gratefulness

Gratefulness and the Why and How of it all

Gratefulness is the simplest thing to make you feel happy now.

The WHY.

Neuroscience, as writes Dr. Joe Dispenza in his book, has proven that we can change our brains, and therefore our behaviors, attitudes and beliefs, just by thinking differently.

Thought comes always first and shapes our perception and our reality.

Say, there is a rainy day. What is your thought? It can be neutral, accepting the occurrence as a simple act of nature. It can be positive, associated with plans for the day or appreciation of the nature. The thought can also be crap. And so will be our mood and the instant reality.

I am sure you already understand where I am heading. There are millions of examples like above in our life, related to our family, job, finance and so on.

We have tendency to worry which becomes our unconscious habit. Some of us worry even for the sake of having some worry. Ironically that gives us comfort. Without having some fears or doubts, we feel anxious that something surely will go wrong. We eventually end up controlling our field of worries, which in itself is an illusion.

Now when you think of that, how strange if not silly it is. Really.

Habits, especially those unconscious are very hard to change. First, we have to become aware of them.

Gratefulness and gratitude is therefore the first step to unlearn our brain the habit of feeling bad and anxious.

The HOW.

I do it at least once a week. Still, the more often I do it, the better I feel. If you have never done it, just try simple things. Appreciate your closest environment, your friends, job, and health.

It could be something like

  • I am grateful for my comfortable bed and the nice sheets I sleep in;
  • I am grateful for being healthy;
  • I am grateful for the coffee I am drinking;
  • I am grateful for the book I am reading which gives me joy and new knowledge;
  • I am grateful for my loving friends;
  • I am grateful for the day ahead that gives me new wonderful possibilities;

And so on. You can spend few minutes on a free writing and see where it leads you. Once you start, it gets easier. Elevated mood at the end of the exercise is a guarantee.

Gratitude gives one more advantage next to changing the habit of feeling bad.

It helps focus on what we already have and what we love, to create more of it.

When we focus on what we don’t have or don’t like, we attract more of that.

That is something to keep in mind.

Happy New Year!

Energy is everything

Energy is everything.  According to physicists, energy is also everywhere. It forms our environment and our body and cells. It constantly moves and flows and thus energizes and gives us power.

Looking from a different perspective, every object, including a person has certain energy, which is either attracting or pushes us away. I am sure you have encountered people that you are drawn to, that have that appealing energy, and those whom you don’t feel comfortable with.

Have you also noticed that your own energy does not only attract other people with similar energy but also circumstances and events in your life?

Why should we protect the energy level ?

High energy level boosts action, creativity and positive vibe. Everything is possible. The life around is more accessible, more at ease.

The output you put forward creating from that positive feeling, will reflect in your work as well, attracting people and circumstances your direction.

Think of the last time you felt highly vibrant. Maybe you spoke at ease to your friends or to strangers, the tasks at work were all somehow easy to handle and the errands you had to run went smooth. You had a great day.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep that level of energy? What if this is possible?

Downsizes of low vibe.

On the other side, when you are in your low energy, you are less immune to negativity. Things simply get on your nerves and you easily become irritated by little things not to mention those with bigger weight.

Low energy makes you tired and powerless. You do not feel like doing something. Things that are on your table seem complicated and take a lot of effort. Therefore, the expectation towards results starts to drop and is fear based.

If you try to create from a feeling of low energy, the content you create reflects this energy level as well.

Who wants that? Certainly not me. Luckily, we all can affect our energy and make it joyful and vibrant.

If you want to show up to the world as a person you want to be,  get familiar with importance of the energy and how to manage it.

Secondly, if you drive to have control over all the outcomes in your life, focus on controlling the energy instead. I am myself the “been there, done that” case. Now learning to release and allow more flow into my life.

Here are the two basic, beginner level tools that you can use to work around your energy level.

The first one is gratitude.

Buy yourself a nice journal or simply take a piece of paper and put down each day what you are grateful for. We tend to take all the good things for granted and focus only on those we lack. Change the perception. Focus on what you already have to attract more of the good stuff into your life.

By doing this simple exercise, you will feel good about your past, happy about your present and positive about the future.

I have just come across Dave Meltzer free app, that offers 30 day practice to say “thank you” as an act of gratitude. Great solution if we need additional stimulus. You might also google this gentleman. Great motivation.

The second one is the “conscious steering list”.

That simply is a list of things that make you feel good and a list of things that drag you down. You do not really have to put it down, however it is recommended to at least have it in mind. I actually physically wrote it for the sake of this post.

  • lit candles which create this soft vibe around home
  • catching up with friends
  • listening to podcasts
  • inspiring discussions
  • exercising
  • meditating
  • home décor
  • cooking

I have a lot of to pick from to bounce back and the list may go on and on

  • TV news around politics these days
  • Gossiping and judging people
  • Rudeness

I  consciously choose to avoid things and situation that are poisoning. And you can do it too.

Last, but not least, no one is perfect. Doing above exercises will not save you from a lousy day. For sure though you will learn that it is only you, nobody else, that is responsible for how you feel.

And most importantly you have the power to make the shift.

The three benefits of meditation

The experience I got through meditation has so many benefits I thought it would be unfair to keep it to myself. In a need to give I spread it further. I would encourage everyone who feels any kind of anxiety, sadness, lack of motivation or happiness to try this powerful thing.

Actually the fact that it has already been used since the ancient times and is present nowadays among different profound business people , surprises me in a way it’s not as common as eating.

After practicing it for last months I am able to define measurable benefits meditation gives me.

I actually experience three main boosts. Strength, Serenity and Believe (Faith)

Strength

There are many things in our daily life that require certain amount of guts. Accumulation of power and certainty that we reach desired outcome is valid ingredient to achieving success or simply a happy and fulfilled life.

We encounter daily various obstacles blocking us from going forward. What will others say?  Am I worth it? Or am I good enough?

We often tend to project future in an unhelpful way dragging us down rather then elevating. This is our imagination playing with us and holding us back from joy. Yes, the joy. Sometimes we even use this “trick” on purpose to feel safe as in a way protecting our ego from a bed outcome experience. That however has no positive influence on our development. Fear based emotions will not lead to creativity and success.

Meditation learns techniques that support self-confidence system. Thanks to that we feel empowered to do things we would normally not feel comfortable to do. For sure you have experienced in your life a situation when you deep down wanted to do something, something that kept you up at night or something that you felt simply brilliant. Still, above obstacles, the limiting believes came on board and discouraged you.

Result. No progress, no dream come true to say the least.

 

Serenity

It is everybody’s dream to lay down peacefully in the evening without worrying about the future or errands that one needs to run the next day, week or whenever. Basis for that calm is the trained and nourished believe that everything is OK. You may ask how the hell you can say it’s OK if you have this and that problem on your shoulder.

Tricky thing is that meditation calms our nerve system and regulates cortisol, the stress hormone. Thanks to that we are able to think brighter and take balanced decisions. What is same important, we can appreciate current moment and how much we have right now. The recipe for serenity is the gratitude.

How often are you with yourself “right now” appreciating what you have or simply acknowledging your presence?

Another practice that improves the well-being of our mind and of our body is to choose peace. What I mean by that is that you can always choose how you want to feel.

It’s about conscious decision. It is not always easy. Sometimes it is actually pretty hard. However, having in mind the stress effect and how destructive it is to our mental and physical health, it is worth to be more of a peace maker.

For sure you have stuck in a traffic one day when you were quite hurry somewhere. What was your reaction? Biting a steering wheel so to say and yelling in the air may be the easiest and quickest reaction. Still for sure it will not make you feel any better. You will arrive on a very low energy level, hating everything and everyone around you. Moving down the spiral of negativity.

The solution is to think that you are going slowly in that car for some reason. Say to avoid an accident or meet someone you was to meet. It may be, there will be no special reason behind but still also our being late will have zero negative effect. On the contrary, the  positive effect will be our saved good mood and the mood of the others around you. Create more positive energy around you and it will pay you off.

If you are not much into meditation yet, practice just that and you will be surprised how much good it brings. It is good to feel good.

 

Faith

One of the most curing believes meditation offers, is that everything unfolds in the right order and in the right time. That believe limits resentment over the things that didn’t happen or things that went “wrong”.

As an example this one day in a company I used to work for, I was told to move to a different department. I was devastated hearing the news. I literally cried. I really hated the idea having already in my mind a different path for my future.

Still the universe had a totally different plan for me. A plan beyond my imagination.  Accepting the new direction led me just after few years to a top position in a company that was about to be established.

Of course at that time I didn’t have a clue about meditation. Neither was I able to surrender to the universe. It takes some practice, it takes a lot of believe. However once you do it, you feel great.

Feeling good is the greatest gift to yourself and, citing Gabriele Bernstein, feeling good is the greatest contribution you can give to the world.

 

meditation

Meditation. My new practice for the New Year.

If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that one of my desires for the passing year was to explore the topic of meditation. Up to some time ago, I have heard many positives about it. Yet the area seemed either strange or distant. I was sceptic associating it more with a trend for some crazy yogis.

Luckily, I came across people and sources that helped me start with it. And I am more than grateful I had a chance to start to know the practice.

As I see many benefits, I decided to share them with you to possibly encourage you to try it as well.

We care more nowadays, about what we put in our mouth and body. Why not care more about what we put in our mind.

Here are the five main reasons I love about meditation.

I can feel happy more often and easier. Most of all I learnt that it is my choice to feel either frustrated or accept the situation believing that it is there to happen for a good reason. Imagine, you get stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work. I am sure you have experienced that. Either you have a choice to go nuts by the fact or you can accept that. It may sound irrational or undoable but think of the benefits. Your day forward may be dull or it may be bright, normal.  Make that exercise and see what happens next. Taking a different road or going slower for a while may have interesting results. You may meet someone you wanted to see. Your favorite song may be on the radio. You may even avoid an accident or simply but still good, there is no negative result of you actually being late… The idea of a reason behind every sh*t is in fact curing.

Helps overcome issues and obstacles by reducing stress. Meditation activates relaxation response. By doing so, it reduces your blood pressure and pulse rate. Your breath is slower and deeper. Finally, your mood is enhanced.

It works and it is good to feel good.

Other than that, I do not have to explain the positives of reduced stress because you all well know them. The undeniably good effect on health.

Gives support at public speaking. Meditation has calming effect and makes you more focused and connected to yourself. It is complicated to explain. However if you would look for a reason to start meditating and speaking to an audience evokes your anxiety you should definitely try it.

Helps me attract what I want. Meditation shifts the energy from what is negative into positive. It helps focus on things that I do have instead of the opposite. By doing so, I am grateful for all I have and can attract more positive energy to come. Do not get freaked out by this. Just try and you will love it. Positive energy eliminates fear and judgement. Thus, we are more willing to do things we want, fearless.

Makes me look younger. As I started the meditation practice, I very often hear from my friends I look fresh and rested. Seems like the reduced stress overall has impact on the face muscles as well. Hurray. The argument works for me just fine. Still there is really something to the slower ageing effect that takes place on the cellular level

There are much more benefits which you can explore. However those are the basic ones that for me are already enough to keep continuing.

Those needing more profound encouragement can reach out to articles published by Forbes  or BusinessInsider.

Meditation will definitely be my number one practice for 2018

to live a less stressful life

How do I live a less stressful life

To live a less stressful life has been my goal for some time.

I do not want to change my job. I do not want to disregard daily headlines delivered by media, often full of hate and nonsense. I want to be up to date.

In general, I want to stay active in all areas of my life, enjoying my professional and family time. I just want to counter the tension effect.

Why?

Avoiding stress is single most important key to longevity. We all know this answer. Yet, we rarely do something about it, thinking there is no way to get away with stress.

This is also true. Stress is everywhere. We encounter it while facing challenging times at work, handling family and friends relationships or managing our finances. It is also present when watching TV or planning our holidays. While some people handle stress better than others, being under constant stress leads to various reactions in our body and mind which are followed by diseases.

Under pressure, it is harder to think rationally or to be creative. We simply lose the will to develop and in worse cases to live.

I do not want that.

That is why I have started to explore and use following ways to release the tension.

Exercise

Physical activity produces endorphins. For this reason, exercise does not only good for the body but benefits also the mind. It distracts from the problems or challenges currently on your shoulders and switch your focus to the activity. Personally, I am very much into Pilates. I have also taken up the running challenge that for me in addition is the inner fight with my weakness.

Get creative

Again. Distract your mind from the stress. There are so many things to choose. Writing (like a post), cooking, interior design, singing, DIY craft, doodling.

Over the years with more responsibility as we grow, we tend to forget about hobbies. Excuse is the lack of time.

Now, realizing that is actually very important for our mental health, get back to one or quickly develop something new.

Meditate

For me this one is totally new. I am an eager freshman learning the craft.  I am open to this having heard so many positive things meditation can bring to our lives. Let’s see where it takes me.

Breath

Let the oxygen circulate in your body. Deep and conscious breathing is a rescue at a single stressful event but also helps prevent chronic stress on regular basis. Exhale bad emotions, inhale the good ones.

Eat well

Well does not mean rich or fat. Stress increases level of anxiety hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Look therefore for food with calming effects and those regulating levels of the hormones. Unfortunately, these are not hamburgers or apple pie. Good enough beef and oysters do extremely well as they are rich in zinc.

Zinc regulates the level of a nerve chemical influencing mood thus its insufficient daily dose leads to anxieties and signs of depression.

As another example, spinach leafs contain folate, producing dopamine that is a pleasure boosting brain chemical.

Other ingredients to mix regularly in meals are avocado and asparagus, both rich resource of folate as well on top full of Vitamin E and B.

Do not forget about antioxidants and Vitamin C and reach out for berries and red pepper. Strong doses of Vitamin C reduce cortisol level.

 

Good news is that moderate amount of stress has some benefits. The adrenaline we experience triggers the motivation to act. Doses of so called good stress boost effectiveness of performances and sharpens our mind when needed.

less stress

procrastination

Should we feel bad about procrastination?

I have been putting writing this article off for quite some time. I really wanted to do it.  But somehow there were different things that came out always more interesting or more important.

Do you know that feeling? Have you ever worried that procrastination is slowing you down or felt anyhow differently bad about it?

Reading, hearing about the importance of planning to push things forward but also implementing that in my life I have always felt a bit worried or stressed about putting certain things off.

I can admit I have a problem with how to embrace procrastination.

Should I have guilty conscience, which I do most of the time? Should I give myself excuses to feel better? Or is it just natural state of things for all of us and thus should be accepted?

In order not to base purely on my gut feeling I made a little study to find out what psychologists and specialists in the field think of it.

Is it really bad or is it actually good?

Is it something that holds you back from achieving your goals, doing your tasks. Or is it something that helps you prioritize, think things through and finally better manage your time.

I guess the best answer to that is – it depends.

 

It is good if kept under control…

It helps getting a different perspective. We mostly work, work, work and rush through the days. Procrastination can be very beneficial. To stop, clear mind and enjoy the moment.

From conclusion that procrastination is easy some of us can actually argue it is challenging to stop and simply not “chase the rabbit”.  Some, on the contrary, tend to procrastinate relaxation.

 

Procrastination can albeit be also destructive, in particular when it becomes a habit.

As it is said, you cannot experience a fulfillment in your life, sitting on a sofa and doing nothing all the time. Unless this is your ultimate goal which I doubt.  Even the Law of Attraction needs action for things to go the desired way. Nothing will happen by itself.

 

Procrastinating

 

As with anything in life, it seems that finding the right balance is important.

 

Since you are reading this, you are probably an ambitious person worried a bit about your occasional laziness, looking around for acknowledgment this is a natural human thing.

You are also looking for ways to improve, at least slightly, in that area. Sometimes pure awareness of the reality helps us sort out problems.

First of all it turns out procrastination can help us be more productive if managed. Frank Partnoy interviewed a number of senior executives that resulted in interesting findings he describes in a book “Wait – the art and science of delay” .

Top decision makers manage delay, meaning they do not take the decision until the very last moment, they do not answer emails up until it is ultimately necessary, they do not react spontaneously.

Same patterns were found among most successful professional athletes or in military. That saves time for things that need action. It also helps finding the best solution, idea or strategy.

Following that path, we can make a thesis that managed procrastination should be the core base of action.

But what if above awareness still does not help and the whole delay management ideology slips through your fingers anyway?

Following tricks can help.

Joy and reward impact – as we tend to put off things that we don’t like, it would help to have some inbuilt self-reward system. For example, if I iron all the washed shirts I will have more time in the morning. This one is tricky. I should not say – if I iron all the shirts, I will relax and have a glass of wine. Why? Because I may conclude, I can just easily relax without having anything ironed.

That leads us to the value of things we do.

Value – as analyzed, procrastinating of given tasks happens because of consciously or subconsciously putting value to what we have to do. If we value one thing more over another, the one with bigger value to us wins. If the value is too small, perhaps the thing is not important at all. Yet, it is important to be really mindful of what is on the other side of weight. Perhaps it is bottom line happiness of our spouse, safety of our job or good health

Anxiety and how to deal with that – Anxiety refers not only to fear that we will fail but also to nervousness due to doing something for the first time thus lacking experience. We end up advancing that inconvenient situation to our future selves.

How to overcome that fear? Cut task in pieces, get help, and make the first step.

Cutting bigger task into smaller activities and having the step-by-step approach is actually key to me when playing around more time or task challenging to dos.

Even with this article. I first drafted the idea, then built a skeleton and sequence and only then started to add some meat to it.

It is good to have that confirmation that procrastination can also be a benefit. It saves time for really important things. Some, which we put aside, may in the end lose the relevance.

On the other side, the line between active procrastination and passive is fine. We should watch out not to go on the “dark side of power” ending miserable failing on every desire or plan we have.

digita detox

Digital Detox

In New York, the widespread detox trend is that in restaurants, bars and cafes access to Wi-Fi is strictly limited. Can you imagine that?

Those more despotic venues restrict using laptops whatsoever – for 7 days a week!

Where the (crazy) idea came from? 

The owners have been forcing all customers to look away from their devices – instead of being online, switch to offline mode: focus on the meal, conversation with friends – focus on what has been happening here and now. 

Thanks to the glorious achievements of the technology – such as smartphones, tablets, etc – we can spend time with several people in different place – all at once. However, the Internet has become simultaneously our blessing and ourcurse. While being online and available 24 hours a day, we have become strikingly lonely. Social media has been the least sociable communication channel – as well as the most superficial. Just one click is sufficient to demonstrate how one caresThe buzzing phone interrupts each meal, conversation, and daily social interactions. Taking photographs, however, is a different story. Tania Mulry, social entrepreneur awarded in the field of mobile marketing, university lecturer and the founder and president of DDX Media has devoted her TEDx speech to the theme of Digital Detox. She even coined a term for an obsessiveshooting – ‘Pho-ment’.

Mulry call herself a “technology junkie” and she talks proudly about the moment she realized her problem – the abuse of digital devices. During her lecture at La Sierra University, she reiterated the superiority of “the quality time” spent in the company of the loved ones over “the screen time” because “The best things in life do not happen on the screen.” Likewise limiting food intake when trying to lose weight, placing a limit on the time spent online is tough but definitely worth a try. The sooner the better – especially after listening to Tanya Mulry.

Regarding digital media, alongside “Phoment,” Mulry evokes more concerns of detrimental influence on our lives – both individual and social.

Although digital devices aim to both make life easier and improve our professional performancethey, actually, often define the social positions.

At the same time, traditional manners have been wholly neglected: smartphones buzz, vibrate, and ring … so they end conversations before any conclusions. Left behind are not only the rules of courtesy but also the basic rules of safety. Mulry cites dramatic statistics from the United States: 11 teenagers are killed on the road every day because of careless drivers who text. What is more, “Endless senseless, useless and mindless” scrolling feed (on Facebook for example) affects negatively our cognitive abilities. Virtually, digital devices have become a substitute for the brain, which gradually breaks down if it is not trained.

Since we have a digital calendar, notepad, remindersremembering things is no longer a necessity – not to mention the good, old handwriting. The worst part, however, is that we are systematically losing patience and ability to concentrate.

American scientists has confirmed that the continued use of electronic devices leads to emotional exhaustion and physical health problems. Tania Mulry is not the only ambassador of digital detox. Kerry Washington, an actress, has once announced on her Instagram account that she was disconnecting from the virtual world just to have started reconnecting with the real world outside. The same route was taken by Steven Spielberg, Julia Roberts, and Arianna Huffigton, founder of the famous portal HuffPost and Randi Zuckerberg, an American businesswoman and sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Paradoxically, even popular vlogger Estee Lalonde, for which YouTube was the springboard to success, has taken the challenge of the 48-hour digital detox. Effects? Lalonde says it’s one of the most difficult tasks she has taken in life … and that life without the Internet seems to be so boring!

In case you are wondering whether you need a digital detox, try to recall the last time you logged off from the digital world for 24 hours. You cannot? That is so typical. However, the “return to the past” without the Internet, carries the great deal of benefits. Frances Booth in her article “How To Do a Digital Detox” (2014) lists the most important ones: withdrawal from the virtual world can give a person a brand new perspective on the surrounding reality and it increases productivity. In addition, quitting all things digital – just for some time – will positively affect the mental and physical health as well as relationships with other people – and with oneself.

How to start a digital detox? Vogue, as an example suggests where to travel for a serious digital detox. As much as the places are beautiful they are surely far from easy way and low budget.

Start with small steps. Disable all applications notifications and set a flight mode. Leave your laptop and tablet at home. Do not turn on the television. Take care of what is happening here and now.

Think about Steve Jobs’ words: Your time is limited, so do not waste it living someone else’s life.

 

Lifestyle Trends in 2017

Beginning of the year inspires me to take an insght in lifestyle trends and possible ideas of how will our reality shape in the course of following months. Why? Well, partially to gratify the internal curiosity to be up to date which direction the world around us is going and partially also to support my refreshed view on certain things. But yes, also to understand the sometimes unconventional ideas of my friends

After the midnight of the New Year’s Eve, I discussed with some friends how they were going to spend the following year. There were not many specified things but one that was outstanding and repetitive was the idea to enjoy the life more. Spending the time to actually live and appreciate life. Sounds so obvious. I just wonder why we have not had that in mind earlier.

Maybe that is just age but perhaps the focus on better, richer and healthier life is the emerging trend.

Doing a little research, detoxification comes to the surface as one of the strongest trends.

That can actually relate to many areas of life

Lifestyle – escapism

In a meaning of healthy enjoyment, focus on time out for a moment. Be it a month, week or maybe few hours in the evening. It is about having the time to express yourself and calm the daily hectic reality.

We will hear more in media about the importance of gratitude, breathing and meditation. The trend is the answer to increasing stress and ratio of people suffering depression.

Within this trend, we can also find the somehow surprising and untypical ones like suspended adulthood for people escaping the worries of adulating.

Food

The interest in being more careful about what we are putting in our body is gaining on significance. The trend for organic food as part of the healthy lifestyle trend has been growing for some time now. Yet it has not reached its peak. The potential is enormous. It will become more important to consumers influencing foodstuff but also cosmetics business strategies very strongly.

Fashion – Buy Less

Detox in this area is very much about limiting the spending on unnecessary things. It is about the reevaluation of priorities and deciding what has true value. It is also connected to the curve of economic growth of generations.

Generation X (35-50 years old group) is at the moment the group with the highest annual income. Still the rising awareness of possible and unnecessary money waste makes them go rather for good quality things once in a while.

Until recently, this group was spending big on houses, cars, investments etc. that is the commodity groups the millennials are mostly not targeting.

Millennials are interested more in meaningful purchases still having the price high as the selection criteria. Millennials is by far the largest group of future consumers reaching its biggest potential in 2020 and this shapes strategies of marketers already now.

Buy less but thoughtful is the growing trend for all generations, still all the groups will keep different perception of what is thoughtful.

Digital detox

Last but not least, the digital detox that is slowly developing into a movement.

We could see last year some trendsetting in that area coming from the world of celebrities. The fact that Kendall Jenner (Kardashian family) being absent on Instagram for a few days was the news of the day on CNN (!?!) is quite astonishing.

Disconnect to reconnect is seen as the way to regain perspective and reassess the value of technology in our life. I would say it is at least an interesting food for thought.

 

 

 

 

New Year's Inspiration

New Year’s Wishes

Next year has come to an end. So there we are, reflecting, assessing and planning. Yet, this is not a post on New Year’s resolutions that you could expect.

This is the time for me to look back and check if I was successful to achieve some development in areas of my life dearest to me. If I managed to explore more, learn more, experience more and love more.

Being slightly contrary, I’m not going to follow the track of giving you the best advice how you can deal with setting goals for the next year. That you can find here.

Instead, I want to share with you the quotes from one of my favorite books that will inspire you, that will give you courage, consolation or a new perspective.

Whatever you need at the point of life you are cuurrently in.

Purposely, I don’t comment on the chosen statements. Let’s just say I picked those that I found appealing, wise and true.

To me they are as intimate and personal to one another as they are universe.  

You can therefore reflect on it your own way, the way you feel and this is the best way to do it.

Nevertheless, I deeply recommend reading the book and finding out what the author herself was referring to.

The book is “The Woman I Wanted to Be” by Diane Von Furstenberg, my inspiration for this post and one of my inspirations to look up to in life.

 

  • Listen, always listen (…) Sometimes there are doors that will open and you think it is not an important door and yet it is—so it’s very important to be curious and pay attention, because sometimes you learn and you don’t even know you are learning.

 

  • Passion and persistence are what matter. Dreams are achievable and you can make your fantasy come true, but there are no shortcuts. Nothing happens without hard work.

 

  • Fear is not an option.

 

  • You never know how something that seems the worst thing turns out to be the best.

 

  • If one door closes, another will open.

 

  • There is no way to envision life without love (…) Love is a way of feeling alive and respecting life.

 

  • Love is about relationships, yet the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.

 

  • Favorite sutras: Harmony, Integrity, Peace, Abundance, Love, Knowledge, Laughter and Creativity.

 

  • Dare to be you.

DVF

Diane Von Furstenberg

 

With these words, I wish you and myself the motivation, health and strength to make the best out of the New Year.

All the Best! Alina

veganbeauty

Vegan Beauty

It is high time to voice that vegan beauty products are the future.

 

Vegan beauty products? Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden, explains vegan beauty as “products that are free of any animal byproducts or derivatives.”

 

Not only are they best for your skin but also cruelty-free goods are not harmful to the environment. Taking into account the critical state of our Mother Nature, it is highly egoistic not to care about the resources we exploit and how we exploit them.

 

Turning to vegan – or at least vegetarian – diet is great but not enough. To be truly participating in protecting of what is left in the natural world, it is important to mind our day-to-day habits. Today, let’s bring vegan skincare into the focus. Below, you will find five beauty brands that are 100 % vegan and cruelty-free that offer amazing products – worth trying whether you are vegan or not.

 

  1. Ministerstwo Dobrego Mydła

 

A small, family-owned manufacturer is already well known in its home market, Poland. Established by two sisters, Ania and Ula Bieluń, who had quitted corporate careers,

Ministerstwo Dobrego Mydła is all vegan and cruelty-free brand. Their products are based on organic and natural ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, unrefined cocoa and shea butter and virgin oils. Except for soaps, MDM offers aromatic bath bombs, rich body butters, oils and body scrubs. Thankfully, the company is shipping their fantastic products to (almost) whole Europe. We highly recommend trying their carrot soap (perfect for mature skin) and plum scrub (wonderfully smoothing formula!)

vegan cosmetics

 

  1. Arbonne

 

Arbonne promotes a healthy lifestyle in its all aspects claiming to be “on a green journey for 35 years.” Established in Switzerland, the company has never tested its products on animals. Instead, it invests in pure, botanically based ingredients. Arbonne develops products by combining the best of nature with leading science. In its offer, you will find a wide variety of products: from skincare and makeup to nutrition. Check out Arbonne bestsellers list for details.

 

  1. skyn ICELAND

 

Exploiting the potential of the pure unspoiled natural resources of Iceland and Arctic – including glacial waters, botanicals, and marine elements – skyn ICELAND products restore skin balance, natural glow and youthful state. As much as stress affects our mind, it also affect our body – and thus, our skin. The latest findings of psych dermatology – the scientific study of how emotions affect skin proves that stress can be detrimental to the proper abilities of skin functioning.

Skyn ICELAND comes up with its unique Iceland Complex to fight harmful impact of everyday life. Bonus: it was a former beauty-industry executive, Sarah Kugelman that founded the brand.

veganbeauty

 

  1. SpaRitual

 

Launched in 2004 by a lifestyle futurist, Shel Pink, SpaRitual elevates whole skincare thing into further level. Brand founding philosophy – Slow Beauty for a Fast World – celebrates the mind, body and spirit reconnected. If ‘we are what we eat,’ we must also pay closer attention to what we put on our bodies – as it is equally important as what we put inside it.

Once you become SpaRitualists, you slow down and relax; you indulge yourself with a nourishing treatment with all-vegan formulas from around the world. SpaRituals best known for its nail polishes also offers different skincare lines including excellent lotions, body butters, serums, oils, scrubs, and tonics.

  1. Pacifica Beauty

 

Beauty gurus around the world praise the brand flagship product – Kale Detox Deep Cleaning Face Wash.

Pacifica is fighting the common misconceptions that all-natural products will not guarantee the same, desired results as their non-vegan, mass-market counterparts.

 

Brand mission is to “[deliver] the best performing products, using safe ingredients, in recyclable packaging and components to the largest possible audience of beauty consumers.” Quite impressive!

Except from being 100 % cruelty-free, gluten-free and vegan, Pacifica products are suitable for ultra-sensitive skin. Bonus: they offer beautifully scented candles that are manufactured from paraffin that is a by-product of the petrochemical industry. It means it would otherwise be waste.

veganbeauty

 

3D Printing shaping the future lifestyle

Despite its beginning in the 80’s 20th century, 3D printing exists broader in the news for last three to four years. Over this time, scientists and innovators from different fields have been trying it more and more in different industries.

In 2013, McKinsey pointed it as one of the technologies that will transform our lifestyle in the future.

This transformation will have an impact on global economy and therefore the technology is named disruptive.

Now it may feel awkward to accept some (if not most) of the products printed instead of produced the normal way. The normal way may however become the old-fashioned way in the future. Just think of last ten or twenty years and what we see nowadays as a must of existence. Internet, WIFI, mobile technology just to name few. Likely followed by cloud tech, advanced robotics or 3D printing.

Without arguing on the likelihood of scientists’ prediction, let us have a look what we can print in the year 2016.

Fashion Industry

After more or less successful prototype designs made in the workshops of innovators, 3D printing stepped into the world of haute couture.

The use of the new technology in the industry rather traditional in its production techniques is a critical step forward.

 

3d-printed-chanel-suits

3D printed Chanel suits

 

The Costume Institute’s spring 2016 exhibition MANUS x MACHINA held at the MET Gallery in New York presented much more examples of mechanic design vs the manual in the high-end fashion.

 

Interior Design

Very popular in the area of modern interiors, 3D offers possibility to create forms that would be impossible to make using traditional technologies.

 

3d-wood-printed-furniture

3D Wood Printed Furniture

Architects go even further. The ambitious Dutch are using the additive manufacturing technique to build an entire house !

 

Food Industry.

The most questionable of all. When we think of the printed food, we suddenly visualize SF movie scenes. 3D printing so far is used though mostly to craft special design of food to give it a form of an art.

 

sugar-cake-blue-china

Sugar Cake Blue China

 

Still the science fiction movies are not far from reality. NASA sponsored a project donating $125.000 for a company to develop a pizza making printer. The printer is to serve astronauts during their missions on Mars. It was presented this year at the Food Loves Tech and is to enter commercial market in 2017

BeeHex at Food Loves Tech 2016

 

It is hard to assess at this point in time if the 3D Printing technology is just a hype or a real potential. For sure though it brings some advantage to producers. No or less material waste. Lower labor and transport costs with an impact on supply chain. It has also a big advantage in tailored production. An idea can go directly from a computer design to a finished product.

It is still some years to come for a wider consumer usage of this technology but that could speed up as the systems get cheaper and smarter with ongoing attention from research and development units.

Super foods

Superfoods you just have to know

Most probably, you have already heard of superfoods: goji berries, chia seeds, quinoa, spirulina, etc. Not only their names are hardly pronounceable, but also it is rather hard to say how and why they have earned the super- prefix.

Superfoods are the heroes of the all food. Being packed with great amasses of nutrients, antioxidants, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes; they boost your performance, help fight disease, feel more energetic and even aid losing weight.

Below, you will find our guide to top five superfoods that you should incorporate in your diet plan ASAP.

 

  1. Spirulina

I bet you would like to have algae in your face cream or any beauty product, right? Why, then, wouldn’t you nourish the body from within with it?

spirulina. Detox superfood.

Spirulina comes in both powder and tablets form. It is an organism, often referred to as blue-green algae, that lives underwater. It is said that spirulina may be the most nutritious food on the planet. Among many of its outstanding properties, it lowers blood pressure, prevents cancers, detoxifies body, speed up weight loss and put a stop to anemia. For those seeking results in the gym performance, spirulina also strengthens muscles and improves endurance.

All the sushi lovers should not be surprised – here is just another prove that algae are the best!

 

  1. Goji berries

These ones have been waiting for a heyday around the world for a while. In China known as the “wolffruit,” goji berries have been used in traditional medicine for over 2,000 years. And now celebrities like Miranda Kerr and Madonna can’t stop talk about them!

Goji berries

Why? These teeny-tiny chewy fruits offer great benefits to the body as well as to the mind. According to some legends, goji berries were the primal source of good health, vitality, longevity and stamina for the Himalayan monks. Anyhow, today, they are known for being a good source of fiber, rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Thus, they help you fighting heart diseases, manage your weight and better digestion, and keep your skin healthy and glowy. According to research, goji berries improve athletic performance, ability to focus, calmness and – in the meantime – reduce stress and anxiety.

 

  1. Quinoa

Properly spelled as a “keen-wah,” it is the super grain among all the superfoods. Alike the “wolffruit,” it has a long history – yet, from the Southern Hemisphere. It was called “the gold of the Incas,” as allegedly it was increasing the strength and resilience of their warriors.

Quinoa seed

Quinoa is gluten-free, very high in antioxidants, packed with protein, magnesium, iron and fiber – it contains almost twice as much fiber comparatively to other grains! What does it mean to your health? “The gold of Incas” prevents heart disease, helps in losing weight, detoxification of the body, energy production, and in the formation of healthy bones and teeth. In addition, one of quinoa advantage is that it is really easy to incorporate in your diet.

 

  1. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are beautiful tiny black seeds from the plant related to the mint that grows in South America. Back in the day, they have been an important food staple for Aztecs and Mayans. Actually, in the ancient Mayan word chia means “strength.”

Chia Seed

There are dozens of delicious ways to benefit from chia power: in puddings, muffins, smoothies, jams, oatmeal, parfaits, etc… Let us see why it is so important.

They are bursting with fiber, fatty acids, quality protein, minerals, and antioxidants; they improve certain blood markers, which lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes; they are packed with important bone nutrients. As much as sports drink, chia seeds improve fitness performance.

Even a small amount of chia seeds provides a powerful dose of nutrition. If you are to try only one superfood, go for chia seeds.

 

  1. Açaí

Here is another representative from the Southern Hemisphere. The açaí, pronounced ah-sigh-ee, is a Brazilian berry overloaded with antioxidants. Actually, the berries are one of the highest sources of antioxidants on Earth: one berry holds ten times the amount of antioxidants as grapes, and two times the amount of blueberries.

acai

Açaí is famous for improving digestion, its anti-aging properties and for cleansing body from toxins. The Brazilian superhero boosts also energy levels and ability to focus. Being packed with protein and fibre, açaí makes you feel full longer, thus, it’s a helping hand in fighting weight. Research has proven that açaí also prevent heart disease, diabetes and depression.

Bonus? Its smooth texture and chocolatey taste goes perfectly with both sweet and savoury recipes. Surely, just one tablespoon of Açaí berry powder will do.

 

 

energy

5 Natural Energy Boosters that will Make You Quit Coffee

Your energy level is running low? You did not have enough sleep the night before? Or maybe it is the weather that makes you drowsy?

Most likely, the first remedy that comes to you mind is coffee – or, worse, sugar. Well, think again.

Instead of opting for obvious (but false) energy booster, try out our all-natural solutions. Your body and mind will thank you later.

 

  1. Start a day with green tea

There’s nothing like the smell of coffee in the morning… Fortunately, it is only habitual. Green tea is a multi-benefit beverage that improves metabolism, detoxifies your body and boost your immune system. Switch your cup of coffee for a fragrant cup of green tea!

grenn tea energy booster

healthy green tea cup with tea leaves

  1. Beetroot juice

Surprised? The cheap, easily accessible and ordinary veggie shows great potential. For runners, it is the perfect source of energy before trainings. Research has proved that beetroot juice extends your stamina and make you exercise up to 16% longer! Moreover, beetroots contain folic acid, fibre, manganese and potassium. Beet juice in the morning will nourish your body throughout the day.

energy booster beetroot juice

Beetroot juice with mint leaves

  1. Chai

Originated in India, Chai is a delightful beverage made with rich black tea, milk, and mix of spices such as cinnamon, ginger, or cardamon. It is a perfect choice for those who cannot get over the divorce with coffee. Although, you cut the caffeine intake, the smooth taste of black tea gives impression it is a coffee – but better!

masala chai energy booster

Masala chai with spices.

  1. Coconut water

It might be the most glorious of all the refreshments. It is low in calories, fat-free, and super hydrating. It is the best cure for a hangover. It is delicious. And – last but not least – it is invigorating! Coconut water contains all electrolytes your body needs to feel best and sustain your energy. Thank you, Mother Nature.

coconut water

Coconut drink with pulp in glass on wooden table

  1. Green smoothies

Green is the healthiest color – it brings health, vitality and energy. Lately, green smoothies have become hugely popular and hopefully, they will stay with us for good. Being filled with phytonutrients, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they make us revitalized and bucked up. Mix your favourites, like kale, bananas, mango, apples, and spinach. Experiment with different combinations. A green smoothie for breakfast is a quick way to wake up!

Fresh and healthy green smoothie

Seven splendid summer TV series

That today’s TV series are better than movies has been a common view for a while now.

Yet personally, I had been very reluctant to be of the same mind. It may had been to my rather unsatisfactory prior experience. Usually, they use to bore me terribly – and, eventually, having started watching few productions, I could not make it to the end.

 

Apparently, I had a bad luck. With so many diverse TV series available to choose from, my choices were unfortunate.

Still I would like to recommend seven productions that impressed me, intrigued me and have made a TV series enthusiast out of me.

 

           

If you … are curious how illegal fortunes were raised in Latin America back in the 80s.

NARCOS

Do you remember Blow movie starring Johnny Deep? If you liked it, just go for Narcos. The Netflix production relates to Blow not only in terms of much the same climate, but also that (in)famous Pablo Escobar, the unprecedented king of drug industry, starred in the movie.

narcos

 

 

If you … need a coming-of-age comedy-drama.

GIRLS

The chances are, rather slight, that you have not yet seen Lena Dunham five-season production. It takes place in New York, it is a little far-fetched and naive, yet, New York Times claimed that Girls may be the millenial equivalent to Sex and the City. Is more recommendation needed?

girls

 

If you … rather go for spine-thrilling experience.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY Hotel

Unless you are a Lady Gaga fan, you may not have known that she is an actress – beside her other extensive activity. And, as for me, she is a good one. Horror movies have never attracted me much but AHS Hotel is such a stylish and engaging production, you should give it a try.

 

If you … want to grasp Birmingham- based shady climate of the 20s.

Peaky Blinders

This one was a tricky one for me as I was very much hesitant to start watching Peaky Blinders. However, it was the very first series I was binge-watching (and I could not stopped.) The soundtrack, the characters, style – the production may be the best TV series I have ever watched – and this is the opinion I hear quite often.

Do you remember Blow movie starring Johnny Deep? If you liked it, just go for Narcos. The Netflix production relates to Blow not only in terms of much the same climate, but also that (in)famous Pablo Escobar, the unprecedented king of drug industry, starred in the movie.

 

If you … look for an intriguing mix of mystery, love story and science fiction.

22.11.63

It is a TV series based on Stephen King’s novel. When I realized, it is going to be about time travels, I could not be less convinced. Yet, James Franco in the leading role encouraged me to make an effort – and it was worth it. If there are any history enthusiasts, the title probably rings a bell. The assassination of JFK is the heart of the story line.

22.11.63

 

If you … crave more sultry stories.

Girlfriend experience

It may be a taboo topic, but being an exclusive escort is a source of income for a raising number of students in big cities nowadays. It is not about being a prostitute – but rather providing with an experience of having a girlfriend to well-off businessmen. Also, it stars Riley Keough who is an outstandingly gorgeous granddaughter of Elvis Presley.

girlfriend experience

 

If you … are not afraid of facing brutal reality of today’s world governed by evil corporations.

Mr Robot

Even though it is not recognized as a horror movie, it may frighten you to death. It is not based on a true story, yet, it resembles today’s world just way too much not to have such impression. Are you familiar with the history of Enron corporation? Well, without any spoilers, there is a striking resemblance with the true events.

mr. robot

enjoy vacation

How to really enjoy your vacation

Vacation booked and longed for. Still once you’re there ready to relax you suddenly realize you’re actually not resting. Sounds familiar? That probably means you have a lot on your head on the daily. So what to do to enjoy your holiday and make use of what you have waited for?

This is something I’ve been struggling with a lot myself. Even being aware of all the side effects of not having a rest for a longer time I still couldn’t stop keeping my head busy. Step by step I created a plan how to be successful in the area of holiday. Sounds crazy, I know. Despite that I guess building a plan is actually a good exercise for all the plan following junkies

Some of you have a job out there which is hard to let go off for a few days. Well, I took that into consideration. It’s not about throwing your laptop and smartphone out of a window. An advice given often by work life balance promoters. I can imagine you would probably not stand that and end up with anxiety not letting you relax in the end.

Elba vacation

The key is to build your day around holiday theme and as much as possible in the holiday mood.

  • Set time slots for yourself to check your mailbox if you have to. Of course you may totally skip that one if it doesn’t have any reference to your reality. That’s great. If it does however it’s best to set a time for it. It can be early in the morning before the day starts for the rest of your holiday companions or in the evening. Choose what works for you. Do what you have to do and then switch off. That will help you relax when being busy with summer unplugged activities.

 

  • Plan those activities. For my last holiday I planned to wake up shortly after 5 am just to see the sunrise over the bay full of mooring yachts. I guess I could have pretty well slept until 11 instead. The only difference is I wouldn’t have a great memory from my summer break.

mooring yachts vacation

mooring yachts Tuscany

  • Arrange for trips you wanted to do. Thanks to that your mind will be busy organizing as it is used to but the job so to speak will be less stressful than it usually is. There are many advantages of it. First, as per Wall Street Journall, scientists say planning vacation and activities around it has a relaxing effect on our brain. That planning has actually the positive effect already before the holiday as we anticipate the good experiences to happen.

 

  • Engage with family and friends. Organize joint dinners and have some good laugh. It very much depends whether you recharge your batteries with people or alone. Still vacation gives you the time to socialize with others which is good to make use of.

 

  • Follow up with the books you wanted to read or movies you wanted to watch and be focused to have that ticked off by the end of your holiday

 

  • Practice mindfulness. That can be challenging. We find ourselves thinking about our past or planning our future without really experiencing the present. Don’t you have that when finally experiencing something you have waited for so long you are actually not fully mindfull to cherish it? Being here and now is what make us celebrate our life.

 

So, do I use my holiday to the fullest? Well in whole fairness I’m still working on that but I’m getting there. The motivation is to be more creative and productive after the break. The additional advantage of having a rest is friends tell you look better…

life decisions

Holiday Inspirations. Start something additional.

This one isn’t about to motivate you to start something new in a sense of changing your life. It’s about taking on something in addition that will enrich your life.

Holiday is the time of the year when our mind gets a bit more relaxation from daily duties. The thoughts are not around the hustle and errands.

For me holiday is typically thinking about my life and how I could explore it better to have it fuller and richer.

It’s the best moment for our mind to sense and grasp new inspirations.

Here are some good examples of the women having done this and experiencing fulfillment in areas not straight forwardly connected with their base profession.

I can almost hear you saying – yeah right, I don’t have the money or I don’t have the connections.

It can be truth. Yet you don’t have to start a new empire. You can start something small that will give you this extra sparkle of excitement.

Anyhow here are just examples of some of my favorite Hollywood stars whom I bow to in respect to their new accomplishments. Good job ladies!

Jessica Alba

In 2008 year Jessica started building a cosmetic empire. After few years of strugling with the idea she couldn’t stop thinking of, she found her business partners and launched the company with 17 products. That was in 2011. You may have noticed Jessica has this little craze over names starting with “H”. It must have started from her big role in “Honey”, she named her daughters Honor and Haven and rounded it up with her company name – Honest. The Honest Company’s mission is to provide families with non-toxic household products from house cleaning products, through skin soaps to diapers and tampons. The worth $ 1.7 billion empire has been expanded by Honest Beauty Company selling skin care and make up products.

 

Drew Barrymore

Her passion for wines turned into business she nurtures and promotes intensively throughout the USA. The adventure first started in 2011 in Italy but then moved to a place closer home.

drew barrymore wine

In 2013 she started collaboration with California based wine maker Carmel Road. The outcome of the collaboration are two wines so far.

The Barrymore Pinot Grigio and The Barrymore Rose of Pinot Noir.

 

Of course wines are not the only thing Drew is busy with apart from her acting career and daughters. She is also a writer, a film producer and has her own cosmetic line as well.

Cameron Diaz

One of the most successful actress of 90’s and a former model came up with a brilliant idea to convert her deep interest in a healthy lifestyle into a business.

She first started in 2013 with her book praising the healthy nutrition, strong body and positive mind. The “Body Book” became a number one New York Times bestseller. Then in May this year (2016) she launched the next book called “The Longevity Book” in which she describes the art and science of growing older. With the two books Cameron created a culture of strong women knowing their worth and accepting the process of aging.

Reading the books you can really sense how strongly involved Cameron is in the topic. Expert knowledge which she gathered for the books topped with her personal anecdotes makes it a good read for lazy Sundays.

The authenticity in her case, like in the above examples, is the key to success.

I admire people who have the guts and the motivation to do things beyond their normal (one would think) routine.
I guess that is something that has called me eventually to start this site. And my motivation is to share the inspiration.
Have a wonderful holiday!

Keep your brain fit

Brain is no doubt our most important muscle. Keeping it fit enhances its ability to function at its best. If we may care about and train our body to be healthier, more flexible, energized, faster…why not do the same for our brain. In addition to the advantages gained for today we will be thankful in the future since as scientifically proven fit brain diminishes risk of dementia and related diseases.

Here’s the “Vitamin E” to maintain the youth of your brain.

 

Eliminate dehydration

Brain is an organic machine and thus needs water. Very simple yet still very much neglected by many. Imagine that brain consist in 70% of water which evaporates all the time during the 24 hours of a day. Water gives the brain critical energy to function properly including wit and memory process. Brain cells need two times more energy than other cells in the body and water provides this energy in the most effective way. Lack of water hinders the focus and sharpness of your brain. It also leads to anger, depression and other risks. In other words water is not only to make your body look better but most of all it’s precious for your brain. Implement this 1.5 l routine a day you have heard about many times but didn’t feel like doing it.

 

Exhale and start the day with a deep inhale

Open a window after you wake up to breathe some fresh air. In first minutes avoid the screens like inbox, social media, etc. You will lose focus diving into the reactions on what external news bring up. Let your brain reflect on the night that passed by and visualize on what’s ahead.

 

Exercise your body

I am a fan of a morning exercise. That doesn’t mean however that I’m successful with it every time. Nevertheless I try to at least do some work out in the evening. In whole fairness more for the purpose of lifting my bottom. Still energizing my brain has always been a great second reason. If you have ever done some exercising before going to work or school you have experienced how much positively it boosted your energy for the day. You actually felt you were alive!

Exercise increases pressure of blood which is responsible for delivering of oxygen to the brain. Oxygen is the energy to every single cell in your body and again brain needs it twice as much.

Exercise your brain

Do puzzles, crosswords, calculations in your head, whatever that pushes your brain to work a bit harder. Break the daily routine. Don’t go on autopilot. Challenge your brain.

Take a different road going to work, talk to strangers if you don’t do it regularly or write a list of things starting with the same letter as an example 😉

Whatever you do to push your brain will increase its creative abilities.

 

Energize with a well-balanced diet

Add to your diet products that have substances best converted into the energy. Without going much into specialized details pick green vegetables, good oils, nuts, fish and whole grain stuff.

Vitamin E, vitamin C and DHA received from food helps protect neurons and nerve cells.

There are many researches around the impact of a diet on the overall quality of body functioning. Not always there is a straight correlation between the diet and lower risk for let say Alzheimer, nevertheless there is no downside to consuming food rich in valuable proteins and fats.

Best food for brain

Explore

Explore and learn new things. I have this strong believe that the curiosity of the world, exploring and learning gives brain the extra power. The more we explore the more we use the thinking capabilities of our mind.

Process of learning creates new connections between our neurons. The brain remains active.

Learning of a second language for example which is one of the biggest effort for the brain, increases intelligence and protects it against aging.

 

Want some of this vitamin E? I do.

UEFA championship

What to love football championship for

There’s this special time in a while when men are totally focused – crazed would be a better word – on one thing. Football. This becomes top priority when planning a day or even a full month.

As much as that can be annoying, that can actually be the time for the ladies to have same amount of fun. Even or especially if you are not a football fan.

 

  • Have a weekend get together with your girlfriends – be sure to tell your spouse/boyfriend there’s no championship transmission at the spot you are going. Indulge in a spa relaxation and tons of girly talk.

ladies out of town during football championship

  • Buy some new decor for your home or a pair of new shoes – your partner will most probably be too distracted with the more important thing to pay attention to this 😉

decor

via Garance Dore

  • Adjust the menu to the origins of football teams playing given day – that can be additional inspiration for your normal menu routine. It’s fun for the kids and an excused time off from a diet you’re on. Here’s some tips from Jamie Oliver.

football food

 

  • Enjoy it! Allow your man to enjoy his hobby and then switch hats for you to enjoy yours. Balanced partnership in the end is all we want.

New York Style Breakfast

New York City is a place of uncounted diversity of experience. Breakfast is one of them.

You have here the highest buildings, the breathtaking views, one of the longest bridges, the wildest variety of people, museums and shopping. And I’m sure I overlooked something.

For all the food lovers this is however a place with the richest variety of choices when it comes to the pleasure of eating.

As per Wall Street Journal there are over 9.000 eating establishments in Manhattan only, which makes it not only impossible to review but would also be quite a challenge to visit.

I therefore focus  on breakfast only and on the three most adorable tastes I recommend to try.

The Avocado Toast

the avocado toast

The best served at Le Pain Quotidien, a chain with various locations across Manhattan and Norma’s Restaurant at Le Parker Meridien which you will find on West 57th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue.

 

The Jalapeno Avocado Omelet

A bit of Mexican flavor best for a stomach with a big appetite.

The Jalapeno Avocado Omelet via Facebook

The one I tasted is at the Bus Stop Cafe at 597 Hudson St. , the far from being fancy restaurant one could say. Nevertheless its homey style, where expectations meet the reality of quality and tasty serves of classic dishes makes it, as cited by NYMag, one of the West Village long lasting favourite.

I recomend it in paricular if you’re in a company of hungry males appreciating a well sized dish 🙂

 

The Granola

Something for the ladies. Sorry guys. Yes, most of all New York City is a place taking organic and healthy food as a seperate religion. And I can wholeheartly say this appeals to me.

cafe cluny granolavia Cafe Cluny

Cafe Cluny located at 284 West 12th St, offers this delicious combination among many other tempting options. A very upbeat and lively place to enjoy the vibe of The City.

 

As a bonus…

If you still feel you have some place left for a desert go for a lemon cheesecake.

A piece of art to be tried at the Magnolia Bakery.

magnolia bakery cheesecake

The world went crazy about rose quartz and serenity

Rose quartz and serenity announced as the colors of the year 2016 seem to have dominated the design and fashion completely.

Pantone, which is said to be the authority on colors in consumer trends, announced end of last year that the two colors will rise in ranking as The Colors of the year.

As a supplementary comment the company said both colors represent “connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace”.

 

pantonesource: Pantone

The colors are selected after a research done by the company including surveys with fashionistas and specialists representing pop culture, including movies and music.

Some of you may recall last year’s color of the year to be Marsala, a very dark and intense mixture of deep burgundy and brown.

The outcome of said survey was that current anxious times call for softer tones bringing the sense of mindfulness and well-being.

We may see the response to the announcement in various designs represented by different industries.

Here are some of the egzamples

apple rose quartzsource:www.minzofficial.com

shoes rose quartz and serenity

source: Pinterest

furniture rose quartz and serenity

source: Westelm

kitchenaid rose quartz

source: Kitchenaid

Rolls Royce Rose Quartz

source: topspeed.com

The announced colors have some oponents as well claiming Pantone is not setting the trends but following

Nevertheless I find it very apealing, espacially looking at the nature May offers to us in recent days plus they are nice colors to wear!

rose quartz and serenity

 

yoga

Is Yoga for me ?

“ – Yoga? Nah, it’s not for me; too slow, tedious and monotonous;”

“ – When working out, I need to sweat a lot and let off steam, you know? My problem with yoga is that it lacks excitement;”

“ – It’s the spiritual depth to yoga that puts me off. The atmosphere and the music during the classes make me feel a little uncomfortable.”

 

I’ve been practising yoga for a while now. I started when I was 15 and despite few breaks throughout the time, I’m always coming back and enjoy greatly the classes. I’d even dare to say that I couldn’t imagine my life without yoga. Yes, I’d had a dubious pleasure of attending classes that are boring, repetitive and had some suspiciously mystical qualities. Luckily, I didn’t give up and gave myself – and yoga – few more chances.

young woman in leggings and white undershirt on pontoon at lake practice yoga, sunny autumn day

With a decade of experience in the field, having practised many different yoga forms with different teachers in different locations, the chances are I may have already gained some insight – and I’m genuinely delighted to share my impressions with you.

What has recently struck me when I was talking about yoga with my peers is that they hold somewhat negative image of the practice. Above is just a sample of stereotypes that usually reoccur when yoga comes up in a discussion. To be honest, these guys cannot be more wrong. Except for me, many, many celebrities have sworn by yoga. From Victoria’s Secret Angels (Alessandra Ambrosio), Hollywood stars (Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman) to Madonna the Queen, they rock the yoga scene regularly.

Beautiful woman practicing Yoga by the lake - Sun salutation series - Balasana or child's position - Toned image

What’s so special about yoga? For around 5,000 years, this Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline is widely worked out for health and relaxation purposes. Through deep breathing, meditation, strengthening and stretching poses, yogis and yoginis achieve inner peace and toned body. The yoga widely known in the Western culture is based on hatha yoga that combines breathing with a series of basic positions and simple movements. Yet, more than 100 forms of yoga are distinguished – from fast-paced and intense to calmer and more relaxing varieties.

 

 Kate Hudson exercising Yoga

Vinyasa includes a set of poses that flow smoothly into one another, whereas power yoga is a faster and more intense practice that is focused on building muscle. In Ashtanga, a series of poses are combined with a special breathing technique.

So-called ‘hot yoga,’ is performed in a room heated to a high temperature and includes 26 difficult positions – lots of sweat is guaranteed here.

 

Relatively recently developed variations are AcroYoga that combines yoga with some acrobatics and Strala Yoga created by Tara Stiles. A New York- based model, drawing on her background in ballet and long-time experience in yoga, proposed an approach that advances a freedom flow that gets people radiantly healthy, free and creative. Strala Yoga is the latest craze among the yogis and yoginis worldwide.

 

 Haylie Duff and Tara Stiles leaving Yoga classes

Regardless of which form appeals to you the most, yoga is a great choice if you look for a holistic approach to mind and body strength. In addition to losing weight and building muscle tone, regular practice improves well-being and gives you peace of mind. Also, it perfects your posture and protects the spine. Your immune system functionality will boost. Yoga helps you sleep better as well. If you’re suffering from back problems, chronic pain, depression, digestion problems, high blood pressure arthritis or migraines, you should try yoga asap. And above all, it’s been scientifically proven that yoga simply makes you happy!

 

You don’t have to go to India to discover the healing power of yoga – or to find your inner yogini. On the Internet, you can easily find quizzes that will determine your yoga personality or will help you with reaching the initial decision which form suits you best to start with. Nevertheless, I highly recommend trying as many different yoga forms as possible. If you’re lost where to start from check it using one of the available quiz.

 

Ps. Have I mentioned that yoga would also boost your sexual performance? Studies have found: 12 weeks of yoga improve sexual desire, arousal, confidence, orgasm and satisfaction for both men and women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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The Earlier The Better – How to become a Morning Person

When you’re recalling your university years most certainly you come up with all those sleepless nights you spend either studying or partying.

 

Unless these hours of darkness were sleepless, two or three hours in bed were more than enough for you to get up easily and confront the world. You may have been a little sleepy, drowsy and sluggish, yet, still able to make it through the day after. The extraordinary ability to recover quickly after a hard night is the capacity you miss the most when you’re getting older – or, one magic powers of being young.

 As far as I’m concerned, there is no particular formula for returning these glorious years back. However, what you can do is to start making the most out of the sleeping at night. And eventually, be your best self in the morning. Personally, I’ve always envied people who can do without steady refill of caffeine in my body; those who have a cup of green tea in the morning; those who begin Saturdays and Sundays early in the morning and have a brunch with friends downtown; ultimately – those who simply talk to people in the morning politely for the whole week.

It was once so cool to be a night owl. As you getting older, you discover the perks of being a morning person. It’s just awesome!

 

But how to get there ?

 

  1. Plan your evening as if you had an hour less.

It’s been scientifically proven that people tend to overestimate the amount of time they have to complete a task. To avoid a planning fallacy, don’t impose excessive burden of work on yourself.

 

  1. Set a Breakfast o’clock.

There’re two kinds of people: those who can’t leave to work without a breakfast and those who skip it and drink only coffee instead. The latter, unfortunately, prevails. It is scientifically proven (again) that having a breakfast in the morning before you jump into your daily tasks diminish the stress level by 80%. Sounds amazing. I personally recommend having some hearty oatmeal with fruits and nuts. Nutritionists endorse proteins and whole grains as a must in (the healthiest) breakfasts of champions.

 

 

  1. Wake up, work out.

Don’t exercise late in the evening. Instead, put on your gym outfit in the morning. According to experts, your energy surge boosts as as your body temperature and adrenalin level increases. And added bonus: exercising before breakfast burns more fat calories, which means you lose more loss than when exercising after breakfast.

 

  1. Add a spark of a Sleeping beauty.

Regarding your beauty routine there’re some hacks you can use and don’t look like a deadbeat. For those who have long hair – try braiding your hair loosely right before going to bed. In the morning you’ll enjoy extra volume and natural waves. Your hair is too short? Accessorize your hairstyle with a headband. Wearing a beanie only works for a day off or highschool…

 

  1. Bring on gleams of sunshine in your bedroom.

The sunlight is your ally of the morning. In the spring-summer season it’s enough to invite the bright light into your bedroom and let it wake you up. For the autumn-winter time, the most powerful tool that substitutes natural sun is a light bos that is designed to emit light similar to sunlight. As your body is sensitive both to light and temperature, a light box placed in your bedroom will force your body awake in the early hours.

 

Woman stretching in bed, back view

 

  1. Get yourself in the sleeping mood.

Opt for a book and a magazine instead of radio and television – unless it’s possible keep the volume low. Just slow down, relax and put your feet up. The same applies to laptops, tablets and smartphones. Screens emit the light that stimulate your sight and prevent you from falling asleep smoothly.

 

  1. Skip the booze and hard to digest meals.

When I was a kid, I was always told that eating a lot right before sleeping causes nightmares. I was absolutely convinced. Now, I learned it wasn’t old wives’ tale. In the night you want the body to rest – not to break down food in the alimentary canal into substances that can be absorbed and used by the body. Primo, eating late makes you fat. Secundo, it makes your sleep more shallow, thus, less beneficial for you. The same is involves booze. If you think a glass of wine will put you in the bed, it will. But the sleep won’t be as deep as it should be and in the morning you’ll wake up exhausted.

 

  1. Eat if you have to, but …

… it doesn’t mean you have to go to sleep hungry – or thirsty. Benefit from food that is sleep-friendly. Sip at lemon balm tea. When you’re really hungry, try some homemade popcorn or low-fat cheese. Hummus with sliced veggies is also an option. Remember that ‘eating after 6 pm’ is one of the greatest diet myths. It’s all about when you’re going to sleep. Eat the last meal 3-4 hours before getting to sleep and you’ll be fine.

 

 
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Dream Board – Powerful Visualization Tool

Visualization of your dreams helps you get clarity of your goals. Dream board is a perfect way to get started with planning of your ideal life.

I tried making a dream board for the very first time a year ago invited by an inspiring friend.

At that time I took it as a great possibility to do something new, have fun and meet some new friends which I did but yes mostly to have fun at a glass of wine.

I started my map only, leaving it unfinished, though being very satisfied with my craft and the experience it was associated with. The map itself made an impact on me in a sense that I felt somehow bonded to it and wanted to get back to it finishing the unfinished art so to say.

Still I haven’t had (somehow) the time as it (sometimes) happens until two weeks ago. Surprisingly when I saw it I was stunned the majority of things put on the map somehow came true in the course of the year.

I worked on and practiced my public speeches, I launched my website which I had in mind for some time and planned my trip to NY.

Some of the unspecified plans even sort of realized as the picture of a beautifully set table standing outdoors with a view over an olive mediterranean garden turned into an invitation to a Greek wedding that I’ve totally not expected. I’m going of course! Exciting!

This all got me wondered about the power of the dream board (however silly it sounds). Naturally it made me start working on a new one which this time is an almost fully done nicely polished diamond.

Vision Board

What is a dream board?

It has a lot to do with planning but it’s more around the feeling and aura of it. Being specific about our goals is crucial at detailed planning, however dream board is more looking at the big picture. It’s a visual representation of our desires and dreams for the future.

The good thing about it is it makes you stop and think. Yes, stop and think (this one is stressed for a reason) how you would like to feel and whom you would like to be in the future. Rushing and running errands one day after another doesn’t usually leave much time for that.

It’s around the questions of what you would like to do, achieve, change, surround yourself with. And sometimes how do you want to go that given path you set for yourself.

In that respect it has the attributes of real planning management like:

  • What – plans, directions, changes, desires;
  • Why – why do I want to do that? Health, wealth, wisdom, happiness, fulfillment?
  • How – it’s not a must to put that on the board, though it’s helpful;
  • When – it is said the board should be renewed every year. This means that some of the short term goals should realize whereas those more complicated long term goals need a bit more time. Every year we may either continue with our frame goals while putting new ones along.
  • Who – Mostly “Me, Myself and I” but the board has also space and freedom to add people you feel helpful or want to be connected with.

 

How to do a vision board?

The technique I know and would recommend is to simply use magazines. You cut out pictures and sentences, words that appeal to you and represent the visualization of your goal. Then what you need to do is to put them on the board. Fun!

Vision Board Magazines

Vision Board Magazines

 

You may stick the pictures how you like them to be displayed – a method used by my 5 year old daughter – but the common way would be to put them using the guide of Bagua nine box chart.

 

Bagua Chart, dream board, vision board.

Bagua Chart, dream board, vision board.

You can find more details here .

Every box represents area around you (in the middle). By using this pattern you get the chance to focus on varying aspects of your life and get a comprehensive, complex picture.

While doing the board yourself is a nice way to spend an evening if you’re not much into art classes you may try out one of many applications available online to help you with it. Then you can use your time for it when sitting at an airport as an example. I really like the idea. Have not tried it yet though.

Attitude matters…

It’s worth to be bold doing that board. I mean it’s for you and about your dreams. Why not go wild with it. Dream board being a visualization tool is based on the Law of Attraction. Limiting thoughts result in limited effects.

Have you tried it already? Please share. Would be wounderful to hear your expereince with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Modern Style Icons

If I were to say what makes one a style icon, I’d say it’s an attitude.

Let’s look back on the style icons of all time: Hepburn, Bardot, Monroe, Birkin, Sedgwick, Kelly, Kennedy, and Dietrich to name a few. It wasn’t only their impeccable style for which they are celebrated ever since. Rather, the way they wore clothes, their independence and class, inner courage and self-confidence, made a difference. Not being afraid of innovations, these women were thinking ahead of their times when it comes to fashion. Their signature styles are as fashionable as they are timeless. No wonder that they’re still inspiring girls all over the world.
Yet, with regard to present-day scenario, the label ‘style icon’ is oftentimes overused. As a consequence, most of (merely) well-dressed people are right away pronounced as iconic. Wrongfully – as again, the inherent sophistication belongs to a person, not his or her clothes. Below, you’ll find a subjective list of 21st century (contemporary) style icons that are famous for their impeccable style as well as accomplishments, merits and magnetic personalities. These five women are more than a pretty face and fancy clothes. I bet they will inspire future generations and symbolize the turn of 21st century.

1. Victoria Beckham, designer

What makes her special: When a woman that can’t concentrate in flat shoes decides to give up high heels, we know that she’s ready to take (the rest of) the world by storm. Victoria Beckham is a successful entrepreneur, a philanthropist, advocate of animal rights and gender equality. Besides, she’s a mother of four and David Beckham’s partner. She has established an international fashion empire that is wildly successful. In 2014, she topped a list of Britain’s top 100 entrepreneurs.
What makes her style special: VB’s key for success is her coherence in adhering to certain pattern: no more than three colours at once but monochrome preferably; always high-rise (skinny jeans or pencil skirt) or black bandeau mini-dress; oversize sunglasses; perfectly tailored coat; a rectangular bag. Nothing more, nothing less.
Yes, VB repeats just a few looks in different combinations. Thanks to sticking to consistency, she always looks très chic and classy. While being super-feminine and sexy, she still has the air of independence and power.
Her super-power: Keep it as simple s possible. Stick to your routine. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses.

Vic

 

2. Jenna Lyons, creative director and president for J. Crew

What makes her special: Jenna is known as a woman who dresses America. Since having assumed the position of the creative director and soon later of the president, Jenna has transformed J. Crew into a cult brand. Among her enthusiasts are Michelle Obama, Keira Knightley, and Katie Holmes. Nowadays, she is one of the most influential women in the US. What Jenna wears is immediately wanted.
What makes her style special: Being aware of what suits her she keeps exploring fashion seeking joy and playfulness. By combining contrasting styles, Jenna’s looks are always sensational and unexpected. Mixing smart with casual, feminine with masculine, highbrow with high end may sound like getting out of your comfort zone but it’s totally worth it! Besides, you don’t have to carry out bloody revolution in you closet as for the most part you already have all that you need. The new objective is to change the way you wear clothes you have and give new strength to the old favourites. You can try wearing head-to-toe colour or by accessorizing the outfit with a bold, statement jewellery. When breaking the rules of fashion, you expect the unexpected. Wearing double denim is fine as long as you have your own way. The same applies to mixing patterns and colours. Need an instant boost of chic? Add a masculine edge. Moreover, Jenna recommends investing in cashmere and good-tailoring – as they make every outfit look smarter – and cultivating your signature look.
Her super power: Go all out. Try anything. But always do it your way.

3. Amal Clooney, lawyer

What makes her special: through her marriage to Hollywood actor, an internationally celebrated human rights lawyer, activist, author and philanthropist was brought into spotlight. And most probably, she will stay there for a long time. Except from her brilliant professional career, Amal embodies all that public eye admires: she is drop dead gorgeous. Every. Single. Time. All her appearances have been sensational and excellent. Moreoer, her outstanding intelligence, activism, globalism and firm belief in her self captivate people’s attention.
What makes her style special: versatility! Amal doesn’t confine herself to one particular style. Instead, she frequently adopts new fashions. It’s just incredible how completely different styles suit her. As a sophisticated working woman she looks absolutely marvellous – the same applies to the chic afterhours carefree look. Whether she rocks the edgy street style, the 70s inspired boho trend or the sexy date night goddess, I’m left speechless. Except for being always perfectly polished, she just seems to feel so good with herself and with her body that she glows from the inside out. That’s absolutely mesmerizing.
Yet, there’s another important aspect with regard to Amal’s exquisite urbanity. She has been preserving what is long forgotten: getting dressed for the particular occasion. Along with democratization of fashion, its glamour has been fading away and the most casual assumed the position of the universal. Nevertheless, Amal is always chic and put together; classic and very precise. Each moment of her life, she crafts into a fashion opportunity. And nails it! Some influential fashion critics have already labelled Amal as a modern icon.
Her magic power: you’re what you have underneath. This is not only clothes that make a man (actually, it doesn’t disturb either…)

amal3

4. Kate Moss, model

What makes her special: as she’s my ultimate favourite, I believe that 21st century fashion wouldn’t be the same without Kate Moss. She’s a living legend. Despite her infamous lifestyle abundant with booze and drugs, she gave rise to legions of fans who copy her eccentric, iconic style. So-called “heroin chic,” a short-lived fad of the 90s started by well-known Calvin Klein advertising campaign starring young Moss was a counter to healthy looking “supermodels,” such as Cindy Crawford. Although the trend for celebration of drug culture quickly faded, the impracticably skinny body, no curves and androgynous look won out. As Kate famously said: “Nothing tastes as good as skinny tastes.” One may argue with this statement, yet never undermine her faultless style.
What makes her style special: It’s effortlessly chic, laid-back, yet glamorous, with a rock twist and classic finish. She’s the queen of nonchalance, able to make something special out of nothing. Skinny jeans, leather jacket and white t-shirt make for her wardrobe essentials and never look tedious. On the contrary, she slays the most intricate costumes easily. When Kate steps out in a real feather cape in pale pink, she may be the only human who doesn’t look like a giant bird. She’s one of those girls that many is jealous of – with her style so diverse, her wardrobe seems bottomless. Surprisingly, as little as 15 essential pieces make her style so iconic. Based on Vogue enquiry Moss couldn’t do without a sparkly dress, ankle boots, a leather jacket, the leopard coat and cat eye sunglasses. You can check the rest here and start buying Moss-inspired wardrobe.
Her magic power: A rock chick at heart doesn’t have to grow out of her rock sensibility. She rather reinvents her wardrobe.

5. Carine Roitfeld, former Editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, Global Fashion Director for Harper’s Bazaar, Editor-in-chief of CR Fashion Book

What makes her special: The French do it better… when it comes to dressing up, no one would argue with that. That Fashion and France start with the same letter isn’t by accident. Carine Roitfeld, regardless of her nationality, is famous for slaying both red carpet and streets with her style. She admits it because of the French attitude of wearing and being very picky. Believe or not, Carine regards herself as a woman with certain style that is quite boring, “always the same.” Surprising, isn’t it? The fashion guru has more in store. Being a muse of such big names as Tisci, Ford and Lagerfeld himself, she also became the face of M.A.C and a grandmother – certainly, she does it better than yours.
What makes her style special: With messy hair and smudged eyeliner she is the incarnation of the vintage haute-punk chic – plus super-feminine and sexy. When it comes to ‘staying the same,’ it’s all about the proportions. “Even if elements are different, it’s always the same silhouette,” as she suggests. Also, the Parisian breaks down the boundaries between man and woman’s wardrobe. Borrowing from men actually contributes to polishing your style. Alike Kate Moss, Carine regards a leopard coat as the closet staple. Showing some skin doesn’t have to look cheap: settle on collarbones, neck and pushing the sleeves on your jumper up. Minor improvements are highly significant. And last but not least – black is the new black. There’s only one occasion black isn’t a great idea – wedding.
Her magic power: Drawing inspiration from Parisian is always a good idea.

carineroitfeld

The most powerful and influential women of today

Meet the most influential ladies of today.

Below is not a ranking but just a list or better said the tip of an iceberg of the most influential women in their fields and specializations but also having broad impact outside the scope of their daily professions.

Hillary Clinton

The lady doesn’t need an introduction. A Yale Law School graduate involved in politics for her entire life. After being made known to the world as the first lady in years 1993-2001, she became the first female elected as the senator from the state (New York) where she served until 2009. A US Secretary of State until 2013. Very much engaged in the area of women rights and empowerment. One of the best paid speaker in the US (6 digit numbers) and very probable President of the United States soon to be which same will make her the most powerful woman in the world.

Sheryl Sandberg

COO (Chief Operating Officer) at Facebook and former Google executive. Sheryl founded organization called Lean In and is an author of bestselling book under the same title. The organization’s mission is to inspire and encourage women to engage in business and take on leading positions.

In the past years she has been named one of Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, and the Wall Street Journal’s 50 Women to Watch. 

Anna Wintour

Said to be the most influential woman in the fashion industry setting trends for coming seasons. Born in England, editor in chief of American Vogue since 1988. We all know the name, nevertheless it had to be mentioned for the purpose of this list.

 

Angelina Jolie

Famous actress and UN ambassador for refugees. Called as one of the most influential and powerful people in the American entertainment industry. Among other causes her example gave adoption of children from 3rd world countries a lot of attention starting same a kind of a trend among celebrities. In recent years we also faced a so called Angelina effect that caused an international flood of BRCA1/2 mutation tests and an increased rate of mastectomy.

 

Meg Whitman

One of the most powerful ladies in technology sector. Former CEO (Chief Executive Officer) at eBay in years 1998-2008 which she developed from 30 employees to 15.000 with annual revenue at level of $8 million. Time being serves as a president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (splitted company of HP in 2015). Meg Whitman is named self-made billionaire with net value of $2 billion and is ranked #14 of the most powerful women by the Forbes magazine in 2015.

Susan Wojcicki

A silicon valley native, starting as one of the first employees of Google. She was the driving force at Google to acquire YouTube in 2006 and became CEO of the company in 2014. Ranked by Forbes #9 of the top 100 powerful woman in 2015.

 

 

Is Vegan a Very Exciting Gogreen Adventure at Nocost ?

Whether you are concerned with ethical issues or hope for losing weight or want to cleanse you body – veganism is worth trying.

However, as I mentioned previously – here – changing to vegan is daunting but possible.

Vegans don’t appreciate much those whose motivation is only confined to “going on a diet,” as it is not quite what veganism is about.

Just to give you a hint: there is no “joker days,” as in typical diet – no days off when you are allowed to gorge yourself in meat dishes.

Only when you adopt a vegan lifestyle in all respects, you become a part of a vegan worldwide community.

It’s a way of life that will cost you many sacrifices, yet will pay back well in the future.

Vegans’ promise is that once you become familiarized with all the benefits of quitting all animal products, you will never go back, for being a vegan improves the health, the environment and whole humanity.

Raw vegan sushi rolls with vegetables and green sauce with food styling in restaurant

Nevertheless, adhering to vegan philosophy is a lengthy and complex process. What I’ve done wrong during my 7-day experiment is switching at once. It’s highly NOT recommended. Instead of taking the plunge, the method of small steps should be endorsed. Thanks to gradual changes, you’ll observe how you and your body feel. Once you give up meat in the first week, abandoning dairy, fish and eggs will come easier in the following weeks.

Plus: think twice about getting rid of all beauty products that were tested on animals the day you decided turn vegan. It would be such a waste! Instead, verify on the Internet (e.g. here: www.crueltyfreekitty.com/companies-that-test-on-animals/ ) what brands are cruelty-free and shop for new cosmetics only after you run out of the old ones.

 

Personally, I found being vegan challenging for all the suspicion associated with devouring a meal. As eggs aren’t allowed, you must say good-bye to the majority of pastries.

Moreover, butter, yoghurts, chicken stock, and many more, are also out of question – and these are very likely to be among ingredients of your dish.

And – the worst news for some – chocolate. It’s not allowed unless it’s vegan.

I’m almost sure in the nearby shop you won’t, unfortunately, find a vegan chocolate. However, there are shops online that offer tons of various flavours.

 

For these 7 days I have been vegan, I was trying to find out what vegans are like. Thus, I identified certain features, which may give you a hint for what you’re striving for as a vegan-novice.

Firstly, you must be very consistent in adhering to strict meal plan on everyday basis. No cheating!

Also, commitment and devotion are necessary. You must truly believe in as well as support vegan philosophy. Otherwise, your vegan experience would be limited to merely following latest dietary fad – which is not bad per se but clashes with cruelty-free rationale.

Remember that you must be ready for radical changes in your everyday life.

Dairy-free breakfasts with no eggs may sound quite unusual for the beginners. Also, a wide array of unexpected flavours will soon transform your past, daily menu, which often implies spending few more hours shopping and cooking at the start .

Thus, the excitement about such profound changes in habits is highly advisable.

 

At the end of the day, the food is truly delicious but preparations may turn out to be time-consuming. Don’t forget that being vegan is still widely considered as some kind of eccentricity and you may hear a lot of comments on your recently adopted diet as well as questions concerning it, such as: what are you eating, what it feels like, etc.

 

I strongly recommend trying vegan diet for 7 days – with a bunch of my tips you may find it less demanding. Even though I’ve learnt that being vegan is not for me – and that I love eggs so much – I decided to reconcile the love of animals with the love of food. I started buying only free-range eggs, turned to soymilk and I’m limiting consuming animal products to just few days a week.

Try it yourself and share your experience with us!

A Love Affair of Fashion and Tech. Meet wearable technology

The world of music and technology has been a couple for many years. Now it’s the fashion and tech that seems to get closer with every year passing.

It’s in the starting phase. Still it’s interesting to see where it is going and what the ideas are to use the technology in clothes and accessories we wear daily. With style.

Google glass and IWatch have been given a lot of publicity. But what else is there worth our attention?

Here is the selections of things that perhaps will jump shortly on your wish list.

 

  • Fitness tracker. A cooperation of Fitbit and Tory Burch.

Beautiful case covering the tracker designed by Tory Burch gives the regular gym class device an elegant touch.

tory burch

 source: ToryBurch.de 
 

  • Bracelet charger. Case Mate Lightening Cable Bracelet

Rebecca Minkoff teamed up with Case Mate to provide us with a leather bracelet that converts into your iphone charger while on the go and in case of need.

rebecca minkoff

 source: nordstrom 

  • Smart Ring. This lovely piece provided by Ringly connects with your Iphone through an app.

The ring is to alarm you about the feed you want to be notified. You may set it to let you know about incoming emails, messages or new stories in your social media or selected apps. No need to keep your smartphone lying on the table or taking it every minute out of your bag while you in the meeting or at a club waiting for a message. Plus the ring looks edgy and classy.

ringly

 source: https://ringly.com/ 

  • Now imagine a bag that will change its looks depending on your mood or the weather outside.

VanDerWaals offers a handbag that changes colors to suit your outfit, mood or surrounding. It just needs a connection through an iOS App. The bag also notifies you of incoming phones.

3

 source: http://van-der-waals.com/ 

  • How about some light in the inside of you bag?

If that’s something you have dreamt of you have to see the Glass Handbag. It is a lovely combination of great design and technology. The bags have built in lighting system.

glass

 source: http://van-der-waals.com/ 
 

  • Last but not least. Fitness tracking smart bra.

After teaming up with Ralph Lauren to introduce the Polo Tech Shirt, OMsignal, a Montreal-based maker of wearable-technology products is just launching a product tailored specifically for women. It is not only to give you tracking on the usual parameters such as calories burnt or heart rate and distance. The designed biometric coach will evaluate your effort vs you goals and will tell you if and how you can try harder.

bra source: http://urbanwearables.technology/ 
 

 

It’s a lot to look into and it is just the beginning of the boom within the wearable tech.

I don’t know how about you but as a start I am going for the Rebecca Minkoff killer charger bracelet !

What I have learnt when being a 7 day Vegan

That vegan is not only a diet but also a lifestyle, I heard several times before having tried it myself. Or rather – having decided to seriously challenge myself.

 

I           To start with… – ENTHUSIASM

 

At the beginning of my vegan experience, I was extremely excited. I gave myself 7 days to try out a dietary regime in which all animal products are strictly banned. No meat, no fish, no diary and no eggs – it may sound quite insane for an adamant carnivore. Yet, I have never been a great fan of steaks. Moreover, I had been vegetarian for 4 years as a teenager for ethical reasons. This time, I was merely curious of veganism and motivated to cleanse my body. No animal products in diet sounded like a perfect detoxifying plan. So, I decided to have a shot.

 

II         Some difficulties at the beginning – INTERNAL STRUGGLE

 

However, my 7-day vegan challenge was not entirely compliant with the ideology in all respect. I didn’t give up ALL animal products. That is, “animal clothes,” such as fur, leather, wool, etc, together with cosmetics that are tested on animals. Even though, I looked up whether the products of my preferences are vegan/ cruelty-free. The result was quite unfortunate: the majority of them are brands listed as having poor ethics when it comes to animal testing. I would have to dispose of almost all beauty products I was in possession. That, in turn, is waste, of which I’m very critical.

 

To all vegans the most significant is that the food must be healthy. No junk food substitutes. Period. In my case, it wasn’t extremely difficult as on daily basis I have always been eating well and properly. Quinoa, tofu, chia seeds, spirulina, goji berries – these names didn’t alarm me, I’ve been using unusual products for a while. However, these ingredients don’t serve the function of staple foods in most of households. Lots of vegans-to-be may be frightened when going through a recipe of vegan casserole for the first time. “It’s a matter of habit; you’re getting used to it,” my vegan friends like to say. Anticipating this, it would be just effortless to substitute meat with white bread and other junk food – even when processed with soy, even veggie-flavoured chips, veggie burgers (eggs…) and many more – veganism is not about this. Animal products must be replaced with particular food that is abundant of vitamins, minerals and proteins. Here comes so-called super foods – minimum calories, maximum nutritional value.

 

III        A piece of cake? – SHADE OF DOUBT

 

Although, superfoods and other vegan-firendly dishes may sound fancy – such as kale chips, chilaquiles with pepitas, or vegan dan dan noodles, when going vegan, extra time for shopping and cooking must be taken into consideration. Unless, you don’t find what you need in the nearest store, online shops offer organic, vegan, cruelty-free products. They’re quite expensive though.

Furthermore, the case with cooking: I, personally, am big fan of dining out – but not 7-day a week. I like cooking, spending time in the kitchen, getting groceries, etc.

Veganism gives the cooking experience a totally new dimension – it’d be more affordable to dine out than cooking myself. That is, prepare to spend few more hours cooking and shopping when becoming vegan.

 

Beauty products, clothing, all of the crazy ingredients and extra time needed for grocery shopping and cooking must be taken into consideration before making the first step into veganism. Although, you might think that’s all what vegan experience gave me. No. As I have gone through 7-day vegan challenge, I’d be really pleased to provide you with some further recommendations and tips. Thus, you may enjoy learning from my mistakes. Stay tuned for the next post.

FOMO and 10 movies to watch on Valentine’s Day

Are you familiar with FOMO?

If not (yet), most likely you have already experience it at some point. FOMO, an acronym for Fear of Missing Out is a social anxiety that has been gaining notoriety recently.
On Valentines Day, FOMO is coming to climax – especially for the heartbroken and miserable singles. Having spent over a dozen Valentines Days by myself, I have mastered several approaches to the festival of romantic love.
Staying on track with your friends’ updates on Facebook is never a good idea. Scrolling down the Instagram feed seems similarly detrimental.
As you feel that your friends are just about having rewarding experiences and enjoy being so much in love, beware! That is FOMO approaching.
Now, that you realized that on February 14th, social media are as harmful as looking back to failed relationships, I hope you will log out. Now let’s consider an alternative. A big bowl of homemade (healthy!) popcorn and a good movie sounds delightful. Additionally, you may invite your girls over. If you decide to take all the cosiness of the February night, I suggest to put on the biggest and most comfy sweater you are proud to possess and told your beasties to do the same. What’s more, consider the minimum option of “No makeup, no problem” and experiment with coconut oil. It’s been already all desired and valued around the world, really affordable and just magnificent. Its benefits are countless and pertain to hair, face, lips, hands, body, etc. Recipes for homemade scrubs and masks are available online and in fact, very easy.

Treating yourself with DIY home spa and watching one of the following movies might ensure that being single on Valentines day is not that bad.

1. Sex at The City (random episodes) / Girls (start from the beginning!)
Reliving Carrie’s turmoil, Mr. Big provided her with, proves that being a single and having loyal friends means more than a mediocre relationship. Especially, when NYC makes the setting.
Girls – recommended if you already know all the SatC episodes by heart. And in any other time of the year, not only V-day.

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2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
All girls love it. Period.

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3. Love and Other Disasters.
Cute and unchallenging. Nice and easy. Justified by the Valentines Day.

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4. Interstellar.
What means ‘love,’ when the human existence is threatened? Bonus: Matthew McConaughey

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5. Breakfast Club.
College badass story set in 80’s. So romantic and classical. Again, let’s praise good old friends.

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6. Alfie.
Just to remind you that being single might be a wiser choice. Sometimes. Bonus: Jude Law. And iconic Sienna Miller’s style.

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7. 10 things I Hate About You.
It feels so good to be young and single. And mean as Julia Stiles. And determined as Heath Ledger. Bonus: thanks God we don’t have to wear their clothes anymore.

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8. Reservoir Dogs
When you are just not into sweet-toned, honeyed, sugar-coated stories. Have a Tarantino-themed night. Good stories are not only love stories.

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9. Hills have eyes / The Conjouring

A horror that will scare you to death is an easy way to forget about lacking a significant other. Ask somebody to stay for the night, though.

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10. Lost in Translation.
Young Scarlett. In Japan. With Bill Murray. A black comedy that is both romantic and thought-provoking. Perfect for Valentines Day when you don’t feel like observing it.

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Bonus: Keeping Up With Kardashians.
Just because.

Fashion Week Facts

February started which inspired me to gather and post few facts about the fashion week. The week or four weeks to be precise that every fashionista is most crazy about…

  1. What and Where

The history looks back to 1943 and Mrs. Eleanor Lambert who brought the fashion from France to USA. Nowadays more and more places are organizing weekly fashion shows however The Fashion Week covers four main fashion industry centers that is New York, London, Milan and Paris

Coming dates:

  • New York – 10-18 February
  • London 19-23 February
  • Milan 24-1 March
  • Paris 2-9 March

Until recent the cities showed designers from the given country however this is not main guideline any longer. As an example Givenchy moved from Paris to New York and The Row vise versa. All for publicity of the brand and stronger expansion in other markets.

Worth to note, the February/March weeks present the preview for trends to be “in” for the coming Fall/Winter and the September/October reveal trends for coming Spring and Summer.

  1. How to get to the show

That one surprised me. Oh my God – I know! How unaware, naive, arrogant (you name it depending on your perception) I was !

It just proves every industry has its insights.

No, you can’t just simply buy a ticket.

And Yes, it’s helpful if you are somehow press and/or fashion related.

Most of the shows allow only selected audience. Sometimes the invitation itself is not sufficient and you may be rejected to enter at the door if the amount of guests ultimately exceeds the number of seats/space.

You may apply for an invite at a sponsor like Mercedes Benz for a so called general access to the area of the event (Lincoln Center time being). It still doesn’t mean you will make it to the show but if it is not full you may get in almost accidently hooked by PR reps.

For additional hints you may refer to advice offered widely by various bloggers online where the one common denominator is, if you are determined enough, you will do it!

Consolation – moderate but still- it’s more and more popular for designers to offer live online streams.

  1. The business behind the fashion week

The cost

The cost of a fashion show is ranging in total expenditure depending on the strategy a company representing designer has. The minimum is $ 200.000 and the cost may go up along the imagination of producers. Some sources indicate amount close to $ 1.000.000 ! Whereas the average length of a show is 10 minutes.

This includes the venue, stylist, production, PR, models and celebrities seating in the front row.

The money income for the city

As per New York City Economic Development Corporation, the economic impact of the event reaches $ 887 million. The amount is said to outweigh the economic benefits of U.S. Open.   The number of people attending the shows goes as high as 230.000 visitors.

The money therefore comes in majority from tourism that is hotels, restaurants and shops. No wonder mayor of the city, Bill de Blasio, shows strong support to the event and to the whole fashion industry in New York.

The promotion

Of course the main aim for the fashion industry is to set promotion for their coming collections. It is about selling new looks and sending message of the brand. Designers focus on creating as much buzz around their work as possible.

Also very important for new comers launching their brands with not too modest investment account.

Who writes what influences the brand rise or collapse.

Apart from the apparel the Fashion weeks started to involve other industries like food , electronics and social media. Car industry seem to be one of the oldest collaborators with examples of Land Rover and Victoria Beckham or Maserati and Zegna.

 

The best wine match ever…

NOT by a sommelier (maybe someday..) – but taken from a female wine tasting experience 🙂

Dinner, friends, wine and a lot of fun? Is it a good idea for an evening?

You have already bought some cheeses, grapes, nuts and other finger food or even better…you cooked something!
Is the only problem left to chose a bottle of wine which will be the best match ever for that evening?

If you said yes to at least one of above, then read the text and maybe you decide to use our advice.

We usually drop by the wine shop in a hurry. Only a few of us can carefully read the label and spend time tasting before the purchase. We just ask the seller for advice or buy the kind of wine we already know.
This is at least what I tend to do specially if I can’t find one of my favorites.

Still my love for wine and the knowledge gained through travels and studying help me in the process of selection that ensures the evening is not spoiled by the wine.

That is why we decided to give you some “picks” that are the best shots always.
Additionally you will surprise your friends with not that obvious choice as the wines recommended are often not well known for the wide audience (for sure not know for everyone who drinks wines 🙂 )

Rocca 2007 Rosso Salento
Indicazione Geografica Tipica

Description:
Production zone: Zone tipiche del Salento – Puglia

Grapes: old stumps of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera cultivated with the little tree system

Alcohol: 14,5 %vol.

Wine features:
this fantastic wine is the result of a late harvest of grapes coming from small vineyards where old vines are grown with the little tree system. After five years of ageing in big Slavonian oak casks, it has the texture of a great wine. The colour is ruby red with garnet highlights. It is a huge wine but soft and supple with pleasant spices notes. Its persistence is endless. The special heavy bottle we use for it has a dark green colour and weights 1,2 Kg net.
Food matches:
roasted and braised meat, game and tasty cheese.
Serving temperature: 18 °C.
Ageing potential: more than 10 years

Going Vegan

Is the current craze just about the urbanites fed up with the processed food that is prevalent in supermarkets and restaurants? Let’s have a deeper insight into recent phenomenon.

Nowadays, it’s rather easy to get lost in the jungle of various dietary regimes. Fleeting fad diets come and go: the Hollywood diet, low-fat, no carbs, high-protein, the Zone diet only to name a few. What to eat to stay healthy? This always has been a question.

Two years ago, when visiting NYC for the first time, I’ve been absolutely astonished with the omnipresence of vegan products and vegan restaurants. The city looked vegan friendly to the extent I have not seen ever before. Not that I wasn’t familiar with the diet, but it hadn’t drawn much public attention being considered as some rather unconventional eating programme.

Not exactly as a surprise, the vegan craze has arrived to Europe shortly after. More and more people has turn vegan and the trend is growing ever since.

“Eat green,” is the guiding principle. And it is to be taken literally: no meat, no fish, no diary, and no eggs.

Just because most of us had been raised with scrambled eggs for breakfast, cheese sandwiches for lunch and pork chops for dinners, veganism sounds freaking insane (!) – especially, for a devoted carnivore with a long experience.

As celebrities have become vegan-affiliates, crowds of fans have followed.

“New vegans” are not actually concerned with the moral aspect of the diet – nor adopting it for good. Beyonce and Jay-Z went vegan only for 22 days. Why? Giving up all animal products played a part in their “spiritual and physical cleanse.”

                                  “New vegans” are, in fact, “part-time vegans.”

Here comes another trend…

The growing number of people is undertaking the challenge of going vegan for seven or 30 days, according to the Vegan Society. For those not yet convinced, Veganuary intends to encourage vegan-curious, vegetarian, health-conscious, and all minding to feel better, to turn vegan for a month.

Seems as another celebratory month? Think again.

Cutting out all animal products may seem as an impossible task but a plethora of benefits it brings sounds just right. Such figures as Erykah Badu, Pamela Anderson, James Cameron, Morissey, Daryl Hannah, Demi Moore, Zoe Deschanel, Natalie Portman, and Prince have long been promoting veganism.

Let’s see why and take a brief look at a few rewards of veganism:

 

  • Veganism helps in losing weight and slimming down.
  • Eating five portions of fruit and veggies comes natural.
  • You enjoy discovering new foods to fall in love with.
  • Vegans are healthier.
  • All green diet boosts your immunity.
  • It feeds and nourishes your skin, hair and nails.
  • Your energy level increases.
  • Bad breath is reduced.

 

It’s not that you should go all the way now. Try seven days; or a month. Decide yourself whether the vegan diet is worth it. Small steps in this case are very much welcomed.

I’m going “veg” for the week now. Can’t wait to see what it brings!

 

Let’s start with an A…like Amsterdam. Restaurant review.

When I was asked to write a recommendation of a restaurant in Amsterdam I thought it was an easy one for me having been and tasted in many which is what I love to do most…(almost 😉 )

During my visits in this beautiful city of the art, bicycles and canals I was as usual determined to choose an interesting restaurant for a dinner. Normally I felt successful when a place met my expectations 🙂

At the beginning, for those who do not know much about Dutch kitchen I must say that it is a rather poor one from a historic point of view (no offense to all the Dutch).

The traditional Dutch kitchen is associated with cabbage, bread, cheese, herring, chicory and the one and only POTATO! Just look at Vincent van Gogh painting – De aardappeleters, that stands for Eating potatoes –and the painting has three versions! Oh my God – right?

The dishes are simple, made of vegetables, which are sometimes overcooked. The typical dish named “stamppot” is made of potatoes smashed with other vegetables. Not really encouraging to try. But, to be fair and honest, the Netherlands are multicultural country also with huge influence from Indonesia. Multinational kitchen is all around – best Chinese wontons, super Italian pastas as well as great Argentinean steaks are reachable without any problem.

After all the degustation I had there I still felt there could be something more…AND…

Just between main Amsterdam shopping street – Kalverstraat and the museum area, near the flower market situated along Herengracht canal you can spend extremely tasteful time in a small inconspicuous restaurant, hidden down the street Vijzelstraat.

It has the menu in the typical Dutch manner – you are choosing from 3-, 4-, 5- or 6 dinner courses and each is a surprise for you. Also the wine can be matched by the concierge to each dish separately. The Chef is using only local, fresh seasonal products, sometimes forgotten by us as the ingredients in the kitchen. Additionally, what is very nice for the consumer you make the suggestions what is not welcomed on your plate. They really respect it, composing alternative course especially for you. The restaurant is small and not in very ascetic, industrial design that could be seen as dominant for Scandinavia. The served food and service despite not being on the low budget is definitely worth its price.

After the dinner you are totally sure, that all your senses are touched totally, and maybe that is why the name is Senses Restaurant.

“Senses restaurant prepares unconventional and creative food art with the best of organic and sustainable ingredients…Enjoy a selection of our innovative menu or one of his daily changing surprise menu’s, inspired by the 5 senses using the freshest seasonal ingredients.” 

Eet smakelijk. Enjoy!

New Year’s Resolutions – Easy when SMART

The year is coming to an end, so excitement, great expectations and enthusiasm are coming alongside. New year’s resolutions bring new hopes. Even the most stubborn fatalists happen to get more positive as the New Year is approaching.

There is some of a metaphorical edge to this: a year is reaching its grande finale and some affairs are left behind. Something starts as something fades away.
Right from the Christmas time (and its turmoil), we fall into another fuss. There are few clear indications that New Year is just around the corner: winter sales are conquering the stores, wonder diets are now desperately sought-after, latecomers are looking for the New Year’s Eve parties and – most importantly – we all attempt to outline some New Year’s resolutions.
As the importance of developing a sound 1-year plan of action for self-improvement appeals to vast range of audience, various channels of communication has grasped the subject.

Nevertheless, no matter how diverse would be the array of channels looked into, there is a common goal that almost all of them are advancing: “New Year – new, healthy me.”

The timeless resolution persists as time goes by. Still, there are more of such evergreens. Health.com puts forward Top 10 New Year’s resolutions.

However, as statistically only half of New Year’s resolution crusaders will stick to their goals in June, the authors suggest picking as much as one ambitious aim and pursuing it relentlessly.
If above statistics have not yet put you off, the bad news is that Time magazine (2012) has identified Top 10 Commonly Broken New Year’s Resolutions. And here comes the punch line: those are the very same as the previously mentioned. Namely: losing weight, quitting smoking, learning new skills, eating clean, saving money, spending more time with the closest, travelling more, cutting on stress and volunteer. Aren’t they sound familiar – or at least some of them?
Yet, there is a hope for the most strong-willed. When traditional methods fail, look elsewhere. As New Year’s resolutions are nothing but setting objectives, then let’s get more professional and embrace business-like approach. The set of goals for the coming year constitutes the project. The only person in charge (the executive) is one who has set them and in the future, will eventually benefit from the outcomes. Thus, the project must be effectively managed. That being the case, a SMART system of formulating objectives, often brought to action in project management, comes in handy.

SMART is a five-step approach for setting goals – and only such, that are to be reached. Thus, SMART is a form of guidance for the executive in the process of devising 1-year long project. Although, things here got serious for a moment, the main advantage of the system is its accessibility.

Essentially, there is 5-word formula to be memorized: [is my goal?] specific – measurable – achievable – relevant – time-based.
When settling on a bunch of ambitious New Year’s resolutions, it is time to ask yourself a set of questions and verify whether all five criteria are met.
Specify: What exactly do I want to achieve? Why is it so important? Where? How? When? Are there any limitations?
Measurable: How the progress is measured? How will I know when it is accomplished? What is the physical evidence of the progress made?
Achievable: How much does it cost (in terms of effort, time, money, etc)? Can I afford it? Is the objective realistic and down-to-earth? Remember: No one has ever built a billion dollar business overnight.
Relevant: Is it really what you want? Or the pressure comes from the outside? Will it make you more satisfied? Is it your dream or others’?
Time-based: Start with a good planning. Time is money! Having outlined preliminary plan, installed deadlines and time limits, the progress of the project will be transparent. Simply, the goal-setting processes enjoy being time-framed.
Such systematic and integrated approach reduces risks involved with launching a project (meaning: the executive’s failure to stick to the resolutions set.) On the one hand, it may appear as time-consuming. And tedious. However, as long as you’re motivated and determined, SMART will provide you with tools for keeping the project in check.

And remember; keep in mind that New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies – difficult to maintain.

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the Year! – Is it ?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We all know Andy Williams song, don’t we? And we all have heard it several times already. In all likelihood, it was in shopping malls or stores.

Christmas time – it is exceptional for sure, but let’s be honest: by the time we sit together at the table, spend time with the closest ones and unwrap gifts, we must pay the price. As long as you don’t believe in Santa anymore, what awaits you are crowded shopping malls, endless queues, hopeless and tense customers, together with zombie-like and tired to death salespersons. I once read, they loathe Christmas time to such a degree, they would be likely to give up all these gifts, food and atmosphere that follow, just not to serve all this shopping spree. That is crazy. That has gone too far. I’m absolutely positive, it is not the wonderfulness Williams meant.

There are lucky ones among us that has bought Christmas presents long before December; those whose apartments are as clean that they sparkle everyday – thus, no need for holiday house clean-ups; and finally – those who are invited by the relatives. No cooking, no cleaning, just gifts and smiley face required.

Well, I’m the lucky one. Going back to my home just two days before Christmas when practically all is ready. Yes, I do feel guilty. I do remorse. But what can I do (living 400km away from my hometown).

However, I have witnessed women breaking their backs to throw up this #flawless Christmas. The food, the gifts, the decorations and all accessories neatly arranged and taken care of. But, truth be told, I’m not so sure whether it was worth it. I hated seeing my closest being terribly exhausted when the merry was about to commence. It is no fun. I’m completely convinced that isn’t what Christmas is about. It is to pursue joyfulness, forgiving, loving and enjoying quality time with the relatives. Who cares whether there are two or five cakes to choose from? Maybe these two gateaux are actually enough for the guests to be filled. What if you didn’t make it to clean the windows? Hey, it’s winter after all, thus, it’s dark outside since 3pm. I’m strongly against spending Christmas in all glittering houses with no atmosphere but only nice-looking façade. Seriously, with laying back a little concerning all these Christmas turmoil, you may yield such a Christmas vibe, all your family would never forget. Isn’t it the Christmas wonder?

How do you feel about the Xmas fuss? Share with us your opinion!

Prescription for Happiness

Can you learn how to be happy?

For those feeling some sense of unhappiness, we have good news. Yes, you can!

You can actually work on your happiness. This becomes a new, sexy trend together with all the trends related to a healthy life style. As you think of that, it makes sense. The happier you become, the more endorphins your mind produces leading to a healthy state of your body. Sounds relatively easy. But what it really takes to create a happy world around you or better said in you? I can imagine this can be a little confusing at first.

Crucial element for it all is to realize that happiness should be the aim in its own. In other words, as scientists say it’s not the perfect job, perfect man or a perfect pair of shoes (well I’d slightly disagree at this point 😉 ) that gives you happiness. It’s actually the happiness itself that brings values or things you considered the base to be happy at first. Sounds encouraging ? Again something to consider since happy people as being more energetic and social tend to attract other people and situations making their life opened for new opportunities and ultimately easier or better one.

Not a surprise, there is even a new science created around that topic. Psychology of Happiness – one of the most googled types of psychology which was started by Martin Seligman.

So, what can you do to increase your happiness? Here’s a recipe or at least part of it.

Be grateful for what you already have. It is very important to acknowledge the current state we are in, our health, achievements or simply situation that we are in particular moment. It’s said that happy people focus on now rather than then.

Challenge yourself in a positive way. This is known as the flow . When we are doing things we are good at we experience flow, a state that gives the filling of fulfillment and drive. That could be anything, from riding a bicycle or exercise through hobby or even job we love to do. Some people experience flow working on particular project, cooking, driving a car or giving speeches. This can be anything. Just think of what that could be for you.

Plan a happy day or happy events and then spend them as planned not forgetting about experiencing them. Living them. A Study of San Francisco University proved that buying experience (theatre, trip, meal with friends) satisfies higher order needs as opposed to buying things. This is also related to the need of social belonging and feeling alive.

That leads to the value of relationships. It’s not only about having that trusted someone we can rely on in moments of gloom although that’s already very good. It’s also about surrounding yourself with positive people. As researches show that boosts tremendously the probability to discover more happiness.

What about money ? Doesn’t money bring happiness ? To some extend of course.

However as people achieve a level of income that enables them taking care of things considered as basic, the correlation between the well-being and wealth begins to fade.

Intriguing enough, some countries started to measure Gross Domestic Happiness next to the GDP.

Above listed is just the top of a mountain as there are many more things like a simple smile that make you feel better and happier.

If you are interested in the topic enough to start exploring it, you may start with testing your positivity ratio established by Barbara Fredrickson at http://www.positivityratio.com/single.php. This may be a good base to a recognition of one’s emotions that influence our perception on life. And remember to celebrate the international day of happiness on March 20th.