Ways to Make Cooking Quicker and Easier than Convenience Food

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You’ve just spent 8 hours at work and another 30 minutes driving home, the last thing you want to think about is what to cook for dinner, but you’re hungry and so is your family. You have to do something. You don’t want to make microwave meals again, but takeout is expensive, so you do, again. It doesn’t have to be like this! There are lots of things you can do to make cooking a healthy meal quicker and easier than convenience food.

Make a Meal Plan

Write down every meal you would like to eat for the next seven days and the ingredients you’ll need to make them. Pick up all the vital ingredients when you’re next at the store, print a recipe off the internet and you’ll be prepared to actually make meals for a change.

Invest in a Good Set of Knives

Peeling, chopping and slicing takes a lot of time when you’re working with poorly made blunt knives.Invest in a good set of chef quality knives from Cut It Fine and you’ll see an immediate difference in your chopping abilities and the amount of time it takes. You’ll be able to chop veggies and meat in less time than it takes to cook a microwave meal and you’ll never have to resort to quick fixes again.

Cook in Bulk

If you really can’t spare 20-30 minutes to cook up something nutritious through the week, why not do a spot of batch cooking at the weekend? In just two or three hours you could cook enough soups, stews and sides to feed the whole family for the week and all you’ll have to do is heat it up.

Use a Slow Cooker

If the main reason you don’t cook much is that you’re too tired after a full day of work, invest in a slow cooker and it will transform your life. You can out the meat and veggies of your choice in the slow cooker before you head off to work and when you get home, you’ll have a nutritious hot meal waiting for you. You can’t get easier than that.

Make Oven Meals

If you hate slaving over a hot stove, don’t! Seek out recipes which can be put into one pot in the oven and left alone until their ready. There are lots of these recipes on the Good Housekeeping website, so take a look and see if there’s anything you fancy.

Use Your Leftovers

Okay, so leftovers aren’t always very appetising, but if you’re looking to make a quick and healthy meal, they’re a boon. After all, most of the work has already been done, all that remains is to heat them up and add a few extras to make your meal a bit different to last night’s and you’re good to go.

Now you know creating homemade meals doesn’t have to be a hassle, start experimenting more in the kitchen, chances are you will get to enjoy your time there and if you don’t at least you’ll have eaten well.

 

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Keeping Your Skin Fresh: Ways To Feel Good This Winter

Through the winter, it’s particularly difficult to keep your skin in good condition. The cold air and wind can strip it of its natural oils, which makes it more easily damaged. That means that you might have to make a few changes to your skincare routine to keep feeling and looking good…

Keep Hydrated

During the winter it’s easy to forget to drink water. We tend to go for hot drinks instead when it’s cold outside but the sad truth is that a Starbucks coffee won’t be nearly as helpful as good old water at keeping your skin in top condition. The skin is an organ and it’s made up primarily of water – which means that if you’re dehydrated, your skin can start to look dull and lifeless. Make sure that you carry a reusable water bottle with you during the day and that you put drinking water into your daily routine.

Cover Up

We all know that you have to cover up to stay warm in winter and to protect your skin from the winter in the summer, but we never think about protecting our skin in the winter as much. Make sure that you wear a warm scarf and if you’re out in the cold wind, pull it up over the bottom half of your face to stop yourself from getting raw red chapped skin. The same applies with hats – not least because you can lose a lot of body heat through the top of your head so it’s important to wear a hat to stay warm and cosy.

Invest In Skincare

During the winter it’s important to keep on top of your skincare routine. If you have oily skin you might not think that you need to keep moisturising, but oily skin can still be dehydrated. If your current skincare regime isn’t working for you and your skin feels sore and dry, try out a new company like Bioderma skincare – look online to find out which brands might work for you. Ensure that you moisturise carefully before you go to bed, and put on eye cream to save the delicate skin around your eyes from getting too many wrinkles. Use an oil based cleanser to remove your makeup every evening before you go to bed or when you get home from work – even if you have oily skin, this should be effective at rehydrating your skin.

Change Your Makeup Routine

 

Check to see if the colour of your foundation is still working for you – many of us need to go a couple of shades paler in the winter when there’s less sun, although you still need to wear sunscreen with a high SPF under your makeup. It’s harder to stay dewy and fresh faced this time of year, so make sure that you use a blusher that makes you glow, and try strobing to highlight different parts of your face like your brow bone, your cheekbone, and the bow of your lips. Make sure that you keep chapstick in your pocket so your lips are always smooth and unchapped.

Health Issues To Watch Out For

Our health is valuable to us, and so we should try to look after it as best we can. Part of that is be educated about things that are good for us and the things that are not. It is also important to be aware of anything that is risky to our health. To help you build your knowledge on health, read on for a basic guide.

Bacteria

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Bacteria are microscopic organisms that are present just about everywhere. In fact, we have bacteria all over us, and inside us as well. Bacteria sometimes get a bad reputation, but in fact, there are lots of positive jobs that they do for us. For example, in our intestine, there are good bacteria that help us to process and digest our food efficiently.

However, there are some harmful bacteria as well as helpful one such as e.coli and chlamydia. If you have e.coli you will probably know about it very quickly. But it isn’t always easy to tell if you have a bacterial infection, like chlamydia. So you can get a test and find out that way. Then if you test positive, order treatment online.

To protect against bacterial infection you can do several things. The first is to use an antibacterial hand wash or gel, which will kill them on contact. The second is to always make sure that you teach the kids to wash their hands after going to the toilet. This is where a lot of bacteria can be picked up. Thirdly, ensure that you always eat in restaurants that have a high hygiene rating. As they will be aware of the risk of bacterial contamination and will have put processes in place to stop this and protect their customers.

Viruses

Viruses are even smaller than bacteria, but unlike bacteria, they do need a living host to be transmitted. That means they cannot survive for any significant amount of time outside of the body.  Whereas bacteria can. Bacteria can cause even multiple and thrive outside of the body, and that is one to the things that make some bacteria so dangerous.

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Once viruses get into your system, they take over a cell and make it replicate themselves rather than what the cell was originally being used for. Some particularly nasty viruses include Flu and HIV.

Happily, the spread of the virus can be stopped with good hygiene. Hand washing, coughing and sneezing into a tissue can help stop the transmission of viruses from person to person.

For some viruses creating a barrier hat stop bodily fluids passing from one person to another can also help to stop transmission.

Smoking

Most people are now aware that smoking is a massive health risk. Smoking tobacco can affect the lungs and heart. It can lead to COPD which is where the sufferer has trouble breathing and getting enough oxygen.

Smoking is also linked to a higher rate of lung cancer. Cancers are an illness that results from a malfunction within our cells. They are caused when the body’s repair system is triggered and goes wrong. So anything that causes the body’s repair system to trigger often increases the chances that something will go wrong. This is why some people also believe that taking antioxidants is good for you. As they clear up the free radicals in your system and stop them damaging the cells.

The best course of action for any smoker is to give up. In fact, they can decrease the risk of smoking-related diseases to similar of that of a person that has never smoked, over a certain amount of time.

Of course giving up smoking isn’t as easy as all that. That is because nicotine the main ingredient tobacco is addictive. It fools your brain into thinking that it needs it, to survive. When in fact, we can function perfectly well without out. It is just uncomfortable while going through the withdrawal process.

There are products available to help with this, though. You can try e-cigarettes which delivers a dose of nicotine in water vapor. What this does is bypasses all the harmful chemicals that are added to a cigarette. Which is what is mainly responsible for disease.

Or you can give nicotine replacement products a go. Available in lozenges, inhalers or patches, these deliver a steady supply of nicotine, so it makes it a lot easy to break the habit of smoking. Of course, you will need at least some willpower this way too.

Sedentary lifestyle

When watching out for your and your loved one’s health, it’s important to keep an eye on how much activity they are getting. Leading a sedentary lifestyle can lead to all sort of problems like weight gain, depression, and stress on muscles and bones.

Try to build activities into daily life at home that encourage everyone to get up off the sofa and move around. Cycling is a great aerobic activity as it running or walking. Or why not attend a fitness or martial arts class as a family group?

If you would rather exercise separately, then the gym is a positive option. Or there is swimming or why not try an exercise video, so you can workout at home.

Mental health

Mental health can be a tough one to watch out for because no one really now what is going on inside another person’s head. Our individual experience is so subjective that it can be difficult to define what we are feeling, let alone what the feeling of someone close to us are.

Even so, there are some signs that you can look out for if you are concerned about someone you love’s mental state. Sleep is a good indicator. Sleeping more or less than usual can signify a change in mental health. The same goes for the amount they are eating.

A classic sign of poor mental health is when a person withdraws from their friends and family. A depressed person may also stop doing things that they enjoyed up to that point. It is always worth having a conservation with the person that you are concerned about. Ask them if they need some support or help with the issue that they are going through.

Easy Ways To Perfect A Workable Morning Routine

Hands up who doesn’t have enough time in the morning? That will be most of us then! Getting ready for college or work is difficult enough when you’re still sleepy in the mornings – even more so if you have a family or if you work odd hours. Perfecting the morning routine can be considered a bit of an art in itself, as there’s often so much to do before you even step out of the door. Plus, the last thing you want to do is be stressed before you’ve even got to work – so just how do you go about creating a workable morning routine?

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Get up earlier, if you need to

Rushing around like a mad woman in a morning is never a good way to start the day. If you are stressed in the mornings, it is likely that you will continue to feel that way throughout the rest of the day, and it could affect later decisions that you make. Try and set the tone for the day by making sure you have enough time to get everything done. Yes, this might mean setting your alarm a little earlier. Those anti-morning people among us will be recoiling in horror – but it doesn’t need to be drastic. If you really should be out of bed by 7.30am, try setting your alarm half an hour before that. This way, it gives you chance to press snooze a couple of times, and spend a few minutes lounging around on your phone before you commit to getting up. Being able to take things slower in the mornings will make a huge difference to the rest of your day, and you are also more likely to be more organised this way too.

Shower like a pro

You probably spend much of your mornings in your bathroom, getting ready for the day. Around this time of year, when the weather is cold, it can be very tempting to stand for ages in a hot shower. But when you’re on limited time, enjoying your shower too much can only make you late. There is a time and a place for hour-long baths and showers – unfortunately, the morning is not it! Organise your bathroom so that it becomes efficient for you and serves a purpose. For example, no one wants to be messing around with getting the perfect water temperature when they’re in a rush. So, consider trying a thermostatic bath shower mixer so you can turn it on and get straight in.

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Don’t be overly ambitious with breakfast

We’ve all seen dreamy Instagram posts of fitness gurus managing to fit in eggs, toast, avocado, parma ham and cherry tomatoes on their breakfast plate before work. Whilst this is a healthy breakfast, it’s certainly not one for those short on time. There’s no harm in preparing a delicious brunch on a weekend, but during the week, you may need something more practical. However, you can still be healthy. A high fibre bowl of cereal with nuts and berries is a great way to start the day, and you could even try overnight oats if you want to fill up on protein.

Here’s a List of Everything You Should Do Before Relocating

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Before you relocate, you need to make sure you have thought everything through. You’re going to have to put plans in place to help with the move, and to secure the perfect new home. Here is a list of everything you need to do before your relocation.

Save Money

Before you can relocate you need to make sure you are financially stable. There are a lot of things you can do to achieve this. But, mainly it’s about saving up and making sure you have the money to cover the costs of relocating. It’s not going to be cheap so you need to combine household income to help you save up. Have a think about the sort of prices range you want for your new home. Then you need to set yourself a saving target to reach. Once you hit this, you can start applying for mortgages and getting the ball rolling.

Let the Kids Know

You will need to sit down and have a conversation with your children when it comes time to make a move. It’s going to be difficult for the kids to understand and process why you are moving. But you need to try to explain to them that you are relocating as a family and the reasons why. It might be difficult for them to process at first, but you need to make the effort to help them understand. The kids need to be on board with the move as much as possible because this will make everything much easier and more tolerable.

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Home Improvements

When it comes to a house move, you will want to try to sell your current place. And that means you need to make it as sellable as possible. The idea is to try to attract interest in your property and entice people to want to make you an offer. And on of the best ways to achieve this is to try to make home improvements as much as you can. You need to look at areas where you can improve the property and add value to the home at the same time. Two of the best areas to make improvements would be in the kitchen and the garden. This is because these are two areas highly regarded by buyers. If you can make improvements and alterations to add kerb appeal to your home, you will increase your chances of a sale. And, as a bonus, you’ll make more money from it.

Decide What to do With Your Existing Home

It’s important to give some thought to the existing home you currently have. If you’re relocating, you’re going to be moving to a new home. So this begs the question of what you’re going to do with your current home. Now, you could always keep it of course, but this would mean having to pay two mortgages, and that’s going to be very expensive. Most people will elect to sell their home before they make their move permanent. But, it can be a lot harder to sell your home than you might think; especially for the right price. So, another option open to you could be to think about renting your home out. This would provide you with a steady income and would help with costs of your relocation. But, whatever your decision is, you need to make it as soon as you can so you can work towards achieving it.

Check Out a Range of New Places

Before you can relocate you need to find your new home. The process of looking for a new home is fun and exciting. This is the part of the process you can look forward to and have a good time with. But, you also need to make sure that you are practical and sensible about it. And that means you have to see a range of places before you are in a position to make a definitive choice. Check out estate agents online to see what choices there are. You can learn about Entwistle Green here, and check out the properties they have on offer. It’s important to get a feel for what properties are on offer in the area you want to move to. Then you can select something in your price range, and work on finding the right home for you.

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Pack Up Your Life

When it becomes real that you’re actually relocating is when you start packing up your life. You are set for a fresh start in a new place. But it may not become real until you start to pack your life into cardboard boxes. You have to approach the packing sensibly and carefully and make sure you have some sort of system in place. The more organised you can be with it the more smoothly it will go. Try to pack things into the relevant boxes, and make sure you have all your stuff packed up well before moving day. You don’t want to have to deal with the chaos and rush that comes with having to sort that out.

Plan the Move

You have to plan what you’ll do when it comes down to the actual moving process. This can be just as stressful and chaotic as everything that comes before it. You need to account for where you’re moving to and how you will get there. You may want to hire a van to transport all the family’s possessions so you can focus on driving them there. It’s also worth thinking about when you want to make the move. It’s going to be much less costly and busy to do it on a weekday because most people will be at work. Weekends are manic for things like this so that’s worth a consideration as well.

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If you are serious about a relocation, you’ve got to be aware that it’s a massive step. It will completely change your life and your family’s future. So you need to ensure everything is ready to help you with the move. And this means you have to take action and get all this stuff sorted out before you move. There’s a lot to think about, but it’s important to get it sorted out so you can transition smoothly into a new chapter of your life.

Rethink Your Life, It’s Time for a Change

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We all get to that point where our lives could do with a rethink. If you feel like you are unfulfilled in your life you need a change then it’s time to get real. Start rethinking things and deciding how you can make decisions that will help you better enjoy your life.

Assess Your Career

You have to give serious thought to the career you’re currently in. Think about whether you’re happy doing what you do, and whether it’s right for you. It might be worth changing your mind and going for a different career path. You need to be doing something that will keep you happy and fulfilled as much as possible. Many people go their whole lives without ever doing anything they enjoy or want to do. So, if your job is not enriching you, then it’s time to quit and work towards doing what you want to do.

Do You Want Kids?

One of the biggest decisions you’re going to make in your life is whether or not you want to have kids. If you’re in a relationship, this is an even bigger choice that you need to make. Children are wonderful, but they also change the dynamic of your life. So, you need to make sure you are ready to have children and that you can afford it. This is a long and serious discussion you need to have as a couple. So sit down together and start thinking about whether you are ready for kids and the changes you’ll need to make in your life if you decide to have them.

Move Abroad

If you feel like your life has stagnated a bit, it might be time for a change of scenery. And that’s why you should consider moving abroad. Choose a country with some great history and culture, like France. It’s important that you pick up tips about moving to France so you can adjust to your new life more easily. Learn about the customs and national events they have there. You could even try to learn a bit of the language to give you an advantage when you get out there. It’s also important to choose the area of France you’d like to live in.

See the World

You might not be ready to move abroad permanently just yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see the world. It’s important to do what you can to get out there and see what the world has to offer. You need to experience other cultures and customs. Visiting places you’ve never been to before is a great eye-opener and will help you broaden your horizons. Make sure you do what you can to get out there and see the world. Dust off your passport and start pencilling in some holiday destinations as soon as you can.

Revamp Your Home

There are plenty of things you could do to make your home better. Think about revamping and renovating to get the home to the way you want it to be. Consider how you might be able to make the property better. There are bound to be a lot of changes you can make that will help you achieve this. An extension might be the perfect way to go with this kind of thing. You may also consider going green or adding a swimming pool. It’s good to try to implement the things you’ve always wanted for your home. This is the best way of ensuring that your home is taken care of and gets the best possible outcome.

Build the Perfect Body

Everyone wishes they could be more toned and healthy these days. Health and fitness are crucial when you’re trying to build the perfect body. This is something you need to do to make yourself healthier, as well as improving your self-confidence and esteem. It’s important that you are happy with who you are and the way you look. And the way you can achieve this is by making sure you try to build the perfect body. You’ll need to start working out and exercising frequently if you want to get a tight and toned figure. There are plenty of exercises you can try as well as work out sessions. It’s just a case of thinking about the best approach to take to exercising.

 

Start Online Dating

If you have dated in the past, then it’s probably time to get back on the horse. A lot of people think they don’t have time for dating these days. But, in reality, they just don’t realize they have the time. Online dating makes the whole process much more efficient. So this is something you need to think about starting up. Sign up for some online dating sites like Tinder, OkCupid or Plenty of Fish. Create a profile and choose some of your best pictures. Then you have taken the first steps on the road to online dating. You never know, your soulmate could be just a screen away.

Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You

They always say you should face your fears, and that’s why it’s great to do one thing every day that scares you. It doesn’t matter what it is, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a big thing. You just need to make sure it’s something that you personally find scary. This could be something as simple as going on a date, speaking publicly, or doing some sort of extreme sport. It’s important to try to do something that scares you every day because this helps you feel alive. And it will encourage you to face and conquer your fears every day.

Detox

I always think it’s a good idea to put your body through a detox now and again. Whether you drink, smoke, take drugs or eat junk, your body is going to need a detox. Flushing your system and getting those antioxidants into your body is perfect. This will help you feel better every day, and will work towards improving your health. Putting yourself on a personal detox program is the best way to go, and something you can do easily at home. But, if you have problems with addiction you might decide that it’s time to seek help and treatment. In this scenario, you would visit a detox centre and get help to get clean.

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What Have You Always Wanted to Do?

Think about what you have always wanted to do with your life. Everyone has dreams and aspirations in their life. Now is the time to determine what these might be, and to work towards them. Some people want to write the Great American Novel while others want to play drums in a prog rock band. Figure out what your passion is and start taking steps to work towards it right now. It’s important to try to achieve the dreams and goals we set for ourselves in life. These help us to become more fulfilled and get more enjoyment out of life.

Learn Something New

Take this opportunity to better yourself and increase your life experience by learning something new. This could be anything that is new to you. Think about things you might find useful in your life, or things you’ve always wanted to do. A lot of people choose to learn languages or learn a musical instrument like the guitar. It’s important to learn new things in order to improve your experiences and enrich your life. You might find some of these things useful, like learning to drive. But, some of them might just be for your own entertainment purposes, such as learning a new game.

We all hit that point in our lives where we decide it’s time to make some changes. It’s important to assess and think about what matters the most to us. There are plenty of things you have to make sure you get right these days. And it’s difficult to know what these changes might be until it comes time to make them. Essentially you’re just looking for ways to improve and enrich your life as much as you can. Use some of the ideas on here to ensure that you get the best out of life and enjoy yourself as much as possible.

 

 

Where To Travel If You Want To Be A Photographer

With so many of our devices having cameras built in, it seems everyone can become a photographer. You don’t need a lot of equipment to carry with you. And you can even edit the images as you take them too. Then with a single push of a button, those images can be shared with the whole world on social media too. They’re geo-tagged, so you’ll always know exactly where you were to get that stunning view too.

So what can you do if you want to take your photography further? Many of us love taking pictures of our friends and family. And the Selfie is losing no popularity either. But it’s the pictures of the places with those stunning views that make us stare the longest. If you love travelling and you’re a keen photographer, then the world is waiting for you to take some of the most beautiful photos in the world.

Some tour operators even offer a photographer’s package. You may be exploring Gozo or travelling by helicopter from Vegas to see the Grand Canyon. These are all exceptional opportunities to get some great shots of the landscape. There are a few things you need to remember though if you are keen to pursue your photography.

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Always be aware of your surroundings. There are thousands of beautiful landscapes across the globe to choose from. But many are very dangerous. Never lean over a cliff or stand too close to something hazardous for that one magical photo. Instead, invest in a bigger lens that brings the image closer to you rather than you getting closer to the hazard.

Many beautiful landscapes are on the coast. This means it can be wet and wild. Protecting your digital equipment is essential, so invest in some great waterproofing. You will also need to be protected from the wet and the cold, or you’ll soon find your photography to be a miserable experience. Keep warm and dry with some good quality wet weather wear.

Light and shade bring an image to life. You may find that early morning sun and that golden hour before the sun sets to be the best time to take your images. A high sun at noon doesn’t always offer the best sculpting of shadows, and may need more filters to reduce its impact on your image. If you’re shooting at night, you will definitely need a tripod as exposure takes longer. Hand-held shots can create wobbly blurs if you’re taking pictures at night.

Rock formations, waterfalls, coastlines, and woodlands make beautiful photographs. There are plenty of natural phenomena you may be interested in capturing too, like the Northern Lights, geysers and bird migrations. All of these things require patience and a little luck to capture. If you love the great outdoors and you’re a fan of travelling, this could be the perfect hobby for you. You may even earn a penny or two selling your images too.

Photography is so much fun and is a great way to record your experiences as you travel. You can take courses to help you become a better photographer, or try a photographic tour for a holiday. Enjoy your photos.