Top Tips For Staying Warm This Winter

In the middle of winter it can get so cold that you start coming up with unique ways of how to cover every part of you so there is not one piece of skin exposed. OK. So, we live in Australia and it doesn’t get as cold here as it does in some parts of the world but some of us sorry souls feel the cold in their bones as soon as it drops below 25 degrees and we need a firm strategy on how to stay warm when this happens.

Short of wearing gloves while you’re trying to use Instagram on your phone or donning a balaclava at the supermarket to keep your face extremities warm, we’ve got our top tips to share for staying toasty during the winter months.

Drink hot chocolate and herbal teas

Warming yourself from the inside out is our top tip for winter happiness. A good old-fashioned hot chocolate will warm the spirits and herbal teas come infused with lots of natural, healthy bits and pieces that can help warm and cleanse your interior leaving you feeling fresh and invigorated. Ginger for example is ideal for boosting circulation and is well known for its flu-fighting powers. Peppermint tea is good for the liver and full of antioxidants. There’s loads of herbal teas to choose from which promote a healthy body. Take that winter.

Warming yourself from the inside out is our top tip for winter happiness

Get under a really warm blanket

There are some beautiful designs coming out of Australian businesses. Hand woven, geometric throws are not only going to keep you really warm but also add a vibrant spot of colour to your boring old couch. But maybe you want to really take it to the extreme and nothing says ‘I’m freezing’ more than knitting your own woolly blanket with industrial-sized needles with wool made for giants. Of course, you can also buy a pre-knitted blanket but then you don’t get to keep those over-sized knitting needles as a memento of your mad knitting skills.

Buy a hot water bottle

Nana is making a come back (see knitting in previous top tip) and hot water bottles are no exception. These little beauties just need hot water and they will give you hours of love. Speaking of nana, why not get crafty and return your hot water bottles favour by crocheting a cover for extra-pretty and a warm cuddle on the couch. Who needs humans when you can enjoy the company of this less chatty, super warm and well-dressed friend?

Layer up

There’s a reason dressing in layers is so popular, because us coldies are donning all our clothes at once in an attempt to buffet winter chills. Thankfully it’s a fashion statement but don’t overdo it and end up looking like that walking marshmallow-thing at the end of Ghostbusters. Be savvy and choose thermals and woolly tights as your under-garments with items like merino wool over the top. Not too sexy in the undressing sense, but hey, you’re warm.

Working out for just a short time each day releases feel-good chemicals which help fight winter blues.


It’s hard to get motivated to exercise in winter because it’s cold outside but you need to see the end goal and the end goal is good! Working out for just a short time each day releases feel-good chemicals which help fight winter blues. Exercising outdoors helps increase the lack of Vitamin D you may be experiencing due to less sunshine. Dress in a thermal and get going quickly. In no time you’ll be feeling that burn and repelling the cold. Not only are you now a cold-fighting machine you’re also getting a pretty good body in preparation for summer. Yes!


If you decide you do need more than just the hot-hearted company of a water bottle and a little human interaction might actually help with your sanity during the shorter days, then you might as well use this person for extra warmth. Get close, get personal and snuggle your way through winter in the only way two beings generating their own power can. A pet can also work in this capacity – but they may smell more, so up to you.

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Harmony at Home – Crucial for Family Development

Harmony at home is a crucial factor if the members of the family wish its development collectively and individually. If the purpose of the family unit is to reproduce, bring up, educate, share and care the off springs, nothing of these could be successful if it loses harmony within. If the home life is a troubled or confused one, in consequence the same would be reflected in the work he does. No self or family development is possible if there is discord and disharmony at home. Harmony between father and mother, parents and off springs and among siblings should prevail in abundance for the development of the family.

Misconception or misunderstanding, lack of communication, forgetting and negligence of individual responsibilities towards each other, selfishness, lack of patience and lack of love are some of the causes for the discord and disharmony at home. Everybody in the family should be aware of his or her duties and responsibilities towards the other. Even Little children should be assigned some of the suitable responsibilities of the family. Expenditures should be according to the revenue. What is expected from one should not be beyond his capacity. In male dominated societies, attempt to reverse the position from father to mother would result in discord and disharmony in the family.

When there is no harmony in the family, in spite of the development, one can see the deterioration in the every aspect of the family. Frequent quarreling between husband and wife, hindrance to children’s education, scattered family situation, children becoming victims of the bad society, getting addicted to drugs and alcohol by father and male children of the family, prostitution are some of the bad consequences of the discord and disharmony of the family.

When husband respect the rights of wife and children of the family and when he understands and fulfills his responsibilities for them and when wife also does her part understanding and respecting rights of others in the family, happiness begins to prevail. Children will be happy and they will continue their education successfully and their future will be secured. When there is peace in the family, they have good chance of doing their businesses and their jobs well and thereby their revenues also will increase. When the harmony prevails in the family, the mental and physical health of the members of the family will become favorable. Therefore in conclusion, if a family wishes its development all the members should act in a way that preserve the harmony and peace of it.

How to Preserve Family Memories

Preserving family memories can be a priceless gift.

One of the most common regrets families have is that no one thought to preserve memories before they were lost, either to an illness like Alzheimer’s disease or with passing.

Thanks to today’s technology, you have more choices than ever in how to preserve those memories. And it’s easier and faster than previous generations.

After World War II, the parents of baby boomers sought to preserve their children’s lives through photos and videos. Before digital imaging, both still and video cameras used film, which after exposure needed developed in a film lab. Today, smart phones and tablets both have the capabilities of taking either still photos or videos without needing development later. And unlike those video cameras of the past, today’s technology can also simultaneously record both audio and video.

Another regret many survivors have is that they wish they could see or hear their departed loved one. With audio and video recordings, they can see and hear the images of the past. It may help them in grieving.

Preserving memories can include both recording the reminiscences of the past and documenting current activities and events.

One solution is a Memory Book or Journal. A journal can be either written in longhand or typed. This solution may be challenging because even experienced professional writers sometimes find it intimidating to fill a blank page or screen.

A memory book is another low-tech way to preserve memories by creating scrapbooks from photos with captions or explanations of the photos. Photos can be duplicated for multiple books. Aged photos may need professional restoration or copied digitally before use. Acid free papers and other specialized supplies are available to help preserve the photos and memories for future generations.

You may already have a smart phone or tablet that takes photos and videos. They may be all the equipment you need to collect memories of both the past and the present.

After recording, the photos and videos need removed and preserved. You should explore the options, including DVDs and online storage. And also consider the shelf life of the storage. For example, how long are the DVD discs expected to last? Whether you’re looking at photos from 100 years ago that have aged and faded or today’s videos on DVD, consider how long you want their storage to last before purchasing.

How do you get someone to share memories?

One of the easiest ways is to ask him to tell you a story. From childhood on, most people love to hear stories. And it may be easy to convince Grandma and Grandpa to share stories of their childhood for their grandchildren. The series of Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder has been popular with children for generations. Written for children, in those books she told stories of her life while growing up.

Asking someone to reminisce with minimal prompting usually works best. If her recollection varies from yours, it’s a gift to allow them to reminisce without correction. You may be surprised at the depth of details you can get from them, or find humor in the differences of your recollections. And you may learn some things you never knew before.

When there are five witnesses to an accident, it’s not uncommon for there to be five versions of what happened. And if your loved one’s version varies from yours, it can be interesting to see the differences. It may actually help you understand her and how her life experiences have shaped her into the person she is today. If necessary, you can add an explanation or editing later.

Preserving memories can be done in a variety of ways, often with some supplies and equipment you already have. With a bit of time and patience you can preserve precious memories and even recordings of voices and faces for those left behind and for future generations

Homestay: Learn Away From Home

Have you ever seen or heard an ad where they quote the line, “Don’t just visit, live it!” This is pretty much what homestay is all about. It is a bit similar to couch surfing, but the period of stay is much longer. It offers travellers the opportunity to co-habituate with a foster family and enjoy the opportunity to live and learn from the locals themselves.

Trying this experience enables one to engage with the locals on a firsthand basis. It’s an opportunity to learn the local dialect from your host and even learn more about their culture and customs.

Homestay usually involves an agreement/contract with your host. It can be made verbally or better established in print. These agreements address the guest’s length of stay, use of the house facilities, etc.

Sometimes, the foster family and the guest may include off-the-record agreements, such as doing chores in exchange for some amenities, food, learning language or just by having a free guided tour.

Beforehand, travellers make use of advertising websites to look for potential foster families/hosts. This kind of method is possible but is not always advisable. Risks of getting scammed or swindled using this kind of method is probable. However, since the couchsurfing trend eventually flourished overtime, homestay apps were created to cater to the needs of legit and safe home sharing.

These apps offer interested individuals the opportunity to connect with those who are willing to open their homes to students and travellers. Both parties may use the apps to interact and finalize their transaction.

There are also homestay programs offered to students who seek to learn languages on foreign countries. These are commonly offered by some educational and language institutions both locally and abroad. These programs make the perfect opportunity for aspiring language students who wish to take advantage of learning and travelling.
Already decided to try homestay? There are a few things travellers and students need to take note of during the whole process. These key points include the following:

Make your Needs Known. It’s imperative to address important issues with your organization before settling with a foster family. Issues regarding medical conditions, dietary needs, curfew, religion and even phobias are important points to consider if you want to establish a comfortable environment for both the guest and host.

Try to Join your Foster Family during Meals. Most homestay programs have the option to include meal arrangements with the foster family only if the student wished to do so. However, it is advisable for guests to join their foster families for at least one meal to help establish a better bond between both parties. This also entails opportunity for the student to have a firsthand encounter with the locals and learn a lot from their customs and way of life.

Do discuss the “rules” within the first few days. Communication is important between both parties in order to develop a more secure understanding of each other’s needs and demands. When in doubt with some concerns, it is advisable to talk with your host regarding the matter. Avoid making assumptions because this often leads to misunderstandings between the two parties.

Bring a thoughtful gift. Normally, guests bring tokens that represent a part of their culture. This is a customary way of giving gratitude and building relationships with your foster family.

Be respectful of local customs and propriety. Every place has its own set of culture and customs to observe. Being polite and courteous does not hurt. Always remember that as a foreigner, you should know your place and learn to respect the local’s norms.

Have constant communication with the organization that placed you there. In worst case scenarios where a conflict between the guest and the host arises, the subject organization shall serve as the middle man for both parties. They can either help reach settlement for both parties or find the guest a new foster family who will cater suitably to their needs.

All in all, homestay is a warranted a learning experience. It gives both travellers and students the opportunity to learn and explore foreign places in a different light. It also makes them realize that the learning process does not have to be always boring.