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A Quick & Easy Christmas Gift Guide For The Whole Family

A Quick & Easy Christmas Gift Guide For The Whole Family

It’s already upon us! That time of year when the Christmas marketing machine revs up and we all start panicking over what to buy for our loved ones.

It seems that even though there are more and more options available, gift buying only ever seems to get harder. Whilst many now seem to wait until the infamous Black Friday weekend to do our Christmas shopping, it’s not always practical to leave things until the end of November; some people like to be organised weeks in advance and, as far as we’re concerned, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

For many, though, finding that perfect present for loved ones at Christmas can be nothing short of difficult and a fairly stressful task! Shopping and gift buying doesn’t come naturally to everyone, even those with the best intentions and it can be all too tempting to simply go for a repeat of what went down well last year (and the year before)!

But fear not, we’ve rounded up some of the best options out there for men, women and kids.

For Him

1. Mondaine Watch Evo – £159.00 from Wave

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    Because guys don’t wear as much jewellery as women do, their watches are a big part of their look.

    Mondaine watches are beautifully minimal and understated and are not only an elegant addition to his wardrobe, but a practical and legible timepiece.

    2. Facial Fuel Favourites – £56.00 from Kiehl’s

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      Men are increasingly looking after themselves more and more, so why not treat him to this skincare set from Kiehl’s?

      It includes an energising face wash, scrub and moisturiser to keep him looking and feeling his best.

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      3. Wool Mix Overcoat in Camel – £80.00 from Asos

      The weather is certainly on the turn, so why not help him wrap up warm in this comfy and stylish camel overcoat from Asos?

      For Her

      1. Refillable Lizard Print Leather Journal – £45.00 from Aspinal of London

      For the professional woman who needs to keep track of all of her meetings and appointments, or maybe just the one who always forgets when you’ve arranged to meet for coffee, a leather diary is a great gift, especially a handy pocket sized one which can fit in a handbag.

      2. Pine and Eucalyptus Scent Surround Diffuser – £62.20 from Jo Malone

      This scent diffuser from Jo Malone is a beautiful gift, not least because you can have it delivered in a gorgeously wrapped gift box.

      The sleek diffuser itself will ensure her house has a refreshing forest-fresh fragrance, perfect for the Christmas season.

      3. Faux Fur Scarf – £50.00 from Cath Kidston

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        It’s time to start wrapping up nice and warm, but who says she can’t do so in style? This faux fur scarf brings a hint of timely glamour and looks great over a warm overcoat or a dress.

        For Kids

        1. Wooden iPhone Phone Case – £30.00 from Etch’d

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          For older kids and teens, their smartphones are their everything, so why not at least make sure that they keep them safe in some style?

          These beautiful wooden phone cases from Etch’d can be personalised with any design or message of your choosing.

          2. Lego Winter Holiday Train – £69.99 from Lego

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            Two things which children will surely love for the rest of time, Lego and train sets! This gift combines the two with a magical winter train with 70cm of track.

            3. Blue Star Midi Children’s Teepee – £125.00 from Just for Tiny People

            Just for Tiny People, create and sell these magical teepees, which make for a perfect hideaway for little ones who love to run around, explore and play.

            You and your little ones can even accessorise and decorate your teepee with cushions and fairy lights for an added touch.

            Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on September 10, 2019

            7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

            7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

            Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

            Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

            This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

            One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

            Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

            Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

            1. Gratitude

            Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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            The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

            Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

            So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

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              2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

              This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

              For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

              What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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              Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

              3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

              This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

              Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

              An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

              Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

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                4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                6. Rise Earlier

                The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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