Friday, November 30, 2012

10 Homemade Treatments for Radiant Skin


Get Gorgeous Skin with Ingredients from Your Own Kitchen

Did you know that many of the same ingredients found in expensive, high quality skin care products can be found in the natural products that you likely already have in your kitchen? In this article, I will provide you with 10 easy, natural, inexpensive, at-home skin treatments that I love.
There are number of reasons why you can benefit from homemade skin treatments. First of all, they are relatively inexpensive. They are all natural and since you're the one making them, you know exactly what is in them and from where those ingredients came. Many of the ingredients have a wide variety of uses, and, most importantly, they work!
After you read through some of my suggestions, feel free in invent your own natural skin care treatments. I will explain why the ingredients I use are beneficial, and then you can mix and match to create a perfect, customized skin care routine that's best for you and your skin.

1.Grape Anti-Wrinkle Cleanser

Grapes, like other citrus fruits, have natural exfoliation benefits. Grape seed oil can be found in many anti-aging skin care products. The grape is also high in antioxidants and vitamins.The alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) found in grapes and other acid fruits such as oranges, lemons, and strawberries, help to reduce wrinkles and sun damage. Though the levels of AHA in natural fruits aren't as high as in cosmetic products, if used regularly you should notice improvements in your skin.
The yogurt in the this recipe is a good source of vitamin A retinol and vitamin b5. The olive oil is high in vitamin E and is great for moisturizing that results in soft and supple skin. The baking soda adds a little extra exfoliation.
Grape Anti-Wrinkle Cleanser
Blend 1/2 cup grapes, 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 cup yogurt and 1 TBSP baking soda in a blender until smooth. Gently massage onto face and rinse with warm water.
Simple Grape Anti-Wrinkle Mask
You can also receive the anti-wrinkle benefits from grapes by slicing a few in half and then crushing them gently on your face. Leave on for about 20 minutes.
Beauty Extra: Frozen Grape Snack
Not only are grapes good for your outside, they're good for your inside! Fill a zip lock container with your favorite grapes and pop in the freezer. In a few hours you'll have a yummy, easy and healthy snack. Enjoy when you're craving a sweet snack.

2. Avocado and Honey Face Mask

Use this mask if you want soft, supple, moisturized, and glowing skin.
Avocado is truly a super-fruit. When you're not wearing it, I highly recommend eating it. It is high in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. There have been studies showing that people who eat avocado have lower cholesterol[1]. But, more specifically, how does it benefit your skin? Well, it's high in vitamin E, which is great for softening the skin, reducing wrinkles and stretch marks. It also has antioxidant properties. It boosts collagen (which keeps skin elastic) and new skin growth. Along with vitamin E, avocado is also high in vitamin A and C.
Avocado is also extremely high in omega fats, which improve dry skin and skin firmness. All the oils and fat in avocados will provide your skin with natural moisture and elasticity.
Honey helps to absorb and retain moisture. Honey is naturally anti-microbial and also an antioxidant. It will help to absorb impurities from the skin.
Avocado and Honey Face Mask
Mash 1 ripe avocado with 2 TBSP honey. Apply liberally to skin and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. Apply two cool cucumber slices to eyes, which help reduce redness and puffiness, if desired.
Use whenever you feel your skin is in need of replenishment and moisturization.

3. Citrus Acid Peel followed by Baking Soda Scrub

One of my favorite facial scrubs used to be Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash. That was until I discovered baking soda. I really liked Philosophy's exfoliating wash because the microbeads were very fine and my skin felt super soft afterwards. Well, plain old baking soda comes pretty close to the same experience! Follow your acid peel with a baking soda scrub for maximum exfoliating and resurfacing benefits. This also works great to soften and reduce blackheads. The acidity in the lemon and orange juice will dissolve dead skin cells and the baking soda will wipe away anything left over.
Citrus Acid Peel
Mix 1/2 cup plain yogurt with 1 TBSP orange juice and 1 TBSP lemon juice. Apply a generous amount all over face and neck. Let work for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Baking Soda Scrub
Now that the acid peel has had time to work, it's time to slough off those extra skin cells. Wet face and neck. Dip your fingertips in a small amount of baking soda and gently massage in small circles all over face, picking up more baking soda as needed. After you've thoroughly scrubbed your entire face for a few minutes, rinse with warm water.
Repeat every 1-2 weeks. It's important to give your skin time to replenish itself.
Some people prefer to mix the baking soda with a mild skin cleanser such as Cetaphil's skin cleanser. I've found that using plain baking soda works fine for me, but do whichever you prefer.
Please note: this treatment may cause the skin to turn pink for a little while afterwards. Please make sure you have time to allow your skin to recover before going out (it may take an hour or two) unless you don't mind leaving the house looking a little rosy.

4. Honey Cucumber Toner

Cucumber helps to soothe and soften your skin. It is anti-inflammatory and naturally refreshing. It will reduce redness, puffiness, and help even your skin tone.
Honey, again, is great for absorbing impurities from the pores. It also helps treat minor irritations and sun burns.
Use this toner twice daily to help clean and moisturize your skin.
Honey Cucumber Toner
Peel 2 cucumbers. Blend. Strain and collect the cucumber juice. Mix 1 TBSP honey into the cucumber juice. Apply small amount with fingers or dab with a cotton ball. Store up to a week in the refrigerator.
Beauty Extra: Cucumber Lemon Water
All of the natural ingredients in this article are just as good for you when ingested as when applied topically. Here is a simple and refreshing drink you can sip while enjoying your homemade spa treatments.
Put about 3 slices of cucumber and 3 slices of lemon in a pitcher of water. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for an hour to allow flavors to come through. Enjoy!

5. Honey and Sugar Body Scrub

Exfoliating will keep your skin refreshed and renewed. Ask any esthetician what are the most important things you can do for your skin and their answer will be: moisturize and exfoliate. I do this scrub about once a week. Use it all over your body, especially those trouble areas (for me, I use it to keep those little bumps on the back of my arms, legs and butt at bay). It is also great in helping to prevent stretch marks, and even to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, as it helps strengthen skin elasticity.
Honey and Sugar Body Srub
Mix 2 parts honey to 1 part sugar, adding honey as necessary to reach desired consistency. You'll probably use about 1/4 cup sugar if you want to scrub your entire body. Apply the scrub in the bath or shower as sugar crystals tend to fall and make a mess. Gently apply the sugar scrub and rub for about 15 minutes. Again, both honey and exfoliation are great for your skin so you really want to give them the opportunity to work.
Rinse with warm water. You'll be amazed at how soft your skin feels afterwards. Moisturize after your shower for maximum benefits.

6. Coffee Ground Scrub

Don't throw away those used coffee grounds just yet! This one can get a little messy, so be sure to do it in the shower or bath. The caffeine in the coffee grounds help to draw out moisture. What?!? I thought the goal was to retain the moisture in our skin! Keeping your skin moisturized in very important, but in this case, by drawing out water, the caffeine may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite. I like to mix the coffee grounds with a little bit of honey. You'll receive all the revitalizing qualities of honey, as well as a gently exfoliating from the coffee grounds.
Coffee Ground Scrub
Use however much of the coffee grounds you have/want. You'll probably need about 1/2 cup if you want to do your entire body. Mix in honey until you've reached your desired consistency. Rub and massage skin for about 15 minutes to get the benefits of the exfoliation and the honey. Rinse with soap and warm water. You'll need to use a soap, as the coffee grounds will leave a residue on your skin.

7. Milk and Honey Bath

As legend goes, Cleopatra frequently indulged in baths of milk and honey. And for good reason; these things are amazing! Simple, yet effective. Doesn't the name simply sound luxurious? Anytime you feel like relaxing into a warm bath, why not consider throwing in some extra ingredients from which your skin will reap extra benefits.
I've added epsom salt to this bath for the added benefits of detoxification, exfoliation and healing.
Milk and Honey Bath
Fill bath tub with water to desired temperature. Mix into the tub 2 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup epsom salt. Gently stir to allow honey and salt to dissolve. If you would like, light candles and dim the lights and use this time to relax deeply. I recommend bathing for 30 minutes to reap the benefits of this simple bath.

8. Almond Oil Moisturizer

Simple, yet effective. No joke, I used this twice daily while I was pregnant and I did not get ONE stretch mark on my stomach! And I don't believe I have naturally resilient skin because I did get stretch marks on my sides and my breasts, where I was not as consistent about applying the oil. Almond oil is gentle on all skin types and it is rich in vitamin E. It helps to improve skin elasticity and prevent stretch marks. Use twice daily, consistently, if you want to see serious improvements in your skin. Also, be sure you are exfoliating for healthy, radiant skin.
Almond Oil Moisturizer
Use pure and natural almond oil. Apply a small amount (a little goes a long way) to skin and massage in until absorbed, usually a few minutes. Repeat two to three times daily to prevent stretch marks.
Massaging the skin is also beneficial in that it increases blood flow and circulation to the skin.

9. Oatmeal and Honey Face Mask

This recipe is simple yet effective. As explained above, honey has many benefits when applied topically to the skin. The honey will help keep your skin soft, smooth and radiant. The minerals in oatmeal act as an anti-inflammatory and help reduce irritation. This mask is great after extended exposure in the sun.
Oatmeal and Honey Face Mask
Process a small amount of oatmeal in a food processor or blender. Mix with a little bit of honey, adding more as needed to reach desired consistency. Apply liberally to face and let work for about 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water. If you would like, after you've rinsed off the mask, you can dab your face with cold water to close your pores.
Beauty Extra: Teabags to Reduce Inflammation
While you're enjoying your homemade treatment, try using tea bags on the eyes to reduce inflammations and improve dark circles. After making your tea, save the tea bags in the refrigerator. Then they're ready for your use whenever you're treating yourself. I like to use them while soaking in a honey and milk bath.

10. Oatmeal, Sea Salt and Baking Soda Hand and Foot Scrub

Let's not forget about our hands and feet. They need exfoliation and moisture just as much as the rest of our skin. Actually, our hands are big indicators of age, so be sure to take care of them as much as you care for the rest of your skin. This scrub willexfoliate your skin, leaving it fresh and radiant. Don't forget to moisturize afterwards!
Oatmeal, Sea Salt and Baking Soda Scrub
Mix together 1 TBSP oatmeal with 2 tsp baking soda, 2 TBSP sea salt and slowly add water until you get a pasty consistency. Apply to hands and feet and massage for 5-10 minutes. Remember, the massage with get your blood and circulation moving to your skin and you need to massage for a few minutes to really get your skin nice and exfoliated.
And there you have it! Ten awesome recipes for radiant skin. You will love seeing and feeling your soft, glowing and healthy skin. I hope you enjoy these natural, homemade skin treatments. Don't forget that you are beautiful. If you have tried any of these recipes or have recipes of your own, I want to hear about your experiences so be sure to leave your comments. Thank you!

Note: This information is not intended to be used to treat, heal, or cure any medical condition. Please consult your physician with any health issues you may have.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How Freelancers can Maximize their Time and Make More Money


Have you ever heard anyone say, “Time is money?”
It’s a common expression people use to show how time is directly proportionate to how much money you earn. This phrase is especially valuable to freelancers who must manage their time and use it wisely to increase profits and build viable businesses.

Unfortunately, even though time is precious, freelancers give in to distractions all too often. Because their work environment is flexible and many work from home, it’s not uncommon to find many lacking in time management skills.

How do I know about time management? I deal with distractions on a daily basis and time management was one of the hardest obstacles I had to overcome. As a fellow freelancer, I understand the temptations, and the struggles you face on a daily basis. As freelancers, our life is rewarding, but far from easy.

I’ve “been there and done that” and along the way I developed a few strategies that have helped me maximize my time and grow my business as a result.

Here are some of my tips:

Proper Scheduling


There are many facets to scheduling – all vital to maximize your time and increase your profits.
Take it from someone who never scheduled and just worked on the fly. I thought I could do work as it came and that would be enough. It wasn’t until I set monthly profit goals and created a schedule that I started making more money and meeting my financial goals.

My problem:

I was working hard (at least I thought I was) but when I looked at my budgets, I had not made as much money as I thought.

Here were some of the issues:

I wasn’t scheduling my time so I wasn’t accountable for daily and weekly tasks. This led to numerous distractions (more on that later).

If you don’t know exactly how much work you need to accomplish to meet a certain monthly financial goal, you will never grow your bank account.

Why? 

Because in order to fulfill your long term goals, you must make them your short term actions.
I can say I dream of becoming a famous painter, but if I don’t break that down into tangible, real world, daily and monthly actions, the dream will forever remain only in my head. I can say I want to make x amount of dollars next month, but if I don’t plan out what that looks like on a daily basis, it won’t happen.

Financial goals –

How much do you want to make next month? Set a plausible goal that is higher than what you made last month. In my case I have some open-ended contracts. I can do more work if I want. This helps me to work more when I need to make my goals. If you do not have a situation like this, set an achievable goal with the intention to bring in more business. Don’t make it unattainable. If you are making $3,000 a month, set a goal to bring in another $100-$200. Apply to job ads that will allow you to meet that goal.
If you are already maximizing your time and you want to make more money, it may be time to increase your rates.

Rates


This is a difficult subject to discuss because every freelancer will offer varying rates based on their experience and what they feel they are worth. While there is a lot to discuss on the topic, I want to focus on how to make sure your rates are competitive.

Contrary to what you may think, it’s actually more common for freelancers to undervalue their work rather than to overprice their services.

Here are a few reasons freelancers undervalue their services:

  • Fear of failure – “What if my client doesn’t like my designs? If I quote low, they won’t expect more than I can give them.”

  • Low Self-worth – Try not to let any feelings of low self-esteem cloud your opinion of your work. Some people will never see their work as excellent even when it is. Understand that your perception is not always reality. Take a step outside of your body and look at your work objectively. You may be pleasantly surprised.

  • “I’m not an expert” – Whether or not you are the “designer of the year,” you are still an expert regardless of your skill level. Design is an expertise in itself and while you will always learn and grow, you are an expert in your particular level of skill, regardless of where you fall on your talent barometer. As you grow, you can increase your rates but don’t undervalue yourself because you are comparing your work to designers and developers with triple the experience.

What are you worth? If you think you may be undervaluing your work, consider a competitive hourly rate you would feel comfortable charging. When you quote a project, estimate how many hours it will require and start quoting at this increased rate.

Where are all the high-paying clients?
There are plenty of clients who will pay you what you are worth. If you are not landing these types of gigs, take a look at your online presence and your portfolio and see where it can be improved. Ensure your profiles are professional and you are actively engaging with the community.

If your online presence is solid, consider changing your attitude to believe you are worth higher-paying clients. You will be amazed at how this changes things. I am a witness.

If you truly believe you are worth a certain rate, you will attract the clients that will give you that rate.


Work Alone

Is anyone present in your home office while you are working? This can become a huge distraction!
It’s not uncommon for family members or spouses to forget you are involved in a project even though you are hard at work on your computer. The freelancer lifestyle is not understood by people who are “non-freelancers”. My husband works from home occasionally and he loves to talk through things because he is very detailed. While I value our communication, sometimes he forgets that I am actually working. My fingers are typing but because I am in his vicinity he interrupts me. And because I am easily distracted, it’s too easy for me to leave my work and start engaging in the conversation.

Set the boundaries with the people living in your home. My husband now knows to leave me alone until I am on a break and he respects my time because he understands my schedule. If the people in your home cannot respect your time, it may be a good idea to work outside of your home at a local cafĂ© or coffee house.

Don’t Trust Yourself


Log out of Twitter, Facebook and your email while you are working!

When I get antsy, or stuck on a project, my gut reaction is to check Facebook (it will only be a second, right?) We all know where this goes…you see a friend’s status who just posted a pic of her new baby. You follow the pic for one second and there are 30 comments. You glance through some of the comments and notice an old friend from college…you have to friend request her or you will forget about it later! One thing leads to another andyou know how it goes…the rest is history.

What do I do?

I log out of every website that could be a distraction. Because I know I won’t take the extra time to log back in, it forces me to attack the obstacle I am facing with my project instead of leaving it for some Facebook time. I reward myself with social media time only when I get my work done.

Time Saving Tools


Here are some tools that will help you maximize your time.

Focus Booster


Focus Booster

Focus Booster is an app built on the idea of the Pomodoro Technique. Francesco Cirillo created this system to help people accomplish their tasks while giving them time for ample breaks. The technique allows 5 minute breaks every 25 minutes, with longer breaks every four 25-minute periods (pomodoros).
The Focus Booster app is a timer for your computer that automatically gives you a visual or audio cue when it is time to take a break as dictated by the Pomodoro Technique. The timer will help you stay focused on your projects while giving you rewards along the way.

TeuxDeux



TeuxDeux is a simple application that allows you to make to-do lists. It is great for the freelancer that likes to make lists and cross off items as they are completed. Crossing off items can be visually rewarding and it is a good practice to keep motivation at a high level. Take your to-do list on the road with the TeuxDeux iPhone app.

Doomi



Doomi is a great to-do list that sits anywhere on your desktop. Whenever you need to unload an idea out of your head, type it in Doomi and set the time as a reminder to do it later. Or just add it to the list without a reminder.

The little list will sit right on your computer so you don’t have to stress over remembering your many to-do items.

Less stress = more productivity = more money.

You will see a reminder window open when it is time to perform your task:


Chrometa



How much cumulative time do you spend on Facebook in a week? I thought I was highly productive until I installed Chrometa. After reviewing my daily data, I realized I was spending more time away from my work than I thought. But I never realized how much time I was spending on Facebook because I wasn’t aware how the little diversions were adding up.

Chrometa tracks where you spend your time and what sites you visit. You will see how much time you spend on each client, social sites or other sites you frequent.  Chrometa also offers more features to help you organize your freelance business and with a 14-day free trial, it’s worth a look. Use this tool to assess where you can improve your productivity even if you simply track your time for one week to see where your attention is going.

Tools for Identifying Fonts and Creating a Palette


Typography is a big part of web (or any) design project.

It can be a fun, but also challenging process for those who are uncomfortable with the basics of typography.

But it is pretty easy to learn a few basics about type to get you headed in the right direction. Developing a font palette for almost any project can be almost as simple as learning to identify font styles, slant and mood. Once you know the basics, you will more easily understand how to identify fonts visually or with the help of an online tool and create perfect project palettes.

Identifying Fonts Visually

Some of the best typographers and typography nuts can just look at a typeface and determine what family it comes from. This is not an essential skill for web designers and developers.
What is important is that you can pick out a typeface based on category or style and understand enough about it to determine what kind of mood it might convey. It is important that typefaces match the tone and style for each project. (You can learn even more about the different type categories in this previous post.)

There are a few key items to look at when you are trying to visually identify a typeface.

Serifs


Do letters have small strokes at the end?

Any horizontal stokes at the ends of letters signify the use of a serif typeface. The lack of additional stokes means the typeface is a sans serif. Sans serifs are commonly used in web design.
Old English


Are letters simple and easy to read or more elaborate?

Elaborate detailing of letters could mean you are looking at an Old English typestyle. (Think of the nameplates at the tops of newspapers or lettering from old movies.) Other sometimes elaborate type styles include cursives, which look more like handwriting, or novelty type families.
Transitional


Do letterforms contain a single or multiple stroke weights?

Transitional serifs, such as Times New Roman, are letterforms where every stroke is of an equal weight. Transitional serifs are the most popular of the serif category for web applications because the unvarying stroke weight is easy to read at a number of sizes and on a variety of backgrounds. Letters that have varying stroke weights are called modern serifs; they are most commonly used in print applications.
Handwriting


Do letters resemble printed type or do they mirror handwriting?

Both serif and sans serif typefaces typically look like type – letters that are created by a computer or typewriter. Letters that are made to look like they were written by hand fall into the script or cursive categories. These typefaces are often used for emphasis and not for large blocks of text in web design.
Slanted


Are letters slanted?

Look at the slant of letters. Are letters italic or is the slant because of the aforementioned handwriting style. Keep slant in mind because it is important in terms of pairing fonts.
Novelty


Do letters look completely unconventional and nothing like traditional type?

Any lettering that does not fall into another category is considered a novelty typeface. These are often odd or custom letterforms that have a specific purpose. Novelty typefaces can be striking and effective but should be used sparingly.


4 Tools to Identify Fonts

Identafont

Identifont: By answering a few questions, the online tool can help you figure out what font you are looking at.
Whatthefont

What the Font: Upload an image file containing a font and the database will return a list of possibilities.
Fount

Fount: This nifty little widget allows you to click on fonts on websites and tell you what you are seeing. It is fairly specific including font name, size, weight and style.
Whatfontis

What Font is: With WhatFontis, a free online font finder, you are only three steps away to find the name of the font that you just can’t stand not knowing about.


Font Pairing

Emporiumpies
Over
Fly wheel
Cirq
Cappellos

Paring fonts for any project is a fine art. Too few fonts can be boring. Too many fonts can be overwhelming.

But what is the right number? That can vary by project. Beginners may want to stick with as few as two type families for projects; more experienced designers with an eye for typography may use as many as 10.

Start by selecting font families that offer multiple options as weights, such as bold, black, condensed and italic. Having all the extra options makes pairing a breeze. Fonts of the same family always match and will work together.

Consider the effect you want to achieve with type – harmony, contrast, trust, sales. Put together typefaces that work accordingly.

To create harmony, use fonts with similar attributes. For contrast, use typefaces that seem to be in opposition of one another.

Regardless of the feel you are trying to create, consider how you will establish contrast – bold vs. light, sans serif, vs. serif, traditional style vs. novelty. Contrasting typefaces will create visual interest.
Also think about the shape and slant of letters. Are Os in the type family rounded or more ovular? Do letters stand straight up and down or do they have a slant to them? Do styles use serifs; are they angled, fancy, or square? Stick to typefaces that exhibit similar properties for a more unified look.
Here’s another tip: Fonts created by a single designer often have an innate sense of togetherness. 
When shopping for typefaces, take note of who created each style.


4 Font Pairing Tools

Font fuse

FontFuse: Create your own font pairings using web fonts in real time. You can then share your pairings for feedback or check out pairings that others have created.
Google

Google Web Fonts: Take a look at more than 500 different font families by the letter, word, sentence or paragraph.
Cheatsheet

Font Pairing Cheat Sheet: This cheat sheet by Douglas Bonneville pairs 19 combinations of web fonts that make it really easy to create simple and beautiful typography. (The cheat sheet is a downloadable PDF.)
Typecast

Typecast: With just a few clicks you can set type in your browsers and check it for readability, rendering and look. The tool makes it easy to combine, compare and share different font combinations and create the HTML and CSS you need to move it to your site.

6 Health Mistakes Web Designers Ought to Avoid


Contrary to popular belief, web designing is not at all an easy job. If you are a freelancer, people will consider you way too luck because you are your own boss. However, everything has its advantages and disadvantages. Due to the job responsibilities, web designers have to spend long hours in front of their desktop. This kind of work routine can be very harmful for any web designer’s health, if they do not take care of their health routine. Job requirements of a web designer are very difficult and this may lead designers to an unhealthy work routine. Always remember that you will be able to work properly if you have a healthy mind and a healthy body.
As a web designer, you should make sure that live a healthy lifestyle in order to balance your not-so-healthy work routine. Today, in this article we will be discussing the major health mistakes web designers should avoid in order to stay healthy, fit and creative. However, to begin with, a healthy mind should be considered as a foundation of achieving a healthy body.

Encompass a Healthy Mind

Encompass a Healthy Mind
Spending too much time at your work place will kill the happy man in you. Sooner or later, you will start hating the job you once loved. Spending irregular hours in front of that dull machine will turn you into a dull man as well. This exhaustion will lead to a frustrated mind, which eventually leads to an unhealthy body resulting into a dislike for yourself, in no time. Also, spending too much time on a computer and getting no exercise will exalt you with various muscular and joint pains. Along with all this, you will start gaining weight and it will appear to you as if your life is over. Sounds horrible right? The reason behind all this is an unhealthy mindset.
You need to start taking your health seriously and once you change your mindset towards health, you will enjoy life and work as well. Encompassing a healthy mind will lead you to a healthy lifestyle.
Let us now take a look at some of the major health mistakes made by web designers.

1.   Planning but not Executing

I am sure that all web designers will relate to all these problems because all of them have suffered these problems sooner or later in their career. There are no two-thoughts about the fact that designers have an unhealthy lifestyle and they are going nowhere by just sitting on a chair and working on new web designs.
It is very important for you to realize how important a healthy workout is and only you can realize it when you need it badly. However, realizing is not the only important thing as you will have to bring a change on your own. If you will not do anything after realizing, before you know you will be a victim of depression and this stress will further sulk you. So, start making planning on making changes into your lifestyle as soon as you realize you need a change. Plan and execute; this is the key.
-      One Step at a Time
Now, that you have decided to adopt a healthy lifestyle, do not expect it to happen overnight. You can start exercising like anything but it is bound to put you off so take baby steps. Start from little and then increase your workout time.

2.   No Relaxation for Body

People who spend hours and hours in front of a system will face a lot of body related issues. They will feel pain in neck, back and off course forearms as they are used the most. Mostly we designers will suffer from tingling or itchiness because of typing, clicking, holding a mouse for long hours.
-      Minor changes in Posture
If you want to avoid these minor issues, you need to make some changes in your sitting posture. Now, this does not mean you cannot relax but try not to have a slouchy posture. Give your arms, fingers, wrists some relaxation by stretching them.

3.   Not Taking Enough Sleep

Getting a good amount of sleep is very important for a healthy mind and a healthy body. If you are working too much and not sleeping well, you will drain out yourself. Power naps will only help you in working but it will not help you with good results. If you are feeling sleepy, you won’t be able to get half of the work done even after spending hours in front of your computer.
-      Fall in love with your Sleep
You must have read this on a lot of places that every human being should sleep for at least 6-8 hours. Whatever is stopping you from getting a good sleep, get rid of it. You will wake up all fresh and healthy if you have slept well last night and you will be able to produce better results at work.

4.   Eyesight

Take care of your eyesight
A lot of web designers, in fact, almost all them suffer from eyesight issues but very few take this issue seriously. Since they have to focus a lot on minute details on the screen, the vision can get blurry. Eyesight problems can result into various related issues so you need to take care of your eyesight and if you feel any stress while watching monitor, you should get it checked.
-      Take Care of your Eyesight
Well, do not take yourself for granted. Every part of your body is important so instead of lingering on with eyesight issues get them checked. Eye examination once a year is must for all office going people. Apart from this, proper lighting and exercising for your eyes is very important.

5.   Not taking Body Complaints Seriously

Sitting non-stop in uncomfortable chairs will cause a lot of suffering to your body and the major issue will be related to back pain. 90% of office going people complaint about having a back pain however, not even half of them takes the pain seriously.
-      Avoiding
This issue also needs some posture correction. Adjust your chair nicely with your table’s height. If you have major back pain issue, always keep a comfy cushion with you and avoid sitting in a slouchy position.

6.   Ignoring Headaches

Computer screens are a major cause of headaches in professionals. Again, headache could be due to various reasons but it will definitely stop you from giving out good results as web designer.
-      Do not ignore
If you are having a headache, instead of ignoring, find a reason. It could be due to constant staring at monitor or some stress. So, try to get rid of your stress by finding a distraction. Take a break from work and take some rest. Also, drink lots and lots of water.

Conclusion

Your life should not revolve around your work only. You deserve to have a healthy mind and a healthy body. So take out time from work for yourself and once you feel healthy, you will be amazed at the results you produce at work.

10 Must Have Windows 8 Apps


Windows 8, one of the most anticipated Windows versions ever, has finally been launched. It boasts a lot of new amazing features, but the most talked about and exciting thing is definitely the Store.
Now you can ameliorate the usability of your PC by adding new and exciting apps such as games, multimedia, tools, productivity tools etc. Installing these apps is now made extremely easy and you can do it in a click or two – thanks to the Windows app store.
Windows Store boasts a thousands of apps, thus finding the ‘awesome’ ones is a very tough task. Thus in order to help you out, we are going to present a list of 10 Must Have Windows 8 Apps. So check them out!

Norton Satellite

Norton Satellite
Windows 8 allows easy integration with online services like Facebook etc, which is a really cool feature, but you also have to keep tabs on your security. This is where Norton Satellite can come in handy. It utilizes apps for scanning your Facebook links and Dropbox files and prompting you of any threats.  Although it can’t be compared to a full-fledged antivirus program but can still offer some extra security for your PC.

Fractal Photographer

Fractal Photographer
Fractal Photographer is an amazing first guide which shows the fascinating infinity of beautiful fractal patterns. It is a great app for tablets as it allows multi-touch support allowing zooming in or rotating to get the perfect view or you can use the mouse to do the same. It utilizes multiple color schemes for creating new effects. You can save the patterns in HD versions and can easily share them with others.

musiXmatch Lyrics

musiXmatch Lyrics
If you are used to using the cool musiXmatch Lyrics app on your iDevice or Android device, then you would be happy to know that now you can get this app on your Windows 8 for free. This cool app lets you find the lyrics of almost anything in your music collection as it boasts lyrics for about 6 million songs.

TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio
When you are bored and got nothing to do, internet radio is always of help to keep you entertained! If you love radio, then you should definitely get this app. It features a large database with 70,000+ stations. You also have the option of browsing by music, sport, news, comedy, chat, language, country, or even just local station. You can also make a list of your favorite stations, or even pin them to your Start Screen.

Dredd vs Zombies

Dredd vs Zombies
Love fighting zombies? If so, then you would love this game! It is a popular game on iOS and Android platform, and is new on Windows 8. In this game you have to save Mega-City One from a zombie invasion. It has 30 levels of exciting combat. This game does let one down when it comes to mouse interface which is relatively poor, but on a touch interface it is an awesome and really fun game!

Reversi Free

Reversi Free
Reversi Free is the easier, light and more fun version of the popular strategy game named Othello. It is easy to play but is very interesting. It has three difficulty levels and you can choose to play against PC or a human opponent. Its interface is really attractive and looks as if it is pencil sketched.

Free Books

Free Books
If you are an avid reader and love reading, then Free Books app is a must have for you. Reading on your electronic device is really handy.  It has a huge collection of 23,000 free books (usually classics), sorted in different categories and by author. It also has a section of “Featured”. You can simply download the book and enjoy it!

 Multimedia 8

Multimedia 8
If you miss the presence of the classic Windows Media Centre, you should get the Multimedia 8 app. It allows easy browsing of your music, video and playlists etc. Assessing files on a media server, or the web is made really easy. Its other features are 3D video support, the option of converting videos to MP4 or WMV; creating playlists, DLNA media streaming, subtitle support (SRT/ WebVTT), video stabilization, video and audio capture etc.

Metro Commander

Metro Commander
Metro Commander is a really handy file manager for the Start Screen that offers a dual-pane interface on your files and folders, and allows accessing all the usual core functions such as Viewing, Renaming, Copying, New Folder, New File etc. It even boasts an integrated SkyDrive support. Explorer is the best one available out there, but Metro Commander is a more user-friendly and handier tool.

News Bento

News Bento
News Bento is an awesome app which presents a group of tiles displaying constantly-updated news, photos and headlines from top US websites. Others are also available through the “more news” link. It also boasts Google Reader support along with RSS search. Thus this app will keep you updated with all the latest news all the time no matter where you go!

10 Online Image Compression And Optimization Tools


Online image compression is useful when you don’t want to install any software on your system or you are away from your system and want to compress the images.
It is essential for a web designer and a developer to compress images first before uploaded them online. The loading speed of a web page is an important factor. Heavy images make your web page load slower than usual. If your blog posts usually include images then it becomes even more important to compress them first so that your web pages load as faster as possible.
If you don’t want to install any software for this purpose then you can simply compress your images online. Here are 10 best online image compression and optimization tools for your use.

Online Image Compression and Optimization Tools

PunyPNG

PunnyPNG is an image compression tool for designers and developers. It allows multiple uploads up to 10 files at a time and you can download all compressed images in a single zip file. PunnyPNG supports JPG, GIF and PNG file formats.
PunyPNG

TinyPNG

Unlike another online image compression tools, TinyPNG allows drag and drop feature to simple drag your images that you want to be compressed. The main drawback of TinyPNG is that it online optimizes and compresses PNG files and it doesn’t support any other file format.
TinyPNG

SmushIt

Smush.it is a tool by Yahoo and it optimizes images by removing unnecessary bytes from image files. It simply compress the images without changing their look or visual quality.
SmushIt

Shrink Pictures

Shrink Pictures is a tool that not only compress your images but also allows you to defile the dimensions of the compressed image and apply special effects to it. You can also choose the image quality.
Shrink Pictures

JPEGMini

By using JPEGmini you can compress and reduce the size of your images by upto 5x times while maintaining the same quality. It can effectively save your storage space by removing those extra bytes from the images.
JPEGMini

Image Optimizer

Image Optimizer can resize, compress and optimize your image files. Using this tool is easy. Just browse for your images, select the image quality and define the dimension of images and your image will be compressed.
Image Optimizer

Web Resizer

Web Resizer is a fantastic tool that not only compress your images but also offer other options as well. You can define the new image dimensions, rotate the image, define image quality and many more other options.
Web Resizer

JPEG-Optimizer

JPEG-Optimzer is an simple online tool to compress and resize your images. The tool is really simple that can compress and resize your images to use on websites, forums or blogs.
JPEG-Optimizer

DynamicDrive Image Optimizer

Image Optimzer by DynamicDrive can compress your images for faster load time and it can also change the format of images after compression. It is also a simple tool where you can paste the URL of an image or upload it from your computer.
DynamicDrive Image Optimizer

Kraken

Kraken is a fast tool with user friendly interface. You can upload an image or paste the URL of an image to compress it. You can also drag and drop your file which is the easiest method.
Kraken