The Importance of Observing Local Customs in Other Countries

When we go on holiday, it is a chance to unwind and relax. Unfortunately, when letting their hair down, some people take that to an extreme and break the law. It can be bad enough to do this in your own country, but breaking laws in other nations is even worse. Often times, it occurs simply because of ignorance. It is important to remember when traveling that a behavior deemed acceptable at home may not be proper overseas.

This topic came to the fore again recently when a group of tourists from Canada, Britain, Norway, New Zealand, and the Netherlands was charged with “dancing pornographically” and taking pornographic photos while vacationing in Cambodia. Based on the admittedly incomplete evidence available to news outlets thus far, the dirty dancing in question hardly qualifies as such by the standards of their home territories. However, in a much more conservative land like Cambodia, this is a violation of local obscenity standards. Authorities were able to see the photos (also tame by Western standards) because the people in question posted them on social media. Police there say the ten people detained will face charges, but no other details were available as of this writing.

You may have heard the phrase “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” and it applies when you’re on holiday as well. It is your duty to learn about the land you are visiting, and what is or is not allowed, and adhere to those standards.There are many books and websites with such information. You can also ask your travel agent or contact the appropriate embassy before departure.

Think of the way you behave as a guest when visiting friends. They no doubt have things that they don’t consider acceptable in their home; foreign countries are the same way and have the absolute right to dictate such rules.

Banning Plastic Bags

Do you use plastic bags? If you live in the western world, chances are you use them quite a bit, probably more than you realize. This reliance on disposable plastic is causing an ecological disaster that threatens us all. Gigantic masses of garbage, much of it plastic bags, are choking waterways, threatening sea life, and throwing off the balance that Mother Nature has maintained for millions of years.

While some have taken to reusable cloth bags for their purchases, it has not been enough to stem the tide. Consequently, some cities are banning plastic bags altogether, most recently Montreal. This is an excellent start, but many more municipalities need to follow suit before there will be any real impact.

There also needs to be more action on the part of individual citizens. Here are some steps you can do that require little cost or extra planning:

Buy Reusable Cloth Bags

These are highly affordable and available from most retailers right at the checkout lane. Make sure to keep them handy in your vehicle so you remember to take them into the store.

Decline Plastic

Even if you do forget to bring the cloth bags in, decline the cashier’s offer of plastic bags. Take the items out to the car in your grocery container and put them into your cloth bags.

Re-Use and Recycle

It was common for people to bring items home from the store in plastic bags and then toss the bags into the garbage. Reuse plastic bags as many times as possible. Once they have reached the point where this is no longer possible; recycle them. Never simply put them into the trash.

Also, contact your local politicians and ask that a plastic bag ban be put into effect in your city. Or, at the very least, a plastic bag tax that will cause others to wake up and switch to cloth as a way of saving money.

Safety for All of Your Workers and Clients

There are certain basic rights that companies owe to all of their employees and anyone who does business with them. High on that list is safety. For example, would you trust a company that operates out of a rickety old building that does not even have a working elevator? The owners either don’t have the money to run their business safely or they don’t care. Either way, it sets a terrible example.

However, behind-the-scenes apathy is not always that obvious. A company may have a clean, well-maintained location that seems impressive upon first glance. However, problems become obvious if you look a bit closer. For example, they may cut corners when it comes to off-hours electricity use. This can be very obvious when it comes to parking lot lighting. When the sun goes down, does the lot still have enough illumination that one feels safe walking around unaccompanied?


Tradeforce Highbay LED lighting solutions solve such an issue in the best way possible by providing excellent, dependable illumination that requires little maintenance and does not use vast amounts of electricity. The best LED parking lot lights are bright enough to ensure that there are few, if any, shadows for potential predators to lurk in.

Ideally, a parking lot in the evening should not look that much different from the way it does at high noon: all entrance and exit ways, lanes, and spaces should be easily visible from a distance. That way any customers or workers entering or leaving at night can feel completely safe.

It is not enough to just provide quality products and good service. Companies must also ensure that their place of business and the areas around it are safe and hospitable for everyone. High quality, low-cost LED lighting solutions make that possible without seriously impacting the bottom line.

Tips on Dressing for Prom

Whether you’re looking for high-street, cheap prom dresses or designer evening gowns, dressing for your school prom is part fun, part stressful. Everyone wants look their best on the big night, and if possible, even better than their friends! With that in mind, here’s a look at tips for dressing for prom:

prom dresses

Scrap satins

Metallic or Satin material tend to be those that girls will first think of for a big event like prom, but it really doesn’t flatter every body shape. Satin, in particular stretch satin, makes you look fuller by reflecting the light. It’s also notorious for VPL (visible pant lines) and unsightly bumps and bulges. If you are a curvier girl, try a structured or fitted dress in a fabric that’s not reflective instead.

Hold back on the sequins

Sequins were made for special occasions weren’t they! If you do sequins well, you really can’t beat a bit of sparkle. Be careful not to overdo it though, too much bling can look cheap and nasty. Choose a dress with a little embellishment that is well placed to draw attention to your best features.

Show off your legs

Prom age girls usually fall in two camps – get it all out or hide it all away. It’s natural to feel self-conscious as a young adult, but don’t let that put you off getting a bit of skin out. A bit of skin doesn’t have to involve a plunging neckline, show off your legs instead. Many prom dresses opt for a full knee-length skirt, which is ideal.

Work with your skin colours

For maximum compliments, pick a prom dress that really suits your skin tone. The best way to find out which colours suit you is to look through red carpet pictures and take inspiration from a celebrity with a similar skin tone to you. If you have a warm or dark complexion, in general coral, peach and earthy tones are great. Whilst those with a pale skin colours can work pastel colours wonderfully.

Don’t forget accessories

Add personality to your prom outfit with complimenting accessories. You might only wear your prom dress once, but with jewellery, shoes and a clutch you can spend a little more because they’re items you can get a lot of wear out of! A great pair of heels and a statement necklace can really make an outfit. Whilst hair accessories and a great manicure can add a pop of colour or give a playful twist to your formal evening look.

Be wary of nudes

No this doesn’t mean ‘watch out for prom streakers’ but rather be careful of nude hues in your prom outfit. Nudes tend to show off every curve, and not always in a flattering way. If you do fall in love with a nude prom dress, again make sure it’s in a matte finish.

Clare Basker is a fashion and beauty blogger from the UK. When she’s not blogging, you can find Clare browsing everything from cheap prom dresses to onesies – shopping is her passion. 

Spring-summer jewellery trends to suit all ages

summer trendsContrary to what you might believe, most trends don’t come with an age limit.

When it comes to accessories and jewellery, most looks can be adapted to suit your personal style and budget, meaning there’s no reason not to embrace some of this season’s hottest looks.

Whether you’re 18 or 80, here are some top jewellery trends to take a look at for spring-summer 2013.


It’s difficult not to notice the abundance of dark shades around, which is certainly a stark change from the usual preoccupation spring has with pastels.

In order to get the perfect mix of light and dark, monochrome is a great shade to get a grip with and extremely versatile too. This could mean wearing your favourite little black dress and then accessorising with pearl earrings or a set of white enamel bangles.

You could confine monochrome to your accessories and allow your clothing to be as colourful as you like, safe in the knowledge that your bold jewellery will help you stand out from the crowd.

Monochrome dresses were an instant hit on the red carpet earlier this year as celebrities dressed up for award’s season, and after witnessing so much black and white inspiration it’s no wonder everyone is still enjoying this statement look.

This is an easy trend to try, but it promises to make an impact and remain timeless as the years go by.


Spring is synonymous with flowers and floral colours. To make the most of this fabulously feminine theme you ould could use flower icons in your jewellery, perhaps on a pair of gorgeous gold earrings featuring gemstones in the centre, or as a pretty pendant on a delicate gold or silver chain.

By using the floral shape you can then coordinate your jewellery with flower prints, using some of spring’s top blooms such as oriental orchids and cherry blossoms or traditional English roses and daisies.

Alternatively, stick to a relatively minimalist, clean cut clothing style and use intense floral hues within your accessories and makeup.

Swinging 60s

Whether you enjoyed the 60s first hand or not, you simply can’t escape from this decade’s influence over style aesthetics this season.

The catwalks for spring-summer 2013 were filled with beehive hairstyles and graphic prints, as well as plenty of circular and chunky jewellery styles. Plus with the sixth series of Mad Men currently underway, everyone fancies themselves as either Betty Draper or Joan Holloway.

A large pair of circular stud earrings is a great way to dress up your look and draw attention to a bouffant hairdo, and for a classic look pearl necklaces are a must, especially if you have a high-necked shift dress to wear them with.

Festival folk

You don’t have to be a teenager to enjoy festival fashion. Forget muddy tents and crowded fields, instead let’s focus on the creativity which festivals draw out.

Anything goes at these events, meaning you can contrast as many beaded necklaces as you like, cover your arms in bangles and practice your plaits, all without the worry of being judged by your fellow festivalgoers. Back in the real world you might not want to wear face paint, but the freedom to choose large chunky jewellery using an array of colours, precious stones and wood is still there.

Pick out a maxi skirt and simple cream blouse and see what fun you can have experimenting and layering your jewellery.

Spring nail trends

nail diamondsWhen it comes to nail art, there are a lot of trends going around at the moment, from nude nails to platinum streaks, there’s a lot of colors and styles you can experiment with.

This season we have seen contrasting nail styles on the catwalk. There have been delicate designs like swan white polishes, nude nails and shiny nails which have all been put against dark outfits.

One nail art design which is probably the most striking and breathtaking of all is the “dripping blood” effect by Nepalese American fashion designer, Prabal Gurung. Flaunting fabulous nails is also a great way to show off your 77 Diamonds rings, a new bracelet or your wonderfully soft hands after a manicure. So if you’re looking for some nail art inspiration, below are just a few ideas for you to experiment with.

Nude nails

Neutral or cream colored nails are really popular this Spring. When topped with a clear polish and buffed nicely they’ll shine beautifully, giving an almost ‘wet look’ to your nails. It is a a minimalist trend which has become increasingly popular over the past year, so much so that it has been seen as the demure look at prestigious fashion shows.We saw Marc Jacobs models flaunt pure white nails at Rag & Bone, while Chanel sported simple French manicures. It seems that toning down your nails is the new trend with these designers.

Dark nails

If nude nails aren’t your style then you’ll be pleased to hear that some designers have taken to a more dark and romantic style of nail art. Jason Wu featured navy and grey shades of nails, while dark purple was used by Marchesa to give a ‘dark angel’ look.

Luxury metallic nails

Gold, silver and copper nails are glam and glitzy and give an almost galactic look. We’ve seen sleek platinum racing streak designs from Monika Chiang which we love.

Trends 2013: Exquisite Walk In Closets For Your Fabulous Wardrobe

Can you think of a better way to start you day than to step into a walk-in closet and glimpse pretty much your entire wardrobe at its magnificent best? If you are a ‘fashionista’, then there is pretty much no better way to kick out the early morning blues.

wardrobeOne of the biggest trends of home designing in 2013 is the large ‘walk-in closet’ that is a perfect fit for your master bedroom. Making a grand comeback, the walk-in closet not just pampers you with all its delights, but helps you stay organized and uncluttered at all times.

Walk-in closets are a very practical way of keeping your entire wardrobe in check at all times. With everything that you own being displayed in front of your eyes, there will never be that one unfortunate dress that gets left out in the back.

With custom designed ‘his-and-hers’ walk-in wardrobes and designs that allow you to stack up everything from jewelry and footwear to clothing and watches, the sky is the limit here indeed.

There are plenty of directions in which you can go when picking a walk-in closet. If you are blessed with ample space, then an expansive design with a large mirror and a chaise lounge can work wonders. If you have a small and compact walk-in closet and wish to incorporate a cool seating option then simply find a breakfast bar stool that fits in perfectly with the setting. Such additions are not just practical, but also end up making your walk-in closet unique and inimitable.

Walk-in closets are also a perfect way to utilize the forgotten corner space. Just surround it with a beautifully designed and ergonomic walk-in closet unit and you are good to go. From the contemporary to the chic, compact to extensive, walk-in closets are as varied as interiors of various homes. Smart shelves, perfect organization and a touch of creativity ensure that your walk-in closet is an absolute dream. A trend that is ‘in’ for 2013, it is a must have for those who love their clothes, accessories and more!