Get off to a good start with a healthy breakfast

Getting the best start of the day by having a good breakfast is an important part of being healthy. But many of us take this lightly and skip breakfast or choose to have other breakfast options that are high in sugar or fat, which is not healthy at all.

Eating breakfast gives us the energy we need throughout the day. Without this, we can get easily tired or exhausted. Here there are a few simple tips to help you choose a healthier breakfast plan and stay fit.

The following foods are all great ingredients for a healthy breakfast.

Fruit and vegetables: all fruit and vegetables that are either fresh, dried or frozen are great for breakfast. In fact, always have a glass of fresh juice first thing in the morning.

Starchy foods: bread (especially wholemeal), rice and cereals (especially wholegrain) are a good option too. They are highly nutritional.

Milk and dairy: cheese, low-fat yogurt and lower-fat milk are everyone’s favorite for breakfast!

Non-dairy protein: meat, fish and eggs are a great source of protein. Beans and unsalted nuts are a good source too.

Exercise : physical activity is a must in the mornings. Which will help you stay focused during the day and keeps you calm and stress free. You can also indulge in a few games online during the day by registering now at GameVillage Bingo. The site gives you a great selection of games that you are bound to enjoy. This will give you the joy of entertainment and socializing, all in one platform. You can also be part of the online bingo community here which comprises of players from across the UK and super friendly chat hosts of the site.

So, make you you get a great start to the day and go easy on all those unhealthy snacks during the day. Instead snack on foods that contain a good amount of nutrients and fibers.

Work Smart Not Hard: 10 Revision Tips

When it comes to exams it doesn’t matter whether you’re staying in student accommodation in London, or still living at home. The proven tactics for revision are just the same. So, here are some tips to help everyone prepare for those all-important finals. 

1. Finding a quiet and clutter free area to study seems an obvious tip, but many students forget to eliminate distractions before they begin revision. Spending a bit of time thinking about where you’ll work will be worth it in the long run. 

2. A timetable will always help focus your mind on the task ahead, even if you’ve only started revising a few days before the exam. First, make a detailed checklist of all the topics and theories you need to cover. Then decide the most practical order of revision so you can allocate your time sensibly. 

3. It can be tempting to feast on sugary snacks to boost energy, but you’ll just crash into a slump later on. Eat healthily, eat regularly and make sure to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.

4. Take regular breaks. Studying for 12 hours straight may prove your stamina, but it’s unlikely to prove your academic worth come the exam. Studies show that 20-30 minute sessions with short breaks in-between are very productive. 

5. Talk to someone about what you’ve learnt. It will help clarify the subject in your own mind, and also alert you to any gaps in your knowledge. 

6. Take notes, make notes on your notes, and then turn those notes into flash cards. The simple act of writing down what you have read will help embed it in your memory. 

7. Exams are important, but if you’re not careful the fear of being tested can seriously hamper your ability to study. Detailed planning for revision and time set apart for completely unrelated activities can help minimise anxiety. 

8. Take advantage of all the past papers available. There only are so many types of questions that will be asked about a specific topic: familiarise yourself with them. 

9. Just 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise a day will boost your blood flow, and increase the amount of oxygen that reaches your brain. This means a gentle jog, or brisk walk, can improve your concentration as well as lower your stress levels.

10. Sleep patterns are often disturbed when exams are looming, but you should still try to get as much shut-eye as possible. Avoid coffee, tea, chocolate and fizzy drinks in the evening, and don’t eat substantial meals after 7pm. Milk, bananas, turkey and walnuts are all thought to aid sleep.

Why Glamping with the Kids Can Be a Great Summer Holiday Idea

You may or may not be familiar with the concept of ‘glamping’ – the trend in holidays for blending the fun, active feel of camping with something a little more luxurious. A favourite for hen nights and girly getaways for a few years now, glamping has now caught on also as a fantastic family holiday idea – appealing to kids of all ages. There are family glamping sites both in the UK and abroad in favourite holiday destinations like France and Spain, so if you are trying to decide on a great family holiday to look forward to this summer, it is an option that is well worth checking out. For an excellent site to look into planning your glamping holiday, check out www.awaywiththekids.co.uk.

Here are some of the reasons you and your kids may well love the glamping experience:

Outdoor Fun with All Your Creature Comforts

Any kind of camping offers a chance to spend quality time as a family enjoying fresh air, nature, and of course the smell of barbecue food! With glamping you get all of the positive things associated with camping, but with a lot more comfort. Kids may love the novelty of sleeping in a tent on the ground, but after a few days this can wear thin – at least for adults – feeling uncomfortable and making it harder to get to sleep.

With glamping, you can sleep in all kinds of really cool places from done up VW campers to big luxury yurts, so the novelty factor is still there but you’ll also have comfort and style for your accommodation. Forget nasty campsite toilets and showers too – glamping has you covered with nice places to wash and get ready, and you may want to spend time getting ready too, with many glamping experiences featuring beautiful outdoor table settings to eat at.

Fun Excursions

The owners and organisers of glamping sites design everything to give you a fun filled holiday, and some organise fun excursions to do sightseeing or take on more outdoorsy activities like rock climbing, horse riding or rafting. In keeping with the luxury theme, you’ll generally have nice, comfortable transport to take you out to the excursion and back to your site. While you can of course organise your own trips on any holiday, having everything taken care of for you leaves you free to simply enjoy yourself!

Electricity

While one of the fun things about going on a holiday out in nature may well be getting away from technology and the constant lure of you and your family’s phones, laptops and tablets, going without electricity at all is not something most families are going to entirely enjoy! With glamping, you can have electricity in your accommodation so won’t have to rely on

battery powered lamps, and can even have things like mini fridges for your drinks!

Glamping may be a fairly new idea, but it has a lot of merits for family holidays, and could be just the concept you are looking for for your family for summer 2016!

National Pet Month with Ocean Loans

The first thing I do in the morning is have a nice, long stretch. Today is no different. I’m bleary-eyed and groggy, but also alert. I wake up the family, and we all sit down together for breakfast. The kids get ready for school, and do their level best to try and annoy me. Normally this works, but today I’m in a better mood and don’t bite.

As the madness abates and the house falls silent, I freshen up and get ready to make my appearance to the world.

Finally, I’m out. The day looks a good one: the sun is shining brightly, the air is fresh and the birds are in fine voice. On our fence sits a little robin. He’s busy pruning himself and puffing-up his little red tummy. Which is good for me. He’s not paying attention as I desperately lunge toward him with both arms extended. He’s quicker than I thought, and he just manages to fly to safety. I jump back down, puff-up my own chest and strut around the garden like nothing happened: secretly praying no one witnessed my indignity.

Yes. I am a cat.

In order to protect my identity, you can call me Cat A.

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I spend the rest of the day mooching about, with brief forays back onto the fence to try and snare another bird. Personally, I prefer pigeons as they have more centre of mass to aim at, but these days I’m not fussy. I also have a nice sleep, find and eat an old mackerel skin, roll around in some newly-planted cat nip, fight my own tail, scratch the fence, hone my hunting skills with Billy the fake mouse. The day ends when I track and chase a giant tree-dwelling rodent with a big bushy tail – but he’s too quick for me and I call it a day there.

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Normally, these chain of events and near misses would play havoc with my self-esteem: but not today. For today I know my owner is returning home with a huge gift for me. Yes, it has to be shared with my younger, erratic sister – but that’s as good as all mine! You see, my owner is a blogger. And she has been given £50 to spend on yours truly by Ocean Loans as part of their involvement with National Pet Month. It is a glorious day indeed.

I don’t like the majority of normal cat-related items. I like to think of myself as above that. Notable past failures include: the notorious scratching post of ’09, the ill-fated roller circuit and let’s not even get into the debacle that was the hedgehog balls. I also care not for most so-called ‘cat foods’ and biscuits. I have a particular taste. Namely, Gourmet pouches and Dreamies treats. Although, I do occasionally like a good piece of ham, followed by a bit of Billy the mouse action. New Billy’s are always most welcome. The humans also got a catnip plant for me – I don’t understand it but it makes me very sleepy and happy.

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I’m a cat, and we all know cats are the best. But some people out there actually like dogs, rabbits and other such things. No matter what kind of animal is your thing, you should all get behind National Pet Month and promote responsible pet ownership. Especially cat owners. You’re good, but could always do with more training. And now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to bed.

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Disclaimer: Ocean Loans very kindly sent us £50 to treat the cats to their favourite things for the purpose of this blog post.

Learning to F.L.Y

My heart races. My breath becomes shallower and shallower. Beads of sweat pour down my bright red face as dehydration sets in. My legs ache and groan as they’re put into unfamiliar positions.

I know what you’re thinking: summer’s coming.

And you’d be right. Nothing heralds the doom-loom of brighter days, soaring temperatures and more flesh on display than a Baywatch episode more than the first treadmill session of the season.

Every year is the same. The autumn long-jumper-hides-everything chill out phase, the Christmas binge fest, the fruitless (literally) New Year resolutions and the ignorance of spring. Each stage an avoidance of one of life’s most obvious conditions: I need to be healthy and take care of myself. And then along comes summer. All heatwaves and suntans. Make no mistake: come the sun, come the invites. The bbqs, the beach trips, the parties, the on and on and on. It’s not, of course, essential that you’re in tip- top form to be able to enjoy the sun, but it certainly wakes the brain up from its dormant Ben & Jerry state to the fact that you’re probably going to relax and enjoy it more if you’re feeling good within and about yourself.

Vitamin and supplement store Hellenia are running a campaign to F.L.Y – First Love Yourself – to remind us to treat ourselves with extra care. After all, as a mum – if I don’t look after myself, how can I look after anyone else?

So this year yours truly is actually going to do something. Well, try anyway. I’m back to the usual and the obvious: take your vitamins, start exercising, up the water intake, cut down your pasta and potatoes, evict the coco bean and the sugar cane and bring in the new tenants fruit and veg. But what about the other stuff? What about the things that stuff can’t fix? Or even what about fixing the stuff that stuff caused in the first place? Well, that’s how I came to discover collagen and the benefits it brings.

For those not in the know, collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and is the structural building block present in muscles, cartilage, bones and skin. So just the important stuff, then.

On my fitness travels, I’ve found myself becoming totally confused with the countless array of health supplements on offer. But after discovering collagen, I came to realise that a lot of what I need is right there in one packet. Whether it be to aid weight loss, recover quicker from workouts, rebuild tissue damage from said workouts or even to contribute to keeping your skin smooth and youthful.

This is where collagen supplements come in, taking care of yourself from the inside, improving your skin (always good for the summer) and taking care of your joints – again, an essential if you’re upping your exercise quota.

Collagen will now be a part of my healthy lifestyle as I embark to F.L.Y – what do you do to ensure you look after yourself?

 

How to Help Your Daughter Choose the Perfect Prom Dress

Your daughter’s prom dress is up there with some of the most important dresses that she will wear during her lifetime. Because of this, helping your daughter choose the perfect prom dress for her is a hugely important task. On prom night, you’ll want her to feel gorgeous and elegant along with comfortable in her own skin and full of self-confidence. The right dress can ensure all this, whilst the wrong dress could leave her feeling self-conscious all night long. As a mum, you’ll want to know what you can do to ensure that your daughter chooses a dress that she loves. Here are our top tips.

Follow Her Heart

Encourage your daughter to follow her heart, rather than following fashion trends. For example, if the current fashion trend is strapless dresses but your daughter hates them, make sure that she doesn’t feel peer pressured into wearing a dress that she can’t stand the style of. Prom dresses which are a little alternative can often look perfect, and there are many different styles to choose from – click here for some examples. Remember that sometimes, it’s better to stand out from the crowd a bit than blend in so make sure that your daughter knows it’s perfectly OK if she doesn’t want to choose a similar dress to everybody else.

Knowing Her Body Type

For women, knowing your body type is hugely important when it comes to picking a dress such as a prom dress. Different body types look good in different items of clothing, but the good thing is that there is something available out there for everybody. Teaching your daughter about how to dress for her body type is a great way to bond with her and gives you an excuse to go on shopping trips together. Don’t take it too seriously, though – if your daughter falls in love with a dress that society says she ‘shouldn’t’ wear because of her shape, remind her that there’s no need to conform to societal norms if she doesn’t want to.

Getting the Price Right

Older teens often have a better idea of the value of money than younger children, especially if they’ve managed to get a weekend job and are just starting to learn to budget themselves. For this reason, it’s a good idea to talk to your daughter about the prices of prom dresses and make sure that she understands how much you’re willing to spend. This way, there is less chance of tears and upset if she falls head over heels for a dress that you simply can’t afford. There are plenty of different ways to get around prom dress prices and get a good deal. More and more mums and daughters are hitting the high street rather than searching

designer boutiques, and second-hand prom dresses are becoming increasingly more common. You may also want to consider the idea of renting a dress, rather than buying one.

Which prom dress do you think would be perfect for your daughter? Let us know in the comments.

Summer Style with JD Williams

Despite the seemingly ever changing weather, we’re on the cusp of summer and as always, it will creep up when you’re not looking and leave you in that awkward place where you have nothing suitable to wear.

Personally, in the summer I like to keep things as simple as possible. If it’s really hot, I want to be able to count on trusty pieces in cool fabrics to see me through the day without melting into an angry, uncomfortable puddle.

On a day to day basis, running around at home, taking care of the school run etc I’ll be wearing jeans or printed harems, a light cami top and flip flops, with my hair in some form of disarray and a pair of sunglasses perched on my head. But it’s summer! I want to do better than that!

This summer I have a hen do, a wedding and a few nights out to buy outfits for, which ya know, I’d like to make an effort for… But never fear! JD Williams have a whole host of affordable, fashionable dresses that will save those frustrating “I have nothing to wear,” moments . Whether it’s for a special occasion or every day wear, they’ve got it covered. Here are my picks…

Hen Night:

Don’t judge me, but I’ve never been on a hen night before so this is totally new territory for me – however I’ve fallen in love with this wrap front, printed jump suit – worn with some boots and a statement necklace, it’d look really edgy and cool – perfect for having lots of fun in.

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Wedding:

Weddings are always very long affairs, you go from feeling very glam and formal early on and it gets more relaxed as the day and night wear on. I think this lace hem pleated maxi dress is a great compromise – formal enough with heels and some sparkly accessories, and maybe once the reception party kicks off – slip on some flats to dance the night away! For dress details – see here.

pleated maxi

 

Girl’s night out:

For a girl’s night out I don’t want to worry too much about what I’m wearing, I want to feel relaxed and confident. I’d opt for something like this plain linen mix dress, I’d wear it with a leather biker jacket, chunky boots and my hands covered in rings to make it edgier. For details click here.

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Casual 

For lazy days when I don’t want to feel “too much” I’d opt for something simple and black, which I can dress up or down depending on my mood. This black, cut-out midi dress would be perfect with some sandals and chunky jewelry. See here for dress details.
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So those are my summer picks, what are your summer essentials? I’d love to know!

 

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