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How To Know If You Need Braces

Have you ever thought about braces as an adult? Have you ever look in the mirror and thought that it would be nice to have straighter teeth? Or perhaps there is a different reason why you think braces would be a good idea. Sometimes it can be hard to know whether you really need them; if that is how you feel, read on for some useful advice and some tips on what to look out for. 

braces

Image from Pixabay

Your Dentist Has Suggested It 

Gone are the days when braces were only for teenagers who had lost their milk teeth but whose adult teeth had come in wonky or too close together. That certainly used to be the case, but today braces are for everyone, and it could well be that your dentist has suggested you get braces to straighten your teeth. If this is something that has been commented on during a consultation with your dentist, it’s certainly worth paying attention to. After all, they are experts when it comes to teeth and oral health in general, and if they feel that braces would help you, you might want to discuss your options with a specialist. 

Gapping And Spacing 

If you look at a celebrity like Madonna or Zac Efron or Elton John, you’re sure to notice that they have gaps in their teeth. This is part of what makes them unique, and because it’s so well known, they wouldn’t change it now that they are famous. 

But that doesn’t mean that you have to like the gaps in your teeth. In fact, it might even be something that causes you problems with your confidence. Getting braces as an adult to correct this issue and close those gaps up can make a huge difference to your smile and ensure that your confidence levels are improved dramatically. 

Overcrowding

Conversely, you might have too many teeth that are too close together and they are crowding one another, the opposite of spacing and gapping. In some cases, this can cause problems when eating, although most of the time it will be a personal choice, much like when it comes to close a gap, as to whether you have braces to correct the issue. 

In this instance, you might also need to have some teeth removed to accommodate the space and ensure that the remaining teeth can be healthy and spaced correctly. 

Difficulty Biting 

Sometimes having braces fitted is not about changing the look of your teeth as such (although that will be one of the most obvious outcomes); it might be necessary due to a health issue. If you can’t bite or chew your food properly because of the way your teeth are set in your mouth you can develop eating problems. You might not eat enough because you simply aren’t able to do it. Or perhaps you’ll eat too much of the wrong types of food like ice cream or pudding because you don’t have to chew it. Plus there are many other problems that can develop too, including the fact that your speech may be affected. 

If this is your situation, then it is your doctor rather than your dentist – or a combination of the two collaborating – that will suggest the changes that need to be made. The sooner you can have your aligners fitted the better, and the change in your life and health will be amazing. 

How To Stay Productive When Launching Your Own Business

Some people are perfectly happy working for someone else and then retiring to finally get around to all the things that they just didn’t have time for when they were employed. For many, this is an idyllic way to live, and it’s exactly what they’ve planned and they’re not interested in launching their own business. 

Others, however, don’t want this. They want to start their own business, and the idea of retirement just doesn’t suit them at all. Whether they decide to become a business owner instead of working for someone else, after working for someone else, or even after retirement, the timing isn’t important. What’s important is staying productive when the idea comes to you and when you’re launching your own business. All too often people know they want to become an entrepreneur, but due to a lack of productivity it never actually happens. Read on to find out how to get over this hurdle and make a name for yourself in the world of business. 

launching your own business

Set Goals And Targets 

One of the biggest reasons for a lack of productivity is not having any goals and targets in place. Or having goals, but they are goals that are just too vague and out of reach to truly be effective. When you don’t have goals in place, you won’t know what you are meant to be doing, and you won’t know which decisions to make to take you to the next step. 

You will need to have long-term goals, of course, but short-term and medium-term goals are also crucial, much like when you are blogging. Break each larger goal down into smaller targets so that you can easily achieve each one and move forward. The more you are able to achieve, the more confident you will become, and this will give you the momentum to keep going. 

Try to set goals for the day each morning and work through them. They might not seem like big things, but when they are all added up you will find you have come a long way and been extremely productive when launching your own business.

Block Out Your Time 

Even when you have goals in place they can seem daunting, and getting started can be a hard thing to do (even if you know that once you have started you’ll be able to get through everything you planned to do). If this is the case and it means you are less productive than you should be, you could try blocking out your time

The problem for many entrepreneurs, and the reason that productivity can fall away is that, unlike when working for someone else, there is no one to tell you what you should be doing or to manage your time. Plus, if you have a family to take care of or other responsibilities to think of, trying to find time to do everything can be a real trial. 

Time blocking is a great way to overcome this issue. By blocking out periods of time for your business, for your family, for your hobbies, and so on, you can make sure you are busy but also productive. You might take an hour in the morning to be with your children, enjoying jigsaw puzzles, board games, reading together, or helping them with their homework. Then you might allocate an hour to housework. Now you’re ready for the block of time dedicated to your business, and finally you’ll have more family time or perhaps time for the gym or an art class or anything else you want to do. 

The fact that you have allocated certain amounts of time to each part of your life means that you won’t feel so overwhelmed, and because you only have a limited span of time to do what needs to be done, you’ll be more productive too. 

launching your own business

Control Your Communications 

Communication is essential for business, and we’re lucky to live in a world that offers us the chance to communicate in a wide variety of different ways. However, when you’re trying to be productive, those communication methods from phone calls to emails to social media, and more, can be more distracting than helpful and can limit our productivity in a major way. 

Therefore, when you have a specific task to do, and especially if you have a limited time in which to do it as mentioned above, switch your phone off. It might be difficult to do at first, but you’ll soon realize that if your phone is off and you can’t easily access your email and messages and no one can call you, you can truly dedicate your time to whatever it is you’re meant to be doing. This is a good tip not just for launching your own business but for life in general too. 

To make you even more productive, you might also want to download a website blocker. You can find these free of charge and you can choose which sites can be blocked. So if you find that you keep checking Facebook when you’re meant to be working, you can block it temporarily. Once you’ve completed your work without any distractions, you’re free to enjoy social media once more. 

Stay Healthy When You Launch Your Own Business

Productivity when it comes to launching your new business can come in many different ways, and one of these ways is staying healthy. Not only is this good for your body in general, but I will also help you to concentrate more when you’re working. 

It’s so easy to make ourselves too busy to really work out or eat well. Sitting in a chair for hours at a time because we have work to do and eating snacks and fast food because there’s no time to prep a real meal is a habit that many fall into. 

Unfortunately, even if you think you’re being more productive because you’re minimizing time away from your business, in reality you’re becoming less productive because your body and mind aren’t working to their full capacity. You’ll be much more easily distracted. You’ll be much less productive. 

Therefore, make sure you include time for yourself and your health within your plans for each day. Just 10 minutes of exercise each day and time spent planning your food for the week to include fresh fruit and vegetables can make a big difference. 

Why Fairy Stories Are Good For Children

We all like some things that aren’t good for us, especially when we’re children. Children love to do slightly naughty things; they love to eat all the chocolate, they love to stay up late… In fact, we all like to do things that aren’t particularly good for us when we’re adults too – we still want to do slightly naughty things, still want to eat all the chocolate, still want to stay up late (although we regret it in the morning)…

So if things we like tend to equal things that are bad for us, where do we stand with fairy stories? Children adore them; give them a prince, a princess, some talking animals, and a happily ever after, and they’re over the moon. And adults have a soft spot for them; they are a reminder of our childhoods.

Which would mean that they are bad for us – that they are bad for our children.

The funny thing is… they’re not. Not in the least. In fact, they are good for children in several specific ways.

Image from Pixabay

Imagination

There is nothing quite like the imagination of a child. Even the most imaginative of adults can’t come close to the weird and wonderful minds of pre-pubescent kids, and being able to make up stories and games is an essential life skill. It can go so far as to define the kind of career they have in the future. So listening to fairy stories, and going on later to read them, can play a big part in the lives of children and the adults they grow up to become.

Morals

Parents do their best. They give children a moral compass and information about right and wrong, but it is the fairy stories that cement it in the little ones’ minds. Fairy stories have a strong moral message – good versus evil, good wins out, and so on – that it is easy for children to remember. That, coupled with the knowledge mum and dad have already given them, means that children are going out into the world with an excellent moral sense behind them.

Critical Thinking

It may sound surprising, but fairy tales can help children with their critical thinking. They can see the consequences of any actions or decisions that characters may take in these stories. They know that their choices can have profound implications, so it is best if they stop to think before acting (or reacting) in haste.

fairy story
Image from Pixabay

Emotional Health

We often hear in the news that younger and younger children are having mental health issues. We’re not saying that fairy stories can prevent this, but they can perhaps allow children to have a good idea of how to deal with internal conflict – something that can cause mental stress. Children identify with the main character in a fairy story, and those characters tend to win out in the end, even if they are going through hardship. They do it with the help of those around them, whom they have confided in. It’s a good lesson and one that children can easily apply to their own lives.

Just Because…

Children are children for such a small amount of time. They will have enough time to be sensible and grown-up. They will have enough time for worries and life to take over. So when they are little, they need to have fun. It will give them a good base for the rest of their lives, and with a strong foundation, they are sure to grow up to be good people. So even if for no other reason than children love them and they are fun, we should read them fairy stories.

How To Be An Eco-Friendly Pet Owner

When it comes to the home, you’ll have researched where to buy natural cleaning products online. When it comes to your car, you’ll have done your homework on electric vehicles and charging points. When it comes to energy, you’ll know all there is to know about solar power. But what about when it comes to your pets? You might be being eco-friendly in every other aspect of your life, but are your pets included in that? If not, don’t worry. You can easily become an eco-friendly pet owner, and here are the ways you can do it.

eco-friendly pet owner

Photo by Richard Brutyo on Unsplash

Change Their Diet

It might surprise you to learn that the pet food industry causes a huge amount of pollution, and is one of the most unclean industries on the planet. It takes huge amounts of water, land, and other natural resources – including animal products like beef which can lead to additional greenhouse gas emissions – to produce pet food in the quantities we currently use it.

There is another way, and it will help you to be the eco-friendly pet owner you want to be. By switching your pet’s diet to a grain-based meal plan, or from beef to chicken and turkey (which is much more sustainably farmed), you can make a big difference to the world.

Pet treats are also a concern as they contain many unsustainable ingredients, the worst of which is palm oil. It’s good to give pets treats from time to time, but you can do this without harming the environment; by organic items or even make your own at home.

Buy Eco-Friendly Toys

Pets all need exercise, and although dogs can be walked (and should be, for at least 30 minutes a day), other pets don’t get to go out and about very much, if at all, and they need to find their exercise in other ways. This is one of the reasons why we like to buy them toys (another reason is that it makes them happy which in turn makes us happy), but those toys are often plastic, and since they tend to get destroyed fairly fast, they then have to be disposed of.

Instead of buying plastic pet toys, make sure you look out for eco-friendly ones made of sustainable materials. Not only are they better for the environment, but they are safer for your pet too, and often look more attractive which is useful if you find them lying all over your home.

eco-friendly pet owner

Photo by Rebecca Campbell on Unsplash

Clear Up The Mess

We’re really talking about dogs in particular for this item on the list, and we’re really talking about feces rather than anything else. As a responsible dog owner, we’re sure that you do already clear up after your pet when you have taken them out for a walk or when they do their business in your yard. However, just to drive home the importance of this, it’s not just a matter of health and safety; it’s an environmental issue too.

If feces is left on the ground the bacteria within it can easily infiltrate water sources and contaminate them. Remember, though, don’t use plastic poop bags to carry out this chore; use biodegradable ones instead. Eco-friendly pet owners always clear up the mess.

Why Having A Hobby Is A Good Idea

Think back to when you were a child and all the hobbies you had. It’s likely that you were always filling your time with something. They may have been organized kinds of events in specialist classes, for example, such a dancing or gymnastics, or they may have been things that you did by yourself at home like reading or colouring. Whatever it was you did, it is clear that you had fun and learned a lot. When we grow up, those hobbies tend to fall away as we become busier, but having a hobby is actually something that is good for us. Here are some of the reasons why you should find one again and enjoy yourself.

Make Friends

As adults, it is much harder to make good friends than it was when we were younger. You’ll have plenty of acquaintances, but friends are far different, and they are important – they are even good for your health. Some hobbies, particularly sports, will help you to make real, lasting friendships. It is easier to make friends with the people you enjoy a hobby with because you already have something in common.

More Self-Esteem

If you have low self-esteem, a hobby is a great way of boosting your confidence back up again. The more you practice whatever your hobby is, from jazz saxophone lessons to painting, to running, to playing cards, or anything else at all, the better you will be. As you see these gradual improvements happening, you will also see your confidence growing in not just your hobby but in other areas of your life because you have proven to yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to.

hobbies
I’ve been painting recently

Less Stress

Although we all get stressed every now and then, chronic stress can be a big problem for many people. It’s important if you do suffer from stress to find ways to reduce it as much as possible for your physical and mental health. A hobby is the ideal way to reduce your stress levels because it puts you right in the moment, and you don’t have to think or worry about anything else in your life; you just concentrate on the task at hand. This gives your mind and body the chance to relax, lowering the cortisol (stress hormone) in your body, and making you feel happier in general.

You Will Be Interesting

What would you be doing without your hobby to keep you entertained? You might well be bored and, as the saying goes, bored people are boring. If you want to be more interesting, then you need something interesting to talk about, and your hobby is just that. If you truly love it, you will have passion about it, and be able to talk about it with your friends, family and colleagues. This will inevitably lead on to other conversations and you can join in with those too.

hobbies

You Will Feel Younger

Hobbies keep your brain active, and that means you will feel a lot more youthful, and your brain will continue to work better as you do age. Older people who don’t have hobbies age much more quickly in terms of their mobility and their brainpower than those who have at least one activity to enjoy every week.

Writing A Story: How To Make Your Story Ideas Stronger

Let’s be honest now; writing a story and thinking up a story idea is not the difficult part of writing. Getting that idea down on the page and making it as strong as it can be… that’s the tricky part. Yet it’s something that you absolutely need to do if you want to make your story shine. Here are some tips on how to make your story idea stronger so that it can be the best version of itself possible.

What’s The Problem When Writing A Story?

Every good story has to have one central premise, and that’s conflict. No matter who is in conflict with whom or what, this element simply has to be there, otherwise you really have no story at all.

writing a story

So… what’s the problem in your story? What’s the big issue when writing a story that is causing your characters pain? What are they trying to get over, or achieve, or make better? Knowing this and making it a bigger part of the overall story so that not a single reader is going to miss it will strengthen your story no end.

Push The Character Further

Don’t be nice to your characters. At least, not all the time. We’re not telling you to go ahead and be George R. R. Martin or Stephen King them all (unless you want to), but they have to have difficulties in their lives otherwise no one is going to want to root for them. The story of a normal man or woman going about their daily business might be written well – it might even be beautiful – but unless there is conflict and unless your characters are pushed as far as you can push them, readers aren’t going to remember your writing once they’re done with it.

What you really need is a character who is just like them, just like the reader, and who has to go through pain and suffering in an effort to resolve (or not) the central conflict. This will be remembered and this will make your story much stronger.

What is the worst thing that could happen to your character? Take that idea and write about how they get over that problem, or how they let it take them down. You can go either way.

Combine Two Unrelated Ideas

Some of the strongest stories are those that are seemingly two completely different ideas thrown together. But what if you took those ideas and combined them into a story that no one had heard before? This is why this idea is so important. It’s why it needs to be considered.

writing a story

Open up a dictionary and find the first word your finger points to. Then do it again in a different part of the book. Take those two words and make a story out of them. Working out how to combine the two ideas will give your idea an added element of strength.

Write What Excites You

Every writer is told to write what they know. That’s fine, but if what you know doesn’t excite you, forget that particular piece of advice about writing a story. Instead, write what thrills you, what fascinates you, what you are truly interested in. You don’t have to ‘know’ it to do that because if you’re truly into whatever it is you’re writing about, you’ll learn what you need to learn.

If you write what excites you, your writing will be stronger and your readers will feel the passion you put into your words.

 

Your Memoir: How To Choose A Great Title

If you are writing a memoir, or hiring a ghostwriter to write one for you, it needs to be an accurate depiction of your life – it should include all the interesting twists and turns, all the mistakes, all the joy, the heartache, the triumph, and successes. It’s such an important book for your family – and potentially a wider audience – to have, that you really should spend a good amount of time coming up with the ideal title.

The title should sum up your life story, while simultaneously inviting the viewer to open the book and plunge into the narrative of your life. Maybe this is why people have trouble thinking of something that really works; it’s a lot of pressure to get it right. It’s a lot of responsibility for the future. Yet it doesn’t have to be. Here are some useful tips about coming up with the perfect title for your memoir so that future generations will want to read it.

Keep It Simple

Within any life, there are going to be plenty of memorable moments, and many of them could form the basis of a title. That’s not a bad way to start thinking about what you’re going to call your memoir, but you must remember to keep it simple. Anything that’s too complicated, too full of puns, too long, or just not understandable isn’t going to entice many people to choose your life story over someone else’s memoir. All things considered, you really want to attract readers, not make them think twice about picking up your book.

memoir

The book’s title should try to record a sense of what your story is about without giving away any surprises that you want the reader to discover for themselves. It should also be kept short and sweet – short titles are much more easily remembered.

Match The Tone

The title of your memoir should also match the tone of the rest of the book. This means that the reader is going to be able to understand just what kind of story you’re telling; is it going to be funny or serious, for example. If your memoir is meant to be inspiring, a funny title won’t convey the right message. If it’s full of amusing anecdotes, a more straight forward title might be confusing. Matching the tone and the title will help to narrow down your choices and will help people be much more aware of the type of book they might be about to read.

Will There Be More?

If you’re planning to write, or have someone write, a second part to your memoir (or even a third or fourth part, come to that) then your title should let readers know there is more. You could, depending on the tone as mentioned above, simply write ‘Part 1’ as a subtitle. Alternatively, you might think of a clever play on words that would lend itself to another book in the same vein.

memoir

Look For Memoir Inspiration

If you are finding it hard to come up with ideas for the title of your memoir, why not look around your local bookshop or online to see what other people have called theirs? Although it’s not a good idea to copy the title word for word, it might give you some inspiration and a push in the right direction.

Remember, when you choose to have a ghostwriter to help you create your memoir you aren’t going to have to work all this out for yourself; I can be with you every step of the way from title to ‘The End’. Get in touch today to find out more.

3 Reasons To Have A Blog On Your Business Website

A blog is a massively useful way to bring traffic – and therefore potentially new customers – to your website. You can think of a blog as a tool, just as you would any piece of equipment that is absolutely necessary to your business. It’s something that might take time, effort,  and money if you outsource the writing, but it is also something that, when done right, can be looked at as an investment of those things, rather than a waste. Read on to discover exactly why you need to have a blog on your business website.

blog writer

More Traffic

The first thing that a blog means is more traffic to your website. If you are using the right keywords and information, your blog is likely to come up first when someone searches for whatever it is you do, or have written about. If the blog is informative and useful, those same people will not only click through, but they will stay (and the longer they stay, the better it is for your SEO and Google rankings).

Not only that, but once people are aware that you exist – thanks to your blog – they will return to read more. They will browse the rest of your website. They will, hopefully, buy from you. And of course, when you look at the numbers, the more people who come to your site, the more chances you have of making a sale.

Ideal For SEO

SEO – search engine optimisation – is something that you need to consider for your website. Again, this can be outsourced, and if you aren’t confident in doing it yourself this can often be the best way to do it. SEO is how you gain traction in search engine rankings. If you think about how you use a search engine, when the results are given to you it is likely you look at the top of the first page and possibly go no further. If you do keep looking, it is likely you – just like everyone else – will check out the second page and no more.

If you can have your website at the top of the Google rankings, you are more likely to be noticed, and with so much competition around that is a precious thing to be able to do. With a blog, SEO becomes much easier. You can include:

seo blog writer

Be The Expert

A blog will help to prove that you are an expert in your niche as you will be able to show the depth of your knowledge and understanding. If you can put this information into layman’s terms and make it interesting, you are sure to find plenty of new customers.

People will always be happy to buy from someone who clearly knows their product or service very well, and the more you can prove this in your blog the better your sales will be.

The Sinister Left – A Left Hander’s Thoughts

Trapezoid_bone_(left_hand)_01_palmar_view

Recently there was a news story about an Oklahoma teacher who ‘forced’ a 4 year old boy to write with his right hand rather than his left. Investigations are ongoing, but it seems as though the teacher was concerned about associations with left handedness and unlucky or wicked behaviour.

Whilst this may sound strange today, it wasn’t so very long ago that making left handers write with their non-dominant hands was usual in schools. But why was (and, as it now appears, is) being left handed such a problem?

Throughout history, the left side of the body was considered to be a negative influence. In fact, the Latin word ‘sinistra’ meant both ‘left’ and ‘evil’ or ‘unlucky’, so the idea was well ingrained in society. Today, ‘sinistra’ has become ‘sinister’, so the wicked connotations remain. This, along with the idea that the word ‘right’ also means ‘correct’ and ‘proper’, reinforces the belief that anything on the left side had to be influenced by evil in some way.

Superstition has us throwing salt over our left shoulder when we spill it. Why? To blind the devil that sits there. A devil on the left shoulder is counterbalanced by an angel on the right, so turning to the left, using the left side of the body, working with the left in anyway is seen as working or using the devil. Bad stuff indeed. Whereas using the right side of the body is seen as working with the angels, which, of course, is seen as a much better option.

There are always studies going on to discover why some people are left handed and others (the majority of society) are right handed, but as yet there is no conclusive evidence for anything. Maybe one day we will understand, or maybe – as I believe is most likely the case – there is no reason. It just is.

I’m a left hander, and so is my daughter. So far so good for both of us – we’ve not yet met the devil. But I suppose I’ll keep throwing the salt just to make sure…

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A blog is an essential tool in ensuring your website is seen. I can create regular blog posts that will move you up the rankings and give you a better placement within your industry.

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Have you ever wanted to write a novel, memoir or short story but don’t have the time? Do you have the ideas, but the words don’t flow? I can help. Contact me for a confidential chat.

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I am happy to carry out research, conduct interviews, and write/edit articles of any length. Contact me for more information about my rates and services.

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From your home page to your about me details and everything in between, you want a website that has snappy, interesting, high quality content. Let me create it for you.

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If you have a product that you want others to know about, you need a sales letter that is going to get attention – and keep it. I can write that letter for you.

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Are you thinking of starting an email campaign but don’t know what to include? Or perhaps you want to send a special email to that special someone, but you can’t think of the right words. Contact me and we can discuss exactly what I can do to help.

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I'm a content writer

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REVIEWS

I studied English theory at university and have always been interested in the mechanics of writing, but it wasn’t until 2010 when my daughter was born that I started to write professionally. Although this was out of necessity (it was a job that I could do from home, and it brought in enough to pay the bills!), it soon became a passion. Since that time, I have been published in over 40 fiction anthologies and have written seven novels.

Find out more about my publications on my Amazon Author Page.

I am now a full-time freelance writer. The majority of my time is spent writing SEO-friendly blog posts for businesses in all kinds of niches from bakeries to florists to roofing specialists and plenty more in between. 

Between 2014 and 2020 I was the features and online editor for insideKENT magazine.

Today I live with my husband, daughter, and a cat called Cheryl in a cottage in the Kent countryside, writing, painting, and – whenever possible – watching horror films.

http://www.facebook.com/lisamarielambwriter

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Sunscreen In The Winter: How To Wear It

When it’s freezing cold outside, it’s easy to forget about sunscreen in the winter. But, we’ve all tried it, and we’ve all paid dearly for it. Snow and ice, like water, reflect sunlight, making it more essential than ever to use sunscreen and take care of your skin and lips.

The good thing is that when it’s cold outdoors, our skin is often less visible, making our sunscreen regime a little more straightforward. You may be less likely to use sunscreen now that the weather has cooled and you won’t be basking in the sun. But here’s the thing: you really must wear sunscreen in the winter. Read on to find out how to do it right. 

sunscreen in the winter
Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels

Use Physical Sunscreen In The Winter 

Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays, but physical sunscreens divert or prevent them. While physical sunscreen, which comprises zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, is the hardest to apply, it produces excellent all-year protection.

Compared to chemical-based sunscreen, which is usually either UVB or UVA blocker, physical sunscreen gives better broad-spectrum coverage. Furthermore, physical blockers act for a more extended amount of time, providing more coverage and needing less re-application. They’re also less abrasive than chemical blockers.

Sweat Is Important 

Many people believe that using your daily SPF moisturiser once in the morning is enough to provide coverage for the entire day. However, even if you’re wrapped up and outside, your skin always perspires, and you should renew SPF during the day. Before leaving the house, apply a naturally healing and moisturising sunscreen in the winter with an SPF of at least 30, and allow it to absorb into your skin fully.

Watch Out For Spots 

Sun exposure causes freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough and leathery skin, small creases that disappear when stretched, loose skin, a blotchy complexion, and actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, rough, reddish areas of skin). The sun also damages the elasticity in the skin, preventing it from springing back and causing wrinkled and leathery skin. To detect UV damage, look for rough, red skin, an increase in moles, and damaged blood vessels on the face throughout the winter. Also, keep an eye out for any wounds or bruises on your skin that aren’t healing properly, as this could be an early indicator of skin cancer.

Food Can Help 

Fruits and vegetables, in general, are strong in antioxidants and help us fight free radicals and sun damage. In contrast, meat, dairy products, simple carbohydrates, sugar, and processed foods increase inflammation and can contribute to the worsening of solar damage. Conversely, foods high in vitamin C and antioxidants such as carotenoids and lycopene, such as leafy greens, peppers, squash, watermelon, blueberries, and tomatoes, can help reduce sun damage.

How A Stay At Home Parent Can Re-Enter The Workforce

Returning to work after being a stay at home parent may appear to be a challenge. However, there are numerous ways to improve your skills or stay current in the job market so that you can eventually return to the traditional workforce. Here are some of the best tips for re-entering the labour market.

stay at home parent
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Be Your Own Boss 

If you want to have a flexible work schedule, you can start your own business at home or elsewhere. To increase your chances of success, consider your strengths when starting a business. Furthermore, consider the current marketplace in your region to ensure that you are providing services or products that the area residents require. Keep in mind that it can take several years for a business to turn a profit; you can continue to be a stay-at-home parent as your business grows, but this will depend on your savings and other needs. 

Create Your Own Website 

What about making a website? Today, more people are using social media to help them find work or start a business. If you learn how to create a blog, as well as how to use online images and videos to promote your brand, you can start to make an income. There are various ways to do this, including having advertising on your site or promoting specific products. Just make sure you stick to SEO rules if you intend to do this, or your site won’t be seen. 

Be A Temp

You can work as a temporary employee to update your CV. You can sign up to loads of temp agencies online, so do some research to find the best one for your needs. You may prefer to work in an office, but other options are available, such as teaching or working in retail. It will depend on your qualifications and experience, as well as what you enjoy. You can try lots of different jobs until you find the one that suits you best. 

Be A Volunteer 

Volunteer at one or more locations to gain valuable work experience. Volunteers are frequently needed in hospitals, public libraries, museums, and schools. Many community organisations in a larger city require volunteers on a daily or irregular basis. Although you won’t gain an income from volunteering, you will gain valuable skills that could help you find a job later on. 

Why You Should Get A Pet

Whether you have children or simply enjoy animals, the question of whether or not to get a pet is bound to arise at some point in your life. Owning a pet entails a lot of responsibility, but you’d be surprised at how many people buy a pet on a whim. Pets require a lot of maintenance. Some people may be concerned about getting a pet because of the possibility of losing it one day. It’s difficult enough to have something you care about in your life, but it’s even more difficult to know that the pet you choose will leave you to cross the Rainbow Bridge one day.

You can think about this and the time you won’t have with them, but really, you should think about all of the benefits of having a pet in the first place. You get to spend your life with a friend who is overjoyed to be with you all the time. You have the opportunity to be unconditionally loved by something in your life that will naturally bring you a lot of joy. These are not trivial considerations when deciding whether or not to adopt a companion animal. You may still be hesitant because you are concerned about how you will afford your new pet, but let’s look at every single reason you will ever need to say yes to pet ownership.

get a pet
Image by Sven Lachmann from Pixabay

You Can Meet New People

Being social is one of the most difficult things to do in today’s world. No, seriously. We rely on our screen-selves to interact with others, making interaction in public all the more difficult! You have an instant talking point if you have a pet. You spend time in public with other people when you walk the dog. If you have a cat, you can bet that a friend of yours is sending you cat memes to make you laugh. If there is one thing that most people will agree on, it is that having a pet can bring joy and love into your life, and this is always a point of agreement. There are even online forums and pet ownership groups in the same town as you, and you can join them and meet a whole new group of people as a result.

Better Health

Let’s face it: it’s not always easy to motivate yourself to get out of bed and exercise. You don’t really have a choice when you have a dog. Either you get up and take your dog for a walk, or your dog will pee on your carpet. Not only that, but dogs often need to be walked twice a day, which means you have the excuse you need to get your steps in and you can finally find a sliver of motivation to keep moving. You may not even have health-related goals for yourself, but your pet may be all you need to get you off the couch.

Good For Allergies

If you have children, you may want to reconsider saying no to them having their own pet. Some people are allergic to dander regardless of how much they are exposed to it, but children can be moldable. The more they are exposed to pet dander, the stronger their immunity becomes, and any allergies are eventually overcome. Adults’ immune systems can be strengthened against pet dander allergies, but this is less common.

Pets, whether it’s their skin dander or their hair, can help you combat allergies. If you want to do a little more for your immune system or the immune systems of your children, you may discover that having a pet makes a huge difference.

get a pet
Image by Dim Hou from Pixabay

A Mood Lifter

Whether you are head over heels in love with your brand new snake or the floppy ears of your new puppy have you dizzy with cuteness, you will find that your new pet will greatly improve your mood. We adore our pets, and it’s easy to see why. Falling in love with a pet is similar to falling in love with a human in that we learn about their quirks and come to love aspects of them that make us happy. You could be having the worst day at work, and your pet running to you at the end of the day could change your mood. It’s a good way to feel good to have the cat curled on your lap and purring at their contentment with your presence.

How A Bone China Mug Can Help You To Be More Mindful

Mindfulness is about being entirely present in the moment, in the here and now, and not worrying about the future or the past. It is thought to be good for us, as it is relaxing and energising at once, and therefore it has been shown to relieve stress, boost the mood, enhance your focus, and improve your wellbeing in general. 

Most people will immediately think of things like meditation and yoga when they look at ways of being more mindful, but these are only two ideas out of dozens that can help you. One that you almost certainly won’t have considered but that can have some major positive effects is simply having a cup of tea in a bone china mug. Read on to find out why this is such a good idea. 

bone china mug
Photo by Syed Hussaini on Unsplash

It’s A Ritual

Using a bone china mug to enjoy a cup of tea from is something special, and it deserves to be made in a special way. The ritual of making tea using tea leaves is something special, and it will help you to focus on the task you are carrying out, which is one way to become more mindful. 

Set aside one time during the day to enjoy your mindful cup of tea from a bone china mug. It might be in the morning to get you ready for the day ahead, or the evening to calm yourself before going to bed, or at any time in between. Try to stick to this time, however, as this is all part of the ritual. 

When you’re making tea, pay close attention to every aspect of it. Smell the aroma of the tea leaves as they leave their container. Listen to the sound of the kettle boiling and the water being poured into the teapot. Watch the amber liquid swirling into the bone china mug. Try to tie in all of your senses. In this way, no other thoughts can creep in, and you can be entirely in the moment with your cup of tea. 

Choose Your Tea Wisely 

Did you know that different types of tea can evoke different feelings and reactions in the drinker? Black teas are good for heart health, for example, and green tea is ideal for mental alertness. Oolong tea boosts your brainpower, whereas white tea can reduce inflammation. Then there are fruit teas, which have all kinds of different properties, from improving memory to helping you relax and get to sleep. 

Depending on what you want out of your mindfulness, you can choose a tea to drink from your bone china mug that will offer you the result you’re looking for. In this way, you can be mindful not just in the way you make your tea but also how you’re taking care of your body when you drink it. 

A Few Moments Out 

Finally, drinking tea can help you be more mindful because it gives you just a few moments out of ‘real life’. No matter whether you’re using tea leaves or tea bags in your bone china mug, those few moments where you can focus on making and drinking the tea are all many people need to break away from the chaos of everyday life and step back. 

Taking these few moments out is crucial for your good mental health, but it’s hard to do without a reason – there always seems to be something left on the to-do list. Making and drinking a cup of tea could be just the excuse you need. 

How To Help Your Children Keep Their Teeth Healthy

It can be a challenge for children to keep their teeth healthy; there just seems to be something built into the little ones’ minds that tells them brushing their teeth is a bore and a chore and should be ignored as much as possible. And for parents, the daily struggle to ensure their children keep their teeth healthy becomes something of a battle, so much so that in some cases, the adult gives up altogether, perhaps thinking that the milk teeth aren’t quite so important and good oral healthcare can wait. 

The truth is, keeping the milk teeth healthy is just as important as taking care of the permanent teeth that come later. This is partly because by instilling good oral hygiene habits early on, it becomes easier later for all involved, and partly because those milk teeth aren’t the only thing being cleaned; a good brushing technique takes care of the gums and tongue too. Read on to discover some good ways to ensure your children become better at keeping their teeth healthy, making things much easier for you too. 

teeth healthy
Image by bigbear from Pixabay

Good Preparation 

Surprises are cool and all, but for the big life lessons, preparation is key. Suddenly presenting your child with a toothbrush and expecting them just to get on with it, or trying to do the job yourself if they are under the age of eight or so, might seem rather daunting and even scary. 

Ensure you set down plenty of preparation before it all begins, and the process won’t be so unnerving. By reading books, watching videos, and talking about why dental hygiene and keeping their teeth healthy is so important, you can make things much easier for everyone. 

Sing A Song 

One of the reasons that children don’t like to brush their teeth is because it’s boring. They have to stand in one place, doing one thing, for around two minutes, and that’s hard for an active child. They would much rather be playing or reading or running around or anything else; they don’t like the dull nature of tooth brushing. 

You can make the process easier (and go faster) by being there with them and singing a song, for example. Pick a song that lasts for a couple of minutes, and the time will fly by. Set a timer if it helps. If you don’t like to sing, why not tell a short story

Help Your Child Take Ownership To Keep Their Teeth Healthy

Yes, you can bribe your child with stickers or pocket money or sweets (not ideal when we’re talking about keeping their teeth healthy, but sometimes needs must), but you can’t do this every day, twice a day.

Instead, allowing and helping your child to take ownership of keeping their teeth healthy is a great solution. They can choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste, for example, and they can set out their own routine. If they have a choice (although you’ll always have the final say), you will find they are much more willing to go along with the oral hygiene that is so important. 

3 Simple Home Improvement Tips You Need to Try

Home improvement tips are always good to know more about. If you’re getting tired of how your home looks and it feels like it’s time to make some changes, you won’t be the only one. People will constantly want to update and upgrade their homes to make them the most comfortable places they can possibly be. 

Often, you’ll immediately think of making significant changes like installing a new kitchen or bathroom or even taking down walls to create more space, but home improvement doesn’t need to be as complex as that. You can do some very simple things that will give you a fantastic result – read on to find out what some of them are. 

home improvement tips
Photo by Stephanie Ho from Pexels

Repaint The Walls 

After a while, the paint you have on your walls will start to fade. Either that, or it will look grubby and dirty, or perhaps the colour is just not longer a fashionable one or one that you enjoy looking at anymore. 

Useful home improvement tips to be aware of include changing the colour of your walls with a new coat of paint (or even keeping the old colour and refreshing it). This is a relatively simple thing to do, but it will make a massive difference to the look of your home. Whether you stick with something neutral or you go for something bright, or you opt for a bit of both with a feature wall, no matter what you do, the difference will stand out. 

Use Plants 

Think of your home now. Then think of it with some plants and greenery added to a few areas. Can you see how much better it looks? Incredibly, you don’t have to do any actual DIY or change anything at all for these home improvement tips; just by adding some plants in pots in strategic areas, you can enhance the look of your home and make it more comfortable for you and your guests. 

When you are choosing which plants to use, pick the ones that match your lifestyle. In other words, if you’re at home a lot, you can have plants that need more regular care. If you travel, you can go for something that doesn’t need much looking after. 

Plants are also great because you can change them or the pots they are in whenever you want to for minimal expense but a big impact. 

home improvement tips
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Update Your Kitchen Cabinets 

A brand new kitchen is a great home improvement tip, but it might be out of the budget for some people, or perhaps it’s just not something you’re comfortable doing – after all, it will be messy and disruptive. Yet if your kitchen is looking tired and out of date, you don’t have to put up with it; you can change it for less money and less disruption than an entirely new kitchen would bring you. 

All you need to do is change the cabinet doors. By doing this and keeping the carcasses in place, you are drastically reducing your costs. Even better, you can paint over your existing cabinet doors and make them look completely different even if they are actually the same ones you’ve always had. 

Are You Sabotaging Your Life?

Are you sabotaging your life? You may not realise it, but it could be that you are. There are many theories in this world that support the idea that what you think determines the outcome of your life. The mind is a marvellous, untapped resource that is potentially infinite in its influence over what you do and how things turn out. The Law of Attraction is just one of these theories, and it is fascinating to find out more about it.

Even if you don’t believe in how it works exactly, there is no doubt that having a positive outlook affects how you perceive things, and how you are perceived. So it is important to think positively whenever possible.

If things have been going badly with regards to your work or writing – or any other creative pursuit – then could it possibly be your thoughts and feeling about it all that is causing the problems? Could it be that you are sabotaging your life? Let’s take a look at how you might be, without even realising that you are.

sabotaging your life

You Make It A Competition

If you are constantly looking around you at what other people are doing, you’ll never be able to fully focus on what you are doing – and that can spell disaster for your current writing project. That is one of the best ways of sabotaging your life. Comparing yourself to others can sometimes work in terms of allowing you to set yourself a goal, but doing it all the time is distracting, and can push you off course from that goal very easily.

It is always better to be looking ahead, towards your next goal, and ignore what other people are doing. Creativity is not a race. It’s not a competition. It is a personal journey. That may sound a bit ‘new age-y’ but think about it; it’s completely true.

You Get Angry

Allowing yourself to get angry about things is another excellent way of halting the creative process and sabotaging your life. If something has irritated you – it could be anything, from a Facebook post by a fellow writer, artist, poet etc, to hearing about someone’s success in the same genre that you work in – the important question to ask is ‘why?’. Why are you angry about this? And what is that anger doing to harm your creative process (hint: it’s another way of sabotaging your life)?

Is your anger about being envious? Is it that you have a particularly deep competitive streak? Does the news make you feel less secure about your place in the creative world?

Whatever it is, remember that your own thoughts are taking you on a journey, and if you want that journey to be a fulfilling and successful one, then you need to dispense with all the superfluous feelings of anger and just get on with working your way towards happiness. Another artist’s success will not diminish your own. There is no need to be envious as your time will come as long as you work towards it and acknowledge that fact.

sabotaging your life
Image from Pixabay – ijmaki

You Complain All The Time

Complaining to yourself is a waste of time. Complaining to other people… well, that all depends on the complaint. A valid complaint should often be aired – in a well-thought-out and calm kind of way. That is how things can be done, that is how problems get solved. A general gripe about the state of things, about a tweet that you didn’t appreciate, about someone else’s success or writing ability… that’s usually less productive. Plus this kind of pointless complaining has a knock-on effect. Firstly, it takes up a lot of time when, you guessed it, you could be writing or painting or doing whatever it is that makes you feel complete.

Secondly, empty complaining puts you in a negative frame of mind. One small niggle and suddenly everything is less rosy. Unsure about that? Think of it the other way around – when you see something that makes you happy, or you get some good news, doesn’t your day immediately seem better? Brighter? Altogether happier? It’s true, and the same goes for negative things. Your day (if you let it) will go downhill. Don’t let it. Keep positive, and things will improve. That’s just how it works.  

Indie Authors Can Help One Another – And They Should

In many professions, competition is the norm. It is a fight to the top, and sometimes people get trampled. But with indie authors, it’s different. Or at least it should be. With writers, there is enough space out there for everyone.

I’m not talking about copywriters or freelance writers exactly – every one of them (me included) fights for the jobs that pay well or seem interesting. Heck, we even fight for those who don’t pay well and have us writing about things we have no interest in at all; the bills need to be paid.

indie authors
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Indie Authors

But indie (independent) authors are a particular breed of writer. In this profession, there is room for everyone to do whatever it is they want to do. Especially now that there is the option for self-publishing. These are the ones who do not need to compete with one another; there are so many different stories that they can write and so many genres (and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres, come to that!) that the variety is infinite.

Because of this infinite variety, indie authors really should – and generally do – help one another out. Working together is important; it enables everyone to move forward and find different markets that they might otherwise never have come into contact with. It will take time, but it is always worth doing – networking, offering advice, working on a ‘give and take’ ideal… it all goes to the greater good because when one indie author succeeds, it gives hope and opportunity to all the others.

How To Work Together

There are a few different ways to collaborate with other authors. One is link swapping. That could be posting or sending out alerts when a new competition or writing opportunity presents itself, or it could simply be placing the links of other writers on your Facebook page, your Twitter feed, your blog… If you link to theirs, they can link to yours, and both of your audiences will grow. It’s a fantastic way to find new readers for your work, and it’s immediate exposure too, meaning immediate income. It might not be much, but it’s something, and that’s how we all need to start.

Brainstorming is another excellent way to use other writers’ expertise and put forward some ideas of your own. Join in with (or create, if you can’t find one already) a monthly online meeting using Skype or Google Hangouts or Slack. There are many different options. You could even set up a secret Facebook group and use that. As long as there is an online space where everyone – whoever you invite – can discuss their writing, how they’re marketing it, any plans for the future or questions they might have, and so on. It’s a great way to swap ideas and discover new things.

Libraries are such valuable commodities, and so indie authors may as well use them too. Note down the ISBN of the books written by authors in your network, and ask your local library to order the book for you. If your entire network does the same for everyone, that will give all of your books a nice borrowing boost. It can be embarrassing to ask for your own book to be brought into a library, but asking for someone else’s is much easier and more likely to get done and yield results.

indie authors
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Apart from actually writing, the thing that takes up most of an indie author’s time is the research. This is research into how to market the books when they are complete, who to use as an editor, where the best value cover designers are, as well as the content itself. It can take an age when all you want to do is get it done and have your book out there for all to see – and hopefully read. This is where the knowledge of others can really save you time. Ask your questions on a forum and get answers – indie authors love to share! And who knows, you may be able to pay it forward and answer someone else’s questions while you’re at it.

When indie authors pull together, so much more can get done – and so many more will see you.

Health Problems That Can Occur After A Car Accident

When you are involved in a car accident, it’s plain to see some of the injuries that can result. You’ll often have cuts and possibly deeper lacerations, as well as red marks on your skin. You might even have broken bones, depending on how severe the accident was. 

However, these initial injuries might not be the end of things, and more can occur days or even weeks after the accident. This usually happens because, due to the stress of the accident, the body is flooded with hormones and chemicals such as adrenalin and endorphins. It is only when the danger has passed and the body reverts back to normal chemical levels that more injuries might be noticed; if they are very serious, you may even need medical attention, as well as a car accident lawyer to help you claim compensation. Read on to find out what health problems can occur after an accident so you know what to look out for. 

car accident
Image from Pixabay

Headaches 

Headaches are a common problem that can occur well after a car accident has taken place. There are several reasons that you might develop headaches including whiplash, concussion, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), muscle tension, or even head trauma that you were unaware of. 

No matter what you think the cause might be, or even if you can’t think of any reason to have developed headaches, you must seek medical attention right away as headaches and migraines can be extremely dangerous and indicate a serious underlying problem. 

Bruising 

Bruising is not something that happens immediately in most cases anyway, and it will take some time to develop after an accident of any kind, including a car accident. However, if the bruising is happening in a large area, or in an area that you hadn’t thought you had injured, you should seek advice from an expert. 

Bruising is a sign of internal bleeding (which can be fatal if left untreated), and the discoloration of the skin is blood pooling beneath it. Large bruises on the back, sides, or abdomen that occur days after an accident can be particularly worrying. 

Numbness 

If you suddenly lose the feeling in any part of your body after a car accident and it is numb to the touch, then you may have sustained nerve damage. This can take some time to manifest since the nerves will try to keep working, but as you use the area that is affected, the damage can become worse until you can’t feel your legs or arms (for example) at all. 

Tingling can be a sign of nerve damage too, and it is often the precursor to complete numbness. In both cases, go to an ER or speak to a doctor as soon as you can; never damage can be reversed if acted upon quickly enough. 

PTSD 

We have briefly mentioned PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) already, but it is a big problem that can occur many days or weeks, or even months after a car accident. PTSD happens when the body’s fight or flight response doesn’t ‘switch off’, meaning that the sufferer is always in a state of alertness. This will become physically exhausting, and mentally it can lead to depression, stress, and anxiety. 

Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, insomnia, high blood pressure, withdrawal from society, and mood changes among many other things. 

What To Consider When Starting A Business After Retirement

Just because you have retired, that doesn’t mean you have to sit around doing nothing. In fact, that’s the worst thing you can do – it might be nice for a week or two, but imagine how bored you would become after that, especially if you have been working for many decades before you decide to take retirement. business after retirement

It’s a good idea to stay as active as possible, while also taking the chance to relax, when you are retired. This might mean ensuring you get enough exercise, taking up a new hobby, going back to school to learn about a subject you’ve always been interested in, or maybe taking on a part-time job to keep your brain busy and to give you some extra income. 

Some retired people even choose to start their own businesses. If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing because you’ve always wanted to try or because you know you have a great idea, here are some important points to consider. 

business after retirement
Image from Pixabay

Think About Cost 

Age should not be a barrier to anything you want to do, including starting a business after retirement, but the cost may well be. This is why it’s crucial to put enough time and energy into researching all the costs that you might have to pay out for when starting a business and try to limit them as much as you can.

There are some businesses you can start for almost nothing, so these may be worth looking at more closely. It will depend on what you want to do and how much money you can afford to invest. If you don’t want to use your savings (which may be all you have since you have retired), then an investor could be a worthwhile road to go down. Although business loans exist for startups, this is where your age may go against you.

Use Your Experience 

Something you will have that a younger person might not, and therefore something that will help you greatly when it comes to starting a business after retirement, even if you’ve never done it before, is experience. Not necessarily experience in business or even in the sector you want to launch your business in, but life experience. 

By now, you will know what your strengths and weaknesses are, and you can use these to your advantage within your business. You’ll also know what’s really important and what just seems to be. Plus, you’ll have a vast network of friends, family, and acquaintances to gain advice from and, at the very least, to help motivate you. 

business after retirement
Image from Pixabay

Buy A Business 

Starting a business after retirement from nothing takes much more time and effort than you might imagine, and when you have just retired and have been working hard your whole life, this might not appeal, even if you are very keen to get back into some kind of work, and would ideally like to be self-employed. 

It might sound as though you would have to compromise, but you don’t; you can buy a franchise instead. All the initial hard work (and much of the ongoing marketing) will be done for you, and although it will cost you a reasonable amount to buy a franchise, you can start earning straight away and use your skills in the best way for you.