Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Being Motivated To Reach Your Goals

Making New Year’s resolutions are all well and good, but are you really motivated to keep them? Now that we are a couple of weeks into 2018, a lot of people will start to dwindle in their efforts to keep up with their resolutions, and some will have already given up. But motivation goes far beyond just New Year’s promises - it’s in everything we do. Motivation to work out, to work hard, to work at all. Motivation is what pushes us to reach our goals, to improve and be better, but when you don’t have that motivation in the first place, what then?

General motivation can be found by making yourself accountable to others. If you set a promise or a deadline with someone else, you are more likely to meet it then if you just set it for yourself. THink about work; if your boss sets you a deadline you have no choice but to meet it. But it you set one for yourself, it is so much harder to keep. Even in smaller settings - if you are supposed to read a novel by next weeks book club, you’ll find yourself making time to read it. If you are working out with someone and arrange times to go to the gym, you are less likely to cancel and let them down, then if it’s just you going on your own. When trying to lose weight, post progress pictures on social media, as annoying as it might be for some of your followers, it will be inspirational for others. Plus, if that weekly photo doesn’t go up, then people will know that you’re not doing as you said. And where that might not be too huge of a deal, the mentality is that you’re letting someone down and so you have to go.

Motivation is all about getting into the mindset of you have to do it. You can have a goal that you want to reach that makes the whole process happy and easy, or it could just be a means to an end. Motivation isn’t always uplifting and inspirational - but that type is the sort we would all prefer to have.

No matter your mindset, you can create that happy-to-work feeling by working from the ground up. Start each day right; if you’re exhausted then you don’t want to do your usual list of things let alone push yourself. Get a good night’s sleep, wake up with enough time that you don’t have to rush in the morning, and eat a decent breakfast. Why not give yourself a cleanse and really start afresh? SocHealth’s article on body detox’s is a step by step on how to cleanse yourself.

Motivation won’t just fall onto your lap, you have to give it a helping hand, and when those times happen where it’s a struggle to get moving, don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone is aloud an off day here and there, so take a break. Don’t stop, but slow down a little, and give your mind a chance to reset and reboot.

Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Make 2018 the Year You Should Your Dog How Much You Appreciate Them*

Do you ever stop to think about whether your dog know how much you care about them? If not, 2018 is the year to start paying more attention to things like that. We’re all guilty of occasionally taking our pets for granted, but it shouldn’t be the case. If you read on now, you’ll learn about five great ways in which you can really show your dog or dogs how much you really do care and love them.

Give Them the Human Contact They Crave

Physical contact between you and your dog is an essential part of the bonding process, and it’s not something that can be shunned. When your dog jumps up on the sofa or approaches you, they’re not just doing that to annoy you. They’re seeking that contact with you and it’s something that you should give them. It’s the most straightforward way of showing them you care.

Do More to Care For Their Skin and Coat

A dog’s coat can have problems without its owner even realising. That’s something you should be aware of if you want to ensure they’re comfortable and happy at all times. Products like Aniforte are used by some dog owners to keep their dog’s coat as healthy as possible. Keeping an eye on the health of their skin is something you’ll need to do as well.

Go On Longer and More Adventurous Walks With Your Dog

Dogs not only need to walk, they like walking too. Sure, when you lead a busy lifestyle, it can be hard to find time for long walks with your dog, but you can’t avoid this responsibility as a dog owner; that’s not fair for them. Make your walks longer and more adventurous than they’ve ever been before. Your dog will be happier and healthier as a result, meaning it has to be worthwhile.

Let Them Get Dirty

Some owners think they’re being helpful by restricting what their dogs can do outdoors. But sometimes you just need to let them be wild and free, and that means letting them run through the mud and get dirty. It’s what they want to do and they’ll enjoy it. They’ll probably enjoy going home and getting a scrub down in the bath too, so why not allow them that?

Be More Vocal Around Your Dog

It’s not just physical contact that you have to think about if you want to show your dog that you love them. Vocal communication might seem pointless because your dog can’t understand English, but that’s not the case. They still enjoy and appreciate being spoken to because it’s a form of communication and it’s a way of acknowledging them, which is really important.

Your dog clearly means a lot to you; that’s the case for the vast majority of dog owners. But that doesn’t mean that your dog necessarily knows and understands how much you care. These ideas will all help you to show them in a way that they will enjoy and understand.

*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Counting Calories: How Many Do You Burn In An Average Day?*

Most of us are aware that hitting the gym and working up a sweat burns a host of calories, but did you know that your body uses energy by completing even the most mundane of daily tasks? If you’re keen to shift a few pounds, you may be pleasantly surprised by the number of calories you could burn in an average day without putting in a huge amount of effort. The average recommended calorie intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men. To lose weight, you’ll need to use more calories than you consume. The good news is that your body is working all the time, even when you sleep. Did you know that a 7-hour sleep could burn around 382 calories and you can add a further 62 for your morning shower and 66 for half an hour of ironing?

When you’re ready and raring to attack the day, you can increase your calorie burn by driving to work (60 calories for a 30-minute journey) or walking. Walking is the healthier option, scratching off another 149 calories for half an hour at a steady pace of 3.5 mph. When you get to work, take the stairs to add another 15 calories to your daily burn.

Outside of work, daily chores like doing a food shop, cooking dinner and doing the laundry can all contribute to your daily target. Cooking can burn almost 100 calories while pushing a trolley around the supermarket for 30 minutes could add another 130.

Of course, if you’ve got grand plans for weight loss, you may be thinking about upping your exercise intake. An hour of running at 7.5 mph will burn 940 calories while intensive cycling could use more 1,000 calories. If you’re counting calories, check out this infographic for more useful information.

Infographic designed by amount of calories you burn in a day

*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Let's Do This, 2018

The start of the year always prompts some sort of year in review to the twelve months that have just passed, as well as some well-though out look into the future. Of course, I'm no different but I feel like 2017 was a bit of a mixed bag and hard to review, if I'm honest. My 2017 goals were quite vague, and  therefore I only feel I kind of half achieved them?
I mean, for starters my first goal was 'work out what I want to do' which isn't really a clear cut kind of goal. Do I know what I want to do? No, not really, but I feel like I've moved on a lot since I wrote that last January. This year, in a similar sort of vein, I want to focus more on my side projects and hobbies that make me happy. This includes blogging, crafting and product design. For this to work, I want to make one new thing each month - and any more if of course a bonus - and also to read up on starting my own business. You might remember that I started Little Bright Sea last year and sold some pretty awesome bags with profits going to help women in need, but after the initial burst of excitement, it died down and ended up just costing me a lot of money. I'd love to continue to sell these things and raise money to help women, but I can't force people to buy them unfortunately! 

My second goal for 2018 is that I want to live a better life. Considering that I have to take care of two small kiddos, I don't do enough to take care of myself. I need to eat healthier. Drink more water. Move more. All things that I can do, and should do, and change my lifestyle for the better. I'm quite quick to think about things in a negative way, so I'm hoping that these positive changes to my life will also lead to a positive outlook on life as well. 

And that's it - to be honest! Of course, these goals are still quite simplified, but I'm hoping that I can create mini goals each month, which are accountable and spur me on to do more. For example, one way for me to live a better life is to switch off my phone and read every evening. I love reading yet I struggled to read 11 books last year, when in the past I could easily read 30 books a year. By challenging myself to read two books a month (maybe two small books a month...) then I think it will help everything else come together in the long run! 

What are your goals for 2018?

Thursday, 28 December 2017

WIN! Vremi Spiralizer and Baking Mats Review + Giveaway!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I used to bake on a regular basis and even completed a recipe book sample as part of my degree. Unfortunately, now that I'm back at work, I seem to have less and less free time for baking - yet I still absolutely love it when I have the time. When I do manage to carve out some time for getting my bake on, I rely totally on time-saving techniques to ensure I can create a prompt bake - whether it's cookies, a cake or something completely different like the festive Lebkuchen I made over Christmas. 

One of my favourite pieces of kit for this is these amazing Vremi baking mats. They come in three sizes, so I can pick the right one for whatever baking tray I'm using and it means I can pretty much roll, shape and bake on the one easy to clean mat, rather than getting gloopy cookie mix all over my kitchen counter. If I can cut back on cleaning time, then it's definitely a win in my eyes. On Boxing Day, we had a tapas style meal with our extended family, and Joe used these mats to mould and prep the homemade ravioli parcels he was bringing along. They are made from silicone so nice and flexible, as you would expect, but also super strong as they have a mesh woven inside which means they should last a fairly long time too! 

If you think these baking mats would make a welcome addition to your baking kit, then make sure you enter the giveaway below! 
Win the Vremi Spiralizer and Baking Mats #3

*Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration with Vremi. Content written by myself.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Do You Rely on Review Websites?

I think it goes without saying these days that as consumers, we rely heavily on reviews and positive feedback. I know I won't go near an eBay seller with a high negative feedback score! As the festive season approaches, as well as looking for a nice little discount of the most-wanted item of the year, I'm always sure to check for feedback. When I was younger, I can remember my brother desperately wanting some weird Godzilla toy for Christmas because on the advert it moved and had some life-like Godzilla sounds. Back in the early 00s, review sites weren't as prominent and my poor parents ending up shelling more money than sense over a crappy plastic reptile toy which only moved one of its arms, and had two nearly identical roars and was about half the size it looked on the advert. I'm sure plenty of kids woke up that Christmas and were pretty gutted! I know I would have been! 

But it's not just toys you can review, of course. We can review all sorts of things these days, from hotels, restaurants to college courses and you can even review bingo sites. To some it might seem a little excessive to have so many review sites, but if you're parting with your hard earned cash then it only makes sense that you want to ensure you're not sending it to something dodgy or even a scam. A few Christmas' ago, Joe and his siblings clubbed together to buy their brother a replica football shirt from a historic winning season, and this ended up being a scam. They lost out on around £60 and as it was so close to Christmas, it was incredibly frustrating for them to have essentially thrown the money into the wind. Had they have looked around the internet for some reviews on the site, they could have potentially uncovered it was a scam. 

Personally, I love a good review site but if I'm honest I am definitely more of a lurker than a poster. On odd occasions I have posted positive reviews to hotels or restaurants I've visited, but luckily I've never really needed to post any negative feedback. I do think though that as consumers it is our duty to prevent terrible scams from happening to others - or even just warning people about a particularly negative shopping experience. 
*Disclaimer: Collaborative content. Content written by myself.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Self Esteem Tips for the Festive Period*

When we’re in the Christmas period, the threat of the camera being whipped it is more ever present than ever. It’s a happy time, and people want to be able to capture that on camera to keep for years to come and look back on, remembering all the good times we’ve had with friends and family. However, if we don’t feel too good about how we look, we’re probably going to avoid the camera shutter, and have nothing to look back on when the time comes. So, here’s some self esteem and beauty tips to keep the festive period happy and comfortable for you, often for posterity’s sake.

Practice for the Big Picture

The actual Christmas day is still a short while away, so we have time to perfect our look for the morning photos, and those celebratory ones after the big lunch when we feel a little stuffed after all the turkey! Taking photos by ourselves when we catch our good angles makes us more confident to be in front of the lens rather than behind it, so use this to help you realise how good a photo can look; you’re actually a good model!

Get a Good Camera

Camera quality is one of the most important things to making a portrait come out well, but if you can’t afford to change up your model, don’t sweat it! It doesn’t even have to be a new camera, just a different focal length. This is an incredibly practical thing to do to make you feel like you look better in a photo, as trying to fit a 3D model onto a 2D screen is always going to have issues.

Yet, the longer a focal length, the better a canvas there is to work with. You’re going to want something in the mid scale for a relatively normal looking portrait, or a wider angle for something more artistic.

Working on Your Smile

If you’re feeling a little down and out when you see yourself smile in photos, first of all remember that it’s a sign of your happiness. It’s good for you to smile, as even a fake smile can release endorphins and tell our brains we’re happy! So considering we want to do that more, we’re going to need to learn a few things

If the intrinsic techniques don’t quite work out for you, you can always turn to more cosmetic purposes to help yourself feel good about who you are. If you feel bad about the positioning or lining of your teeth, you can always invest in Invisalign, which you still have time to get ready for! Take a photo in which you can really appreciate your natural beauty, especially when you’re surrounded by eye catching baubles, magical fairy lights, and friend and family decked out in tremendous winter formal wear.

There’s a lot you can do to help yourself feel better, especially when you’re in a season where a lot of emphasis is put on looks and appearances!

*Disclaimer: Collaborative Content.
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