Archive of ‘Tips’ category
Your feline friend is your most faithful companion. You want to make sure that she is in premium health. One of the most common illnesses that cats suffer from is worms. While the thought of worms is enough to make you feel queasy, it is important that you are aware of the harmful health effects that worms can cause.
With thanks to Moyan Brenn for the image
The most common type of worm is an intestinal worm. These are known as roundworms and tapeworms. Many infected cats do not show immediate signs of having worms. But, they can become more noticeable as the parasite grows which can affect your cat’s health.
A heavy burden of worms can cause many different symptoms within your feline friend. Typically, the most common symptoms are:
- Weight loss
- Irritation around the bottom
- Failure to thrive
While worms are deeply unpleasant for cats, some worms can be harmful to human health too. For those of us that like to pet our animals, we too can contract worms through sheer love of our kitties. As humans can become ill from worms, you must ensure that you have a worming regimen in place to make sure that your cat is treated against worms. Some medications are preventative, and others are administered to eliminate the burden of worms. Whether you are preventing, or eliminating, worms it is critical that you have the correct medication in order to do so. Wormers.co.uk has a wide range of worming medicine for your cat.
Roundworm and tapeworm can be contracted should your cat have had a recent dose of fleas. As tapeworm are the host animal of fleas, they are contracted through other parasites. While this is unpleasant, your cat will need to be treated.
Roundworms are very common in kittens. Kitten are usually infected by their mother and her milk. If your queen (mother cat) has a burden of worms, it may be advisable to treat all kittens within her litter. It is highly unlikely that one kitten from a litter will suffer from worms.
Worming regimes should be implemented from a young age. There are, of course, recommendations to doing so. Kittens should be treated every two weeks when they are three weeks old until they are eight weeks old. Once your kitten is six months old, you can implement a lesser routine. Monthly or bi-monthly is adequate for a cat of this age. As your cat reaches maturity, administering worming medication should be done every three months.
Tapeworms are usually a problem that is associated with adult cats. Tapeworms rarely affect kittens. However, the two can be a problem for mature cats, so endeavour to purchase medication that is effective against all types of worms. Your cat’s health should be your priority so a dual medication will be needed effectively prevent an infestation of worms.
Medication comes in various forms. The most useful form of medication, according to cat owners, is tablet form. This is because it can be added to the cats daily feed. As a cat owner, you will know the perilous nature of trying to get your cat to take their medicine.
Exchanging contracts on your first property is the first step on the journey to buying your “forever home”.
When moving day has come and gone, you can immediately start adding value to your home – ready for when the time comes to move further along the path, towards your dream house.
That’s how most homeowners wish they would’ve started out. And it’s how the smart first time buyer approaches their journey today.
Here are three home improvements you should be saving for, that will add instant value and enjoyment to your new house.
1. Made to measure blinds
Well designed, made-to-measure blinds will instantly improve the appearance of your home – from both the inside and out.
It’s simple – but it works.
See, blinds are an elegant alternative to curtains and offer a number of practical benefits too:
- Improved privacy – your private business remains just that.
- Sound-proofing – less sound escapes from well fitted venetian blinds so you are less likely to disturb the neighbours.
- Temperature control – blinds allow you to easily control the amount of light and heat that comes through your windows.
- Improved energy efficiency – made to measure blinds prevent heat escaping, or cold drafts coming through your windows.
Because new blinds help to prevent heat loss in the winter, they also help reduce your energy bills. The money saved will help towards the next home improvement – solar panels.
2. Solar panels
Solar panels are quite expensive to buy outright, but the government offers attractive rebates to people using them in the form of Feed-in tariffs (FITs). FITs pay you for the electricity you generate, helping to offset the cost of the panels.
The electricity that your solar panels generate is yours to use as you need. Any electricity that is unused can be sold back into the National Grid, resulting in a lower utility bill.
The units cost around £7000 to buy and install, but experts believe that using solar panels to generate your own electricity will help cut household bills by around £750 a year.
Some households even claim that solar panels generate up to three-quarters of their annual electricity needs.
These savings created can then be put towards the next home improvement – a conservatory.
3. A conservatory or extension
A conservatory is a useful, all-purpose room that will give you more space to enjoy your new home.
There are plenty of designs available, ensuring you will be able to find a conservatory that fits in with the architectural style of your house. You could also consider fitting wooden venetian blinds from Thomas Sanderson to complete the look, or a downstairs extension as your family grows.
It may take a lot longer to save up to buy a conservatory, but the investment will be well worth it in the long run.
The additional living space provided by a conservatory or extension also adds value to your property. By increasing the value of your house, you will have more equity to put towards your next move up the property ladder.
There are two reasons to save up for home improvements – to turn your house into a home, and to add value to the property.
These three suggestions should, over time, help you to create a house that you love, that you can sell for a profit when you are ready.
Got any questions or any more suggestions to add to the list? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.
As the English National Opera prepares to put on Jonathon Miller’s production of Puccini’s classic opera La Boheme, I give you 5 good reasons why you should see this amazing piece of musical theatre.
It’s In the Top 5 Operas
According to Operabase.com, an authority on Opera statistics, La Boheme is third in the top 5 most produced operas in the world. Only Verdi’s La Traviata and Bizet’s Carmen have been produced more times. Also in the top 10 are Puccini’s other famous works Madame Butterfly and Tosca, proving that Puccini had the magic touch when it came to writing hits.
It’s For Everyone
Unlike many of the other opera out there, La Boheme is for everyone and not just the fancy folk in their fancy limos. There is one big classic death scene but is more touching than anything else and does not take an hour or involve beheadings and Viking helmets. It is simply the story of 2 very poor artists and the woman they both fall in love with. It was written in the verismo, or realistic style and features very natural looking costumes and sets. The elitist critics hated the opera when it debuted in 1896, giving further kudos to it being an opera for the everyman.
It’s Set in Winter
Apart from the great Russian operas, most operas are set in summertime. However, La Boheme begins on Christmas Eve and Act III takes place on a very cold and wintery February morning. The story of the artist heroes trying their best to survive in the icy climates is something that most people can relate to.
It Follows the KISS Principle
La Boheme is different from a lot of operas because it follows the principles of KISS, or Keep It Simple Stupid. There is no need to study accompanying notes or to attend university to understand the ploy. It is perhaps one of the most direct and simple story ever told – boy meets a girl, boy loses the girl, boy gets the girl back, boy loses the girl again. That’s all there is to it, along with the side plots of the love story of Marcello and Musetta and the funny and often heart-warming actions of Shaunard the musician and Colline the philosopher. The easy to follow and understand storyline allows the romantic and beautiful music to take centre stage.
Real Acoustic Singing
While you may have seen opera on TV or at the cinema in the past, if you have never seen it at a proper theatre or opera house, nothing compares to the genuine article. Seeing and hearing it live in the flesh and the performers using the oldest instrument in the history of man and the world, the human voice, is nothing short of sublime. As well as being an enticing and pleasing attack on our ears, it is also a wonderful thing to watch and look at, with complex and beautifully designed clothes, sets and lighting, it all adds to the overall experience.
Most people reach a point in their lives where they face a dilemma; move house, or create more space in their home for a growing family. Sometimes they are so happy in the area that they live, relocation is out of the question.
If you find yourself in that situation, there are several home improvements that will give you a little more elbow room. Here are my personal favourites.
A Two Story Extension
If you have the finances and mental strength to undergo a significant alteration to your home, a two-story extension might be the answer. It takes a long time to finish the extension. You will need the services of a reputable architect to get it underway. They will draw some detailed plans to your specifications and submit them to the planning office. When the planning committee convenes, they will study the plans to ensure that they meet with the local regulations. They may decide to contact your neighbours to see if they have any objection to the project before making a decision. Some blueprints are rejected in the early stages so the designer must make changes and re-submit them.
Only when you have planning permission can you proceed with the extension. The building inspector will visit the site at stages of the construction. He will inspect the work and make sure it complies with building regulations.
You feel as if your home has been invaded for three months or more before your alterations are complete. Expect to come to tears during the process; most people do. If the thought of such a project hasn’t made you run to the estate agents in Chadwell Heath in the search for a new home, nothing will. The extension is the most expensive, and intrusive, project.
The loft has a huge floor area suitable for several extra bedrooms. The engineers will tell you, but you often do not need planning permission for a loft conversion. It will cost much less than an extension to build, and take less time. That is why loft conversions are so desirable. If you live in and old property, the roof may not have to be altered, but in modern homes the trusses get in the way. Even if you must replace the roof, the potential space up there makes it worthwhile.
If you have the bedrooms that you need but need more space for lounging about, a cheap and cheerful conservatory might solve your problem. Well, they are cheap in comparison to the other ideas. If it stays within the floor area limits it does not need planning permission. For much less than ten thousand pounds, this extra room could be yours within a couple of weeks.
Instead of building an extension, would you consider converting your garage into a habitable room? Many people do because it is such an easy project. You must make changes to the lighting and power in there and remove the garage door in favor of a patio door or window. Make the walls good with plaster and fit skirting boards. You could do it yourself if you have a flair for building and carpentry, in only a few weeks.
Those are my recommendations for those who need more space. Do you agree with me or do you have a few ideas of your own? Good luck with your home improvements!
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!
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.
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.