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Family / Lifestyle blog. Sharing our life's fun and adventures with teenage boys living in London.
healthy living.

Keeping Your Loved Ones Health in Check!

Keeping Your Loved Ones Health in Check!

Keeping Your Loved Ones Health in Check!

Our family are the most important people in our lives, and when you’re a parent, their health is something that’s constantly on our minds. We live in a world where childhood obesity is common, one of the leading causes of death are preventable illnesses due to bad lifestyle, and where more of us than ever work sedentary jobs. In order to keep your family fit and healthy you need to ensure that you’re teaching them good habits to set them up for success as an adult. Here are a few ways you can go about doing it.

Eat meals together

Research has shown time and time again that eating dinner together as a family on most days a week has lots of benefits. The first is that it helps to maintain closeness. When your children feel close to you and can communicate with you how they’re feeling, they’re much more likely to open up about any issues in their lives. As parents, we like to think that we know everything there is to know about our children, but as they get older it’s simply not the case. Spending time together eating in the evening maintains close bonds and allows you all to chat and connect. Eating together as a family has been linked to lower rates of teenage pregnancy and drug use for this reason. Another reason to eat together is that you can cook healthy meals. Families that eat together tend to have lower rates of child and teen obesity, because you know exactly what’s going into your cooking. You can set a good example by filling up on healthy foods, knowing that children will eventually mirror your habits- even if they’re a little picky right now. Many adults get into the habit of feeding children and adults

separately, but do it together if you can. If your partner gets home from work a little later in the evening, give kids a healthy snack to keep them going instead of giving them their dinner.

Exercise as a family

There are plenty of great ways you can all exercise together as a family. Go on a hike, put your dog on the lead and go walking in any nearby countryside, beaches, mountains, rivers or canals. Look online for your local bike trails and go on a bike ride. You could go on a day out which will involve a lot of walking, or even just go to the park and run around together burning off energy. Take a ball or a frisbee and play some games. If your kids are a little older, you could play a sport together. Recreation centres usually have tennis and basketball courts which are free or cheap to use. You could go swimming, go to a trampolining centre and much more. Don’t see it as exercise to stay fit- see it as a fun activity you can all do together! You won’t even realise just how many calories you’re burning and the good you’ll be doing to your body as you’ll be having too much of a good time.

Teach kids the dangers of unhealthy vices

Most kids will experience peer pressure at one time or another. Experimentation with things like drugs, alcohol and smoking are common but it doesn’t mean your child can’t avoid them when they’re equipped with the right knowledge and support. As well as educating them about just how dangerous these kinds of vices can be, you should also make sure they know you’re always available to talk and will support them if they’re ever put under this kind of pressure. Kids who have a better relationship with their parents are more likely to open up about what’s happening, and once they do you have the opportunity to talk to them and advise them what to do. If they don’t have that kind of support and communication, they’re far more likely to just go ahead with these things when they’re put under pressure to do so. Understand that your kids can make mistakes, and if they come to you having done something you don’t like- speak to them instead of just shouting and punishing. Putting that barrier up will mean next time, they simply won’t come to you. We want to wrap our kids up in cotton wool and make sure they’re never exposed to the evils of the world, however, education is invaluable. When they know just how dangerous and damaging these habits are- the illnesses they can cause and the harm it does to their bodies- they’re far less likely to want to give it a try. Kids and teens tend to be experimental because unlike adults, they’re less aware of consequences. Teach them that the consequence of these things isn’t just a punishment if they get caught, as they could simply aim to not get caught. Educate them to know that they could cause serious illnesses and even result in death when they mess around with these kinds of things.

Study a health topic

If you have a strong interest in health, why not study a health related topic? Maybe you want to become qualified in sports massage, study child psychology or nursing? This could be because you want to change career, and take a job in the health industry later down the line, or just because you want to focus on your self development and work on learning new things and brushing up on new skills. Plenty of health topics you can study can directly benefit your family too, take nutrition for example. Knowing exactly how the body works and the nutrients and vitamins it needs to thrive will enable you to make better decisions with your diet and food choices. If you change career, you could get a higher paid job making your family’s finances easier to manage, and being happier in your work could allow you to be a happier and more positive parent. So it’s something to consider, as it can benefit you and your family on many levels.

Make relaxation a priority

It’s easy to think that stress is a problem that only affects adults. However, it’s simply not the case. The things that upset or stress children and teens might be a lot different (and in your eyes, they might not seem like a big deal) however, it is to them. Pressures from school and friends, their changing body, budding relationships, arguments with family and more can all impact a child’s well-being. For this reason, relaxation should be a priority for the whole family. It can be something fun and nice that you all do together, where you can switch off from the world for a while and unwind. It’s good for mental health, physical health and can be great for you as a family as well. Switch off social media and outside distractions. You could have a few hours of quiet time reading together, play a board game or watch a movie. If you have a daughter, you could have a pamper session together where you do manicures, pedicures and face masks. You could bake together, or do a crafting activity. Either way, something that’s enjoyable and allows you to switch off from the worries of the world is good for the health of all of the family. So many of us have children and never get to enjoy their company or even properly get to know them. So this helps to maintain a closeness as well as give you all chance to relax.

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Children's Charity

Running for their lives – Alder Hey Children’s Charity launches Running Hub!

Running for their lives – Alder Hey Children’s Charity launches Running Hub!

Alder Hey Children’s Charity Running Hub

One of the most fun and rewarding ways to raise money for charity is to take part in a running event. Now, Alder Hey Children’s Charity wants to help runners get even more from their race.

Newly launched is the Alder Hey Running Hub, to provide help and advice to runners of any age or ability. Because running a Marathon, or even your first 5k, can help to boost a person’s health and self-esteem, but could also allow them to do something extraordinary for those who need it most.

Childhood should be filled with happiness, laughter and fun.

Unfortunately, for some children, this time can involve more trips to the hospital than the park. But now a trip to the hospital doesn’t have to be daunting or scary. With the recreational and distraction techniques funded by Alder Hey Children’s Charity, we can help children to be children, even when they’re forced to be patients.

The charity also raises funds for pioneering equipment which can improve children’s experience in surgery, and improve their chances of a full recovery.

Just ask Daniel Bell, and his mum Rosalind.

When three-year old Daniel was diagnosed with a brain tumour, he was rushed to Alder Hey, a centre for excellence on brain conditions. The tumour was the size of an adult fist and there was a possibility that the surgery which would save his life could also rob him of key motor and mobility skills.

Thankfully, his surgeries were aided by Alder Hey’s state of the art 3-T MRI scanner. The device, which was paid for by charitable donations, allows surgeons to scan the brain during surgery and assess the success of the operation in the operating theatre and not many months after recovery.

Daniel is now a healthy and active seven-year old boy, and a budding actor besides, who was recently seen in a production of Little Shop of Horrors with his local Performing Arts Club.

He also raises money for Alder Hey; and was proud to be named a Young Fundraising Ambassador for the charity. So far, Daniel and his family have raised more than £22,000 for Alder Hey. They’ve accomplished this by collecting people’s Christmas trees. But this is just one of the many fun and exciting ways our fundraisers young and old can help out, from bake sales and charity car washes to exhilarating park runs.

Why not explore our brand new running hub? You’ll find help, inspiration and lots of motivation. You’ll find delicious and nutritious recipe ideas, running tips, and training guides for every distance.

So if you’d like to challenge yourself to run a 5K, 10K run for charity or even a marathon we would love to you go and check out the Alder Hey Running Hub now.

***Posted to help raise awareness***
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Health and fitness

Kick Your Fitness Goals Into Gear With These Fun Ideas

Kick Your Fitness Goals Into Gear With These Fun Ideas

Way’s to make fitness fun


It seems everyone is trying to improve their health and fitness. As diseases and epidemics become more prevalent, people are making a better effort to be mindful of their actions and adopt healthy lifestyles. As great as it is to be healthy, when you’ve spent the majority of your life doing what you want, getting adjusted to the changes can be trying, to say the least.

From making a commitment to work out daily to transitioning to cleaner eating, many get lost along the way and give up hope altogether. If you’ve been a bit discouraged about reaching your health and fitness goals or are simply having a hard time making the transition, these tips are sure to give you the boost you need.

Use Mobile App Fitness Games

You’re already tied to your smart phone so why not use it to make health and fitness more fun? Did you know that there were multiple fitness games you can download to your smart phone? From running and jumping to push-ups and sit-ups, there are apps you can use to set goals, track, and win cool prizes if you’re a top performer.

Challenge Friends

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to get you excited about health and fitness. If you need some inspiration, you can always take some of your friends and family members to compete with you. Set goals like steps per day, calories burned, and more and see who will reach their goals the fastest.

Take Dance Lessons

Most make the misconception that the only way to get fit is to join a gym. Though this method has been proven to be very effective for some, it is not an efficient solution for everyone. You can make getting in shape a lot more fun by taking dance lessons. All you need to figure out is what types of classes you’re interested in taking, where to buy toe socks and other gear you’ll need, and how often you’ll need to attend. You could tap, do ballet, jazz, or even hip-hop and burn a lot of calories to a beat.

Learn New Recipes

The thing with healthy eating is that most aren’t familiar with how to make healthy cuisines. They dwindle their menus down to salads and smoothies and quickly get bored. You can make healthy eating fun by learning new recipes. There are thousands of recipes online you could try that will bring new meaning to the phrase clean eating. The more you learn, the more skilled you become at making meals everyone can enjoy.

Reward Yourself

Here’s a great way to make healthy living more fun – rewards. Who doesn’t find it fun to reach goals if they’re going to get something in return? Lost those 5 lbs? Treat yourself to some frozen yogurt. Dropped a size? Go buy some new clothes to wear. The thrill you get from rewarding yourself can often make it easier to succeed.

Lighten Up

Sometimes, people take the fun out of getting healthy and fit by taking things too seriously. Learn to loosen up a bit. The very fact that you’re making an effort is worth smiling about. Set realistic goals, and enjoy your journey to reaching them. When you’re too hard on yourself it’s no longer fun and you become easily uninspired.

Don’t let unfamiliarity or lack of knowledge keep you from reaching your health and fitness goals. Though it is an adjustment, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Find ways to make being healthier fun like using mobile apps, creating a little friendly competition, joining a dance class, expanding your arsenal of recipes, and rewarding yourself for successful progress. Most importantly, remember to lighten up. As much as you want to reach your health and fitness goals, getting there is always easier with a smile.

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health

3 Health Warning Signs You Should Never Ignore

Health warnings NOT to Ignore!

There are a lot of health issues that will, believe it or not, resolve themselves. An example of this would be a cyst. Cysts are common and can occur anywhere in the body. These small lumps can even appear on the nether regions which lead to cancer scares for numerous people. In reality, cysts are harmless and will disappear by themselves within two weeks. However, this isn’t the case for all health symptoms. Some are signs of a far more serious problem. So, let’s look at a few of the health issues that you should never ignore.

Hallucinations

This is far rarer than most people realise, but it can happen. A hallucination will typically be caused by a lack of sleep. If you are suffering from insomnia, this could be the cause of you seeing things that aren’t actually there. Even going two days with low levels of sleep can cause your brain to start to hallucinate. However, if you’re sleeping regularly and you are still seeing or hearing things that aren’t there, you should consult a doctor.

This could be a sign of a psychological issue such as schizophrenia. Or, it could be the sign of a physical issue in the brain such as a tumour. Tumours can cause a range of sensory issues and severe migraines can also be a sign of this rare occurrence.

3 Health Warning Signs You Should Never Ignore

Painful Teeth

There are a number of causes for painful teeth. It’s possible that they are moving and this will be the case if you have or used to use braces. You might also find that your wisdom teeth are coming through, pushing on different teeth in the mouth. This can feel like the adult equivalent of teething can it can get very painful for the individual. Alternatively, it’s possible that you notice a sharp pain in the upper section of your teeth after you have eaten. Be careful of this one because it can be a sign of tooth decay. It’s worth getting a dentist to check your teeth out anytime you notice pain in your teeth that lasts longer than a day or is recurring. Often there will be a simple explanation.

You also need to watch out for ulcers in the mouth that won’t go away or white marks on your inner cheek. Both can be a sign of a serious health condition that should be looked at.

3 Health Warning Signs You Should Never Ignore

Weight Loss

We often think of losing weight as a positive occurrence. It’s always good to drop those pounds, right? Don’t be so sure because losing weight can be the sign of something serious going wrong in the body. Particularly if the weight loss occurs suddenly and it’s accompanied by a loss of appetite. While a range of different conditions and factors can cause this issue, it’s worth being aware of the problem and addressing it by speaking to a doctor. They will be able to check if the issue is serious of if it’s just a case of taking the right medicine.

3 Health Warning Signs You Should Never Ignore

Take this advice, and you won’t ignore some of the most serious health warning signs.

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Fitness

Get Moving! 5 Ways To Keep Your Teenagers Active

Get Moving! 5 Ways To Keep Your Teenagers Active

5 Ways To Keep Your Teenagers Active

Many of us find it difficult to fit exercise into our everyday lives, but for teenagers, this task can be even more tricky. After all, they have school to go to, as well as household chores and homework to complete, and maybe even a part-time job. With all of this to do and more, it’s understandable why most teens would rather skip an hour at the gym and play video games instead. However, exercise is vital for physical and mental health, so it’s important you do what you can to get your kids moving. To help you with this task, here are five useful tips.

  1. Start With A Chat

Although you’ve noticed your child’s lack of activity, chances are, they haven’t, which is why you need to point it out to them, but you should make sure that you do this in a calm and non-judgmental way. Remind them of the benefits that staying active can bring and the potential consequences of their inactivity. If you’re struggling to get through to them yourself, then you may want to consider asking your family doctor to talk to them instead.

  1. Find Activities They Enjoy

Different physical activities will appeal to different kids, so make sure that you explore a range of different ideas and help your teen find something they genuinely enjoy to do, whether that’s jogging or karate. You should also do what you can to encourage these activities, like helping them to learn how to tie a karate belt or offering to pay for their running shoes. Don’t force them into an activity they aren’t interested in, as this will only make matter worse and cause problems.

  1. Set A Good Example

From a very young age, children tend to mimic the actions of their parents, and while this does lessen as your kids grow, it never goes away completely. For this reason, it’s vital that you set a good example for your teenager and make sure that you stay active yourself. You should also try your best to incorporate physical activity into everyday family life. There are a number of ways to do this, like walking instead of driving and planning active days out.

  1. Discourage Any Sedentary Activities

When your teen spends a lot of time sitting or lying in front of the television, it can be difficult for them to get enough physical activity. Because of this, it’s vital that you monitor your child’s screen time and set time limits if you feel that they’re necessary. To make this easier, you may also want to ask that screens are kept in your home’s family areas. You should also encourage your teenager to exercise while they’re watching television.

  1. Try Not To Nag

Encouraging your child to stay active is incredibly important, but nagging them is a completely different story. If anything, this will hurt your cause and make your teen want to watch television just to annoy you. If you feel that your encouragements have crossed over into nagging territory, then you should take a step back from your teen for a while. Instead, focus your attention on your own health and planning active activities for the family.

Keeping your teenager active can be difficult, but these tips should make your task a little easier.

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Finance

Unique Debt-Relief Tricks That You Never Thought Of

Unique Debt-Relief Tricks That You Never Thought Of

You’re in debt but dying to get out of it? Join the club!

Almost everyone who has to pay off the minimum amount on their credit card each month wishes their account wasn’t overdrawn. Unfortunately, dreams don’t come true when you have the national average of £8,000 debt on your back. It’s not as if you can click your fingers and, POOF, it’s gone. Plus, the tried and tested methods are okay yet don’t seem to get you very far. After all, transferring the balance only prolongs the pain.

What you need is unique and effective relief advice, and you find it underneath.

Get Divorced

Wait, what?! Talking to expert divorce solicitors is only an option when you want to split up for good. At least, that’s the conventional way to use a lawyer. Another option is to break up in the eyes of the law to provide more opportunities. Think about trying to buy a house as a couple. If you or your partner has terrible credit, then the amount on your mortgage will be low and you’ll need to find ways to borrow extra. When you’re not married, you can get an individual loan and the best possible rates. It’s drastic but it works.

Start Haggling

Bartering isn’t a secret, yet it is something people in the west don’t do too often. Go to the Middle East and everyone haggles over every penny. Considering every little helps, it’s worth the effort. Start by going to your creditors and asking them for a discount. This might sound cheeky and unrealistic, but they want their money back and will go to great lengths. For instance, they might eliminate the interest and set up a payment plan. Next, you can trade services. Does the flat that you rent need decorating? If so, tell the landlord you’ll do it for one month’s rent and put the money towards your debts.

Unique Debt-Relief Tricks That You Never Thought Of

Join Uber

Not as a customer but as a driver. The best way to get out of debt is to increase your earning potential. The bad news is it’s historically difficult to do due to a lack of time, skills and opportunities. However, Uber is in demand around the country and all you need is a car and a licence to get started. Once you are part of the family, you can choose hours to work during the week to boost your budget. You can make your own schedule so it’s flexible and lucrative at the same time.

Learn Something New

Anyone who doesn’t have the qualifications can get them by going back to school. After university, people traditionally find a job and settle down. You are different because you want to learn something new which is why you need to enrol again. Don’t go down the classical route, though. Instead, find an online course or one at a night university. That way, you can continue your day job while boosting your qualifications and (hopefully) searching for a new job.

Are you thinking outside of the box enough to eliminate your debt?

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Finance

Are You Struggling To Achieve Financial Stability?

Are You Struggling To Achieve Financial Stability?

Are you struggling to achieve financial stability?

Being financially stable requires more than a decent income. That’s why so many people struggle with their money. Perhaps you find yourself in the same boat. But your salary might be better than you realise; it might simply be that you’re squandering it on unnecessary things. Financial stability is all about mastering money management. You can make your funds go much further if you think more carefully about the way in which you choose to spend or save your money. Here’s some advice that’ll help you to achieve financial stability.

Take a look at your monthly expenses.

The first way to achieve financial stability is to take a look at your monthly expenses. So many people spend more than they can afford. That’s the reason for widespread debt, but we’ll talk about that more in the next point. If you want to ensure that you live within your means and actually have some disposable income every month then you need to organise your expenditures more effectively. Make a note of how much money you need to set aside for the essentials in life. Calculate how much of your monthly income remains after those costs have been covered; that’s your excess income. But you shouldn’t aim to blow it all on luxuries. You need to limit yourself. You can set yourself a spending limit by taking out a certain amount of cash at the start of every month and calling that your “spending money”. Even if you spend it all, you’ll still have some disposable income left for your savings. Again, we’ll discuss that later in the article.

Also save money when it comes to your essential expenditures. You shouldn’t cut corners, obviously, but you might be spending more money on things such as food and electricity than is necessary. You might want to save money on your grocery bill by searching the internet for coupons and discount codes before you check out your online shopping basket (you can find coupons and vouchers to use in stores too). This could save you a lot of money on a weekly or a monthly basis. In terms of heftier monthly bills, such as your mortgage repayments, you might want to check out this reliable housing loan calculator to make sure that you’re paying a reasonable amount per month. You need to make sure that you’re paying your bills in the most cost-effective way possible.

Be smart when it comes to debt.

Not all debt is bad. In fact, borrowing money can be good for your financial situation. If you can pay back loans on time then you’ll improve your credit rating, and this will make you more reliable in the eye of potential lenders. In turn, this will make it easier for you to take out loans for big purchases (e.g. houses, cars, etc). And it might help with the size of the loan or the interest rate you face. But borrowing money is still something you should do cautiously.

Only ever borrow what you can afford to pay back, for starters. You might not be able to afford the down deposit on a house, for example, but you have to make sure that you’ll be able to afford the monthly repayments on that house before you take out a loan. Additionally, you need to make sure that you never try to compensate for a costly debt repayment by borrowing more money. That’s how you end up in the debt spiral. If you want to achieve financial stability then you need to make sure you only take out loans you can afford. That’s the crucial thing to remember.

Are You Struggling To Achieve Financial Stability?

Start investing properly.

There are many different ways to invest your money, but you should find one that works for you. Financial stability comes with wealth, and you can increase your wealth by searching for income streams outside of your main salary. You might want to invest in assets that will increase in value over time, for example. It’s all about playing the long game. Maybe you’ll try your hand at the stocks market. You could even invest in Bitcoin. But the property market is an area that attracts many first-time investors. It’s an asset that’s always valuable, even if prices fluctuate constantly. You could make a sizeable ROI by buying and selling houses. Or you could even buy to lease if you want to pull in a regular income on a monthly basis.

There are plenty of ways to get stuck into investing, but the point is that you need to be doing more than sitting on your money. If you want to achieve financial stability then you need to think about the future. For many people, even a sizeable salary isn’t enough to ensure that they have financial savings for their retirement years, their children’s university funds, and all the other big costs they face in life. Starting to invest will ensure that your wealth can grow month after month, regardless of the income you earn from your full-time job.

Are You Struggling To Achieve Financial Stability?

Prepare some savings.

Finally, financial stability depends on savings. You need security for the future. For starters, you need a rainy day fund. Not everything in life can be predicted. You need to be financially prepared for the unexpected. Cars can break down, and natural disasters can damage houses. Not every cost can be included in your monthly budget because you might not be able to foresee everything. But what you can do is prepare an emergency fund so that you’re ready for the unexpected. Set aside a little bit of money on a monthly basis until you’ve got a sizeable fund built up ready for a costly event.

You also need to prepare some savings for something you can predict: your retirement. We’ve touched on this topic throughout the article, but you really need to start thinking about things in the long-term. You need to continuously build up your savings if you want to make sure you’ve got enough for your later years in life. Start saving now, and you’ll be thankful for it in the future.

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Pet care.

Essentials For Anyone Thinking Of Getting A Dog

Essentials For Anyone Thinking Of Getting A Dog

Dog Essentials

We’re sure you’ll all agree, when you have a dog, they become a member of the family. Every decision you make as a family revolves around whether your dog is included and if not, what care you can arrange for them. Dogs can need as much (if not more) of your time, love, and care. That’s why, if you’re thinking of adding a pooch to your family tree, you’re going to need more than just a bed for them to sleep in. Take a look at these essentials if you’re thinking about getting a dog so that you can make sure your new furry friend has everything they need to live a happy and comfortable life.

Eternal access to drinkable water

Have you ever suddenly realised how thirsty you are? Think about how far you were from getting a drink, and how important it is that you keep up your water intake. The same goes for dogs, as they can become dehydrated just as fast (if not faster) as we can. Make sure that not only does your dog have a full water bowl at all times, but access to drinkable water even if they’re not in the house. For example, you can now get water fountains for dogs that allow them to operate a water fountain for them to drink from. So, even if you’re out and you’ve let your doggo loose in the garden for a little while, they will be able to stay hydrated and reduce the risk of becoming ill due to dehydration.

Safety measures

Much like children, you will have to make sure that what your dog is doing isn’t going to harm them. We’re sure you already know about leads to prevent them from running into a busy road or straying too far away from you, but the safety shouldn’t stop there. Even if you’re taking your dog out in the car, you will need to ensure that they are strapped in with a dog car harness so that they are as safe as you are in the car. Imagine having to make an emergency stop and your pooch suffering because they haven’t been strapped in – it doesn’t bare thinking about.

You should also consider placing safety gates around your home too so that your dog isn’t able to get into anything that could harm them. For example, many dog owners like to put a gate on their kitchen door so that their dog isn’t able to get into cleaning products or food that isn’t theirs and could potentially harm them. Baby safety gates usually do the trick, but you can get dog gates if you wish.

Play time

Think about how dull your life would be if you didn’t have those moments of enjoyment? Whether you’re someone who would rather curl up with a book, or even go skydiving, without your favourite things to do, you’d get bored quickly. The same goes for your dog. Dogs have a lot of built up energy that needs burning off each day, so it’s important that when they aren’t out having a walk with you, that they have toys to entertain them. You can choose from a plethora of different dog toys from your regular pet store, but some owners even choose to build their dog something in the garden so that they are able to get as much exercise as possible.

Don’t just leave your dog to play by themselves either. Make sure that you’re giving them time out of your day to spend giving them a fuss, and playing catch or tug of war. This will create a bond between you and your dog and they will also be able to learn the difference between playing and when you’re serious.

Insurance

Unfortunately, dogs get sick just as much as we do. However, dogs can’t be treated on the NHS like we can, so it’s important to make sure that you’ve taken out a reliable insurance policy for your dog. That way, if your fur baby does fall ill or become injured, you can rest assured that you can bring them back up to full health as much as possible.

It’s also a good idea to have your dog micro chipped so that if they do wander off on their own, you have more of a chance of having them returned home, as your vet will be able to trace them back to you.

Essentials For Anyone Thinking Of Getting A Dog

Rules

Again, very much alike children, dogs need rules. You often hear people complaining about their dog being naughty when in fact, it’s down to the discipline that they’ve been given (or not been given). Whether you’re getting your pup from an early age, or you’re rescuing a dog from a shelter, it’s important to establish ground rules from day one so that they know how to behave in your home and also around people.

If you’re struggling to discipline a dog that’s come from a rescue shelter, then dog obedience classes might be the right route for you to go down. Remember that dogs can learn to behave from tone of voice rather than actions, so make sure that you’re practicing a stern voice for those times that you’ll need it!

Somewhere to feel safe

Like humans, dogs become scared from time to time. Whether they’re scared of the post man or a bad thunderstorm, it’s important to have somewhere ready for them to curl up and feel safe from everything. Your home by itself should be a safe haven for your dog, but you may notice that when they are scared, they will go to the same spot each time. Once you’ve established this, make sure that it’s always available to them so that they can feel protected at all times.

Finally, dogs will often choose an item of comfort too, like a squeaky toy or teddy bear. Keep track of it so that your dog can find that sense of comfort whenever they feel it’s needed. Doing this will ensure that you’ve got a happy and healthy dog at all times!

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Exterior design

3 Simple Ways To Enhance The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

3 Simple Ways To Enhance The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

Enhance The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

When was the last time that you drove past your humble abode and viewed the facade with a critical eye? You want your home to match up to the calibre if not surpass those around it. Ideally, your home should be inviting, welcoming, neat, maybe a little bit colourful and homely. If your windows are dirty, the roof tiles are slipping, and the front driveway has seen better days, it might be time to spend some of your hard-earned cash on enhancing the curb appeal of your home.

The Garden

You may be lucky enough to have a garden area or a driveway to the front of your home. This will be the first aspect of your dwelling that visitors will see. It’s time to get a little bit green fingered and start pruning your plants, dead-heading the rosebush and mowing the lawn. At the very least, your outside area should look neat and tidy. You don’t want weeds coming up through your driveway, or patches of nettles encroaching on your perfectly coiffed grass. If your budget will allow, consider investing in some colourful hanging baskets to add a touch of brightness to your driveway. While you may not have a horticultural bone in your body, you can inject some much-needed flora and fauna into your outside area to enhance your home’s curb appeal.

Windows

Just like the eyes are the windows to someone’s soul, your windows are the eyes of your home. Even if you don’t back straight onto the street, people will often have a cheeky little look at the facade of your humble abode. If you haven’t replaced the glazing for a couple of decades, it will pay to invest in getting some new windows installed. You’ll save money in the long run on utility bills, and your home will be more energy-efficient. On top of this, your home will look neater and more appealing from the outside. You could opt for wooden casings or uPVC fascia.

Alongside your new windows, you should consider how you wish to dress them. Shutters can look classy while affording you some much-needed privacy. If you fancy blinds rather than curtains, consider roller or vertical blinds for ease of use. When looking at how to install vertical blinds, make sure you purchase them made to measure to ensure that fitting them is relatively straight forward.

Roof

If you look up and see holes, slipped tiles or cracked slate, it might be time to take a look at your roof. While you may not have the budget to replace it in its entirety, you will need to fix the broken tiles that are present. This will not only make your pad look more aesthetically pleasing, but it will also prevent damp or rot from encroaching into your home and costing you a small fortune to rectify in the future.

While you may have the most gorgeous, show home interior within your four walls, you may not be exuding that quality on the outside of your humble abode. Focus on your exterior to ensure that you turn heads for all the right reasons and enhance the curb appeal of your property.

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health

Tired and Pale? You might be low on Iron. Do this first!

Tired and Pale? You might be low on Iron. Do this first!

Way’s to help if you you have low Iron

Iron is a vital element in your body and without it, normal body functions would fail.

One of the primary roles of iron is to carry oxygen in the body. It is an important component of haemoglobin which transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. If your body does not have enough iron, it cannot produce enough red blood cells which contain haemoglobin. You will have too little haemoglobin in the blood i.e. anaemia.

Women are prone to anaemia because they lose blood every month through menstruation. In fact, women are advised to eat foods that contains a lot of iron to avoid deficiency. Pregnant women are recommended to consume 27 mg of iron per day while men require only 8 mg of iron in a day!

The Stages of Low Iron

Deficiency of iron has different stages and it can be diagnosed by the following blood tests:

  • Testing the level of serum ferritin – a protein that stores iron in the body
  • Haemoglobin test – a protein that carries oxygen in the body

Stage 1 of iron depletion is evident when serum ferritin falls below 30 micrograms per litre.

Stage 2 (also referred to as latent iron deficiency) is when ferritin levels fall below 20 micrograms per litre. This means that the cells and tissues in the body are not receiving iron needed to function properly.

The final stage is known as anaemia and it is characterized by weakness and fatigue because the red blood cells cannot distribute oxygen around the body.

Symptoms of iron deficiency

Although you only know for sure you have low iron by being diagnosed by a doctor, there are symptoms associated with iron deficiency. Some of these symptoms are:

  • Hair loss
  • Headache
  • Fatigue/ lethargy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Pale skin or face
  • Feeling cold or low skin temperatures

What are you supposed to do?

Tired and Pale? You might be low on Iron. Do this first!

First make sure you get the right diagnose, by asking for the right blood test. Some of these have been mentioned above, but there are more options. These are tests to measure the level of iron in the blood, the capacity of the body to absorb iron and the amount stored in the body.

  1. Ferritin – is used to measure the amount of iron stored in the body because it is the major iron storage protein in the body
  2. Transferrin – To determine the level of iron in the body, the iron bound to protein transferrin is measured. Transferrin is formed in the liver and it is the major carrier of iron in the blood.
  3. Total iron binding capacity measures all the proteins in the body that are responsible for transporting iron.
  4. Transferrin saturation is the percentage of transferrin that is saturated with iron. If the percentage is less than 20, delivery of iron is impaired. On the other hand, if the percentage is higher than 60, iron might be deposited in organs other than the bone marrow and this can lead to organ damage.

Purpose of iron tests

  • To detect iron overload and also monitor the removal of iron in people who have hemochromatosis
  • To detect/evaluate abnormalities in iron metabolism
  • To determine what causes anaemia and monitor patients who have chronic anaemia

After getting your test results, you will receive professional advice from medical practitioners advising you on the way forward. In fact, you may get some prescriptions or need to change your diet depending on your specific results.

Sources of iron to prevent deficiency

Normally, your body absorbs iron two to three times more from animal sources when compared to plant sources. Some sources of iron from animals include:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lean beef
  • Oysters

However, even if your body absorbs iron from plant sources at a slower rate, there are numerous sources of iron from plants. In addition, you will benefit from vitamin C which is vital in preventing scurvy. Some plant sources include:

  • Tofu
  • Cashews
  • Baked potatoes
  • Beans and lentils
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Whole grain and enriched bread
  • Dark green leafy vegetables e.g. spinach

Avoid the following:

  • Added sugars or sweeteners
  • Processed grains
  • Dark chocolate – because it contains tannins which inhibit absorption of iron. You should moderate your intake
  • Bran – it is an insoluble fibre that traps and removes iron during absorption
  • Soda – besides having high sugars or sweeteners, soda blocks absorption of iron
  • Coffee and black tea – if you take excess coffee it might block absorption of iron
  • Conventional dairy – calcium usually binds with iron in foods thus inhibiting absorption

Tired and Pale? You might be low on Iron. Do this first!

Other ways to boost iron in your body

  1. Use probiotics for a healthy gut

A healthy gut facilitates absorption of iron in the body. So you should be concerned with the health of your gut. It is recommended to add probiotic-rich foods to your diet to improve your gut health. You can try homemade yoghurt, sauerkraut and goat milk kefir.

  1. Reduce stress

If you are stressed out, your spleen and liver fail to function normally and this can result in iron deficiencies. Avoid stressing yourself by taking exercises, using essential oils, having enough sleep, seeking professional help, talking with people, doing what makes you happy among other positive things. You will improve your health and reduce stress thus avoiding anaemia.

  1. Take supplements

You can consider taking a B vitamin complex that has folate and iron supplements. These supplements will also help in reducing stress and spleen health which is vital in body health. But before you stock up on these, you should seek help from a practitioner instead of doing it yourself.

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Pet care.

Different Ways To Help A Dog With Arthritis

Different Ways To Help A Dog With Arthritis

Dogs with Arthritis

For any adult that suffers from arthritis, you know how much of a frustration it can be. Dealing with the pain and the inability to do certain tasks can be stressful and upsetting. The same applies to your dog. And, when your dog is in pain, you will want to do everything in your power to make him or her feel better. But what can you do? Luckily, there are a number of different ways you can help a dog with arthritis. So, let’s take a look at some suggestions…

Suggestions for dogs with Arthritis…

  • Take your dog to the vet for frequent check-ups so that you can make sure the condition is monitored. Your vet will be able to tell you whether there are any adjustments that are required in terms of your dog’s treatment plan.
  • Considering getting a dog DNA test carried out. There are lots of different mix breeds of dogs today, and many pet owners never bother to find out the exact DNA of their pet. However, this is important in terms of truly understanding your pet’s needs and health risks, so it’s certainly a good idea to get a test carried out.
  • Make sure you are feeding your dog the correct amount of food. Over-feeding will cause pressure on your dog’s joints, which makes the pain worse. Some tips in terms of feeding your dog include following a controlled diet and adjusting your dog’s food based on the seasons. You should also resist the temptation of giving your dog too many treats, which can be a challenge when you want to cheer him up. Of course, exercise is important too, which we will discuss in the next point.
  • Controlled exercise is a necessity. When your dog is running, walking, or playing, make sure you carefully monitor his or her activity. If you can, finding a soft surface for activity comes highly recommended. You can also speak to your vet about this, as they will surely have some good advice regarding the best sort of controlled exercise for your dog specifically.
  • Adjust the environment your dog has at home. There are a number of different things that can help a dog with arthritis in this regard. This includes securing rugs to help your dog get traction when he walks or putting down carpeting, as well as using ramps to assist your dog with getting in and out of bed or the car, and providing soft supportive bedding for your dog’s achy joints.

So many different ways to help..

Different Ways To Help A Dog With Arthritis

  • Look into the option of surgery if your dog has advanced arthritis.
  • Have you thought about acupuncture? This is another option to consider if your dog has advanced arthritis. This is a painless treatment and it has had success rates amongst dogs suffering from this condition.
  • Chondroitin and glucosamine supplements can be used to support better joint functioning and improve joint mobility for dogs that have arthritis.
  • Pain medication may also be helpful for your dog. Common options in this regard include disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Of course, you should never give your dog any medication without speaking to your vet first.
  • Keep your dog dry and warm as much as you can. This is important because damp and cold conditions can make arthritis worse, aggravating the condition. It is also worth looking into applying warm compresses to painful joints and investing in a padded dog bed.
  • The final piece of advice for anyone who is looking for ways to help their dog with arthritis is to talk to their vet about professional animal massages. It is likely that your vet will be able to recommend a professional animal massage therapist to you. Massage works well in terms of boosting your dog’s sense of well-being, circulation, and flexibility.

There are a number of different things you can do to help

Different Ways To Help A Dog With Arthritis

As you can see, there are a number of different things that you can do to help your dog if he or she is suffering from arthritis. There is no denying that this is a painful and frustrating condition, and you will want to do everything in your power to make your dog feel better. If you try the suggestions that have been mentioned above, you should notice a considerable difference.

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House move

Get A Move On! Dealing With A Home Change In Summer

A summer home change

Moving house is a stressful situation, there’s no doubt about that. You’ve got all the draws to empty out in the kitchen and keep in their appropriate piles, you’ve got to get the kids to pack up their toys into the right boxes for their rooms, and you’ve got the sofas to somehow fit in the back of a van. And that’s only 20% of the packing sorted out, and you’ve still got plenty of forms to sign and back and forth petrol costs to cope with!

Deciding to move house during the summer is one of the best time frames you could have picked, as the house market has a competitive edge (meaning better negotiation), removal companies are eager for customers, and the kids are off from school to help you out. So let’s work these advantages to the max with the tips below.

Get A Move On! Dealing With A Home Change In Summer

Doesn’t this view make you want to make a change? 

Get Moving Quotes as Soon as Possible

If you don’t, you’re going to miss out on all the best deals and price comparisons that someone else got to before you. A lot of people like to move during the summer, considering the good weather and all the free time we tend to have, and that means everyone around you is taking the time to make a difference in their living situation.

So get there first, even if you aren’t sure of the actual dates you’re moving yet. Try to book a company out as soon as you know you’re going to be moving when the sun’s out, hopefully a month or two before you even need to start packing. And then you can take your pick upon  visiting a site like https://www.shiply.com/removals. If you need some good comparisons on your side and you don’t know where to start, this is where to go.

Move in the Middle of the Week

It sounds like the worst time to make a change, considering the midweek routine we all seem to be in, but it’s also the time when any company or agency out there is going to have a free period for you. If you try to move at the weekend, you’re most likely going to end up very disappointed about all the no answers you receive.

So try for a Wednesday or a Thursday, as these are usually the times everyone else is out at work or off on holiday to catch the rays for the weekend. Get the kids to chip in, and either get you or your partner to book some time off for these days if you’re still having to work.

Have a Sale

A last and quick point. The summer is the perfect time to sell off anything unwanted you’ve dug out during your packing process, so find a car boot sale or put some pictures up online.

Moving house during the summer doesn’t have to be hard, as long as you’re aware of all the seasonal changes!

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Fitness

3 Weight Loss Workout Plans That Actually Work!

Workout plans

Let’s be honest. Most of us want to start working out in order to lose weight – this rings true for men as much as it does for women. Social media, peer pressure, and the societal norm for beauty have somewhat influenced the way we value physical appearance. And although some people may refute the thought of conforming to societal standards, fact is that maintaining a healthy weight does not only feed people’s vanity; it’s also a big physiological necessity.

Reducing your weight (for those who go above their BMI requirement) or maintaining it (for those who are already within the normal range) is a huge must if you want to live a long and healthy life. Many life-threatening illnesses and diseases, after all, are attributed to disproportionate weight. Being too skinny or too meaty risks you of many health problems, including: heart failure, obesity, diabetes, and many others.

But of course, any problem has an ideal solution. On top of maintaining a healthy diet and positive attitude, exercising is something you must really need to do in order to keep your mind and body fit 99.99% of the time. When you discipline yourself in these three key health areas, expect great changes in your life. You can expect a better, lighter, newer YOU.

With that, allow us to help you get started. Below we have listed three (3) highly effective workout plans that are guaranteed to make you lose some weight. These workout strategies have been tested and proven by experts and the many people who’ve gone ahead and tried them (including me, btw).

So without further ado, here they are:

Grind It With Cardio

3 Weight Loss Workout Plans That Actually Work!

For decades, cardio workout has been positively linked to effective weight loss. Thus, it is safe to say that you should include cardio exercises in your weight loss workout plans. Cardio-focused exercises, after all, encourage people to sweat – a lot. And sweating is a good sign that you’re beginning to lose those love handles. The best part about cardio workout is that you don’t need much to get it done. All you need are two things: a moving body and a load of energy.

Cardio exercises involve a lot of hand, leg, and hip movements and is usually up-beat or rhythmic. Jogging, cycling, jumping jacks, rope skipping, and stair climbing are just a few examples of specific exercises you can do when you’re following a cardio routine. It basically keeps your blood pumping and pores sweating throughout the exercise – perfect for people trying to burn off extra baby fat. Along with a healthy, glow-food concentrated diet (leafy greens, fruits, and other fresh vegetables) and good hydration (6 to 8 glasses of H2O); you’ll get back to shape in no time!

Burn It With Tough Muscles

If you don’t have the energy to do cardio, then maybe you have the stamina to do heavy muscle workout. Why do it, you ask? Well, it’s because the more muscle you have in your body, the more active your body’s resting metabolism becomes (see reference). And when your metabolism becomes faster, the less likely is your body going to store excess fat. Everything is processed and all food particles are digested (or excreted). This lowers your chances of gaining pounds far from what is necessary and will help you expel all the fat you’ve accumulated before you even started muscle training. You can start by training with small weights but focus on repetitions. You can then go gradually higher from that point. Add a little bit more each day and challenge your own limits. Religiously sticking to your training day after day will eventually help you achieve stronger, well-toned muscles. And with it, you also get to enjoy a healthy and fat-free body.

You Can Never Go Wrong With Full Body Workouts

Last but not least, the final weight-loss strategy we can share with you today has something to do with diversification. If you don’t want to do ALL cardio, nor keep your focus solely on muscle building, you can try creating your own full body workout routine. This workout method will require the participation of your entire body and makes use of cardio, muscle, and other types of exercises in order to achieve desired results. When you do a full body workout routine, you must be prepared to catch your breath. It may be brief but it is loaded. However, it should be the perfect remedy to your chubby issues.

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moving house

Making Your House Move A Positive Experience For Your Family

 A positive move

Whether you’ve bought a new family house or are about to move into a fresh rented apartment together; moving property is always something that people dread. Moving can be as stressful as a relationship breakup or even bereavement, as there’s so much to organise and various things to consider. However, it doesn’t have to be all that bad; if you prepare in the most efficient way and ensure that you have a plan of action, you’ll be able to look at the move as an exciting fresh start and new chapter to your family’s life. The following are some hints and tricks to help ensure that your moving day goes as smoothly as possible.

Start to pack ASAP

As soon as you know that a move is happening; start packing the things that you want to keep, but don’t need to use until you’re inside your new abode. A great place to start is with your home’s decorative items, like photographs, artwork, vases, and other interior accessories that make your space look beautiful but provide little function in your day-to-day life. Books, clothing, and equipment should be next; try to think seasonally and what you can live without easily until it’s time to move in. This is the perfect chance to have a clear out and de-clutter of the items in your life that you don’t need or haven’t used in over six months; give bags and boxes of stuff to charity if they’re in good condition, otherwise dispose of them accordingly.

The sooner you’re family have packed things, the better it will be on the days of your move; you don’t want to be rushing around grabbing everything last-minute as this will risk items being broken and a messy moving day. Therefore, make sure that the whole family are on board and ready to go.

Prepare accordingly

Labelling each of your boxes with what room they’re to go in when they arrive in your new place, is a great way to prepare for when moving day arrives. Labels will also help those who are loading up the van, and the home removalist company you’ll need to hire won’t risk breaking anything fragile. Look into reputable removalists like Bekins Moving Solution so that you’ll feel confident in the safe transportation of your precious items and furniture. Make your signs and labels large and bold so you can have a smooth, straightforward, and stress-free moving experience. Alongside a professional moving company; get your friends and family in on the action; you can pay them with a home-cooked meal once you’ve settled in, and the more people power you have, the quicker the process will be.

Making Your House Move A Positive Experience For Your Family

Remember that unpacking is just as important as packing, especially after the removal business have left and you’re finally inside your new home. Think about what you’ll need to do first in the coming days; unpack your essential kitchen equipment so that you can create something simple to eat and drink in the coming week, and get out a capsule wardrobe, toiletries, and any electricals that you can’t live without on a day-to-day basis. It’s a good idea to have made yourself an essentials box, so you’ll be all set and ready to unpack the rest of your stuff and settle in successfully. Utilise checklists, be smart when you’re packing, and ask for the right help where you need it, and you’ll be prepared to move home with your family, smoothly and with ease.

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cleaning

Don’t Let Life Grimed You Down

Don’t Let Life Grimed You Down

If only cleaning fairies were real

One of the secrets of helping to keep your home clean is to stop the dirt, dust and grime from entering it in the first place.  Of course, how you deal with the dirt and dust matters as well. If you dust your living room, for example, with a dry cloth, all you will do is put the dust into the air and it will settle somewhere else. You need some dampness for the dust to cling to, which could be created by a spray furniture polish or by wiping the dust-up with baby wipes.

Let’s take a look at ways to help to keep the amount of grime and dust lower, and easier to cope with once it appears so that you can have a more fulfilling life…

Doormats

Doormats are a very simple solution to keeping some of the grime out of your home. People tend to automatically wipe their shoes before they enter, if a doormat is provided, and especially when the weather is wet, that can be a real plus to keeping your housework down. The secret for doormats to do their job effectively is to clean them on a regular basis. Do not forget to clean underneath them as well, as dirt and dust will fall through them and form a layer underneath.

Easy Clean Flooring

Don’t Let Life Grimed You Down

Nothing is more annoying than when you have just finished cleaning a floor and the dog or the kids run across with mud on their feet. If you have carpet on the floor that can be disastrous as it is not unusual for mud and dirt to create a stain mark.

However, if you have laminate flooring, which you can find at Factory Direct Flooring, it is very simple to deal with and will be clean and sparkling in no time at all. It’s also very affordable, which is another reason to consider it.

Pets

Dogs and cats will leave pet hairs around your home and dust seems to cling to them. In no time at all, it builds up along skirting boards and starts to make your home look very unclean. It is usually a simple job to sweep or vacuum it up, but you can reduce the amount of fur they leave everywhere. Regular brushing will help to get rid of any excess hairs and then hopefully there will be fewer of them on your floors and furniture.

Check Your Vents

If your vents get dusty every time air blows through them it will bring dust with it. It is not just the vents from outside you should clean, the ones from air conditioning or heating units like the ones at Debenhams, will behave in just the same way. Then air can flow freely around your home without creating another layer of dust.

Empty Your Vacuum Outside

Don’t Let Life Grimed You Down

Once you have vacuumed your home do not make the mistake of emptying the machine inside the house. Even sealed bags will let some dust out, and f you use a bag fee cleaner, this can be even worse.

It is little tricks like these that will help toward keeping your homes a bit less dusty and dirtier, and you might be surprised by how much they actually work.

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