Saturday , 19 April 2014

The Little Things that make Birthday Parties Extra Special

For kids, there is never an occasion quite like a birthday party. It is the time for kids to be kids and for adults to enjoy whatever there is at the venue.

edible photo icingThe problem with many parties, however, is that they are so overdone already. Some organisers use the same gimmicks for the occasion every year, and of course, that could lead to the notion that birthdays are becoming passé. There is a need to make the occasion extra special for the celebrator and the guests.

Fortunately, you do not have to stress yourself out thinking of what to do; sometimes, it is the little things – the simplest matters – that make an occasion heartfelt.

A Taste of the Unexpected

Birthday celebrations have been around for centuries already, and to make it extra special, you should do something unique and outside – or better, beyond – the box of regular ideas.

Remember that it does not have to be totally unconventional, it is just that the celebrator should not see that part of the program coming. Instead of buying your loved one’s favourite chocolate cake, why not put edible photo icing there? That might be a simple addition, but it is surely unexpected.

Personal Touch

To claim a part of the party as your own, you should add a personal touch to it. It is important to include a portion of yourself – in terms of time, effort, and overall thought – with whatever it is you are preparing.

One popular option is making a birthday video, with clips that feature people close to the celebrator’s heart saying a few special things. You can, of course, drift away a little from this idea, as you can prepare for the occasion in advance. Instead of a video full of dedications, why not create a mini-documentary instead? It would be a better idea to create a story out of the nice things the celebrator’s friends and family say on camera rather than simply compiling them.

A Gesture of Affection

The bottom line is that the level of affection should be there. Similar to wooing someone you love, you should exert the effort to make things super special for the one celebrating the occasion. At the end of the day, it is not completely about the celebration, but the level of affection the celebrator got from it.

Birthdays are still an exciting occasion, but sometimes, it is the little things that make them more than that.

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Beyond Guest Blogging: Advanced Link Building Strategies

socialLink building is about posting excellent content and implementing efficient search engine optimisation (SEO) methods to allow users to find it. Among these SEO techniques is guest posting.

When link building, however, it’s essential to have a clear content strategy that leads to users easily discovering your content. With that said, here are two more advanced link building strategies apart from guest posting:

Using Sponsorships

Event sponsorships are costly, especially for small businesses. Despite this, you can still gain exposure and generate the links you need. As an alternative, use low-cost sponsorships such as finding a small town that leads to a camping or resort area with year round events like concerts or film festivals. In these towns, look for stores with websites and blogs, stadiums or recreational parks.

Once you’ve found such towns, write their names down and learn about their huge local events, or local events that people drive miles to get to. For these events, consider donating decorations or sponsorships that can prompt local organisations or groups to mention you, providing you with backlinks.

Moreover, as the locals decorate and take pictures during these events, you can find tweets and other posts that can help send the search engines social signals. Even if you’re not targeting the backlinks, this is an excellent means to build a customer base and a following without spending thousands.

Using Gates

A strategy you should avoid involves using a gate and requiring a backlink as a means to access your content. This strategy can gain you a penalty from a search engine and prevent users from finding your content.

As an alternative, provide quality content beyond the gates that makes users want to share them or include them as a reference.

There are other link building methods apart from guest blogging. Learn more about them from professional SEO companies in Sydney and explore what you can do.

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City Guide for Expats: How to Survive the Manic Makati

renting apartment in makatiIf America has the hustle and bustle of New York, the Philippines has the manic Makati. At first, the city seems like a never-ending carnival of busy streets, with a sea of people rushing to their offices. Just like other developing cities, the traffic is stifling and the urban stretch daunting. But it is Makati’s accessibility and myriad attractions that give it the edge over places that readily reveal their spoils.

Embrace its beautiful chaos with these survival tips.

Where to Stay when You’re Working in Makati

It’s more reasonable to look for an apartment in Makati than commuting from nearby suburbs and cities. With a place in Makati, you don’t have to wake up early and deal with foot and road traffic. The city has broad sidewalks, so you can walk to your office and other accessible establishments. You don’t have to wait for your flight here just to find the perfect residential place, as there are many reliable guides and listings, such as RentinMakati and Makati Portal, that are available online.

What Transport to Take during Heavy Traffic

The Metro Rail Transit (MRT) is the preferred transport method for office workers who are looking to avoid traffic. Jeepneys are cheap, but you should know your route, as there’s no other way of telling where you’re going than shouting “Bayad Po!” and your destination, and giving a minimum fare of PHP8.00. Taxis are also inexpensive, with a flag rate of PHP40.00. Just avoid the yellow-colored airport taxis as their fares start at PHP70.00.

Where to Eat when You’re on a Tight Budget

The restaurants around Greenbelt, SM Makati and Glorietta malls aren’t your only dining choices, as there are many authentic cuisines, food trucks, markets, hole-in-the-wall diners, and even Jolly Jeeps in Makati. Whether you’re looking for fresh seasonal produce or imported products, there’s always something new to discover every Saturday at the Salcedo Park Weekend Market. If you’re on a tight budget, look for mobile canteens serving affordable home-cooked meals, also known as Jolly Jeeps. You can even find one near your Makati apartment or condo, as they are almost everywhere.

Finally, there’s no safe place nowadays, so be vigilant all the time. If you’re spending time on the streets late at night, avoid displays of wealth.

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Money and Divorce: How to Prepare Financially

preparing financially before divorceOne of the most common mistakes couples make when filing for divorce is failing to prepare their finances. This often results in a more complicated process. According to experts, many couples focus on the emotional aspect of divorce so much that they forget to think about their finances.

If you’re contemplating a divorce, financial experts and some divorce lawyers suggest getting your finances in order first. Preparing in advance will reduce stress associated with the process, letting you deal with this difficult situation better.

Here’s how you can prepare financially for divorce:

Evaluate Your Assets

A home is usually the biggest asset of a married couple, but there are many other investments and possessions that fall under marital assets, such as retirement accounts and pension from past jobs. Even those that aren’t jointly owned may come into consideration depending on state laws, so it’s important to evaluate them. When evaluating assets, consider current dollar values and tax implications.

Check Your Credit Reports

Running a credit check will alert you of any outstanding credit, debts, or liabilities under your name that you may not have been aware of. Yes, this happens. Ask any divorce attorney in Suffolk, Nassau, Brooklyn, or any other county in Long Island and they’ll tell you how often they encounter clients whose spouses have opened accounts or gotten loans under their name without their approval.

Weigh Debts

Separating debts carries just as much stress as dividing assets, but if you have a 12-month history of all credit cards and utility bills, and personal and jointly held loans, you can figure out who will take on what debt. Experts suggest paying the debt off as much as possible before getting a divorce, as it’s difficult to take one party off a debt unless it’s paid off.

The earlier you organize your finances, the better you can navigate the process of divorce and get a settlement in your favor.

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Serena Williams Eliminated At Second Round Of Family Circle Cup

Image by Hilsingborgs Bagblad | Flickr

Image by Hilsingborgs Bagblad | Flickr

Serena Williams suffered a surprising defeat from Jana Cepelova of Slovakia in the second round of the Family Circle Cup in South Carolina.

Unable to Recover

Serena, who was the defending champion, lost 6-4 6-4 to the Slovak, who is ranked 78 in the world. Williams failed to recover after losing the first five games. “Obviously things didn’t go great, but she was a great counter-puncher and hit a lot of balls back,” Williams said.

The 20-year-old Slovak had never beaten a top-seeded player. Beating Serena Williams was the biggest win of her career.

On the Other Side

Venus Williams reached third round 6-3 0-6 7-5 win over Barbora Zahlavova of the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, Canadian Eugenie Bouchard defeated Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia in a 6-2 6-0 win. Australian seventh seed Samantha Stosur, on the other hand, had to exert more effort to eliminate Yaroslava Shvedova of Russia 6-3 5-7 6-1.

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Not Just a Package, Army Package

military packagingThe United States military is an institution that supports companies across an array of specialties, from research and development to medicine. Most of these companies depend on military contracts, and the timely delivery of their products to secure said contract. Unfortunately, entire deliveries are sent every now and again because of packaging errors. A simple incorrect line, number or letter can make a fleet of trucks turn back.

Thousands if not millions of dollars are wasted for every delivery forced to turn back because of such a silly mistake. It’s hardly any surprise that the government would be extremely strict with military packaging, and it’s up to everyone else to adjust to their standards.

Packaging Software

Fortunately, there are software programs that make understanding and working within the system much easier. There are a few of them, but all adhere to the methods and material defined by the Mil-Std-2073. The standard ensures that all materials are delivered without damage; condition and functionality are everything in a world where people’s lives may depend on their operation.

The Department of Defense enforces requirements for marking unpacked items, or items too large to fit into conventional packaging. The DoD looks for pieces of information, such as the part number, unit of issue, and national stock number arranged in a specific order.

Packaging Boot Camp

The first thing companies with new contracts with the military should do is establish a packaging program. No, the military doesn’t accept deliveries through UPS; they’ll only accept deliveries from the people they have contracts with who bought their codes. The best way to do that is by training your staff in the intricacies of military packaging.

The Defense Logistics Agency has contacts with a few educational programs that can help companies get the necessary training to make working with the military as flawless as possible.


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How Stress Affects Your Smile

cosmetic dentistryStress causes a lot of health problems like anxiety and heart complications. You can even add dental ailments to that list. It might seem unlikely that a neurological issue can affect even your teeth, but it’s true. Numerous studies have revealed that stress has a correlation to bad teeth! That’s right; your Kinross dentist can tell when you’re troubled just by looking at the state of your smile.

So, how does stress affect your teeth?

It’s a Hormonal Thing

When you’re stressed, your body secretes steroids that mess with the bacteria-fighting elements in your white blood cells. This means your body’s internal defence system may be compromised. People who have the predisposition for gum disease are all the more at risk of it if they’re always under a lot of stress.

Stress is Habit Forming

Your body expresses stress in different ways. Anxious people tend to grind their teeth and this leads to bruxism. If you’re constantly grinding your teeth, you cause the ridges to flatten and your enamel to rub off. Stressed people who frequently grind their teeth now have another problem because of it—teeth and gum sensitivity.

It’s a Trigger

Bruxism may lead to temporomandibular disorders, but stress in itself can trigger symptoms. In a stressful situation, teeth grinding is often accompanied by jaw clenching, which is also a leading cause of the TMJ disorder. If you start feeling jaw pain or hearing your jaw pop, you might be suffering from TMJ caused by stress.

When stress is the cause of your dental problems, you can deal with them the same way you deal with your stress. If that’s not enough, it might be time to look into cosmetic dentistry in Perth. For especially high-stress environments, soothing exercises may help you calm down and relax, but may do nothing for your smile. Cosmetic dental procedures give you quick and long lasting results.

While there are numerous options to fix stress-related dental problems, don’t wait until you might need extreme measures. Keep your cool at all times and when the going gets tough, take a moment to relax. A healthy mindset leads to a healthy body and a healthy smile.


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How Online Reviews Can Make or Break Your Small Business

Many start-ups and small business entrepreneurs today rely on the Internet to generate a bigger audience. It’s not simply because they lack funds, but it offers a better value for their money. The Internet has a global reach, compared to traditional media. Online reviews, for instance, is accessible worldwide and it can be a good marketing tool when implemented properly.

search engine optimizationWhy Online Reviews Are Important

According to a study, many consumers trust online reviews as if they’re personal recommendations from friends and relatives. After reading a few online reviews, they make a decision whether to buy or not. Many also stated that they trust a business more after reading positive comments.

What Review Platform to Choose

Online marketing experts offering Search Engine Optimisation in Australia and other parts of the world recommend social media and country-specific review sites. For instance, Facebook and Twitter are ideal for quick and massive feedbacks because more than a million of the world’s population have their own accounts. Review websites like and CHOICE Australia, on the other hand, are ideal for consumers who want detailed reviews and information about the business.

How to Use Reviews to Improve Online Reputation

Search for your business name in major search engines, like Google and Yahoo!, to look for existing reviews about your products and services. If there’s none, create a profile to promote your small, start-up business online. Monitor all the reviews you receive, whether good or bad, to keep them under control. Deal with negative feedback immediately. If your customer isn’t happy, ask why and offer a solution as soon as possible to prevent it from affecting your reputation.

Make your small business successful by hiring search engine optimisation services. They can help provide you with a good online reputation through reviews and other SEO techniques, and increase the number of your loyal customers in the process.

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Pirate Bay Founder Gears Up For EU Parliament Candidacy

Image by Eirik Solheim / NRKbeta | Wikimedia

Image by Eirik Solheim / NRKbeta | Wikimedia

The Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde is preparing to run for the European Parliament.

The Pirate Party

Despite a pending jail time for his stint with the file-sharing site, Sunde has his eyes set in joining the European Parliament in Brussels.

He announced his plan of running last year. Sunde is part of the voting ballot  of the Finnish arm of the “Pirate Party.”

‘Rebooting democracy’

In his interview with TorrentFreak, Sunde unveiled his plans should he get the post.

“If elected, I’ll go and bug fix the EU. We need to reboot the thing called democracy and make it work,” said the former TPB spokesperson.

Sunde believes that the Pirate Party can go a long way in changing the European Parliament. It is his highest priority to revise the current copyright law and make casual file-sharing legal.

The Pirate Bay founder also said that he has previously invited the founder of Megaupload, Finnish-born Kim Dotcom, to join the race. Dotcom, however, refused and said that he intends to focus on New Zealand, where he has started the “Internet Party.”

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Surgery No More: Alternatives to Traditional Liposuction

undergoing liposuctionWant to lose fat, but don’t want scars and long recovery periods due to the procedures involved in traditional liposuction? Then visiting a cosmetic surgeon for less-invasive and non-surgical liposuction in Newcastle or anywhere in New South Wales might be ideal for you. They can help get rid of your fat and flabby stomach, arms, and thighs in a less painful way. Here are some suitable alternatives:

Ultrasonic Liposuction

This body contouring procedure uses ultrasonic or high frequency sound waves to break up and separate fat cells. It’s suitable for treating the face and chin, abdomen, back, buttocks and hips, and thighs. It doesn’t harm your blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues, so you can undergo this procedure multiple times in a single session. According to clinical tests, it also helps tighten skin. No bruising or scarring is involved, which lets you heal faster and see the result in three months’ time.

Laser Fat Reduction

This involves the use of low-level laser energy, which causes fat cells to lose shape by changing the porousness of the cell membrane. It’s ideal for getting rid of saddlebags or fat deposits around your hips. Cosmetic surgeons use this to target areas of the body that don’t respond to diet and exercise. After treatment, you’ll need to perform intense exercise routines to speed up the breakdown and removal of fat.

Body-Jet Water Liposuction

This new technique uses the power of water-jet assisted lipoplasty (WAL)to flush unwanted fat away. It’s a less invasive liposuction, and causes less bruising and swelling to the body unlike traditional liposuction. It doesn’t harm the nerves and surrounding tissues, making this procedure safe and risk-free. It’s also among the procedures that have less discomfort and recovery time.

These are only some of the alternatives you can undergo if you don’t want to go through the traditional liposuction procedure. Find cosmetic surgery services in Newcastle or anywhere you live to achieve your ideal body shape.

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