Common Mistakes in Toy Storage

steiff-bearToy storage is a very important topic regardless if you collect toys as a hobby or profession or if you have them just for fun and personal reasons. It’s not simply for aesthetic and organization reasons but more so for sanitation purposes. The team from has gladly dished out some of their tricks to keeping toys organized, bug free and clean. After all, you have to render some tender loving care if you want these babies to last long. That being said, here is a list of storage mistakes to avoid at all costs.

  • Failure to provide ample storage

What most people don’t realize is that they must provide some space to make their storage units possible. It doesn’t really have to be fancy but if you want to then go ahead. It makes things all the more enjoyable and pretty. There are many options available at your disposal so there’s no reason to procrastinate and laze around about it.

  • Putting much into open shelving

Open shelving is fine but not on all occasions. If you happen to live in an area that tends to accumulate more dusts, have pets in the house, have children and do not have enough time or want to clean regularly, open shelves are not for you. If you want to store and display your toys at the same time, cabinets with glass doors will do the trick.

  • Unsealed cardboard boxes on the attic

There are times when you just have to store away some of your precious toys. When doing so, see to it that you leave them sealed. Should cardboard boxes be used, pick the thick and durable variety so the items are not invaded by bugs, rodents and dust over time.

  • Slumped into plastic bags

This one is a mistake that is specifically applied to stuffed animals. Placing them inside plastic bags tend to create and give room for moisture and condensation. It may not happen immediately but it will overtime. When that occurs, molds can damage the hair of these toys and rot them out. Plus, this creates foul odor and invites insects. Yikes!

  • Wet and high moisture areas

Put your storage cabinets, shelves or containers in an area that is not prone to moisture, wetness and direct heat. All these factors not only dulls colors but they can easily brittle your beloved pieces and make them beyond irreparable.

The Life in the UK Test Coverage

Visa application in the United Kingdom for purposes of Naturalization or the Indefinite Leave to Remain will require a passing mark on the Life in the UK test. This examination is mandated to assess and examine the applicant and examinee’s knowledge and understanding of British life in several different aspects or categories. We have history and culture, customs and tradition, society and people, economy, government, laws and regulations, employment, education, tourism and everyday living.

  • History and Culture – You will have to study and familiarize yourself with significant dates and events all throughout the UK’s history. This includes its geography, jurisdiction and practically what transpired in the days past that have made the United Kingdom what it is today.
  • Customs and Tradition – As is with every country, city and town, several customs and traditions are practiced in the country. There too are folklore, ancient and old beliefs as well as uncanny traditions that may be foreign to other citizens from other continents.
  • Society and People – The British have a uniqueness of their own. Its people are known to be jolly, thoughtful and humorous individuals. Its society can even be considered as a huge melting ground or potluck of various races and cultures from many places all over the world.
  • EconomyThe United Kingdom is considered to have one of the most promising economies in the world. London in particular is one of the biggest economic cities. This topic includes monetary affairs, finances and business among others.
  • Government – The UK has what we call a constitutional monarchy in where the reigning monarch, the Head of State, does not make any political decisions. All political decisions are to be made by the government and the Parliament.
  • Laws and Regulations – This topic is quite a broad one on its own. Of course there are simple rules and regulations like that of driving and road rules. Applicants need to know about this and more if they wish to stay for long or for good.
  • Life-in-the-UK-test-londonEducation and Employment – Many of the biggest and most famous educational organizations can be found here. At the same time, employment is also massive given the promising economy and tourism.
  • Tourism – With sights like the Big Ben, London Eye, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Madame Tussaud’s, St. Paul’s Cathedral, British Museum and the Tower of London among many others, the UK is booming in terms of tourism.

Be sure to study all of the above and check out the Official Handbook for the Life in the UK test.

A Life in the UK Test Preparation Guideline

life-in-the-UK-preparationPreparing for the Life in the UK Test is crucial if you want to get your application for citizenship or indefinite stay approved. The test is aimed to assess the knowledge and understanding of the examinee regarding British life in general and is composed of a broad range of topics such as tourism, economy, business, government, employment, history, culture, tradition and values to name a few.

The Life in the UK Test is composed of twenty four multiple choice questions to be taken within the duration of forty five minutes. To pass, one is expected to reach a seventy five percent percentage making that a requisite of eighteen correct answers. Many of the questions are to be taken out of the official handbook which is a material highly advised by the British government to examinees.

Preparing for the exam would be composed of two main steps, as follows:


You have to prepare and study for the exam. There are various materials to be used like internet sources and textbooks. As mentioned earlier, the main study material is the Life in the UK Test official handbook from which majority of the test questions will be taken.

This step is crucial as failure to study, understand and comprehend the lessons from the wide array of topics can cost you the exam. Each of us has varying study habits and preferences so be sure to know what yours is and cater to it. Remember that failure to plan is like planning to fail. With a citizenship or an indefinite stay application on the line, you ought to be studying your heart out.


Only individuals with at least eighteen years of age but not beyond sixty five are allowed to take it. One has to book the exam for at least seven days prior to the preferred testing date for a fee of £50. You are also required to bring with you an accepted form of identification, a valid email address and a credit or debit card upon booking.

Examinees are also given the liberty to choose among the sixty available testing centers in the UK. Be sure to pick one that is most convenient for you considering that late comers will not be allowed to take the Life in the UK Test on the same date. Rebooking and rescheduling is not allowed either.

Creating the Right Study Ambiance for Your B1 Exam Preparation

english testStudying does not start and end in school. Truth be told, learning is a never ending process. It’s a lifetime thing that we all have to do. After all, humans are known to naturally crave for knowledge and improvement. Plus, there are cases when you will be required to do so just like when you apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain or a UK citizenship wherein you will have to pass the B1 exam. But studying can be boring, you then ask. Oh worry not because the right ambiance can instantly turn a seemingly boring study day to a fun and learning induced one! Read up for ideas how!

Turn on some feel good music.

Music is known to tickle the brain. It can access areas that help make information absorption better and faster. It can also jazz up the ambiance of the room. Of course we all have different preferences when it comes to music but be sure to pick those that will not serve as a distraction when you concentrate.

Keep your lighting appropriate.

Reading will be involved as you will have to refresh and add up to your knowledge reading language rules and principles. You will also have to practice speaking and listening. That would be hard to do if you could not read your study materials properly due to poor lighting. So open up your windows, get a lamp and insure that enough light makes reading a pleasure but also avoid overdoing it as you might create too much glare.

Stock up on brain food.

You will also need food to fuel your energy. Experts suggest peanut butter sandwiches, fresh fruit slices, dark chocolate, yogurt, mixed nuts, fresh fruit juices, coffee and water. These make for great snack options as they not only increase brain function and are healthy for you but they also taste awesome.

Remove and stay away from distractions.

If you want to fully create a learning environment that will help you ace your B1 exam then you should make it a point to remove and stay away from any forms of distractions that will make you deviate from your focus. Take your smart phones and your social media accounts for example. If you keep them close then you will be tempted to check them out again and again eventually swaying from your tracks.

Polishing Your Language Skills in Time for Your B1 Citizenship Exam

The B1 Citizenship Exam is a test given to non-European citizens who wish to stay or reside in the United Kingdom for an indefinite period of time.  It basically evaluates and assesses a person’s comprehension as to the use of English in conversational cases, listening and speaking. If you are about to take one or are planning to then you better polish up on your language skills. Here are some tips to help you do just that!

b1 citizenship ExamTipsThink of it as a job interview. To put it simply, practice. Get any reading material. It could be a poetry book, a random newspaper or magazine article, a novel or even the back of a milk carton and start reading aloud. This way you get to practice your intonation, diction and pronunciation. It can be as simple as a few lines to a whole paragraph a day. It makes a difference and actually makes your tongue feel more comfortable with the language.

A mirror and a recorder go a long way. Another trick is to go and sit in front of a big mirror. Practicing this way will help you see your facial expressions, hand and bodily gestures as you speak. At the same time, throwing in a recorder (or your smart phone) will help you play back and listen to yourself. You’ll be able to spot a few hitches too and then improve from there.

Dance and sing to the beat. If you want your polishing to be done in a more fun and enjoyable way, then what better way to do it than with some music? Pick a good song with discernable and good lyrics. Listen to it and then sing along. It’ll hone your listening skills. To rev up the benefits, pick a song that you aren’t familiar with or know all the lyrics to. Try transcribing it to see how well you are at picking up what people say. The same can be done with a speech recording.

Find someone who you can practice with. Of course the best way to polish your language skills for your upcoming B1 Citizenship Exam is to actually converse. Practice makes perfect after all and this is best done when you have a partner or more to do this with. You can ask your friends and family members to speak and talk in English with you.

How to Impress During Your B1 Citizenship Exam

The B1 Citizenship Exam is a type of language proficiency test given to individuals who are not European citizens and who would wish to reside or stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom for work, leisure or any other reasons.  It measures an individuals’ basic command when it comes to speaking and listening and is therefore a two part exam. So should you be in the running to take one, what are the things for you to do in order to impress your examiner?

Get to studying. Of course if you fail miserably and stutter like a mad man then you will impress no one. One way to avoid this is by studying and preparing for the exam itself. Like most English proficiency exams these are not easy. They are however not impossible but rather challenging. If you read and study well then you’re bound to impress.

keep-calm-cause-you-will-ace-this-testPractice till you perfect it. Also see to it that before you dive into the exam proper, you’ve already practiced well and enough. You cannot simply rely with reading and previous knowledge. Speak, converse and practice it daily. It helps a lot.

Dress up appropriately. You do not want to look like a mess in front of the examiner. First impressions count and for you to get a good one you should start with the manner in which you carry and dress yourself. Think about this like a job interview.

Know proper courtesy. A simple greeting, a hand shake, a respectful nod and a thank you are necessary. Sure the B1 Citizenship Exam tests your English proficiency but also take note that being courteous is a good trait.

Stop fidgeting. Nerves can destroy your mantra and can meddle with your thoughts. Breathe in and out slowly. Sit up straight. Think positive. Clear your head and most of all stop fidgeting. It will make you look anxious.

Lastly, show enthusiasm. When the examiner blasts of his or her questions or when you answer be sure to add in a bright sunny smile. Just remember to not overdo it or else you’d end up looking like a mad man. Think professional friendly. You need to show that your answers are sincere and even if you commit a few mistakes here and there, you could brush it off and continue.

The B1 Citizenship Exam may be challenging but with proper preparation one can easily impress any examiner and ace the test!

English Academy: How to Cope Up When Your Brain Goes Blank

Sometimes the inevitable happens just when you don’t need them to. Your brain will go blank on you. It could be during your project report in school, at an office presentation, while delivering your graduation speech in front of a big audience, during your job interview or while taking an oral language proficiency exam. What really is the culprit? In most of these cases it’s the nerves, anxiety and fear. How do we shun it away? London’s English Academy has got some neat advice for everyone on how to cope up when your brain goes blank.

BREATHE AND CALM DOWN. Do breathing exercises. Sit straight up, Put your hands on your lap palms down if you are sitting or on your side if you are standing up. Gently close your eyes for three seconds. Slowly inhale and exhale. Don’t allow your confusion and stress to overwhelm you. Calm down, relax and breathe.

IT’S OKAY TO TAKE A SHORT PAUSE. Yes it definitely is. Rather than talk nonsense and say loads of filler words, take a short pause. The key word here is “short”. Three to five seconds will do but see to it that you do not appear lost by keeping your posture and maintain eye contact.

NEVER LOOK DOWN. MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT. When you feel lost for words, keep your eyes alive. Never look down, on the sides, up or anywhere else. Look at the person or audience you are talking to. This way you are still communicating with them through a gaze and it could appear that you are making a point or stressing on a topic when in fact you are finding your way back.

brain blankSMILE AND KEEP YOUR POSTURE. Don’t lose it. It’s not a lost battle yet so be sure to still be in proper posture. Do not let those eyebrows meet or frown that it creates wrinkles in your forehead. Worry lines are not needed at this point in time. You have to look confident.

REMEMBER TO FAMILIARIZE AND NOT MEMORIZE. One of the many reasons why your brain can go blank is because you memorized more than you understood. Let’s say that you are going to a job interview or to an oral exam. Chances are you have practiced your answers to familiar and common questions. The English Academy reminds us to avoid memorizing them but instead familiarize and understand them by heart. When you do so you are less likely to have you mind pause abruptly.

Fun Facts about the English Language

The English language, like the others all over the globe holds an interesting history and a number of fascinating details surrounding it. Do you want to know a handful of them? If yes then read on and amuse yourself!

FUN FACT # 1: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” That sentence fun factscontains all the letters in the alphabet and is thus called a ‘pangram’.

FUN FACT # 2: A famous way to create new words is through making a portmanteau word or to put it simply a blend. A famous example of this would be the favorite mealtime of a lot of people: breakfast plus lunch equals brunch!

FUN FACT # 3: Being dubbed as the universal language, there is one in every six persons in the world who can speak, understand and write in English.

FUN FACT # 4: Let’s add some accounting term into the pile. Did you know that the words bookkeeper and bookkeeping are the only words in the dictionary that has three consecutive double letters? Pretty unique, huh?

FUN FACT # 5: The word ‘queue’ is one of the most mispronounced words of all time and it got many people scratching their heads. Fear not because the way you say it is the way you read its first letter. Right it’s Q. On a related note, “pronunciation” is the most mispronounced in the world. Quite ironic, don’t you think?

FUN FACT # 6: During job interviews, we have often been told to avoid filler words like obviously, basically, actually, honestly and the never dying “um”. All of these are called crutch terms and they are used to buy people time as they structure their words and sentences.

FUN FACT # 7: During the period from 1932 to 1940, the dictionaries published had one word that did not have any meaning to it thus it has been dubbed as the “ghost word”. Can you guess what it is? It’s “dord”. We wonder what it could have meant. Ideas?

FUN FACT # 8: Speaking of dictionaries, the earliest one ever published dated back to the year 1755. That makes it over 250 years old!

FUN FACT # 9: “Alphabet” actually had Greek origins and was derived from alpha and beta.

FUN FACT # 10: Uncopyrightable is the only term to be spelled without having any one of the letters being repeated. Now that is truly leaving up to its name!

Background and Prerequisite for Indefinite Leave to Remain Application

A lot of people wishes to stay in the United Kingdom because of the employment opportunities and a high pay. For those who are not British citizens and would like to reside in the UK, it is essential to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). If you are not accustomed to what an ILR is, this is a grant for an immigration status to someone who does not have the right of residency in the United Kingdom. A person should pass the ILR exam for the ILR to be granted. Once ILR is granted, a person can come to the UK without any time limit and can apply for a job or enroll for education without any restriction.

ILR life in the ukAs a prerequisite one should take one or all the exams depending on what type of exam you are qualified to take. It is necessary that migrants aged 18 to 65 to have adequate knowledge of the English language and about the life in the UK to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Before taking any exam you have to be prepared and take measures to ensure you pass.

Life in the UK Test is one of the tests to take for ILR. To give an overview, Life in the UK Test is an assessment of a person’s knowledge of British traditions and customs. It is a computer based test and a requirement for someone who is seeking for ILR or naturalisation as a British citizen. If you are 18 to 65 years old then you have to take the Life in the UK Test. In order to pass the test, you’ll need to get 75% or more. Make sure to read the official handbook for the Life in the UK Test to be ready. If you fail the test you will have to wait 7 days before you can take the test again. You don’t have to worry because you may take the test until you pass however you will have to pay for each test you take.

Studying is the key to pass the exam. Being resourceful helps a lot also like taking practice tests and reading study guides. If you take these advice into consideration then you will feel more prepared and confident to take it. There are also preparation courses you can enroll to enhance your communication skills and grammar.