New-year

Why I’m Making My New Year’s Resolutions All About My Partner

Because what’s more important than your relationship, really?

December 22, 2016

Staying Organised For The Rest Of The Year Ahead

Even if you don’t really agree with them, we all make new year resolutions – whether it’s getting into shape, spending more time with your loved ones or something small like cutting down your daily caffeine intake.

For some, getting organised might be at the top of the list, so we’ve come up with some simple and effective ideas to help you keep your resolutions and stay motivated to be organised not just for January and February, but also for the rest of the year!

Go, go, go can equal forget, forget, forget!

Never before has it been so important to be organised. In this day and age when we’re always on the go, it’s impossible to remember every little detail. Keep your to-do list in check with a brand new diary, which you can pick up from a store like Typo. And while you’re at it you might as well stock up on note pads, desk organisers, files, you name it!

If you’re not one for the hard copy diary we suggest using your Smartphone calendar and making lists in Notes!

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Your wallet could do with a tidy-up

Nothing says organised like a new, clutter-free purse. Your wallet’s biggest enemy is the dreaded receipt so, in the cleaning out process, make sure you file these away in a folder or place you find easy to remember. A tidy wallet is great, but not when receipts you need have gone walkabout.

We suggest choosing a wallet based on your needs. On the go? Try something that can also fit your phone inside, and if your wallet lives inside your handbag, opt for something smaller (and keep the colour in mind when making your selection).

With a range of stores such as Mimco, Bags To Go and Strandbags you’ll be hard pressed not to find yourself the perfect wallet for 2015!

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No excuses – pack your gym gear

Keeping motivated to get fit can be challenging at the best of times, so why not make it a littler easier on yourself and get organised to be energised. If you tend to hit the gym first thing in the morning, get your workout gear ready the night before so all you have to do is get up and go. No excuses!

Still feeling the early morning/after-work gym routine is passing you by? Get some new gear from Nike, adidas, Asics and some other sporting retailers to help you get motivated. We all know that when you look good in new gym gear, you feel good and you’ll be that much more inclined to get out and into spin class.

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These tips are brought to you by a range of retailers at Uni Hill Factory Outlets, Melbourne. For more information and a list of retailers head to www.uhfo.com.au or follow on Facebook or Instagram @unihillfo

April 14, 2015

4 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Enjoy

Let’s be honest here, New Year’s resolutions are pretty damn hard to keep. It doesn’t matter how many gym sessions you promise yourself you’ll do or how much money you’ll put aside for a rainy day, the motivation wears thin for most after the first month or two.

According to Forbes, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. For many, most of these goals aren’t realistic and thus, it makes it near impossible to achieve them. For others though, it’s simply a matter of setting New Year’s resolutions that they don’t enjoy enough to complete. Here’s a set of goals for this year you will actually enjoy – and want to make them happen!

1. Create a skincare routine

Skincare regimes should already be part of your daily routine but let’s face it, life gets the better of us and just like those New Year’s resolutions it gets shoved to the side. For this year, make it a goal to create a skincare routine that works for you. Whether it’s a fresh routine because you’re old one just didn’t cut it, or you try a new range of skincare products – it’s an easy way to feel and look fantastic.

Different skincare routines work for different people so if something isn’t fitting for you and your lifestyle, the New Year can be a great chance to try something different. If you do decide to test a new range out, it may take a while for your skin to adjust – so be patient. Sometimes a change in one or two items in your make up range or skincare products can add a little excitement into that daily routine.

Because there’s so many products out there, it can get a little confusing what’s best for your skin type. Trial and error tends to be the most common way to test products, or speak to a day spa or skin and makeup professional to get some tips. As a rule of thumb, there’s some ingredients you should avoid altogether – especially if you have sensitive skin. This article provides some great tips about what your skincare should include to keep you glowing and looking beautiful.

2. Live and eat a little healthier

Healthy living and weight loss is one of the top five most common New Year’s resolutions. Every year we promise ourselves we’ll get a gym membership, quit smoking and cut back on alcohol and sugar. The reality? A bunch of empty promises and a “don’t worry, there’s always next year!”

The best way to live and eat a little healthier is to not over commit. By creating a healthy goal that’s realistic for you, you’re more likely going to want to do it. Start by making small swaps as opposed to waking up one day and believing you’re never going to touch a candy bar again. Swap sugary treats that give you empty energy for smarter choices like sweet cacao powder nibs. As you start to feel and look healthier or have more energy, you’ll find it easier to commit to bigger health goals.

3. Book frequent massages

Sounds horrible doesn’t it? Massages aren’t just some luxury item you can only treat yourself with once in a blue moon, it’s actually the perfect way to relieve stress. And it gets better! Once your stress levels are maintained, you’ll have more energy and look and feel fantastic. Plus, they feel great too.

This year, boko yourself a massage every month. Make it part of your ‘me’ time or pamper yourself on a date night with your other half. For many, massages are one of those guilty pleasures, but the therapeutic benefits it offers should make it a priority for everyone.

4. Indulge in a new experience

Everyone thrives on indulging in something new. Whether it’s as simple as new dinner spot, a different hobby or an adventure to make you feel alive, new experiences can be really refreshing. Whilst most people will complete a new activity throughout the year, it can make your New Year’s resolutions even more rewarding to make a goal of it.

Perhaps there’s a band you’ve always wanted to see, but haven’t yet or a sports game you’ve been hanging to watch but always too busy. For the thrill seeker, trying sky diving for the first time can always make for a fun New Year’s resolution. Maybe you want to learn a language, attend a dance class or participate in a cocktail making or cooking class. Whatever it is you chose make sure it’s fun for you!

By changing your New Year’s resolutions to ones that are enjoyable and stimulating, you’ll be more likely to tick them off throughout the year.

By Jemma Stergiou, owner and director of Keturah Day Spa Group, a leading provider of spray tan, massage, facials and spa treatments in Perth, WA. Connect with Jemma on Google+

February 1, 2015

How To Make New Habits Stick

We all want to live happier, healthier lives, but making changes is not always easy. Do you find it hard to even remember about that new habit you wanted to create, let alone stick with it? Here are some tips that will help.

RELATED: A Shortcut To Changing A Habit For Good

Know why you want to change

Why is this new habit important to you? What will you gain? What old pains will you leave behind? Get really clear about it, because your ‘why’ is what will keep you going when it gets hard. The more you want the end result, the more likely you are to do what you need to do to get it.

Know what gets in the way

If you can’t drag yourself to the gym because you’re too tired and you’re too tired because you go to bed too late every night, then you probably need to address your sleep habits first. Once you feel energised, you might find that your issues with exercise magically resolve and even if they don’t, going to the gym will take a lot less effort. That’s exactly what happened to me – after focusing on sleep for just one week, I found myself getting up at 6 am in the morning to go to the gym and enjoying it!

Plan for your new habit

How are you going to remember to do the thing that you want to do? You can put it to your diary or attach it to something you’re already doing. For example, if your goal is to drink more water, you can add an image of water to your phone, so every time you look at it, you’re reminded to take a sip.

Engage the people around you

Ask someone to hold you accountable. My children make great accountability buddies because they’re excite to help and I care what they think. I want to be a good role model for them, which means that when I say I’m committing to something, I want to them to see that I’m following through. You can also ask your partner, a friend or even hire a coach or a personal trainer for additional motivation.

Don’t give up!

If you accidentally forget about your new habit or skip a day because you’re feeling flat, it doesn’t mean you’re hopeless and can’t do it. All of us have bad days. Be gentle on yourself and just pick it up again as soon as you can. When you persist, you’ll eventually reach a point when your new habit becomes automatic and you may even feel that something is missing in your day without it.

Image by PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com

January 9, 2015

Simplifying Resolutions: Choose One Word For The Year

With the New Year many of us are looking to bring something new into our lives, a change that will make us healthier and happier. Yet, we often go about it in the same old way. We set a resolution, we get excited about it, we might even stick with it for a few weeks and then we forget about it until the next year. If this is a cycle that’s been happening to you, do something different this time and choose just one word for the year. Here’s why:

RELATED: How To Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions

It gives you focus

One word instead of a bunch of (sometimes conflicting) resolutions is easy to remember and easy to use for every decision in your life. Struggling with a choice? Remember your word and choose what would be most in line with your theme. As easy as that.

It can’t be broken

The problem with resolutions is that once you break them, it can be all over. You see yourself as a failure and even if you bring yourself to start again, it’s not the same. It feels like you’ve wasted your effort, you’re starting from scratch and it’s just too much work. Unlike resolutions, your one word is not something you have to do to be successful. It’s your guide, your North Star. You know you’ll never fully reach it 100% of the time, but it’s there to show you the way.

It makes you happy

Resolutions are often associated with hard work, no wonder we don’t stick with them. Your one word, on the other hand, is a feeling or a quality you want in your life. When you say your word, your imagination will usually draw positive, uplifting images (if not, you need to change your word!) instead of struggle.

How to choose your one word

Imagine accomplishing your goals in the New Year. What got you here? What qualities does the future you have that helped you reach your goals? Write them down. Then ask yourself what feelings would you like to have more of in your life? Joy, love, peace, fulfillment? Add them to your list. Then pick the word that calls to you most.

Don’t worry that you’ll leave something important out, everything is interrelated. You will find that the other qualities and feelings from your list show up to support the one that you’ve chosen as your guide. To have fulfilment, often you must have courage. To feel more joy, you may have to allow more ease into your life. Plus you can always focus on something else next year.

Now, your turn. What word is calling to you to be your theme for 2015?

Image by jill111 via pixabay.com

January 1, 2015

Remembering The Big Events Of 2014

A lot happened in 2014. The world lost some amazing talent, Aussies got a royal visit and experienced terrorism first hand. Plus, the world readied itself for the spread of Ebola and flying via Malaysia Airlines became a risk many wanted to avoid. We spare a few moments on this final day of the year to take a look back at some of the big events which got our attention during 2014.

RELATED: Songs, Searches And Celebs Of 2014

The Ukraine and Crimean Crisis

Political events in Ukraine and Russia seemed to dominate global news from late 2013 and continued for most of 2014. Crimea announced its independence from Ukraine on March 17 and over 300 000 Ukraine protesters gathered in Kiev’s Independence Square, against the decision. The authorised slaughter of over 100 protesters saw the fall of Ukraine’s President, who fled the country to avoid criminal charges. The residents of Ukraine elected themselves a new President with the hope of stopping the civil and political unrest, however tension in the region remains.

Ebola outbreak

In February, the spread of Ebola – which began in West Africa – startled health officials as they scrambled to contain the outbreak. Fearing the next AIDS epidemic, the World Health Organization implemented treatment protocols as health care workers began contracting the deadly virus. Thankfully Ebola hasn’t progressed to be the global epidemic, many health officials had feared.

The trial of Oscar Pistorius

The world watched on as the Oscar Pistorious trial began is South Africa on March 3rd. Accused of killing his lover, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14 2013, the trial took many months, concluding with a guilty verdict of culpable homicide. Sentenced to five years imprisonment, the former Paralympian is said to be appealing his sentence.

Flight MH370

The mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 began on March 8, when the plane disappeared with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. A massive search and rescue operation was performed, but failed when the plane and its occupants literally vanished from the sky.

The Australian Royal Visit

In April, Aussies got a glimpse of William, Kate and little Prince George. For die-hard Royalists, it was an opportunity too good to miss. There was a little controversy about the royal trio skipping Melbourne on their travels, but all in all the royal visit was reasonably well received.

Flight MH17

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over the Russian/Ukraine border on July 17, on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 283 passengers and 15 on board lost their lives. Officials are currently investigating and the report is due to be released in August 2015.

The death of Robin Williams

The world was stunned by the sudden death of Robin Williams on August 11. Most of us had a tear to shed and fondly remembered the talented actor/comedian. His much loved characters were forever immortalised in history by his passing and quotes like “Captain, my Captain”, “Good Morning Vietnam” and of course “nanoo nanoo” reigned across social media.

Terror in Sydney

On December 16, Australians experienced a first-hand account of terrorism. A lone gunman stormed a local Sydney coffee shop in Martin Place, holding hostages and the city captive. Aussies across the nation watched breaking news in disbelief as events unfolded. The following day, the resilience of Australian residents was revealed to the world. Millions of flowers were laid in honour of the two victims who tragically lost their lives and displayed sheer determination as they reclaimed their beloved city.

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December 31, 2014

How To Host A Party And Still Have Fun

How would you like some professional hosting tips for your next social gathering? I’ve organized and hosted a bucket load of social events in my time, ranging from big community functions to small backyard barbecues. The planning guidelines are basically the same, so if you use the tips I’m about to share with you, regardless of the event, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself instead of being a slave to the festivities.

Now the first thing you need to organise is a plan. Jump on your computer, get a spreadsheet happening and brainstorm. There are some templates available online or make up your own. Do you want decorations, music or a bar area? What about the food? Jot down everything you want at your party, right down to the smallest detail like bins, serviettes and ice. Make sure you have extra columns to mark off when items are ordered, organised and completed. Print this out and remember to keep it updated as you go along. This will not only be a guide for you, but will also help you allocate jobs to willing volunteers.

Next is the shopping list. Shopping for parties or events takes valuable time which you no longer need to spend in store. Jump online, order all your items and get everything delivered. It might cost a little extra but when you consider the time factor of physically sourcing everything, trust me, it will be money very well spent.

Now that you’ve got that organised, if the event is at a private residence, head back to the computer and get some decorative signs made up that lead to the toilet and bathroom. Plus, if you have areas you want to keep off limits, put together some no entry signs. Get creative and make up signs for the bar area, coat storage, can and bottle recycling or whatever you like. These will add to the decorations if you spruce them up a bit.

Speaking of decorations, make sure you get these delivered about a week before the event. If the event is in your home, spend some time each night setting the house up. Arrange the bar area with large containers for ice, plastic cups, etc.

Set up the music and speakers. Using an iPod, mobile phone or something similar is easy. Get your playlist together and make sure you have enough tunes to flick on the music before your guests arrive and forget about it. Just a tip, guests may ask for music requests during the party. Unless you want to start being the DJ for the entire event, let them know that the music is preset. If you have a volunteer who is willing to DJ and take requests, that’s great. Allocate the job to them if they are willing.

Now if the party is at home, don’t be too fussy about having a spotless house. It will look a lot worse afterwards. If you are concerned your home isn’t being presented the way you’d like, give it a quick vacuum and dust as you set up. Mopping floors are a waste so don’t bother.

If the event is at a different location, enlist the help of others to assist with decorations and preparations. Ask the facilities staff or management if you can have some time to prepare before the event. Most will agree to allow you limited access so plan decorations which you can set up within that time-frame. If you are having balloons, order a cheap pump with the decorations or opt for helium. Blowing up balloons is time consuming and there are easier ways to make it happen without running out of valuable oxygen!

The night before your party, prep any food which can be done early. Keep it as simple as possible and try not to make extra work for yourself. If possible have a reasonably early night and get a good rest.

The day of your party all that should be left to do is the final food prep. Cook anything which needs cooking, get out serving implements and you should basically be ready for an awesome event. If the event is at a catered facility you won’t have this concern. Spent some time during the day with your feet up relaxing and give yourself plenty of time to have a shower and get yourself ready to receive your guests.

Doing all the preparation prior to your party will really pay off. Instead of being the type of host who is rushing around ignoring guests, you can actually spend time with them and enjoy yourself. Plus, the more entertaining you do, the easier this gets. Save any documents you’ve created on the computer in a separate file and re-use them.

These tips and techniques are ultimately what professional event organisers do everyday. They plan, organise and prepare. It’s that simple! It doesn’t matter if it’s a small gathering like a BBQ, kids party or a big event like a wedding; these guidelines are super flexible.

Good luck and enjoy your festivities!

Image via spatrendonline.hu

December 27, 2014

How To Have The Best New Year’s Ever

Whether you look forward to New Year’s Eve all year, or get a little bah humbug, we’ve got the best ideas for food, drinks, entertainment and becoming the hostess with the mostess!

 

Plan ahead

Going out? Think about how you’re going to get home. Taxis might be scarce, so consider public transport.

Staying in? Put your guests’ needs first: offer to let them stay the night or make sure they get home safely. Ply the designated driver with delicious mocktails and canapés so they don’t feel like they’re missing out.

Food

Forget dining out on New Year’s Eve – the markup on menus can be frightening, and you’re often forced to shell out on a prix fixe menu that is boring at best. Rock hard creme brûlée and overpriced bubbly are not the way to see in the new year!

If you’re planning a house party, serve easy finger food, such as:

* Mini quiches filled with smoked salmon and garnished with chives (fill with sautéed mushroom and zucchini for a vegetarian alternative)

* Figs wrapped in prosciutto

* Skewers of cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil

* Baked rounds of brie (top the cheese with herbs such as thyme and rosemary before baking), served with crusty baguette

* Strawberries and cream pavlovas: top baby pavlovas with vanilla whipped cream and diced strawberry

* A beautiful platter of exotic fruit

* And always have bowls of chips and nuts to keep the crowds happy and full

Drinks

Want an insider secret on how you can become the hostess with the mosses? Always greet the door with a cocktail in hand. It instantly puts your guests in a good mood!

Stack the ice bucket with beer (including light beer for those driving home) and bubbly, and create a signature cocktail that you can mix together in a few pitchers and serve without fuss. Our favourite crowd-pleasing cocktails? Mojitos bursting with lime and mint, bubbly with pureed peaches, vodka with pineapple juice and berries, or try this delicious Chambord lemonade.

Entertainment

Have your playlist ready and hit play well before guests arrive – you want to be in the party spirit by then! A mix of new and old school hits is best – YouTube is a fantastic resource for playlists, and if your big screen TV is hooked up to the internet, music clips make great background entertainment (just don’t have the TV on, until it’s time to watch the fireworks).

Make sure the house is clean, and make common areas comfortable and atmospheric. Place candles around the home (too many candles are better than too few), make sure the bathroom has a clean hand towel, and have plates and glasses accessible in the kitchen so guests aren’t rummaging through your drawers all night. Disposable plates, glasses and cutlery save you lots of hassle with cleaning up the next day.

Other ideas:

Not keen on staying in? How about:

* A picnic near a scenic spot

* Doing a pub crawl near your home

* Bah humbug? Forget New Year’s and have a classic movie night in (pillows on the floor and popcorn, just don’t forget the Champagne).

What are you planning for New Year’s Eve?

December 30, 2011