Monthly Archives

November 2017

Lifestyle

5 Ways You Can Treat Yourself this Winter

November 29, 2017

The run-up to Thanksgiving and Christmas can be more than a little bit stressful. Not only will people be anxiously preparing for the holidays, but they may also be juggling successful careers alongside running a busy home and caring for children. It is therefore important to take a step back from the chaos to simply enjoy life. Check out the five ways to treat yourself this winter.

Enjoy a Day of Utter Relaxation

When was the last time you truly pampered yourself? If you can’t remember, then it has been far too long. So, add a little time to your busy schedule to simply relax and unwind. Treat yourself to a luxurious bath filled with bubbles and surrounded by beautifully scented candles. Spend an evening in bed watching TV or reading a good book. Or you could even enjoy a well-deserved massage from a talented masseuse, who can ensure all those winter stresses melt away.

Experience a Chore-Free Day

Are you tired of washing dishes, doing laundry and decluttering the home? Well, why not take a break from the cleaning schedule and enjoy a chore-free day? Instead of taking on all the responsibility of home-life, simply take a day off. You could even tell your partner and/or children that it is their responsibility to keep the home clean and tidy for one day only – so they can walk a mile in your shoes.

Hire a One-Off Cleaning Service

Do you want to enjoy a spotless home but feel as if you never have the time to perform every task? Cut yourself some slack this winter and hire a one-off deep cleaning service to transform your home into a clean and comfortable space. The likes of Athcleaning can make your property sparkle, so all you will need to do is maintain it once the service is complete, so you can focus on ticking another task off your checklist.

Book a Short Break

Do you want to do something a little different this winter? Break the monotony of daily life by treating yourself to a short break in a stunning destination. For example, you could book a short stay at a luxurious hotel to relax, indulge and make fantastic memories. Even a break for one night or two can improve your state of mind and provide you with a fresh perspective, so you can tackle all your tasks this winter.

Buy Yourself Something Nice

Many people will spend their winter days figuring out what to buy their loved ones for Christmas, which can be a stressful experience – especially if they need to head out to busy stores during the festive season. So, why not treat yourself to something nice as you go Christmas shopping, such as a winter-warming robe, pair of slippers or maybe even a nice bottle of wine? You can guarantee it will make the process a lot more enjoyable – and you’ll enjoy a reward for all your hard work. Go on, you deserve it.

Lifestyle

Four Tips for Getting in Control of Jet Lag

November 21, 2017

If travelling is a hobby that you like to do often, then you’re probably all too familiar with the feeling of being jet lagged. After the initial rush of excitement has passed when you’ve stepped off the plane, you suddenly feel like you’ve been punched in the face with tiredness and your whole body feels hungover. Jet lag is a constant companion for travellers who are often switching between different time zones, especially for those travelling east. Moving around different times of the day and night can really confuse your body’s natural circadian rhythm, so, it’s important to know what to do to help you overcome jet lag.

#1. Prepare at Home:

If you’re going to be travelling soon and know that you’re prone to experiencing jet lag when crossing different time zones, it’s important to get yourself ready for the experience long before you take off. The best way to do this is to start a few days before your flight, and adjust your bedtime depending on the direction in which you are flying. Going to bed a couple of hours earlier will make it easier for you to adjust if you are travelling east, whilst those travelling west can go to bed later. If you’re about to book your flight, opting for an afternoon or evening arrival is often a better choice than arriving in the morning.

#2. Watch Your Diet:

You may not have realised it, but aeroplane food could also have an effect on how jet lagged you become when travelling. Food that is heavy in carbohydrates can make you feel very heavy and tired. Eating foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta, or even burgers on your flight or during a stopover can make you feel extra tired and increase your need for sleep. If you have a long flight east, filling up on these foods can encourage you to nap on the plane. However, if you’re flying west then you’ll want to stay awake so choose lighter, protein-rich foods instead.

#3. Drink Plenty of Water:

Whether you’re flying out or on your way back home, it’s important to drink plenty of water to keep your hydration at a healthy level. This is especially important for when you are in-flight, since the air inside the cabin is usually quite dry and will cause your skin to dry up and stretch a little bit. However, keep in mind that drinking beverages such as alcohol, which may help you feel sleepy or coffee to keep you awake can add to the dehydration when you’re flying.

#4. Take it Easy at First:

Lastly, bear in mind that whether you’re flying out to somewhere new or returning to your home, a long flight can take its toll on you both physically and mentally. So, take it easy for the first few days and allow your body to adjust or re-adjust to the time zone, temperature, and more. On your arrival home, if you expect to be jet lagged, have a comfortable environment waiting – check out these luxury king size bedding sets to make your bedroom more comfortable than ever.

Did these tips help? We’d love to hear from you!

Lifestyle

5 Ways to Ensure That You Are Ready for Anything

November 18, 2017

Life is full of surprises. It is impossible to predict what lies around the corner. This is a scary concept to embrace, but it is a beautiful one too. Whoever you are, whatever you are doing, there is always a chance that something magical will happen and transform your life for the better. If you want to prepare for all of life’s twists and turns, you will need to read on. Below are five ways you can ensure that you are ready for anything.

Pack your bag carefully

If you are going to make the most of every opportunity, you will need to pack your bag carefully. Make sure that you have all of the essentials on hand. Say you get invited to last minute drinks. You will need to have plenty of spare cash and your ID. Instead of rushing home, you should come prepared. On another day, you may run into an important business contact. Carrying around your business cards could be just the thing to help you make a good first impression.

Prepare for travel opportunities

One of the best ways for you to live life to the fullest is by exploring the world around you. Even if you don’t have any trips coming up, you should still be prepared for travel opportunities. You will need to invest in your luggage, sort through your wardrobe, and manage your finances. You should also think about a US passport renewal, as not doing so could completely ruin your chances of getting away.

Develop a strong social circle

When you are pushing yourself to do more, you will benefit greatly from having the support of your family and friends. That is why you need to develop a strong social circle. Fill your life with people who are willing to share adventures with you. You need to avoid people who are likely to let you down at the last minute or put a dampener on your plans.

Organize your life

In life, it is important to strike the right balance between adventure and responsibility. Sometimes you will be unable to go on adventures because you will have to deal with the stresses and strains of the real world. In order to keep these instances to a minimum, you will need to get your affairs in order. Organizing your life is the best way to leave yourself open to exciting possibilities. Instead of being overwhelmed by an endless list of chores, you should have the freedom to do as you please.

Have a backup plan

If you are responsible for the care of children, a family pet, or an elderly relative, you will need to have a strong backup plan in place. Say you are concerned about leaving your animal to go on holiday. In order to feel more confident in your decision, you should find a reliable pet sitter to help you out. Or, if you are worried about taking time away from your elderly relative, you should call on another family member for assistance. Don’t worry this doesn’t have to stop you from being spontaneous. You could simply make it clear that you are planning to treat yourself this year and would be grateful for any help when the time comes.

 

Technology

Why is HVAC Effective as a Cooling System?

November 16, 2017

A heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system is designed to keep a home warm when the outdoors is cold, cool when it’s hot outside, and to ensure the indoor air quality is good. Perhaps it’s best in the summertime when the heat become oppressive and staying inside is preferable to braving the hottest time of the day.

Let’s look at HVAC systems from the perspective of their effectiveness at keeping homes and offices cooler.

Remote Controlled

Do you want a system that is controllable from your armchair, so you can adjust the temperatures in your home without having to get up? There are plenty of air conditioner brands, just check out the Bryant air conditioner reviews to learn more about their excellent features vs. the competition.

Along with remote control, some cooling systems are programmable to let you decide when to turn on the AC and when to turn it off. Whether you’re thinking about your pet who is home alone during the day and doesn’t enjoy feeling the heat, or you just like to time your system to the day’s weather report, either way, this is an interesting feature to have.

Energy Efficiency

With our growing energy bills, we all like to learn about ways to reduce our electric or gas bill. With HVAC systems, the AC units all typically come with the Energy Star logo sticker confirming the unit’s certification as an energy efficient product. The energy-efficiency rating (or ratio) is typically above nine, which is excellent.

The efficiency certainly comes into play when deciding what BTU capacity you’re looking for in an AC unit. For instance, an 11,500 BTU capacity is going to cool a room that’s approximately 650-700 square feet. The amount of air flow that a unit puts out (measured in cubic feet per minute) also matters when cooling down a space fast is a high priority, but this will boost energy usage each time this feature is activated, which is something to bear in mind. In that sense, energy efficiency features are only as good as the user.

Running on Automatic

Whether you want a sleep mode that automatically turns off the AC at a certain time or you’re looking for a system that has some automated features, these are two features to confirm that are present in a chosen model before purchase. Not every model from a brand like GE, Frigidaire or LG will offer a sleep or auto mode, and it’ll often be restricted to their pricier models too. However, they’re good options to have for greater energy conservation and efficient management of your AC systems, so bear this in mind.

Variable Speeds

Variable speed is sometimes available which allows an AC unit to ramp up (or down) it’s cooling facility as needed. With some units, the incremental adjustment runs as low as a 1% change which is exacting. This is ideal for people who prefer to maintain an exact temperature to feel comfortable at all times and don’t want to have to micro-manage their AC system.

Whatever your cooling needs, it’s difficult to argue with the effectiveness of an HVAC system. There’s enough choice of individual units with their own pros and cons, along with system configuration options, to create the perfect home cooling, heating, and ventilation system to suit your needs perfectly.

Lifestyle

Is Using Comics and Memes On Your Blog a Good Idea?

November 16, 2017

Running a blog can be fun and rewarding. However, sometimes it can also be hard to always have fresh ideas for content. You may feel uninspired, not have time to write a full article, or want to make a new post without there really being any new news in your niche to cover. Equally, you may find that people aren’t sharing your content as much as you’d like because some people don’t really like sharing long articles.

One way some people get around this is by varying the type of content they post. While you may not have the time to write an article or an idea robust enough to make for a good long thought piece, you may be able to come up with a funny or thought-provoking meme or comic you can post far more quickly.

Why Are Comics and Memes So Shareable?

Memes and comics tend to perform well when it comes to virality and sharing too. While some people tend not to share links to articles on their social media accounts unless they are extremely important to them, believing that many of their friends won’t want to read a 1,000-word diatribe on a random subject that caught their interest, most will share a meme or comic that will appear in full on their friends’ newsfeeds if they think it is good.

Groups and Meme Sites

Another reason memes can spread far faster than articles is that there are so many groups on Facebook, Twitter accounts, and websites devoted to them. Whatever your niche, there are probably meme sharing groups related to it, and if your humor is broader (for instance, it is related to mainstream topics like TV shows, games, news or tech), you can also get some support on sites like 9Gag that are effectively meme repositories.

Creating Memes

Another good thing about memes and simple comics like ‘rage comics‘ is that you don’t really need especially good skills with graphic design, Photoshop, or art to make them. There are some great online meme generation tools like Rage Maker that let you create unique new memes without having any mastery of computer drawing packages.

Using tools like this, you can make new content that is fun, easy to digest and very shareable, without having to go to the time and effort of writing long-form articles.

Memes Over Stock Photos

Another way that using these kinds of user-generated images can be used is to break up longer articles. Rather than using meaningless stock images to make the page look more attractive, why not use memes that relate to the content and which you have made yourself?

This can make your site far more appealing to a wider audience, as having a mixture of short, simple content such as comics and memes as well as longer pieces can mean you can attract people who like both styles of stuff but are interested in your niche. So, why not give it a try?

Lifestyle

How to Create Your Own Cigar Room in Your Home

November 13, 2017

For the cigars lovers out there, one of the most frustrating things can be finding the perfect place to enjoy your cigar. They don’t exactly have a mild smell, which means it’s not necessarily something you want to light up in the kitchen or family room. That and it doesn’t really add to the whole experience. Enjoying a cigar should be just that, which typically means a dedicated space.

So, if you’re looking to convert a room or garage of your house into a cigar room, giving you that perfect place to enjoy cigars year-round, then we’ve got some tips that you can use.

Pick the Spot for Your Cigar Room

The hardest part of creating a cigar room in your home is usually picking the best spot for the room to be located. You want to be sure it’s a room that won’t be multi-purpose, meaning it will also need to double as a family room, laundry room, storage room, etc. It needs to be its own dedicated space in order to be done properly. One of the most popular places homeowners pick is a small room in their basement. Even if this means you need to finish off a small room and throw up some walls and door, it will be worth it.

Ventilation – the Absolute Most Important Thing

Now that you’ve picked the spot, it’s time to tackle the most important thing in building a cigar room, and that’s providing adequate ventilation. There is no way around this step, whether your cigar room is small or large, it needs ventilation.

The Cigar Cafe recommends going with a small ventilation unit if you are just building a small cigar room in your house. Something such as the Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A will be able to ventilate a maximum of 815 square feet of space. If you’re right at that 800 square foot mark though, you may find that two units are necessary. This will not only clear the air better, but it will do it faster too.

A Source of Fresh Air

Whenever possible, you want to pick a space that also has a source of fresh air. Even with the proper ventilation unit, you’ll still find that fresh air is useful. The ventilation units work to get rid of the smoke, whereas the fresh air will help to clear out any smells that are lingering.

Invest in Cigar Storage

Now that you have the basics in place, it’s time to think about cigar storage. There is a large selection of storage units that are not only made for cigars but also add to the decor and atmosphere of the room. Remember, if the room is over 70 degrees, you risk damaging the cigars. You will want to keep this in mind with your storage too, which is why humidors work well.

Finish it Off with Furniture

The last step to finishing your cigar room is to add some comfy furniture pieces that are perfect for lounging. Leather is often the fabric of choice, as it helps to add to that whole cigar bar/lounge feel.

Business

5 Ways to Protect Your Business

November 8, 2017

So, you’ve taken the first step to becoming an entrepreneur and launched your business. You’ve poured hours of your time into your startup and have fought tooth and nail to get it off the ground. While you should be celebrating your success, you also need to think about how you will keep your business safe from cyber hackers, property damage and slander.

It’s never pleasant to plan for a worst case scenario – especially when it involves something as personal as your first business venture – but safeguarding your company is vital if you want to ensure growth and stability. With this in mind, here are five ways to protect your business.

Get Insurance Coverage

Even small companies need insurance, but the many different types of coverage can be confusing to new business owners. Put simply, general liability insurance will cover physical damage to your business property, whereas professional liability cover will protect your business from claims of negligence. You may also wish to consider a business owner’s policy for general coverage that includes any valuable business equipment as well as your premise itself. For further information and specialist business insurance, you can contact Bluedrop Services.

Install Anti-Virus Software

Anti-virus software is easy to use and will help protect your business against cyber attacks. Cyber attackers use malware to infiltrate a business network through emails, spam messages, and pop-up information. Regardless of how much profit you are making, your data is confidential, so you need to use appropriate protection software at the very least to ensure your information remains protected. For more information about anti-virus software and cyber attack protocols, consult your local online security specialist.

Understand Your Assets

Understanding your business’s assets and investments will help keep your profit in line. According to Bill McBean, author of The Facts of Business Life, new companies should put protecting their assets above all else and educate themselves as to what those investments represent. If you don’t, you could face financial pain down the line.

Prevent Failure

As well as preventing costly court fees and cyber attacks, you also need to think about protecting your business from failure. Considering that only around 30% of new businesses make it to the ten-year mark, this is easier said than done, but there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of success. As well as taking control of your business operations and keeping an eye on your assets, you also need to keep abreast of marketing trends to make sure your business stays current. If you find the world of Internet marketing overwhelming, you might want to consider bringing in an expert to help you expand your outreach.

Make Safety a Priority

Stepping out into the world of entrepreneurship is an exciting time, but the physical, financial and virtual safety of your organization should be your primary concern. Take steps to protect your business by taking out insurance coverage, using anti-virus software and protecting your assets to help you thrive.

Travel

Top 3 Summer Vacations for Families with Kids

November 8, 2017

Any parent who has ever had the misfortune of planning a family vacation that didn’t go over too well with the kids knows that it might have been better to simply stay at home bored, but that much richer. Too many times we plan family vacations based on what we think the kids will enjoy without taking into consideration their needs and desires.

Planning a Trip Everyone Can Enjoy

Yes, it’s your vacation time too, but why not choose something that the entire family will enjoy? You can actually spend much more time in leisure and less time battling ill-behaved kids if you plan a vacation that they will enjoy. According to some of the most well-respected trip sites online, children and teens alike enjoy time in the great outdoors. Forget those 5-star restaurants and Broadway plays in the Big Apple you’ve always wanted to visit. Are you looking for a bit of R&R? If so, these are the top 3 summer vacations for families with kids. Keep them happy and you might even have a few moments for yourselves as well!

1. Theme Parks

If there is one thing kids of all ages absolutely love, it would be all the amazing theme parks the country has to offer. From water parks to fantasy land and everything in between, there is no lack of exciting parks to enjoy throughout the year. It may be freezing cold in the Midwest in January, but South Florida or Southern California have water parks open 12 months out of every year. Take the kids to a theme park and you might even be able to wear them out enough so that you and hubby can enjoy an evening out on the town!

You’ll need a babysitter, of course, but that is easily remedied as well. Check out online listings of babysitters around the nation and you’ll see just how easy it will be to do a bit of mom and dad time while the kids rest for the next day’s fun in the sun.

2. Primitive Camping

Have you ever considered what it would be like to sit around a campfire roasting marshmallows with the kids, singing those same camp songs you sang as a kid and hiking through some of the loveliest forests this country has to offer? Most national forests and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands have free, or almost-free primitive campsites you can explore.

All you need is a tent large enough to accommodate the entire clan, some basic camping gear and a desire to leave the electronics behind. If you are not sure what kind of tent or gear you need, you can find all the answers you need on the My Family Tent website. If you are looking for a cost-effective vacation, this is your best bet.

3. A Trip to the Beach

Although booking a room on the beach might be a bit costly, especially during high seasons, most kids absolutely adore the beach. Whether they can swim or not, kids love to play in the sand, search for shells and sand dollars and wade in water that laps at their feet. Just remember to bring a high number SPF sunscreen along if you are not accustomed to being out in those blinding rays of the sun.

Taking a summer vacation with the kids needn’t cost an arm and a leg. From camping to spending a few days at a theme park, you can often find something that everyone enjoys well enough so that you have time (and money!) left over for mom and dad. It’s all about how you plan your next trip away, so start now and next year you’ll actually be able to say you had an enjoyable and restful vacation – maybe for the first time ever.