iPhone with 3D Rendered VR City

How Mobile App Development Will Drive the VR Market

The development of Virtual Reality technology has increased dramatically in recent years in correlation with the necessity for technology to adapt and evolve, in order to keep up with consumer demands.

The rise of modern technology has meant that the world is going in an entirely new online digital direction which cannot be ignored or avoided.

This means concepts like virtual reality (VR) are becoming more and more popular and will soon become the future.

The proliferation of Virtual Reality has been contributed mostly by the increase in demand for VR applications.

How Mobile App Development Sculpts the Future of VR

The VR trend has been recognized by mobile app developers who have seized this opportunity and are now incorporating virtual reality when building mobile apps.

Many app developers have created several VR devices that have made the technology readily available for public use.

Such devices have made mobile phones function as virtual reality gadgets which has helped in expanding the VR market even further.

Mobility is perhaps the primary factor that has contributed to the success of mobile apps and so VR apps have taken the experience up a notch.

They have fundamentally allowed users to enjoy mobility to an extent that was not possible before.

You can now use virtual reality apps to explore many opportunities while you are in one place.

For instance, you can use VR apps to experience travel to somewhere you may never have been, even when you are in different geographical zones.

Most businesses have embraced virtual reality app development trends such as the likes of Sony, Facebook and Samsung which have already produced their VR enabled devices, one being the VR play station.

These apps now allow users to view places and services as reality and such results are driving the VR market, solidifying its future.

Young Woman Wearing VR Headset

Improved User Engagement and Brand Loyalty

User interface is a crucial aspect in app development that enhances user engagement, thus increasing brand loyalty.

App developers understand the imperatives of user engagement and have created VR apps which have an improved user interface.

The VR apps provide users with real life-like experiences which ensure users are fully immersed in the app while using it.

As a result of this, they are able to engage in the app more which has improved user engagement and has led to an increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty

Mobile App Sectors That Are Leveraging VR Potential

Virtual reality mobile apps have improved how business operations are carried out, giving services a sense of seamlessness and ease.

Such transformation has led to improved business efficiency.

Retail Sector

The retail sector has experienced huge growth thanks to the intervention of virtual reality.

With VR, retail showrooms can showcase everything from their store without physically keeping the product on-site.

Whether it is showing furniture models or an array of fabric shades, retailers are able to show it to the customers and gain useful feedback about various products and insights on what works best for the consumer.

VR Applications Within the Travel Sector

The use of VR technology within the travel industry is still in its infancy, although a growing number of companies are beginning to experiment with VR headsets and finding great uses of them.

With the help of VR technology, getting guided tours across the world has become easy.

One of the best examples of virtual reality in action within the travel industry is the use of the technology for providing virtual tours of hotels and villas.

The key benefit of this is that it allows potential customers to experience aesthetics, without having to visit, offering more transparency than standard 2D images – something of which is a USP for businesses.

Some companies aim to take the use of VR application a step further, offering an entire booking system and user interface that can be experienced through a virtual reality headset.

Architecture

This is one of the main sectors that has seen a surge in the use of VR application in order to enhance businesses.

Virtual reality has benefited the architecture sector on an enormous scale and will continue to do so.

With the potential to bring transformation in the way engineers work on designs, it gives them several options to experiment with different aspects of a building such as material, lighting and layout as well as being able to bring ideas to life.

VR apps within the architecture sector also enable customers to go on a virtual tour of their potential project so they can get an accurate look and feel.

In addition to this, when it comes to editing the architectural designs, doing it prior to construction will save a significant amount of money as well as preventing miscommunication and complicated (costly) re-works.

To Wrap Things Up

VR technology has hit the ground running and is taking over the app market by storm.

Despite that, very few apps are able to support virtual realty just yet.

It is essential that the creation of innovative development apps with VR technology happens in order to tap into this vast potential and support the future of VR market.


Professional Women at Desk Looking at Office View

Ways to Break the Glass Ceiling and Become a Leader in the Workplace

Both men and women can experience trials and tribulations in their aim to make their way to the top of the workplace hierarchy.

However, women in particular are subject to oppression and discrimination in the workplace.

Such obstacles can make it difficult for them to reach leader status ahead of their equally qualified male counterparts.

Once they do attain highly respected roles, this is referred to as breaking the glass ceiling.

Two Guys Working on Laptops

Other people who may experience discrimination include older employees, those from poorer backgrounds and ethnic minorities.

Though equality has dramatically improved over the past few decades, there is still much progress to be made.

The hierarchy within a workplace is still very male-dominated when it comes to the top positions.

So, are there any ways that women and other minorities can increase their chances of breaking the glass ceiling?

While elevating such employees into higher earning roles is a change needed in society, below are some useful strategies that will help you become a strong leader at work in the meantime:

Recognise that the Glass Ceiling Exists

To break through the glass ceiling, you must first acknowledge that it’s there.

There are some tell-tale signs that one may exist within your organisation, such as:

  • Little diversity among the top-level managers
  • Sexist, racist or other prejudice language being common across the organisation
  • Resistance to change and innovation
  • Pay gaps between male and female employees

Be Tough in Negotiations

Nothing worth having comes easy.

Experts suggest that women shouldn’t be afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to requesting work perks, benefits and bonuses.

It’s a well-known fact that women perform better academically.

They graduate higher educational institutions at higher percentages than men.

So, why are they making less money in lower level positions?

Well, males tend to be more assertive in the work environment, making them more likely to get promoted than women.

Though it may be difficult to implement this mentality in the workplace, it is still crucial to be more assertive and self-confident whenever it’s needed.

Never Underestimate Your Capabilities

If you have all the right qualifications, then you are no less worthy to be in the business than your other colleagues.

It may be that your hard work and dedication is taken for granted.

Start drawing attention to your personal strengths and skills, ensuring that management know when you are responsible for the successful completion of tasks and deals.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Decisions

Not every decision a great leader makes is the best decision.

What demonstrates great leadership is the fact that they stepped up and made the decision in the first place.

People that tend to procrastinate and let other make the decisions that they should have made are showing signs that they don’t have what it takes to be a leader.

Stand Up for Yourself

There are some cases where you’ll be required to stand up for yourself against opposition.

For example, employers may often be reluctant to hire women because of pregnancies in the future.

They may also unfairly dismiss them for the same reason.

This is outright discrimination and can be dealt by consultation with dispute resolution lawyers.

Standing up for your rights as an employee will let your company know that you’re not a push over, and that you’re willing to fight for what you deserve.

Learn New Skills

You may wish to learn more about strategic planning, analytics and performance metrics.

Any instance where you can acquire new skills will begin to make you invaluable to the company.

Learning a new skill can also help you feel more confident and professional, equipping you with the knowledge you need to complete tasks that others may not be able to.

Build A Network You Can Learn From

Studies show that individuals with large open networks succeed at a much higher rate than those with smaller, more closed networks.

Understandably, a busy work schedule means it can be difficult to find the time to attend networking events, however, there is no doubt that these opportunities are worth pencilling in.

Practice Giving & Taking Constructive Feedback

Giving and receiving tough feedback can be a real hurdle to growth, both as manager and as an individual contributor.

However, the sooner you master digesting constructive feedback and giving it out to your colleagues, the quicker you’ll grow personally and professionally.

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Human error is unavoidable.

Unfortunately, certain failures by women or other minorities can be magnified and blown out of proportion.

Men are often less afraid with the prospect of dealing with possible consequences of incorrect decisions due to their position within the company.

However, if you want to break the glass ceiling you must realise that you’re not expected to be infallible.

Therefore, you need to move beyond the fear of failure. By doing so, you’ll also become more confident in your approach to certain situations.


Reading Map Whilst Driving

How to Plan for a Road Trip Around Europe

Road trips are one of the best ways to explore multiple destinations whilst getting a true feel for different cultures.

While it’s undeniably easy to get around much of Europe thanks to its extensive public transport systems, driving offers another level of freedom and flexibility that allows you to go where you want, whenever you want, as well as making the off-beaten tracks much more accessible.

Find the Right Car

The first step toward a European road trip is finding the right vehicle.

When renting a car, keep in mind that most Europeans drive manual.

If this comes as a discomfort to you then be prepared to pay more for an automatic.

Bear in mind that if you are dropping your car off at a different destination from pick-up, there will likely to be additional fees.

Preparing Your Car

Before you start driving in Europe, it is important that not only you are prepared, but that the car is too.

Carry out a thorough check of your vehicle before you embark on your trip.

There are several maintenance check you can do yourself, such as checking the oil and coolant levels of the car and testing the tread depth of your tyres.

Make sure the car’s MOT is valid throughout the course of your road trip. For extra peace of mind, you could book the car in for a service before you travel.

You car should also carry the essentials when travelling on a long journey; spare wheel, jump leads, screen was and oil.

Prior to Setting Off

Driving in the dark can lead to reduced concentration levels and fatigue so it is important that you put safety and stop for regular breaks.

Conduct some thorough research into the town and cities you will be driving through.

If you are road tripping through or around Europe, it is important to understand the diversity of each country, particularly when it comes to driving regulations and road rules.

The beauty of Europe is that you can be driving for a few hours and find yourself in a whole new region, country and culture so having the correct travel documents is essential.

If you are unsure which documents you will require, visiting an immigration solicitors or visa team prior to your road trip is a great idea.

Once you have chosen your destinations, it is a good idea to invest in a good quality road map.

Although most people use the GPS functions on their phone, you should always have a map handy just in case the battery dies.

Packing

Unlike air travel, packing for a road trip shouldn’t feel like a task of restraint.

Pack as if you are packing an overnight bag for a short stay – and then a couple extra.

Ensure everyone in the car has a spare change of clothes and clean underwear.

Toiletries can be shared and purchased so, if you forget a shampoo, don’t panic.

Pack a separate back for just the electronics and make sure everything is fully charged the night before you embark on your journey.

The Best Drives in Europe

If you are looking for inspiration, then here are some of the best drives in Europe.

Italy – The Amalfi Coast

This drive is along the spectacular coastline and is suitable for those that are experienced and confident when driving.

The traditional starting point if Sorrento, then following the narrow zig-zag road to Salerno.

The winding roads mean it is not for the faint-hearted, but it will make for an unforgettable experience with breath-taking views.

Germany – Route 500

This is a panoramic stretch that runs through the Black Forrest, between the towns of Freudenstadt to Baden.

It is a popular holiday route and can get busy in peak season.

Spain – San Jose to Cabo de Gata

This amazing drive showcases the very best of Spain.

It runs though one of the truly unspoilt areas of Spain in all its natural beauty in the Mediterranean.

With stunning beaches and charming towns, this is the perfect place to rest and refuel.

France – Route Napoleon

This road follows the route once taken by the legendary general as he marched from Elba to Grenoble in 1815.

The route starts in the French Riviera and runs along the bottom of the Alps.


Spanish Flag

Top 10 Things to Consider Before Moving to Spain

For millions of people, the thought of moving to Spain is a dream and a goal because of the natural beauty, the amazing beaches, and the endless sunshine.

There are certain things you must know before moving to Spain and this article outlines the top 10 tips to make the transition run smoother while eliminating any potential issues and explains the differences in culture.

1. Have all Paperwork Ready

When you begin the process of moving to Spain be sure to have all the paperwork that you will need.

It is suggested that you bring every form of paperwork you may need.

Be sure to double check your documents and check to ensure that you have not missed anything.

A good idea is to even photocopy important documents and scan them to ensure correct account numbers, dates, names and other necessities are correct before accepting them, or using them.

2. Tip Local Help

The people who help you throughout your day sometimes known as the butanero should be tipped when they offer you service.

This may include taxi cab drivers, people who carry your goods up flights of stairs to your home, help you with language barriers or any other form of service.

3. Birthday Parties

Unlike most places in the world, when it is your birthday you are expected to treat friends, family members and colleagues with gifts and celebration.

In Spain, if it is your birthday you are expected to throw a celebration for those you are close with.

If you have children, it is courtesy to send your child to school with a large bag of candies to share with their schoolmates.

Girls Laying on the Beach

4. The Busy Season

In August, it seems like most Spaniards head to the beaches with their families in large droves.

It is suggested to avoid spending time in August at the beach to avoid large crowds and issues with finding needed things like restaurants or beach area hotels.

5. Morning Delays

Another interesting fact about Spanish culture is that white collar and blue collar type businesses and organisations are generally understaffed between 9:30 am and 11 am.

In Spain, these hours are reserved for a Segundo Desayuno known as a second breakfast.

Take this time to relax and enjoy some coffee or food and wait until after this time to get tasks accomplished.

6. Children are a Top Priority in Society

Inside Spain, it is common that children rule the attention and admiration of everyone.

Children are treated like royalty and are known to stay up as late as their parents in the summertime and are given privileged social status in this country.

Be aware that children are treated incredibly well and to treat them accordingly.

Spanish Waiter Serving Customers

7. How to Get Attention

If you are inside a busy lounge or social club, you may be used to being polite and raising a finger to get attention for your needs to be addressed.

In Spain however, you have to let go of social politeness and be ready to yell, ¡Oiga! which means, (listen, person whom I do not know).

Or if you really need assistance and are more assertive you can yell, ¡Oye! which translates as, (Listen, person who I do not know, but will talk to as if I do).

Remember to smile, be polite and you will fit in.

8. Time is Different

In Spain, there are three main times of day.

La mañana is until 2 pm and the afternoon follows which is known as La tarde and it lasts until night.

The early hours of the day have the unique name la madrugada.

It is interesting that there is no word or name for night time in this country.

9. The August Shut Down

As stated earlier inside this article, in August most of the country seems to go on holiday.

Having tasks completed during this month can be frustrating and challenging as many people head to the beaches, slowing down life and being able to get things done.

If you are able to try to delay needed tasks or other required duties to either September or accomplish them during any other time of the year.

10. Understand the Varied Languages

In Spain, there are three dialects that are spoken in different areas.

They are known as Catalan, Valenciano, as well as Gallego.

They are their own specific languages and are official languages of the country under the official Castellano language grouping.

Be aware that they are different from each other.


ST Engineering Exhibition Stand

10 Marketing Strategies That Will Make Your Exhibition a Success

Marketing is the lifeline of any business. Without proper advertising and promotion a business can neither enhance its image, let alone have people know of its existence.

Just imagine opening up a shop, be it a physical or an online one, and never bothering to promote it in any way.

Chances are you are never going to sell anything, or else sales are going to be sparse and just by chance. No business can survive in that manner.

There are many marketing methods one can use, but the main goal is always to draw as much attention as possible, and ensure that the target audience is as big as can be.

This increases a business’s chances of increasing customers and sales. And what better way to reach out to a really broad audience than to take part in a trade show or exhibition.

There are various trade shows organized from time to time where one may set up the stand or booth, and show off the products being sold or the services being offered by the business.

With all the people visiting the tradeshow you are going to have a very good exposure, and if you go about it really well, you are going to stand a very good chance of getting many new customers as well as sales.

What are some of the most important and effective marketing strategies one should use at a trade show?

At such exhibitions it is common to notice certain booths being literally packed with people checking out what is being sold or offered, and other stands being almost empty except from a couple of passers-by glancing at them but not bothering to stop for a closer look.

Sales Person Talking to Exhibition Attendee

What makes some stands so popular, and others so practically useless?

It is all about the type of marketing strategies being utilized.

One wants to generate maximum interest and create a certain buzz so as to get really positive results. Here are some ways that can lead to this:

1. Set Goals

Simply signing up to take part in a tradeshow and going there with barely any idea how to go about it is a big no no.

One needs to really plan carefully and well in advance, as well as set certain goals to be reached.

Most trade shows come only once a year, so one needs to make the most out of them. One should plan what to focus on, whether it is just a limited range of products, or a broader range.

Setting a promotional campaign such as discounts or freebies is highly recommended.

Remember: Being aware of what you would like to reach is important as this improves your chances of actually reaching it, because you will have worked on the HOW to reach it.

So set reasonable but quantifiable and specific goals.

2. Find the Most Suitable Trade Show

There are going to be a myriad of trade shows in which to take part, but not each and every one of them offers the same kind of opportunities.

It depends on your field of business, as well as the type of visitors who are most likely to attend at that trade show.

If chances are that a good percentage of the visitors are going to be drawn by other kinds of products or services rather than what you are selling, then it is better to devote your time, attention and funds to other more suitable trade shows.

3. Spread the Word in Advance

It is important to ensure that your customers are informed that you are going to take part in an upcoming trade show.

Send out emails, or advertise this on your social media accounts to spread the word in advance.

Try to entice them and encourage them to attend because you will be offering something unique, such as special discounts, freebies and so on, or even maybe launching a new product or service.

While doing so you will also be reaching out to prospective customers who may make a mental note to visit the tradeshow so as to check out your offers.

4. Design A Killer Exhibition Booth

Impressions matter a great deal. Devoting time and money on the design and set up of a really impressive exhibition booth is extremely important.

It is a good idea to hire a trade show stand designer to see to this. Your ideas may be helpful, but a trade show stand designer will have knowledge and experience to make those ideas look better and be more effective.

After all this is what people will be seeing first as they pass by, and it is through this that you need to convince them to stop for a closer look rather than keep walking to the next stands.

Being creative and original is important as you need to stand out among all the other stands.

Colours used matter, and so does the layout of the stand and how the products are exhibited. Slogans or promotional messages need to be clear and captivating too.

5. Fully Prep Your Sales Team

The people who will be dealing with customers at your stand need to be courteous and friendly, but not too pushy.

You need to ensure that they are properly trained and knowledgeable. They need to look smart and helpful to encourage people to approach them too.

6. Utilise Social Media

Social media platforms are very effective and popular nowadays, and you need to grasp their power in your favour.

Make sure to utilize them heavily but adequately to reach out to many people while promoting your business.

The tradeshow itself will have its own social media presence where your business will be exposed and presented to prospective visitors too.

7. Be a Speaker, Not a Statue

A tradeshow booth is not intended to be a static, unlively statue in the middle of all the hubbub.

You need to draw people’s attention with what you are offering, and there are a number of ways to do this.

The visual impact of your stand matters, but you also need to draw people’s attention through what they see and hear.

8. Engage & Interact

Most people will be more willing to buy if they are allowed to interact rather than simply hear what your sales representative has to say.

So think about setting up interactive activities such as touchscreens with information, sign-ups with rewards, giveaways and even games and competitions so as to help people at the tradeshow feel more inclined to generate interest.

Create an enticing experience at your booth to have people feel more in touch with your brand.

9. Have Great Giveaways

Giveaways always attract people’s attention. Many people simply visit tradeshows to get as many freebies as possible.

So think about interesting or useful items you could offer as giveaways, and you can be sure that your trade show presence will be a huge success.

10. Always Follow Up

Keep track of how you are doing during the tradeshow.

Factors such as location, level of interest generated, number of sign-ups, and booth traffic, need to be carefully examined.

Since there are going to be a number of days, you will be able to measure your performance on different days, as well as pinpoint what seems to be working out best with visitors.

Measure your return and follow up on how you did so as to do even better in other trade shows in the future.

Conclusion

Bearing these tips and implementing these marketing strategies can greatly improve your performance at tradeshows.

Remember – this is a great opportunity to interact with people, acquire new customers, generate sales, as well as improve your brand image and exposure. So make the most out of it every time!


Yacht Sailing at Sunset

How Seafarers Earnings Deduction Can Save Yacht Crew Paying Tax

There are a lot of questions that surround the Seafarers Earnings Deduction from those who are employed on ships and work offshore as yacht crew.

There is also a lot of misinformation and we aim to enlighten you with this specialized report on what exactly the Seafarers Earnings Deduction is and who exactly is entitled to it.

Why the HMRC’s SED programme is a seafarers dream!

To begin with, you need to be a UK resident under the new Statutory Residence Test Rules which makes you taxable under your earnings under the United Kingdom tax laws.

Now, this may be different if you qualify for the Seafarers Earnings deduction which is a specialized tax discount that applies to UK residents who are employed as seafarers as long as they meet certain criteria.

This specialized tax deduction was created by the UK government to make employment more beneficial for a UK resident among the competition that lurks within the worldwide seafaring markets.

We will give you an overview of how the Seafarers Earnings Deduction works and will help you understand whether or not you may qualify and how to apply below.

Of course, always speak to your yacht crew tax specialist to fully understand your current tax position. This article should only be treated as a general opinion and not be used in any official capacity.

How do I qualify as a seafarer?

Under UK law a seafarer is a person who is employed and works all of his or her hours on a ship or does most of their work on the ship and any other specific tasks that are related to the main duties performed on the ship.

Unfortunately members of the military do not get to apply or claim the seafarers earnings deduction.

There are specific rules on the definition of what exactly constitutes a ship. There is no actual definition of what a ship is but there is a list of examples of what is not a ship and not applicable to the SED.

If you are employed on any of the following in an offshore location then you do not qualify: If you work on a fixed, or floating production platform, floating storage units or floating production storage or offloading vessels as well as mobile offshore drilling units, flotels and drillships, semi-submersible drilling units and jack up units.

Yacht crew are considered fully qualified under SED rules. Image credit: Yachting Pages

In order to be able to claim the Seafarers Earnings Deduction, you have to meet the following requirements.

First of all in a working year you have to have spent time either beginning your employed voyage from a foreign port or ending your trip from a foreign port.

If you are employed in the oil or gas drilling offshore rigs then you can be covered for your voyage to and from an offshore rigging platform as long as it is outside of the UK and not in the UK designated areas of the waterways.

To meet the valid claim period you have to spend at least 365 consecutive days outside of the United Kingdom voyaging from and to foreign destinations.

Once you have passed the 365 days you are then eligible for the Seafarers Earnings Deduction.

The only way you can possibly interrupt this process and lose your access to the SED is if you incur a failure.

A failure is regarded as either spending over 183 days abroad or if an employee breaks the half-day rule which is applied when a seafarer enters the UK.

All days that have begun since the start of the claim are added up and divided in 2. Then all days that are in the UK are added to the above amount.

If the second amount exceeds the first number, it will cause a failure.

A claim period ends on the return date of your voyage and a new claim period only begins at an early date since departing the United Kingdom for employment.

Ship Captains are very often tax exempt under SED rules. Image credit: Time & Date

In order to take advantage of the Seafarers Earnings Deduction if it applies to you as a seafarer, then you will have to keep track of your records and be ready to supply them for tax purposes.

Do not throw anything away and keep a hold of them as they are incredibly important. We will show you what you need.

This begins with such things as your employment records, the freeboard logs of the ships you were employed on, your passports and visas, hotel bills and restaurant receipts, airline ticket receipts, travel vouchers, boarding passes and your seafarer’s discharge book.

The SED is an incredibly helpful tax deduction and makes working in the seafaring industry more beneficial for the UK citizen making it more competitive.

As long as you work on a ship for over 365 days a year and do not go through any failures and ship from or too foreign ports, not in the UK or UK designated waters then this special deduction will apply to you.

Article Credits

The author acknowledges the following external website for use of text, images and other reference material:


American Barn Internal Stable Block

How to Stop Pests From Infesting Your Horse Stables

Prevent Infestations From Making Your Stables An Unhealthy Place

When it comes to owning horses and stables there is always a problem associated with them.

That being the problem with rodents and pests that like to make their homes in horse stables.

Within this article, we will share with you ideas and advice on how to eliminate the problems associated with rodent infestation and to pass on what we have learned to our avid readers. Read the full article right now by reading the following below.

Why is preventing rodents from entering stables important?

Pests have the nasty habit of consuming and contaminating food that is meant for your horses.

They will consume a lot of food and cause most of it to go to waste through contamination through urinating, defecating and leaving their hair contaminated in the food which is meant for the horses.

Rodents also pose serious risks to the stables themselves because they will gnaw through wires, insulation, electrical equipment, and even wood.

Pests also carry a variety of diseases that will create a threat to your horses and livestock. This is why you want to stay on top of any form of rodent infestation.

The tell tale signs of rodent infestation within a stable includes numerous and different key signs.

These include freshly chewed wires, faeces, shredded wood and the sound of scurrying through the walls and ceilings at night.

If you notice any of these tell tale signs then chances are you have a problem with rodent infestation.

You will want to tackle these issues promptly and not leave them alone. You need to fix these right away to ensure the health of your livestock as well as yourself.

Mice are a common problems infesting horse stables. Image credit: Pixabay

You will need to keep your stables as clean as humanly possible.

They are a natural breeding ground for pests and insects because of all the horse manure and pests and insects adore manure.

Cleaning the manure frequently can help reduce the population of pests and insects and will also reduce the chances and risks associated with diseases that your horses could possibly contract.

Your stalls and paddocks should be cleaned daily.

Manure should be removed daily and spread across the fields or sent to the compost pile.

You will want to keep your compost pile a distance away from your stable to lower the chances of pests and insects infecting your stalls.

You will also want to control the access to your feed store. Grains and seeds are a great food source for rats and mice and they are attracted to the feed.

You will want to be able to limit the amount of access there is to the feed which should help in deterring larger rodents from going after it resulting in further contamination of your stalls.

Rats and mice can chew through plastic, paper, and wooden grain bins. The best solution that we personally suggest is that you use large metal bins that utilize tightly fitting secure lids.

Be sure that when you are using wheelbarrows to feed your horses that you clean it out thoroughly as some farmers leave morsels of food within the wheelbarrow which attracts rodents.

Another suggestion we have is to clean up after your horses eat.

Horses are incredibly messy eaters and will typically spill their food all over the place. So sweep up the spilled feed from the stalls, alleyways and storage areas.

Cleanliness is the optimal solution when it comes to preventing rodent infestations in your wooden horse stables.

Rats & mice are often attracted to the horse feed. Image credit: The Paddock Pantry

Another thing we suggest to prevent rodents is to keep all your blankets, leg wraps, bandages and pads stored in tightly sealed containers.

Rodents enjoy nesting in these materials so keeping them tightly closed, clean and dry will prevent any rodents from using them for nests or chewing holes into them.

We also suggest that you use traps to remove rodents from your stable.

We suggest that you do not use poisons because the rodents will typically hide in crevices, floors, walls, and ceilings to die. They leave behind an awful repugnant smell and cause serious health issues.

Using traps is the best method because you can remove the rodents from outside your stable and you neutralise any threats of contamination or health risks.

Removing pests and insects from your stables are extremely important for the health and well being of yourself and your animals.

Follow our suggestions above and browse our site for even more information on enjoying your horses and getting the most from your stable.

These tips do work and we suggest you follow them to remove any threats of pests or insects infecting the homes of your horses.

External Resources

The following third party sites were referenced in the creation of this blog post and we would like to express our thanks to them by linking to them as follows:


Beautiful Modern Kitchen

How to give your kitchen a facelift by painting the cupboard doors

If you have been considering giving your kitchen a facelift, you have most probably been wondering how you can minimise the cost and the mess.

One of the best ways to do this is to spray paint your kitchen cupboard doors.

If you come to think of it, most of your kitchen is composed of these cupboard doors.

So, if they are not aesthetically pleasing due to scratches and other defects, or due to a color that is now rather old fashioned and tired looking, then they need to be addressed.

Give your kitchen a transformation with a fresh new colour!

Painting these cupboard doors is actually not that difficult. You will not be spending a lot of money either.

Besides, it is something that you can do yourself as there is no need for any skill or expertise. You just need to be careful to choose a good quality paint and to paint them carefully so as to get a good finish.

First and foremost, you will need to check the cupboard doors one by one.

Is the surface suitable for painting?

Are there any defects that need to be seen to before you apply the paint?

Unfinished wood doors that have a flat surface are the best candidates for paint.

Wood laminate is also fairly easy to paint. However if your kitchen cupboard doors are made from plastic laminate, this may require special kitchen door primer and a professional to paint them well.

Before & After Kitchen Door Primer. Image credit: Kiiz

You will need to remove the doors as well as the hardware that holds them into place.

Make sure to number each door, or label it, so as to know where they need to be installed later.

Clean the all the door surfaces properly. It is important to use a suitable soap based cleaner and then ensure they are completely dry.

Apply the cleaner, and then use clear water to rinse the door without soaking it. Allow the doors to dry well before proceeding.

Once they have dried, you can now start sanding them. You need to get a surface to which the new paint will adhere to well.

In case there is old paint just sand it down to roughen up the surface. There is no need to keep sanding until you get bare wood.

Once the sanding process is completed it is a good idea to use a vacuum to remove all the fine particles of sanding dust from the surface.

Then wipe them so that there are no problems when the paint is applied.

Spray Painting Your Kitchen Doors Will Achieve a Better Finish. Image credit: Family Handyman

Before applying the paint is is highly recommended to apply a primer-sealer. Leave it to dry well, and then apply the paint.

The paint can be applied using a brush, but you might prefer a sprayer or a roller.

The latter option is ideal if the doors’ surface areas are completely flat. Once the coating of paint has dried, you may wish to apply a second coat.

Finally you can re-install the hardware and hang on your newly painted kitchen cupboard doors.

A fresh coat of paint to your kitchen cupboard doors could work wonders and really does work in giving any home owner kitchen makeovers to be proud of that has hardly dented your pocket.

It will add colour to your kitchen as well as updates the cabinets regardless of their condition or age.

External Credits

The following sites were used as resource material in the creation and authorship of this blog post. All material referenced without permission under creative common usage:


Beautiful Girl Jogging

How to choose the best running shoes for women

Running shoes for women have different features than running shoes for men because women have a different running style which explains why women have distinct injury patterns.

There is a huge selection of running shoes on the market and choosing the correct one will keep you off blisters and injuries you run.

Top tips on selecting your first pair of running sneakers

Most manufacturers are designing shoes with the aim of promoting women with comfort, support, and performance.

Women tend to choose shoes that will make them look good but this should not override the fit and comfortability of the shoes.

When choosing the best womens running shoes, consider the following:

Foot shape

Women have different foot shape than that of men and they are smaller with a narrow heel in relation to their forefoot.

The ball of the foot, arch, and the toes are also different, hence one should get a well-fitting shoe much different from that of men.

The forefoot and the toe area of women’s shoe are a bit wider while the heel is narrower which reflects the gender difference.

Women’s vs Mens Foot Shape. Image credit: Bike Clothing

Comfort & Fit

A perfect fit is very important and there are different shoe types which offer various requirements and preferences.

Whichever type of feet that you have, you need to get a shoe that fits well and will not hurt as you run.

If you don’t wear the correct shoe for your feet then the heel will slip inside the shoe and this leads to chafing and instability.

The length and width of your feet matter too, so get a shoe size that’s a half inch longer than what you normally wear to allow breathing space.

Bounce Back

The cushion in shoes offers comfort and prevents injury when one comes into contact with the ground.

For women, the cushioning is much dense, especially under the ball of the foot and extends across the width of the shoes hence giving more bounce and greater impact.

Women have wider hips than men which mean that they will pronate more on the outside as they run and this adds extra stress to the knee.

This means that they should have extra support by having different midsoles or outsole in their shoes, but should be less to offer a slightly lower, lighter and faster version than men’s shoes.

The outer sole supports the movement of the heel and is made of two types of rubber while the midsole supports the running shoe and it is made of two types of cushioning materials.

Level of Flex and Toe-off

Women have a 15% lower body mass than men, hence their running shoes should have a deeper groove that provides greater stability and a smooth and natural running motion.

This is because the women’s lower body mass usually makes it difficult to flex the midsole so the grooves help.

The midsoles are usually softer and lighter than that in the men’s shoes.

The Brooks GTS 17 is a very popular Women’s Running Shoe. Image credit: Brooks Running

Durability

No matter the terrain that you are running on, the shoe should be well constructed from the inside to the outside.

The material should be water-resistant and mesh to allow free movement of air and the midsole an outer sole should be strongly constructed to last for several miles before wear and tear.

Your Running Style

Are you a sprinter or marathoner and are you going to run on road or off road?

The kind of terrain matters when considering the outer sole of the shoe. If running on a terrain that is wet or has loose dust and dirt, get shoes for more aggressive outsoles that can provide you with additional grip and support.

It should have a breathable upper part to allow a cool and breezy feeling as the temperatures rise.

If you are running long distances, get shoes that have a strong cushion that can last for a long period before they start to give in.

There is a wide selection of fashionable running shoes and they come in a wide variety of styles and colors to fit your personal taste, but it is important to focus on its features rather than the look.

They have much difference in color, fit, and design than the men running shoes.

Every shoe brand fits differently so have your feet measured and try on each shoe without assuming that you are a certain shoe size number.

Buy your shoes in the evening because the legs are largest then due to the day’s activities and carry your running socks so that you get a proper and perfect fitting.

Give the shoes a test run while in the shoe store by either taking a lap around the store or running on a treadmill if they have. This will help you know if you feel comfortable while you run.

Remember, having the right shoe as you run can make a whole difference in the world.


Carpenters Tools

How to make an upholstered headboard with MDF boards

Upgrade your bed with a beautiful, simple MDF headboard

Most of us like to get into bed so as to snuggle under the covers and watch some TV or read a book, before going off to sleep.

However, if your bed’s headboard is a simple wooden one, and not cushioned, you have a problem.

Sitting with your back and head against a hard headboard is not comfortable at all.

Even if you place a pillow behind your back, you are not going to be very comfortable as it starts to slip with every little movement you make.

So why don’t you make an upholstered headboard yourself? It is a relatively simple project which will solve this problem, as well as make your bed look cosier and more aesthetically pleasing too.

You can do this quite simply using MDF boards. You do not need any particular skill or expertise, and neither do you have to have expensive tools. Let us outline how to go about it in a little more detail.

First of all you will need the MDF, and a jigsaw to cut to the required shape and dimensions.

A staple gun and staples to attach the fabric and of course, the foam. Nail heads, batting and fabric chalk will also come in handy.

All in all this project is easy, and it will be completed in a few hours’ time.

You do not have to be an expert at all since ultimately all it involves is cutting, nailing and some hammering to get it done.

Primarily, you will need to cut the MDF boards. The style in which you cut the MDF boards is up to you.

Instead of opting for a plain rectangular shape, you can cut off circular corners for instance.

Once you have completed this cutting phase, you can then start building the raised frame.

For additional thickness and sturdiness you can attach two or more MDF boards to each other.

MDF boards are not that thick, but MDF is one of the strongest materials you can use for a headboard project such as this as they can be managed easily, unlike other kinds of wood.

With this step you will be able to achieve a thicker look for your headboard, and a more professional looking one.

Headboard Template. Image credit: Little House Big City

Diagonally Patterned Padded Headboard. Image credit: Little House Big City

Now that the headboard’s foundation is completed, you can then move on to the upholstery phase, which is the main purpose of the project.

The foam that you choose is going to be more comfortable the thicker it is. So keep that in mind when buying the foam.

You will need to cut the foam at least 5cm smaller than the headboard. Using spray adhesive you will easily stick the foam to the MDF board.

It is a good idea place some heavy items onto the top for some time so as to help it stick better to the board.

Afterwards, use the staple gun to staple the edges of the foam to the board. It is best to use an electric staple gun.

When the foam has been well attached to the board, you can then complete your upholstered headboard by layering the textiles.

Some may prefer to simply staple the fabric onto the foam, but adding a layer of batting is recommended.

Make sure you staple each layer thoroughly. For the corners, it is best to shred that part of the fabric so as to be better able to staple it around the curves, if you have curved edges.

It is best to choose a thick fabric. Otherwise you will not manage to attain a good result.

With a thick fabric you will be better able to achieve a smooth finish, which is very important for a neat result.

The staples will securely fasten the fabric and batting to the board, but it is best to nail them too for best results.

With the fabric chalk draw a straight line to show where the nails will be inserted.

Then start hammering the nails in a way that you are stapling down the foam well. For this part you can also use pre-made nailhead trim strips.

Padded DIY Headboard. Image credit: Projectophile

Grey Padded DIY Headboard.

That is what it is all about! Fairly simple right? Try it out if your headboard is hard and dull.

You will be amazed at the difference. Even more so, if you complement all the other soft furnishings with it, such as the curtains, the cushions, the bed linen, and so on.

Your bedroom will get a great renovation very easily and cheaply if you simply invest time in this upholstered headboard project, and see that all the soft furnishings are of the same fabric.