Handmade soap

There is no comparison between real handmade soap and commercial soaps that are available on store shelves everywhere. According to various reliable online sources, soap is basically water, lye, and fats or oils. When a lye and water solution is mixed with the fats, the chemical reaction is called “saponification”, which is the reaction of hydrogen, oxygen, sodium, and fatty acid molecules, resulting in about three parts soap and one part glycerin. Glycerin is a rich emollient prized for its ability to moisturize the skin and is retained in handmade soaps, but is extracted in commercial soap as a valuable by-product leaving the hard dry bars of soap sold at Wal-Mart and elsewhere. Properly prepared handmade soaps have no lye remaining, and it cannot be made without it.

Handmade soap is rich and moisturizing, soothes and softens the skin, and cleanses without drying. Handmade items for the bath and spa leave even sensitive, allergy-prone skin feeling wonderfully moisturized, luxuriously soft and smooth. Soaps and other skin products are beautifully scented with rosewater, organic herbs, and flowers grown in organic gardens. Handmade soaps, herbal bath and beauty products, skin care gift baskets, and handcrafted natural toiletries can be purchased online from soap makers and retailers around the world. Countryrosesoap.com offers a complete range of natural handmade bath and body products including handmade natural soaps, bath bombs, shampoos, and more. Lush.com is another site that features lush fresh handmade soaps in addition to natural cosmetics and beauty tips. For pure gentle and natural home made glycerin soaps visit Carrie’s Creations at www.handmade-soaps.com, where you can find more natural handmade bath and body products.

Makers of handmade soaps often use various ingredients like olive oil or fresh goat milk, in addition to pure essential oils and fragrances, like soaps featured by Alabu.com makers of all-natural farm fresh goat milk soap, and OliveOilSoap.com that offers pure handmade olive oil soaps and body products. You’ll find a comprehensive listing of makers of handmade soaps from small and large companies all over the world, that make their own handmade soaps completely from scratch. Choose from scented, unscented, colored, swirled or layered soaps, round soap, or just plain and simple soap. Handcrafted soaps, handmade soaps, herbal soaps, or natural soaps are the gentlest, silkiest most latherful soaps you can buy. Light a candle, grab your favorite bar of soap, add some water, and in no time you’ll feel renewed; use this simple pleasure as an act of loving kindness to yourself.

Health & Fitness in the news

Exercise and Industry

1. Top US gym chain heads for Britain – The Independent

Flabby Britons will soon be invited to get in shape, US-style, when one of America’s high-power gym brands opens up in the UK. Equinox, the upscale fitness chain familiar to any frequent visitor to New York, is scouting locations for two gyms in London, and plans to open its doors next year before extending the chain throughout Europe.
The Independent

2. New Look founder takes an interest in Pure Gym – The Telegraph

Mr Singh, who recently returned to the helm of the high street retailer amid falling sales, bought into Pure Gym through his Magenta Partners vehicle which invests on behalf of his family trusts.  The gym chain run by former Golden Tulip hotel boss Peter Roberts has just completed a third round of fund-raising through a rights issue, believed to have been 50pc oversubscribed.
The Telegraph

Health and Lifestyle

1. Eat well and love life to save brain – Daily Express

There are presently 750,000 people in the UK with dementia, a figure set to more than double in the next 40 years. One person in three who is currently over 65 will develop the condition. It’s a chilling thought for anyone who has been affected by Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia. How tragic to live the last years of our lives with this kind of brain disorder.
Daily Express

2. Fat families to be given lessons on how to shop for food in supermarkets – The Mirror

Getting obese families to ditch junk food is often a losing battle for doctors. Now officials have decided to try something new – by taking them round supermarkets to learn how to buy healthier food. Adults living with overweight children in deprived areas are being offered a free 10-week course on nutrition and better eating.
The Mirror

Scarborough Hotels, Events and Attractions from the 1960's

A Hotel in Scarborough
Crown Spa in the 1960's


From time to time we all complain about how things are not as good as when we were young.

The tourism trade continues to be a major part of the local economy despite the current affordability of foreign holidays. While weekend and mid-week-break trade are tending to replace the traditional week-long family holiday, the beaches and attractions are always very busy throughout summer – and increasingly busier in the winter months when Scarborough is often seen as a peaceful bolt-hole from cities such as London, Manchester and Leeds. Confidence in the hospitality industry is high, evidenced by major refits in recent years to the likes of the Crown Spa Hotel.

To have a look at the nostalgic past have a look at the link below for the Yorkshire Film Archive.


A Healthy Heart

For many decades now, heart disease has been on the rise. The incidence of heart disease used to be more common in older people, but as the decades pass, the ages of people who develop heart conditions keeps dropping – even people in their 30s are now being diagnosed with one heart condition or another. Our sedentary lifestyles, stressful, fast-paced lives and dietary practices stand in direct correlation to the prevalence of heart disease. Although our physicians seem to constantly be chiding us on following a healthy lifestyle and getting regular exercise, so many of us put off this good advice to some day in the future. Today, it’s important to understand that heart disease can strike you even at a relatively young age. Keeping a healthy heart should be a lifelong pursuit which begins in childhood. Let’s take a look at the ABCs of a healthy heart.

If you take a look at the statistics regarding heart disease over the past several decades, it becomes apparent that a healthy heart does have a relationship to exercise. Up until the 1980s and early 1990s, kids were far more active than they are today. Riding bikes, participation in sports and playground activities were part of a kid’s daily life. As the couch potato syndrome developed, along with time spent at the PC and video games becoming the norm, kids became less inclined to get out in the fresh air after school, opting instead to sit in front of the tube or computer, adopting a sedentary lifestyle while still in their teens. It’s also notable that physical education is now an optional, instead of mandatory, class.

As parents, we need to insist that kids engage in regular, physical exercise on a daily basis. If you look at the statistics on overweight kids, a lack of sufficient exercise is one of the major culprits. As adults, we need to impose the same rules for ourselves – setting a good example, as well as keeping ourselves fit and avoiding heart problems down the road.

While we enjoy many benefits and conveniences of the modern day, there are also inherent pitfalls. For example, we all know that fast food and highly refined and processed food are rife with much more fats, sugars, additives and a host of preservatives which certainly do nothing to promote a healthy heart. Sure, we all indulge in the occasional ‘pizza night’ or fast food dinner to accommodate busy schedules, but this should not become the daily dietary practice. Freshly prepared meals, which are low in saturated and trans fats, along with those daily, 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies, go a long way towards keeping a healthy heart healthy. When you make heart-healthy meals the norm, rather than the exception, you’re much less likely to develop a heart condition at an early age. In fact, when you make regular exercise and a healthy diet a lifelong practice, chances are good that you’ll maintain a healthy heart well into your old age!

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

The benefits of quitting smoking are pretty intuitive, but the American Cancer Society would like you to be aware of just how many benefits there are. And while scientific research technically can’t prove that smoking causes cancer and overall bad health, everybody knows that it’s true because it’s a matter of common sense and more than just mere coincidence that smoking is strongly associated with developing cancer. But even if we know that it’s better to quit smoking, that doesn’t mean that it’s so easy to.

The reason it’s so hard to quit smoking is because of the addictive properties of nicotine. People can develop a physical or a psychological addiction to a drug, and with tobacco, they find themselves craving nicotine and developing an emotional dependence on it. At first, smoking gives people a high as the brain responds to the nicotine, but over time the body becomes accustomed to it and it needs higher and higher levels to achieve the same high that it used to at a lower level. They may also experience negative effects of withdrawal like headaches, shaking and insomnia, so smokers start to increase the amount that they smoke and it eventually becomes an addiction. The consequences of nicotine addiction are an increased risk of developing cancer, but there are many other consequences that are subtle but significant. You might find it harder to breathe, the smell of smoke surrounding you and pervading everywhere you go, your teeth becoming stained, impaired ability to think, less stamina, more anxiety, and less money due to spending it on cigarettes. And as you smoke, you’re also putting the people around you at risk, because other people can inhale the carcinogens and it can also be passed to an infant during pregnancy. Thus some of the benefits of quitting smoking are less risk of developing cancer, being able to breathe fresh air, your teeth looking whiter, the ability to think more clearly, more stamina, less anxiety, and money saved. When you stop abusing nicotine, you’ll realize that the benefits of quitting smoking extend to all areas of life, in terms of health, intelligence, social life and economics.

You can learn more about the benefits of quitting smoking by taking the Great American Smokeout Challenge, an event organized by the American Cancer Society which takes place on the 3rd Thursday of November. During this day, smokers quit smoking for 24 hours and participate in many activities like bonfires, rallies, athletic events, and talking with other people who are trying to quit smoking. It’s a time during which smokers can receive support and know that they’re not alone in trying to kick nicotine addiction.

Get a Healthy Glow with Organic Skin Care Products

Have you ever looked at the ingredients label on your favorite bottle of moisturizer or foundation? Chances are, the list contains lots of chemicals that are practically impossible to pronounce. Have you ever wondered what kind of long-term effects these chemicals can have on your face? I have, which is why I switched to organic skin care products about a year ago. Now my face has a healthy glow that makes me look years younger and far healthier than ever!

My friends have noticed the difference, and asked me to share my secret. I told them about my new regimen that consists of only organic skin care products, thinking they would immediately share my enthusiasm. I was therefore surprised to see my revelation met with a bit of skepticism. Apparently, my friends had tried some items marked “all-natural”, but didn’t get the results they were after. After asking them a few follow-up questions, it seems that they weren’t really using the right brands. Because it’s so trendy to be natural these days, many manufacturers are decorating their packaging with pretty flowers adding a touch of herbal extract, and marketing their stuff as organic skin care products. Obviously that’s not what I meant!

In order to find the best organic skin care products, it’s essential that you do some research first. If you have a beauty consultant or esthetician that you regularly see at the salon or spa, then she can probably start you out with some great recommendations. This would be the best route, since the person is already familiar with your skin and any specific issues (such as oiliness or dryness) that you might have. Also, your regular esthetician is likely to be aware of your general budget and how much you usually spend on beauty creams or whatnot, so she’ll be able to recommend a product that you can afford.

If you don’t have a consultant, then you can just do some online research. Take inventory of your usual beauty supplies first, and then try to find organic skin care products to replace the ones you use. This could be anything from moisturizer to cold cream, wrinkle cream, toner, cleanser, serum, makeup, and even bath gels. Once you figure out which items you want to buy, go ahead and check for some organic skin care products that have a good reputation among consumers. There are lots of customer review websites and beauty-related message boards where people can offer their personal opinions and experiences with a particular product, and these are often wonderful places to find unbiased information.

Switching to organic skin care products can help you start looking your very best. If you haven’t gone all natural yet, then you could be doing more damage to your face than good. Make the change today!

Answer Job Interview Questions

Most of us have some level of anxiety walking into an interview; it can be extremely overwhelming and difficult to concentrate. When you interview for a job, you want to put your best foot forward and demonstrate that you are the right person for the job. By familiarizing yourself with how to answer job interview questions ahead of time, your chances of securing the job increase significantly. Interviewers are adept at asking job interview questions and your success depends primarily on how you answer these pertinent questions. Some may appear overly direct, but the intention is always the same; the interviewer(s) simply want to find out if you’re really the best candidate for the job. Familiarity with the company and the types of questions the interviewer will ask will greatly enhance your career, no matter how experienced and skilled you are.

You can find some great resources on how to answer job interview questions from numerous online employment resources. Find out the top five most asked job interview questions and how to answer them confidently from sites like www.workbloom.com and many others. The most common opening question is usually “tell me about yourself”, which is your opportunity to positively introduce yourself and your employment history, highlighting your unique qualifications, primary strengths, achievements, and other positive contributions you can bring to the job and the company. It is definitely to your benefit to know as much as possible about the company you’re applying to work at, be confident, and expect to answer job interview questions like, “what are your weaknesses?” or “what did you hate most about your last job?” Instead of digging yourself a hole, highlight a trait the interviewer will perceive as strength, such as your superb attention to detail and how you expect the same from your colleagues.

Aside from your resume, a job interview is the only thing standing between you and your dream job. Make sure you dress well; no t-shirt and jeans or revealing party-wear. Smile and project a positive enthusiastic attitude, and remember your manners and communicate clearly and audibly. Bring a fresh copy of your resume and cover letter too, even if they already have one. Afterward, send a thank you email later that day, and don’t wait until the next day or the day after. If you haven’t heard anything in a week, give the hiring manager a call to ask if they are close to making a decision, or if they already have. Taking on new challenges and greater responsibility should be emphasized when you answer job interview questions, because going without aspirations or career goals makes you appear unmotivated. Act like you really want the job and you’ll probably get it; attitude is everything!

Employee Privacy

Employee right to privacy is a pretty new concept in business, but one that is catching on fast. Whether you are a manager or a worker, it definitely makes sense to put some thought into employee privacy rights. There are many different approaches in different businesses, and the courts haven’t really decided what they think yet. In short, we are in the middle of a social debate about employee privacy. Which way will the debate go? That is up to all of us to decide together.

In business, I am a big fan of employee privacy. I feel like as long as my employees get the job done, that is all that matters.

You see, giving my employees privacy is a matter of respect for me. I feel that the office environment should be based, as much as possible, on mutual respect. If I acknowledge my employees have a right to self-determination, pay them well, and give them good benefits, they will in turn enjoy working for me. Loyal employees are productive employees, and employees that stay with the company for a long time. Therefore, it is to all of our advantages when employee privacy and other employee rights are respected.

I know other people in business, however, who have much different views on employee privacy. A lot of the time, the argument is made that an employees privacy stops at the door. Everything you do while you are on the job should be related to the job.

For me, it all seems to come down to management styles. I am very laid back. I like to see responsible, hard-working employees. As such, I give them freedom and expect them to do their work in a timely and efficient manner. Other people, however, see things much differently. If you work in a large company, you might see your employees more as cogs in a machine. If you primarily demand strict obedience to office codes rather than self-motivation and independence, workplace privacy probably is not that important to your business model.

Memories of Scarborough South Bay Pool.

I spend all last weekend on the beach in a chalet (will be doing the same this weekend).

 Everybody had a great time; especially the kids in the rock pools and jumping off the South bay sea wall at high tide, though one or two were hesitant at the 5 foot drop..

 Jumping off the wall reminded me of the old South Bay pool high board; where up to age 10; I would walk up the concrete steps “legs a wobbling” getting to the top, looking down at the long drop below, watching the wet drips from my feet fall down to the water and disappear. Later I would do the obligatory walk of shame back down, much to the jeers of those spectating.

One day in March my sister and I received “shorty wetsuits”, I think so that we would spend longer in the South Bay Pool and not come home and bother mum and dad in the small hotel they ran; even though – the wetsuits were well received.

Jumping off the South Bay Pool High Board
From a Distance

My wetsuit was red and black, very stiff material and kept me warm for about 1 hour longer than without; it also I found offered me much valued protection from the odd “belly flop!”

 So one day aged 11, I went with my friends to the pool and also down there was a young lady I was rather taken with, anyway I wasn’t getting very much response with her, so I just got up and walked away.

I soon found myself for some inexplicable reason* doing the “wobbly leg walk” all the way to the top of the high board, I got to the top and looked down, it was a long way and my stomach was turning, but down in the crowd was the young lady I liked.

 Well it was decision time, jump? Or walk of shame?

 I then realised I had my Batfink suit on (MY SHIELD OF STEEL), I also realised that the young lady of my attentions was now watching me, as my dear friends had started shouting at me to “Jump!” and  other shouts like “chicken!”.

Now everyone in the South Bay Pool was watching ME! (in those days about 200 people). Needless to say I was now very nervous.

 Well the next 3 seconds were the longest of my life so far! I stepped off and my whole life seemed to be at an end – down I went.

 Needless to say I survived, and resurfaced with a big grin on my face and my friends speaking between themselves saying “He did it” “ I don’t believe it”

 As i was getting out (remember the enormous wooden steps?) one of the life guards came over to me said “How old are you?”

I answered “11” Expecting to be told off!

He replied “Well you had better get back up there and make another 3 jumps, just so you know for certain that the last jump was not a fluke!” (don’t think this advise would be allowed in today’s health and saftey world)

 So up I went at least another 10 times, that day, No wobbly leggs too!

 The news was all over school and I was quite proud at my achievement.

 All that summer I was a bit naughty as I would wait for an older boy or a man to do the “wobbly leg walk” then I would follow them up and speak with them while I was up there

  •  “long way down isn’t it?”
  • or my classic “someone died last week jumping of here”
  • or my other favourite “you first” (to be followed by “come on I haven’t got all day”) then I would jump off.

The older boy or man would then have to do the walk of shame! ALONE!

 Anyway if you want to see how high the board was have a look at the following http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f1dKY7vmbI 

*= Look this is a “man-thing” that you ladies make us do!

Open multiple Instances of Excel in Office 2010 and 2007

After over 2 years of using MS Office 2007 and now 2010 (a couple months),  I have become really frustrated with Excel opening in the same instance, especially when I now have two excellent monitors.

 This single instance “feature” was implemented in Office 2007 to save memory, and is a great feature if you are working on alike notebooks, but bloody pointless when you have two monitors and 4GB of RAM and 4 CPU’s in your work PC!

But I now have a solution!

This fix works by adding certain keys into your registry.

It will not only allow you to double-click on an icon and have it open in a separate window, but also adds a neat little Right Click dialog that reads “Open in New Excel Instance”, when you right click an excel file.

 Pop over here and download the  zip file