Money Habits You Need To Break In The Coming Year

Eating your money may be just one of your bad habits!  (image)


We are all prone to a few bad habits in our life, and the reason why they are called 'bad' is because they are not conducive to a good wellbeing. Eating too much is only going to pile on the calories, watching too much television is going to turn your eyes squares and your belly round, and we probably don't need to tell you about the consequences of those other terrible habits, such as smoking and drinking an excess of alcohol.


So, to improve our overall wellbeing, breaking these habits is a must. And considering it's almost time for another new year to roll around, now is as good a time as any to get on top of them. For the purposes of this article, we will be talking specifically about your bad financial habits. As you consider your resolutions, you might want to think about the following when you're setting your annual vows.



Money Habits You Need To Break



  • Not putting any money aside into your savings. Unless you are rolling in money (not literally), you do need to make savings each month for any number of reasons. You might need money in an emergency, for example. Or there might be something you want to do in the year, such as go on a nice holiday. There is also your long-term future to think about, so you might want to break your 'live for today' mentality if that is something you are guilty of. So, if you don't have a savings fund, set yourself a target to create one. We have some ideas here to help you on your way.


  • Not keeping tabs on your finances. You need to give yourself a financial checkup every month, ensuring that all is well with the money you have coming in. This includes checking your bank statements, reviewing your budget, and monitoring your credit score. Being lazy when it comes to any of these things just won't cut it, because if you need to make changes in your financial life, it's better to do it sooner than later. So, dig out your bank statements, and look at your income and expenditure. Look for ways to cut back on your spending if you notice you are spending more than you earn. And get your free credit report from one of the credit monitoring services - check out Credit Karma reviews for examples - and if you discover your credit score needs improving, take steps to do so.


  • Blaming others for your financial situation. It's always somebody else's fault, isn't it? It's your utility companies fault for sending you those awful bills. It's your employer's fault that you don't earn enough. The supermarket is responsible for frittering away your finances. How dare they mess with your bank balance? Well, there may be some responsibility on their part, but if you're using too much energy at home, or not bothering to switch to a cheaper supplier, you only have yourself to blame. If you aren't earning enough at work, you might want to angle for a promotion or a change of career, instead of spitting venom at your boss. And if you are blaming the supermarket, you might want to a) stop piling your basket with things you don't need, or b) look for discounts and lower-priced items, or c) find a cheaper place to shop. You see, sometimes, you only have yourself to blame, especially when you don't bother to take action to improve your finances.



Did you recognise yourself in the bad money habits we mentioned? If so, do the right thing, and start to make changes. You don't have to wait for the new year to make those changes, either. You can start today, rebuilding your finances with the actions you take today!




10 Awesome Ways For New Moms To Earn Income On The Side



You do not have to be fully employed in a big company to make money for your family, especially if you are a new mum. New mums can also earn a good income from the comfort of their home while looking after their kids. Here are ten awesome ways how.


Start a Blog


Pick a niche that you are passionate and can write about and start a blog about it. If you love fashion, relationships and design you can also combine all these topics into your blog and enjoy using your skills. Blogging can be a full-time job which can earn you lots of money while enjoying sharing something that you love.


Babysit


Since you already have experience with children, babysitting someone else's child should be simple. Furthermore, you will be earning from it. You can start by taking care of one child or start a daycare where you can look after more than one child. Market your services through newsletters or via an online platform such as Craigslist.





Become a home tutor


If you have a talent start getting creative and expand it from your home. As a home tutor, you can hold classes in your home by teaching kids skills such as arts and crafts, or even cooking lessons for older people.


Sell on online platforms


Several online platforms such as eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist give you an opportunity to sell products. Craigslist sells larger items like furniture and appliances while Etsy sells crafts and quality DIY products.


Become a freelance Virtual Assistant


A freelance virtual assistant is a great way to work-from-home if you are a busy mom. You can work as a virtual assistant anytime depending on the level of work and set deadlines. Apply for small virtual assistant jobs by listing your services and sending proposals on sites like Upwork among others.


Sell baked products


For lovers of preparing home baked products, you can whip up some flour into a delicious cake for various events. Cupcakes are also great additions for both home and school parties. This keeps you occupied while taking care of your child and earns you some extra money.




Do photography


If you are a lover of pictures, then you should give photography a try. Build an attractive portfolio of previous work from events or of family and friends to market yourself. Then list the services that you can offer.


Freelance Writing for Blogs


Most blogs seek the services of online ghostwriters to write for the new content. Train yourself to write online articles where you get paid per number of words. All you need to do is research and write decent, grammatically free and original content that passes the Copyscape test.


Become an online tutor


Being an online tutor offers you ample time to plan your schedule and use your expertise in different subject matters at the comfort of your home. As a virtual tutor, you will utilize tools such as FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts and other technologies.


Become an author


For those who love writing, try writing books whenever you can. E-books are a great way to begin with as you master and decide on the topics that you would want to write about.


Whichever way you choose, you can find extra money to help you cater for both you and your child's needs.





Skin Care After Giving Birth: How to Look Your Best





It’s no secret - women’s bodies undergo change during pregnancy! However, an often overlooked, and sometimes even surprising, aspect of bodily change can occur after giving birth. As hormonal levels fluctuate, women can find themselves facing a plethora of physical and mental adjustments after their bundle of joy arrives. Most commonly, women tend to experience an onset of unfavorable skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and melasma. As annoying as these skin concerns can be, it is important to understand their root causes and stick to a routine to help resolve the condition! Let’s look at several common types of issues and identify ways to combat them, which will leave your skin glowing and beautiful!

Hormones, Hormones, Hormones

Those pickles and hot sauce cravings, rapid-fire emotions, and the dreaded morning sickness - these are all caused by changes in hormones. The production of hormones, such as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), Progesterone, and Prolactin all help to read a woman’s body biologically for gestation and birth, as well as a steady production of estrogen. As these hormones begin production, they command a woman’s body to begin building and preparing for accommodating the baby, developing the placenta, and beefing up the immune system. However, after the child is delivered and the placenta is expelled, there is a significant drop in progesterone and HCG, causing an influx, or dominance, of estrogen. As this occurs, certain conditions can arise due to the hormonal imbalances, including mood changes, fatigue, and menstrual irregularities - as well as skin disorders. These changes are usually temporary, as the body readjusts to normal hormonal levels.

Not So Crystal Clear

Skin issues can range from a minor annoyance to a downright nuisance. As the body rebounds, the excess estrogen can promote the presence of melasma. Sometimes known as the “mask of pregnancy,” melasma appears in patches, which are observed as darker pigment on top of the regular pigmented skin. This condition is known as hyperpigmentation. As the slang name indicates, melasma generally is found on the face - especially on a woman’s cheeks. The condition generally dissipates after pregnancy and can be exacerbated by UV exposure, so it is very important to wear sunscreen rated SPF 30 or higher! Fluctuating hormones can also be the culprit for postpartum acne, which can appear after giving birth. Very similar to normal acne, these blemishes appear as painful red bumps, often in clusters, which can arise on the face and neck. Other issues, such as eczema, dry skin, and facial spider veins, can all present themselves after pregnancy, so it is important to be proactive in keeping your skin healthy!



How to Care for Your Skin

Caring for our skin is much more than simply washing it. By sticking to a dedicated skincare routine, you can minimize the irritation caused by hormonal imbalance and keep your face looking radiant. Start by exfoliating in the morning; this process will remove the buildup of dead skin cells, oils, and other impurities that have accumulated. Gently massage the exfoliant onto your face, and rinse away with warm water. This will open your pores for a deeper cleanse. After, be sure to use a moisturizing lotion on your face to properly hydrate and heal the skin. At night, before going to bed, use a cleansing face wash to remove the dirt and gunk that accumulates throughout the day. As with the exfoliant, be sure to rub your face gently and rinse with warm water. There are also medicated topical creams that can be utilized to help clear your skin of the imperfections caused by postpartum skin conditions.

The baby has arrived and your hands (and hearts!) are full! It may be frustrating dealing with the physical changes that come after birth, but it is very important to realize why your body is going through them! Through a proper, dedicated skincare routine, you can stay on top of healthy skin and minimize the effects of postpartum acne, eczema, and melasma, and focus on being the glowing and radiant woman you’ve always been!

Unique New Art Kits & Books For That Creative Person On Your Christmas List

 
Decorative Tile Art’s step-by-step projects showcase fun tile-decorating techniques for creating fluid, organic, and unique patterns that simulate stone, watercolor, and more—perfect for coasters or trivets.

Create beautiful tiles to use around the house as coasters, trivets, potted plant pads, or just as simple decorations. Decorative Tile Art has all the information you need to complete four tiles. You will learn techniques for creating patterns that simulate stone, watercolor, and many other intriguing materials—it's easier than you think. The 48-page guide book is fully illustrated, providing step-by-step instructions for 10 patterns and techniques, including:
  • When Alcohol Drops Meet a Tile
  • When Alcohol Spray Meets a Tile
  • A Striped Tile
  • A Field of Diagonal Circles
  • Using a Stencil Mask
  • A Subtle Blend of Layered Colors
  • A Geometric Pattern
  • A Southwestern Sunset
  • Shape Dissolve
  • Squiggly Line Work
Decorative Tile Art comes with instructions for 10 different projects, plus materials for four beautifully designed ceramic tiles. Not only that, but this all-inclusive kit also comes with felt feet to protect furniture and other fine finishes around the house.
 
Create your own works of watercolor art with ease—Watercolor Glue-Resist Wonders includes pre-printed paper, paintbrushes, glue, and paints to get you started with this amazing technique.

Beautiful and flowing, there is nothing else that looks like a watercolor painting; but it is a difficult medium to master. Watercolor Glue-Resist Wonders is a new way to use watercolor that even absolute beginners can do.

The Watercolor Glue-Resist Wonders kit comes with everything you will need to get started, including four pre-printed watercolor sheets, two watercolor paintbrushes, white glue, and your own set of 12 watercolor paints.

The innovative techniques in Watercolor Glue-Resist Wonders will have you creating your own watercolor works of art right away. Outline the designs on the pre-printed template paper with the provided glue. Then, paint over the image with watercolor to add depth and dimension. Adults and children alike will be amazed at how the paint “resists” adhering to the glue to create a fun, lively effect.

You will love this unique approach to creating art with watercolor paints!
 
Wall Art: Geometric Origami invites you to blend origami and home decor. This instructional guide provides step-by-step instructions and plenty of colored origami paper to create stylish art for your walls.

Combine two of the hottest design trends—geometric art and paper craft—to create unique, stylish wall art for your home! Wall Art: Geometric Origami includes step-by-step instructions on how to create 10 home décor projects using simple origami folds.

You will also receive 50 sheets of colorful paper specially produced for creating origami, plus black twine to make two projects: Light and Shadow and Birds on a Wire. This specialty paper comes in a variety of colors to suit any color scheme. The initial folds are easy to execute, making this suitable for folders of any age and level of experience.

Once you’ve mastered the techniques, the possibilities for more advanced projects—on or off the wall—are unlimited!
 
 
Take a fresh look at an up-and-coming art medium with Anywhere, Anytime Art: Gouache!

Gouache paint has a long history, but it’s often associated with watercolor and multimedia art. Until now, that is! Trendy artists with large social-media followings are reinvigorating gouache, making this the ideal time to add this medium to your toolbox...or start your art journey with it!

Like the other books in the Anywhere, Anytime Art series, Gouache explores this medium in a portable, approachable, and contemporary way. Basic painting topics, such as tools and materials, techniques, and color theory, are presented in an easy-to-read, visual style. The subsequent step-by-step projects focus on various subjects that artists can find anywhere, whether they’re home or out and about. Artists can learn to paint their favorite things, including plants, flowers, cats, patterns, and more.

Anywhere, Anytime Art: Gouache is filled with vibrant, colorful artwork that’s sure to inspire any artist to give gouache a try and get out there and paint!
 
  
Anywhere, Anytime Art: Colored Pencil makes colored pencils approachable and accessible. The author’s contemporary art style takes a fresh approach to colored-pencil artwork, which can be dry and traditional-looking. Anywhere, Anytime Art: Colored Pencil presents colored-pencil drawing in a youthful way, focusing on urban and suburban scenes as well as subjects from daily life.

Learn basic drawing topics like tools, materials, drawing techniques, and color theory, and then dive into helpful tips, hacks, and techniques for creating art while out and about. Step-by-step projects covering a variety of subjects, from campers and cafes to cats and cityscapes, make drawing with colored pencils quick, easy, and fun for artists of all skill levels.

Learn to be spontaneous with your artwork, and expand your artistic horizons!
 
 
Overflowing with drawing prompts and tips, Your Year in Art will invigorate beginning and practicing artists as they build skills, gain confidence, and overcome artistic anxiety. 

Leave your artistic anxiety behind with 52 weeks of hearty inspiration. Your Year in Art is a must-have guide to rouse your creative side. Designed for aspiring, beginning, and practicing artists looking to hone their skills, Your Year in Art is packed with unique projects and encouraging instruction.

The mission of Your Year in Art is to sharpen your art skills and quiet your inner critic by showing you how to draw habitually and spontaneously. As you build your craft, techniques, and confidence, this guide encourages you to create in a way that celebrates your individuality.

Fifty-two clever drawing prompts, along with tips and tricks, from expert illustrator Chelsea Ward will get your creative juices flowing. Weekly challenges include making a “self-portrait” by sketching things that describe you; practicing mark-making techniques like cross-hatching and stippling; filling a sketchbook page with drawings on a theme, like potted plants or fire hydrants; and adding water to ink drawings to practice wash techniques.

Join fellow artists in an exciting yearlong journey of developing creative habits and discovering new ways to express yourself.
 
 
Don't be intimidated by the prospect of daily creativity, Make Art Every Day is a 52-week planner filled with techniques and exercises to keep you on track! 

Visualize your creative goals with To Do: Make Art Every Day life planner, then make them a reality! This 52-week calendar and sticker set will be your guide as you learn about, plan for, engage in, and nurture your creative practice. Your art journey opens with guidance on basic hand lettering and writing techniques, mark-making in pencil, pen, and marker, working with color, and handling watercolor and acrylic paints.

The weekly format makes it easy to start your creative year at any time. Each week offers 2 to 3 mini-exercises, and basic art techniques, like drawing a simple flower or painting a landscape in watercolor. Plus, this motivational planner includes 500 stickers to encourage you to Take Quiet Time, Make an Art Date, and Explore Something New.

Star Wars Art Books Are The Perfect Gift For Any Artist




Create precision origami models of characters and ships from Star Wars: The Force Awakens with some instruction from Star Wars Origami. Comes with paper to get you started!

Like a Jedi’s training, the Japanese craft origami demands dexterity and patience. Star Wars Origami takes the traditional technique and applies it to contemporary and fun projects that you can show off in your home or on your desk. Follow folding instructions on pre-printed paper to create a whole host of paper models from the major blockbuster, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars fans will love creating 10 origami renditions of characters and ships from The Force Awakens. The step-by-step instructions make in Star Wars Origami make it easy for even beginners to this papercraft to jump in. Plus, this pack comes with 100 special, pre-printed sheets of origami paper, so your projects will have the right look, in addition to the right folds. Difficulty levels range from beginner to expert.


With Learn to Draw Star Wars: Droids & Vehicles, you can learn how to re-create some of the most recognizable machines in the galaxy: the protocol droid C-3PO, the astromech droid BB-8, the Millennium Falcon, and more.

Inside this 128-page drawing guide, you will find step-by-step instruction on how to draw Star Wars droids, spaceships, and land transport vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Lucasfilm collaborator and professional artist Russell Walks provides easy-to-follow instructions, insightful character notes, drawing tips, and memorable moments from the films. After a brief introduction to drawing tools and materials, basic pencil techniques, shading techniques, and how to depict different textures, the book jumps right into step-by-step drawing projects. See how each drawing lesson begins with basic shapes, with each new step building upon the last, eventually progressing to a finished fine art piece.

Included in Learn to Draw Star Wars: Droids & Vehicles are drawing projects for K-2SO, C-3PO, R2-D2, Luke’s X-34 Landspeeder, the Millennium Falcon, an AT-AT walker, an Imperial Probe Droid, BB-8, a First Order TIE Fighter, and a Resistance T-70 X-Wing. You can also take a closer look along with Russell Walks at how to draw Star Wars technology, R2-D2’s different tools, details of the Millennium Falcon, and the different pilot’s helmets shown throughout the saga.

So grab some paper and a pencil, and get ready for your artistic journey through the Star Wars universe!



 

 Learn to Draw Star Wars: Villains will teach you to draw your favorite villains from the Star Wars galaxy—from the lowly stormtrooper and the notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett to the infamous crime lord Jabba the Hutt and the terrifying Sith Lord Darth Vader.

In this 128-page drawing guide, Lucasfilm collaborator and professional artist Russell Walks shows artists of all skill levels how to render their favoriteStar Wars villains as detailed pencil portraits. After a brief introduction to drawing tools and materials, basic pencil techniques, shading techniques, and how to depict different textures, the book dives right into step-by-step drawing projects. See how each drawing lesson begins with basic shapes, with each new step building upon the last, eventually progressing to a finished fine art piece. Experience this legendary series from a whole new perspective as you develop your drawing skills with the easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, insightful character notes, and drawing tips.

Included in Learn to Draw Star Wars: Villains are drawing projects for Darth Maul, General Grievous, Count Dooku, Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious), Darth Vader, Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett, Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, and Supreme Leader Snoke. Russell Walks also shows how to best depict a villainous character, four ways to draw lightsabers, a comparison of Darth Vader and Kylo Ren’s masks, the differences between Jango Fett and his clone Boba, how to draw different types of stormtrooper helmets, and more.

So grab your drawing pencils, and use the Force—or join the Dark Side—on your artistic journey through the Star Wars galaxy!

Stunning Peppermint Joy Charm Makes a Great Christmas Gift



In case you are looking for a little arm candy this holiday season, Chamilia (www.chamilia.com), a Swarovski company, is launching a new “Peppermint Joy” charm (MSRP $35 U.S.). The sterling silver charm features light oxidation, opaque red enamel detailing, and white SwarovskiPure Brilliance Zirconia and can be paired with any Chamilia bracelet or necklace.

The entire Chamilia line is made from sterling silver or 14 karat gold and features genuine Swarovski Crystals and Swarovski Zirconia. The brand follows strict Swarovski Group guidelines for quality and aesthetic standards.

Pros and Cons of Cruise Travel with Family



If you have never explored the world with your family via cruise, you would think whether the kids would like it. Well, you will find plenty of cruises that have transformed into a family-friendly resort. Traveling on a family cruise is an excellent way to teach your children that there is a bigger world out there.

Sometimes we plan everything and not all of it may see the light of day, but even without all that family vacations have never been a disappointment. On a cruise, you are sure to get some relaxation and a sure break from the urban world’s daily grind.

The best part about cruise travel with the family is that you do not have to burden yourself with driving around. This is a great opportunity to experience new cultures and travel to new places. Every cruise comes with different excursions which depend on your destination. Before you embark on the journey, here are some pros and cons of cruise travel to consider.

The Pros

See the World

To see the world by traveling on a cruise is a whole different experience. You don’t have to be stuck in a seat while traveling. And the best part is you are probably going to see more than just a couple of places if you choose a cruise.

If you browse through different cruise packages, you will find that a cruise actually takes you to remote areas and turns it into an entire event, like sightseeing the northern lights for example. There are cruise packages that include traveling to a variety of international destinations. With a cruise, you will definitely run out pages from your passport. Sounds exciting, right? Also, If you are worried about leaving your pet behind, hire a reliable pet sitter

A Cruise Offers Different Things

A cruise is like a resort, but a resort of its own kind. You are in for some unique adventures and entertainments depending on what you go for in your package before. If you pick a cruise that caters specifically to families you will get to have the best quality time with your family.

Usually, on vacation, the adults are busy getting the time, papers, reservations, and directions right, which sometimes leads to frustrations and quarrels or just not enough time giving all of your attention to the family. On a cruise, you just sit back and everything is taken care of. A cruise package plans family-friendly activities both on board and off-board.

A Little Me Time

Apart from excursions meant for the whole family, you will definitely get some alone time yourself. Most cruises offer a babysitting or a daycare service. In fact, some activities for kids will separate the adults from the children, at which point you can hit the spa or indulge in other entertainment plans that the cruise has in store for you.

Traveling Was Never More Fun

When was the last time you enjoyed driving for miles on end with your little one in the back seat throwing a tantrum? You may bear it, but kids don’t like to be cooped up in cars or planes for too long. So before you decide on no more vacations till your kids grow up look up some exciting cruise packages such as those by inCruises.

Everything is Mostly Included

The great thing about a cruise is that you don’t have to pick activities and dining options separately. When you pick a cruise package, you will get most of these things included. And if you do the math, cruise travel will be good for your budget.

The Cons

It Can Get Crowded

Unless you know that the cruise you have opted for only caters to a hundred or so people at a time, you should be expecting a ton of people joining you on deck. So if you ever forget to make reservations at a dining facility, it may be disappointing to find that you have to wait in a long line just to get a table.

It is Not Technically a Hotel

You do have the option of picking a suite, but if you are on a budget, you should find that the regular square footage on a cruise is a tad pricier than in a hotel. Because of this large families are forever trying to fit into standard rooms. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable sharing all that space.

Sea Sickness

If you are prone to seasickness, a cruise might not be the best idea. Also if you have never been on a sea vessel you do not want to find out on your cruise that you might spend all your time throwing up.

Age Restrictions

Even family cruises have certain restrictions. For example, you may not travel with babies. On top of that different cruise companies have different restrictions on age, what you can bring on board, and different activities.



5 ways to save on dining out when traveling with children

Spending a year on the road, traveling to 31 countries and 6 continents, we sometimes joke that it was our food tour of the world. Although we love splurging on a good meal and great wine, we had a tight budget to adhere to. This wasn’t a vacation; this was a lifestyle. One of the top questions we are asked is how we managed eating out – without breaking the bank -- with our son for that extended time. These five tricks can help you shave off your food budget, freeing up funds for more attractions or souvenirs:


 1. Cook your own meals. Book an AirBnb or a hotel room with a kitchenette. Having a room with a refrigerator, microwave and even stovetop means you can cook meals and snacks in your room, reducing the number of meals you’ll need to have at restaurants, which can save you big. Shop at a nearby grocery store or local market for fresh foods—not only will it be cheaper than a restaurant, you can tailor your menu to meals your child will actually eat.


 

2. Dine smartly. When dining out, even if a restaurant doesn’t feature a kids’ menu, which is often in foreign countries, requesta half-portion as a meal for your child. Half portions will cost half the price, and be enough to satisfy your toddler. Or, even better, before dining at a high-end restaurant, swing by a quick-service restaurant for an easy and cheap meal for your child. We would go to McDonalds and get our son chicken nuggets before we go a restaurant to enjoy our “grown up” dinner. 

 

3Stock up on snacks. Whether you have a kitchenette or not,stock up on snacks, drinks and picnic items for the times when you are on the road. When visiting museums, aquariums, and other big attractions, you can skip the pricey cafe having your own stash of snacks in your stroller, as well as avoid impulse buying when someone gets hungry.


 4Find free food. Many kids 6 and younger (and sometimes 12 and younger) can eat for free, or at half price. Stay at a hotel that offers discounts for children's meal, such as properties that have kids eat free programs and free breakfast for the entire family. Find restaurants that have a kids-free option, as well.Often, some restaurants have major discounts on websites like Groupon or Living Social. Before you travel to a destination, visit these sites and check for special half-off or big discount deals.


 

5. Eat local. Don’t ever eat at a restaurant in a tourist area, such as Times Square in New York City or the Champs-Elysees in Paris – prices are always higher when feeding unknowing visitors. Instead, eat where locals eat. Ask people you meet for recommendations, and choose restaurants on small, side streets versus large boulevards.

 

Food will account for much of your travel budget, but you can make it through a trip cheaper than you think. 


 AJ Ratani and Natasha Sandhir traveled around the world with their son Aarav. Visiting 31 countries and six continents as a family, they documented their year-long travel and trips on their family travel blogVisit their website for more tips and also follow the couple on their Instagram account.




 

Make Beautiful Art To Keep or Sell With Chalk Couture

Create stylish and beautiful art pieces with the most simple to use products available!  Chalk Couture is revolutionizing DIY and home décor...