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Tips for Staying Safe at Concerts and Other Live Music Events

Hey Cats,

There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere at a live music concert. They can be an awesome
experience. Being able to listen to a band or performer raw and in the flesh is amazing. It can be a
very moving experience. However, such public events do mean you need to take extra precautions.
People get hurt all the time, and the more thought you put into your own safety, the more likely
you’ll have a good time. Many things can go wrong at live events, and with attendances, at an
all-time high, you should bear the following tips in mind.
  • Be Aware of the Venue
Before you go to a venue, find out as much as you can about it. Important factors such as knowing
where the bathrooms are located, whether the venue is open air, parking facilities, and how to get
there will be useful things to know before you travel. Finding the best way to get to the venue and
whether you can park close by, will mean you won’t end up missing half of the concert because
you’re late arriving. Sites such as ticketsales.com are a good place to start for the latest deals, and
will be able to provide some information about the event, so check out all you can before you go.  


  • Protect Your Hearing
There’s nothing wrong with being in the front row, after all, that’s where you can get up close and
personal with the performers. However, also be aware that being so close to the speakers can end
up causing damage to your hearing. If you really must stand close to the stage or near the main
speakers, invest in some quality earplugs.
  • Keep Hydrated
People fainting in the audience is a common occurrence. The main reason this happens is not
overexcitement but dehydration. If you don’t drink enough fluids, you’ll end up feeling dizzy and
possibly even ill. You’re not going to be too impressed if you spend a huge amount on the cost of a
ticket, only to spend your time receiving medical attention. Drink plenty of water and have a good
time.

If you want to partake in alcoholic beverages, it’ll be fine if done in moderation. One or two beers
will add to the enjoyment but getting drunk or drinking heavily does not make for a good evening
and can even lead to problems. Being in an environment where you’re surrounded by lots of
strangers means you have to be aware of what you’re doing. Driving home after the concert is not
a good idea either if you’ve had too much to drink.
One last piece of advice is to keep your valuables and cash hidden. You and the majority of the
audience are there to have a good time. However, there may be a few who will be going to take
advantage of the situation and dip their fingers into other people’s pockets.

Follow the tips above, and you’re more likely to have a great time when attending a show while
keeping yourself out of danger.

What are your top gig tips?



Things you need in your dorm room at college / university

Hey Cats

Chances are you are already in your new dorm or at least well on your way for next year. It can be a super exciting time and for most of you will be your first time moving away from home. Half the fun of a first time away from home is to get it cosy so you can relax and focus on your studies. Here are a few treats that will give you that bit of edge.

Coffee Coffee Coffee

So you heard me coffee will quickly become your best friend after nights of partying or studying and sometimes both. A great way to make sure you’re not burning all your student cash on pumpkin spiced lattes from the local coffee shop is to get your own coffee machine like the Anthony espresso. It may be a pricey initial payment but most coffee machines you can find the pods super cheap in lots of places now. Sure you can just get instant too but there is nothing like fresh hot coffee that’s been brewed and made just for you. If your budget can’t stretch to a machine then get a cafetiere they are cheap and easy to use and much better than instant so will keep you awake and studying hard.



Bring some home comforts

You may have got into an amazing school like Ontario conservatory of music but there really is no place like home. If you bring a few little things from home like pictures of your friends and family, your favourite fluffy blanket and even some home cooking. These little slices of home can really make the move a little easier and help you relax into your new surroundings. The secret is everyone is in the same boat. I loved my big fluffy blanket it brightened up the room, kept me warm and just gave my room a more cosy feel.

Smells like home

Creating a lovely smelling environment is another great way to give your room that home away from home feel. You can pick up nice candles or a safer option is to pick up some lavender or essential oils from somewhere like Botanic universe dried herbs for sale. Using a few drops of lavender on your pillow can also help you get to sleep when you’re worrying about your studies or feeling home sick.

Don’t splurge

A great way to get things like a TV or a laptop without an initial splurge is to try a rental first
https://rentalcity.ca/ rent out sofas and electrical so if you do want a bit of furniture like a sofa without the big price tag you could get a rental then no taking it home in the summer. Keep an eye on places like this for sale of items that are now ex rental and you may be able to grab a bargain at a fraction of the price.



Get organised

The bets tip I can give you to help keep your room tidy and tranquil is to have an organised system form the start. Make sure if you don’t have enough storage you create extra areas using the right kind of hangers or under bed storage. Have lots of great stationary you look forward to using and folders you can store your work away in. Keep back ups of your digital on a key to avoid lots of paper mess and type up notes you need so you can throw away the paper version and keep clutter to a minimum. Plus the sooner you type up notes the better the worst thing is coming to study time and realising you have no idea what half of your abbreviations mean or you can’t read your own writing.

What do you have in your room?


3 steps to being a little more ethical

Hey Cats

There are lots of ways you can bring ethical steps into your daily routine. Nobody can be a ethical icon overnight and lets face it sometimes it can be really hard to stick to plan all the time. Sometimes we want to recycle but there is nowhere near to do so or we want to give to charity but simply can't afford it. Lets talk about little ethical steps you can take one at a time when you can with no shade when you simply can't. Remember Halloween is just around the corner and another lovely blogger has been speaking out about how to Have a greener Halloween.

Try Meat Free And Organic

The world is full of so many vegan friendly food choices these days and it is a wonderful thing that we support each other’s dietary and ethical choices. It may seem crazy the idea of giving up meat or the idea of buying organic may make your bank balance moan but even the commitment of reducing your meat just one day a week can help protect your carbon footprint and help you make healthy choices.




Trying great food like freedomjars.ca organic breakfast oats my favourite has to be the 
orchard crumble really hearty and delicious flavours that can be a great kick start to any day.
Introducing dishes like this into your diet can also help you feel fuller for longer. This 
helps by reducing waste and using organic fairtrade fruits supports local communities too. 


Out With The Old

Next tome you consider changing up your home and using furniture stores like
 https://www.sunpan.com/usa/ keep in mind that you Can make use of your old furniture or 
clothes. You can gift these to a charity who will be able to ensure they go to a well needed 
place. Habitat 4 Humanity specialism is in taking furniture for those in need. Even giving an 
old book to a charity helps as that book can be sold to make money for an important cause.
If you can make sure you gift aid those donations so that the government can top up that 
donation by 25%.  




Give Your Time

If you have nothing to give then the most precious thing you can give is your time.
 Globalfaces direct are a great charity who do some amazing work but there are also lots of
 great places right in your community. There are lots of voluntary roles you can take up and 
there is something for everyone from fundraisers to event planners to helpers and leaders. 
Charity thrives on peoples kindness and ensuring we give a little time to pay it forward can 
make the world of difference right here and right now. 

What are your ethical choices?


P





*collab





Get The Most When Booking A Holiday This Autumn

Hey Cats,

You may think holiday season is over and it is purely time to start panic buying Christmas but you would be wrong. This is a great time of year to check out some new places around the world and flights can be a lot cheaper outside of school holidays. If you have children then this can be tricky when it comes to getting them out of school but for those of you without take advantage of the lower air fares and get planning for that holiday.

1. Look around!

First don't just run and book the first holiday you have seen this may well seem like a steal but there could be something even better yet!  Always use a private browser as some tricky holiday sites use your cookies from your visit and may jack up the price to increase your interest and make you panic buy...this is a sneaky tactic but it is used by hotels, airlines and even travel agents. Research lots of varied travel places sometimes you may be able to just book a flight and book with a local place like Santa Barbara Travel or G adventures Costa Rica Travel. You can plan lots of fun activities though places like this but make sure you check reviews from previous customers it is a great way to see if it is a great deal.



2. Travel light

The less you need to take with you the less you will have to pay as most airlines now you can get a great deal with just hand luggage. You may think that is impossible but if you leave bulky items like towels behind you can really get more into your hand luggage. You can always pop out somewhere local to buy them most often at a cheaper price or order them online to come to your hotel or villa (click here) or just use them from your hotel. Most hotels and villas are pretty well stocked and accommodating and more often have most things that you need. In this day and age it is so easy to buy while you're there and especially if you are heading somewhere like the states things are super cheap people who plan to immigrate often just leave things behind and buy there rather than here.



3. Be open minded

If you are not stuck on a place to go then more and more opportunities open up. You may find a great deal for somewhere you have never heard of but it could become your favourite location yet. I am not saying run to the airport like in the Simpsons and wait for cheap flights that need filling (although if you're spontaneous it is an option) but there are so many great places to get last minute deals now. You can click to choose if you want a sun or city break and pop in a rough budget and boom you could be jetting off anywhere from Italy to Japan. I think this is a really exciting way to travel as it opens up places you may never heard of and pushes you to explore more.

4. Try a group

Another great way to explore is to try a group travel company. You can go with a friend or alone but you go on an adventure with a small group. These are catered a lot for adventure holidays like treking or skiing but they are also available for seeing sites and relaxing too if your adventurer is more of a look at the local gift shop kind of person. We all have different limits and maybe your partner hates skiing then you can still enjoy the things you love. Lots of places do day trips too whenever I go on holiday I try and go on a few guided tours where you can get a chance to see places you may not have found on your own.


What are your tips for getting more from a holiday?




*collaboration

A 30 somethings ideal wedding

Hey Cats,

So they say that girls have weddings planned out from a super young age but if you asked 5 year old me boys were gross I was going to be Jem and never get married. Fast forward thirty years and here I am engaged and thinking about where I would like to get married. I think when I was a teenager I wanted a wedding with like a million people and lots of free booze and man that would be cool but as you get older friends dwindle off and free booze is far from a cheap game plan. I want to explore with you how my ideal wedding has changed. If a super grand mansion wedding is what you want then click here to see the ultimate beautiful venue.



I have been to some weddings over the last few years...some huge...some small...some vintage and some traditional. One thing I found I loved most at all of them was all the love in the room and not just from the bride and groom but everyone there celebrating their love. As a kid I was a bridesmaid 5 times and thought weddings were a bore I just figured adults got drunk and danced stupid....erm yeah that happens but nobody tells you about that warm fuzzy feeling and the tears when you see your friends fall in love! I always thought you had to invite all those second cousins and long lost aunts to your special day. I get that some people do and they love it but for me I would rather surround myself with people I love and want to share my special moment with. I adore small intimate weddings they just feel so much more special but a wedding can be beautiful with anything from 2 to 2000 people as long as you relax and enjoy it.

Church weddings are really pretty but are quickly becoming a thing of the past but they will always have their place. The rise of quirky venues and individual creative place is pretty awesome to me a wedding day is about celebrating the things you share so if you love castles then rock a castle wedding or if you love a bar get married there! I love tacky places and would love to get married in Vegas or maybe at home at a cinema but guaranteed it will be tacky and fun with lots of dancing and cocktails? yes please!



Wedding dresses are stunning and I can understand how people want to feel like princesses on their big day and just have all eyes on them. I used to want a huge dress probably not white as my inner goth just wouldn't allow it but the thought of spending a ton of money on a dress I will wear for one day just blows my mind. I love seeing ladies in creative outfits for their big day and even the guys are rocking cool outfits now too. I say if you love cosplay get married in your fav outfit or if you hate white and want a big pink dress then go for it! Simple, pretty and quirky is what appeals to me most with lots of fun accessories.

What was your wedding day like?


*collab


Four Steps to Overcome Addiction for a Better You

Hey Cats

Nearly every single one of us is addicted to something. Whether that is something traditionally dangerous, like a drug or alcohol addiction, or something less directly harmful such as an addiction to shopping or exercise depends on the person. In some cases, your addition might actually be helpful and healthy. Regular exercise is great, but when that exercise becomes a true addiction, and you start to take steroids and push your body beyond its limits, its time to re-evaluate your lifestyle. To help you overcome these dangerous addictions, try following these steps so that you can finally be a better you.

Go Through a Rehabilitation Program


When you are addicted, your brain creates a response system that acts as a feedback loop for pleasure. This loop is made complicated when narcotics or alcohol is involved because these can change your very physiology. Take opiates, for example. Painkillers can be highly addictive and, as there are many prescription opiates given to patients who have either just come out of surgery or who deal with chronic pain, addiction can be all too common. When it starts to interfere with your life, however, a regular detox can be very difficult. That is why going to a drug rehab centre for a medical detox can be the best first step. You need it out of your system so that you can stop being physically addicted and move past the worse of the cravings. If you don’t, you could run the risk of being one of the 70,000 people who die every year from an opioid overdose.



Join a Local Support Group and Stick with It


There are local support groups for all kinds of addictions, which is why it can be very beneficial to join one. The more specific the group is, the better you can find the support and guidance you need to overcome your addiction and to finally move on with your life. You might even be able to make some important friendships that will help give you the strength to do what needs to be done, like cut out toxic relationships or to talk you down from relapsing.

Pick Up New, Healthy Hobbies to Keep You Active


There is a saying about idle hands, and it holds true when it comes to addiction. Be active and enjoy healthy activities, and you will have less time or opportunity to relapse. Try joining an exercise class, volunteering, or learn something new.



Ensure The People in Your Life Help You Be Your Best

Self


Improving yourself and your habits is great, but if you do not cut out the toxic relationships that either introduced you to your addiction in the first place or the ones that make you turn to your coping mechanism, it is only a matter of time before you relapse. These are not healthy relationships, and they will only lead to your downfall.

Focus on the good in your life and work on improving yourself every day. At the heart of every addiction is something within you that you must address to finally become addiction-free, and by improving your life, you can finally work on moving past your demons.



4 ways to improve your email newsletter form

Hey Cats

An important tool as a blogger now is to introduce a email newsletter. It is a fantastic way to update your readers on an overview of posts they may have missed, run competitions and just make sure you generate lots of interest to keep driving that traffic to your blog. Making sure people who love your content get a reminder that you're there will keep your blog active. I am super guilty of loving bloggers and then getting snowed down and not checking in to see what they are up to but those emails always make me click to go through and find out. They are also a fantastic tool for monetising or businesses. 

Here is a fantastic article from MY Emma om getting that interest.

One of the most overlooked facets of creating a successful email newsletter campaign is the actual form itself—the one people have to fill out in order to become subscribers.
Companies spare no expense when it comes to the funnel that precedes it and the content that comes after, but the form often gets overlooked.
So, if you’re not seeing as many people signing up as you would like, consider the following four ways you could improve what might be the bottleneck, your form.

1. Create compelling copy based on your newsletter’s offer.

Although it might seem like just about every company these days has an email newsletter, that doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
Does your newsletter offer the exact same value as that of a competitor?
Then, it’s vital that you use copy to explain what makes your newsletter stand out in the form. It should outline exactly what recipients have to look forward to if they decide to provide their email addresses.
Don’t assume your entire audience simply sees the intrinsic value in a newsletter. Instead, be specific. If possible, include what current recipients have said about the value you offer.

While lead magnets can boost subscriptions, don’t forego compelling copy in the form itself. Otherwise, many people may simply provide their address for the magnet and then immediately unsubscribe.

2. The design/UX of your email newsletter form

Is your newsletter form user-friendly?
Just like with the rest of your site, if your form doesn’t follow UX best practices, you may still see some interest, but it won’t be nearly as much as you’d enjoy if your form was more intuitive.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by allowing people to use social login credentials to sign up for your newsletter. Instead of making people remember yet another password, let them click on the social platform of their choice to quickly sign up for your newsletter. It couldn’t be any easier.
If you do need to use multiple fields, consider a platform like Garlic.js, which automatically saves the text for them. That way, if someone makes a mistake and needs to reenter information, they only need to do it for one box, not the entire form – something that is sure to chase away a potential subscriber.
Finally, choose a minimalist template. While compelling text is important, a bunch of graphic bells-and-whistles are not. You don’t want any distractions between the user and a completed form.

3. Where the email newsletter form lives on the site

It’s never been easier to add an email newsletter form to your website. The challenge is knowing where it should go to see the most attention and garner the most signups.
In essence, this form is no different than other CTAs that might be on your website. As such, it’s imperative that you not display it where it wouldn’t make sense. At best, this mistake will simply fail to boost subscriptions. At worst, you’ll turn off potential subscribers to the idea of signing up.

A prime example of this is using pop-up ads. Although there is evidence these ads can work, for most companies, it’s best to avoid them at all costs. Most people aren’t going to sign up for your newsletter simply because an ad shows up the minute they visit your website.

Again, think of traditional CTA. Where do you tend to put them for best results? For the most part, they come after high-quality content, right?

That’s why you should pair your signup forms with content upgrades. Once a prospective subscriber is done reading a well-written, informative post, they’ll be ready for more, especially if all they need to do is provide you their email address (or, better yet, click a social login link) to get it.

4. The data fields in your email newsletter form

How many data fields should you include on your newsletter form?

This is a very common question.

Fortunately, the answer is a simple one: as many as it takes to segment your audience.

For some of you, this may not be an issue. If you’re just starting out with your list, you probably haven’t been able to segment it yet. In that case, give people the opportunity to sign up with a single click through a social login.

On the other hand, if you do have different segments, include enough fields in your form to address them through different newsletters.

Do not overdo it, though.

Many companies use their forms to gather information they don’t actually need to properly serve each segment. They ask about age, marital status, location, and a whole host of other traits that may help improve their marketing but isn’t necessary for providing a newsletter.

Back in 2013, at the MarketingSherpa Lead Gen Summit, a test proved that each additional field decreases conversions by 11%. That likely hasn’t improved much over the years, so keep it simple.

It’s just not worth losing recipients who don’t want to go through this entire process. Ask for what you need and leave it at that.

Prioritize your email newsletter form

If you value the potential of your email newsletter, you need to also value the importance of the form people must complete in order to subscribe.

Until you do, the success of your email newsletter will never reach its potential. You’ll never put it in front of as many people as you otherwise could.

However, while it’s always wise to continuously test for better results, optimizing your form based on the above advice is a one-time investment. After that, you can put your focus back on the newsletter itself, confident that you’re not missing out on a much larger audience.


Have you got an email newsletter?


*collab


Do Men And Women Look At First Dates Differently?

Hey Cats,

We all get those first date jitters and the worry if our date shares pour dating etiquette. Like who should pay and where to go? The truth is there are no real rules when it comes to dating just unwritten things we all do or have come to expect from each other. Ferratum already did did some great first date research for us/


I was actually super surprised how little both men and women preened for their first date. I genuinely would have though like 90% would admit to taking that extra effort. A crazy 14% of women however did say that they spent £100 on new items for a date night...however is it just a great excuse to buy those things you have been eyeing up. I am not sure I have ever bought a dress especially just for a date out but then i do have a bit of a dress addiction so it is more of a "ooo which one should I wear"/ I wonder how many of you have a lucky date outfit? I can still remember what my Mr had on our first date 4 years later so it really is worth making that effort. 

I was surprised in the rise of social media that more people haven't checked their date out because lets be honest the rise of online dating means most likely that's where we met them. If we didn't you can be sure that I am going to have a good look. It can be a great way to find some common topics and get a good look at the embarrassing pictures. Careful not to obsess though.

The main thing that seems to stand out is the dreaded bill... this can be the most awkward part of the date. It doesn't have to be though and you really shouldn't go into a date assuming and penniless because that is just not cool. It is interesting to see that men are still taking the traditional root of offering to pay though. 

What do you think of these dating statistics?