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Showing all posts tagged: lifestyle

In the run up to your summer holiday, you're excited to leave your stresses at home and enjoy a relaxing week or two sightseeing or lying on a golden beach sipping a fruity cocktail.

You've planned all your outfits, changed your currency and packed your suitcase. You're ready to head to the airport.

But have you really remembered the essentials?

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Published: 02/02/2016

Plan To Make 2016 Your Best Year Yet

It's the beginning of the year and you may have made and broken a whole load of resolutions by now.

If you haven't fulfilled all your aims yet, don't worry – neither has anyone else! January wasn't the best of months to make a change. Maybe you were still paying off Christmas, the weather was miserable, most people started dieting and laying off the booze and all in all, everyone was a little bit sluggish.

However, now that February has arrived, it's time to really make a difference.

Instead of setting unrealistic goals to achieve by the end of the year, why not take things back to basics and look after number one? Choosing some very achievable tasks will leave you feeling better in yourself than forcing yourself to attend a gruelling gym class five times a week.

We've put together a guide that is easy for you to stick to and that you will actually enjoy – so your resolutions will actually be achieved this year!

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Published: 07/12/2015

Make The Perfect Christmas Feast

With Christmas just around the corner, you're probably starting to fill your cupboards and fridge with tasty food to enjoy over the festive period.

You could have stockings full of presents but the thing that most people look forward to on Christmas day? The food!

Here's our guide to preparing the perfect festive feast.

In the run up to the big day...

If you're a dab hand in the kitchen, you probably want to whip up a variety of treats for the Christmas season. With so many parties, family gatherings and festive work days in the coming weeks, cakes, buns and mince pies are always at the top of everyone's wish-list.

Take the stress out of your baking days with a food mixer. Mixing ingredients, especially sugar and butter, is everyone's least favourite part of baking, and a food mixer does all the hard work for you. It also takes a lot less time, so you can squeeze baking into your busy schedule or use it as an excuse to make double the amount!

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Statistically, it takes women 5 hours and 38 minutes to get ready for their Christmas party.

To some, that may seem ridiculous, to others it might take that long just to perfect your winged eyeliner. But overall, we can all be a little guilty of indulging in a good pamper session prior to a big event!

Your work Christmas party is probably one of the biggest nights out of the year and you start planning your outfit, travel arrangements and tickets months in advance. You definitely want to be looking your best, even if you do see these people every day of your life.

It's a chance to get together with your work friends, mingle with those who you don't often speak to in the office, let your hair down and celebrate the festive season.

We've put together a checklist of what you're going to need for the big night and ways to enjoy the getting ready process just as much as the party itself...

Before the day of the event:

1) Find The Perfect Outfit

Firstly, you're going to need a show stopping outfit. Everyone has already seen you first thing in the morning so you many not have anyone to impress, but it's still nice to look and feel amazing at your Christmas party! Choose something that you can't wait to wear and don't be afraid of a bit of glitz and glamour – it is Christmas after all! Don't leave outfit shopping until the last minute, and give yourself time for online orders to arrive. There's nothing worse than running around the night before sorting everything out!

2) Sort Your Accessories

Team your dress with some skyscraper heels, a clutch and some beautiful jewellery. You might want to shop around to get your perfect look, so don't leave this until the last minute either. As soon as you have a dress sorted, make sure you have everything to accompany it.

3) Have A Pamper Session

Get yourself relaxed and pampered in the run up to the day. Have a bath, exfoliate, shave or epilate your legs, moisturise, give yourself a mini facial and colour and treat your hair. Finish the whole pamper process off by giving yourself a relaxing massage using the Scholl M Rolling Shiatsu Massager which effectively soothes away the aches and pains associated with today's busy lifestyles!

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Christmas is only a month away, and amongst the festive excitement, there is always a huge amount of festive stress.

Buying presents, organising the Christmas dinner, wrapping, decorating, making party plans and arranging to see the family can be situations that you'd rather leave on the back burner.

The key to enjoying this Christmas?

Organisation.

Before the wrapping paper is shredded, you've heard the same Christmas Classics CD on repeat for two days and you feel like you've eaten more food than you have for the entire year, you need to ensure your home is holiday ready.

If your house is sorted, everything else will fall in to place.

Here are a few ways to ensure you're organised and ready for the festive fun...

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As the 31st October comes round again, the shops are filled with multi-packs of sweets and chocolate, fancy dress outfits for all ages and enough decoration ideas to turn your entire house into a haunted mansion.

Children and adults alike love the chance to dress up as a frightening alter ego. Whether you're going trick or treating with the kids or having an night in with your friends watching horror movies, one thing is almost certain – sweets and treats will be involved.

A lot of parents are worried about how many sweets their child will consume around the Halloween period – they are literally handed to them on a plate, especially if you let the kids go trick or treating. There are other safety issues too – a lot of parents don't like the idea of letting their child wander the streets in the dark.

We've come up with a few tips to make sure your little ones stay safe and healthy this Halloween...

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Published: 28/08/2015

Healthy Cooking For The Whole Family

You probably had a few weeks during the summer where you hit the gym and ate more salad in preparation for your holidays, but being healthy, happy and confident doesn't have to be a seasonal thing.

Making small, easy changes to your diet can result in a huge difference, not only on the scales but in your confidence. And getting the whole family on board will teach your children how to make healthy choices in a fun and informative way.

When you're on the go constantly, and with a family of fussy eaters to please, it can be difficult to make meals from scratch. So we've put together a few tips that will get your family eating and enjoying healthier foods...

 

1) Choose What To Eat Together

If you get your children involved in planning meals, they will be more interested in the food that they will be eating. They also have the opportunity to raise any issues they have with ingredients before it is placed in front of them at the dinner table and is too late.

If their meal idea is chosen, you can use this as a great way to get them on board with the meal preparation and washing up!

Teaching children to cook from a young age is a fantastic life skill, so teach them about where their food comes from and how to prepare different parts of a meal.

 

2) Do The Weekly Shop Together

For kids, the weekly shop can actually be quite exciting! They will love helping you grab everything you need and choosing food they will look forward to eating throughout the week.

When you've made a list of the meals you're going to prepare, break it down into a list of all the ingredients that you're going to need.

Try to vary the menu for the week, but don't be afraid to have something twice to keep the cost down.

Two pasta meals in one week is fine if you make it with different ingredients, and larger joints of meat can be cut up and frozen in portions, or cooked and saved to use for salads and snacks.

 

3) Stock Up On Healthy Snacks

Have a fruit bowl full of apples, bananas, grapes and strawberries on the side, and prepare bowls of cucumber, carrot and celery sticks so everyone can grab a handful from the fridge when they're peckish and on the go.

You and your kids will then be much less tempted to reach for bags of crisps and chocolate bars, especially if you don't fill the cupboards with them and healthy options are your only choice.

Don't restrict children from snacking, but let them know that if they choose fruit, they can have as much as they like, whereas if they have crisps, they can only have the one bag and no other snacks for the rest of the day. This will help them make healthier choices.

 

4) Experiment With Meals

Make meals that you've also not tried before so you can share the new flavours for the first time alongside your children. Knowing that you've not eaten it before either will encourage your child to try new things.

Create meals from scratch using ingredients that you know you all already like, and let your children see exactly what is going in. That way, they will know that everything on their plate is food that they enjoy, just in a different form.

 

5) Create Healthier Versions Of Your Favourite Foods

If you and your kids love chips, there are ways to create a healthier version. A Tefal Actifry is a revolutionary way of frying chips using just one spoonful of oil per 1kg of potatoes. The appliance was designed to decrease the amount of fat needed to cook chips and other dishes without compromising on the taste – and people say they taste even better without the greasy oil!

With standard deep fat fryers, the oil and burnt bits of food can cause unpleasant smells that seem to stick to every surface and fabric in the house. In an Actifry, the fat and oil smells are reduced and the oil is only used once.

Having a versatile appliance such as an Actifry in your kitchen is extremely handy as it can also be used to cook casseroles, curries, meat, fish, stir fry, risotto and vegetables. There are even ways of making desserts in them.

Another family favourite is pizza. Making your own from scratch is much healthier and a great way to get children in the kitchen and excited about food. Cut up vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms and let them decorate their own bases in the vibrant colours. It's a great way to get them eating vegetables which they probably wouldn't touch in other foods.

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Published: 17/08/2015

Your University Essentials

You've finally got your A-level results, you've accepted your uni offer, you've sorted out your UCAS forms and you've applied for your first year accommodation. You're probably feeling a few different emotions right now – excitement and nerves above the rest.

Going away to university can be a daunting process. You don't know anyone, you don't know what your halls will be like, you don't know what the work will be like and if you still live with your parents now, you have to learn to be independent... and fast.

But take it from us – you're going to be just fine!

We've all been there, and it is terrifying, so you need as much guidance as you can find in the run up to moving day. We've put together a handy list of electrical items that you'll definitely need...

For your room

Alarm clock

An alarm clock is an absolute essential for university life, and living alone in general. You're probably used to being woken up my your mum coming in your room/ the vacuum cleaner/ your siblings clattering about/ your dog jumping on your head. But at university, you have none of these things to get you up in time for lectures!

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The sun is out and it finally feels like it's Summer. REAL summer. Not the usual 'sunny for five minutes before it rains again' British summer either.

In true British form, we complain when it's cold, we complain when it's warm, and you don't want to be around if a wasp flies in our direction. But like snuggling up indoors with a fire and blanket to keep warm during the winter, we have a variety of games and toys what can help you keep cool and have fun during the summer.

It's time to think about what you can do to keep the kids amused during the school holidays. Six weeks is a long time and you can't go on road trips every single day.

We've put together a few pieces that will give your kids (young and old!) some entertainment:

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Kitchens divide opinion like no other room in the house. If you don't love cooking and baking, you probably hate it.

But whatever your thoughts, there are plenty of kitchen gadgets and accessories that will make your life easier or more fun.

To help you find the accessories to try new recipes and speed up your cooking, to making meal times more exciting, we've gathered some of our favourite kitchen gadgets. Take a look...

 

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