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In Association with Vapourlites

Those of us who grew up with Coronation Street, or have been watching it for a decade or three, will be familiar with former landlady and barmaid of the Rovers Return Inn, the cynical yet feisty Bet Lynch. There wasn't a scene on Corrie where she wasn't seen without a cigarette stuck between her fingers.

In 2012 the actress was spotted on Celebrity Big Brother with an electronic cigarette. The actress who played Bet from 1966 to 1995, Julie Goodyear, has been seen and photographed puffing away on electronic cigarettes. It could be that the actress has been trying to shed her chain-smoking barmaid alter-ego. Julie has turned to e-cigs to help cut out tobacco whilst still retaining a nicotine hit. Good on ya, luv!

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Every year people vow to change their bad habits and wean themselves off the unhealthy cigarettes, and Julie is a perfect example that you are never too old to try something new - especially if there are such potentially huge health benefits. Electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco and therefore no tar, no carbon monoxide and none of the other 4000 harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke. You're simply inhaling water vapour containing nicotine.

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And they're not just a fad - there are an estimated 700,000 users of e-cigs in the UK and that figure is set to hit 1 million before the year is over. It makes complete sense too as not only are they healthier than traditional cigarettes, they're much cheaper too. A 20 a day smoker will save themselves over £200 a month. Check out how much you could save with Vape Club's savings calculator.

If you're a smoker who is interested in making the switch from smoking tobacco to electronic cigarettes then Vape Club are giving away free e-cigarettes so that you can see if they work for you before you invest in a full kit.

Warm winter accessories make great presents

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With Christmas not far away, we're all in a present buying frenzy. Thanks to the advent of online shopping, we no longer have to cope with busy high street shopping  ... but there is still the problem of what to buy.  Of course, we want to get our friends good quality gifts but, if we have a lot of people to buy for, it's important that those items are affordable too! While choosing can be really tricky there are many stylish and practical gifts out there that anyone would be delighted to receive, including fantastic winter accessories.

Socks may sound like a bit of a gift-giving cliché but they can actually make a great present. Fleece or thermal socks are perfect for someone who is likely to be outdoors a lot in the winter time while knee high socks are unbeatable under wellies or all-weather boots. Your friends will know you've been thinking about their lifestyles while shopping for them and they'll love the gift all the more.

 Cosy hats, scarves and gloves are also ideal - and practical - presents; faux fur for the more glamorous of your loved ones, fleece or wool for those who like something more functional. And don't just plump for black   - while it seems like a safe option, lots of people have black coats and denim shirt which look great worn with a bright hat or scarf, but everyone likes a splash of colour on a dark winter day, so why not go for bright red or deep blue? There are some lovely knitted patterns on offer as well, with Fair Isle making a comeback and geometric Peruvian designs lending a more ethnic feel.

It is often possible to buy hats, scarves and gloves in matching sets. This is ideal if you want to give a more generous present and it also means your friends don't have to hunt down matching items themselves.

 As well as having fun outside in the crisp winter air, this is also a lovely time to be warm and cosy indoors.  New slippers are just the thing for winter evenings at home and there is such a huge range available that you'll easily find the perfect pair to give to a loved one. From traditional velour and faux sheepskin to fleece lined slipper boots, there are lots of different styles to keep feet snug.

Warm winter accessories make practical, thoughtful presents that can also be stylish and fun. You never know, your friends might even buy you a nice dressing gown too!

 

 

Cosmetics that promise to take away the years

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Our skin is an extremely important part of who we are; blemishes, pimples and wrinkles can therefore make us feel a little down at the best of times.

Thankfully a revolution is taking place in the world of beauty as we speak, with an array of products being specifically designed for the over-30s. Each of these innovative formulas contains ground breaking ingredients, which boast to both flatter and reduce the signs of aging.

This season, assortments of make-up products have hit the high street, each formula offering the same protective benefits as many of today's renowned skin care commodities.

Products including anti aging foundation have been created with sophisticated colours and textures in mind, allowing the user to both correct and hide fine lines and wrinkles. Such foundations claim to take years off the face, without causing a mask-like or unnatural effect.

Those that apply such formulas in conjunction with an anti-aging moisturiser will see instant results and as such, an instant face-lift. These high-end age-friendly products have been designed with fine lines in mind and contain light bouncing properties. Such properties boast the ability to achieve a soft-focus effect, using a prism-like lighting technique.

Top of the beauty charts

Those looking to achieve flawless and radiant skin may wish to try out the all-new Magic range, by the Prescriptives label. Filling in lines and wrinkles has never been easier and the Magic 'Polyfilla' Line Smoother has already sold out in several countries.

Other favourites in the line include the Magic Illuminating Liquid Potion, which claims to contain three-dimensional properties, each of which work to bounce light around the face in order to hide any unwanted flaws. For a refreshing all-over radiance, the Magic Liquid Powder is also available.

Online appearances and your beauty regime

For those interested in enhancing their beauty as much as possible, numerous methods are often used. As the internet is one of the most invaluable resources in the modern world, it seems only natural that it would act as the perfect platform for individuals to learn about new beauty regimes.

Asides from shopping for top beauty products, such as those mentioned above, the internet can also connect you with leading beauty publications. Beauty Recommended Magazine is one such publication - offering plenty of advice and guidance to those looking to enhance their natural beauty. Whether you're looking for advice on which styles will suit you best or want to learn more about new beauty products, this fantastic online magazine will have you covered.

Read reviews

In order to source products suited to your specific needs and complexion, it is important to read relevant user reviews. Those that wish to gain instant access to an assortment of reviews, tips and ideas can quite simply follow Super Savvy Me on Facebook.

This is just one of the many ways to stay up-to-date with an array of new and exciting products. Speaking to a beauty consultant in store is also a great way to learn of the various products available. You will often be able to take home a sample; this will in turn allow you to see if the product works with your own individual complexion.

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Coronation Street tours

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Granada Studios may have been closed to the general public for a few years now, but with plenty of cheap hotels from Travelodge to choose from in Manchester, it's still worthwhile taking a trip to the infamous area where you can get a taste of the Street. If you're planning a trip to Manchester and want to see some Corrie sights, here are some tips:


Self-guided Tour

Those on a budget can book cheap Manchester hotels, and take themselves on a tour around the city without the need for a dedicated tour guide. It's worth knowing that the show is filmed behind the Museum of Science and Industry and from the second floor you can actually see the set through the museum windows! It is also rumoured that the tram from the infamous Coronation Street tram crash in December 2010 will be placed in the museum, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Despite the fact that Salford's Archie Street in Orsdall - the street which appeared in the programme's original opening credits - has long been demolished, you can still get an idea of the architecture that the soap was modelled on by visiting the site, where there is still a 15-metre stretch of the street's cobbles and even a street sign just off Trafford Road. In fact, a leisurely wander around any of the city's cobbled streets lined with little terraced houses that mirror those seen in the opening credits can provide an insight into what life is like for the characters of Weatherfield.

The World of Coronation Street Tour

Every summer Canadian fans travel to the UK for trips to Coronation Street, visiting various outdoor locations in the Manchester area. This year the tour runs from 28th July to 9th August and includes a private group dinner with the stars of the show as well as a coveted VIP visit to Granada Studios and a trip to Weatherfield Quays where the Baldwins lived.

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The best technology gifts for Christmas

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tesco direct.jpgAs Christmas looms ever larger on the horizon, thoughts are increasingly turning towards the tricky venture of buying presents.

The conundrum of exactly what to get and for whom, is an annual problem that causes headaches for millions every time it crops up. Fortunately, in many cases, you can't go wrong with the latest technological must-have. Within the gadget genre is a dazzling myriad of potential presents.

From the new iPod Nano to an Amazon Kindle, there's sure to be something for everyone. Here are some of the best:

iCade for iPad

In amongst all the revolutionary new technology that either comes with, or has been inspired by, the iPad, comes this ingenious piece of kit with a distinctly retro feel. Transform your iPad into an old fashioned gaming machine, complete with joystick and enjoy a whole range of Atari classic games. When was the last time you spent all of Christmas day playing Asteroids?

Boogie Board Paperless LCD Tablet

The modern equivalent of a gift of pens and paper, but so much more interesting, this wafer thin paperless pad that boasts a pressure-sensitive screen is perfect for the person who simply cannot wait to get creative. This allows you to write, doodle, sketch and whatever else you wish before erasing the lot and going back to the start at the push of a button. An upgrade on the classic etch-a-sketch, this environmentally friendly gift is also great for green enthusiasts.

Sagemcom Sixty Cordless Telephone

This fantastic design effortlessly combines modern functions and capabilities with the pleasing aesthetics of a vintage telephone. Managing to look both hi-tech and classic all at once, this is one present that is genuinely timeless. The base unit boasts a tactile keypad that surrounds a LCD touch screen. Displaying the time is just one of its many functions when not in use and it allows you to easily access your phone book, messages and phone settings at the touch of the relevant section. The lightweight handset is also a great addition.

ipad nano.pngiPod Nano

Ever since their arrival, iPods have dominated the MP3 player market; quite simply, they remain the daddy of music players. The ability to store photos, videos and contacts allow you to personalise your music player so it is perfectly suited to what you need. From speakers to iTunes vouchers, the gift of an iPod Nano opens up a number of avenues for possible extra or future gifts. Available in a range of sizes, the Nano is ideal for everyone from the casual listener to the avid record collector with an extensive and exhaustive musical library.

Polaroid Z340 Instant Digital Camera

Photographers all over the country are celebrating the return of instant photography this year and any amateur enthusiasts on your present buying list are sure to love the Polaroid Z340. Delivering a new twist on a classic concept, the camera merges the genius and ease of digital photography with the convenience and novelty of instant printing.

Trumstand

Every now and again, a gift idea comes along that is well worth that extra bit of expenditure. This year, the Trumstand is precisely that present. An aesthetically stunning speaker dock for an iPod or iPhone, the Trumstand is a serious audiophile gadget. As technologically ingenious as it is aesthetically impressive, with no woofers or tweeters on board, sound is generated purely from the resonance created as a result of the trumpet-like shape of the horn, just like in an antique gramophone. Rarely have the old and the new combined to such mesmerising effect.

Next time you're stuck for gift ideas, have a look at the gadgets on offer and before long you will surely find something to suit everyone.

Money saving tips in tough times



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There is little point in hiding from the fact that we are all living in tough times financially. Inflation is rising, debt levels are at an all time high and job security is an issue for a large portion of the UK population.

The recent reports of rising energy bills forcing a number of struggling families to choose between food and heat has also confirmed the tight budgets which many of us are now operating on.

With this in mind, many people have had to adjust the way they carry out basic tasks such as shopping or paying for car insurance. Smart, savvy and shrewd is the name of the game for a large percentage of the UK population as they attempt to ride out this difficult period.

Considering this, options such as money off coupons and printable coupons can be a great idea to help struggling families relieve some of the financial pressure they may be facing. Coupons are a simple and efficient way to lighten the shopping load for example. You would be amazed at the overall savings you could make simply by searching for relevant coupons and implementing them into your weekly shopping budget.

This kind of money saving device is particularly important as the general economic situation within the UK shows little sign of improving significantly. Recent reports suggest problems are particularly pronounced for large families. The suggestion that there are currently thousands of UK families who regularly sacrifice heat so that they can eat sufficiently is a gloomy thought indeed.

In times such as these though, parents have to prioritise. What may have previously been considered an essential item during your weekly visit to the supermarket may now appear more of a luxury item. From this point of view, it is important to decide which items you NEED as opposed to those which you simply WANT. Categorising things in this way could be invaluable in surviving the current recession without having to resort to any desperate measures such as loans.

Insurance is another area where the majority of the British population probably do not take the time to have a good look at the whole landscape. There are still a vast number of people who display apathy when it comes to something like car insurance, choosing to simply renew with their existing provider rather than assessing all the options available.

Price comparison websites can offer an extensive view of all the options you have, with various specialist deals available. If you fail to take a detailed look at the market, the only one who will be losing out is yourself and your pocket.

The troubling financial times are affecting the vast majority of us, but there are ways in which you can be smart about things in order to make the most of life. Coupons, vouchers, special offers and comparison websites are all a part of this. It might seem like a lot of extra effort right now, but it could lead to significant savings down the line.