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life and love

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=node%3D341689031&field-keywords=Love+and+life+by+Gillian+Sims

Always Remember

Originally posted on adventureswithmonster:

Having read Sarah Ockwell-Smith’sprevious books , I have been eagerly anticipating the release of her latest work The Gentle Sleep Book. Imagine my excitement at being offered the opportunity to review it ahead of it’s official release! 

having received my review copy, delighting in it’s beautiful cover design and having time to digest it’s contents, I am now delighted to be able to share this post with you…

IMG_0202

The Gentle Sleep Book 

‘A guide for Calm Babies, Toddlers and Pre-schoolers’ 

By Sarah Ockwell-Smith

(Published bypiatkus)

****************

‘The Gentle Sleep Book’ is a refreshing antidote to the usual offerings from so called ‘parenting experts’. Totally Non-prescriptive and written (BY A MUM!) in a way that offers comfort, practical suggestions and I think, most importantly of all, reliable, evidenced based information which serves to provide the reader with an all important insight into what is truly ‘normal’ in terms…

View original 975 more words

Originally posted on TIME:

No one intends to raise spoiled brats, but it’s sometimes hard to see the consequences of your actions several years down the road.

Ron Lieber, personal finance columnist for The New York Times, offers his advice on the subject in his new book The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous and Smart about Money.

Here are his eight most practical tips:

Hand out on a regular allowance.

Commit to doling out the funds once a month or once a week, and offer raises on birthdays.

But there’s a catch: Allowance money shouldn’t be given to children as a reward for chores completed.

“If they do (their chores) poorly, there are plenty of valuable privileges we can take away, aside from withholding money. So allowance ought to stand on its own, not as a wage but as a teaching tool that gets sharper and more potent…

View original 698 more words

wbd_festWorld Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

This is the 18th year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 5th March 2015 children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. That’s why we will be sending schools (including those nurseries and secondary schools that have specially registered to participate), packs of Book Tokens and age-ranged World Book Day Resource Packs (age-ranged into Nursery/Pre-School, Primary and Secondary) full of ideas and activities, display material and more information about how to get involved in World Book Day.

What happens?

Thanks to the generosity of National Book Tokens Ltd, publishers and booksellers, we can send millions of book vouchers to children and young people (more than 14 million, in fact: that’s one for nearly every child aged under eighteen in the country).

Then…

They can take their voucher to a local bookseller and can use it to pick one of TEN (exclusive, new and completely free) books. Or, if they’d rather, they can use it to get £1 off any book or audio book costing over £2.99 at a participating bookshop or book club (terms and conditions apply).

How can you get involved?

Look out for the new downloadable resource packs coming soon and please visit our Resources section which is full of exciting and fun resources based on favourite books, brands, characters and authors.

It’s all about getting kids closer to the books and authors they already love, and letting them discover more books and authors they’ll love every bit as much in the future.

bill

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the grocery store. Some coupon-savvy families squeak by on less than $300 a month, while others jam-pack their carts to the tune of $300 a week.

So who’s right?

It depends. We recommend spending 5–15% of your take-home pay on food, which includes groceries and meals out. But even if your food budget falls within that healthy range, maybe you’d still like to see it come down a few notches. Check out these five easy ways to change your grocery shopping habits for the better—without clipping coupons.

1. Redefine Dinner

If the word dinner conjures up a big homemade meal with a nice cut of meat, two steaming sides, a crusty French loaf and a chocolaty finish, cut yourself some slack! This isn’t the 1950s and weeknight suppers don’t have to be a big production.

Your kids and spouse will survive on BLTs, omelets or a nice salad several times a week. So don’t be afraid to plan simple, one-item-only meals. Reduce your guilt andyour budget by redefining the most expensive meal of the day.

2. Buy the Store Brands Already!

You know generic pasta is cheaper, but you’re still not convinced it won’t ruin your great-grandmother’s lasagna recipe. In a 2009 Consumer Reports study, 29 brand-name foods went up against their generic counterparts. Of the 29 pairings, 19 scored “equally good” in the blind taste test. In other words, your less-expensive lasagna will taste just as delicious.

Still not sold? According to a 2014 academic study, when chefs bought staples like salt, sugar and baking soda, they were much more likely to buy the generic than were non-chefs. And they’re the food experts! The study concluded that if more of us purchased store brands, we could save roughly $44 billion collectively. It pays to be brand un-loyal.

3. Change Up Your Grocery Stores

What made you pick your current grocery store? Is it the friendliest? How about the most convenient? Maybe you just know where everything is? Don’t let a comfortable routine cost you money.You may even find that two grocery stores are your best bet—one for meats and bulk items and another for everything else.

If you’re still not sure which grocery stores are worth checking into, ask around. People love talking about getting a good deal, and the ones who are getting the best deals will gladly gush about their favorite spots. Figuring out a new grocery store may be frustrating at first, but it’s worth learning a new layout to keep that extra $20 in your wallet.

4. Make a Detailed List

A list is simply a plan. You must plan out what you’ll make for breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the next week and then write out each ingredient you’ll need for those meals (plus a few snacks, of course).

When you arrive at the store, remember to buy only what’s on your list. This is key to staying on budget! And if you go shopping as a family, let your kids help plan the meals on the front end so they know this trip isn’t a junk food free-for-all. It’s much easier to stay on budget when you’re shopping with a plan and working as a team.

5. Always Use Cash

The best way to stick to a lower food budget is to pay with cash. When you enter the grocery store with cash in hand, you know exactly how much you can spend. Plus, you’ll stick to the meat-and-potatoes necessities of your budget rather than your ice cream-and-cookie impulse buys.

If you still find you’re eating high on the hog at the beginning of the month and then scraping by on tuna fish by the end, make a cash run every two weeks, instead of every month. This way, you’ll have a better picture of how much you can actually afford to spend each week, versus for the entire month.

Better Habits, Better Budget

By simply starting a few new habits, you can lower your monthly food budget and meet your money goals even faster. That means more cash to pay down debts, invest for the future, or save up for something fun—like a babysitter and a nice meal out where someone else cooks and cleans up.

Banana cupcakes topped with a caramel-flavoured butter cream, chopped fudge and sea salt for a sophisticated sweet treat.

Less than 30 minspreparation time

10 to 30 minscooking time

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes
For the buttercream
To decorate

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/170C Fan/Gas 3 and line two 12-hole cupcake tins with paper cases.
  2. Put the butter, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients using an electric whisk until a sandy consistency is achieved. Lightly beat the milk and eggs in a jug. With the whisk going, gradually pour half of the milk and eggs into the bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. When the batter is smooth add the remaining liquid and continue to mix until combined. Stir the banana in.
  3. Divide the batter equally among the 24 cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when lightly touched. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then place on a wire rack.
  4. For the buttercream, use an electric whisk to beat together the icing sugar and butter until well combined. Gradually add the milk while mixing on a slow speed to make a smooth icing. Add the dulce de leche and mix thoroughly. Turn up the speed and beat until for a further 5-10 minutes, or until the icing is light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
  5. Once the cupcakes are cool, use a sharp knife to make a hollow in the centre of each cupcake, keep the cut-out piece of sponge. Put a teaspoonful of the dulce de leche into each hollow. Replace the cut-out piece of sponge, trimming to fit and pressing down gently to ensure that the top is level.
  6. Pipe a swirl of butter cream on top of each cupcake and decorate with a little sea salt and pieces of fudge and dark chocolate.

Rainbow cupcakes

Simple but ever so pretty, these multi-coloured cupcakes are topped with sprinkles and a glacé cherry. Perfect for Red Nose Day bake sales.

Less than 30 minspreparation time

10 to 30 minscooking time

Makes 24

Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need two 12-hole muffin tins and a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

Ingredients

For the rainbow cupcakes
For the vanilla buttercream
To decorate

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/160C Fan/Gas 3. Line two 12-hole cupcake trays with cupcake cases.
  2. For the cupcakes, beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter together in a freestanding mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk). Mix in half the milk until it is just incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and remaining milk together. Pour into the flour mixture and beat until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Divide the batter equally between four bowls and colour each one with food colouring, so you end up with four brightly coloured bowls of cake mixture.
  5. Now layer the coloured mixtures in the cupcake cases. Starting with one colour, divide the mixture equally between the cupcake cases and smooth it out so you have a layer at the bottom. Continue with all the other colours in the same way, evenly spreading each layer out and being careful not to mi the colours together, so that you end up with distinct layers of mixture.
  6. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. For the vanilla buttercream, beat the butter with a handheld electric mixer until soft. Sift in the icing sugar and incorporate to make a smooth icing. Add the vanilla extract and beat the icing for a further few minutes until light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
  9. When the cupcakes are cold, pipe the vanilla buttercream on top of the cakes and decorate with the hundreds and thousands. To finish, top each cupcake with a glacé cherry to resemble a red nose.

celery

I’m not a big fan of “dieting” — a word that conjures up images of hunger and chewing on celery or doing some kind of fad diet — but I do believe in trying to eat a healthier diet.

Don’t diet, but do stick to a healthy diet, in other words.

But that’s easier said than done, as we all know. The healthy diet goes out the window around the holidays, for example, or when there’s a family party or a function at work full of unhealthy food, or when we go out to eat with friends, or when we go to a ballgame or amusement park or the beach, or when … well, you get the idea. There are lots of ways to get off a diet.

And there are just as many ways to stick to your healthy diet.

I’m not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, and I often will give in to temptations. But I’ve gotten better over time, partially because practice makes perfect and partly because I’ve learned a lot of great tips, from my fellow bloggers and from you, my favorite readers in the world.

So today we’re going to look at a few of the tips and tricks that I’ve found useful in sticking with a healthy diet.

1. Know your motivation. I have a friend, Jerry, who is getting healthy so that he’ll be alive and well to see his 3-year-old son grow up. When he gets tempted by evil junk food, he asks himself whether he’d rather eat the sweets or see his son grow up. When you have a powerful motivation like this, and remember what choice you’re making whenever you face temptation, it’s easier to be strong when you’d otherwise cave in.

2. Take it in gradual steps. You don’t have to overhaul your diet overnight. I highly recommend changing your diet in small steps — just drink water instead of soda, for example, or eat fruit instead of candy or chips. Once you adjust to this small change, make another a week or two later, and so on until you’re eating much healthier a few months later. This small and gradual process makes it much easier to stick with a healthy diet.

3. Don’t be drastic. I’ve seen fad diets like the Cookie Diet, Atkins, the Banana Diet, and different cleansing fasts — and I don’t recommend a single one of them. They’re drastic, and very few people can last with them for a long time. And the fact is, while you might lose a lot of weight with a drastic diet in a short amount of time, as soon as you get off the diet and go back to eating unhealthily, you’ll gain the wait back. Don’t do anything drastic — make long-lasting changes.

4. Choose foods you love. This is incredibly important. If you hate eating salads, don’t make salads a key to your new diet. I happen to love salads, but everyone has different tastes. Don’t eat foods just because they’re good for you — eat them because they’re healthy AND you love them. For me, that means berries and almonds and oatmeal and salads and yogurt and cottage cheese and tofu, but for others it might be salmon and lean grass-fed beef and asparagus and walnuts. Find the foods you love that are healthy, and you’ll stick with the diet much longer.

5. Pack food. Always bring healthy food with you, wherever you go. Sometimes this just means packing snacks if you’re going on a few errands (I like almonds and fruit), other times you might want to pack more substantial meals and pack them with ice to keep them fresh. Packing your lunch to work is a great idea, along with a bunch of snacks to keep you satisfied all day without eating the donuts someone brought in.

6. Eat before you go. If you’re going out to a restaurant or party, eat a small healthy meal first. That way you won’t be starving and won’t need to eat a huge amount of unhealthy food. You can get by on a salad or some fish and steamed veggies or an appetizer or something like that, and still enjoy the company of your friends and loved ones.

7. Don’t get hungry. When you allow yourself to starve, you will often binge, because your blood-sugar levels are so low that you crave instant sugar (or refined flour). When you’re starving, you are more likely to indulge in donuts or cake. So eat snacks throughout the day, or small meals, so that you never get super hungry.

8. Choose healthy when you eat out. If you go to a restaurant or party, look for the healthy choices. I love a good salad bar, but you could also choose a lean cut of meat, grilled not fried, with steamed veggies, or some black bean or lentil soup, or something like that.

9. Indulge in little bits. I don’t believe in going extreme and not allowing myself to eat treats such as … mmm, chocolate cake. But the key is to eat healthy most of the time, and when you do indulge in a treat, do it in small amounts. Two or three bites of cake or ice cream, for example, won’t kill your diet but will satisfy your sweet craving. Eating a whole tub of ice cream? Not recommended.

10. Eat small portions when you go out. If you go to a party with lots of food, try for small portions. Just eat until you’re slightly full, then have some water and talk with people without eating for awhile, then when you get hungry have another small portion, and so on. Try for the amount of food that will fit in your hand. If you space out several small portions over the course of a couple hours, you’ll feel satisfied but never take in too much.

11. Have tasty substitutes for your weaknesses. When I feel like eating something sweet, I’ll often have berries or fruit. My sister Kat likes to mix berries with almond butter, chocolate protein powder, and water — a weird but satisfying treat. Whatever your weaknesses, find a substitute that will satisfy your cravings when they inevitably come up.

12. Clear your home of unhealthy snacks and foods. If you have junk food in your home, you’re more likely to give in at some point and eat it. But if you clear your home of these foods, you won’t have that temptation. Clear your fridge and cabinets of candy, baked sweets, fried foods, foods made with refined flour, fatty and greasy things like chips and fries, and so on.

13. Bring your own healthy food to a party. If it’s allowed, bring a dish to a party you’re planning on attending, and make it a healthy one. I like to bring a couple of my favorites: Leo’s chili, and my Best Soup Ever.

14. Fill yourself up with water, fruits, veggies, and lean protein at a party. Lots of parties will have at least a couple of healthy options — some fruits or veggies, maybe some lean protein that’s not fried. I will fill myself up on these, even if they’re not entirely a meal, and then eat a healthy meal later.

15. Don’t stuff yourself. Make this your ultimate rule. Even if you break down and get fatty, fried food at a restaurant or party, just don’t eat until you’re stuffed. Try the Okinawan rule of eating until you’re 80% full. This way you can eat the unhealthy stuff and still limit the damage.

16. Don’t starve yourself. This might sound like the “don’t get hungry” tip above, but it’s bigger than that — don’t eat so little that you’re starving. For most women, that means don’t go below 1,200 calories a day — for men, it’s 1,500. But even those are too low for many of us. You only want to cut a moderate amount of calories from your diet — if you starve yourself, you’ll lose muscle, you’ll get unhealthy and you’ll end up falling off the diet eventually.

17. If you indulge, burn it off. Sometimes all of the strategies above will fail. That’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up about it — just get back on the wagon, back on track. Look at it as a small bump in the road. And better yet, get outside and burn off the calories by running, walking briskly, playing sports, whatever it takes. Then start eating healthy again.

Originally posted on welcome to Envogue magazine:

image

Many times, we know what not to
do or what to do in order to shed
weight. But what about unconscious habits that have taken over our lifestyle. No matter how hard you try, if you do not put these in check, weight loss becomes an uphill task.
It is even no longer about weight
loss anymore, it is cultivating very
healthy lifestyle in order to be fit and avoiding unnecessary hospital
visits.

Taking Big Bites
Avoid spooning very large portions
of food into your mouth. Cut your
food into smaller pieces, use a
smaller fork or spoon. You increase
enjoyment and take longer to eat,
which increases your satisfaction.
Research has shown that people
who took large bites of food
consumed 52% more calories in one sitting than those who took small bites and chewed longer!

Not Getting Enough Sleep
You don’t even need to be conscious to work…

View original 257 more words

Yakult is a delicious probiotic drink that helps improve digestion and helps build Immunity. Yakult contains 6.5 billion beneficial bacteria (Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota) that reach our intestines alive and restore the balance of the beneficial or friendly bacteria in the gut. Daily consumption of Yakult improves intestinal health and builds immunity.
Over 30 million people in more than 30 countries including India trust Yakult and drink it every day!

Ingredients

Skimmed Milk Powder, Sugar, Glucose, Natural and Natural Identical Flavour, Water and 6.5 billion Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota.

Nutritional Information (per 65ml)

Energy
: 50kcal
Protein
: 0.8 g
Carbohydrates
: 12 g
Fat
: < 0.1 g
 

Benefits of Yakult

The strain of bacteria in Yakult, Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota was discovered by Dr. Minoru Shirota, a Japanese scientist in 1930. It has more than 80 years of research to back its safety and efficacy. It is scientifically proven to

  • Improve bowel movement and aid digestion
  • Maintain balance of good and bad bacteria
  • Reduce toxins in our body
  • Help build the immune system (reduce risk of infections)

You perhaps know it as pancake day, but the day that falls before Ash Wednesday is really called Shrove Tuesday. It is the day on which people shrived, in order to prepare for the fasting that occurred during Lent. Shriving isn’t very common actability these days, but it meant eating up all the things in the cupboard that weren’t allowed to be eaten during Lent. One of the popular items made using these soon to be forbidden ingredients was pancakes, and thus in time the day became known a pancake day.

 

I must confess that I don’t really like pancakes, which may explain why we have such a limited offering of funny pancake day poems on the menu. If you don’t enjoy Pancake Day, Pancake Day, there’s only bread and water as an alternative.

 

Pancake Day Pancake Day

by Patrick

 

Pancake Day, Pancake Day

The pan’s getting hotter

The butter has melted

I’ve poured in the batter

 

Pancake Day, Pancake Day

The pancake is sizzling

A flick of the wrist

And its stuck to the ceiling

 

Pancake Day, Pancake Day

I’ve not seen mum crosser

So which did she call me

‘A champion tosser’

 

Oh, I hope I remembered to warn you that some adults will consider this poem rather rude!

Jane Alexander

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