Food vlogging for beginners

If you’re a keen cook and you want to share your cooking with the masses, you probably want to start vlogging.

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Creating a video blog (or vlog) can help you promote your business, website, books or products. According to The Guardian, vlogging can now be a route into print publishing or television careers.

But where to start? Here is a very basic guide to food vlogging to get you started.

The right equipment

In today’s highly technological age, you no longer need an expensive video camera in order to create a vlog, although your videos will be better if you use good equipment.

A half decent phone will even do the trick – but you’ll also need to be able to edit your videos once they’re done. There are plenty of easy-to-use programmes available, so search online for the ones that suit you.

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Set your camera up in the right place, practice a few times beforehand, and make sure your camera is fully charged and your memory stick empty before you start.

Pick a style

Your vlog should be a reflection of your character and who you are, but you need to decide its style beforehand and then stick to it. It can be like a cookery demonstration, where you talk as you go along, or animated, and a voiceover added afterwards. It’s up to you.

Which recipe?

You should choose recipes you’re comfortable and familiar with. Start with simple ones with few ingredients, but try to make it unique to you.

If you’re struggling for ideas, there are plenty of online food recipe videos to look at, such as those on http://food-tales.com/online-food-videos/.

You can weigh the ingredients as you go along, or have them ready. Again, this is a style decision.

Presentation

How you present is up to you, but the best vloggers come across naturally. This is hard to achieve when alone, so try having a friend filming you. This will also allow you to add interest to your film, with different angles, and so on.

Edit, and edit again

When you’ve finished your film, you need to edit it until it’s perfect. Remove any mistakes, add effects, graphics or captions, as you desire, and a voiceover if necessary.

Then all that remains is to upload it to YouTube and promote it on social media. Congratulations, you’re a vlogger!

Is my child old enough to have a mobile phone?

Ownership of mobile phones by children seems to be getting younger year on year, but the right age should be considered on a case by case basis. Why does your child want a phone? What will they use it for? When is the right age? Read on to find out.

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Do they want or need a phone?

The situation is different for every child. In some cases, a phone is necessary so a child can communicate with a mother or father who they don’t live with. If your child catches the bus home alone or walks to and from school then a phone can be a useful way to check on them. In the absence of any of these situations, there’s no doubt that your child doesn’t need a phone, they simply want one.

How responsible is your child?

Children grow and develop at different rates and in some instances a 9-year-old girl may show more maturity than a 12-year-old boy. Think about your child in particular and to what extent you trust them to act responsibly with the internet at their fingertips.

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The dangers

Some people consider mobile phone ownership in children a greater risk to their safety than allowing them to walk to school alone. Children can be groomed on certain social games or inadvertently give away personal details such as their address. The dangers are high and parental controls can only protect so much; it cannot protect against the grooming which happens to children as young as five. You would not allow your child to be taught by someone without a proper CRB check from a firm such as http://www.carecheck.co.uk/, so why would you allow them to be ‘friends’ with people you have never met? Whatever age you decide to allow your child to have a phone, make sure you go on this unknown journey with them and stay up to date with news about children’s online safety.

In conclusion, there is no ‘right’ age for children to be allowed a mobile phone, although peer pressure and the fact that phones are so cheap to run will mean that the general age is always going to get younger. Responsible adults need to always consider their child in particular and stay abreast of the ever-changing dangers.

Making Windows Warm for Winter

During the colder months it is important to keep the house warm, for your own comfort as well as making sure that it doesn’t develop damp problems. There is that fine balance between making sure the house is well ventilated and shutting out the cold. You also don’t want to be spending more than you have to on your heating bills, so it makes sense to improve your windows so heat does not escape from this source.

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Keeping Windows Warm

You can add an extra layer to your windows by putting clear window insulation film or clingfilm on the inside of the windows. You may need to seal it around the edges but this is an effective way to keep the chill out.

If your radiators are right under the windows, you need to make sure the heat goes into the room. You can put aluminium foil with the shiny side towards the radiator on the wall under the window which allows the heat to bounce back into the room.


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Invest in New Windows

So why would I want to upgrade my window? Because investing in good windows will save money in the long run as well as being more secure. Triple glazing is the best for long-term energy saving, but double-glazing is also much more effective than single panes. You can also get windows with an inert gas sealed between the panes which helps to stop heat flowing out of the building. Panes can also be given a special coating to deflect heat back into the home or a self-cleaning coating which uses ultraviolet light to decompose the dirt and rain to wash it off. For double glazing in Dublin, you can get quotes on different options to see at http://www.keanewindows.ie.

Laying it on Thick

Use extra thick curtains or put in a thermal layer, which is a cheap option to help retain heat. You can line existing curtains which cheap fleece or use PVC shower curtains as a lining. In winter you could put curtains in front of doors or, as interior designer Claire Potter’s gran did, pin up an old rug over the back of the front door to keep it warm.

So there are several options available to make your windows warm for winter, from low-cost options to long-term solutions.

How choosing the right refrigeration may protect your business

Food poisoning can make or break a restaurant. In a study last year, three-quarters of people said they would avoid any establishment which had experienced a food safety incident and there are few restaurants that could survive 75% of customers refusing to come in anymore. It’s not only loss of business of course, food poisoning can leave your business subject to fines or even being sued by a customer who became unwell. All in all, it’s an experience that you want to avoid.

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Contamination

There are several aspects to food safety problems. The first is contamination. In order to avoid cross-contamination of foods you will need to ensure that staff are trained in food hygiene which gives the proper advice for how to prepare and store food items. For example, when cooking meat the internal temperature should be measured. If you are not sure what the current advice is, then consult the Food Standards Agency website for information on best practice in avoiding contamination – https://www.food.gov.uk/search?f%5B0%5D=im_field_site_section%3A33&f%5B1%5D=im_field_topic%3A42.

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Refrigeration

Commercial refrigeration has different requirements to your home. Different foods need to be stored at different temperatures, which means that commercial kitchens often have multiple fridges set to different temperatures.

A reliable seller such as https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/commercial-refrigeration will be able to advise you on which equipment is best suited to your needs.

One important factor in storing food is that the seal on the unit’s door keeps the food at the ideal temperature. Regular inspections and checking that the unit is operating at the correct temperature is important. Commercial fridges and freezers are able to maintain the internal temperature even when the door is opened and closed frequently in a busy kitchen.

Maintaining your reputation as a safe restaurant is vital, and with the new food hygiene rating scheme in operation, certificates are now displayed for customers to see. Having a good rating becomes a selling point, reassuring customers and potential customers that when they eat with you, they are unlikely to suffer any nasty side effects. One incident, one bad review can set your business back badly. Make sure that your food storage is fit for the job. Investing in good cold storage may protect your business from the disaster of a food safety incident and the associated bad publicity that it may bring.

5 summer car maintenance tips

When the days are long and warm it’s summertime, the months of holidays and trips abroad, to the countryside and to the beach. Some people are aware that it is a good idea to get your vehicle ready for winter, and the same is true for summer as well. Make sure your car is in tip top shape for long drives in high temperatures so a break down won’t get in the way of the fun.

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Wipers and Brakes

The brakes are probably the most critical safety feature on your car. If the brakes are not working properly then you will be danger. If you notice a problem, it generally pays to have it fixed as soon as possible. If you’re going on a long trip, get the brakes checked before you go.

Windscreen wipers may not seem that important, but in a sudden thunderstorm with heavy rain beating down you will be glad that they are working. The rubber on wipers can perish in extreme temperatures, so replace them for the summer season.

Vital Fluids

As people need to up the intake of water in summer to stay hydrated, cars need their fluids too. If you have air conditioning, make sure there is enough refrigerant in its system. If staying cool in summer is a major priority, you could think about driving a pale car. According to this report in The Guardian, silver and white cars are cooler inside than dark vehicles.

Also check the radiator and ensure there is plenty of water and coolant, and that it is not leaking. Another important item to check is the car battery. Heat can make your battery wear out faster, but you can help extend its life by cleaning the terminals and examining all the connections to make sure they are tight and not coated with grease or residue that could interfere with efficient charging.

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When looking around for a new car battery it would be worth speaking to experts in the field such as http://www.grovesbatteries.co.uk/, who can provide helpful advice.

Summer is the time to get out and about and make the most of the warm weather. Give your car some attention and prevent any major problems from occurring. Maintenance will prepare your car for the heat and will ensure it gets you to your destination safely and in comfort.

Top Three Safety Surfacing Options for Playgrounds

As child care providers seek to increase active play, outside play areas have become a focus for many venues. Safety is a priority, and choosing the right surface for your play area is an important choice.

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Although there’s no legal requirement to put in protective surfacing according to ROSPA, recent out of court settlements for playground accidents suggest that courts consider it good practice.

If you are choosing a safety surface for your active play area, you may be confused about which of the different types to use. We’ll discuss the most popular and give you some guidance as to which might work best for your area.

Wet Pour

A versatile solution is wet-pour rubber. Available in a range of colours, wet pour is incredibly versatile as it can be poured in different thicknesses to ensure that whatever equipment you have, the children remain safe. For example, if your play area included wooden climbing frames such as those from http://www.niclimbingframes.com/climbing-frames, you could increase the thickness depending on the fall height.

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Wet pour is created by mixing pellets of EPDM rubber with a binder. This wet mixture is poured onto concrete, macadam or stone base and screeded to a flat surface. Pre-cut inserts in different shapes and colours can be included to create additional play opportunities within the surface.

Wet pour can also be repaired in the case of damage, and self-repair kits are available to help save on costs.

Rubber Mulch

Like wetpour, rubber mulch is created by binding wooden bark in a rubberised solution. It is a great solution for play areas that tend to be muddy, and looks more natural than wet pour.

It can also be laid in different thicknesses and can be laid on most surfaces, keeping the cost of installation low.

Artificial Grass

Artificial Grass helps prevent cut knees and bruises during falls, so it is a helpful solution for play areas where the children are younger and more prone to these kinds of accidents. Shock pads can be installed underneath areas where there is an increased risk of a fall. The benefit of artificial grass is the appearance, which is more natural than the other solutions.

Keeping children safe is a top priority for any play area owner. We hope this guide has given you useful information to make the best choice for you.

Finding the Perfect Formal Wear for any Occasion, Style, or Budget

Sooner or later we all find ourselves in need of formal wear. We receive an invitation to a wedding with the word “formal attire” included or we are suddenly invited to an awards dinner. Unfortunately, we don’t all have a tuxedo, fitted suit, or long ball gown simply hanging in our closet. We also don’t have an unlimited budget for such clothing. Before you panic, use the following information to help you find exactly what you need at a price that is easy on your bank account.

Rent Garments

When a tuxedo is required, renting one can be the best value. For a minimal price you can have an outfit that is stylish and perfectly fitted. Rentals shops are easy to find, and you’ll be able to select a jacket, shirt, and pants in a variety of colors. Renting formal attire used to be an option only the men could take advantage of, but many shops now offer gowns as well.

Thrift Stores

Don’t be afraid to browse your local thrift store for formal attire. Many people by gowns, cocktail dresses, or suits and only wear them once. These pieces eventually find their way into second hand shops. It is easy to find dressy options at an unbelievable price. If you don’t see your size, check back in a few days. Patience and perseverance can really pay off.

Bridal Shops

Bridal shops are the experts when it comes to formal attire. Women can find dresses and gowns to suit any occasion while men will discover tuxedos and suits at a great price. Discounts are often given to large groups such as wedding parties and their families. They can also refer you to a custom tailor such as those at Sabatini of London if you don’t find exactly what you like.

Now that you have a plan in place, you can relax and enjoy looking forward to your formal event. You’ll look terrific, and best of all, you won’t go in debt buying clothing you may only need once in a lifetime. After your special occasion has come to pass, help others by donating your garments to a local charity where they can be put to good use.

Unusual Art Forms

We usually expect art to come in the form of posh portraits or ancient sculptures, we don’t normally expect to see something totally weird and bizarre. The wonderful thing about art though is that it comes in all shapes and sizes and in recent years has taken some pretty ‘out there’ forms. Let’s take a look at some of the more bizarre ways of creating art. For preserving your own masterpieces, think about using an Artwork Reproduction Service.

Dirty Car Art

Recent years have seen art becoming more ‘street’ and part of the fabric of modern urban living. Most people wouldn’t think of great art as being drawn in the dirt on a vehicle but there are now several artists around the globe who have made a name for themselves doing just that. These amazing drawings, made with the thick layers of dust and grime that accumulate on cars, are so good that people don’t want to wash them off. Scott Wade in America has had his work featured in art shows and is hired by advertisers.

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Body Part Art

If you can imagine it, then yes it has been done! As well as some male artists using their appendages to paint with, female artists have been known to paint with their lady bumps too! Some use their tongues or bottoms but the strangest body part has to be the severed hand used by Norwegian artist, Morten Viskum.

Reverse Graffiti

Instead of using spray paint to create art, reverse graffiti aims to create an image by cleaning grime off certain parts of grubby, urban walls. Power washers remove dirt built up from exhaust fumes and in doing so, provide the artist with the opportunity to create a beautiful image instead. It has been a controversial action and people have been arrested, which seems bizarre when they are actually cleaning.

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Anamorphosis

This method involves drawing an image that can only be viewed or understood by looking at it from a specific angle. This is not new, however, as Leonardo da Vinci created such images in the 15th century. These days the technique is seen in 3D images and even in street art. The modern genius in anamorphosis was the Swiss artist, Felice Varini.

Body Fluid Art

Not many people would be too keen to appreciate something drawn in bodily fluids! One controversial artist has created art using urine and animal blood to depict gory reflections of his experiences of World War II. Another infamous Brazilian artist will only create art made from his blood. Definitely not art for the squeamish!

Lipstick Art

Natalie Irish creates her portraits by smothering on lots of lippy and kissing the canvas. Her work is astoundingly good and obviously made with much love!

Bottle Cap Art

Such a simple everyday item is used to stunning effect by artist Mary Ellen Croteau. She takes thousands of bottle caps of all colours and sizes and makes beautiful images in an attempt to highlight the issue that many bottle caps are non-recyclable and a threat to the environment.

 

How to Sneakily Discover What to Get Your Mom for Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day around the corner, you are probably wondering what you should gift your mom. However, sometimes the best gifts are memorable surprises. Sure, she is expecting something like flowers or a sweet card. But you could surprise her with something better, if you could only find out what she wants, needs, or would love. The following guidelines are a how-to in sneakily discovering the best gifts to give your mom for Mother’s Day.

Be Stealthy but Observant

Sneaky is the key word here. You have to stealthy, like a gift-giving ninja. Stay aware of the conversations your mom has, as well as the things she does throughout the day. Observe her hobbies, interests, and likes. Really pay attention, but do so in a way that isn’t apparent to the average onlooker. For a surprise to work, you have to make sure your mom doesn’t suspect anything.

Lure Your Mom into Nonchalant Conversations

Bait your mom with nonchalant conversations about everyday stuff. Ask questions, find out what kind of things she loves lately, and formulate a plan. Has she been really into interior décor lately? Snag a retro décor book to give her a glimpse at interior design through the years. Or, if she loves flowers, plant a small garden of beautiful blooms, then lead her outdoors to show her the gift.

Invest in Something Practical but Memorable

Trinkets, such as a willow tree angel, are nice and sweet, but it can be better to gift your mom something she can use. Even practical and functional gifts can be memorable. If you insist that a trinket or figurine is the absolute best present for your mom, then get her something practical to go with it. For example, if you get a collectable for her trinket collections, invest in a cabinet to put them in too.

Ask Around (to Those that Can Keep a Secret)

Your other parent, dad, grandparents, siblings, or your mom’s closest friends, should have some intel into what your mom would love for Mother’s Day. Ask around, but do so with the loved ones that can keep a secret. You don’t want anyone ruining the surprise while you’re still piecing it together.

Your mom is a super-special lady, and she deserves the absolute best for Mother’s Day. It might be sneaky to gather ideas for the perfect surprise present, but it’s for a good cause. Her smile, appreciation, and love for her gift will make all the hard work worth it.

Parking attendants issued with cameras

The wearing of surveillance cameras is nothing new. We know that police wear them and now drivers and cyclists are using them to film any incidents of poor driving or road rage. The cameras in our streets and public buildings are in place as a deterrent in addition to being used for prosecution purposes.

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Parking attendants

Parking attendants across the UK are now availing of surveillance equipment to protect themselves on the job. There has been a rise in the number of local authorities using body worn cameras, with over half of local councils using them. Bath is an example of an authority recently adopting the technology for its civil enforcement officers, equipping them with cameras that will be activated only when necessary.

Why use cameras?

Many workers are being subjected to abusive behaviour while carrying out their jobs, which can be intimidating and can cause much distress to the person involved. The camera is there to deter people from being abusive. When you are aware that your actions may be recorded, you are more likely to moderate your behaviour accordingly. Declaring that you are recording conversations immediately defuses potentially abusive scenarios. Footage of abuse can be used to prosecute where appropriate.

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A history of abuse

Parking attendants are known for being on the receiving end of abuse by motorists. They can be subjected to both verbal abuse and physical abuse, such as pushing and other physically-intimidating behaviour. Adoption of body worn cameras has been linked to a halving of abusive incidents in Dundee, according to the council’s spokesperson.

Your legal rights

When cameras are being used, it is important to know where you stand legally with the footage. As an individual, you are covered under the data protection act. Only data linked to an incident should be retained for prosecution purposes. Users of cameras, such as those available from https://www.pinnacleresponse.com/legislation, should be aware of legislation around the Protection of Freedom Act of 2012 and should research its implications carefully.

Many council workers are being given body cameras to protect them at work; for example, a Welsh council has given them to its street cleaning staff to deal with increasing incidents of abuse and councils are offering them to staff working in buildings with no CCTV to record abusive behaviour.

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