With Christmas just around the corner, this is the weekend to do your Christmas check-list and ensure your home is ready for guests. There's nothing worse than having a less-than-perfect display in the home when you have all the family round. Here are my top nine decorating "don'ts" for dressing your home in December... I hope these tips help you create a festive look you'll love and will be proud of your home when you welcome guests this Christmas. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy decorating!
The announcement that the US and Cuba are to begin the process of normalising relations after decades of a US-imposed economic blockade and policy of undermining the Cuban Revolution is long overdue.
The Chancellor's recent Autumn Statement generated a number of big-splash headlines with announcements on Stamp Duty, tax and savings. But there are really only two key criteria by which we will judge the Chancellor's Statement in the long term.
Forgiving may seem marginal to the seasonal celebrations but if it isn't done then any Christmas spirit is going to be contaminated and you may find that (pun intended) your past poisons your present.
Research indicates that around half of those sleeping rough don't seek help before they end up on the streets, and many are simply unaware of the help that is available to them. This is not surprisingly really. Nobody plans to end up in that situation, and it often happens suddenly, the result of circumstances outside their control.
Even though money can be tight and your children may not be with you for the whole holiday, there are plenty of ways you can create a special Christmas for your family. Here are some top tips for single parents this Christmas put together by our advice and information team.
Christmas is my favourite time of year for dating. There's something about twinkly lights, hot mulled cider and enjoying a glass of red in a cosy corner in the pub by a crackling fire that sets the mood for romance.
Harry Kane scored and was once again Tottenham's stand out performer in the 4-0 victory over Newcastle... A trip to a Wembley final for the first time in six years beckons and only a failure to wrestle three points from Burnley on Saturday can spoil Christmas now.
The Christmas period serves up an array of situations that can trigger an anxiety attack. For many of us, spending time with our extended families can cause an increase in stress which may lead to downing that extra glass of mulled wine to get through the day.
It seems like just yesterday that the 2014/15 Premier League season kicked off to huge anticipation. Nearing the halfway stage, the table is starting to take shape and at the bottom the battle to stay in the division looks as though it will be as tight as ever.
Up to 4.3 million tonnes of surplus food is produced each year, but only 2% of that goes to charities to feed the hungry. Around 3.7 million tonnes of this is destroyed or burned. While the political pressure simmers, an army of young activists are striving to tackle these issues from the front line. Chief amongst them is Grace Jones, a 15-year-old campaigner from Croydon.
When conversing with a woman, it's important to assert your masculinity through mind games. While she's talking, very subtly bring out a sourdough roll and place it on the table. This will let her know, through subliminal means, that you have what it takes to be a breadwinner, thus making her more likely to invest in you.
A successful life is down to how adept you are at attracting personal and professional opportunities into your life, and the lives of everyone else you know. Meeting new people face-to-face is the single best way of doing that. It applies equally for purely social events as well as work related parties, drinks receptions etc.
For decades, a company's performance has been measured almost exclusively in economic terms. Social and environmental issues such as health and safety in garment factories in Bangladesh, the use of conflict minerals in our mobiles, the privacy policies of internet service providers or forced labour on our doorstep have been seen as immaterial.
It's hard for me to write this and come up with words and sentences because it feels like no one is at the wheel of the ship - so who's writing this? I'm pushing myself to keep going so I can remember what it looks like when it's written down and for everyone else who suffers with this to say this is not your imagination, you are not being self indulgent (I'm fighting my mind on that one). It's exactly what it says on the bottle, it's poison, terrifying and a complete mummification in nothingness.
In the immediate wake of the horrific siege in Sydney earlier this week the focus has quite rightly been on the bravery of those hostages and the awful situation that unfolded when Australian special forces stormed that café in a hail of flash bangs and bullets. But as the new scycle inevitably moves on, perhaps there's an important point to be raised about my old colleagues in the Australian media.
Moving back to London this year and covering stories in this part of the world has reminded of one important historic reality: Western Europe is a political, social and economic miracle. Think about it: A mere seven decades after one of the most deadly and genocidal wars in human history, the mere idea of conflict in this region is unthinkable.
I met Thierry Henry very early on, 20 years ago, when I was the manager for the under-17 French team. Back then, three things struck me about him: first, his extraordinary talent, his drive coupled with an incredible passion for football, and finally his personality. It was these three factors and all the hard work he put in that led him to the career we know.
Christmas is one of my favourite times of year, everything is all beautiful and shiny, people are happy and jolly, and there is just an air of warmth and love - But it often comes hand in hand with extra parties and gatherings where you are tempted to over-indulge in loads of food and drinks you normally wouldn't.
One of the biggest problems Ukip have at the moment is that, despite the best efforts of the often charming and eloquent man-of-the-people, pint swilling, cigarette puffing, Nigel Farage; the image many other Ukip party members project is of homophobic, unintelligent, misogynistic, sexist, and borderline racist little Englanders.
As we wave the dregs of the last 12 months down the plughole and prepare to celebrate Christmas, I've realised that a huge amount of positives have come out of the negatives that I've endured... So I thought I'd write them down and share them - if nothing else, because I can refer back and chivvy myself up if things start going wonky again in 2015.
If we want the kind of economy and country where all are empowered to make the most of their careers and lives, and where the needs of the many are prioritised over those of the few, we need to understand the real story behind the coalition 'recovery'.