Five Tips to Help You Plan the Perfect Wedding Reception

Five Tips to Help You Plan the Perfect Wedding Reception

Your wedding reception is an important event. It’s where guests go to refresh, mingle, and celebrate — as well as create happy memories that last a lifetime. Planning a fantastic wedding reception is certainly exciting, but no easy feat. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the very thought of it, fret not. Here are five fool-proof tips to help you plan the perfect wedding reception of your dreams.

1. Choose your venue

When it comes to the ambiance of your wedding reception, your venue is key, so choose a place that truly resonates with you as a couple. For example, ballrooms and castles appeal to traditionalists. Modern couples feel at home in industrial warehouses and city lofts. And if you’re a lover of everything old-timey and rustic? A barn or ranch may be just the thing.

At this point, you should have a good idea of how many people will be in attendance. Choose a venue big enough to accommodate all the tables and seats, dancing guests, and busy waiters. Allowing 25 square feet per person is a good rule of thumb.

Take the time to book visits to multiple venues and look around with an official who can answer your questions. To help finalise your decision, assess the pros and cons of each venue (of course keeping budget in mind).

2. Pick the perfect table linen

The next big thing that can make or break your reception ambiance? Table linen. Dirty or hideous linen can ruin your desired aesthetic, as well as deter guests. The Linen Hire provides beautiful, high-quality table linen to help seamlessly tie your wedding decor together. Visit http://www.thelinenhire.co.uk/ to view their range.

When choosing your linen, consider the following:

  • What colour linen will fit your overall theme?
  • Do you want smooth or textured?
  • Patterned or plain?

Envision how the table will look complete with any other decorations (napkins, place settings, centerpieces, etc). You’ll also have to choose between square, rectangular, or round tables. Once you know the table measurements, your linen vendor can advise you on how much fabric you’ll need in total.

3. Make a seating chart

You may be tempted to skip this step. Surely, your guests can seat themselves where and next to who they want? Well, yes, in time — after a whole lot of dilly-dallying and congestion. A designated seating plan will make sure everyone finds their place swiftly. Deciding on a seating arrangement that keeps everyone happy shouldn’t be too tough with a little common sense and consideration. Keep families and close friends together. Make sure everyone at each table knows at least one other guest seated there. Not even the most outgoing person wants to be sitting at a table of strangers. If there are more than two or three children in attendance, seat them at a separate kids table.

4. Organise the speeches

Wedding speeches are a time-honoured tradition that should leave the whole room both laughing and teary-eyed. Needless to say, they need to be well-planned. Usually, speeches are given just before the meal or immediately after plates are cleared (so there’s no food around to distract people).

When you ask your chosen people to speak, clearly explain just how long you want them to talk for (five minutes max) and if you want them to toast or not. The most important thing is to devise a schedule for the speakers and inform them of it ahead of time. This ensures each person knows when they’re up and avoids long pauses.

5. Choose a delicious cake

You and your fiancé may be in easy agreement over which flavor cake to choose. But what if you just have different tastes? Fortunately, it’s possible to order cakes with tiers of varying flavors to satisfy the individual tastes of the bride and groom, as well as the guests.

And what about the cake cutting? This ritual signals to guests there’ll be no more “big” events and they’re free to leave, which is why it’s traditionally done at the end of the night. However, nowadays the cake is often cut nearer the end of dinner just before everyone hits the dance floor. It’s really your choice, although older guests may appreciate the chance to turn-in early.

It’s normal to plan like crazy the month running up to your big day. But when it actually arrives? Let everything go. Now’s the time to relax and celebrate your love — there’s much eating, drinking, and dancing to be had!

Four Romantic Date Ideas to Do for Someone Special

Four Romantic Date Ideas to Do for Someone Special

When someone is special to you, let her know. Especially if you’re also special to her, she will be in bliss with your initiative. For all you know, she’s just waiting for you to make the first move.

Thus, when you get a chance, it’s a great idea to sweep her off her feet. You can charm your way into her heart by doing the things she loves. You can also ask her out, and together, have a memorable date.

Here are four romantic date ideas:

1 – Invite Her to Meet Your Family

If she has yet to meet your family, you may want to start setting a date. Introducing her to your family is rather a big step, but this is a thoughtful gesture that suggests you want to move to the next level with someone special. If you’ve been hanging out for a while now and you’ve established close ties, she’ll appreciate asking her to shake hands with your mom, dad, and siblings.

Remember that meeting your family can overwhelm her, so don’t forget to consult with her first. If she embraces the idea, then go for it!

2 – Go on a Private Vacation

Next on the list is a private vacation. Who doesn’t want to go on an all-expense paid private vacation? Who knows, but most likely, it isn’t the person you consider special.

You could set a date to spend the weekend on the other side of town. There, you could get to know her better when she’s out of her usual world. And there, she could get to know you better, too.

3 – Sing a Wonderful Song

Singing a wonderful song to someone special is a wonderful idea, too. Especially if she’s a fan of music, she’ll appreciate a song (or two) from you. If you question your singing ability, you should know that she couldn’t care less whether or not you could sing a song perfectly. For her, what matters more is the fact that you’re willing to serenade her.

The day you sang to her is good to look back on during your wedding day. Then, you could sing the same song for her. You could also hire The Wedding Singer to serenade her on your behalf.

4 – Go Hiking

The fourth romantic date idea is to invite someone special to go on a hiking expedition. If she likes to walk around with you so you guys can talk while staying fit, this is ideal.

Hiking is a great date idea because it spells out adventure. If you she’s an adventure-seeker, the idea of hiking will excite her. This activity will not only allow the two of you to spend quality time together, it will also allow you guys to improve your well-being.

Final Thoughts

As you keep these romantic ideas in mind, don’t forget to ALWAYS treat someone special well. Don’t neglect her and be respectful of her feelings. Appreciating her for her unique personality and remembering her on special occasions (e.g. birthdays, Christmas, etc.) might not seem a lot but these acts are very meaningful. Sometimes, these little romantic gestures can even outweigh – far outweigh – the grand ones.

3 of the Greatest Guitarist of All-Time

3 of the Greatest Guitarist of All-Time

The oldest guitar ever discovered is close to 4,000 years old. There are guitar-like ancestors recorded in ancient hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt and the Middle East. The music of the guitar, and its ancestors, have captivated listeners for thousands of years.

Music, over the last 100 years, has made incredible leaps in the evolution of sounds and styles. One of the most significant strides in music was the creation of rock ‘n roll and the rock ‘n roll guitar. The 1960’s was a time of cultural evolution and the revolutionary music, and the musicians that created it, were powerful reflections of the times in which they were living. The 1960’s saw social and cultural movements like the Civil Rights Movement and the Hippie Movement. These were interesting times, to say the least.

These guitarists were men who pushed the envelope with what could be done with a guitar. These trend-setting musicians were definitely influenced by the revolutionary times in which they lived.

Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page was born on January 9, 1944, in Heston, England. Page spent his early career as a very successful session musician. This would prove to be valuable time that allowed page to understand his art, craft, and personality within that art. In 1968, Page joined a new British rock band called Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin would go on to be considered one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

Because of his years spent as a session musician, perfecting his craft, he understood the guitar and the music he could create with it on a deep level. He could hear what he wanted a song to sound like and he understood how to create that sound. He was a beautiful collection of imagination and technical knowledge.

Jimmy Page, the singer, songwriter, producer, and guitarist, has won numerous awards with Led Zeppelin, and, later in his career, as a solo artist. He has also been recognized and awarded for his international charity efforts. His music career spans more than 60 years and Page has left a lasting impression and influence on all the guitarists that came after him.

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton was born on March 30, 1945 in Surrey, England. Clapton came from a musical family. His father was, for a time, a professional piano player and Big Band music was a staple in his home. Clapton first picked up the guitar at the inspired age of 13. Clapton is a reflection of his English roots with a love for American blues guitar.

The beauty of Clapton’s music was the simplicity. Clapton was the type of musician who would plug in his guitar to his amp and mesmerize listeners with beautiful melodies that had just enough soul. Try these out because these great amps could help to create your own great sound.

Clapton was the type of musician who loved his instrument and the music it created, he didn’t need all the bells and whistles in his music. That simplicity in the showcasing of the guitar was what made Clapton one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Eric Clapton’s career spans a longevity of more than 50 years with 10 Grammys and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix is, arguably, considered the single greatest guitarist of all time. Jimi Hendrix was born November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington and after dropping out of high school, he moved to New York City to pursue his love of music. He would later be discovered by band manager Chas Chandler, and the rest is history.

Jimi Hendrix was a revolutionary guitarist and a musical genius before his time. He was able to do things with a guitar that not just anyone could do. He revolutionized the use of the whammy bar and he was famous for being able to make his guitar “talk”. He was able to manipulate his guitar unlike any other and he would make it look effortless. Jimi Hendrix created a guitar sound that was his own and would inspire everyone who would ever pick up a guitar.

Jimi Hendrix died a tragic death at the young age of 27 years old. Many believe he died before he was able to reach his full potential and before he was able to generate the awards to reflect how important he was to the genre of rock ‘n roll music.

Summed Up

We have come to realize that music is so much more than music. Music is a way to communicate a story to the world. Music can reflect the social, economic, and cultural issues that may plague the times in which it was written. These guitarists were men who reflected the turbulent which were the 1960’s. The important musical evolution of this era is so culturally significant that the history of rock ‘n roll is taught today on college campuses everywhere.

Don't Let Your First Higher-End Car Become Someone Else's Junker

Don’t Let Your First Higher-End Car Become Someone Else’s Junker

Most people at some point in their lives have driven some sort of a “junker” vehicle. You know the kind of car, where the muffler seems to act more like an amplifier, where squealing brakes act as a means of communication between you and your vehicle. You’re constantly turning down your radio just to listen to the motor because you’re worried you might not be able to make it all the way to work. People usually buy a junker because they can’t afford a better car, and if, after shelling out hundreds of precious pounds every month just to keep old un-reliable moving and functional, you save up enough to buy a nice car, suddenly that mechanic shop stops being a part of your regular routine.

When you buy your first higher-end car, it can be tempting to neglect the necessary maintenance. However, even BMW’s and Porsche’s need regular check ups and repairs. If you don’t want to end up back in a rusty old lorry that costs you more in gas, time, and stress than it’s worth, its important to keep taking care of what you already have.

Most people don’t drive a BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen or Audi, and honestly, if everyone did we wouldn’t be so eager to pay a premium on these powerful and luxurious status symbols. Unfortunately, this also means that when you take your car into the shop the odds of them having any parts or technicians necessary for properly maintaining your vehicle on the spot are much lower. So if you do pull into the nearest mechanic, your options tend to be limited to simply waiting a week or more just for one part to be shipped in, or driving out to the nearest dealership. The dealership option, in my experience, is always the most tempting. The British aren’t exactly famous for our patience. These dealerships often charge a premium for even small repairs, and by the time you’ve driven out to the dealership and waited for assistance it can be hard not to be committed to accepting whatever price or quote they’ll give you.

Two years ago I would be here telling you also to avoid non-dealer services, having had some bad experiences with quality in the past. However, Essex’s own PMW changed my perspective. If you’re looking to take great care of your vehicle, and you don’t know where to start, I would recommend PMW. They service BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and VAG vehicles, and their customer service and quality record is stellar. I had a recurring problem with my Audi A4 engine a year back that had me pulling my hair out, and the excellent staff at PMW saved me from wasting time on repairs that only got me by. If you live in Essex, or it’s not too far of a drive for you, I highly recommend you check them out at https://www.pmwltd.co.uk/pages/servicing.

The best thing you can do to take care of your car is to regularly take it in to a mechanic you trust. Whether it’s for a specific repair, a diagnostic, or just a simple check-up, taking your car in is always a good idea. Do it in honor of the memory of your first junk car, so that your current ride doesn’t end up as someone else junker in another 40 years.

Four DIY Projects And Their Tools

Four DIY Projects And Their Tools

There comes a time in life when the kids would rather spend more time out than at home; work is slowing down a little and chipping away at the mortgage has made a dent. You’re wondering what to do with the new found lifestyle you’ve come across – the kids don’t need you as much, the guys only play gold every second weekend, and the wife’s work has picked up, leaving you time on your hands.

Time to get stuck into those DIY projects you’ve been putting off for the last two decades. There’s always something around the house that you can do – plus, it’ll be ten times cheaper tackling it yourself than getting someone in. Here are four DIY projects to get stuck into and give a go yourself – worst case scenario you patch it up and call the experts to reverse what you’ve done.

Building A Letterbox

How much do you love the letterbox you already have? Not very much? It’s easy to just settle for what you get, especially if you didn’t build your own house, and before you know it twenty years go by and you’re still stuck with that letterbox, you said you would always fix the hinge on. Why not give building a new one a go? They can be surprisingly easy and can satisfy your inner metal-worker – because you’ll need a heavy-duty tool to weld this one. A plasma cutter is an ideal machine to use for a job like this – pay a visit to Cuts Like Butter first, and I ensure you it makes the job a whole lot easier than trying to fashion it any other way. Building a shiny new metal letterbox is the perfect answer to saving a bit of cash and replacing that old, tired one that’s seen better days.

Modern House Numbers

Speaking of mailboxes, how hard has it been for the mailman to figure out exactly which number your house was anyway? House numbers can be confusing to figure out at the best of times, and if you’re someone who has built a new letterbox because its number display was barely readable, then you probably don’t have anywhere where the numbers are displayed clearly.

Getting into the tool shed and making a wooden plaque for your house numbers is another great DIY project to get stuck into – its practical and it requires woodwork, which can be deeply satisfying. Pick where you want to display your new house numbers – whether it’s on the frame by the front door or further down the fence by the driveway – and then you can choose how big the plaque needs to be. With these and a new letterbox, there’s no way the mailman can miss your house now.

Wood Mat

Sticking with the wooden theme, the third DIY project you can get stuck into is a wooden mat for your front door. This is probably another tired part of your house exterior too – having been used hundreds of times over the years, it’s probably a bit worse for the wear and starting to see the ground underneath. This is also the perfect project to take on once you’ve completed the plaque house numbers – you can even pick out the same wood and make a mat that matches them, adding to the aesthetics. The beauty of this project is that you can make it as practical or ornate as you would like – there are cheap wood and costly wood out there that you can make it from, it just depends on what kind of doormat you want to end up with. The options are endless.

Flower Pot Grill

The fourth and final DIY project to get stuck into is the flowerpot grill. This project is practical and economical, perfect if you’re looking for a way to save a bit on a grill. Grills can be bulky, expensive and often faulty, so looking for alternatives is usually the way to go. Getting a grate and fashioning an old flowerpot into a functioning grill will bring out the crafty side of you while keeping with the practical theme – and I’m sure the wife will be happy when she sees how much you’ve saved.

In conclusion

If you’re near retiring, thinking about it or just retired, it’s a good time of life to think about the home, and what projects there are sitting around that you could work on – there are guaranteed to be some. It’s easy to put off those too-hard-basket jobs that can be saved for a rainy day. Now is the perfect time for that rainy day and you’ll get some satisfaction out of doing these DIY projects. Plus if they fail miserably and you discover you’re not cut out for it, you can always get someone in.

How – And Why – Have Traditional Weddings Changed

How – And Why – Have Traditional Weddings Changed?

If you ask someone in the United States, Canada or New Zealand to describe a “traditional” wedding you are likely to get a rather standard response. It was held in a church; the bride wore a white dress; the photographs were posed and staged; the cake was made of fruit and had a dry, hard icing.

It isn’t that people didn’t have any imagination, rather it was a time when people generally did what was “expected” of them as it was easier than swimming against the social current. The occasional couple might elope – gasp, shock, horror – but even their grandchildren would still be talking about it two generations later.

Why have things changed?

While many couples opt for the well-worn traditional route, an increasing number of people want something “different.” That may be defined as anything from a wedding on a beach in the Caribbean, to a ceremony at the local pub with family and friends to celebration on a farm in the mountains.

The venues for wedding in the 21st century are limited only by people’s imagination and budget. And while getting married in outter- space isn’t an option, it may soon be.

How have things changed?

The idea of “themed” or destination weddings is increasingly popular as couples want to make it personal. To leave their own mark on their special day.

That is why destination wedding are increasingly popular. Why? As well as being the wedding, it is also the honeymoon. Not everyone will be able to attend – some can’t afford it, others are too sick or old to travel, while a number of people are terrified of flying – so it is easy to keep down  the guest list.

Then again, if you want a gift from Aunty Kay and Uncle Steve, send them an invitation and they will likely come across with a present even if they don’t come to Jamaica for the ceremony.

Has anything stayed the same?

If you strip it back to the bare-bones, the French are right: Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. Or “the more things change the more they stay the same” for those who are not Francophiles.

The bride still wears clothes – even if it is a tailored suit rather than a dress; there is still a specific spot where the couple says “I do”; photos are still a very important part of getting married as they are a record of the event; the cake may be dark chocolate with blueberry icing. But is it really any different?

The traditional posed black and white photo of the bridal party – where the bride often looked like someone had stepped on her toes and the groom wore a straight-ahead gaze – have evolved with the times.

Historically, photographs were expensive, so they were carefully guarded and shared with family and intimate friends as newly-weds couldn’t afford to pay for a copy for everyone. And it was a time where there were only a few negatives to choose from, so the rule of thumb was to pick the one that looked the least horrible.

These historical records of wedding sat in the bookshelf – or on the piano — to be dusted from time to time. They were literately “a snap-shot in time” that people forgot over the years. Do you recognize the people in your great-grandparents wedding photo?

So, although photos remain an essential element in the wedding, the genre has – fortunately many will say — evolved. Lots of photos; the bride being videoed from her waking moment until the newly-wed couple drives off into the sunset for their honeymoon; copies of everything are sent to everyone; the wedding video is on Facebook a second after the couple said “I do.’

How to decide what sort of wedding to have

Perhaps the first consideration is the age of the couple. First timers might want to have a traditional wedding to make a statement of their intentions.

Others in their 50 or 60s for whom it is a second or third marriage, might want to opt for a subtler ceremony that includes only family and close friends.

The point isn’t what kind of wedding you want, the important consideration is to tailor it to suit your specific situation.

First, decide what sort of impression you want to create. Then pick the venue, the dress, the photos and the cake accordingly.

Laser Marking the Organic Way for Natural Branding

Is Laser Marking the Organic Way for Natural Branding?

Due to regulations and industry standards, marking on foods and food packaging is a challenging issue. This is especially true in the organic food sector where they strive for everything to be as natural and organic as possible in the presentation and marking for public consumption. This is where laser marking is making a huge difference.

The world’s population is starting to seek out better and healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and the environment. This demand has created a huge growth in the organic food business. One organic food company, Eosta (international fresh organic vegetable and fruit distributor), recently eliminated the use of stickers on their produce.

This Dutch company is now using CO2 laser marking systems to naturally brand their fruits and vegetables before distributing them to stores. This kind of ‘natural branding’ is a no-contact method that is also eco-friendly, making it an obvious choice for the organic food sector.

What Makes CO2 Laser Marking Natural?

No additives or chemicals are used in laser marking, unlike ink marking. The use of CO2 laser marking machines also doesn’t create other chemical substances or speed decay or contamination of organic fruits and vegetables. The low-energy process of CO2 laser marking simply etches the desired image on the outer layer of the produce’s peel and only removes pigment. CO2 laser marking doesn’t change the attributes of the produce.

A popular company to get these machines from (not necessarily the one Eosta uses though) is Needham Coding.

A New Concept

This natural branding concept is still relatively new, but more organic food companies are likely to follow in the coming months to years once they see how it works for Eosta. Imagine the organic fruits, vegetables, meats, and other products that will benefit from natural branding like this. This will revolutionize the industry in a good way.

Compliance Standards

One of the legislative regulations requires that companies differentiate between nonorganic and organic products. That’s exactly what CO2 laser marking does, so it’s also compliant.

Organic food companies are always striving to find better ways to integrate environmentally friendly options that meet legislative and industry requirements and standards.

Fruits & Vegetables Marked

Eosta distributes produce such as sweet potatoes, apples, mangos, and avocados. They have eliminated sticker marking from these products completely using CO2 laser marking for natural branding. It helps to eliminate plastic and other packaging materials as well, making it even more eco-friendly. They claim that by eliminating plastic packing from their avocados alone, they will save 750,000 plastic packs this year.

What Markets Have Eosta Produce?

ICA Sweden, a grocery retailer already has some Eosta’s naturally branded, organic sweet potatoes and avocados found in the produce section. Each piece of produce has its PLU, product name, and country of origin laser marked on it.

Peter Hägg, one of the store’s produce managers, said that now they don’t have to separate the organic products from the others in the store.

CO2 laser marking, now being called natural branding, has become the organic form of laser marking. Since it’s being used to mark organic produce, it’s relevant to the market. Natural branding leaves a mark on the produce, not the environment.

Three Different Types of Travel Bags

If you’re somebody that is really into their traveling, you’ll value the merit in finding the ultimate piece of luggage to take with you on all your adventures.

The beauty of the 21st century is that we are unwittingly inundated with choice, allowing us to pick and choose from a seemingly unlimited array of luggage pieces. Through research, we hone down the overwhelming list into a much more flexible few options, until finally, we come across the Holy Grail of luggage and the one piece we’ve been looking for this whole time. Everybody is different and has different needs when traveling, which is why it’s good to shop around for a bit and figure out exactly which piece is going to fit your travel needs. Here are three different types of travel bags that are ideal for travel.

The first type of travel bag is one we have leaned on for many a decade as the rest of the industry has slowly thought about catching up: the briefcase.

This travel bag is usually thought of like the piece to go for when commuting to the office and bringing along those essential pieces of paperwork, but it also turns out that it has a might monopoly in the business travel sector as well. Thin, lightweight and sturdy, the briefcase has stood the test of time, competition from other travel bags appearing, and criticism to stand out as a great travel bag. It’s perfect if your business travel is taking you on a three or four-night trip, and all you need is one change of clothes and must have toiletries. Its biggest advantage is preserving those all-important documents as you traverse the dangerous and often dirty plains of travel.

The second type of travel bag is the trusty old suitcase – but with a twist.

It’s often nice to maintain a uniform and organized appearance when you’re traveling, and having all suitcases be the same color and style can help when trying to identify yours from a thousand others. The three piece bag set is often a great, economical way to buy your travel luggage – it saves you money, time looking for other suitcases that have the same quality, and again means that all your travel bags are easily identifiable. The Travelpro Crew 11 is a particularly great set of travel bags, allowing for convenience and efficiency. Each bag has roller wheels, meaning you can even attach them all if you wish and cart your entire luggage around in one easy group. Investing in a three-piece travel bag set saves a lot of time and money.

The third and final type of travel bag is the duffel bag – on wheels.

The duffel bag is another strong contender in the industry that has stood the test of time. Now thanks to the innovative work of big travel brand companies, your duffel bag can be dragged behind you on wheels. This is the perfect solution to the problem of having such a great travel bag in which all your items fit well with each other, but create quite a big bulky bag. The rolling duffel bag is also ideal if you’re somebody who travels a lot and has an itch for the outdoors – duffel bags are perfect for holding oddly shaped items such a sports gear or outdoor equipment. But don’t throw your gear uncomfortably over your shoulder and strain a tendon in the process. Get the duffel bag with wheels and roll that sports equipment everywhere.
There’s a lot to be said for the ingenuity behind the progression of travel bags in the industry, and it’s only going to get more efficient and convenient to find what you’re looking for in a travel bag. All it takes is a little bit of research, some trial and error and experimental scenarios that test your luggage to its limits, and you’ll be coupled up with the perfect travel bag in no time. Life’s too short not to travel, and it’s sure as heck too short to go with ill-fitting luggage. Find the travel bag that’s best for you.

Should I Skip the Gym? 5 Things You Can Do to Get a Good Workout In

They call it “hump day” for a reason: if you can get over those mid-week blues and make it to the other side, the chances of staying true to your workout regimen increase.

You don’t have to be perfect and head to the gym 6 or even 7 times a week. Committing to this kind of schedule is especially hard on you if you have long work hours or a young, burgeoning family.

Working out should be a positive experience and, each time you had to the gym, ti should be your time to zone everything else out and focus on giving your body the physical edge and mental stamina it needs to positively impact other areas of your life.

Still, we’ve all faced those days where we heading to they gym feels like a chore, yet another thing on that never-ending “to-do” list.

If you find yourself asking if you should be skipping the gym today or weighing the pros and cons of missing leg day, know that you shouldn’t feel guilty — there are times when it is okay to drive straight home instead. And there are a few things you can do to get a satisfying workout in anyway.

1. Get In Some Other Form of Physical Activity. 

Exercise is just one form of movement. Movement, truly, is the goal here. Exercise is what we do to define out bodies and make them visually appealing as well as physical stronger.

But, remember that staying active can also mean doing functional things that engage the same muscles as your workout routine. It can be as simple as cleaning the bathroom, cleaning out your basement or garage or even de-weeding the backyard.

If you find yourself get bored often (and quikcly) with a workout routine, incorporating team sports like soccer, tennis and hockey or even hitting the swim lanes at your local rec center make for a great “substitute” to a workout.

2. Make A Small Home Gym

One of the best things about the gym? Total, focused workout time with minimal distractions and the full range of equipment you need to get it done.

The most annoying thing? Crowded and packed gym-goers hogging time on the machines you need the most. If you’re having one of those days where heading to the gym is going to be more of a distraction, skip it.

Instead, why not get ripped at home using a combination of free weights and free workout videos? This is a fast and effective way to get your workout in without having to navigate the gym and everything that comes with it: waiting in line for change rooms, parking spots, machines and making small talk.

Setting up a small home gym doesn’t have to mean complex machines and expensive equipment. And you don’t need to dedicate an entire room to your workout. If the weather is good outside, why not do a HIIT circuit that involves some outside free running or running around the track?

3. Hit the Sauna or Do Some Light Yoga

As far as being sick goes, the rule is, anything above the head is a legitimate grounds for staying home, resting, and calling it a day. No one will fault you for that.

But, sometimes, even getting a walk in or a light jog can help clear your head and actually speed recovery. This is especially true for those individuals who get a real high from working out, are very much dedicated to their routine and feel something is “missing” when they miss a workout.

Just being active in small ways can help them stay the course of their routine. In this case, try hitting your gym’s sauna or try some light yoga. Yoga in a reduced heat or heated room may also help you sweat out toxins.

4. There’s a Thin Line Between Muscle Soreness & Muscle Fatigue

This one is all about listening to your body and knowing when it’s time to challenge your limits and when it’s safer (and smarter!) to let sleeping dogs lie — and your sore muscles rest.

As you work out more, you become more aware of your body. You’ll be able to start understanding, through a mixture of experience and intuition, what is in your purview to do and what may actually hurt you.

In some cases, working out another muscle group when one is sore is a great idea. For example, if you burned your thighs doing squats and polymeric lunges, work the arms. Your legs will still be working and you’ll still burn calories out but you overextend yourself.

5. Try Intermittent Fasting

Calisthenics expert, trainer and entrepreneur Chris Heria swears by intermittent fasting.

So do plenty of vegan athletes who compete on shows like American Ninja Warrior. Anyone who has incorporated intermitting fasting as part of their fitness routine has done so consciously. This means that they’re also very aware of how they’re body is responding.

These fitness junkies report that they feel less lethargic, have way more energy, burn fat more effectively and stave off those high and low crashes. Their body is stable and they experience less injury.

Long-term, researchers have found that intermittent fasting techniques can help prolong your life. Those who spend time in the gym say it’s a leading reason why they get shredded and see results faster.

So what is intermittent fasting? In a nutshell, intermittent fasting doesn’t really change what you eat, it changes when you eat it. You can do daily intermittent fasting, weekly and alternate day fasting. The point is that intermittent fasting helps build habits that contribute to overall fitness, rather than focusing on strict dieting.

5 Tips to Clean Laminated Floors

When I bought a new home, I made sure to install laminated floors. There were plenty of reasons that they were better than hardwood or marble. They don’t fade in the sunlight and are resistant to scratching. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how hard they would be to clean.

Keeping Your Laminated Floor Clean Needs to be a Top Priority

Laminated flooring isn’t cheap. On average, it costs about $8 per square foot. The good news is that the average laminated floor lasts about 20 years. However, the longevity of your floor depends on how well it is maintained. If you clean it regularly, it should last 30 years. If you let too much dirt accumulate or spread the dirt around too much, it may not even last a decade.

Fortunately, it becomes a lot easier after you learn how to clean them properly. Here are some tips to make housekeeping with laminated floors easier.

1.      Don’t Use a Broom

This may sound odd, but you don’t want to use a regular broom to clean your floor. Dirt is abrasive, so using a broom to move it can ruin your laminated finish.

Instead, you should use a vacuum cleaner or dry dust mop. They will prevent small particles of dirt from scratching away at your floor.

An effective and scratch-free vacuum cleaner is usually best. However, a dry, microfiber mop will work well if you have a lot of hair or dust on the floor.

2.      Don’t Use String Mops

When you need to wash the floor, you don’t want to use string mops. It takes forever to clean the floor with them. They also leave long streaks for several days.

Microfiber mops are a lot better. They pick up debris, rather than pushing it around the floor. You can also use them to clean your floor a lot quicker.

3.      Clean the Floor at Least Once a Week

You paid a lot of money for your laminated floor. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for dirt to ruin the coating.

You should get in the habit of cleaning your floor at least once a week. If you have the time, you may want to clean it twice. It will go faster if you clean it more often and you won’t have to worry about scratching the surface while trying to remove any debris that has collected over time.

4.      Never Use Abrasive Cleaning Products

You don’t want to use scouring pads, Comet or other abrasive cleaning products. They will cause serious damage to your floor if you aren’t careful.

5.      Use Small Amounts of Water Without Detergent

When you need to wash your floor, it is important to be as minimal as possible with your cleaning products. You should restrict yourself to a small amount of water (ideally less than half a cup for every five square feet). If you soak a single microfiber pad in water, you should be able to use it to clean two rooms.

You don’t want to use any soap-based detergents at all, because the alkaline level is too strong for a laminated floor.

6.      Keep Furniture Away from All Laminated Floors

There are several reasons not to keep furniture on laminated surfaces. First of all, furniture can leave very deep scratches on laminated floors if it is moved. Since people are going to sit on furniture, they are more likely to eat on it. There is a good chance they will spill things on the surface, which is going to make cleaning more of a hassle.

If you do plan on keeping furniture on your floors, you want to make sure they place down carpet pieces underneath it to minimize the risk of scratching. You should also discourage people from eating on it as much as possible.

Clean Carefully and Clean Regularly

Most laminated floors don’t last as long as they should, because people don’t take good care of them. You need to clean them regularly if you want them to last.

As long as you clean your floors at least a couple of times a week and avoid using harsh cleaning products, they should last for at least 25 years.