Saturday, April 23, 2016

post divorce plans for Hiya Luv

I have gone through a lot of changes over the past year and a half to two years. I have learned and changed and grown and evolved in so many ways. I feel like I have so much to say and yet don't really know how. I am not sure where to start or what would be of interest to you as a reader. I know, however, that just acting like nothing had happened and that my disappearance was for no reason, would be a lie and I would always feel like there was this elephant in my little corner of the blogosphere. I believe in transparency and that is what you as a reader will always find on my blog.

Long story short---2015 was the most transformative year of my life. It was a year of self-discovery and I am happier than I have ever been before. My happiness came with challenges and finding myself. 

My divorce was final in June 2015 and I have been rebuilding my life post-divorce. I have so much that I want to write about regarding divorce and break-ups in general. I struggle with that though because Hiya Luv wasn't created as a blog where I would come to wallow in despair or be a blog of doom and gloom. Hiya Luv has always been a place where the focus was on bettering oneself whether that be through crafts, fashion, travel, or fitness. Although the topic of divorce can be one of darkness, I hope I can shed some light on a tough path that some of us choose to take.

My life has evolved past my ugly divorce and is more beautiful than ever before. I feel like it is only fair to share with you the learning that took place during the year of 2015 as I am a different, more resilient person than ever before.

To do this, I have created a series of posts that will be released during the month of May. This series is all about my divorce. Once the air has been cleared, I can then begin to focus on the new direction in which I have taken my life and how I am living the best life ever! I hope you will join me on this journey!

Please feel free to drop me a note via email at gina at hiyaluv dot com or in the comments should you want to share your experience as well. I hope to help those of you who may be experiencing the same thing that I went through. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

How to Prepare for a Trip to Costa Rica

Spring Break is coming up! One of the places I have always wanted to visit is Costa Rica. 

Considering a trip to Costa Rica? This country is not only one of the safest places to visit on vacation, it’s also one of the most beautiful, with magnificent rainforests, white sandy beaches, and tropical waters. Visiting Costa Rica isn’t an easy task as there’s so much to see and do which can be tricky in a short amount of time. Making sure that you put in a lot of preparation before you set off on your trip can help you to make the most out of your time in this stunning area of the globe.

Booking Activities

There are a number of things to do in Costa Rica, from visits to National Parks, viewing the Arenal Volcano from the Observatory, boat trips, surfing expeditions, helicopter tours and zip line adventures. However, the top tours around Manuel Antonio Costa Rica are booked up quickly, so it’s wise to make sure that you’re all booked in in advance before you set off. This will save you time and effort whilst you’re there, leaving you to enjoy your trip and get the most out of your time there.

Choosing Where to Stay

Exploring Costa Rica can take up a lot of time, so it makes sense to stay somewhere central to the areas that you’re planning to visit. San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, makes an excellent base for exploring the country, and has a range of museums, historical sites and shopping opportunities which you can visit. Manuel Antonio Bay is also an excellent choice of destination for travelers looking for a great base to explore, with stunning accommodation options such as

Health Concerns

When visiting Costa Rica, it’s important to protect your health. Make sure that you are given all of the relevant vaccinations before you set off, and take a first aid kit with creams and mosquito repellent. The heat in Costa Rica can get very intense, and visitors are prone to sun burn or even sun stroke making it essential that you take a range of protective items to shield you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Sun screen and protective clothing are essential for exploring in Costa Rica.

What to Pack

Because you’re probably going to spend most of your time in Costa Rica wearing a swimsuit, it’s possible to pack lightly even if you’re visiting for a while. If you are planning to spend a lot of time on the Caribbean side or doing a lot of water based activities such as scuba diving or surfing, you should pack at least two swimsuits. If you’re visiting during the rainy season, you will need to pack a rain jacket – a light fold up poncho is usually enough to protect you from the tropical rain storms which can come out of nowhere. Tennis shoes are quite bulky, so pack sandals – athletic sandals work great for activities such as walking through the rain forest.

There are loads of things to do and see in Costa Rica, so make sure you’ve got your trip planned out before you go!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Finding Your Style During the Winter Months

As the days continue to get shorter and the temperature continues to drop, I am quickly notified that winter has made its way back around yet again. And while we all often loathe the freezing months and want to bundle up next to the fireplace indefinitely, I am happy to report that there is a glimmer of light in the darkness of winter.

What can this glimmer of light be? You wonder.

Well, I’m sure you all know by now that I am a shoe addict! So when a new season arrives, of course I have my eye on quite a few new styles as soon as they hit the store shelves. And with winter making its grand, unwelcomed entrance, I’ve been scoping out new boots to get me through the season. That’s right: the glimmer of light I was referring to is a pair of boots. 

Hey, you’ve got to look at the glass half full!

So in honor of the new season and my (low-key) obsession with shoes, I wanted to inspire you to go out and grab a new pair of shoes for the season, too. Many women often find a pair of boots they love and never let go. While this is fine, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for style evolution or the excitement of retail therapy. So, retire those years-old boots and consult this quick and easy guide to finding the perfect pair of boots to suit you. After all, stomping through snow is much more fun when you’re doing it in style.

1. Find Your Height

Are you an avid runner with not-so-small calf muscles? Then consider nixing this season’s popular mid-calf boot trend, which will squeeze your muscles and give you an unsightly leg “muffin-top.” Adversely, if you’ve got slender legs, a midi boot (described in this post) would look lovely on you. 

Another point to consider with height is whether or not you’re looking for a heeled style. Depending on the purpose you envision for your boots, a heel can either be a hindrance or a must-have. If you’re in desperate need of hot night-out boots, look for heels only. If you need new everyday, errand-running shoes, a flat style is your best bet.

2. Find Your Width

Some women have skinny feet whereas others have wide ones—it’s just the way we’re born. For women with wide feet, I love the advice found in this piece: “Look for round or almond-shaped (rather than pointy) toes that offer plenty of room and slim heels for a touch of femininity.”

3. Find Your Style

As is the case with any fashion decision, you should always choose your clothing and accessories based on your own personal style. No matter the trends shown on the runways, no matter what your favorite celebrities are wearing, no matter if I tell you what is and isn’t cool—if it doesn’t fit in with the rest of your wardrobe, you should never feel pressured to purchase it. All kinds of personal styles are described here, with a couple of suggestions: “Keep it classic with riding boots, edgy bikers and shoe boots and work androgynous cool in wear-anywhere flats.” Whatever your personal style is, there is a boot out there made just for you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Knomo Luggage – Business Bags for Jet-set Professionals

Are you someone who spends a lot of time travelling? If so, you realise how important it is to have a business bag that combines durability with style. Knomo have a range of business bags that cater for the needs of all types of professionals.
Balham Troon Cotton-Twill 13 inch Laptop Satchel

This is a stylish, no-frills bag. It's made from cotton canvas with leather trims and its dimensions are 24 x 36.5 x 6.5cm.
This bag has a one tab closure and strap that's easy to adjust. The key features of the Balham Troon Cotton-Twill laptop satchel include storage space for a laptop, media pocket, key clip and media port. On the outside there is a back pocket to store further items.
The Balham Troon Cotton-Twill 13 inch Laptop Satchel is available in black and costs £95.00.

Oxberry Canvas Leather-trim 15 Inch Laptop Briefcase

If you’re looking for a briefcase that's durable and practical, this is the bag for you. The Oxberry Canvas laptop briefcase is made from PET canvas and features a leather trim. It includes a laptop storage area, media pocket and a pocket on the outside.
The dimensions of this bag are 28 x 40 x 5.5cm and it weighs 0.7kg. This bag is available in black and costs £129.00

Henderson Leather 15 inch Laptop Briefcase

This is a smart, no frills leather briefcase. However, it includes all the features a modern business professional expects from a high-quality laptop briefcase. Its most important features include exterior pockets, a laptop storage area and an easy to remove shoulder strap.
This Henderson Leather laptop briefcase comes in brown and costs £199.00.

Bungo Leather 15 inch Laptop Expandable Messenger

If you’re looking for a classic looking Messenger combined with modern features, look no further than the Bungo Leather 15 inch Laptop Expandable Messenger.

This Messenger is perfect for holding many of today's most important devices. It features a laptop storage area, media pocket, document sleeve and other pockets for your other smaller devices and items. The Bungo Leather 15 inch Laptop Expandable Messenger's dimensions are 30 x 39 x 14 cm.
The Bungo Leather 15 inch Laptop Expandable Messenger is available in black and costs £249.00.

Bungo Leather 15 Inch Laptop Expandable Messenger
The Bungo Leather 15 Inch Laptop Expandable Messenger is another smart and practical Messenger that's perfect for business people on the move. It's designed to store important devices, documents and other work-related items, thanks to its laptop compartment, document sleeve, media pocket and tablet compartment.

The dimensions of this Bungo Messenger are 30 x 39 x 14 cm and it's made from full grain vegetable tanned leather.
This is a brown Messenger and costs £249.00.

Brompton Newbury Leather 15 Inch Laptop Briefcase

This Brompton Newbury laptop briefcase is an impressive, classy, durable laptop briefcase made from full-grain leather. It's got all the features you expect to find in a modern high-end laptop briefcase including a tablet compartment, laptop compartment, phone pocket, pockets, card slots and much more. The dimensions of this product are 41 x 30 x 11cm.

The Brompton Newbury Leather 15 Inch Laptop Briefcase is available in black and costs £299.00.

When you decide to buy a business bag from a store like, you want to be sure it caters for all your requirements. The Knomo products above achieve this.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Feeling stressed? Tips to help you cope with, and overcome, stress

Modern life can be, and frequently is, stressful, and there’s not really a great deal we can do about it. From working long hours and busy commutes to fitting family life around everybody’s leisure pursuits and doing all of the household chores, there never seems to be a moment’s peace. It’s little wonder, then, that so many of us are stressed, frustrated, or anxious on a regular basis. Deadlines, demands, and daily life keeps us on our toes. While some may argue that a little bit of stress never did anybody any harm, there is much research to the contrary. Stress can cause us to lose sleep, neglect our own well-being, become ill more regularly, and even contribute to life-threatening conditions and increase our risks of strokes, heart attacks, and autoimmune and heart diseases. But how is this possible? Stress will often take our bodies to extremes and back again, increasing our heart rates, releasing stress hormones, and making it much more likely that we’ll react negatively to certain situations. So, yes, stress can often motivate us to get things done, but it can also be incredibly risky to our health, moods, relationships, and futures.

Coping with stress

Whether you’re experiencing a particularly difficult period in your life, seem to struggle to cope on a regular basis, or have reached the end of your tether, the good news is that stress can be managed; it’s all about taking a little time for yourself, and realizing that certain behaviors just aren’t good for you. For example, if you find work to be a root cause of the stress in your life be sure to step away from your desk for a break every now and again, try switching off by reading a book or dozing during your commute, and limit the number of times you check your emails, or answer your phone, outside of work hours. Exercise is a great stress-buster, and mood lifter, so aim to walk a little further, go out for a run, or even visit your local pool at least once a week. What could be better than taking time for yourself, during which you’re literally burning your stress away? Ensuring that you eat well, keep hydrated, get a good amount of sleep, and limit aggravations such as caffeine and alcohol, are all great ways to limit stress while meditation and massage can help to alleviate prolonged bouts of anxiety.

 Are you doing everything you can?

Of course, if you’re particularly prone to stress, simply managing your diet, going to bed earlier, or avoiding coffee will often do nothing to alleviate your symptoms. So, what now? It’s time to look at what’s causing that stress and reduce as many factors as possible; can you work fewer hours, travel a different way to work, reduce what’s expected of you, or even change the direction of your life altogether? Such drastic actions aren’t always possible. In times such as this, it’s essential to create a support network, analyze your attitudes and emotions, manage your sense of control, and, in some cases, seek a professional’s opinion. Medication or behavior therapy can be helpful in instances of increased stress, while consulting a therapist, such as chiropractor Sol Cogan, can also work wonders. Chiropractic care will assess your stress’s effect on your body, reduce muscle tension, and help you to face your life with a healthier attitude. Similarly, learning how to meditate or do yoga can change your outlook. Are you ready to beat stress?

Stress, while it can’t always be avoided, it CAN be managed with a healthy diet, positive outlook, and a little expert advice. Whether you decide to exercise more to beat the blues, change your work duties, or seek a specialist, know that you’re not on your own.

Match the look of your bedroom with your fashion style

Whatever the look of your bedroom interior, it's got to match your personal fashion style. Where can you be totally at ease and relaxed, if not in your bedroom? It's your personal space, and it should reflect how you relate to the world, how you feel, what you love, who you are.

Hippy chick

Boho is where it's at for the hippy chick. Flowing clothes that often reference vintage and ethnic styles are layered for ultimate impact. A feminine and soft style that is relaxed and laid back, this translates perfectly to the bedroom interior. Boho-chic home designs feature bedding in jewel-colored fabrics (think bright Mexican textiles or sequined throws from Goa), dark wood furniture that is ornately carved such as screens, low tables, and chests with subcontinental flavors. Fairy lights strung between the carved bedposts of a grand divan, teamed with silk flower garlands adorning the window frames, the complete look is magical, uplifting and Zen.  

City slicker

If a smart business suit and killer heels are your signature costume, a minimalist bedroom interior will feel like home. After a chaotic day at the office, a calm haven is what you need. Focus on the pale end of the color spectrum, mix gentle pastels in natural fabrics and source textiles with a tactile element. A light and spacious atmosphere will be energizing and serene, so keep furnishings to a minimum, storage to the max and window treatments low key. Streamlined internal window shutters are a harmonious and elegant alternative to fussy drapes that attract dust and take up space. Easy to fit, great value and super-sleek, window shutters were designed for the minimalist in you.

Add a spa touch with scented vanilla candles and low lighting for a tranquil, modern bedroom, perfect for de-stressing.

Lux lady

If jungle prints such as leopard spot and tiger stripe cover your go-to garments, then a boudoir that rocks the lux look is required. A decadent chaise longue upholstered in velvet zebra stripe, an ocelot design bedcover, and joyful giraffe-print wallpaper all work together when done just right. Soft, sensual fabrics, dramatic chandeliers, and opulent accessories underline the exotic nature of the room's leading lady.

Outdoor girl

Are you more likely to be found outside in the garden amongst the birds, bees and flowers? Are florals a permanent fixture in your wardrobe? Feminine rosebud print tea dresses make a good stepping-off point for a fresh air lover's bedroom design. Seek out exquisite wallpapers that feature delicate botanic designs, butterflies, trees or exotic birds – anything that brings the natural world indoors. Choose bedding with prints or delicate embroidery that echoes the wildflower meadows you love or the formal gardens you favor.

Glass topped side tables with driftwood bases, a tall palm in a sculpted pot and still life collections of found objects such as pebbles, feathers, and seed pods should be laid out on display. Storage solutions in natural materials such as wicker baskets and reclaimed apple boxes sit beautifully in this room with a fresh air feel.

What you wear says so much about who you are, so it's no surprise we feel comfortable in surroundings that continue that style conversation. Have you figured out in which bedroom you belong? 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Setting up a productive business from home

There are many advantages to running your own business from home. Your overheads are low as you don't need to rent office or retail space, and you can choose your own hours. Best of all, you're your own boss.

The downsides are the lack of security. You'll reap the rewards, but you also have to carry the losses when you're running your own business. All of the side benefits of working for someone else disappear as well, such as paid vacations, company healthcare, and pension schemes.

Business ideas

If you're not dissuaded by this, however, then there are many opportunities for successful businesses that can be run from home. If you can sell through a website, then there's no need for a physical bricks-and-mortar store, at least not until your business has grown to the level where that's practical. If you've got an eye for antiques and collectible items, then you could run a successful business buying and selling online; a global market means items that can be picked up for next to nothing in your neighborhood may be worth a fortune on the other side of the world.

Catering companies or any kind of arts and crafts-based business, such as greeting cards design, are other great ideas for home-based startups. If you have tech-based skills such as website design or computer repair, you could work from home, and of course there is always freelance writing, illustrating, or graphics.

Success stories

Many successful businesses started from the home of the founder, especially some of the big names in today's technological world. Apple began in Steve Jobs’ adopted parents' garage in California, building and selling computers to a local retailer. Jeff Bezos started Amazon by selling books online from his Bellevue, Washington home, where he also developed software. He held meetings in his local Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Using technology

Social media, apps such as Skype, Dropbox, and Google Docs, cloud computing, and mobile technology all mean that your home office can instantly be as digitally well-equipped as any downtown media hub. As your business expands, the technology you use can grow with you. Primus provides a hosted PBX phone system that allows you to set up an internal telecommunications network for your business at a fraction of the expense of a traditional system, thanks to low SIP trunking costs.

Productivity tips

Establish a designated workspace within your home, even if it's just a desk in the corner. This makes an important psychological distinction between your business and personal life. Similarly, set a realistic work schedule that allows you to get things done while also leaving time for errands, relaxation, and household chores. Physical exercise and fresh air are also important.

Set boundaries with family and friends. Just because you're always at home doesn't mean you're available to hang out; however, don't neglect your loved ones entirely. Make a comprehensive business plan and try to stick to it, while also being sure to meet all tax and other legal requirements.

Running a business from home is a great opportunity, if you work hard and stay focused. The risks may be greater but success is all the sweeter, and there's never been a better time to get sta
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