Thursday, December 10, 2015

Finding Your Style During the Winter Months


As the days continue to get shorter and the temperature continues to drop, I am quickly notified that winter has made its way back around yet again. And while we all often loathe the freezing months and want to bundle up next to the fireplace indefinitely, I am happy to report that there is a glimmer of light in the darkness of winter.

What can this glimmer of light be? You wonder.

Well, I’m sure you all know by now that I am a shoe addict! So when a new season arrives, of course I have my eye on quite a few new styles as soon as they hit the store shelves. And with winter making its grand, unwelcomed entrance, I’ve been scoping out new boots to get me through the season. That’s right: the glimmer of light I was referring to is a pair of boots. 

Hey, you’ve got to look at the glass half full!

So in honor of the new season and my (low-key) obsession with shoes, I wanted to inspire you to go out and grab a new pair of shoes for the season, too. Many women often find a pair of boots they love and never let go. While this is fine, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for style evolution or the excitement of retail therapy. So, retire those years-old boots and consult this quick and easy guide to finding the perfect pair of boots to suit you. After all, stomping through snow is much more fun when you’re doing it in style.

1. Find Your Height



Are you an avid runner with not-so-small calf muscles? Then consider nixing this season’s popular mid-calf boot trend, which will squeeze your muscles and give you an unsightly leg “muffin-top.” Adversely, if you’ve got slender legs, a midi boot (described in this post) would look lovely on you. 

Another point to consider with height is whether or not you’re looking for a heeled style. Depending on the purpose you envision for your boots, a heel can either be a hindrance or a must-have. If you’re in desperate need of hot night-out boots, look for heels only. If you need new everyday, errand-running shoes, a flat style is your best bet.

2. Find Your Width



Some women have skinny feet whereas others have wide ones—it’s just the way we’re born. For women with wide feet, I love the advice found in this piece: “Look for round or almond-shaped (rather than pointy) toes that offer plenty of room and slim heels for a touch of femininity.”

3. Find Your Style



As is the case with any fashion decision, you should always choose your clothing and accessories based on your own personal style. No matter the trends shown on the runways, no matter what your favorite celebrities are wearing, no matter if I tell you what is and isn’t cool—if it doesn’t fit in with the rest of your wardrobe, you should never feel pressured to purchase it. All kinds of personal styles are described here, with a couple of suggestions: “Keep it classic with riding boots, edgy bikers and shoe boots and work androgynous cool in wear-anywhere flats.” Whatever your personal style is, there is a boot out there made just for you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Knomo Luggage – Business Bags for Jet-set Professionals


Are you someone who spends a lot of time travelling? If so, you realise how important it is to have a business bag that combines durability with style. Knomo have a range of business bags that cater for the needs of all types of professionals.
 
Balham Troon Cotton-Twill 13 inch Laptop Satchel

This is a stylish, no-frills bag. It's made from cotton canvas with leather trims and its dimensions are 24 x 36.5 x 6.5cm.
This bag has a one tab closure and strap that's easy to adjust. The key features of the Balham Troon Cotton-Twill laptop satchel include storage space for a laptop, media pocket, key clip and media port. On the outside there is a back pocket to store further items.
The Balham Troon Cotton-Twill 13 inch Laptop Satchel is available in black and costs £95.00.

Oxberry Canvas Leather-trim 15 Inch Laptop Briefcase

If you’re looking for a briefcase that's durable and practical, this is the bag for you. The Oxberry Canvas laptop briefcase is made from PET canvas and features a leather trim. It includes a laptop storage area, media pocket and a pocket on the outside.
The dimensions of this bag are 28 x 40 x 5.5cm and it weighs 0.7kg. This bag is available in black and costs £129.00

Henderson Leather 15 inch Laptop Briefcase

This is a smart, no frills leather briefcase. However, it includes all the features a modern business professional expects from a high-quality laptop briefcase. Its most important features include exterior pockets, a laptop storage area and an easy to remove shoulder strap.
This Henderson Leather laptop briefcase comes in brown and costs £199.00.

Bungo Leather 15 inch Laptop Expandable Messenger

If you’re looking for a classic looking Messenger combined with modern features, look no further than the Bungo Leather 15 inch Laptop Expandable Messenger.

This Messenger is perfect for holding many of today's most important devices. It features a laptop storage area, media pocket, document sleeve and other pockets for your other smaller devices and items. The Bungo Leather 15 inch Laptop Expandable Messenger's dimensions are 30 x 39 x 14 cm.
The Bungo Leather 15 inch Laptop Expandable Messenger is available in black and costs £249.00.

Bungo Leather 15 Inch Laptop Expandable Messenger
The Bungo Leather 15 Inch Laptop Expandable Messenger is another smart and practical Messenger that's perfect for business people on the move. It's designed to store important devices, documents and other work-related items, thanks to its laptop compartment, document sleeve, media pocket and tablet compartment.

The dimensions of this Bungo Messenger are 30 x 39 x 14 cm and it's made from full grain vegetable tanned leather.
This is a brown Messenger and costs £249.00.

Brompton Newbury Leather 15 Inch Laptop Briefcase

This Brompton Newbury laptop briefcase is an impressive, classy, durable laptop briefcase made from full-grain leather. It's got all the features you expect to find in a modern high-end laptop briefcase including a tablet compartment, laptop compartment, phone pocket, pockets, card slots and much more. The dimensions of this product are 41 x 30 x 11cm.

The Brompton Newbury Leather 15 Inch Laptop Briefcase is available in black and costs £299.00.

When you decide to buy a business bag from a store like Charlesfordlondon.com, you want to be sure it caters for all your requirements. The Knomo products above achieve this.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Feeling stressed? Tips to help you cope with, and overcome, stress


Modern life can be, and frequently is, stressful, and there’s not really a great deal we can do about it. From working long hours and busy commutes to fitting family life around everybody’s leisure pursuits and doing all of the household chores, there never seems to be a moment’s peace. It’s little wonder, then, that so many of us are stressed, frustrated, or anxious on a regular basis. Deadlines, demands, and daily life keeps us on our toes. While some may argue that a little bit of stress never did anybody any harm, there is much research to the contrary. Stress can cause us to lose sleep, neglect our own well-being, become ill more regularly, and even contribute to life-threatening conditions and increase our risks of strokes, heart attacks, and autoimmune and heart diseases. But how is this possible? Stress will often take our bodies to extremes and back again, increasing our heart rates, releasing stress hormones, and making it much more likely that we’ll react negatively to certain situations. So, yes, stress can often motivate us to get things done, but it can also be incredibly risky to our health, moods, relationships, and futures.

Coping with stress

Whether you’re experiencing a particularly difficult period in your life, seem to struggle to cope on a regular basis, or have reached the end of your tether, the good news is that stress can be managed; it’s all about taking a little time for yourself, and realizing that certain behaviors just aren’t good for you. For example, if you find work to be a root cause of the stress in your life be sure to step away from your desk for a break every now and again, try switching off by reading a book or dozing during your commute, and limit the number of times you check your emails, or answer your phone, outside of work hours. Exercise is a great stress-buster, and mood lifter, so aim to walk a little further, go out for a run, or even visit your local pool at least once a week. What could be better than taking time for yourself, during which you’re literally burning your stress away? Ensuring that you eat well, keep hydrated, get a good amount of sleep, and limit aggravations such as caffeine and alcohol, are all great ways to limit stress while meditation and massage can help to alleviate prolonged bouts of anxiety.

 Are you doing everything you can?

Of course, if you’re particularly prone to stress, simply managing your diet, going to bed earlier, or avoiding coffee will often do nothing to alleviate your symptoms. So, what now? It’s time to look at what’s causing that stress and reduce as many factors as possible; can you work fewer hours, travel a different way to work, reduce what’s expected of you, or even change the direction of your life altogether? Such drastic actions aren’t always possible. In times such as this, it’s essential to create a support network, analyze your attitudes and emotions, manage your sense of control, and, in some cases, seek a professional’s opinion. Medication or behavior therapy can be helpful in instances of increased stress, while consulting a therapist, such as chiropractor Sol Cogan, can also work wonders. Chiropractic care will assess your stress’s effect on your body, reduce muscle tension, and help you to face your life with a healthier attitude. Similarly, learning how to meditate or do yoga can change your outlook. Are you ready to beat stress?

Stress, while it can’t always be avoided, it CAN be managed with a healthy diet, positive outlook, and a little expert advice. Whether you decide to exercise more to beat the blues, change your work duties, or seek a specialist, know that you’re not on your own.

Match the look of your bedroom with your fashion style


Whatever the look of your bedroom interior, it's got to match your personal fashion style. Where can you be totally at ease and relaxed, if not in your bedroom? It's your personal space, and it should reflect how you relate to the world, how you feel, what you love, who you are.

Hippy chick

Boho is where it's at for the hippy chick. Flowing clothes that often reference vintage and ethnic styles are layered for ultimate impact. A feminine and soft style that is relaxed and laid back, this translates perfectly to the bedroom interior. Boho-chic home designs feature bedding in jewel-colored fabrics (think bright Mexican textiles or sequined throws from Goa), dark wood furniture that is ornately carved such as screens, low tables, and chests with subcontinental flavors. Fairy lights strung between the carved bedposts of a grand divan, teamed with silk flower garlands adorning the window frames, the complete look is magical, uplifting and Zen.  

City slicker

If a smart business suit and killer heels are your signature costume, a minimalist bedroom interior will feel like home. After a chaotic day at the office, a calm haven is what you need. Focus on the pale end of the color spectrum, mix gentle pastels in natural fabrics and source textiles with a tactile element. A light and spacious atmosphere will be energizing and serene, so keep furnishings to a minimum, storage to the max and window treatments low key. Streamlined internal window shutters are a harmonious and elegant alternative to fussy drapes that attract dust and take up space. Easy to fit, great value and super-sleek, window shutters were designed for the minimalist in you.

Add a spa touch with scented vanilla candles and low lighting for a tranquil, modern bedroom, perfect for de-stressing.

Lux lady

If jungle prints such as leopard spot and tiger stripe cover your go-to garments, then a boudoir that rocks the lux look is required. A decadent chaise longue upholstered in velvet zebra stripe, an ocelot design bedcover, and joyful giraffe-print wallpaper all work together when done just right. Soft, sensual fabrics, dramatic chandeliers, and opulent accessories underline the exotic nature of the room's leading lady.

Outdoor girl

Are you more likely to be found outside in the garden amongst the birds, bees and flowers? Are florals a permanent fixture in your wardrobe? Feminine rosebud print tea dresses make a good stepping-off point for a fresh air lover's bedroom design. Seek out exquisite wallpapers that feature delicate botanic designs, butterflies, trees or exotic birds – anything that brings the natural world indoors. Choose bedding with prints or delicate embroidery that echoes the wildflower meadows you love or the formal gardens you favor.

Glass topped side tables with driftwood bases, a tall palm in a sculpted pot and still life collections of found objects such as pebbles, feathers, and seed pods should be laid out on display. Storage solutions in natural materials such as wicker baskets and reclaimed apple boxes sit beautifully in this room with a fresh air feel.

What you wear says so much about who you are, so it's no surprise we feel comfortable in surroundings that continue that style conversation. Have you figured out in which bedroom you belong? 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Setting up a productive business from home


There are many advantages to running your own business from home. Your overheads are low as you don't need to rent office or retail space, and you can choose your own hours. Best of all, you're your own boss.

The downsides are the lack of security. You'll reap the rewards, but you also have to carry the losses when you're running your own business. All of the side benefits of working for someone else disappear as well, such as paid vacations, company healthcare, and pension schemes.

Business ideas

If you're not dissuaded by this, however, then there are many opportunities for successful businesses that can be run from home. If you can sell through a website, then there's no need for a physical bricks-and-mortar store, at least not until your business has grown to the level where that's practical. If you've got an eye for antiques and collectible items, then you could run a successful business buying and selling online; a global market means items that can be picked up for next to nothing in your neighborhood may be worth a fortune on the other side of the world.

Catering companies or any kind of arts and crafts-based business, such as greeting cards design, are other great ideas for home-based startups. If you have tech-based skills such as website design or computer repair, you could work from home, and of course there is always freelance writing, illustrating, or graphics.

Success stories

Many successful businesses started from the home of the founder, especially some of the big names in today's technological world. Apple began in Steve Jobs’ adopted parents' garage in California, building and selling computers to a local retailer. Jeff Bezos started Amazon by selling books online from his Bellevue, Washington home, where he also developed software. He held meetings in his local Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Using technology

Social media, apps such as Skype, Dropbox, and Google Docs, cloud computing, and mobile technology all mean that your home office can instantly be as digitally well-equipped as any downtown media hub. As your business expands, the technology you use can grow with you. Primus provides a hosted PBX phone system that allows you to set up an internal telecommunications network for your business at a fraction of the expense of a traditional system, thanks to low SIP trunking costs.

Productivity tips

Establish a designated workspace within your home, even if it's just a desk in the corner. This makes an important psychological distinction between your business and personal life. Similarly, set a realistic work schedule that allows you to get things done while also leaving time for errands, relaxation, and household chores. Physical exercise and fresh air are also important.

Set boundaries with family and friends. Just because you're always at home doesn't mean you're available to hang out; however, don't neglect your loved ones entirely. Make a comprehensive business plan and try to stick to it, while also being sure to meet all tax and other legal requirements.

Running a business from home is a great opportunity, if you work hard and stay focused. The risks may be greater but success is all the sweeter, and there's never been a better time to get sta

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Employment Advice for You or Your Children After Leaving for College



There has been a recent trend of college leavers having trouble finding a job despite their excellent qualifications, in much the same way that older people find themselves struggling to convince employers that their maturity is an asset and not a drawback. Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure that you and your children can find work and earn a good living.

Planning

The key to success is careful planning, and this should be undertaken before going to college. In the past, many students simply went to college to study for a degree, any degree, it did not really matter which one. Now it is important that your degree will be instrumental in landing the job you want when you graduate. If you are unsure about what you want to do as a career, it can be a good idea to get a job for a year after high school. A job does not have to be long term; there are often plenty of short-term jobs available around Christmas time and other seasonal holidays. Having a job like this will also give you real work experience and may even open up doors for you. For example, a job working in a local library or bookstore could propel you towards the head office of a large national bookstore, or you could work in a restaurant as a dish washer, but the experience could encourage you to stay on to become one of the chefs. However, let us assume that you want to work towards a college degree that will widen your job opportunities and also increase your ability to earn big bucks.

Passion is often cited as being the key motivator in pursuing a particular career, but this does not always work, for not all passions have a market worth. Instead, it may be better to focus on what you are good at and what you spend most of your time doing, because you will have undoubtedly built up an impressive skill set this way. You may, for example, find you have a particular skill that lends itself well to freelancing or entrepreneurship. You could work by yourself and be responsible for all aspects of your business, or you could set up as an independent contractor with an umbrella company. This arrangement takes care of all your administrative tasks while sourcing regular work for you.

If your college degree or your past work experience leaves you feeling less than qualified for many current jobs, be assured there are plenty of roles that require little training, just a lot of common sense. For example, if you love to drive, perhaps a distribution and logistics role is a good fit for you, or if you enjoy talking to people, you could go for a customer service, human resources or sales post.


Finding a job can be a tedious and time-consuming task, but you may find it easier if you widen your possible career paths rather than focus on one sector that seems to fit with your current or past expertise.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Getting Your Home Ready for Family Christmas

Getting your home ready for the family Christmas
If you are planning on having guests over for Christmas, you must be wondering how to juggle all the numerous tasks to ensure the day is a success. Thankfully, you can play host to your guests and navigate the holidays without losing your privacy and collective calm. For this to happen, you will need to put a solid plan into action. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re ready when the time comes;
  • Get organized.
The first step to hosting your family and friends for Christmas is making sure you’re organized. You need to have a rough idea of how many people will be attending the festivities. Try and confirm their attendance beforehand, if possible. To be on the safe side, overstock to cater for any unexpected guests who might show up.
As part of getting organized, make a list or schedule of everything that needs to be done and allocate enough time to do these chores. Get your spouse and children to help you to avoid getting burnout.

  • Create space in the dining room and lounge.
Your guests will need space to laze around and catch up on their lives. It is a good idea to create a communal area of sorts in the living room, decked out with comfy sofas and seats. The dining room also needs to have enough seating space to accommodate comfortably everyone.
Additionally, hire professional carpet cleaners to ensure the carpets in these areas are clean. Children and adults might want to sit on the floor to open their presents so the carpet should be dirt and dust-free. You can find carpet cleaners through referrals by friends. Alternatively, a quick online search can yield the same results. For instance, if you live in Oakville, a search for Oakville carpet cleaners will put you in touch with some of the finest professionals in the business.

  • Clear out the spare rooms.
Be prepared for your friends or family to sleepover during the holidays. You’ll want to make sure that the rooms they’ll be sleeping in are ready in time. De-clutter the room and wardrobes to provide enough space for their luggage. Change the bedding so that they’re fresh and clean for your visitors. Additionally, give the rooms a thorough vacuuming and enough time to air.

  • Stock the kitchen.
Nothing can be more inconveniencing than running out of food during the holidays. To avoid this, make sure you stock the fridge and kitchen with all the essential items you might need. Have a menu of the meals you plan to prepare so that you have a list of ingredients to work with. Remember to keep a stock of snacks for the children.

  • Tidy up the bathrooms.
Don’t overlook the bathrooms in your preparations. Make sure that there are enough towels and tissue paper to go round. During the holidays, take the time to keep the bathrooms as clean and hygienic as possible.


With the right plan and organization, all the Christmas holiday festivities can go on without a hitch. Ensure that you allocate enough time to complete your preparations before your guests arrive. You can then spend the rest of the holidays relaxing with your guests, without worrying about chores.
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