Always Knowing the Right Gift for the Occasion

Gift giving is ingrained in our culture. We give gifts in all sorts of social situations. Generally, we will succumb to societal pressures to give gifts on occasions that come around on the same date each and every year: birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, anniversaries … the list goes on. Then there are occasions that mark a milestone in individuals’ lives, such as christenings, engagements, weddings, graduation, and for a housewarming. These are just a few examples of some of the times when you might consider handing over a gift to someone. Sometimes, we just give gifts for the sake of it, because we want to show someone our appreciation for the role they play in our lives. With so many opportunities, it can often become difficult to plan the perfect gift. What we purchase and wrap up will depend entirely on the recipient. So, here are a few ideas to ensure that you hit the nail on the head every single time!

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Your Partner

Generally speaking, your partner should be easier to buy for than anyone. You spend a lot of time around them which allows you to get to know their exact loves and hates. You are also around a lot more to receive hints and tips. Sometimes, you will be comfortable enough with one another to say exactly what you want. But it’s always a good idea to go further than the call of duty when it comes to gift giving with your partner. Even if you’ve secured them the main gift that they haven’t stopped going on about for the past few months, you should always consider an extra little something where possible. This doesn’t necessarily have to be of monetary value. It should be more sentimental. Make it something useful that will make their day to day life easier and more comfortable. If you argue about who’s going to turn the light out at night, wrap them up a nice lamp for the bedside table. If they’ve been complaining about being bored on their commute, get them a kindle with a digital copy of their favourite book already downloaded and installed. These may be things that your partner may never have considered asking for, but they will get plenty of use and will be greatly appreciated.

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People You Don’t Know Very Well

Buying a gift for someone you don’t know very well may sound bizarre and unlikely, but chances are that you’ll experience this odd situation once every so often. Think about it. Perhaps you’ll be attending a celebration event with a friend or partner. It’s polite to buy the individual who is being celebrated a present, but if you don’t know them personally, what are you to do? Well, here are a few sage pieces of advice. First, keep things simple. You don’t want to spend too much, and you don’t need to. Second, avoid any slightly controversial items. You know neither the person’s beliefs nor past experience, so avoid things like alcohol. Thirdly, bear in mind that you also don’t know their dietary requirements or preferences. Food and drink are surprisingly tricky, as the individual may avoid certain food types (did you know that vegetarians and vegans can’t consume many sweets containing gelatin), be allergic to certain food types, or intolerant of certain food types. Keep things simple, sweet and neutral: flowers, a classic novel, or a high-quality notebook should be greeted with thanks and smile.

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Corporate Gifts

Corporate gift giving is on the rise and for good reason. Of course, you’re not going to send gifts to every customer you deal with. But if you have large scale clients who you hope will return time and time again, offering gifts can keep your brand fresh in their mind alongside positive associations. If you’re planning on striking a deal with a potential client, a gift can be an ice breaker, opening the doors of communication of an extremely agreeable foot. If they haven’t been around for a while or have been lured away by competition, an impressive gift can help them to remember that your company exists and bring them back in. Alternatively, gift-giving ahead of this situation can prevent them from straying in the first place! So, what can you send? Well, corporate gift baskets are almost always a good way to go. They are carefully arranged so that their presence makes a lasting impression. Choose options with branded goods. Your customers will recognise the products, trust in their quality, and know their worth, so will appreciate the gesture just that little more! These are also a brilliant option if you’re looking for a gift to send to a business partner. While they may seem like an expense and can dip into your profits, they will generally bring more money back in in return through deals and sales. So they’re more than worth it!

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The Person Who Has Everything

We’re all familiar with at least one person who seems to have absolutely everything that they could possibly want. There could be a few different reasons for them seeming to have obtained pretty much everything that they like. Perhaps they have a lot of money, so have the means to just buy what they want as and when they begin to desire it. Perhaps they don’t have as many responsibilities or outgoings as your average person, so have a little more disposable income. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that they are extremely difficult to cater to when it comes to occasions where you want to give them something memorable. To best deal with this situation, you should always remember that not all gifts have to be tangible objects. You can give the gift of experience instead! Recent studies in the area have actually found that experiential gifts offer longer lasting happiness to the recipient than items. So feel free to use some of these ideas for anyone you love, not just the person who has everything! Some inspiring options include the gift of language learning, virtual reality, travel, discovery, music lessons, a film, or extreme sports. Another option for those who seem to have everything could be the realm of personalised gifts. Nowadays, you can get pretty much anything personalised. Pens, glasses, mugs, books, socks… the list goes on and on. So find something that they are renowned for enjoying and have their name quite literally printed on it.

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Pets

Now, those who don’t have an affinity with animals may raise their eyebrows at this one, but chances are that if you have a pet, you will have definitely bought them some sort of gift in the past, or have at least considered it. Cats and dogs are the most likely to be gifted and while your four-legged companion may not understand the concept behind the gift-giving, they will more than likely appreciate whatever it is that they are handed. Generally, edible goods tend to go down well. Almost every feline friend or faithful pooch will gladly chow down on tasty treats. Toys rarely go amiss too. You will know your pet best and can choose the best toy to meet their personal preferences! Some will love balls, others will prefer soft toys. You can even get pet subscription boxes nowadays. These will be delivered once a month and be packed to the brim with snacks, toys, and practical pet products that your animal will absolutely adore!

Consolation Gifts

While serious situations shouldn’t be made light of, there are certain situations where a friend may be feeling a little down in the dumps and you want to give them a pick me up. Perhaps they’ve gone through a breakup, lost their job, or are just having a bit of a hard time. Generally, the best gift you can give in these types of situation will be your time, snacks, and distraction. When possible, turn up with a bottle of their favourite drink in hand, some of their favourite edible treats or a takeaway and perhaps a movie, pack of cards. You can talk things over and put the world’s wrongs to right together. Ever heard of talking therapy? Sometimes a problem shared really is a problem halved. They’ll really appreciate you being there for them in their time of need! If you can’t make their acquaintance in person, send a card. This will act as the perfect pick me up when it arrives, painting a smile on their face.

Chances are that you’ve had to get gifts for all of these individuals in the past and chances are that you’re going to have to get them again at some point down the line. Hopefully, this comprehensive guide will come in useful when the time comes! While it’s always best to go with your gut feeling about what to buy and what to avoid with your gift giving, having a few preliminary ideas like these in the back of your mind really can make the decision easier.

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Knowing the Drill When It Comes to Dental Treatment

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When it comes to dental care and hygiene, most of us limit our experience with professionals to our yearly checkup with the dentist and hygienist. This, for the most part, will consist of your dentist poking around your mouth and giving you the all clear, and the hygienist giving you a quick scale and polish. But there are so many more specialist procedures out there that can really improve your smile. Cosmetic dentistry has come far in the past few decades and nowadays, no matter what your problem, there’s likely to be a solution to put things right. Here are some that you might like to consider!

Whitening

Perhaps the most commonly carried out type of cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening. There are various ways that your teeth can become stained over the years. Smoking, excessive coffee drinking, and insufficient cleaning are just a few of the potential reasons. While there are various over-the-counter treatments available, it’s important that you avoid them at all costs. Though they are cheaper, you get what you pay for. Instead, consult with a professional dentist who will create a unique mould for your teeth to ensure even coverage and sparkling pearly whites.

Braces

As well as a pearly white smile, people tend to desire straight teeth. If you take a look at pretty much any celebrity or individual in glossy magazines and advertisements, they will have perfectly aligned gnashers. If this is something you’re interested in yourself, contact an orthodontist. They specialise in the alignment of your teeth and general tooth structure. But worry not. You don’t need to rely on train track braces that we commonly associate with teenagers. Ask about Invisalign. This is a discreet tooth alignment treatment that uses clear braces to change the positioning of your teeth in a relatively short period of time. When using Invisalign, you can expect to have them removed within nine to eighteen months!

Veneers

If your teeth are damaged beyond repair, or you’re looking for an immediate fix to all of your aesthetic dental problems, veneers may be the way to go. If you opt for veneers, thin layers of porcelain will be prepared to fit perfectly over the surface of each of your teeth. As you can imagine, these can completely alter your physical appearance. From the shape of your teeth to their colour and positioning. They are bonded with a strong adhesive, so require a little preparation before fitting. So say goodbye to chips and discolouration and remember to take care for them! When cared for properly they can last for years to come!

These are just three different treatment options that are available to you. But they do provide a resolve to three of the most common problems that people have with their teeth. So, take them into consideration and start planning for a beautiful smile in the near future. The results that you can expect to achieve will no doubt be more than worth the time, effort, and financial investment involved.

Reaching Your Personal Goals Whilst Juggling Commitments

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Many of us take on more responsibilities as we get older. Working, looking after children and doing household duties such as cooking and cleaning can sometimes leave very little time for pursuing personal interests and hobbies. Not having the time to pursue these personal goals can make many of us unhappy, as we may feel we’re living our lives doing duties rather than doing what we want. Everyone deserves their freedom – gaining this may simply require learning to better manage your time. Here are just a few solutions that could help you to take care of your commitments whilst finding time for yourself.

Make the right sacrifices

Sacrifices are often needed to better manage one’s time. Making the right sacrifices is important as it could determine how happy you are. Most people think that working all hours and sacrificing family and personal time is the way to go, but it isn’t in most cases. Rather than focusing on earning more, it could worth focusing on spending less. This might allow you to work less hours, allowing you to see your family more and spend more time on yourself.

Be wary of sacrificing sleep to get everything done as this is not the way to go either. Being overtired will negatively affect everything else from your job to your family relationships to your personal challenges. Instead of sleeping less hours, try rescheduling your sleep instead. Going to bed early and waking up early might sound boring and horrible to some people, but actually better for us. Instead of free time in the evening, you’ll have free time in the morning, which you might be able to use more productively for yourself if everyone else in your home is asleep.

Find effective ways to multi-task

There are certain times when you may be able to multi-task and fit in some free time. If you have to commute to work, consider turning this stressful and routine trip into something productive and exciting. A commute via train could allow you enough to read a book, watch a TV show, write a blog post or plan the week’s meals. A commute via car might be a little harder to make use of as it requires more concentration, however you might still be able to do a listening activity such as streaming your favourite music, listening to an audiobook or learning a new language via a CD. You may even be able to travel by bicycle and make this your get fit time.

Meanwhile, there are many tasks that you can now do at home to fit around commitments. Many employers are now allowing staff to work from home in career fields that are mainly IT and phone based. You can also study a university course from home nowadays – you’ll find all kinds of courses on the web such as a healthcare administration degree online. You may also be able to exercise at home, rely on online food shopping and host virtual meetings via skype. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t leave the house – relying on these from-home methods might allow you to simply schedule them around your lifestyle rather than waiting for shops and gyms to open or having to travel or relocate to take up a job or university course.

Accept help from family and friends

Too many people turn down help from people around them that might otherwise free up time to focus on personal goals. Family and friends might be able to act as a babysitter occasionally whilst you get time yourself or they may be able to cook you a meal freeing up this chore. You shouldn’t over-rely on these people, but they shouldn’t be ignored.

If you’ve got a partner, you may also want to make sure that you’re both equally sharing out responsibilities. Sharing out household chores and time with the children can give you both more time to spend on personal interests and hobbies. It’s worth also trying to find some couple time for your both so that you’re not always spending time apart – this can often be a danger if you both work different hours.  

Know when to seek outside support

If you don’t have friends, family or a partner to share the load with, you can still make time to chase your personal goals – you may just have to rely on outside support. There are lots of babysitting services out there that can look after your children whilst you need to get things done. Some may be inexpensive or even free during certain hours. There are also charities out there that may be able to help with basic but gruelling tasks such as housework, allowing you to get others done. Asking for support is important as you could burnout if you’re juggling too much, affecting everything from your ability to work to your ability to look after your kids.

Schedule time for yourself

Don’t wait for free time to come along. When you have lots of commitments, you need to schedule in this free time. This could be a weekly slot when the children are being looked after or your partner is doing the housework. Having free time scheduled into your life will allow you to plan for it rather than taking it as it comes and not knowing how long it may last (a good example being when a baby is sleeping – you never know how long they’ll be out and what you’ll be able to get done in that time).

Do You Need Change or Just Greater Challenges?

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There will be a time in everyone’s career where they stare at the front door to the office and seriously consider just turning around and walking away. It is only natural to feel stuck in a rut at some point in your career. But commitments such as mortgages, family, debt, and all that other adult stuff force you just keep on through the drudgery.

So how does one overcome these feelings of exhaustion and lethargy and bitterness and every other negative word you can think of? There are options for everyone out there to get back on track and fall in love with work again, whether it be through change, challenge or something else.

CHANGE?

If you have worked at a particular company for a while, then you will naturally start to feel bogged down by routine. You know who will ask you what, you know how the week and month will go. It is all very similar. When this occurs, it might be time to change careers.

A lot of people now change jobs every year or so due to lack of potential for advancement or problems with making more money. You might think that having so many jobs on your resume may put potential employers off, and it might for some, but for many, it shows ambition and drive to better yourself, which is one of the most attractive qualities to have in an employee.

CHALLENGE?

But if you don’t want to risk leaving your job, which is understandable in the current climate, then consider seeking ways to make yourself a more valuable team member. Too many people complain about not being challenged at work but don’t do anything to change this. Don’t be that person.

If there are opportunities to further your skills, then grab them before it is too late. As the workplace evolves, the lines between industries become ever more blurred. One option is to apply for an online supply chain management course, which can provide you with broader responsibilities and shows a determination to progress in your company. Take the chance and start feeling challenged yet again.

ESCAPE?

You can either choose to escape your business altogether or merely just take some time away. Mental health issues can come about at any time, regardless of how you felt before. Sometimes, you just need a break. Discussing this with your employer may seem scary, but they would rather have a healthy, happy employee than one on the verge of burnout.  

Starting your own business combines both change and challenge and can provide you with the opportunity to feel alive again. While it can be risky, doing proper research into your chosen market will make the transition more comfortable, and you might just end up conquering the world.

BEST FOR YOU

The decision is entirely up to you. You are the one responsible for maintaining and improving your happiness and satisfaction in your career, and so only you can achieve this. Whatever you decide, you need to go into it with one hundred percent determination. Forget the fear and worry not about what might go wrong, staying positive during the tough times is the mark of a powerful person. You are that person.

A Handy Guide to Matching Products to Your Hair Type

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You have probably had the feeling of arriving at a store to buy shampoo or conditioner, only to be greeted by hundreds of different options which are all vying for your attention. There is no doubt about it that all this choice can lead to a lot of confusion. If you are one of the thousands of people who are baffled by the different options in front of you, this guide is here to help give you a general overview of what you need to do.

Fine and Straight Hair

Generally, people with fine hair are looking to add a little more volume to what they have already. Start off by using some thickening shampoo and conditioner. However, with the latter in particular, you should only apply it to the ends of your hair and wash it out very thoroughly indeed. You could also try out some dry shampoo as this helps to add texture, grip and bulk to your hair. Heat-protection spray and a little bit of mousse will give your hair the body you are looking for, but with a little more control.

Thick and Straight Hair

Thicker hair gives you plenty of options to experiment with a wide variety of different styles. Try using a bit of styling oil in your wet hair and follow this up with some styling cream. If you feel like your hair is starting to look a little duller than you would like, a shine spray can help to take some of the bulkiness out of it. You should be able to use a wide variety of styling products as your hair well-suited to absorbing it.

Tightly Coiled Hair

If your hair is a little kinky, start by using a deep conditioner in the shower. However, you should only rinse this out halfway. A bit of residue can help to keep your locks shiny and smooth. A general rule of thumb to follow with hair of this type is to use creamy products rather than sprays. Avoid moisture-sapping product such as those with alcohol or strong-hold gels.

Wavy Hair

If your hair is wavy, you need to pick an appropriate shampoo which isn’t going to cause it to frizz out too much. Choose an appropriate product if you have an oily scalp as well. Once you have applied your products out of the shower, try leaving it to air-dry. Use some styling oil if it still looks a little too dry for your liking.

Curly Hair

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Frizz and dryness are constant battles when you have curly hair. Start by trying out some sulfate-free shampoos which won’t cause your hair to become too dry. You can keep all your curls in place with some gel or a curl-refreshing mist. Avoid hairspray and rough towels as these both make frizz worse.  

So, hopefully that hair care aisle looks at least a little bit less daunting the next time you decide to venture down it!