What will be the legacy you leave behind?

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While the festive season is the perfect time for high spirits, excitement and as much fun as you can handle, it’s also a time for reflection on the year just passed and a look forward to the future. The turn of a brand new year is the ideal chance to remember those you may have lost during the year but also planning ahead and making some changes to your own way of living.

Unique personality traits

Monetary value or material inheritance is important to many people but for some people, non-tangible things like personality traits and memories are invaluable. When reminiscing about somebody who is sadly no longer here, you will usually always find yourself chuckling about their unique personality quirks or habits. Whether it’s for making everybody laugh, always offering a solution to a problem or just being the kind of loyal, trustworthy person everyone can rely on – personality is always something that sticks in everybody’s mind.

A financial footprint

As I mentioned above, monetary value, material possessions and financial inheritance are also highly important to many people. Lots of people want to leave behind a substantial chunk of cash, property or valuable goods in their legacy in order to pass them down to their loved ones. Being in the position to pass on money or valuable possessions when you are no longer here means you are then able to help the people who are still here realise their dreams and invest in their futures. Companies like Slater & Gordon are on hand to assist with the legal side of things but remember, money doesn’t have to be devoid of emotional attachment or sentiment when it comes to leaving a legacy behind.

Contributions to charities or causes

If somebody doesn’t have family or close friends that they want to leave money or material possessions to, or they don’t have the financial means by which to do so – they might prefer to be remembered for their work for charity while they were still alive. Regularly donating to a good cause or partaking in voluntary work for a charitable organisation is most definitely something to be proud of and something I would certainly want to leave behind in my legacy.

A specific talent or career achievement

Most of us have a specific talent that we are known for. From painting and photography, to nature conservation and sports, many of us have ‘our thing’; something we excel in or enjoy spending our spare time doing – or both! Maybe you have competed in a sport for many years and won a whole host of trophies or awards and you’d like this to be your legacy. Maybe you reached a certain level in your career that gained you some impressive accolade or title. Maybe it’s even your blog and your writing. Whatever it is, there is something we all work hard on and would like to be remembered for when we’re no longer here.

It’s always interesting finding out what other people would like their legacies to be and how other people would like to be remembered so do feel free to share your thoughts on Twitter. Use the hashtag #ALegacyOfMe to join the conversation and find out what everybody else is saying!

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How a random act of kindness could change a life this Christmas

‘Tis the season to be jolly but it’s also the season for sharing and giving to those less fortunate than we are. Having said that, kindness is certainly not just for Christmas so here are just a few of the ways you can make a massive difference to somebody else’s life without even realising it with random acts of kindness.

Donate to a charity of your choice

This may seem like an obvious choice but donating money to a good cause is always a great way to carry out a random act of kindness and help out somebody less fortunate than yourself. Charities such as Oxfam are working hard all year round to improve issues such as poverty, schooling, healthcare and drought around the world but they can’t do what they do without the funds to make it happen. It really doesn’t have too much and you don’t even have to move from the comfort of your Christmas pyjamas to do this. It’s true what they say – every penny counts and every little really does help.  

Give food to a local food bank

While many of us will be looking forward to filling up on the luxurious and indulgent festive treats that are filling the shelves at the moment, there are some people who won’t have a Christmas dinner to look forward to this year. In fact, there are an alarming number of people around the world who struggle to access the food they need to survive all year round and one way you can help this cause is by donating to your local food bank(s).

If you find yourself with a spare five or ten pounds, consider spending it on non-perishable goods such as tinned soups, instant noodles, biscuits, tea bags, coffee and cereal or toiletries such as toothpaste and shampoo. Once you’ve got some items together, take them to your nearest drop off point where there will be plenty of people who will be grateful in making use of them.

Stop to help a stranger in the street

The festive period is one the busiest times throughout the whole entire year. We’ve all got presents to buy, fridges to stock and a million and one tasks on a never-ending to-do list to complete. However, one of the best, easiest and cheapest ways you can offer a helping hand to somebody who might need it is to slow down a little bit and take check of what’s going on around you.

While you might be whizzing around the place in the warmth of your car, or taking advantage of public transport to carry you quickly from A to B, have a thought for the less fortunate or elderly people who may not be afforded those luxuries. If you see somebody on foot struggling with heavy shopping bags, consider helping them across the road, to the bus stop or even to their front door if nearby. You won’t realise how much a simple gesture like that could transform someone’s day.  

If you’ve got any of these on your new year’s resolution list, or if you’ve been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness recently, let me know in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #KindnessChangesLives.

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Are You Ready To Tackle Your New Year’s Resolutions?

The countdown to 2018 has already started. And now is the perfect time to review your resolutions for next year. Millions of people make New Year’s resolutions that they never keep. Do you know why most resolutions fail? Because people focus on things that they haven’t been able to achieve, but they don’t plan any action. So make next year an exception, and make resolutions that you can fulfill. This starts with understanding why everything you wanted to achieve today didn’t happen. But as a general rule: having the intention to change things is a good start. You also need to decide on what you’re going to do to make it happen.

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I want a better job

So it’s been on your to-do list for years: you want to sit at a manager’s desk, you’re after a more generous pay slip. More often than not, you’ll find that certifications and degrees can work wonders. But, not every qualification requires you to quit your job to go back to university. In fact, you can follow a lot of online courses. If you want to move your healthcare career, why not try the online masters of nursing education? If you want to maximise your chances in marketing, try the Google Academy. Online material enables you to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

I want to drop a dress size

You’ve been dreaming of the perfect bikini figure, but it’s happened yet. There are very good reasons why 2017 wasn’t your slimming year. Maybe you haven’t changed your diet and simply hoped that exercising would do the trick. Or maybe you’re spending too much time on cardio and not enough on strength training. Identify the obstacles you’ve put in your way and focus on removing them! Only then can you achieve your fitness objective.  

I want to be more adventurous

Do you find your life a little too dull or too predictable? Is it the constant sleep-wake up-work cycle with nothing exciting happening in between? Maybe you’ve been wrongly waiting for something amazing to happen to you instead of creating your adventure. You don’t need to attempt anything dangerous. You could simply book a holiday to visit an area of the world that you don’t know. Make yourself a present for Christmas: Plan your next year’s holiday somewhere new and broaden your horizon.

I want to be happy in life

Sometimes, all you want is to feel happy. Life can be stressful and hard at times, and you feel like happiness is running away from you. Here’s a lesson for you to prepare for next year: quit looking for happiness, and make it happen instead. One of the most important lessons you can learn in the meantime is to understand what is stopping you from feeling satisfied with your life and put yourself back in charge. If you’re unsatisfied with your job or in your relationship, for instance, the best course of action is to detach yourself from it or to fix the issue.

In short, you can say it’s time for a different kind of New Year’s resolutions. Don’t take them; make them happen!

20 Steps To A Better Community

We all want to feel safe and happy in the neighborhood in which we live. And most of the time, there are some small things that we can do ourselves that will go a big way to help our local community. Ready to make a difference to the area where you live? Here are some great ideas to get you started.

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  1. Volunteer to clean up some trash.  Has your neighborhood been looking a bit worse for wear lately? If so, then you shouldn’t just sit around and watch it deteriorate. Get up off the sofa and take things into your own hands by voluntarily going around and cleaning up trash and litter. You might even want to see if some of your neighbors want to join you, and you could then start a monthly litter pick with everyone to ensure that your area stays spick and span!

  2. Give to a local charity. There will be lots of charities operating in your area, and each one will have a particular focus. For instance, there will be some that provide shelter for homeless people and others that work with children and the elderly. These charities will always welcome donations that can help them continue their good work, so it’s really worth giving what you can at any available opportunity.

  3. Get to know your neighbors. You will find that the more you get to know your neighbors, then the stronger your sense of community will be. So, if you don’t know your neighbors all that well, why not pop around and say hello. That will give you both the chance to introduce yourself to one another. You never know, you might become very firm friends!
  4. Volunteer at a local nursing home. Did you know that many elderly people suffer from loneliness? Even the ones that live at McKnight Place and other assisted-living centers. So, why not volunteer at a nursing home or assisted-living center? This then gives you the chance to do some good for your community, and it also means that the elderly people who you work with will have someone to chat with.

  5. Start a kid’s after-school club. Some neighborhoods have problems with children hanging around on the streets in the evenings. This can be made worse if the kids start to form gangs and act very antisocially. One way to get around this is to set up a youth club that the kids can go to on an evening. As long as the club runs lots of different activities, you will find that you can take a lot of the kids off the streets and doing much more useful things.

  6. Organize a fundraising event. If you have already donated to a local charity and want to help them further, you could always organize a fundraising event for them. There are various things you might like to do. If you don’t have too much money to put towards the event, you could keep it small by simply planning a cake sale at your work or your child’s school. If you want to pull out all the stops and organize a big event, how about a charity dinner or auction?

  7. Give food to a food bank. There will probably be a food bank operating in your local area. This will collect food and other household essentials to give to people who are struggling to get by on their small paychecks. Food banks rely on food and donations from the public, so it’s essential that you pass on anything to them if you can spare something. Even if it’s just a tin of bean!

  8. Support your local businesses. One of the main things that people complain about is their neighborhood being taken over by big chains and supermarkets. Want to prevent that in your area? If so, you should make the effort to shop at all the local businesses in your neighborhood. That way, they can continue to survive, even when faced with competition from large stores.

  9. Start a community project. Another way you can get everyone in your neighborhood together is to start a community project together. There are loads of different projects that you might want to consider. For instance, you could all come together to plant some more trees along a street to make it greener. Or, you could come together to establish a new community hub so that you have somewhere where you can hold meetings and other events.

  10. Donate supplies to a school. These days, some schools really struggle to find the money needed to buy essential supplies. These are often art, music, and other creative supplies. Even though they don’t like to ask parents to donate these kinds of supplies, they will never say no if you offer them something. So, you might want to see what you have lying around the house. Any spare pens, notepads, and old instruments will be happily received by your local school.

  11. Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Animal shelters do a lot of hard work in the community by looking after any stray dogs and cats that they find. Not only that, though, but most also take in any injured or sick wildlife and nurse them back to full health if possible. Animal shelters are always on the lookout for volunteers who can help them carry out their useful work. Even if you don’t have a few hours to spare each week, you might want to donate some cat or dog food next time you have any leftover.

  12. Do small jobs for elderly neighbors. Some of your elderly neighbors might not be able to do jobs around the house like they used to. For instance, household maintenance might become difficult for them, and they could struggle with other day to day jobs like cleaning and grocery shopping. It’s a good idea offer your service to these struggling neighbors. They will really appreciate all the help they can get, especially if they don’t have any nearby relatives who can help them.

  13. Offer lifts to elderly neighbors. As well as helping your elderly neighbors with jobs in their homes, you should also see if you can help them by giving them lifts whenever they need to go somewhere. They might have had to give up their driving license and they could struggle on public transport. So, as you can probably tell, giving them lifts to the shops or their hospital appointments could be a major lifeline for them!

  14. Start a neighborhood watch. If your neighborhood has slightly higher than average levels of crime and antisocial behavior, then you should consider setting up a neighborhood watch with your neighbors. A neighborhood watch is an organized group of civilians who watch out for one another and work to bring down crime levels in their local area. Most neighborhood watches liaise closely with their local police force.

  15. Adopt a pet. I’ve already mentioned that you could help out at your nearest animal shelter, but why not adopt a pet as well? You’ll be helping the shelter by taking one of the animals off their hands, and you will also be helping your new pet by giving them a forever home.

  16. Create a community garden. If you live in an area of high-rise flats and appartments, not many of the families in your neighborhood will have a garden that they can enjoy. So, it’s a really nice idea to set up a community garden. You should get in touch with your local council to see if they have a plot of land that they are willing to donate for this. You can then work on the garden to get it into shape before inviting everyone in to enjoy their new communal outdoor space.

  17. Volunteer with recovering addicts. There might be a program in place for recovering addicts in your local area. If so, why not volunteer to help them get their lives back on track? There are various ways you can help them, even if it’s just offering up an hour or so a week to talk to them and give them your friendship.

  18. Add some street lights. Sometimes, doing something as simple as placing more street lighting and lamps on a street can really liven things up. This not only makes a street look a lot more attractive, but it also makes it safer as well!

  19. Start a recycling scheme. You might want to get everyone in your community recycling more to help improve the environment. You can do this by placing some paper and glass recycling bins somewhere in your area so people have somewhere to take these materials rather than simply throwing them out with the trash.

  20. Smile more. Next time you are out and about in your community, be sure to smile more and greet everyone who you see. You’ll be surprised at how much this improves people’s’ moods and makes your community seem like a much friendlier place to be!

 

 

So, which of the above tips do you think you’ll test out?

Bring The Beach To Your Bedroom

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You spend every night dreaming of your next beach holiday abroad? Why not bring your paradise home with some beach-infused bedroom décor? A beach theme could help to make your bedroom more of a sanctuary and help you to sleep better at night. Here are several ways to introduce this theme to your room.

Add exotic plants

Many tropical plants thrive well in low light and humid conditions making them excellent for indoors. Palm trees are the ultimate beach resort plant for transporting you to your dream location – you can buy small potted palms to grow indoors and they are very easy to maintain. Peace lilies and orchids are two other popular tropical plants that could be great on a bedside cabinet – they are less easy to look after. Ferns are also good indoor plants, although they do require more light, so place them by a window. Plants are great to grow in your bedroom as they provide your brain with a fresh source of oxygen helping you to get to sleep.

Use stones and shells as ornaments

Stones and shells are great reminders of the beach that you can use for ornamental purposes. You can buy shells and stone online – however, many people may prefer to collect them for free on their next visit to the seaside. You can then place these stones and shells around your bedroom. You could hang them from bed posts, put them in a small wicker bowl or fill the base of a plant pot with them. Also consider novelty items such as conches and fossils.

Hang up holiday souvenirs

Remind yourself of the holidays you’ve been on with souvenirs from your travels. You could have a wall dedicated to your adventures abroad with various items hanging from it. This could include a collage of photographs and postcards from past holidays. By surrounding yourself with memories of good times, your bedroom will feel like a happier place.

Opt for wooden furniture

Wooden furniture has a rustic feel that’s perfect for reinforcing that beach theme. Several companies specialise in wooden resort furniture. Some of this is even given a beach-washed appearance to make it look like it’s come straight from the seaside.

Bamboo is a wood worth considering – bamboo curtains or shutters could be a great addition to your beach-themed room. Wicker designs are also great for creating that beach look. Consider baskets for keeping make-up in and hand-woven chests for shoes and accessories. You can even buy hand-woven bed frames.

Introduce seaside aromas

On top of the sights of the beach, you can also bring the smells of the beach to your home. There are many ocean scents available for oil diffusers and air fresheners that you could try out. There are also scented candles available on the market centred around beach smells such as eucalyptus, cardamom and coconuts. Certain tropical plants may also produce smells. Embracing these aromas won’t just help with your beach theme, it could help you sleep more easily.

No More Toxic Mirror Syndrome

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It’s harder than ever to feel good about your body, which is one of the saddest statements we have ever had to write. Nonetheless, it is true. To see how much the “ideal body” has changed in the past hundred years is staggering, mind-blowing and, dare we say, disappointing too. You had the Mae West loo of the thirties, where curves were there to be emphasised; then there were the busty hourglass figures of the fifties, championed by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Betty Page; and now we have a world dominated by social media where everyone thinks they need to look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel – tall, thin and leggy.

Looking in the mirror should be met with acceptance, contentment and gratitude. But, for too many people, catching a glance of a mirror is now met with shame and disappointment. However, you are not alone in feeling like this. Poor body image is becoming more and more prevalent these days and so it has become an issue that a lot of us have to deal with. Yes, we know it is what’s on the inside that should count, but that doesn’t help. Not all the time. Especially not when we are standing in the changing room of some department store, under the harsh spotlight that seems to illuminate all our flaws, leaving the clothes we had picked up behind as we leave the store wearing nothing new, just that defeated look.

If you can relate to this, then read on because we have pulled together a collage of tips that have helped our readers overcome their body shames and genuinely start appreciating what they were given.

  1. Delete All Those Apps

What we see on a daily basis has a huge amount of influence over the way we feel about ourselves, which is why you should start to censor what you look at and where you go for your information. Instagram is great, but not if you are following a bunch of Insta-models that were blessed with a high metabolism and the ability to say no to dessert. Stop following these people. It is a toxic mirror. And stop ready all those beauty and gossip magazines that are designed to make you feel bad about yourself. These are all image-focused, and the image they are focused on is wholly unrealistic and edited.

  1. Focus On More Positive Things

Instead of looking at highly edited pictures of celebrities, what you should do instead is place more value on the things that matter; the things that will positively influence your self-image. We’re talking about travel blogs, wellness websites and magazines that focus on people’s entrepreneurial accomplishments. These are things that will motivate you, inspire you and help you see the truly interesting things in life. Not some fantastically beautiful tell you she only ever eats pizza.

  1. Every Body Is Different

Your body is totally unique to you. That is what makes it so beautiful. The reason the Mona Lisa is so priceless is that it is the only one in the world, remember that. Your metabolism is different, your shape is unique, everything is yours and yours alone, which is something to be celebrated and understood. What we mean by this is, well, when you workout, workout at a gym that will focus on your fitness journey which, if you want to, you can read more about it here. When you dress yourself, dress to your shape, style and comfort because if you get this right then you’ll wear the only thing that completes an outfit; your smile. You are a one-off, which means there is no point in leading a life where you believe everything is one-size fits all. Instead, tailor your choices to you. That’s all anyone can do.

  1. Touch Yourself Now And Then

Before you get carried away with the sub-title, think back to the last time you visited the hairdresser you had your hair washed or massaged, or the last time you treated yourself to a little spa session, or the last time you were given an “oh my god, I missed you” hug or even just a little shoulder rub. Each of these things feels amazing and the reason they feel amazing is touch is one of the most powerful – and we mean powerful – ways of feeling great about yourself and your body. Yes, all of these examples are of someone else touching you in a loving-slash-caring fashion, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be emulated. Wash your hair the same way the hairdresser did and massage your face when you moisturise. Both of these will make you feel great about yourself. You will start to love your body again.

  1. Find Yourself A Passion

The reason we have popped this little nugget of wisdom onto our list is simple: those people that have a passion or a purpose don’t have time to care what society may think of the way they look. They are too busy enjoying themselves and getting things done. It could be that you love making your own clothes, or nipping off to your spare bedroom-cum-painting room, or you just can’t get enough of being a parent, or you’re really into your job, or you just love keeping your garden perfectly manicured with a neat lawn care program. Whatever it is, by having something you can get really-really into, you’ll find you’re much more satisfied with who you are than when you were panicking about what to wear to go grocery shopping.

The thing you need to understand about self-image and the way you view yourself in the mirror is this: it is not an attribute you have to keep hold of. It is more a habit that you have fallen into. You are letting other people – people who have the same body reservations as you – dictate the way you feel. Stop it. You are amazing and, when you go through troughs of not feeling amazing, simple take a deep breath and fake it. That always works.

How to be on trend this winter

As the colder months start and your suntan fades, it’s time to turn to the beauty industry for some help and advice on maintaining that glowing look ready for the party season. Heading to the local salon is a good place to start as they get their professional products from the likes of Ellisons so you know they will be on trend. But there’s no harm in checking out the latest beauty looks yourself, so you know exactly what you want when you get there.

Nail Trends

Let us start with the winter nails – an essential thing to get right if you want to look great at the Christmas party.

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Now, you could go for the festive red, green or gold, which let’s face it can look out of place any other time of the year, or you can go all out with metallic. A touch of metallic silver or gold will make you stand out and compliment almost any outfit.

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Alternatively, you may prefer a more neutral colour, but you could try something a little different like a khaki shade. These colours compliment the sophisticated look perfectly ensuring you are ready to impress.

Once your nail colour is sorted it’s time to find a complimentary lip colour…

Lip Trends

Although, red is a key lip colour for this season why not try something a little different. From dark shades to barley there, you will find a colour that is right for you.

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Red with a difference, make Halloween last a little longer with a dark red shade for a seductive look. You may even want to add a little glitter and make your lips sparkle ready for the nightlife.

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If you’re set on a neutral nail shade, then this is the perfect partner. Nude lips have always been popular but with a little pink colour you’ll add a bit of blush to that pout. According to the latest Ellisons style guides a little colour in the centre of the lip will be stylish this winter.

Don’t stop there complete the look with the perfect eye colour.

Eye Trends

Getting the perfect eye colour can be tricky, especially if you don’t usually use eye shadow. One top tip would be to stick to one colour and make it simple for you, or for those of you who are more experienced try a mixture of shades.

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Great news, metallic eyes are bang on trend to match those metallic nails. But as this colour is such a bold statement stick to the natural lip shade – you don’t want to overdo it! When applying the metallic colours try to create a smoky eye look, which will have a better effect than a full colour.

If a smoky eye is not for you, then the graphic style may be the way to go. With full colour and luminous eyeliner, this look really stands out. The colours work best when taken around the eye and complimented by flicked eyeliner.

Like what you see, check out the #AWBeautyTrends guides from Ellisons for more inspiration.

How To Throw A Stunning, Memorable Event This Winter

Throwing a memorable event isn’t always the easiest task, and that rings twice as true if you’re trying to throw an event in the winter, when the lousy weather outside sets people’s baseline moods lower than in the warmer months. You really have to work to make a winter event stunning – you have to cultivate an atmosphere that mixes cozy-ness and conviviality, without sacrificing the kind of open-air freshness of a summer party. Luckily, with these few tips, you’ll be able to throw an awesome event in the depths of January or February, and guarantee that people will be talking about it well in July and August.

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Embrace The Season

When attending a party, people often look for a counterpoint to the weather. For instance, if it’s warm outside, people look to be refreshed, perhaps by a pool. In the winter, people want to be warm and cozy. Embracing the winter season means gearing your décor towards warmth and good cheer – you can accomplish this by ensuring that there is a bar at the event (perhaps two or more bars, depending on the size) and that it is well stocked with seasonally appropriate drinks. You don’t want a bar that’s just stocked with Coronas and tequila; you want a wide variety from which to choose. This seasonality goes for the food as well. Make sure your venue has a relationship with a good quality caterer, one who can work with you to create the perfect winter menu (think hearty and rib-sticking), like the kind of venue you’ll find at http://torontoeventcentre.com/ online, who are able to help in all aspects of the event planning.

A Little Fresh Air

As important as it is to be cozy at a winter party, people need access to some fresh air as well (whatever their reason might be). Check to see if the venue you’re booking has much in the way of an outdoor space, and, if they do, check if they have space heaters, just in case your outdoorsy partygoers get a little chilly. Having a mix of indoor and outdoor space allows for more free movement, and less of a feeling of constraint amongst guests. Also, the air in winter, as well as the stars, can be particularly breathtaking.

Put On A Bit Of A Show

Once you’re done dealing with the décor, which should be both festive and restrained, and the food and drink, which should be both comforting and varied; and once you’ve secured a space that has a good mix of inside warmth and outside freshness, you can turn your attention to the razzmatazz. LED lights, a stage for speeches or performances, projectors, TVs, surround sound audio – these are all great features, and if you’re lucky enough to find somewhere that can offer all of this, without you having to shop around privately for each component of your event’s production, you should snatch it up. One of the key things that sets a memorable event apart from a forgettable one, is the quality of the sights and sounds.

Whether you’re throwing an event for the holidays, where the pep and buzz of excitement is palpable, or you’re throwing an event in the new year when people tend to be a little more buttoned-up and reserved, you want to make sure that your event is the highlight of their week (if not their year). Why let summer have all the fun – try throwing a winter party this year!

Three Ways To Transform a Spare Bedroom

If you’re lucky enough to have a spare bedroom in your home, why not make the most of it? It’s easy for spare rooms to turn into dumping grounds- boxes, clothes, Christmas decorations and junk- but when you’re paying rent or a mortgage on a property you should get the very most out of it. If you have a spare room in your home and are wondering what to do with it, here are a few ideas!

Guest Room

Being able to have guests over is a joy in adulthood. Having friends and family over to stay helps to keep close bonds and is enjoyable for everyone. If you or your loved ones live far apart, having a guest room makes it easy too since they can stay over. Even if you only have people staying over on special occasions like Christmas, having a guest room there is certainly preferable to a junk room! Get rid of the blow up bed and wonky camp bed, invest in something comfortable. You will need a wardrobe and some drawers in your guest room so that people can put their things away without having to live out of a case. Decorate in a light, neutral colour to make the space feel big and bright, and avoid too many personal touches. Aim to create a room that feels like a hotel room– that way it will appeal to everyone and your guests will have the most comfortable stay.

Home Office

A home office is an excellent use of a spare bedroom. If you’re a blogger, freelancer or run your own business, having somewhere you can properly work from will certainly make life easier. It allows you to separate work from life which can be a struggle when you’re at home for your job. You can get all kinds of cute accessories from customized stickers and labels to luxurious looking acrylic staplers, hole punches and tape dispensers to personalise your workspace. Pots for things like pencils and paper tray tidies will help to keep everything neat. Even if you don’t work from home, a desk for your computer, some filing and office supplies will mean you have somewhere to pay bills, sort out paperwork and do these kinds of things.

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Beauty Room

At some point or another most women have dreamed of having their own beauty room or walk in wardrobe. A place to put all of your clothes, a big dressing table for your makeup and perfume, a place to put shoes, bags, scarves, jewellery. It’s somewhere you can sit down each morning and get dressed, have everything beautifully organised. Where you can come after a shower and pamper your skin and hair. It’s a great use of a spare bedroom especially if you’re currently doing your makeup perched on the end of your bed, or in your bathroom mirror. You could have some built in wardrobes installed around the edge to give you tonnes of storage and hanging space.

If you had a spare room in your home, what would you do with it? Have you created any of these rooms already?

Total Recall: Tricks To Improve Your Memory

It wasn’t so long ago that everyone assumed a failing memory was just a part of growing old. But in recent years, scientific research has shown us something contrary to that belief – memory is actually affected by modern lifestyles rather than just plain old aging.

When you think about it, it’s easy to see why. After all, you can’t expect your brain to be in tip-top shape if you surround yourself with chemicals, toxins, a poor diet, and a stressful and exhausting lifestyle. You are going to have memory problems of all kinds, and they might even end up developing into severe conditions like Alzheimer’s.

However, if you want to reduce your chances of losing your cherished memories, improve your overall performance, and keep your mind as sharp as a tack, there is plenty of good news. Your hippocampus is capable of regenerating until you are well into your 90s, and a few little tweaks to your lifestyle can help give your mind and recall a significant boost. Let’s take a look at some of your options.

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Exercise your mind

The human brain is built for testing, and if you aren’t sharpening your mind, it will start to lose its sheen. If you are coasting in your job, have stopped reading books and learning new things, or don’t exercise your brain in any way, it will weaken just like any other organ – or even muscle – in your body. The good news is that it’s possible to improve things significantly with a little effort. Start to train up your brain more often by learning new skills, taking on new challenges, and forcing yourself to make a mental effort. Not only will your memory improve, but you’ll also start leading a vastly more rewarding life.

Exercise your body

Brain training should also include physical training – there is an active link between a healthy mind and a healthy body. Aerobic exercises are great for keeping your blood pumping around your body, which helps your brain regenerate cells. Exercise is also an excellent primer for learning – it gets your mind in active mode and enables you to remember relevant facts and figures. Bear in mind that challenging maneuvers that require coordination and lots of different movements also help you build up your brain’s neural connections.

Get some sleep

One thing many of us are guilty of these days is not getting enough sleep. If you are going to burn the candle at both ends, your brain will bear the brunt of it. The vast majority of people out there need at least 7.5 hours every night, and some even longer – 9 hours is still well within the average range. So, try sticking to a regular sleep schedule, including at the weekends. Avoid screens like smartphones and tablets, too, for at least an hour before bed. Don’t forget, sleep is vital for memory consolidation, and without it, you’ll find that you start forgetting all kinds of events and occurrences that you ought to remember.

Eat the right food

Your diet is also critical to your mind, as well as your body. A proper, nutritious diet promotes the growth of brain cells, boosts brainpower, and also protects against nasty substances actually doing damage to your mind. For example, if you overeat sugar and too many grain carbohydrates, it can actually have a negative impact on your gray matter. Consuming organic compounds like shilajit promotes brain health, also, apparently, as well as a whole bunch of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, B, C, and E are all recommended, as is magnesium and Folic Acid.

Fasting

However, don’t go overboard on the food. Research suggests that one of the best possible fuels for your blood is ketone – not glucose as previously thought. Ketones are in the fat that your body starts to burn when you stop topping up your carbs, and instead start to consume other types of healthy fats like avocados and coconut oil. So regular fasting to allow your body to reset itself can be hugely beneficial to the brain. Try eating all of your meals through a 6-8 hour period, and you will, in effect, be fasting for somewhere in the region of 16-18 hours every day.

Watch some comedy

Everyone says that laughter is one of the best medicines, and science actually backs that theory up when it comes to a healthy brain. How? Well, when you laugh, it is a response that affects the whole of the brain, not just one particular part, which is the case for most of your other emotions. Your rain gets a lot of stimulation when you laugh, so the more you do it, the better. It also takes concentration and intelligence to understand and work out jokes. It helps you be more creative, which then leads to deeper thinking and using more brainpower.

Be aware

Be honest – how aware are you of your current health? If you notice your memory starting to fail you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting Alzheimer’s or dementia. You could be suffering a small blip – but you could also have underlying health concerns. Heart disease, diabetes, hormone imbalance and many other serious illnesses sometimes interfere with your memory, too. So, don’t put your sudden forgetful nature to one side – make sure you get yourself checked out by your doctor, as it could be something far more severe.

Play brain games

Finally, if you really can’t be bothered to take up any of these ideas, you can still give your brain some important exercise. Brain games are available everywhere online and can be an effective way of providing your memory a boost. Try programs like Brain HQ once or twice a day. According to research, the first 5-6 minutes of using these games is the most important, so there is little need to spend hours trying them out.

Do you worry about a weak memory? If so, try some of these tips and let us know how you get on. Hopefully, they might help your brain retrain and get your memory back on track.