Friday, July 29, 2016

Cute Gifts & Exciting Ideas For Helping Your Best Gal Pal Celebrate Her Birthday

Birthdays are so exciting, even when they’re not your own. Being able to pick out a cute gift and find ways to help make someone else’s day that bit brighter and more exciting can be a lot of fun. Even more so when the birthday girl or boy is your best gal pal. Our best friends do so much for us, and so when it comes around to their birthday, it’s natural that we should want to make their day extra special. The question is, what’s the best way to go about doing that?


I love helping my friends to celebrate their birthdays in style, so I thought I would share a few tips and tricks with you. These are all things that you can do to make your best friend’s birthday that little bit more special.


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Get inspired
Do you always celebrate your friend’s birthday in a similar way each year? Perhaps you always treat her to a fancy lunch and a spa day? Well, this year it’s time to mix things up a little and do something different. If you’re stuck for ideas, don’t stress, there’s plenty of inspiration online. From planning a flash mob to arranging to take a cocktail making class together, there are so many ways you can celebrate.


Ask other friends for suggestions - has she mentioned to them anything that she’d love to do? Think outside the box and get inspired and you can plan her a birthday with a difference. When it comes to success with birthday planning, lots of inspiration is crucial. It’s also important to remember that it’s the small details that make all the difference.


Let’s talk cards and gifts


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The best place to start is with her card and gift. Now, we all know how hard it can sometimes be to find that gift that we know our friend will love. But that doesn’t mean just settling for the first thing that you see. Personally, I like to shop around when I’m present shopping. I make an effort to look both on the high street as well as online. It’s best to look in stores your friend shops in, as well as in places that she may not have heard of.


Sometimes, you just see something and know that she will love it. Other times, finding that perfect gift is a little more tricky. Get creative and think about what she likes - her hobbies, and what her style is like. If for example, she loves cute, quirky things, these unique gifts for her from Cuckooland could be ideal. Or, for instance, if she’s a makeup addict, perhaps you could find her a cute new makeup bag and a set of beautiful brushes? Take what she likes into account and your gift is sure to be a success.


Once you’ve got her present sorted, the next step is to pick the perfect card. Don’t just select any old card, look for something that relates to your relationship. Photo cards are a great option, as are cute, artsy designs. If you’re feeling creative, you could even go DIY with her birthday card. There are lots of design ideas online, should you want to add a personal touch to your friend’s card.


Decorate her home
If your gal pal lives alone or maybe the two of you share a house, start her birthday in the best way possible by hanging lots of cute decorations. Get bunting, a birthday banner, and lots of balloons, and fill her house with them. If you don’t have a key to her home, find a way to get her to lend you hers - maybe say you need to borrow something and then slip in a decorate for her birthday!


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You can find lots of cute decorations online, as well as on the high street. If you’re creative, you could even make the decorations yourself. Bunting and paper chains are incredibly easy to make, as are banners. So if you’ve got a talent for design, get creative and make some cute decorations for your friend’s home. She’ll really appreciate the gesture - that’s a promise.


Plan a day out that she’ll love
To mark her birthday, plan a day out for the two of you and any other close friends. If she’s busy on her actual birthday, that’s fine, instead, do something the day after or before. Get together with the others who are attending and plan the most amazing day. Perhaps you could go on a day trip somewhere, or maybe you could have a relaxed day of shopping and pampering? It doesn’t matter what you organise, just as long as your friend will love it.


Start the day with a fancy breakfast as your friend’s favourite eatery, and then head off to do whatever you’ve got planned. Whether you’re treating her to a day of pampering at a local spa, are going to try an extreme sport, make sure to surprise her throughout the day. Little treats here and there will really make her day.


Hold a party for her


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Is it a big birthday? If so, it might be a nice idea to plan a party for her - this could be a surprise party or just a birthday bash. When it’s a big birthday, marking it with a celebration of all your nearest and dearest is something that is a must. Think dancing, cocktails, and lots of delicious food.


If your friend isn’t a party girl, then perhaps a party might not be right for her. Instead, how about planning a get together for a few of her closest friends and family? This could simply be a meal and a few drinks, or it could be something a bit different like a beach BBQ or attending an outdoor theatre production. When it comes to how you help her celebrate, the sky’s the limit - there are so many amazing options that she’s sure to love.


If it’s your main gal’s birthday, the chances are that you want to make it as special as possible for her. To do that, take note of the tips and ideas above and plan the most amazing celebrations for her.

This is a contributed post, written by Laura Scott.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Common Pet Problems and How To Fix Them

Photo by Yukariyu
You love your pet. Of course, you do, and you want to spoil him or her all the time because that's what they're for. The greatest enjoyment of being a pet owner is seeing that joy in their eyes. Your cat's satisfaction when you give them some tuna as a treat, or your dog's blind excitement when you let it off the leash. Non-pet-owners will struggle to understand the exact sense of love we have for pets.


On the other hand, there are times when your pet will give you cause for concern. Behavioral issues can arise with even the sweetest pooch or puss, and for any number of reasons. Making sure that you get those sorted is essential. Not only will it make your life easier, by getting to the source of the issues you'll make your pet happier.


Your Pet Is Using Your Bed As A Toilet
Both cats and dogs use peeing to mark their territory, and by doing it somewhere, that smells of you they are demonstrating their bond with you. Of course, compliment or not, you don't want to sleep in a bed that smells of pee. So getting to the bottom of things is important.Your cat may be going on the bed because the litter box is not a comforting place to go. Make sure it is cleaned regularly and is big enough for your cat.


They also like your bed because it is high up - many cats like elevation for a sense of power. So it's worth buying a climbing tree for your cat to get that boost. For dogs, make sure they're getting enough time outside, and enough love when you are home. Make sure their bed is comfortable enough, too. Incentivize them to have their space.


Your Dog Is Overly Defensive Of You
Many pet behavioral problems are compliments in heavy disguise. Many pet owners - particularly female - are surprised to find that when they are hugging or kissing a partner, their dog gets mad. They suspect either that you're being attacked or that someone is encroaching on your territory (you!). This is particularly an issue if the third party is a new boyfriend or girlfriend.




The first thing to do is get your pet used to the new love in your life. Create a bond between them. If the dog - and it usually is a dog - comes to associate your new friend with hugs (and treats), the problem should reduce. If your dog needs some negative reinforcement, look for further advice on training collars from the experts like Petsho or your vet.These are a humane way to let your dog know they can't be biting strangers.


They Just Miss You Too Darn Much

Image by Tommy Pixel


Sometimes, a cat or dog will act out - marking territory, scratching, vocalizing - when you leave the house. Sometimes, even if you just leave the room. Seek out pheromone sprays, which have been shown to have a calming effect on cats and dogs. Give the whole house a good spray before going out for a few hours or more. They'll still be pleased to see you when you get back but won't go mad in your absence.

This is a contributed post, written by Laura Scott.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Making Your Summer Body A Reality

You probably have an idea in your head of what your summer body looks like. But do you genuinely think that you can get there? Your ideal body isn’t your favourite model or celebrity. It’s the best version of you. Not that you should worry about that - you're capable of getting as lean and shapely as you like. Here are some of the keys to making your summer body a reality:


Make A Vision Board And Visualise
This might sound ridiculous, but your subconscious mind plays a huge part in how much you’re capable of achieving. This means that you can’t just tell yourself positive things on the surface. You really need to believe these things deep down to make a change in your life. You can do this by making a vision board. Sit down and use magazines and different sources to put pictures that inspire you all in one place. You can do this online, but doing it in person will usually give you better results. You need to put this somewhere you see it every day, and focus on it for a few minutes when you can. Do it before you start your day, and before you sleep, if possible. Visualise as you focus on it. How will it feel to have the body of your dreams? Doing all of these things will make new connections in your brain and make you believe right to your core that you can achieve the body you want. Just make sure your vision board really inspires you and lifts you up. It should not make you feel bad about yourself, or it’ll have the opposite effect!


Change Your Mindset
As we’ve discussed, your mindset is very important. Making your vision board as visualising will help. But you also need to focus on changing your negative thoughts to positive thoughts. You need to be able to change the story you’re telling yourself in your head. You need to be kind to yourself, and focus on all of the amazing things about you. Only when you start doing this, will you get the results that you want.
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Learn About Fitness And Nutrition
Learning as much as you can about fitness and nutrition will leave you better equipped to create a plan of action. There are many plans online, but not all of them will work for you. You also need to bear in mind that some of them are total rubbish, so you must only go with trusted sources. Watching Youtube videos is a great way to learn. Write down things you want to remember. Invest in things. Look for fitness equipment for sale if you think you’ll use it. In general, you need to know that your diet and the things you eat make the most difference. You need balance, and to focus on health first and foremost. Fitness won’t be anything like what you think either. You can do a short workout a couple of times a week and it’ll still make a difference. This is why you need to make the effort to learn about it.

Make sure you’re committed to this lifestyle and you’ll make your summer body a reality!

This is a contributed post, written by Laura Scott.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Don't Buy Into These "Trends" About High Priced Versus Drug Store Makeup

With all the selfies we take and post on social media, it's easy to see why the makeup industry is currently booming. But keeping up with all the latest makeup trends can be confusing. Should you being spending your hard earned money on expensive brands? Or do you go a more budget option and compromise on quality?


Premium brand makeup pros
You would expect the quality to much better with premium brand makeup, after all, you get what you pay for, don't you? This certainly pans out with certain products like Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat or MAC Foundation. These iconic items have been endorsed by professional makeup artists all over the world and pretty much have cult status. That means they are always highly desirable for anyone's makeup bag and the dupes don't quite live up to the originals.


Premium brand makeup cons
But is is not always the case with others items. The packaging in high-end makeup is often very stylish and seductive. It can fool you into thinking what's inside is much more effective than it really is. While it's nice to have a bit of luxury now and then, you need to think carefully before parting with your hard earned cash for premium lines. Especially if what inside the bottle, maybe no better that what you can buy in your local supermarket. Make sure you read product reviews that can be trusted before shelling out a fortune for the latest products.


There are also plenty of dupes on the internet where you can buy something very similar to a top end product for less that half the price. A clever make up manufacturing company, will look at that season's trends and figure out a way to make a similar product for less. You need to take advantage of this, and you can save yourself some serious money.


Drugstore makeup pros
One of the best things about drugstore makeup is that it is readily available. That means it is easy to replace the supplies you need for your daily morning routine in one go, without breaking the bank. This doesn't seem like major issues until your foundation, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick and powder all run out around the same time. If you are looking to replace these with premium brands, it’ll probably cost you at least $100. If you use more budget lines, you can keep it under $50. It's a good idea to take advantage of the three for two offers that drugs stores run, getting you even more for your makeup bag at a lower price.


Drugstore makeup cons


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One of the downsides of drugstore makeup can be that the products aren't made with quite such high-grade materials as the premium brands. This is not true in every case, but some cheaper eyeshadows don't quite give you that pop of color you're looking for, see here for an example.


Another area whether this is noticeable is your foundation. Cheaper ones may sit on the skin instead of blending in. Or cause more breakouts. It's always a good idea, to buy a good foundation if you have the money as it is in direct contact with the delicate skin on your face.

This is a contributed post, written by Laura Scott.

Career Advice: What Are The Most Lucrative Jobs Of The Future?

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If you are looking for work, then you know what a difficult time it can be. The truth is, we have all been there. It can be a surprisingly difficult task getting yourself a decent job which you are happy to stay with for long. However, there is always an ideal job for everyone. One of the major things that you need to bear in mind is whether or not your job will have much of a place in the near future. With the way things are ever rapidly changing, it makes sense to find a career which will last. It goes without saying that many of the jobs that will last are in the fields of communication and technology. However, that is not always the case. If you are keen to know what jobs are likely to be well-paid in the near future, then read on. Let’s take a look now at some of the best.

Telecommunications
The field of telecommunications is already big business, and it only looks set to increase. As the popularity of the Internet grows and grows, so too will this area of work. The truth is, there are countless kinds of jobs you could have in this area of work. You really are spoilt for choice. On the ground, you could simply be laying the cables which are necessary for people and businesses to have access to the Internet. If you choose this career, you will need an open cabling licence as well as other qualifications. This is essential work which is likely to be well favoured in the future. Getting in there early might well serve you well in the long run.

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Digital Architect
Looking at where technology is used to enhance existing fields of work, we come across one great example. Digital architects spend their lives making digital renderings of planned buildings and structures. The main difference between them and traditional architects is that they only use digital means for producing their work. This is a profession which is likely to become more and more in demand as time goes on. If you are someone who has a way with computers and a degree in architecture, then this could be the job for you.

Waste Data Handler
Let’s now take a look at some of those jobs which are only just starting to come into existence. One such job is that of the waste data handler. If you have never heard of this profession before, you are probably not alone. However, it is a job which more and more companies are rapidly seeing the benefit of. The main duties of a waste data handler are to ensure that all wasted data is disposed of in a responsible and secure manner. This issue is becoming more important with a heavier reliance on digital data. As such, it is a job which might well be hugely favoured not far into the future.

Nano-Medic
If you are qualified in medicine, then there is a job which you might find interesting. A nano-medic creates very small implants to insert in bodies. These implants are generally for the sake of health monitoring and self-medication. It looks as though this will be one of the most lucrative jobs of the next one hundred years.


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This is a contributed post, written by Laura Scott.

Is It Time You Embraced The Outdoors? The Best Places To Camp This Summer

If you’re a fan of city breaks and beach holidays, you’re not alone. For many of us, holidays entail sightseeing, shopping and soaking up the rays. This summer, why not switch things up? If you’re an intrepid or an intrigued traveller, is it time you embraced the outdoors? If you could be swayed by tents and starry skies, here are some of the best places to camp this summer.


Cornwall, UK
Cornwall is one of the UK’s prime tourist destinations, and it’s easy to see why. Quaint villages, stunning beaches, and picturesque harbours are a few of Cornwall’s redeeming features. Throw in cream teas, rugged moors, and some of the best restaurants in the country and you’ll be packing your case and buying your tent in no time at all. Camping in Cornwall is a fantastic way to get out and explore, and enjoy direct access to secluded beaches and amazing views. Newquay and Bodmin Moor are popular camping spots. Head for St Mawes or Sennan for smaller, more intimate sites.



Brittany, France
If your idea of heaven is rolling fields, rugged cliffs, and indulgent cuisine, look no further than Brittany. Camping is incredibly popular in France, and you’ll find some of the best facilities in the world on your doorstep. Spend your days at the beach before firing up the grill and enjoying a barbeque and some drinks. Head into the charming towns to start your day with a coffee and a croissant. Don’t forget to sample the freshly prepared crepes and traditional baguettes.


Grand Canyon, US
When you think of the Grand Canyon, you may not automatically envisage a camping holiday. But what better spot to appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty than a site on the edge of the park? You can avoid the crowds at sunrise and enjoy the most spectacular scenery.



Queenstown, New Zealand
If you’re planning an action-packed camping adventure, head down under to Queenstown. This thriving town is a popular spot for backpackers, and it offers all kinds of thrills and spills. Go bungee jumping or whitewater rafting. Explore the caves or go kayaking. Climb, abseil or hike to your heart’s content. Camping is a perfect way to experience the energy and soak up the atmosphere of Queenstown. It’s also much cheaper than booking hotel rooms if you’ve spent all your money on flights. Check out https://www.lonelyplanet.com/new-zealand/queenstown-and-wanaka/queenstown for more information.


Camping essentials: What you’ll need for your trip
If you’re going camping, make sure you’re kitted out. You’ll need a tent, sleeping bag, and pillows. Take warm clothes, sturdy shoes and a stove. You should also pack cooking utensils, matches, and a backpack. You may not always be able to use your phone, so invest in a map and a torch. Take a look at http://www.outdoorgearboss.com/best-tactical-flashlight/ for ideas. To make life in a tent easier, you may also wish to pack dry shampoo and wet wipes. Don’t forget your swimwear if you’re heading to the beach.

Camping has a bad reputation. But it can actually be a really fun and affordable way of seeing the world. If you’re thinking about planning a holiday with a difference this year, why not arrange a camping trip? Hopefully, these suggestions will inspire you and help you prepare for your intrepid adventure.

This is a contributed post, written by Laura Scott.

Friday, July 15, 2016

How To Get Fit Without Joining The Gym

This is a contributed post, written by Laura Scott.

We all want to be as healthy as possible. Yet, achieving that can often be quite difficult. The truth is, it can be hard to find time in our busy lives for getting the kind of exercise you really need. However, that is not to say that it is impossible. Far from it - with a little cleverness, you can easily get fit in no time at all. For many, joining the gym is a quick and easy way to achieve just that. However, it is not for everyone. A lot of people cannot financially justify spending money on going to the gym every week. For those people, there are other solutions. That is where this post comes in. In this post, we will look at some key ways of getting fit without joining the gym. Try these before you give up trying!


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Walking
It sounds basic, and it is, but it is also highly effective. If you are keen to simply shed some pounds, then you will find that a gym is not necessary. Merely going for a walk around the block will probably do the job just fine. If you have a dog, then simply walking them twice a day could be more than enough to get you slim. Alternatively, you could even advertise yourself as a dog walker in your local community. People will surely appreciate someone walking their dog for them. And you can make sure you get fit in the process. This is a win-win situation for everyone.

Make A Gym At Home
If you still want to experience that gym feeling, but without going, then you still have an option. You could easily build yourself a gym at home, for much less money. This doesn’t have to be extravagant, of course. In fact, the beauty of it is that you can make it as simple or as complex as you want. It might just be a case of installing a machine from Treadmill Trends and using that in front of the TV. This can be a surprisingly effective way to get some beneficial exercise into your home routine. What’s more, it is likely to cost you less than an annual gym membership!


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Do Some Cleaning
It sounds funny, but cleaning can be deceptively good exercise - if you do it rigorously enough. If you are keen to lose some weight, then you might be surprised at how effective dusting your home can be. Another one which tends to get a sweat on is when you do the vacuuming. Why not do a little spring cleaning and see if it makes a difference? In a way, you might be killing two birds with one stone here.

Partner Up
Finally, one of the most effective ways of losing weight and getting fit is to do it with someone else. Regardless of what your exact goal is, if you have someone to cheer you along, it can really help. If you are keen to get to a certain weight, for example, then why not get a good friend to join you? You would be amazed at what an immediate difference this can make.

This is a contributed post, written by Laura Scott.