Tag Archives: happy

Our Food is changing shape

I have watched with fascination as the chefs on TV have brought the most strange food for us to eat…

Food that doesn’t look anything like in it’s raw state like the Magic mushroom starter Heston Blumenthal style
the first chef  to twist my foodie mind and included Exploding volcanoes!

Now if you have the inclination you can be like Blumenthal. Get yourself a 3D printer and print out a wide range of different foods,I have watched a face being printed on to a pizza and chocolate leaving a message on your plate

Now you can PancakeBot your pancakes!

This 3D printer moves, and works just like a normal printer, but instead of squirting out ink or some plastic substance, this one squirts pre-mixed pancake batter onto a hot skillet. You simply programme it by drawing out any shape you desire.

Check out the video below to see it in action, get inspired to design pancakes like never before eaten!!

What a great hobby to take up in retirement! Who knows you may even be able to turn it into  a fun way to make some extra income…

Go well and cook up a storm!




Let us be grateful to people who make us happy

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust wrote that.
Today it’s our eldest son’s birthday. It is always on birthdays they I reflect on how lucky we are in having four fine, healthy children who all bring us so much joy.

I am truly grateful to them as they do make me and my husband so very happy.
It also focuses me on my day to day investing. Nothing is better at bringing the world into sharp focus than to realise that another year has passed and to reflect on the future.

We want to retire somewhere warm and within a cheap flight from where three out of four of them live. I need to be able to see my family more regularly but without:

  1. the huge air fares
  2. the long haul in the aeroplane

So it’s time to check in on the investment plan and make sure it’s on track!

Hope you too can enjoy your family today and every day

Go well till the next time

Do Smells promote Memories for You?

‘Talk Therapies’ explained in a recent blog how smells and emotions are closely linked and we can use this to help us to feel the way we would like to feel,

Crazy as it sounds there is a particular car smell that I catch every so often and it immediately transports me to a specific corner in Johannesburg and reminds me of the shopping trips we used to make from my home in Zimbabwe.  They were such a luxury and so exciting for us as kids.

OK that wasn’t a very pleasant smell (I can’t call it a scent) but it does evoke so good memories still to this day.

A much nicer smell is that of the sea.
Living in landlocked Zim it was always a real thrill to smell the sea for the first time on our way to Beira in Mozambique for our annual holiday. Our holidays were fantastic, such good fun and so different to our home life, that sea smells always bring back that sense of expectation and excitement.

Apparently all we have to do to feel good is choose how you want to feel then make an association with a smell and then surround yourself with that fragrance. Sounds easy doesn’t it?
Only trouble is I’m not sure how to make the smell of the sea, so I guess that’s probably why so many people like to live at the coast cause they too like that scent.

It seems a scent can even help you recall specific information so long as the scent is present while you are studying. I guess learning a language would fall into this so I really should try wearing a perfume while I do my Spanish lessons and then again when I want to speak it in Spain. That way the words should come to me more easily. Definitely worth a try.
I’ll let you know how I fair!

Enjoy your fragrant memories

Go well till the next time

My Exercise Machine Broke!

I was fed up this week as my elliptical exercise machine broke!

I am quite pedantic about my exercise. I go on my machine 4-5 times a week and dance twice a week. That way my hip stays in working order and aerobically I think I’m doing alright. I get quite put out if I can’t keep it up, so a broken machine is pretty bad in my book and necessitated a rapid call to the ‘fixit’ man.

About fifteen years ago I had a real wake-up call. I went to the doc fearing the onset of arthritis, way too young I thought, but what else could cause such painful hands? It turned out that my body had decided to start storing sugar and my cholesterol levels were crazy.

Oh boy, I wasn’t even 50! How could my body fail me like that. I had always been a bit of a health freak – always cooked fresh, lots of veg and fruit etcetera and done a fair bit of exercise in the gym.

I was confused and dejected but Boomers bounce, so I took on a new diet and exercise regime.

I was so fearful of not seeing my grandchildren, still unborn at that time that I was super strict and it paid off. Although never very overweight the weight dropped and the fitness increased and the desire for chocolate disappeared.

Ever since then I have kept even more mindful of my health. A few years ago I went veggie. Suits me better somehow so that’s why I did it. Even so I’ve had to tweak the veg diet recently it seems bits of the body are showing signs of wear sadly and I now need to reduce even more on the carbs!!

Keeping this Boomer body fit and healthy is a continual work in progress. I’ve noticed that quiet a few friends are also becoming more attentive to their diet and have started to join belly dance groups, zumba, walking, jogging or going to the gym.

So my advice to everyone is care for that body of yours don’t take it for granted cause some things cant be fixed easily. I for one plan on a long healthy retirement, join me, please!

As Lee Hews says “learn to love your boomer body – and take good care of it.”

Go well till the next time



Reminiscence Resources for Older People Developing Dementia

I had a wonderful tweet the other day

I am choosy about what I re-tweed but this was a no-brainer!  I think it is such a brilliant idea I just had to tell you more about it in case you missed the tweet 🙂

I am very fortunate in that I don’t have any family  members with really bad dementia but when my grandmother was alive towards the end (at 95 years old mind you) I would try and talk to her but she would loop saying the same thing over and over. We had more success I found if  I stayed in the era where her mind was that day, that way I managed to garner a fair bit of information to help me with the family tree.

Others are not so lucky

Help is at hand in the form of *Living Memories. These amazing people have found Doug Nudds circa1938that reminiscing can be very helpful in overcoming these conversational difficulties and is even considered to be therapeutic.

Using video clips gathered from everyday life in the 1940’s, 50s and 60s the DVD’s work by triggering memories. As they are not personal “home movies” they are unlikely to stir up unsettling memories and so are safe to use as a reminiscence tool. Living Memories even supply the carer with suggestions for topics to talk about in the context of the clips as well as some useful background information about life at the time.

These DVD’s have been used very successfully in *Memory Cafes and care homes where people with dementia found the videos very interesting and later where able to engage in conversation relating to the film clips and happily related memories of their own. Their research found that often one story will lead easily on to another making for much more enjoyable sessions for both the people with dementia and their carers.

An added bonus was found: As often a carer is not of the same nationality as the person with dementia and, seldom of the same era, these videos serve as a great insight to what life was like for the people they look after and thus improve communication and understanding between them.

I am thinking of getting these DVD’s just to help jog the memories of the older family members. They don’t have dementia but who can remember well without a prod in the right direction?

If you have an elderly relative or friend that you would love to be able to chat to more maybe this is just what you need.

Go well till the next time

5 Choices You Must Make Now If You Want To Retire A Millionaire

Posted on December 2, 2014 by Jeet Banerjee

A million dollar once upon a time seemed like so much money. If you look at it today, some people argue that a million dollars isn’t even enough to retire with and that you need more. Regardless of what your perspective on it is, a million is a million.

Too many people don’t understand what it takes to save enough for retirement and end up working well past the ages of 60-65. If you’re young right now and thinking you have a long time until that age, do NOT ignore this post.

If anything, you are in the drivers seat to have the retirement of your life if you make the right decisions. In this post, I share 5 choices you must make now if you want to retire a millionaire.

1. Set The Goal

Studies have shown that people who write down their goals actually achieve it compare to others who just think or talk about it. Get a piece of paper out or post it up on your bulletin board so that you have a constant reminder of what you plan on doing.

Planning is the only way you can execute on a goal so immense as this. Set some goals on how much income you want to be earning a year, how much you want to save towards your retirement and how much money you want to have for your retirement every 5-10 years.

2. Live Frugally

Athletes are a prime example of individuals that don’t live frugally. When they make $5 million a year, they tend to spend 95% of that every year. When they get an extension and make $10 million a year, they’re still spending 95% of that every year. How is that possible you ask?

Well, it’s simple. The more money you make, the more material items you become infatuated with. While I’m not going to stop you from treating yourself to nice rewards, it doesn’t mean you need to spend like a maniac. Live frugally so that you’re enjoying, saving & investing.

3. Invest Frequently

The best decision I made ever since the age of 18 was investing my money at chance I got. I made some really foolish investments that lost me a lot of money, but I’ve also made some great ones. The beauty of investing is that you can make returns passively.

There are safe investments and risky ones, but it’s just a matter of how you want to play with your money. I recommend doing a mix of both. If you’re investing more money, go safe. If you’re investing less money, take a risk. If you invest your money for the next 40-50 years, you bet you’re going to get some nice returns every now and then.

4. Don’t Buy Into Credit

The reason why so many people are working late past their retirement age is all because they made horrible financial decisions when they were younger. People accrue debt by using credit instead of debit. Until this day, I’ve never had a credit card of my own.

My thought process is really simple. If I can’t afford it, I don’t need it. Be very careful before you buy into credit and be even more careful about how high of a limit you use. If you give into temptation easily, don’t get a credit card. It’s as simple as that.

5. Work Your Ass Off

The only real recipe for success is working hard. If you work your ass off, you’re going to eventually get the results you want. If you want to retire a millionaire, it’s not going to happen overnight. It requires a lot of persistence and patience.

The harder you work, the quicker you will get the amount of money you want for retirement. So pull up your sleeves and get to work!


In this post, I shared 5 choices you must make now if you want to retire a millionaire. What are some things that have worked for you?

What a smart young man!
Wish I had met him a long time ago.
However it is never too late so I’ll keep on with my property investing and sharing
it’s worked well for me to date 🙂

Go well till the next time



Why Single-Tasking Makes You Smarter

I enjoyed this article. quite thought provoking and with plenty of  self help tips.
See what you think.
Go well till the next time

By Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D., Next Avenue Contributor

When I ask people at what age they feel they were (or are) the sharpest, it is shocking to me that no matter their current age – 20s, 50s, 80s – they always say their peak performance was 10, and often 20, years earlier. It does not have to be that way. Your best brain years can be ahead of you, not behind. Recent studies show that if you can change the way you think, you can change the wiring in your brain to improve its function and health.

I have spent my career researching how the brain best learns, reasons and makes sound decisions, as well as how to strengthen it. My goal is to accelerate the discovery of ways to ensure our brains remain more vibrant, supporting our need to make sound financial decisions, solve problems and retain creativity. In my recent book, Make Your Brain Smarter: Increase Your Creativity, Energy and Focus, I condense 30 years of research into tips on how you can rev up your brain’s performance at any age.

Want to Age Well?

Learn New Tricks, Not Facts Many people define ageing negatively, as a long downward slope filled with loss, illness and loneliness. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s up to us to decide how, and how well, we want to age. For humankind to survive, we have always had to figure things out. Our brains are built to feed our curiosity, our urge to discover, uncover and invent — essentially, to be creative. And if we stay creative, and continually learn, we will be helping our brains give us a life worth living as we age.

I don’t just mean solving crossword puzzles or playing computer games. Those activities may stimulate our brains, but they only use what we already have in there. What we need to do is to explore new subjects and discover new skills while continuing to nurture old skills.

Think of people you know who used to draw, take photographs, write poetry or dance. In many cases, they stopped their activity because they felt: “What’s the use? I will never be as good at these things as I used to.”

Hogwash. As we age, we gain insight, vision and wisdom, all of which will serve our creativity well, if we just work up the courage to jump in and try once again to see the world anew.

What standards should we set for ourselves to continue to have a life worth living?

Take care of your body and your mind will follow. The more we learn about memory and creativity, the more we discover that basic good health is fundamental to preserving those skills — starting with regular exercise, a healthy diet and deep sleep. That’s obvious, perhaps, but these goals are hard for many of us to achieve. They are major lifestyle commitments that most of us don’t make — except as briefly kept New Year’s resolutions.

Reduce stress through playfulness and meditation. Resting our mind and letting it wander into new and imaginative worlds can reduce stress, limit the effects of chronic inflammation and bolster our immune system. And just think what fun it is to play games with friends and grandchildren.

Embrace creativity regularly. Participation in the arts, especially music and dance, can have a significant effect in warding off dementia. Subscribe to a concert series or get a museum membership. Join a discussion group, take a drawing class at a community center or learn how to tango at a dance school. The possibilities are infinite. All it takes is deciding to do it. (Learn more about my foundation’s ARTZ program here.)

Exercise your abilities and learn new skills. True learning — not just the stimulation of tabletop puzzles — is the final key to hopeful aging. This means taking advantage of the “procedural learning” part of the brain, which does not diminish in capacity. Keep practicing the skills you’ve mastered by repetition throughout your life, like shooting baskets or drawing a picture, not the stuff you learned through “declarative,” or rote, memory, like the name of the 12th president. Rote-learned information is what we forget and can’t recall, but our procedural skills remain and can be exercised and enhanced every day as we get older.

Many scientifically proven strategies to boost your mental performance involve easily embraceable, common-sense tactics that can have an immense impact on the long-term health of your most important natural resource. One such tactic is eliminating toxic multitasking.

Why Multitasking Fails

So often we find ourselves in environments that erroneously place a high value on being able to multitask, the prevailing perception being that the more you can do at once, the more expertly intelligent and efficient you are. Alarmingly, some people even believe that multitasking is a good workout for the brain.

This type of thinking is damaging to your health.

Multitasking is a brain drain that exhausts the mind, zaps cognitive resources and, if left unchecked, condemns us to early mental decline and decreased sharpness. Chronic multi-taskers also have increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can damage the memory region of the brain.

Why a Love of the Arts Will Help Your Brain Age Better

Now new research — and a new public television documentary — make a strong case that engagement with music, dance and other arts may be just as powerful for preserving mental health and acuity throughout our lives.
striking claims for the ability of dance to ward off dementia in older people. “The evidence says that participation in dance programs reduces the rate of development of dementia by maybe 75 percent,” says neuroscientist Peter Davies of New York’s Albert Einstein Medical Center. “There is no drug around or even on the horizon that can reduce the rate of development of Alzheimer’s disease by 75 percent.”

“Too often in our country today art is seen as something nice to have. It’s fun to go to the movies or the theater. But we think of it as one of the additives of life, as opposed to a central part of life. The point the show makes is that art is really central to human experience, creating connection with people throughout our lives and keeping our brains sharp.

“Art is central to our lives and should not be an outlier,” he adds. “It will help us get older. It’s not going to stop us from getting Alzheimer’s or cancer, but what it can do is keep us stronger mentally for as long as we’re going.”

The truth is, your brain is not designed to do more than one thing at a time. It literally cannot achieve this, except in very rare circumstances. Instead, it toggles back and forth from one task to the next. For example, when you are driving while talking on the phone, your brain can either use its resources to drive or to talk on the phone, but never both. Scans show that when you talk on the phone, there is limited activation of your visual brain – suggesting you are driving without really watching. This explains how we can sometimes end up places without knowing exactly how we got there.

Frequently switching between tasks overloads the brain and makes you less efficient. It’s a formula for failure in which your thoughts remain on the surface level and errors occur more frequently.

Multitasking, though, can be a difficult habit to break. It’s more common among teenagers and young adults who are constantly connected to email, smart phones and social media apps, but older technology users also seek the immediate satisfaction of beeps, dings and buzzes. Each creates an addicting release of dopamine in the brain, which perpetuates the need for speed and ceaseless stimulation, making the cycle more difficult to break.

Time for a Change

If you are a chronic multitasker, there is good news: You are never too old (or too young) to be proactive about brain health and performance. Recent studies provide evidence that adopting healthier thinking habits and improved cognitive strategies can rejuvenate your mind, reversing its clock by decades.

When you train your brain to think more strategically and efficiently, measurable improvements register on the biological level. Our own studies show that after only six hours of training, subjects can experience upsurges in neuron-nourishing blood flow, the genesis of new brain cells, improved communication between regions of the brain and increased white matter growth.

Consistent single-tasking helps ensure that your decision-making skills last late into your senior years. In “Healthy Brain, Healthy Decisions,” a recent study of rational ability in people age 50 to 80, sponsored by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, the biggest predictor of a sound decision-maker was a high capacity for strategic attention, the ability to filter the most important information from less relevant data. Even better, the study found that strategic attention actually increases with age. And single-tasking is one of the best ways to prime the mind for strategic attention. (See tips for making better decisions from the study’s authors here.

3 Steps to Single-Tasking

Start your journey toward better brain health by adopting a single-tasking lifestyle in which getting things done sequentially is the rule. Your brain was wired for deep and innovative thinking, but that’s impossible to achieve if you’re trying to make it go in two or more directions at once. It takes a concerted effort to leave the chaotic addiction of multitasking behind, but the benefits are immediate and immense. It will increase your creativity, energy and focus. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Give your brain some down time. You will be more productive if, several times a day, you step away from mentally challenging tasks for three to five minutes. Get some fresh air, for example, or just look out the window. Taking a break will help make room for your next inspired idea because a halt in constant thinking slows the mind’s rhythms to allow more innovative “aha” moments.
Focus deeply, without distraction. Silence your phone, turn off your email and try to perform just one task at a time. Think it’s impossible to break away? Start with 15-minute intervals and work your way up to longer time periods. Giving your full attention to the project at hand will increase accuracy, innovation and speed.
Make a to-do list. Then identify your top two priorities for the day and make sure they are accomplished above all else. Giving the most important tasks your brain’s prime time will make you feel more productive. Or, as Boone Pickens said, “When you are hunting elephants, don’t get distracted chasing rabbits.”
These tips — along with a healthy diet, adequate rest (about eight hours a night) and regular aerobic exercise (three times a week for 50 minutes) — will keep your mind and body functioning well. Thanks to medical advances, more of us will live to 100 and beyond, but our peak brain performance comes, at best, at about half that age. So our bodies live almost another lifetime after our brains’ natural peak. This is why we all need to make a concerted effort to make our brains smarter.

Don’t let your brain go backward. Your future depends on it.

Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D., is founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth and the Dee Wyly Distinguished University Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is also author of Make Your Brain Smarter: Increase Your Brain’s Creativity, Energy and Focus.