In a move toward warmer shades and earth tones, influential color forecaster Pantone has announced Marsala 18-1438 as the color of the year for 2015. Marsala follows in the footsteps of some visibly brighter hues: radiant orchid – a splashy pink-purple – was the color of 2014, while emerald received the distinction for 2013
Marsala is a wine-like color named after the stuff that’s made outside of Sicily. It’s a “naturally robust and earthy wine red”. In the company's annual announcement, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, described the reddish brown shade as a “tasteful hue that embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.“ The color “enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability,” said Eiseman. Opulent and regal but still warm and inviting, the shade is easy to incorporate in your office in both small doses and large.
Read on to see some of our tips on how to ring in the new year with a splash of Marsala in your office.
Because it echoes tones that are seen frequently in nature, it’s a soothing, comfortable color that is not startling to the human eye. Marsala can be used to paint an entire room, or an accent wall. It plays well with other hues, so mixing and matching is encouraged.
Pantone recommends pairing it with neutrals like warmer taupes and grays, or amber, umber and golden yellows. For a more vibrant, modern effect, juxtapose Marsala against greens like turquoise and teal, or even blues.
Here are seven different color pallets that incorporate the color Marsala.
Paint can be too big of a commitment for some, so there are plenty of other ways to incorporate Marsala into your office. Furniture can infuse your room with a shot of Marsala, and there are plenty of choices to pick from. Despite its new status as the 2015 Color of the Year, Marsala is actually a very timeless shade, so you don’t need to worry as much about pieces in this color going out of style. We have many fabrics available to customize chairs for your office. Here are just a few of the swatches that incorporate the Marsala color
Incorporate this rich and welcoming hue in accent pieces, and accessories. Marsala’s plush characteristics are enhanced when the color is applied to textured surfaces, making it an ideal choice for rugs. Desk accessories or new wall art can also an inexpensive way to bring a pop of Marsala color to your office décor.
Marsala may seem like an inherently earthy color, but a change in texture can change its feel completely. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury Pairing it with a glossy finish gives it a modern twist that we love.
Please share your thoughts on Pantone’s color choice and how you will incorporate it into your office setting.
As we inch towards December 31st, there's a sense of urgency to wrap things up and prepare for a new year. You may have projects to finish, sales goals to reach or books to close. This added pressure can make it difficult to enjoy time with friends and family during the holidays. But a few simple secrets can help you "ring out the old and ring in the new" relaxed and stress-free. Here's how:
CLOSE IT OUT...
You've earned the time off. Use the holidays to recharge your batteries, so don't leave loose ends or deadlines hanging. Spending a little extra time earlier in the month to complete tasks will make sure you can sit back and unwind. Finish any year-end reports, turn in expenses, and file insurance benefits forms. Before leaving on holiday, inform your team and managers of how to reach you in case of emergency and don't forget to set an out-of-office response on voice mail and email.
CLEAN IT UP...
Whether working straight through the holidays or taking several days off, take time to tidy up your workspace before year-end. Start by clearing your desktop of extraneous files, papers, and clutter. Mercilessly attack drawers and paper files, shredding or recycling what you don't need. Re-evaluate your filing system and replace crumpled folders. Cull through business cards you've collected and place in a business card holder or rubber band them together. Do the same electronically, deleting and/or reorganizing emails, files and voicemails. Now's also a great time to stock up or refill office supplies. Returning to a neat and organized workspace will significantly reduce stress and give you a clean, fresh start to the new year.
REFLECT, REMEMBER, RENEW...
Many of us rush through year-end without reflecting on our accomplishments. No doubt you've had successes, so list them out in as much detail and as quantifiable as possible. Use this information later during your performance review or to update your resume. Once the frenzy of the new year begins, you'll find it more difficult to recall the results of last year's efforts.
Remember others too. The holidays give you the perfect reason to reconnect with contacts you've lost touch with during the year. Be sure to thank others who have helped you along the way. Letting them know you appreciate their efforts will brighten their day and ensure the good vibe continues.
Lay out your professional and personal goals for the new year. Are there individuals you'd like to work with? New skills to acquire? Areas of personal improvement? Write them down and keep them front and center at your desk where you're more apt to follow through.
Take advantage of this once-a-year golden opportunity to clear the slate and start fresh. Make next year your best yet.
Brought to you by: www.biggestbook.com
When it comes to sending holiday gifts, many of us save time by shipping directly from internet retailer to recipient. Despite this, there always seems to be one or two stray presents you end up shipping yourself. The key is to send them early, because the less time you have the more you'll pay.
Whether sending your package across the country or across the ocean, it can be easy, inexpensive, and hassle-free using the following guidelines.
There's no shortage of options for domestic shipments. Many shippers even offer their own flat rate boxes. If, however, you're using your own box, it's less than 70 pounds, and you want an economical choice, USPS might be the way to go as long as you adhere to their rules.
Use Clear or Brown Packaging Tape
This means no duct tape, masking tape, cellophane tape or string. Apply at least three strips of packing tape to the top and bottom sides of the package, making sure you secure corners tightly.
Wrap and Cushion
Stuff empty spaces with peanuts, bubble wrap or newspapers (if you can find them). Wadded up grocery sacks do not provide enough protection against damage caused by shifting during transit. It's recommended you remove batteries in case the "on" switch activates, causing security issues when it emits humming, buzzing or ticking sounds. Wrap batteries separately within the package.
Don't Ship Hazardous Materials
USPS has strict rules on shipping chemicals, liquids, matches, weapons or other potential hazards. For more specifics, check out its website.
You can use either a shipping label or legibly print the address in upper case letters with a permanent marker. Put the recipient's name in the center of the most visible side of the box with your return address in the upper left-hand corner. Avoid seams that might distort addresses. In addition, USPS recommends putting the shipping and return addresses on a card inside the package in case the box gets damaged. Be sure to get a tracking number to make sure your package is received.
The process for international shipping is similar to domestic with a couple of key differences. You'll want to allow much more time - up to four weeks for delivery depending on the country. Double check the destination address as formats, naming and numbering conventions can vary significantly. Be sure your box is sturdy, and you have ample cushioning because your package will be traveling a greater distance and handled more. At USPS you'll be provided several shipping options with prices and a delivery schedule for each. Complete the official forms and declarations, then you're done.
For those who want to save time, it may be worth the extra cost to use a widely available pack-and-ship service. Simply take your wrapped gifts and addresses, and they'll secure the items inside the appropriate sized box and take it from there.
Selecting meaningful gifts can be stressful enough, shipping doesn't have to be. You can de-stress the holidays with shipping materials and advice from Twist OP.
This winter is already proving to be harsh and it has only just begun. As two of the coldest major metropolitan areas in the continental United States, both Chicago and Minneapolis / St. Paul dish out a winter season that can test even the hardiest of residents. If you live in a frigid environment, staying warm isn’t just a recommendation, it’s essential to your livelihood.
What is frostbite, and why is it dangerous? Frostbite is a medical condition that can result in permanent damage to skin and body tissue due to freezing. Most commonly, it affects the body’s extremities such as the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin. In severe cases, frostbite can result in gangrene and amputation, making this a serious danger to avoid at all cost.
Although frostbite used to be a military problem, it is now a civilian one as well. Everyone is susceptible, even people who have been living in cold climates for most of their lives. Some groups of people at greatest risk for frostbite and hypothermia include those:
· who spend a great deal of time outdoors, such as the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.;
· outdoor workers
· individuals under the influence of alcohol;
· who are elderly without adequate heating, food, and shelter;
· who are exhausted or excessively dehydrated;
· who are mentally ill.
· who smoke, have diabetes, or poor blood circulation.
· Anyone not adequately dressed for the cold
Because of it’s numbing nature, frostbite can be difficult to detect. The Mayo Clinic offers the following list of signs and symptoms to watch for;
· burning, numbness, tingling, itching, or cold sensations in the affected areas.
· Red, white, bluish-white or grayish-yellow skin.
· Hard or waxy looking skin.
· Joint and muscle stiffness
· Blistering after warming up in some instances.
Tips to avoid frostbite:
· Layer up with as many layers as possible — hats, gloves, jackets and scarves. Do not let your layers constrict you because this could cut off blood flow.Even in subzero temperatures, your body will produce sweat that can then cause chill or contribute to hypothermia when your skin comes into contact with wet clothing. Wear several loose-fitting layers to provide your body with insulation and ventilation.
· Keep moving
· Stay inside during peak hours of bitter cold. Warm up with coffee, hot chocolate or in a heated space.
What to Do if You Suspect Frostbite
Having your most used tools and references handy on your desk helps you work faster. Here are some ideas for fast and easy access to your most important reference information.
Follow these three principles for making your desktop an efficient work area:
1. Make groups
2. Put in order
3. Keep close
Having things right at your fingertips makes you highly productive and feel totally in control. Use Colored SuperTab Folders in a desktop rack to hold frequently referenced material.
• Gather the materials that you refer to frequently throughout the day; phone directories, email addresses, lists, catalogs, schedules, prices.
• Group items by the way you will look for them, such as suppliers in one group, customers in another.
• Assign a different color SuperTab Folder to each group.
Put in Order
• Place materials in SuperTab Folders using the appropriate category colors.
• Write the name of each type of reference on the oversized tab.
• Order the folders alphabetically within each color group.
• Put the folders in a desktop rack.
• Position the rack near your computer within easy reaching distance.
We hope these three simple ideas help you stay organized so you have time for some fun this month.
by Smead Organomics
We’re quickly approaching the holiday season, and as you try to juggle parties, shopping, hosting, planning, traveling, and work, there’s a good chance you will lose focus and momentum in the office.
There are so many competing demands and expectations during the holidays that it is very easy to get overwhelmed. Many people lose focus during the holiday season because their to-do list swells while their time shrinks. Travel planning, guest preparations, gift shopping, children’s events, parties and so on, must be crammed into already-full schedules, which causes stress. Personal stress often affects work performance and can diminish productivity.
Another reason employees see a dip in productivity at work during the holidays: colleagues and managers may be on vacation. It can be extremely difficult to get things done and maintain a high level of productivity when people are out of the office, and the workflow subsequently slows down.
In addition, if you have kids home from school on winter break, balancing work and family becomes even more challenging!
However, if you do manage to maintain focus through the chaos, it gives you a chance to stand out. With lower and fewer expectations from your otherwise distracted coworkers, you can also use this time to get caught up on your important, but not urgent, tasks.
Here are 10 ways to stay focused and maintain high productivity during the chaotic holiday season:
Sources: Forbes.com, ResourceNation.com, Beyond.com, BusinessKnowHow.com
’Tis the season for taking family photos. Capturing the perfect Christmas card photo—especially if your family includes toddlers, teenagers or pets—can prove challenging for even the most patient of Santa’s helpers. If you want a photo beyond the family selfie, try some of these tips from Hallmark photographers. From what to wear to camera settings, we’ve rounded up some of their tried-and-true tricks for family photos, kids and babies and even pets, plus some fun Christmas card photo ideas.
The family portrait: beyond ‘say cheese’First, take a deep breath and relax, advises Steve Wilson, a senior photographer at Hallmark. Accept that getting a great photo may take some time and, most likely, some serenity mantras. As a general rule, Steve suggests taking at least twice as many photos as there are people in your photo.
Where to shoot: You can’t beat the outdoors for backdrops. Steve likes to shoot in open shade, such as the shade of a tree. It provides flattering light on people without making them stare into the sun or squint.
Indoors he says to keep it simple. To avoid a lineup against a wall, shoot the group in the middle of the room to create depth. Find a backdrop view that isn’t too busy and doesn’t detract from the focus of your portrait—the people.
Camera setting and timer: Most cameras have an auto and manual setting. You don’t have to be a professional to use the manual setting. For a picture of a family of 12, for example, use a tripod, set the camera to manual mode, set the lens to f5.6 or f8, adjust the shutter setting, and test until you get a pleasing result. That puts the people in focus and everything around the people a little out of focus. Set the lens to f4 for individuals. For couples, do the same, but get in close.
If you are using a self-timer, set the timer for 10 seconds so that everyone is not waiting forever for it to go off. If you don’t have a self-timer, consider getting a wireless remote so you can shoot pictures whenever you’re ready.
Arranging the people: Rather than lining up people, Steve suggests “clumping” them casually. He likes to put the oldest generation in the middle and work outwards from there. He urges people to sit on the arms of chairs, hug each other and overlap as much as possible. This creates a more casual, natural-looking photo.
To break the ice, Steve suggests being a little goofy for a while to make everyone more comfortable. Let the photo shoot go on long enough for people to relax.
What to wear: Keep the clothing simple as well. Solid colors and subtle patterns are better than bold patterns. He tells people to avoid white. He says he also gets better photos when people are comfortable in what they are wearing.
For more tips on camera settings, advice on getting guaranteed oohs and ahhs on pictures of children and babies this holiday season, Hints on photographing the other members of your family, your pets and even some fun holiday photo ideas, click here