Monthly Archives

March 2019

Lifestyle

Transform Your Home into an Eco-Paradise

March 19, 2019

It’s no secret that the planet needs us now more than ever. The indulgences of modern life have led us to a critical moment in time when the future of a healthy environment hangs in the balance. This is why so many people are now becoming more environmentally focused by cutting back on their carbon emissions and leading more sustainable lifestyles. It might sound daunting at first, especially to those who haven’t yet started their eco-friendly journey. However, once you realize that environmentally-friendly doesn’t mean compromising on style, it makes decisions much easier. Here are some ways you can create a more sustainable household for yourself and the planet.

Wardrobe

Fashion is a vast industry, and the various stages of production, transportation, and disposal involved in the process are exceedingly harmful to the planet. Many large clothing brands are far from ethical or sustainable. It can be heart-breaking news for someone who loves keeping up with the latest styles, but many solutions are emerging. Since fashion works in cycles, people have become obsessed with thrifting and finding hidden gems among old pieces of clothes. Not only are you helping to save the planet by reducing the carbon emissions produced by fast fashion, but you are also creating for yourself a more eclectic and unique wardrobe. You can also find new designers who create beautiful clothes while keeping their production as environmentally clean as possible.

Garden

Not everyone is lucky enough to have their own outdoor space, but a little goes a long way. Start a miniature indoor garden for decorative or useful plants – maybe grow your own salad ingredients or spices. If you do have an outdoor garden, get creative with décor and avoid using materials and furniture that aren’t compatible with the surrounding environment. Even your current garden fence can be updated to be more stylish, eco-friendly and durable. You can achieve a great look at discount prices by looking for great alternatives. Fill your garden with plants that will help to process the air and opt for furniture that lasts instead of contributing to plastic waste. Solar panels, of course, are always a great idea, as well as water features to encourage local wildlife. It’s hard for an eco-friendly garden not to look absolutely beautiful.

Daily Tasks

It’s not just about setting up the static elements of your life to be environmentally conscious. To maintain the eco-paradise that you’ve created, it’s important to be aware of the little nuisances that build up over time. Take notice whenever you find yourself using single-use packaging or non-recyclable products. Once you’ve started to spot these items, it’s easy to switch over to more sustainable and often more luxurious alternatives. The quality of design that goes into more sustainable products makes them far more aesthetically appealing than cheap plastic equivalents so you’ll be sure to maintain your style and low carbon footprint by keeping your home uncluttered by useless items. If you don’t want to see your old possessions thrown into landfill – as so much is nowadays – then have a dedicated cupboard for objects that your guests can choose from and keep. It makes you feel good to give to a friend, to get rid of unwanted clutter and to help save the planet.

Business

Essential advice for Start-up Beauty Businesses

March 19, 2019

There is a lot to think about when starting up a hair and beauty business.  Just like with any other sector, you need to undertake a lot of hard work and planning to make sure it goes off as it should.  As it’s most likely something you are passionate about, it can be a lot of fun too. We’ve put together some tips and advice for start-up beauty businesses to help get you on the right track.

Create a Business Plan

The first thing that you need is a business plan.  Typically, you need one for the immediate setting up of the business, year 1, year 3 and year 5.  It’s not enough to just create the plan – you need to regularly review it within those time intervals to make sure that everything is going as it should.  It’s also crucial to have a detailed business plan if you are looking to get some financial investment from an external source.

Selecting the Right Staff

It’s important to remember that your salon staff will be a direct reflection on you.  That’s why it’s important to choose your team very carefully. You can get recruitment agencies that will be able to help find you a match with your company and culture.  There are even staffing agencies that are specific to the beauty industry who are experts at what they do. It might be a good idea to delve into their talent pool and see what they have to offer.

Naming and Branding

The name and branding of your salon is also a critical part of your strategy.  It says a lot about your personality and what kind of company you are.  It’s worth a little monetary investment to make sure you get it right in the first place.  Remember your name and logo will appear on everything from your shop front, to your business cards – so it will be seen everywhere.  

Services and Pricing

It’s vital that you are clear about the services that you are going to offer, and that you are keeping up with the latest beauty trends that are sweeping the market.  Something that’s increasingly popular these days is microblading. So, as part of your overall strategy – you might want to include this in your list of services. If it’s something that’s new to you-you can get microblading training to perfect your skills via the company Ink Defined who have a couple of different course options available. For example, they have a 3 day course for $2300 which covers all the theory and practical that you need to know.

Do a Competitor Analysis

You need to make sure you know who you are up against.  Have a scout about and educate yourself on who is close by, what services they offer, and how much they cost.  Also, check in to see what they are doing in terms of marketing – that will help you find your niche in the market.

If you are starting up your own beauty business – these helpful tips should put you on the right track.  

Business

How to keep your small business safe from data breaches

March 18, 2019

Just because you are running a small business doesn’t mean you are beyond hackers reach. In fact, small businesses are more susceptible to data breaches and attacks because they are relatively unprotected and unprepared. Unfortunately, data breaches are proliferating daily and many small business owners don’t know how to prevent them. Needless to say, a data breach can have severe legal and financial consequences. Here are 4 best tips to protect your small business from data breaches.

1. Strengthen and change your passwords regularly

The easiest way for a hacker to access your confidential data is by exploiting your weak passwords. Anyone can guess passwords which include your company name, your name, “123456”, etc. Make it a unique combination of uppercase, lowercase, special characters, and numbers. Also, make your employee change their password regularly. Furthermore, you should add Two-factor Authentication for doubling up your business security.

2. Trusted Hosting and Encryption

Troy Gill, manager of AppRiver Security Research stated that businesses should use only trusted Hosting provider. Even if they are popular, make sure that they use encryption for all your site’s data. For all the transactions taking place in your website, ensure that it is secured with SSL/ HTTPS encryption. Also, using End-to-End encryption (E2EE) and Virtual Private Network (VPN) will shield you from many breaching attempts. Encrypt, Encrypt and Encrypt!

3. Secure your hardware too

This is what most companies ignore. Data breaches can easily happen if your servers, laptops, electronic devices, routers, and cell phones are not secure. You are at a big risk. Alarm system and security cameras help, but you need security labels to provide you with an extra layer of security. Such labels are created to protect system/ product tampering and can significantly reduce your business cost in long-run. You can use https://www.seareach.plc.uk/ for all-round protection from tampering and theft.

4. Have the right partners and platforms

Do you have Web application Firewall (WAF) to protect your site against various cyber-attacks like Denial of Service (DoS), Brute Force or Cross Site scripting attack? Also, make sure that the e-commerce platform you use for storing, transmitting or processing payment-card is PCI DSS compliant. Failure to comply by these standards can result in hefty penalties if any data breach occurs. Choose the right partners and the right platform.

5. Be aware of spam and Malware

Phishing attempts are made quite often by attackers to exploit your sensitive data. As per studies, targeted emails are responsible for nearly 30% of security breaches. These emails usually consist of a malicious email attachment which can even track your computer screen or a phishing link to get your login/credit card credentials. Even, Ransomware has been popular since 2016, where the attacker seize your data and ask for a ransom to restore it. Always update your Operating system, install trusted Anti-virus software and back up your file for avoiding data loss.

Lifestyle

A Career in Environmental Science: How to Get Started

March 5, 2019

If you love to travel, and you appreciate the environment, a career in environmental science could be the perfect path for you. With the demand for specialists in this field – including environmental consultants and sustainability consultants – experiencing a boom across the globe, there is no better time to make a career shift than today.

A career in environmental science will take you to fantastic destinations and give you the opportunity to work on exciting environmental projects. Making that leap to enter the field of environmental science is also easier than you think. Here are some of the things you need to get started.

A Degree in Biology and Environmental Science

To prepare for a career in this field, one of the best investments you can make is in a biology degree. Whether you are a fulltime mom trying to get back to professional life or someone who is thinking about a career change, it is possible to pursue a biology degree online. Top schools like Excelsior College offer programs that can be completed entirely online; you can even pursue your degree while working a fulltime job or traveling the world if you want to.

The course will help you master the skills you need to become a prominent environmental specialist, and is the perfect way to jumpstart your career in this field. Once you have earned the degree, you can continue by completing certifications such as the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response certification.

Mastering the Soft Skills

Don’t think for a second that you will be working in a lab all of the time as an environmental scientist. As mentioned before, this is one field that lets you travel the world and embark on exciting projects. Before jumping in, however, you also want to sharpen some additional skills.

Communication skills are essential. You will be interacting with researchers, stakeholders, and locals in your work, which means you will need good communication skills to achieve your objectives. At the same time, you also need good problem-solving skills to back you up.

Reading is another must-have skill in this field. Naturally, there are a lot of environmental reports and documents to go through. You have to be meticulous when reviewing those documents, all while maintaining the ability to understand the important points in them.

A Choice of Professions

Being an environmental scientist lets you explore multiple career paths in this field. The most popular one is sustainability consultant. As a consultant, it is your duty to help organizations lower their carbon footprints and increase their sustainability in the long run.

Working as an environmental economist is also very rewarding. Aside from the higher median salary, you also have the opportunity to use math and evaluate the costs and benefits of environmental protection options.

The possibilities are endless. Starting a career as an environmental scientist, an agricultural specialist, or a hydrologist is just as easy, and it all begins with your pursuit for a biology degree online. With the demand for specialists continuing to rise, there is no better time to get started than today.

Lifestyle

5 Must-Have Accessories for This Spring

March 4, 2019

As winter is quickly coming to an end, spring is fast approaching. This means that for all the fashionable people out there, they’re getting ready to put away their coats and boots and bring out lighter clothing. In light of this, whether you’re revamping your wardrobe from last year or sticking up on your spring clothing, it’s possible you’re thinking about how to make it look more interesting. One answer is to accessorize as a way of diversifying and brightening up your looks. Here are 5 must-have accessories that you could invest in and add to your wardrobe this spring.

Sunglasses

When spring comes along, it often brings some sunshine with it as well. With that being said, consider buying yourself a nice new pair of sunglasses. It has been predicted that one of the trends for spring 2019 will be larger than life shades. This could include designs from brands such as Prada and Gucci which have qualities such as being bold, tinted and adorned with bows and crystals.

Wristwatch

Aside from big and bold sunglasses, another accessory that you should find yourself with this spring is a stylish wristwatch. Despite the smartphone craze, watches are still very practical ways of telling the time and make for great arm candy as well. The good thing about watches is that there are several brands out there which make them in a range of styles, shapes, and sizes. You, therefore, have a wide selection to choose from. This spring, you could look through the Rolex collection as they have trendy watches for men and women.

Pumps

Footwear is an everyday necessity and one of the first things that people tend to see when they look at you. Think about getting a good and fashionable pair of pumps this spring to bring your outfits to life. Calvin Klein, as well as Balenciaga, has some interesting pumps such as court shoes with a scuba print or polka dotted heels with a triangular back.

Statement Jewelry

If you want to stand out this spring, you can try statement jewelry. They are a way to take simple looks and make them stand out. For instance, you could wear a bracelet with big charms or a necklace with a pendant. Another trend that you can look out for is crystal drop earrings as bling is said to be in.

Hair Accessories

Your hair could do with some love to this spring, so look for accessories in this department. A good example of something to try is decorated bobby pins, and the key to pulling off this look is wearing as many as possible. Aside from this, you can also rock different headbands which can be worn both elegantly or with a pair of jeans if that’s what you’d prefer.

This spring is a chance for you to add color to your wardrobe and make yourself look more vibrant. As you should when it comes to fashion, focus on creating your personal style and exploring ways to express yourself in and out of season.

Lifestyle

How Innovative Designs Have Improved Traditional Products

March 1, 2019

Technology and innovative design is constantly influencing the customer market — with brands releasing updated versions of the same product that we all feel inclined to buy. However, this isn’t just happening with modern inventions, but with traditional products too.

The end-goal for many businesses and creators is to streamline a product’s use for the end-user. With this, many of the everyday items we all love have been altered in one way or another to keep up with the requirements we now have as a society.

We’ve set our standards high, and no product is untouchable. Here, we take a look at some of the products that have been influenced by technology or design and how they have changed our lives.

Watches

Watches have truly transformed the way we lead our lives. Modern Britain revolves around time — from making sure our little ones arrive at school on time to catching the right bus for work. The history of the watch dates right back to the 16th century, where the devices were originally powered by a mainspring which turned gears to move the hands while keeping in time with a rotating balance wheel.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that the quartz watch was invented, where the product actually used electricity to operate. This type of watch took over the market at the time, which many still refer to as the ‘quartz crisis’ as mechanical watches were pushed aside. Following this, the quartz wristwatch was developed, and we haven’t look back since. Well, until now.

Smartwatches have taken over the world. You can’t walk by someone without one attached to their wrist. What once was an item that would only notify you of the time, can now make phone calls, send messages, track your health and more. What’s next for the watch?

Umbrellas

The umbrella has changed tremendously over the years. Making its debut in Ancient Egypt, they were used for protection against direct sunlight. However, the waterproofed version was created in the 11th century BC using leather, an extremely expensive material to use at the time which was later adopted across the European continent — predominately in Greece and Rome.

The umbrella fell absent for over 1,000 years after the Roman Empire dissolved but became popular again in the 16th century. Traditionally, umbrellas were quite detailed in their design and were more of a ‘prop’ during this period.

That’s not to say that umbrellas today can’t be a fashion statement though. Queen Elizabeth II, for example, uses a birdcage umbrella when making public appearances. This innovative design allows her to stay dry but remain completely visible when venturing outdoors, as the cover is transparent! With her bespoke umbrellas, she always matches her trim with her outfit. As well as this, unlike umbrellas years ago, many are now designed to be more compact and can be stored away in your bag.

Wallpaper

You wouldn’t think that there’d be any sort of progression with wallpaper, but what the future holds sounds quite exciting. Historically, wallpaper would be created using hand-painting, woodblock printing, stenciling and other types of machine printing — which dates back before 1700.

This form of design was so popular that in 1712, Queen Anne introduced a wallpaper tax which wasn’t abolished until 1836. This was likely because Britain was the leading wallpaper manufacturer in Europe at the time.

The future only looks bright for wallpaper though. At one time, we’d just be complacent with a nice design for the interior of our home, but developments have suggested that we should expect high-tech forms sometime soon. This will have the ability to block signals — no more stealing your neighbour’s WiFi!

Bank cards

Although we all know that money is an everyday essential, bank cards never used to be. Before the first bank cards were issued in 1967, people had to actually visit their bank to deposit or withdraw any cash. People could store money in their home, but this wouldn’t be protected!

It wasn’t until 1972 where the first bank card to feature an information-encoding magnetic strip was introduced. This allowed customers to visit an ATM and enter their personal identification number to gain access to the information that was associated with their account.

Today, it’s the introduction of contactless payments that has made the biggest impact on the shopping and banking scene. Recently adopted by banking associations and introduced across the high-street, the cards using radio-frequency identification can now make payments without the need to enter a pin.

These were just some of the advancements, but what does the future hold?

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_watches
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2154370/How-Queen-Kate-Middleton-Camilla-sheltered-rain-style-bespoke-umbrellas.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallpaper#High-tech_wallpaper
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_card

Lifestyle

How to Ensure the Health of Your Family

March 1, 2019

Would you like to know how you can make your family healthier this year? Good health is essential for every family member, from the oldest to the youngest, and including the furry members! Below are ten habits you might want to consider including in your daily routine:

  • Cut Back on Screen Time  

Technology has taken over our lives, but it’s not necessarily a good thing. To help your kids sleep better, remove all electronic devices from the bedroom. Limit TV watching to the living room and make watching movies a family affair. What’s more, make the dinner table a gadget-free zone, and you might actually enjoy talking to each other for a change.

  • Spend More Time Outdoors

Whatever the weather, it’s vital to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. It’s an uplifting experience, and your body actually needs sunlight for Vitamin D.

  • Schedule in Family Time

Everyone is so busy nowadays that we forget to spend time with each other. Make a point of putting away all the distractions and spend time talking, listening, laughing, or playing games together.

  • Eat Healthily  

Eat a healthy balanced diet, and your body will thank you! There are many benefits to a nutritionally balanced diet. Encourage your children to eat healthily, and it’ll stand them in good stead for the future.  

  • Exercise More  

Exercise is essential for everyone because it can help prevent a wide range of illnesses and diseases. Any exercise is better than none, but aim for 30 to 60 minutes at least five times a week.

  • Protect Your Skin  

Exposure to the sun is linked to skin cancer, so make sure everyone stays protected when out in the sun. Wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and light, loose-fitting clothes. Also ensure you use sunscreen on any exposed skin.

  • Cut Out the Bad Habits  

Habits such as smoking and drinking are harmful to your health, as well as those around you. Too much alcohol can damage your liver and cause some cancers, while smoking is a leading factor of emphysema and pulmonary disease.

  • Get a Dog

A dog can be fun for all the family. Kids learn responsibility and they can take it turns taking the dog out for a walk. If you haven’t always got the time to make sure the dog gets regular exercise, there may be a dog walking service in the area you can call on when you need it. Visit www.premierdogwalkers.com to find out about this type of service in London.

  • Talk to Each Other More  

Talking to each other is vital for everyone in the family. A great time to chat is over the dinner table. Ask each other how your day has been and listen to what you’ve all got to say. If you’re able to talk to each other, you’ll be able to weather the storms together.

  • Introduce a Bedtime Routine  

Sleep is important for everyone in the family. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can cause health problems. A bedtime routine is essential for your children because it sets the scene for sleep and makes them calm. Having them in bed at the same time every night means you’ve got time with your partner for talking and bonding.  

Many of these suggestions are aimed at the adults in the family. However, if you lead by example, you’ll be surprised how many others follow.