Pots and Paths: Low-Maintenance Gardening Designs

There are two kinds of homeowners: those who adore spending hours trimming shrubs and weeding garden beds, and those who don’t. Beautiful gardens are such a delight to look at. But should More »

What Makes a Good Keynote Speaker?

Keynote speakers play an important role in major gatherings, meetings, or assembly of professionals looking to advance their knowledge or further their connections. Keynote speakers promise to improve team-building exercises, conference summits, More »

4 Ways to Improve Your Children’s Study Habits

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Brace Yourself, Winter is Coming: More Ways to Enjoy the Snowy Season

You know that the icy drought will commence when trees start to shed leaves, birds migrate, and the skies become an expanse of white void. Many look forward to the winter season, More »

Finding My Precious: Celebrate a Love Story with an Engagement Ring

Couples can attest that the next step after courtship is an engagement. The tough job of planning how to find a unique design in engagement rings, one that encapsulates their love and More »

 
Burgers

When in Brisbane: Top 3 American Restos for Ordering Takeaway

BurgersAre you craving American cuisine, but don’t have the time to enjoy dining out? You’re in luck because Brisbane has many restaurants that offer takeaway meals. All you need is to find the nearest one in your area to satisfy your cravings.

Here are the top three American restaurants that lifestyle magazines in Australia recommend:

Ben’s Burgers

Located in Fortitude Valley, owners Nic and Ben Chiu wanted to set up a space where friends can relax, drink beer, and eat a burger. Their best sellers are BB Classic and BB Special, which contains beef, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and dressings like mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup. Ben’s Burgers serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner for both dine-in and takeaway every day at different opening hours. This burger joint offers menu options for vegetarians and gluten intolerant, as well.

Shady Palms Café and Bar

For those who are on a budget, this Stones Corner restaurant offers food options for under $20. My Kitchen Rules 2011 contestants, Mal and Bec, opened Shady Palms Café and Bar to offer the vibrant flavours of America. Inspired by the country club lifestyle, their tacos, sliders, and desserts are a must-try.

This casual dining restaurant is open from Wednesdays to Sundays. Their Salted Caramel Granola with cherries and sweet yoghurt is a good choice for sweet-tooths. For vegan and gluten-free diets, why not give their Fried Green Tomatoes with black-eyed pea salsa, corn, sweet potatoes, and kale a try?

Red Hook

Located in Brisbane CBD, this Gresham Lane diner, bar, and take out resto brings New York style street food to Australian foodies. For breakfast, they serve well-brewed Genovese coffee and waffles to start your workday right. As for lunch, you can enjoy Grandmaster Flash or Brooklyn cheeseburgers, NYC hotdogs, and Red Hook lobster rolls with different sidings. Red Hook is open from Mondays to Fridays (7 A.M. to 12 midnight) and Saturdays (4 P.M. to 12 midnight).

Being busy doesn’t mean you can’t get good food. Try ordering takeaway meals from these restaurants and enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner regardless of your hectic schedule.

workplace safety

Workplace Safety: Are You Following The OSH Act?

workplace safetyMaintaining employee security and welfare should be a priority. Indeed, the workforce is a company’s most valuable asset. Without the workforce, it will lose its continuity – no one will staff the company, nor uphold its mission and visions. It is a company’s primary goal to take care of its workforce and uphold their right to a safe workplace.

In the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are required to safeguard the safety of their employees through its list of guidelines and regulations against workplace hazards. Hazard, in its simplest definition, is a source of danger – a potential cause for damage.

Mears Corrosion explained that in a workplace, hazards may be for different reasons, such as:

a. Physical conditions – This refers to the objects, equipment, and situations that pose a threat to the employee’s safety. Examples are wet or cracked floors, sensitive machinery, location of the workstation, exposure to electrical hazards, and even noise pollution. To counter the hazards imposed by physical conditions, the company may place safety signs or provide appropriate personal protective equipment. Ensuring the integrity of a pipeline or any other structure is a must.

b. Substance and Chemicals – This refers to the conditions in which certain materials in the workplace may cause harm. Typical examples of this danger are present in laboratories, clinics, and animal shops. This hazard includes exposure to the substance itself and its fumes. Apart from the chemicals the employee works with, this hazard may also come from cleaning agents, exposure to bodily fluids, leaks from energy sources, etc. Focus special care on the company’s sanitation and pipe work to avoid this type of hazard, in addition to safety signs and protective equipment.

c. Process or Task – Most of the time, the job itself poses danger to the employee itself, especially with repetitive actions. Continued exposure to computer screens strains the eyes. Even sitting in the office the whole day. All manual tasks encompass this type of hazard. Adequate breaks from the tasks can help eliminate the dangers from the said source. Moreover, health insurances may also help in safeguarding employees.

There are more ways of reducing dangers in the workplace. The best way to identify the risks is through consultation with the employees, who may experience to the hazards firsthand. With them, the company will have concrete actions in resolving the issues.

seo

SEO Versus AdWords – Which One Is Better?

seoThis has been a popular debate topic for quite some time: Is AdWords better than SEO and vice versa?

Returns

SEO is a long-term investment of sorts. Search engine optimisation has been noted as a slow method of garnering traffic. But, even if you temporarily stop performing SEO, your site will be still there on the results page for quite some time, especially for certain markets or keywords. But, it is proven that AdWords results could be faster than SEO because even before you get to page one, you could already start getting that sweet, sweet traffic.

Cost

As you might already know, AdWords is a pay per click system that could work amazingly well if you’ve chosen the right markets and the right keywords. Still, it does not come free. On the other hand, Digitise My Business says search engine optimisation does not require you to pay for every lead, although you’d still have to shell out cash if you get an SEO company to do it for you.

Monitoring

The effects of AdWords can be monitored shortly after implementation. Unlike SEO, AdWords can be removed or activated whenever you wish. Why is that important? Turning it off and on can give you an idea on how well your AdWords campaign works. SEO, on the other hand, will require you to wait for weeks or even months to determine if the method you have done is effective or not.

Adwords Does Not Have an Internet-wide Reach

Even if you rank well in search engine results, AdWords will still be placed on top of the search results page. But, the downside to it is that AdWords ads are only listed on Google owned websites. When it comes to SEO, as long as you have done it right, your site will appear on other search engine results pages.

You see, an SEO company will tell you that there is no clear winner in the SEO and Adwords debate; they’re completely different things, and each one has pros and cons. But, an integrated approach could get you a long way.

buying car

Why 2015 is the Best Time to Buy a Car

buying carIf you’re thinking of buying a car, this year is the best year. Financing a car has reached its best this 2015. Don’t wait too long as financers are predicting that this time next year, or sooner, borrowing costs will be going up again.

Right now, financing is at its cheapest. The average APR on a new car loan for someone with good credit is right around 3% for new cars and just over 3% for used cars. For people with credit scores above 720, they can get away with paying less than $1,600 in financing charges over the life of a 5-year, $20,000 new car loan.

The Future is Bright

The automobile industry has pinned its hopes on falling fuel prices and interest rates. The key areas of expectation in 2015 are growth in the first quarters, announcement of key safety and emission regulations, implementation of regulations and the goods and services tax.

Interested car buyers, however, are hoping even those with not so good credit can benefit from this boom. At yourcentralautosales.com for example, in-house credit specialists can help clients overcome credit issues. This way, everybody has a shot at finding the car they need.

Industry Trends

Experts predict the following industry trends will drive customers into dealer showrooms this year. Cute UTEs have huge global potential. These tiny, but flexible crossovers are targeted at young, urban explorers. Pick-up trucks this year are also vying for supremacy in both performance and fuel economy.

High-performance sports cars are also forecast to pop this year, since fuel prices are not the concern they used to be. Finally, green machines that car manufacturers are experimenting on also have a lot of drivers eager to try it out.

The economic boom will not last long. Car buyers are all encouraged to check out the market now to take advantage of the current situation. As they say, strike while the iron is hot.

pest control

The 4 Elements of Good Customer Service in Pest Control

pest controlRunning a pest control business involves much more than simply ridding your client’s homes of vermin. Like any other industry, customer service plays a large part in how successful your company is. How well do you treat clients, and what is their impression of you?

Even if your team is composed of the best bug and rodent exterminators in the world, it won’t do you any good to ignore the expectations of your customers. Make sure that your business scores highly in these categories.

1. Punctuality – Being late to appointments is unacceptable, since there is a good chance that the homeowners made time in their schedule just to accommodate you. If managing appointments is becoming too difficult, consider getting software to help; PestMate says that good software with the right features will not only save you time, but improves customer satisfaction as well.

2. Privacy – This is something that not all pest control businesses appreciate, but maintaining the privacy of your customers is highly important. Do you think the Joneses would want every employee in your company – or worse, their neighbors – to know that they currently have a nasty roach infestation?

Keep the details of each case private, and make sure sensitive information only goes to people that actually need it to do their job. Above all, stress to your team the importance of staying discreet, and not gossiping about what they see or deal with in any client’s home.

3. Availability – When a customer needs the services of a pest control business, they need it right now. The last thing they want to hear is that you unfortunately cannot attend to their needs, because every single one of your employees is fully booked today. Rather than wait, most would go to your competitor.

This isn’t always avoidable, as there will always be busy seasons, but proper workforce management will help eliminate wasted man hours, freeing your staff to handle more requests. If streamlining business operations doesn’t help, then it is probably time to hire more people.

4. Professionalism – Lastly, there’s nothing that will either impress or annoy customers more than the attitude of your employees. Your staff are the face of your company, and the ones that will make the biggest impression on clients. Make sure they are polite, friendly, and, most importantly, clean up after themselves.

At the end of the day, pest control businesses compete not just on results, but how well they treat their customers. You will find that people are much more willing to recommend you if you follow this advice.

car

Drive Your Dream Car in 2 Easy Steps!

carWhy take a cab to work everyday when you can have your own car?

Think about it: it certainly would save you more to purchase your own car than take a cab everyday. No need to wait for a cab in case you are in a hurry. What’s more, you can keep the car for yourself and use it any time you need it.

How is this possible? You can now pay for your car in installments or refinancing. This means you will put the amount you pay for taking a cab each day to pay your title loan.

Here’s how to avail a title loan.

Where to Apply

You can apply for a title loan in Salt Lake City either online or at the store. The good thing about applying personally is that you can ask questions you may have about title loans.

How to Apply

You would need to present a valid ID, proof of income (like a computerized pay slip) which indicates you have the capacity to pay for your loans, proof of billing that verifies your address and original title of your vehicle should you use it as your collateral. Present the original and valid documents of each, as well.

Some lending companies may ask for referrals to do a credit investigation, or they may keep your vehicle in their possession until you have fully paid your loan.

The good news is that lending institutions also offer different types of loans. This means you do not have to worry in case you need money for emergencies. Moreover, whatever loan you choose, you don’t have to worry about high interest rates.

Salt Lake City regulates and governs reputable lending institutions. To get the best interest rates, do a comparison shop and check the lending company if it’s registered. Regardless, title loans are quicker and more convenient than other types of loans, as this does not typically use your credit background for its approval process.

Low-Maintenance Gardening

Pots and Paths: Low-Maintenance Gardening Designs

Low-Maintenance GardeningThere are two kinds of homeowners: those who adore spending hours trimming shrubs and weeding garden beds, and those who don’t. Beautiful gardens are such a delight to look at. But should not be a burden.

Gardening takes up a lot of time, effort, and money. There are ways around this difficulty for homeowners who want to decorate their curb and front steps without breaking their back and breaking the bank. Visitors will be impressed, not only at the beauty of your garden, but at how little fuss it took to make it look a million bucks.

Space Study

Focus on space when keying for low maintenance, but high-impact design. Set the scene and build a pathway that will lead guests to the right door. Scale the space in proportion with the house. A big house with a small forecourt would look best with a narrow walkway embellished with dwarf shrubs that only require little care, but also lend beauty to the scene.

Lawn Alternatives

Anyone who is not into gardening would find it impossible to relax knowing that the grass under their soles would require cutting repeatedly. Grass is the highest maintenance of any garden element. Green-thumb experts at Tim Davies Landscaping recommend grass that requires little tilling, like Dwarf Myrtle, a no-fuss plant that still adds interest to the foreground. It works best as well, if an expert will help you with other low-maintenance lawn alternatives.

Succulent Sensation

Potted plants require a lot of attention and constant soil improvement. For homeowners with no time to tend to their plants, succulents will be your stroke of genius. Group them together in a large pot, or lay them out on the ground for a beautiful tapestry of textures, either way, they will look good without costing too much effort and time. Plant them in a rusty basket, a dainty teacup, or an old birdcage, or anywhere and it will still look charming. Place these plants anywhere and they’re an instant attraction and a conversation piece.

Outdoor Sitting

To complete your easy garden, add an outdoor eating and relaxing area. Add colour by bringing out to the sun some colourful cloths or pick up that hammock that nobody tried out yet. Choose furniture that easily dry after rain so you won’t have to fuss about sitting in a damp chair.

These design ideas will make proud to have a beautiful garden, without the dirt under your nails.

Social Media Marketing

Facebook Introduces Selling Feature in Groups: What Small Businesses Should Know

Social Media MarketingDo you know what is the next big thing in social media?

Facebook continues to take the Internet by storm, as it recently announced the addition of its Craigslist-like feature for Facebook Groups. The company shares that the update will allow “For Sale” groups to customise their posts. This means small business owners can add a detailed description about their offer, include an item’s sale price, set a delivery or pick-up location and mark posts as sold or still available.

Selling Things via Groups

Instead of creating strict rules when it comes to online sales through Facebook, the company has decided to fully embrace e-commerce. Facebook created better management tools for listing products and services. This shows the company’s aim to help businesses thrive in a competitive marketplace. In addition, the new update highlights Facebook’s interest in exploring the benefits of commerce-related projects.

As PurpleClick Media, a premier digital marketing agency in Singapore, puts it: “Social media marketing is now commonplace and has become one of the most important ingredients for a successful marketing campaign. Facebook is ranked as the second most visited sites in the world, second only to Google. With all the traffic, be assured that your ads will get the impressions you seek.”

Go-to Spot for Local Sale

Facebook makes sure that sellers have a more organised interface for transactions. Instead of “Post,” business owners can see the “Sell” button on their pages. There are also rumours that the company plans to bring payment options to its messaging app, Messenger. As Facebook now makes it easier to buy and sell things, it likely plans to dethrone top e-commerce sites around the world.

Though the new feature is still in its testing period, it promises to have active selling communities. To be part of the specific “For Sale” groups, small business owners should nominate their page for inclusion.

It seems Facebook is serious about taking the opportunity to compete with e-commerce websites, such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy or Lowe’s.

Buying Your First Home

Common Roadblocks to Buying a Home and What to Do About Them

Buying Your First HomeYou’ve finally decided to take the plunge. You already have a dream home in mind. You want an inviting front yard, a laid-back garden, a minimalist living room, a spa-like bathroom and a serene bedroom. It’s easy to imagine what a future house would look like. Every first-time homebuyer has been there.

The challenge of buying a residential property for the first time can be overwhelming. For some homebuyers, the process can be downright daunting and stressful.

Here are the common roadblocks on the path to home ownership:

Not Enough Downpayment

This is the number one reason many people are hesitant to buy a house and apply for a mortgage. Perhaps young couples and millennials are the most vulnerable to financial issues. But, nothing should hinder you from getting what you want. The first step you should take is to assess your current situation, so you can find an answer and adjust. You can apply for a home loan with as little as 10 percent downpayment. If you are curious about your financial capability, it’s best to consult a broker.

High Interest Rate

All types of houses might look affordable at first glance, but low interest rates are not here to stay. Most homebuyers today face double-digit interest rates on home loans. George Financial Services Pty Ltd, a leading finance and mortgage broker in Brisbane, says finances are the biggest roadblock to home ownership. This is the reason getting some help in financial planning is necessary. A professional can help you in budgeting and create a plan that helps you reach your goals.

Credit Score

Your credit history is another huge factor when it comes to buying a home or qualifying for a loan. To make the process go more smoothly, it’s best to check and analyse your credit to know if there are any mistakes or unpaid accounts.

The road to buying a property can be both exciting and stressful for a homebuyer. From downpayment issues to poor credit report, knowing how to overcome common challenges in home ownership is important.

Art Best for Your Home

Who Art Thou: The Style of Art that Suits Your Home and Personality

Art Best for Your HomeGot an empty wall in your house? Why not hang art pieces? Paintings at home can dramatically transform any space. It can create a relaxing and comfortable vibe, improve the colour scheme, or balance proportions. Art pieces, however do not just add visual appeal to a room; they are also a source of inspiration as they stimulate creativity and imagination.

With that, it is important to choose the art piece that best reflects your personality and represents your home. Check out these different styles of art to get an idea of what might suit you:

Pop Art

Want a pop of humour on your wall? Pop art is the way to go. This art movement is often characterized by playful, whimsical elements; pieces often evoke a vibe of popularity and mass appeal. Often, they focus on a serious subject, but convey some kind of inside joke. This characteristic is what makes pop art interesting. If you think pop art is just the item you need to liven up the vibe in your room, check out some canvas print online and explore the many pieces falling under this category.

Abstract

This art movement is an attempt to veer away from literal interpretations of art pieces. If you are looking for a piece that will make you think about things and contemplate on life, this style is for you. You will find splashes of colours, unrealistic objects, minimalist themes, and a little action in abstract paintings. Most of these art pieces come in huge sizes, so they would be best to display in open areas at home.

Impressionism

If you want something a little more classic and sophisticated on your wall, then impressionist art is for you. Unlike abstract art, impressionist pieces show realistic images. They are often classic portraits, still life, and landscapes. These pieces, with their classic themes, are best suited for traditional homes and large open areas like the living room.

Fill the walls with pops of colours, bright strokes, and captivating paintings. Remember to match the art pieces with your personality and the vibe you want to create at home.