Active PK

Abdominal Fat: What You Need to Do About It 

As the years go by, our mid-section tends to… *ahem*… spread out a bit, to put it delicately. While this might seem to be an inevitable part of getting older, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it shouldn’t be part of aging, because the truth is that an accumulation of abdominal fat (a.k.a. the dreaded lower belly fat) can be downright dangerous to your health.  

Here’s some information on why this is such a problem, and how Active PK from LCR Health could help you get rid of it. 

What is Abdominal Fat? 

Two of the main types of fat are known as subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is the type you can see and grasp. If you have “love handles,” those are examples of subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat, otherwise known as abdominal fat, on the other hand, accumulates deep inside the abdomen. You can’t see it and you can’t feel it.1 

The bad news is that this kind of lower belly fat has been linked to several health issues.The good news is that you can get rid of it relatively easily through diet, exercise and supplements such as Active PK. Doing so can help you in many ways. Losing abdominal fat can lower your cholesterol levels as well as reduce your blood pressure.3 

There are many reasons why you want to take the steps necessary to reduce your abdominal fat. One of the most important ones is that visceral fat stimulates dangerous chemicals known as cytokines. These have been linked to heart problems. Research indicates that cytokines also have a negative effect on blood pressure as well as the ability of blood to clot.4 

Lower belly fat is also dangerous due to the areas of the body in which it is found. It will often, for instance, accumulate in a major vein located between the intestines and the liver. This type of fat releases substances that get into the blood and enter the liver. This, in turn, can lead to an increase in cholesterol, which can increase the chances of developing heart problems.5 

What Can You Do About Abdominal Fat?

ACTIVE PK

There are a lot of things you can do in order to help get rid of excess abdominal fat. Getting between 30-60 minutes of exercise per day can help. Diet also plays an important role. Watch not only the kinds of food you eat, but the portions as well. 

Another thing you can do is to use Active PK from LCR Health. This incredible product will not only help you burn fat but will also help you feel stronger and healthier. 

The power behind Active PK is its ability to stimulate production of an enzyme known as AMPK (AMP activated protein kinase). In a nutshell, this enzyme plays a key role in the metabolism of fat.It does so by instructing the body to burn fat rather than store it for energy. Active PK harnesses AMPK in order to increase energy, reduce food cravings and slim the waist. 

But Active PK also contains three ingredients that are also critically important in helping burn fat – gynostemma, berberine and quercetin. Gynostemma, according to research, helps to burn not only abdominal fat but also subcutaneous fat.Berberine helps increase energy by boosting the efficiency of cells. It not only helps reduce fat but may also help reverse the aging process of cells.Finally, quercetin is a compound that helps increase your body’s endurance, helping you exercise for longer periods of time.9 

As beneficial as Active PK could be to your overall health, you should never take it or any other supplement without first getting the OK from your doctor. You should also never start any sort of exercise regimen or make any kind of dietary changes without first getting your doctor’s permission. 

Once you get that permission to use Active PK, however, you’ll soon find that it will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. But even if you don’t see the results you like, you still won’t be taking any financial risk. Just send back the bottles – empty or full – within 90 days and you’ll get a full refund with no questions asked. 

List of Sources
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19656312 
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160425161349.htm 
  3. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_heart/eat_smart/8-ways-to-lose-belly-fat-and-live-a-healthier-life 
  4. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stress-dangers/ 
  5. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/abdominal-fat-and-what-to-do-about-it 
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2734509/ 
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22576281 
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3366688/ 
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21606866 
women's plus size bathing suits

Bikinis and Tankinis: Flaunt What Your Mama Gave Ya!

Each season that grants you a chance to go on a cruise also presents a second concern – bikini body. There is usually a myriad of articles on the same, but the reality is that you may not need all the articles on body perfection. We emphasize that your body is already swimsuit ready as it is! No need to get it ‘bikini ready’.

While some women love to flaunt their bodies, others are self-conscious about at least one aspect of their body. But shopping among women’s plus size bathing suits almost guarantees you will find something that fits properly and flatters your body. Women’s plus size bathing suits take into account the various kinds of “plus size” bodies. Bodies are not shaped all the same, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find something perfect for yours.

Flatter Your Body

The available pieces will flatter your body and show off just enough to make you feel great. Besides, the pieces have been set up in such a way that it is easy to pick any size between 8 and 34. While trying to pick an outfit, have patience and explore your options. There is always more than one piece that will satisfy your needs.

A quick tip though is to start with the bottom piece. Plus-size bikinis come in many high-waist bottom options. They cover up until your navel. These pieces are meant to bring out the best side of your contours. The bottoms that go up until the middle of your waistline accentuates your waist area naturally.

If you are more of the low-waist person, then there is something for you too. There are pieces that have a lower waist and will sit low, making your torso look longer.

Shorts Are an Option Too

Some people may need guidance on what option to go for. All this talk about the waist might sit well with the girly girl. If you are more of a tomboy and would prefer shorts, such options are also available. The shorts will give you a look that almost seems sporty.

On the other hand, you may opt for the skirt bottom. This is more of a feminine look that is also more traditional regarding the beach look.

Swim Tops

Apart from the bottom, of course, you want to look at the bikini tops. The secret lies in the underwire. Although many women would shy from taking a swimsuit top with underwire, they provide support necessary for a large bust and for those with a smaller chest, make their bust look larger.

Besides the underwire magic, halter tops can also offer you with some lift. You can tie them yourself and adjust the amount of support. The downside to halters is that all the weight of your bust ends up resting at a small point on your neck.

Shoulders and Collarbones

The bandeau top really emphasizes a woman’s shoulders and collarbones. These strapless tops are a great answer to preventing tan lines.

Tankinis

Although at the beach, some people may feel conservative and seek more coverage. Tankinis offer modest coverage but still accentuate the bust line for a sexy look.

If you are not interested in the traditional bikinis, you may explore the tankinis. These are the two-piece suits that are designed for the top and the bottom to cover your tummy. It may come in various designs such as a short, skirt or a variety of a bikini bottom. The length varies from one design to another. Another difference with the tankinis is that they are not all necessarily fitting. You get to look sexy and comfortable all at the same time.

women's plus size bathing suits

These variations may either come in a design that flows or one that a quick fit. Either shape is bound to highlight the best parts of your body. For instance, the handkerchief tankini comes in a design that flows, making them relatively feminine. The square-neck designs have wide straps that are efficient if you have a bigger bust and will result in a sporty look. You can dazzle in the V-neck top and flaunt the cleavage, or switch to the plunging neckline.

Also available are shortinis, which are a pair of sporty shorts. These may not be your choice if you are out to look fancy. They are mostly recommended for sports or regular swimming.

Bright colors attract the eye to parts you’d like to emphasize, while dark colors are more slimming.

While on a cruise or taking that trip to Hawaii, the only concern you should have is whether you have a bikini, not whether you have a bikini body. There are many designs that most plus size women would love to wear.

Picking women’s plus size bathing suits should be an experience to have a collection of fashionable wear that is pleasing to the eye as well as functional. The designs are available in different shapes, designs, color, and patterns.

Landing on the perfect women’s plus size bathing suits is quite the experience. But all in all, one has to make a fashion statement while on a cruise the best way they know how.

Benefits of Hemp Protein in 310 Shakes 

Hemp is starting to see a huge resurgence in popularity these days, especially with the younger generation – and it’s easy to see why. 

Single-handedly one of the best natural sources for plant-based protein on the planet today, this 100% vegan and vegetarian-friendly protein powder is a game changer for those that want to improve their health, their wellness, and their ability to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle. Which is exactly why 310 Nutrition includes it in their 310 Shakes.  

Loaded with plenty of protein per serving, as well as 20 different amino acids (including nine essential amino acids your body cannot produce on its own), there’s a reason why so many people continue to say that this is THE best plant-based protein available. 

Offering a remarkable list of benefits, the ones we break down below just barely touch the tip of the iceberg but do represent some of the most important benefits this protein has to offer. 

Let’s dive right in! 

Hemp protein dramatically increases your daily protein intake 

Right out of the gate, daily supplementation with a quality protein source like this one is obviously going to improve your overall protein intake, and that’s going to have a major impact on your overall quality of life. 

With more protein in your body, your cells will be able to repair themselves more effectively and more efficiently, your metabolism will be elevated to melt fat and burn fuel more effectively, and you’ll be able to enjoy higher levels of consistent energy without significant drop-offs while fighting fatigue, boosting mental clarity, and generally enjoying a more “even keel” way of looking at your life. 

Hemp protein like that in 310 Shakes has the ability to improve your heart and cardiovascular health 

Hemp proteins also have the “perfect” balance between omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, a 3:1 ratio that is designed to dramatically improve your overall heart health, your cardiovascular health, and your body’s natural resistance to diseases and medical conditions that could end up becoming life-threatening. 

On top of that, hemp protein sources also include quite a bit of natural fiber. This natural source of fiber is going to reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), raise HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), clean up your triglycerides, and generally help you regulate your blood pressure a lot more effectively than you would have been able to on your own without any medication. 

Hemp protein has been proven to decrease the risk of osteoporosis  

As we highlighted above, hemp is particularly loaded with omega six fatty acids and the branched chain amino acids that you need to support a lifetime of good health. 

These enzymes combine together to produce Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), a compound that has been found to effectively fight back against osteoporosis in women that are dealing with this condition already, but can also work as a preventative to avoid having to deal with osteoporosis in the first place. 

Hemp protein can clean out your colon and improve digestion 

The fiber contained within hemp protein is also going to work to improve your overall digestion, clean out your body of toxins and poisons, and help make sure that all the waste your body is trying to get rid of is done a lot more effectively and efficiently; this ensures it’s completely out of the body without any headache or hassle whatsoever. 

Your overall digestion and your colon health will be improved, and you’ll be able to count more “regularity” then you probably would have been able to before you decided to move forward with hemp protein as part of your daily diet. 

Hemp protein will cripple your sweet tooth while also boosting your immune system 

Incredibly, hemp protein sources such as what you will find in 310 Shakes have also been proven to fight back against the “sweet tooth” temptation that so many of us have to deal with on a day to day basis. The minerals, vitamins, and enzymes in hemp protein actually calm down your sweet tooth, stop your body from craving sweets to begin with, and help you avoid cravings that might have otherwise become out of control – running you right off the rails of your healthy eating program. 

Your immune system is going to see a big boost, as well, as these proteins contain a whole host of enzymes – including edestin and albumin – that have been clinically-proven to provide your body with a more effective arm against inflammation, outside attacks, bacteria, and disease. 

You just can’t go wrong supplementing with hemp protein!

 

Using Lectin Shield to Protect Your Body from Lectins’ Adverse Effects

Lectins are derived from plants, and have negative impacts on the human body. The main issue is lack of ability to protect from such proteins that adversely affects the functioning of the body. The plants with lectins are consumed often by people making the problem appear even bigger. However, Lectin Shield was developed with an aim of providing solutions to the problems caused by lectins. 

Lectin shield provides an intoxication effect to the proteins to reduce the side effects of the commodity. There are questions which require answers in regards to lectins for an increased knowledge of the product by the community. We are required to have an insight on what are Lectins, their effects and available measures to protect against the food poisoning. This article discusses how Lectin Shield is innovative in the field, as well as vital for healthy eating.

What are Lectins?  

Survival aspect is not a concern for only animals but also, plants. Therefore, plants come up with a mechanism to protect them from their prey. The mechanisms are aimed at increasing the survival rate for the plant. Lectins in plants are the mechanisms that are used to protect them from diseases which are commonly caused by pathogens, insects, and animals. The protection is aimed at ensuring that there is a proper flow of the plants despite the many dangers in the environment.

Lectin’s macro molecules are used as immune receptors for the plants for reduced cases of diseases. In case animals and human beings consume the lectins proteins, they are adversely affected as the protein’s main function is protection from diseases. The proteins are available in legumes, a product which is consumed by humans on regular basis. You can check out this article on Pinterest about Lectin Shield and lectins. Lectin’s proteins cause a link between bacteria and virus which makes the human body vulnerable to diseases.

Lectin’s Effects  

The following are several effects of lectins to the human body, which are why you should check your options for fighting against lectins with products like Lectin Shield: 

  1. Cause problems with the digestive system. The proteins are attached to the epithelial cells which are found in the intestine walls thus negatively impacting the digestive system. Lectins expose the intestinal cells, which increase the possibility of infection and damage to the large intestine. The digestive tract is inflamed, making it hard to effectively digest the food consumed by an individual. The inflammation of the digestive tract leads to diarrhea and vomiting.  
  2. Leads to immune system disorder. The attachment of lectins to the intestine walls leads to immune systems developing cells to fight the proteins. The immune system’s direct attack on body cells, which are connected to the lectins, cause an immune system disorder. This fighting of lectins causes allergy and compromises the ability of the immune systems to deal with diseases causing pathogens. Proper coordination of body cells is negatively affected by the introduction of the lectin proteins in the body.
  3. Results in leaky guts. The damage to the intestine walls makes the waste products and food particles join the digestion processes. The food particles and waste products leak through the damaged intestine wall, and are directed to the blood stream.  

Protecting the Body from Lectin’s Adverse Effects 

It is not good news that lectins have negative effects on the normal functioning of the body. The risk is made worse considering that the proteins are available from plants that are regularly consumed by the people. The good news is that you can protect your body from lectins using the Lectin Shield, which is aimed at dealing with the adverse effects from the plant protein.  

The following nutrients also protect the body against lectins and are found in Lectin Shield: 

  1. D- Mannose is a sugar which is commonly found in fruits with the ability to protect the body from harmful bacteria. The nutrient is able to deal with lectins from peanuts, peas, lentils, and beans. The nutrients also have the ability to treat urinary tract infections.
  2. N- Acetylglucosamine is used to deal with lectins from wheat and reduce joint pains.
  3. Sialic acid- the nutrients are derived from berries and grains with the ability to form a slippery wall to the intestine which is crucial in protecting it from infection.  
  4. Bladder Wrack- is a nutrient from seaweed that has anti-fungal properties which protect the body from a variety of plant lectins.

 

Conclusion  

Lectin Shield is used to offer protection from lectin’s adverse effects for a proper flow of body function. It has also the ability to speed up the absorption of nutrients, stop bloating, and make intestinal walls stronger. 

Benefits of Pea Protein in 310 Shakes

More and more people are moving towards alternative protein powders and protein sources, looking for ways to improve their overall health and wellness without having to deal with the drawbacks and downsides of more traditional protein solutions and animal protein powders. 

Plant-based protein options like 310 Shakes are increasingly popular, and amongst them none has gained quite as much attention in the last few years as pea protein has. 

100% gluten-free, 100% dairy free, and 100% allergen free, this is a top-notch protein solution designed to help you build the body of your dreams and enjoy the quality of health that you deserve just as quickly as humanly possible. 

Let’s highlight some of the biggest benefits that pea protein brings to the table. 

Pea protein powders and shakes accelerate weight loss 

Pea protein powder is one of the most important tools for accelerating your weight loss journey, providing you with the ability to elevate your metabolism so that you turn into a fat-melting furnace around the clock – regardless of whether or not you’ve spent any time in the gym that day. 

Because it takes longer (and more effort on your body’s behalf) to break down pea protein compared to traditional animal-based proteins, your body is going to need more fuel to get the job done. This is going to trigger a cascade of fat loss to be used as energy like you’ve never seen before, and because the digestive processes are so drawn out you’re going to be able to burn fat all day long. 

On top of that, pea protein powder also includes enzymes that allow it to slow down the production of the “hunger hormone” known as ghrelin. This is going to curb cravings, stop you from feeling hungry, and help you feel full even after you only have a snack. Portion control becomes almost effortless with this kind of approach! 

Pea protein powders such as in 310 Shakes support health heart and cardiovascular wellness 

Unlike traditional animal-sourced protein powders and protein shakes that will elevate your risk of heart conditions and increase your blood pressure at the same time (or at least raise the potential for this to happen in the first place), plant-based protein powders like pea protein powders and protein shakes are going to fight back against those conditions and give your body better protection against these dangerous and potentially deadly diseases. 

Inflammation across the board is going to be decreased significantly when you choose to supplement with pea proteins versus animal proteins. Lower your inflammation level and you do a great service to your overall health and well-being, arming your body with everything it needs to fight back against cancerous cells, free radicals, and other dangerous medical conditions. 

Pea protein powders have been linked to decreases of kidney disease risk 

A number of clinical studies have suggested that pea protein has the capability to not just lower high blood pressure, but also provide enzymes and biochemical reactions in the body that fight back against chronic kidney disease as well. 

Researchers aren’t exactly sure of the mechanics of how pea protein pulls this amazing feat off, but they do agree that this is what’s happening – and it all gets traced back to the pea protein enzymes themselves.  

More research is obviously necessary to better understand why this is happening, but for millions and millions of people around the world that are living with chronic kidney disease it’s enough to know that it works rather than having to know how it works. 

Pea proteins can dramatically increase muscular tissue thickness and strength 

Right out of the gate, pea protein is incredibly rich with amino acids (especially branched chain amino acids) that can help to fight back against the breakdown of lean muscle mass when you are working at, something that is mission-critical when it comes time to build stronger, thicker, and more durable muscular tissue. 

The muscle tissue that is built with proteins coming from peas will definitely be stronger, more durable, and more resistant to injury. This is not only going to help you look bigger, faster, but it’s also going to provide you with stronger muscles in a shorter block of time as well. 

Pea protein such as you will find in 310 Shakes is proving to be really special and it should surprise absolutely no one if it becomes one of the most popular alternative protein sources moving forward.

The Folks Of Art Deco Mumbai Want To Save India’s Elegant Buildings

 

The seafront is lined with brightly coloured buildings boasting curved corners, stylish balconies and exotic motifs. But this isn’t Miami’s famous Art Deco district in Florida, the United States – it’s Mumbai, India.

The city is known more for its Victorian Gothic edifices than the sleeker architectural designs that swept Europe and America during the 1920s and 1930s. But a group of enthusiasts are making Mumbai’s hundreds of Deco structures, which include residential properties, commercial offices, cinemas and hospitals, as famous as their 19th century counterparts.

The ambitious Art Deco Mumbai project aims to document every single one and educate residents about the buildings’ origins to ensure the “style moderne” architectural legacy of India’s financial capital is preserved.

“Mumbai has one of the largest collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. It’s an incredible heritage,” says Atul Kumar, conservationist and founder of Art Deco Mumbai.

The turreted Soona Mahal has housed three generations of the same family since it was built in 1937.

Palm trees blow gently along the 3km Marine Drive promenade where Soona Mahal, a symmetrical, yellow-painted building with orange vertical lines and elaborate turret, sits proudly on the street corner.

“It’s an iconic building that looks like a ship pushing through waves,” says 70-year-old Mehernosh Sidhwa proudly. He is the third generation of his family to live in it after his grandfather had it built in 1937.

Around the corner, five-storey buildings sporting elegant Deco fonts, marble floors and spiral staircases line the Oval Maidan playing field, while nearby are the popular Eros and Regal cinemas.

The areas make up the heart of Mumbai’s Art Deco precinct, which in 2012 was submitted to Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific And Cultural Organisation) for world heritage recognition. A short distance up the coast is Breach Candy hospital, also in Deco style.

“There’s an interesting amalgamation of classical European Art Deco and Mumbai Deco. You have ziggurats, rounded locomotive balconies, tropical images, streamlining, speed lines and Egyptian motifs as well as Indian designs,” enthuses Kumar.

Saving the little known Art Deco buildings in Mumbai

Marine Drive is lined with brightly coloured buildings boasting curved corners, stylish balconies and exotic motifs that draw from an interesting amalgamation of classical European Art Deco and Mumbai Deco.

The buildings were constructed between the early 1930s and early 1950s after wealthy Indians sent their architects to Europe to come up with modern designs different to those of their colonial rulers. They visited as Deco was taking the West by storm following the 1925 Paris exposition.

“Mumbai’s Deco buildings have always lived in the shadow of the Victorian Gothic structures built by the British,” such as the main railway station, museum and high court, says Kumar.

“But Art Deco is no less. It’s a colourful, vibrant, free, sophisticated style that represented the aspirations of a whole new class. India was under oppressive colonial rule and this was a very unique statement through architecture.”

Saving the little known Art Deco buildings in Mumbai

Near the Oval Maidan playing field sits the Eros Theatre sporting elegant Deco fonts, marble floors and spiral staircases.

Tour guides are fond of telling foreign visitors to Mumbai that only Miami has more Deco structures internationally. Local legend says the coastal Indian city has 200 such buildings.

Kumar and his small team, which is not-for-profit, are working hard to come up with a precise tally for the first time by documenting the entire city and adding all the Deco buildings to a Google map on their website, artdecomumbai.com.

“We want to establish the accurate number and therefore position Mumbai’s relevance correctly across the world,” explains Kumar, who says they’ve already counted 136 in 18 months, with several neighbourhoods left to investigate. “It’s definitely going to be way more than 200,” adds the finance professional confidently, before cautiously speculating that the final number could be around 300.

The team talk to owners to establish which structures are Deco. They record building and architect names, dates of construction, coordinates and Deco features. Key specifics and photos are then uploaded to an inventory on artdecomumbai.com. Images with captions are also published on Twitter and Instagram.

“We have 100% accuracy. If we are doubtful then we don’t include the building,” says Kumar, who also organises walking tours to spread the word.

He laments that a lack of awareness has led many Deco buildings to be demolished or compromised by alterations. Property developers offering lucrative sums to replace them with luxury apartments have also caused destruction.

“Ultimately our objective is to conserve this tremendous collection. As we talk to people they become fiercely proud and that translates into a desire to preserve,” Kumar concludes. – AFP Relaxnews

Home Is Where She Shares Her Life Story

Checking items off an ambitious bucket list is nothing new for Eva Niewiadomski, 55, who has launched a successful business, travelled the world, and even fulfilled a longtime dream to take a class in puppetry. In 2015, Niewiadomski achieved another goal: She bought a spacious three-bedroom home in Chicago.

“I’d never lived in a house in my life, and I wanted to have that experience,” she explains. “When I walked in, I felt like this was my home.”

Although she had only just begun house-hunting – and not very seriously at that – the American foursquare-style house built in 1904 had generously sized rooms, stained glass windows and other original details that proved too hard to resist.

“I was not going to strip paint from the woodwork,” she says. According to the home’s prior owner, she adds, renowned writer David Sedaris did just that when he rented a room in the house years ago. “That’s before he made it big,” she says.

There are stories behind many of the furnishings, too, a vibrant mix of pieces scavenged from secondhand stores or collected on Niewiadomski’s many travels.

Moving from an apartment to a house has allowed Niewiadomski to showcase her collections in new ways.

She credits her unique style, in part, to her parents: first-generation Polish immigrants. “My dad was all about how well crafted and solid the old furniture was,” she says. “Plus it’s less expensive.”

She points to the matching 1950s sofas in the living room of the home, which although still upholstered with their original blue brocade fabric, seem pristine.

“The beauty is that they were still covered in the original clear plastic covers that people used to put on their furniture,” she says of the lucky antique store find. “When I pulled them off, I had two brand-new sofas.”

The vintage couches seem perfectly at home among an eclectic mix that includes a boldly patterned rug made in Turkey using a brocaded weaving technique, and a pair of 1970s wing chairs that she recently had re-covered. (See main image, top.)

“They have such a great shape,” Niewiadomski says. She originally bought them for Catalyst Ranch, the similarly decked-out meeting and event space that she founded in Chicago’s West Loop area, before deciding that she couldn’t part with them and brought them home.

Home owner Eva Niewiadomski is finally stretching her design wings

Vintage ceramic and glass jars line the shelves of classic white cabinetry with glass panels in the kitchen. The island is made from an old metal workbench base that she found and outfitted with a new wooden top.

Her collection began with a stone sculpture by an eastern European artist that she purchased from a folk festival many years ago. It’s displayed atop the fireplace mantel alongside colourful “outsider” artwork and a pair of handmade, vibrantly painted animal figurines. Those figurines were part of a suitcase full of pieces and textiles that she brought back from a journey to Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2005.

Home owner Eva Niewiadomski is finally stretching her design wings

In the dining room, a grass-cloth wall covering creates a textured neutral backdrop for colourful odds and ends.

“There’s always something interesting to look at, but it doesn’t feel like a museum,” she says of her home. “Everything has a story, so it sparks conversations.”

The conversation continues in the adjacent dining room, where a grass-cloth wall covering installed by the previous owner creates a textured neutral backdrop for colourful odds and ends. A set of wooden chairs with orange vinyl upholstery surround the large midcentury honey maple dining table, where Niewia-domski’s already hosted many dinner parties. “It got inaugurated pretty quickly,” she says.

When working from home, Niewiadomski can usually be found at the kitchen island – an old metal workbench base that she found at the Lincoln Antique Mall.

It’s been outfitted with a new wooden top made by a friend. Vintage ceramic and glass jars from Sweden and the Czech Republic line the shelves of the classic white cabinetry with glass panels.

The walls are filled with a boisterous array of artwork; plates from the Ukraine; and a row of vibrant faces, which were hand-carved from coconut in Mexico.

Home owner Eva Niewiadomski is finally stretching her design wings

Close-up of carved figurines picked up during her travels. ‘I just collect crazy, random things that catch my eye and go together well.’

“I just collect crazy, random things that catch my eye and go together well,” she explains. “There are complements and commonalities within cultures, and these things can be blended in harmony.”

A 3D wall textile from Thailand, for example, makes a statement in the master bedroom, while still coexisting peacefully with the vintage bedroom furniture.

And in the bedroom-turned-workshop at the front of the house, an antique costume purchased at a Lyric Opera sale commingles with abstract wooden animals from Poland and several puppets from her extensive collection, including one she made herself out of newspaper, masking tape and rope.

Just down the hall is a rear sun porch, which Niewiadomski recently had weatherproofed. To preserve its vintage character, she instructed the contractors to carefully save and reinstall the original wood floor and ceiling after adding insulation.

But when the weather is nice, you’re more likely to find her reading in her backyard hammock.

This past summer, she cultivated two gardens, including a 6m row of raspberries and mint that spread like crazy.

The privacy and ability to plant what she wants without seeking input from the neighbours are particularly enjoyable, she says, after decades of apartment life. As are the open layout and square room sizes that foursquare-style homes are known for.

“Living here has given me a chance to put my collections into a totally different context,” she says. “I love it.” – Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service

Portable Toilets For Disaster Victims? Japanese Design To The Rescue!

Prompted by two major earthquakes that hit Japan in 2011 and 2016, award-winning Japanese design studio Nendo has come up with a portable toilet that can used by victims of natural disasters.

The earthquakes which hit eastern Japan in 2011 and the city of Kumamoto in 2016 highlighted the need to be in a state of readiness. While the major problems were obviously the seized-up transport system and the supply of food and electricity, the issue of access to toilets was greatly underestimated.

With this in mind, design studio Nendo headed by Oki Sato has come up with the “minimLET”, a kit containing all the necessary parts to construct a toilet.

The minimLET contains six parts – aluminium pipes, a toilet seat, a piece of nylon to make a tent, pocket handkerchiefs, bin bags, and a coagulant. As its name suggests, the kit takes up very little space.

A simple diagram shows the various ways in which the minimLET can be put together.

While many models of portable/disposable toilets have previously been designed and manufactured, the utilisation rate is relatively low. The main reasons are the size and the weight of the various parts, particularly the tent and the toilet seat.

Nendo decided to divide up all the parts as much as possible to ensure that they can be used in different situations. For example, the pipes can be used as supporting poles for the tent, or for the seat. Similarly, the piece of nylon can be used as a poncho. And the bag which contains the kit is impermeable and can be used as a 16-litre bucket.

The design studio also wanted other objects to become part of the kit, if required. For example, a plastic umbrella could become part of the structure of the tent, and steel cans or plastic bottles could be used as supporting poles for the toilet.

Studio Nendo has received many prizes and awards throughout its career. Its founder, Canada-born, Tokyo-based Sato was named 2016 Designer of the Year at the prestigious Maison and Objet trade show in Paris. – AFP Relaxnews

London Co-Living Space Offers Housing Crisis Solution

The 10-storey building in London may look like a hotel, but it is thought to be the world’s biggest large-scale house-share, offering modest rooms and upscale services for hundreds of young adults caught in the city’s housing crisis.

The Old Oak building, situated on a canal bank in north-west London, opened in the first quarter of 2016, and has become a pioneer of “co-living”, a concept that is beginning to catch on elsewhere, notably in the United States.

“Today in cities, we don’t know our neighbours, housing is more and more expensive, we’re living behind our devices and this is addressing that challenge,” says Ryan Fix, consultant at The Collective, the project’s developer.

This was no niche market, he insists: “It’s going to be a massive movement in the coming decades.”

Ed Thomas, who manages the property for The Collective, offers a tour of the 546-room building and its facilities.

“You’ve got a nice spacious room with big window that lets lots of light in,” he says as he shows us a room measuring 12sq m.

All of the rooms are currently occupied.

It might look like the lobby of a hotel but this is actually a common area in what is, essentially, a hostel of sorts. The main image above shows the outside of the Old Oak Building.

Some have a tiny ensuite bathroom, with a small wash basin placed almost over the toilet, and a kitchenette. In others, the cooking and washroom areas are shared.

The Old Oak boasts high-end facilities such as a spa, gym, library, work room, restaurant and even a cinema, which is packed for evening showings of the hit TV series Game Of Thrones.

The building is a 10-minute walk from two London Underground transportation stations. And its distinguishing features include its industrial-style architecture and sprawling common spaces filled with colourful armchairs and wooden furniture.

London Co-Living Space Offers Housing Crisis Solution

Personal trainer Adam Saez in his tiny but comfortable apartment in the Old Oak Building.

There are also communal activities on offer, such as music evenings and yoga classes.

The majority of the Old Oak’s current tenants are young people aged between 22 and 35 earning an average of £30,000 (RM167,000) a year – who might otherwise be sharing a cramped house with strangers.

It is common for Londoners to spend “40% to 50% of their net salary” on housing, James Mannix, a partner at estate agency Knight Frank, says.

London Co-Living Space Offers Housing Crisis Solution

The building’s common restaurant.

“It is extremely difficult to find a place to rent in London and young people are increasingly marginalised,” says The Collective’s Ed Thomas.

“It is very time-consuming, and even once you move into somewhere, the chances that you find a group of people that you get along with are extremely slim. We’re trying to tackle that problem.”

According to Knight Frank, a typical room in shared accommodation costs £1,602 (RM9,000) per month in central London and £954 (RM5,300) in areas farther out.

London Co-Living Space Offers Housing Crisis Solution

Residents working in one of the communal spaces at The Collective Old Oak.

The Old Oak’s prices are largely in line with those of the local area.

The majority of the rooms cost between £850 and £1,100 (RM4,700 to RM6,000) per month, but that includes all bills (energy, Internet, cleaning, taxes, and common facilities). The largest are advertised at more than £1,400 (RM7,800).

Adam Saez, a 26-year-old Australian sports trainer who has lived in Old Oak for over a year, sees his rent as “an investment”.

“I’ve not only made friends, but I’ve also done a lot of networking, so I’ve met lots of people that I now work with as well,” he says.

Sarah Sinigaglia, a 19-year-old Italian-Swiss student newly arrived in London, agrees.

“It’s very easy to meet people,” she says. “In the evening, you can go downstairs … to the lobby or the bar, and there are lots of people like me who are alone.”

The Collective, whose first shared building was funded by a “Singapore family” for an undisclosed amount, is launching two other projects in east London.

One is close to the Olympic Park in Stratford and the other in Canary Wharf, in the business district of the British capital.

They are expected to open in 2019, with a combined total of 1,000 rooms up for rent.

The Collective is also looking to expand internationally and eyeing different target groups, such as families.

Estate agent Mannix says the concept of co-living is “socially a good thing”, creating affordable accommodation – at the same time profitable for the developers – in a private-sector response to a crisis that the public authorities are failing to tackle sufficiently. – AFP

Japan’s Gachapon Capsule Toys Appeal To Adults

A tiny replica of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and a plastic cat squatting on sushi: just two of the weird-and-wonderful capsule toys that have become a multi-million-dollar craze in cute-obsessed Japan.

The industry is now worth an estimated ¥30bil (RM1.09bil), with the fastidious attention to detail in the toys appealing to the Japanese sense of precision along with a well-documented love of all things “kawaii” or cute.

One store, in Tokyo’s famous Akihabara electronics district, is crammed with around 500 capsule toy vending machines stretching out as far as the eye can see.

“When I see something I want, I keep on turning the crank until I get it,” said Shota Makita, a 23-year-old careworker on the hunt for a fun toy.

“There’s a sense of excitement about not knowing what I’ll get,” said Makita, one of a growing number of adult consumers of capsule toys, known as “gachagacha” or “gachapon” in Japanese after the cranking sound of the vending machines.

Capsule toys have been around for more than 40 years.

Store manager Yo Kono says the customer base has changed in the 16 years the shop has been open.“At the beginning, visitors were mainly male anime fans … but recently the number of customers has grown with more female visitors and foreign tourists,” Kono said.

Capsule toys have been around for more than 40 years but the craze really took off in 2012 when Tokyo-based manufacturer Kitan Club launched its “Koppu no Fuchico” (“Fuchico at the edge of a glass”) product.

This figurine of a woman wearing a typical office worker’s clothes, whose arms or legs were designed to hang over the edge of a glass, became an instant hit with adults.

Japanese capsule toys

The capsule toys include figurines of women wearing typical office clothes, whose arms or legs are designed to hang over the edge of a glass.

“We never thought of targeting children. Their numbers are dwindling and adults have more money,” said spokesman Seita Shiki.

Shiki chalks up the Fuchico capsule’s success to the fact it is “cheap and Instagram-worthy”.

Fans have been sharing photos of Fuchico on social media, which helped boost its popularity without the company even needing to advertise, he boasted.

“Fuchico was launched just as social media started to be used widely. It fitted with the times.”

Kitan Club, which makes various kinds of capsule toys, saw its sales grow from ¥800mil to ¥1.2bil after the launch of the Fuchico series.

The capsule toy became so popular that the company was asked to create a pop-up shop at the cult Paris concept store Colette and to hold an exhibition in Taiwan.

Very Japanese

Now many manufacturers are making capsule toys to appeal to adult consumers, helping to expand the market to around 100 new items each month.

Manufacturer Bandai, which occupies around 70% of the capsule toy market, said the products sell well because they are expertly made and they come in huge varieties.

When Bandai began making capsule toys exactly 40 years ago in 1977, the majority of them were cheap, sold mostly at ¥20 (70sen), and were of poor quality, general manager Toshikazu Saita said.

“A wide variety of quality products are available at only ¥200 or ¥300 (RM7 or RM11). I think that’s a reason why they’re so popular now,” said Saita.

He said the quality of the products was down to specialists who “hand-carve prototypes by paying attention to angles and colours”.

“The attention to detail is very Japanese,” he said.

But to keep costs down, the actual toys are manufactured in China using the Japanese design as a prototype.

Japanese capsule toys

The ultimate ‘Instagram-ready’ accessory.

Shiki of Kitan Club agreed that attention to detail was what set Japanese capsule toys apart.

“For example, Fuchico’s knees and elbows are slightly sprayed with red paint to make them look real,” he explained.

“This adds one extra step but we feel we have to do this” even if it adds to the cost, he added.

It certainly appeals to Nana Sakuma, 26, who snapped up four capsule toys in the shape of Japanese food stalls from machines in the Akihabara store.

She said: “I’m really happy to find toys that are so real. When I see real things turned into miniatures, I find them irresistibly cute. I cannot help but buy them.” – AFP

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