Friday 31 January 2014

Top 5 Foods For Beautiful Skin

1. Whole Grains


10 Tips to Change Yourself

10 Tips to Change Yourself
Be Yourself
Be Yourself

Exercise helps keep you happy and vital. Studies show that folks who exercise are healthier, cheerier, more energetic, think more clearly, sleep better, and have delayed onset of dementia. What’s more, they get relief from anxiety and mild depression—comparable to medication and therapy.
But of course, no one really disputes the benefit of exercise. The trick is actually DOING IT.
My own favorite activity is reading in bed—preferably, while snacking. It took me a while, but I’ve managed to get myself into the habit of exercising regularly.
These ten strategies helped me stick to my routine:
1. Always exercise on Monday. Starting the week on the right foot makes it easier to stick to your plan.
2. Never skip exercising for two days in a row. You can skip a day, but the next day, you must exercise no matter how inconvenient. This rule dramatically increased the number of times I exercise over the course of a month.
3. Remember, exercise GIVES energy. If you feel too tired to exercise, remember that exercise boosts energy. It took me a long time to notice that I’d drag myself to the gym, work out for forty minutes, and leave feeling far more energetic than when I went in.
4. Any work-out “counts.” Give yourself credit for the least effort. My father, a runner, always said that all he had to do was put on his running shoes and close the door behind him. Why does this work? Because if I know I can quit after five minutes, I get started—and once I start, I usually follow through with my usual routine. Getting out the door is by FAR the toughest part.
5. You don’t have to shower. One problem—mostly for women—is that taking a shower can take too much time. Look for exercise like strength-training, yoga, or walking, that don’t make you sweaty.
6. Throw money at the problem. Spend more to go to a more convenient gym, or to get an iPod, or to work with a trainer. Exercise pays off BIG in your quality of life, so this is a place to splurge.
7. Don’t set the bar too high. I have a friend who thinks it’s not worth exercising unless she’s training for a marathon – and so she never exercises. She’d be better off going for a one-mile run five times a week.
8. Don’t kid yourself. Belonging to a gym doesn’t mean that you go to the gym. Having been in good shape in college doesn’t mean you’re in good shape today. Be honest about what your habits really are now.
9. You have time. Just take a twenty-minute walk. If you can’t do more, do that! Just a twenty-minute walk will really pay off.
10. Exercise for SANITY not VANITY. I find it more motivating to think about the fact that exercise is going to make me feel happier, calmer, and more energetic, right now, rather than to think about vaguer long-term benefits, like strengthened immunity or longer life. It’s not clear that exercise has much impact on weight loss, so don’t be give up when the pounds don’t fall off. It’s worth doing for so many other reasons.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

25 Ways to Relieve Anxiety

               25 Ways to Relieve Anxiety

1. Breathing Exercises: Take a moment to close your eyes and focus only on your breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose. Feel your diaphragm move up into your ribcage and extend your belly outward as you inhale. Slowly push out your breathe as you exhale through your mouth. Feel the stress being breathed out of your body. It is no longer a part of you. Each breath should take 6 seconds to complete. Spend 3 seconds slowly inhaling through your nose and the other 3 seconds slowly exhaling through your mouth. Take 5-10 breaths like this and you’ll instantly feel more relaxed.

When It Comes To Arranging Furniture

When It Comes To Arranging Furniture

There’s definitely more than one way to do things, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make mistakes. Home decorating is a recognised art, requiring careful calculation of both the space’s needs and the host’s tastes. While experts agree the surest way to a flawless room is trial and error, there are a few rules to keep in mind as you design your setup. So read on to find out what three home design pros say are the tricks of their trade.
 1. Area Rugs Belong Under Furniture
Former HG TV host and celebrity designer Angelo Somalis says that “you want to expose some flooring, but for the most part, go big—almost as big as the seating area, or whatever area you’re working with.” An under size rug will make a small room seem smaller and a large room look disconnected. Place the rug underneath at least the first set of legs of your bed, couch or chairs to create a cohesive look, he explains. Los Angeles–based celebrity designer Nicole Sassanian agrees: “Rugs typically look better when all the furniture is on them.”

2. Couches Should Be Surrounded by a Little Space
“Placing a couch even a few inches away from the wall will create a little breathing room and make a space seem larger,” Surmelis says. If you can’t pull it away from the wall because of space restrictions, move chairs or side tables a few inches out to open up the room. If you’re working with a big room, feel free to put the couch in the centre facing a set of windows or a fireplace to break the room into two separate spaces.

3. Light the Entire Room
"Lighting is one of the most important elements in a space,” says HG TV designer Erinn Valencich, who has appeared as the style expert on E! and Access Hollywood. “And placement should maximise light in the room.” Spread light sources around a space, she explains, and make sure every corner gets equal attention. Surmelis agrees: “You want to keep it balanced,” he says. If you have a lamp next to your bed, place two more strategically in the room to create a triangle of light. Surmelis also suggests choosing a taller lamp to emphasize—or create a sense of—a high ceiling.

4. Beds Are the Main Focus
Bed placement should acknowledge the focal point of the room, says Valencich. “If your room has French doors, place your bed opposite them.” Or use an available corner nook. Having a small room presents a big challenge for bed placement, warns Surmelis, but placing the side of the bed against the wall is a good option.

5. The Higher the Curtains, the Better
“Go as high as you can possibly go,” Surmelis says. Sassanian agrees: “In most situations, it’s best to hang drapes from the ceilings to the floors—it makes the ceilings seem a lot higher and expands the room.” If you go too small—either the curtains are too short or hung too low—they seem like an afterthought, Surmelis explains. You should also hang curtains 1 to 2 feet beyond where the casement ends to make the window looks wider.

6. Dining Room Tables Go Under Overhead Lights
Though it depends on the architecture of your home, for dining tables, Surmelis always suggests the classic placement in the centre of the room under a light fixture. If your dining room chandelier is slightly off-centre, you can try looping the excess chain it hangs from onto a hook that is positioned so the grouping will work. But, in most cases, Surmelis explains, if the light is off-centre or your room is too small for the traditional arrangement, you shouldn’t try to force it. “Do something fun, like placing it against the wall and creating bench seating.”

7. Coffee Tables Should Be Large
“Go as big as you can,” Surmelis says. “If you can’t go too big because you have a narrow living room, then go skinny but long.” Like rugs, a large coffee table can help expand and connect a room. An oversize table contributes more to a room in terms of both function and aesthetics, Valencich adds, and all experts agree that coffee tables should be placed anywhere from 12 to 24 inches away from your couch.

8. Dressers Are Not Stand-Alone Pieces
Dressers belong—and look best—up against a wall. All experts agree angling a dresser in the corner not only looks bad, but wastes space. “Placing a dresser in a corner creates a weird, dead space behind it—like a black hole,” Valencich says. She suggests centring a dresser on a wall. If placing it off-centre, put another piece of furniture next to it to achieve balance, she adds.

9. Hang Paintings and Mirrors in Relation to the Rest of the Furniture
“People have a tendency to hang pictures too high,” Sassaman says. Wall art should ground everything around it. So when putting it over a piece of furniture, hang it 24 to 36 inches above, though that rule varies depending on the height of the artwork itself. Before you make any holes in the wall, try this trick: Use the paper insert provided with a frame (or a newspaper cutout) to figure out the best placement. Put it on the wall and move it around to get a feel for how the piece will look in the room. Apply the same rules when placing mirrors, which are best hung opposite something you want to see more of—such as beautiful wallpaper or windows to bring in more light.

10. Televisions Aren’t the Main Attraction of a Room
It’s best to hang the TV on the wall to save space, but if that’s not an option, use the focal point of the room as a reference when picking a spot. “You don’t want to ignore the fireplace or something else that would architecturally be a natural main element in the room,” Sassaman says. “It benefits the layout to group main items together.”

Monday 27 January 2014

Out Of The Ordinary Beauty Tips That Works

Out Of The Ordinary Beauty Tips That Works
Powder Your Roots
If by any chance you have no chance to jump into the shower and you need to look your best. Say for example you’ve spend the whole night preparing for an important presentation. Get a fluffy makeup brush and dab it onto loose powder and then brush it on the roots of your hair. Shake off the excess. The powder will soak off the grease in your locks.

Saturday 25 January 2014

Three Delicious Cheese Dips Recipes

Three Delicious Cheese Dips Recipes
With a nice blanket of snow on the ground and a good chill in the air, a comforting menu was on my mind for our Sunday dinner. Meat and potatoes with a few veggies certainly fits the bill. And to help keep off the cold, a warm starter to our meal is in order. I made this appetizer for the first time on Christmas Eve and it got a five star rating. Onion, cheese, mayonnaise, and a little kick of heat-- um, yes please! I throw all the ingredients in the food processor for a smooth, creamy texture (plus it is easier) and add a little cayenne pepper for some zip.
Baked until browned and puffed-- this is a dip that will surely please any hungry crowd. You can serve it with crackers, chips, or sliced veggies (red bell pepper would work well) if you want a healthy alternative. I like it best with some buttered toasted crostini for a really good crunch. It makes a big batch, so if you have any leftovers, the dip is excellent on a roast beef sandwich.
Hot Onion and Cheese Soufflé Dip
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425Âș F.
In the bowl of a food processor combine the onion, cream cheese, parmesan cheese and mayonnaise. Process until completely smooth. Add the cayenne and fold in the chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a 1-quart baking dish and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Bake until browned and puffed, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly; garnish with chopped chives. Serve warm with crostini, crackers, or chips. Enjoy!
Cheesy Roasted Red Pepper Dip
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces asiago cheese, freshly grated
  • 4 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 4 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 roasted red pepper (from a jar/roasted yourself), patted dry and chopped
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
If you use red peppers from a jar (in water), pat dry with a paper towel.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, asiago, parmesan, 3 ounces of fontina, red peppers, bacon and pepper, and mash thoroughly with a fork. Place in an oven safe dish, then top with remaining fontina. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly on top. Serve hot with crackers and chips.
Warm Layered Mexican Dip

  • 1 can refried beans
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 pouch taco seasoning
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ear of corn, cooked and kernels removed (or 1/2 can whole kernel corn, drained)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combo of cheddar and mozzarella)
  • fresh cilantro for garnish
In a small bowl, combine the creamed cheese and taco seasoning well with a fork. Warm in the microwave for about 30 seconds and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, combine the black beans, corn and salsa.
Spread the refried beans evenly on the bottom of a round pie plate or an 8x8. Top with the taco-cream cheese mixture and next layer the corn, black bean and salsa mixture. Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over top of layered dip. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro and serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Thursday 23 January 2014

In 2020 We Can Wear Sony Computers On Our Wrist

In 2020 We Can Wear Sony Computers On Our Wrist

Saturday 11 January 2014

Easy Chocolate Cakes Recipes

Easy Chocolate Cakes Recipes
Banana-Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
• Nonstick vegetable oil spray
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups mashed very ripe bananas
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 10-oz. bag mini chocolate chips
• 2 cups creamy peanut butter
• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• Chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, and chocolate kisses
1 serving contains:
• Calories (kcal) 730
• Fat (g) 48
• Saturated Fat (g) 22
• Cholesterol (mg) 110
• Carbohydrates (g) 70
• Dietary Fiber (g) 4
• Total Sugars (g) 46
• Protein (g) 13
• Sodium (mg) 420
• Preheat oven to 350°. Coat cake pans with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pans with parchment; coat paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl. Beat in vanilla.
• Add dry ingredients; beat on low speed just to blend. Add bananas and sour cream; beat just to blend. Fold in mini chips. Divide batter evenly among pans; smooth tops.
• Bake cakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks; peel off parchment and let cool completely.
• Using an electric mixer, beat first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl until a light and fluffy frosting forms, 2–3 minutes.
• Place 1 cake on a platter. Spread 1 1/4 cups frosting over. Place remaining cake on top. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Garnish with chocolate chips and kisses. DO AHEAD Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Salted Caramel "Ding Dong" Cake
• Nonstick vegetable oil spray
• 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
• 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 cup hot strong coffee
• 3/4 cup buttermilk
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups cake flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 3 large eggs

• 9 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 1/8 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
• 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar
• 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
• Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

1 serving contains:
• Calories (kcal) 750
• Fat (g) 48
• Saturated Fat (g) 30
• Cholesterol (mg) 175
• Carbohydrates (g) 85
• Dietary Fiber (g) 5
• Total Sugars (g) 59
• Protein (g) 8
• Sodium (mg) 550
• Preheat oven to 350°. Coat cake pans with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pans with parchment-paper rounds; coat paper. Place cocoa powder and chocolate in a medium metal bowl. Pour hot coffee over. Let stand for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla; set aside.
• Whisk cake flour and next 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with chocolate mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth tops.
• Bake cakes until a tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes (cakes will deflate slightly). Run a knife around pans to loosen cakes; invert cakes onto racks. Peel off paper and let cakes cool completely. Turn cakes over.
• If needed, use a long serrated knife to cut off bumps or trim dome from top of each cake to create a flat, even surface.
• Place chocolate and salt in a medium bowl. Stir sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium deep saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and cook without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until sugar is deep amber, about 9 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir over medium heat until caramel bits dissolve. Pour over chocolate in bowl. Add vanilla; stir until mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly.
• Place 1 cake layer in spring form pan. Pour 1 cup ganache over. Chill until set, about 30 minutes. Cover remaining ganache and let stand at room temperature.
• Place 2 Tbsp. cold water in a small heatproof glass or metal bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over; let stand until gelatin softens, about 10 minutes.
• Pour water to a depth of 1/2-inch into a small skillet set over medium heat. Transfer bowl with gelatin to skillet; stir until gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from skillet. Set aside.
• Place cream and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Using an electric mixer, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add gelatin; beat filling until firm peaks form.
• Spoon filling over chilled ganache on cake layer in pan; smooth top. Gently place second cake layer on top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill until cream layer is set, at least 6 hours or overnight.
• Remove sides from spring form pan. Using a knife or offset spatula, scrape off any filling that may have leaked out from between cakes to form smooth sides. Transfer cake to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.
• Rewarm remaining ganache until just pour able. (Microwave in a microwave-safe bowl, or set a metal bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water until just warm, not hot.) Pour ganache over cake, tilting cake as needed to allow ganache to drip down sides and using an offset spatula to help spread ganache, if needed, to cover sides of cake. Chill until ganache is set, about 1 hour.
• DO AHEAD: Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with a cake dome; chill. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Sprinkle cake with flaky sea salt.

42 Ways To Make Your Life Easy And Stress less

42 Ways To Make Your Life Easy And Stress less
Stress Less

I love simplifying my life. It makes me more effective and life less stressful. It makes me calmer, more energetic and happier. So today I’d like to share 42 ways to make your life simpler. I hope you’ll find something inspiring and helpful among these tips.
1. Mix things up. Try the opposite. Have the vegetarian dish if you always go for the meat. Walk away from a stupid conflict instead of making it worse. Let one thing go if you often cling to things. Make a habit of mixing things up to grow your life in small or bigger ways. And to make it easier and simpler to step out of your comfort zone in general when you really need to.
2. Get up 20 minutes earlier. This will help you to reduce stress in the morning and during the rest of the day.
3. Be 10 minutes early for meetings and appointments. This will help you to make your time of travel a time of rest and relaxation instead of stressful. And you will not be late.
4. Single-task. You be more focused, less stressed and get to done more quickly. So do one thing at a time and do it with your full attention.
5. Ask yourself: am I keeping things extremely simple? If not, figure out how you can do that in the situation you are in.
6. Ask yourself: will this matter 5 years from now? Or even 5 weeks from now? Do this to avoid making mountains out of molehills.
7. Buy things with the money you have earned and saved. Avoid getting into debt.
8. Learn a few recipes and cook. You’ll save money and probably eat healthier.
9. When you cook, cook more than you’ll eat. This will help you to spend less time on cooking and washing dishes. And you’ll have an extra dinner or two to just reheat when you don’t have time or energy to cook.
10. Write things down. Pretty much everyone’s memory is leaky. So help yourself. Write down what you need to do or shop for today. Write down what your top 4 priorities in life are and post that note where you can see it every day.
11. Remember that life is larger than you may think it is. You do not know everything and you are not always right. Remembering this makes it easier for me to learn things, to accept other viewpoints, to create changes and to stay more open.
12. Risk making mistakes. Learn from them. Then do again with that helpful new experience and knowledge in mind.
13. Do what YOU really, really, really want to do. Do not get stuck in trying to live someone else’s dream.
14. Go grocery shopping once a week. You’ll save money and time if you make the effort to plan for a week and to shop for it all at once.
15. Go grocery shopping when you not hungry. You’ll buy more healthy food instead of impulse buying yourself through the store.
16. Enjoy the simple pleasures. An apple, the latest episode of your favorite show, fresh and clean bed sheets, a hug and kiss, holding hands, the sun and blossoming nature after a long and cold winter.
17. Have a glass of water. Instead of eating when you are bored or when are having a craving have 1-2 glasses of water. This will help you to keep to those cravings away until the next meal and to maintain your health and weight.
18. Eat slower. Make your lunch time a time of relaxation rather than a time to just add to the stress of your morning. Try putting down the fork between bites to slow down the eating.
19. Be kind. Be kind to other people and especially to yourself.
20. Write shorter emails. 1-5 sentences is often enough.
21. Write emails only once a day. Batch and process them all at once all the way to an empty inbox.
22. Learn about ways to keep stress down and try them out. Examples would be mindfulness, setting human standards for yourself and saying no. A few such habits can help you to drastically cut down on the stress in your life.
23. Give everything its home. Then you know where to put the item when you have used it. You’ll know where to find it when you need it again. And you’ll reduce the clutter in your home or work space.
24. Slow down and enjoy and pay attention what is actually happening today. Instead of just rushing through the day and always on to the next thing.
25. Spend more time with people who make life simpler. And less time with people who make life unnecessarily complicated.
26. Exercise every week. This will reduce stress, up your energy levels and in my experience reduces negative thoughts.
27. Declutter. Declutter your life of the things that aren’t really that useful or meaningful for you anymore. Give that stuff away to someone who needs it. Or throw it out. A question that can help you to know if it is time to declutter something out of your life is: have I used this item in the last year?
28. Look for advice from people who have been where you are. Learn from people who have been in the situation you are in and had the challenge you are having.
29. Stop trying to please everyone. There will always be people who you don’t get along with or that do not like you for some reason.
30. Break a task down into smaller and actionable pieces. Single-task that first piece until it is done. Then do the same with the next piece. And so on.
31. Stop trying to do things perfectly. Go for good enough instead and when you are there you are done. Get things all the way to done this way and then move on to the next thing.
32. Take a minute and just breathe a couple of times a day. This will help you to reduce the stress and overwhelm of your day. It will help you to reconnect with the present moment, to create a habit of living more mindfully and to focus all your attention on what is happening right now.
33. Spend just 20% of your time on dwelling on a problem and 80% of your time focusing on a solution. Instead of the other way around.
34. Focus on a few priorities in your life. Keep things simple to be able to put enough effort, attention and energy into those most important things. Rather than becoming spread too thin, rarely finishing things and being distracted by all those many other things you want to do or that feel you need to do too.
35. Keep a journal. By writing the facts and your thoughts and feelings down in a journal it becomes easier to work through a challenge and to find a good solution. You can also use a journal to track your actual results instead of guesstimating how your life is going. And to better remember all the things that you did well or that went well if you worry often or have quite a bit of negative thoughts.
36. Stop doing what you don’t like doing anymore. Life changes and so do you. If you you don’t like doing something anymore then perhaps it is time to stop doing that (even if it may take some time before you can do so by for example switching jobs).
37. Use a very simple workspace. My work space is just a laptop on a small black desk made out of wood. I use a comfy chair and there is room for my glass of water beside the computer. That’s it. There are no distractions here. Just me, the computer and the water.
38. Spend 15 minutes each Sunday to plan the next week. Write down your plans for the week, organize your prioritized to-do list and get ready for the week before you are in the middle of it all. This will help you to find more clarity, get more of the most important things done next week and minimize stress.
39. Cancel subscriptions for TV-channels, newsletters and magazines you rarely get around to watching or reading anyway.
40. Ask instead of guessing. Reading minds is hard. So, instead ask questions and communicate. This will help you to minimize unnecessary conflicts, misunderstandings, negativity and waste or time and energy.
41. Make one change at a time and start small. Focus on one habit or area at a time. If you want to start running or decluttering, start with doing just a few minutes of that activity a day or week. Then gradually increase the amount of time you spend on that activity to make it easier to adopt the new habit.
42. Be lazy. By using the tips in this article you’ll be able to get things done more quickly and in a simpler way. This will give more time in a regular week to simply be lazy. To just take it easy alone or with family or a friend, to not do much at all. I highly recommend spending time with being lazy every week to relax, to mindfully enjoy the small pleasures of life and to recharge yourself so that you can be effective and focused again later on.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Homemade Hair Treatments

Eggs, yogurt and honey are, at first glance, all components of a tasty breakfast—but they also happen to be hair treatment ingredients, and affordable, all-natural ones at that. And they're not the only ones. Did you know, for instance, that the oils in avocados more closely resemble our own skin's oils than any product in the beauty aisle does? Or that the mild acidity in lemon is an effective—and gentler—alternative to chemical-laden products? Next time your locks need a lift, save money by using one of these kitchen fixes.
For All Hair Types

To Use: For normal hair, use the entire egg to condition hair; use egg whites only to treat oily hair; use egg yolks only to moisturise dry, brittle hair, Cox says. Use 1/2 cup of whichever egg mixture is appropriate for you and apply to clean, damp hair. If there isn’t enough egg to coat scalp and hair, use more as needed. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse with cool water (to prevent egg from “cooking”) and shampoo hair. Whole egg and yolks-only treatments can be applied once a month; whites-only treatment can be applied every two week

For Dull Hair
Styling products (as well as air pollution) can leave a film that both saps moisture and dulls shine—but dairy products like sour cream and plain yogurt can help reverse this damage. "Lactic acid gently strips away dirt while the milk fat moisturises," says Lisa Belk in, author of The Cosmetics Cookbook.

To Use: Massage 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt into damp hair and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, followed by cool water, then shampoo hair as you normally would. Treatment can be applied every other week.

For Itchy Scalp
To fight flakes—brought on by poor diet, stress and climate, among other factors—try a lemon juice and olive oil mixture in your hair. "The acidity in lemon juice helps rid your scalp of any loose, dry flakes of skin, while the olive oil moisturises the [newly exposed] skin on your head," says Cox.

 To Use: Mix 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp water, and massage into damp scalp. Let mixture sit for 20 minutes, then rinse and shampoo hair. Treatment can be applied every other week.

For Limp or Fine Hair
To add body to hair, reach for an unlikely beauty beverage: beer! The fermented drink contains generous supplies of yeast, which works to plump tired tresses, explains Cox.

 To Use: Mix 1/2 cup flat beer (pour beer into a container and let it sit out for a couple of hours to deplete carbonation) with 1 tsp light oil (sunflower or canola) and a raw egg. Apply to clean, damp hair, let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with cool water. Or add flat beer only to a spray bottle and sprites onto dry hair. "When the liquid evaporates, the remaining protein residue (from the wheat, malt or hops) continues to strengthen and structure hair," says Belk in. Treatments can be applied every other week.
For Dry or Sun-Damaged Hair
Whatever your hair-dehydrating demon—hard water, sun overexposure, your trusty flat iron—nature's sweetener can help. "Honey is a natural humectants, which means it attracts and locks in moisture," says Cox.

 To Use: Massage approximately 1/2 cup honey into clean, damp hair, let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. You can also add 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil to loosen the honey for easier application. For extremely sun-damaged hair, trying mixing honey with 1 to 2 Tbsp of a protein-rich ingredient, like avocado or egg yolk, which will help replenish the keratin protein bonds that UV rays attack. Treatment can be applied once a month.

For Oily or Greasy Hair
"Used properly, [cornmeal or cornstarch] is an inexpensive way to remove oil and grease," says Belk in.
To Use: Pour 1 Tbsp cornmeal or cornstarch into an empty salt or pepper shaker and sprinkle onto dry hair and scalp until you’ve used it all. After 10 minutes, use a paddle hairbrush to completely brush it out. Treatment can be applied every other day.

For Frizzy Hair
Home beauty experts swear by avocado—and not just to repair damaged hair. Its oils (which are light and moist like our own natural skin secretions) and proteins boast the best combination of nutrients for smoothing and weighing down unruly hair, explain Cox. 

To Use: Mash up half an avocado and massage into clean, damp hair. Let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with water. Amp up moisturising power by combining mashed avocado with 1 to 2 Tbsp of a hydrating ingredient, like sour cream, egg yolks or mayonnaise. Treatment can be applied every two weeks.

For Residue-Ridden Hair
"Nothing eats through product buildup like baking soda," Cox says. Sodium bicarbonate essentially breaks down anything acidic. 

To Use: Mix 1 to 2 Tbsp baking soda with small amounts of water until a thick paste forms. Massage into damp hair and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with water, then shampoo hair. Treatment can be applied every two weeks.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Growing Plants and Finding Out More About Them

Growing Plants and Finding Out More About Them
There are several fun classroom activities that will get children interested in growing plants and finding out more about them. Some of these activities were what first captured my imagination as a child, and are the reason I still love growing plants to this day.

I hope this Hub will give any teachers or parents, reading it, some good ideas they can try out on their pupils or children. I promise you the kids love it.
Growing a Runner Bean
All the children need for this activity is an empty clear glass pickle jar or similar. A sheet of blotting paper or several sheets of kitchen roll and a runner bean seed. The method is simple. Roll the blotting paper or sheets of kitchen roll into a tube that you can insert into the jar. Wedge a runner bean seed between the blotting paper / kitchen roll and the side of the jar.

Add about an inch of water to the bottom of the jar. The water will travel up the blotting paper or kitchen roll, and the bean will begin to germinate. Keep the water level topped up, and the children can watch as the bean produces a whole root system at a phenomenal rate. Ultimately they can then pot this bean on into a plastic pot of compost, take it home, and later plant it out in their own garden with a bamboo cane for support. The exciting thing will be them being able to eat their own beans at the end of the experiment.

Grow an Avocado Stone

Save the stone from inside an Avocado pear. Get an empty clear glass jar, then insert three or four cocktail sticks into the sides of the avocado stone.
Balance the stone on top of the jar using the cocktail sticks as support. Add enough water to the jar so that the bottom of the stone is submerged. Ensure the water stays topped up to this level.

 After a week or so you will see the avocado stone produce a root system and you can continue to grow it on until it is ready to be potted on into a good quality compost.

Grow a Carrot Top

Get hold of the top of a carrot, (the bit you usually chop off where the foliage used to be).
Place this carrot top in a saucer full of water and keep topped up. Over the next few weeks the carrot will sprout new foliage and continue to thrive unless you allow the water to dry up.

 I believe this will work with pineapples too, and no doubt with parsnips etc.

Growing a Cutting

Growing a cutting can be fun too. I recommend Fuchsia's or Geraniums as they are easy to grow.
Firstly get a cutting by taking a section of non-flowering stem and cut it free with a clean knife from just below a leaf joint.
Remove the leaves immediately above the cut.
Get hold of a thin sheet of polystyrene and punch some small holes in it. Thread the stems of your cuttings though the holes so the remaining leaves are on the top surface of the polystyrene.
Obtain a tray or tub suitable for holding water and fill to virtually the top. Float the polystyrene complete with the cuttings on top of the water, or if the jar is small enough you can balance the cutting within the water using its leaves to suspend it on the neck of the jar, and without the need for polystyrene (as per the right hand image).
Change the water every couple of days, and before too long your cuttings will produce a root system. Then cut away the polystyrene from the cuttings, and they can carefully be potted on into 3" pots of compost.
Bean Sprouts, Mung Beans or Mustard and Cress

All of these grow fast, (about a week to ten days) and can easily be grown on a damp piece of tissue, cotton wool or a tiny amount of compost in a saucer or old margarine tub. Children love to watch things happen quickly, and the best bit is they can eat the end results. Just make sure the tissue or compost never dries out. For more information see the articles on my own website about either growing cress or growing Mung Bean sprouts. These are also ideal 'pocket money makers' for children all year round.

A Vegetable Plot

Lastly, if your school or home is lucky enough to have a piece of spare land attached, why not allow the children to have their very own vegetable plot. This allows them to choose the plants they want to grow, plus having the fun of harvesting the end results. Start off small, with maybe a 4 metre x 4 metre plot per pupil, and if they take to it you can always enlarge the plot next year (space allowing). We did this at secondary school, and I loved it, especially when I went home at the end of term with a huge black sack full of vegetables for my family.

Saturday 4 January 2014

Best Sangria Recipes Ever

Best Sangria Recipes Ever

Sangria normally consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy. Chopped fruit can include orange, lemon, lime, apple, peach, melon, berries, pineapple, grape, kiwifruit and mango. A sweetener such as honey, sugar, syrup, or orange juice is added. Instead of brandy, other liquids such as Seltzer, Sprite or 7 Up may be added.
White wine can be used instead of red, in which case the result is called sangria Blanca or, as in Argentina and Paraguay, cleric. Some recipes that use heavier reds can be lightened by mixing a bottle of white in the mix. In some parts of Southern Spain, sangria is called zurra and is made with peaches or nectarines. In most recipes, wine is the dominant ingredient and acts as a base. In some regions of Portugal cinnamon and "medronho" (the fruit of strawberry trees) brandy are used. Mulled wine can be used to provide a rich full-bodied taste, chilled with orange juice, lemonade and a sliced pear to add sweetness.
Preparation consists of cutting the fruit in thin slices or small cubes, then mixing in advance all ingredients except for ice and carbonated sodas. After several hours, or a full day in a refrigerator to allow time for the fruit flavors to blend with the rest of the ingredients, the ice and any last-minute ingredients are added and the drinks are poured.
To celebrate, we’re sipping on some super refreshing, ridiculously easy to make Apple Sangria! Yep, only three ingredients: Apples. Wine. Champagne. That’s it! The thing that makes this “wine punch” oh so special is the intense apple flavor you get by soaking the apples in your wine. Some of you are probably making a poopy-face about the Riesling (it’s not for everyone, we know), but before you go for the Pinot Grigio substitute, we urge you to try the Riesling version first! The sweet crispness goes great with the apples and the dry/brut champagne really helps “even out” the overall sweetness. Also, feel free to add some other fruits if you’d like to dress it up a bit more. We like lightly crushing blueberries and adding that to the mix every now and then….super yum!
Anyway, we hope you’ll help us celebrate our first birthday by making a giant batch of this Sangria and sharing it with loved ones….maybe with an awesome meat and cheese platter, or whatever. Cheers!
Sparkling Apple Sangria 
Serves 4 to 6 
1 (750ml) bottle of Riesling (can sub Pinot Grigio)
1 red delicious apple, julienne
1 granny smith apple, julienne
1/2 (750ml) bottle of Brut champagne or sparkling wine, chilled 
1. Pour Riesling into a large pitcher and stir in apples. Place in the refrigerator and allow to sit for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
2. Add champagne/sparkling wine, stir and serve.
If your apples brown or get limp while infusing into the wine, strain the apples out and replace them with fresh ones before adding the champagne and serving. The fresh apples WILL float to the top for a bit, but the sangria will stay just as delicious.
White Peach Sangria 
This fruity sangria is full of summer flavors like peach, and berries. It’s perfect for a summer day by the pool.
Serves: 8
• 56 oz. Moscato wine (I used a large bottle of Barefoot)
• 1 c. Peach Schnapps
• ½ c. simple syrup
• 1 peach, sliced
• 1 naval orange, sliced
• 1 c. strawberries, sliced
• 1 c. green grapes
• ¼ c. blueberries
• ¼ c. blackberries 
1. combine all ingredients in a pitcher
2. using a large spoon, muddle the fruit to release juices
3. allow to sit in the refrigerator over night for the best flavor
4. serve cold
5. freeze additional grapes to use in glasses to keep chilled
Fresh Strawberry Margaritas 
recipe for one margarita, can easily be multiplied
  • 2 ounces Grand Marnie
  • 1 1/2 ounces Tequila
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 2 1/2 ounces strawberry simple syrup [recipe below] lime + fresh strawberries for garnish
  • salt + sugar for the rim 
  • Rim the ridge of your glass with a lime wedge and dip in a mix of margarita salt + sugar [I used about 3 tablespoons salt to 2 teaspoons sugar]. Fill the glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, grand Marnie, simple syrup and lime juice with ice, and shake for about 30 seconds. Pour over ice and squeeze in lime slices and add a few strawberries.
  • For strawberry simple syrup: combine equal parts sugar and water, bring to a boil and let sugar dissolve, then turn off heat and let cool completely. Combine 1 cup simply syrup + 1 1/2 cups slices strawberries in a blender and blend until combined. I don’t mind strawberry seeds, but if you’d like you can strain the mixture over a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
  • This recipe can be easily doubled, quadrupled, etc. Since everyone’s tastes differ, add simple syrup 1/4 cup at a time and go from taste. I also suggest buying the lime juice if you plan on making a pitcher (or 2) considering you’d have to squeeze a billion limes to get enough juice.