Friday, August 30, 2013
On Thursday, I delivered a speech at a seminar. I have been working on weekends for two months, writing a paper, and preparing slides, then practising my presentation. It is such a relief to finally have it off my plate! No matter what the feedback is eventually (attendees fill out feedback sheets which will be analysed and the results provided to me), it is done and dusted, and that is an achievement in itself. This means I am free to bake and blog and watch TV again!
A cake that I made last week was a Vanilla Yoghurt Cake with Orange Glaze that I found here on Peabody's blog. I had yoghurt, I had an orange, so this was the perfect cake at the time.
This one was a hit at work because someone commented to me that it wasn't too sweet. I liked it because it was so light and airy. The only change I made to the recipe was to use vanilla sugar as I didn't have any vanilla beans.
It's a perfect tea-time cake - I'd definitely make this cake again.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
This week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe is Floating Islands. Floating Islands is not as romantic as it sounds - normally it comprises quenelles of poached meringue floating in crème anglaise. I really don't like that version of floating islands much.
However, this week's version of floating islands is a little different in that the meringue is baked. This small change lifted the flavour out of the stratosphere - I liked this so much better.
Instead of crème anglaise, I made custard with good old Foster Clark's custard powder. Yum!
To see what everyone else thought of this week's pick, visit the LYL section of the website.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
This week's Wednesday with Donna Hay pick comes from Chaya. She has chosen Roasted Sweet Potato Pasta.
The pasta was supposed to be 400g of spaghetti or linguine, but I had 250g of spiral pasta in the pantry, so that is what I used. I also only used one sweet potato and one tomato, substituted cheddar for parmesan and left out the feta and olive oil. I still think my version of this pasta tasted fantastic!
This pasta is very satisfying and is very tasty - it is perfect for dinner, and for lunches - which is what I will do with the leftovers. I would happily make this again.
To see what Chaya, Kayte, Margaret and Sarah thought of this dish, visit their websites.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
An establishment that is part of the fabric of Melbourne is the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the heritage Block Arcade. The Hopetoun Tea Rooms are named after their founder, Lady Hopetoun, and were established in 1892:
The two drawbacks of the Hopetoun Tea Rooms are the queues and the prices ($8.50 for a take home vanilla slice). However, these are outweighed by the pros - a gorgeous heritage setting, fabulous cakes displayed in the window (made by a Jamaican pastry chef), and just a nice place for coffee, cake and a chat:
I have been there twice recently with my friend Sandra. I have tried the mango mousse cake:
which is absolutely devine if you like mango:
and the fig delight, a cheesecake like concoction:
For me, the mango mousse cake was the winner.
I enjoyed the cakes with the Snow White Tea Blend (apple, raspberry), but they serve a wide range of teas, wonderful cold drinks and coffee too.
The first time around, we had a white tablecloth, but there was no tablecloth the second time around - perhaps because they were too busy. It didn't worry me - I was there for the cake.
If you are in Melbourne and don't mind waiting a while in a queue (we waited around 20 minutes the second time around, but you don't have to wait if you book high tea), the Hopetoun Tea Rooms are worth a visit.
Hopetoun Tea Rooms
Shops 1 and 2
282 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: 03 9650 2777
Saturday, August 24, 2013
On this peaceful Sunday, I am bringing you a simple, quick but tasty recipe - Lemonade Scones. I don't make scones very often because they do not keep - if you don't eat them all on day 1, they are like rocks the next day. However, I was inspired to make scones by this very lovely advertisement for Queen vanilla, featuring the beautiful music of Thelma Plum and Indigo from Series 2 of Junior Masterchef as the baker - all Queenslanders like me:
Isn't this the loveliest ad you have seen in a long time? They play it during The Great Australian Bakeoff, which is how I came to see it.
I had some cream and lemonade in the fridge, so rather than making lavender scones like Indigo on the ad, I made lemonade scones. They are lighter and fluffier inside than ordinary scones:
I used this recipe by Valli Little from Taste.com.
These scones were really good - I served them solely with strawberry jam, as I didn't have any whipping cream. Two wags asked where the cream was - I told them it's BYO cream. It didn't seem to matter - the scones disappeared regardless.
I hope that you are all having a fabulous weekend, and that you enjoy making some scones!
Friday, August 23, 2013
First off, why would you even worry about Smartphone users? And weren't there plug-ins and stuff for all that? To answer the first question, there really is no reason to to worry about whether smartphone users browse your site or not. All you'll lose is about 73% of traffic from users between the ages of 18 and 44 who use their smartphones to browse. If your desired target audience does not fall into that age group, then, nope - you got nothing to worry about. If, on the other hand, you are like most other marketers or webmasters, you should be very, very worried.
As for the second question - plug-ins just don't cut it any more. Not if you want your site to appear the way you created it. Plug-ins render a mobile version of your site while you'd normally want it to appear the same across all devices and platforms because you optimized everything (presumably) on it for the most perfect browsing experience (and, therefore, possible sales).
Fortunately, the Web grows as a whole, and when there is a need, there is a way. There are ridiculously simple ways to make your website accessible to smartphone users in 2013. All you have to do is know about them - and the fact that you do actually need them.
1. Get a 'smart' hosting service provider
To begin with, you can find a host that will provide you a convert to mobile (read, smartphone) option as part of the hosting features. Godaddy is currently advertising such a feature, and it looks good. You have to design the site - which is no big deal since everything is DYI - but that takes time. Also, it will still be a 'mobile version' of your site, somewhat like what the plug-ins do. You cannot use this feature on sub-domains - which means, if you have a blog with your main site (as in yoursite.com/blog), the blog will not be accessible by smartphones. Still, in spite of its limitations, this could be the beginning of a great idea that others will soon take up and improve upon.
2. Get yourself a Responsive Theme
This is by far the easiest. If you are on Wordpress, find a theme that is Responsive - and that means, your blog / site will display similarly across all platforms, including smartphones. The HTML in a responsive theme remains constant, and the CSS3 responds to the queries for site display by offering the most compatible rules for the device (and screen size) the query originated from. In plain English, that means your theme will have separate CSS rules for a smartphone and a computer. A single URL (as opposed to the usual redirection to the mobile site with its own URL) is generated no matter the device being used, and that makes it easy for Google to index your site. No wonder this is Google's preferred method of making a site mobile friendly.
3. Get your own apps
If you've browsed Facebook on your mobile phone, you have probably also installed an app to make the browsing simpler. The pages load faster, and your overall experience is enhanced. Apps make downloading a site on mobile devices a less complicated job, and everything, from ads to content is displayed effortlessly. You can design apps for your site too. If you have a huge audience base, it makes sense to create and app and let all your subscribers know where to download it from, as well as advertise on social networks and anywhere else you can think of. Otherwise, your loyal visitors might eventually get tired of your site because it refused to keep up with the changing times.
How do you create an app? On your own, if you know how - or with a few clicks from sites like Conduit.Com.
4. The 30 second solution
If you are in a hurry, head over to bMobilized.Com, type in your site URL, click the 'Mobilize' button and you are done. Okay, this takes a little more than 30 seconds, and the customization can require more than just one click, but you have to admit, this is one of the simplest methods available anywhere. This method works on redirection, as we mentioned earlier in passing. It takes only $9 per month to keep the site running with the bMobilized support team behind you. If you think you can manage on your own, you pay just $5 (still per month, of course). The best part is that you get a full featured 7 day trial. So go ahead and try it!
5. The elaborate solution
For an elaborate business solution that claims to deliver a mobile experience as seamless as that which an app can provide, head over to Mobify.Com and check out the features and pricing. $495 is the starting price per month, and it goes to a negotiable price per requirement in the Enterprise Class. Don't back off yet if such a big budget solution is not for you: Mobify has a free alternative for smaller sites where you can access all the core features (in a limited way) for no charge whatever. This is suitable for sites that have no more than 10,000 page views on mobile devices per month. All features are activated by the inclusion of a small tag in the existing site header. Simple, huh?
Don't just create a smartphone friendly site and be done with it - promote it with paid advertisements. Your ads will flash across as many devices as you choose, and since this is a relatively new concept, now would be the time to cash in on it.
7. Facebook it
That 73% user base we talked about right at the beginning? Well, in the same age group of 18-44, about 70% access Facebook from their mobile devices. These stats are from a survey conducted by Facebook, and we are talking about a test group of 75,000 owners of smartphones. The percentage may go down a little if we refer to worldwide studies, but the actual number of users shoots way up. What does that mean for you? It means you've got to get your site 'out there'. In addition to paid promotions, get active on social networks and let people know about your site. On social media, you'll find a ready and waiting audience with smartphones in hand, and what sense does it make to waste such an opportunity?
Apart from all this, you could create a strategy of promotion that would include super short videos (5 seconds sound good enough?) to consistently promote your mobile site. This is a very popular concept - has been, for a while now, and the more creative you are, the more popular you are likely to become in a very short while. Don't forget also to check the Net regularly for newer innovations in reaching out to the new generation of audience - everything is moving so fast these days that you sure can't afford to get left behind.
Jason Smith is an online manager for Foley, Incorporated - Rent A Generator. He likes blogging about online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
It is important to validate your blog's HTML code to ensure that is complies with the principles of the World Wide Web association. An authenticated HTML code makes it very easy to maintain your site. As well, it plays a huge role in reflecting the degree of your professionalism in the blogging industry. Besides that, it augments the compatibility of your site with future versions of HTML.
Here is a review of some top tools for HTML validation
How to validate your site HTML
Firefox Add On
Firefox HTML validator is a small icon located on the status bar which validates the code as the page loads. The add-on was developed by W3C but has evolved over time in tandem with changing needs. The extension is embedded within Firefox and makes the validation on your machine without involving a third-party server. This is a superb option for those using FireFox.
Google Chrome Extensions
Google Chrome HTML validator resides as an icon just adjacent to the address field. When it is auto-run, it displays a green badge. Number 0 is an indication of no validation errors. A red badge with a count is an indication of validation errors. If you click on the icon, it'll pop-up a small window at the bottom of the browser displaying more information about the errors. It is available free of charge and is pretty easy to use.
This is one of the quickest ways to check the syntactical correctness of your HTML. The best thing about it is that it supports enormous pool of character encoding. W3C is highly accurate and even though it does not include a lot of extras it does provide useful links where you can easily find and run those tools on your site.
This is a subscription service (available online) that you can use to check your site for any bad links and HTML coding errors. It'll also check from browser compatibility. You pay an annual subscription fee of $60 for a maximum of 100 pages. You pay more for any more pages exceeding this number. The best thing about it is that it is compatible with literary all the major browsers.
CSE Lite is a fast, easy and reliable way to validate and edit your HTML code. The validator allows you to view the errors in your code without having to search for corresponding line numbers. This one is quite nice an option for casual HTML authors.
HTML Power Tools
This is a comprehensive package of Windows applications that helps you to manage your website. The best thing about this tool is that it will validate your site even when you're offline. It also checks links, spelling as well as orphan files. You however have to pay for the entire kit which comprises: HTML Rulebase editor, PowerSpell, PowerAnalyzer, Image Scanner, PowerSearch, Metamanager, HTML to Text Convertor and Date Stampler.
Don't hesitate to give your blog that much needed breathe of life. Conduct a HTML code validation check soon and avoid errors that could hamper your future opportunities.
Jason Smith is an online manager for Victorpest - Electric Rat Trap. He likes blogging about online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.
If you are a business owner, or otherwise, an individual trying to promote a certain product or service, you’ll most likely already know about a service called SEO. At first, you may find this service a little complicated to grasp, it is after all a very complex system. The traffic gained from this system is however phenomenal.
With so many variables involved in the making of SEO services, it can sometimes be a little hard to understand the ins and outs of this system. However, regardless of this, there are several simple things you can do to boost your SEO and in turn, rank higher in today’s search engines.
SEO as an essential way to gain traffic
SEO is one of the easiest ways to reach consumers today; this is mainly down to technology in the 21st century. More and more consumers are choosing to use their smartphones and tablets to shop, and with so many expensive technologies on the market today, surfing the Internet is a widespread pastime!
All in all however, it comes down to the content you choose to share – if it isn’t interesting and it doesn’t grab the attention of those surfing the net, excelling in this field is quite simply impossible!
SEO is constantly changing and as such, it’s often improving, which makes it an asset to most companies and a great business tool. On average, Google supposedly makes more than 500 alterations to their search algorithm on an annual basis. This in actual fact means that they alter their algorithm on a daily basis. Despite this, there are always certain things that stay the same and such factors comprise of how you upload, manage and update the content you choose to broadcast online. Listed below are ten of the easiest rules to follow when it comes to SEO and following these rules will allow you to use this particular system in a successful manner. This is regardless of the service or product you wish to promote, and regardless of whether you’re in the business sector or the creative industry. In fact, SEO within the finance industry is extremely effective. Due to its competitive nature, international recruitment services benefit from this strategy hugely!
1. Conduct a full site on page SEO review/audit in order to determine the issues at stake.
2. You should always write content that is tailored to your target audience and not just to the search engines. Quality content is a must.
3. Using bold lettering, anchor text and html coding will help you to enhance your on-page content structure. Don’t also forget to use interlinking which can also benefit your SEO.
4. Use sites with higher page rankings as opposed to low quality link sites.
5. Use social bookmarking sites and add new content to these on a regular basis.
6. Use the likes of social sharing buttons on your site in order to promote content further.
7. Never duplicate content as this will put off users as opposed to draw them in. In order to keep the attention of existing consumers and attract new consumers, it’s important to keep content fresh and desirable.
8. In order to create successful content, use URLs that contain keywords and link these keywords to various sites and products that promote your own.
9. Add new content on a regular basis and at prime times when others are surfing the web.
10. Create effectual title tags and ones that encompass your target keywords.
Your web-page might have the best web-design and it has all the contents in it that are required for better rankings on Google. It’s a good thing, but it is more important to do the right things that will help you in retaining the position for long. This will help you in getting maximum customers for your business. There are many other websites that are offering services like you do, and there are chances that they might get better rankings than you do. Thus it is necessary to hire the best local SEO company that will cater to all your business needs in an effective manner.
There are quite different things that need to be done for increasing in the ranking of your webpage. Some of the steps are quite simple, while others are complicated and needs proper steps and procedure that needs to be followed for becoming successful online vendor. It is necessary to choose the right type of keyword that will improve or fasten the search process for your potential client.
Keyword in Title
A keyword in the title of your content will get direct the clients directly to your webpage, without consuming much time. Also, on the title you can mention the name of the place where you render such a business. This will narrow down the search and help the potential customers in getting better and quick solutions without wasting much time. So if you haven’t been very serious about your title tag until now, then it’s time to be careful and thoughtful about the same. It is necessary to discuss your needs with the service providers so that they can take the right step and help you in the best possible manner.
The Other Details of your content:
You need to ensure that your webpage also has services like Google and Bing maps as these features will help your clients in getting the right information. With the help of a professional, you can get these things properly integrated on your webpage. No matter whatever type of business you might have, such simple things will help you in accomplishing the task perfectly and satisfactorily.
The other thing that can be done here is listing your business with Google. It will give you a list of names, places, and other details then it will help you in improving the Google rankings. You can check the details and then claim for one as per your needs and requirements. All the listings are quite important and help you in different ways, to progress in your business. Also, you can easily cope with the competition in the best possible manner.
Give proper contact information:
In order to become successful it is quite important that you provide the right contact information to your existing and future clients. Special attention has to be paid to NAP, which is nothing but name, address, and phone number.
Benefits of Local SEO are as follows –
- The experts will try and implement unique ideas to improve the listings on your webpage.
- They will take care of negative ratings, and solve any problem arising due to the same.
We've made it to Friday again - my favourite day of the week. For French Fridays with Dorie this week, we have not so much a recipe as a cooking technique - for corn on the cob.
This technique, named "Boulevard Raspail" after the name of a street market in France that sells organic produce, from whence Dorie got the idea, involves roasting corn in the husk in the oven for 40 minutes, then peeling off its "pajamas" and liberally dousing the corn with butter, salt and pepper.
I have done something very similar using a microwave for 3 minutes instead of oven roasting - I found that idea on the Internet.
What can I say - the corn tastes good this way, but corn tastes good boiled, or dare I say it, in the microwave. However, if you are already roasting some veges, chuck in some corn as well - you get yourself a nice one pot dish.
To see what the rest of the FFwD group thought, visit the LYL section of the website.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Today's Wednesday with Donna Hay pick comes from Margaret, who chose Honey Cakes from Off the Shelf. You can find the recipe online here.
These little cakes are a cinch to make, smell devine while baking and taste just right, with a crunchy outside and a crumbly soft middle.
I skipped the cream and honey garnish - I felt it was gilding the lily a little, and besides, I made my cakes in the shape of owls - and they are awesome. (Yes, it is hard to see the detail - someone at work thought they were teddy bears; however, I had fun with them anyway.)
I served my honey cake as dessert to my provencal beef, made in the slow cooker:
To finish off, i could not help but share with you the gorgeous vintage advertising cup:
that I bought on sale at Myer. They live on my desk at work so that I have my own special crockery to brighten up the day.
To see what Margaret, Kayte, Chaya and Sarah thought of these honey cakes, check out their websites.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Given below are the Email ids of the Active SMO Voters:-
Active Social Media Optimization Voters Email Id:_ Karansinghrawat15@gmail.com
Active Social Media Optimization Voters Email Id:_ Karansinghrawat15@gmail.com