July 2016

Stretching & Relaxation: Simple, 10-minute routine to practise anywhere

This super simple post-workout routine will help you stretch and relax after a long, stressful day or after coming home from the gym. All you need is some space, good music, and a workout mat.

Hold your breath, exhale, hold your position for a few seconds and switch on to the next one. Repeat at least two times for a good workout.







stretch7 stretch8

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Tim Cook: CEO, Activist, Human Rights Advocate and Gay.

Tim Cook, one of the most powerful men in the world, and perhaps the only openly-gay CEO of a major American firm, explained a few years ago the reason why he wanted to go public about his sexuality.




“In all honesty, every day I come to work I have, right in front of my desk, a photo of Robert Kennedy and a photo of Dr [Martin Luther] King,” replied Cook, who joined Apple in 1998. “And every day I sort of ask myself – it was doctor King’s quote – life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘what are you doing for others?’

“And it became so clear to me that kids were getting bullied at school and kids were being discriminated against and even being disclaimed by their own parents. And that I needed to do something.

“Where I valued my privacy significantly, I felt that I was valuing it too far above what I could do for other people.”

He continued:

“And so I wanted to tell everyone my truth.

“Many people already knew – for many people it was no revelation. It was like discovering something your iPhone’s always done, you just didn’t quite know it, right?

“So, it wasn’t a revelation to the people I worked with, but it was to the broader world so I felt a tremendous responsibility to do it.”

Cook came out in October 2014, writing a lengthy op-ed in Bloomberg saying he was “proud to be gay”.

“For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation,” Cook wrote. “Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.

“While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

He said that his experiences have given him greater insight and he credited these experiences for making him a better leader.

“Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day.

“It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.”

Recently, Tim Cook defended Apple User’s right to privacy by denying the FBI the unlocking mechanisms of the iphone, since that would pose a security breach for all apple users worldwide.

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Why not grow your own herbal tea at home?

Photo Credits:

Lemon Balm, Catnip and Mint are my favorites for herbal tea.
They taste great and have medicinal properties that are quite useful, in addition to being decorative as plants.

To grow your own, you’ll need some pots. You can use store bought pots, coffee cans with holes poked in the bottom, or even a plastic dish. If it’s a container that holds some amount of moisture, it could work. You can be creative.

The soil I usually use is just simple African Violet dirt. It doesn’t need to be an expensive brand.

You can start with seeds and follow the directions on the package or start with greenhouse plants.
Either way, you want to let them dry slightly between waterings,  and water regularly thereafter.
After a while, you’ll get to know what your plants like and how often to water them.
The great thing with growing your own is that it can be as natural and organic as you make it.

Lemon Balm Photo Credits: Quinn Dombrowski

Lemon Balm likes a lot of sunlight and can go outside in the ground in the warm months, or out on a patio.
Indoors it’s great to have a south-facing window, or east, to get as much sunlight as possible.
The same goes for the Catnip and Mint.

Lemon Balm is also known as “Melissa” and has many medicinal uses,
ranging from toothaches to upset stomach and allergies.
It is believed that lemon balm has calming effects, and can be taken for  for anxiety, sleep problems, and restlessness.
It’s a personal favorite of mine and I believe it has quite a significant effect on peace of mind and mood.

Lemon balm is also used to lend a helping hand for Alzheimer’s disease,
attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), swollen airways, (potential for easing asthma symptoms)
rapid heartbeat caused by nervousness, and insect bites.

It’s a versatile plant to say the least!
It does have a lemony flavor and you can use more or less according to your own personal taste.
You can add a few drops of lemon juice, or a handful of blueberries to your tea as well for added flavor.

Catnip Photo Credits: Tadpole

The Catnip!
It’s a great herb for helping you get to sleep. It really helps with insomnia. It also drives away mosquitoes.
I’d caution anyone with a cat on this one, because cats love it and will go to great lengths to smash it out of a windowsill and roll in it.
Not much will stop a determined cat after a plant.
Like the Lemon Balm you can add more or less according to your tastes, but it isn’t as tasty… On the other hand, if you use it as a sleep aid, you can probably suffer the taste more easily. It helps calm people enough to get into a deep sleep and dispels nervousness and general icky feelings.
I’ve used it a lot and I can say it works for me.

Mint Photo Credits: Tadpole

I prefer spearmint to peppermint because it has a slightly different, more intense flavor. It calms the stomach and tastes great. you can mix it with catnip or lemon balm to make your own blends.
It can be used in baking as well. One drink I like to make in the summer is this:

Add about a cup of frozen red grapes to a blender, add some water to facilitate blending… give it a whirl…
Take two or so cups of ice, throw that in, crush the ice up… add water as needed so everything doesn’t get stuck.
Take 2-3 sprigs of Spearmint or Peppermint, put that in, blend it up and you’re done.
It should be sweet enough from the red grapes, and very flavorful with the mint.
You can serve it in Mason Jars with  a straw. It’s like a low calorie natural slush.
It’s very refreshing, and super simple!

When you harvest your leaves for tea, you can snip off individual leaves with scissors or pinch them off with a fingernail, making sure to only take the lower bigger leaves, or the first few leaves at the top of the plants. There’s no need to dry them first. Fresh leaves make great tea, but on the other hand, if gardening just isn’t for you, there are lots of stores that sell these dried herbs. 2-3 Teaspoons to a pot should be enough for dried teas.

Mix and match all three.
You can experiment as you go.

Happy Brewing!

Photo Credits:

Is God Against Same-Gender Relationships?

There is much debate around whether according to the Christian Bible, Same-Gender relationships are permitted within the Christian religion or not.

So is God against same-gender relationships? The short answer is: it depends.

It depends on how literally are we interpreting the bible. If we are going to interpret it literally enough in order to condemn homosexuality, then we have to interpret it literally for everything else. The problem lies in the inconsistency of many preachers and believers who only quote the most convenient parts, in order to make their point across, and completely ignoring others.

It seems, for the most part, that most lgbt-exclusionary churches hold on misinterpretations of the old testament to condemn same-gender relationships. But there is nothing in the bible that suggests that a same-gender relationship between two consenting adults is a bad thing.

When we read the many different passages that talk about abomination this and that, was God talking about modern, present-day loving, committed, faithful, non-cultic, same-gender partnerships or was He talking about pagan sexual rituals in worship of the Canaanite fertility goddess?

Truth is, Moses never mentions homosexuals or homosexuality or lesbians and lesbianism. People who use fake biblical arguments against gays and lesbians, refuse to acknowledge context because if they acknowledge context, they know their arguments will not stand up to logic, will not make sense, will be obviously false.

Some passages in the Old Testament, such as Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 mention that men sleeping with men are an abomination.
Other abominations, according to this book, include eating bacon, getting a tattoo, eating shrimp, etcetera.

Do you think I’m kidding? I’m not!

In the same passages where gay sex is condemned and punished, so is eating shrimp, crop co-mingling, eating rabbit, wearing linen and wool at the same time, and eating raw meat. So biblical literalists better start sewing their own clothes and becoming a vegetarian.

Is this about same-gender relationships or male-homosexual sexual abuse?

In the King James Version, Leviticus 18:22 is translated: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

While newer translations twisted the original text in order to fit their narrative, the original text seemingly talks about the common practise of raping male slaves in those days, rather than consensual same-gender relationships between two consenting adults. The original text completely ignores women (as usual :P)

There are no links between Sodom and Gomorrah and Homosexuality or Lesbianism

No matter how much some radical christians attempt to turn and twist the scriptures around, truth is, the bible never makes this connection. In the 48 verses where Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned there’s no link between homosexuality and Sodom and Gomorrah.

In fact, Jesus did talk about Sodom in Matthew 10:15 and 11:23, Mark 6:11, Luke 10:12 and 17:29 but He never made a connection between Sodom and homosexuality. Homosexuality was not the reason why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

In fact, Sodom was destroyed because of their greed.
In Ezekiel 16:48-50 it says: “Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” (Ezekiel 16:48-50 NLT)

So this passage only does not say anything about homosexuality. It says that God will judge people based on how they interact with the world around them.

Ok, good for the gays and the lesbians, but what about Transgender Women?

Some radical christians attempt to attack transgender people by mentioning that, in some biblical passages, God allegedly condemns Effeminate men.

Thing is, Transgender Women are not effeminate men or men in a dress*. Transgender women hate the feeling of looking like an effeminate guy.

I hate to look effeminate, Ellie. When I lived as a guy, I was a very masculine guy. When I transitioned, I became a very feminine woman. Truth is, I never was an effeminate man. —Eva C. Transgender. 28 Years old, Amsterdam, NL.

And to those who say that Transition isn’t natural because it wouldn’t be possible without the help of modern science, I’d like to remind them that hormonal replacement therapy isn’t any more unnatural than, let us say, electric power, glasses for the visually impaired, chemotherapy for cancer patients, going to the dentist, or taking ibuprofen to soothe the pain of an ordinary headache. I could go on….

Marriage is not exclusively christian. It is a universal right.

Truth is: Christian people get married, atheists get married, buddhists, muslims, everyone. Even I got married. The word marriage does not belong to Christianity.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UNITED NATIONS declares that you are able to marry anyone you want as long as it’s consensual.
No religion can take that away from you. It is YOUR RIGHT. They don’t get to decide.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 15.54.42

To conclude:

Would God judge a person for being Gay, Lesbian or Transgender? or would He judge them based on the things that they do as PEOPLE?

The reason I ask myself this question is because I know many people within the LGBT community who are amazing citizens. People who are truly committed to making this world a better place, and what they do in their privacy is nobody’s business.

I am convinced that, to any loving parent, it doesn’t matter what their children are, but WHO they are as individuals instead.

My mother said once: I don’t care what my children are. They have a heart of gold and that is all that matters.

I love you, mum.

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 Sources: daily telegraph, gaychristian101, wikipedia

5 Things Successful Women Do On Monday Mornings


If you want to be successful, then you can’t sit around and wait for amazing things to happen to you. That almost never happens.  Most entrepreneurs set a daily routine that helps us stay organised and focused throughout the day. In this article I will reveal some of the tips that help me achieve my daily goals.

1: Wake Up Early

No matter how tired you are. Stretch, Yawn, Go for a walk (Have you tried Pokemon Go?) Truth is: The longer you stay in bed, the less time you have to reach your goals for the day. The road to success starts by waking up early. No matter if you stayed up late the night before or not.

2: Set a daily goal before breakfast

Every successful woman has a plan. Set a little goal for the day. Anything. Clean the house, tidy your desk, do the groceries, apply for that photography course. Set a little goal and achieve it before the evening sets in. You will feel good when you have achieved your goal.

3: Reply to all of your messages on your social networks, texts and e-mails

Part of my daily routine, while I’m sipping on my warm cup of coffee in the morning, is to reply to all of my text messages, e-mails and messages on different social networks such as my Facebook or my Twitter accounts.

Take your time to answer to your work colleagues and contacts. Steer clear of robots and automated reply software. Take some time to personally reply to all of these messages and you will come across as more professional and caring.

4: Make TO-DO lists and cross the items off as you get them done

Remember Tip #2? split your goal into tiny little goals, write them down on a list and cross them off as you get them done. This way you can stay more organised and spend your time more efficiently.

5: Take a two-hour break to do anything you want.

You will naturally run out of energy at some point during the day. Watch a film, read another chapter of that novel you bought last month. Log into your twitter or instagram and share some thoughts with friends and colleagues, text your friends and organise a girls-only night out some time during the week. When the time’s up, go back to your list and see what is left to do.

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4 Big Mistakes People Should Avoid When Coming Out To Their Spouses

Drawing by Ellie -- Follow ellie on twitter @girlystuffzz
(C) Ellie C.  Follow Ellie on twitter @girlystuffzz

I have heard lots of coming out stories over the years (Would you like to share yours?) and how their families handled it.

Many transgender women ask me: “Ellie, is there any way that I can transition to female and keep my wife/girlfriend? I’m afraid to lose her if I tell her I’m trans.”

The short answer would be: Yes, but you need to work hard at it.

While every woman –and couple– is different, these are some of the worst mistakes that I’ve heard some people made, that even in some cases led to Irreconcilable differences.

1: Hey, I think I’m transgender.

Perhaps this is one of the worst ways to come out to your girlfriend or spouse.  I know how you feel, though. Trust me. But it is much better that you tell them that you are struggling with your gender instead.

Your spouse will be probably more eager to support you if she is given the chance to process things from day one. Saying that you think that you ARE transgender might not be a big deal to you, but it is a big deal to her.

To her it might sound like you’ve been processing it for a while and you’ve made up your mind without her input and consent. Trust me on this. Say you struggle with your gender, but let a therapist assess your degree of gender dysphoria and decide if transition is the right thing for you.

2: I think I want to Experiment with Men

Every couple is different, some wives are ok with certain things, other wives are not. As a rule of thumb, if you are committed to a monogamous relationship, keep it monogamous! Coming out as trans doesn’t give you a free-pass to explore all of the things that the LGBT spectrum has to offer.

You are still pretty much married and you ought to respect her. Plus, as if she weren’t dealing with a lot already.

3:”You don’t support me!

Avoid saying things like these to her. Truth is: it’s easier for you to love your wife than it is for her to love you in your newly-acquired form.  After all she isn’t changing. She’s probably processing, adjusting to love someone who changed the way they look, the way they talk and the way they think. Don’t expect her to be super ecstatic in the beginning. These things take time to sink in, give her room to breathe and draw her own conclusions. She will probably support you, but you definitely need to make concessions. Be ready to negotiate. Find some balance between what both of you can have, and what both of you want or need.

4: “I want our kids to call me mum.”

If your wife has been the mother all along, I would test the waters first. Every couple is different. She may not have a problem with it, or she might flip and storm out of the house.

If you’ve always been their dad, for instance, then I would suggest that you remain as the father figure. There’s nothing wrong with saying that they have a mum and a dad, and dad is a woman, just like mum.  Kids don’t get all wound up over things like these the way we adults do. They assimilate things much faster and easier.  If I were you, since your partner has been the mother all of these years, I would let her decide. Find some common ground. Negotiating is essential.

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Gamers Welcome! English Church Becomes Pokemon Go GYM

City Road Methodist Church in Birmingham has had a number of Pokemon Go players turn up unexpectedly in the last week
City Road Methodist Church in Birmingham has had a number of Pokemon Go players turn up unexpectedly in the last week

A church that has been caught up in the craze over the augmented reality game hopes to use its new-found fame to spread the message of Jesus.

City Road Methodist Church in Birmingham is one of the real-life locations used as ‘gyms’ in Pokemon Go, where users can train virtual monsters.

It has put up a sign proclaiming “Jesus Cares About Pokemon Gamers”.

The game launched in the UK on Thursday, and has proven popular with people around the world.

Church steward David Hallam said it is “a great opportunity” for the church.

Other churches in the UK are jumping on the bandwagon, applying to become pokestops, such as St Stephen’s in Rednal, Birmingham, Hope Church in Islington, north London, and St Mary’s Episcopal cathedral in Glasgow.

A Pokestop is a location where players have to visit to get certain items they need to play the game.

The Church’s digital media officer, Tallie Proud, issued guidance to churches on Thursday.

In it, she said: “Pokemon Go is therefore giving churches around the country a great opportunity to meet people from their area who might not normally come to church.

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Home Decor: Some Vertical Garden Ideas

Do you live in a flat/apartment like me? You can still have your own little garden or veggies patch!
Vertical gardens use up very little space in your balcony and they bring peace and a little bit of nature to your home.


Simple vertical garden made out of recycled jars, pots and a wooden pallet


plastic bottles
Plastic bottles — Awesome


cute pots
So cute
vertical pallet wood
Recycled pallet wood
Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 11.08.01
Great idea for an indoors vertical garden
Living walls are becoming very popular.
Recycled picture frames — Great idea


Plastic Crates
recycled plastic crates


Simple pallet wood veggie patch
I love these


scr131Did you like these ideas? do you want to share your gardening tips with me? you can leave a comment below or send me an e-mail to

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