5 empowering business hubs

5-Empowering-Business-Hubs

This is a post for all the business owners and the business dreamers out there… Small or big, if you are your own boss and looking for inspiration, advice or opportunities to learn something new – you may find the links below worth visiting. Here is a list of websites that we return to regularly to keep growing professionally:

  1. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
    Daily business lessons, tips and observations from the king of marketing – Seth Godin. His posts are honest, fresh and observant. Seth is a best selling author
    and world recognized marketing guru.
  2. http://www.meettheboss.tv/
    This website includes talks with some of the most powerful business leaders across the world. See exclusive videos with top executives who frankly share their failures and successes, covering areas such as finance, leadership, operations and technology.
  3. http://www.entrepreneur.com/
    A resourceful website full of tips and stories in the areas of marketing, technology, merchandising and much more. It includes how-to guides and useful information on key areas that affects any business.
  4. http://99u.com/
    This website provides wonderful guidance on how to make your ideas happen. With inspiring videos and thought provoking articles you will quickly see the additional value it could bring to your business practice.
  5. http://blogs.hbr.org
    Great source for general business advice, leadership tips and many other topics provided by one of the best universities in the world – Harvard. With an exceptional list of contributors from the academia and business worlds, this is a must e-stop website.

Street Style – A hot day in Sydney, Australia

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Sydney-street-style

Two-cool-ladies---Sydney-Street-Style

Often we come across really stylish baby boomers (and older) so finally we decided to take the camera with us and share all this chic with you.  We are big fans of street photography and are followers of popular blogs such as The Sartorialist & Advanced Style which were our inspiration. Our first round of photos were taken in Manly beach, Sydney on a lovely sunny day (even though it is already Autumn here…). We will share our fashionable findings with you every now and then- starting in Sydney and hopefully spreading across other cities too.

Ready, set, go – Fit Break program is officially starting!

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Meet Natallia Pellew your personal trainer for our Fit Break – a monthly program to make you fit again. To view the description of the above exercise you will have to join us next month too…

Everyone knows the importance and benefits of physical activities, especially as you get older, so why isn’t everyone doing something about it? To encourage you to start exercising we are presenting a monthly program called Fit Break with Natallia Pellew – a professional personal trainer with over 20 years in the sport and fitness industry. She holds a degree in sport science and is a certified master personal trainer and boot camp instructor.

Now, if you need any convincing, lets recap some benefits of being physically active.
Regular physical activity can:

  •     Slow down the changing physiology that occurs with ageing.
  •     Help prevent heart disease, stroke, and reduce high blood pressure.
  •     Reduce the risk of developing Type II diabetes and some cancers.
  •     Promote psychological well-being, quality of life and reduced depression.
  •     Help build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, effectively reducing    the risk of injuries from falls.

You don’t have to go to a gym, which can be intimidating for some people, or spend a lot of money. You can exercise anywhere – even outside in your local park. It can be as simple as following a short programme combining cardiovascular and muscle resistance training, using your own bodyweight or simple outdoor equipment such as benches or stairs.

Before you start any new programme get clearance from the doctor to exercise, you can take this short programme with you to the assessment. If everything is alright, you can start to exercise at low intensity and duration and slowly progress to moderate intensity.

For each of the following exercises perform 1-2 sets with 8-15 repetitions. In the beginning of each session start with progressive warm up for 5-10 minutes, and finish with cool down and stretching for another 5-10 minutes. Longer warm up and cool down is advised for beginners and de-conditioned participants.

Exercise-no.01

Step ups. Target muscles: calves, quadriceps, glutes

  1. Start position: Standing facing the bench, neutral spine, abdominal muscles activated.
  2. Face the step and step up onto bench with lead leg followed by second leg, ensuring whole of foot is on the step.
  3. Step down from bench with lead leg followed by second leg to return to starting position.
  4. Repeat this process with the same leg for a number of repetitions before swapping to other leg.

Note: This activity perform quickly can be used in cardiovascular training. At a challenging height and slower pace, it can be used more for strength training

Exercise-03
Wall push ups. This exercise can be performed on any inclined surface (wide tree, bench). The higher you are, the easier the effort. Target muscles: chest (pectoralis major) and arms (triceps).

  1. Start position: Hands on the wall slightly wider then shoulder width, neutral spine, abdominals activated.
  2. Lower body towards the wall as low as good form allows, maintaining a stable body, mid chest directly in line with hands.
  3. Lift the body keeping the elbows soft on extension (ie not locked straight).

Caution: This exercise can cause an upward or downward shift in blood pressure and may not be suitable for those with pre-existing blood pressure conditions.

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Abdominal curl. Target muscles: abdominals

  1. Start position: Lying down on your back, knee bent to 90 degrees with feet on the floor, arms crossing chest.
  2. Raise the head and shoulders and lift the upper body off the ground by flexing the trunk (think ribs to hips). Highest point of the curl is 30 – 40 degrees.
  3. Slowly lower the body to return to the starting position.

If you experience any discomfort or pain stop exercising and consult your doctor.

TDA would like to thank our personal trainer Natallia Pellew for taking us on a healthy journey.You can check out her company Fit n Fun and join one of her personal training sessions which are all about having fun and achieving your fitness goals.

Successful tips for buying a new computer

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At TDA we know that choosing a new computer can be confusing. There is a vast range of products available in the market, and a lot of jargon to comprehend. We’ve put together this short guide to help you navigate your next purchase.

To get things started, you should think through the following basic questions:

  • Laptop or Desktop? Laptops offer the convenience of portability, but some may appreciate the larger screens and full-sized keyboards of a desktop. Most laptops generally pack more than enough power for typical computing needs, though a desktop may offer better bang for your buck.
  • What will you use the computer for? Is it for business or entertainment? Will you watch videos or just browse the internet? Would you use it on a daily basis, or just occasionally? Answering these questions will help prioritize the key features in your chosen computer.
  • What’s your budget? To ease the process, it is good to set up a price range for how much you are willing to pay. Prices are varied and may start around $500 and reach over $2000.

The next step is to get a basic understanding of the key terms you will encounter:

RAM
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is the common way to measure your computer’s working memory. We recommend to have at least 4 gigabytes (GB), but more will help extend the working-life of the machine.

Processor
This is the “brain” of the computer which execute all the instructions from the software. Most computers will have either an Intel or an AMD processor.

Operating System
The operating system (OS) is the core software that runs on a computer. It manages the computer’s memory, processes, and all of its software and hardware. The most common computer operating systems in the market are Windows and Mac OS X.

Hard Drive
This is the permanent storage space for data on your computer. It is used for various data such as programs you have installed, music, photos, movies and other files you have saved. You can clear space by deleting or saving files on a USB drive.

Graphics Card
This is a device in the computer that outputs visual information to the monitor. The most common type is an integrated card (some of the reasons are because it is cheaper and generates much less heat). Unless you want to run demanding video games or graphics software you should find that most graphics cards will meet your needs.

Finally, here are the last steps you need to take to make a successful purchase;

  1. Research offline. Visit leading shops and see which computer feels right for you. Along with all the other factors we mentioned above, think about screen size, weight, keyboard and even design. At the end of your visit, make a list of your top five options.
  2. Read reviews online. Check various sources so you could hear both consumer and expert opinions. There are a number of websites that offer a reliable and accurate comparison between computers and even recommend products for various needs and budgets. We recommend that you check:www.thewirecutter.com, www.cnet.com.au and www.notebookcheck.net
  3. Choose where to purchase your computer. Buying online may offer a slightly better price, but you may prefer the additional peace of mind buying from your local computer store.

We hope we gave you the tools to be confident with your shopping journey, and if not, leave us a question and we will get back to you.

 

E-shopping – It’s beauty time

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In the rush of everyday life, we tend to forget to take care of our skin and hair. But weather, time and stress takes a toll on our bodies. This is why we searched online for the most recommended products – they will make you feel good, and look beautiful.

  1. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub will boost your skin after shaving.
  2. Estee Lauder Advanced Timezone Night Cream will soften your lines.
  3. Deep sleep dream cream will make you relaxed.
  4. Dr. Jackson’s Coconut Melt will nourish your skin.
  5. Aesop’s Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturising Masque will make your hair glow.
  6. Perricone Md‘s Blue Plasma will gently peel your skin.
  7. L’Oreal’s Age Perfect Intensive Re-Nourish Extraordinary Restoring Serum will smooth your wrinkles.
  8. Dr Harris’s Windsor Aftershave Milk will relax your skin.

Street Talks – Michelle & Helene, Sydney

Meet-Michelle-&-Helene

Today, we are talking with two digital savvy ladies that we found while strolling in Sydney. Meet Michelle (right), who works as a real estate agent and is the owner of an iPhone, an iPad, and a Macbook pro. Now meet Helene (left), who has been working as a stylist for Sportsgirl for the last 25 years. Both ladies were happy to share their digital habits and thoughts with us.

TDA: What do you use the internet for?

Michelle:  Everything. Well, I use Google all the time to research – both in my personal or professional life. I am on Linkedin but not on Facebook although I tend to have a peek.
Helene: I use it to connect with friends that live overseas. I am not on Facebook or Twitter. I use Google quite frequently to find restaurants, theatre productions and… to keep in touch with the world.

TDA: What do you think about the “digital revolution”?

Michelle: It’s amazing and I am just embracing it.
Helen: I think it had to happen. Digital is all about learning – it’s a new world and we need to keep up with it.
TDA: In what areas do you need to expand your digital understanding?
Michelle: I am weak with social media but don’t really have the time to spend on getting a better understanding of it.
Helene: I need to know how to work with my phone, for example: how to download apps and how to add my contacts on my sim card. I know I need to back up my data but will figure how to do that once I get my own laptop.

5 apps to pack on your next trip

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An “app” (short for application) is a software program that you can install on your phone. Most mobile operating systems such as Android, iOS, Windows Mobile and Blackberry have dedicated app stores where customers can search and download applications. App prices vary but you can definitely find some great ones for free.  Installation of each app will take space on your memory card – you can check the size of the application before you start downloading.

We are assuming that you already started planning your Easter break so we selected a few apps that will make your next vacation even better.  You can also check out some of our previous lists, such as 5 free useful apps and 5 TODO apps.

  1. XE Currency
    A simple tool to help you convert every world currency. It offers live proprietary currency rates, charts, and stores the last updated rates which means you can check the rate even when there is no internet connection. With over 20 million downloads to date, you can’t argue with the success of the app.
    Price: Free
    Available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone
  2. Postagram
    No matter how digital we become, it is always nice to receive a postcard from far away. With Postagram you can create a personalised postcard with a photo from your phone, Facebook or Instagram. You can design the card of your choice and add your message. The postcard will be mailed to the recipient’s (real) mailbox.
    Price: Free to install, but sending postcards will cost you 99c in the US and $1.99 elsewhere.
    Available on iPhone and Android
  3. JetLag Genie
    Having jet lag can really kill a vacation, but many people don’t know what to do about it. JetLag Genie will help you reduce the effects of jet lag with a tailored plan that is based on your flight info and personal sleep patterns.
    Price: $2.99
    Available on iPhone only
  4. AroundMe
    Would you like to get familiar with the area you are staying in? AroundMe makes it easy to know where the nearest supermarket or gas station is. You can also book a hotel or find a cinema nearby. The app is available in various languages including English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Chinese.
    Price: Free
    Available on iPhone iPad, Android and Windows Phone.
  5. PackingPro
    This app takes packing to a new level, making it easy to share your lists and edit them from any device. In addition, there are sample packing lists that will help you decide what to take based on your destination type and length of vacation.
    You can also pick the items from a master catalog to make sure you didn’t forget anything.
    Price: $2.99
    Available on iPhone iPad and Android.  

A cosmic woman!

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A special journey to motherhood – Kay with her kids. Photo: Jonathan Rich

This is a beautiful story about the power of believing. About how positive thinking can take you places that are almost impossible. When we came across Kay in a local pizza place, we started talking as her two charming kids grabbed our attention. Little did we know that her journey to motherhood was so special.

Kay 52, came to motherhood at a later stage. She met the love of her life at 41 and shortly after she got the ring. At first, she didn’t have any thoughts about having kids, but one day her husband who is 8 years younger, suggested that they give it a try. So they did and after three miscarriages and three unsuccessful rounds of IVF she still didn’t lose hope. “People asked me how did I keep going? I just got myself up and continued knowing that I will get there, I always knew I would have my baby”

Kay

“Energy has no time or space” says Kay, who is now practising as an Intuitive Healer Photo: Jonathan Rich

When Kay was doing IVF she realised it was time to make some major life changes and sold her Beauty Therapy business to go back to college and study. Her natural ability to help people and understand their needs led her to doing a diploma in Energetic Healing. She is now practising as an Intuitive Healer (www.kayandrews.com.au) and is able to help people with various issues on all levels – physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. She heals people all around the world via Skype, as she explains that energy has no time or space.

At 44, she started an adoption course but couldn’t stop hoping she would become pregnant so she decided to find an egg donor. It appeared that this solution was the right one for her and she got pregnant on the first try – ”my body & mind were ready” she says with a smile.

After giving birth to their baby boy, the couple wanted another child but the financial stress was too high so they decided to wait a bit longer.

One day during meditation, she saw a vision of a baby girl wearing a pink dress which made her realize that she needed to have a sibling for her son. This wasn’t an easy decision as at that stage Kay was already 48 and thought it might be too late. It took another few months and Kay was back at the clinic. Shortly after, she got pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl.

The egg donor is now a part of the family. She sees the kids every time she comes for a vacation from LA. Kay defines them as a “Modern Family” and is open with her older son about it – “When my son was 3, I told him that he was made in a very special way. I explained that mummy’s eggs weren’t good so we had help from someone who was kind enough to give us hers.”

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Happy moment with the kids. Photo: Jonathan Rich

Finally, we asked Kay to give us a tip for getting through difficult times in life – “Stay in the moment and stay focused on what you want, not what you don’t want and always keep your faith and trust in the process…”

TDA would like to thank Kay for opening her heart and sharing her amazing story with us – we are sure it will be an inspiration for many people at different stages in life. We also want to share our gratitude for the wonderful work of our photographer Jonathan Rich.

Destination: A better me. Some thoughts about resolutions…

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“Enjoy every day to the fullest” Gillian, 59 & Tony 66

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“To be kind & to be calm” Carmel, 68

After a relaxing time with your loved ones over the x-mas break, you can go back to the driving seat of your life and plan which roads need to be taken to reach your chosen destinations. Picking a destination is not an easy task as there are so many options and so little time. For those of you who wish to make an act of self-improvement and take the time to reflect upon the previous year, here are 5 tips we gathered to help you see your resolutions succeed:

  • Be specific about your goals. Think about the steps you need to take in order to reach your goals and create your road map that will take you there.
  • Have realistic goals – choose goals that are doable. While you might wish to be challenged, you don’t want to be disheartened by the difficulty of your goals.
  • Share your goals with others. Create an advisory panel for support and guidance. Choose people that you will feel comfortable to be judged by but also to get a hug from.
  • No matter what, stay positive and don’t give up! Things take time, sometimes you will go one step forward and two steps backwards, accept it and know that determination and persistence will get you far, even if you take small steps.
  • Reward yourself along the way. Don’t wait for the cheering at the end of the race, make sure small progress is celebrated and acknowledged.

In case you need a bit of inspiration, we asked some locals about their resolutions for 2014. We would love to hear about yours.

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“To talk with new people” Pamela, 63

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“Stay happy”. Craig, 66 “Get fit” shouts the wife in the background.

A Splash of Summer Chic

Jennifer is wearing a dress by Piper and a necklace by The Family Jewels.                             Photography: Johnathan Rich. Hair and Makeup: Amy Strachan. Styling and Production: The Digital Age. Location: Boy Charlton Pool, Sydney

At times it feels like some people in the fashion industry tend to forget that we all get older… That’s why, at TDA, we take any opportunity we can to showcase ageless beauty. In this colourful production, we are celebrating the fun breezy spirit of summer with two gorgeous ladies.  We “discovered” our models on the streets of Sydney and adored their style.

Left: Jennifer is wearing a dress by White Suede, shoes by Gorman and earrings by The Family Jewels. Right: Vana is wearing a dress by Gorman, shoes by Witchery and earrings by The Family Jewels. Photography: Johnathan Rich. Hair and Makeup: Amy Strachan. Styling and Production: The Digital Age. Location: Boy Charlton Pool, Sydney.

Meet Jennifer, 66, an executive search assistant who enjoys a busy cultural and social life.  She spends much of her spare time designing and making clothes and doing volunteer work at The Wayside Chapel. She loves the theatre and is taking part as an extra in “Oedipus Schmoedipus”, a Belvoir production for the Sydney Festival.

Now meet Vana, 58, a ballet teacher who loves teaching, but she also enjoys participating in all the other creative arts attached to the world of ballet, eg costuming, tiaras, hairstyles and stage makeup. She creates her own jewellery pieces and clothing, often recycled from op shops and markets, which she has been frequenting for 40 years.

Left: Vana is wearing a dress by Sunseeker, earrings and necklace by The Family Jewels. Right: Vana is wearing a jacket by White Suede, bracelets and necklace by The Family Jewels. Photography: Johnathan Rich. Hair and Makeup: Amy Strachan. Styling and Production: The Digital Age. Location: Boy Charlton Pool, Sydney.

We wish to thank Gorman, The Family Jewels and White Suede for collaborating with us in such a generous and friendly way – we love what you do. Also a big thank you to Belgravia Leisure for allowing us to photograph at the beautiful Boy Charlton Pool.

This production wouldn’t be possible without our talented photographer – Johnathan Rich – whose work we just adore. We were lucky to work with the amazing makeup and hair stylist – Amy Strachan. Last but not least, we wish to thank our gorgeous models; Jennifer and Vana for their spirit, positive attitude and hard work on the set!