7 Spooktacular Halloween Ideas for Your Home


Let’s Make Halloween a Blast!

Halloween is a great season and many people’s favorite for an excellent reason. It’s always been intriguing, with lore that stretches back centuries, and with lots of fascinating imagery and iconography that make for great atmosphere and decorating opportunities for homes and neighborhoods.

While it’s faced some opposition from the more traditional parts of society, Halloween has endured to be one of the most visually enjoyable holidays. Not to mention one of the most fun — from trick-or-treating to decorating, Halloween has something for every member of the family and even the surrounding community.

Here are seven cool ideas for decorating your home for All Hallow’s Eve.

Pinatas, in general, are always fun, and an exciting way to decorate for an already candy-heavy holiday. It’s entirely up to you to figure out how to integrate things into your Halloween setup, but these would be very popular at parties — especially those with lots of kids over to take a swing at the ghost!

Start by assembling an ordinary paper lantern, which you can buy at most craft stores. This will be the body of the ghost. Well, the overall shape, since ghosts don’t have bodies. Then you can cover the hole at the bottom with a piece of card, tapes securely into place to prevent candy from falling out. Then, measure a crepe paper skirt by wrapping a single sheet around the lantern with a bit of overlap at the edges. Then cut 1″ wide crepe paper strips, and trim them to create a fringe (you can use fringing scissors for this). Fringe the bottom of the skirt as well, and start gluing the fringed strips down onto the skirt to create layers. After the whole layered skirt is done, cut wavy shapes out of the bottom. Make enough fringed strips to reach to the top of the lantern, which you will then fill with candy before sealing the top hole. Cut out roundish jellybean shapes for the eyes and mouth, and you’re all set.


   Decorating lanterns and stringing them up along the eaves or the tops of walls is a great way to draw the eye for a party while lighting the place up handsomely. You can get a string of paper lanterns from a craft store (or make your own with smaller-sized paper lanterns), and decorate each with cute faces cut out of black paper and some felt-tipped pen drawings. Orange lanterns and Jack O’Lantern face shapes? White lanterns and skull features? Yellow lanterns as vampire     Pac-Man?


This may be more for a themed party, but it lends a neat little Addams Family twist to your layout. Pick up a few fake potted plants — perfectly plastic, these — and hit them with a can of black spray paint. Load up the pots with black sand (and scatter some around the pots too), and you’ve turned a symbol of life into something genuinely Halloween creepy.


Sure, you could carve a traditional pumpkin, but layering the interior and top with some spiky succulents really gives the Jack O’Lantern a rustic desert vibe. Plus, you can move the succulents out into a more everyday-friendly pot for the rest of the year.

Start with a fake pumpkin or a carvable craft pumpkin. Cut a hole in the top, following the shape of the pumpkin’s curves. Then drill a few holes in the bottom for water to drain through. You can now either fill the pumpkin with soil or store a soil-filled pot inside it. You can then plant your succulents — perhaps start with a Crassula ovata gollum, and layer in the smaller varied ones like a Pachyphytum or Graptoveria.


Alot of ideas tend to revolve around the classic pumpkin, but did you ever consider it might be a great punch bowl base? You can capitalize on the unique flavor created by a blend of pumpkin and cider for a really unique seasonal refreshment. Hollow out a giant pumpkin (we’re sure Good Eats can tell you what you can make out of the contents) and fill it with cider. A large ladle and some ice will complete the ensemble — and leave you with one less bowl to wash.


Spiders are Halloween staples, and so are pumpkins — so mash them up! Not literally, of course. You can scoop out a mini-pumpkin and put a tea light inside (they make electronic ones, but you may opt to use an actual candle). Then stick some pipe cleaners around the pumpkin to make the fuzzy spider legs. Make two or three of these, and they’d be great for arranging in a crawling row.


Some of us just don’t find ourselves handy with a blade. So don’t use one. You can actually dress up some hefty-sized pumpkins with a few accessories (oversized novelty glasses, a fedora or other type of hat, a necktie, a bow) and some felt paper cut up into shapes (a mouth, a fancy handlebar mustache, and so on. Just glue them on with a glue gun, and you can end Halloween with a clean old pumpkin just ready to carve and cook.


How to Travel with Your Toddlers: Tips and Tricks to Make Traveling Easier

“Let’s go abroad!”


“Wait! We have toddlers!”

“So many things to prepare especially if you travel with kids.”  

“Let’s just do it next year then.”


This is a common dialogue between husbands and wives who have toddlers. Postponing a trip abroad because of all the inconvenience of traveling with a toddler. Well, if you can relate to this kind of problem you are not the only one.

But traveling has to be one of the most prominent new luxuries of this decade. With the prices of airfare getting more affordable and with services like Airbnb making stuffy, pricey hotel accommodations a thing of the past, there’s never really been a better time to see the world more.

It’s easier than ever to see different places without getting lost or put at significant risk thanks to constant portable internet connections that can help you map a walking route or find a museum or temple or coffee shop at a moment’s notice.

Let’s Travel With Our Toddlers

The same is true, really, for those who have kids to consider, even parents of toddler-age kids. Sure, there are a few vital considerations to keep in mind before leaving the house with the little ones, but if you’re sure they’re ready to appreciate the trip and the destination, don’t let naysayers hold you back.

There are a lot of personal parenting benefits to bonding with your kids over travel, not least of them sharing some significant “firsts” like going to an unusual, memorable place for the first time together. They’ll always be able to look back at that experience (which is, incidentally, potentially harder to accomplish once they’re older because you’ll also be older).

Breaking out of the nest has its benefits, but it also has potential pitfalls like any new experience. Here’s how to make the trip more relaxed and more fulfilling.
  1.    Pack well in advance.

This is usually good advice even when you’re just traveling by yourself, but it makes even better sense when you’re traveling with toddlers who will undoubtedly have their own specific needs and particular items that need to be brought. This is especially true if the trip is going to be a lengthy one. While we’re used to hearing that we should pack in advance, we tend to take this for granted the more we travel, because we get so used to doing it that we figure we’ve got it down to a science.

It’s much easier to forget items or things like medication or formula we don’t know whether we can reliably and quickly find abroad when they’re our kid’s and not our own. You’ll see that, as the travel date approaches, you’ll start to cross things off the list and new ideas will pop up.

When you start early, you build in time to let yourself make these common errors without ending up stressing yourself out due to lack of time to fix them.

2.   Keep luggage to two categories: backpacks and wheeled bags.

Kids ages 3 and up can be taught to use and be responsible for simple luggage like a light backpack of their own (with a limited count of their essentials in them). Kids ages 5 and up can manage a rolling carry-on. Traveling can be a teachable moment, and this is one way you can teach the kids personal responsibility while keeping expectations and real workloads realistic and not overly burdensome. When kids pitch in, they appreciate the effort it takes for you to do it as well.


  1.    Buy clothing that helps keep comfortable on the plane and on the go.

For example, many people find that for long flights, their legs start cramping or having circulation problems. This is easily avoided or mitigated with the use of comfy compression socks, which have a snug fit to ensure proper circulation even when you’re seated for extended periods. The same will be true for long drives or train rides when you’re there, or for long walks that might strain your leg muscles.


  1.    Stick to the routine.

As a parent, you know all about how vital routine is in raising kids — it makes everything predictable and gives kids the structure they need to guide them through the day. It doesn’t hurt that it gives you a lot more control over how the day is laid out.

Many parents, though, treat traveling as a chance for their kids to be off the regular routine — maybe because this is true for them as adults. While we can be more flexible, however, kids need structure wherever they are in their lives, so keep to the routine where you can.

If the kids have an afternoon nap while at home, try to work that into the day’s schedule. Some flexibility is favored, of course, because it’s likely you won’t be able to fit the exact blueprint. But do the homework to make sure the routine is at least partly maintained, and you’ll be rewarded when you get home and have less need to adjust.


  1.    Teach the kids, but don’t go overboard.

Don’t use the travel experience as a school-substitute field trip alone (there’s value in that too, mind) — teach kids how to travel. Why are passports important? How do we take care of them when we travel? What’s the difference between walking, taking the train, or taking a bus or a car to get from point A to point B to point C? Why would anyone bother with the other methods?

Small processes like this are second nature to us, but to a kid, it can feel like the tide just pulling and pushing them from place to place as scheduled.

Involving them (and even letting them make small, meaningful choices) will allow them to appreciate the thought process that goes into it, and prepare them for more travel as they grow older.

That said, don’t make the trip purely educational. Sure, it’s tempting to bombard the kids with culture, but museum after museum will lose its appeal after a while. While planning the itinerary, mix things up with a fun, unusual, and colorful place or two — a museum, then a park, then a temple, then a zoo. They’re only going to be young once, and letting them be that will have the side benefit of not making them resent or avoid museums and other educational spots as they travel more.

So, if you want to travel. Travel now with your kids while they are still young!


Can’t Sleep? Here are 6 Poses to Help You Sleep Better


Still trying to count sheep?

Sleep may well be the one most underappreciated commodity in today’s world. Whatever age you are, you’ve likely fallen victim to the world’s tendency to trick you into never taking a break.

And why would you take a break, after all, when the internet and all our “more-available-than-ever” entertainment and social media fixes are in the palm of our hand? That is if you’re not buried eyeballs-deep in work that keeps you from taking any opportunity to rest.

Indeed, we underestimate the importance of sleep, taking it for granted until our bodies crash due to fatigue and burnout.

One unexpected way to get more and better sleep is doing yoga.

Yoga by itself is one of the current new favorites, having experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 2000s. It’s known to help improve physical strength, a range of movement, and flexibility, as well as enhance mental focus and help us regulate breathing.

“Studies have shown that yoga can help people who have insomnia or other sleep disorders, helping reduce feelings of fatigue, improve sleep quality, and thus overall reduce the need for sleep medication. This leads to an overall improvement in the quality of life.”

Here are six yoga poses that will help you improve your sleep.


Tias Little’s advice helps those whose occasional waking up too early or unexpectedly in the middle of the night might otherwise derail their autonomic rhythms.

First, remember that this is not an active posture. Sitting upright with eyes closed, relax your spine and keep it delicate and at rest. You may cover yourself with a blanket, or a shawl if that’s what you use. Just stay silent, letting the silence continue to cover you and quiet your mind.

Whatever you do, try to keep your mind clear as thoughts and plans will activate your mind and make you too alert to get back to sleep. As you drift off, roll back in Savasana, lying on your back and allowing yourself to luxuriate in the sense of spacious ease. Even if you don’t fall asleep, your body will at least be calm and restored.


Sarah Finger’s “Moon Activating Breath” is a simple but effective breathing activity that soothes and relaxes. You can do this one in bed, falling asleep as soon as it takes over.

Sit comfortably with your spine erect, and close your right nostril by placing your thumb over it. Inhale through the left nostril, and hold that breath before switching fingers and exhaling through the right nostril. Keep doing this, extending each taken and held breath with each repetition. Keep your mind clear.


Natasha Rizopoulos’ “legs up the wall” pose help rest you at any time of day. You can take as little as five minutes, and it’ll still let your consciousness settle. As an added bonus, it helps you soothe tired legs!
Start by putting a blanket or bolster down parallel to the wall, about 6 inches from it.

Sit sideways on this support, setting your hip against the wall and putting your legs up the wall and your back flat on the floor. By this point, the support should be under your lower back. Those with tighter hamstrings can scoot a bit further back from the wall. From here it’s just about keeping the legs up and letting the calm wash over you.


What could be simpler than actually just lying down? Jeanie Manchester has a Savasana version somewhat unsettlingly called a “corpse pose,” but it’s incredibly simple and effective. You can do this in bed, under a blanket (as long as you’re warm it’ll help).

Lie down flat and relax your jaw, and relax the rest of the way down your body. Slow your breathing to an even pace and feel your body feel heavier with each exhalation. Focus on each breath and clear the thoughts out of your mind with each one. Keep this up for 20 minutes.


Sage Roundtree has a great half-bow pose that stretches out the hip flexors, which can be great for those who sleep on their side. You can actually do this in bed!


In bed, let your leg dangle over one edge. From here you have the option to hold your foot (with knee bent) or keep the leg straight. The non-dangling leg can then be kept in a half Cobbler’s Pose, holding for up to 20 breaths before switching legs and doing the other side. This is surprisingly restive and might have you drifting off to sleep part way through.


Mary Taylor’s hybrid of the seated forward bend and child’s pose helps fight all kinds of insomnia. You can also do this one in bed with the help of some pillows, or you can do this on the mat if you prefer.

Start by sitting upright. Hold your legs out in front of you, a hip-width apart. Relax your legs and let your knees and feet flop to the sides naturally; don’t hold them stiff. Place a bolster or pillow between your legs so that you can curl your body down and rest your forehead on it.  

Avoid exerting, or it’ll wake you up more and keep you from settling down. While bent down, let your arms alongside the pillow. You shouldn’t be feeling any tension in your body, and soon enough you ought to be dozing.

ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz!!!! Now it’s time to sleep! Good night!



5 Essential Maternity Clothings for Pregnant Moms

How to Become a Mom!

Becoming a mother is, for many women, a highlight of their adult lives. Under the right conditions, this should be a very memorable time for you, albeit not without its share of stress.

There’s a lot to keep in mind leading up to the big day, not least the idea that the big day itself isn’t just the end of one process but the start of another that lasts a lifetime. This may be why industries have sprouted up around motherhood, embracing the process and eager to show women the world over that there is plenty of help to be had.

The Fashion Industry for Expectant Moms

One such industry that has practically molded itself around motherhood is fashion. Of course, while this seems to be an easy cash grab and not much more, there is a lot of thought that goes into choosing the right maternity clothes. While for many of us this initially seems like an extra, impractical set of purchases, there comes a time in the pregnancy period where the need for new, maternity-specific clothing makes itself apparent.

There’s no set time limit, as every woman’s pregnancy body develops differently from the others, but you’ll know when the baby bump starts to cooperate with your clothing less and less. Button down shirts don’t button down all the way anymore. You feel bloated all day long, and the clothes are part of the reason why. You always feel the need to unbutton the top button of your pants, and not just for after hefty meals. You only feel right in stretchy spandex that accommodates your new shape.

These signs show that your body’s current configuration is no longer catered to by clothes designed for an entirely different form, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Indeed, if you see any of these essentials on sale, don’t feel guilty about buying them. Your body will thank you.

1.    Mom jeans.

Especially the stretchy kind. The cut of these is slightly different from the more straight-laced, angular cut that’s currently popular. It’s a simple step but a significant psychological boost to feel comfortable enough in a pair of old jeans on days when you think nothing else you put on works. You might not even want to go back to your usual trendy jeans, after feeling how consistently comfortable these are.

  1.    Cotton compression socks.

It’s not that you’re going to the gym or anything. Compression gear mainly keeps a tight, snug seal around your legs, making sure that circulation gets back to what it used to be. Pregnancy, along with the changes it does to your body, puts a noticeable drag on active blood circulation, making it difficult for all the extremities — especially the legs, which have gravity to deal with — to get the blood flowing to and from them. Breathable compression socks help with that.

  1.    Underwear.

If there’s one area where comfort is a must, it’s this. Look for stretchy but snug, comfortable and breathable underwear that’s also pretty. You’re not going to be wearing this out by itself, of course, but there’s no harm in being presentable. A few supportive bras will be helpful as you’re going to grow in that area inevitably, but nursing bras can wait until you actually need them.

  1.    T-shirts. All the t-shirts.

As before, look for ones that are light and breathable, and that will stretch in areas where you need them to. Look for items with ruching, which will accommodate your bump when it more fully manifests and grows. Also be careful not to pick stuff that’s too sheer. Light is good, but that doesn’t have to mean thin. When buying, bend down, touch your toes or as far as you can, and have the fitting room attendant determine if there are things visible that shouldn’t be. Some stretchy fabrics are elastic but have sheerness as the cost.

  1.    Leggings. Also all the leggings.

Tying in with the cotton compression socks, having your legs covered and supported by a full-length pair of leggings is incredibly comfortable, and is much more secure than having a maternity dress that can billow or rise. Have a few pairs in rotation, as these garments mold to your body and are one of the most comfortable things you can gift yourself with. Sure, they’ll pretty much reveal the exact shape your legs have, but you’re pregnant, and the world can take a hike.

There are a few other vital clothes and dress types to get, but they’re not nearly as essential as these. A little black dress in the right size is always right to have on hand for any occasion (that fashion constant doesn’t change just because you’re pregnant), and some menswear ideas — a nice, solid blazer, for instance, works great as a second layer — can give you more options.

Overall, think comfort, think versatility (most maternity wear has nursing features built in for later) and think practicality.

Just Relax: 10 Ways to Relax During Your Day Off

Really? You still need someone to tell you how to relax during your day off?
Well, the answer is: YES! Relaxing during your day off is not just sleeping all day. Sleeping all day is not even advisable during your day off. There are so many ways to relax during your day off. Here are some:

1. Read a book

Reading a book is not just mental stimulation. It is an excellent way to reduce stress. Don’t read calculus or a philosophical discourse on the workings of the human mind during your relaxation day. Instead, read a book that can excite your mind. Maybe a novel, a love story, a mystery book.

Pro Tip: Read an actual book with pages that you can flip instead of reading from a kindle or a tablet. Let your eyes relax from digital strain. It is refreshing to read an actual book where you can smell the scent of the paper and insert a bookmark to separate pages.

2. Stretch

This does not take the whole day off; but during a busy day, there is practically no time to stretch, unless you are a professional athlete. You have plenty of time to spare during a rest day so, do a little stretching.

Yoga! If you are into yoga, do a little yoga. 40 minutes to an hour is a great way to relax. Stretching and yoga increase your flexibility, improves your posture, calms your mind and most importantly relieves your body from stress.

3. Take a Warm Bath

Yes, please! I want one of these every weekend! A warm bath is undoubtedly one of the best things you can do to relax during your day off. When in a hurry, shower at the start of the day is enough for hygiene purposes. There really is no time to take a relaxing shower. But over the weekend? Yes! A warm bath, please!

Pro Tip: Combine with essential oils. Lavander, coconut, olive oil are best for a warm bath. Remember, a Hot shower is different from a warm bath. A warm bath is far more relaxing and is great for the skin, for the immune system and is more soothing.

**You also might want to try Epsom salt Bath to loosen joints and relax muscles.

4. Watch TV with Popcorn

The key here is the popcorn! Dim the lights, go to Netflix and eat that popcorn. Set the mood to a relaxing movie time with popcorn. Binge watch your favorite movie or your favorite tv series while wearing the most unfashionable clothes you can find in your closet. Don’t worry, there is no fashion police during your popcorn and tv time.

Just like what Hollywood says: Relax and enjoy the show!

5. Get a Massage

Wow! When was the last time that you got a massage? There are so many benefits to getting a massage on a regular basis. Some of which include: relieves headaches, lessens anxiety and stress, lowers blood pressure, improve blood circulation and a whole lot more.

How often should you get a massage? Every two weeks is ideal. Some do it every week; some every month. You know your body more, so if you start feeling those aches in your shoulder blades, calves, legs and other parts of your body, then your body is telling you, YOU NEED TO GET A MASSAGE!

6. Catch up with Friends

Grab a cup of coffee with friends. (You can also call this non-date dates, so there’s actually no pressure)Bowl with them and get that strike that has been so eluding. (Maybe, even a turkey! I am talking about bowling here.) Whatever activity you might find interesting, do it with your friends. The point is to do something with friends.

7. Organize Your Things

Organizing things can be therapeutic. This does not necessarily mean that you do a general cleaning of your house. You can organize your desk. You can organize your files. You can organize your room. You can organize the names of people in your phonebook.

Start small. Make sure you finish organizing within the day so that there is no need for you to get back into it the next week. Being able to arrange things and completing it will give you a sense of accomplishment. Never! I tell you, never organize work stuff though. Separate work organization from your own personal organization at home.

8. Meditate

Meditation can be hard for beginners especially if you are so accustomed to a busy lifestyle. But it is a skill that anyone can learn. Meditation is actually only hard at the start, but once you get the hang of it, you will even look forward to it.

Here is a guided meditation I found in NYTimes which I think can be very useful for beginners and experts alike. Benefits of meditation include: stress relief, promotes emotional health, enhances self-awareness, lengthens attention span, and can even generate kindness.

9. Listen to Good Music

Relax with good music! You don’t necessarily have to meditate here. You just need to chill to the music. You can even groove to the music. If you must, dance with the music like there is no one in the room with you.

10. Wear Comfortable Clothes

This is actually the first thing that you need to do! You need to wear comfortable clothes. If you have been wearing heels from Monday through Friday. Saturdays should be “no heels day” for you!

Wear comfortable socks like SocksLane compression socks. Wear your pajamas the whole day if you must. Wear comfy cotton clothes. Walk in your bedroom slippers the entire day.


Yes! Relaxing is the best way to spend your day off. Maybe this weekend you can choose 2 or 3 from the list above. You can always mix it up. It’s no rocket science what you can do during your day off, but you need to do something else other than sleep so that you relax. Remember, the key here is to relax. There is no need to rush through the list above and telling yourself you have to do all these things during your weekend.

Just relax!

In no time, you will discover that there are more things to do to relax during your weekend! Enjoy dear!

Why Cotton Compression Socks are the Best Support Socks for Your Legs Every Day

There are compression socks available on Amazon at every price point but with the numberless offers available, how to judge their quality, their effectiveness or their comfort?

Very difficult indeed, but you can follow some simple guidelines to reduce the guesswork.

First in the list are the multipacks.

It is a race to the bottom, with more and more sellers offering more and more pairs for a low price. Here the choice is simple, just ask yourself: do I need compression socks or not? Because if you do, you should stay away from these cheap and flimsy synthetic socks that offer very little support if any. As my mother used to say: often you get what you pay for! And this is apparently the case.

Then you have the sporty, over-hyped compression socks

You recognize them because of the images that promise Ironman like performances at just about anything you do, be it a marathon or watching your favorite soap opera.

In this category, some of them are pretty good, especially if you can bear the flashy colors and big printed brands on a pair of nylon stockings. (I’d like to see my grandmother wearing a pair of those… 🙂

And then you have some great compression socks.

A few brands stand out if you know how to find them. They sell quality products that look good, are comfortable without all the hype. These socks usually contain a high percentage of quality cotton or wool, and their construction is different: more sturdy, knitted cuffs and just better finished.

For a good pair of compression socks made with a high percentage of natural fibers, the prices range in the region of $25.

Expensive! You may say, but are they really?

A pair of high-end compression socks will do what it is supposed to do, which is compress and support the tissues in your lower legs enhancing blood flow, reduce fatigue and lessen or prevent varicose veins.

And they will do so day in and day out for a pretty long time. Also, consider that with just 2 pairs you can take proper care of your legs every day for much longer than all the socks in 2 multipacks will ever do.

And the winner is…

Out of the thousands of brands available on Amazon.com, the one that offers by far the best value for money for a high-quality pair of Cotton Compression Socks is SocksLane.

Priced under $20 SocksLane’s products are seriously the best deal you can get when it comes to high-end compression socks.

These are top-rated cotton compression socks that are hypoallergenic, comfortable, effective and affordable. And they look good too!

The company over-delivers too in terms of customer support, extended product guarantees and a personal touch that only a small business can provide.

So, what makes SocksLane’s cotton compression socks stand out?

SocksLane’s products are designed to solve real problems and provide true value to the people using them.

Amanda and Dave, the company’s owners, have worked hard to create their compression socks that meet and exceed their customers’ expectations. The result is quality merchandise they’re proud to put their name behind.

Amanda and Dave lead a team of passionate people whose sole focus is to provide a superior product that lives up to their high standard.

The company is built on small business values such as integrity, customer care, and honesty. Their philosophy is simple, customer service and attention to detail are non-negotiable, and each customer is a member of their family—they deserve a fast, friendly, and helpful customer care and the whole team go out of their way to make sure their customers are happy.


If you don’t want to waste any more money on compression socks and products that don’t work, then we warmly invite you to check out their Cotton Compression Socks here.

Still not convinced? Read the reviews on Amazon.com here and judge for yourself, they are all from real people just like you.

Should You Really Take 10,000 Steps Daily?

Let’s get Physical! Physical!

Getting and staying fit has really taken off! It has become more popular in the last several years. We’ve come to really embrace the fitness lifestyle, turning it into less of the standalone lifestyle that it was in the 80s and more of a part of every other lifestyle.

We’ve started looking more closely into what we eat, more intelligently deciding on what to incorporate into our routines, and even wearing specialized watches that keep track of our biometrics and our movements. That last development coincided with the widespread belief that we have to take 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy.

TRIVIA: Manpo-Kei
Not many know this, but the whole 10,000 steps idea came from the practice of using Japanese pedometers in the 1960s. The term “manpo-kei” means “10,000 steps meter”.

This is a neat little trivia bit because otherwise, it’s often a source of confusion where the nice round (and pretty steep) number of 10,000 comes from. Of course, over time, the number has become a solid goal backed up by up by research, which has shown that if partnered up with healthy lifestyle choices it can help reduce the likelihood of various chronic illnesses, including metabolic syndromes, heart disease, and diabetes.

All this sounds like a great deal in exchange for essentially walking a lot. But does it need to be a solid 10k?

Give Up Now? No Way!

We might feel a bit guilty about not meeting that target, and some have even been known to give up if they can’t make that particular number — some even before trying it, already thinking their little attempts won’t make a difference.

The good news is that while the numbers we need to do before we see results are still significant, they’re far from impossible to do. (If you think about it, you actually go through a heck of a lot of steps a day, and 10,000 is probably not very far away from what you’re currently doing).

So all these second-guessing moments where we talk ourselves out of giving it a shot don’t need to be how we end up at all!

The even better news is that 10,000 isn’t a hard and fast number, although it is a perfect one. The American Center for Disease and Control doesn’t outright specify 10,000 as the magic number, but it does note that 150 minutes of activity a week (that comes to about 30 minutes a day) is quite helpful.

As per research, adults trying to meet that target have been known to reach a count of 7,500 steps a day, which is already a great start. Some even hold that you CAN do 10,000 steps without leaving the house! Check this video out!

As such, 10,000 could already be seen as an even higher level of activity rather than a minimum. Going above and beyond that range brings in even more benefits: a recent study in Scotland notes that postal workers walking 15,000 steps a day were shown to have much fewer heart disease risk factors.

Not a bad deal. In any event, the main thing is to get moving.

First, get yourself a pedometer.

It doesn’t have to be a fancy watch, as old-school pedometers do a perfectly good job at keeping track of your steps. The important thing is to have a counter, as beyond the actual task of counting the steps the pedometer will help you stay interested in the movement.

When you can actually see what you’ve already accomplished and got a feel for how close to the goal that is, it’s a valuable mind-conditioning thing. Motivation is an easy thing to get going.

Do simple things to build up those steps.

Going to work, the grocery store or the mall? Park at the end of the lot and walk the rest of the way. That’s additional steps going there, and additional steps going back. Merely taking the scenic route is also sure to add steps by definition. Then while actually at work, take a short break — 5 to 10 minutes won’t go amiss — every hour to break up your sedentary block of time and give your body some physical activity to break that inertia. These steps will already add a reasonable degree of physical activity to your previous tally.

Build up the steps incrementally.

You don’t have to hit 10,000 right off the bat. First, getting the pedometer will give you an idea of how close or far you are to that goal (or the more manageable 7,500). Once you have a concrete idea of where you are, you can then make the necessary tweaks. The whole idea of the steps is to set a goal to get you moving.

You can start by getting yourself into the 3,000 to 4,000 step range, which is already notable in terms of increase for someone living a sedentary lifestyle. You can increase from there. 


Take it slow and pace yourself.

You don’t want to injure yourself by shooting for too much too soon. Physician Michael Roizen puts it best when he says “the goal is to do four more steps today than you did yesterday.” This is an excellent way to ground the idea of increased physical activity, keeping it realistic and reasonable enough to help avoid overtaxing yourself and putting yourself in harm’s way.

#10000stepsdaily #lifegoals


Top 3 Recipes That Can Relieve Leg Pain

Coming back from pain can be a pretty heavy experience. If it’s leg pain, all the more so. Imagine how much work our legs do in a day, and you can see right away how recovering from a leg injury or even old-fashioned day-to-day wear and tear is a tough task.

Our legs lift our body weight up and sustain it whenever we walk, crouch, climb stairs, get out of bed… we don’t even have to run or jump for the strain to be pretty considerable. Anything from cramps to strains to overuse injuries to inflammation can stop us on a dime, and even start getting worse from there.

Relief comes in many forms, not least the traditional RICE cure.

R for Rest involves, well, resting the affected joint or muscle by taking your weight off it and not having it do much, if any, work.

I for Ice leverages the contraction-causing, pain-dulling power of cold; strapping some cold packs onto the affected joint or muscle can help reduce inflammation and soothe the pain.

C for Compression is best done with some wraps or compression socks or stockings and can have a noticeable pain-relieving, circulation-improving effect over time. Finally,

E for Elevation involves keeping the affected part raised, putting gravity to work for you in helping the circulation speed up healing.

Beyond RICE, though, there are lifestyle changes that can be made to improve your odds of getting back on your literal feet after leg cramps or other leg pain. Just making some smart eating choices can have a profound effect on how quickly your body knits itself back together and easing the leg cramps or leg pain into being a thing of the past.


One reason cramps happen is a low level of potassium, and increasing our potassium levels can be done with this complex-carbohydrate-rich root crop. Just slice some sweet potatoes into round slices, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper — or add some cayenne powder if you want to jazz up that mellow flavor with some heat — and roast for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. These are generally good for a spicy side dish, or an afternoon snack — but sweet potatoes can also be quite filling.


Lentils, along with beans, provide excellent levels of potassium that can help fight cramps. Start by prepping 1 chopped onion, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 diced carrots, 2 sliced stalks of celery, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 can of crushed tomatoes, 8 cups water, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, 1/2 cup thinly-sliced spinach, and of course, 2 cups of dry lentils. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large soup pot, then add in the carrots, onions, and celery, stirring until the onion is just tender. At this point, the bay leaf, basil, oregano, and garlic may be mixed in and cooked for two minutes.

Afterward come the lentils, the water, and the tomatoes. This mix is the soup beginning to take shape. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and keep the soup simmering for an hour. Then add in the spinach, cooking until it wilts, and then the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and, if you want, some more vinegar. One cup of lentils gives you 15/5 of your RDA of potassium — this doubles that.


15% of your RDA of potassium can be had in just six ounces of wild salmon, and this dish packs enough for up to four people (or 60% of your RDA of potassium, if you want to make all this for yourself — you could have one serving for each meal, or one meal a day for four days).

For that matter, according to Mayo Clinic, salmon is an excellent protein, full of inflammation-fighting, cortisol-lowering omega-3 fatty acids as well. This dish infuses it with pure citrus and salt flavors that balance our the fishy taste, and some fragrant herby flavor that works well with salmon as well.

This easy recipe requires an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 minutes of cooking time (and 10 minutes or so to prep), and yields a good meal for four. The prep time mainly involves a bit of slicing (the lemon), chopping and crushing (the herbs), and — well, that’s it, unless you want to do the fish cutting and breakdown yourself. (You can get the separate fillets, or have a full serving of salmon cut up for you, at the fishmongers).

Start with 1 and a half pounds of wild salmon (or four fillets of six ounces each), a quarter cup of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary that has been crushed and chopped, and one lemon, sliced into rounds.

Lay the salmon flat on a sheet pan, and pour lemon juice over it. Sprinkle salt and rosemary over the fish, and then lay lemon slices down on top of the protein. Bake this for up to 20 minutes. If you’ve got a cooking thermometer with a probe, check for 135 degrees Fahrenheit in the interior of the meat.



Who says leg pain relief is not delicious. You can always be creative in finding remedies for your leg pain. Try one of the recipes above this week!



Being a new mom is a daunting idea to consider, but an exciting one as well. There’s a lot of adjusting that will need to be done, and a lot of things to learn, unlearn and relearn.

Becoming a mother is something different people get “good” at in different ways and at different paces, but even though we tell ourselves that (and other people tell us too), feeling pressure can be almost inevitable. So, we try to learn as much as we can in the lead-up to the big day, and even after that. After all, something as simple as knowing some good home remedies for various things is a very “mom” thing to have, and it’s incredibly helpful, too.

Here are some home remedies that a mom-to-be might find useful.

According to Consumer Health Digest, Anemia, happens when your body lacks of healthy RBC’s (red blood cells). Having a low red blood cells count is not a good thing, because it may compromise how well oxygen is carried through your body. Pregnancy anemia is, therefore, something that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible, given that you’re pumping blood for two.

Now, pregnancy anemia is difficult to avoid in the first place, about 50% of all women get anemia while pregnant. First of all,, the whole “you’re pumping blood for two” situation results in your body carrying up to 40% more fluid in your veins, with a lot of the blood rushing to bring nutrients to your little one. And anemia is even more likely to occur if your last pregnancy was fairly recent or if you’re carrying twins or more. Anemia usually manifests itself as excessive fatigue, shortness of breath, irregular or rapid heart rate, brain fog, and so on — be careful however, other conditions can cause many of the symptoms, so get a proper diagnosis.

Fighting anemia calls for getting some more iron, vitamin B12, and folate in the body. One way to do this is to up the protein intake, especially red meat. A single ounce of beef already contains 1.4mg of iron (an ounce of ground beef cuts that down to less than half), and liver is also known to be high in the vital mineral.

For vegetarians or women avoiding meat during pregnancy for any other reason, non-heme iron is present in vegetables such as beans, spinach, and lentils. However, non-heme iron is harder for the body to absorb. Molasses — used in gingerbread, and great for lattes — give up a lot of iron, potassium, and vitamin B6. Cut down on things like milk and most teas, because they inhibit iron absorption by half. Herbal remedies like a tea using nettle, dandelion, and alfalfa are also recommended.


Yup, these are usually part and parcel of any pregnancy. There are many reasons cramps even come up — from your body being low on potassium and calcium, putting on a lot of weight during the pregnancy, or happening to be carrying more than one baby.

Cramps can be prevented or lessened by maintaining a healthy diet that keeps a reasonable level of those essential nutrients — magnesium, calcium, vitamin C — to avoid running low. Magnesium is found in dates, sweet corn, figs, apples, and green vegetables, while calcium is, of course, prevalent in dairy, salmon, dried beans, and sunflower seeds. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons (and clementines) have lots of vitamin C, which can also be found in leafy greens and tomatoes. You’ll notice this is all meat-free, which is why vegetarian diets can reduce the frequency and severity of leg cramps.

Taking a warm bath before bed can also help unknot the muscles and help improve your circulation. Keep a hot water bottle, or hot pack ready in case cramps come later in the night. Massaging the affected areas with aromatherapy oil is also a popular choice.


Ah, one of the less glamorous parts of pregnancy. Nausea and vomiting that we call morning sickness come from a steep uptick in pregnancy hormones in the body and as many as 90% of pregnant women are affected. The hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin is responsible for morning sickness as it is mass produced by the body in the early weeks to ensure the baby’s nutrition. As your pregnancy evolves, morning sickness goes away because the placenta takes form and takes over. Merely waiting it out means you should stop suffering from it about 14-16 weeks in.

There is usually nothing to worry about it — just keep hydrated, and monitor your weight to make sure it isn’t dropping too much over time — you can also do something to keep nauseas from getting too severe. Try relaxation therapy and other complementary therapy. Some have reported success in using acupressure (a common relief move for nausea is pressing on a specific point in the wrist — about three fingers from the crease between your forearm and hand).

Also, try to modify your eating habits eating smaller portions often rather than large servings fewer times throughout the day. Your stomach will be more tolerant to everyday food like pasta, rice, and potatoes as your stomach sensitivity may be more easily tripped by the common triggers, like spicy, oily, fatty, and fried food duringpregnancy. Finally, keep well-hydrated, because if there’s one thing that’s undoubtedly lost in vomiting, it’s fluids. Water, lemon juice, and any liquids you can manage to take and keep down should be helpful.


10 Fitness Hacks That Will Make You Healthy

Did you know that you can hack everything now? Including your health! That’s right, including your health!

These days it’s all about staying fit and healthy, and that’s great. Where our parents and other elders (and, sure, ourselves in our younger years) were all about living life to the fullest in a particular way, these days we’ve come up with a better, more sustainable and more useful definition of that.

That definition includes making smart choices and taking better care of ourselves, from exercise to diet.

Of course, this change also comes at the strangest possible time, at a point when the world’s pace has skyrocketed and keeps us busier than ever before. We might know all about the importance of getting to the gym, but who has the time to carve out that much time out of their week?


Image result for life hackFortunately, this is also the era of the life-hack, when we’ve figured out how to identify and share meaningful but straightforward ways to improve our lives.

There are many ways to “hack” our lives to make time and room for fitness, with small moves and choices that can have a far-reaching impact. We’ve also come up with new ways to share them, via social media walls like Pinterest and YouTube

  1. Switch off or set to sleep your electronics, an hour before bed.

    Image result for turn off phoneRelax about it. It can be difficult to talk yourself into disengaging, especially if you think that reading your Twitter feed before bed can help put you to sleep. The fact is that it doesn’t– the artificial light generated by your screen triggers your brain, specifically the part of the brain that regulates sleep. Go old school and pick up a book or magazine (don’t watch TV either — same problem) to settle your mind without jarring your body clock.

2. Boil your day down to two points on an index card.

Tim Ferriss developed a simple method for decluttering your mind for the day ahead. While some of us may feel that the day ahead is overwhelming because of the number of things we need to accomplish, we can get a handle on things by listing the two most important things on an index card that we carry with us the whole day. This limits our to-do list (we’re not cutting things out, as we can cluster the other tasks around the two main ones) and keeps us from getting overwhelmed.

3. Meditate for five minutes before bed.


Image result for meditate in bedMuch easier to do when you give your electronics a rest before going to sleep, for sure. Drop the stigma against meditation and give it a shot — stress is one of the leading factors preventing people from getting to sleep at night, so it’s not so farfetched. Give yourself five minutes with no electronics, keeping very still, and focusing on your breathing. If this is the last five minutes before falling asleep, that’s good too.

4. Look up bodyweight circuits online, and stay fit at home.


Some people think that because they can’t afford a gym membership, fitness is out of their reach forever. Not true. You can find a challenging bodyweight circuit that will let you do good workouts at home — significant movements like squats, planks, leg lifts, and lunges are all within your reach, and all you need is yourself.

5. Stretch between episodes.


Image result for stretching while watchingYou’ll have times in your day when all you want to do is binge-watch, and it’s easier than ever to do that now. Rather than skip the commercials or skip ahead from S104 to S105, get up and walk around a bit, do a few crunches, or stretch. It all adds up, and it’s all automatically better than nothing. Don’t forget to wear your favorite cotton compression socks!

6. Drink a glass of water with every snack.


Not just every meal, every snack. We snack a lot during the day, admit it – Image result for water and snacksbut we don’t always keep hydrated alongside it. While we often know we need to drink water while we eat a proper meal, we often forego it when we have a quick bite – but this small change will make a huge difference.

7. Reward exercise with low-fat chocolate milk instead of a protein shake.


Image result for low fat chocolate milkNot only is this easier and cheaper, but it rewards your body with proteins and carbs that will help you refuel. The sugar should be just enough to perk you up after the workout, as the body will put those carbs to use refueling the worked-out muscles.

8. Finish workouts with stretching.


Rather than merely hitting the showers like we often do right off the bat, we can help ourselves recover from strenuous workouts by stretching for five minutes as a cooldown. Have only half an hour in the gym? Use the last 5 minutes to stretch rather than filling the whole time with working out. If you work out art homer, there are even fewer restrictions.

9. Make a list of the next day’s tasks.


Related imageAs part of clearing your mind before going to sleep, you can list the most critical tasks for the next day. (If you get overwhelmed, the index card trick above is your way out). This helps you feel in control of the things that need to get done, which can have incredible motivational benefits. It’ll also prevent you from using up a lot of time figuring out what to do and where to go while on the go.

10. Keep an eye out for other life hacks.


Keep an open mind and you might discover some other good life hacks, like quick recipes you can put together (like a good drink of Himalayan salt and lime juice in water to start the day, which balances your body pH and gives you energy), comfortable desk or couch exercises, or other small ways to improve your body functioning that do add up.

#keepyourselfhealthy #fitnesshacks