Once you’re done with your year-end reflection for the year that’s ending, it’s time to look forward to the year that’s about to start.  What will you write for the next chapter of your life?  Take the first step to make sure that it’s a good chapter by setting your New Year resolutions.

Fewer Calories

Well, let’s start with the one we say first.

There are many reasons why most of us should set a resolution of eating fewer calories. The most obvious reason is to lose weight. After all, carrying excess weight puts us at a greater risk of a whole range of serious health problems.

With all of the contradictory information out there on what to eat, sometimes it’s hard to decide what to do when you want to lose weight.  Just try to keep things simple.  When you decide to lose weight, just eat less.  If you gained weight in 2020, resolve to eat smaller portions in 2021.

Exercise & Play

Play is an important source of relaxation and stimulation for adults.  In addition, it can make you more creative and productive.  Bring more play into your life by making it a New Year’s resolution.

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do: join a sports team; get a pedometer and take at least 10,000 steps a day.  Rise a little earlier in the morning and get a little stretch going or join a dance class.  Living a sedentary life dumbs you down, it makes it more likely that you’ll be overweight.

Increase Your IQ

New studies show that, contrary to popular belief, you can make yourself smarter.  For 2021, why not set the resolution to raise your IQ?  Enhancing your brain’s capacity to plan, reason, and solve problems is always a good thing.

Being smart has been linked to longevity. Again, studies show that smart people live longer.

Be Kinder To Yourself

You may not be able to control how kind other people are to you, but you can always control how kind you are to yourself.

This upcoming year, set the resolution to believe in yourself, respect yourself, and treat yourself well.  Whether it is new clothes, a holiday or something very small, tell yourself I deserve this.

Learn A New Skill & Become More Confident

What have you always wanted to learn to do?  Do you want to learn to play an instrument, drive, ski, act?  The possibilities are endless.  Take advantage of all of the information that exists out there on how to learn new skills quickly and reach the end of 2021 with a couple of new skills under your belt.

Confidence can be defined as your belief in your own abilities and in your capacity to get what you want.  In turn, the importance of confidence cannot be overstated.  Confident people are happier, more relaxed, more likely to take chances, and more likely to succeed.  Fortunately, there are ways to become more confident.

These include giving yourself credit for what you do, cultivating your inner advocate, and taking consistent action toward the achievement of your goals. Make 2021 the year your confidence soars.

Create a Positive Attitude

Having a positive attitude opens your mind to new possibilities, it makes you more resilient and it can even help you to live longer.  Greet the New Year with a smile and resolve to stay positive, no matter what happens.

That’s just a few ideas to be going on with,  have a happy fantastic New Year and hopefully when you look in the mirror the reflection you see will be the new you.

 

 

 

The Three Wise Men at Irish Rugby Tours do not have camels but they are following a star.

The constellation of rugby touring still burns bright even though every conceivable difficulty has been placed in the way of the coaches, players and volunteers in 2020.

The salvation of the game now rests with dedicated scientists around the globe working to produce a vaccine that will allow normal travel to return and with it the resumption of what has been a part of rugby for over one hundred years – the tour.

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They are following a star to a place where nobody has ever been before.  It is certain that rugby touring will not be the same but through their efforts the experience will be none the poorer.

 

Amazingly, every day they lament the lack of time to finish the allotted tasks.  “Lack of time”, you may ask, with no teams or clients to worry about? Things have never been busier for rugby tours 2021 at Irish Rugby Tours.

The preparation is intense for the resumption of the sport we love.  New possibilities must now be factored in to the planning.  How will the airlines react, what cancellation policies will hotels employ and above all what radical rule changes for the amateur or under-age groups are likely?

In 25 years, we have faced every conceivable challenge and now a new world awaits.  Rest assured we will be ready.

Why not contact us?  We would love to hear from you by phone or email even if just to chew the fat.

As Churchill or it may have been Roosevelt, said, “we are all in this together”.

 

There’s no greater comfort during a cold winter night than a warm mug of hot chocolate, so we have selected four Christmas hot chocolate recipes.  This delicious treat does more than soothe—it can transport you.  A pack of Swiss Miss, complete with those tiny little marshmallows, can take you back to your childhood in just one sip.

Each recipe shown offers its own take on this classic beverage and provides a little cultural insight to its country of origin.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot ChocolateWe’ll get things started where hot chocolate got its start. Historians believe that the Mayans began drinking their own chocolaty beverage as early as 500 B.C.  The first iteration included ground-up cocoa seeds, water, cornmeal, and chili peppers.  This more modern take ditches the cornmeal but keeps the pepper via a pinch of cayenne.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 ounces Mexican or bitter sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Instructions:

  • Whisk ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
  • Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes while stirring often.
  • Vigorously whisk before serving to create foamy top layer.
  • Into two mugs pour and serve immediately.

Source: Favourite Family Recipes

Columbian Hot Chocolate with Cheese

Columbian Hot Chocolate with CheeseTraveling south to Colombia, we get a recipe that includes an ingredient unlike anything you’ve had in your hot chocolate—cheese!  We promise that it’s worth it and that you will find this sweet and salty combination both surprising and satisfying.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups skim milk
  • 6 squares of Colombian bitter hot chocolate bar, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 4 ounces of white cheese. Quesito Colombiano if you can find it. Otherwise, fresh mozzarella will work.

Instructions:

  • Take a small saucepan, whisk all the ingredients minus the cheese together over high heat until it comes to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2-3 minutes while stirring often.
  • Cut cheese into quarter inch cubes.
  • Divide cheese evenly into a mug, fill with hot chocolate, and stir until cheese is melted.

Source: Kiku Corner

Brazilian Hot Cocoa

Brazilian Hot Cocoa

Just a little further south in Brazil, we trade the quesito for a Brazilian favourite ingredient for all things sweet: sweetened condensed milk.  The condensed milk takes this luscious drink to a whole new level.  If you’re known for your sweet tooth, you will love this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Instructions:

  • In a small saucepan, whisk all ingredients except for whipped cream together over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
  • Simmer until the cocoa reaches your ideal thickness. Be sure to stir often and don’t let it boil.
  • If too thick, add a little milk to reach desired consistency.
  • Transfer into mugs and serve immediately. Garnish with whipped cream if desired.

Source: Olivia’s Cuisine

French Hot Chocolate

French Hot ChocolateWe end  in France with a recipe that is sure to be a favourite of dark chocolate lovers.  This recipe is rich, robust and it will have you running to the nearest bistro to grab a croissant to enjoy it with.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Whipped cream

Instructions:

  • Add to a small saucepan, whisk milk, cream, and powdered sugar over medium heat until it starts to bubble.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate.
  • Return to the heat and stir until chocolate is fully melted.
  • Pour into mugs and serve with whipped cream.

Source: Well Plated By Erin

Our sincere thanks to WorldStrides Educational Travel and Experiences for sharing.