Guest Post – 6 Winter Essentials You Should Carry With You

Have your lips started to get flaky and dry? Does your nose look pinker than usual? Do you feel like drinking coffee at the middle of the night and cuddling? Well, if the answer is yes to all of these questions then you must know that winter is here and it is about time you should buy a few items that you cannot do without during this ultimate dry season of the year.

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Following is the list of the 6 essentials that you must keep in your bag wherever you go in winters:

  1. Travel Size Moisturizer:

With winter, come ugly patches of dryness on body which leaves you looking like a zombie. You would not want to travel looking like that, now would you? Therefore, keeping a travel size bottle of moisturizer would help in keeping your skin hydrated and alive because using it only once before you leave home would not suffice.

  1. Chocolate Bars And Nuts:

The cravings for sugar in winters get heightened and the cold weather makes you want to munch every now and then. To keep you warm and to satiate your cravings, chocolate bars and a few dry fruits in your bag serve the purpose perfectly. Chocolate also helps to fight off the symptoms of cold that is easy to catch in winters. Who doesn’t want excuses to eat a chocolate or two after all!

  1. Pocket Perfume:

All our senses get magnified in winters, especially the sense of smell. Therefore, keeping a pocket perfume in your bag can leave you with a fresh and beautiful fragrance even after hours of traveling without any worries and those around you also like it.

  1. Hand Mittens:

Hands and feet are the most exposed parts of our body to the outer atmosphere and therefore, they stay the coldest. Instead of rubbing your hands and trying to produce heat, it is safer to keep a pair of knitted gloves or mittens. It is one of the most important things for your winter haul, especially if you’re traveling to a place where there is severe cold or snowfall.

  1. A Compact First Aid Kit:

Accidents in winters are increased due to snowfall and slippery roads. It is therefore important to keep a compact first aid kit with a few essential items in it that you might need in case of emergency. This will make your journey safer and you will be able to travel free from stress.

  1. Lip Cream:

Keeping a good quality lip cream with you is of great importance in winter. Whether it is pure, colourless and unscented balm or something more fancy and coloured gloss, availability of something to keep your lips hydrated is of high significance. Lips are the most sensitive part of the face and leaving them dry and flaky as they become in winters can be really embarrassing and a cause of discomfort. Therefore, while packing your bag, do not forget your favorite lip balm.
Author Bio:

This post was written by Beth Martel. She is a mother of two, a medical professional and a humanitarian. She blogs at HealthyRecharge.com

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New Year, New You – Try Something New in 2016

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 
My final post in January comes from Charlotte Corner, a lifestyle blogger at www.crunchcorner.co.uk who is sharing her ideas for trying something new in 2016. Let us know if you have tried something new in 2016 by sharing in the comments!

The start of any New Year is always far too chaotic: back to work, everyone’s feeling the need to set New Year resolutions (most of them often fade come March), and you have to pull yourself out of that cosy Christmas slumber where it was acceptable to have a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie every night.

One of my favourite things about the start of a new year is the fact you’re just motivated and willing to make an effort with everyone and everything. One promise I made to myself a few years back was to always try something new and be the happiest I can be. So if that’s something you’re wanting to promise yourself too, here’s my super easy five top tips anyone can stick to.

Venture out somewhere local – You might be surprised what lovely little spots you will find close to home. Here in Leeds, there are tonnes of things to do and places to see, but try and dig a little deeper and see what unusual activities may lurk below the surface. Some of my latest blog posts have featured nearby walks such as Ripley Castle Gardens which was absolutely stunning, with so much to take in; we also had the cutest of cats follow us around until the very end when tea and scones were calling my name!

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Surprise your friends – After all, they’re the ones that put up with you regardless how awful your mood may be, they will make you laugh when you’re feeling down, and listen to your rants about pretty pointless irritations and still take them seriously. Therefore my friends, just take them out, wine and dine them for no reason other than they’re bloody brilliant, and show your lovelies just how much they mean to you. Food is good for the soul and friendship; but what nourishes the soul more is knowing you’ve made someone else happy. Cheesy I know, but it’s so true!

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Redecorate a room – whether that’s a complete makeover, jazzing up your layout or treating yourself to some new accessories to glam up your décor; shifting a room around can be so refreshing. We’ve recently moved home and kitted our bedroom out in white, meaning our old pine pictures frames had to undergo a little makeover.

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Bring the outside in – Everyone needs a little nature in their home, whether it’s plants, pine cones, dried berries or herbs growing for your cooking. For me, this makes a house homely and checking in on the tiny seeds you planted which is now growing is so exciting. Lavender is also a scrumptious plant to pick, bundle together and place in a room- it smells divine.

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Practice yoga – As bizarre as it sounds, I have never attended a yoga class until last year. I was invited to a blogger session focused all around the Ashtanga and learnt fantastic positions to help find your inner peace, release tensions and just feel more relaxed as a whole. Whether you join a class, or check out some online tutorials, learn and practice yoga!

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New Year, New You – Focusing on myself one breath at a time in 2016

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 
So we’re approaching the end of January, and it’s gone so fast! With that, how are you getting on with your resolutions? I’m keeping on top of mine quite well, although healthy eating went out the window one morning when I decided to indulge in a packet of Mini Eggs for breakfast with the only valid reasoning of their limited supply on the supermarket shelves… 
Today Pouria is sharing his resolutions with us which I hope will provide some more inspiration on how to be more aware of our mind and social awareness in 2016! Let me know about your inspiration in the comments!
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Spending less time on social media and more on myself
I spend most of my day browsing Facebook status updates, posts, tweets and images. I follow friends, celebrities, influencers and every now and again random people on social media. I research them every day; I know them better than I know myself. That is not ok!
Fear of judgment and stigma prevented me from expressing myself and reaching out
I had a lot of ups and downs this year: personal, family and work. One pattern became obvious to me: I was scared of people judging me so I kept everything to myself. I never express things fully to my parents for obvious reasons! and I didn’t feel that close to my friends to share what was bothering me because they had judged me in the past. I opened up to my girl friend once and later on she used it against me! don’t see myself doing that again. 
In 2016, I would like to get closer to my friends and to also make new friends. I also like to share without the fear, even if they end up judging me. 

I now use Paralign to journal my thoughts, express myself, feel supported and support others.

I will meditate more

2015 I was pretty mindful but I could definitely be more. There were times where what happened on the outside, influenced my inner peace and clarity. I often dwelled on the past and things that were outside of my control made me anxious and sad. in 2016, I would like to learn more from this and let it happen less and less. in 2016, I will spend more time on my inner peace and harmony. I will try to listen more to my body and I will try to practice how to be more present. I will set aside 30 minute meditation time before going to bed and after waking up. Before going to bed to observe my day and assess what I learned. After waking up so I can start my day with a clear mind.
I tend to think just focusing on the breath can give us so much power; It is a simple phenomena yet it is so significant.
I will give back more
In 2015 I did a few volunteer work, donated money here and there and stood up for different causes. But I think I did that to mostly show off. I wasn’t authentic and I didn’t try hard to change some else’s life for the better.
In 2016, I would really like to dedicate good amount of my time to help others. Help high school students wanting to go to college. Helping lower income families make better decisions and helping unprivileged people live happier.
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Pouria has spent 8 years in health care, starting his career at UCSF and VA medical center helping advance predictions of Alzheimer’s, parkinson and epilepsy diseases through MRI and imaging technologies.  He built Paralign (http://paralign.me) based on his own journey and how he started to improve his life one thought at a time. He usually writes about powers of the mind and holistic approaches towards health.

New Year, New You – Make Money through Matched Betting

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 

For the purposes of this blog post I decided to try out one of the free trial beginner options. If I was being brutally honest, I didn’t get my hopes up and I expected my outgoings to be much more than my profit. I’m not keen on betting or gambling and have always avoided it as I can’t afford to get intro trouble with it! I ‘erm’d and ah’d’ over it for quite a while however felt that for the purposes of this blog post I wanted to give you my personal experience of Matched Betting and I could only do this by following through with the process. I tried the initial beginners option and to my utmost surprise it worked, meaning I got my money back and made just over £11 in profit too!

I personally, wouldn’t put everything into this being your full time job (although some have made it that so it is a possibility) If you’re looking to save for those new pair of shoes or a holiday, then it’s a great little money making opportunity. My main piece of advice is to make sure you read the instructions before doing anything and then follow them as you are completing the process. It may look tricky and a bit daunting at first but I assure you it does get easier and the more you read the instructions, the more it makes sense. This will also ensure you get the profit and you don’t make any losses! Also make sure you have the funds available to do it. You have to deposit money in to cover liability so always make sure you have those funds available and don’t get yourself into trouble because of it. I have shared one user experience sent to me from Chammy (Visit her blog by clicking here) who has had some amazing success below. Has Matched Betting been successful for you? Let me know your experiences in the comments!

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Chammy’s Experience:

When I first heard the term “Matched Betting” I did my best to avoid everything about it. I thought it wouldn’t interest me as I’d never placed a bet in my life and the closest I got to gambling was a few games of bingo when I was younger and a lottery ticket now and again. I didn’t have a clue about odds and what they actually meant or that you could bet on anything other than whether a football match would win/lose/draw. I was completely clueless and just the term “betting” was enough for me to assume that it wouldn’t be for me. Well, that was until I actually took the time to look into it and chat to others who were doing it – I then established that is wasn’t what I thought it would be and little did I know that it would make a huge difference to my life.

If you’ve never heard of matched betting or have and like me, made the assumption that you’d just be sat there hoping the horse you bet on placed so you actually won some money, then please take a few moments to actually read up about it. Matched betting isn’t gambling in the sense of placing a bet with the chance of losing the money you used. You place a bet with a bookmaker and then place another bet with what is called and exchange, this second bet is AGAINST the result of the first bet.

Eg.

Bet 1: Manchester Utd WIN

Bet 2 (aka the lay bet): Manchester Utd DON’T WIN

This means that the bets cancel each other out so you technically don’t win or lose. The profit is then made by the free sign up bet the bookies will offer you, so you repeat the process and end up with profit.

It is a LEGAL, RISK-FREE and TAX-FREE way of earning some serious cash and all you need is £60 to get you started, you won’t need more than that. If you can afford to have a larger starting pot then it would be to your advantage but you do not need to add any more of your own money once you start.

You take that £60 and head to a site called Profit Accumulator – this site is the place to be and offer a free trial so you can have a go before taking that leap. Profit Accumulator will hold your hand every step of the way with information, step-by-step guides, videos and a forum (Platinum) which covers everything you need to know. You will be given the first two offers to have a go at, again you are told and shown exactly what you need to do, and you will walk away with up to £45 in profit.

So you’ve had a go at the free trial, what now? You could take that £45 and run but I recommend you take £22.99 of that profit and invest it into your first monthly subscription to Profit Accumulator (or £150 annual if you fancy saving some money). The Platinum subscription opens up all the other beginner offers which will see you comfortably build your balance, after those offers comes the more advanced offers which will see bigger profits; all of this while still receiving information and training to help you along the way. But don’t the sign up offers dry up? While you will eventually run out of sign-up offers, Profit Accumulator will take all the hard work out of finding offers for you (known as reloads) which will ensure that you always have something to do – this is on top of personal emails and/or texts you will receive offering you bonuses and freebies.

Profit Accumulator ensures that you will get the most out of matched betting and the offers that are available, maximising your profit and minimising the amount of time you will have to spend placing the offers. If that doesn’t convince you then head over to The Money Shed where there is a dedicated forum thread to matched betting and you will see its members bringing in anything up to £2000 a month with an average of £500-£1000 being made, certainly nothing to ignore.

Even after 4 months doing this, I still don’t understand odds, I’ll never fully get my head around all the jargon and technical side of things but luckily I don’t have to – this way of earning is perfect for even the most novice of bet-makers, just like me, while giving plenty of challenging stuff for those who are more experienced; such as casino and slot offers (some come with a small risk but aren’t necessary to earn).

So far I’ve personally managed to book and pay for a holiday for this year (first one in over 5 years), Christmas was a breeze without having to dip into the household income and I already have plans to upgrade to a new car, redecorate the house and rip out the garden – all paid for by my matched betting funds. This way of earning has seriously changed my life for the better, I was looking at years of saving every extra penny to accomplish all of these plans – with the holiday being the last on the list. Now I’m looking at all the necessary plans being done this year so I can then concentrate on planning more of the fun stuff – next Christmas, another holiday, university fund for my son etc.

Don’t just take my word for it though, have a read through The Money Shed forum, give the free trial on Profit Accumulator a go or do some more research – just don’t ignore this fantastic opportunity, you might end up kicking yourself.

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New Year, New You – Essentials for Travelling Abroad

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 

Today is the turn of Cait from CaitsCozyCorner who will be sharing her essentials for travelling abroad! Such a useful post as I will be travelling myself in a couple of weeks time so have picked up on some handy tips for my trip!

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Hey everyone! I’m so happy to be a guest blogger here at Pretty & Petit!! Today I wanted to chat about 4 essentials you need when traveling abroad. I don’t consider myself an expert of course but I have been to Europe several times ( and planning another one this October for Munich and Germany ) so I wanted to share some tips that have helped me! Whether its your first time abroad or your hundredth, these will ease your worry and make the trip as smooth as possible.

1. Passport case. Believe me, with all the stuff you’re packing in your suitcase, you want something fun and durable for your passport. After all, it’s what helps you get from country to country. If you’re feeling fancy, Kate Spade or Coach has adorable prints to keep your passport safe but if you don’t feel like splurging, your local convenient store should have some!
2. Durable luggage. I’m a suitcase girl. For me, a suitcase abroad means something with 4 wheels that I can push and turn in all directions. Those cobblestones you’re attempting to push your luggage over can be a pain so why not make it easy on yourself and get a suitcase that’s easy to push and pull.
3. Packing in layers. The one thing that took so much time was what to wear! Layers was the answer and simple ones at that. Don’t worry about the latest fashion because you want to be comfortable. A few pairs of jeans, leggings, tank tops, sweaters and a cute purse is all you need! You can mix and match everything! Be creative!
4. A Camera. You don’t have to have a fancy camera to make the most your trip. Our phones are so handy and easy to use at a moment’s notice that you’ll want to capture everything. Make sure you do because you’re in Europe creating memories! Enjoy every single second of it!
Cait is a 20 something blogger who loves writing about fashion, fitness, her family, and traveling. Follow her and her adventures on CaitsCozyCorner !

New Year, New You – New Year, New Mindset!

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 

Today is the turn of Amy from Under the Surface who will be discussing New Year Resolutions, how to decide what they should be and how to have a happy and healthy 2016!

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I’m here to talk to everyone about New Year Resolutions. Resolutions are goals that people set themselves to complete in the course of a year and they are usually set on the 1st January. A lot of people set themselves relatively healthy and vague goals such as ‘this year I will be healthier’ or ‘this year I will get fit’. Those goals sound great and I want, with this post, to ensure that everyone is setting themselves achievable and healthy goals that will benefit your life in some way.

Firstly, when thinking about New Year Resolutions try to think of what is currently negatively impacting your life and set a goal to change that before adding in another aspect of your life. For example, if you are turning up late to work repeatedly or spending too much money then set yourself goals to fix those aspects of your life before incorporating healthy food and workouts as well  which are unlikely to help what is already negatively happening on a daily basis.

Please note that eating healthy, working out and all the other goals you may have set yourself are great and should be worked towards also. However, to feel the true benefits of a new year then focus on ridding yourself of the negative in your life and that alone will make you feel better. It may not be 100% where you want to be but it is a step in the right direction and after achieving these goals then you can incorporate eating less chocolate, going for more walks or anything else you may fancy.

The 1st of January has gone by so if you are setting yourself resolutions then it is likely you have done so by now. Take this time to look back on those resolutions and ensure they are achievable and that they truly will make you happy. If not, ask yourself what is truly making you unhappy and focus on changing that instead. You don’t have to set yourself a hundred goals or resolutions if you don’t want to. Just one achievable goal will have a tremendous impact.

Tweet me your goals at @Hadh0peAmyBlogs and let me know how your goals will change your life for the better!

Amy is an 18-year-old lifestyle blogger from Scotland, UK. She enjoys writing about various topics that she is passionate about including mental health. Other topics include book reviews, product reviews, personal posts and opinionated posts.

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You can read her blog over at: https://hadh0peamy.wordpress.com/ or give her a tweet @Hadh0peAmyBlogs

New Year, New You – How to Gain Instagram Followers That Stick Around!

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 

Today is the turn of the lovely Louisa Rogers, who has a vibrant and beautiful blog accompanied by a fabulous and equally stunning Instagram feed. She shares her tips on how to use Instagram, how to gain followers and most importantly how to keep them. Make sure you take a read of her blog by clicking here.

Contrary to popular belief, Instagram is not an easy business. Amongst the meme pages, the self-obsessed 12 year olds and the Russian spambots lie real people who are interested and passionate about your content. The only problem you have to get around, is finding them, and keeping them interested. I used to notice that my follower count was volatile and I would lose 5 people overnight for no apparent reason, now I only ever notice the odd person unfollowing and I can put that down to one thing only…

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My Instagram pre-overhaul… as you can see there was no over-riding aesthetic style, and the whole thing looked messy and a bit crap!

I used Instagram (@louisagrogers, if you’re curious) for a long time without taking any notice of aesthetics: I guess you could say that I used it for its’ intended purpose, as a real-time photo-sharing app with an emphasis on the social! However as I became more serious about my blog, I realised that if I was going to gain a decent number of followers on Instagram like my influences @Helibells and @LisaMcconniffe (amongst many others!) I was going to start making sacrifices.

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My Instagram pre-overhaul… Once you realise how important the cohesive feed of images is to followers, not just individual photos, it’s a lot easier to use Instagram more wisely and make your whole feed look awesome and appealing.

I stopped posting random, funny moments with friends and only posting from my camera roll. I started considering using the same filters for every post to keep things quite coherent (Ps. I use Clarendon, that’s mine now, no touching) and making sure any images I post fit my colourful, slightly vintage, slightly funny aesthetic.

I do make the odd exception for a hilarious meme because they are uber-shareable, people always tag there friends in them, thereby increasing your visibility and I think humour and fashion should be placed together more often!

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My Instagram post overhaul… My new approach is still as quirky and varies, but I make sure to use similar colours and filters throughout to keep things relevant. I can thank this change of attitude for all my new followers!

I now wholly understand why many bloggers have separate blog and personal Instagram profiles , as the ultra-curated content of influencers who have over 10,000 followers is often very glossy and impersonal, almost business-like, and I understand them wanting to retain Instagram for those fleeting, semi drunk moments with friends that we all used it for back in 2012.

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My Instagram post overhaul… I even feel happier looking at my feed when it’s nicely composed!

Curating your Instagram may be upsetting at first, and I still sometimes hate how disciplined I’ve become, especially when I upload a photo that I think will fit and it suddenly throws off the entire photo-feed with the wrong colours or composition, but it does pay off. I had about 300 followers on Instagram for the first year and a half that I used it. Since changing to a more carefully considered use of the app, and hashtagging mercilessly in my comments (yes, I’m that girl – but it works) I have garnered over 600. This number is by no means impressive or putting money in my bank account, but I think it does prove that anyone is capable of gaining followers and therefore exposure by making a very simple choice.

So what will you do? Do you want to keep Instagram as a platform as light-hearted and spontaneous as Snapchat? Or are you looking to boost awareness of your blog and personal brand by stepping up your #instagame? Let us know in the comments section below!