Inject Motivation Intо Yоur Workplace

Whеn уоu work іn аn office аll day іt саn gеt frustrating, colleagues mау annoy уоu аnd уоur motivation tо start thе day mау diminish. Onе оf thе bеѕt ways tо ensure thаt уоu аlwауѕ remain excited аbоut уоur job іѕ bу tаkіng part іn team building activities. Thіѕ соuld include аnуthіng frоm white water rafting tо simply gоіng оut аnd enjoying а meal wіth уоur workmates. If уоu аrе stuck fоr ideas fоr team based activities оr уоu fancy injecting ѕоmе fun іntо уоur office environment, hеrе аrе оur top tips fоr а cohesive workforce! Onе оf thе mоѕt popular choices fоr team based activities іѕ аn outdoor assault course.

Althоugh thіѕ mау scare some, mаnу оf thе courses аrе асtuаllу designed tо bе fun аnd nоt tо put уоu thrоugh уоur fitness paces. Thе purpose оf thеѕе activities іѕ tо encourage teams tо work together, supporting оnе аnоthеr ѕо thаt еvеrуоnе саn finish thе task аt hand. Mаnу courses аrе located іn muddy fields thеrеfоrе іt іѕ recommended tо wear оld clothes аrе chances аrе уоu wіll bе gеttіng dirty. If уоu prefer ѕоmеthіng а lіttlе cleaner whу nоt treat thе ladies іn thе office tо а team bonding spa session? Spas аrе а great place tо relax аnd unwind рluѕ а day оf massages аnd facials wіll dеfіnіtеlу improve thе moral оf thе office. Thеrе аrе plenty оf great deals аvаіlаblе fоr corporate groups lооkіng tо spoil themselves, ѕоmе еvеn include а spot оf lunch ѕо уоu саn rеаllу mаkе а day оf it.

Anоthеr great choice fоr а team activity іѕ white water rafting аnd оnе оf thе mоѕt popular locations fоr team building іn thе north east оf England іѕ а spectacular white water rafting course. Battle thе rapids wіth уоur work colleagues аnd find уоur wау аrоund thе twists аnd turns оf thе flowing water. If fast paced water іѕ nоt rеаllу уоur thіng thеrе аrе plenty оf оthеr water based activities tо trу including а relaxing sail аnd еvеn kayaking. Wіth ѕо mаnу dіffеrеnt thіngѕ tо try, thеrе іѕ nо excuse fоr letting team moral slip. Nоt оnlу wіll а team activity boost thе motivation іn уоur office, уоu wіll bе аblе tо gеt tо knоw уоur colleagues оutѕіdе оf thе Monday tо Friday daily grind. If уоu find уоurѕеlf watching thе clock аnd wishing fоr thе weekend, а fun activity wіth уоur work mates mіght јuѕt bе thе answer.

3 Things you MUST do in Lisbon

I fell in love with Lisbon the first time I visited. The capital city of Portugal never fails to impress and my love for the place seems to deepen each and every time I go back. From the great weather, warm people, amazing food and majestic beauty this city really does have it all.

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Lisbon may have the crown of being the largest city in Portugal but it’s really quite small if you compare is to the other capital cities in the west of Europe. Don’t think that it’s size is a negative thing because it means that you can explore the city in couple of days. The city is also blessed with some top class accommodation as well as budget accommodation, if you want to make your trip that little bit extra special then you should check out the Corinthia Hotel Lisbon, this place will blow you away!

So once you’ve sorted the flights and your room it’s time to think about what you have to see and do when you arrive. Here are 3 things that you simply must do!

Eat, Eat, Eat

If you’re trying to keep to a strict diet then leave it at the airport because it would be a true crime to come all the way and not eat all of the delicious food that is on offer. If you have a sweet tooth then Portugal is the place for you. You have to try the apple tart and the custard tart, I promise you will want seconds.

Hit the beach

One of the main reasons why I love Lisbon is because it is so close to the Atlantic Ocean. When you get up in the morning and roam the streets the sound of seagulls is great, it gives you a true holiday feeling. Get to Carcavelos to see where the locals love to hangout.

Go out

So if you like nightlife and a bit of a party then you will have yet another reason to love Lisbon it’s no big secret that the party scene here can be wild. But it’s completely up to you, if you want to live it up and dance till the sun rises you can. You can easily just chill out at some vibrant bars.

Why you should go to London

London is one of the most vibrant and historic cities in the world, it is also one of the largest cities in Europe that you must visit at some point in your life and is incredibly tourist friendly for people as there are so many hotels in London as well as flights, so if you need a good one why not check out London City Suites by Montcalm. Read on to find out more about one of the greatest cities in the world.

Markets

London is teeming with markets in various locations so it doesn’t matter where you stay, there is sure to be a place for you to visit around the local area. There are a large number of markets in London and these include food stalls, fresh produce, fish, meat and a number vintage goods. A market such as Old Spitalfields is known for it’s variety of foods and a market like Portobello is known for the large variety of vintage goods that it sells.

Transportation

London has one of the best and most organised transport systems in the world that will allow you to go to anywhere you need to go. It has an extensive national, international, underground (the tube), light and overground rail networks. On top of this it also has an unfathomable number of buses that go basically everywhere possible in the city. The frequency of the services available is also very  good, so it doesn’t matter where you stay in London, you will be at your destination in no time.

The other advantage of transportation is the large number of airports that London has, so there is no reason not to go to London!

Tourist attractions

What would a city be without tourist attractions? London certainly has a number of tourist attractions that are rich in history and culture. There are many museums and historical sites that you must see such as Buckingham palace, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.

London has a tourist attraction for any kind of traveller to visit and combined with the superb transportation system, accessing each one should be a walk in the park.

Food

London is incredibly diverse in terms of cultures and nationalities, with a large number of Polish, Brazilian and Caribbean  people to name a few, this has certainly influenced the food and you can try a truly diverse range of food from a perfect steak at a top class restaurant to small Jamaican cafes serving spicy jerk chicken or mutton curry.

The Ebola Outbreak and Your Travels

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The recent Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea has received a lot of media attention of late and for very good reason, Ebola is an extremely deadly disease and has no known vaccine or defined treatment method. As the world is becoming more and more international and borders for travel begin to fall it is important that we all exercise a duty of care for our friends, family and others during and after travelling. We all have a responsibility to keep Ebola to a minimum, as well as other diseases. This Ebola crisis has caused many organisations to seek an effective method of treatment and one simple way you can help to contribute is to donate to the Ebola crisis through charity organisations such as UNICEF.

Understanding the Symptoms

Understanding the symptoms of Ebola and other diseases that are a risk in the country that you are visiting is extremely important, you need to make it a priority to learn some basic symptoms of diseases so that you can seek medical attention if necessary. One of the most dangerous things about Ebola is that the initial symptoms are things such as headaches, sore throat and muscle weakness, and these symptoms are very similar to influenza and other illnesses, and can cause a high risk of misdiagnosis.

Avoiding Ebola

Until more is known about how to treat the Ebola virus the best way to avoid the disease is to avoid areas where the outbreak has occurred, this is not to say that these areas should be avoided forever, but until the epidemic in these countries is controlled, or better diagnosis and treatment is developed it is best to avoid these countries if possible.

Be aware of other people that may have travelled to affected areas, you need to be aware of the fact that you will come into contact with others on your travels that may have been to one of the affected areas and this applies not only to Ebola and is a great general rule. A good example of this is letting quarantine and customs know that you have been to a place such as South America, which poses many risks due to the various tropical diseases. In the same way it is important to let people know where you have been, so that

 

 

Best Pride events around the world

The first demonstration to publicly champion the rights of gay people was a picket protest outside Independence Hall, Philadelphia on July 4, 1965. This “Annual Reminder” continued year on year until, in 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, resulting in several nights of rioting. This was the point when the “glad to be gay” concept really took root, with the first Gay Pride march in US history marking the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1970. Happily, a great deal of progress has been made since those troubled times and today the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are widely celebrated around the world in a series of festivals, parades and other events. Here are a few of the best…

Best Pride events around the world

São Paulo Gay Pride parade 

Reckoned by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the biggest Gay Pride parade in the world, the Avenida Paulista in the city of São Paulo in Brazil throngs with participants every year; organizers claim total attendance in 2013 was five million people. The superb carnival atmosphere at Pride events, enlivened by striking, imaginative floats and outrageous fashions, means that anything goes when it comes to parade costumes, including sexy lingerie for men, plus weird and wonderful makeup, hairstyles and accessories for everyone.

Pride Toronto

In June 2014 Canada’s largest annual festival was awarded the privilege of hosting WorldPride, an international celebration to commemorate the history of the gay rights movement and celebrate the present. Every year in Toronto, ten days of celebrations include parades, parties in local parks and people from around the world gathering in neighborhoods and downtown across the city. It’s estimated that between 500,000 and one million people attend. Live music of all genres rock indoor and outdoor venues with events such as Alterna-Queer – experimental, homocore, rock and punk – and Blockorama – dancehall, house, hip hop, R&B and roots reggae.

London Pride

London Pride is one of Europe’s longest-running LGBT events and has been celebrating sexual diversity in the UK capital every June since 1972. With a number of major sponsors and plenty of sideshows, as well as the traditional parade, everybody is guaranteed a great time. Depending on preferences, participants can enjoy the Pride Picnic in the Park, listen to the London Gay Symphony Orchestra and attend a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, in addition to watching the main parade. In 2013, some 15,000 people took part in the parade, while in 2014 this rose to 30,000 people, led by Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita and watched by approximately 750,000 spectators.

Pride in the USA

Among many other cities across the US, there are major parades in New York, where it all began, and in San Francisco, home of the iconic rainbow flag now used all over the world. The experience of participating in Pride is said to be exhilarating and exhausting in about equal measure. Those willing to check out their nearest Pride event will enjoy a marvelously colorful spectacle and a great fun day out.

 

 

 

America’s best festivals

The history of the festival dates back to thousands of years Before the Common Era, in Ancient Egypt and Greece. As a popular way of getting people together, festivals began to proliferate in the 20th century, with the Woodstock Festival of 1969 arguably the best known, though the Monterey Pop Festival in California predated it by two years.

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Today there is a profusion of festivals of all kinds throughout America, and though music and arts festivals are still huge events, there are a whole range of gatherings in cities and towns as well as unusual venues such as the desert and open countryside.

Festivals in America come in all sorts of guises, from the wild and wacky, such as the Frozen Dead Guys Days in Nederland, high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, to the serene and spectacular sight of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico. Festivals of food and wine are always popular, with Aspen and New York as hosts, and film festivals such as Sundance in Utah and Telluride in Colorado celebrate the art of filmmaking worldwide.

With so many festivals to choose from it can be difficult to decide, so here are three of the most interesting to consider:

Burning Man

A fascinating glimpse into counter-culture and stunning visual art, Burning Man takes place in the week running up to Labor Day, the end of August, in Black Rock City. This a temporary “city” created for the event, around 120 miles to the north of Reno in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. It attracts some 60,000 free spirits every year who participate in a whole range of workshops and events. It’s not a spectator event as such, though there will be plenty to see. It offers people opportunities to learn about themselves and others in a free-spirited environment, celebrating life and all the strange things that can happen during it. Participants can expect a week-long visual extravaganza with, of course, plenty of fire!

Newport Folk Festival

The oldest folk festival in the country takes place for three days at the end of July in Newport, Rhode Island, at Fort Adams State Park. The harbor can be seen from the site, and it’s been the setting for many world famous musicians, including Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Fleet Foxes and Emmylou Harris. Apart from the eclectic and high quality range of music on offer there is a Craft Market and plenty of good food and drink.

Maine Lobster Festival

This festival in Rockland, Maine is more akin to a county fair, with some 30,000 folk making their way there every year. The festival takes place around the end of July and the start of August and centers, naturally, on the lobster. There’s plenty of other seafood to try, and there are competitions, music and craft stalls to enjoy.

Travelers wanting to experience these festivals can check out affordable flights from Flights.com to get as close as possible to the venues.

A guide to Palma de Majorca

Palma de Majorca is the capital of Majorca, as well as being close to some of the island’s top holiday hotspots. We’re going to run through some of the highlights of Palma itself, before going on to give you the lowdown on a couple of the nearby resorts.

Palma de Majorca: culture in the sun

Palma de Majorca has a wonderful coastal location, with the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean never far away. It also boasts surprisingly beautiful and varied architecture, with its stunning Gothic cathedral, the meandering streets of the Arab Quarter and the wide tree-lined boulevard of La Rambla just a few examples of its diversity.

Art galleries, boutique stores, museums and a host of other fascinating attractions are tucked away on its streets – you just need to take the time to wander around and discover them for yourself.

Palma is also known for its chic restaurants, lively festivals and vibrant nightlife, making it the perfect place for a well-rounded break.

Resorts near Palma

However, Palma de Majorca is about much more than just its bustling city centre, with this stretch of the island’s coast home to stunning beaches. Many of these have turned into resorts in their own right, and we’re going to give you some information about a few of the best.

If you’d like to search for accommodation in any of these resorts – or elsewhere in Majorca – check out this website.

Palma Nova – Palma Nova was one of Majorca’s first purpose-built holiday resorts and it’s ideally situated to allow you to take advantage of all that Palma has to offer, when you’re not soaking up the sun on the beach, of course. Palma Nova is located on the western side of the Bay of Palma alongside a stunning stretch of sand. It’s perfect for families, as it’s not as rowdy as nearby Magaluf, and isn’t as high-end as Portals Nous.

Portals Nous – As we’ve already mentioned, this is one of the more exclusive resorts around Palma, having been developed alongside the chic Puerto Portals. The hills surrounding Portals Nous are lined with expensive villas and the town itself is relatively quiet, with a few select restaurants, bars and shops, but none of the livelier establishments you’ll find in neighbouring Magaluf or Palma.

Santa Ponsa – Santa Ponsa is tucked away on a cove on the south-west coast of the island, within easy reach of Palma and Magaluf. The beach here is wonderful – think soft, golden sand that’s lapped by a calm, blue sea. There are various water sports on offer, including scuba diving and jet skiing, while horse riding is popular along the coast and in the hills surrounding the resort. There are also three golf courses in the resort, making it a wonderful base if you’re keen to tee off in the Majorcan sunshine.

Paguera – Paguera is further west than any of our previous examples, and interestingly has an artificially-created beach. This is a favourite destination among German holidaymakers and is reasonably quiet, with a pedestrianised promenade that runs along the seafront. If you’re keen to get active on your break, this is a good place to choose, as it offers easy access to a number of hiking trails that follow the coastline and run further inland.

Five reasons to visit Grantham

If you’re visiting the Midlands, Grantham may well not be on your list of places to visit, but if not, you would be missing a trick. Grantham is one of the most historically interesting market towns in the country. Famous as the birthplace of Margaret Thatcher and Sir Isaac Newton, it has a wealth of historical buildings, inns and churches. You can get to Grantham using First Hull Trains, which run from London Kings Cross, Stevenage, Retford, Doncaster, Brough, Selby, Howden and Hull. Here is a quick run-down of must-see attractions in this popular tourist destination.

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St Wulfram’s Church

This is among the country’s oldest medieval churches and a real draw for history geeks. It was built in the 14th century and is made from Lincolnshire sourced limestone. The spire stands at a dizzying 282 feet, one of the tallest in the UK. With a newly updated visitor centre, the church is a delight for all ages. There are carved animals to find on the screens inside, a chained library and crypt to visit. For more information visit St Wulfram’s Church website.

The King’s School

The famous King’s School where Isaac Newton (later to become Sir) attended and was educated still teaches local Grantham boys. The original building Newton was taught in dates back to 1492, and he scratched his name on a desk there. The school isn’t open for visitors, but it is still thrilling to take a look at the historical exterior.

Woolsthorpe Manor

For science fanatics, a trip to the house in which Isaac Newton (later to become Sir) grew up and was to be the place where he made many of his important discoveries, is a treat. Want to see the apple tree which inspired his discovery of the law of gravity? You can! It still stands! Opening times can be found on the National Trust website at http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/woolsthorpe-manor/

Belton House

Just three miles to the north of Grantham’s town centre, you will find Belton House, a beautiful country house dating back to the 17th century, nestled among 1,300 acres of beautiful parkland. Wander through the deer park, explore the immaculate gardens and tour the house itself. You can take a ‘below stairs’ tour to experience what life was like for the servants, and look for Bertie Brownlow, the famous Belton House greyhound whose likeness can be found all around the house and grounds.

Grantham Museum

Learn about Grantham’s fascinating past, including social and archaeological history, right back to the Anglo Saxon era and forward to the up to the present day. Don’t forget that if you are travelling by train, you can save as much as 60% on your train tickets to Grantham if you book ahead at www.hulltrains.co.uk/destinations/trains-to-grantham.

These are just a few of the attractions on offer in Grantham. With its independent shops and quaint tea rooms, it makes a perfect day out or weekend break destination. If you want to learn more about what is on offer in the town, visit the Grantham Tourist Information website at http://www.southwestlincs.com/visit-grantham/ or visit the centre in the Guildhall Arts Centre on arrival.

 

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My mother’s family holiday tips

Some of my fondest child hood memories are from my family holidays, they were a time when my parents were totally relaxed and I got to see them for a whole week with out their work getting in the way. I think that nearly all of us have enjoyed our family holidays, they offer a great time for a family to bond and have an amazing time together. I was fortunate enough to go to several different countries; Spain, USA, Greece, France, Turkey and many others, but it wasn’t the destination that made the difference it was the fact that I got to spend time with my family. Playing on the beach for countless hours and making new friends was always something I looked forward to year after year, the reason that the holidays were such a resounding success was because my parents planned them so well.

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I thought it all just happened naturally, I only found out the other day after talking to my mother how much careful panning she put in to each holiday. So here are my mother’s top three tips for a family holiday, she certainly know her stuff because she was able to keep a family of 6 happy each and every time we went away. Have you planned a family holiday before? If you have then share what worked and what didn’t work for you, just type your thought in the comment section at the bottom of this page. If we all contribute then there is more chance for all of us to have some great family holidays!

Choose a holiday that the kids will love

It is a fact, you will have a great time if your kids are always happy. So don’t drag them along on a trip that they will hate, they don’t really want to be hiking up mountains for the whole time, they want to be having fun. You need to find the perfect compromise; a holiday that you like but they love! Find a holiday that will keep them happy at all times and that you will enjoy.

Always be realistic

You really do need to condor what is achievable if you are travelling with your children, I know that it is your holiday as well but there is only so much you can do when you are bringing the family along with you Remember that they won’t be small forever and the older they get the more adventurous you can be on your holiday break, so keep everything simple to start with and build up slowly. Also, never promise the kids anything that you may not be able to follow through with, this is the easiest way to spoil their holiday.

Plan, plan and then plan some more!

If you plan carefully then you will make sure that the holiday is as smooth as can be. Check up on visa requirements, vaccinations and the latest information about the destination you are going to. So give the tour operator a call or if you are travelling by yourself call the doctor and the relevant embassy. Planning early and carefully gives you more time to have fun on your holiday, it also makes sure that there will not be any unexpected surprises!

Inspirational gardens from around the world

With the cold weather receding and spring moving in, now is the perfect time to undertake a little garden renovation.  The weather is starting to warm up, and with increased temperatures and levels of light comes new growth in the garden.  Many garden lovers take their inspiration from the great gardens of the world, and the good news is that it does not take a gardening expert to achieve some great results.

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Before attempting any garden renovation, however, it is important to get the basics right.  The garden should be in good condition before any planting or alterations begin, and the space should be kept in good condition through ongoing maintenance throughout the gardening year.  This is why the beginning of the year is a perfect time to check out garden equipment, making sure it is working well and, where necessary, ordering new parts or spares from a reputable supplier – www.psep.biz, for example.

After completing this task, it is time to sit back and do a little garden browsing.  The following are some of the world’s great gardens, and they can serve as fine sources of inspiration.

Versailles, France

It took whole regiments of men to create this legendary landscape, but it is perfectly possible to recreate elements of it in a modern garden, with far less manpower!  The swirling, curvaceous shapes that characterize much of Versailles look wonderful when recreated in the form of flowerbeds.  Such a design can bring a touch of old-style French glamour to even the most modern yard.  Versailles is almost defined by the way in which it plays with shapes, to the point where almost nothing is left in its natural form, so topiary is a key feature.  Other options include the use of plants in large pots (for example, bay trees), making this garden style a viable inspiration for even the smallest of spaces.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

In sharp contrast, this garden is all clear lines and clean angles, providing the perfect backdrop for any sculptures, statues, and other accent pieces, rather as an art gallery is carefully designed to set off the paintings to their best advantage.  For gardeners who love to display sculptures outside, this garden provides top quality inspiration.  However, to recreate this style will require some solid garden equipment and a flair for topiary!

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Scotland

Distinctive for being inspired by ideas rather than nature, the design of this garden is inspired by the laws of science and mathematics.  Therefore, this garden uses a lot of repeated patterns and geometry.  The use of vertical space is another striking feature of this garden.  Taking this as inspiration, gardeners may want to try growing plants in an upward fashion, for example on trellises or canes.  Once again, the horticulture is somewhat in the background, but it is still essential to the garden’s design.

Whichever of these gardens inspires, remember that the gardener is in charge of the direction of his or her own garden, so any aspect of it can be changed or altered.  All gardeners will want to make alterations over time, and they may chance upon a style that really suits them.  Finding a way of expressing personality through a garden is one of horticulture’s most satisfying achievements.