summerfield-336672_1280

How to bring an outfit back to life?

While fashion houses work very hard every year to come up with mind-blowing collections, be it for the Spring-Summer or the Autumn-Winter seasons, sometimes we are limited in our resources to be able to give our wardrobe a make-over every couple of months. Regardless of our job, social status or position in the society, every woman has classic pieces that can be worn in multiple situations, be it a night out with friends, or a work outfit. These vary, from a clear-cut black dress, to suit pants and a jacket, to just a pencil skirt and a blouse. Whatever the contents of your wardrobe, there are ways in which you can infuse life and an exciting touch to even the most plain outfit you own, here is how.

flower-child-336658_1280

First and foremost rule of a good look are accessories! Whatever outfit you are planning on wearing, you can bring it back to life with bright accessories, such as a funky necklace, glamorous bangles or bracelets and fashionable earrings. Investing in jewelry that will work for you is easy, when you know what you are looking for. There are multiple brands that create stunning pieces that will be a showstopper. Think of Dolce & Gabbana bulky earrings, Ek Thongprasert necklace, Mise en Dior tribal earrings, Collier de Chien Hermes bracelets and Repossi rings. All these are pieces that you can wear with anything and to any occasion. There are more affordable options from other brands, but target something bold and striking for a look that will tell the world who you are.

Another great way of taking your outfit to another level is improving it with a statement bag. Bags, including totes, clutches, purses and even fashionable backpacks have the power of turning your look 180 degrees. Think Celine Trapeze in nude suede worn with a black pencil skirt, or a PS1 in eclectic purple with a black dress – it takes you from boring working gal, to a glamorous fashionista. Go to the closest department store, browse the bags section and find the bag that will not only suit the style you are aiming for, but also be comfortable to carry. If you can’t afford the bag, make a plan of putting money aside every month to save up and treat yourself to the It-bag that will transform your life.

girl-206144_1280

Sometimes something simple, like adding layers or putting another top can shed a new light on an old ensemble! Here you have a myriad of options – from choosing a fancy top, to a see-through blouse to throw over your dress or strapless top; to adding multiple khaki layers to turn a work suit into a play-suit for a night out. Open any fashion magazine and you will see that it is all about combining various materials and textures together to come up with something that will be individually you.

Following fashion weeks and reading magazines can not only give you ideas on what is in fashion right now but also how you can combine various pieces together. Even if you cannot afford luxury brands, it does not mean that you cannot come up with a style that will not only differentiate you from everyone else but will also turn a very mundane outfit into something original that others will envy. Don’t be scared to play with styles, layers and colours, try things in front of a mirror and dare to be bold and different, as this is what makes you – you!

heart-314191_1280

Top 5 tips on how to decorate your house

The house that we live in, our home, is not only our shelter from the outside world, but also our safe place, where we are free to do and wear what we want, where we feel comfortable and can relax after a hard week at work. This is where our children are growing up and where we spend time with our family. Creating an environment that will not only be pleasant to be in but also will be functional for various events that will take place there, can be a challenging task, so here are top 5 tips to help you decorating and arranging your home.

Prior to changing or purchasing anything, do your research. It is essential to understand what exactly you would like to do, the style that best suits your needs and the possible furniture pieces that will be perfect for your family. Browse through magazines and websites, where you can save the interiors that you liked and perhaps try to combine various parts and elements from those to come up with something original, something that you will love.

bedroom-416063_1280

First thing that you should think of when decorating your house are the things and colours that would make you feel comfortable in it. This largely depends on your individual preferences, as some people feel that beige makes them relax, whereas for others, red, may be, the best colour. After all this is your home and you can do whatever you want, even if that is letting your children paint the walls in their rooms and fixing the living room together. The more your family is involved in the process, the more they will like to spend time there.

Decorating with your heart is the key in the decoration process – when you fix things by yourself, like lamps, furniture pieces and accessories, it makes you feel warm and welcome at your house. You feel that you contributed to the making of your home and you can spend time as a family during these DIY’s. Choosing and making some decorative elements together will bring you closer as a family.

It is important to think about the functions of your house – is it solely for relaxation time with the family? If so, then you are better off purchasing a big, comfortable couch that you can spend time on. Do you often host big dinners and parties? If your answer is ‘yes’, then think about getting minimum of furniture, but a large dinner table that will fit your guests. Apart from being practical, figuring out what the house will be mostly used for will save you a lot of money and unnecessary trips to the furniture store.

book-shelf-349947_1280

Another concept to think of is how often do you want to change your interiors? If you know that your children are small and they don’t understand the issue of being clean and taking care of the furniture, you might consider getting something budget-friendly from IKEA, that you won’t be worried about spilling a juice on. Thinking ahead and forecasting whether you can change your house every couple of years, or you want to invest in expensive furniture to get it over and done with for the next decade is the key.

Decorating your house can be a demanding task, and even if you cannot afford an interior designer, there are plenty of resources to use that will aid you in this process. The main thing to consider is what will make your home comfortable and functional for your needs and work from there. Whether it is your safe haven or a place where you host dinner parties every weekend, this is your house, and you make the rules, even if your choices are extravagant.

gadgets-336635_1280

How to make your gadgets last through a long-haul flight?

One of the most beautiful and exciting experiences you can purchase with money is traveling. This is something that will enrich your life, broaden your horizons, let you see the big world out there, eat new things, try things that are outside your comfort zone and really live life to the fullest. Sometimes it takes hours to travel to your destination, from a flight that takes up to 8 hours to those that are trans-Atlantic and can take up to 17 hours on board an airplane, this is sometimes the most dreaded part of the journey. While there is in-flight entertainment offered by airlines on long-haul flights, sometimes you just want to use your own gadgets and they usually run out of battery during the first part of the flight. There is no need to worry, as here are some tips on making your electronics last.

One of the first things to remember is to charge everything before the flight – if needed, put a reminder or set an alarm for this, and really do leave your gadgets to charge for an extended period of time. This is the first essential step.

smartphone-431230_1280

It is a good idea to purchase an external battery that will be able to charge your smartphone and tablet or iPad while you are in the airplane. These come in various sizes and can have up to 2 charging docks. The external battery is a great investment and you should really look into getting a quality one, as it will come in handy.

When you leave the house to go to the airport, turn off anything that can drain your battery, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, home system control, etc. These will be slowly but steadily discharging your electronic devices even when you don’t necessarily need them.

When you use an App, make sure you switch it off and get rid of it in your history. This tiny detail can save you battery life and will stop your phone or tablet wasting its power.

photo-351528_1280

Be savvy of the programs that you are using and which ones require more battery – for example RP games waste more battery life than some puzzles or arcade games. Watching movies will also shorten the usage life of your device, but you can always take out your external battery! Generally, try to keep it simple.

If you see that your battery life is miserably low and you will need your phone to make a call upon arrival, don’t waste it by listening to music – check the inflight entertainment, most airlines offer a wide array of new movies, episodes of popular TV shows and even music channels for their customers, so before watching the latest movies on your iPad, check if it is available on the screen in front of you.

Traveling by airplane can be as exciting as it can be tiring. If you are one of those people who just can’t sleep thousands of miles above ground, and need to use your gadgets to catch up on the latest Hollywood movies and shows, there are certain tricks of how you can extend the battery life of your devices. From purchasing an external battery to choosing correctly the apps that you use can save you hours of power.

 

 

 

Girls-talking-with-wine

Tips for Conscious Living

If you’re not living consciously, you’re living unconsciously – and zombie-walking through the world is hardly the best way to live.  It can be all too easy, however, to disengage with the world around us as we move through the routine of our day-to-day lives.  For a more fulfilled, engaging existence, and a happier personal and professional life, try these tips for connected, conscious living.

young-couple-talking-over-coffee

Give Thanks

Expressing gratitude is an important habit to cultivate.  It’s the easiest way to make people feel appreciated – and it shows that you’re respectful of others’ time.  Being mindful of all the things you have to be grateful for quickly leads to more conscious living- and it strengthens your relationships by letting others know you don’t take them for granted.  It only takes a few minutes to take pen to paper or craft a quick e-mail to say thanks, and it has a huge effect for such a simple but often neglected act.  Job interviews, simple favors, trouble-shooting assistance – it all warrants a show of gratitude.  Don’t forget that small treats work wonders too…

Build Relationships – Not Transactions

Networking expert Porter Gale says that quality networking is all about seeing your interactions as relationships, not transactions.  Stop thinking about what people can do for you, and start getting to know them for you they are – and what you can do for them.  Cultivating relationships leads to a far more full, joyful existence.  Plus, when you build your interaction on a basis of mutual respect and equal give-and-take, you create a support system you can call on whenever you get in over your head – not just temporary aid.

Friends Hanging Out

Be Ready to Listen

The quickest way to honestly engage with others – and by extension, the world – is to listen.  Pay attention.  Treat everyone as if what they have to say has value.  You may quickly find that people are incredibly interesting, sometimes when you least expect it.  Often, people have just been waiting for someone to express honest interest before they share their unique knowledge or fascinating experience.  When its time to share, avoid the superficial.  You don’t have to tell everyone you meet all your secrets, but its okay to be human and skip the small talk for deeper conversation.  It’ll give people permission to open up – and you’ll find yourself connecting like never before.

o-BACK-PAIN-facebook

Beat Back Pain – Before It Starts

As far as aches and pains go, lower back pain is one of the most common complaints.  Luckily, a few simple habits can stop the discomfort before it starts.  Get your own back, by adopting these back-saving tips.

back_2347316b

Get Grounded

Spending some time getting grounded can work wonders for your spine.  A lot of lower back pain actually stems from tightness in the hips, a phenomenon made only more common by the amount of time we spend in chairs.  Taking a seat on the floor helps open up your hips while encouraging you to use the muscles in the core that help support the spine.  Next time you’re watching TV or reading a book, skip the chair and pull up a spot on the floor.  If you use a laptop, you can even do this at the office – people may look at you strangely, but when they see how pain-free and mobile you are, they might just join you.  Lean up against a wall if you find you need a little support (or just can’t stop the slouch), and use a cushion to get comfy if you need some support for your hips and knees.

Get Low

Since tight hips are often the culprit of low back pain, working a few simple, hip-opening squats into your day can prevent discomfort and work to increase and maintain mobility.  Take your feet a little wider than your hips, turn them out slightly, and sink your hips down as low as you can manage.  Do this 3-5 times a day for thirty seconds to a minute, and you’ll notice a difference in no time.  Not sure when you can grab a minute to squat? Try adding it to your morning routine, or using one to open up after a long commute or carried.  If you work a desk job, you can even squeeze one in as a quick break between tasks – after all, getting up from your chair regularly is important for you health.  Note: tight pants not recommended.

Back-pain

Better Biomechanics

Use your body better, and you’ll avoid straining the muscles of your spine.  The body is a beautifully orchestrated machine – if you use it right, all the parts work together to complete tasks in efficient, supported ways.  When lifting heavy loads (even those as seemingly innocuous as grocery bags), use the big muscles of your legs to support your back.  Bend your knees, grab hold of whatever you’re lifting, keep your back straight and stand.  Even if you’re just picking up a dropped pen or penny, never bend from the waist; bend your knees to pick it up instead.  When carrying larger loads, it’s also important to find balance by weighting yourself evening – so pick up a bag in each hand, and never wear a backpack on just one shoulder.

Down to the Core of It

Strengthening your “core,” the intertwined muscles that support the center of the body, is key to preventing lumbar spine pain.  These powerful muscles support the spine, and help improve posture and foster healthy movement.  A couple crunches aren’t going to do the trick, however.  To really support the spine, it’s time to leave traditional “six-pack” abdominal workouts behind.  Take a more integrated approach, like the kind found in Pilates and yoga core work.

 

straw-419894_1280

How to choose a good suitcase?

When preparing for travel, there always is a question of what you should or should not pack and whether the things that you actually do bring along in your suitcase will be enough, will fit the environment and the weather at your destination and if you will have space to put your newly-bought souvenirs, clothes and accessories.

suitcase-79018_1280

First of all the suitcase that you purchase has to correspond to the maximum weight allowed in the travel class you usually fly. If flying Coach, it is important to remember that most airlines’ policies range from 23 to 25 kgs allowed for check-in luggage. This means that it is best to purchase a suitcase that will limit your weight to that figure. Remember, that it is always best to leave some space for souvenirs and gifts that you will buy during your vacation.

Second, you need to choose a suitcase that is durable enough to last you many years. This includes various factors, such as a built-in frame, solid shape, strong zip, high-quality outside material and preferably bumpers on the sides and bottom. Thanks to modern technology, there are suitcase with such features that are also light-weight and provide extra room inside, with various compartments and tie-down straps to ensure that your clothes arrive in exactly the same way that you packed them.

When choosing the suitcase, it is important to remember that it has to be easy to navigate and maneuver through a crowded airport. It must have four steady wheels and an adjustable handle that will make it easy to roll on various surfaces and in various directions. Remember that before you check in your luggage and after you receive it, you will be the one steering it, so try to do that in the store, to see how easy it is for you and whether you feel comfortable with that model or need something else.

suitcases-438475_1280

Last but not least is choosing the case based on its appearance. While getting a black one is a classic choice, where you will not be too worried about getting scratches, marks or stickers, some people prefer to get something more colourful and bright to make it easier to spot on the baggage belt. Keep in mind that the suitcase will most likely be subject to various weather conditions and spaces inside the airport and aircraft, so a light-coloured case might not last long and will probably not look as appealing just after the first trip.

Getting a suitcase is highly important – after all this is your wardrobe on wheels while you are travelling. Try to look for something that will not only protect your clothes, but will also last you a long time and be comfortable to navigate through crowded places. If you do want to stand out, think about getting bright stickers or laces for the handles that you will be able to spot from far away. And while a Louis Vuitton suitcase is highly glamorous, think about all the places it will be in, before investing into something that extravagant.

oia-416136_1280

What’s the best way to explore a new destination

When arriving to a new destination, one of the dilemmas that you are faced with is what you should do and see first. Sometimes a city can be so scattered that inevitably you will need some means of transportation to explore its monuments, parks and recreation venues, whereas in some cases, like for example Maldives, you can really see everything by foot. Depending on where you are, the size of the place and the location of the things of interest, there are various ways in which you could see the destination and explore its hidden gems.

singapore-388381_1280

One of the best ways to explore a city, town or best a small settlement is by foot – take long walks to enjoy the surroundings, taking everything in, taking photos and looking around. Don’t be scared of taking turns off the main road, if it is daytime and you are sure that it’s a safe neighbourhood (make sure to check that beforehand). The other thing to consider is the weather. It it’s too hot, do a long walk along the beach in the evening or at sunset – what can be more romantic? And if it’s too cold – wear warm, preferably water proof clothing, hats, gloves, scarves and anything else that will keep you warm and make stops along the way in small cafes or restaurants for a cup of hot tea or gluhwein if you are up for it.

Another great way to see everything that the destination has to offer is by renting a car. This is not only a liberating experience, that allows you to travel wherever you want at whatever time best suits you, but you also have the freedom to make up your own routes and itineraries. Renting a car is especially great if you have other drivers with you – try to find beautiful routes to see stunning places off the beaten track.

gleise-416460_1280

Depending on the city or the place that you are, sometimes other means of transportation may suit it best, for example riding a bike in places like Amsterdam or Hoi An in Vietnam. It’s a wonderful thing to experience the city the way that the locals do and if you are planning on staying for a long time there, it may be more cost-worthy to buy a second hand bike in order to fully take advantage of this opportunity.

In order to explore a new destination, sometimes all you need are comfy shoes and a person to share the views with, whereas at other times, it would best suit you to rent a car or even a bike. Prior to deciding on how you want to proceed, read forums and travel guides, as it will shed light not only on where it is best to stay but also the possible areas and neighbourhoods to explore.

 

 

sunset-86214_1280

How to feel good while travelling

While we all have our set way of life when we are at home, where we try to eat healthy, find those carb-, gluten-, fat-free recipes to try cooking; try to exercise regularly and generally lead a better lifestyle for both us and our families; on vacation we tend to forget all of that and let go. Surely being away from home tends to be liberating, where you can relax and not care, but when you return home, you need another vacation, to recover from the current one. In order to feel good about yourself and refreshed, rather than tired and bloated, on your return, here are some tips of staying healthy and happy even while travelling.

citadel-hill-2973_1280

The first thing to do while travelling is to remember to continue eating healthy. While you are faced with a myriad of exotic dishes and ingredients that you have never tried before, take it easy on your digestive system and limit your intake of food. Try to remember that a balanced diet is essential for your overall wellbeing. Do eat a good portion for breakfast – as this will give you energy to explore the destination, enjoy the excursions, or just relax on the beach, without attacking the snack bar after a couple of hours. Gluttony only feels good while you are sitting at the table at the restaurant – you will certainly regret eating everything later.

Another factor that will make you feel healthy, relaxed and full of energy is exercising regularly. Whether it is a morning jog on the beach, a set of push-ups and cardio at the hotel gym, working out will give you an energy boost like nothing else. Start your day with stretching exercises and take it from there – not only will you be able to walk around the city more, but you will also feel less guilty about trying that delicious dessert the night before.

Last, but not least, it is important to always stay hydrated. Many times people forget about the one essential factor that has a massive effect on our health – drinking plenty of water. Always remember to keep a bottle of mineral water in your bag. Some people argue that a person must drink up to 2 litres of water per day, and while that may involve forcing yourself to drink that amount of liquid, staying hydrated is key to adapting to new climatic conditions.

water-165219_1280

Another essential thing is dressing up for the weather – if you know that the climate is hot and humid – make sure that you wear clothes that will let your skin breathe and which are completely natural. If, on the other hand, you are going North, where there is a high chance of snow, make sure that you bring warm clothes – the last thing you want is catching a cold and staying in your hotel room.

It is true that on your vacation you can do whatever you want, act however you want and wear whatever you want, yet, when you come back, you want to feel refreshed, full of energy and ready to face whatever challenges life has got for you. In order to do that, keep in mind that there are simple yet very effective things you can do, like keeping a well-balanced diet, staying hydrated and performing at least light exercises during your vacation, that will make you feel like a million dollars when you come back home.

yoga-381653_1280

How to stay fit while travelling?

Regardless of our position in life, social or marital status, and age, everyone wants to live a long and healthy life. That is something that is not just given to us, but we must work on from a young age, including regular exercise, rich and balanced diet and consuming plenty of liquids, excluding alcohol, in order to achieve that. Taking care of our body and investing time in shaping it into any form we want is something extraordinary and while on vacation, don’t neglect it. There are numerous ways in which you can stay fit while travelling and here are some tips on what you can do.

girl-162474_1280

It is true to say that most of the hotels nowadays have a fitness center with all the modern gym equipment to satisfy your needs while you are away from home. Even if you are not staying in a 5* resort with all the facilities, there are gyms outside of hotels used by local residents that can serve your needs just as well. You can negotiate a daily or a weekly fee and use their services. Allocate some time during your holiday to exercise – it doesn’t have to be on a daily basis, but you have to push yourself to leave the beach and hit the treadmill at least a couple of times a week, even for 30 minutes.

Even if your hotel doesn’t have a gym, and you can’t find anything nearby, it shouldn’t stop you – use the facilities and surfaces that are available. Here you have to be imaginative, as this non-traditional fitness venue can be anything – from using the stairs to train your lower body, to calf raises and jumping jacks and lunges for cardio workouts, as well as training your abdominal area and upper body through abs, sit-ups, push-ups and planks. There are numerous applications that you can get to help you exercise with absolutely no gym equipment requierd. From full body training with Tribesports, to 7Minute Workout and Yoga videos on YouTube, there is an endless number of possibilities.

The best exercise that you can do while on holidays that will include both pleasure and a great result on your body is swimming! Whether it is in the sea, ocean or the hotel’s rooftop pool, it has been proven that swimming tones the whole body and is a great cardio workout. Apart from sun tanning on the sun lounge, get into the water, do some laps and enjoy the water, it is phenomenal!

jogger-426670_1280

Another great way to integrate fitness into your travels is walking –one of the best ways to explore the area is by foot, which also happens to be a great workout. You can marvel at monuments, landscapes or stunning views, all the while toning your body. Remember that after even a 45 minute power – walk and you can afford to eat that crème brulee you were eyeing at the café next door.

From jogging every morning, to following a pilates class in a language you don’t understand in a rice field, there are countless ways in which you can stay fit even when travelling, all you have to do is allocate the time for it and commit to workout on a regular basis and success is guaranteed.

- Trendy Lifestyle Magazine