Top Tips To Ensure A Laughter Filled Festive Season

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There are many ways to ensure that you have a holly jolly Christmas just like the song proposes. Making your festive season full of fun, frivolity and laughter will ensure that you have a holiday where the happiest of memories are made. There’s nothing better than sitting down with the family in front of a warm roaring fire, roasting chestnuts and enjoying some quality time together. When you think of Christmas, images of heavily gift-laden stockings, large Norwegian firs and advent calendars come to mind. Now it’s time to add jokes, laughter and giggles to those thoughts. Take a look at how you can bring more fun to your Christmas this year.

The Christmas Movie Days

On the run-up to Christmas, we begin to see the trailers for the movies showing on TV this season. There is a vast array of hilarious comedies for the entire family to enjoy. If you were born in the 1980s and can just about scrape into the early millennial category of human beings, you’ll remember the slapstick farce of Home Alone, Scrooged and Groundhog Day. If you’re now enjoying Christmas with your own offspring, why not show them the films that you used to watch as well as enjoying the modern classics of Elf and Arthur Christmas. Movies have an awesome power of bringing people together across a bowl of popcorn and a tub of ice cream.

For The Clown In Your Life

If your partner adores a particular comedian, why not bite the bullet and purchase some tickets as a gift that will allow them to see their favorite stand-up live. Even if your loved one’s comedy of choice is hugely popular, you can still investigate a service like TicketOffices to hunt down that elusive pair of tickets. People who want to resell their tickets because they can’t attend an event can make them available through reputable websites that act as a platform for people desperate to attend a concert or gig. You won’t be at risk of scammers, won’t have to rely on a tout and your ticket is 100% guaranteed.

Get Outdoors

It doesn’t matter whether it is sub-zero outside and you are knee deep in snow, or whether it’s mild and balmy, it can pay to get outdoors over the festive season. Head to your local park with your pals, have a festive picnic, enjoy a game of frisbee or kick a ball around, and relish the opportunity to have a laugh and a chuckle over a turkey vol au vent or two. Surround yourself with the people that bring joy to your life and help you find fun during the festive season. Moments spent reminiscing about college days or discussing the trials and tribulations of watching your little one’s first nativity play can leave you struggling to breathe through sheer laughter.

Moments of side-splitting guffawing become fewer and farther between as we get older. Use this Christmas as an excuse to try and achieve as many laughter-filled moments as you possibly can. Happy Christmas!

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Christmas Gift Guide For Him

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Christmas is the perfect time to show the man in your life how much you love and appreciate him. Men can be very difficult to buy for. Most of the time you will ask him what he wants and he will simply say ‘i don’t know’. It can be a mission in itself trying to drill ideas out of their heads, let alone buy them.

Luckily, we feel your pain so we’ve come up with some ideas to give you a head start and hopefully a spark of inspiration for the man in your life this year. Whether it be your dad, uncle, boyfriend, son or cousin- these ideas suit any male of the species and will be sure to gain a smile on Christmas morning when they open them up.

Gadgets

If your man loves his toys, you can take this opportunity to feed his technological mind and buy him something he can build or play with in the evening on christmas day. You could opt for video games like Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire or Mario Kart; a console for him to setup and play with; or even a remote control drone he can fly over the garden. Make sure you find out what areas you are allowed to fly a drone in first though.

Food

The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Food is one of the greatest joys of the festive season… and every other season to be honest. There are a huge range of foods and food related gifts you could buy him this year:

Sweet: A box of chocolates,a giant ferrero rocher, a jar of retro sweets… the possibilities are endless

Savoury: You could buy him a pack of sauces for cooking, some peanuts and snacks, chips and dips and even a cheese board with some crackers

Cooking: a tagine for slow cooking, cooking sauces and chilli for experimenting in the kitchen, a novelty apron he HAS to wear when serving dinner

Drinks:whiskey, beer, ale, hot cocoa set, coffee for his machine… there are loads to choose from

An Experience

If you don’t know what to buy your man this year because he’s fussy; the best idea is to get him an experience day instead. You could be going wine or beer tasting for the day, becoming a zookeeper for a few hours or even indoor skydiving if you don’t want to do the real thing. Getting him something he will remember for years to come is just as special as buying something he can use.

Clothes

If you have a partner who takes more time choosing clothes than you do, then you could be onto a winner if you decide to buy him clothes for christmas this year. You could play it safe and ask him what he wants or needs, or failing that you can trust your instincts and pick something you know he will love. A shirt, tie, scarf and even a pair of jeans will go down pretty well with your man.

Fitness

If your other half has recently got into the gym or a sport: you have loads of different options to buy him this year for christmas. If they are playing football you can buy him a football shirt from his favourite team; if he’s into weights you could treat him to kettlebells for when he trains at home; or if he’s trying to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle you can buy him a water bottle or some new trainers for the gym. There are so many options and you can find some really great items around and about for your man.

Novelty

A stormtrooper whiskey decanter is the perfect gift if your partner has a love of star wars and alcoholic beverages. You can enjoy watching him pour himself a christmas drink out of a storm troopers head on christmas evening. What could be better? Novelty gifts can be found anywhere so you will never run short of ideas. If your other half loves game of thrones- you can buy them a funny tshirt, if they love superheroes you could find some funny boxers, and even if they love the old classic cartoons- you will be able to find novelty slippers and other gifts for the man in your life. A fun idea would be to buy him the most garish, tacky christmas jumper you can find and then make him wear it for the rest of the day. It will be sweet revenge for all those times you asked him to do something and he simply replied ‘in a minute dear’.

Leopard On A Mission – Week Five

I’m back! Oh my, what a busy few weeks I have had preparing and enjoying Thanksgiving. It’s time to get start spreading the kindness again.

This week let’s all surprise a neighbor (or many) with some treats! I love doing things like this all year round, but this time of season is the perfect time to spread some joy, and even meet more of those who live around you.

Keep the posts coming on social media by using the hashtag: #LeopardOnAMission

Have a great week!

Compassion, And What It Can Mean To Someone Who Struggles

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Compassion means everything to those who receive it, and it dignifies those who give it. No matter how hard your hard, or how difficult and hopeless the situation, compassion will lend a meaning to live. Without sounding like we’re preaching from a soapbox, it’s important to understand how the power of this can work. We, humans, are designed to love each other first and foremost. If not from an emotional standpoint, from an evolutionary standpoint. We all know that life is simply better, more bearable, and tragedy more manageable when we share our love for one another. No matter who you show compassion to, your friend who is addicted to a substance, an elderly relative who would benefit from at home care, or even yourself during a rough patch, this article is concerned with celebrating the power and meaning of compassion:

Compassion Reframes Tragedy

Everything is perception, and all is belief. No matter how horrific and tragic the circumstances you or a loved one has experienced, bringing in compassion to the situation lifts it slightly. It helps define a human virtue despite the difficulty. A kind word, a simple statement of encouragement, an action of help and a full-time investment towards resolution can all contribute to the effort of positivity. This can lend you immense strength.

Compassion Gives You Purpose

It’s easy to become disenfranchised or feel worried in the presence of difficulty. Becoming lost is often the temptation for most people. It’s simply a human issue which we all can experience without warning. However, applying compassion to both yourself and others gives you purpose. This can help direct you. Feeling empathic towards your situation allows you to look for solutions.

Notice that compassion and empathy is much more and much different than pity. It looks for solutions after accurately seeing the problem, as opposed to bathing in the problem and hoping it will solve itself. Purpose can help people get out of the most difficult times, so much so that many studies have been undertaken (such as those featured in Dr Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning,) on those trapped in concentration camps in WW2. Those who looked forward to a meaning after the camp, and held on to inspiration and purpose throughout the tragedy were much more likely to survive. This human passion helps us burn through even the most difficult of problems.

Compassions Gives You Clarity

If you have compassion, you’re much less likely to rest in your prejudices and instead listen to the person you’re gifting that compassion to. A drug addict will be seen as a diseased person, someone who needs help as opposed to a morally corrupt or ‘bad’ person. This helps you see the levels of complexity to any situation which can then help you give directed and appropriate help, or refer that person to better help with a more nuanced and appropriate approach.

Compassion helps improve your life, and your social depth even without tragedy to spur it on. Pause for thought and make use of compassion, it could just improve your life more than you know.

Running Injuries That Are Easy To Avoid

Running is a great way to stay in shape and it doesn’t come with a lot of the same dangers as competitive team sports, but that doesn’t mean you can’t injure yourself. Runners have their own set of risks to deal with and if you don’t run with good form, using the right gear, you could put yourself out of action and it’ll take a while to recover. There are a couple of injuries that runners often fall prey to, here’s what they are and how you can avoid them.

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Plantar Fasciitis

This is just a fancy name for an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. It usually gives you a sharp pain in the heel or the arch of the foot. It can be a slight annoyance but if you leave it untreated for too long, it’ll soon become incredibly painful. The two main causes are overworking and lack of proper footwear. If you haven’t got proper running shoes on, you won’t have enough support and you open yourself up to injury. Choosing the right one is a bit of a minefield but if you check out the Running Shoes Guru you’ll find plenty of great reviews to help you find the right ones. Good support should stop you from getting Plantar Fasciitis, as long as you aren’t running too often.

It’s tempting to get out and run every day when you’re constantly competing with yourself and trying to smash your best time. But you’ve got no chance of beating your record if you can’t run at all. Even with the best running shoes, your feet can only take so much. If you overwork them you’ll almost certainly end up with problems, so always take a couple of days off throughout the week.

Achilles Tendinitis   

This one is the Achilles heel of runners everywhere. All it means is that you’ve got inflammation in your Achilles tendon. It takes a long while to heal because there isn’t that much blood flow to the area so preventing it is vital. You’ll get pain around your heel and up the back of your foot, there’s also a lot of swelling that can make it unbearable to walk, let alone run.

Tight calves are one of the main culprits of an Achilles injury because if your calves aren’t taking enough of the impact, it all gets put on the Achilles tendon. If you overtrain and your calves are suffering because of it, you’re likely to develop an Achilles injury. You’re also at risk if there are sudden increases in the intensity of your training. If you’ve decided that your current training regimes just aren’t pushing you hard enough, you’ll want to take things up a notch. But if you go from running twice a week to five times a week and increase the distance at the same time, you’ll hurt yourself. Always increase the intensity gradually over a few weeks and you should be fine.

Iliotibial Tendon

This is a tendon that runs from your hip to your knee and there are all sorts of ways that you can damage it. If you’re feeling a sharp stabbing pain in the side of your knee when you run, that’s a sure sign of an IT injury.

Running downhill a lot is one of the causes because the angle of the incline puts extra stress on your IT. When you run, you usually run with a slight lean, even if you don’t notice it. Running on different sides of the roads helps you to balance it out a bit but if you’re always taking the same route, you could be putting extra stress on your legs. Changing up your route to cut out hills and run in different directions is the best way to avoid an IT injury.

Runner’s Knee

If you experience a dull ache under the kneecap whenever you run, you’ve got runner’s knee. It’s caused by different things in different people but there are a couple of common causes. Not wearing proper footwear is one, but that can be said of pretty much any running injury. Running on uneven ground is another big cause of runner’s knee that can be solved fairly easily by changing your route or buying running shoes with a spongier sole. If you’ve got weak quads or hips, your knees are picking up all the slack.

When it comes to sorting the problem the bottom line is, don’t run if it hurts. Try new footwear and always put an ice pack on it when you’ve got pain.

Most running injuries are caused by overwork, bad form, and lack of proper footwear. If you know what you’re doing and you invest in the right gear, you should be fine.  

Genius Tactics For Keep The Cost Of Makeup Down

Make up, for most of us it is a monthly cost that we cannot avoid. In fact, it always seems like there is one or two items that are running out, or that get broken in transit so have to be replaced. Unfortunately, that can mean that you end up spending a lot of your hard earned money on cosmetics, leaving you less for other things. However, there are some clever strategies for keeping the cost of your makeup bag down. Read on to find out what they are.

Go budget

There are so many makeup ranges to choose from on the market. Some cost under a dollar and others can set you back hundreds just for a single item. This can be pretty confusing when you are trying to pick a product, but it does mean that you can usually find what you are looking for in a lower price range if you don’t want to splurge on more expensive items.

OK, so some people make look down on drugstore brands, but actually, if you read the reviews many of them perform as well, if not better than premium items. Something that makes them a great choice for shoppers concerned with their budgets. It’s wise to remember too that, most people can’t tell once they’re on your face anyway!

Select budget items that are inspired by premium brands.

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Look for coupons

Next, you can get some of the better brands by looking out for special offers, coupons, and vouchers before you buy. In fact, at the moment you can get 10% off your Glossier order just by using a voucher that takes a second or two to find. They stock cosmetic removal items as well as makeup too, so while they are on offer, it’s a good idea to stock up for the Christmas period.

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Slim down

Also, if you are concerned that your makeup is costing too much, it can be useful to slim down the products that you use. The benefits of this tactic are that everything will fit in the bag easier, your routine will be quicker in the morning, and you can focus on quality over quantity. That means you can choose to buy a select few items that cost a little more, rather than having everything from the entire range.

Shop on eBay

Ebay and other auction sites are also a great place to find cosmetic items that won’t break the bank. They can be from premium brands too, as many folks order subscription boxes and then only like or use part of the contents. Then they sell what is left on auction sites at a discount price, allowing you to pick up a bargain.

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Of course, you do need to be careful to look out for sealed and boxed items, as these will be unused and the most hygienic. Although some people do buy pre-used items now, for most of us, this still remains a step too far, no matter how much money we can save on our makeup.

5 Top Volunteering Opportunities

Do you want to give something back to your local community? Maybe you’ve got a few hours spare each week and want to put them to some good use? If so, you should think about volunteering. There are lots of good causes and charitable organizations that are always on the lookout for volunteers who can help with their day to day work.

Ready to volunteer at a local cause? Here are five of the best ones you might want to think about.

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An Animal Shelter

Animal shelters look after lost pets and injured wildlife and always need people on site to ensure that all of their animals get the best care. When you are volunteering, you will have to help keep the animal’s living and sleeping spaces clean and tidy. You might also have to take all the dogs out for their daily walks.

A Care Home

There are lots of care homes up and down the country, like mcknightplace.com, that welcome in volunteers. As a volunteer, there are lots of ways you can help out. If you have cooking experience, you might be asked to help prepare meals for the residents. Some care homes simply want volunteers to go in to talk to the residents so that they can have a friendly chat every day and have people who can become friends.

National Parks

If you live near a national park, you might want to see if they have any volunteering options. Most of the time, they simply want willing volunteers to help keep the park clean by picking up litter and helping to maintain fences and other important structures. Some national parks, such as Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, get volunteers to take tours around the park. Opportunities like these can often lead to permanent jobs.

Your Local Library

Lots of teenagers volunteer at libraries to increase their chances of getting into a good college. However, this isn’t just an opportunity for teenagers, as many libraries want many older volunteers to help organize events and assist any patrons. Don’t worry if you aren’t too interested in reading and literature, though. Libraries are interested in getting a range of volunteers on board to help them with non-literature things, such as sorting out their finances and designing advertising materials.

Political Campaigns

Whether you support the Democrats or gop.com, there will definitely be a local political campaign or event that you can put your support behind. If it weren’t for a whole team of volunteers behind them, there is no way some political candidates would ever get voted into power! You might want to join a local canvassing to get more people in your neighborhood out voting. If you become a valuable volunteer, you might find that this opens up routes into a political career for you.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsThese are just five of the best volunteering options out there – there are a lot more to choose from if you do your research. How do you think you will volunteer your time?

Taking Care of Your Health Past Youth

If your youth feels like it’s coming to an end, more and more health conditions are likely to arise. It’s the sad truth. No matter how well your diet is going, you are just more likely to catch diseases due to factors as basic as a weaker immune system. That said, there is no concrete rule which makes you ill past the age of 50, you can most definitely avoid serious illnesses by improving your general lifestyle. While it may be hard to introduce changes into your life, especially ones that initially conflict with your daily routine, it is most definitely worth it. You will see a difference, and your loved ones will too.


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Dietary changes

If you feel overly sluggish and tired all the time, it might not be due to the fact that you’ve been busy. It is very possible that your general diet is lacking in certain areas, or maybe overcompensating in some. We’ve all heard the endless slogans and ranting about balanced diets while we were kids and in our adulthood, but rarely do people actually take it to heart. Balancing your diet is an important aspect of nutrition but sometimes it just isn’t enough. Dietary supplements can go a long way, and can act much quicker than slow dietary changes. Supplements tablets like Spirulina or Chlorella are great for everyday use for general purposes, but tabs for more specific conditions also exist. Hitting more niche areas such urinary tracts disease or bone density, there are a few products which you can research first, feel free to some reviews of AlgaeCal online before purchasing if you happen to be interested.


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Sleeping habits

Now, if you are well past your twenties, chances are your sleeping schedule is nowhere near as wild as it used to be, despite that it probably still isn’t perfect. Keep in mind that sleeping habits include more than just the hours you sleep. You should start considering more things which have an impact on your sleep which you might not even know about. Eating late, being one of the most common factors. If you eat within 2-3 hours of bedtime, you might have a hard time falling asleep, eating releases a dose of stress hormones and keeps the body in high alert. As opposed to what it should be doing, which is slowly relaxing and dozing off. There is also a correlation between eating late and high blood pressure, which is definitely something which should be taken into account at an older age. If you wake up aching and unrested, feeling more tired than the night before, you might want to change what you sleep on. If you have an old mattress with springs sticking out everywhere, you should probably replace it asap, no point cheaping-out on your back’s health. If your mattress is fine, but you still don’t feel too good in the morning, maybe it’s time to try something new entirely. Memory foam pillows and mattresses are a relatively new technology that has proven itself to be quite the upgrade for some people, and while they do come at a steeper price tag, if you value your night’s sleep then it is worth considering.

Make Sure Your Hair Holds Up for Winter

Winter can be pretty harsh on your hair. If it’s not getting blown about in the wind, it’s being dried out by air-conditioning when you’re inside. You need to take good care of it through the coldest months so that you can come out the other side and plan your awesome new spring style. There are a few things you can do to make sure your hair is ready for winter and that you protect it while it’s cold outside. Whether you want everyday tips for your hair or advice on how to keep your Christmas party look in place, have a look at this wintry advice.

Be Ready to Stay Hydrated

Your hair can really get dried out in winter. The wind can affect it, and both the cold weather and dry air inside can suck the moisture out of it. Staying hydrated is important for both your hair and your skin. In addition to making sure you’re drinking enough and sleeping enough, you can keep your hair conditioned to ensure it’s silky and smooth. It will help you deal with frizz and static too. To make sure your hair is ready for winter, start with repairing any damage that might have been caused over the year by coloring or anything else you might have done to it.

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Get Your New Hairstyle

The changing of the seasons is the best time to change your hairstyle. That’s especially true for winter, when you’re sure to have plenty of festive events coming up. You could decide to do anything, but you might want to think about how to make your hair easier to handle. Maybe you’ll go for some Brazilian hair extensions or decide that it’s time to cut your hair short. Perhaps you’ll think festive and get something especially for Christmas if you’re feeling jolly.

Boost Your Volume

Cold and wet weather can make your hair go limp, as well as induce the frizz. And winter hats don’t help. If your hair falls flat during winter, you might want to boost its volume, so it doesn’t make you feel as deflated as it looks. Get a good hairspray that will hold your style, even when it’s under your woolen hat. Some sprays are designed to be using with straighteners, curling tongs and hair dryers so that the heat helps them to work your magic and keep your hairstyle in place.

Have Regular Trims

Dry hair in the winter can cause split ends galore, so make sure you don’t neglect your ends during the cold weather. Start off the season by having a haircut and maintain it throughout the season so you can keep everything looking neat. Getting a trim is something you should often do anyway if you want your hair to look and feel healthy. But it’s especially important in the winter when your hair might not be at its happiest.

If you want to have luscious locks all through winter, start prepping them now. If you start as you mean to go on, your hair is sure to stay beautiful.

Psst Guys… Here’s What She Really Wants This Christmas

Judging by the awful gift I’ve seen some of my friends receive over the years, it seems that most men don’t know what they’re doing when buying for a lover. Sorry guys, but no woman ever really wanted that slow cooker or new vacuum cleaner. At least not from her S/O.

While she probably has a few items on her wish list, the products aren’t that important. In truth, she’s far more interested in the thought behind those gifts. Focus on these four points below, and you’ll be just fine.

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She Wants To Feel Special

First and foremost, every woman wants to feel loved by her man. Even if you’re not a guy that tends to show his emotions, this is a chance to do it in style. Personalized jewelry from Soufeel is a fantastic way to do this. Meanwhile, artistic creatives can make songs, paint pictures, or write poems. Your love means more than any price tag.

Being public with your emotions can be a very effective idea too. Knowing that you have pride in her can provide a warmth that no present ever could.

She Wants To Spend Time With You

Gifts are great, but there’s nothing quite like spending time with the person you love. The time you share on Christmas Day will be amazing regardless of the gifts you buy each other. So why not take things further by planning future time together through your gifts.

Whether it’s booking a holiday, a spa break, or a day out doing something you love doesn’t matter. Pick something that is built towards her enjoyment more than yours. That selflessness will be sure to score you extra boyfriend points too.   

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She Wants To Know That You Get Her

 Your lover is special and has many talents and passions that make he unique. Celebrating those individual traits and positive features show that you’ve genuinely put a lot of effort into the idea. These don’t even have to be gifts where she is the direct beneficiary. Sponsoring an animal at the WWF is a great example. Alternatively, you could do other charitable things in her name.

Other great solutions include doing something aimed to enhance her hobbies. Either way, doing something that is unique to her is key. Opting for something that’s clearly from the local Walmart won’t do.   

She Wants To See You’re Attentive

The emotional connection between two people is amazing. However, she still wants to know that you find her attractive and still notice everything about here. Therefore, treating her to things she uses in her beauty rituals can work wonders. Likewise, perfumes are a winning solution as long as you choose her scent.

Many men worry it’s saying “you aren’t naturally beautiful”. Even if a woman says this jokingly, she doesn’t mean anything by it. Knowing that her S.O wants her to look and feel her best is a great gift to receive. If nothing else, the practical element makes it a great gift.