Wednesday 31 May 2017

Ghost In The Shell

“Mind-blowing. You’ve never seen anything like it.”
–Kevin Steincross, FOX-TV

“Scarlett Johansson is terrific.”
–Stephanie Zacharek, Time

  Breathtaking Vision of the Future Debuts July 25, 2017 on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray 3D™ and
Blu-ray™ Combo Packs

Get It Early on Digital HD July 7
     “Totally riveting” (Bill Zwecker, FOX-TV) and filled with “heart pounding excitement” (Pete Hammond, Deadline), the thrilling and eye-popping GHOST IN THE SHELL arrives on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand July 25, 2017 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  The future comes early on Digital HD July 7.
      Set in a world where people are enhanced with technology, GHOST IN THE SHELLfollows Major (Scarlett Johansson), who believes she was rescued from near death.  The first of her kind, Major is a human mind inside an artificial body designed to fight the war against cyber-crime. While investigating a dangerous criminal, Major makes a shocking discovery – the corporation that created her lied about her past life in order to control her. Unsure what to believe, Major will stop at nothing to unravel the mystery of her true identity and exact revenge against the corporation she was built to serve.  A “visually stunning” (Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly) “classic in the making” (Dan Casey, Nerdist), GHOST IN THE SHELL also stars Takeshi Kitano, Michael Carmen Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han, and Juliette Binoche. 

     The GHOST IN THE SHELL 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray Combo Packs are loaded with over 50 minutes of fascinating special features. Scarlett Johansson, director Rupert Sanders and other cast and crew take you behind-the-scenes to talk stunts, special effects and intricate fight sequences. Plus, take an in-depth look at the real-life science behind robotics; discover how cyber-enhancements give each character specialized super–soldier abilities; and learn about the original anime as well as the inspirations behind the visually stunning view of the future. The film also boasts a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack* remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.    

Ghost in the Shell Blu-ray Combo Pack
The GHOST IN THE SHELL Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD compatible), French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following:  
  • Feature film in high definition
  • Bonus Content:
           o   Hard-Wired Humanity: Making Ghost in the Shell           o   Section 9: Cyber Defenders           o   Man & Machine: The Ghost PhilosophyDVD
  • Feature film in standard definition
Ghost in the Shell 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack
Fans can enjoy the ultimate viewing experience with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes the Blu-ray detailed above, as well as an Ultra HD Disc presented in 4K Ultra HD with English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD compatible), French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film.

Ghost in the Shell Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack
The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack includes a Blu-ray 3D presented in 1080p high definition with English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD compatible), Parisian French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Castilian Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, German 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description, along with English (UK), English (UK SDH) Bahasa Malaysian, Brazilian Portuguese, Cantonese, Castilian Spanish, Czech, Danish, Dutch, European Portuguese, Finnish, Parisian French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Mandarin Simplified, Mandarin Traditional, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovakian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian subtitles.  The Blu-ray Disc™ in the combo pack is presented in 1080p high definition with English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD compatible), Canadian French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Latin American Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description and English, Canadian French, Latin American Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles. The Blu-ray includes the same content listed above and the Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film.

Ghost in the Shell Single-Disc DVD
The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The disc includes the feature film in standard definition.

Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment present an Arad Productions/a Steven Paul production, a Rupert Sanders film: Scarlett Johansson “Ghost in the Shell.”  “Beat” Takeshi Kitano, Michael Carmen Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han, and Juliette Binoche.  Music by Clint Mansell and Lorne Balfe.  Costume designers Kurt and Bart.  Editors Neil Smith and Billy Rich.  Production designer Jan Roelfs.  Director of photography Jess Hall, BSC.  Executive producers Jeffrey Silver, Tetsu Fujimura, Yoshinobu Noma and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa.  Produced by Avi Arad, p.g.a., Ari Arad, p.g.a., Steven Paul and Michael Costigan.  Based on the comic “The Ghost in the Shell” by Shirow Masamune, published in Japan by Kodansha Ltd.  Screenplay by Jamie Moss and William Wheeler and Ehren Kruger.  Directed by Rupert Sanders.

About Paramount Home Media Distribution Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.  PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), home to premier global media brands that create compelling television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, apps, games, consumer products, social media experiences and other entertainment content for audiences in more than 180 countries.  The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment and transactional digital distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and applicable licensing and servicing of certain DreamWorks Animation titles.  PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and transactional distribution across worldwide digital distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies. 

About Dolby Atmos
Dolby Atmos delivers moving audio—sound that can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in three-dimensional space, including overhead. It brings entertainment alive all around the audience in a powerfully immersive and emotive experience. To learn more about Dolby Atmos, visit

GHOST IN THE SHELLStreet Date:                          July 7, 2017 (Digital HD)                                              July 25, 2017 (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD)            U.S. Rating:                           PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, suggestive content and                                                       some disturbing images
Canadian Rating:                  PG, not recommended for young children, violence

Monday 29 May 2017

Emergency Expenses: Save Money During a Home Disaster

 An emergency in your home can send you into a panic. Not only could it cause damage to your home or stop you living your life, but it has the potential to cost you a lot of money too. Calling someone out to fix something in an emergency will often be more expensive than any routine repairs, and in your panic to find someone, you might not get the best price. However, there are ways you can save money and take care of the emergency as soon as you can. If you have something at home that you need to deal with immediately, try following these steps.

Take Immediate Action

Being as quick as possible in your reaction to whatever has happened will certainly help you to avoid losing too much money. The longer you let a problem go on, the more it could cost to fix any damage that has occurred. So if something is broken, see if there's anything you can do about it before calling anyone else to help. For example, if a pipe has burst in your home, you can locate the water switch and turn it off. Obviously, if you need to call the emergency services, such as the fire brigade, you should do that as soon as it's safe to as well.

Check Who's Responsible

Before you call anyone out to fix an emergency in your home, make sure you know whose job it is to make repairs. If you own your home, you're probably responsible for making sure things get fixed. However, if you're a renter, your landlord or property manager might be the one who has to organize and pay for everything. Another thing to consider is who might manage the utilities you use. If you need to repair something to do with your water or energy, is there a company who owns and manages the infrastructure? You might have to call their engineers only, rather than looking for one of your own.

Compare Prices

When an emergency occurs at home, you're obviously in a rush to get everything fixed. But in your haste, don't be too quick to choose someone to come out. If you've taken care of any immediate issues, you likely have a bit of time to look around and find a contractor with the right price. Many will list their emergency callout fees online, so you can easily find a cheap plumber or engineer. But if they don't, you can often get a quick quote. An emergency in your home could be something that needs to be fixed within the hour, but it's likely you can wait a day.

Contact Your Insurer

If you have insurance that covers your emergency, you should get in touch with your provider as soon as you can. You'll be able to file a claim, and some insurance providers might even send out someone to fix your problem for you.

A home emergency needs to be taken care of ASAP, but you still have time to avoid spending too much. Try to keep calm and think things through before taking action/

Make 2017 A Wealthier Year: Spend Smartly

As time goes, life is definitely not getting cheaper. This is a universal truth. Naturally, you can look for better-paid jobs, start an online business or even pray for a lotto win, but there are fundamental elements that are just stopping you from saving money day after day. These are the first things you want to tackle: Reduce money waste. Primarily, this is looking at reducing costs of your recurring bills, like electricity, insurance and water, which are the most common elements in a household budget.

Sunday 28 May 2017

Amazing Health Benefits Of Olive Oil

Making your body a well-oiled machine
Consumers are now opting for olive oil for its flavour and health benefits

Olive oil is known as one of the leading ingredients when it comes to cooking a delicious and healthy dish. An ingredient that has been around for centuries, it is considered an essential nutritional support for the world’s longest-living countries.

“The health benefits of olive oil are unrivaled and most consumers are simply not aware that these exist,” says Bernard du Toit, OLiV International Inc.’s Associate Savant, “A few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day can help improve cardio vascular diseases, lower cholesterol and improve metabolism.”

In previous times, for a dish to have a decent amount of flavour, home chefs had no other choice but to load up their meals with ingredients containing high saturated fat and sodium. Now, the days of blocks of butter sitting inside the fridge seem to be over, as cooks continue to opt for olive oil as the healthier option. 

A monounsaturated fat that is higher in bioactive compounds when compared to other vegetable oils, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the latest staple. Here are a few ways olive oil helps improve overall health when part of a healthier diet and lifestyle:

·         Olive oil contains good fats that have been found to lower total cholesterol levels, and help normalize blood clotting.

·         The powerful antioxidants found in olive oil are said to help lower the creation of damaging free radicals in your body— those that may eventually lead to cancer.
·         Olive oil intake may help improve the amount of calcium in the blood, which can have a positive effect on bone density and can help prevent osteoporosis.
“With olive oil being available year-round, you can now satisfy your taste buds while promoting good health,” adds Bernard. “With so many flavour profiles available, it’s easy to incorporate this nutritional saint into any dish without sacrificing its flavoury goodness.”

For more recipes and additional information about OLiV and OLiV Tasting Room, please visit Like on Facebook, and follow @OLiVTastingRoom and on Instagram.

ABOUT OLiV Tasting Room:
OLiV started in 2011 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, by founding partners, Awie and Isabeau du Toit. Together they created a retail shop dedicated to Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar after acquiring property in a wine producing area in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The land acquisition combined with the bottles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar set in motion a chain of events that has resulted into a fully developed Olive farm in South Africa. With the addition of two new partners, OLiV has expanded rapidly across Canada, with stores in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba.

Thursday 25 May 2017

Seven Summer Tips for Children to Recharge and Relax

Spring is the perfect time to plan your children's summer schedule. It is important that your summer plans work well with your schedule and your children's routine.  A full summer schedule defeats the purpose of children who are rested, academically engaged, physically moving, and happy. Dr. Paula Rainer says “planning out a schedule will help you to have a relaxed and recharged summer as a parent."  Dr. Rainer is an assistant professor in the School of the College of Counseling, Psychology, and Social Sciences at Argosy University, Northern Virginia. She recommends that every child have 30% family time, 30% developmental goals, 30% recreation, and 10% free time during the summer.

 Seven tips for creating a summer schedule that recharges and relaxes your children: 

Create your schedule:

1. Time:  Your children’s schedule has to match your availability during the summer.  Do you have to schedule them from 9 to 5 or just a few hours per week?  Do you have family vacations planned that must be included in your children’s schedule? Create a realistic schedule that fits into your time commitments.

2. Goals: When planning activities you might have different goals for each child. One child might need to improve in math; another might need to join a summer league sports team,  go to social development camp; or catch up on health checkups.  Remember to include some of these developmental goals for your child during the summer so they can be better prepared when the school year begins. 

3. Personality: Consider your child’s personality when selecting activities. If the goal is to have a recharged and relaxed summer for your child you need to know how much family time, developmental goals, recreation, or free time each child needs to feel relaxed and recharged. 

4. Family Time: The summer is a great time with a more relaxed schedule to create bonding time with each child with individual parent-child outings.  This is a good time to develop a closeness to your child by just being together without any pressure or agenda.  Choose activities that match your child's interest (i.e. shopping, hiking, cooking, museums, spirituality, movies, concerts, video games).  Let your child take the lead in choosing the activity and just have pure fun. Include this activity at least 30% of the time in your family schedule.

5. Development:  Developmental goals are important but you have to make sure that your child does not feel like this is a punishment over the summer. If your child needs improvement in reading choose a tutoring method that is effective but not intense for your child's development.  Select online, live tutoring, or camps that will motivate your child to understand the information without stress.  Sports training and summer leagues should build skills but not become draining or too intense.  Remember that this goal should not exceed 30% of your child’s schedule. Health checkups are also included in the developmental category of summer activities.

6. Recreation: Include recreation activities that help your child to stay fit physically while socializing with family and friends.  These activities should include walking the family pet, hikes, swimming, bike rides, dancing, walking tours of museums, gardening, and household projects.  All activities that keep the body moving are included in this activity.  This goal should be at least 30% of your child’s schedule.

7. Free Time: Use free time for your child to learn how to relax and recharge.  Free unstructured time should include taking naps, reading books, crafts, watching a favorite movie, art, and writing. Free time teaches your child that it is important to schedule a time to recharge and relax.  Free time should be included at least 10% of the summer.

The percentages of family time (30%), development (30%), recreation (30%), and free time (10%) are recommendations and should be adjusted to fit your needs as a family unit.

About Paula Rainer
Paula Rainer holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision and M.Ed. in Counselor Education from Virginia Tech. Dr. Rainer currently is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia in private practice where she serves couples, individuals, and teenagers. Her specialty includes autism spectrum, ADHD, anxiety, depression, couples, and school refusal.  She has served as both a director of counseling and middle school counselor in Prince William County, VA. Her current research agenda includes the incidence of depression and suicidal ideation in middle school and teenage youth.

Wednesday 24 May 2017

These Summer Secrets Will Change Your Life

Summer is coming, and you’re going to be a sweaty, beet-red, hot mess. Excited?
What if you could get the upper hand on summer for a change? Kick back with these hacks and laugh in the face of the sun, wearing sunscreen, of course:

Keep It Buckled

You better be buckling up for safety while on the road, but to protect yourself from that fiery metal buckle bite after your car sits in the sun for hours, keep it buckled. The clasp provides a shield to keep the metal cool and out of the sun.
Bonus: Keep a towel over those leather seats to stop sticking to them.

Waterproof Your Smartphone

Remember the accidental slip of your cellphone into the sink or toilet? Yay, joyous memories.
Your smartphone is also a big fan of sweaty hands and iced coffee. Save yourself from a slippery and embarrassing autocorrect text, and stop your smartphone from having its first and last cup of coffee, by keeping it waterproof with a sandwich bag. Hey, whatever works.

2-Liter Sprinkler

Miss those days you ran through the sprinkler on a hot day as a kid? Relive your childhood memories and stay cool by going green and upcycling a 2-liter plastic bottle.
The secret to keeping your backyard cool is to strategically, and mercilessly, stab holes in a 2-liter bottle. Go full Roman senate mutiny on that sucker. You could even rig it up like a shower and stand under it, after tossing the water hose over a low-hanging tree branch. Choose your holes wisely and poke away.

Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great natural deodorizer, and you can add it to the wash or to sweaty gear. Sprinkle it into super-sweaty shoes after a workout, and stretch your jeans and shirt another day by dusting the pits and other places with a bit of baking soda.
Carry it with you in a sandwich bag to sprinkle like fairy dust. Be careful with how you store it in your car, in case the police get a little eager.

Dryer Sheets for Everything

Behold — dryer sheets, the hidden superhero of summer. Where there is a breeze or a need for a fresh smell, dryer sheets will come to the rescue.
  • Tape dyer sheets to a car vent for a freshener
  • Toss them in luggage when traveling
  • Toss them in your sweaty gym bag
  • Slip them in sweaty shoes
Teabag That Sunburn

You had the most amazing day at the beach and can’t wait to see your tan. You’re sure you slathered plenty of sunscreen all over your body, but the sun has somehow left an embarrassing and weirdly shaped sunburn across your back.
It’s tea time! You need to teabag that sunburn stat by heavily steeping a few bags of black tea, unsweetened, in a pot of hot water. Let it come to room temperature, and then soak a cotton T-shirt in the black tea.
Put it on, seriously. You’ll feel instantly relieved, and the tannins in the tea are supposed to bring down the redness. Do this within the first few hours of getting a sunburn.

Banish Bugs With Essential Oils

DEET is not the only way to keep the bugs off your body. Stop smelling like a chemical wasteland meets your grandma’s medicine cabinet. Stay natural and toxic-free by making your own green bug spray with essential oils. Include one or a combination of cinnamon, glove, eucalyptus, lavender or rosemary.
Fill an 8-ounce spray bottle halfway with distilled water, and pour in witch hazel nearly to the top. Add half a tablespoon of vegetable glycerin and 30-50 drops of bug-fighting, amazing smelling essential oils. Shake and apply. 

Another great DIY bug spray recipe by How I Get Rid Of includes lavender! 

Got Eight Eyes?
Wearing regular glasses vs. looking fabulous, yet unable to see, in sunglasses? Decisions, decisions …
Prescription sunglasses are your friend, especially if you’re too lazy to wear contacts. Who are these insane people who like fishing around in their eye sockets? Get the prescription sunglasses. There are different styles to keep you looking cool, protect your eyes and let you see where you’re walking.

Instant Beach Body
It’s easy to feel fabulous at the beach. To get an instant beach body, do this:
  • Take your body and put it in a bathing suit
  • Go to the beach
Ta-da! P.S.: You’re amazing.

These hacks are the way to lay back and soak up the sun, without getting burned. When you do get burned, remember: A teabag goes a long way to soothe your skin. Plastic bags, essential oils and dry sheets are just a few things to keep in your summer arsenal.

Summer is coming, but you’ll be prepared — even though you might seem a little weird to the onlookers. They’ll understand when the hot sun comes for them.

Tuesday 23 May 2017


7 Work Related Anxiety Triggers and How to Ease the Stress

Whether you work from home or go to an office daily; you are always working for someone else. Your services, talents, skills and knowledge are being exchanged for money and that means meeting expectations. It also means dealing with daily triggers that frustrate us. According to Dr. Sanam Hafeez, these triggers build up stress which may negatively impact our personal relationships physical health. Dr. Hafeez, a NYC based licensed clinical neuropsychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, offers 7 work related anxiety triggers with tips on what we can do to deal with them.

1. Fear Based Bosses
Bosses who focus on possibilities and solutions inspire creativity and collaboration. Fear-based bosses aren’t leaders they are energy drainers. They have quick tempers, focus on problems, complain and threaten. According to Dr. Hafeez people make the mistake of remaining in a job for the wrong reasons. “Being spoken to harshly every day is no way to live. It’s abusive and causes anxiety. My advice, file a complaint with human resources and resign. Your well-being matters first and most.”

2. Co-Worker Cliques
Some work cultures include gossip, passive aggressiveness, undercutting, sabotage, and verbal jabs that would rival any high school clique. “If your work is solid, align with others who are focused and keep your eye on the prize. You have a job to do and your focus will be thrown off by unnecessary cattiness. When you hear a group of co-workers gossiping, politely excuse yourself,” advises Dr. Hafeez.

3. Technology Glitches
We’ve all had instances where we want to throw our computers out the window, stomp on our cell phones and kick a vending machine after it gobbles up our last 2 singles. “Technology is what led to a higher standard for speed and efficiency. When we can’t get what we want in .005 seconds we get agitated. It’s conditioning,” she explains. “Centering is a great technique that helps delay reaction time to stressors. Before pounding on the copy machine, step back count to 5, breathe and pivot to fixing whatever may be wrong or finding someone who can assist.” 

4. Presenting
You can be the most articulate, outgoing person and still have anxiety when it comes to presenting to a group. It is common for people to experience insomnia, nausea and tension headaches leading up to an important presentation. Preparation is key. “Allow ample time to gather key points and mentally rehearse your presentation while doing another unrelated activity such as cooking, cleaning, walking or running, to release stress and remain present suggests Dr. Hafeez.”

5. Your Commute
“Once you exceed 30 minutes one-way, your happiness level drops and your stress level rises,” says Dr. Hafeez. A coping mechanism she suggests is to use the commute as a time to learn. If driving, tune off the negative news talk radio and opt for interesting podcasts or audio books. If stuck on a bus or train, reading a book, watching a show on the iPad, or getting a head start on email are also ways to make the time fly.

6. Business Travel
Rushing for airplanes and dealing with weather delays and over-booked flights not to mention navigating an unfamiliar place will stress anyone out. “Preparation and a solid backup plan is a great way to ease pre-business travel stress. While face-to-face meetings may be optimal, skipping a flight and opting for a video conference may be a less stressful option.”

7. Quotas and Commissions
While most workers love the self-determined earning potential of a commission-paid job, they still find it stressful when they look at the numbers and fear coming up short. “Anxiety is cause by excessive worry about future events you believe you cannot control, explains Dr. Hafeez.” It may sound harsh but setting higher targets can be helpful. When you raise the bar at making 50 sales calls instead of coasting by with the usual 20, you’ll most likely complete 30 and will feel accomplished. “Acknowledge daily wins and break down the effort into smaller chunks of time so you focus on what’s in front of you,” she advises.

About the Doctor:
Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical neuropsychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. 

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.
Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or 

Monday 22 May 2017

Helpful Ways To Declutter Our Lives

Every so often in our lives, we take a step back and realize it's time to declutter the mess that surrounds us on a daily basis. Whether it’s an untidy workspace or a disorganized wardrobe, there is always the need to organize the space around us and make a change in our lifestyle. When our lives are cluttered, we can feel weighed down physically and mentally. We might not know where to start in cleaning up the critical areas of our life as the task at hand can seem insurmountable, particularly if we haven't had a good tidy up in a long time. However, by decluttering our life we will not only improve our living and work spaces, but we can bring order to our minds as well, bringing a sense of peace as we go about our daily business.

No matter how large the mess seems to be, with a little bit of time and effort, it will gradually be reduced. Taking it one step at a time, let's consider each area of our lives as we begin the tidy up.

At work

Whether you work at home or in the office, if your space is cluttered you are not going to be very productive.

Let’s begin with your desk. It needs to be organized, so you have the things you need to hand. Have separate pots for those essential items such as pens, staplers and paper clips. Remove that sandwich that has been progressively getting greener as the days have gone on and wash out those cups that are leaving nasty looking rings on the surface of the desk. After removing any waste, you need to reserve the space of your desk for essential items such as your computer, telephone, priority paperwork and perhaps a photograph of somebody special in your life.

When going through your paperwork, it may be time to shred anything that is now dated and useless. For those relevant documents, create a filing system that suits you, perhaps alphabetically or in date order. Have designated drawers for client files, receipts, etc. Now, when sat at your desk, you will have the space you need to work and know where things are when you need them.

You could cut down on paper altogether and become environmentally friendly. Many people store important files on their computer, either to the hard drive or a cloud service such as iCloud and Dropbox. In the case of computer failure, it is also a good idea to store them on an external hard drive too, though a Cloud service will allow you access to your files on any portable device, such as tablet and smartphone.

Have a look at your computer desktop. If the screen is littered with folders, it is time to start organizing them and deleting anything you no longer need. Go to your email inbox and set up separate folders for work and personal messages, and set up spam filters to keep out unwanted junk.

At home

Considering our home is the place we spend time in to relax, we will struggle to chill out when we come home every day to find the sink piled high with dishes and the laundry basket overflowing with last week's washing. To be able to unwind effectively, it is time to make a start on making our homes calm and livable again.

Go through the house, room by room. Clear the floors and flat surfaces and store items neatly. Quite often, we chuck things into cupboards, out of sight and out of mind. This isn't helpful when we later need them or have to make space for something genuinely useful. Rather than have cupboard doors coming off their hinges, begin to go through your items and recycle anything you don't need.

Do you really need thirty pairs of shoes?  If you haven’t worn certain clothes in the last few months, ask yourself if you are ever going to wear them again. If your children have toys and clothes that they have outgrown, donate them to a local hospital or charity. Your loss is somebody's else's gain. For anything else, consider hiring a professional removal service such as  who will remove your unwanted items for you.

In life

Our lives often become cluttered with too many activities and demands on our precious time. Whether they be hobbies or commitments to family and friends, we need to take a step back and consider which of them brings us the most value and joy. If you are doing something out of necessity because you have always done it, or don’t want to let people down, are these the right reasons to continue doing them. It may be time to start saying no to new offers and focus on those activities you really love doing. It will give you more time to do them and enable you to spend the time with the people you love.

Make a planner of your week and set time to do household chores and any obligations you have. Look for the space in your calendar and use that as your down time, a place to relax and bring calm to your life. Of course, our lives are unpredictable, and we never know what calamity or upheaval is going to happen next, but having some routine will help bring order to our stressed minds.

When you have decluttered your life in all its facets, you will be able to stand back and congratulate yourself on your hard work. However, as the dust begins to gather, and as new demands on your time become present, you will need to declutter all over again. You can prevent this by having the proper systems in place to enable you to keep on top of everything. For starters, have a tidy up before you go to bed leave work every day. Delegate daily tasks to others to help you in the battle in bringing order to the chaos, and hopefully, you won't be as overwhelmed by clutter again.

Friday 19 May 2017

Philanthroparties, A Party Planning Guide for Kids Who Want to Give Back

When Lulu Cerone was 10-years-old her life was forever changed when she saw the horrible devastation from Haiti’s 2010 earthquake on the news.  Living a comfortable existence in suburban Los Angeles, she felt that she had to do something to help.  Her parents had always encouraged her to give back so she decided to organize a lemonade stand war between the boys and girls at her school.  That initial event was a huge success raising $4,000 for the earthquake victims and was the social highlight of the year.  From there, LemonAid Warriors was born.  The non-profit organization uses ‘philanthroparties’ to raise money for a range of global organizations.  To date over $100,000 has been raised.

The 17-year-old’s ‘philanthroparties’ are “parties with a purpose”. A consummate DIY expert and budding chef, she decided to share her love and knowledge in her new book, Philanthroparties, A Party Planning Guide for Kids Who Want to Give Back (May 9, Beyond Word/Simon & Schuster).  Each month showcases different ideas with seasonal recipes and easy DIY crafts.  Lulu’s goal is to spread her enthusiasm for social activism to kids everywhere.

I had asked Lulu if she would share a few words with us about her successful book and she wrote:

"Compassion. Empathy. Empowerment. Generosity. We can all agree that community service is the one of the best ways to practice these traits. While most families prioritize these values, we don’t always prioritize community service when it comes to scheduling.  In my family, sports, music lessons, and a myriad of extra curricular commitments kept pushing away our well-intended plans to volunteer. When we did make an attempt, most charities required volunteers to be sixteen years or older unless accompanied by an adult, and my parents were just too busy. When I was ten years old, I decided to do something about it.  

I came up with a PhilanthroParty action plans. I’d take a look at what was already on our calendar, like holiday parties, sports banquets, music recitals, or smaller events such as birthdays, sleepovers or play dates. I’d research a worthy cause and then add a few creative twists that turn any gathering, big or small, into an opportunity to create positive change in the world. Friends coming over for Canada Day pool party? Ask them to bring extra used towels to donate to your local dog shelter. No pool? Set up sprinklers, water balloon piñatas and water guns. Voila! You’ve got yourself a PhilanthroParty.  My book has dozens of simple, inexpensive ideas like this to turn any gathering into a party with purpose. Adding kindness and generosity to the things you are already planning on doing is a realistic way to make social-good a part of your social life!"

Lulu Cerone

Check out her amazing book and become a game changer for the world!

Doctor Recommended Hot Healthy Hair Tips

As summer is in full swing, it’s important to put your best hair forward with healthy and gorgeous locks that are sure to impress. From taking essential vitamins to a simple head massage, hair restoration expert Dr. Baiju Gohil breaks down some easy ways to get enviable hair this season.

Dr. Gohil is a board-certified surgeon and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, dedicated to hair restoration and hair loss treatment. He opened Robotic Hair Restoration Long of Island (RHRLI) in July of 2015 and continues to transform the lives of his male and female patients.

His hair expertise is unparalleled with over 10 years of experience and you can check out his hot hair tips here:

  1. Vitamins: Vitamins A, C and E can play a vital role when it comes to having beautiful and healthy hair. Adding biotin, zinc, magnesium and niacin can also have significant benefits.
  2. Eat Right: Eating the right foods can provide essential nutrients for your scalp and hair follicles. Foods high in protein and iron are extremely important, as well as enriched foods containing omega-3.  It's also important to be careful of those crash diets that can void your body of these vitamin enriched foods and proteins.
  3. Hair Care: External hair care is vital if you want healthy hair. Weekly deep conditioning is crucial for maintenance and limiting the use of heat (curling irons/hair dryers/flat irons) will minimize damage to your hair. Finally, applying essential oils 2-3 times a week and limiting hair washing to every 2-3 days can also be beneficial.
  4. Massages: Massaging the scalp as often as possible is also very helpful in promoting healthy hair. This increases the blood flow to the follicles, helping to provide important nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles.
  5. Therapy: If someone is suffering from hair loss, there are three FDA cleared and approved therapies that can help to slow down and possibly stabilize that process in both men and some women, depending on the underlying cause. Low level laser therapy, finasteride (Propecia/men only), and topical minoxidil (Rogaine-5% for men and 2% for women) may all be helpful depending on your situation. 

Thursday 18 May 2017

Top 5 tips to keep you looking your best in the summer and beyond!

Memorial Day is just around the corner, and while most everyone is ready to embrace the warm weather, it’s important to remember that the sun’s rays can reak havoc on your skin, with both short term and long term results. Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist Jill Caruso is sharing her top five tips to keep you looking your best in the summer and beyond, along with her favorite products* that will help keep your skin in top condition!

1.     Use SPF every day - There is good reason you get this advice over and over again.  This is a non-negotiable for healthy skin. Protecting your skin from the sun's harmful UVA/UVB rays is mandatory for skin health and anti-aging.
Jill’s Picks:
    EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44

    SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 35

2.     Don't forget your lips! - This delicate area is often forgotten, but the lips require sun protection and hydration.  Lips are just as susceptible to sun damage as the rest of the face. Lips tend to get dried out so when not in the sun make sure to hydrate them
Jill’s Picks:
    SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator

    Colorscience Sunforgettable Lip Shine SPF 35

3.     Botox helps prevent wrinkles... and sweat! - By temporarily paralyzing muscles, you are able to prevent future wrinkles. This is especially important around the "crow's feet" area in the summer, when we tend to squint more in the sun.  Botox is also used for hyperhidrosis, so you can prevent excess sweat on the forehead, as well as and sweaty armpits! 

4.     Reapply SPF without messing your makeup! - Carry a brush-on mineral SPF, which is easy to use and super convenient. 
Jill’s Picks:
    Colorscience Sunforgettable Brush-on Sunscreen SPF 50

    Avène High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50

5.     Use nightly fading cream - Dark spots tend to appear more in the summer when the skin is being constantly exposed to the sun.
Jill’s Picks:
     Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector

     SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum


Jill Caruso is a Board Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist based in New York City and one of only 220 practitioners with credentials from the Plastic Surgery Nursing Board. Jill began working as a cosmetic injection practitioner more than 7 years ago, and started working alongside Dr. David Fox Vein Care in 2014. She specializes in anti-aging treatments and clinical skin care. Using injectable fillers, neurotoxins, chemical peels, lasers, and Kybella, Jill softens the sign of aging. Her “less is more” philosophy and innate artistic ability, combined with a passion for the personalized patient care allows her to give her clients the most optimal outcome: their most beautiful, natural self.

Jill’s Aesthetic Services Include:
·       BotoxDysport & Xeomin: The number one aesthetic procedures in the U.S. to reduce fine lines
·       Dermal Fillers: Great for returning volume to your face by filling in wrinkle lines.
·       Chemical Peels: Great for brightening and tightening sins of aging and photodamage.
·       Kybella Treatments: For non-surgical double chin reduction.