"And in life, it is all about choices we make. And how the direction of our lives comes down to the choices we choose." -Catherine Pulsifer
This week was my birthday. I really don't mind growing older, though I seem to feel much more tired. But a birthday always seems to bring on a review of life and what I've accomplished during the year, often leading to the questions of my life's purpose and my choices. There are certainly plenty of choices in life and some of them really are life-changing.
Others are less dramatic, like... what will you serve for dinner? How will you spend your spare time? What book will you read this weekend?
Well, I've made a few decision choices, this week, and I thought I'd share a couple with you... actually, four to be exact.
In fact, I've recently come across 4 things that captured my attention and warmed my heart.
Let me share them with you. You might find these ideas have appeal for you, too.
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Yes, it's been a full and busy week..... fun, but tiring! And I'm rather looking forward to the weekend. (Hopefully, I'll have a bit of time to practise by water brush lettering.)
What fun things did you notice or enjoy this week? Please, take a moment to share in the comments below.
Halloween - I have a love/hate relationship with this holiday. It’s the beginning of the ‘sweet’ season and that means trick or treat and a growing number of sugar-highs. Those of you desperately trying to stick to a diet will be worried how you’ll cope with all those tempting treats. Don’t panic. There are plenty of ways to have lots of fun this Halloween so try some of these spooky yet delicious ways to scare your diet woes away:
Party At Home
Having the Halloween party at your place means you can control the food on the table. If you have children, it will also mean they’re not out trick or treating for shop-bought sweets. Throwing a party may sound like an expensive prospect. But if you’re making all the treats, you can save a fortune. Love baking, then this could definitely be the right option for you. You could try my Pete the Pumpkin recipe, or one of your own for a cool presentation delight.
You could use low fat alternatives for your cakes and sponges. Vegetables like courgette can provide all the moisture you need. And it means the kids are getting one of their five a day in too! Use a natural sweetener like miracle berry tablets to reduce the sugar content too. Then you can use cookie cutters or rough knife some scary ghost, cat, and witch shapes.
Games And Prizes
Kids are just as happy doing fun things as they are eating cakes and sweets. Give them all plenty of games to play, like a spooky treasure hunt. Why not offer prizes that can be fun at this time of year, like mini glow wands? Setting up your home with decorations can be done quite easily. There are plenty on offer in the stores right now. But you can also make your own if you’re quite arty.
You can also stream or download some spooky music tracks to set the atmosphere. A ball pool can become a scary way to hunt for prizes. Add a couple of toy skulls and slime in there, and you’re in for some screams. When they’re finished, opt for some savoury treats if you prefer to keep the sugar to a minimum. Sausage rolls and cheesy crackers can be just as popular. Why not use spooky shape cutters on some sandwiches to keep the theme going?
Knock At The Door
Of course, there will be plenty of trick or treaters to keep satisfied at your door this year. Parents appreciate smaller quantities of treats if you are going to hand them out. Fun bags are OK, but why not break down a bigger bag into smaller quantities and wrap them up in a spooky paper? There are sugar-free sweets in the stores, but they can prove more expensive. Perhaps you can make enough of your home-made treats to share?
Halloween can be lots of fun without too much sugar. Treats have become customary, but you don’t have to join in if you don’t feel it is appropriate. Have fun, and take care of those teeth.
To ensure our kids grow into mature and sensible adults, there are many things we as parents need to teach them. From the importance of money to cooking healthy meals, there are endless things they need to learn. But arguably the most important lesson you should teach your kids is about caring for the environment.
If a generation of children are not taught to care for and respect the planet, the environmental issues we currently face will worsen. But instilling the importance of recycling and saving energy to kids now can prevent this from happening. Teaching your children about the environment can seem daunting, but it’s actually very easy. Take a look at these simple ideas and prepare your kids for a greener future.
Lead by example
Children will often copy the actions of their parents to help them learn and develop. So use this to your advantage. Make sure they see you putting papers or plastic into a recycle bin. It shouldn’t take long for them to copy what you are doing. Another option is to ask them to help you plant trees and plants in your yard. Talk to them about how we need trees to breathe properly and ask them to help you take care of them. Your kids will love having the responsibility of taking care of something so important. You might also want to consider solar panel installation to show your children how the sun can produce eco-friendly energy. This can also make them more aware of how much energy you use within your home.
Hiking is a fantastic family activity that all ages can enjoy. As well as being an excellent form of exercise, it’s also an exciting way of introducing your kids to nature. Particularly if you live in a large city. Choose an easy hiking route that’s within driving distance from your home. But before you set off, ask your kids to do some research into what they might discover. That way they will find it easier to spot things as they make their way around. Your children can take photos or draw pictures in a journal of what they find. This can also be an ideal opportunity to talk about deforestation and what your kids can do to help. After seeing wildlife up close, they will definitely want to help protect it.
While it’s important to recycle your trash, also consider how you and your kids can repurpose it too. You might be able to make works of art, jewelry or even practical items with a useful function. So before recycling anyway, ask your kids to think about how it can be repurposed. If they come up with multiple ideas, let them transform the item into something new. You can even turn this into a competition where you reward the biggest transformation. This will open both yours and your kid's eyes and change your perspective on the items you used to throw away. It also means that there is less trash being put into landfills, which is beneficial to the planet.
Teaching your children about looking after the environment is something you should continually do as they grow. That way, they will naturally get into the habit of being more conscious of the decisions they make and how they affect the earth.
A lot of people think that growing fruit and vegetables in their garden is going to be a challenge. After all, they need TLC in order to grow into healthy and mouthwatering delights that we can eat with our family. But it can also be an enjoyable experience which might cut the cost of your grocery bill! Here are some reasons why growing your own fruit and vegetables is a must for your garden.
You get to eat them fresh from the ground
The best thing about growing fruit and vegetables is that you have easy access to great food without having to even leave your home! Once they have been fully developed, they can be made for your whole family to enjoy with their dinner! And there is nothing more rewarding than tucking into some fruit or veg that you have spent the time and effort growing yourself! Also, fruit and vegetables which you can fresh from the ground are much healthier for your family than the ones you buy at the local grocers! After all, they haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals and haven’t been stored for ages.
It can be an excellent way to destress
You might not realize that growing fruit and vegetables is one way to destress when you have had a challenging day. In fact, a lot of people with depression head outside to help improve their emotional well-being. It gives you a much-needed boost when you look after your fruit and vegetables and see them come into formation. Not only that, but getting outside in the fresh air can help you get all your necessary nutrients which will lift your mood. Therefore, start growing some today to find a hobby that can help you unwind once you get home after work.
It’s fun and educational for kids
It’s so much fun for children to help grow fruit and vegetables in the garden. They get to see how it ends up on their plate. It often boosts them to eat the delicious food once they have fully formed, which might typically be a challenge! You should let them get involved in taking care of them so that they pick up skills that they can use in school. During the winter months, you might want to consider installing a greenhouse in the yard where you can grow your fruit and vegetables. A lean-to greenhouse is often a top choice as it doesn’t take up too much room in your yard.
It’s ideal to add color to your garden
When we add beautiful plants and flowers to our garden, we are hoping it will make our yard look much more appealing. And even though fruit and vegetables are grown to be enjoyed in the kitchen, they can also add beauty and color to the backyard. As this feature says, crisp cucumbers and ripening strawberries can make a backyard look rather beautiful. Make sure you choose colorful fruit and vegetables to help enhance your garden.
And remember growing your own fruit and vegetables gives you a reason to get outside more in your yard.
If you’re very young right now, then you may think that anti-ageing articles and tips don’t apply to you. Those are for older people right?
In reality, those articles apply to you more than anyone else! After all, it’s too late to prevent ageing once you are already feeling and looking a lot older! And when you get to that point where the crow’s feet and age spots are showing, you’ll only wish that you had taken the opportunity to protect yourself against ageing when you were younger.
So what can you do right now, to make sure that you keep your good looks and good health well into older age?
In terms of lifestyle, there are a ton of things you need to do to stay younger and healthier in the way you look and feel.
For starters, try to avoid too much direct sunlight. UV rays damage the skin cells and while you might think nothing of this, it makes a huge cumulative difference that is very apparent when you’re older!
Having said that, it's also important to get outdoors. It's been shown to improve your happiness level, broaden your thinking and improve your memory. The extra dose of Vitamin D is great, too; just don't indulge in too much. Remember the sunscreen lotion.
Likewise, you absolutely have to make sure you are getting plenty of high quality sleep. This will help you improve your health in all manner of ways, as sleep is when the body restores cells, forms new neural connections and produces lots of growth hormone and testosterone.
Sufficient quality sleep helps us focus and be more productive. It's also linked to your moods with lack of sleep producing increased sensitivity to negative emotions like fear and anger. Increasingly, studies are showing us the importance that sleep plays in our mental and health well-being.
The right skin care regimen can make a massive difference. So often we know we should be taking care of our skin but forget or decide to do it later. Skin care is something to remember and do every day. It means remembering to cleanse your skin twice a day. But if you can only do it once, do it in the evening so that your skin is clear of any makeup while you rest at night.
Any good skin care routine should incorporate an exfoliator, some kind of protection and some kind of moisturizer. Regardless of your type of skin, you can create a simple, low-cost skin care routine that won`t take too much of your time. Check out these simple daily, weekly and monthly tips for the ultimate great-looking skin.
And don’t forget the hands! Often the hands are the biggest giveaway of your true age when you’re older!
Nutrition is massive and important when it comes to the way you age. Many of the illnesses we associate with old age are in fact just the result of long-term nutrient deficiencies. If you ensure that you keep getting enough of your micronutrients, your body will be supplied with all the raw materials it needs to keep you looking and feeling as young as possible.
A healthy breakfast makes a huge difference to how you handle your morning and indeed, your entire day. Start your day well with a healthy breakfast.
Don't forget to drink plenty of water. Drinking water results in clearer skin, fights illness and helps weight loss. It also increases your productivity and fights fatigue. Yep.. it's important to drink plenty of water each day but if you don`t like the taste of water, and many don`t, try infused water.
An often overlooked aspect of your health and wellbeing is your dental hygiene. A healthy mouth, teeth and gums is great in itself but it can also help you ward off other medical problems. Studies show that poor dental hygiene can lead to, not just the problems of dental decay, but also to problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor. It might be a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist.
4. Mental exercise
Learning doesn't, and shouldn't, stop once you leave school. Not only is ongoing learning good for your self-development, it's good for your brain.
Improving yourself is a never-ending process but it pays big dividends for your mental health.
Read and never stop learning. Question everything and consider new possibilities. But also, take time to relax. Spend time regularly to sort through your ideas and write them down. Journaling is a great way to do this.
Learn to turn off distractions (particularly social media) and focus on what really matters. Work on your habits and improve where it's important. Keep improving at work and where you're passionate.
And don’t just exercise: move more. Sitting takes years off of your life because it allows your heart to become weaker. What’s more, is that it also weakens your muscles, ruins your flexibility and damages your posture. It’s very important that you keep moving as you get older to avoid a hunched over appearance. If you're looking for some exercise routines to get moving you might like to check out some of these health and fitness apps.
Invest a little time now to develop simple, positive habits like those listed above and it will pay real dividends in the years to come. You'll look and feel great. If you'd like more ideas about growing old well, you might like to check out The Ultimate Anti-Ageing Guide, now available from my online store.
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS ARTICLE
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Let's face it; there are times where we ALL fancy some junk food! We just feel like treating ourselves, whether it be for celebration or to cheer ourselves up. Of course, the obvious downside of junk food is that it's rarely healthy for you!
You might not know it, but it's possible to make your junk food snacks healthier! Here are some exciting ways that you can make that possible:
Lower the fat content of meat and poultry
If you fancy having a burger or steak, one thing you need to do is trim the fat! And if you have some chicken, remove the skin before you cook it. Doing so will lower the amount of fat that you consume in the meal.
Add in some fruit and vegetables
Some people assume that a junk food meal might only consist of meat or poultry and fries. No, ketchup does NOT count as fruit! Steam some vegetables to have as a side to your meal, and prepare some fruit for dessert.
Ditch the sale for herbs and spices
People often add a shocking amount of salt to their meals for flavor! If that sounds like you, ditch the salt right away! Instead, replace it with some herbs and spices.
Use an air fryer to cook your fries
We all know the main component of any junk food meal is fries. Do you like to fry yours in oil? If so, have you ever thought about using an air fryer instead? They are a healthier way of cooking some crispy fries to perfection. As the name might suggest, they use hot air instead of oil for cooking. Here are some of the many benefits of using an air fryer:
Infographic Produced By Air Fryer Reviews
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.