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9 literary quotes to help inspire that Christmas feeling

November 28, 2019

Christmas is the time of year we love to eat and drink with our nearest and dearest, and put niggling worries aside. The festive period is geared towards social festivities and can be very busy, but there is an overwhelming temptation to shut out the world for a few hours, get cosied up by the fire, and delve into a classic book. Why not make time to do that? Writers have been captivated with the idea of Christmas over the centuries, and the festive season offers a glittering backdrop to many of our all-time favourite perfect bound books. Let’s take inspiration from some of our favourite literary characters and learn what Christmas means to them. 

  1. “I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

  1. “One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has come and gone, and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

  1. “A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together”

Leaving Home by Garrison Keillor

  1. “It struck him that how you spent Christmas was a message to the world about where you were in life”

About a Boy by Nick Hornby

  1. “Fine old Christmas, with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in the noblest fashion, and had set off his rich gifts of warmth and color with all the heightening contrast of frost and snow”

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

  1. “At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

  1. “The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned, and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting.”

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

  1. “There are very few moments in a man’s existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.”

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

  1. “Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart”

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

After reading all of these classic quotes, hopefully it helped to put you in the Christmas spirit! Until the big day is upon us, get your self a warm cup of wine and bar of chocolate, and curl up with some of your favourite festive fiction.

Article brought to you by commercial print company and double sided roller banner specialist, Where The Trade Buys.

Sources 

https://www.goodreads.com/

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/dec/19/the-10-best-christmases-in-literature

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/authors/30-great-christmas-quotes/30-great-christmas-quotes23/

Lifestyle

Entering the world of work: getting into the fashion industry

November 25, 2019

Finishing your studies in fashion can mean making some big decisions in terms of employment. There are a wide range of options available aside from the ones you may expect, such as designers and models. From a career in fashion-related finance, to discovering a role in communications, the opportunities are varied. Retailers of men’s shirts, CT Shirts, take a look at what’s out there, considering some careers you mightn’t have thought of: 

Garment technologist

Although this role is slightly unsuspecting, a garment technologist is an essential aspect of any major clothing retailer. This role is largely about quality control and investigative work with regards to the materials that are used to create fashion pieces.

Designing and developing new materials is a day-to-day activity in this role. Through testing new combinations of materials and fibres, people in this role look to find the best type of fabric for what’s to be made. These people work closely with designers, pattern graders and buying teams to find the right type of fabric for what’s to be made. Items such as men’s suits often require the attention of a garment technologist, in order to produce durable, high quality products. 

Enhancing efficiency and find new production line methods is also a part of the role as a garment technologist. This might be to do with price and would involve liaising with buyers and suppliers to negotiate a cost that’s within the budget of the project. Or, they might be looking to make the company more sustainable, and therefore the technologist would investigate the production of the fabrics. 

Key qualities of a potential candidate include an interest in the creative work that goes into clothing production and a strong awareness of textiles and materials. Employers may also expect you to have a degree or major in a related topic, such as garment technology and production, or you may complete a module around this as part of a wider subject. Or, look out for apprenticeship schemes and junior roles, where you can work your way up to this role.

Pattern graders 

Another important part of the fashion industry is pattern grading. They focus on producing scaled-up and scaled-down versions of design patterns, which enables the manufacturers to produce the same patterned piece of clothing in different sizes.

A pattern graders’ typical duties will include; quality checking to ensure that the final pattern is in-line with the original design, tracing the outline of a pattern with scanning equipment and creating sample garments from the pattern to send to prospective buyers. 

A keen interest in design and textiles is necessary, but as well as a flair for creativity, you will also need some mathematical skills. You must be able to take accurate measurements and make calculations in order to scale the patterns correctly. It’s also important that you enjoy being part of a team, so to cooperate with others in the design process, and be able to confidently use IT to work with a digitising table. 

Contrary to belief, a degree isn’t required to become a pattern grader. Instead, you could take the apprenticeship route through college by studying subjects such as fashion or textiles. Or, work your way up from an assistant or pattern cutter to become a grader in a fashion company. 

Fashion illustrators 

A fashion illustrator is responsible for creating fashion drawings and diagrams to depict garments to others. They work closely with designers to create conceptual sketches and illustrations of fashion products. In addition to this, they may produce advertising copy and images for promotional material for print and online coverage. To succeed in this role, you need to be able to use computer design, as well as drawing by hand and have an eye for fashion. 

To secure a role in this field, a degree or major in graphic design or a related subject is often sought after by employers. To get accepted onto a degree of this kind, you will need to have studied art in high school. Alternatively, you can build up a strong portfolio and gain experience in relevant positions to impress prospective employees. 

Fashion journalist

A fashion reporter writes about the latest in clothing, trends and accessories for a range of publications. Fashion journalism has become an increasingly popular way to share new trends and inspiration in recent years. 

Fashion journalists aren’t confined to securing a job for a print publication, despite popular belief — with a range of online magazines out there, there are more opportunities available. You could also go freelance, but work isn’t guaranteed here. As part of the job, you’ll likely be required to travel and meet new people to conduct interviews and get the latest on fashion stories. 

An eye for detail, fluent writing ability and a clear interest in fashion will put you in good stead to becoming a fashion journalist, but there are some educational choices that you can make to better your chances of getting a career in this field. Choosing subjects such as English Studies will further your creative writing skills, for example. There are specialty degrees out there too, such as the Fashion Communications course which will teach you more about the sector and increase your employability. 

Potential fashion journalists should consider compiling a writing portfolio to support any job applications. Start your own fashion blog to write about the latest news in the sector and approach editors for freelance opportunities. Networking is also a great way to get to know about future vacancies. Try to secure unpaid work in relevant positions to build your experience too.

Fashion accountant

Finance and fashion seem like an unsuspecting combination — but fashion accountancy is an emerging profession, allowing recruits to combine their passions.

A variety of roles are available for someone interested in fashion accountancy— from retail accountants to accountants in textiles who ensure that a budget is adhered to when buying materials. Roles like this allow you to be involved with designers and the garment-making process, whilst keeping finances under control. 

Entry requirements for these positions will include a background in mathematics. Start by taking Advanced Maths and progress to studying a financial role at college. This might be Economics, Accounting or another form of Financial Studies. As part of your degree, take up the opportunity to undergo a year in industry — this can give you an insight into the field that you’re going into and give you some invaluable experience to put on your resume.

There are certainly some hidden gems to uncover if you are looking for a role in the fashion industry. It’s all about being proactive and showing potential employers what you’re capable of. Good luck! 

https://www.drapersjobs.com/article/top-10-careers-in-the-fashion-industry/

https://www.ucas.com/ucas/after-gcses/find-career-ideas/explore-jobs/job-profile/pattern-grader

Lifestyle

Have a Blast on Your Special Day with These Five Tips

August 1, 2019

There are different ways people celebrate their birthdays each year. It is either you let the day pass by without doing anything special, or you go ahead and plan a grand party to celebrate with family and friends. If you choose the latter, then you should do everything that you can to make it one of the most meaningful highlights in your life as you become another year wiser.

Party planning can sometimes get overwhelming because you need to think about many things to ensure its success. To make things a lot simpler for you, here are some awesome ideas that you can keep in mind to celebrate your own birthday. 

1.Have the party at a place where you have never been to

If your past birthday parties were always celebrated at your home, then you can try something different this year. Why not check out websites like www.thewowhousecompany.co.uk for large houses that come with a swimming pool and other amenities that you can rent for the weekend. If you have a large venue, you can set up a floor that will allow all the guests to dance. 

2. Go and try something adventurous

If you are a person who does not do a lot of outdoor activities, then today is a good time for you to try one. You can set up a camping trip on the exact day of your birthday by inviting your close friends to spend time with you. Do not forget to bring a lot of tasty foods and snacks so you can celebrate once you arrive at the campsite. 

3. Go on a weekend trip

You can invite your closest friends to go with you on a weekend getaway. You can book a room at your favourite local hotel for a staycation. What is nice about staying at a hotel is that they allow their guests to use all of the features of the place, including pool and gym. A staycation is one of the most popular birthday ideas. 

4. Spend your birthday with the less fortunate

One way to give thanks for all the blessings that you have received is to volunteer for a good cause. You can support an organisation that is close to your heart. For example, you can help an organisation for cancer patients to make your day extra special. 

5. Pamper yourself on your special day

When was the last time that you went to your favourite spa for a full body massage? Would you like to have a pedicure and your feet pampered? You can also book an appointment at the salon to have your hair cut and coloured. If you are not into parties and you would rather spend your birthday alone then go ahead and make yourself look good and feel better. 

Lastly, keep in mind that there are many ways you can celebrate your special day. You can still have a blast even without having a party. 

Lifestyle

How to give your house an eco-friendly makeover

July 31, 2019

If you’re looking to give your home or log cabin a fresh, eco-friendly new look to greet the summer this year, check out this guide for the best furnishings and tricks to kit out your greener living space. 

Picking the right sofa 

Replacing your sofa is a big task. Not only is it certainly an investment, it is also a big design choice. After all, the sofa can’t help but be a huge focus of your room! 

But be sure that your new sofa didn’t cause a price for the planet when it was manufactured! There are a number of things to look out for where picking your perfect, eco-friendly sofa: 

  • Are the materials used to make it recycled? 
    • If not, are they sourced sustainably? 
  • Can the materials of the sofa be recycled again at the end of its life? 
  • For wood materials used, are they sealed with an environmentally-friendly oil finish? 

Considering curtains

Your choice of curtains can really impact your overall eco-friendly rating. Your curtains can work hard towards reducing your heating costs, if you pick wisely. Plus, the way the curtains themselves are made can also be very eco-conscious. 

EcoFriendly Link recommends buying curtains with natural fibres, such as cotton, silk, bamboo, or wool. For a more earthy look, linen and hemp curtains definitely add to the vibe. Plus, making sure these materials haven’t been dyed (or, at least, ensuring they were dyed with low-toxicity/low-impact dyes), is a must for an environmentally friendly home. 

To improve energy-efficiency, be sure that your curtains are lined with a light-coloured material. This helps with cooling your home in the summer and closing your curtains during sunny days will keep you house cool. Conversely, closing the curtains will keep the heat in the room during the winter months, meaning your radiators don’t have to work as hard. 

Flooring

For greener flooring, your mind might jump to reclaimed wood as the only option, but that isn’t the case! There are a number of different materials to consider when picking out the best flooring option for you, including: 

  • Cork
  • Bamboo
  • Glass tiles
  • Wool carpet 

Again, as with the curtains, be sure to research the dyes used to colour these materials before purchasing. Some dyes are highly toxic, so even if the material is sustainable, the process of making the flooring becomes decidedly not-eco-sound! 

Need a nice rug for your floor? Consider a sisal and sweet-grass woven rug. This plant-based rug is made from plants similar to bamboo, and they grow plentifully, meaning it doesn’t harm the environment to make them. 

Shelves

Shelves are an easy way to bring a greener vibe to your home, as you can embrace either the rustic, rugged look or the sleeker modern feel of wooden shelves: so long as it’s upcycled and reclaimed, you’re good to try any style! 

If you’re feeling particularly thrifty, you can put together a number of different shelving types with objects left around the home. One on-trend and simple-to-make shelving idea is hanging shelves: a little rope, leather cord, or chain coupled with reclaimed wood, be it an old wooden pallet or an unused skateboard makes for a minimalistic boho look

Air fresheners

Get rid of synthetic air fresheners that can be toxic to the environment and couple all your eco-friendly air freshener needs with another element of environmentally-sound interior design: houseplants. 

There are so many plants that can brighten up your home’s style, while keeping it smelling fresh

  • Devil’s Ivy
  • Peace lily 
  • Spider plant
  • Aloe vera 

No matter what style you’re aiming for within your home or log cabin’s interior, making it eco-friendly is beneficial to both you and the world around you. Be sure to take an extra moment to consider the materials and their process in becoming furnishings before you commit to buying. 

Sources: 

https://www.upcyclist.co.uk/2017/12/eco-friendly-furniture/

http://www.ecofriendlylink.com/blog/eco-friendly-curtains-save-money/

https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/ikea/ikea-live-lagom/#1364685879425

https://freshome.com/2012/10/15/10-most-popular-eco-friendly-floor-solutions/ https://ritely.com/diy-hanging-shelves/
Lifestyle

Dressing against the norm — what does it say about you?

July 30, 2019

From eccentric socks to dressing against our gendered expectations, many people push the limits of social norms when it comes to fashion. Research has shown that non-conformists can be viewed as being of a higher status and more competent than those who follow the rules of fashion. We take a look at what different clothing says about the wearer… 

Against gendered expectations

The line is becoming increasingly blurred between male and female clothing. Many people are speaking up, opposing the ideas that men and women should be dressed according to their sex. But, are you presenting yourself in a different way when you dress against the gendered expectations? 

Although fashionistas are saying that they don’t agree with gender rules, some research suggests that we’re still stuck in our old ways. Psychologists in New Jersey found that attitudes towards gender stereotypes hadn’t changed much between 1983 and 2014. 

There is an argument that shows that it’s favourable for women to cross the gender barrier but perhaps not men. Back in 1990, it was found that — despite the sex of the applicant – if the clothing that they wore was more masculine, they were more likely to be hired. When men dressed in pink however (a colour commonly associated with females), they were seen as less intelligent than women who were wearing the same colour. 

Eccentric wear 

Another way of going against the grain when it comes to style is through eccentric clothing. When we think of outrageous outfits we may think of people with brightly coloured hair, patterned clothing and over the top jewellery. But, there are other ways to express freedom through dress.

For example, people who wear unconventional socks are viewed as being rebellious and expressive. One of these people is Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada, who shows off his fun side by wearing funky socks with a traditional suit. You can make your own subtle ‘eccentric’ changes through patterned socks by CT shirts, online retailers of men’s shirts and accessories. Or make yourself stand out from the crowd through bright scarves and other extras. 

By dressing against the norms, studies have shown that you build a brand of being ‘gutsy’. And in fact, people have the potential to see you as more brilliant, creative and successful. One study, published in 2014, found that those who go against conformity can be viewed as of a higher status than those who don’t. They were also considered to be more competent — potentially influencing the impression that they give off in the workplace. 

Not only does it affect people’s perceptions of you but it can also affect the way you think, feel and act — this is through ‘embodied cognition’. Since eccentric dress gives you greater potential to express your individuality, it’s possible that it can make you feel more confident and comfortable in different situations. This could then go on to improve your performance at work or in challenges where you want to push yourself. 

Against the dress code 

In some situations, for a job interview perhaps, it can be argued that dressing in accordance with expectations is the best thing to do. 

Under some circumstances, we think that people with extraordinary appearances are more successful. 

Men who wear smart, fitted suits as they are often expected to wear in a formal situation, were perceived as being more confident, successful and thought to be earning a higher wage. This was compared to men who weren’t dressed as smartly — in a loosely fitted suit. 

In one study that looked at the effects of clothing, it was found that senior managers were rated less favourably if they were dressed more ‘provocative’. This was a skirt slightly above the knee and one button on the blouse undone. It’s clear to see that it is important to consider our dress style carefully as people can make many assumptions without any evidence. 

In some environments, wearing your set uniform can improve your productivity. Research found that in a lab, those who were wearing lab coats felt smarter and went on to perform better! 

As we can see, dressing against societies expectations can have many effects on the opinion of others and your own performance. Although it’s important to express yourself through dress, you don’t want to hinder your work or your impression on others in formal situations. Wear a pair of crazy socks underneath your day-to-day outfit instead…  

http://www.lifehack.org/531957/people-who-wear-crazy-socks-are-more-brilliant-creative-and-successful

https://www.rd.com/culture/crazy-socks-for-success/

http://uk.businessinsider.com/women-and-clothing-at-work-2015-2?r=US&IR=T

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3482589/Gender-stereotypes-holding-strong-Beliefs-roles-men-women-firmly-held-1980.html

https://www.elitedaily.com/money/people-who-wear-crazy-socks/1055248

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/do-something-different/201304/what-your-clothes-might-be-saying-about-you

Lifestyle

Four Tips for Renovating your Home

July 14, 2019

If you have just moved house, or are getting fed up of your décor, you might be thinking about changing a few things. Whether it is just a lick of fresh paint to smarten the look, or you want to do more extensive work, then there is always some planning needed. If you are ready to change the look of your home, this renovation guide will give you some tips to get you started.

1. Vision

In order to renovate your home, you need to have a vision of what you want the end results to look like. To do this, you might like to get ideas from magazines or online. Visiting showrooms will also give you inspiration. Searching for showrooms in your area, like bathroom showrooms Hertfordshire, gives you many different styles of bathrooms and fixtures that you could apply to your new bathroom.

Another way to get ideas on what you could do with your property is to look at similar houses in the area and see what changes the owners have made. An easy way to do this is to look online at property sale websites, which often have interior photos of houses that are for sale.

2. Budget

Having a budget for a home renovation project is essential, as without setting limits or knowing what you are going to be spending can lead to debt. Have a fixed amount that you want to spend and give yourself a cushion to cover any unexpected costs. How to determine your budget will depend, as it can be considerably lower if you intend to do much of the work yourself, However, if you don’t have the expertise, then you are better off hiring a professional who will get the job done well and quickly.

3. Professional Advice

If you intend to carry out structural changes to a property, such as removing walls or adding a loft conversion, then it is important to get the advice of a professional builder or architect. Removing load-bearing walls without replacing the support can be dangerous, as well as costly to put right if done incorrectly. Other works that will need professional expertise are drain removal and rerouting. You might also need planning permissions or have to comply with rules and building regulations.

4. Keep Mess Low

Renovation can be messy, especially if you are altering the layout by knocking down walls. Mess from home renovation can quickly build up, it is a good idea to hire a skip where you can put all the waste immediately. If you are only renovating one or two rooms, then frequent trips to your local tip should be enough. 

It can be difficult living in a home that is being renovated, but sometimes there is no choice. If you are staying in the home, it can become stressful. Try to have one room that you can keep clean and dust free. This will help you shut off from the project when you need to.

Renovating a home can be both exciting and stressful, but while it might feel difficult at times, keep the finished look in mind. After your home renovation, not only will you have a beautiful place to live, but you will have added value to your property too. 

Lifestyle

Best Outlaw Style Motorcycle Helmets

June 27, 2019

For law-abiding citizens, an outlaw motorcycle helmet may be the closest they come to breaking the law. These slick helmets are durable, stylish and designed to keep you safe. Whether you’re looking for a new style to try out or need to find the best motorcycle helmets that offer the unique outlaw look, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some top picks for the best outlaw style motorcycle helmets on the market.

Scorpion EXO Covert Helmet

An affordable option that can still take a beating, the Scorpion EXO is a dynamic option for a wide variety of use. You can wear the Covert as a half helmet, full face or 3/4 helmet. This gives you all the benefits of a durale, full face design, and still allows you to feel the wind once and awhile.

A retractable visor, generous vents and a unique look, you’re sure to get a killer helmet that works well in a variety of situations. Stay comfortable on long trips or take this one for a spin around your neighborhood to show off your new look.

Biltwell Lane Splitter

Fast, furious and protective enough for even the most painful crash, the Lane Splitter is a testament to function and fashion in one helmet. While the interior is lined with EPS to absorb shock, the patented ABS shell keeps you safe from skids, rocks or a collision with other hard surfaces. Choose an outlaw helmet that doesn’t just promise a great-looking exterior, but also walks the talk and keeps your head safe. Touring, commuting or impressing the fans all requires a healthy blend of comfort and safety. Thankfully, the Biltwell Lane Splitter delivers.

While it comes with expansive intake vents to allow plenty of air flow, these non-adjustable vents are likely to cool your face off in cold climates. An inner mesh pocket for your communication device seals the deal on this iconic outlaw helmet that boasts a wide variety of shell colors.

Scorpion EXO-AT950 Neocon Helmet

From the aerodynamic touring shape to the attachable sun visor, this multipurpose Scorpion helmet is great for most riding situations. Not to be confused with the Covert, the EXO-AT950 is a dual-sport dream that is easy to use all day long. The dynamic lines and aggressive look matches your motorcycle aftermarket parts you use to trick out your ride.

From motocross mud pits to day and night driving on long cruises, the EXO-AT950 delivers expert performance and a sleek look. Go with the standard matte black color scheme or choose a vibrant accent color to turn heads as you fly by.

The liner is antimicrobial, so you won’t have to worry about sweat and dirt creating a funky smell as you ride. You’ll find a communication inner pocket, a generous manufacturer warranty and a dual-density shell for even the toughest crashes.

While there are many more outlaw style motorcycle helmets, these three designs represent some of the most premium, flexible and well-rounded options on the market. From specialized motocross setups to dual-sport enthusiasts, grab the outlaw helmet that fits your needs, matches your motorcycle gear and promises you’ll be the coolest biker on the road.

Lifestyle

Dating Tips: How to Learn Patience in a Relationship

June 14, 2019

As you go about your normal life, you will realize that patience is a rare virtue. People shout at each other on the road, curse when the bank line is too long, and even try to take numerous shortcuts in life. Every person should try to have patience in all aspects of life.

If you are in a relationship, this is one of the strongest pillars that you should work hard to maintain. But if you do not know how, I will guide you by sharing tips on how to learn patience in a relationship. Read on to learn more.

One Step at a Time

Learning to be patient, especially if we are not, is a gradual process. It should start with small things like waiting a minute longer before you react to anything. You can also share with your partner to help you in the learning process.

They should be patient with you, too. If you take one step at a time, the dream of learning to be patient will come true. The secret is in making efforts to learn this virtue.

Remember, Remember, and Remember!

Keep reminding yourself that this is a virtue that supports the love. If there is no patience in a relationship, there will be many problems that are experienced immediately and in the long run.

According to research, it is possible to break a relationship, especially if you have just met on a dating site like Happymatches and you are still learning more about each other. But if one makes an effort as early as now, the partner will understand.

Get Professional Help

It is not fair to keep this problem as a secret since it is affecting the relationship. If you or your partner cannot learn how to be patient through other ways, professional help may be handy. With many relationship counselors out there, you can only fail to get help because of your own choice.

They are professionals and their guidance usually works. One thing to know is that they treat each case differently. So, you will need to have a couple of sessions with them before they propose the best solution. The presence of your partner is also needed in this case because they will have a role to play.

Support from Your Partner

Learning patience in a relationship is not a battle to be fought by a single person. Your partner has an even bigger role to play. If they indeed love you and care about the relationship, they should stand with you as you take the baby steps towards the virtue.

Their support genuinely matters a lot. As mentioned earlier, the partner should be patient with you and do all of the necessary things that are considered support to you. This is the time to show that they truly care about you.

Conclusion

As we have seen, learning patience in a relationship is a process that needs determination from you, support from your partner, and even help from experts. When all of these efforts are brought together, you will definitely enjoy the results. Patience will not only make your relationship better, but it will also help you in life.