6 Ways to manage stress

6 ways to manage stress
Don’t get bogged down with stress – find your own way of tackling it to take the weight off your shoulders.
Image source: Thinkstock.

We’ve all been in situations that we can find stressful, and which can impact on us afterwards. Some people may even find they work well under pressure, and feel that a little bit of stress is a good thing.

Though everything is good in small doses – too much stress can have an impact on your health, be it physical or mental. So to help you find your own way of helping to manage your stress levels, we’ve come up with a few ideas to get you started.

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Small-Scale Kitchen Design Ideas for a Spring-Ready Home

Small scale kitchen design ideas
Why not give some of these small scale kitchen design ideas a go to refresh the look of your space?
Image source: Thinkstock.

Kitchen design doesn’t have to mean a total overhaul of your living space, with weeks using only a microwave while a large-scale refit is installed. Utilising a few small-scale kitchen design ideas is a great way to refresh your home for the new season without having to make major, costly and uncomfortable adjustments to your daily life. Below, we’ve listed a few ways you can do this without breaking the bank.

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The Barking Dog Alarm and Other Clever Deterrents

Beware of the dog sign
Perhaps not quite the right thing…
Source: Popscreen

Protecting ourselves and our most valuable possessions is an important issue we should all consider. With that in mind, here are a few barking mad deterrents you might not have come across.

The Barking Dog Alarm
They bark yap and snarl and are a great deterrent for intruders, but not everyone wants a dog. Well with a motion sensor barking dog alarm you can have security, without the cost…or mess. Burglars (and the Postman) won’t know the difference.

Barking Dog Alarm
All the bark with no bite

Easy Pickings
Filling an old wallet with fake cards and scrap paper is a great way to fool thieves who break into your home. The same thing applies to broken laptops and phones, which you can ‘carelessly’ leave lying around the house. Fake loot can often save the real treasure.

Old brown wallet
‘Oh look a wallet I can steal…’
Source: Peter Bjorn and John

Dummy Security Camera
Security cameras are a great deterrent but can be expensive and complicated to install. A dummy camera on the other hand keeps thieves away at a fraction of the cost and bother. Smart.

Dummy Security Camera
Instant 1984 security

Lime in your Beer
It’s a scorcher of a day and you’re relaxing peacefully, until a pesky fly starts buzzing in your ear. Well don’t let it go for a swim in your cerveza, just pop in a lime, recline and sip at ease. Safe in the knowledge that there are only bubbles, not buzz, in your beer.

Sol with lime in top
Fend off those fiendish flies
Source:Horse and Country

The Clever Gecko
But how do you keep yourself safe from pesky flies and mosquitoes? Obvious solutions like mosquito repellents and long sleeves aren’t always enough. In Senggigi on the Indonesian island of Lombok, the locals get fake tattoos of geckos to fend off pesky insects.

Gecko tattoo
If tattoos could talk this would say yum yum
Source: Tattoo Stage

Too drastic? Well for a range of more conventional security gadgets like motion sensor solar entrance lights, dummy cameras and the ingenious barking dog alarm, visit the Clifford James website.

Deck chairs on the titanic and other sun-traps to avoid

deck chairs on Titanic
Choose your deck chair location carefully

A deck chair on the titanic may have seemed like a great place to lounge away the days, sipping cocktails as the great ocean liner ploughed across the Atlantic, but as it turned out, it was a total disaster.

Here’s some modern day destinations that appear to be nice sun-traps, but on closer inspection are the worst places in the world to unfold your deck chairs.

Mount Etna, Sicily

Deck chair death zone
Volcanoes might melt your deck chair

It may seem obvious but generally speaking, rolling out your towel on the side of a volcano would be considered a bad idea…except if you happen to be Sicilian. Mount Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and is in more or less constant activity.

The laid back locals have got so used to their island mountain’s fiery outbursts though, that they are content to sizzle in the sun at the beach while the fireworks continue unheeded. In 2000, Etna, started blowing smoke rings – but no one noticed…

Second Beach, South Africa

great white shark
Avoid shark infested waters when bathing

In the UK, a trip to the seaside brings a risk of frostbite rather than shark bite. For us, the thought of lying on a deckchair next to a shark pool, seems pretty, crazy. But to others from ‘hot countries’, being eaten alive by a razor toothed killing machine is just, ‘one of those things’.

If you get too hot and fancy a paddle – perhaps it’s best not to go to Second Beach in Port St Johns, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It’s the world’s most dangerous beach for fatal shark attacks. One every year since 2007 – think about it – every other beach in the world is safer. Paddle in the sea anyone?

Kamilo Beach, Hawaii

beach debris
Don't let your deck chair become beach debris

Most of us are pretty careful to make sure that we bag and bin our rubbish before we go home. Man as a species however, is a filthy animal and responsible for pollution on a global scale. Seen from a distance, Kamilo, ‘plastic’ Beach, Hawaii, looks like heaven.

From deckchair level, it’s a vision of hell. At one time the accumulation of debris was 10 feet deep and covered 90% of the beach. Heroic cleanup efforts by local conservationists have made inroads into the trash pile, but more keeps arriving, driven there by storms at sea from a vast ‘garbage eddy’ in the Pacific Ocean.

Copacabana Beach, Brazil

holiday theft
Copacabana - a dodgy place choice for deckchair lovers

Where? Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro. Once the centre of Brazil’s beach culture and the epitome of 1950’s chic, sadly this particular strip of sand has become a very dodgy choice for deckchair lovers. Since Barry Manilow enshrined the beach in song, vice, violence and crime have replaced the ‘music and passion’, so if you want to hang onto your wallet, maybe go somewhere else.

Having said that, the Brazilian authorities are making strides to restore the area to its former glory including spending £200,000 on deodorising a nearby sewage farm. So if you should find yourself sipping a pina colada at Copacabana and smell jasmine – it’s probably masking the stench of something else entirely.

Valdes Peninsula, Argentina

elephant seal
Avoid sunbathing next to three ton seals

The Valdes Peninsula, Argentina, is home to one of the world’s largest elephant seal colonies. These animals are gargantuan. A Southern bull can reach 16 feet in length and weighs in at a mighty three tonnes. During the mating season, alpha males fight it out over the ladies.

After bludgeoning each other with their teeth, and chests, the defeated seal drags itself off to fight another day and to the victor the spoils. Lounge on your deck chair next to the winner and you’ll get more than you bargained for!

How to get the perfect fit – the ultimate guide for shoe and slipper buyers

Get the perfect fit.


Buying perfectly fitting slippers and shoes is a bit of an art form, but one that’s well worth learning. Our feet are a much-used asset, and if you look after them properly you can save yourself a lifetime of pain and discomfort.

To help you find the perfect fit, we’ve come up with this buyers guide to shoe fitting.

1. The size of your feet changes as you get older, so always make sure you get measured before buying shoes. The best time to measure is at the end of the day, as your feet are largest then.

2. Don’t go by the size marked on the shoe – only use it as a guide. Always make sure that you try shoes on properly before wearing them out of the house, so that you can exchange them if they don’t fit.

3. As most people have one foot larger than the other, make sure you fit you shoes to your largest foot.

4. Select shoes that suit your foot shape. For example, a narrower foot may better suit a narrow heel or pointed toe. Wider larger feet my better suit a square or rounded toe.

5. Make sure there is enough space between your big toe and the end of the shoe. When you put pressure on you foot, or when you walk, your toe should not touch the end of your shoe.

6. Don’t buy shoes expecting them to stretch – always get a good fit from the start.

7. Where possible use breathable materials that don’t make your feet sweat as much. When your feet get hot they can start to sweat, which may mean that your shoes become uncomfortable.

5 ways to make money in your slippers

... in your slippers!

Wouldn’t it be lovely to stay at home, wrapped up in your dressing gown and men’s slippers, whilst your computer earns you some extra money?

Well, it’s completely possible – there are numerous cunning ways to earn a bit of extra cash in the run up to Christmas, without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home.

Tempted? Here are 5 tips to get you started.


1. Get eBaying… If you’ve got clutter lurking around your home that you no longer use, then eBay is the website for you.

If you’re not already signed up then set up an account – it only takes about 20 minutes and it’s dead simple to do.

Then photograph all of your unwanted items (to get the best results take good quality photographs from different aspects), write a short description and decide on your starting price.

If you are sure that you don’t want something to sell for below a certain price then you can add a reserve, or start the bidding at a higher cost.

However, if you really want to get results and you’re willing a risk then start the bidding at 99p – the lower the starting bid the more buyers seem to be interested.


2. Answer a few questions… Yes, you can get some great returns from filling in questionnaires online.

Some companies, such as www.surveys.com, provide you with vouchers to spend on all sorts of items for answering their surveys.

Some websites even pay you genuine, hard cash – for example www.yougov.com/uk/panel pay you 50p to £1 for every survey, and they send you a cheque for the money once you reach £50. Not bad, huh?


3. Reclaim your own money… Did you know that nearly £1 billion is lying in a dormant bank account from accounts that people have simply forgotten about?

Whether from an old National Savings account or a building society, many people simply lose their money in accounts they’ve forgotten they still have. To see if you’ve got money just waiting to be claimed visit www.mylostaccount.org.uk.


4. Share your knowledge… If you’ve got a a specialist skill or knowledge of a certain area (whether that’s economics or cooking) then you could become an online guide at http://beaguide.about.com/.

About.com can pay hundreds of pounds a month to their ‘guides’, in exchange for regular articles on your specialist subject.


5. Work whenever and wherever you want… If you’ve had experience as a PA, secretary, graphic designer, architect or any other profession that is computer based, then you could continue to use your talents from home.

Clever website Elance (www.elance.com) enables businesses to submit projects for home-workers to apply for, and home-workers can also pitch their skills to employers.

Both employers and workers are rated, so you know exactly what it is you’re getting, and you can accept or apply for work as and when you like.

The pay isn’t bad either (some dedicated workers have earned hundreds of thousands of pounds) and it’s a great way of using your years of experience to make you money, whenever it’s convenient to you.