Tag Archives: tips

Top tips for keeping warm – M.E Related

I have decided to  share my experiences of M.E with you in the hope of raising awareness for what seems an ‘invisible’ illness. Click here for more information.

As anyone with M.E will know we can still feel cold in the summer, let alone deal with winter temperatures.

I have put together some of my own tips that I use in order to keep warm without breaking the bank by having the heating on all the time!!

Top Tips:

1. Wheat heat pads are a great investment. They are relatively inexpensive to buy (but you can aways check in your local charity shops too). I have several of these and they only need heating in the microwave for around 1m 30 secs and you have instant heat!! They are also good for muscular aches and I use them to ease the pain in my ankles and neck but also as ‘instant heat’!!

2. The good old hot water bottle, it never fails. You don’t need to buy fancy or expensive either. At this time of year they can be found in abundance in the pound stores. I also have a mini one that is great to take with me on the school run as I can warm myself in the car before getting out into the cold to collect my son. Also, a cover is great and helps to keep the bottle warmer for longer…………..but don’t buy unnecessarily- use and old jumper that the kids have outgrown to cover it or make one if your ‘crafty’ enough.

3. Thermals- underclothes and socks. They are truly a worthwhile investment. Again these don’t have to cost much, I have seen leggings and long sleeve tops available in Primark- but sports shops are great for this too. Thermal or ‘heat’ socks I have in abundance and again can be found just in sports shops.

4. Thermal insoles for shoes/ boots. These I cannot do without and you need to invest in a decent set that will last. I have one set at the moment and I transfer them to whatever boots I am going to wear for that day……………….they truly make a difference.

5. Wrist Warmers! I have recently knitted myself a basic pair of these just for wearing indoors. My hands are always cold ( even in the summer) and when I am working on the computer they get absolutely frozen. Knitted wrist warmers either made or shop bought are a great way to keep hands and wrists warm whilst still being able to type, read a book, knit or whatever else you do!!

Hope some of these tips help. I have lots more to share and would love you to pass on to anyone you know who suffers with M.E/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or similar.

It would be great to have an online ‘help’ community that could share what works for them and therefore may help others.

 

Reading for kids…………..how important is it?

 

I have a love of books and reading. I don’t know where that came from as it’s hard to remember if as a child I was read to or not. However, as a teenager I definitely remember reading a lot( mainly Stephen King and the like!). Thankfully, that love of reading is still as strong today.

When both my boys were tiny it was part of the bedtime routine to have a story, and when they started reading at school it was religiously done everyday.

All of that has paid off as now at the grand old ages of 11 and 13 years they are both avid readers in their own right. My youngest actually got a Kindle for his Christmas present.

However, I do know families where the kids are totally uninterested in reading and no matter what they have tried along the way, it hasn’t worked.

So does it matter whether you start early or not? Does it matter if the parents are avid readers?

Does it matter if you don’t have lots of books at home?

Top tips on how to get your children reading

Watch our video with Jeff Brazier where he gives his top tips on making story time fun

http://www.youtube.com/embed/lXs5k7UZKYM

 

For some parents, a seemingly simple task like reading your children bedtime stories can send them into a nervous panic. But, it’s never too soon or too late to get your children reading and needn’t be a stressful experience. 

 

That’s why celebrity dad Jeff Brazier has joined forces with the National Literacy Trust today to launch a new campaign to try and help the four million children in Britain who don’t own a book to start reading.

 

Almost a fifth of children who don’t read say there are no books in their homes, which is why the National Literacy Trust is backing the campaign from  McDonald’s UK and Harper Collins for a new partnership to help get kids reading.

 

McDonald’s UK is to hand out around nine million popular children’s books with its Happy Meals, as part of a new partnership with publishing house Harper Collins. The promotion aims to get books into the hands of families and support mums and dads in reading with their children.

 

Watch our video with Jeff Brazier and Jack Sallabank from the National Literacy Trust where they give their top tips to get your children reading. From funny voices to involving your children with finger puppets, watch our video for Jeff’s great tips which is sure to be a success with any child.

So what strategies have you tried to get your children interested in books?

What age group where they when they started showing an interest?

Do you buy books or rely on your local library?

Christmas Dinner Disasters

Ever had one?

I must admit I’ve been lucky enough to have escaped my own Christmas dinner disasters as I have only been doing the dinner myself for the past few years. Fortunately while my boys were very young we always went to the in laws (no cooking required on my part……..result!).

However, there comes a time when the kids want to stay with their toys for the day and enjoy Christmas at home. This means all cooking required by me!!

Luckily for me my mum stays at Christmas so she cooks the turkey for me with years of experience under her belt……again a result!

However, after talking to a few people the stories started to come out. Things you can imagine and things you can’t.

*turkey doesn’t fit in the oven

*turkey not cooked properly

*cases of food poisoning

*oven breaks down while cooking the dinner

Or even in the style of Only Fools and Horses where the coffee gets mixed up with the gravy and they pour coffee all over their dinner, or the time Grandad left the giblets in the turkey!!

Top tips on how to avoid a Christmas dinner disaster


Let’s face it, Christmas dinner disasters are far from rare in most households. A poll just released shows a quarter of us have first-hand experience of something going badly wrong on the 25th December.

The most common mishaps are dry meat, turkey that is uncooked or hasn’t defrosted properly, people buying the wrong size bird and those that have simply left it so late that the shops have actually run out.

Cooking a feast of massive proportions for extended families of aunties, uncles, grandparents, and children is a task daunting enough to even make a top chef break into a cold sweat, so it’s no surprise  three quarters of the great British public suffer stress as a result of buying and preparing Christmas meat. 

But the survey commissioned by The Q Guild of Butchers to launch their ‘Meat Your Butcher Sessions’ found an overwhelming 95% of the nation has never asked for expert advice about cooking Christmas dinner whilst more than half of us just head blindly go to the supermarket, and pick meat off the shelf hoping for the best. That’s despite the fact that there is usually a butcher’s shop right round the corner, who can offer quality advice on choosing, preparing and cooking meat.

So how can a local butcher help to reduce stress, focus on value and give fresh advice for your festive feast? When should you have ordered your meat by? What’s the difference between a corn-fed turkey and a gold turkey? How much do you actually need to buy so that you don’t get stuck with masses of meat, or even worse don’t have enough to feed the family? And if you don’t even like turkey, what are the great Christmas meat alternatives?

CHECK OUT THE VIDEOS BELOW FOR THE BEST TIPS:

Advice on avoiding Christmas dinner disaster

 

I would love to hear your worst Christmas dinner disasters……………………….feel free to share!!

Children and their pets.

 

Kids care about their pets more than their siblings

I think this is definitely true in our household!! I have 2 boys who literally cannot breathe the same air ( I’m SO not joking). However, they both love our lovely cat Tilly more than anything. They are happy to feed her, let her in and out, brush her, give her treats and play with her. In fact I don’t really have to ask them to do any of it, apart from fill her food bowl!!

This is her the day she arrived at our house aged 12 weeks old!!

How could anyone resist her?? You would have to be heartless!!

This is her in her favourite sleeping place! But don’t be fooled by the cute face she has worked hard and now at the grand age of 1 1/2 yrs she has earned the title ‘Tilly the Terrorist’!! ( from the neighbours).

She has been spotted on my neighbours roof at the top of her chimney!! She terrorises next door’s cats from their own garden, and don’t even start me on the birds!!!

Yes that's her at the TOP of the tree!!

I’m sure you all have your own pet stories to tell, but surely you will agree well cared for pets aren’t pets at all but part of the family!!

Wilkinson Petcare found the following results after a survey about children and animals, and also provided Top Tips for Petcare below:

We’re often referred to as a nation of animal lovers and now a new study shows that our love of all things furry is firmly being passed on to our kids with a poll of children revealing they care more about their pets than they do about their brothers and sisters and their friends.

Over 70% of the children surveyed have a pet, with cats and dogs and goldfish the most likely animals to be found in British homes, but snakes, lizards, frogs and sheep are also getting pampered by their youthful in homes around the UK.

When asked what animal they would most like to have, dog’s were a clear winner, followed by followed by rabbits, hamsters and cats.

But it’s not just their own animals that British children care about with. Our fauna also looks to be in good hands for the future with over 90% of kids saying they are concerned about wildlife.

And their knowledge of what can be found in our backyards is also excellent with the majority saying they would recognise a robin, pigeon, blackbird, magpie, blue tit and a sparrow if they saw one frolicking outside.

Over 90% say they have visited a farm and more than 70% a wildlife sanctuary.

Nearly half of the 7-15 year olds surveyed by Wilkinson Petcare have helped an injured animal, while a quarter have fed a wild hedgehog.

 

Top Tips for Pet Care:

1.       Pay your pet attention. Pets need love and affection as much as people

2.       Exercise – The more exercise the better prevention of your pet becoming overweight

3.       Visit a vet regularly to maintain your pets health

4.       Get your pet Vaccinations. This will prevent them from catching any diseases that could affect their health.

5.       Give your pet a comfortable and spacious home/bed – This is where they will sleep and get the rest they need so it needs to be somewhere they want to go

6.       Go to a Vet to check you are feeding your pet the right food for them. I.e. the food you give your dog depends on the breed of the dog you have, so it is vital you check.

7.       Allow your pet to adapt to its new environment and dogs/cats/horses allow to interact with other animals at an early stage in order for them to know how to react in social situations properly.

8.       Watch your pets teeth, bad breath could mean digestive problems

9.       Give your pet toys, your pets need to have something to interest them as you cannot be there 24/7

10.   Clean and groom your pet regularly, this will maintain their health and help prevent catching disease

 

For more information visit : Website: http://www.wilkinsonplus.com/pets/icat/catdog/