Tag Archives: ideas

It’s Time You Learned To Relax!

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It’s Time You Learned To Relax!

Life can be stressful. That’s probably not going to be the most controversial statement that you read all day, but it’s certainly true. Most people end up feeling incredibly stressed out and tense, simply because that seems to be the standard mode of operation for people in the modern world. Between work, family, chores, hobbies, and trying to maintain some kind of social life, most of us have so much that we’re trying to do that it can be overwhelming. With that in mind, it’s that you learned how to relax! Here are just a few ideas for how you can finally start to kick back and let the troubles of the world roll off your back:

Take Time For Yourself:

Most people have a lot of responsibilities that they have to honor throughout the day, and many of those can consist of doing things for other people. Helping others and being there for the people in your life is incredibly important and is something everyone should try to do as much as possible. However, if you’re helping other people so much that you lack time to focus on yourself, then you’re going to end up exhausted. Every once in awhile, get the kids and your partner out of the house, put your phone on silent, check out some of the best dry herb vapes at DopeBoo, and just spend some time focusing on yourself. The reality is, that if you can’t take care of yourself, then you’re never going to be able to take care of anyone else, either!

Learn To Say No:

When there are people in your life, whether it’s at work or at home, asking you to do things, it can be tough to tell them no. In fact, most of us are trained from a pretty early age to never turn someone down if they ask us to do something. You end up feeling as though your friends will be angry with you if you don’t help them or that you’re going to pay for it at work if you don’t take on every single task that your boss asks you to. But the truth is that you’re well within your rights to say no to things if you don’t feel like you can handle them. As long as you’re polite and you explain yourself properly, no one can get angry at you for not taking on more than you can properly deal with.

Stay On Top Of Tasks:

One of the most stressful things in the world is knowing that there’s something hanging over your head all of the time that you haven’t yet dealt with. It can make it so that even the time you spend trying to relax is nearly impossible because you’re just thinking about all of the things that you’ve yet to do. That’s why staying on top of all of the tasks that you need to do is so important. Rather than putting things off, make sure that everything, from bills that need paying to DIY jobs that need finishing, or work tasks that need to be completed, is dealt with right away without putting it off. Otherwise, you’re just going to end up swimming is unfinished tasks and you’ll never be able to relax.

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Organizers are a great help!

Reach Out For Support:

It’s okay to need help from time to time. This is something that a lot of people seem to have completely forgotten. Sure, there’s something nice about being able to say that you pulled yourself up by your bootstraps and never needed anyone’s help, but the truth is that you’re going to be much happier if you let the people around you lend a helping hand. Reaching out to friends, family, your partner, and even your employer for some support can take huge amounts of pressure off of you and make your life much more pleasant and simpler to deal with. Sure, you don’t want to be dumping everything on other people, but if you try and handle it all on your own, then you’re almost certainly going to end up feeling incredibly stressed out and you could even be at risk of burning out.

Take a deep breath, take some time for you, and walk back into your life feeling totally recharged and able to take on the day!

Featured Image By: Pexels

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Top Cat: Keep Your Feline Feelin’ Fine

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Top Cat: Keep Your Feline Feelin’ Fine

A lot of people choose cats as pets because they are independent and don’t require as much direct care and attention as dogs. But there is plenty that you can do to ensure that your feline friend stays at their healthiest. Getting into good daily habits with your cat is important, just as it is for your own health. So, let’s talk about a few of the ways that you can help your cat to live a happy and healthy life.

Brush Them Every Day: Brushing or combing your cat on a daily basis will help to cut down on the number of hairballs that develop in their digestive tracts. If you find it difficult to get your cat to cooperate with the brushing process, you should try combing them before a meal so that they will always associate it with a treat. Get into a regular routine and your cat should begin to accept brushing rather than fighting against it!

Don’t Give Them Too Much Dry Food: Cats rely on meat as the foundation of their diets and this should always be included in their main meal of the day. Dry food which contains a lot of carbohydrates is not usually good in large quantities as it can lead to them becoming obese and increasing their odds of developing conditions like type-2 diabetes.

Remember: Cats DO Get Thirsty: While cats may not have the same level of thirst as dogs, you still need to be aware of when they need liquids. Cats tend to get a big percentage of their fluid supply from their food, but you should always ensure that they have access to fresh water so they can drink whenever they need to. Elderly and nursing cats tend to need more water than others, and you should watch out for symptoms including lethargy, sunken eyes, and panting.

Keep Them Flea-Free: If your cat is scratching, chewing their skin, or seems restless, chances are that they have fleas. Watch for any signs of movement in their fur to make sure. There are plenty of products out there that you can use yourself if you think that your cat has fleas – visit this website for some of them. Make sure to de-flea your home as well to prevent a full-blown infestation.

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Prettyyy

Train Them to Use a Scratching Post: To protect your cat’s nails and your furniture, train them to use a scratching post. You can’t expect to put one in your home and your cat will know what to do instantly, so put it in the center of your room and try balancing some treats on the top. Once your cat is used to it, you can then move it to a less obvious position.

Choose a Feline-Friendly Vet: Developing a lasting relationship with your vet is important for your cat’s health, so make sure that you choose one who is experienced in dealing with cats rather than one who specializes in dogs.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Non-Turkey Holiday Meal Alternatives

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Non-Turkey Holiday Meal Alternatives

Sorry to say it, but Christmas is less than two weeks away. Of course, you probably knew that already. That ever-ticking time bomb is the main reason why we’re all going crazy for gift ideas and last-minute preparations at the moment. If you don’t know what you’re doing on the day yet, it’s past time you decided. The holiday season waits for no one!

Somewhere among all of this preparation madness, most of us turn our attention to food. If you’re hosting the big meal this year, it’s likely that this is the only thing you are thinking about. At few other times of the year are we expected to prepare so much food for so many people. Lucky for you, there are plenty of guides out there about how to make this task a little easier. But, there’s no getting around the fact that there’s still an immense amount of pressure when the time comes.

On top of which, some of us can’t stomach the traditional option. Turkey is an acquired taste. And, for those of us who most definitely haven’t acquired it, the holiday season can be stressful at best. If you’ve only just managed to push the Thanksgiving turkey from your mind, the last thing that you want to do is eat it again at Christmas. As such, your job becomes even harder.

You’ll be glad to know that, while turkey has become a holiday staple, this is down to nothing more than convenience. While it’s difficult to say exactly when this tradition started, it was fast in place by 1863, when Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday. This is thought to be primarily due to the size of the things. There were few other types of meat available in the past that were large enough. In fact, beef wasn’t readily available until the late 19th century. So, the only alternative was chicken. For obvious reasons, it wasn’t the best for large meals, and turkeys took center stage. They were a cheap way to feed a lot of people.

We’ve taken up the tradition, and now pay more and more for turkey each year. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re hosting dinner this year, why not try something a little different? To keep everyone happy, you may want to prepare a turkey crown on the side. Chances are, though, that you’re not the only one fed up with turkey. So, before the big event, ask your guests if they’d be interested in the following alternatives:

A few different types of meat:

Turkey may have been the only 19th century choice, but that’s not the case anymore. Now, you have anything to choose from. For some families, a mixture of Christmas meats is standard. You can place your meats in the middle of the table, and leave guests to take what they fancy.

To make this work, consider meats which are relatively different from each other. It wouldn’t be any good serving chicken alongside turkey. Instead, you could opt for a mixture of beef, pork, and turkey. These all offer different taste sensations, which are sure to go down well. And, this way, you can ensure that you get a decent dinner without having to turn to the turkey.

Salmon as an alternative:

You may not realize it, but turkey isn’t the only traditional option open to you. Salmon has also found its place in the holiday hall of fame. Admittedly, most people opt for this as a starter or breakfast treat on the day. But, there’s no reason you can’t make it work as an alternative primary meal. By buying a whole salmon, like those found at Citarella gourmet market, you can ensure that you have enough to go around. These fish are huge!

Bear in mind that, if offering this alternative, you may want to provide a sauce other than gravy. While most meats would work with a standard turkey gravy, your salmon certainly wouldn’t. Instead, offer a creamy sauce or a honey mustard alternative. Other than that, you can serve your salmon alongside the turkey and again, ensure everyone’s happy.

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^^^ Another turkey alternative.

A nut roast alternative:

If you have vegetarians coming, you may already be planning a nut roast. Why not stick with that yourself? By incorporating orange peel and cranberries, you can have plenty of Christmas flavors. And, you can still enjoy all the trimmings which make a Christmas dinner what it is. As a non-veggie, you could even get stuck into pigs in blankets without worry! Still, you’ll be able to steer clear of the turkey.

While it is a traditional vegetarian option, a decent nut roast is more challenging to come by than you might think. They’re nearly impossible to find in shops nowadays, and there are a lot of dodgy recipes out there. Make sure to try this out before the event to make sure that your choice is the right one. It wouldn’t be unusual to have to try a few before settling on your winner.

Often, there are warning signs about whether a recipe will work or not. Look out for the binding ingredient, the vegetables used, and the seasonings. All of these work together to make a huge difference. You may end up having to mix a few recipes to achieve the right effect, and that’s okay. This is very much a practice makes perfect situation. By the time you reach an end result, you can be sure that your vegetarian guests will be glad for your dislike of turkey!

 

Your own concoction:

Of course, you could do away with tradition altogether, and concoct your own dish for the day. While guests may be surprised at first, this is sure to be a standout dinner for them. And, again, as long as you offer a small amount of turkey, too, this is sure to work well. Alternatives worth considering include beef wellington, roast duck, or something like a sausage and stuffing plate. Have a look through your cookbooks and decide which recipes sound most appealing. Then, think about ways to make them festive. Staple flavorings, such as stuffing, cranberries, and orange peel, could all help to get your concoction cooking.

Focus on the veggies:

You could argue that the trimmings are the best thing about the meal. For proof, consider that many vegetarians don’t even opt for an alternative (I don’t!). Instead, they’re quite happy to make do with all the lovely veggies and some fluffy roast potatoes. So, why don’t you just get rid of your turkey, and enjoy everything else?

To ensure a turkeyless dinner works well, go all out with your additions. Make sure your stuffing is extra good and roast those parsnips in honey so they have an extra something special. You could also make cauliflower cheese, which would form an alternative centerpiece of its own. And, of course, don’t forget all of your traditional festive veggies. Brussel sprouts may divide the crowd, but they need to feature on there somewhere. Rich greens, such as curly kale, can also provide a fantastic Christmas taste sensation. You might even want to go all out with your gravy. Adding spices and herbs while cooking this can make a massive difference to the taste.

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Mmmmm

A final word:

You don’t have to eat turkey if you don’t want to. But, if you are going all out with something different, you may want to warn your guests. We are creatures of habit, after all, and a last minute change of plan might not go down well. Instead, let them know what you’re going to do. As mentioned above, turkey is rarely a favorite. The chances are that your guests will surprise you with how willing they are to try other things. And, of course; that small turkey crown will please those who simply can’t go without tradition.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Top Gift Ideas For The Whole Family

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Top Gift Ideas For The Whole Family

If you want to find a gift that the whole family can enjoy, then you are not alone. Every single year, people try and find gifts for a group of people rather than buying gifts for them individually and this can cause real problems. This is especially the case if the family members in question don’t share many common interests. Thankfully, there are plenty of ideas out there for you to choose from and you’d be surprised at how easy it is to find something that matches your family perfectly!

Family Mugs: A lot of people feel a relentless sense of anger when they find someone else using their mug. We all have a favorite mug, one that we use to get us through those cold winter nights and even those long nights after work. If you want to put an end to those mug-wars then why not consider buying a family mug set? You could personalize each one with the name of the person and even a cartoon picture of them, as well. You can also create one for any guests that come to your home, so there will be no more arguing or bloodshed when the time to make coffee approaches.

Ice Cream Machine: An ice-cream machine is a must-have in the summer months. The best thing about having an ice-cream machine is that they are very easy to use and they are also good for the kids to use, as well. All you have to do is add the mixture to the machine and turn it on. The machine will then chill the ice-cream over time and when it’s ready, you can scoop it right out of the machine. This is way better when compared to making it yourself because you don’t have to worry about putting it in the freezer or even blending it properly. You can then add your own flavors if you’re feeling adventurous!

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YUM.

Family Bucket List: We all have things that we want to do before we kick the bucket, so a family bucket list is really fitting if you know that everyone has a mental list of what they want to do. It’s actually possible for you to buy kits that give you the chance to do this, and each one comes with a container and a list of slips for you to write what you want to do on there. Everyone can see the list going down as feats are accomplished, and it’s ideal for those who have adventurous family members!

Games Consoles: A gaming console is a brilliant way for you to get the whole family involved. You can buy quiz games and you can also buy family-fun games as well. If you have a family of console-lovers or even mobile app gamers, then games such as Final Fantasy 15 are great for this. You can even buy in-game extras and this can include currency and so much more, so it’s ideal if you want to give them a head-start.

Family Charades: Charades is quite possibly the game that causes the most arguments in a family. It is incredibly fast-paced and it is also very fun. When you do play charades, you will be given something to act out. It could be a movie, an actor, or anything else. You can get the kids involved with this and it is a great way for you to make sure that everyone is included. These sets don’t cost much, either, so if you want to have something that the kids can play then this is a good option for you.

Sweets Basket: Who doesn’t like sweets? Sweets baskets are the easiest way for you to get something for everyone without breaking the bank. They show that you thought about the recipients and you can put tags on the individual sweets, too. On top of this, you can add extra goodies to the gift basket. This could be a mug or it could be a selection of coffee. You can make something for each family member or you can make a joint one. Either way, this is ultimately the easiest way for you to appeal to everyone and you can do the whole thing yourself with bows, ribbon and more!

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 YUM again!

Finding the whole family a gift is relatively easy and there are plenty of ideas above to get you started. Happy holidays!

When Eclectic = Frugal

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When Eclectic = Frugal

Having an eclectic taste has been a fashionable choice for a while. It means that you don’t just go into one store, buy everything there, and have a perfectly matching house and wardrobe. Instead, you have found things that really speak to your personality and created an interior with a most interesting dynamic.

But sometimes, what eclectic means is frugal.

You didn’t shop at just one store because you know where the better deals lie. You are willing to trawl through flea markets to find a vintage sofa half price and you know that inheriting things from your parents and grandparents is the best way to fill any home.

Need a bit of help to get started? Here’s what you do:

Set A Budget & Save:

When you’re trying to get along on very little money, setting budgets for yourself is the best way to manage your finances. Not only will you see just how hard you have to work for each thing, you will also be able to set a realistic time frame to get what you want. If you can take on odd jobs here and there or find ways to make extra income, you will certainly benefit and get your want list faster.

Make a list of all of the things that you need and want in your house. This should include everything from the necessaries like a sofa to the more decorative, like mirrors or cool TV stands. Put a rough estimate on how much you would like to spend on each thing, then put them in order of priority. So, if you have nothing to sit on, the sofa will come at the top, if you already have a sofa that will do, it goes at the bottom. Now you can see how much you need to earn and save and can gradually tick things off of the list.

Make Do & Mend:

To bring the price of your list down, you should look for opportunities to make do with the things you have. Mending a sofa could be cheaper than buying a new one, so have a look at what you’ve got and see what you can do with it. This attitude is also really helpful in charity shops and flea markets that sell second hand furniture. If you think that something is salvageable, you could get a really good bargain on it. When you are in the habit of making the most of what you’ve got, buying new just won’t have the same charm.

Upcycling AKA Recycling:

Staying on the sofa theme, upcycling is often a really good way to make something old and worn new and beautiful. At the very heart of the eclectic style is the idea that you can reupholster any classic sofa in a vibrant modern fabric and achieve a completely new and beautiful look.

You should also be on the lookout for things that you can use in other ways, too. You would be surprised at the things you can make use of to great effect. Have you ever thought of using colanders as a set of bath shelves? No? Here’s how you can make that happen!

Eclectic is cool and is a great way to ball on a budget. Let your personal style shine through with quirky choices and turn your home into a charming space in no time.

Featured Image By: Flickr

Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

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Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

Howdy! I have been asked a lot recently for advice on holiday shopping, since I finished my present purchasing way ahead of the game last week. I take holiday shopping and birthday present buying very seriously, because I love to spoil my family and friends. Of course, random prezzies throughout the year are nice, but it’s fun to go hard on the major gift giving occasions. Now, I’m going to walk you through a step by step guide on my holiday shopping process to help you finish your purchasing with December to spare:

Make a list: I know that I say this all of the time, but it’s true. Type or write out all of the people that you need to shop for and then start narrowing down the best gift for him or her. What are their hobbies? What is their favorite food or type of music? What is something that they would like to have but would never buy for themselves? These are all excellent places to start.

More on gift selecting: Still stuck? Let’s talk about some of my go to present selections:

  • Alcohol is always a good choice if you’re buying for one of your girlfriends or brothers. Who wouldn’t want a six pack of Christmas ale or a bottle of vino?
  • If you’re buying for a couple, how about treating them to a date night? Gift cards for restaurants and movie theaters are a great place to start.
  • Groupon vouchers can also be a nice surprise. I received two vouchers for a Paint Nite event at a bar one year and my guest and I had an absolute ball.
  • Lotions, candles, and other bath and body care treats are also a fool proof selection if you are buying for a sister, your mom, or a girlfriend. Customize a gift set for them filled with smell goods, fuzzy socks, and a sleeping mask for the ultimate pampering party.
  • Buying a subscription is another really good option. Popping for a few months of a Netflix, Hulu, Ipsy, or Birch Box subscription is the gift that keeps on giving and they are not overly expensive.

Purchasing time: After you’ve made your list and checked it twice, it is time to move on to the actual purchasing of the presents. I prefer to do every possible bit of my shopping online, and then buy the rest of my presents in store as needed. I am a faithful member of Amazon and a majority of my shopping was done on there this year. I then went to the shops on a week day afternoon to do the rest of my buying and eliminated all of my holiday purchasing in one huge swoop.

Online shopping tips: If, like me, you prefer to shop online, then there are some steps that you can take to ensure that you are always getting the best deal. Such as:

  1. Signing up for emails or rewards programs. Most websites will give you an extra incentive to sign up for their email updates, like ten percent off a purchase or free shipping. Every little bit helps!
  2. Using websites like Retail Me Not or Honey to find coupon codes for different websites. Note that some websites rarely have promotion codes like Amazon, TJMaxx, and Zara.
  3. Do your research. Read reviews of the products that you are going to buy and Google them, as well. You can’t physically touch and look at what you’re thinking of purchasing so this is the online equivalent.
  4. Check out multiple different websites to ensure that you are getting the best deal.

In store shopping tips: I avoid shopping in store during the holidays like the plague. However, it has to be done sometimes and this is how I avoid the hustle and bustle of hitting the shops:

  1. Go shopping during non peak traffic times. A week day afternoon is ideal, but if your schedule doesn’t allow for that, then try going late in the evening or early in the morning. The less people around while you’re shopping, the better.
  2. It’s also important to make a game plan while shopping in store. Know exactly who you’re shopping for and where each item that you need is located in the store. Wandering aimlessly can be stressful and ain’t nobody got time for that.
  3. Use coupons, in store sales, and apps. Plenty of stores now use apps and rewards programs to give their customers great deals. Find them, use them, and love them. Every little bit helps!

And finally, make sure that you double check all of your items that you purchased in store or online for any defects in the products. The sooner you find a problem and correct it, the less you have to stress about it – especially if you have to ship back the item and rebuy it.

So there you have it, Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips! Was this guide helpful to you? What are some of your tips to holiday shopping that I didn’t cover? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Enjoying An At Home Spa Day

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Enjoying An At Home Spa Day

Many of us love the idea of heading to the spa for a day of total relaxation. Slipping on that white fluffy robe and slippers, indulging in a massage, a facial, a manicure, or pedicure. Lounging around on those beds reading a magazine and maybe enjoying a glass of champagne. It can be a girls’ dream day, but it can also be an expensive one. However, there is no reason why you can’t get the same level of relaxation at home from your very own bathroom.

There are simple things that you can change in your bathroom to make it feel more spa-like, and there are certainly bigger investments that you can make to improve how your bathroom looks. But every girl deserves a place to chill, and the throne room can be that little piece of heaven that you crave at the end of the day. Creating an at home spa experience isn’t all that difficult, so let’s discuss how to do just that:

Major Changes (If You Want!):

One of the biggest transformations that you can make to your bathroom, and also the most expensive way to achieve a new look, is to replace the bathroom entirely and fit a new suite. You could use this opportunity to change the layout and even consider something a little different like a free-standing bathtub – companies like Kardiel have a great selection! Whichever way you want to go, replacing your bathroom can be the ideal way to create an at home spa experience. While it can cost you a fair bit to remodel, it can also increase the value of your home, meaning the investment is never truly lost. Talk about a win/win!

Making Simple Updates:

If you don’t want to replace the whole bathroom, you could choose to update it in other ways. Changing the tiling you have on the floor, swapping the basin for a vanity unit, or painting the walls in a more neutral tone could really brighten up the bathroom area and change the way that it looks and feels. You don’t even have to be as extreme as getting the paint brush out, sometimes just investing in some new towels and colorful accessories or prints for the wall can give your bathroom the update that it needs.

Light All The Candles:

One of the great ways a spa can help you relax is because they have a clever use of low lighting, and one way to achieve that is through candle light. You could consider oil burners, which takes advantage of the light as well as an essential oil scent to help you relax even further. Lavender or eucalyptus are always good ones to consider. Candles also help to relax the mind, so having a nice warm bath by candle light could be the perfect remedy for a stressful day.

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 What’s your favorite candle scent?

Smartphone Savvy:

While you may be thinking that the last thing you want to be doing while relaxing in your bathroom is to be messing around on your phone, please reconsider! There are some great apps that you can download to recreate the sounds of a spa. Mood music or even listening to some guided meditation can be a great way for you to channel your thoughts and enjoy your R&R time.

DIY Treats:

Part of the spa experience is to enjoy a treatment or two, and while a massage might not be in the cards unless you have a willing partner, there are other treatments that you can easily do at home. You could consider putting on a face mask, which is a great way to deep clean your skin and pores, and adding a few slices of cucumber over your eyes might help you feel like you are actually at the spa. You could also give yourself a pedicure or manicure by filing and shaping your nails and adding a splash of color with some vanish. There are some great DIY beauty methods you could also try like coconut oil added to your hair for a conditioning treatment or creating a body scrub from coffee. You can find a ton of articles online full of ideas and recipes!

Pop Some Bottles:

Finally, whether you enjoy a glass of bubbles, your favorite wine or beer, or even just a hot chocolate or a good cup of tea, arm yourself with your favorite drink, put on your best robe, and get ready for a soothing evening in. Enjoy!

Featured Image By: Pixabay