Two Free Tools for Non-Designers: Canva and Pablo

The Daily Post

Getting Started: To use Canva, you need to sign up for an account. Pablo, on the other hand, doesn’t require an account — just visit the Pablo page and start tinkering. Both are free to use, but note that Canva includes images you can buy for a small fee, too.

Given the popularity of our posts on designing custom image widgets and headers, photo apps, and free-to-use image resources, here’s a peek at two free tools that can help you create customized widgets, headers, and other extras for your blog: Canva, a program to make images and designs of all kinds and sizes; and Pablo, a tool to build social media posts, created by Buffer. I’ve been using both recently for design and image purposes: each have their pros and cons, but overall are great tools to try.

We’ve published tutorials using other free design and image…

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Trying to be patient when life knocks us down

Patience, my worst enemy. I knew how difficult it was going to be, but damn these days it seems everyone that I know can’t get a break!

Life happens and I understand but, how many trials do we all need to go through to finally get to the top of the mountain? Everything just always seems to be hitting everyone at the worst times and all at once. Once we figure it out, something happens that brings us two-steps back again. I know so many people who work so hard, who can give themselves the motivation to keep going, but still end up back at square one, so again I ask. How much do we need give to finally get on top of the mountain?

The destination seems endless and impossible. In a time of our lives where we are stressed over how many jobs we need to work to pay off our debts, parents that just don’t understand that sometimes we couldn’t be that person they wanted us to be, or being scared that the road ahead keeps splitting into two. At the end of the day, maybe honestly, we just don’t know what we want. That isn’t acceptable though, our lives have been programmed to have a beginning and an end, and the ending needs to have some purpose.

I think we all play this patience game, because we are waiting for something to strike us so something can make sense. What makes sense? People who dream are told not to dream to big, because in reality that dream can’t happen right away, so don’t set your expectations high. I could be wrong, but I feel we constantly push each other down rather than pushing each other up. Reality is what we make it, and if we are the ones who are being patient, maybe we should act that others are waiting for us, so we can change the lives of those around us.

Music For Writers: A Royal Welcome For Two Composers

Thought Catalog

The Royal String Quartet. Image: Lukasz Pepol The Royal String Quartet. Image: Lukasz Pepol

‘I Could Talk About It For Hours’

Cover imageEven if the Royal String Quartet’s performances of these works of Paweł Szymański and Paweł Mykietyn weren’t exemplary, the sheer enthusiasm of cellist Michal Pepol alone might put these performances right over the top.

When New York Public Radio’s free 24/7 streaming service Q2 Music chose the quartet’s new album, Royal String Quartet: Szymański and Mykietyn from Hyperion, for its Album of the Week feature, new sound boundaries fell away in the minds of writers who were listening.

Szymański, 60, and Mykietyn, 45, are related, we learned when we talked with Pepol, not just by their Polish cultural leadership but also by having worked together. One result is that happy thing, an album that provides two distinct voices that complement rather than clash with each other.

As violist Doyle Armbrust wrote in his very apt commentary for Q2 Music

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Writing a good speech

If you every have the opportunity in taking a speech writing class or a public speaking class I highly suggest thinking about taking one of the courses or both of them. I have taken both classes in my college career and was also a teachers assistant for both courses.

I have read and heard a lot of speeches, and even though I have never written a professional speech, a lot of what I do at work is focus on presentations and how to make each of them better so they can be fresh and fun for both the performer and the audience.

You can have two different types of speeches. Informative or Persuasive. The informative speech informs the audience of an event or situation and bases the speech on fact and statistics. A persuasive speech challenges the audience and the goal of the presenter is to appeal to the audience and get them on their side.

The biggest challenges when writing a speech is the beginning and the end. The beginning is crucial because, that is when you need to grab the audience’s attention and it sets the tone for the whole speech. There are many ways in getting the audience’s attention. They are called attention getting devices. The most popular ones people use are… Humor, rhetorical question, quote, personal story, music, or pictures. (side note about pictures) Using pictures is a great way to get the audience in, but when you are not referring to the picture turn the picture around, because ultimately you want the audience to focus on you not the picture.

After your attention getting device, go right into your thesis and explain why you are talking about this certain topic. From what I noticed some people start off with saying “I am talking about..” a better way on addressing to the audience is using “WE” language. Using “WE” language is good because it gets everyone involved with the issue not just yourself.

The middle of the speech should be filled with citations and credited sources, also do not forget to add your transitions. Transition words can make a good speech become amazing with just using those connector words.

Now, comes the end. after an amazing intro and body the end is where everybody gets stuck and I do not blame them. Endings are hard, but the main goal when ending a speech is to have a good clincher. Endings are what people are going to remember the most, because it is the last thing that they hear. First, try and summarize the message, secondly, paraphrase the thesis, then establish order by mentioning the message once more, lastly the closing statement which is your clincher.

Clinchers are hard to come up with, but I promise, you do not need to be a witty person to develop a strong clincher. Like everything else, it just takes practice.

I wanted to post this because, I am working on a speech right now and I wanted to share with everyone on how I develop a speech and I hope this helps to anyone taking or who is interested in taking a speech class. and shout out to my professor who taught me everything I know Nora Montanaro from SUNY Plattsburgh!

The Timeless Wonder of Record Shops

Thought Catalog

ShutterstockShutterstock

I don’t think there is anything better than rifling through box after box of vinyl’s in search of a bargain or something by your favourite band/singer. I love finding new places to fulfill my craving, and recently I stumbled upon a gem of a place, squished between a food outlet and adult store. Upon entering, my friends and I realised we had entered our own little utopia. Everywhere you looked there was records; stacked up, on the walls, in boxes, placed on shelves and even on the floor. I had never seen so many in one place and doing so filled me with joy.

What makes record shops so wonderful is the sheer quantity of music that is held within them; most of them have row upon row of boxes, all with as many records in them as humanly possible. It doesn’t matter what you are looking for –…

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Completely Blessed

It has definitely been a while since I posted anything on my blog. If any of you have been following, sorry about the hiatus my life has changed pretty quickly. I titled this post “Completely Blessed” because, that is exactly how I feel. I graduated college, took a trip to the Philippines to see my grandparents, bought a new car, and got my first “adult” job as a public relations and marketing specialist.

I guess the new challenge is making time for everything. I am still 22 going on 23, and life is still an open book for me. I want to experience the world, but it’s hard once you have bills to pay and I think everyone can agree with me on that one. It is a good feeling finally being able to rely on myself. Being away for almost 3 years, I mostly relied on my parents to pay for everything. I tried getting a job up at school, but a lot of places don’t call back once they figure out you do not live in the area.

Honestly, I did not expect to be working so early on after graduation. I interned for a small business which needed help in the summer of 2012 with social media and promotions. I did not get paid, it was more of me volunteering my time, but I wanted some experience before I graduated. My boss was a nice man, him and I kept in contact with each other once I left again for school.

Once I graduated, I contacted him again not expecting anything, just to ask if we could meet up for lunch just to catch up and maybe for me to get some connections. It just so happened that he was looking for an assistant and also more help in the social media and marketing area. The job pretty much landed on my lap, I had nothing else going on for me so might as well just take the chance. After that life started to take over and before I knew it, I had a new car in the driveway, waking up at 7am Monday-Friday, and paying my first set of bills.

It has been a crazy time, but I have been loving every minute of it. I wouldn’t change anything, I’m happy with where I am. I love being close to my parents, being able to with my boyfriend and friends. I do miss college sometimes, but everyday is rewarding knowing how great things are working out. I know it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows, but with how everything has happened, I do and still feel completely blessed. Everything is a lesson and now with experience I can figure out what I need to do, to get where I want to be for my future.

Warner Bros “Suicide Squad” Cast Revealed (Updated)

The Collective

suicide-squad

DC’s Suicide Squad is set to release in theatres August 5, 2016 and more casting information has been revealed by Warner Bros Studio. Directed by David Ayer and produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, the film will begin shooting next April in Toronto. Even if you’re not a comic aficionado, you might recognize some of the members of the Suicide Squad from the CW’s Arrow and, of course, the Gotham City Universe. There are a couple of comic versions of The Suicide Squad, but the most recent version of the government agency (The New Suicide Squad by Sean Ryan) consists of reformed and/or incarcerated criminals that are forced to become heroes.

photo cr: The Hollywood Reporter Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto photo cr: THR

Warner Bros Studio has confirmed that Will Smith will play Deadshot, Tom Hardy has been cast as the group’s leader, Rick Flagg, Jared Leto will take on the Joker while Margot…

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