Strut Your Summer Style on Your Next Beach Vacay

boho chic

Whether you plan on spending time at a local beach, or are heading off for a tropical island getaway, everybody always wants to look their best when strutting their stuff on the sand. From boho chic to feminine and flirty, here is some inspiration for those who are looking to update their summer style.

Boho Chic
For those who are looking to create a boho chic look, a bikini is best, and preferably one that has some added stitching details or embroidery. Crocheted bikinis also fit into this style well, but they often do not hold up properly in the water, so this is something to consider if you were hoping to do a fair amount of swimming or try out some water sports. To complete your boho look, add a flowing beach cover-up, such as a caftan, and top this with a wide-brimmed hat.

colorful bikini

Colourful and Fun
Summer is all about brightness and vibrancy, meaning that it is a great time to put together a fun and colourful beach outfit. Look for a bikini or a one piece that features a bold print, whether this may be feminine florals or statement graphics. For a cover-up, opt for some white shorts and a single coloured tank top, as you do not want these to clash with your bikini, but jazz this look up with accessories, whether this be colourful stacked bracelets or beaded sandals.

Mismatched Two-Pieces
Buying new swimwear each season can be tiresome, especially if you already have a wardrobe full of different styles. This year, rather than purchasing several more, try to mix up your look by donning a mismatched two-piece. Whether this means mixing a printed top with solid bottoms, or a frilly top with bikini shorts, this is a great way to add more of your own personal style into your look.

maxi dress

Maxi Dress
If you do not plan on baring all of your skin at the beach, then a maxi dress is the perfect style to go for, whether you wear this on its own or over your swimwear. A bright print is ideal for a day at the beach, and can easily be dressed up later on in the evening with a pair of heels and some added accessories.

Tankinis
Tankinis are similar to bikinis, except for the fact that, instead of featuring a regular bikini top, the top section is styled in a similar way to that of a tank top, offering you more coverage. This makes it well-suited for those who do not want to show off their stomach on the beach, but who still want a two piece style. Tankinis are available in so many different styles, colours and prints, meaning that they can be adapted into all of the beach looks mentioned above.

Now that spring is here, this is the perfect time to begin planning your summer wardrobe. Whether your style is boho and down-to-earth or bold and colourful, these ideas will ensure that you look nothing but stylish this summer on the beach.

Be Nice, It’s Good for Your Heart

woman smiling

It is rare for people to consciously try to be nasty, but it is also quite rare for people to go out of their way to be kind to others. While helping other people should be enough of a reason to be nice, research has shown that having this friendly attitude will also bring you a number of different health benefits, making it more worthwhile than ever to be nice to others.

Heart Health
There are now several studies that have shown that there is a link between acts of kindness and the different markers of heart health. A study carried out in 2006 was especially successful in showing that acts of kindness were able to lower blood pressure, as it releases a chemical called nitric oxide within the body, which then dilutes blood vessels. This is also the case for “bad” cholesterol, which is lowered to quite an extent after consistent levels of kindness have been practised.

Stress and Cortisol
Whenever your body experiences stress, it releases the hormone cortisol throughout your body. While this is absolutely fine on occasion, chronic stress, and therefore the continuous release of cortisol, has many negative health effects. However, being nice is something that can drastically lower the cortisol levels within your body, which then has an impact on everything from your state of mind to the rate at which your body ages.

Illness Prevention
Research has shown that people who spend more time helping others tend to have a much stronger ability to ward off infections and illnesses.

doctor and patient

This could be due to the fact that they have lower markers of inflammation, as inflammation is responsible for a whole array of different diseases, including diabetes and cancer.

Reduced Pain
In addition to being nice to others, you should also remember to be nice to yourself. This means that, if you suffer from chronic pain, you should try to be as accepting and understanding about your condition as possible, rather than berating yourself for not improving fast enough. By being kinder to yourself in this way, the amount of pain that you experience is likely to quickly drop, which will then help you to recover even faster.

Longer Life
It comes as no surprise that those who are experiencing all of the above health benefits would enjoy a longer life, and research has backed this up. The studies looked in particular at people who volunteered for two or more charitable organizations, and found that they experienced a 44% lowered risk of dying early, which is even more of an impact than regular exercise has.

Science has definitely proven that being nice really pays off in so many different ways. If you are looking to carry out more acts of kindness, there are a number of ways in which you can do this. From volunteering at a local charity to paying someone a genuine compliment to simply being a listening ear for someone who is having a tough time, make it your mission to go out of your way to be nice to others as much as possible.

Hairstyles That Make You Look Younger

The anti-aging industry is a booming one, with so many people trying to put a halt to their aging process. However, for those looking to turn back the clock instantly, switching up your hairstyle may be the way to go.

woman with ribbon in her hair

Ribbons and Bows
There is nothing quite as feminine as a ribbon or a bow, and this is a trend that is often seen on major fashion week runways. The easiest way to add a ribbon to your look is by using one to tie off a high ponytail, preferably with a large bow so that it really stands out. Alternatively, use a mini bow to finish off a half-up, half-down look, or style your hair into a braid but incorporate a ribbon running through it.

woman with hair bangs

Bangs
Bangs are a quick and easy way to instantly look younger, and while you may think that bangs will not suit your face shape, this all depends on the type of bangs that you choose. Those who have a heart-shaped face should opt for graphic bangs, while those who have an oval-shaped face should choose a choppy, below-the-brow style, as this will help to widen your face and enhance your youthfulness. If you have a round face, shorter bangs will help to add some structure while drawing attention to your eyes, while those who have a short forehead should also give shorter bangs a try, as this will frame the face, or, alternatively, a longer, side-swept look. For those who are battling forehead wrinkles, then bangs are definitely the way forward, as not only will they provide your face with a youthful appearance, but they will also hide any wrinkles.

woman with long layered hair

Long Layers
Long hair is extremely youthful, and styling this with layers makes it even more flattering for just about every face shape. The layers should graze your cheek and chin before getting longer, ending at the collarbone. This added softness at the top will help to open up your face, while the length will highlight your collarbone, which is a flattering area on women of any age. The length of this style is important, as going too long or too short will detract from the youthful appeal of this look.

choppy bob

Choppy Bob
Many older women tend to opt for shorter hairstyles, as these are much easier to maintain. However, if you are seeking a short style that will not age you, then a choppy bob is the way to go. This style features shaggy layers and defined angles, all of which hit the middle of your neck, and this will really make your face look fuller and younger, while hiding any thinning areas of hair that you may have.

A hairstyle that can instantly make you appear ten years younger may seem too good to be true, but this is definitely possible, and so easy to accomplish. From child-like bangs to cute ribbons, give these styles a try if you have been trying to shave a few years off of your age.

The Pros of Dating a Younger Man

There used to be many social stigmas attached to the concept of a woman dating a younger man, but this is not so much the case any more. In fact, experts have identified that there are actually several benefits that come from dating a younger person, so do not be afraid to give this a try.

energy boost

A Boost of Energy
In general, younger partners tend to be far more energetic and open-minded than older partners, and this refreshing mentality can really be a beneficial addition to your life. Younger partners will also tend to be less cynical about life and willing to take risks and chances, meaning that if you have been looking for a new adventure, then a younger partner could be just what you need to guide you through this.

A Parenting Partner
Whether you already have children of your own, or are wanting to start a family, many women find that younger men are more open to becoming a parent than older men. Whether this is due to the fact that many older men already have children, or simply do not have the energy at this stage in life to enter into fatherhood, a younger man is much more likely to be interested in either joining or starting a family.

sexual energy

Sexual Energy
It is a proven fact that younger partners will have much higher sexual energy, as well as stamina, than older partners, which can really raise the bar when it comes to bedroom activities. While many women may initially feel insecure about getting physical with a younger man, do not forget that your younger partner will be experiencing his own benefits from the situation too. From the extra years of experience that you have had to effective ways of communicating exactly what you want, a sexual relationship with an older woman can definitely be exciting for a younger man.

Finding Love
If you have been unsuccessfully searching for love, then expanding your dating pool to include a younger demographic may be exactly what you need to do. Since younger men tend to be less jaded about life, they are more optimistic when it comes to life and love, and not only will this endearing attitude have your heart fluttering, but it will also bring plenty of positivity into your life.

focus on you

The Focus is on You
While an older man may be quite preoccupied with his career or other obligations, a younger man tends not to have as much of this to deal with, meaning that the focus of his attention can be placed more on you. Not only will he look up to all that you have achieved in your life, as well as your mature perspective on different situations, but he will also likely work even harder than an older man when it comes to impressing you.

It is easy to make decisions on who to date based on conventions within society, but this should not be the case. Rather than seeking out a man of a specific age group, simply open yourself up to meeting new people, because age most definitely does not define who a person is.

Smart Street Styles for the Savvy Woman

Street style fashion always has a fresh and edgy feel to it, but when a smarter dress code is required, many of these looks are simply not suitable. For all of you savvy women out there who want to incorporate some street style into your look, while still keeping it smart, here are a few ideas to inspire you.

midi skirt

A Voluminous Midi Skirt
A voluminous midi skirt will never fail to add some drama to your silhouette, and are always a popular street style look during major fashion weeks. The added benefit of a voluminous midi skirt is that it can be dressed both up or down depending on what you wear it with, and can even be styled to make it suitable for a day at the office.

A Cropped Leather Jacket
Leather jackets are an investment piece that will end up being a go-to item in your wardrobe, as they are so incredibly versatile and will work with such a wide range of outfits. When paired with a feminine dress, a cropped leather jacket gives the look so much attitude, while pairing it with skinny pants and a tailored shirt will always be chic. If you are struggling to choose a color, black is always the safest bet, as this gives you the most choice when it comes to styling it with other garments.

pencil skirt

A Pencil Skirt and a Fuzzy Sweater
Pencil skirts are beautifully classy, and they are also the perfect canvas onto which designers can add statement details, which is why they are constantly being photographed by street style photographers. When a pencil skirt is paired with a fuzzy sweater, this creates a look of contrasts, but, when worn with some chic heels, the look is toned down quite a bit, and becomes much more wearable.

On-Trend Jeans
Jean trends are constantly changing, and street style fashion is often the best place to look when seeking out the hottest new jean styles. While jeans may not be that smart on their own, you can most definitely dress them up by picking the right elements for the rest of your outfit. From a tailored shirt and jacket to simple accessories to enhance the clean lines in your look, there is no denying just how versatile jeans are.

silhouette

Play with Silhouettes and Colors
Street style is all about taking chances and trying something new, so even if you do not own many specific street style pieces, it is still easy to incorporate the concept into your look. The majority of successful street style outfits tend to play with silhouettes quite a bit, creating dramatic and unusual shapes, and this is something that you can try with whatever you may already have in your wardrobe. You should also be brave when it comes to colorful clothing, making sure that at least some part of your outfit contains a striking, vibrant shade that really stands out.

Smart street style is all about having fun with your outfit, but refining it down at the same time. From pencil skirts to trendy jeans, these are all ideas that you can easily incorporate into your own style.

Spring Travel Must-Haves

Whether you are heading off for spring break with your friends, family, or that special someone, it is always a good idea to put some advanced planning into your packing. From skin care to gadgets, here are the spring travel must-haves that you definitely do not want to be leaving at home.

sunglasses

Sunglasses and Sun Protection
No matter where you may be headed to, spring signifies the beginning of better weather, meaning that you are likely to be spending much longer in the sun while you are on your travels. This makes a pair of UV blocking sunglasses absolutely essential, because not only will they add an element of chic to your look, but they will also provide the skin around your eyes with extra protection from the sun’s damaging rays. In addition to your sunglasses, you should also bring along a few other items that can help protect you from the sun, from a broad spectrum sunscreen to a wide-brimmed hat.

Cleanser and Moisturizer
While you may be tempted to leave your cleanser and moisturizer at home, and buy new, smaller versions when you reach your destination, it would be far more beneficial to your skin to bring along your everyday cleanser and moisturizer. Although cleansers may be easily available, switching to a new formula suddenly can really disrupt your skin’s pH balance, causing everything from redness and irritation to breakouts. Sticking with products that your skin is already used to will help you to avoid any skin issues while you are away.

spring jacket

Spring Jacket
Even if you are planning on travelling somewhere hot and sunny, spring weather can still be quite unpredictable, which is why it is always useful to have a lightweight spring jacket on hand. Since you are opting for a light version, you will easily be able to squeeze this into your bag, and, whether you have a rainy day or a chilly evening, you will be covered. Trench coats are ideal for this, as they are always right on trend in the spring, and bring a classy touch to any outfit.

Portable Charger
The majority of people these days travel with a number of different gadgets and devices, and organizing the many different chargers for each of these can be time-consuming and frustrating. A portable travel charger takes all of the fuss out of travelling with gadgets, as these will allow you to charge multiple devices all at the same time with just one charging device, saving you time and space.

Woman using travel wallet

Travel Wallet
When travelling, it is always easier to keep all of your documents in one place, not only so that they are easily accessible when you need them, but also to ensure that none of them end up lost. A travel wallet is a great way to do this, as these will have pockets and slots for all of your essential travel items, from your passport to your foreign currency to your credit cards.

Spring is a fantastic time of the year to travel, and these must-have items are guaranteed to have your trip running as smoothly as possible. From a travel wallet to hold all important documents to a portable charger that will ensure that you are never stranded without your phone or camera, these items all deserve a bit of space in your luggage.

The Lowdown on Protein Powders and Shakes

Woman drinking protein

While protein powders were once quite a niche product, they have now become much more mainstream, especially since the benefits of protein are being much more widely acknowledged. If you have been wanting to venture into the world of protein powders and shakes but do not know where to begin, here are a few basics that will help you to understand all that is out there.

Whey-Based Powders
Whey-based protein powders are the most commonly available, and are basically a milk product that has had all of its fat and carbohydrates removed. This means that it is quickly absorbed by the body, which is why many athletes turn to whey-based protein shakes for their post-workout recovery sessions.

Casein-Based Powders
Just like whey, casein is also a milk-based product, and is commonly used in the making of cheese. However, the difference lies in the way in which the body digests casein, as this process takes longer than it does with whey. While this means that they are not ideal post-workout, they are great for an afternoon or evening snack, as they will help your muscles to gradually recover overnight.

Protein powders

Combination Powders
If you feel as though you could benefit from both a casein and a whey powder, it may be worth looking into products that combine the two. This means that your body will be able to obtain an immediate effect from your shake, thanks to the whey, as well as long term energy for many hours afterwards, due to the casein.

Plant-Based Proteins
Even if you do not follow a vegan diet, plant-based proteins still have so many different benefits, making them well worth considering. These tend to contain antioxidant-rich superfoods, which will have the effect of boosting your immune system, enabling you to train for longer, and harder. They also tend to be kinder to the gut, and while many may feel as though they are not as effective as milk-based protein powders, recent studies have shown that plant-based proteins are just as capable of building muscle as milk-based proteins. Common examples of plant-based proteins include pea protein, which contains high levels of arginine, which is an amino acid required to build muscle, soya protein and hemp protein, which also contains many beneficial life enzymes and essential fatty acids.

An Energy Boost
While a protein shake on its own is fantastic for maintaining your muscles, it is not going to provide you with much energy, which is where all of the extra supplements come in. However, since you are only beginning to experiment with protein shakes, it would be easiest to skip the supplements for now and working on adding your own energy-rich foods to the blend. An easy way to do this is by using a protein powder in a smoothie, mixing it with ingredients such as oats, almond butter and coconut milk.

The world of protein shakes and powders can often seem intimidating, but even if you are not a serious athlete, you are still likely to be able to derive a few benefits from one. However, it is important to keep in mind that protein powders are supplements, and cannot replace your body’s need for a healthy and well-balanced diet.

Easy Post-Workout Snacks

hummus

The food that you eat after a workout is extremely important, as it needs to be something that will help your body to repair muscle tissue while replenishing your glycogen stores, which end up depleted after periods of intense exercise. If you have been looking for some new post-workout snack ideas, these are not only deliciously healthy, but incredibly satisfying too.

Hummus with a Whole Wheat Pita
Hummus, which is a dip that is made from puréed chickpeas, is packed with protein, and a whole wheat pita is a great source of carbohydrates post-workout, making this a fantastic, and tasty, combination. To add some extra zing to this snack, try incorporating some new flavors into your hummus, whether this be red peppers, jalapeños or beets, all of which will provide your body with some extra antioxidants too.

Pistachios

Dry Roasted Pistachios
While all nuts contain protein and healthy fats, pistachios have the highest levels of potassium in comparison to all of the other nuts, and since potassium is an electrolyte that you lose through sweat, pistachios make a great post-workout snack. To add more texture and flavors to this snack, toss some pistachios into a bag with raisins, along with some other nuts and seeds, making your very own portable trail mix.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
A large number of athletes tend to depend on protein shakes for their post-workout snack, but the taste of these can often put many people off. For a healthy and tasty alternative, try whipping up a peanut butter and banana smoothie at home, adding a small touch of protein powder, along with some almond milk and a sprinkling of cinnamon. The protein in your smoothie will provide your body with long-lasting energy, while the cinnamon will help to control your blood sugar levels after your workout. If you want to make your smoothie even more nutritious, experiment with adding some other fruits, or leafy greens such as kale or spinach, to the mix.

Yogurt parfait

Greek Yoghurt Parfait
Greek yoghurt contains just the right amount of digestible protein to help your muscles recover from a workout, and turning it into a yoghurt parfait makes it even more nutrient-dense. While this may sound like a complicated snack, it will only take you a couple of minutes to put together. Simply pour the yoghurt into a portable container, before topping with granola and berries, making sure to remember to bring along a spoon!

Sweet Potatoes and Grilled Chicken
If you have been working out at home and have access to a kitchen immediately after, then this hot snack promises to hit the spot. Sweet potatoes are a hugely beneficial post-workout food, as they are packed with so many vitamins and nutrients, as well as just the right amount of carbohydrates. Eating this along with some grilled chicken will not only create a well-rounded snack, but will also ensure that your body is receiving all of the lean protein that it needs.

Eating after a workout is important, and you should aim to have a snack within 20 minutes of your training in order for your body to optimally function. While you may feel ravenous after a particularly gruelling session, be sure to keep your snack under 150 calories, so that you do not undo all of the hard work that you have just done.

Tips for Planning a Multi-Family Vacation

Friends traveling

Traveling with another family can really be fun, but the planning stage will most likely feel like quite the challenge. In order to ensure that the whole trip runs smoothly, here are some tips to help you to plan a multi-family vacation.

Pick a Leader
While everybody should be responsible for their own individual needs, it is always handy to pick a leader, so that you have someone that can take charge of the overall vacation. This means that everybody will be kept on the same page, whether it be about flight arrival times or contact details, which will help to significantly cut back on confusion.

Senior couples

Choosing a Location
Choosing a location for your vacation can often be one of the toughest parts of planning a multi-family vacation, because with so many different opinions, a large number of you will end up having to compromise. This is something that needs to be decided early on in the process, and the best way to do this is by finding out everybody’s must-haves, whether this may be a beach destination, somewhere mountainous, or a city filled with culture. The person that you have selected to be in charge can then put all of this information together and come up with a few suggestions that will appeal to the majority, letting everybody then vote to pick their favorite.

Let Everyone Plan an Activity
A strict itinerary that everybody has to follow is never going to work out on a multi-family vacation, meaning that you will be much better off scheduling a certain activity and/or meal for the day, and then allowing everyone to have the rest of that day as their own. In order to ensure that everybody has a great time, delegate the planning of certain activities to different members of the family, allowing everybody to pick one activity that they would love to do.

Family traveling

Be Up-Front About Money
Although you may want to really splurge on this vacation, the other family that you are travelling with may have a strict budget that they need to stick to, which is why it is important to discuss finances in the early planning stages of your vacation. When it comes to booking travel and accommodation, it is easy enough for each family to pay for themselves, but if you are sharing a holiday home, and plan on dining at different restaurants, it would be worth coming up with a plan beforehand to ensure that each family is spending a fair amount.

Online Planning
When it comes to a multi-family vacation, there are so many different parts to this that need planning, and emails flying back and forth can often make everything so much more confusing. An online planning document is a great way for everybody to stay updated on the latest plans, whether this be packing lists, meal plans or flight itineraries, and will also keep everything in one place.

In order for your multi-family vacation to be as enjoyable as possible, you will need to put a fair bit of effort into the planning stage. From choosing a location that everybody is happy with to setting budgets and discussing finances, the hard work that you put into the planning will definitely all be worth it in the end.

Walk More to Keep Your Heart Healthy (and Happy!)

Strengthening your heart is so important, and while many may think that running and other more vigorous forms of exercise are the only way to properly do this, walking is an activity that is just as beneficial. Studies have shown that, when it comes to heart health, walking brings about many of the same advantages as other forms of exercise, and is an activity that just about everybody can easily partake in.

Woman walking on bridge

The Health Benefits of Walking
A brisk walk each and every day will bring your body so many different benefits. Not only does this lower high cholesterol, as well as high blood pressure, but it also cuts down your risk of diabetes. All three of these conditions are risk factors when it comes to heart disease and stroke, meaning that making an improvement in this area will significantly boost the health of your heart. In addition to this, regular walking is able to prevent depression, protect against dementia, and reduce the risk of so many other health issues, from colon cancer to erectile dysfunction to obesity.

How Much Walking to Do Each Day
The American Heart Association recommends that adults need around 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and brisk walking can definitely be a large part of this. If you find 30 minutes quite challenging to begin with, start off with smaller, achievable goals, and built this up slowly as your fitness levels increase. Alternatively, you could split your 30 minutes of exercise a day into two or three sessions, walking for just 10 or 15 minutes each time.

Woman walking along beach

Ways to Incorporate Walking Into Your Life
There are many different ways in which you can incorporate more walking in your life, and the more that you do so, the more enjoyment you will gain from it too. Taking the dog for a walk is a great way to exercise the both of you, as is taking your children to the park every afternoon. If shopping is a passion of yours, spend more time window shopping, making a conscious effort to cover the entire mall in a certain amount of time. When it comes to being at work, simply park your car further away from your workplace than you normally would, so that you have some walking to do to get there, and always take the stairs rather than the elevator. Rather than spending your entire lunch break sat at a table, take some time to walk around outside, as you will also gain so many benefits from the fresh air.

Walking Shoes
If you have decided to make the commitment to start walking more, then a reliable pair of shoes is a must. Many of the major athletic brands out there offer shoes designed specifically for walkers, with everything from a shock absorbent sole to a roomy toe box. Before purchasing a pair, make sure to try on your walking shoes while you are wearing athletic socks, so that you will really know how well they fit.

Physical activity is a must, but if you do not tend to enjoy the more traditional forms of exercise, walking could be perfect for you. Not only will this keep your heart strong, while boosting many other parts of your body, but it is also an activity that is easy to squeeze into your day, no matter how busy you may be.