3 Perfect Activities For The Day After Christmas

After the indulgence of Christmas Day, December 26th is a chance to recover, relax, and treat yourself to some well-deserved down time. As well as the usual vegging out and playing with presents, the ideas below are the perfect choice to help continue the festive spirit even when the big day itself has passed.

Play a board game

Board games weren’t designed specifically for Christmas, but they may as well have been. They make the perfect activity to enjoy with your family, especially the day after Christmas itself, when you’re not likely to fancy doing anything too active. You could try old favorites such as Monopoly, or opt for a newer concept such as the Destination board games, then gather the whole family around to enjoy a little healthy competition.

Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time

It’s easier than it’s ever been before to keep contact with people thanks to social media, but there’s no true replacement for an actual conversation sometimes. Call and have a chat with someone you care about, and with whom you have only had a text-based friendship for the past few years.

Watch a Christmas movie

Christmas movies should have a place in your heart throughout the festive season, not just in the lead up to the big day. There are plenty of old favorites as well as new discoveries to enjoy. Of course, Christmas is a time of magic, so maybe one day this fantasy perfect Christmas movie will become a reality?


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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.

Ready to Move? Here’s a Pre-Move Checklist to Complete Before You Say Goodbye to Your Neighbourhood

Moving home isn’t something we do very often in life. Unless you’re a traveller that loves exploring the world or a business person that moves around a lot with their company, then you’re probably used to the same rooms, walls and people that live in your local neighbourhood. Moving is a huge decision because you’ll be saying goodbye to what you’ve grown used to. As shown in this article from http://www.positivelypresent.com/ it’s possible to conquer your fear of change and it’ll come in handy for when you finally make the decision to move.

To help you get off to a great start and finalise your move with zero hassle, here’s a checklist of essentials that you should keep handy anytime you or someone you know is moving.

Image: Pexels

Sort out your belongings

The first thing to keep in mind is how you pack your belongings. Make sure you sort out your stuff by decluttering your home first and then categorising all of your items. This will make it easier to put items into different boxes or bags, making it easier for you to unpack in your new home.

Look for the right services to help you

Look online for movers such as https://www.mybekins.com/location/santa-fe-springs-ca-movers/ because it’s far more effective than doing it yourself or by asking your friends. It’s more expensive, but you need to keep in mind that you’ll save a lot of time and hassle when relying on professional movers.

Keep a folder with all of your documents

Whether it’s documents from the mover or your move itself, keep every paper document related to your move in a single folder and keep it close to you in a personal rucksack or bag. This will ensure that you don’t lose any important documents that are related to your move.

Cut utilities and order new ones

If necessary, remember to cut your existing utilities and order new ones at your new property. This doesn’t take long to do but you may be asked to pay a cancellation fee. Read up the terms and conditions of your supplier to check if this is the case.

Confirm all important dates

Use a calendar app on your phone or write down important dates of the move. Write down when your utilities are coming in, when they’re cut at your previous property and when the movers are coming. This is so you can be clear when everything is happening over the few days that you’ll be moving.

Pack a bag of essentials

Keep a separate bag that contains your important documents, a spare change of clothes and your basic toiletries. The last thing you want to do after moving is unpacking everything because you’ll be tired and worn out, and this bag of essentials will make it easy for you to live in your new home without having to unload all of your belongings.

Take time off work

Lastly, remember to take time off work. Tell your employer that you’ll be moving into your new home and ask for a few days off to help you settle into your new location.

5 Things You Should Be Shopping For Right Now


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 Fall tends to be everyone’s favorite season. We can’t help it; the falling leaves, the crisper temperature, being able to wrap ourselves in soft woollen hats and scarves — the entire season is evocative and outright cosy. As a result, it’s easy to fall into a lull of activity when everything about fall encourages you to curl up and just enjoy it.

In reality, if your finances are in good order, then fall should be a time of shopping. No, it’s not a recognizably “autumnal” activity — but it’s one that you won’t regret. Fall is a season of transition, so getting ahead of the curve will benefit you through the rest of the year. So if you can persuade yourself away from those delicious hot chocolates and nights spent wrapped up under a throw, what should you be shopping for?

  1. Summer Clothes

It might sound odd to be buying summer clothes in September, but this is the time of year to take advantage of store sales. As stores clear their stock to make room for fall/winter collections, you have the opportunity to stock your wardrobe for next summer. There’s plenty of bargains to be had, from McElhinneys online sale through to unworn clothes being advertised on eBay — so stock up for next year while the prices are low. Look for key basics that aren’t going to go out of fashion and you won’t go far wrong.

  1. Christmas Gifts (Sorry)

We know, who wants to buy Christmas gifts in September? 

Here’s the answer: someone who doesn’t want to find themselves rushing around for gifts in mid-December, panic-buying anything they can see, and making do with gifts that aren’t suitable. Buy early to avoid the last-minute stress on yourself.

  1. Thanksgiving Food

Whether you’re going to try and make your own pumpkin pie this year or are content to buy one from a store, getting a head start on your preparations is essential. Thanksgiving food can be expensive, especially if you’re hosting guests, so buying one item per week (provided it’ll keep, obviously) is a good way to spread the cost. 

  1. A Great Party Outfit

There’s always a lot of fun parties to be had in the last three months of the year, from Halloween through to the annual Christmas party. Get a great outfit bought now before the prices go through the roof in anticipation of party season; your purse will thank you for it.

  1. A Beauty Advent Calendar

There’s no doubt that previous offerings from beauty advent calendars have been incredible. If you want to snap one up for this year, then you’re going to need to buy now. Don’t wait until mid-November, because the vast majority will be sold out by that point, and you’ll be left with a standard chocolate advent calendar instead of one full of beauty and makeup treats.

By spending a little of fall shopping, you can be prepared for the season — and in some respects, the entire year! — ahead. Happy shopping!

3 DIY Hacks All Women Should Learn


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As James Brown once sang, this is a man’s world. Though we’re inching our way to gender equality, we’re still in the midst of an unsettling gender pay gap and women everywhere are subject to a gamut of gender stereotypes. When it comes to DIY many women are a little skittish, which is a shame since women (especially Mums) often find themselves confronted with quotidian household disasters every bit as much as their male counterparts. Some women may make a bee-line to the phone to call Dad, little realising that the task at hand requires nothing more than a dab of elbow grease and  a little knowhow.

While there are undoubtedly some jobs left to the professionals (electrical problems in particular should be left to the likes of MMK electricians) most DIY hacks are far easier than a lot of women realise. So when faced with these 3 common household scenarios, there’s no reason not to grab your tool belt and proudly subvert some gender stereotypes. 

Sealing windows

Did you ever walk past your all-singing-all-dancing double glazed windows ands feel a draft? That’s because the silicone based sealant around them can perish over time, leaking heat out of the home despite the energy efficiency of the glass. Thankfully, repairing these is fairly easy and you can achieve a really professional finish that looks neat and keeps heat inside where it belongs. Here’s how you do it:

  • Scrape off the existing silicone with a stiff scraper.
  • Use a solvent and some kitchen roll to remove any remaining traces.
  • Line the window’s circumference with masking tape leaving a gap of around 5mm to ensure a nice neat line.
  • Using a mastic gun, seal around the window’s edge, smoothing the silicone down with a wet finger.

This works just as well for baths and sinks where the sealant can get discoloured and yucky over time. Just be sure to fill the bath while resealing.

Changing a door handle 

Changing a door handle is easier than you’d think. The hardest part is removing the old one. This is best from inside the room with the door closed. Locate and remove the two screws (usually one on either side of the handle). If you can’t see them they may be hidden by the handle plate. If this is the case, pry the plate off with a flat-bladed screwdriver. Once you’ve removed the screws with a long Phillips head screwdriver, it should be easy to remove the handle, open the door and pull the handle out from the other side.

 

Image by Flickr

Fixing a leaky tap

The constant drip-drip-drip of a leaky tap can be distracting and irritating. Many people (men and women) get skittish around plumbing and suffer in silence not wishing to exacerbate the problem with their meddling. Still, while there are some plumbing repairs that you should never attempt fixing a leaky tap is fairly straightforward. The most common cause of a leaky tap is a worn or damaged washer. Simply turn off the water supply, plug the sink or bath and switch the tap to the ‘on’ position. To remove the tap’s ‘headgear’, undo the headgear nut with a spanner and prise it off. Then simply prise off the washer with a screwdriver and replace it with a fresh one. Ta-da! Your tap will now flow freely and the annoying leak is now just a memory.

Easier than you thought, right? With a few simple and inexpensive tools and a little knowhow, mastering DIY is one big step toward gender equality.

 

Light & Shade: The Key To Highlighting Your Facial Features


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Even the most beautiful women struggle with their looks sometimes. And while nobody’s face is perfect we’re all trying to make the most of what we’ve got by using accessories or trying to highlight certain attributes. But also we could all just benefit from a decent guide on how to highlight what you consider to be the most desirable parts of your face. So here’s a quick cheat sheet to make your face look complete and make you feel better.

Emphasizing Your Eyes

Apart from going for a dramatic makeup look, there are a few simple ways to emphasize the windows to your soul without going overboard in terms of your makeup. One of the simple and effective ways is to tight line the upper lash line by using a black pencil or a gel liner into the water line part and between the eyelashes. This will create a lot of definition. In addition, put a small amount of eyeshadow or highlighter by the tear ducts in the corners of your eyes to make them look larger.

Your Cheekbones

Short of having plastic surgery there are a few other ways to give your cheekbones that defined look we are all after. The first thing to do is to use a matte contouring cream or powder and blend the color into your cheeks, you do this by sucking them in to see where the shadow should go. After that, use some powder blush above the shadow to blend in the color and then add some highlighter above the blush which will help to add some more dimension to your cheekbones.

Divert Attention From Your Nose

Usually, contouring techniques are the best approach to making your nose appear small in stature. To do this make sure you draw a straight line down the bridge of your nose with a highlighter or a concealer, and this highlighter has to be a bit lighter in tone than your skin and blend it well. In addition to this, you can also use a darker powder on the sides of your nose to add some shade, so it will disguise the shape.

Your Forehead

A lot of us struggle with a high forehead so if you want to draw attention away from it, your hair is the best approach. Contouring your hairline will be the best way to draw attention away, and by using a foundation that is darker than your usual foundation and go with the natural curve of your hair before blending it in, it will help a lot.

Showing Off Your Lips

We all want to have thicker and fuller lips, but the best way to do it is to add a shimmery highlighter to the miniscule V-shape in the middle of your top lip (also known as your cupid’s bow), and it will make them appear fuller without needing to add color.

As you can see, there are many simple and effective ways to highlight your attributes which doesn’t require excessive trips to the mirror to retouch your makeup. All you need to do is to understand a bit more about maximizing shade and minimizing light!

6 Essential Fitness Items That Everyone Needs

In the world of fitness, it can seem that everything is necessary, from finding a gym membership to signing to the latest HIIT training classes. In reality, when it comes to the kind of physical activities you choose to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle, you are the one who set the trends and the go-to places. That being said, it doesn’t mean that there is not essential fitness items and trends that you need to make your journey to a better you. But, contrary to what most magazines seem to imply, these items and essential tips have nothing to do with finding the best Hollywood coach for a dream body or trying unhealthy diet just to drop a dress size. Your fitness essentials are the allies of your workouts and your efforts. With them, you can embrace the fitness path with your mind at peace.

 

Pixabay image

 

#1. The right pair of shoes

Let’s start with the obvious one: Except for certain types of activities such as yoga and swimming, you will always need a pair of sports shoes for your workouts. Not two people need the same shoes are we are all built differently, so it’s best not to follow your best friend’s recommendations on this subject. What you can do, though, is check the online reviews for workout apparel on HomeGymHeaven.com. These guys take the time to test every single object in the fitness field and to explain what each body type needs. Beware: Quality sports shoes can be expensive, but they are worth it. Nobody likes to train with painful shoes!

 

#2. The indispensable mat

You may not be a yoga fanatic, but yoga is a great activity for your recovery day and to improve your overall balance. On ReadySetHappy.com, you’ll find useful advice on how to pick the perfect yoga mat and how to find a great beginners’ class. A yoga mat might seem like a waste of money at first, but it’s an item that you can use for your home workouts too. It doesn’t have to be yoga; you can use it to hold a plank, for instance. It’s the kind of things that can make a great deal of difference and bring a lot of comfort to your workouts.


Pink mat

 

#3. Sports underwear

Everybody who is interested in sports needs sports underwear. There is no way that you can train if you’re wearing standard everyday lingerie or if you’ve opted for your sexy ensemble. It’s just not comfortable and, it’s ruining your workout – especially if you need to stop regularly to pull on your pants or your bra. WomensHealthMag has produced a helpful article to review the different kind of sports underwear and how to pick the one for you. As a rule of the thumb, you should have enough items for each day you train in the week.

 

#4. A leakproof water bottle

Whether you choose an outdoor activity or you join the local gym, you need a sports water bottle. It’s important to keep hydrated as you train, and consequently, you shouldn’t get exercice if you can’t drink, especially if you decide to run in the heat, for example. The main issue with water bottles is that not all leakproof bottles are designed to keep your gym bag dry. A lot of them do leak water if they are inclined at the wrong angle, even if they’re shut. In short, do your research before you buy your bottle.

 

#5. A headband that keeps your hair in place

If you’ve got long hair or medium-long, then you are probably aware of the struggle to keep your pony in place as you train. Keeping your hair off your face during your sweat session might sound like a fashion problem, but it is a real struggle for fitness adepts. A headband is always a great way of keeping your hair away from your face and absorbing the sweat at the same time.


Yanina Wickmayer’s headband

 

#6. A tracker that tells you how your body is doing

There are plenty of fitness trackers on the market. But if you are really interested in your fitness journey, you need to pick a tracker that can monitor your activity, your sleep cycles, your monthly cycles and your breathing. You want the full package so that you can see the big picture. Improving your fitness levels doesn’t always mean beating your time. It could mean sleeping better or getting regular periods. Think of your body as a whole.

 

At the end of this list, from the fitness shoes to the all-in-one tracker, there is only one thing missing to complete your fitness journey: Friends to share it with.

 

Bringing the Joy Back into Photography

Photography is one of the most wonderful hobbies in the world. It’s an activity that can make precious memories for you, it’s one that can take you around the world and it’s something relaxing that you can do without stressing your body and mind too much. Like any art, photography can be expressive as well. The types of pictures you take can really define you, and there’s always a chance of turning it into a lucrative career if you’re dedicated to your craft.

 

Sadly, photography can take a lot of your time due to the travelling it involves to get some of the most breathtaking shots, and it can also be expensive due to the equipment you need and how much you’ll end up paying in travel fees. But whether you’ve put down your camera in favour of other hobbies or because you can no longer afford it, here are a couple of ways to give yourself the motivation to pick up photography again.

 

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Give yourself a reason to travel again

 

Photography and travelling go hand-in-hand. Photographers are always looking for new places to snap up some beautiful landscape pictures, or backdrops where they can photograph friends and loved ones to create priceless memories that you can keep forever. Take inspiration from photographers such as Peter Lik, one of the most prominent landscape photographers who makes a serious living from his beautiful pictures. Those types of photographs can only be achieved by being in the right place at the right time, which is why travelling is such a wonderful companion to photography. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get out more and travel, then use photography as an excuse—get out there, explore and find something amazing to snap a picture of.

 

See beauty in everything

 

Photographers have a keen eye for beauty. When you’re a photographer, you appreciate the finer details in life and your surroundings which can seriously boost your mood and give you a positive outlook on life. Those flowers and trees you walk past on your way to work are no longer ignored when you’re a photographer. You’ll see beautiful plants and you may even stop by to take a couple of amazing pictures. It’s this ability to see smaller details and appreciate things in life that will ultimately improve your mood, boost your mental health and even slow down life so you can enjoy it to its fullest.

 

Give yourself new job prospects

 

Becoming a photographer is something that can be done in your spare time. After all, you aren’t expected to set up an expensive photo shooting room and you probably won’t need an expensive DSLR to start up your photography career again. As a result, it’s something that you can do without having to heavily invest, meaning that it opens up alternate job opportunities even while you’re still working a full-time job. Here are a couple of ideas on how you can earn an income with simple photography:

 

 

  • Selling stock photographs – there are many places to give away stock photographs as royalty free, but if you have a particularly good collection of images then you may want to actually sell them on the internet. Stock photographs are used for everything from articles to blogs and even publications, which is why they’re always in demand.
  • Writing and selling a book – as a photographer, you’ll likely do a lot of travelling. Because of this, you can write comprehensive books about various countries or destinations and include your beautiful photographs in the book.
  • Selling prints – if you prefer to keep the ownership of your photographs, then why not sell prints? You can sell the pictures in frames, you can sell them attached to bags or shirts and you could even sell merchandise with your pictures as the theme.

 

 

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Motivating yourself to try again

 

It can be difficult trying to motivate yourself to take up a hobby after dropping it due to time or money constraints, but photography can be an incredibly fun hobby to take up if you’re after something that gives you an excuse to travel and can make you see the world from a different perspective. It can start from something as simple as taking a picture of your children and capturing their younger memories, or it could begin when you go on holiday and soak in all of the beautiful sights and scenery that the world has to offer.

Preparation Is Key; How To Plan Your Photography Session

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If you’re planning on going outside to take photos, whether it be in a studio or outside, you have to make sure you’ve done the necessary preparations first. You have to remember that you need all the equipment for your camera and yourself, as well as having the right environment for you, before you even start to avoid getting stuck in a nightmare! If you get stuck in these muddles quite often, then keep reading for some advice on how to start turning it around!

 

Do You Have Enough Memory?

 

Most cameras nowadays are digital and don’t use film like the days of old although some of these do still exist! Memory cards are were your photographs are stored. Due to your photographs being stored digitally, they all take up a certain amount of space on a memory card, and the size of them determines how many photos they can store! There is nothing worse than having an almost full memory card in your camera and not having a spare before a day of taking photographs so you must ensure that you have some spares with you to be able to take as many shots as you can, or to actually be able to contain them all! You can buy memory cards from here, just make sure that you have enough space to get the job done!

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Make Sure You’re Happy With The Location!

 

Locations are everything when it comes down to photoshoots. They dictate the tone, the way the photo is taken, where you have to stand, everything! Because of this, it’s important that you get the right location, because if you don’t you’ll find yourself taking photos that you don’t like in a place that you don’t like too! There are many different areas that you can do a photoshoot, click here if you need some ideas, though you must enjoy where you are going as it reflects in your work. This is especially important if you are being paid for the work that you are doing, you don’t want to not get paid because the quality of work was poor, so make sure you get it right!

 

Protection Equipment

 

Okay, so this does sound slightly daft however you need to bear this in mind. A lot of photography happens when you are on your knees, especially in professional photoshoot environments. If you are on your knees all day with no protection then this can cause some serious damage to your knees. Not only knees but hands too, if you’re low to the ground which means your hands could be scraping off something nasty, you need to get protective gloves and kneepads if you know this is going to happen. You can buy specialist photography knee pads by clicking here, they are not too much money and are a great investment. They save you getting problems with your knees in the future as they are a point of weakness in the human body, so if you’re going to be using them then definitely get some protection!

 

Doing any of these things is an absolute must and will help you greatly when you come to take your photos! Making sure you have the right area means that you’ll not only enjoy it but also produce good work, having the right safety equipment means that you don’t have to worry about damaging your body if you’re going to be on your hands and knees all day, and keeping enough memory cards on you means that you don’t have to worry about not being able to store all your photos! If you’re not sure of what you should be taking photos of, have a look here for some good examples that will hopefully inspire you!

 

The Election Battle: Dealing With Office Politics At Work

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanrolande/31709583846

 

When you start work, nothing will prepare you for what is in store. It isn’t only the realization that you have lived in a bubble, even though that is shocking. Mainly, it’s the lengths that people go to in the office to get ahead in their careers. To this day, people who have worked in these environments still don’t know how to navigate the choppy waters. And, that isn’t a dig because it is hard to know what to say and when. If you want to sharpen your skills, below are the tricks of the trade that keep politicians at bay.

 

Stamp Out Nasty Behavior

 

Some colleagues are like predators in the sense that they like to sniff out and target the weak. As a result, the odds are they will try they luck with you, especially if you are new. Sometimes, it is more than a competitive edge and crosses the line into harassment. If you feel abuse in the workplace is taking place, act swiftly. Usually, offices have protocols for such measures that you can follow. For those of you that think this makes the situation worse, pull the person to one side. Explain politely but with force that you can play the game too.

 

Make Friends

 

People that have friends have colleagues who are willing to watch their back. Those that don’t are alone and vulnerable, and this makes you a more attractive target. The best thing to do is to form a tight knit group that looks out for another’s interests. When you are a part of a clique, it is harder for people to discredit you as someone will come to your aid. So, the first step when you start a new job is to get to know as many people as possible. Once they vouch for you, they will integrate you into their friend group.

 

Document Your Work

 

It isn’t always rude and aggressive people that are the problem. Lots of the time, it is the dishonest person that acts as your friend and stabs you in the back. One of the main examples of this is taking credit for other people’s work. It happens all the time in offices, and there isn’t much you can do other than document your time. Calling people out looks desperate, particularly when it is common. By writing down what you did and when there is a record should it ever come up with the bosses.

 

Don’t Be Discouraged

 

The main reason individuals play the politics game is fear. They see a threat, and they want to eliminate it as soon as possible. So, take positives from your experience by acknowledging that they fear your abilities. You are someone who may get in the way and they want you out. Apart from anything else, this should encourage you to continue down the same path. After all, it is a sign you are doing something right. Otherwise, they wouldn’t bother in the first place.

 

Lastly, you can report bad behavior to HR as the final straw.