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Making The Most Of Rainy Days!

Hey Cats,

I always remember rainy days at school being my favourite purely because we got to turn the classroom into a lovely creative playground. So when you have a day off work and a rainy day hits and you really don't fancy splashing in any puddles (because we shouldn't let rain get in the way of going out) and you fancy a home day. Sometimes especially when home alone you can suddenly have all this time on your hands and not know what to do with it.

Read

One of my favourite things to do in any spare time I get is to get reading more. Rainy days are the perfect time to snuggle up with a book, a blanket and a cup of tea. I love hearing the rain against the window while I get immersed in another world and this can keep me busy for hours on end.



Cook

Dig out those cook books, try to recreate a recipe from one of your favourite blogs or even just make it up as you go along. If you are a frugal fan then you could even use the time to do a spot of batch cooking. I love trying out new recipes or making a huge pot of soup so I can freeze some for lunches later in the week. You can even surprise someone close to you by baking a lovely cake or getting together a meal.

Play

Break out the PlayStation or Xbox and get playing your favourite games. If gaming isn't really your thing but you like online games you could even try a bit of a flutter with some online gaming there is so much to choose from and you can even win a little side cash sometimes. Plus there are lots of fun chat rooms where you can have a chat with other gamers if you are getting bored home alone. You also can't beat a bit of Tetris now and again or if you have friends over why not dig out a board game and make a day of it.


Create

Finally try out some of those Pinterest tutorials you have been pinning for the longest time, even if you fail it takes practise and you may discover a hidden talent. Crafting is so much fun be it putting together a photo album or making wedding centrepieces there are so many different crafts you can try from the comfort of your sofa. I am always looking to try new things and I love little craft kits, half the fun is having a go no matter how it turns out.

TV

If all else fails then hit up some trashy day time TV, I can lose hours to Gordon Ramsey or Come dine with me or if you want something a bit classier then binge watch some classics from Netflix. Lately I am re watching Twin Peaks and X files both old classics that I have seen a million times but they are still great to watch.


What do you do on rainy days?



Employment Suitability Screening Using Social Media


Hey Cats,

When you visit a coffee shop, fast food restaurant, or any popular hangout, you'll likely find people
taking selfies, browsing through social media applications, and anything and everything else related
to social media use. 

It seems like everyone has a social media account, if not multiple. Just as Facebook, YouTube,
Instagram, Snapchat and company are popular among individuals, these platforms are all but
worldwide in the collective hands of businesses and organizations. 

Entities utilize social media to provide consumers with customer service, to advertise their offerings
and brand names, and - although this lattermost utilization is the least common of the three - screen
employment candidates using their social media presences.

Let's touch over several positives and downsides of social media screening, as well as things
employers should be mindful of prior to hiring or firing candidates through social media platforms. 





Background Checks Through Social Media Are Far Cheaper Than Traditional Means

Many employers, especially those that ask financial or social responsibilities of their employees,
request background checks on applicants on a regular basis. Even employees that don't have direct
responsibilities of taking care of money or children, like janitors, for example, are asked to submit to
background checks if they work in government buildings, on city- or state-owned campuses, or even
remotely near children, or physically or mentally disabled individuals. 

While it's never a good idea to replace full-fledged, trustworthy background checks with less
-comprehensive social media checks, uncovering proverbial dirt on such candidates' social media
profiles can effectively save employers money by not having to jump directly to expensive background
checks.

Even if your business trusts professional social media screening service providers like Fama, for
example, you'll save loads of money in comparison to relying only on professional, full-fledged
background checks. 



Social Media Screens Provide Employers with Glimpses of Their Informal, Non-Official Lives

Background checks, resumes, and employer references only provide employers with tastes of their
professional lives, not who they are outside of the workplace. By looking to applicants' social media
profiles, employers are able to uncover personal information that would never turn up on background
checks, self-submitted resumes, or through asking previous employers of applicants' behaviors and
actions in the workplace. 

Attempting to follow people in real life isn't only highly inappropriate, but provides such followers
with limited, restricted views of who applicants really are. Looking to social media platforms to
dig up information about individuals your company is interested in is likely to provide you with
unfiltered piles of information that's not restricted.

Just think - whenever people interact with others in real life, there's never any records of such
interactions outside of closed circuit television networks, for example, which can't be accessed by
persons other than police officers. Social media, fortunately, does provide employers with potentially
lengthy records of who they are on a personal level.

Unfortunately, One Downside of Social Media Screening Is Finding Inconsistent Profiles Of
Information

Proverbial flies on walls are exposed to individuals' true behaviors and personalities, as those
individuals aren't focused on filtering their actions or communications to please others. 

When social media is concerned, most people are actively aware of the potential for anybody on
planet Earth to uncover information about those individuals. As such, they tend to post on social
platforms with mental filters as to best please others.



*collab

5 Ways To Use Rapeseed Oil In Your Cooking

Hey Cats,

You may have heard of rapeseed oil but not all the benefits it can bring for you. I am going to lay it down for you and give you five useful ways you can incorporate rape seed oil into your life and the benefits behind them. First off what is rapeseed oil? Rapeseed oil is produced right here in the UK as well as in Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands and Canada. In the UK it is the third most important crop so by using and buying rapeseed you are also supporting the British economy great right? The oil is produced from the black seed of the rape plant.



  1. Simply change out your usual cooking oil and use rapeseed oil instead the health benefits are much better and you can try out different flavours to add a new element to your meals. The saturated fats in rapeseed oil is much lower which is better for you. 
  2. When baking cakes try using rapeseed oil in place of butter and your cakes will be a little bit healthier! All the more reason to have some. 
  3. Add flavour and texture to your pasta and pizza dishes by drizzling them with the rapeseed oil to give that dish a little extra punch. 
  4. In a similar way the rapeseed oil can also be used as a dipping sauce to serve with meals or ven just bread as a starter. 
  5. As a healthy oil  it has great health benefits so use in cooking for children and babies to help keep their meals healthy and delicious! 

So in all using this wonderful oil you can support the British economy, lowers the saturated fats in your meals and improve the taste and texture of even the most simplistic meals. With different flavours available from garlic infused to chili all the more reason to experiment with cooking. I will be making the change will you try it too? 



*collab

How to create the perfect, cosy night in!

Hey Cats,
Let’s face it, going out isn’t cheap. Whether it’s taxis to and from our destinations, to expensive restaurant bills, entry into clubs, and don’t get me started on the cost of a cheeky glass of wine! Finding that perfect outfit can be a bit of a danger for our credit cards as well…which means that it all quickly adds up!
They say that staying in is the new going out – and I’m inclined to agree! But how do we create that perfect
night in atmosphere? What do we need? Where do we start? Don’t worry, we’re not talking new carpets,
redecorating your living room or visiting your skirting board specialist! Here you’ll find a little inspiration of
how to create that perfect, cosy night in.
Who?
First things first. Is this “cosy night in” exclusively for you and your partner? Or is it for you and your friends?
Are the kids invited? Your siblings? Or maybe your just fancy a night in on your own with the cat; once
you’ve established who your guests are (or aren’t) then you can plan your evening around that.
What?
So, you know who your guests are. What are you going to do? How about a film night? Chick-flick, horror,
comedy or the latest Golden Globe winner, the possibilities are endless – but try to decide on a film before
the evening takes place, otherwise you may spend your entire evening debating on what to watch!
source

How about a board game night? This sounds a little old and dated, but having been a guest at a “scrabble”
night myself, let me tell you, it’s actually a lot more fun then it sounds! Especially with a glass of wine or two,
a nice relaxing atmosphere and maybe a few nice nibbles to boot – what could be more perfect? Dig out those
old board games and have a blast!
If you’re planning an evening on your own, then how about a good book? This is a chance to pick up that novel
you’ve been dying to finish for months!
Atmosphere
It doesn’t matter what the theme of your evening is going to be, what activities you’re planning or who you’re
doing it with, atmosphere is very important when it comes to a good night in. How about adding a few
twinkling fairy lights here and there?  Dig out those old throws and big comfy cushions, make sure everyone
will have somewhere to sit. Why not create a music playlist to have on in the background?
source

Feast!
You have guests – or not, which means you need to make sure that no one leave hungry! Especially you!
These don’t have to be unhealthy snacks – think homemade soup and crunchy croutons; but this is your
night and if you’re hoping to treat yourself then now is the time! Think sweets, crisps, sandwiches, pizza,
chips and plenty of wine! Even hot chocolate with all the fixings!
What smells better than hot pizza sizzling away in the oven? Or when you open the box of your takeaway
feast?

How would you plan your perfect night in?



*collaboration

Choosing Outfits For Weddings In Different Cultures!

Hey Cats,

I get a real buzz when I get a wedding invitation there is nothing more beautiful than sharing someones special day. One of the fun things can be choosing an outfit for the big day and choosing a guest outfit for a wedding in the UK is hard enough, but what about if you’ve been invited to a wedding of a different culture?

Together with Charles Tyrwhitt, retailers of timeless menswear, we look at how the dress code of a wedding changes depending on the background of the newlyweds.


In the UK and western culture the tradition is for the bride to wear white dresses with a train and veil. From sleek long figure hugging gowns to huge voluminous petticoats the theme is usually a variant of the same light dress. Lets look at how our own bridal traditions compare to India, Japan and China?



India



In India, the bridal outfit can depend on the region the lady is from, the bride wears a Saree which is a garment that looks like a long drape, in others she wears a lehenga which is a long skirt. Often the bride is dressed in red or another vibrant colour, her garments will be carefully embroidered with beautiful delicate details. A lot of hard work goes into these bridal outfits which are hand crafted by a skilled seamstress.

The bride and her bridal party will also have henna designs on their arms and forearms. The patterns and designs are beautiful and very detailed even more care going into the brides. Henna will take place in days leading up to the wedding in an important traditional ceremony with the bridal party.

Again for India it will depend upon the region what outfit the groom will wear. Some husbands-to-be wear traditional dress, such as a dhoti which is a rectangular cloth ties around the waist. In other regions, they wear a sherwani (a long coat), a kurta (loose falling shirt that hangs below the knee), or a Western suit.

The men also have henna on their bodies but it is less elaborate and often hidden.



So what should you wear? Keeping in mind that a bride wears red this colour should be avoided but the more colourful and vibrant the outfit the better. White should be avoided also as traditionally this is the colour worm for funerals. So go for the most colourful spectacular outfit and dress to impress as Indian weddings are grand and decadent.

Avoid revealing outfits that bare shoulders, chest or short skirts go for beautiful jewelled elaborate outfits. The Indian female guests will most likely be dressed in colourful sarees or anarkali suits. Jewellery is important for women too, choose a statement piece for around your neck with matching earrings and bangles.
Men often wear a tailored kurta with a pyjama and a dupatta (shawl) can be added over the kurta. For their feet, sandals, jootis or chappals are often worn as these are comfortable and prevent overheating.
Guests might also be expected to cover their heads if the wedding is held in a temple. For this, women can wear a long scarf or pashmina over their heads and men are usually provided with a head cover such as a large handkerchief.
Indian weddings can often be three days long so if you are lucky enough to be invited to more than one day make sure you know what activities will be taking place dress accordingly and make sure you wear comfortable clothing.

Japan

In Japan it is ordinary for a family to spend £75,000 om a wedding and it will most often traditionally be the parents of the couple who will take charge and organise the wedding. Due to status and tradition this can lead to Japanese families spending large amounts of money to have the 'best' wedding as it is a reflection on their worth in society. This can lead to brides having as many as 5 outfits. Most traditional Shinto brides will wear a white Kimono but as the times have changed a lot of Japanese brides have favoured a dress featuring traditional print.


In a traditional Japanese wedding the groom will often wear a kimono also embellished with the family crest. This is called a Montsuki but later the groom will then also change into a tailored tuxedo. Many modern Japanese men and  younger grooms start the ceremony in a tuxedo too.




At a traditional Japanese wedding, men were expected to be dressed very formally with a black suit and white tie. Now however, the dress code is more flexible and it is accepted for men to come dressed in suits other than black with various coloured ties. However, it is advised to avoid white clothes with black ties.
Women often wear dresses that are knee length or a coloured kimono to take on a traditional look. It is best to avoid showing any shoulder as this can be deemed a disrespectful.

China


Region can again play a factor in the difference of brides in China. Red is the most traditional colour as it represents a symbol of good luck. This luck is traditionally seen the keep evil spirits at bay. In northern China is is a tradition for the bride to have a one piece dress with a stunning gold and silver embroidery where in southern china brides will often wear a two piece.



Another part of traditional bridal wear for Chinese brides is to wear a crown for photographs. This helps portray the grandness of the occasion and footwear will be embroidered with certain symbols such as a turtle to represent happiness.

In China the groom will wear a long silk coat and will be almost certain to wear head wear such as a black hat with a red tassel. The silk coat will have stunning embroidery similar to that of the bride representing the region and status. Some younger generations are not following the traditional dress code and simply wear a tuxedo or a Western-style business suit.




When dressing for a Chinese wedding, avoid wearing red as this can be seen as trying to steal the limelight from the bride. It’s best to wear pink, peach or purple as these are all symbols of new life and happiness. A formal dress is suitable for a Chinese wedding.

Colours to avoid include black and white, as these symbolise mourning and black is considered to be the colour of bad luck.

Sources

http://factsanddetails.com/japan/cat18/sub117/item617.html

What is the difference between open plan and broken plan living?

Hey Cats,
With the new year often we decide to finally get around to changing up our interior or getting around to finally doing that household renovation we wanted to do. Rooms that have more than one function are growing in popularity because lets face it we are all doing a million things at once in our busy schedules but how can we make them work best for us.
Many people create these rooms by opening up existing space by taking down a wall and creating an open or broken kitchen space. Together with Harvey Jones, fitters of bespoke fitted kitchens, we take a look at this new kitchen trend.

Using open-plan spaces


Entertaining at home has increased in social circles, wanting to have guests over for dinner and not have to run
back and forward to the kitchen leaving your guests lonely means multi-functional spaces have become more
needed in a household. With an open space cooks can now chat to their guests and not feel so stressed and
alone when hosting.

source

This can also come in useful in every day life. If part of a family often the kids will be playing in another room
while the parents are cooking but with an open space you can keep an eye on the children whilst getting
chores done at the same time. A great way to bring all the family together from teens doing their homework
to toddlers in a playpen.

With the decrease in house sizes the need for open plan spaces is becoming a vital part of housing designs. This can help a property not only be multi functional but also open up tiny spaces so instead of having two small rooms that are difficult to use by opening this up the possibilities increase. Therefore it is important that you make this space work for you and ensure that it flows well together.

How can design move on from open-plan living?


In 2017 a new trend started as an answer to move forward from open plan. Broken plan living is thought to be
the trend which will take over from open plan spaces but what is it? The idea is to retain all the things you love
about open-plan – particularly the light and openness – however at the same time zoning the space to allow
for more privacy should . Rather than doing this with colours and textures as you would in a true open-plan
arrangements, broken-plan employs structural elements such as half-walls, dividing shelves, changing levels,
walls of glass and even mezzanines to delineate and formalise areas for different uses.  

How does broken plan look?


By partitioning sectioned areas to create new spaces, ‘walls’ can be created by using boxed shelving and other
furniture to define spaces that weren’t previously there in the room. The urge to cram all this space with
clutter may come over you but to keep the space light an airy it is best to instead stylise these shelves with
a few of your favourite pieces this will allow light to fall through, consider just knocking down half a wall and
leaving the top open, allowing sight-lines through but at the same time giving you more wall space to play
with. While hatches should remain a distinctly 70s invention, a larger aperture in the wall between a kitchen
and sitting room, for example, is a workable and modern substitute.
source
Using furniture while a great way to part and define a room should be done sparingly and subtly. Also, consider building in pocket doors that will slide out of sight into the walls when you want to join two rooms but can be closed quickly to create separation when needed.
As well as this trend, Crittall-style windows have also become a popular interior design trend. Metal framed
windows and sometimes doors traditionally used in industrial spaces or as exterior walls onto gardens have
celebrity fans such as TV presenter and architect George Clarke, who celebrates their ability to cleverly divide
an internal space without shutting off one room totally from another.

Broken-plan spaces can accommodate changing floor and ceiling heights – helping to bring spaces together
that usually wouldn’t work as an open plan space. With broken-plan living, the options are unlimited when
it comes to your interior design space.


Make Sure These Are On Your List Of 2018 Travel Destinations!

Hey Cats,



There are few things in life more wonderful than having the opportunity to travel and see the world. Not only
does it provide you with the kinds of experiences that you're going to treasure for your entire life, but it also
helps you to learn more about yourself and grow as a person. Of course, the question that faces a lot of
people is where exactly you should travel to. After all, there are so many different destinations that it can be
tough to figure out which to choose. With that in mind, here are just a few places that you need to put at the
top of your list of potential travel destinations!

Image Credit
China

China is one of those places that is so massive that you could visit it over and over every year for your entire

life and never get to see everything that it has to offer. Whether you want to experience ancient culture and
tradition, amazing food, or cutting-edge technology, China is a country that has something for everyone. In
fact, it can be kind of overwhelming which is why China tours are so popular since they offer you the chance
to see the country in a more structured way. Of course, if you want to go off the beaten path, you're still pretty
likely to find something amazing.

New Zealand

New Zealand is the kind of place that can feel like a microcosm of the entire planet. It's just a short walk
between beaches, grassy hills, and snow-capped mountains. It really is no surprise that New Zealand was
the perfect place to shoot the Lord of The Rings movies since so much of it feels as though it's straight out
of a fairytale. Not only that but the people are known to be some of the friendliest in the world. It's easy to
understand why so many people who travel to New Zealand end up wanting to stay and settle down there!




The USA

Even those who live in the USA will probably go their entire lives without seeing everything that it has to offer.
Each state can be completely different to any other in terms of landscape, weather, people, and culture.

There are so many amazing hidden gems all over the USA that it doesn't matter what it is that you're looking
for out of a trip, you're almost certainly going to find everything you want and more. Of course, if you're looking
to see as much as possible, nothing beats the great American road trip for a serious sightseeing experience.
Of course, these are just a few examples, and the wonderful thing about traveling is that there are always new
places to see and new things to experience. Try to avoid going back to the same places over and over again.
Experience new things and discover places that you might never have expected to see. Traveling really is one
of the best ways in the world to broaden your mind and live your life to the absolute fullest.