Category Archives: Reviews

How to Ensure Your Wedding Photos Last

Photographs from your wedding day will bring back memories of some of the happiest moments of your life, and it is natural that you will want to show them to your friends and family, as well as take the opportunity to look through them yourself and re-live your big day as often as possible.

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Scrolling through digital images on your computer or phone is convenient, but it’s still difficult to beat the experience of flipping through a photo album or digging out a precious box of photographs from under your bed.

As with everything, printed photographs are susceptible to wear, but here are a few tips that will ensure your precious photographs will last, leaving you free to continue looking at them whenever without worrying about causing damage.

The Printing Process

Professional photographs from a high-quality Hampshire wedding photographer, such as those from http://www.nickrutterphotography.co.uk/blog/best-wedding-photography-hampshire-dorset-2016/, should be printed on the finest paper using premium archival inks. If investing in an album from your photographer is something you are interested in, enquiring about their printing technique and asking to see some examples will give you an idea of what you can expect.

Safely Storing Your Photographs

Sunlight, heat, humidity and pollution can all have detrimental effects on printed photographs. Arranging your images into albums with protective sleeves is one of the best storage methods, and flipping through a well-organised album also makes looking back on those wonderful memories even more enjoyable.

If you need some tips for organising and storing your digital files, this Guardian article provides some detailed pointers, including investing in two hard drives so that you always have a back-up if one fails.

Displaying Your Images

Copies of your favourite photographs can brighten and add personality to your home. High-quality frames with glass panels will protect the image from humidity and exposure to air, and keeping them out of direct sunlight will help to mitigate the risk of colour fading. Always make sure to keep a printed back-up and a digital copy of your favourite images so that should any accidental damage occur or you experience the loss of an image during a move or whilst renovating your home, you will be able to make another copy and treasure those precious wedding day memories forever.

Adults also suffer from hyperactivity syndrome and attention deficit

Commonly called multitasking, with a positive sense that seems to lift the weight to be very busy. Yes, because the ability to do many things simultaneously arouses respect and admiration for those who may focus on one activity at a time. Read more »

5 places you can go to drive a tank

Short of signing on to spend a few years in the army, you might think that your chances of ever getting to drive a tank are pretty slim. But you’d be wrong, and there are, in fact, quite a few places offering civilians the chance to get to grips with some serious military hardware.

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Since its introduction in the First World War, the tank has transformed the face of warfare. Even today in the missile age, tanks form a major component of most of the world’s armies. As an expression of military might, a massive chunk of mobile armour with a big gun is hard to beat, so there’s little wonder that many people want to know what it’s like to drive these vehicles.

What to expect

You’ll get to experience driving the vehicle in an off-road environment, usually with some thick mud and deep water to add to the fun. Driving a tank is one thing, but many centres offer more, including the ability to crush a car or to play tank paintball. Of course, you’ll receive some basic instruction to ensure that the whole thing is done in safety.

Tank driving is great as a group event, for parties or corporate treats. Most centres offer gift vouchers too, so you can treat the military nut in your family to an experience they won’t forget.

Where to go

There are several centres in the UK offering tank experiences. In the Midlands tank driving can be tried at places like https://www.armourgeddon.co.uk/. There are also centres in Wales and Scotland. Some places in the UK offer ‘mini tanks’, which allow younger members of the family to join in the fun to.

If you want to travel further afield and perhaps make tank driving part of a longer holiday, there are centres overseas too. The Irish Military War Museum near Dublin lets you drive an armoured personnel carrier – which is almost a tank.

For the more adventurous, the place to head is the US. Ox Ranch in Texas not only lets you drive a tank, but also gives you the opportunity to fire its gun. The ranch is also home to a collection of animals including giraffes, zebras and kangaroos, so there’s plenty to keep the less tank-focused members of the family happy too.

Tips for your sensitive skin care

Did you know that are some great home remedies for taking care of sensitive skin? Dermatologists define sensitive skin as very dry skin, which is prone to skin reactions such as skin bumps or skin erosion and has a tendency to blush and flush. Some other causes of sensitive skin reactions are skin disorders or allergic skin reactions, such as eczema, rosacea or allergic contact dermatitis. Since such skin is highly reactive and delicate, it needs extra care and special attention.

Here are some great ideas for helping you skin without spending a fortune:

Starting your day  by drinking a glass of lemon water is a great idea for those with skin problems. The vitamin C as well as other antioxidants in lemon help combat free-radical damage. Lemon is also highly effective at getting rid of toxins from your blood, which helps keep the skin glowing and free from acne, blemishes, wrinkles and other problems. Drinking water throughout the day will also maintain your skin’s hydration levels and moisturise from within.

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Choosing your skin care products wisely will also benefit your skin. Whether it’s a cleanser, soap or face pack, make sure you are buying the right products for your skin type. For Avene Sensitive Skin Gift Set, visit http://www.lifeandlooks.com/avene-sensitive-skin-gift-set.html.

Be it a cleanser, moisturizer, soap or a face pack, you need to buy the right products for your sensitive skin. Avoid harsh ingredients and choose products with anti-oxidants, aloe vera and chamomile. Less is  better when it comes to skin care too and the fewer the ingredients the better.  Look for hypo-allergenic or fragrance free if you’re not sure. Always do a patch test before buying any new skin care product. If you are not sure about a product, get advice from an expert before you buy it.

Moisturising with pure coconut oil is excellent for sensitive skin as it has a high amount of fatty acids which keep skin well moisturised. Coconut oil goes deep into the skin’s pores to nourish and moisturise from within. Coconut oil treats conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It can even protect the skin from sun damage, hence its usage in various sunscreens.

Cleansing with milk is another remedy that you can do in the comfort of your own kitchen. It is an excellent cleanser for sensitive skin due to it’s anti-inflammatory, soothing properties. It moisturises and improves complexions as well as helping to get rid of dry skin. No wonder Cleopatra bathed in it! To use milk as a cleanser, dip a cotton pad in raw milk and dab it on your face. Leave it on for 5 to 15 minutes, then rinse your face with lukewarm water.

Try to avoid caffeine and switch to Green tea which is good for people with sensitive skin. It is full of antioxidants, which help protect the skin from harmful free radicals and keep it rejuvenated and youthful looking. It also helps soothe your skin. Try to incorporate a few cups of green tea daily to help fight off various signs of aging and reduce sun damage. You can keep brewed green tea in the refrigerator and use it to clean your face.

The Questions You Need to Ask Before You Pick a Hardwood Floor

Knowing that you want hardwood floors must be easy, right? Decision made. If only it were that simple.

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Not only are there many different options in terms of wood and colour, but you need to carefully consider the room it’s going into and how much traffic it will see. How will you decorate the room? What sort of furnishings are you planning?

First Things First

Do you want or need solid wood, or is engineered wood a viable alternative? Solid wood is, as the name suggests, made from wood alone. Engineered wood is cheaper, because it is a real wood veneer on top of a plywood base.

Where Will it Go?

Engineered wood is better in dealing with moisture and less likely to warp than solid wood, so might be better for a kitchen or bathroom. It works well on concrete slab subfloors. Think about which room you are proposing to have wooden flooring like oak wood flooring – it’s very different putting wood floors down on a second storey as opposed to a basement or ground floor. A basement might be far ‘wetter’ thanks to water content below ground.

Living in the House

How people ‘live’ in the house will play a large part in the decision making process.

Cost and maintenance will be a factor in your choice, and it is worth considering the sheer number of different woods available, from traditional oak and walnut through to maple. Consider too how you will finish the flooring – a polyurethane stain with a high gloss finish, or an oil finish that won’t exacerbate the appearance of chips and nicks?

Check out consumer guide Which? for more suggestions on how to choose the right hardwood flooring for your home.

Once you have made the decision and are certain that wood flooring is right for your home, deal with experts in their field, like online retailers Wood Floor Warehouse.

Where are the high-traffic areas in your home? Do the children understand about scratching or damaging wood? Can they be careful and respectful? Do you have any pets whose claws might damage the floor? Is this a party house? The more traffic anticipated, the harder the wood you should choose. You might also factor in the pattern of the grain, and the colour or stain.

Project Management: Waterfall or agility?

There are thousands of definitions and most are not applicable to small businesses. The literature on project management assumes that you have staff dedicated exclusively to those projects. But in most small businesses we are CEOs, project managers, secretaries, functional analysts and whatever it takes.

When you cannot separate unique project roles, what does project management mean?

In two words: managing projects is to get results in the current account.

I have worked in many companies where a project was described as “successful “despite not producing real results. For example, completing a software development project that no one will use is considered a well-managed project as long as it finishes on time, within budget, and completes the agreed upon scope. In business like ours this is no good. If you want a new website and get it on time, within budget and with the number of pages you wanted, but does not capture customers, the feeling of failure is greater than success.

When the importance of a project is not the project itself but the end result, apply a project management agile increases the chance of success.

For those who do not know the agile methodologies, there are two general ways of managing projects: Waterfall and Agile (i.e. waterfall and agile).

The difference lies in the time that elapses between realizing that your project is going bad and making the decision to repair it. To see it more clearly, let’s see how each method works using the simile of a river that carries water to the sea:

 

“With the cascade method you wait until the entire volume of water drops to the next level before opening the damper that allows it to continue descending. So you cannot go on to the next level until all the water has passed through.

“With the agile method you want every drop of water to reach the sea as fast as possible, even if you do not wait for the others. In this way, they open the way and provide you with information on how safe or confusing it is. Once you know the way, the rest of the drops go faster and with fewer problems to the sea.

Let us now give an example to see the difference. Imagine that you need changes so that your products adapt to the new tastes of consumers.

WATERFALL METHOD:

You hire a team of specialists, conduct a market study, send qualitative surveys, etc. Finally you approve a prototype of the final product and you order it to produce in large quantities, based on the market studies and the results of the surveys.

First year result: If you manage to bring the product to market in a year and earn money within those first 12 months, it is that “you have joint”. The normal thing is that you recover the investment over the following years if the product sells well. If it is not sold, you will not recover the project investment. Your great idea turns into losses.

 AGILE METHOD:

Ask your regular customers about this product what improvements they would apply or if they would buy your new product. You can offer it at different prices to see which price raises the best answer. When you are clear what price they will pay and what product they want, offer it to them. Produce few and let them use it. Ask them to post their answers on social networks and read each answer (especially negative ones). Go back to producing a little more, and listen to opinions again.

First Year Result: You have stopped producing when the product is no longer sold. If by bad luck you did not get good opinions in the first installments, you have saved thousands of euros in production, storage and destruction of stocks. Otherwise, with each game you sell, you recover money, even if you do not earn big margins.

And do not forget that you have made your special customers feel special, that they will now be your best sales ambassadors.

It seems clear that Agile gives faster results at lower cost. So why are projects still being planned with Waterfall?

Because you can start them at any time, you only need resources (mostly economic and human). The Waterfall projects are easy to execute: hire a consultant and you deliver ready to produce.

It is not easy to get involved with an agile project from one day to the next. It requires preparation: you need to have documented and categorized all the purchases of your customers in the last months (or years); It demands that you have segmented and analyzed; Asks you to expose yourself to being criticized and accept those criticisms with joy.

Agile is uncomfortable because it shows the truths very soon and leaves little room for self-deception. It’s great to save yourself great annoyances, but it sets you up against great truths.

The project management Agile requires more than mental organizational changes. It forces you to abandon your ego and listen to your clients without a consultant. With a Waterfall project it is easier to stop listening to the market, create the product of your dreams and then you will go out and sell it. Waterfall allows you to be hiding in your cave without the contact with real clients for longer. Agile forces you to sell from the first day, from the moment of the idea, to validate neither it before investing nor a euro.

And you? What projects do you have on the table? Are you ready to listen to your customers’ opinions about your ideas?

More on http://www.natpat.org/

Dine With Me

If you’re new to the world of dinner party hosting, it can be a really daunting prospect but there are some simple ideas to make sure that the evening is not a disaster and people don’t go home hungry. Remember that just because you’ve watched a series of Come Dine With Me, doesn’t mean you have to start regularly inviting friends and neighbours over for dinner. Only do it if you really want to because it does require some effort.

Make sure they have plenty to eat, don’t skimp on the portion sizes and it’s also nice to offer something that they wouldn’t ordinarily have at home. However, a word of caution, yes it’s nice to be unique but people would rather have familiar and well cooked than unusual and not quite put together correctly. Also, if you’re on a strict diet or follow a particular set of nutritional guidelines that’s great but don’t inflict the same stringent rules to your guests.

Trying a recipe for the first time that day is also best to be avoided due to the possibility of it being a disaster and your stress levels going through the roof. Timing is another key factor in whether your big night is a success or not. Nobody wants to be rushed to the table, people usually want to enjoy a drink first. However, they also don’t want to wait until 10pm to finally get fed. A few small nibbles to pick on before they eat is a great idea and aim to give them about 40 minutes before sit down.

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The other important thing you’ll need is alcohol and possibly quite a lot of it depending on how many people you will be inviting. A great place to start a dinner party is giving your guests a clear destination on arrival. Have a table made up like a bar with access all around and make sure you have the essential like an ice bucket, tongs, lemon and lime etc. Find out which wines will go perfectly with your meal choice and get a load in. You can find some great online deals when buying in bulk. For an Online wine merchants in Northern Ireland, visit http://thewinecompanyni.com/.

Other pleasant touches that could really round off the evening are the addition of things like candles and flowers on the table and definitely proper napkins. For a table set-up that really makes an impression go for a white tablecloth, white dishes and one or two bold colours for the flowers or centrepieces. Don’t start the washing up or begin loading the dishwasher until after your guests have departed. Yes you can remove plates from getting in the way but return straight away. The sole purpose of your evening is to spend time with your guests and not hide in the kitchen. Moving the dirty dishes is one thing but as soon as you turn on the tap, you are abandoning your guests and dampening the mood.

These are some of the most common wiring problems in a car

Anyone who has ever seen the wiring looms of cars knows that they can be intricate, to say the least. Depending on the model, the wiring can appear as a spaghetti-like mess that requires an automotive engineering degree to comprehend.

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The electric systems in cars have come a long way. They make driving safer, easier, and in the future, will make driving increasingly automated. These advances, fantastic as they may be, have meant that vehicle electronics are more complex and prone to complications. Below are a selection of common problems and their potential solutions.

Dead battery

If you turn the key and hear nothing, no starter motor or ignition sounds, then the car battery is probably completely dead. You can buy a mains charger to try to rectify this, but in some cases, a completely flat battery will need to be replaced by a mechanic.

If your battery has run flat, it could also indicate a problem with the alternator, hence it does not charge whilst driving.

Problem with the starter motor

If your vehicle makes the usual sound, but the engine doesn’t turn over, then the issue may lie with the starter motor itself. Unfortunately, problems with the starter motor will more than likely require replacement parts and a qualified mechanic or engineer such as those at http://www.rapidfitlooms.co.uk/.

Wires

If you experience intermittent issues, occasional starter problems or lights faltering, then this could indicate an issue with the wires and connections. It is worth checking the connections, even giving them a wiggle, before going to purchase replacement parts. Automotive wiring looms can be subject to wear and tear and small issues are not necessarily expensive to repair.

Spark plugs

If your spark plugs come loose, then this will manifest itself in several ways. If the vehicle appears to lose drive during gear changes or behaves erratically when not in gear, then this could well be a problem with internal combustion. Problems of this nature are usually down to the spark plugs and cables. Again, a mechanic will quickly be able to diagnose these issues.

Of course, there are many problems that can occur with any complex electrical system. Some electrical problems are very simple to address, some are more expensive and require extensive garage work.

Fighting Fires

Have you ever wondered about what is involved in being a firefighter? As a firefighter, you will be the front line responder called upon to tackle various emergency situations where your problem solving skills and training will be put to use to resolve issues quickly and calmly. Incidents vary from tackling fires and rescuing people from burning buildings to dealing with chemical spillages and attending Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs). Read more »

Run your own show

Being self-employed and running your own business might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is extremely rewarding and liberating for many. If you have ideas but feel trapped as an employee with no prospect of promotion or a boss that just won’t listen to you, it can be soul destroying. Setting up on your own can be daunting but achieving greater independence and a better work life balance might just be the answer to your prayers. There are so many different industries in which people can work as self-employed such as plumbers, hair stylists, tutors, decorators and locksmiths. For a Belfast Locksmith, visit http://www.belfastlocksmiths247.co.uk/. Here we take a look at some of the advantages of being self-employed:

  • Escaping the rat race, no more 9-5 and the daily commute. Being your own boss. These are the top reasons why self-employment can be awesome. You control how you work as the buck stops with you and there is nobody higher up breathing down your neck. As long as you get the job done for your client, how you get there is entirely your business.
  • Variety is the spice of life and when you’re self-employed, your job can change and evolve constantly so you’ll need to adapt, learn and update your skills regularly. For many employees, they are shown how to do their job and that’s it, no room for growth, just the same routine over and over.
  • When you’re self-employed you’re forced to problem solve and think on the spot. You have a daily need to be creative and hard-working and it’s a real buzz for some people to do something they feel passionately about and to do it independently.
  • Some folks enjoy the banter of a busy workplace or a bit of co-worker drama. For others, well, they could do without it frankly and the nice thing about being your own boss is that you don’t have to put up with those annoying colleagues that you were forced to spend way too much time with in the past.

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  • Need a sick day? Then take one. You know that when you don’t work, you don’t earn but that’s ok if you genuinely feel rough. Being self-employed makes most people work harder and you may even work when you’re not feeling great because it feels different when it’s something you want to do. There’s not so much motivation to drag yourself out of your sick bed when you’re an employee. Calling in sick is horrible too as we are made to feel guilty and need to prove ourselves with sick notes. Self-employed people can purchase health insurance and at least you get to pick your own coverage.
  • You can choose your own customers. When you were an employee you had to serve anyone and everyone because that was your job but now if you get yelled at, you chose the wrong client, so drop them and move on. You call the shots and you decide who you provide services to.