Great Day Sessions to Have With Your Staff

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It is the staff who you rely on for your business to become a success, your staff are the front line of your company, they are the ones who help to create the brand and the reputation of your business and it is them who ensure that the business runs like clock work. As Haris Ahmed Chicago based leadership and staffing guru says, it is for this reason that you must look after the staff, you need to ensure that they have everything that they need, a comfortable work place, a friendly environment and of course, all of the trading and tools which they need to do the job.

A great activity for your staff is to hold various day sessions, different activities which serve to improve their time at work and today we will look at some great ideas for which ones work well for them.

Team Building

A team building day can be a great way to get the staff together for some fun activities which can help to unify your work force. This work shop should feature plenty of fun and many different team activities where the team will need to overcome challenges. It is important that you mix up the team so that people who perhaps don’t spend much time with each other at work, have to join together and work with one an other to reach a goal. Team building exercises every 6 months or so is a great way to keep your team working for each other and can help break down conflicts.

First Aid

Nobody would like to think that something terrible could happen in the workplace but unfortunately, they do and you can prepare your staff with a basic first aid course. A first aid course will give your staff the basics around CPR, how to treat cuts and wounds and what to do in case of an emergency, this may not be an incredibly fun activity for your staff but it could end up saving someone’s life in the future.

Conflict Management

Your leadership team should definitely get involved in a conflict management course, this will help them understand how they can best deal with issues between members of the work force. Conflicts do happen at work, it is a simple fact of life but these should be nipped in the bud as soon as possible. What a conflict management workshop will do is to give your leaders within the business, the tools and the confidence to successfully deal with any conflicts which happen to arise.

These are just a few samples of the types of courses which you could hold for your staff to better equip them in the work place. If you are worried about losing trade or business whilst you run the work shops then try to run two different sessions and half your team for each one, this will allow your business to still run whilst you are helping the other half of your team to do their job better.

Releases in 2017 worth seeing on the big screen

It might have gotten more expensive to indulge in this taste in recent years, but it takes a bit more than price hikes to keep hardcore film fans away from enjoying films where they should be seen: on the big screen.

Take Larry Polhill for example; while he is usually busy helping corporate clients across America crush it in their business endeavors, he occasionally finds a few hours here and there to spend in the darkness of a multiplex movie theater to take in the latest Hollywood releases.

You might love to unwind in the same way that he does, but with so many disappointing films being put out lately, you don’t want to waste your money either.

What movies should you spend time and money seeing on the big screen in 2017? We’ll go over five of our favorites in the paragraphs below.

1) John Wick: Chapter 2

Love a good action flick? This spring, Keanu Reeves with be set to reprise his role as John Wick in the second chapter of this well-received original movie.

After engaging in a personal vendetta that ended in his retirement from the contract-killing business, he receives word from a friend in the scene that bad actors are poised to take over the guild that governs the conduct of assassins worldwide.

Honor bound to defend its integrity, John heads to Rome to confront and neutralize some of the baddest dudes and femme fatales he has faced in his life.

2) Kong: Skull Island

A blockbuster movie in March? With studios angling to get the movie-viewing public into seeing films earlier than usual, the release of Kong: Skull Island doesn’t seem that odd when viewed through that context.

The latest film to explore the mythology of everyone’s favorite giga-gorilla, Skull Island takes us his home island.

Explored by a military squad looking to uncover answers to the mysterious tales of a giant ape during World War II, this Vietnam War era exploratory regiment will soon discover they have bitten off more they can chew.

3) Logan

Superhero films more your thing? Checking out Logan will prove to be a worthwhile use of your entertainment budget funds.

The 10th installment in the X-Men series, the plot of this film revolves around Wolverine, who is living in civilian society under the pseudonym ‘Logan’.

He spends his days off the job as a chauffeur living in an abandoned smelter caring for professor Xavier, who is suffering from a neurogenerative disorder that have been interfering with his telepathic abilities.

Despite this quiet life, Wolverine is once again called upon to emerge into the light of day to put down a newly emergent mutant threat.

4) Alien: Covenant

Those who live for sci-fi and/or horror films will want to leave their media room at home behind to catch Alien: Covenant in theaters.

Drifting across the galaxy en route to a secluded planet, the crew members of the colony ship Covenant happen upon what appears to be a livable planet for humans.

Lucky enough to come across a survivor of a prior expedition long assumed dead, they are tipped off about the existence of a deadly alien life form that will put their survival skills to the test.

The importance of finding your own way in life

These days, there is a tremendous amount of pressure from family, friends, and the media for us to play roles in society that might not compliment who we are as human beings.

This happens to all of us; for example, Jack Elway, the son of famous NFL quarterback John Elway, stumbled his way along the path that society had set out before him, which was to follow his Dad’s footsteps into professional sports.

By the time he reached college, though, the writing was on the wall: he just didn’t have the same love for football his father did, so he hung up his cleats and decided to hack his own trail through the jungle we call life.

Whether you are the offspring of a famous athlete, or a child raised in a working class household, it is ultimately up to you to find your own way in life.

Need a few tips to get you started? Below, we’ll give you a few suggestions that will aid you in your quest to discover who you truly are.

Don’t shoehorn yourself into somebody else’s life plan

Working in a factory or an office is no longer the foolproof path to financial prosperity like it was in the 1950’s. The relentless march of automation and outsourcing has made jobs less secure in just about every economic sector, making the idea of a 40-year career a fantasy.

By exploring different career paths and picking one you actually like, you’ll have the passion to hold onto your position longer than those who are just there for the paycheck, and you’ll have the desire to learn new skills that will make it easier for you to switch jobs when the time comes.

Travel the world

Don’t be in a rush to jump straight into a career path straight out of college or high school. Take a year or two to explore the world, as it will expose you to different cultures, life philosophies, and ways of living life.

Along the way, you may gain the inspiration to pursue studies in a certain area, or you may come across digital workers.

In the latter case, learning how they combine technology and work skills to make perpetual travel possible will allow you to experience the globe for as long as you please, and it will make you a trustworthy freelancer, as digital nomads face more challenges than those bound to a single location.

Stop ruminating and start doing

You may have many dreams about how you want your life to look, but if you don’t pick yourself up off the couch and take the first step to make them a reality, you’ll just stumble into a survival job, and you’ll end up dissatisfied with your life.

Write down your dreams, break them into actionable steps, set a deadline for their completion, and get to work on them.

Heck yes or no

However, you might be wondering which dreams are worth chasing. Ask yourself this: when I think about this specific goal, do I get lightheaded with excitement? If the answer is yes, draft plans towards its completion, and get moving. If you are vaguely bored with a potential objective, cut it loose and move on.

We only get one shot at life (as far as we know)

While certain religions beg to differ, there’s no way to know for sure whether this is only life we get. You don’t get to know before you die, so it’s best to simply assume that you won’t get another chance to be awesome … so act accordingly.

Don’t Let These Ideas Prevent You From Saving for Retirement

No one wants really wants to think about retirement planning. When we are young, retirement seems so far away that saving doesn’t seem especially urgent, and when we are older, retirement seems so close that we think there is no point starting to save so late in the game. There is a strange sort of “magical thinking” that allows many of us to avoid thinking about what we know cannot be put off forever. But as industry professionals like Springer Financial Advisors will confirm, it is never too late or too early to begin saving for your retirement.  Here are some of the common misconceptions that need to be challenged.

It’s too late for me to save

As people approach retirement, many may begin to realize that they will have to find a way to pay the bills without a steady paycheck.  Perhaps there is a bit in the bank, but the potential that they will live for decades after they leave the workforce can be very daunting.  At that point, there may be an inclination to throw up their hands and let fate decide how things will go.  They may think that with only ten or five years until retirement, there is no way that they can possibly save enough to make a difference, and so they might as well not even bother trying.  This sort of fatalism may be understandable, but it is important to resist this kind of thinking.  The reality is that it is never too late to begin saving for retirement.  The later you accept the reality of your impending retirement, the more important it is that you work with an experienced financial planner to help you find the best way to make the most of the resources that you have.

I have plenty of time to save

It is true that people just entering the work force do have plenty of time to save, and they can probably delay implementing a serious savings plan for a number of years without seriously jeopardizing their future retirement.  It is understandable that young people will want to do this – for many, this is the first time in their lives that they have had enough disposable income to take vacations, drive a new car or buy a home.  However, math doesn’t lie, and the fact is that small amounts saved from your twenties will amount to a far greater nest egg than larger amounts saved later in life.  This can be done without compromising your ability to buy a home or take a vacation, within reason, and this is the biggest favor that your current self can do for your future self.

In different ways, we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to planning for our financial futures – that is exactly why it is important to seek the guidance of a financial planner who can help to dispel the myths about retirement.  Remember, it is never too early or too late to make your retirement as secure as possible.

How to Get That Perfect Smile

For many years I really hated my teeth, when the time came to take photos, I’d be the one at the back of the group with my mouth closed and my smile would appear like a grimace. I have to be honest, I was probably guilty in my teens of not looking after them properly and this really didn’t set me up well for later life. A few years ago however I made the decision that I was going to fix my smile, I wanted to be able to smile with confidence and not feel conscious when I was talking that people were looking at my teeth.

I spoke with my dentist, the fantastic Dr Peter Spennato who gave me plenty of helpful advice and tips on how to do so. Here I sit, 3 years later with a smile to be proud of and I wanted to share with you how you can go and get that bright white smile that you have always wanted.

Surgery

If you want a quick fix and you have the money to do so then you can opt to have dental surgery to fix your teeth in one fell swoop. Veneers are a great fix if your teeth are simply beyond repair or if you want and instant transformation. What basically happens when you get veneers fitted is that your existing teeth are shaved down and in their place the dental surgeon will put porcelain or composite veneers, a sort of plate on the front of your teeth. These veneers are very strong, they will last you for life and they cannot be stained. Once you decide to get veneers, you will never be able to go back to your original teeth which is something you should bear in mind before deciding.

Braces or Invisalign

Metal braces have been used for years to fix people’s teeth, they are designed to move the teeth slowly until they are in place. Many people think that once you become an adult that your teeth can no longer be shaped but this is not the case and metal braces can help people of all ages to improve the shape and form of their teeth. Invisalign is a relatively new treatment which act exactly the same as braces do yet instead of having unsightly metal across your teeth you will have an invisible gumshield-like device placed across your teeth.

Teeth Whitening

If you have more of an issue with the color of your teeth over the actually shape of them then a tooth whitening procedure can be a great way to quickly fix your smile. If you get your teeth whitened, it won’t last forever but you can keep going back and getting the treatment again. There are many different ways that a dentist will use to whiten your teeth, you can opt to have this done with laser treatment or choose from a range of chemicals and bleaches, the choice is yours and each comes with its own benefits and disadvantages.

The key to getting the smile that you have always wanted is to chat with your dentist and just do it, the more time that you waste thinking about it the more you will feel self conscious and lack confidence in your smile.

Grassroots Lobbying Strategies that Work

The idea of average citizens lobbying the government is nearly as old as our current government system. For hundreds of years people have used grass roots ways to make an impression on their elected officials about topics important to them. Today there are dozens of experts, like Jack Bonner, who have made grassroots lobbying an art form.

Grassroots lobbying methods have always borne fruit because they demonstrate that the people are listening and watching, and if the official does not respond he or she may risk being voted or kicked out of office. So its impact cannot be overstated. Today there are lots of ways to do grassroots lobbying.

The best approach is to focus on a few things that you can manage well than attempt to do a lot and do a poor job on all of them. Here are the most effective ways to grassroots lobby. You should pick the ones you can manage.

Personal meetings: These will be more difficult to get, especially if your representative spends the bulk of his time in another part of the state, or even Washington. But if you can get a meeting, this face time is perhaps the most powerful way to convey your issues. Again have all of your points able to be clearly annunciated.

Petitions: Both the online and the printed versions are effective in showing that people are concerned about your issue. If you create an online petition make sure you can print it with the signatures. There are many organizations including Move.org, offering ways to create online petitions. Many of these have received hundreds of thousands of signatures.

Town-hall meetings: There is nothing more powerful than getting passionate people together in a live forum where they can discuss their grievances and ways to get them dealt with. You should hold them in areas affected by the issues and invite relevant officials to attend and participate.

Phone calls: Every official who has input on your issues has an office and phones. If it is an elected official, he has to take calls from his constituents. Your goals should be to have many people call and to do it over a sustained period. Before you make the calls however, make sure you have laid out a plan of what you will say and the questions you want to ask.

Personal letters: Short of a meeting, sending a personal letter addressed to your targeted official is a sure way to get attention. Make sure that your group sends all of their letters at a coordinated time so they make the most impact.

Lobbying at the Legislature: You need to do this in groups as large as you can muster. The idea is to show up when you know the official and you want to sustain your lobbying effort for a large part of the day.

You may have tons of enthusiasm about your issue and are ready to do whatever it takes to get it the deserved attention. And there may be many others who share your passion, but either are not willing or able to keep up with all of the activities you would like to plan. Then there will be those who support your issue but not as passionately. For these groups you need to pick and choose how to best use them. Do you get them to come for one lobbying day? Should you ask them to write one personal letter a week for a month?  Do you get them to attend a town hall meeting where they make lots of noise? These are important decisions to make because you will have to consider people’s time and availability as you move your grassroots lobbying efforts forward.

What Are The Prices And Fees For Using IRS-EIN-Tax-ID?

Whenever it comes to submitting forms to the government, you already know that there are usually fees and costs that go with it. No matter what you do, Uncle Sam will try to squeeze a few extra dollars out of you in the process. As a new business, applying for a federal tax ID number is no different, although there is an easier way to submit your paperwork, rather than dealing with the IRS directly. IRS-EIN-Tax-ID application prices are comparable to what you would pay anywhere else, but the convenience is second to none. To help you understand what’s involved, let’s look at the application process.

Choosing an Entity Type

As a new business, what kind of company will you be? A sole proprietorship? A corporation? There are many different options from which to choose, and most of them will require an Employer ID Number (EIN) to file properly come tax time. If you’re unsure of which entity you should be, irs-ein-tax-id.com offers brief explanations regarding each one as well as the benefits and downsides of choosing them.

Filling Out the Form

No one likes to do paperwork, even less so when taxes are involved. Fortunately, you can do everything online, meaning that you don’t have to waste paper or cramp your hand by writing all of your information down manually. Simply type in the various details (as spelled out on the form), and you’re ready to go as soon as you hit “submit.”

Paying the Fee

As you may have noticed, that is fee without an S. When you apply for a tax ID online you only have to pay a one-time expense of $185. Best of all, because the process is so streamlined, you can get approval within hours so that you can get your business up and running. Also, should there be any issues with your forms, you can request a full refund, minus a small processing fee of $10.

Applying for an EIN may seem like a complicated process, but now it doesn’t have to be.

What Is EWG Verified?

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When moms and dads shop for bath and body care products for their little ones, they want to be confident in the safety of those products. The scary truth is not all products on the market are safe for babies. Many products contain chemicals and unnecessary additives that can be harmful for a baby’s sensitive skin. As part of the Baby Mantra promise, every products is all natural, safe and EWG Verified.

Environmental Working Group (EWG)

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) focuses on helping people live healthier lives in an environment that is also healthy. Through education and research, the non-profit drives positive change for consumers. Behind its mission, the EWG is dedicated to informing and educating consumers so that we all can make better choices when it comes to the products we buy and the brands we support. The EWG Verified program is one of the most impactful ways this is promoted. For a product to be EWG Verified, all ingredients must be evaluated for any potential harm they may cause and cannot be listed on the EWG’s “unacceptable list.” Additionally, the verification approval takes into account the entire manufacturing process to make sure all criteria is met. If a product is EWG Verified, parents can trust that it is safe and healthy for their baby.

Natural Baby Care Products

Searching for organic baby skin care that is also EWG Verified has been made simple through the safe and healthy products of Baby Mantra. Made from natural ingredients and sustainable manufacturing processes, Baby Mantra is dedicated to providing the highest quality, earth-friendly baby skin care products possible. With bubble bath, shampoos and lotions, baby’s skin will stay protected while moms can rest assured that their little one is safe from harmful chemicals and additives.

Your Guide To Mardi Gras, New Orleans

Mardi Gras is a celebration of outstanding food, high jinks, late night partying and deep American soul and you can find it in the heart of the south, New Orleans. Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday as it is colloquially known is a huge marching procession through the center of New Orleans where people dress up, dance and sing the day and night away in a colorful and loud display life. Tasty food, creative drinks and lots of fun is the order of the day at Mardi Gras and if you want to be part of the action this year then here is your handy guide.

When?

The idea of the festival is to have a final blow out before lent and as such the celebrations take place throughout the two weeks leading up to shrove Tuesday. The two biggest days of the festival are Fat Monday and Fat Tuesday, these are the days when the processions take place throughout the town.

How Does it All Take Place?

The parades that take place though many streets in New Orleans are organized by Krewes, these are local social clubs who put together the event and organize the floats. There are several different types of floats which go through the city, each organized by various Krewes and as the floats pass they will throw out beaded necklaces to the people on the street.

Resellers are encouraged to wear colorful clothing as well as costumes and masks to the event and each year sees some pretty outlandish costumes. It should be noted that members of the Krewes will not wear fancy dress until after Fat Tuesday. Laws that exist about concealing your identity are suspended for a day and the revelers can wear whatever they like across their faces.

King of the Carnival

Each year the Krewes of the carnival have the responsibility of erecting the king of the carnival, Rex. The Rex motto is Pro Bono Publico—for the public good” and this is placed in the center of the french quarter of the city to celebrate the festival.

What to Expect as a Visitor

Heading to New Orleans Mardi Gras as a visitor you should expect to have the party of your life, a non-stop wall to wall festival which involves every bar and eatery across the city. The festival has also become a celebration of all things New Orleans which include the food so expect to see lots of good, old fashioned southern fried food on offer.

Hotels will be tough to get so make sure that you get in quick if you want to enjoy the Mardi Gras in style. The throws which are tossed from the floats can be of great value so try to hang on to what you manage to grab. Other than the parade you will be able to enjoy a lot of fun in the city bars and on the city streets as you enjoy the carnival together and one thing is for sure that once you have been to Mardi Gras once, you will want to come back again and again.

Your Guide to ‘The Day Of The Dead’ in Mexico

As far as worldwide festivals go, there are none that are more haunting, more colorful, more spiritual and more all encompassing than Day of the Dead is to the Mexican people. Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is a celebration and remembrance by the Mexicans of those who have passed on and across three days, they will use rituals and traditions in order to give thanks to the lives of their loved ones and remember with fondness the lives which they lived.

Let’s take a look at exactly what this festival consists of and how it is celebrated.

When and Where?

Celebrations take place throughout Mexico, some towns take it much more seriously and have far greater celebrations than others but all Mexicans celebrate this festival. Day of the Dead takes place between October 31st and November 2nd with each day relevant for the different souls who have died.

On the 31st of October, Halloween is widely celebrated throughout Mexico, as it is in many other parts of the World. Traditionally this would have been part of the day of the dead celebrations but modern influences have altered this day slightly.

 

The 1st of November is dia de los inocentes and dia de los angelitos, this is the day that is dedicated to those who were killed by accidents or children who have died. The 2nd of November is dia de los muertos o dia de los difuntos which means day of the dead and this is the day where all of those who have died are celebrated.

What Are The Rituals and Traditions

The majority of day of the dead traditions are centered around the ofrendas that are given towards the dead. These ofrendas are displays which often consist of similar objects that are placed in the home, on the streets, in churches or even at gravesides to remember the dead.

The offenders usually consist of  the highly scented Cempasuchil flower, orange in color, these flowers are to attract the should of the dead. The altar or ofrenda will also be set on three tiers to represent the three stages of life, below Earth, Earth and the Heavens. Around the altar you will find water to quench thirst on the journey to the afterlife, salt, to heal wounds and candles to signify life. You will also find skulls and foods and drinks that the dead person enjoyed placed on their altar as well as a photo of the dead. These altars will remain in place for around a week.

Pan de Muerto

A sweet bread is often consumed around the day of the dead festival and is a loaf-style bread, heavily sugared with bone-shaped portions.

Dress

The clavier style has become heavily associated with day of the dead and Halloween costumes, these are living dead style outfits that are incredibly intricate and impressive to see. The female version of the costume is the Catarina, a beautiful women’s outfit with skulls for faces.

Wherever you go throughout Mexico during this time of year you will see altars and processions for day of the dead and it is a great festival to be involved with.