Category Archives: Lifestyle

How to Keep the Kids Active This Summer

Staying active, fit and healthy is imperative for everybody, of all ages. But it is especially imperative for our children. During their formative years our children are growing at all times, at a rate of knots. And it is because of this that their growth should be stimulated as well as possible by them being as active as possible. And who does the job of keeping them as active as possible fall to? Us, their parents. If you are a parent then make sure to take heed of the advice below on how best to get your children more active this summer.

Because your children won’t be at school for a large majority of the summer, they will instantly lose the things that normally keep them active: their walk to school and their physical activities at school. So, you have to make sure you subsidise for this loss of activity. And one way to do so is to ensure that they still get out of the house regularly. And a place to take them that will always offer them a plethora of ways to keep active is your local nature park or reserve. These are huge open spaces, filled with fields and forests, that are perfect for dog walking, hiking and animal spotting. And if this doesn’t sound like something you could get your children excited about, then fear not as there are more often than not children’s play areas in these parks too. Or you could just ‘accidentally’ get yourself and your children lost during a walk in a forest! But whatever you do, just watch out for any unsavoury mess left by dogs.

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Another active family day out you could take your children on is a trip to the beach. Yes, your idea of the perfect beach day may include sunbathing and eating ice-cream. And yes, these aren’t the most active or healthy of activities. But a trip to the beach doesn’t just have to comprise of these sorts of activities. It can comprise of a whole host of active activities too. One beach game that will keep your kids active and entertained throughout the whole day is a teaspoon treasure hunt. Basically, you dig holes about the beach (whilst your children are preoccupied) and place your spare shrapnel in the holes. You then cover the holes over, return to your kids, and give them each a teaspoon. They should then use the teaspoon they are given to help them dig up the shrapnel once they think they have located it. This is a game that will keep your children running around for hours — if you hide your spare shrapnel well enough — meaning they are kept active for hours too.

But you don’t have to leave your premises or even your home to keep the kids active. There are a whole host of things that you can do in your garden and home to keep your children active. The important thing to remember in this venture, however, is that your TV and your children’s games consoles are always accessible.This means you have to make the active activity that you are involving your children in as interesting as can be. And your first port of call in this instance should be to take a look at some trampolines, find the one your children will love the most, and buy it. A trampoline is the perfect way to keep you children active in your garden as it offers them up a plethora of opportunities to have fun. They can bounce. They can attempt certain types of jumps and flips. They can play games. Basically, it is the perfect way to keep your children active over an extended period of time. What’s more, it means your grass won’t be too badly beaten either! But if it rains, fear not as you could keep your children active indoors too. One way to do so is to simply do a bit of redecorating. Anybody that has redecorated before can attest to the fact that it is a strenuous and long-drawn out exercise. So, why not ask your kids to help you with some during the summer? That way you keep your children active, and your home gets a bit of TLC too.

So, as easy as it may be to just let your children plonk themselves in front of the TV or their game console this summer, don’t give in. Don’t let them waste the summers of their youth doing nothing — both because it won’t keep them active, and because it won’t allow them to build memories.

What Sort Of Person Are You? Find Your Ideal Job Here!

No matter who you are, you’ve probably had a few moments where you’ve wondered about your future career and started to panic. Even if you’re already doing a job that you enjoy, you might not want to do it for your entire life – because let’s face it, the process of growing up is a lot longer than you might have realised when you were a little kid, and as you get older, you start to realise that a lot of people just haven’t figured it all out yet. But if you’re looking for the next step in life, here are a few tips to help you figure it out…

If You’re A Caring Person…

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Teachers definitely have one of the hardest jobs in the world – but also one of the most satisfying. Working with kids can be exhausting, and sometimes it might feel a little more like attempting to control a crowd instead of imparting your subject knowledge to them, but it’s one of the most important jobs in the world. Shaping the young minds that will go onto be the leaders of tomorrow is crucial, and teaching goes far beyond multiplication tables and subordinate clauses: teachers show young people how to treat each other, how to behave well in certain environments, they provide a feeling of safety and security that not all children get at home. It’s one of the most important jobs.

Nurses definitely don’t get as much respect as they deserve – they’re often seen as a step down from doctors, but the truth is that they’re just as important, but they just have a different role. Nursing includes tasks like giving meds to patients and monitoring their progress – but it also involves holding a scared elderly person’s hand, distracting a baby so that an exhausted mom can get some sleep – nursing involves looking after patients in much more than a medical sense.

Carers don’t have the most glamorous jobs in the world but they are absolutely crucial to us as a civilised society. Everyone ages, everyone gets old – in fact, we have an ageing population which means as time goes by, carers will be even more crucial to take care of our old people. From providing them with someone to talk to and share memories with, to helping them out with more physical parts of their every day lives like washing and getting dressed, carers help elderly people to be and feel safe and to live their lives with as much dignity and love as possible.

Social workers definitely have a difficult job sometimes, but it’s also absolutely crucial – they protect the most vulnerable members of our society. Not everyone can get it right all the time and social workers are definitely called on to make hard decisions like taking kids away from their biological families, but equally they’re incredibly valuable in terms of child protection and making sure that people get the care that they need in order to work together and become cohesive, happy families. Not everyone is equipped to easily handle their lives – social workers can identify those people and provide them with the help they need to lead healthy lifestyles.

If You’re An Active Person…

Personal trainers get to spend their entire lives keeping fit and working to help other people do the same thing, spreading their skills and knowledge to enable people to take control of their lives and get fit and healthy. From devising personal fitness plans to helping people work out how to eat the right foods to stay energetic and trim at the same time, personal trainers work closely with their clients to help them turn their entire lives around. If you’ve always been a gym bunny but you’re not sure how to take the next step, courses like Origym will help you figure out how to qualify as a personal trainer.

Physical education teachers are often some of the most inspirational people at schools. From coaching sports teams to helping kids figure out how to stay healthy in their own lives, PE teachers are often role models and incredibly important figures in the lives of young people. You’ll also gain the skills and expertise that you might need to coach other sports teams outside of school time – passing on your skills to other people is one of the most satisfying things you can do, and learning to identify and nurture young sporting talent is something that can genuinely change the lives of students and young people. A lot of them will also feel as though they can talk to you and get close to you, so you’ll be able to help them on a more personal level too.

Chefs need plenty of energy to work their long shifts and to produce top notch work even at the end of a busy shift when the kitchen is unbearably hot and there are people shouting commands all around them. If you thrive under pressure, working as a chef is something that you could absolutely do – but of course you also need a knowledge and love of food as well. Many chefs demonstrate this passion from a very young age, so if you spent your youth reading about and trying to perfect your French patisserie skills or making your way intrepidly through your mom’s spice rack, then being a chef might just be the job for you. Just remember that the hours are long and the work is very highly pressured – but it’s also incredibly satisfying to be able to work hard on something that you love.

Salespeople often need to have the same sort of energy levels as a Duracell bunny – they’re always switched on, always looking for new opportunities, and always ready with a bright smile and the drive to keep moving and to make sales. Making sales isn’t just about reeling off all the great qualities of what you want to sell – it’s also about learning to communicate with people and making human connections with them. This is especially important if you work in a small company, where customer service is the key thing that you have over bigger companies – it’s important to pay attention to your clients and to respond intelligently to what they need from you. Being flexible and able to think on your feet are also important skills for this role.

If You’re An Intellectual Person…

Professors tend to work for a very long time in their field – and for many of them, even when they reach the absolute top of it, they still might not earn great money. That means that if you want to be a professor and an academic in your chosen area, you need to do it for love and passion of the subject area alone. It’s that love and passion, and that intellectual curiosity, that will drive you through years of being a professor. You’ll also get to work with younger students, from undergraduates to people doing their PhDs which means that you’ll get to further investigate the subjects that you love and develop your own knowledge more and more as time goes by.

Journalists can range hugely, from the ones who write huge screeds about what Victoria Beckham’s wearing and whether Harry Styles’s new album is any good, to journalists who write columns about their families and how to be a good parent, to writers who follow politics and the elections closely, to investigative journalists delving into corrupt governments in far flung places in the world. If you have a lot of curiosity and tenacity, then journalism might just be a good area for you to go into – although of course you need to be aware that it isn’t always the easiest job. If you’re reporting from war zones, you’ll be in a lot of physical danger, but you’ll also be able to provide your country with essential information that can make some real changes to people’s lives.

Novelists have what many people would think of as a dream job. A lot of us think we could write a novel if only we had the time, but the difference between those people and ‘real’ novelists is not necessarily talent – it’s that novelists made the time to sit down and to work on their books and had the tenacity to get to the end and complete their work, which is a lot easier said than done. If you want to become a novelist, the most important thing that you can do is to keep reading to learn more and more about your craft, focusing both on the genre that you’re interested in and on books by other authors from which you can learn world building and how to write well.

Scientists can change the world. From developing medications that will help people with HIV to lead full and happy lives to developing systems that will help bring water to remote African villages, scientists can save lives with their work. It can sometimes be a solitary profession, but it’s also crucial to keep our world running smoothly.

Want to Make Travel Your Full Time Life

Of all dreams, few are as common as traveling. If you’re of a particular mindset, there’s nothing better than casting off the shackles of the every day and going on an adventure, always experiencing new things, and broadening your mind at the same time. While most people are bound by the realities of life, there are others out there who make travel their full-time lifestyle. Jealous? You needn’t be, because it’s a lifestyle that’s available to all. Here’s how you do it.

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Teaching English

We’re in a golden age of travel opportunities, and this is especially true if you’re a native English speaker. Sign yourself up for a TEFL or CELTA course, and you’ll have the (non-English speaking) world at your feet. Whether you want to enjoy thrilling Thailand, get lost in the maze of Tokyo, or try your hand at living and working in a vibrant South American country, teaching English as a foreign language allows you to easily integrate into a new overseas life. Opportunities are everywhere, and the jobs can actually pay pretty well in certain countries.

To the Mountains

There are two types of seasonal jobs: summer work, and winter work. While summer jobs can be bags of fun, there’s nothing quite like working outdoors during the winter. For one, you’re normally based in stunning environments (these are vacation destinations, after all), and you get to enjoy all the fun activities of the area when you’re not working, too. Get yourself a ski instructor course qualification, and you’ll be able to have the best of both worlds: getting paid and having fun at the same time. With the qualification under your belt, you might find that teaching people to ski in Whistler, the Alps, or Park City is your full-time employment, and doesn’t that sound perfect?

Volunteer Options

A lot of people are held back from traveling as often as they want because they’re worried that they won’t be able to afford it. But in actuality, traveling the world – even the world’s most expensive countries – can be cheap, if you volunteer. Sites like Workaway and HelpX connect volunteers with hosts who need help. You won’t be paid, but you will receive food and accommodation, and what else do you need? You’ll also be fully immersed in local culture, and have experiences that you couldn’t pay for even if you wanted to.

Learn a Foreign Language

To give yourself the best option of traveling full time, you’ll need to learn a foreign language. If you learned Spanish, for example, you’d be able to work in many more countries than if you only spoke Spanish. You could arrive in South America, find work, then move on to the next destination when it feels right.

Remote Jobs

The internet has changed travel, and work. There are many location independent jobs that are done solely online; bag yourself one of these, and you can become a digital nomad, working in countries around the world. All you need is an internet connection!

Style, Storage & Space: Make Your Home More Liveable

No matter what kind of home you live in, we can guarantee that you are constantly in need of more space. Something about having your own home means that you soon begin to develop piles of new belongings. Before long, it is no longer clear where any of it is meant to go. If you know this situation well, then you are probably keen to learn about some new storage solutions which you might be able to employ in your home. Knowing how to properly store what you have away goes hand in hand with freeing up space in the home – and there are a number of genuine positive psychological benefits as a result of that. It also means that you can create a more relaxed, peaceful home – and all without sacrificing even a shred of style. Let’s see what you might be able to do in your home to marry style, storage and space easily and inexpensively.

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Plan Every Room

One of the major reasons that people tend to end up with very little space is because they fail to think room by room. It might not seem as though it would make that much difference, but you would be surprised. As it turns out, planning interior design room by room, particularly with storage and space in mind, does very often mean that you can create more useful spaces which you will be able to use for greater storage quickly and easily. It helps to go room by room, simply because each room is its own unique kind of space, offering its own potential solutions and also its own set of problems to overcome. If you only think as a whole for the home, you will find that your solutions are nowhere near as effective as they could be.

Once you start thinking in this way, it will probably not be long before you start to come up with some pretty unique solutions of your own. You will then probably wonder why you never thought to look at your space problems in this way before. However, you might still benefit from listening to the advice of others, and there are some things which apply to all homes and to all rooms in the home, no matter what. Let’s take a look at some more specific advice on creating space in the home, reducing your need for storage and making the home work as a more cohesive whole in these areas.

De-Clutter

It might sound simple, but it is an incredibly effective part of the whole situation. If you want to create more space in your home, then it only makes sense to do everything you can to reduce the amount of clutter you have lying around. No matter who you are, it is likely that you often find yourself developing clutter. This happens for a number of reasons, and it is for that reason that it is hard to deal with a lot of the time. It might just be the gradual accumulation of things you have bought, perhaps all relevant and necessary at the time, but now just taking up space. It could be things people have left in your home. In this instance, it is quite frustrating because you can’t exactly just get rid of those things. Still, you can endeavour to return them to their owners. However it is that your own cluster has developed, it is well worth making sure that you make the effort to reduce the amount of clutter in your home.

In all likelihood, it will be much more beneficial if you do this on a regular basis. There is no specific timescale that works for everyone, as it depends on your own lifestyle and needs, but just make sure that you do your best to stay on top of it at all times if you can. When you get down to de-cluttering, you should think about ways in which you can get rid of what you find. You might decide to sell some goods, for example: selling clothes and other things online can be a great way to recycle and even make a little money from your de-cluttering. Or you could give things away to charity, as this will also help you to feel much better about the situation of throwing things away. Whatever you do, try to find specific solutions for doing away with those things that you find. This will help you to keep your home much clearer for longer, so reducing the amount of storage that you actually need in the first place.

Of course, you can only get rid of so much, and at a certain point you will need to find some genuine solutions to the kind of storage and space you do actually need for what remains. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to store the things you need to keep in your home.

Find Multi-Use Furniture

If there is anything that takes up a lot of space in your home, it is the furniture. It therefore makes a lot of sense if you are able to use that furniture as a storage solution in itself. This way, you are using the bigger, bulkier items to store the smaller ones – and mathematically, that makes for a much more efficient use of space. Of course, limiting the amount of furniture you have in the first place might be beneficial, but you also want to keep the home comfortable. It is often far better to use furniture which can easily double up as storage. These days, there is no end to the kind of furniture that can actually achieve that particular goal. You can find sofas which unfold to reveal a decent amount of storage space underneath, for example. There are countless bed designs which have a lot of open space underneath, too, so you can store things like bedclothes and pretty much anything else under there. But that’s not all.

Space saving furniture comes in many forms, and it is worth looking at all your options as much as possible and as closely as possible. Certain solutions might not work for you personally or for your home, but others could be absolutely perfect. If you have children, treating them to some transforming bunk beds can provide them with endless fun while also meaning they have doubled-up room for a desk or something similar. You can even buy transforming tables which spread out to become larger tables, meaning that your dining table could be tucked away neatly while not in use.

Making use of multi-use furniture is one of those single best ways to create more space, for real, in your home, and to find a place for decent storage of your smaller items. But there might still be a place in your home for items which are designed solely and specifically to hold other items with no other purpose. In those cases, you probably want to ensure that they have a decent degree of style if they are to take up space in your home.

Stylish Storage

When it comes to finding storage solutions which do not double-up as anything else, it helps to put style first. That way, you can be sure that you will be happy with those items taking up space in your home. Of course, it can often be difficult to come across storage items which you are genuinely thrilled about using. But a little shopping around and knowing where to look can soon throw up a few interesting and useful items which you might want to consider. Again, as we saw earlier, it can really help to work room by room here. Let’s take the bathroom by way of example.

Any bathroom has countless opportunities to house a decent storage unit. This is one room where you will often get away with something just for the sake of it looking good, so looking for stylish bathroom storage is a decent bet if that is your style. Bathroom companies tend to have a fantastic range of vanity units, and these re probably our best bet if looking for stylish bathroom storage solutions. Alternatively, you could consider going for a standalone tidy,as these can often be compact enough to fit into a bathroom of just about any size. Get this room right, and you will notice how easy it can really be to create stylish storage in my room of the house. You can then extend this to other rooms.

Keep It Simple

Finally, remember that you often get the best results with something like this if you are able to just keep it simple as much as possible. Simplicity is surprisingly hard to achieve, but it is always going to be your best friend, so long as you are happy for that to be the case. As long as you keep things simple, you will find that your home is much more stylish in its storage and for much longer too.

Emergency Relief at Home When There’s No Doctor Around

Panic is usually associated with rash decisions and fear. If you ever end up with pains or debilitating symptoms at home, then your first instinct might be to call a hospital. Sadly, if there are no doctors around and your local medical centre is closed, then you have no other choice than to call emergency services. Unfortunately, it might not even be needed and you might be panicking for no real reason.

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There are hundreds of different ways to solve common problems at home. For instance, you might think you have symptoms of a stomach infection or abdominal problems, but in reality, it could just be trapped gas. If you’re feeling dizzy and can’t muster up the strength to do anything, then it could just be dehydration, something that’s easily fixed by drinking more water. If you need emergency relief, then you’ll be surprised to learn that you can solve most of your issues with simple household products and basic ingredients.

Stomach Pain

Stomach pains can have a variety of different causes, but the first thing you should do is apply something hot to the affected area. This can be a hot water bottle wrapped in a thin shirt or it could be pressing your stomach against a radiator. This will help to relieve the pain temporarily and give you enough time to decide your next action without clutching your stomach. Next, check out these remedies if you need to get rid of gas. You can usually tell it’s trapped gas if you’ve eaten something bad, if you’re having trouble passing wind, or if your stomach looks more bloated than usual. If trapped wind is something that happens on a regular basis to you, then you may need to rethink your diet and cut down on things like fizzy drinks and starchy foods.

Sore Throat

Most people would recommend that you gargle salt water if you want to relieve the pain from a sore throat. However, the most effective method is to actually gargle the salt itself. It sounds silly, but by using a straw or salt shaker, you could essentially feed the salt to the back of your throat where the harmful and painful bacteria is. It’s a very fast cure that acts almost immediately and it’s perfect to stave off a developing throat infection if you feel it coming.

Joint Pains

If your joints are giving you a lot of trouble, then Epsom salts may be the cure you need. Buy a large pack of Epsom salts and determine where the joint pains are. If it’s somewhere accessible such as your wrist or elbow, then fill a container with water, drop half a cup of Epsom salts in, mix it, and then soak the affected joint for about 10-15 minutes. If the pains are all over or in hard to reach areas like your knee, then run a warm bath and do the same with more Epsom salt. This will relieve the pains for a while but it’s not a replacement for a good fitness regime

Look After Your Eyes – They’re The Only Ones You Get

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Our eyes are sensitive, delicate, and incredible pieces of machinery, which means it isn’t surprising that there are so many ways that they can go wrong. While they’re beautiful and communicative, they’re also prone to all sorts of problems, from strain to infection, and everything in between. We are often complacent about the health of our eyes, although we regularly get checkups for the rest of our body. Here are a few ways we can all take better care of our eyes – after all, they’re the only ones we get.

Get regular eye exams

While we might be able to notice a change in the health of our eyes, many changes are minute and gradual, and only detected by a professional. Don’t leave it until you get regular crippling headaches before you see your optometrist. You should have an eye exam every two years, even if you have no history of any problems. Not only do they check your sight, but they’ll also review the overall health of your eye, something which we can’t do ourselves.

Protect them from UV rays

The sun’s radiation can be bad news for our eyes, causing cataracts, blind spots, and even complete blindness. When you’re out in the sunshine, be sure to wear UV protecting sunglasses. If you’re a glasses wearer, find prescription glasses or wear your contact lenses underneath. The risk of sun damage to eyes is just too high not to.

Take a break

Staring at computer screens day in, day out, can spell bad news for our little peepers. Take regular breaks, at least every half an hour, and walk away from your screen for a few moments. Look into the mid and further distance to give your eye muscles a chance to recover. If it’s possible for you to change your duties so you can alternate between screen work and non-screen work, it can really make a difference.

Wear contacts that work for you

Many people who wear glasses and contact lenses are wearing the wrong prescription, or the wrong type of lense. Regular visits to your optometrist should help to ensure this isn’t the case. Choosing lenses such as Acuvue contacts which help to hydrate your eyes and work for your eye type will also help. With so many options on the market, and some really great prices, there’s no excuse for wearing the wrong lenses any more.

Check makeup best before dates

Believe it or not, makeup can go off. It can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which you’re then putting directly on the skin next to your eye. Be sure to check the dates, but give your makeup a sniff occasionally to ensure it’s not harboring any nasty germs.

Ask about your family history

Your family history can tell you a lot about your future health. Eye problems such as glaucoma tend to run in the family, so if you’re aware of any similar problems within your relatives, be sure to tell your optometrist, who may want you to have more regular eye exams to be on the safe side.

Eye care is as essential as dental care or heart care, but so often overlooked. Give your eyes some love, and they’ll be good to you back.

Hen Havens: The Best Hen Party Locations In The UK

If you’ve been tasked with organising a hen party, the first job is to find a suitable location. Many people are choosing to jet off abroad for a hen party in the sun, but there are plenty of great places closer to home if you don’t want the hassle of finding flights and a hotel on a budget. If you’re considering a UK hen, here are some of the best options out there.

Manchester

Manchester is an excellent choice whether you’re looking for something cool and casual or a chic, sophisticated break. There’s everything from lavish spa hotels and luxury apartments to affordable budget hotels on offer, so you’re bound to find something that suits. Stay in the Norther Quarter if you’re a fan of trendy bars, cool cafes, and a casual dress code or head to Spinningfields if you like the sound of private booths and bespoke cocktails. If you’re keen to dance the night away to your favourite floor fillers, Deansgate Locks is the place to be. During the day, there are plenty of activities available. Shop until you drop at the Arndale Centre, book a burlesque or 80’s dance class or learn to make your own signature cocktails at one of Deansgate’s many bars.

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London

Some people may write London off due to the assumption that it will blow the budget, but you don’t always have to spend a fortune to have fun in the Big Smoke. If you are on a shoestring, look into renting a large house or an apartment instead of booking hotel rooms. This way, you can save on the cost of accommodation, and you can eat and drink at home before you head out. If you’re looking for something for a hen with expensive tastes, there are all kinds of restaurants and bars that will take your fancy. Take a look at recommendations like Gourmet Guide fine dining in London tips, and check out where the celebs have been hanging out on Instagram. If you’re a large party, it often makes sense to book a table and add your names to the guest list. You can split the cost of drinks, and you won’t have to queue to get in.

Liverpool

Liverpool is emerging as one of the most popular hen weekend destinations, and it’s no wonder. There’s loads to do by day, and plenty going on after dark. Enjoy lunch with a view at the Albert Dock, take a tour of the shops at Liverpool One or treat yourself to a pampering session at a salon before hitting the dance floor at one of the many bars in the Cavern Quarter. Liverpool is a great place for a girly weekend, and some of the city’s hotels offer special packages for hen weekends. You can also hire party apartments, which hold up to 30 guests.

Dublin

No guide to UK hen weekends would be complete without a mention of Dublin. Hire a beer bike or jump on an open-top bus before enjoying a Guinness and getting your jig on in Temple Bar.

If you’re planning a hen weekend, look no further than these fabulous destinations!

Eight Ways To Cut Back And Improve Your Bank Account

Have you looked at your bank account lately and felt a slight jolt of alarm? Don’t worry – we’ve all been there. Money issues are something that almost everyone has suffered from at some point, but there are a few ways that you can make yourself a little more financially secure by cutting back in various parts of your life…

Cook From Scratch

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If you’re trying to find a place to cut corners, then cooking from scratch is absolutely it. If you tend to buy your lunch at the coffee shop near work every day, stop that – it’s time to start making sandwiches and salads the night before to take to work from you, along with coffee in a thermal travel mug. In the evenings, stop buying convenience food and ordering takeout – cooking from scratch might take longer but it’s a lot cheaper and in the end it’s a lot more tasty and pure.

Watch Out For Deals

When you’re out grocery shopping, it’s important to keep your eyes open for whatever deals that the store is doing that day. Sometimes at the end of the day, food can be discounted so that it sells before it goes out of date – this can be particularly great with fruits and vegetables, which usually have a few days more of freshness than their best before date proclaims. If there’s a buy one get one half price or similar deal, then just make sure that it’s something that you’d buy anyway – there’s no point in having extra bottles of a shampoo that you don’t use purely because it was discounted! Buying in bulk can often help you save money if you’re in a pinch, so long as you make sure that you have space to store it all, and coupons can often help as well. You could also make sure that you compare different prices of your favourite products at the different stores in your area to make sure that you’re getting the best deal.

Quit The Gym

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If you aren’t the most avid gym user in the world then chances are, you aren’t getting enough out of your gym membership and it’s something that you could easily cut out of your life. This time of year particularly, it’s easy to get fit using the great outdoors instead of at the gym – instead of lifting weights or going to spinning classes, why not start hiking? Look up your local beauty spots and enlist your family and possibly your dog (or a friend’s dog!) to accompany you. You could also start doing yoga at home – this can be particularly good for your spiritual as well as physical health. Try out Yoga With Adriene for some great beginners’ videos.

Change Your Providers

Even if you’ve been with your current energy providers for years, it could be time to use a service like Simply Switch to find a deal that works better with your current lifestyle. You could also look for better bank accounts, better credit card deals, and better mobile phone deals – do you really need all that data? It’s time to consider what you and your family’s real needs are so that you can invest in providers and schemes that really work for your life specifically. Make sure that you talk to your bank and your providers to figure out a deal that can work for you – a lot of the time, companies will work with you to figure out something that will work if you can explain what exactly you need.

Stay In At Night

It’s time to change your social life! No one’s saying that you have to see your friends less – on the contrary, seeing your friends and being sociable does wonders for your happiness and general well being. But there are ways that you can save money while you socialise. If you and your partner have regular date nights – and who doesn’t, really? They’re a great way to make the most of your relationship and reconnect with each other – then you might find that they’re starting to get a little pricey. The cost of a babysitter alone if you have kids can be very expensive, plus a restaurant bill, gas, movie or theatre tickets, or whatever else you choose to do – all these costs can add up to make date night very expensive. Cut back a little and spend some more time at home to reconnect. Watch a movie with a bowl of popcorn, snuggled up together in a blanket fort, or spend some time together as you make your favourite dinner. You could even take a trip down memory lane by looking at your wedding albums! If you’re trying to figure out how you could cut back when you go out with your friends, try going out for brunch or lunch instead of dinner. You probably already know that dinner sometimes tends to turn into bars and clubs, which can rack up huge bills! Still – there’s no point in not letting yourself have some fun sometimes…

Lose Your Car

If you live in a city with a good public transport system, it’s time to consider whether you really do need your car or not. If you live out in a rural area then cars are necessary, and if you have kids then cars can often make life a lot easier. But if your main journeys are commuting to and from work, then it’s much better for the environment to take public transport – and it’s much better for your wallet too as you can cut down on car payments, gas bills, and of course however much parking costs you. While you’re commuting you can take some time out to relax and read or maybe even nap – it’s a whole lot more relaxing than driving, particularly if you think about how much money you’re saving!

Save Energy At Home

It’s important to start cutting down on your energy bills at home by making sure that you save electricity. Turn off the lights whenever you leave a room, and make a one time expenditure to improve your insulation so that you don’t need to turn the heating on nearly as much. Adding rugs or carpets to floors is a very easy way to keep your home a little warmer, as is opening the curtains to let sunlight stream into your home. You’ll be tempted to curl up in the warm pools of golden sunlight on your floor just like a cat – and remember it’s also a great source of Vitamin D.

Change Your Fashion

Never fear, if you love fashion then there’s no need to look bad just because you’re cutting down on your expenses. Vintage is always in and it’s time to make the most of that by shopping on eBay and looking through your local thrift stores. Think Rachel and Monica on Friends if you’re looking for a little nineties inspiration – dresses over tight t-shirts, wedges and denim jackets are all very much in and also, let’s face it, universally flattering. You can also look for drug store dupes of your favourite high end makeup products. Skincare can be much harder to dupe, so stick with your favourite brands for that, but brands like e.l.f. and Sleek make some great eyeshadows, highlighters and lipsticks for a fraction of the cost of brands like Mac. You should also check out NYX – not only is it an incredibly cool and well-priced brand but it’s also totally cruelty free, which means you can buy as much makeup as you want while feeling completely unguilty.

Surprising Ways Your House Can Give You Funds

We don’t think of our house of a way to make money. In fact, it’s probably one of the most significant things we spend our money on month after month! After all, mortgage bills and bills can add up every month. But if you could do with some extra money, your home is a great place to start. In fact, here are some surprising ways your house can give you funds.

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You could rent out one of your rooms

If you currently live in a home which offers more bedrooms than you need, it’s a very good idea to consider renting out the spare room. After all, it could make you some extra cash without you having to do anything! And over time, the money could soon add up to a tidy amount. Of course, you need to be careful about who you rent the room out to. After all, you don’t want someone who is going to take advantage to live under your roof. To ensure you do it safely, you ought to rent it out through an estate agent. They will do many checks on the person before they can come through the door. And make sure the contract is only for a couple of months. That way, if it doesn’t work out, you can say cheerio without it causing a huge issue.

You could potentially remortgage  

With house prices constantly rising, your property is probably worth more than when you originally bought it. And as you have been paying off the mortgage every month, your equity on the home is likely to be growing. Therefore, if you require some money for home improvements or to buy a new car, you should consider remortgaging your property. It means money will be released which will go into your pocket. And the repayments on your new mortgage might not be much higher than you are currently paying. Just make sure you consider the additional costs including remortgage conveyancing fees if you are going down this road. After all, you don’t want to leave yourself short when you are remortgaging your home. And make sure you are happy to stay at the house for a while yet. After all, you don’t want to get a new mortgage then decide to move house in a year!

You could rent out your garage or drive

If you live in a prime location, you might want to consider renting out your drive. After all, people will be willing to pay money to rent your driveway. After all, it’s going to be a lot cheaper than having to park in car parks which can be a small fortune! And it will give them close access to their work. And it’s not just your drive you can rent out; your garage could be a gold mine too. After all, people might rent it to use to store additional cars. Or even to use as a workshop. Therefore, put your drive and garage on legitimate sites like JustPark to start making some money!

And remember you could use your home for your business. For example, you could turn the living room into a salon where you can work on clients. Or you could even turn the house into a bed and breakfast which could make you a ton of money!

Don’t Just Shape up for Summer, Shape up for the Whole Year!

Getting in shape for the summer months is like a ritual; it’s a sign that the winter months are finally over and that there is finally something bright to look forward to and work towards. But why just shape up for one part of the year, why not shape up for the whole of it? Most people find that the hot weather months are the only time of the year when they can keep their beach bodies looking up to scratch, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the truth. Below you can find a few ways to keep fit ALL year round.

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However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use the summer as your focal point for your current training regime, because you most definitely should considering how close on the horizon it is; you should seek to set a series of short-term goals throughout the changing seasons, and your first should be for the summer. You should seek to use your summer holiday as your first bit of inspiration in your goal of optimising your physical potential for this year and you can start by buying yourself a nice new bathing suit that is a few sizes smaller than you currently are.

Buying it and hanging it in a place where you are most likely to work out in your home is a great source of inspiration to get yourself down to a size where you can fit in it. Using a guide such as Kayla Itsines BBG, you can find all the workout and nutritional guides that are needed in order to achieve the ultimate beach body and to be able to fit into that beautiful new bathing suit. And once your holiday and the summer is over, you should seek to find yourself a new short-term goal to work towards; whether that means cutting more weight or maintaining the one you have gotten yourself down to. For instance, you could again buy yourself a piece of clothing, like a little black dress, that would like nice at any New Year’s Eve parties you’ve been invited to.

And when the winter does in fact roll around again, you shouldn’t let the weather stop you from getting out and getting active. Yes, this may sound easier said than done, so why not go to a place where it’ll be easiest for you to find the inspiration needed to remain active? A change in scenery at this time of the year is never a bad idea, so a good idea is to book a warm weather winter retreat. Here, you could run outside to your heart’s content without having to worry about your fingers dropping off because of frostbite.

And once back home (if you do decide to come home) you can carry on the avoidance of the weather by taking to taking your fitness regime inside. You could utilise a local running track, sign up to a local spin class or even seek a gym membership. The bad weather is never an excuse for letting your summer beach body disappear, don’t let it be one!

As well as the weather, the fact that a fitness regime can quickly become boring is also a reason why people tend to forgo consistent workout regimes. It is easy to give up on a workout cycle if it gets boring, at which point you should aim to spice up your workout regime. This could be achieved by mixing cardio with strength training. Doing so not only means you are tweeting your regime, but it also means that you are getting the very most out of every session you do. You could even attempt a whole new style of workout, such as yoga, kickboxing or Pilates, Zumba or any other kind of dancing. It’s important to constantly find a workout that is not only stimulating your health, but stimulating your attention also.

Simply put: if you’re not enjoying a workout anymore you will sooner than later begin to become lackadaisical when attempting it, which, if left unprevented, will mean that your beach body shape will become lost.

What can also be detrimental to the maintaining of the perfect shape all year round is injury. You may think that these can’t be prevented, but they can, if you take the correct precautions before and after each workout. It is easy to allow for injury to cause a prolonged absence when it comes to even the strictest of workout regimes, and it is even easier for them to destroy your enthusiasm to pick up where you left before the injury, which is why you should be trying to avoid injuries at all times. Ways to do so include: warming up and cooling down for up to 10 minutes before and after each workout, never train to a point where you are overusing certain areas and aspects of your body and listening to your body at all times.

Of course, injuries do sometimes happen regardless of how many precautions you take — if you ever do suffer an injury-based lay-off from your regime, then it may be a good idea to hire a personal trainer when you are first able to train again just to make sure that you are going to hit the ground running again straight away.

In order to retain a certain shape the whole year round, you really need to make the maintaining of it a lifestyle choice, and there is no better way to do so than by jumping into a career that will keep you in the best health. By choosing going down a career path that induces a lot of activity, sometimes without you even realising it, is a great way to not only shape up but to stay shaped up. For more advice on how you can have a beach ready body the whole year round, make sure to click here. For now, make sure to buy a nice little bathing suit and do your utmost in order to be able to wear it with pride on whatever beach you are heading to this summer!

 

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