Friday 31 October 2014


Method 1 of 3: Checking Nearby

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    Call your phone. Use a friend's cell phone or a landline to dial your phone. If your phone is nearby, you'll hear it and can retrieve it. Alternatively, perhaps someone will answer it and can tell you where it is.
    • If you can't get your hands on another phone, try calling from your computer using a program like Gmail or Skype.
      Find a Lost Cell Phone Step 2Bullet1.jpg
    • This method will likely not work if your phone is set to silent, or the battery is dead.

    1. 2
      Look around. If you think you've just misplaced it, do a quick search in nearby obvious areas.

      • If you're the sort to have piles of paper, look under them! Slim cell phones can easily slip under paper piles.
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      • Check the back of wherever you've been sitting that day. Any seat that allows for swallowing of objects is a potential finding spot.
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      • Check under car seats; a phone can easily slip from your bag or pocket under a car seat.
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      • Ask if anyone in your family or circle of friends has seen––or borrowed––your phone. It's worth asking because you never know!
        Find a Lost Cell Phone Step 3Bullet4.jpg
      • Check under your bed and in the bathroom. The phone might have slipped from a pocket when you were getting changed, or you might have absent-mindedly left it on the bathroom cabinet.
        Find a Lost Cell Phone Step 3Bullet5.jpg
      • Look where you put the phone to be recharged or where the household keeps all phones in a pool. Sometimes you don't see things for looking when you feel worried. Double check if the phone usually sits with similar colored gadgets, as you may simply have missed it.
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      Send an SMS text message to your missing phone. This will let anyone who might have access to your phone know that it is lost, or the SMS notification sound may help you find it nearby. The message could say "Help! I lost this phone. If you find it please call 555-2343. Karma points will be your reward."[1]
      • You can send SMS messages to your phone from websites and services online for free. Popular sites include AFreeSMS and SendSMSNow.
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      Retrace your recent steps. After you've searched your personal areas, such as your home, your car and your office, think where else you might have left it. Think of all the places you've visited since you last saw your phone. Some suggestions:
      • The gym or sports field.
      • The restaurant you had lunch at.
      • On the bus, train, or in a cab.
      • At the office or work.
      • Any place you may have opened your bag or emptied your pockets (bank, grocery store, coffee shop, etc.)
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      Call around. Call businesses you have visited and the people you have been with since you last remember having your phone. Finding the phone is worth this effort and potential embarrassment.
      • Small business retailers and service providers often have a Lost and Found. It is worth asking them direct first, as they may still be holding your phone.
        Find a Lost Cell Phone Step 7Bullet1.jpg

    Method 2 of 3: Tracking it Down

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      Use Find My iPhone to track your lost iPhone. If you have an iPhone, use Apple’s Find My iPhone service or third-party apps such as GadgetTrak.[2]
      • To use Find My iPhone, you will need to access the service from the iCloud website, or another iDevice that you are logged in on. You can see the iPhone on a map, as well as lock or wipe it from your computer.
      • If you activate Lost Mode on the lost iPhone, the device will be Activation Locked. This means that until someone enters the Apple ID and password that locked the phone, it can never be used, even if it is factory reset. Activation Lock is enabled alongside Find My iPhone, and is enabled automatically on iOS 8.
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      Use the Android Device Manager to find a lost Android phone. Visit in any web browser. You will need to log in with your Google account.
      • The Android Device Manager website is a service provided by Google that allows you to track your phone using Google Maps. You can also remotely wipe your phone’s data if you have the correct box checked on your phone.
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      Use the Windows Phone website to find a lost Windows phone. Windows Phone users can visit the Find My Phone section of the Windows Phone website ( There you can track and remotely wipe your phone.
      • You will need to log in with your Microsoft account.
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      Use preinstalled apps to track your phone. If you have a location tracking app already installed on your phone, you can use it to track and interact with your missing device.
      • Cerberus will allow you to remotely lock your Android phone, play an alarm, wipe the memory, get a list of recent calls, and more.
      • SwanSong will email you the GPS location of your Android phone when the battery dies. You can also send a text to your phone and the GPS coordinates will be emailed to you.

    Method 3 of 3: Taking Action

  2. 1
    Do not attempt to retrieve a stolen device. If you feel that your device has been stolen, DO NOT try to retrieve it yourself. Instead, report it to the police and let them take care of the problem for you. Trying to retrieve your phone yourself could land you in serious trouble.
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    Cancel your passwords and logins. The speed with which you need to do this and the extent of it will depend on how much you use your phone for online interaction. For some, this may be very little, while for others, it could be a huge task.
    • If you're worried that the phone is in someone else's hands, the sooner you do this the better, as identity theft is a serious, widespread issue.
    • It's better to take the time to reset your passwords and logins before physically hunting further afield for your phone; this will minimize the potential damage someone could do with access to your information, and if you do find your phone then using new passwords is only a minor inconvenience.
    • Start with your most important passwords. This typically includes email, bank accounts, Facebook, and online storage. Deal with financial and personal information first. After you have changed your major passwords, you can reset passwords for less important services.
      Find a Lost Cell Phone Step 5Bullet1.jpg
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    Contact the telephone company. Have your account details handy, so that your account can be closed down. This will keep someone from making unauthorized calls with your SIM card.
    • If you have a phone that is paid by usage rather than prepaid, and you cannot find it within 2 hours, it usually is a better idea to call your phone company immediately and tell them to deactivate your phone.
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    Report it. Visit the police station. Lost phones are often turned in and left unclaimed because people assume that nobody would have been kind enough to have handed them in! Smartphone insurance providers will often want a police report as well.
    • Some phone companies may also require a police report in order to deactivate your account.
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    Learn from your loss. If you haven't already installed a helpful app to locate your lost phone, do so once you've got your phone back or purchased a new one. Examine your password strength, and decide if you need to have important accounts always logged in on your phone. At the end of the day, use the experience to safeguard future handling of your phone.
    • Keep a record of your phone’s IMEI number. This is a unique code for your phone, and can be used by authorities to track and recover it. You can get the number on any phone by dialing *#06#



I carry both my smartphone and my tablet with me on a daily basis. I can’t imagine what I’d do if one of those devices went missing, what with all the sensitive data contained on them—not to mention my library of precious photos and e-books.
Google introduced the Android Device Manager (ADM) last year to help users locate lost devices, and quell security fears. Not only will ADM show you the location of a wayward device, it will also let you erase the data on the device if you suspect the hardware has been stolen.
ADM is extremely easy to set up, so you have no excuse not to use it.

Getting started

The Android Device Manager will keep track of any phone or tablet you’ve linked to your Google account. It’s compatible with any device running Android 2.2 or later, and it works even if you don’t have location history turned on. 
adm web
When you first get your phone, head over to the Android Device Manager page to ensure that Lock and Erase are enabled. Google will send over a test message to your device to ensure that it works. Tap “Activate” to enable the remote wiping features.

Find your device

In the future, if and when your phone does go missing, just head to the ADM site. From here, you can select any of the Android devices you have linked to your Google account.
If you think the device might be buried under a pile of couch cushions, select Ring and the device will blare its ringtone for about five minutes. When you find it, press the power button to stop it. 
adm ring
If you think you left your hardware in a taxi cab on the way home from last night’s escapades, you’ll want to lock it up to keep prying eyes from accessing your precious data. Select Lock and ADM will ask you to create a new lock screen password. There will also be an option to write a Recovery message that will appear over your lock screen. This is your opportunity to type a message to the person who may have found your phone. 
adm lockscreenpass
If you think your phone might really be in the wrong hands, or that it’s long gone and you'll never see it again, you can erase all of its data with Erase.
adm erasealldata

Use the app to find a device, too

adm app
Someone terrible ran off with your Nexus 7, and, frankly, that’s pretty awful. Before you do anything, contact law enforcement and file a report. Phone theft is an epidemic, especially in urban areas.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a second Android device in your possession, download the Android Device Manager app from Google Play to get access to all the same features available online. If you’re bored, waiting in a doctor’s office or something, you can also use the app to individually rename each of your devices.
Keep in mind that ADM won’t work with devices that are offline or powered off, so if a thief puts your device in Airplane Mode or the battery dies out, you’re out of luck. 


It's nerve-wracking when you can't find your phone – whether it's really lost or just stuck down the back of your settee. Find My Phone can help lay your worries to rest. This free service in the My Phone section of can ring, lock, erase or show your phone on a map from any Internet-connected computer. Find My Phone makes it easier to recover your phone – or to prevent someone from using it without your permission.
To learn more about what you can do at My Phone – such as seeing your OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) pictures and reinstalling applications – see My Phone FAQ.


If you're having trouble getting Find My Phone to work, see Error messages when using Find My Phone on in Microsoft Support.

To map your phone's location

  1. On your computer, open a web browser and go to
  2. Navigate to the My Phone drop-down menu, located in the top-right corner of the screen, then sign in with the same Windows Live ID you use on your phone.
  3. In the My Phone menu, click Find My Phone.
  4. Click Find My Phone, then follow the instructions in the dialogue box (you'll only need to do this once – after that, your phone will automatically show up on the map when you go to Find My Phone).
  5. If your computer is connected to a printer, click Print to make a hard copy of your phone's location.


    • Not seeing the latest location? Click Refresh.
    • If you've scrolled the map and lost track of your phone's location on it, click Centre on map.

To make your phone ring

  1. On your computer, open a web browser and go to
  2. Navigate to the My Phone drop-down menu, located in the top-right corner of the screen, then sign in with the same Windows Live ID you use on your phone.
  3. In the My Phone menu, click Find My Phone.
  4. Click Ring, then follow the instructions in the dialogue box (you'll only need to do this the first time you ring your phone).


    • When you ring your phone, it will ring even if the volume is off or it's on vibrate mode.

To lock your phone and show a message

  1. On your computer, open a web browser and go to
  2. Navigate to the My Phone drop-down menu, located in the top-right corner of the screen, then sign in with the same Windows Live ID you use on your phone.
  3. In the My Phone menu, click Find My Phone.
  4. Click Lock, then follow the instructions in the dialogue box. If you don't already have a password set up on your phone, you'll need to enter one – you'll use it to unlock the phone when you get it back. You can also type a message to display on your phone's screen. Typically you'd enter an alternative phone number or an email address, so someone who finds your phone can contact you.

To erase your phone

  1. On your computer, open a web browser and go to
  2. Navigate to the My Phone drop-down menu, located in the top-right corner of the screen, then sign in with the same Windows Live ID you use on your phone.
  3. In the My Phone menu, click Find My Phone.
  4. Click Erase. On the confirmation screen, do one of the following:
    • To start erasing your phone, select I'm sure! Please erase my phone now, then click Erase.
    • If you've changed your mind, click Cancel.


    Be careful! This is your last chance to back out.


It's a good idea to let your mobile operator know that you've lost your phone.

To change settings for Find My Phone

You can set up Find My Phone to save your location every few hours or to use push notifications instead of text messages to send commands to your phone. Change these settings on your phone, not on your computer.
  1. On Start, flick left to the Application list, then press SettingsSettings icon.
  2. Press Find My Phone.
  3. Select one or both of the following:
    • Connect to these features faster (may use more battery). The Find My Phone service uses text messaging to send commands to your phone. Check this option to use push notifications instead. Why? Push notifications can be faster than text messages, and if your mobile operator charges you for each incoming text message, push notifications might also be cheaper. Also, My Phone can only send 15 text messages to your phone in a three-day period. With push notifications, there's no limit.
    • Save my location every few hours for better mapping. Microsoft can save your phone's location details every few hours so that if your phone is out of range or the battery dies, we can still show your phone's last-known location on a map.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Activities and lifestyle tips to help prevent back pain


Tips to prevent back pain

Increase your activity

Leading a sedentary lifestyle (sitting or being inactive for long periods) can be a major contributor to non-specific back pain (the most common type of back pain). In fact some medical professionals have gone so far as to claim that “sitting is the new smoking”. Put simply, the more active you are the less likely you are to suffer with back pain and other health problems.
By varying the kinds of activities you do you can ensure that your back is protected from potential problems.


Swimming is a low-impact activity that’s great for back health as it does not require the body to endure any weight-bearing stress. Instead, the water supports the body and allows it to relax while also offering enough resistance to help strengthen muscles and increase joint mobility.
Fancy taking a dip? Track it in the Fitness Diary.

Core strength training

Before you attempt to hoist a pair of 40kg dumbbells above your head, know that strength training here refers to exercises that are designed to tone and strengthen the muscle groups that stabilise the body. This means lower back, abs, hips, glutes (i.e. your bum muscles) and thighs. When these muscle groups are strong, the spine is well supported and therefore at far less risk of injury.
Try these 5 great core-strengthening exercises.


Yoga and Pilates focus on movements and postures that are designed to align the spine and strengthen the postural muscles supporting this alignment. As well as improving muscle strength, flexibility and balance, these systems are also great for relieving stress and tension – both of which can contribute to back problems.
Track your yoga and Pilates activity in the Fitness Diary.

Stretching exercises

Stretching helps to prepare the muscles for activity and reduce your risk of injury. Stretching exercises should therefore be included as part of your routine, both pre- and post-workout. By stretching regularly you will improve circulation, increase range of movement and keep your back (and other) muscles flexible and supple.
Read more about exercises for improving flexibility.
Did you know?
According to a study by the Lancet medical journal, musculoskeletal conditions affect up to 1.7 billion people worldwide.

Good posture

The ways in which you sit, stand, lift and walk on a daily basis can have a major impact on the health of your back. Repetitive movements, slouching or sitting at a desk each day can interfere with blood circulation and affect your balance. Good posture reduces the burden on certain muscles as it allows stress to be distributed evenly around the body.
Sitting pretty
Make sure you place your feet firmly on the floor with your knees and hips bent to a 90-degree angle. Rest your elbows by the side of your body so that the arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint. Aim to keep your ears in-line with your shoulders, which, in turn, should be in-line with your hips.
Standing tall
Good standing posture requires that your ears, shoulders, hips and ankles should all be aligned along an imaginary vertical line. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, distributing your body weight evenly between them. Keep your knees straight (though not locked). Keep your shoulders back slightly and engage your core by bringing your abdomen in towards the spine (by doing so the lower abdominal muscles straighten and support the lower spine).

Maintain a healthy weight

Carrying around too much weight can lead to back problems due to the affect it can have on musculoskeletal balance. A heavy mid-section, for example, may cause you to lean forwards slightly when sitting, standing or walking, thereby increasing the level of strain on your lower back. Healthy eating and regular exercise are two of the most effective ways of maintaining a healthy weight and pain-free back.
Did you know?
US President John F. Kennedy regularly wore a back brace due to chronic back problems. Some believe that it was his brace that prevented him from falling forward and potentially out of the way of the fatal second shot on the day of his assassination.

Wear the right footwear

It may sound almost too obvious to be worth mentioning, but the importance of wearing good-quality footwear that offers proper support cannot be overstated. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time standing, walking or running. Ill-fitting or uncomfortable footwear can affect your posture and increase muscle stress, which can lead to back pain – so maybe it’s best to save the high heels for special occasions!

Manage stress

Lower back pain can be caused or made worse by psychological conditions such as stress, anxiety or depression. These conditions tend to bring about changes in the body and personal behaviour that lead to back problems such as longer periods of inactivity, a significant increase in muscular tension, and postural changes. These problems can often be avoided by learning to manage stress. This could take the form of signing up for a course in mindfulness, joining a yoga group, or simply enjoying regular outdoor strolls with a friend or pet.

Cutting calories to lose weight, 15 easy tips to follow


Pass on the pasta

The recommended serving size for pasta is 2ozs or 50g of uncooked pasta. The typical restaurant portion is easily four times this size, so leave the extra (your portion should be about the size of a tennis ball) and cut 100 cals!

Re-size your cereal

The amount of cereal eaten is often twice the recommended serving size. So weigh out the 30 or 40g serving of cereal and get to know what the correct portion looks like in the bowl you normally use.

Cut back on the bread

Cutting out just one slice of bread will save around 100 calories – try an open sandwich or have your usual filling with just one slice of wholegrain.

Avoid the oil-slick

Use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon to measure your butter, spread or oil portion. Spread just a thin layer of fats on your bread.


Replace 2 glasses of orange juice (250ml each) with 2 oranges
Swap 2 whole milk fruit yoghurts for 2 low fat yoghurts
Replace 2 servings of carrots with 2 servings of cauliflower
Swap 1 sausage roll for 2 grilled sausages
Have 2 grilled chicken fillets instead of 2 fried chicken fillets
Replace 2 slices of bread with 2 rice cakes
Swap 2 chocolate biscuits for 2 tbps of dried fruit

Dress it, don’t drown it!

Swap full fat salad dressing for the reduced fat version. When dining out, ask for the dressing on the side so you can control how much you use.

Modify the mayo

Instead of mayonnaise use low fat thousand-island dressing or lower fat salad cream.

The perilous peanut!

Cut back two tablespoons peanuts (or other nuts, for that matter), or a tablespoonful of peanut butter and you've save 100 calories.

Portion-control popcorn

Popcorn can be a great diet snack - but not if it’s swimming in oil. Why not invest in a hot air popcorn popper that makes fat free perfect popcorn? You can flavour it with spices to suit your taste.

Pass on the cheese board

Skip just a couple of crackers with cheese and save 100.

Count your biscuits

A single medium-sized biscuit can easily have 100 calories. How often do you pop a couple into your mouth without even thinking about it? Try spreading a crispbread or cracker with a thin layer of jam instead.

The chocolate cheat

If chocolate is your downfall, try some low fat chocolate drinks as a replacement. Or, if you really want that bar of chocolate why not try a fun size version? You'll probably save 100 calories over a full-size chocolate indulgence.

Rethink your drink

If you've been drinking a super sized 500ml bottle of fizzy drink, switch to the diet version and you’ll certainly reduce your calorie intake. Or why not try some flavoured water?

Not so sweet

If you drink 6 cups of coffee or tea with sugar (16 calories per tsp) and whole milk (17 calories per 25ml) each day, it amounts to 200 calories. By omitting the sugar (use sweetener if you wish) and using skimmed milk, you will save 150 calories!

Heed the limit

If you drink alcohol, limit your daily consumption to one drink for women and two drinks for men. A 150ml glass of wine, a 330ml bottle of beer and a spirit with mixer all have around 100 calories.
Need more ideas? Spend a few minutes looking at your daily food choices to discover other 100-calorie cutbacks you can apply.



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Read fashion magazines! This will help you understand what's 'hot' and what is 'not.' Look at how the models wear their clothes - don't look at what they look like, they have probably been airbrushed.

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    Be unique! Try out different styles. Don't be afraid to be stand out; you might start a brand new trend in your school! However, don't over do it - that will make you look like a freak without any fashion sense. Keep it simple yet unique and classy.
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    Find what style is for you! Is it Gothic or scene? Girly or sporty? It's up to you! Pick a style that suits you best, this will make it easier to find different clothes to match your style. If you're a bit of a tomboy who likes sports you could wear sporty clothes.
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    Look at colours! That might sound silly but it is great advice. It will prevent you from having a 'colour clash'. See what colours go together, red goes with green, purple goes with yellow etc. Black bottoms go really well with luminous tops!
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    Dress appropriately for the occasion. If you're going to a formal party, wear a simple classy dress, if you're going to a more casual party, wear something bright and 'cool'. This is important, you do not want to wear something showy at your grandparents anniversary!
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    Wear nice accessories. If you're wearing something basic, wear a necklace or bracelet. Remember not to over do your look with necklaces; it will look awful!
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    Do your hair nicely. Wash it often so it's soft and sweet smelling. If you have long hair try curling it or putting it in bunches - it looks cute! If you have short hair try wearing a ribbon or hair clip - simple things make amazing differences!

Why am I not losing weight, 40 biggest diet mistakes


40 Biggest Dieting Mistakes

  1. Going on any diet that you can not adhere to for the rest of your life.
  2. Believing you can eat cabbage soup every day for the rest of your life when beginning that diet!
  3. Obsessing over counting calories.
  4. Weighing in more than once a week.
  5. Not drinking enough water.
  6. Drinking sugar laden drinks such as soft drinks, flavoured coffees, fruity drinks...
  7. Consuming processed foods more often than fresh foods.
  8. Taking the benefits away from vegetables and fruits by overcooking them.
  9. Having a negative, defeatist attitude.
  10. Not having a plan.
  11. Not being aware of the nutritional benefits or harm of what you consume.
  12. Finishing every last bite even after you are full.
  13. Going back for “seconds” at meals.
  14. Eating at "all you can eat buffets" and getting your money's worth.
  15. Skipping breakfast.
  16. Starving all day, thinking it’s the only way to lose weight.
  17. Binging after “falling off the wagon” and then waiting until "tomorrow" to get back on track.
  18. Thinking you are genetically destined to be fat.
  19. Not believing you have the ability to change.
  20. Confusing "fat" as a personality trait.
  21. Thinking you are unattractive.
  22. Not living each day to the fullest. Thinking that will come “when you are thinner.”
  23. Thinking pills, powders or potions are more powerful than they really are.
  24. Thinking of exercise as a chore.
  25. Not scheduling exercise as a vital part of the week.
  26. Indulging in alcohol too often.
  27. Observing sports rather than playing sports.
  28. Watching television more than one hour a day.
  29. Giving up and resigning to being "overweight"
  30. Finishing the food off other's plates while doing the dishes.
  31. Tasting and nibbling on food while cooking.
  32. Baking biscuits, pies and cakes regulary.
  33. Always having sweets in dishes for "guests,” but eating more of them yourself.
  34. Buying unhealthy snack items "for the kids" but eating them yourself.
  35. Not having vegetables and/or fruit with each meal.
  36. Thinking “dieting”, not lifestyle change, will lead to lasting weight loss.
  37. Not visualising yourself actually living that healthy lifestyle.
  38. Eating refined foods instead of wholegrain; fatty meats instead of lean; full-fat dairy instead of reduced fat.
  39. Consuming fast food on a regular basis.
  40. Waiting for tomorrow to "get started" rather than RIGHT NOW!
  41. If you see yourself in any of these mistakes then it is time to change. After all, what do you have to lose?!

Why can I not lose weight, top 20 diet blunders


Use this checklist of diet blunders to assess how your attitude to eating measures up.

Why are you not losing weight?

  1. Binge eating before going on a diet.
  2. Fasting or cutting calories to lose weight. This sends your body the message that you are starving, and your metabolism will slow down to preserve the fat you are trying to shed!
  3. Expecting to lose more than one to two pounds a week. Any more than this is simply the result of lost body fluids and valuable muscle tissue.
  4. Skipping meals, especially breakfast. Eating regular meals prevents the dangerous “famine-then-feast” syndrome.
  5. Skipping smart snacks. "Smart snacking" keeps your metabolism high and your appetite in check.
  6. Substituting coffee, tea or diet soda for energy-producing meals, snacks or water.
  7. Going to a salad bar and stacking up on cheeses, meats and pasta AND globs of fatty mayonnaise or salad dressings while thinking you are choosing the diet option.
  8. Having an “on a diet” or “off a diet” / all-or-nothing mentality rather than simply eating wisely.
  9. Thinking of any food as “bad” or “forbidden.” Food is food - anything in excess is bad for you, anything in moderation is OK.
  10. Not exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week. Exercise is crucial for boosting your metabolism to more effectively burn calories.
  11. Losing weight to look good... for someone else.
  12. Believing that when you shed the weight, you’ll be a different, better person. You already ARE a great person.
  13. Relying on diet pills, shakes or other products that promise miraculous weight loss. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true...
  14. Thinking of weight loss as something you HAVE to do, rather than something you WANT to do.
  15. Focusing on foods to avoid, rather than foods to include.
  16. Buying, preparing and eating your meals on the run. A hectic lifestyle prevents you from enjoying and feeling satisfied with the many good foods you eat.
  17. Considering losing excess weight as an end in itself, rather than a means to an end: a healthier body and a happier out-look.
  18. Not watching your fat intake. Calories consumed as fat are converted into fat on the body more readily than the same number of calories consumed as protein or carbohydrates.
  19. Not reading and understanding labels. Just because it says 95% fat-free doesn’t mean that it is healthy. It COULD mean that it’s 95% sugar!
  20. Failing to take charge the moment you discover you weigh in two pounds over your desired weight. When your waist band gets tight do something about it. Don’t buy the next size up!

Beat these 8 common diet mistakes


Eating too much food

It might seem obvious, but many people following a healthy meal plan to lose weight aren't having much success because they are eating more food than they realise. Until you are able to trust your instincts, weigh and measure everything you eat.
How to beat it:Try our quick and easy guide to portion control!

Not exercising

While it's possible to lose weight with healthy eating alone, you will achieve greater success - and make a real difference to your health - by adding regular exercise to your routine. Making the time for 150 minutes of activity a week can make a tremendous difference. Aside from helping to speed up your metabolism and burn more calories, you'll enjoy greater cardiovascular health, overall feelings of wellbeing, and much more!
How to beat it:Start getting active with the Fitness Tracker.

Inconsistency with workouts

If you are being inconsistent with your workouts from week to week, you probably aren’t making as much progress as you think. Being realistic - and setting out a workout routine that you can stick to - will benefit you more. Work out three times every week and be consistent about it instead of exercising four times one week and only once the next.
How to beat it:Use the Fitness Tracker to set your workout plan, see if you've been able to stick with it, and make changes if needed.

Exercise intensity

Even if you are disciplined about exercising a certain amount, any weight-loss benefit will start to slip if you always follow the same workout routine. Our bodies are designed to adapt to everything we do.
How to beat it:Tap our fitness and exercise advice for great ideas that you can use in your workouts.

Dehydration and water

Whether you're trying to lose weight or not, don’t be afraid to let that cup of water runneth over. Dehydration has a significant impact on your overall health, and you should drink at least 1.5 litres of water every day. Keep a bottle of water on your desk at work, and bring one to the gym as well.
How to beat it:Use the water counter as part of the Food Diary to make sure you’re fully hydrated.

Insufficient calories

Believe it or not, getting too few calories can be just as detrimental to your weight loss efforts as taking in too many. If you are exercising, it is especially important to balance your activity level with your calorie intake.
Certain people actually think they will lose weight faster by skipping meals. Not only is this unhealthy, but it nearly always backfires in the form of low energy, binge eating and a lack of nutrition.

How to beat it: Your healthy eating plans will help you choose a balanced and healthy diet.

Unrealistic goal weights

Sometimes you may not be dropping the pounds because your body is already at a healthy weight. In these cases, you should re-assess your goal towards health and fitness. Instead of trying to reach an unrealistic weight goal, you should put yourself on a lifetime maintenance programme.
How to beat it: If you are looking to lose weight, set a realistic target when you become a member or in your personal goals. You can then plan your diet to stay at that weight, or lose more if it’s healthy.

Medical problems

In rare cases, you carry excess weight because of an undiagnosed medical problem. If you think this might be the case, it is time to see your doctor to find out if your thyroid function or another health issue is holding you back.
How to beat it: If you’ve tried and failed to maintain a healthy weight, make an appointment with your GP to investigate potential health issues.
Gretchen Rubin in Central Park


1. Get enough sleep

If I want to be cheerful, energetic and mentally sharp for my family, I have to get enough sleep. After always being strict with my daughters’ bedtimes, I realized that, like most adults, I need at least seven hours of sleep each night to function at my highest level, and now I work hard to meet that minimum.
2. Get up early

A few years ago, because I wanted a calmer, less hurried morning with my family, I started getting up earlier. Now, I get up an hour before my children, giving me a chance to work at my desk, have coffee and check email before it’s time to roust everyone out of bed.
3. Instill outer order to create inner calm

I find that when I take the time to hang up a coat or close a drawer, I feel more energetic and cheerful as I engage with my family. After I tackle clutter, I feel less hurried because I can find and stow things easily. Having more order in my cabinets and closets makes me feel more energetic and cheerful as I engage with my family.
4. Follow the 1-minute rule

It’s simple: If I can accomplish a task in less than a minute, I do it without delay. If I can read and sign a letter from a teacher, answer an email, look for the scissors, I go ahead and do it. Because the tasks are so quick, it isn’t hard to make myself follow the rule—but it makes me feel more serene, less overwhelmed.
5. Give warm greetings and farewells

The way we act toward one another shapes the way we feel about one another, so my family follows a resolution: Give warm greetings and farewells. Every time one of us comes or goes, we go to the door and give that person a kiss, a hug and a real moment of our attention.
6. Remember to cherish today

I’m reminded of something the writer Colette said: “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” When I feel overwhelmed or annoyed by parenting responsibilities, I remind myself that one day, I’ll look back on this season of my life with great nostalgia.


Small, simple changes can make your house a happier, calmer place.

Life as a a parent is complicated. There is no one quick fixes that can completely solve the jigsaw puzzle of our responsibilities.

But sometimes a small, simple solution to a tiny-but-nagging problem—a hack, a workaround—is exactly what we need. Eliminating the lost-keys-what’s-for-dinner-tonight-level annoyances opens up time and mental space for the Important Stuff: rest, exercise, productive work, and joyful time spent with family and friends.

These 10 tips will save you a few precious minutes (and perhaps a few dollars) each week. If you devote this “found” time and money to what’s most important to you, your happiness is bound to increase.
1. Come up with three dinners that use pantry ingredients

You probably already have a few simple go-to dishes that are satisfying, nourishing and easy to prepare. Alter the recipes (if necessary) so you can make three family favorites using only ingredients that you already have in the pantry and freezer. Swap fresh vegetables for frozen, even if that’s not your usual practice (peas and edamame in particular are good frozen). Store shredded cheese in the freezer so it’s always ready to go.

Once you know what your favorite pantry meals are—this is key—religiously keep these ingredients stocked in your home. There, now you’ll always have something for dinner.

Bonus hack: Double the recipe for stews and casseroles, and store the extra meal in the freezer.
2. Use over-the-door clear pocket shoe holders everywhere

Shoe organizers can organize so much more than shoes! In the bathroom, store styling products, hair clips, sunscreen, and bandages. In kids’ rooms, organize small toy and stuffed animal collections. In the laundry room, hold clothespins, stain sticks, and orphan socks. In the office, store small electronics with their associated chargers and cables.
3. Hang a whiteboard in the kitchen so everyone can add to the grocery list.

Whoever is going shopping, take a phone picture of the board! This way you have shared responsibility for the list. No data entry in spreadsheets or fussy grocery list apps; no lost or forgotten slip of paper. Genius.
4. Attach a carabiner clip to your keychain, and clip your keys to your purse strap.

You’ll never lose your keys again. With your keys visible, you’re also less likely to lock them in the car.
5. Flatten toilet paper rolls to slow down the spin.

Your kids will use less toilet paper, and the roll is less likely to unravel onto the floor.
6. Take digital pictures of your kid’s favorite art projects, then repurpose the originals.

This hack lets you save the best of your kid’s art, share its beauty and declutter at the same time. Take digital photos of your kids’ best and/or favorite art projects. Then transform the originals into wrapping paper, gift labels, birthday cards and gifts. (Especially popular with grandparents and teachers.)

If you’re ambitious, collect the photos in a photobook and give that as a gift, or keep it as a memento for yourself and the artists themselves.
7. Keep a kitchen timer in every room in your house.

Of all the gadgets floating around my home, the most useful has been the basic wind-up kitchen timer.

The timer speeds shared cleanup time (we see how much we can get done before it rings). The timer also stands in as a neutral third party that announces screen time limits, turn-taking reminders, shower ending times, homework breaks and cool-down periods after arguments. It’s like having a trusty lieutenant.

Bonus hack: While traveling or running errands, use the timer on your mobile phone to set time limits in stores.
8. Use a password management app to store more than passwords.

I use 1Password to securely store passwords, account numbers, credit card numbers and my kids’ Social Security numbers. Not only is the information secure, it’s also automatically synced between my computer and mobile device.

Having this information on hand simplifies filling out forms in banks and other official places. I can more easily conduct business using my mobile phone, and I can log into a website from a computer that’s not mine. (I’m careful never to let public browsers auto-save my passwords.)
9. Keep your toddler from rolling out of bed with a rolled towel

Great hack for when your child is ready to move from a crib into a “big kid” bed: place a rolled towel under the fitted sheet along the edge of the bed.
10. Fold sheet sets and store them inside one of the pillowcases.

This tip will save you laundry folding and organizing hassle and will de-clutter your linen closet—especially if you have beds of different sizes. Plus, you’ll never scramble for clean guest sheets again. (I can’t be the only one who does this, right?)



Act Like a Fashion Designer Step 1 Version 2.jpg
Design your own vocabulary. Combine words to make smarter sounding, longer words. For example, instead of simply calling someone idiotic or saying "this fashion business is pure idiocy" talk about the idiocy of things. Made up words make you look smarter--people will think "I didn't know that was even a word, wow."

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    Keep a tight, calm face. It shows that you have higher standards than the average person, and as a fashion designer, of course you do!
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    Find an intriguing accent and make sure you're pretty good at it - not all designers are from foreign countries, they are just good at sounding like it.
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    Wear some type of shades - glasses when you are in the office and big shades when you are out.
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    Have your own walk. Most designers walk like they rule the world--the FASHION world!
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    Travel the world. Say you've been to those kinds of countries that people would die to go to.
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    Make conversation with every person possible. No matter what the topic is, try to bring yourself up as much as possible.
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    Talk about everything that everyone wears - bad or good, give them all tips on how they can improve.
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    Make up a fake laugh. Make it annoying or simple; just make sure it has attitude behind it.
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    Act busy at all times - talk on your cell phone, chew gum, and read the VOGUE magazine all at once; you'll learn to love it.
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    Have great style. No fashion designer dresses badly. From reading all those magazines, you should know how to dress!!
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    Don't be messy, even if you are busy you have to keep your area clean