2014 has been a great year. There are things to be thankful for always; health, family, and the bread and butter on our tables. May our lives be filled with meaningful people, events and causes in 2015 and beyond. Today, I just wanted to share a couple of things that make any holidays, traditional or cultural events more joyful and easy.

1. Its not just about the rest, it is about fun and moving also:
Most people associate holidays with eating and certain types of foods, but having some activities and fun (snow tubing, skiing, hiking, etc.) might bring us more motivation and energy…

2. Take meaningful presents
When visiting others during holidays, give meaningful presents, things that you know people will need and use rather than the fancy new toy of the year. Don’t go empty handed anywhere that you have been invited…

3. Stay physically active
During holidays we tend to gain weight, having a schedule to do exercise or simply doing the chores at home will help shed some of the pounds away and we may even manage to lose some weight!

4. Stay stress free
Holidays bring their own stress, with in-laws visiting, cousins/neighbors involvement, their expectations, ways of doing things, etc. The key to stress free holidays is planning ahead and one way to do this is to keep things simple (prune the to-do list, call don’t send cards, cut the gift list, etc) Get in touch with people that you love the most, and do the things that make you feel peaceful!

5. Organize your life
Studies show that a minor sight of cluttering puts us on the edge, organization offers a sense of control and peace of mind, and there’s a number of ways we can improve in this regard. Having a little bit of tidy up time everyday, making a small to do list for those dreadful drawers can help us feel better, and lets remember: one task at a time…

6. Sleep early
Studies have shown that not having enough sleep can also cause weight gain. During the holidays going to bed early as much as possible and keeping a healthy sleeping and eating pattern can help with having fun and peaceful times. No one wants a sleep deprived grouchy Christmas person hosting or being a guest.

After all, like anything else, holidays is about to have and find the balance that keeps us happy!
Enjoy and be present in the moment always!
Cheers!
Nilay Ertemur
Nilay Ertemur

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Summer is upon us after that very harsh winter we went through in Ottawa. During summer, many of us plan to take our holidays/camping, especially when kids are off school. Even work tends to expect us to take some time off during summer.

One thing not to forget when you are on holidays or camping trips is to protect your home from house burglary. Here are some quick tips that may help in preventing one from being a home burglary victim.

1. The number one rule is to make sure that you appear to be at home.

– Get a auto timer to turn your lights/radio/tv on/off for you during certain hours of the day especially during evening. A moderate noise of the tv/radio helps to deter burglars again through a timer.

2. Have your mail to be held in the post office

Canada Post offers a service that holds mail for you while you are away.
– Alternatively, have a neighbour/friend who could pick up any flyers or junk mail for you, you don’t want those to pile up at your doorsteps, since it will definitely signal to a burglar that there is no occupant in the house.

3. Hire or find a neighbor who can take care of your lawn

– Sometimes overseas trips tend to be longer and during that time your grass will grow longer and you would want someone to take care of it while you are gone. Just like the snow removal during winter, having a cared lawn also shows that someone is taking care of the house and is being occupied which will deter burglars.

4. Close your windows, and leave curtains or binds in normal position

– Remember to close all your windows, you do not want that summer rain/thunder storm to pour into one of your rooms, or worst give a burglar an easy access to climb in. Close all the windows before you leave, remove any expensive belongings that may be near a window, so that if anyone peeks into the house, they wont be able to see any valuable items. Slightly close your curtains or leave them as you normally would, a closed curtain for 3 weeks may also send the wrong message but never leave the curtains wide open for anyone to peek into the house either.

5. Have a neighbor or friends to look over for you house while you are gone

– Leave your contact information with your friend/neighbour or someone you trust and tell them when you are planning to be back from your holidays so that during the time you are away they will keep an eye out for any odd activity around your house.

6. Never post on social media/Facebook about your upcoming trip or during your trip

– These days many are using social media, and you never know a friend of a friend of a friend may not be up to any good, or even if your security settings are set to only friends on Facebook, someone can or may find out that you wont be at home during an extended period of time. Therefore its a good idea to post/share your holiday pictures after your trip. Yes, it takes some discipline 🙂

7. Install alarm monitoring at home

– Use a professional alarm monitoring company, in case of an entry, they will be asked to enter a code and if they can not, the system will contact the police, but also remember to give the company the right contact information or how to get a hold of you if they need to during your holidays.

Hopefully these tips will help to protect your home and possessions, during your extended or short holidays, and last but not least, enjoy your trip, make the most and best memories!

Author: Nilay Ertemur

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