Category Archives: Collaborative Posts

E-Cigarettes: The Trendiest Way To Help You Quit Smoking For Good

If you are someone who smokes tobacco, you are one of over a billion people in the world who do the same. Tobacco has grown naturally in the wild for the past 8000 years, but it only started being smoked around 2000 years ago. Back then, it was chewed or smoked as part of significant religious or spiritual ceremonies. Nowadays, it is a multi-billion dollar industry. The top tobacco companies make a combined profit of around $35 million yearly. However, it wasn’t always known that tobacco could pose a risk to our health. An unknown English author published a report about the dangers of tobacco in 1602, and since then we have been well-educated about the health risks tobacco can cause. Unfortunately, smoking tobacco is highly addictive and many people struggle immensely to give it up. But around a decade ago, an alternative was created – the e-cigarette. That being said, e-cigs and ‘vaping’ have only really come into the mainstream over the past few years. Here’s why so many people are choosing them over traditional cigarettes, and why they could be right for you.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/Vaping_-_Vaporizer_-_Vape_Pen_-_E-Cig_(24957538584).jpg/1024px-Vaping_-_Vaporizer_-_Vape_Pen_-_E-Cig_(24957538584).jpgThey contain fewer harmful chemicals

Some health professionals have cited that e-cigs are almost 95% safer than smoking, due to containing far fewer chemicals.  Traditional cigarette smoke can contain up to 4000 different chemicals, 43 of which have been linked to causing cancer. E-cigs contain a liquid, which heats up when the device is used, causing the liquid to vaporize and produce nicotine. Many forms of e-cigarette also contain flavoured vapor, similar to smoking shisha. In order to use e-cigs effectively, the user will need to replace the cartridge which contains the liquid after every few uses. The liquid in question is propylene glycol, an additive that is FDA-approved and is found in many types of food.

They can help you quit smoking

Even though most of us know the risks posed by smoking cigarettes, we continue to do it because we are addicted. Many people find smoking e-cigarettes a great way to help them cut down and even quit smoking tobacco for good. E-cigs and refillables are available on most high streets these days. Plus, there are even specific vaping shops which sell e-cigs, such as Shoreditch Vape. They still contain nicotine but are much purer than regular cigarettes. It is also easier than going cold turkey because e-cigs still mimic the physical use of a normal cigarette. Many people smoke simply because it is a habit, and they are used to having a cigarette in their hands or going out for a smoking break. If they are permitted to continue this behaviour, but just with a healthier tool at hand, they are more likely to be able to quit in the long run.

https://i2.wp.com/c1.staticflickr.com/3/2946/15308762797_4b9ae92403_b.jpg?resize=604%2C403&ssl=1

They are more socially acceptable

It’s never pleasant when you are trying to have a nice meal somewhere and a person from the neighbouring table is blowing cigarette smoke everywhere. In fact, many countries have already taken action on this by banning smoking in public places. Ireland, Britain, Sweden, and France are just some examples of where the smoking ban has been implemented. However, this is not the case world-over. If you are addicted to nicotine and need to smoke in public, using an e-cig is far less offensive to those around you. You can also buy flavoured liquids for your e-cig, resulting in what many people consider a pleasant smell to emit from it.

Keep The Little Ones Happy: Easy Ways To Make Your Bathroom More Kid-Friendly

It’s always hard to make sure your bathroom is perfect for little kids. After all, there is so much they can harm themselves on in the room. And on top of this, you need the bathroom to be fun to get them to use it! And even if you haven’t got your own child, you want the room to be safe and fun for when you have nieces and nephews over to stay! Therefore, here are some easy ways you can make your bathroom more kid-friendly to keep little ones happy.

bathroom-490781_960_720

Invest in some non-slip mats

It’s so easy for kids to have slips in the bathroom which cause a trip to A&E. Therefore, you need to prevent this by getting some non-slips mats for your bathroom. They should be placed right next to areas that get wet easily such as next to the bath and shower. As this feature says, a good non-slip mat should have suction cups to prevent the mat from sliding across the floor once the little one steps on it. That way, they won’t end up face planting the floor once leaving the shower. Just make sure you regularly give it a clean, so no mould ends up growing on there.

Choose a secure shower enclosure

It’s also so important that you choose a secure shower enclosure that kids can use in your home. After all, that stylish one with the complicated door movement might be good for you, but it certainly won’t be good for little ones. They could end up getting stuck in the shower or even end up hurting themselves on the door. Therefore, you need to choose a modern shower with smooth closing doors. That way, they can get in and out as necessary. You might even want to go for a walk-in shower. That way, it’s the same level as the bathroom floor, and they are less likely to slip and hurt themselves. You can find a good range of shower cubicles online such as dilusso enclosures.

Keep products away in cupboards

A lot of people have so many skin and hair products in their bathroom. But if it gets into a little one’s hand, it could lead to danger. After all, they might not understand it’s not edible and could end up swallowing some shower gel by mistake. Therefore, to make your bathroom more child-friendly, you should put all potential hazard items away in the cupboard. That way, they won’t be able to get their hands on the item and get sick because of you! Remember it’s not just lotions; razors and scissors need to be put away for safe keeping too in the bathroom!

Add some fun accessories

If you want to make your bathroom more kid-friendly, you need to add some fun accessories. And we’re not just talking about adding a rubber duck to your tub (although that is a must). You should add some brightly coloured towels and fun artwork to the room. You can even find some great tablet holders so that kids can watch their favourite cartoon while they are in the bath!

bathroom, duck

And you can check out my previous blog on ways to make your bathroom perfect with little stress.

3 Amazing Destinations For The Perfect Family Holiday

Getting the family together for a trip abroad can be a lot of fun. In our busy day-to-day lives, we often don’t get to see even our immediate family all too often. Plus, when we do, we are often reeling from the stresses of work and childcare, which doesn’t make the time spent together what most would class as ‘quality time’. Going on holiday together gets rid of this problem completely. You’ve got all the time in the world to relax, and there’s plenty of fun and exciting things to do together. But when you’ve got a big family that includes lots of children, knowing where to go can be the first of your problems. There are plenty of resorts that cater for children but aren’t so great if you don’t like being woken up at 8 every day by an entertainer. On the flip side, booking a luxury spa will only mean that you have to deal with ‘x amount’ of very bored children. Choosing somewhere that appeals to everyone can mean you end up with a family holiday to remember.

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/Universal_Studios_Hollywood_2012_01.jpg?resize=604%2C403&ssl=1

America

America is a perfect option if your children are quite young or if it is their first time abroad. There is the added benefit of having no language barrier, which should help them feel comfortable from the start. Of course, there is always the long-haul plane journey to deal with – which as any parent will tell you, isn’t that fun when you have kids! Plus, you will need to make sure you have all your documentation in order by visiting www.official-esta.com. Once you are there, both children and adults alike will love the hot climate and the huge amounts of entertainment. Visiting Disneyworld and Universal Studios are a must on a trip to the US with kids.

sunset-1066551_960_720
Spain

Or, to be precise, the Spanish coastline. Both the Costa Blanca and the Costa Del Sol provide perfect spots for family holidays, although perhaps ones with slightly older children. There are plenty of cultural attractions to visit, and the beach in itself can provide hours of entertainment for children. Be sure to stock up on inflatable dinghies and floats to help your children stay safe in the sea. This also gives you the perfect chance to relax with the adults and enjoy some ‘me’ time. Another advantage of this area of Spain is that food and drink are both relatively cheap, meaning your summer holiday doesn’t have to break the bank.

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Khajuraho_-_Kandariya_Mahadeo_Temple.jpg?resize=604%2C403&ssl=1

India

If you are looking for something a little more exotic, why not consider a family holiday to India? Sure, it may not be the top of everyone’s list when you think of kid-friendly holidays. But with vibrant cultural attractions, stunning scenery and great food, it will be an experience to remember. The kids will be amazed by mystical temples and the hustle and bustle of major cities like Delhi. India is a great way to introduce children to other cultures. Plus, many resorts are used to catering for British tourists, so you will still be able to have certain home comforts.

Inspire Your Kids To Exercise With These Three Easy Ideas

As aunts, uncles, cousins or parents, we want nothing more than for the children in our lives to be happy and healthy. Just as we take care of our children’s health meticulously when they are babies, it should be something that we pursue even as they grow older. Plus, there is plenty of good reason to do so. Studies from Public Health England show that around a third of 10-11 year olds and a fifth of 4-5 year olds are either overweight or obese. As family members who are close to the little people in our lives, this is a scary statistic. This childhood weight gain is said to be the effects of too many convenience foods and the impact of technology on young British children. After all, how many times have you seen your child spend entire evenings on the sofa playing on an iPad, or sat at the computer playing a video game? The culture of kids playing outside after school is quickly disappearing and as a result, our children are putting on weight. If you’re struggling to get the kids in your family to get active, try some of these tips.

https://i1.wp.com/c1.staticflickr.com/3/2947/15381274372_90152cdc2b_b.jpg?resize=604%2C453&ssl=1

Think beyond the sports hall

Organised sports aren’t for everyone, so don’t immediately assume that your child will be into them. In fact, many children develop a distaste of sport at a young age thanks to negative experiences in school teams or in P.E lessons. But, there are plenty of other sports available for them to try if you cast your net a little wider. If they’re a big music fan, suggest a dance class where they can learn routines to their favourite songs. Dance is a great cardiovascular activity and is a lot of fun too, so your child may not actually realise they are exercising. Rock climbing, horse riding and martial arts are all other types of fitness based activities that may inspire your child more than regular sports such as football or hockey.

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/NCHS_Sports_Day_2012.jpg?w=604&ssl=1

Appeal to their competitive nature

For every child who is fine with simply taking part, there is another who believes it is all about winning. If the latter sounds like a child in your life, make the most of their competitive streak by encouraging them to enter sporting tournaments. Or, if you don’t have any around where you live, why not try making your own? Pick a nice afternoon in summer and get friends and family down to a local playing field where you put on races and activities for the kids. Get some prizes from a website such as www.trophiesplusmedals.co.uk to reward them for their efforts and make it into a fun, family experience.

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5d/Yoga_at_a_Gym.JPG/640px-Yoga_at_a_Gym.JPG?w=604&ssl=1

Set a good example

Kids pick up on actions and habits very easily, so it is vital that you lead by example. If you yourself are very overweight and vegetate in front of the television every evening, you child is not going to take you seriously when you tell them that exercise is important. Make it your mission to get fit yourself and you will see how your child follows suit. Plus, speak to your local gym about classes and activities you could both do together, as this will further motivate your child.

Get More Involved With The Food You Eat – Tasty Growing And Cooking Tips At Home

If you ever worry about the price of food or even where it comes from, now could be the time to be more proactive about it. The cost of food will continue to increase as Brexit takes hold. More of it will need to be sourced from the British Isles, but this could make some of our favourites harder to source off season. So what can you do about it? Why not have a go at growing your own?

When certain foods are out of season, powered greenhouses need to pick up the slack. This does increase the cost. The alternative is to import the produce. You could grow your own, which might prove a little costly on your time and energy. The alternative is to eat seasonally. If strawberries and oranges aren’t in season, pick apples that will be ready in late autumn and can be stored in the freezer. Frozen summer fruits could work quite well too. Buy them when they’re cheap, fill the freezer and enjoy all year round.

Image result for Summer fruit salad ingredients, strawberry, blackberry, cherry flickr

Growing at home requires good soil and regular weeding or pest control. This can become a fun hobby, and eating from your garden is wonderful. You will need to hone in on some seasonal recipes to enjoy your crops. Why not sell your excess produce to create a little income stream? When you’re cooking from your garden, be sure to give everything a thorough wash. And if you’re growing organically, it could all be much healthier too.

Image result for Root vegetables flickr

Some foods that are easier to grow at home can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. The British climate is great for root vegetables, but they can all become a bit samey. Some veggies that you can grow can be used to make fat-free sponge cakes. Courgettes and beets have become popular for that. You can sweeten with something like the miracle berry tablets to create healthy cakes that are low in fat and calories. And some of the ingredients could come straight from your garden!

Image result for my vegetable patch flickr

It’s not always easy to find the time to prepare your garden for growing. Why not build a simple raised bed? You can then add good soil ready for growing. Once you have planted your vegetables and fruits, you will need to keep the slugs and snails away. They are quite adept at climbing up the raised beds. However, you can make it less appealing by sprinkling something coarse like sand around the base. Cover with netting to keep the birds away too.

Don’t forget, you can grow your favourite herbs at home too. Some people like pots on the window sill. Others have a little-sheltered area outside the back door. Lettuces can be grown in a similar way. And why not grow your strawberries from hanging baskets next to the door? Pick and eat as you come home from work (after washing, of course). The best thing about all this is you can get the kids in your family involved too. It’s a great activity to do with the children, and it’s a fun way to spend time together. Bon Appetite.

Finding Your Strength When A Loved One Is Hurt

When you have children in your life, you will do anything for them. Even if you’re not the parent, aunties and uncles can bond closely too. You wouldn’t dream of turning your back if the little ones were poorly. You would be there to support the parent and take care of the kids too. Family is perhaps the most important part of all our lives. Which is why aunties and uncles need to step up and be strong if one of those loved ones gets hurt.

If anything ever happened to hurt one of the kids in your family, you would be pretty upset. The parent would be devastated and would probably need you to be there for support. When children are hurt in an accident, it can be one of the most awful things you’ll need to deal with. So where do you find the strength to cope and provide the support to the rest of the family?

Image result for A young boy visiting the hospital for a check-up flickr

Parents struggle to see things clearly when one of their own kids is hurt. This is where you need to step in because they can’t step back. Make sure the other children in the family have full-time care. You can do this yourself if you can spare the time from work, or arrange a reliable minder. Simple things such as checking everyone is getting enough sleep and food is so essential. These are the basic things that can be overlooked when you’re dealing with your injured child.

Image result for 9/52 - Mom's Hug flickr

If Mum or Dad are busy tending to their little one, make sure everything is carefully documented along the way. They will need to consider making a claim for compensation in the near future to cover the cost of losses and treatment. Photos and copies of documents should be carefully collated. Keep notes on conversations had with the third parties or doctors involved. This is especially important when you’re dealing with a head injury, according to specialist lawyers ASB Aspire. Kids are very good at bouncing back to full health, but a knock to the skull can make it a long road to recovery. It can be important to claim for the help you’ll all need.

As your niece or nephew begins to recover, your input will still be vital. You can read books with them, and play fun games to keep them occupied. Spending extra time with them can be very much appreciated. It can also give Mum and Dad that much needed break to get some rest of their own. Perhaps you can bring round a meal for everyone once or twice a week? Can you tackle the ironing? Maybe you can just lend a friendly shoulder and ear.

It is so hard to see a loved one in pain through injury or illness. These are the times that we rely on extended members of the family to step up, show strength, and keep things going in our lives. It’s not easy, but aunts have pretty awesome skills that can be drawn upon to help make things right again.

Keep Your Kid On The Straight And Narrow: Moms Need To Read This

As a mom, I am always hoping that my child will grow up to be successful and happy in their life. However, it’s not always as easy as it looks. It doesn’t take much for your child to end up getting in with the wrong crowd and soon get into trouble. But there are some ways as moms we can help our kids to stay out of trouble. Here is some help for moms on keeping your kids on the straight and narrow.

Spend time with them every day

It’s so important for moms to make an effort to spend time with their kids every day. I know how difficult it can be if you are working every day and you have little time with your child when you get home. But you need to make sure they know how special they are to you. Children who don’t feel love and get little attention often fall into the wrong crowd and are less successful when they grow up. They tend to not do as well in school and can fall behind in classes. Therefore, make sure you give them plenty of love and attention so they stay on the straight and narrow. And remember to listen to them; show genuine interest in their lives.

Always be honest with your kid

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to talking to your children. If you avoid certain subjects, it can lead to your children making mistakes as they get older. For example, it’s so important to talk to them about the dangers of drinking and drug abuse. That way, they will know exactly what will happen if they do anything like that. If you are honest with them when they are growing up, they are more likely to stay away from them. Some parents whose kids end up needing young adult addiction treatment wish they spent more time explaining the dangers. That way, they wouldn’t have made mistakes as they would have understood the risks. Also, if you’re honest with your kid and get them clued up in life skills, they are more likely to come to you if they do run into trouble when they are older!

Monitor their internet use

It’s scary to think that our children are growing up with unlimited access to the Internet through their devices. After all, kids as young as eight are now getting their own phone, and by the time they are a teen, they are on social media sites. But there are so many dangers online that moms need to be aware of. You don’t know who they are talking to and they might never have met them! Therefore, you should monitor their internet use so that they don’t end up getting involved with the bad crowd. Use a parent monitoring program so that they can’t access dangerous sites.

Businesswoman, Computer

A lot of parents are often worried about disciplining their kids, but it’s so important to teach them the difference between right and wrong. Therefore, it’s a good idea to implement rules, and they need to be aware of the consequences of breaking them. It can be applied from when they are toddlers so as they age, they stay on the straight and narrow!

child, childhood, family

Four Things You Need To Think About Before You Relocate

Ever feel like you are a little bored with your local area? You’re not alone. For every person who is attached to the place they grew up in and wants to stay there forever, there is another person who just can’t help but move around. Many of us rely on new experiences to keep our lives interesting and in many cases, that can often mean relocating. You might be sick of a certain climate and want to move overseas to somewhere either hotter or cooler. Or, perhaps, you want to move from the country to the city in search of a more vibrant job market. Whatever your scenario, whether to relocate or not is one of the biggest decisions you’ll probably make in your whole life. Follow this mental checklist to see if it is right for you.

https://i1.wp.com/c1.staticflickr.com/3/2280/2099447856_d103404620_b.jpg?resize=604%2C403&ssl=1

Do you have kids?

If you have your own family, it is important to consider everyone in this move, not just yourself. If your children are still babies or haven’t started school yet, the move is unlikely to impede on either their wellbeing or their education. But, if they are a bit older, you need to think about the impact it could have on them. Children are very impressionable between the ages of four and ten and taking them away from friends and family could prove traumatic. Be sure to communicate the prospect of a move to your children right from the start to understand their reaction to it.

How far away are you willing to be from your family?

You may have found your dream town or city. Problem is, it’s 400 miles away from where your family currently live. Of course, there is the advantage of it being easier than ever to stay in touch these days, thanks to technology such as FaceTime and Skype. But, nothing quite compares to spending time with your family in person. Consider this distance and how willing you are going to be to make the effort to go back home to see people. If you have elderly relatives who won’t be able to make the journey down to you, it will rest on your shoulders to bring the family together, so this will have to be a factor in your relocation.

https://i2.wp.com/c8.staticflickr.com/2/1690/24387071583_9d2ffd7163_z.jpg?w=604&ssl=1

What will you do with the house?

Assuming the property you currently live in is yours in your own right, you will need to work out what to do with it prior to your move. If you want to keep it for inheritance – say for your children – consider doing a buy to let. Speak to a property expert about whether there is any way you can let out your property to tenants whilst you live elsewhere. Or, if you just want to sell home fast, contact a local property buyer. This is especially ideal if you don’t have the time or money to refurbish your home like you would need to with an estate agent.

How is the move itself going to happen?

Moving house isn’t easy, let alone moving counties or moving abroad. Be aware you will need to take a bit of time off work in order to orchestrate everything, so put some money away prior to see you through. Rental vans or professional movers will also incur a cost, so be prepared to part with some money over the moving days.

Comma Sense: Advice For Students And Academics Living In Major Cities

https://i0.wp.com/c2.staticflickr.com/8/7497/15601597778_7450614c7d_b.jpg?resize=604%2C403&ssl=1

Whether you’re going to university yourself or have a child or relative who’s just starting off on their big adventure, there are a few things that every soon-to-be student should know. Especially if they’re considering a university in a large city. From preparing to leave home and moving into your new place, to socialising and knowing the right places to go. You’re going to have to do a lot of research on your new home, educational institution and general lifestyle.

london-441853_960_720

Common Sense

It’s easy to get lost in books. But it’s important that you use your common sense as much as your academic skills. Get to know where you live. Find out safe spots and crime hot spots. Be wise when it comes to working out routes home, be it from your seminars or a night out. Work out the cheapest way to do your food shopping. Is it cheaper to get it delivered or take public transport to the shops and back? Know your rights as a tenant and don’t let your landlord take advantage of you or exploit you.

pic-1

Accommodation

Major Cities are pricey. They’re renowned for high rent rates for notoriously small spaces when it comes to accommodation. Landlords know that students need a place to live and will take full advantage of this. Accommodation in student areas will be just as expensive as anywhere else in the big city. Contact your university’s accommodation department and request information on the best places for a student to live during their studies. Some institutions will have their accommodation at more reasonable prices than private renting. It is advisable to house share while you’re studying too. Studio apartments and one bedroom flats are hard to come by. When they do surface, they are often extortionately priced or poorly maintained. Arrange a house share with people you already know. If you are completely new to the area, there are sites that bring together students looking for housemates.

https://i2.wp.com/c1.staticflickr.com/9/8739/17027321127_a9e87c5761.jpg?w=604&ssl=1

Moving In

Moving in is going to be difficult. Especially if you don’t have your transport. Lugging large belongings on public transport is a feat in itself. Buses, the tube, trams and overground rail services are always relatively busy. At peak times, they are packed. It can be stressful enough getting on and off public transport without trying to carry your life’s belongings with you. If you are driving, or have a lift, you will incur charges if you are travelling through congestion zones. The solution? Pack light. Only take what you need. You can buy little things while you are away. Consider the effort of moving and the little space you will probably have in your home. Minimal living and design is most likely the way forward. If you have belongings that can’t be left at home but have sentimental value, you could leave them in a London Storage unit. These are affordable, will mean that you have easy access to your belongings when you need them and will declutter your personal living space.

Holidays

Many students return home for the holidays. Easter, Christmas and summer break. Who can blame them? It’s a getaway from university life and responsibilities. But think of the extortionate amounts of rent you’re paying while you’re away. A resolution to this could be subletting your room. This could help you save money that would otherwise be thrown down the drain. Just remember to check that this is allowed in your tenancy agreement.

Relocation, Relocation: Top Issues When Uprooting Your Home

 

https://i2.wp.com/pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2014/12/11/14/08/hand-truck-564242_960_720.jpg?resize=517%2C517&ssl=1

Some people stay in the same city or town for their whole life. They like where they are, and they’re lucky enough to be able to stay in work. However, many others live in different places around the country. Some even end up going abroad for a completely different experience. There are many benefits to relocating to another part of the country. Sometimes it’s the best place to go for your career. Other times you might be moving for a change of scenery, perhaps from the country to the city or vice versa. When you relocate, make sure you’re prepared to tackle these issues.

Your Reason for Moving

Before you can relocate, you need to have clear reasons for you move. You might be moving because you’ve already secured a job in your new location. Sometimes this is because of a transfer, but it can also be because you actively looked to move elsewhere. However, if it’s not your job causing you to move, you’ll have to look for work. You might be moving because you no longer like your current location. But you’re going to need work to facilitate your move, unless you’re self-employed and can take your work with you. It’s essential to make sure you’re moving for the right reasons, and it will be a positive experience.

Looking for a Home

Once your move is confirmed, you need somewhere to love. If you own your home, that could mean selling your current property and buying a new one. Or you might be looking for somewhere to rent. Looking for a new home in another location can be hard. It might mean making several trips to look at properties, which can be stressful. It’s an excellent idea to work with a good local estate agent. They can help you identify suitable properties so that you can make the most of your trips to view them. They can also deal with booking viewing appointments and other necessities.

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Heiwa_elementary_school_18.jpg?resize=604%2C401&ssl=1

New Schools

Relocating with kids often means looking for schools. This could factor into your choice of home if you want to make sure you’re within a catchment area. Before you move, take a look at local schools to find out what each of them offers. You should also look at schools for later on. For example, it could be a while before your child enters secondary school, but it’s still important to consider. Remember that there is no guarantee of a place at any school. It’s a good idea to speak to some schools about potential places.

Becoming Part of the Community

Moving somewhere new often means you are without friends or family. You need to become part of the community so you’re not isolated. You can get to know your neighbours by introducing yourself or attending local events. You can also look for various things to do where you can make friends. You might join clubs or groups and even pick up a new hobby.

Relocating can be extremely stressful. The better prepared you are, the easier you will find the transition.