Author: Paul

Music is magic. A good melody can propel us from our seat to the dance floor or help us relax and rejuvenate. A particular song can take us back to the past and tap into our deep emotions or make us dream. Music is not only fun to listen to. It provides many benefits to our mood and our health as well. Whether as stress relief or in the development of cognitive capacities, here are a few ways music can be beneficial.

1) A Source of Pleasure

Music can convey positive emotions. It provides a feeling of pleasure by acting on the reward system, thanks to the dopaminergic neurons (the main source of dopamine), which release dopamine ( a hormone that plays a role in how we feel pleasure). For instance, listening to music in the car has positive effects on the mood of drivers.

2) Say Goodbye to Stress!

Constant tiredness, knotted stomach, irritability, you have the symptoms of a stressed person. What if a piece of music could make your worries go away? A study of anxious patients undergoing surgery has shown that listening to instrumental tunes or songs can be more effective than anxiolytics in reducing their anxiety.

3) Hello Motivation!

For all those who are never motivated enough for sports, listening to your favorite music can be particularly productive! In fact, in a British study, participants were asked to walk on a training mat for as long as possible until they were exhausted. People who could listen to musical tunes during the exercise proved to be more enduring!

Did you know? During most official sports competitions, athletes are not allowed to listen to music, which is considered to be an aid. Proof that music can bring a real boost of energy!

4) A Sound to Remember

If a tune can bring you back to a moment in your past, it is because music stimulates auditory memory and promotes learning through sound. The positive effects of music on learning and memory are such that a music therapy program is specifically dedicated to patients suffering from neurological diseases. The musical atmosphere is a real stimulation for the human brain!

5) Music to Boost Creativity

Do you lack inspiration? Music can help! People who listen to music at work finish their tasks in a jiffy and more creatively. Scientists advise avoiding a particular musical style: pop or songs with lyrics that would somewhat hinder concentration. Hence, opt for a safe bet: classical music or background music. You can, therefore, let yourself be guided by your emotions and let go. In dance, painting, or theater, music can have a positive effect on your creativity and enhance your talent!

6) Helps With Sleep

Music can become your best ally to help you sleep. It allows you to calm down and gradually enter a phase of calm, conducive to sleep. It is with this factor in mind that parents make babies and children listen to lullabies! The only condition is listening to soft music (classical, background, relaxation music, for example). With overly rhythmic music, your brain will perceive the opposite signal, and you may remain awake.

7) Improves Quality of Life

 Listening to music, singing, or playing an instrument helps improve quality of life. For instance, among other things, that the practice of choral singing can help, after one year, a reduction in the number of falls in people aged 65 and over, a decrease in the number of visits to the doctor, and the use of medication has been noted.

8) Helps Relieve Pain

As surprising as it may seem, music has therapeutic properties. It is used in certain medical specialties to soothe patients. Music helps patients to stay calm before an operation, for example. Moreover, studies even show that patients with chronic pain experience less discomfort if they listen to music for an hour a day.

9) Encourages Open-Mindedness

 Learning or listening to various music styles allows you to discover other cultures and, therefore, broaden your horizons and your vision of things. We all have our preferences, but our tastes in music also change according to age, experiences, experiences

10) Cardiovascular Virtues

 When listening to music, breathing and heart rate are increased. For instance, soft music helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and therefore reduces the risk of heart problems.

11) Allows You to Be in Your Own World

Music allows us to immerse ourselves in our own little world for more imagination and dreams. If you need to take a break and cut off from your hectic daily activities, plug in your earphones, and listen to some good music!

So, are you convinced of the great benefits brought by music to each of your days?

If you’re passionate about music and need help with any of your musical projects, the team at Rakoon Sound Studio is made up of masters in the field. From experienced sound engineers and music producers to professional DJs and music teachers, they can help you create, record, and produce your own song and music!

If you have a blog and are eager for the rest of the world to discover it, then a road map on just how to promote your blog is probably just the thing you are looking for. And not just any road map, a detailed, descriptive road map, so you know exactly what to do, right?! Here is an easy-to-follow plan just for you…

Actually, focusing more on the subject of how to promote your blog effectively is an even better plan. Because effectiveness is key when you are searching for the best ways for promoting your blogging efforts.

You work hard on your blog, so you want to implement promotion strategies that give you the most bang for your buck, right?

But exactly what to do and how to promote your blog can be an overwhelming task. Believe me, I know – I have tried nearly all of them.

I have paid hundreds of dollars on all sorts of bookmarking, directory submissions, not to mention social networking and extensive “Googling.”

But what I have discovered is that there are a handful of tried-and-true, tested methods that can bring loads of visitors to your blog. And you do not have to pay money to promote your blog – these are all FREE!

You can learn how to promote your blog very quickly and easily with these 5 simple steps.

Do not worry if they seem long – they are really very easy and will bring you more readers than you ever imagined –

Step 1 – When looking at how to promote your blog, the first step is to pinpoint what your goals are for your promotion efforts.

Picture a business – businesses do not just purchase ad space or hire sales people without a clearly defined plan in place. They have a goal in mind and everything they do relates to that goal.

The same goes for your blog. Jot down a few goals you want to accomplish with your promotion efforts – do you want to hit the 100, 500 or 1,000 visitors/day mark or get 500 new subscribers to your newsletter or sell $x amount of dollars in your amazon store? Why are you promoting your blog? This is a crucial step – one that cannot be ignored. Having a goal guides, you in deciding where to send all of your blog visitors.

You would not want to send readers to your blog without having it structured to receive those visitors. Imagine getting loads of new readers, new potential customers to your blog, only they are leaving within minutes of arriving (check this percentage on how to use Google Analytics) or they are being sent to a page that is not relevant to what they were expecting. All of your promotion strategies just flew out the window! Setting up goals and clearly defining what the customer should do next is critical in any promotion strategy. Key question here – Why are you promoting your blog?

Young man using smartphone with modern work table and computer laptop and cityscapes view from window.Business concepts ideas.Strategy analysis.office life

Step 2 – After you have come up with a concrete goal, then it is time to put the wheels into motion. I will use the well-known example of dog training to help explain this step. Dog training is a very broad niche – imagine your niche is more specialized – dog training a lab.

Your blog, Dog Training a Lab, is all set up and you have been posting quality content for a few weeks. You want to promote your blog with the goal of selling items from your amazon links. That is your ultimate goal – to sell items that you will refer your readers to, through Amazon links from your posts.

Since we have defined a goal, we can move on to putting a plan into action.

And as with any marketing or promotion efforts, the question to ask is how do I get in front of the people interested in what I have to offer? Where are all these people hanging out? Where do people who want to talk about dog training gather…

Well, they gather on Forums –

People who want to know about dog training are on community forums discussing dog training with others.

I Googled dog training forums and several websites came up, then I Googled dog training a lab forum and a few forums came up that are geared just for labs!

Brilliant!

Go where the people are – there are people interested in dog training a lab on community forums. Go there and participate. Contribute and you will get visitors coming to your blog to purchase your latest and greatest dog leash or some other item you are blogging about.

Step 3 – Next it is time to get on Twitter and start tweeting, notice I said start tweeting. Just being on Twitter does not do anything for your business, you have to actually say something.

If tweeting is just too far out of your comfort zone, try tweeting someone else’s posts or retweet what someone else has said to start with. You still gain popularity because your name is on the tweet. Keep using it and you will gain followers. Take a big leap of faith and tweet something – spread the word on a new dog training video you just saw. You will start tweeting, which will send people over to your blog, which will make you sales in no time.

Step 4 – Set up Facebook for your business. Tell your friends about a sale on dog toys or mention a new blog post you just posted. The point is to be as exposed as possible so visitors can find you anywhere and everywhere. Generating friends on Facebook will be covered in another post, but for now put a button on your blog to encourage others to find you on Facebook.

At the bottom of your posts in your blog, put a social connect button with a Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Digg and Google+ button so readers can simple click a button to post to Twitter or any of the others – again, this makes it easy for visitors to share a great post with others and it will generate more traffic to your blog. If you use WordPress, there is a plug-in for this, Blogger will have an option on their set-up as well.

Step 5 – Comments make the world go round. You may have heard this from me before, but comments really are like gold. Find other blogs in your niche or a little outside of it. Let us look at the dog training a lab example. I would hop over to other dog training a lab blogs and read their posts and make an intelligent comment. Then I would scale up and hop over to some general dog training blogs and read their posts and comment there. See where this is heading?

Treat the comments you receive with care – they do so much more than take up space on your post page. Comments show interaction – visitors like to see and read comments. Comments build your rapport with the search engines. They provide links coming in to your website; they build links out of your website. Comments mean you have an interactive, attentive blog and that is what means the difference between a successful blog and an unsuccessful blog.

Five easy steps on how to promote your blog, right?

In fact, these steps are very easy to implement – take one evening and set these accounts up and you will be surprised at what a difference it makes.

Anna Dajero is a life and business coach who will help you in making your blogs gain money and fame with the proper SEO and SEM tools. Contact her for more details.

During the 1990s, when the internet was first coming into its own as a sales venue, online grocery businesses such as HomeGrocer and Webvan crashed and burned. It seemed like a natural fit for consumers to use the convenience of online ordering to procure their daily staples, but the traditional grocery business model didn’t translate to an internet version altogether gracefully. As digital sales have grown across the board, entrepreneurs have learned from these early experiments, making online grocery delivery more viable than it ever was. 

Online Grocery Delivery Business Plan 

Starting an online grocery delivery business will likely require outside capital because it can be an expensive undertaking. Creating a solid and thoughtful business plan will not only give you a valuable tool to present to lenders and investors but it will also provide you with an opportunity to think through important questions whose answers can be vital to your success. 

Your business plan should clearly present your short-, medium- and long-term goals and chart a path from your startup format to long-term profitability. This is an important time to think about scale. You may choose to start with a limited delivery area and a modest selection of products to avoid making a prohibitive investment right away. Alternately, if you have considerable experience in the grocery industry or in online marketing, you may opt to pull out the stops and go big right away, which will require you to purchase infrastructure and do enough initial advertising to make a splash. 

 Whichever trajectory you choose, preparing an online grocery delivery business plan will increase your odds of success by forcing you to do research on the industry. This information will show you where there are openings for new and established models that either build on past successes or offer alternatives to historical mistakes. The financial statement and financial projection section of your business plan will allow you to play out scenarios, including forecasting how much business you will need to transact to break even. 

Online Grocery Delivery Platforms 

Your online grocery’s platform will be the storefront where actual and potential customers will browse your offerings and place their orders. It should be relatively easy to navigate so customers can find what they’re looking for without growing frustrated and abandoning their cart. At the same time, it should be able to offer suggestions and anticipate customers’ needs and shopping patterns to maximize sales and build on existing preferences. 

If you’re reading an article about the online grocery industry rather than hiring a team of consultants, you’re probably going to start relatively small, with limited infrastructure and capacity. It can be prohibitively expensive to launch a venture that can realistically compete with large grocery chains, so if your resources are limited, your best bet will probably be to narrow your focus and appeal to potential customers who are most likely to want and need what you offer. Your grocery delivery business software should reflect these choices. 

Your website should also clearly communicate the parameters and limitations of your service while also emphasizing what you do offer. It’s frustrating for a customer to choose a cart full of products only to learn at checkout that you don’t deliver to that customer’s address. A friendly and informative page for frequently asked questions can help to clear up many of these misunderstandings. 

Grocery Delivery Storage 

Even though your grocery delivery business will take orders online, you will still pack and deliver from a brick-and-mortar location. Unlike specialty art purchased online, groceries are typically purchased because a customer has an immediate or short-term need. You can wait a few extra days to receive an urn or a painting, but if your grocery delivery is delayed, you still have to figure out what to eat for dinner. For this reason, it is critical to have enough inventory on hand to fill orders without having to wait for your stock to be replenished. 

At the same time, if you order too much of a perishable product and your customers don’t order enough of the item, you’ll likely get stuck with items that have passed their pull date. You can still sell products that are close to their expiration dates, but doing so could have an effect on your ability to attract repeat customers because if their food turns bad before they can eat it, they’ll be unlikely to order from you again. 

You’ll certainly need enough shelving and grocery space to hold and rotate your inventory. If your business sells refrigerated and frozen offerings, you’ll also need commercial refrigerators and freezers, which can be expensive. Assess your needs realistically and try to find a sweet spot between taxing your resources by building too much capacity and limiting your growth potential by not planning for enough. 

Planning Grocery Delivery Routes 

The delivery arm of your business is your most tangible point of contact with customers. People order online groceries primarily for the convenience, so your delivery schedule should be convenient for your clientele. At the same time, be wary of overcommitting to meet your customers’ needs if doing so creates an unsustainable business model. It may be ideal for your customers if you have a delivery truck in every neighborhood for every two-hour window, but doing so would probably be prohibitively expensive for your business. 

You can either take the trouble to schedule delivery times when your customers will be at home or you can use a system for leaving food, ideally in a cooler if the items you deliver are perishable. However, leaving grocery deliveries unattended can be problematic if customers live in areas with high crime rates. In addition, if customers live in apartments, you may have trouble gaining access to leave groceries by their door. 

Pack orders so the first bags and boxes you deliver will be the most accessible. If you offer shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen items as part of the same deliveries, develop a system for keeping track of an order’s different components and retrieving them efficiently at each stop. Track the time it takes to deliver each order and figure these costs into your margins and projections. 

Grocery Delivery Business Models 

Early online grocery delivery businesses such as HomeGrocer and Webvan failed in part because they were conceived by programmers rather than grocery-industry professionals. The grocery industry operates on slim margins, which weren’t sufficient to support tech-heavy platforms. Although online grocery fulfillment warehouses didn’t have to stay open the same long hours as traditional supermarkets, they did have to carry comparable levels of inventory to be able to fill any orders that arrived. 

Subsequent models have revised these early iterations to build on some of the economies of scale that the grocery industry has already achieved. Chains such as Safeway and platforms such as Amazon use physical and digital infrastructure to build onto established businesses. We R Here 4 U LLC uses its platform to provide grocery delivery from existing stores. 

Choosing a Business Name 

Online grocery delivery business names should reflect the approach that you choose for your business. Decide which aspect of your business model you’re most interested in emphasizing and choose a name that communicates this aspect, whether that be convenience, quality or quirkiness. Have a look around the internet for ideas and see what businesses are flourishing. Then apply your findings to coming up with the perfect name or you. 

As we approach the halfway point of 2018, one cannot help but notice the amount of technology that we use every day and how it affects our daily lives. While George Jetson isn’t whizzing by in a flying car to his glass condo in the clouds, we are utilizing an incredible amount of technology in normal life, and one of them (which is becoming increasingly popular) is the famous GPS! We can’t deny it; we all use GPS in our daily routines, even if we don’t drive. In fact, if you’re reading this on your phone, you’re reading it on a GPS receiver. 

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The system uses signals transmitted by orbiting satellites to pinpoint a device’s location and determine any movement over time. On its own, GPS has limitations as it only provides basic information such as coordinates and a few other statistics. Still, when combined with other technology, such as maps, and incorporated into navigational systems, it becomes a powerful tool.

Initially developed by the US Department of Defense for military use, GPS is now widely commercially available to the public, often incorporated into products such as stand-alone or built-in navigation devices for road vehicles and boats, as well as apps for smartphones. Let’s check out some of the mind-blowing benefits of this striking tool!

Available Anywhere

One of the best features of GPS is that because it primarily works through satellite technology, it is available across the entire globe. There is no need to be caught out not knowing your own location, or get lost.

Navigation

Perhaps the most common use for GPS is in navigation systems. Combined with map technology, it becomes a powerful tool for road vehicles and boats. GPS can pinpoint a device’s location with accuracy, and by comparing coordinates, the statistics can be used to calculate the direction of a device of movement and speed. This information can be used to provide step-by-step directions from Point A to Point B in real-time.

Flexible Route Options

GPS gives you route choices in live time, enabling flexibility. You can choose a route according to your particular needs or desires. If you take a wrong turn, a new route can be calculated using GPS. If your direction becomes blocked by an incident, GPS can be used to calculate a new pathway.

Low Cost

The satellites behind GPS are paid for, maintained and upgraded by the US Department of Defense. That means that the system is mostly free, although you may have to pay for a device and software to utilize it. Smartphone apps, such as Google Maps that use GPS, are also usually free.

Easy to Use

Navigation using GPS is generally straightforward and requires minimal skill or effort, certainly when compared to traditional methods and technologies, such as map-reading. In most cases, the user just has to input the destination, and the device will do the rest. GPS is also an easier and more efficient technology to use for tasks like surveying and the study of the movement of tectonic plates.

Updated and Maintained

GPS is paid for, updated, and maintained by the US Department of Defense, so that it is always accurate. Most software, apps, and devices that use GPS are also regularly updated, generally for free. So unlike a traditional printed map which goes out of date after a while, GPS and related technology usually stay very accurate.

Employer Monitoring

Employers can use GPS tracking to make sure that their drivers are behaving responsibly, such as following the quickest route, and not wasting time or fuel by going off track, as well as following speed restrictions. Businesses can also provide better customer service if they know where delivery or service vehicles are at any one time. A fleet of cars can be used more efficiently using GPS.

Crime & Security

GPS can be used as a valuable tool by law enforcement to track criminals or terrorists, using devices they attach to vehicles, or through monitoring the perpetrator’s smartphone. GPS tracking devices can also be used to deter theft by employers or ordinary people.

Safety

GPS tracking can be used by parents to keep tabs on their children. Spouses can also use similar technology to keep track of their partners. Workers and others can also use GPS tracking for personal safety so that their whereabouts are known if there is an emergency.

Neighbourhood Search

As well as navigation, GPS can also be used to provide information on the local area. For instance, finding out where the nearest hotel or gas station is, or discovering nearby restaurants that are open for business. That’s convenient when you are on a long road trip and need to find a place to stop for food, gas, sleep, and so on.

Traffic & Weather Alerts

One of the great things about GPS is that it is all happening in real-time. That means that you can be notified if there is a traffic accident or other hold-up ahead, or if you are approaching an area where there is a severe weather event occurring. Not only can this shorten your journey time, but also improve safety.

Exercise Monitoring

GPS can be used for exercise monitoring and can help amateurs to improve their health and fitness, as well as professional sportsmen and women. It can be used to calculate speed, distance travelled, and even use the information to estimate calories burned.

Buildings and Earthquakes

There are many scientific applications of GPS beyond just navigational matters. It can be used to help detect structural problems in roads and buildings, as well as predict natural disasters like earthquakes through the monitoring of tectonic plate movement.

Surveying

Land surveying takes place before construction or development. Over time, GPS has gradually replaced traditional land surveying techniques, mainly because it is cheaper, quicker, and usually more accurate. It often takes hours with GPS, rather than days. If you’re looking for surveying experts in Melbourne, contact Flat Out Surveying! With over ten years of experience, they provide accurate and surveying solutions for construction and engineering projects ranging from UAV surveying, 3D laser survey to engineering survey and much more cost-effective solutions.

Everyone dreams of their wedding day, some dream of the excellent food that will be served that day, some dream of their wedding attire, and some dream of the wedding décor and some dream of all three of those. Well, I am the one who dreams of the three! Having been engaged for almost 4 years now, my fiancé and I decided to take the next step and go official. We decided to get married, but alas, the COVID-19 ruined everything, and all our plans were being killed one by one. The dream destination wedding was going to be cancelled, the gorgeous décor was cancelled, the amazing buffet was cancelled. When the lockdown was announced, I felt the worst and so did everyone, but then months later, we were back to it again, organizing my wedding in the great pompous way. Well, there was many things that changed and many tips that everyone had to remember because of the coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the wedding industry incredibly hard. Venues are closing, vendors are going out of business, and couples are scrambling to reschedule or even cancel their weddings. You win, 2020. Can we throw up the white flag now?

But instead of wallowing in a wine-soaked pity party, we want to share some tips and resources. Because action is the antidote to fear, and there ARE things we can do right now to help us from feeling so powerless and out of control. So, to help you out, here are the 12 tips that will help you in organizing an Indian wedding.

Put together your wedding website.

A wedding website is the perfect way to keep guests up to date on all the developments and details of your big day. And the best part? There are some really beautiful, free templates out there for you to take advantage of.

Find the venue of your dreams.

Throw on your yoga pants, grab your laptop, and scope out the comprehensive lists of wedding venues on the internet. Find venues by area, budget, guest count, or style—from rustic barns to non-traditional industrial spaces and even woodsy retreats. And if you need to downsize your wedding, we have an entire section of our site dedicated to event spaces that cater to small weddings of 50 or less. See prices, get deals, and view lots of big, gorgeous photos + wedding videos that basically offer a virtual tour of the event space. Then, book a site visit right there from your couch.

Order or rent the wedding attires.

Rent the highest quality tuxedos and suits online without ever visiting a store! Choose the suit and tuxedo styles, along with thousands of colorful accessories to match your wedding color scheme.

Give your wedding party fashion freedom!

Take advantage of the mix-and-match dress trend by giving your bridesmaids the color palette/event style you have chosen, along with the freedom to pick their own ensemble. Your bridal party will appreciate your flexibility—and you will save loads of time on wedding party shopping trips.

Register for gifts or experiences.

While nothing is more fun than using that little scanner gun, couples at home should take advantage of the wide array of online registry options available. From honeymoon registries to websites like Blueprint Registry that let you add gifts from any store, cross this task off your list by cozying up on the couch and shopping entirely online.

Donate to charity in lieu of favors.

Let us be real: most of your guests will not be sad if they do not receive a tea light candle or glassine bag full of Hershey’s kisses. Instead of spending the time putting together favors, why not donate the money to your favorite charity instead? Then, put up a pretty sign at the reception letting your guests know how they were a part of it. You will not only save time, but you will also give back—and we call that a win-win.

Live Stream Wedding

If you are a modern, forward-thinking couple who wants to tie the knot NOW regardless of what is going on in the world, then a live stream wedding is for you! All you really need is a snappy internet connection and basic technology. There are a lot of great, free streaming services out there. Consider a platform like Zoom, Facebook Live, or YouTube Live. And if you cannot decide on just one, why not stream to multiple websites so your guests have options?

Coordinate Vendors

Even if all non-essential businesses are technically closed, your officiant can still perform the wedding ceremony entirely online. No gathering required! To make it legal, you will want to get your marriage license signed and mailed in just as soon as you are able.

Invite Guests

Since you are getting married virtually, why not go the digital route with your wedding invitations, too? Companies like Paperless Post and Greenvelope deliver elegant electronic invitations that emulate the experience of opening a “traditional” printed invitation.

Set Up

Put your phone or tablet on a tripod, open up the windows for some pretty natural light, frame the ceremony with some potted plants, and put some music on to set the mood. You may also want to have a champagne toast on hand to pop bottles post-ceremony!

Rehearse!

Do a rehearsal so you can be sure your technology and devices are all working properly, and you can easily navigate through the streaming platform. Test your WiFi connection to make sure it is fast and strong. Make sure the lighting is on point, make sure sound is getting picked up and there is no feedback, and that camera angles are capturing the right moments!

Pro Tip: Consider putting a trusted friend, family member, or wedding vendor in charge of the wedding day tech so you do not have to worry about it.

Dress Up

This may not be the exact day that you envisioned, but you can still be a vision on your big day! Choose to wear THE dress or go for something a little more casual (perhaps the dress you planned for your rehearsal dinner). Guys can throw on that formal tux or go for sharp jeans and a sport coat. You are the star of this show, so get yourself gussied up in whatever strikes your fancy!

If you are planning a grand wedding in the future months, then get in touch with Xclusive Designs in Etobicoke, ON. They specialize in designing and decorating any type of event, big or small. Their team of professionals provides a full-service approach blending planning with creative design, styling, and event coordination.

Many older adults don’t consider downsizing an option until they are in a position where they either need full-time support or can no longer manage the upkeep of their home. While downsizing can bring to mind stressful thoughts about decluttering, packing, moving hassles, selling your home – not to mention the nostalgia of leaving behind a house full of memories – seniors can experience life-changing benefits by moving to a senior living community before it becomes a necessity.

Some seniors think that moving to a senior living community will limit their space and their options. According to Diane Reier, Lifestyle Specialist at Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights, a senior living community in Prospect Heights, IL, this is far from the truth. “A leading senior living community grants seniors the type of relaxing and supportive lifestyle they deserve,” says Reier, “without the worries and hassles of homeownership. When it comes to downsizing, the benefits far outweigh the concerns about moving.”

For seniors looking to downsize to a more manageable retirement lifestyle, a move to a senior living community is an ideal way to rightsize your home. While moving out of the family home can be bittersweet, downsizing presents new possibilities for worry-free living with the support needed to maintain as much independence as possible.

Consider some of the benefits seniors enjoy when they release the burdens of homeownership and switch to a carefree, senior living lifestyle:

The Chance to Start Fresh

Downsizing and moving to a new, easier-to-manage community home can give you the chance to begin a new chapter in life. It can be a catalyst for changes for the better! Rather than viewing the move as compaction of your life, be encouraged to see instead as making yourself available to new possibilities.

Less Stress

All of these downsizing benefits inevitably lead to less overall stress for you! A new, smaller home will be more comfortable to keep clean and organized, and someone else will be taking care of maintenance jobs. You can stop worrying about things that take away your time, energy, money, and even health, and start enjoying some peace of mind.

Manageable Space 

If you’re living on your own or with your spouse, chances are you don’t need as much space as you did while raising a family. Downsizing to a smaller home makes it much easier to manage your space. Rather than keeping up with (and paying to heat) empty rooms, spend your energy on the perfect area!

No More Maintenance

Keeping up on household chores or paying for yard work and seasonal maintenance can be overwhelming and expensive. As we get older, these tasks end up taking more time or simply become too difficult or dangerous to manage. At a senior living community, you don’t have to spend your time doing chores. Housekeeping, maintenance, and even transportation are often included.

Security

In a community setting, you no longer have to worry about your safety. Gone are the days of worrying about a break-in or a severe weather crisis, stranding you away from necessities. Plus, communities are usually equipped with emergency call systems, in case you should ever experience a health emergency.

More Time & Freedom

When you downsize your home, you’ll regain the free time lost on homeowner responsibilities and spend it on the things you love. Feel like spending the day finishing that novel? Go ahead – you don’t have to cook or clean. Want to go away for an impromptu trip? Your home is safe and secure within your community.

Social Engagement

Maybe your nest is empty, kids and grandkids live out of town, or friends have moved away. Naturally, your social circle might have shrunk in size over the years. At the senior living community, social interaction and involvement are effortless and accessible. With exceptional programming, clubs, and day trips, there’s always something fun to do. It’s easy to make new friends and meet people with similar interests. Plus, friends and neighbors are always close by to grab lunch, see a movie or just sit and chat.

Financial Benefits

Along with homeownership come the financial burdens of taxes and home repairs. Significant repairs and home emergencies (when the furnace stops working, or the roof starts to leak) could cost you thousands of dollars. Even small maintenance adds up. At a senior living community, you no longer have to worry about pricey replacements or other uncertain financial expenses. Without the burdens of paying for repairs or property tax, you can put your home equity to good use.

Are You Ready to Make the Move?

If the thought of downsizing has been troubling you, we hope we’re giving you some reasons to look forward to making the big move. Are you ready to make a move but have been hoarding clutters for years? Do you need some help to get rid of all of them? Don’t worry! Families In Need/Caring Transitions of South Florida is here to lend a helping hand!

It is hard to imagine our lives without fuel. Every day, we rely on the oil and gas industry to supply us with energy to keep multiple processes running. In order to provide us with necessary materials like oil and gas, companies must ensure they transport it in a convenient and reliable way. Choosing the right transportation mode and a robust strategy is crucial for efficient oil and gas shipping.

Oil and gas are found in many various regions all over the United States. However, by contrast, refineries and processing facilities tend to be more concentrated in a few regions, such as the Gulf Coast for example. This means that oil and gas must be transported safely and efficiently from many different locales all over the US to these hubs. Some of the best transport methods are pipeline, ship, rail and truck. Let’s take a look at the benefits of each.

Pipeline Transport

Crude oil that is gathered from its source at wellheads can be moved to processing plants, tankers, and refineries via pipelines. There are several benefits to the pipeline technique, including:

Safety – Moving gas and oil through pipelines is a safe way to get the job done. There are nearly 500,000 miles of pipelines weaving through various states in America. The pipes are equipped to carry petroleum products, crude oil, and natural gas. This technique is environmentally friendly and leads to exceedingly low rates of injuries and fatalities. In fact, it would be easier for a citizen to get struck by lightning than hurt in a pipeline accident.

Energy Efficient – The pipeline transportation method uses less energy than trucks and trains; therefore, this technique is eco-friendly and leaves a low carbon footprint.

Convenience – Because booster pumps are positioned along the pipelines, pressure can be conveniently maintained to keep oil flowing to its destination.

Ship Transport

Another good way to move fuel from one location to another is via ship or barge. There are plenty of barges transporting gas and oil inland along rivers and via oceans, such as along the Gulf Coast, to Corpus Christi, and to other oil refineries on the Louisiana and Texas coasts. This coastal area is also referred to as “refinery row.” Some of the pluses of using ships to transport petroleum include:

Inexpensive – Moving crude via barge or ship is one of the least costly methods of transport.

Flexible Waterways – Boats can move barrels of oil through inland and coastal waterways. For example, it can be shipped via the Mississippi River, Hudson River, Atlantic, and/or Pacific Oceans.

Large Capacities – Tank barges carry huge amounts of oil; a typical tank barge can hold 30,000 barrels.

Railway Transport

Moving crude from its source to the refineries around the nation can also be efficiently done by rail. Although this was first considered to be a stopgap technique until pipelines could be built, it has developed into a popular transport method. Some of the benefits of railway transport include:

Low Cost Set Up – It takes a short time to recover the capital costs of setting up railway infrastructures to move gas and oil.

Short Construction Time – Building new rail infrastructures takes a relatively short amount of time. Some estimates give lead times of only 12 to 18 months from start-up to fruition.

Fleet Resources – Rail operations can easily access a mass amount of fleet resources, such as rail crews, railway cars, locomotives, and extra tracks.

Shorter Transit Times – Transporting crude via train has a fairly short transit time. Shipping fuel from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast only takes one to two weeks.

Quick Response to Market Fluctuations – Railway carriers are able to respond rapidly to changes in the marketplace. This allows for flexibility to adapt to the ebbs and flows in the business of transporting gas and oil.

Trucks

The easiest and most utilized form of transportation in the oil and gas industry is trucking. With on-the-road transportation, you can schedule shipments at any time and move them at any place. This advantage makes trucking beneficial in different ways to other transportation modes. Also, it moves smaller amounts of oil, meaning that the extent of damage in case of cracks or leaks is relatively small.

There are various types of trucks that can perfectly suit the needs of the industry, for instance:

Flatbeds are open trailers that are commonly used for oil and gas equipment shipping because they let you move loads of any size and shape. Rigs, pipes, and drilling equipment are usually oversized and overweight, which makes it hard to move via any other transportation method except a specialized truck.

Hotshots are trailers connected to a pick-up truck that is made for moving small and urgent shipments. Whenever you need to quickly transport a piece of equipment to a remote site, hotshot is a perfect option.

Oil tankers are special cylindrical containers connected to trucks. Tankers are adjusted to moving liquids, and they are good for moving oil as well. Although you cannot ship a large volume of oil through the truck, the vehicle can take it to any destination you need. There are hundreds of trucking companies that deal with oil and gas transportation, such as Beato Fuel Corp.

The boom in North American energy production has caused major shifts in the oil and gas transportation industry. To meet the needs of moving crude from its source to the refineries that process it and get it out to consumers, there have to be efficient methods to get the job done. Pipelines are safe, energy efficient, and convenient. Barges and ships offer cost benefits, flexibility, and have large capacities. Transporting fuel by railway or truck can be an inexpensive technique that takes a short time to set up; it offers minimal transit time, has readily available fleet resources, and responds quickly to the market fluctuations. Each of these transport methods has its own unique advantages and applications.

An engagement ring is traditionally offered by an individual to their prospective spouse to propose to them. It indicates that the person wearing them is engaged and will be married in the future. If tradition dictates that the man chooses the engagement ring alone before making his proposal, the choice is often made by both individuals as well. 

 While choosing this symbolic jewelry, one can sometimes encounter certain difficulties. What type of ring to choose? Which materials? What size? So many questions with answers that will mostly depend on the preferences of the future bride as well as the budget that you want to dedicate to this gem. Here are some tips to enlighten and inspire you to help you choose the right ring!

1) The Budget

First of all: you have to set a budget. There are different price ranges for engagement rings. It all depends on the size and amount of stone/diamonds in the ring. Generally, you have two options available. You can either choose a ready-made ring or have a custom-made one. Contrary to popular belief, custom-made rings do not necessarily cost more.

2) What Are the Different Types of Engagement Rings?

To find your way around the different types of engagement rings, here are a few pointers that you may find useful:

Which Metals?

  • Silver: for an engagement ring, silver is generally not recommended. If its shiny and stainless appearance may seem striking, silver is a metal that easily gets scratched and bend under pressure. Moreover, silver rings will eventually tarnish and have to be cleaned occasionally to maintain their shine. Hence, it’s not the best choice for a piece of jewelry that’s supposed to last a lifetime!
  • Platinum: used in fine jewelry, platinum is a precious metal which, like gold, has a long lifespan. On the other hand, platinum requires a lot of precise work and detailing, which makes it particularly expensive.
  • Gold: this is the main metal used. Jewelries made from pure gold (24 carats) are rare since the metal is not strong enough to last for a long period of time. The majority of them are designed in 18-carat gold, meaning that other types of metals have been added. It is this particular mixture of metals that provides jewelries the gold colour (yellow, pink, white or black). For example, rose gold is achieved due to a higher amount of copper in the alloy.

3) Which Stone to Choose?

Precious stones

There are 4 precious stones, namely, 

  • Diamond 

When we talk about engagement rings, diamond is the gemstone we most often think of. Symbolic of eternity and purity, the diamond remains the most popular stone.

  • Emerald

As one of the most auspicious stones for engagement rings, the shimmering green of the emerald is a symbol of hope and fertility.

  • Ruby

If you’re looking for passion and happiness, you can opt for ruby, one of the rarest and intensely red gemstones.

  • Sapphire

Brought back in fashion with Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, the deep blue sapphire evokes loyalty and symbolizes love. 

Semi-precious stones

Semi-precious stones are more affordable than precious stones. However, it is generally not recommended to select a ring with a semi-precious stone. While these may seem tempting, they are of lower quality and may not last a lifetime.

4) Their Resistance

Although the stone’s beauty is a determining factor, it is also necessary to take into account its resistance. Indeed, scratches and oxidation (rusting) can deteriorate your ring over the years, so it is essential to know a little more about the complex world of precious stones and minerals.

5) The Style of the Ring

It makes sense to choose the ring that best suits the personality of your soulmate. If she has a very classic look, wears discreet jewelry, then avoid opting for a monstrously large stone! It is also useful to think of the ring in accordance with the type of lifestyle one maintains. For instance, you may consider whether your partner will be comfortable wearing the ring you chose daily. Lately, the trend has been vintage. People have been coming back a lot to traditional rings, with a slight vintage side and shape. 

6) The Size of the Ring

One of the questions that will arise during the purchase of an engagement ring is the size of the ring finger. Generally, the dimensions are classified from the smallest to the largest. If you have no idea about it, don’t panic! Most can help determine which size will be ideal. 

And yes, it is not an easy task to choose an engagement ring, but Hofland Diamonds Inc is always here to help you! They specialize in designing and creating custom luxury jewellery. Whether you’re drawn to vintage or more modern styles, you can be sure to find the perfect engagement ring that suits your budget at Hofland Diamonds Inc

Before we look at the impact, if any, that Destination Dispatch Technology has had on energy saving, let’s first have a look at what this actually is.

Destination dispatch is a way of optimizing elevator travel to reduce wait and travel times. Passengers are grouped by their destinations so that people traveling to the same floor ride in the same elevator. This reduces the number of stops the elevator needs to make, which lowers the amount of time people spend riding and waiting for their floors.

Passengers can indicate their destination floors by tapping a keypad or touch screen or using a proximity card in the lobby. They are then directed to an elevator that is going to be traveling to that floor. It may or may not be the next elevator that will be arriving in the lobby.

In a full configuration, destination panels are located on every floor. There are no floor buttons to push inside the elevator, but there are still buttons that can be used to open and close the doors and to summon help in the event of an emergency. Handicap mode is supported in a full configuration. This is the most common type of configuration.

In a hybrid configuration, destination panels are only located on some floors. Other floors have up and down call buttons. There are floor buttons inside the elevator. Handicap mode is generally not supported in a hybrid configuration.

Destination dispatch is becoming popular for several reasons. It avoids unnecessary floor stops, which reduces wait and travel times. It can improve efficiency and organize traffic in lobbies. Passengers with impaired mobility can have better accessibility since they can move in advance to a designated elevator.

So, what has been the energy saving impact?

The technology is impressive, but it is the noticeable, real-world results that are transforming smart elevators from exciting curiosities into high-growth wonders. Advanced destination-based elevator systems today can reduce individual passenger commute times by 20 to 30 percent. In one study of a 15-story office building, it was found that a destination dispatch elevator made roughly half as many floor-stops per trip compared with conventional elevators. This type of performance not only speeds people to their destinations, it also means half as many decelerations and door openings/closing. This translates into less wear and tear on the equipment, and lower energy requirements to run the elevators.

One popular analogy for explaining the difference between conventional and destination dispatch elevator systems is the contrast between taking a bus and a limousine. Both vehicles get you to your destination, but the limo is faster and knows exactly where you are going.

Other Smart Benefits

Efficiency is also a key benefit. Because destination dispatch elevators are so efficient, building designers understand that the total number of elevators can be reduced significantly without affecting service, leaving more usable and rentable floor space in new facilities. Recently, designers of a high-rise building in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. were able to reduce the number of elevators from nine to five. In older buildings, retrofitting with a destination dispatch elevator system can allow companies to increase office populations significantly while maintaining good levels of service.

Additional features can be built into the systems, such as the ability to designate elevators temporarily for special visitors, emergency use, freight or maintenance use. For example, the Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle has a destination dispatch elevator system that makes it easy for personnel to take individual cabs out of general service for emergency or priority uses. The hospital is also equipped with a keypad at the operating room nurses’ station to call the cars when they need to move a patient. They have even programmed the elevator doors to remain open longer for emergency uses to allow gurneys, wheelchairs and stretchers more time to enter and exit.

Many destination dispatch elevator systems today now include handicap features that use voice and light signals to assist hearing or visually impaired passengers. If a passenger presses the handicap button on the central keypad, destination dispatch systems will assign fewer people to the car to allow room for a wheelchair and delay door closing to allow more time for entry and exit.

Into the Future

New human interface access control elevator systems combine destination dispatch technology with electronic identification to take efficiency, specialized service and access control a step further. Unlike simple card-access elevators that grant or deny access, these new access control human interface systems use electronic ID cards to access personal data and customize service. Once a person is identified using a badge, PIN code, key tag or other electronic device, the system assigns an elevator car that conforms to their specific needs.

For example, building tenants with disabilities do not have to push the handicap button because the system will automatically “remember” them and activate the special needs they require. VIPs may be assigned to special limited-access elevators. Equally important, the human interface system enables greater control over access to restricted floors when necessary. This elevator not only knows in advance where the passenger is going, it also knows who the passenger is and personalizes each trip accordingly.

The End Word

All new technologies require time to become mainstream realities as people go through yet another learning curve. Unlike most new products, though, destination dispatch and access control elevators typically require just one or two rides before people become familiar with centralized keypads and assigned elevator cars. For our Canadian readers who also own buildings and are considering installing these systems, consider contacting March Elevator Ltd for advice and prices.

When the pandemic happened, many plans were gone to waste and many hopes were lost, this hardship situation was difficult to deal with for many people. Some people could not fulfil their life-long dreams, some could not have their dream wedding, and some saw their dream outfits being altered with the wearing of masks becoming compulsory. I remember one of my friends had to get married on the date that the government installed the lockdown. The desperation on her face was palpable and I could not do anything except hope for this situation to be over soon. As times passed, the situation worsened and the fear of her dream wedding slowly faded way, we all managed to move on until both the bride and groom wanted to have a wedding during the pandemic. It was going to be one of its kind and yes, it was going to be memorable! There were so many things that was going to be different and so many things would be still normal. The wedding had to be conducted only among closed family members and everyone should respect the social distancing. We planned all accordingly and managed to have a beautiful wedding that exceeded everyone’s expectations.

If you are planning your wedding or someone else’s wedding during this pandemic and you are in need for ideas, then here is some help from me!

Open-air venue and well-spaced out table arrangements

In the post-pandemic era, people will look forward to socializing again, however, they are still expected to be skeptical about attending mass gatherings. In such a world full of heightened cautiousness, wedding planners or couples need to take all precautionary measures while organizing mass gatherings, especially weddings. An open-air or outdoor wedding means plenty of space, which could help people maintain physical distancing as compared to an indoor wedding. Furthermore, a well-thought-out seating arrangement is essential to reduce risks. Venues should organize bigger tables with limited seating to maintain distance between people. For instance, a table for 10 should be assigned to 5 guests only.

Tweaking the buffet-style service

The highlight of any Indian wedding is its lavish buffet. In an effort to comply with physical distancing measures, this is about to change too. While some couples may still opt for buffet-style service, precautionary measures like a contactless serving of dishes will be the norm. For example, one designated server will be assigned to serve a dish each at the buffet to avoid guests touching the cutlery/spoons.

Opting for family-style entrees or sides at the table is another way to ensure the safety of guests, thereby avoiding serpentine queues at the food counters, where people tend to gather in close proximity at weddings. Needless to say, if it is a buffet-style service, line marking to maintain six feet distance between two people will be important. Besides this, caterers will also have to ensure that the raw materials or ingredients for food preparation are sourced from trustworthy suppliers, who ensure utmost cleanliness while delivering the stock from the farm to the venue.

As weddings go local, they also go virtual

In the aftermath of the pandemic, we can expect couples to opt for local weddings in their hometowns, instead of destination weddings. Additionally, overseas guests may prefer being a part of the celebration virtually, due to restrictions for non-essential travel. Furthermore, live streaming wedding ceremonies are a foreseeable trend in the near future. Therefore, wedding planners and venue operators can expect a surge in demand for such services post-COVID-19.

Impeccable hygiene standards

Right from the entry to exit, venues need to place sanitizers and hand napkins at every point. Guests should be able to sanitize their hands-on arrival, have access to cleaning and protective equipment at their tables, ample availability of handwashes and sanitizers should be made in the washrooms. To avoid overcrowding the washrooms, guests should have a designated waiting area where they can maintain physical distance from each other. All venues should diligently disinfect spaces pre and post the wedding function.

Apart from venue hygiene, even makeup artists and photographers documenting the wedding will have a certain SOP to follow in the post-pandemic phase. To ensure that the bride feels safe, makeup artists and hairstylists will wear masks and sanitize their products. With regards to photographers, the wedding party will prefer a smaller team to cover the wedding. Additionally, as weddings are set to be more intimate, a large team will not be required at the venue.

Contactless Greetings

Greeting each guest is suggested etiquette for couples, but what will this look like at weddings during and after COVID? New replacements will emerge bows, waves, winks, you name it. (One of our favorite ideas was the replacement of the traditional receiving line with a contemporary “gesture” line. Just, no obscenities please.)

It is important to remind your guests of how to interact when they enter your wedding space. While people will most certainly be excited to greet each other, social distancing signs and reminders could encourage your guests to be mindful.

Adapt to a post-COVID-19 culture

Societal norms call for handshakes and hugs during milestones and celebrations like weddings. With the entire world maintaining social distancing, couples will prefer to opt-out of the gift-exchange and photo sessions that typically occur at wedding receptions.

The new normal for weddings across the world is going to be significantly different. In the meanwhile, it is time to stay educated, make more informed decisions and rethink safer ways to plan happy and safe celebrations post the pandemic.

Sand Castle is the perfect wedding venue if you are looking for uniqueness and sophistication. They guarantee that your guests will be astounded by their attention to details and their commitment to using only the freshest ingredients possible.

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