Staceyvanoska

7 Embarrassing Summer Beauty Problems Solved

Summer’s almost here! But before you throw on a bikini and head to the beach you may want to invest in one summer essential that’s sure to solve those troublesome (and often embarrassing!) beauty problems that many of us are faced with once the mercury rises. Coconut guru and author of Going Coconuts Brynley King shares her top tips for tackling seven of your most cringe-worthy summertime dilemmas – and the best part? All you need is one jar of coconut oil!

RELATED: 4 Ways Coconut Oil Can Spice Up Your Sex Life

Chafing  

Let’s get the most embarrassing out of the way first, shall we? Chafing is a common problem that many people experience during our steaming Aussie summer – and it’s not just the thigh area that can fall victim to the dreaded chafe. Fortunately, coconut oil can be used on any part of the body to not only prevent chafe from occurring but also to heal sore and inflamed skin. It’s also perfect to use on infants as an all-natural alternative to nappy rash cream.

Sunburn

Forgot to slip, slop, slap and now you’re looking less like a bronzed goddess and more like a tomato? The properties found in coconut oil are known to relieve the pain of a bad burn plus heal the skin and limit peeling at the same time. Try patting a washcloth splashed with a little apple cider vinegar on burnt skin to relieve stinging before generously applying coconut oil mixed with peppermint oil to the affected area. The peppermint oil helps to cool the skin while the coconut oil heals and protects.

Chapped lips

A pop of colour on the lips can make any outfit go from good to great, but if your pout has been receiving a little too much sun, wind and salty air, even the most moisturising lipsticks aren’t going to glide on as they should. Coconut oil works as an incredibly nourishing 100% natural lip balm and Pacific Islanders have been using it for centuries. Feeling creative? Mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and olive oil with ¾ teaspoon of honey for a sweeter, DIY lip treatment.

Ingrown hairs

Razor bumps and ingrown hairs aren’t pretty but for many people they’re inevitable after any type of shaving, waxing or hair removal. Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-fungal which makes it a miracle pre and post hair-removal product. Replace shaving creams or soaps with coconut oil for your closest shave yet before rubbing a decent amount into the area after your shower; and you can say goodbye to painful, unsightly bumps – for good!

Frizzy hair

Unfortunately, humidity = frizz.  Luckily your new beauty Holy Grail works wonders at smoothing and conditioning unruly tresses. Before bedtime, apply a good dollop of oil to your lengths and ends, tie in a topknot and leave in overnight for a super nourishing and inexpensive hair treatment or use as an anti-frizz hair serum by applying a pea size amount to dry hair. You can also protect blonde locks from chlorine damage (green hair is never in fashion) by wetting the hair and evenly distributing coconut oil from roots to tips, which seals in moisture and creates a barrier against harmful pool chemicals.

Mosquito bites

For many, this time of the year means outdoor barbeques, picnics and the occasional game of backyard cricket, however, it also means the mosquitos are out in full force. If these pesky little bloodsuckers make you itchy just thinking about them, then coconut oil may be your new best friend. When applied to an insect bite, the oil is known to work faster than calamine lotion at stopping the itch and reducing swelling. Plus, if you dab it on the area regularly it works to speed up the healing process too.

Dry skin

Winter can play havoc on our skin, as we often neglect our moisturising routine in favour of hiding our pins under jeans and tracksuit pants. Come summertime, why are we then surprised when we pull on a pair of shorts only to discover our limbs aren’t quite as smooth and supple as we’d like? Bid dry, flaky skin farewell by mixing coconut oil with raw sugar for a DIY body exfoliator, then use the oil on its own as an all-natural, paraben-free body moisturiser.

For more coconut oil tips grab your copy of ‘Going Coconuts’ plus Banaban Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil at www.naturepacifc.com

September 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Songs, Searches And Celebs Of 2014

Each year at around this time, Google releases the list of the year’s most searched terms and the extensive listing never fails to provide a few laughs, some memories and yet another viral link to share with your friends.

RELATED: Most Popular Baby Names

So, here, we’ll share it with you:

The most searched for celebrities this year, according to Google, were:

  1. Jennifer Lawrence
  2. Kim Kardashian
  3. Julie Gayet
  4. Tracy Morgan
  5. Renee Zellwegger
  6. Jared Leto
  7. Lorde
  8. Matthew McConaughey
  9. Amal Alamauddin
  10. Donald Sterling

Our favourite of the year’s most viral videos are:

Jimmy Kimmel’ long-awaited Friends ‘reunion’

Father and daughter’s lip sync to Fancy by Iggy Azalea

This little girl’s Ice Bucket Challenge was a little unexpected:

And then everyone tried to outdo each other with their music videos. Here’s the best in our books:

And the top beauty questions searched, according to Refinery29, were:

  1. How do I finally get rid of my acne?
  2. How do I get rid of stretch marks?
  3. How often should I wash my hair?
  4. What is BB cream?
  5. How do I clean my makeup brushes?
  6. How can I get rid of those bags under my eyes?
  7. How can I minimize my pores?
  8. How do I apply foundation?
  9. What are freckles?
  10. How do I shape my eyebrows?

What are your web highlights of 2014? Share with us here.

September 17, 2015

5 Steps To Living Life Like A Celebrity

Celebrities live an envious lifestyle that makes us all feel just a little bit bitter when we have to stand under a shady looking shelter waiting for a bus that may never show whilst the likes of Katy Perry and One Direction are being escorted to their destinations in private planes, helicopters and glamourous limousines. Wouldn’t life be easier if we were all rich and famous? Here are five simple steps that will have you feeling like a true celebrity in no time.

1. Get the look

Celebs always look flawless. They may have a team of beauty professionals on stand by but you can easily achieve the same look without all the extra fuss. Take a picture of your favourite hairstyle to the salon and don’t be afraid to ask the hairdresser for their opinion as they are likely to know what will suit you best. For the ladies, makeup can be a real life saver, especially on those bad skin days. You don’t have to wear thick layers of it to look like a celebrity, just a small amount is enough. Choose a shade of foundation that matches your natural skin tone and a subtle ‘smoky eye’ look is ideal and often sported by celebrities such as Cheryl Cole.

2. Shop till you drop

Fashion idols such as Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian all have one thing in common – they know how to shop. You don’t need to spend a fortune and you can even find some great bargains online or on the high-street. For the latest designer trends though, you may need to take out a quick loan from Car Cash Point but hey, it will all be worth it when you get a call from Vogue and they want you to feature on their next cover (that might be a slight exaggeration but there’s no reason why you can’t dress like a model in a glossy fashion magazine)!

3. Be confident

Confidence can make a huge difference to someone’s persona. Cosmopolitan says that ‘a smile conveys confidence’, which means that the more you smile, the more confidence you will radiate to others. By smiling a lot, you can even trick your brain into thinking that you’re happy so why not give it a shot?

4. Showcase your talent

Celebs are all famous for one reason or another and usually this is down to a particular talent or skill. Dolly Parton is famous for her country singing, David Beckham for his talent on the football field and Kim Kardashian is famous for her… um, well, you know. The point is, find your talent and showcase it. Enter competitions, get your name out there and you could be gracing the O2 Arena and signing autographs by next month.

5. Live it up

Celebs are always living it up at expensive restaurants, extravagant hotels and on exotic islands. According to Huffington Post, John Waters (the filmmaker) insisted that ‘wanting to be famous is everyone’s unspoken desire’. This gives the impression that whether you want to admit it or not, life would be far more tolerable if you were famous. Follow suit and take a break somewhere beautiful where you can walk about in sunglasses, sip champagne and carry your tiny little dog in a massive pink handbag. Why not?

September 8, 2015

How Important Is Likeability For Career Progression?

If you’ve ever watched even a little bit of a certain reality TV show, you’ll be familiar with the over-used term ‘likeability’ factor. Being likeable certainly helps when it comes to pulling in public votes and making it through to the next round of a competition, but how important is likeability in terms of career progression? Do you have to be liked to be successful?

In the early stages of a career, it can be crucial. When you’re on the lower rungs of the ladder, the bottom line is that you need to be liked, in some capacity, to land a job in the first place. “Also known in the industry as ‘cultural fit’, likeability is a reason many candidates don’t make the final cut,” states this article in US News.

“The interviewers either didn’t like them or didn’t believe they would mesh well with current employees.”

That’s an important point. It’s not just about your manager liking you; it’s the judgement call the manager makes on whether you’ll fit in with the existing team. You don’t have to be the most likeable person in the world, but you do have to be personable, to a degree, and demonstrate the kind of attitude which will make you a trusted and reliable team member. The wrong personality and a projection of that onto colleagues could mark you out as being difficult to manage and therefore limit future opportunities.

As you progress through your career – hopefully in an upward trajectory – and begin to take on more senior positions and management roles, the requirements begin to shift a little. If you’re at the stage in your life where you are in the market for COO jobs, for example, do you need to be likeable? In the role of Chief Operating Officer, typically answerable only to the chief executive, does one need to be liked?

This article believes so. It makes the link between being likeable and developing charisma, which is a very desirable quality in the workplace. It asks, ‘Have you ever worked with a very charismatic leader? If so, then it’s likely that almost everyone in the organisation liked, trusted and admired this person.’ Being likeable is a personality trait which extends easily into other important qualities.

That sentiment is echoed in a recent piece by Forbes, which extolled the benefits of possessing an attractive attitude. Is that the same thing as being likeable? In a way, yes. Channelled in the right way, likeability can command respect and help to inspire others. It certainly help in establishing a great rapport with colleagues and staff; it can make people want to work with you, and for you. It can increase loyalty and performance.

In senior positions, being likeable is not enough to success on its own, of course. It’s often asked whether it’s more important to be liked or respected; a healthy amount of both is ideal. There will be a time when difficult decisions need to be made, sometimes the very worst of decisions – dismissing a member of staff – and being liked will stand for little then.

In short, likeability is a desirable quality but only one of several required to be an effective leader in significant management roles.

August 31, 2015

10 Chemicals To Avoid In Your Skincare Regime

The UK cosmetics industry is worth an estimated £4.5 billion but an article in the Daily Mail shows that added toxic ingredients present in some forms of make up can cause danger. Although the UK Government regulates these products there are always loopholes that can be exploited. Here are ten chemicals and products to avoid.

1. Dying your hair

Latex Gloves from Brosch Direct are an excellent way to protect your hands when using hair dyes and other chemicals, but they don’t stop your scalp from being damaged during the dying process. Although hair products have changed drastically over the years there are still certain compounds such as coal-tar, which can cause bladder cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

2. Aluminium pigments

Most skin care products are safe; mascara, eye shadow and eye pencils all contain aluminium powder, which can lead to neurotoxicity and cancer. There is a misconception that high cost and quality products are safe but these products are just as dangerous as their cheaper counterparts.

3. Sunscreens and vitamin A

Half of all sunscreens on the market contain an ingredient known as retinyl palmitate, or vitamin A palmitate. This chemical should not be put onto skin if you are going to be in direct sunlight, it is used in many night creams due to the fact that you can’t use it in daylight. If you use a sunscreen with this additive you can develop tumours.

4. Perfumes and fragrances

Any product that has the word fragrant on the advertising is probably not going to be good for your skin. Some alcohols used in the manufacture of perfumes have been known to cause hormone disruption and allergic reactions.

5. Propylene glycol

This clear odourless, tasteless liquid is used in food and cosmetics and is classed as safe, but it can cause brain, liver and kidney disorders if used incorrectly or regularly. When used in the chemical industry as revealed on the mindbodygreen website it is treated with great care by the people working with it.

6. Benzoyl peroxides and acne

Acne can be a horrendous problem for the young and old but most creams contain the chemical benzoyl peroxide which can cause cancers and also become a skin irritant.

7. Teeth cleaning

Brushing your teeth twice a day or maybe more should be a safe process but the toothpaste itself contains a chemical called triclosan which is linked to cancer cell growth and can cause damage to the gums and premature births if used long term.

8. Hair straightening

Some people prefer straight hair others curly; if you are using chemical hair straightening products you may not realise the damage you are doing to your hair and also your body. These products contain keratin which can cause nerve, chest pain and rashes.

9. Green isn’t always safe

Some so-called green products can still contain harmful chemicals such as chlorphenesin and neurotoxin. When buying cosmetics even reading the label won’t give you all the information you need. Some chemicals are left out.

10. Anti-perspirants

All of us use some form of anti-perspirant and don’t realise the possible dangers of the aluminium salts that are present which can cause of breast cancer and skin irritation.

August 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday: How To Change Your Look In An Instant

Expert hairstylist James Nicholson says clip-in fringes are a great way to change your look in an instant, without opting for the chop. Whether you’re after a blunt, choppy or side-swept fringe a clip-in fringe is your safest option. Plus it’s a great way to see if it’s a look you’d like to go for on a more permanent basis.

Here is his simple and quick step-by-step guide to get the look:

1. Wash and blow-dry your hair as normal

2. Section the first two inches of your hair from the middle of each of your brows and pin it back tightly at the crown (use hair pins that are the same colour as your hair). Also, for women with really fine hair you may want to back-comb the roots slightly to give you a solid foundation.

3. Apply the hairpiece by clipping in the centre clip first, then pull the hairpiece tightly across the forehead and snap shut the clip, repeat on the other side.

4. Release the hair from the crown and let the hair fall into its natural parting. Then style as usual, as the hairpieces are made from 100% human hair, you can apply products and heat style the fringe.

Throwback Thursday: How To Change Your Look In An Instant

 

Products

Gliders Bobby Pins 36pc; RRP $2.95

Available at thebeautyoffice.com.au

Headlines Hairpieces Clip in Fringe; RRP $79.20

Available at headlineshairpieces.com.au

August 27, 2015

Weight Loss Tips For Yummy Mummies

Are you just starting out on your weight loss journey; or have you been trying without much success? Rhian Allen, founder of health and fitness website for mums healthymummy.com, gives her eight tips on what you can do to help start seeing results sooner – all based around healthy eating and exercise: 

Switch to wholegrain everything

At first, this might seem difficult and you might meet with some resistance from family members but you and they will get used to it. That means no more white flour, white bread, white pasta, white rice, all of these are available in wholemeal or wholegrain options. You could also try switching out things like pasta and rice for other options like cous cous or quinoa (you can even get wholemeal cous cous).

Reduce your added sugar intake

Added sugar is a sneaky one and you will find that it’s in so many foods. Instead of trying to cut it out completely it’s a good idea just to reduce it as much as possible. For example, you could switch a low fat strawberry yoghurt for some natural or Greek yoghurt with fresh berries added. Also, avoid keeping sugary foods in your house or make healthy alternatives with The Healthy Mummy’s low fat baking recipes.

Watch out for bad fats

While it’s important to consume good fats from sources such as fish, olive oil, avocado and nuts, it’s also key to reduce or avoid bad fats. Bad fats found in deep fried foods, commercial cakes, chips, chocolate bars, donuts, pastries etc. These are the fats that can hinder your weight loss, make you feel lethargic, and make it hard to keep your skin looking fresh. 

Get moving everyday

If you really want to crank up your results, add some exercise along with your good nutrition – you will see a big difference in your body and fitness levels. You could try a daily walk, a couple of segments from The Healthy Mummy Exercise DVD, a regular swimming session or fitness class, cycling, yoga or pilates. Basically anything that gets your heart pumping and helps you break a sweat is a good thing.

Reduce your alcohol consumption

Alcohol gives you additional calories in your day with no nutritional benefit whatsoever, so it’s an easy one to reduce your consumption to quickly reduce your total calorie intake. Keep alcohol for the weekends or special occasions.

Don’t skip meals and snacks

Your metabolism is responsible for helping you to lose weight, and it’s important that it’s fired up and kept busy throughout the day with healthy meals and snacks at regular intervals. We recommend 3 main meals and 2-3 healthy snacks per day in order to lose weight.

Cut down on bread

If you find that you are having two slices of toast at breakfast and a sandwich for lunch, you could end up eating almost 30 slices of bread per week. While we don’t suggest cutting bread out entirely, it’s a good idea to reduce your consumption if you are trying to lose pregnancy weight. Or replace traditional bread with wholegrain!

Keep healthy convenient foods on hand

Make life easy by keeping healthy convenient foods on hand so that you can easily pull a meal together. For instance eggs, tinned tomatoes, cous cous, bags of salad leaves, tinned chickpeas or kidney beans, tinned tuna, portions of frozen cooked brown rice that you can defrost in the microwave.

The Healthy Mummy’s next online 28 Day Winter Weight Loss Program starts soon, with sign up on June 1.

August 23, 2015

Get Her Look: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Being a stunning siren like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is only a few beauty tips away… Okay, maybe you won’t look exactly like RHW but you can recreate this gorgeous look with a few simple steps and the right tools.

Skin:

Rosie’s skin was prepped with ModelCo Face Base Skin Primer to create a flawless, no-budge canvas. After waiting 30 seconds for it to set, Fluid Splash 3 in 1 Foundation (No. 6) was blended all over for a dewy, even coverage. 

Cheeks:

ModelCo’s Bronze Pressed Powder (Matte) was used under her cheekbones and along the top of her forehead. The matte formula worked to create shadow and accentuate Rosie’s angles, as well as give her a flawless glow.

Eyes:

For a smokey eye,  ModelCo’s Eye Shadow Trio (Moroccan Spice) was applied. We layered Maldives and St Barts shades, before applying the chocolate brown Jamaica shade both on the lids and under the eyes, concentrating on sweeping the colour outwards for a more dramatic, feline look. The look was finished by brightening her eyes with a hint of gold Maldives in the inner corners.

ModelCo’s Gel Eyeliner is a must applied to the upper lash line to give the smokey eye definition and we used ModelCo Colourbox Eye Pencil (Black) along the lower lashes to balance the look.

Rosie’s lashes were curled using ModelCo’s Turbo Lashwand Heated Eyelash Curler followed with many coats of Huntington-Whiteley’s favourite ModelCo Fat Lash Volumising Mascara, a buildable formula that creates thick, luscious lashes.

“I am a huge fan of ModelCo Fat Lash. It’s great for thickening the lashes and adding lots of volume” – Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Lips:

To create a glamorous, lacquered pout first use ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick (Red Velvet) and then layer with ModelCo Shine Ultra Lip Gloss (Showgirl Red).

“My all-time favourite lipstick colour – red. I feel sexy and empowered when I’m wearing red. ModelCo’s Red Velvet is a great choice”– Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Image credit: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for ModelCo Cosmetics

August 20, 2015

Getaways Trump Jewellery In The Gift Stakes

Forget the old saying ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ when it comes to meaningful gifts – a recent survey has revealed that what Australians really want is a surprise, spontaneous trip away.

Booking.com revealed that a “surprise trip away” tops the list of most meaningful gifts (54 per cent), followed by a night out at a fancy restaurant (16 per cent). Just 8 per cent of participants listed jewellery or a watch as their most sought-after gift.

Three out of four people (76 per cent) said a spontaneous trip would put the romance back in to their relationship, with nearly three quarters of female (74 per cent) and 60 per cent of male respondents saying they wished their partner would plan a surprise getaway for no reason.

However, with a whopping 80 per cent of respondents agreeing that spontaneous travel boosts their happiness levels and makes them feel excited (74 per cent), what stops us from making those last minute holiday plans? Pepijn Rijvers from Booking.com said: “We know that our customers want to be able to enjoy a quick getaway without the preamble of a laborious booking process. In fact, more than 50 percent of bookings globally are made within 48 hours of travel, which is why we created the Booking Now app… The perfect room is just two taps away, so with this kind of technology at your fingertips there’s no better time to book a spontaneous trip.”

With over 690,000 accommodations available at the tap of a button via the Booking Now app, you can easily surprise your loved one with a spontaneous break whenever the moment takes you.

July 24, 2015

The Science Behind Addiction And How You Can Kick It

Mark Twain said that quitting an addiction to tobacco was easy; he had done it often. But what is an addiction? According to Psychology Today, an accepted definition for an addiction is: ‘a condition that results when a person ingests a substance or engages in an activity that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities.’

We intuitively know what an addiction is; when a behaviour becomes an addiction is more problematic. Is someone watching television for eight hours a day an addiction? Do two cigarettes a day constitute an addiction? Is gambling £10 a day an addiction?

Quite what causes a treat to lapse into an addiction is open to debate. Addictions such as smoking and drug abuse will arise as some form of biological alteration, where the brain and body decides that it likes a certain chemical and wants more. When an attractive and pleasurable behaviour occurs in the animal brain the neurotransmitter dopamine is released into the system, but the brain can grow to desire more, and the initial hit is not enough – combine that with cues around us such as availability and advertising, and the hit becomes irresistible.

Other addictions may be generated by one’s life situation or state of mind. Behaviours such as polishing off pints of alcohol, placing £100 on Arsenal to win, and purchasing wigs do not seem rational or even comparable, but each may counteract a feeling of emotional stress. That stress might be counteracted by one behaviour, or many; a highly-addictive personality might swap between an uncontrollable need for alcohol or drugs, simply because they must quell the needy parts of their behaviour.

This substitution method at least gives an option for the person desperate to kick a habit. Smokers worldwide, for example, have tried many methods of breaking their addiction such as gums and nicotine patches, with varying results. E-cigarettes however not only recreate the addictive chemical element of nicotine, but also the physical actions of lifting a tool to the mouth and drawing.

It is perhaps no surprise then that sales of patches and gum fell by 3% last year, dropping for the first time since 2008. Meanwhile vaping device sales grew by 75%, thanks to the efforts of scientifically astute companies such as EL-Science, creating an alternative to traditional smoking that’s fun, funky and a viable alternative to smoking.

According to journalist Johann Hari, who has researched drug addiction across the globe, a combination of cues and an unhappy, deprived lifestyle can often be the impetus behind an addiction. His theory, revealed in the Huffington Post, was partially based on experiments on rats that had developed an addiction to drugged water before being placed in more pleasant conditions and subsequently kicking their habits.

Combine that with worldwide evidence that seems to suggest placing people in recuperative, replenishing and pleasant environments to conquer their demons, as opposed to punishing them, and the likelihood of success is higher. Much like prisoners, removing negative cues and giving a sufferer a desire to achieve, and more than anything, human connections, seems to work.

July 16, 2015

What Mothers Need to Know About First Aid

First aid, even at the most basic level, is a skill everyone should be required to learn. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re in the workplace or not – first aid is something that can be applied anywhere at any time, as a mother or father of your child, a friend, a sibling, a stranger or a work colleague.

There is nothing worse than feeling helpless and stressed in a situation, that otherwise could’ve been avoided. What do you do when someone needs first aid and your skills are the difference between helping to ease the pain or outcome waiting for an ambulance, to the possibility of it all going terribly wrong?

First aid and the knowledge and skills you learn provide you with lifesaving tools that are simply irreplaceable. It also gives you the confidence and calmness to attend to an emergency situation, provide help and keep someone you love safe and comfortable. Thinking about getting your first aid qualifications? Here’s everything you need to know.

1. Senior First Aid is now Provide First Aid

Previously, the workplace approved first aid course was called Senior First Aid. These days however, with some slight changes in place the first aid approval is now issued to the Registered Training Organisations (RTO) and titled Provide First Aid (HLTAID003). Provide First Aid, also referred to as level 2 covers all aspects of training in ‘Provide Basic Emergency Life Support’, as well as specialised training for the treatment of additional emergency incidents.

2. Senior First Aid is the standard requirement in most workplaces

Employers have a legal duty to keep their staff and work environment safe. Whilst the standard requirements for senior first aid vary between workplaces and states, all businesses should be first aid compliant to establish a safe duty of care. In Western Australia, the standard office workplace should have at least one staff member qualified to perform level 2 first aid to meet the WA Worksafe requirement as outlined in the Code of Practice.

The Compliance Code for First Aid in the workplace offers employers two options on how to comply. Option one, the prescribed approach; includes the number of first aid officers and their required duties and training, and how many first aid kits should be made available. This approach is suggested for workplaces with 10 or more staff members, or for high risk jobs with less than 10 employees. Low risk workplaces should have one senior first aid officer for 10-50 workers and two for 51 – 100.

The second option to comply with the Act is the risk assessment approach. This involves assessing the workplace and the hazards involved, and making the appropriate decision as to what first aid requirements are needed. The minimal acceptable level of training for workplace first aid is the senior first aid certificate (also referred to as level 2 first aid qualification or provide first aid).

3. Basic First Aid will teach you 3 essential criteria

Learning basic first aid techniques is the best way to help you cope with an emergency – whether it be in the workplace, or the comfort of your own home. It can help to keep a person breathing until an ambulance arrives, keep them comfortable by reducing pain and minimises the consequences of the injury worsening.

Basic first aid (provide cardio resuscitation) teaches you to:

  • Respond to an emergency situation by recognising the condition, assessing the casualty and seeking assistance from emergency response services
  • Perform CPR procedures in accordance with Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) guidelines, display respectful behaviour to the casualty and operate an automated external defibrillator (AED) should it be required
  • Communicate the details of the incident and what was done to help to workplace supervisor and emergency response team

4. Senior First Aid will teach you 4 essential criteria

The differences between basic first aid and senior first aid, is basic first aid is about providing CPR in an emergency situation. Senior first aid will teach you this, as well as prepare you for other possible life threatening situations like poisonous bites, airway management, seizures and bleeding.

Senior first aid (provide first aid) teaches you to:

  • Recognise and respond to an emergency situation
  • Apply appropriate first aid procedures including CPR and AED, shock management, airway management (asthma, chocking, severe allergic reactions and hyperventilation), cardiac emergencies, bleeding and wound care, bites and stings, seizures and convulsions, burns, extreme heat and cold, toxic substances, muscle injuries and abdominal injuries
  • Communicate the details of the incident and what was done to help to workplace supervisor and emergency response team
  • Evaluate the incident and own performance

5. Basic First Aid is a one-day course, Senior First Aid can be two

In order to be qualified in basic first aid, you’ll be required to complete a one day course. This will primarily cover life-threatening emergencies that can occur in the workplace, home or public and prepare you for a risk assessment and to perform CPR.

To complete a senior first aid course, this can be done as a one day or extended over two – depending on where you go. On successful competition, you will be issued with a nationally recognised Statement of Attainment that will show you’re qualified to perform the four sections mentioned above.

It’s important though, regardless of which first aid qualifications you get, that you refresh your qualifications as needed. Basic first aid should be refreshed every 12 months, whilst senior first aid (provide first aid) is every 3 years. This will ensure you’re up-to-date with any course changes, and remain confident and qualified to perform the tasks at hand.

By Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Training Course Experts – offering highly qualified senior first aid and refresher courses by an experienced team in Perth. You can catch her on Google+.

 

July 15, 2015

Ward Off Winter With This Simple Ingredient

While ginger may be a kitchen staple for its distinct flavour, it’s also an indispensable rhizome that helps to bolster the body’s immunity and support digestion – particularly during the cooler months.

“It’s that time of year when there is less moisture in the air, so we start to experience symptoms of dryness – cracked lips, constipation, dry skin, dandruff and coughs,” says herbalist, naturopath and Lifestream wholefoods ambassador, Janella Purcell. “Ginger is a pungent flavour that has a great effect on the lungs and helps to reduce inflammation.”

But what is the best way to get the most from this often-used, potent herb? While the root in its natural form is undoubtedly beneficial, there are also convenient ways to take ginger to get the most from its warming, circulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.

As peeled ginger loses a lot of its essential oil content, extracts and dried ginger are produced from the dried and unpeeled root or rhizome, which is considered to be the most useful part of this perennial herb,” Purcell says. “I’m often busy and I travel a lot, so taking Lifestream wholefoods’ Ginger Syrup or Bioactive Ginger capsules are my winter essentials.”

Janella on the benefit of ginger

“Ginger is an ancient Chinese herb with a 2500-year-old reputation as a herbal remedy. It contains many phytochemicals that help the lungs function more effectively,” she says.

Supports the body’s detoxification

Ginger promotes your respiratory health by helping to eliminate air pollutants, tobacco smoke and perfumes out of the air passages. It also relieves congestion, as well as improves circulation to the lungs, thus reducing the severity of many chronic lung-diseases such as bronchitis.

Recommended for asthma patients

Asthma is a long-term disease that is characterised by the inflammation of the air passages of your lungs. Ginger helps control this inflammation so you feel and breathe better.

Keeps us warm, keeps us moving

 In the cooler months our bodies turn inwards and processes can slow down. Ginger warms the circulation and is particularly good for chilly hands and feet along with promoting movement to the joints, digestion, and circulation.

Relieves nausea

Ginger is also a traditional herb to relieve symptoms of nausea and motion sickness, including during pregnancy and travel. Carrying ginger capsules is an essential travel companion for those susceptible to motion sickness.

Top ways to add ginger to your day

  1. Add Lifestream ginger syrup to a green smoothie with a dash of honey. Ginger shifts that cooling green smoothie into a winter warmer
  2. Mix warm water, ginger syrup and a teaspoon of honey to make a delicious, immune-boosting cuppa (try Janella’s Healthy Moscow Mule recipe below)
  3. Take two capsules of Lifestream ginger half an hour before departure and one or two more again if necessary during travel for nausea
  4. Take two capsules an hour before pregnancy nausea tends to take hold
  5. One to three capsules daily acts as an immune, digestive and circulatory tonic

ginger, sickness, health, wellness, remedies

July 14, 2015

Tomorrow Will Be The Least Romantic Day Of The Year

The eHarmony Dating Index is forecasting some of the lowest levels of dating activity this year, with the least romantic day of the year predicted to fall on Wednesday, July 15.

The eHarmony Dating Index measured interest in dating from 2012-2014 using Google search data for relevant terms like ‘date venues’, social media mentions of phrases like ‘date tonight’, and traffic to eHarmony.com.au, to plot daily interest in dating on a scale of 0 to 100.

Over the past three years, the third Wednesday of July has averaged 35 points on the Index, 15 per cent below the average daily score of 41 and 56 per cent lower than Valentine’s Day – the most romantic day of the year which sees an average score of 80. More peaks are usually seen around Christmas and the summer season.

As for a typical week, the Index shows Saturday as the most romantic day, and Wednesday the least romantic.

With eastern Australia in the midst of a cold front, this July looks to be no exception to the typically unromantic period. Studies commissioned by eHarmony show that 46 per cent of local members and 61 per cent of Australians find it challenging to plan exciting dates during winter, and a further 1 in 4 Aussies say their dating frequency won’t rise until the mercury does.

eHarmony dating and relationship expert, Melanie Schilling, says: “While our energy levels are lower during the cold weather, winter is full of opportunities for romance with the intimacy that comes with cosy winter dates! We can’t beat Mother Nature but we can change our dating mindset to not let the weather be a barrier, otherwise we risk missing good opportunities to meet potential partners.”

July 14, 2015

Tap Dance Your Way To Health And Fitness

Shuffle aside Zumba, the world’s first tap dancing fitness fusion has arrived and is set to take the world by storm. The brainchild of Australian sisters Annie, Fiona, Rachel and Katherine Johnson, TAPfit is a first- to-market exercise program using patented technology, which promises a total workout for both the mind and body.

Former Australian tap dancing representatives, the Johnson sisters have dedicated the past three years to crafting the program alongside a team of medical, diet and exercise professionals. Inspiration for the fitness device first struck when they observed remarkable results while teaching a little girl with cerebral palsy how to tap dance.

dance, tap dance, health, fitness, health craze, fitness fad

“No other dance schools would take Breanna as a student, so we offered to run personal lessons as a fun alternative to therapy, and work towards improving her muscle strength and coordination,” Fiona said.

“Breanna’s family and physiotherapist couldn’t believe that within just 6 months of starting lessons, she was able to ride a bike for the first time without training wheels.

“We’re thrilled to hear Breanna has made great progress with her coordination, balance and self-confidence, and is now actively involved in school musicals and excelling in sport, particularly athletics where she is now Queensland Champion for the 100m sprint in her division.”

Armed with this anecdotal evidence, Fiona and her siblings approached Professor Meg Morris from La Trobe University who had previously conducted studies on the benefits of tango and Irish dancing for Parkinson’s patients. From these studies, researchers gleaned that rhythmical dancing could have positive effects on walking speed, balance, motor impairment and endurance after attending just 2 classes per week for 10 weeks.

In a first-of-its kind trial, researchers at La Trobe University have recently explored the correlation between tap dancing and improved motor performance, life quality and wellbeing in individuals of varying movement abilities, with findings due to be released later this year.

“The tap dancing studies are really exciting because it’s the first time we have been able to observe and measure the therapeutic benefits of this dance genre. We are only just beginning to understand the intricacies of the human brain and studying the way in which the brain controls dancing tells us a great deal about how we acquire motor skills,” Professor Morris said.

“By extending our existing body of work on movement dynamics, we will gain a better understanding of how people with disability can transform their mobility whilst enjoying the experience!”

The TAPfit prototype has received high accolades from an international audience, with the sisters being recognised within the Top 5 inventors globally at the 2013Electronic Retailers Association Convention in the USA.

TAPfit has launched in Australia, and is due to launch in the USA and Canada within the next 6 months.

The Johnson sisters share their top five tips for enhanced physical and mental health and wellbeing:

  1. Move everyday

Only 10 minutes of moderate exercise can speed up your metabolism for an hour or longer. With many of us leading sedentary lifestyles, it is important to be as active as possible throughout the day. If you struggle to find the time for a more structured workout, try parking your car further from your destination and walking, take the stairs instead of the lift or squeeze in a few squats before bed. Incremental physical activity can make a big difference! One more thing – exercise shouldn’t be tedious. Choose a fitness style that you love and you will be more likely to stick to a regime and get the results you desire.

  1. Nourish your body with whole foods

Eating foods that are closest to their natural state means that we are fuelling our bodies with essential nutrients that cannot be obtained through packaged or processed foods. Wholefoods offer a rich source of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, fibre and antioxidants to keep your immune system strong and reduce the risk of disease. Increase your intake of wholefoods by incorporating more fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, fish, poultry and red meat into your diet. You are sure to find a bounty of wholefoods at your local farmer’s market, fresh-food aisle at the supermarket or health-food store.

  1. Learn a new skill

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. As with other parts of your body, it is important to also keep your mind active by learning a new skill or taking up a hobby. When you engage in unfamiliar activities you can stimulate your brain, sharpen your thinking, reduce mental fatigue and improve memory. Mind training isn’t limited to crossword puzzles and trivia questions – there are plenty of much more entertaining options like photography, art, dance, sewing or music classes.

  1. Take time out

It is important to factor a bit of ‘me time’ into each day and treat yourself to regular breaks. Just 30 minutes of relaxation a day can provide myriad benefits for physical and mental wellbeing, such as reduced stress and anxiety, decreased blood pressure, and enhanced mood and concentration. Don’t feel guilty about letting people know that you don’t want to be disturbed. Switch off technology, listen to music, read a book, watch a film, meditate, have a warm bath or practice deep breathing – whatever works to help you unwind!

  1. Dance like nobody’s watching

Aerobic dance programs such as TAPfit are a fabulous form of self-expression and a fun way to keep fit. There are so many different styles of dance to try – from traditional ballet, ballroom and tap, to contemporary hip-hop, belly dancing and pole dancing. No matter your age or whether you prefer to dance solo, with a partner or in a group setting, you can reap the health benefits of dance and improve your strength, fitness, coordination, flexibility, confidence and self-esteem.

For more information or to purchase TAPfit, visit tapfit.com

July 11, 2015

TGIF Chamomile Margarita Recipe

This Friday afternoon indulgence is perfect as a pick-me-up and calm-me-down all at the same time. Tea lovers will be especially fond of it!

Ingredients

4 chamomile tea bags

1 cup caster sugar

1 cup water

Juice of 1 lemon

1 ½ shots Tequila Blu

45ml chamomile simple syrup (mix of equal parts sugar and chamomile tea)

You will also need

½ cup salt (to rim glasses)

1 lemon cut into wedges (to garnish)

Method

  1. To make chamomile simple syrup: Mix 1 part sugar and 1 part water in a saucepan over the stove to melt sugar. Once boiled, remove mixture from heat and add 4 chamomile tea bags. Leave these in for approx. 30 mins for tea to steep before refrigerating.
  2.  Rim cocktail glasses in salt by placing salt on a shallow plate, moistening the rim of each glass and dipping in salt.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until liquid is chilled. Strain into each glass, decorate with fresh lemon wedges and enjoy!
July 10, 2015

5 EOFY Gifts For Staff Or Clients To Show Your Appreciation

Both employees and clients play a big part of your business success story, so occasional rewards to show your appreciation should be a priority. Celebrating the end of the financial year is the perfect opportunity to sit back and look at the hard work your staff have done, and also thank your clients for their work.

Most workplaces will organise some sort of EOFY party – whether it’s just for the staff or for the clients too. But regardless of what your workplace policy is, it’s nice to at least treat valued staff and clients with a small token of appreciation, a gift to say ‘thanks’. It makes your employees feel appreciated (and gets them continuing the good work too!), and it shows your clients mean a lot to your business. EOFY gifts don’t have to cost a fortune or be something huge, just a simple token of gratitude that fits into your business budget, values and the needs of your employees and clients. Here’s a few corporate gift ideas to get your started.

1. Corporate hampers

Corporate hampers are the best no-fail work gift. Suitable for employees, clients or the big BIG boss, they can be tailored to suit absolutely anybody. It can filled with edible treats, a few much-needed drinks after a busy start to the year or just something simple you know they will love. Gift hampers are perfect for both scenarios – knowing everything about the person and what they are into, to not really having a clue but needing a gift that’s nice anyway!

If you want to be really cleaver, you can choose a corporate gift hamper that incorporates their favourite hobbies – maybe they’re a sports enthusiast, a part-time baker or a garden lover. For clients, you can use hampers as a great marketing tool too, and implement some branded coffee mugs or office items they’ll be sure to use. Whatever you decide, there’s enough corporate hamper options out there to suit practically every budget and individual person.

2. Branded goodies

With the oodles of options of branded goodies you can create these days, it’s so easy to find a corporate gift that can wow both your employees and your clients. Last year, we gave our clients branded mini speakers that connect up to your phone or IPod and they were an absolute hit with clients using them on boat trips and family BBQs – all the staff were wanting some too. Branded gifts don’t have to just be a way to ‘sell’ your business, you can make them into some really cool and useful ideas that staff and clients will be using (and talking about!) for years to come.

You can be as creative as you want with branded goodies. Don’t just think inside the ‘office desk’ box, find something they can use with the whole family, at home or out indulging in the favourite hobbies. This way, it creates an element of fun for the gift too. Don’t go over the top with branding too, a simple logo and if relevant company slogan can go a long way.

3. Terrarium craze

There’s a terrarium craze that’s hit Perth (and all of Australia!) and it’s brightening up every office space, complementing home décor and just ‘hanging around’ in outdoor settings. Filled with your very own succulent garden, they are very easy to look after and are a great gift for any employee or client that loves a little lush green in their environment.

With a variety of different designs to choose from, you can purchase terrariums that are basic and beautiful, to stylish glass cubes that take on a very modern design. Terrariums don’t need much water or maintenance so they make for an easy excuse to transform dull office desks and can be filled with succulents, small flowers, ferns and decorations to suit every taste.

4. Corporate wine basket

Considering EOFY is about celebrating a good start to the year, it would make sense to involve a little wine or beer in the gift. Corporate wine baskets are like a gift hamper – but with wine and tasty goodies that go well with it. There’s gourmet ones to choose from and like with regular hampers, can be found in a variety of different price ranges to suit every business budget. Wine hampers are perfect for the female employees in the office complete with cheese treats and roasted almonds. For the blokes, you can go for something a little more manly like a beer hamper with beef jerky treats or tasty numbers to complement their next grill up.

5. Subscription gifts

If you want your business to stay on your client’s mind all year round, then subscription gifts can be a great way to do so. Like with corporate gift hampers and branded goodies, they can be tailored to suit the individual tastes of everyone.

Use subscriptions to customise gifts based on what you already know about your clients or staff. Perhaps they are always coming into the office with a café style coffee, so help them out by giving them a yearly subscription of it. If your client is always talking about their pets or is an obvious animal lover, perhaps an online pet store like BarkBox would show your appreciation too. When it comes to subscription gifts, there’s heaps of ideas out there and some can even be set out for shorter periods of time too.

But, no matter what you give your clients and staff this year – it’s the thought that counts. Not only will they feel appreciated, but it’ll bring a smile to everyone’s face which is the perfect way to celebrate the end of a busy financial year.

By Jayde Ferguson, an online blogger and copywriter who recommends the corporate gifts at Boxt.com.au for the perfect client or staff appreciation gift this end of financial year. Boxt are a leading online provider of hampers and other gift ideas and do delivery throughout Australia.

July 3, 2015

Save Money While Travelling? Yes, It’s Possible

Travelling is fun. Getting ripped off while you’re doing it is not. Luckily, with a few insider tips from Cover-More Travel Insurance’s video blogger Dan Moore, you can make the most of your time and money while you’re away, and ensure your holiday is next-level amazing.

Get appy

There are lots of great travel apps that can be really handy when overseas, and it pays to take some time before you leave to do a little research and download your faves.

Moore recommends City Maps 2Go, which uses satellite to show your location and doesn’t require the Internet to work. “Just load your map, pin your location, get lost, and navigate back to your pin.”

A currency converter app is also great to have on hand, Moore says. “It’s an easy way to get a bearing on your money conversions and make sure you don’t ripped off, especially in the first few days in a new place.”

The Cover-More Global SIM is free to activate and is prepaid for calls and data – so you can use your phone like you would at home, to everything from finding a great café to posting photos on Facebook. The SIM works in more than 100 countries and is compatible with most recent mobile phones and tablets.

Make your money work for you

Every penny saved is a penny you can spend on food, shoes or more travel. Moore suggests not carrying too much cash on you. “It’s safer in the bank, and you won’t spend all your time worrying about losing it,” he says.

“Get a travel card (most Aussie banks provide them). This way you have minimal to no fees as it adds the local currency to your card, and you can earn frequent flyer points at the same time.”

Look for accommodation using booking.com, hostelworld.com or quickbeds.com or something similar. “These sites give amazing discounts on rates, and best of all you can usually cancel within 24 hours with no fee,” Moore says.

Avoid booking transfers to and from the airport. “Transfers can sometimes be up to twice as much as the cost of a standard taxi. In Bangkok, you can get a fast train for about 40b over a taxi that’s about 350b, and the train will get you there twice as fast.

Don’t skimp on a good backpack or bag. “This is basically your mobile home for the next few weeks, or even months, and you need it to be reliable,” Moore explains. “It’s going to get beat up and handled ‘without care’, and although having a zipper break so that your underwear sprawls out across an airport luggage conveyor belt will certainly be a memorable experience (trust me), it’s probably not worth the money for a humorous anecdote.”

Food hacks

Eating is without a doubt one of the best things about travel. Nothing beats getting a taste for the local cuisine, and street food can be some of the tastiest, and cheapest, meals you’ll find. Do be a little discerning though. “Don’t eat at the first place you come across, keep an eye out for the popular places full of locals, and research restaurants on Yelp or similar,” suggests Moore.

Also, if you’re staying at a hostel or hotel and can take advantage of the included breakfast, it’s a good idea to take a bottle of water, and a piece of fruit as you leave for the day. “Having that snack in your bag means you’ll never go hungry and you can concentrate on the fun of trying to find your way around a new city, or work out the public transport system.”

Safety first

Whatever you do, don’t take shortcuts when it comes to your health, urges Moore. “Invest in proper travel insurance, and if you have injured yourself go to a pharmacy or doctor straight away. There’s absolutely no point risking your health, or your bank balance.”

To celebrate their YouTube channel hitting 2 million views and over 1000 subscribers, Cover-More Travel Insurance, has launched the search to find the Ultimate Traveller. Record and share your video adventure for the chance to win a $10,000 travel adventure… There are also GoPro Hero4 and GoPro Hero3+ cameras up for grabs. http://competition.covermore.com.au

July 1, 2015

Could Meditation Be Bad For You?

While meditation Experts state that even a couple of minutes of meditation a day can do wonders for our brain functioning, sleep patterns and stress levels, recent reports have challenged this and highlighted the potential dangers of meditation. Some experts suggest that meditation can actually take us too far into the recesses of our minds and do more harm than good in the process. However, one of Australia’s leading meditation experts and clinical psychologist, Dr Paula Watkins, argues that these occurrences are rare and that for most people, regular meditation is a safe practice that everyone can benefit from, when practiced correctly.

“Meditation helps to give us access to parts of the mind we may not have regular contact with.  The theory is that in doing so, some people may become overwhelmed with feelings of depression and anxiety as a result,” says Paula.  “Research shows that even the smallest amounts of regular meditation can result in significant benefits to a person’s wellbeing, but it is still crucial to recognise that no one form of meditation works equally well for everyone.”

“Individual circumstances and personality must be considered to determine whether a certain style will be positive for that individual,” she says. “It’s also vital that we have realistic expectations about what meditation can bring to our lives.  It isn’t an instant panacea for everything that’s going wrong, but rather a way that we can better explore our minds, our feelings and our true selves.”

Scientifically proven and backed by years of research, Paula has shared the five things people should be aware of when meditating, in order to develop a safe practice that can be enjoyed for years to come:

Meditation doesn’t cure all

“Traditionally, meditation was used for spiritual development and considered a tool for deepening your perception of yourself and the world. Now, it is often called upon as a remedy for all our first world woes,” says Paula. She suggests that the key is to always be aware that the practice is not a cure to all our problems. “We need to be realistic. Meditation will not somehow eradicate negative thinking or problems from our lives. But research shows that it can help us change the relationship we have with our own thoughts and with the experiences of our daily life so that we are less reactive and resistant to them. We no longer enter into such a battle with reality” says Dr Paula.

Beware of intensive retreats

“When meditating, you are tuned into your physical, mental and emotional senses, and so you may start to release all sorts of pent up issues,” says Dr Paula. “People who visit intensive meditation retreats after years of blocked and suppressed emotions can sometimes experience a rude awakening. It’s crucial to know that meditation on these intensives is not all bliss. It can be kind of like a psychological boot camp. Proper guidance is crucial here. It’s also important that you research the technique and the teacher first to explore whether that particular retreat is likely to be a good fit for you”.

Meditation is not a substitute for therapy

“Many people look to meditation as a quick and easy fix for all their problems and get confused as to how to use it correctly” says Dr Paula. “While meditation may help with certain issues, I recommend not solely relying on this if you are mentally vulnerable and in need of emotional support.” It is always important to seek help or see a therapist to address any underlying problems, and Dr Paula urges meditation teachers to be upfront and honest about this when working with their clients.

It’s not a one size fits all approach

While people often ask Dr Paula which meditation technique she thinks is best, she stresses that there is no straight up answer for this – “I recommend trying a few styles and then practicing what feels right for you,” she advises. If you have a specific purpose for meditating, then it will be much easier to make the right choice. “For example, if you’re looking to relax then choose a style that deeply soothes you. If you want to deal with negative thoughts especially – mindfulness approaches are the best practice to take.”

Meditation is not for everyone

“We’ve become increasingly aware from years of research that for some people, mindfulness can trigger anxiety, depression or flashbacks to past traumas,” Dr Paula states. As a clinical psychologist herself, she advises that although meditation can be beneficial to happiness and wellbeing, it should be performed under guidance if you are working through any emotional or mental issues.

Dr Paula has recently launched a nine week online course which offers weekly training modules that include easy-to-follow videos introducing you to the technique for the week. There is guided audio to help you practice, e-books that share the psychology and neuroscience behind the techniques and workbooks, journals and calendars to help you track your progress and stay committed to your meditation practice.

Dr Paula will also be hosting a live workshop of the course at the InYoga Studios in Surry Hills from the 9th – 30th August. For more details please visit www.inyoga.com.au/whats-on/event/calm-conscious-connected-1 Membership to Dr Paula’s Calm, Conscious and Connected course costs $199 as a one-off payment, or $55 over four instalments.  This fee provides six month access to the course, as well as the exclusive members-only forum where people can interact with Paula as well as other participants. For more information or to sign up, visit: www.calmconsciousconnected.com

June 30, 2015

How To Get More Likes On Your Holiday Snaps

Let’s be real – one of the best things about escaping frosty mornings commuting to work to jet off on holiday is the fact that we get to brag about it on social media. And with a little help from full-time traveler, photographer and Cover-More Travel Insurance’s video blogger Dan Moore, you can take the sort of envy-inducing travel pics that will see the likes rolling in quicker than you can say, ‘Another margarita by the pool, please!’

The light stuff

Make sure any light source, sun or otherwise, is coming from behind you, and experiment with flash, but try not to use it indoors as it will wash out your shot.

“Don’t be afraid to try taking shots in all different types of light,” says Moore. “Sometimes dimly lit laneways with a hidden café can be as beautiful as a beach on a bright sunny day.”

Make close-ups count

With detailed shots, as opposed to landscapes, Moore says we shouldn’t be afraid to fill our frame. “Aim for a nice, simple, and tightly cropped photo of whatever it is you’re taking a picture of, whether a person or your latest foodie find.”

“Have some fun with your photo and get creative with your composition. See what it looks like to have the main subject of the photo positioned slightly off centre – people, food, or scenery, like temples or boats on the ocean, can give you a striking shot if you get close and get a little off centre.”

Sunny side up

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t love the beauty of sunrise and sunset, and to be honest, it’s pretty hard to take a ‘bad’ photo of these magical times of day.

Moore suggests keeping an eye out for opportunities to use reflection or silhouettes to make your sunrise/set pic really stand out. “Objects, buildings and water that reflect the light can make for amazing shots.”

Water baby

If you have waterproof equipment, taking underwater snaps can be great fun and can produce some truly breathtaking shots.

Moore’s favourite time to shoot underwater is bright afternoons. “Just under the surface of a pool or the ocean is a great place to capture sunbeams, reflections, and create texture.”

“If you are feeling adventurous, head out for a surf, snorkel or kayak with your camera and don’t forget not to waste rainy days on your holiday which can also produce some amazing watery holiday snaps.”

Food porn

It wouldn’t be a holiday if you weren’t taking photos of your delicious food discoveries or beautiful cocktails by the pool.

Moore suggests thinking about the shape, texture and colour of what you’re taking a photo of, and says some dishes are going to look great when photographed from above, while others, like gorgeous cakes or drinks, will look better shot from a lower angle.

“And be quick,” Moore adds. “Grab the shot when your pho is piping hot or your granita still icy, and never underestimate the fun that can be had when posing with your food mid-scoff or slurp – it is a holiday after all!”

To celebrate their YouTube channel hitting 2 million views and over 1000 subscribers, Cover-More Travel Insurance, has launched the search to find the Ultimate Traveller. Record and share your video adventure for the chance to win a $10,000 travel adventure. There are also GoPro Hero4 and GoPro Hero3+ cameras up for grabs.

June 30, 2015

One Product Your Hairdresser Wants To Keep Secret

It’s the time of the year when everybody’s hair goes a little haywire – literally. And with in-salon hair treatments sometimes costing upwards of $100 it can be a real struggle (not to mention expensive) to get your locks in good shape again after they’ve been subjected to the hair torture devices of summer – sun, salt water and styling tools. Which is where this little celebrity secret comes in.

Blake Lively swears by it, so does Kate Hudson; even Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are singing the praises of this unexpected hair saviour and hairdresser’s worst nightmare. No matter what you’ve heard about coconut oil and its much debated health benefits, the one thing that is certain is that when it comes to hair, this stuff really does live up to the hype.  Here’s why:

Nourishment with a capital N

The N word is a favourite in the hair salon realm, along with the M word – moisterising. Luckily for your strands, coconut oil is going to do both of those things like a dream because rather than coating the surface of hair like store bought products and hair masks tend to do, the natural oil works to penetrate each strand’s cortex meaning deep nourishment and the added benefits of improved hair strength and flexibility.

Sans chemicals

At the end of the day when it comes to chemicals, your hair really is better off in the long run without them. Not only can they be harmful to your health but they can also strip hair color, leave you with a frizzy mane and drain the moisture, resulting in hair loss and breakage. All-natural oils like coconut oil are free from harsh sulphates, ethoxylated thickeners, parabens and formaldehydes, which are common nasty ingredients in salon products.

Cheap as chips (or coconuts)

Coconut oil has been used by traditional Pacific Islanders for centuries as a daily grooming routine for the hair and scalp, and do you know how much it costs them? Not a damn thing! While we can’t exactly pluck a coconut from a palm frond here in the Western world, we can stock up on inexpensive coconut oil, coating hair lengths and ends in as much of the good stuff as we like for an in-home hair treatment – minus the pricey salon trip.

For those wanting an all-round coconut hair routine, Nature Pacific has created Virgin Coconut Oil Rich Shampoo with the driest and most damaged hair in mind. The special blend, made from Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil is paired with only the most natural and nourishing ingredients to ensure the special fusion stays with Nature Pacific’s synergy of natural remedies based on thousands of years of Pacific Island tradition.

June 29, 2015

6 Inspiring Proposal Stories

There’s nothing quite like a romantic proposal story to get the heart fluttering, but what’s the best way to pop the question? Should you climb to the top of a mountain and profess your love to the world or sneak off to a quiet country retreat? Are roses and champagne essential proposal treats? And how long should you really spend perusing the different types of ring available? There’s before you confirm the finer details, here are six inspiring proposal stories to get you in the lovey-dovey mood.

Rochelle and Marvin Humes

They married back in 2012 and now have a beautiful baby girl, but ex JLS singer turned TV presenter Marvin Humes certainly pulled out all the stops to woo his then girlfriend Rochelle Williams. He whisked the Saturdays star off to the beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua where he got down on one knee and whipped out a stunning heart-shaped diamond ring, thought to be worth around £45,000.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge

The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton followed a unique and unusual proposal which took place in an isolated log cabin. That’s right; the couple were enjoying a 24-hour stop over at the Spartun Rutundu Log Cabins during their Kenyan holiday when the Prince asked his long-term girlfriend to marry him. Describing the proposal ‘romantic’ and ‘wonderful’, Kate was obviously blown away by his charm and they’re now a happy family with two small children.

Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney

What better time of the year to propose that on Valentine’s Day? Love is in the air on 14th February, which is perhaps why Lady Gaga’s long-term beau Taylor Kinney popped the question on this very day. Opening up about his engagement to the world-famous pop star, Kinney said: “It was snowing – it was beautiful” adding how he had no doubts about proposing. Now that’s true love.

Seal and Heidi Klum

They may now be divorced, but Seal and Heidi Klum’s engagement was undoubtedly inspiring. The Kiss by the Rose singer not only flew supermodel Heidi by helicopter to the Canadian Rockies but he had an igloo built there which was filled with rose petals, champagne, food, candles and even a bed with sheets. “I was ecstatic,” claims Heidi. Well, wouldn’t we all be if we were proposed to in such a way?

Christmas proposal

And it’s not just celebrities that have sensational proposals. A lady called Enid Eunice Ventura Garcia shared her story via Bridal Guide online stating:

“My fiancé proposed to me on September 26, 2012, the day before he was about to leave for the military. Since we wouldn’t be spending Christmas and New Year’s Eve together, we decided to at least put up our little Christmas tree before he left for deployment. After we put it up, he suddenly knelt in front of me, took a small box out from his pocket, opened it, and popped the question.”

Thanksgiving proposal

Thanksgiving is also a popular time for people to get engaged with Christine Lewis Gauthier sharing the following memory: “My fiancé proposed to me on Thanksgiving last year in front of my mum, my dad, my children and his children. My mum handed him the rings that my dad originally gave her when they got married over 50 years ago and she said that we had their blessing. So my fiancé called everyone into the living room while dinner was cooking, and he got down on one knee and told me he loved me and wanted me to be his wife. I cried, my daughter cried, his daughter cried, my parents were happy for us…it was awesome!”

There really is no correct way to propose but these inspirational stories should certainly give you some great ideas.

June 28, 2015

Benefits of On-The-Job Training

On-the-job training involves learning in and amongst day-to-day work and can occur in the normal working environment or via specific training with a more experienced member of staff. On-the-job training is seen as the most popular and effective form of staff training – here’s why.

The first and most obvious advantage of on-the-job training, when compared to organised distant courses is often the cost. By getting new staff started straight away, employers do not have to invest in expensive training schemes or lose new members of staff to lengthy external training courses. It is also worth noting that once the employee has completed the training there is nothing to stop them deciding to quit and not go through with their job, if they realise it is not what they expected.

In a similar way, building experience and training while working means that the employee is likely to be bringing home a wage. This is especially important when trying to join careers such as teaching which require training before further examinations. By enrolling on a scheme with organisations such as EduStaff you are able to gain key training whilst working on-the-job.

It is also certainly worth mentioning the depth of passive training you will receive while immersing yourself in the actual role and learning from your experienced colleagues. All jobs and workplaces will have a myriad of different processes and cultural nuances that you simply cannot fully understand without settling into your new team and job.

Aside from the benefits for the new employee going through the process, on-the-job training is a great way for management to demonstrate the value they place on the more experience members of staff who help with the training. Tesco often asks experienced members of staff to conduct on-the-job training for new recruits. This demonstrates the trust the organisation has in those long-serving staff members who may not be suitable for other forms of acknowledgement, including promotions or raises.

One benefit that may only be applicable for some roles is that showing new recruits the ropes, while getting them started, can act as a canny assessment technique. Training new staff in exactly what their role entails means that their ‘sink or swim’ moment naturally comes early and both the organisation and the new recruit will know if they are likely to stay on in the long-term.

So, next time you go through training yourself, or plan training for a new member of your team, consider what you would be missing out on if you were subjected to external training from a faceless corporation who know little about the culture of the company and what your new role will truly involve.

June 28, 2015

Must-Have Summer Festival Accessories

Whatever festival you’re heading to this year, it’s important that you deck yourself out with the right accessories for the occasion. However, the accessories you should be wearing can greatly differ, depending on which event you choose to attend. Here’s what to wear to the main ones:

Glastonbury

Line up: Jamie T, Kanye West, Florence and the Machine, Mary J. Blige

Taking place: 24-28 June, Somerset

Accessory required: The bum bag

If you were lucky enough to nab tickets for this year’s Glastonbury then there’s only one thing you need – a funky bumbag. Forget the negative associations that go with these great accessories, and definitely remove those memories of your Grandad donning one for the annual family day out at the beach with his tiny swim trunks, simply purchase a bright zip up version to snap around your hips.

T in the Park

Line up: Avicii, Paloma Faith, Hozier, Sam Smith

Taking place: 10-12 July, Perthshire

Accessory required: The crochet kimono

Prepare to dance and swish your kimono as you bask in the sunshine, while your favourite songs are performed by crooners such as Sam Smith, George Ezra and Paloma Faith at this year’s T in the Park festival. It’s the perfect lightweight accessory to throw over your summer dress or crop top and shorts and sites such as Blue Vanilla have lots of great styles ready for summer, over in their shop.

Lovebox

Line up: Rudimental, Jessie Ware, Ella Eyre, Hot Chip

Taking place: 17-18 July, London

Accessory required: The flower crown

This is definitely the festival that calls for flower crowns and bold eye make up, with huge dance artists hitting the stages, Lovebox was made for the music loving, wild types – head to Crown and Glory to pick up a pretty floral crown, perfect for the occasion.

Sportbeat

Line up: The Fratellis, James Arthur, De La Soul, The Skints

Taking place: 15-16th August, Gloucester

Accessory required: The legwarmers

Nothing says ‘sports theme’ like a pair of legwarmers, pulled on over your favourite Nike trainers and Sportbeat is a unique event combining the best of both worlds: music and exercise. With lower key bands such as The Fratellis and The Skints confirmed, on top of sporting events such as volleyball, rugby and netball tournaments, this is a festival that will leave you breathless.

V Fest

Line up: Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding, James Bay plus special guest Tom Jones

Taking place: 22-23 August, Essex, Shropshire

Accessory required: The transfer tattoo

Transfer tattoos are big news on the accessory scene this summer and come in a huge range of styles and colours, so you should definitely consider finishing off your festival look with some arm candy that rubs off – hey, even Beyonce wears them!

A dainty, gold arm tattoo from a high street store such as Topshop or River Island looks great on tanned skin with a crop top, denim shorts, wellies and a backpack – which let’s face it, you will definitely be wearing. Simply rub on with water then rub off when you’re done!

Reading and Leeds Festivals

Line up: The Libertines, Mumford and Sons, Metallica, Deadmau5

Taking place: 28-30 August, Leeds and Reading

Accessory required: The hair chalk

An all star Indie line up, complemented by dance acts such as Deadmau5 should bring out the bright and alternative people who definitely don’t mind streaking some bold colours throughout their hair.

You don’t have to be brave with a tinting brush and pot of semi permanent hair colour though, simply pick up some hair chalk from somewhere such as Urban Outfitters or Topshop and get creative with your look, streaking it through your locks before you head down to the festival. Don’t forget to take it with you to top up your colour if it rubs out!

June 26, 2015

8 Everyday Activities Prematurely Ageing You

Human beings are the most destructive creatures on the planet. We pollute our environment, we hurt each other, we start wars, and we leave derelict ugly buildings in every town in the world. Strangely, for a species that has rational thought, we also hurt ourselves, by mistake or by intention. Those actions limit our lives and sometimes reduce them in numerous ways – here are eight of the most common.

Eating poorly

When it comes to calorie consumption no nation does it quite like the US, but according to a recent study British residents scoff an average of 3440 calories a day – well above the recommended intake. A poor diet combined with a lack of exercise is an accident waiting to happen for well being, and also affects a person’s confidence and social life. Obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and numerous other life-shortening effects are the by-products to gluttony and lethargy.

Lack of sleep

Poor sleeping can also lead to serious health problems, and there are numerous other possibilities – such as forgetfulness or accidents – that might have dire consequences. A consistent lack of sleep will cause your body to release more cortisol, a hormone associated with stress that damages the skin and makes you look older.

Alcohol

Where to start? A little wine or beer every day won’t hurt, but anything over 2-3 units per day (3-4 for men), equating to a standard glass of wine or pint of beer respectively, can damage internal organs and the nervous system. It’s also been linked with a decline in IQ and possible early onset of dementia.

Smoking

Smoking 20 packets of poisonous chemicals a day will wreck your lungs and heart, and leave you with numerous symptoms of ageing such as dry, yellow skin, and bad teeth. Moderation, and combining smoking with vaping through Phoenix e-cig batteries, e-liquids and starter packs, will help.

Worrying

We’ve already looked at how the stress hormone cortisol can affect the human body. While small increases do also have some benefits (preparing us for action, lower sensitivity to pain), long spells of anger or worry can impair cognitive function and send blood pressure rocketing.

Exposing ourselves to illness/pollution

Much of the human environment, particularly industrial or urban areas, is not conducive to long health – so why do so few people wear masks or protect themselves? As evidence, London’s air quality is the filthiest in Europe and a planned Heathrow expansion which could cost the UK £300m in fines from the EU, could only make it worse.

Drinking excessive tea and coffee

There is contradictory evidence on the consumption of several cups of tea and coffee. What is true is that at least some studies have shown desperate negative effects, from headaches and depression to high blood pressure and early death according to Mayo Clinic.

Lack of mental stimulation

Mundane work, boredom, and a lack of new experiences and mental tests can be deadly. Puzzles and reading increase the flow of blood to the brain, and promote and increase in protective chemicals. There’s also significant evidence that problem solving can lessen the risk of dementia. Think again when you pass through a day where you feel you haven’t learned anything.

June 23, 2015

10 Things To Consider Before Having A Breast Augmentation

As the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure on the planet, more than 12,000 breast augmentations take place in Australia each year. With more women choosing to go under the knife, The Cosmetic Institute has put together a check list of 10 things to consider before signing on the dotted line to have surgery.

“Breast augmentations make up more than 90 percent of the surgeries we perform,” says Dr Huy Tang, cosmetic surgeon at The Cosmetic Institute, which performs some 5,000 breast augmentation procedures each year. “While it’s a fairly straight-forward procedure, any time a patient is considering surgery, we want to make sure they’re informed, educated and armed with the right questions to ask,” he said.

Here, Dr Tang outlines the 10 most important things to consider before going under the knife. 

1. Be healthy

“Prior to your procedure it is critical that you are in excellent health,” says Dr Tang. “In particular, if you’re a smoker, it’s a very good idea to kick the habit at least eight weeks prior to your surgery.” According to Dr Tang, smokers have a much higher risk of serious complications during and after surgery, including infections and impaired wound healing.

2. Get educated

“It seems obvious, but make sure you’re well informed,” says Dr Tang, who recommends visiting forums, talking to people who have had the procedure and looking through the social media pages of the clinics you are interested in going with. “It is a very good idea to do this research before you meet your prospective surgeon so you can ensure all your questions can be addressed in your initial consultation,” he says. 

3. Shop around

“Although it can be tempting to go with the first surgeon you find and book your procedure in straight away, don’t settle with the first clinic you visit,” says Dr Tang. “Ensure you have a consultation with at least two or three other clinics to gain some perspective on what’s out there and where you feel the most comfortable. In addition to getting to know the surgeon, you can familiarise yourself with the type of work they do by looking at before and after pictures.”

4. Get clear about costs

To avoid any surprises, make sure you are aware of the costs associated with your surgery up front. “Many clinics have hidden costs such as a facility hire fees, post op follow up fees and anaesthetist fees, so make sure all costs are laid out on the table before you decide,” Dr Tang advises.

5. Stay local 

“I can’t stress strongly enough that patients need to think carefully before being lured overseas by the promise of cut-price surgery, as doing so exposes you to a number of unnecessary risks,” warns Dr Tang.  In addition to being away from the comforts of home and the support of family and friends while recovering from surgery, Dr Tang points out that you’re likely to be travelling to a very hot, humid climate where the risk of infection can be increased and the standard of sanitation may not be as high.   “You’ll also have no access to your surgeon once you return home, which may be crucial should complications occur weeks or even months after your surgery.  We are lucky that Australia has one of the best medical systems in the world, so you couldn’t be in safer hands,” he says. 

6. Ask for accreditation

“One of the very basic things you need to do is make sure both the clinic and the surgeon are accredited,” stresses Dr Tang, who warns that while the surgeon you’re talking to might be accredited, the facility may not be.   

7. Ask about anaesthetic

“Enquire about who will be administering the anaesthetic and ask whether you will have a specialist anaesthetist on site dedicated to your care for the full duration of surgery,” says Dr Tang. “Make sure your surgeon discusses the type of anaesthetic that will be used and that you are well informed about the different types of anaesthetic options available.”

8. Get the low down on the implants 

In terms of implant options, Dr Tang suggests you discuss everything from the type of implants your surgeon is planning to use (silicone gel or saline), to the size of implants they recommend based on your proportions, and their shape – which can be round or tear drop. “You’ll also want to ask about the texture of your implants’ surface – rough or smooth, whether your implants will be placed under or in front of the muscle, and the location of your incisions,” he says.

9. Be aware of the aftercare

“What happens after surgery is just as important as what happens during surgery,” says Dr Tang. “Following your surgery it is vital that you attend the recommended post op consultations with your surgeon and follow the aftercare directions they provide you with to the letter,” he says. He also suggests that you have a designated post op care partner to help look after you the days and even weeks following the procedure. “It is highly recommended that mothers in particular have assistance with general day to day activities as their upper body will be restricted and they won’t be able to do things like pick up their children, take a pram out of the car, or reach for anything above shoulder height.” 

10. Keep your expectations in check

“Although breast augmentation is a relatively simple procedure, many people are unaware of the lifestyle adjustments that will need to be made following surgery and come in with unrealistic expectations about their recovery,” says Dr Tang. He advises that most patients will need to take a week or so off work and won’t be able to drive for a week either. “It’s also important to keep in mind that your new breasts will change dramatically in the first six to 12 weeks and will continue to settle over the 12 to 24 months following, so don’t expect immediate perfection,” he says. 

In terms of scarring, Dr Tang says that patients are usually left with a thin line across the base of the breast, which fades over the following 12 months.  And finally, because you’re breasts will still be healing, Dr Tang says that underwire bras are off limits for about six weeks.

June 22, 2015
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