Archives for June 2018

5 Reasons Why Unicorns Have Soared In Popularity

Chances are that you’ve seen bright colored unicorn merchandise on the shelves of a wide variety of stores during the past few months, if you’re curious as to why unicorns are so in right now, simply continue reading to find out why unicorns have become so popular.


5 Reasons why unicorns have soared in popularity:

1. Rainbow or unicorn inspired food and drinks have started to trend

One reason why unicorns may have skyrocketed in popularity in the past few months is that rainbow or unicorn inspired food and drinks have started to trend on social media platforms. This trend may have developed as a result of Starbucks releasing unicorn inspired rainbow frappes, which thousands of prominent bloggers and social media influencers were pictured holding.

After being hashtagged by thousands of bloggers, the term unicorn started to trend worldwide on sites such as Twitter. Which only increased the popularity of unicorns. Especially amongst Millennials who log into their social media accounts over 10 times a day and who want to remain up to date with the latest on-trend products.

2. Fantasy based creatures are becoming more popular

Unicorns aren’t the only fantasy based creatures which are so in right now, as mermaids are also experiencing a huge surge in popularity. Which shows that there fantasy based creatures, in general, are trending right now. As an example, chances are that you’ve seen water bottles for sale which have the text unicorn tears or mermaid tears featured on the front of each bottle.

3. Once a few stores successfully sold unicorn products, countless more stores decided to sell their own unicorn inspired products

Stores and brands quickly pick up on new trends, so once a few stores quickly sold out of unicorn themed merchandise such as unicorn mugs, pillows, t-shirts, caps, stationery and iPhone cases, countless more stores and companies quickly designed and manufactured their own unicorn themed products.

Now, no matter whether you shop in physical stores or shop online, if you look for unicorn themed products you should find yourself spoilt for choice. As the variety of unicorn products currently available include everything from unicorn nail decals to unicorn cupcakes and clothing.

4. Unicorn products definitely stand out

Another reason why consumers have been so quick to snap up unicorn themed merchandise is that unicorn products tend to be sparkly, glittery or rainbow colored which ensures that they stand out on a shelf and are highly likely to sell out quickly. As most consumers want to purchase attractive, eye-catching products which their friends and strangers alike will compliment on a daily basis.

5. Unicorns are associated with positive connotations

When people think of unicorns they think of magical creatures, which are rare, special and unique. All qualities which most individuals would like to possess themselves. After all in a world which boasts billions of people, who wouldn’t want to be rare, special and unique like a unicorn?

So don’t be surprised if you see unicorn products everywhere you go for the next few months, as unicorns are definitely in right now.

Taking And Printing Photos Using HDR Mode

You may have noticed but never used HDR mode on your phone or camera. It stands for High Dynamic Range and has its roots in traditional film photography. It’s a technique or mode that captures a wide range of light and dark – the “dynamic range” – in a photo. Digitally, it’s an easy way to create detailed photos with complex tones by combining multiple exposures in one image. HDR takes a bit longer to process once you’ve clicked the shutter because the program is combining three different images into one. The end result is an effect that goes a long way to replicate what your eyes and brain are processing instead of what your camera normally shows.

Scenes with low light or backlighting benefit greatly from HDR. It brightens the foreground or your focal object without negatively affecting the well-lit areas. Landscapes that are brightly sunlit have a lot of light and shadow to work with, so large outdoor scenes offer great contrast for HDR. Outdoor portraits are often taken in the shade because harsh sunlight creates unattractive shadows and glare on faces. But HDR mode takes care of this by mitigating the unflattering effects.

HDR effects can become too extreme, making an image look surreal and strange under certain circumstances. Photos with too much contrast from the combined exposures and colour details can get overwhelming and create an uncanny feel.Images with movement – people, vehicles, wind effects, etc. – can become blurry due to the time it takes for your camera to take three pictures. You might, however, want to capture the movement of water. It’s good to experiment to see for yourself how it operates.Scenes that already have a nice contrast to them can be weakened by HDR mode because of the middling effect of the other images. It can wash out that nice natural shadow or outline. Same with colours – naturally brilliant and deep colours can be weakened or washed out.

When you’re ready to print your HDR photo, it’s important to find good quality printing services that use high-end materials. A boutique, professional printing shop like Printpartner.ca creates archival quality finished products by using the best techniques and equipment in the industry, combined with skilled handcrafted service. They can help you select the best medium to enhance your image and custom fit everything with ready-to-display mounts.

A range of mediums suit the vivid detail and colours of an HDR image. Professional printing services know how to achieve and present a full, accurate spectrum of colour, dynamic range, and detail with little noise or other disruptive effects. Print Partner hires artists and photographers who know how to translate a digital image to canvas, metal, or acrylicfor maximum quality. Lower quality papers and finishes reduce the character of HDR, making it pointless; so, choosing the best and proper medium is just as important as a great photo.

Metallic and acrylic surfaces allow for bold, complex, and vivid colours. Metal prints have superior HD quality and acrylic refracts light for a beautiful shine. Both mediums look spectacular with no frame or border for a contemporary feel. Glossy, satin, or lustre finishes also heighten the dynamic atmosphere and tone of the images, adding depth and even iridescence with a pearl finish. Gloss intensifies blacks and highlights. Satin or lustre adds a nice texture and durability and harkens back to darkroom printing.

Test out your HDR mode next time you’re shooting photos and discover what works for you.

5 Ways To Celebrate Your Kids’ Good Grades

After a long school year, classes are finally out, and report cards are home. You know how much hard work went into earning each of those As — and even those Bs! Your kids deserve a little treat. Whether it’s to celebrate straight As oran improvement from a D, rewarding their success in the classroom can help motivate them to try even harder next year. If you want to celebrate your star pupils’ end of year effort, check in with these tips. Here are five easy ways to reward them for a job well done without going over budget.

  1. Take them out to see a movie

Now that it’s summer, you can expect a season of summer blockbusters to hit the theaters. If you know your children have been waiting to see a specific film, make an afternoon or evening of it. Take them to your local cinema and treat them to some popcorn while catching the Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, or Ant-Man and the Wasp. Don’t worry if a family trip to the theaters is out of your budget. Considering the price of movie tickets nowadays, you wouldn’t be the only one. Bring the blockbusters to you and host a family movie night at home by turning your living room into a home theater.

  1. A fun decal for their Nintendo Switch

If you weren’t around to intervene, your kids would be playing their Nintendo Switch all day and all night. Considering how much time they’ll devote to their Switch this summer, they’d love a fun decal for their console.

In the past, decals weren’t an option because the unique surface of the Switch made it difficult for it to stick to the Joy-Cons without damaging them—even a company like dbrand had to recall their high-quality skins. Now, the new Nintendo Switch skins from dbrand have been recalibrated for the Switch, so you can apply these Switch decals without any worry. Check in with their skin builder and create a unique design with your kids, choosing from black camo or exclusive jewel toned Nintendo Switch skins. They’ll get a fun new look, and you’ll have the assurance of a scratch-free and grime-proof cover protecting this expensive system.

  1. Make them a special meal

Chances are your kids have a favorite meal, and it isn’t the roast chicken with a garden salad you were planning on making tonight. Let them pick the menu one night, regardless of the nutritional value of their choice. Whether it’s takeout pizza from the local pizzeria, macaroni and cheese with hot dogs, or homemade chocolate cake, indulge your little one’s taste buds in celebration of their hard work in the classroom.

4.Take them out for a free treat

Some of the country’s biggest retail and fast food chains are happy to reward top-earners with a free treat — which can help those families struggling with incredibly tight budgets. Check in with a list like this one to see which stores have a program that celebrates report cards. Most of them require you to bring the report card as proof to ensure your kids are eligible for their prize, so don’t forget to pack it. It’s also a good idea to call your local franchise to make sure they participate in these programs before you tell your kids about your plan. This will save you from disappointing them when the location you visit doesn’t hand out treats.

5.A giant Jenga set

If you struggle to keep your kids away from the screen despite the beautiful weather, try enticing them outside with a different kind of game. This giant-sized Jenga set is fun for all ages to play, making it a special treat when you get the whole family together for fun outdoors. You can’t help but laugh as you watch each player attempts to pull a block out of the increasingly wobbly tower of blocks. This set comes with a convenient bag, so you can take it to the beach, the park, or wherever else your summer takes you.

The summer is your kids’ downtime after a long school year of learning. Help them relax and celebrate a job well done in the classroom with a small reward. From skins and outdoor game sets to family time at the movies, there’s something for every kid and budget. Though small, these treats may just motivate them to reach their top potential when it starts all over again in the fall.

Is Your Budget Ready For A Season Of Entertaining

The Fourth of July may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you’ve closed your doors for the season. There’s still the rest of the summer waiting, and you’ll be hosting another family cookout, dinner party, or casual backyard BBQ before you (or your budget) know it. If you plan on making the most of being a host, your hospitality comes with some hefty bills. Between all the food and drinks, your budget may not be ready for it. If you want to make sure your family gets through a season of entertaining without compromising your finances, you should try out these money-saving tips.

Rank your party “must-haves”

It’s easy to go overboard when you want to make your guests feel welcome. Before you know it, you’re piling on snacks, beverages, and decorations your casual backyard hangout does not need. You’re far more likely to make these unnecessary purchases when you don’t approach your get-together methodically, regardless of how big or small it is.

Take the time to prioritize the party’s “must-haves” or the items you need for your event to happen. While a new outdoor sound systemand patio set will certainly help set the tone of your gathering, these upgrades will waste most (if not all) of your entertaining budget. If you feel like you can afford more than the basic food and drinks, make a wish list of other things you want. Find out what they cost and see if your budget can afford these fun, yet ultimately unnecessary, additions.

Prioritize your entertaining savings

Even the most basic food and drinks can be financially overwhelming if you have a lot of friends or family set to arrive. Catering multiple get-togethers may push your finances to their limit. Avoid this by making dedicated savings for your summertime gatherings. Follow money-saving tips like those you can find here to help eliminate unnecessary spending limiting your ability to host properly. Small sacrifices like skipping takeout and preparing your coffee at home can help boost this fund and take the pressure off your budget.

Know how to fix mistakes

Despite your best-laid plans, you may still drain your entertaining savings and overspend in other areas of your budget. The chances of this happening increase if you don’t factor in the hidden costs of hosting, like broken dishes or damaged patio furniture. If these mix-ups happen and your savings aren’t up to the task, you should look up the benefits of getting an installment loan. Their terms work a little differently than the typical short-term loan because online lenders like MoneyKey breakdown their repayment into several installments. Otherwise, online installment loans work just like any other personal loan bridging the gap between your responsibilities and your savings.

Find savings

Though you may be the host, you can delegate some of your responsibilities to close friends and family. They’ll understand the financial burden of feeding them every week, so they’re unlikely to kick up a fuss if you suggest a potluck where everyone brings a dish and/or a drink to your get-togethers. When you can rely on your guests to bring most of the fixings, you won’t have to worry about making and paying forthe entire meal.

Your goal is to be a gracious host, but that can be a challenge when you’re struggling under the financial burden of your role. Don’t let your responsibility get to your budget. Take these tips into consideration the next time you invite friends and family into your space, and your budget will survive the entertaining season.

Give The Kids A Place to Play This Summer

As a parent, there’s nothing better than standing inside, looking out the kitchen window, and seeing the kids playing happily together on the outdoor swing set for your yard. Not only is it good for them to be outdoors, burning off some energy, but it allows you some much needed time to yourself, or time inside to do household chores without too many interruptions!  Little did you know, however, there are more benefits to encouraging your kids to go outside and play than you may have realized!

Happiness Increases

When kids play outside, they get to experience so many of the little things in life that can offer us true joy and happiness.  The beautiful sunshine and clouds; the wind, blowing their hair around in crazy ways; the dirt and rocks and sand and mud, and all the creatures hidden outside that kids inevitably seem to dig up and bring into the house.  This time in nature, time in the fresh air, and time with other kids, or just within the depths of their own imagination, all serve to reduce stress and anxiety, and contribute to increased levels of happiness.  From there, the result is infectious: happier kids mean happier parents, and the cycle continues.

Sleep Improves

All that time outside, playing on the outdoor swing set in the yard, and digging up worms in the dirt leaves not only happy kids, but also tired kids! Kids who have time to play outside are less likely to wake at night and have a better quality of sleep for a longer period of time.  Exposure to sunlight is important for the regulation of sleep patterns and the body’s circadian rhythms, while getting enough sleep means kids are less irritable, less likely to suffer from hyperactivity, and have a lower risk of obesity.

Confidence Expands

Outdoor play is all about taking risks and being challenged.  Whether it is the first time they go down the slide, the first time they are on the swing by themselves, or the time they fall off their bike and have to get back on again, all of these things, while taking confidence to initiate, take equal confidence to repeat and to learn from.  Essentially, outdoor play is a huge growing and self-development opportunity for your child, and is certainly one that shouldn’t be discounted or neglected in their childhood days.

With all of these amazing benefits for you and your child coming from outdoor play, there’s more than one reason to give them the benefit of an outdoor swing set and jungle gym in the yard.  Reach out to Funscapes to learn more about the options available for upgrading your backyard and installing a playground. From there, get ready to reap the benefits for yourself, and improve the health and wellbeing of your children at the same time.

4 Signs That It’s Time To Call A Plumber

It’s infinitely easier for you to solve a home maintenance problem if you detect it at an early stage, because oftentimes once you realize that you have a plumbing emergency, it has already become a large and costly issue.

All kinds of emergencies occur unexpectedly, including plumbing emergencies, which is why it’s advisable for residents of the GTA to keep in contact with a round-the-clock plumber in Toronto to make sure you’re taking proper preventative measures to avoid an emergency. Failing to promptly address a plumbing emergency might result in additional repair costs and excessive property damage. Here are four signs that should alert you when its time to call for the services of a plumber.

Failure Of A Bathtub To Drain, Or A Clogged Toilet
You might think that using clog-removing products can solve the problem of a slowly draining bathtub, and a good plunging job can cure the problem of a clogged toilet. To some extent, this might help but it isn’t a long lasting solution to the problems. You might still experience the clogging even after trying to work with several home methods. You should therefore assume that there might be a large obstruction in the pipes, thus requiring you to seek the services of an experienced plumber.

Water Running In Your Pipes Or Toilet
If you hear water running in your pipes when you are not using it in your house, there definitely might be a leakage somewhere. Clear evidence of this is the appearance of brown spots on the ceilings, floors and even walls. This can happen at anytime, hence the need for you to have a round-the-clock plumber to service your pipe network at any time of the day. To be sure that there is a leakage somewhere, you should check whether the meter is spinning while no water is in use.

Gurgling
If you hear gurgling noises while either running your laundry machine, flushing your toilet, or when running your dishwasher, it indicates the presence of a clogged drain. If this occurs, you should immediately switch off the appliance in use to avoid backup, then contact a plumber. If gurgling occurs while the toilet is not running, you should definitely know that the system is clogged. This might lead to backup, which could result in extreme damages.

Faucets Continuous Dripping
You can easily ignore a dripping faucet until your utility bill comes, and that’s when you understand the amount of water that goes into waste but you still pay for it. If you are unable to tighten the joints by yourself, call a professional plumber to fix it for you.

If you’re worried about the costly or deleterious effects a plumbing emergency might have on your home and family, contact a round-the-clock plumber in Toronto today. A professional plumber will resolve your plumbing issues in no time, and offer you tips and tricks to help prevent further emergencies from happening in the future. Keep the number of a trusted round-the-clock plumber on your fridge or in your wallet – better safe than sorry!

A Guide To Choosing The Right Freestanding Bath

Freestanding baths are among the modern, stylish and luxurious baths you can have in your bathroom. After a long day of work, this is the best place to relax and unwind your day-to-day stress. Most people are remodelling their bathrooms by installing the latest types of freestanding baths. It is, however, important to note that these baths are available in different designs and sizes. Here are great tips to guide you in finding the best freestanding baths.

Choose the right type

There are different types of freestanding baths. The best type for you depends on your bathroom size, needs and preference. Here are some of the available types of freestanding baths you should know about.

Floor set model – this freestanding bath is firmly installed on the floor. Floor set models are available in oval, round, free-form and rectangular shapes.

Footed bath – this is probably the most popular bath on the market today. These freestanding baths have unique feet in different designs. They are mostly preferred for their antique and elegant look.

Slipper bath – this is an oblong-shaped bath with a reclined end where you can rest your head while the rest of the body is submerged in the water.

Japanese soaking – this is the deepest of all types. It is the best bath to relax in after a tiring day. These are made of copper, wood or steel.

Consider the bath material

Freestanding baths are made from different materials. The material used highly determines the quality of the bath. Among the materials you can choose from are:

Steel – this type of bath is an improvement on the traditional cast iron bath. It is lighter in weight and ideal for an upstairs bathroom.

Composite – these baths are mainly made from a mixture of ground stone and resin. They usually consist of either quartz or granite. Composite baths are available in different designs and colours.

Acrylic – these are the most sought-after baths. These freestanding baths are affordable and easy to clean. They are also easy to repair when scratched. Acrylic is the best material as it absorbs and retains heat.

Choose the right size

Before you order any type of freestanding bath, make sure that it is the right size. Where do you intend to install it? What are the dimensions of your bathroom? Choose a bath that will perfectly fit in your bathroom. You may also consider the positioning of the bath before choosing the right shape.

Finally, look at your budget. Find a bath that is within your budget. You can request several quotes and compare the options before finally making your selection of the most suitable and affordable freestanding bath for your bathroom.

6 Ways To Embrace Maximalist Style

Less is more? Well, not always! Max out your space for an expressive, creative aesthetic.

Clean, neutral minimalism has dominated the interior design industry for years, and while there is something to be said for the elegance and sophistication of that aesthetic, it’s not for everyone. Vibrant, maxed out spaces are a brilliant way to set your creativity free; creating a space that is bursting with charm, whimsy and personality. Below are a few helpful tips for the mastery of maximalism.

Find your style

Maximalism is an aesthetic like any other, and while it does allow for a lot of expression, there are certain guidelines to follow. Maximalism is not an out of control riot of different patterns and colour, but a specific combination of styles. What style that might be is down to you. Have a taste for the glamorous things in life? Dress your space up with gold, pastels, beautiful flowers and tasteful art pieces. More laid back and bohemian? Then search out eclectic prints and textiles that speak to that visual style. Everything you select should work together, rather than in isolation, to make your space cohesive as well as vibrant.

Vintage sofa

Maximalism is all about soul, and what decor has more soul than historical furniture? People with an appreciation of history are often drawn to the character of maximalism, rather than the more utilitarian minimalism. The sofa is the star of every living room, and vintage sofas are unique, impactful and interesting. Whether you choose a 1970s turquoise two-seater, or a Swedish art deco number, a vintage sofa will contribute to any aesthetic. Vinterior specialises in stunning vintage sofas and furniture, saving you from trawling through flea markets in the hopes of a rare find.

Pattern

Pick a theme and let patterns run wild. Whether its wallpaper, tiles, textiles, or all of the above, patterns make for maximum maximalism. Having a theme or ‘pattern story’ will ensure that there is a unifying element to the room, preventing the finished product from looking messy and chaotic. You may be interested in an exotic jungle theme, in which case leopard print, banana leaf prints and art featuring animals would be excellent choices. Otherwise match the patterns by colour for a more subtle, but equally cohesive theme.

Don’t match, layer

Leave coordination to more uptight people. As long as there is some method to the madness, there is no such thing as too many layers in a maximalist space. Unify the room with an underlying colour scheme (a loose scheme, like sea tones, or warm shades, will prevent you from becoming too fixated on it), then look to explore different textures and pattern, for a bold look with serious impact.

Embrace your favourite colour

Decorating in shades from the same colour family means that the space will not become too busy. Have a penchant for red? Then use different shades of it on everything from the wallpaper to the cushions. If you prefer the more crimson shades of red, then you can also include pinks and purples, while a scarlet colour scheme will enable you to employ oranges and yellows for a sunny design. For a bold contrast, you could include one or two statement pieces in a totally opposing shade, like a turquoise vase in the centre of a maroon table.

Collect, collect, collect!

Maximalism means taking the objects that make you happy and putting them on display, whether it’s art, books or worldly accessories. A big collection isn’t accrued overnight, so leave some space for your collection to grow as you curate. A true maximalist space takes patience, but the wait is worth it for a space that is truly your own.