Category Archives: Life Style

What is Skin Hyperpigmentation? Its Causes and Various Treatments

Skin Hyperpigmentation

Skin is one of the largest and important human body organs. As it acts as a protective barrier between your internal organs and external harsh environment, it goes through a lot of sufferings. Some of them are germs and toxic substances, extreme cold, and sun scorching sun rays. All of these cause skin problems.

One of the common problems is skin hyperpigmentation. Today, in this blog, we will learn about skin hyperpigmentation, what are its causes and how can you get rid of it.

What is skin hyperpigmentation?

Skin hyperpigmentation is a common problem that affects people of every skin type. It occurs when certain areas of your skinget darker than the rest. It generally occurs when your skin produces more melanin. It is a pigment that provides skin a colour. This pigment is deposited deep into your skin, giving it a darker look than the surrounding skin.

Further, dark spots can appear in smaller patches, covering a large part of your body. There are different types of hyperpigmentation. They are:

  1. Pigment spots like age spots: It occurs due to sun exposure, and that’s why, it generally appears on the face, neck, hands, and arms. They generally look like small patches, and to cure them, people use whitening tablets.
  2. Melasma: The next one is a condition where you can see big patches developing mainly on your face. This disease is generally seen more in women due to the changes in their hormone levels during pregnancy.
  3. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: This generally occurs after the healing of any cosmetic surgeries like laser treatment, chemical peels, and dermabrasion.

What are the causes of hyperpigmentation?

  • Sun exposure

It is a no-brainer that UV rays are harmful to our skin. Well, a lot of sun exposure causes hyperpigmentation. UV rays trigger the production of melanin in our body, which is a protector of our skin. That’s where tanning takes place. This can be controlled on time by applying whitening tablets on those spots. If not treated, then it can lead to some serious skin damage.

  • Hormonal changes

Tweaks in hormones can be the main cause of melasma or chloasma types of hyperpigmentation. As mentioned earlier, it’s generally seen among women. According to various studies, it occurs when estrogen and progesterone sex hormones of females stimulate the overproduction of melanin during sun exposure. Further, it can also be one of the side effects of hormone treatments. 

  • Aging

As we age, the melanin cells’ production slows down and the remaining ones begin to get larger. Further, its distribution becomes more focused. However, this process leads to hyperpigmentation, and it starts happening after 40.

  • Medication or side effects

In some conditions, hyperpigmentation can be a symptom of specific diseases like metabolic disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, or any vitamin deficiencies. Further, it can be triggered by side-effects of any medication like chemotherapy drugs, anti-seizure drugs, and many more. In such cases, it is best to seek a doctor’s help instead of trying to cure on your own by using skin-lightening products.

What are its treatments?

Some people wish to get rid of hyperpigmentation even though it’s harmless. However, there are some methods that you can try.

Skin Lightening Products
  1. Topical creams

You can look out for skin-lightening products that have been manufactured to address this concern. Such products include various ingredients that treat your disease well. They are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Kojic acid
  • Tretinoin
  • Hydroquinone
  • Corticosteroids
  • Azelaic acid

If you’re unable to treat hyperpigmentation through tropical creams, then opt for the next option. And also read here to know reasons you should choose vegan skincare.

  1. Cosmetic surgeries

This is the next option that reduces the effects of hyperpigmentation and lightens the dark patches. Some of them include:

  • Laser therapy
  • Chemical peels
  • Intense pulsed light
  • Microdermabrasion

Well, if you wish to undergo any of the above treatments, then you should seek advice from a dermatologist regarding its pros and cons and potential side effects.

Other simple ways to prevent hyperpigmentation:

  • Avoid direct sun exposure: Try to stay indoors during the high peak hours of sun exposure. Or else, carry an umbrella or a hat to minimize sun exposure.
  • Apply SPF cream: In any which case if you’re forced to get out in sun, then we would recommend applying SPF cream to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Use SPF 15 daily for adequate sun protection.
  • Avoid touching your skin: When you have a mosquito bite, you feel scratching the skin. This can cause inflammation and lead to darker skin in that area. So, avoid scratching your skin. Additionally, when you begin to put up makeup on your face, always keep a habit of washing your hands first.

Conclusion:

If your skin is getting darker than your normal skin color, then you may be suffering from skin hyperpigmentation. Hopefully, the above information must have assisted learning about it in detail. Some dermatologists advise using whitening capsules to get rid of it. However, we would recommend you seek a skin specialist’s advice rather than messing up with the important organ of your body, the skin.

Choosing the right Retirement Home

Retirement Village

Retirement requires a lot of proper planning. Thinking about the future can cause anxiety in some people. However, it’s important that you think about your retired life and what you’ll do if something goes wrong or if you get ill. It’s also worth thinking about how you want to enjoy your retired years.

Retirement communities are places where you can find entertainment and social company while living safely as a retiree. To get the best experience, it’s essential to choose the right one for you.

Here in Australia, there are several options in terms of retirement homes. Which of them is the right option for you? Here are some points to consider.

  • Consider lifestyle

Think about the lifestyle that you have right now and the one that you’d love to have in the future.

Before choosing a home, make a list of all the things that are a must for your lifestyle. For example, if you are a sports person, then it’s good to look at retirement homes that have sports facilities.

Also, consider if you would like to have visitors coming by. Check if there’s a parking space for them and if there is freedom to come in and out of the community.

  • Finances

Talking to a financial planner when making a retirement decision is vital. You have to know if you have enough money for the retirement lifestyle that you want. Also, you have to consider other fees such as maintenance or penalties.

Keep in mind that in these matters, having legal assistance is essential. It’s better if your lawyer can take a look at a contract before signing it. That way you can make sure that you understand every clause in it.

  • Level of care required

This is a feature that you need to consider carefully. Some residents need assistance in daily tasks due to old age. Others require special care because of diseases and disabilities.

Not all retirement homes will have services that you may need. If you need a special type of care, then make sure that you choose a home that offers it.

  • Location

Have you always wanted to live near the beach? Maybe this is the right time to make that move.  If you want to keep living where you grow up, then stay there. If you rather like to live near your family, then be sure to choose some retirement village nearby. All of this depends on your preferences.Also, consider if you prefer to be near the city or nature.

Do not hurry to choose a retirement home for yourself. Compare several of these homes before making a decision.

Retirement Communities
  • Discuss with friends and family

Keeping your loves in the loop about your decisions is important. Knowing their opinions about this matter can help you. They can make you notice things that you might overlook when choosing a retirement home.

Also, you can go and visit the facilities of any retirement place to see what it’s like. Make sure that someone goes with you so that you have a second opinion. Furthermore, being in the company of someone you trust can help you make important decisions.

  • Do your research

This is an important step to take when choosing a retirement home. If you can compare and contrast, then you have a higher chance of making a good decision. Make a list of the top retirement homes that you like. After that, make a list of the pros and cons of each home.

Researching will make things easier and will help you forget the ones that don’t really suit you. When you have only two or three remaining, start considering small details. Remember that details are the ones that will make the difference in your retired life.

  • Visit various facilities/communities

Nothing beats being able to see everything with your own eyes. That way you can check how the experience is for yourself. If possible, you can ask the people that already live at the home for their opinion.

Additionally, since the photographs on websites can be inaccurate, it’s better to check for yourself how well-maintained the facilities are. Make sure that you take your time and visit all the homes that you want to see. This is a must when choosing where to live out your retired years.

  • Some other things to think about

If you have any doubts, be sure to ask questions. Take the time to know all the amenities and offerings that each facility has. Try to consider your lifestyle needs and ask if they can meet them.

It’s also important to think about the accessibility of nearby health facilities in case of emergency.

Conclusion

Moving to a retirement home is an important decision to make. Do your research, compare facilities and consider the price, location and lifestyle offerings. Be honest about the level of care that you will require or the type of assistance that you would like to have. Before signing any contract, you should get financial and legal assistance. Also, it’s crucial that you speak with your loved ones about your decision. They can be very helpful when choosing a retirement home.

Top Tips for Choosing the Right Toothbrush for Good Oral Health

Toothbrush for Good Oral

Gum disease can lead to the development of serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, you shouldn’t be overlooking the importance of good oral hygiene. It will not only favor your oral health but your overall health too. Furthermore, it’s undeniable that we are being taught to brush our teeth twice a day from childhood itself. But none gave us knowledge of which toothbrush is right for our teeth.

The best dentist of the dental clinic in Springvale South offers its patients advice on the right toothbrush that is good for their teeth. If you cannot take their help, then read on the blog as we’ve offered tips for choosing the right toothbrush for your good oral health.

  1. Decide – Manual or electric:

A toothbrush helps to show the build-up of food residue a way out of your mouth. Therefore, it’s important to decide on whether your teeth condition requires a manual brush or an electric-powered one. If you spend only two minutes each time you brush with fluoride toothpaste, then a manual toothbrush will work well.

However, you will be well off with an electric toothbrush, if you:

  • Have inadequate manual dexterity
  • Brush with great vigor
  • Have been advised by the doctor

Generally, electric brushes notify you when you’re finished with two minutes of brushing. In fact, some even render signals after every four quadrants of your brushing for 30 seconds.

  1. Have a glance at the ADA seal:

Given the vast array of choices, it becomes literally difficult to decide on the right toothbrush for our good oral health. However, if you choose a product that bears the ADA seal, then you can narrow down the choices and get confident that you’re choosing the one endorsed by professionals. The seal makes sure that the brush is safe and effective to use and that has been approved by the team of experts.

Furthermore, dentists check the product to make sure that it meets the Australian standards, which are quality and safety criteria set by the government. Remember, no manufacturer can buy this seal. So, changes of fraud are nil. Therefore, if you find the seal on the toothbrush, then you can rest assured about the product.

  1. Go for the right type of bristles:

The dentists have confirmed that a soft-bristles toothbrush is good for your teeth. It helps to remove debris and plaque softly from your mouth and in between your teeth. So, if you brush the teeth twice a day (as being taught since childhood), then soft bristles toothbrush can get the job done thoroughly.

On the other hand, medium and firm bristles toothbrushes can get hard on your teeth and gum. So, if your dentists recommend using them, then only employ them. If not, then continue with the soft-bristles toothbrush only.

  1. Select the size of the toothbrush head:

It’s better to opt for the small-headed toothbrush as they can reach all the areas of your mouth, including the hard-to-reach ones. Conversely, a large head toothbrush can sometimes injure your gums, leading to bleeding and then rushing to see an emergency dentist in Springvale South for its solution.

Additionally, you can take your dentist’s recommendation too on this. They will check your oral health condition and will guide you accordingly.

  1. Check the toothbrush handle:

Toothbrushes handle come in different range. It includes an angled, secured grip, or bendable-neck handle. So, choose the toothbrush as per your convenience. As such, there are no specific rules for this step.

You can go to any nearby store and check your convenience to pick the best toothbrush for your good oral health.

  1. Pick the favorite color toothbrush:

This goes without saying! Choosing the favorite color toothbrush might seem to be funny but it encourages you to brush your teeth twice a day. Also, choosing your favorite-colored toothbrush would be fun. So, choose accordingly and help your teeth stay in your mouth for long.

Here was the step-to-step guide for choosing the right toothbrush for your teeth. Further, we’ll discuss the correct way of brushing your teeth. So, pay attention!

How to brush your teeth properly?

In order to maintain good oral health, some brush their teeth aggressively. This can lead to gum damage. Follow the below-given process for effective brushing.

  • Facing downwards, place your brush at a 45-degree angle,
  • Gently move the brush to and fro, tilting it as and when needed,
  • And try to reach every area of your mouth for an even amount of time.

Even if you had a bad brushing routine up until, frequent and proper brushing from now onwards would be the first step to make your teeth great again.

Are you in search of the best dental clinic in Springvale South?

When you visit a dental clinic for the first time, you expect top-notch services. However, many clinics claim to offer such type of professional services, but they simply fail to give. Therefore, look for an accredited dental clinic nearby. It takes a long time to establish a clinic’s credibility and capability. Also, don’t forget to check patient’s reviews on their website. This way, you can choose the best dental clinic which will help you smile again with confidence.

Reasons You Should Choose Vegan Skincare

vegan skin care Australia

Aussies, whether or not you follow veganism, at some point in your life, you might’ve heard about veganism and the vegan diet. Those who follow this cult believe that it is good for health, it’s environment friendly, and also you are not killing an animal or consuming dairy product. The world is divided when it comes to their opinion on a vegan diet, but in the bigger picture, it sounds like a tempting alternative.

Whether or not you are sceptical about following a vegan diet, one can’t ignore the fact about using a vegan skincare product. These skincare products are gaining momentum in the cosmetic industry due to their transparency in non-animal ingredients. Vegan skincare products in Australia are also making some positive accolades.

What is Vegan Skin Care?

By vegan, we don’t mean something which is “cruelty-free”. Here, vegan stands for a skincare product that doesn’t have any animal by-product in its making. By buying these skincare products, you can rest assured that you are not causing any harm to any animal.

Now, we have enlisted some important reasons to choose vegan skincare in Australia:

  • It Protects Animal Lives

If you are someone who is looking for cruelty-free skincare in Australia, then by using these products you can rest assured that no animal is mistreated. You won’t have that thought in your mind that you’re mistreating any animal for your skin. Almost all skincare products have some form of animal by-product in them.  The most common animal ingredient found in such products is collagen, shellac, lanolin, etc. Vegan skincare products use alternatives such as ingredients, for example, olive oil or coconut oil is used instead of lanolin (a product made from sheep’s wool).

  • It Helps in Reducing Carbon Footprint

In layman’s terms, the carbon footprint is the amount of impact individual causes by consuming different products. Those skincare products which have animal ingredient in it comes at a huge environmental cost which you may be unaware of. When you switch to a vegan diet or start using vegan skincare products, you are indirectly decreasing the carbon footprint. By this, we are stopping the unnecessary breeding of these animals, which directly impacts the resources such as land, food, and water consumed by them.

  • Beneficial Ingredients

Have you ever had a look at the ingredient section of any skincare product? It’s confusing with all the scientific names and the list is so long that you can hardly track them. By using vegan skin care, you can have a track of all the beneficial ingredients used to make the product. You can have an idea about what you are applying to your skin and how beneficial it can be. It’s always better to use skincare products that are made using fewer ingredients. You simply eliminate potentially harmful ingredients present in any of the non-vegan skincare products.

natural skin care Australia
  • Gentler on Your Skin

One of the most common complaints about any skincare product is its ineffectiveness in causing skin reactions or rashes on your skin. The harmful chemicals and different animal ingredients can be harsh on your skin. But vegan skincare products are gentle because of their natural and organic ingredients. The majority of times they don’t cause any skin issues and are gentler to your skin. This one of the most important benefits for those who have sensitive skin. It is also beneficial for someone having a skin condition such as psoriasis because of its gentle nature.

  • Great Anti-Aging Properties

Anti-aging properties are one of the underlying features of all-vegan skincare products. The number of vitamins and minerals present in such skincare products makes it a popular choice amongst all vegan skincare products enthusiasts. Natural skin care in Australia helps in improving the signs of aging, like sun damage, fine lines, etc. All the natural antioxidants, plant extracts, etc., found in vegan skin care products can be a great solution to all your anti-aging-related issues. Also, you don’t feel guilty of becoming an indirect cause of animal cruelty by using natural skincare products.

Also read here to know about Skin-care Routine: things that you should know about it

Final Thoughts:

If you truly care for saving the environment and all those animal lives, then you should immediately shift to vegan skincare products. They are not costly and are available at the same cost as any other non-vegan beauty products. You can just remove all those negative thoughts out of your mind that some animal suffered for making this skincare product. And all these above-mentioned reasons are proof of the benefits associated with vegan skincare products.

Types of Organic Tea Around the World

Types of Organic Tea

Aside from the history of tea, it’s amazing how countries that grow tea make it special. Like people in India enjoy their Tea or Chai as they call it with rusk or pakodas. And then there’s Australia that enjoys their tea with a bit sized snack like Anzac biscuits or Meat Pies. The most famous amongst all is the loose leaf tea of Melbourne. You know, there are three kinds of people in this world; one who loves coffee, two who love tea, and three, of course, those who don’t enjoy either of them.

As of tea now, there are so many different kinds of it around the world that surely you wouldn’t have tasted or heard of. You can find organic tea online too. However, let’s have a sneak peek at all of them.

  1. For the country who has introduced tea to the world, China is renowned for Jasmine tea. They infuse the jasmine flower with green tea at dawn and after blending blow out the dried flowers with a hot air blast. This tea is a great beverage along with a Chinese meal.
  1. The Japanese introduced Match a tea to the world. It’s the green tea that’s bright green. You might think that it’s just an artificial coloring to the tea but it’s actually authentic organic tea. In China, green tea is roasted, but in Japan, it’s steamed hence making the color of the tea so bright. The steaming process helps them to retain the vegetal, leafy flavor of the tea.
  1. Have you heard of ‘bubble tea’? This was actually an accidental invention by Lin Hsiu Hui who worked at Chun Shui Tang teahouse, in the 1980’s in Taiwan. She was a product development manager who accidentally dropped tapioca balls into the tea.Hence, the invention of the bubble tea that’s now famous in many parts of the world.
  1. Taiwan also has something special apart from bubble tea, the Oolong tea. This tea is a semi-fermented tea that has complex flavors. If you’re keenly interested in having them, then buy tea online – the best option ever.
  1. Next stop is India. The first plantation by the British during their time in India was in Darjeeling. Apart from this place, Assam was also part of tea plantation giving the Darjeeling variant a good competition.

A Singpho tribe that lived in this region of Assam, chewed on the tea leaves thinking it to be tobacco. Their confusion vanished when a Scottish gentleman, Robert Bruce discovered it and was the father of the tea industry in Assam. Apart from this brief history, India is known for its black tea and Masala tea served in the famous clay pots. The tea is mixed with a variety of spices giving it a lovely taste.

  1. The Indians are so generous about the tea that they shared with their neighbor Sri Lanka. And that’s was the beginning of the Ceylon tea which is famous for its bright, medium-bodied, and tangy flavor.
  1. Later, the British had also helped Kenya grow tea in their country. It’s become a major competition between India and Sri Lanka. The tea there is a major cash crop for them and Kenya’s black tea is known for the high quality and produces a homogeneous taste as per the CTC (Crush Tear Curl), meaning their tea is used as the tea blends for many of the breakfast teas.

The key take-away:

Tea is the most famous beverage apart from coffee and alcohol. Whichever country came up with a tea variant, it’s a special one and completely different. It became culturally important from the country that it’s come from. Likewise, loose leaf tea in Melbourne is making a moment right now in the whole of Australia. Further, tea has also become a part and token of kindness, a symbol of warmth, hospitality, and friendship in every part of the world. There are many other tea cultures or tea variants that weren’t mentioned here but that doesn’t stop you from exploring it and trying it out yourself.

5 Points to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo

Tattoo Parlour Melbourne

At least once in our lifetime, every single one of us must’ve thought about getting a tattoo. Tattooing graffiti on our body has always been amongst the top cult fashions. Tattoos are always associated with confidence and rebellious character and we all are drawn towards them.

However, thinking about getting a tattoo is easier than actually getting one, Aussies. First and foremost, you need to find a reputed tattoo studio in Melbourne. Secondly, you must have the ability to endure pain while getting inked. Lastly, you need to be serious about your decision about getting a tattoo.

Now, many factors revolve around tattooing. And to simplify your doubts, the following pointers will cover every question you have, right from finding a tattoo parlour to getting your first tattoo.

  1. Pain

Getting a tattoo is not like sketching an art piece on a canvas. The process of tattooing is complex and it includes needles piercing through the skin to ink it. Don’t fall for the words of those who claim that they didn’t felt any pain and it’s an easy process. Either they are lying or they just have a one- or two-inch tattoo. You’ve to decide the place on your body for the tattoo. Now, different areas of our body will have different intensities of pain. Before getting inked know about the least and most painful places for tattooing. Once you know those places, you can take your final decision.

  1. Design

This one of the most important aspects of getting a tattoo. The design you will select will stay with you for life. So, while selecting a design for your first tattoo, never rush it. Think logically and then decide. You don’t want to select a design in haste and regret it later, even though, tattoo shops will have their catalogue of designs to choose from and the tattoo artist can suggest you the same. Always select a design that defines you or your ideologies. You can browse through the internet for some interesting designs. Go for the design you love and which makes you satisfied.

  1. Tattoo Placement

The placement of a tattoo is as important as choosing a design. One can say that they both are a parallel process. Not all designs can fit every body part. So, you need to be thorough with the placement of the tattoo. One of the key factors is the size of the design. For example, if you are choosing a landscape design, then you need some space for it and the upper back is the best place for such tattoos. Triceps and biceps are best for all portrait designs. Another pointer to keep in mind is whether you want to flaunt it or keep it private. Accordingly, you should select the tattoo placement. Forearms are the best place for flaunting tattoos.

  1. Skin Allergies

A tattoo artist performs their majestic art for creating a tattoo on your skin; therefore, you need to be cautious about skin allergies. If you have any pre-existing skin allergies, then consult your doctor first before getting a tattoo. Question them about the possibilities of any skin reactions caused by inserted ink and how it can affect your skin. The most common skin-related allergy associated with tattoos is irritation or itchiness on the skin. Some might even encounter some rashes or swelling around the tattoo. Although these reactions are temporary, it is better to consult a doctor.

  1. Sanitation of Equipment and Shop

Remember that tattooing involves inked needles piercing through your skin. Thus, be careful when it comes to the sanitation of equipment or the tattoo studio. You can always inquire about the needles they use and whether they throw them away or reuse them. Many tattoo artists don’t bother about taking proper measures for cleaning the equipment. At the studio, observe their needle storing space and what kind of safety measures are they taking. It is always advisable to raise your concerns to avoid contracting diseases from uncleaned equipment.

Read here to know 5 tips for picking the perfect tattoo parlour

Final Thoughts:

Getting yourself inked is a big decision and you can’t take that decision in haste. If you keep these above-mentioned pointers in mind, then you will not face any issues. In fact, these pointers will help you to select the best tattoo studio in Melbourne.

8 Killer Ways to Style Cargo Pants

cargo pants womens

One of the big trends taking over the fashion world right now is women’s cargo pants. This early 2000’s staple gaining traction with fashionistas young and old, bringing a modern twist to a comfortable and casual look. Cargo pants suit any body shape and pair well with many styles of clothes.

Whether you want a casual look or something comfortable for the office, there’s plenty of ways you can style cargo pants. We’ve put together our 8 top favorite cargo pants looks below to get your inspiration flowing.

  1. Casual Friday work attire

Casual Friday is the perfect day to wear your cargo pants to work. You can style them up with just a few wardrobe essentials. Start with a plain tee and blazer combo. This combo merges casual, comfort and functionality with business.

Add some ballet flats or slip-on mules to give your feet a break from high heels. And when it comes to accessories, keep it minimal to avoid overdressing the look.

When it comes to the color palette, try and keep things muted or neutral. Go too bright and the look doesn’t quite work for the office.

  1. Adventure in style

Whether you’re hiking with friends or embarking on an epic shopping expedition, this look will ensure you look cool and chic. Pair your cargo pants with a graphic tee. You can tuck the shirt in if you want, particularly if you have waist-high cargo pants.

Then the cherry on top of this outfit are your lace-up boots. They can be hiking boots for a more active day, or platforms or heels if you’re looking to turn heads.

This outfit is sure to become a favorite. It looks stunning and is super comfy.

  1. Simple but striking

If you want a low-effort look that’s still sophisticated you can’t go past pairing cargo pants with a crisp white button-down shirt. The sharp lines and minimal color palette are chic and on-trend.

And if you want to add a little bit of your own unique personality to this look, choose a pair of statement shoes. Animal prints look great, but you can pair these outfit with just about any patterned shoes you can find.

Keep your handbag and accessories sleek and minimalist to avoid overdressing the look. This outfit is all about less is more.

Find out Cool Festive Outfit Ideas For This Christmas Season

  1. Pair cargo with cargo

Just like double denim is a popular trend, double cargo is taking. Coordination is key and with a double cargo outfit, you can have a lot of fun experimenting with different takes on this look.

Start with your cargo pants and cargo jacket. They can be the same color, or you can mix and match. Then add a graphic tee to break up the look. A belt bag is also a great way to do this.

When it comes to shoes, the world is your oyster. This look suits sneakers just as well as heels. Do what feels right for your own personal brand.

  1. Cargo and crystals

While cargo is often associated with grunge and casual looks, you can still dress it up for a special occasion. Just make use of crystal or glittering accessories.

For instance, pair your cargo pants with an embroidered or jeweled statement cape or shawl to bring some glam to a casual look. You can also bring this sparkle with your accessories — just don’t go overboard.

  1. Quick to go

If you have trouble getting out the door on time because you can’t decide what to wear, then this outfit is just for you.

Get your favorite cargo pants and team them with a slouchy sweater. You’ll look fashionable while being as comfortable as if you were still in your pyjamas.

To give this look a more sophisticated twist, you can add a pair of heels and some statement jewelery to class it up.

  1. Modern throwback

If you want to enjoy a little 2000’s fashion — which is on trend right now — then this look is perfect. Pair your cargo pants with a crop top for the base of this outfit. Then add a pair of combat or ankle boots to bring back those pop-punk memories. From there, it’s all about the accessories. Try sunglass or a choker.

A great thing about this outfit is that it’s perfect for catching up with friends but equally at home at a music festival. It’s likely to become a summer staple for you.

  1. Layer it

Mastering layering is a true fashion skill but you can do it with ease in this outfit. Cargo pants are great when you want to layer your upper body. They complement the bulk of multiple jackets easily.

For this look, pick out your cargo pants and then layer an overcoat over a denim jacket. You can then rock a utilitarian look that’s comfortable and cozy. For shoes, match them to the occasion. This look works well heels, boots or sneakers.

Final thoughts

So, there you have it – 8 killer ways to style your cargo pants. Which is your favorite?

Tips for cooking wood fire pizza

alfresco pizza oven

Wood-fired pizza is an excellent meal that you can cook yourself if you have a home alfresco pizza oven. You can make the pizza exactly how you want. Choose the perfect base and crust, sprinkle on as much cheese as you want and add plenty of your favorite toppings. However, getting a great result can be tricky if you’re new to cooking pizza using a wood fire. Of course, practice makes perfect but it also helps to know a few easy wood-fired pizza cooking tips too. We’ve put together a list below of some key tips we follow to get a perfect pizza every time.

Get prepared

  • Make the perfect base

Your dough is the foundation of your pizza, so make sure you get it right. We recommend using a dough mixture made from four cups of flour, a cup of warm water, a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and about 30 grams of baker’s yeast dissolved in the warm water.

To make the dough, dig a well in the middle of your flour. Then add salt and olive oil. Next, pour in the water and yeast mixture. Mix it all up and be ready to spend plenty of time kneading the dough. You want the dough to become smooth and stretchy. This should take about 10 minutes or so.

Make a few balls of dough (these will be your pizza bases) and place them in a bowl. Add a little oil to the sides of the bowl to stop the dough balls from sticking. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave the bowl in a warm place for two hours.

Your dough is ready to rolled out once it has doubled in volume. Start by stretching the dough balls out with your hands and then use a rolling pin to roll them out into bases about 30 centimetres in diameter.

  • Add quality ingredients

Once your base is ready, you can start adding your favorite ingredients. The best ingredients to use are those of a high-quality. You can visit your local farmer’s market for organic vegetables, and artisan meat and cheese to use, for instance. And don’t forget to use some seasonings to take your pizza to the next level.

For instance, forget about a boring cheese pizza with store-bought mozzarella. Instead, try using buffalo mozzarella. Add some sliced cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of basil and oregano to make a delicious Margherita that everyone will enjoy.

Get creative with the toppings you choose and experiment with new flavors. For example, try adding spinach or chicken to your pizza. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try jack fruit or eggplant for a vegan-friendly topping.

Along with your toppings, don’t forget about using a good quality pizza sauce. You can buy a range of pizza sauces from the supermarket or try your hand at making your own. And you don’t have to stick with the traditional tomato paste. You can also use barbecue sauce, alfredo sauce or pesto. 

  • Get the temperature right

Before you start cooking, your wood-fired oven needs time to preheat. To ensure your pizza is cooked to perfection, it should not go in until the oven reaches the desired cooking temperature. Typically, this will be around 350–370°C. You then need to keep the oven at this temperature while the pizza cooks.

  • Prepare the oven floor and position the fire

For an even cook, you need to get your fire in position. Have the fire in the center of the alfresco pizza oven so that all the sides of the oven are evenly heated.

Similarly, you also need to make sure your oven is clean so that your pizza won’t get covered in ash. Ideally, do this before you preheat the oven. But you may need to quickly scrape out any piles of ash before you put your pizza in.

Start cooking

  • Put the pizza in the oven

The best and safest way to get pizza into your wood-fired oven is to use a pizza peel. The pizza peel is a wide, flat tool designed to transfer pizza and other dishes from your counter top to the oven. Sprinkle a little flour on the peel to avoid your pizza sticking to it. Then you can lay the pizza on the peel and put it into the oven.

Gently angle the peel so that the pizza slowly slides off the peel and into the oven. Give this task your full attention to avoid dropping the pizza or burning yourself.

When your pizza is ready, slide the pizza peel under it and pull the pizza out.

Read here to know how to use a wood-fired oven.

  • Keep an eye on your pizza

To avoid overcooking your pizza, or even burning it, you need to pay close attention to your pizza as it cooks. Watch for the edges starting to turn golden brown. If it looks like one side is cooking quicker than the others, use the pizza peel to rotate the pizza around or reposition it so that it cooks more evenly.

Conclusion

Use the tips above to enjoy delicious wood-fired pizzas every time. Remember to take good care of your pizza oven too so that you can use it for many years to come.

6 Reasons to Choose Organic Tea

Organic Tea

Organic food and drink are gaining traction these days. More people are choosing organic products, like tea. Organic tea is different to conventional tea for a number of reasons, but do you know why you should make your next cup of tea organic?

When strolling down the tea aisle at the supermarket, you’ll most likely see lots of conventional teas. These teas are grown using different chemicals and pesticides. While these chemicals and pesticides can mean more of the crop can be harvested and processed into tea, it does have problems. For instance, many people, understandably, do not like the idea of drinking something that has been exposed to an unknown number of unknown chemicals.

Therefore, many people are making the switch to organic. To be defined as organic, the product needs to meet a few standards.

  • Pesticides, herbicides, non-organic fertilizers, chemicals and fungicides cannot be used in the growth or harvesting of the product. These chemicals can do untold damage to both the environment and the human body.
  • Organic farming also must sustain and enhance the local ecosystem, including the soil, plants, wildlife and general environment. Farmers who follow organic practices farm in harmony with the environment, rather than against it.
  • Organic products can also not be genetically modified. While the genetic modification of conventional tea crops may be to ensure the plants can withstand tough conditions, this can have adverse effects on the local environment. For instance, as the farmer does not need to care for the crops as closely, they may not care for the surrounding environment as well. 

Clearly, there are some key differences between organic and conventional tea. But why should you make the switch when conventional tea is often cheaper and more accessible?

  1. Look after your health

Tea is good for your health. It can help keep you calm, lower your blood pressure and even protect your brain from degenerative diseases. However, conventional tea, as noted above, can also be doused in chemicals.

While the tea companies will rinse the product of the chemicals, trace elements will still remain. They can then leach out into your morning cup of tea and affect your health. For instance, some pesticides and chemicals used in conventional tea farming have been found to poison individuals or even lead to cancer.

Organic tea, however, never comes into contact with these chemicals. Therefore, you can be sure there are no harmful nasties hiding in your relaxing cup of tea.

  1. Look after the health of farmers

Just as the chemicals used in the farming of conventional tea can affect you as the drinker of the tea, they can also harm the farmers who work closely with the crops. These pesticides may poison or cause cancer.

However, this isn’t a problem with organic farming. Therefore, you can choose to drink a tea that doesn’t harm anyone.

  1. Empower small farmers

Organic farms are typically small businesses. This is because the work requires close attention and organic farming principles mean they cannot expand as much as conventional tea farms. Therefore, when you choose organic, you’re supporting small businesses. The money made by these small businesses then goes back into the local communities, helping everyone.

  1. Help to support the environment

Because organic farming does not use harmful chemicals, like pesticides and fungicides, your tea choice can also help support the environment. The principles of organic farming allow for local ecosystems to thrive, preserving unique wildlife and flora.

Small organic farms do not clear as much land, preserving the environment that already exists. The farming practices also go a long way to improve the existing environmental conditions, like soil quality.

Further, because organic farms do not use harmful chemicals, there is no risk of these chemicals moving throughout the environment. For instance, pesticides can be washed off plants and enter local water systems. This can harm fish populations, which can have knock-on effects when a common food source is taken away from the native animal population.

  1. Better for tea plant

Organic farming is also better for the tea plant. You can expect a healthier, more natural crop. This can ensure that local tea plant varieties and heirloom plants are kept around, rather than genetically modifying them for an easier harvest.

  1. Better taste

Because the tea plant is in better condition and grown in a natural way, you’ll also find organic tea has a better taste than conventional tea. The tastes can be quite unique and even vary from batch to batch, creating an exclusive experience to truly taste the flavor of a region.

Additionally, as no chemicals have been used while the crop has been grown, there is no risk of chemicals altering the flavor. It’s clear from the benefits that organic tea should be in your pantry. Whether it’s for a morning cup to wake you up, or a soothing brew to help you get to sleep, organic is the way to go to look after yourself, the farmers and the environment.

How to Choose Healing Crystals that are Right for You?

Crystals for sale

With more stores advertising crystals for sale, it can be tempting to make a purchase. However, healing crystals should be bought with care in order to gain the most from their powers. That’s why we’ve put together this guide for you to make sure you pick exactly the right crystals for you.

Common Healing Crystals:

To get you started, it’s important to understand the properties of the common healing crystals you’ll see available.

Clear quartz

Clear quartz will help you find clarity in your life. It can be useful for dealing with situations you find confusing or are uncertain about.

It’s believed that this crystal absorbs and stores positive energy, before releasing it when used correctly. As a result, some practitioners believe it can help your immune system and maintain a balance within your body.

Rose quartz

Even if you’re not already familiar with crystals, you may have heard that rose quartz is associated with love. For many, this crystal’s pink color is symbolic of the power it can help you have over relationships, including romantic partners and friends.

This crystal is believed to improve relationships by bringing peace to important connections in your life, as well as restoring trust between the two parties. If you value your close relationships, rose quartz can be a good way to care for them.

Jasper

Jasper is said to empower your spirit, helping you get through difficult times and situations. It’s thought this stone will absorb any negative energy around you, leaving you free to be your brave, witty and confident self.

If you’re embarking on a big change, having some jasper with you can help you make good decisions and keep you feeling positive.

Obsidian

If you feel regularly overwhelmed by negative energy, obsidian is the right crystal. Known for its protective powers, obsidian will help you see past negative feelings to the heart of an issue. With this added clarity, you may find yourself feeling more compassionate and stronger in situations that have previously upset you.

Some practitioners also believe obsidian is helpful for detoxing the body, as well as reducing pain, including cramps and indigestion.

Citrine

If you’re going through a rough or dark patch, citrine may help you find enthusiasm and light in your life. This stone is thought to help restore, joy, happiness, creativity, and concentration in all aspects of your life.

It can also help regulate negative emotions like fear and anxiety. Without these feelings influencing your thoughts and actions, you may find yourself more motivated and thinking more clearly.

Turquoise

Turquoise crystal

Instantly recognizable for its bright blue color, turquoise doesn’t just make stunning jewelry. This stone is also prized for its healing abilities, be it mind, body or soul. Turquoise is said to create a balance between these three aspects of yourself so that you can achieve spiritual grounding.

Tiger’s eye

Tiger’s eye stone

When you’re looking to make important decisions about your career, you need some tiger’s eye with you. This stone can reduce feelings of fear, anxiety and self-doubt. At the same time, you may feel more balanced within yourself and be able to view the situation with a clearer eye.

Amethyst

If sleep is eluding you, amethyst might be the answer. Thought to help with insomnia, as well as healing and purifying your soul, amethyst is a popular crystal for many practitioners. As the stone calms you and removes negative energy, you may find yourself getting more regular and restful sleep.

Additionally, amethyst is said to promote sincerity, wisdom and humility.

Moonstone

Moonstone

When embarking on a new chapter of your life, take some moonstone with you. This stone is said to reduce the initial fear and stress that comes with new beginnings and prepares you to move forward. It’s also said to bring good fortune.

Bloodstone

Prized by many crystal healers, bloodstone is believed to cleanse the blood and improve circulation throughout the body.

On a spiritual level, you may find bloodstone helps calm you whenever you feel irritated or impatient.

Sapphire

Thought to bring prosperity, wisdom and happiness, sapphire is a favorite for many crystal practitioners. Like amethyst, it can help with insomnia, as well as depression and anxiety.

Ruby

This deep red stone is said to help restore a person’s energy levels, along with improving their circulatory system. It can also be a good choice if you want to get in touch with your natural intelligence and sensuality.

Choosing the right crystal:

Now that you’ve been introduced to the crystals you’ll likely come across, you can learn how to pick the right ones for you.

  • Think about what you want to change in your life

Do some deep thinking and self-reflection to identify areas in your life where you feel a gap or would like to improve. Match these wants or needs to the powers of different crystals. For instance, if you’re looking for a soul mate, rose quartz may help.

Remember, you may need more than one for your intentions. For example, you may also want to advance your career, along with finding a romantic partner. Therefore, you might want to purchase both rose quartz and tiger’s eye.

  • Pick a stone that speaks to you

Once you know which stones you’re interested in, visit a physical store. While you can purchase stones on the internet, it can be helpful the first few times to meet the stones in person.

Watch out for signs that the stones are connecting with or calling out to you. Your eye may be drawn to them or you may even feel a little spark or tug when you hold them in your hand. These are positive signs that you and the stones will work well together.

Change your life with crystals!

Crystals can be powerful forces for good in your life, while looking aesthetically pleasing. Start to decorate with crystals in your home and even at the office to get a sense of their power. You can even meditate with them. Treat them kindly and they will return the favor tenfold.

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