Tag Archives: lifestyle

7 Main features of Blog Compass

Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers
Google has come up with Blog Compass, an app for the bloggers. The App which can be downloaded on the iPhone and the Android has much more than analytics to offer.

One thing common with all bloggers is that they want to measure the reach of their activity on the blog.  They want to know how many views their blogs have received. And a sincere feedback of the content.

Blog Compass is a must-have App for the bloggers. The app has a number of features that range from providing the analytics of the published posts to giving suggestions on topics to write about.

Here are the 7 main features of the Blog Compass

Every feature of Blog Compass is equally essential for the bloggers. While planning the day ahead, the Blog Compass provides lots of inputs on improving the content of the blog.

Blog CompassHome

The Home Page of the App contains the highlights of the rest of the 6 pages on the App.

  • There is a graph illustrating the number of views on the website.
  • Mention of trending topics.
  • The number of latest comments.
  • Overviews of Google Analytics.
  • A suggestion of what to learn at the Learning Centre.
  • And the number of badges earned for the posts.

Activity

The Activity page includes the Visitors Overviews, Traffic Source, Search queries and Details of the top posts. You can check the above-mentioned information for a week, month, 3 months or a year.

Topics

An outstanding feature of Blog Compass is the topic suggestions to write about. Following are the categories of the topic:

  • Your Picks: Possibly these topics are based on the google search made by you.
  • Trending: These are the topics that are trending on the internet.
  • For you: Based on the topics that you have posted on your blog.

Badges

The highlights of Blog Compass is the Badges provided for reaching a certain milestone. There are badges like bronze and silver. You can view the badges collected so far.

You can share the badges on the Social Media. I shared one time and the response from the readers was as if received an Oscar.

The badges are given for Page View, Unique Visitors and number of posts written each month.

Posts

The posts can be viewed in different ways: post by date, post by last modified, post by the number of views and posts by title. Under each post, you can view the number of views so far and the number of comments.

Comments

You can view the number of pending and approved comments separately. You can also directly approve or remove the comment through the app.

Learning

A plethora of subjects is provided in the learning centre. Ranging fro SEO starter guideline to how to advertise on your blog. You can click on the subject you wish to get educated about. The learning centre is a help not just for the beginner but also for seasoned bloggers.

Overall Blog Compass is a must-have App for the blogger. Until now the bloggers could only get to know the number of views based on country and demography. Blog Compass provides an in-depth insight into the performance of the posts. And the badges provide lots of encouragement.

Blog Compass is just a few months old and currently available only in India. It is more compatible with Android.

Google is still improving on the App and in future blogger can expect more useful features.

OMG! My Unpaid Care Work created a dent in the GDP

‘My’ here refers to every woman in this world, without any differentiation of society, cast or creed. The common factor for every woman is that she has to manage cooking, washing, cleaning,  taking care of children and the elderly and numerous other activities that make a house a home. Such works are called Unpaid Care Work in economics.

It is not a new word. The necessity of including the Unpaid Care Work in the GDP calculation was suggested 80 years ago. That will be discussed later in this post.

According to a report by OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) “Neglecting Unpaid Care Work leads to incorrect inferences about levels and changes in individuals’ well-being and the value of time, which in turn limit policy effectiveness across a range of socio-economic areas, notably gender inequalities in employment and other empowerment areas.”

There was a report in the newspaper that the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) will conduct a survey in the household to know about the Unpaid Care Work done by the women. The reason being:

  • the gap being created in the GDP
  • the valuable service of the women that is lost to the society
  • the equality between man and woman.

Whether employed or unemployed, a woman, according to studies 75% of the household work is done by women. And in India 700 women do household and unpaid care and their work are unaccounted for in the GDP.

Unpaid Care Work

From time immemorial the work done by a woman at home is considered as a duty. A dutiful woman wakes up early in the morning, before everyone else, and takes care of the entire family.

A woman having a job does two jobs every day. She hardly gets a break on a Sunday.

                   Statistics of Unpaid Work

Country                   Women             Men          Gender Gap Index
                                         %                        %                         Rank
India                                 66                           12                            108
China                               44                            16                            100
USA                                  50                             31.5                           49
UK                                     56.7                         32                               15

Statistics of 2017

Everything was fine. Women considered the household duties as their commitment and worked to the bones to do her best for the family.  The outlook towards the household work, done by women changed when the UN did some GDP calculations. They discovered that there was the gap in the GDP of all the countries because the contribution of the women at home is overlooked. 13% of the world GDP was from the unaccounted Unpaid Care Work.

What do Celebrities say about their Unpaid Care Work?

There was a report that Serena Williams, who is also a mother, said she is finding it difficult to balance her profession and home. She says that managing the house and a profession is an art.

Exactly, she is right. Managing the home and the job is an art. Either you are a good homemaker or you are a good professional. As Indira Nooyi said once, ‘ Women cannot have it all’.

The first woman to voice the above sentiment, Anne-Marie Slaughter, later realized that ‘no one can have it all’. She gives her own example, where she is the main breadwinner. Her husband takes care (or more care) of the children. She refers to him as ‘lead parent’ and herself as ‘non-lead parent’.

Who sacrifices well paid, high-profile career?

Because of the scores of care and routine household works to be taken care of, many potential women employees give up their job or take up part-time jobs. Their non-participation is a loss to the  GDP.

One disturbing trend, nowadays in Indian metros,  is that well-educated women are giving up their jobs so as to take care of the family. A woman, in her early thirties, holding a prestigious position in a Bank, left the job to take care of the family. She is now doing some work from home.

                                           INDIA

(Time spent by both genders on paid and unpaid works in India)

                                      Women          Men

Unpaid Work               297                   31
Paid Work                     160                   360
(in minutes)

Why women leave their jobs

The reason why the well-educated women leave their job is that their salary is minuscule in comparison with that of their spouse.

Or maybe they have inherited a fortune. So they feel that their income hardly make any differce in the financial security of the family. So they choose to remain home as their service is required more at home than the society.

Unpaid Care Work

Another reason could be that the salary that is offered is not in tandem with the expense they have to manage. When a woman leaves for work she has to appoint a maid for washing dishes and cleaning the house. Arrange tuition for the children. Arrange a reliable driver to take them to the tuitions and extracurriculars.

All the expenses amount to between 10,000-15,000. If you appoint a cook and home nurse then the expenses with be much higher.

If the woman is going to earn around 20000  per month, she feels that ‘sitting at home’ is better. She can do all the above-mentioned work with more dedication and she can save the travelling time and expense.

What are the consequences of excluding household production from national accounts?

It leads to misestimating households’ material well-being and societies’ wealth. If included, Unpaid Care Work would constitute 40% of Swiss GDP (Schiess and SchönBühlmann,2004) and would be equivalent to 63% of Indian GDP (Budlender, 2008). ‘OEC’s report on Unpaid Care Work’

How we perceive the household work?

Generally, the household work done by women is perceived as a leisurely activity because the work is not time bound. On the contrary that is not the truth. Women have to plan, stick to a routine and work in a time schedule only then she can accomplish her duties.

Household work also involves a lot of stress. Household duty is serious business. If she skips one activity in a day the whole family is affected.

If we convert the household services into money, the UN says that it comes to 13 per cent of global GDP. Since we fail to oversee the household work as a paid job there are some serious flaws in the GDP of the countries.

UN says that if the government does not take care of the situation then the growth of the country will be affected.

How should the household work be perceived?

Firstly the quantum of household work done by women at home should be given a monetary value. Secondly, the Government should be able to provide care systems, so that the women can go out and work in their field of interest. Their contribution is equally important for the progress of the nation. Unpaid Care Work is an essential determiner in evaluating the social well-being of a Nation.

What is GDP?

80 years ago British economists Richard Stones and James Meade formulated a method to calculate national income. Now it is being used as the global stand to evaluate the economic growth of a country.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) gives an estimate of the financial products of the country. The GDP measures both the income and expenditure of the good and services.

The woman behind Unpaid Care Work in GDP

Phyllis Deane, an apprentice, hired by these eminent economists felt that the Unpaid household work also must be included in the GDP. She argued that a vast amount of productive activity done by women was not listed in the GDP.

She contended that the labour of cooking, taking care of elderly and children, collecting firewood, is traditionally considered as women’s work. After months of research in villages in Africa, Deane concluded that an all-inclusive GDP, that increased National income, can be formulated only if all producer, including rural women, are accounted.

Her recommendation was not considered in the GDP calculation in the past seven decades. Now that the present formula is under criticism, Deans suggestion of including Unpaid Care Work (mostly female work) in GDP in being considered.

According to studies the number of people requiring care, elderly, children, the disabled and the ill will increase by 2030. If someone cuts down of a few hours of work or even relinquish the paid job in order to do Unpaid Care Work that will create a huge, irreplaceable damage in financial security.

According to a BBC report “Unpaid carers save the UK economy almost £60bn a year, suggests a new analysis of official figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). About 8% of the UK population living in private households acted as informal carers last year, the Department of Work and Pensions figures show. The ONS calculates that it would cost £56.9bn to replace these unpaid carers with paid workers.”

According to ILO report ‘Care work and care jobs for the future of decent work’s “If investment in care service provision does not increase by at least 0.5 percentage points of global GDP by 2030 from the current 6.4 per cent of global GDP (as of 2015), deficits in coverage will increase and the working conditions of care workers will deteriorate.”

Women do more underpaid work

ILO report further says, “In 2018, 606 million working-age women said that they were not able to do so because of Unpaid Care Work. Only 41 million men said they were not in the labour force for the same reason.”

Inequalities lower in high-income countries

Source: World Bank (2014), World Development Indicators and OECD (2014), Gender, Institutions and Development Database. “Gender inequality in Unpaid Care Work is also related to the wealth of a country. Time use data reveals a negative correlation between income and levels of gender inequalities in Unpaid Care Work: the distribution of responsibilities is the most equal in high-income countries.”

8 Fitness Trends in the United Kingdom in 2018

While living in such a fast-paced world it can be really hard to be up to date with all new trends. New research is being done every day putting pressure on all of us to stay in the loop.

It is not so different in the fitness world. New training routines and methods are introduced every month. So today I’m going to talk about fitness trends in the UK in 2018 and hopefully give you a better idea of what might be suitable for you as an individual rather than a mass user.

Ballet Fitness

Ballet fitness is a unique fitness class to improve your grace, posture and fitness level. Classical ballet moves incorporated in challenging fitness routine. Which helps to connect your body and mind as well as challenge your physical ability. Ballet classes usually combine Ballet, Stretching and Pilates. Some classes can be very fast paced while others are slower. Also, some classes offer more technical ballet while others concentrate on fitness with just a few ballet elements.

I would highly recommend you to do very good research beforehand. Having a ballet fitness class in your routine once a week can really improve your flexibility and even confidence!

Small Group Training Studios

While for the past couple of years a big hit was low bugged big gyms, this year the new hit is small fitness studios for classes exclusive.

City centres, as well as suburbs, are full of small studios for classes. The range for these studios can be really wide. From cycling or circuit training to pilates, yoga, dancing or even meditation. The place usually comprises a very small space which can accommodate a max. of 20 people, creating a secure and exclusive place for training. They usually have a fixed timetable and quite a strict booking system. Prices can vary from £20 to £30 per session. As many studios are opening at the moment, every studio is trying to be as exclusive as possible, offering unique classes which are great for the user.

Hiit

Yes, HIIT training is still very big in the UK!

What is it?  High-intensity interval training is one of the most popular training styles to lose fat. HIIT trend started back in 2014 and now it is so popular that almost every gym offers a class.

HIIT class includes very fast pace followed by slow pace interval. These classes are very popular at lunchtimes as they usually last only for about 20-30 minutes. I usually incorporate HIIT Style in my workouts. And most of my clients find it the hardest part of the workout!

Fitness Trackers

It all started with £2 pedometers and progressed to £10000 diamond encrusted iWatches!

Wearable technology got extremely popular this year in the UK. Probably every other person has got one. It comes in different sizes, colours, shapes and technical profiles.

British people are obsessed with sharing their progress with friends as well as challenging each other. This is a great way to be fit and motivated. Some bands or watches will send you a reminder if you have been sitting for too long. I always recommend my clients to get one to stay on top of their fitness.

Races

While obesity alarm rises really high, the UK is trying to fight this really hard! This year, particularly, it has been really active regarding races. Charities, companies, schools, universities, associations and communities are pulling themselves together and organizing group events. From 3km walks to triathlons, we’ve been busy! Being a part of a running club or getting ready for a fitness event is now extremely popular. It’s so much easier to get motivated when you are in a group with others. People are encouraged to also involve their family and friends. Even sedentary people are trying to get involved.

Why not start with something along the lines of a 2k walk for your favourite charity? Doing things for a particular purpose really motivates people. Personally, I love this new trend.

Personal Training

As a personal trainer in the UK, I’ve learnt quite a few things throughout the last years. I can confidently say that fitness and exercising have become a really big trend in the recent years. With so much information available online people sort of became confused and started seeking professional help and advise.

Personal training is really big at the moment in the UK. You can hire a personal trainer to come to your home or any desired location including parks and squares. Some PTs do not train outdoors or do not travel – they have a base where they work from, like an exclusive personal training studio or a simple public gym.

Personal training is a luxury service and can be very pricey. Making sure that you have the right trainer is very important! My advice is that you do your research and go through a couple of consultations before signing up.

The 24h Gym

You might be wondering who would be going to the gym at night… You might actually be surprised!

The 24hour gym can get very busy during the night hours. Many night goers are students as well as shift workers. When for some people it seems like madness to train in the middle of the night, for others this is the only way they can fit in a workout within their busy schedules. You should be aware that most 24h gyms are unsupervised during the night and for security reasons changing rooms might be locked.

Unfortunately, there are no classes available during the night and I’m not sure if there are any PTs who would be willing to work at night. You might want to make sure that you have a workout plan in place. You can easily find a 24h gym near you. They are very popular in suburban areas within cities.

Online Training

 The growing popularity of social media has had a huge impact regarding online training and its development. A lot of personal trainers and coaches are calling themselves ‘influencers’ and ‘online couches’. Online personal training is very ‘price-efficient’ but it comes with its cons too.

Usually, online personal training means that the trainer is sending you a monthly programme, which means no face-to-face training. Do you really have to rely on your own expertise for correct posture whilst performing exercises?

Some trainers offer nutrition supervision along with the exercises. Doing good research is highly recommended here. Not all online trainers actually hold a fitness qualification. Some of them have just been training for years themselves and therefore think that they can also train others.

Be very careful and make sure your online coach not only looks good but do actually know what they’re talking about. Ideally, they would have fitness qualifications, talk to them and ask them where do they get their knowledge from. You want to make sure you’re in the hands of a professional when it comes to training and your health.

Conclusion

So many fitness trends around might leave you feeling confused… You might want to know where to start, so I’ll give you very simple but helpful advice.

Experiment and find what works for you in terms of your body and mind. Some people might like classes because it feels like working as part of a team. Others prefer personal training because they’re working on a one-to-one basis. Endurance training or HIIT training can be a good mixture to start with if you like cardiovascular activities.

A lot of my clients now want to concentrate on the way they move as well as getting rid of pains and aches. If you can feel that your posture is not correct or you’re having chronic pain then it might be good to start with some mobility work.

Sometimes not being part of the trend is also a good thing. As long as you can find what suits you, you should not feel the need to follow something just because it is popular!

About Justina

 fitness trends in the UK in 2018Justina Triasovaite is a certified female personal trainer in London and also runs justinatraining.com, a site with useful information for those who are interested in general fitness and body transformation. A committed health and fitness fanatic, Justina is very passionate about helping people transform their lives. 

The content is the views of the author. Does not repesent the perspective of Lifestyletodaynews.com

Recollecting the visit to Kuala Lumpur in 2008

Recently, while planning for a tour abroad I recollected how tour itinerary was so different ten years ago. In those days travelling abroad was a luxury and we made sure to inform everyone (friends, and relatives) about our foreign trip before and after the travel.

After the tour, there used to be a souvenir of the place, proudly displayed in the showcase at home. When someone goes to Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia, they will buy a miniature replica of Petronas tower as a souvenir. The twin towers were the tallest buildings in the world until 2004.

A few of my friends travelled to Kuala Lumpur in 2008, via Singapore. I could not make the trip so they shared some pictures of their travel.
Unseen Malaysia | 41 Bucket-list-worthy Destinations

Unseen Malaysia | 41 Bucket-list-worthy Destinations. View the interactive version here

Today I opened the Malaysia tour file of 2008 and compared them with pictures available, on websites, of Malaysia today. The concept of travel has changed in the past 10 years.

In those days the purpose of the tours was to visit important tourist destinations in a country. There used to be a guide who took the tourist around to the important travel destinations in the city and the suburbs. While visiting a tourist destination the main activity was to take pictures posing in front of the famous buildings to show to friends and relatives back home.

Visiting the famous marketplace of the tourist destination is a must. Malaysia is famous for colourful silk shirts. When someone wears those silk shirts or skirts in their hometown people know that he visited Malaysia.

Those were before the selfie, camera-mobiles, and FaceBook days. And we used to share pictures via pen drives…… or floppy discs (I can’t recollect).

Today a lot of importance is given to food. Tourists want to know were to get exotic food, local food, street food and affordable food.

Tourists are interested in activities other than just visiting theme parks and enjoying rides. They like to paraglide, snorkel, and hike. And of course, take selfies of all the activities and upload on Social Media.

Here are a few pictures from Kuala Lumpur tour, of my friends in 2008. The place, Malaysia in general and Kuala Lumpur, in particular, was beautiful and attractive then and now.

Many new attractive ‘must visit’ destinations have come up in the past 10 years. Now the nature of tourism has evolved and involves a lot of activities other than time-bound sight-seeing.

The tourist destinations that my friends visited in Kuala Lumpur in 2010 are still popular tourist destinations. Check out the picture from my friends’ memoirs of 2008.

Petronas Towers

The iconic Petronas tower is the first thing to visit in Kuala Lumpur. Selfies in front of the towers in a must nowadays. Petronas was once the world’s tallest twin tower, until 2004.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Petronas Towers, Morning View
visit to Kuala Lumpur
Petronas Towers, night View

Tugu Negara

Tugu Negara is a National monument, in memory of the soldiers who laid down their life for the freedom of the country. There is a beautiful fountain in front of the monument.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Tugu Negara
visit to Kuala Lumpur
Beautiful fountain in front of Tugu Negara

Genting Highlands theme park

I was a bit confuses whether the pictures were of Theme park in Singapore or Malaysia. My friend confirmed that the pictures are of the Theme park in Genting Highlands. Theme parks provide a lot of entertainment. The hill station of Genting Highlands is known as the resort town. You can stay at the Genting Highlands hotels and enjoy the varied range of entertainments and activities in this popular tourist destination.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Genting Highland Theme Park

 

visit to Kuala Lumpur

Genting Highlands

Thean Hou Temple

The large temple is of the Chinese Sea Goddess Mazu. It is a popular tourist destination in Kuala Lumpur.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Thean Hou Temple

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

A historic building, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, was used as Offices during the British regime. Now the building is of Ministries of Tourism and Ministry of Communication and Multimedia.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Batu Caves

Batu Caves is an important Hindu Shrines outside India. There are a number of Caves and temples on the Hill. Lord Murugan is the main deity here.  My friends could not climb the 272 steps and visit the caves and temples. They took the picture of the huge Murugan Statue (140ft) from a long distance.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Sri Murugan’s Statue at Batu Caves

K L Lake Gardens

K L Lake Gardens is a splendorous group of gardens. There are different gardens like the rock garden, butterfly garden, deer park and so on. There seems to be no monkey park, but they are the star attraction of the garden. The carefree attitude of the Monkies makes them a tourist attraction and the favourites of shutterbugs.

Visit to Kuala Lumpur
K L Lake Gardens

visit to Kuala Lumpur

Walk through History

There are so many well preserved historic buildings and well-kept roads. You can take a stroll through the road for fresh air and enlightenment.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
A walk through Kuala Lumpur
visit to Kuala Lumpur
A walk through Kuala Lumpur

Overhead  view from Petronas Towers

To have an overhead view of Kuala Lumpur, you must go to the Sky bridge on the 41st floor of Petronas Tower. You can view and take pictures from the sky bridge.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
View of Kuala Lumpur from Petronas Skybridge
visit to Kuala Lumpur
View of Kuala Lumpur from Petronas Skybridge

Top 7 Grooming Products for Men

The morning routine of most men hasn’t evolved to this day beyond shaving and washing face with the closest bar of soap. Time has come when changes must be made! Why? There are many reasons. First of all, skin is your biggest organ and if you want to look nice you should pay more attention to it. Other than that, well ladies love guys that look and smell fresh.

I know that you are not one of those guys that will spend two hours in front of the mirror, neither am I. During past few months I was checking for some grooming products for men that are easy to use, don’t take much time to apply or wash. Of course, you will be thanking yourself one day for actually doing something for yourself before it is too late.

Cleanser with Charcoal

The key ingredient in this cream is charcoal that is known to be one of the best absorbing materials. It is like a magnet that captures dirt from pores. Once you wash your face with it, you will have that squeaky clean feeling. A small package of this product will last you for a long time if it foams really well.

Exfoliating Scrub

When your skin is full of dirt after a day out, workout outdoors or any other a bit more extreme situation you will need to pull cleanse properly. Exfoliating Scrub is amazing grooming product that will take care of anything. What is more important, it is great to use before shaving as it will clean dead cells from your face.

Shaving Cream

I have really sensitive skin so whenever I change my shaving cream I get a nasty rash. Anyway, a friend of mine was using a Shaving Cream and forced me to try it. Being a good friend, I just took it to prove that I’ll get a rash. First of all, to clear this up – no, there was no any kind of rash. Moreover, I was feeling amazing after shaving. The scent is so amazing that I had a feeling almost all day that I got my morning shave in some exclusive barber shop. This cream is not cheap but it is well worth every cent!

Post Shave Balm

For the past 5 years, I am using the same Post Shave Balm. It is a must for me. Its alcohol and fragrance-free balm with vitamin E and chamomile. As I said, I have a great difficulty keeping my skin rash free so I will recommend everyone to use it. In combination with my Shaving Cream, it works amazing.  You won’t need anything more than this.

Anti-Aging Serum

The anti-ageing serum is not a must for sure but when you decide to put a little effort to keep yourself clean and protected during the day. The cream that I use is clinically tested and proven to deliver anti-ageing results.

 Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel for Men

We all know that amazing “racoon” morning look with black circles and puffy bags under eyes. In order to fix this issue, Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel with cooling effect is interesting grooming product that you should consider. It comes with a roller ball that helps with applying it around the eyes.

Beard Oil – Conditioner and Softener

If you have a beard, you really need to consider using a product that will keep it nice, straight and fragrant. Moreover, it will clean those nasty skin flakes. I use a beard oil which is suitable for all skin types as it comes with vitamin A, Jojoba Oil, Sandalwood Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil. It comes in a pretty small bottle but you will need just 2-4 drops of bear oil to make your beard softer and shinier.

We don’t live in a cave anymore. If you want to feel good and look good you need to take care of yourself. Self-confidence is the biggest problem for every modern man. By using grooming product for men that I have listed, you will not lose belly fat or be prettier but you will be more appealing for sure. So, next time when you take your date to a dinner and rise your wine glass you will be confident that you look best you can.

Emil Sipos is Google Analytics Certified webmaster, SEO specialist, professional blogger, knowledge seeker and passionate traveller. His current focus is on lifestyle, personal improvement, wine glasses and other things that can make his life better and more interesting.

Meet Sophia Banks who styled Priyanka’s most googled 2016 Oscar Outfit

Priyanka Chopra’s Oscar outfit, styled by Sophia Banks, was the most Googled Oscar Dress of 2016. Choosing the right kind of dress and accessories takes months of preparation and hard work. Sophia Banks has worked with Celebrities like Amber Heard, Sharon Stone and John Travolta. Here is an interview with Sophia Banks, where she talks about her work with Priyanka Chopra; her professional life and her future projects:

Tell us something about yourself?

I moved to the USA, Launching a fashion boutique was the next step for me, it was called ‘Satine’ and quickly became award-winning Hollywood hotspot. Satine was written up in all the fashion magazines, shopped by celebrities  and because of its fashion forwardness, step me up as a ‘Trend Forecaster’ from which started my career as a fashion consultant. I began to consult to top fashion lines and design for them. One of my favourite projects was for fashion house Rodo where I was flown to Italy to design shows.

As well as styling I have been recently working as a director on fashion Commercials.

Which all celebrities have you worked with?

Of course Priyanka Chopra.

Amber Heard, Sharon Stone, John Travolta, Leighton Meister, Shay Mitchell, Erika Christensen and many more..

Sophia Banks the stylist of Priyanka Chopra
Checking out an Outfit with Priyanka Chopra
As a celebrity stylist, what are your responsibilities?

When I first start working with someone I create a style guide for them which we follow for them as a guide. I also create a trend book for them for the season.

Then I help shop and buy their entire wardrobe. I also search the world for the best dress for ever red carpet event so they make it in press all over the world.

For a lot of my clients, I do all the costume for films, TV and commercials as well.

It is my job to set a goal with them such as be a style icon or get most googled fashion dress of the year and then reach that goal.

How did you choose the famous Oscar dress of Priyanka Chopra that was the most googled outfit of 2016?

It was so amazing working with her, she is such a wonderful, kind, beautiful person who works so incredibly hard. We always had such fun choosing dresses.

For the Oscar look as it was a big deal we were very involved in the selection of the dress. We of course requested many gowns and flew to Montreal where Priyanka was filming to do a fitting with about 40 gowns in tow.

We then did the fitting and the white was a top option along with many others but it needs alterations.

What is your opinion about Priyanka Chopra?

I think she is an amazing, beautiful and incredible woman. She is also such a hard worker, she is always flying somewhere to shoot something between the USA and India. Her success is an example of what happens when you give everything it takes towards your goal.

I also love her attitude to life, she is super fun loving and easy going. We always had fun together.

Sophia Banks who Styled Priyanka Chopra
Sophia Banks in a television interview
Have you been to Priyanka Chopra’s home Country, India?

Yes I have, I am originally Australian, and so I have travelled to India and all over. It is one of my favourite countries, I love it there. It is a spiritual place for me, there is something special once you land.

Do you have future plans to work with in Bollywood or with Bollywood Celebrities?

Yes I am in talks with new clients right now and am excited to work with some amazing Bollywood talent. I am also working on my first script and am possibly looking at filming in India, so I think I have a lot of future there.

Boho Chic – A Popular Fashion Style This Summer

bohemian
A boho chic outfit

Many styles divas this summer season was spotted in boho chic outfits – a combination of traditional and trendy, organic, colourful, printed, detailed, and folk-inspired garments with modern garments.

The bohemian/gipsy fashion look prominent in the 60’s and 70’s revives from time to time. Boho means the style drawing influence from the culture of the gipsies or bohemians who were travelling people, and ‘chic’ means elegance. After spending time and effort to mix and match the garment with the accessories – hats, boots, bandannas, necklace, ear rings and belts, a boho chic style exudes the feeling that you look chic in spite of hardly sparing any effort to look elegant.

Boho chic evolves every time it becomes a fashion trend, blending the latest trends and ethnic look with the funky, exotic, hippy style. This season the boho chic outfit is a combination of the ethnic with the modern wear –  Palazzo Pants, Skirts, Dhotis worn in combination with Crochet Jackets, Blouse and Noodle Strap Tops.

Thea Porter the pioneer of boho chic style

TP 11

Boho chic style was introduced by Thea Porter in the 1960’s during the time of economic woes. She had Beatles, Pink Floyd, Elizabeth Taylor, Faye Dunaway and Barbara Streisand as her customers. Her loose, draped shapes and fabrics have since become part of the style of stars. Her designs were inspired by her upbringing in the Middle East – Jerusalem, Beirut and Damascus, that also reflected in her love for antique materials like French Voiles, Ottoman velvets, Swiss chiffons, Indian handprints, Islamic embroidery and brocades of Damascus.

Keith Moss and Sienna MillerCaptura-de-pantalla-2014-08-15-a-las-16.22.09

After thriving as the style of the celebrities in the 60’s and the 70’s,  the style was revived in 2005 by Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. They become synonymous with the boho chic look when they bohemian inspired on many public appearances.

How to achieve a boho chic style?boho

Boho Chic style reflects the personality  – a  nonconformist, and adventurous self, who wants to carve an individual identity. You can wear fluid clothes, long drapes or shirts with folk inspired motifs or colourful traditional prints. Team it with a boot and wear a lot of jewellery – large slouchy bags, sandals, beaded necklaces, drop earrings and colourful bangles. Keep the hair loose and wavy so that it appears like the hair has been undone. To get a complete boho chic like use a hat, a hairband, a scarf around the head or a turban.

Indian tradition inspired boho chic

Strand of Silk - Indian Wedding Blog - Bridal Designer Spotlight- Anita Dongre - Dhoti Gowns 1

In India, Boho Chic outfit is a popular trend with the celebrities and popularised among the consumers by boho chic brands like Global Desi by renowned designer entrepreneur Anita Dongre.  Her boho chic garments are popular among college students and office goers who find the mix and matching style blend with the Indian culture as well as suit the global culture of the corporate workplaces. Anita Dongre’s collection includes block prints, Indian motifs and designs on ethnic wears like palazzos, Patiala, Churidars, shorts and long skirts. The Kurtas with ethnic design go very well trousers and jeans.  An advocate of environment-friendly wears, she has brought a range of boho chic outfits using fluid fabric made from environment-friendly natural fibres.

Accessories an essential for the Boho look

accessories pThe boho chic look is complete only with the right kind of accessories – large slouchy bags in folk designs, sandals, colourful necklaces, drop earrings and bangles with the ethnic design.  The latest boho chic fashion is to keep the accessories, minimalist, whereby presenting the look of being boho chic while remaining rooted.

5 summer drink recipes to beat the heat

On scorching summer afternoons, you see parents giving chilled juice bottles to kids as soon as they alight from the School bus. Only few kids are lucky enough to get such minute parental attention as in most homes both parents are working. After School kids come home and serve the food themselves with the result most kids do not eat and drink on time. Drinking a lot of water in very important in the summer season, but due to tiredness and laziness kids will avoid drinking water.

Many kids suffer from stomachaches and they sometimes faint in the classrooms in summer. There is a general feeling of lethargy and sickness which may be the sign of not taking a lot of water to stay hydrated. A medical professional once told me to take a lot of seasonal fruits during the summer like watermelon, pomegranate and strawberry. Kids do not eat fruits unless given forcefully and parents do not have the time to persuade them. The healthiest and the easiest way to make the kids intake the fruits is to prepare juice and refrigerate them.  When the kids return from school the first thing they will do is to open the refrigerator and have some cool homemade, refreshing summer drinks.

It is not true that kids do not like homemade food.  Parents who cook regularly at home say their kids like homemade food. (Tip: understand your kids taste bud and cook accordingly.) The 5 summer drinks mentioned here are not as sweet and yummy as the packaged drinks, and you won’t find them on menu cards, but once the kids develop a taste for these drinks they will drink it without any compulsion.

The summer drinks mentioned here are for people of all age groups and you can easily prepare them using ingredients that are regularly used at homes. Unlike the aerated, sugary, soda drinks, that just quenches the thirst these healthy summer drinks option also provide necessary vitamins to resist heat and diseases.

Healthy summer drink recipes, easy to prepare and refrigerate. Kids rehydrating drink after school - Juices of Aam Panna, Bael phal , Nellikai arishtam...
Aam Panna – Raw mango juice, a refreshing summer drink

Raw Mango Juice (Aam Panna)

As a child, the only time I loved having aam panna was while travelling by train during summer vacations. My Mother carries the aam panna pulp in a small container and sugar in another. We, siblings, make friend with other kids while travelling together for two days. Mother prepares the juice and serves to all the kids. Aam panna in those moments were rejuvenating, soothing and enjoyable like never before.

Ingredients

Raw Mango – 1 Medium Size

Sugar/jaggery- As required

Cumin Seed – 1/4 tsp

Water – 2 cup

Method of preparation

Steam the mango in a pressure cooker/ steamer. Remove the peel on cooling and extract the pulp. Add the cumin seeds, sugar and two cups of water. Stir well. Pass the concoction through a strainer to remove the pulp. You will get a translucent juice.

Health Benefits

Resists heat; provides Vitamin C and anti-oxidants; prevents Dehydration, diarrhoea, Indigestion and Constipation; an effective solution for Diabetes; checks Anemia and Improves digestion.

Healthy summer drink recipes, easy to prepare and refrigerate. Kids rehydrating drink after school - Juices of Aam Panna, Bael phal , Nellikai arishtam...
Gooseberry extract (Nellikai Arishtam) – a summer drink to resist heat stroke

Gooseberry Extract (Nellikai Aristam)

Gooseberry has many medicinal properties hence the extract is known as aristam (medicinal wine). Gooseberry is prepared with jaggery so as to keep the percentage of alcohol low. Mother used to prepare Gooseberry liquor at home which is similar to the process of wine making except that yeast and sugar is not used. Gooseberry extract is the best resistance against heat and resists many diseases. In Ayurveda gooseberry is an essential ingredient for hair products due to its cooling effect.

Ingredients

Gooseberry – 1 Kg
Jaggery – 1 Kg
Cloves and Cardamom – Powdered

Method of preparation

Select fresh gooseberries, wash and dry them. Make small holes on the gooseberries with a fork. In a porcelain jar, place one layer of gooseberries followed by a layer of powdered jaggery. Finally, add the cinnamon and clove on top. Close the lid tightly, cover the lid with a cloth and keep it undisturbed for 2 months.  By now the Juice is extracted. Squeeze and strain the juice and store it for more than a year in a cool, dry place. For kids, a spoon full of gooseberry extract diluted with water is highly refreshing for the whole body.

Health benefits

Gooseberry extract is rejuvenating and it is used as a remedy for jaundice, dyspepsia and cough.

Healthy summer drink recipes, easy to prepare and refrigerate. Kids rehydrating drink after school - Juices of Aam Panna, Bael phal , Nellikai arishtam...
Bael (Stonne Apple) Juice – A traditional Indian summer drink to beat the heat

 

Stone apple (Bael) Juice

There was a bael tree in front of the temple near my home. In those days Bael was common, large fruits hang on the tree like Christmas hangings. When the fruit falls, the hard shell breaks and the yellow pulpy fruit inside is visible. Some passerby will take the fruit and have it. I did not know the value of the fruit until coming to Delhi, where you have to buy the fruit and juice. In the villages in North India Bael (Stone apple) is a holy fruit and the fruit juice is considered as an excellent heat resistor.

Ingredients
Bael / Wood Apple – 2 medium size
Jaggery – 2 tbsp
Salt –  A pinch
Cumin Seed – 1 tsp
Water – 2 glasses

Method of preparation

Split the fruit using a pestle, and scoop the pulp. In a bowl, mash the pulp so as to soften the pulp and separate the seeds. Now add a glass of water and pass the juice through a strainer. If required add more water and press the pulp so that the juice is separated and only the fibre remains in the strainer. Add the rest of the ingredients – jaggery, salt and cumin seed to the juice. Blend it in a mixer and serve it.

 Health benefits

The ripe fruit keeps the body and mind cool, cures acidity also. It helps to improve the digestive system and controls diabetes.

Healthy summer drink recipes, easy to prepare and refrigerate. Kids rehydrating drink after school - Juices of Aam Panna, Bael phal , Nellikai arishtam...
Watermelon Crush – A summer drink which requires no water to be added

Watermelon Crush

Watermelon is sweet and watery so there is no need to add water. We can add some flavours to make the juice tastier and healthier.

Ingredients

Watermelon – 1 medium size

Sugar – 2 tbsp.

Mint leaf – 3 to 4 Nos.

Lemon juice – 2 tbsp.

Method of Preparation

Peel the watermelon and remove the seeds. Blend the chunks in a blender for a minute. Now add the sugar, mint leaf and lemon juice. Blend it again. Pour it directly into a serving glass and cover with a plastic sheet before refrigerating.

Health benefits

Watermelon consist of 90% water, hence the juice helps to stay hydrated and prevents heat stroke. The fibre in the fruit helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract. According to some studies, a glass of watermelon juice before an intense workout helps to reduce muscle soreness.

Healthy summer drink recipes, easy to prepare and refrigerate. Kids rehydrating drink after school - Juices of Aam Panna, Bael phal , Nellikai arishtam...
Lemon Juice – Easiest and most common healthy summer drink

Lemon Juice

When you want to have some chilled summer drink, the first option that comes to mind is the soda lemon juice. Many small juice sellers become famous due to the twist they provide in the lemon drink. In my hometown, a juice seller got customer queuing up because of his famous lemon juice with ginger extract. Multifarious tweaks can be added to the lemon juice, here is the simple recipe that I prepare almost every day:

Ingredients

Lemon: 1/4 Cup

Sugar: 1/2 Cup

Water: 1 Cup

Salt: 1/4 tsp

Method of preparation

Mix the Lemon juice with sugar, salt and water and keep it in the refrigerator. Lemon juice will remain fresh for two to three days.

Health Benefits

Lemon juice helps you to stay calm and cool. It helps to improve the immune system, cleans the stomach and purifies the blood. Lemon is also useful in treating arthritis, rheumatism, obesity, constipation and dental problems.


https://lifestyletodaynews.com/food/milk-powder-recipes/

Fasting: A powerful therapy in healing chronic diseases

On Good Friday a 38 year old, obese, friend decided to fast by skipping breakfast and lunch. She ended up for the next 5 days in Intensive Care Unit of a hospital suspecting cardiac arrest. She vouched never to fast again. This was a unique experience for me as usually after religious fasts – fasting, prayer and denial of certain food – people say they feel better physically, mentally and spiritually. So I began the research to ascertain whether fasting is good or bad for health.

I discovered that fasting is not just a religious custom but the most ancient and cheapest form of treating diseases. Fasting Therapy is widely being accepted to drastically improve chronic and debilitating illness like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and diabetes. “Fasting is a simple, elegant therapy that has amazing medical benefits. It effectively treated high blood pressure, overcame Type II diabetes, consistently produced dramatic improvements in autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, and provided effective relief for asthma attacks and migraine headaches.” says Michael Klaper, M.D. a gifted clinician, internationally recognized teacher, and sought-after speaker on diet and health.

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The cause of most of the diseases is the accumulation of excess and poisonous substance in the body. People, especially in the cities follow a sedentary lifestyle and consume excess food resulting in overburdening the digestive system. By staying away from food for a few days the elimination system in the body removes the poisonous substances accumulated inside. Read this post to find out knee replacement can be avoided by ayurveda.

Fasting sounds like an easy home remedy, because most people skip breakfast as part of dieting. Fasting however should be taken only for a certain duration of time, under professional guidance. Fasting for a prolonged period can be dangerous, so before fasting you must know the benefits and procedure of fasting. And also you must know when to fast, how to break the fast and when not to.

Only a well-experienced doctor, who uses fasting therapy as a treatment, can provide answer to the queries. So I had an interview with Dr. Matthew Brennecke, MS, ND, a board certified naturopathic doctor, in Colorado, who prefers fasting therapy  to pharmaceutical medication for his patients. Here is the interview with the doctor :

Only a well-experienced doctor, who uses fasting therapy as a treatment, can provide answer to the queries. So I had an interview with Dr. Matthew Brennecke, MS, ND, a board certified naturopathic doctor, in Colorado, who prefers fasting therapy  to pharmaceutical medication for his patients. Here is the interview with the doctor :

What are the benefits of fasting?

There are a lot of benefits to fasting. It gives the vital organs complete rest.  It stops the intake of foods that decompose in the intestines and poison the body.  It empties the digestive tract and disposes of putrefactive bacteria. It gives organs of elimination an opportunity to catch up with their work and further promote elimination. It re-establishes normal physiological chemistry and normal secretions. It promotes the break down and absorption of exudates, deposits, effusions, diseased tissue, and abnormal growths. It permits the conservation of energy. It clears and strengthens the mind. It improves function throughout the body. It can restore a youthful condition of the cells and tissue, which rejuvenates the body.

Does it cure any disease?

But it doesn’t cure anything.    Curing is possible,but it takes work and you can start by exercising and putting the right foods in your mouth.

Does fasting mean abstaining from food for a certain time?

Not only is there quite a bit of confusion regarding fasting, but there are also many fasts to choose from.  Are you going to water fast, juice fast, do a master cleanse, etc.?  Which one is right for you?  This usually depends on the disease we may be using it for.  Oftentimes, we choose fasting as options to decrease symptoms experienced by the patient when it comsto IBS, arthritis, thrombophlebitis, or skin afflictions.  But, we have to be careful to avoid starvation, in which vital organs can be broken down for proteins, unmonitoredketosis, which results from the breakdown of fat, or electrolyte imbalances,which can cause a whole host of issues.   If we want an opportunity to cure any of our chronic disease, we needto start making the right choices when it comes to diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices.

What are the procedures to begin and break the fast? 

(I’m a little uncomfortable answering this procedure question because if it is printed, it might encourage people to start a fast on their own without consulting a doctor beforehand).  I can say that when breaking a fast, do it slowly.  It usually takes about 4 days to get back to eating normally.  Usually starts with vegetables, then adding in fruit, then small portions of regular meals, then can start eating normally on fourth day.  The longer you fast, the longer it takes to break the fast.  This is where the doctor needs to be on-board.  These 4 days of breaking the fast is some of the hardest and vital parts of the fast as it is slowly introducing food back in the system. The most important thing is to no overeat when the fast is over.
Can a person undergoing medication take a fast?
This depends on the medication.  Most medications will be fine to fast with, but there are instances where taking medication while fasting is very dangerous and could be deadly.  For instance, taking insulin for diabetes while fasting could result in hypoglycemia, which can cause dizziness, unconsciousness, or even death.  I have to emphasize that seeing a doctor before starting a fast is vitally important.
How much awareness do general public have about fasting therapy?
Not much awareness at all.  Most people don’t fast or even understand why someone would fast, but they also don’t realize the benefits that can be had from fasting. Fasting is an underutilized therapy that has the ability to help the patient feel better in the long run.  But, then again, fasting also puts stress on the body in not having easily accessible nutrients flowing through the gut at all times.
Do people come to you asking for fasting therapy or you recommend it?
Both.  Most of the time I recommend it because it has the ability to help the patient out.  But, I always do a physical exam, run blood labs, and take into account the patient’s general constitution before I make the suggestion.  If the patient is emaciated, I don’t recommend fasting.  If the patient has any extreme weakness or degeneration, I don’t recommend fasting.  If the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, I don’t recommend fasting.  If the patient is low count in basic blood labs, I don’t recommend fasting.  If the patient is elderly or pregnant or a child, I don’t recommend fasting.  If the patient has problems with their nervous system or heart disease or difficulty breathing, I don’t recommend fasting.
Can an obese person of 40 yr, who has never fasted, successfully undergo fasting therapy?
Yes, but as stated above, the proper blood labs and physical exam must be done beforehand to determine whether this person is a candidate for fasting therapy.  There are many instances where middle-aged obese people have great success in fasting and reap some incredible benefits.  They can lose a significant amount of weight within days of starting a fast.  But, it does take the patient’s dedication to endure the fast.  Fasting can be extremely difficult for people, especially the first few days.  You oftentimes feel like you’re starving, get dizzy, have low energy, get headaches, but those feeling do pass most of the time by the third day.
About the Doctor
Dr MathreDr. Matthew Brennecke, MS, ND is a board certified naturopathic doctor practicing at the Rocky Mountain Wellness Clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado.  He prefers using natural therapies to pharmaceutical medication when possible, so as to limit side effects to treatment and sees a variety of patients with a range of chronic conditions.  He can be reached at Twitter@RockyDocFOCO or on Rockymountaindoc@yahoo.com
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8 Home Remedies for Fever and Cold

home remedies for fever and cold

Every working parent lives with the nightmare of children falling sick. When the dreaded thing happens, parents, have to ensure that the fever doesn’t go high resulting in pneumonia, fit or other complications. Before consulting a doctor, there are many preventive measures that can be taken using ingredients in the kitchen to ensure that the cold and fever doesn’t escalate. Home remedies for fever and cold are risk-free and without side effects.

Children are prone to cold and fever mostly during climate changes or when they are exposed to a new climatic condition. Home remedies for fever and cold will keep them immune to viral attacks. Give them a balanced nutritional diet and let them play outside the closed air-conditioned accommodations at least for an hour every day.Whatever steps you take there will be an occasional attack of fever and cold; Parents have to keep aside some day-off for such emergencies. No escape from that!

Always keep handy a few easily available ingredients, that are useful for home remedies for fever and cold. Whereby you can start natural, no side effect, remedies as soon as you see the first indication of cold or fever. Even when there is no sign of fever give a spoon of honey and inhale vapour steam after playing in the water, having a lot of ice creams or when someone else having fever or cold,…….

Also Read:5 summer drink recipes to beat the heat

Products mentioned below are always available at home. As the products are all natural, you can administer preventive dosage even at the slightest doubt of fever or cold attack. Home remedies for fever and cold are natural products from the kitchen, so they produce no side effect when used as a precaution against the onset of fever and cough.

Tulsi (Holy Basil)

Take a few leaves of Tulsi, wash it thoroughly and press the leaves to extract the juice. Add a tablespoon full of honey to the Tulsi extract.

Shallots

Sometimes referred to as small onions, shallots extracts are an elixir for fever and cold. Peel off the skin, crush, and then extract the juice from the shallots. Give the shallot extract in combination with honey and Tulsi juice.

Pepper

Crushed pepper with honey gives immunity against a cough and cold.

Honey

In the winter season if you take a spoonful of honey every day you can prevent a cough and nasal blocks.

Inhaler

Whenever there is a stuffy nose or a cough, use an inhaler added with some inhalation medicine. Close the room and leave the inhaler switched on for some time (Make sure to maintain the water level in the inhaler).

Crystal Sugar

There is a variety of crystal sugars with medicinal value. Crystal sugar can have every day. Babies can be given the sugar either as a powder or mixed with water.

Liquid Diet

Children refuse to take food when they have cold or fever. It is said that consuming less food is a natural process of the body to fight the fever and cold; there is no need to forcefully give food. Always give water as the body should not be dehydrated.

Rest

The best remedy for fever is to take complete rest. Most children recover after getting one day of complete rest – No games, only sleeping and drinking a lot of water. Parents should take a day off to give the child complete care & Love.
In addition, also keep some medicines handy at home as a cough syrup, a paracetamol syrup, capsules for inhalation, ……..