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Retractable Awnings – The Perfect Marriage of Style and Functionality

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Retractable roofing system

If you have a hi-tech home and are looking at shading options, you can sample the future today with retractable folding arm awnings that are tailored to suit any outdoor area. Technology has given us many benefits, with composites that are stronger and lighter than traditional materials, and regarding awnings, it is now possible to span a considerable area without the need for ugly support posts, using an ingenious folding arm principle, where the arms fold inwards as the awning is retracted, making for a sleek and tidy operation.

Smart Technology

Motorised solutions and weather sensors make this the perfect addition for the smart home, and the awning controls can be incorporated into your smart home system and when the sun moves around, the awning will automatically provide the right shading. You can control your shading with a smartphone app, and the range of add-on sensors (sun, wind and rain) take the strain out of adjustment. The days of ropes and pulleys are behind us, and with a bespoke design that can either be attached to the building or as a stand alone unit, the awning will blend in perfectly with the surrounding décor.

Say Goodbye to Posts and Beams

Having a covering that encompasses the entire terrace used to require a few unsightly poles or pillars, and even the sleekest of awnings had a look of permanency about them and were quite restrictive, whereas modern awnings are supported by an ingenious folding arm mechanism that is invisible when the awning is fully closed. For open areas, you can choose a stylish side-post cantilevered unit that is very stable and looks like the terrace was built around it, rather than the other way around. Once you have located a company that tailors folding arm awnings in Melbourne, then it’s simply a matter of selecting a colour and style, and with the supplier’s wealth of hands-on experience in shading character properties, you can be sure the design will tick all the boxes.

Protect your Home

Having a tailor made retractable awning fitted will protect your furniture from the harmful effects of the UV rays, and with full remote control, you can forget having to get up every ten minutes to adjust the shading, and the smooth and silent motor (which is guaranteed for 6 years) will always ensure the ideal amount of shading and natural light, no matter the time of day. Without adequate shading, the sunlight will penetrate your patio doors and will likely cause carpets and furniture to fade, yet a retractable awning in place ensures that your interior is always shaded and protected from harmful UV rays.

Fabric Choices

As you would expect, there is an impressive range of solid colours and striped patterns, and by selecting something that looks like it belongs, your shading will also be an integral component in the overall look of the terrace. The highest quality imported fabric means the endless hours of strong sunlight will not affect the surface in any way, and this is guaranteed! Ideally, your chosen supplier would visit you at home, where you can both discuss the many options, which would include a retractable roofing system and several different brands of folding arm units, and there’s no rush to make your mind up regarding the fine details, which will give you time to visit their showroom, where you can experience the units in a real life outdoor setting.

A Prime Investment

Adding a retractable awning will certainly increase the value of your property, and should you ever decide to sell up and move on, you would likely get a good return on your investment, as the awning would last for many years. A fully retractable awning is classed much the same as a permanent roof and would therefore add significantly to the property value, and with a long product warranty, you can enjoy the benefits for many years to come.

Large Expanses

A single awning can cover an area 9m x 3m, with 3 specially formulated folding arms that recede into a customised cabinet, thus protecting the fabric while the awning is not in use. If your terrace is longer than this, why not have a pair of identical units side by side? That way, the entire area can be covered and there won’t be any posts or pillars for support, leaving the terrace with an unobstructed view, and with all the components corrosion resistant, you can expect to enjoy many years of trouble free use.

Online Suppliers

If you would like to explore the possibilities of having a folding arm awning fitted, an online search will bring up a list of local suppliers, and with a little browsing, you should be able to narrow down your search, and maybe ask several companies to quote for the project. Each would want to visit you at home and discuss the many options, and by setting aside one evening for each, you will soon have a good idea of what is available and more importantly, which supplier to choose.

Once you have agreed to everything, contracts are signed and within a few days, the surveyor will pay you a visit and take the very precise measurements needed for fabrication, which will be carried out at their factory. You would then be given an installation date and the units would be fitted by a team of technicians, who would invite the client to inspect the finished unit.

Interest Free Credit

If you’ve decided it is high time to sort out the outdoor shading, but finances are not as good as they might be, most suppliers would offer their clients interest free finance, which spreads the cost over a few months, and this avoids having to wait until next year in order to have your terrace shading.

If you take the time to look into the latest generation of folding arm awnings, you might be pleasantly surprised at the many options available, and you and your family can enjoy those long summer days relaxing on the terrace in complete comfort.

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Lifestyle

Birthday Gift Ideas for Nieces From Aunts

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Birthday Gift Ideas for Nieces From Aunts

As young girls grow, it is important for them to have positive female role models. Mothers and grandmothers are perhaps the most important, but not far behind are the aunts, whether adopted or biological. One of the fun parts of being an aunt is spoiling your niece on her birthday, and there are lots of ways to do so.

Special Outing

Although kids love to unwrap presents, something they may love just as much or more is spending quality time with you. Take your niece on a special outing with just the two of you. A trip to the aquarium, zoo or amusement park could be a wonderful experience for both of you. Include a stop for lunch or ice cream and just about all her dreams will have come true by the end of the day.

Start a Collection 

Collectibles are a great way to start a fun tradition with your niece. She will love getting a new addition to her precious moments princess train set or a new purse every year for her birthday. Even though she may come to expect a certain type of gift, she can still look forward to adding something special to her collection.

Remember Her Interests 

Keep in mind what your niece is interested in. Does she love science, books or art? Try and find something that will help foster her interests and you may just watch her confidence grow along with her talents. As she gets older, these interests will change, but she will always remember her first science kit or that series of novels that her aunt introduced her to.

There are lots of ways to be a good aunt, not the least of which is spoiling your precious niece for her birthday. Choose a gift that shows her just how special she is. These gifts and experiences make wonderful memories that she can treasure for her whole life.

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Lifestyle

Basic Camera Care All Photographers Should Learn

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Camera maintenance, Camera care tips

Whether you are a seasoned business portrait photographer with several years of experience tucked under your belt, or just a newbie who has started dipping his toe in the hobby, one of the critical lessons that you need to learn and master by heart is camera care.

Knowing how to care for your camera correctly will not only allow you to take care of your investment. Proper attention can also ensure that your gear performs optimally, enabling you to make the most out of it, whether for business or fun.

Store Your Gear Correctly

Dust, moisture, and sunlight are the greatest enemies of your photography gear. This should be your guiding principle when storing your equipment.

Cameras and batteries are best placed in a cool area where any temperature fluctuation should be minimal. High temperatures can damage your camera’s central processing unit and sensor, while cold temperatures can pose serious harm to its LCD.

Make sure that your camera’s storage area is well-ventilated with a humidity of around 35 to 45 percent. Excessive humidity, coupled with moisture, will only invite mildew and rust. Extreme dryness, on the other hand, adversely affects the lubrication of different parts which can fast-track wear and tear.

Whether you are storing your camera and lenses in a box or a bag, put some silica gel inside to counter moisture.

Invest in a Good Camera Bag

An essential aspect of caring for your camera is using a camera bag.

Most cameras are susceptible to dust and scratches which can be easily avoided by storing them in a proper bag. Furthermore, water-resistant bags can shield your precious gear from rain.

Make it a Habit to Turn Off Your Camera

Turning off your camera allows you to conserve the power of your batteries and increase the overall lifespan of these.

But more than conserving battery juice, there is another reason to turn off your camera’s power – to protect it from damage.

Avoid leaving batteries inside your camera as much as possible, especially if you are storing your camera for an extended period. Batteries can corrode when stored in a moist area or if left completely drained off.

Whether you are changing your lenses or removing the memory card or attached cables, make it a habit to turn off the camera first. Changing lenses when the camera is still turned on increases the risk of dust getting into the sensor. On the other hand, there is a significant chance that you can damage your memory card by pulling it off from the camera when it is still running.

Clean Your Gear Right

First things first – before you schedule a cleanup for your camera, make sure that you have a special cleaning kit on hand. Under no circumstance should you touch your camera with ordinary household cleaning materials.

Go to a reputable camera shop and invest in a few brushes, a microfiber cloth, and specialized cleaning solutions.

Don’t waste your money on canned air. You might see a few people cleaning their gear with it, but you can seriously damage your camera and its accessories if you insist on using it.

Canned air contains chemicals which are harmful to your equipment. Instead of canned air, consider using a brush or a squeeze bulb for hard-to-reach areas.

Protect Your Lenses

It is relatively easy to damage lenses. And unless you are willing to cough up money over and over again, it is sensible to invest in lens protection.

A simple filter can prevent breakage, cracks, dents, and scratches. Additionally, filters offer a variety of uses, depending on the type you get, ranging from glare reduction to reduction of shutter speed.

Care for Your Memory Card

Memory cards are a vital item of photography gear that can be easily overlooked. If you want to get more out of your memory cards, you need to learn how to care for these properly.

First, invest in a protective case which will help keep your memory cards dust-free. Second, do not expose the cards to heat. Place these in a cool, dry place. Finally, never put your memory cards near magnetic sources.

Camera care is an essential skill that anyone can and should learn, whether you are a hobbyist or a professional photographer. From a financial standpoint, this vital skill can help you save a lot of money. And from a functional perspective, keeping your gear in good order can help your equipment perform optimally.


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 a strong business acumen to help Stu Williamson Photography become the most trusted and successful photography business in the UAE.

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Fitness

How To Get In Shape While On Holiday

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Vacation. This is a word that can mean so many different things. Some people consider vacation as a time away from all the hassles of their daily work. Others look at it as a way to break away from routine and there are also those who just want to use up their vacation leave. Whatever your purpose is on your next holiday, there is one important thing that you need to make plans for – your fitness regimen.

how to stay in shape on vacation, gym while traveling, how to keep in shape on holiday, how to lose weight while traveling for work

Shopping – A Great Form of Exercise

Since a huge chunk of every vacation is one’s shopping spree, then you might as well use this opportunity to stay fit. Imagine walking all over the different malls that you can find. To add to this, you also get to carry the things that you buy so this is an effective way to work off on self-indulgence.

Do not just buy the first items that you find. Ask around first so that you get to find the best bargains on athleisure while you also spend more time (and more energy) going from one shop to the next. Also, make it a point not to use elevators or escalators, utilize the stairs so that you will burn more calories.

Utilize the Hotel Gym / Boot Camp It

Yet another part of any holiday is the need to stay in a hotel. Most hotels now have indoor gyms so it would be a waste if you do not use the exercise equipment there. Being on vacation is no excuse to stop your exercise regimen. What you need, though, is your strongest willpower and an activewear. Have the determination to continue exercising and you will surely reap the benefits later on.

Another fun way to get into shape is to go to a bootcamp. These prove to be a super fun way to burn excess pounds, test your body’s limits, and learn new and positive habits. Imagine how much better you’ll feel in that bikini after you’ve been sweating it out in a boot camp!

Pack Some Exercise Essentials

If it is impossible to hit the gym during your vacation, then you might as well take any of these with you – light weights, exercise band or a jump rope. Toning your muscles isn’t all about sweating in the gym. Sometimes, you just need to be disciplined enough to exercise on your own and make do with your packed resources while vacationing.

Steer Clear of Some Foods

One other thing that is equated to vacation is food, especially if this is your first time to visit a certain place. For instance, if it is your first time to go to Germany, you might be instantly tempted to try their different types of beers and fattening cuisine. If you do not curb your urges, you could end up trying every bit of food that you could lay your eyes on – and this is not good for your figure.

The secret is to try one, unique meal at a time and then to couple this with your usual fruits and vegetables; this way, you maintain your healthy diet while still getting to taste exotic cuisine.

Swim That Body Fat Away

If your destination for your holiday vacation is a beach resort, then make good use of the resource that you have right in front of you – the rolling waters! Swimming is an activity that can help you trim down while keeping your heart healthy – technically, you are hitting two birds with one stone. If your vacation does not involve any water activities, then plan for a lot of walking. Rather than ride a cab, it is best to walk and enjoy the scenery or architectural wonders around you. Tuck that pedometer and you’re just about ready to walk around a city!

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