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Fashion Tips

Match A

ccessories can make or break your look. When choosing fashion accessories to match your outfit, consider the colour, scale and style of the pieces, and keep the occasion in mind.


. COLOUR .When you’re wearing black, white or other neutrals, accessories in any colour look stylish and coordinated. If you’re wearing a colourful outfit, though, make sure your fashion accessories don’t clash. Primary and secondary colours that are side by side on the wheel are analogous to each other. They work very well together when they are matched on the same level of lightness or darkness. If you want to make a big fashion statement, choose primary and secondary colours that are opposite of each other on the wheel. Pairing these colours is bold and adventurous, and some shades don’t look as good together as others. Avoid partnering red with green, though, unless it’s the holiday season. Experiment to find which colours work best for you. In general, don’t use more than three colours in your whole ensemble.

your accessories to your outfit


. SCALE . The scale of your fashion accessories is important, too. When you’re wearing patterns, simple accessories are the best option. Accessories and jewellery that are too busy will make prints look tacky. The same goes for ruffled, sequined, embroidered or otherwise embellished garments: Wear understated accessories to keep the emphasis on your outfit. The scale and shape of your handbag is also important. Consider your body type in addition to what you are wearing. Tall, slim women look best with short, slouchy bags such as hobos and clutches. Petite women should avoid oversized satchels; these bags overwhelm their small frames. Short ladies should also steer clear of handbags with long straps. Plus-size and hourglass-shaped women look fabulous with medium-sized structured or boxy handbags to balance out their curves.


. STYLE . Fashion accessories can define your style. A white shirt and jeans or simple black dress can look completely different depending on your choice of handbag, shoes, jewellery and other accessories.

Here are some common accessories to consider, depending on your personal style: CLASSIC ACCESSORIES pearl- or diamond-stud earrings, silk scarf, leather clutch and classic black pumps GLAMOROUS ACCESSORIES chandelier earrings, bib necklace, large cocktail ring, crystal-embellished clutch, oversized sunglasses and sky-high heels PLAYFUL ACCESSORIES chunky jewellery, hobo bag, headbands, skinny belt and colourful ballet flats EDGY ACCESSORIES thick cuff bracelet, choker necklace, studded handbag and black leather booties WORKDAY ACCESSORIES delicate necklace, classic watch, large satchel or shoulder bag and kitten heels CASUAL ACCESSORIES candy-coloured bracelet or watch, Wayfarer sunglasses, cross body bag, floppy hats and knee-high boots or espadrille sandals Accessories can take any outfit from drab to fab. They can also help extend your wardrobe because you can achieve multiple looks from one basic dress just by changing your accessories. c

makeover competition


Enter our competition and stand a chance to win a brand new look!

Let our creative stylist Marshall Malikula treat you to a brand new head-to-toe makeover. You will win a new look courtesy of Edgars Stores Zimbabwe, as well as a professional photoshoot that will appear in the next edition of The Edgars Club Magazine. To enter you must be an active club account holder and you must email us: 1. Your picture and 2. A 200 word motivation as to why you deserve to receive a makeover. Send your email to theclub@edgars.co.zw Ts & Cs apply.

Marshall Malikula

Stylist & Grooming Consultant: Marshall

Malikula is a Professional Stylist and Image consultant with a proven track record, for internationally acclaimed fashion brands across Southern Africa. Fashion and all things visual are his second nature. He has a vast wealth of experience in styling fashion shows, photo shoots, beauty pageants, corporate and personal grooming. More recently he started styling for a popular music programme on ZTV. His wide array of knowledge of fashion has seen him write for The Newsday, Zimbabwe Standard, Echo newspaper a weekly in Botswana as well as contributions to the Jet, Zimbabwe blog. Naturally, Marshall finds great joy and pride in transforming people, work and living spaces. His mantra is “No matter how you feel. Get up, Dress up, Show up and never give up!�

Finance Tips

Taking Control of your Finances


any people have difficulties in managing their personal income they assume that since they are at home budgeting, planning and proper use of money should be thrown out the window and hence by this attitude end up feeling the effects of improperly handling their finances. This improper handling of money results in many challenges in life which include a lot of debt, failure to meet your family responsibilities and hand to mouth type of living which is very hard. Taking control of your personal finance entails managing money properly, planning (on how you are going to earn it, use it, save it and invest it), proper implementation of planned use of money, being accountable for every money decision made and being happy with how your money is serving you. Taking control of your personal finance is a journey that requires dedication and commitment and these are some of the strategies you should use to take control of your personal finance.


.Money Date You schedule a date and time and dedicate between 45minutes to an hour in a week, during this time you will converse with yourself about your money, this is where you create

Written by Ashel Moyo

your budget, review your targets, come up with strategies and goals. This money date should be experienced with pen and paper present so as to jot down everything derived from the date.


. Learning Improve your knowledge; in a week make time 30 to 40 minutes so that you can read. Identify a topic in personal finance which you are lacking for example if you lack in Saving as a tool in your personal finance toolbox, you dedicate this time in reading books or useful material on the internet which deals with saving and after a month of doing this you would have accumulated useful knowledge on saving and thus have power to act.


. Ask Better questions Tack stock of yourself and ask yourself better questions for example instead of asking; why is the electricity bill high all the time? , you ask yourself; how can l reduce the electricity bill? All of these questions you present them in a purely financial way.


. Find a Mentor After you’ve asked better questions and maybe you might have gotten answers and at times not the next step

for those things left you don’t know you find a person whom you look up to for financial success, someone who is managing his finances better than most and when approaching these mentors don’t rush take your time and make sure that they are comfortable and at ease when you talk to them. If its difficulty to get a mentor who is willing to teach you don’t worry, there is a solution for that many successful people in this field have written books regarding the issue find their books, follow the advice in their books and mimic their behaviours and you are home and dry.


. Test your systems Now after doing all of the above what is left is to develop systems that work for you, people have different ways of doing things some prefer when budgeting to use the old school pen and paper system, others prefer to use excel spreadsheets to track spending and do budgets whilst some prefer the new way of doing things which is to use phone applications to track spending and do budgets. Whether you prefer to have your money date on a Monday at work or on a Saturday in the garden it is imperative that everyone be on top of their money to avoid the perils of poor personal finance management. c

short story

Whose Wedding IS IT ANYWAY?


have always been intrigued by how weddings wind up everyone, and give exciting vibes. Ana tete and siblings are often the ones in the fore front getting this and that ready. There is always so much that needs to be done and you can’t handle it on your own really. Family tends to discourage you from hiring a wedding planner kutambisa mari besides tete has experience with weddings and how difficult can it be anyway? It doesn’t come all at once so you don’t realise it until it’s too late, so you wanted 150 guests then you hear the guest list has gone up to 300. Babamnini va sekuru va maiguru will feel excluded in family stuff and it’s not a good look. You don’t want to upset the elders so you have to agree or they won’t bless your marriage or not show up on the wedding day. The bouquet of flowers you wanted doesn’t go well with the dress your sister has taken the liberty to order a new bouquet for you. The decor person is saying that your aunty wants to change the sitting arrangement because of whatever reason. At this point you want to yell mom! But she on about not being able to find the perfect outfit in your colours, not much

Written by Tariro Manatsa

help there. Stop, take a minute and breathe then remember the most important detail whose wedding is it anyway? That’s right yours take control before your special day ends up, everyone else’s special day except you. Putting your feet down in an African setup is never the easiest thing to do just remember to let everyone down gently. Say something like I’ll take it under advisement never brush them off. Find soldiers in sisters and friends who will kill for you to get your dream wedding no matter what the cost and surround yourself with them.



t’s easy to get lost in all the hype & the happenings at a wedding and forget the reason why we all gathered on that day, two simple words, wedding vows. The words “we are all gathered here to witness the joining of these two in holy matrimony” are not new who hasn’t heard them? Be it a court, garden, church or beach wedding that union is incomplete until the couple pledge their love to each other and the wedding vows are exchanged. Loving someone and having them love you back is the most precious thing in the world and nothing beats standing

next to the love of your life in front of both God and men. Side by side, heart to heart uttering words that bind your two hearts into one. I love that couples in this century have cultivated a culture of writing their own vows, it makes everything real doesn’t it? People sometimes miss the magic that takes place in that moment the bride and groom gaze into each other’s eyes and speak from the bottom of their hearts. It’s not just beautiful words that are being said to make the moment all romantic but these words are a symbol of a life time commitment. A commitment you make to someone, words one shall live by from that day forth. Many are times couples just think saying it out loud in front of their family and friends is enough but the reality is the actions. What really matters is what happens after the love accents have been spoken, the actions that follow. Those are the ones that bring the words to life that’s the beauty and the magic of marriage. Vows shape the foundation of a marriage, so when you find yourself faced with marriage vows speak the truth don’t promise heaven on earth when you can’t even take her to a vacation in the Bahamas. c

downtime cooking



. Preservation Method: Root Cellaring The practice of “putting food by” refers to storing produce for long periods of time, and it is often quite simple. Many foods will last weeks or months if kept in a cool, dark spot. Some foods benefit from being coated first in oil or being stored in a bucket of sand; others will keep when simply set on a shelf. A cool, dark corner of your garage or basement will probably do nicely.


. Preservation Method: Home Canning From simple canned tomatoes to homemade soups, canning is a great way to preserve the peak-harvest flavours of many fresh foods. However, it is extremely important to do it right, so be sure to learn the basics. While canning is simple and safe with the proper instruction, improperly canned foods can make you and your family sick. The easiest method of canning is called water-bath canning, and it’s a great way to preserve acidic foods such as pickles and tomatoes. For nonacidic foods, you will need to rely on the more complex system of pressure canning. We recommend starting with the easier water-bath canning to learn the technique before moving on to pressure canning.


. Preservation Method: Freezing Food Freezing helps prevent food from spoiling before we’re ready to eat it. Several tricks and tips can improve your freezer strategies. Many foods freeze well, but a few—such as lettuce, cream sauces and whole eggs in shells—really just don’t. Obviously, it’s helpful to know the difference. Some foods, such as blueberries, can be frozen as is; others, such as greens, must be blanched first. To blanch, bring a pot of water to boil, dunk food for a brief time, then pat the food dry and freeze in freezer proof containers. To make efficient use of freezer space, try freezing liquids such as soups in baggies laid flat on a baking sheet. Once frozen, they can be stacked neatly elsewhere in the freezer. You can also fill ice cube trays with sauces such as pesto and then pour the cubes, ready for single-serving uses, into a freezer container.

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y now, you’ve probably heard about the multiple benefits of eating locally and seasonally—more nutritious food, better prices and better flavour. And while eating seasonally during summer may not present too much of a challenge, things get a bit more difficult as winter set in. One of the best ways to eat a seasonal diet year-round is to preserve some foods during their most abundant time. . Preservation Method: Drying Food Dehydrating food makes it less attractive to moisture-loving bacteria. Removing the water also concentrates flavours in a mighty tasty way, and it’s a fitting trick for fruits and veggies of all kinds. Dried foods take up the least pantry space of all the preserved treats you might make, and the benefactors of this technique are limited only by your imagination. Food dehydrators make easy work of drying food, but it’s easy to do in an oven set on low heat, too. Once they’re dried to a crisp, store foods in an airtight container. Some foods, such as plum tomatoes, are also great halfway dried and then stored in oil.

tural Here are good-to-use na at won’t preservation methods th stress your pockets

downtime cooking

Juicy Roasted Chicken


Salt and Black pepper to taste 1 tablespoon onion powder, or to taste 1/2 cup margarine, divided 1 stalk celery, leaves removed

1 (3 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed METHOD: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place chicken in a roasting pan, and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Sprinkle inside and out with onion powder. Place 3 tablespoons margarine in the chicken cavity. Arrange dollops of the remaining margarine around the chicken’s exterior. Cut the celery into 3 or 4 pieces, and place in the chicken cavity. Bake uncovered 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove from heat, and baste with melted margarine and drippings. Cover with aluminium foil, and allow to rest about 30 minutes before serving.

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes


salt and pepper to taste 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 russet potatoes, sliced into 2 cups milk 1/4 inch slices 1 1/2 cups shredded 1 onion, sliced into rings Cheddar cheese METHOD: To Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Butter a large casserole dish. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven


12 eggs, beaten 1 1/2 pounds ground

breakfast sausage 500g shredded Cheddar cheese, divided 7 slices white bread, torn into pieces

METHOD: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain off grease, and set aside to cool. Pour the eggs into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. In a separate large bowl, combine the sausage, bread and 350g of the cheese. Mix well and pour this into the egg mixture. Top with the remaining 150g of cheese and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, uncover, and bake until casserole is golden brown and bubbly. Tip: Aluminium foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

downtime cooking

CHRISTMAS S A E D I R E N N I D routs, the mince From the turkey to the sp gs, whatever festive pies to the party puddin Christmas, eat, feast you’re throwing this drink and be merry!

Fool Proof Rib Roast


2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 (5 pound) standing beef Allow roast to stand at room rib roast temperature for at least 1 hour. METHOD: Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Combine the salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small cup. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan so that the fatty side is up and the rib side is on the bottom. Rub the seasoning onto the roast. Roast for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Turn the oven off and leave the roast inside. Do not open the door. Leave it in there for 3 hours. 30 to 40 minutes before serving, turn the oven back on at 190 degrees C to reheat the roast. The internal temperature should be at least 62 degrees C. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving into servings.

Perfect Turkey Rice Gravy


1/4 Cup all-purpose flour 2 Cups liquid (chicken broth or water) 1/4 Cup turkey drippings 1/2 tsp salt (fat & juices from roasted turkey 1/2 tsp ground black pepper METHOD: Drain the pan drippings for the roasted turkey through a fine strainer into a glass measuring cup. Add in chicken broth or water if necessary to make 2 cups of liquid total in pan. You may have enough drippings in the pan to omit extra liquid. Whisk cold water into the all-purpose flour until you get a smooth, but thick liquid. Bring the drippings to a boil over medium-low heat and slowly add the flour mixture, whisking until bubbly and thickened. Serve immediately or keep warm over low heat and whisk again before serving.

downtime cooking

Creamy Cucumber Salad


1 pound English cucumber (about 1 medium cucumber), sliced 1/8 inch thick

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup sour cream 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, chives, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

METHOD: Place a colander or fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Add the cucumbers and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and toss to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Line a work surface with 1 layer of paper towels. Using your hands, remove the cucumbers from the strainer and arrange them in a flat, even layer on the paper towels, top with another layer of paper towels, and gently press to absorb any moisture. Discard the liquid in the bowl and wipe it dry. Combine the sour cream, herbs, vinegar, pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt in the bowl. Add the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

Authentic Rice 1/4 cup tomato sauce or


2 pureed tomatoes 2 tomato bullion cubes 1/4 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice 1 carrot diced 1/4 cup oil 1/2 cup peas 1 tsp minced garlic 3 1/4 cup water 1/4 of a medium onion finely 3-4 whole serrano peppers diced optional METHOD: Rinse and drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the rice stir to combine. Stir frequently, until the rice is lightly golden brown all over. Add tomato sauce, garlic, and finely diced onion to the pan. Add the tomato stock cubes, salt, carrots, peas, and water (and serrano peppers, if using). Cook, stirring, until bullion cubes are dissolved. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Easy Herb Roasted Turkey


2 tablespoons garlic powder 2 teaspoons dried basil 1 teaspoon ground sage 1 teaspoon salt 1 (6kg) whole turkey 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 3/4 cup olive oil 2 cups water METHOD: Preheat oven to 165 degrees C. Clean turkey (discard giblets and organs), and place in a roasting pan with a lid. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic powder, dried basil, ground sage, salt, and black pepper. Using a basting brush, apply the mixture to the outside of the uncooked turkey. Pour water into the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover. Bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh measures 82 degrees C. Remove bird from oven, and allow to stand for about 30 minutes before carving. Simple Cranberry Sauce: cranberries (4 cups), 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar, Heat water and sugar to boiling. Stir in cranberries. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until cranberries begin to pop. Pour sauce into bowl or container. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until chilled.

downtime cooking

Sweet Tooth SERVES: 6-8 servings YIELDS: 18 Cookies

12 sugar cookies (about 2 1/2 to 3-inches in diameter) TOTAL TIME: 3 tablespoons cream PREP: 35 mins cheese, room temperature COOK: 35mins 2 cups white chocolate for melting INGREDIENTS Sprinkles for decoration METHOD: Place sugar cookies in a food processor and process until cookies turn into fine crumbs. Add cream cheese and process again until well-combined and mixture can be pressed into a ball, 1 to 2 minutes. Shape cookies into balls about 1-inch to 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 15 minutes or the refrigerator for 1 hour. In medium bowl, melt white chocolate according to instructions. Remove the cookie balls from refrigerator. Using a spoon or two forks, dip and roll chilled cookie balls, one at a time, in coating. Return to lined cookie sheet and immediately top with sprinkles. Repeat process for remaining cookie balls. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

PUMPKIN BREAD SERVES: 8 servings TOTAL TIME: PREP: 20mins COOK: 40-50mins

Notes: If the sugar cookie truffle dough is not firm enough, add another tablespoon of cream cheese.

¼ c. canola oil ⅓ c. low-fat plain yogurt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 c. all-purpose flour ¾ c. whole wheat flour 1½ tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp. ground nutmeg ½ tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. salt

INGREDIENTS 1 c. light brown sugar 2 large egg whites 1 c. pure pumpkin insides cooked METHOD: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8 1/2” by 4 1/2” metal loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour. In large bowl, with wire whisk, combine brown sugar and egg whites. Add pumpkin, oil, yogurt, and vanilla extract; stir to combine. In medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert pumpkin bread onto wire rack; cool completely.


downtime home shop smart home Some handy tips to consider when decorating your space.

Decorate a Christmas Tree like a PRO!


f you’re wondering how to decorate a Christmas tree like a pro, you’re not alone. Hanging a bunch of ornaments, garland, and tinsel on a tree without any thought or plan can end up looking sloppy. Creating a tree that looks like it belongs in a storefront window takes practice, but the task will be easier if you keep in mind a few basic tips.


elect a Tree Location Before decorating a Christmas tree, make sure it is in the perfect spot. The ideal location for a Christmas tree is in front of a large window in the living room or family room, although homes with pets and/or small children may find this is simply not a practical choice.


ather Matching Decorations Although a Christmas tree theme is not strictly necessary, many of the professionally decorated trees on display during the holiday season are decorated to create a specific look. Whether you go with a theme or without, now is the time to gather all your ornaments and decorations, so everything is ready for decorating and you can be sure things coordinate. Simple themes are usually the easiest for decorating novices to pull off successfully.

There are a variety of possible themes such as: Blue and silver snowflakes and other winter ornaments would look great on a white flocked tree. Red and white candy cane Christmas tree is fun and whimsical. Rustic ornaments and wild bird decorations looks great in a cabin. Hallmark Christmas ornaments with dates written on them create a memorable tradition. Certain colours, like red, blue, green, gold or silver may stand out in an overall theme, even if the actual items are not related. Parents may want to decorate their live Christmas tree with homemade tree decorations that their children have created.Bakers, cooks, and those with a youthful perspective on the festive tradition may want to create a theme based upon Christmas decorations made from candy.

* * * *


ang Lights As a general rule, plan on using at least 100 lights for every vertical foot. This means a 7ft. Christmas tree would need 700 lights. If your tree is fuller than average, or you like a more sparkling appearance, you may need to use 150 lights for every vertical foot. Test the Christmas lights before you start to hang them. Start at the top of the tree, leaving approxi-

mately six inches between strand loops with larger spaces for a larger tree. Wrap around every major branch, and work your way down. If you are using white lights as your background, consider wrapping a few strands of coloured lights around the outside for a special finishing touch.Artificial Christmas trees often come with lights attached, eliminating the need to add a strand of lights separately.


dd Garland Most experts recommend using two strands of garland for every vertical foot of tree. Beaded garlands look best draped from branch to branch, while ribbon or foil garland is most attractive when draped loosely around the entire tree. Start hanging garland at the top of your tree, gradually increasingly the amount of garland used as you work your way down. Wrap garland around the tree, not vertically.

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a view from every direction. Children are likely to enjoy decorating the tree, but will not notice if their parents adjust the ornaments slightly after they have gone to bed. However, completely redoing a tree may hurt a child’s feelings and may not be worth it, even if it means sacrificing a professional-looking tree.


dd Tinsel Use a little tinsel to fill in any overtly blank spots on the tree. Tinsel can add a lot of sparkle to trees and though it is not appropriate for all tree themes, it can be beautiful when added to certain trees. It is necessary to do this as one of the final steps in decorating. If the tinsel is done earlier, it will be knocked-off when the ornaments are added.


lace the Tree Topper Add the tree topper. There are many different types of toppers on the market. Some families like using the same one every year, while others like to purchase a new one to match their tree’s theme. Stars and angels are traditional and are still popular. Alternatively, add a large bow in a colour that matches the theme and finials.


ang Ornaments Start decorating your tree with the largest ornaments, spacing them evenly apart. Fill in the gaps with the medium and small ornaments, balancing the shapes for an even appearance. Choose a variety of ornament shapes including traditional ball ornaments, icicles, tear drop, bells, and snowflakes. If your ornaments have different colours and finishes, hang the shiny and brightly coloured ornaments before those with matte finishes and muted colours. Make sure the ornaments hang suspended instead of touching the branches. You can also try hanging some of the ornaments deeper inside the tree to add a sense of depth.


tep Back One thing to keep in mind when setting up the Christmas tree is that it’s not uncommon for a tree to look different from various angles. Take a step back to see how everything looks and is spaced. If adjustments are needed, try to adjust one or two ornaments at a time. Moving multiple ordainments at once can create new aps. Balanced tree decorations are especially important if the tree is in a rotating Christmas tree stand. These stands turn the tree 360 degrees, allowing


dd a Tree Skirt The purpose of a tree skirt is to hide the tree stand and trunk, while catching the pine needles that may fall from a live tree. Even though most of the tree skirt will be covered by your Christmas presents, it’s still a good idea to choose a design that coordinates well with the rest of your tree. Making your own Christmas tree skirt isn’t too difficult, since there are many free patterns available online. Just keep in mind that the Christmas tree skirt should extend approximately one yard from the base of the tree.


ake Pride in Your Professional Looking Tree Decorating a tree can create as many good memories as viewing it afterwards, so remember to have fun with the process. With a little planning and some careful attention to detail, almost anyone can create a tree that looks like a professional decorated it. Take pride in your tree and all the work you put into decorating it. c

live smart health watch

Health Risks of Chronic Heavy Drinking


t’s no secret that alcohol consumption can cause major health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver and injuries sustained in automobile accidents. But if you think liver disease and car crashes are the only health risks posed by drinking, think again: Researchers have linked alcohol consumption to more than 60 diseases. Alcohol does all kinds of things in the body, and we’re not fully aware of all its effects. It’s a pretty complicated little molecule.”

Here are some key points about chronic heavy drinking.

The definition of heavy drinking is consuming eight drinks or more per week for women, and 15 or more for men. . Per occasion, more than three drinks for women, and more than four for men is considered heavy drinking.



. Binge drinking is defined as five drinks or more for men, or four or more for women on a single occasion. . Any alcohol consumed by pregnant women is excessive use. . Alcohol is consistently associated with violent crime. . 4% of the global burden of disease is attributable to alcohol. . Alcohol consumption can cause substantial harm to the health of others besides the drinker. . People who begin drinking at an early age are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin drinking at or after the age of 21. . Individual differences in alcohol metabolism may put some people at greater risk for health problems. Depending on body weight, the blood alcohol level can raise to illegal levels after only two drinks.

3 4 5 6 7 8


. The majority of alcohol metabolism takes place in the liver; while with other organs contribute to alcohol metabolism as well. Research suggests that many of the toxic effects of alcohol are due to the body’s coming in contact with acetaldehyde, the carcinogenic by-product of alcohol metabolism.

Here are 12 conditions linked to chronic heavy drinking. Anaemia Heavy drinking can

cause the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to be abnormally low. This condition, known as anaemia, can trigger a host of symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and light-headedness.

Cancer Habitual drinking

increases the risk of cancer. Scientists believe the increased risk comes when the body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, a potent

carcinogen. Cancer sites linked to alcohol use include the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), esophagus, liver, breast, and colorectal region. Cancer risk rises even higher in heavy drinkers who also use tobacco.

Cardiovascular Disease

Heavy drinking, especially bingeing makes platelets more likely to clump together into blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. In a landmark study published in 2005, Harvard researchers found that binge drinking doubled the risk of death among people who initially survived a heart attack. Heavy drinking can also cause cardiomyopathy, a potentially deadly condition in which the heart muscle weakens and eventually fails, as well as heart rhythm abnormalities such as atrial and ventricular fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation, in which the heart’s upper chambers (atria) twitch chaotically rather than constrict rhythmically, can cause blood clots that can trigger a stroke. Ventricular fibrillation causes chaotic twitching in the heart’s main pumping chambers (ventricles). It causes rapid loss of consciousness and, in the absence of immediate treatment, sudden death.

Cirrhosis Alcohol is toxic to liver

cells, and many heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis, a sometimes-lethal condition in which the liver is so heavily scarred that it is unable to function. But it’s hard to predict which drinkers will develop cirrhosis. Some people who drink huge amounts never get cirrhosis, and some who don’t drink very much do get it. For some unknown reason, women seem to be especially vulnerable.

Dementia As people age, their

brains shrink, on average, at a rate of about 1.9% per decade. That’s

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considered normal. But heavy drinking speeds the shrinkage of certain key regions in the brain, resulting in memory loss and other symptoms of dementia. Heavy drinking can also lead to subtle but potentially debilitating deficits in the ability to plan, make judgments, solve problems, and perform other aspects of “executive function,” which are “the higher-order abilities that allow us to maximize our function as human beings. In addition to the “nonspecific” dementia that stems from brain atrophy, heavy drinking can cause nutritional deficiencies so severe that they trigger other forms of dementia.

Depression It’s long been known

that heavy drinking often goes hand in hand with depression, but there has been debate about which came first -- the drinking or the depression. One theory is that depressed people turned to alcohol in an attempt to “self-medicate” to ease their emotional pain. But a large study from New Zealand showed that it was probably the other way around -- that is, heavy drinking led to depression.Research has also shown that depression improves when heavy drinkers go on the wagon.

Seizures Heavy drinking can cause epilepsy and can trigger seizures even in people who don’t have epilepsy. It can also interfere with the action of the medications used to treat convulsions.

Gout A painful condition, gout

is caused by the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints. Although some cases are largely hereditary, alcohol and other dietary factors seem to play a role. Alcohol also seems to aggravate existing cases of gout.

High blood pressure Alco-

hol can disrupt the sympathetic nervous system, which, among other things, controls the constriction and dilation of blood vessels in response to stress, temperature, exertion, etc. Heavy drinking -- and bingeing, in particular -- can cause blood pressure to rise. Over time, this effect can become chronic. High blood pressure can lead to many other health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke.

Infectious disease Heavy

drinking suppresses the immune system, providing a toehold for infections, including tuberculosis, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases (including some that cause infertility). People who drink heavily also are more likely to engage in risky sex. Heavy drinking is associated with a three-fold increase in the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

Nerve damage Heavy drinking

can cause a form of nerve damage known as alcoholic neuropathy, which can produce a painful pinsand-needles feeling or numbness in the extremities as well as muscle weakness, incontinence, constipation, erectile dysfunction, and other problems. Alcoholic neuropathy may arise because alcohol is toxic to nerve cells, or because nutritional deficiencies attributable to heavy drinking compromise nerve function.

Pancreatitis In addition to caus-

ing stomach irritation (gastritis), drinking can inflame the pancreas. Chronic pancreatitis interferes with the digestive process, causing severe abdominal pain and persistent diarrhea --and “it’s not fixable. Some cases of chronic pancreatitis are triggered by gallstones, but up to 60% stem from alcohol consumption. c source:webmd

downtime parenting

A guide to gift etiquette that could leave you with a healthier bank balance and grateful children

DON’T spoil your child


this Christmas

arenting at Christmas can be a very stressful and challenging experience. With so much to do, presents to buy, trees to decorate, cards to write, and the Christmas dinner to plan, as well as it being a time of high expectations – we all expect to have a happy, loving perfect Christmas - parents can become overwhelmed and when the day finally arrives, feel too stressed out to enjoy it.

We can all remember the excitement of being a child at Christmas and longing to find certain presents under the tree. But we weren’t given everything we wanted were we? Today’s children are increasingly materialistic and want the latest toy, gadget or clothes, which is fine, except parents face more and more

peer pressure to deliver – usually from other parents! Huge amounts of toys don’t make a child happier, healthier or smarter. Ask yourself this – do you really want your child to associate the number of presents they receive with how loved they feel?


Don’t feel the need to buy much at all for babies and toddlers - keep it simple for as long as you can. It can be overwhelming for little ones to have too many toys to open. They simply don’t need that much and can quite easily become overstimulated. It is a good idea to avoid this because it can make them very grumpy, irritable and tired. Babies are generally more interested in the box or wrapping than the actual present. Others save

a large number of their children’s gifts so that they can spread out the gift giving. This is a really great idea to prevent younger children from getting overwhelmed by so many toys in one go.


So how much is too much? Decide how much is an appropriate amount (personal to your financial circumstances) to spend on each child and stick to it. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of buying present after present, making it virtually impossible for children to appreciate each and every gift. Grandparents love to spoil their grandchildren but be strict with them and extended family members about what you find acceptable. Give them a few options of things you are happy for them to

buy each child. Think about what your children really want. Avoid buying endless gifts just to make it look as if your child has more. A smaller number of presents that a child will really enjoy and actually have time to play with is much better. If your child has set their heart on something out of the price range (gadgets have a tendency to be rather pricey!) then perhaps give them money towards it and suggest they make up the rest using saved pocket money or by doing extra jobs around the house in return for money. But remember, sometimes less is more.

downtime parenting

They may try emotional blackmail, and attempt to make you feel like a bad parent for not buying something. Remember, you are the parent and you know what is best for your child. Always give reasons for not buying something and discuss this openly with your child. They will understand and respect you far more for


Children need to learn how to give and not just receive. There are so many opportunities to show your children just how lucky they are around Christmas time. Explain how kind and generous it is to give to others - why not visit a local food bank with donations the children have bought with their own pocket money? Encourage them to sort old toys and give some to charity. This will teach them about others less fortunate than themselves and help them appreciate all that they have.


Encourage children to write a wish list and with older children, ask them to explain why they want something and suggest that they prioritise. Don’t buy everything - it is important children understand they can’t always have everything they want in life! Explain this to them in the lead up to Christmas. You don’t want to end up with an almighty tantrum on Christmas morning when they find out they haven’t received everything on their list. Remember presents don’t always have to be material ‘things’. They could be membership to a zoo, a museum or a day trip to somewhere your child particularly wants to visit. There are a wide variety of experience type days now available that your child (who may already have pretty much everything!) will get far more enjoyment out of than yet another toy.


Don’t succumb to peer pressure or guilt. As your children get older, they are more influenced by school friends and advertising.

by listening to your enthusiasm as well as watch you write thank you cards. There will of course be occasions when your child is disappointed by a gift. Explain that someone has put a lot of time and thought into choosing it. Suggest that they try and find something positive about the present so that they are able to thank that person more sincerely.


doing this rather than just hearing the word ‘no’.


From a young age, it is important to teach your children how to show appreciation for a gift. Even when they are still very young, you can help them to draw a picture or perhaps make a handmade thank you card – adding to the fun of receiving a gift. As children get older, lead by example. Let them see how much you appreciate your presents

Finally, Christmas should be a family time and it is important for children to see it’s not all about the presents. There’s so much else to do at Christmas! Making homemade decorations, both for the room and the Christmas tree, is great fun for all ages. Baking for the festive period includes even the youngest children who can use Christmas cookie cutters or help with icing cakes. Playing classic family favourites such as charades is a great way to include the whole family. Activities such as wrapping gifts, setting the Christmas table, singing Christmas carols, watching family films or pantomimes will also bring everyone together to make wonderful, happy Christmas memories. c

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Kiddies Fashion trend alert

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Fashion trend alert

Fashion trend alert


Prices available instore

Fashion trend alert

Prices available instore

Fashion trend alert

Fashion trend alert


Fashion trend alert


Prices available instore

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Fashion trend alert


We’ve got your Christmas shopping list covered


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Club Issue 23  

Club Issue 23