Yesterday I read a newly launched article (and challenge!) about getting and staying close to the one you love; 27 Expert tips to be closer to you spouse. The article taps into the knowledge of experts from the fields of psychology, relationships, counselling and health care, asking each professional to share advice on maintaining a long and happy relationship. With Valentine’s Day coming up next week, I was intrigued and decided to read on to find out what the pros had to say!The article shares lots of sound advice for good communication, building trust and managing arguments, all of which would prove very useful within a relationship. The experts are sharing tips on social media each day throughout February and have challenged readers to try out a tip each day to ensure a loved-up month. I like the idea of joining in with a month of challenges, especially when we’re all thinking about love this Valentine’s Day – wouldn’t it be lovely to take the romance with us into the year ahead? The article not only focuses on the psychological aspect of relationships, it also shares some fun ideas for activities and romantic things to do together too.Aside from the focus on couples, the tips were actually applicable for all kinds of communication, such as with friends, family and children. I was actually more interested in the tips that could be applied to different areas of life and they really made me think about the way I interact with others. Continue reading “Relationship tips for Valentine’s Day & beyond” »
Ok I know it’s cheesy to say it, and I hate it when anyone tells you to ‘Cheer up’, but a smile really can make the world of difference – not just in terms of looking nicer, but feeling better too. I’ve been reading up about the effects of a smile and here’s what I’ve learnt:
Smiling is good for your health: It may seem silly, but when you’re stressed out or anxious, all you have to do is smile and you will relax. When participants in a smile study were recovering from a stressful situation, those who smiled experienced a lower heart rate than the participants with a neutral or negative expression. Smiling can even help to fight illness by making your body produce more white blood cells and therefore strengthens your immune system.
Smiling makes you happy: You don’t have to work out to get a “runner’s high” from endorphins – simply smiling will release endorphins, and these extra positive chemicals in your body makes you feel happier. This sound great to me, because I’m super-lazy, so I’m going to make smiling my exercise! Just the action of smiling lift your spirits, and try smiling in a mirror – chances are you’ll end up laughing at yourself!
Smiling is contagious: Studies report that just seeing another person smile activates the area of your brain that controls your facial movement and often results in a reflected smile. So if someone is down and you want to cheer them up, give them a smile and they are likely to mimic the expression.
Smiling makes you attractive: The European Journal of Social Psychology discovered that smiling actually makes you appear more attractive as it projects positive personality traits such as being friendly, kind, empathetic and easy-going. No amount of expensive make-up can make up for a sour expression, so go back to basics and slap on a smile – that’s all you need to look prettier, and it’s free.
Smiling will get you friends: People are more willing to engage with those who are smiling and will seek out social interactions with smilers. Think about your friends vs the people who are not your friends – why is that the case? Chances are it’s because they don’t smile enough when they are around you – and who has time for miserable friends?!
So if a smile is that important, and you’re going to be flashing it at every opportunity, you want it to look good, right? I’ve therefore investigated some of the ways that you can jazz-up your smile easily and effectively.
1. Try a different colour. If you’re not someone who wear lipstick, give it a go! If you always stick to nude shades, try a funky coral or pretty pink. If you’re feeling bold – go for it! – wear red! Any colour or product that you wear on your lips will certainly draw attention to your smile and will make you look even more attractive when you flash it.
2. Keep your teeth sparkling. Clean, white teeth are important when showing them off with a big, beaming smile, so it’s a good idea to brush with an electric toothbrush (I do four minutes each time – 2 on the top teeth, 2 on the bottom) which gives more brush-strokes per minute than a manual tooth brush. There are lots of ‘whitening’ toothpaste out there or if you’re a massive fan of tea and coffee like me, you might want to consider a professional teeth whitening treatment from a dentist or reputable clinic such as MYA.
3. Use the right products. There are lots of lip glosses that promise to plump up your lips, which will improve your smile, and Avon do some good ranges of lip-treatments to smooth wrinkles around the mouth. But imagine if you could also get a lip gloss that helps to whiten your teeth – yes, it does exist! In fact, any lip colour with a bluish undertone will help to make teeth look more sparkling white, so choose your lip colour carefully and really look at how it makes your teeth look as well as your lips.
And that’s it! Now you have a beautiful smile that will cheer everyone up, improve your health and make you look prettier!
This time last week, my husband and I were celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary by taking a whole day off and doing absolutely nothing. It was fantastic. Hubby got me this lovely bouquet of roses and I got him a blender!
We celebrate quietly between the two of us, as no-one in our family has really ever taken much notice of wedding anniversaries and we’ve been quite happy to just have a day together. But this year our brother and his girlfriend surprised us with a card and these lovely home-made Viennese fingers and massive Pavlova – what a treat!
And everyone should be warned that we are now only 51 weeks away from our 10th wedding anniversary and we will be expecting to celebrate it in style! And I’ll be documenting it on my blog (yes, this is going to be like a second wedding!).
As the Royal wedding fast approaches, I’ve thought about all the other “normal” girls who have met their price charming and have married into royalty. I wanted to look at all the regal wedding dresses and perhaps get inspiration for a range of wedding tutus for Cassiefairy.co.uk.
The first is the classically beautiful Belle. Like Kate Middleton she is well educated, has perfect dark hair and has a kind, mild manner. Belle’s favourite novel was the story of a girl meeting her prince and falling in love, but she never imagined it would happen to her. She was woo’d by the beefy Gaston, but shook off his advances to move in with the Beast in order to save her father from a lifetime of imprisonment. Although the two didn’t see eye to eye at the beginning, the household staff encouraged Belle to spend more time with the prince, and she taught the Beast good manners and how to care. Soon the royal Beast realised that he could not live without Belle and set about trying to win her hand in marriage, but it was only when he was mortally wounded that Belle realised her true feelings for him and her love transformed him back into a handsome Prince. The fairytale was complete when this girl-next-door married her prince (in matching white and gold outfits) and was swept around the dancefloor to the classic love song Tale as Old as Time.
The second is a girl who she already had a royal title (her father was King Tritan) but wanted freedom, and to marry the man that she fell in love with at first sight. Once Ariel was outside of her seabed kingdom she became a “normal” human and could barely walk on her new legs. Although she could not speak, she managed to charm the handsome Prince Eric and won the approval of her father to marry her price. The ceremony took place aboard the Prince’s boat and Ariel wore a classic a-line dress with puff sleeves and sweetheart neckline while Eric, like Prince William is expected to, wore his military regalia. The sun shone as the sea priness finally became Part of your World for good.
This final royal romance turns the traditional fairytale story on its head with the Princess Jasmine choosing to marry a ‘street-rat’ Aladdin instead of the many royal suitors that her Sultan father has introduced her to. They first met when Jasmine was pretending to be a ‘normal’ girl and again later when Aladdin was pretending to be royalty. Despite all this confusion the pair fell in love and after Aladdin fought to save his princess and the kingdom, the Sultan declared that the Princess was free to marry whoever she chooses. On their wedding day, Jasmine is reported to have worn two outfits – the first was a long slim dress, with a high neckline and gold collar and cuffs. She wore flowers in her hair and walked down the aisle carrying calla lillies. The second outfit was the Princesses traditional costume of hareem pants and cropped top, but in a soft lilac with sheer veil over the top. Aladdin wore his royal Arabian while suit and wisked Jasmine off to their honeymoon on a magic flying carpet, to start a Whole New World with her.