Monday, December 2, 2013

Piermont Restaurant, Swansea

While in Tasmania, Tim and I stayed at Piermont Retreat in Swansea, a charming place with stone cottages, a private beach and rolling grounds.  If you want to get close to nature, then Piermont Retreat is the place for you.  In the evenings, possums, wrens and rabbits abound.

Of course, it would have been remiss of us not to dine at the restaurant at the retreat, unsurprisingly called Piermont Restaurant.  It is open every night except Wednesday, and sits in a prime position overlooking the grounds of the retreat. The restaurant serves local food and wine in a fine dining atmosphere.

There is a degustation menu, but we decided to dine a la cart.  I started off with a glass of sparkling rosé: 

The amuse bouche was mushroom arancini:

Our meal was accompanied by delicious complimentary rye bread:

For entrée, we ordered lamb with crushed peas to share:

To accompany my main meal, I ordered a glass of refreshing Kelvedon (local winery) Pinot Gris:

For my main meal, I ordered the Tasmanian market fish with crumbed mussels and seafood chowder:

while Tim ordered the beef cheek, mashed potato and baby beets:  
On the side, we ordered rocket, pear and parmesan salad:

and roast chat potatoes, rosemary and garlic:

The potatoes were the highlight - I could have easily eaten them all myself.

To finish off our meal, we shared a white chocolate and raspberry brulee  served with what could only be described as toast fingers:

Although the toasts  topped with raspberry powder were presumably for dipping in the brulee, I found them rather odd.

Overall, the food was good, and the location was spectacular.  It was definitely worth going, although pricey (mains ~$36).  If you are in Swansea, do check out this restaurant.

Piermont Restaurant
12991 Tasman Highway
Swansea, Tasmania 7190
Ph:  (03) 62578131

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Great Gatsby Christmas Party

On Saturday night, we had our office Christmas party at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne.  The theme was The Great Gatsby, which suited me to a T.

On the menu, for entrée, there was onion tart:

or prawn cocktail:

I had the prawn cocktail, which unusually had potato salad in the middle.  I liked it.

Main was either lamb:

or chicken:

I scored the chicken, which suited me.

Dessert was "petit fours" - actually, mini desserts in the form of chocolate mousse, lemon curd tart, a raspberry macaron and pannacotta with lemon grass jelly:

It was a fun night.  The music was definitely not Gatsby era, so that we could all dance the night away.  Late into the evening, there was even a staff band!

If you are curious as to my outfit, I went for a late 1920s bias cut dress that I already owned, and accessoried it 1920s stylee:

If you like 1920s fashion, do check out my photos from Miss Fisher's Costume Exhibition at Rippon Lea House here.

Friday, November 29, 2013

How to include media in social posts to attract more attention

Online Buyers have become habituated to being ready with common posts from businesses on social media. Businesses wanting show up from the community require including visual content such as images and videos (media) into their content marketing tactic. Including media is a superior way to boost your social media approach. Posts that include media on the globally most well-liked social networking sites are being paid more interest and engagement.

Use this reality to your leads by centering your content on related photos and even video. Your followers will be more eager to share these types of posts with their contacts or friends as well. They are good conversant that their followers will like it rather than just only a plain text post. But acquire creative with your photos! Keep them multi-colored, rich, attractive and efficiently so users will really desire to share it and engage. Add an intellectual sentence to go with it, a link for more information, and you are sound on your manner.

Once you have created your own videos, you will wish for to put them where it will get the most views and bring you back the more visits. The emperor of all the video sharing sites is YouTube. That is where you will wish for all your videos to be put in. Confirm that you are creating a good looking channel with your information so visitors can locate more of your videos when they visit again. Also, be ensuring to have your website address listed on your YouTube channel page. When your video is uploaded in YouTube, create a description post including your landing page link or update on your other social media pages telling users about the video and provide the link to it.

It's no doubt media posts gain more attention from social media users! This means that you should be creating an aware attempt to use high-quality, engaging photos/videos in the content you end up sharing on all social networking sites, together with good content, landing pages, etc.

Here are few causes to publish media for your business marketing strategy.
  • Post with suitable media acquires 90% more entire traffic.
  • Including media in a press release or blog post boost views by over 50%.
  • 50% of clients are more expected to think or contact a business when a media shows up in local search results.
  • In an online store sites, 70% of customers speak the quality of a goods picture is “very important” in picking and baying a manufactured goods.
At the end of the day, marketers heed more about how their social media usage is reaching particular business goals, such as drive more website traffic. So, can visuals be used to amplify website traffic as well, even if the link appurtenant a media only lives in the media description. This shows that social media experts who are using attractive photos/videos to their lead can raise traffic to their websites, just as long as they keep in mind to put links in content! You have improved the quantity of visual content you post on all social networks. You are observed that you’re nearly all visual content performs superior than other kinds of social updates.

About Author: John and Jeremy is founder of WeAreSocialExperts. They provide best social media training on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube presence. They are train you to Facebook marketing for your business.

Pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving

It was Thanksgiving on Thursday in the US.  We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, but I thought it would be fun to celebrate by making a season-appropriate dish. I chose to make pumpkin cheesecake.

The recipe that I based it on is Sprinklebake's Sweet Potato Pecan Praline Cheesecake Bars,  but by making it as a round 10" cheesecake rather than bars, and substituting the sweet potato for a cup of mashed pumpkin.  For the base, I used 1 1/2 cups crushed gingernuts mixed with 1/2 cup melted Nuttelex, baked for 10 minutes at 180 degrees.  I baked my cheesecake for around an hour, and skipped the praline.

Here is the finished result:

I think crowd reaction speaks for itself - I put it in the kitchen for any takers, and came back 10 minutes later to find it was all gone.  I thought it was delicious, but then again, I love cheesecake!

I hope that all who celebrate American Thanksgiving had a lovely day on Thursday.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

10 Best Online Programs For Small Business: Accounting Software

Are you using an accounting software application for your small business? If not, you may want to consider using one to simplify your recordkeeping. You don’t have to be an accountant or bookkeeper to know how much your business is earning. There are accounting software that can do the job for you:

10. Outright Plus
Outright Plus is an accounting solution that lets you keep track of your income statement accounts. Among its primary features are estimation of quarterly income tax, computation of sales tax and calculation of Schedule C for taxation. Outright Plus is offered at a monthly subscription price of $9.95. It is your best choice if you like assistance in tax accounting.

9. Invoice Expert XE
The Invoice Expert XE is a comprehensive free accounting program with many features. It allows you to make invoices, manage customers, create a detailed inventory and create monthly financial reports among others. But it is limited only to businesses with up to 100 products and customers.

8. Adminsoft Accounts
Although Adminsoft Accounts is not a premium accounting program, it offers many functionalities that can be used by small- and medium-sized businesses. Its basic functions include general accounting, billing, taxation, budgeting, forecasting and fixed assets management. It is also capable of multi-currency and multi-user accounting systems, which are not available in most free accounting software.
However, for business owners who have no background in accounting, it may take a while to learn this program because it has many dialog boxes and menus that users should be familiar with.

7. TurboCASH
With over 100,000 users worldwide, TurboCASH is one of the popular small business accounting software. It is a fully functional free accounting program that is readily configurable to your needs. It has the advantage of multi-business and multi-user capabilities. It also generates almost all types of financial statements and reports.
One drawback is that TurboCASH is not a very simple program to learn for non-accountants.

6. QuickBooks Premier Edition 2011
With a monthly subscription starting at $79 per month, this price may be overwhelming for some businesses. But QuickBooks Premier Edition 2011 is worth the price as it is considered one of the best accounting software available. It can streamline all accounting transactions including payroll, taxation, customer and supplier records, inventory and preparation of financial statements and reports.

5. Sage 50 Complete Accounting 2013
For businesses that require a sophisticated tool to manage inventory, the Sage 50 Complete Accounting 2013 is one of the reliable accounting software that can help with that need. Aside from its comprehensive inventory recording capabilities, it also comes with extensive tutorials. The only drawback is its price which starts at $369 for a single user.

4. NCH Express Invoice
If you have a business with less than five employees, you could take advantage of the free NCH Express Invoice. It is an invoicing package that lets you create invoices, keep track of sales and payments made and create a schedule of recurring invoices.

3. VT Cash Book
For business owners looking for a simple accounting program, VT Cash Book might be for you. It is known for its simplicity and ease of use for entering daily transactions. It can also help you with basic financial statements such as balance sheets, income statements and VAT returns.
However, this free program cannot maintain a database for suppliers and customers, and it has no capability to make invoices and purchase orders. Also, it cannot be used for multiple accounts. VT Cash Book is ideal for small businesses that require simple accounting, such as trading businesses.

2. FreshBooks
FreshBooks is a cloud-based free accounting program with a wide range of applications. It includes easy invoicing and dispatching, creating of customer and supplier records, as well as service records and document sharing.

With FreshBooks, you can access your business data from any computer. However, the free version is limited for 30 days only. Monthly subscription starts at $19.95.

1. TAS Basics
TAS Basics is a free accounting program that is useful for tracking your payables, receivables and VAT returns. You can also use it to monitor your cash flow and keep records of individual customers and suppliers. However, it has no capability to make invoices or record sales orders.

Your Turn

How do you find the accounting software listed here? If you are using another software, please feel free to share it with us. If you want to learn more about accounting software just go over  

FFWD - Sugar Coated French Toast

For French Friday with Dorie this week, our assignment was Sugar Coated French Toast.  I didn't want to splurge on brioche, so I used Viennese bread instead, and I topped my French toast with natural yoghurt and blueberries.

If you are interested, the recipe is available online here.

This was nice, but not sensational.  As this is only a sometimes treat, it is probably just as well that I didn't think it was amazing.

To see what the other Doristas thought, visit the LYL section of the website.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How Pay Per Click Ads Can Help You Become An Intelligent Marketer

Marketing is all about understanding the target consumers. What do they like? What do they dislike? And what are the elements that can help you touch them emotionally? If you work in a PPC company, you must work with a lot of Google search page ads. PPC helps you learn a lot of things and as a result, you become a smart marketer.

In this article, I will highlight the ways in which pay per click makes you a smart marketer.

# PPC helps you make crucial strategic decisions: When you invest in PPC, you basically pay Google to acquire customers for your business. Therefore, it is important to know that you are investing money in the right place. Let's assume that you sell products to both B2C and B2B customers. Now, if you see that your online B2B sales is much better than that of B2C, you can go through the offline sales reports to find out whether this is true for offline sales as well. If both online and offline conversion rate show that you have more B2B customers than B2C customers, you can pay attention to B2C marketing campaign and discover the flaws hindering your business growth.

Without PPC, it is not possible to measure the success of a marketing campaign. Some tactics like SEO, banner ads, word-of-mouth advertisement bring traffic as well, but you can never be sure how many customers are actually visiting your online and offline store. PPC gives you a solid figure. For example, 100 people clicked on the ad and visited the site. Google Analytics will tell you how many of them clicked the “buy now” button. In fact, you can also track how many people are buying offline as well by placing a simple survey form on the website. A simple question like “do you love our online shop or prefer our store at your locality” can help you get the statistics easily.

You can also optimize business process by paying attention to users' behavior once they reach your site. For example, some businesses let customers buy their products from the site and some additionally offer “call to order” facility. PPC tracking can help you find out what customers are really doing. Are they clicking the “buy” button or do they prefer to call? If the result shows that customers like to call because it saves their time, you may hire a few more telecaller executives to handle the incoming calls.

# You can form a better marketing strategy: PPC helps you understand your customers and gives you an opportunity to find the best sales pitch. The idea may seem surprising, but search engine result page ads make you fail first and then bring you to the path of success. There is no “guessing” in PPC marketing. Suppose, a client asks your professional PPC company in India to publish 5 ads with 5 different catch-lines. Some of them will fail miserably and some will bring you a certain number of customers. So, you fail and learn what does not appeal to your target audience. You don't have to guess, as the conversion tracking tools give you data regarding your success ratio. Once you know what works and what does not, you can use this knowledge for offline marketing, e-mail campaign and SEO articles.

# Make data-driven decisions: PPC marketing is a learning process. Some of your ads will fail, but you have to scan them and try to understand why they failed. It can be content, time of ad, placement or something else.  If one ad did not work a couple of months ago, it does not mean that it will not work ever. You have to test and think what you can do with the ad to make it perform. For example, you may have posted a discount offer ad when other leading merchants were offering discounts as well. Why don't you offer a flash discount for 24 hours? Modify the content and make sure that the ad stays live for 24 hours only. The discount remains the same, but since you tell customers it is for “24 hours only”, they will flock to your site.

# Boost your analytical skills: Pay per click ads make you a great analyzer. You don't only pay attention to the performing and non-performing keywords, but also analyze factors like CTR, conversion rate, cost per acquisition etc. The more data you gather about your marketing campaign, the more easily you can manage budget and compose better ads in future.

PPC makes you a knowledgeable marketer. You know exactly how much you are spending, from which locations customers are coming to your site, what age group prefers your products/services and how many customers are actually buying from either your online or offline shop. Thus, you not only become smarter but gradually start improving the investment-profit ratio of your clients. As a result, more people start hiring your PPC company for their online campaign management.

Sarmista Aun is the author of this post. Through her writings she reveals how to target the right audience for your business in order to generate leads.   

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Amazing Resume Sample By

                                 Resume Sample SEO

My name is Karan Rawat and I am 23 years old from a beautiful town. My educational qualifications are that I am pursuing Bsc final year from Sikkim Manipal University. I have a great passion for Search Engine Optimization and I'm a self-motivated person so I learned SEO myself practically at home doing lots of projects for Clients. During my schooldays I excelled in Athletics winning prizes in state level and district level competitions. I play music to relax myself in my spare time. I am a God fearing person and I spend some time daily for Him. I should say that I am a diligent, self-motivated and a kind person. I have the ability to work hard and achieve my target in time. I am a hard working team worker as well as a good listener. Achievements are less than ability ready to rock again..!
                                    Professional Info​
I am a SEO Engineer/Social Media Optimizer. I am simple, sober down to earth,considerate boy vid blend of modernity and tradition. I am a Expert SEO worker . SEO is the practice of promoting a web site by increasing its position in search results on the major search engines. Those search engines comprise of Google mainly but also include Yahoo!, Bing, and a few others. The idea is to make the site appear higher in the list of search results than similar sites.

                                       Work Experience
Social Media Optimizer
Techmatrix Software Solutions Pvt Ltd
July 2012 – Present (1 year 5 months)Gurgaun,IndiaTechmatrix Software Solutions Pvt Ltd (MyTechBay) is an independent service provider of Remote Tech Support for third party products. Third party trademarks, logos, brand names, products and services are used as references for informational purposes only.
SEO (Relationship Executive)
Consim Info Pvt Ltd
Consim Info Pvt. Ltd is a signature internet conglomerate, managing Marquee brands such as and It is today, one of the fastest growing and profitable organisations in both the digital and offline space, with a reputation for innovation, technical excellence and entrepreneurship. From reaching out to South Asians across the map, in countries such as the UK, US, Dubai, Sri Lanka & Malaysia, to establishing a considerable retail presence with over 150 self-owned outlets across India, Consim spells customer satisfaction & delight.

 Search Engine Optimization – Web Master
Clearpath Technologies pvt. ltd. Delhi(Dwarka)

Clearpath Technology is a premier ISO 9001:2008 certified company. We offer the best kind of Search Engine Optimization, Link Building and Internet Marketing solutions to customers widespread all over the globe. We own the brightest resource pool, enriched with technical flair. Along with their combined efforts, in addition to proven processes and methodologies, we deliver optimized solutions catering to the needs of our customers.
                                                  Academic Profile
1. Bachelor of  Science (B.Sc III) SMU persuing.
2. Intermediation from GIC Tharali,(CHAMOLI)
3. Secondary School Leaving Certificate (S.S.L.C) GIC Kulsari

WWDH - Potato Bacon and Leek Soup

This week, Margaret chose Donna's potato, bacon and leek soup from p24 of Modern Classics I for Wednesday with Donna Hay.  You can find the recipe online here.

This soup was really, really good.  This is high praise from a person who feels rather lukewarm about soup.  I substituted the bacon for prosciutto (because I had some left over from the pumpkin pizza last week), and I used the cream.  Yum!

To see what Margaret, Kayte, Chaya and Sarah thought about this soup, visit their websites.

SEO Helps To Gain Site Visibility And Enhance Your Business

SEO helps to make content of websites more attractive, relevant and to be easily read by different search engines. It is a process of constructing and analyzing web pages whereby they can be discovered, analyzed and indexed by various search engines. It is very essential service which is very useful for grabbing attention of your potential customers and helping you to maximize your profits very quickly. It helps you to receive high traffic to your website and enable you to get good return on your investments. SEO will help your site to get the intensity to fight other sites which will enable it to reach a top position thereby helping your business to flourish.

SEO helps people to find your website very easily. It helps to make your brand stronger, better and well recognized by your visitors. SEO process is very useful because it has a direct impact on your business. It is seen that website which incorporates SEO process in their marketing strategy has attracted highly targeted prospects which convert thereby helping you to increase your sales. SEO is very essential because it will help your site to receive more free advertising from search engines which, in turn, enables you to expand your client base very quickly. A site which is based on SEO process will lay the foundation on which a successful online business can be built very easily.

SEO helps you to save both time and money so you should definitely engage it in your marketing plan. It enables you to build your brand image in most affordable and optimal way. It analyzes your site for identifying weak points in its structure and content and makes useful recommendations that is bound to make your site both user and search-engine friendly. It also makes specific changes which will improve your site’s functionality and appearance. SEO plays an important role in the buying cycle and attracts potential buyers to your website through relevant keywords and phrases which are ranking high in search engines where searchers are looking for information about them. It facilitates you to further all your business goals than most other forms of marketing because it offers customers more sales at little incremental cost.

SEO can be aptly called your digital calling card. It ensures that your website appears to the right audience and gets viewed by a wide segment so that it is able to perform the task of providing you with qualified leads and converting them to become your loyal customers. It lets you dictate how your business should be featured on search results. It lets you a helping hand which enables you to steer your business along the right path. SEO leverages social sharing and an SEO strategist helps to manage this process by coordinating with your marketing department. With the help of this process you are able to control what people are able to read, think and do on social sites and even spread your message through networks at lightning speed. It is a measureable marketing strategy whereby every element of your SEO can be measured, evaluated and corrected at the same time. So, immediately incorporate it in your marketing plan and see quickly how you are able to generate high revenue.

Author Bio:

The writer of this article informs you that SEO top ranking follows a focused website optimization program which will enable your site to accomplish and maintain top ranking position at all times. It incorporates latest trends which helps your site to be on top at all times.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Night Noodle Markets, Melbourne

On Thursday night, Tim and I went to the Night Noodle Markets in Alexandra Gardens, Melbourne.  I had visited the Night Noodle Markets in Sydney almost 10 years ago (in 2004) with some girlfriends from work, so it was fun all these years later to be able to visit the Melbourne incarnation.

The Night Noodle Markets are on from 18-30 November.  The markets contain food stalls from a number of famous eateries, serving hawker-style food, with bars and entertainment.  On the night we were there, the Melbourne Chinese Youth commenced a dragon dance.

Tim and I chose Thai style food from Longrain.  Tim got the hot-and-sour salad of pork, glass noodles, peanuts, mint and coriander ($13), while I opted for  the yellow curry of cauliflower, pumpkin, mustard greens and chilli ($12):

Both dishes were excellent value and tasted fabulous.  We ate sitting on the lawns, as there were no free chairs even though we were eating at granny hour.  By the time we left at around 7.30, the place was buzzing, with hardly anywhere to stand let alone sit, so my advice is to get there early (we arrived at 5.30pm; the market starts at 5pm).

Gelato Messina from Sydney had some amazing looking sundaes ($9) which I couldn't pass up, so I bought two so that we could share half and half of each.

I chose the halo halo (caramel flan, coconut sorbet, jackfruit creme patisserie, rambutan jellies and condensed milk), which was my favourite:

and the monkey nuts (donuts, cashews, coconut and peanut gelato, jackfruit creme patisserie, toasted coconut):

It was a fun alternative dinner venue, and I would definitely go back. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Four-Step Formula to Generate Leads from Your Blog

These days, whenever Google talks about SEO, they concentrate on one thing only, quality of content. Their logic is very simple. If you post high-quality, informative articles, readers will read them, share them on social media sites and consequently generate authentic back-links. So, in other words, “content is king”. The reaction of SEO services India companies to Google's new optimization logic in the past couple of months have been impractical though. In order to impress the search engine giant, some sites played with long-tail keywords, some started posting articles very cautiously and some blogs stopped accepting guest posts in the fear of “poor content”. All hail Google!

Everyone is creating his or her own content writing plan, but forgetting a simple thing. When you post a blog, your goal is only not to get a better position on SERPs or impressing the mighty Google. Don't you generate leads from your blog posts? What is more important – getting top ranks or getting clients? You can always find a formula to safeguard your site from Penguin and Panda SEO updates, but it does not matter whether your site ranks high or low, it needs to bring readers and then convert them into clients. Some people may visit your blog first and if they find something really useful in the blog, they will go to your site; irrespective of your site's position on SERPs.

In this post, I will discuss how you can generate leads with the help of your blog.

Write helpful content: Most of the blogs post generic content just to fill the pages. You need to write something that will empower readers and help them achieve something. An article can teach them something, solve a problem or improve their situation in some way. The best way to write a good blog post is to ask yourself a few questions.
  • If I am the reader, will I read this post?
  • What does the reader learn from my post?
  • Can it help them make money?
  • What problem does this post solve?
Now, suppose you are writing a post on “dynamic logo design tips”. Your mind should answer the above questions like this:
  • Yes, this post is for designers and they will read it as there are not many posts on dynamic logo design.
  • How to design animated logo.
  • It will.
  • They may have faced some problems in the animation process and my post offers the solution.
Write lots of posts: You need to write several articles and that too everyday. Ask any SEO services India company and they will tell you that posting one article a week won't bring any good results. Start posting 3-4 articles every day and do this for at least a month, you will definitely notice traffic improvements. One well-written blog once a week won't bring readers. If you don't have someone who can produce quality articles regularly, hire a content writing company for the job. You can check the outsourced content to make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes, but don't expect Pulitzer prize winning article every time. As long as the content is helpful and authentic, you can post it without hesitation.

Include a Call-to-Action in every blog post: Ask readers to take an action in the ending paragraph of every article. The CTA can be anything. You can ask readers to subscribe for newsletters or tell them to visit your site for getting something you have discussed in the article. A simple CTA message/button can generate hundreds of leads within a couple of months. For example, if you have shared the principles of responsive web design in a post, you can end the article by asking readers to “get the paid responsive website design tutorial.” Since readers have already understood your knowledge and experience, most of them won't hesitate to download the premium tutorial.

Include Authorship and offer sharing options: Matt Cutts has discussed the importance of Google Authorship in search engine optimization several times. So, I don't need to tell you why you should publish your name as the “author” in every blog post. Make sure there are Facebook share and Google +1 buttons for social sharing.

No SEO services India will claim that blogging can generate leads overnight. You have to follow the aforementioned four-step formula for several months to see a change in the number of leads you are getting every month. Eventually, you will be able to get clients from your blog.

Author Bio
Sarmista Aun is a professional blogger. In the above post she has reveals how to generate leads from your blog. 

Lovebirds Cupcakes for Jacqui


One of my colleagues, Jacqui, is getting married this week.  As Friday was her last day at work, I made her some cupcakes as a celebratory gift.

The cupcake recipe and buttercream icing recipe that I used are from The Primrose Bakery, and are available here.  This has become my go-to recipe for vanilla cupcakes and buttercream, as I get the most consistent results with this cupcake recipe and it tastes lovely, while the buttercream is pleasant tasting and minus the greasy mouth-feel.

To make the fondant decorations, I started a few days ahead so that they would dry, and used this mould.  I then dusted the lovebirds with gold lustre dust:

and the hearts with pink shimmer dust: 


and placed the finished cakes in a professional looking cakebox that I sourced online:

I was pretty happy with these and will definitely use this again as a wedding cake idea.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dalek Mini Cake for Dr Who 50th Anniversary

It is the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who today, and as an ardent admirer of the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), I could not let the day pass un-noticed.

I wanted to make something edible as my way of celebrating the occasion, and I was initially attracted by the ideas in Dining with The Doctor by Chris Rachael Oseland.  However, being a baker, when the time came, I of course wanted to make baked goods.  A quick Google search led me to this recipe on the BBC America website for  Mini Chocolate Dalek Cakes.

While I made the whole batch of cake, I only made one Dalek - that is all I wanted, and when you start putting the little sod together, it becomes rather time-consuming.

Instead of using a marshmallow head (which looked a little odd because it was smaller than the body), I had two different shaped dariole moulds (one which was tapered at the top for a head) in which I baked the cakes.  I trimmed one of each type of cake up to make a dalek head and body, and joined them together with some of the ganache.

I couldn't find pocky or FADS at the supermarket (my first choices for Dalek accessories), so I bought a can of yan yan biscuits and dipped them in chocolate for the plunger and eye stalk, joining on a chocolate dipped smartie (I'd used all the brown ones) and a blue smartie to the end of the sticks for a plunger and an eye respectively.  I left the gun plain. 

The cake itself is really rather delicious - although it contains cocoa rather than chocolate, it is deep and rich and chocolatey in flavour.

The backdrop for my Dalek is a first day cover of the complete set of Royal Mail Doctor Who stamps.  Don't you think they are fabulous?

Are you planning to watch The Day of The Doctor, being the 50th anniversary episode of Dr Who? And are you celebrating the occasion, and if so, how?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

8 Ways of Managing Your Blog and Social Media While on Vacation

Vacation agendas differ from one individual to another. While some look at it as a getaway where you get to build sandcastles on beautiful beaches with kids, some consider it to be a time for relaxation and reading a novel on kindle. Irrespective of what is actually done by you on vacations, the truth is that you expect some quality time to unwind and relax. However, if you are a content writer India or any other professional related to the online world, it may not be a good idea to cut yourself away totally from the professional space. In today's competitive time, keeping up with your engagements in social media while on vacation is no longer a choice but a necessity.

Here are 8 ways of managing your blog and social media while being away from work:

Take the help of guest bloggers: You can keep your blog active and working even in your absence with the help of guest bloggers. Guest blogging not only gives the impression of your blog being alive but also assists the guest blogger in achieving his own goals. However, make sure to remind the blogger about responding to comments on a timely basis so that fans and customers can be kept engaged and conversations can continue peacefully.

Schedule Facebook posts, blog posts and tweets: It is a smart idea to plan future social media updates and posts so that your followers and fans assume that you are quite active and maintain the frequency of your posts or updates. In order to make this plan successful, a bank of posts has to be created in advance before you leave for your vacation. There are various tools that allow scheduling of Facebook posts and tweets, such asTweetdeck, Hootsuite and CoTweet.

Load your smartphone prior to leaving: Thanks to smartphones, you can now access your social media accounts from practically anywhere. You should make it a point to check whether your smartphone possesses all social media applications that will enable you to access blogs and social media while roaming around in a foreign land or biding your time at the airport. “Page Manager” app has been launched by Facebook for Android and iPhone. You can monitor Twitter with the help of mobile apps from Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. WordPress, LinkedIn and Google+ too are not very far behind, what with each having a decent collection of impressively-designed mobile applications.

Give training to someone: Solo workers, like a freelance content writer India, or small business owners may not benefit from this one but those working in big or even small teams can give training to another professional in advance so that he can manage the social media activity in their absence.

This point is a little tricky one. This is because you should make sure to not give away all your duties and responsibilities to your co-worker. It is highly essential for you to stay as updated as ever.

Inform readers that you will be unavailable: There is nothing wrong in being personal with your followers and readers by informing them that you will be off from work for a couple of days. If they are truly your loyal readers and are aware of your hard work for producing quality work, they wouldn't really mind your plan of taking a break for some time. Such a step can also draw a lot of appreciation from readers.

Streamline social media activity: Make use of services like NutshellMail for organizing your social media activities. The primary aim of these services is to deliver your Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp and other updates as a single message to your inbox.

Outsource all social media commitments:Professional companies which do such work have no vacation time. Thus, if you outsource your social media obligations, those can be handled impeccably by them, enabling you to enjoy your vacation completely.

Tie up conversations which have not yet been resolved: Avoid leaving any unresolved conversation in social media as it is. You should complete all comments and discussions before leaving for vacation so that nobody is left waiting for your reply. It is important for your reputation as a professional blogger.

These 8 tips can make the vacation of any content writer India a social media-friendly one.

Author Bio
Sarmista Aun is a professional content writer India. She is also a social media optimizer. She loves to share her knowledge with her writings. 

FFWD - Salty-sweet potato far

For French Friday with Dorie this week, we venture into the intriguing world of salty and sweet, which sounds right up my alley.  This week's recipe is salty-sweet potato far, and the name alone had me intrigued.

The recipe itself is perhaps not so intriguing - it is basically a huge potato cake with prunes added for the sweet part.  It was quite OK to eat, even better  cold, but probably not a repeat for me.  Ah, such promise in the name, but it was not fulfilled for me.

To see what the other Doristas thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the FFWD website.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Heed before you start PPC

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About Author:
Sean Pritchard is founder of Madword-Media. Bringing over 7 years’ experience in Internet Marketing and he is Google Certified PPC Expert. Follow Madword-Media on twitter @MadwordMedia.