12 Incredible Ways to Reuse Your Old Books

Now that you have Amazon Kindle, you probably have no time or desire to read those old books, which are simply collecting dust on your bookshelf. While the best option is to donate your old books to a local library, you can also reuse them in so many creative ways. Whatever you are in the mood to experiment and create, turn those dusty books into something fabulous and high-end for your house.

1. Cute book clock

Cute book clock
Photo: pinterest.com

2. Creative book stool

Creative book stool
Photo: pinterest.com

3. Contemporary piece of furniture

Contemporary piece of furniture
Photo: pinterest.com

4. Weird planters

Weird planters
Photo: pinterest.com

5. Tissue box

Tissue box
Photo: pinterest.com

6. Book knife holder

Book knife holder
Photo: pinterest.com

7. Book clutch

Book Clutch
Photo: pinterest.com

8. Card holders

Card holders
Photo: pinterest.com

9. Book drawers

Book drawers
Photo: pinterest.com

10. Jewelry box

Jewelry Box
Photo: pinterest.com

11. Secret organizer

Secret organizer
Photo: pinterest.com

12. Indoor wreath

Indoor wreath
Photo: pinterest.com

Well, do you still want to throw away your old books? Give these ideas a try and you will not regret you tried. Feel free to come up with your own ideas and don’t forget to share them with us.

12 Ways to Get Healthier Hair

Many women wonder why their hair is not thick, healthy and shiny. The answer may be a combination of unexpected things. In an interview with renowned hair stylist Skaught Gibson and owner of Josephine Skaught Hairdressing Salon in Las Vegas, he said, “There are many ways that we are damaging our hair everyday without even knowing.” Here are his tips on getting and maintaining lustrous locks:

1. Wash only 2-3 times per week
Skaught states, “The first thing that most people are doing wrong is washing too often. Shampoos are great for removing dirt and product from your hair, but they are also removing everything good, like natural oils that the scalp produces to keep hair moisturized and healthy.”

2. Avoid heat
Gibson goes on to say that, “Washing every day leads to using products and blow drying every day, which breaks down the cuticle. If the cuticle is damaged from over-styling, the inner core is exposed which causes dryness, a lack of luster, and static.”

3. Shampoo only on the scalp
Gibson cautions, “Always remember to use shampoo in the scalp area only, and use conditioner through the middle and the ends.” Running shampoo down to the ends on the hair is unnecessary and can dry your locks out too much.

4. Rinse with cool water
“Rinsing your hair with cool water makes a big difference as well. Hot water opens the cuticle, causing it to look rough and dry, while cool water closes the cuticle down causing it to look shiny and smooth,” he advises.

5. Use dry shampoo for a quick pick me up
Skaught recommends, “If you feel like you get too oily too quickly there are some great hair powders and dry shampoos that are perfect for extending your blow-dry and keeping you feeling fresh and clean. We like our cleansers to lather and feel like they’re really doing something. Foaming detergents in shampoos are terrible for our scalp and hair, causing it to dry out and become brittle. Although it would be much better for our hair to be “washed” with one of the new non-foaming, detergent-free cleansers, I think that too many of us will have a hard time making the switch.” Give dry shampoo a try and see how it changes the consistency of your hair.

6. Brush sparingly
Gibson told us, “Over-brushing, especially with cheap brushes can also take its toll. Over-brushing causes too much consistent friction for the hair to handle, resulting in broken hair and split ends.” Brushing can also pull on the hair fibers and lead to weaker strands that are more likely to break off and appear dry and lackluster.

7. Let your hair down
Skaught says, “Ponytails and braids can also be quite damaging. When pulled into these styles too tightly on a daily basis, permanent damage can occur.”

8. Wait until your hair is dry to style
Gibson recommends waiting until the hair is completely dry to style. “Braiding or putting your hair in a ponytail while it’s wet is one of the easiest ways to damage your hair because it’s so much more fragile when it’s wet. It’s best to create these styles on dry hair and keep them as loose as possible,” he says.

9. Go natural
The easiest way to heal your hair is to avoid chemicals and coloring. Here’s what Skaught had to say: “Some of the more obvious ways we are damaging our hair is with chemical services and coloring. Over-processing hair can easily cause it to be brittle and dry instead of luxurious and shiny. If you aren’t trying to cover grey hair it is always best to go with a ‘deposit only’ or semi permanent color, as it is not as harsh and much less damaging.” Here’s what he recommends: “When coloring hair, avoid over-using bleach (most of the time less is more). Using deposit only or semi permanent color instead of permanent color will add conditioning agents and shine instead of taking it away.”

10. Look to your pantry
Gibson says that there are many all-natural ingredients that can work wonders on our hair. “There are all kinds of things hanging out right in our very own kitchens that we can use as different treatments in our hair. Styling products can build up in our hair leaving it dull and dehydrated, and our daily shampoo isn’t always able to extract that on its own. Dairy products like yogurt and sour cream are able to reverse that damage and restore hair to a beautiful and shiny state. The lactic acid in the dairy gently strips away dirt and product while the fat from the milk moisturizes. A sour cream or yogurt mask can be used up to twice a month. Gently massage about 1/2 cup of either one into your hair, let sit for 20 minutes, and rinse with cool water.”

11. Use beer
No, not to drink. Skaught recommends them for your tresses. “Flat beer is great for plumping up tresses and adding volume and shine because of the abundance of yeast. Let beer sit out at room temperature for a few hours to deplete carbonation. Wash hair as normal and use the beer as a conditioner for about 15 minutes, followed by a cool rinse,” he says.

12. Avoid hot tools
The effects of overheating our hair can be extremely damaging. “Cut down the use of hot tools such as blowdryers and flat irons. When you are using these tools set them to lower heat settings and make sure you are using a pre-styling product that has heat protection,” he encourages.

If you’re concerned about your hair health. Go see a professional for an individual consultation. Make sure you are getting a trim or cut regularly to avoid split ends and to keep the hair bouncy and healthy. Do you have any tips you’d like to share that help keep your hair healthy and smooth? Please comment below.

12 Signs That You’re A NICU Parent

It’s a familiar place for the select few; a quiet atmosphere mixed with the hustle and bustle of doctors and nurses. It’s a place not for the faint of heart, where parents become stronger than they could ever imagine. It’s a place where happiness can turn into heartache in a matter of seconds, and where those tears of sadness can transform back into joy within minutes. For the families who experience the neonatal intensive care unit, a roller coaster of emotions is a guarantee. It’s a place I remember vividly, as my family called the NICU “home” for nearly four months.

It only takes one breath to bring back the memories of my experience as a NICU parent. The distinct smell of the hospital will always stay with me, and the alarms and beeps of the machines bring back a rush of adrenaline and fear. In 2013, I gave birth to triplets more than 17 weeks premature. My first-born never made it to the NICU; she passed away in our arms in the hospital delivery room. Her brother and sister were whisked away to the NICU. At 22 weeks 6 days, they were the youngest babies our hospital was treating. Our son never experienced life outside the hospital walls; he passed away just shy of two months old. Our lone surviving triplet spent 116 days in the NICU. She’s now a healthy 4-year-old, a perfect testament to overcoming the toughest obstacles. The NICU will always hold a special place in our hearts and that holds true for so many other families. Here are 12 signs that you are a NICU parent:

1. You measure your child’s weight in grams, not pounds.

You keep a conversion chart handy or download an app. You cry tears of joy when your child reaches that 2000 gram mark (over 4 pounds).

2. You know so many medical terms, strangers assume you’re a medical student.

TPN, CPAP, NG are more than just initials. When a doctor explains your baby’s latest setback, you begin feverishly researching. You even consider becoming a nurse after spending so much time getting to know your baby’s conditions.

3. “Do you want to hold your child?” takes on a whole new meaning.

It may be days or weeks after birth when you first hold your child. Your heart feels like it may burst with love as your baby melts onto your chest for that first “Kangaroo Care” experience.

4. When you see a syringe, you think it’s for feeding.

Food is measured in CC’s for the littlest babies. You jump for joy when the measurements change over to ounces.

5. Your child’s first clothing comes from a doll.

Too small to fit into preemie clothing, you find that Build-A-Bear makes adorable outfits that can be used for more than just stuffed animals.

6. You see a full term baby and he looks like a giant.

5 pounds seems large, but a typical 7-8 pound healthy baby? Whoa! Are you sure he’s a newborn???

7. You time your breast-pumping schedule around the NICU in order to use hospital grade pumps.

Sure, I have a breast-pump at home, but you can get 5 ounces more by using the powerful pumps in the NICU. Plus, the pumping room provides hours of entertainment and hospital gossip!

8. You cringe when you pass a pregnant women complaining about her third trimester.

You would give anything to make it to 32 weeks. For micro-preemie parents, the thought of even making it to your third trimester would be a dream come true.

9. Your car is on autopilot—you could drive the hospital route in your sleep.

Even after leaving the Nicu, you drive half way to the hospital before realizing your child is home and you actually meant to drive to the grocery store.

10. You buy hand sanitizer in bulk when you hear your child will be coming home soon.

You place giant containers of hand sanitizer at the front door, in the nursery, living room, kitchen and every other room of the house. You also have a box of surgical masks on hand in case you feel a cold coming on.

11. Your child wears newborn size diapers for six months.

Friends start giving you their boxes of diapers that their newborn baby never used. You celebrate when your child finally gets to wear size 1 diapers.

12. You believe in miracles.

Every child is a miracle, but experiencing the NICU gives you a new appreciation for all babies. Your child beat the odds and has proven that the smallest babies can put up the biggest fight.

12 Minutes to a Happier You

You probably know how to cope with the hard times and bad mood. Actually, we all know. Each day we wake up and follow our morning rituals. We feel great and ready to tackle different tasks but then suddenly something or someone spoils your mood and ruins your entire day. This happens to me almost every day but I don’t allow it to prevent me from accomplishing my daily tasks and being successful and happy. Regardless of your busy schedule, you can take 12 minutes to feel happier today. Pick one of these ways to banish stress and enjoy your day.

12 minutes of gratitude
No matter who or what ruined your day, spend 12 minutes writing down 12 things you are grateful for right now, instead of cursing and hating everything and everyone in your life. Gratitude has a huge power. It can make a poor person rich and a miserable person happy in a few minutes. Each morning I spend 12 minutes practicing gratitude and suggest that you try this wonderful morning ritual too. 12 minutes will be enough to make you smile, happy and strong.

12 minutes of sleep
When you feel tired and overwhelmed, you can’t be happy. Taking a 12-minute nap in the middle of the day will help you feel more awake, refresh your mind and boost your mood. It’s a healthy way to fight stress that you can turn into a daily habit. Some companies allow their employees to take a short nap and they even have special rooms for it. Many employers believe a short nap boosts productivity and improves health of their employees.

12 minutes of fun
Animals can teach us many precious lessons about happiness. Spend 12 minutes watching some fun pictures of animals or your own pets. You can do it anytime you feel down. Smiles and laughter are guaranteed! I also have a game Talking Ginger in my phone and play it every time I need to boost my mood. It’s a short game so it doesn’t distract me from my tasks. There are many other similar games where pets do many fun and crazy things. After all, who said such games are for kids only?

12 minutes of meditation
Some people spend 5 minutes meditating, while others a few hours. It all depends on you. I’ve found that a 12-minute meditation helps to feel peacefulness and happiness, and helps to banish stress with no effort. Give such a meditation a try to find out if it works for you. You can meditate almost anywhere – at home, at work, in a hotel room, on the bus, at the airport, in the park, anywhere.

12 minutes of walk
You don’t need to walk all day long in order to find yourself and feel happy. I performed a few experiments with walking in order to discover the best amount of time we should spend walking each day. A 12-minute walk is one of the best ways to clear your mind and improve your mood, not to mention that it’s a good, heart-friendly workout.

12 minutes of reading inspiring quotes
When you feel down, nothing seems to help you. Reading some inspiring quotes, though, can wonders for you and prevent you from overthinking and overeating. 12 minutes will be enough to inspire you to love yourself and your whole life. There are plenty of different inspiring quotes for different types of people. Choose a few favorite quotes and keep them handy in case you need them during the hard times.

We live in a busy culture that focuses on career goals, success and money. We don’t pay enough attention to the way we feel each day. It’s very sad. You may be a super busy person who doesn’t have time for meditation, reading, walking or napping, but do you really think you need a lot of time to be happy? I’m sure you can find those 12 minutes to better yourself and develop new, healthy habits that will help you live a longer, happier and healthier life. Set a good example for everyone around you by showing how to be happy in a matter of a few minutes. Do you think 12 minutes are enough to feel happier today? Are you going to try any of the tips mentioned above?

The Eye Care Diet: 12 Foods to Eat for Healthy Eyes

With many millions of people suffering from macular degeneration and cataracts, it’s well worth incorporating some of the foods that are good for your eyes into your daily diet. Since the eyes are vascular, it’s vital to stick to a healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats to maintain your eyes’ blood vessels healthy.

Numerous studies show that protecting the eyes begins with the foods on a plate. Foods rich in lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and antioxidants help ward off most age-related vision problems including cataracts and macular degeneration.

A few years ago I had problems with my eyes and I was unable to work in front of a computer screen or watch TV more than 20 minutes since my eyes became red and sore. My doctor helped me, and then he advised me to include these foods for healthy eyes in my everyday meal plan so that I could keep my eyes healthy on a daily basis. One of the best things about these foods is that they also improve digestion, boost my mood and energy, keep my skin healthy, and improve overall health. Enjoy learning about 12 best foods to eat to keep your eyes healthy and feel free to add to this list your favorite foods after reading through.

1. Carrots

Sure, carrots top this list of the best foods to eat for healthy eyes. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene that promote overall eye health. Vitamin A is crucial for the surface of the eyes and lids and beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the cells of the eyes from free radical damage. Carrots don’t give you night vision, of course, but the beta-carotene will help lower your risk of both cataracts and macular degeneration.

Rich in fiber and potassium, carrots are also great for your overall health. Potassium helps to maintain a proper fluid balance in the body and fiber helps keep your digestive system functioning efficiently. Carrots are also high in falcarinol, a substance that can slow the cancer cell growth.

If you are trying to lose weight, load up your diet with carrots since they are extremely low in calories and they are almost fat-free. Plus, they are high in fiber that will keep you full longer and can even prevent you from overeating. Munch on carrots when you are hungry. Serve carrot sticks with hummus or a low-calorie vegetable dip. I always add carrots to my healthy smoothies, salads, soups, stir-fry, and I make healthy carrots chips that my family, especially kids, enjoys eating instead of potato chips.

2. Nuts

Nuts are everywhere and for good reason. They’re loaded with vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids that promote eye health as well as brain health. Nuts fill you up and give you real energy so you’re not running out to get some cookies later in the morning. There are many delightful ways to incorporate nuts into your daily meal plan in order to boost your eye health. It’s up to you what way to choose.

3. Salmon

Like any other oily fish, such as sardines, herring, mackerel and halibut, salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a good eye health. Eating salmon regularly reduces the risk of macular degeneration by 38% and helps treat dry eye disease. Salmon is also one of the best sources of vitamin D that helps improve your eye health, cardiovascular health and it plays a vital role in healthy bone growth. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, type-1 diabetes, sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Incorporate salmon into your eating plan to improve your vision as well as to prevent vitamin D deficiency. A can of salmon contains your day’s worth of this essential vitamin.

Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon also help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and slow and prevent the Alzheimer’s disease. It’s recommended to eat salmon at least twice a week. You can bake salmon for dinner, add salmon chunks to your salads, grill salmon, use raw salmon for sushi and sashimi, or eat smoked salmon with crackers. If you have trouble falling asleep, try eating salmon for dinner. Salmon is high in tryptophan, a natural sedative that will help you sleep better.

4. Leafy greens

Kale, spinach, chard, collards, and other dark leafy greens are packed with two potent antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein, which are stored in the macula. The macula is a small part of the retina that acts as an absolutely natural sunblock, protecting your eyes from harmful light. The antioxidants found in leafy greens absorb blue light that is especially dangerous to the retina. Moreover, they can help you get better contrast detection and improve your eyesight. Many researches have found that zeaxanthin and lutein lower the risk of chronic eye diseases, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

In fact, leafy greens are good for your overall health and they boast a plethora of amazing benefits. For instance, spinach is high in potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamins E and K, and antioxidants that protect your brain cells and may help prevent dementia. Kale is a wonderful source of vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, and calcium. Eating kale regularly promotes healthy eyes and skin, helps reduce the bad cholesterol levels, and improves liver and kidney functions. Add your favorite leafy greens to your green smoothies, use them in your salads, or make homemade kale chips. If you are brave enough to eat leafy greens raw, it’s even better.

5. Corn

One of the most delicious and versatile vegetables, a yellow corn is rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, powerful antioxidants that are good for your eyes. ½ cup of cooked corn provides you with 1,8 grams of these pigments. Consuming corn on a regular basis lowers the risks of cataracts and helps prevent the loss of yellow pigments in the eyes.

Corn is also fortified with Vitamin C, Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B1 (thiamin) and folate. Moreover, it’s a fantastic source of magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, and antioxidants that help your body combat cancer-causing free radicals. Due to its high fiber content, corn helps prevent hemorrhoids, lower the risk of colon cancer, diabetes and heart problems, as well as aids weight loss.

You can add corn to your salads and soups, grill or boil fresh corn on the cob, use it in your pizza, salsa and risotto. I also love adding corn to my vegetable smoothie. If you don’t like the taste of the corn, a healthy vegetable smoothie is a great option for you. You will enjoy a tasty drink while reaping all its health benefits. To increase the absorption of the eye-friendly pigments found in a yellow corn, consider eating corn with some dietary fat such as salmon, olive oil, or walnuts.

6. Whole grains

Whole grains have a low glycemic index. They are less processed and a lot healthier. Consuming whole grain foods, such as brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, whole oats, and whole-grain breads, helps to prevent age-related macular degeneration. Needless to say, if you consume them regularly. Whole grain foods are plentiful in vitamin E, niacin and zinc that boost overall eye health. While whole grains are not actually crave-able foods, they boast incredibly healthy benefits.

7. Ostrich

Perhaps, you have never even considered eating ostrich for healthy eyes, but it’s rich in zinc that helps the eyes stay healthy and lowers the risk of macular degeneration. Ostrich is a great substitute for red meat. It contains less than a third of the amount of fat in a lean beef, and it’s much lower in cholesterol than chicken and other red meats.

Ostrich meat is rich in zinc that plays an important role in maintaining eye health. Zinc is also vital for many enzyme systems and proper functioning of your digestion and immune system. Moreover, it helps reduce stress levels, boost metabolism and fight acne. People who suffer from macular degeneration should definitely incorporate ostrich meat into their eating plan. During macular degeneration, the low zinc levels in the retina can be leveled up by eating ostrich meat on a regular basis.

Apart from improving your eye health, ostrich meat boasts numerous benefits. If you want to build or maintain muscle, add some ostrich meat to your daily diet. This meat is an awesome source of potassium, protein, iron, phosphorous, and natural creatine.

Thanks to its ideal pH balance, ostrich meat doesn’t attract or harbor harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E-coli, unlike chicken and some other meats. This makes ostrich meat perfect for carpaccio and sushi.

8. Olive oil

The major reason why olive oil is so beneficial to your eyes is that it helps your body absorb nutrients from the other foods that can help keep your eyes healthy. So, drizzle olive oil over your mixed salad to absorb all of the nutrients from the tomatoes and leafy greens, and cook your sweet potatoes and meat in olive oil to get the most nutrients.

Studies show that a diet that’s low in saturated and trans fat can help prevent retina diseases. Olive oil is low in saturated fat and contains no trans fats. When purchasing olive oil, opt for extra virgin olive oil that provides a great antioxidant boost to protect your eyes. Olive oil is naturally free of cholesterol, carbohydrate and sodium, but it’s high in vitamin E – 100 gram of fresh extra virgin olive oil provides approximately 96% of recommended daily amount of alpha-tocopherol.

Moreover, olive oil is rich in vitamin K – 100 gram of extra virgin olive oil provides around 50% of recommended daily intake. Vitamin K is crucial for preventing heart disease, building strong bones, and keeping your eyes healthy. Due to its high antioxidant content, olive oil helps prevent cancer, coronary artery disease, inflammation, diabetes, and degenerative nerve diseases.

9. Turkey

One of the best and tasty foods to eat for healthy eyes is turkey. It is rich in both the B-vitamin niacin and zinc and it is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a substitute for both beef and chicken. Plus, turkey is often more reasonably priced. Eating turkey regularly keeps the eyes healthy and can even ward off cataract.

Apart from being rich in zinc, turkey is also fortified with B vitamins, tryptophan, phosphorus, protein and selenium. It’s low in cholesterol and saturated fat, and can be a part of a healthy diet due to its high protein content. A serving of turkey has 65 percent of recommended daily protein intake. Have a turkey sandwich with your favorite veggies for lunch and you will almost cover your daily protein intake.

Turkey is believed to help prevent cancer and boost mood thanks to its incredibly high tryptophan content. It’s a great source of selenium, which is crucial for the healthy function of the immune system and thyroid and which plays a vital role in the antioxidant defense system, helping to prevent the growth of cancer-friendly free radicals in your body. Since turkey is lower in cholesterol and fat than beef, pork and chicken, consuming it also helps to reduce cholesterol levels. If you can’t afford eating ostrich meat, turkey may be the best choice for you.

10. Eggs

One egg – be it hard-boiled, raw, poached, or scrambled – is one of the best hunger-busting snacks that is actually good for eye health too. Eggs are a great source of vitamin A and lutein, which can help prevent dry eyes and night blindness. Due to their rich nutrient content, eggs are totally good for your overall health.

11. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are an excellent source of carotenoids, including lycopene, a great antioxidant compound that gives tomatoes their perfect red color. A study shows that the lycopene helps protect the retina and other areas of the eye from the light-induced damage. Lycopene may also help protect your cells from damage and it helps prevent prostate, stomach, and lung cancers. Tomatoes are also plentiful in vitamin C that helps protect your eyes and vision. Moreover, vitamin C promotes wound healing, protects your body from free radical damage, and improves the absorption of iron from most plant foods.

Fresh or cooked tomatoes consumed with a little bit of olive oil will help improve lycopene absorption. Not only do tomatoes help protect your eyes, they can also improve your skin health and boost your brain power and immune system. You can add tomatoes to your morning smoothies, vegetable salads, soups, omelets, or better, eat them raw. Consider grilling tomatoes and drinking tomato juice that is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Slice a few tomatoes for your homemade pizza or make your own tomato pasta sauce. Many researchers say that consuming foods high in powerful antioxidants is much better than taking a supplement. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, so why not eat them more?

12. Sweet potatoes

Finally, the last great food to eat for healthy eyes is sweet potatoes. It’s the beta-carotene you have to thank for helping to keep your eyes healthy when you eat sweet potatoes. Just like carrots, sweet potatoes are plentiful in beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, manganese and potassium, which are all good for eye health. A medium sweet potato provides over 200 percent of recommended daily intake of beta carotene, 28 percent of recommended daily manganese intake, and 40 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C.

Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin D that is crucial for your immune system, energy levels, eye health and bone growth. Not only are sweet potatoes great for your eye health, they are also good for your heart health. Due to its high content of potassium and vitamin B6, sweet potatoes help to prevent high blood pressure and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

I like sweet potatoes since they are very versatile. You can mash them, roast them, or even make them into chips and fries. You can also serve baked sweet potatoes with extra virgin olive oil to boost your eye health. Sweet potatoes also blend well with nuts and onions.

These amazing and tasty foods are good for your eyes since they all contain antioxidants, fats or minerals that are so good for your eyes. Add foods rich in lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, vitamin C, omega-3 fats and zinc to your everyday diet to improve your eye health and prevent eye diseases. Do you eat these foods for healthy eyes? Please comment below.

12 must-see locations in northern Western Australia

The Loop at Kalbarri National Park. Photo: Parks and Wildlife


The Kalbarri National Park surrounds the lower reaches of the Murchison River, which has cut a magnificent 80km gorge through the red and white banded sandstone to create formations such as Nature’s Window.

In 2014, the $7.7 million upgrade of Kalbarri National Park, mainly funded under the Royalties for Regions infrastructure and roads initiative, was completed and officially opened. The upgrade included sealing 12km of The Loop/ Z-Bend Rd and the construction of new visitor facilities at The Loop and West Loop at the Murchison Gorge, including shade shelters, lookouts, walking trails, visitor information areas, sealed carparks and toilets.


Inside the Shark Bay World Heritage area are a number of great sites including the Francois Peron National Park. Known for its contrasting red cliffs, white beaches and blue waters, the park has a fascinating pastoral history and offers a wilderness experience to 4WD drivers.

Inside the national park is the Big Lagoon Campground, an attractive turquoise lagoon with a small campground and an excellent spot to explore by canoe or sea kayak. The campground has gas barbecues and toilets and a nearby site for launching boats. You are welcome to fish in the lagoon south of the camping area. Camping fees apply.

Also on offer in the Shark Bay World Heritage area is the Hamelin Pool, one of just a handful of places in the world with stromatolites (the oldest living organisms known on earth), and Monkey Mia where visitors can stand within metres of wild bottlenose dolphins.


Mount Augustus is the largest monocline rock in the world and is found in the Mount Augustus National Park. The monocline rock is 8km long and 3km wide — about two and half times the size of Uluru. There is no camping allowed within the national park but the nearby Outback Tourist Park offers accommodation, basic supplies and fuel.


Ningaloo coast. Photo: Jen HollisSource:Supplied


The Karijini National Park is home to some of the oldest rock formations in the world, dating back two and a half billion years. The park features a labyrinth of gorges — some so narrow you can reach and touch the cool rocks on either side and others so large they appear like massive natural amphitheatres carved into the rock. Emerald pools stand in stark contrast to the rust-red and deep purple of the rocks and the landscape.

A $1.8m redevelopment of the Hamersley Gorge day-use area in Karijini National Park was completed last year, funded through Royalties for Regions program with contributions from the Department of Parks and Wildlife and Rio Tinto.

The redevelopment includes improved road access, new signs and the construction of a shade shelter and toilet.

Dales campground is close to some of Karijini’s most popular sites including Dales Gorge, Circular Pool and Fortescue Falls. A new staircase to Dales Gorge was completed in 2014 with improved access for visitors. Further sections of staircase are planned for 2015. There are a range of walk trails from the campground to view and explore lookout points, pools and gorges and 140 campsites in the park accommodating tents, large caravans, camper vans and camper trailers.

The western section of Banjima Dr was sealed in 2014 by the Shire of Ashburton, which improves access to the western gorge sites of Weano, Hancock and Oxer.


Escape the southern winter and dive into the Ningaloo Marine Park, staying at one of the many campgrounds nestled on the coast in Cape Range National Park. Snorkel with turtles, dolphins, dugongs, manta rays, colourful fish and corals or take a land-based adventure looking for black footed rock wallabies, birds, reptiles and much more. In season (April to July) whale sharks, the world’s biggest fish, congregate along the Ningaloo Reef.

The chance to snorkel with these gentle giants is the opportunity of a lifetime and visitors from all over the world head to the Ningaloo Reef during whale shark season.

Kurrajong campground in Cape Range National Park, has 26 new campsites, a new gravel road, lookout points, a barbecue shelter and toilets plus an additional 19 new campsites in other areas of the park.

Demand for campsites is extremely high with advance booking required. Booking is only available through the ParkStay WA website parkstay.dpaw.wa.gov.au

Most of the campsites in Cape Range National Park are easy to get to by conventional vehicle, but if you’re after something a little more remote then One K campground is the site to go to. Once you cross Yardie Creek, on soft, shifting sand so high clearance campers and 4WDs only, you can access the campground.


The Millstream Chichester National Park is an oasis in the desert, nestled within the chocolate brown rocks of the Chichester Range, dotted with spinifex and snappy gums. Permanent pools are fed by springs that draw water from the underground aquifer within porous dolomite rock. Miliyanha and Stargazers campgrounds are both located in the park with barbecue facilities and use of personal gas cooking appliances welcome. Campground hosts are stationed in both campgrounds for the majority of the tourist season, typically between mid-April and early October.


Bell Gorge. Photo: Parks and WildlifeSource:Supplied


The Windjana Gorge National Park is one of the Kimberley’s most stunning gorges with water-streaked walls which rise majestically to heights of approximately 100m. The 3.5km long gorge cuts through the Napier Range, part of the ancient Devonian limestone reef dating back 350 million years. Freshwater crocodiles bask in the pools, while fruit bats and corellas roost in the waterside trees.

Windjana Gorge Campground has good facilities but no powered sites. It is a great base from which to explore Windjana Gorge. Entrance and camping fees apply.


The King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park is known for its spectacular Bell Creek and Lennard gorges. The ridges of the King Leopold Ranges rise 300m above the surrounding plains (and 950m above sea level) while open savannah woodlands cover the sunburnt landscapes. Groves of river gum, stately paperbark trees and dense thickets of screw pine shade watercourses as water lilies and other aquatic plants fill permanent pools in the creeks and rivers, providing cool relief from the starkness of the harsh escarpments.

Following wet season rains, great volumes of water cascade from the ranges. In the dry, tourists are attracted to the spectacular cascading waterfalls at Bell Creek Gorge which is a relaxing place to swim. Visitors also marvel at the spectacular Lennard River Gorge and the incredibly folded and faulted scenic rock formations of the ranges along the Gibb River Rd, shaped by tremendous geological forces. The range is a haven for bird life and offers spectacular scenery for photographers.

Camping is provided at Silent Grove Campground, a riverside ground with shower and toilet facilities available. Camping fees apply.

Once the nerve centre of a former cattle station, the Mount Hart Wilderness Lodge is a virtual oasis on the banks of the Barker River and is surrounded by lush gardens. The lodge has stylish and comfortable accommodation in heritage homesteads, three-course dinners and breakfast, a restaurant and libraries. Mt Hart also has shady riverside camping facilities.


The Bungle Bungle Range in the Purnululu National Park is one of the most fascinating geological landmarks in the world with its beehive domes, deep chasms, gorges and pools. Getting there is not easy, but is well worth the adventure. There are short trails suitable for most ages and fitness levels, or longer trails for more experienced bushwalkers with specialised navigation and outback survival skills and equipment. In addition to the excellent national park camping facilities, safari camp-style accommodation is also available in the park.

The park however, is only open in the dry season (usually April to November). Walardi and Kurrujong campgrounds are also in the Purnululu National Park. The Walardi Campground has toilets and can cater for up to 40 vehicles while the Kurrajong Campground has toilets and can cat0er for up to 100 vehicles (no generators). Camping fees apply. Booking online is essential at parkstay.wa.gov.au.

PRO TIP: Take a helicopter or plane flight over the Bungle Bungle Range to get a sense of the scale and majesty of this geological wonder. Flights run daily from an airstrip in the park.


The Tunnel Creek National Park flows through a waterworn tunnel in the limestone of the Napier Range, part of the 350 million year old Devonian reef system.

You can walk through the tunnel to the other side of the Napier Range with the trek running underground for 750m through several permanent pools.

At least five species of bats live in the cave, including ghost bats and fruit bats, and stalactites descend from the roof in many places. The roof has collapsed through to the top of the range near the centre of the tunnel. Take a torch, wear sneakers and be prepared to get wet and possibly cold.


The Geikie Gorge is a spectacular wonder famed for its sheer white and grey walls, abundant wildlife and awesome boat tours. Geikie Gorge has been carved by the Fitzroy River through part of an ancient limestone barrier reef which snakes across the west Kimberley. It was laid down in an ancient sea which covered a large part of the Kimberley in Devonian times, some 350 million years ago. Geikie Gorge boat tours take place from May to October and give an insight into the wildlife and geology of the gorge. You might see birds such as sea eagles and rare purple-crowned fairy-wrens, or acrobatic crocodiles snapping at stray flying-foxes.


The Wolfe Creek Crater National Park is a perfect place to experience real outback adventure. For a camping holiday with a difference, you can visit spectacular Kandimalal-Wolfe Creek Crater, the second largest meteorite crater in the world.

Most come to marvel at the crater itself, but wildlife abounds including major mitchell cockatoos, reptiles such as the brown ringtail dragon, and red kangaroos.

The best time to visit is between May and October.

There is one campground in the Wolfe Creek Crater National Park with basic toilet facilities, but no water available. The campground can be accessed by all vehicles in the dry season, however, in the wet season it is 4WD access only. No camping fees apply at this campground.

PRO TIP: Bring a star watching guide and binoculars or telescope for an unrivalled view of the night sky.

Bride loans wedding dress to 12 different women in one year

One woman is making 12 brides feel very special.  (iStock)

Finding that perfect wedding dress is something many women dream of. For these 12 women, their perfect dress happens to be the same one.

Dawnetta Heinz, a personal trainer in Omaha, NE, had just celebrated her first wedding anniversary when she started thinking about her dress and what she should do with it.

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As she was packing up her things to move to a new house, Heinz decided she wanted to use her dress to give back. She took to Facebook and posted the gown from David’s Bridal on a buy/sell/trade group, offering it to a bride who couldn’t afford to buy a new wedding dress.


“If we can help somebody else feel good on their special day, I would love to do that,” Heinz told Yahoo Style.

Well, Heinz ended up finding not just one somebody to feel good – she found 12. A dozen women responded to her post, sharing their personal stories about how much the dress would mean to them. The overwhelming response made Heinz want to help them all.

“I had so many people messaging me telling me their story, how they couldn’t afford it, how they’d have to go to Goodwill. Then I just commented on the post, ‘What would you guys think if we just passed the dress on to the next person?’”

That’s all it took for the women to get on board with the idea, pleasing Heinz, who herself can empathize with economic struggles.


“We were homeless,” she said of her past. “We sold shakes and were barely getting by, living out of our car.”

Now that she’s more financially stable, Heinz is doing what she can to help others. The dress, which retails for $1,200, will now be a fixture at many different weddings, all scheduled within the next year.

One of the women in the group called the dress share the ‘sisterhood of the traveling dress,” which Arianna Pro, the first women to use the dress, has already found to be true.

“When I tried the dress on for the first time, there was no altering, there was no nothing. It fit like a glove,” Pro said to Yahoo Style.

Heinz hopes the dress will continue to circulate, as long as it can hold up against wear and dry-cleaning.

12 Fruits and Berries to Boost Your Heart Health

When your heart stops beating, game over. However, you can take steps to keep your heart beating strong and healthy. One way is to keep active and stay fit. The other way is to fuel your body with foods that help protect your heart. Here are twelve fruits and berries you should start eating a lot more of to show some love to your heart.

1. Oranges

Oranges are a good-for-you fruit all around. They have fiber, vitamin C, choline, and potassium. Potassium, in particular, serves to send energy through your body to keep your heart going. Potassium deficiencies can cause an irregular heartbeat. It also helps lower your blood pressure, which will help protect you from having a stroke.

2. Apricots

Another big winner for the heart, apricots are excellent for providing your body with antioxidant-rich vitamin C. They also have plenty of potassium. This powerful combination lower blood pressure and keeps your blood vessels and arteries relaxed so blood flows smoothly through the body.

3. Grapes

Red wine drinkers already know that the red grapes that are used to make wine are filled with resveratrol, a polyphenol that slows and even prevents a variety of cancers. If you do not like red wine, eating red grapes with the skins on will give you the same beneficial effects.

4. Apples

Now we really know that an apple a day can keep the doctor away by lowering your risk for heart disease. Apples already have a stellar reputation for lowering LDL cholesterol, which will help keep plaque from building up and prevent inflammation. Add that to the list of reasons to enjoy more apples!

5. Pomegranate

Pomegranate, as well as the juice from it, help keep your cardiovascular system healthy. It keeps the walls of your arteries healthy and regulates blood pressure levels. The more pomegranate you eat or drink, the more improved blood flow you will have to your heart. It has also been shown to help people who suffer from diabetes.

6. Grapefruit

They are excellent for keeping your weight healthy as well as promoting clearer, more radiant skin, plus grapefruit is a heart-healthy fruit you need to eat more of. One grapefruit boosts your body with a huge dose of fiber, lycopene, potassium, choline, and vitamin C. Fresh red grapefruit has been shown to have a positive impact on the lipid levels in your blood, which is fantastic news for your heart.

More: 10 Fabulous Fruit Breakfast Taco Ideas

7. Strawberries

Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C and folate. Just like fellow berry, blueberry, strawberries contain the same compounds that prevent tightening of the arteries and keep plaque from building up. This sweet and delicious fruit proves it is more than just a tasty food.

8. Peaches

Another fruit with gobs of antioxidants is the peach. The antioxidants in peaches prevent the destruction of the cells in your body, plus they keep you free and clear from obesity, heart problems, and inflammation. Other nutrients found in peaches have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, greatly reducing your chances for heart attack or stroke.

9. Plums

They might not be very large, but plums are a huge source of potassium. That means they’re great for helping you manage high blood pressure. The skins of plums have also been shown to be an outstanding source of antioxidants that literally erase free radicals from your body.

10. Black currants

You might not see black currants at your supermarket or local farmer’s market often, but when you do, eat them up. You will often find them blended into some varieties of wine. Black currants are filled with potassium. They also contain GLA that lowers blood pressure and keeps heart cells safe from damage. That’s not a bad reputation to have!

11. White mulberries

White mulberries taste a bit like figs but have the mouth-feel of raisins. Getting more of these antioxidant-filled berries into your diet will help guard your heart against being damaged by free radicals. They are sweet and delicious and have less natural sugar than other fruits. Also, they kick free radicals out of your body.

12. Feijoa

The feijoa is a fruit that is very common in South America though you will find it in other places around the world, like New Zealand. The flesh is similar in texture to a pear while the flavor is often described as tasting like a combination of strawberry, guava, and pineapple. Feijoa is filled with potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

Fiber-filled foods are wonderful for keeping the heart healthy because they lower LDL cholesterol (you know, the bad one) while raising HDL cholesterol (that’s the good one). In one feijoa, you will get 418 mg of potassium, which relaxes your blood vessels and regulates your blood pressure.

Fruits and berries are very important to consume in a healthy diet. While they have many other positive benefits for our bodies, these twelve fruits and berries tend to do even more where matters of the heart are concerned.

The 12 Most Breathtaking And Secluded Places On Earth

Hordes of selfie-stick-wielding tourists, snaking lines of frustrated cab-hailers, a swift elbow to the gut from the guy angling for a better view of Niagara: It’s enough to drive even the most level-headed traveler mad. Here, 12 secluded places to witness breathtaking beauty… without any other humans in sight.

Related: The 25 Most Photogenic (and Breathtaking) Spots in America


Nearly 2.5 million square miles and only 60,000 people mean you don’t really have to encounter another living person if you don’t want to. The Bush has plenty of gorgeous landmarks, including Ayers Rock, Red Centre and King’s Canyon — that is, once you get tired of all the hubbub of Melbourne and Sydney.


Meaning “first born,” this tiny island just north of Tahiti is surrounded by an aquamarine lagoon and barrier reef, making it the perfect place for scuba lovers. The real kicker? It’s not overrun with tourists. (Hawaii garners ten times more tourists in one day than Bora Bora does in a year.) “Out of office” away message: Set.


The larger but less populated island of the two New Zealand isles is home to the Southern Alps, Mount Cook, the Canterbury Plains, two glaciers and the jagged Fiordland coastline. This diverse geography made it the perfect setting for the Lord of the Rings film franchise, which has definitely increased tourism in the region. But with four national parks and over 58,000 square miles, spreading out is a piece of cake.


About one person per square mile means more than enough space for your deepest thoughts à la Cheryl Strayed. The southernmost tip of South America contains plenty of picturesque mountains, glaciers, valleys and rivers plus some of the most diverse wildlife on earth (pumas and horses and penguins, oh my!).


Just a two-hour flight from Reykjavik, Iceland, will get you to this remote fishing community on an island of the same name. With only about 200 inhabitants, you’ll have plenty of legroom to hike the nearby ice-covered fjords and glaciers, try your hand at dogsledding or plow through the mountains via snowmobile.

Related: The 7 Most Unique Restaurants in the World


The northernmost point of Britain is far from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh or Glasgow. With only about 20,000 residents, this archipelago of 100 islands (15 of which are inhabited) is the perfect place to take in a mixture of Scottish, Scandinavian and ancient Viking cultures.


Looking for peace and quiet? Hit up this tiny and mysterious island, which is over 1,200 miles from the next inhabited land and over 2,000 miles from any continent (giving it the nickname of “land’s end”). Although most famous for its moai, the stone structures of the early Rapa Nui people, the surrounding beaches and ocean are just as breathtakingly beautiful.


With less than a hundred residents, this tiny island in the Samoan archipelago is the least inhabited of the country and only accessible by boat. The fact that it’s actually the rim of an extinct volcano means visitors can only access the lush plateau of land through a tiny opening in the cliff walls where a small blue lagoon awaits weary travelers. The catch? You can only get to this hidden paradise if you’re invited by a local family.

Related: The 9 Most Gorgeous, Secluded and Totally Hidden Beaches in the U.S.


In the northernmost tip of India lies this town and Buddhist temple overlooking the Himalayan Mountains. Although the roads are only open on a seasonal basis, there is a footpath up to the white-domed temple that holds some of the Buddha’s relics.


This tiny 25-square-mile island lies just south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s commonly thought to be the inspiration behind the isle of Calypso from Homer’s Odysseyand also holds some of the largest freestanding buildings in the world (even older than the pyramids of Giza).


This giant peninsula in Quebec literally means “end of the land” due to its extension into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence on the eastern seaboard of Canada. Although you’ll find some tourists wandering its four national parks, there are only about 150,000 living in an area the size of Maryland. (That’s about 40 times less people, FYI.)


One of the most remote places in America is actually very close to one of the most touristed: the Grand Canyon. However, since it’s only accessible by foot, helicopter or mule (yep, that’s how its 200 inhabitants — the Havasupai tribe — get their mail), you won’t find any long photograph lines here — just the enchanting blue-green waters of the Havasu creek snaking through red canyon walls.

12 Old-Fashioned Girl Names That Are Ready for a Comeback

When it comes to baby names, we’re firm believers that everything old is new again. With that in mind, here are twelve vintage-inspired girls baby names that we’d love to see come back in style.


The name Alice, which means “of the nobility” or “noble born,” consistently ranked in the top 20 girls names during the early part of the 19th century, but its popularity began to wane during the ’40s and ’50s, dropping down to the 112th by the end of the decade. However, in recent years, it’s begun to experience something of a revival, and was ranked the 76th most popular baby name for girls in 2016 by the Social Security Administration (SSA).


While sometimes used as a nickname for Elizabeth, Betty is a beautiful name all on its own. Meaning “oath” or “God is my oath,” Betty was most prevalent back in 1934, when it ranked as the second most popular girls name in the country. We think it’s time for a comeback.


Charlotte, the feminized form of Charles, has long been a name associated with British royalty. Though somewhat widely used during the 1940s, its popularity peaked at the rank of 47 on the US baby name charts, and didn’t crack the top ten until Will and Kate’s little princess arrived in 2015. Charlotte ranked ninth that year and seventh in 2016, according to the SSA.


Perhaps bringing to mind the Nutcracker ballet, Clara means “bright,” or “light,” or “illustrious,” and much like Alice, the old-school name is experiencing something of a surge in popularity right now. In 1890, it was the 9th most popular girl baby name in the country; 100 years later in 1990, it had fallen to a rank of 515, and just last year, it cracked the top 100 names yet again, coming in at 99 on the SSA charts.


Interested in old-fashioned baby names? Keep Dorothy on your list. Even if you don’t like the full Wizard of Oz-esque moniker, which means “gift of God,” Dottie is a cute nickname. Plus, you can almost guarantee that their won’t be another one in your kid’s class: Dorothy was only the 652nd most popular girls name last year.


If you’re going to name your daughter after a Jane Austen heroine, might we suggest Emma? Meaning “whole” or “universal,” Emma was an extremely popular name in the United States during the late 1800s, but slowly fell out of favor; however, it’s steadily been climbing the ranks since the late ’80s and found itself at the top of the SSA data in 2016.


A sweet nickname for Harriet, Hattie means “ruler of the house.” It was quite common during the late 1800s, and is slowly climbing the popularity charts yet again. In 2009, it held the position of 1,764 in the SSA’s rankings; last year, Hattie almost broke into the top 500 girls names, holding steady at number 503.


The female version of the name Joseph, Josephine means the name means “God will increase” or “God will add.” At one point, Josephine was the 21st most common baby name in the country, and it is steadily making its way back up the charts after a decades-long decline in popularity. In 1987, for example, it ranked as the 498th most popular girls name, and in 2016, it can be found on the list at 114.


Margaret is another name associated with the British royal family — specifically, the Queen’s late sister, Princess Margaret. It has multiple meanings: “pearl” and “flower,” and could be found in the top ten baby names in the country for years, during the from the late 1800s through the 1930s. In recent years, it has fallen slightly in the SSA rankings, coming in at 139 in 2016.


It started to pick up steam in 2010, and has been growing steadily for the past few years (perhaps in part due to Lily James’s character on Downton Abbey). In 2016, it was ranked the 154th most popular girls name in America.


Another flower name (and another Downton Abbey character), currently ranks at number 47 on the U.S. charts after years of decline from its turn-of-the-century popularity.


Sharing your name with a manic literary icon could be seen as both a blessing and a curse, but we prefer to look on the bright side. It means “strong woman,” and despite essentially falling off the SSA charts back in 1995 (it ranks at 13,385), the name has steadily been making a slight comeback, ranking at 689 in 2016.