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The athleisure trend was born out of the intersection between workout clothes and casuals. Fashion is an ever-evolving industry and new trends are always cropping up to change how we think of and wear our clothes.

Ovens are some of the most reliable appliances in our households, and definitely, one that we tend to take for granted. One day, your rusty ol’ reliable might give its final burst of heat and retire for good. Or, it may continue to work but a little less reliably. How can you tell when your oven is on its last legs and ready to be replaced? There are five important clues that you should never ignore:


1. The Interior Is Rusty And Old

Grime and dirt can be cleaned, rust, however, can not. Small rust spots indicate that you will need to start budgeting and researching which oven you’d like to replace it with. You could look at some modern technology which is safer and easier to operate, like cookware for induction. Significant rust is a sign that it’s time to replace your oven immediately. Not only can rust hamper your oven’s performance, but it can also result in food that has not experienced even heat distribution - roasts that are well done on one side but rare on the other - won’t do.


2. Electric? The Temperature Settings Seem Unreliable

The heating element is responsible for grilling, baking, and roasting at the correct temperature. If you’re still preparing the same foods you always have but finding the oven is getting too hot or not warm enough, the heating element might be past its performance point. It’s probably more cost-effective to replace the oven than to have it repaired. If you ever dreamed of a larger more modern oven, this is your opportunity! Newer technology is always exciting.


3. Gas? Your Oven Battles To Light

Struggling to ignite your gas oven and get it going? Older gas ovens can be tricky, however, getting a light going should never be exasperating. There are a number of reasons you can experience this - it could a problem with the pilot light, a leak somewhere, or a lack of oxygen. As you can imagine, a leak can be incredibly dangerous. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a legitimate hazard, especially if you’re reaching all the way into the oven and having to stay there to try and turn it on.


4. It’s Consuming Enormous Amounts of Electricity

Have you formed a correlation between your oven use and spikes in electricity consumption? It’s not supposed to be that way. Ovens do require substantial power to reach their required temperatures, but it shouldn’t make a noticeable dent in your power budget each month. This is a clear sign it’s time for a new oven - in fact - the money you save in electricity consumption almost justifies the purchase!


5. It’s Super Noisy

Does our oven make a rattling noise when it’s in use? What about ticking sounds? Loose internal parts can be incredibly dangerous and warrant a replacement oven as soon as possible. It is advisable to stop using your oven until you have had the noise assessed and repaired, or the entire unit replaced.

As if you needed an excuse to upgrade your kitchen, a faulty oven is not only difficult to work with and detrimental to your cooking, it can be dangerous to have in the home. There is newer technology that offers a safer way to prepare food. When your oven reaches the end of is life, it can be the exciting start of new a culinary adventure for you - right in your own kitchen!

Would you want to transform into a forest nymph, an avenging superhero, or a family of great gods and goddesses?

Turn your whimsical dreams into reality through fantasy photography.


A Flash of Fancy

It does not matter whether it’s kids or kids-at-heart, fantasy photography is something that wonderfully brings people’s rich imagination to life. At the hands of a professional photographer, you can have amazing photos and have them altered so you can look like the fictional characters that you have always wanted to be.

With the aid of modern photographic software technology, your professionally shot photos or studio portraits can be converted into personalized fantasy scenes. Usually, children clamor for such pictures but there’s no hard and fast rule that adults cannot be transformed into mighty beings – even if it’s just in photos.

Playing pretend is one of the most loved activities of children, and fantasy photography is one way of making their fantastical imaginings come true. Parents, friends, and loved ones can surely join and make the pictorial session a bonding moment.

Whether the photos are to be used for special occasions like birthdays or simply to give in to flights of fancy, fantasy photographs are something to be enjoyed and treasured.

If you want to have a truly memorable and successful fantasy photography session, here are some top tips to remember:


1. Know what you want.

Before anything else, you need to first decide on how you want your photographs to turn out. If it’s your kids who want to have a whole portfolio of fantasy photographs, then you have to sit them down and ask what they envision themselves to be.

Some kids are dead set on what they want while others change their minds in a flash. You need to patiently explain that once they decide on something, then they have to commit to it so the shoot can go smoothly.

If you plan to join the pictorial, then make sure that everyone is in complete accord. Gather everyone who is joining the pictorial session and decide what your concept will be. It is important that everyone has unanimously agreed on the theme so the shoot can be an enjoyable moment together.


2. Choose a photographer.

When you have your concept down pat, then it is time to look for a professional photographer or studio that can effectively bring your fantasies to life. It is always a good idea to choose a professional photographer so you are assured of high quality photographs. At the same time, their experience and expertise can help you come up with poses that look best in the photos.

You can look up studios that specialize in fantasy photography on the Internet or ask around for recommendations from trusted family or friends. When you have checked out the photographer’s credentials and portfolio, make a shortlist of the best ones, and arrange to meet with them in person.

Meeting with the photographers on your list will help you decide on the best one. Not only will you be able to personally see their body of work, but you will also get a feel of how it is to work with them. Establishing rapport is a key ingredient in having a successful shoot. If you do not click right away, then it might not be a good idea to pursue working with them. Choose one that ticks all the buttons on your criteria list.


3. Finalize your plans.

Once you have discussed and ironed out the details with your photographer, it is time to finalize all the details for the shoot.

If you require costumes, then make sure that these are all available at least a week before the pictorial. This will give you enough time for fittings and adjustments if any. If your costumes are tailor-made, give the atelier clear instructions especially regarding the time and date that you will need the ensemble.

You might want to also have your hair and make-up professionally done for the shoot. You can either ask the artist to come to your home or you can schedule an appointment with your trusted salon. There are beauty salons that do not only give facials and hair treatments but also specialize in services like rainbow manicures and pedicures, mermaid and unicorn braids, or glitter hair extensions.

Have a Magical Shoot

When you have done your homework and finalized all the details for the pictorial, then all you need to do is to enjoy the session.

Make sure you and your brood have slept well before the day of the pictorial and have eaten a hearty meal. Tiny tummies need to be well-fed, so there’s a lesser chance for tantrums.

Most of all, just remember to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Genuinely loving every moment will likely show in the photos, and this will be something to cherish for all the years to come.


AUTHOR BIO

Stefanie Descheemaecker is the Studio Manager at Stu Williamson Photography at The Palm Jumeirah - Fairmont Hotel in Dubai. She has been with the company for almost 3 years and is the driving force behind the success of the business. A keen amateur photographer, Stef combines her natural creative eye with strong business acumen to help Stu Williamson Photography become the most trusted and successful photography business in the UAE.

Being in a relationship with someone who is in a sporting career may mean long hours and time away from each other. Showing your support for your partner and understanding how hard a career in this industry can be will help you get through the difficult times and stay strong as a couple. Here are just a few ways that you can support your partner with their sporting career.

The jewellery industry almost has a language of its own, and over the many thousand years, terms have been used to describe jewellery attributes, and with that in mind, here is a brief glossary of common terms used in the jewellery industry.

Antique – Definitively, an item is only classed as an antique if it is more than 100 years old, and while the term antique is often used to describe anything old, it should be at least a century old to be called antique.

Art Deco – This glitzy and colourful style originated in France in the 1920s, and it influenced society in many forms, art, furniture and appliances were all made using the same bold designs, making Art Deco very popular today.

Art Nouveau – 1890-1910 – The Art Nouveau period saw the arrival of natural shapes, and often included erotic females posing with natural objects like flowers. Precious stones and bright enamels were used to good effect, and if you would like to browse a great selection of Art Nouveau jewellery, search online for a reputable antique dealer.

Albert Chain – Named after Prince Albert, the single or double strand chain that attached a man’s pocket watch, of which the Prince was an advocate, hence the name Albert chain. Search the Internet for antique jewellery shops in London and you will find many fine examples on offer, all at affordable prices.

Bezel – The flat central section of a ring, onto which the stone is set.

C-Clasp – A C-shaped clasp commonly found on necklaces and bracelets. There are many types of clasp, and this can often denote the period, so it is a good idea to take advantage of the free online resources about jewellery.

Channel Set – Rows of stones are set in a line, which are secured by metal borders top and bottom. This is a classic setting on Victorian bracelets and necklaces, and all types of precious stones would use this setting.

Circa – This means “approximately” when used to date an item, which might be Circa 1920, for example.

Closed Back – When a stone is closed at the back, not allowing light to pass through, this is called “closed back”, and sometimes, there will be silver foil on the back of the stone, to increase reflection.

Eight Cut Stone – An 8-cut diamond has a total of 18 facets, and is normally used on smaller diamonds. This results in a soft light, rather than a dazzling reflection, and is common in both antique and vintage jewellery items.


There are indeed many terms and expression used in the jewellery business, and the best way to familiarise yourself is to search online, and whenever you encounter a term you have not heard before, you can do a Google search to find out the meaning.

Once you are ready to source an antique jewellery item, search online for a local antique dealer and pay him a visit, and with many fine examples on the dealer’s website, you can select a few pieces you want to view.
 
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