It’s getting to that time of year when the media talk increasing about the Grand National. And for many of us – even those who have no other interest in horse racing whatsoever – this really is the best race on the planet.
Now the National has come in for some understandable criticism over recent years for cruelty to the horses – so the fences have been made safer and various other measures introduced to protect the horses. It remains a dangerous race to man and beast, but then so do all other jump races and sports which are far less natural for horses such as dressage and show-jumping, yet attract no criticism oddly.
Anyway, the UK still loves the race with an estimated £150m gambled away in racing betting in this country alone each year.
At the Liverpool course itself, a crowd of over 70,000 turns up each year to see the horses in the flesh and witness the whole event – whilst around 600 million more viewers get a far better view of proceedings on televisions around the world.
Each year, 40 runners and riders compete in what is the world’s most famous steeplechase by far – and the interest in the race just seems to get bigger every year.
In Britain, an amazing two-thirds of the adult population place a bet on the race – which for many families is part of a tradition where everyone in the household makes a selection.
This year’s Grand National will take place on Saturday April 5th. It will be the 167th running of the great race. The weights have recently been announced and if you fancy a long-shot “ante-post” gamble in advance of the race, you’ll almost definitely get far better racing live betting odds than you would on the day. But if your selection doesn’t run, you’ll forfeit your stake, so be careful.
A maximum of 40 horses can run but currently, there are still over 100 entries. So to be safe, leave any bets until much nearer the day – but whatever you do; don’t miss the greatest race on earth!
For some people the motivation for becoming self-employed is due to either starting a family or to have flexible time so you can spend time with loved ones. For me, the motivation was the excitement of creating a business whilst bringing up 5 children. However, it can sometimes be a test of will power to keep your business momentum up and ensure that your work doesn’t suffer when you are a mum. Here are 5 tips to help you get the most out of your working day whilst still being able to spend quality time with your family and friends.
Friends and family
For some reason family and friends (and in some cases clients) think that it is ok to call you up or visit you at any point during the day just because you work from home thinking you must be free to chat?! This can be a nice surprise on the rare occasion but when it becomes a daily occurrence it can be a big distraction, which ultimately takes your time away from your family and friends because you will need to catch up on work in your “free” time.
To help reduce these little distractions and prevent the embarrassment of asking people to leave so you can work, you can designate a time each day that is available for people to pop in or call you or tell them when your working hours are and ask to be visited around these times.
It has been proven that people work best in the morning and then the work rate and productivity is greatly decreased in the afternoon after lunch. Therefore, it is best to plan your working hours to be around 6 hours long where the main bulk is first thing in the morning so you essentially have a free afternoon. For example, if you aim to start work at 7am and work non-stop without distractions until 1pm you would have done a full day’s work in the morning giving you time to spend with loved ones and do those pesky chores etc. Equally, if you start first thing you can then do the school run both in the morning and afternoon in the knowledge that you have done your work for the day to spend the evening work-free. This way if the sun is shining outside you can still get a decent chunk of sun on your skin without skipping your work because you would have worked during the morning.
Try to work away from the normal family or home hubbub by trying to avoid working at the kitchen table, unless you are disciplined or you will end up cleaning the whole house before sitting down to your business.
Emails and social media
Dedicate allotted times throughout the day that you can read your emails and go on social media. Don’t check emails when it is meant to be family time or when you are meant to be working. You will always get an email when you are supposed to focus on something unrelated but you will feel inclined to answer the email straight away because you have just read it – don’t open and read it until you have finished you task. It will only distract you and turn your attention from what you were currently working on!
Pencil in family activities in the same way as a business meeting.
By making family time a non-negotiable meeting in your business schedule means that you won’t miss out on spending time with your family or that important social activity – that is one of the points that you have become self-employed so you can have more free time to spend with loved ones.
Article written by Sally Hurst from The Old Bag Company – mum of five who designs award-winning, stylish and practical bags, such as oilcloth handbags and canvas beach bags, for busy women and mums.Sally loves all things business and has a passion for encouraging women to be more confident in their businesses!
Nail Art is a growing trend and a fabulous way to add flair to your nails. Nail art is great for special occasions and you can match your nail art to your outfit! While nail art shops are sprouting up everywhere, many clever ladies are doing their own nail art at home. Learning to do your own nail art will save money and it’s a fun thing to do with friends.While complex nail art is probably best left to professional nail artists, there are lots of simple designs you can do at home. Here are a few ideas.
Prepare Your Nails
Before you begin you will need to prepare your nails. Remove the remnants of any old nail polish thoroughly. Like any work of art you need to start with a clean canvas. Try and use nail polish remover without acetone as it is less harmful to your nails. If you have a fungal infections ain any of your nails, this should be treated before first. Excilor is a highly effective remedy.Next step is to make sure your nails are in good shape. Trim and file to get rid of any snags or uneven surfaces. Keep as much length on your nails as possible so you have maximum space to work with.
Apply a Base Coat
Apply a clear base coat to your nails. Make sure this is completely dry before proceeding. A base coat will protect your nails from being stained by bright polishes and it will also help the next layer of polish last longer.
Glitter nails are the trend right now and are easy to create. You will need black nail polish, clear polish and loose powder glitter – glitter eye shadow will work. After your base coat apply a coat of black nail polish. This will act as a stunning background colour to show the glitter off to great effect. When the black layer is fully dry, dip your clear nail brush into the glitter and apply to your nails. Start at the centre and move to the tips. Allow the glitter coat to dry well and then apply a top coat for protection.
Half Moon Glitter
To create half-moon glitter nails you will need red nail polish, silver glitter (or glitter eye shadow) and clear polish. Apply a coat of red polish over your base coat and allow it to dry fully. Dip the clear polish brush into the silver glitter and apply from your cuticle to the centre of your nail creating an uneven glitter half-moon. It’s that simple! Finish off with a top coat.
The Glitter Sandwich
For this design you will need clear polish as well as glitter polish and a fast drying top and base coat. Apply a coat of sheer polish over your base. Allow to dry. Then add a layer of glitter polish, repeat clear and glitter coats. Finish with a layer of clear polish followed by your top coat.
At a time when electronic game consoles are incredibly popular, and most kids spend their free time gazing at a computer screen, it can be exceptionally difficult to make the little ones understand the benefits of getting stuck into a good book. Telling them about how much more intelligent they’ll be in later life simply doesn’t work in most cases. At the end of the day, children like to do things they enjoy, and so it’s your job to ensure reading becomes entertaining for them. Don’t worry too much if this sounds like a difficult task though, there are five handy tips in this article guaranteed to give you a helping hand.
Personally, I didn’t read a book until the age of 23, and although I was a late starter, jumping on the literary bandwagon changed my life in numerous ways ( I would have never become a professional writer for a start). My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner, and that’s something you need to help your kids to avoid. So, if you feel as passionate as me about reading and you want some great advice that could make all the difference to their perspective, read on…
1 – Reading With Them
This is the best piece of advice I can possibly offer all the parents out there. Showing your kids how to read by thumbing through their favourite stories at bedtime and ensuring the words are expressed with excitement and enthusiasm can seriously affect the way a child feels about literature. You don’t need to recite anything long and tedious, just find some popular childrens books and select the titles you feel would be most appropriate.
2 – Alternatives To Books
If you have a child who flat out refuses to become interested in books or e books, it might be time to look at alternatives like magazines or comic books. Anything you can find that sparks their imagination and encourages them to take an interest in text will benefit them greatly in later life. Just ensure you double check age ranges to ensure everything you hand them is suitable.
3 – Making The Stories Interactive
There are some amazing interactive books out there these days, so perhaps you should take a look at some and see if any appeal. That said; you can make any title interactive for kids by simply asking questions about the story along the way and ensuring they understand everything associated with the main plot.
4 – Turn It Into A Game
A friend of mine has a three year old daughter who hates cleaning up her own mess after playing. Do you know how he gets her to tidy her things away? He turns it into a game. You can do the same thing with reading. Create a chart and put it in your child’s bedroom, then mark off books that have been read. Once they’ve been through all the titles on the list, you can reward them in some way.
5 – Let Your Kids Pick Which Books They Read
Although most of you will want your kids to read certain titles, you should try to let them make the selection as often as possible. This will make them feel more grown up and more like they’re in control of their own destiny, rather than being forced to read for educational purposes.
So there you have it guys, follow those tips, and you should find that getting your kids to read becomes a much easier task. On top of all this, make sure you become members of your local library, as this is the best way to ensure your child gets to choose from the widest selection of titles, and it also makes for a good day out every couple of weeks.
Catch you next time folks!
The house has a lot of information in it. You can tell a lot about a person from a range of things, their car, their friends, their living space. The home in particular has heavy implications on the character of the person. The mess, the disorder and things laying all around the house has implications of laziness, silliness, lack of care as to your surroundings. Even little things can have implications you didn’t notice. So before you bring back a new friend or a prospective partner you may want to check the image you’re putting forward.
Mess is something that you want to stay in the middle of the road with. Too much and you may have the image of someone who doesn’t care about how they live, someone who is lazy, or too busy, or troubled. On the other hand a house that is too neat can be almost as big a problem. Too neat and impeccable can result in an image of someone who is too neat, obsessive, unyielding, the sweet spot is for your home to look lived in, but cared for.
This is a major trouble a lot of people run into, particularly because it’s difficult to recognise. After living in a cluttered place for a while you become accustomed to having too much furniture or too many items around the room. Given enough time you might get used to your crowded surroundings and not notice that you’re protecting the image of someone who keeps too much on them. Someone who has too many possessions and no way to prioritise or organise. If you’re the kind of person who can’t bear to throw things out feel free to enlist a storage company like Fort Knox to keep it for you until you can get a bigger place. Visit http://www.fortknoxstorage.com.au for information.
What’s on your walls? What colour are they? What does that say about you? It’s something of a difficult and troublesome maze to circumnavigate. Think about what ornaments, paintings and other things are hanging from your walls and what they say about you. Do they have interesting stories? Do they make you seem friendly? Leaving the walls bare will make you seem dispassionate and disconnected, while too much gives the same feeling as clutter. Rather than thinking about how much, think about why you have what you have.
If you don’t mind being thought a little overly fastidious a theme is a really good way to look impressive. Having everything suit the same image, pattern and idea will give an amazing image. With a little effort and some clever planning it can be used to massive effect.
The house has a lot of implications with them lies a lot of pitfalls and opportunities. Taking advantage of the opportunities to put the best foot forward when someone walks into your home can give a sense of ease, satisfaction and a good idea of who you are.
Purchasing furniture in any setting can be tricky, but it is even more so online if buyers do not take proper precautions and plan their purchase thoroughly.
- Set a budget and stick with it. Going over budget is a frequent mistake, especially since there may be hidden costs associated with the furniture purchase online. Hidden costs can include tax, shipping, fitting or customization charges, and extended warranties. Carefully investigate any purchase before clicking “Finalize Purchase.”
- Before making any furniture purchase, measure the space the furniture must fit.
- Length, width, depth and height are all important when choosing furniture.
- Include adequate walkways around furniture and consider line of sight to important features of the room. These may include the TV, other seats and guests, doors and windows.
- Write down the measurements to assist with your shopping.
- Always comparison shop for furniture, both at online stores and brick-and-mortar stores. Make sure you are getting the best overall deal with your online purchase before you buy.
- Check reviews for both the furniture items and the online store itself.
- Purchasing an inferior quality furniture piece or furniture from a shady seller is no bargain.
- Take your time when shopping for furniture online and in stores. Furniture is a major home investment, and rushing to make a purchase often results in overpaying and getting items that do not work in the space. Choose quality merchandise that will last for years.
- Visit stores in person to test furniture items before making a purchase online.
- Determine how fabrics and finishes look and feel, and what colors look like in person.
- Measure the furniture to make sure it will fit in your space.
- Sit in the chairs and use the furniture to make sure it works with your body.
- When you find the furniture you want in a store, make a note of the brand and model number, as well as the price.
- Choose several acceptable furniture makes and models, in case your first choice is not available.
- Find the items online and compare prices there, too.
- Choose your best deal based on what works best for your family, your budget and your home.
- Make sure you are getting the best online deal by using coupon codes and discount codes if they are available.
- Once you have determined what furniture you want, go online and search for “coupon code” or “discount code” plus the brand and type of the furniture.
- Most online coupon codes for furniture are for free shipping, which can save buyers significant amounts of money.
- Having a list of acceptable options for your furniture piece allows you to be flexible when locating online codes and coupons for your purchase.
- Be sure to read the fine print of any coupon or discount deal before using the promotion code.
- Determine the warranty and return policies for the furniture you want.
- Compare policies among the online stores and retail stores.
- Find out if you are responsible for return shipping costs if the furniture does not fit your needs. Shipping costs for heavy furniture can be prohibitively expensive.
- When your purchase is delivered, open the package and thoroughly inspect the furniture before the delivery service departs.
- Do not sign for receiving the furniture until assembling and inspecting it. Signing for the furniture usually includes a statement that the product is adequate and free of defects upon delivery. This may make returns or exchanges much more difficult.
- As with any online purchase, be sure to use appropriate security measures when making your purchase.
- Ensure you are purchasing from a secure site- the URL will start with “https” and there should be security symbols and statements prominently displayed on the site.
- Do not let online sites store your credit card or bank information.
- Clear your browsing history and online cache after making online purchases and then restart your browser.
These steps help make it harder for thieves to steal your information or your identity.
As life becomes increasingly stressful, more and more homeowners are opting to include a relaxation area in their home. Traditionally, people went to professional spas to be pampered and wind down, but having a relaxation station at home allows you to come home after a hectic day and find pea
ce and well-being.
To create your home relaxation station you will need to choose soothing colours for your walls and accessories. This area is all about peace and gentleness. Choose soft comfortable furnishings, and add relaxation music and gentle aromatherapy oils. Your décor needs to be calming and everything should contribute to making the area harmonious. Browse online at Super Amart Australia for furnishings, accessories and wall art in soothing greens, beiges or blues. Lavender will work well too.
Colour plays a very important part in setting the ambience of a room. Your relaxation station should be painted and decorated in gentle tones. Avoid bright colours like red, yellow and orange. These colours stimulate rather than soothe and will have the reverse effect of softer tones. You are aiming for a Zen-like simplicity, so be minimalistic with colours. In other rooms of the house you will often add a bright chair or painting to a neutral room. Don’t do this in your relaxation station. Everything needs to be tranquil and anything brightly coloured will negatively impact the calming level of the room. Lighting too should be gentle. Natural light is best but soft lamps or lights with a dimming switch will also work well. Fluorescent lights are completely wrong for a relaxation space.
When deciding on furnishings for your relaxation room, think about the kind of furniture you would find in a professional spa. This is the atmosphere you are trying to create. Go for comfortable chairs or couches, seating that you would be happy to lounge on with a good book. Furnishings should be minimal and are best kept to the perimeters of the room to create a simple, spacious feel that evokes peace.
Smells and sounds can do a lot to increase the relaxation effect of your space. A noisy room will not work well. You need to pick a place that isn’t disturbed by outside traffic noises or the sounds of the television. Add pleasant sounds to the space. A water feature will work well as the sound of running water is very soothing. You will also need a CD player and some carefully chosen music. Relaxation or quiet instrumental music work well. Buy an oil burner and aromatherapy oils. Again go for gentle rather than strong scents. Smell the tester bottles at your local health food or new age store and find something that resonates with you. Some scents are designed to invigorate, things like citrus for instance. These are not suitable for the relaxation station. If you are unsure you should ask the shop assistant which scents are for calming.
Once you have created your relaxation station you should try and take time each day to enjoy it.
Labour can be an uncomfortable, painful experience for many women. Of course the end result is worth it – you have your own beautiful bundle of joy! However, pain relief can be necessary, as some women find it too much to bear. There are many different options out there, from natural methods of relief to more medical forms of relief. Ideally, you should construct a birthing plan to help you, but it’s important to keep an open mind – birthing plans never go fully to plan! Here are the different methods of pain relief available to you during labour, and more information about each:
Image Author: Flickr
Self help is a great way to relax yourself in labour, which can help you cope better with the pain. Self help includes:
- Learning as much as you can about labour to ease your worries. Go to antenatal classes, watch programs, speak to your nurse/midwife/doctor, and read books.
- Learn how to stay calm during the process, breathing deeply.
- Trying different positions that feel right for you.
- Bringing a partner or relative to support you.
- Having a bath.
Hydrotherapy is basically being in water during labour, and this can make the whole process feel less painful for you. Ask if you can have a bath, or use a birthing pool to make things more bearable. The temperature will be comfortable but not above 37 degrees.
Gas and Air
Gas and air is a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It won’t remove all of the pain, but it can make things more bearable. Women usually like this method as it’s easy to use and they feel more in control of the situation. You’ll take slow deep breaths through a mouthpiece as a contraction begins.
Pethidine is usually injected into the thigh or buttock and can help you to relax, which will in turn help you to feel less pain. The effects last between 2-4 hours, and it takes about 20 minutes to work. There are some side effects to be aware of with this kind of injection, including:
- Sickness and forgetfulness.
- Can make it difficult to push if it hasn’t worn off by the end of labour.
- Making it difficult for the baby to have it’s first feed.
Some hospitals allow you to use their TENS machines, or you’re free to rent one. They are most effective for pain relief during the early stages of labour, where pads are placed on to your back. Pulses are then sent from the machine, and these are thought to help your brain release more endorphins, lessening the pain. They are also thought to distract you from the pain you’re in and help you to feel more in control.
An epidural is a local anesthetic, and numbs the nerves that carry pain impulses from the birth canal to the brain. An epidural can give complete pain relief for most women. It’s helpful in women who are having a very long labour, or those who are getting stressed. There are side effects, including:
- Loss of feeling in your legs.
- Dropped blood pressure.
- Prolonged second stage of labour.
- Finding it difficult to pass urine.
- A sore back.
There are other methods of pain relief available during labour, but the methods above are the most popular. Discuss other methods with your midwife or doctor and decide what’s best for you!
After watching the local news for a half hour, many parents will be afraid to let their kids leave the house. But even inside, there are plenty of dangers lurking. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a bodyguard or an IT professional to keep your family safe and be a great parent. Here are three key areas to focus on family security.
1. Keeping Intruders Out
There are lots of practical steps to secure your home front and protect against theft and criminals. Simple things like regularly checking your locks and bolts and making sure your house remains well lit can go a long way in deterring intruders. Small solar lights can light up walkways and steps to help light the house.
Today, most houses have armed security systems with burglar alarms. You can install a great surveillance system that allows you to check in on things from your mobile device when you are out. For finding more details about home security systems, click here.
2. Staying Safe Online
Perhaps the biggest threat comes from inside the home. The Internet is full of predators and hackers from around the world who want to get into your house to steal valuable information and do other malicious things through the web.
Regularly talking to kids and teens about computer use is one of the best ways to open up communication about safety on social networks, games and websites. A good rule is to place the computer in the living room or other high traffic area where parents can keep an eye on the screen. With mobile devices and laptops, it can become more difficult to monitor. Some families decide to rule out using devices in bedrooms. Others install browsing programs like Safe Eyes that protect against explicit content.
Some families meet together to sign a contract about how they will help protect each other from the unfriendly presences on the Internet. The Family Online Safety Institute offer its own family contract to clearly outline how parents can help protect kids and how kids can be wise with their computer use.
3. Don’t Talk to Strangers and Other Rules
Finally, it is important to educate your children about safety when they leave home. A good guideline is to begin by fostering good channels of communication with your kids so that they talk to you about any questions they have or situations that make them feel uncomfortable.
Dr. Laura Markham recommends several rules for every family.
•Prioritize your child—one of the best ways to protect them from predators, bullies, drugs, etc.
•Teach kids how to swim
•Let your children know that their bodies belong to themselves only
•Help your kids develop healthy judgment about places and people
The world can be a scary place, but with these important guidelines to follow, you can help keep your family safe and happy.
Image from http://www.baystatehealth.com
Image by MAZZALIARMADI.IT
A child’s bedroom is a really important place for most children, and if you can decorate it in a way that they like, so much the better. Giving children their own personal space that they have some element of choice and control over can really encourage them to show their independence, in the way they use and look after that space.
Not every child can have their own room, but it’s still possible to personalise their space in a shared bedroom. There are so many beautiful items of furniture and accessories for children’s bedrooms that you could really go to town on decorating and furnishing the room just how they’d like it, but it’s also possible to achieve a lot through accessorising too.
How much input you allow your kids to have on how their bedrooms will look depends on how old they are. For babies and toddlers, you call the shots, obviously, but when kids get a little bit older, they might have quite strong views on how they’d like their bedroom to be. Of course, it’s up to you whether you allow them free rein in choices for their room, but you should always exercise the power of veto over any outlandish decisions that you don’t want in your house. Ideally you can strike a balance so that they have some freedom of choice which will make them feel important and know that their opinions are valued.
Image by jingdianjiaju
If you don’t know where to start, take a look at sites like http://www.gltc.co.uk where you’ll see a whole range of different room sets, with themes to suit children of all ages. You could choose bedroom furniture that will see a child from being a toddler through to their teenage years – opting for classic wooden beds and wardrobes, for example. But there are also sports car and princess beds, as well as high beds and bunks. If you go for the classic furniture choice, you can always change the accessories, fabrics and soft furnishings to change with your child’s taste over the years. It’s far easier to replace a rug and curtains than it is to buy a whole new set of furniture!
Image by amy.gizienski
Storage is always an important factor in a child’s bedroom –they accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. If you can provide them with good storage units, then there’s no excuse for a messy bedroom! The wooden shelving units that you can fill with canvas drawers are a really good idea, as some can be left empty and used as shelves for books or to display trophies and ornaments, while others can have coordinating canvas drawers in them to store clothes, toys, etc. These can also be replaced to match your child’s different tastes as they grow.
Whatever you decide to do to decorate a child’s bedroom, getting them involved in some way can make it a fun project that both you and they will enjoy.