As a painfully shy and introverted child, school was an ongoing nightmare on so many different levels. But I remember that, no matter what had happened at school, as soon as I reached our street everything seemed a bit more bearable. Home was a calm, non-threatening place and I could hardly wait to arrive there safely. Better yet, I could usually smell biscuits, or sometimes even cake, hot from the oven as soon as a walked through the front gate. What a welcome!
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ...
though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
Although everyone has their own ideas and perspective about what makes for a welcoming home, for me, it reflects a combination of elements. Yes, a sense of calm is important along with colour and character. And although lighting and comfort are important elements, it's more than just that. Some would include pleasant sounds or music.
But for me, a pleasant aroma is a big part of it, too.
Essential oils provide more than just a pleasant perfume
You may already know of numerous essential oils and even be vaguely aware of some claimed benefits of 'aromatherapy'. But, how much do you truly know about the properties of essential oils? Most people know they have a pleasant aroma. They may also be aware that they are pure and that they are natural essences extracted from plants.
However, many people do not understand how or why essential oils can go far beyond being merely perfumes or how they can also improve their health and wellbeing. I'm certainly no expert but I've been doing a lot or reading about essential oils. Here's some of what I have discovered:
Essential Oils for Improving Health
Four extremely popular essential oils are discussed in some detail below. Their different properties, benefits and uses will give an indication as to how useful essential oils can be, especially when it comes to improving your health.
Tea Tree oil is widely used as a primary ingredient in many beauty products. Tea tree oil extract has numerous positive properties as an essential oil. It has antifungal, antiseptic and astringent qualities, making it a popular additive for many soaps, lotions and shampoos.
Tea tree oil is perfect for fighting bacteria and germs. It is commonly used in oily skin and scalp preparations and helpful for treating skin problems such as dandruff and acne. It is perfect for dabbing on superficial cuts, scratches and sores to kill or prevent infection.
If you are working with the pure essential oil, be sure to dilute it first as it can cause burning and irritation to the skin if used undiluted. You can mix it with some carrier oil or water to make it gentler for your skin.
Ginger is considered to be a very versatile essential oil. Ginger essential oil is a popular remedy for increasing circulation and blood flow and calming the stomach. As it is a wonderful digestive aid, it is used frequently to combat nausea. It is a great help for those experiencing an upset tummy due to pregnancy or travel sickness.
It has also been found to be a helpful remedy for anyone experiencing vomiting due to the effects of chemotherapy.
It can also help combat a sore throat when taken at the first sign of a cold. Ginger root oil can also make a delicious hot drink, especially if you brew it with some lemon and honey.
Lemon oil is a deliciously fragrant essential oil that is useful for a variety of purposes. Lemon oil is a well-known anti-oxidant. It offers great antiseptic properties, making it an excellent aid for common colds, bronchitis, asthma, flu and other respiratory issues.
The high vitamin C content in lemon oil is beneficial for boosting the immune system of the body and fighting against different contagious infections and illnesses. Lemon is also popular for improving digestive processes.
It does however, have some photo-toxicity properties, therefore, some people may experience irritation if they are using lemon oil and are exposed to direct sunlight for a long time.
Rosemary is another common essential oil that has extremely diverse properties. It is commonly used for combating fatigue, combating stress and improving one's memory. Rosemary has stimulant, astringent and antiseptic properties.
These examples are only a few of the many readily available essential oils that are useful for improving your health. Once you have tried them and experienced their natural benefits you will be looking for more ways to use the power of essential oils in your life!
If you'd like to learn more about essential oils, you can find ithere.
Seriously.... it helps a lot with the growth of this blog.
I know most people don't share because they feel that we bloggers don't need their 'tiny' share. But believe me... you matter! Each and every reader is important and appreciated.
I've built this blog piece by piece, one small share at a time. So thank you so much for your support.
DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend or link to. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I ofttimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere.
Plus, when you order though my links, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff.
Thank you, in advance, for your support.
Imagine your life is perfect in every respect; what would it look like?- Brian Tracy
Research has reinforced what we already know- that images have the amazing capacity to help us learn and help us remember.... hence the expression, 'A picture is worth a thousand words.'
You only have to look at the family photos in your albums. As you look at each old and loved snapshot, I'm sure you'll remember both the occasion it was taken and where. The photo might even trigger memories of certain smells and sounds associated with that time and place.
Yes.. images can be very powerful. But, how does this help you and your motivation for an ongoing habit or the attainment of a particular goal?
Pictures speak a thousand words and while this is so true you can also use it to your advantage when it comes to motivation.
If you have a goal such as weight loss, do you ever look in the mirror and feel disappointed by what you see? This often gives you enough motivation to start a new diet but it may not be enough to keep you on track for months at a time.
This is where using a picture or vision board becomes extremely handy. By having a visual story board you can track your progress by looking backwards.
When it comes to motivation you tend to always be focused on the end goal. While this is good it can also be a factor for losing your motivation. If your goal was to lose 100 pounds and you have only lost 30 you may feel as though things aren’t working any more. You start to feel like giving up.
Focus on your accomplishments and successes
When this happens you want to look backwards instead of forward. This way you can now focus on your accomplishments and successes. This is the perfect strategy for long term goals that could require a year or more of motivation and focus.
As your body changes you can’t always remember what you looked like 2 or 3 months ago. If you have images then you do have a reminder of this. This is why creating your own story board of your motivational journey is so important.
You can create your own visual story board in many different ways.
1. Create a physical picture board
You can actually have a physical story board in your home where you can add photos each week or monthBut if you're not a hands-on crafty person, ditch the scissors and glue and check out these other options.
2. Ditch the scissors and glue and create a digital vision board
Samantha Bell (Brand It Girl) says, 'A vision board is a tool that you can use to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on specific life goals.' She goes on to describe and show you how to create a digital vision board that can then be used for your computer wallpaper or printed framed and displayed on the wall.
PicMonkey is another option for creating a digital vision board. PicMonkey provides step by step instructions and inspiration... worth checking out. Remember, that there are no rules or formulas for creating your vision board. It's all about personal goals and personal style.
3. Create your picture board online
Uploading your photos, quotes and content to an online picture board is another way create your vision board. One of the best places to do this is on Pinterest. You can create a weight loss, exercise board or any board dedicated to your new goal. You can choose whether you'd like to keep your board 'secret', or 'public' if you'd like the incentive that others' encouragement would add.
Here's a quick overview of creating a Pinterest board
Add pictures on a regular basis to build motivation.
When you begin your vision board and particularly if you create a Pinterest vision board, you can add your starting photos and then add photos on a regular basis. Once you start doing this you will no doubt enjoy adding photos each week. Plus you can share them with your friends and family as well.
Include pictures of your healthy choice meals or meal plans that have worked for you. If your goal is a daily walking habit, take photos of your favourite walking track.If your goal is daily writing, include images of where you like to write and your journal or tablet. Add inspirational quotes.
As soon as you feel as though you are losing your motivation you can easily refer back to your board and take a good look at how far you have come. Even upload photos about how you are feeling at that moment so if it happens again you can see how you dealt with it.
Try it and see if it doesn’t help you stay on track.
And... I have no doubt that you'll also enjoy creating your ongoing vision board. Just as another suggestion... how about helping your teen create their own vision board to get motivated to fulfil their vision of their future?
Seriously.... it helps a lot with the growth of this blog.
I know most people don't share because they feel that we bloggers don't need their 'tiny' share. But believe me... you matter! Each and every reader is important and appreciated.
I've built this blog piece by piece, one small share at a time. So, thank you so much for your support.
For some children, getting to bed is a simple process. Within minutes of hitting the hay, they’re asleep and well on their way to slaying dragons, riding magic carpets, and all the other staple dreams of a child with a vivid imagination.
For others, it’s not so easy. For those children, nights are a time for tossing and turning, of restless frustration. It’s not nice to stay awake in bed as an adult, and it doesn’t get any easier for a child.
There are some steps you can take, however, to make them feel comfortable in bed and in the best possible space for a solid night’s sleep.
The process of going to sleep begins well before your child is actually in bed. Make sure they’re probably prepared for bed by making sure they’re eating the right foods and have taken a bath that relaxes their body.
Every parent knows that sugar will keep a child awake through the night; choose instead a late even snack of oatmeal or toast with peanut butter: it’ll fill them up, and also have enough protein and carbs to induce a sleepy feeling.
A bath also relaxed the body and gets it primed for a night of relaxation. Simple!
No Screen Time
To fall asleep at an appropriate time, it’s important that your child doesn’t have extensive screen time in the hours before they go to bed. In fact, it might be best to stop all video games or other interactive screen time (like iPads, computers but not TV) at least two hours before their planned bedtime.
Itching, Bed Bugs, and Metaphors
You can’t blame your child for not feeling too excited to get to bed if they’re not comfortable once they get in there.
There are many minor allergies that can affect a child in bed, so it might be a matter of changing your laundry detergent. Additionally, bed bugs can make a child afraid (rightly) to get into their own bed. If they’re showing any signs, use a service like www.greenbedbugheattreatment.ca and make sure they know that they’re all gone.
Also, metaphorical monsters will get your child into an anxious state of mind - a check of their room each night to give it the all clear is a small and sweet way to make sure they feel comfortable.
The Right Atmosphere
It’s all about getting the right atmosphere in a bedroom. What this is will depend on your child, but things such as a comforting night life, or ambient noise, or even having the door open might be the way to go.
Whatever it is that will get your child into a relaxed and happy state is the best way to make sure they have an undisturbed night.
Once you’ve got the right ingredients for your child, stick to them. A routine is the best way to promoting good sleeping habits - and means you won’t have to go through the same ordeal over and over.
Get it right once and it’s all you’ll need.
With the constant reminder from modern societies that people need to be thinner to be beautiful, one can’t fail to wonder how it is possible to lose weight permanently. Indeed, while it seems easier to find effective diets, it seems a lot harder to keep the weight off durably.
After all, intermittent fasting, crash diets and even the Atkin diet - and many others that are not named here - have one thing in common: They are impossible to hold for a long term achievement. Most people, inevitably, grow a little tired of their deprivations and sometimes of the food supplements.
Is it the price to pay to be accepted as beautiful by the rest of the world?
No, of course, it isn’t. Getting fit is different from losing weight, and the difference is what makes the one permanent and the other temporary. Getting fit implies a radical change of lifestyle for the best. And it’s a lot easier than you think!
Here are the three things that people who stay fit and slim have in common.
They Start A Fitness Activity
You can’t keep the weight off if you don’t develop a regular fitness activity. What you choose to do depends on of your taste and your fitness level, but whether you decide to walk, to run, or to start kickboxing lessons, the advice is the same: You can only achieve results if you genuinely stick to it.
This is exactly why it’s important to listen to yourself, instead of following the current trends. For instance, most people like to cultivate a jogging spirit: Running is trendy and highly regarded. But to stick with running, you will first need to have an interest in the activity. In short, if running isn’t your thing, don’t just decide to start with it to go with the flow. Find an activity that excites you.
They Change Their Eating Habits
There is a big gap between dieting and changing your eating habits. Staying fit and in good shape is not about dieting, as you would have already guessed. It’s about understanding which food is good for your body and staying away from the ones that aren’t.
This means consuming more vegetables and fruits, more healthy proteins and fibers, and naturally drinking sufficient water. At the same time, while you stay away from processed foods, you start developing new cooking style: Rock frying pans with their high-quality heat distribution and non-stick coat are ideal to limit fat in your preparations, food processors and blenders are perfect for all smoothies and healthy soups, etc.
They Learn Discipline
It’s difficult to start walking on the fitness path. So, you will need to develop of sense for what is good until your mind gets a natural feeling for it. Most people like to fill a sort of fitness journal where they can keep track of their eating and exercising habits.
This does not only allow them to monitor their day-to-day progress but, this rapidly develops a new relationship with the body too. You can see the impacts of healthy food on your energy and your weight, and measure the strength that your body is building with it.
Exercise and fun. Two words that, for most people, will never go hand in hand.
The fact of the matter is that, as adults, the majority of us do not get our 150 minutes of cardio and two days of strength training every week. This sounds like an impossible task. We are just too busy now, the household chores take priority, the kids need their meals, and by the time everything is done, we are absolutely exhausted and need to get our rest in before it all begins again tomorrow!
And to top it off, we don’t eat as well as we did 30 or 40 years ago. The pull of ready meals and takeaways beats the effort of making a meal from scratch. We just cannot cope with the amount of pressure being put upon us every day.
What is the solution? Making exercise fun! And here’s how you do it…
Play That Funky Music…
Doing any type of exercise, whether you are finally getting to the gym, or dancing at home, is fully enhanced by the addition of music. For the parents that are unable to get out of the house, put a song on that really gets the kids up and moving, and join in with them! Scientifically, they say that the type of music that you enjoy will really affect your workout for the better. So, if you like heavy metal, the speed of that type of music will get your heart pumping faster than Mozart’s Requiem! Disco music, with its steady beats and upbeat rhythms, is far likelier to induce positive exercise than feeling like you can’t go on. Dancing is one of the best forms of cardio, and you only have to look at the ballroom dancers on TV to see how fit they are!
Let’s Go Outside…
There are many benefits to going walking with the family. Not only does walking along different gradients of land help to burn calories more efficiently, but the experience of being outdoors is a more positive one than running idly on the treadmill for 40 minutes and has been proven to release tension and stress. And by doing it before your evening meal, you are working up an appetite as well as improving your digestion.
If being at one with nature isn’t your speed, there are many activities that you can participate in as a family. By scheduling family time, you are not only getting in the desired exercise, but you are bonding over the experience. That doesn’t mean to say that you need to play an overly competitive sport.
There are many other fun activities that you can take part in, such as swimming or, for the uninitiated, Bubble Football -Holleyweb provide zorb-like football suits you can wear and get playing. If the exercise is fun, it won’t even feel like exercise!
There are so many things you can do to inject fun into your exercise routines, and if you enjoy it, you will always want to come back to it.
If you’re anything like me, you will love pottering around in the kitchen. There is nothing quite as exciting as experimenting with different kinds of ingredients and coming up with unique recipes.
There is no wonder that some of us can easily while away a whole day in our kitchen! But because you may spend so long in this part of your house, you need to ensure that you are staying safe while you are working in there. There are many common hazards that can affect us when we are busy in the kitchen - and most of these are to do with the food and ingredients that we use!
To ensure you and your cooking stay safe and healthy, here are some delicious tips to stay safe while working in the kitchen.
Store Meat Correctly
Did you know that if you store your meat incorrectly, you will be greatly increasing the risk of certain diseases such as food poisoning and salmonella? It is incredibly important that you store your raw and cooked meat completely separately. Not doing so will greatly increase the chance of the bacteria that cause these diseases thriving in your fridge and kitchen. Want to know how you should be storing your meat? It’s simple, really. First of all, make sure that you keep your cooked meat above any raw meat in your fridge. If you swap them the other way around, the juices from the raw meat could drip onto the cooked meat and cause a contamination. It is also a good idea to store all your meat, whether cooked or uncooked, covered, either wrapped in clingfilm or in Tupperware tubs.
Listen Out For Food Recalls
There are some occasions which food suppliers and supermarkets need to recall certain food items. This is normally because a specific batch has somehow become contaminated in production, which was only discovered once the products had left the manufacturers or the factory in which they were packaged. Customers are requested to return the recalled item from wherever they bought it in order to get a full refund. You are not obliged to do so, but it will be in you and your family’s best interest as, sometimes, products are recalled for health and safety reasons. You can find out more about recall information on specialist websites.
Understand Use-By Dates
Every item of food and ingredient that you buy will have a use-by date on the packaging. That is because no food lasts forever, and there will come a point when the item in question will be no good to cook with or eat. Sometimes, these dates can be very confusing, as they can be labeled under different names. For instance, you might see dates labeled as ‘best before date’ or ‘display until’. These labels all basically mean the same things, except the ‘display until’ dates. These are dates that are aimed at supermarkets, and tell them how long they can display an item for. But it is necessary that you take notice of the ‘best before’ and ‘use-by’ dates. You should also use your best judgement when thinking whether a food is still good to eat. For example, even if a food smells slightly off but is still inside its use-by date, you should still throw it out.
Freezing And Defrosting Food
There are lots of foods that can be frozen to ensure they last for longer. However, it is important that you correctly freeze your food to make sure you aren’t encouraging bacteria to develop during the freezing process. Don’t forget that it is safe to free anything as long as it hasn’t come up to its use-by date. So don’t feel like you have to freeze anything on the day on which you buy it. If it still has a week before it becomes out of date, you still have a few days to think about whether or not you want to freeze it. How you defrost is also important.
If you are defrosting meat or fish, you should, ideally, give it plenty of time to defrost slowly at room temperature. Don’t forget that a lot of liquid could come out of the meat or fish, so you should place it in a bowl or on a plate. You can defrost meat and fish in a microwave but only do this if you are going to cook it straight away. Ensure that the defrosted meat or fish is piping all the way through before serving. Once raw meat or fish has thawed, you should not freeze it again. However, if you cook the meat or fish after defrosting, it is safe to freeze the cooked items.
Many people tend to throw out their leftovers because they are worried about storing them and getting food poisoning. But you shouldn’t worry about this as there are many safe ways to store your uneaten food. If the leftovers are still hot from cooking, you should try and cool them down within two hours. You can then divide the leftovers up into portions so that they can be refrigerated or frozen. If you choose to keep your leftovers in the fridge, you should eat them within two days. You can reheat refrigerated and defrosted leftovers, but make sure that the food reaches 70 degrees centigrade for at least two minutes. Once some leftovers have been thawed, they should not be frozen again.
One reason why people have trouble storing fresh ingredients is that their fridge isn’t correctly maintained. You should be checking to make sure that it is always chilling food at temperatures under 5 degrees centigrade. This will ensure that each item of food in there will stay fresh until its use-by date. You should also regularly clean your fridge. Food debris and grease can quickly build up in fridges, which can become the perfect breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. Ideally, make sure you give your fridge a good clean and scrub out every couple of weeks. If you ever spill anything in your fridge, you should clean it up straight away so that it does not contaminate any of the other foods.
Temperatures Are Important
You will have no doubt noticed that I have written quite a bit about temperatures in this blog post already. But it is very important to reiterate this point, as storing foods at the incorrect temperatures can cause some dangerous bacteria to develop on them, which increases your risk of food poisoning. Firstly, you should always remember that room temperature is dangerous for all foods (except those that are defrosting). You should never leave any fresh food out at room temperature for long periods, as this is the optimum temperature for breeding bacteria. Only leave things out for two hours, or one hour if the weather is particularly hot. When you are cooking food, especially meat, it is important that it hits high temperatures and stays at them for at least two minutes of the total cooking time. If you aren’t too sure whether your food is hot enough to serve, use a cooking thermometer.
Food Safety While Out Shopping
Of course, food safety doesn’t just start in the kitchen. You should also be wary of cross contamination when you are doing your weekly shop in your local supermarket. When you are packing your shopping cart, it is essential that you keep your raw meat and eggs separate from any cooked products that you buy. In fact, one good tip is to pick up your raw meats just before you go to the checkout to pay. This will reduce the chance of cross contamination from occurring. If you are planning on buying any chilled or frozen foods, keep a freezer bag and ice packs in your car trunk. This will ensure you can transport them home without them getting too warm and starting to defrost.
Check Your Groceries
There are also some simple checks you should carry out to ensure that the groceries that you pick up in a supermarket are of the highest quality. For example, it is important to open a carton of eggs to ensure that none of them are broken or cracked. Make sure that the shells are also clean. When you are looking at raw fish and meat products, you shouldn’t choose something that is warm to the touch. All raw products need to be adequately refrigerated to ensure complete freshness. When you are looking at canned and packaged foods, make sure you always check the use-by date. Otherwise, you may get home and find that you only have a couple of days in which to use the product before it ends up out of date! Fresh fruit and vegetables should not show any signs of rotting or mould. But don’t confuse this with an ugly product - just because a piece of fruit or veg is quite ugly, doesn't mean it is dangerous to eat!
Hopefully, you can now enjoy your cooking time without worrying about making anyone ill!
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.