Wonderful Wellness: Easy Ways To Improve The Body And Mind

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How often have you said to yourself, “I’ll start a diet tomorrow” or “tomorrow I’m going to start exercising? Too often we think we can change our habits at the drop of a hat, or because we are feeling motivated that week. Then we find that the weight isn’t shifting or our end goal feels far away, it can result in self-sabotage- gaining weight and feeling lower than ever. None of the big changes with our longstanding habits can be done quickly, what is needed is a lifestyle change, and often that can seem overwhelming. For best results we need to change slowly, we grow into them so to speak. However, with a little bit of planning and some behavior changes, you genuinely can put yourself on the road to success. 

Keep Fit 

With busy lifestyles, just about all of us can find it hard to find the time to exercise. For this reason, finding ways to fit activity into our daily lives is the way to go. One of the best ways to tone up, burn calories and get the cardiovascular system going is walking, Making the choice to go for a good walk each day contributes to your weekly exercise and your fitness levels will soon improve. Walking is safer than jogging or running as it puts less strain on the joints, and is generally more enjoyable as it doesn’t feel like a slog. Choose your route, and walk each day with the intention you are going to enjoy it. It’s amazing how much more we notice when we are not rushing to get somewhere, but are walking for fitness. Take time to enjoy nature around you, the trees and the sky, the birds singing and you will find that it really is a pleasurable way to exercise. If you need more of a workout, pick up the pace or take a route which has hills- be sure to take plenty of water with you to keep you hydrated. The best thing about walking is it’s free, anyone can do it with no special equipment. And it’s easy to fit into your routine, give yourself a little extra time and walk to work, the shops or to friends instead of hopping in the car. Swimming is another low impact and enjoyable activity and is also very good for working out without putting pressure on the joints. A few lengths of breaststroke and you are using all your muscle groups, burning calories and toning at the same time. Many swimmers can feel very hungry after doing a few laps of the pool, so it’s advisable to take a healthy packed lunch with you to eat afterward- that way you won’t be tempted to dine at the first fast food place you pass on the way home! These activities do not follow a regimented plan like a gym workout which makes them more enjoyable, and if done on a regular basis will genuinely do you so much good. 

Eat Well

Most people tend to throw themselves into low fat and low-calorie diets when trying to shift excess weight, but more and more research is pointing to keto style diets being more effective. 

This is where you reduce the number of carbohydrates you eat, replacing them with moderate amounts of protein and healthy fats. Modern keto diets are different from the old style Atkins which you may be familiar with, you can enjoy many more vegetables and even many low carb fruits. It can be a healthy balanced way to eat and your body will be burning its own fat supplies as fuel, you will lose body weight more quickly without feeling hungry. For vegetarians and vegans, there are many enjoyable dishes which are healthy and will keep you feeling satisfied. Look online to find tasty new recipes and have fun learning to cook them for yourself. Reducing saturated fat in your diet is very beneficial as the cholesterol levels will drop reducing the risk of heart disease- simple swaps like using olive oil instead of vegetable oil, for example are good ways to do this. For the all-around eater who likes a bit of everything, portion control, and exercising is the key. By choosing fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds and reducing your saturated fats and salt you are onto a winner. Depriving yourself through a strict diet (unless for serious health reasons) will have you constantly thinking about food, often you give up because you feel so hungry and find yourself raiding the fridge usually opting for the most unhealthy thing in there because it seems so long since you tasted anything good. Feed your body healthy food every day to stop feeling hungry, and sometimes a little bit of a treat will keep you happy and fulfilled, just don’t overdo it. Take lots of walks, think about healthier food choices with correct portion sizes and your body and mind will thank you for it.

Healthy Mind

When it comes to health there is more to it than our physical body. True well-being involves taking care of the mind too. One way to do that is by getting back into education or taking a course.Studying is a good way to achieve goals and can boost mental health and give us a sense of accomplishment. One good way to study is online as fits around your life and is a flexible way to educated. There are hundreds of online colleges that offer accredited qualifications, so whether you want to study for a BSN to masters in nursing online or get a degree in engineering, a diploma in marketing or any kind of certification then you’re able to do so. Whether you already have a degree or qualification and want to take it further or you’re a newbie to higher education there’s something out there for you. Other ways to improve your mental health is to get enough sleep, it’s easier said than done but prioritise your sleep and organise your day so that you’re not working and busy until late at night. Spending time socialising with friends is also good for the soul, sometimes laughter and good conversation really is the best medicine. 

What kinds of things do you do regularly to boost your wellness?

6 Surefire Ways to Win Giveaways

Time and again you enter a sweepstake or a giveaway and you can’t walk away with any reward or prize money. By then you will probably have concluded that sweepstakes or giveaways are nothing more than a scam or a scandal to waste people’s time and only create brand publicity simply

Well, the truth of the matter is, sweepstakes actually work and winning them is possible, so long as you are persistent, patient and maintain a positive attitude. On top of that, you need to practice the right methods to employ to your advantage. Fortunately, we’ve got all that covered right here in this article.

Make use of the following strategies and start winning:

1. Create Facebook Interest Lists

One great way of constantly entering giveaways is to create Facebook lists that include pages that regularly hold giveaways. To create a Facebook list, all you have to do is:

a. Scroll down to the left sidebar until you see Interests.

b. Hover the mouse over to Interests and click the More link. You will then see the news feed change to show you lists that you’ve subscribed to or created. But if you’re starting out, you won’t see much on those lists.

c. Then click the +Add Interests button at the top of the page. The news feed area will change to show you a list of interests.

2. Follow Bloggers

Another great way of entering giveaways is to ‘like’ pages of bloggers who regularly hold and promote plenty of giveaways for items in your area of interest. But because Facebook doesn’t really show you pages of the posts that you ‘like,’ it’s a great idea to interact with your favorite Facebook pages by commenting and liking, which then tells Facebook that you’re interested in that type of content and you want more of it.

When you follow a page by liking it, you can use the settings on Facebook to ensure that you see only that page’s posts first or even get notifications for it.

Other than that, you can also subscribe to a blogger’s newsletter or just to their blog. This way you will receive an email about a giveaway every time something new has been posted.

3. Visit Giveaway Link Ups

Most bloggers will have a page that specifically lists giveaways. Some bloggers visit these pages and list their own giveaways.

4. Follow Social Media Hashtags

You can also find giveaways by following hashtags on multiple social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Just click a hashtag that you like and you will see all posts that related to that hashtag. You can click on generic giveaway hashtags such as #ContestAlert and #Sweeps.

5. Avoid Fake Giveaways and Competitions

Sometimes, clicking on a giveaway on Facebook could be nothing more than a well-thought-out scandal meant to extort money or other personal credentials from you. For example, there are posts that say “if you like this picture, you are eligible.” This is obviously spam and ads that promote contests like this are definitely setting you up to exploit you.

The best advice that we can give is only to enter competitions that are sponsored by a legitimate source, brand or company.

6. Enter as Often as Possible

The bigger the catch of fish you get in your net, the better your family will be satisfied at dinner. Likewise, the more you enter yourself in regular sweepstakes and giveaways, the better your chance will be at winning. It’s a simple formula that is basically common sense.

It’s also a good idea to keep track of the giveaways that you enter yourself in. Therefore, you should create a Google Docs spreadsheet just so you know which sweepstake or giveaway you’ve entered and when the winners will be announced.

Bonus tip: You can also participate in surveys and win prizes as well. And if that’s your thing, then click here.

Do Yourself a Favor and Quit Smoking

A regular cigarette contains tobacco. The tobacco in these cigarettes has harmful substances that are not good for your body not matter how smoke it. You have heard people developing health complications simply because of too much smoking. Health risks arise with continued smoking of one or even more cigarettes per day. So, with no doubt it would be a favor if you stop stopping and find a viable replacement. However, the transformation process can prove to be challenging. Nicotine is addictive and it is what makes cigarettes addictive. This means you will require an alternative that can yield low levels of nicotine as you gradually reduce its intake. The only surefire way is to use e-cigarettes. These are electronic devices that help those who would like to quit smoking.

So, if you are still wondering why you should quit smoking, here are cons of smoking cigarettes to your body systems and organs.

Central Nervous System

Nicotine is one of the key ingredients of cigarettes which mostly alter moods. So, when you smoke it reaches the brain faster and brings a more satisfied feeling after it energizes your system. But with time, its effect wears off and you begin to feel tired. Typically, nicotine is a drug that creates certain habits and this explains why it is so hard to stop smoking. You find that without it you cannot properly perform usual tasks since you might be irritated, depressed, and worn out.

Cardiovascular System

It is right to note that smoking harms your body’s cardiovascular system. See, nicotine can lead to tightening of blood vessels which in turn restricts the flow of blood. Eventually, the process- if you do not stop taking more nicotine- can lead to peripheral artery diseases.

Similarly, smoking affects your blood pressure. Blood vessels weaken and blood may clot on some parts of the vessels. These entire can increases chances of developing stroke. However, you should not forget that those who you smoke around are also susceptible to the same health risks as you.

Sexuality and Reproductive System

See, genital areas require a lot of blood. Nicotine affects overall blood flow in your body. This means your genital areas will not receive enough blood. This happens to both women and men. In most cases,

sexual performance is highly affected especially in men. Women may experience sexual dissatisfaction due to reduced lubrication and can adversely affect their ability to reach orgasm.

Integumentary System

Skin changes are one of the obvious signs of smoking. And it is true that there are substances in tobacco that can actually alter the structure of your skin. Skin cancer can be a risk resulting from smoking. Also, your nails and toe nails can get fungal infections if you keep smoking several cigarettes every day. Lastly, you may experience hair loss, and balding if you do not stop smoking the soonest possible.


You have explored the various effects of smoking cigarettes. So, if you want to keep your body’s systems in good health, it is time you did a favor for yourself by quitting smoking. Hopefully, you will find vaping your best gateway to stopping smoking.

Calculate Flight Times Across Different Time Zones

A scientist discovers that he can travel forward and backwards in time. He shows this to the media. How is this possible?

As you contemplate the answer to this classic riddle – for those who can’t wait, we do provide the answer at the end of this article – we will share with you some fun facts that will help you to better understand what it means to cross multiple zones on a single flight.

A Blink of an Eye

Seeing that we are talking about time, is it possible to depart one place and arrive in another in what seems like the blink of an eye?

No, we are not talking about some new secret jet aircraft that can travel at warp speed. Warp speed – which at 670,616,629 miles per hour is travelling faster than the speed of light, is not yet possible. But, on one commercial flight, you can depart and arrive at your destination in 57 seconds give or take headwinds.

For a $51 airfare, a Scottish commercial airline will fly you between the islands of Westray and Papa Westray. Located in the Northern Isles of Scotland, it takes just 57 seconds to make the 1.7-mile flight. You will not need to reset your watch on this trip.

Flying Back to Yesterday

While 57 seconds is the shortest commercial flight in the world, this past October the record for the longest non-stop commercial flight is now 19 hours.

The route which will take travellers from Singapore to Newark, New Jersey, will see passengers depart Singapore at 10:00 AM on a Sunday and arrive at their destination in Newark at 10:00 PM local time Saturday.

Like trying to figure out the equation for time travel, you may be wondering how a 19 hour flight results in a 12 hour time difference. Simple answer: time zones in which some are only 30 to 45-minutes apart. We will get into that shortly.

In the meantime, and depending on your time of departure, when you fly west with a 12 hour time difference, you are actually heading towards yesterday! Flying east you are heading toward tomorrow. Talk about back-to-the-future! Or is it ahead-to-the-future?

All Time Zones are not Equal

How many people believe that 1 hour equals “one” time zone? To all but the most seasoned traveller, this seems like a reasonable assumption.

However, when you take into account the International Date Line (IDL) and the fact that several time zones are less than an hour apart, you have 27 time zones in total.

Besides the additional zones, it is also worth noting that time zones and local time are not the same. Especially when you include Daylight Savings Time and the fact that there are 37 different “local times” in use around the world.

Not a Straight Line

You have probably heard the old saying that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

While this sage advice is in many instances sound, when it comes to flying routes, a straight line is not the shortest path to your destination. The reason? The earth isn’t flat. Sphere-shaped, the best way to fly between two points is on an arc as opposed to a point A to B straight flight path.

Visualize this: draw a straight line between New York and London on a three-dimensional globe, then flatten it out into a two-dimensional map. Your straight line would then become an arc. Pretty cool, right?

A Timetable for Fun

From extending your birthday celebrations or chasing New Year’s Eve around the world, flying allows everyone to become a time traveller.

The best way to approach the travel experience and not get a headache trying to zone in on dates and times is to let several useful online tools do the math for you. So sit back, relax and enjoy the flight.

By the way, and in case you haven’t already figured it out, here is the answer to the riddle: the scientist takes planes to different time zones.

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Create Better DIY Photographs For Your Mommy Blog

If you’re thinking about starting your own mommy blog, then congratulations! Starting a blog is a great way to engage with your local community and perhaps make a little money on the side.

But one of the most critical aspects of creating a successful blog is having great imagery. If your photos are poor quality, people won’t stick around on your pages, and you won’t have the social media clout you so desperately want.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the DIY ways that you can create better photographs for your blog. Take a look at these tips.

Select Your Subjects By Zooming In Tight

When it comes to photos, you want them to be as clear as possible for your viewers. The last thing you want is photos of cluttered rooms or dozens of people. The trick to compelling photography is choosing a subject and sticking with it.

Suppose, for instance, you decide that you want to photograph some toys because you want to recommend them to other mommies on your blog. Instead of shooting them from a distance and at a high angle, get up close and personal and try to make sure that the subject (in this case the toy) fills around two-thirds of the total picture.

Once you’ve taken the photo, uploaded it, and know how to access iCloud photo library, you’re all set to use it in your blog.

Add Digital Styling Elements

It’s unlikely, even with the best angles and lighting, that your photos will look professional. But rather than give up, it’s often a good idea to apply digital styling.

Digital styling is effortless these days. You upload your photo and then edit it using tools provided by your blog host or other third-party apps. Try experimenting with vignettes and greyscale to see whether you can create something that looks more professional.

Make Your Subjects More Interesting

You might have the best setup in the world, but if your subjects aren’t compelling, then you’ll fail to generate traction on your mommy blog. Ideally, you want to take shots of things that automatically draw the eye. Top of the list of subjects is things like animals and exciting home features that people love to ogle all day long. Bottom of the list is clutter. By definition, pictures of clutter have no subject.

Take Shots From A Unique Perspective

The people reading your blog want to see the world from a different perspective, often literally. Your job is to find new angles which show off familiar objects in exciting ways. It’s easier said than done.

Sometimes it can help pointing your camera up and subjects to create a sense of size and power. Other times, taking photos from the perspective of your child can have a great impact and help readers of your blog feel like they can get into your kid’s shoes.

Create Mood

The final element to great mommy blog photography is to create “mood.” Mood is a tricky concept to pin down, but it is essentially a way of making a photo more impactful with facial expressions and lighting.


5 Simple Yet Ingenious DIY Ideas To Update Your Kitchen

Does your kitchen look like the standard boring setup that everyone has? Have you been on the fence about some of the things you can do to spice it up? If so, look no further. This article is for you. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the things you yourself can do to spice up your kitchen as well as some steps to take before you conduct any DIY project in your kitchen.

Before you conduct any DIY project in your kitchen, you need to ensure that you have your appliances covered. One of the ways you can do this is to get a home warranty plan. Even though it is similar to a home insurance plan it differs in what it actually covers. While a home insurance plan protects your home from weather/fire-related damage, as well as theft of your belongings, it does not cover appliances that simply stop working. Alternatively, a TotalProtect Home Warranty covers appliances and can be best described as giving old appliances a new warranty.

1) Add Unusual Furniture And Accessories

One of the most simple and cost-effective things you can do to spice up your kitchen is to add accessories and furniture that isn’t typically seen in a kitchen. By doing this, not only will it help to spice up the kitchen, it will surprise your visitors and loved ones as well. Utilizing accessories such as standing mirrors, rugs or even a bean bag, will shock your visitors and definitely make your kitchen stand out in their minds for a long time after their visit.

2) Organization

Regardless if you have a small or large kitchen, one of the most essential aspects of having a kitchen is how it functions cohesively. Having handy hooks for various utensils to be placed on display, as well as to allow easy access and installing efficient shelves that hold your spices and various other ingredients, may not seem decorative by themselves. However, by combining them together, it can give your kitchen a professional impressive appearance.

3) Illumination

One of the things that makes a kitchen stand out is its lighting. If you have large windows, be sure to clear anything that may be blocking the sunlight from coming in. If you have a dark kitchen, consider the possibility of adding ceiling pendant lights, countertop lamps, or even string lights. Alternatively, you can consider a color changing lighting system that can be adjusted to suit the occasion such as red for Valentine’s Day, green for St Patrick’s day.

4) Smart Devices

One of the more interesting things you can do to update your kitchen is to add some smart devices. Kitchen based smart gadgets will definitely stand out in the minds of your guests each and every time they visit your house. Here are a few examples to consider:

· Intelligent Frying Pan – This frying pan doubles as a virtual chef which will guide you throughout the cooking process, such as to tell you when to add ingredients, the temperature of the meat, when to flip it, and when it’s finished.

· Smart Coffeemaker – Smart coffee makers feature scheduling options that you can use to program when you want coffee. Many smart coffee machines even allow you to give it instructions from your smartphone so you can brew coffee within 2 minutes of waking up before you get out of bed.

· Smart scales – Smart scales eliminate the need for various measuring containers. By placing a container on the scale, it will give you a reading through your smartphone.

· Smart Meat Thermometers – Many smart thermometers give you the ability to leave it in a meat of your choice, as to which you can check the temperature, from a distance by using your smartphone. In some instances, you can even customize it to give an alarm whenever the meat reaches the desired temperature.

5) Artwork

If the surface area of your kitchen walls enables the opportunity to hang different fixtures, consider various kinds of artwork. This in itself is not common amongst homeowners and will make your kitchen standout. One of the things you can do is to hang up artwork that correlates with the season. By doing this, what you will basically have is a kitchen with an interchangeable theme that you can change to match someone’s birthday or holiday.

How to Budget for Breaks when You’re Self-Employed

There are a lot of benefits to being self-employed. You get to choose your own hours (in theory), do something you love, and explore new opportunities with amazing people.

However, self-employment also comes with a lot of challenges to consider. For instance, there’s no-one in the background to make sure that you still get paid if you need to take some time off work for sickness, personal reasons, or just a good old fashioned break.

There comes a time when we all need to take a break from work, but it can be very difficult for self-employed people to find a way out without struggling financially. However, you can’t just commit yourself to working every day, no matter what.

Here’s how you can make sure that you’re prepared for a much-needed absence when you’re self-employed, freelancing, or working as a contractor.

1. Keep Monthly Costs Low

First things first, the easiest way to make sure that a day off work isn’t a disaster, is to ensure that your monthly expenses are as low as possible. Check out the outgoing expenses that you commit to each month and ask yourself what you can do to reduce fees. For instance, if you’re taking out a loan, it’s crucial to ensure that you check you’re getting the lowest possible price first. If you’re currently committed to a specific gas or electric provider, can you check to see whether you can get a better deal elsewhere?

Cutting your monthly fees to an absolute minimum will ensure that you know exactly how much money you “have” to spend to keep yourself and your family safe each month. If you know how much you generally earn per day, you’ll also be able to calculate how many unpaid workdays you can afford each month without having to worry about unpaid bills.

2. Ensure yourself Against Unexpected Changes

If you’re new to freelancing or self-employment, then you may not know this, but you can insure yourself against the possibility that you won’t be able to work. As a self-employed person, you probably already have business insurance and other forms of coverage. Income protection insurance is a kind of cover you can get to replace your monthly income if you’re unable to work because of unemployment, accident, or illness.

If you’re worried about your long-term health, you can also try applying for critical illness cover as part of your life insurance. When you have this insurance in place, and you’re diagnosed with a medical condition, listed within your policy, you receive a lump-sum payout. It’s up to you which insurance seems more appealing. You could even get a combination of both.

3. Prioritise your Savings

The more money you have in your emergency savings account, the less stressed you’ll feel when you decide that you need to take time off work for holiday or sickness purposes. When you give yourself your income each month, you should be splitting your earnings into a series of different categories. First, you’ll need to put money aside for the taxes that you’ll owe at the end of the year – remember, you’re responsible for paying those.

Next, you’ll have to ensure that all of your critical expenses are handled, including office rent, mortgage, food, clothing, car insurance, and so on. Finally, when you’re left to assign “spare” money

to other things like entertainment and savings, make sure you put your savings first. The more you can have in your “just in case” fund, the better. Peace of mind when you need it will feel better in the long-term than extra shopping sprees and nights out now.

4. Plan in Advance

Finally, you can’t plan for when you might be sick or unable to work. However, you can plan for certain dips and lulls in your work schedule. The more time you spend self-employed, the more you’ll begin to notice changes in your calendar that happen every time of year. For instance, you might notice that you don’t make as many sales during April and March, but you earn double during June and July. In that case, you can spread your money out throughout the months by assigning extra savings during the months that you earn more.

Lulls in your income will also help you to figure out when you should be planning your family holidays and work breaks to experience the lowest impact on your income. The more prepared you are, the less money you’ll lose over the course of the year.

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 281

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

Jennifer at Busy Being JenniferTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Helping Your Child Through a Divorce

Divorce is a difficult time for adults, but for children, it’s much harder. When it happens, it changes their entire lives, including their family and living conditions. It also challenges their ability to trust in the stability and reliability of their parents’ support. When children are particularly young, it’s very easy for them to misinterpret that reason for the divorce and exaggerate how it’s going to affect them.

They are likely to experience a range of different emotions, including confusion, anger, shame, embarrassment, and outrage. They may also become very afraid, withdrawn, anxious, or clingy. Divorce affects children in different ways, but it leaves a mark on most of them.

If you’re going through a divorce, doing what you can to minimize the impact is very important. Below are some tips to help you help your children cope.

Tell Them It’s Not Their Fault

Children very often think that they are the reason their parents are getting divorced. This is because children tend to be very self-centered and believe the world revolves around them. Both parents should make it very clear to their children that the decision to divorce is not because of something they have or haven’t done. Reassure them that both of you still love them dearly and you’ll always love them and protect them after the divorce. You may have to repeat these sentiments over and over again before they’re accepted.

Maintain Consistent Routines

You can help shield your children from the trauma of divorce by keeping your children’s living arrangement and routines the same. It is a way of keeping their trust and helping them feel secure, safe, and protected. If possible, this means staying in the house they’ve always lived in, going to the same school, and sticking to the same routines. Sometimes change is unavoidable, but there are ways you can provide continuity.

Keep Boundaries

If you keep parental and child/parent boundaries, you’ll be able to parent in a more coordinated and effective manner. The parenting boundary can be preserved by staying calm and avoiding arguments in front of the children. Don’t use your children to pass messages between you and your ex and most definitely never ask them to spy on the other parent. Never put your children in a situation where they must side with one or other of you. It can be very tempting to confide in your children; after all, you might not have anyone else to talk to. They’re probably not mature enough to handle such a role, and it can easily overload them, leaving them feeling anxious, angry, or depressed.

If you haven’t got any friends or family to talk to, there are plenty of professionals who can provide support. When it comes to support for any legal issues, you should contact an attorney, lawyer, or solicitor who specializes in divorce and family law, for example, a Bristol divorce solicitor.

Encourage Them to Talk

It’s possible to help your children work through their negative reactions by encouraging them to express and talk about them in appropriate ways. Children express their feelings in a different way. Some prefer to talk about them while others are more comfortable acting them out. When they’re ready to talk to you, show them respect and listen to what they’ve got to say. If their adjustment is proving particularly difficult, you should consider taking them to family therapy with a qualified therapist.