15 November 2017

The History Of Challenge Coins

The value of challenge coins and symbolism it takes with it is very well known to everyone having some connection with the military.

But how did the challenge coins become so popular among younger generations less familiar with military terms?

Good question!

We might as well blame Activision and their popular video game franchise Call of Duty, specifically its Black Ops iteration which uses challenge coins to to let gamers know they have unlocked achievements within the game, for rising popularity of challenge coins today amongst the youth.

From this perspective, some of the most common questions regarding challenge coins would be:

  • What are the the origins of challenge coins?
  • Are there any uniform dimensions for a challenge coin?
  • What coin holder is the best when it comes to stashing a coin in it?
  • What’s the general purpose of challenge coins in the military?

Sounds a little superficial for such honored and valued object, doesn’t it? This gets more important if you are aware of the metaphorical meaning of these coins and the importance of the small wins on both professional and individual life.

In that sense, the latter sometimes seems easier to invest in, since, if you work hard, the reward is right there at your reach - a thing that doesn’t happen in real life. Unsurprisingly, the work management literature has actually been able to name the things that motivate people on work. No, it’s not incentives, but growth, recognition and responsibility.

In other words, the most motivated people to work aren’t the ones that are best paid but those who feel that are respected. These people tend to feel more productive and are in general happier. The power of small wins is extremely important as it will impact the behaviour of the individual on many different levels - professional and private as well.

But, if you still don’t agree 100% on this one, then you might just get familiar with how challenge coins originated and what it really meant for someone to be presented with a challenge coin back in the day.

Challenge Coin Origins

There are lots of different theories on when and how challenge coins originated in the first place.

Maybe the most common theory dates back to the World War I. To be more precise, it is believed that challenge coins were first presented when the US decided to enter the war in 1917, and when US flying squadrons were sent out to the continent to join allied forces in their struggle with German troops.

Legend has it that one rich lieutenant of the flying corps ordered four bronze coins with flying squadrons logo engraved on it and gave a coin to each one of the members of the unit.

Allegedly, that very same lieutenant was gunned down by the Germans on the front and was forced to land his aircraft behind enemy lines. After German troops captured him, they stripped him of his documentation and made him a prisoner of war.

However, the U.S. lieutenant managed somehow to escape and to pass frontline on foot to reach French troops on the other side of the front. Because he didn’t have any ID on him, French suspected him to be a German spy and ordered his execution.

Finally, the bronze coin saved his life as he reached out to his pouch and showed them the coin that he purchased before he took off for Europe. The French soldiers saw the emblem of the U.S. Army and spared his life. This gave him enough time to contact his headquarters and prove his identity.

Challenge Coins Today

As we can see, challenge coins origins are very closely related to acts of courage and valor. Challenge coins can serve as a way of recognition and showing affiliation to a certain movement or a group.

Therefore, lots of non-military groups today practice presenting custom challenge coins to their honorary members.

We find examples of giving challenge coins as a way of showing respect and recognition even in professional sports associations like NFL or Nascar today.

These can be also given in order to motivate and further engage employees of large corporations to give their best and align their own interests with the goals of the company they work for.

11 November 2017

Keeping Wrinkles Off The Chest

When you wear a shirt that has a lower cut on the chest or if you happen to pay attention to the skin on your chest after getting out of the shower or while changing clothes, then you might notice wrinkles on your cleavage. The skin on this area of the body is delicate and thin compared to the skin on other areas of the body. Wrinkles can often develop here faster than on other areas. You can get bras that can help to prevent cleavage wrinkles or follow a few other tips to help prevent these blemishes that develop on the body. 

Make sure you're getting plenty of vitamins in your diet. Vitamin C can help tighten the skin and provide other health benefits to the body, such as giving a boost to the immune system. Try to avoid using soaps that have a lot of dyes in them. You should also try not to scrub the body too hard because this can weaken skin that is already fragile. Gently dry off with a towel instead of rubbing the chest when you get out of the shower.

It might sound odd, but you can put the materials for a beauty mask on your chest. This will fight wrinkles that develop, just like it would on the face. Avocado is an ingredient that you want to look for as it has a higher fat content that can enhance the lipids in the skin as well as yogurt as this contains lactic acid. Honey is also a natural moisturizer that can keep the skin healthy and prevent wrinkles from forming. Avoid letting the skin get dehydrated. Drink plenty of water during the day, and try to eat fruits and vegetables that have a higher water content than others so that the skin stays as refreshed as possible. Coconut and shea oil can help to keep the skin moisturized. Find a soap that locks in moisture as well so that it's not lost when you're bathing. Stay out of the sun as much as you can without protection, and if you're going to be in the sun for long periods at a time, then use a sunscreen with a higher SPF on the chest.

10 November 2017

The Path to Health Goes Through Nature: Growing an Organic Garden

Thankfully to the advancements in science and social media, we are able to witness a growing community of people propagating healthy lifestyle. This includes many aspects of daily habits and routines, through the products we use in our diet and environment that surrounds us. If you think about eating healthy and being responsible about the ingredients you use, then organic food may be the right choice for you. This kind of food can be pricey which is the main and sometimes the only reason people don’t use it in their daily diet.

However, if you like to do gardening or you have a yard, think about growing your own organic produces with the help of these tips.

  1. Plan ahead

Just like any other garden, organic vegetable also needs organized space and resources to grow. Before you even make the first planting site, decide what you’d like to grow. Also, consult with the nursery garden or specialized shops on the best plants to grow in your area. In this stage, you will also have to plan your budget for every aspect of gardening – from preparing the soil, buying the seeds and seedlings and what kind of herbicides and pesticides you will use. If you have a small gardening space you can still grow your herbs, veggies and fruits if you use containers, small pots and boxes.
  1. Don’t go overboard with plants

You will probably want to plant them all – every herb and vegetable you love. But every plant has its season and too many can be too much. The best strategy is to start small just to get a feel for what it's all about. Plant a small garden in the beginning and later you can know what to correct and how to be a better gardener. Don't be afraid to experiment and test some of the rarely grown plants in the gardens, just to make it fun. If you leave the apartment building, use the rooftop or your balcony to seed in the pots and small containers. There are also solutions like the aero garden for indoor spaces and winter months, if you want to enjoy your new hobby all year long.
  1. Productive plants are the safest choice

Plants that will do well in your area and its climate are mostly the best choices for new gardeners. One of the reasons is that they will grow easily and you’ll be happy with your effort and its results. This is important so you wouldn’t be disappointed and give up after the first failure. On the other hand, you may buy cheap seedlings but work hard to grow them, which is the case with the corn, for example. Or you can spend more money on the seedlings and grow fruits like berries which are very low maintenance.  
  1. Organic garden still needs protection

Pests and weeds attack the organic garden just like any other, so you need to make sure that your plants are protected and safe. But not all pests are bad for the garden and some can even be beneficial and needed for the growth. Check your plants twice a week for any pests and use some natural protections like sunflowers and herbs like catnip or calendula. But organic garden also requires the use of pesticides, only these are based on naturally occurring soil bacteria and natural materials. Another important aspect of gardening is to know the insects which inhabit it since some of them can be helpful and needed for the reproduction and success of your garden.
  1. Don’t forget to care

Sometimes people think that organic garden means that you will let your plants be taken care of by nature itself. This is only a wishful thinking, and professionals from Hoselink recommend watering them even more than usual without using any chemicals since organic plants mostly depend on the natural conditions. 

All in all

Don’t be discouraged with a few setbacks because no garden is perfect. It’s all about trials and errors, as well as collecting knowledge and practices through personal and other people’s experiences. Just think about the benefits of healthy and fresh produces in your meals, as well how fulfilling and liberating is to have the garden at your fingertips.

09 November 2017

Skinny Jeans Workout

Well, I know I will not have those slim gams ever again but that doesn't mean I cannot fit into one of those skinny jeans (appropriate for my size, that is!)

Fall is here and winter is fast approaching and wearing skinny jeans tucked under the boots and paired with layers of cute tops is what I envision myself in the next couple of weeks. How? Repeat after me - Skinny Jeans Workout! Yes, we do have a chance!

I got this from Women's Health and all you have to do is follow this workout at least four to six times a week without any rest in between the seven moves. This will help burn fat and will also benefit your glutes by making it firm.

Squat, lunge and curl
When you do the squat, your arms must be at your sides. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground then go back to your standing position. Then take a step forward with your other foot until the other thigh is parallel to the ground. Go back to your standing position and curl your right heel towards your buttocks and back to your standing position. That is your one rep. Do this again on the alternate leg. Do 20 reps.

Dumbbell Sumo Squat
You will need a small kettle ball or any dumbbell you can hold both ends in one hand. Hold the dumbbell at arm's length in front of your pelvis but make sure your feet are set twice your shoulder width apart. Then lower your body as fas as you can by pushing you hips back and bending the knees. Hold the position and then push back to the original position. Do 10 to 12 reps of this exercise.

Stability Lunge
This is like a yoga pose where you will stand with your arms lifted at your sides and palms facing each other then squat until your thigh are parallel to the ground. Then go back to the starting position and push up your other leg toward your glutes. Return again to the original position and make a big step forward with the other foot and lower your body until the other thigh is parallel to the ground. Then go back to the original position and push the other leg toward your glutes to finish one rep. Repeat alternately for 20 reps.

Dumbbell Bent-knee Deadlist
Sounds morbid but this routine will help firm your buttocks.

First, you place a pair of 10- to 15-pound dumbbells on the floor in front of you. Squat and grab the dumbbells with an overhand grip. Make sure that you have a chest up posture when you do the squat. Contract your glutes and stand up with the dumbbells, legs straightened, hips thrust forward and pulling your upper body back and up. Then lower the dumbbells on the floor slowly. This routine is one rep. Do at least 10 reps.

Single-leg, Single-arm reach
This is like a variation of a bending body routine except that when you bend, you don't bend all the way down. The starting position is you raise your right arm in front of you and bend from the hips and lift the right leg behind you until it is parallel to the floor. While doing this, you have to contract your glutes and hamstrings as you return to the standing position. This routine is one rep and do 10 to 12 more reps then do the alternate side.

Elevated reverse lunge
You must have a step box to do this routine. First position, stand on a step box and hands on your hips. Contract your glute then step back with your left leg. Lower your body until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Hold the position for few seconds then push through the right leg to return to start position. This is your routine and do another 4 to 6 reps before you repeat on the other leg.

Cable pull-through
You should have a cable machine to do this routine or a resistance band around a sturdy object.

Starting position, stand two feet from a cable machine on the lightest setting. Your back is facing the cable station, pull the handle and make sure your feet are shoulder-apart. Squat until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Reach back through your legs and grab the handle with both hands and arms should be straight. Pull the cable in front of you with your head up, heels into the floor and legs slightly standing. Hold the position for few seconds then lower the cable and repeat the process. Do at least 10 to 12 reps.

You may check out the pictures of this workout at http://health.yahoo.net/articles/fitness/skinny-jeans-workout?page=8.

03 November 2017

Tips For Unclogging Pores

Clogged pores are almost inevitable.  Every time you go outside, your skin gets exposed to the elements, and this contributes to clogged pores.  Even if you don’t go outside, the naturally occurring oils and dead skin cells on your face can clog your pores.  Even the skin serum or cream that you use to prevent wrinkles can make your clogged pores worse.  Clogged pores are the first step to acne, so unclogging your pores is the first step to clear skin.  The Timeless Dermaroller can help unclog your pores, but there are also daily treatments you can do.
The Timeless Dermaroller
The Dermaroller is an at-home version of an instrument used at professional spas.  It comes in 0.5mm and 1.0mm sizes, smaller than the skin rollers used in spas.  When you first get the Dermaroller, you should only use it once per month.  After your skin gets used to it, you can increase the frequency to twice per month.  If you use the 0.5mm size, you can even use it once every week.  Regardless of how often you use the Dermaroller, you must sterilize it after every use.
Other Treatments for Unclogging Your Pores
Simply washing your face every day can keep your pores from getting as clogged as they otherwise would.  Astringent wipes also remove oils from your skin that could otherwise end up as debris in your pores.  Salicylic acid is the most common astringent ingredient in facial cleansing products.  Facial scrubs containing pieces of apricot pits can also help.  The double-edged sword is that many pore-unclogging treatments can dry out your skin.  Therefore, you should also use a moisturizer, such as a facial serum that contains hyaluronic acid.
Treatments like the Dermaroller can help keep your pores from getting clogged, but you cannot use them on a daily basis.