Exterior window coverings are growing in popularity

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Once considered to be old-fashioned, shutters, screen and awnings are seeing a resurgence in popularity. Not only are exterior window coverings very stylish, they are extremely practical.

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They can reduce energy bills, provide privacy, and on domestic properties, add value as well.

Improving workspaces

The main purpose is to offer shade and in some cases, privacy. Today’s modern buildings – offices, school and homes, are built with lots of glass. They might be full of natural light, but all that glass can let in, and out, lots of extra heat, even with high-tech glass. The solar gain can cause issues for people working inside, meaning air conditioning has to work harder, pushing those expensive energy bills up even more. In winter, coverings on windows will let some heat out, even with energy efficient glazing.

All year round, even more so when the sun is lower in the sky, glare can make things particularly problematic in commercial buildings, as it becomes hard to see computer screens, paperwork and projector screens. Well-positioned and well-designed exterior coverings should also negate the need for interior coverings like blinds, which aren’t very durable and can get dusty and tatty.

Awnings might make you think of old-fashioned canopies over shops, but exterior window treatments have evolved from plastic and canvas, which were fairly fragile and easily damaged by the wind and rain that so characterises British weather.

Sophisticated solutions

Today’s awnings and canopies are made from sophisticated tensile fabrics, with lightweight aluminium frames. Awnings are usually retractable and are mechanised to make opening and retracting them effortless. You can even have them programmed to open and close remotely. Canopies are usually fixed in place, and sometimes positioned on the ground outside to also offer shade and shelter. Modern architectural fabrics are extremely sophisticated, and are very durable, easy to clean and much more resistant to the elements.

The beauty of tensile fabric structures like these is that they can be integrated into the architect’s plans for the building, and it’s just as easy to retro-fit them at any point, using companies like fabric architecture.

Yes, it does seem rather ironic, and a shame, to create a building using lots of glass and then try to block it out, but, ultimately, exterior coverings will make your building much more usable and enjoyable to live or work in.

In Reviews

How to Succeed in the New Gig Economy

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There are a lot of people working freelance on a full time basis, but also a large number of people working freelance to provide an additional income stream on top of their regular wage. Here we look at why people take on this sort of work, as well as things to be aware of if this is something you are considering.

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According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, there are 1.91 million freelancers working in the UK, including over 250,000 as a second job. This equates to 6% of the total UK workforce. While many people may have previously done a second job involving going out to work in the evenings or at weekends, freelancers now are mainly working from home so it fits around other jobs, life and family.

Things You Need to Know About Working as a Freelancer

Before you start you need to work out how much time you have and the type of work you want to do. It could involve making items to sell at craft fairs, or something that uses technology, such as blogging or social media management. It could also be a franchise business selling goods such as cosmetics or candles. It is important to check with your full time employer before you take on an additional job, as your employment contract may prevent this. If you can do it, then think about how much time you will have outside of your main job and never forget that the additional job is just that. Planning for business success is vital, as well as ensuring you are on top of things like taxes.

Reasons for Taking an Additional Job

There are many reasons why people take on an extra job. They may want to eventually do that second job as a full time occupation, or the reasons might be financial. Perhaps they need the extra income stream to help pay off debt, or to contribute to an Individual Voluntary Agreement such as one managed by https://www.carringtondean.com/individual-voluntary-arrangement-iva/. They may simply be trying to save up for something special.

Whether an additional job is what you need to straighten out your finances or you are looking for a new career and want a taster, hopefully this has explained what might be involved.

In Reviews

What You Need to Get Online

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Getting online is a vital avenue of growth for many small and medium-sized businesses that have not yet ventured on to the web. Both appearing on it and being able to access it.  IT support Enfield agency http://www.pc-docs.co.uk can help with any technical issues but what about being found?  Countless companies that are already online are finding the internet makes up one of their biggest sources of custom.

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But what does it take for a business to get an online presence established for the first time? In particular, what does it take for them to establish that presence in a way that will bring them success and growth?

Professional Web Design

The first step is to have a website built. If you want a professional-looking website (which is completely essential for a business), you should probably avoid templates and easy website builders. Instead, go for a professional web design service and have a site built from scratch specifically for your business.

This is likely to be the biggest initial investment involved with your site, but a professional, sleek, well-designed site that is appropriate to your business will almost always deliver far better results than cheap alternatives. The result will likely be more business sourced through your website, and ultimately this will probably offset the initial cost many times over.

Hosting

Just as you need premises to open up a physical presence for your business, so your website will need a place to stay. A website is made from data, and that data must be saved on a physical server where it will be accessible through the internet. This service is known as web hosting, and is offered by many companies.

Your web designer may well be able to help with hosting, or you could look for a better deal with a third-party company. You should avoid free web hosting packages, however. These may seem tempting, but they are specifically designed to grab customers and then make them want to upgrade to a paid package anyway. They are often missing key features, such as the ability to send emails from company addresses rather than just receive them, and claims of “99.9% uptime” are often optimistic to say the least.

Marketing

Sadly, you can’t expect to just set up a website and expect the customers to just start rolling in. People are unlikely to simply stumble across your site with no effort on your part to bring them there. This is where web marketing comes in. Social media, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO) are all avenues you may want to explore.

If your business also has a physical presence such as a shop, then you should try to integrate online and offline marketing efforts. Any advertising for your store should also include your website URL and any social media pages you have. Likewise, make sure your website includes details of your store so that people who find you online, but realise they are not far away, know that they have the option to drop by in person. They may prefer this over dealing with you online, giving you an edge over other businesses they may be looking at.

In Reviews

Santa Stats – Just how does Mr Claus do it?

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So we all know that on Christmas Eve, if you have been a good boy or girl during the year, you can expect a gift to be delivered to you on Christmas Eve night from the big guy himself – Santa Claus. But just how does he do it? Well, first of all, Santa has to deliver a gift to approximately 22 million children an hour (based on number of kids under 14 that celebrate Christmas). He doesn’t just stop and leave a gift though – usually these kind-hearted children have left him a festive offering a mince pie and glass of sherry, or perhaps milk and a cookie – so he will stop to enjoy his treats and feed a much needed carrot to the reindeer.

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So, based on this, he will need to travel at 650 miles per second! Nobody knows for sure how he manages to get his reindeer to pull a sleigh around the world at these speeds – average reindeer travel at the most, 15 miles per hour, so he must have some very special reindeer indeed, not to mention the fact that they are capable of flight! Probably the most popular theory is that Santa is able to somehow alter the fabric of space time, slowing time down enough to complete his special journey at his own leisurely pace. With regards to the reindeer’s ability to fly, some believe that they are fed a special diet, containing magic dust, another theory is that the antlers on top of their head are some sort of instrument that enables flight.

Of course, the you can’t forget the importance of the Elves in all of this – skilled toymakers and possibly quantum physicists, if it weren’t for the elves, there would be no toys for him to deliver on Christmas Eve!

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So on Christmas Eve, when you are getting ready to snuggle up into your bed with excitement, be sure to make your home welcoming for the jolly old chap – put on a nice spread, maybe make the table look festive, make a pretty Christmas table cloth from makower Christmas fabrics – http://www.higgsandhiggs.com/christmas-shop/christmas-fabrics.html and put him some treats on top of it – he will certainly be grateful! Oh, and don’t forget to hang up your stocking!

 

In Reviews

10 fresh ways to wear your favourite jeans

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Whether its those trendy skinny jeans you just can’t stop wearing or an old pair of flares you’ve had for a decade, check out these ways to freshen up your denim wearing style…

Jeans have been around since 1873 and there is a pair out there to suit any figure. Once we find that perfect fit, we never want to let them go!

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Boyfriend Jeans

They might belong to you or have been swiped from the closet of your man, either way boyfriend jeans can look really cute. Wear with a wide belt and fitted top to create the ultimate tomboy style.

Straight Leg

Classic straight leg jeans can be revamped by rolling to the ankle and teaming with a pair of heels.

High Waist Jeans

Flared high waisters aren’t just for summer! Add a blouse for a sleek, sexy look. Stick to solid colours with darker jeans and individualise the look with a bright bag.

Double Denim

Chambray tops and skinny jeans are the perfect summer combo. Give them a year round appeal by adding a flash of colour.

Skinny

If you love womens skinny designer jeans, such as those available at http://www.cuba-clothing.com/womens/jeans.html and elsewhere, you will want to wear them all the time, whatever the season. Take a leaf out of Stella McCartney’s book and wrap platform ties over the top of the skinnies for a different, but super cool look.

Cropped Black Jeans

Jessica Alba recently achieved crop jean perfection in ballet pumps and a comfy plaid shirt. This combination is great for more casual occasions.

Distressed wash Jeans

The ultimate in casual denim, distressed wash jeans are perfect for those lazy weekends. However, glammed up with a sequined tank and the look suddenly becomes something altogether more sexy.

Coloured Denim

Not for everyone, coloured jeans can take bright to a completely new level. But, teamed with neutral, low-key accessories and the style can be carried off rather well.

White Jeans

Peep-toe boots and long-sleeve sheer tops will ensure white jeans work, regardless of the weather. Try out the nautical colour scheme if you dare.

Jeggings

Jeggings can be both stylish and comfortable if worn well. Pair with a preppy button down or a favourite sweatshirt for casual days or wear with bright flats for a slightly spicier look around town.

In Reviews

A beer fridge for your home

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A fridge is easily one of the most important household appliances that we depend upon to keep our food fresher for longer. If you are looking to buy a fridge for storing beer, there will be lots of things to consider.

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Ideal temperature

The temperature in a fridge can fluctuate somewhat, depending on the part of fridge (the bottom is coolest, while the side door is warmest), how many other items are stored in the fridge and even the age of the fridge can influence temperature, too. According to The Kitchn Magazine the ideal temperature range for your fridge is 35-38 degrees fahrenheit. Bacteria triples when it hits 40 degrees, while items will begin to freeze at temperatures lower than 32 degrees.

Can temperature affect the taste of beer?

According to eatbydate.com  beer is best kept in the fridge. Proper storage of beer can extend its shelf life, and any big changes in temperature can affect the taste. Direct sunlight can also affect the taste of beer. When kept in the fridge, beer should be stored upright to reduce oxidation and any possible contamination from the cap.

Draft beer that is dispensed directly from a fridge is even more sensitive to temperature change and should be stored in similar ways to milk. It is usually recommended to check the liquid temperature inside the beer, rather than the air temperature of the fridge. A liquid thermometer will do the trick. The optimum temperature is in the range of 36-38 degrees fahrenheit – anything out of this range will cause the beer to spoil and turn it cloudy or sour.

Which brands to choose?

There are many different types of fridges suitable for storing beer, whether you are looking for a cool device for the home, or you have large commercial refrigeration requirements. As with any fridge, you will need to decide how much space you can allocate for it, what kind of features you would like and how much you have to spend. Specialist companies such as https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/ should be your first port of call, so you can see what is out there. Whether you want a compact or large fridge, one with a clear glass door so you can see what is inside, or a covered door to fit in discreetly with other appliances, you will soon discover that there is a lot more choice than you may have originally conceived.

Capacity will invariably be an important consideration when choosing a fridge for beer, whether you are looking for a brand that holds a sizeable 40 litres or a roomy 84 litres such as Tefcold. Some brands of beer fridges also come with a dispensing capability, so that you can have beer on tap, poured directly from the fridge. Consider also if you just want the fridge to store beer, or whether you want space for other beverages such as wine and soft drinks – this could affect your capacity requirements.

In Reviews

5 office design tips for a more effective space

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Office design is often overlooked, with managers and business owners naturally tending to focus on the work that takes place in the office rather than the look and feel of the office itself. This has started to change, however, with firms such as Google and Facebook making headlines for their creative, open office layouts.

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With numerous psychological studies demonstrating the effects of office design on workplace productivity, it is clear that any business could benefit from creating a pleasant environment. This can also improve employee wellbeing, leading to lower turnover and fewer sick days.

Here are five top tips to help create the productive office environment of your dreams.

1. Space and light

Lack of exposure to natural light has negative effects on energy levels, mood and productivity. Where possible, remove interior dividers, use glass walls and doors for private offices, and employ bench desks instead of cubicles.

Space is equally important. There is little more distracting than others constantly bumping your chair as they walk past. The trick is to hit the balance between spaciousness and a dynamic atmosphere conducive to collaboration.

2. Create collaborative spaces

The employee lounge should be more than a dining area. Provide a space for your employees to get a brief change of scene and hold informal conversations – this is where great ideas are born. This also helps to break down barriers and encourages a buzz of spontaneity in the office.

3. Declutter

Particularly important in smaller offices, clutter can reduce efficiency and the overall operation of the business. In some firms, the use of bin racks in Ireland and the UK as a storage solution, such as those available from https://www.duffydiscount.com/Bin-Rack, can keep objects out of the way until they are needed, reducing clutter and allowing easy retrieval.

4. Promote comfort

Your employees spend the majority of their day sitting on an office chair. Invest in furniture to keep them comfortable and you will reduce turnover and absenteeism and boost motivation and loyalty.

5. Brand your office

Branding should be part of the office environment. Giving your space an identity reminds everyone of your company’s values and their role in realising them. Place your logo on the wall, carry identifying colours or shapes throughout the entire office, and add small touches such as logo-coloured sofa cushions.

In Reviews

Top 5 Tourist Attractions in Uganda

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Top 5 Tourist Attractions in Uganda

Uganda offers tourists a huge range of possible activities, as well as beautiful sight seeing opportunities. It is famous for its hot climate, breath-taking views and extraordinary wildlife. Some of the main species include hippos, gorillas, chimpanzees and extremely rare birds. Here are some of the best tourist attractions to explore during your time in Uganda:

Top 5 Tourist Attractions in Uganda

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  1. Kampala City

Uganda is most well-known for its national parks and wildlife. However, sometimes it can be nice to get back to human civilisation, which is where Kampala comes into the equation. This capital city houses the largest lake in Africa and is surrounded by skyscrapers as well as red-tile villas. Visitors have the chance to do a bit of shopping in the markets or take a glorious fishing trip on Lake Victoria.

  1. Kazinga Channel

This 32 km long channel links Lake George to Lake Edward. The lake is home to Nile crocodiles and hippos, which many people strive to get a glimpse of during their time in Uganda. Of course, it is important to be extremely careful here as both creatures can be incredibly dangerous.

  1. Murchison National Park

The Murchison National Park is home to a range of different animals such as hippos, crocodiles and waterbucks etc. According to http://www.murchisonfallsnationalpark.com/, the vegetation of the land is mainly woodland, riverine forest and savannah. With such a range of terrain, it is no surprise that you will see many kinds of African wildlife here including giraffes, birds, leopards, lions, elephants and chimpanzees etc.

  1. Gorillas

Uganda is home to many gorillas, which is why so many people travel here each year to participate in a gorilla trekking adventure, arranged by companies such as http://www.steppestravel.co.uk/uganda-holidays. This gives you the opportunity to get a closer look at the gorillas, who are left to thrive in their natural habitat. A guided tour provides you with all of the information you need to enjoy the experience to the fullest, just make sure you don’t forget to pack your hiking boots!

  1. Safaris

Uganda offers a huge range of different safari trips for tourists to enjoy. Of course, Africa is well-known for its diverse wildlife. Some trips bring you to the savannah and the African plains, where you get to witness wild animals in their daily lives. These include gazelles, zebras, giraffes, lions and elephants etc.

In Reviews

How Clinical Trials Can Help to Advance Medical Progress

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How Clinical Trials Can Help to Advance Medical Progress

Your doctor may have referred to clinical research trials, and you may have even been asked to join a trial at some point. Those who participate in clinical trials are monitored carefully and can aid in making medical advancements. The trials can help health care providers save lives and improve practice standards.

How Clinical Trials Can Help to Advance Medical Progress

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Why Participate in a Clinical Trial

Those who participate in clinical trial services are taking an active role in their healthcare. This also gives participants access to new treatments that might work better for them than things that have failed in the past. Each participant gets personal attention and careful medical attention from the research team. Not only do participants get help they might need, but they also get to be part of advancements that could help others in the future. Clinical trials play a role in innovations that reveal the best treatments and therapies for future patients.

Are Trials Safe?

The types of trials vary, but there is always an independent data safety monitoring element that allows constant access to medical information for each patient. The committee members step in if any serious side effects show up in those participating in the trial. Although trials might seem risky, they are just part of the research that goes into developing new medications and therapies. There is always a long track record behind the elements before they are tried out on real people. Every trial has a rigorous set of criteria it has to meet in order to make it to the clinical trial stage. The standards are upheld throughout the trial and with every participant who agrees to help.

Who Conducts the Trials?

Trials are carried out by a number of research groups, such as gandlscientific.com. These organizations conduct clinical trials on a number of different issues in order to provide comprehensive clinical data to ensure success in as many research associates as possible.

Trials are at the heart of many medical advances, and they offer hope to people who feel as if they don’t have anywhere else to turn for treatment. At the end of every trial, researchers walk away with valuable information about health, disease progression, medications and many other elements. Even if a trial does not succeed in providing new innovations, it will have ruled out items that do not work.

In Reviews

Visual marketing to get customers

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Visual marketing

When you start a business one of the most difficult parts of designing and carrying out effective search is the customer from visual marketing. Read more