DECOR, Design, flooring, Interior Design, Lifestyle

Why Choose Laminate Over Wood Flooring?

Why Choose Laminate Over Wood Flooring?

As laminate flooring is gaining more popularity with time, it would be only natural to consider laminate flooring for your house. And for those who are still deciding, here are the reasons why laminate is better than wood flooring.

1. Affordable And Cost Effective

This is the first thing people see when they have to choose between two things. Laminate flooring is way more cost effective than wood flooring. You can spend a little amount but will get fantastic styles in laminate. The styles, color options, diversity in design and width and grades will make your floor really charming.

Why Choose Laminate Over Wood Flooring?

2. Easy Installation

The installation process is the other reason why laminate is better than wood flooring. If you are not a pro, you can still install laminate at your house. It takes a lot of less time than wood flooring and can be completed within a day. With wood flooring, you will have to hire any service and it will increase your cost too.

3. Durable And Powerful

Many people are worried about scratches on the laminate floor. But it is not a problem at all whether you walk with high heels or drag office chairs. The floor will endure all such rough stuff without leaving any scratches. You can perform test to see how wood and laminate floors react. Laminate floor tolerate the test and shows no scratches.

Why Choose Laminate Over Wood Flooring?

4. Stain Resistant

The wood floor is really expensive and gives a luxurious look. But you are always worried about the stains, scratches and spots as they will ruin its charm. However, this is not a case with laminate flooring. It is stain-resistant and easy to clean as well. Chemicals don’t affect it either so you can use acetone to remove the stains and make it look like the new floor.

5. No Gap Between Planks

You might have noticed that fixing wood planks is really hard. You may end up with gaps. But in laminate flooring, you will not see anything like this. The whole surface is smooth and neat without gaps. The multiple layers in laminate hold it strongly and leave no gaps within planks.

6. Family Friendly

For a wood floor, you to be really careful as the kids may damage its upper surface that is all wood. Repairing can prove expensive. But you should not be worried about the laminate flooring. It is family friendly. The finishing material, installation items and other chemicals used are user-friendly and not toxic at all.

Why Choose Laminate Over Wood Flooring?

7. Great Floor Look

This is one of the reasons why people should use laminate over wood flooring. With low cost and affordable price, you can give your floor a nice and decent look. The charm stays for years without any damages and stains. You will be surprised to see how durable the laminate flooring is.

8. Easy To Clean

Flooring cleaning is a daily job or you have to clean the floors very often. If you have kids and a bigger family, this becomes even more necessary. With laminate flooring, you will feel safe because cleaning it is simple and easy. With a good chemical, you can make it like a new laminate floor within minutes.

What flooring do you prefer?

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couples travel, prague, romantic getaway, Travel

First Time Visitors To Prague

First Time Visitors To Prague

Visiting Prague

Danny and Katie will soon be flying to Prague. This will be their first time visiting and they hope to make the most of their visit whilst visiting the beautiful city. There are loads of beautiful places to visit with lot’s of stunning things to see and so much to do in such a short space of time.

They have both been doing their research and making huge lists of things to try and fit in whilst visiting for such a short time. Prague looks absolutely stunning and we can all see why they are wanting to visit.

Places Of Interest

With so much to see and so much to do and the whole city being worthy of exploring it makes it even harder to chose just a few places when you are only in the city for just a few short days. This is why Danny and Katie are considering using a local tour guide so they can get to see Prague at it’s finest.

A local tour guide can costs as little as £14 per person and they will know all the best hidden gems and best places to visit in such a short space of time. They help make the tour personal to your wishes, helping you to get the best from your visit and make some wonderful memories. Seeing Prague with a knowledgeable local tour guide will help you see Prague in your very own personal way. Making your journey fun, interactive and very informative.

First Time Visitors To Prague

A Young Couples Romantic Getaway To Prague

With them being a young couple enjoying their first ever trip abroad together they would like it to be a romantic getaway. Visiting the largest castle complex in the world whilst in Prague is a must for them. How romantic will that be. With Prague being so beautiful they hope to learn some history of the city and capture some beautiful photos to help them remember their journey. They also plan to walk through the quiet and medieval streets and admire panoramic views of the stunning city.

First Time Visitors To Prague

They will both be arriving with their taste buds ready to find out what the locals enjoy to eat and drink. They are both looking forward to trying the locals well-crafted beer and Czech cuiseine. They plan to enjoy their time as much as possible, visit the shops and local food markets, they plan to fit in with the locals as much as possible and enjoy the experience of being in Prague and their way of life.

Their Top 3 Must-Visit List

So with them preparing to travel at the end of the month they are just sorting through their top 3 chosen must-visit tourist spots. Their top 3 are:

First Time Visitors To Prague

Old Town Square – Pragues Old Town Square is said to be one of the most beautiful and romantic city centres on earth. It can be located in the heart of Pragues Old Town and is said to be very picturesque making it a perfect place for them to visit.

First Time Visitors To Prague

Pragues Castle – With it said to be the largest castle complex in the world how could they not go and admire the overwhelming beauty of the largest castle complex. This was fastly added to their must-visit list. A perfect place to visit when on a romantic getaway and feel like they are in a fairytale together.

First Time Visitors To Prague

The Charles Bridge – The Charles Bridge is said to be a remarkable bridge to walk across. It is a stunning bridge to walk across both day and night. Daytime for the stunning views and nightime for a beautiful and magical atmosphere and musical performances. All whilst seeing Pragues Castle shine brightly. This is one of the reasons Prague is known as Disneyland for grownups.

First Time Visitors To Prague

Ontop of these 3 must-see tourist spots they hope to explore Prague and find some nice hidden gems along the way. Either on their own on with a private tour guide is still yet to be decided.

Have you visited Prague? Check out some of our other adventures

health, health care, healthy living., self care, wellbeing

Be The Most Relaxed Version Of Yourself

Be The Most Relaxed Version of Yourself

You have heard it said that stress is a killer. Stress wreaks havoc on the body. It affects blood pressure, blood sugar, the heart rate, and all the organs. It is a key factor in the risks of stroke and heart attack. It causes headaches, sleeplessness, digestion problem, and the list goes on.

When you are stressed, your body goes into slow motion. You lose your energy. You lose your drive and you invite depression to take over. The less you move the more stressed you become. But, you have the power to change this.

Making truth your reality

People who love you will give you the sound advice that you need to just calm down. Stop letting everything bother you. Do what you can do and walk away. That is very good advice if you do not have a job, a family, bills, pets, and a home. But, when you oversleep, the kids cannot find their science homework, your partner used your car and left it on empty, and the person in front of you seems to have only one objective, and that is making you late for work. Stress is part of life.

You can make some life changes that will keep these specific things from happening repeatedly, but there will always be stress in our high-tech world. Instead of focusing on the situations, let’s focus on changing the way we feel in order to process the stress.

Natures Xanax – only better

When stress and anxiety begin to affect our lives negatively, we go to the doctor. In some circumstances, people need the help of a prescription to calm down and press reset. The problem is, anxiety medication is addictive. When you finish the prescription, the anxiety comes back even worse than before. You cannot keep taking the prescription long.

The doctor may prescribe enough for a week or ten days, then take them away for a couple of weeks to protect you from addiction. So,  you put your body through cycles of relaxation and then anxiety, and the cycle repeats itself as long as the doctor prescribes the medication. At the end of the “help”, you are worse off than you were before. You did not make any changes to address the issues.

When you are sedated, you usually do not move around much. Prescription drugs make you feel as if you are in a mental fog. You sleep, but it is not a relaxing sleep. You feel no better or relaxed when you wake up.

Be The Most Relaxed Version of Yourself

Essential oils

Nature seemed to know that we would have stress in our lives. Nature gave us a huge selection of plants that have what we need. Natural oils are harvested from live plants. These oils are easy to use and they are not addictive, have zero chemicals, and gives you the help you need to allow your body to return to normal.

Let’s look at a few oils that are proven to work. You can mix the oils for the desired effect, which only you can explore.

We will list a few examples of essential oils and the benefit it gives you. But there are hundreds of essential oils. You will need to find a combination that works for you.

Note: Essential oils are usually released into the air with the use of a diffuser. The oils enter the thin nasal membranes and are absorbed. You should be careful about placing essential oils directly on your skin. Use a carrier oil such as coconut oil, or test a very small place on your body and watch for burning or rash. You may be able to rub the oil of your choice on the skin, just be careful.

Be The Most Relaxed Version of Yourself

Anxiety

The following oils will calm you and allow you to de-stress and feel much more relaxed.

  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Ylang-Ylang
  • Rose
  • Bergamot

Sleep

  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage

The use of these oils will calm your stress level and assist you in getting a relaxed night of restful sleep. Once your body is responding to this, you will need to boost your energy level.

Be The Most Relaxed Version of Yourself

Energy

  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint (Also a natural anti-inflammatory and pain killer for those sore muscles).
  • Grapefruit
  • Eucalyptus

Now you can move on to mood enhancers. These oils lift your spirits, ease any muscle pain you have and generally make you feel good.

  • Peppermint
  • Sweet Orange
  • Frankincense
  • Lemon essential
  • Cedarwood

Get moving!

Be The Most Relaxed Version of Yourself

You are feeling better and more relaxed. Now fight off depression, boost your energy, and be the best you can be by exercising. When you are active, your brain naturally produces more serotonin. This is a feel-good hormone that balances your mood. Your body is ready to take over and keep you emotionally fit. Use the essential oils whenever you like, but do not use them instead of moving. You have to invest in your body to reap the rewards.

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Health and fitness, healthy living., keeping fit, Top tips

Preparation Home Gym

Preparation Home Gym

Preparation new me

At the start of 2019 I gave myself the kick up the backside well and truly needed to get myself on the right path for a new healthy lifestyle.

Since then I have not looked back. Infact I have actually been enjoying it. I sat down and a made a list of the the things I have tried in the past, things I have enjoyed and even the things I haven’t enjoyed.

Making a list really does help

Doing this list really helped me because it helped me find all my pet hates about exercising. Such as being in overcrowded exercise classes, getting embarrased about being too fat, or not being able to keep up with the class.

I also found out that having a gym membership added pressure on me to go to the gym. This then led to me not enjoying my time going if that makes sense. I felt pressured to go to get my moneys worth out of the membership rather than freely going because I wanted to.

Life can easily get in the way

It sometimes felt like life got in the way rather a lot to. I would arrange with friends to go to a class together, 20, 20, 20 class was one of my favourites. I would find that I couldn’t always go as being a working mum things happen at home or work as they do. Meaning I had to phone and cancle more than I actually went.

Preparation Home Gym

Gyms are not for everyone

Going to an actual gym isn’t for everybody. This could be due to time, cost or even due to feeling embarrased. For me it is mainly due to time. Finding an extra hour or so in an already busy day can prove difficult. I am currently in the process of setting up a home gym.

Home Gyms aren’t for everyone but for me I think having one would work better for me and my lifestyle.

Things to consider before setting up a home gym

Budget: It is always best to work out your finances first and see what budget you have to work with. Always shop about before purchasing as it can be easy to get carried away. Always read product reviews before purchasing so you know you are getting something good for your money.

Price check: Try and do a price check so you have a rough idea of prices so then you can plan ahead before purchasing products. Exercising equipment doesn’t come cheap but you will be wanting to get more for your money so take the time to shop around online.

Space: What space do you have for you home gym? will it be a room dedicated to set up as a gym full-time or is it going to be a shared space. This will be important to know before purchasing your equipment so you know whether to look for equipment that folds to be stored easy. Also check electricity supplies, will you need added sockets for power? extention leads can be a trip hazzard and can also be a fire risk if overloaded and not careful.

Making space: Before you start to purchase your home gym equipment always clear the space first to make sure it is clean and free from clutter to prevent any accidents when exercising. Matco are always happy to help if you need help with moving or storing anything.

Be 100% sure: If you are not 100% sure on the equipment you want or need you don’t have to purchase new, there is always the option of second hand. You can sometimes find a product that is in good as new condition for half the price. It will be a good way to find out if the equipment is right for you and the space you have without the cost of brand new.

Take your time: Take your time when building your home gym, there is no rush. Purchase one or two items at a time, get use to those items first and see if they work for you and with the space you have dedicated for your gym. If happy then build upon your home gym from there.

Motivation: Sometimes a little motivation is missed when exercising at home. There is always the option of inviting a friend or family member to join you or more if you have the space. You could even challenge each other. There is also the option of exercise dvd’s or YouTube motivation. Music can help too.

Home gyms can be just as fun and ecouraging as going to the gym whilst adding loads of flixibilty. The intial outlay may be expensive but if it helps to keep us fit and healthy I would say it is the perfect investment!

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Fitness, health, keeping fit, weight loss, wellbeing

January Weight Loss Update

January Weight Loss Update

Things I Learnt This January

Wow, what a month I have had. I am seeing February in 1 stone and 0.5 lb lighter thanks to my new health kick! I am totally amazed and I am also still in shock.

I have learnt so much this time round from being a Slimming World member. I can’t quite put my finger on what is differenht this time – Perhaps it is where I am taking a different approach to it this time. And also remembering past mistakes.

A Few Of The Things I have Learnt And Will Remember Are:

January Weight Loss Update
  • To take my time. A steady loss is better than no weight loss.
  • I found that amoungst the clutter in the kitchen there is a spice rack that I actually LOVE!
  • Meal planning is actually fun, saves money and really does help me to stay on plan and in control.
  • To not be scared to introduce a new meal to our family menu. It is trial and error for a while but amazing new healthier foods will come from the trying them out.
  • I found muscles that I didn’t even know existed…..Ouch! yes I need to learn how to warm up properly before exercising – Lesson learnt the hard way!
  • Exercising can be fun. But even more comfortable and enjoyable when wearing the correct clothing. A clothes shop is needed I think.
  • To take and check body measurements regularly and take note. I was amazed at how much I had actually lost off my bingo wings, chest, waist and top of my legs. What don’t show on the scales can show in measurements.
  • That I don’t need a fancy gym membership to exercise. A home gym and the great outdoors can be just as good, if not better. All you need is an imagination and determination.
  • Not to add too many changes in one go. Make healthy swaps gradually. Adjust to a new lifestyle slowly then it isn’t such a shock and is much more enjoyable.
  • I have learnt to relax and enjoy my new lifestyle. I have learnt to not stress to much if I have a bad day as they do happen to everyone. I just tell myself now that tomorrow is a new day.
January Weight Loss Update

Opening up and chatting about my journey has also really helped me. I did feel embarrassed to start off with as I was previously a Slimming World member that lost just over 3 stone in weight. That loss soon went back on as my old habits came back. A lovely chat with family and friends really helped me and I am now ready and focused to turn that embarrasement into determination.

I have sat and wrote a list of where I went wrong last time. I have taken it all in and I shall remember them and learn from them.

We are now on a health kick and I don’t want to just lose weight – no way do I want to find it again or let it find me!

I want rid forever so it has to be a lifestyle change forever.

January Weight Loss Update
Adventure., family day out, family fun, Family Time, Family Travel, Travel

Fun Family Day’s Out

Fun Family Day's Out

Memory Making With Family

Like most families we enjoy nothing more than fun family day’s out. We are an active family and enjoy the great outdoors. We are always looking for fun, cheap family activities to enjoy. Nothing beats quality time together as a family.

Here Are A Few Of The Things We Are Currently Enjoying Together:

London – Being a family living in North London we often enjoy a family day out in London. Purchasing a day travel card and then go off exploring our home city. Visiting galleries, museums, dungeons and Londons must-see attractions. We had seen stunning views of London from up high on the Coca-Cola London eye. We have seen over 20 iconic landmarks and sites from the Thames whilst travelling via a speedboat with Thames Rockets, who offer speedboat experiences.

Fun Family Day's Out

We Love Making Memories

Family picnic/games day – When the weather is nice we love to make the most of it. We enjoy loading the car up with our family outdoor adeventurous games. Loading the cool box with a nice picnic, and then head off for a day full of family fun. A Picnic in the park with family whilst enjoying the great outdoors and a few competitive games. Having a laugh whilst making lovely memories to cherish forever is pricelss.

A day at the seaside – Seaside trips are one of our family favourites. Where better to meet up with family and enjoy a day filled with sun, sand and sea. A day filled with beach games followed by a nice family fish and chip dinner is just perfect.

Our Boy’s Love Action And Activity Day’s

An activity day – Activity day’s such as paintballing are brilliant action packed days. With having teen sons who are thrill-seekers and love adrenoline days, this made a great activity day. We enjoyed a paintballing day which we all enjoyed very much. It was an action-packed day out that certainly left us with lots of funny memories.

A family experience day – An experience day such as climb the O2 is perfect for thrill-seekers. Our boy’s are thrill-seekers and this was an awesome experience that we enjoyed together as a family. We conqured the summit together as as a family. We climbed over the O2 and took in some amazing views of London whilst doing so.

Fun Family Day's Out

A competitive day – We really enjoy competitive days/nights out, such as bowling, go karting, golf, foot golf and even getting competitive in our daily step counts. We tend to follow these day’s by enjoying a nice family meal out. Or if we are too knackered then a nice takeaway whilst watching a movie.

A family hobby day – We all have our own hobbies that we enjoy and we all tend to support each other in our much loved hobbies. We have days out where we support each other in our hobbies, such as photography, fishing, football, hiking and even camping trips to go off exploring. Camping trips are a great way to bond as a family and make some awesome memories.

A family hobby day – We all have our own hobbies that we enjoy and we all tend to support each other in our much loved hobbies. We have days out where we support each other in our hobbies, such as photography, fishing, football, hiking and even camping trips to go off exploring. Camping trips are a great way to bond as a family and make some awesome memories.

We Really Enjoy Sporty Activities And Adventures

Sporty day – Being an active family we do enjoy sporting activities and competing againts each other. Such as swimming, bike rides, football, racket sports, going to the gym and even enjoying family games such as rounders, disc golf and water sports.

Theme park day – A theme park is the ultimate place to go for thrill-seekers. A place to reach new heights, have vertical drops and enjoy roller coasters. The perfect place to enjoy life in the fast lane from the height and speed from a roller coaster. Or the darkness and horrifying journey into chilling depths of the unknown on the ghost train. A theme park makes a perfect funny family day’s out.

Movie time – We also like to enjoy a night out at the cinema. Luckily enough we live just five minutes away from an Odeon Cinema. So if we have had a busy week at work but still fancy a night out we tend to go for a nice family meal and then on to the cinema. With the new fancy luxury seating we can now relax and recline during our movie. Making it the perfect relaxing night out.

Always Make Time To Check For Discounts

With any family day’s or night out we plan we always try our best to plan ahead if possible. This allows us enough time to help keep any costs down. We do this buy using any work perks, online codes, GroupOn deals, reward points or memberships. Any saving on our days/nights out all help add to the fun.

Marketing

Are Big Brands Evolving To Support Our Teens?

Are Big Brands Evolving To Support Our Teens?

Advertising to teenagers

A duty of care is now expected from big brands to keep up with their consumer pool. This will see them make more informed decisions around their marketing materials, to remain as inclusive as possible, and present themselves as the go-to brand for a diverse range of people using online and offline methods.

Advertising to a group of teenagers is vital as you can imagine. Teenagers utilise different shopping techniques to us parents. Social network influence such as, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and reviews from platforms such as YouTube. I don’t know about your kid’s but mine are always watching YouTube videos. This is a generation that grew up with the internet.

Clearasil

Skincare is something of a battleground for many teenagers. I remember the battle very well. But there are a few tried-and-true brands that generation after generation head back to. I remember Clearasil being one of those brands, the go-to name in facial scrubs for the acne-prone.

It was still a bold move then, for the brand to release a campaign admitting they “didn’t know teens”. Perhaps more triumphantly, the brand’s ad campaign rose from their use of a meme, which was then said by teenage viewers saying Clearasil clearly didn’t know what teens liked.

The campaign consisted of a series of videos whilst the employees admit that while they know teen acne, they don’t know teens. The campaign’s success lay in the sense of honesty, which teenagers would connect with, rather than attempting to present themselves as “cool”.

Doritos

A recent Google study of 13-17 year olds placed Doritos higher than the likes of Apple and even Instagram in terms of “coolness”. So how is this brand reaching out to support teens?

One key way for brands to appeal to teenagers is to support the movements they support. Doritos absolutely nailed this by showing their support for LGBT campaigns with their limited-edition rainbow-coloured snack. To get one of these colourful packs, a donation had to be made to the It Gets Better Project. Naturally, this resonated hugely with consumers and the limited-edition Doritos quickly sold out and was a huge hit.

The key takeaway here is that Doritos showed huge support for a world that teenagers today value, without claiming to be the entire solution.

Lil-Lets

For young girls, starting their period will be an important and possibly scary time in their life, but for many, it can be an anxious time too. A time no young person will forget. However, Lil-Lets has created their own teen range which is perfect for breaking the stigma around period, including tampons for teenagers.

Using pastel colours and love-heart sketches on the packaging, Lil – Lets have put a lot of thought into their products and have a created period starter kits with age in mind. Making sure that everything is designed to reflect what appeals to young girls.

The discreet design is to help young girls relax and help say that periods don’t have to be a scary thing to encounter and will allow young girls to carry products around without feeling embarrassed when the time comes.

When it comes to the Lil-Lets teens pads, they have been created so that they are smaller and narrower which means they are often a better fit for a young girl’s body. They are also just as absorbent as adult products and are comfortable for a young teen to wear.

River Island

For its 30th birthday, the fashion store created advertisements that featured a range of body types and abilities to heighten inclusivity. In partnership with anti-bullying charity, Ditch The Label, River Island launched its ‘Labels Are For Clothes’ campaign to champion self-expression and reject stereotypes.

For young people in particular, shopping at high street brands like this is just one part of growing up and to see that different people being represented on a national scale will allow them to become more accepting of the world around them.

Promoting its AW18 collection, this is arguably their most diverse campaign yet and uses people from different backgrounds — including those with disabilities and down syndrome. River Island has acknowledged its responsibility to project the world around them, seeing as everyone wears clothes.

DOVE

Toiletries company Dove are firm believers in allowing young people to reach their full potential and has launched the Self-Esteem Project that has changed a huge 40 million lives since 2004 through educational programmes, how brilliant is that. Their research discovered that nine out of ten girls with low self-esteem put their own health at risk by not seeing doctors or missing out on meals.

The brand offers free parent, teacher and youth leader resources to help adults talk to a young person who may lack in confidence. As well as this, their onsite blog allows you to learn more about key areas that influence a teens life — from social media and reality TV pressures to school bullying and mental health.

Nike

The brand, like Doritos, has not shied away from supporting movements that teenagers value. For example, their classic “Just Do It” campaign recently featured Colin Kaepernick, the American Footballer who started the “Take a Knee” protest against racial and social injustices by kneeling during the national anthem.

Nike continued to show their support for sports stars who were standing up against racial injustices with their latest campaign, featuring Raheem Sterling. This willingness to “speak out” in defence of equality has a huge value to teenagers in particular, who have a greater appreciation not only for what a brand sells, but what it stands for.

Evidently, major brands are making the move to meet the demands of modern culture and cater to their newly found audience who will soon become their main consumer base. By capturing their custom at an earlier stage, they’ll be able to focus on retention and ensure loyalty as they transition from teen-to-adult in the near future.

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Health and fitness, Healthy food, healthy living.

Stepping Into 2019 Healthier

Stepping Into 2019 Healthier

I can do this!

Ok hands up who has been on a diet and given up on it? I am not happy to admit this but I have.

A few years back following my car accident I decided that it was about time I looked into trying to lose a few stone. My Aunt at the time had been a member of Slimming World and she was doing amazing so I thought why not join up and give it a try.

My journey began

I looked up to see where the local group was to me and contacted the Slimming World Consultant who welcomed me to come along. My journey then began. To cut a long story short I went on to lose 3 stone in weight. I felt amazing and also shocked that I had managed it. I felt so much healthier and happier in myself.

But sadly Christmas came along and so did the mince pies, cheese and wine. I then fastly learnt at how quickly and easily the weight goes back on at next weigh-in day. This left me feeling so ashamed with myself and embarrassed that I let this happen to the point I didn’t return back.

Stepping Into 2019 Healthier

But since then I have been left kicking myself – if only I had continued going and just drew a line under my Christmas gain and carried on. I am sure I would have lost it all again and probably more. And I am sure I am not the only person to have a Christmas weight gain.

Back to square one

2018 see me back to square one with my weight and I haven’t liked it. I have not felt confident or happy with myself and the only one who can change that is me. So 2019 has seen me take control of my lifestyle and start the new year as I mean to go on – healthier and happier!

We are now just over two weeks into a new year. Week one saw me joining up at Slimming World again and getting used to everything again. It also saw me going through everything in our cupboards, fridge and freezer, all of which are now filled with healthier food options.

Stepping Into 2019 Healthier

I am determined

Ian has seen my determination in my health kick that he has also said he wants to join me. Ian isn’t going to be joining Slimming World to weigh but will be eating more healthily and exercising more.

Week two see us both out walking with Coco and Hunter our two dogs. We spent most of our weekend walking, which we both enjoyed and loved being out in the fresh air, it made a lovely change. We walked along the river and round a local park, we walked to a dog agility course and done some training with our dogs.

We also walked around a lovely lake. When we got back home we realised then that we had walked a good few miles and been out a good few hours. With Coco being a Husky she helps to keep me active as she could just walk and walk.

I am focused

As I now head into week three I am finding myself meal planning more. I plan meals for the week ahead and then do a food shop online, only getting food that is needed for thoes meals. I find this helps me to stay in control of my food intake and helps me to stay on plan. I have also been drinking more water.

Stepping Into 2019 Healthier

Making small changes every week

I have also been online and ordered myself some exercise equipment. I plan to start week 4 doing some light exercise. I suffer with Endometriosis and Fibromyalgia so I have to be careful what I do.

With these conditions I never know how I am going to wake up feeling, whether today is going to be a good day or a bad day pain wise.

Take each day as it comes

So all I can do is take each day as it comes and do what I can when I can. This is why I have opted to set up a home gym as I couldn’t gaurantee getting enough use out of a gym membership.

So here I am, 17 days into 2019 and I have already lost 10.5 lbs. I am so pleased and absolutely loving a healthier new lifestyle.

Stepping Into 2019 Healthier

How has your 2019 been so far?

Design, DIY tips

DIY Projects that will Add Value to your Home

DIY Projects that will Add Value to your Home

Add value to your home

Projects adding value to your home doesn’t have to be difficult. It also doesn’t have to be expensive, or even time-consuming. In fact, these DIY improvements will take no time at all, and they can add a significant amount of value to your property.

Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets have to put up with a lot of wear and tear. They get covered with grease and grime, not to mention that this can build up over time as well. If you want to try a few projects and put an end to issues such as this then you can easily paint over them. This is much more affordable when compared to replacing them entirely. It also gives your kitchen a new lease of life too, so it is important to get this done as soon as possible. Before you go and paint over the cabinets, you will need to clean them, sand them down and polish them up. If you don’t then you will end up with clumps of paint and this won’t do much for the value of your home. To give your home a bright and airy feel, consider using white glossy paint.

New Hardware

You aren’t just limited to painting your cabinets because you can easily replace the hardware on them as well. Unfashionable or worn out handles can really age a kitchen, so think about upcycle projects or installing new ones to try and make your kitchen way more appealing. This will also help you to take care of any pressing kitchen issues as well, such as misaligned doors, scratches and even any damages. If you want to really make your home look more modern then consider opting for sleek, chrome handles.

Get A Backsplash

Installing a kitchen backsplash will boost the value of your home. You can add one right behind your hob and you can even protect your paint from cooking splatters this way as well. Over time, stains and grime can damage your walls and water can easily promote the growth of mould. With a backsplash, you never have to worry about that. You can get them in a huge range of materials and styles, not to mention that you can also find one that enhances the unique flare of your kitchen too. A backsplash is a fantastic way for you to boost your home’s value and this is especially the case if you are looking to list it on the market in the near future.

Add Some Storage

Ample storage is one of the most sought-after attributes in a home. It is super common for bathrooms to fall short in that department. A fantastic way for you to get around this would be for you to install some floating shelves. They are super cost-effective, and they can also add a lot of value to your property. When choosing your shelves, it helps to make sure that they fit in with the running theme of your home. For example, if you have a marble theme in the bathroom then you may want to opt for a shelf of a similar colour, or tone. If mahogany is prominent in the living room, then you need to choose a mahogany shelf to match.

Replace Any Taps

Fitting new hardware is unbelievably easy and a cheap project. It is super straight-forward and it is a great home improvement. It will renew your bathroom’s appearance and it will go down great with buyers. If you want to get a new vanity unit, then check out www.drench.co.uk. Remember that taps aren’t specific to the bathroom either. You can install a new outdoor tap and even a new faucet in the kitchen as well. When choosing your faucets, remember that your décor will change over time. For this reason, stainless steel is the way to go. It is utterly timeless, and it can work with almost any colour theme.

Crown Moulding

Crown moulding projects really are all the rage right now. What better way to boost your home’s value than to DIY? It can be hard to put up as you need to get the angles right, but when you have done it, you can easily save a small fortune when it comes to installation costs. Of course, when choosing your moulding you need to make sure that it is the right size and the right style as well. Paint is also required, so take the time to plan everything out before you get started. This way, you can feel confident in the decisions you have made regarding the look and feel of your home.

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Pet care., pets

Your Healthy, Happy Dog

coco and hunter

Pet care advice

Bringing a dog into your family is an exciting time, giving them a loving family home while also adding a new member to your household. There’s a lot of responsibility involved, but a lot of fun too.

Looking after your dog’s health and wellbeing is as vital as looking after your own, and there’s a lot you can do to make sure they’re loved and looked after. Here are some tips for caring for your happy, healthy dog.

your healthy, happy dog

Give them a comfortable place to sleep

Giving your dog a warm and cosy bed to sleep in will help them feel at home, settle them into a routine and protect your furniture too. Where you keep the bed is up to you – some like to keep their dog downstairs, while others like keeping them in their bedroom. Wherever you choose, it should be warm, comfortable and away from anything that could be dangerous. Giving your dog their own bed can help them settle down in the evenings, giving you a restful sleep too.

Make sure they get plenty of exercise

Exercise is very important for your dog to ensure that they are happy and healthy. How often you should walk your dog depends on their age and size, but regular walking is recommended for all dogs. When dogs are exercised regularly, they are able to maintain their weight, socialise with other dogs and they get the chance to explore. Giving them plenty of exercise will stop them from getting bored, which will stop them from damaging your furniture, flooring and clothing. Walking the dog is good exercise for you too, so why not take them out in the mornings and evenings to help you get some exercise too?

Look after their teeth

Many dogs suffer from neglected teeth, and it’s no wonder – there’s not much they can do themselves! However, you, as a responsible dog owner, can do your bit to ensure your dog maintains healthy teeth and gums. Brushing regularly and checking their teeth for problems can help to prevent issues which will require a vet later on, while maintaining a healthy diet can also help to keep teeth strong and gums healthy.

Dogs should have regular things to chew on so that they can help keep their teeth strong. Special dental chew treats are great for dogs, or you could try a deer antler dog chew as a more natural alternative. Having plenty of chew toys around the house will stop them from chewing like your textiles and furniture, although it’s best to keep dogs away from anything you’d rather have left in one piece!

Groom them regularly

Most dogs enjoy a spot of grooming, and it can be a good way for you to bond with your pooch! Grooming also has many benefits, including to keep your dog’s in a good condition and to spot any potential issues that they might have such as fleas and ticks. There are different ways to groom your dog, and dogs with particularly long hair might be taken care of if you take them to professional dog groomers.

your healthy. happy dog

Get them vaccinated

Just like people, dogs can benefit from being vaccinated to protect them against different diseases. If you get your dog as a puppy, it’s likely that they’ll have had their initial vaccinations before you bring them home. Register your pet with a vet to put a vaccination programme in place that will keep them safe and healthy. Regular check-ups with the vet will keep an eye out for any potential health problems, so don’t forget to put those appointments in your diary.

Make sure they have plenty of fresh water

Dogs can get dehydrated quickly, especially during warmer weather, so make sure they drink often and keep fresh water to hand, even when you’re out and about. The amount of water a dog needs a day depends on their size, so it’s worth researching this to help them get the right amount. Keep an eye on your dog’s drinking habits, you’ll be able to work out where and when they like to drink to help you make sure that they get enough. If you’re going on long walks, consider taking a bowl and a bottle of water with you to keep them hydrated on the move.

Play with them

Dogs love to play, and spending time with them can help to train them, burn off excess energy and make them happy. What you’ll soon realise is that playing with your dog will help boost your mood too, so even if you’ve had a bad day – some time spent with them will soon perk you up. Come up with some different doggy games and get the whole family involved in keeping them entertained. A frisbee or a ball can provide hours of fun for a dog as long as they’ve got someone to play with.

your healthy, happy dog

Ensure they have a good diet

Dogs rely on the right nutrition to keep them healthy, strong and to stop them getting overweight. While many people might give their dog some scraps from the table or let them have some foods that they shouldn’t, it’s not advisable and could soon lead to some bad behaviours. You can ensure a balanced diet for your dog, and stop them from being unwell by not giving them chocolate and other foods that could cause serious harm. Monitor your dog’s diet regularly to make sure they’re not putting on weight or that they’re getting food from sources that they shouldn’t.

Train them

A well-trained dog can be a joy to live with, and can help you to raise a well-behaved dog that you can trust around your family as well as other people and animals when you’re out and about. Training your dog helps to keep them stimulated, by helping them practice their instinctive behaviours. You can help keep them stimulated by varying their route and surroundings, introducing them to new people and other animals and teach them new tricks as often as you can. This is a wonderful way to bond with your dog and can be a lot of fun for the both of you!

Don’t leave them alone for too long

It’s not recommended to get a dog if you are going to be away from home for long periods of time. Dogs enjoy company and being left alone all day can cause them to feel lonely, bored and start acting out through barking, scratching and more. Different dogs have different needs, and you should get to know how long is too long to leave your dog at home alone. If you’re going to be out of the house for too long, why not think about getting a dog walker or enlisting a friend or family member to spend time with your dog during the day?

Keep your home clean and hazard free

A dirty home can cause many issues, but as your dog spends a lot of time close to the floor, it’s important that you keep it as clean as possible to stop them picking up germs, etc. Keeping your home clean is more of a challenge with a dog around, but making a list of regular chores and splitting them up between the family will make it easier. It’s also important that you keep hazards out of harm’s way, including small objects, cleaning products and anything else that could be harmful to your pet.

Bath them when they need it

Baths can help a dog stay clean and keep their coat in good condition, but they don’t need one as often with you might think. Around once a month should be fine for a dog with normal skin, as any more often could mean they end up developing dry skin. Use a specialist dog shampoo to help them keep their natural oils balanced and to stop you using anything too harsh. If you’re worried about your dog smelling in between washes, there are things you can do to keep your dog clean in between baths.

Give them some space

Some dogs like a bit of alone time – a space where they can go to feel safe when they need it. When there are fireworks nearby, for example, it helps to give them a safe space to hide away in while they wait for it to be over. Sometimes they just want a bit of peace and quiet – especially if they’ve been playing and exploring all day!

Your dogs are an important part of the family, and keeping them happy and looked after will give you some incredible memories to share. A dog is a lot of responsibility, but they have a lot of love to offer and will love being a part of the family. Provided you care for their needs and give them the love and attention they deserve, owning a dog will be extremely rewarding and one of the best things to happen for your family.

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DECOR, Design

The Finishing Touches Every Family Home Needs

The Finishing Touches Every Family Home Needs

A few things to consider

Modern living is fast-paced, ultra-connected and always on, and our homes are adapting to our new way of life. Along with fashion and technology, the world of architecture and design is becoming influence by the new demands we place on our time. There are many aspects to this – from a trend towards more open-plan living to moving towards lighter spaces, to increasing ac installation to deal with warmer summers and even the clean lines of contemporary furniture design. If it’s time to bring a more modern look and improve your home, here’s where to begin…

Increase The Natural Light

Traditional, subdivided darker interiors with small windows have given way to everything light and airy when it comes to the design of our homes. If you have a chance to redo the floorplan, make sure you work it around sources of natural light, and consider adding Velux windows to open up the roof space as well. You can always opt for opaque glazing if you want to retain privacy but keep the natural light flowing.

Go Neutral With A Touch Of Drama

A lighter, brighter scheme needs neutral tones to really increase the sense of space, but lift these and add impact by choosing a beautiful, bright accent colour or two. A bold green or a petrol blue – even a bright magenta – all work fantastically well with neutral decor. You can also lift a neutral scheme using metallic accents which add interest or go for lots of different textures to achieve a calming yet sophisticated scheme.

Try Bare Floors

If you’ve always gone for fitted carpets in your home, ring the changes with a beautiful hard floor instead. Engineered wood floors, polished concrete or clean tiling look very chic but are also hard-wearing and practical, especially if you have kids. You can opt for underfloor heating if you want to keep your space warm. One seamless floor finish through an open plan space can look great, and you can add textured area rugs to seating areas to cosy them up.

Add Some Technology

The role of technology to help in running the home has exploded over the past few years, so if you’re planning an update then it’s wise to work a few tech updates in there. Wireless controls that connect to WiFi for electronics, appliances, heating systems, home security and lighting can all make life easier and can be integrated with voice control via a system such as Alexa. This approach can really bring the family home up to date and give you greater control over the household bills as well.

Use Natural Materials

The most beautiful contemporary home design makes great use of natural materials for a sleek finish. Elements such as natural woods, slate and stone finishes, quartz or granite worktops and leather furniture give a timeless refinement and are generally highly durable as well as looking amazing. Achieve a great look by mixing older pieces with very modern design for an effortless space that feels organic.

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Parenting, Top tips

It’s The Little Things You Do

It's The Little Things You Do

It’s The Little Things You Do That Show Your Kids You Love Them

It’s the little things we do that show our kids we love them. There’s no need to prove our love with extravagant gifts – no matter how much our kids complain we don’t love them enough because we haven’t bought them the latest this and that! There’s no need to go overboard at the school gates with hugs and kisses, as this will only embarrass our poor children anyway. There are other, more subtle ways to show our kids that we love, care, and cherish them, and we have some examples of this right here.

Tell them

We show our kids we love them by telling them we love them. It’s not soppy to tell our children we love them, and while they probably don’t need to be reassured of this fact verbally, it’s still nice to be told those three little words. When did you last say to your children, “I love you?” No matter how old they are, make the effort to tell them today. Sure, they might roll their eyes at you, but secretly, they will be over the moon that you told them. Say those words every day.

Making the effort

We show our kids we love them by giving them our undivided attention. This isn’t always easy within a large family where sibling rivalry rears its head. But as the parent, you need to make the effort to spend time with each, finding time to ask them about their day, and taking part in activities with them that are things they are interested in. Create a mental note in your head each day, telling yourself to find time with each of your children. And when they come to you for something, never be too busy not to make time for them. Put down your phone or the television remote, and be present for them.

Making time

We show our kids we love them by arranging time to take part in family activities. This could be anything from having a home cinema night at the weekend or a camping trip during the holidays. And when we plan any activities, we need to remember the word ‘family.’ Let your kids have a say in the planning, as not only will this alleviate the risk of them not enjoying something, but it will show them that you have taken their needs and wants into consideration. And again, you are taking time out of your schedule to spend time with them, and while our kids don’t always notice the fact, this is possibly more important than the activities you are embarking on together.

It's The Little Things You Do

Being proud

We show our kids we love them by recognising their achievements. We display certificates of awards in picture frames around our homes. We offer words of praise when they have done something well. We let other people know how wonderful our kids are. We celebrate the fact that our kids have skills and talents, and we let them know just how proud we are of them.

Being forgiving

We show our kids we love them by not bearing a grudge when they have done something wrong. While it would be great if they resembled little angels all of the time, the reality is our kids can be difficult. They can do things that upset us. And they can exhibit behaviour patterns that we most certainly haven’t taught them. While love is about letting them the know the difference between right and wrong, and showing appropriate discipline so they recognise boundaries, love is also about forgiveness and offering a path for redemption. So, don’t penalise your kids for too long. Don’t bring up their misdeeds in conversation long after things have blown over. Practice forgiveness and unconditional love, because they aren’t perfect, but then again, neither are you! One day you might need their forgiveness, so be a decent role model.

Not criticizing

We show our children we love them by not putting them down. We don’t criticise them for failing at something they have tried to do. We are only human, and none of us are perfect. We need to take a positive stance. When our children fall down, we help them up again. If they struggle to do something, we help them to be better. Though if they are never going to be good at a particular thing, we don’t push them too hard. Rather, we focus on the things they are good at and encourage them to play to their strengths. We lift them up rather than put them down; we offer words of encouragement and not words that will diminish who they are.

Accepting them

We show our children we love them by accepting them for who they are. They will make choices in life that don’t always correspond to our own ideals, but provided those choices aren’t criminal or damaging to them, we should offer acceptance. They don’t have to like the same things we do. They don’t have to follow the same sports teams we do. They don’t have to follow career paths that we think are good for them. Our kids have the capacity to make decisions of their own, and while we might want to ask questions and challenge them occasionally, we should also know when to shut up and let them steer their own paths. They are who they are, and that’s a good thing!

Being there

We show our children we love them by just showing up when they need us. When they need a shoulder to cry on, we are there for them. When they need someone to talk to, we offer that listening ear. When they are performing at school, we are there in the front row. When they appear miserable and low, we offer that arm of support. When other people threaten them, we stand up in defense of our children. We show up right when they need us because we love them, and this sometimes means having to sacrifice our own needs to care for their needs instead.

So today, show your children you love them. Do it in all of the ways we have described, or do it in ways that are personal to you. And then remember to take the opportunity to say…I LOVE YOU!!

They will become better people because of what you do and say today.

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Garden, Garden tips

Garden Improvements You Should be Making Today

Garden Improvements You Should be Making Today

The garden has to rank among the most important part of any property. It is easy to get carried away with focusing on the best parts of the home and trying to boost the interior in order to add value or create better living conditions. But a lot of people these days seem to overlook the important role the garden plays in the makeup of any home and the way in which it is perceived.

You should always be looking at things you can do to improve the garden and make the property better as a result. There are a lot of things that can be done in order to improve the way your garden looks, as well as how functional it is. These are some of the best things you can do in order to improve your garden for the better and make the most of the space you have to work within.

Lawn Maintenance

It is so important, when you have a back garden, to make sure you are looking after the grass. Proper lawn maintenance is something you have to make sure you are focused on as much as possible, and there are a number of ways of achieving this. Cutting the grass and using lawn feed is one of the best things you can do, but you might also like to consider getting an artificial lawn because this is going to improve how efficient the lawn is, as well as making it easier to maintain.

Extension

Extending the home is one of the most impressive ways of doing things, and this is something that you need to make sure you are focused on when it comes to improving the home and adding value. Well, one of the things to consider is the fact that the garden provides ample opportunity for extending the home. There are a lot of different extension options you might consider, like a conservatory, or a garage conversion. And this is definitely going to increase the value of the home and improve the aesthetics of the garden moving forward.

Grow Your Own

Growing your own fruit and vegetables is a great way of maximising your garden as much as possible. This is something you need to make sure you do to utilise the garden and what it has to offer. There are so many great fruits and vegetables that you can grow, and creating a miniature allotment, or installing an aluminium greenhouse, is one of the best ideas for the future. This is something that can provide you with a lot of delicious organic food that doesn’t cost you much.

Water Feature

There are so many excellent ways of improving the garden, but a water feature is probably one of the best ways of achieving this. There are a lot of different options to consider when it comes to improving the garden and using a water feature to do this. Whether it is a fountain, a pond, or even a swimming pool, it is important that you make sure you choose correctly, and this is something that you have to make sure you think carefully about.

Make it More Sociable

The best way of making sure you improve your garden is to make it more sociable. This is something you have to ensure you do in order to make certain you have a garden that contains some wow factor. This is something you can achieve by adding in some seating areas, building a patio, and developing an area where you can host parties and hang out with your friends.

Flowers

No proper garden would be complete without lots of colourful and diverse flowers. There are plenty of places to plant flowers in order to give them the best visual position in the garden. Creating a flower garden would be a plus, and flower beds are an absolute must for those looking to get more flowers into their garden. Try to mix up the different flowers you have, and go for a mixture of colours as much as you possibly can. Make sure you do as much as you can to make your garden better.

There are so many changes you can make to enhance the practicality and functionality of the garden, as well as making it look great as well. The garden can have a major impact on the rest of the home, and this is something that you need to focus on as much as possible. There are a lot of changes you can make that are going to help you improve the way your garden comes across, and these are some of the most important that you should consider.

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breakfast, food, healthy eating, Healthy food, wellbeing

One pot breakfast in 90 seconds

One pot breakfast in 90 seconds

Can you spare 90 seconds

Are you like me and want to eat healthy but also hate having to use loads of pots when preparing a meal? How does breakfast in 90 seconds sound? and even better still it’s all done in one pot.

Breafast is the most important meal of the day and I will be first to admit that I often skip this meal as the mornings can sometimes be hectic. Is this a meal you skip too for the same reason?

Making breakfast easier

I have been currently looking at ways to overcome this problem. With the time of year and the mornings being cold, damp and sometimes frosty, a cold fresh fruit shake just isn’t as inviting at the moment. For me they are more for the warmer days. A nice warm breakfast is more needed at the moment.

One breakfast I have been currently enjoying and that is this loaded egg in a dish breakfast. A breakfast made using just the one dish and is ready in just 90 seconds. Breakfast has never been so easy.

How to make this tasty breakfast in 90 seconds

Ingredients:

  • Eggs x2
  • 1 tablespoonful of skimmed milk
  • Lean ham – I used one slice.
  • Parsley

Method:

  1. Chop the ham into small peices and place in the dish.
  2. Crack your eggs into the same dish.
  3. Add the milk.
  4. Add the seasoning. As much or as little as you like.
  5. Mix the ingredients together.
  6. Place in the microwave for 90 seconds.
  7. Enjoy.

Add any fillings of your choice

This loaded egg breakfast makes a perfect quick breakfast. The ingredients can be played about with and you can add any filling of your choice. Ian likes his loaded with more fillings and likes mushrooms, peas, cheese and other fillings added to bulk his out more.

This also makes a perfect breakfast for kid’s like Bradley who struggle to get out of bed in the mornings. He is now in college and still hasn’t changed from his school day’s – he still isn’t a morning person and ALWAYS needs reminding to have breakfast before darting out the door to get his train to college.

A perfect way to start anyones day. All you need is eggs, milk and any fillings of your choice.

We do enjoy cooking and baking – check out our food section for other recipes.

Enjoy!

Finance

How to Manage a Short-Term Shortfall in Your Budget

How to Manage a Short-Term Shortfall in Your Budget

A temporary decrease in your cash flow can create major problems for you. It may be difficult for you to make ends meet. Fortunately, there are ways that you can manage a shortfall in your budget.

Cut Out Unnecessary Things

If you want to know how to manage a shortfall, then you will need to start by reviewing your budget. You will free up more of your income if you get rid of the things that you do not need. For example, you can stop buying coffee every day. You can also pack your lunch instead of buying it.

The advantage of doing this is that you may be able to resolve your financial problems without borrowing money. The disadvantage of doing this is that you may have to make major sacrifices.

Responsibly Use Credit Cards and Loans

You can use your credit card or find an installment loan to cover your expenses in a short-term pinch. Make sure you only borrow what you need and can afford to pay back on time. This is one of the keys to borrowing money responsibly. One of the benefits of using a credit card or loan is that you do not have to pay the full balance off immediately.

You can make small payments every month. However, you will likely have to pay interest on a loan or credit card. The amount that you eventually pay back will be more than what you borrowed. Additionally, all lenders have requirements that have to be met.

Pawn an Item

If you have a valuable item, then you can pawn it to get money. Jewelry, electronics, and video consoles are examples of some the things that you can pawn. You will be able to quickly get cash if you pawn an item. You can also get the item back after you pay the pawn shop back.

However, you will lose the item if you cannot pay the pawn shop back. There is also a possibility that the pawn shop will not give you what the item is truly worth.

Pick up Extra Hours or Get a Second Job

You can get out of a bad financial situation by earning extra money. You can ask your employer if you can pick up extra hours. Working a few extra hours per week can help you bring in a lot more money. You may also want to pick up a second job or side source of income if possible.

Working extra hours can be a better option than borrowing money. You can make extra money that you will not have to worry about paying back. However, if you get a second job or work extra hours, then your life may be more stressful. You may find yourself getting burnt out. You will also have less time to spend with your friends and family.

You do not have to let a temporary shortfall ruin you financially. You can correct this problem by sticking to a budget and cutting out things you do not need. You can also borrow money or pawn an item. Additionally, you can work longer hours or pick up a second job. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each option before you choose one.

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