Monthly Archives: October 2018

Top 3 Benefits of Entering the US Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery

The Diversity Visa (DV) Green Card Lottery was introduced by the United States government to enable people from diverse cultures to come, live and work in America. The chief aim of this system to diversify the population of the United States and make it a global nation in the true sense of the word.

The DV lottery is drawn once every year, through which 50,000 applicants from selected countries are granted the Green Card, the United States’ official permit to allow foreign nationals to live and work in the country on a permanent basis.

Here are the top three benefits of entering the US green card lottery.

Greater chances of qualifying Every year, scores of people from across the world apply for the US green card to be able to legally live and work in the country. However, only a small percentage of applicants are successful, simply because the applications far outnumber the visas issued each year.

While winning the DV lottery is only the first step in your green card issuance process, entering the lottery multiplies your chances of obtaining the green card, provided you fulfill the education and country-of-origin requirements.

Exclusive opportunity for applicants from select qualifying countries

The purpose of the DV lottery is to invite applications from natives of those countries that do not generally send many immigrants to the United States. If your country is eligible and you have high school education or the required work experience, you directly qualify to enter the lottery, surpassing tens of thousands of other applicants from non-eligible countries.

In this sense, the DV lottery is an exclusive offering created to increase the representation of certain countries in the United States.

Higher chances for families through double application with spouse

It’s a simple logic: when you and your spouse both enter the DV lottery and list the other as dependent, this doubles your chances of winning the green card lottery.

As multiple applications by a single person are not permitted (the system will automatically disqualify you and cancel your application), applying together with your spouse is a great way to maximize your chances of winning.

If one of you wins, the spouse and all unmarried children under 21 years of age also become eligible to receive a green card and live legally in the US.

Qualification Criteria to Enter the Green Card Diversity Visa Lottery

* You need to be a native of (born in) a qualifying country. The list of qualifying countries changes every year, so be sure to check if your country of birth qualifies for DV2020.

* If your native country is not eligible, you may still enter the lottery if either of your parents or your spouse was born in a qualifying country. This is subject to some conditions. Do check the eligibility criteria before applying.

* You need to have completed high school education OR possess relevant work experience in a qualifying occupation. Check the list of qualifying jobs to confirm if you meet this criterion.

Meal Planning Monday 29/10/18

Yet another busy weekend with the sister in law and brother in law coming up for the weekend, a visit to Hatton Country World with friends and the kids for a Halloween fun packed weekend and mine and hubby’s First Wedding Anniversary on Sunday.

Also not to mention I didn’t go shopping last week either and we lived off freezer food or ready meals.  This week we are back on track.

We are eating:

Homemade lasagna with homemade garlic bread

 Creamy chicken curry

Jacket Potatoes, cheese and beans

Bacon mac and cheese pasta bake ( From Katy Kicker blog)

Chicken stir fry with vegetables

Party tea at the mother in laws

Sunday Roast Lunch for our wedding anniversary at our wedding venue

What are you eating?

Cooking with MyCookBox | Review

Working full-time and not getting home till late we sometimes struggle and just think stuff it we will order a takeaway even though I have food in the house, but this is where Mycookbox came to the rescue and offered to send us a box to review.

My Cook box send you pre-measured ingredients and receipts to create delicious meals of your choice.  You can select the box for 2 or 4 people.

Monday Night –  Baked Sausages

we love sausages and mash as a meal but this one but a different twist onto it and was delicious.  Considering I don’t like peppers or courgettes I ate the lot which I think was due to the vegetables been coated in a sauce first.  A perfect winter meal.

Thursday Night –  BBQ Chicken Sarnie

Sadly I forgot to take a photo of this meal, was too hungry after a client meeting in London all day with work.  I’m not keen on BBQ things but this was lovely, really nice and will be cooking it again.

Monday Night – Hungarian Chicken Pasta

This didn’t take too long to make which is what I want after a long day at work, it smelt delicious and tasted good too, the only thing that ruined it was the peppers as neither me or my husband like them so next time I wouldn’t put them in it.

Overall thoughts

Lovely selection of meals but we would remove or add some of our own things and swap them for things we like.  I love the fact you can pick and choose your meals you want each time you order and there are lots to choose from.

Pricing

2 people – 3 meals costs £24.99 includes free delivery which is only £4.17 per serving

4 people – 3 meals cost £39.99 including free delivery which is only £3.33 per serving

You can also choose the vegetarian option when ordering.

We had 3 meals for 2 people and their was plenty for at least 3 people.

  • We were sent this box free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However all thoughts and opinions are my own.

FourFit Fitness Tracker | Review

I’m not a fitness freak at all, but I have been trying my hardest to get fitter by eating healthy and walking more, I used to walk to and from the train station every day even on my last day at work before I broke up for maternity leave, pretty good going I thought for myself.

When I was offered a Fourfit smart Bracelet I said yes as wanted to be able to monitor my movement again and hit some target I would set myself.

I have now worn it for a couple of weeks and love it, it’s got lots of features.

  • Heart Rate
  • Sleep tracking
  • Vibration Smart Alarm
  • Sedentary Reminder (reminds you to do activity if you have been sedentary for a while)
  • Calorie counter
  • Step tracking
  • Phone link enabled.
  • SMS, Facebook, Whats app, Email, Call alerts
  • New OLED larger screen
  • Bluetooth
  • Rapid charge
  • 5 day battery time
  • 5 colour choices

Extras are:

Works Independently:
No need to be always connected to Bluetooth – no need to drag your phone into the gym. Unlike other brands the FourFit Band will transfer all workout data once reconnected to the phone!

Rapid recharge:
Charge your battery up to 60% in 15 minutes

I think the only little negative about the the fourfit tracker I feel is the battery life doesn’t last long and only lasts about 2 days which if you go away could be inconvenient.

Priced at just £39.00 I think it is excellent value for money, looks good, slimline and light weight you don’t even know your wearing it.

*I was sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Meal Planning Monday 22/10/18

What a weekend!!  I am so tired and am surviving back at work on less than 8 hours sleep since Friday Morning.

We surprised our friend for his 30th to join him and his wife in Dublin for the weekend – child free too, it was all organised by Laura and was so hard trying to keep it a surprise but it was an amazing weekend and all worth it.  We drank endless Gins, Cocktails and shots and had around 8 hours sleep the whole weekend but was amazing.

I think this week is going to be hard getting back in the swing of things at work.    Plus will be eating out the freezer as need to go food shopping at some point.

This weeks meals consist of:

Tuna pasta bake

Jacket Potato, cheese, beans and salad

Shepherd’s pie

Chicken, Chips & Beans

Lasagna & garlic bread

Chicken Stir fry with vegetables

Roast Dinner with all the trimmings

What’s on your plate this week?

Little Life Toddler Backpack with Rein | Review

Freddie is walking now on his own, refuses to be carried and sometimes fights when we put him in his pushchair or car seat because he wants to walk everywhere. This is where Little Life Toddler Backpack and Reins is becoming very useful! Freddie has got his Independence and can walk but we have also got control of him so he can’t run off and get into trouble.  

They are much cuter, much more fun and much more practical than traditional reins.  The backpack is a perfect size for us to put some toys in for him to carry or nappy’s and wipes to save taking his large changing bag.  

A little about the product 

  • Zipped top entry to main compartment 
  • Internal name and address label 
  • Adjustable shoulder straps with chest strap 
  • 1.5 litre main compartment 
  • Top grab handle 
  • Built-in Safety Rein with attachment point 
  • Supplied with the Parents Safety Rein 

The straps are easily adjustable and there is a front harness to stop it slipping off his shoulders. I thought he would fight having this done up, but it really doesn’t seem to bother him. 

The rein can just be put in the little pouch at the back, so if they want to run free they can. It’s a good length to give them a little bit of freedom – when I want him a bit closer to me, I just wrap the strap around my wrist a little more. There’s also a useful ‘tug handle’, which is useful if you don’t want to use the reins. It also clips together at the front so they can’t wriggle free easy.  

Our backpack costs £14.99, includes free delivery and can be purchased from here. Whilst this sounds quite expensive, when you see the quality of it and how useful it is for going out and about, it really is worth every penny! 

*We were sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Dream Bralette Lace | Review

The MAGIC Dream Bralette is made out of smooth seamless fabric, which gives you the most comfortable fit possible! The straps that run over the back and the luxury lace over the front of the bralette give a nice fashionable touch to this comfortable bralette. Who said comfortable couldn’t be cute?!

I received the Dream Bralette Bra in Blueberry.  This is available in 6 different colours and is priced at £21.00.  It feels high quality and is comfortable to wear.  There is no wire to break and stab you.  I would be sure to buy more in other colours.

  • I received this product free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Cooking Meals with Mash Direct | Review

We use potato products with most of our evening meals whether it be chips or potatoes themselves.

Mash direct made it easier for prepping meals when your home from a long day at work with there ready prepared packs that you just cook in the oven.

About Mash Direct

Mash Direct is an independent company started by Martin and Tracy Hamilton at their family-run farm in Comber, in 2004; however, the family’s journey started long before that.

The Hamilton began farming the fields around Strangford Lough back in the 1800s and the land has been passed down through six generations, bringing with it a wealth of understanding and knowledge of the area and growing conditions

Due to the declining vegetable market in the UK, mixed with the poor prices farmers received for their crops, Mash Direct was born out of necessity as a way to keep the family farm afloat. One night, after discussing with a close friend over a glass of Irish whiskey, Martin dreamt up a business of providing traditional Ulster Champ that was both convenient and healthy. Since then, the business has continued to boom year on year and the farm truly is a family affair with Martin, Tracy and both of their sons, Lance and Jack all helping Mash Direct on its journey to become a national, household name.

Using their six-generations of farming expertise, Mash Direct has grown from 70 to 1,400 acres of fields that are tailored to growing traditional, heritage vegetables. These are then cooked to perfection using specially designed steam cookers on the farm for that delicious taste and texture of homemade food. Suitable for microwave or oven heating the Mash Direct range is available to retail, food service and food manufacturing throughout the UK, Ireland, Middle East and beyond.

A meal I cooked

We had sausages for lunch with broccoli and cheese sauce with the potato croquettes and it was yummy, just the right amount for both of us and our little boy to share.  I know it doesn’t look very appetizing but we both enjoyed it.

I forgot to take photos of some of the meals I have made and we have put some of the products in the freezer as it was getting close to the best before date.

The meals I have made with these product have been lovely full of flavour and made tea time less stressful.  I would be sure to look out for these products in the supermarkets or place an order online.

You could use their products in meals you probably wouldn’t even think of, see recipes for examples.

  • We received these products free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Meal Planning Mondays 15/10/18

Well the week before last and last week was a complete blur and I forgot my meal planning too. The week just flew by and my birthday just flashed before my eyes as I was just another year older.  We discovered we had rodent friends visiting from under the house into the electrical cupboard because our dog became very interested in there so we had to deal with that.

Then last week it was my husband’s birthday, I was in London at a client meeting but was home normal time so was OK and we celebrated the weekend with a meal out.

This week is a short week too at home for meals, will explain more next week.

This week’s meal plans are courtesy of Hello Fresh & My cook box.  Look out for my full review soon.

Hungarian chicken pasta

Cheats lamb moussaka

Butternut & goat’s cheese quesadillas

Creamy mushroom pasta

Be More Active In Your Child’s Life

We know that as a mom, you’ll be doing absolutely everything at the minute to be the best you can be for your children. You’ll go to work, do the cooking, the cleaning, the washing and the dressing. The list could go on, because moms really are like superheroes when it comes to the amount of tasks they are able to do. But with all of this in your schedule, it can sometimes be hard to actually be active in your child’s life. You’re so focused on making sure everything is in order, that you forget that actually being present with your toddler is the most important think, The younger children years are more confusing for your child than you might think. They’re moving their way through school, heading towards high school and their emotions will start growing and growing. So, we want to show you a few simple ways you can be more active in your children’s life, as well as do everything you’re used to doing!

Boy, Cute, Child, Infant, Indian, Asian, Kid, Childhood

Engage In Play

This is actually a big one that a lot of parents forget to do, because they’re not exactly sure what to do. Think about how many times you’ve been rushing around the house doing what you do, and your child has been sat playing with their toys chatting away to themselves. This is the perfect time to stop what you’re doing, and sit down for half an hour to actually play with them. Get down on their level, and actually show interest with what they’re doing. You need to make sure they’ve got a good set of toys, and if they need something new, you should definitely check out grimms toys for a colourful addition. You can also make sure you’re creating games to play with them. Whether it be you initiating hide and seek, or seeing who can paint the best picture!

Treat Them Like A Mini Adult

If you want to try and keep their troublesome younger child years as easy as possible, you need to try and make sure you’re treating them like a mini adult as much as possible. As they get towards the ages of 8 or 9 years, they want to be more independent, and as parents we generally don’t like that happen. We prefer to keep them bubble wrapped, and do absolutely everything for them, even when they don’t want us to. So, within reason, just let them do as they would like to do. If they want to dress themselves, let them chose what they’re going to wear for the day and just make sure it looks ok within reason. You can guide them on what looks good, but you don’t have to tell them what to wear.

Help Them With Friendships

Friendships are a big part of everyone’s life, and they really start to flourish during their younger school years. It’s a vital part of their lives where they learn how to socialise, and what to do during social situations. It’s also one of their main play outlets, especially when they’re at school or if you have playdates with your friends children. Help them to become confident in social situations, and teach the importance of sharing and being kind etc. They will keep these values with them for the rest of their life!