Your Happiness Factor:celebrating happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Gentle Yoga in the Chair

Gentle Yoga in the Chair


This video shows you gentle Yoga exercises that you can sit in a chair to perform. They were created for people with cancer. But I believe they will be useful for anyone who for one reason or other cannot exercise on their feet.




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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Making the tea. When you feel the fear!

Making the tea. When you feel the fear!

Here is another post from contributor, Stephanie Carfrae. She is a Creative Writing Graduate; you can find her own blog at www.stephcarfrae.blogspot.co.uk and I think you will be inspired by Stephanie's first video on YouTube  

You are arrested by your own fears. 

You are the only one stopping you. "Because I might get laughed at!" "Because I might get it wrong!" Sound familiar? 

If you never try, you’ll never know.

You could be the best. 

But a reluctance to face what you could be great at is, of course, a holdback. 

If you’re strong enough to not want regrets, you need to let go of your fears. Though people may laugh at the start, when it becomes your norm, people who appreciate you will laugh at them! 

Just because someone doesn’t believe in something, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong for you. 

My parents are very protective of me and won’t even let me make a cup of tea! Crazy I know: they are only worried about me getting burnt because of the position of the kettle opposed to me. 

But sometimes it’s best to let me make my own cups of tea and reap the consequences. It’s time for me to grow up and adapt to kitchen layouts. I can’t wait forever. I adapted and didn’t hurt myself last time. 

It’s not often I crave cups of tea so when I do let me.

Stephanie Carfrae, Creative Writing Graduate. Find her blog at www.stephcarfrae.blogspot.co.uk and her video introduction at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSHqG-DOMK0

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Healthy Living: Staying On Track

Healthy Living: Staying On Track

Today's post is from contributor - Natasha Gelder. Natasha is a full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. She believes exercising is a vital part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and should not be seen as a choreYou can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/

Many of us make plans or promises that we end up breaking because something unexpected turns up in our daily lives that we need to deal with. If we have a list of things that we need to do, it is often the ‘go to the gym’ section of the list that gets cast aside as we opt for tasks such as ‘do the weekly food shop’. Our good intentions often get pushed aside for things deemed as more useful. But what is possibly more useful to you than your health? You need to make time for it.

You need to stop letting other things get in the way of your workouts. Set time aside specifically for them, if other things that you need to do crop up they will have to wait. I have recently changed work hours and despite early 6:30 am starts I still drag myself to the gym 12 hours later three times a week. Even if it is only for an hour, it is better than nothing. I organise my time wisely and use a gym plan to designate specific time for my workouts.

Write down 2 or 3 nights through the week that you are going to exercise, plus one day on a weekend. On the weekend day that you are not working out try to plan some kind of activity, even if it is just walking your dog, make sure you are moving. You may also find it useful to write down exactly what you are going to do at the gym- if you have your own personalised gym programme you are more likely to stick to it and actually go.

If someone asks you to do something when you have your session, say no. Delay the food shop for 2 hours- supermarkets are quieter on a night anyway. Make time for your health and stick to it. Oddly enough, you will find that you are re-energised after your gym session, meaning that you will have more energy to deal with your remaining tasks and, as exercise is a natural source of stress relief, you will also be more able to cope with your remaining tasks.

It may also be beneficial to make an eating plan to use in conjunction with your exercise plan. I don’t mean a plan to record how many calories you eat, I mean a plan to help you work out what you will eat and when. This will be useful when you go food shopping because you will be buying specific things for each day and will be less likely to chuck random bits of junk into your shopping trolley. Being organised is not time consuming, in fact it is the opposite; I make my dinner for work the night before- usually at the same time as I make my tea. Sometimes I will simply make an extra portion of my tea and take this to work with me the next day.


A meal plan will also help you monitor what you eat and is the best way to ensure that you are consuming all the nutrients you need. You will also be able to use it to make sure that you eat 1-2 hours before a workout, (preferably some complex carbohydrates), to ensure that you are fuelling your body correctly and get the maximum from your workout.

Today's post is from contributor - Natasha Gelder. Natasha is a full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. She believes exercising is a vital part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and should not be seen as a choreYou can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/

Monday, 23 September 2013

Need More Time - Goal Setting for over achievers

 Need More Time - Goal Setting for over achievers


Discover your priorities and smart goals with this video!


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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Great New Video from Róisín O - Hold On


Great New Video from Róisín O - Hold On

I've had the privilege over the last couple of days to preview a video from Róisín O. It so lovely.

The video is released today and catch it if you can.  She has the most fantastic voice - the kind that raises those little hairs on you arm. Her voice resonates right through to your heart.

This is what Róisín herself has to say about the song;
"Sometimes our minds take us to dark places and it gets hard to escape. A very close friend of
mine was going through a tough time, as happens us all, and I found myself wanting, but unable,
to help make things better for him. Sometimes all you can do for someone is to be there for them and let them know that things will get better one day. This song is for him."

The song touched me deeply because over the last few months a number of different people in my life have been going through difficult times and all I have been able to do has been to witness!

The video is directed and edited by Simon Eustace, and features Aaron Heffernan (Love/Hate),
Mirjana Rendulic, Geraldine McAlinden and Colin Condon.

Róisín has recently signed a record deal with JSM in Germany, and her debut album ‘The Secret Life of Blue’ will be released in Germany, Austria & Switzerland on October 4th. Róisín is heading to Germany in October for a 17 date tour supporting Ryan Sheridan.

You can find out more about Róisín at this link www.RoisinO.com and the Hold On video should appear there shortly - Don't miss it!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Don't regret

Don't regret

Here is another post from contributor, Stephanie Carfrae. She is a Creative Writing Graduate; you can find her own blog at www.stephcarfrae.blogspot.co.uk and I think you will be inspired by Stephanie's first video on YouTube  

'I don’t regret anything I have done or anyone I met. There was a reason for every one – either they’re long lasting friends or they’re to teach me about distance or to show me that holding onto something isn’t worth it.

I only regret the time I wasted not making the most of every moment – when, at uni, I used to stay in every night – not making anything happen when I could have.

You never know what could happen.

Don’t waste it.

You only get one chance. So go be free. No one has the right to tell you how to live. I know the future may appear dismal right now, but I promise somewhere there is a star waiting to shine above you.

In life, there are 3 things you need:
  • A wishbone;
  • A backbone;
  • A funny bone ;) 

You need to humour yourself – make yourself laugh. Whatever that may be. Take life one breathe at a time. And it might hurt, but how are we supposed to appreciate things when they are good if they don’t get bad? Although sometimes it seems like the bad totally outweighs the good, but we all go through life at different stages. Never lose sight of your dreams.


Stephanie Carfrae, Creative Writing Graduate. Find her blog at www.stephcarfrae.blogspot.co.uk and her video introduction at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSHqG-DOMK0

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Healthy Living: Some Minor Food Swaps That Will Make a Difference

Healthy Living: Some Minor Food Swaps That Will Make a Difference

Today's post is from contributor - Natasha Gelder. Natasha is a full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. She believes exercising is a vital part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and should not be seen as a choreYou can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/
If you think that you live a pretty healthy lifestyle but seem to be gaining a few pounds that you can’t quite explain then why not try just a few minor alterations to your daily diet? This could be enough to enable you to lose inches off your waistline without even really trying; swapping a few of your everyday food staples for healthier options is enough to get you looking and feeling better in as little as a week.

If you are consuming a lot of alcohol then you are also consuming a lot of empty calories. Some people find excessive drinking causes them to bloat, particularly in their faces and stomachs; it also causes weight gain- there’s a reason for the term ‘beer belly’. If you cannot bring yourself to avoid alcohol completely then try to limit yourself to just a couple of units on a weekend and swap high calorie beverages such as lager, cider and some wines for a clear spirit, such as vodka or gin, and a low calorie mixer. If you are partial to drinking a glass of red wine on a Friday evening to help you unwind, then feel free to continue doing so; red wine is high in antioxidants and studies suggest that when drank in moderation it can contribute towards lowering the risk of heart disease.

Instead of drinking tea and coffee why not try to swap these for herbal varieties, ditching the caffeine will leave you hydrated, as will the water used in the herbal teas. If you find you are struggling to function without your daily dose of caffeine then why not try green tea, it contains enough caffeine to wake you up but is also scientifically proven to aid weight loss. If you have already replaced high sugar fizzy drinks with their diet counterparts then well done, you have managed to swap the sugar for the sweeteners which are equally as detrimental to your health. Try just drinking water, (not flavoured), or coconut water instead.

 Instead of drinking fruit juices on a morning, why not just eat the fruit itself, this way you will absorb the nutrients and not just the sugars. Rather than choosing to eat low fat flavoured yogurts you could try low fat natural yogurt with  berries or a banana chopped up and thrown in along with some seeds and chopped nuts. This makes a delicious and nutritious breakfast, dessert or snack. Why not swap from having whole milk on your cereal to semi- skimmed or even skimmed and switch from high sugar cereals to either wholegrain cereals or porridge. If you start your day right then you are more inclined to continue to eat healthily throughout the day.

Rather than spreading butter on your bread, which I hope is wholemeal, why not try using a thin layer of avocado, this will help to nourish your skin from the inside out and will provide you with a source of good fat that you need in order to be healthy. Swap white breads and pasta for wholemeal varieties- they are not expensive and will keep your blood sugar levels stabilised, meaning that you are unlikely to develop cravings later on in the day. Sweet potatoes are delicious and high in Vitamin B, making them a good alternative to normal potatoes. Why not try using quinoa in your cooking? It is high in protein, filling and can be used in just about everything.

Opt for foods that have been grilled or baked rather than fried. Buy tinned foods that have reduced salt and sugar content and try to stick to ice lollies rather than ice cream if you are craving a cold treat. These switches are only minor but they will make all the difference in terms of the size of your waistline.


Natasha Gelder, full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard absYou can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/

Monday, 16 September 2013

A Perfect Day - And Are You Not Inspired?

A Perfect Day - And Are You Not Inspired?


This is not new but I thought you would enjoy it - even on a chilly early autumn day! Just remember how  much this raised - the BBC at its best.  Are you not inspired?





Wendy is the The Career Coach - helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.
A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don't forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 
CV review and interview preparation and coaching to improve your confidence and self esteem are a speciality
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Friday, 13 September 2013

Heston's Smoked salmon blinis with soured cream butter & pickled cucumber

Heston's Smoked Salmon Blinis With Soured Cream Butter & Pickled Cucumber


Create the perfect party food with Heston's recipe for smoked salmon blinis with soured cream butter & pickled cucumber.

With thanks to Waitrose

Ingredients

100g Heston from Waitrose Lapsang Souchong Tea Smoked Salmon
50g Salmon roe caviar
123g pack Waitrose canape blinis

For the soured cream butter:

100g Unsalted butter
50g Soured cream
50g Cream cheese
Squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of salt
For the Pickled cucumber:
1 Cucumber, peeled
50g White caster sugar
100g White wine vinegar
10g Dill, plus a little extra for finishing
Sea salt


Wendy is the The Career Coach - helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.
A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don't forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 
CV review and interview preparation and coaching to improve your confidence and self esteem are a speciality

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

e-happiness: everything happens for a reason

e-happiness: everything happens for a reason

Here is another post from contributor, Stephanie Carfrae. She is a Creative Writing Graduate; you can find her own blog at www.stephcarfrae.blogspot.co.uk and I think you will be inspired by Stephanie's first video


When you move house you adapt it to suit your needs
.
Situations/catastrophes happen in your life so you can do the same.

And although you may not think it at the time, these things occur to make you stronger. And nothing ever happens in the same way again. The changes may be subtle, or it becomes a choice. 

Everything has an underlying reason behind it, though it’s not always clear why certain things happen. It may be a small reason, but it all adds up. And you will become a stronger person because of them. 

Mark my words! 

There is nothing you can do in certain situations and you just have to endure them. It is hard. For instance, when my grandfather died I kept thinking ‘maybe if I had done this differently, maybe he wouldn’t have died.’ I was 12 at the time and I blamed myself. Normal teenage angst. But I grew to learn that it wasn’t because of anything I did – or anyone else for that matter. Nothing I did could have prevented this catastrophic event from happening. I do feel guilty about the last time I saw him – because I was young I didn’t understand that it’d be the last time, but I hold tight to the good memories I have with him – taking a family trip to Florida and his teeth which used to chatter on their own! 

Life can seem like it’s keeping you on your toes. And that’s alright. Who’d want to sit down anyway? You can become complacent if you sit down for too long.


So when life gets on top of you just take things one step at a time, breathe and remember that you can get through this. Nothing happens in your life that you can’t handle. And even if you could change what’s happened in the past, you would lose who you are today and that’d be such a shame because you are a strong person. 

Stephanie Carfrae, Creative Writing Graduate. Find her blog at www.stephcarfrae.blogspot.co.uk and her video introduction at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSHqG-DOMK0

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Healthy Living: The Advantages of Weight Training

Healthy Living: The Advantages of Weight Training
Today's post is from contributor - Natasha Gelder. Natasha is a full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. She believes exercising is a vital part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and should not be seen as a chore.You can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/

It is common knowledge that cardiovascular workouts are an effective way to burn fat and ultimately lose weight. Many people feel that cardiovascular activity is the only way to lose weight quickly and, for this reason, tend to stick to the treadmills and rowing machines rather than trying out any other form of gym equipment.

Another effective way to burn fat, which tends to surprise people, is weight training. Many people overlook weight training and decide against using it in their workout regimes because they just assume it cannot aid them in terms of their weight loss goals but only in building muscle afterwards. Women in particular seem to shy away from weights as they believe that using them will give them a bulky ‘manly’ shape. However, male and female bodies are designed differently and it is not physically possible for a woman, without the use of steroids, to develop huge Arnold Schwarzenegger style biceps.

Contrary to popular belief, weight training can help you to lose weight; undertaking regular resistance training has been proven to increase an individual’s Basal Metabolic rate by up to 15% meaning that your muscles continue to work when you have finished training, resulting in your body burning calories as you shower, sleep and even as you watch television.

Weight training has advantages and benefits in all areas of health: just two short sessions of weight training a week is enough to ensure that the musculoskeletal system is strengthened, meaning that muscles and ligaments will become stronger and there will be less chance of you pulling a muscle or developing a serious injury during exercise. Two sessions a week is also enough to see a dramatic increase in bone mineral density, this means you will have a decreased chance of bone deterioration in later life and are less likely to suffer from bone related illnesses such as osteoporosis.

Other health benefits of weight training include positive effects on insulin resistance, blood pressure and gastrointestinal transit time. It also has positive effects on factors which have been scientifically linked to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Many studies conducted into the effects of weight training provide evidence to show that weight training is good for the body internally as well as externally.
The energy that weight training provides us with leads to an increase in stamina both physically and mentally. When undertaking physical activity our minds are allowed time to rest, this gives our brains time to rejuvenate themselves which results in improved intellectual capacity, meaning that both our levels of mental stimulation and productivity become increased.

As with any form of exercise, weight training releases endorphins which help to control and combat any feelings of depression or anxiety that you may be feeling. Claims have been made that weight training particularly helps to decrease levels of stress whilst simultaneously increasing an individual’s feeling of self-worth.

All the above health benefits can be yours at the cost of just two 20 minute workouts per week; ensure that you use all your muscle groups in order to maximise your results and see a greater decrease in body fat and a dramatic increase in lean muscle and happiness.

Natasha Gelder, full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. 
 You can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/

Thursday, 5 September 2013

For days remembered but with no regrets!

For days remembered but with no regrets!


This is for someone I used to know! I hope they have found peace

;

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

You Are Unique - It Is Time To Be Proud!

You Are Unique - It Is Time To Be Proud!

Here is another post from contributor, Stephanie Carfrae. She is a Creative Writing Graduate; you can find her own blog at www.stephcarfrae.blogspot.co.uk and I think you will be inspired by Stephanie's first video on YouTube  

I was told once that I was really strong because I just don’t care do I? 

I do care if you’re important to me. But if it’s a once in a lifetime experience or if I’ll never see the people from a certain situation again I don’t.

 Life is too short to worry about what people think of you. 

It doesn’t matter what people think of you, as long as you’re happy. When your happiness shines through they can grimace all they like, but they won’t be able to take away your experience. And that’s what life’s all about, experiencing things. 

Although it may be a risk, you’ve got to try it else you never know if it’ll work out. And this involves making mistakes too. Lots of them. Everybody makes them. 

At certain times it will feel like you’re the only one but that isn’t the case. It will feel like only you go through these things because it’s enveloped with how you deal with a situation. I can promise someone has been there and has made that same mistake. Nothing is new anymore. Every thought you think has been thought of before – just maybe not in the same way you think it. 

It’s a bit crushing to realise this – but every experience has already been experienced by someone in this world. They might not have experienced it in the way you have though – so from this point of view everything you do is unique. Someone might have been there already, but they haven’t been through what you have to reach this moment in time. 

We all have a unique view on the world and no one has been through the same as you because they’re not you. People will be able to relate to each other, with a favourite song or something, but everyone in the world is unique and different and that is nothing to be ashamed of. You have a unique perspective on the world and if you don’t share it: that is the only thing to ever feel ashamed of. 

Stephanie Carfrae, Creative Writing Graduate. Find her blog at www.stephcarfrae.blogspot.co.uk and her video introduction at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSHqG-DOMK0

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Healthy Living: Quick Fix Exercise Tips

Healthy Living: Quick Fix Exercise Tips

Today's post is from contributor - Natasha Gelder. Natasha is a full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. She believes exercising is a vital part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and should not be seen as a chore.

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication for someone to get into good physical shape and the feeling of success that comes with it truly is amazing. You’ve got the body you have always wanted and now you can start enjoying life to the full, but you still need to take the time to maintain your new shape once you have finally achieved it, something which can be incredibly time consuming.

It is easy to slip back into old habits when you are always on the go; often it is easier to grab fast food when you’re busy rather than preparing your lunch in advance. You may also find yourself struggling to find the time to fit in a visit to the gym, meaning that pretty soon you will be struggling to keep your new streamlined shape and you may find that those pounds start to creep back on. 

If you do have an hour or so spare for a trip to the gym, then for an effective workout that does not take up too much time do a 5 minute warm up, then do 10 minutes of interval training on any piece of cardiovascular equipment. For example, on a treadmill you would do 1 minute of speed walking and then 1 minute of sprinting 5 times, and on a rowing machine, you would do 1 minute of rowing at a leisurely pace followed by 1 minute of rowing for as fast as you can 5 times. After this, do 40 minutes of weight training, followed by another 10 minutes of interval training on any piece of cardiovascular equipment and finish with your cool down. This is an effective workout as interval training increases your fitness levels as the short bursts of high intensity exercise increase your heart rate. The weight training will keep you toned and ensure you burn a vast amount of calories during your workout.

If you find that you do not have time for the gym and can only spare 20 minutes then rather than going for a jog, do some more interval training. Twenty minutes of walking for a minute and then sprinting for a minute is a much more effective workout than running at the same pace for a set amount of time. To make this even more effective why not try adding light ankle or wrist weights to your workouts.

If you tell yourself you do not have time for the gym yet somehow manage to find the time to watch Coronation Street on a night, you need to get on the floor whilst it is on and work on your abdominals. Crunches, Planks and Russian Twists can all be done whilst you are catching up on your favourite television programmes.

If you really are busy and cannot find time to workout then make sure that you take the stairs everywhere, escalators and lifts are now banned, plus you need to start walking to the shop when you run out of milk rather than driving. You also need to learn how to multi-task  On a morning and on a night when you are brushing your teeth do some squats; whilst you are waiting for the kettle to boil do some lunges. You may only be moving for a couple of minutes here and there but they all add up and they are better than nothing. 

Natasha Gelder, full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs