Monthly Archives

January 2018

Lifestyle

Wedding Trends to Watch Out For in 2018

January 31, 2018

Your wedding will be one of the most memorable and special days of your life. If you are planning your wedding for 2018, but have no idea where to start, then you are not alone. Classic, timeless touches will never go out of style, but 2018 is bringing some big up and coming trends that are worth considering. If you are looking for inspiration to make your special day stand out from the others, then check out these 2018 wedding trends that wedding planners from around the world have recently revealed.

It’s all about colour

The colour of the year has been revealed: ultraviolet. While last year the trend was greenery, and we saw an influx of brides opting for green décor and nature-themed elements, wedding experts are now saying tout purple is the colour of 2018. Specialists are saying that the colour is all about ‘drama’ and those darker, detailed and more textured colours.

In line with this, the focus is not just the colour of the flowers but also the vases too. Grace & Thorn founder Nik Southern says Brides are loving the eclectic mix of vintage and new pieces. Coloured glass, geometric shapes, concrete and vintage cut glass.’ And On the flower front? Nik says, ‘The bolder the better, pastels with a punch of colour if you want to play it safe.’

The wedding dress

While brides have experimented with different colours and dress types for years now, it is rare to find black accents in a bridal gown. However, this year, designers have taken bridal fashion to new levels which are blowing bride’s expectations! Designers have created a dress that gives a modern and monochromatic effect that ties in perfectly with this year’s ‘drama’ vibe. Take inspiration from Vera Wang, Marchesa and Reem Acra Spring 2018 bridal collections.

The venue

While the traditional church wedding remains ever popular, wedding planners are noting that many couples are looking for something modern and unique. Hitched Editor, Sarah, says: ‘It is becoming clear that more and more brides are looking for a unique and alternative venue to really show off their individuality’. Wanting a unique wedding venue is all the rage in 2018, with many brides turning towards industrial looking venues. This might seem bizarre at first, but these create a blank canvas for you to work with, so you can truly go to town with your décor. Also, in line with the modern and architectural design is the trend for translucence tents (often with floor-to-ceiling windows). If you don’t want to celebrate with a marquee, then designers are saying that you can incorporate this trend into your special day through glass tables. Ukweddingsavings.co.uk are on board with these 2018 wedding trends, and while most of their weddings are the traditional style in barns, hotels, manor houses and castles, many of their unique wedding venues will accommodate any theme or décor you want – as quirky or designed as it may be.

Quirky food alternatives

When it comes to food, it seems that the boho theme is creeping into this year’s favourites. Modern couples are often choosing food they love, rather than opting for the traditional three-course set menu. Popular trends have included big sharing plates to food vans and portable pizza ovens. For 2018, experts predict even more alternative options such as Mexican and Japanese.

Lifestyle

5 Things You Should Know Before You Become A Vet

January 28, 2018

One of the most well-compensated jobs where you could quickly specialize in different areas is veterinary medicine. Vets are just like doctors, but with a twist since their patients are not able to talk. Loving animals is not the only skill set you will require since the work can be challenging and sometimes difficult. Here are five things you should know before you become a veterinarian to determine whether it is your idea career path or not.

1, Education And Licensing

You need to earn a doctor of veterinary medicine degree before you become a fully licensed vet. It is crucial that you start with a bachelor’s degree in a science field, for example, chemistry, biology, zoology, and animal science, before you qualify for veterinary school. The veterinary course takes four years and you will need to take national and state licensing exams thereafter. There are a lot of vet tech schools in Colorado that could help you get started on your journey to becoming a vet.

2. Specialities

Many people think that the veterinary field deals solely with either small animals or large animals, which is not true. There is a total of 40 different specialty certifications in the veterinary field that you could decide to venture into. You may even opt to work in the infectious disease field, researching on how diseases spread from animals to people. You could also specialize in dentistry or become a veterinary surgeon of a specific kind of animal.

3. There is a Lot of Mess Involved

If you are not comfortable with the sight of blood, then you may need to reconsider veterinary medicine as your career choice. Vets occasionally perform surgeries, treat bleeding wounds, assist in births, and deal with body fluids from their patients. You will need a tough stomach if you want to get your job done diligently and successfully.

4. Expected Salary

An ordinary vet should expect an average annual salary of about $93,250 per year, which is quite substantial. In the event that you need a higher pay, then you could opt for industrial jobs like medicine manufacturing and scientific research that pays somewhere around $120,000 per year on average. Different states pay different salaries, and you should do extensive research to find a state that will be more accommodating to your veterinary career.

5. People Skills Are Important

Even though you deal with animals, you need to be able to communicate with the different owners of your patients efficiently. You will need to provide care instructions to the animal owners, and it needs to be in a friendly manner with lots of emphasis on critical points. From time to time you might also need to break some bad news to a pet’s owner. You will most definitely require strong social skills to succeed in the veterinary field.

Conclusion

The veterinary field is competitive, and you will need to be passionate if you want to succeed. You also need to be in it for the long haul since the field is very vast.

Technology

The Clear Threat of Ransomware Attacks

January 28, 2018

There has been a recent rise in ransomware attacks, and no organisation seems to be safe — including services that are publicly owned, such as education centres. To find out how we can prevent ransomware attacks within the education sector, we take a closer look:

Are universities prone to ransomware attacks?

Statements from a Freedom of Information request say that over 63% of universities experienced an attack by cyberterrorists where a ransom was demanded. 56% of those had suffered from an attack in the past year. Bournemouth University suffered from 21 ransomware attacks in the same year showing that ransomware attacks are common in education institutions.

With so many ransomware attacks being carried out, you would expect universities to let the authorities deal with it — however, most preferred to deal with the situation independently except from Brunel in London who reported the incident.

Knowledge is key

Understanding the influence a ransomware attack can have on a university is vital — because then, methods of defence become clearer. Speaking generally, ransomware attacks can break a business, and this is something that all business owners want to avoid if they wish to remain successful. However, this can cause a great deal of damage for those operating in the education sector. After acknowledging the problem, it all comes down to user education — knowledge is key and the correct tools should be provided to make people aware of potential risks.

We’ve partnered up with KBR, wifi in school installers to see what you can do to help prevent ransomware attacks within your organisation:

Publishing specified security policies

Specified policies on how to deal with security issues for different systems within the organisation is essential. When this is issued to individuals, whether this is staff within an education institute or students, they should be able to have a clear understanding of what it means. To achieve this, it is worth producing specific security policies for different departments so it relates to their role. Usually a policy that is created for everyone leads to misunderstanding and a higher risk of security problems.

Creating an understanding of the organisation

As the education sector sees new people coming in at a constant rate, you need to ensure that they have knowledge on the security policies in place. You should outline their personal responsibility in their contracts to show that when they sign the contract, they are aware of potential consequences they might face for any misconduct when it comes to security. This should be included in the induction stage of their contract or initiation.

Conducting regular training sessions

Training is something that should happen on a regular basis, this will lead to people within the organisation being knowledgeable when working with systems and the potential threats they could encounter. Security advice can always change, so making training a more regular occurrence in the business can be beneficial and open room for discussion and constant learning opportunities that will transfer to their role.

Enabling a report-procedure for any threats

If there is a viable procedure in place that can enable people to come forward about potential threats, they will — but if there is no effort made by management, individuals might find reporting an issue more difficult. This should be embedded into universities’ culture and make those working with the system aware that they must report any incidents.

Policies and non-compliers

After you have a final draft of your organisations policies that are made available to everyone, you should begin to determine what the consequences may be for people who do not comply.  This will lead to a more knowledgeable workforce that will put the best interests of your company’s security at the top of their priorities.

Top 10: Industries suffering ransomware attacks

Educational institutes suffered from the most majority sectors, with 23%. IT/telecommunications come in second place with 22%. The entertainment and financial services join in third place with 21%. The construction industry is in fourth place with 19%. The government and the manufacturing industries suffer from 18% of ransomware attacks. The transport sector is privy to 17% of attacks, while the healthcare sector and retail/wholesale/leisure come in at 16%.

Business

SEO Basics: How to Make Your Website Google-Friendly

January 27, 2018

Having a website does not guarantee your business will be successful or achieve its full financial potential if you don’t have search engine optimization (SEO).

With Google being the most popular search engine, you have to create a high-quality website that is SEO friendly, which in turn makes it Google friendly.

You can make your site Google friendly by following these steps.

SEO Basics

Some people thing SEO simply means using a few keywords a lot, which isn’t true. The first order of business is making sure your keywords fit naturally instead of forcing it.

You should also have a short, attention-grabbing headline that include your main keyword.

Make sure you put your keyword close to the top your webpage at least once. You should also use the keyword a few times in the rest of the page in different variations.

These days, Google’s focus is on useful content that is consistently updated. The content also has to be relevant.

Before Google recommends your website to their users, they need to know that it is a legitimate website with something to offer. Post new content on your website everyday if you want to be taken seriously.

Another thing to remember is that your website is viewed by real people who will also read the content on the page so make sure whatever you put there can be read easily and flows naturally. if your visitors can’t understand what you’re trying to say, they won’t be return to your site, which will impact your business and Google search ranking too. You need to make your content Google friendly as well as people friendly.

Using the Right Keywords

As previously mentioned, using keywords matter with SEO, but you can’t use just any keywords. In fact, if you optimize your website with the wrong keywords, even if it is related to your field, you would have wasted your time.

You will have to figure out how people are searching for information then use it to tailor your website.

Let’s say your niche is MMA, The keyword “MMA beginners” results in just 3,000 to 30,000 searches per month in the U.S, but “MMA for beginners” has 80,000 to 400,000. This shows you that you need to optimize your webpage for MMA for beginners.

You can search for the right keywords using Google adwords.

The great thing is you can do all of this on your own if you don’t want to spend money to hire a professional to do your website design. But if you can afford it, it is always better to let the professionals do the hard work for you.

Lifestyle

How to Transform Your Garage into a Man Cave

January 25, 2018

Every man deserves a man cave. Staying around the house all the time with your wife and kids can wear out even the most resilient men. A man cave allows a man to have a space where he can meditate away from the daily pressures of family. It is also the perfect plan to hang out with his friends with zero inhibitions. If your home has an alternative space where you can park your car, then you should consider transforming your garage into a man cave. Instead of spending lots of money building a new house to create a man cave, take time and learn how you can transform that garage into a comfortable, relatively spacious man cave.

The Man Cave Plan

Before the actual work of converting the garage space into a man cave can begin, you’ll need to take time to plan how you want the space to look like when all the work is done. Some men prefer their man caves to be considerably primitive while others want to achieve a modern look that can compete with the rest of their home. If you intend to use the space as a living space both night and day, then the latter look would be ideal. In such a plan, factors like air conditioning, insulation and heating must come into play. But if you want a simple space to socialize with your friends a few hours a week, then something simpler would suffice.

The Garage Walls

Most garage walls do not have insulation. Given that they also do not benefit from the air conditioning and heating systems you have installed in the rest of your home, an effective conversion must include insulating those walls. For unfinished garages, consider installing the insulation materials between the garage wall studs. You can close up that insulation by putting up a drywall and painting it.

Remember to clearly mark the locations of the studs. You will need them when hanging your flat screen TVs and basketball hoops. While working on the walls, consider a garage door opener system. Visit garagedooropenersystem.net and see which system would best work for the type of man cave you are designing.

The Floor

Insulating the garage floor will eliminate the cold that concrete floors are known for. You can do this by installing floorboards or a carpet. A faster way to insulate the floor is by using large rugs. Insulating the walls is important if you don’t intend to stay idly on the sofa all day. You friends will want to play some competitive indoor games like darts. Leaving the floor uninsulated will make it nearly impossible to do so.

Man Cave Accoutrements

No man cave would be complete without its fair share of accoutrements. These accessories will bring out the difference between your family home and your personal space. Some men prefer a dive bar look where they can relax with their male friends playing chess or darts. Instead of the usual living room furniture, you may want to experiment with stacked up beer crates with some cushions for added comfort. Remember to add a liquor cabinet, a wine rack, a humidor and a kegerator.

A garage may seem like an unlikely place to create a man cave that you can comfortably hang out with your male friends, yet, with a little effort, you can turn an average-sized garage into a striking man cave that you can crawl into every time you want to take a break from your usual family engagements.

Lifestyle

How to boost mind, mood and fitness in 2018

January 24, 2018

2018 is up and running — so what’s happening with your New Year’s resolutions? According to Business Insider UK, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, but ever since the dawn of gyms, diets and online tutorials, people have kept pledging their loyalty to a new health regime or skill-enhancing class at the turn of the new year.

What you need is a New year’s resolution that’s fun and achievable. To help, why not check out these New Year resolutions for boosting mind, mood and body that don’t revolve around sensible eating and joining a gym?

What’s your job doing for you?

Before we hit the age of 32, chances are that we’ll switch job roles about four times, on average. While this could be due to indecisiveness and an open job market, it could also suggest that we’re generally dissatisfied with our jobs — and since we spend most of our day at work, this is a massive part of our lives to put up with if we’re not happy. The Health and Safety Executive states that more than half a million workers suffered from anxiety or depression during 2016/17, which can lead to further health problems if left untreated.    

How do you prevent getting down about your job? By making sure that it’s making you happy — and 2018 is your time to do it. This doesn’t mean quitting tomorrow, of course. Perhaps you feel that you just need a creative outlet for some of your ideas. In which case, you can start a blog using WordPress — there are plenty of how-to guides and SEO-related articles to help you get your voice heard online.

Maybe you love your job but don’t think it’s going anywhere. If so, search for relevant courses and ask for external training from your HR department to help you climb the career ladder. Or is it company morale that’s getting you down? Corporate days out are growing massively in popularity, so suggest a team-building trip somewhere to lift everyone’s spirits. Sports venues are particularly good for getting people working together in a fun, relaxed environment.

Aside from these larger work-style changes, maybe all you need is to create a more positive atmosphere during working hours. Even something as simple as re-decorating your office or desk, arranging a night out with your team or organising Friday afternoon quizzes can lift spirits and make work a little easier to endure.  

Make time for family

When we’re stressed with work or trying to drop two stone in weight, it’s easy to neglect those at home. So, use 2018 to make more time for family. This might sound easy, but if you cast your mind back to 2017, you’re probably only able to pick out a handful of memorable moments that you’ve spent with your loved ones.

But, make sure that this is quality, even unforgettable, family- time — not just the odd cinema date where you all sit in silence then come home and sit in separate rooms in the home. Climb Ben Nevis, go whale-watching, hike through a national park, kayak down your nearest river, or do a sponsored abseil. Big events give your family a collective goal to achieve, which means you get to train and prepare together, as well as make a long-lasting memory at the end.

This resolution is actually well worth considering, as it could even provide health benefits! According to the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, single people have a higher risk of developing dementia, while New York University found that married people suffer less from cardiovascular disease than singletons. Similarly, family holidays can improve your emotional wellbeing. The Journals of Vacation Marketing found that people waiting to go on holiday felt happier with their lives and experienced less negative emotions. So, pepper 2018 with a handful of family holidays somewhere you’ve all never visited before to keep moods high in your home.

Shake-up your diet

If you’re serious about shifting the pounds but always seem to falter with your diet by the end of January, you need to put a more exciting and engaging spin on your new healthy-eating lifestyle.

Search online and find healthy ingredients you’ve never heard of from across the world. Then, find a way to incorporate these into your diet every week. Harissa, a chili paste from northern Africa, is believed to have cancer-protective qualities and tastes great in soups, while lucuma (from Peru) makes a perfect snack and contains carotene that can reportedly reduce the effects of ageing. For breakfast, put some chia seeds in your porridge — this food comes from Mexico and offers a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

Not consuming enough nutritious foods puts you at risk of obesity along with a range of medical issues — but we all know how hard it is to swap bad treats for good foods.

New sports

Treadmills and weight-lifting do the job, but they’re often too tedious for us to keep up for too long. If you want to get fit and stick to it, try taking up a more extreme activity.

How about a snow sport? These are always fun and take time for you to master, so you have something to work toward to hold your interest. Enroll in snowboarding lessons or give skiing lessons a go if it’s more your thing. Adrenaline-pumping sports like these also encourage your body to release endorphins — which are neurochemicals that create a feeling of happiness and lower stress — while a study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, showed that regular exercise reduced the chances of developing depression.  

Of course, you’re in this to get fit, not just improve your mental wellbeing. Did you know that an average adult can burn between 250 and 630 calories every hour while skiing or snowboarding? Even better, the exercise tests your balance and works all your major muscle groups to help you tone up quickly.

Record-breaking pursuits

Tackling and mastering a new sport is quite an achievement, but how about breaking a world record? According to psychology experts, mastering a talent instils a feeling of accomplishment that can help to reduce the risks of depression and improve mental wellbeing.

Make 2018 stand out by getting your name in the world records! Considering that one of the most recent examples of creating a world record was for most people playing the same tune on a single piano; you can surely think of something equally bizarre but achievable.

Make 2018 special and try one — or all of these resolutions!

Sources:

http://uk.businessinsider.com/new-years-resolutions-courses-2016-12/#learn-a-new-language-4

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-03/nlmc-mpl032714.php

http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/early/2017/10/30/jnnp-2017-316274

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/135676670200800406

https://www.livestrong.com/article/117387-calories-burned-snowboarding/

https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.16111223

http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-snowboarding/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/06/11/two-thirds-adults-eat-three-fewer-portions-fruit-veg-day-raising/

https://eluxemagazine.com/magazine/20-superfoods/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/the-ultimate-everyday-superfood-grocery-list/

http://time.com/4121973/the-50-new-healthiest-foods-of-all-time-with-recipes/  

Lifestyle

Choosing the Right Career Path

January 23, 2018

It’s easier than ever to define yourself as a person nowadays and to choose the right path to follow. It used to be quite hard in the past, with limited access to information and constant doubt about the future, but we now have very good ways to find out what our skills can be used for, and what the most viable applications for them are.

It is never too late to start thinking about what kind of career you want to create for yourself, and while it’s impossible to give you a more personalized hint without knowing what you’re capable of and what your main fields of interest are, there are some general points that most people should keep in mind.

Money Is Not Everything

Don’t make the mistake of jumping on the most lucrative career paths, thinking that no other option is even worth checking out. There’s something for everyone out there, and while it’s true that some jobs pay significantly better than others, that also comes with its own price. The stress levels that have to be endured by someone working in the legal and medical fields can be unbelievable.

If you can’t see yourself handling something like that, you should probably pursue a career in a different path; one that doesn’t come with so much stress attached.

Look for an Interesting Niche

Don’t stick to the mainstream either – look for jobs in more interesting, unexplored niches that might fit your skill set better. For example, if you’re good working with numbers, it can’t hurt to check best-medicalbillingcoding.com for some recommendations on medical billing and coding schools. It’s an interesting career choice that can come with great earnings and a good potential for development, and the fact that not many people are pursuing it right now makes it ideal for those who are looking for something more original.

There are tons of niches just waiting to be filled, so don’t limit yourself by sticking to what’s on the surface, and always be willing to explore more.

Don’t Ignore the Arts!

There’s a common misconception that an arts degree is a waste of money, but that’s a cliché that needs to die. Look around you – in fact, look in front of you, right on your monitor. All those fancy menus, sites and apps you’re using – who do you think designs all that? The modern digital world is not all about programming, and there’s a real need for people who understand how art works and what a good design is.

Various art and design fields are seeing a revival nowadays, so you should definitely check out what some of those degrees have to offer. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artistic person, remember that this is something that can be learned, and it’s not a skill people are naturally born with. Exploring that career path can be quite lucrative if you have the knack for it too, so see what’s available and how you can put your skills to the best use. Don’t forget that even architecture relies on art to a large degree!

 

Lifestyle

Blue Monday

January 21, 2018

If you woke up on Monday, feeling thoroughly fed up with your life in general, you may not have been alone. Apparently, it was ‘Blue Monday’ which is officially the most depressing day of the year!

Blue Monday typically falls on the third Monday in January, the concept of it being the ‘most depressing day’ was first publicised in 2005 as part of a marketing campaign by a holiday company. The campaign was put together in a bid to encourage people to cheer themselves up by booking a holiday to give themselves something to look forward to, the company commissioned a university academic to determine the most depressing day of the year.

Dr Cliff Arnall was a tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning attached to Cardiff University at the time. He devised a formula, predicting the glummest day of the year. It took into account factors such as debts left from Christmas rolling in, the blues from Christmas and New Years, failing New Year resolutions, lack of motivation, short days and miserable weather conditions, the amount of days until the next holiday and so on. According to his Dr Arnall’s equation, the most misery-filled day would typically fall on the third Monday in January, which is now called ‘Blue Monday’.

Other academics were quick to criticise his formula as #’nonsensical pseudoscience’, and even Cardiff University too steps to distance itself from Dr Arnall’s concept. But the idea of Blue Monday hit it off with the public, who were certainly feeling at a low point in mid to late January. It was soon featured heavily across social media platforms, not just in the UK but spreading the northern hemisphere.

Over a dozen years later, the idea of Blue Monday is ingrained amongst us in popular culture, even printed on some calendars. Some retailers, both online and in the real world, even use ‘Blue Monday’ as a stage for quick sale, offering special discounts for 24 hours to help people beat the blues with ‘retail therapy’ by grapping bargains.

The ‘inventor’ of Blue Monday, Dr Arnall, who you might think is all about doom and gloom but on the contrary, it’s far from it. He now runs happiness and confidence sessions for larger organisations such as the NHS and the Department of Work and Pensions, advising people on strategies to improve motivation and job satisfaction in themselves and others.

Working on the basis that for every negative there is a positive, Dr Arnall was also commissioned – this time by an ice cream company – to come up with a formula for the happiest day of the year. In 2005 it fell on June 24th and it has been around that date in mid to late June ever since. It is usually on a Friday – just before the weekend – and close to the longest day of the year, giving more opportunity for outdoor leisure pursuits, hopefully in the sunshine.

And Dr Arnall insists people can cheer themselves up on any day of the year, by focusing on things they can change. He suggests people can use Blue Monday as the starting point for making an improvement, whether it is to their health, career, relationships or any other aspect of their life.

“The easiest way to be happy is spending more time with people who love you and like you as you are,” he said.

Source:

Acorn Stairlifts