Memorable Gifts Grandparents Will Love

At the heart of every family are grandparents. Without them, you wouldn’t be here and so appreciating them is an essential part of life. When it comes to special occasions, it can be difficult to stay original with gift ideas, especially when there are a lot of grandchildren also giving gifts! There are some fantastic gift ideas on the market but not all will be suitable for grandparents, so finding the right ones isn’t easy.

 

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The bit that matters most about gift giving is the person you are giving the gift to and understanding what they like is key. You’re not going to give your grandmother who has to use a wheelchair a pair of roller skates, so think carefully about what you buy. Staying original and creative is hard, but with our gift ideas, you can find it a lot easier!

Personal Gifts: The best gifts you could give grandparents are personalised ones. If there are a lot of grandchildren in the family, a family tree like this one to be hung on the wall is an excellent gift. For the glamourous grandmother, a personalised locket or bracelet always goes down a treat and it has precious, sentimental value. Engraved pocket watches are a stunning gift for the time-conscious grandfather and are a beautiful heirloom as it can be passed down the years. Just be careful with the engraving so that it can be passed down!

Photo Gifts: There’s one common gift idea among relatives, especially the older generation, and that’s photographs. They hold memories from years gone by and they are something that are simply timeless. Photos that are framed and canvases made are always a popular idea but you can go a little bit outside the box and get photos printed to hoodies and tops. You can also do photo printed gifts on cushions or collage blankets for the sofa so that the photos they cherish are in full view always. It also means they can literally wrap themselves in memories, and who would turn that down?

 

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Journal Gifts: Stationery is a gift that always goes down well, especially if it’s a beautiful pen and notebook set. Grandparent journals like this one are a wonderful idea for memories to be written down, life experiences to be recorded and they can be a diary of their life to tell the children of the future what the world was like.

Keepsake Gifts: Maps and posters are unusual gifts for grandparents, but if you live a fair distance away, are ones that are treasured. Check out personalised keepsake maps like these and see whether they would be the suitable keepsake gift for your grandparents. You can have the same effect with matching towels and clothing gifts as they can be kept for years.

Gift-giving is not easy in general, especially when you try to keep up with being original and different. Don’t worry though, there’s so much out there that you can choose from that giving your grandparents the perfect gift is getting easier!

 

The Future Is Now…Or Not


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The future. It’s unknown, ever looming, and happens before we know it. There are many blog posts out there about how to embrace the future, or make it as good as you can. But, what if you’re not ready to embrace it yet? One thing few of us expect is how fast life goes. We think we’ll be ready for major hurdles when they come, but that’s rarely the case. Instead, we’re swept up by the winds of change and have little say in the matter. Or, do we? There may not be any way to stop the clock, but there are ways to hold the future at bay. In fact, it’s well worth doing. That way, you can prepare for when those significant moments come along. We’re going to look at some of the biggest moments in anyone’s life, and how you can get a better grip on them.

The first big moment is when you meet the love of your life. Love is all you need, and all that. It’s actually easier to hold the future at bay before you’ve met the one. Once you meet them, time moves faster, and those big decisions are on you before you know. If you’re desperately searching for the man of your dreams, stop. It’s important to realize that there’s no rush. If you rush this, you’ll be diving headlong into your future again. Instead, accept that you’re single and embrace it. Chances are, you’ll meet your man. But, it doesn’t have to happen today. And, embracing singledom means you’ll be ready for him when he comes.

Once you meet your man, you’ll have to think about children. That’s the natural way of things, and your body clock is ever ticking, right? It may be what’s expected, but that doesn’t mean it will be right for you straight away. In fact, rushing into children before you’re ready could do damage to your relationship. You don’t want to have a baby in a relationship that’s not solid. So, don’t worry about rushing. Women are having children older, and medicine makes it possible. Turn instead to family planning options. There was once a time when women didn’t have a choice about having children young. That time is long gone. Get to know your options, and make the most of them.

 

Last on our list – buying a house. This is a dream most of us have, and again, it’s what’s expected. But, it’s not cheap, and rushing in before you’re ready could leave you in debt. Don’t feel pressured to rush this step. Yes, it would be lovely to own a house. In reality, though, few people can do that before their forties, or even later. Houses aren’t cheap! If possible, staying in the family home is your best bet. That way, you can get saving. If that’s not an option, don’t be afraid to concede defeat and start renting. It’s still possible to save if you get on top of your finances.

Don’t Let Home Become a Place of Stress


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If your home isn’t a place where you can unwind, then what other place can be? It’s important that you make sure your home is as stress-free as possible, especially when you consider how damaging stress can be for both your physical and mental health. Take some time to focus on making sure your home is a place where you can really relax, instead of letting stress-related problems fester!

 

Keep work at the office

 

You’re not going to have an easy time of relaxing at home if you keep mixing work up with your home time! Of course, there are a lot of people who are going to have a harder time of this than others. High-level positions such as you’ll find in law and medicine often require you to be thinking “off-the-clock”, and there are also people who work from home. But even when you work from home, there are ways to keep your free time and your work time a little more separate – for example, keeping your work to your home office and setting a strict schedule your yourself. Don’t get so tied up with work that you’re thinking about it in your free time!

 

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Declutter

 

Clutter is common in homes, and it really doesn’t help your mindset. Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to make too sweeping a statement, here. Some creative people seem to thrive when things are a little messy! But, in general, clutter is suggestive of chaos – or, to use a slightly less dramatic word, disorder. It can affect your stress levels more than you think. It’s distracting. Not only that, but clutter is usually something that people mean to take care of at some point – which means that you’re actually procrastinating with a task, which doesn’t help matters either! Look into getting some decluttering done.

 

Make some changes

 

Decluttering is part of something else that you should think about with your home: making some changes to its look and feel. What you want to aim for is a calm, clean look. Introducing colors to your rooms’ schemes such as gold, cream, yellow, white, and turquoise can make a massive difference. Rearranging furniture so that things feel more open will also help. Introducing more natural light will also do wonders, so think about ways to maximize how much you’re getting. You should also think about the smells in the house, too! Essential oils such as those taken from cedarwood, jojoba, and lavender are great for their aromatherapeutic effects.

 

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Get out more often

 

Your home may be stressing you out simply because it’s becoming way too familiar! If you’re spending the vast majority of your time there, then that’s probably not going to help it turn into a relaxing environment. Of course, everyone is a little different, and there are certainly many people out there who relish being at home all the time. But going on trips, or even getting out on the daily to get some exercise, can help tremendously when it comes to helping squeeze some of the stressful atmosphere out of your home.

No Filter Required


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If you love taking selfies and posting snaps of you and your friends on Instagram, you’re probably used to using filters to show yourself in the best possible light, but what if that wasn’t necessary? Want to look your best all day every day, check out these tips to ensure there’s no filter required:

 

Prep

 

If you want to go filter-free, smooth skin is a must, which is why you should invest in a good facial scrub and take the time to cleanse, tone and moisturise twice daily, and before applying foundation, you should always apply a primer.

 

If you want your skin to have a natural glow about it, you might want to up your intake of fruit, vegetables and water, all of which will help to plump out and keep your skin fresh.

 

Blot It

 

If your face is prone to getting oily, after you’ve completed your facial regime, be sure to blot your T-zone with tissues or blotting papers. Do this throughout the day as and when needed, to ensure you’ll never be caught off-guard.

 

Foundation


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To look your best in any selfie, you will want to use a medium coverage foundation, which is as close a match to your natural skin colour as possible, and you will want to blend it expertly into the face and neck area.

 

Contouring

 

Contouring takes time, so it’s not for everyone, but if you don’t mind putting in the work, it can be a game- changer. You can find out more about how to get started with contouring at http://www.instructables.com/id/Highlighting-and-Contouring-for-beginners/. It might take a while for you to learn all of the techniques, but if you want cut-glass cheekbone, a defined jaw line and a thinner face, it is worth the effort.

 

Don’t Forget to Set

 

Once you’ve applied your makeup, be sure to set it with any product that ‘optically diffuses’. This means that it blends and lines and pores, leaving your face looking as smooth of that as a newborn baby.

 

Pearly Whites


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If you don’t want to filter your photos, a great smile is a must, which means you should be brushing your teeth thoroughly and flossing at least twice a day. It might also be a good idea to use teeth whitening strips to get rid of any staining. You can find them at Teethwhiteningathometips.com/best-teeth-whitening-strips/ and they will really help to improve the look of your teeth, especially if you avoid sugar, soda and other foods that will weaken and stain teeth at the same time.

 

Pluck Your Brows

 

It’s surprising how much a well-plucked brow can change your appearance. That doesn’t mean that you should go crazy with the tweezers though! In most cases, a thicker brow, which has been well-defined will give you a younger, more natural look. If you need help taming your brows, it might be worth investing in some eyebrow gel, and if your brows are very light, having them professionally tinted could help you take your selfie game to the next level.

 

All that remains now is to smile for the camera – say cheese!

 

Crash On That Couch:How To Have A Perfect Family Movie Night

As your kids get older, it get progressively tougher to coerce them into coming out of their rooms and downstairs to actually spend a little time together. Family movie nights are the perfect way to accomplish that – not only will they be assured that they won’t have to talk too much to your deeply annoying self, but movies are a great way to bring the family together as you can talk about them when they’re over. Here are some tips for a perfect family movie night…

 

Make It Comfortable

First of all, make sure that your movie night space is comfortable and that everyone has a spot where they can curl up and see the screen properly. Set the thermostat so it keeps the room at a constant comfortable temperature, and get up to change it during the movie if the room starts to get too warm. Provide blankets and pillows so that everyone can snuggle up on the couch as comfortably as they want to, and make sure that everyone has a way to be able to put their feet up. Finally, remember not to place certain kids next to each other if you want them to focus through the movie instead of taking the opportunity to punch each other!

 

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Pick The Right Movie

If you have kids of different ages it can be difficult to decide what movie to watch – your five year old’s plea to watch Frozen for the hundredth time might not go down well with your too cool for school teenager. A good option is usually to choose a Pixar movie – not only do they appeal to younger kids with their incredible visuals, bright colours and funny jokes, but they also have more adult themes that you and your older kids will be able to connect with – take Andy giving away his toys at the end of Toy Story 3, or the beginning of Up, for example.

 

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Make Sure You Can Use The Technology

There is very little that’s as deeply and horrifyingly annoying to a teenager as their parents attempting and failing to use technology, so make sure that you practise beforehand to feel confident with what exactly you’re doing. Go for an easy streaming service – follow this download link to use ShowBox for a good range of movies.

 

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Choose The Perfect Snacks

The ideal movie snack consists of something that isn’t too noisy to eat (how annoying is it to listen to other people crunching and rustling their way through bags of potato chips during movies?) and that won’t get you incredibly messy if you accidentally drop it on your front in the dark. Popcorn really is the perfect snack – add different flavours of salt and spices and sugar to different bowls of it so that you can mix up all the different varieties and everyone can have their own popcorn bag so there’s no fighting. Fruit cups full of tangerine segments, grapes and berries like strawberries and blueberries are also great if you want a particularly healthy option. Provide flavoured water as a drink – it’s a little more interesting than plain water and it’ll probably lead to a whole lot fewer sugar rushes and a lot less burping than soda will.

Create What Your Camera Can’t Capture


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When you undertake your photography journey, editing may be far from your mind. When we start, a lot of us don’t think we’ll even use editing software. Until we get our camera. Then, we learn that the perfect photograph isn’t so easy as pressing the button. Of course, we all find the odd gem that doesn’t need work. For the most part, though, editing is the best way to make your photographs stand out. That’s not to say that you need to edit them beyond recognition. But, highlighting the already strong features is sure to bring it to life. So, how do you start on your editing journey?

LEARN FROM THE BEST

Professional photographers are often happy to teach about their editing techniques. So, who better to turn to than those who are top of the field? Do a little research into your favorite photographers, and see if they have any advice. Turning to people who’s work you admire is a sure way to learn techniques you’re going to use. After all, you already know it’s a technique you like the look of!

JOIN A CLASS

As with any new skill, there’s no better way to learn than joining a class. Look into courses like those at Training Connection and see if any suit your needs. You may think that everything you need to know is online, and you’re right. But, flying solo in your editing journey will make things more complicated than they need to be. Having the support of a teacher will ensure you learn a lot quicker. Plus, you can only find what you search for online. A teacher can show you techniques you hadn’t even heard of. And, you’ll also have the benefit of meeting other budding photographers. Who doesn’t want photography friends to go out and about with? You’ll be able to compare knowledge with your classmates, too. It’ll be a worthwhile experience.

 

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KNOW YOUR SOFTWARE

Knowing the software you’re using is essential. The more you know, the better able you’ll be to create fantastic new effects. You’ll learn a little about this in your course, but you’ll soon see that the basics are just the tip of the iceberg. The more research you do, the better position you’ll be in. Have a look around. If you spot anything you’re unsure of, research what purpose it serves. It’ll take a while before you know everything you need. Researching in small chunks like this will ensure you get a good grasp eventually.

 

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PLAY AROUND

All the serious learning aside, playing around with your editing techniques is invaluable. You can only learn by doing, after all . Learn the best techniques for telling a visual story. Learn how to manipulate color. Play with contrast to enhance your images as much as possible. Don’t show anyone your initial attempts. That will only increase the pressure and stop you having fun. Edit for no one but yourself. That way, there’s no pressure on you to do a good job.

Improving Your Self-Esteem One Step At A Time

Confidence seems to be key to succeed in the modern world. Whether you’re going for a job interview or a first date, the advice of your peers is likely to be about exuding confidence and sureness in yourself. This is easier said than done for some people. If you suffer from low self-esteem you’ll know how debilitating it can be, and how difficult it is to fix it. Take a look at these simple and manageable steps for building confidence and self-esteem. You might just pick up some useful tips that work for you!

 

Understanding Self-Esteem

 

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Self-esteem often has little to do with the money you earn, accomplishments you’ve had, or way you look. Low self-esteem is a mindset which doesn’t allow the sufferers to feel good about themselves for who they are. They find little worth or pride in themselves or their achievements. A person with low self-esteem often spends too much time fixating on their flaws. It can be easy to find yourself overwhelmed with irrational negativity if you have low self-esteem.

 

It’s Time To Take Stock

 

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Before you can set any goals or make a breakthrough, you need to find out what you struggle with and what you’re good at. Simply write a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Do this in a journal, on your laptop. Whatever works for you. You have to note down 10 things on each side. If you suffer from low self-esteem the strength side will be far harder than the weakness side.

 

If you’re struggling think of strengths think back to any compliments your friends or family have given you. You probably brushed them off at the time, but being thanked for listening, helping, contributing, are all positives. There is no such thing as a strength which is too small or unimportant to be noted down.  This is a good exercise because it shows clearly you aren’t a failure. You have strengths and weaknesses just like everybody else, but you do have something to offer.

 

Set Some Realistic Goals

 

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Stopping the cycle of negative thoughts is about working your way through your weaknesses. You won’t get rid of all of them, none of us do, because nobody is perfect. If you can pinpoint specific things that make you lack confidence work on those first. It could be that you don’t feel good-looking enough or intelligent enough. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Get in shape or improve your intellect to help yourself nobody else. There are plenty of articles about how to burn belly fat fast etc. Concentrate on taking things slowly and healthily. Address your diet and do some light cardio like running to start with. Exercise is actually a great way to lift your mood too. Similarly, if you want to boost your brain power look into evening classes. Watch some documentaries at the weekend rather than TV or visit a museum.

 

Telling A Visual Story In Your Home


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If you have a natural talent for photography then you are very lucky.  The ability to capture emotion on film (although it’s pretty much all digital nowadays) is a skill that many are envious of.

 

Ok, so these days it is much easier to take a good photo.  With new technology at our fingertips we can shoot, edit and send all within a matter of seconds.  Companies such as Instagram have enabled us to add more drama to an ordinary photo by giving us a set of pre designed filters.  We can crop and highlight, add fade and warm the edges.  It is even possible through apps such as Facetune to touch up our faces, smooth out the skin and slim down our waists.  However, none of this beats what a creative eye can see.

 

If you talk to professional photographers, the old school ones who shot on film, had a dark room and spent hours perfecting their art, they will tell you that a great photo doesn’t need any editing at all.  The skill back then was to capture the emotion in one second.  From animals to humans, war or celebration.  Some of the most famous photos the world shares are completely untouched by human edits.  They were simple.  Honest.  Bold.

 

The ability to do this should never be underestimated and if you have it, you need to share it.  One of the best places to do that is through your own home.

 

Our homes should tell the story of who we are.  From the first steps into our hallway, right down to the bathroom.  The wall should be a visual display of you.  What is in your heart and how you see the world.  

 

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You will probably shoot on a digital camera, just about everyone does now, so you can easily have your best images made into large artworks.  Using companies online you can get some pretty good deals, especially using a snapfish coupon code.  Then you just need to work out how to present your images.  You could go with a timeless black frame and a deep white border, or consider a large canvas print.  Whatever you do, think of your home as an exhibition.  What order will you share your journey.  Where should you add really thought provoking pieces.  Perhaps the hallway is better for lighthearted work then the living room becomes an area for people to really engage with your images.

 

If you don’t think you are quite ready to fill your home with your photography then you could consider a workshop or course to help improve your technique.  There are so many things to learn and it could be a fun social event too.  You may learn that you are using a camera that is too complicated for you, or learn how to make the most of natural light to help you create even better black and white images.  Take your hobby to the next level and really educate yourself on all the finer details of the professional photographers.

 

Then show off a little.  You never know, someone might even commission you to shoot something for their home!

Put The Toaster Down, Choose These Newlywed Gifts Instead


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There’s nothing quite like seeing two people tie the knot. That beautiful unity of two hearts is undoubtedly one of the most incredible moments in anybody’s life, and being a part of the big day is something you’ll treasure. But whether it’s a friend or relative making that commitment, there’s one thing that will almost certainly stress you out as the big day arrives. The gift.

 

Finding a gift for your loved one is relatively easy. However, finding one to celebrate a love when you aren’t directly involved can be more than a little challenging. Most guests will go down the traditional route of toasters, coffee makers, and other appliances. The truth is, though, that the loving couple probably has those items already.

 

Why not try something different? Here are some ideas to get your gift-giving creativity going.

 

  • Find a gift to brighten up their home with added character and personality. Canvas art can be a great option, although the happy couple might prefer to wait and use a photo from their big day. A personalized bobblehead commemorating the wedding day can achieve the same vibe, though. Moreover, it’s a unique gift that you know will be remembered and cherished for years to come.
  • If you know where the happy couple is going for their honeymoon, you can embrace this during your present purchasing process. This idea could manifest itself in multiple ways. From giving the couple money in the right currency to booking a scuba diving lesson or helicopter tour, the options are endless. If it helps enhance one of the happiest moments in their lives, it has to be considered a great gift.
  • As they embark on their new lives together, you could treat them to something that they can love and care for as a couple. Buying a puppy might not be advised, but something simple like a bonsai tree or houseplant provides a symbol of their growing love. Of course, there are various home and garden items that could boast a similar sentimental value. Find a solution that suits the happy couple, and it will be one of the best presents they receive.
  • Times have changed, and having children out of wedlock is very common in this modern world. Nonetheless, if the happy couple’s marriage is a step towards settling down with kids, buying baby gifts is another option to consider. It’s not for everyone, and you’ll probably want a small gift just for them too. Still, under the right circumstances, this can be the ideal present.
  • Love is the word of the day, but that romance should last forever. Candlestick holders, wine glasses, and other items aimed for the perfect home date night are a great gift. It can help the newlyweds keep the spark alive without the need for spending huge sums of money. Given the expenses that they’ve encountered during the planning of the big day, those rewards will be highly appreciated.

 

So there you go. Five simple and unique ideas to provide the newlyweds with a memorable and lovable gift. Job done.

 

Ready For Your Close Up? How To Take The Ultimate Selfie


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Since the rise of social media it appears the world has all become a little bit narcissistic.  That’s not a bad thing, according to experts being on the narcissistic spectrum is perfectly healthy, it means we have confidence in ourselves and want to promote our best assets.  However there is an end to the spectrum that you don’t want to find yourself on, the self obsessed end!

 

Whilst Instagram and Twitter are packed full of images which promote our lives in the best light of all, you don’t see many images of your friends in the morning after a terrible night out or snap shots of them spilling soup down their tie at lunch because they are having a difficult hump day, most of us manage to find the happy balance between snapping a great shot and becoming completely obsessed with perfection.

 

If social media is ruling your life then you need to master the art of it’s biggest craze, the selfie.

 

Taking a selfie doesn’t have to be complicated.  Just spin the camera around and click.  However, there are lots of factors to consider if you want to look your best and not end up posting shots that widen your face, allow people to see up your nose or make you look like you have a double chin.  Easy when you are in control, not so much when your friends grab you together for a quick shot.

 

Would you believe there is even a photography course on the art of the selfie? No, neither could we, but it exists.  So we grabbed some tips from the professionals and thought we would share them with you.

 

Aim low!

 

No not in your standards, we are talking camera angle.  If you shoot from a higher angle pointing down onto your face, you will give the appearance of a slimmer face and even reduce the size of some of your features.  Don’t go too high or you will draw focus to your forehead.  You want to catch your eyes and that will become the focal point of the image.  

 

Don’t duck face!

 

The craze of duck face seems to be the order of the day but don’t fall victim to it’s allure! Instead opt for a delicate smile or better still, show some teeth.  Just make sure they are nice and white! Although if they aren’t, you can fake it!

 

Check your surroundings.

 

There have been some incredible selfie fails due to a dirty bedroom or unwanted feature behind you.  When snapping a selfie remember to choose a good environment.  The internet can be pretty unforgiving of a dirty bathroom.  Opt for a nice plain coloured wall and use it to keep the focus on your face.

 

Fake it!

There are hundreds of apps on the internet which can improve the quality of your photos.  From Facetune where you can smooth out your skin and brighten your eyes, to instagram where you can add filters and edit like a pro!

 

Have fun and enjoy yourself.  This craze seems set to stay!