet, which had litter in it. Simply lift the toilet seat, and place a metal bowl which will hang off the inside off the toilet seat. This will serve as a “toilet” for your cat. Once she became familiar with the metal bowl in the toilet, we had to monitor foot placement. This step did take a few days. Our online guide informed use to make sure she placed her feet inside the metal bowl, rather than on the actual toilet seat. Doing this allowed her to understand where she was supposed to go, and where she should be each time she had to use the bathroom.

Remove the metal bowl

Hooded-litter-panThe final step in the training guide informed me to remove the metal bowl from the inside of the toilet. At this point in time the cat was already used to pushing the litter over to cover her own waste, and it wasn’t a difficult transition for her to make once I removed the metal bowl. She knew the feel of the litter, she understood how to balance her body (since I raised the litter box to the toilet’s level), and she knew how to cover her own waste by this point.

At first I found this training technique to be a little awkward and was worried it wouldn’t work. But, after about ten days, I realized she was learning how to balance her body, properly use the litter box, and keep her feet balanced inside the box.

This training technique is a little difficult if you only have one bathroom, but remember, it is only for 30 days. And, it does work.

Not only will your cat learn how to use the litter box, where they are supposed to go, and how to properly cover their waste, it is also going to save quite a bit of money, since you don’t have to pay a professional trainer to assist you in potty training your cat.

Although some cats may be potty trained if you adopt them, as an owner, I quickly realized I was going to have to do the training on my own. I did not know where to begin, so utilizing online resources to search for training methods did help me accomplish the training task.

Although it took a little over 30 days in total it was worth the time, effort, and now when I come home, I know there won’t be any unexpected surprises for me to clean up, since my cat knows how to use the litter box in the corner of the room.