Hearty Sausage Casserole Recipe A Perfect Winter Warming Dish

If you are looking for a warming and hearty recipe for all the family this Winter I have a great easy to make recipe for you today, my hearty sausage casserole. This post is in collaboration with Schwartz, the go-to food company that produces herbs, spices and recipe mixes to add that authentic taste to your cooking.

For this hearty casserole, the ingredients are easy to source, and you don't have to worry about finding the individual herbs and spices as you have the casserole mix. You can make this by the book, by following the instructions on the back of the packet or put your own twist on it.


1 sachet Schwartz Sausage Casserole Recipe Mix
450g (1lb) sausages
1 Spanish onion, sliced
2 tbs tomato puree
100g (4oz) button mushrooms, halved

100g (4oz) frozen peas
1 large carrot chopped
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
300ml (½ pint) cold water


1. Fry sausages well until browned all over in 1 tablespoon of oil. 

2. If there is any excess liquid be sure to drain it.  
3. Add one sliced Spanish onion and cook until soft. 
4. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for a further minute. 
5. Add the carrot, chopped and the halved mushrooms. 

6. Mix sachet with the water and add to the mixture, bring to the boil. 

7. Add frozen peas.
8. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the sausages are cooked.  

9. Serve with mashed or boiled potatoes and your choice of veg.

You can also cook this recipe in a slow cooker. Brown the sausages, then add everything to the slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on low. Eat and enjoy!

If you want you can freeze this recipe, which is great if you are like batch cooking for the week. When the food is cool transfer to a freezer-proof container, cover, label and pop in the freezer. Use within a month of freezing for best results. Defrost thoroughly then transfer to a saucepan and gently heat until its hot throughout.

This sausage casserole from Schwartz is a hearty and tasty meal suitable for all the family. It has a sauce that is slightly sweet with a rich tomato taste. I hope you like my version of it. Let me know, do you like sausage casserole? Have you used a Schwartz packet of herbs and spices?

*Schwartz have gifted me this product but all opinions are my own.

5 Tips For Decorating A Big Bathroom

When looking for decoration and renovation tips you will often see plenty of articles detailing how to make the most of a small space but very few seem to focus on the reverse problem, what to do if the space is too big! Having more space than you need in your bathroom can make the room feel sparse and unwelcoming so here are 5 tips to help you fill the void.

Choose statement fittings

With plenty of space to play with you are in the very fortunate position to be able to experiment with statement fittings such as freestanding baths and double sinks. A freestanding bath is a perfect way to fill empty floor space and can act as a focal point for the room. Experiment with soft curves, classic shapes or more angular modern alternatives that suit the style of the room. Also, consider a statement shower or wetroom. To keep the quality of the water perfect also fit a number one shower filter.

Segment the space

Creating separation between areas of your bathroom is another clever way to make the room feel more cosy and homely. Break up big expanses of the floor with texture in the form of bath mats and rugs. You may also want to consider using a decorative screen between the bath and the toilet area which can help to give the illusion of two separate rooms whilst providing a little more privacy. Cleverly placed furniture and plants are two other ways to provide the feel of segmented space without blocking off corners of the room. 

Include ample amounts of storage

Plentiful storage is every homeowner’s dream so if your bathroom is one of the more spacious areas of your home then make the most of the space by incorporating cupboards and shelving to store bathroom essentials such as towels, spare toilet rolls, bathroom products and cleaning items. Try to keep the unattractive items tucked away and leave room on the visible shelving units for decorative features such as candles and fresh towels.

Play with soft furnishings

Soft furnishings can be used in the bathroom to great effect. When you have a spacious, well-decorated space make the most of it by incorporating a reading chair in a snug corner, complete with a small bookshelf and side table. You may also want to consider some statement drapes and curtains to frame the window, with plenty of space to play with you needn’t worry about thick, heavy curtains making the room feel closed off

Make use of height

In some cases, the space in your bathroom may not be as a result of particularly large floor space but a tall ceiling. Tall bathrooms with long sash windows beg for statement drapes and big lighting features such as indulgent chandeliers. With plenty of hanging room, you can choose a lighting feature which will be unique to the bathroom space and really make it the centre of attention. Another great way to make use of height in the bathroom is through the use of tall wall radiators which will not only help to heat the large space but also provide great hanging space for wet towels and other items.

*Collaborative post

How To Choose The Best Broadband Package

Choosing the best broadband package for your home can be a difficult affair. There are so many things to consider. How many people and/or how many devices will be using the broadband connection? What do you require the broadband for? Here’s some top tips to find the perfect broadband package for you.

Check the reviews

It is important to check out broadband reviews to see which providers get the best feedback from their customers. The last thing you want to do is go with a provider and then find out that they have awful feedback and poor customer service - you won’t have any confidence in going to them if you have a problem. How a company treats its customers and rectifies its mistakes is always an important consideration when it comes to signing up to a company.

There are many companies to choose from - Virgin Media, Sky and BT are the leading providers but there are other companies who offer broadband including energy companies and mobile phone companies.

What type do you want?

Now we all know the term broadband but did you know there are multiple different types of broadband you can have. The most popular is fibre broadband which is available to 19 out of 20 UK homes and businesses. Unfortunately, there are still some homes that cannot access fibre broadband so an alternative such as ADSL or satellite is required. You might also want to consider mobile broadband too.

Research which broadband types are available in your area before then opting for a company that is the right type for you. When choosing, check out the satellite internet upload speed being offered if you regularly upload images and videos to the internet. You want a fast speed for this.

Work out what you need it for

Do you need it for light use - will you only be online very occasionally? If so, you may not need a high-speed package, with lots of download data and the simplest lowest package would be perfect for you. However, if you like to stream TV, play games or there are a multitude of people in the home accessing the internet, then you will definitely need a package for heavy users to ensure you have the fast speed you require.

With families accessing it for different reasons such as homework, gaming, YouTube, online shopping and perhaps even working from home, there is bound to be plenty of heavy usage day in day out. Some might use more during the evening when everyone is at home, other families might use it constantly and consistently throughout the day.

You will also want to work out what type of data you need - if you are heavy users, you will probably want unlimited but if you aren’t, then a much lower data package should work for you.

Can you afford to be tied in?

When it comes to broadband packages, you will often get tied into a 12 month or 24 month subscription. If you don’t want to be tied in, this may prove quite difficult. Before signing up to anything though, make sure you are happy with the deal because leaving your subscription before it is up could mean you have to pay some expensive leaving fees.

Check out broadband deals or bundle offers

There are often many broadband deals around so look around before choosing to sign up to anything. Sometimes you can even get great bundle deals - if you are looking to get a home phone line or a TV package, then it might be worth opting for a bundle deal that offers all three. Compare the costs of what they would be separately and work out if the bundle is worth the money they are asking for it.

Once you have considered all these different factors, you will hopefully be able to find the right broadband package for you and your family.

Win One Of Two Hampers Ends: 10/12

Merry Christmas! Yes I know it's early but before long Christmas will be here and we will all be panic buying for gifts for loved ones. I'm making a conscious effort this year to cut the cost of Christmas by not buying unneeded gifts, buying in sales, making presents and entering competitions to win presents. Christmas is just not worth getting into debt for. 

Talking of entering competitions, Have you ever done this? I have won many prizes entering competitions in my time, including weekend breaks away, a TV, an IPAD, gift vouchers, a games console and a number of hampers. It's a lovely feeling when you are told you've won a fantastic prize that's for sure and even nicer when you get the gift in the post! 

Today on my blog and in the run-up to the big day, I have teamed up with some fantastic bloggers to help bring you the chance to win a delicious hamper to enjoy or gift this December. These hampers are filled to the brim with delicious treats such as  Mince Pies, Wine, Biscuits, Chocolate, Popcorn and so much more! 

So who has teamed up to bring to you this prize? These amazing bloggers below.

Diary Of A Jewellery Lover |Just Average Jen |Being Tilly's Mummy | Miss Tilly and Me | Don't Cramp My Style | Rhian Westbury | Dungarees and Donuts | MissLJBeauty | Melanie's Fab Finds | A Testing Time | Pretty Core | Futures | emmadrew.info | Mrs Pinch | Lisahh Jayne | Life in a Break Down | Simply Saving | UK Lifestyle Hub | UK Bloggers 

So how can you be in with a chance of winning one of the two hampers as pictures above? Well, all you need to do is let us know using 8 words or more the following: What are you most looking forward to about Christmas and who will you be spending it with? Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

This prize is being administrated by Sarah of UK Bloggers / Life in a Break Down for any issues please contact her at sarah@uk-bloggers.co.uk. 

For full terms and conditions please view the Rafflecopter widget. 

*Please also note if this hamper is out of stock when the competition ends, an alternative of the same value will be ordered.

Lab Created Diamonds - An Ethical Choice For Christmas

Have you heard of lab-created diamonds? Lab-created diamonds are grown by scientists in a lab and display the same optical and scientific properties of diamonds naturally formed in the earth. 
At the moment only a small percentage of diamonds sold in the world are lab-created diamonds but this is growing and growing for a reason.
Lab-created diamonds are thought to be infinitely more eco-friendly. Whilst diamond mining isn't as bad for the environment as other types of mining using chemicals to extract gems, there are still concerns over deforestation, earth displacement and the use of energy and water consumption used in the mining process.  Diamonds that are lab-created do not have these issues and that can only be a good thing.
Attractive prices
Lab-created diamonds are 30 to 50 per cent cheaper than naturally mined diamonds. This makes them more affordable to the average person. They still have the dazzling shine and stunning beauty of a naturally mined diamond but are more affordable to buy and are accessible to more people. 
Recognition by De Beers

De Beers, the international cooperation that focuses on mining and marketing diamonds have devised a way of telling natural from manmade diamonds but you cannot tell with the naked eye. In fact they are extremely difficult to tell apart, even most jewellers wouldn't be able to tell and the natural inclusions in a naturally mined diamond are the main reason. Lab-created diamonds are almost too perfect, it's true! Of course, people will always want natural diamonds due to their rarity but if you are looking for an affordable and eco-friendly choice then lab-created diamonds are an amazing alternative.
Lark & Berry

So where can you get a lab-created diamond? A jewellery company that sells lab-created diamond jewellery is Lark & Berry. Lark & Berry feel that growing their diamonds in a lab eliminates ethical questions like whether the stones exchanged hands to fund war, or the damage mining does to local communities.  
Lark & Berry was born out of a taste for being unique and to stand out in the diamond market. The owner of the company Laura Chavez was frustrated in not being able to buy high-quality diamonds, ethically sourced at an affordable price and so the company was born.

Selling a range of gorgeous lab-created diamond and precious stone jewellery including diamond rings, diamond necklaces, bracelets and earrings, with Lark & Berry you can be assured every item of jewellery is of high quality, chic and effortlessly ethically stylish.
Their classic jewellery is ...well, just beautiful. Diamond engagement rings made for today's woman with princess cut diamonds, or round brilliant cut diamonds have a simple setting or a subtle twist, whilst the outstanding halo engagement ring is sure to catch the light. My favourite is the Nocturnal coloured diamond wrap ring, a popular fashion-led style. The asymmetrical ring is dotted with diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies of different sizes and is a standout statement ring of epic proportions. 

You can buy all the jewellery featured from Lark & Berry jewellery online and at the stores in London, New York, LA and Hong Kong. 
Let me know, which of these designs featured do you love? Would you buy lab-created diamonds?
*Collaborative post

The Health Benefits Of Badminton And Win A Racket Set Ends 15/12

It won't be long until it's Chrismas and then the New Year's resolutions will be in full swing. I don't know about you but every New Year my resolutions always seem to revolve around health and fitness, generally trying to eat healthier and get more exercise. 

One exercise I enjoyed when I was younger was badminton and I'm looking to play it more in the future. Did you know that there are several health benefits of playing badminton regularly? Let's have a look at what they are, and if you read to the end you will also get a chance to win a badminton set!

Improves reflexes, co-ordination and flexibility. 

Badminton is a sport where you have to move quickly and hit a fast-moving shuttlecock. This improves your reflexes and over time your co-ordination. Flexibility is also improved as you have to use your racket to hit high shots and low shots and move your body more than you have in a long time.

Great for your heart and lungs

The physical benefits of sports are well documented and badminton is especially great for your heart and lungs.  All the running around makes your heart beat faster and improves your lung capacity. Physical exercise like this on a regular basis will lower your blood pressure too. 

Can help you lose weight

Due to the number of calories burnt off per hour, over 450, badminton can help you lose weight, reduce cholesterol and keep you within your BMI, which is great for your overall health. 

Reduces stress

Exercise is well known to help you reduce stress levels. Concentrating on a sport like this will help you 'zone out' and make it difficult to think of anything else. After all the adrenaline of the physical exercise, the endorphins released will help you will feel relaxed and have a greater feeling of well being. 

Improves your mood and sleep

As mentioned above taking regular aerobic exercise like badminton will give you a greater feeling of well being and this, in turn, will improve your mood. Physical exercise like this will also improve your sleep, and you will feel better rested.

Increases social skills and maintains friendships

You need a partner to play badminton and it's a cool sport to play with friends or acquaintances if you join a badminton club. Playing with new people will increase your social circle too and you get to create new bonds as well.

So as you can see there are many health benefits of playing badminton. If you are looking to take up this sport, I have a great competition for you today. You can win this Asahaway starter set, from Badminton HQ, comprising of a pair of durable steel badminton rackets and a shuttlecock, suitable for beginners. Priced at £20 it is a great value set and would make a perfect Christmas gift.

Entry is easy via the Gleam app below, and once you are registered all it takes is a click on a button to enter. While you are here don't forget to enter my big Christmas competition too where you can win all your Christmas presents!
Good luck.

Win a badminton set

How To Cut The Cost Of Christmas

Christmas can be an expensive time of year. Most of us have felt the cost of Christmas by the time the January sales hit. However, I suggest we need a change of mindset at Christmas time. It doesn't all have to be about the amount we spend on friends and family. 

So let's have a look at ways we can cut the cost of Christmas. 

Shop in the sales

Black Friday and the January sales can be great times to get a discount on presents. Use sites that give you discount codes for the best deals on almost any brand. All my American friends talk about Dontplayfull as the go-to resource for online savings.  No one bats an eyelid in the US when they use a code for discounts in all manner of establishments. Any money saved you can use for essentials or luxuries whatever the state of your bank balance. 

Shop in charity shops

You can pick up a bargain at a charity shop. I especially like rummaging through movies and books in my local shop. When my son was small I picked up some great toys too, the ones that can be easily wiped clean. When children are young they don't care where their present is from. Check out your local charity shop for cool presents like Disney DVDs, toy trucks and storybooks, all well looked after at a fraction of the price of new.

Use auction sites

Auction sites are great for a bargain. Independent sellers sell new items and you can pick up a bargain on nearly new products too. Just make sure you check out the seller's feedback to ensure they are reliable too, as there are a very small amount of scammers around. 

Make your gifts

Sometimes more thoughtful gifts can mean much more and can be affordable too, so why not make your gifts?  If you are good at cooking, why not make some homemade fudge or chutney? If you are good at handicrafts knit a jumper or scarf as a gift. Make your own hamper for your grandparents at a fraction of the cost of buying one. Think about the skills you have and how that can turn into a great gift. I always remember the dolls house my dad made for me when I was a child. It was a bit rough around the edges but it was the best present I ever had.

Win your gifts

Have you thought about entering competitions as a hobby? If you have the time why not give it a go and you could win your Christmas presents in time for next year. I used to enter competitions all the time, and I've won breaks away, the latest tech, hampers and more. Set up an email address just for competitions so you can keep the spam separate to your normal email address and check out competition sites like Loquax, Competition Database or The Prizefinder for competition listings. Also while you are here, why not enter one of my competitions too?!

Gift your time

Gift your time and your skills. Many people are time poor so why not gift your time and your skills? If your sister has a young family, gift her a babysitting voucher for Christmas so she can have a night out. If your gran needs help with shopping online, gift her a voucher so you can teach her how to shop safely.  If your friend has dogs, offer to walk them for her once a week for a month. Gifts like these can mean a lot.

Save your loyalty points

Many shops have loyalty cards and loyalty schemes, so sign up for the cards and use them throughout the year. Supermarkets like Tescos and Sainsburys and high street stores like Boots and Superdrug have especially good schemes so if you shop throughout the year and use your card, it can soon add up. Keep the vouchers for Christmas to help with your gift buying. Supermarkets also have their own food stamps that you can buy and in December many will give you an extra stamp or two if you fill up their savings card. Worth considering!

Spend less on Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner can be very expensive. So think about cutting the cost of Christmas dinner. Firstly see if you can get invited to Christmas dinner at someone's home, but don't forget to take a bottle of wine and a gift.  If that isn't an option, go through a list of what you need and see if you can make it cheaper. Do you really want turkey which gets hiked up in price, when a chicken will be nicer? Go for supermarket own products like cranberry sauce rather than the big brands. If you can make gravy from scratch, do so as it will be much cheaper than bought gravy. Or ask guests to bring an item, like stuffing, the dessert or the crackers to help you cut the cost.

Don't buy unnecessary presents 

When all else fails, agree not to buy unnecessary presents, after all, Christmas is about family and friends, not presents.  This is easy to do if no kids are involved, of course. If your budget for Christmas is exceptionally tight, for example, if you are a student, are on benefits or just strapped for cash this year, those that matter will understand. You can always buy a token present like a box of chocolates. Don't forget, Christmas is not worth getting into debt over.

Do you have any ideas on how to cut the cost of Christmas?

Secret Escapes Within Striking Distance Of London

London is a big, bustling, frothing city full of life. Sometimes, though, you want to leave it behind and find a bolt-hole out in the countryside where you can relax and unwind. 

London’s urban sprawl doesn’t go on forever. Eventually, you’ll hit the green belt, and from there, it’s out into the shires. Fortunately, the counties surrounding London are chock full of stunning, luxurious, and relaxing hotels - the perfect base for exploring the city.

Here are some favourites.

The Montcalm Marble Arch Hotel, London

The Montcalm Marble Arch Hotel is a luxury hotel at the top of Park Lane. It's very close to the centre of London including Mayfair, Regent's Street and Oxford Street. It has beautiful contemporary decor and features 153 rooms and 14 exceptional suites. 

Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, LCD Tv with satellite channels and a pillow menu. Service is attentive and discreet. A must stay.

The Grove, Hertfordshire

The Grove in Hertfordshire is a converted historical estate dating back to the seventeenth century. Just 18 miles from London, it features a spa, golf course and a famous restaurant. What’s more, getting airport transfers from Loughton to the hotel is easy.

The mansion is ideal for people travelling to the UK from overseas who want to experience what the Old World is all about. Log fires burn in every room, there’s a grand library, and the gardens are stunning during the summer months.

Langshott Manor, Gatwick

Gatwick might be the UK’s second busiest passenger terminal, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t quiet corners nearby to relax and unwind. One of the best is arguably Lanshott Manor, an Elizabethan mansion that offers stylish gardens, fine dining and an ancient moat.

Langshott Manor, like Gatwick airport, is some distance from the city of London, accessible via the M23. It’s the perfect hideaway for a romantic weekend break or an ideal base for anybody holidaying in the southeast who wants to dip in and out of the hustle and bustle of London.

Pennyhill Park Hotel, Bagshot

Pennyhill Park Hotel lies in the heart of Surrey, one of the most beautiful and prestigious counties in England. The former stately home sits in a 120-acre estate and, according to many reviewers, offers one of the best spa experiences in the country.

The hotel has a semi-boutique feel, but is actually quite large, with more than 123 luxury bedrooms spanning several floors. Management at the hotel has tried to keep the contemporary style while also adding a host of modern amenities expected by international luxury travellers.

The hotel itself is, of course, beautiful, but it’s also within striking distance of some of the UK’s most famous attractions, including Windsor Castle and Ascot.

The Crown, Amersham

The Crown is a little different from the stately homes and country manors we’ve discussed so far. It’s a converted coach house, offering more than 40 bedrooms, a bar, and close access to the London Metropolitan line. The restaurant serves up seasonal salads and grilled meats every night, making it well worth a visit if you want a luxury British pub experience. 

So here are some secret escapes within striking distance of London. Have you been to any of these places?

*Collaborative post

Managing Expectations: Will Hearing Aids Restore Your Hearing Capacity?

Just in the United States, an approximate 28.8 million Americans could benefit from hearing aids. However, many of these folks either can’t afford hearing aid technology or are in denial in terms of how well hearing aids might suit them.

For those who do opt for hearing aids, they often find that these incredible devices are life changers. Just from gaining back some of their hearing, they’re able to avoid common misunderstandings and better engage in conversations with loved ones. With proper hearing, one gains more independence.

But are hearing aids right for you? Read through these hearing aid facts below to discover if they’ll meet your expectations and if they are the appropriate treatment for you.

1. Hearing aids can’t cure hearing loss. 

One misconception surrounding hearing aids is that they are temporary devices are worn to “cure” hearing loss. Others believe that they will completely restore hearing to its normal level when worn as if these devices are perfect alternatives for normal-functioning parts of the ear. Hearing loss can even occur in children. If this is the case a 
private pediatric audiologist will be able to advise.

The truth is, hearing aids are merely a form of treatment. Just like with eyeglasses, as long as one wears their hearing aids, their impairment will temporarily resolve. The second they take them out, however, their impaired sense will return. Additionally, wearing hearing aids will never be exactly like having “normal” hearing. However, it certainly helps make hearing much easier. 

2. The adjustment process to hear again takes time when you get hearing aids.

When you get a new pair of glasses, you notice that you see better. Although, you might also feel a little woozy. It’s also not uncommon to feel like you've strained eyes and/or have a headache after wearing brand new glasses for the first time. The adjustment process is similar when you get hearing aids.

Upon wearing hearing aids for the very first time, you may notice that your hearing is different. Regardless, you may have difficulty in the beginning with the amplification of your hearing devices. With time and patience for you and your brain to readjust to better hearing, you will eventually adapt, just as you would with glasses.

3. Not everyone with a hearing impairment will find hearing aids to be the most applicable form of treatment.

Hearing loss can be due to a variety of things, from exposure to loud noises to a heavy wax buildup to natural ageing. In addition, not everyone with a hearing impairment will hear exactly the same - some more and some less than others. For these reasons, it’s safe to say that hearing aids may not be most applicable for every single person with hearing loss. 

However, because only about 5% of those with a hearing impairment benefit from surgeries or other medical procedures, most individuals with hearing loss will need hearing aids at some point. Only a medical professional can decide the right course of treatment for you or a loved one.

Are you ready to check out the latest hearing aids? With ITE hearing aids that are nearly invisible, you never have to worry about feeling embarrassed or out of place!


Although hearing aids may not be the best option for everyone depending on why they have hearing loss and the extent of it, h
earing aids have helped and will continue to help millions of hearing-impaired individuals worldwide.

*Collaborative post

The Advantages Of A Cruise Holiday

There are so many ways to travel, and one which is exciting and has many advantages is cruising. It's not just a way to get to your destination, it's a holiday in its own right.  With all the facilities onboard some of the cruise ships, you don't even have to leave the ship if you don't want to.  There are plenty more advantages too. Let's have a look at the main advantages of a cruise holiday and why they are so popular in this day and age.

The ease of all-inclusive

If you have ever travelled all-inclusive before, then you will know how much easier it can make things. This is certainly true of cruise holidays, which are always of the all-inclusive type, and therefore a particularly easy way to have a holiday.  You don’t have to worry about anything not being included, or any further costs in particular, as you have it all arranged beforehand. Things that are included include delicious food, drink, entertainment from singers to magic shows, excursions and more. That makes it much easier to just sit back and enjoy the holiday - which, after all, is exactly what a holiday is for.

You can visit multiple destinations

A cruise is a great opportunity to travel for anyone who struggles to land on one particular destination. If you always find that you don’t know exactly where you want to go because you have so many places that are screaming out for you, or if you and your partner always argue about it, then going on a cruise can easily solve all of that. In most cruises, you will get to see a large number of destinations all as part of the same trip, so this is absolutely something that is worth considering. If nothing else, it means that there is likely to be something for everybody. Want a cruise of the Caribbean? Tick! Want a river cruise through Europe?  Tick! You can see so many destinations in one holiday with a cruise.

For what you get it's inexpensive

Generally, for what you are getting on a cruise holiday, you are not paying as much as you might expect. 
Don't forget many include all your food and drink and excursions too as well as entertainment onboard. It can be especially inexpensive if you can manage to find a good deal with a cruise company if you know where to look. Shopping around with something like the Bolsover Cruise Club will throw up plenty of cruise deals that you can consider, so if you are trying to watch the pennies you will find that this is pretty easy to do it.

Easy eating great for fussy people

Eating is usually a big part of any cruise holiday, so anything you can do to make this easier is going to mean an easier and more enjoyable holiday. I have already mentioned that this will generally be included in the price of a cruise, but that’s not the only way in which eating is going to be easy. It is also because you will generally have a lot of choice in what you can eat, and that means it appeals to many people, even the fussy ones.  No worrying about where you are going to eat each day is a great perk too. There may be options to eat A La Carte as well for an extra supplement, and this is perfect if you want a change one night, or a more intimate romantic meal.

So here are the advantages of a cruise holiday. Have you ever been on a cruise? Does this type of holiday appeal?

*Collaborative post

The Joy Of Missing Out

The digital revolution has opened up many doors for us, and plenty of them have been positive. For example, I now work from home when in the past I wouldn't have been able to. With the creation of the internet and devices like smartphones, we literally have the world at our fingertips - so why does it also feels like we have the world on our shoulders? Digital platforms such as social media has allowed us to reconnect and stay in contact with friends and loved ones in what feels like a more intimate fashion that ever before. It has also bombarded us with perfect images of other peoples curated worlds which can sometimes feel overwhelming and create insecurity - even if deep down we know many of these images are filtered to the max and edited beyond their original composition. I mean, how many times have we met someone in person that we have mainly been following on the internet and realised they don’t have the airbrushed perfect skin or are much older than we have been led to believe?

FOMO - Fear of Missing Out 

Tap into any of your social media apps and within a few minutes it’s very easy to fall down into the rabbit hole of despair - everyone is either at an amazing party, on the beach or spending a huge chunk of money on items you have been lusting after for years. How can this be? How does everyone seem so...ahead of you all of a sudden? Well, I am happy to say that you aren’t alone in suffering from FOMO. In fact, it’s more common than you think especially with the younger generation.  A recent survey of 18 -25 years olds revealed that looking at sites such as Instagram, can make the suffer from FOMO - 50 percent in fact, with a further 46 percent saying social media makes them wish they could travel more and said it made them feel their own lives are unexciting. While 43 percent said they haven’t achieved as much as their peers.

JOMO - Joy Of Missing Out 

Ever log into social media in a happy mood to find it deflated within a few minutes of scrolling? This isn’t an isolated feeling, in fact there is a whole movement around stepping away from the screen, ceasing the scrolling and not attending events to impress your digital audience. JOMO - or the joy of missing out is basically the opposite of FOMO. It’s taking the time to enjoy just being you, or being you with other people away from the digital noise. It's certainly growing in popularity with companies like giffgaff making a JOMO generator to offer hints and tips on how to be more JOMO and sites such as experience JOMO being set up to actively encourage people to engage in this exercise. 

I have to admit I've been making a conscious effort to get away from technology on a regular basis and it does make me feel better when I do. The world isn't going to end if you leave your phone at home, so go out for a walk, get away from the technology and breathe in the fresh air. You will feel better for it.

So what about you? What are your experiences with social media, your phone and the impact that it has? Comment below but make sure this is after a period of digital detoxing so you get your JOMO time in!

3 Simple Lifestyle Changes That Can Help with Anxiety

Knowing the reason behind your anxiety can really be effective in managing it. Many of us have faced the signs and symptoms of anxiety, whether writing an exam or when interviewing for a new job. Some of us find it difficult to stop feeling anxious in seemingly ordinary situations, leaving a lasting effect on our quality of life. So, it is very important to figure out what is going on and why you are feeling so anxious. The fantastic thing about our brain is that it can rewire itself all the time; this is called neuroplasticity.

By making some very simple but not easy lifestyle changes, you can literally boost your brain’s ability to help heal itself and reduce your anxiety forever. Another thing to remember is that with or without medication, you will have to make some lifestyle changes. One of the most critical changes will be to change your diet; there are certain foods that can alleviate your anxiety, and there are some foods you need to avoid because they can worsen your symptoms. Below are three simple lifestyle changes that I have discovered that can help with anxiety.

Exercise at least five times a week 

Whenever you can exercise as much as you can. Thirty minutes of exercise five times a week has been shown to help anxiety and depression, according to Anxiety UK, a national registered charity. Exercising has amazing effects on the brain as when you start exercising your blood flow will increase, and your brain will be filled with oxygen-rich blood and nutrients. Exercise also produces more neurons in your brain, so it stimulates the production of new brain cells. The best time to exercise is early morning, as when you begin your day with exercise it is said your mental capacity for handling stress nearly triples. The reason is that our brain recognizes exercise as a period of stress, heart rate increases and the brain kicks into a fight or flight mode. As a defence to this supposed threat, the brain starts producing chemicals that can help in alleviating anxiety.

Exercise is also known to help you feel better, and the positive mental effects of exercising last almost the entire day. Starting the day with a moderate exercise session leads to better diet choices, a faster metabolism, more energy and a sense of accomplishment. Morning rituals help people dealing with anxiety. This can be any physically stimulating activity, a trail run, an aerobics class, or even a brisk walk with your dog. Just get out of breath and have fun! Keep up to date with health advice on the NHS website and sites such as Rolling Paper which has board-certified physicians.

Cut back on coffee and caffeinated drinks

The problem with coffee is that it contains caffeine and consuming more than a cup or two of strong coffee in a day is a known cause for anxiety. Drinking too much coffee can worsen your anxiety over a period. Caffeine can create all kinds of body sensations that resemble a panic attack — consuming more than the recommended limit of coffee can create heart palpitations, tremors, sensations of anxiety, and nausea. Caffeine is also known to trigger panic attacks.

The way our body metabolizes coffee is partially based on our genetics. Coffee can be a silent cause of your anxiety, and for those of us who like to start our morning at the local cafe, this can be a tough habit to break. In this case, try substituting one cup for a herbal tea such as chamomile known to be calming, for example, or swap one caffeinated cup for decaffeinated. One thing worth mentioning here is that your morning routine can easily set the stage for the rest of the day. It may be easier for you to cut out that first cup than it is to cut out the second one. You should consider cutting back on coffee but also keep track of the caffeine content in other drinks like chocolate and all the energy drinks.

Yoga and deep meditation can help manage anxiety 

There are many meditation techniques in yoga. If you find yourself in one of the emotional spaces that make you feel anxious, one thing that can help is yoga and meditation. Yoga is filled with numerous activities that coordinate breathing with an empowering movement of the body, developing strength on the inside as well as the mind. So get practising meditation techniques. You will need that inner meditational strength to dig yourself out of that dark emotional anxiety that causes depression.

Dealing with anxiety is not easy, but you can help manage it. Other than medication and talking therapies, these three simple lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your anxiety. You must be aware that anxiety is not dangerous in itself, it may feel like terrible things are going to happen, but actually, nothing will happen. So help yourself, try these lifestyle changes and see if they work for you. I wish you a happy and prosperous anxiety-free life, and I hope you enjoyed reading my experiences that helped me with anxiety.