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Nothing can compare to a cosy, softly-furnished, richly texture, well-lit space where book lovers can unwind after a long day.

A reading nook adds personality to any room and will give visitors a glimpse into who you are - especially once they start perusing your shelves! Here are some tips to create a special haven for yourself; a space to relax and lose hours between the pages of a well-told story.

Take a look at Reading Nook essentials below and further inspiration to personalise your space, plus tips on how to make a nook inviting for the whole family.

 

The all-important chair

A comfortable chair is the beginning of your reading nook - choose a favourite shape and colour and build around this focal point of your nook. Adorn it with cosy, comfortable throws and cushions to add instant personality and a feeling of warmth; look for contrasting textures like faux-fur, wool or sherpa to create depth and contrast with other items in the space. Switch to lighter linen throws like this for summer reading during the warmer months!

 

Light!

Any reading nook needs good lighting for diving into your favourite book, but don’t be afraid to mix and match soft lights (and add scented candles to the shelves!) to create a sense of calm and relaxation. Rustic styles like these work beautifully to balance the warmth of furnishing textures with the interesting metals used for design and construction. 

 

Side Tables

Time for the perfect side table! You may want to keep this smaller to fit next to your comfy chair; the perfect spot for a warm mug of something delicious!  Look for a vintage side table to complement the more modern elements of your nook like the reading lamp, shelves or chair. If it’s bought new, there are create ways to distress and add your own creative stamp to a piece. You may already have a smaller end or side table around the house looking for a new lease on life! And it’s a great, creative way to make the space your own.

 

The Bookcase

Now it’s time for the ideal shelf, a place to keep all your books at the ready for hours of joy in your new reading space. These reclaimed scaffold board & steel pipe units provide a rustic statement piece for any area, beautifully complementing the softer light, cushions and textures of your chair. For ideas on accessorising the shelves, take a look at these Book Nook ideas: Book Nooks are a dream for any reader! Charming, hand-made (which you can build yourself, too) miniturare bookends or inserts for your shelves, recreate lovely scenes from your favourite books. A great gift idea for the reader in your life or as a treat to yourself! Add candles, cacti, photos of loved ones or travel mementos to the shelves for that extra touch of personalised magic.

 

To create a shared space for families, keep children’s books on the lower shelves for the young ones and add Young Adult titles to your book collection to encourage teens to read more!

Happy reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more

 

Nothing can compare to a cosy, softly-furnished, richly texture, well-lit space where book lovers can unwind after a long day.

A reading nook adds personality to any room and will give visitors a glimpse into who you are - especially once they start perusing your shelves! Here are some tips to create a special haven for yourself; a space to relax and lose hours between the pages of a well-told story.

Take a look at Reading Nook essentials below and further inspiration to personalise your space, plus tips on how to make a nook inviting for the whole family.

 

The all-important chair

A comfortable chair is the beginning of your reading nook - choose a favourite shape and colour and build around this focal point of your nook. Adorn it with cosy, comfortable throws and cushions to add instant personality and a feeling of warmth; look for contrasting textures like faux-fur, wool or sherpa to create depth and contrast with other items in the space. Switch to lighter linen throws like this for summer reading during the warmer months!

 

Light!

Any reading nook needs good lighting for diving into your favourite book, but don’t be afraid to mix and match soft lights (and add scented candles to the shelves!) to create a sense of calm and relaxation. Rustic styles like these work beautifully to balance the warmth of furnishing textures with the interesting metals used for design and construction. 

 

Side Tables

Time for the perfect side table! You may want to keep this smaller to fit next to your comfy chair; the perfect spot for a warm mug of something delicious!  Look for a vintage side table to complement the more modern elements of your nook like the reading lamp, shelves or chair. If it’s bought new, there are create ways to distress and add your own creative stamp to a piece. You may already have a smaller end or side table around the house looking for a new lease on life! And it’s a great, creative way to make the space your own.

 

The Bookcase

Now it’s time for the ideal shelf, a place to keep all your books at the ready for hours of joy in your new reading space. These reclaimed scaffold board & steel pipe units provide a rustic statement piece for any area, beautifully complementing the softer light, cushions and textures of your chair. For ideas on accessorising the shelves, take a look at these Book Nook ideas: Book Nooks are a dream for any reader! Charming, hand-made (which you can build yourself, too) miniturare bookends or inserts for your shelves, recreate lovely scenes from your favourite books. A great gift idea for the reader in your life or as a treat to yourself! Add candles, cacti, photos of loved ones or travel mementos to the shelves for that extra touch of personalised magic.

 

To create a shared space for families, keep children’s books on the lower shelves for the young ones and add Young Adult titles to your book collection to encourage teens to read more!

Happy reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more

How to Install a Shelf with Brackets

Posted by Abi Hugo

How to put up a shelf

Adding new shelves is a great way of adding more storage space to a room as well as being able to show off your prized possessions and accessories such as pictures, books or trinkets.

There is a whole range of shelves out there:

Suspense Metal Brackets 

 

Rustic Reclaimed shelves 

Here’s how to put them up.

First up some technical language you may or may not have heard - Studs:

These are basically part of the framework for a stud wall, these are the vertical timber lengths that you usually use to attach your shelf to. the pieces of timber are then usually covered in ply board and then plastered. You can tell of a wall is a stud wall or brick wall by giving the wall a little knock - if it sounds 'hollow' it is usually a stud wall. If you are met with a thud, you can assume it is a brick wall.

If you have a stud wall - before drilling, hammering or putting a screw into a wall, you'll need to check it's safe with a stud detector (also known as a multi-purpose digital detector) as it will detect any wires or pipes that you might inadvertently hit.

They’re super simple to use and will give you a heads up if there are any pipes, cables or studs where you’re planning to hang your shelf. All you do is run the device over the surface area and it will detect any hazards.

Masonry walls which are simply walls made from bricks and mortar - you'll need a hammer-action drill with a masonry bit. You’ll also need at least 50 mm screws and wall (also known as a raw) plugs to go through the plaster and into the wall behind.

For stud partition walls, the screws need to go directly into the timber studs. 

For heavy loads you'll need  longer screws to support the weight we recommend going for about 50mm screws 

The screws should also be the heaviest gauge (that's the thickness) that the holes in the bracket will take. 

Note: All Acumen Collection shelves are sent with the correct fixings for your wall and shelf type

 

Here's a list of the things you will need:

    • stud detector
    • A spirit level
    • drill - opt for a hammer drill for masonry walls 
    • Drill bits - choose masonry bits if drilling into masonry walls, or multi bits if drilling into other  surfaces
    • screwdriver
    • A shelf (check out our beautiful range of shelves HERE)
    • Brackets
    • Screws to suit your brackets 
    • Raw plugs
    • Small screws for fixing the shelf to the brackets (these should be shorter than the depth of the shelf)
    • A pencil

Step 1

Make sure you check the are behind the wall is free of any cables or pipes using your stud detector. Then hold your shelf against the wall and make a mark where you’d like it to go.

Then, make a mark where you want the first bracket to go, and then measure the distance and mark where you want the second bracket to go.

Use a spirit level to check your pencil marks are straight so you don't end up with a wonky shelf.

 

Step 2

Hold the first bracket up to your pencil mark for your first bracket and again check it's straight and make a pencil mark on the wall through the holes in the bracket this is to indicate where you will drill later.

Do the same again for the second bracket, and any other brackets you may have

If you have more than two brackets, just make sure they are equal distance away from the outer brackets.

 

Step 3

Drill into the wall to make a pilot hole and screw the brackets into place (if you have a masonry wall, use raw plugs).

Lay the shelf across and make a mark through the holes in the brackets for the fixing screws underneath it.

Then, drill pilot holes on the bottom of the shelf for the short screws - make sure you only make shallow holes though as you do not want to go through to the other side.

Put the shelf back up and then carefully screw in the bottom screws.

 

We hope you found this post useful and if you have any questions we are happy to help 

Read more

How to put up a shelf

Adding new shelves is a great way of adding more storage space to a room as well as being able to show off your prized possessions and accessories such as pictures, books or trinkets.

There is a whole range of shelves out there:

Suspense Metal Brackets 

 

Rustic Reclaimed shelves 

Here’s how to put them up.

First up some technical language you may or may not have heard - Studs:

These are basically part of the framework for a stud wall, these are the vertical timber lengths that you usually use to attach your shelf to. the pieces of timber are then usually covered in ply board and then plastered. You can tell of a wall is a stud wall or brick wall by giving the wall a little knock - if it sounds 'hollow' it is usually a stud wall. If you are met with a thud, you can assume it is a brick wall.

If you have a stud wall - before drilling, hammering or putting a screw into a wall, you'll need to check it's safe with a stud detector (also known as a multi-purpose digital detector) as it will detect any wires or pipes that you might inadvertently hit.

They’re super simple to use and will give you a heads up if there are any pipes, cables or studs where you’re planning to hang your shelf. All you do is run the device over the surface area and it will detect any hazards.

Masonry walls which are simply walls made from bricks and mortar - you'll need a hammer-action drill with a masonry bit. You’ll also need at least 50 mm screws and wall (also known as a raw) plugs to go through the plaster and into the wall behind.

For stud partition walls, the screws need to go directly into the timber studs. 

For heavy loads you'll need  longer screws to support the weight we recommend going for about 50mm screws 

The screws should also be the heaviest gauge (that's the thickness) that the holes in the bracket will take. 

Note: All Acumen Collection shelves are sent with the correct fixings for your wall and shelf type

 

Here's a list of the things you will need:

    • stud detector
    • A spirit level
    • drill - opt for a hammer drill for masonry walls 
    • Drill bits - choose masonry bits if drilling into masonry walls, or multi bits if drilling into other  surfaces
    • screwdriver
    • A shelf (check out our beautiful range of shelves HERE)
    • Brackets
    • Screws to suit your brackets 
    • Raw plugs
    • Small screws for fixing the shelf to the brackets (these should be shorter than the depth of the shelf)
    • A pencil

Step 1

Make sure you check the are behind the wall is free of any cables or pipes using your stud detector. Then hold your shelf against the wall and make a mark where you’d like it to go.

Then, make a mark where you want the first bracket to go, and then measure the distance and mark where you want the second bracket to go.

Use a spirit level to check your pencil marks are straight so you don't end up with a wonky shelf.

 

Step 2

Hold the first bracket up to your pencil mark for your first bracket and again check it's straight and make a pencil mark on the wall through the holes in the bracket this is to indicate where you will drill later.

Do the same again for the second bracket, and any other brackets you may have

If you have more than two brackets, just make sure they are equal distance away from the outer brackets.

 

Step 3

Drill into the wall to make a pilot hole and screw the brackets into place (if you have a masonry wall, use raw plugs).

Lay the shelf across and make a mark through the holes in the brackets for the fixing screws underneath it.

Then, drill pilot holes on the bottom of the shelf for the short screws - make sure you only make shallow holes though as you do not want to go through to the other side.

Put the shelf back up and then carefully screw in the bottom screws.

 

We hope you found this post useful and if you have any questions we are happy to help 

Read more

As the nights get longer, the air crisp and filled with woodsmoke, most of us start planning the most important table of the year: the Christmas table. A wonderful and classic take on seasonal decorating is the rustic table; it immediately evokes a sense of cosiness, safety and togetherness. And this can be a fantastic way to get the whole family involved in creating your special table. Think twine, linens, warm woods, natural colours, re-usable features and lots of warm light!

Let’s take a look at texture, sustainability, colour and bringing the chilly outdoors inside for immediate warmth:

1. STEP OUTSIDE AND BRING IT HOME 

 

Foraging is a brilliant way to involve to the whole family when it comes to planning your table. And a lovely day out at that! Look for materials to make wreaths, collect acorns and other greenery. Weeping willow stems are super easy to weave into a rustic wreaths and can be finished with foliage, fir, eucalyptus or any seasonal additions of your choice. Add it to walls, doors and even as a centrepiece to the table. Try to shop locally and visit your farmer’s market for pomegranates, clementines, plums and other seasonal fruits to decorate and bring life to the table.

2. TEXTURE 

Think about your colour scheme. Traditional red, silver, gold and green works wonderfully but add your own twist. Selecting decorations  you can use all year round is a great sustainable way of enhancing other areas of your living space - silver or gold are great options for this! A textured table doesn’t necessarily mean a crowded table, so be sure to keep it clean and simple but don’t be afraid to experiment with the colour from fruits like pomegranates and clementines to complement your greenery as a centrepiece. The seasonal pop of colour will go beautifully with simple beige or grey table linens. Wrap your napkins in twine and add a cinnamon stick. Nothing says Christmas like the heavenly scent of cinnamon! Forget about the age-old rule that cutlery should match! Keep an eye out at antique sales and flea markets for interesting additions to your festive drawer. 

3. GET PERSONAL

Children, especially, will feel involved and useful given the chance to create the nametags in their own handwriting. If your meal is a smaller family affair, why not add nicknames to the place settings on the napkin holders? It can be a delightful and humorous way to add that extra personalised touch. Thoughtful handmade and sustainable table gifts for each guest is also a great way to add to a festive welcome.

4. WHEN IN DOUBT… CANDLES!

 Candles bring an immediate cosiness to any room and can be used all year round to create a safe and calming haven for you, friends and family. Do aim to keep your table candles fragrance free (an overpowering scent may interfere with all the yummy food you’ve spent hours preparing) and look for soy-based candles and natural wicks. These burn longer and are much better for the environment and your family’s health.

 

 

Read more

As the nights get longer, the air crisp and filled with woodsmoke, most of us start planning the most important table of the year: the Christmas table. A wonderful and classic take on seasonal decorating is the rustic table; it immediately evokes a sense of cosiness, safety and togetherness. And this can be a fantastic way to get the whole family involved in creating your special table. Think twine, linens, warm woods, natural colours, re-usable features and lots of warm light!

Let’s take a look at texture, sustainability, colour and bringing the chilly outdoors inside for immediate warmth:

1. STEP OUTSIDE AND BRING IT HOME 

 

Foraging is a brilliant way to involve to the whole family when it comes to planning your table. And a lovely day out at that! Look for materials to make wreaths, collect acorns and other greenery. Weeping willow stems are super easy to weave into a rustic wreaths and can be finished with foliage, fir, eucalyptus or any seasonal additions of your choice. Add it to walls, doors and even as a centrepiece to the table. Try to shop locally and visit your farmer’s market for pomegranates, clementines, plums and other seasonal fruits to decorate and bring life to the table.

2. TEXTURE 

Think about your colour scheme. Traditional red, silver, gold and green works wonderfully but add your own twist. Selecting decorations  you can use all year round is a great sustainable way of enhancing other areas of your living space - silver or gold are great options for this! A textured table doesn’t necessarily mean a crowded table, so be sure to keep it clean and simple but don’t be afraid to experiment with the colour from fruits like pomegranates and clementines to complement your greenery as a centrepiece. The seasonal pop of colour will go beautifully with simple beige or grey table linens. Wrap your napkins in twine and add a cinnamon stick. Nothing says Christmas like the heavenly scent of cinnamon! Forget about the age-old rule that cutlery should match! Keep an eye out at antique sales and flea markets for interesting additions to your festive drawer. 

3. GET PERSONAL

Children, especially, will feel involved and useful given the chance to create the nametags in their own handwriting. If your meal is a smaller family affair, why not add nicknames to the place settings on the napkin holders? It can be a delightful and humorous way to add that extra personalised touch. Thoughtful handmade and sustainable table gifts for each guest is also a great way to add to a festive welcome.

4. WHEN IN DOUBT… CANDLES!

 Candles bring an immediate cosiness to any room and can be used all year round to create a safe and calming haven for you, friends and family. Do aim to keep your table candles fragrance free (an overpowering scent may interfere with all the yummy food you’ve spent hours preparing) and look for soy-based candles and natural wicks. These burn longer and are much better for the environment and your family’s health.

 

 

Read more

How To Add Personality To A White Bathroom

Posted by Abi Hugo

 It can sometimes be difficult to make a bathroom feel warm and beautiful as the majority of the room is fixed down and hopefully (if you haven't been stuck with some 70s vibe pink or brown) bright white with not much additional colour.  

With out pending some serious money to change it up you are normally stuck with what is already there when you rent or purchase the house.

This can be especially disappointing if you have moved into a home and don’t yet have the budget to renovate the room. 

So today we are going to be sharing some quick ways to update your bathroom to make it feel more homely and less like a cold sterile white room.

 

Shelves

Adding some open shelving allows you to display some of your trinkets which adds personality to a sometimes over looked room.

Checkout our blog post on how to style open shelving if you are not sure how to make them look the best they can. 

Open shelves can add colour and vibrancy to the stark white of a bathroom suite. If you have a blank wall, think about adding two or three reclaimed scaffolding shelves to add some character to the walls.

  

Acumen Collection | Rustic Shelves

You can also check out our Rustic Shelving Collection HERE 

 

Bathboard

A bathtub is a huge white piece of furniture and unless you are lucky enough to have some gorgeous taps there is not a lot to break up that expanse of white. 

That is why rustic bathboards are such a great addition. 

Not only are they functional, because who doesn't want a place to rest their wine, book or iPad whilst they relax in a hot steamy bath. 

But they are a great way to add texture, depth and warmth to an otherwise rather sterile room. 

Here at Acumen Collection we have the most beautiful reclaimed bathboards that give your bathroom extra atmosphere. And these can of course be ordered from us in different types of wood and sizes, all our bath boards are made using reclaimed materials and treated with a special coating so that they are water repellent. 

Check out our collection here to pick your perfect board

Towels

 

You want to invest in some luxury towels nothing makes a bathroom look better than soft fluffy towels hanging over the towel rail or radiator, you can even artistically throw one over the bath tub to make it slightly more ‘Instagrammable’

It is an item we use everyday like bedding, which is why so it is important to make sure you love them and that they are cozy.

They are also a great way of adding a quick dash of colour, or changing up the colour quickly. You can change the set from season to season to keep the room looking fresh and exciting.

 

Nice products

There are plenty of products that we need to use in the bathroom from hand soap to shampoo, conditioner and body wash.

And let’s be honest they don’t tend to come in the prettiest packaging.

But even if one of them comes in a nice bottle it’s unlikely to match the rest of the products.

One great idea is to get some beautiful and eco friendly amber bottles and decant your products into them – we recommend these ones https://amzn.to/3j53pu0 from amazon.

They are a great way to make your unsightly products look in keeping with the rest of the room and even better as we are very con if you have a refill shop you can also reduce plastic and save the environment.

 

Read more

 It can sometimes be difficult to make a bathroom feel warm and beautiful as the majority of the room is fixed down and hopefully (if you haven't been stuck with some 70s vibe pink or brown) bright white with not much additional colour.  

With out pending some serious money to change it up you are normally stuck with what is already there when you rent or purchase the house.

This can be especially disappointing if you have moved into a home and don’t yet have the budget to renovate the room. 

So today we are going to be sharing some quick ways to update your bathroom to make it feel more homely and less like a cold sterile white room.

 

Shelves

Adding some open shelving allows you to display some of your trinkets which adds personality to a sometimes over looked room.

Checkout our blog post on how to style open shelving if you are not sure how to make them look the best they can. 

Open shelves can add colour and vibrancy to the stark white of a bathroom suite. If you have a blank wall, think about adding two or three reclaimed scaffolding shelves to add some character to the walls.

  

Acumen Collection | Rustic Shelves

You can also check out our Rustic Shelving Collection HERE 

 

Bathboard

A bathtub is a huge white piece of furniture and unless you are lucky enough to have some gorgeous taps there is not a lot to break up that expanse of white. 

That is why rustic bathboards are such a great addition. 

Not only are they functional, because who doesn't want a place to rest their wine, book or iPad whilst they relax in a hot steamy bath. 

But they are a great way to add texture, depth and warmth to an otherwise rather sterile room. 

Here at Acumen Collection we have the most beautiful reclaimed bathboards that give your bathroom extra atmosphere. And these can of course be ordered from us in different types of wood and sizes, all our bath boards are made using reclaimed materials and treated with a special coating so that they are water repellent. 

Check out our collection here to pick your perfect board

Towels

 

You want to invest in some luxury towels nothing makes a bathroom look better than soft fluffy towels hanging over the towel rail or radiator, you can even artistically throw one over the bath tub to make it slightly more ‘Instagrammable’

It is an item we use everyday like bedding, which is why so it is important to make sure you love them and that they are cozy.

They are also a great way of adding a quick dash of colour, or changing up the colour quickly. You can change the set from season to season to keep the room looking fresh and exciting.

 

Nice products

There are plenty of products that we need to use in the bathroom from hand soap to shampoo, conditioner and body wash.

And let’s be honest they don’t tend to come in the prettiest packaging.

But even if one of them comes in a nice bottle it’s unlikely to match the rest of the products.

One great idea is to get some beautiful and eco friendly amber bottles and decant your products into them – we recommend these ones https://amzn.to/3j53pu0 from amazon.

They are a great way to make your unsightly products look in keeping with the rest of the room and even better as we are very con if you have a refill shop you can also reduce plastic and save the environment.

 

Read more

5 Top Tips for Perfectly Styled Shelves

Posted by Abi Hugo

Layer – Start with Large Items First

Start by finding a spot for the largest items first, and build from there. Make sure you place the large items in a balanced way. For example, place one large item on the top left shelf, and another on the bottom right. You don’t want all of your heavy items to be grouped together. You want your eye to travel through the items and spreading out the larger pieces will help the whole look come together and feel balanced.

This idea also goes for smaller pieces and varying textures and shapes. Spread out your greenery, your vases, your boxes, etc. Work in layers by adding items to the back, leaning against the wall, as well.

 Check out our rustic shelving - they can be customised to fit any space

Work in Groups of Three

Groupings of three feels balanced and is visually appealing to the eye, especially in smaller spaces, such as shelves and table tops. By grouping the items together it feels more organised and less overwhelming. It is also important to leave areas of negative space between the groupings. Negative space allows the eye to rest and wander around the visual and helps the shelves to not feel cluttered.

Add Baskets to Minimise Clutter and Hide Bits and Bobs

Using woven baskets, helps to add texture and warmth, not to mention storage! They also help keep the shelf from looking too cluttered. They can also act as one of your larger focal points as mentioned in our first point. 

Use Plants to Add Texture and Visual Interest and Focus

Plants just make a space feel fresh and clean! Use them to decorate the same way you would use baskets i.e. a lot!

We recommend looking our for succulents and cacti as they are lower maintenance which is favourable on shelves.

There are a lot of great faux options available these days. 

Shelf Styling | Acumen Collection

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST...

Switch Up Your Decor Seasonally! 

Each season has its own unique traits - draw on nature to style your shelves.

In Autumn you could go out and pick some leaves and clip them to some twine to make a beautiful autumnal garland. You could do the same in Winter with pine cones. 

Be thrifty and always be on the eye out for something to forage that you can use to style your shelves by adding texture and visual interest.

View our entire Shelving Catalogue HERE 

 

Read more

Layer – Start with Large Items First

Start by finding a spot for the largest items first, and build from there. Make sure you place the large items in a balanced way. For example, place one large item on the top left shelf, and another on the bottom right. You don’t want all of your heavy items to be grouped together. You want your eye to travel through the items and spreading out the larger pieces will help the whole look come together and feel balanced.

This idea also goes for smaller pieces and varying textures and shapes. Spread out your greenery, your vases, your boxes, etc. Work in layers by adding items to the back, leaning against the wall, as well.

 Check out our rustic shelving - they can be customised to fit any space

Work in Groups of Three

Groupings of three feels balanced and is visually appealing to the eye, especially in smaller spaces, such as shelves and table tops. By grouping the items together it feels more organised and less overwhelming. It is also important to leave areas of negative space between the groupings. Negative space allows the eye to rest and wander around the visual and helps the shelves to not feel cluttered.

Add Baskets to Minimise Clutter and Hide Bits and Bobs

Using woven baskets, helps to add texture and warmth, not to mention storage! They also help keep the shelf from looking too cluttered. They can also act as one of your larger focal points as mentioned in our first point. 

Use Plants to Add Texture and Visual Interest and Focus

Plants just make a space feel fresh and clean! Use them to decorate the same way you would use baskets i.e. a lot!

We recommend looking our for succulents and cacti as they are lower maintenance which is favourable on shelves.

There are a lot of great faux options available these days. 

Shelf Styling | Acumen Collection

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST...

Switch Up Your Decor Seasonally! 

Each season has its own unique traits - draw on nature to style your shelves.

In Autumn you could go out and pick some leaves and clip them to some twine to make a beautiful autumnal garland. You could do the same in Winter with pine cones. 

Be thrifty and always be on the eye out for something to forage that you can use to style your shelves by adding texture and visual interest.

View our entire Shelving Catalogue HERE 

 

Read more