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HOW TO BE A<br />

NATURAL BEAUTY..<br />

Our few simple tips and tricks will help<br />

you to embrace your natural features,<br />

and make you feel beautiful...<br />

MARCH 2021<br />

ENJOY THE GARDEN<br />

Spring is one of the first opportunities of the year that<br />

we can enjoy our garden. Check out our March garden<br />

maintainence, as well as our guide to tree felling.<br />

MOTHER’S DAY<br />

HOMEMADE GIFTS<br />

Mother’s day is just around the corner, and<br />

we’ve got a great shortbread recipe that<br />

will be an excellent gift this year.<br />

SHOP YOUR OWN<br />

WARDROBE FIRST!<br />

With the prospect of a possible release from our<br />

year long house arrest on the horizon. I’m sure a lot of us<br />

have taken to the online retailors to begin shopping for a whole<br />

new wardrobe,but we are here to suggest a<br />

more sustainable option...<br />

TIME TO GET OUTSIDE!<br />

welcome to<br />

S<br />

pring!<br />

powered by


WEDDINGS | BIRTHDAYS | CELEBRATIONS | PARTIES<br />

AWARD WINNING<br />

CAKES IN THE<br />

COTSWOLDS<br />

Creating beautiful bespoke cakes which taste<br />

divine and are every bit as memorable as the<br />

celebration itself.<br />

If you have an up coming celebration, get in touch with<br />

Anna and watch your ideas come to life!<br />

sugarbowlbakes@hotmail.com | 07769948487<br />

See more creations at<br />

SUGARBOWLBAKES.CO.UK<br />

Call us on 01242 245 071<br />

Call us on 01394 385 678<br />

Call us on 01394 411 288<br />

Your memories can start now...<br />

Weddings:<br />

Whether you are planning a<br />

small and intimate wedding or a<br />

grand and luxurious marquee<br />

celebration, we have 3 perfect<br />

venues to choose from.<br />

Business:<br />

Each of our venues can be the<br />

perfect retreat to celebrate,<br />

connect and collaborate with<br />

business meetings, social events<br />

and team building retreats.<br />

Occasions:<br />

Is there a looming special<br />

birthday that you’re eager to<br />

host? Each of our venues can<br />

offer you the perfect backdrop<br />

for your big day.<br />

Hatherley, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire<br />

Great Bealings, Woodbridge, Suffolk<br />

Sutton, Woodbridge, Suffolk


IN THIS<br />

issue<br />

4<br />

5<br />

7<br />

10<br />

12<br />

MADE WITH<br />

LOVE...<br />

We’ve got a sweet treats section<br />

for you this month so it is<br />

not to be missed.<br />

BE YOUR NATURAL<br />

BEAUTY<br />

Try out some of our natural<br />

beauty tips for yourself.<br />

SPRING CLEANING<br />

CHECKLIST<br />

It is that time again, and our list<br />

can help you organise your time<br />

and make the most of your<br />

spring clean this year.<br />

KNOW YOUR<br />

WOOD<br />

What is the best type of wood<br />

for your burner? You can find the<br />

answer on page 10!<br />

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE<br />

TO DECOUPAGE<br />

Decoupage is a very easy way to<br />

upgrade any piece of furniture. We<br />

have got a great guide to get you<br />

started.<br />

13<br />

14<br />

17<br />

19<br />

23<br />

GARDEN JOBS<br />

As the sun starts to appear it is the perfect<br />

oppoutunity to get out in your garden and<br />

get ready for the summer.<br />

TREAT YOUR MOTHER’S<br />

LIKE QUEENS<br />

It’s nearly Mother’s Day, so it is time to start thinking<br />

about your gift this year and we’ve got the answer.<br />

Head to page 14 to discover our secret.<br />

SHOP YOUR OWN<br />

WARDROBE<br />

It is nearly time for us to get up and out again,<br />

so the dreaded outfit choices are already starting!<br />

We suggest you shop your own wardrobe first - head<br />

to page 17 to see what we mean.<br />

AM I ALLOWED TO<br />

CUT DOWN TREES..<br />

With Summer on the horizon you may be wishing to<br />

create more open space in your garden by cutting<br />

down a few trees, but beware - you may be<br />

breaking the law.<br />

SPRING NATURE<br />

EVENTS<br />

There are so many things to look forward to during<br />

spring and we outline a few of these on page 23.<br />

No material may be reproduced in any way, or translated, without written permission of the<br />

publishers.<br />

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that adverts and articles appear correctly, but<br />

<strong>Home</strong> and <strong>Garden</strong> cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused directly or indirectly<br />

by the contents of the publication.<br />

The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of its publisher or editor.<br />

COPYRIGHT © 2020 IPLUS MEDIA<br />

<strong>Home</strong> and <strong>Garden</strong> is published by iPlus Media.<br />

Editorial: hello@iplusgroup.co.uk<br />

Telephone: 01242 312121 | Website: iplusmedia.co.uk<br />

Head office: Suite 2, 14 Union Street, Stroud, Glos, GL5 2HE


THIS MONTH ON<br />

MADE<br />

WITH<br />

LOVE<br />

Treats<br />

BANANA BREAD<br />

SERVES 8 (1 HOUR AND 15 MINUTES)<br />

INGREDIENTS<br />

- 1.5 cups plain flour<br />

- 1 tsp baking powder<br />

- ½ tsp salt<br />

- ¾ cup unsalted butter<br />

- 1 cup brown sugar<br />

- 2 eggs<br />

- 1 tsp vanilla extract<br />

- 3-6 very ripe bananas<br />

METHOD<br />

Add the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl<br />

and set aside.<br />

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS:<br />

MAKES 14 (40 MINUTES)<br />

INGREDIENTS<br />

- 220g all-purpose flour<br />

- 115g unsalted butter<br />

- 1 tsp baking powder<br />

- 100g granulated sugar<br />

- 50g brown sugar<br />

- 2 large eggs<br />

- 120g yogurt (plain/vanilla)<br />

- 60ml milk<br />

- 250g blueberries (fresh/frozen)<br />

- 2 tsp vanilla extract<br />

In a separate bowl add the butter and sugar and<br />

whisk until fluffy and combined. Add in the eggs<br />

slowly and whisk.<br />

Combine the dry ingredients into the mixture<br />

here. Stir in the vanilla and bananas until fully<br />

mixed.<br />

Pour into your baking tin and bake for 45 minutes<br />

to an hour at 175 degrees C.<br />

RED VELVET COOKIES:<br />

MAKES 15 (2 HOURS CHILL TIME, 15 MINUTE COOKING TIME)<br />

METHOD<br />

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.<br />

INGREDIENTS<br />

- 200g plain flour<br />

- 20g cocoa powder<br />

- 1 tsp baking powder<br />

- Pinch salt<br />

- 1 tbsp milk<br />

- 2 tsp vanilla extract<br />

- Red food colouring<br />

- 180g chocolate chips<br />

- 115g unsalted butter<br />

- 150g brown sugar<br />

- 50g granulated sugar<br />

- 1 large egg<br />

Fill a muffin tin with cupcake liners.<br />

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a large<br />

bowl and set aside.<br />

In another bowl, whisk the butter and sugars<br />

again until light and creamy before adding in the<br />

eggs one at a time. Add in the yoghurt and vanilla<br />

extract before combining all of this to the bowl of<br />

dry ingredients.<br />

Spoon this batter into the cupcake/muffin liners<br />

and bake for 20-25 minutes before removing and<br />

leaving to cool.<br />

METHOD<br />

Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in<br />

a large bowl and set aside.<br />

Whisk the butter and sugar together in a separate<br />

bowl until light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg, milk,<br />

vanilla and food colouring.<br />

Combine the dry and wet ingredients to form a soft<br />

dough and add the chocolate chips.<br />

Chill dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours then<br />

remove and leave at room temperature for 15 before<br />

rolling and baking.<br />

Bake at 175 degrees C for around 13-15 minutes.


BE YOUR<br />

Natural<br />

BEAUTY<br />

Natural beauty can be such an<br />

achievable and rewarding goal for<br />

both your health and self-esteem.<br />

The techniques we’ve listed in this<br />

article are affordable, easy and<br />

life-changing!<br />

Looking after your skin and body is<br />

essential in preventing and reversing<br />

signs of aging as well as keeping from<br />

sun damage, facial asymmetry and<br />

skin dehydration. March means<br />

longer and brighter days; and with<br />

that comes higher risk of premature<br />

skin aging via sun damage. This is<br />

where UVA and UVB rays penetrate<br />

and damage skin cells and can have<br />

both short and long-term<br />

consequences.<br />

The short term consequences of sun<br />

damage are often associated with<br />

sun-burn in the more intense hot<br />

weather (caused by UVB rays)<br />

resulting in red, burnt skin and even<br />

blistering in some cases. Now, the<br />

UK’s weather in March does not often<br />

result in sun burn, therefore, it is<br />

much more important to understand<br />

and protect your skin from UVA. UVA<br />

rays are longwave light rays from the<br />

sun that can penetrate the skin much<br />

deeper and can result in DNA<br />

damage of your skin cells. This will<br />

result in the skin becoming dull, dry<br />

and uneven, as well as showing<br />

premature fine lines and wrinkles.<br />

Prevention is obviously preferable to<br />

reversal but it’s never too late to start.<br />

So, wearing a good quality SPF every<br />

day will protect your skin and keep a<br />

youthful glow year-round!<br />

Hydration is another key natural


eauty tip that is essential as the<br />

weather gets warmer. Keeping<br />

yourself well hydrated has many more<br />

benefits than just healthy, glowing<br />

skin. However, combining hydration<br />

by drinking enough water with<br />

hydrating skin care methods will<br />

ensure your skin is at its peak<br />

softness, health and resilience.<br />

Consider developing a skin care<br />

routine specific to your skin type and<br />

try including products such as<br />

Hyaluronic Acid to lock moisture in<br />

and protect your skin’s barrier.<br />

If you are someone who sees<br />

asymmetries, puffiness or tension in<br />

your face, consider incorporating a<br />

facial massage routine to see vast<br />

improvements to the overall structure<br />

and health of your face. These<br />

developments occur from the<br />

removal of toxins by stimulating the<br />

lymphatic drainage system to remove<br />

stagnant puffiness and swelling<br />

across the facial muscles.<br />

While many spa and facial<br />

environments are still unavailable to<br />

us, there are many videos online<br />

dedicated on how to perform facial<br />

massages correctly and targeted to<br />

specific areas and issues. They are<br />

great for increasing oxygen flow to<br />

the skin cells, awakening the skin and<br />

speeding up the circulation in your<br />

face. Facial massage can allow the<br />

blood to bring more nutrients to the<br />

cells as well as help any facial serums<br />

to sink in quicker and be more<br />

effective. They are great for<br />

preventing and reducing fine lines<br />

and wrinkles and, with dedication and<br />

experience, can even begin to fix<br />

asymmetries and remove tensions to<br />

change and help the facial structures.


CHECK OUT OUR<br />

Spring<br />

Cleaning<br />

CHECKLIST<br />

It’s that time of year<br />

again! With the lighter<br />

and longer days well on<br />

their way, many of us<br />

will begin our<br />

preparations for the<br />

big spring clean!<br />

So, to make this year’s<br />

spring clean the best and<br />

most effective one yet,<br />

we’ve put together a<br />

comprehensive list of<br />

our favourite cleaning<br />

tips…<br />

MOTIVATION:<br />

Before beginning the big<br />

tidy, its important to get<br />

motivated. Crack out the<br />

speakers and put on a<br />

playlist full of songs that<br />

make you want to move!<br />

Going in with the<br />

intention of making it a<br />

fun experience will keep<br />

up moral and encourage<br />

a better job.<br />

If you live in a house<br />

with other people,<br />

try and get them<br />

involved too – after<br />

all, a problem<br />

shared is a problem


halved...<br />

Try writing a<br />

list of the most<br />

important tasks<br />

to be done and<br />

share them equally<br />

between yourself and<br />

your housemates/family;<br />

this will ensure that you<br />

make the most out of<br />

your time.<br />

REDECORATING:<br />

Having a plan to<br />

rearrange or redecorate<br />

rooms in your home is a<br />

great motivator and will<br />

really help to build the<br />

bond you have with your<br />

home. You don’t have to<br />

make huge changes to<br />

see a huge improvement<br />

in your space!<br />

Just moving things<br />

around every now and<br />

then is great to make you<br />

feel like you’ve got a new<br />

mindset – not to mention<br />

making space to clean<br />

things you typically can’t<br />

reach.<br />

TACKLE ONE ROOM<br />

AT A TIME:<br />

Working room to room is<br />

great for renewing<br />

motivation every time<br />

you<br />

finish a section of<br />

your house. It also means<br />

you can keep all of your<br />

supplies together whilst<br />

cleaning for less fuss<br />

trying to move<br />

everything around!<br />

WORK TOP TO<br />

BOTTOM:<br />

Cleaning the highest<br />

points in your home<br />

before chores such as<br />

vacuuming will allow you<br />

to manage your time<br />

effectively. Clearing out<br />

junk and dusting should<br />

come before making the<br />

bed and lighting candles.<br />

This may seem like an<br />

obvious point but its<br />

going to help maximise<br />

the results of your efforts<br />

not having to do the<br />

same task twice.<br />

MAKE THE MOST OF<br />

THE SUN:<br />

The spring sunlight is a<br />

great excuse to get<br />

dusting, and window<br />

cleaning effectively.<br />

Spring cleaning is so<br />

effective mostly due to<br />

the low but bright<br />

sunlight beaming in<br />

through your windows<br />

illuminating dust, marks<br />

and smudges that we<br />

may have missed<br />

through the winter.<br />

Adding this extra effort<br />

will make your home look<br />

and feel much cleaner<br />

and put together. After<br />

all, mirrors and windows<br />

are probably parts of<br />

your home that people<br />

spend a lot of time<br />

looking at!


WE OFFER<br />

CHIMNEY SWEEPING<br />

It is important that you get your chimney swept on a<br />

regular basis. It ensures that your chimney flues<br />

remain clear and are safe to use, helping to guard<br />

against chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.<br />

NEST AND BLOCKAGE REMOVAL<br />

Have you noticed twigs in your fireplace? That is one of<br />

the first signs that something is making a home in your<br />

chimney. Be sure to get in touch to talk about a safe<br />

removal.<br />

CAGES, CAPS AND COWLS<br />

These are items placed on chimneys to protect<br />

against rain, down draughts, blockages which can<br />

cause carbon monoxide problems. If you require this<br />

service, please get in touch.<br />

FOR OUR FULL LIST OF SERVICES, HEAD TO<br />

WWW.WILKINSCHIMNEYSWEEP.CO.UK<br />

GULL CAGES<br />

We make bespoke gull protection to prevent gulls<br />

nesting between pots. Give us a call to discuss<br />

the requirements and we can give an indication<br />

of the costs subject to size and access.<br />

Do you need<br />

support for<br />

your loved one?<br />

Vanguard Care:<br />

- are small, friendly, reliable, and professional<br />

- have provided care services for more<br />

than 30 years<br />

- specialise in live-in care in the private<br />

sector mainly for the elderly<br />

- have 90% British carers<br />

The unique smallness of Vanguard Care enables us to provide<br />

an individual ‘boutique’ service that is small enough to care.<br />

Get in touch to find out more.<br />

Call today: 01684 293366 | Email now: info@vanguardcare.co.uk


know your<br />

A CHIMNEY SWEEP’S GUIDE TO<br />

THE DO'S AND<br />

DON’TS OF<br />

BURNING WOOD<br />

wd<br />

Did you know that some wood burns<br />

quicker than others? Or that your<br />

logs should have a moisture level of<br />

less than 20%?<br />

Here experienced sweep, Richard<br />

Bryan at Wilkins Chimney Sweep<br />

gives us his sweep’s guide to best<br />

burning practices.<br />

So, let’s start with the ‘baddies’, what<br />

you absolutely shouldn’t burn on your<br />

open fire or in your wood-burning<br />

stove.<br />

Firstly, avoid any kind of fir tree e.g.<br />

pine or leylandii. Secondly, don’t be<br />

tempted to burn scrap wood i.e. old<br />

fence panels, pallets, etc.; these are<br />

likely to have been treated with wood<br />

preserver when they were made,<br />

which can give off harmful fumes<br />

when burnt in any kind of volume.<br />

Firewood, even when dry, retains<br />

large amounts of sap and it’s this sap<br />

that can then turns into creosote (tar)<br />

when burnt, which builds up on the<br />

inside of your chimney and can easily<br />

ignite causing the dreaded chimney<br />

fire. Also beware of burning,<br />

chipboard or MDF. These have been<br />

made using resin which produces


toxic gasses when burnt, which are<br />

harmful to the environment.<br />

BAD WOOD:<br />

Pine. Leylandii. Scrap wood. Pallets.<br />

Fir. Fence panels. Chipboard. MDF.<br />

hand, has a much ‘tighter’ grain and<br />

will burn slower, saving trips to the log<br />

pile and pounds in your purse. Oak,<br />

however, should be seasoned for 12 to<br />

24 months before burning.<br />

So that’s the ‘no’s’ taken care of, now to<br />

find out what you should be burning<br />

and why.<br />

The very best wood to burn is a<br />

well-seasoned hardwood log.<br />

Seasoned logs have been stored in a<br />

reasonably dry environment for 6-12<br />

months before burning. Types of<br />

hardwood include ash, beech, oak, and<br />

birch; most fruit tree wood burns well<br />

too<br />

But which wood burns best?<br />

For a regular roaring fire, you should<br />

look for ash or beech logs. These two<br />

species have a more ‘open’ grain<br />

meaning they will burn well. Ash is the<br />

best ‘all-rounder’, burning well with<br />

little smoke. Birch has an ‘open’ grain<br />

so will burn very quickly meaning your<br />

log pile will diminish fast as you feed<br />

your hungry fire. Oak, on the other<br />

GOOD WOOD:<br />

Hard woods such as ash, beech, oak,<br />

birch.<br />

I’ve heard my logs have to be ‘dry’<br />

before I burn them, is this true?<br />

Absolutely; burning wet logs is one of<br />

the major factors contributing to<br />

chimney fires, so it’s vital your wood is<br />

properly dried out. If you burn wet<br />

logs, they cause a build-up of<br />

flammable creosote/tar on the inside<br />

of your chimney which could ignite at<br />

any time. Serious stuff.<br />

So, how do I store my logs?<br />

Firstly, we recommend that hardwood


trees should have been cut down and<br />

logged (cut into logs) and then kept in<br />

dry conditions to the season for a<br />

minimum of six months, longer if felled<br />

in Autumn or Winter. Check with your<br />

log supplier and make sure you only<br />

buy well dried (seasoned) logs.<br />

Once you’ve got them to your house if<br />

you’re keeping them in the garden they<br />

should be covered with a waterproof<br />

covering (tarpaulin etc) and stacked so<br />

that air can circulate around them.<br />

Storing them off the ground, on old<br />

pallets or similar, will enable the ones<br />

at the bottom of the pile to remain dry.<br />

I’m worried my logs aren’t properly<br />

‘dry’. How do I find out if they are and<br />

how do I resolve it if they’re ‘wet’?<br />

For safe burning, logs should have a<br />

moisture level of less than 20%; if you<br />

have one, a moisture meter is an<br />

accurate way to measure this.<br />

If you don’t have a moisture meter, and<br />

let’s be honest most of us don’t, simply<br />

bring the logs inside and dry them out<br />

in a warm room, or around the fire for a<br />

few days before use. This will ensure<br />

they are as dry as possible. BUT – don’t<br />

store them too close to an open fire or<br />

wood burner – they are flammable!<br />

So, if I’m making sure my logs are nice<br />

and dry presumably, I don’t need to<br />

have my chimney swept so often?<br />

No! We generally recommend that you<br />

have your chimney swept mid-season<br />

and at the end of the burning season if<br />

your fire or wood burner is used<br />

regularly throughout the winter (i.e. 4<br />

or more times per week) but this really<br />

depends on what is being burnt.<br />

This also applies if coal is being burnt<br />

on open fires or multi-fuel stoves.<br />

However, as a minimum, you should<br />

have your chimney swept annually as a<br />

precaution.<br />

If you would like more information to<br />

help you get the most from your fire<br />

and fuel, you can visit the Burnright<br />

campaign site: www.burnright.co.uk.<br />

Getting it right will save you money,<br />

make you safer and significantly reduce<br />

unnecessary air pollution.


<strong>Garden</strong><br />

JOBS<br />

As spring fast approaches, it becomes important to start preparing our outdoor<br />

spaces for summer! A change in weather means that our gardens require<br />

different things from us. That’s why we have decided to list our top gardening<br />

tips for the month of March to help get our spaces in ship shape for what seems<br />

to be a promising summer ahead…<br />

FLOWERS: Its important not to neglect our flowers as this is a very important<br />

time of year for many of them. Start by tidying up borders by removing any<br />

weeds and trying to minimise any frost damage that may have occurred over<br />

winter. Repot any pot-bound plants with fresh compost and prune<br />

repeat-flowering roses. Now will also be a good time to feed your trees, shrubs<br />

and hedges with a slow-release fertiliser by forking into the soil.<br />

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES: Avoid carrot root fly by sowing carrot seeds early<br />

this month under cloches or fleece. This is also a good time to sow tomatoes,<br />

chillies, sweet peppers and aubergines for indoor pots. Sets of onions and<br />

shallots are great to plant this month – remember to keep them 10-15cm apart<br />

from one another. A lot of hardy vegetables can be sown this month too, try<br />

planting spinach for another great crop.<br />

MARCH MAINTAINENCE<br />

- The lawn - make sure to mow and cut<br />

edges. This will help you keep on top of it<br />

as we roll into the warmer months.<br />

- Make sure your compost bin is in god<br />

shape for a year of great waste recycling!<br />

- Protect from slugs. Try sprinkling sharp<br />

grit or coffee grounds around the area<br />

as a deterrent.<br />

- Begin weeding. Its easier to control<br />

weeds while they are still young.<br />

- Check tree ties to ensure they are not<br />

too tight. If they are, loosen them.<br />

- Plant native hedges to increase your<br />

garden wildlife.


TREAT YOUR<br />

Mother’s<br />

LIKE QUEEN’S<br />

MOTHER’S DAY SHORTBREAD COOKIES<br />

In case you have forgotten, we<br />

are here to remind you that<br />

Mother’s Day is just around the<br />

corner, and if there was ever a<br />

year that your Mum needed<br />

some TLC it is this one!<br />

We know some of you may be<br />

unable to visit parents right now,<br />

but a surprise homemade sweet<br />

treat in the post might be just<br />

the ticket this year. We have<br />

another great recipe from expert<br />

baker, Anna Newman, from<br />

Sugar Bowl Bakes.<br />

Follow this simple recipe and<br />

create some handmade love as a<br />

gift this year.<br />

THE INGREDIENTS:<br />

For the biscuit mix:<br />

- 250g baking butter block for<br />

pastry (at room temp)<br />

70g Icing sugar<br />

300g Plain flour<br />

1tsp vanilla extract<br />

For the icing:<br />

- Fondant icing<br />

If the thought of baking fills you with dread, get in touch<br />

with Anna at Sugar Bowl Bakes, and take the drama off your hands!<br />

sugarbowlbakes@hotmail.com | 07769948487


THE METHOD:<br />

For the shortbread mix:<br />

Beat the butter until soft and slowly add in the icing sugar mixing at a<br />

slow speed to avoid the sugar flying out of the bowl! Add your vanilla<br />

extract and sieve the flour into the mixture and mix again on a slow speed.<br />

Once mixed together as much as you can with the beaters, you will need to get your hand<br />

mucky and dive in! Tip the dough out onto a sheet of baking paper and knead the mixture<br />

bringing it all together. Wrap the baking paper around the dough and place in the fridge<br />

for at least 2 hours.<br />

Pre heat your oven at 160 degrees and take the dough out of the fridge and start kneading<br />

until it appears smooth. Using plain flour, dust your work surface and the top of your dough<br />

and start to gently roll out your shortbread mix. Roll to the thickness of a £1 coin or slightly<br />

thicker, but keep in mind the thicker the cookie the longer it will take to bake.<br />

Now it’s time to use your cookie cutters. Top tip: cut as close to the edge of your dough as<br />

possible, this will help you get as many out as possible before having to knead back<br />

together and re-roll.<br />

Place each cookie on a baking tray lined with<br />

baking paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or<br />

until golden brown. Leave the shortbread<br />

cookies on the baking tray to cool. If you try<br />

to move them to a cooling rack while hot<br />

they will break.<br />

For the decorations:<br />

To decorate you can use royal icing or rolled<br />

out fondant as I have here. If using fondant,<br />

the best way to make it stick to the cookies is<br />

to add on top while they are still hot out the<br />

oven. Alternatively spread a thin later of jam<br />

for added flavour.<br />

You can either top with fresh fruit, chocolate<br />

pieces or other bits and bobs! If you feeling<br />

really fancy you may want to purchase some<br />

baking stamps like I have here.


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Shop YOUR OWN<br />

A<br />

sustainable<br />

approach to our<br />

fashion choices is a<br />

forward. As the<br />

wonderful Lara Lauder<br />

explained, start in your<br />

own wardrobe first.<br />

There are lots of options.<br />

Take time and pick<br />

colours that<br />

really<br />

suit<br />

you.<br />

When we stick with<br />

set hues that<br />

complement our<br />

complexion, all the outfits<br />

we select are<br />

interchangeable. A hat in<br />

your cupboard may be<br />

just the right colour or<br />

need a ‘face lift’ with a<br />

new hat band, a beautiful<br />

ribbon or a fancy trim.<br />

Integrate and weave in<br />

texture, laying and a pop<br />

of colour. Explore the<br />

possibilities.<br />

Integrate and weave in<br />

texture, laying and a pop<br />

of colour.<br />

The ‘go too accessory’ is<br />

most unexpected. A<br />

mask<br />

can be both<br />

protection and add to a<br />

look. Using colour and<br />

style in equal measure, a<br />

face covering is a unique<br />

look. Using the required<br />

three layers of closely<br />

woven fabric and a<br />

shielding layer<br />

suggested by WHO as<br />

polypropylene to be a<br />

new image is in the<br />

making. I add this as a<br />

manual layer so I can<br />

remove it and Lauder my<br />

masks. Cleanliness of<br />

these items is also a huge<br />

factor as we all know.<br />

‘Additionally, the WHO<br />

has released new<br />

guidance on cloth masks,<br />

recommending that they<br />

consist of at least three<br />

layers of different<br />

materials: an inner layer<br />

being an absorbent


material like cotton, a<br />

middle layer of<br />

non-woven materials<br />

such as polypropylene<br />

(for the filter) and an<br />

outer layer, which is a<br />

non absorbent material<br />

such as a polyester or a<br />

polyester blend.’<br />

From PPE speciation to<br />

face visors the shapes are<br />

endless.<br />

All accessories have a<br />

place in your personal<br />

style for both men and<br />

women.<br />

Your character and image<br />

need to match and<br />

harmonise with your true<br />

self. If the clothing or<br />

accessory do not sit well<br />

with you, they will most<br />

certainly look awkward!<br />

Choosing a hat comes<br />

with the same<br />

philosophy. You cannot<br />

pull off a hat without<br />

inner belief that it works.<br />

Of course, there are<br />

different reasons to wear<br />

hats. Protection from the<br />

weather goes back in<br />

time to survival in harsh<br />

conditions and work<br />

based scenarios. Identity<br />

is key in the work force.<br />

But sports fans like to<br />

support their teams<br />

too. The last and most<br />

popular group are<br />

hat lovers<br />

themselves.<br />

‘Which hat will suit me?’<br />

is a very common<br />

question. Now for an<br />

incite that you may find<br />

useful. It is not the shape<br />

of the hat but how you<br />

wear it.<br />

Every hat has to be<br />

‘worked’! Move it from<br />

side to side, find the best<br />

position. Look at the hat<br />

straight on your head,<br />

does this look good?<br />

Only one in five people<br />

can wear their hat like<br />

this. These are the<br />

people that we say, all<br />

hats just seem to look<br />

good on you.<br />

The shape will determine<br />

how sleek a form you<br />

present in your hat. Does<br />

the crown raise you up to<br />

look taller? Is there a<br />

balance between the<br />

crown and the brim?<br />

If you have a stronger<br />

physic a wider brim<br />

could add drama to your<br />

appearance.<br />

There<br />

is a fine line to<br />

getting this right. It is<br />

back to how you feel.<br />

Anyone can carry off a<br />

hat if they want to. But<br />

their inner personality<br />

must be part of the<br />

process. When there is a<br />

balance and joy in the<br />

wearer, a hat can rock.<br />

What is stopping you?<br />

Take a leap into the<br />

unknown and try on that<br />

hat in the back of you<br />

cupboard that has not<br />

seen ‘the light of day’ for<br />

sometime...<br />

Stay safe and look cool.<br />

Discover more great hat tips at www.thehatchannel.com


AM I ALLOWED TO<br />

cut down trees<br />

IN MY OWN GARDEN?<br />

From the majestic oak to the weeping willow, trees are a vital part of life on<br />

earth and their presence should be respected however, there are times when a<br />

tree needs removing from a garden and it is important that homeowners<br />

understand what is and what is not permissible.<br />

AM I ALLOWED TO CUT DOWN A<br />

TREE IN MY GARDEN?<br />

Yes and no. If your tree has a TPO, (Tree<br />

Preservation Order) on it then no (or at<br />

least not without applying for a special<br />

license.)<br />

As an article on the Woodland Trust<br />

blog explains,<br />

‘A TPO is a written order created by a local<br />

planning authority such as a borough, district<br />

or unitary council or national park. The aim of a<br />

TPO is to give protection to trees that provide<br />

amenity value to the public. It is a criminal<br />

offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully<br />

damage or wilfully destroy a tree protected by<br />

a TPO, or to cause or permit such actions,<br />

without the authority’s permission. If the tree in<br />

your garden can be seen and therefore<br />

enjoyed by the public, it could potentially have<br />

a TPO placed upon it. You can find out if the<br />

tree has a TPO by contacting the tree officer at<br />

your local council.’<br />

Similarly, if your property is in a<br />

conservation area then the tree is<br />

protected and you may not cut it down<br />

or do work to it.<br />

The Woodland Trust explains,<br />

‘To request permission to perform tree works<br />

you will need to fill in an application form and<br />

submit it to the local authority. If you live in a<br />

Conservation Area, trees in your garden are still<br />

subject to the same rules as trees with TPOs,<br />

despite not necessarily having TPOs placed


specifically on them. Planning permission will<br />

override TPOs if it is necessary for a tree with a<br />

TPO to be removed for the development to go<br />

ahead. It's also important to bear in mind that it<br />

is illegal to fell trees during breeding season as<br />

it could result in the destruction of nests.<br />

‘If the tree does not have a TPO and is not in a<br />

Conservation Area then you do not require<br />

permission to fell a tree if it is in your garden.<br />

Outside of gardens, you might require a felling<br />

licence from the Forestry Commission.<br />

‘If you are in any doubt about the legalities of<br />

undertaking any works to a tree then look at<br />

getting in contact with your local council’s tree<br />

officer. Failing that, regional officers for the<br />

Forestry Commission may also be able to help<br />

advise you on the best way forward.’<br />

REASONS TO REMOVE A TREE<br />

There are many reasons you may need<br />

to remove a tree, it may be growing too<br />

close to your house allowing the roots<br />

to interfere with the building causing<br />

subsidence, it may be diseased or<br />

damaged which could lead to it<br />

collapsing and doing damage the<br />

house or injuring a person, or simply<br />

because it is blocking out light.<br />

If the tree is too close to the house,<br />

make sure you check your home<br />

insurance policy – sometimes removing<br />

a tree can cause heave – when the<br />

moisture previously sucked up by the<br />

tree is now left to pool and it is safer to<br />

leave it. Ash, willow, elm, poplar and<br />

oak trees all suck up a great deal of<br />

water.<br />

WHO CAN REMOVE THE TREE?<br />

A qualified tree surgeon should always<br />

be used to remove a tree. You can find<br />

a list of Arboricultural Approved Tree<br />

Surgeons here:<br />

www.trees.org.uk/ARB-Approved-Contractor-Directory<br />

CAN WE CUT TREES ALL YEAR?<br />

As trees are home to nesting birds, it is<br />

recommended that you do not cut<br />

down trees between March and<br />

August, which is defined by the RSPCA<br />

as prime breeding season, in case<br />

there is a nest in the tree. The Wildlife<br />

and Countryside Act of 1981 states that


it is an offence to ‘Intentionally kill,<br />

injure or take any wild bird’ or<br />

‘Intentionally take, damage or destroy<br />

the nest of any wild bird while it is in<br />

use or being built.’ (There are<br />

exceptions to this law.)<br />

It is worth noting that penalties that can<br />

be imposed for criminal offences in<br />

respect of a single bird, nest or egg<br />

contrary to the Wildlife and<br />

Countryside Act 1981 is an unlimited<br />

fine, up to six months imprisonment or<br />

both.<br />

HOW TO REMOVE THE TREE<br />

STUMP?<br />

It may be tempting to try to remove the<br />

tree stump yourself, however people<br />

need to be aware that this isn’t always<br />

the easiest, or the cheapest option.<br />

If a large digger is used to pull out the<br />

stump, this could well bring the roots<br />

with it, which may end up disturbing<br />

the structure of nearby buildings. The<br />

homeowner also has the issue of<br />

disposing of the unwieldy and heavy<br />

tree stump – not all will fit in the back of<br />

the car to be dropped at the local tip.<br />

Many is the time a stump grinder has<br />

been called in to grind down a stump<br />

because the homeowner found<br />

themselves unable to dispose it.<br />

When a tree stump is ground out, the<br />

roots of the tree are left intact, meaning<br />

less risk of damage to the surrounding<br />

area. The stump grinder grinds the<br />

stump down into fine wood chips, that<br />

are left behind to partially refill the hole<br />

and provide an organic mulch. This can<br />

also be spread around other plants in<br />

the area to provide a natural mulch and<br />

weed protector.<br />

Ideally a specialist tree-stump removal<br />

company such as Stumpbusters should<br />

be used to grind down any tree<br />

stumps. Operatives work on projects<br />

of all sizes, from clearing sites to build<br />

new housing estates, to removing<br />

individual stumps from the gardens of<br />

residential properties. New models of<br />

stump grinders can now be carried<br />

through a home, meaning rear access<br />

to the garden is not always required.<br />

Stumpbusters operatives are fully<br />

qualified, trained and insured<br />

professionals who hold City & Guilds<br />

and CSCS accreditation.<br />

To find your nearest Stumpbusters visit<br />

www.stumpbusters.co.uk


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2021<br />

Spring<br />

NATURE EVENTS<br />

Spring is known for<br />

being the ultimate lift in<br />

spirits – and nothing has<br />

changed for this year!<br />

Noticing the little signs<br />

of spring is such an<br />

amazing, natural mood<br />

booster.<br />

After a challenging<br />

winter spent indoors; the<br />

longer,<br />

brighter days are<br />

welcomed eagerly by<br />

many of us. That’s why<br />

we’ve compiled a list of<br />

our favourite signs of<br />

spring…<br />

The spring equinox is on<br />

the 20th of March this<br />

year. The equinox counts<br />

as the official start of<br />

spring and is where the<br />

day and night are almost<br />

exactly the same length.<br />

However, many of us see<br />

signs of spring before<br />

this date and look out for<br />

snowdrops, daffodils and<br />

other springy wildlife.<br />

SNOWDROPS:<br />

The flowers often<br />

grow in the UK<br />

between January<br />

and March and are<br />

associated strongly<br />

with<br />

the end<br />

of<br />

winter. So, if you have<br />

been seeing these<br />

recently, know that<br />

warmer days are coming!<br />

DAFFODILS:<br />

These beautiful yellow<br />

flowers are the most<br />

famous natural sign that<br />

spring is well and truly<br />

under way. Daffodils<br />

blossom between<br />

February and late April –<br />

a staple of spring.<br />

BUMBLEBEES:<br />

The warmer weather will<br />

soon wake up the<br />

bumblebees! Bees need


lots of nectar around this<br />

time of year in order to<br />

form new colonies,<br />

meaning that they should<br />

be found in nature-dense<br />

areas.<br />

CHERRY BLOSSOMS:<br />

Branches of wild cherry<br />

and hawthorn trees<br />

begin to blossom the<br />

most breath-taking baby<br />

pink flowers in spring.<br />

Although the blossom is<br />

often brief, their beauty<br />

has become famous<br />

worldwide – especially in<br />

Japan.<br />

WILD GARLIC:<br />

These are more<br />

commonly found in<br />

woodland areas.<br />

However, wild garlic can<br />

be identified by it’s<br />

strong aroma and<br />

star-shaped flowers. Be<br />

careful not to mistake for<br />

look-a-like Lily f the Valley<br />

as<br />

these are<br />

poisonous<br />

to eat but<br />

look very similar.<br />

BADGER CUBS:<br />

Female badgers (sows)<br />

usually give birth around<br />

February, meaning the<br />

babies tend to emerge<br />

around April time.<br />

BLUEBELLS:<br />

These flowers in April<br />

and May. With two main<br />

types growing across<br />

Britain. They are<br />

generally found in dense<br />

woodland areas and<br />

often span large sections<br />

of the woodland floor.<br />

LADYBIRDS:<br />

The ladybird’s bright<br />

colours are used to deter<br />

predators so that they<br />

can prey on aphids as<br />

they come out of their<br />

dormant, winter state.<br />

There are 26 different<br />

species of ladybird in the<br />

UK, 14 of which are<br />

often easy<br />

to find<br />

in<br />

common<br />

woodland areas.<br />

NEST BUILDING:<br />

It is common for us to<br />

notice more birdsong as<br />

the weather gets warmer<br />

through spring.<br />

By April, blackbirds will<br />

have completed their<br />

nests by collecting<br />

grasses and twigs and<br />

lining them with moss<br />

and mud!<br />

FROGSPAWN:<br />

Around March, frogs<br />

return to the water to<br />

mate and lay eggs. They<br />

can be seen at the<br />

water’s edge in the form<br />

of jelly-like blobs filled<br />

with embryonic black<br />

dots. Forever popular<br />

with children!


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<strong>Lifestyle</strong><br />

MARCH 2021

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