Tag Archives: family

Overcome Your Fear Of Going To College

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Overcome Your Fear Of Going To College

A lot of people fear starting college. After all, it might be the first time that you are away from your friends and family in eighteen plus years. And living with a bunch of strangers can be nerve wracking. However, there are lots of benefits to going to college. As well as getting a degree in your favorite subject, you will make friends for life. And you will pick up lots of new skills that you can take with you in the future. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, so here are some ways that you can overcome your fear of going to college:

Talk to People Who Have Graduated: It’s always a good idea when you are nervous about something to talk to someone who has done it before. And when it comes to going to college, you might have friends and family who have done it before you. They can give you tips and advice as well as ease any worries that you might have. If you don’t know anyone who has completed college in your inner circle, you can talk to people online about their college experiences. In fact, there are many blogs out there which talk frankly about college life. And reading these can give you a boost before you have to go to college on your own.

Make Friends With Roommates Before You Start: You should be assigned a room in a specific dorm before you start school. And once you know these details, you can look on the forums for your college, there is sure to be a lot of freshmen who will be talking about their rooms and you should be able to hunt down your roommates before you even start your classes. To lessen your fear of having to live with strangers, you can talk to them and get to know them before the big day. You might even want to arrange for a day out with them to get to know them better. And if you still feel fearful of living with strangers, keep some safety must-haves in your room. You can buy some items from sites similar to TBOTECH which will help if someone did try and come into your room. And always get a good lock so that you won’t be disturbed by drunk roommates!

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Take Some Home Comforts With You: It’s always unnerving being away from home for the first time. In fact, over 69% of students admitted to being homesick during their first year at college. But, there are some ways that you can make it easier. For one thing, you should take some home comforts with you. For example, an old favorite teddy would be great to help you feel more at home. And a blanket or favorite pair of PJs can also do the trick. You should also take some pictures from home which you can put on the wall. That way, you will feel like you are surrounded by your nearest and dearest even if you are the other side of the country!

A fuzzy blanket is a must!

And remember, there is always a college counselor that you can talk to if you are finding it hard to settle. They can support and reassure you while you get accustomed to the craziness that sometimes is college life.

Featured Image By: Flickr

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Breathe Easier In Your Home

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Breathe Easier In Your Home

We think that our home is a safe and healthy haven for our family and that we don’t have to worry as opposed to when we are outside in the open world. But there are actually a lot of hidden dangers lurking in our home. And a lot of people don’t even realize what they are. One thing that you need to turn your attention to is the air quality in your home. It’s important to make sure that it’s on point so your family doesn’t have to deal with allergies and even asthma attacks. However, a lot of people are living with poor air in their home, which is damaging to their family. Here are some ways that you can improve the air, so that you can all breathe much easier in your home!

Be Wary About the Air Fresheners You Use: To ensure that you have fresh and clean air in your home, you might want to consider using some form of air freshener. You can often spread these around the house to improve the air in all of the rooms in your humble abode. You can either get ones that stand alone or even ones that plug in to improve the air. But, you need to make sure that you get the ones which have the least chemicals. There are some air fresheners out there that actually emit allergens and toxins which can make the air even worse. Try to avoid air fresheners which include pollutants including benzene and styrene. Or, to ensure that you get an air freshener which you can trust, you might want to make your own. That way, you will know exactly what is going into the air freshener. There is plenty of advice online on how to make DIY air fresheners for your home.

Cut Out Smoking in The Home: While the number of people smoking has dramatically reduced in recent years, there is still just under one billion worldwide enjoying a cigarette every day. And while it can have stress-reducing benefits, there is a wide range of health problems that can arise from smoking cigarettes. For example, you are at a higher risk of lung cancer and heart disease if you smoke cigarettes on a regular basis. Moreover, if you do smoke in your home, you could be damaging the air quality. And not just for yourself either; your family, too. Secondhand smoke can damage your family’s health as much as it’s currently affecting yours. And if you are smoking inside, it can irritate your kid’s allergies, and you will soon find that they are coughing more. Stick to smoking outside in the future to keep the air supply healthy in your home.

Get an Air Filter For Inside Your Home: When the air isn’t circulating properly, you might find that there is a buildup of dust in the air in your home. To fix this, look into getting an air filter for your home. With one of these, the air will travel around your home properly. And it can prevent dust and moisture build up, which will cause your family to struggle to breathe. It’s always good to have one of these if you use an air conditioning system, but make sure that you check it regularly. That way, if it does stop working, you can quickly fix it with something similar to a Delta air cleaner replacement.

Dry Your Clothes Outside: A lot of us opt to dry our clothes indoors so we can keep an eye on them to check whether they are ready to be ironed and put away. But, when we dry our clothes inside, there can be a buildup of moisture in the air. And this can cause the air supply in your home to take a turn for the worse. You are also more likely to get things like damp if you are drying your clothes inside. It’s definitely worth drying them outside on a clothes line, instead, to keep the air supply healthy in your home. If not, keep some windows open while drying clothes to help some of the moisture escape.

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Create a Dust Free Environment: When we are busy in our life, it’s easy to not keep on top of cleaning our home. Totally understandable. But, if anything, try to keep up on dusting. Set aside at least ten or so minutes a day to give the home a sweep with the Swiffer Dusters. And remember to try and declutter the home, too! It’s easy for dust to build up under piles of clothes or books!

ALSO: Try to increase the plants in your home, as they can filter toxins from the air. Opt for a plant like a peace lily or an English ivy which can both purify the air and look lovely.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Monday Update: Take A Walk Edition

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Monday Update: Take A Walk Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a fantastic and relaxing weekend. So, technically, this Monday Update should be called Take A Walk/Run Edition (a rawk?) but Take A Walk sounds a bit more snazzy so we’ll just go with it. ANYWAYS, this past week, my mom decided that she would like to give walking at the nearby middle school track a go and asked if I would like to join her. Because I am a loving daughter and also because I’m trying to get my beach body in check I said, albeit a little grudgingly, “sure”. ALSO, the “comfort” few pounds gained when I was still with my ex-boyfriend are no joke so, I repeat, I really want to get my beach body in check.

So, my mom and I made our way to the track and because simply walking bores me, I thought that I would try to run as much as I could before taking a walking break. And LET ME TELL YOU, the ol’ smoker’s lungs were on FIRE. Despite this, I walked/ran (rawked) a mile and a quarter and felt pretty happy about it. Granted, it felt like pure and utter torture, but it was sort of fun? Can torture be fun? I guess the answer is YES.

My mom and I have gone to the track five times within the week during the evening and each time, I’ve been able to run a little bit longer than I was able to the last time. This is exciting to me. For those of you who don’t know, I was a competitive figure skater for a long time but gave it up when I was about sixteen (I’m 22 now). I miss doing things that involve athleticism (even though shopping is a sport, damnit), so it felt really good to be able to do something to get the blood pumping again and put my legs of steel to use.

Am I going to be the next Usain Bolt any time soon? Absolutely not. But I would be ecstatic if I could make it around the track once (which is a quarter mile) at a run without stopping to walk. It’s nice to have goals to accomplish even if they’re small and it’s also fun being able to be with my mom even if we’re just waving at each other from our different locations on the track.

I never thought that I’d say that I was actually looking forward to going for a rawk and getting sweaty, but I definitely find myself looking forward to it during the day. I even want to start hitting the ice again, although it would be just for fun. Being motivated in an athletic way for the first time in a long time feels good and I know my beach body goals will be achieved sooner or later. So here’s to bikini shopping not being a total pain this year!

^^^ As always, I have no rights to this song or video (I wish I did!!).

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Take A Walk Edition! How do you plan on achieving your perfect beach bod this year? Who else enjoys a good walk, run, or rawk? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

In The Right Place: The Things You Should Prioritize When Relocating Your Family

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In The Right Place: The Things You Should Prioritize When Relocating Your Family

Moving can be incredibly hard for one person, not to mention a whole family. There are a variety of reasons as to why someone might like to move their family elsewhere, from dissatisfaction with the local schools, to affordability, or simply just needing more space, sometimes it’s best to take the plunge and start drawing up an ideal new life for your closest and most loved.

This can feel like a gargantuan task. If you don’t have an area in mind for a career or other family members, how do you choose the best area out of a seemingly endless list? There are a few items to consider before fully making that choice:

Transport: This is a big one. Not only do you have to assess if you’re going to have a convenient time traveling outside of your new nest, but you need to plan ahead. Imagine your children are five or even ten years older than they are now. Can they access their friends with relative ease? Are they able to make it to town to have a reasonable chance of earning money at a part time job? Try and look back to your childhood, what was important to you at that point in your life? In that self-searching exercise, you might find things that surprise you.

A good way to reassure yourself that this point is taken care of is scheduling a practice run around the area where you go to view your potential new house. Driving around and figuring out where everything is can give you a valuable understanding that can save you future headaches. If you have the funds and the time, consider allocating a few days to explore the new area while staying at a hotel or B&B.

Additionally, how easy is it to move your belongings there? Getting a quote from moving companies can also be worthwhile at this stage.

Opportunities: This is the second half of the earlier point about imagining your children’s future. Do they have ease of access to jobs? How are the schools rated in the local educational authorities inspection reports? If you’re going somewhere to relocate for a career, this still needs to be kept in mind. Adding a few miles to your commute could be worth getting into a better school’s catchment area in the long run!

Locals: This is a less measurable resource, but figuring out how the locals interact with each other can be quite important. Perhaps going to a cafe and getting a fix on how you’re greeted and how people interact can be enlightening. Of course, take this with a pinch of salt, you never know who’s had a bad day. Try striking up a conversation with a few people at the market in town and see if anyone’s receptive. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised!

Crime Rate: You can find the crime rate of a local area online. This is important for your peace of mind and overall safety of the family.

Price: Last but arguably the most important is the price. How affluent is the area? What are the surrounding houses like? Can you expect your house value to improve? Is a higher startup cost worth the surroundings? This is a highly subjective value that will be different for everyone who moves, so take the time to weigh the pros and cons, while offsetting them against the price.

Best of luck to anyone moving house! This is an exciting time for you to redefine how your future will be. Make the most of it! 🙂

Featured Image By: Flickr

The Secret Life Of Cats

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The Secret Life Of Cats

We all want companionship in our lives, and so for many of us, the option to get a pet seems like a great idea. For those of us that are infatuated with felines, we will immediately think about adopting a cat. Compared to other animals, cats are considerably low-maintenance and are easy to transport. In fact, some people love them so much that they decide to give several felines a forever home!

It’s likely you are reading this blog post because you are putting serious consideration into adopting a cat. But, before you start looking for potential new feline friends, you should think about what a day in the life of a pet cat is like from an owner’s point of view. If you’ve never owned a feline before, you need to do plenty of research on the subject so that you can make an informed choice.

In today’s blog post, you will learn more about the “secret” life of cats and the impact it has on their owners or people visiting them in their homes. Here is what you need to know before bringing a kitty cat home:

Cats have individual personalities just like we do: Some people are under the illusion that animals we keep as pets generally behave in the same way. The thing is, cats have unique and individual personalities just like human beings. Some cats might be docile, others feisty, and some are just plain scary!

When you go out to look at potential cats to adopt, you need to find out about their temperament from the adoption agency or seller. It’s even more vital that you do this if you’ve got other people living with you, especially children and babies. The last thing you want is for your family to get mauled by your new pet cat on a daily basis!

Plus, it goes without saying that you should only get a cat if there is a strong likelihood that they will “get on” with your existing pets.

Cats need looking after: No-one should expect a cat to fend for itself on a daily basis, whether it roams within the confines of your home or out on the street during the day. You need to be a responsible cat owner and ensure that its health and welfare is your top priority.

That means giving your feline friend access to the right food and plenty of fresh water. Plus, cats that roam outdoors during the day need flea protection. Products such as Advecta 3 are suitable for keeping flea infestation risks to a minimum. Also, it goes without saying that you should ensure that your cat lives in a sanitary environment. In other words, you must keep your home and their favorite hideaways as clean as possible.

Cats will do things that annoy you: You can try to train your cat as much as you like, but we all know that they will just do their own thing! With that in mind, you must make your home cat-friendly as much as possible. Try not to be angry at them for doing things like:

  • Wrecking your Christmas tree during the holidays;
  • Going to the toilet in places other than their litter tray;
  • Bringing back “presents” for you (i.e. dead mice and birds);
  • Sleeping in your bed!

They will also dig their claws into your furniture, especially carpets. For that reason, it’s crucial that you buy them a cat scratching post, such as the Purrfect Post.

If you’ve made it this far and are still determined to adopt a cat, you will at least know more about what to expect when you live with one. Good luck and congrats! 🙂

Featured Image By: Pexels

The Ultimate Dinner Party Guide

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The Ultimate Dinner Party Guide

From tableware to menus and seating arrangements, throwing a dinner party is never easy. Not only do you have to create the perfect ambient setting to enjoy a meal, but you also have to plan, prepare, cook, and serve the food! It can sound like more trouble than it’s worth but don’t be put off. Dinner parties are an amazing way to get family and friends together.

If you struggle to find the time to catch up with loved ones individually it can be a great way to get everyone in the room for a wonderful evening. It’s also a good test of your organizational skills and hosting abilities! Above everything else, it’s a lot of fun. As long as you have a plan in place, the evening will be a huge success. This dinner party guide takes you from the menu planning process to the dinner table decors, all the way to puddings and party favors:

The Guest List: The first thing that you need to decide is who you’re inviting. If you’re co-hosting the dinner party with a friend, partner, or family member, sit down together and work out a list. You need to work out what you want out of the dinner party. A big celebration with friends, intimate family meal, or perhaps an open-to-all buffet style event. Whatever the occasion is, this will indicate who you should invite.

Of course, the amount of space you have around the table will also dictate the number of guests. If you’re inviting more than eight people, a sit-down meal might not be the best idea. First of all, who has a table big enough for over eight? Also, you might want to consider a more fluid set up. For large numbers open up the garden and kitchen to guests, too. That way people can mingle without feeling cramped and confined to one room.

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Partayyy

Creating The Menu: If you’re having a sit-down soiree you’ll need to prepare a menu. If you’re having six people or under round for dinner you can probably cook individual courses. If you’re having more than six people or over, sharer style dishes and one-pot recipes are the way to go. If you’re having a huge gathering, then a buffet station set up in the garden or kitchen for food is best. You’ll have to determine whether any of the guests have allergies or intolerances before you come up with a menu. Also come up with some vegetarian and vegan options, too.

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     YUM

     For Smaller Groups:

Get your prep done before guests arrive, this goes for all group sizes. If you’re hosting for a smaller group of people you can afford to have more attention to detail and more ambitious dishes. Prawns are a good starter because they’re easy to prepare in advance. Buy prawns which have been cooked, cleaned, and peeled already. This will save time. There are so many different ways to serve prawns. A fail-safe option is a simple grilled prawn with a pre-prepared sauce. Get some char on your prawns to increase the smokey flavors in the dish. This goes particularly well with a romesco sauce.

For the main course, food preferences permitted, herb crusted lamb is a real show stopper. To make the crust, combine breadcrumbs, parsley, mint, and oil. Smear some mustard over the fatty side of the lamb and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Be sure to brown your lamb before cooking. www.StoneFryingPans.com/the-best-stainless-steel-cookware has some great stainless steel cookware, perfect for searing and deglazing to make a jus for the lamb. Finally, make sure you leave your lamb to rest for at least 10 minutes. This will ensure that the meat is nice and tender and the juices won’t leak onto the plate. Dessert needs to be something that can be prepared in advance and left to chill. Cheesecake is a good idea, because you can make one large one and portion it before serving. It’s also a great ‘blank canvas’ dessert, so you can add your own preferences, too. Lemon, chocolate, hazelnut, berries, and basically any topping ever work well with a cheesecake.

     For Larger Groups:

Cooking for larger groups needn’t be challenging, you’ll just need to tweak the menu accordingly. Choose some large platters or boards and arrange some cured meats and cheeses on them. Serve olives over ice and sourdough bread, too. Balsamic vinegar and oil make a great dip to go alongside this sharing starter, as does tapenade. For the main dish, consider doing a one-pot wonder. A homemade curry or a big paella served straight from the pan works really well for larger groups. You can stick these on and leave them to cook with minimal effort, apart from stirring. Serve curries with homemade flatbreads, onion salad, and a yogurt dip. For dessert opt for an easy crowd pleaser like ice cream or mousse. This can also be made ahead of time and left to chill.

     For Vegetarians:

Buy some spelt pasta from a health food store and use this as the base of your dish. Blend spinach and basil in a blender with some oil, seasoning, and pine nuts. This will create a pesto to use as a sauce over your pasta. Cook some courgettes and asparagus, too. Toss the pesto through the pasta and top with the cooked courgettes and asparagus.

Which Drinks To Serve: Setting up a drinks tray is the best idea. Nobody wants to have to make drinks all night for their guests. Prepare a table in the living room or kitchen with a variety of soft drinks and alcohol for guest to pick and choose. Another good idea is to make one signature drink. Making jugs of cocktails is an especially good idea if it’s a summer party which spills out into the garden.

To make a mojito simply mix lime juice, mint, and sugar in a large jug or bowl. Mash these gently to let the flavors start to seep out and sugar dissolve. Top with rum, soda, and plenty of ice. Put slices of mint and lime to garnish in little bowls next to the jug.

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My kind of party!

Setting The Scene: Whenever you go to a great dinner party, the atmosphere is one of the things that makes it so special. Creating the perfect atmosphere is partly down to planning. If you are having a sit-down meal you’ll need to dress the table. It can be tempting to go overboard with accessories and cram the table but try to avoid this. Guests want to be able to talk, share food, and relax without having to navigate lots of decorative pieces. A few tea light candles with lantern-style covers are a pared back but sophisticated touch. Fresh flowers are also a great centerpiece, but if you have a small table don’t clutter it. Station a drinks table with an ice bucket nearby so that you don’t have to keep rushing backward and forwards.

A seating plan shouldn’t be necessary and can feel a bit too formal. Adding a little gift for each person is a nice touch, too. They don’t have to be expensive, in fact, the more whimsical the better. Masks or joke shop presents are a great idea for a group of friends. Family members may appreciate birthstones or small bags of truffles. These tokens will help to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, plus they’ll lift your guest’s mood!

After Party? Some dinner parties can continue long into the night and become a party as well as dinner. Make it clear to guests on the invite whether you’re open to that. There’s nothing worse than wanting to go to bed but still having a few guests. If you’re having people stay over, set up the guest bedroom early on in the day. By the end of the night, you won’t feel like changing bed linen and arranging flowers!

Nobody wants to clean up after a party, either, but facing all the debris in the morning is probably worse. Compromise and go around with a bin liner and chuck in any bottles or plastic cups. Wash up your plates and cutlery and leave them to dry. Leave larger pans to soak overnight, and head to bed. That way there will be a manageable amount to tackle in the morning.

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Cheers!!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Let’s Get Personal With These 6 Gift Ideas

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Let’s Get Personal With These 6 Gift Ideas

We give gifts on so many occasions throughout the year that it can be difficult to feel like you’re being original with your present ideas. Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries are only some of the occasions a gift is required and as we all get older, it gets harder to shop for what our loved ones want. Cash gifts always feel so impersonal, as do vouchers, and unless specifically asked for, kitchen items can be a relationship killer. Rather than go for another jumper, tie, or set of slippers, you can do one better with something more sentimental.

So, how can you make gift-giving far more exciting? The best gifts out there are personalized ones, as they always mean something a little extra to the recipient. Everyone can see that a mug is a generic item, but when you plaster a photo of the family on it with a witty phrase it becomes something to be treasured. With these gift ideas, you can get a little more creative and a lot more personal with your present shopping:

1 – Glasses and tankards are very popular gifts for big birthdays or even retirement, so making them more personal with a beautiful engraving and going for crystal, instead, makes for a stunning, personal present.

2 – Photo gifts go down well with people of all ages. Mothers will always love cushions or blankets with pictures of their children on them. A photo blanket for their bed or the couch is as personal as it can get. Go for a canvas collage for the wall for grandparents, where the faces of their loved ones are in full view always.

3 – For the career-minded friend, a gift for their desk with their initials engraved on them such as Parker Pens are always well received. Do one better for your partner by monogramming a brand new, leather briefcase so that they can carry something beautiful and personal to and from work.

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Snazzy stuff!

4 – Every girl loves jewelry, so personalized bracelets and necklaces are a gift that is     appreciated almost always. You can also inject some sentimentality to your jewelry gift by adding tiny photos to an engraved locket.

5 – If you have a teenager who has just got their first car, why not splash a little cash and buy them personalized license plates for their car? Car gifts can be a little boring for men but something that is unique and helps them to stand out can be exciting, while giving their first car an edge over the others on the road.

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Maybe not “GOOD” but you get the point!

6 – Everyone loves a baker and if your mother or grandmother is a keen pastry chef in the kitchen, get them a personalized chopping board like this one. Practical in its use, they’ll be able to see it at all times and will always be reminded of your generosity.

Giving gifts doesn’t have to be boring and it doesn’t have to be expensive, either. It takes some thought and creativity on your part to give an interesting and well received present. Go all out for your loved ones and you’ll get the satisfaction of their smile when they open your present.

Featured Image By: Pixabay