Nov
14

Useful Tips on How to Travel without Spending a Fortune

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A world to be explored…interesting places to visit….exciting destinations and the willingness to open your horizon and your mind to the unknown ahead or in a word: TRAVELING! One of human kind’s favorite occupation, travelling is definitely a must-try experience for everybody! [Read more...]

Oct
10

Going Green on a Grand Scale

Going Green on a Grand ScaleWhile the government’s intention to adopt sustainable measures to make the average home more energy efficient is admirable, getting the public to understand the process is one difficult trek. To say that the project is complicated is an understatement and if it cannot be explained properly, the chance of getting people to support it is very slim. [Read more...]

Jul
27

Top Online Business Marketing Trends in 2014

Forbes published an interesting article about online marketing trends that are expected to dominate this year. There are seven of them and businesses big and small can get good insights from the guidelines they set. They are as follows:

1. Greater Content Marketing Efforts This is a no-brainer. The Internet is all about content. Viral items that raise awareness or popularity for certain products are basically content. It will be foolish for anyone to try to veer away from content marketing this year or even in the next many years ahead. The amount of online content promoting or associated with a particular brand or product will have a significant impact on marketing efforts. These could be through paid blog posts, social media posts, newsletters, and written online correspondence that establish relationships, authority, and trust. Of note, it’s a rarity for online marketers these days to not offer content marketing solutions. Even an internet marketing agency like http://incrediblemarketing.com/ continues to offer content marketing while providing more popular services such as SEO and social media marketing.

2. More Diverse Social Media Marketing

Social media is not just about Facebook and Twitter. While these two social media platforms are the most popular and arguably the most effective, there are also benefits in exploring other social media avenues especially when pursuing niche markets. For example, those who target professionals should consider marketing through LinkedIn. Those who focus on a visually rich platform can exploit better opportunities on Instagram. Even the seemingly forgotten and neglected Google+ can also contribute something in marketing efforts.

3. Image Centric Content

In a social media marketing industry report for 2014, 70% of marketers are said to be planning on increasing their use of images this year. Most marketing plans are bound to make heavy use of images. Infographics are becoming more popular along with viral photos and relevant memes. Images tend to attract more readers so it’s not surprising why they are likely to become widely used for online marketing.

4. Minimalism

The maxim “less is more” or a trend towards simplicity is expected to become a notable feature in marketing campaigns this year. A clean look as exemplified by the characteristically minimalist packaging of Apple products is going to influence a lot of advertising and marketing efforts in 2014. This can also be observed in how websites nowadays are designed in such ways that they look easier to the eyes and spacious. The details added on posters and other marketing materials are not necessarily being withheld but are simply designed to avoid a cluttered look.

5. Mobile Marketing

The number of mobile phones and phone users keeps increasing so it only makes sense targeting them for possible marketing campaigns. With Internet penetration becoming more far-reaching in different parts of the world, the greater popularity of mobile marketing is only to be expected.

6. Ad Targeting and Retargeting As published on Forbes, more companies will resort to ad retargeting by making use of browser cookies, by seeking patterns in the actions of audiences.

7. Search Engine Optimization

Of course, for as long as search engines remain relevant, search engine optimization will continue to become vital in online marketing campaigns. A search engine optimization agency that offers SEO services will continue to attract customers as they race to have their websites or specific web pages topping Google's search engine results..

Jul
27

How to Keep Your Health Insurance When Your Job Disappears

Losing your job is tough – not only do you lose your regular income, you also stand to lose any health cover that your employer provided. While your mind is probably focused 100% on trying to get a new job and how to survive in the meantime, you must not lose sight of your health insurance.

Illegal Practices

Some employers cut off health cover on the day your job is terminated – that may not be legal.  If you paid your deduction for the entire month but terminated your employment before the last day of the month, it could be illegal for them to stop your health benefits early. Get in touch with the payroll department and tell them you want to be put back on the plan until the end of the month.

COBRA

COBRA is the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act and it dictates that you are allowed to continue your employer’s health insurance plan but you do have to pay the full amount of the premium yourself.  Your employer must tell the health plan administrator within a period of 30 days that your cover is terminated and they then have a further 14 days to notify you of your rights to continue and how to do it.

COBRA coverage only lasts for a period of 18 months and, if you have to fork out any medical payments in the 44 days between termination and starting again, you can’t reclaim them until the plan starts again – these can be claimed retroactively though so keep all receipts and reports.

While it may be an expensive option, it does provide you with some breathing space and you can get on with the task of finding a new job, knowing that you and your family are safely covered for your health needs in the meantime.

Other Options

Other options include Obamacare, which is available to all but may work out quite pricey, and Medicaid. When you do finally get secure employment again, check to see if they offer corporate private health insurance – it’s the best and cheapest option to ensure you and your family are covered for all eventualities.

Jul
25

Lifestyle Changes After Breast Augmentation

Undergoing breast augmentation is a life changer. Thus, you have to make sure that before you undergo the procedure, you are totally prepared for it. You need to ponder whether or not it is something that you really want. Once you have done the procedure, it will more or less be permanent. As a result, you have to make lifestyle changes as well. Otherwise, you might suffer from unwanted consequences.

A Few Days After Surgery

Once the surgery is over, it might take a week or so for you to heal. You might see bruising on your breast or swelling for first few days. There will also be breast dressing that will be removed after 24 hours. During the first few days, you are not allowed to do any strenuous activities at all. If you need to do something, you have to ask someone to do it in your behalf. You are also advised not to drink alcohol for the first 5 days after the surgery. It might cause complications.

When it comes to breast care, you have to make sure that you will use only mild and organic soaps. This is to avoid chemicals from contaminating the wounds. You also have to wear bra all the time to support your breasts. You can only remove them when taking a bath. It is suggested that you wear surgical bras designed for women who have just finished breast surgery.

What to Do After Complete Recovery

Once you have fully recovered from breast surgery, it might be time for you to address some permanent needs. For instance, you might need to change your bras. The size normally does not change, but the cup does. Therefore, you have to once again measure your new breasts and find out the right bra that provides support.

Another change that you have to go through is physical doing physical activities. You might have to lessen some tasks as they might put pressure on your breasts. You also have to avoid carrying heavy objects. Wearing sports bra is somehow recommended to provide support to your breast, but make sure that it is not wired. These wired bras might hurt when used over a longer period of time.

Determining Complications

There are possible complications as side effects of the surgery. Thus, at the slightest detection of pain, you have to ask for help from your surgeon right away. Hematoma and swelling on the sides of the breasts are very common. You will know that it is no longer normal if medications can’t take the pain away. You might also experience breathing issues. Thus, you have to be aware of these changes so you can be given immediate help.

Going through breast surgery is definitely a big move. Thus, you have to be prepared physically and psychologically. You also have to make sure that you understand the risks that come with it. If you wish to get the best breast augmentation in Seattle surgeon, you can go here. For breast augmentation in Minneapolis, you can check out http://www.kovandaplasticsurgery.com/breast-surgery/breast-augmentation/.

Jul
23

5 Easy Ways to Have a Completely Different Look

Every now and then, we would yearn for a different look, be it to attract attention, to make a statement, or simply because we have grown bored of our current look. While many people believe it takes a lot of work to look different, it’s actually very easy. A few simple changes can go a long way. Here are five things you can do to have a completely different look:

  1. Wear a jacket, coat, or scarf. It might seem unbelievable, but a single additional article of clothing can significantly alter your look. Jackets might seem easy, but a scarf might be intimidating for first-timers. Don’t worry though; there are plenty of tips online to help you get started. In fact, wearing a scarf differently creates more options for you to change your look!
  2. Use a different lipstick color. Not just a different shade, but a different color. If you usually wear red, you may want to try pink, blue, or even purple. For added effect, match the color of your nail polish with your lipstick.
  3. Revisit your closet. It’s highly likely that you have clothes that you don’t wear anymore, or wear as much, for whatever reason. Find new ways to wear them, and experiment by mixing and matching with some of your new clothes–you can have an entirely new outfit in no time!
  4. Accessorize with colorful bracelets and necklaces. Don’t just settle for metal necklaces–try using shell or bead necklaces, and use a few color-matched bangles stacked with other bracelets to complete the look.
  5. Change your hairstyle. To some, this might seem drastic, but aside from getting a new haircut, there are plenty of ways you can style your hair. You can simply change the way you wear it (for instance, from a ponytail to buns), or have it dyed. If you have straight hair, you may want to try curling it with a curling iron or curling wand. If you’re new to curling, there are many resources online on finding the best curling iron in the market. On the other hand, you can find information about the best curling wand here

As a bonus, none of these tips require you to blow insane amounts of money. Scarves, bracelets, necklaces, and bangles can be found online for very low prices, and while the very best curling wands can get expensive, completely functional ones can be found for as low as $10. Try any of these tips and find a new you without much effort!

Jul
21

It’s Time to Change Your Lifestyle and be of Help to Poor Children

Even if you have everything that you need in life, you might still think that it’s not enough. You want more and you are not content of what is given to you. If this is how you live your life in the past years, maybe it’s high time for you to think of other people too. While you are having a dilemma on what car model you want to buy, other people have a bigger problem on what to eat for the day. When you can spoil your own children with everything that they ask for, millions of other children don’t even have basic needs such as shelter and nutrition.

Yes, life is unfair and it is so unfortunate that these children are born in this kind of situation. However, you can do your share and be of help. If you earn more than what you need to provide for your basic needs, then it might be high time for you to share what you have to other people. If you can’t think of any way, the best thing to do is to sponsor a child through UNICEF’s project.

How to be a Sponsor

If you wish to sponsor a child, it does not mean you have to choose one child and bring this child directly to your house. It is more of helping children in general. When you commit to be a Global Parent, then you give a certain amount of money to UNICEF. They will identify the children who are in great need of help and this is where your money will go to. They will provide projects that are not just meant to help for a short-term, but will have long-term effects.

Your Help Will Go a Long Way

There is nothing to worry about when it comes to your donations. You are assured that they are in safe hands. Over the years, UNICEF has implemented lots of projects that helped children across the world, especially from Africa and the tribal areas in Australia. You can sponsor children who need help without necessarily taking them away from the environment in which they are used to.

You can be a better person than who you are now. Make your move and support the child sponsorship project by visiting here.

Jul
17

Essential Tips Before Deciding to Get a Personal Loan

Given the number of banks and financial firms available to provide personal loans these days, it is very easy to just pick one company and apply for a loan right away. Some of them might have strict policies, but you can easily find one that is more relaxed and easier to deal with. However, just before you decide to go for these loans, there are a few things that you need to ponder on.

1. Do you really need this loan? If you are getting this loan just to buy unnecessary items, then don’t do it. You will soon regret this decision. You should take this loan only if you really don’t have any other source of money to pay for something urgent or during medical emergencies. If you are planning to buy something that can wait, then it is best for you to wait.

2. Make sure that you compare the interest rates and other terms associated with these loans among the companies available. You must find it easy to repay the loan later on. If the application process is easy, but the interest rates are too high, then don’t dare get it. You won’t be able to repay it and it spells disaster.

3. Will you be able to repay the loan during the due date? Take note that for some companies, the penalty rate when paying after the due dates is too high. It can even be compounded as you fail to pay within the next few days. Again, this is very risky. Therefore, if you are not sure about your financial resources to repay the loan, then think about this risk before going for it.

4. Stick with trusted companies only. There might be smaller firms out there that may provide personal loans even to people with messed up credit scores. Though this sounds good news for you, it might just be a scam. Therefore, make sure you don’t bite this bait.

When you think you are ready to take this risk, then nothing should stop you from getting loans. If not, you have to find other options. For more details about affordable personal loans online, you can check out http://www.newcastlepermanent.com.au/.

Jul
15

Bringing European Charm Into Your Home


Having come from a two-week holiday in Europe, my husband and I have decided to renovate our Sydney home. We wanted to incorporate a European look and feel to the house that we had bought some 10 years ago. It has seen some good times and now that we have a little extra money saved, we though of sprucing it up by renovating the interiors.

While on holiday, I fell in love with Italian and Spanish tiles. I loved the color, their vibrance and the fact that they were baked and even made by hand. The patterns and designs were also very lovely and lent an elegance that ordinary tiles lacked. I felt that it will be a good way to elevate the ambience at home especially now that my husband is a top executive at his company. We often have guests for dinner and the wives of some of his bosses could be pretty snobbish – like they were judging us because everything inside our home was locally sourced.

The initial plan was to buy the tiles from Italy. They weren’t very expensive, but the shipping would cost an arm and a leg. Not to mention that there was the possibility of the tiles breaking and cracking during the shipping process. Fortunately, one of my husband’s assistants knew of a local shop that carried imported bathroom tiles. With our decorator in tow, we trooped to ABL Tile Centre and marveled at the bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles as well as other premium materials for the home.

I was ecstatic looking at the fine tile patterns. What was good though was that the attendants were very pleasant and readily explained to me the difference between the hand painted tiles and the ceramic and glazed ones. The cost was quite reasonable too, considering that these were imported from Italy and Spain. Since we were ordering a lot of pieces, we were offered free delivery; which was another good thing for us since our car wasn’t the type for carrying heavy load.

I can’t wait to see the look on my husband’s bosses (and their snobbish wives) when they see our newly renovated and European-inspired home.

Jul
09

Exterior House Renovations – 5 Tips on How to Use a Scissor Lift Safely

All buildings need renovating every now and again and there are ways of doing it, even if it is just your house. If you are thinking about some renovation work to the exterior of your house, perhaps new fascias or a coat of paint, don’t try to do it using a ladder.

Take a look at these great deals on scissor lift rentals first. Scissor lifts are designed to go up a maximum of 50 ft., which should be more than sufficient for your needs, and they are ideal for making jobs like painting easy.  But, there are things you should and should not do when it comes to using a scissor lift.

  • Do Not Overload
  • Scissor lifts are generally used for raising people or objects but you must take into consideration the total amount of weight being lifted.  Weight is an issue because, the higher the lift goes, the more unstable it can become, especially if overloaded or not balanced.

  • Take it Slowly
  • If you are using the lift to raise materials, exercise caution and don’t rush it. Too much haste can end in disaster.

  • Use Lanyards
  • These are attached to a person’s wrist and, should the person become incapacitated in any way, the lanyard will pull a kill switch, shutting off the machinery.

  • Stay Within the Guard Rails
  • They are there for a reason! If you do have to lean over the guardrail for anything, do not over extend or stand on the rails.  It might seem like an easy thing to do but it is equally as easy to lose your balance.

  • Never Move the Lift While the Platform is Extended
  • Always bring the lift back down before you move to a new location. They are not stable enough when extended to be move without risking some kind of accident.

    Always follow the health and safety guidelines when operating any kind of machinery.  Using a scissor lift correctly will make your renovation job much easier and quicker to carry out as well as safer. 

    If you are starting a house or building Renovation Company up, you could consider the cost of buying your own scissor lift. You can get some great deals on new or used and it will work out much cheaper than having to pay rental fees every time.

    Jul
    09

    Starting Your Own Catering Business – Things to Know

    Do you love to host parties for your friends and family at every opportunity you get?  Are you up to date on the latest food trends and have a head for business?  Why not think about starting your own catering company? 

    Starting a business these days doesn’t have to cost the earth and, indeed, with catering, you can actually start from your own home.  Below, we look at the steps required to getting your new business off the ground.

    Step One – Market Research

    Catering is a varied market with many niches to it. Spend some time doing a bit of research; work out what the best niche is to get into.  You can start on a small basis, perhaps delivering fresh baked goods to corporations for their business meetings. Look at what the competition is and head in a different directions, something that isn’t offered widely.  For example, if the location you live in is already full of businesses that offer buffet foods, go for something a little more exclusive and upscale.

    Step 2 – Licenses and Permits

    Every business, especially a food catering one, requires a business license and you will need a tax identification number. Also, whether you are opening up premises or working from your own home, you will require a permit of some description for handling food, serving alcohol if that is your intention and liability insurance – for you, your staff and the public if applicable.  You will also need the proper certification for food handling and health and safety certificates for your business area.

    Step 3 – Equipment

    Of course, you will need specific cooking equipment and heating tables as well as a vehicle if you intend to run a delivery service.  You can buy wholesale catering supplies at excellent prices here. You will need office equipment as well, such as a business phone, a computer, furniture and proper accounting software.

    Step 4 – Business Marketing

    The final step is to advertise your business. Build a website that features full color, professional photos, menu samples and testimonials from customers. Get some business cards made up and distribute them, along with fliers, to other complementary businesses, such as wedding planners, florists, and photographers.

    Jul
    05

    How Small Businesses can Benefit from Cloud Storage Services

    Small business owners usually find ways to reduce cost and maximize productivity. Of course, unlike big companies, small business owners do not have the luxury to invest on something expensive to boost the business. One of the most important aspects in running a business is data security. For big companies, they can spend thousands of dollars just to secure everything that they have. However, this is not the same for small businesses. Thus, it is high time for you to consider cloud storage services.

    There are a lot of companies offering this service at an affordable cost. Aside from the reduce cost of data security, here are some other benefits you can get out of it:

    • Cloud storage assures protection and safety. You know that all the data you have stored are in safe hands. The data stored in the cloud storage will be in encrypted form. They will only be opened one an encryption id is typed. Thus, you are assured that no one can hack the data. Furthermore, regular virus scans will also be run just to make sure there will be no potential threat. Layers of security are also in place so that only you and your authorized staff can access the data,

    • Consistency and reliability is another reasons. There are many ways in which you data can be vulnerable. This includes power outage, internet access issues and government policies. Cloud storage will ensure that none of these factors will affect the overall security of your data.

    • Backup system will also be in place should anything go wrong. Take note that if you invest on regular backup technology, you have to spend a lot. You also need manpower to do the job. This is not applicable for cloud storage. Thus, you can back up the data without necessarily spending a lot.

    There are a lot more reasons for giving cloud storage services a try. There are also trial versions available just in case you are not yet certain if you are willing to invest on it. Just in case you do, check out more cloud storage information here.