What To Do With All Your Garden Waste


Like many people in January, you’re trying to keep yourself occupied and looking ahead to happier times. So, you’ve been out in the garden getting things ready for the spring months. As a result, there’s a lot of garden waste that you now have to get rid of - or at least do something with. Some of the waste is natural - we’re talking twigs, weeds, plant trimmings, leaves and so on. But, you may also have some waste that’s not natural - like rubbish that’s blown into your garden, old broken plant pots, etc.

gardening


What do you do with all of this waste? Well, here are some ideas:

Separate your garden waste

As we just mentioned, you’re going to have different types of waste in your garden. Generally speaking, you can separate this waste into two categories:

  • Green waste
  • General waste

Green waste is anything that’s naturally occurring in your garden. This will include some of the things we already spoke about: grass cuttings, twigs, weeds, plant trimmings, leaves, wood chips, soil, shrubs and so on. All of these things can technically be reused or recycled in one way or another, so you should avoid chucking them in a bin.

General waste is anything that’s not naturally occurring in your garden. Alongside the rubbish and plant pots mentioned in the introduction, this can also include bricks, plastic bags, etc. You need to keep all of this separate from your green waste as it will be dealt with differently.

Create your own compost

Organic compost is used to help infuse your soil and make plants grow nice and healthy. It’s pretty expensive to buy, especially when you can make it yourself. If you have any old soil or leaves and twigs, you can leave them in a little compost bin in your garden. Some people will add their food waste to this as well, and it’s a smart way to recycle your waste and reuse it in your garden. You won’t be able to turn all of your garden waste into compost but you can get rid of a lot of it this way. Effectively, all of the green waste you separated earlier can be used as compost.

Collect the rest of your waste in a skip

Using a skip to store all of the other garden waste is a good idea for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it saves you from making numerous trips to your local waste disposal centre. Secondly, you have companies like Sheridan Skips that will dispose of your waste for you, trying to be as eco-friendly as possible. In essence, these companies are waste management experts, so they know what can be recycled and what has to be thrown away. When you make individual trips by yourself, you can often throw things away that can be recycled or chuck things in a recycling bin that actually can’t be recycled. So, using a skip just ensures that all the general waste from your garden gets disposed of correctly.

After these three steps, your garden will be clean and tidy. Any green waste will be reused as compost - give some to your neighbours if you have too much - and all the other waste will be nicely recycled or thrown away.

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What Clothes To Pack For New York In Spring

New York is one of those destinations that many people have on their bucket list. It's an iconic destination, with so much to see, from the Empire State Building, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square. 

New York

If you are thinking of visiting New York in the Spring then you've chosen a great time to visit. Now the weather in New York is known for its extremes, think hot muggy summers and freezing cold winters, but Spring and Autumn are the best times to visit for more ambient temperatures, that are better for sightseeing. The weather can be unpredictable though so it's good to be well prepared on what to wear. So let's have a look at what clothes to pack for New York in the Spring.

Comfy trainers

New York is a huge city and you will be walking miles. Ditch the flip flops and open-toed shoes, instead pack some comfy fashionable trainers to cover the miles walking. The last thing you want is for your feet to be aching and for you to get blisters. Protect the trainers with a waterproof spray so you don't get wet feet.

Long sleeve cotton tops

Layers are a great idea for the Spring weather in New York. It could be cold in February whilst April will be much warmer but still showery. Make sure you pack a selection of cotton long sleeve tops that will also be breathable when it gets warm. Neutral tones are always good for a capsule travel wardrobe but personally, I like a splash of colour with bright blue florals or pink or red designs.

Lightweight waterproof coat

9/11

No packing for New York would be complete without a lightweight waterproof coat. It won't take up much space in your suitcase, can go in a backpack when you are wandering around the New York streets and provides much-needed protection from the showers you will get in the Spring.

Dark denim stretch jeans

Stretch jeans are my go-to for every day where and dark denim stretch jeans are comfy and are smart enough so they can be worn day or night. Pair with a long sleeve shirt for those spring days or a camisole and sparkly top for nights in the New York bars. 

Evening tops

New York has an abundance of great restaurants and cool bars and people do make an effort to visit the theatre too, so pack some smarter clothes for the evening. Most places don't have a dress code, I even saw someone super casual in simple jeans in a Michelin star restaurant in New York.  I personally though feel better if I make an effort to dress smarter when going out to a nice restaurant or bar.  

Stylish trench coat

In the evening you want something smarter than a lightweight coat. Pack a stylish trench coat in a neutral colour so it will go with everything. A trenchcoat provides another layer of warmth but a waterproof layer when you are walking to that cook bar or restaurant. 

Classic boots

Classic boots are a wardrobe staple that can be worn day or night. Again go for comfortable boots and avoid high fashion designs with tiny heels as you will be walking a lot. If you pick the right style, a classic boot can be worn with jeans or dresses.

Woolly knitwear

top of the rock

Remember I mentioned layers? Well, it's important to pack a cardigan or sweater for those chilly days. Also New York in February will be must colder than New York in April so when you are thinking of any knitwear to pack, then pack accordingly, 

Essential Accessories

The weather changes a lot in the Spring so pack some of these accessories for the different climates. Pack some cool sunglasses for those sunny days with a good sun protection factor.  Pack some woolly gloves for those cold mornings and evenings. Pack a scarf for those windy days and trips on the Staten Island ferry. 

Anything else?

Just add some socks, underwear, nightwear, and a folding umbrella and you are good to go! Lastly don't forget a backpack or day bag for your essentials and an evening bag for those smarter places as well as a couple of pieces of your favourite jewellery.  Let me know, have you visited New York in the spring?

Check out my post on how to use the New York Citypass for inspiration. 

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Understanding The Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment containing female hormones used to replace the estrogen (also called oestrogen in the UK) or estrogen and progesterone that the body stops producing during menopause. Hormone replacement therapy is mostly used to treat commonly experienced menopause symptoms such as night sweats, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, mood shifts, weight gain, and sleep problems.

Hormone replacement therapy is also a good way to prevent bone loss and reduce fractures in postmenopausal women. However, there are some risks associated with the use of HRT. These risks depend on the hormone therapy that one uses, the dose, the period the medication has been taken, the age a woman starts it and the individual health risks.

It is generally thought that the benefits of HRT outweigh the risks, however, to have the best results on HRT, you should ensure that you evaluate your hormone replacement therapy often in collaboration with a doctor.

The basic hormone replacement therapy types

woman

Hormone replacement therapy mainly focuses on replacing the estrogen and progesterone that the body no longer produces after menopause. The two main types include:

• Systemic hormone therapy

The systemic hormone therapy comes in a skin patch, pills, ring, cream, gel, or spray form typically containing a higher level of estrogen that is absorbed all through the body. It can assist in treating the common symptoms of menopause.

• Low-dose vaginal products

Low-dose vaginal products come in tablets, ring, or cream forms. It helps to minimize the absorbed amount of estrogen in the body. Due to these facts, low-dose vaginal preparations and normally used to treat urinary and vaginal symptoms of menopause.

Benefits of hormone replacement therapy

HRT may:

  • Relieve night sweats and hot flashes
  • Help with better sleep
  • Ease itching and vaginal dryness
  • Relieve pain when having sex
  • Prevent fractures that are caused by osteoporosis
  • Reduce the chances of heart diseases in some women
  • Lower the chance of dementia
  • Lowers the chances of depression

The risks of hormone replacement therapy


Research has proven that in most cases the benefits of hormone replacement therapy typically outweigh the risks; however, HRT may raise the chances of:

• Endometrial cancer brought about by taking estrogen without progesterone while still having the uterus.

Blood clots

• Stoke

• A slight increase in breast cancer with combined HRT 

The risks vary depending on:

• Age

Women who started hormone therapy at 60 years or older or more than ten years from the start of menopause have a more significant risk of getting the above conditions. However, if the hormone therapy starts before 60 years or before ten years of menopause, the advantages should outweigh the risks.

• Type of hormone therapy

The risk of hormone therapy depends on whether the estrogen was used alone or with progesterone—the dose and also the kind of estrogen matter.

• Health history

Your personal and family medical history and risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, blood clots, osteoporosis, and liver disease are essential factors in determining if HRT is suitable for you.

Who can benefit from hormone replacement therapy?

The advantages of HRT may be more than the risks if a person is healthy and:

• Has average to severe the hot flashes

Systemic estrogen therapy is still the most suitable treatment for the relief of hot flashes and night sweats.

• Has many different symptoms of menopause

HRT can relieve vaginal menopause symptoms like itching, dryness, discomfort with intercourse, and burning as well as low mood, aches and pains, dry skin, and low sex drive.

• Needs to prevent fractures and bone lose

Systemic estrogen assists in protection against the bone-thinning illness called osteoporosis.

• Has estrogen deficiency due to a hysterectomy or experienced early menopause

If your ovaries were surgically removed before 45 years old, or you stopped receiving your monthly periods before this age, then your body is exposed to a lower amount of estrogen than women who experience normal menopause. HRT is indicated to help prevent symptoms such as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, mood changes, and dementia.

This post is for information purposes only and does not offer medical advice. As always research is ongoing into the effects of menopause and treatments. Always see a menopause specialist for further information and a treatment plan.

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How To Make A Small Business More Sustainable

Many consumers these days are changing their behaviour in the pursuit of a more sustainable lifestyle. A recent survey by Deloitte of over 2000 adults discovered that 85% surveyed were making more sustainable life choices than previously and 31% actively seek out brands with a strong sustainability and ethical focus. 

As a small business you may have already thought about how to make your business more sustainable for the benefit of the planet but it makes great business sense too. Why? Well, it can drive consumers to your company especially if you actively promote your eco-credentials. 

You may have already been looking at what actions you can do, but let's have a look in more detail at how you can make a small business more sustainable. 

Source sustainable products 

protect the planet

Source products that are ethically made and use sustainable practices. For example, Fairtrade produce where workers, farmers and artisan craftspeople are paid a fair price for their goods. It's important to look at the supply chain too. When I had my own jewellery shop, we always sold diamond jewellery that adhered to the Kimberley Process, which helped prevent conflict diamonds.  We knew where the diamonds were coming from and could trace the source. 

Use eco-friendly packaging 

biofriendly
Use eco-friendly packaging when needed and don't overpack or use too much packaging. The world could do with less packaging that ends up in landfill, don't you think?  Seriously avoid plastic bubble wrap, styrofoam and plastic wrapping. For sustainable packaging that literally won't cost the earth then check out companies like Tyler Packaging, which make affordable sustainable packaging including compostable, biodegradable and recyclable packaging. 

Conserve energy

light bulb
Buy low wattage light bulbs to conserve energy. Consider motion sensors for corridors to only see light when needed and that will turn on only when dark. Turn down the thermostat in the office or workspace. Switch off computers at the end of the day. Encourage staff to turn off lights when not in use. Smart meters can help you keep track of how much you are spending. If you have a kitchen in the work environment, only use the dishwasher when it's full. Consider creating your own energy by having solar panels installed. 

Transportation 

green car
If you have a company car, then a hybrid or electric car should be considered, and avoid a diesel car for its pollution. Encourage cycling to work by installing a bike stand in your office or workspace. Encouraging working from home, even part-time can help prevent pollution from car fumes.  Maybe you can car share and give other workers a lift?

It's the little things

recycling
Small things that you do can really count. Rather than print everything out go paperless. If you have to print,  set the printer to double-sided to conserve paper and use recycled paper.  Use eco-friendly ink or refill your cartridges. If you have to give a traditional business card, use a recycled card.  Be sure to make the recycling bags clear and in an obvious place so everyone knows what to recycle.  It's the little things that matter. 

Write a sustainability policy

go green

Write everything you are putting into practice down into a sustainability policy. You and your staff can see what you are aiming to do, the action plans and how your business is helping preserve the planet. These eco-credentials should be on your website, in your literature and promoted when you advertise. This will then attract customers who want to buy from a business that has eco-friendly practices. 

So here are some ideas on how to make a small business more sustainable. Do you have any ideas? Is it a selling point to you, if a business is eco-friendly?

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How to Style Your New Home Layout With An Architect

Having your home renovated or changed can be a big investment, and you want to make sure that it is absolutely perfect before walls get knocked down and the floors come up! The design stage of any home renovation project is the important phase, as this is what will determine how your home looks and feels when construction is completed. Working with your architect during the design process will be key in ensuring your project is perfect for your tastes and your budget.

You can personalise your home in several different ways, fitting to all budgets and styles. If you need more space, for example, a new bedroom, then a loft conversion is usually the best way to add an extra bedroom to your home. It is essential to have an architect involved in the loft conversion process, as you are going to be changing the structure of your home – and you will be spending a lot of money!


architect plans
For a loft conversion, there are many ways you can style your new space with help from your architect. You can choose to have in-built storage placed under the eaves, which would normally be wasted space. Your architect can split your new space into multiple rooms, including an ensuite bathroom, walk-in wardrobe or even a roof terrace! Adding multiple rooms to a property can improve its value, especially when they are beautifully designed and laid out by a good architect.


loft plans


Of course, a loft conversion may not be viable for your home, in which case you may be considering a home extension. Extending your house can either add width to your property, length or both. Extensions come in different shapes and sizes, and there is a lot of room for artistic license. You can work with your architect to style a glass extension or an extension that creates multiple rooms in a creative format. The best way to approach styling a home extension with your architect is to think of what you want from the space and how it will be used. From that, your architect will be able to propose viable ideas and architectural plans for your new living space.

Now, if you have a big budget, a great home renovation idea is to add a basement. Whilst costly, a basement adds a whole new level underneath your home – and the design options are endless! Have you ever thought of having an indoor balcony? This is a mezzanine and can be created to allow you to look down from the ground floor down to the basement level. You can have a basement kitchen, basement swimming pool and sauna – anything your heart (and budget!) desires! Your architect will be the key to making your dreams a reality.


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Luxury French Lingerie By Maison Lejaby

As I get older I appreciate quality more and think that it's worth paying extra for a little luxury. One of those luxuries I love spending money on is lingerie. Quality luxurious lingerie is beautifully designed, well made,  and makes you feel special. It's a luxury that is my new guilty pleasure.

One lingerie company that is worth buying from is the French lingerie company Maison Lejaby. This is an advertorial with Maison Lejaby but all words and opinions are my own.

Who Are Maison Lejaby?

blue lingerie

Maison Lejaby is a luxury lingerie and leisurewear company established in 1930 in Lyon France. Using the finest materials and expert designers they have created a reputation as having some of the best lingerie, especially cotton lingerie in France. Materials are bought from European fashion houses and cut and sewn together with impeccable skills and craftsmanship. Over the years they have become known as experts in lingerie due to them employing the best craftspeople in the area. 

What Types Of Products Do Maison Lejaby Sell?

cotton lingerie Maison Lejaby

Maison Lejaby products are designed with French know-how and encompass beachwear, sportswear, t-shirts, Yoga and Pilates clothes as well as swimwear, loungewear,  pyjamas and lingerie. 

black lingerie

Their lingerie includes bras that are full cup, push-up, underwired, strapless and post-surgery as well as full briefs, tangas, thongs, and shapewear.  They use high-quality fabrics in their products such as satin and velvet as well as cotton in their cotton lingerie and plant-based natural fibres.  

Their cotton lingerie range is called 'Cotton's Desire'. Cotton is a natural fibre that is breathable and is super soft against the skin. It absorbs natural sweat and drys well. The cotton lingerie Maison Lejaby range combines absorption, and softness with exceptional design and comfort. I love the neutral tones for daily use in the cotton lingerie range, perfect lingerie for everyday luxury.

Inclusive sizes 

lace lingerie

The company had a range of bra and panty sizes. The bra sizes 
I feel are inclusive from A cups to FF, G and H cups. Sizes are from 30 to 38. Sizes in other clothes such loungewear, pyjamas and yoga and pilates clothes go from an XS up to an XL. 

Sustainability

La Petite Lejaby

Maison Lejaby is committed to limiting waste and its ecological footprint at every stage of the company's activity to preserve the planet.

Their 'Renew Cult' products for swimwear are made from 100% recycled and recyclable yarn that is regenerated from fishing nets and their Modal is made from spinning plant-based fibres. Their 'Re-make' line is made with unused materials from the rest of their production chain, notably the French lace from their 'Crystal' lingerie line.

100 per cent of their packaging is recycled and recyclable and they are working hard to ensure 30% of their products will be eco-responsible within a year. Their products are delivered by lorry to reduce their carbon footprint too.

Conclusion

Mason Lejaby bodysuit

Maison Lejaby is a luxury French lingerie and leisurewear company that has some beautifully made lingerie including cotton lingerie. If you are looking for exceptional lingerie check out their website https://uk.maisonlejaby.com/.

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5 Ways To Give Your Garden An Easy Makeover

Before long it will be spring, so it's the perfect time to have a garden makeover. With a little time and minimal effort, you can really improve the look of your garden. Just imagine, sitting in your garden with a cup of tea, listening to bird song and looking at the flowers. Sounds idyllic, doesn't it? Let's have a look at 7 easy ways to give your garden an easy makeover. 

1. It's the little things that matter

weeding

Firstly take a long hard look at your garden or ask a friend to. What needs to be done straight away? Remove any rubbish in your garden, anything that shouldn't be there and find a place for it. Old bikes in your garden? Put them in the shed or if you are not using them sell them. Pick up the weeds from the lawn and remove any dead flowers. Just doing a general tidy up of your outdoor area will make all the difference. 

2. Add hanging baskets and pots

hanging basket

An easy way to add some colour to your garden is to add some hanging baskets or plants in pots. You can buy hanging baskets without flowers for about £5 each. Fill with some colourful trailing plants and you have something beautiful to look at that doesn't cost the earth. You can also get outdoor planter pots and fill with flowers such as begonias, coral bells or nemesia to make a colourful addition to your garden. 

3. Improve your seating area 

garden chairs
Most gardens have an area where you can put some seating. Firstly give this area a good deep clean, brush it over, then use some patio cleaner according to the instructions to remove any stains, black spots and algae. You can even buy biodegradable cleaner which is kid and dog friendly. If you already have garden furniture give it a good wash, or invest in some new chairs or luxury rattan furniture if you have the money.

4. Improve your garden storage

shed

It's useful to have some garden storage especially if you have a small home. A garden shed will make a useful addition to keep your tools, garden accessories, and bikes in and tidy away anything you don't want to see in your garden.  If you have a garden shed already, see if it could do with a lick of paint or wood stain to protect it in all weather.  Garden sheds can be picked up from around £200 but if that is beyond your budget you can still pick up a garden storage box for under £50. 

5. Makeover the lawn the easy way

lawn

If your lawn is past its best and you have some money to throw at it, buy a new lawn. This is a quick and easy way to have a low maintenance garden way in no time. You can pay someone to returf it for you or do it yourself. No planting seeds, no spending months waiting for it to grow. Another thing you could do is buy artificial turf. Some of the modern artificial turfs look fairly natural and you won't have to worry about weeds. This is perfect for a low maintenance look. 

So here are 5 ways in which to give your garden an easy makeover. Let me know, do you love your garden or does it need some tender loving care?

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How To Stop Ruining Your Chesterfield Sofa

The average low / medium quality sofa should last for anywhere between 10 and 15 years, whereas a better quality one should have a lifespan of at least 25 years. However, most people do not take adequate care of their furniture to ensure that it lasts as long as it should. 

chesterfield sofa

So in order to ensure that your Chesterfield Sofa lasts as long as possible, I have put together a helpful list of things that you can do to stop ruining it.

Do Not Keep Sitting In The Same Spot

Most of us find a spot on our sofa that we enjoy sitting in and keep on going back to that each and every day. However, doing this is actually really bad for the piece of furniture as over time it breaks down the fibres and wears the springs down. In order to avoid this from happening, make sure that you alter where on the sofa that you sit, distributing your weight more evenly right across the sofa.

Do Not Allow It To Be Used As A Playground

If your house is home to children or pets, then they can have a tendency to play around on the sofa, jumping and bouncing on it for their entertainment. The problem with doing this is that doing this has the potential to damage the integrity of the frame of the piece of furniture meaning that cracks could develop and less support being provided.

Do Not Let Stains Set In Place

As soon as something is spilt on a chesterfield sofa you must clean it away immediately, as the longer that the stain has to set in place the harder it is to remove. The severity of a stain depends on the substance that has been spilt on the furniture and the material on the sofa. Regardless of these two factors, it is still very important to tackle the spillage as quickly as you possibly can.

Do N
ot Sleep On It

Chesterfield sofas are designed for people to sit on whilst reading a book or watching the television and should never be slept on like they are a bed. Although it may sometimes be very tempting to do this given how comfortable this type of furniture is, it will cause sagging of both the cushions and the frame. Whilst the occasional afternoon nap on there is fine, it is not advisable to sleep for 8+ hours on the sofa.

Do Not Expose It To Direct Sunlight

A direct hit of sunlight onto a sofa can have a bleaching effect and can cause severe fading over time. In order to avoid this from happening, be sure to position your sofa in a spot in your home that is well out of the way of direct sunlight or at least rotate it every so often.

By following this advice, your chesterfield sofa should last for as long as possible, thus saving you time and money on having to look for and purchase a replacement.


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5 Home & Garden Ideas For 2022

Looking for some home improvement ideas and inspiration in the new year, as you plan out your next project? I’ve put together a short guide with five different home and garden ideas that you might want to try in 2022, including energy-conscious solar panelling, smart tech upgrades, and even the benefits of artificial lawns over traditional gardens. Read on to get started.

Garden Trends


Switching to Artificial Grass

Keeping and maintaining a garden all year round can be a difficult task, and many working people simply don’t have the time to allocate to gardening regularly. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have an impressive, inviting outdoor space to unwind and relax in – something particularly important in 2022 when people are spending increasing amounts of time outdoors.

Rising in popularity throughout the UK, artificial grass is a modern, easy garden solution for those wanting that ‘freshly-cut’ grass look, at all times. Leading UK supplier Grass Warehouse state that fake grass rolls remove the need for pesticides and chemicals, and also come in numerous pet-friendly varieties – ideal for those sick of cleaning up after their pet’s muddy paws coming in and out of the home after play.

Solar Panelling


Environmentally conscious changes and home improvements are of course popular in 2022. If you have the option and can afford the initial investment, installing solar panelling onto your property can not only provide clean, green energy to your home, but can also be a great way of saving money on electricity bills in the long term. 

Home Trends

home office
Smart Home Technology

If you’re looking to make your home feel more modern and forward-thinking as you head into the new year, upgrading to smart home technology can be a great place to start. Better still, it doesn’t have to be an expensive move.  The Amazon Echo smart speaker device gives you everything you need to get started with voice automation, alarms, notifications and more.

It’s estimated that a huge percentage of homes around the country will already have some sort of smart device. If you already have one of these devices, perhaps think about some of the other appliances that you might be able to connect to it, in order to get your home running like a well-oiled machine.

Plants and Greenery

Investing in some potted plants and greenery for different rooms can be a quick and easy way to freshen up a space and breathe a bit more life into it. Aside from the visual benefits, plant life can also have positive health implications, such as improving air quality and aiding concentration.

The Perfect Home Office

Going to be working from home a lot more this year? It might be worth taking a look at your home office space, and seeing if there is anything you can upgrade. Having a clear, good-sized desk space will help you to stay organised, and you should also make sure you have a good quality office chair to prevent back pain or posture issues in the long term.

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The 5 Most Healthy (And 5 Least Healthy) Breakfast Foods

Just what should you be eating when planning a healthy breakfast? Below is a guide to some of the healthiest options and some of the least healthy options so that you know exactly what you should be putting on your plate in the morning.

The 5 most healthy

healthy breakfast

Eggs

When you’re craving something savoury, eggs are a good option. Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. On top of being full of protein, they contain a range of vitamins and minerals including calcium, zinc, folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Vitamin K. Also, while they do contain a lot of cholesterol, it’s the good type of cholesterol that doesn’t affect your heart.

Eggs are great because they are so versatile. You can fry them, scramble them, boil them, poach them or whip up an omelette.

Muesli


Muesli is one of the healthiest breakfast cereal options. It’s made up of whole grains, fruit and nuts, making it very nutritious. As this post at Growli explains, it can be ideal for those wanting to lose weight - it’s low on calories and is packed full of fibre that keeps you fuller longer.

Oatmeal muesli is one of the best options. You can have fun with this cereal by adding different fruits and nuts. Opt for honey as a sweetener.

Fruit

Fruit is an obviously healthy option. Fruit is packed full of vitamins and fibre and contain healthy sugars.

For a truly healthy breakfast, consider mixing lots of different fruit on a plate. Fruit goes well with muesli and yoghurt adding protein as well.

Yoghurt

Yoghurt has as much protein as a serving of meat and contains high amounts of calcium and vitamin B. Many yoghurt varieties are also known to contain ‘healthy bacteria’ which is good for the digestive systems and immune system.

Not all yoghurts are created equally, so shop wisely. Avoid yoghurts with added sugar and stick to natural yoghurt options. Mix in fruit and nuts for added fibre and the extra nutritional benefits.

Wholewheat toast

If you fancy some toast, wholewheat bread is a good option. Whole wheat bread is packed full of B vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, as well as containing a lot of protein and fibre.

Obviously, what you put on your toast matters. Healthy toppings include peanut butter, chia jam, bananas and avocado (although preferably not all together!).

The 5 least healthy

least healthy breakfast

Bacon

Bacon is a processed meat that is typically very fatty and salty. It also contains a lot of nitrates, which are strongly linked with a higher risk of cancer. This makes bacon a fairly unhealthy choice.

Of course, you can still eat bacon from time to time - and it can be a good way to set up your day if you’re planning a lot of exercise. Try grilling bacon instead of frying it to reduce its fat content.

Processed cereals

The majority of cereal brands you see in the supermarket are sadly not very healthy. They’re made up of refined grains, which have most of the nutrients stripped away. They also tend to contain a lot of added sugar. This can make them quite fattening.

Some processed cereals are healthier than others - this guide at GoodToKnow lists some of the healthiest options.

Pancakes

Bad news for those that love pancakes - pancakes are typically made from white flour, which is a refined carbohydrate and fairly nutritious. Most store-bought pancakes contain a lot of added sugar and preservatives. Most people make pancakes even less healthy by adding toppings like syrup and chocolate spread.

Pancakes made with whole grain flour and no added sugar are much healthier. Toppings like fruit and yoghurt can also provide added vitamins and minerals.

Waffles

As with pancakes, waffles are typically made from white flour and contain a lot of added sugar. They are not a nutritious breakfast option.

You can make waffles more nutritious by making them yourself from whole grain flour and by not adding sugar. As with pancakes, choose healthy toppings.

White bread toast and butter

A buttered slice of toast made of white bread might not seem like an unhealthy breakfast option, but it is. Unlike whole grain bread, white bread is made from refined grains that have had all the nutrients stripped out. It’s just empty carbs. Butter is meanwhile high in saturated fat - a generous serving of butter can be very calorific.

Swap out white bread for wholegrain bread and use only a small amount of butter (or opt for other healthier toppings).


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The Ultimate Guide To Tongue Piercings And Choosing a Style

Are you interested in getting a cool new tongue piercing? Tongue piercings are often considered "alternative" piercings, even for people with plenty of piercings already. They look scary, but they're not!

Getting a tongue piercing may seem intimidating, but you have nothing to worry about as long as you visit a good piercer and use good aftercare. Most people won't even notice that you have a tongue piercing until you show them.

I'm here to talk all about tongue piercings, so you can prepare yourself for the big day. Read on to learn more.

Safe Tongue Piercing Types


Tongue piercings are far safer than many people think that they are, as long as you get them done by a professional and you use the right kind of jewellery or jewelry as they spell it in the US (and a good amount of common sense). They look scarier than they are if you aren't used to piercings. Even many people with a lot of piercings are afraid of tongue piercings.

There are several safe ways to get tongue piercings. This article applies to the US but the majority can also be applied to having a tongue piercing in the UK too.

The first is a basic single tongue piercing. This piercing goes along the middle line of your tongue. Each side of your tongue can function individually, and the piercing goes right in the centre.

The piercing should be far enough back that it doesn't come in contact with your teeth. That said, the piercer can place it at several points along that centre line. They'll use their best judgment based on your anatomy.

You can have multiple tongue piercings as well. They can either run up that centre line or be side by side.

If they're side-by-side, each piercing will instead be in the centre of one half of your tongue, rather than in the true centre of your tongue as a whole.

Keep in mind that having multiple tongue piercings, even if they're safe tongue piercings, will increase your chances of hurting your teeth and gums with the jewelry.

Unsafe Tongue Piercings


Many people who are inexperienced with piercings (and even some poorly-trained piercers) love snake eye tongue piercings or frog eye tongue piercings.

These piercings use a single piece of jewelry (jewellery) with two exposed points on the front or top of your tongue. For snake eye tongue piercings, the jewelry pokes out on either side of the tip of your tongue. For frog eye tongue piercings, the jewelry pokes out at two points on the surface of your tongue.

So why are these unsafe?

It's possible that the jewelry will pin the muscles in your tongue together in a way that can be dangerous and uncomfortable. Again, both halves of your tongue are able to move on their own. Remember that you can fold your tongue and think about what that would be like if a piece of metal was restricting your movement.

These piercings are also far worse for your teeth and gums than standard tongue piercings. The snake eye tongue piercing, especially because it can (and will) hit both sides of your teeth.

Where To Go For Your Tongue Piercing

Not all piercers are good piercers. If you're getting a tongue piercing, you have to find a high-quality piercer so you can be as safe as possible.

Look online for piercers near you that are either part of the Association of Professional Piercers and who only sell high-quality implant-grade jewelry (more on that later). These piercers have higher standards and more training than your average piercer.

Do not go to a shop in a mall unless that shop is high-quality (and they often aren't). Ask piercers if their jewelry (jewellery) is internally-threaded, and if it's not, run the other way.

Look at piercer's portfolios. If there's even a single snake eye or frog eye tongue piercing, it's best to go elsewhere. This piercer is willing to do an unsafe piercing knowing that it can hurt their client.

Good piercing shops have similar hygiene standards to dentist's offices. If you walk into the shop and the workers aren't using gloves to handle jewelry, and they don't have a Statim or autoclave, the shop is not reliable.

What To Expect

Again, tongue piercings look scarier than they are. It's normal to feel anxious, but remember, if you've gone to a good piercer, you're in good hands.

When you arrive at the shop, you'll check-in by filling out forms and showing the counter staff your ID. The piercer or an assistant will pick out jewelry after glancing at your tongue. The jewelry will be large, but don't worry.

They may also give you a small slip of paper and ask you to initial it. This is going to go into the Statim while the jewelry gets sterilized. It's to let you know that the piercer is using safe practices.

When you go into the piercing room, the piercer will have you sit down and they'll look at your tongue. They'll mark it with purple ink and show you to see if you like the placement. Feel free to ask for adjustments.

When the placement is right, the piercer will likely use a clamp (though many piercers prefer freehand piercings. Tongues are often an exception because they're so slippery).

They'll gently press the needle against your tongue without piercing you. This will help them gauge the proper place to pierce.

The piercer will ask you to take a deep breath in and then let it out slowly. This is when they'll push the needle through your tongue along with the jewelry. They'll add the top (or bottom) onto the jewelry, and the piercing is over.

The piercing will hurt, but it will feel more like a "jolt" than a sharp pain.

Tongue Piercing Aftercare Basics


tongue piercing

Taking care of tongue piercings isn't difficult, but it will be annoying. Your mouth is self-cleaning, so it's easier than healing other types of piercings. There are still a few things that you need to know if you want a quick and easy healing process.

Here's a rundown.

Basic Healing Guide

The day that you get your piercing, your tongue is going to swell up like a balloon. This is unavoidable, annoying, and stressful. Don't worry; it will pass soon enough.

During this time, it's best to avoid any spicy foods. They may not harm your piercing per se, but they will sting. Some piercers recommend against eating or drinking dairy, but as long as you rinse your mouth afterwards, there doesn't seem to be a real problem with it.

Cold water and saltwater rinses will be your friends during this time. Sucking on ice will make your tongue feel better.

The first week post-piercing, your tongue will likely still be swollen. This is why the piercer uses such a long bar. It looks long when they're holding it, but it's more than likely that it will feel snug after your tongue swells.

You will have a lisp during this time. After about two to four weeks, your swelling should be mostly gone.

Note: You should not use alcohol on your healing tongue piercing. Leave it alone.

When (and How) To Change Your Jewelry

When your swelling goes down, visit your piercer. It's important that you let them downsize your jewelry so it doesn't clang against your teeth. Your tongue jewelry should always be snug, but comfortable.

Do not try to change your jewelry on your own until your piercer says that it's okay. While the piercing is healing, it will be prone to closing up and you may damage it.

When it's time to change your own jewelry, it's in your best interest to stick with high-quality pieces for your day-to-day wear. While plastic tongue rings (bars) or acrylic jewelry may seem best for your teeth, they're not good for your body.

I recommend using an "M&M bead" on the bottom and a flat gemmed piece on the top for a stylish and subtle look.

If you want "fun" jewelry from a site like bodypiercejewelry.com/, it's appropriate for short-term wear as long as you buy the right size. If you're not sure about your size, ask your piercer.

Tongue jewelry is frustrating to put in. Prepare to stand in front of the mirror for several minutes while you're trying to screw the end onto your jewelry.

I recommend getting a box of latex gloves to make it easier. If you're struggling, take a breath and take a few minutes away from it.

Is It Time For Your Tongue Piercing Appointment?

Remember: tongue piercings look scarier than they are. The piercing will be over in a matter of seconds, and you'll have a brand new piece of jewelry.

Visit a good piercer, use proper jewelry, and take care of your piercing until it's healed. You'll be fine! This post is for informative purposes only and does not offer medical advice.

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Eco-friendly Shopping: How Do You Know If A Product Is Environmentally Friendly?

Modern consumers are savvy. They understand that their choices have a range of impacts, including on nature. This increasing level of consciousness has ushered in the era of eco-friendly consumerism. Buying environmentally-friendly products will allow you to enjoy the lifestyle you want while being assured that your choices have minimal impact on the planet. But how do you know something is really eco-friendly?

Not every brand is as environmentally-friendly as they claim to be. They can easily make statements about going green, and some use misleading terms that make them seem more eco-friendly than they actually are. Luckily, there are ways you can identify whether a product is truly eco-friendly. Read on to learn how!

Conduct External Research

green world

If a company claims to use natural ingredients in their product, be sure to visit their website and double check. Generally, genuine companies provide factual information about how their ingredients are sourced and how their products are manufactured. In addition, companies that adhere to guidelines provide factsheets and only make specific claims about their products.

For instance, compare these two phrases:
Made from organic cotton
93% of our products are made from certified organic cotton

The first statement is a generic claim that may be too good to be true, while the second claim has a specific percentage that acknowledges there’s still room for improvement.

The solution - Companies often provide links to verified sources and certification from official agencies on their websites. Therefore, before following a brand blindly, it’s important to conduct some research.

Be Wary Of Greenwashing

Time to change


Greenwashing refers to misleading consumers into buying products that aren’t genuinely environment-friendly. Companies who are guilty of greenwashing make exaggerated claims about the eco-friendliness of their products. For instance, they use terms like ‘all-natural,’ ‘energy-saving,’ ‘certified green,’ and ‘chemical-free’.

When you come across these labels in any product, double-check the data. In this case, data implies the ingredients, info, or any relevant material that proves its authenticity.

In most cases, these terms imply that the product is eco-friendly, but have no standardised meaning. Therefore companies can use these terms to make extravagant claims that don’t guarantee anything in reality.

The solution - Look out for certifications, minimal packaging, and be wary of standard greenwashing terms.

Don’t Fall Prey To Enticing Packaging

packaging

The sustainable market is growing rapidly, thanks to increasing environmental awareness among consumers. Therefore, companies are trying to make their products look more alluring in terms of packaging.

As a consumer, you should critically assess whether the packaging is actually necessary. Generally, brands use fancy packaging methods and colour themes to make their products look more eco-friendly.

For instance, truly environmentally friendly products like eco-friendly slippers need only a basic box with the brand’s label. If you find such a product with unnecessary packaging which represents more waste, you know something’s not right.

The solution - Just because a product has green-themed labels does not mean it’s eco-friendly. Always check the raw materials, certifications, and any unnecessary packaging to ensure the product you buy is environmentally friendly.

Check Eco-friendly Initiatives Of The Company

social media

If a company manufactures genuine eco-friendly products, it will advertise consistently. After all, it is will be seeking to establish its brand as an environmentally friendly brand you can trust.

As a customer, you can be confident in buying a ‘green’ product if its parent company displays these values.

Look out for the following:
  • Social media posts
  • Press releases
  • Newsletters
  • Blogs and articles
  • Online or offline events

The above content should promote the company’s latest updates and sustainable initiatives. Is the brand committed to being eco-friendly and every stage of production as well as their operations? Do they support environmental projects?

The solution - Companies that manufacture eco-friendly products usually highlight their efforts. Keep an eye on this information to assess whether a company has good eco-credentials.

Partner Organisations

tree
This point is most relevant to larger scale companies that produce sustainable products. Generally, such companies donate a certain amount of money to NGOs and/or government agencies for nature protection. Similarly, you may come across brands that partner with scientists to develop eco-friendly products.

In addition, check whether the brand or its products carries certifications from reputable organisations such as PETA, Carbon Trust, or the Forest Stewardship Council.

The solution — A product manufactured by a company with authentic partnerships is more likely to be eco-friendly.

Summing Up

For a product to be truly eco-friendly, it must be kind to nature through every stage of production, from how raw materials are gathered to how it is manufactured to packaging and shipping. To make sure the product that you’re buying is truly environmentally-friendly, it’s important to do a little research and look for certifications from trusted organisations. Additionally, you should be wary of greenwashing and have a healthy dose of cynicism when choosing which products to buy.

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Teaching Your Child To Resist Peer Pressure

Peer pressure can be experienced by small children and teenagers alike. It’s the feeling of wanting to fit in – the idea that doing a certain thing or acting a certain way will ensure friendship and admiration. This desire to fit in and to be accepted is completely normal but when the effort to do so results in children acting in ways which they wouldn’t usually act, that’s when it’s something to be wary of. Teaching children to be proud of who they are and what they stand for is the first step in helping them to avoid peer pressure.



This can begin even with very young children. Note how little children compare what they like and what their friends like. Before the age of around 5, there’s little judgement and more acceptance. After this, there can sometimes be an element of competition involved in likes and dislikes. This is where peer pressure can come in.

“Tom says playing football is better than playing with trains. I don’t like trains anymore” This is not an unusual statement at all – many children look at those they admire and wish to emulate them. However, it’s vital to help children to think for themselves and to have confidence in their own preferences.

If you notice your child trying to fit in with peers in a way that belies his or her own preferences, gently encourage them to stick with what they like best. Reassuring them that everyone is different and liking different things is fine. After all, the world would be very dreary if everyone liked the same things!

As children grow, it can be trickier to help them to have that inner confidence they need. It’s important therefore to keep talking to your child, keep on top of what they and their friends are interested in and if they all share the same opinions of it. This will allow you to discuss things openly with them when they do feel the pressure of their peers.

At school, they should be celebrated for their individuality – pupils at this private school in Cardiff are; each child is seen as an individual with their own strengths and this goes a long way to ensuring children believe in themselves.

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The Benefits Of Sports In Schools

Love them or hate them, sports are a vital component of a child’s education. It’s not simply that children need to keep fit and strong but also that sports and regular physical activity can seriously benefit academic achievement.

child playing football

Scientific research has proven that children who participate regularly in sport, achieve better in examinations and also suffer from fewer mental health issues.

There are many other benefits of participating in sports at school. Here are just a few:

The feeling of belonging which comes from being involved in team sports
Camaraderie and friendships
Physical strength and fitness
Improved hand-eye coordination
Better mental health
Increased confidence

Not all children are naturals when it comes to sport and so it’s important for schools to implement a varied curriculum which includes a good variety of sports so there’s something to interest every child, like this independent school in Hammersmith.

Remember too, not all sports involve muddy fields or racquets! Athletics are just as much fun and many children relish the challenge of training alone to achieve the best personal standard possible.

Clubs outside of school can be a wonderful way for children to make new friends and many also participate in leagues and trips to different towns and cities. Expanding your child’s horizons through sports is a wonderful addition to any experiences they enjoy at school.

A good tip for reluctant children is to introduce them to as many sports as possible. Try things out – they’re sure to find something they excel at in no time.

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Pros And Cons Of Hiring Wedding Planner

Weddings are stressful. You worry about who to invite. You worry about whether or not your mum will pour wine over your dad’s new wife’s head (again). You worry about whether your intended will actually show up or if you’ll be jilted at the altar.

couple getting married


So, although it’s your special day, no one would blame you for handing over the organisation of your wedding to someone else so you don’t have to worry over details such as buying enough sugared almonds for the wedding favours.

Is a wedding planner right for you though? Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner.

The Pros Of Hiring A Wedding Planner

wedding reception

Obviously, the biggest advantage of hiring a wedding planner is that they take all the stress away from you. Most of the stress, anyway. Even the best wedding planner in the world can’t guarantee your intended will actually turn up and not run away to Brazil with your maid of honour.

What a wedding planner can do though is give you their expert advice, experience and knowledge. They’ll know the local market and will get you the best deals from suppliers and vendors and they’ll know the best wedding venues and who makes the best cakes.

Then, when you’ve chosen everything you need to choose, the wedding planner will do all the negotiating and liaising for you, making sure everything’s within budget and in place for your big day. And if something’s not in place that should be on your wedding day, they’ll sort it all out for you, leaving you to concentrate on getting ready and looking your fabulous best.

Even Elizabeth Taylor didn’t get married as many times as wedding planners have seen weddings. Even if you’ve been married before and know what you want to do differently this time, wedding planners have seen all types of weddings and can suggest things you may not have thought of.

The Cons Of Hiring A Wedding Planner

wedding reception


There are downsides to hiring a wedding planner, of course. The main one is cost. Weddings are expensive and wedding planners aren’t cheap. If you want a wedding on a budget, then a wedding planner probably isn’t for you, even if they can get you a discount on your DJ, champagne and wedding cake.

Something else to take into consideration is, how much of a control freak are you? Although wedding planners will consult you every step of the way and you can have as much creative control as you like, ultimately, your wedding is taken out of your hands and given to someone else to look after. If you like to micro-manage and be in control of every little detail, you’re probably better off organising your own wedding.

Perhaps you’re not a control freak but the thought of someone else planning your wedding for you leaves you a little cold. Having a wedding planner take over your wedding can make you feel a little left out and like it’s not really your wedding at all.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to hiring a wedding planner. What you decide will depend on your personality and budget but, whatever you decide, I hope your special day is as wonderful as possible.