When you’re pulling overnighters at the office in an urgent scramble to release an MVP in time, it’s all too easy to forget the very reasons why you founded the startup in the first place. Or what kind of social, cultural and technological impact that you want your business to have.

Benjamin Yee, a serial entrepreneur under 30, shares some core values shaped by three startups that he founded since leaving school. Some may dismiss them as feel-good speak coming out of a retreat in California, but these values will ring true when you’re staring into the abyss at your startup, or when you’re trying to recruit like-minded people to join your cause.

Ben’s most recent startup is a software solution called EMERGE App. It offers order, purchase and inventory management for small and medium-sized businesses around the world. Ultimately, he wants business owners to spend less time worrying over inventory issues and, instead, focus on the things that matter in their lives.

  1. Happiness

happy employees

I want my employees to feel happy working for me. When they get out of bed in the morning, they must feel motivated to tackle another day of achieving goals and fixing issues. If they start to resent coming to work or show a negative attitude, then it becomes a problem for me and my business.

EMERGE App is a cloud solution that is available via subscription. So it’s important that I continue to delight my customers and keep them happy. They can cancel their subscription anytime and switch to another product. We need to exceed customer expectations with every interaction. To achieve that we need to be happy inside first.

I create happiness by asking each new candidate one question: What Makes You Happy? For some it is money. For others, it is a goal such as putting a downpayment on a new house. For another, it was keeping his job despite migrating to another country. I’m able to keep my staff happy by nudging them closer to their dreams.

  1. Honesty

My workforce is well distributed among several countries. In one physical office, I have teams of developers, designers and testers working on the next release of EMERGE App. In another department, staff work remotely from different cities on marketing, branding and public relations. Yet another works on revenue and user growth in another country.

All this means a mix of office hours, flexi hours and remote workers. Plus I’m the digital nomad that oversees everything as I’m travelling 3 weeks out of every month. We thus measure performance by output and not corporate facetime. We trust that you do your best work at the times that suit you. If you need to urgently run an errand in the morning, then so be it. We also have an unlimited vacation policy that, thankfully, no one has abused yet.

  1. Humility

Since EMERGE App is wholly dependent on customer subscriptions, we answer to the customer alone. Thus the whole business is aligned with addressing customer pain points and supporting them in using our software to solve their inventory problems. Customer compliments really make everyone’s day, while less than stellar comments means that we need to look hard at ourselves, stay humble and then fix the issue.

  1. Humour

At the end of the day, we all need to enjoy what we do best and have some fun while at it. Everyone is a fair target for jokes and memes, myself included. We draw the line at making fun of customers of course. But friendly and humorous banter with customers is fine if that’s the mood of the chat or email. It definitely helps to connect with them.

So ask yourself today: what are your core values at your startup?

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These days the world of technology has come a long way, and there are a lot of things that have to happen in order for your life to improve with technology. There are so many different things that people can do to enrich their lives that involve the use of modern technology. Make sure you do as much as possible to use technology in a way that is going to enrich and improve your life.

Think about all the different things you are going to be using technology for on a daily basis. This is something that will play a major role in daily life, so it is something you need to embrace as much as you can. So, make sure you take a look at the different things that play a massive part in the way you live your life through technology every single day.

  • Use Apps

Use Apps

If you are a person with your ear to the ground you are most likely going to own a smartphone. And this means you will be using phone apps as much as you possibly can. There are pretty much apps out there for everything these days, and there are a lot of ways apps can enrich your life. There are so many things that play a part in the process of using apps, and these are essential for making your life better at the same time.

  • Find Out About People

You should also make sure you do as much as you can to find out more information about people. There is so much information out there that you can find out, and being able to discover more about people is really essential. So, you need to make sure you do what you can to make use of online people search functions. These are so important when it comes to running background checks or finding out what people’s backstory is.

  • Run a Business

If there is one thing people are starting to use technology more for these days it is to run a business. There are a lot of things that have to play a role in the development of small business ownership, but the fact of the matter is that technology makes this much simpler. So, you need to look at what you can do to make the most of this, and to improve things going forward.

  • Better Security

Security is such a major concern these days, and it is so important that you look after yourself and your possessions better. Technology allows us to protect things physically as well as making our digital lives more secure at the same time. So, this is something that it is important to use as it will make a big difference to how secure your life might be in the future.

This is just a handful of the different ways in which the internet can work toward making your life better. There are so many excellent things you are going to be doing on a daily basis, and the ways in which technology can help with it. Your life is built around the world of technology, and this makes it important for you to be as adaptable as you can possibly be.

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The job is complete. You ordered carpet with installation from your local carpet store and the experts just left your home. You can now enjoy your new flooring, that is after you’ve checked to ensure that the job was done correctly. Look at it this way – your new flooring wasn’t cheap, especially after you added in the cost of installation. If it isn’t done right, you’ll need to notify the installers immediately. Here’s what to look for when checking.

Look For Smooth Seams

Odds are, the carpeting wasn’t installed in one large chunk. It probably had to be cut to fit, which means that there might be a seam or two in the middle. You need to check to ensure that these seams aren’t visible. Also, look at the edges where your new carpeting meets the baseboards, doorways, walls, and other sections of the floor. Are the edge neatly tucked under? Can you see any edges that are fraying or loose? These edges should be tucked under and secured with adhesive, transition strips, carpet tape, or even tacks. If you see any of those fraying edges, call the company right away. Something isn’t right.

carpeted living room

Folds and Wrinkles

The professional installers should have used carpet tracks in order to stretch out the carpeting before they attached it to the floor. This should’ve taken care of any wrinkles or folds. If you see any large ones, then you need to call the company, because they didn’t install the carpeting correctly. However, if the only wrinkle or fold that you see is small and it goes away when you step on it, then you have nothing to worry about. You might see a few small ones here and there.

Divots and Buckling

The best way to check for these is to lay down on the floor and stare out at the carpet. These divots and buckles are usually described as being “hills and valleys” in the carpeting. They are signs that the carpeting was not installed smoothly, or that the subfloor wasn’t properly prepped. If you have a warped or damaged subfloor, then your carpet will have these uneven sections. A good carpet installation company will have checked the subfloor and then informed you of any issues before they proceeded with the job. If you didn’t elect to have the subfloor fixed, then that is on you. But, if they didn’t inform you properly, then they need to come back out and repair their mistakes.

Stair Edges and Liners

If you had your stairs carpeted, then you’ll need to make sure that the edge where the carpet meets the wall is smooth and secure. Both edges should look pristine. There also shouldn’t be any gaps between the stairs. If everything was done right, your stairs should look perfect. If there are loose sections between stairs, then you have a problem.

Since choosing the carpet with installation option wasn’t cheap, you need to ensure that the job gets done right. If you notice any red flags during your post-installation inspection, don’t be afraid to speak up.

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Renting a new home is a big step, especially if it’s the first-ever home you are renting. Especially if this is your first, there are a few things that you should consider before you sign up to rent any of the prospective homes that you might have in mind.

First, you should decide on your needs – do you know just how many bedrooms you want your home to have? How about bathrooms? Does it have a bath or a shower? And, just how much are they asking for rent per week or month – and are they asking for a deposit?

deposit money for rent house

There are many more important questions that people who are looking to rent a home should ask, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed – or to sign yourself into a deal that sounded great at first, but trickles down to a terrible trap in just a few weeks to months.

Here’s some practical advice for how you should go about renting your first home, and just what questions you should be asking your prospective landlord.

Deciding Your Needs

The first thing that you should decide when you are thinking of renting a home is just what your needs are when it comes to a place to live. Are you looking for a place that has one bedroom or more? Should it be a fenced and stand-alone home, or are you looking for an apartment instead? You should also know how much, at least more or less, you have available to pay – and remember that many landlords ask for a double deposit on top of the first month’s rent.

Other important things you might want to keep in mind is whether or not the apartment or house is pet-friendly – even if you don’t have any pets now, this might change with time, and you should know early on if your landlord will be accommodating.

Some people prefer wooden floors to tiles, others will look at the amount of space, bedrooms or bathrooms as their defining factor. It’s different for everyone. Decide on your needs early on so you can avoid any trouble later.

Choosing the Right Area

If you’re looking for a rental, you’ll also have to decide just where you want your home to be: Most people choose homes that are nearby to their jobs, other people might be relocating because they’ve just taken another job offer and this is part of their overall plan.

Some people choose areas for being closer to shopping malls, while others will choose a home that’s close to a bus route or school. Again, which area you choose to rent in will depend on your individual needs – and the overall asking price for homes in the area.

Contacting Prospective Rentals

Once you’ve spotted a potential rental that you like, you should send the prospective landlord or agent a message to introduce yourself. Always keep it simple, and always be police. A simple, “Hey, I just saw the ad you placed for the rental – is it still available?” is enough to strike up a conversation and gives you the room to start asking the right questions.

Speaking to a potential landlord for ten minutes is usually enough to break the ice, get more information about the rental – and figure out if you and the landlord will be able to get along. Sometimes, people just don’t – and in that case, keep looking until you find another suitable rental.

Ask the right questions; now is the time to ask them anything you might want to know about the terms of your rental – and if there’s anything you don’t like, move on. There’s no such thing as, “Maybe this will change and get better later on.” when it comes to rentals – if you’re not happy with the terms, find something else.

Arranging a Viewing

showing property

Once you’ve spoken to the prospective landlord and gotten the basic information about the home that you’re interested in renting, it’s time to arrange a viewing. Find out when the landlord is available to show the property, and arrange a meeting time that suits both of you.

Always take someone else along when a viewing has been arranged. It ensures that you don’t get trapped in any uncomfortable or dangerous situations – yes, there are a lot of dangerous people out there, and you don’t want to turn into tomorrow’s headline if the landlord turns out to be a serial killer or a scammer instead.

It’s a good idea to take someone who knows their stuff, so to speak: Someone who knows about building structure and plumbing can be a lot of use when you’re checking out a place, and they might spot flaws that you never would have.

If you’ve seen the property and you like what you see, then it’s time to get to the really important questions.

The Really Important Questions

So, what are the really important questions?

  • Find out whether utility bills (and any other charges) will be included in your rent, or will be charged separately. Also find out how utility bills will be sent to you – sometimes you have to re-register utilities to your name, and this can be a nightmare to remove from your name when you move: Keep this in mind, too.
  • Ask whether a deposit is payable beforehand – and make sure that your deposit is kept safe in an interest-bearing trust account for when you move again. Some landlords ask for a double-deposit. Also make sure that there are no illegal or surprise charges that can come back to bite you – if yes, move along to another rental.
  • Ask whether or not there are any included extras, like furniture or security – this can be an important factor when choosing a home.
  • Ask whether or not the landlord has insurance, much like HomeLet landlord’s insurance – this will protect both you and the landlord if it ever becomes necessary to claim from insurance for events like roof damage due to storms or other wear-and-tear.
  • Ask to see the contract – but don’t sign it right this second. Always have a contract looked over by a professional attorney first – in most cases, a first consultation with an attorney costs you nothing, but saves you a lot of time in the long run.

How have your rental experiences been as a landlord or tenant? Do you have any tips that can make things easier for others who are looking for accommodation? Share it with us using the hashtag #MyFirstRentalHome!

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Sneaking out, spending hours on their phones, getting way too invested in their friendship group dramas and demanding money for the perfect teen clothes to show off their style: in some ways, teenagers will never change. But in a lot of ways, the world they’re growing up in is completely different from the one that we remember, and not just because of the internet. We’re taking a trip down memory lane to remember a few experiences that are lost in the mists of time as far as today’s teenagers are concerned – join us!

#1 Internet searches before Google

searches before google

Remember how, before 1998 when Google was invented (and swiftly took over the world), you had to Ask old web browsing stuff instead? I had a friend (that’s right…a friend) who liked to treat Jeeves like an agony uncle. “Jeeves…does he still think about me?” “Jeeves…will I ever get over him?” It may not have been as quick or effective as Googling, but it made me – er, her – feel better.

#2 Crying at Dawson’s Creek

Oh, Dawson. Oh, Pacey. Oh, Joey. Oh, that 90s soundtrack that made us truly feel for the very first time. Your Netflix fave could never. (Side note: Katie Holmes may have wound up the most successful DC alum, but it was oh so fitting when James Van Der Beek showed up in How I Met Your Mother as Robin’s first, teenage love. We loved him when we were awkward teenagers too, Robin…)

#3 Laughing at Seinfeld

This much-loved comedy ran its final episode 20 years ago after nine years on the air. No more soup Nazi, no more big salads, no more mastering one’s domain, no more ‘yadda yadda yadda’. Where would audiences hungry to watch the exploits of neurotic single people get their fix…?

#4 Laughing and crying at new episodes of Friends

Well, fortunately, by the time the Seinfeld gang left the diner where they’d sat around drinking coffee and talking about their lives, a new crew had already settled into the coffee shop up the street. That’s right: this time twenty years ago, Friends was at the height of its popularity. And sure, it’s still on Netflix and regular TV, and just about everyone in the world has seen every single episode by now, including newborn babies and probably the Dalai Lama. But just watching a Friends re-run cannot compare to the experience of watching each episode for the first time. Of squealing along with the studio audience the first time Ross and Rachel kissed, or calling your friends the second season 3 ended (“Was it Rachel’s room or Bonnie’s room? RACHEL’S OR BONNIE’S???”), or squirming with embarrassment if your parents were in the room during The One With Phoebe’s Uterus (“Seven. Seven! SEVEN!”) If you weren’t there, you don’t know, man. You just don’t know.

#5 Waiting actual years for the next Harry Potter book

Speaking of experiencing things for the first time, one experience I’m genuinely sad my kids missed out on is queuing in the bookstore at midnight to be one of the first to own Half-Blood Prince or Deathly Hallows. The costumes! The Butterbeer! The singing! The sudden silence once we all got our books and shuffled forward to pay for them, heads down and reading in the queue! It was truly magical, and almost worth the pain of finishing the book just hours later only to have to wait months or even years for the next book or movie to come out.

#6 Pop before auto-tune

Here’s another magical creation that was revealed to the world in the late 90s: in 1998, Cher’s ‘Believe’ was released – the first big hit to use auto-tune – and the world of pop (and pop stars who, uh, can’t actually sing) has never been the same…

#7 The heartbreak of Geri leaving the Spice Girls

Speaking of pop, no 90s teen could forget the shock of Geri Halliwell parting company with the rest of the Spice Girls while they were on their world tour! My favorite teen girl magazine (yeah, we read actual magazines back then, too, made of paper and everything) had literal poems in about how sad we all were. Nicki Minaj and Cardi B do not compare…imagine the drama if the spicy ones had had Instagram.

#8 Trying to memorise the words to ‘One Week’

Years before they recorded the Big Bang theme tune, Canadian oddballs the Barenaked Ladies had a huge hit in 1998 with this tongue-twister of a tune. Sing it with me now: Chickity China, the Chinese chicken, you have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin’/Watching X-Files with no lights on, we’re dans la maison/I hope the Smoking Man’s in this one…

#9 Life before Beyoncé

Destiny’s Child

You know who else was making their musical breakthrough in 1998? A little band called Destiny’s Child, that’s who. They didn’t think we could handle this, and they were so right. Or so wrong. Whatever, they left us the living goddess that is Beyoncé, and for that we are eternally grateful.

#10 That dial-up sound

If you’re anything like me, reading this post has left you humming all your fave old 90s tunes, if not heading to Spotify to craft the perfect nostalgia playlist. But there’s one sound from the late 90s that we sure as heck won’t miss, even though we’ll never forget it. We heard it when we were waiting to get online; we heard it when we were hopping up and down in our seat, knowing that our crush was waiting impatiently on MSN Messenger to chat to us; and our parents heard it every time they picked up the house phone. That’s right: the dial-up tone. The true anthem of the 90s. RIP, screechy sound: we do not miss you.

All in all, today’s teenagers live in a different world to the neon-colored, inflatably-furnished planet we inhabited back in the late 90s. You can’t help but wonder – what will they be looking back on when they’re as old as us?

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Finding out that you’re expecting a baby should be an exciting time. However, it’s totally normal to feel a little trepidation as well, particularly about your finances – and especially if you’re already struggling to meet all your monthly outgoings and pay off your debts.

Once upon a time the standard advice might have been to pay off all your debts before trying to start a family. Of course, that’s still the ideal situation, and if you’re in so much problem debt that you’re regularly struggling to make it to the end of the month, then now might not be the best time to get pregnant. But for many people looking to have their first child – particularly couples or individuals who have student loan debt – waiting until you get out of debt completely means waiting until your options for having children are much more limited, or never having kids at all.

If you want to get an idea of whether it’s financially feasible to start a family right now – or if you’re already pregnant and wondering how you’re going to manage – don’t panic! We’re here to help. Read on for our tips on getting your pre-baby finances in order.

Make a budget

Make a budget

Start by looking at your current income and expenditure. It can be difficult to get a realistic picture of your day-to-day spending if you don’t normally record it in detail, so try keeping a comprehensive spending diary for a fortnight and then using an online budget tool. You may be able to identify areas where you can cut back (see ‘Start saving’, below).

Next, add in the extra baby-related expenses you’ll have. These include one-off ‘startup costs’, like maternity and baby clothes, and equipment like cots and car-seats; and then the ongoing costs of having an extra mouth to feed. Factor in any state and/or employer benefits you’ll be entitled to, and any loss in income that you and/or your partner are likely to experience if you take parental leave.

To get a realistic idea of what you’ll need and how much it will cost, ask other families – friends, relatives or contributors to online message boards – if there are items they bought for their new baby and never ended up using. You can also hit up the same sources for secondhand goods, which parents are often eager to sell or even give away. Check the retail price for new items before you buy secondhand, to be sure of getting a good deal.

Make a plan (but expect the unexpected)

Now that you have a better idea of your overall financial picture and how much parenthood is likely to cost you, you – and your partner if applicable – can work out how to approach this new stage of your lives. The sections below list some of the steps you might want to take. Is it realistic to save up and/or pay off some of your debts – or even enter a debt solution – before you start trying to get pregnant? Can either of you pick up any extra income now? Would one or both of you take time off work when the baby arrives, and how much would that dent your income? How are you all going to get around? What’s your plan for childcare: does your employer offer any financial help, and/or are there any relatives who can help you out?

Bear in mind at this stage that you can’t plan for every eventuality. You could very easily work out the perfect budget for your first baby, only to discover that – for example – you’re actually expecting twins. Just do your best and try to include a financial cushion in your plans.

Start saving

Going through your budget as you did above should have helped you identify non-essential outgoings. Cutting back on some areas of your non-essential expenditure now – for example, a gym membership, magazine subscription, or that old budgeting staple: a daily Starbucks habit – will help you to adjust to your tighter post-baby budget while helping to build up a savings buffer to help you pay those one-off expenses and get through a temporary period of lower income. Online parenting communities are full of tips to help you save.

Put your savings somewhere you can get to them when you spot a baby bargain, but where you won’t be tempted to dip into them for those non-essentials: for example, get a high-street savings account without an ATM card, so you’ll need to transfer the funds over before you spend them.

Borrow responsibly

If you’ve got your debt and spending under control but need a little short-term help with some of those upfront baby costs, you could consider taking out a loan from a firm known for lending money responsibly. But don’t be tempted to go into tons of debt just to pay all the latest fancy baby gadgets – stick to what you and your child actually need and can reasonably afford to pay for, even if you need a while to pay it off.

Make extra income

Make extra income

First make sure you’ve checked everything you’ll be entitled to once the baby arrives or you go off on parental leave, and that you’ve incorporated this extra income into your budget. If you’re still struggling to save up everything you’ll need, try to pick up a little extra income now, before your time becomes 100% taken up by being a parent. Can you ask for a raise at work, or extra shifts? If you’re self-employed, can you pick up a few extra clients? Is there anything lying around the house that you could sell? (Don’t forget, becoming a parent is a huge lifestyle change: are you really going to use those skis in the next few years?)

If you need help

If you’ve tried all the tips above and it still doesn’t look like you can afford to be a parent until you’ve paid your debts off, then it might be time to try a debt solution. Look online for sources of free debt advice, and explain the situation to your adviser including any time constraints.

Becoming a parent is a big and scary time that involves a lot of big and scary decisions, but don’t worry – you can do this!

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Online casinos have been around in some form since 1994, but – as with everything on the Internet – their popularity has skyrocketed in the last decade. The global online gambling market is forecasted to increase to almost 60 billion US dollars by 2020.

Behind those figures are millions of people around the world enjoying online gambling – and a small minority for whom gambling becomes a problem, because of debt, addictions or both. For most people, it’s perfectly possible to have a great time in an online casino or other internet gambling site: you just need to set healthy limits and check in with yourself to be sure you’re still having fun. Here’s how.

Set limits

Set limits

Before you sit down with your phone or in front of your laptop, make a plan for your gambling session – bonus points if you write it down! Decide how much time you are going to spend this session: your maximum time limit should probably be an hour. Time flies when you’re having fun, so set a timer. Next, set a limit for how much money you are willing to lose; and when you will stop even if you’re winning (for example, when you’re up by 25%). When you hit your time limit, your loss limit or your winning limit – whichever comes first – then stop. No exceptions!

Be realistic

When you’re setting your limits as above, make them achievable. If you say you’ll only play for five minutes when you know you’re usually in that online casino for an hour and a half, you’re just setting yourself up to fail. Conversely, deciding not to quit until you’ve doubled your money will leave you sitting there all night.

Remember that:

  • This is a form of entertainment which you pay for, and it is not designed to make money for you
  • These are games of chance rather than skill
  • Over time, you are statistically certain to lose money. This is why it’s important to set a limit on when you will quit while you’re winning.

Keep track of your gambling

You remember above we told you to write down your limits before you start? Well, keep that notebook and pen handy, because you’re going to need it again.

It’s easy to get a distorted idea of how much time and money you spend on gambling if you don’t keep accurate records – just like the people you see on Secret Eaters, who don’t have a realistic idea of just how much they snack. Meanwhile, there’s some evidence to show that people who do keep records are able to stick to healthy habits: for example, a food journal helps you achieve your nutritional goals, and a money diary can help you save. Keep a gambling diary to write down how long each session is and how much money you win or lose – and keep a note of how you felt at the beginning and end of each session. This will help you avoid gambling when you’re in a bad mood (see ‘Be a happy gambler, below’) and to keep an eye out for any negative patterns (see ‘Recognise the signs of problem gambling’, below).

Tell your friends

If you’ve found an online casino you really like, sharing it with your friends can have multiple benefits. Firstly, you’re avoiding the ‘secret’ gambling that can become problematic, and creating a network of accountability so you all have someone to check in with and make sure you’re all still having fun. And secondly – it makes your online gambling more sociable, and you get to tell your friends about something you think they’ll enjoy.

Take regular breaks

One of the great things about an online casino versus a bricks-and-mortar venue is that you can leave and come back in with ease. Even during your set time limits, be sure to take a break from the screen every now and then – set more timers for this if it will help. Get up, walk around, do some stretches, make a cup of tea, maybe even go outside for a breath of fresh air. This will help limit the damage to your eyes and posture from sitting still and staring at a screen too long. It will also help you keep the game in perspective, which will make it easier for you to stick to the healthy limits you’ve set yourself.

Make sure it’s not your only hobby

You might find yourself looking forward to your visit to the online casino at the end of a hard day – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just be sure it’s not the only thing you’re looking forward to. What are you reading? When is it your next night out with the girls, or with your partner? Online gambling is fun, but don’t neglect all the other fun stuff in your life.

Be a happy gambler

If you find yourself gambling as a response to stress, worry or anything that is making you unhappy, that’s a cause for concern. Partly because it suggests you’re not dealing with that negativity head-on, and also because when you’re in a bad mood, you’re more likely to gamble outside those healthy limits and to take dangerous risks. Hit the online casino when you’re in a happy place, and take out those frustrations on exercise or Mumsnet instead.

Recognise the signs of problem gambling

problem gambling

Some of the indicators that gambling might be turning into a problem for you are things we’ve already referred to in this article: for example, feeling unable to stop even when you’ve passed a certain amount of time or money spent on gambling; hiding your gambling from friends and family; making gambling the sole focus of your attention and neglecting other areas of your life; and gambling in response to life stress or unhappiness. Other signs include mood swings and financial trouble. Complete and review your gambling diary regularly – and be honest with yourself – so you can spot a problem if it comes up.

The NHS website has a questionnaire you can complete to get an idea of whether you should be concerned about your gambling behaviour, and where you can go if you ever need help.

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Winter is a great time to have a serene, sparkling and cozy wedding. While you’re planning for one, you can’t forget to include some of the extra accessories that are required to keep you and your wedding party warm when the weather outside is frightful. Fortunately, there are plenty of stylish ways to layer up, even over a wedding gown.

I’m Jessica, a designer at fashion retailer JJ’s House, and I specialize in everything wedding. I’m here to give you my best recommendations for accessorizing during a winter wedding. The key accessory to focus on is, of course a cover-up. From faux to fur to denim and everything in-between, there are so many stylish options to choose from to keep you and your ladies looking fabulous and feeling comfy on your big day. Let’s take a look at some of the best.

Cover-Ups for Formal Weddings

Narrow Your Options

There are a wide range of cover-up styles to choose from, so before you get started on looking, consider how formal your ceremony is going to be and how cold the winter climate actually gets where you’re getting married. For example, you’d wear a much different cover-up to a black-tie ceremony than you would a rustic country-themed one. And a winter wedding in Maine will require a cover-up much heavier than a winter wedding in southern California would.

Cover-Ups for Casual Weddings

If you’re going for a more relaxed wedding vibe, you can have some fun choosing unique cover-up options or adding an unexpected style to your ensembles. Just because your wedding attire is formal doesn’t necessarily mean your cover-ups need to be. Add an unexpected twist by using denim jackets, cardigans, blazers or shawls.

Denim jackets are ideal for country-style or vintage-style weddings. Cardigans are a great cozy option for bridesmaids. Blazers work well when they’re super-fitted and worn by a bride who likes to take fashion risks. Shawls are always super comfortable and look effortlessly chic.

Cover-Ups for Formal Weddings

There are plenty of elegant cover-up options for formal winter wedding ceremonies. The most popular is fur or faux-fur. The best part about fur is that in addition to coats, stoles, wraps, scarves and more, you can find it in varied accessories like clutches and stilettos. This makes it super easy to incorporate into each and every outfit to really tie the looks together.

If fur isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of other options to choose from. If you just need a cover-up on your way to and from the ceremony, consider a classy coat in cream color or a vintage-style coat. At the ceremony, cover up in a lace shrug or bolero. Other elegant options include scarves and pashminas, feather shrugs and sequin jackets and boleros.

As soon as you’ve got your ceremony theme in order and have decided on your gown and the bridesmaids’ dresses, you can follow the tips above to choose the perfect cover-up accessories. Keep yourself and your party feeling warm and looking cool during your winter wedding.

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Also, check out: Janna Breslin Is So Beautiful Instacrush

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WEEK OF August 20 – 26, 2018

Home is where your heart—and much mental focus—will be starting Thursday, August 23, as the Sun beams into Virgo and your fourth house of family, foundations and domestic delights until September 22. Suddenly the same old walls may start to look like they need a fresh coat of paint—or maybe you can knock that one down to create a more open floor plan? Ideas may come fast and furious, particularly if you spend a lot of time on Pinterest and sites like Domino and Houzz. Thanks to Virgo’s tidy, minimalist vibes, you might get inspired to pare WAY down and throw yourself into a monthlong decluttering mission. Be smart about what you do with your discarded treasures: Offer some to friends, donate much to worthy organizations and barter, upcycle or sell the things with appreciable value. (But maybe hang onto grandma’s heirloom china.) Some Geminis might finally be ready to make a move—across town or across the country—while others will get into serious discussions with roommates or bae about changing up their living arrangement. Try to think down the road and not just in the present moment. Transitions like this are exciting but can be hard to undo when they’re enacted. Check your heart before doing anything “drastic.” When all these shifts are done, showcase your on-fleek space with a cocktail or dinner party. You might reconnect to your own inner host(ess) with the most(ess)!

Forgiveness is easy to talk about but harder to actually do, especially when it’s human nature to derive a strong sense of satisfaction from nursing an old grudge. But here’s the thing, Gemini: By forgiving someone else, you actually do YOURSELF the real favor. You may not realize how much energetic bandwidth this is taking up. Under Saturday’s exceptional and empowering grand earth trine, you’ll have a rare chance to release something (or someone) for once and for all and let bygones be bygones. The generous Sun connects the dots with tough-love Saturn and transformational Uranus in your most sensitive houses. Don’t overthink it or turn it into a Hollywood production. Just decide to move on and then let it go! When you get stuck, remind yourself that everyone, yourself included, is only human.

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Sunday marks the year’s only full moon in Pisces, which fires off virtual rockets in your tenth house of career ambition. This lunar lift can bring things to completion or signal a key turning point. A professional goal you’ve been working on for the past six months might finally come together brilliantly, or a golden opportunity could fall into your lap. Conversely, if you’ve been spinning your wheels in a work rut, this full moon could light a path toward a brand-new trajectory. Not sure what you want? Enlist a coach to help you find your true north.

Also on Sunday, a romantic issue could blow up out of proportion. Try not to take things at face value: Love planet Venus is locking horns with shadowy Pluto in two of your intimate, passionate sectors. This is a better moment to look inward than try to resolve things with another person. It also offers a great opportunity to practice self-restraint!

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