Monday, July 24, 2017

101 Ways To Live Better: Good Bed, Good Shoes

Welcome to my 101 series, which explores 101 little things you can do to improve your day to day life, and the world, just a little bit.

Our fourth post is: GOOD BED, GOOD SHOES

Most people spent their lives either wearing shoes or in bed. The periods we are not wearing shoes or in bed are exceptions. In between times. You could say the same about clothes, of course. However, clothes don’t affect our health in the same way as shoes and beds.

Posture and sleep are both vital to our longevity. Our spine is the core of our bodies and our bed and shoes will affect our spine’s health as much as how we sit and how we exercise. Yet for some reason, many people don’t invest in comfortable beds and supportive shoes.

The quality of your sleep affects a lot more than just your posture. It affects your mental health, your weight loss, your alertness, your digestion and your satisfaction with life. You’re going to spend a third of your life in bed. Buy a good one! Yes, a good bed can be very expensive, but think of a bed like a car. A big, important purchase. One you expect to have to save for—and one that will cost you a lot more in the long run if you end up with a lemon!

When it comes to shoes, women tend to make much worse choices than men. Women sacrifice comfort and health for aesthetics—in particular heels—which are terrible for your legs and spine, no matter how good they make your ass look.

Buy good quality, supportive footwear without a heel. Save being tall for special occasions. Make sure to find shoes that fit properly and that don’t require you to hurt muscles to walk in. If you aren’t sure what the best sort of shoe is, see a podiatrist.

Remember, the world’s most famous foot model refuses to wear heels except while she is working and only then while the photos are being taken. She doesn’t want to damage her feet. So, if a foot model refuses to wear them, imagine what they are doing to you.

Buying good shoes and a good bed are worthwhile investments. Personally, I’d rather just have three pairs of really good expensive shoes (everyday, fancy and outdoors/hiking) than 40 shitty pairs that hurt my feet, fall apart and ruin my spine. It also makes choosing which shoes to go with my outfit really easy. In fact, it makes organizing my wardrobe and buying new clothes really easy too. I don’t have to wonder if they will go with any shoes I own, because I am probably already wearing the shoes in question. It makes life simple, comfortable and uncluttered.

And imagine how nice it would be to get a proper night’s sleep? To wake up rested and without any aching parts? No sinus issues, no back pain, no fatigue. And when you are buying a good bed, buy nice sheets and replace your pillows with good quality pillows every six months.

Investing in a good bed is like investing in education. Its serving your future. And you don’t need all those shoes anyway.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

To Be Read Pile: Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo


Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams - but he can't pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.

Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction - if they don't kill each other first.

Best Line:  The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive.

What a ride! Ocean's Eleven with magic and more charm than even George Clooney can muster. Kaz Brekker is a street rat from the Barrel. A con man and a thief with greed as his master and a love of puzzles. When he is presented with the ultimate puzzle with a tantalising reward at the end, how can he be expected to say no?

So much happens in this book. It's a rollicking charge through a plot that never lets up. This book isn't just about a heist. It is the heistiest of heists. It is the heist-master other heists hike up mountains to learn from. If anything can go wrong it will, and the best laid plans are the ones that definitely aren't going to work out the way you want them to.

Every character in this is fantastic. I love characters with huge, obvious flaws they can't get past and everyone here scratches that itch for me. And the banter. The banter. This is Buffy-worthy levels of dialogue and the group dynamics are played perfectly. I found reasons to love all of the characters and reasons to be irritated by all of them in turn. They felt not only real, but like the kind of people I would happily hang out with for a few hours. Albeit with all of my valuables safely locked away on another planet.

I think my favourite thing about this book is how far it is willing to go. There are multiple times when a scene is set up and there is no possible way for the characters to get out of the situation, until it all clicks into place and suddenly the most unthinkable, horrible perfect thing is the only way things are going to go forward. I spent a lot of time screaming the word 'NOOOOOO' while I read this book.

If you like YA that is fast and smart with killer characters and killer twists, this is the book for you.

Get it here /dp/B01175KE0M/

Monday, July 17, 2017

101 Ways To Live Better: Organize Your Time

Welcome to my 101 series, which explores 101 little things you can do to improve your day to day life, and the world, just a little bit.

Our third post is: ORGANIZE YOUR TIME

I live and die by my day planner.

My day planner is a physical book. Its A5 and every day of the week has its own full page. None of that shared Saturday and Sunday crap. I get a hardcover, something robust. This year, its fake-leather bound. However, since it is something I am going to use every single day for an entire year, I want something that will 1) last and 2) that I will want to look at, handle and use every day.

You may have different tastes in day planners to me. Maybe you prefer a digital day planner or calendar app on your phone. I don’t think what you use matters, as long as it works for you and it is accessible, enjoyable and something you check regularly and don’t totally forget about. Feel free to try a few different things out. Don’t force yourself to keep using something you don’t like. There are lots of options.

Be consistent in writing in meetings, dates, birthdays, events and so on so you don’t forget things. Get in the habit of checking what you have to do tomorrow before you go to bed and check your day planner first thing in the morning so you don’t get flustered and forget something important.

If you really want to make the most of your time, the next step is to track what you do all day. For a week, or two weeks, stop every half hour and write down what you did over those 30 minutes. You might find you are wasting more time than you thought on things that are really not that important to you.

Is there something you really want to do or achieve but don’t have the time? Like writing a novel or reading more or learning to play and instrument? Did you do this exercise and realize you’re spending an hour and a half on youtube every day? There’s the time you needed.

There’s a lot of distractions in the world these days. Radio, TV, the internet. Let’s be honest, its mostly the internet. It used to be you had to be at a desk, at a computer, to access the internet. And even then, it was very slow and the content was limited. Now there are more videos on youtube than you could ever watch in your entire lifetime and you can access them all on your phone. And that is just a single website.

You are never going to run out of media to watch while you have a phone (or laptop) and a wifi signal. And if you are reading this, you probably have both of those things.

That is why these days it’s very important that we think about how we are using our time. That we choose how to spend our finite hours on the planet, and not just let ourselves be distracted by bright lights and loud noises.

As an added bonus, get a notebook right now and map out the hours you are awake. Perhaps two lines per hour and write down how you wish you spent your time every day. Compare this exercise with the earlier one, which mapped out how you actually spend your day. Adjust accordingly.