Boxing: the hottest new workout for women?

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Everywhere we look around us, there is some sort of new diet or exercise fad that promises to shed the pounds within weeks. It seems we’ve tried everything from Beyonce’s Maple Syrup Diet to Chairacise, but now something has arrived which not only seems completely within the realms of possibility, but is also a great way to let off steam: boxing.

New beginnings

Without a doubt, boxing has come onto everybody’s radar in the recent months thanks to the forthcoming Mayweather Jr vs. Pacquiao fight, which will see millions of spectators betting and biting their nails on 2nd May. But far from being a sport which is primarily directed towards men, now, more and more women are choosing boxing to vent their frustrations and lose those extra pounds.

No one knows this better than the founders of Shadowbox, a new boxing studio which has just opened in New York’s Flatiron District. Daniel Glazer, founder of the club, said: “We’re going to try to bridge the gap between what’s great about the sport traditionally and bring it into the new century for women who want to be able to take a shower and blow-dry their hair and go to work afterward.”

Yes, it may be something of a boxing-ring-come-beauty-salon, but that is not to say that the regimes will not be hard work. Classes comprise shadow boxing with and without weights, heavy bag work with guided punch combinations and core and body weight exercises, all topped off with a few stretches. It particularly appeals to women, says Glazer, thanks to its lengthening and toning properties, rather than making its participants “bulk up.”

On the catwalk

Aesthetics are certainly an added benefit of this refreshing exercise, but it’s also having a substantial effect on the fashion circuit. Alexander Wang set the trend last autumn when he designed boxing gloves for his H&M collaboration. This in turn inspired Karl Lagerfield, who soon had models such as Cara Delevingne sporting lace-up boots and quilted bags in the latest campaign for Chanel. Louis Vuitton went one step further and even designed a full set of boxing accessories, retailing at an eye-watering $175,000.

It’s part of an altogether bigger ‘sportification’ trend which is currently taking the fashion world by storm for both men and women. Wei Koh, founder of The Rake Magazine, says: “There’s a blending of sportswear and formality like we’ve never seen. What’s apparent now is that we are looking for clothes that help us jump around the city, run around between meetings. It’s about comfort, technical ability and mobility.”

Of course, technical ability and mobility are two traits which any keen boxer possesses. With the new fitness trend, this is something which could be on the rise in the coming months for any New York resident looking for an exciting way of getting in shape.

Your living room: Small changes that make a big difference

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Our living room is the core of our home; the room we showcase for visitors and enjoy quiet family time in and therefore it is crucial that we ensure it is as homely and comfortable as possible. Whilst we would all love the most up to date, modern living room, it is essential this room reflects both your taste and your lifestyle.

Whilst some large changes such as; changing couches or adding new timber windows aren’t something we can all do on a regular basis, here are some smaller changes that are guaranteed to make a huge impact on your living room.

Improve your lighting

The lighting you choose for any room, particularly your living room can change the entire ambiance. If you are looking to have a living room where you and your family can relax; subtle, soft lighting can work really well and create a cosy atmosphere. However, if you want to create a space that is alert then harsher, brighter lighting will be more suitable.

Installing a dimmer switch is also the perfect solution as this will allow you to have brighter light during day time hours and a soft dimmer light for pyjama moments and those romantic evenings in.

Add an accent wall

If you really want to change things up and add a bit of the contemporary into your living room, why not add an accent wall? This wall is where you can add a bold statement in your otherwise quite neutral living room. This can be an extremely quick and cheap way of completely changing the entire look and feel of your living space.

Add some life

Believe it or not, the addition of a living and breathing plant can really enhance your living room. Whether that is an orchid or some herb pots; add them to random spaces in your lounge for a great effect.

Change your accent pillows

If you don’t currently have any accent pillows; get some! If you do have them, change them up a bit. This is a quick and inexpensive way of completely changing the colour or design theme of your living room. If you want to make sure your living space really stands out, add some brightly coloured cushions to your couch.

With these essential tips in mind, you can really enhance your living room this season without spending a fortune!

Adding Luxury Touches to Your Bathroom

Your bathroom can start looking old and tired pretty quickly. Therefore, you should look for ways to keep it fresh and new all year round. We all want touches of luxury in our bathrooms, but real luxury is expensive, I know I can’t afford that kind of thing!

So, I’ve devised some quickly and easy ways in which you can add luxury touches to your bathroom. Don’t settle for a drab, lifeless bathroom. Follow these tips and your bathroom will have a new lease of life in no time.

Add a New Mirror

Your eye is immediately drawn to the mirror in a room. It is usually the thing that stands out on the wall, so make sure yours isn’t cheap and ugly. Get something elaborate or in fitting with the rest of your room.

Mirrors provide extra light and make a room look bigger, they’re not just for looking at yourself in! So, if you don’t have one in your bathroom, it’s time you changed that. You can find some beautiful second-hand mirrors that can be restored to create something unique.

Get New Towels and Robes

Are your towels, robes and mats looking old and tatty these days? It’s really worth investing in some new ones if this is the case. Not only will they look better but they’ll also feel a lot better when you use them! Luxury doesn’t just have to be about appearances.

Make sure they are in keeping with the design of the rest of the room. You get lots of differently designed towels and contemporary bath mats online. And you could even get your robes personalised if you wanted.

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Mix and Match Fixtures

A great way to update your bathroom and be creative at the same time is to use unusual and unexpected fixtures in the room. Why not use kitchen storage units and turn them into a great vanity cabinet?

Or get an old chandelier and use it in your bathroom. These touches often look great and give a sense of real luxury that shop bought bathroom fixture can’t compete with.

New Accessories

A bathroom can be made to feel more luxurious by simply adding small accessories. Try adding scents and candles around the room. It’s cheap and simple, yet gives the feeling of real luxury and relaxation. Light them when you get home from work, and you’re having a long soak, you won’t regret it.

Other accessories you could add include plants for the windowsill, picture for the walls or luxury soaps for the bath. Do whatever puts you most at ease.

Clean it Thoroughly

A deep clean can be as good as a redecoration job sometimes. Bathrooms get very dirty, very quickly. Get right into the corners and clean the taps! It’ll feel like an entirely new room by the end of it. And it won’t cost much money either.

You could even get a professional cleaner to do the job for you if you want the room to be cleaned comprehensively. And then, once it’s clean, try to keep it clean!

Give Your Bedroom a Beautiful Makeover!

Your bedroom is the space to relax, chill and sleep. It should be a haven from the world. It’s important that you have a bedroom that meets your needs. After all, you need to ensure that you have a tranquil and beautiful space within your home.

So, how can this bedroom makeover be done?

There are some simple, yet beautiful ways that you can give your room a makeover. What’s more; you don’t even have to pick up the paint brush!

Cute Curtains

Think about your curtains. Are they a little lacklustre? Do they leave a lot to be desired? If you want to make sure that your room is transformed, with ease, it’s time to invest in some curtains that are the actual focal point of the room. If you have a neutral base on your wall, a pair of curtains that have a lot of detail can make them the feature of your room. You don’t have to put up feature paper to create an atmosphere. Think along the lines of checks, birds, floral and spots. This can give your room an instant lift and look positively fantastic.

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Emily May

Lights, Camera, Action

Lighting is a huge part of any home. But, you don’t have to stick to a bedroom ceiling fan and light combination. On the contrary, unique lighting is one of the best ways to add drama to your room. Think about what kind of look you want. Do you want a bright, open room? Or, would you prefer to something a little more cosy? Thinking about this need is a must before you add light. Simple laser cut shades are perfect for any cosy space. But, dramatic pendants and oversized sconces can change the whole look of your room. Lighting should be both practical and beautiful. So, incorporate it in the right way in your home.

Throws, Pillows and Fabrics

Adding texture to a room can change the space from drab to fab. One of the best and cheapest ways to do this is to add more fabrics and textiles. Think about your bedroom space. It’s a playground for inspiration. So many people forget about putting in simple rugs, voiles and cushions. Throwing scatter cushions across the bed is a must. A simple, luxe faux fur throw is a must. Opt for a large throw that contrasts with the theme of your room. Adding all of these textiles gives your home a stunning feel. But, it also creates a comfortable and cosy space that can be enjoyed all year round.

Stickers and Art

When it comes to your home, you may want something a little classier on your walls. Murals, stickers and oversized canvases can be purchased for a snip of the price. What’s more, they are a funky alternative to paper and paint. As they are a less permanent solution, you can have all kinds of things on your wall. Choose a feature wall and add simple murals and canvases. Your bedroom will be transformed into a chic spot that is bang on trend.

Creative Lighting Ideas for Your Home

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by Stacie

We can do much more with the light in our homes than simply screw in a white or yellow light bulb. But many of us don’t make the effort to do anything more interesting, perhaps instead concentrating on using beautiful lampshades. And while having new light fixtures fitted might seem a hassle, it’s not all that complicated, and it’s not the only way to use light in a fun way. We use the light in our home for practical purposes, like cooking in the kitchen, but we also use it to set the mood and enhance interior design. If you want to do more with your home lighting, try some of these creative ideas.

Take Control

Sometimes the fairly simple ideas are some of the most effective. Dimmer switches might have been around for a long time, but people often still see them as something a bit fancy. It’s easy to install a switch, as well as dimmable bulbs like these Philips LED bulbs. Once you’ve changed your lights to fit dimmer switches, you won’t regret it. You can lower the light in the bathroom for a relaxing bath, bring the lights down in the dining room for an intimate dinner or create some mood lighting in the bedroom. You don’t always want a strong, bright light in the evening, and a lower one can bring a lot more atmosphere to a room.

Learn to Love Pendant Lights

Most of us have light fittings that hang straight down from our ceilings, but they can often look a bit tired or dull. Pendant lights hang a little lower than most and usually come with a beautiful shade, made from anything from glass to brass. They’re particularly popular at the moment because they’re an excellent way to use lighting to create a feature in the room. They look fantastic hanging over a table, kitchen island or bed. There’s a huge range of stunning and creative fittings you can use, from vintage lanterns to contemporary bars and other designs.

Use Color

We often get stuck using white and yellow lights, with perhaps a bit of daring orange now and then. But there’s no need for us to stick to the same colors all the time. There are lots of fun hues that we try out, and they don’t have to be garish or tacky. However, it’s best to use different colors sparingly, perhaps as accent lighting. You can also use colored bulbs with a dimmer switch so that you can adjust their level. Instead of using paint, furniture or other accessories for you accent colors, use your lights instead. As well as choosing a colored bulb, you can use a white one shining through a colorful fixture. You’ll get a more subtle effect, and you can change the fixture when you want.

Why should we settle for boring lighting when we can do what we want with it, just like everything else in our homes? Make your home more fun by playing with your lights instead of settling for mundanity.

Bringing Victorian charm into the 21st Century

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For many people Victorian homes hold a distinct charm that new builds simply can’t match. However, the problems may arise when you discover you still have the original plumbing, the plaster is crumbling and you can’t remodel without jumping through the hoops of your local historical and preservation societies.

However, there are some truly amazing buildings available and the character, charm and sense of history afforded by a Victorian space can be worth any amount of hassle you might have to go through in getting it the way you want.

Victorian statements travel into 2015

For inspiration, take a look at these stunning character homes for sale. Stanmore is home to Bentley Priory, a stately home that has medieval roots but which really came into its own in the 18th and 19th Centuries. In 1848, in fact, the Dowager Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV, leased the Priory and regularly received Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

You really don’t get more Victorian than that – but the luxury apartments, duplexes and villas that have been created within the Priory stand as living proof that period buildings can be brought into the 21st Century. The elegant contemporary interiors co-exist with the character of the building’s original features which, considering the Priory is a Grade II listed building, was an absolute design prerequisite.

Try something different

Even if you’re fitting out your period home on a budget, you can create your own blend of classic and contemporary. You don’t want your home to look like somebody threw their grandparents’ old furniture together along with a trolley dash through your local gadget store but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring in some modern elements.

For an eclectic look, try reupholstering a Victorian-style sofa or dining chairs with modern fabrics and bold graphic prints. This diverse mix isn’t for everyone but it can work to stunning effect.

It’s also worth noting that the Victorians themselves were not afraid of colour and bold design statements. The period might be associated with somewhat repressed emotions but in design terms it was opulent, with lots of rich greens, gold-browns, reds and blues. Toning the heavier colours with cool whites can add a modern touch and make the place feel lighter and airier.

So, there really are plenty of options and many ways to bring classic Victoriana into the modern day so, go for it!

Wonderful Ways to Pamper Yourself at Home

We all need some time to ourselves sometimes. We work long hours during the week and then stay busy at the weekend getting out and about or spending time with the kids. But sometimes you just need to slow down and take some time to pamper yourself. But you don’t have to go to a spa to give yourself some special treatment. All you need is a bit of spare time, the bathroom to yourself and a few choice supplies. You can easily enjoy a quiet, relaxing night (or day) in, without having to spend much money at all. Follow these tips to start letting go of all that stress and becoming the most relaxed you’ve ever been.

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Gather Your Supplies

You don’t want to have to get out of the bath and run through the house because you’ve forgotten something. Make sure you have everything you need before you get started, so you’re super prepared. If you’re going to begin with a long, hot bath, you’ll need your preferred products for making it enjoyable. It could be a bubble bath, a bath bomb or some silky body lotion for when you get out. You’ll want to enhance the atmosphere too, so get something the smells good, like candles or incense, and put on some relaxing music. If you don’t already have one, it’s essential to go shopping for bath robes. There’s nothing like getting out of a warm bath, drying yourself with a huge, fluffy towel and then wrapping up in a luxuriously soft robe.

Start with a Bath

Once you have your bath supplies, it’s time to get in. If you don’t have a tub, a shower can be just as relaxing and delightful. Get your relaxing music started, whether it’s classical or pop, and dim the lights to create a tranquil atmosphere that could almost send you into sleep. While you’re bathing, give yourself a mini-massage with a loofah or exfoliate with a good body scrub. It’s also a good idea to take a pumice stone to your feet for silky smooth soles. You’ll step out of the bath feeling like a new woman.

Post-bath Care

Once you’re out of the tub and wrapped in your fluffy robe, there’s no need to stop there. Massaging a quality body lotion into your skin can make you feel blissful. You’ll feel soft all over, and it will help you feel even more relaxed than before. If you want to get dressed, put on some soft pajamas or other clothes. There’s no need to wear stiff garments and restrictive items, when you can slouch on the sofa in your favorite “relaxing outfit”.

Keep It Going

After your relaxing bath and after-care, don’t rush straight back into the real world. Take some more time to look after yourself and forget about your troubles. Sit back and do something that you enjoy that won’t stress you out. For some people that will be watching TV, while for others it could be playing video games or reading a book.

After your epic relaxation session, you’re sure to wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and raring to go. How would you describe your perfect night in?

Why Accessories Are A Girl’s Best Friend

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Women are always up to date on the latest fashion trends, but accessories are just as important. Why are accessories so important, you ask? Accessories are some of the ways women can express themselves without doing too much. From necklaces, bracelets, earrings, to family heirlooms, here are the reasons why accessories are a girl’s best friend.

Self-expression

As said, women use accessories to express themselves. For instance, a woman with a boho chic style would probably prefer to wear wooded beads and hemp bracelets rather than pearls or gold jewelry. Women who don’t want to express themselves through the way they dress can easily turn to accessories to show off their personal style and taste.

Accessories can change a look

Using just accessories, girls can change their daywear to nightwear. If they have on a simple black dress, a few accessories can dress it up or down, depending on the occasion that they are attending. A few fancy bracelets and necklaces can turn a black dress into a party ensemble, while some pearl earrings can make the dress ideal for a formal date.

Draw attention to different parts of the body

Accessories are also a girl’s best friend as they can draw attention to different parts of the body. For instance, to accentuate the neck, a simple necklace could do the trick. A ring with a big stone could also easily draw attention.

Elevate simple fashion

A plain shirt and jeans can be elevated with a few accessories. A fashionable bag, bold jewelry, or a printed scarf can change your look. With just a few simple accessories, you can easily turn your plain clothes into something high fashion.

Heirlooms and special trinkets

Jewelry and accessories are also commonly passed down from generation to generation as heirlooms. These heirlooms are typically made of real metals and have a high value. In other cases, accessories can be a token of appreciation or special trinkets to remind you of someone such as friendship bands and bracelets. Accessories are treasures that the owner can keep for a long time.

Provides opportunities for a simple outfit

Women only need a few essential pieces in their closet to survive – a little black dress, jeans, a crisp white shirt, and slacks are just a few of them. These basic pieces can easily be turned into ensembles of different styles with the help of accessories. Sunglasses, a bag, a hat, and some jewelry can turn your basic outfits into countless wardrobe opportunities.

Accessories are just as important as fashion. Not only that, you have plenty of accessories to choose from! From cheap and fancy jewelry to the more expensive ones, there’s no doubt that each piece can change your wardrobe. Read more about the latest trends in accessories and know how you can turn a simple ensemble into one that will make you feel more confident and special. You can get a bunch of wholesale costume jewelry or a few gold or silver pieces and you are all set!

5 Cooking Tips For The Baker In You

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Baking seems so easy when you see it on cooking shows, but when you try it yourself, it does not always turn out the way you expect. Baking is a technical skill; some say it takes even more skill than cooking. If you want to be a good baker, here are some tips you should follow:

Preparation

Make it a habit to read through the recipe from the start to finish and make sure you have the right ingredients and materials before you start. Also ensure your ingredients are at room temperature before you begin cooking, unless stated otherwise. Be aware of different baking terms to make sure you are doing the right thing. For instance, melted is different from softened.

When using the oven

Always pre-heat the oven according to the temperature in the recipe before baking. Use an oven thermometer to make sure that the temperature is exact. In addition, you also need to have a timer handy. A few minutes or seconds can turn your cookies or cake hard. When baking, follow the times and temperatures exactly as seen on the recipe. You can also use your judgment and check the cookies or cake once in a while.

Types of ingredients

When baking, you will be seeing different types of ingredients – some you normally use, while others you may not have heard of. Recipes may call for salted or unsalted butter, different types of oil, a variety of sugars, and even different types of flour. Read about these varieties to ensure you know what they are good for and why a certain recipe needs it.

Use appropriate measuring tools

There are measuring tools for liquids and measuring tools for solids. When you are baking, you need to use the right measuring tools for the ingredients you are measuring. Another tip is to level off ingredients using a knife when measuring them. Use the straight edge of a knife to get the most accurate measurements. The smallest addition to an ingredient can make a huge difference when baking.

Practice, practice, practice

The first cake or batch of cookies you make may not turn out perfect but with baking all it takes is practice. The more you do it, the better you get. For beginners, it is best to stick to one recipe first before attempting to do others. Once you have perfected a recipe, you can move on to other delectable desserts you can serve to your family and friends.

With these tips, you are sure to be a better baker in no time. If you practice, you will soon be able to make all the desserts that you want including layered cakes, chocolate macaroons, cookies, muffins, and many more! Once you get the hang of things, it will be easier for you to prepare these wonderful offerings that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

 

Looking After Yourself In Later Life: 5 Things To Consider Before It’s Too Late!

Make things happen

Many of us don’t like to think about it but it is important that you plan for the future; to ensure that your family members do not suffer when handling everything you’ve left behind when you pass away. Here are five things that you should consider, when preparing for later life:

Write up your will

A last will and testament is the main document that will tell your family what you’ve left behind and how your assets and properties will be divided. This document also states who will have guardianship of your children if they are under 18 and who can execute the will after your death. Your will doesn’t have to be fancy, for those who don’t have a lot of property or money, you can always prepare a simple will that includes all the things that you can remind your family of. Remember to always update your will and read up on the government rules that surround it.

Get organized

Getting organized as early as today means you ensure that you leave no stone unturned. Make a bucket list of things that you need to accomplish and take one step at a time in executing them. Having an organized plan allows you and your family the ease and convenience of arranging and executing your will.

Plan for the future

Another important aspect to consider is your memorial plan. Outlining the service allows your family to have a guide to follow if you want to be more specific about your memorial service. If you want to be buried, it’s best to find a grave plot that’s available. You may contact your local cemetery to inquire about the available plots of land. Contacting a funeral director can help you arrange the specifics for your cremation. There are also prepaid arrangements that can alleviate the costs for your family.

Secure all accounts

Your finances and other aspects like life insurance and bills need to be taken care of. Even though you’ve already passed, you still have a few obligations surrounding your finances. Make sure that your family knows about your life insurance policy and retirement plans like pensions and annuities. Remember that your family can’t claim these accounts if they don’t know they exist and the funds usually go to the state for other projects. Even your digital life needs to be secured.

Get the right equipment

If you have a condition that requires special equipment, it’s best to purchase it in advance so you can utilize it when it is actually needed later in life. It’s not enough for you to prepare funds for your later life, you should also prepare for the future expenses that can stem from illnesses that you could contact due to old age. This could mean stocking up on diapers for adults or organizing a mode of care plan that your family can do should you fall into a deep illness.