How Not to Gain Weight Over the Holidays

Peppermint candy canes, slices of home-baked apple pie, cookies shaped like Santa Claus, rich cups of hot chocolate topped with whipped christmas chocolate cakecream, and boxes of chocolates and candies stacked under the tree… it’s hard not to be tempted to indulge at Christmas!

However, if you are dedicated to staying healthy over the holidays and not greeting the New Year having packed on a few extra pounds, here are some tips to avoid gaining weight during the festive season:

Stay Active

One way to counteract the calories of all of those holiday treats is to burn them off through exercise! Head to the gym for a workout, or simply go play outside in the snow with the family. Cross country skiing is a great workout, and trudging up a snowy hill to slide down on a toboggan will get your heart pumping!

Fill Up on Healthy Food

Before you go to the Christmas party where you know there will be a buffet of fatty finger food, eat a healthy meal with lots of vegetables, protein and fiber. When you are feeling full those greasy treats will be a lot less tempting and you will eat less of them.

Cook Leaner

Why not see if there is a low-fat version of your traditional holiday recipes? Search for “healthy Christmas recipes” online and you will find several websites with great ideas for trimming the fat content out of your festive meal while still making it taste great!

Watch Your Liquid Calories

Holiday drinks such as Rum and Eggnog, Hot Chocolate, and Beer have a surprising amount of calories! When you are at a party, try alternating by having a drink and then a glass of water so that you only drink half as much.

Indulge Selectively

There are some special nostalgic treats that you should not deny yourself during the holidays, but remember to indulge selectively. This means that if you know that you want to have a slice of Auntie Susan’s famous Christmas Pie at the end of the meal, avoid also filling up on miniature sandwiches or potato chips beforehand.

If you allow yourself one or two very special indulgent foods, you will still enjoy your favorites and yet avoid gaining unnecessary weight from eating those shortbread cookies that you don’t even like.

Remember these tips and you will be able to stay lean and healthy throughout the holiday season, while still enjoying yourself!

Got More Month Than Money? A Few Clever Ways to Save Money This Christmas

If you are short on funds this holiday season, there is no reason why your festivities have to be any less merry!

You can still have a great Baby With Presenttime enjoying the season without having to spend a fortune.

Here are some tips that will help you save money this holiday season:

  • Instead of having to buy a gift for everyone in your office, group of friends, or social circle, why not organize a Secret Santa system instead. Put everyone’s name in a hat and then each draw out a name. You will only have to buy one gift instead of many, and everyone will get a gift in exchange!
  • Why spend money on expensive rolls of wrapping paper, when you can make your own? Presents look cute and colorful when they are wrapped in the Sunday Morning cartoons from your local newspaper. You could also get a cheap roll of brown craft paper and decorate it with stamps, markers, glitter and paint to make your own one-of-a-kind wrapping paper.
  • If you have more time than you have money, instead of buying presents for your friends you can give coupons for your services instead. For example, you could give them a voucher promising that you will clean their car, babysit their children, or help them shovel snow. If you have a special skill, such as playing the guitar or speaking Spanish, you could give out free lessons to friends you know who would like to learn. It won’t cost you anything but your time.
  • When buying gifts for your family, make sure that you comparison shop for the best price. For items such as books, if you can find them in a second hand bookstore or used online, you can sometimes get them for less than half price!
  • Instead of spending a fortune on movie tickets and overpriced popcorn to see the new holiday blockbuster in the cinema, set up your own home movie theatre with enough comfy chairs and pillows for the entire family. Put on a classic holiday favorite, make your own snacks, and enjoy a great evening for only the cost of a DVD rental and some popcorn kernels.

These are just a few ways that you can save money on your holiday celebrations and still enjoy this wonderful, festive time of year.

You’re Killing Yourself! Avoid These Common Unhealthy Eating Habits

Are you guilty of any of these common unhealthy eating habits? Read on to find out more information and tips on how to avoid them.cooking with daughter

Starving Yourself

You might think that a strict diet of nothing but carrot sticks and lettuce leaves is just what you need to lose those last few pounds before the holiday party, but starving yourself will actually have the opposite event on your weight loss.

When you don’t eat enough calories for a long period of time, your body will start to panic because it will think you are stranded on a deserted island with no food. Your body’s first reaction to this scenario is to store fat like crazy in order to survive.

When you do cave in and finally eat something, your body will store that meal directly in your fat reserves because it doesn’t know when you will have the chance to eat again, and so the fat will remain with you longer.

A healthier way to lose weight is to eat several small and nutritionally balanced meals per day, so that you don’t deprive yourself of the nutrients that you need to function and your body never has to go into “starvation mode” and start hording calories.

Eating Too Fast

We are often squeezing our meals into short time spans, such as gulping down our breakfast before heading to work or shoveling in our lunch during a short break. Eating your food too fast can cause a lot of problems, and it will also increase your chances of weight gain. I

t takes your body approximately 20 minutes from the time that you start eating for your stomach to tell you that you are full. If you eat within five minutes, you will still feel hungry and will be tempted to eat more than you need to.

You will also gulp down extra air and perhaps fail to chew your food properly. Instead, slow down and chew each bite.

Forgetting to Drink Water

Did you know that not drinking enough water throughout the day will actually slow down your metabolism and make you more likely to gain weight?

This is because water helps with metabolic functions, including burning calories. Bring a bottle of water with you everywhere you go, and sip from it frequently throughout the day.

Leaving Meal Prep to the Last Minute

If you only start to think about what to have for dinner when it’s late in the evening and you are very hungry, you will be tempted to prepare something that is quick and easy so that you can eat right away.

This often results in microwave meals, prepared food high in sodium, or pizza delivery. If you can start thinking about your evening meal a little bit earlier, you will have the chance to cook something yourself before your stomach starts grumbling.

These are just a few of the bad eating habits that you might be guilty of, and how you can break them to make yourself healthier.

Can Mini-SkirtsTeach You About Writing A Resume?

Did you know that you can learn a lot about writing a resume from that sexy, saucy little fashion item, the mini-skirt? miniskirt

Whether you have worn one of these short skirts before, or have simply been an admirer, here are the tips that mini-skirts can give you about writing the most effective resume possible:

Just the Right Length

Your resume should always be the same length as a mini-skirt, long enough to cover the important parts but short enough to still be interesting.

It is crucial to include the most important details in your resume when applying for a job, such as relevant experience, education, and training. You will also want to include some descriptions of your previous roles and goals that you have achieved.

However, if your resume carries on for too long you will lose the interest of your reader. Your amazing accomplishments will not be as impressive if they are drowned within a sea of other bullet points and information.

The trick is to cut down your resume until you fit your top most impressive achievements and crucial information all on one page. Just like a mini-skirt, this will highlight your best “assets” and really get you noticed.

Careful How You Present Yourself

If you have worn a mini-skirt before, you know that you will need to be careful about how you walk, bend over, and sit down. You must keep your legs cross and your skirt pulled down, in order to avoid accidently exposing yourself to everyone else.

Being conscious about how you are displaying yourself to others can also be a good point to keep in mind when writing your resume.

If you don’t consider how your resume is being perceived, you might be unknowingly creating a bad first impression to your employer. Always double check your resume before sending it for spelling errors, typos, tone , and jargon, just like you would look down to check that your miniskirt is covering everything. You can even get a friend to read it over to catch the errors that you do not see.

When writing your resume, remember these tips that you can learn from this tiny but powerful piece of clothing!

Want a Great Holiday Survival Strategy? How to Take Criticism like a Champion

One of the hardest things in the world can be to receive negative criticism on something we have done. No one wants to feel like they havecritic quote done something wrong and hearing someone talk about our faults and mistakes can make us very frustrated and discouraged.

However, criticism doesn’t have to be so bad when you approach it with the right attitude. In fact, when you think of it in the following way, it can actually benefit you positively and help you improve.

Here is how:

Separate yourself from what is being criticized

Whenever we put our time and effort into doing something or creating something, we inevitably invest a little part of ourselves in it. Therefore, whenever anyone tells us that it is not good, whether it is a dance performance, a chili con carne, or a business report, it is easy to feel hurt.

When someone criticizes your work, you might feel like they are criticizing you as well and their comments can make you feel discouraged and defensive.

The first step to taking criticism like a champion is to completely take yourself and your fragile ego out of the equation. When you do something, make sure that you are able to separate yourself from it and view it objectively.

For example, if someone is critiquing a painting that you have done, remember that they are not insulting you as an artist they are simply pointing out the flaws of the painting itself.

Understand the Criticism

The next step after you have overcome the urge to take the criticism personally is to understand what the person is trying to say. Perhaps they have a valuable point that you can take into consideration, which will help you do better next time.

If you don’t understand why they are making the criticism, ask them for clarification. Ask them why they think the way they do, how they came up with that opinion, and if they have any suggests of what you could do differently. Whether you disagree with them or not, it’s important to understand first where the criticism is coming from.

Use it To Improve

The final step once you have understood what the other person is trying to say is to try to use the feedback you have received to improve. Keep it in mind next time that you do something and if you can change your behavior to get a better result, do so!

Now you are succeeding even more than before and you have discovered that criticism doesn’t have to hurt, and it can even help you do better at whatever goal you are trying to achieve.

Make Your House Look like a Million Bucks on a Miniscule Budget

What can you do if your home is looking tired and drab, but you can’t afford to give it a full makeover?

Sprucing up your home can be expensive, especially if you are buying all new furniture and décor. However, it doesn’t have to be.

When you can get beautiful items for cheap, and use your own creativity and hard work, it is possible to create a beautiful home that looks like a million dollars but doesn’t cost it!

Video Decorating Tips from Thom Filicia, host of Style Network’s “Dress My Nest”:

 

Always Buy Used

Have you ever walked around a new furniture show room and fallen in love with the beautiful couches, tables, chairs and décor but let out an unhappy sigh when you saw the price tag?

When you start to look anywhere other than the brand new furniture stores for your home furnishings and décor, you will be amazed at how much cheaper buying used items can be.

  • Auctions: If your city has an auction house, head down and see what you can find. Sometimes auction houses will have estate sales or foreclosure sales, and there will be many good quality items on the chopping block. It comes down to luck and timing, but if there is an item that you want that no one else is interested in, you can snag it for an absolute steal!
  • Ebay, Craigslist, and other Websites: Why go buy a brand new chest of drawers, when someone in your city is trying to get rid of theirs because they don’t have room? The items you find on these websites can be of good quality, and are certainly cheaper than buying new.
  • Used Furniture Stores: Every now and then, spend an afternoon hunting through thrift shops and seeing what you find. It’s never a guarantee, but you will usually discover a great little item that is good as new and suits your décor perfectly, and it will only cost a few dollars!

Get Creative

You can save a lot of money on home décor if you take the time to put in a little creative effort yourself.

For example, you can spend a lot of money on expensive patterned wall paper, or you can take an afternoon and a couple of different colors of paint and sponge your own unique pattern on the walls.

Rather than buying expensive art or photos for the walls, print out your own photography and use a simply but cheap frame. Doing the hard work of decorating by yourself will also save money on labor costs.

Making your home more beautiful doesn’t need to cost a lot of money, as there are many ways to cut down the costs of decorating.

 

Need to Exercise? Use These Quick Tips to Fit Exercise into Your Busy Workday

Do you get frustrated because you want to live a healthier lifestyle but your job keeps you sitting at a desk all day? quick exercise tips

Sedentary work can cause us to gain weight and suffer from eye strain, back pain, and lack of energy. However, it is a lot easier than you think to add physical activity to your workday, even if you are chained to a desk.

Adding in small bursts of exercise to your daily routine will not only help you keep fit, slim and healthy, it will also give you more energy to take on the day and boost your mood.

Here are a few ideas to get a little exercise even if you’re super busy:

  • Wake up 10 or 15 minutes earlier than you normally would and try going for a jog around the block or doing some yoga stretches. It will be difficult at first, but once you get into this habit you will feel strange without it.
  • If it is possible, ride your bike or walk to work rather than driving. This is a super easy way to fit exercise into your routine, and you will save money on gas!
  • If you work on a high floor of an office building, take the stars instead of the elevator. It makes a little bit of difference, and it is one of the easiest ways to grab 5 minutes of exercise in your busy day.
  • Replace your chair with an exercise ball. By sitting on this large ball, you will be forced to keep your abdominal muscles and back muscles flexed, which will strengthen your inner core. You will burn more calories just sitting there, and it will also help to avoid back strain.
  • Instead of eating at your desk, use your lunch break to get some fresh air and walk to a nearby park to enjoy a picnic instead.
  • Throughout your day, whenever you finish a project or a report reward yourself with a short break and do some stretches, pushups, or calisthenics in your office. This will invigorate you and clear your mind for the next project.

These are just a few ways that you can fit exercise into your busy workday. Have fun keeping fit!

If you have good ideas of your own, please share them! I’d be interested in hearing how you fit fitness into your daily routine.

How to Create a Luxury Spa in Your Own Bathroom

Imagine yourself relaxing into a hot aromatherapy bath at a luxurious spa center at a resort. Surrounded by flickering candles and peacefulhome spa experience music, you can allow the healing power of the essential oils calm your mind and forget all of your worries. It is a truly wonderful experience.

However, going to a luxury spa can be very expensive, so what if you can’t afford to treat yourself to this indulgence?

Don’t worry. You can still pamper yourself on a small budget, because it is fun and easy to create a luxury spa at home in your own bathroom. With a few special touches you will have your own private spa that you can visit again and again whenever you need some serious relaxation.

Adding Spa Details

The luxurious feeling of a spa is all about the little details, and you can add these details to your home bathroom as well. Buy yourself a soft and fluffy cotton or velour robe to wrap around yourself, and add a comfortable chair or an ottoman to the bathroom where you can sit and read or paint your nails while you wait for the bath to fill up. Invest in some heated towel racks which will provide you with warm and fuzzy towels when you step out of the bath or shower. You might want to also swap your old shower head for a detachable, massaging shower head so that you can soothe your sore muscles with the jets of water. 

Another simple way that you can make your bathroom more like a spa is to treat yourself to some high quality scented bubble bath or handmade soap. Don’t use it for every shower; just bring it out for your special spa sessions.

Setting the Mood

Now that your bathroom is well equipped for giving yourself the spa treatment, it is time to create a mood of pure elegance and relaxation. Dim the lights and use several small candles throughout the bathroom to provide light.

You can place them around the sink and bathtub. Bring a stereo or radio into the bathroom and play some soothing music, such as an instrumental classical piece or a slow ballad. Play something by one of your favorite artists, because if you like the music more it will make you more relaxed.

Don’t forget about scents as well, as you can use essential oils or scented candles to make your spa smell amazing.

Pampering Yourself

The next step to making your homemade spa experience complete is to go above and beyond your normal bathing routine. Take your time and treat yourself to something special, such as a face mask, deep conditioning treatment, or manicure. Devoting this extra time to taking care of your appearance will help you relax and enjoy, and give you a happy and confident glow.

Giving yourself the spa treatment at home is fun and easy, much cheaper than a professional spa, and you can do it whenever you need a bit of relaxation. Go ahead, you deserve it!

Why Do We Never Do the Things We Enjoy?

You might be watching a film about an artist, and your friend will say, “I used to love making pottery when I was in school. I wish I could doroller-blading it again.”

Or perhaps you will be walking along the beach and you will pass someone on Rollerblades and your partner will say, “I love rollerblading! I used to do it all the time when I was younger.”

Or maybe you will treat yourself to an ice cream once in a blue moon, and think about how much you love ice cream but you can’t remember the last time you had it.

When we are younger, we don’t have a problem doing the things we love. They seem to come naturally, and the focus of our day is centered on play and fun. However, when we get older we tend to focus more on work and obligations.

Unfortunately, this causes us to forget how to play and do the things that we enjoy. For some reason, we deny ourselves these things, telling ourselves that if we indulge in life’s simple pleasures we are somehow being irresponsible or childish.

However, this is the kind of thinking which causes so many adults to feel unhappy with their lives and look so fondly back on the playful days of childhood.

Do What You Enjoy

What is the simple solution to this?

Take time for yourself to do the things you enjoy in life.

It sounds easy, but when is the last time you did it?

The first step is to think about what you really enjoy doing. Don’t worry about what you should be doing, or what is most productive or efficient. Think about what brings you joy, whether it is wall climbing, learning a new language, or watching cheesy horror films.

You will already know what these things are, but you might not have allowed yourself to enjoy them for so long that they might be hard to remember. For a hint, think back to what you loved as a child or teenager.

Now make time in your schedule to enjoy these things that you love. If you love lying in the sun reading a good book, cancel your plans for the weekend and grab your beach towel. If you always loved playing theatre games in school, take an adult improv class one evening per week. If your pleasure is music, go see a live band perform every so often rather than going to the same bar every Friday night.

Allowing yourself to enjoy these simple pleasures won’t put any huge burden on your schedule, but will certainly make an enormous difference to your happiness and enjoyment of life, so go ahead and do what you love!

 

What Are You Waiting For? Effective Cures for Procrastination

Is your motto, “why do today what I can put off until tomorrow?”procrastination tips

Procrastination is an easy habit to slip into, as it is incredibly tempting to avoid doing something that is not urgent. When a project is due, the house needs cleaning, or a form needs filling out, we often decide that we will get away with doing it another day.

However, procrastination can really come back to bite us when the deadline looms near and we realize that we have left way too much work for ourselves. Every college student who has gotten in trouble for snoring in class after pulling an all-nighter finishing a term paper will tell you that procrastination seems like a good idea at the time but isn’t a healthy or productive way to manage your life.

So how can we combat our natural tendency to put things off until tomorrow? Here are a few effective ways that you can cure your procrastination and get things done!

  • If you are procrastinating because the task seems huge and overwhelming, break it into small steps and accomplish one step per day. For example, if you are writing an essay you can decide on the topic one day, create an outline the second day, write a first draft the third day, edit your draft the fourth day, etc. When you break the task into small parts, it seems much less scary and you will be more likely to accomplish each small piece in one day.
  • Promise yourself a reward, only after you complete your portion of the task for the day. For example, tell yourself that you will take a walk on the beach after you clean the kitchen. You will be surprised how much quicker you wash those dishes when the sun is shining outside and you are eager to get out and enjoy it.
  • Start in the middle. Sometimes we procrastinate on a large task because we are just not sure how to begin. Don’t worry about the beginning, just start in the middle instead and get the ball rolling. For example, get started tackling a large job like cleaning out the garage by grabbing any random box of junk and figuring out how to deal with it. Doing things out of order is better than never doing them at all.
  • Eliminate your distractions. If you know that television, Facebook, or computer games distract you from getting things done, get rid of them until you are finished your task. Unplug your modem, or ask someone to hide the Xbox until you finish what you need to do.
  • Stop over-complicating the task and waiting for the perfect opportunity to do it. There is no “perfect” time to do anything, so make the most of the time you have right now!

These are just a few ways that you can cure your tendencies for procrastination, and enjoy a more productive life!