Five Ways to Update Your Look This Winter


For many, winter fashion is a big coat and whatever sweater is warmest in your closet. Parents especially don’t often get a chance to go out and invest time to finding the perfect new winter closet that helps them stay stylish, not to mention the fact that when you need to tackle both raising kids and work there is very little inclination to wear anything but your warmest, comfiest outfit.

It is time to change that.


You can easily be comfortable and enjoy a versatile closet throughout winter that will help you look timeless and effortlessly cool. All you need to do is follow these tips to make the magic happen:

Update the Fabric

Polyester, acrylic, and other cheap fabrics need to go. They can look cheap, they don’t stay in shape well after a few washes, and in the case with polyester or other plastic based fibres they ruin the environment. Tiny microfibres of plastic get washed down the drain and filtered right back into our water systems. We need to start choosing natural and innovative materials for both a better wardrobe and better environment.

The Power of Stylish Layers

The only viable way to stay warm and stylish in winter is to use the power of layers. An undershirt, under a dress shirt under a sweater under a blazer under a coat, will keep you warm. It will also add dimension and interest to your outfit, not to mention give you the ability to masterfully adjust your internal temperature throughout the day.

Get the Ultimate Winter Coat

Get the ultimate winter coat, and you will look incredible and finally stay warm for once. This means more than just thick materials. You need to choose a coat based on fabric type and construction. A wool coat can keep you warm, but if it is unstructured, it can feel just as cold as if you were wearing a springtime windbreaker. To ensure this quality of construction, you should turn towards online luxury retailers. There are many luxury companies out there that are well-priced, while still offering fabrics like Italian wool and UK-based production, such as the website www.gloverall.com.

Upgrade Your Shoes

If your shoes do not have a large enough wedge they need to be well made and waterproof. Otherwise your feet will get wet, which nobody wants.

Get Matching Stylish Winter Gear

Your hands, head, and neck need to be covered. If they aren’t you will feel the cold more acutely no matter how many layers you are wearing. Invest in a good scarf, hat, and gloves to stay stylish and keep that pesky cold away. If you want to minimise the bulk of your winter wardrobe, then try to choose thin, compact materials like cashmere. A cashmere scarf can be very thin and still provide plenty of warmth, for example.

The quality of the items you wear is critical. Better quality fabrics and designs can help you stay warm and look undeniably stylish with very little effort, so start investing in your wardrobe today.

Students How to Live Within Budget

When you are studying hard at college, there is typically only one thing that dampens the experience: money, or more precisely, the lack of it. When you go to college it may be the first time that you have had to be 100% responsible for your own finances, and so learning to budget it’s a vital life skill that you need to learn.

Course Costs

As well as tuition fees, there are often extra costs involved with studying that you may not have considered. Books, printing and field trips need to be paid for and are essential for you to be able to progress through the course; however, you do have alternative options.

You should be provided with a reading list, and so you can identify which books are critical, and which are available online or from the library. Some of the books will be on the reading list for several terms if not years, and older students may have copies that they want to sell. Rather than using the college facilities for printing, it can be more economical to buy an inexpensive printer with roommates and source cheap inkjet cartridges from Cartridge Shop and share the cost.

Food Costs

It is perfectly possible to eat nutritious and healthy food that does not cost a huge amount of money, despite popular belief. You need to eat a healthy and balanced diet in order to keep your mind and body performing at its peak. Junk foods are not only lacking in the vital nutrients that you need to thrive but are costly too.

  • Plan your meals

Planning your meals means that you can write a shopping list that you can strictly stick to and remain in budget. Impulse buys are typically high-value unhealthy choices.

  • Bulk cook

Whether you batch cook and freeze the extra portions, or share the costs with roommates, bulk cooking is more economical than cooking an individual portion as the cost per meal is less. If you have access to a freezer, use it! Not only will you save money, but you’ll always have access to a healthy meal when the cupboards are empty. Bolognese, stew, chilli and soups are great for bulk cooking and it means that you waste very little.

Social Costs

Other than education, college is a great opportunity to get out in the world and meet new people; however, the cost of gigs, drinking in bars, and going to parties can soon add up. You need to set yourself a budget for entertainment and leisure activities and stick to it.

Your friends may be having lunch in the cafeteria, but you can join them for a coffee. Saving money doesn’t have to be unsocial, it’s just about smarter spending. Look for alternative cheaper ways to catch up – meet up at a friend’s house, look for coupons, promotions and student discounts.

Your college years should be your best, but you don’t want the memory to be dampened by graduating with a mountain of avoidable debt. You are there to study and learn; to do so successfully you need to have the correct course materials, eat healthily and have downtime too, but not at the expense of excessive debt.

How To Make Your Household Broadband Family Proof

It’s a fact of modern life that your children probably already spend a large amount of time online. With the internet, every member of the household now has a device to browse the online, stream Netflix or play games. It’s also a fact of modern life that the headlines are full of reminders of the dangers of the internet – from cyberbullying and identity theft, to internet addiction and predators.

This can be worrying for parents, as they want to endeavour to keep their children safe online but can feel overwhelmed by the amount of web trends and apps that they are using. And for every fun game, app or social network that becomes popular, there can be negative impacts of the internet too.

How do you keep your family safe? We have some ideas that you should consider taking onboard to keep your family secure on the internet.

Secure your Wi-Fi network

Your broadband network allows your kids to access the internet from any room in your house. This can make it that little bit harder to keep an eye on them and see what they are up to. As well as this, if the network is not secure there is the danger of intruders either using your bandwidth or compromising your security and infecting your household computers with malware.

In order to combat this, you should know all about what speeds and bandwidth that your broadband provider gives you, so you can keep an eye on your usage and speeds. You should also ensure that your Wi-Fi is highly secure using a strong password on your router and enabling encryption to restrict access to it.

Teach your kids safe social networking etiquette

When your kids become old enough to use social media, it’s worth teaching them how to keep safe while using it. It goes without saying that you should be keeping an eye on their friend list, but there are other things to consider too. For instance, you should teach family members to restrict their personal information on the internet; never use their full names or addresses on their profiles.

You should also teach them not to talk about identifiable details on social media, such as holiday plans or weekend activities, and try avoiding checking-in to public places.

Ensure a safe gaming environment for your kids

You probably have a kid or two that likes gaming online. This can be a great hobby, but it also comes with its own dangers. Live online games allow people to interact with other people all over the world, and this can expose them to a variety of security dangers such as bullying and harassment.

To protect against this, ensure that your gamer children don’t reveal their identities while playing games, and you should always check out who they are playing with – if possible, you should make sure that they only play with friends and family members that they know in real life. Often, a lot of games and consoles offer parental controls, so you can restrict certain features, so always check if these options are available.

Securing your house

Even adding virus protections, parental controls and passwords to every device in the house, it can still be hard to secure the internet completely. You should have an open and trustful relationship with your children when it comes to the internet, so that if anything does happen that they can come and tell you of any issues. Being forewarned will help keep them safe while online.

If you’d like to educate your family a little more on broadband, including speeds and what they mean for your family, then Hoppy has created an informative video which you can watch below!

5 Characteristics You Need to Get Your Dream Job

From an early age, many people aspire to work in their dream job when they grow up. The current job market makes these visions more likely to become a reality, especially as there are new varieties of jobs emerging every day. Not only this, but more people than ever are starting to set up their own businesses, meaning the myth that you can’t do a job you love is quickly being banished. However, that isn’t to say it is plain sailing, as there will be bumps along the way to you settling in a job you have fallen for. Fortunately, there are some key characteristics that you need to get your dream job that are easy to master in your daily life.

Confidence

You may have an impressive skill set, but if you are not confident in yourself, it will be hard for employers to notice them. This is one of the biggest obstacles people face when applying for jobs, as confidence shows that you have the potential to bring new ideas to the table. If you want to effectively build your confidence and your self-esteem, there are some self-care tricks to follow that are easy to implement into your daily routine, such as starting the day right and repeating positive affirmations to yourself.

Resilience

As you go through life, you will find that you will come across many abrasive people and difficult work situations that test you. This is where having a thick skin can truly help you brush past such things with ease, rather than letting them affect your work ethic and enjoyment. As you work on your confidence, resilience will come in time, but you should always remember to keep your empathetic side as you get stronger, as this will make you a memorable and humble colleague.

Communication skills

Having the ability to work in a team is essential for most areas of business, as you need to collaborate with other employees and work towards your goals together. The best way to do this is by working on your communication skills, as this will help you and your colleagues thrive in a comfortable and productive working environment. However, it will also enable you to develop leadership skills needed if you want to work your way to the top.

Passion

When people are in a job they aren’t happy with, they can lack the passion for driving them to perform well and make money. It is something that people in their dream jobs don’t struggle with because it is what spurs them on in the workplace. It is also key when you are searching for a new, exciting job, as employers will be looking for people who are enthusiastic about their company and truly believe in what they are doing.

Proactiveness
In the job market, there are lots of people claiming to be passionate about a job, but who don’t take the time to show it. It goes hand in hand with the old idea that actions speak louder than words; employers are not looking for people to tell them how passionate they are, but to show them. Taking a proactive stance on your job increases your chances of success and ensure you stand out from the crowd when you deliver on results.

Three Simple Ways to Achieve A Healthier Lifestyle

Sometimes it takes only the smallest of changes to see a difference in achieving a healthier lifestyle. You don’t have to completely overhaul everything in your life to be able to achieve a more balanced and better lifestyle. If you set yourself one dedicated goal or thing to change then you’ll be more likely to achieve it. Trying to do too much at once might not be the best approach and you might find yourself giving up.

Find a healthy hobby

When it comes to trying out different fitness hobbies there is something for everyone. From simple and free things like taking up running, to joining a local club and taking part in team sports like rugby or football or joining some local gym classes. There’s something that can suit everyone’s lifestyle and budget. If running is something you fancy getting involved in, then all you need are a good pair of trainers and you can be good to go. If you’re starting from scratch, then using an app like couch to 5k could help! It’s great being able to see improvement and feel yourself being able to run faster and further as the weeks go by.

Kick the habit

If you’re a smoker then you know that kicking this habit can be difficult. However, there are things you can do to take steps towards quitting. Swapping out your daily cigarettes for an alternative such as e-cigarettes like these from Juul can help you start kicking the habit. Although you’re not giving up on nicotine completely, you are giving up the harmful toxins that come with cigarettes. You’d be amazed as how much better you might feel if you ditch the old habit and making a simple swap can really help. So, if you are looking to give up smoking, then alternatives might be the way forward for you.

The tech detoxes

We don’t always like to admit just how much time we do spend on our tech devices and whilst for most of us, it can be all part of the day job a lot of us also find ourselves spending a lot of time on them in the evening too. As the winter approaches and the evenings are darker, it’s likely you’ll be spending more time inside. Although the temptation might be to stick on some shows and spend the evening browsing online, why not set aside a couple of evenings a week to get together as a family and do something different. This could be playing board games, where tech is banished from the table, or cooking up some tasty treats together. Finding some ways to encourage your kids to get involved and not want to spend as much time on technology devices is a great way to help them have a break from it too.

Your Go-To Guide to a Family Trip to London

If you are planning a trip to London with all the family, you will not want to miss one iconic sight, famous landmark or interesting attraction during your visit. You will also need to learn how to navigate your way across the city effectively.

Ensure your visit to the English capital is memorable for all the right reasons by checking out the below go-to tips for a family trip to London.

Master the Tube

The Underground is the simplest way to move across the city during a visit, as the landmarks and attractions are rather spread out. For example, you might plan to have dinner at a restaurant in Whitechapel but have tickets to a play at the West End.

Black cabs can be expensive and taking the bus might not always be a reliable option, which is why you should familiarise yourself with the tube map before you visit. An Oyster card is the most affordable option for adults, while younger children can either travel for free or at a discount.

Book Tickets in Advance to a West End Show

Speaking of the West End, you shouldn’t visit the capital without booking tickets to a theatre show. However, it’s wise to book in advance to avoid disappointment, as tickets can sell out quickly. If you’re travelling with kids, you can treat them to one of the many children’s shows London.

Visit the Many Free Museums

Exploring London doesn’t need to be expensive, as there are many free museums to choose from, such as the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, which are both perfect for children.

For example, the Garden at the Science Museum is aimed for three to six-year-olds, as kids can have fun in the multisensory area that allows them to enjoy various sounds, reflections, shadows, and giant building blocks. Children will also love the incredible T. Rex at the Natural History Museum, while finding out how baby dinosaurs were born.

Grab a Cheap Bite to Eat at Covent Garden

Covent Garden never fails to disappoint as it regularly offers talented street performers in the piazza. It’s also the perfect place to grab a cheap bite to eat, as you can enjoy an affordable burger from the likes of Shake Shack, Byron, and Five Guys, to name just a few. There are also plenty of street food dishes to choose from for mum, dad and adventurous children, which start from as little as £3.70.

Take a Bus Tour

Save money on a trip to London by buying tickets for a bus tour for all the family. It will allow you to explore the capital at your leisure for one or more days, depending on the ticket option you choose.

It’s an affordable way to move across the city and visit the biggest and best landmarks it has to offer, such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Big Ben, Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament, plus more.

The Coolest Tech Gifts for Kids this Christmas

Ah, I’ve said it, haven’t I?

The C word. The word we’re all trying to avoid as long as possible.

However, it would seem the other C word (children) don’t seem to be adhering to this same we-shall-not-speak-of-this policy.

Therefore, this has left me with no choice but to start doing my research into what toys are must-haves this year.

So here’s what I’ve found in the tech-related genre:

Ricky the Trick Lovin’ Pup

Many of us get the “I want a puppy” speech at least three times a year. Thankfully, this Christmas, you can fulfil your child’s wish without any mess or walkies.

Meet Ricky.

He’s a robotic puppy but one that, I have to admit, looks pretty darn cute. And he has 100 different sound and motion combinations, so he’s capable of a fair few tricks and surprises. Plus, he even comes with a selection of treats.

Ricky is priced at around £110.

Nerf Laser Alpha

Nerf guns have been all the rage for a while, but this one goes one step further, allowing you (I mean, the kids) to embark on live-action laser quests. This nifty device registers each hit through sounds and lights and can even be connected to its own app which tracks performance, earns power-ups, locates opponents and allows you to customise each blaster.

Priced at £29.99 to £49.99

Lego Technics Bugatti Chiron

Now, if I’m honest, I think this is one of the toys many dads will encourage their kids to ask Santa for this year. This 1:8 scale model of the Bugatti Chiron is brought to us by Lego and promises hours upon hours of fun.

However, while in real life this car will set you back £2.5 million, the Lego equivalent’s not too cheap, either. It costs approximately £329.99.

Hoverboard

When you see one of these flying past you in the street, they do make you stop and stare.

Also known as balance boards, these clever gadgets allow you to change their direction and speed using just your feet. This means they do take some mastering but that’s all part of the fun. A hoverboard is also great for getting your kids out into the great outdoors.

Prices vary depending on the brand and how high-tech the hoverboard is but you can expect to pay around £200 to £500.

I-Top

While this may be the cheapest item on this list, that doesn’t make it any less fun.

In fact, this stocking filler will have you reliving your childhood while you’re watching the kids play with it.

This spinning top has been brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century because it not only spins round and round but also counts the number of revolutions. It even allows kids to go head to head to see who can get the most spins.

As you can see, there’s a wide variety of tech gadgets out there this year – many of which will keep you as entertained as the kids!

How to Shave Years off the Way You Look and Feel

Everybody reaches a certain point in life where they begin to feel an urge to shave as many years off as possible, both in the way they look and in the way they feel. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do this, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with acting on these desires.

To act on them, you have to be proactive and you have to resolve to put some work in — if you don’t, you’ll barely shave a day off. To see what needs to be done exactly to make yourself look and feel younger, take heed of the advice that follows.

Frames of youth

If your eyesight just isn’t what it used to be, then it might be time to get yourself a pair of glasses. Don’t see that as being necessarily a bad thing, because it can benefit you in regards to the way you look and feel.

For starters, having an eye test is the single best way to detect any underlying health problems that you may have, and it is one of the most proficient ways of examining the condition of your brain without going through a CAT scan. So, if you want to stop the onset of ageing plights before they take a hold of you, get yourself booked in for an eye test. As well as that, a trendy pair of Mister Spex men’s glasses has the potential to provide you with the frames of youth through the way they can camouflage creases and highlight the bone structure of your face.

Embrace a new diet

Shaving years off of your look isn’t just about directly changing things about yourself, it’s also about changing the way you live — more to the point, it’s about changing your diet.

Ketogenic diets — plans that consist of high fat, low carb eating — are proven to have an impact on any physique, no matter the age of he or she who embraces it, so that is certainly one that could benefit you if you embrace and then stick to it. A diet that could prove to be even more beneficial for you is veganism — studies have shown that such diets provide a healthy amount of fibre and antioxidants through their plant compounds, and that they are far richer in vitamins A, C and E than normal diets are, and this only ever has a positive impact on the skin.

If you or anybody you know suffers from arthritis, then you should know that going vegan helps to reduce the pain of that, too. The probiotic-rich, raw food diet found in most areas of veganism has been proven to improve common arthritis pain, like joint swelling and stiffness in the morning. This is because these types of vegan diets are what are known as anti-inflammatory diets, being made up mainly of foods rich in whole grain.

You have every right to shave years off of the way you look and feel if you want to, and don’t let society tell you otherwise!

Beneficial Birthday Presents

If you ever find yourself stuck when it comes to buying birthday presents, fear not because you’re not alone. Don’t be worried if you regularly find yourself struggling at it, either, because it’s a tough job at the best of times, and it’s made even harder when it’s a milestone celebration that you’re buying for or your particularly picky other half.

To combat the stress of buying birthday presents as well as to waste as little time, effort and money on doing so as possible, from now on, only ever buy gifts that are beneficial to the receiver. Some of the best and most generally useful gift ideas can be found below.

Driving lessons for non-drivers

The most beneficial birthday presents are those that actually benefit the receiver’s life through the things that they teach them, one such educational present being the gift of driving lessons. If you know somebody that hasn’t yet learned to drive, the reason for them not doing so, whether they admit it or not, may be because they haven’t pushed themselves to do it — you gifting them with their first few lessons will see them get the push they need to get over any hurdles that they have previously failed to navigate.

When it comes to choosing the perfect driving education package, you should choose one that offers intensive driving lessons for all learners as that will see your gift receiver get the support they need for the level that they are at, be them a complete novice or someone with a little bit of previous driving experience. When they are passed and on the roads, they can return the gift by giving you lifts!

Stuff for the kitchen

Most of the time, homeowners only ever tend to treat themselves to things that will boost the kerb appeal of their home or make the inside decor of it look nicer. This means, more often than not, the kitchen, quite sadly, gets ignored.

It’s time to stop ignoring the kitchen, seeing as though it is one of, if not the most, important rooms in your friend’s home, by gifting them with presents that can be practically used within it. Whether it’s an organiser to keep all of their knives and forks in place, a sturdy cheese board, an apron that will hide stains or even a bed for their kitchen sponge, if you feel that your friend’s kitchen needs some TLC in a particular area, then make sure you’re the one to provide it with it. Your friend might not be too enthused by the gift at first, but they’ll be more than thankful in the long run!

Money

You may feel like handing your friend money for their birthday is like admitting defeat, but this is just about as sensible and beneficial a present as there is. When you hand your friend a wad of cash in their birthday card, you give them free rein to get whatever it is they want, meaning they are likely to end up getting something that does, in fact, benefit their life. Is there anything more beneficial than that?

The next time you are tasked with getting a birthday present for somebody, make sure to try and find one that is as beneficial as possible.

3 Fun Ways to Keep Your Family Healthy

Having a family of your own is likely an experience like none you’ve had before. It’s a chance for you to pass on family traditions, create some of your own, and raise kids with values that you hold dear. One objective that many parents hope to achieve for their family is instilling healthy habits when it comes to food and fitness. It can be challenging considering the number of outside influences such as sweets and junk food, but it’s definitely possible. One of the most practical ways that you can achieve it is by making healthy living a lifestyle. On that note, you’re going to find three fun ways of keeping your family healthy below.

Set Fitness Goals

When attempting to keep your family healthy, one of the first places that you should start is in the area of goal setting. Look at your health presently and think about what you’d like to achieve in terms of healthy living. This could be having more energy, managing a condition better, or losing weight. In terms of the latter, there are several ways to lose weight which include trying shakes, creating a diet plan, clean eating, and exercise. This will more apply to you as parents than it will your kids but seeing as though you should lead by example when it comes to healthy living; it’s equally important. Overall, you should try and set goals that will help improve your health as a family and that are both realistic and attainable.

Have Family Fitness Days

When looking for fun ways to keep your family healthy, you should definitely think about having family fitness days. This could include physical activities such as riding your bikes around the neighbourhood on the weekend, having a dance competition at home for an hour or two, or watching a family-friendly work-out routine together. You can also try other fitness activities at home such as exercise games, yoga, store-cupboard fitness, as well as running. To make it inclusive and give everyone something to look forward to, try asking everyone what their favourite activities are and take turns doing them.

Create Meal Plans Together

Meal planning is another fun way to keep your family healthy as food is a significant aspect of your daily lives. Also, health has a lot to do with what you eat, so healthy eating is key. You should, therefore, think about meal planning as a family and finding healthy alternatives to some of your favourite foods. In case you need ideas for healthy food swaps, you can swap whole milk for semi-skimmed, white bread and rice for wholegrain varieties, unhealthy snacks with nutrient-filled ones, and swap the frying pan for the grill when cooking meat.

Healthy living can be less of a chore and more of an adventure if you take the right approach. This is why making it exciting, providing rewards and incentives, as well as setting goals, so you have something to look forward to is key. By doing these things, you could increase the likeliness of keeping your family healthy and having loads of fun in the process.