12.28.2017

Get gorgeous. Improve your physical appearance and feel fantastic


Are you a ‘new year, new me’ kind of person? If so, now is about the time that you’ll be putting plans into motion and preparing for the week ahead- let’s be honest there’s nothing quite like a new year to give you the kick you need to get things done. And after a long festive season of over indulgence, chances are your appearance isn’t exactly how you want it to be since too much food, alcohol and late nights can certainly take their toll. If you want to feel fresh and look gorgeous in the new year, here’s how you can go about it.

Hair
The winter weather can wreak havoc on our hair- and between central heating and windy weather most of our barnets are feeling less than glorious right now. Combine this with backcombing, teasing, hair spraying and heat styling to create glam Christmas and new years eve party looks and your hair has probably seen better days. If you’re in need of a full refresh, visit the hairdresser for a cut and colour- perhaps a change is the perfect way to bring in the new year? If not, invest in some nice hydrating and pampering products and give your hair plenty of TLC. Deep conditioning masks can be used once or twice a week to give your hair a dose of hydration. Another alternative is slathering on coconut oil, if you’re just at home during the day one weekend, slap it on in the morning and wash it off that evening. It will leave your hair feeling shiny, smooth and conditioned. Argan oil is a much lighter oil that’s great as a post- wash treatment. Work a little into the ends to protect them between washes and add shine. Come up with styles that use less heat, and generally give your hair a bit of a break for the next couple of months. By the spring it will back to its very best.

Skin
Again bad weather coupled with central heating can do a number on our skin. This is the time of year you’ll be experiencing cold sores, dryness and if you’ve come down with a cold or flu and have been blowing your nose, your nose will probably be feeling sore and looking flaky. The changes in temperature and harsh weather conditions can generally leave your skin feeling dry and dull. One option would be to go to a spa or salon and have a facial, treatments like microdermabrasion are useful as they gently buff off dead skin and polish your complexion leaving it looking much fresher and rejuvenated. Otherwise you could buy some products and have an at-home spa day or pamper session. This makes a great rainy day activities and something you can do with friends too. An exfoliator will buff away dead skin, and you can buy face masks that are targeted to different skin complaints. Stick to a good skincare routine, moisturise your face and lips morning and evening, and then use an eye cream and a facial oil or serum too before bed. You’ll prevent premature aging, protect the skin and keep it looking and feeling fantastic. If you suffer with skin issues such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea or other problems, make 2018 the year you seek help and put them right. There’s lots that doctors can do so don’t suffer in silence.

Nails

The way a person’s nails look can tell you a lot about them. Nails that are clean and well maintained show that you are a put together person and can give a good impression. When your nails look scruffy it can give the impression that you don’t look after yourself particularly well, people might also even make assumptions about your personal hygiene. Keeping them clean and filed with a coat of clear nail polish for protection and shine is useful for a low maintenance look. If you like to go glam, you could treat yourself to acrylics, gel nails or shellac once a month. These last for a long time and can make your hands look great. If you work in a job where people see your hands a lot this would be a worthy investment, plus just having that appointment once a month where you can get your nails done and treat yourself could be a new years resolution worth sticking with. For the toes, use a pumice stone for soft skin and make sure issues like fungal nail infection and athlete’s foot are treated; you can get further tips on the former by visiting https://toenailfungustips.com/. It may not be sandal weather for a while but you should still maintain your feet. 

Teeth
Nice teeth are considered an attractive asset by both genders, and are something that will never go out of style. Despite the dental problems you have, cosmetic dentists can work wonders these days so there’s no need to put up with anything that makes you feel self conscious. You could have invisible braces like Invisalign. You could have them whitened (through trays or laser) or have veneers fitted. Whether it’s crookedness, gaps, discolouration or a gummy smile, there’s plenty that can be done and it’s something you will never regret investing in.

Physique
Finally, something that features heavily when it comes to new years resolution is weight loss. Even if you’re not overweight, chances are you’ve put a little on over the festive season and so being more careful of what you’re eating in January is something you could consider. If you’re over or underweight, work on getting to your ideal BMI since not only will you look your best but you’ll feel it too. You’ll slash your risk of getting all kinds of preventable illnesses. You could focus on cleaning up your diet consuming lots of fresh produce, lean protein, low fat dairy and whole grains. And hitting the gym where you can burn off excess calories, build muscle and sculpt your body.

What changes will you be making to improve your physical appearance in 2018?

Keep Your Child Safe and Childproof Your Bathroom



A lot of parents spend their time worrying about the possible accidents their child may have when playing outside. However, there are some serious dangers lurking inside the home if one is not careful enough. For instance, bathroom, no matter how small, can be a source of injuries for your child. In that respect, it’s best to childproof it to be on the safe side. So, what can you do to make this room more secure and child-friendly? Keep on reading to find out.

Lock the toilet
You can easily get a lock for your toilet bowl which is why this should be the first thing you tend to when childproofing your bathroom. In general, kids are curious and love to play with water. In that respect, toilet and flushing can seem very interesting to them. However, you don’t want your child touching, and in some cases even drinking this water. In that respect, a toilet lock is the way to go.

Restrict access to electrical devices
It would be best to add plenty of storage to your bathroom once the child comes. Not only will you have everything in one place, but you’ll also have more options to block the child’s access to electrical devices such as hair dryers, curling irons, etc. If you have drawers and cabinets in your bathroom that can be locked, make sure to keep these devices there. On the other hand, if you can’t keep them under a lock and key, install a cabinet, or a shelf, or use a storage space that’s far from your child’s reach.

Get anti-slip mats
This is very important when childproofing your bathroom. After all, the possibility of slipping is real for adults as well, let alone a small child. In that respect, you should place anti-slip mats in your bath tub as well as outside of it. That way, your child will be safe from falling down and getting hurt. You have to be aware that even small water levels can pose a drowning hazard to a small child. With that in mind, you should never take the risk of your child slipping while in a tub.

Choose your tub wisely
It’s not just about placing anti-slip mats in your bath tub. If you’re designing a bathroom for your family with the child’s safety in mind, you should also carefully consider different types of bath tubs to find one that will fit your needs and the look of your bathroom. Aside from slipping, your child can also get hurt because of the sharp bath spouts. Therefore, you need to carefully consider how the whole bath system will work to provide the maximum safety for your kid. If you can, use soft covers for the spouts as well.

Hide anything dangerous
Aside from your electrical devices, you should also block access to other bathroom necessities that can cause an accident or a health issue for your child. In that respect, sharp razors have to be kept somewhere your kid can’t reach them. Also, keep in mind that deodorants and even some toiletries can actually be toxic for a child who doesn’t know how they’re used. Keep them somewhere high up or in a locked cabinet if you have one. In that respect, if you have a trash can in your bathroom, use a lock on the trash can doors similar to the toilet one, or keep it in the said cabinet as well.

Of course, don’t forget about your daily routine. Childproofing your bathroom is necessary but you still have to be careful. When preparing for a bath, remember to bring out everything you need for your child beforehand. You simply cannot leave them unattended in this situation.

12.26.2017

Keep Your Child Safe and Childproof Your Bathroom



A lot of parents spend their time worrying about the possible accidents their child may have when playing outside. However, there are some serious dangers lurking inside the home if one is not careful enough. For instance, bathroom, no matter how small, can be a source of injuries for your child. In that respect, it’s best to childproof it to be on the safe side. So, what can you do to make this room more secure and child-friendly? Keep on reading to find out.

Lock the toilet
You can easily get a lock for your toilet bowl which is why this should be the first thing you tend to when childproofing your bathroom. In general, kids are curious and love to play with water. In that respect, toilet and flushing can seem very interesting to them. However, you don’t want your child touching, and in some cases even drinking this water. In that respect, a toilet lock is the way to go.

Restrict access to electrical devices
It would be best to add plenty of storage to your bathroom once the child comes. Not only will you have everything in one place, but you’ll also have more options to block the child’s access to electrical devices such as hair dryers, curling irons, etc. If you have drawers and cabinets in your bathroom that can be locked, make sure to keep these devices there. On the other hand, if you can’t keep them under a lock and key, install a cabinet, or a shelf, or use a storage space that’s far from your child’s reach.

Get anti-slip mats
This is very important when childproofing your bathroom. After all, the possibility of slipping is real for adults as well, let alone a small child. In that respect, you should place anti-slip mats in your bathtub as well as outside of it. That way, your child will be safe from falling down and getting hurt. You have to be aware that even small water levels can pose a drowning hazard to a small child. With that in mind, you should never take the risk of your child slipping while in a tub.


Choose your tub wisely
It’s not just about placing anti-slip mats in your bathtub. If you’re designing a bathroom for your family with the child’s safety in mind, you should also carefully consider different types of bath tubs to find one that will fit your needs and the look of your bathroom. Aside from slipping, your child can also get hurt because of the sharp bath spouts. Therefore, you need to carefully consider how the whole bath system will work to provide the maximum safety for your kid. If you can, use soft covers for the spouts as well.

Hide anything dangerous
Aside from your electrical devices, you should also block access to other bathroom necessities that can cause an accident or a health issue for your child. In that respect, sharp razors have to be kept somewhere your kid can’t reach them. Also, keep in mind that deodorants and even some toiletries can actually be toxic for a child who doesn’t know how they’re used. Keep them somewhere high up or in a locked cabinet if you have one. In that respect, if you have a trash can in your bathroom, use a lock on the trash can doors similar to the toilet one, or keep it in the said cabinet as well.
Of course, don’t forget about your daily routine. Childproofing your bathroom is necessary but you still have to be careful. When preparing for a bath, remember to bring out everything you need for your child beforehand. You simply cannot leave them unattended in this situation.



Seven new year health check ups



Like it or not, we aren’t immortal, and our bodies go through a process of wear and tear as we get older.  It’s therefore a good idea to have a quick check-up from time to time and what better time than the New Year to book in for some routine check-ups.



EYE TEST
The majority of people today, particularly given the intensive use of computers, televisions, and mobile devices we all use require a little help to correct their sight; as we age the health of our eyes can start to deteriorate so it’s good to have a check-up, not just for glasses, but to confirm your holistic optical health and rule out conditions such as glaucoma.


HEARING TEST
The good news is hearing evaluations are one of the less invasive tests required, yet so many of us begin to lose the edge of our ability to hear others, which leads to severe and totally unavoidable communication issues.  The ability to communicate is so important, and if you are struggling with your hearing, then it’s a good idea to get a quick test - as it’ll be over in a jiffy and could save a lot of embarrassment down the line.  The other thing to note is that some hearing aids are now totally hidden within the ear itself.


ORAL HEALTH
Many of us fear visiting the dentist, and perhaps this is for good reason on the basis that nobody likes the invasive feeling of having fingers crammed into one’s mouth and sharp implements prodded around the gums resulting in the inevitably metalic taste of blood - but it’s much better to keep your oral health in check, rather than be searching for dentists that work weekend hours because of a dental emergency such as toothache.  Indeed, toothache can be one of the most excruciating and intimate pains as it’s in such a sensitive part of your body that’s full of nerves and can be aggravated by stimuli as simple as breathing in and out.


BLOOD PRESSURE
High or low blood pressure can lead to serious problems so it’s a good idea to know where your blood pressure level is, in order to make any necessary adjustments and keep yourself in tip top shape.


CHOLESTEROL
Given the processed diets we often find ourselves living on, out of convenience, a lot of us suffer with high levels of cholesterol where the arteries begin to clog up, become furry, and eventually harden.  This is a major cause of heart disease, and if you do have high cholesterol, it’s something that should be addressed by a change in diet, sooner rather than later.  You can even order self-testing kits to measure your own cholesterol levels online.


CANCER CHECK-UP
We all feel a little timid to get sensitive parts of ourselves tested; particularly for something as significant as prostate cancer or breast cancer; but there’s no benefit in burying your head in the sand - as, unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss.  According to statistics, today, as many as 1 in 2 people will develop cancer at some point in their lives.  If you have reason to suspect anything, the best thing to do is to book an appointment and get checked out - as the likelihood is you’ll have the all clear and benefit from a greater sense of peace of mind; but if something does come back positive, at least you are in the empowered position to treat it promptly; which is likely to stop it in its tracks.


12.22.2017

Brooke's Winter Photo Shoot










How to Strengthen Father and Son Relationship



Aren’t we all tired of every family movie being about a dad who works a lot and cannot find time for his son? While modern-day parents, do work a lot, there are plenty of ways to spend time with your children and make sure you are present in their lives. While father-daughter relationships are usually quite easy and based on the fact that the girls are daddy’s princesses, father-son relationships have a bit more stigma about them. There is usually a sense of competition and who makes who proud and who is hard on who, but it is all very useless. Boys are as easy to love and appreciate as girls and here is how you can do that.

Get to know your son

This is something you should start doing while your kid is still very young. It is quite easy at that point. However, it becomes more difficult as the son grows up and not all of his life happens in front of his parent’s eyes. You can do so by engaging in conversation on daily basis. Not an interrogative one, but exchanging opinions and sharing interests. You should mind the tone of your voice as merely promoting your interests and the way of doing things will be seen by your child as patronizing. This may lead to them choosing not to engage in further conversation. You can simply start by saying “I love this movie” or “Have you seen any good movies lately?. If they happen every day, these conversations will give you a natural insight into your son’s preferences and the way he sees the world. It will help you develop common interests. However, as not all of the interests are the same, you can take time to venture into each other’s world.

Do not force conversation

I had to elaborate these so close together to make sure you realize the difference. While the above-mentioned conversations are more of a chit-chat, these refer to the ones on more serious subjects. Do not make your son talk about things he is not comfortable with, you will end up being the only speaker in the room and they will simply sit through your speech. They now know you are open to talking about more sensitive subjects and they will come to you when they are ready, as long as you are around. You can use certain situations as the perfect time and place for starting these conversations, such as during a chore or any other activity you are in together. This will appear spontaneous, give the child a chance not to maintain eye contact if they are uncomfortable, and have an instant, more agreeable subject to switch to once you are done with the serious one.

Do something that you like

This is an opportunity to have your child out of his comfort zone and do something that you like. This will probably come out wrong, but children also need to learn that they cannot always do what they want and it will be a way of showing their respect. It is your job now to make the activity interesting for them. You can take him out on a golf range and hire a golf swing machine to help you both practice your swing without having the third person around to disrupt father-son time.

Do something that the son likes

Now, it is your turn to go out of your way to indulge your boy and take part in an activity you normally would not. If your son enjoys Dungeons and Dragons, do not dismiss him for it but join in when you get a chance. Also, perhaps you can do some of the things you like, his way, like playing golf on an Xbox.

Work on a project together

Aren’t we lucky to have DIY projects and ways of doing things? These are perfect for family activities and bonding. Start a project to build a playground or work on the chores together. This a great way of doing something meaningful and spending time with each other. Also, this is very responsible of you as you will serve as an example to your son and they will grow up with a habit of doing things around the house.
All of the points I made serve the same purpose of staying connected and providing some direction in life for your child. Make sure you use every step of the way to let him know that he is loved and that you are proud of him, it will not harm him and make him soft, it will grow his confidence.

                                                                      

12.21.2017

Keeping your home safe throughout the year



As we come to the end of the year, many people will be making their New Years Resolutions. As a very pointed suggestion, why not make one of your the safety of your home? It is astounding how many homes are properly secured throughout the year, and how many people aren’t aware of the different security dangers they are exposed to at different points of the year.

You should always make sure that your home is safe by changing the locks as soon as you move into a new place, having double glazed windows instead of single - as they are harder to shatter - and having a working burglar alarm fitted inside the house. But different seasons bring with them new risks that you should be prepared for. So when heading into this new year, prepare you house for the years ahead.


Spring

The biggest risk during Spring, is an often subconscious thing that we call do; spring cleaning. When airing out the house after a long winter, many people forget to shut all the windows or lock them properly, when they leave for the day or go to bed at night. This offers a perfect opportunity for thieves. The same can be said when you begin your annual clear out and leave the belongings destined for the dump in front of the house. This advertises to potential thieves that you have a house full of lovely new things that would fetch an excellent resale price.


Summer

Much like in spring, people simply forget to close doors and windows when they leave the house or settle in for the night. It might be boiling, but you would be safer if you installed a good, reputable air conditioning unit, or ceiling fan, rather than leaving everything open. At the very least make sure you lock up the lower level of the house.


Fall

With the night’s starting to get longer, it’s a fair assumption that crime rates do too. The logic that more dark hours allows more time for thieves to operate is perfectly sound. But if it were just the lack of light that made crime rates increase, when so many people own floodlights for their yards, it wouldn’t make much sense. However, if your flood light lights up in the evening, how many people assume it’s just a cat or other creature? And a flood light is incredibly useless in a city environment. Along with your light, purchase an axis network camera, and advertise that it’s there. That way, any eager thief is caught in the act.


Winter

The thing that attracts crime in winter is the holiday that is supposed to bring people together; Christmas. With houses full of brand new gifts, and a lot of those gifts being worth a decent amount of money, it’s like a giant X on a Pirate’s treasure map. We’re not saying don’t buy gifts at Christmas, just make sure that your house is as secure as possible. Don’t advertise all your new gadgets post-Christmas either - that TV box you have popped out on the curb for the garbage men? Turn it inside out and collapse it. Stick it in the trash if you can, or take it out to the men as they come and collect your garbage so that it doesn’t have to be out on the street at all.

Why its important to keep an eye on vision

When you think about your health, your eyes may not be your priority. Most of us tend to focus on our body weight, but being healthy isn’t just about nestling in that normal BMI range or going for a jog a couple of times a week. Health is a much more expansive subject, and it’s really important to consider your health as a whole. Your mental wellbeing is important, and you should also keep an eye on your vision, your dental health and your hearing. Imagine a world where you couldn’t see. Although it’s not possible to prevent all conditions that affect your sight, there are some steps you can take to protect your eyes and ensure that any issues that can be remedied are addressed as quickly as possible.

Why it’s so important to keep an eye on your vision
Many of us would admit that we take our vision for granted. The trouble is that problems that affect our eyesight often develop slowly and by the time you actually seek help, major changes have already taken place. As well as having regular eye tests to check your sight, it’s also important to make sure that your eyes are healthy. Sometimes, changes in your vision or in the physical appearance of the eyes, for example, bloodshot eyes, can indicate an underlying health issue, which has the potential to be very serious. If you notice any changes in your vision at all, it’s always wise to arrange to see an optician and they can discuss any changes with you. If you already wear glasses or contact lenses and you’re struggling to see or read, make an appointment, as this indicates that your prescription may have changed and you might need stronger lenses. If you continue to strain, this could damage your eyes.



Simple eye care tips
If you can’t remember the last time you had an eye test, now is as good a time as any to pick up the phone and make an appointment. If you haven’t had any problems with your sight, there shouldn’t be any issues, but tests can identify changes or abnormalities at a very early stage. If you do already have glasses or contact lenses, you may be considering exploring the option of laser surgery. If this is the case, get in touch with some experts like those at Dello Russo Laser, find out more about the procedure, and make sure you understand both the risks and the benefits. If you’ve experienced changes in your vision, for example, you’ve started to struggle to read books, or you can’t see signs from a distance, book an eye test. If you’ve had symptoms like double or blurred vision, it's important to see your doctor as they could indicate underlying issues such as cataracts. However, you shouldn't panic if you find yourself in this situation, as your optometrist can talk you through the different treatments available and answer questions like the difference between laser cataract surgery methods for peace of mind. So, remember to book that eye test as taking care of your eye health is vital for quality of life and overall well-being.

There are various things you can do to protect your eyes, including wearing sunglasses on bright days and using eye care software when you’re using a computer. This kind of feature neutralizes the blue light on your screen. It’s also important to ensure you have a healthy, balanced diet. If you suffer from diabetes, it’s particularly important to attend regular appointments with an optician.



We tend to take our sight for granted, but can you imagine life without it? 

Face your (Gym) Fears



I am sharing a part of my life here today that I have never shared with anyone because for me it is a scary time that I went thru and I still deal with it. it is Intimidation when going to the gym to work out. 

I would love nothing more then a gym membership and work out and be in shape like all the other friends I have, some days I feel like I am fat and the other people at the gym watch me and think to them selves, why is she here or she has a lot of working out to do. 

One day my husband came home and said his work gave him a 6 month gym pass for him and I, I was like I am not going, there is no way I can go, I wont know anyone there etc. We went and picked up some gym clothes and packed our bags but I still was really backward and did not want to go... 

His co worker was teaching the class and the moves that he was teaching really scared me but I pushed thru and I made it, I went a few other times since that night, each time it would get easier and easier, it is ok to ask for help if you dont know how to use a machine, it is ok to strike up a conversation with the person on the treadmill beside you, I currently do not have a membership but I really think I may get one and in the new year use it. 


What about you, how do  you feel with going to the gym? 




Check out some additional tips on overcoming gym related anxiety this New Year!  Right over here 

12.20.2017

7 cool pieces of kitchen tech everyone needs in their home

I love kitchens. They’re such a cool part of your home, and there’s so much you can do to make it a really awesome place. Plus, there’s been so many cool pieces of kitchen tech released in the last year, meaning you can turn yours into a modern masterpiece.

I’ve done some searching and come up with a list of the top seven pieces of kitchen tech you need to buy right now.

Create a cool modern kitchen. Credit

A Digital Tracker

When you think of a digital tracker, you probably think about something that tracks your steps or physical activity. How does that relate to the kitchen in any way shape or form? Well, it doesn’t, because we’re on about a different kind of digital tracker. Here, we’re talking about a device that can track how long you’ve left something open for. Come on, we’ve all been there many times! You open a jar of pasta sauce or jam, then come back to it at a later date and wonder how long it’s been open for. You try and run the calculations through your head, figuring out if you will get food poisoning or not if you eat it.

With a digital tracker, you can attach a lid to the jars, and it sets a timer for you. This timer tracks how long it’s been open for, so you know when you go to use it again. It’s such a cool idea, and you can learn more about it on howmanydaysago.com. For someone like me, who often leaves things open and forgets about them, it’s so useful. You’ll never have to worry about eating things outside of their use by date ever again!

Smart Scales

You’ve heard of digital scales, but have you heard of smart scales? It feels like everything is getting smarter these days. We have smartphones, smartwatches, and now smart scales. What makes them smart? Well, they look like normal scales but come with a partner app. The idea is that you put a mixing bowl on the scales, and use the app to proceed with a recipe. The smart scale knows how much stuff you’ve put in, and tells you when to stop. In theory, this should lead to you recreating recipes perfectly, and adding in all the right ingredients!

It may not seem like a crazy high-tech thing, but it certainly makes your life easier. No longer do you have to concern yourself with finding measuring equipment for flour or sugar, etc. Just pour your ingredient, and it notifies you when enough is enough. You can save money on loads of different jugs and measuring cups by using a smart scale. What’s more, they come with loads of pre-installed recipes in the partner app that you can use on your phone or tablet. If you want to be as accurate a cook as possible, then this is a must-have for you.

Say goodbye to your gas cooker. Source

An Induction Cooktop

Gas cooktops are slowly but surely being phased out. If you still have one, then I’m sorry, but you’re old-fashioned! These days, it’s all about induction cooktops, and they’re packed full of tech to make your kitchen a lot better and more energy efficient too! The idea with a cooktop like this is that it’s powered by electricity rather than gas. Your pots and pans get heated up very quickly, and then the heat turns off automatically when they’re removed. There’s a lot of technical and sciency stuff that happens here, but we won’t go into all that. If you want to know the way induction cooktops work, then you can go to stonefryingpans.com for more info. Here, we’re just going to talk about how cool they are in your kitchen! No longer have you go to deal with a gas cooker that takes ages to light and is potentially dangerous. You’ll never have to worry about someone accidentally leaving the gas on and blowing up your house ever again!

Induction cooktops are pretty much commonplace in all new builds these days. If you don’t already have one, then it pays to get one fitted and to chuck out your old gas one. With one of these, you can cook food quicker as they heat up almost instantly, but you can also save energy. There’s minimal heat loss, meaning the pans are nice and hot, and you don’t have to wait ages for your food to cook properly. A really cool piece of kitchen tech that you should think about getting your hands on.

A Smart Thermometer

Carrying on this trend of smart things, you should also get your hands on a smart thermometer. Cooking meat is one of the toughest things to do in the kitchen. When you cook chicken, it needs to be 100% cooked through and piping hot. But, if you overcook it, you will dry it out and ruin the taste! When cooking beef, you might want it a bit rare in the middle, or risk overcooking it. Finding the perfect time to cease cooking is tough, and it normally comes down to the temperature of the meat. Most people have no idea what these temperatures are, so a lot of guesswork is involved.

However, with a smart thermometer, you can use a digital thermometer hooked up to an app that tells you when your meat is ready. No matter what you’re cooking, it will have preset figures where it alerts you when you can stop cooking. For chicken, it tells you when it’s reached the peak temperature, and you know your food is cooked through. For things like beef, it has different temperatures for different preferences; rare, medium rare, medium, and well done. It makes life so much easier and takes the guesswork out of cooking!

Let a smart speaker provide assistance. Link

A Smart Speaker

Yes...another smart device! I’m sorry that everything has smart before it, as it makes the  list seem repetitive. But, there’s no real way around it because all this cool kitchen tech is so helpful for everyone! A smart speaker is something like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. It’s a little speaker you can talk to and get it to do things for you. You can be cooking away and tell your speaker to create a new shopping list and add ingredients to it. Or, you can tell it to play music to have a little bop along to while you prepare a meal.

It doesn't matter how you use this smart speaker, all that matters is that it makes life in the kitchen more fun and practical. You don’t need to wipe your hands to do certain things, you can talk to the speaker, and it will do it for you. For things where you tell it to make you a list, it will save the list to your phone or tablet automatically too! So, when you’re done cooking, you can pick up your phone and have the list ready for your big shop. The two devices I mentioned are the most popular ones around at the moment. I don’t know which one is better, but over on techhive.com, they provide more information.

A Funky Fridge-Freezer

Some fridges can be very boring and include absolutely no cool features at all (pun not intended!). Then, you have state-of-the-art fridges packed full of technology and loads of great features to help improve your kitchen space. With a funky modern fridge, you have something that gives you loads of storage space, including compartments with special temperature settings. There are some fridges out there with special areas for meats and produce, with settings to make these areas a different temperature to the rest of the fridge. The idea here is that you keep certain things at certain temperatures that keeps them fresher for longer.

Of course, you also have fridges with extra features like an ice dispenser. This provides added functionality to your kitchen and gives you instant ice when you need it. A fridge-freezer is a must too, you can’t be dealing with two separate things - combine it into one appliance.

Boiling water? From a tap?! Image

Instant Boiling Water Tap

Finally, we have something I’m very excited about and want in my house as soon as possible. An instant boiling water tap is exactly what you think it is; a tap that provides instant boiling water. No longer will you have to wait for your kettle, you can pour boiling water into a cup of coffee straight from the tap.

Is this essential? Not really. Is it super cool and high-tech? Uh, absolutely! I think it’s a cool addition to your kitchen, and it will certainly wow any guests you have round the house.

With all these cool things in your arsenal, you’ll have the best kitchen around. Not only will it look cool, but it will also function a lot better, and make cooking so much easier for you. The only slight problem is that you might enjoy being in your kitchen so much that you never leave it. So, please remember to take breaks and go to other parts of your house as well!

The diets of 2017 that people loved

Do love and diet even go in the same sentence? For a lot of people dieting is the bane of their life, but they have to do it if they want to change their ways and get healthy. A lot of people actually like dieting, weirdly enough. It does bring about so many health benefits, and since we live in an era that is surrounded by so many saturated fats and sugars, we really need to be considering these health benefits. Yes, giving up your beloved junk food is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Giving up alcohol is also one of the hardest things, but a lot of diets do actually require this, yet so many people struggle with it. But, if you have the determination and the right mindset to do it, then here are some of the best diets that 2017 has blessed us with.


Keto

The ketosis diet to a lot of people seems like a risky game. But if you do it properly it actually has more health benefits than it does risks. It is basically done by going on an extremely low carb diet. A lot of people cut out carbs altogether. When your body doesn’t have enough energy from the normal sources such as carbohydrates, it starts to use the fat stores within your body to get the energy it needs. Before you know it you’re rapidly dropping the pounds. It is a really effective method to use, but it does have the ability to make you pretty ill if you don’t treat your body right in other ways. Such a rapid carb drop will definitely make you feel nasty, so the best thing you can do is drop it gradually until you’re at a minimum level of carb intake per week. There are products out there such as the ones from KetoMCT that supplement the diet with some of the vitamins and minerals that may be lost from dropping so many carbs. These are the supplements that are going to keep you feeling healthy whilst you’re taking such a drop in carbs. This diet is really popular with the celebs, and if you do it properly there’s no way you won’t notice improvements. Just make sure you follow the online guides and don’t push yourself too fast to begin with.


Paleo

This is definitely one of the most popular diets out there, it has a lot of health benefits for the people using it. It was designed to cut out all the processed and sugary foods that are now so present in our diet. It focuses on only eating grass fed meats, eggs, seeds and fruits and vegetables. No processed foods and sugars or salts are allowed whatsoever. But it is these foods that are so prominents in our diet. This is why so many people find it incredibly hard to do this diet, or at least stick to it for longer than two weeks. Even alcohol would have to go. It basically works on the premise that you can only eat what our caveman ancestors would have been able to forage from the ground around them. So anything man made has to go. But, the best thing about this diet is the energy it gives you. One of the reasons we’re always so fatigued, and our minds are always so clogged up is due to the food we’re putting inside our body. Sticking to things that are all natural is only going to do good for us. There’s still plenty of recipes out there that support the paleo diet. One big thing however is you will have to make sure you’re going dairy free. But, just like with the keto diet, you will start to notice results pretty fast. You might not notice any physical weight loss as fast as you would with keto, that’s one of the reasons why that is so popular. But you will quickly notice a difference in your mood and your energy levels, which to some people is a bigger bonus than the actual weight loss side of things.

Atkins

The atkins diet has been around for a long time. It definitely isn’t as popular as the other two diets, but it does have the same amount of health benefits, and gives you the ability to drop the pounds in no time. It is really similar to the ketosis diet, but it isn’t really as demanding on your body. It is done in more of a stage sort of process. Phase one involves going through the ketosis stage that you would in the actual ketosis diet. They recommend only eating around 20g of carbs a day. But the have to be vegetarian carbs, not your average carbs like white or brown pasta. Then phase two reintroduces the foods you weren’t allowed to eat, e.g. every single carb known to man. You do this slowly until you learn what your body can take before it starts putting on weight through carbs again. Phase three is usually moved to when you have the last few pounds of your weight loss goal to lose. A lot of people drop their carbs again just a little before bringing them back up again for phase four. Phase four is the end phase, and is what you should be able to stay at for the rest of your life. This is where the atkins diet varies from the ketosis. Ketosis allows you to stay carb free, the atkins encourages to introduction of carbs back into the diet really early on in the process. As we said, it is a lot less strenuous on the body compared to ketosis. But ketosis gives you better results for longer, and once your body learns to live without the carbs that have been fuelling it, you’re reborn as a new person.

So there are three of the most popular diets we’ve seen this year. They’ve all been around for awhile, but it has only been this year where they all seem to have risen in popularity.

Great Activities Everyone Should Do With Their Kids



Building a bond


For the best family experience, it’s best to build as strong a bond as possible with your kids while they’re growing up. Some parents may find this difficult due to lack of experience, or not having so much time or money to take them anywhere, but there are ways around that! It’s important to teach your kids about the world and to be there for them while they learn it. There’s no fixed age at which you should be bonding with them, and there’s plenty of activities to do with them at any age, so look out for things you think everyone can enjoy, and get bonding!


Visit the Zoo


First of all, the zoo is a great place to go at any age, which makes it an excellent family activity. Everyone is interested in seeing things that you can’t see on a daily basis, especially when it comes to animals, and it’s pretty rare for an individual to not like animals. Zoos have something for everyone and let you have the options for tours or free viewing, so you can really just go off as a family and spend the day together. A lot of zoos offer activities for people to take part in, like feeding or petting the animals; not all of them of course, but some, like penguins and monkeys.


Keep in mind, not all zoos are the same so, you might have a different experience depending on which you go to. It’s best to do your research and make sure you go to the one with the most appealing features for all of the family. For example; imagine one of your children absolutely love polar bears, well not all zoos have a polar bear enclosure so pay attention to where you go!
(Source: Pexels)


Take them to theme parks


Theme parks can be a great day out if you’re a thrill seeker, and there are all sorts of parks that offer different experiences for all ages. Whether your kids are on the younger side or starting to get into their teen years, there is definitely a place you can take them. It all depends on their interests and whether they like smooth rides or adrenaline rush-inducing rides. They’re not just for kids either, most rides are made for adults to enjoy too, so if you like roller coasters, it can really be a good enjoyable day for everyone involved.


Try an aquarium


Just like zoos, aquariums are a fun place to go for anyone at any age, and an interesting alternative to the usual activities people do. Aquariums really give you a chance to see things you would never see for yourself, and possibly things you wouldn’t really want to see for yourself. Take sharks, for example, terrifying! However, seeing them in an aquarium is a completely different experience, as you see them as they are, rather than sort of an angry predator that wants to harm you. Start looking into aquariums and find out which will have the best experiences for you. If you really have no idea where you should be looking, you could try with SeaQuest aquariums to give you an idea of what you might find on your day out. Most of the time, sea life isn’t really experienced by anyone, especially when it comes to the bigger and more exotic creatures, so you could be missing out on a lot if you decide against it!


Cinemas are easy


Family days out don’t always require a lot of thought and can be more of just a simple treat for everyone. Cinemas are a safe bet for a family experience, as there’s more than likely going to be an appropriate film for everyone when you get there, and if not you can easily look and book online. Pretty much every town has a local cinema, and you can’t really go wrong if you make sure beforehand that you’re going to get a ticket, and there’s a movie that everyone is interested in watching.


Museums can be for everyone


Yet another experience for all types of people, however, age may affect this trip. While museums might not be something for kids of a very young age to be, when it comes to different interests, there really is something for anyone. Museums are a great place for people to learn with an interesting twist, as they offer more than just words to learn from, and rather a detailed and physical representation of what you’re learning about. Museums are on the more practical side of the educational scale, which can really change what would be a somewhat boring learning experience, into something that people look forward to and enjoy. No museum is the same, and there are museums out there for almost anything you can imagine, the only trick is getting to them! Obviously, not all museums are going to be nearby, some may be very far away, but that really just adds to the experience!


(Source: Pexels)


Road trips are fun


A road trip is an excellent opportunity to bond with your family, as you’re essentially boxed in with everyone and nothing else to focus on. One of the best parts about a road trip is, you usually only end up in them on the way to another bonding experience, so it’s the best time to start getting warmed up with everyone, and try to enjoy it as best you can! While there are not so many physical activities involved, there’s so much room for conversation and silly games for people to just let loose and enjoy. There’s no better time for talking amongst yourselves and really just getting to understand everyone better; you’re family after all, so there’s nothing to be afraid of when talking about yourself!


There’s no better time to bring yourself closer to your children than all the time, so it’s worth keeping a lookout for things to do with them at all times; you never know how things will turn out, it could be a hectic adventure, or maybe just a great day of fun. Bonding with your kids is what really helps them to learn your values and how to act when they get older, it’s all about setting an example and letting them know that life can be a lot of fun.

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