MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

The evolution of coffee grinding

Getting your regular cup of Joe is either through your kitchen or at a coffee shop near you. Coffee has definitely become a regular part of the day, for most people, that is. And as the years have gone by, coffee has also been taken up a notch, from a hot beverage into something cold and sweeter.

Coffee brewing will not be complete without the grinding process. The beans that have been roasted should be ground on demand, to ensure that it is fresh. Grinding also produces various coffee ground sizes (coarse, medium, fine, extra fine, and Turkish) that will affect the overall flavor and quality of your cup. Coffee brewing is basically a lot easier with a coffee grinder on hand. Let’s take a look at how coffee grinders have evolved over the years.

Hammer. The early days of coffee brewing simply consisted of breaking the beans into smaller pieces. A flat rock or a hammer served this purpose.

Roll grinder. A roll grinder, used in grinding grains, produced a more consistent grind and was later used for grinding coffee beans. Although an old technique, this is still used in Turkey to produce a finely powdered grind called Turkish coffee.

Mortar and pestle. The mortar and pestle have long been used in cooking as well as in medicine. It has also found its way to coffee grinding. The coffee beans are placed in the mortar and then are crushed and ground using the pestle. This grinding tool is typically made from wood or stone so that it would not absorb the flavors and scents of whatever was ground.

Mechanical grinder. The mechanical grinder made grinding a lot easier compared to the earlier methods. This became popular because you didn’t have to exert much effort to be able to grind coffee. Plus, the output is a lot more consistent. The typical design had a grinding handle on top, a box-shaped body that contained the holder for the coffee beans, and a drawer at the bottom for the ground beans. The grinders also had elaborate designs on the outside, making them a wonderful addition to your kitchen counter or shelf.

Spice grinder. The spice grinder was used to grind coffee because of its availability in most households. It had the same functionality as that of a mechanical grinder.

Wall mounted grinder. The wall became a great tool for holding the grinder in place that is why the coffee grinder was attached to it. This was also the time when the coffee grinder became adjustable and was able to produce different sizes of coffee grinds.

Electric coffee grinder. The demand for coffee grew and so coffee grinders became electric operated. This also gave rise to large commercial grinders.

If you’re going shopping for a grinder today, you’ll surely find different types and models on the market. But if you come across a classic grinder, you should go and get one. And should you ever find yourself without a coffee grinder, you don’t have to fret since you can still enjoy that cup of coffee. All you have to do is know what tools you can use to grind coffee even without a grinder. Find out more here.  

 

5 essential items to take on your next vacation

If you are planning a vacation with your family or group of friends, it is recommended to pack your luggage as early as three days before the date of departure. Preparing early for the things that you need to bring does not only save you from the hassle and the stress, but it also lets you make the most out of your trip. Whether you are planning to spend the next holiday at the beach, in the mountains, at ski camps, or wherever you want to go, remember to take these 5 essential items with you.

 

  1. First Aid Kit

 

While we want our vacation to be full of fun and excitement, there are some things that we can’t avoid; like catching an annoying cold or sustaining a wound. First aid kits should be the number one priority when packing our baggage. Remember to bring personal medications for twice as many days as the duration of your vacation. This lessens your worries even if there are unexpected delays in your return trip.

 

If you are traveling with small children, be sure to bring lots of medication for treating wounds. These include iodine solution, ointment, antibiotic wipes, and bandages.  A couple of pain relievers, antihistamines, antacids, fever reducers, and decongestants can be of help too. Depending on the area and the weather of the place, you may also want to include sunscreen lotion and insect repellant in your medicine pack.

 

  1. Camera

 

To capture the greatest and memorable moments of your vacation, be sure to bring a camera with you. If you are going to be on a trip for more than a day, prepare an extra battery and a spare SD card too.

 

  1. Flashlight

 

Flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns are not only important for overnight outdoor camping. They are also useful for navigation in dark roads and alleys as well as for simple tasks such as inspecting your car’s engine. and looking for something in your baggage. Don’t forget to bring spare batteries too!

 

  1. Pocket Knife

 

Also known as a Swiss army knife, this highly-functional camping tool can help you in different tasks such as opening cans and bottles, removing corkscrews, and cutting fruits and vegetables. If you will be using public transportation, be sure to always check with the rules and regulations in bringing sharp items including a pocket knife. Usually, small pocket knives are allowed by the airport security if they are placed inside the check-in baggage.

 

  1. Inflatable Air Lounger

 

An inflatable air lounger is a must-have for travelers who are into adventure sports, hiking, mountain climbing, camping, swimming, and other outdoor activities. It weighs just over a kilogram and can be inflated in less than half a minute. An air lounger is a perfect alternative to chairs, couches, airbeds, and floating mattress which are often too bulky and very stressful to assemble. This light and compact air lounger is made from high-quality and durable nylon materials for maximum relaxation. Learn more about what other things can an inflatable air lounger offer by reading this article.

 

6 Signs You May Be Depressed: How to Get Help if You Are

Depression is among us, whether we like to admit it or not, and although we live in the 21st century, people suffering from mental health disorders still find themselves the subject of stigma. However, there has been a small burning revolution, with individuals banding together to bring justice, help and acknowledgement to mental health issues, meaning people suffering can finally get the support they need.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression and is the leading cause of disability. Depression has many causes, from environmental to genetics, and can either last a lifetime or a few months once the trigger is determined and removed.

With statistics revealing that over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year, and as the global suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 population, depression recognition and prevention is vital. People needing to become aware of the symptoms.

Symptoms

Continuous Low Mood and Sadness

Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can trigger overwhelming emotions, causing a string of low moods and sadness which never seem to shift. Due to sadness, you may find yourself tearful and unable to see a future.

Low Self-esteem

Depression makes you doubt yourself, whether it’s over your appearance, skills or if your friends/partner like you. It holds no prisoners and makes you dislike every inch of yourself.

Lack of Motivation and Little Interest

If you used to participate in hobbies, but no longer have the energy to partake in them, then this is a common sign of depression and shouldn’t be overlooked. Of course, tastes change, and people fall out of love with things they once adored, but if you lack the motivation to get up in the morning and play your guitar, or sit in front of the TV instead of horse riding, then it may be something to consider.

No Energy, Disturbed Sleep and Low Sex Drive

People suffering from depression will usually find it difficult to fall asleep, or find getting up in the morning incredibly enduring. This goes above and beyond the usual hardship of getting up, ready for work. You will also find performing the simplest of tasks hard and may find you have no want or need for sex due to numbness.

Avoiding Contact with Friends

Usually, people suffering from depression will rarely want to interact with their friends. This can be because of the symptoms listed above, with people fearing their friends will judge, think there’s something “off” about you, and no longer be your friend.

Suicide Thoughts

Suicide is always tough to hear, but it can be one of the many outcomes for someone suffering from depression. If these symptoms speak to you, or remind you of a loved one, reach out to them to help prevent any harm they may bring to themselves.

Get the Help

Depression tends to isolate its captors. However, there are many organizations such as Smart Brain and Health TMS Los Angeles, who want to help people overcome this awful illness. Make sure to tell your doctor, friends and family, because most importantly, you need the support of others to win this battle.

Additionally, read the personal experiences of others, whether you suffer or not.

 

Fun For Kids – Making Summer Count

Long summers are loved by kids. Of course, parents can sometimes find them a little tiring! When your children are home for weeks, it can be tricky keeping them entertained or simply keeping up with them. Fortunately, there are lots of activities you can both get involved in. There are also plenty you can encourage them to do on their own as well.

 

Some of the best summer activities and events are the ones that provide well-rounded experiences. Learning new skills, making new friends, and staying physically active are all quality things to engage in. Don’t forget to schedule some quality time together as well!

Summer Camp

Camp doesn’t have to last all summer. You can find an overnight summer camp for kids that can give them their first taste of being away from home. Or you can join in and take part yourself. City kids can certainly get a lot out of the experience as it is so different to life back home. Of course, it goes far beyond a bit of fresh air and sleeping in a bag! The outdoor activities available can provide valuable life skills as well as developing a passion for camping.

 

Theme Parks

Lots of parents book tickets for a weekend at one of the big theme parks each summer. While the weather is nice, it can be fun to wander through the parks and trying out all the different rides. You might stay at the park or choose accommodation nearby. Sometimes you can make a whole vacation out of it. You can often save a little by booking early or by booking bulk tickets. Why not get together with other relatives and make it a family get-together?

 

Summer School

Taking classes or study sessions during the summer isn’t a bad idea if your kids have struggled a little during the last year. Of course, summer school can offer tuition and guidance beyond the standard academic subjects. Music, art, crafts, and cookery are often available as well. Some of these classes are ideal for family groups too. There is nothing stopping you developing your own ‘Mom’ school either. Pick a couple of subjects from your child’s curriculum and spend some time working on typical problems with your child. It can be much more fun when it is part of a family activity.

New Hobbies

Quality time with your kids is always hard to come by which is why the summer break can be so valuable. Why not take up a new hobby that you can all enjoy as a family? Maybe you’ll try synchronized swimming, crochet, cycling, or painting? You can choose anything you like, and if you don’t find it interesting then find something else. It’s about doing the same thing together and working to get better at it as a team.

 

The summer can be long and lazy, or it can be action-packed and fun. There is no rule that says you have to work hard. And there’s no need to waste a single moment. What will you get up to this summer?

 

How To Build A Stronger Bond With Your Children

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Today, everything happens so fast that we forget to spend quality time with our children. While we are busy working very hard to ensure their bright future, we neglect our children who are lonely and weary in our homes. As they grow up, their relationship with us, their parents starts to drift further and further apart. And in no time, we can find ourselves in deep regret for all the time lost that should have been spent with our children. Many ponder, “for what reason were we working so hard back then? Wasn’t it to ensure a bright future for our children? To make them grow into happy and family-loving adults?”  If only we knew that things would go sour, then we would have spent all more time with our children than on other things that did not matter.

Time is the most important thing that children need from their parents. There is a saying that time is gold, and nothing is more precious than spending time with your children. Not only will you make them happy, but it is also the most effective and efficient way for their growth and development to occur. A lot of studies have proven that children who have strong bonds with their parents have grown into happy and responsible kids.  Read an official statement

With that being said, if you want to develop and nurture your kids into a happy, friendly, and family-loving person, then here are tips that will help you develop a strong bond with them.

  •    Spend Time

No matter how busy and hectic your day is, always find time to talk to your kid. Make them feel that they are very important to you. Tell them that you miss them and always think about them. Time is the greatest investment you can make with your children. The more time you spend with them, the stronger the bond you will have.

  •    Respect and Listen to your Children

As parents, you don’t have to always take care and teach them everything. Teach them how to be independent by listening and respecting their wishes. Good communication is a two-way process. Be patient and listen closely so that you can understand what your child is trying to tell you so that you can prepare the best response that will benefit them the most. Take note of their hints, gestures, and habits. Make them feel that it is alright to talk about what they want and wish. With this, you will definitely be able to form a stronger bond that will last until old age.

Most parents mistakenly think that their children are too young and are not interested in their opinion. Where in fact, it is this stage in their growth and development that a person is most curious and most interested. They want to ask and learn a lot of things. They want to explore the world around them. It is the parents who are the best companions during this stage of life. Be your child’s best friend as early as now. If they can’t be comfortable with you, how can they ever be comfortable with other people? Remember that learning starts at home. The personality of your kid is a reflection of your personality.

For more information about kids and how to communicate with them, you can visit https://www.mykidneedsthat.com.

Little Adventures Dress Ups *Giveaway closed*

Shelby has always been a huge fan of princesses but she has a new obsession with Beauty and the Beast. (And it started before the new movie release) She begged for a Beauty birthday party and we knew that for a Beauty party needed the perfect dress! We turned to Little Adventures Dress Ups. They offer a huge selection of everything you need for dress up (for boys and girls!)

Shelby instantly fell in love with the Yellow Beauty Dress! Little kids transform into the Belle of the Ball in this newly redesigned charming fairytale classic. The stretchy yellow velvet bodice is gracefully designed with sparkling gold trim and an elegant collar adorned with red rose accents. The printed gold rose overskirt adds a dash of dazzle. Shelby absolutely loves to dance around as Belle!

No Princess Dress is complete without a crown and we love the Gold Soft Crown. This newly improved gold crown is made to last and fits any child princess. It has an elastic strap for a secure fit, and is adorned with three gold gems across the front.

 

Connect with Little Adventures Dress Ups

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Beauty and the Beast Birthday Party

Our little Shelby turned FIVE years old this month and she begged us for a Beauty and the Beast Party! Of course we had to, who doesn’t love Belle and the Beast?!

We started planning with our trusty party planning website- Oriental Trading  Where I was able to pick up almost everything we need for Shelby’s adorable little party. From plates, cups, goodie bags so much to choose from!

We kept the colors simple yellow and gold and Shelby loved it!  For the little girl’s goodies we made them all Tutus and I added in some Glitter Tulle. Then used the extra tulle to tie up the princess crowns and other goodies (candy, play dough and Shelby;s favorite the Rose Ring-Pop.)

The cake we did simple store bought with princess rings on top but we added a Beat for decorations and every girl took home one of the pretty Red Foil-Wrapped Chocolate Candy Roses.

Want to add something extra special? Add the Enchanted Rose and-Teacup Centerpiece.

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Our Family is Moving to Texas!

The last few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. My husband has been out there for over a month now working, got the new house all ready to go and he flies back next week to move us all out there!

So I have been insanely busy packing and yard selling as well as tons and tons of donations. The kids are all excited (except our oldest who is not happy but she will get over it).

I am excited, nervous and anxious all at the same time, I think as the time is getting closer and closer the anxiety is setting in and I am not looking forward to that LONNGGGGGGGG drive!

Yesterday I walked into Sarah’s dance studio and burst into tears. Saying goodbye to a dance studio we have been apart of since 2008 is hard, and even harder because we now have to find her a studio in Texas that we will love just as much as The School of Dance.

Saying goodbye to our friends and family is going to be hard and then having to make new friends…

I am looking forward to two weeks from now when we will be unpacked and settled!

Holy Zzz: The Perfect Sleep Sanctuary

Sleep well and don’t let the bedbugs bite. Although to be fair, you wouldn’t feel the bite of a bedbug because they inject an anesthetic fluid as they do. But you may wake up covered in little red spots if you happen to have an allergic reaction to their bites. But that isn’t the only thing that makes this saying a little odd. It seems to imply that only the bedbugs could disturb your sleep, while in truth the main person who is responsible for stealing your sleep is often yourself. As unbelievable as it sounds, most people who suffer from a disturbed sleep or lack of sleep are in some way or another guilty of damaging the quality of their resting time. Indeed, ignore the bedbugs: if you want to wake up from a good night sleep feeling refreshed and energized, you need to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. While this doesn’t mean that you need to fill the room with religious tapers and Christian icons, there’s an element to keep from the definition of a sanctuary. It’s holiness. Your sleep is precious, and your bedroom, your lifestyle, and your behavior have to reflect it. Without sleep, you die. So make sure that you can have the best of nights every single night.

Proper Furniture For The Right Feeling

There’s no night sleep in a bedroom that is poorly equipped to fit the purpose. Your bedroom should have the right furniture to support your relaxing night sleep. What is the right furniture? Naturally, the bed plays a key role in the bedroom – it is difficult to sleep comfortably without a bed – but you need to consider the whole the room. A clean bedroom will help you feeling more relaxed as you fall asleep. This means that the wardrobe should be large enough for all the clothes, and should be provided with a door. If there is a desk in the room, you should have additional storage elements, such as a set of drawers or shelves to keep the desk clear and clean. Additionally, try to avoid leaving your clothes lying on the floor at the end of the day. This will disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the room and impact on the quality of your rest. Use a coat hanger instead, or the laundry basket if you don’t want to wear them again.

No More Hot Sleeping

Sleeping is an art that is difficult to master. But it is worth getting it right: You will feel full of energy in the morning! As a general rule of the thumb, it is recommended to maintain the temperature in the bedroom between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature for your body to be able to shut down daytime functions and let your brain relax. Unfortunately, this is more easily said than done. Most people like to sleep under a thick duvet, as this looks more comfortable and relaxing. It’s hard not to overheat in those conditions without clever tips to cool down for warm sleepers. An easy way to keep your thick duvet without sweating all night long is to keep the top of your head uncovered: You lose a lot of heat through your head, and this can help to regulate your body temperature. Additionally, you could simply choose to stick your feet out from under the duvet. This is the most effective way to cool down quickly.  

 

Feng Shui My Sleep

Are you happy with your bedroom décor? Do you feel nourished and relaxed in it? If you are not sure about the answers to these questions, you might want to have a look at what the Feng Shui philosophy has to offer to help you. Feng Shui is more than a concept of the Yin and the Yang; it also provides valuable recommendations and tips for harmonious interior décors. While you may not want to follow everything to the letter, you will find a lot of pragmatic elements that are still valid in your everyday life. Feng Shui focuses interior décor on neutral and natural color schemes that tend to be the colors of all skin tones – from porcelain to dark chocolate. These are renowned for creating a soothing and positive energy around your sleep.

Put The Mind To Sleep

Modern life involves a lot of screen time, whether you are watching your favorite TV show or checking your Facebook status on your smartphone. Unfortunately, what most people ignore is that too much screen time in the evening can keep you from having a refreshing night sleep. Indeed, the specific wavelengths of screen light can suppress the impact of melatonin in the brain, which is a sleep hormone that is responsible for regulating your sleep-wake cycling throughout the night. The abundance of screen time before bed forces your brain to believe that it isn’t night time. As a result, it will actively try to wake you up all night long between each sleep cycle. This is why sleep scientists suggest stopping any screen activity up to one hour before going to bed. This implies that you should stop watching TV at around that time. Maybe you can prepare a bedtime book to keep you company during the last 60 minutes of the day.

Memory Foam-idable

There is no good night sleep without a good mattress. However, it’s important to remember that your body changes with time and that the mattress you might have bought a few years ago is not fitted for your new shape anymore. If you are among those lucky people who can maintain their fitness level and weight, this doesn’t mean that you should stick to the same mattress. Your mattress will need regular changing as its firmness reduces over time; every 5 to 8 years is a good time to try a new mattress. The same argument is valid for your pillow too. Waking up with neck pain is never the sign of a refreshing night of sleep.

 

Release The Tensions

You are constantly under pressure, whether they are physical or emotional. At the end of the day, it’s important to release your body and your mind from all the tensions that you’ve accumulated before you can go to bed. For some people, a glass of alcohol can help. But you should stay away from it: Relying on alcohol to relax is the best way to stay awake all night long! Try instead a simple yoga routine that can help you to relax your mind and your body. You will gradually feel your tensions easing as you breathe deeply through each move. There’s no need to be a yogi master to learn to relax properly. So give it a try and feel the difference.

Change Your Eating And Drinking Habits

Dieticians and sleep specialists agree that certain types of food can help you to sleep better, while other can damage your sleep cycle. Tryptophan, for example, which is common in turkey, soy beans, and pumpkin seeds, is responsible for inducing sleep. Whole grains are not directly linked to your sleep, but they help your body absorb tryptophan foods. Food that is naturally rich in melatonin, the sleeping aid hormone that is produced by the brain, is a great pillow boost in your diet. Try cherries, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, as they are one of the main sources of natural melatonin. But stay away from alcohol and caffeine, as these will disturb your sleep patterns and cause frequent interruptions of your sleep cycle during the night. As a result, you’ll feel more tired when you wake than you did when you went to bed!

 

Work Tomorrow – Ideas For Helping Your Child Onto The Career Ladder

Some would say that the ultimate role of a parent is to get a child ready to leave them. While that might sound quite depressing – most of us feel the flutterings of empty nest syndrome forthcoming every time a birthday passes! – it’s actually a positive thing. The best thing you can do as a parent is equip your children for the world.

Part of this is from life lessons. They see the way you do things and mimic it; perhaps you even take the time to teach them a few household chores. If you want to go a step above though, it’s well worth thinking of the skills your kids can begin to develop right now that will ultimately pay off when the time comes for them to look for employment.

Too soon? It’s a cliché, but it’s never too soon for this kind of learning – especially if you can make it feel fun for them, too! Given that computer-based jobs are going to be essential for future generations, that’s the best way to begin.

Playing Games Can Help With Problem Solving

Did you know you can play games right from within the Google browser? They’re free and you don’t need to download any existing software for them – perfect to help your kids begin to develop their computer skills.

You’ll need the Google Chrome browser for the Google-based games.

T-Rex Run

A simple runner game that can help with manual dexterity and anticipating objects – and best of all, you don’t need an internet connection to do it. You can help familiarize your children with the keyboard layout as they play, which in turn will help them feel comfortable using it – perfect for future office-based roles. Turn off your Wifi and when Chrome tells you it’s “unable to connect to the internet”, hit the spacebar and you’re off and running.

Atari Breakout

Helps to develop strategic thinking, this ever-popular game can now be played direct from the browser. Just do a Google Image Search for “Atari Breakout” and the game will appear before your eyes.

PacMan

PacMan isn’t just fun: again, it’s strategic in nature and helps with the development of fine motor skills. Just Google “Pacman” and wait for it to appear.

This is just the beginning of games available online that can help kids with their development. For example, these abcya typing games are perfect for your children and you can browse app stores for educational games for when you’re on the move.

Coding For Kids

Being able to code is already a much-sought-after ability and the need is just going to increase as society progresses its digital leanings.
There are many ways to introduce your kids to coding. It’s essentially like learning a second language, so all the benefits of being bilingual are also going to be felt. A quick browse online will find simple, often free, options for preschool to college levels. Maybe your kids will fall in love and want to work directly in coding, but even if not, it’s a great “special skill” to have for a future resumé!

How to Help Children Develop Good Tooth Cleaning Habits

Instilling good oral hygiene habits in your kids can feel like an uphill battle at times, but it doesn’t have to be when you follow these simple tips to make the activity an enjoyable one.

Give Them a Toothpaste They’ll Love Using

If you use toothpaste designed to appeal to children, you’ll have much easier time convincing them to clean their teeth. Major brands produce toothpastes that come in brightly colored tubes depicting familiar characters from well-loved TV shows.

Most kids can’t wait to get their hands on their Dora the Explorer, Minions or Sponge Bob toothpaste and you can make tooth cleaning even more fun by letting your child pick out a matching character toothbrush.

Choose Fluoride Toothpaste

Make sure you choose a toothpaste containing fluoride. Fluoride helps to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. The internet is awash with ill-informed criticism of fluoride, but all leading experts and health authorities are emphatic about the safety and effectiveness of fluoride, so don’t be afraid to use fluoride toothpaste.

Still have questions about fluoride? Ask your dentist for more information next time you visit.

Check Brushing Technique

Now and then you should use disclosing tablets to check how well your child is cleaning their teeth. Disclosing tablets contain a dye that reacts with plaque in the mouth and stains it red. Your child will be able to clearly see any places they’ve missed and learn to pay closer attention to those spots in the future.

Include Their Toys in the Fun

Let your child pretend to clean the teeth on their favorite doll or action figure before they clean their own.

Don’t Expect Cooperation When Kids Are Tired

While brushing before bedtime is a crucial step for healthy teeth and gums, if you leave the task until just before bed when kids are likely to be tired and cranky, you’ll turn the bedtime brushing routine into a battleground.

Head to the bathroom while your little one is still feeling lively and you’ll both find the whole process much easier to manage.

Download a Brushing Chart

Print out a brushing chart that your child can add stickers to or color in each time they clean they teeth. Often the sticker chart is enough of a reward for children, but you can add a weekly or monthly prize for a completed chart if you want to.

Be a Role Model

From an early age, it’s a really good idea to bring your little one into the bathroom when you brush your own teeth. They will get used to seeing you clean your teeth and will be keen to copy you as soon as they’re able to use a toothbrush.

When you make brushing fun, your children will soon look forward to what can otherwise be a twice daily chore they would prefer to skip. Instill good habits when they’re young and those habits will still be strong when children are old enough to not have you looking over their shoulder making sure that they actually brush.

How to Achieve Silky Soft Skin

Great skin is every woman’s best accessory; beautiful skin can make you feel confident and is something that will never go out of style! Investing in your complexion is always a good idea, and is something you’re sure to thank yourself for later down the line when you’ve kept your youthful good looks for as long as possible. Here are some of the ways you can achieve fresh, soft and smooth skin.

 

Face

Sticking to a good skin care regime is one of the best things you can do for your skin. Moisturise morning and evening, apply eye cream, lip balm and use masks and facial oils when needed to give your skin a boost of hydration and nourishment. Using an SPF is also incredibly important, the sun’s UV rays are damaging all year round- not just in summer. If you choose a day cream or a foundation with added SPF you can kill two birds with one stone instead of using two separate products. If you wear makeup, make sure that you remove it properly every night. When you sleep the skin regenerates and renews, and when it’s clogged with makeup, it interferes with this process. Use some micellar water on a cotton pad to remove surface makeup and grime, and follow up with a gentle cleanser to clean deep down into the pores. If you suffer from acne, psoriasis or any other skin issues, speak to a dermatologist. Starting treatment as soon as possible helps to avoid damage to your skin from breakouts, and is sure to make you feel far more confident as well.

 

Body

The skin on your body isn’t as delicate and sensitive as the skin on your face, but it needs to be looked after all the same. Once a week use an gentle exfoliating scrub, focusing on areas like elbows and knees which are more prone to drying out. Carefully shaving is another important thing to consider, be careful not to cut yourself or dry out your skin. Many of these women’s electric razor reviews from shavingmachine.org for example can be used wet or dry so find something that works for you. With spring and summer on the way, it’s time to ditch the layers, and bare legs will soon be back out. So you’ll want your skin looking as soft and smooth as possible! Follow up every shower with a hydrating moisturizer. Rich body butters work well, but if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time for it to sink in there are some great spray on moisturisers on the market. These sink in much more quickly, perfect to grab and go when you’re getting ready in the morning.

Hands and Feet

Hands and feet are often neglected when it comes to skincare. But these hardworking areas of our body need to be looked after too. Protect your hands when you’re washing up or using chemicals by putting on rubber gloves. Hands can be a dead giveaway of age, so even if you look after your complexion you’ll still look older if you don’t care for them! Using moisturizer on your hands and feet will help to keep them in the best condition. You could use a pumice stone or Ped Egg on the dry skin on your feet too so they’re flip-flop ready for the summer.

 

Eleven Ways To Improve Your Bank Account’s Health

Let’s face it: money is easy for barely anyone, and particularly not in this day and age when everything seems to be so expensive. Luckily, there are ways for you to cut back in your everyday life so that you can have a much easier financial life. Here are some tips…

grocery coupon app

Make A Household Budget

First of all, it’s crucial that you make a household budget. You might be wondering where exactly all your money goes and here’s your chance to find out. Make sure that you line up your incomings and outgoings together, and make sure that your outgoings don’t exceed your incomings – you don’t want to be spending more than you earn, after all! You should ensure that you put down all of what you spend on the table – you might not think it’s expensive to buy a coffee and sandwich for lunch every day but things like that can really add up over time.

 

Pay Your Bills When They Arrive

There’s nothing that will make you feel more on top of your finances than paying bills the same day that you receive them. Doing this has other benefits than making you feel like a total financial wizard – it’ll also mean that you don’t stash them in a drawer for safe keeping and then totally forget about them, and it’ll mean that your bills won’t stack up and mean that you have a huge amount of money coming out of your account at some point.

 

Look Out For Deals

The first rule of deals is that you should only go for them if it’s something that you know that you’ll use – remember that stores essentially just want you to spend money, and if it isn’t something you would have been buying anyway then you’re wasting money instead of saving it! There’s no point in spending your whole life trekking around grocery stores with your hands full of coupons but it is a good idea to look for bargains in the things that you really need and that you buy some things in bulk like pet food and toilet paper – just make sure that you have somewhere to keep it! No one wants to have to build a coffee table out of excess tins of sweetcorn and pretend it’s an art installation.

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Cook From Scratch

One of the best and healthiest ways that you can save money is to make sure that you cook all your food from scratch. Start buying more fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish at the grocery store, and follow online recipes instead of using store bought sauces and meals. Batch cooking on a Sunday can help you if you’re worried about time pressures during the week, and you can also make sure that you plan out your meals carefully so that you buy the right amount of food and nothing goes to waste. It would be a little cruel to insist that you make perfect dinners from scratch every night, so cut yourself some slack – you can only do your best, after all.

 

Stop Using Your Cards

Using your cards constantly is a really great way to get into debt. It’s hard to figure out what exactly you’re spending if you’re just handing over your shiny credit card instead of paying in cash, so it’s time to take out the cash you want to spend each week and use only that. It will help you stick to your budget and it will also make you a lot more aware of how much you’re spending, meaning that you won’t be quite as tempted to throw away your hard earned cash on frivolous things.

 

Start Socialising Differently

It’s easy to spend far too much money on socialising – you figure that it’s okay because it’s important for you to see your friends, and of course that’s absolutely true. But it’s time to cut down on those lengthy dinners with lots of wine and cocktails at the bar afterwards – instead, go out for brunch or lunch or even coffee, or invite your friends over for a girly night where you can make popcorn and watch a movie together. Make sure that what you do suits every friend’s budget – you shouldn’t be at the whims of whichever of your friends gets paid the most all the time.
Quit The Gym

Let’s face it, that expensive gym membership you took out and that you don’t use nearly enough isn’t doing anyone except the gym itself any good. It’s time to quit the gym and to start keeping fit at home instead. You could devise a short exercise routine for yourself including push ups and sit ups or you could try out some yoga at home or you could even start jogging and do Couch To 5K (let’s dream big and tell yourself that you’ll be doing a marathon in aid of your favourite charity this time next year!). You don’t need expensive gym memberships, clothing or equipment to keep fit – all you really need is your own determination.

Look Online For Tips

It’s always a good idea to look online for any money saving tips. Let’s face it, if you’re not used to staying on top of your finances, then other people will automatically know more than you do, and you can always pick up ideas from articles like this one, or others with titles like ‘100 easy money-saving ideas’ or ‘Ways to make sure that your family stays frugal’. Following money-saving blogs will help you challenge yourself to save more and to be more careful with your cash.

 

Ask For More Money At Work

Here is a fact: you probably aren’t being paid enough. Companies will generally get away with giving you the absolute least amount of money that they possibly can, so it’s time for you to ask for more, particularly if you feel as though you’ve been doing a great job lately and your review is coming up. There’s no point in asking for the moon – but a reasonable raise is something that any good boss should consider. If it’s impossible, it’s time to start looking for another job – money is a way that companies show that they value you, and asking for more money is a way for you to show that you value yourself.

 

Save On Your Energy Bills

Over the winter you probably watched in absolute horror as your energy bills went through the roof as you switched on the heating to stay warm and cozy at home. Although it’s getting warmer now, you should still make sure that your roof is insulated and that your windows and doors are free of any cracks that might be letting cold air seep into your lovely warm house. You should also cover the floors with rugs to stop heat escaping that way, and make sure that you open your curtains to let sunlight flood into your rooms to warm them up too. (Just beware that that can show off the dust that you may or may not have allowed to accumulate over the winter!)

 

Talk To A Professional

Finally, one of the best ways to get financially in tune with yourself is to talk to a professional. Make an appointment with your bank or with a financial advisor and make sure that you write down a list of questions to ask before you go in there so you don’t forget anything. Talking to a professional will give you some more hints and tips for the future and most importantly, it will reassure you that you’re doing the absolute best you can.

Important Safety Lessons You Need To Teach Your Child

It is said that when you become a parent, your whole perspective on life changes. You immediately become more selfless and some of the things that perhaps used to interest you – such as going out drinking – no longer have a place in your life. You also become much more protective, perhaps more than you have ever been before. This is only natural, as it is ingrained in our DNA to nurture our children and above all, keep them safe.  Knowing just how to do this in the modern world, however, can be a bit of a minefield. It can sometimes feel as though there are so many dangers posed to our children these days that we don’t know where to begin. Many of us look fondly at the past, claiming that the world didn’t seem to be so dangerous back then. However, it is worth bearing in mind that perhaps the only reason why the world can seem a lot scarier these days is that we have greater access to news and a stricter justice system. Either way, it is worth taking a noted interest in your children’s safety, as there as so many bases you need to cover. The absolute last thing you want is to receive that dreaded phone call where you are told that your child has become seriously ill, or that they have hurt themselves in some way. But you can minimize the likelihood of this happening by taking precautions and educating your child about basic safety so you can both enjoy life in a carefree manner. Here are some of the most obvious ones you’ll need to tick off your list, and how you should go about approaching these issues with your child.

Bullying and self-esteem

Okay, so this one isn’t exactly an illness or a direct threat to your child’s life. But being a victim of bullying can have an immediate effect on your child’s wellbeing, which is arguably just as important. Bullying is, unfortunately, something that goes on in every school, and not every school is equipped to deal with it. That is why you need to be prepared to take matters into your own hands if your child is at risk of being bullied. Of course, a bully will go after anyone they think they can get a reaction from, so to prevent it in the first place, you need to make sure your child is not already vulnerable. This means ensuring that they are well socialized from a young age and that they have high self-esteem. Bullies pick up on signs of weakness, so sending your child to school with their head held high means that they are far less likely to be picked on. If the worse does happen and they do end up being bullied, encourage them to talk to you or another trusted family member about it. That way, the two of you can tackle the problem together.

Swimming

The amount of parents who see swimming as a secondary skill these days is quite scary. Even if you have no intention of taking your child near open water, you never know when they could be exposed to it when you are not there, or later in life. Therefore it is imperative that they know how to swim, just in case they have an accident or find themselves in some difficulty. Book your child onto swimming lessons while they are still young – around age three, if it is possible. Even if you hate swimming or are afraid of water rest assured that they would be looked after in the pool by trained professionals. Lessons are relatively inexpensive, and they could end up saving your child’s life, so it is a worthy investment to make.

In the car

Children are impulsive when they are young, and they do not understand the risks associated with driving and being on the road. You may find yourself in a situation where your child is purposely trying to distract you from driving, or they are trying to exit the vehicle while it is moving (usually in the middle of a tantrum). Make sure your child knows that being in the car is not a game. Yes, car journeys can be fun, but you need to concentrate, and therefore you cannot give your child all your attention when you are driving. If your child does frequently try and get out of the car during transit, employ your vehicle’s child locks to make sure they stay put. You also need to make a point of checking what the law is in your state regarding children’s car seats. Typically, the law states that a child up to a certain height is legally required to use a car seat. If you are unsure of which one to buy and which accessories you need to go with it, visit a site such as Babyseats.reviews. Additionally, teach your child the importance of wearing their seatbelt. When they are very young, you will have to put it on for them, but once they are old enough get them to do it themselves. It is also worth teaching your kid about what the warning signs are when a driver is drunk, and let them know that they should never get into a car with someone they think may be intoxicated.

Against dangerous people

9.9 times out of 10, everyone your child comes into contact with will be a genuine, friendly person, with no ulterior motive whatsoever. However, we all hear stories on the news about children who have been attacked, abused or abducted by adults (and in some cases even by other children), so it is always worth teaching your child the importance of trusting their instincts. The idea of ‘stranger danger’ does still apply, but is a less common term now, as studies show that the person most likely to pose a threat to a child is someone who already knows them. However, the basic advice still stands. Teach your child that no one in your family keeps secrets from each other and that if someone does something bad and then asks them not to tell anyone, they are within their rights to ignore that request. If your child is approached by someone in a manner they are not comfortable with, tell them that they don’t always have to be polite – and if the person in question tries to touch or grab them, they should scream and attract the attention of passers-by. Advise them that a mother with a child is usually a good option regarding who to seek help from, should they feel as though they need it. But the most important thing to teach your child is to trust their instincts. The point of ‘stranger danger’ is not to make a child suspicious of every new person they come across – this would only serve to make them very nervous individuals and possible overly dependent on you. But it is to help them realize when they could be in trouble, which in turn is what can help them live a more independent life. Children thrive off of knowing that you trust them, so by instilling these values in your kids you can breathe easy even when they are out of your sight. Every parent deserves to be able to relax from time to time, so by teaching your child these vital safety rules you can rest assured that they are unlikely to come to any harm.

 

Nursery Must Haves

Any new parent looks for the sought after baby nursery items, yes even seasoned parents like my husband and i. Even on baby number four we wanted to get him all new Nursery items, strollers, high chairs, crib and of course mattress. We found a great place to get all those Nursery Must Haves–  Baby Cubby.

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The Baby Cubby is for every parent out there who has ever felt overwhelmed or discouraged about becoming a parent. The Baby Cubby team is made up of parents who have been there, know what it’s like and are passionate about encouraging, inspiring, and reminding parents how amazing they are and how important their role is.

The way Baby Cubby does this is by finding the highest quality and safest baby gear to provide to parents in a fun shopping experience. Baby Cubby test strollers on their stroller track, price match everyday – even amazon, offer free shipping nationwide at BabyCubby.com.

  • Baby Cubby always price match, even amazon, so you know you’re getting a great deal
  • Baby Cubby carries only the highest quality and safest gear so that you can shop confidently (Baby Cubby spends hundreds of hours researching so you don’t have to)
  • Free Shipping everyday at BabyCubby.com over $49

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