Blessed Life

Blessed Life

I am a very lucky man. I always have been. Don’t get me wrong, things haven’t just fallen into my lap, I work hard, but some people work hard and never achieve what I have.

I was blessed to have a great childhood, with parents who never struggled for money, they loved me so much and I remember my childhood as such a happy time.

Don’t get me wrong my parents didn’t spoil me.  I had to work for my pocket money and I was brought up with manners.  My parents had a saying, ‘trade expectation for gratitude’ and you won’t go wrong in life. So that is what I did, I didn’t have a sense of entitlement and I was not afraid to work hard.

My parents brought me up to respect people, cherish life and helped me to understand what was important.

Growing Up

So when I became an adult and built my own business, this is the attitude I had.  The words of the great Sir Richard Branson stuck in my head.  Employees come first, treat them well and the customers and clients will take care of themselves.

Business

I became a property developer.  There was something magical to me about taking an old dilapidated property and turning it into somewhere that could become an amazing home to someone, a family, a couple, a business man or woman.  I loved the idea of creating something beautiful out of next to nothing.

Team 

I had a great team around me.  It didn’t happen overnight.  I worked hard and built the business up over 10 or so years and my team grew from just me to a team of 30. We headhunted people we thought would be the perfect fit for the business and were very selective in recruitment.  I was very particular that the people who worked for me should know what they were doing in and around property and were happy and courteous people.

Interviews 

My interview process was always the same.  I would take the candidates out for a meal, usually breakfast or lunch. I would speak to the team at whichever restaurant we were going to and tell them to mess up our orders and make the service poor, in exchange for a good tip and then see how the potential employee during the meal would deal with the situation.

My business can be cutthroat and stressful and I expect my team members to be respectful and courteous, even under extreme pressure.

There was no excuse for bad manners and rudeness, it was something I would not tolerate.

This recruitment process never let me down.  Seeing how people treated guys in the service industry was always an interesting social experiment anyway. For some reason, somewhere along the line people forget their manners and think waiters and waitresses or servers of any kind are not human and you can say or do anything to them.

It was a real test of someone’s character when you are served the wrong meal or receive poor service.
I recruited every member of my team this way and I wasn’t disappointed by the results at all. I had a great team around me, I trusted them with my business implicitly and the business was going from strength to strength because of it.

My Wife 

My wife was an amazing woman.  I met her at a property forum. She is intelligent, smart and funny and I am a hugely lucky man to have her as my wife. It was love at first sight, we fell head over heels in love and married within a year of meeting.

We merged our businesses as she was a property developer too and we now had something of an empire in property.

We soon decided to buy a new home, the house was not a mansion, as we did not want that.  We wanted a home and sometimes when a house is too big it can lose that homely feel.

Dressing Room 

As a present for my wife. I had one of my very talented designer friends turn one of the bedrooms upstairs into a dressing room.  My wife was so beautiful and really took care of her appearance.  I knew she would love this and besides, she needed somewhere to house all of her clothes, shoes and makeup.  I also asked my friend to set the dressing room up with lots of new beauty equipment. With the assistance of a website called http://www.hairdryersonline.com, she bought a hairdryer, straighteners, curling irons, lots of hair serums and make up.

When we eventually moved in, I took my wife upstairs and showed her the dressing room, she loved it.

Smoothie Makers

Top 3 – Smoothie Makers

When looking for a smoothie maker, you need to look around, do your research and use a reliable shop when buying online.

Work out your rice range, size, functions and what you need it for.  Some machines can be pricey, so you need to know how much you will use it, to make sure it is worth the money.

I have compiled a top 3 list of smoothie makers to make your choice easier. 

Heavy Duty – Vitamix Professional Series 300

This machine is a high powered, heavy duty blender that allows you to blend almost anything with ease. It is made with high quality materials and durable features for those of us that like to get a lot of use out of their blenders. Coming with a BPA free plastic jar, this blender is able to take 64 ounces of contents so plenty of room for making great sauces and smoothies. It also features a powerful motor with strong blades that allow you to blend all of your ingredients, whether its frozen or not.

This smoothie maker has a 7 year warranty too, this ensures you have peace of mind if your blender doesn’t run as it should.

The housing for the motor and controls is also BPA free, so shows that the manufacturer is listening to concerns and ensuring that risks associated with plastic are being kept to an absolute minimum.

Budget – Oster BCBG08-C 6 Cup, 8 Speed Blender 

If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive countertop model, that is powerful enough to be used as a smoothie blender for smoothies and shakes every day, this is actually a good very option at a fair price.

This Oster blender is great at producing chunk free smoothies and crushes ice well to an almost ‘snow’ like consistency, which is brilliant for frozen drinks. This is a well-built machine that can cope with fairly tough ingredients and blend it without lumps. It has a small footprint so can fit on any countertop.

Good quality, durable housing and looks great. Would make a great addition to any kitchen.

Durable – Kitchenaid KSB560MC 5 Speed Blender

If durability is your thing then this smoothie maker comes with a really large capacity 56 ounce, polycarbonate jar. This jar is shatter proof and can also be put in the dishwasher, making it easy to clean. If you are looking for a durable, powerful machine with a solid motor and blade to crush ice, no problem. It can cope with heavy fruit and vegetables and takes producing the thicker type smoothies in its stride, it really can cope with anything you throw at it.

This model is quiet, very modern/sleek looking but is on the larger side. So if you buy this model, make sure you have the space in your kitchen.

Kitchenaid stand by their product and this smoothie maker has a 7 year warranty. So you blend your smoothies knowing that if anything goes wrong, you are covered.

In Summary

Whatever your reasons are for wanting a smoothie maker, there is a machine out there for you, any size, color and price. Consider your requirements before you take the leap and buy, then blend away to your heart’s content.

The World of Coffee

The World of Coffee

The world of coffee is huge. There are so many machines, different blends and sizes and shape of grind. It has health benefits and can be used for anything from drinking it, enemas, face packs to anti-cellulite preparations and anti-ageing creams.

Coffee has been consumed over many thousands of years and apparently dates back to the Egyptian civilization, who if the stories are to be believed, really loved the stuff.

When you look for anything coffee related, whatever your needs are, the internet is a great tool. When I needed a new coffee machine at home, I used the internet to research and found a great site called espressowakeupcall.com and came across so many facts and stories along the way too.

The most interesting story for me was about a 79-year-old lady, Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The lawsuit that prevailed was labelled as one of the most frivolous in legal history and Stella has gained notoriety in this regard.

The story goes that whilst out travelling with her grandson one day, Stella and her grandson both became hungry, so they decided to stop off at a McDonald’s drive through.

After receiving their food and coffee that was in a Styrofoam cup, they drove on and pulled over so they could add cream and sugar to the coffee.

When Stella removed the lid of her coffee cup, the hot coffee spilled into her lap. The coffee was soaked up by her sweatpants and gave her third degree burns over approximately 6 per cent of the lower half of her body.

Stella was hospitalized that day for 6 weeks and underwent various skin grafts to repair the damage.

It turns out the acceptable temperature for coffee to be served is the same as is produced with home coffee machines. Home coffee machines produce coffee at a temperature between 130 – 140 degrees and on the day in question the McDonalds chains were serving their coffee between 180 – 190 degrees.

The family filed a lawsuit against McDonalds and did originally try to settle out of court with the fast-food giant for $20,000, but they refused settlement, which led to additional lawsuits.

The lawsuit became a famous, court room battle/drama. During the court case it was uncovered that more than 700 people made claims against McDonald’s over being burned by their coffee.

Eventually, Stella was awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages. This amount was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found her 20 percent at fault for the spillage.

The jury also awarded her $2.7 million in punitive damages.

A post-verdict investigation found that the temperature of coffee at the local Albuquerque McDonald’s had been dropped to 158 degrees Fahrenheit and this has now been rolled out across most McDonald’s chains throughout the US.

So what started out in the media as a bit of a joke was not so frivolous after all and should prevent scalds from coffee at McDonalds, in the future.

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Mouth Sores and Infections; What to look out For

There are many different types of sore that can occur around the mouth.  Some are cause for serious concern and others are just irritating and unsightly.

For a problem that does not go away within 10 days a dentist or physician should be consulted.

Symptoms and what they mean;

Symptoms of Candida

Candida or thrush is a fungal infection that occurs in the mouth or throat due to an overgrowth of yeast. The symptoms show as white spots inside the mouth or on the tongue.  The glands may be swollen and it can affect swallowing with a sore throat.  Babies can be born with this type of candida and your pediatrician can prescribe treatment.

Symptoms of Canker sores

The symptoms of canker sores are small white or yellow center lesions with a red inflamed border. They can occur in the mouth, on the tongue, inside cheeks, lips, gums and throat area.  They are not contagious.

Symptoms of Cold sores

The symptoms of cold sores (fever blisters) appear as red, raised clusters of blistering outside the mouth, usually on the lips but can also appear under the nose or under the chin.

HSV-1 can also show in eye infections, finger sores and genital area. Cold sores are contagious.

Symptoms of Tooth abscess

Symptoms of tooth abscess include sever toothache and sensitivity to hot and cold food and drink, maybe fever and swollen lymph glands. You will soon want to get to the dentist if you feel this acute pain!

Causes of cold sores

Cold sores and fever blisters are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1, HSV-1.

The virus is passed via saliva either from person to person directly, or it can be picked up from a drinking cup. The first sign is usually a cluster of small blisters on the lip. As many as 8 out of 10 people do have the virus although some will rarely suffer as they may have better immunity.  Most people are infected before they even reach 10 years of age.

Why do cold sores recur?

The virus is dormant in the facial nerves and unfortunately for some people the virus can become active at any time but more likely due to stress, cold or fever. Stress factors include; mental and emotional stressors. Undergoing dental treatment can be a trigger for some people; any illness or exposure to the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun can also cause a flare up.

Taking extra zinc at times when you know you are going to be stressed can help in prevention as zinc is the great healing mineral.

Although cold sore symptoms can show up in the eyes, fingers and genitals, the genital herpes virus is usually linked to HSV-2.

How serious are cold sores

A lot depends on underlying health issues, if someone has a much weakened immune system due to illness and/or medication then it can be serious. It may be a good idea to get the help of a good natural health practitioner to help with prevention.  Ask around for a good local herbalist, naturopath, Kinesiologist or homeopathic therapist.  Look for a good word of mouth recommendation!

The first signals

The first symptom of a cold sore is a feeling of tingling, burning or itching.  Frequent sufferers will be able “feel” it coming on. Then it becomes inflamed and red and later (within 24 and 48 hours) one or more blisters appear. When the blisters pop they become painful sores and will start to scab as antibodies arrive to heal it and prevent it from becoming an “open” sore.

The first time HSV-1 hits it may come with a fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and sore throat usually within a week of contracting the virus.

Prevention

Children are not vaccinated against these cold sore causing viruses so it is up to you to prevent any infection. You can ensure that they do not come into close contact with anyone suffering but you cannot always stop them from picking up drinks or drinking straws that may carry the virus.

If your child shows any symptoms of sores and fever you should of course see a physician to make sure it is nothing more serious.

Treatment

For first remedies for cold sores check this link.

Using a high factor sunscreen may help to prevent cold sores caused by the harmful rays of the sun.

There are many preventive medicines and curative medicines out there, check the link about for Cold Sores Cured website.

Seek medical advice if;

  • If you have persistent sores (a week or more)
  • You find it hard to talk/swallow
  • You have a fever
  • You have a second outbreak
healthy-hair

Fighting the Good Fight: How I Changed the Way My Style Looked

How-to-straighten-hair-at-home-naturallyPeople would always look at my clothes looked and how my hair was prepared, and they never really took the time to understand who was underneath the clothes. I know that happens a lot, and it’s pretty much impossible to get past – no matter where you live, people will be able to build up opinions about you due to what you’re wearing. Even if you think you’re in the most unbiased place on the planet, you still need to look at how you approach your style. If you go to a place ridden with poverty, yet you’re wearing three hundred dollar sunglasses, people are going to look at your presence in a negative light. I always though that the first impression you give somebody is the strongest, so whenever you want to get a job or something, you should always be on your best behavior (and look your best) for the very first interview. Even if you feel like the odds of you landing that job are very slim, approaching it with caution is the best way to do so. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve gone to a job interview, only to realize that I left a few of my “hobby pins” on a pair of suspenders – then again, I’m 25 and suspenders probably weren’t the best idea in the first place.

Julianne-Moore-red-hairPick your clothes wisely, make sure they apply to the situation at hand and you should be good to go. It doesn’t matter how often you’re trying to go about improving your wardrobe, all that matters is you actually accomplish that task. I didn’t even spend large amounts of money to do it, you don’t have to have any of those high-end brands in your closet. If you want to look like you belong, you’re going to need a little help – not all of us can be the black sheep. It was fun to do so for a little while, but it’s all about perception. You can be perceived any way you would like, and some people just don’t care when all is said and done. Your clothes will play a large role in how successful you are in the business industry, but for some careers, how you dress doesn’t matter.

My Hair

Pixie-Hairstyles-for-Thick-Hair-My hair is always causing me problems, as styling it has become very hard over the years. I used to sport thick and luscious locks, and while they’re still present, they’ve definitely gotten a little bit of Grey to them now. I needed a hair dryer that wasn’t going to completely dry out my hair as well, as I have a need for moist (healthy-looking) hair – I’m a model and it’s pretty much a must. I need a hair dryer that can have anything I want quickly done, but also without damaging my hair. I’ve pondered what my life would be like as a bald man, and I don’t think it would be too good. I know plenty of people in the world have the ability to sport a bald head with ease, but I would definitely say I’m not one of them. The hair dryer isn’t just for my work either, as I’ve still got to look good when I go out on dates and such. The perfect hair dryer is one that can handle all of your needs at a reasonable price, so look for anything that seems competitive.

woman-brushing-hair-brush-basics-dg-pg-fullIf you want to make the most of your appearance, try and change your style up. If you haven’t had much success with the ladies, there’s probably a reason for it – and wearing a white tee-shirt to your accounting interview isn’t an ideal situation to be in either. Take these tips to heart and you’ll come out looking ten times better than you did beforehand, because change for the better can never be overlooked. I used to question everything I wore, even if I was a model, I didn’t have the best fashion sense. People would always tell me what to wear at work! When it comes to hair, all I need is the proper tools.

History of the Humble Headphone

The History of the Humble Headphone

$_1Nowadays there are headphones everywhere. Pilots, DJ’s, runners, compares, rock stars, shop assistants, these things are just everywhere…I must admit I am a bit partial to these things myself, I run, listen to music, listen to books etc. headphones are as important to us as breakfast cereals, loo rolls and I would argue transport. Not always for the same reason but everyone has some.

Before iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and various other sites there was the Electrophone, invented in the 1890s, this subscription service allowed customers to dial a switchboard and be connected to a live performance from theatres across London. The headsets they wore then to listen were akin to Dr Dre ‘Beats’ now. It really was cutting edge stuff.

Then…along came the French to go one better…a French engineer invented in ear headphones…’Sacre Bleu‘, this was cutting edge stuff!

These headphones were mainly used by telephonists and these earbud headphones even had noise cancelling technology to block out any distracting external noise.

EKUSTLBK_largeThe first pair of full on audio headphones were invented in 1910 in the engineers kitchen and these were thought to be so out there that the original investors pulled out but instead the idea was picked up and invested in by the US Navy. The inventor did end his days bankrupt though sadly, as he invested in some wild things, as you do, and none of these ideas worked out. ‘ Oh well’, you win some you lose some.

In the mid 1950’s some of the early models were more like mini speakers, covered in cardboard and foam…yikes! you really can imagine those puppies being uncomfortable.

However, the main breakthrough in headphones didn’t happen until the 1960’s, the same guy that created the earphones covered in the cardboard and foam, invented earphones that were purely for the purpose of listening to music, this concept coincided with the revolution that was the ‘Rock ‘n Roll’ era. Wow, great timing!

Kidz-Phonz-Stereo-Headphone-with-In-Line-Microphone-KPTRThese headphones were endorsed (yes, I know you thought this was a recent thing, I know me too) by some of the bands at the time. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to name but two of these.

The dominance of these particular headphones was short lived as electrical companies started to reproduce these more quickly and more cheaply, Philips, Sanyo, Sennheiser, all got in on the act and they were affordable, mass produced and soon the market was flooded.

Sennheiser really changed the market with their revolutionary ‘open’ headphones. Up until then most headphones were heavy can type affairs, bulky, heavy and a bit ‘tinny’ sounding. These headphones sold hundreds of thousands and are arguably the most successful design of all time.

Summary

KTXPRO1_largeI must say then when I started looking into the history of the humble headphone, I didn’t realise it had gone through such an evolution over the years. It has changed from the big bulky telephonist headphones, Dr Dre’s ‘Beats’ and the Victoria’s Secret £1,000,000 jewel encrusted pieces of art. Dr’s, lawyers, athlete’s, Office worker’s, stay at home mum’s, we all use them for whatever reason, we all seem to have a pair.

The headphone has come a long way in a reasonably short amount of time and so is totally interweaved into our society it certainly doesn’t look like it is going anywhere.

The Right Hair Dryer
Hair Naturist Treatments
Cuddling With Baby
Avoid Cheap Sunglasses