How to upgrade an old kitchen with quartz worktop overlays

Transform your kitchen with a cost-effective worktop solution

Kitchen counters are subjected to a great deal of accidents and misuse. Be it various spills and stains from wine, juices, and sauces, as well as heat from pots and pans and countless scratches made with knives or other kitchen utensils and tools – it is normal for kitchen counters to end up looking rather shabby and worse for wear after some years. Despite regular cleaning, some problems may still remain, and the only solution would be to install a new counter. The good thing is that there is no need to replace the whole kitchen just to have a new kitchen counter. All you need to do is install quartz worktop overlays and you would have managed to get rid of defects as well as benefit from the advantages of quartz and its beautiful modern look.

A Quartz Countertop Overlay Goes on Quickly & Cleanly. Image credit: CSS Blog

As the name itself implies, overlays are basically laid over the existing countertop, and so there is no need to remove it either. Thus it is a mess free and relatively quick process. This is what makes quartz worktop overlays a very popular route to spectacular kitchen transformations.

There are many professional companies who will be able to offer this service. A company representative will come over to your house so as to check the kitchen countertop dimensions and layout.  Cardboard templates will generally be made of the existing worktops. Based on these measurements a quote will be provided and so you will be able to know a rough estimate of the cost of installing countertop overlays.

Quartz is a durable and hardwearing material and it is also easy to maintain. Since it is a non-porous material, there is the additional benefit that it can easily withstand staining, and thus that is why it is ideal as a kitchen countertop. In fact it is considered to be much more resistant to stains to other materials used for kitchen countertops such as marble and granite. Besides, it will not harbour bacteria, and is thus very hygienic.

Typical bacteria found on porous kitchen countertops. Image credit: Skeptic North

Once the quartz counter overlays are made to measure for your kitchen, then it is all about installing them. Being overlays you would not have to worry about removing the old countertops as these will be basically laid over them. In the area where there is the hob, you would need to have a fitter take care of the disconnection and subsequent reconnection of the hob. The quartz counter overlays will be simply glued into place by the fitters. A seamless result will be aimed for and in most cases with quartz it is possible.

In no time you will be able to upgrade your kitchen with new quartz worktop overlays. The cost is quite affordable when compared to how much it would cost to install a brand new kitchen, and to make things better, the project is relatively quick to complete and mess free too. Old countertops are generally responsible for making your kitchen look somewhat shabby, and so with quartz worktop overlays installed onto the current countertops you will be able to get the new look you wanted while also getting rid of the defects that had emerged on the old countertops.

What To Look Out For When Buying Running Shoes For Overweight Women

Getting the perfect footwear partner for heavier runners

Being an overweight woman means that you often, most of the time, have difficulty in getting shoes and clothes that fit well. More pressure is felt in the knees, feet and back so you should have the best shoes whether you are walking or running. There are very different types of running shoes, but when choosing one to buy, you should make sure that you get the right running shoes by considering the size and style that will give you maximum support. Wearing the right running shoes that are designed to meet your needs ensures that you have no discomfort and don’t get any injuries while you a running whatever distance.

The following are things to look for when buying running shoes for overweight for women:

Adequate cushioning

Cushioning in the regular shoes that other medium weight women wear might not give the kind of cushioning that you need because your body puts more pressure on your feet than an average person. Adequate cushioning will help prevent plantar fasciitis, flat feet or even heel spurs.

Foot pronation

Most overweight women over pronate, i.e. their feet roll inwards, so it is best to get motion control shoes that will offer a considerable amount of cushioning and pronation support.

Shoe Insole to Correct Overpronation. Image credit: Price Comparison Guru

Arch support

Most overweight women have flat feet due to the excess pressure to the feet so it is advisable to pick running shoes that will correct and support this condition. Ensure that there is more cushioning in the heel and forefront so that the feet can assume a running or walking position and offer stability.

Thick insoles

Running shoes should have a thick insole so as to provide more cushioning no matter the surface and should be comfortable to your feet. You may also need a removable orthotic insole for extra support and they also solve problems that are caused by wide feet. You may remove the insoles if you require to create extra room for your feet. A thick sole also reduces the friction and offers excellent traction for the feet.

The HOKA One One Clifton 3 is one of the most cushioned running shoes for women with its extremely thick heel and sole. These running shoes offer a huge level of comfort for the bigger lady.

Get the correct size

The shoe should be of a proper size for your feet and if you have wider feet, then pick a pair of shoes that is wide enough. It is best to fit the shoe before buying because different shoes have different sizes so assuming will cause you to have a shoe that is too narrow and the size too. The shoe should fit properly so that you don’t have to put excess pressure on the inside of your feet and getting wider shoes will allow the feet to have more room when they expand when running.

Breathable and waterproof material

Shoes should be made of mesh which is light and allows free flow of air so as to avoid excessive sweating of the feet and development of foot fungus when moisture builds up. Water proof material means that it will absorb moisture if you are running on wet ground or cold weather. The inner lining should be soft so that it doesn’t the ankles and feet.

Shoe Type vs Terrain

Before buying a pair of shoe considers what kind of terrain you will be running on. Different shoes have different features that are designed for different trails. For example, get a shoe with adequate grip on the outsole if you will be running on harsh terrain and not on the track and this will reduce the chances of you slipping and hurting yourself as you run.

Proper alignment

A good shoe will support the heel and flex the toes so that it allows the maximum traction and comfort while running. The shoe should be light too, so that one is able to stabilize the ankles and feet while running.

HOKA One One Clifton 3 Ladies Running Shoe. Image credit: HOKA One One


If you are going to be running rough terrain, then it is easier for the shoes to wear and tear faster than for a person running indoors. The more miles you run, the more you reduce the shoes performance and increase your chances of getting hurt. Choose a high-quality shoe that will serve you for a long time before getting replaced.

There are different designs and shoe colors, but before choosing the style of the shoe, look at the desirable features. The cost varies, but a good quality running shoe will be a bit expensive, but worth the investment that you will make.

Don’t assume your shoe size when choosing a running shoe so it is best to visit a running shoe store and get your fittings done so that you get a shoe that meets all your needs. Carry your running socks so that you get to fit the shoe while wearing the socks hence get a perfect fit.

How to board your loft space with MDF sheets

Keep clutter out of sight by boarding your loft space with MDF

Do you seem to be running out of storage space? Have all your closets and shelves been occupied with stuff, and there are still several things which are left outside, making your home look untidy? What you might never have considered is that there could be spaces in your home which could be put to good use when it comes to additional storage space. For instance, if you have an empty loft, you could easily turn it into a useable storage space. Boarding your loft is really simple and affordable. If you would like to learn how to board your loft with MDF sheets, simply keep reading.

Tongue & Groove Boards. Image credit: BPS Access Solutions

Tongue & Groove Boards. Image credit: BPS Access Solutions

Just imagine how many things you can get to store in your loft. All it takes is the proper linking together of the loft boards. As you know, loft boards are constructed with a sturdy tongue and groove system so they can be linked to each other really easily, so as to form a solid floor where you can store a great deal of things.

Standard boards are available in these sizes normally: 240cm x 60cm, or 122cm x 32cm. The thicknesses are generally 18mm and 22mm. Prices for such boards are really affordable. Calculate how many you will be needing and you will surely be able to find them at your local stores.

Before starting the job, bear in mind that loft boarding is a rather fiddly job, since you will be working in a cramped area, and you will need to go up and down the ladder several times. So you may wish to have someone help you a bit so as to render the job a bit easier. Also, make sure you have all the tools at hand, including a drill, an electric screwdriver, a jigsaw or circular saw for cutting the loft sheets, a hammer, a tape measure and a pencil. Put on gloves, overalls, and most importantly, a dust mask. It is best to set up a temporary work platform which will prove very helpful and safe as you work.

You will need to measure the area which you intend to board out. Basically, all it takes is multiplying the length of the loft by the width, so as to decide how many boards you will need to buy. Make sure to add some extras just in case.

Before you start laying the boards, you need to check the depth of the insulation. One of the best options is to build a raised floor above the insulation. In that way you will be able to board directly on to the joists, and you would be on the safe side in case of building inspections. The idea is to always make sure that you put as much insulation as you can beneath the boards. If you will be boarding directly on to the joists, it is only an option is you are absolutely sure that you won’t be running the risk of interstitial condensation. In that case start by placing the first board across the joists.

For best results and strength, the boards should be laid in a staggered pattern. In this way the neighboring joints will be able to line up. Some cutting may be needed in case of overhanging. Every time you will be sliding the board into position with the first board, and you will need to make sure that the tongue and groove construction is well connected so as to form a join. Attach that part with two or three screws.

Raised Loft Boards. Image credit: LoftZone

Raised Loft Boards. Image credit: LoftZone

You will keep moving part by part until you compete the whole run of boards. In cases where you find some resistance for them to slide well, it is best to lay a small block of wood along the edge of that board and tap it with a hammer. In such a way you would also be reducing the chances of making any damage on those board edges that could be a bit more vulnerable. It is best to wear gloves as the edges may be quite sharp. Any infill pieces will need to be filled. Should there be any light fittings in the way, just cut that panel so as to give access to the light, and then use a removable infill panel should it be in the middle of a board.

This could seem to be a time consuming job, but at the end of the day it is more affordable to do it yourself since it is rather straightforward. In time, as you complete the job and start storing things in your loft, you will surely come to appreciate the convenience of having done this boarding in your loft.

Cheap Reading Glasses: Try Before You Buy Online

As a single Mom, every little saving counts and having recently entered my mid-forties, I’ve really noticed a change in my vision that would cost me a lot if I didn’t do something about it and quickly. With four young children, I read to them every night until they fall asleep. It’s a pleasure that I still thoroughly enjoy to this very day however, recently it’s gotten a lot harder and I knew something has changed and changed for the worse.

When my first two children were really young, reading was a piece of cake. I’d ask them to choose a book, we’d get all the pillows nicely placed so that they can lay comfortably whilst I sat back against the bed and started to read their bedtime stories. I loved it and I still do now. But recently, the words just aren’t as clear anymore.

At first, I thought it was because we changed lamps. These new energy saving bulbs just aren’t as bright or as luminous as the good old fashioned ones. So I started to use a torch to help but it made no difference. The words were still hard to focus on and I found myself holding their storybooks further away from my eyes just to see what I was reading. The kids even noticed that I was struggling because I would pause many times or say the wrong thing. They knew the stories so well; even word for word that if I got just one line wrong, they’d tell me: “Mom, that’s not what the story says. Read it again!”. It was really frustrating.

I knew something was different and after checking online, I found out what it was. I had presbyopia and my eyes were simply fading with age. Boy, did I feel old at this moment. It was a little scary at first and really saddening because I knew that without cheap reading glasses, I couldn’t read my children their bedtime stories. So I took the decision to go see my eye doctor straight away.

In truth, it was probably the best decision I’ve made in recent years. My optometrist is really thorough and what I like about him is he explains everything. He told me that presbyopia is not life threatening and it’s simply an age related condition. Just like our muscles, our skin, our joints or our bones; things just don’t work as great when we get older.

What was disappointing to learn was that there’s no surgical procedure to fix my eyes so the only solution was to do an eye examination and determine which strength of reading glasses I needed so that I could go back to reading bedtime stories to my kids with no hiccups or blurred vision. I was a little scared but at the same time, kind of excited in truth. I got to buy myself a new fashion accessory. I don’t get to treat myself very often but here, I had the perfect excuse!

So with my exam all done, my delightful optometrist told me that I needed +2.50 powered reading glasses. He said they has a small range of reading glasses that he I could try on but being the really nice, honest guy he is; said the best thing for me to do was to go to the mall or to the pharmacy as they would have lots of frames and styles to choose from. So faster than a flash, I jumped in my car and headed for the stores.

He was right. There were so many frames to choose from but what I didn’t like about the stores was these frames were quite badly marked and damaged where so many people had tried them on. There was a decent range of frames but not enough for me to find one pair in my strength that I felt were the perfect style for me. And if I did find one pair that might be worth considering, they were always marked, scratched or the wrong strength. It was frustrating.

I asked the lady at the counter if they had more and she effectively said that what was on display was all they had. But then it hit me. The internet – my saviour!

I realised that all this time, no one buys reading glasses at the store. People simply come here to check their eyes, see what frames work for them and then go home and shop online. And that’s when I decided to do exactly the same. I tried a few more pairs on, regardless of the lens power to see what I liked. I found so many styles that I thought could work so when no one was looking, I got my phone out, took a few cheeky selfies and ran out of that store so fast as I was so embarrassed.

But deep down, I didn’t care. It was mission accomplished. As soon as I got home, I flipped open the laptop and feasted my eyes on dozens of beautiful reading glasses all available to buy online at various stores. It was amazing just how many online shops there were selling reading glasses. In fact, what was most surprising of all was the sheer ranges available and best of all – the prices!

Compared to the prices at the pharmacy, they were practically giving these things away. There was no way I was paying over the odds for scratched and damaged reading glasses when I could get two or three brand new pairs mailed to me next day, all for the same cost. So for a single Mom watching the pennies, this was heaven to my eyes.

I ordered my readers and the next day, they arrived and I was ready to face the world with my new look. But most important of all, I couldn’t wait for the kids to come home from school; so that I could read them bedtime stories once again with clear vision and enjoy our wonderful nights together.