Monday, 27 June 2016

3 Metabolism Boosting Foods (That Taste Yummy Too!)


As a mother, I like to make sure I’m making healthy foods. I want to give my family nice things to eat that will benefit them too. Recently, I found some great foods that help to boost your metabolism. This means they can help you lose weight! I’ve got my top metabolism-boosting foods in this article for you all to enjoy too. If you want to shed some lingering pregnancy pounds, then adding these into your diet will help. Plus, they help keep your family in a healthy shape too!

(Photo via: http://goo.gl/iWbex1)

Turkey

For those of you that only eat turkey at Christmas, you may want to reconsider your stance! It’s proven to be an excellent metabolism-boosting food. Turkey has a high protein content, which helps keep your metabolism up and helps you lose weight. It may seem like a boring food, but there're lots you can do with it! Turkey is great in various recipes; I’m sure you’ll find something for the whole family to enjoy. Of course, you can settle with the classic roast turkey if you want a nice Sunday lunch. Then, you’ve got plenty of leftovers to make turkey sandwiches or an adventurous turkey curry! In fact, you could even use cooked turkey as a topping on a delicious pizza.

(Pic via pixabay: https://goo.gl/Gkbokn)

Chilli

I was surprised to learn that chilli is brilliant for your body. Obviously, too much hot stuff is going to be bad for you, so eat it in moderation! But, chillis are great for speeding up your metabolism and helping you burn fat. I won’t get too technical here, but it’s all to do with what makes them spicy. The thing that gives chillies their spice helps with metabolism. The great thing about them is that there are loads of healthy chilli snacks out there. So, you don’t have to eat raw chilli every day to get the benefits! In fact, it’s the perfect excuse to nibble on some dark chilli chocolate.

Spinach

If you’re after a ‘superfood’, then spinach is the one for you. This little green vegetable has so many amazing nutrients crammed inside it. As well as speeding up your metabolism, it can help protect you against loads of diseases. I think you should get your kids eating spinach at a young age; it will be great for their health. The only drawback of this food is that some people don’t like the taste. Kids are particularly disgusted by anything green - many years of parenting has taught me that! But, you can still get your kids eating healthy spinach without complaining of the taste. Whizz it up in a smoothie and the taste will disappear. Just add it to any typical smoothie recipe and your kids will drink it without knowing it’s there, genius!

Start adding these foods into your diet if you want to see the benefits of a fast metabolism. Parenting can be hard as you don’t have much time to look after your health. You’re too concerned with the little ones, so it’s easy to keep the pregnancy pounds on for longer than you intended. Tweaking your diet is all it takes to lead to a healthier, fitter you. And, your family will stay healthy as well!





Friday, 17 June 2016

A Short Guide To Making Your Small Kitchen Feel Bigger


There is nothing worse than a small kitchen. The kitchen is the place where you cook, eat and socialize, so you need your space. Otherwise, you feel as if you are too cramped to enjoy your kitchen as you should. Thankfully, there are a few tricks you can use to find more space. The following might not provide you with as much space as you want, but they are better than nothing. At the very least, you will have more room to maneuver. Hopefully, that should make your life much easier when you do whatever you do in the kitchen.

Replace Wood Doors With Glass

You need to find a way to get more glass into your kitchen. The reason is simple: glass reflects light. And, the reflected light makes your kitchen seem bigger. Okay, it might not grow in size. But, you don’t need it to grow if you feel like you have more space. Space is all about your perception. As long as you feel happy with the room, you will be happy with what your kitchen has to offer. Glass cabinet doors are a great place to start. Wood does look good, but it doesn’t do anything for space. Plus, the glass will make your kitchen seem more open and light.

Use Light Colors

People use light colors for the same reason they use glass in the kitchen: they reflect light. Any light color will work as long as it is light enough to work. The most popular colors are white and cream, yet you can use whichever you prefer. A tip: match the color with the rest of the kitchen. When a kitchen is a similar color, it erases visual boundaries. The matching color tricks the eye into thinking that space is more open. Of course, that isn’t the truth. But, again, that is how you will perceive it so that's your truth.


Replace The Appliances

Appliances like microwaves and kettles take up a lot of space. Sure, you can stick them in the corner so that they are out of the way. But, let’s face it – they are always in the way. Well, they are always in the way when they could be smaller. You might not realize it, but suppliers do have a variety of appliances that they do in miniature form. Miniature doesn’t mean that they are hardly visible to the naked eye. It means that they are a size or two smaller than the conventional appliances.  If you want to take a better look, go to the What Microwave website for more information. Another cool trick is to change the layout of the kitchen. The odds are that the structure isn’t conducive to saving space. That means you want to change it so that every fixture goes in the correct place. Try and use up space in the corner of the room where it is hard to fill properly.


Reassess Your Storage Options

A small kitchen can’t afford any clutter. If you do have clutter, it means you don’t have enough storage space, or you're lazy. Because no one wants to point the finger, let’s say that you lack the storage space. Obviously, you can’t just buy some more and move it into your kitchen because you don’t have space. So, you have to get creative. Creative means that you need to find furniture or appliances that are multi-purpose. For example, you can have a breakfast bar that has shelves underneath. That way, you can use the bar as a place to eat and store your items. If you don’t like that idea, you can always use shelves. Shelves don’t take up much space and provide with lots to store your clutter.


Merge Rooms

The ultimate way to get a bigger kitchen is to merge the room with another. It is only possible to do this if you have the right structure. For example, you can’t knock down beams that hold the ceiling in place. But, if there isn’t a problem, can it is the answer to all of your prayers. The reason it works is that it utilizes the space in the other room. All of a sudden, you have more space for the kitchen. It is like taking space from the living room and adding it to the kitchen. You will need to talk to a contractor about the possibility of a merger. However, if they give you the green light, it is a realistic possibility.


Small kitchens are annoying, but they don’t have to stay small forever. 


Thursday, 16 June 2016

A Beginner's Guide to Credit Cards


Credit cards can often be given a lot of bad press. But they can actually be a useful tool in your life. You just need to be sensible about it and choose the right one for you. You need to be able to budget as well. Otherwise, that is when it can be a negative in your life. If you only spend what you have, you will be fine. It is important to monitor your spending alongside with your income.

Having a credit card can help to boost your credit rating. Again, this is only if it is used in the right way. If you don’t pay off your bill, then it will lead to a bad credit rating. Having a good credit rating can help in many ways. It can help with getting a mortgage and other loans. It can affect the level of interest that you will be offered to you too. Even something like getting a new mobile phone contract will look at your credit rating. If you try to apply for a credit card and get declined, then it does affect your rating. So one of the best things to do is to get a free credit check and credit report online. Then you can see what the likelihood of being accepted is. But if you ar looking into getting a credit card, there are some things that you should consider.

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First of all, you need to understand what a credit card is. It is almost like a short term loan as you won’t take funds out of your current account. Then you will just pay off the ‘loan’ after about thirty days. You don’t get interest on the amount you have spent if you pay it off straightaway. So that is where budgeting right comes in. If not, you’ll add interest on the daily balance.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, though. Having a credit card can offer lots of incentives and discounts too. They might offer great rates when you are abroad, so can be safer than having lots of foreign currency with you. There is more purchase protection when you buy something with a credit card. So if things get lost in transit or stolen, there is more protection. There is protection if you buy online with a credit card too. So though it will be a hassle if an item doesn’t turn up it will be a lot less stressful. Some cards even offer cash back on purchases or buying from certain places. Air miles are also a great thing to collect with credit cards.

So the bottom line is to do your research on the types of card available and the interest rates that are around. A credit card is a safer option than getting something like a payday loan. But as always the message is, if you can’t afford it, then don’t buy it. A credit card should be used when you know you can pay it off but might not have the cash immediately.


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

How To Throw The Perfect Dinner Party


Most of us enjoy having friends or family over for dinner. It’s far more intimate and relaxed than eating out. Of course, there is all the preparation and cleaning up to worry about after! But having the place to yourselves, with your own choice of music, makes the whole evening more pleasant. So how do you throw the perfect dinner party?

Diet is always going to be a huge consideration. The bigger the party, the more diets you need to accommodate. But there is also your own diet to think of. You might want a nice night off enjoying all those delicious delicacies you usually have to abstain from. Or you might want to try and create the perfect healthy and wholesome meal to share with your best friends around the table.


A good dinner party may start with some entrees or small bite platters for guests to help themselves before they sit to the table. You may want something elaborate like sturgeon caviar, or something cute and simple like fruit kebabs. You might also serve some exotic drinks like cocktails or some aperitifs. Set the mood with some relaxed music at a low level. You can reduce the intensity of the lighting when the guests come to the table.

Setting the table for a dinner party is easier than you think. All you need is some fresh table linen or just placemats with a centre runner. You can dress up the evening with a floral centrepiece or lit candelabra. Use an attractive glass jug filled with ice cubes and lemon slices for the table water. Wine glasses and water glasses will both be needed. The white wine should sit in an ice bucket to keep it chilled at the table. You might also want to use placename cards too.


Starters should be small. A goat’s cheese tarte or melon with coulee are good choices. It needs to be light, especially if you are providing an indulgent main course. You might be preparing two different main courses. One may be meat or fish. The other could be vegetarian. If you’re looking for healthier options, choose grilled chicken or salmon. And steam the vegetables rather than roasting or frying.

Dessert is often the favourite course of any meal. You can choose something cute and healthy like strawberry hearts. Or provide something incredibly sensuous and luxurious like a tiramisu. Get the coffee machine rumbling in the background. You could serve liqueur coffees by adding a splash of Baileys. You might even offer brandy or cognac!

Of course, many dinner parties can be a failure despite the excellent cuisine. Conversation is a huge part of any successful dinner party. Have a few ideas for topics of interest should things go quiet during the meal. Try to bring up interesting things about each of your guests too. Of course, if everyone knows everybody, you won’t have much to do! Finally, at the end of the evening, consider a few party games to keep everyone entertained. Have a fantastic evening.


Wednesday, 8 June 2016

A Guide To Saving Money At Key Moments (Without Sacrificing Your Enjoyment)



Over the course of a lifetime, we all experience several key moments. These are the memories that define us as people, and making the most of them is vital.

On the other hand, we all have financial responsibilities too. Finding the right balance is vital. Here’s how you can do just that in five key scenarios.

Getting Married

Every young girl spends her childhood imagining the dream wedding. There are many factors that need to be considered. Ultimately, though, the most important element is that you are joined by the perfect husband.

As long as you have this, everything else is of secondary importance. With this in mind, saving money on your reception is a very wise move. Of course, it should be a magical day. However, it is only one day. The savings you make here can go towards building a better life together.

Booking A Holiday

Life is all about creating magical memories, and vacations are the perfect opportunity to do just that. We all want those expensive luxury holidays, and you should let yourself enjoy them on occasion. But not every trip needs to break the bank.

Booking a last minute deal can be a great way to save money. Meanwhile, you also get the added excitement of visiting a place you might not have otherwise considered. Alternatively, you can take cheaper holiday options. Camping trips, for example, can provide just as much fun.

Buying A Home

For the average person, buying a property is the biggest financial commitment ever faced. If there’s only one item where getting value for money is imperative, this is it. Simply negotiating a deal can save you thousands. But there are plenty of other opportunities out there.


Buying a fixer-upper can be the perfect way to save money on the purchase and make a profit by upgrading the home. Another option is to buy a property at auction. The traditional method still suits many homebuyers, though. Just be sure that you’re getting the best mortgage rate available.

Starting A Business

Careers play a crucial role in our lives. Not only are the key to making money, but they can also provide a sense of satisfaction. There’s no better way to achieve this than starting a business.

This is a massive decision, and reducing the expenses is crucial. Operating from home will help you cut the need for office space while hiring freelancers can cut your staffing costs. Lower overheads will give you far better hopes of turning a profit. And that’s all any entrepreneur can ask for.

Retirement

Retirement is something we can all look forward to. But you need to be sure that you’ve got the finances to make it comfortable. Equity Release schemes are the perfect solution to get hold of extra cash. More importantly, you won’t be forced into downsizing property either.

Meanwhile, you can remove some of the financial stress by taking advantage of senior discounts and services too. Every little helps, and those opportunities could be the key to staying happy throughout those retirement years.


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

What To Do When It’s Just Not Working Anymore: Dealing With Family Breakups


I’m what I would call very lucky. I’ve got a wonderful partner who I adore and a happy family. However, not everyone is so lucky. Quite a few of my friends and relatives have gone through family breakups in the past few years. It was hard for them at the time, but admittedly, they’re much happier now. As are their children.

Today, one in two serious relationships end in a breakup. That’s why I thought that today, I would talk about what to do when your relationship just isn’t working anymore. Family breakups are incredibly hard, but sometimes they’re for the best. If you’re having doubt about whether your relationship is made to last, here’s what you need to know.

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It will be hard but also very worth it

There’s no way around it; breakups are always hard. Even more so when children are involved. Breaking up with someone you’ve been in a serious relationship with is never going to be easy, but if it’s what’s best for you, then it’s worth it. Don’t let the fact that it will be hard put you off, be brave and do what you have to. There might be a few rubbish weeks where your life feels like it’s been turned upside down but you will get back on track again.

Understand that the kids may struggle

Whether your partner is your child’s biological parent or a step-parent, they will struggle with your breakup. Family breakups are always hard for children. Especially, when they leave them feeling uncertain about their future. Breakups are scary because kids worry about where they’ll live, what will change, and who they’ll get to see. If it’s a step-parent that you’re breaking up with, often children panic that they won’t get to see their step-parent. Your children may react to the news of the breakup with anger, sadness or disbelief, all of these reactions are normal.

Get help

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It’s tempting to put off getting the professionals involved when it comes to family breakups as this makes it more real. But if you want to get things sorted as quickly as possible, it’s worth getting some professional help. If you’re married, then getting in touch with a divorce solicitor is a good idea. If not but you share a home and children, it might be worth getting in touch with a family mediator. This will make talking through who gets what and child custody, that little bit easier.

Be as fair as possible

When it comes to breakups, the most important thing is to be as fair as possible. Regardless of the reason behind the split, it’s still important to be fair with your ex-partner. Not only for yourself but also for the sake of your children. If it’s their house you’re living in, offer to move out. If it’s somewhere that you moved into together, sit down with them and work out what the best option is. Don’t use the kids as weapons, be fair when it comes to custody. Your partner deserves to spend time with them as much as you do.

Breakups are never easy, but if it’s what you want, then it’s worth it. You can’t stay with someone if you’re unhappy, no matter what. It might be hard at first but in the long run, you’ll be happier for it.


4 Things You Need Set Up As Soon As You Move Into A New House



When you move into a new home, there are certain things you’ll be able to live without. For instance, you won’t need to set up all your furniture right away. These days, you might also get away with not setting up a phone line in the first week. You certainly don’t have to worry immediately about setting up direct debits for bills. That can be arranged later. At the same time, however, there are other things you will certainly need and want. Let’s look at a few of these and also think about how to make sure they are ready when you move in.

Internet


Forget about the phone line. The only thing you need it for is the internet. Without the internet, a lot of us will just grind to a massive halt. Now, you can think about just relying on your phone 4G or any other devices with data. But is this going to be enough? Take into account where you’re moving too as well. If you’ve bought a house out in the country, there’s a good chance you won’t find a signal. You’ll be standing in a field holding the phone as far as you can to check the weather report. At which point sod’s law will ensure that it starts to rain. To get your internet set up in the home, contact your provider. They’ll be able to help you switch addresses. Or, if you are setting up for the first time walk you through the stages of installation. You can arrange for the line to be switched on as soon as you enter the home as well. The only thing you then need to worry about is the hub. Order it early and deliver it to your current address. That way, you’ll have it when you need it.

TV


You might survive with just the internet, but it’s always best to have the TV set up as well. That’s why you should probably also contact your digital TV provider. Don’t forget though you’ll also need a digital aerial installation. Digital Tv Aerials can be bought and arranged for installation online. Once again, you can do this before you buy the home. That way, as soon as you move in, you’ll have all your shows so you can sit down and relax.

Your Bed


Don’t worry about the rest of the furniture too much. If it arrives a couple of days late, you’ll survive. Just make sure you’ve got your bed with you on your first day in the new home. If you don’t, you’ll be dealing with one or two sleepless nights on a hard floor. As well as this, a bed will make your new house feel like a home. You don’t want to sleep on the floor for your first night in a new place. This happens to far too many homebuyers.

Security


Last but not least, make sure your security is setup and ready to go on your first night in the place. In a new home, you will naturally feel uneasy about whether or not you’re safe. You’ll be in a new environment, and that can be disconcerting. As soon as you move in, read the alarm’s instructions and get it set up ready for your use.


Monday, 6 June 2016

Kate & Carl :: 30th Birthday Tag




With Carl's Birthday on the 11th of June and mine on the 28th, there is only just over 2 weeks between us age wise and this year, we are both hitting the big 30. It's rare that Carl gets involved in my blog but I decided seeing as we're hitting a milestone birthday together, it would be nice for us to do the 30th Birthday Tag. 

Question 1: What is your favourite memory or time from your 20s and why?

Carl: Meeting Kate and setting up for a future together because I finally found my soul mate and I love her to bits.

Kate: It would have to be when I met Carl. We met when we were 26 and I wish it could of been sooner because he's my world. Also seeing Sarah start school and then move to secondary school has been really memorable.

Question 2: What is your least favourite memory or time from your 20s and why?

Carl:Buying a house with my ex because it didn't feel right and was more about giving my parents a quick sale on the house. A massive fuck up on my part.

Kate: Goes without saying it has to be when I lost my best friend and my dad when I was 21. It may have been 9 years ago but the feelings are still very raw.

Question 3: How do you want your 30s to feel?

Carl: Debt free!!

Kate: I want them to be relaxed and enjoyable. My 20s have been bloody difficult with losing loved ones and money issue's so I really want my 30s to be the polar opposite of that.

Question 4: Where did you think you would be right now?

Carl: I wasn't 100% sure because in my early twenties, I considered a total career change so not thought where I was going to be.

Kate: I thought I would be married with at least 1 more child if not 2.

Question 5: Are you there yet? Do you still want to be there?

Carl: No but I'm happy with where I am now

Kate: Unfortunately not. I really hope it will be soon though.

Question 6: What things do you want to accomplish in this next phase of your life?

Carl: Start to rent our own house, start planning for the future and start enjoying life as much as possible. Also a definite wedding!

Kate: I really want to be married with more kids by the time I'm 35 but I'd also like to set up a successful business. I have such an issue with authority so being able to work for myself is a real dream.

Question 7: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Carl: Hopefully be in our own house, debt free, a small Coates walking around and married.

Kate: Again I want to be married with more kids. Honestly, I would be happy if I had at least one of those dreams come true in 5 years but if I have them both I would be thrilled.

Question 8: 10 Years?

Carl: Definitely married with more kids, a nice house and hopefully my dad will still be around.

Kate: I really hope that by the time I'm 40, we have our own house and my business is doing well. I also think me and Carl will be grandparents by that stage too. By the time we're 40, Sarah will be 24 and as much as I know she wants to become a Physiotherapist, I can't help but think she will be a young mum like I was.

Question 9: What did you learn in your 20s that you will carry through into your 30s?

Carl: Not to do things for convenience if they don't feel right because I've done it and I regretted it. Also don't take anything for granted.

Kate: Money is important. Though I haven't been destitute or get into thousands of pounds worth of debt, I really took it for granted. I guess in your 20s you are still young and naive and I really was.

Question 10: What is the one thing you want to give up in your 30s?

Carl: I can't answer this because I don't do anything that I really need to give up lol.

Kate: Ideally I want to give up smoking. I've done it a few times before so I know I have it in me but having been a smoker since I was 13, I'm at the point where I need a really valid reason, a baby would be just that.

Question 11: What's the one thing you want more of in your 30s

Carl: A shit tonne of better luck because me and Kate never seem to have any.

Kate: Money, naturally.

Question 12: What do you need to make time for?

Carl: Do more family things and family time.

Kate: Me and Carl need to make more time for each other. Now Sarah is officially a teenager, we are happy to let her go out more with friends and have accepted that she is in the phase of shutting herself away in her room and not wanting to spend as much time with us. It's sad but it's perfectly normal. So because of this, me and Carl will have more time to spend together doing things we enjoy.

Question 13: What's the one thing you would do if you knew you couldn't fail?

Carl:Rob a bank!!

Kate: Stop Carl from going fishing hahaha. No I've fully accepted my fishing widow status and I would rather he go fishing at weekends than being down the pub.

Question 14: Are you in love with a person who genuinely loves you back?

Carl: I hope so or I'll have to have a rethink about my previous answers!

Kate: 100%. Me and Carl have so much banter and we have a laugh from insulting each other and taking the piss but we genuinely love each other. He's not only my boyfriend and the man I want to marry but he really is my best friend. I genuinely love him more everyday.

Question 15: How do you feel about turning 30?

Carl: It's a good thing as it marks the start of the next chapter of my life.

Kate: I don't feel any different. Age really is a number but I must admit, after feeling like I have been in my 20s since the stone age, it's going to be weird having to put myself in a completely new age bracket when filling in personal details!!