Simple Tips to Avoid the December Blues

Feelings of depression and stress are common for many people during the holiday season. With the overabundance of shopping, spending too much on gifts, travel arrangements, reluctantly agreeing to attend a holiday party, cleaning the house, cooking, decorating, being apart from loved ones and topped with the added pressure of putting on a smile—it’s not surprise of us come down with a serious case of the “Santa Clause holiday flu.”

However, there are several ways to avoid feelings of sadness and stress during the holidays, and hopefully, remind you of all the things that do make December such a wonderful time of year.

  • Don’t overthink it. Not everything will go right during the holidays, and realizing this will help to take the edge off. Most importantly, don’t expect to be perfect; whether it being buying the right gift, cooking the finest holiday meal, hosting the best Christmas party—remember that perfection is simply an illusion, and trying to be so will only promote negative thoughts.
  • Spend your money carefully. Create a budget and strictly stick to how much you intend to spend. Shopping during the holidays can easily get expensive, so spend what you can and don’t berate yourself over being cheap; instead, think of yourself as being frugal, wise and creative in what you choose to buy.
  • Avoid Vitamin D deficiency. December weather is cold, cloudy and a gloomy time of year. Lack of sun exposure is a common reason why feelings of sadness surface. Using a full spectrum lamp for twenty minutes can alleviate Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder, or more ironically appropriate, SAD. Make sure to consult with your doctor first before exposing your skin if you do choose to use a full spectrum lamp.
  • Laugh with holiday flick. There is no reason why you can’t indulge yourself with a couple hours of good-spirited home entertainment. Flip on the television, get cozy underneath your favorite blanket, make yourself a hot cup of tea and alleviate your mind with a laugh-out-loud Christmas flick. If finding something you would enjoy to watch isn’t likely, it’s probably time to upgrade your home entertainment; DIRECTV offers several packages that are specifically designed to satisfy the fussiest of television viewers.
  • Get your body moving. As important as it is to relax and unwind on the couch with great home entertainment, it’s equally important that you do the exact opposite and exercise. Get your heart rate up with a hearty, 20-minute workout each day to alleviate your mind and body. When you participate in physical activity, your body naturally releases feel-good chemicals that are stored in your brain. After enduring a healthy sweat, your day is destined to improve, as you will feel more energized, calm and ready to tackle on the day.
  • Accept and Forgive. Many times during the holidays, we encounter family members or friends that you may have had previous issues with. If so, do your best to accept this issue or flaw and leave in the past. ‘Breaking the ice’ with positivity and acceptance will not only make them feel better, but also give you peace of mind.

How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Photographer

Picking the perfect wedding photographer is so important. This person is in charge of one of the most important elements of your wedding. When it’s all over, you’ll have the shots they’ve taken to look back on, so they need to be good! It can be difficult to choose out of the hundreds and thousands of wedding photographers there are. This guide will help you to choose the perfect photographer for your big day:

Look at Portfolios

The first thing you need to do is set some time aside to look at portfolios. Your album is how you’re going to remember the day throughout your marriage, so don’t cut corners. Find some photographers you may be interested in, and look through their work. You may want to look through whole portfolios of one wedding to get an idea of the shots they like to catch. The key to looking at these portfolios, is doing so with a critical eye. You don’t want to pick apart every element, but you do want to notice the smaller details to get an idea of how thorough this person is. You don’t want anything to ruin your pictures on the day. You don’t need to look at portfolios in person for most photographers. Sites such as show images that can give you an idea.

Decide What Style You Like

Every wedding photographer is going to have a different style. It’s up to you to decide how you’d like your special day to be captured. Some might like a vintage feel, others might like more modern, while some might like really fun unusual shots. Decide beforehand and then look for photographers who work in that niche to make the process easier.

Set a Budget

You need to set a budget for this aspect of the wedding, or you might end up spending more than you wanted to. This is one thing I’d say you should invest in. People won’t remember that your tablecloths were made of the finest silk or that you had dozens of flowers on every table anyway. Those touches are nice, but when it comes down to it, you’ll want to spend a bit more on the photographer to get the best pictures.




Have a Consultation

When you have an idea of the photographers you like, arrange a consultation. Make a list of questions to ask them, and make sure you get along with them. You don’t need to be best friends with them, but you should feel comfortable posing for them and taking instructions from them. The consultation is going to be the deciding factor. There are lists of questions ready made online to help you. You’ll usually get a good feeling about the right photographer, so go with your gut!

Use these tips to choose the perfect wedding photographer and you’ll love your wedding album forever. It’s definitely worth investing a little more money in a fabulous photographer and cutting back on other aspects. Have a wonderful day!

My Advice To Help You Quit Smoking & Live A Better Life!

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There are numerous questionable lifestyle choices that we make in our lives. Sometimes we do things that don’t seem to make any sense. We know they’ll lead to a worse standard of life, yet we continue to do them. For many people, smoking is a lifestyle choice they made and now can’t stop doing. Smoking cigarettes is harmful to you and others around you. It can be very addictive and hard to quit. If you want to quit smoking, I have some handy advice for you.

Use E-Cigarettes

One of the hardest parts of quitting smoking is getting over that feeling of having a cigarette in your mouth. For many people, it’s the actual process of smoking that makes them love it so much. They love breathing in the smoke and exhaling, it’s how they relax. Well, there is a way you can get some of this feeling in a non-threatening way. If you buy an e-cigarette, you can feel like you’re smoking without inhaling any smoke. Instead, you inhale a vapor that’s created through e-liquids. It won’t lead to any life-threatening illnesses and doesn’t harm those around you. Plus, you can get many different e-liquid flavours to suit your tastes. Some places even do a tobacco flavour, to help wean you off cigarettes. Loads of smokers are switching to e-cigarettes to help kick their cravings. It may be the thing that gets you off them for good.

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Be More Active

Generally speaking, smokers tend to be less active than regular people. This is because they spend all their time filling their lungs up with smoke. This means they can develop asthma or other breathing problems. Which, in turn, makes it tough to do physical activities. My advice is to put that cigarette down and go for a run. Get outside and be more active. Many people find that exercise is the key to getting over an addiction. It can give you a buzz and make you feel alive again. Plus, you’ll be getting loads of fresh air, which is far better for your lungs than smoke! If you’re running and being active, you have less time to think about smoking. Instead, you could develop a different addiction, an addiction to fitness! If your time is consumed by fitness and thinking about exercise, you’ll soon forget about those smoking cravings. Being active can help you live a much healthier life than you did when you smoked.

Get Professional Help

If you try everything and still can’t kick the cravings, it’s time to seek professional help. Go to a doctor and see if they can do anything to help you. They may be able to supply you with nicotine patches or supplements to help with your cravings. This gives you the nicotine craving, without having to smoke. Or, your best course of action is rehab. Checking into rehab sounds scary, but it can help you massively. Once there, you’ll be receiving all the help you need. Most people end up leaving rehab free from their smoking addiction. I highly recommend it if you can’t kick the addiction on your own.

Planning A Wedding? Here’s Everything You Need To Do

So, ladies, I’ve got a question for you. What do you do after he proposes? Those who have been married probably immediately thought, start planning the weekend. The newly engaged readers out there might be a little confused. Surely you don’t need to start planning a wedding when it’s still six months to two years away. Oh…but you do. You have no idea how much goes into planning a wedding. So, if yours is less than six months from now I have two words for you. Good luck! But seriously, if you want a little help planning your wedding just follow my steps. They’ll get you through it all, no problem, I guarantee it.

Step 1: Booking The Venue

You may have wondered why I pinpointed six months as the least amount of time. Well, my sister got engaged on Christmas day and decided she wanted the wedding as soon as possible. As soon as possible turned out to be July. That was the earliest date she could get for the venue she wanted. So as soon as you have said yes, I strongly suggest you get on the phone to your dream venue and ask them what dates are available. If you haven’t got a venue in mind it’s time to go hunting for one. When choosing a venue think about your number of guests and the services you are going to need. For instance, consider whether the reception is going to be in the same place and if there is a perfect spot for photos.

Step 2: Buying The Rings

Believe it or not some men – they’ll remain nameless – propose with a temporary engagement ring. They then take their fiance to choose the engagement ring they want. We call these men…cowards. In all honesty there is nothing wrong with doing this because it does guarantee your partner gets the exact ring she wants. Besides, you’re going to be buying the rings together so you could do all three at the same time. Diamond Sky is great online store and has a stunning collection of both.

Step 3: The Dress

You have got to find the perfect dress and you’ll probably be buying the bridesmaids dresses at the same time. But obviously yours is the most important. Be sure to buy one that matches your body shape and always ask for advice from a professional, not a friend. Friends will lie particularly if they know they are going to be stuck next to you in an awful bridesmaid dress. If you want to go the extra mile, hire a stylist and take them along to the dress fitting with you.

Step 4: Picking The Song

Are you going to have the traditional tune or something a little more special to you? Using my sister as an example, she had Part Of Your World playing so don’t feel you need to be tied down to the same old march. You can have a song that relates to you and your partner perfectly.

Step 5: Send Out The Invites

Unfortunately, it is still not socially acceptable to invite people by Facebook. So, your last step is buying invitations and sending them out. Once you have done that you are ready to enjoy your special day. I hope it is a memory like a dream.



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What to do if You No Longer Love Your Tattoo

Tattoos are big commitments, everyone tells you this when you get one. But a lot of people still end up wishing they’d listened harder to those warnings. Here’s what to do if you no longer love your tattoo.

Write it Off as a Youthful Mistake

A lot of us get tattoos when we’re young and, maybe, a little naive and silly. This is not always a good combination of traits, so it’s understandable that a lot of people regret their tattoos when they get older. But these kinds of mistakes are often the things that make us who we are.

If your tattoo is only small, you might be able to ignore it or accept that you had it at a specific time in your life. The regret isn’t pleasant, but just try to contextualise as best you can. It meant something to you at the time you had it done, so that’s something to hold on to at least.

Try to Hide it

It might be possible to cover up your tattoo and pretend it’s not there depending on the position and size of the tattoo. The options for getting rid of it might not be right for you if you can easily ignore it and tolerate it. For example, if the tattoo is on your shoulder, it’s pretty easy to cover, and not many people will ever see it anyway.

Opinions and feelings relating to our tattoos often change and shift over time as well. So, if you leave it and cover it up, you might feel more positive about it in a couple of years time. That’s why covering it up is better than making rash decisions for some people.


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Modify It

It is possible to have your tattoo modified or changed so that the pattern is adapted or covered by a new one. Obviously, it’s much easier to cover the tattoo with a new one if the colours are relatively light. If your tattoo is dark, this won’t be a very realistic option for you, unfortunately.

This option is particularly popular with people who have had the name of a partner tattooed on them, only to split up with them. The name can be tattooed over and adapted into a new design. It’s not an ideal fix, but it can usually get the job done. At least you won’t be able to see the tattoo you hate!

Have it Removed

Your final option is the most drastic, so you should think about it carefully before you go ahead with it. Tattoo removal is becoming increasingly popular for a couple of reasons. Firstly, more people are now having tattoos. Therefore, more people are regretting them and wanting them removed too.

If you do decide to go down this route, don’t be tempted to go for a cheap solution. You need to use a reputable and verified tattoo removal company like Vamoose Tattoo Removal. Remember, it’s a serious procedure and your health could be damaged if you use a bad removal company so don’t take the risk.

There are options to consider if you don’t like your tattoo anymore, so don’t despair!

Five Ways Working Moms Can Balance Both Family and Work

Being a working mom is a tough balancing act. Because you are fully committed to both areas, it is all too easy to feel guilty doing both. When you’re working, you feel guilty for not being with your kids. When you’re with your kids, you feel guilty you are not at work.


However, there is a way to balance both work life and family life in a way that optimizes your time with each, leaving you feeling content and guilt-free.


Here are five balancing tips:


  1. Childcare

One of the best ways to stay focused at work is to find trustworthy childcare. Whether it’s hiring a part-time nanny or finding a reputable child care center, knowing your children are well cared for can help you feel comfortable while working. Taking any and all safety precautions, including installing ADT for Long Beach or for whatever city you call home, will help you relax while you are at work, for you know your children are safe.


  1. Lose the Guilt

The key to keeping the guilt at bay is to remember how your job is benefitting your family. Your job is allowing for your children to have a home, food on the table, and clothes in their closet. And, maybe your job is even allowing your children opportunities they wouldn’t have without your income, such as a college fund, extracurriculars, or other educational opportunities.


It is also important to reach out to other moms in similar situations. A support group can help you feel confident in your decision.


  1. Organized Mornings

A great way to keep the day running smoothly is to start off with an organized morning. The night before, to make things easier, pack your children’s lunches, make sure all of their homework is done and placed in their backpack, and layout both your own clothes and your children’s clothes.


Know what you plan to make for breakfast so you can be prepared instead of wasting precious time trying to decide what to make.


  1. Family Calendar

One of the best ways to stay on top of things is to organize a family calendar. Right down all events and activities, including bill due dates, and place it in an area everyone can see. Choose a different highlighter for each member of the family, so that everyone can quickly find their color and see what’s going on during the month.


Additionally, attach a chore chart to the calendar. This will keep everyone on track and will help keep things from getting out of control. Plus, if someone neglects their chores, you know exactly who is slacking.


  1. Stay Connected to Your Children

While you aren’t with your kids, try to stay as connected as possible. Leave notes for them in their lunches, in their binders, or if they have a phone, through a text message. During your lunch break at work, give your kids a call. Staying connected is important to keeping things in perspective.


Being a working mom can be challenging, but with a bit of organization, it can be done easily.


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A Hidden Trick to Boost your Bank Balance

With the introduction of new mobile phones on a daily basis, many people in the UK switch to a new phone. While getting a new mobile, people often discard their existing phones at nominal prices. However, you could waste a lot of money in case you dispose off your phone in this way. If you are wondering where to sell your mobile for a decent price, you will be surprised to learn that you can get a good price for your mobile at a reliable site such as

Options to sell your mobile

When it comes to selling your used phone, you have certain options. You may sell it to your friends and buddies. However, you might be inclined to sell my mobile at low prices to your friends out of emotional ties. Moreover, there are chances that your friends may also be interested in buying a new mobile. As a result, you will have to try other methods to sell your second hand phone.

You can try your luck on eBay and other auction sites. However, you won’t be able to get the best price on auction sites. The reason is people have a mindset to buy anything for cheap whenever they shop at an auction site. As a consequence, you will get very less for a phone you might not have used most often.

Best way to sell your phone

Thankfully, you may get away with all such scenes by selling your phone online. The best thing about selling your mobile at is you will get a better price for your phone. No matter the model and make of your phone, you could be certain that you will get a much better deal.

Another appealing benefit is you will be able to get rid of your used phone in a lot less time. You don’t have to hang around for weeks to sell your mobile. Within a couple of days, you might get a decent price for your mobile that could be used for buying a new mobile with amazing features.

Closing words

Thus, switching to a new phone need not be a pricey proposition for UK citizens, thanks to reputed mobile dealing sites on the net. Just surf and fill up a form with required details such as your personal info, the make and model of your handset. Within no time, you could sell off your used phone for a great price.


The Essential Health MOT For Your Family Pet

Being a parent is pretty demanding, right? We are always on the go! There never seems to be a good time to sit down and organize ourselves. With all the things going on with your children, work, and other commitments, it is not uncommon for us to pay less attention that we should be to our furry family members. Of course, if we noticed something was wrong we would deal with it straight away. However, it’s not just about managing problems as they occur; we should be making an effort to prevent them too. Pets, like humans, need to be given a health MOT once and a while to make sure they are healthy and in order to reduce their risk of becoming ill. Read on for how you can do your bit to help your family pet stay in good health.


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Biannual vet appointments

Even if your pet is in good health, you should take him or her to your vet for a general check up twice a year. To help you stick to this regime, make these appointments at the start of each year and put reminders in your diary and calendar. The vet will pick up on any external or internal cause issues that you may not have noticed. You should also take this opportunity to ask your vet any questions you may have about your pet’s behavior or health.


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Body checks

As regularly as you can, check your pet’s body for any changes. Learn how to detect common problems like flea bites, ticks,  and worms. Your vet will be able to provide you with information on how to do these things. Don’t forget to examine smaller parts of the body, like the ears. Dogs often contract infections in the ears, and you may need to get a prescription for a treatment like Surolan if your pet is suffering from ear problems. Body checks should be carried out gently and as part of quality, bonding time spent with your pet. If they feel like they are being manhandled by you all the time they will probably be alarmed and try to break free whenever you try.

Replenish your pet’s medicine cabinet

Make sure you have treatment supplies in your home for both common problems, such as fleas and worms, and for specific illnesses that your pet suffers from. Add reminders to your calendar and diary to regularly check the medicine cabinet for low supplies to avoid running out when you most need them.

Check their weight

Your pet’s weight can alter pretty quickly. If they are overweight, this can lead to a number of health problems. Weigh your pet on a regular basis (perhaps at the same time that you check their body for changes) to make sure that he or she is maintaining a healthy weight. You can just use standard bathroom scales for this purpose.

It’s important not to forget about your little furry friends. Remember, they can’t tell you when something is wrong. But with regular checks and a healthy lifestyle, you will be doing your best to maintain their good health.


Spoiling The Kids Or Spoiling The Planet? Prevent Both With Some Easy Party Planning Tips

If you are worried about the environmental impact of all that landfill, then you are right to be. We all have too much stuff, and not enough storage. It seems everything we buy for our kids will never last for long and have to be disposed of. Pet hates for parents concerned about waste are the surprise prizes inside chocolate eggs, and toys included in restaurant chain kids meals. These little bits of plastic that are only fun for the duration of the meal can be a real nuisance when it comes to wanting to clear out the playroom.

So what can be done? You have a party to plan, but you don’t want to inundate the parents of the other kids with more little toys that have no longevity. Goody bags are a key part of any party so what else can go in there? Fortunately, more and more party stores retailers are thinking about this too. You can buy small age-appropriate books in bulk quite easily at a very low price. Instead of bags of sweets, you can put in little fruit snacks that contain no added ingredients. Coloring pencils combined with an educational coloring book can also be appreciated by the other parents!


Image courtesy of Flickr

When you buy the balloon, purchasing a good quality one from somewhere like Balloons Galore will help your balloon last from the birthday to the party and beyond. You can also customize the balloon with the name of your child. They make great decorations and add that little something special to the day for the birthday boy or girl. For the money, they could also be less environmentally impactful than a packet of cheap ones from the supermarket. Party decorations are important, but if you can find reusable or ones that last, you will certainly be using less trash can space after the party.

Disposable plates are great. They’re quick and easy and safe. But if you don’t recycle them, they may well end up in landfill and will certainly fill up your trash can after a large party. Most paper and card can be recycled locally so make a plan of action for disposing of the cups and plates ahead of your party. You can also usually recycle the wrapping paper and packaging for most of the gifts. Ribbons can be reused, as can good gift bags. Don’t be too quick to dispose of those unwanted gifts into the trash. If they can be used in a different way, or gifted to charity you can do that little bit extra to save the planet!

How to Prepare for a Family Trip to a Theme Park

Taking the family on a trip to a theme park is so much fun. You’ll probably find that your kids struggle to sleep the night before as they’re so excited! But, you need to take a few steps before you go, to make sure you’re all fully prepared for this trip! Here’s how:

Pack a Bag of Supplies

You’re going to need a pretty large bag of supplies. I suggest having a sturdy backpack filled with the things you need. Write a list the week before and then continue to add to it if you need to to ensure you don’t forget anything. You’ll need bottles of water for everyone to stay hydrated, wipes, and more. You’ll probably want to take a camera to record the day too.

Make Some Lunch

If you want to save a fair amount of money, make some lunch. Many parks will allow you to take in outside food, so make a sandwich and bring a few snacks for everyone. The food at theme parks is nice, but it can be extremely expensive. When you add that on to the price you paid for the tickets, it’s a lot of money.

Have Some Cash on You

Your kids might want a small souvenir to commemorate this trip. Take some cash with you and make that your budget, so you don’t end up overspending.

Dress the Kids in Suitable Clothes

Pay special attention to what you dress the kids in on the day. Take the weather into account, of course, and also what is suitable for rides. Their shoes should fit them well so they don’t fly off during a ride. Any headgear should be sturdy and secure too. Their jackets should have pockets to keep any things of their own in, such as mobile phones. They should be warm enough and comfortable.

Check the Website

Double check the website before deciding on where to go. Some places have rules and regulations that you’ll need to adhere to. There may even be notices that you need to pay attention to. You don’t want any surprises on the day you turn up at the park. Alton Towers number is 0844 545 7924, if you’d prefer to call.

Apply Sunscreen

You should apply sunscreen to your kids whatever the weather, but especially if they’re going to be out all day at a theme park. Make sure you cover any exposed areas, especially their faces.

Discuss Safety With the Kids

The most important aspect of the day: discussing safety with the kids. They should know not to talk to strangers or go off with them, and to stay by your side at all times. Explain what they should do if they lose you, and preempt everything that could go wrong so you can be prepared for it in advance. Hopefully nothing will happen, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


image source – Austin Kirk

Don’t skip these tips if you want a well planned out, fun trip with the family. Have a great time!