How can you enjoy timeless design in your home?

The 1960s and 1990s were notable decades for striking trends in home improvement. Whilst many homes and commercial buildings were certainly improved, not all style innovations are remembered with approval – and reversing them is often an expensive business. A little change from time to time adds spice to life, but major investments should have some staying power. No one wants to throw furniture and furnishings out with the weekly rubbish.

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Timeless home furnishing design does exist. Strolls around museums and galleries will soon convince you that there are some pieces and looks that remain stunningly desirable and functional forever.

Designed to endure

In people, personality is ephemeral, character is enduring. The same is true of buildings and their furniture. A piece that truly knows what it is and what it is for possesses a lasting value. One that simply pays lip service to current fashion will sooner or later become an embarrassment.

Commissioning bespoke designs is one way of focusing your mind on precisely the qualities that instil this value. Whether you need bespoke commercial desks or unique home furnishings, experienced designers from companies such as will guide you through the process by helping you to understand the modern materials and possibilities.

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Designing your own solution to something with a lasting purpose guarantees that the final piece will truly belong. This, in a nutshell, is from where character grows.

Colour of the year

The colour of 2017 is Denim Drift according to Dulux; Poised Taupe according to Sherwin Williams; and Greenery according to Pantone, which kicked off the ‘colour of the year’ vogue in 2000. Each year, a two-day meeting surrounded by all the secrecy of a papal conclave decides which colour matches the approaching zeitgeist. Florist chains and fashion designers snap up the announcement avidly before planning their own ranges.

If you design your upholstery and furnishings for compatibility with Pantone’s palette this year, you are guaranteed to be throwing them away next. This is good news for companies such as Pantone, but not for the enduring value of anything else.


Natural materials weather the tides of these fashion manipulations with impunity. In nature, colours and textures combine harmoniously without a swatch. Natural or natural-looking materials in your home or workplace will continue to meld harmoniously as more fickle colour schemes come and go.

Top ideas for your next corporate event

Corporate events can do wonders for team morale and can also provide opportunities for staff at all levels and across all departments to socialise. If you’ve already participated in a team-building event, you will be only too familiar with the numerous positive outcomes so, if you’re after some fresh new ideas for your next corporate event, look no further!

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Food-related events

Why settle for a standard dinner-dance party when you can surprise your workers with something more original? Nitrogen ice cream bars feature a range of unusual ice cream flavours to add that novelty factor to your team-building event. Delegates can enjoy flavours inspired by Jack Daniels, popcorn and many more. Find out more about the taste sensations on offer and how they’re made at

A tailor-made Food Science class will have your employees feeling all nostalgic about their school days, with interactive food stalls offering the opportunity to watch dishes being made before them. Finally, though your best-dressed staff may not thank you for it, you could attend a cafe where you pay for your food and drink in exercise. After a stint on a treadmill, a spin bike or a rowing machine, we’re sure that your workers will find the funny side!

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Party-animal themes

If you have a wild bunch and want to allow them to let their hair down, why not consider a carnival parade, where delegates can join in a colourful and music-filled activity? Or, if you want a cosmopolitan feel but can’t afford to transport your entire workforce to a lively city, then why not invite them to take part in a photo booth experience, where they can take a virtual tour around England’s capital and see the main London landmarks? This is great if you’re looking for corporate events in Ireland with a twist. Do check out the website of Irish events specialist Davis Events for even more fun-fuelled ideas (

Alternative experiences

Although most events usually incorporate some kind of dining element, there’s a range of activities that you can do which are centred around specific themes. Take an indoor drag racing event, for example, featuring renowned racing legends and sports journalists. Meanwhile, an inflatable igloo can be the location of your winter or summer escapade, using a 16-metre inflatable structure, complete with LED lights, a bar and furniture.

Do you need two wedding photographers?

Your wedding day will be the most important day of your life – capture it on film and you can look back over the years, tripping your memory with moments you had forgotten.

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A wedding photographer is an important acquisition. You are relying on him to capture every moment of this important day, so why would you need two photographers?

It all depends on what you are expecting from the photographer. If you are having a small, intimate, family wedding, you probably only need one; if you want a huge affair with every moment documented in pictures, you will need two photographers. One photographer cannot be everywhere at the same time. The only downside is double the cost (


One photographer will go with the bride and one with the groom, ensuring every moment is covered. Getting ready on the day, the flowers arriving, hair and makeup, nervous chattering with the bridesmaids, parents fussing around making sure everyone is OK and that everything will be ready on time – all this can be captured for time immemorial. Then there is a sneaky glass of champagne to calm those nerves before stepping into your wedding gown and wowing everyone around you, Mum having a cry in the corner and Dad with a tear in his eye preparing to walk you down the aisle – nothing will be missed.


Showering and dressing with his best man, getting his buttonhole pinned to his jacket, a feeling of excitement yet those butterfly nerves popping up now and again. Double checking the important rings and making sure the ushers know what they are doing, then the long wait until you hear the music and yes, she has arrived and the moment really is happening.

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Regardless of where you live in the country, top-class photographers such as Hampshire wedding photographer are available to make your day one to remember for ever.

If you have one photographer in the church and one outside, everything is covered. The same applies to the reception – one can be taking photos of the guests mulling around while traditional family group photos are happening outside. The benefit of two photographers is that everyone has their own style and you will have the best of both worlds. You only have one shot at this, so double your luck.

Giclee Prints FAQs

Giclee printing allows artists, photographers and designers to make reproductions of their original artwork without damaging the original. The end product is a high-quality, fade-resistant work of art which apart from textural differences may be very difficult to tell apart from the original. From the French for “to squirt or spray”, giclee provides photographic inkjet printing on high-quality papers. However, many potential users still have questions concerning giclee, and hopefully we can answer some of those questions here.

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What are the advantages of giclee over C-type prints?

A significant advantage in giclee prints is their durability. Anyone who has ever printed an image on a home or office printer and then posted it on the wall will know how soon the image fades. However, giclee offers a level of quality which experts describe as having “archival permanence”. According to several studies, giclee, which delivers the print via ink pigment, offers an enhanced colour fastness, meaning the colour that is printed will be the colour displayed for many years to come.

Giclee also has a much more dynamic range of colours to give the viewer a greater sense of similarity between the original and the print. Traditional C-type and digital C-type prints offer a much narrower selection of colours, and this is apparent in the end product.

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Just how long will a giclee print last?

By using the latest equipment and acid-free papers, a print stored under glass and out of direct sunlight can expect to look as good as the day it was printed for up to 80 years. Prints archived in paper or behind UV-protective glass could remain perfect indefinitely. Your giclee printing service, like the one offered by, would be able to advise you on the best way to store and display your prints for maximum enjoyment and longevity.

What special care do giclee prints require?

A giclee print should be treated with the same care as you would an original piece of artwork. You should avoid touching the printed surface with your bare skin, as this can leave prints and smudges. They should also be kept dry and dust-free and away from any extreme temperatures or temperature fluctuations.

In short, giclee is a printing technique that is famed for delivering exceptionally high-quality and lasting reproduction prints.

The Best Type of Primitive Shelter in Hot Weather

There are a number of primitive shelters that are quick and simple to build, and many of them will do a more than adequate job of protecting you against cold weather.

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But what if you have the opposite problem? You want to stay out of the sun and prevent illness through heat stroke, but you only have the kind of rudimentary supplies you can carry in your Vanquest Messenger Bag. Do you dig down? Or build up?

Dug Out vs Lean to

The simplest structures you can build to protect you from the elements are the dug out and the lean to. The dug out has the advantage of getting you below ground level and into the cool of the earth. However, digging down could prove far too strenuous in hot weather.

The lean to, on the other hand, is probably the simplest structure known to man and can easily be adapted to local materials. Quick to erect, the lean to shelter will get you out of the heat as quickly as possible, providing much needed shade and shelter.

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The Easy Way to Create a Lean to Shelter

If you’ve packed a tarp, twine or rope and a knife in your Vanquest Messenger Bag then this shelter could take just minutes to build. Simply secure cords to each corner and sling the tarp or space blanket between two trees, then secure using twigs as tent pegs.

If you want something a little more robust, first you’ll need to create the backbone of the lean to shelter, which could be as simple as a pole slung between two tree trunks. For more stability, try building tripods from sturdy sticks and lashing the pole between them. Now lean bundles of sturdy sticks and branches against the cross pole at an angle to create the body of the shelter. Lash them into place for something longer lasting. Finally, use leaves to cover your shelter to provide extra insulation and stability.

Be Prepared

Whenever you’re out hiking or cycling it pays to be prepared. A sturdy messenger bag is lightweight and robust. Pack it with a smartphone, a good knife and a lighter and you’ll be surprised at what you can deal with.

What are the effects of Kratom in your health?

Kratom is not likely to cause health problems if you do not consume large amounts of Kratom every day. In Thailand, Kratom dependents who have suffered weight loss, dark pigmentation on the face and withdrawal symptoms have been observed if they stop using it abruptly. Symptoms of withdrawal may include muscle aches, irritability, crying, runny nose, diarrhea, and muscle spasms. It is very unlikely that these withdrawal symptoms will occur in occasional Kratom users. Like any other herbs or medicine, reactions in people vary and some people may have an unusual or allergic reaction to Kratom, even if they take it responsibly.

What are the active components of kratom?

There are many Kratom alkaloids closely related to tryptamine. The most important ones are mitragyna and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These are primarily responsible for pain relief, sedation, euphoria and stimulant effects. These alkaloids resemble yohimbine in the structure although they do not have the same effects.

Can Kratom be safely combined with other substances?

In general, you should know about Kratom dangers before any combination, as the combination of any substances can be dangerous. It is advisable not to combine Kratom with yohimbine, cocaine, amphetamine-type drugs or large doses of caffeine, as there is a possibility of over stimulation or an increase in blood pressure. It is also not advisable to combine Kratom with large amounts of alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates or any other drug that depresses the nervous system as these combinations can cause excessive sedation or respiratory depression.

It is recommended that Kratom not be combined with Syrian rue, Banesteriopsis caapi or any other monoamine oxidase inhibitor. Graves, even fatal reactions can occur if monoamine oxidase inhibitor drugs are combined with monoamine drugs. The combination of monoamine oxidase inhibitor drugs with Kratom, which contains monoamine alkaloids, has not been studied.

There are certain combinations that according to Kratom users are very nice and supposedly safe. The Kratom can be combined with tea usually without any risk. It is often combined with a tea made of red poppy flowers (Papaver Rhoeas), which in turn has a very mild narcotic effect, and with a euphonizing sedative tea known as Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea). It has also been safely combined with small amounts of alcohol, although large amounts of alcohol should be avoided. Some users say they like to smoke tobacco or cannabis while under the influence of Kratom. Keep in mind that if you smoke under the influence of Kratom you should be careful not to fall asleep.

What are the different types of team within a business?

A business is a big team of people who are all working towards a common goal. Within the business are lots of smaller teams that work together on a daily basis. Together these small groups come up with ideas, accomplish goals and build new things. Together these small groups drive forward the business, despite all doing completely different things.

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What are the different types of team within a business? It is important for any business manager or leader to understand the different types of business team and what they accomplish so that they have an accurate view of the work flow in their office.

Here are four of the main types of team that you can find within a successful business.

Leadership teams

Leadership is an essential part of business, especially if you have a company with lots of employees. A leadership team comprises key players within the business, with the key players all coming from different departments. This team oversees the work of everyone else and its main goal should be improving workflow and employee satisfaction.

Specific teams

The specific teams complete specific tasks and jobs within a business. The people within these teams are normally highly skilled in one area, although the team will include people at management level and people at entry level. They will work together to produce specific results and products.

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Have you considered arranging team building exercises for your business? According an article in the Houston Chronicle, team building activities are a great way to improve communication and morale; in addition, they can help to increase team skills. If you are interested in arranging team building corporate events, check out companies such as

Teams that are self-managed

Self-managed teams are very independent – they can basically operate completely without the help of leaders, which gives the employees a sense of empowerment that motivates them to work hard so that they can keep their independence. These teams complete their goals with very little help from others and there tends to be a high level of job satisfaction within the team.

Cross-functional teams

A cross-functional team comprises people with different skills and expertise. The teams are normally temporary until a goal is completed; therefore, they are often suited to completing one specific task.

5 more ways to keep your fleet safe on the road

Traffic crashes are one of the main causes of job-related deaths, but there are things you can do to minimise the potential for tragedy. Many strategies focus on the education of drivers and the imparting of relevant information to employees, as the following five tips demonstrate.

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Seat belt campaigns

It is a fact that seat belts save lives, making it essential that businesses have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to non-use at all times. Night-time drivers often use seat belts less than daytime drivers but are still at the same risk on the road, if not more.

Companies can actively encourage seat belt use by offering safety incentives, putting up signs in vehicles and discussing the issue during safety meetings. There should also be a written company policy stating that seat belts must be used.

Driver-signed agreements

Employees should be asked to sign an agreement that spells out their responsibilities when using company vehicles. This should include such issues as safety rules, maintenance of the vehicle, who is eligible to drive the vehicle, accident procedures and terms and eligibility.

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Driver payments

Just as a vehicle tracking service available from companies such as can lower insurance costs, requiring drivers to pay in the case of avoidable accidents can work to reduce risks, too. Many businesses that currently hit employees with charges for avoidable crashes report a reduction in accidents.

Drink driving education

Education must be used to ensure drivers understand the dangers of driving under the influence and they must recognise that their jobs are on the line if they are convicted of the offence. Methods include using videos, pamphlets and newsletter information to make sure drivers are fully informed. More information about the dangers of drink driving can be found on the government’s Think! website at

Meetings and workshops

One of the easiest way to educate drivers and boost safety is to hold meetings, workshops and lectures. Invite experts to speak at the events to really get the safety message across. These could include police officers and paramedics, along with relatives of drink driving victims.

Some companies schedule regular monthly safety meetings for drivers to ensure safety standards are maintained and to make certain that employees have access to the very latest information and advice.

Travelling to the Caribbean on a Budget

A Caribbean vacation may sound like a beautiful dream that would shatter your budget if you tried to attain it – but it doesn’t have to be. While there are ultra-luxe Caribbean vacations that would put a rock star into credit card debt, you might be surprised at how easily you can find discounted flights, bargain hotel accommodations, and free activities even in the middle of an island paradise.

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Choose Your Island Carefully

It’s easy to think of the Caribbean as a single location, but every island has its own unique cultures, sights – and bargains. Some Caribbean holiday destinations are cheaper than others, and one of the best ways to save money is to choose a less expensive island. Larger islands like Jamaica and the Dominican Republic have more resorts and hotels to choose from, encouraging owners to keep their prices down. The Bahamas are also a budget-friendly choice because their Ministry of Tourism encourages low prices to bring the tourists in. Avoid islands with a luxury reputation, like Turks and Caicos; the very idea of discount travel would tarnish their image.

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Be Flexible With Timing

Winter is the go-to time for Caribbean travel, as snow-weary vacationers try to soak up some warmth, but this means that a January resort stay can be significantly more expensive than one in May. If you enjoy the challenge of bargain hunting, you may be able to find some enticements during peak season as resorts try to lure you into choosing their location over a competitor, but the cheapest option is to travel during another time. Purchase travel insurance if you go during early autumn, though, since a hurricane may disrupt your plans.

Consider Different Housing Options

An all-inclusive resort can help you to pay for your lodging, food, and entertainment at one go, making it a prime cost-saving option; plenty of sites like can help you find a good resort. Another option is to find an inexpensive rental condo or a budget motel like Holiday Inn; these can be harder to budget because they aren’t all-inclusive, but they may save you money in the long run.

Knowing your own budgeting style can help you make the best choices in vacationing, but there are choices for every kind of traveler. Go out and soak up some sun!

How to cook with wine

Do you like a glass of wine while cooking? There’s more that your favourite tipple can do when it comes to mealtimes.

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Using wine when cooking can bring out the flavourings and aromas, intensifying and enriching the whole experience. Following some simple tips can maximise the results.

Pick a wine you really enjoy

The base flavour of the wine is retained in the dish even though the alcohol will mostly evaporate during the cooking process, so it’s still important to go for a flavour you really savour. You needn’t go specifically for a cooking wine either, which are often of a lower quality while being higher in salt content.

Introduce the wine at the optimal moment

You want to avoid adding the wine late in the process as the alcohol won’t have adequate time to evaporate and you’ll be left with an overpowering flavour. Ensure the wine has around 10 minutes to cook and infuse the dish with flavour before tasting. Remember that more wine won’t necessarily better the dish, so it’s best to start gradually and add more should you wish.

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Marinate the meat

Cooking with wine can help lock in moisture and tenderise meat, and the wine acidity can make it perfect for marinating steaks or using to baste meat while cooking.

Selecting a wine

Pair the wine by considering what you would ordinarily drink with the meal. For instance, a rich tomato flavoured recipe would suit a red wine, and a white wine may better suit a creamy recipe. Try browsing the various grape varieties available, such as those that can be found from the online wine merchants in Northern Ireland at Keep in mind the flavours you’re combining and consider any conflicting ingredients. For instance, vinegar and lemon in a meal are unlikely to suit a wine addition, and wines rich with sugar and high in acidity are best avoided in dishes of a similar nature.

Get some fresh ideas

Recipes, such as those utilising red wine found at, can provide a little inspiration.

Sauté vegetables

Wine can be great for flavouring vegetables as they’re being sautéd. Heat six tablespoons of olive oil with a few crushed garlic cloves, before adding the vegetables and slowly introducing dry white wine to taste.