The quetzal is a beautifully colored bird in the trogon family. They are found in forests and woodlands, abundantly in more humid highlands.
They can be hard to spot in their wooded habitats, even with their brightly colored feathers. Their feet are unique with having two toes facing forward and two back, aiding the bird in perching high in the trees.
2. Mandarin Duck
The mandarin duck is a perching duck species found in China and Japan.
Both males and females have crests, but the crest is more pronounced on the male. The male molts after mating season into eclipse (summer) plumage. When in eclipse plumage, the male looks very similar to the female, but can be told apart by their bright yellowish/orange beak.
The bluejay is native to most of the eastern and central United States, western populations may be migratory. They are also found in Newfoundland and Canada.
This vibrantly colored bird feeds on nuts and seeds such as acorns, soft fruits, insects, and occasionally small vertebrates. They can sometimes be seen to catch insects while in flight.
4. Victoria Crowned Pigeon
This stunning beauty is named after the British monarch Queen Victoria. The Victoria crowned pigeon is native to lowland and swamp forests of northern New Guinea.
The Victoria crowned pigeon is now uncommon around human established areas due to heavy hunting for it’s plumage and meat. The bird is easily tamed so it easily falls prey to hunters. As such it was named Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List.
5. Lesser Bird of Paradise
The lesser bird of paradise is native to forests of New Guinea, and the nearby islands of Misool and Yapen. They are omnivorous, their diet mainly consisting of fruit, insects, and snails.
The lesser bird of paradise is considered to be at low risk, but its habitat, the tropical rain forests of Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya are increasingly threatened and quickly disappearing.
6. Long Tailed Widowbird
This hauntingly beautiful species, the long-tailed widowbird, is found in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia. They live in swampy grasslands, in flocks consisting of one to two males and a larger amount of females.
The long-tailed widowbird’s diet mainly consists of seeds and insects. They do most of their foraging in flocks on the ground, though they are sometimes seen catching insects mid flight.
Though new year has already passed, you are never late!
You’ll love these healthy ways to kick off the new year. Welcoming another year means many things: thoughtful resolutions, reflecting on last year’s milestones, a fresh start, or another 365 days to commit to your health.
And this year, you won’t even need to step onto a treadmill to achieve your personal best. If you’re looking for a fresh way to jumpstart a fitness regime, these exciting workouts will improve your strength, get your heart rate up, and increase flexibility.
1. BOXING STUDIOS
In 2016, fitness startup ClassPass saw an 89 percent increase in the number of boxing classes offered on it’s site, and in the US, boxing studios have been popping up all over the country.
This isn’t surprising, considering celebrities such as Gigi Hadid, Khloe Kardashian, and Ellie Goulding have all credited the sport to transforming their bodies.
Boxing combines agility, cardio, and strength training and it’s also known to be a great stress reliever.
Looking for a workout that will work your muscles like never before? Try the Megaformer workout, a combination of Pilates and bodybuilding.
The system’s creator, Sebastien Lagree, designed the workout to focus on cardio, strength, endurance, body composition, and flexibility, all in under an hour.
In other words, you might be sore for a few days thanks to this intense workout that will definitely whip you into shape.
3. LIVE STREAMING CLASSES
Welcome to the 2017, where you can stream your workouts like you would your favorite TV shows. Many studios now allow people to sign up for classes online and get a workout in wherever and whenever they want.
Great news for fitness lovers who don’t live in places like NYC or Los Angeles and want to try out the latest workout trends.
4. HYBRID CLASSES
Think HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and spinning combined into one. Many studios are now offering gym goers the option to mix cardio and strength training into one session, which torches more calories than a standard one-exercise class.
The classes allow participants to mix up their workouts and prevent injuries by targeting different muscles and making sure nothing is being overworked.
5. CARDIO PACKED DANCE CLASSES
Who wouldn’t want an exercise class that doesn’t even feel like exercise? Dance cardio workouts burn a ton of calories all while keeping your sweat session exciting and fun.
You might not even realize you’re nearing the end of the workout while you’re dancing to the music. Although studios are popping up everywhere from California to New York, you can also try this new workout in the comfort of your own home.
“Have a specific goal and envision the lifestyle you’ll be able to have if you stick to it,” says financial adviser Ric Edelman, author of The Truth About Money. This will make financial cutbacks more palatable and keep you both motivated and focused on your goal. So whether you’re saving for a home, retirement, or a new car, find pictures that represent your dream, and keep them in view—on your fridge, pinned to a bulletin board, or even on Pinterest. The more you are reminded of your goal, the more motivated you’ll be. You may even want to tour houses like the one you want or take a look at your ideal car.
2. Think Before You Buy
“When you’re about to make a purchase, ask yourself this: Is it a need or a want?” suggests personal finance expert Suze Orman, author of The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve. “If you answer with honesty, you will save money.”
3. Go to Boot Camp
Financial boot camps take a fast-paced, tough-love approach to providing enrollees with financial knowledge and the skills they need to make changes. “Joining a financial boot camp can mean learning finance basics with other like-minded people, who will tell you to get back on your horse if you flub it,” says money expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, founder of AsktheMoneyCoach.com and author of The Money Coach’s Guide to Your First Million.
4. Go on a Spending Diet
“Designate two days a week as no-spend,” says Pauline Wallin, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of Taming Your Inner Brat: A Guide for Transforming Self-Defeating Behavior. Pay only for essentials, like bus fare or tolls for work, and skip using money on nonessentials like coffee or lunches out or candy bars—or any of the other little things we waste money on. “Knowing that you’re not frittering money away will boost your self-control,” says Wallin.
5. Trick Yourself into Saving
Let’s talk about the United States. This coming year, people’s paychecks are due to be reduced by about 2 percent because the temporary cut in the Social Security tax is set to expire on December 31. “Use the adjustment to a new paycheck amount to your benefit and put some savings on automatic pilot,” advises Nevin Adams, director of the American Savings Education Council. His theory: Since you’ll already be making an adjustment, you may not miss the other dollars you’ll sock away.
If you’re trying to score top marks at your next dental appointment, in addition to your brushing and flossing regimen, the food you put in your mouth plays a crucial role for overall oral health.
We know that there are many foods that sneak into the diet that can damage teeth. Sugar is the main culprit, especially added, refined sugar. Any food that increases your intake of refined sugar can feed harmful bacteria to cause tooth decay. Other harmful foods include acidic beverages like sodas and sports drinks.
However, if you’re really trying to stay on top of your dental health, you want to make sure that you’re eating the right types of foods that assist your body in balancing and managing the oral environment. Here are five to add to your diet:
Not only for warding off vampires, garlic is known for its antibacterial properties. Rich in the compound allicin, garlic prevents the activity of a wide range of bacteria that can cause imbalance in the oral environment. Adding some chopped garlic to your stir-fries or even raw garlic to your salads is a great way to ensure your mouth bacteria stay in check. Watch out, though! Garlic is notorious for causing bad breath.
Widely cultivated in the traditional Spice Islands like Indonesia, cloves have been known for their antimicrobial properties for centuries. Their remarkable properties can be attributed to the rich source of eugenol and oleic acid.A powerful spice with a sweet kick, cloves can be used in a range of cooking, such as curries and soups. However, cloves are also particularly useful as a sugar replacement for desserts like spice cakes and muffins.
For many years, this rich, yellow-colored plant has been used in India, where it has been consumed in spice form for thousands of years. Long believed to be a remedy for problems in the mouth, we now know turmeric to have its antimicrobial activity because of its primary active component curcumin. Turmeric is an excellent addition to curries and cooked meats. It’s also great in your morning smoothie – simply add a teaspoon.
While we were long told that butter is bad for our heart and arteries, we now know that it’s one of the most nutrient-rich foods that humans can eat. Packed with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 (if raised from grass-fed cows), it’s also rich in calcium and conjugated linoleic acid, which is a booster of the immune system. You can add butter to nearly any meal; however, it’s important to limit the amount of heating during cooking as the smoke point may cause it to burn.
Steeped with a rich history in Chinese medicine where it was known for its wide-ranging health benefits, today there’s not much that green tea can’t do. Rich in the antioxidant EGCG, green tea has powerful antibacterial properties.
Within seconds of meeting you, people are already making judgments about your personality.
Those assessments can influence whether they want to hire you, date you, or be your friend.
So you’ll want to do everything you can to make the best impression possible — before it’s too late.
To help you out on that front, I checked out “How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less” by speaker and author Nicholas Boothman. The book highlights a key strategy for ingratiating yourself with your conversation partner while greeting them.
The best part? The whole process takes just four seconds. Read on to find out how to become instantly likable.
1. Be Open
Boothman says you’ll want to open both your body and your attitude.
In terms of your body language, Boothman says you should aim your heart directly at the person you’re meeting. Don’t cover your heart with your hands or your arms. And if you’re wearing a jacket, unbutton it beforehand.
It’s equally important to cultivate a positive attitude. While you’re greeting the person, Boothman says you should feel and be aware of that positivity.
2. Make Eye Contact
Boothman says you should be the one to initiate eye contact, and let your eyes reflect your positive attitude.
If you feel uncomfortable making eye contact, he suggests a strategy for getting used to it: When you’re watching TV, note the eye color of the people on camera and say the name of the color in your head. The next day, do the same thing with every person you meet.
Just make sure to look away at some point — as Carol Kinsey Goman writes on Forbes, too much eye contact can feel rude or intimidating for the other person.
Boothman advises being the first one to smile. You’ll send the message that you’re sincere.
Research also suggests that smiling when you meet someone in a happy context is a useful way to get them to remember you.
4. Say “hello”
Whether you say “hi,” “hey,” or “hello,” or use another salutation, you should sound delighted to be making this person’s acquaintance.
Next, you’ll want to extend your hand. Make sure to give a firm handshake, which generally creates a more positive impression.
When the person you’re meeting gives his or her name, try to repeat it a few times. For example, you might say, “Sara. Nice to meet you, Sara!”
If you’re meeting multiple people and can’t shake everyone’s hand at once, Boothman says it’s possible to conduct a “hands-free” handshake. Do everything you’d normally do while shaking someone’s hand — point your heart in their direction, say hello, and smile — but don’t extend your hand.
5. Lean In
There’s no need to fall over into the person you’re meeting.
Boothman suggests an “almost imperceptible forward tilt” to show that you’re open to and interested in what the person has to say.
It’s the fear that things won’t work out like you’d hoped they will. It’s the panic you get when plans change. Or when anything changes.
It’s the wired exhaustion that comes from an addiction to busyness.
It fuels the perfectionism in your projects and tasks.
It’s everyday anxiety, that can distract us from the magic of the present moment. In our society, this type of stress has become a habit. One that I witness wreak havoc on progress towards a happier and healthier life in my clients, friends, family and even myself.
Here are the mindset hacks I have used to diffuse everyday anxiety and restore peace:
1. Find the Path of Least Resistance
I consider this to be the one most sacred rule of which I live my life. Life wasn’t meant to be hard. It’s a playground to create what we want and should allow us to experience massive amounts of joy and peace.
Peace isn’t something you find one day and never struggle to hold onto.
Should you find you have a task to complete or a new goal to achieve, find the path of least resistance. If one way of achieving it is met with massive resistance, stop, and be open to another way, one that feels better to you. This one practice alone can be instantly calming.
2. Train Your Muscles for Relaxation
Systematic muscle relaxation training is a strategy used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to reduce anxiety.
You can do this on your own – very simply – by choosing a specific muscle, or set of muscles, (such as your upper legs, abdomen or neck muscles) and purposefully tensing them for seven seconds followed by purposeful relaxation of them for fifteen seconds.
Online guided meditations with muscle relaxation are a great tool for this.
3. Schedule “Worry Time”
Scheduling in ‘worry time’ is a classic intervention in CBT used to help you gain control over anxiety and worry.
Here’s how it works:
Find a quiet space all to yourself. Set a timer, for no longer than 45 minutes (less is better) to journal and think rationally about the anxiety-producing thoughts. Two extremely helpful questions I use with clients in my practice are:
How can I see this differently?
How can I feel better about this?
After your timer goes off, ‘worry time’ is over. End your session with a meditation or muscle relaxation. When fear, worry or anxiety creeps in – outside of ‘worry time’, try to ‘save it’ for your next scheduled session.
4. Don’t get Caught in the Fear Storm
Fear storms: when your deepest worries come to life
Fear is all-encompassing. Anxiety takes over. You create problems that aren’t really there. You find new levels of pain, overwhelm and frustration to exist in.
I’ve learned there is a quiet and calm eye to the storm, waiting for us all along. You can find this place by recognizing when in your thoughts are spiraling out of control and attempting to loosen your grip on those thought patterns. Whether it’s through finding a positive distraction, reciting affirmations or by recognizing that you cannot solve the problem in this very moment – consciously pulling yourself out of the storm is often the fastest way to calm your nerves.
Peace isn’t something you find one day and never struggle to hold onto. It is every day work and it is challenging. The good news? We are all capable and deserving of it.
Cheers to finding your peace!
*I am not a psychologist and the mind hacks I shared above are based on my personal experience and the people who need my help, I, fondly, refer them as my “clients”
For travelers who don’t fear the cold, Amsterdam can be a great winter getaway. It’s a good idea to start out with a brisk walk around the city center or a boat tour of the canals, where light installations and sculptures will be on display during the Amsterdam Light Festival in December and January. Ice skating is another favorite winter activity here and there are plenty of ice rinks — or in some years, frozen canals — available. Our recommendation: Ice Amsterdam, a rink on the Museumplein beside the stoic Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum. Afterwards, warm up inside one of the city’s authentic bruin cafes (brown cafes), which are local pubs named for their wooden interiors.
While it won’t be warm enough for the beach, off-season Sicily offers mild temperatures (typically in the 50s and 60s) that are ideal for touring around on foot. This is the season to try hiking from Taormina to the little town of Castelmola via the ancient Saracens path, which offers views of Mount Etna, Saracen castle, and the sea en route. Or, spend a day strolling around the narrow cobblestone streets of Syracuse’s old town, which tend to be clogged with tourists during the summer, but pleasantly quiet in January and February. The Greek theater of Taormina, where winter travelers can check out the ruins without having to navigate huge crowds, is another great option. Just be aware that some restaurants may be closed and there can be chilly or rainy days — in which case, ride on the Ferrovia Circumetnea, a small (and cheap) train that circles the base of Mount Etna.
With 340 days of sun per year and comfortable winter temperatures, Cyprus is a good bet for off-season rejuvenation. The number of tourists is five to six times higher from May to September than other times of year, which means some coastal hotels close up in January and February and there are deals to be had at those that do stay open. In any case, the low-key scene makes it easier to chat with locals and explore the island’s incredible archaeological sites, such as ruins of the ancient Greco-Roman city of Kourion and the entire UNESCO-protected town of Paphos. It’s also a good season to hike, bike, or ski in the Troodos Mountains — the highest peak is Mount Olympus — as trails empty out.
Travelers looking for a big European city with tons of cultural activity and charm, but without the gray skies like London, should head to Barcelona. The air will be chilly but the sky will likely be clear and blue, making it ideal for strolling the quiet or even empty streets, the tree-lined La Rambla, and La Boqueria open-air market. There’s plenty of crema catalana (a crème brulee-like custard) to warm up with in between stops at Gaudi masterpieces like La Sagrada Familia and the paths of Park Guell, where you’ll find amazing views of the city. Plus, Barcelona’s museums and galleries often hit their stride in the wintertime, considering fewer crowds get in the way.
Embrace the snow and cold in Iceland, where winter brings unique experiences not available any other time of year. First of all, winter months offer the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights on clear, super-dark nights. Secondly, streams of water running through glacial caves freeze, resulting in so-called crystal caves. Ice cave tours are a must for winter visitors. Prices on flights (particularly from the East Coast) and hotels can drop significantly, as tourism dies down from December through February. If you happen to be there during New Year’s Eve, check out the fireworks in Reykjavik, the country’s capital city.
Communication is the backbone of a relationship in terms of keeping both partners feeling heard and understood. Nobody can read your mind, nor should they expect you to try to read theirs. Being able to openly and honestly communicate with the person you’re committed to can make or break your relationship.
You’ve got some semblance of a path in life.
It’s difficult to plan a future with someone who has no future plans for themselves. Things change and life throws curveballs at us — nobody can be expected to have it all figured out, but giving it a try is a good start.
You can let the little things slide
No matter how well two people get along, odds are you will not like every. single. little. thing. about the other person. There may be small quirks that you’ve got to accept (and maybe ignore). If you get annoyed by everything they do, it will cause unnecessary tension in the relationship.
You are ready to accept someone as they are
You can’t enter into a relationship with the hopes of molding someone into who you want them to be. It’s important to note that in a healthy relationship, both partners will motivate each other to become the best versions of themselves — this is not the same as trying to change someone’s nature.
Happiness comes from the ability to be honest, and the ability to be honest comes from being able to open up to someone without being judged.
You don’t look for someone to complete you
You, right now, are a whole complete person. If you think you need to be in a relationship in order to be “complete,” you will always be looking for something you can never find. True fulfillment and satisfaction comes from within, and you cannot fully, effectively give yourself to someone until you’ve found it.
You don’t need someone to complete you, only someone to accept you completely.
You are happy being single
If you’re not happy being single, you won’t be happy in a relationship. As said in the point above, true happiness comes from within. Single is simply a word to describe someone who is strong enough to live their life by themselves until the right person comes along to share it with.
If you’re constantly searching for a relationship out of loneliness, you will find yourself with the first person who comes along that is interested in you. We all need to have the dignity and self-respect to only commit ourselves to those who deserve it, and the only way to be able to wait for that is to be happy before they come along.
Your ex is no longer a factor
We all have a past, and the new person in our life needs to be able to accept that. But, we also have to accept that about ourselves, and be able to leave it in the past. Obviously this is not cut and dry if there are children involved or other mutual commitments independent of the relationship.
I understand that in some rare occasions people stay friendly with their exes or maybe even spend time together, but in most situations, in order to truly move on we need to spend time completely cut off from them. No communication, no time together, nothing.
Until you are completely over your ex and can give your full time and attention to someone new, it is better not to commit.
You are ready to blend your life into someone else’s
While a relationship cannot be your entire life, it does permeate its entirety. You become connected with their friends, families, hobbies, pets, living situations… and they become connected with yours.
Sure, some privacy is important, but your willingness to fully accept someone into your life and routines is what will let the other person know you truly care and are ready to make a commitment to them. They will become your teammate in taking on life together. You will be building bridges between your lives rather than walls.
More important than some sort of “checklist” though, is something nobody else can ever tell you — how you feel inside. I believe when we reach the right phase in life or come across the right person, we will know we are ready to leave the single life behind and build a life alongside them.
But, until that person comes along, it’s important to work on ourselves and define our own happiness which we can then share with them.
Everyone with a bestie will recognize these ever-important traits of what it means to be a true friend.
Who would we be without our friends? From an early age, friends teach us the ropes, giving us the building blocks to learn how to give, love and face life’s ups and downs. The United Nations recognizes the importance of friendship and proclaimed July 30 as International Friendship Day, highlighting friendships as a way to bridge differences and bring about more peace in the world. Take a moment to celebrate your friends both near and far by exploring the eight defining characteristics of what being and having a best friend really means.
Your best friend has the uncanny ability to read your mind before the words pop out of your mouth. Just by exchanging a glance, you both know exactly what the other is thinking.
Whether you have a piece of broccoli stuck in your teeth or you are about to embark on a major life decision, your best friend is there to give you their real opinion. While sometimes it can seem a bit harsh or they may even disagree with your choices, your best friend won’t hide their views – especially if they think it’s in your best interest.
Rolling on the floor laughing till your stomach hurts doesn’t happen with just anyone. Best friends know exactly what will trigger a belly-aching laugh, and between the personal jokes and shared experiences, your bestie knows how to tickle your funny bone.
Your best friend can actually feel what you are going through – because they have been there before. Or, they simply relate to you on such a deep level that they can profoundly understand what you are experiencing.
Giving is something that comes naturally between best friends, with each person willing to share what they have with the other. A true friendship has boundaries, but abundance is key. No tabs are kept on who gives and who receives, creating a flow of sharing and caring between you both.
Secrets, fears and deep thoughts are just some of the things you freely share with your best friend – because you know that what you say remains in the vault. Your best friend would never use your private information against you or to hurt you in any way.
Your bestie thinks that you are awesome and is there to give you a boost when you are feeling low. As your personal cheerleader, your best friend reminds you of how many great things you have to offer the world, always focusing on your positive attributes that make you shine.
Your best friend has your back! No matter the situation, you know that when you need your friend to be there for you, they are present without fail. As James Taylor and Carole King sing: