Failsafe Ways to Shed that Excess Baby Weight

If you’ve recently had a baby, then you’re probably wondering (along with the rest of the new moms) how to shed that excess baby weight. Some ladies are lucky and hardly put on anything at all, others balloon to twice the size and then stay the same after giving birth, or worse; get even bigger! Here are some failsafe ways you can shed whatever excess weight you have, even if you do have a crying baby to look after:

2916236666_4732829c72_n

Stop Making Excuses

The first step is to stop making excuses for your bad lifestyle choices. Many mums make excuses every single day and it’s not clear who they’re trying to convince, themselves or others. Whether their baby has been poorly, or they’ve been poorly, or something else altogether, something always seems to ‘get in the way’. The truth is, you just wanted any excuse to fall off the wagon. Avoid making excuses like this and be honest with yourself. Keep an eye on any triggers you have that make you want to eat rubbish. Write a food diary and promise yourself you’ll take a picture of everything you put in your mouth!

 

Change Your Lifestyle

Once you’ve stopped making excuses and changed your attitude to this new lifestyle (not ‘diet’, lifestyle) you can start making gradual changes. Cut down on the rubbish you eat until you’re not having it every day. If you try to cut it out straight away you’ll usually fail as you feel deprived. Many people cut out all of the junk and then run for 2 hours a day for a week (for example) then become disheartened when they aren’t a size 8 straight away, so binge on rubbish. Know that you’re in this for the long hall and you’ll go far! You’ll get there, no matter how long it takes providing you’re consistent.

 

Get Into a Routine

It’s often hard for mums to get into a routine, what with having to feed their baby and put it’s needs before theirs. Try your hardest to get into a routine where you have breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, and dinner in the evening with a few healthy snacks in between, like nuts, fruit, and Greek yoghurt. Make a conscious effort to do this for 3 weeks and it should be second nature by then.

Fit in Some Exercise When You Can

Depending on how old your child is, when it’s sleeping or playing happily by itself you may want to fit in a little exercise. You don’t need much time for this, providing you’re willing to put your all into the workout! While they’re watching Peppa Pig you could easily do a circuit of squats, planks, pushups, crunches, lunges, and so on in around 10-30 minutes. Even a small amount of exercise is beneficial providing you’re consistent and trying your hardest.

Get Help

In some cases, you might feel a little out of control with your eating and choose to get help. You can do this in the form of somebody you can tell your feelings to, or somebody who can help you with a procedure like a gastric band.

Find People Who Inspire You

Many people have got into the best shape of their lives after having a baby. You can too – you just have to believe it!

Photo Credit: Flickr

 

 

Difference Between Shark Rocket and Shark Sonic Duo Vacuum Cleaner

vaccum

The Shark Rocket vacuum and the Shark Sonic Duo Systems are easy to use but vastly

Different vacuums. The Shark Rocket vacuum cleaner is a lightweight vacuum that removes dirt

from carpets more effectively than a full size, upright vacuum. Never losing suction or power, the

Shark Rocket expertly deep cleans carpets, bare floors, and area rugs with its 2 speed brush roll.

The Shark Sonic Duo System not only lifts surface dirt, but it cleans the stuck on

dirt in the fibers of the carpet or area rug which is all activated by the coveted cleaning pad solution. The dual scrubbing action of the Duo System also cleans sealed hardwood, tile, stone, and vinyl floors. The Shark Rocket promises the lightweight, ergonomic handle with a comfortable rubber grip for floor to ceiling cleaning with the added ease of swivel steering.

Whereas the Shark Sonic Duo System focuses on scrubbing your floors with 1,000 scrubs per minute, leaving surfaces streak free with no residue left behind. Their spray, scrub, and vacuum deep down technology offering16 scrubs per second cannot compare with any other model. The Shark Rocket, however, has features like the cleaning wand, premium pet tools, washable filters, and easy emptying dust cup, cleaning has never been simpler. The Shark Rocket is the best for versatile cleaning and easy storage coming equipped with storage hooks for wall mounting. These systems are very different, but a few consistencies are ease of use, powerful cleaning tools, economical and

Environmentally responsible systems and a longlasting vacuum. For an overall clean from floor

to ceiling with every tool to handle pet messes, spills, and dirt, the Shark Rocket vacuum is

Perfect. But for deep cleaning any type of floor, the advanced scrub and spray technology

Incredible Activity Ideas For Keeping Your Children Occupied On A Rainy Day

gg.jpg

credit to Steven Depolo

When the summer break from school arrives, parents all over the country must have plans in place to keep their children occupied on rainy days. Let’s face it, there are no shortage of them in this country. Keeping children occupied is an art form that is only achieved with experience. They often have a short attention span and so many creative ideas must be considered to keep them from driving their parents insane.

If you are a parent who is dreading the upcoming holidays, here are some ideas for keeping your kids occupied for a while if it is too wet for them to play outside.

Bake Some Delicious Cakes

Have you made any cakes since you were a child? The number of adults that haven’t is staggering. Lots of people have no idea of the ingredients or measurements because they left all of the boring stuff to their mom, instead choosing to play star wars with the electric mixer while waiting to be called into action once all of the ingredients were ready for them.

Here is a quick guide to jog your memory.

Ingredients.

  • 125g Unsalted Butter

  • 125g Self Raising Flour

  • 125g Caster Sugar

  • 2 Large Eggs

  • 5g Sultanas

  • 2 tablespoons of semi-skimmed milk

  1. Place the sugar and butter into a large bowl and mix them together.

  2. Beat the eggs before whisking them into the bowl to make the mix nice and fluffy. Add a teaspoon full of the flower to stop the mix curdling.

  3. Use a metal spoon to fold in the rest of the flour. It is hard work and will keep the little ones occupied for ten or fifteen minutes.

  4. Add the milk.

  5. Divide the mixture evenly into cake cases or a cake tray.

  6. Put the cakes into a preheated oven at 190 degrees centigrade or gas mark 5 until they have risen and are golden brown. It usually takes about ten to twelve minutes.

Decorate the cakes with butter icing and whatever else the kids choose to put on them. They are usually very creative with this task.

Decorate A Wall

Is your child’s bedroom plain and boring? Why not allow them to help paint a wall with you? We are not talking about plain old emulsion here, be a little more creative. Use water based paints and stencils to create a masterpiece. Let their imagination run wild. After all, what is the worst that could happen?

Make Cards

Materials for making great cards are freely available on the internet or in shops these days so think about building up a good stock ready for the holidays. Cutting out and sticking makes little mess that is easily swept up at the end of the project. Encourage them to sit properly at the table and use scissors correctly. The child is happy to chat away while you both work together in creating some very imaginative cards.

Hire a Movie

When all is lost, and you have no energy left, there is sometimes no alternative but to watch a movie while you regain your strength ready for the next round of play. Make it a long one, and you may manage to steal a quick nap while the kids are engrossed in the film.

The summer break is a long one, and you will need to think of more activities. Try to have about twenty different things to do on your list so that you can choose from them when the children are getting bored. Hold your nerve and the break will come to an end. Then pass the baton once more to the school who are experts at engaging young minds. Your mission will be complete for another summer, and you will have a whole year to plan for the next one. You will miss this time when they have grown up, so make the most of it.

The Only Way to Throw an Amazing Children’s Party

Image Author

If you’re thinking of different ways you can throw an amazing children’s party, you can stop worrying – I’ve got you covered! Whether you’re throwing a birthday party, or perhaps a party to celebrate the kid’s hard work at the end of a school year, the following tips and tricks will ensure a magical party that every child will enjoy:

Make it Fancy Dress

Kids LOVE fancy dress; it’s a fact. Depending on what the party is for you can set the theme accordingly, or you can simply tell them to dress up as whatever they like. However, you might find that a theme is more fun. For example, for a little girl’s birthday party you could do a Disney ‘Frozen’ theme! You can then make sure the decor of the party reflects this, and try to create food to match too.

Make the Food Look Fun

For kids to enjoy party food, it needs to look fun. They don’t need much – maybe a couple of sandwiches, a small bag of crisps, and some fruit each. Make the sandwiches look interesting by using both white and brown bread and then slicing them into quarters and creating a ‘checkerboard’ effect. You can also drizzle melted chocolate over strawberries, bananas, cherry’s, and other fruits to make them look more appealing. Use your imagination!

Create a Cool Playlist

Kids need a playlist to be the background music to their event too. The only difference between a kids playlist and an adult playlist, is that kids usually love fast paced, upbeat music all the way through, whereas adults would probably prefer a rest somewhere in between. You’ll need to choose music based on their age, but you can’t usually go wrong with some One Direction, Ellie Goulding, and other music in the charts.

Hire a Huge Hall

You could throw a party outside, but kids being kids will get absolutely filthy. By hiring a huge hall, you know they’ll have all the room they need to go wild, and you’ll be able to keep a better eye on them. You’ll also have room for other parents if they’re coming to help you, and any extra amenities you’re hiring for the party, like photo booth rental.

Put Together Exciting Party Bags

Kids love taking party bags away with them, and just about anything you put inside is exciting for them. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either! Pick up cheap little treats like keyrings, mini toys, mini bags of sweets, lollies, and maybe some crayons and a colouring book. Again, you’ll need to consider their age.

Play Games

A couple of games are essential at a children’s party – just don’t arrange too many because they have short attention spans. One or two games should be enough, and the rest of the time they can decide what they’d like to do themselves. ‘Pass the parcel’ is always popular, as is ‘musical statues’ and ‘thumbs up’!

Follow these tips and the kids will have a wonderful time!

 

 

Oh no – it’s a football widows’ summer ahead

footbal

It’s that summer coming up; the one that comes around every four years where the men in our lives become completely obsessed with sport. Unfortunately though, we aren’t talking bout the Olympic games!

Yes, it’s the World Cup and it’s being held in Brazil between June 12th and July 13th – pretty much the best part of the summer, in other words.

Now to suggest it’s only the males in our lives who are utterly obsessed with the World Cup is, of course, a sweeping and somewhat sexist generalization. There are quite a few men who have zero interest in the beautiful game and lots of ladies who love it. But on the whole, the generalization holds true.

So if you’re going to be a World Cup widow this summer – what can you do?

Well the easiest way is to think, “if you can’t beat them, join them”. In other words, try to take a real interest in the whole event. This can be fun – particularly if you pick out a handsome player or two you like the look of and allow yourself a little wager on his team.

So, for example, if you check out one of the world’s most famous footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal or, better yet, Yoann Gourcuff the 27 year-old Frenchman who is an attacking midfielder who plays his club football with Olympique Lyonnais – you’ll soon see what we mean.

As things stand, Portugal are around 33-1 shots to win the World Cup, with Betfair, the world’s leading betting exchange. The beauty of using an exchange like Betfair is that you can lay your bets back if you change your mind or if your selection outperforms and the odds narrow.

France, meanwhile, are slightly closer in at around 22-1. Having a football wager can certainly heighten your interest in the game – as can picking out the hottest guys.

Alternatively, you need to bury your head in the sand for the duration – or perhaps visit the only developed nation in the world that doesn’t have much of an interest in football (which it calls “soccer” of course…) the good old U.S of A. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy a great holiday whilst the rest of the world goes World Cup crazy. And the great thing is that you’ll never be able to persuade the man in your life to join you!

The Grandads Guide To Creating Wonderful Bedrooms For Weekend Stopovers

gg.jpg

source acknowledgement

So, you are a grandparent. Well done, you have joined an exclusive club and the best days of your life are about to begin. After spending twenty or more years worrying about your own children as they grew through heartache and drama, your time has come. Now the next batch has entered the world, you can enjoy them to the full. The first rule about being a grandparent? Let someone their mom and dad do the worrying. Your job is to be a cool and interesting friend that the kids love spending time with.

There are many grandparents that only see their grandchildren once a fortnight when they visit with their parents for tea. This is nowhere near enough time to form a meaningful relationship with them. The grandparents age quicker too, if there isn’t a young mind around to keep them on their toes. Every granny and grandad should invite the little ones over to stay at weekends and during school holidays. Because all of the worry belongs to the parent, you can have fun instead. So what if the kids don’t brush their teeth one morning, or if they have two packets of sweets in one day, it isn’t the end of the world is it?

Once that child is born, you should begin laying plans to turn your spare room into a cool place where kids want to be. This is easily done if you know the basics. If you don’t, read on; you son will.

The Floor Covering

Does your house have any form of heating? If the house is cold, it will influence the choice of floor covering that you put down in the room. Laminate flooring is an ideal product for a childrens bedroom because it is durable and gives a firm, smooth surface, to roll cars or balls on. Marbles isn’t played much now, but laminate flooring is a perfect surface for a game.

Brightly coloured rugs can be used to add a little warmth to the room, but if there is no form of heating in the room, carpet is the most sensible choice.

Furniture Selection

It is well that you have plenty of time to complete the room, because deciding on the right furniture is difficult. Luckily the room will not need big wardrobes as it is likely that the kids will go home in the clothes they came in at weekends. Some storage is useful, however, for longer stays during the summer holidays.

For young children, colour is important. By using primary colours for cupboard doors and drawer fronts, you can’t go wrong.  Look around at nurseries and schools; they all use primary colours where they can.

The bed, or beds, is probably your biggest decision. If you have more than one grandchild, your choice is guided to a certain extent. Bunk beds are usually the best solution unless the room is really large. There are some incredible creations available to you. Mathy by Bols Childrens Beds are among some of the most imaginative products on the market today, and they are sure to be loved by any lucky child.

Decoration

A child’s bedroom is best painted in light colours such as yellow or blue. This plain scheme is best for displaying artwork that the children have drawn for you (and there will be lots and lots of it). If the walls are decorated with a patterned wallpaper, the artwork won’t show so well, and it will all look too busy. Maintenance has to be a consideration too. Painting the walls with a silk emulsion enables them to be wiped clean and repainted when necessary.

Keeping one wall as a feature is a good idea. There are stunning wallpaper murals on the market, and they are excellent value for money. Imagine a whole wall depicting the galaxies of outer space or an underwater seascape, swimming with whales. These products have come a long way from the wallpaper of old.

Window Dressings

Old plaid curtains have no place in a child’s bedroom. Think about using modern blinds instead. There are many styles from which to choose. Here are a few:

  • Roman Blinds

  • Roller Blinds

  • Venetian Blinds

  • Vertical Blinds

  • Pleated Blinds

The all come in every colour of the rainbow so sourcing reds, yellows, or blues will present no problem at all.

Toys

Toys last longer in a grandparents house. This is because we have time to collect all of the little pieces and put them away properly when the little ones go back home. Parents find this hard work because it is a never ending task, and they are usually too exhausted.

Extra Luxuries

As mentioned earlier, stop worrying so much about the small stuff, leave that for the parents. No matter what the advice, install a large television in the room. This will be used in the young years to watch television programs, but the kids grow quickly and before you know it there will be the latest gaming machine plugged into it. Anyone who thinks kids shouldn’t have televisions in their bedroom needs to take a chill pill. Of course, a dvd player will be needed too, so that the library of movies you are collecting will be watched.

Most children, these days, are introduced to technology at a very young age. This is for the best as it is now an accepted and integral part of their daily lives. The child that is deprived of the use of technology in all domestic forms is at a disadvantage in life. That is why there is nothing wrong in putting a computer in the room. Depending on the child’s age it may only be possible to use it when supervised, for obvious safety reasons, but as the children grow, we have to rely on the content filters. They are not perfect but do an adequate job. It is not possible to protect children from adult contact completely.

When it is time to send them home, the house feels a little empty for a while. That is not so bad though, you need time to get your strength back for next weekend. You always have plenty to look forward to when you have grandchildren.

Incredible Things Parents And Children Can Do Together To Have Fun

Time passes very quickly and most parents looking back on their child’s younger days will wish that they took more time out to play with them when they had the chance. This, I believe, is why some people make better grandparents than parents. With age comes wisdom and knowledge.

gg.jpg

Photograph By Deni Williams

The parents that fully appreciate the time they have with young children reap the rewards when they are older. They have great memories and more satisfaction in the knowledge that they never wasted a minute. To be a parent such as this, however, takes a lot of hard work. Looking after children is an exhausting business so they can be excused for not being able to play with the kids all the time.

Sometimes it is enough to put an hour aside every day where you play with your children. Take the telephone off the hook, turn the television off, and concentrate on the activity in hand.

Here are some suggestions for things that parents and children can do together to have fun.

  • Build a den. A few pieces of wood won’t cost very much for building a den in the garden. It can be as simple or as complicated as you wish to make it. Cover the frame with blankets or sheets and your child will love it. In the house, they love to make a den by covering a table with a sheet and crawling under it. This is a great place to encourage reluctant readers, as they will sit quite happily under there for a long time. There are millions of books available online or in shops, so there is sure to be something that will interest both you and your child.

  • How many years has it been since you made mud pies? Armed with a bucket of water and some soil, the possibilities are endless. Good, harmless, dirty fun.

  • Children get a lot of satisfaction from baking cakes. They are easy to make, and tasty too. Decorating the tops is a fun way to pass an hour once the cakes have cooled. Use sugar icing and sweets to create some amazing designs.

  • Make a model using old boxes and toilet roll tubes. This is a great way for both parent and child to use their imagination. Don’t take over the project, however, you are only there in the capacity of an assistant. There are many models to be created such as, a robot, a rocket and a little house. If you are patient, it is even possible to make a decent dolls house out of cardboard and tape.

  • Make daisy chains. Once the little one learns the art of daisy chain making, they will spend many happy hours sitting in the garden and chatting with you about their view on life. Your job is to sit and listen, and you will learn a great deal.

So next time you are too tired or busy to play with your little ones, try to think of what you are missing. Before you know it, they will have grown up and flown the nest, leaving you with memories of when they were young. Be sure to make a lot of them.

 

How to choose the perfect paddleboards for your family to use

You may have already tried it for yourself, or seen your children have a good go, and the craze for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is only going to get bigger. Now seems like a great time to invest in either your child’s or your family’s paddleboard.

There are plenty of different types of SUP boards available to you, however they come in two main types: racing/touring and all-rounders. The great thing about these boards is that they are suitable for most types of paddling. There are other types of paddleboards available for you to choose from, however these are more niche and style specific.

(Thanks to John Coley for the image, via Flickr)

This guide will help you how to choose a standup paddleboard for you and your family.

The different styles of SUP boards are:

Race, touring and downwind SUPs: These SUP boards have a pointed front end (nose or bow) and a very rounded displacement hull (much like a kayak). They come in a variety of sizes, but the most common are 12’6” or 14’ long. The pointed front end ensures that there is less effort needed to paddle longer distances.

All-rounders: These types of SUP boards are ideal for beginners in your family, and are traditionally shaped a little like a surfboard. These all-rounder SUPs are typically 10’ to 12’ long and approx. 29” to 36” wide. These make the perfect starter SUP boards and are best used on calm lakes and close to shore.

Hybrid SUPs: These are a little like having your own boat, and even offer storage compartments if you like to drift off to do some fishing. They can be used as a sit-on-top kayak or you can stand on them.

Surfing SUPs: This SUP is the next one up from all-rounders. If you have conquered the all-rounder it may be time for you, your older children or other families members to join the more proficient surfer crowd. These SUP boards are narrower than the all-rounders, but this shouldn’t be a problem especially if you have mastered the basic all-rounder SUP already.

Kids’ SUPs: As the title suggests, these specialised kid SUPs are great for younger or smaller children in your family. Depending on how you plan to use the SUP, there are a number of different board types for your child to use. The short, all-rounder, board is a lot easier to learn on and handle, they are also a lot easier to carry and maneuver than a SUP board made for adults. For those children who are not too sure about the whole paddleboard experience, there are a number of inflatable models for them to use. These are even easier to carry and have a padded cushion to absorb any falls on deck.

Boards for Mums: Most SUP boards are quite heavy and difficult to carry, so if lifting a heavy SUP board from the car isn’t your thing don’t worry. There are a number of ultra-light boards that may be right up your street. Some models even have a specialised narrow mid-section to help you reach both deck handles when you’re carrying the SUP board.

 

The Perfect Graduation Gift Guide

There is not a truer saying that time flies when you have kids. For some strange reason, life seems to go by in the blink of an eye when you are a parent. Of course, this can be a bittersweet experience. While we have had the pleasure of watching our offspring turn into fine specimens of adulthood, it is incredibly difficult to watch them flee the nest and become independent.

 It is coming to the time of year where our children are leaving school and graduating. Can you believe that it is that time of year already? Naturally, our children are excited about leaving school and graduating. Their hard work and studious attitude has paid off and they finally ready to go into the big wide world of work as fully fledged adults.

 It is at this time that we often want to commemorate their special day with a gift. Many parents buy graduation gifts to reward their child for the hard work and dedication that they have put in over the last few years. The thing is, finding the perfect graduation gift can be difficult.

 Personalised gifts are a great way to commemorate their special day and are the perfect keepsake for years to come. Leavers hoodies, adorned with their leaving year and alma mater is a great way to ensure that they keep the memory of university or college with them for years to come. Obviously, they are unlikely to forget one of the greatest times in their life, but commemorating the special occasion with a personalised gift will ensure that they remember their special days for  many years to come. Who knows, in time, they may pass it on to their children as a family heirloom.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Schwegler

 Personalised gifts really show your child that you are proud of them and that you are pleased with their achievements. Buying a shop bought gift, in short, can seem a little lazy. A personalised gift is a truly unique way of showing someone that you have put a lot of thought into their present, as well being able to show your love and affection in a quirky way.

 Personalising the gift with little anecdotes, sayings, funny things that happened and other quirky memories is a fantastic way to commemorate their time at college or university and is certain to be a sure fire hit with your kids. After all, they don’t want to forget their time at college and neither do you.

 What could be more thrilling than a personalised gift, for the post-graduation festivities. You never know, you could attending their final bar crawl with them, even if it is in spirit and in the form of the clothing that you have purchased for them.

 Saying it with cards is rather old hat. The key to the perfect graduation gift is to get personalised. A true representation of your love and affection, as well as being quirky and unique enough to hold the former students attention.

 Say it with personalised gifts and you will win the prize for best parent.

Is your child ready for a horse?

Regardless of whether you live in a rural community or built up suburbs, a horse could be your next family pet. Children often start dreaming of having a horse from a young age, whether they watch Disney movies with talking horses or you simply walk or drive past fields with them in, your child may just begin to start asking you when they can have one.

But how do you know your child is ready, and more importantly whether you are ready as a family to own a horse? It is not like having a dog or cat as a pet, a horse is a much bigger animal is a bigger responsibility attached to them. There are a few things that you need to consider, certainly before you make any sort of commitment to your child and your family.

Is this a passing phase or something else?

How many children watch animated films with talking horses, or have picked up classic novels such as Black Beauty  and have then decided that they must have a horse? Your child could be inspired to having a horse as a pet through a number of different mediums, whether that is a film, TV show or book. The important thing here is to establish whether having  a horse is something that they have decided whilst being inspired through these mediums, or whether they hold a more long term interest.

Living your dreams through your child

You may not be totally aware of this, but many parents actually try and live their own dreams through their children. Many parents do not intend to do this, but it happens. So, you need to think about whether this is something you are doing, or whether it is an interest driven from your child.

Are you ready for a horse?

Owning a horse is completely different to owning any other kind of pet. It is a huge responsibility, and one that needs to be managed as effectively as possible.

Depending on the age of your child, and their maturity and interest levels, will have an impact on just how much involvement and responsibility you will have as parents. Consider that it will be you who sources the food, drives supplies up to the paddock, pays the vet bills and sourcing worming solutions from website like www.wormers.co.uk.

It is also about the amount of time your child can be with their horse. If you find that your child already attends a lot of extra activities before and after schools, as well as being part of other clubs at the weekend, your child will not have the time both they and the horse need to bond. You and your child, or children, will have to make certain sacrifices.

Try before you buy

This is not about renting a horse for the weekend, even though you may be able to do that at some paddocks or by asking friends and family members who already own a horse, it is about booking your child in for horse riding lessons. These lessons are a good indicator in to your child’s dedication to having a horse on a more full time basis. If you find they are still committed after several months, then this is a good sign to look at a more full time investment.