Monthly Archives: February 2018

Go It Alone: Your Guide to Solo Travel in Thailand

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Even though traveling alone can be described as boring or even unsafe, there is something particularly primordial and manly about this very thought. Furthermore, traveling on your own gives you a level of independence you could never achieve otherwise. Think about it – no more stopping because someone else has to go to the bathroom, no reason to take tours you don’t care about and no more voting when it comes to the future course of action. You call all the shots and you partake in all the action. Still, it goes without saying that traveling alone has more than several downsides as well. With this in mind and without further ado, here are few tips for all alone travelers in Thailand.

Go It Alone: Your Guide to Solo Travel in Thailand

Think about Safety

The first thing first, you need to think about safety. Sure, going in groups might make you feel more comfortable in some aspects, but when it comes to pickpocketing and losing things, this form of travel is as powerless as going on your own. In order to prevent this, you need to take several steps of percussion. First, you don’t want to carry around more than you can afford to lose. Most luxury hotels have a safe in a room, so leaving the majority of your funds there seems like a smart move.

Next, you probably shouldn’t carry too much tech around. Looking out for your phone on its own can be quite demanding and the last thing you want is for your attention to be split between several items. Finally, you might want to consider getting those pants with zipped pockets in order to put an extra barrier between your wallet and a potential thief.

Also, a lot of people go to Thailand for its incredible nightlife. This usually involves a substance or two, which can become a bit of a problem. Keep in mind that you are on your own in a foreign country, so try to keep this in check. All things in moderation.

One last thing, you also need to worry about the safety of assets you leave back at home. So, don’t announce your departure on social networks, make sure someone checks in on your home every once in a while and make sure everything is properly closed and locked. As for some of your most valuable possessions, you might want to deposit them in a reliable mobile storage unit until you come back home.

Make Your Trip Frugal

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that in order to fully enjoy your trip you also need to get the most out of the money you intend to spend on it. In other words, the less you spend on some of the more mundane expenses (hotel, food or souvenirs) the more you will be able to spend on scuba lessons and clubbing. When it comes to the lodging, hotel hopping can both save you quite a bit of cash and help you see the most of the city you are staying in.

Go It Alone: Your Guide to Solo Travel in Thailand

As for the food, you might both save money and get the authentic taste of Thailand by turning towards street food. In fact, there are some parts of the town that specialize in different delicacies and it could be worth your while to discover them all. As for the souvenirs, it is much more frugal to buy some authentic Thai items like sauces, spices, silk, spa products and handmade Thai jewelry at the market, rather than to go to a souvenir shop. The prices in most of these shops are inflated to meet the standard of the tourist’s homeland and in no way reflect local prices.

Thai Nightlife

So far in this article, we addressed the issue of Thai nightlife several times, so, it is only fair that we make a brief summary of the places that are worth visiting. One of the most common misconceptions about Thailand is that the prostitution is legal in the country. While this is not the case, it is tolerated in practice and in some areas it is even indirectly protected by local officials. For those who are interested in sex tourism, Thailand has three red light districts: Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza and Patpong. As for those interested in clubbing, Ce La Vi and Onyx are the probably the first two places you want to visit.

Visit the Landmarks

Finally, those who want to see the full beauty of Thailand absolutely must take a tour that entails visiting some of its most iconic landmarks. We are talking about places such as Erawan Falls, Wat Arun, Phang Nga Bay and, of course, Ko Phi Phi. These natural wonders, locations of historic value and incredible beaches are all worth paying a visit. Still, seeing all that this amazing place has to offer exceeds the time-span of a single visit.

Go It Alone: Your Guide to Solo Travel in Thailand

At the very end, it is important to mention one thing – even though Thailand is a great country for a family visit or a trip with your friends, going out there alone is bound to give you a completely unique experience. By not having anyone to chit-chat to every single step of the way you will be able to fully focus on the trip and trip alone. Needless to say, this kind of pilgrimage can help you discover yourself, somewhere along the way.

Best Renewable Energy Source For A Home

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The market for renewable energy sources for homes is increasing by the minute and with it the real estate market is evolving. People are always looking for more ways to save money, especially when it comes to utility costs. Relying on alternative sources to power your home is not only cost-effective but also good for the environment. No to mention there are many tax incentives for this type of energy production.

So, if you decide to go green, here are some of the best ways to do it.

Wind power

Best Renewable Energy Source For A Home

One of the most common ways of using wind power comes in a form of wind turbines. If you are lucky enough to own a large property, install a small wind turbine to power your household.

The reason you need a large piece of land is that because wind turbines tend to make a lot of noise which makes them not so popular in residential areas. They also take a lot of space so you would be forced to deal with all sorts of laws and zoning regulations.

Yet, despite all the above, harvesting the power of wind is highly efficient. It’s more stable than solar power and it produces a lot more energy, sufficient enough to easily power a home.

Hydropower

Best Renewable Energy Source For A Home

Using this type of renewable energy is only possible if you live somewhere near moving water.

You will need a pipeline from a point where the water level is high to a lower point on the ground. The entire process of producing energy revolves around water running downhill and powering the turbine at the end of the pipe.

An energy production system like this is much more reliable and powerful than wind or solar. The simple fact is water runs continuously, without interruptions thus being capable of producing 100 times more energy than other sources.

As far as the maintenance goes, you have to do regular checkups on the turbine. Also, pay attention to the size and pressure power of the stream you are using. If it’s too small, there’s a chance that it will dry out during the summer or freeze in the winter.

Solar power

Best Renewable Energy Source For A Home

Solar energy has become the most accessible and common solution for renewable energy. Solar panels are often placed on the rooftops but you can also find them scattered around the yard. To create enough energy for your home, you’ll need photovoltaic solar panels, an inverter, and batteries which can save up some of the energy in case it gets cloudy for a while. Depending on the position you place your panels in, you can produce 10 or more watts per square foot. A typical household usually needs a kilowatt of power to operate on a daily basis so prepare to invest in at least a few square feet of panels.

The amount of energy created by the panels differs depending on the region. If you live in a place with the majority of sunny days, this type of energy production will definitely pay off.

But before you officially go solar, make sure you’ve done all the necessary preparations first.

Check the state of your roof in case it needs any fixing. This is imperative if you opt for the rooftop panels. Consult with experienced remedial builders from your area and do all the preparations before you start with the project.

Another option is to invest in solar shingles which are placed on the roof tiles instead of the actual roof itself.

The biggest downside of solar power is that it’s limited to the number of sunny days. In case you live somewhere the sun doesn’t shine all the time you’ll have to invest in an alternative source of renewable energy.

Geothermal power

Since geothermal power is produced in very large amounts, a home variation is usually limited to heating or cooling. Even so, it is still a huge save when it comes to your utility bills.

The way a geothermal system works is that it uses earth’s stable temperature and replaces the one in your home. During the winter the heat is pumped inside the house and during the summer it’s taken out.

Unfortunately, geothermal pumps are not that highly efficient but some are known to reduce your energy costs by 40%.

Yet, installing a pump which is strong enough to maintain an average home is nowhere cheap. The pump alone can cost up to 8000$ and the drilling costs are close to 30.000$.

None of these renewable energy sources are ideal but we can not depend on fossil fuels alone to withstand us forever. Having alternative ways of power is highly important especially in this day and age when mass consumption has reached its maximum. It may seem complex and costly in the beginning but investing in renewable energy sources will really pay off in the long run.

Eating Right: What The Science Says

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Proper and healthy nutrition is one of the most important issues of the modern man today. Human health, productivity and mood are directly conditioned by the diet that is applied on a daily basis. A man today, on the one hand, is accustomed to the accessibility of a large number of diverse foods, and on the other hand, stimulated by a quick lifestyle, believes that everything that is on the market is a healthy and useful food. But the truth is hidden far behind. The still-famous Greek doctor Hippocrates said: “Your food will be your cure.” After decades of research, modern medicine has come to the conclusion that the cause of man’s diseases is the food they eat or the one he does not eat.

If we want to stay healthy we should be familiar with the basic principles of proper nutrition. Prerequisites for proper nutrition are the supply of sufficient food and a balanced amount of healthy eating.

Adopting the principle of proper nutrition is usually not easy because the habits acquired are difficult to change, but the adoption of healthy habits is the price of a healthy life!

The goal of balanced nutrition planning is to achieve energy and biological value and nutrition structure that promotes health and prevents illness.

Eating Right: What The Science Says

There is no Perfect Recipe

There are many possible and different ways to eat healthily – there is not a perfect recipe, a plan and a program that is ideal for every person. What is often forgotten is that healthy eating does not just mean avoiding unhealthy food, but it also means consuming the other, healthy, to a greater extent. Therefore, it’s not just about giving up. Perhaps the bigger challenge is to eat all this varied healthy food so that we can provide the nutrients we need.

Common Sense

More or less we all know the basic things about healthy eating, even if we may not completely abide by them. The problem with modern eating theories is that they often refer to science, and in fact offer completely false and confusing tips that mostly go against common sense. Indeed, when in magazines, on the Internet and television, we begin to listen to the convincing explaining of such and similar things, we begin to doubt ourselves and think that perhaps we do not know enough about nutrition.

Scientific vs Alternatives Recommendations

Eating Right: What The Science Says

To name just a few that have been presented as “scientific knowledge” for decades, and which have led the generations to eat wrong: margarine is good and butter is not good, it is necessary to eat refined vegetable oils, avoid fats and replace them with carbohydrates, milk and dairy products are not good and similar. On the other hand, today’s “alternatives” in nutrition popularize some recommendations that have no basis in science or in practical experience: that cereals are harmful to human consumption, that gluten should be avoided, that only raw foods are healthy and similar. How to deal with all this?

  1. Rational nutrition is a resonance between the amount of food consumed and the amount of food consumed for appropriate processes in the body such as thermoregulation, internal organs, physical activity, and others. Thus, a deviation from this balance leads to insufficient or too rich diet, nutrition and rational means at the same time taking foods that are less expensive, but equally worthy so that does not diminish the nutritional value of food.
  2. A balanced or moderate diet is another principle that represents the optimal amount of nutrients. It must neither be overabundant nor insufficient, not only in the energy sense but also in terms of the intake of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients. Overly or insufficient nutrition can lead to various disorders and as a result, many diseases can occur.
  3. Various and mixed nutrition is very important and includes two concepts: food groups and types of meals. During the day it is necessary to take food from all 7 groups: cereals, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and legumes, fats and sugars. Due to the richness of our and foreign cuisine, of course, if possible, dishes should be diverse and without frequent repetition.
  4. Equilibrium of the diet (daily rhythm of the meal)

It is necessary to take more meals with smaller food amount during the day. It is especially wrong if we take the entire amount of food in one meal! In this way, the digestive organs and the whole organism are weighed down.

Eating Right: What The Science Says

What are the Ideal Nutritional Measures?

  • Carbohydrates should make about 45-65% of the daily caloric intake. The body prefers them as a source of energy. They are found in plants, but also in dairy products.
  • Proteins: 10-35%, important for tissue construction and body regeneration. They are found in animal products, legumes, and stone fruits as well as in protein supplement snacks sourced by True Protein, for instance.
  • Fats: 20-35%, they are about twice as caloric than the previous two, but depending on the type and quantity they are necessary and healthy. Fats are found in oils, dairy products, meat, stone fruits.

Of course, this does not mean that you need to eat fries and bread the most, and a little less sausage and bacon!

Healthy food does not have to be expensive and packaged well! It’s important that it has as little additives as possible and to be as natural as possible! Therefore: eat everything and eat moderately.

That is what a healthy diet is all about!

What Are The Most Common UX Pitfalls In Mobile App Design?

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User experiences involve the user interactions with the user interface of a software product. Therefore, UI is the first priority for UX designers while developing a mobile application for your business or profession. The next things in the UX design are navigation for the user journey and conversion funnel to hit the goals of the app.

Without the excellent UX, the app success remains a nightmare. So, app development team always take care of UX as a prime concern. However, some common pitfalls in the UX design of an app can ruin the app success and abolish the reputation of app development team or the agency.

Read Now: 10 Tips to Make Mobile App Design Alluring and Engaging

In due course, the following pitfalls have listed here to manage right from the beginning of the app development process. Those pitfalls are:

  • UX design restricted up to UI design stage
  • UX has nothing to do with target audience research prior to doing planning
  • UI design is UX design and UI designer only responsible for UX designing
  • Competitor analysis has no contribution to UX designing
  • UX for RWD and app design is the same thing
  • The app must have all possible bells & whistles
  • UX testing should limit up to QA phase of app development
  • Onboarding is not essential

The more detail is available on our blog “Beware of Common UX Pitfalls While Designing a Mobile App” and also you have open invitation to contact the UX evangelists at SysBunny to get direct guidance and quote for your mobile app development project for an excellent UX.

Choosing The Best Sport For Your Kids: Age-By-Age Guide

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So, you decided to enroll your child in a sports activity, in hope of keeping them active and improving their life. However, simply signing them up for something doesn’t mean your work ends there. It takes patience, care and active tracking of how your child feels to know if it actually works for them. Wanting the best for your kid means involvement, but also letting them find their own preference. And in the sea of possibilities, how to know which sport to choose? This is where we come in, with a brief age-by-age guide on the best sports for your kids.

First comes first 

Love for sports comes from a lot of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to let your child quit a sport they don’t like, or want to try something new. Let the choice be theirs, and you keep on the sidelines as a supporter that gets to introduce them to all the fun activities they could do. If nurtured right, their love for the sport will change their childhood for the better – they’ll learn how to win and lose with dignity, more readily accept challenges and learn to push themselves. Without further ado, let’s start with the best sports for different age groups.

Choosing The Best Sport For Your Kids: Age-By-Age Guide

Ages 2-5

Seeing how kids still have to master basic motor skills at this stage of development, the unrestricted free play could be the best choice. Their coordination is still not good enough to master dance moves or karate techniques, and their attention span won’t last as long as one training session. This is a crucial moment where you need to spend as much time being active with your child and getting to know his or her strong suits, as they will come in handy when choosing the right sport later on. For now, stick to throwing, running, catching, tumbling, and simple exercises wrapped in playtime.

Ages 6-10 

Once they start school, kids begin to gradually improve their attention span and concentration, which are crucial for more organized sports. Their hand-eye coordination is improved, they’re more open in following directions and will focus somewhat more on the joint cause of the training session than goofing around with other kids, like when they were a toddler. Depending on how much of a team player your child is, you can go for team-based sports, such as basketball, baseball, soccer or dancing. If they prefer working alone, but still being part of a team, there’s always swimming, fencing, tennis, and more. 

Ages 11 and up 

This is the critical age where your child is physically advancing and can take more demanding tasks, as well as think strategically. However, this age also gives them independence on what kind of sport they’d prefer, or if they even want to train anything. If they decide to quit – don’t despair. There are plenty of activities as a replacement – organized hiking, swimming, skateboarding, and bike riding. Not to mention that there are great value bicycle deals for families so you can organize weekly rides to not only support your child’s choice but to also include the whole family.

Last but not least 

Never lose sight of what matters. It’s easy to become engulfed by your child’s successes and failures and convince yourself to know what’s best for them. While it mostly is true, only they know the physical exertion, the mental stress and the amount of fun a certain sport brings them. So be patient, open-minded and let them have fun. If done right, parenting a little sports enthusiast can enrich both of your lives, and you’ll get to watch them grow into amazing grownups.

5 Romantic Valentines Treats To Cook Your Loved One

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Valentine’s Day must be one of the worst nights of the year to eat in a restaurant. You’ll find that bookings are tricky to make, prices are artificially inflated and menus are packed with supposed aphrodisiacs like oysters and figs. Not only that, but many restaurants take the opportunity presented by Valentine’s Day to pack couples into the space they have like sardines – and there’s nothing romantic about sharing the restaurant with 50 other packed-in people.

No – if it’s an intimate and special Valentine’s Day that you’re after, then cooking at home is certainly the answer. You don’t have to cook anything complex or time-consuming – it’s the thought that counts – but your loved one is sure to appreciate the effort.

Why you should hire a celebrity chef

We’ve got plenty of celebrity chefs on the books here at MN2S, whether they’re cooking haute cuisine or diet-friendly food. We’ve picked five delicious sounding recipes from our celebrity chefs that will have your partner feeling very special indeed. And now we’ve done you this favour, remember that if you’re ever in the market to hire a celebrity chef, you know where to come!

Could a TV chef spice up your event?

Check out five of our favourite romantic recipes below:

Nigella Lawson’s Gingery Hot Duck Salad

Nigella says: “This recipe is a slight reworking of a Cambodian beef salad I often make; here the lime juice in the steeping mixture (which turns into the dressing) is supplemented with orange juice (Asian evocations of duck a l’orange and all that), but in season, around January, use instead of this combination the fragrantly acerbic juice of one Seville orange.”

We say: Simplicity is key on Valentine’s Day – you don’t want to spend more time in the kitchen than at the table. This simple salad recipe would make a perfect starter!

Gizzi Erskine’s molten caramel and chocolate puddings

Gizzi says: “It’s hot, it’s gooey, it’s salty, sweet and chocolatey, and it’s messy home cooking. I don’t think you’ve eaten this right unless it’s all over your face and you’re licking the dish.”

We say: Sold! Chocolate and caramel is a dessert that can’t fail – and this one is easy peasy.

Ed Baines’ Bouillabaisse with fresh shrimps and squid, chilli croutons and rouille

Ed says: “A luxurious fish stew that’s a twist on the classic bouillabaisse recipe with crunchy croûtons and a kick of chilli.”

We say: Seafood has long been thought of as an aphrodisiac and, although this delicious sounding fish stew is a little more time consuming than some of the recipes we’ve chosen, much of it can be prepared ahead of time, leaving you plenty of quality time to spend with your dining partner.

Gregg Wallace’s Leek and Potato Soup

Greg says: “Frugal and filling, leek and potato soup is a classic winter warmer. This one can be made in less than 30 minutes.”

We say: Soup is a great starter option when you’re entertaining – whether it’s a meal for two people of six. The big draw is that you can do everything ahead of time, reducing stress on the evening and letting you focus on being a great host.

Nadiya Hussain’s Lamb Bhuna with Garlic Naan

Nadiya says: “Much as I love a home-cooked curry, I needed a faster way of making them. So this is my speedy curry solution, with a sauce that gets blitzed in a food processor before being cooked.”

We say: Your food doesn’t have to be fancy to impress – it just has to be tasty. If you’re cooking for a spice lover, this tasty lamb bhuna is a great way to show off your skills.

You can hire a celebrity chef for all sorts of events – whether you’d like a cookery demonstration, a talk about their career or endorsement of a product. We have a great variety of celebrity chefs available to book through MN2S, so get in touch to find out more.

Christopher Biggins on Celebrity Masterchef