Organize home and life – power in your hands (really!)

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“My house is such a mess”. How many times you hear such a confession from overtired friend? How many times you admit it yourself? It looks like despite all the time spent on cleaning, tidying and scrubbing, effects are never visible for long enough.

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We feel trapped in that ever-repeating circle of ineffective housework. NOW it is time to stop, think and break free. It’s time to take over the control of both: house and life.

First changes must happen not in the containment of the home but in the head. A completely different approach is required. Before we proceed, I want you to understand one, seemingly simple thing: YOU are the person responsible for changes in your life. You, and no one else, have to work on improvements. Whole universe won’t stop to give you a break, kids won’t stop messing out of pure mercy, dust won’t stop gathering on furniture, saying ‘oh, sorry, I see you’re tired’. You have to take over the control and do everything what’s in your power to make your life easier. The sad truth is that no one will do it for you, not really. There’s no point in sitting like Cinderella and waiting for good fairy to come and transform your life. Just do it yourself. That may require certain amount of resourcefulness, craftiness and thinking outside the box – use whatever will work for you.

We live in an era of consumerism. We are encouraged on every step to purchase something. Did I say ‘encouraged’? More often we are tricked into it. So many items enters our lives on a daily basis. And honestly: how many of them we really, I mean REALLY, need?

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They all take space. Just think about it. Every single thing you buy, big or small, takes some part of your personal space and slowly suffocates you.

Many of the book authors and internet gurus present widely their organization ideas, mostly based on getting fancy boxes, files and other containers, and neatly stuffing all the mess inside. Out of sight, out of heart, right? But isn’t such a solution similar to treating long-term illness with a Paracetamol? It can help with the symptoms, but will it solve the problem at its’ core? Instead of drowning in things, we will drown in happy, colorful and expensive storage organizers. Which, by the way, we are being tricked into buying, and someone out there makes some good cash on our struggle. What’s the point?

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Please remember, that everyone is different. That’s why one, ultimate method to organize your life and home doesn’t exist. But that’s OK. Who knows you better than you yourself? You can research organization tips, read the books on the subject, but always place yourself in the first place all the time. Analyze all the info with your own needs in mind. Listen to yourself. Find the way. Take the matters in your own hands. Come on, you can do it. Believe in yourself – I believe in you.    

A.

Living happily ever-after or grounded? Disney princesses in a different light

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Who doesn’t love Disney’s classics? We were growing up watching these magical stories and filling our little minds with dreams of adventures, true love and so. But here’s the funny thing about pretty much EVERYTHING we remember from childhood. When we’re getting in the nostalgic mood and try to refresh the feelings from the past, the outcome is often far from what we intended. For example: a small girl watching her favourite princess’ story looks most at the pretty dresses, hairdos and adventures. A bit bigger girl secretly dreams to meet similar handsome prince. And what happens when we watch these cartoons when we are actually full-fledged adults, with a serious approach to life? I wonder if you agree with my list of four Disney princesses, who I would gladly seen grounded, instead of honored.

Aurora

Princess Aurora had it quite bad from the very beginning. She became betrothed before she could say “yes”, “no” or “mama”. Then she got cursed by the woman she has never done anything wrong to, just because her parents were skimping on the extra invitation. The result was that girl was raised for the first sixteen years of her life in the forest. By three elder and completely unsuitable for the task fairies. When the day of her sixteenth birthday comes, her guardians are trying their very best to make it as special for her as they can. And except of a beautiful dress and a royal cake, there is another birthday surprise waiting – girl, you are really a princess! Now let’s go back to the castle and meet your king father, queen mother and prince fiancé.

But for Aurora all of that is nothing, because she’s moaning over her lost love, which lasted like half an hour. She met a boy, they danced and sat down together for a while, and that’s a reason to behave like a spoiled kid. She can’t muster any maturity fitting for a princess. Or any joy on the account of meeting her real parents, who were probably worried sick for the last sixteen years. Not to mention even shade of gratitude to the three old ladies who were caring for her all that time. No, she throws herself on a bed and cries over the guy whose name she doesn’t even know. I wonder would few years more in the hardships of peasant life, but with the knowledge she really is a princess, cured her from her whims?

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Rapunzel

Rapunzel was another baby separated from parents and not knowing her real family. Unlike Aurora though, she’s not been cared for by kind friend, but snatched away and used for her powers by a villain. Now, when I think of Mother Gothel, I do feel a bit for that woman. For her keeping Rapunzel at hand was literally a matter of life and death. And for seventeen years she did care for the girl. Yes, she kept her imprisoned, but she tried to make her stay as comfortable as possible. All the supplies for candle making, sewing, paper mache or baking did not fall from the sky. Not to mention the special paint, that required three days journey to get. I mean, seriously, someone get me such a resourceful witch, please! Of course that she was mean and selfish at times, but I think that there were more feelings on her side than just want of use of girl’s powers.

Now, Rapunzel had no idea that Mother Gothel wasn’t her biological mother. When the day of her eighteenth birthday approach, the girl feels that she is adult enough to get what she wants – with mother’s permission or not. She tricks her guardian to get rid of her for a while, then escapes from home with the random guy and risks her life numerous times. Because she’s eighteen, “such a clever grown-up miss”. I guess it is kind of setting an example: even if you rebel against your parents and mix with the wrong crowd (“wanted criminal, my congratulations”) it will be alright in the end because your mother is a witch and you know best. Only life is not a fairy tale.

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Ariel

Ariel is another princess who knows best what is good for her, even if she’s hurting people (or mermen) who care about her. As she lives under the sea, she is deeply fascinated by the world of humans, and her interests focus mainly on the handsome prince Eric. Although they never exchanged a word, and on his part, even a glance, she quickly decides that he is the one to sacrifice everything for. Her father unwillingly helps her to take risky decision, when he destroys in anger her collection of human-related objects. That’s enough for brave girl of fifteen to leave her family and friends, make a deal with the sea witch and jump headlong into the world completely unknown. All that for a guy she knew almost nothing about.

The odds were really not in favor of the sea princess. She landed in our world mute and unknown to anyone. Now, what kind of prince is picking randomly a mute stranger, and invites her to live with him in the castle just like that? I guess more chances were that she would be considered a crazy person and placed in the asylum. Of course in the end she gets the guy she wants, but only by pure luck, as all she has done herself was to place herself and her friends in danger. And wait for things to go all right by themselves. Still, she can be glad that Disney did not stick truthfully to the original story, where little mermaid dies in the end.

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Mulan

Mulan is this kind of girl you would probably laugh at school and wouldn’t accept her in your basketball team. Although kind-hearted, she’s also clumsy, disorganized and unconfident. When people of China are summoned to go to the army and to protect their country, Mulan’s old father is required to go too. The girl cuts her hair, takes family’s armour and steals at night out of home to join the army’s camp. There she pretends to be a boy to prevent her dad from going to war. Now, I always wonder, what she’s been thinking? A person, who can’t do a simple task of feeding chickens without causing disaster, throws herself into the middle of fighting professionals, believing that somehow it will be all well?

Now, I know what you will say: oh, but she did it for her old father, so he won’t die in the battle. No, she didn’t. She wanted to prove herself, like that kid who’s always laughed at in school, and will agree to any crazy challenge just to improve own reputation. And the stakes were really high: she could die in the fight or her disguise could be easily discovered. In which case she would also meet death. No matter which of these scenarios would come true, the disgrace would be more than her family could bear.

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So, what do you think? Agree or strongly disagree? Or maybe you can come up with some other names I missed? Let me know in the comments!

Why is crafting good for YOU?

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Crafting – that word usually brings to mind pretty items handmade by highly skilled individuals with lots of time and money on their hands. But the truth is, anyone can be a crafter and create beautiful or beautiful AND useful items.

Crocheting, knitting, sewing, card making, scrapbooking, glass painting, embroidery, jewellery making – the choice is really huge and not limited to activities mentioned above. And you can start at any age; it’s never too late or too soon to discover one’s creative side. Internet is full of free tutorials and advices on any kind of craft. But the beauty of crafting also comes from this: it brings so many side benefits, others than just a pretty item and pride you feel upon completing the project.

  1. Crafting improves your mental well-being

It is scientifically proven that people who engage themselves in creative activities are at less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It is due to fact, that when crafting, we force our brains to make an extra exercise. There are also many studies carried by scientists and psychologists, proving that knitting, sewing or basket weaving is soothing and calming, also it brings us the effect similar to that of yoga or meditation. Crafting can also help people who suffer from depression or low self-esteem. When you discover what you are able to create, it can really boost your confidence.

  1. Crafting teaches patience, helps to develop creative and strategic thinking

Whatever the project is, it usually requires more or less planning. You need to choose the materials, think of the design, and arrange the colors. Then you need to plan step-by-step activities needed to complete the project. It can improve your logical and strategic thinking skills. It can also teach patience, as every project needs to be done properly – if you try to rush things, the effect won’t be satisfying.

  1. Crafting can save you money

This one is a bit tricky, because if you are a craft addict, even if you save money, you will most probably spend them on craft supplies. But once you learn how to make household items, clothes, accessories or gifts, you will realize how shops are ripping us on such things. Even if you are a complete novice in the craft world, you can quickly become a pro and make items much better than those you can find on the shops’ shelves. It is a good idea to look for your craft supplies on the internet, for example on websites like eBay. They are often coming cheaper than in craft stores.

  1. You can earn money while doing what you love

If you have a businesswoman sitting deep inside you, it might be the time to let her out. There are always people who like handmade items but won’t even try to make anything themselves. Instead, they are willing to pay others for creating something they want. For this kind of business you don’t need great starting funds or place. Internet and Etsy or Facebook account will be enough for beginning.

  1. You will meet a lot of amazing people

Once you will pick the craft that agrees with you, you may look for like-minded souls in your community. Sometimes local libraries, craft shops or womens’ clubs are arranging weekly meetings with the purpose of bringing creative people together. And there is always the internet. Once you start posting pictures of your finished projects on Facebook or Instagram, craft-loving friends will appear themselves. It can be also a good idea to start a blog about your hobby. I had seen many ladies starting as readers of each other’s blogs, and ending up as close friends even in the real world, out of the Web.

  1. You can show love in exceptional way

Even most expensive gift will not show as many warm feelings as something prepared for a special person by loving hands. Is it a handmade card given on special occasion or crocheted set of coasters, a receiver will for sure appreciate your efforts. If you have children or grandchildren, just imagine preparing winter hats or handmade toys for them. Crafted items also make great baby shower gifts. If you are looking for inspiration, check Pinterest or just google the item you want to make.

Browse through the internet, think of what you would like to try. Maybe you always wanted to sew clothes by yourself? Or used to adore those handmade cards you’ve seen on the fair? Or your friend is making sweaters for her grandchildren and you would love to try knitting too? Remember! It is never too late to start something new, even if you are a complete beginner. Also, never force yourself. If one kind of craft does not agree with you, there are plenty of others and the only limit is your imagination.

Image source: http://www.unsplash.com

Cardamom – super spice to the rescue

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Small, green pods, treasuring black seeds under their outer shell and producing a specific, beautiful fragrance. Well known in the oriental cuisine, an important ingredient of many dishes and desserts. In some countries crushed and added to green or milk tea. I’m speaking about cardamom, a powerful spice originating from Indian subcontinent. It is also third most expensive spice in the world, after saffron and vanilla. It’s not only improving the taste of our meals, but also can aid our health in numerous ways. I would like to invite you for a short trip to discover how using cardamom can improve our well being.

First of all, it contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. 100 gram of that powerful spice can provide us with as much as 78% of our daily requirement of iron, and 35% of vitamin C. It is also rich in antioxidants, which makes it a great remedy for colds, cough and flu and its invigorating action aids the healing. Especially powerful for that purpose is black cardamom.

If you’re trying to lose weight and looking through all over the internet to find the perfect diet, search no more. Cardamom is here to help. As it is supporting metabolism, it causes our body to burn fat quicker. Also, it plays a big role in removing toxins and flushing them out, mostly through kidneys.

Why in some countries people chew cardamom after finishing their meals? Because it contains a big amount of oil called cineole, which is antimicrobial. That super-spice is also freshening breath, as it fights bacteria responsible for bad smell from the mouth.

There are many more health benefits of consuming cardamom: improving blood circulation, fighting depression, helping to cure stomach disorders, even aiding our body in fighting cancer or in providing relief from a hiccup – to name just a few. Some Ayurveda experts swear that regular consumption of cardamom can greatly prolong our life. What is the best way then to take it, then? We can add it to our meals or drinks, or even chew. The last method can cause problems though, as to some people the taste might be too strong. The easiest solution is to relax and unwind with a cup of cardamom tea, especially after the meal. It allows us to enjoy all the benefits of the spice mentioned above, as well as to have some quality time. And if we’ll make it a part of our daily routine, who knows, maybe we really could live longer?

Image source: http://www.unsplash.com

5 reasons to love winter

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Lady Winter finally visited UK attired properly in white. In other words – for a while we had snow. That inspired us to rethink our relationship with winter season. Do we love it? Do we hate it? Are we somewhere in between? Here is an effect of those thoughts: an ultimate list of things we love about winter.

1. Snow

Yes, we know… We are all professional adults here, not easily distracted by some clean-white, fluffy powder, sparkling in the sun like Edward Cullen’s skin. And yet there is something in the sight of a falling snow that reminds us about childhood when “real winters” were a thing. And somehow soothes us up too. Unless, of course,  we have to shovel away about a ton of that white wonder just to get to our own car.

2. Warm sweaters and cozy socks

As it is essential during winter to stay warm, it’s also a time to dig out all these jumpers from the wardrobe. Even the ugly ones will add up to the winter coziness,  as long as they’re super soft and super comfortable. Pair it with warm socks and the season’s literally hottest look for the relax at home is attained.

3. Early evenings with book or movie

Winter days are short, leaving us with long evenings. That gives a feeling of working day finishing early and relax-time starting at 5 o’clock. And what is better than curling up on a sofa, with a warm blanket and Netflix or good book? The darker and colder outside world look, the warmer and cozier feeling we get from our blanket cocoon and an imaginary world of literature or film. Speaking of which…

4. Seasonal literature and movies

At winter months we can witness a special kind of entertainment almost literally pouring from the sky. It’s not only seasonal specials of famous shows, but also lots of rom-coms happening in a setting of snow covered mountain hotels, or books about love and family, warm enough to melt that snow covering the mountain hotel. Regarded as cheesy at any other time of the year, at winter that kind of stories somehow find an easier way to our hearts. Probably shoveling it through the snow to get there.

5. Hot beverages

Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cocoa – simple drinks, but in winter we seem to appreciate them much more. They not only warm up our frozen bodies, they also touch our souls, soothing and calming them. And sharing with someone a hot, aromatic beverage of choice on a cold winter morning, can be way more romantic than showering them with plastic hearts. Or red roses. Seriously, when on one side we have flowers and on other – hot cocoa with cinnamon, topped with fresh cream and sprinkled with a bit of chocolate, which do you think gonna be the winner?

What is YOUR favorite thing about winter? Let us know in the comments 😉

 

A few crazy facts about the tea I bet you’ve never heard of

 

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Comae on, who doesn’t enjoy a nice cup of tea? Although there are so many different kinds of this beverage – around 1,500 different types to be exact – everywhere in the world it is associated with relax, hospitality and tranquility. But tea, as many things in the world, has also a few secrets not known to general public. At least, until now.

USA

The iced tea is believed to be introduced in the year 1904 at St. Louis World Fair by a British merchant Richard Blechynden, who could not sell any of the normal tea because of the hot weather. He added some ice to the beverage and his idea got so popular, that now 85% of tea consumed in the USA is an iced tea. In the same year and in the same country teabags were invented, although many people argue that loose leaf tea has much richer taste. As America is believed to be a place of opportunities, tea made its way to the Hollywood. In many films, where a scene includes drinking whiskey, the alcohol is “played” by watered tea.

East

Tea is a national drink of Afghanistan; especially green tea. Visiting guest is always offered a glass of this beverage, served with sweets or with dried fruits. In winter black tea is being prepared with milk, cane sugar and cardamom; drank in mornings for warming up. Sometimes it’s called there a “red tea”, same like in China. Although usually it is a hostess’ duty to provide guest with beverage, in Morocco it is traditionally a man’s job to pour the tea.

England

Brits are generally known and sometimes even mocked for their love of tea. When in the 18th century that beverage reached British soil, it was sold in coffee houses, where only men were allowed. In 1717 the Twinings family opened the first tea shop and ladies were welcomed there too. Twinings is now one of the most recognized tea producers in the United Kingdom. It can get weirder though, when we learn that during Victorian era gentlemen used special cups, preventing their mustaches from getting soaked in tea. That’s not all – a real British citizen have to be prepared for his five o’clock tea wherever he is. That’s why English tanks are required to have a tea-brewing station inside.

In almost every part of the world tea is associated with hospitality and time of drinking it is an important part of daily routine. With so many varieties out there, it would be a shame to not try types other than just the one which is most popular in our country. No matter is it black tea, green tea, rooibos or herbal tea, each kind brings different flavor, different health benefits and has its own rich history.

What is it all about..? A short introduction

pratchett-discworld-quotes-words-unseen-academicals.jpgHello, dear Guest, welcome to MTS writing unique blog. Tea? Coffee? Maybe some biscuit with that? Or, for the food for thought, can we interest you in any of our articles? Whatever you choose, enjoy and please come again.

Blog of the writing company should be all about writing and sales, right? Wrong! At the MTS writing we believe that life is too varied to enclose ourselves in just one subject box. That’s why you will read articles about wide variety of subjects on our blog: from natural health, through useful life hacks, to shopping advices or finding happiness (sometimes last two can mean the same!). If you want to hear more from us, join us on Instagram, for some inspiration, news and simply fun.