Catch you in a week!

Sometimes, you have to disconnect to reconnect.

And, while it gives us a funny feeling in our belly to be signing out for a week from all you wonderful people, we must practice what we preach.

So, we’re going to take an offline vacation and spend the half-term week with family.

You might catch the odd sprinkle of inspo on social media, though we’re on hold for features until November 1 when we’ll be back with a bang!

In the meantime, have a spooooky Halloween and catch you on the other side.

Big love,
InspoDaily Team

Heart-warming ‘toy adoption agency’ sells bears with incredible stories

If you’ve ever been accused of being a hoarder by clinging onto your tattered teddy bears from yesteryear, then we might have a solution for you.

In what is adorably coined ‘a soft toy adoption agency’, you can donate old toys to open-hearted kids looking for a new friend to play with.

Now, instead of feeling torn between having to throw a sentimental toy away or stuff it down the back of the wardrobe, you can give them to Loved Before who’ll organise their adoption.

[Credit: Loved Before]

Thanks to the ingenuity of Charlotte Liebling, an art school graduate, she desperately wanted to make the transition of parting with old toys more bearable and also save the planet as there are enough soft toys already in the world to never have to produce another again.

Chatting about what led to her passion for rehousing toys, Charlotte said it began while volunteering in a charity shop and noticing the amounts that were donated to them.

Charlotte said: “These items which often held great memories and sentimental value, were being thrown onto a pile and often sold as dog toys – or even worse, into the bin!

“I witnessed how the love and the life and the stories were lost and forgotten, just like that.”

[Credit: Loved Before]

Charlotte continued: “Loved Before was born in an attempt to change the way we think about and use soft toys forever.

“By challenging our perceptions of pre-owned objects, we can show that instead of losing value, a toy once loved is made even more valuable by the love and life it has experienced.”

True to her word, whenever Loved Before receive a new donation, former owners are encouraged to share a little about their toy’s story or the memories they shared with them.

This story or bio is then displayed and packaged with the toy as they start their adventures with their new families, so the latest owners can understand about the background.

[Credit: Loved Before]

Charlotte said: “Whether they’ve been sitting on a shelf or have travelled the world dangling from a backpack, our toys have been loved before and that means they often look it!

“They can be worn, battered, broken and in general terms, are far from ‘perfect’. What we show is that ‘imperfections’ mean absolutely nothing in the context of love and acceptance and as we learn through the medium of bears, there really is no such thing as ‘perfection’.”

Join the tedolution today!  

For that perfect Christmas gift, click here: Loved Before.

Tiny homes built in people’s gardens are helping combat housing crisis

While we all hope to see homelessness wiped out, often it feels like there isn’t much we can do other than buy someone a sandwich or donate a few pennies.

Yet a new project is helping bridge the gap between those with housing and those without so that privileged people can do more to help the vulnerable.

The BLOCK Project’s incredible initiative builds tiny homes in people’s gardens to offer rough sleepers a safe haven where they can stay warm.

Not only does it keep disadvantaged individuals off the streets, it also champions social inclusion and smashes stigmas around class wars by introducing integration.

[Credit: The BLOCK Project]

Of course, kind-hearted homeowners must first give their permission, after which fully-equipped homes are then built to give their new neighbours a place to call home.

Speaking about the mission, the Seattle-based team said they needed to take a bold stand after realising that society will never end homelessness through housing alone.

They said: “A new approach is needed that acknowledges that relationships are the building blocks for healing our communities and that we can no longer see those who are homeless as ‘other’.”

The crew added: “This bold new model invites all of us to step forward with our own abilities to create societal change.”

[Credit: The BLOCK Project]

While small, the mini homes are certainly not just fancy tents, they are designed to be permanent dwelling units to provide stability for residents to conquer their struggles.

The programme falls under the Facing Homelessness umbrella, a remarkable organisation that fights to end homelessness by inviting people to work together as a community.

Founder Rex Hohlbein also believes that by humanising homelessness and seeing each person on the street as an individual, we can chip away at the taboo of poverty.

[Credit: Facing Homelessness]

Back in 2010, having welcomed rough sleepers into his office where he worked as an architect for a space to chat, he saw first-hand the power of connection and was overwhelmed at how jarring the negative stereotype of the homeless was to the beauty of those he was meeting.

To illustrate this, Rex began photographing his new friends and shared the glorious black and white photos alongside their stories.

The intimate portraits swiftly caught the public’s attention, and what began as a passion project on social media evolved into the non-profit organisation it is now.

Today, they continue to tell stories and share photos of people who are experiencing homelessness, in their first step toward overcoming feelings of being invisible.

To check out the beautiful snapshots, click here: Facing Homelessness.

The life-changing tool to boost child mental health

If you are a teacher or know a teacher, you’ll know trying to juggle wellbeing lessons alongside the subjects you already teach is quite the task.

That’s why it’s time to welcome the mental health superheroes, Grow Your Mind.

This team of wellness extraordinaries have done the tough stuff for you, collating engaging and relatable resources that are easy to introduce into the classroom.

[Credit: Grow Your Mind]

They are big believers in prevention over crisis, meaning they champion starting mental health education as early as possible to help little ones understand their minds.

With half of all serious mental health issues beginning before a child reaches 14, it’s evident that more needs to be done when they are younger rather than scrambling around for solutions when they hit their teens and, for some, tragically it could be too late.

But how can pre-schoolers and primary kids learn about mental health when they are so young? Well, in the same way us big kids too, but with age-appropriate tools.

[Credit: Grow Your Mind]

Our favourite resource is the glorious family of brain characters, where you can meet The Wise Owl (representing the prefrontal cortex, which regulates cognitive function) and The Guard Dog (illustrative of the amygdala, involved with emotions, behaviour, and fear).

Their squad also includes The Elephant Who Tries Hard To Remember (hippocampus, responsible for memory) and The Sensitive Octopus (insular cortex, connected to emotions).

To help tackle the self-esteem crisis, the Grow Your Mind crew have devised a whole school approach programme that looks at brain awareness, resilience, and mindfulness on their mission to embed messages about emotional health in young children.

As well as teacher training and digital resources for schools, there is a home kit packed with guidebooks and sensorial experiences to help kids learn about their brains and emotions.

[Credit: Grow Your Mind]

In addition to this, they also offer free parent webinars, exploring themes such as coping with change, making friends with uncomfortable feelings, and how to foster creativity at home.

While the resources are aimed at three-years-old and up, just a quick peek at what’s on offer is a powerful reminder that regardless of age, we ALL have a mental health and need to look after ours with simple techniques that can empower us to be the best versions of ourselves.

For more info, click here: Grow Your Mind.

Caffeine fix with a twist: This cuppa helps stop prisoners reoffending

There’s nothing quite like rolling out of bed and slurping on a fresh coffee.

Until now, your morning caffeine fix has been little more than a pick-me-up and something to tickle the tastebuds.

Today, you can throw in social justice to the mix for the perfect holy trinity.

It’s all credit to Redemption Roasters, the world’s first prison-based coffee roastery.

That’s right, the finest brews made courtesy of Her Majesty’s Prison residents.

[Credit: Redemption Roasters]

The incredible initiative strives to reduce reoffending by training convicts with coffee industry skills, so they have the best shot at reintegrating into the community after their sentence.

Not only are prisoners trained in roastery and barista skills, on their release they are also supported with securing jobs at one of the company coffee shops or with their wholesale clients.

Speaking about their humanitarian efforts, the Redemption Roasters team said prisoners are 50% more likely to reoffend if they leave prison without skills and a job.

This proves that rehabilitation is vital rather than just locking people up, throwing away the key, and expecting different results when people return to society.

[Credit: Redemption Roasters]

In their mission statement, they said: “We support our local community as much as possible by supporting those with a history of imprisonment to transition back into employment.

“We work rigorously in the coffee industry to challenge assumptions about ex-offenders, and secure careers for our graduates.”

They added: “Employment can be transformational and plays a big role in an individual’s self-esteem and personal growth. We believe that everyone can benefit from employment and meaningful activity, and that everyone can succeed given the proper support.”

[Credit: Redemption Roasters]

So, where you can get your hands on one of these delicious drinks?

If you’re London-based or frequent the Big Smoke, you’re in luck, with locations dotted around King’s Cross, Barbican, Bloomsbury, Liverpool Street, Dulwich Village and Islington.

Those further afield, there’s an online store where you can grab luscious blends made from beans that originate in Ethiopia, Columbia, and Guatemala.

What are you waiting for, go have a brewtiful day.

For more info, click here: Redemption Roasters.

Flu-busting natural remedies to help banish colds and coughs

If you find yourself reaching for the antihistamines or nasal spray, then your body could be crying out for some respiratory support.

Even if you’re a wellbeing fiend that relishes healthy eating and exercise, you could find yourself in a spot of bother if pollutants that live in the air find their way into your system.

Fortunately, with Mother Nature’s offerings, you can get your hands on some toxin-busting herbs.

By getting green-fingered, you use the earth as medicine which is not only kind on the wallet but also keeps lungs in tip-top condition without having to depend on drugs.

[Credit: Annie Spratt]

There are plenty of natural remedies, from peppermint to oregano we sprinkle on pizzas, that have the ability to sooth irritated airways and break down chest congestion.

Just like their fruit and veggie comrades, herbs are also brimming with antioxidants which provide a further wellness boost to reduce oxidative damage inside the body.

Our pals over at Nexus have helped compile a hero list of respiratory breakthroughs to keep any difficulties with breathing at bay – check them out below.

[Credit: Diana Polekhina]

1) Eucalyptus

The name might already sound familiar with eucalyptus being a common ingredient in cough lozenges and syrups due to a compound called cineole that boasts benefits aplenty.

In addition to its superpowers easing coughs and congestion, it soothes irritated sinus passages and contains antioxidants to support the immune system during colds or flu.

Native to Australia, it is believed the aborigines first used these tree leaves for gastrointestinal concerns, healing wounds, curing fevers, and regular respiratory issues.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

2) Lungwort

While the name might not sound so cutesy, don’t disregard lungwort as your friend.

This little guy smacks harmful organisms with its compounds that are capable of tackling breathing conditions and treating lung diseases such as tuberculosis.

Believe it or not, this herb also looks the part as it resembles lung tissue in appearance.  

[Credit: Dayana Brooke]

3) Oregano

As a species of a flowering plant in the mint family, oregano works a dream in recipes. Though when you’re not flavouring your pasta sauces, you can take it as a decongestant.  

Packed with vitamins and nutrients that the immune system cries out for, its primary benefits help stuffy noses and reduces swelling with its antihistamine strength.

[Credit: Photoholgic]

4) Plantain Leaf

This anti-inflammatory king works wonders on mosquito bites, bee strings, and minor cuts.

It’s also been used for hundreds of years to ease coughs and soothe irritated mucus. In particular, it helps relieve a dry cough by triggering mucus production in the lungs.

[Credit: Mae Mu]

5) Peppermint

While you’ll have to get your hands on the fresh stuff rather than just chew some more Extra gum, it will be worth adding to the shopping list.

The ultimate decongestant, our peppermint pal contains menthol which is an uber soothing ingredient known to relax the muscles of the respiratory tract to encourage free breathing.

If you’ve ever used a chest balm and other inhalants that contains menthol from the herb, you’ll know just how calming the effect can be on blocked noses.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

6) Osha Root

Perhaps the least well-known, but certainly just as powerful, the brown roots of osha put on the boxing gloves when it comes to fighting colds.

The herb, native to the Rocky Mountains and Mexico, is considered an immune booster and can beat coughs, pneumonia, bronchitis, and indigestion into submission.

Remember, so many of the medicines that we buy often contain extracts of these very herbs, but going straight to the source, you get the purest form.  

To check out the full article, click here: Respiratory Support.

Hip vintage shop booms online with powerful ethos at its heart

Sure, it’s nice to get dolled up in something new for a night out.

Yet our insatiable appetite for fast fashion is literally killing our planet.

The reason being that cheap materials like polyester are used and when clothes are washed they shed microfibres containing plastics which end up in our seas.

These microfibres are ingested by marine life, which can be fatal. The microfibres are also eaten by tiny creatures, such as plankton, which is a food source for larger animals, meaning even those that avoid ingesting toxins directly will do so anyway as it makes its way up the food chain.

[Credit: Hip Store]

Though in a David and Goliath battle, slow fashion is starting to make waves in the industry.

One champion of the movement is Jack O’Reilly, founder of Hip Store. With a focus on vintage and reworked streetwear, Jack is on a mission to push ethical shopping into the spotlight.

We caught up with Jack to find out more about his journey and why he believes sustainable consumers are set to be the new normal.

[Credit: Hip Store]

Jack said: “We aim to source the most eco-friendly products to make a difference to our wonderful world, offering affordable, quality products that are sustainable and stunning.

“You can also get high-end brands at a fraction of the price. We can never have enough of nature, so why not help our environment and look good at the same time?”

He continued: “Having seen the devastating effects of the conventional clothing industry, it is clear we need a positive alternative. This industry is the second largest pollutant in the world and working conditions are infamous, both in the cotton fields and at the factories.”

Aware that his impact is small in the bigger picture, Jack is a big believer that it all makes a difference and we all have a responsibility collectively to create change.

[Credit: Jack O’Reilly]

At HipStore, their slow fashion ethos means they sell products that are made to last so they won’t be fraying at the seams after a few wears.

Where possible, their products are also made from organic and recycled materials, meaning the health of the planet really is put at the heart of everything they do.

Having started HipStore during the pandemic, Jack said he is both amazed and relieved to see that what he is doing is resonating with people.

[Credit: Hip Store]

He concluded: “I started selling a few vintage items on Depop over lockdown and this has now expanded into our own website, as well as selling on Etsy, eBay, Grailed and ASOS marketplace.

“We believe that eventually we shall realise that if we destroy the ecosystem we will destroy ourselves. So why not help our environment and look good at the same time.”

After all the ‘Earth’ without ‘art’ is ‘eh’.

To check out his collection, click here: Hip Store.

Swap air freshener chemicals for these natural air-purifying plants

When things smell a little fusty inside, most of us reach for the Febreze or perhaps light a candle – both of which contain chemicals.

Even with no noticeable odour lingering after your Saturday night shindig, you could still be at risk of breathing in impure air.

The reason being that synthetic materials from furniture, paint, carpeting and flooring naturally degrade and release harmful particles into the atmosphere. So much so, the air inside the average home is said to be up to five times more polluted than the air outside.

While that might sound pretty shocking, there are natural ways you can clear the air.

It is all thanks to the humble plant that packs a punch when it comes to cleaning your home, due to its ability to pump out fresh oxygen and banish toxins to leave you breathing pretty.

Before you go on a wild splurge, check out the recommendations below from our friends over at Conscious Lifestyle magazine who have collated the top air-purifying plants to help you thrive.

[Credit: Kelly Sikkema]

1) Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

This magical plant has almost witchcraft abilities as it is said to remove over 100 known air pollutants, including the deadly carbon monoxide.

It also produces copious amounts of oxygen throughout the night, making it an excellent plant to keep in the bedroom to keep you healthy while snoozing.

[Credit: Xinyi Zhang]

2) Money Plant

Popular in the practice of feng shui to boost prosperity, this plant is used to harmonise indoor spaces via its strategic arrangement alongside other household items.

As well as its calming aesthetic, its air-purifying properties will clean the air in your house very effectively due to its particular affinity for volatile organic compounds (known as VOCs) most commonly in the form of off-gassing from synthetic paint or carpets.

[Credit: Maria Elizabeth]

3) Peace Lily

You may be familiar with this gem that is a great general cleanser capable of removing all common indoor pollutants generated by furniture, electronics and cleaning products.

The peace lily is such a force to be reckoned with, it is ranked as one of the top sanitisers by NASA, who made the initial discovery about air purifying plants in the late 1980s.

[Credit: Alex Perri]

4) Bamboo Palm

These green friends excel at getting rid of harmful formaldehydes (found in building materials), benzene (often found in plastics, resins or detergents) and carbon monoxide.

As an added bonus, they are also natural humidifiers due to their ability to produce a litre of water every 24 hours making it a brilliant option for those with breathing troubles.

Looks like a trip to the garden centre has just found its way onto our to-do list.

Magical rocks: New discovery points to life form outside of humankind

In a time long before technology, our ancestors did not have social media to document their every move.

Instead, we must rely on oral history, deciphering hieroglyphics, and analysing artefacts that offer evidence about how early humans made things and how they lived.

However, while archaeological findings have previously helped us jigsaw together how humanity evolved over time, a new discovery has been unearthed to question everything.

A collection of incredible rocks unlike anything we have seen before is casting doubt on who created the first tools used by an intelligent species and when.

[Credit: Samarah Wood]

The rocks, located across Australia, are not only different in aesthetic to previous tools but it is evident they were created differently too in a time when technology was of a high order.

We caught up with archaeological guru Steven Strong to find out more about the significance of these rocks and what they can tell us about the past or indeed the future.

Steven said: “On these rocks we see hundreds of perfectly straight lines, stunning geometry, lines that have been cut not chiselled, a thin veneer of melted rock always uniformly of the same thickness applied onto a lighter-coloured base rock, infills and overlays of exotic rock grains attached or inserted, base rocks of the hardest material cut to make totally level faces to engrave upon, needled holes, lacquered and polished rocks, and so it continues.

“Every rock is unique, and every symbol, pattern or motif is not repeated in this ensemble, and nor can anyone find a like-for-like match in any rock collection in this country.”

[Credit: Our Alien Ancestry]

Steven continued: “So too, the markings and patterns made are not like any tribal design known. They come from a time when technology of a high order was used, then deemed harmful to the land and Guardian Spirits and discarded, forever.

“Of course, that all changed when the British Invasion Fleet dropped anchors in 1788.”

Steven and his son Evan are world-renowned experts in their field, dedicating their lives to answering the questions of whether humankind is alone on this universe.

Using their expertise, they look upon ancient evidence to showcase our lineage and how alien ancestry has influenced the modern world.

[Credit: Our Alien Ancestry]

However, despite their thirst for all things archaeological, Steven admitted that he did not always have an interest in rocks or geology and his marks at school reflected this.

Steven confessed: “To begin with, I had no knowledge of rocks like these, it was only when at the Kariong Glyphs – an area in Oz known for its Aboriginal petroglyphs – that it changed.”

While exploring with fellow scholar Michael Tellinger, their colleague Ros Mulder contacted them and sent photos of a rock she had found with an unusual marking onsite.

They immediately agreed to meet Ros at the car park, where they discovered her rock was much better than the pictures.

Steven continued: “We agreed that this rock was a technological enigma and totally unique.

“That was the same response the Smithsonian offered when sighting a photograph of the rock sent by a Professor in Geology who advises us. But was it unique, could there be more out there?”

[Credit: Our Alien Ancestry]

Steven and his team soon had 200 rocks in their ensemble, either bought through auctions or gifted to them by people who had found them all over the country.

Virtually the entire collection was made without a stick, stone or bone toolkit, nor with the assistance of an open fire as previously required by other ancestors to make tools.

Instead, the equipment required would have been no less than metal blades and thousands of degrees Celsius to create what Steven and his crew were witnessing.

But where did these captivating tools originate?

Steven explained that for over 95% of the rocks, the original location is never given. However, they do know that what Ros found is not sandstone (despite 50km in every direction it is solely sandstone country), and therefore can determine it never came from the place it was found.

“It may sound odd,” said Steven, “when the repatriation of artefacts is always the highest priority, but in one respect that is a blessing. As my Ramindjeri Elder, Karno Walker, stated often, these rocks are incredibly ancient and come from a time when we ‘had more genes’.”

[Credit: Our Alien Ancestry]

Now, more than half the rocks are in south Australia waiting on the completion of an original keeping place, something that Steven and Evan are continuing to explore.

Once all the buildings, security and landscaping are complete, the rocks will be set into a sacred figure-eight formation with a promise on offer.

Steven concluded: “These are the same rocks set into formation at Uluru on December 21, 2020, and will pass on that energy plus gift their insights and blessings to any who are ready.

“In these turbulent and divisive times with a seminal acceleration in earthly vibrations reoccurring as the days pass, for any soul who has dived into ‘the fast-flowing river’ and the Hopi prophecies of our elders, the rocks will enlighten, motivate and inspire.”

To delve deeper into what these rocks signify, Steven and Evan will place the rocks in formation and film them for 45 minutes in their next online conference to uncover more mysteries.

To grab your tickets, click here: Our Alien Ancestry.

Did you know you can improve health with a single handful of food?

While the idea of getting fit and healthy seems appealing, the ongoing commitment to it can feel arduous and get in the way of fun.

Yet just a single handful of food has the power to influence your wellbeing, meaning that results are instantaneous and can give you the drive to continue long-term.

If you’re ready to take the first step on the ladder, head on over to Instagram for a large dollop of Healthy Buzz Feed.

This wellness mecca vows to offer the ‘secrets of longevity’ by sharing bitesize facts on how to eat well, stay hydrated, and ultimately, achieve a longer life.

[Credit: Healthy Buzz Feed]

As well as revealing quirky food facts about how to maintain health, there are titbits of information on how to manage periods, boost sleep patterns, and even improve teeth.

In addition to this, there is advice on what fruit and veggies to consume together, for example, tomatoes are the perfect marriage with avocados thanks to their monounsaturated fat that make the cancer-fighting lycopene in tommies four times more powerful.

Similarly, a super tip for the sweet-toothed, is the love affair between apples and chocolate – all thanks to an anti-inflammatory crucial to heart health found in apples, that when eaten with the powerful antioxidants of dark chocolate, can fight blood clots and reduce risk of heart disease.

[Credit: Healthy Buzz Feed]

Other fascinating facts include three carrots giving enough energy to walk three miles; melon being a natural anxiety reliever; and just four Brazil nuts can improve cholesterol immediately.

Snacks aside, even the simple act of drying yourself with an exfoliating brush has its perks as it can detoxify your body by increasing blood circulation while also stimulating your nervous system.

If these findings tickle your pickle, then head on over to @HealthyBuzzFeed and fill your boots with even more guidance on anti-cancer superfoods, gut health advice and food medicine ideas.

[Credit: Healthy Buzz Feed]