4 Ways You Can Change The World Today

23758608654_d58eec8af8_b

(credit)

Change the world? Little old you? Ridiculous. What could you do? After all, you’re not Wonder Woman, and you don’t possess any super powers. You’re not in politics (we are assuming), so unlike the trailblazing AZ sec of state, you don’t have the platform to make a difference in the place you are living in. You don’t work for Greenpeace (again, we are assuming), so you don’t have a direct hand in protecting the environment.

So what could you do? Hmmm, lets see shall we…

You could be kind to the people you pass during the day. A smile, a kind word, a helpful gesture… these things are not difficult to do, and by doing so, you are promoting a positive outcome. And who knows? The people you are kind to may follow your example. Remember the movie Pay It Forward? An emotional weepie it may be (we are still crying after that ending), but the concept is valid. If you do something kind for another person, they may pass on that kindness through their behaviour, and so and so on. Before you know it, the whole world will be passing on kindness, and that’s thanks to the gesture started by you. Okay, in a perfect world maybe, but you never know how far your kindness will stretch.

You could help the people who are central to your life. To change the world for the better, we often need to start with the people closest to us, so think about those you can help today. Is it your mate who needs help with fitness? Is it a family member who needs a childminder/pet sitter/shoulder to cry on? Is it your neighbour who is too old to manage their chores? Is it your child who is struggling at school? So look at the people in your life. Do they need you? And if they come to you for help, don’t be quick turning them away. By making a difference to their lives, there will be a ripple effect elsewhere.

You could volunteer to help people in your locale. Perhaps there is a homeless shelter you could volunteer in. An environmentalist group may need help with litter picks. A church or community group may require help with children’s activities. Go online, Google search your local area, and get involved. There will be charity work you are suited to, and by doing so, you can make a difference to the lives of others.

You could help people on a global level. You don’t have to get on a plane to help those people far away from you. Think of the world we live in. Think of those people who are struggling in other countries. Think of the charities helping them. What could you do? You could join a charity on a local level to do good to those people far away. You may be able to donate money to a good cause. You might even share global issues with others online through social media or a blog, raising awareness to anybody willing to read what you have to say. Supergirl would fly around the world changing lives, but you can do it from the comfort of your armchair.

So, what do you think? Could you save the world today? By making even small differences, you can encourage others to do the same. And then, little by little, the world will be a better place! Something to think about anyway, but we hope you take action soon. And when we say ‘you,’ we are indeed talking about YOU!! So, put down your copy of Vogue, and get to work!

Advertisements

Waste Isn’t Wonderful: Save Money This Summer

photo-1494871262121-49703fd34e2b

Image source

Forget whatever myths you might have heard about the holidays being the most expensive time of the year – it’s summer. Summer knows how to chew through your stacks of cash faster than a swarm of locusts making their way through a Texas farm, which is why you need to know all you can about saving your stockpiles and finding extra money without having to put in extra hours.

Thankfully, we have the answer, and it’s as simple as opening a yoghurt pot: stop wasting money.

Sure, this hack might not fall into the category of secret, but that doesn’t change the fact you’re probably not as innocent as you think. In fact, there’s a pretty phenomenal chance you’re a huuuuge culprit.

So, without further ado, here are some super-simple ways you can stop wasting money this summer and have more pennies to play around with:

  1. Start Buying Generic Brands

If you’re still picking up the branded version of things when you do your weekly grocery shop then you’re wasting money. Lots of it. Cereals, medicines, bleaches, batteries – the only thing that’s different about them is the price and the packaging. Go generic, save money, enjoy life.

  1. Stop Buying Bottled Water

Okay, first things first, buying bottled water is so horrendously bad for the environment. Plastic is the big problem of our time. But that’s not all. In terms of spending $4 on something you can get from your tap has to be one of the most foolish ways to waste your money. Fact. And if you are worried about taste and all that, just buy a filter.

  1. Have Help On Speed Dial

It’s the summer. There are more cars on the roads than ever, you’re taking more trips to the theme parks than before, heading to the local parks, going on mountain bike trails, and loads more things where risk plays a role. Should something happen, doesn’t it make sense to have a personal injury attorney on your side? If you want to get the compensation you deserve, don’t go into the world of law alone.

  1. Bye-Bye New Books

Nothing beats slipping into the backyard with a book, or going on vacation and packing that novel you almost started last summer. It’s what relaxation is meant to feel like. But instead of buying new books (knowing you’ll only read them once), head to that pretty building down the road, the one with the word ‘library’ stamped on it, and borrow a book for free. Or, if you absolutely must own it, then buy used. It’s easy.

  1. Stop Paying For Unused Things

You have cable but you probably only watch 0.8% of the channels on there. You’re a member of a gym, but you haven’t been there since 2014. You’ve got a few different magazines that show up at your door every month, but you’ve not had time to read them in a while. You pay for a landline telephone you never use. These are all a waste of money and all ways you can pinch some pennies.

You Can’t Achieve Your Goals Without These

It’s so important to have goals in life. It’s our goals and aspirations that make us who we are, and help to drive us towards the most success. But achieving goals isn’t something that just everybody does. Achieving goals takes hard work and determination, and that’s just something people don’t have. Plus, you have the chaotic whirlwind that is life demanding so much from us, so fitting in the goals that you might have around that isn’t always going to be possible. However, you don’t want to look back on your life and regret not meeting goals that could have been met, so we want to show you a few ways that you can ensure your goals will become a dream come true.

Financial Stability

You are really going to struggle in life if you don’t have a bit of financial stability. With so many things to pay for, and your wage perhaps not being all you would want it to be, it’s easy to get yourself into a position where you make bad decisions, and bad decisions can lead to a lot of problems with money. One issue that people face is a credit score drop. You actually rely on your credit score more than you think, and if you’ve got one that’s next to nothing, you’d struggle to even get a phone contract in your name. However, don’t always think that your credit report is right. You can get a credit dispute filed to check the validity of the report if you think that something on there is false, or you think your score should be much higher than it is. Don’t panic if your credit score is low however, there’s plenty that you can do to try and bring it up. It’s all about carefully managing your money, and doing things such as putting a little bit on a credit card, then paying it off.

person-598191_1280.jpg

Image Source

Drive & Determination

It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about here, you’re never going to get where you want to be without some drive and determination in you. Do you ever have those days where you just wake up with so much energy in you, and you have so many goals in mind that you wish to achieve, but by lunch time they’ve all gone out the window because you can’t be bothered? Yeah, we all do that! But, it’s that drive and determination that you need to keep hold of, and channel towards the things that you really want to achieve in life. As they say, if you want something so bad, you’ll make it happen!

Achievable Goals

Some goals that you set yourself just aren’t going to be achievable. If you’re planning on being able to run a marathon in a months time, even though you can barely lift yourself off the sofa at the minute, then you’re not going to achieve it. Start small with your goals, and work your way up to something big. The more goals you achieve, the more you’ll feel like you can do in life.

Gifts Galore: Buying Presents Based on People’s Personalities!

Buying gifts can be really difficult, even if you know the person well it can be tricky getting it exactly right. However there’s one way you can improve your chances and hand over something the person loves on a special occasion and that’s by bearing their personality in mind. Think of their likes and dislikes, their hobbies, their interests and go from there. Here are some ideas for gifts you can buy using this method.

pexels-photo-264771.jpg

photo

For The Person Who Loves Cars

Do you have a car obsessive in your life? Maybe it’s someone that’s recently passed their test and is enjoying the novelty of their first car, or someone that’s a bit of a petrolhead. Car gifts could include anything from small items like air fresheners and cleaning kits to pricier sat navs and stereos. You could buy them a gift card for a car wash, or go down the experience route of a driving day. You can get track days where they can drive their own car, or lots of companies offer things like muscle car and supercar experiences where they can drive the vehicle of their dreams!

The Stylish Girl or Guy

Our appearance is important, this is the way we present ourselves to the world. When you look good on the outside, you feel good on the inside and so it’s no wonder that many of us are into fashion and style. For guys, a site like John Henric will have lots of options in one place for gifts- think cufflinks, ties, belts and bracelets. For women you could go with a gorgeous silk scarf, a piece of jewellery or makeup. If you know their style well, an item of clothing or pair of shoes would work well for either gender. If you know they will enjoy something style related but don’t know their preferences well enough, a gift card to a good department store would work well.

For the Sentimental

When it comes to giving gifts, it’s always the thought that counts. However, some people are especially sentimental, and so it’s worth choosing something that will really appeal to them. Often, these are people like parents and grandparents, and the gift doesn’t have to cost much for it to mean the world to them. Think framed photos, or carefully curated photo books or scrapbooks of precious memories. Things like jewellery or trinkets that can be kept and cherished, or something homemade were thought and effort has clearly gone into it. Another great option for someone that’s quite sentimental is to choose an experience gift where you can spend time together. A trip to a spa, and afternoon tea or lunch at a nice restaurant will all go down well and will allow you to have that time and make some memories. Take a photo of the day, and present it to them in a frame afterwards to remember the occasion.

When buying gifts, it’s so easy to pick up things that we like the look of. However thinking carefully and buying based on your recipients interests will be far better received.

The ABCs Of Friendship

If you want to have good friendships in your life, then it needs to start with you. Some people won’t be worth the effort, especially when they put in very little themselves. But there are some gems that will be the friends that will last and last. But much like a romantic relationship, friendships do take work. So here are 26 things to help you to be a better friend, the ABCs of friendship, if you like.

pexels-photo-52578.jpg

image

  • Appreciate – showing how thankful you are for things can make their day and show that they matter to you.
  • Birthdays – make sure you celebrate them in style on their big day. From looking at a birthday gift collection for the perfect gift, to partying with them, it is all good.
  • Communication – so important for any kind of relationship. Say what you mean.
  • Don’t Be Selfish – enough said.
  • Encourage – a good friend helps you to be a better version of yourself. So be that person for your friends.
  • Forgive and Forget – it can be easier said than done, but is vital for any friendship as we can all say and do things that we regret.
  • Generosity – give of your time and what you have to be better friend. Don’t buy friends, but bu generous.
  • Hug It Out – hugging can be a great thing with your bestie. It can help if you are feeling sad or stressed too.
  • Include Them – we all have family and other friend circles, but include them where you can.
  • Join something together – a club or a team can give you some common ground and more chance to connect.
  • Keep Promises – only make them if you can keep them/
  • Listen – a vital part of communication is listening. Are they trying to say something between the lines?
  • Motivate – from helping them to exercise more to motivating them to get a new job, it is all good.
  • No – sometimes saying no can be a good thing. Make sure figure out the balance.
  • Own Up – be honest, and own up to your mistakes.
  • Practice makes perfect – Sometimes you won’t do things well straight away. Stick at it.
  • Quash jealous feelings – we may envy their style or their other friends. Just don’t!
  • Respect – you are not going to treat someone badly if you respect them. Be sincere and value their opinions.
  • Speak up – if you’re unhappy about something, speak up about it. Then they will feel that they can do the same.
  • Trust – it is a vital part of any kind of relationship. Some people may break it, but allow them to work at it.
  • Understanding – we are all different and all do things differently. Just because they don’t want to go out one evening, doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. They could just be an introvert, for example.
  • Visit – with social media taking over, it can be easy just to send them a snap. Visit and meet up when you can.
  • Work – working at a friendship is important. Make sure that it isn’t just one-sided, though.
  • Xtra Effort – a must for any happy friendship.
  • You – don’t forget yourself in all of this. If it turns toxic, it is time to get out.
  • Zero Negativity – because who likes to be friends with someone full of negativity?

Feeling Fabulous And Making the Most Of Your Weekends

Don’t you find that the weekends just go too quickly at the moment? You blink and it seems you miss them if you are not careful. Often weekends are there to ensure that you get the rest and relaxation that you need to help you crack on with the next week ahead. But they are also a great opportunity to do different things and really experience the world. So I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can continue to feel fabulous and make the most of your weekends.

Image source

Do something to inspire you

Sometimes it is nice to do something that inspires you, and often things like going to a museum or an art gallery does exactly that. It gives you a chance to learn and expand your knowledge while also feeling inspired pin different ways. Websites like VirtosuArt.com can show you a great gallery to attend, however a quick search online will highlight some of the local attractions you have close to you. You may find that there are some great spots locally you don’t know existed.

Exercise and feel good

Exercising is a great way to spend your weekend and while you won’t’ be doing it all day everyday, there are aspects of activity you can do during the weekend that not only give you all the benefits of exercise but can also give you a fun activity and thing to do. Hiking, walking, swimming and running are all activities that can be enjoyed over the course of a weekend.

Catch up with friends and family

Maybe you want to socialise over the weekend and I don’t blame you. It is one of the only opportunities you get enjoy a later night than usual without the follow up of having to get up super early for work or other commitments in your life. Catching up with friends and family is a great way to spend your weekend.

Cook up a storm

Not all of us get the time to cook up meals from scratch during the week so use the time you have on the weekend to your advantage and really cook something up. Cooking can actually be very therapeutic as well so you may find that it is a relaxing activity as well as fun one.

Enjoy a pamper session

Again during the week we often don’t get much time in the evenings to ourselves, so a weekend is the ideal time to reinvest some time into yourself. It could be that you enjoy a pamper evening where you put on a face mask, give yourself a manicure or pedicure or even just enjoy a long soak in the bath with a good book. Bliss.

Paint the town red

Finally, why not go out and paint the town red? Or whatever colour you like. A night out may not be something you do too often these days, but a girls night out or a date night with your loved one can really inject the spark and happiness back into your life.

I hope that this has given you some inspiration on how you can make the most of your weekends.

Easy Gifts Any Guy Will Appreciate

Image

Everyone is happy when it’s easy buying gifts for someone, as it makes the process much less of a headache. When you are buying for the man in your life, you might sometimes find it to be a little difficult, especially if they do not easily express what it is that they enjoy and so on. However, the good news there is that there are a number of gifts with pretty much any guy will tend to appreciate, so considering those is bound to help you if you are a little stuck for ideas. In this article, we are going to take a look at just a few of these sure thing present ideas – but hopefully this will be enough to get the ball rolling in your mind if you are currently looking for a gift for the man in your life – whether it’s your other half, your father or your son.

A Good Pair Of Shoes

If you thought that it was only women who appreciate a good pair of shoes, think again. The truth is that most men will also appreciate this as a gift, especially if it is a relatively expensive and particularly fashionable pair of shoes. If you think that your man would like something fairly casual, but still stylish, then you might want to consider something along the lines of a pair of air jordan 11 bred trainers. Whereas, if he is more likely to enjoy a formal pair of shoes you can easily achieve the same kind of effect by treating him to some fancy loafers which could go with his favorite suit. Either of these would be well appreciated, but choosing which just depends on the man in question.

Beard Trimming Kit

Whether or not he currently sports a beard, most guys will appreciate having the ability to look after one if it comes to it. Therefore, getting your man a decent beard trimming kit is definitely going to go down well, no matter his stance towards facial hair. If he does usually have a full beard or even just stubble, having the full set of accoutrements to look after it will definitely please him – whereas a man who likes to stay clean shaven won’t exactly complain for having more in the way of decent razors. Go for a set which includes a manual electric clipper set, as these are handy to have for either the beard or the head hair if it comes to it.

Tool Belt

If your man is particularly handy when it comes to things around the house, then you might find that getting him something in the way of a tool belt is likely to actually go down very well. Tool belts are a great thing to have even if you don’t do much fixing up, so in any case the man in your life is highly likely to feel as though you have got him something useful. Just make sure that it has a good combination of tools for any occasion, and that the belt itself suits him in some way.

4 Ways to Freshen Up Your Home Office Routine for Summer

Image source

If you haven’t noticed by now, summer is on its way! Unfortunately, the shift in the seasons doesn’t often mean a change to our working conditions. And especially for those of us who work from home, it can get pretty monotonous staring at the same four walls day in day out. If the closest you’ve gotten to a beach so far this year is your desktop screensaver or endless shots of #hotdoglegs on Instagram, its time to freshen things up. Okay, maybe becoming a digital nomad is a little outside of the realms of possibility for you right this moment, but there are several little hacks you can try to bring the summer into your home office.

Plan In A Happy Hour

Just because you’re at home all day, doesn’t mean time has to melt into one big block. Why not create your own happy hour to give midweek a lift? Personalise a little ritual for you and how you like to operate – whether that is lunchtime ice-cream sundaes on a Thursday or frozen margaritas on a Friday night. It will give you something to look forward to and add a deadline to work towards. Pair it with an evening away from home – use www.theticketmerchant.com.au to find gig tickets or a comedy show to go to after ‘post-work drinks’.

Change Up Your Schedule

Although one of the joys of working from home is surely being more flexible with your hours, most of us are actually creatures of habit and stick to the same routine. Why not create more of a distinction for summer by changing your working pattern to take advantage of the lighter mornings? Start work an hour earlier and be strict with yourself about leaving your home office to get outside at 4 pm. Or, if you have lots of meetings to attend, block them in for the start of the week using a scheduling app so you can duck out on a Friday afternoon.

Brighten Up Your Desk

If the same old view is getting you down, how about changing your desk décor? Colours and images have the power to affect our mood and productivity. Use boards on Pinterest or sites like www.mydomaine.com/tags/office-decor to browse for home office inspiration. Hunt down cute printables, poster art and introduce fresh flowers to give your desk a lift and let yourself know its summer outside somewhere.

Lighten Up Lunch

If you’re still sticking to the same can of soup each lunchtime or a hastily grabbed piece of toast, its great to find some fresh, healthy lunch ideas to switch it up. The beauty of home working is the ability to prepare something new to eat at midday. And instead of wolfing down a sandwich at your desk while checking your emails, prioritise going outside to eat or for a quick walk. Even if its only 20 minutes, it breaks the day up, gives your brain a blast of oxygen and stops you missing out on all the nice weather. Studies show it can actually make you more productive and creative, so you’ll gain that 20 minutes back easily. Hit refresh and instantly feel better!

Stunningly Unique Gift Ideas to Wow That Special Someone!

Stunningly Unique Gift Ideas to Wow That Special Someone!

Choosing the right gift can take time and effort, and is often much trickier than you might think. You have to account for the tastes of the individual, but you also need to think outside of the box as well. If you want your gift to stand out and mean something more you have to go with something a little more unique and offbeat. Look, buying or giving a gift can be a very challenging process because you want to get it right.

The simple fact is that many of us are not very good at buying the right kinds of gifts, even for the people closest to us. You might know their tastes and interests, and you’ll almost certainly have bought gifts for them in the past, but it can still be a challenge. So, here are a few unique and original ideas for gifts fit for any occasion, that will certainly blow them away!

DIY Hamper

Flickr

Sometimes a little extra forethought can go a long way to showing a person how much they mean to you. This is why you need to consider a DIY hamper – it’s original, it shows effort, and you can make it as eclectic as you want to. Yes, there are hampers you can buy that have already been put together, but these are likely to be more expensive. Buy the hamper/basket on its own, and create your own quirky hamper, perfectly suited to the recipient’s tastes and interests.

A Flight in a Fighter Jet

Image

What do you get the person who has everything? Well, it kinda depends on what your budget is, to be honest! But, a great place to start would be to give the gift of a flight in a fighter jet! How many people do you know who have ever had this experience? Exactly, unique and fun! Of course, this is going to be wildly expensive, so you’ll have to have a pretty large budget, and make sure you shop around of course too!

Houseplant

Morguefile

Houseplants are becoming less common these days, but they are excellent for people who may not have a garden. If you want to help someone inject some color and life into their daily routine, an Orchid of the month might be the way to go. Houseplants are a great way of livening up a home (or office), and there are proven health benefits related to them as well. So, make sure you consider a houseplant or flower as a gift with a difference, and one that is suitable for any occasion too!

Record Player

Flickr.com

A lot of retro things are making a comeback these days, and record players have definitely enjoyed something of a resurgence. If you have a friend or family member who’s a bit of a throwback and likes things from the past, this is a wonderful idea for something to buy them. Record players give a more raw sound when listening to vinyl, and this appeals to music purists. They also look fantastic on a stand or sat on a cabinet, so this is definitely something to consider.

Whisk Them Away

Source

So many people give something tangible as a gift, but it’s often more fulfilling to gift an experience. This is something that shows thought, but will also allow for the creation of new memories and experiences. If your friend/partner/family member is having a tough time, giving the gift of a break from work could be just the tonic needed to help them relax and calm down. A mini-break is a wonderful way of giving an original gift and knowing it’s going to go down well.

Experience Day

Picture

These days more and more people are beginning to see the value of experiences over possessions. You might be considering the mini-break, but you could also cough up for an experience day as well. This might be something like a flying lesson, a skydiving session, or cheese making class. Whatever it is, there are plenty of quirky and funky ideas to choose from here, and you can give somebody an experience that is both original and thrilling!

Yoga Classes

Photo

There is so much stress and anxiety in modern life these days, and we all have that person in our lives who gets overwhelmed all the time. Well, this is the person who needs to relax and find inner peace, so they would definitely benefit from the gift of yoga classes. You’ll be able to buy packages with several sessions attached so they can really start finding their quiet place and working on achieving inner peace and enlightenment. Yoga classes are popular across the world, but you don’t see many being handed out as gifts, so this is a good place to begin.

A Personalized Movie

Pixabay

Look, you don’t need to be Quentin Tarantino or anything, but this is actually a really great idea,. You can put together a movie of your friend’s life, or, at the very least, a trailer. This might be tricky without them finding out, but the ROI on a gift like this is so high. Tap up their parents to get a copy of those old home videos, scour Facebook for uploaded video clips, and check your old WhatsApp media. You might have enough material to put together something highly personal, but also very original as well.

Scrapbook

Pic

This is along similar lines to the personalized movie, but it might be a little more doable. You certainly need to consider making a scrapbook for your friend, lover, family member. This can be filled with pictures, memories, and ‘remember when’ anecdotes from your lives over the years. This is not the sort of gift they are going to be getting on a frequent basis, and it’s something that relates solely to the two of you; for this reason, it is more personal, exclusive, and heartfelt.

Buying gifts for people can be a tricky challenge, and there’s always at least one person who is impossible to buy for. With these people, you need to make sure you give them something different, something uncommon, something they haven’t had before. If you can do that your gift will be something they treasure for years to come.

Budget Product Photography tips

With so many people having side hustles, blogs and websites – it is more important than ever to make sure you have the right tools for the job – but what happens when you’re on a budget with a job to do? Product photography can make or break a product launch, and if you’ve been called up to the plate, you need to knock it out of the park.

Light is one of those things that you need to get right. If you can’t afford reflectors or lighting kits, you can set up a reasonable kit with LED lights, and homemade reflectors.

You can make a reflector in a pinch like this:

  •    Grab some aluminium foil and some card. Wrap the foil around the cardboard, and use to reflect light from your light source to where you need it. Once these have been made, you can, of course, use them over and over again, and they can give some excellent results.

Ideally, you will be shooting in soft natural light, which is arguably better for every type of photography. Here are a few quick tips:

  •    Outside for soft natural light
  •    Diffuse light using a blank piece of white paper over your light source
  •    Avoid using the cameras inbuilt flash whenever possible
  •    Your mobile phone torch can help to lighten up dark spots – use a tripod to help keep it steady

Image from https://gratisography.com

Backgrounds with the right color and patterns can make a product pop. If you don’t have the funds to have countless backdrops or high-priced vinyl boards, then you can pick up swaths of materials and gorgeous wholesale fabric to make your own.

Making your backgrounds:

  •    Select your fabric swatch, pick the card size you want, trim the fabric to be slightly larger than your backing board. Hot glue the fabric in place – et voila – gorgeous and budget-friendly backgrounds.

Great background ideas:

  •    Faux brickworks,
  •    Wooden panels
  •    Stone

Editing. Editing is something that you sadly cannot skimp on. What you can do is invest money wisely in the top-rated editing software. Pay close attention to the saturation, the clarity and dust or marks that have appeared while you’ve been shooting.

Context is king, and sometimes a product is going to look better in a lifestyle shoot, sometimes it is going to pop on the fabric background from earlier. Either way, you need to be prepared. Rather than have to spend out on models for the lifestyle shots, ask a few friends if they wouldn’t mind helping you out.

Remember the buyer. While you are spending time setting up the shoot, looking at the angles, the light and everything else – remember the critical person is the end buyer. Try to think about buying the item yourself, what type of detail would you want to see? Is there anything that makes this product unique? What can you show the customer to clinch the sale?

Have fun, photography – while a fantastic hobby, and occasionally a reasonably lucrative job, it takes a while to get some of the expensive equipment together. In the meantime don’t be scared to have fun and experiment.