Knowing When to Keep a Little Secret

Parents talking to child

Children are naturally inquisitive, and while you may try to be as open as possible with them, there are certain snippets of information that you simply should not share. From your guilty late-night snacking to details of fights with your partner, there are times when the whole family would benefit if you kept a little secret.

Snacking and Junk Food
In order for children to really thrive, they need the right nutrition, and none of this can be found in junk food. If you are often guilty of late-snacking or the occasional junk food binge, this is something that you need to keep hidden from your children, at least until you have managed to beat that sugar habit for yourself, as it will not be doing you any favors whatsoever. In front of your children, keep up a healthy lifestyle, with snacks that are fresh and nutritious, because this will really help to shape their well-being and eating habits in the future.

Fights with Your Partner
Every relationship has moments of conflict, but, if you get your children involved in this, they will eventually feel as though they need to choose sides, and it will only tear your family up. It will also have a huge impact on the way in which they deal with conflict, as well as their own emotions, in the future, so be sure to never unload all of your problems onto them, and instead help them to understand that brief moments of conflict are absolutely natural.

Couple conflict

Finances
No matter how much stress you may be under regarding your financial situation, it is simply not fair to burden your children with this. Even if they may have to do without some of the luxuries that all of their friends seem to have, it is much better for them to be protected from financial stress and burden at such a young age. While there is no harm in explaining the situation in brief to help them to understand why you may be cutting back around the house, make sure that you do not scare them or make them feel helpless, keeping a positive tone to every financial conversation you may have with them or around them.

Sharing Secrets
It is common for parents to get together and unload the problems that they may be having with their children, but you must be sure to never share these with your own child. No matter how much trust you may have in them, they are still children and can easily let these secrets slip. It will also discourage them from gossiping, which is something that could definitely benefit them later on in life.

Children deserve to really enjoy, and make the most of, their childhood, but this cannot be done if they are burdened with certain secrets. Whether this may be financial stress or gossip about their friend’s parents, be sure to keep these bits of information under wraps, focussing instead on guiding your child through an emotionally, and physically, healthy childhood.

Denim Style for Spring

Woman sitting on steps

Denim is classic, and just about everyone has a denim item of clothing in their wardrobe. While denim may have certainly had its high and low points over the years, this spring it is making quite the comeback in so many different versatile ways.

White, Ivory and Sand
When it comes to denim, blue is usually the color that dominates, but, this spring, white, ivory and sand shades of denim are set to be the hottest colors. Being such neutral colors, a pair of jeans in one of these shades will work with just about every piece of clothing you own, and will really bring your whole outfit together in a new and interesting way.

Denim Accessories
Denim accessories are often overlooked, but this spring you can expect to see them everywhere. While many designers have their take on denim accessories, some of the highlights include the sophisticated clutch from Baraboux, as well as the studded denim heels from Sam Edelman. The denim choker from Migonne Gavigan is also a great piece to add to your collection, as it is quite a contemporary take on a retro item.

Set Your Ankles Free
While tight-legged skinny jeans may have dominated the runways in recent years, this spring is all about wider hems. Although slim-cut shapes will never really be out of style, the silhouettes for this spring are everything but. Whether you opt for ultra wide legs or 70s-inspired bell bottoms, give those restricted jeans a miss this spring.

Woman sitting on sill

Customized Jean Shorts
In recent seasons, jeans are an item of clothing that have definitely undergone the customization trend, and jean shorts are now following suit. Whether they are ripped, bleached, raw hemmed, or patched, the key to this look is individuality, and allowing your jeans to be an extension of your personal style and personality.

Embellished
As mentioned above, customization has been a huge trend recently, especially when it come to distressed jeans. This spring, distressed jeans are being taken to the next level with embellishments. These are not in-your-face add-ons, but rather subtle embellished patches that give your jeans, or jacket, a unique twist. In addition to embellishments, hand embroidery is another way to go, as this adds a beautifully delicate touch to the structured nature of denim.

A Pop of Color
While neutral shades of denim may be popular this season, spring is all about color, and cheerful, vibrant shades of denim will never go amiss. When paired with down-to-earth neutrals, the result is always chic and elegant, elevating the denim within your outfit.

A Feminine Touch
Denim can often seem quite masculine, but there is no reason why you cannot sport denim that has its own special feminine touch. Whether lace, pearls or hints of pink, denim will be taking on a soft, feminine quality this spring.

Denim is such a versatile fabric, and can be worn in so many different ways. Whether you are dressing up or dressing down, these denim looks are wonderfully diverse, and will work no matter your personal style.

Princesses Who Shaped the Roles of Modern Day Royals

Modern day female royals are extremely influential, but this path had to first be paved by the princesses who came before them. From Princess Caroline to Princess Charlotte, these are a few of the princesses that had a huge impact on society in the 18th century, providing a blueprint for future generations of female royalty to follow.

Princess with teacup and umbrella

Princess Caroline
Also known as Caroline of Amsbach, Princess Caroline was a highly sought after bride, and ended up marrying the future King George II. Caroline was extremely intelligent and had a curious mind, outshining her husband in so many different aspects of life. While Caroline contributed to society in numerous ways, she is most remembered for being an incredible pioneer of medicine. Caroline carried out experiments with the smallpox vaccine, first on prisoners and then on her own children, all to favorable results. She was also an avid jewellery collector, and spent a large amount of time curating portraits and other pieces of art, emphasizing the importance of art to society.

Princess in pink

Princess Augusta
Princess Augusta was married to Princess Caroline’s eldest son, Frederick Prince of Wales, but, unfortunately for her, never became queen as her husband died quite young. However, her son, George III, was next in line to be king, and Augusta was absolutely crucial in shaping his reign. George III rightfully trusted his mother and her advice, and bestowed huge amounts of political influence upon him, guiding him to a position from which he could take control of the country on his own.

Woman in castle

Princess Charlotte
After Princess Augusta’s husband died, her son, King George III, took the throne and needed to find a wife. A Colonel was sent to Germany to seek out a suitable match, and Princess Charlotte was discovered. Rather than being picked for beauty, she was chosen for her high level of intelligence, as well as her sense of humor. As she settled in to life in England, Charlotte became a huge advocate of the arts, including those by masters such as Bach and Mozart, the latter of whom dedicated six sonatas to the Queen. In addition to also significantly expanding the collection at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Charlotte was also known for being the very first person in the country to have a Christmas tree, thus introducing this tradition to the United Kingdom.

The Enlightened Princesses Exhibition
Each of these three German princesses married into the British royal family in the 18th century, and had a huge effect when it came to shaping the role of the princess in the modern world. In order to bring attention to this, the Yale Center for British Art is hosting an exhibition titled The Enlightened Princesses, which features over 300 pieces that celebrate the influence that these women had. From extravagant court costumes to botanical illustrations and garden designs, to artwork created by royal children, this exhibition highlights how each princess was a huge advocate for the arts, sciences and trade industries, while showcasing the importance that they placed on the health of women and the welfare of children.

Princess Caroline, Augusta and Charlotte were each known for being passionate and innovative, contributing to just about every aspect of society and influencing an international audience. Today’s princesses are known for doing the same thing, but this would most likely not be the case if these earlier princesses had not paved the way for them.

You Should Give Improv a Go

Short for improvisation, improv focuses on the spontaneous creation of action without any pre-planning, and while it may tend to be taught as a comedic art form, there is so much more to it than this. Taking an improv class has so many different benefits, from boosting confidence to training the brain, so even if improv may feel like something that is so far removed from your comfort zone, it is still most definitely worth giving it a go.

Dancing class

A Confidence Booster
There is no getting around the fact that you will feel silly performing some of the improvisation tasks you will be asked to do in a class, but this is exactly what helps to build confidence. Rather than worrying about what you look like and what others are thinking of you, improv teaches you to let go and live in the moment, which will give you a whole new air of confidence. This is the reason why improv is often recommended to those that suffer from anxiety and shyness, as it can really help to change your perspective on life.

Public Speaking Skills
Research has shown that performing and speaking in public is, on average, the biggest fear in the USA, even coming in front of the fear of dying. Rather than allowing social anxiety to hold you back, take an improv class to help improve your public speaking skills.

Public speaking

A Brain Trainer
Improvisation classes are a great way to train your brain to act faster, which is helpful in so many different situations. The fact that improvisation does away with all pre-planning and preparation means that your brain needs to organize ideas, emotions and sentences straight away, which is a fantastic form of brain training.

What to Expect at an Improv Class
Not knowing what to expect can often be the most frightening part of taking an improv class for many, but, no matter what your class may consist of, you can be sure that you will have plenty of fun. Improv takes place in a group setting, and most of the learning will be done via games and exercises, with the whole group involved. There is very rarely individual work to do, meaning that nervous beginners will find safety and comfort in numbers. Many people that take an improv class for the first time feel as though they have to try extremely hard to be funny, but this is not the case. Let go of any expectations that you may have, and just enjoy being in the moment. Taking this extra pressure off of yourself will enable you to really be free and make the most of the class.

Woman acting

Even if you are not looking to be an actor or performer, an improv class can still be extremely useful, as it will provide you with skills that you can apply to just about every area of your life. From boosting your confidence and aiding with social anxiety, to training your brain to work faster, improv classes will help to improve your whole outlook on life, and will be plenty of fun too.

Dressing Up a Basic T

Woman with curly hair in shirt

A basic t-shirt is a staple that just about everybody has in their wardrobe. While you may think that this is an item of clothing that only really works for casual occasions, there are actually many ways in which you can dress up a basic tee and completely elevate your look.

Add a Scarf
A silk scarf is a great way to add color and pattern to a simple t-shirt, while giving the overall look so much more sophistication. Scarves are extremely versatile and can be tied in so many different ways, so whether you opt for a knotted loop or a reverse drape, experiment with pairing your t-shirt with different scarves.

A Statement Necklace
Statement accessories are bang on trend at the moment, and also happen to be a fantastic way to dress up a basic t-shirt. A chunky, attention-seeking necklace, or even several different strands of beads or pearls, will give your t-shirt a whole new focal point.

Edgy with Leather
If your personal style tends to veer towards the edgy side, then this look will be perfect for you. Simply tuck your t-shirt into a leather skirt, pairing this with strappy heels, for an edgy, street style look. This also works with leather trousers, or even a leather jacket.

Woman with scarf

Chic Tomboy
There is more to dressing up a basic tee than just adding a few extra feminine touches. Instead, you could try to dress it up in more of a tomboy look, wearing it with a tailored blazer, boyfriend jeans, and a pair of heels.

Shorter Sleeves
Scrunching up the sleeves of your t-shirt and pushing them up even higher is a great way to transform this humble item of clothing. When doing this, try to keep the rest of your outfit quite fitted, so that emphasis is placed on the extra volume that your shorter sleeves have created.

A Knotted Tee
By tying a knot at the hem of your t-shirt, you will be able to experiment with new proportions. This style works especially well when paired with high waisted bottoms, whether this may be pants or a skirt, and, when worn with heels, results in quite the party look.

Woman in shirt

Knee-Length Pencil Skirt
Knee-length pencil skirts can often be quite difficult to style, but work beautifully with a simple t-shirt. Make sure that you tuck the t-shirt into your skirt, as this creates the perfect balance between elegance and ease.

Style it With a Blazer
As mentioned above in the Chic Tomboy look, a blazer is a great way to dress up a t-shirt. While this may not add quite enough formality to make the t-shirt suitable to be worn to the office, it still makes your t-shirt look so much classier, and the sleeves of the blazer can easily be rolled up if you want the look to have more of a laid back feel.

A t-shirt is an item that just about everybody owns, but the majority of people out there do not tend to experiment with different ways in which to style a basic tee. However, while a t-shirt may be one of the simplest of garments out there, it is also one of the most versatile, so the next time you put yours on, try dressing it up with one of these looks.

Learn How to Be a Good Listener

Listening skills are hugely important in just about every aspect of life, and while many people may think that they already are a good listener, there are still likely to be some areas in which you could improve. From understanding the importance of eye contact to ignoring all distractions, following these tips will help you to really improve on your listening skills.

Friends chatting

Ignore All Distractions
One of the key aspects to being a good listener is knowing how to ignore all distractions around you, focussing solely on the person who is speaking. While this may seem easy, it does take a certain level of mental effort to really eliminate all distractions, but this will show the speaker just how much you care about what they are saying.

Eye Contact
Eye contact is vital when someone is speaking, as it shows that you are engaged in the conversation, and are paying full attention. This is another area that can often require quite a bit of mental effort, but is easy to practice each time you have a conversation with someone.

Friends chatting

Positive Body Language
While listening means that you should not be talking, your body language can still speak for you. Rather than fidgeting around, crossing your arms, or gazing across the room, lean forward towards the speaker, in an enthusiastic, but relaxed nature.

Ask the Right Questions
A good listener does not just sit there silently and be spoken at, but rather knows how to further the conversation, opening up new paths, by asking the right questions. This is a skill that can take some time to master, as you need to learn how to be able to shape the conversation with the questions that you choose.

Listening attentively

Show Some Empathy
Empathy is so important, even if you do not completely relate to what is being said. By taking a moment to put yourself in the speaker’s shoes, trying to understand exactly how they are feeling, you will be much better equipped to display a genuine form of compassion that will be greatly appreciated. Even if you make a mistake and fail to fully understand the situation, the speaker will still be able to see that you are trying to have empathy, and this will make a huge difference.

Don’t Change the Subject
Changing the subject prematurely is quite common in business settings, as well as social group encounters, but this only shows that you do not have an interest in the subject being discussed, and think that what you have to say is more important. The only time in which you should change the subject of a conversation is when that particular discussion is well and truly over.

Listening skills will aid you in just about every part of your life, from dealing with colleagues at the office to personal relationships at home. Even if you feel that you already are a great listener, listening skills can always be improved, and it really does not take too much effort to do so.

Choosing the Right Shade of Foundation

There are so many different shades of foundation out there, making it no surprise that only 15% of women choose the right shade when they have no extra help available to them. To ensure that you do not make this mistake, here are some tips on how to choose the right shade of foundation.

Woman applying foundation

Matching a Shade to Your Skin Tone
The best way to truly match a foundation shade to your skin tone is by testing it against the back of your hand, as well as on your chest, before heading outside to see what it looks like in natural lighting. Even if you are not able to test this outside, you should still wait for a few minutes before making your decision, as the shade might slightly change as it soaks into your skin.

Seasonal Changes
Your skin tone will change throughout the year, meaning that the shade of foundation that may seem right for you now, will not seem that way at all in six months time. The best way to deal with this is by creating a custom shade that is able to complement your skin year-round. To do this, pick two shades of foundation, one lighter and one darker, using the lighter one in the triangular area that makes up the center of your face. Blend the darker shade into this over the sides of your cheeks and down onto your neck, and be sure to check the result in natural lighting as well as store lighting. If both shades work, then you can use these throughout the year, adjusting the amount of each, and the way in which you blend them, so that your skin tone is always complemented.

Woman matching shade

Complexion Matching
If foundation is completely new to you, then it may be worth checking out some of the complexion matching programs found on the websites of certain cosmetic companies. These will ask you questions about your skin and complexion, and then provide you with color suggestions that you can then use a starting point for sampling shades. For a more accurate assessment, you could also head to a department store and seek the advice of a professional from a cosmetics brand.

When in Doubt, Go Darker
If you are ever having trouble choosing between two particular shades, with both of them being extremely similar, then the darker shade is the one you should go for. While a shade that is too light will give your complexion a chalky appearance, as well as making it seem as though you are overly made up, a darker shade will simply give off a more tanned appearance, making it much more forgiving.

Woman putting on foundation powder

If you really want to look your very best, then you need to make sure that you are wearing the right shade of foundation. From learning how to match a shade to your skin tone, to investing in two shades that you blend throughout the year, these tips will ensure that your foundation is always spot-on in the future.

Five Reasons to Try Vegetarian

While the popularity of vegetarianism is rapidly on the rise, there are some who still feel as though giving up meat would be too big of a sacrifice to make. However, there are so many benefits that come with a vegetarian diet, so here are five reasons to persuade you to give vegetarianism a try.

Vegetarian

Slow Down the Aging Process
A study recently published in the British Medical Journal discovered that vegetarians outlive meat eaters by up to six years, which is hardly surprising considering all of the nutrients that come with a plant-based diet. Not only are these rich in fiber, but they are alo high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, all of which play individual roles in slowing down the aging process. In addition to this, a plant-based diet can also prevent, as well as reverse, certain chronic diseases, giving vegetarians a longer, and healthier, life.

Prevent the Three Biggest Killers
Heart disease is the number one killer out there, with cancer and strokes being the second and third, but a healthy, well-balanced vegetarian diet is able to protect the body from all three of these. In fact, doctors have even had success in unclogging arteries and reversing heart disease purely by prescribing a vegan diet.

Woman with ferret

Support the Environment
Countless studies have shown, and the United Nations has also confirmed, that eating meat is the reason behind some of the most serious environmental problems that we face today. For example, the meat industry is responsible for 40% more greenhouse gases than all of the cars, trucks and planes in the world combined, and are also linked to everything from land degradation to water pollution to climate change to loss of biodiversity.

Animal Welfare
While you may like to think that your meat has been raised on lush green pastures and happy farmyard homes, the reality is far from this, and if the general public really knew what happened in factory farms today, there would be many more vegetarians in the world. Animals that are commonly eaten, such as chickens and pigs, are actually known to be smarter than animals that are usually kept as pets, such as dogs and cats, so rather than supporting the abhorrent conditions that these creatures are kept in, give vegetarianism a try. It is believed that an individual who gives up meat is able to save around 100 animal lives each year, which is a good enough reason in itself for any true animal lover.

Woman standing on weighing scale

Weight Loss
More than two thirds of the general public are obese, but vegetarians on average tend to have a lower BMI, which is the measure of body fat, than meat eaters. Vegetarians are much less likely to be obese, and are significantly lighter than meat eaters, making vegetarianism the healthiest of weight loss diets.

As you can see, a vegetarian diet brings with it so many incredible benefits. Not only would you be making huge improvements to your own health, but you would also be supporting the world around you, so make 2017 the year in which you give vegetarianism a try.

Hot Lipstick Colors for Spring

Boldly painted lips were all the rage across spring 2017 fashion week runways, and are the perfect way to add some polish to your look. From glamorously glossy to fluorescent finishes, these are the hottest lipstick colors for this spring.

Natural look

Poppy Pink
Pink is set to be one of the key colors for this spring, but, when it comes to your lipstick, pretty pastel pinks are out, and bold magentas are in. Poppy pink is one of the hottest shades out there, especially with a matte finish, but you need to ensure that your lips have been primed in advance if you want this look to be long-lasting, as matte finishes do tend to require a bit of extra upkeep.

Fluorescent Orange
Orange has been making a comeback for a while, but, just like with pink, the key orange lipstick shades for this year are bold and bright, never failing to make a statement. Opt for shades that are as pigmented as possible, with a glossy, shiny finish.

Dusty Rose
Muted, dusty hues of rose were seen all over the spring 2017 runways, and are the ideal shade for those who want something slightly darker than their natural color, but still relatively subtle. While this color can be incorporated into so many different beauty looks, wearing it with a matching eye shadow and blush will give you a chic and modern monochromatic look.

Woman applying pink lipstick

Nude, Beige and Brown
Nudes, beiges and browns have been popular lipstick colors for a few seasons now, and this shows no signs of changing. The great aspect to these neutral shades is that they are so versatile, and will work no matter your skin tone.

Bright and Vivid Editorial Colors
While green, blue or purple may not be lipstick shades that you are able to wear on an everyday basis, they are fresh, modern, and absolutely perfect for a special occasion when you really want to make a statement. As edgy and daring as these colors may be, you do need to pay special attention to the rest of your look, so as to keep it all high fashion and avant garde rather than over-the-top.

Glitter Lips
Glitter lips work with just about every shade, and are the perfect way to add a sultry sparkle to your look. There are two ways in which you can do this, with the first being to pat loose glitter onto your lips. Alternatively, you can opt for a glitter-infused lip gloss to apply over your lipstick, which is often the easiest and most convenient method.

Woman with gold lipstick

Glamorously Glossy
Just like with glitter lips, ultra glossy lips can be created with every color. Whether you opt for a subtle nude or a deep wine, just make sure you apply plenty of reflecting gloss on top.

There is quite a variety when it comes to the hottest lipstick colors for this spring, giving you plenty of options for finding something that works with your personal style. Whether you opt for poppy pink with a coating of gloss and glitter, or an understated matte dusty rose, take advantage of these trends and allow your lips to really make a statement.

Tips For Looking Better When You Dress

No matter how polished your personal style may already be, there are always a few adjustments that can be made to take your outfit to the next level. No matter the occasion that you may be dressing for, here are some tips that will help you to look even better than usual.

Elegant woman

Pay Attention to Fit
No matter how important style and trends may be, the most crucial aspect to dressing well is only wearing garments that fit your body perfectly, accentuating it rather than having an unflattering effect. Since clothing sizing varies greatly between brands, it is time to stop paying attention to the number, and instead focus on how each garment fits your body. If you find that you own a large amount of clothing that is ill-fitting, it could be well worth visiting a tailor and having your clothing customized to suit your shape.

Statement Accessories
Not only are statement accessories bang on trend right now, but they are also a great way to instantly add a fashionable flair to your outfit. Even if you are just wearing jeans and a t-shirt, adding in a statement necklace and ring, along with some bangles and a colorful headband, can completely transform your look.

Upgrade Your Shoes
Your footwear has a huge impact on the rest of your outfit, and can alone be the one accessory that dresses your look up or down. For example, a simple shorts and t-shirt combination can instantly be made more chic with a pair of wedges, while a fitted dress takes on a more relaxed edge when worn with some casual flats. If you want your outfit to seem more polished overall, then investing in shoes that are stylish and sophisticated could be an easy way to do so.

Shoes

What’s Underneath Counts
While you may think that it is only the clothes that are actually visible on your body that contribute to an outfit, your undergarments are just as important. If you have not been measured for a bra for a few years now, then it is time to have this done, as your exact size will change over the years. A bra that fits perfectly will instantly give your upper body a lift, resulting in a much more slender figure and silhouette.

Plan Your Outfits in Advance
If you often end up finding yourself in quite the rush when you are getting dressed, then this means that you will not be putting your full focus on choosing an outfit. You are also likely to opt for an outfit out of convenience rather than style, which can often end up looking quite drab. To avoid this, spend five minutes each evening browsing through your wardrobe and deciding what to wear the next day, so that you can take the time to plan an outfit that really pops.

While the fashionable looks gleaming in magazines can sometimes seem unobtainable, it actually does not take too much effort to upgrade the way in which you dress. With the right garments, and a little bit of advance planning, you will soon be dressing better than you ever have.