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Category: Lifestyle
Driving Myths Debunked

Driving should be a fairly easy – at least in theory – thing to do. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the traffic, other motorists, or those strange half-truths that seem to float around. Those stories that may or may not be true, the ones that no driver is quite sure about. Here are some of those driving myths debunked, so you can go ahead and enjoy your driving and your car without having to worry.

driving myths
Photo by Alex Chernenko on Unsplash

You Can’t Eat And Drive

Eating when you’re behind the wheel of the car is not illegal – yet. There are potential plans afoot to ensure that no one can munch their lunch when driving along, but at the moment, you are free to do so, as long as it’s safe. That’s the important point; it does have to be safe. Leeds University carried out a study that shows those eating whilst driving were up to 44 percent slower to react to things going on around them. If eating behind the wheel leads to careless driving and the police stop you, you could be prosecuted.

Passengers In A Car Can’t Drink Alcohol

We all know that it’s illegal to drink and drive (and quite rightly), and this is not one of the driving myths we’re talking about, but many people are a little less sure about whether it’s okay for a passenger to nip a sip. The truth is that it’s perfectly fine for passengers to drink alcohol as long as they are over 18, unless, that is, they are supervising a learner driver. As for soft drinks, drivers are legally allowed to drink them. In fact, it’s advised that drivers keep hydrated on the road, especially on a long journey.

Driving With The Interior Light On Is Illegal

Much like the myth of the white van man, the idea that driving with the interior light on is illegal is one that prevails, despite evidence to the contrary. We can accurately state that there is no law that prohibits driving with the interior light on (although, as with any rule of the road, if the police feel that the interior light might be impacting your driving in a negative way, they can ask you to switch it off).

driving myths
Photo by Toni Tan on Unsplash

You Can’t Wear Headphones When Driving

Strangely enough, you can actually wear headphones when driving. This is one of the driving myths that would definitely make sense if it were true, though. Headphones will mean you can’t hear anything that is going on around you, and they could block out important sounds such as sirens, screeching brakes, children shouting… sounds that would put a driver who could hear them on high alert and ensure their reaction times were fast.

It’s Illegal To Drive Barefoot

Another untrue myth – if you want to drive barefoot, you certainly can. It might be fairly uncomfortable, though, and remember that you won’t have the same strength when it comes to pushing those peddles as you would with shoes on. Similarly, you can also drive while wearing flip-flops if you choose to. We wouldn’t recommend it though, as they can easily slip off and get caught in the peddles. Wearing flat shoes is the best idea when driving – you can always change when you get to your destination.

What To Do When Things Aren’t Going Your Way

Certain situations will occur in your life that will simply not go your way. It may be anything as simple as a faulty appliance. It might also be more serious concerns, such as the breakup of your marriage. Whatever the case may be, here are some coping methods and suggestions to help you when everything appears to be going wrong in your life.

going your way

Remind Yourself That Life Is Full Of Obstacles

This idea might be difficult to acknowledge since we believe that the goal of life is to live happily with everything going our way. However, the nature of reality constantly denies us this privilege.

As a result, confronting reality is a good idea. Instead of believing that everything must go your way in order for you to be happy, simply accept that they will not. That way, you may avoid being constantly disappointed when things go wrong.

Be Ready For Things To Break 

Nothing, even your possessions, lasts forever. As a result, it’s a good idea to plan for things to fail before they do so, so you can respond efficiently when things go wrong.

Many individuals, for example, purchase appliance spare parts online. This way, if the washing machine breaks down, they’ll have the parts they need to fix it. Others keep vehicle components and building supplies in their sheds in case something breaks or goes wrong.

Give Yourself A Break When Things Aren’t Going Your Way

Life might feel like a long, arduous slog at times, trying to get to where you want to go. And, in many cases, advancement is not linear at all. It comes in fits and starts instead.

Giving oneself a break is thus an intelligent approach to provide yourself with some room to digest what has occurred when things aren’t going your way. When things don’t go your way, it’s frequently a good idea to take a step back from your everyday routine and assess the situation. Gaining a broader perspective might assist in making things seem more acceptable.

going your way
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Consider Difficulties To Be Opportunities

Another approach you may take is to see difficulties as chances for growth. Consider the moments in your life when things were difficult. These events most likely enabled you to grow as a person. Thus, seeing challenges as opportunities may be a fantastic approach to see the good in any circumstance, no matter how terrible or irritating it may appear at the moment.

Concentrate On What You Can Do

Many people who find themselves in a rut in life consider the things they desire but do not take the necessary measures to get them. As a result, it is essential to think about what you can do when life gets you depressed. Simple things like going to the gym, eating healthier, or working on Saturdays can often be enough to get you out of a rut and back on track.

Avoid Making The Same Mistakes

If things aren’t going your way because you made a mistake, look for strategies to avoid making the same mistake again. Develop good coping techniques as a practice. Then use them when you need them the most.

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. 

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. 

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.

Beating Those Back To Work Blues

It doesn’t matter whether you hate your job with a passion, or whether you have the best career in the world, that feeling of going back to work after a little time off still fills us with dread. It’s back to reality. It’s back to the daily routine. No more home time, no more holiday, no more freedom. The grindstone is waiting, and your nose has to be put right back on it.

Ouch.

No wonder we all get a little sad about the prospect of heading back to the office.

But guess what? There are ways to combat this terrible feeling and get straight back into the swing of things without too much distress…

back to work blues

Why Are You Feeling Like This?

That’s an important question. Ask yourself why you are feeling so down about going back to work, and you might get a surprising answer, but one that will help you make some decisions, and help you feel happier about things too.

It could just be that you’ve enjoyed your time off and the idea of having to go back to the office (or wherever) and get your brain in gear doesn’t appeal. And that’s perfectly normal. But a few hours – or even minutes – into your first day, and for the majority of people that’s all forgotten and you’ll wonder what you were worried about in the first place.

For some, however, it’s a deeper problem than simply enjoying a bit of freedom. Could there be something about your job (perhaps even the job itself) that you dislike enough to make you not want to go back at all? If this is more than just a form of the Sunday evening fear, it’s time to take stock. If you’re not enjoying your job, you might consider moving on. If not immediately, then at some point, once you’ve done all the sums and weighed up the pros and cons of it all. There is no point in going to work for eight (ish) hours a day if it’s not something you like. There are many forms of deathbed regrets, and working too hard in the wrong place ranks right up there at the top.

You might even consider starting your own business.

If it is one aspect of the job that is making you miserable, why not speak to your boss? They might be able to help, and it could turn out that it wasn’t such an issue after all once it’s out in the open.

Have You Made A Work Plan?

If the feeling of dread doesn’t dissipate after a little while, if it’s there every morning and you’re coming home more downhearted every day, you know what you need to do. Finding a new job isn’t something that can necessarily happen overnight, especially when you’ve got commitments and a family to provide for. So make a plan. Give yourself a time frame to get it completed by (three months is a good one – just long enough to feel comfortable, but short enough that you have to get on straight away). Create targets to meet along the way such as applying for a certain number of jobs each week, or tidying up your CV by a specific date. You might even want to invest in some evening classes to top up your skills.

back to work blues

Me, Me, Me

If your job isn’t the problem and you’re happy doing what you do, where you do it, and the people with whom you work, then it could be a problem within yourself. If you’re not feeling 100 percent, book an appointment with your GP and chat to them about what ails you. It could be a physical problem (lack of sleep, a weight issue, general aches and pains), or it could be a psychological one (anxiety, stress, depression, for example). Either way, it’s good to discuss these matters and hopefully do something about them once and for all. As soon as you fix your body and mind, everything else will fall into place.

back to work blues

And for those who are simply feeling a little run down, you need to schedule some me time. Book a fancy spa day, go for a long walk on your own, read a good book, watch a terrible movie, it doesn’t matter as long as you can relax and zone out for a while. When you come back down to the real world you’ll hopefully be feeling a whole lot better for it.

4 Ways To Stop Your Children Being Bored This Summer

It’s really not many weeks now until the long summer holidays are upon us – your children (and possibly you) will be counting down to that last day of term with a huge amount of excitement and endless possibilities of the fun they can get up to flashing through their brains.

But, whether you have six, seven, or eight whole weeks of time away from school, not every day is going to be a fun one. There will be homework to do, chores to complete, not to mention the fact that going out all the time is both exhausting and expensive. So yes, there will be times when boredom creeps in, no matter what other plans you might have. In order to prevent this from happening as much as possible, or at least diminish the impact, here are some great ways to stop your children being bored this summer.

Build A Fort

Building forts out of furniture and bed sheets may have fallen out of fashion due to the plethora of tech that children have to play with these days, but there is nothing quite like the fun and giggles that building one can give you, so why not give it a try? If it makes a mess, does it really matter? Everything can be put back when the kids are finished enjoying themselves, and no harm will have been done.

children

They might want to turn it into a den for watching a film – another good distraction for a little while, allowing you time to do the housework, catch up on emails, or simply sit with them and have a rest – or colouring, or playing with their toys. You don’t need to spend any money to create it, and it will amuse them for hours.

Go Outside

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden at home, spending some time in it will do the children good, and they’ll even get some exercise (without realising it!) when they’re running after a ball or playing chasing games.

children

A paddling pool and some shade for hot days, a good imagination for all days, a few garden toys, and they’re all set. They can even invite friends over and not disturb you if they’re playing in the garden all day. Give them a picnic lunch and keep them topped up with drinks and that’s it.

Rearrange The Bedrooms

We’ll admit, at first glance this idea does sound like more of a chore than a fun thing to do to stop children being bored, but this is not just tidying up – this is complete reorganisation, and that can be exciting.

children

Try working out different ways to have the furniture in the room to maximise space or make it more comfortable. It might be that the bed is where it is because that’s where the removal company put it when you moved in, for example, but is there a better spot for it? This is hard work and should be planned out before any furniture is moved, but it can be a worthy thing to do.

Do Some Baking

Baking is always a fun thing to do, and since you end up with a sweet treat at the end of it, it’s even better. This can be messy – the younger the children the messier it tends to be – so be prepared for a tidy up session at the end (get the kids involved in that, too). This can be a fantastic bonding experience, and it will all start with choosing exactly what you are going to bake, shopping for the ingredients, and then putting it all together.

children

Check out this website for some great baking ideas.

Is Your Workplace Toxic?

Work takes up a huge amount of every day, so it makes sense that it should be a good place to be – you should enjoy your work, and your workplace, otherwise every other aspect of your life is going to be affected. You might even develop mental illnesses such as depression and stress, or your unhappiness might manifest in physical ways; heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, ulcers, and much more can all come about from working somewhere unpleasant.

Not enjoying your job is one thing, but what if you are actually working in a toxic workplace? This is when the situation becomes desperate, and finding a new job should be a top priority. Here are some of the signs that your workplace is making you not just unhappy, but potentially unwell.

workplace
Is your team supportive?

You Dread Going To Work

On occasion (usually on a Monday morning after a lovely weekend at home), everyone is going to ‘dread’ going to work. But is it really a dread, or is it just a feeling of preferring not to? When you actively dread heading off to your workplace in the morning, and that dread is there every single day, then there is clearly a problem. Your workplace could be a toxic one.

You should never feel this way about your job. Life is too short, and there are many opportunities out there for you; you may have to retrain or think laterally about where your skills can take you, but being happy is the main thing and that is what you really need to consider.

You Don’t Feel Appreciated

Getting feedback at work is crucial for anyone to develop and become more successful. If you never hear a word from your boss about how you are doing, or you’re always the one doing the chasing when you want some kind of critique on a project or assignment you have been doing, then you are sure to feel under-appreciated.

When this happens, you might become less productive; what’s the point in bending over backwards if no one cares that you are working hard and going the extra mile? Something that you used to think matters will now how a much lower place in your heart and mind.

That’s not right.

You should be able to love what you do, feel appreciated, and feel good about the work you are carrying out. You should be able to work in a supportive workplace. Not even being acknowledged is a bad sign and one that you shouldn’t ignore.

workplace
Workplace stress is toxic

Your Workplace Worries You Even On Days Off

When you have a day off from work, what do you do? Do you enjoy it, not think about work at all (or if you do it’s only to determine the next step and what you will start with when you get back to it), and relax? Or do you constantly worry about your job, finding it frustrating and irritating? Does it make you angry? Are you unable to wind down?

If the latter is the case for you, it’s time to get out. It’s true that work is important, but it’s not everything – you need to make time for yourself and your family and anything else you want to do. If work is taking up all of your rest time as well as your work time, something’s wrong.

Conclusion

If something feels wrong about your place of work, whether it’s something tangible or just a gut feeling, and if that place of work is making you miserable or even ill, you need to leave. Yes, that can be easier said than done, and finding a new job isn’t always easy, but if you don’t start the search then you’ll never find your next – happier – position.

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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

info@lisamarielamb.co.uk 

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5 Reasons Why Hiking Is Good For You

Hiking is one of those activities that appeals to different people for different reasons. That’s what makes it so universal; there is a chance that everyone is going to love getting out in the fresh air and discovering new places or even walking across familiar ones and enjoying them for the second, third, fourth (or even more) time. You can explore the world through hiking and meet many like-minded people along the way. Here are some more reasons why hiking is so good for you.

hiking
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava from Pexels

Hiking Gives You Perspective

If you’re finding life is tough going and you need to get away from it all and recharge, hiking could be the answer you’re looking for. This kind of walking has a way of enabling people to get a fresh perspective on the problems they might be experiencing in life and cope with issues in a much healthier way. Hiking isn’t just about going for a long walk and breathing in the good air; it’s about being able to have the time to really think and make decisions that you just wouldn’t be able to do if you stayed at home.

Hiking Keeps You Fit

It’s amazing what this kind of walking can do for your overall fitness; when you are really striding along you can burn up to 440 calories an hour! This can be increased even further by trying Nordic walking, but even if you stick to the standard method of hiking you’ll find your fitness levels will increase. Not only that but your lung capacity will grow too and that can help the circulation of blood and oxygen around your body and make you much stronger too.

Hiking Bring Happiness

Even if hiking did nothing else to help you out, it makes people happy, and sometimes that’s enough. Hiking, like most exercise, releases hormones into the body. Specifically, these hormones are serotonin and endorphins which are nicknamed the happy hormones because they improve the mood. Serotonin also limits feelings of loneliness and between them, they can help to keep you happy in general.

Hiking Brings You Closer To Nature

No matter where you choose to go hiking you’ll find that you are closer to nature than you’ve ever been before. You can really see the breathtaking scenery that it has to offer and the animals, insects, and plant life that are all around you. If you combine this kind of exercise with camping you will get to experience all of this even more. You might even be touched by a level of spirituality and can find some inner peace on your literal journey.

Hiking Is For Everyone

Another wonderful benefit of hiking is that it is for all ages which means you can take your whole family or a big group of friends with you and enjoy some company as you walk along. Who is in the group will determine where you go and how far you hike – some trails are easier than others – but no matter where you choose you’ll all get to enjoy some time together and bonding away from screens and work is a good idea.

Beaverbrook Town House Reopens September 2021

Joining its beloved Surrey sibling, Beaverbrook Town House is the debut London outpost from the lauded Beaverbrook brand, in partnership with Cadogan.

Spanning 15,000 sq. ft., this heritage hotel occupies two masterfully revamped Georgian townhouses, originally commissioned by Charles Sloane Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan, at the end of the 18th century. Surveying the leafy-green, Grade-II-listed Cadogan Gardens opposite, Beaverbrook Town House boasts a prime perch on superlative Sloane Street, in the heart of Chelsea, nicknamed the ‘Town of Palaces’ by Daniel Defoe.

Inside the hotel, rich rewards for guests include 14 theatrical suites, art and antiques galore, a 60-cover contemporary Japanese restaurant and bar, a meeting room, a private events room, and a pretty, perfumed garden, reserved for corporate functions and private hire.

A creative spirit prevails throughout, with delightful interiors courtesy of Beaverbrook’s dazzling design duo: Sir Frank Lowe (advertising mogul and Beaverbrook’s Creative Director), and acclaimed designer, Nicola Harding, whose previous triumphs include The Garden House at Beaverbrook in Surrey.

Drawing upon Lord Beaverbrook’s legendary tastes and predilections (including a certain fondness for mischief), the hotel’s medley of muses includes London’s storied theatres and iconic cultural attractions, Art Deco and Japanese culture.

Inspired by his Lordship

Beaverbrook in Surrey rekindles the spirit of the roaring Twenties, honouring its infamous former owner, Lord Beaverbrook: press baron and wartime MP. Beaverbrook Town House adroitly transports this nostalgia to the Big Smoke. The hotel recalls Lord Beaverbrook’s colourful life in London and his Fleet Street residence, where he hosted his illustrious friends, including Ian Fleming, Winston Churchill, Rudyard Kipling, Elizabeth Taylor and Laurence Olivier.

Private-home

Channelling the charm of Lord Beaverbrook’s London abode, and decorated with antique treasures, vintage toys and saucy curios that could have been plundered from his travels, Beaverbrook Town House affectionately recreates a bygone era of hospitality combined with modern panache. The hotel conjures an atmosphere of generosity, so guests will feel like they’re staying with a fabulous friend. Instead of a formal reception area, there’s a snug little library, brimming with London-centric tomes to borrow; instead of formal staff, obliging personal assistants dispense savvy local recommendations. Upstairs, thoughtful touches abound, including personalised minibars stocked with guests’ preferred treats, help-yourself whisky decanters, tea stations and thoughtful gifts. Once again, Beaverbrook cements its reputation as the host with the most…

Dapper design & inviting interiors

Joyfully referencing the Art Deco aesthetic of the 1920s and ’30s, sartorial highlights include: an abundance of tiles and tactile textures; a playful blend of the old and new; vibrant colour schemes and statement wallpaper, including bespoke marbled collages and pineapple motifs (a symbol of hospitality); and a collector’s stash of prints, posters, photographs, art and memorabilia. Art Deco was influenced by Japonisme, and this translates into cohesive design touches throughout; most notably in the Japanese restaurant and bar, but also upstairs and in the garden, via lacquered planters, brass accents, bonsai trees and flora picked for its lush blossom and autumnal foliage.

Looking closer to home, Nicola Harding has sourced fabrics, furnishings and fittings from an array of local London-based suppliers, including antique chairs from Howe, cushions by Penny Worrall, lampshades by Rosi de Ruig, decorative lighting from Vaughan Designs, ironmongery by Joseph Giles and trimmings from Samuel & Sons. These choices complement the hotel’s heartfelt celebration of historic London.


Theatrical boudoirs

When in London, Lord Beaverbrook relished attending West End shows with his artistic coterie. Thus, each of the hotel’s 14 suites is named after a famous London theatre, and decorated with clues to its playhouse’s past. Additional eye-candy comes in the form of four-poster and half-tester beds, antique bureaus and bedside tables, colour palettes ranging from the bold to the demure, oak floors topped with seagrass carpets and bespoke rugs by Nicola Harding, and opulent, theatre-style curtains, decorated with velvet geometric trims. Ensuite bathrooms star glossy tiles, Art Deco-inspired lighting and lacquered mirror frames in jewel-box hues.

Beaverbrook Town House


Flavours of Japan

Continuing Beaverbrook’s love of contemporary Japanese cuisine, and aligned with the hotel’s sartorial leanings, Beaverbrook Town House is home to the Fuji Grill and Omakase Sushi Bar. Like the Dining Room at Beaverbrook, the restaurant will serve flawless sushi, sashimi and nigiri, alongside signature Beaverbrook dishes such as ‘Charcoal’ Wagyu with Juniper Miso. Restaurant General Manager, Trudi Fairweather, brings a two-decade stint at Nobu to the table; Alex Del (ex-Roka) is Head Chef, and Beaverbrook’s Head Sommelier,  Giovanni Tallu (plucked from a 22-year stint at Annabel’s to open Beaverbrook in 2017) has curated the stellar wine list.

Dressed in soft shades of green, the Fuji Grill showcases an impressive collection of 19th-century woodblock prints depicting the eponymous Mount Fuji by the Japanese Masters, Hokusai and Hiroshige. This artistic treasure-trove represents the ukiyo-e genre, immortalised in Hokusai’s Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa.

The elegant bar has lacquered walls, burnt-umber and berry-bright stained glass (now a Beaverbrook trademark) and raspberry-pink fitted seating. Tables are decorated with new and vintage matchbox covers, sourced from Japan; some enjoyably risqué… Cocktails come courtesy of Alan Cook, Beaverbrook’s much-loved Bars Manager, featuring Beaverbrook favourites alongside London-edition libations. As a fan of Chinatown afterparties following dinners and dances at the nearby Savoy, His Lordship would no doubt approve.

London, unlocked

Like Lord Beaverbrook’s lucky guests of old, visitors to Beaverbrook Town House will benefit from exclusive access to the city’s cultural scene. Cherry-picked partnerships with the best contacts from Beaverbrook’s black book will put London’s crème de la crème at guests’ fingertips. Other prestigious perks will include private-shopping experiences and in-room massage and beauty treatments, devised by Beaverbroook’s Coach House Spa Director, René van Eyssen. Guests can also book fitness classes at nearby KXU, or personal training sessions in the peace and privacy of Cadogan Place Gardens.

Beaverbrook Town House is Beaverbrook’s first partnership with Cadogan, whose stewardship of 93 acres of Chelsea and Kensington spans over three centuries. The project forms part of Cadogan’s strategy to strengthen Sloane Street’s position as the leading luxury shopping destination in the world and complements the existing focus on improved leisure and hospitality. A further £40m investment programme is underway, which includes ‘greening’ the street and upgrading everything the eye touches with the finest materials.

Beaverbrook Town House

www.beaverbrooktownhouse.co.uk

Rates from £400 on a room only basis

Reservations: reservations@beaverbrooktownhouse.co.uk

Wilko Extends Instore Maks Recycling Scheme

An instore scheme to help Wilko customers recycle their masks has proved so successful that the home and garden retailer will extend it by another three months.

The scheme, which allows shoppers to drop off used, disposable face masks so that they can be recycled will now be in place until the end of September 2021. This extension follows an initial three-month pilot and will see the service remain in place at the original 150 participating stores.

Wilko estimates that a huge 400,000 masks could be recycled via the scheme. This equates to a giant 966kg of single-use plastic. Those wishing to take part need to simply visit their nearest, participating Wilko store as part of their usual shopping trip and safely drop their used single-use face masks into the special collection bin. Once full, these bins are then taken away by recycling specialists ReWorked, who together with Metrisk Ltd, Scan2Recycle are partnering with Wilko in the scheme – which was the first of its kind on the UK high street.

Masks collected via the scheme are broken down into raw fibres which can be sustainably refashioned into products ranging from other safety materials for businesses, to building materials and even quality, durable public space furniture.

While masks are no longer a legal requirement, Wilko is still recommending face coverings for team members and customers in busy indoor spaces. The family retailer seeks to respect individual choices while providing a sustainable solution to single-use mask disposal.

wilko

The Covid-19 crisis overall has seen a huge increase in the use of disposable face masks. While the government has encouraged Brits to dispose of face masks via general waste bins, there has been an ever-increasing volume of PPE being discarded in public spaces – meaning there are often greater levels of litter nationwide in areas such as parks, beaches, and high streets; impacting the life and leisure time of local communities, endangering wildlife and ultimately harming the health of the planet.

Disposable face makes are made from polypropylene fabric – a type of plastic. An estimated 8M tonnes of general plastic waste already ends up in the world’s oceans every year, and the impact of the pandemic will only increase those figures if PPE litter continues to increase. Wilko and its partners for this scheme hope by continuing to provide an easy way to safely dispose of used PPE, they can help make it easier for families to reduce litter in the community with a little win that makes a world of difference.

Jerome Saint Marc, CEO at Wilko, said: “We know that our customers care about the environment and this scheme has proved again to us just how much. We’re so delighted that it’s been this much of a success and that our customers and team members are helping to reduce litter in their communities, our partners are helping to recycle the waste, and that we’re able to bring it all together in our stores. It’s a little win that truly makes a world of difference.”

For more information on disposable mask recycling at Wilko and the 150 stores that are taking part, please visit https://www.wilko.com/face-mask-recycling.

How To Manage Lactose Intolerance

One of the most common health concerns is how to manage lactose intolerance. There is no question that this disease can interfere with your daily life; people who suffer from lactose intolerance are unable to digest milk and other dairy products. After eating these items, a sufferer can develop unpleasant side effects such as gas, diarrhoea, or bloating.

There are debates over whether there is an effective method to treat or manage lactose intolerance without limiting one’s diet. This blog, however, will advise anybody experiencing similar symptoms on what they should do to live a normal life free of intolerance problems. The good news is that there are many effective ways to deal with lactose intolerance and avoiding all of these unpleasant symptoms.

manage lactose intolerance
Photo by Marta Dzedyshko from Pexels

Eat Small Portion Sizes

To live a tranquil life free of intolerance problems, you must first learn how to eat small quantities of food more often throughout the day rather than big meals once or twice each day.

Eating smaller portions more often can enable you to digest your meal properly and, as a result, prevent unpleasant side effects such as gas, diarrhoea, or bloating after eating dairy products.

Take Lactase Enzyme Tablets 

If you’re lactose intolerant, this is the best choice for you. As previously stated, lactose intolerance develops when your body lacks an enzyme called ‘lactase.’ When you eat any dairy product that lacks this enzyme, it takes longer than usual to break down milk sugar. This causes unpleasant symptoms such as gas, diarrhoea, and bloating.

If you wish to prevent these harmful effects and manage lactose intolerance, use lactase enzyme pills with every meal that contains dairy products. These tablets aid in the production of the lactase enzyme, which breaks down lactose.

Use Probiotics

Taking probiotics is another excellent way to control lactose intolerance and have trust in your eating habits. Probiotics are ‘good’ microorganisms that can be found in a variety of meals and supplements. Probiotics, in addition to aiding individuals to manage lactose intolerance, can also assist people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a digestive system disease.

Several research investigations have shown that probiotics can help with lactose intolerance management. Probiotics are living bacteria that increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in your intestines, thus preventing side effects such as gas, diarrhoea, and bloating. As a result, they will aid in the digestion of milk sugar, ensuring that it does not have a harmful impact on your body.

Driving Myths Debunked

Driving should be a fairly easy – at least in theory – thing to do. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the traffic, other motorists, or those strange half-truths that seem to float around. Those stories that may or may not be true, the ones that no driver is quite sure about. Here are some of those driving myths debunked, so you can go ahead and enjoy your driving and your car without having to worry.

driving myths
Photo by Alex Chernenko on Unsplash

You Can’t Eat And Drive

Eating when you’re behind the wheel of the car is not illegal – yet. There are potential plans afoot to ensure that no one can munch their lunch when driving along, but at the moment, you are free to do so, as long as it’s safe. That’s the important point; it does have to be safe. Leeds University carried out a study that shows those eating whilst driving were up to 44 percent slower to react to things going on around them. If eating behind the wheel leads to careless driving and the police stop you, you could be prosecuted.

Passengers In A Car Can’t Drink Alcohol

We all know that it’s illegal to drink and drive (and quite rightly), and this is not one of the driving myths we’re talking about, but many people are a little less sure about whether it’s okay for a passenger to nip a sip. The truth is that it’s perfectly fine for passengers to drink alcohol as long as they are over 18, unless, that is, they are supervising a learner driver. As for soft drinks, drivers are legally allowed to drink them. In fact, it’s advised that drivers keep hydrated on the road, especially on a long journey.

Driving With The Interior Light On Is Illegal

Much like the myth of the white van man, the idea that driving with the interior light on is illegal is one that prevails, despite evidence to the contrary. We can accurately state that there is no law that prohibits driving with the interior light on (although, as with any rule of the road, if the police feel that the interior light might be impacting your driving in a negative way, they can ask you to switch it off).

driving myths
Photo by Toni Tan on Unsplash

You Can’t Wear Headphones When Driving

Strangely enough, you can actually wear headphones when driving. This is one of the driving myths that would definitely make sense if it were true, though. Headphones will mean you can’t hear anything that is going on around you, and they could block out important sounds such as sirens, screeching brakes, children shouting… sounds that would put a driver who could hear them on high alert and ensure their reaction times were fast.

It’s Illegal To Drive Barefoot

Another untrue myth – if you want to drive barefoot, you certainly can. It might be fairly uncomfortable, though, and remember that you won’t have the same strength when it comes to pushing those peddles as you would with shoes on. Similarly, you can also drive while wearing flip-flops if you choose to. We wouldn’t recommend it though, as they can easily slip off and get caught in the peddles. Wearing flat shoes is the best idea when driving – you can always change when you get to your destination.

How To Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are not only uncomfortable, but they can also cause infection. The infection caused by an ingrown toenail is more painful than the initial issue and should be avoided. It is essential to take measures against this problem in order to avoid the pain and mobility issues that arise from it. The following precautions will assist to reduce your chances of getting an ingrown toenail.

ingrown toenails
Photo by Deeana Creates from Pexels

Toenails Should Be Trimmed Properly

Ingrown toenails are most often caused by poorly trimmed toenails. Toenails should be cut straight across with no rough edges. The nail’s edges should not curve upward into the sides of the toe. If this happens, the nail becomes jammed into the side which is the first step toward being ingrown. You should also always use sterilised toenail clippers to avoid spreading bacteria to the region. This is due to the fact that you do not want an ingrown toenail to get infected.

Wear Shoes That Fit

You may not connect correctly fitting footwear with ingrown toenails, but they are related. Your toes will be squeezed together in the toe of the shoe if your shoes are too small. This results in trauma, which can lead to an ingrown toenail. If you wear them often, you may develop an ingrown nail by continuously pressing the nail into the skin. Shoes that are too large, like shoes that are too small, can also create problems. When your foot moves around too much in the shoe, it can cause damage to the toes, particularly the big toe, which is prone to ingrown toenails.

ingrown toenails
Photo by How-Soon Ngu on Unsplash

Visit Skilled Pedicure Technicians

If you like getting pedicures on a regular basis, even if it’s just for fun rather than for a medical issue, you should always seek out a board-certified professional. Someone who is licenced and skilled will ensure that all equipment, including the chair’s tub, is clean. They will also know how to correctly clip toenails to prevent ingrown toenails. Some pedicure experts may be able to relieve your pain if the ingrown nail is small and not infected.

Get Recurring Ingrown Toenail Treatment

Some individuals appear to get ingrown toenails more often than others, particularly on the same toe. If this is the case, the issue may be related to the form of the toe or even how your toenail develops. If this is the case, you should seek ingrown toenail therapy to ensure that the recurring issue is resolved. These treatments are often minor and performed in the doctor’s office rather than in the hospital. They must, however, be performed by an ankle and foot expert who is well-versed in ingrown toenail therapy.

It is important to take care of your feet so that you can walk comfortably as well as participate in more strenuous sports such as jogging. You don’t want an ingrown toenail to slow you down if you play sports. Make sure to seek the proper treatment for your ingrown toenail if it occurs, even if you took precautions to avoid it.

8 Ways To Get A Better Job

If you don’t enjoy your current job there is no reason why you should stick with it. It doesn’t matter how long you spent training for it, how much money you spent to get there, what success you’ve had, or even what friends you have made along the way; if you dislike getting up each morning and making your way in, you have a problem. The good news is that that problem can be fixed by getting a different, better job. Here are some of the ways to go about doing exactly that.

better job
Photo by Jacqueline Munguía on Unsplash

Write A Compelling Resume

Writing a resume is not something that many people particularly enjoy doing, but it is essential if you want to find a new job that you’re going to love. It’s not enough just to list out the things you have done, the places you have worked, and all your qualifications. Instead, you need to make it stand out. Your resume is your way in to get an interview, and if yours isn’t interesting then your chances of that happening are slim, especially if there are dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of applicants for the job. You can use online tools to help you make something a bit more special. Remember not to go crazy using different fonts and colors – you still need to look professional.

Look In Different Places

Finding the right job to apply for is something that might take you a little while, but it’s worth putting in the hard work to find the right new career for you. Although the more popular job boards are great (those such as Indeed and Craigslist, for example), it might be better for you to look at the less obvious ones if you want to find a job posting that won’t have many applicants. It’s also a quicker way to go about things, as they will have fewer postings and that means you won’t have to search through dozens of jobs that are no good for you before finding one to apply for. Don’t forget to check out job listings provided to alumni of your college too, even if it’s been years since you graduated.

Try The Company Not The Job

If you’re not picky about what job role you fulfil but you do know which company you want to work for, search through their open postings. You might spot something that you’re qualified for that will get you in with that company to begin with. If you get the job you can then work towards a different position over time if that’s what you want. Or why not simply reach out and ask the company or companies you’re interested in working for whether or not they might consider hiring you – send in a speculative cover letter and resume just to see what might happen.

Learn New Skills

If you feel your resume is lacking in something or you have seen a job posting that you are keen to apply for but you are missing one of the key skills, make it your mission to learn something new before applying for anything else. Having additional skills is another way to make your resume stand out, plus it can be truly useful in your new job. Knowing how to program or getting a business qualification can boost your chances of success, find you the ideal job, and keep your brain active even when you’re bored in your current place of work. 

better job
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Make The Interview Count

Once you have got as far as being asked to come in for an interview you need to make sure you make it count. Dress appropriately to begin with. This does not mean that you have to wear your most formal attire and shoes you would never wear anywhere else – you need to be comfortable in order to make a good impression. However, it does mean that you need to dress smartly, make sure your clothes are clean and pressed, and make sure your shoes are not muddy or scuffed. These little things can make a big difference, even if it’s subconsciously. If you’re not sure what to wear, ask. It shows that you’re thinking ahead and that you want to do well.

Understand Body Language

Having at least a basic understanding of how to read body language can help you out in an interview and will certainly give you an idea of how well you are doing. It’s essential that you show that you are a pleasant, charming person from the outset as first impressions do count for a lot. If you understand body language you can avoid doing anything negative that might affect your chances of being liked. Try not to keep touching your face, for example, or playing with your hair or nails. Don’t bounce your legs up and down. Don’t slouch, but don’t sit up too straight either. You need to come across as professional and comfortable with the people you’re with and in the place you’re in.

Practice

There will be some questions you are asked in your interview that you can practice beforehand. If you already know your answers you will come across as calm and confident, as someone who is able to think on their feet. Even if it does sound rehearsed, don’t worry; this can show that you have done your research and that you are serious about doing well. You might be asked questions such as what your greatest weakness is, where you see yourself in five years, or what attributes you can bring to the company. These questions (and others) don’t have a right or wrong answer as such, they just need to be answered as cleverly, confidently, and truthfully as possible.

Don’t Leave Angry

When you do get your new job it can be tempting to walk away from your old one and burn your bridges behind you, especially if you really disliked the place, the job, or the people there. However, this is not a good idea, no matter how satisfying it might be. You never know when you might come across that company again in a different setting; you never know when you might need to work with them, or need their help. Leave on good terms and life will be much easier further on. Even if you never see anyone from that company again, and even if you never need to call on their services, leaving on good terms will keep you focused and happy.

Your Disney World Holiday Is Coming… What Do You Need To Take?

Summer will be here before you know it, and if you’re thinking of going to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, then you’ll already know there is a lot of planning to get through. Not only do you need to work out exactly which parks you want to go to, where you’re going to stay, and how you’re going to get there, but you need to save for it too.

Once that’s all sorted out though, and you’ve paid your final instalment, it’s time to really get serious. You’re going, and you need to be prepared. Unlike with a beach holiday, there are more things needed and more things to think about when you plan a trip to Disney so it’s best to get planning as soon as you can. Here is a checklist for you to go through to ensure that this holiday of a lifetime is memorable for all the right reasons!

Disney World holiday
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Guidebook

You may not want to look like a tourist when you get to Florida but the thing is… you are one. Embrace it, and get a guidebook so you know exactly where to go and what to do. You wouldn’t want to miss out on anything, especially if this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of Disney World holiday. It’s true that you can look things up online, but it can often be easier to have a handy guidebook in your bag – and you can make notes in it, use markers for your must-do spots, and generally make use of it. It’s a great investment. A second-hand one is even better if someone else has done all the note-taking in the margins already!

Cool Clothes

Orlando is a hot place. Hotter than you might realise. Shorts and t-shirts are required on a Disney World holiday, but remember to pack thin clothing, not just summer clothing. This kind of heat is entirely different to anything you’ve experienced in the UK, and you don’t want to be uncomfortable as you walk around the parks all day. Take a hat and sunglasses too – you’ll be glad you did when you get out there in the heat of the day.

Good Shoes

Whilst on the subject of packing, making sure everyone has good shoes to wear is essential. You may not realise it, but those parks are enormous, and there will be a huge amount of walking to do, plus you’ll find yourself standing around in queues for many minutes (hours) at a time. Fashionable sandals and heels are lovely, but not during the day. You want trainers or breathable shoes. It’s not just about comfort, either. Some of the rules in Disney mean you can’t go on some of the rides if you don’t have the appropriate footwear.

Tickets

The main reason for anyone to go to Orlando is to go to Disney World, but Disney is not just one theme park; it’s a number of different theme parks that make up the whole group. So do a little research in advance to work out where you might like to spend some time. The Magic Kingdom, for example, is where the famous Cinderella’s castle is, and it’s great for younger children. Older kids might like the Epcot Centre. Film buffs will love Hollywood Studios. Plus there are animal parks and water parks to enjoy as well. Knowing where you want to go will give you a good idea of how many days’ worth of tickets you will need. Buying them in advance is the cheapest way to get them, and you might even be able to make use of special deals. A little tip: take a photo of the tickets when you get them, making sure the ticket numbers are shown. If you lose them or they get damaged, you can then get them replaced.

Itinerary

For some people, a holiday is about going with the flow and working out what to do – if anything – once you get there. In Florida, it’s slightly different. There is so much to see and do that if you don’t have at least a bit of a plan and itinerary by the time you get there, you’ll miss out on something wonderful. If you’re staying at a hotel you can get some great advice from the reps and the staff, but if you’re in a villa you’re a little more on your own. The Internet will help you immensely in that case, although you can also ask the park employees for advice on what to do. Orlando is more than just Disney, though, and you might want to find something different to do, even on a Disney World holiday. Days chilling out by the pool are needed just to re-energise (perhaps have a pool day once every two or three days), and hiring a car so you can go a little further afield will show you some interesting places. If you pick a car from a reputable car rental company, then you don’t even have to worry that you’ll break down; they’ll have help on hand should that happen, working with companies that will be able to help you if you need it.

My family in Disney World, Florida

Money

It’s usually best to change your pounds into dollars here in the UK before you leave as you tend to get a better exchange rate. Don’t assume that’s the case, though, and check out the exchange rate in the US before you travel. You might get a better deal by waiting. For a bit of fun in the parks, you can exchange your American dollars for ‘Disney dollars’. They have the same face value and can only be used in Disney itself, but they’re cute and put a smile on everyone’s face.

Extras

There are a number of little extras that are always worth packing when it comes to going to Orlando’s Disney World. They’ll make your trip more magical. Remember, for example, your autograph book and a chunky kind of pen. There will be characters walking around the parks and they will happily pose for pictures and sign your children’s books, so it’s a nice (free) souvenir! A poncho is another useful item. Yes, it’s hot in Florida, but it rains too, and when the heavens open they really open! Showers don’t last for long, but they happen most afternoons in the summer and you don’t want to get caught out. Take a little plastic bag that can fit in your pocket or bag too because there are water rides, and you can protect your phone/wallet/tablet that way.

Enjoy

The final thing to remember when travelling to Orlando for a Disney World holiday is to enjoy yourself. Have fun. Smile. It’s worth every second of packing when you realise you’re in a truly magical place.

4 Ways Work Could Be Causing You Stress

People are getting increasingly stressed at work, which is producing a crisis in management and poor health. Businesses are suffering as a result of workers being forced to take time off due to stress-related illness, despite the fact that the job is creating it. As a result, while they are away from work, they begin to feel better, but when they return, the old difficulties resurface, and the condition continues to worsen. If this is the case, it is apparent that the work you are performing is not the appropriate one for you, and it is time to choose one that will not be causing you stress.

If you’re not sure if stress is the source of your condition, here are several ways work may be causing it; you might recognise your own scenario here.

Poor Organisation

A badly structured workplace is one of the things that could be causing you stress, and it may even force you to take a lot of time off. Workers will be unable to find what they need to accomplish their jobs if a workplace is disorganised. This may include crucial documents, handy stationery, or even the proper equipment to brew a cup of coffee or a drink of water. If you can’t locate what you’re looking for and can’t do the job you’ve been assigned in a timely or satisfactory manner, you may be reprimanded. Even if you aren’t, the situation is tense.

causing you stress
Photo by Lisa from Pexels

Being Overloaded

We’ve all been in situations when we have more work than we can handle, only to be pushed to do more. This isn’t such a horrible thing if it just happens once in a while (though it’s preferable if it doesn’t happen at all); a little overtime now and again isn’t too bad. However, if this is a recurring problem and you are constantly pushed to do more than you have time or aptitude to accomplish, you will, of course, get highly agitated and may need to take time off because you are burning out. If you’re doing too much, then work is sure to be causing you stress.

Work Relationships

It’s difficult for everyone to get along with everyone else, but in the workplace, it’s vital to tolerate your coworkers so that you can all be adults and get your tasks done. This is not always the case, and negative sentiments amongst coworkers might seep into the job itself, causing you stress. It’s difficult to have to go to the same office every day when you’re having a fight with someone or have a falling out with a former buddy.

causing you stress
Photo by Alexander Suhorucov from Pexels

New Management

At work, having a competent manager is critical. Even though we have the authority to work in our own way and on our own schedule, having a manager to ask questions of, as well as get orders and praise from, is vital for maintaining high morale and a sense of stability. A change in management might be another source of stress since the unknown of who will be your boss and what they will be like is unsettling, especially if you were satisfied with the person who was there previously.

How To Get Your Blog Noticed

When you write a blog, you want people to read it; this is the main reason behind writing it in the first place. Therefore, you want your blog to be noticed, shared, liked, and talked about wherever possible. This can be a difficult task, but it is essential if you want your blog (and your website or business) to be boosted high up in the search engine rankings. Take a look at these tips for getting your blog noticed and implement as many as you can. 

Stay On Topic 

Having a blog that sticks to one main topic is a good idea. It means that people will know what to expect when they read your work, and it can prove that you are an expert in your chosen sector. Although some blogs do have varied contents, to really get noticed, you should ideally find the topic you are happy writing about and make that your main focus. Otherwise you can easily confuse people, and they won’t know that they should come back to your blog or that it could, in fact, be useful to them. 

What you write about is entirely your choice as long as you know something (or rather a lot) about the topic and can find a lot to say about it. 

blog noticed
Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Keep It Simple 

Most people don’t want to read something too technical and complicated – in many cases, they are looking for ways to make a potentially tricky yet important topic more accessible. As a blogger, your job is to take that topic and put it in layman’s terms. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing about a tax return, days out with the kids, cooking, book reviews, starting a business, or anything else; the key is to keep it all simple.

Use Social Media 

If you really want to boost your readership levels, you must use social media to promote your blog. Posting your link on a Facebook page (perhaps in a group, or on your own page or your business page) can potentially give you a huge reach, and many more people will read the blog, clicking through to your website, than otherwise would have done. They will also easily be able to share the content with their followers and friends, ensuring that even more people will read it. If you want to have your post in front of many thousands of people, you can even pay to have it boosted, but it may be possible to do this organically, so try that first before spending any money. 

Use SEO To Get Your Blog Noticed

SEO (search engine optimization) will make your blog noticed a lot more. SEO is about identifying important keywords or phrases and incorporating them into your blog post, and it needs to be done carefully and strategically. The search engine ‘bots’ will pick up on these keywords and phrases, and your webpage will be boosted higher up the rankings when people search. There are many different techniques involved in getting SEO just right, so it’s best to read up on them before you begin so that you can make the most of the opportunity to promote your post and make sure it is noticed.