Cruises have really gained in popularity in recent years. While at one time, they were largely associated with the older generation, these days they appeal to all age ranges. They’re fantastic for families and couples, providing plenty of on-board entertainment. So, how do they compare to traditional holidays?

Here, we’ll take a look at what you can expect from a cruise experience and how it compares to a traditional style getaway.

You’ll visit several destinations

When you head off on a traditional holiday, usually you’re only getting to see one country. This is great, but it’s not as great as being able to explore numerous destinations in the same trip!

You’ll find cruises which run to all corners of the world, enabling you to visit places you’ve never even heard of. Choose a cruise with the Bolsover Cruise Club for example, and you’ll get to select from destinations such as Africa, Alaska, Canary Islands and South Pacific cruises. If you were to opt for an African cruise, you’d get to stop off at Cape Town, Mombasa and Kenya – some of the best places to view the Big 5 (elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and buffalos).

So, if you’d prefer a holiday which lets you visit several destinations throughout, a cruise is definitely recommended.

There’s entertainment to suit everyone

When you go on a traditional holiday, there may be entertainment and attractions to suit everyone, but you typically have to go out of your way to find them. On a cruise however, all of the entertainment is in one place. You don’t need to travel far from your cabin to experience entertainment such as live shows, casinos, cinemas, dancing, music and even fitness classes.

This also makes cruises a great choice for families. It can be difficult finding entertainment on a traditional holiday to suit both a toddler and an adolescent for example. However, on a cruise ship there’s entertainment for the entire family.

It promotes long-term happiness

Perhaps one of the most surprising differences between a traditional holiday and a cruise, is that a cruise can promote long-term happiness. A study has actually shown those who take a cruise feel happier and more relaxed than those who go on traditional holidays. What’s more, these feel-good benefits often last more than six months after the holiday!

So, if you’re looking for a holiday that’s going to eliminate your stress and boost your happiness, a cruise could be just what you need. Overall, there’s many benefits of choosing a cruise over a traditional style holiday. If you haven’t considered a cruise in the past, then now is definitely the time to do so.

 

 

My Random Musings

Product manuals are important in business. Business owners often spend a lot of time and creativity coming up with great products. If they market them well, they will have customers. However if a customer gets a product and does not understand how to use it they are unlikely to become repeat customers.

Product manuals and stress

How many times have you tried to put furniture together with a less than adequate product manual? I remember this with a flat pack desk and the initial joy of the purchase turning to stress as we spent hours trying to figure out how to put it together.

If that’s how it is with a relatively simple product, imagine how tricky it can be to have a poor product manual when it comes to very technical products.

In the right language

We live in a global and multicultural society. Online shopping means we may be ordering products from many different countries. Most of us speak perhaps language apart from our own at best and often only the most basic rudiments at that.

Imagery

I love visual manuals that include images to go along with clear instructions in text. I like to cross-reference between the two. It is also a total relief when the product manual includes English instructions. It is good to see more genuinely multilingual manuals coming with the items I order online. I use the languages I speak but am also genuinely thrilled that so many languages are covered as not understanding how to use a product is frustrating and sometimes dangerous.

Lost product manuals

What I really love nowadays is that if you lose the product manual it does not mean that you have to throw away the product. This is a very good thing for me as I regularly buy second-hand goods from charity shops and all too often the instructions are missing altogether. I once bought a food mixer and was so disappointed when I had no means of using it. Not sure if it would work or not, I sent a tweet to the manufacturer. Amazingly they got back to me straightaway and sent me a copy of the instructions. We were as delighted as a family that we got to work and made a chocolate cake straightaway even though it was not a special occasion. So you could say in our house a good product manual is an excuse to eat cake!

Diversity

Another issue with product manuals within a diverse society is to consider the needs of the elderly and those with special needs. Product manuals can be transformed into accessible formats including large or giant print, braille, audio, Easy Read and British Sign Language. The statistics around sight loss and hearing difficulties as we get older are daunting and there is no reason why people who have such issues should be ruled out of living a full life and enjoying products available on the market.

It is all about providing the right product manual that meets the needs of customers whether that is that some prefer illustrations to words or in the case of particular needs around age, language or disability.

How do you feel about product manuals? Do you have an amusing story to share?

 

 

 

 

 

My Random Musings

So, you spent a small fortune on your kitchen refurbishment and made sure it is the most functional, comfortable, and attractive space in your home. Now you need to add some gadgets to ensure you’re prepared for every eventuality, and you can always cater to the requirements of your guests. The last thing you want to do is tell one of your friends they will have to drink squash when you invite them around for a few hours. Likewise; you’ll want to make sure you cook the tastiest food possible in your kitchen, and so it’s worth making an extra investment to ensure you have the perfect finishing touches.

Kitchen Gadgets

Photographer

A Coffee Machine

Firstly, there is no getting away from the fact that your guests are going to suffer if you don’t purchase a high-end coffee machine for your new kitchen. Of course, you also need to make sure you buy the best coffee beans on the market because the cheap ones from your local supermarket are never going to impress anyone. When it comes to selecting the best coffee machine, it is wise to read as many owner reviews as possible online. The price is not always a quality indicator, and so you shouldn’t head out and spend a fortune without first reading what other people think about the product.

Fruit Blender

Photographer

A Fruit Blender

Everyone knows that consuming lots of fruit is one of the best ways to ensure optimum health. However, eating grapes from the back or tucking into an apple can become a little boring. If you want the best results, it makes sense to buy a blender for your kitchen so you can mix up lots of different fruits and create smoothies every morning. You can also offer them to friends who might visit. The best thing about that idea is that you can drink fruit that you otherwise wouldn’t have eaten. So, keep the fridge stocked!

Photographer

A Slow Cooker

When it comes to arranging garden or dinner parties and cooking succulent meat; nothing creates the same results as a slow cooker. Those devices are not going to break the bank, and you can usually purchase them for less than £50 if you search online. However, your guests are going to feel impressed by the quality of your meat if you leave it in that item for eight hours or more. You can get some excellent slow cooker recipes online that should help if you get stuck for ideas.

You should now have a reasonable idea about some of the gadgets you need to purchase for your kitchen as soon as possible. After spending so much cash on the renovation work; it doesn’t make sense to fall at the last hurdle. So, search online for these items, take a look at products available from various brands and then read as many owner reviews as possible. That should help to ensure you don’t make mistakes or waste your investment. If you’re yet to start renovating your kitchen, make sure you add these purchases to your budget.

If You Don't Have These Gadgets In Your Kitchen - You're Missing Out

Cuddle Fairy

Today’s interview is with inspirational woman Carly who was told she would not amount to much and proved them wrong with the help of the Prince’s Trust. So if you have any issues that result in people writing you off, please read and take hope from Carly’s story. No matter where you are in life right now, things can and do change for the better. Carly now runs her own business which you can find at https://anaphasestore.com/

Prince's Trust

Please tell us a little about your childhood and teenage years

I left school at 15 with some GCSEs but I was told I probably wouldn’t amount to much anyway so why bother? I got a job and I started college. I did hair and beauty for my first year and then art and design for two years. I continued working for a total of 6 years but started to lose interest so left to change my career. From that moment on I never really stuck to a job. I bounced around every 6 months to a new job. I eventually became a mobile carer for the elderly which I did kind of enjoy because I was always on the move and not stuck in one place.

Why did you struggle to stick to one thing job wise?

I get bored really easily. I love a challenge and being thrown out of my comfort zone.

When did you find out you had dyslexia?

I found out I was dyslexic in my second year of college. My mum had just got into university herself and they found out she had dyslexia. She recognised some signs in my brother and myself and asked college to test me. I was tested pretty quickly and was then offered the extra help I needed to pass my other years of college.

What did you really want to do career wise?

I wanted to become a fashion designer as that was my calling in life. My room was always piled high with art books and designs but I  never knew what to do with them. I wanted to live in London and create fashion. I was obsessed with it.

Tell us about the  impact of losing your Granddad

Losing my grandfather really hit me.  I was always close to my grandparents and I helped look after my granddad for the last year of his life so when he did die, I took it really badly. However, it did make me want to seek a new challenge in life. I talked with a new friend about my business ideas but did not know how to make them a reality. Then one day I woke up and just knew I wanted to go for it. I thought if I do not do it now I never will.

How did the Prince’s Trust help you?

As soon as I Googled “how to start a business” one of the first results that popped up was The Prince’s Trust. I called in and asked how they could help me. They welcomed me onto their Enterprise Course. Lots of the information was new to me and the depth of the course was fantastic. I worked with Gemma to do a business plan and get ready for the launch group which is a bit like Dragons’ Den. After that I had a mentor for 2 years and have networked and done more courses.

How do you help the Prince’s Trust?

I was a young ambassador for them attending events to give speeches on how the Trust has helped me. I am now a volunteer and mentor.

Tell us about your celebrity contacts

I met footballer Paul Mercer and asked him for his autograph. Kelly Hoppen loved my “Don’t touch my hair” T-shirts and posted on Instagram. Giovanna Fletcher posted oen of my candles on Instagram. I have met Prince Charles and was invited to his 70th birthday celebrations.

How have you used the media to promote what you do?

I have done radio interviews with BBC Radio Wales, Heat, Kiss, Kerrang, Planet Rock and Magic. I have had mentions in various newspapers and magazines.

What were the big challenges around setting up your own business?

I thought I would be a millionaire in my first month so when it was slow to take off, I got a little disheartened. I was not ready to give up so I got a job to help with business costs. I had not done enough initial research so was surprised when products did not sell.

Is your business going as well as you hoped

I am not a millionaire but I do make more profit every year.

What does your business offer?

We offer unique T-shirt designs, homeware, cosmetics, accessories, footwear, gymwear, art prints and holiday items.

What one tip would you give to a woman who wants to set up a business?

Don’t think about it too much because you will talk about yourself out of it. Take the leap and live your dream!

 

 

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

Twin Mummy and Daddy

It’s super stressful when you’re coming up to graduation. Juggling late nights at the library for revision, spending hours meeting that 10,000-word target for your dissertation, and trying to find a job to walk into after graduation can feel very overwhelming. It’s a competitive environment out there and it can seem daunting. Perhaps you also have a part-time job to help with student finance and there’s the social life to manage too. When you get invited to an interview, they are often with short notice leaving you with little time to decide what to wear! CT shirts, retailers of menswear and men’s dress shirts gives us some advice guaranteed to give you an air of confidence for your step into the working world.

Casual

Casual dress can be suitable when you’re interviewing for charity work or a casual unpaid internship. For these interviews, it is likely that they won’t expect you to be dressed very formally, and will be more concerned with your personality, including your punctuality. Of course, it’s always good to make a positive first impression, so still consider what you’re wearing and take a sneak peek if you can at what employees currently wear to work.

Women

For women, skirts and jeans are appropriate in a casual interview — wear what you feel comfortable in. To ensure you still look presentable, you should avoid mini-skirts with bare legs and ripped jeans. You could wear a smart dress with tights and a cardigan or a shirt-jumper combo with a smart pair of slacks or jeans.

Since it’s likely to be a relaxed vibe, you shouldn’t worry too much about footwear. Opt for a smart ankle boot or flat pump, and perhaps avoid trainers and high heels.

As a former charity worker, I would urge you to check out the type of attire people do wear as employees if you can. The charity world is diverse and it is possible casual won’t go down well with a particular charity.

Men

For men, it can be hard to dress casually without looking too underdressed. Jeans are definitely appropriate, but similar to our advice for women, steer clear of ripped jeans. You should avoid wearing joggers or tracksuit tops, as these may create a poor impression. A safer option would be a long-sleeved top, jeans, dress shoes such as Chelsea boots or brogues, and a smart jacket.

Business casual

Some interviews may specify business-casual attire on the invitation. This may be because they have this dress code in the office or it may be for an assessment day where you are expected to be there all day and recruiters want you to feel comfortable.

If you are unsure what to wear, formal tends to be the safer option.

Women

With a business-casual dress code, you have more freedom with what you wear than in a strictly professional interview. You could wear pinstripe or patterned dress slacks with a smart shirt tucked in.

Or, wear a smart shirt with a wide collar underneath a long-sleeved sweater. This look gives off a formal impression, whilst not as stuffy as a shirt and suit jacket.

Men

For men, to be appropriate for a business-casual dress code, you should wear a smart shirt. Why not invest in a non-iron shirt? It stays free of creases and there’s no need to rush around with the iron the morning before the interview! Remember it is not a woman’s job to iron your shirt!  Also, if you’re travelling by car or public transport to the interview, a normal shirt can become creased but this is avoided through the non-iron garment.

You should avoid a polo shirt, as this is too casual and still steer clear of wearing jeans unless you are absolutely 100 per cent sure that this is the dress code for the company you are visiting.

Professional

For formal interviews, you should adopt a professional look. These interviews could be in front of directors of the company for a graduate job or an internship. Even if there are less firm rules these days or in a particular company, dressing professionally demonstrates you have taken the time and effort to invest in your interview. That’s a really good sign you would invest in the job itself.

Women

In a professional situation, women should opt for a suit. When it comes to dressing the bottom half, go with what you feel comfortable in. If you decide to wear a skirt, wear one with a hemline just below the knee to avoid it rising and becoming too revealing. If you are like me, you will worry if you are flashing the flesh so try on and ask a trusted friend to see if the outfit works well. A suit doesn’t have to be boring — shop around and discover suits that are tailored in different ways — find one that suits your body shape.  There is so much advice online from stores and stylists these days for finding the perfect suit for your shape.When it comes to footwear, heels are acceptable but make sure you can walk with confidence in them. If you don’t feel happy wearing heels, opt for pumps or shoes with a smaller heel. Also consider your journey, if you have to walk for miles or are in a dangerous area, heels are not a great option.

Men

Men should consider wearing a suit when it comes to a formal interview, too. Wear dark socks to blend in with your outfit and bring a briefcase to look professional. Although colourful and cartoon socks may amuse you, unless you know the interviewer well, you are taking too much of a risk. The same goes for striking ties.  Brogues are a good choice of footwear — they are stylish and smart without being mundane. I have always loved the look of traditional shoes like brogues.  Choose a tailored suit that you feel represents your style and consider a waistcoat which always adds a certain something and can make you stand out a little.

What to avoid

As we can see, the main thing to do is to make sure you feel comfortable in your outfit — it will show in the interview! There is nothing worse than feeling that the outfit is not quite you or does not fit properly. I would also caution you to have good underwear so you really do have a firm foundation.  However, there are a few things that you should avoid:

  • Too much perfume or aftershave can be overpowering and unpleasant
  • Too much jewellery or makeup as jewellery can get in the way as you move and make-up can stop interviewer’s seeing the real you.

 

The Perfect Interview Outfit