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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Decorating The Gateway into Your Home

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Suffice to say that the very entrance into your home needs a lot of attention. After all, this is the gateway into your house and no matter how much time, effort and money youve invested into remodeling your lair, the entire impression your house is likely to irradiate is compromised without providing your front door with proper décor. Here are some cool front door ideas to inspire you.

Letter Monograms

Why put your traditional family name on your front door, when its already on your post box? Instead, think about providing the entrance to your home with a giant letter monogram. Although this is a trend thats been around for a half a decade now, it hasnt lost any popularity. In fact, the sheer number of options, from fonts and colors to styles is so vast, that you can always come up with an interesting idea to decorate your front door. You can make this a DIY project, despite the fact that you can buy the monograms.

Now, heres an interesting solution  blackboard revival! Most schools are using whiteboards and markers nowadays and the good old, squeaky, dusty board that weve gotten used to is forever forgotten. Well, not exactly; the chalkboards have been reinstated as popular, mostly in cafés and pubs, but why not consider putting a chalkboard onto your front door? In this way, you can write something depending on the situation or occasion. For example, you can draw a welcoming sign, or whether or not youre to be disturbed. The ideas go as far as your imagination does.

Flower Basket(s)
If youve gone through the trouble of lining your pathway with flowers, well, youre obviously into them. So why not put flower baskets onto your front door? Of course, you can take the easy road and get faux flowers, which do not require attention, but if youre aiming at the realistic look, natural is the way to go! It is important, however, that you note that this greatly depends on the climate your house is in. Therefore, if the winters in your area are harsh and/or you dont get a ton of sunlight on average, going faux is probably your best shot; no worries, fake flowers are on their way to becoming cool again.

Go Plain
Now, you dont absolutely have to overly decorate your front door  going with the minimalistic look is somewhat popular these days. There is nothing wrong with trying to look professional and there are certain upshots to keeping things plain  doors that are commonly labeled as cold are much safer than those that would be branded as lively; and as the experts from locksmith ryde always advise: safety first, aesthetics later! If you want to add a bit of a pulse to an otherwise cold door, going with minimalistic painting is always an option.

Wood Cut out Door Décor
Back to the chic! You should definitely browse wood cut out décor, it is simply amazing! Options are limitless  go with regular flower design, or turn to weirder stuff, like a wood-carved shoe, an animal, nametags, you name it! Make this your artsy DIY project, even  all you need is a pattern, a chunk of cardboard, a jigsaw and some paint! Use sandpaper to polish things out and enjoy your front door art!

Some of the mentioned door décor trends are trending, some are practical, while others are evergreen! In any case, choose that which you find is to your own liking! It is your own front door, to your very own house and everything goes, as long as you like it! Pro tip: always be original!

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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Five WhatsApp latest features You need to Know

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WhatsApp has also just added a video-calling feature to the app after a series of beta tests. A rise in the app called Snapchat and its Stories feature, from Instagram to Facebook, and now even WhatsApp has tried to clone it. In the new WhatsApp’s Beta app on iOS and Android, there is a new ‘Status’ tab where the ‘Stories’ can be put and seen before it disappears 24 hours later. The new ‘Stories’ feature is only available to a select few who operate on a jailbroken Apple device or a rooted Android smartphone.

The messaging app just updated its messaging app on iOS and has made it possible for users to send and receive GIFs. Though a bit late to the game, it actually does a little more than just supporting animations. Users can send GIFs stored in the device memory as well as search Giphy’s large library and find animations to make your chats interesting.

All these new features to stay relevant in the ever-changing tech world have made WhatsApp even more popular. The company earlier announced that it manages over 100 million voice calls every day on the app, that makes it more than 1,100 calls per second. It has even upgraded the desktop versions of the app. Here are five latest features that you can try out in WhatsApp:

1.  Video calling

WhatsApp just confirmed that it is rolling out the video calling feature across Android, iOS and Windows. You will now be able to see ‘Video Call’ and ‘Voice Call’ choices when you tap the top dialler button. A new dialog giving the option between a standard voice call and a video call will appear.

2.  GIFs

The messaging app has rolled out support for GIFs support for iOS users with the latest version of the app. The 2.16.16 update allows you to send videos (six seconds or shorter) and Live Photos and GIFs. You can search the Giphy library to search for GIFs to send to your friends on your WhatsApp.

Read: WhatsApp commences Sharing of users Data, Phone Numbers with Facebook for Ad Targeting

3.  Tag

You can now tag others in the contacts within a WhatsApp group. You will be able to do the tag even if the people have muted the conversation. You can avail this feature by typing @ and click on the contact you wish to tag from the appearing list.

4.  Picture edit

In the new update of WhatsApp, you can doodle on as well as edit on the photos before sending them to your friends. When the conversation tab is opened, you can tap on the camera button and click on the image from the camera. You will get a few icons on the top right, and you can choose to either crop the photo, draw a doodle, enter a text or a sticker to the photo. Then the picture message is ready to be sent.

Related: WhatsApp Messenger to stop working on some devices in 2016

5.  Most viewed

There is an interesting feature in WhatsApp, although sadly it is only available to Apple devices as of now. Android owners may have to wait for a while. If you have iOS, you can go to ‘Settings’ and then select ‘Account’ and then ‘Storage Usage’. There, you will be able to see the total number of messages at the top of the page and also a list of chats, which are ranked according to the number of messages sent to the number. This helps you see who is your ‘best friend’, as in, to which contact have you spoken the maximum number of lines.

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Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Latest Trends in Garden Design You Should Look Out For in 2017

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Known as the slowest sphere in design, garden design and landscape architecture seem impenetrable to impending trends. After all, the natural tapestry that cannot be rushed, the same way you cant rush an elm to take root nor a cherry tree to produce its fruit. Still, garden design is subject to change as well, following new tastes and taking up the latest trends as the seasons come and go. This years latest trends in garden design promise to put their best foot forward, and here are some you should definitely look out for in 2017.

Comfort Is King
This year, the biggest trend will be bringing the interior out, and creating a comfy oasis we will want to spend more of our free time in. Garden owners and landscapers are trying to achieve this by creating an outdoor living space. Chalky white furniture and white washed decks are looking to imitate the Scandinavian style. Similarly, designers are moving forward from outdoor sofas, which became popular a few years back, and upgrading to daybeds, opulent swing seats, and Moroccan styled tents, fitted with richly-textured rugs and soft floor cushions.

A Return to Basics
Minimalism in the garden has been dominant in recent years; it incorporated hardscaping materials and strict geometrical patterns. This year, however, more and more garden owners desire natural materials, instead of the clean streamlined modern style. Free-form decks, DIY garden furniture, rustic and vintage accessories, the use of stone and wood promise to make the garden more authentic. Additionally, garden owners are looking to create organic layouts, which are emphasizing the natural formation of their garden environment.

A Sustainable Light Touch
As gardeners look for ways to leave a smaller footprint on the environment, sustainable lighting in the garden is becoming more present. This, however, does not mean that garden lights are becoming boring and less appealing. On the contrary, since solar powered and rechargeable lights are getting cheaper, garden designers have a greater incentive for creativity. Fairy lights, soft lighting effects, lanterns, and fake candles are all being used to create an enchanting light display, bringing magic into the garden.

Plant Local
Landscape architects are seeing a renewed interest in using locally sourced plants to fuel gardeners demands for hyperlocalism. Native plants, and even plants specific to a specific environment, will make up the majority of the lush garden greenery. Gardeners specializing in professional landscaping services are transplanting more and more local plant life to gardens, even building materials such as rocks. What this celebration of regionalism does is ease the upkeep of plant life, which is already adapted to a specific ecosystem.

Organic Dye Factories
In recent years, a portion of contemporary gardens has been turned into organic food factories, with their very own edible gardens, chicken coops, and even beehives. The latest movement in practical organic gardening makes use of natural dye gardens. Plants used for coloring textiles, yarn and clothing are finding their way into edible gardens, as they include various sorts of fruits and vegetables, and naturally staining flowers. Whats more, plants like beetroots, marigold and purple basil are easily integrated into existing gardens, and harvested both as food, as well as natural dye.

Smart Garden Tech
Technological advancements have also found their way into gardens, only to improve sustainability. Gardening apps are using their programmable smart phone technology to embrace low-water, sustainable irrigation. They promise to make irrigation less time-consuming by alerting users of the impending need to water plants. At the same time, they monitor weather patterns in order to measure optimal amounts of water supply for each individual plant, economically meeting the demands of the entire garden.

With so much in store for 2017, there is a lot to look forward to this year. Garden owners will finally have a chance to enjoy and bask in the glory of their gardens. This will in no way hinder the creativity of landscape designers, as they too will finally have a chance to put their innovative, sustainable and visually beautiful ideas, to please the needs of employers, the environment, as well as themselves.

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Thursday, December 01, 2016

5 Things You Must Stop Doing To Make Your Career Soar


Here are five things we must stop doing to be more successful in our career:

1. Stop Letting Others Define You. You are who you are. You are making your story every minute. I have gone through a lot of ups and downs. I was previously married to a man. I fell in love with a woman when I was in my forties. We have a crazy story, but at the end of the day, it’s about being your authentic self, not being afraid to attack the problems and dealing with the adversity in life if it’s your path that you’re truly on. Even if you make that decision and it’s the wrong decision, you made a decision that was right at the time based on what you thought was right.

You have to be able to articulate and advocate for yourself in a way that’s respectful. You have to tell people what’s important to you, what’s right for you. Many women get caught up in the pleaser mode and we put our own feelings on hold. You know why? Because we’ve been told that we’re selfish. We’re not selfish. We’re just advocating for ourselves. There’s a difference.

A lot of women, especially young women, say: “I got this job. I don’t make enough money. I don’t know how to ask my boss for a raise.” You know what? Ask. That’s your answer. If they say “no,” then that’s your value set that they have on you. If that’s different than the value set you place on yourself, you need to develop a strategy and a plan to get to where you want to be/go. That doesn’t mean you go in and ask for a raise and if your boss says no that you quit on the spot. It means come up with a strategy.

Here’s a message to parents, when your daughter says: “I’m sorry, Mom. I really don’t want to go to Harvard even though you went there. I want to go to Columbia because…,” as a parent, take a step back and let your daughter decide for herself. She’s going to get a whole lot more success that way versus you shoving it down her throat.

2. Stop Thinking A Title Matters. It’s okay to not have a big title. It’s okay to not know where you’re going. It’s OK to do something to make some money while you’re figuring out where you’re going. Too many women struggle with this. We want to have a title that makes us look like we’re successful even if we’re not. Don’t worry about what it looks like to other people. Worry about how happy you are and how you’re going to get to that path. Take a different path.

People ask me why I applied for Brown University men’s hockey head coaching job. The reason is because I took the women’s team tour as far as I could take it. I needed a new challenge for myself. I said, “I know I can coach boys and men. It’s just a game. It’s not rocket science.”

3. Stop Putting Negative Energy Into Your Life. When you say it’s a problem, right there, negative energy. It’s not a problem. It’s life. Life is about the journey. I used to tell my players this all the time: It’s not about winning the championship. If you are on the right path to the championship, that’s going to happen, but the championship and the successes happen every single day in the locker room. They happen in the first period whether you’re ahead, you’re winning, you’re losing; you’re still learning something. When you look at your life, you look at a problem, you look at winning and losing; it’s not about that. It’s about the journey.

As you start on your journey, you go with the energy that makes you happy. You stay away from the negative energy. If you do that on your path to life, the vision starts to become very evident. I’ve always had a vision and it’s always been about equality.

4. Stop Hanging Out With Time Wasters. I’m done with time wasters. Time wasters are people who don’t add a lot of value to your life. They just want to suck your energy, pick your brain.

5. Stop Living In Your Bubble. For me, things don’t always go as planned, but I follow the positive energy. I’m like, “Okay. There it is. I just saw the door and I went through it.” I think that sometimes we need to be open to the signs on the door. Say you meet someone who is really interesting. Get their business card. Call them. Have coffee with them. You never know where that networking happens. I talk to anyone I can talk to… whether it’s a person on a hockey rink or in a coffee shop. I met a woman on the subway two weeks ago. She works for Price Waterhouse. I talked to her. We had a conversation. I want to put her on my board. Just randomly take initiative. Be actively engaged every moment of your life. We’re in the land of opportunity, ladies and gentlemen. Just take advantage of that. Don’t live in your own little bubble.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Michelle Obama Unveils Final White House Holiday Decor "The Gift of the Holidays"

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Michelle Obama welcomed the military families to the White House on Tuesday for the Obamas last Christmas season where she unveiled this year's final presidential holiday decorations. The event was part of the Joining Forces initiative, which aims to "ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the tools they need to succeed throughout their lives."
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5 Tips for planning your 2017 wedding

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Engagement photo

Congratulations, you’re engaged! But if your wedding planning has stalled, or just started and you are starting to feel overwhelmed, here are five key elements Lisa Antonecchia, of Creative Concepts by Lisa, LLC, wedding and event planning and design, says you should keep in mind while planning your big day.


Couples will often come to me with many ideas, however, no concrete budget. The first, and most important, element in planning your wedding is knowing what your budget will be. I will often encourage my couples to give themselves a small cushion, such as $2,000 to $4,000 extra that they can pull from for last-minute decisions and or that one or two must-have elements that just don’t fit in your original budget. The goal is not necessarily to spend this money but to know that if you want to make these purchases you do not have to be stressed out about it at the end. So remember having that cushion is always helpful.


If you’re newly engaged or getting engaged over the holidays you’re probably wondering if it’s too late to get married in 2017. Rest assured, it is never too late. However, the two elements that you should be flexible on are: the date of the wedding and the venue. If you’re newly engaged but still want to get married in 2017 there are certainly many dates still available, however your specific date may already be booked. So having some flexibility in the date of the wedding will be helpful. Also, be flexible about your wedding location. When it comes to a Saturday night wedding, many of the peak season dates may already be booked. So if you have an end-all, be-all location, perhaps be a little bit flexible on your Saturday night event (keep in mind getting married on a Thursday, Friday or Sunday could also save you some money) but you may also have to look at other venues. Remember, as important as your venue is, Connecticut has so many incredible locations that if you keep an open mind you are sure a find an amazing place for your wedding day.

Read: How to Recycle Your Wedding Dress - 5 Tips


Ladies, you may want to go and solidify your wedding dress as soon as the date and location are selected. It’s important to get the date first, in order to correctly select the style of your dress. Since some designers have a longer wait time on dress delivery, and some women may require extra appointments for alterations and fittings. Your bridal wardrobe would be another important element to complete as soon as possible.

If your venue does not have an on-site food and beverages, your caterer is certainly another important element to book as soon as possible. Keep in mind many of these alternative venues will have a master list of preferred caterers that they would like on site. Be aware that if you do not use one of these preferred caterers you may be paying an additional fee; this of course comes out of your bottom line. So do everything you can to use one of the on-site preferred caterers when possible. If you have religious or cultural requirements for a caterer, for example the need for a kosher caterer, try to negotiate any additional catering fees with your venue, so you do not have to pay them.

Related: 10 Mistakes You need to avoid when Shopping for a Wedding Dress


If your venue does not have an on-site food and beverages, your caterer is certainly another important element to book as soon as possible. Keep in mind many of these alternative venues will have a master list of preferred caterers that they would like on site. Be aware that if you do not use one of these preferred caterers you may be paying an additional fee; this of course comes out of your bottom line. So do everything you can to use one of the on-site preferred caterers when possible. If you have religious or cultural requirements for a caterer, for example the need for a kosher caterer, try to negotiate any additional catering fees with your venue, so you do not have to pay them.


There is still plenty of time to plan your 2017 wedding. So do not make rash decisions, educate yourself and focus on one element at a time so that you do not become overwhelmed. Also, as fabulous as it is to involve your bridal party in your planning process, be careful that you do not have too many ideas and too many comments in the back of your head. Remember: stay focused on your sense of style, your budget, and the reason that you’re having this wedding is that you’re in love!

For more information on event planning and design don’t hesitate to ask for help, there are many great professionals to guide you in your process! Congratulations and good luck! For more information on these comments contact: Antonecchia at Creative Concepts by Lisa, Events

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Beyoncé releases Christmans-themed "I Sleigh All Day" sweaters

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Beyoncé has launched a new line of Christmas-themed merchandise in her online store.  The sweaters are available in red and green hoodies with the phrase " I Sleigh All Day" printed on them.  There are also sweatpants and t-shirts featuring a stocking full of lemons along with some Fomation-inspired wrapping paper.

Check them out below:
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Friday, November 25, 2016

Stylish FLOTUS! Michelle Obama dazzles in Dries Van Noten innovative design for an event

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First Lady Michelle Obama rocked a Dries Van Noten silk robe wrap dress to the Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony in Washington DC on Tuesday.  The event honoured individuals who have made "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours."

She was in the company of her husband Barack Obama at the ceremony.  She has previously worn the dress at a World Innovation Summit for Education in Qatar last fall, 

Gorgeous style!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Spending more hours watching TV can lead to infertility in men - New Study

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Image result for images for watching Television

Researchers at the University Department of Growth and Reproduction, University of Copenhagen, have said that men who spend five or more hours watching TV daily risk 29 percent lower sperm concentration and 34 percent lower sperm count than men who don’t watch any TV.

What this translates into is that watching too much TV can lower your sperm count, which in turn can result in infertility!

The researchers, led by Dr. Lærke Priskorn, add that they are still researching whether sedentary lifestyle interferes with testicular function, semen quality and reproductive hormones.

They, however, assure that the low sperm count may make it more difficult to father a child.
“It’s possible that all the stillness increases the temperature in the scrotum, which can mess with sperm production,” Priskorn says.

“The lack of exercise could also be to blame,” Priskorn notes; adding that the antioxidant enzymes that are normally sparked by physical activity and which can help protect the developing sperm cells against damage will be absent once an individual embraces sedentary lifestyle.

The bottom line: If you’re trying to become a dad, reduce the number of hours you spend sitting down to watch TV — or any activity whatsoever that makes you sedentary.

And when you opt to watch those long TV episodes, make it a point of duty to stand up once in a while, walk around, stretch yourself before sitting down again.
Thirty-minute intervals may do.

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Stylish Royal! Kate Middleton dazzles in Preen Dress for Place2Be Wellbeing in School Awards

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards at Mansion House

Kate Middleton wore a stunning A-symmetric flock during a charity event at Place2be Wellbeing in Schools Awards at Mansion House in London. Place2Be provides in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional being of pupils at the earliest possible stage. 

The mother of two looked gorgeous in the black dress by Preen.  Meanwhile, The Duchess of Cambridge has previously worn the red colour of the dress while on tour with her Prince William in Canada.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards at Mansion House
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