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Teaching the cycle of life — with gardening

Gardening can be used as a powerful tool to teach children the interconnectedness of all things — including our dependence on and understanding of how the cycle of life works. It may appear to be a bit deep of a conversation to have while your family plants their tulips and herbs, nevertheless I think it’s an important connection to emphasis.

Plants are born, and once they die, they can return the next year in a new form, or grow into something else that helps the earth. This process of gardening helps children understand the concept of life and death cycles in a larger context. We are all born, we all die, and what happens to us is merely within the nature of life itself. Using gardening as a teaching tool for kids to understand the philosophical inquiries of the meaning of life may seem a bit far-fetched, but what better way to concretely show how the life works in its most natural state.

When my daughter was young, we had a garden of beautiful hybrid tea roses in our backyard and the two of us would tend them in the summer. She would help me dig up the dirt with her little bucket and we would watch these beautiful flowers bloom. On the other hand, we would also watch these flowers die at the end of the season. Every year, it would make my daughter sad. She couldn’t quite comprehend why we would tend so carefully to a set of flowers that would wither away at the end of season. Through a child’s eyes, it made me realize how truly sad it is to watch a brilliant flower slowly shrivel up and fall apart unto their inevitable death.

I explained to my little girl that the roses would return next year and that the flowers have to die in order to be born again. Explaining the cycle of life and death to a child through gardening ultimately helps when a loved one dies as well. It is a way to explain to a child that everything from a flower to a person has to die, but that it gives way for something else to be born in its place. The following year when my daughter saw our beautiful roses bloom again, it also helped to prove that the cycle of life is constantly moving and changing.

Understanding that all living things from plants to people are intrinsically a part of the same world is a connective and vital experience as well. It may also be interesting to explain that the cycle of life means that we return to the ground once we die, and become something else again.

It is hard work to tend to plants and help them grow, and ultimately is an example of how life works in itself. Next time you are in the garden with the kids, talk about the cycle of life — it is sure to be a beautiful, philosophical experience for everyone involved.

Looking natural: tips on how to look great without make-up

I rarely wear make-up and often get comments from other women about how brave I am to show off my natural beauty — a strange sentiment if you ask me. It honestly makes me feel fabulous and free. My skin also looks better as a result. It may feel risky to go make-up-less for a week, much less a day, but it is definitely worth a try and you won’t regret it.

For many women, it’s the worry about blemishes and dark eye circles that prevents them from going oh-naturel. Women’s Post has a list of tips for you to look natural and beautiful. Put your various brushes, and sparkles aside and focus on the beautiful person that is already right in front of you.

Taking good care of your skin is the first step to illuminating your natural magnificence. Find a moisturizer that is replete with eco-ingredients like shea butter and lavender essential oil. Before applying, try making a natural scrub that will help exfoliate your skin. Combine coconut oil, brown sugar, and a dash of vanilla to make a simple brown sugar scrub. Rub it in circular motions on your face and rinse. Make sure you find out what kind of skin type you have, ranging from oily to dry. Once you understand which skin issues you need to tackle, you can address them as needed and end up with a smooth and happy face.

Eating healthy foods will also bring out your natural beauty. Fruits, vegetables and foods replete with omega 3 oils and vitamins will make your skin look healthy and full. It will also help remove dark circles under the eyes and reduce acne. Pair healthy foods with getting enough sleep and your skin and face will glow. Taking extra vitamins will make sure all proper nutrients are being absorbed into your skin. Take a vitamin e, c and collagen are good supplements to enhance natural beauty.

If your eyes are especially puffy, there are ways to decrease puffiness using natural methods. Cooled chamomile tea bags on the eyes bring down puffiness and reduce black spots. Chamomile has antioxidants that help the skin and the coolness is very calming. After you drink a cup of chamomile tea, use the tea bag to cool your eyes and try it out. Another option is cucumber slices, a well-known way to decrease puffy eyes. Simply slice them and use them on your eyes (and eat them afterwards if you want to!).

Natural beauty comes easily to women who believe in themselves. Covering up your skin with colour enhancing products is nice in moderation, but many girls rely on make-up every single day. It takes courage to have a naked face and show of your true colours. Using high-quality and natural skin creams and a healthy lifestyle will bring out your natural magnificence and ultimately shows that every woman is beautiful.

Time to get naked and comfortable with your partner

Do you find yourself trying to cover up when naked in bed with your partner? Are you racing to put clothes on after the shower? Is being in the nude nearly un-‘bare’-able? You aren’t alone.

Many women dislike being unclothed in front of their partners, and this is ultimately damaging to confidence in a relationship. Women are surrounded by air-brushed lingerie ads of women who are perfect looking, and this leads to damaging self-criticism. This discomfort needs to be destroyed. It is time to throw off the clothes and learn to love that naked body for exactly how beautiful it is. Feeling comfortable being naked in front of your partner will not only strengthen your relationship, it will ultimately make you feel better about yourself.

Embracing the nude isn’t a process that will happen overnight. It takes consistent effort and, if you work at it, slowly but surely it will become completely natural to hang out in the nude with your partner. Start by confronting your fear head-on, the dreaded mirror. After a shower, instead of avoiding your reflection, take a look. Instead of glancing at yourself with critical eyes, try to see what your partner sees. What is beautiful about your sexy body? What makes your feminine self desirable? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and self-criticism is not helpful. High self-esteem starts with yourself, and meeting that beautiful woman in the mirror for a post-shower ego-boost will adjust you to being naked and increase confidence.

Taking care of your body will promote a healthier relationship with your body. This does not mean develop a punishing regiment for daily exercise, but instead should inspire you to learn how to love your body without being fixated on trying to change it. How about a massage or even treating yourself to a manicure and pedicure? Treating your body as a temple will promote a sense of much-needed self-love. Exercise is important and creates a healthy self-image, so challenge yourself to move your body in ways that feel sexy and fun. Do you like to dance? Put on some music and bust a move! Do you enjoy hula hooping or swimming? Grab a hoop or jump in the pool! Moving the body in a fun way makes exercise enjoyable and will make being naked even more fun.

After some serious self-love exercises, it is time to test the waters and try to get naked with your partner. If you are still feeling nervous, enact a ritual to feel more confident like putting a bit of mascara on or putting coconut lotion on your body. If the lighting feels too bright, use a lamp, candles or softer lighting. It creates sexy mood lighting and will make your partner very excited. Remember, your partner wants to be there with you and your beautiful naked self. Men aren’t critically assessing your stretch marks or blemishes, but are simply excited to be with a naked woman they love. Good men are not looking at the flaws, but instead are looking at the woman beneath them. Try and see yourself through the eyes of desire, you will look pretty dang good.
Being naked with a partner will ultimately forge a more intimate relationship, with the added bonus of shaking up your sex life. Be brave, and love your naked body. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and that is precisely what makes women so beautiful. Embrace the body you were given and make it your temple — if only for your own benefit.

How to find the perfect New Year’s Eve outfit

There’s a lot of pressure to pick the perfect fashionable outfit for New Yera’s Eve. It’s time for glitter and sparkle, and no outfit is too dramatic. The colour combinations for the New Year provide beautiful options to pick from, with metallic silvers and golds, and deep reds.

Love a little sparkle, but don’t feel comfortable wearing it to work? Well, now’s your excuse. A little sparkle and glitter is what every New Year’s Eve outfit needs. Many women will opt for a glamorous full fledge sparkle dress. If you decide to wear a dress made of gold and silver sparkles, then be sure to match it with a black heel and simple jewelry to avoid looking gaudy. If you decide to go for a mini sparkled dress, make sure you are not spending a lot of time outside. If you are, be sure to purchase panty-hose or leggings. There is nothing worse than seeing a girl with bare legs in -30 degree weather!

Sparkled mini dress

Another alternative if you still want to sparkle, but don’t want to over-do it in a glitter dress, is to choose sequinned pants instead. Leggings that have sparkles will look dazzling and are more subtle than the sparkled dress. Shiny leggings pair well with a sheer loose black top that can be tucked in and gold or silver jewelry for an extra pop. In this outfit, it is acceptable to wear a chunky necklace, but make sure to pair with black heels rather than a sparkled shoe. You don’t want your pumps to clash with your pants!

Full-length jumpsuit

If you want to be more casual and avoid sparkles all together, a popular outfit this year is a full-length jumpsuit. There are many options available ranging from plain black or burgundy to a printed suit. Jumpsuits look amazing and create an A-line shape. They are also a spectacular choice for a professional new year’s event because they look powerful and sensual at the same time. If you choose a simple jumpsuit, a bright shoe will look fantastic and pulls the outfit together. A jumpsuit will also pair nicely with a chunky necklace, especially if it ties in nicely with your shoe. Be sure to avoid delicate shoes with the snowy weather. Choosing a thicker heel allows for functionality and you will still look beautiful.

Winter night circle skirt. By Elegant Musings.

Lastly, if you don’t want to wear a dress or pants, compromise in the middle with a midi skirt and a silk blouse. In 2016, midi skirts have been all the rage and they are easy to find in mid- and high-fashion stores. Look for a black, red, or green silk blouse and pair with a bold print skirt. Silk bodysuits are a fabulous option as well because they won’t slip out of the midi skirt and have sexy plunging necklines if you feel like being a little bit outrageous.

Whether it be a casual look or wearing an evening gown, be sure to strut your stuff and celebrate the year with a bit of style. Bring out your jewelry and heels, and throw yourself into being a sexy, confident and empowered woman. Looking beautiful and feeling good is the best way to have a fabulous New Year’s Eve, and is the best way to start 2017!