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.


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


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 cut to size. 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.

Excavation Works

Ecological Surveys: Their Place in Modern Development

Protecting Endangered Species & Natural Habitats

Ecological surveys need to be carried out in order to identify habitats along with any species that are present in a particular area.

This is important when a development proposal is made, because certain sites may be subjected to a loss of habitat, or a reduction in the value of such a habitat.

There may also be a considerable negative impact on species that live in that area, including birds.

We thus need to make sure that developments do not lead to these kinds of problems, and whenever possible we have to try to strike a balance between proceeding with a development and doing so in a sustainable manner.

With the help of ecological surveys carried out by professional landscape architects, one will be able to identify any ecological constraints that may be present, while ensuring that the appropriate measures are taken as early as the design stage of the proposed development or project.

Open Fields of Rape Seed

Ecological Surveys Are Necessary to Determine If Development Is Suitable

Thus undertaking ecological surveys will help developers to be aware of any ecological constraints that need to be dealt with, so as to design the development in a manner that will help them to minimize the impact on biodiversity, which is of utmost importance.

If there are any legally protected species, these will be identified and action will be taken so as to safeguard them by avoiding, or at least, minimising any negative impacts that the proposed development may have had on them.

Landscape designers and architects will advise on the possible modification and enhancement measures to be taken, and will also come up with feasible ways to make sure that these measures are ideal for the site, the surrounding areas, as well as for the habitats and species involved.

Ecological surveys are considered to be a very important part of the application process.

Local planning authorities will consult the ecological survey report and any relevant considerations while they are determining whether to accept an application for development or not.

So effectively by entrusting a specialist with the carrying out of an ecological survey, you will be improving your chances of having your application for development accepted.

This is because you are clearly demonstrating that you are aware of the consequences and want to take into account the ecological aspects of the site in question.

The primary ecological appraisal that is carried out is referred to as a Phase 1 Habitat Survey, and an extended one may be required as well in some cases.

The findings will be then be submitted to the local planning authority.

This is done in the form of a meticulous report where all the findings are detailed, along with an assessment of how the development that is being proposed could have an impact on any habitats and species in the said area.

This is carried out so as to ensure that the relevant information is made available with, or prior to submitting the application for development.

Analysing Grasslands & Fauna

Analysing Grasslands & Fauna. Image credit: North York Moors National Park

Ecological surveys are also used to detect any environmental conditions as well as to document the vegetation on project sites.

Data will be gathered on the fauna, vegetation, as well as on other elements.

Generally different management methods are used on such project sites.

With their help it will then be possible to document any differences in vegetation in the different sections of a site.

It would also be easier to see how such sections may have changed from one period to another.

This is carried out with a number of different management regimes which are applied to the various sections of the site, so as to then compare them to a control section, which is basically like a constant factor.

These types of studies with the help of ecological surveys are indispensable in cases when we would need to identify different plant architectures, as well as to identify why and how a site has changed over a span of time.

The information acquired from such thorough investigations and surveys on such sites will equip you with a great deal of knowledge.

This information will then be used to devise a more sustainable strategy or plan of action.

Effectively ecological surveys can help you to reach conclusions as well be of an indispensable assistance for decision making in these areas.

Solar System Constellation

How to Use the Stars to Tell Time

Imagine this! You are on a solo camping or fishing trip and stumbling on your way to the river in the dark, both your watch and cell phone fall into the river.

You can’t retrieve either, since you can’t see, but you need to know what the time is.

Doesn’t matter why you need to know, but it is imperative that you know how long it is before sunrise. What to do?

Well, if you know same basic astronomy, you can use the North Star and the Plough (Big Dipper) asterism to tell the time to within about 30 minutes or so.

Here is how, but if you don’t know some basic astronomy and are a beginner to using stargazing equipment, refer to the image below before you leave on a camping or fishing trip.

Image credit:

Image credit:

This image shows the relationship between the Plough and Polaris, the North Star.

Note that the distance between the star and the asterism never changes.

The only thing that changes is the position of the Plough relative to the star, since the asterism completes one complete orbit around the star in the course of each 24-hour period.

Thus, the asterism will return to the same position relative to the star on the same date every year.

It is worth noting that the rate at which the Plough revolves around the North Star also does not change, meaning that the time it takes the asterism to compete a part of its rotation around the star, say 15 degrees, will always be the same, regardless of where in the rotational circle each subsequent 15- degree segment falls.

So referring to the image again, we can see that it is possible to divide the circle traced out by the Plough’s anti-clockwise rotation around the North Star into equally-sized segments- 24 in this case since the Plough takes 24 hours to complete one revolution around the North Star in an anti-clockwise direction.

For our purposes, one segment represents 15 degrees, or one hour of time.

Telling the time

Before you can actually use our Big Dipper clock, you need to remember that the relative positions of the Plough and the North Star as they are represented on Fig. 1 indicate the correct time, but only on the night of March 7/8, but this happens every year, so the clock is reasonably accurate from one year to the next.

So on March 7/8, the clock will show the correct time, midnight, but as the year wears on, you need to correct for the passage of time.

There are various ways of doing this, one being the addition or subtraction of one hour per month before or after March 7/8, but there is an easier way.

Here’s how:

  • Bear in mind that the Plough takes 24 hours to complete one revolution. Therefore, and regardless of where in its rotation the Plough is, the passage of four hours will equal an angle of 60 degrees.
  • So, remembering that midnight is represented by the Plough being at the top of the imaginary clock, it becomes a simple matter to gauge the angle between the pointer stars and the North Star from the perpendicular to where it is now. Every 60 degrees of movement translates into four hours of elapsed time. Subdividing each 60 degree segment yields a more accurate guesstimate of the actual time, but remember that the actual time read off the celestial clock will be accurate only on March 7/8. Thus, on this date, follow the rule below-
  1. Midnight (24:00): The Plough is directly over the North Star.
  2. 6AM (06:00): The Plough is due west of the North Star.
  3. Noon (12:00): The Plough is due south of the Pole Star.
  4. 6PM (18:00): The Plough is due east of the North Star.

Correcting for the date

Since a circle only has 360 degrees, and the Earth takes roughly 365 days to complete an orbit around the Sun, the celestial clock runs fast at the rate of 4 minutes per day, which translates into around two hours per month.

To correct for this deviation, you must subtract 30 minutes for each week after March 7/8.

Thus, if you read a time of say, midnight on May 7, (3 months, or 12 weeks later), you get a value of 360 minutes, or three hours that must be taken into account.

This would make the time on May 7 not midnight, but 9 PM, since you must subtract the time that the celestial clock had been running fast over the 12 weeks from March 7, to May 7.

To correct for Daylight Saving Time (when DST is in effect), add one hour to the calculated time to get a reasonably accurate time.

Paint Colour Swatches

7 Most Common Mistakes Interior Designers Make

Avoid these classic interior design pitfalls

Nowadays, design has emerged into a new era – where interior designers are the new heroes of the modern homes.

Everyone wants to create a better space for living and working – and feel better inside the home or the office.

However, there are still some common mistakes that interior designers make.

Today, we are listing the most common ones so that you avoid them when renovating your home or office.

1. Lack Of Vision

Let’s face it, the best interior designers in London are creative and willing to try out new things.

However, it is not the creative mind that is always the most important aspect for creating a stunning interior space.

Sometimes, the lack of vision may be the main problem resulting in a terrible design – and a less than dramatic effect.

Hurrying out in choosing the wall colour or furniture can be one of the most common examples.

2. The ‘Wow’ Effect

As you may know, the ‘wow’ effect is that special something that creates balance in every interior space.

It is the harmony of colours, styles and items that makes an environment pleasant.

However, not many interior designers focus on the ‘wow’ effect – and occasionally fall short in creating that necessary drama.

Most architects and interior designers have two to three projects they are proud of.

They reflect on them and try to incorporate their styles in every next project.

Although this has created a certain ‘wow’ effect in the past, it is not necessarily something every home needs.

In other words, trying to incorporate a certain style in more than one place may result in a huge mistake – and an interior design that is too much forced and does not look natural or sympathetic to the environment you are designing to won’t always work.

3. Establishing a Design Budget

We all know that there are times when the budget of the client may be low to create something stunning.

However, being resourceful is a big advantage found with the very best interior designers.

All in all, establishing a budget is something that many interior designers skip when negotiating with their clients – and this situation leads to many struggles afterwards.

Clearly identifying the approximate cost of the interior design project gives the needed structure for the process – and breaking the process into phases ensures the proper funding and a vision of all the design effects for each room or space.

4. Capturing the Idea

A lot of interior designers are driven by their creative minds.

However, interior design ideas may be like the wind – flying away too fast.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance to capture all of them when they are going by , and many interior designers do not practice this rule.

In a nutshell, it is much easier to test all the new ideas, textures, fabrics and colours if they are put on a ‘design board’.

Listing all the things and aspects will therefore ensure that everything is on place.

Aside from that, they can let the designer sense what is creating drama and what is not working.

Capturing the ideas makes the process flow in a better way.

5. Understanding the Principles of Colour, Texture & Effect

There is a rule that everything that is appealing to the eye was created with the layers of colour, texture and effect in mind.

The principles of layering are not only something interior designers in London should have in mind – but something they should study and be experienced with.

After all, colour and texture are the most essential things interior designers work with – in order to create a special effect in every space.

Layering styles and colours is a true art – and every interior designer should learn the principles of layering before putting them to practice.


At last, staging is also something that makes every interior design project special.

Interior designers should put this to practice and understand more than just the space that needs to be reinvented.

The feelings, mood and ambiance the client wants to feel are after all the most essential part of each interior design project.