• Different Things To Do On Valentine’s Day – Single Or Not

    Lifestyle

    Buckle up because we’re about to get a little sappy :D. Valentine’s Day is around the corner and you either love it, hate it or recognize it as just another day on the calendar. Either way, you’re going to see the usual; the malls are going to be flooded with people holding ridiculously sized stuffed animals, you won’t be able to get a reservation at your favourite restaurant and there’s definitely going to be a flower overload. For those of you, single or not, who want different ideas for Valentine’s Day, check these out.

    If You’re Single

    - Treat Yourself
    Valentine’s Day when you’re single should be a day about yourself. Leave the couples to stress and instead, think about you for the day. Order your favourite food, catch up on a TV series, treat yourself to a spa day or simply take in all that extra sleep you’ve been missing. You’ll feel relaxed and recharged in no time.

    - Hang Out With Friends
    If your friends are single too then make a plan to hang out on Valentine’s night. Go to your favourite bar or have people over to your home for a game night. Either way, company is always appreciated! Plus, if your crew is still single the year after, you can make it a tradition!

    - Help Someone Else
    So you’re single but your best friend isn’t and they’re scrambling for an idea for their loved one. Why not be a modern day cupid and spend the day helping them plan and execute their romantic idea? You’ll be helping a friend and spending the day in a proactive way. Plus, it’ll be a lot of extra karma points!

     

    If You’re A Couple

    - Couples Massage
    If you’re a couple that works tirelessly without rest most of the time then a couple’s massage is perfect. It’s a great way to spend time together, relax and keep away from the usual hustle and bustle of last minute dinner reservations.

    - Cook Off
    If you and your partner love to cook then amp it up by having a Cook Off! Take the usual idea of making dinner at home to the next level by choosing a dish you both love and trying to outdo each other. You’ll have a great time bonding and being competitive and you’ll have an amazing, double meal in the end!

    - Recreate First Date
    If you can remember the first date you went on, then why not recreate it? Ignite the past flame by returning to the spots where you had your first date. It’ll be a great reminder of your epic love story so far and you can even make it a tradition by adding little extras every year.

  • 6 Foods To Eat When You’re Feeling Stressed To The Max

    How To Food

    Stress can manifest in a variety of ways and can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. That’s why whenever we hear about ways to decrease stress levels, we’re willing to give it a try. If you’re a foodie and want a way to get that overly stressed feeling under control, then check out these 6 foods you can eat that can help!

    Salmon
    It’s scientifically proven people. The research around the nutrients in oily fish, such as salmon, have come back with positive reviews stating that eating them can actually reduce inflammation in your brain and reduce anxiety! Fire up the pan and have yourself a fillet!

    Berries
    Those beautiful, bright berries can actually help calm you down! Blueberries to be precise, are said to contain anthocyanins which are basically antioxidants that can help produce dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical in our brain that is responsible for our emotions that evoke pleasure. Therefore, by the process of connecting the dots, blueberries equal less stress!

    Yogurt
    There’s something about yogurt that just makes you feel good. Yogurt has been linked to healthier digestive functions and even strengthens mental health. Grab a spoon on those mornings when you’re feeling a little crazy!

    Chamomile tea
    Tea should seem like a no brainer in this case. Studies show that chamomile extract can significantly reduce feelings of anxiety and worry. It has also been linked to getting a better night’s sleep. Brew a cup today and feel the stress start to float away.

    Spinach or other greens
    Leafy greens are high in folate or vitamin B9, and are a go-to for nutritionists who are recommending foods for people who suffer from high stress levels. Make sure your Sunday lunch plate is green so that you can take on the work week with a stress free mind.

    The combo of protein, fiber and good fat
    Give your system a one-two punch by making sure it’s well balanced with protein, fiber and good fat. Yes, there is definitely good fat and bad fat. For example, avocados are considered to be good fats. So step away from the macaroni pie and make sure you’re getting in lean meats and good sources of fiber!

  • 5 Home Décor Trends for 2017

    Decorating Home

    Photo by Andrew Hildebrand

    Green
    Luckily for us in the Caribbean, we already see the most radiant greens everyday when we look outside. Shades of green, from bright to forest, are definitely making a statement in 2017. Did you know that the colour green is said to make you feel calm? Whether it’s an accent wall or green décor, it’s definitely a colour you’ll want to add to your home!

    elledecorPhoto by elledecor

    Mixed Patterns
    2017 is the year of the mix and match! Get creative with different textures like wood and leather and different patterns, like stripes and polka dots, for a unique look in your home.

    Home StoryPhoto by Home Story

    Cork
    Cork is here and it’s looking fancier than ever! It’s a great material and is visually appealing when used around the home in unique ways. Check out DIY videos on cork coffee tables, coasters, counter tops and more for inspiration on this one. It’s quite different but the result is worth it! Did you know that if you have a wall with cork on it, it can actually absorb noise and make the room quieter?

    Faux Finishes
    We’re not just talking about fur. This trend saves you money and revamps your home in no time! Faux finishes like wood, marble or copper are great investments and can spruce up your living room or kitchen instantly. This is definitely one to try!

    Photo by splendidhabitat

    Jewel Tones
    Want your home to feel royal? Say goodbye to those pastel colours of 2016 and embrace the rich! Jewel tones inspired by metals and space like deep purples, blues and greens are coming in hot and making homes look vibrant and distinct!

  • Easy Things To Give Up in 2017

    How To Personal Care

    Happy New Year, Courts shoppers! A new year generally means a new start and of course, resolutions. However, sometimes (and be honest) our resolutions don’t even make it to February. It’s possible that we set the bar too high or we don’t know where to begin. This year, we’re going to try to make resolutions that are easy to accomplish and will better our life in the long run. With that in mind, here are some easy things to give up in 2017!

    Processed Foods
    Never take being healthy for granted. A lot of the time, we’re so busy rushing around from our job, to taking care of the kids, to paying bills, that we forget to eat properly and we grab the fastest, cheapest thing we can find to fill the void. Give up not paying attention to proper nutrition this year and say no to processed food! It won’t just be for losing weight but for promoting your overall health. Look for natural foods instead like lean meats, fruits, veggies, etc. If it comes from the ground, it’s better to eat than that greasy burger!

    Procrastination
    It’s time to give up the excuses. Hard work starts when you decide to put yourself first. You can’t procrastinate in the hopes that a problem will fix it self or that a solution will present itself. Take charge and say no to saying no!

    Being TOO Busy
    Being busy, busy, busy is something that we create for ourselves. Putting unnecessary things into your daily schedule, over working, and procrastinating make you feel like you’re always going. This year, try to simplify how you work and make yourself the priority. Get the phrase, “I’m too busy” out of your vocabulary and make the time to spend on bettering yourself, enjoying your family and making memories with friends.

    Saying You Can’t
    Something about growing up brings on a sense of fear that we never had as a child. This year, try to overcome the fears that hold you back and keep you from pursuing new things and growing. Take a page from your childhood and live fearlessly!

    Clutter
    Find the comfort of having less in 2017. Simplify your home by de-cluttering your space and living with your needs. It’ll give you a new outlook on life and what is truly important day to day.

    Jealousy
    In the age of social media, we are constantly forced to compare ourselves to one another and as a result, we generate subconscious jealousy…all the time. Sigh. Constantly comparing your life to others on social media can hinder your personal growth so we say give it up in 2017! Nobody’s life is perfect and we’re not saying you have to give up your vices but don’t let it affect your life negatively!

  • 5 Last Minute Gift Ideas

    How To

    ‘Tis the season for…last minute shopping! Yes, for all of you who are guilty of this, this blog is for you. Not only are these some great ideas for gifts but they can all be found in one place…Courts of course! Check out some of our last minute gift ideas and don’t be caught empty handed this Christmas or any special day of the year.

    Small appliances
    The beauty about small appliances is that they’re always needed! Maybe you’ve got a friend who’s into baking and a KitchenAid mixer would make his or her day or maybe you have to get a gift for someone who’s on a health kick, then a nice blender or NutriBullet would be perfect. Whatever the appliance, we’ve got you covered!

    Personal care
    From hair trimmers to blow dryers to foot massagers, our personal care section on shopcourts.com is perfect to find a last minute gift! Getting a gift that relaxes and makes you feel beautiful? Yes please!

    Tech accessories
    For the tech lover in your life, we’ve got accessories to fill their needs and wants! A nice pair of headphones, laptop cooling fans, flash drives, cameras, wall mounts for TVs, tablets and even notebook cases, we’ve got last minute gifts for the digital genius in your life!

    Fitness gear
    Got a fitness nut you need to get a gift for? Then look no further! If you don’t want to get the expensive gift of an actual piece of exercise equipment, why not just get them accessories? We’ve got gloves, yoga mats, and medicine balls for the person who hits the gym on the regular!

    Gift cards
    A gift card is the ultimate last minute gift! Chances are, you’re shopping last minute because you’re unsure of what to get. Say goodbye to worrying with a handy gift card! We’ve got cards with different denominations and they’re valid for 12 months!

  • Things You’re Allowed To Say No To

    How To

    Being nice or having the constant need to please others is exactly why a lot of us are overcommitted and frankly, need a little break from people. Rather than going by the motto of, “It’s nice to be nice”, give yourself a break and put your needs first. Most times, some of the things listed below we don’t want to engage in anyway and it’s quite fine to decline! Here a few things you’re allowed to say no to.

    Fancy dinners
    So your friend is feeling fancy and wants a night out on the town, inclusive of a pricey dinner at a well-known restaurant. The problem is, you’re trying to save your money! It’s okay to say no to this but you have to be sincere and honest. Try saying, “It’s not the best week for me” or simply suggest somewhere else that won’t stress your bank account!

    Second dates
    So you had a terrible first date but for some reason, the person wants to relive the moment again with a second date! Oh no. It’s definitely okay to say no to this and embrace the awkward pauses that come with not really knowing someone. Tell them, “Thank you for the invite but I’m going to have to pass.” It’s honest and respectful so that the person’s feelings aren’t hurt.

    Working late
    You’ve put in a full day of work and 15 minutes before you’re about to leave, someone in the office asks if you can stay back when you’ve already got plans. If it’s not urgent or if you’re finding that it’s becoming a pattern, it’s okay to say no. The best thing is to explain the situation sincerely. It’s fine to say, “I have a personal commitment tonight I can't miss” and then give an alternative of when you can help. Trust us, it’s good to set boundaries in the workplace!

    Untimely job offers
    You went to the interview and you got a call saying you got the job! The problem is…they want you to start right away but you’re only available until the week after. It’s fine to say no and ask your employer if it’s okay to start when you’re ready to give the job your full time and attention. They’ll appreciate the honesty and you can mentally prepare for your new job!

    Free work
    If you’re in a creative career like digital work, artistry, photography, crafts, etc it’s possible that you’ll encounter persons asking for favours…all the time. The problem is, creative work is hardly seen as “work” and often times people will ask, “Can you come take our family portrait?” not realizing that it’s a service you’re providing. Say no to free work in a respectful manner by stating, “I’d love to! Would you like to see my portfolio and choose which package you’d like to have done?” People won’t be as offended as you think!

  • 5 Ways To Give Back At Christmas Time

    New Technology

    Of course we know that giving back doesn't only have to happen at Christmas. We urge you to always keep those who are less fortunate in your minds and hearts. Here are 5 ways to give back at Christmas time or any other time of year.

    Donate
    Christmas comes with a lot of traditions like family dinners and gift giving and these things aren’t always easy to come by for everyone. Take the time to donate extra clothes and food to those in need and help make their season as joyous as yours. Also, don’t forget about the kids. Buying extra gifts or simply having your own kids donate extra gifts they’ve gotten can bring joy to another family.

    Volunteer
    There is nothing more rewarding that volunteering your time and services to help others. Whether it’s helping to feed the homeless or cleaning up the community, giving your time is a great way to help and spread positivity. You can even get the kids involved; charities, shelters and churches are always looking for extra help this time of year!

    Pay it forward
    A random act of kindness can completely change a persons’ day. This season, why not try paying it forward? You can buy lunch for someone in line at a restaurant, pay for someone’s groceries (if you can afford to) or buy an extra cup of coffee to give away. However you choose to pay it forward, the act of selfless giving will always be appreciated.

    Lend a hand
    If you live in a tight knit community, why not lend a hand? Offer to take an elder to the grocery or help a neighbour with their gardening. You can even bake bread or other foods to share with everyone. Lend a hand and give back to your community. We’re all in this together after all!

    Spend time
    For those who don’t have their loved ones living close to them, you should still try and spend time with them. Take a drive and visit your family or if you have family abroad, set aside time to Skype them and catch up. You can never take each day for granted so make the most out of it and keep the people you care about close. Plus, who else can you spill all the family secrets to?

  • 5 Things You Should Do Before You Leave Your Home In The Morning

    New Technology

    If you don’t feel centered, then the day is going to feel off. That’s why you should never leave home without putting your mind, body and soul together! Here are 5 things you should do before you leave your home in the morning.

    Get Up The First Time
    Step away from the snooze button! Okay, now force yourself to get out of bed. Hitting snooze interrupts your sleep and can actually make you feel groggy, irritated and more tired when you do wake up. Try waking up with the alarm and starting the day!

    Make Your Bed
    Remember when your mom would force you to make your bed? Yeah, you should definitely keep up the habit! It turns out that making your bed every morning actually helps you start your day on a productive foot. Plus, coming home to a made bed makes ending the day even sweeter!

    Avoid Your Phone
    Now this is hard because a lot of you are glued to your phones. No judgment here because we are too but checking it as soon as you get up in the morning slows you down quite a bit and can add stress! If you check your work emails or messages as soon as you get up, chances are you’re going to feel unmotivated to start the day. Try to get through breakfast before you swipe!

    Move Your Body
    Some people love to exercise early in the morning as opposed to the evening because they say it jumpstarts their day. Now, if you’re not one for putting on workout gear in the morning then a routine with simple stretching to get your blood flowing will do the trick. It’ll also put you in a better mood.

    A Little Positive Affirmation
    You know that saying that if you say it enough times it starts to be true? The science of positive affirmations is tried and proven! Whilst you’re eating breakfast or getting dressed, be sure to say your daily goals out loud or give yourself a, “Today is going to be a great and productive day.” You’ll feel confident, motivated and ready for whatever the day will throw at you…most times anyways!

  • How To Save Money This Christmas Season

    How To

    'Tis the season to be jolly and also for excessive spending on gifts, décor, food and drink, and everything else we buy to get into the Christmas spirit. Oh boy. Every year your account can take quite a hit when you’re trying to spread goodwill and cheer but here are a few ways you can keep your budget from riding off on a sleigh!

    Make a list
    Just like Santa, you’re going to have to make a list. Write down everyone you plan to buy a gift for, no matter how small the gift may be, and then write the ideas of what you want to get each person and how much you’re willing to spend on them. This way, you won’t be shopping blind and spending willy-nilly!

    Edit your present list
    Just as you made a list in the first tip, if you’re up for it, you can have a little discussion with your close friends and family about gift giving in general. Sometimes people can agree to not exchange gifts or only buy presents for the kids. There’s also the option of Secret Santa if you’ve got a big family. All great ways to manage your budget!

    Check out those deals
    At Courts, we’re huge fans of the seasonal deals and discounts! Be sure to check out social media pages to see when companies will have discounts and be sure to jump on them! For people that love online shopping, be sure to check out sites because businesses are always posting online deals for the season!

    Cut back on the drinks
    The drinks are flowing for the Christmas parties but you don’t want your wallet taking the hit. Check out deals on whatever alcohol or other drinks you want this season or urge your guests to bring their own bottles to help take the stress off. It'll also be a great way to serve them exactly want they want!

    Maybe try DIY
    If you’re at a loss for an idea, you can look up easy DIY gifts like picture frames, baskets, cookies, cushions and so much more that you can try your hand at. All you need are the supplies!

    Start shopping NOW
    The greatest advice of all to save money this season…Start shopping now of course! It’s not as early as you think and it’ll help spread out how much money you’re spending all at once so it doesn’t come as a huge shock to your or your account! Plus you’ll be prepared and you can skip out on the Christmas rush!

  • The 5 Best Sleep Hacks We Know

    How To Bed

    Ah yes....a great sleep, the kind where sugarplums dance over your head and you don’t even need to count sheep. It's something that’s unfamiliar to a few people. If you’re one of those night owls who can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep then look no further! Try these 5 simple hacks to sleep better and longer in no time.

    Check your mattress
    Do you find yourself tossing and turning and flipping your pillow for hours during the night? It’s possible that it’s time for you to get a new mattress! A mattress has an average lifespan of 7 – 10 years so check the date and see if you're overdue for a new one. Fortunately we know just where you can find your new mattress – Hint hint!

    Get on schedule
    The power of the ritual! It’s definitely not to be taken for granted and we use it on our kids so why not keep it going? Prep your body and your mind to recognize that it’s bedtime by developing a bedtime ritual. You can try taking a relaxing shower, drinking a cup of warm tea/milk, reading a book, listening to soft music, etc. Eventually your body will associate these actions with sleep and you’ll be catching z’s right on schedule!

    Put your phone away
    Using your phone before bedtime can hinder you getting the sleep you want. What happens is, even though you’re mindlessly scrolling, your brain is actually becoming quite wired. Try putting your phone on a desk out of reach so you can resist any temptation to check your messages before bed!

    Get in a workout
    A simple 30-minute workout every day will help your body burn off any excess energy before you go to bed. Plus it keeps you physically and mentally healthy which in turn relax you overall.

    Don’t change your routine
    Remember that great schedule we talked about before? Try not to break it! If you’ve already got a routine/bedtime ritual, upsetting it can actually cause sleep problems for you. Set a specific time to go to bed and try your best to stick with it! We’re creatures of habit after all, so a schedule is just the trick to getting a consistently great sleep.

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