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Creative Ways To Keep Festive This Season

June 25, 2020

Finding ways to get into the festive spirit with your family will need creativity to make to great. But with several traditions and events taking place throughout the month of December, it is possible to find ways to create traditions. Whether it is a letter from Santa for the kids or a PJ party with your significant other, we have several creative ways that you can keep festive leading up to Christmas. 

Sit And Watch Festive Films 

Festive films with the family are the perfect way to get everyone in the festive mood. Whether you opt for an old Christmas classic or an animation for the whole family, this is the perfect way to get everyone in the festive mood. Whether you put films in a hat and pick or you take it in turn to choose the films that you want to watch, this is a great way to get the family involved. 

Listen To Christmas Music 

With a number of your favourite artists making their own Christmas album, this is the great way to get in the festive spirit. Whether it is Kylie, Frank Sinatra or Michael Bublé, there is a Christmas soundtrack for everyone making it an amazing activity for so many. In addition to this, there are several albums that have come out on records, allowing you to listen to the classics with the rustic sound of record player without spending a small fortune. 

Have A Christmas Eve PJ Party 

A PJ party is an amazing way to bring the family together for some festive fun on Christmas eve. Whether it is a treasure hunt, watching films or making cookies in the kitchen with the family, relaxing in your PJs is an amazing way to relax. In addition to this, you can turn this into a tradition by purchasing your family a set of matching PJs. Whether you opt for PJs that are light and airy or you opt for onesies, this is a tradition that we are sure your family will love. 

Plan A Festive Photoshoot 

A festive photo shoot is an amazing tradition that you can do every year that will allow you to look back on the memories. This is an amazing way to make a personalised Christmas card or even make images for your home, allowing you to see your children growing up over the years. 

Enjoy The Perfect Hot Chocolate 

The final way that you can enjoy the festive season is the hot chocolate. With several festive recipes to make your hot chocolate the best that it can be it is easier than ever for you to feel festive. Whether you head to the closest Starbucks for your ultimate festive drink or you are looking to make your own at home, there are many ways that you can make hot chocolate and enjoy the festive season. 

With this in mind, there are several amazing ways that you can make the most out of the festive season without spending a small fortune on decorations and other elements. Which of these will you be trying? 

Business

5 WordPress Plugins That Your Business Needs

April 6, 2020

For many reasons, more and more people are now working from home, but why work from home for somebody else when you could be running your own business? Launching and running a business puts you in charge of your own destiny, and means that you profit directly from your hard work. The first things your business needs are a great idea and product, and a great website to promote them on. You can easily set up your own website using WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system, and then power it up with a range of exciting plugins. Here are five of the very best WordPress plugins that can make running a successful business easier than ever before.

1. WooCommerce

WordPress not only allows you to create a unique and good-looking website that shows potential customers just what you can do for them, but it also allows you to sell directly to them via a range of simple to use plugins. WooCommerce is the leading marketplace plugin, and deservedly so. It fits seamlessly into almost any website, allowing you to accept payment from online customers for physical or digital goods. Because the transactions are secure and encrypted, it reassures visitors to your website; it also means that you can accept payments from multiple sources, including credit and debit cards, rather than being restricted to a system such as PayPal. Put simply, if you want to sell from your WordPress site, you should install WooCommerce.

2. Sendinblue

When you run a business from home, emails become more important than ever before. They not only allow you to keep in touch with customers and suppliers, but they also allow you to reach out and encourage people to utilize your products and services. To make the most of the power of email, you need a smart and flexible plugin, such as this WordPress email plugin. This powerful tool is simple and intuitive to use, and it makes it easy to create sign up forms and launch an email marketing campaign that translates leads into sales. You’ll also be able to manage your contacts effectively, and analyze how effective your email communication is, allowing you to hone it to get the best possible results.

3. Yoast SEO

If you’ve been thinking of launching your own business, with its own website, then you’ve probably come across the term ‘SEO’ meaning Search Engine Optimization. Along with the judicious use of backlinks, and having high quality and regularly updated content, it can help your site climb those all-important search engine rankings, so that your business is seen by greater numbers of people. SEO can seem complex, and it’s easy to spend a lot of money doing it badly, but the Yoast plugin for WordPress makes SEO simple. It provides a wide range of functions, from metadata management to site mapping and breadcrumb control; don’t worry if you’re not entirely sure what these phrases mean, as Yoast makes them easy to understand and implement. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make to your ranking.

4. Social Media Share Buttons

Social media has transformed every aspect of how we live, and its global connectivity makes it just perfect for those who work and run a business from home. Every business, whatever its category and whatever its size, should use social media to the full. Have a business presence on every platform, update them regularly, and promote them via your website. There are a vast number of WordPress plugins that make it easy to share your social content, but the most popular of them all is the Social Media Share Buttons plugin from UltimatelySocial. This free plugin allows you to share content from all of the major social media platforms, and it’s highly customizable so you can find a design that looks just right on your website.

5. Site Reviews

You know that you have a great product to offer the public or other businesses, but how do they know that? Reviews are crucial when it comes to building that all-important trust, so if you have no reviews on your website, achieving sales will be much more difficult. That’s where the Site Reviews plugin for WordPress websites can help. It allows you to gather and then display reviews for your products and services, and it has safeguarding options that allow you to authorize new reviews before they’re displayed, as well as allowing you to display your best reviews in the most prominent position.

Setting up a WordPress site that promotes your business in the best way possible can be quicker and easier than you think, especially when you use great plugins from the likes of Yoast, Sendinblue and WooCommerce. One of the great things about having a WordPress website is their flexibility, in that you can change their appearance or add to them whenever you want. It puts you in control, and when you launch your own business from home, that’s a valuable commodity.

Business

A short guide to marketing laws limiting product placement

February 21, 2020

In the current era of product placement, it seems hard to imagine a life without being bombarded with intense marketing techniques. You might agree that’s sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between strategy and reality? For this reason, and in a bid to protect the general public, various governments throughout the world have introduced laws which limit the location, timing, and intensity of marketing. 

Browse our guide below as we explore a few of the different laws which exist across the globe.

Sweden 

It should come as no surprise that advertising techniques are carefully developed to link with programming schedules. They tug on the attention of the viewer, encouraging them to reach for their debit card and part with their hard-earned cash. Consider a holiday advert magically appearing during the interlude of Love Island, or Dominos and lager pop ups during half-time of the football — no, this wasn’t by chance. 

Sweden previously only had terrestrial state-owned television channels, which did not feature advertising. But as of 1991, the country began to see the harsh effects of this type of commercial programming. 

A study by Yale University showed that children ate more unhealthy foods while watching cartoons with junk food adverts. Desperate to protect their younger generation, the Swedish government passed legislation which banned advertising directed at children under the age of 12. A decade after introducing the legislation, Sweden presented their findings to the European Union. The results linked a decrease in obesity within children directly to the ban on advertising. Sweden proposed that it be rolled out across the board — however, it was not picked up.

France

Alcohol has a particularly contentious historic relationship with the marketing industry. During the 1994–1995 Premier League football season, six of the 20 clubs all had alcohol brands as their major shirt sponsorship. Not one club has maintained the tradition, understanding the conflicting impacts presented. Everton being the last club to say bon voyage to their sponsor, Thai golden brew, Chang. France banned all alcohol advertisements on television and in cinemas. During any occasion in which alcohol advertisements are deemed appropriate, it must be accompanied by a warning regarding the dangers of consumption. 

United Kingdom

Back in 2007, England banned smoking indoors as the government tempted to quash mass respiratory problems and lung cancer. Back in 1965, the decision was made to limit the advertising of cigarettes on television. However, it wasn’t until forty years later, in 2005, that legislation was passed which completely eliminated tobacco advertising. 

Despite still sponsoring F1 giants Ferrari, Philip Morris Inc., who own popular cigarette brand Marlboro, have not featured on a car since the 2007 season due to international advertising laws regarding tobacco. 

Following lengthy debates between industry leaders, health campaigners, and politicians, legislation was finally laid down in January 2016 which banned branded cigarette boxes that were manufactured after May 2016 or sold after January 2017.

United States 

The healthcare system in the United States is regularly at the forefront of the national media thanks to a lack of affordability. However, in the early ‘90s, a spate of infections and deaths at the fault of misleading hemophilic medication advertising brought about the introduction of strict laws. For companies in the US who are marketing healthcare products, a host of rules exist, to which, if they do not comply, they face significant penalisation. 

Throughout the world marketing laws differ drastically depending on a host of reasons, including history and religion. The advertising of products which are likely to cause social problems is, as we can see from this article, globally restricted.

Article provided by Where The Trade Buys, a leading UK business card designer and print company.

Sources:

 https://healthlinkdimensions.com/email-deployment/healthcare-marketing-email-deployment/how-do-regulations-impact-healthcare-marketers-in-the-us/

https://www.planetf1.com/uncategorized/marlboro-to-feature-on-ferraris-2018-car/

https://theculturetrip.com/europe/sweden/articles/sweden-bans-advertising-targeted-children/

Technology

Preflight Inspection Checklist 

February 20, 2020

Whether you are a frequent flyer or just someone who appreciates the science of aerodynamics, you probably know that flight crews must carry out several routine inspections before taking off. Among the most important of these are the checks that take place while the aircraft is waiting to taxi down the runway. They typically take place before or during boarding and are crucial for ensuring a safe trip. Understanding what these inspections look for can provide you with peace of mind the next time your journey takes you aloft. 

Outside the plane, technicians look for any visual signs of trouble. These may include missing bolts, dents, exposed cables or worn tire treads. The wings and tail section of the plane also receive a thorough examination to ensure that they are airworthy. If anything appears to be out of order, the plane must be repaired immediately. Inside the cabin, the pilot and copilot conduct their own inspections, which include the fuel tanks and all internal doors. 

Even if you’re not a nervous flyer, knowing all the diligent effort that goes into checking and double-checking every part of the aircraft can help you relax and enjoy your flight. For a more detailed rundown of the required preflight inspections, take a look at the accompanying checklist. 

Author bio: Allen Jones is Chief Operating Officer of National Aero Stands, a world leader in engine stand leasing — founded with the purpose of providing aircraft engine transportation stand support. Jones, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, currently oversees daily business and leasing operations. 

Courtesy of National Aero Stands

Travel

Enjoy Your Vacations In Sicily 

January 24, 2020

What’s the best time to visit Sicily? Sicily is full of places where you want to jump and dive into the Mediterranean for a while during those months from May to October. When asked if you know Sun Island, a few would say yes or probably yes. How many would know the answer to the question about the largest Mediterranean Island? Perhaps a little more respondents. In both cases, it’s about the same ancient land: Sicily. Find the most beautiful villas in Sicily by the sea and keep reading to discover its secrets.

Sicily Sea: The Most Beautiful Places

Cava Grande near Cassibili in Southeastern Sicily 

On hot days you can swim in the cooling water of the river in the Cava Grande. This massive gorge lies near the town of Cassibili. In the valley, the river has eroded natural pools. You can swim here or play in the water and then let yourself dry on the rocks in the warm Sicilian sun.

The Necropolis of Pantalica. 

In Byzantine times thousands of graves were carved into the rocks here

The small river Anapo has carved out a deep gorge near the village of Sortino. In Byzantine times, thousands of graves were carved into the rock walls of the canyon. Nowadays the canyon is a beautiful nature reserve where you have the chance to see different animals. With 8000 graves, Pantalica is the largest necropolis of Sicily.

Syracuse, Sicily

Archimedes, known from physics class, was born in Syracuse in the year 287 BC. At that time, Syracuse already existed for 500 years. The Greeks founded a colony here on Sicily as early as 733 BC.

The peninsula Ortygia is the historical center of Syracuse, surrounded by water. In ancient times, the port city was a real ‘hotspot.’ In Ortygia, you will find beautiful squares, old buildings, and charming streets. Enjoy a terrace or an Italian ice cream sandwich.

On the outskirts of Syracuse, you will find Neapolis where you can see a Greek theatre, a Roman amphitheater, and the Ear of Dionysius.

World Heritage: Noto

After the massive earthquake of 1693, the town of Noto had to be rebuilt entirely, resulting in today’s Noto, a beautiful baroque city. Via the Porte Reale, you walk straight into Corso Vittoria Emanuelle. In this main street, you walk along with all the impressive palaces, churches and other buildings that Noto is rich. Together with seven other baroque cities in southeastern Sicily, Noto is on the Unesco World Heritage List.

Ragusa sights

Ragusa was founded in ancient times when inhabitants fled from Greek settlers and moved inland. The Sicilian city is about 25 km from the coast and has about 60,000 inhabitants. The town consists of 2 parts. The ‘new’ Ragusa that was rebuilt in the 17th century after the great earthquake in baroque style and the quieter Ibla.

Ragusa is the baroque part of the city and has wide streets. Ibla is the old lower town and has, in contrast to Ragusa, small streets and charming squares.

Worth seeing are the baroque Duomo San Giorgio in Ibla and the San Giovanni Battista cathedral in Ragusa. Ragusa is on the Unesco world heritage list.

In the vicinity of Ragusa are long sandy beaches with beautiful fine sand.

Modica        

The old town of Modica is also on the Unesco World Heritage List. The town is about a 15 km drive from Ragusa. Modica Alta lies on the hill and is connected by stairs to the lower Modica Bassa. Here you need to try the famous Modica Chocolate: yes, Sicilian cuisine is also this!

Travel

5 Best Places to Plan a Last-Minute Warm Getaway This Holiday Season

January 2, 2020

For many Americans, the holiday season marks the start of cold weather and snow. It’s hard to get into the holiday spirit when you’re bundled in three layers of clothes and shoveling snow out of the driveway.

If the weather outside is frightful, give yourself the gift of a last-minute warm holiday getaway this holiday season.

1. St. Augustine, Florida

An affordable getaway right on the coast of Florida. St. Augustine has beautiful beaches, friendly locals and a rich history. It is, after all, the oldest city in the nation.

Visit the iconic St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, or book a sailing adventure. Enjoy an afternoon of fishing, or play a round at Anastasia Miniature Golf. At Black Raven Adventures, you can be a pirate – or just act like one – on their interactive cruise.

History buffs will love the Colonial Quarter, Fountain of Youth, Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas. 

Whether you’re looking to escape the big city or enjoy a weekend of adventure, St. Augustine has something for everyone.

2. Pensacola, Florida

Offering beautiful beaches, a rich history and diverse culture, Pensacola is the perfect place to escape winter weather. Enjoy their world-famous beaches – and have them all to yourself. With tourists gone for the winter, Pensacola is much quieter. You won’t have to fight the crowds to enjoy all this city has to offer.

Go snorkeling or sailing at Pensacola Beach, or climb 177 steps up the historic Pensacola Lighthouse.

Downtown Pensacola has a laid-back vibe, with a diverse culture and fascinating history. During the holiday season, you’ll find many fun events to enjoy. At night, take a stroll downtown to see the city illuminated by 400,000 lights.

Pensacola is an affordable, last-minute getaway that will please the whole family.

3. Miami, Florida

Miami has the warmest winter weather on the mainland U.S. Highs in December range from 75-77F, with evening temperatures hovering around 60F.

Unlike other beach destinations, winter is one of the busiest times of year for Miami. The roads are the most crowded – as are the beaches and hotels.

Miami is probably your best bet for a warm holiday, but you’ll need to book fast. Expect to pay more to travel to this bustling city.

The city’s art deco buildings and beautiful beaches won’t disappoint. With vibrant nightlife, a thriving art scene, tropical gardens and award-winning restaurants, Miami is the place to go if you want to see and be seen.

4. Galveston Island, Texas

Galveston is a popular cruise port of call, but it’s also home to stunning beaches. Winter flights are cheap, and hotels start at under $100 a night. 

The barrier island is just 30 miles long and 3 miles wide. Beaches are far less crowded, and the locals are warm and friendly.

The city hosts many holiday-themed events. The 36-block historic district will sparkle with lights and lasers. The Grand 1894 Opera House will host several events, including The Nutcracker, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Christmas Carol.

Texas is a big state, and Galveston Island is all the way south – not far from Houston. If you’re planning a road trip to Galveston, be prepared for traffic. In one recent year, 262 billion miles were traveled in Texas. Although winter is off-season, you can still expect to hit a lot of traffic on your way to town.

5. Savannah, Georgia

Romantic and historic, Savannah has great weather this time of year. And because most of the tourists have gone home, the city is quieter and more accessible. 

Visit the 22 squares in the city, each offering its own piece of history. Savannah is home to many wonderful monuments, statues and beautiful places to sit. Check out the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, known as the “Sistine of the South.”

Visit some of the many art galleries in town, or jam out at a music festival. Savannah hosts several music festivals throughout the year.

If you’re up for a drive, you can head over to Tybee Island – just 20 minutes from Savannah. The island has beautiful beaches, great shopping and excellent food.

Business

4 Places to Visit in Missouri

December 8, 2019

Considering its unofficial nickname is the “Show Me State,” it’s fitting that Missouri is home to so many must-see American destinations. From one of the tallest man-made monuments in the world to some of the most beautiful and diverse natural landscapes in the country, a visit to Missouri is a feast for the eyes (and, if you like beer and barbecue, a feast of another kind as well). By the time you finish reading this list, you’ll practically be begging: “Show me! Show me!”

 The Gateway Arch

You’ve seen it in photos, movies, and TV shows, but nothing beats the awe-inspiring experience of visiting St. Louis’ world-famous monument in person. A memorial to the pioneers who propelled America’s westward expansion, the 630-foot “Gateway to the West” is the tallest arch in the world, the tallest man-made monument in the western hemisphere, and the tallest accessible building in the state. Yes, that’s right, you can go inside! Twin trams in the arch’s legs shuttle visitors to the top every ten minutes, allowing them to enjoy a stunning view of St. Louis and surrounding areas. On a clear day, you can easily see up to 30 miles away! 

KC Barbecue Tours

Foodies may fight over who makes the best barbecue, but native Missourians know the truth: Kansas City can’t be beat. Not convinced? Try some for yourself! Since the 1920s, the city has been a barbecue paradise, serving up heaping plates of slow-cooked, spice-rubbed, sauce-slathered goodness. With over 100 barbecue restaurants within city limits, it can be hard to know where to begin. Luckily, KC Barbecue Tours is the perfect option for hungry tourists. Guides take guests on a four-hour excursion sampling dishes from some of the city’s best restaurants, including the historic innovators that put Kansas City on the map. But be warned, four hours may not be enough. This barbecue is so good it might have you eyeing Kansas City homes for sale

The Budweiser Brewery Experience

Feeling a little parched after scarfing down all that barbecue? How about washing it down with one of the most popular beers in America? Debuting in 1876, Budweiser has made Anheuser-Busch the largest brewing company in the country, and it all started at the St. Louis brewery that still serves as the organization’s headquarters to this day. Now a U.S. National Historic Landmark, thirsty visitors can order a tasty beverage at the Biergarten, see the famous Budweiser Clydesdales in their stables, follow the entire beer-making process from hops ‘n’ barley to golden lager, and even get a hands-on lesson in brewing 101.

 Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Comprising 3,700 acres of majestic Missouri forest along the Lake of the Ozarks, Ha Ha Tonka (said to mean “smiling waters”) is a treasure trove of scenic overlooks, natural bridges, sheer bluffs, caves, sinkholes, and springs. Over 15 miles of trails and boardwalks wind through the park’s breathtaking sights, with ample opportunities for hiking, camping, picnicking, boating, and swimming. Most incredible of all is Ha Ha Tonka’s most unique feature: the ruins of a turn-of-the-century European-style castle! The legacy of a wealthy Kansas City businessman, the castle was largely destroyed by a fire in 1942. What remains now are towering stone walls, arches, and stairways that make every visit to Ha Ha Tonka feel like stepping into a fairy tale.

Travel

Looking at the history behind some of Brighton’s iconic buildings

December 5, 2019

Brighton captures a lot of what characterises true British spirt. Its quintessential nature embodies many important English traits, such as our love for a sharp sea breeze and a stiff upper lip. Not sure about the latter? Well, did you know that the original Brighton town was burned down in 1514 by the French. The inhabitants responded by quickly rebuilding their little town right there. When the French came back to burn the remade Brighton in 1545, the people fought back and drove the French away. 

Brighton was battered by an intense storm in 1703, and the town took a further hit by another storm in 1705 that ruined many houses. All the while, the sea was eroding the shore of Brighton town

However, Brighton thrived against all odds and it even captured the interest of royalty! Naturally, the buildings in Brighton have some stories to tell about the town’s exciting history, and some have served different purposes along the way as Brighton battled through its hardships. 

St Augustine’s Centre 

Originally built in 1896 with a religious purpose in mind, as the name suggests, St. Augustine’s Centre is a prominent feature of the city. The building was an Anglican church but had been left derelict since 2003. Though it is listed as a Grade II building, nothing was really done with it until 2013, when a new project started up in order to renew St Augustine’s church with a new lease of life. 

Following a major renovation project, the site serves the public as a centre for wellbeing, arts, and spiritual sectors. The centre hosts exhibitions, conferences, meetings, and even sports clubs and massage and treatment rooms. From flower arrangement classes to Kung Fu, dance classes to meditation spaces, the centre really does cater for everyone. 

The Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton is one of the most striking buildings in the area, and it has served many different purposes throughout its life and has so many stories to tell. Originally, the Pavilion was built at the behest of then-Prince of Wales, Prince George. Architect Henry Holland was hired to transform the Prince’s Brighton home into a villa. The villa was later built upon further by John Nash to create the Royal Pavilion. It is a lavish, extravagant building that adopts a number of different styles, primarily that of Chinese and Asian origin. 

The original building hosted royalty, along with a string of their social events and entertainment for many years. But this came to an end with Queen Victoria, who chose to sell the Royal Pavilion to Brighton. Though the interiors were initially removed, the palace was redecorated for use by the public. The Queen later returned many of the original items of the palace to be reinstalled. 

The Royal Pavilion has been used for fetes, shows, balls, exhibitions, and more, serving as the People’s Palace. Then, during the First World War, its purpose was changed once again to that of a hospital for Indian soldiers.

Now, the Royal Pavilion serves members of the public daily, with tours of the aggrandised royal rooms, local events, a tearoom, and more. 

The Old Ship

This traditional Brighton hotel is not short of history, royal appreciation, and musicians. The site has been used as a hotel since Tudor times, with the first recorded accommodation here named the ‘Shippe Inn’. It became the ‘Old Ship Inn’ in 1650, after another hotel opened across the street called the ‘New Ship Inn’. 

The venue was gradually extended as its owners bought the homes next to it, back when it wasn’t as close to the shoreline as it currently is. The storm of 1703 destroyed 13 buildings at the end of the street and brought the sea much closer to the Old Ship. With sea views and a visit from the fashionable Prince of Wales, Prince George (who would later become King George IV), the Old Ship built a great reputation. So much so that its ballroom later came to host the famous violinist, Niccolò Paganini — the ballroom has even been renamed in his honour. 

However, not all of the original features of the current building were built for the purpose of hospitality. Underneath the building is a series of tunnels from the beach, under the hotel, all the way into town and further. These tunnels were originally built for smuggling but are now used as wine cellars and for private dining functions. 

 

Sources:

https://www.thecairncollection.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/OLD-SHIP-BRIGHTON-HISTORY.pdf

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/uk/the-travellers-guide-to-historic-brighton-5350340.html

http://www.localhistories.org/brighton.html

https://brightonmuseums.org.uk/royalpavilion/history/