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Dubai’s top 5 culture hotspots 

Photo by Nextvoyage from Pexels

Dubai is a cultural mecca. It’s a city that combines the innovation of technological advances with Dubai tradition. These are just 5 of the culture hotspots to check out the next time you visit Dubai. 

  • Al Fahidi 
  • Grand Mosque
  • Al Shindagha Museum
  • Alserkal Avenue
  • Hatta 

Al Fahidi

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in Dubai during the late 19th century? If your answer was yes, then the historic town of Al Fahidi is the perfect culture hotspot for you. Located along the Dubai Creek, Al Fahidi was originally built in the early 1900’s, and many of the towns original buildings are still intact. As you trek the winding streets, admiring the historical buildings, you will come across several museums, art galleries, and traditional food stalls which will transport you to 1900’s Dubai. To get as much historic knowledge about Old Dubai as possible, book yourself on a walking tour of the town. 

Image by Ankur Panchbudhe

Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque is the hub of religious and cultural life in Dubai. Holding up to 1,200 worshippers, it is an architectural masterpiece with intricate geometric carvings and blue mosaic. The original Grand Mosque was built in 1900, but was replaced in 1960 and re-built again in 1998 to resemble the original structure. Non-Muslims can enter The Grand Mosque from 9:30am to 11:30am Sunday to Thursday for free tours.

Image by Guilhem Vellut

Al Shindagha Museum

If you would like to learn more about Dubai’s creek history, and wider Emirati culture, than head to the Al Shindagha Museum. Sat along the Dubai Creek, the Al Shindagha Museum offers a carefully curated tour of interactive videos, historic photos, and artefacts that show exactly what it was like to raise a family by Dubai’s waterway. Then, explore the legacy and trading importance of Emirati fragrances at The Perfume House. The Al Shindagha Museum is a fascinating day out, overflowing with beautiful artefacts and interactive fun. 

Image by A.Davey

Alserkal Avenue

Alserkal Avenue is the cultural hotspot of modern Dubai. What was once an industrial area of 40 warehouses has been transformed into a cultural bohemian of art galleries, dance studios, and artisanal cafes. The transformation of Alserkal Avenue began in 2008 when one gallery moved to the area. Word soon caught on, and over the past 13 years contemporary artists have been relocating to the area, creating the Alserkal Avenue you see today. Discover new art and some of the best coffee Dubai has to offer at Alserkal Avenue. 

Image by siska maria eviline

Hatta

Venture outside of the skyscraper city of Dubai and to the beautiful mountain village of Hatta. Many people visit Hatta to take part in activities such as mountain biking and paddle boarding, however the historic village of Hatta is also incredible to explore. In the town centre, you can find Hatta Heritage Village, which has been preserved and reconstructed to showcase centuries of rural living in Dubai. You can wander through traditional Dubai huts, and even observe villagers carrying out traditional activities, such as making jewellery, weaponry, and pottery. The beautiful surroundings of Hatta, coupled with learning about the historic culture of the village, make for an unforgettable day out. 

Image by Sergei Gussev

Don’t let laundry stop you from exploring the cultural hotspots of Dubai. Book your Laundryheap service today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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Travel hacks for families 

Photo by Victoria Borodinova from Pexels

Family holidays create memories that will last a lifetime. They can be incredible for family bonding and enjoying time together away from the home. That being said, they can also be incredibly stressful, so here are some hacks to take some of that stress away. 

  • Try to find family-friendly accommodation
  • Use a backpack
  • Pack spare clothes
  • Use vacuum seal bags
  • Comfort is key
  • Think about entertainment
  • Don’t forget plane sweets
  • Share the responsibility 
  • Bring some home comforts
  • Don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

Try to find family-friendly accommodation

Before you begin to contemplate travelling, think about your accommodation. Although staying in a generic hotel or renting short-stay accommodation may be cheaper, consider finding family-friendly specific accommodation. Family-friendly accommodation is built with children in mind, so there are usually additional activities available to keep your children entertained. It may be slightly pricier, but it could make your family holiday more enjoyable for everyone involved. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Use a backpack

Between checking in to your flight, getting through security, and making sure that your children are safe and happy, it will be rare to find your hands empty whilst you are at the airport, and on your holiday. Using a backpack for your carry-on rather than a travel bag will guarantee that your hands are accessible when you need them, and will guarantee that you don’t misplace or lose sight of your carry-on. 

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

Pack spare clothes

In your carry-on make sure that you pack a spare change of clothes for all the family. If you have young children you may already have packed a spare change of clothes for them, but make sure that you also pack spare clothes for yourself. Children can become travel sick, or could spill juice and/or food down themselves and you, so it’s always best to be prepared. Even if you just pack a change of top, it will at least help towards making everyone feel fresh once you have arrived at your holiday destination. 

Photo by William Fortunato from Pexels

Use vacuum seal bags 

There is a lot of packing involved for a family holiday. To save yourself some space in your suitcase, use vacuum seal bags. Assign each person in the family one or two bags to put all of their belonging in. Once each bag is packed, seal them shut and put them in the suitcase. Not only will this save you space, but it will also make packing, and unpacking, much easier. 

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Comfort is key

When deciding what to wear for traveling remember that comfort is key. All members of your family should prioritise comfort over style, so think about wearing loose-fitting clothing made from lightweight materials. These types of clothes will be easy to move in, and perfect for if you are traveling to or from a hot country. Consider packing a couple of small blankets or thick long scarves in your carry-on just in case you or the members of your family get cold whilst traveling. It’s always good to be prepared for all weather whilst on the move. 

Think about entertainment  

Children can become irritable whilst traveling, especially on particularly long journeys, so make sure that you have an ample amount of things that will entertain them. It could be their favourite toy, a tablet to watch TV and films on, or a game that can be played. Alternatively, you could entertain your children by getting them excited about the holiday.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Don’t forget plane sweets

One of the most unpleasant things about traveling is when the airplane is taking off and landing and your ears pop. This can be disorientating for both children and adults alike, so be prepared with plane sweets. Anything that can be sucked on will help to un-pop your ears on a plane, so choose some age-appropriate sweets and have them on-hand for your flight. 

Image by William Warby

Share the responsibility 

The responsibility of traveling as a family should not land on one person. If you are traveling with another adult or with older children share the responsibility. Make a list of responsibilities before you leave and divide them between the other adult(s) and older children in your family. You could even share some of the smaller responsibilities with the younger children, such as deciding on travel entertainment or what snacks to take with you. Traveling as a family can be stressful, so sharing the responsibility will help ease that stress and ensure that everyone has a good time. 

Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

Bring some home comforts 

We all get homesick at times, and, for younger children especially, it can be scary and disorientating staying in a new location. To make the transition from home to holiday easier for them, pack some home comforts. This could be their nightlight, pillows, or favourite teddy. You don’t have to pack anything too big or difficult to travel with, just something small that will make them feel safe and at home

Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself 

A family holiday is for the whole family, not just the children, so don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Whilst you are away take some time out of your day to do something that you want to do. Maybe it’s reading a book on the beach, going for a swim, or taking a walk on your own. A family holiday is just as much about enjoying yourself and getting away from the stresses of everyday life, as it is enjoying time as a family. 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Enjoy your family holiday without the stress of laundry. Book your Laundryheap service today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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Things to do in Chicago this fall

Photo by Nate from Pexels

Fall has finally arrived, and there is no city to enjoy the changing colours and festivities of the season quite like Chicago. Here are just 10 things that you can do this fall in Chicago. 

  • Lincoln Park
  • Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns 
  • Sonny Acres Farm
  • All Seasons Orchard
  • Harvest Wine and Cheese Festa
  • Chicago International Film Festival
  • The Magnificent Mile Light Festival 
  • Thanksgiving Parade
  • The Chicago Marathon 
  • Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

Lincoln Park 

You will find Lincoln park in the north of Chicago. Home to immaculate gardens, a hidden lily pond, and the Lincoln Park Zoo, there is an abundance of things to see and do in Lincoln Park. Despite the park being accessible at all times of the year, it is most beautiful during the fall. As you walk the expanse of the grounds there are plenty of trees showcasing the changing colours of the fall, and plenty of crunchy leaves to satisfyingly walk through. If you want a day in the fresh air whilst in Chicago, explore Lincoln Park to its extent. 

Image by Ronincmc

Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns

Fall means Halloween. There are several ways Halloween can be celebrated in Chicago, one of which is the Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns. Hosted at the Chicago Botanical Gardens, Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns is a celebration of the humble Halloween classic- the pumpkin. More than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins light a paved path with a variety of faces from celebrities to iconic Chicago landmarks. Each pumpkin is true art. As you walk the Jack-o-Lantern path, the Halloween festivities continue with costumed entertainers, pumpkin-carving demonstrations, and a light fare. Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns is only running from the 13th-17th and 20th-24th of October so make sure that you get your tickets ASAP. 

Sonny Acres Farm

Keeping with the Halloween theme, Sonny Acres Farm is the perfect place to spend a spooky day out. If you are in Chicago with children, the farms Haunted Daytime Fun is ideal. You can experience fun hayrides around the farm, pumpkin picking, and, if brave enough, even take a visit to the Haunted Barn. For older children and adults who are looking for the fright of their lives, wait until the evening to experience the Haunted Barn. With live actors taking on a variety of horrifyingly creepy characters, expect to be scared from the moment you step into the barn to the moment you leave. You can experience all of the Halloween fun at Sonny Acres Farm until the 31st of October. 

Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels

All Seasons Orchard 

If you are looking for a more wholesome Chicago fall experience then head to All Seasons Orchard. There is an abundance of fall fun to be had, including picking fruit from the 15,000 apple and pear trees, picking the perfect pumpkin from the 10 acre pumpkin patch, and getting lost in the All Seasons corn maze. There are two pathways you can take in the corn maze, a shorter one for those with young children, and a longer, more challenging, alternative. After tackling the corn maze, explore the All Seasons Orchard Barnyard, complete with petting zoo, mini zip line, and pumpkin bowling. All Seasons Orchard is the perfect fall day out for every age. 

Photo by Tim Cyphers from Pexels

Harvest Wine and Cheese Festa

For those cheese and wine lovers visiting Chicago this fall, book your tickets for the Harvest Wine and Cheese Festa. Over the course of an hour and 15 minutes you will be treated to a special selection of ten Tuscan wines, each paired with a chef-curated selection of artisanal cheeses. Once you have sampled each wine, you can further indulge yourself by purchasing the wines at the on-site marketplace. A ticket for the Harvest Wine and Cheese Festa is $59 and the event will only be running on Friday the 22nd of October and Saturday the 23rd of October. 

Photo by Jep Gambardella from Pexels

Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival is the longest-running competitive film festival in North America. The festival is presented by its parent company Cinema/Chicago, which was founded in 1964 by filmmaker and graphic artist Michael Kutza. The festival has been running since 1965 and is a celebration of the best in international cinema. All proceeds from the festival go to Cinema/Chicago’s programmes that help foster better communication between diverse cultures through film and moving images. The Chicago International Film Festival is a great opportunity to see international films and is perfect for any lover of cinema in Chicago this fall. 

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

The Magnificent Mile Light Festival 

Halloween isn’t the only fall festival to look forward to, there is also Thanksgiving. The week before Thanksgiving, along the length of Michigan Avenue, 200 tress are illuminated by over a million lights. The festival began in 1949 and has only grown in scale since. After the initial lighting ceremony, a parade of floats begins, featuring festive favourites such as Santa Claus, cartoon characters, and musical performances. To end an evening of magical fun, a firework display lights the nights sky, brining the event to a perfect close. The Magnificent Mile Light Festival begins at 11am. 

Image by Natasha Jelezkina

Thanksgiving Parade

Just one week after The Magnificent Mile Light Festival is Chicago’s Thanksgiving Parade. On Thursday 25th of November 2021 thousands will gather on the streets of Chicago to celebrate Thanksgiving and watch the Parade. From balloons of your favourite cartoon characters to parade floats, dance acts, and extra special guests, Chicago’s Thanksgiving Parade is a spectacle for all. The parade begins at 8am and runs until 11am, however it’s best to head to State Street as early as possible to secure yourself a good viewing spot.

Image by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar

Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon is held every October and sees 45,000 runners cover 26.219 miles of the city. The track forms a loop both beginning and ending at Grant Park, and the runners will travel through 29 of Chicago’s neighbourhoods. If you would like to support the runners of the Chicago Marathon you can do so at one of the three ‘Cheer Zones’. The ‘Cheer Zones’ are located at the 8 kilometre mark, 15 mile mark, and 26th mile mark. The Chicago Marathon will be held on Sunday the 10th of October 2021 and races begin from 7:20am. 

Image by Marco Verch

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

For those who are visiting Chicago interested in exploring art and culture, the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is a must see. At the Lighthouse ArtSpace at Germaina Club you can experience the legendary work of Vincent Van Gogh like never before. Van Gogh’s work is highlighted through 500,000 cubic feet of flawless projections that allow every brushstroke to be observed up close. From Starry Night to Sunflowers you can view Van Gogh’s work at an astonishing scale that will give you a new appreciation for his artistry. The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit will be running throughout October and November and tickets start from $40. 

Image by Immersivearteditor

Chicago is a beautiful city, especially during the fall season. Too beautiful to miss out on because you’re doing laundry. Head to the Laundryheap website, or download the free Laundryheap app, to get your laundry picked-up, laundered, and redelivered to you within 24 hours.


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How to make natural dyes 

Photo by Jill Burrow from Pexels

If you are interested in dying your clothes it’s best to use natural dyes. Unlike their synthetic alternatives, natural dyes do not contain harmful chemicals and usually have antimicrobial properties. This makes them a lot safer to use when dying clothing, especially for children

  • Prep
  • General method 
  • Colours 

Prep

Making natural dyes is a messy process so it’s best to do some prep before you begin. Firstly, make sure that you protect your skin and clothing by wearing an apron and gloves. As the name suggests, natural dyes will dye any clothing or skin that they come in contact with so you must protect yourself from any potential spills. To protect your surfaces from the dye, lay down plenty of newspapers or a tablecloth. Once you have successfully protected yourself and the surrounding area, you are ready to begin making your dye.

Photo by Thirdman from Pexels

General method

To make your dye, per colour, you will need…

  • 700ml of water
  • Your chosen item to create the dye from
  • Saucepan
  • Sieve
  • A bowl for each dye

To begin making your natural dye pour 700ml of water into a saucepan with the item you are going to create your dye from. Cover your pan with a lid and bring to a boil.

When your water has reached boiling point, turn off the heat and leave your pan for 10 minutes. 

After 10 minutes, strain your water into a clean bowl using a sieve. In your bowl will be your dye, ready to use on any white item of your choice. 

To use the dye, simply add your white item and leave it for as long as you want. The longer you leave your item in the dye the darker it will be. Once you are satisfied with the colour, use a pair of tongs to remove the freshly dyed item from the bowl, and gently run it under cool water to remove the excess dye. Once you are satisfied that the excess dye has been removed, transfer your item to a clean surface and leave it to dry completely. 

Photo by Teona Swift from Pexels

Colours

Purple: To make purple use half a red cabbage

Blue: To make blue use half a red cabbage to make the initial dye, and add half a teaspoon of baking powder. 

Pink: To make pink use half a red cabbage to make the initial dye, and add the juice of half a lemon.

Red: To make red use one cooked beetroot. If you would like a stronger red, use two cooked beetroots.  

Yellow: To make yellow use a thumb-sized piece of turmeric. You can use half a teaspoon of ground turmeric, however, fresh turmeric will create a more vibrant shade of yellow.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

Making dye and using it to re-invent your clothing is a much more fun way to spend your time than doing laundry. Book your Laundryheap order today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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How to care for your dog’s clothing 

Photo by Sam Lion from Pexels

We love our dogs. They really are our best friends. That is why it is important to stay on top of cleaning and caring for their clothing. To keep them safe and looking fabulous. 

  • How often?
  • Check the care label
  • Make repairs
  • Pre-treat stains
  • Seal the garment
  • Use the right detergent
  • Dry 
  • Clean your machine

How often?

Just like humans, dog’s clothing must be washed regularly to remove bacteria and keep them looking and smelling fresh. You will find that the frequency that you wash your dog’s items will vary depending on the season. For example, you may not dress your pup as often during the spring and summer seasons so their outfits will only need to be washed once a month. In the autumn and winter months, however, you might be dressing your dog every day and therefore washing their clothing biweekly, if not weekly. 

Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Check the care label

Washing your dog’s clothing is not dissimilar to washing your own. Firstly, it’s important to always read the care label. Just like with human clothing, some dog clothing will be hand wash only depending on the material it is made from. You may also find that some items can only withstand a certain heat setting on your washing machine

Photo by Sam Lion from Pexels

Make repairs 

Before washing yours dog’s garment, check for any rips or loose threads that may become worse whilst washing. Dog clothing can be incredibly expensive so it’s best to make any mends whilst they are small and manageable. 

Photo by Skylar Kang from Pexels

Pre-treat stains 

Just like with your own clothing it’s important that any stains on your pooch’s clothes are lifted prior to washing. It’s easy for your dogs items to become stained, especially when you take them for park walks, so give each item a thorough check before putting them in the machine.

To pre-treat stains, rub a small amount of heavy duty laundry detergent directly into the stain using either your fingers or a soft bristled brush. Make sure that the detergent is thoroughly worked in before putting it in your washing machine or moving on to handwashing. 

Photo by Eun Suk from Pexels

Seal the garment

If you are machine washing your dogs clothing, make sure that all buttons, zippers, and poppers are closed. This will help prevent any snagging and loose threads becoming unravelled. You may also want to put the clothing in a mesh laundry bag to prevent any small accessories becoming detached and lost, and to manage the amount of hair that makes its way into your machine. 

Photo by Gilberto Reyes from Pexels

Use the right detergent 

Your dogs skin is incredibly sensitive so you must make sure that you are using the right detergent. It’s best to use a hypoallergenic detergent that does not contain perfumes and dyes- the best option is to find a detergent for babies or sensitive skin. Alternatively, you can buy pet specific detergent. 

If you notice that your pooch’s garments don’t smell particularly fresh once you have washes them, use baking soda to lift the smell. Mix a solution of two quarters of water and one cup of baking soda and leave your item to soak overnight. The next day, re-wash the clothing and you should notice the smell disappear. 

Photo by mark glancy from Pexels

Dry

Once you have washed your dog’s clothing, you must make sure that it is properly dry before re-dressing your pup. The best way to dry your dog’s clothing is to leave each item to air dry. This will ensure that each garment does not shrink and become tighter on your hairy friend, which is a possibility if you were to use a tumble dryer

Photo by Skyler Ewing from Pexels

Clean your machine

If you are using a washing machine to wash your dog’s clothing make sure that you clean it once you are done. Your pups clothing will more than likely be hairy when it first enters the machine, and that hair will now be distributed in your washing machine. Take an hour out of your day to thoroughly clean your machine, ready for your next load of laundry

Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Whilst you are taking care of your dog’s clothing, let us take care of yours. Book your Laundryheap service today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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Top 5 Copenhagen day trips

Photo by Daniel Jurin from Pexels

Copenhagen is a beautiful city, overflowing with things to do and places to explore. It is also surrounded by wonderful places for day visits. 

  • Helsingør 
  • Odense 
  • The outskirts of Copenhagen
  • Møn
  • Malmö

Helsingør 

The historical city of Helsingør is just an hour train journey from Copenhagen. The city’s most visited attraction is Kronborg Castle, made famous for being the setting of the Shakespeare play Hamlet. You can tour the castle on several routes, both free and payable options available, and immerse yourself in the rich history the castle has to offer. Once you’ve explored Kronborg Castle, wander around Helsingør. Attractions within the city include the Maritime Museum of Denmark, the Culture Yard, and the Danish Museum of Science and Technology. 

Image by Olivier Bruchez

Odense

Hans Christian Anderson is arguably the most famous fairy tale writer in the world. His birthplace of Odense is reachable within an hour, by train, from Copenhagen. As you wander the old cobbled streets you can visit the house where the famous fairy tale writer grew up. Afterwards, take a look around the Hans Christian Anderson House Museum which offers an immersive look into the fairy tales Anderson wrote. Odense has a strong cycling culture, so why not hire a bike to see the sights the city has to offer. There are public bicycle pumps across the city and plenty of bike-designated parking spots for when you want to take a break

Image by Elgaard

The outskirts of Copenhagen

The outskirts of Copenhagen are surrounded by lush forests and water. Hidden amongst this serene setting are six wooden giants for you to find. Created by artist Thomas Dambo, each giant is made from recycled wood which allows the structures to blend seamlessly into their scenic surroundings. Hunting for the six giants is the perfect activity for those who crave adventure and enjoy escaping from urban life. You will need a car to travel to each giant’s location, however, it may be worth doing some additional sightseeing as you journey to each structure. To find the exact location of each giant head to Thomas  Dambo’s website. 

Image by Lars Plougmann

Møn

Just under two hours South of Copenhagen you will find the island of Møn. Home to sweeping sandy beaches, secret coves, and, its main attraction, Møns Klint. Møn is a breath-taking island you may never want to leave. Møns Klint is the 70 million years old chalk cliffs on the island that are gently crumbling into the Baltic Sea, making the water crystal clear. You can view the cliffs, and enjoy the water, by hiring a kayak or fishing boat for the day. Alternatively, you can enjoy a ride on an Icelandic pony or take one of the two mountain bike trails 820km to the top of Møns Klint. 

Image by Image by Jenny Shead from Pixabay 

Malmö

In just 38 minutes you can go from one country to another. Take a quick trip to Malmö Sweden, a charming city full of culture, incredible architecture, and great food. Whilst in Malmö don’t miss out on seeing The Turning Torso, Scandinavia’s tallest building. At the foot of the Turning Torso, you will find a beach and harbour, perfect for a leisurely stroll. After visiting The Turning Torso, head to Malmö Saluhall, a food market overflowing with delicious artisanal goods. Here you can try Fika, the Swedish version of afternoon tea, where you will be served a variety of delicious cakes and coffee

Image by Alex Waltner from Pixabay 

Copenhagen, and its surrounding areas, should be explored to the fullest. Don’t let laundry get in the way, let us do it for you. Head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your laundry and dry cleaning service today.


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Reduce, reuse, recycle whilst doing laundry 

Photo by Sarah Chai from Pexels

One of the most effective ways to lower our carbon footprint is to reduce, reuse, and recycle the items we use. That includes when we do our laundry

  • Reduce the amount of laundry you do
  • Reduce the temperature you wash at 
  • Reuse detergent bottles 
  • Reuse dryer balls and sheets
  • Recycle containers 
  • Recycle your clothing
  • How Laundryheap is doing their bit 

Reduce the amount of laundry you do

On average a washing machine uses 350 to 500 watts of electricity per hour. The average person does two loads of laundry per week, which translates to 36,400 to 52,000 watts of electricity in just one year. By reducing the amount of laundry you do you could half your yearly electricity usage. There are several ways to reduce your laundry load, including waiting until you have a full laundry basket, spot treating stains, and freezing your jeans.

Photo by Sarah Chai from Pexels

Reduce the temperature you wash at

Washing your laundry at 60 degrees will kill bacteria, but use 40% more energy than washing at 30 degrees. You may have noticed when shopping for laundry detergent that many brands now make cold wash detergents. These are detergents that work just as effectively at 30 degrees as they do at hotter temperatures, meaning that you can reduce the temperature you wash at without affecting the cleanliness of your laundry. Be aware that if you are laundering items that are stained it is best to pre-treat them before washing at 30 degrees. 

Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

Reuse detergent bottles

Once you have used your laundry detergent, don’t throw your bottles away, reuse them. There are a multitude of ways that you can reuse detergent bottles, including making a watering can, a bird feeder, or weights. You can even use your empty detergent bottle to store homemade laundry detergent. Just remember that before you reuse your detergent bottles you need to make sure that they are fully rinsed out. 

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Reuse dryer balls and sheets

Dryer balls and sheets are used to reduce the drying time of your laundry, meaning that you use less energy per load. Rather than using one-use dryer balls and sheets, invest in reusable options. They may be slightly more expensive, but will save you money in the long run. To be even more environmentally conscious you can make your own dryer balls using tin foil or old clothing. 

Image by mjtmail (tiggy)

Recycle containers

If you don’t want to reuse your detergent bottles, make sure that you recycle them as well as your other laundry containers. Most laundry containers are made from cardboard or plastic, both of which can be recycled. Make sure that you adequately rinse and/or empty your containers before recycling them, ensuring that there is no residue left in the bottom. 

Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

Recycle your clothing 

It’s not just laundry containers that can be recycled, you can also recycle your clothing. If you notice that you have clothing that you don’t wear often, donate them to a local charity. This will ensure that your clothing gets rehomed rather than being added to the 92 million tons of textile waste created each year. Alternatively, if your clothing is becoming worn or ripped, you could create something new from your scraps. Whether you are an avid sewer and can create a new garment, or you simply use your ripped clothing as a cleaning rag, you can give even the most worn down piece of clothing a new life. 

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

How Laundryheap is doing their bit

At Laundryheap we are dedicated to improving the way we work to be more environmentally friendly. For example, we offer our customers the option of an eco friendly route. This means that our drivers are given a wider time slot to collect and redeliver customers laundry so that orders can be grouped together and we can use less fuel. As well as our eco routes, Laundryheap also uses e-bikes in certain areas to reduce the carbon emissions emitted whilst picking up and delivering laundry.

To book your Laundryheap service simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels


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How to be happy at work

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

They say that if you love what you do then you will never work a day in your life. No matter how much you love your job, there will always be times when you feel stressed, unmotivated, and/or overwhelmed. When you find yourself having one of these days, this is what you can do to make yourself feel happier. 

  • Start your day off positively 
  • Create a to-do list
  • Eat and drink healthily 
  • Make sure you move
  • Create a mood-boosting playlist
  • Know your support system
  • Create an office home
  • Take your full lunch break 
  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself 
  • Think about the positives

Start your day off positively 

How you feel in the morning will set the tone for the rest of your day. If you start off your day with a positive morning routine, then you are more likely to enjoy the rest of your day. Your positive morning routine could include having 6-8 hours of sleep every night, doing a 30-minute workout or yoga session, practicing mindfulness, or making sure that you eat a healthy and balanced breakfast. Whatever your routine is, it should include activities that make you feel happy and ready to take on the day. 

Photo by jonas mohamadi from Pexels

Create a to-do list 

Creating a to-do list is scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety by allowing you to structure your day around what has to be achieved. If you find yourself overwhelmed with your workload, try separating your tasks into what needs to be completed as soon as possible, what needs to be completed within the week/month, and what can wait to be completed at a later date. This will help you to prioritise your tasks so that you can focus solely on what needs to be completed urgently. In addition, checking off each item on your list will give you a sense of accomplishment which will help spur you on to complete your next task. 

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Eat and drink healthily 

Staying hydrated and eating a healthy and balanced diet can improve concentration, make you more alert, and boost your energy levels. The human brain is 75% water and requires a constant flow of it to carry out every conscious function. If you do not stay adequately hydrated, your brains cells can not function at the level they should, leading to a lower attention span. Similarly, the brain is fuelled by what we eat and it needs vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to function at its highest capacity. If you deprive your brain of the nutrients it needs this will lead to a lower mood, lowered concentration, and headaches. 

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Make sure you move

When you are concentrating on a task it can be easy to let time slip away from you. Before you know it, you’ve been hunched over your desk for hours without moving. Walking away from your workspace, if only for a few minutes, re-stimulates the brain and improves productivity. Throughout the day walk to another area of your office, to a colleagues desk, or even outside for a quick breath of fresh air. Being in a different environment or with another colleague can distract you from your work for a few minutes until you have reset your mood and you are back to feeling positive and ready to work. 

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Create a mood-boosting playlist

Studies have found that when you listen to upbeat music when you are feeling down your mood will lift. This is because the music triggers the release of dopamine, which is a chemical that makes us feel happy. If you are feeling particularly down or stressed at work, have a mood-boosting playlist on hand, filled with all of your favourite upbeat songs. Your mood will be lifted before the playlist has finished. 

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Know your support system

Work can be an incredibly stressful environment so it’s important to know what support systems there are in place. Most workplaces will have a HR team who you can talk to about your workload. Some workplaces also have additional support systems such as mental health officers, in-house therapists, or mental health days. Explore these options and discuss with your manager or HR team what might work best for you. Aside from this, it’s good to have a support network of colleagues who you can unwind and vent with. These friends will offer an escape in the middle of the work day when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. 

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Create an office home

Surrounding yourself with items that bring you comfort can lead you to feeling more relaxed and happy at work. It’s important to remember that your desk is a professional space, however, a couple of pictures, plants, and decorations that make you smile can bring you joy whilst you’re working. 

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Take your full lunch break

When you are focused on a task it can be easy to let time escape you. That being said, it is important that you take your full lunch break, regardless of how busy you are. Taking a rest in the middle of the day to step away from your work, eat a healthy meal, and rehydrate will reset your brain and allow you to focus for the rest of the day. If possible, try to get out of your office building and go for a walk. The fresh air and moving your muscles will ease any built up tension, relax your body, and improve your mood. What will make your lunch break even better is if you can share it with someone. 

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Don’t put too much pressure on yourself 

It’s hard to not put pressure on yourself when it comes to work, but to stay happy it’s important to try and not pressure yourself too much. Putting too much pressure on yourself can lead to being unproductive and feeling disappointed in your abilities. Rather than pressuring yourself to complete an inconceivable amount of tasks in a day, set yourself reasonable goals and feel proud when you’ve achieved each of them. Even if you don’t achieve all of your goals each day, be proud of what you have accomplished rather than focusing on what you haven’t.

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Think about the positives 

Similarly to not putting too much pressure on yourself, it’s important to think about the positives of your work day rather than the negatives. At the end of each day, think about what you have achieved and the goals that you have accomplished. Alongside this, think about any positive things that have happened throughout your day that made you happy. This could include having lunch with a friend, a positive conversation with a manager, or even just a nice biscuit with your tea. Even the smallest positives can make you smile and feel happier about your day at work. 

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When you get home from work the last thing you want to do is laundry. So, let us do your laundry for you instead. Simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your order today. 


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Clothing to avoid wearing to the beach

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A day at the beach is the ultimate way to relax. Lying back on the golden sand, cooling off in the glittering sea, staying refreshed with a delicious ice cream. Before heading to the beach, make sure that you are wearing the right clothing for ultimate relaxation by avoiding these items. 

  • Jeans
  • Dark colours 
  • Tight clothes
  • Expensive jewellery 
  • Shoes

Jeans

Jeans, along with any heavy clothing, should be avoided at all costs when heading to the beach. As a material, jeans are too stiff and heavy to possibly be comfortable to relax on the sand in. Wearing them will only result in your legs becoming unbearably sweaty. As well as this, you want to wear something to and from the beach that is easy to remove and put back on, not a pair of jeans that will only stick to you if you aren’t completely dry from your recent dip in the ocean. 

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Dark colours

As a rule of thumb, avoid all dark colours when heading to the beach. Dark colours absorb more heat than their lighter alternatives, making your body temperature rise rather than trying to cool it down. When you are on the beach, exposed to the sun for long periods of time, it’s best to opt for white or lighter colours as these reflect the sun.

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Tight clothes

A day at the beach should be relaxing and comfortable, something that won’t be achieved if you are wearing tight clothing. Even if you aren’t on the beach, tight clothing should be avoided when it is warm as the material clings to your body and raises your temperature. Instead, opt for light, breathable materials, such as cotton and linen, that are looser on the body and will aid in regulating your body temperature. 

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Expensive jewellery 

A dip in the sea is the perfect way to cool off from lying on the hot sand all day. Unfortunately, the salt from the water can erode gold, silver, or platinum jewellery, causing irreversible damage. Before going for a swim make sure to remove ALL of your jewellery if it is particularly sentimental. Alternatively, leave your jewellery at home so there is absolutely no risk of it being damaged or stolen whilst you are swimming. 

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Shoes

Sand is a natural exfoliator and will lift dead skin cells and smooth the soles of your feet. It is also incredibly irritating and will find its way into any small gap possible. When heading to the beach, always opt to wear flip flops or sandals rather than shoes. If you wear shoes you will be trying to get sand out of and off of them for days, maybe even weeks, after you leave the beach. If you wear sandals, you can easily shake the sand from them once your day is done. 

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Whilst you’re having fun in the sun, let us take care of your laundry. Simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Where to shop in Doha

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A bit of retail therapy makes every holiday better. If you are visiting Doha, these are the best places to shop. 

  • Souq Waqif
  • Gold Souq
  • Omani Souq
  • Festival City
  • MIA Park Bazaar 
  • The Pearl

Souq Waqif 

Location: Al Souq Street, Doha, Qatar

Opening times: Saturday-Thursday, 7:30 am-12:30 pm and 3:30 pm-10 pm, Friday 12:30 pm-10 pm 

Founded over a century ago, Souq Waqif is one of the oldest Souqs in Qatar. What was once a busy trading centre for camels and livestock is now a labyrinth of market stalls selling spices, textiles, jewellery, and handicrafts. As you wander from stall to stall allow your senses to be taken over by the smells of the spice stalls and the sounds of traditional music.  Despite being open until 10 pm, it is best to visit Souq Waqif either in the early morning or later in the day to avoid the scorching daytime heat.  

Image by Nordcap Studio from Pixabay 

Gold Souq

Location: Al Ahmed Street, Doha, Qatar

Opening times: Saturday–Thursday 9 am-1 pm and 4 pm-10 pm, Friday 4 pm-10 pm

Across the street from Souq Waqif, you will find the Gold Souq. As the name suggests, here you will find finely crafted pieces of gold jewellery and precious gems. Most of the items on sale are 22 carats, however, there are white gold, silver, and platinum pieces available at a slightly cheaper price. From bridal jewellery to souvenirs, the Gold Souq is the best place to shop for all your jewellery needs whilst your visiting Doha

Omani Souq 

Location: Salwa Road, Al Maamoura, Doha, Qatar 

Opening times: Daily, 7 am-10 pm

Omani Souq, in comparison to the Gold Souq and Souq Waqif, is a smaller market, visited more by locals than tourists. Here you will find fresh produce, including fruits and vegetables, Saudi dates, local honey, and an array of vibrant spices. Alongside this fresh produce are clay pots, perfumes, and baskets, which make perfect souvenirs to take home with you. One of the best finds at Omani Souq are white truffles, at an astoundingly low price, which can only be sourced if the desert has had the right amount of rain. 

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Festival City 

Location: Al Shamal Road, Umm Salal Mohammed, Doha, Qatar

Opening times: Sunday–Wednesday, 10 am-10 pm, Thursday–Saturday 10 am-midnight

Doha’s Festival City is more than just a shopping experience. This 600,000 square meter shopping mall includes hundreds of shops, over 100 restaurants, plus an Angry Birds park, complete with bumper cars, a trampoline park, and a zip line. If that was not enough, you can cool off from the desert heat on the indoor snow slide and snow-covered hills. Festival City provides the perfect combination of retail therapy and thrilling adventure, all under one roof, and all family-friendly. 

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MIA Park Bazaar 

Location: South of Doha Corniche, Doha, Qatar

Opening times: Friday 2 pm-10 pm, Saturday 12 pm-7 pm, Sunday 12 pm-6 pm

Hosted on the grounds of the Museum of Islamic Art, MIA Park Bazaar is a weekend market that operates from September to April. During this time, as many as 150 market stalls offer both local and international arts, crafts, and culinary creations. Each stall offers unique pieces of handmade art which make for one-of-a-kind souvenirs. After browsing the buzzing stalls, head into the Museum of Islamic Art to observe the impressive collection of art and artefacts from the Muslim world. 

Image by StellarD

The Pearl 

Location: The Pearl-Qatar, Doha, Qatar

If you are looking for a luxury shopping experience then look no further than The Pearl. This artificial island is home to elegant fashion, jewellery, and lifestyle boutiques, as well as celebrity-chef restaurants and cafes. From the marina with its huge yachts bobbing on the water to the shop fronts lining the streets with beautiful window displays, everything about The Pearl screams luxurious. Whether you’re shopping or window shopping it’s a luxury experience you don’t want to miss. 

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Enjoy shopping without having to think about laundry when you book your Laundryheap service. Simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your order today.