Dinner and a movie will never go out of style but it also won’t keep the relationship flames alive if it becomes a weekly occurrence. Give your next date night (or perhaps day) a dose of romance and creativity instead. Here’s 11 date ideas to keep you occupied for months.
1) Pack a picnic
Fill a basket to the brim and throw your best tartan rug in the car. Contrary to popular belief a Winter picnic is just as desirable . The parks and gardens will be less crowded and your food will stay fresher for longer. Bring an extra rug to cuddle beneath and a chair or two to keep off the damp grass. We’re thinking chocolate dipped strawberries and a bottle of champagne for dessert. Search MyDeal outdoor furniture for foldable chairs that fit in your boot.
2) Serve a home-cooked meal
Chris Manak, from Manic Workshops, is a full-time dating coach for men. He’s spent years developing and teaching techniques that help bring them out of their shell and believes self-confidence is the first step to successful dating. We asked him to share a creative date night and here’s what he said:
“After an initial, get to know each other first date, often guys get stuck for ideas that aren't too over the top, but also aren't just a repeat of drinks. I often advise them to cook dinner for her - if she is 100% comfortable to come over.
It's much more budget friendly than a restaurant and if you time it so that you're about halfway through when she arrives - glass of wine waiting for her - it's significantly more fun than just sitting opposite each other in a restaurant.
I've had a number of female friends comment that watching a man cook for them is quite sexy.” Check out Facebook and Youtube for more great advice.
If you’re planning on having a dinner date at home then you need a proper dining setup. Take a look at MyDeal furniture for all your dining room needs, delivered quickly to your door.
3) Relax your muscles
If you thought spas and massages were the domain of movie stars and socialites, think again. For the same price as your dinner and movie combo you could be sharing a sensual, relaxing couples massage. Turn it into a weekend away by looking for spas and hot springs near your city and soak up some quaint country couple time. Finish off with hot chocolates in a cozy cafe, preferably with booth seating.
4) Have a spontaneous adventure
Like the ending to a great romantic movie - have your very own John Cusack boombox moment. Surprise your significant other with a knock of the door and a bicycle in hand. If there isn’t one handy there’s plenty of apps and services to hire transport. Go for a ride, grab a coffee, visit a gallery nearby. The possibilities are endless and the less you plan the better.
5) Find something you’ve both never tried
They say you should try everything 3 times; once to get over the fear of it, twice to master the skills and the third time to decide if you like it. Take the plunge on a new activity that neither of you have tried before. Salsa dancing? Paintball? Rock climbing? There’s sure to be something on both your bucket lists.
6) Face one of your fears
Speaking of fears - when was the last time you conquered one? If The Bachelor contestants can get over their fear of heights by leaping off cliffs then so can you. It may not be glamorous to begin with but if it’s with a partner that you trust it will be much easier. Fear of snakes? Visit the reptile enclosure at the zoo. Fear of the dark? Try a dining in the dark experience. Fear of sharks? Share a surfing lesson. There’s plenty of controlled environments you can explore to support your partner on their path to bravery.
7) Get in on a new fitness craze
Staying fit and healthy is top of the to-do list for many young couples. Sweating it out at the gym together isn’t exactly your best look. And visiting the same local walking track is going to lose it’s shine pretty quick. Luckily, alternative exercise classes are all the rage right now. From hip hop yoga to doggie yoga, real-world Quidditch, hula hooping, ultimate frisbee and nightclub spin classes that look like an Ariana Grande video. Search what’s hip and happening in your area and test out a new fitness craze.
8) Show off at a trivia night
The older you get, the more trivial facts that stay lodged in your brain. Put them to good use at a classic pub trivia night. This is an ideal way to introduce a new partner to your friends as well, without the forced socialising and basic small talk. Skip straight to the fun getting to know you convo while you answer question 11 at trivia.
9) Splurge on an evening out
A lot of the time we focus on saving money but when was the last time you truly splurged? Treat yourself and your partner to a night out on the town. Dress up to the nines, enjoy a meal at a top restaurant, then put your outfits to good use at the theatre or ballet. Sometimes it feels good to spend. You’re both worth it.
10) Write love letters
Technology and the Internet has made the dating world feel far less permanent. In reality, everything you say or do is forever housed online. But there’s no true keepsakes. You can’t forward your husband’s romantic tweet to your kids as proof you were young and in love once. Spend an evening creating keepsakes for each other by writing love letters. You don’t need a creative bone in your body to find the right words either. Just write from the heart and your personality will be clear.
11) Stay up all night
Sometimes this happens anyway, but it’s more fun when you’ve planned to greet the sun. Find a weekend where there’s no plans and leave it empty. Open a bottle of wine and pop on a favourite movie. There’s something still and wonderful about the early morning hours; when you know most of the world is asleep. You won’t be interrupted by friends or family either so you can watch the sunrise from bed.
Whether you’re a new couple or have been married for years it’s time to spice up your date nights. Keep the dinner and movie combo in rotation but try something new once in a while too.
The housing market in Australia is tough to break into and renting can provide an affordable solution. Finding a rental property or renting out your own investment will take time if you want to do it properly. Before you jump in with the first opportunity that seems right we asked the experts what to look out for when renting.
For the renters
A lot of issues that come up weeks or months into your lease could have been solved at the initial meeting if you knew the warning signs. Real estate agent and founder of Vogue Real Estate, Nicole Ciantar, has these tips for future renters:
“It can be very stressful living in a rental property. There are lots of things to consider, for example; how long would I be able to live in this property? Will they increase the rent? Can I have a pet? And that is just to name a few!
If you’re unsure of what you're about to get yourself into consider these tips: - Do you have a rapport with the agent/landlord - Ask questions like "does the owner do repairs promptly?" - Do a thorough check of all appliances to ensure they are working - If the agent/landlord says they will be doing works at the property ensure it’s written into the lease - Ask "why did the last tenants move out? This is an indication of what you're about to receive (if they tell the truth)
Some general warning signs: - Is the property in a poor state of presentation - High tenant turnover; you should be able to find this out via google - If the agent/landlord isn't engaged with your conversation then they don't care which in turns means lack of communication and knowledge so your rental experience is going to be poor” Find out more on Facebook or get in touch on email@example.com.
How to make your rental comfortable
Renting a property is not typically a long-term plan. You’re thinking year by year, or even month by month. You’re also prepared to change your living conditions quickly. With this in mind you don’t want to set up an overly permanent home. But you also want it to feel like home while you’re living there. Here's our advice for comfortable renting:
Keep it to the bare necessities. Everything you own should be able to be packed up for storage or sold in the case that you or your landlord decide to change your living arrangements. To save money and time look for attractive furniture online. It’ll be delivered straight to your door which eliminates the need for trips to the furniture store or lugging it up the stairs by yourself.
On that note, a bed base and headboard is going to be the best option for storage and comfort. Many people think they can get by without a sturdy headboard but this is not recommended. Leaning against your headboard in bed will be much more comfortable and prevent smudges, marks or sweat transferring to the walls. It can also add a layer of insulation for thin walls which may be a feature of newly built or renovated properties.
You may have found a furnished rental which came with the mattress, bed and other necessities. This is great because it saves you the effort of buying expensive furnishings but the downside is you haven’t hand-selected your furniture. For example, the mattress may be too firm for your liking. You could always buy a new mattress that suits your needs. Another option is a soft mattress topper which will customise the fit and feel of your bed without requiring storage space for when you’re on the move.
For the owners
It’s not just the tenants who should be discerning when entering the rental market. Sydney Buyers AgentDean Berman helps many Australians find investment properties which many decide to rent. Here’s his advice when choosing tenants:
“Key points to look out for when renting property: - Do your best to ensure your tenants will treat the property with respect and will be able to pay the rent on time by screening them on areas such as job references and rental databases - Make sure you feel comfortable with the tenants during the inspection - Understand how many people will be living in the property - Ensure you make the ground rules clear such as no sublets if you don't want an AirBnB situation occurring - Try to understand the tenants previous rental history - Take photos of the property before renting it out, so you can see what it looked like in its original condition
The main warning signs: - If the tenants don't have secure employment, then there could be potential issues, make sure you can see proof of funds or potentially organise for the rent to be paid in advance to reduce risk - A poor rental history or constant moving” Find out more on Facebook and Instagram.
Don’t get caught out by a lack of knowledge. Whether you’re looking to rent or looking for tenants in your investment these are the warning signs and general tips to keep in mind.
Living in a magazine-styled home sounds like the domain of celebrities and stylists alone. In reality, anyone can lead a well-styled life and keep up an attractive home. Whether you’re looking to be more trendy or are planning on selling soon, there are simple and affordable upgrades for your home. Here’s 5 of the easiest ways to make your home more attractive.
1. Refresh your front yard
The first thing you (and your visitors) see is the first chance to give them stylish home vibes. We’d all love a beautifully manicured lawn but we don’t all have the time or money to spend on keeping it up. Consider some quality artificial grass if you have a smaller lawn which will always look healthy and green. Another eyesore many of us leave out the front is the rubbish bins. Repurpose a metal garden shed into a hideaway for the bins and decorate it with plants or paint. Now the first view anyone has of your home will be an attractive one.
2. Focus on the detailing
Image: Supplied by MyDeal
A stylish home is much like a finished painting; everything from its background to the frame has been chosen to complement the overall image. Looking around your home there’s probably a few half-finished elements. Your plasma TV has prime space on the wall, but nothing to decorate the area or organise your remotes and DVDs. An interesting entertainment unit will add a layer of design and functionality. While a bedroom makeover sounds like a challenge it’s actually as simple as adding in extra storage space, laundry baskets and a soft rug to bring more style with less mess. By finishing off the little details in every room your home will be more attractive without spending half your savings.
3. Forget about blank walls
Image: Supplied by HART Home Decor
Tiffany Jade Benn is the founder of HART Home Decor and one of her passions is finding ways to turn your house into a comforting and liveable home. She recommends using artworks to liven up blank walls on a budget:
“My best tip for making over a home on a budget is artwork! There are so many prints on the market these days and frames are getting cheaper and much more accessible. Plus no need to be a DIY expert to hang them either! The velcro hooks that can be taken off the wall easily without damage are much stronger these days so will definitely be able to hold up artwork and even mirrors with no worries about them falling off and breaking.” Find out more on Facebook and Instagram.
4. Let there be light
One of the most overlooked aspects of home design is the lighting. There’s a huge difference between a well-lit room and a dark one. But most people assume making adjustments to their lighting is difficult. Not true! According to the experts at Hotondo Homes your lighting is not set in stone:
“Lighting has the ability to make a HUGE impact on your interior design. It can set the mood, make a space appear larger or smaller and it has an enormous effect on your colour scheme. For this reason alone, updating your fixtures should be priority number one! Whether you are simply swapping out bulbs for LED energy-saving alternatives, adding a floor lamp to a dark corner or trading in lampshades, take the time to give a little love to the often-neglected lighting.” Read their full blog on living room makeovers here, or follow on Facebook and Instagram.
5. Bring your decor to life
Image: Supplied by Northcote Pottery
Natural decor is a big trend this year for homes and gardens and it doesn’t get more natural than indoor plants. Melissa King, horticulturist and Northcote Pottery ambassador advises that filling your home with greenery planted in stylish pots is a clever and inexpensive way to instantly make your home more attractive.
"Indoor plants not only make you feel good, they can also help to “clean” the air inside your home. So team your favourite house plants like calming Peace Lilies or Colourful Calatheas with decorative pots that are designed for indoor living to create the perfect showpiece for your kitchen or dining room." Find out more on Facebook.
An attractive home is more than achievable. All it takes is a keen eye for design and a few simple upgrades to your already existing foundations.
Have you ever thought good luck - rather than achievement - got you where you are now? Do you feel like a fake at work, fearing exposure at any moment? If so, is it time to give up your day job, throw in the towel, you’re simply not cut out for ‘insert profession here’? Or could you be suffering from ‘impostor syndrome?
To figure out whether the negative feelings about your capabilities are a reality, ask yourself: do you display signs of impostor syndrome? If so, don’t give up your day job; work on your self-worth instead.
What is Impostor Syndrome?
Imposter Syndrome is not a diagnosable disorder, but a psychological term used to describe a person who is unable to celebrate or internalise their achievements at work or in their daily life, according to Psychologist Jaimie Bloch. “[This is] due to overwhelming emotions and thoughts about being an imposter or fraud, marked by persistent anxiety and fear around being exposed.
Medical Xpress reports that imposter syndrome is the sensation of feeling like a fake in the workplace and somehow in a position beyond one’s true capabilities. It’s a common phenomenon, with 70 per cent of people experiencing it at some point during their career.
In a study, 'Inspecting the Dangers of Feeling Like a Fake', published in Frontiers in Psychology, it is suggested that impostor syndrome is detrimental to your career prospects as well as your self-esteem. The researchers, including Dr. Neureiter, studied the responses to an anonymous online survey of 238 university alumni, working across a diverse range of industries and professions.
They were interested in how the impostor phenomenon would affect a sufferer's attitude to their career development, the ability to adapt to new working conditions and their knowledge of the job market. What they discovered was those who feel like fakes, though high-achieving, tend not to fulfil their potential and by underestimating their ability could be compromising their careers and their hiring company’s success.
Do You Have Imposter Syndrome?
According to Suzanne Mercier, a business strategist and Australia’s expert on impostor syndrome, there are 15 signs those with the syndrome exhibit. Is this you?
1. You feel you’re not good enough. You won’t put yourself or your ideas forward in case they’re judged and rejected, which would confirm your worst fears - that you’re not good enough!
2. Taking things personally and become defensive. People find it difficult to give you feedback because you’re prickly. Essentially, this is a defence mechanism to prevent others from reinforcing the feeling of not being good enough.
3. You can be judgemental of others, and highly critical of yourself.
4. Requiring external validation, which makes you more susceptible to uncertainty (events, people, anything unpredictable you can’t control - specific content is subjective, depending on sensitivities).
5. Sacrificing who you are to fit in – you want to be just like everyone else.
6. Compare yourself unfavourably to others (comparing your ‘insides’ or 3 a.m. thoughts about yourself and your worth - to other people’s outsides - their ‘mask’).
7. Putting yourself in the background (you live and work under the radar to avoid judgement). Paradoxically, you crave recognition and appreciation, just not judgement.
8. Behaving in a risky way to achieve a desired outcome, commonly with the intention of proving to the world you are good enough.
9. You may be lousy at selling.
10. Displaying inconsistencies in your work performance
11. You may appear disorganised.
12. Emotionally reactive, beyond what’s reasonable for the situation.
13. You may become paralysed and not be able to produce or let go of a report for example.
14. You may also procrastinate for the same reason.
15. You can be distracted by the next shiny new object, which is a sabotage strategy.
Could the Remedy Be Reaching Out?
So, you think you have impostor syndrome, what can you do about it? “As the impostor phenomenon contains the fear of being exposed, it might be expedient to provide networking programs or supervision groups where sufferers have the chance to share their experiences and feelings without any blaming,” says Dr. Neureiter. “Incorporating the impostor topic in support measures might enhance the reduction of impostor feelings as well as their negative effects.”
Tips for Overcoming Impostor Syndrome
You may not have the opportunity to join a networking group or supervision program and even if offered the chance, sharing might not be favourable to you. If so, try these strategies courtesy of Suzanne Mercier on overcoming impostor syndrome.
Reclaim strengths and value and your own success. People who feel they’re not good enough, often either fail to see their strengths or fail to recognise their value. They can also be quick to give credit to others.
Let go of perfection. Nobody is perfect. Go for excellence instead. Practice letting go of a project before it’s perfect. Leave room for others to make their contribution (collaboration).
Find purpose for your career, business, new job or new project. What’s the difference you want to make? (See Simon Sinek TED video “How great leaders inspire action”).
Stop comparing yourself to others. We all come into this world with different gifts, needs and opportunities for growth. None of us is perfect. We don’t know what challenges others are experiencing so a comparison with what we see is an unfair comparison - not useful. Learn from what others do. Don’t judge yourself for needing to learn it. I’m sure they also learn from you.
Silence the inner critic. It is well intentioned and often serves to protect us from disappointment. Turn that voice into a board of directors or cheering squad rather than a voice that undermines your possibilities.
Build resilience. Learn to flip the negative to find the positive - find the silver lining in things that go wrong (when you’re no longer deeply upset about it). Embrace gratitude (be thankful for everything around you, even the smallest thing). Unpack your day. What worked brilliantly? Do more! What worked well? How can you improve? What didn’t work?What can you do instead?
Practice asking for help. None of us is perfect. We all need help from time to time. Make a ‘clean’ request (not emotionally loaded or manipulative). Be open to someone else not being able to fulfil it. The more we ask, the easier and less personal it becomes.
Dream big and set yourself up for success to achieve it. Where are you now? Where do you want to get to? What capabilities do you need for the journey? Chunk down the steps so each step builds on the next, leading to mastery of whatever skills, capabilities and qualities you need to develop. Celebrate each step.
Keep a journal or file which contains all the wonderful things people have said about you. Your LinkedIn testimonials, references, thank you cards, feedback at work, note down kind comments people have made and make it your go-to place for when life feels grim. An instant pick-me-up!
Create an internal frame of reference. Validate yourself rather than relying on others to make you feel good enough. Kind feedback is always great. However, the danger is that we let others define who we are and what we want. Decide that for yourself.
Set boundaries of what is okay with you mentally, physically and emotionally and respectfully enforce them.
Give yourself a boost of confidence with a working environment that makes you feel powerful. Find everything you need in office furniture by MyDeal.
If you want to take your career to the next level or find a new direction, study with Australian Online Courses to increase your chances of success. Simply visit us online or contact one of our friendly Learning Consultants today on 1300 762 221.
Your body goes through many changes when you become pregnant and it’s important you change your mindset to go with it. Washboard abs won’t be on the dream board for a few months but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep fit during pregnancy. Here’s everything you should know about exercising while pregnant.
Do what feels right for you
Some women can’t bear the thought of skipping 9 months of workouts while others relish in the idea of low-intensity fitness all year round. It’s totally up to you what sort of exercise program to maintain and it doesn’t have to stay the same throughout your pregnancy. Alicia Fistonich is a pre- and post-natal trainer, from Move The Weight, who decided lifting weights during both pregnancies was right for her. She says your exercise regime should ebb and flow to suit your energy levels throughout your pregnancy:
“Exercising while pregnant is a personal choice and does depend on the overall health of your pregnancy. If you have a low risk pregnancy and were exercising and lifting weights before becoming pregnant it is still pretty much business as usual!
The main things to avoid are: - Lying on your back for exercises like bench press after about 20 weeks - Any explosive movements like box jumps, skipping, sprinting and sudden turns are best to be avoided due to how elastic all your ligaments become - Making sure you stay well hydrated and don't overheat
The previous recommendations for maintaining your heart rate in a certain range have now been removed and it is more based on how you are feeling. I still squatted and deadlifted for both pregnancies up to 38 weeks and only stopped because of Pelvic Girdle pain, I was still doing prowler sprints at 28 weeks!” Follow on Facebook and Instagram.
Recovery is twice as important now
Rest and relaxation are an essential part of any fitness program but they’re extra necessary when your body’s resources are being used to grow a baby. Getting a great night’s sleep after exercise is all it takes to support your muscles in their recovery stages. Make sure you’re getting the best support and comfort with a new mattress from MyDeal. Or take the time each day to kick your feet up and decompress on your cushioned sofa.
Low-intensity workouts are safest
Pre- and post-natal exercise specialist, Jody Secker, from MumaBubs has written a great blog about her own journey and includes practical advice to keep you fit while pregnant. One of our favourite tips is below:
“Low impact, low intensity exercise will assist in protecting your joints and pelvic ligaments, which are more vulnerable during pregnancy due to pregnancy hormones, altered posture and weight gain.
It is crucial that you do not place too much strain on your back, pelvis or pelvic floor during pregnancy, therefore low impact activities, such as walking, swimming or aqua classes, low impact exercise sessions or pregnancy specific exercise sessions are recommended.
The recommended intensity of an exercise session will be different for each expectant mum as every pregnancy and every woman is different. However, I recommend the intensity of your exercise sessions during pregnancy should result in you feeling energised, strong and invigorated, and not exhausted or sore.” Read her full blog post here or follow on Facebook and Instagram.
Walking is an ideal exercise for pregnant mums with young kids. It’s an opportunity to save time and combine social activities with exercise by inviting other mums or friends along. Plus you can easily fit in a casual stroll with your other children in tow and the fresh air will benefit both of you. All you need is an adjustable stroller that keeps them safely seated or napping while you get your heart rate pumping.
Get your OM on
Yoga addicts are in luck - it’s one of the best exercises suited to pregnant women. However, your may need to branch out from your regular class for a while. Prenatal yoga teacher Stacey Astley-Clark from Buddha Babies provides pregnancy yoga classes to women in Sydney. She’s also a hypnobirthing practitioner and offers courses to help you achieve a calm, smooth labour and birth. She shared with us a typical yoga class:
“Prenatal yoga is the perfect activity for pregnant women as it not only builds strength and flexibility, it is also the perfect way to prepare for labour and even start to bond with your baby.
A typical prenatal yoga class comprises: - Relaxation breathing to switch off sympathetic nervous system and connect with baby - Cat cow for back ache - 'Happy Hips' (forearms and knees and sway) to help get baby into optimal position (and great for turning posterior baby in labour) - Modified sun salutes - Hip circles and 'dancing' with baby - Tree pose - Squat and ujjayi breath to practise for contractions - Side lying hip opener (leg kicks out and up) - Legs up the wall (with bottom on a bolster) to help with swelling” Follow on Facebook for more.
It’s less about selfies, more about support
If you’re aiming to keep fit to shed the baby weight faster or social share your whole pregnancy then you’ve developed the wrong perspective. Exercise is about health and supporting your body - looking good is just a side effect. Make sure your goals are healthy and realistic such as building up a strong pelvic floor and maintaining great back support for the later stages of your pregnancy. And remind yourself often that continuing to exercise while pregnant is going to give you a headstart on bringing your body back to normal post-birth.
A fit mum is a happy mum so get out the trainers and find a light workout program you can stick to. Always consult a medical professional and/or accredited health instructor before beginning new exercise programs or to find out what is the best routine for you.
We all like to help our friends and family where we can. Caring for their pets when they are on holidays or have a family emergency or a hospital stay is one way we can do that.
If you haven’t seen their pet for a while a visit to meet them first is a great idea. You can also see where their food, water bowls, litter trays, bins etc. are kept and collect a spare key.
When it comes to caring for their pets, it’s essential to ensure you get all of the important information before your care starts. Good questions to ask include:
- What do they eat? How often do they eat? - What medical conditions do they have and if any medications are required. The correct dose and the easiest method for giving the medication. For example a tablet in a piece of cheese for a dog is easier than holding it and trying to put the tablet in their mouth. - Would they like their dog walked? If yes, how well behaved are they on a lead? Do they like meeting other dogs, or should other dogs be avoided? If you are unable to walk their dog/s do they like to ball play or tug-o-war, or a cuddle? - Does their cat or hutch animals like cuddles or pats only? - Are they shy and hide; if so, where are their favourite hiding places so you know where to find them and make sure they are ok. - Where is the cat carrier kept in case they need to go to the vet? - What is their vet’s name, address and phone number? Will you need to pay the vet bill or have the pet owners made arrangements with their vet? - If they have multiple pets, do they need to be fed separately, to ensure they each receive the right amount of food? Do they fight over food? - Is someone else doing some of the care? It’s a good idea to have their name and phone number and vice versa in case you need to reach each other. - Will the pet owners be contactable while they are away? Or should you be prepared to make all decisions necessary for their pets and home?
Caring for someone else’s pets can be a joy and an important responsibility. Having the right information can make all the difference so you having a wonderful time caring for their pets, and for your loved ones coming home to relaxed and happy pets.
If your partner is anything like I used to be, then odds are they hate clothes shopping. They probably don't go clothes shopping enough to hate it.
As a guy though, it does make sense; clothes shopping sucks for us. The reason? Nobody ever really taught us how to shop for clothes. We don't know what to buy, and we all make the same mistakes.
I made these mistakes for years, so whether it is your husband, brother, father, partner, or friend, odds are we all have a man in our life who makes at least one of these mistakes.
They don't shop for their lifestyle
This is the big one. So many times I see a mate’s wardrobe full of awesome new shirts perfect for the Melbourne Cup, the only problem is there is only one spring racing carnival every year and he never even goes to that one. In fact, he hasn’t worn a suit in years. When we go out to dinner, he complains that he never has anything to wear.
Of course, you don’t; you never buy anything that you need!
Shopping for the lifestyle men wish they had (or possibly think they do have), is a sure fire way to grow to hate shopping.
They think all items are created equal
In clothing, there are flair items that give someone that little bit extra. For example, a bow tie or something with colour to add to an outfit. These are the items you need to be adding in and not assume spending $80 on a tee shirt that you can’t afford will make you stand out.
Choose colours and fits that suit your body shape
Like clothes (as mentioned above), men aren’t created equal either. Between height, weight, dimensions, skin tone, hair colour, and everything else in between, there are a lot of variables to take into account. As you know, dressing for your body can be difficult, and getting the right fit for guys can seemingly be impossible. For example, I have broad shoulders and a chest that is a lot larger than my waist, for me to find a shirt that fits well off the rack is similar to seeing a unicorn.
The fit is probably the most significant factor that discourages men from clothes shopping. They hate what they buy and complain that nothing ever fits, which is visible, because they’ve never learned how to look into what to buy.
It doesn’t have to be like this
Fashion is often portrayed as an art, and to a degree it is. However, in our day to day life, style is a science. Mastering the science of clothes is a learnable skill and one that will have any man loving their wardrobe. While clothes are made to cover the bits that nobody wants to see in public, fashion is developed to give you that confidence to be your favourite self and tackle the day. Buying clothes that don’t match your personality take that feeling of confidence away instantly.
There are three steps that every man needs to know before the next time they go clothes shopping:
Understand what fits you. Get yourself appropriately measured, the five minutes it will take will save you hours in the store.
Organise your clothes into groups of work, casual, active wear, ‘at-home’ clothes, smart casual, and formal. For two weeks keep track of what you wear (and more importantly, don't wear). After the two weeks, you can start to see if your wardrobe fits your lifestyle. If you still have five 'clubbing' shirts but haven't been out in years, then your wardrobe doesn't match your lifestyle.
What multi-purpose items does the man own? For example, does he have a pair of navy chinos that he wears to work but also in his spare time? Articles like these should become your staples that hold outfits together.
These items are critical to a variable and stylish wardrobe. Know the staple-pieces and add the flair on top.
Hi, I’m Vince, the owner of label, Why Knot Ties where I specialise in funky bow ties. It is my goal to give everybody that feeling of looking good! And I want them to have it every day. I am also soon launching a free challenge to get men to learn to love their wardrobe in fourteen days, check it here.
Here are nine great exercises which will help elevate any athlete.
1. Bodyweight Bosu Ball Squats
Squats are a must for the majority of athletes, it is a really good compound movement which targets multiple muscle groups and the majority of your lower body. Furthermore, try adding in a bosu ball for an added element of balance and coordination. This will help your balance and work more of your stabilizers translating to better balance on the field. Do not try to do a max lift on the bosu ball or you may become a viral meme.
How to do the exercise:
Place a Bosu ball down on the ground flat side up. - Increase the difficulty by grabbing a set of dumbbells you can manage. - Step on the bosu ball, feet about shoulder width apart. - General squat rules still apply, keep your core engaged, chest up, back straight and hips back lowering yourself to atleast 90 degrees.
2. Bulgarian Split Squat
This exercise will strengthen your legs unilaterally, so it will help to fix muscular imbalances. Furthermore, lunges are great exercise for building your quads and glutes. Try elevating your back leg which will increase the difficulty of the exercise. This exercise will also challenge your balance and help you become a more explosive athlete.
How to do the exercise:
- Grab a box or bench about knee high. - Increase the difficulty by adding weight (you can hold dumbbells by your side). - Maintain one leg on the ground and lift the other onto the bench behind your body. - Keep your back straight and core engaged do a standard split squat.
3. Sled Push
Get explosive with the sled push! A great conditioning tool which is relatively low impact compared to other leg exercises. Additionally, there is no eccentric component to this exercise, so you will have a faster recovery time and less soreness the next day.
How to do the exercise:
- Begin with your hands on the handle of the sled, knees slightly bent and a staggered stance with your feet. - Drive through your legs pushing the sled. - Keep your core engaged. - Add weight to challenge your body accordingly.
4. Thread The Needle Plank Progression
Planks are an effective ab exercise as it works your abs in a functional manner. Your abs help to stabilize your body and the plank strengthens the abs through stabilization. Take things one step further with this great plank progression. Thread the needle adds rotation to the plank making the exercise more difficult and by adding in the rotation your obliques will also be firing.
How to do the exercise:
- Start in your plank position, forearms, hands and toes on the ground keeping your body level in a horizontal position. - Lift one arm up towards the sky slowly rotating your body to the side - Keep your abs tight and engaged throughout the whole exercise.
Get ready to work with this killer muscular endurance exercise! The constant repetitive motion will no doubt be very challenging and will also be a very good fat burner. With battle ropes there are quite a few different variations. If you have never done them before start with the standard alternating arms variation.
How to do the exercise:
- Begin in your athletic stance, feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent palms facing in - In an alternate manner lift each arm up and down simultaneously creating waves with the rope
Sounds simple enough; pick up weight and walk. Farmers carries are a great way to build muscle, endurance, and strength (especially grip strength). The exercise sounds easy until you actually start it.
How to do the exercise:
- Pickup weight, you can use dumbbells, sandbags, kettlebells - Choose a distance and walk carrying the weight.
Improve explosive power in your lower body with this squat variation. The focus is good form, generating force from your hips and finishing with a soft landing to protect your knees. Make this an explosive exercise powering through the movement on the way up.
How to do the exercise:
- Set up a box or platform to an appropriate height. Start in your athletic stance. - Load through your body pushing your hips and arms back preparing to take off. - Follow through by jumping on the box extending your hips. - Focus on a soft landing. - Step off the box.
Look great as you walk away from your competition! Many athletes always remember to train their front and leave out their back. Don't make this mistake. If you want to be an all-around athlete train like one.
How to do the exercise:
- Grab the pull-up bar. - Pull your body up driving with your lats until your chin is over the bar. - A great cue to think of is pull your elbows to your back pocket
Build your leg muscles while improving coordination. Step ups are also a great way to fix muscular imbalances as you are focusing on one leg at a time.
How to do the exercise:
- Begin with one foot on the bench. - Drive vertically up into the air with the leg on the bench in order to step up -Try not to lean over, or compromise your body position while stepping up
There’s a lot of reasons people choose to be vegetarian like health issues, moral issues or simply not enjoying the taste of meat. The only question we’re here to answer is what should I eat tonight? No matter what your motivation there’s a vego recipe here to satisfy your cravings.
For a veggie meal full of flavour it’s hard to ignore Indian cuisine. This spicy dahl recipe is the perfect Winter warmer dish that’s as good for your body as it is your tastebuds. The main ingredient - red lentils - are packed full of iron, fiber, protein and magnesium so you can tick healthy off the dinner wishlist.
Why does Milena love it?
"This spicy dhal is easy and quick to make filled with turmeric, ginger, garam marsala and garlic - what's not to love! It is just as delicious reheated the next day."
There’s a lot of evidence that eating together as a family is better for you and your kids. It promotes a healthier diet as you’re more likely to have cooked the meal. Which in turn staves off obesity and diabetes from sugary, processed or fast foods. It’s also been linked to less high-risk behaviours in teens such as smoking and binge drinking. It seems the science is clear here: a proper dinner deserves a proper dining table and everyone to gather around it for mind, body and soul benefits. Get your priorities in order with an ideal dining room from MyDeal furniture.
Use it as a spread, eat it as a dip or toss it through your favourite salad. The original recipe dates back to 1941 when rationing was high and meat stores were low. The magic of Libby’s recipes is they’ve been passed down for generations from her great grandmother and now they’re available to you too.
Why does Libby love it?
“It's quick, simple and versatile, and it's a recipe that our family has not grown tired of for 5 generations!” Get inspired with Facebook and Instagram.
Impress your guests with a dish that tastes great and lends itself to some seriously stunning food styling. Lara swapped to a plant-based lifestyle following health issues so you know her recipes are well-tested and delicious too.
Why does Lara love it?
"Falafel is one of my favourites as they are super easy to make, incredibly tasty and could convince even the most staunchest of meat eaters to go vego once in a while!” Get inspired with Facebook and Instagram.
MyDeal Pro Tip:
Gather all the kitchen essentials
Blend, blitz, puree - it’s hard to test out a new recipe when you’re missing the essential tools. Every modern kitchen needs a food processor or blender to call itself fully equipped. Save yourself time and money by searching online for quality kitchen appliances and have it delivered straight to your door for next week’s dinner.
You can still satisfy your burger cravings on a meat-free diet. The trick is getting the same texture and rich flavour of a regular burger out of solely veggie patch ingredients. Nail this and you’ve got a filling meal without the greasy fingers.
Why does Alex love it?
“Who doesn't love a good burger? They're not always so easy on the waistline, so making up your own meat-free version is a great way to knock up a satisfying, indulgent meal without blowing out the diet. Using beans creates a rich, meaty texture, and adding spices into any vegetarian meal is an easy way to boost the flavours without boosting the calories!” Get inspired on Facebook.
Less fuss, more flavour is what you’ll get from Michelle’s recipes. They’re full of home grown produce from her organic veggie patch and every single one looks like a culinary work of art. Our mouths were watering just thinking about having these stuffed capsicums for dinner.
Why does Michelle love it?
"This recipe is the perfect vegetarian meal for winter because it's so warming and filling". Get inspired on Facebook.
One of the best things about travelling the world is trying different cuisines and bringing back new recipes to inspire friends and family. Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the most memorable; like this Spanish salad which is perfect for lunch or as a side dish. It’s fresh, easy and ready in a flash. Get inspired with Facebook and Instagram.
Guarantee your daily serves of veg with a meat-free challenge for dinner next week. With 6 nights of inspiration at your fingertips it should be a breeze.
You can’t go wrong with cutlery but you could try a little bit harder. If you’re stumped for ideas for a thoughtful, unique wedding gift then look no further. Here’s 5 presents that are sure to get you a handwritten thank-you note.
For the entertaining couple
Many couples worry that settling too deeply into married life will leave them yearning for the fun they had before there was a ring on it. The truth is married couples are just as fun as before they tied the knot, they just lack inspiration at times. Keep the fun alive - and score yourself an invitation for drinks - by gifting a cocktail making set. Complete the gift with a cocktail recipe book or guide to their favourite alcohol which adds a touch of sophistication and knowledge to their next soiree. Find the best barware gifts in MyDeal home and garden.
For the relaxed couple
Some couples give new meaning to the term Honeymoon with their eternal holiday vibes. If you know a pair who would rather be tanning on a beach somewhere then perhaps your gift should help them do that all year round. Sun lounges aren’t reserved for hotel pools and beachside villas. They’re a great addition to any backyard and buying a comfortable pair as a gift is more affordable than you’d expect. Check out MyDeal outdoor furniture for great deals on sun lounges, daybeds and wicker lounges.
For the creative couple
It’s increasingly common for couples to have moved in together before reaching the wedding stage. So what makes the perfect gift when their home is all set up? A romantic artwork is a stunning addition to living room, bedroom or even kitchen walls.
Sarah Taylor creates beautifully realistic animal canvas prints with bright colours, bold strokes and personality galore. Every character has a story and for couples it’s hard to look beyond All of Me and All of You. These fiery foxes are inseparable and best displayed staring lovingly in each other’s eyes. There are over 30 characters to choose from so you can easily select a stand-alone artwork instead. From quintessential Aussie Kylie Koala to the bold and powerful Percival Peacock, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Psst - deal alert! We’ve scored an exclusive discount code MYDEAL20 which can be used at checkout for 20% any wall art. Click here to browse with the discount pre-applied at checkout.
For the practical couple
Know a couple who are uncomfortable at the best of times with receiving gifts? Find something practical that will save everyone the awkwardness. A quality salt and pepper grinder makes the perfect gift because it’s the kind of thing you’re reluctant to splurge on for yourself. A proper mill will feature ceramic grinders which is what makes them so expensive. This is also the best plan if you don’t know the couple too well; it’s thoughtful without being extravagant. Search MyDeal home and garden for the perfect kitchenware present.
For the romantic couple
Roses are red, violets are blue; some couples remind you of the leads in a rom-com. Let their sweet love story inspire you to find a romantic gift. Wine Compass offer tailored, private wine tours around Victoria. Here’s what founder Adam Nicholls suggests:
“Give the gift of a memorable day in the Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula wine regions with a private guided tour, thanks to Wine Compass. Visit Victoria’s top wineries, breweries, distilleries and more. Bespoke tours with an itinerary that is specifically tailored to get the best out of your day.”
They’ll take care of everything you need from pick up to drop off, tours, tastings and lunch in between so we think it’s safe to say this gift is the whole package. Find out more on Facebook and Instagram.
Can you hear the bells? With a great gift in tow there’s no need to stress about someone else’s big day. We hope you enjoy every moment of your friend or families wedding.
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