Monthly Archives

April 2018


4 Ways to Find your Zen at the Weekends

April 30, 2018

After a long week at work, there is nothing we look forward to more than a relaxing weekend. Unsurprisingly, if many of us don’t get that perfect break of a stress-free weekend, we don’t embrace Monday mornings at our best.

Finding Zen can awaken your mind to fresh possibilities, manage your day-to-day life with a stronger frame of mind and, ultimately, gain inner peace.

Zen is a state of mind. It is a mind free of illusions and distractions; achieving true liberation and happiness with oneself.

So it’s time to get your mind out of work and enjoy a bit of self-love. Take a look below to find your perfect way to achieving true Zen this weekend.

Zen Meditation

Living each day like it’s a 100 metre race to the finish line is exhausting. It will consume all your energy, leaving you very little left over to enjoy the weekend. In this scenario, you may find yourself searching for some stillness, peace and serenity.

Meditation is believed to be the key to unlocking true Zen. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School explained how 80% of visits to the doctor is stress related. The study explored how Zen meditation can improve your health and revealed that with meditation people experienced a 28% reduction in stress levels and a 20% improvement in sleep each night which undeniably helps them to be more productive during the day and happier in general.

You’ll need to think about your meditation space, where you are able to achieve Zen, as choosing the right place is essential. It will be a place you can escape to, recharge your energy and find inner peace. Find a room or an area in your home you feel comfortable in and personalise it into your own sanctuary. This could include enhancing the room with natural colours, aromatic scents and a touch of nature with some green potted plants. It could even be in your garden, or a quiet area in the local park if you prefer to be surrounded by nature. Wherever you decide upon, your meditation space will be a safe haven for you to listen to your soul and find your Zen.

Zen Yoga

If you wish to actively change your mental and physical state, Zen yoga is the way to go.

This form of yoga refers to the practises than can be recognised within Zen Buddhism traditions. Some Zen temples in the west include yoga styled exercises that are performed each morning to help unlock the body and the mind to complement the Zen training and teachings.

Zen yoga will train you to entirely immerse yourself in the activity. It combines physical movement, gentle stretching with mindful breathing techniques to strengthen both the mind and the body.  You can attend Zen yoga classes to learn the age-old practise and realise the amazing benefits. Embracing yourself in Zen yoga each weekend will allow those living a sedentary lifestyle to gently improve their physically health, as well as reduce stress and increase energy.  

Adrenaline Zen

Not all of us are alike – some of us love the peace and quiet when trying to find our Zen, but others find it difficult to stay still for long periods of time.

Often we refer to achieving a Zen state of mind as slowing down, however, doing something that gets your heart racing can also appeal to your inner peace. You could look at adrenaline and Zen as the yin and yang, two opposite components, to mental wellbeing. So doing something spontaneous and thrilling could help you find happiness within yourself in a way you wouldn’t have thought.   

When adrenaline is released into the body you experience a heightened state of physical and mental alertness, unlocking the best of your brain power. When your bloodstream is pumping with this hormone, the brain is oxygenated, fully engaged, laser-focused and can complete cognitive tasks much more efficiently. You feel an enormous sense of accomplishment once the task is completed, fuelling a rush of happiness within yourself:  some find Zen by tapping into their inner strength with a kick of adrenaline.

You could get your heart racing by doing something as exhilarating as sky diving or as tense as a boot camp where you face challenges to complete a mission. Choose something new and thrilling that will get you out of your comfort zone at the weekends. Even a little adrenaline, in small doses for a short duration, can give you a boost of energy and help you find your own way to Zen.     

Indulgent Zen

Sometimes to find Zen you have to get away for the weekend and indulge in some self-love. Take time out to enjoy your surroundings and immerse yourself in nature. If you’re looking to be inspired, there are plenty of walking routes in The New Forest where you can indulge yourself in the sights, the smells and sounds of nature around you.

You can book yourself an Away Resorts New Forest Holiday and indulge yourself by staying in a luxury lodge during your stay. Here, within the peace and tranquillity, you can be alone with your thoughts and remember the importance of self-care. By taking yourself away at the weekend, it can help you to stop for a moment in your busy life and take the time to understand your own thoughts and feelings better. The teaching of Zen focuses on the importance of ‘becoming one’ with yourself and achieving true of peace of mind. Indulging yourself and taking yourself away for the weekend for some ‘you time’ can help you regain your focus and clear your mind.


The Cambridge Analytica Scandal Explained

April 28, 2018

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has rocked the world and captured the attention of media organizations across the globe. The complicated and tangled web of relationships and deals which have underpinned this whole ordeal makes for a complex story. In fact, given the relevance of the story to all of us in today’s society, it is a shame that more people don’t fully understand what has occurred.

The Quick Version

The most condensed version of events that we can offer is this – somewhere in the region of 87 million Facebook users, as well as an unspecified number of their friends who were not signed up to the service, was misappropriated by a researcher who worked for Cambridge Analytica. The reason that this is so significant is because Cambridge Analytica worked for the Trump campaign as a consulting service.

As well as the unauthorized use of data, there have been hints of other scandals. For example, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, reached out to Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks and broad supporter of Donald Trump. Nix offered Assange information about the existence of emails which had been stolen from hacked Democratic National Committee servers.

The entire scandal has made many people more conscious about the security of the data and information that they put online. If you are wondering about your own data in the wake of the scandal, Secure Data have a number of relevant articles on their blog.

The Trump Connection

The consulting firm Cambridge Analytica was founded by the conservative mega donors Rebekah and Robert Mercer, as well as Trump’s ex-chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Upon the firms founding, Bannon was appointed as its vice president and during the 2016 election he reached out to the Trump campaign and acted as the middle man between the two sides.

Where Did the Data Come From?

The big question throughout all of this has been where Cambridge Analytica got its data from, and to what extent Facebook is complicit in the collection and dissemination of that data. Some have suggested that Facebook has known more about events than they have let on.

It seems that in this case, a researcher by the name of Aleksandr Kogan was the one who siphoned off the data and passed it on to Cambridge Analytics. Kogan obtained the data by making a simple quiz for Facebook users to take. Not only did this quiz in fact collect user data, it also gathered data from friends of those who took the quiz.

This has exposed a serious loophole in Facebook’s API, while those who took the quiz initially may have given permission for their data to be harvested, their friends had their data collected whether they consented or not.

What this scandal means for the future remains to be seen. In the short term, at least, it has greatly increased awareness of the importance of data security and of keeping our personal information private. There was a time when anonymity was one of the main features of the internet. Today, people are more than willing to reveal their real identities when online.


How can you use leaflets to advertise your beauty business?

April 27, 2018

When Groupon carried out a study on beauty expenditure, they discovered that an astounding £70,000 is how much women spend on their appearances — that’s £1,352 per year. It seems that there is serious money to be made in the beauty industry — so how do you get ahead and attract customers over your competitors?  

You don’t need to think too technical, cost-effective print leaflets or booklet printing could be beneficial. Here, we’re going to look at why leaflet marketing might be the perfect option to boost profits and brand awareness in 2018…

A cost-effective solution

Printed leaflets are a great way to advertise and maximise exposure without breaking the bank. Despite common misconceptions that claim digital to be a free-of-charge platform for effective marketing techniques, your print material may actually be more effective than anything you could create digitally. A study that looked at the efficiency of print media compared to digital platforms including online banners conducted by research firm, GfK, showed that print ads provided the highest ROI: 120%. Perhaps digital is not as useful as anticipated.

Well-targeted advertising

Understanding your target market is key and the starting point of any successful campaign. If you own a beauty company, women between the ages of 18 and 34 are your largest audience, as they make up the greatest part of the cosmetics market. But, how do you contact these women specifically? Make your leaflet marketing strategy a direct mail campaign! Direct mail is a form of marketing that helps companies send promotional material to a targeted group of current or potential customers. Therefore, you can reduce waste, save on over-ordering at the printer, and increase the chance that your leaflet will reach the right person.

Reach your target market directly through direct mail. To do this, start by either conducting your own target audience research — for example, by using social media or surveys — or purchasing key data, like ages and addresses, from third-party sites.

Marketing by mail

If you operate in the beauty industry, you’ll know that it is very competitive. In fact, the amount of cash that’s in the sector makes it a popular one for start-up entrepreneurs. According to recent data, the global skincare, beauty and cosmetics industry is anticipated to reach a worth of $675 million by 2020. With a value of around £17 billion in the UK and employing more than one million people, these figures show that beauty is a lucrative and attractive line of business. So, how do you stand out?

Don’t feel pressure to go digital. If other brands are keeping their advertising online, go against the grain and invest in print! You probably already have a Facebook page and Instagram account to keep in touch with your clients, as well as an email database to send out deals as you wish. Therefore, opting for a print marketing campaign will allow you to widen your net and reach an offline audience, as well as do something your competitors possibly aren’t.

Studies have shown that print material is a successful marketing technique too. Printed direct mail items require approximately 20% less brain effort to process than digital media, according to research by a neuromarketing firm, which suggests that it is simpler to understand and store in our memories. In a recall test, 75% of those taking part were able to recall the business name after viewing it on a direct mail ad, compared to only 44% who were able to after seeing it on a digital ad. Could it be that beauty brands that put all their ads and offers online are missing a trick?

Make sure your target market knows who you are

Your leaflet must be suitable for all clients. Even customers who visit often may start looking elsewhere, so work to attract and retain!

To maximise your ROI, you want your brand to come to mind when your customer needs something that you offer. Did you know that 45% of people keep leaflets on a board or in a drawer, according to the Direct Marketing Association? While digital ads disappear, you can create an attractive, lightweight leaflet that your potential customer will be inclined to pin on a wall or on their fridge where they’ll have a constant reminder of your services and products.

Let everyone know about your promotions

Everyone should know if you’ve got an offer on! Beauty customers are also bargain hunters, and it could be that your leaflet might be the perfect platform for a too-good-to-miss deal! 57% of shoppers are encouraged to buy for the first time when they are given the chance to redeem a coupon, according to VoucherCloud, and 80% of consumers claim to use coupons regularly. If you’re looking to advertise new cosmetics or attract new customers for a flagging treatment, a leaflet that acts as a voucher can clearly help.

Studies we talked about earlier showed that we can retain more information from print than from digital. So, could your audience gain extra time to act on the attractive discount you’re offering if you place it on a leaflet, rather than a pop-up ad or generic email? Possibly. To help, give a time limit on your offer and highlight this with a bold, coloured font on your leaflet to give your audience an effective reminder to act fast, too!

Your leaflets should be appealing

According to research, you have 50 microseconds to make a good first impression! Consequently, it makes sense to use promotional material — whether it’s a simple leaflet or a chunky saddle-stitch brochure — that creates an instant impact, immediately signals your USPs, and is positively and attractively presented. A leaflet, unlike a brochure or pamphlet that can feature several pages, allows you to condense the very best of your services and products into one, easy-to-read page for maximum effect.

It’s likely that your customers are conscious about their appearance. A Consumer Insights 2017 report by Cosmetics Europe found that 71% of consumers believe that cosmetic and personal care are ‘important or very important in their daily lives’ — this makes offering your customers a beautifully designed leaflet all the more necessary and effective.

When designing your leaflets decide whether you find them attractive. Use complementary colours to create a pleasant aesthetic and high-quality images — nothing pixelated — featuring real people enjoying one of your treatments. According to 3M, a science-based tech company, humans process images 60,000 times faster than text. Therefore, incorporating two descriptive photos in your leaflet is likely to improve how much about your beauty business the reader takes in — which should mean they’re more likely to consider you.

It’s clear to see that one leaflet has great potential! Research ideas and print companies online today to find the ideal leaflet design to enhance and promote your brand in 2018!



How to create the right ambiance in your home

April 26, 2018

Creating the right ambiance in your room is essential for you to enjoy the space. From pendant lights to cosy furnishings at the dining table, adding the softer touches to your interior design can help to create a room with character, atmosphere and a mood.


Textures around the home need not be uniform. In fact, if you’re looking to achieve an informal, cosy setting then steer clear of a regimented list of restricted textures and you’ll find textures that marry well irrespective of their feel or material. Mirrors and glass objects are a good accent to any texture. To create a broody feel, consider rich, dark veneers. For a softer touch, incorporate silk upholstery, velvet floor length curtains and hints of aged brass and copper.


Feeling blue, or green with envy – colour has long been associated with our feelings and can easily influence our mood.

The first thing to consider when introducing colour is the size of the room. If your kitchen is small, you’ll want the space to be bright and airy so you might opt for predominately lighter shades for the walls or cabinetry. That way cooking need not be a dark and isolating experience. A restricted pale palette also makes for a sleek aesthetic that can be personalised with splashes of colour and will have you staying on trend for 2018. Ideal Home has aptly named this the ‘Unicorn-inspired’ trend featuring pale blues and pinks, personalised with glinting bronze and metal.

However, large open plan kitchen diners lend themselves to darker hues as they can take a stronger palette without the room feeling too restrictive or oppressive. Dark blue cabinets, as House Beautiful have predicted, are set to be the most popular colour choice this year for modern kitchens. The second thing you’ll need to consider is the lighting in each room, so, consider where and how natural light may shine. The personal palette will vary from client to client and it is important for kitchen designers and interior designers alike to use their expertise to help their clients make informed choices about colour schemes. The option of hand painted cabinetry allows you to experiment with changing trends, but also gives you an authentic texture on the wood that you simply can’t achieve with spray paint finish.

Using Pinterest, or creating a physical mood board, is a great place for you to start collecting ideas and visualising colour schemes without committing to buying the paint pots or putting any brushes to the wall. When pulling together ideas, keep a few questions in mind such as How do I want to use this space? What impact will lighting have on these colours? Or What is the psychology of this colour? The kitchen or living room (usually whichever is the biggest room in the home) is the best place to start as these are likely to be your most centrally located rooms and all other palettes branch off from here. Paint this larger room in a bold colour, and work around the home either complimenting the first shade, contrasting it or matching with a soft, neutral hue.

With each colour, comes a different mood as it helps stimulate a particular feeling:

  • Pink: connotations of love and peace – suited to a restful space in the home, such as the bedroom.
  • Red: connotations of passion and danger – suited to a warm, sociable environment such as the dining room.
  • Orange: connotations of stability – suited to a lively space in the home such as the living or dining room.
  • Yellow: a warm and positive colour – suited to a bright and lively space such as the kitchen or dining room.
  • Green: a calming colour resembling nature – suited to a restful space such as the bedroom or living room.
  • Blue: a calm, soothing colour – suited to a cool and relaxing space such as the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom.
  • White: a bright colour opening up a space – suited to a light and airy environment such as kitchen, bedroom or bathroom.


Don’t underestimate the impact of lighting. Different rooms around the home require different styles of lighting due to the nature of tasks and activities that go on in each space. Even within a room, it is vital that you use more than one type of lighting if you are to achieve any sort of ambiance.

Take the living room. An area will be dedicated to watching TV and will need ceiling lights, possibly on a dimmer, so that the right light can be achieved throughout the day and when the curtains are drawn. One corner may serve as a dedicated reading spot; if so, then a floor lamp that provides a softer light closer overhead will make a world of difference.

Working, dining and relaxing in the correct light is essential for enjoying your kitchen. To create the right ambiance in the kitchen, invest in pendant lights – perhaps in varying heights – and with a warm temperature to the bulb. Plinth lighting is also a clever way to add warmth as well as a focal point to the design; this has a particularly striking effect on an island, giving the illusion of ‘floating cabinets’.

Creating the right ambiance in your home is very much a subjective topic and the list above should act as a guide. Other ways to improve the ambiance in your home include transforming a space with scent and layering different aromas. Changing colours, textures, smells and lighting are all simple, inexpensive ways of changing how a room feels.




Introducing the Finest of Watch Brands

April 26, 2018

We express ourselves through a variety of mediums: our facial expressions, the language we use, our tone of voice, the way we move our bodies, and by our clothes and style choices. 90% of communication is non-verbal, and so even the finer of details can give an observer clear insight into what we are all about.

It’s a wake-up call to how much attention we should pay to the finer details about our being.

Success and wellbeing are attractive traits to replicate and display, after all, they are earned through hard work and efficiency, and through the ability to manage oneself through the trials and tribulations of life while accomplishing goals.

Luxury brands epitomize what it is to be successful. They are an outward but often subtle sign of achievement, and they provoke a collective appreciation of what is valued within society: quality, craftsmanship, and style.

These are the very reasons how Bucherer have remained the leaders of luxury watch retailers. Their meticulous attention to detail complements the fastidious design and artisan quality of the luxury watches that they sell.

Founded in 1888 in Lucerne, Switzerland, Bucherer quickly established itself as a creator of watches that were not only engineered for accuracy but were classically designed with the finesses of a fine jeweler. Nowadays, the success of Bucherer is far-reaching; they have acquired the UK’s The Watch Gallery and Tourneau in the United States to provide clients across the globe with the same passion and quality goods on which they built their European reputation.

The luxury watches that are on offer come from varied collections, but all combine a rich sense of heritage with the latest innovations. There are watches which will complement and embellish any personal style. The awe-inspiring Rolex brand is synonymous with being a statement of success, and is insurmountably fashionable without being trendy: it’s an accessory that speaks volumes.

TAG Heuer is lauded for its technical innovations within the luxury watch market. Its watches were the first to be able to measure 1/100th of a second, and since this development in 1916, it has become a firm favorite for sports timings. Its accuracy is legendary; a TAG Heuer was one of the first watches in space!

Bucherer has brought to you the very best of Swiss timepieces that there are to offer, with the traditional engineering skills having been advanced to create beautiful designs that are both modern and classic. Hublot is a prime example of a brand that has pushed through the boundaries of watchmaking and exploited the differences between tradition and futuristic to create watches that combine different materials for maximum impact. Click here to see the awe-inspiring Hublot collection.



How To Get The Most Of Your Weekend

April 24, 2018

When the working week is done, you’ll be eager to get out and about and enjoying your time off from work. Getting the most out of your weekend involves some prior planning and good time management. There’s no one rule to making the most of your free time, however, being proactive and motivated is going to help you tenfold. You can begin planning your weekend well in advance at the beginning of the week if you want to enjoy it with friends and family. Organizing it early on will give you something to look forward to and give you the little incentive and push you need when the week begins to drag slightly.

Enjoy Sports

Sports are a great way to blow off some steam and make the most of your free time. You can organize a sports day with friends and family, or join the local sports teams. If you’ve been unable to watch games due to work commitments, then go one step further and go and watch the game played. You can get tickets from, meaning the biggest of sports fans can cheer on their team from the stands. However, if this isn’t for you, then try to stay active and supple in other ways, like practicing yoga or Pilates.

Eat With Friends

Enjoy your weekend by keeping social and catching up with friends and family that you haven’t been able to hang out with during the working week. A good way of getting people together is to organize a meal together, and this can be either at your house or out in town at a restaurant. If you’re thinking of having the meal at your house, then consider proposing that each party member bring one item or meal and you can keep the alcohol flowing. You can just as easily plan a night out in town, at a Spanish restaurant and have tapas, for example.

Relax And Unwind

It’s important to make sure that you take time to rest during your time off. In order to enjoy your weekend to the fullest, you’ll need to have had a good nights sleep and feel energized to push on. If you can, ensure that you have a early night before getting on with your days off. If your perfect weekend involves relaxing and unwinding, then try booking a massage or going to a spa for the day. To get the most out the weekend, ensure that you do exactly what you want to do, and consider a mix of activities.

Walk Your Dog

Make the most of your weekend by surrounding yourself in nature and getting out to walk your dog. It’s recommended that you get thirty minutes of exercise, and walking in nature in relaxing and stimulating. You don’t have to walk alone if you’re keen to socialize and can get in contact with others with dogs near you. There are websites that support this service if you want to make new friends near to you, or alternatively you can walk with friends.


5 top tips for a healthy summer

April 19, 2018

Everything seems easier in the summer, doesn’t it? Whether you are more relaxed because tasks need to be less rushed due to the longer days or the prospect of holidaying in warmer climates means that not even the biggest disaster at work or home can bring you down, there is just something about the summer that leaves us laid back.

That makes it the perfect time to incorporate ways into your everyday life that can have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing. From taking advantage of the seasonal fruits available to improve your diet or creating something special in an unused corner of your yard, here are five top tips for a healthy summer.

Get planting

The summer is the perfect time to get into your back yard and turn it into something special. There are so many advantages to planting a small garden that it’s difficult to know where to start. It will brighten up your property, offer a great source of exercise – you can burn anywhere between 200 and 600 calories while gardening, provide you and your family with fresh, organic produce if you grow your own vegetables and ultimately help you unwind.

Exercise regularly

Exercising becomes much easier in the summer than the winter. A family bike ride on a warm summers evening is much more appealing than a dreary Sunday in February; swimming can cool you down and help improve your cardio vascular fitness and for those jetting off on a beach holiday and wanting to look good for it, it’s the perfect excuse to hit the gym, where women can tone their tummies, men their pecs through Lower Chest Exercises and both sexes can shift those final few pounds of excess winter weight.

Add berries to your diet

An abundance of berries become more greatly available in the summer, making it the perfect time to introduce them to your diet. Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, whatever takes your fancy – or you could be really bold and include all three in a mixed cup. Have some at least once a day and you’ll be helping your body load up on antioxidants which can prevent damage to tissues and reduce the risk of age-related illnesses and fiber which helps manage cholesterol levels.

Take a vacation

That most traditional of summer pastimes is the summer vacation. It helps us escape the pressures and stress of modern day life, allows us to travel and can provide good quality family time. You don’t even need to go big on a summer vacation for it to have health benefits – even a weekend away camping will help you to unwind and relax. Still, we wouldn’t advise against that two week break on a Caribbean Island, either!

Get a good nights sleep

It’s tempting to use the longer hours of sunlight to stay up later, but don’t be fooled. Try and maintain a regular bedtime so that your body gets into a habit of knowing when it is going to be shutting down for the night. That makes getting a good nights sleep easier and if you are sleeping well, you’ll be in a better position to make the most out of those glorious summer days.



Why You Should Start Making Your Own Clothes

April 14, 2018

Fashion is a funny thing. Many of us like to think of ourselves as being somehow above it, immune to its temptations and unmoved by the promise of turning heads wherever we go. Yet, some of us just aren’t that into the whole thing; we’re the people who just throw the nearest clothes on every morning and don’t give it much more thought than that.

So why on Earth would someone like that be recommending that other people make their own clothes? Good question! There are actually a number of reasons why making your own clothes is a great idea. Whether you are on a fashion crusade or not, in learning how to make your own clothes, you will also learn how to repair your existing ones. This could even open the door to more crafts projects, perhaps a small home business! Read on to find out more.

Save Money

Until they actually look at buying material for making clothes, most people don’t realize just how cheap it is, especially in comparison to buying the finished garment. Making your own clothes can be an excellent exercise in frugality, and once you get good at it, you will be able to produce clothes to a high technical manufacture and design standard.

Add Functionality

Maybe you have an old, slightly tattered jacket at home that you would like to restore. Well, while you’re at it, why not add some new features? It is possible to add zips and pockets with relative ease. The only limits here are your imagination, and the materials available of course.

Take Inspiration from Big Brands

By producing your own clothes, you are able to take complete control over the design and process. This allows you to replicate the design principles of your favorite brands and replicate their look without replicating the price tag. For example, if you’re preparing to learn how to make a hat, why not check out for some inspiration?

Make Existing Clothes Last Longer

Either during the process of learning to make your own clothes, or perhaps before then in preparation, you will also learn how you can repair existing clothes as well as making new ones. Being able to repair clothes is an obviously useful skill. How much money do you spend every year replacing old clothes? If you are a parent, consider how much money you could save by being able to repair your kids clothes!

Start a Business

Websites like Etsy make it really easy to sell anything that you make online. Anything which could possibly be considered an art or craft can be sold online these days. Whether you sell stuff to make room in your wardrobe, or to bring in a little extra pocket money, custom made clothes can form the basis of a nice little home business.

From the moment you first start learning, to when you churn out your fifteenth custom made hat, making your own clothes and apparel never loses its appeal. Once you go down this rabbit hole, you won’t be able to climb out again. But why would you ever want to?!