June 2014 archive
image taken from Flickr
From a young age, I’ve always been encouraged to work for something I want. For example, I remember being 12 and wanting a pair of Thierry Henry Nike football boots that costed £55 and was told if I wanted them, I’d have to work for them.
So, I helped out with odd jobs around the house collecting pocket money along the way. By the time I’d saved up enough cash for the boots, they weren’t on sale anymore. That bitter disappointment was my first taste of life as an adult.
As I grew up a little more, generating the cash wasn’t too difficult because I just worked as hard as I could to get the money quicker. The only thing I found impossible was saving it. My parents would always tell me that my money burnt a hole in my pocket – it was like I needed to spend it the second I had it.
That got me thinking. I’m probably not the best person to ask when it comes to the secrets to saving money. But I did a little digging and found some excellent points that will help you save up that pocket money to get finally get what you’ve been dreaming about for so long.
Figure out exactly what you want to do with the money you saved. Cut out a picture of the item you would like to buy and its price from a catalog or magazine. Stick it onto the wall in your room or somewhere where you would see it often. Remind yourself that it’s worth hoovering, and raking the leaves.
Get a piggy bank or other means of storage. Wallets might not be the best choice as they tempt you into spending your money due to its portability and easy access. I used to one of those giant plastic coca-cola bottles. Filling them up with pennies and other short change takes a while but boy does it pay off.
Find a place where you won’t be tempted to get it out and spend it. You may actually have to hide your money from yourself if you get tempted easily. If your money is out in the open, you might be tempted to spend it. But also be sure it isn’t so difficult that you forget about saving or even where you put the money entirely. A sibling or parent’s closet may be a good idea, or you may even have them hide it from you over a period of time. That way you will have to go through them to find money to spend. Make sure your sibling won’t take it though.
Tell someone that you are saving your money, so that they can keep you from spending it. Firstly, make sure you trust this person. You don’t want to find out that they’ve been dipping into your hard-earned. You may get asked “who’s it for”? Or “what’s it for”? So be honest with them and say you’re saving for something you need, or maybe you want to buy a present for a special someone?
Remember that every penny counts. Pick up every little coin you see out there and remember that no matter how little you spend, it’ll make a huge difference in the long run. It’s just like 100,000 individuals saying that their vote doesn’t matter, but together they can make a difference.
If you are going out with your friends, it is suggested that you guys do something that doesn’t involve spending money such as going to the park, or playing football. Also, if you are at a friend’s house or at your own home, instead of buying a water at the shop for £1, save the money and take a trip to your house or just drink tap. It’s free!
A concern for every parent, you might be curious as to what you can do in order to make sure your child gets a great education. If you want to help your children so that they receive a better education, you’ll be glad to know that there are some things that you can do. When you follow a few of these steps, you’ll be able to provide your children with a superb high quality education.
Hire a Tutor
One of the first things you can do in order to ensure your children are getting a good education is to hire a tutor. A tutor can help fill some of the gaps that they might currently have in their education. Hiring a tutor can be especially important if your child is struggling in school.
If you want to hire a tutor but do not know how, you should speak to some of the other parents. These other parents might have had to use a tutor for their children, and so you can use their advice to help find a tutor. If they do not know of anyone, you can always use the internet to find an excellent tutor.
Speak to Their Teachers
You also have the option of speaking to the teachers your child has. The teachers will be able to tell you where your child is falling behind. They will also be able to provide some assistance in terms of work that they can do in order to improve. When speaking to the teachers you might also want to ask what other steps you can take in order to improve your child’s education.
Consider a New School
If your child is not performing well at school, it might be time to move them to another school. You should not be too hasty about this decision as the school might not always be at fault. Before you decide on moving your children to another school make sure you’ve pursued every other route.
Nevertheless when the time comes to move to another school, make sure you pick the next school well. In some cases, you will need to move house in order to put yourself in the catchment area of a new school. Where you need to move to will depend on the school in question.
You can become better informed by speaking to some of the estate agents in Manchester. They will know where you need to move to if you want to attend a particular school. They will also know what houses are currently up for grabs in that region and how much they are worth.
Getting an excellent education is important for your children. If you feel as though your children are not getting the level of education they deserve, you must take action now. The way in which you take action is going to depend on the situation in question. Regardless, you do not need to stand on the sidelines, and you can change the situation right now if you want to.
There is no question that your body has gone through some very big changes over the past few months. You and you alone have sustained a life, which is an extremely big accomplishment. However, it is not so forgiving to your figure. Every woman’s body changes significantly after they have had a baby, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot feel sexy like you did before the pregnancy.
Most women don’t even think about brushing their hair when they have a new baby, but after a few months, most often after a mother has stopped breast feeding, you will begin to make time for yourself again. You deserve to have time to get dressed up and feel good about yourself, no matter how busy and crazy things get. If you are a new mom who is ready to feel sexy again, here are four tips to help you get your confidence back.
Find a new, great fitting bra
You breasts have changed dramatically through all the swelling and breastfeeding, so they are in definite need or some TLC. Finding a new bra that fits well will make every outfit you put on look better, which is one of the best confidence boosts you can get every day. Consider ThirdLove designer bras that find your perfect fit with half-sizes and a bra-sizing app to help you find the best fit possible. You can find styles that have soft materials for your sensitive skin in beautiful designs that will make you feel sexy and comfortable in your own skin.
Incorporate some exercise in every day
No matter whether you were a fitness fanatic or a couch potato before your pregnancy, you should find a way to incorporate fitness into your daily routine. Not only does exercise help you lose weight and get in shape, but it also boosts your mood by producing endorphins that keep you happy and smiling all day long. Try doing things that incorporate your new baby, like a mommy and me yoga class or going for a walk outside.
Wear fashion that flatters your new figure
Every woman has her trouble areas that she likes to cover up. Post-baby, you may feel like you have more trouble areas to cover up than before. It may take a while for your body to return to its post baby form, so you should find some pieces in your closet that make you feel confident at the size you are now. Flowing tops that drape away from the midsection and skinny jeans is a great staple for any new mom to have.
Surround yourself with supportive people
Sometimes it’s not about what you do, but what everyone else around you is doing. There are many new moms going through the same things you are, so illicit their help. If you are surrounded by people who make you feel self-conscious or insecure, you may be around the wrong people. Try to surround yourself with people who make you feel beautiful, no matter how your body changes. Find people who support your goals and help push you to be better each day. If you are surrounded with people who love you that much, you will feel confident no matter what.
Many little girls dream of owning a beautiful dolls house. They love collecting the furniture and adorning their beautiful dolls house with luxurious fabrics. It truly is like a miniature dream home. For many parents, they seem to think that a dolls house collection will cost them more than their own mortgage, but this isn’t true. If your daughter is desperate to start a dolls house collection, but you don’t know where to start, then read on:
Image Credit: Flickr
Narrow Down Your Search
There is a wide range of dolls house miniatures that you can collect. What is more, there are so many wonderful pieces that you can own that it is difficult to know where to start. Think about the things that you, and your daughter, love. If you want to start small, simply buy a smaller dolls house that you can fill quickly and with ease. This can be either a one roomed dolls house, or something bigger if you desire. Think about what you and your daughter want to achieve from this collection. Will this be a toy to play with, or will it be a bonding activity for you and your little girl? If you want a collection that can be played with, then investing in robust dolls house items will certainly be ideal as they may be prone to breakages from excited children. If you and your daughter are starting a collection as a bonding exercise, then you may want to consider purchasing finer, more delicate pieces that can be admired.
Choose a Time Period
Dolls house miniature collections come in a wide range of themes and time periods. One of the most popular periods of time for doll’s house is the Victorian or Georgian era, as the collectable pieces are simply exquisite. Of course, there are more contemporary pieces to obtain to that are akin to your own homes. It simply is down to personal choice and preference.
What Are Your Passions?
Dolls House Miniatures are usually a reflection of the collectors own passions. If you would like something of a large collection, but you are conscious of space, then miniatures provide a perfect alternative. While these miniatures are small, they are certainly perfectly formed. You can purchase miniatures in quilts, knitting, crochet dolls and so forth. What is more, they are very popular due to their dainty and quirky nature. Full size doll houses may be more suited to very young children, who of course, do not appreciate the nature of miniature dolls and their accessories.
Finding the Right Pieces
Finding the perfect accessories for your beautiful dolls house is not an arduous task. There are many online retailers specialising in dolls house miniatures, which are perfect for your collection. What is more, there are often collector’s fares and so forth, in which you can view other peoples classic collections, or simply purchase more pieces for your own collection. Collector’s fares are perfect for novices who want keen advice from enthusiasts. Your own passion will be fired by speaking to people of a similar mindset.
One of the hardest parts about reducing your home’s carbon footprint is figuring out how to get the things you need from the places that sell them to your house. Even if you’ve got a great eco-friendly, locally supplied grocer within walking distance from your house, there’s the issue of how those goods got from where they were made to the grocer’s. How do you ensure that the supplier of those goods did everything they could to improve their fuel economy and reduce the carbon footprint of the trip?
This problem compounds when it is you who runs that grocery shop or co-op. All business owners, really, have reported problems getting the supplies and inventory they need in eco-friendly ways. The fact is that a lot of how “green” things travel is up to the human actually transporting them. Sure, a lot of companies are only using eco-friendly shippers and delivery vehicles but what if the driver doesn’t know how to economize properly on his fuel consumption?
A lot of company owners are choosing to “green up” their supply chain by using recyclable and reusable containers. These containers often hold more goods per container so the number of shipments needed to stay stocked is reduced. If you do run a grocery or other food based business, reusable containers have proven to be better for the keeping and storing of perishable merchandise (food stays fresher and is less prone to pests when stored and moved in airtight containers). Moreover, because the containers are made of plastic, metal or wood, they can be reused over and over again reducing the need for container manufacturing. Even better, as you can see in the infographic below, using recyclable containers reduces a company’s greenhouse emissions by almost thirty percent.
City or town life isn’t to everyone’s taste. We are often forced to live close to where we work because of the high cost of the daily commute. Sometimes, however, an opportunity arises where we may get a chance to move to a home in the country with our family.
If you had a golden opportunity to get away and live in the countryside, would you take it? If you are undecided, read on. You will find here, some of the advantages of country life that you may not have considered before. I hope you will see that it is a wise move.
Visit an estate agents in Barkingside, and you will see that some country residences are going for a bargain price compared to a comparable home in the city. You will be able to get a house with acres of land for the same price as a small flat in London, for example. If your family has taken up all of the space in your existing home, think what the country has to offer.
How can living in a big town or city be good for you when traffic is polluting the air constantly. If you were to breath all of the gasses from the exhaust pipe of a car, you would be dead in less than a minute. So the emissions from thousands of cars that pass you in a day must affect your health. It is a fact that childhood asthma rates are rising, and pollution probably has much to do with it. Can you imagine the effect clean air will have on you every day of your life? The kids will probably be more active than before, and you may have fewer headaches.
The children will get much more exercise in the country too. There is a huge area to explore out there, and they will have great fun doing it. Instead of watching television they will be able to spend their days running and walking; a compelling argument.
You and your family will be closer to nature and see things you never knew existed. There are lots of animals living out there that you will never get to see in town. If you live near a river, you will probably see an otter some time, as well as an abundance of fish. Squirrels abound, and hedgehogs will visit your garden every night.
Many people who head to the wilds automatically become a little more self-sufficient. Growing your own food is easy when you have plenty of land. Your first crop could supply all of the vegetables you need for next year if you learn how to blanch and freeze them. Because there are no immediate neighbours, you could keep chickens without disturbing other people. Protect them well because there will be a fox about that will kill them all if it can. Many people keep one or two pigs. Those who choose not to name them can fill their freezer with pork after a year or so.
Are you convinced? I haven’t mentioned the dark sky or the peace and quiet out there. The downsides are too few to mention, so move when you can, and live a better life. I hope I can one day. Well, we can all dream.
Have you had enough of inner city life and pollution? Many people are leaving cities to get away from the hustle and bustle of life there. They crave fresh, clean air and are willing to spend a lot of money to find it. The air doesn’t come much cleaner or fresher than that found in seaside towns. Any bad air there is often cleared by the sea breezes and replaced with fresh air from the ocean.
It sounds perfect doesn’t it? And in most ways it is, but as you will find out when you read on, there are a few things everyone should be aware of when moving to the seaside with young children.
I must limit this list because the pros are many. Here are the main benefits of taking advantage of residential lettings in Bournemouth and other British seaside towns.
- The beach gives the children a place to play every day. They never tire of paddling in the water and building sandcastles, or hunting for shells, crabs, or other sea creatures in rock pools.
- Seaside towns gear themselves toward tourism, so there will probably be plenty to do on the seafront. It could have a permanent fairground or other attractions that the kids will love.
- Going for a walk is much nicer when you have a great place to explore. Sometimes the beaches can be miles long, so using them to get some exercise is a pleasure.
- If dad loves fishing, there is plenty of it at the seaside. You don’t even need a license for sea fishing, so it is a bargain.
- As mentioned earlier, you can’t out a price on fresh air. It is especially beneficial to those who suffer from asthma or other lung conditions. Childhood asthma is increasing, and it could be because of the pollution in towns and cities.
- You get to see the ships that pass by, and marvel at their size.
There is no need to limit the cons list. Because I would love to live at the seaside, I can only see a few downsides.
- Because you will be a resident, you will start to notice how many pesky tourists are on the seafront, spoiling your afternoon stroll. Seriously though, you must work extra hard to keep an eye on your children. You never know who Is about.
- The sea is obviously a dangerous place; you can’t let your children play there unaccompanied. Be prepared to go to the beach every day, whether you want to or not.
- If the area was flooded by a storm surge in the past, you might find that there is a premium applied to your home or contents insurance.
- If you are buying a house at the seaside, expect to pay a little more to maintain it than you would an inland one. After all, there is little to stop the wind as it comes ashore, and your roof tiles may suffer.
Yes, I agree; the negative points are pretty feeble. If you ever get the chance to live at the seaside, I recommend that you do. Maybe I am looking at it through rose tinted glasses, but it could be the best move you ever make.
Nobody plans to go through hard times with their partner, but sometimes we all need a little time apart to reassess priorities and work out what’s important. You loved each other once, right? But couples frequently drift apart, especially with work commitments and children in mind. Considering that, I plan to give you some advice this morning that could make all the difference to your happiness. At the end of the day, no child should grow up in a home with parents who aren’t getting on, and so it’s vital you take steps to change this immediately.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no marriage expert, but I have been with my current partner for more than a decade. That means we’ve been through our fair share of issues. So, give me a few moments of your time this morning, and hopefully I can help to make things better. Of course, you’ll need to use some common sense, and always consider the feelings of your partner. Bad tempers and arguments will get you nowhere.
Take a short break
Taking a break doesn’t have to mean asking your partner to move out, but perhaps you could encourage them to go on holiday with a friend for a week or so, or maybe you could do the same. As the old saying goes, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” After a few days, you’re certain to realise how much you love each other, and how hard you’re both willing to try to make the marriage work. Sometimes it takes a few days apart to make you both see clearly.
Spend quality time with the kids
Putting your differences aside and spending some quality time with your children can soon make you understand why your marriage is worth all the effort. I personally grew up without a proper family unit, and it affected me for many years. You don’t want your children to experience the same issues I did, so take them to a theme park, the zoo or wherever you think they might have a good time. That will give them happy memories of their parents. So, if the worst does ever happen, your kids will still recall a time when everything was okay.
Arrange to see a marriage counsellor
There is no shame in asking for professional help, and contrary to popular belief, marriage counsellors will never take sides or blame either of you. They’re trained in helping you to find a happy middle-ground where your relationship can continue and progress. Specialists like Best Marriages offer an amazing service that has helped thousands of couples to get back on track and avoid divorce.
You should now have a better understanding of what it takes to sort your marriage out in the quickest time possible. Unlike some of the other couples out there, you could be happy once again if you simply follow the advice listed in this article and work hard to settle your differences.
Good luck with everything, I’m certain you’ll both make the right decisions.
Finding out you are pregnant can be one of the greatest moments of your life. You can’t wait to share the news and revel in the excitement with your friends and family. But those joyous moments can come to a screeching halt when faced with some of the most common symptoms.
There are enough possible pregnancy complications to make your head spin. It is important to remember that you’re acting for two and anything ingested or applied to your body will also affect your baby. Ideally, you want to use products that are natural and tested so you know they will not harm your child. When dealing with common ailments of pregnancy, there are plenty of natural solutions.
Morning sickness is a complete misnomer as it lasts not only all day, but sometimes through the entire pregnancy. More than half of women experience some form of morning sickness. Often, it is can be remedied with some simple changes. Be sure to eat and hydrate often. You may have been fine skipping breakfast, but baby disagrees and it’s important to provide the nutrients. Keeping gum and crackers on hand can help quell nausea. Ginger naturally aids in digestion and nausea and is even available in gum format. Acupressure bracelets may also help ease the symptoms.
Pregnancy causes a dramatic shift in hormones and for many women this means unsightly acne. Unfortunately, many products contain chemicals that could be harmful, such as benzoyl peroxide, so many doctors advise against most OTC treatments. Look for natural cleansers and make sure you keep all hair off of your face. A paste of baking soda and water rubbed gently into the skin works very well and has no harmful effects. If you wear cosmetics, make sure they are oil-free.
Swelling & Blood Clots
Believe it or not, swelling is actually your body’s way of nurturing you and the baby, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with some painful side effects. Spending long periods of sitting or standing can cause a lot of pain in the ankles so rotate often and keep your legs lifted. Excessive swelling can lead to preeclampsia so contact your OB-GYN if symptoms persist. You may want to look into an anti embolism stocking, which can help prevent blood clots from forming as well.
All of these physiological changes cause a complete shift in how we carry our bodies and often times this leads to back pains. Wear comfortable shoes with a slight heal and maintain correct posture. Side sleeping can alleviate pain and use pillows on high pressure points. Exercise is a vital aspect of a healthy pregnancy. Make sure your activities won’t harm the baby. Yoga is great for stretching and relaxation. Many professionals also recommend prenatal massage and chiropractic care.
Constipation is a subject no one enjoys talking about, but it is very common in pregnancies and can exacerbate hemorrhoids. Most problems are caused by dehydration and bad eating habits. Drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day and eat high fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Avoid diuretics like tea or soda. Smaller and more frequent meals may help with digestion. Physical activity such as light walking or swimming may also help.
The best way to treat pregnancy symptoms is proactively. Proper diet and exercise will alleviate most problems without the need for potentially harmful medications. Taking care of you means your baby will be properly taken care of as well.
Poodle skirts, saddle shoes, Elvis, and James Dean defined the iconic era of the 1950s. A social and community driven time, the era was filled with dinner parties, adventurous dishes, and an optimistic mindset the world is nostalgic for.
Bringing the 50s back to life with a throwback dinner party reminds everyone of a simpler time where family came first, and conversation usually centered over a homemade meal. Homemade fare was the norm, and that’s what created the familial solidarity of the era: a people coming together for food and fellowship.
Here are the top three tips to capturing the ‘50s essence:
1. ‘50s Recipes
The first rule of a dinner party is the menu. When it comes to bringing to life an era as distinct as the 50s, the food has to be authentic. Whether it’s from an old cookbook or your grandma’s recipe box, choose recipes that dictate what the ‘50s were all about.
For example, a classic meal would be deviled eggs and pimiento-stuffed olives as an appetizer, patty melts with Sargento cheese and sautéed onions for the main course, and Jell-O and whipped cream and pound cake dipped in chocolate for dessert.
Here is a rundown of a patty melt recipe, in case you are unfamiliar:
For a serving of four, you need 1 lb of ground beef or ground turkey, 1 large thinly sliced onion, 8 slices of cheese, and 8 slices of rye or pumpernickel bread. In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add onion rings to the melted butter, and allow them to cook until they are brown and tender, about 10 minutes.
While the onions are cooking, form the ground meat into four equal patties, about ½ inch in thickness. Season with salt and pepper in order to bring out the meat’s natural flavors. Cook in a skillet or grill over medium heat, usually 6 minutes per side, or until the center is no longer pink.
To assemble the sandwiches, place a piece of meat on 4 slices of bread. Top with cooked onions, a slice of cheese, and the top piece of bread. To really melt the cheese and toast the bread, cook each sandwich over low heat until each side is toasty and golden brown.
What’s great about preparing a meal from the ‘50s is that it can be done relatively quickly. Most everything can be made in advance, giving you, as the host or hostess, the chance to enjoy the company you invited over.
2. The ‘50s Feeling
The best way to capture the ‘50s feeling is to take notes from Mad Men, I Love Lucy, or To Catch a Thief. Get everyone in the ‘50s mood by playing the music that defined the era: big band, doo-wop, and rock and roll. A generation was born with Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, etc.
3. Signature Beverages
The ‘50s was an era that enjoyed its cocktail hour. Classic drinks such as martinis, Manhattans, or old-fashioned daquiris were typical of the time period, and are still some of the most well liked drinks today.
Sargento covered the costs of the ingredients used in this recipe, but the opinions are my own.
Author Ted Levin is a food lover and cheese aficionado always searching for the newest recipe craze. You can connect with Ted on Twitter.
Image Source: http://www.the50s.tumblr.com