Keeping the kids entertained over the summer seems easy enough at the start of the school holidays. A few weeks later and social media is full of parents worrying that their children keep complaining that they are bored. Boredom can actually lead to your children coming up with their own creative ideas for learning and play. However, on the days where you are tearing your hair out, here are some ideas to put the smiles back on your children’s faces.

Get outdoors

Getting  outdoors is good for us and boosts our mood with that wonderful Vitamin D magic. Go for a nature walk picking up items of interest and discussing them. I used to love doing this with my Dad when I was a child and learned so much. Even if you are not particularly sporty, there are fun and affordable ways to get more active whether splashing in a paddling pool or checking out the fun-filled items from  SkateHut or supermarkets.

Cook up a storm

My tween is easily bored and going through puberty which does not help his mood one bit. However, he will always respond positively to spending time in the kitchen and has ambitions to be a chef one day. We used to just bake sweet treats but these days I am showing him the joys of cooking family meals from scratch. Yesterday we made the most luscious turkey burgers. Activities like these are great for relieving boredom but also teach essential life skills.

Old favourites

Think back to what kept you entertained as a child. Was it building Lego creations or colouring in?  Increasingly as children spend more and more time on screens, they are disconnected from the old pleasures of school holidays. It doesn’t have to be that way! Might I suggest you disconnect the screens instead and indulge in the pleasures of the real world for a change. Get to the seaside to build sand castles, to skim stones and to paddle. Build a den outdoors using natural resources or make a duvet fort on rainy days.

Finally check out what is happening in your local area by visiting your library and council offices.

Happy Holidays!

 

Having a baby is a massive milestone in anybody’s life. If you have recently had a baby, you may be thinking about ways to ease yourself back into keeping fit after, understandably, taking it easy for a while. Getting fit after having a baby should be approached slowly, as it isn’t a good idea to immediately rush back into intense workouts and exercise. Rather, find simple and easy ways to ease back into keeping fit, and, over time, you will soon be back on track to where you want to be and meeting your goals.

Walking

After having a baby, it’s essential that you don’t overdo it through an intense exercise regime. You will be able to get back to it over time, but in the early days, it is worth taking it easy. If you are looking for an easy, effective and safe way to burn calories, walking is the perfect option. You can burn just as many calories through walking as you do with running; it may take longer, but it is achievable. If you have a dog, go on regular dog walks, or meet up with friends and try and go on a long walk around the area once a week. You could discover local walks you haven’t done before, or if this is particularly difficult, sign up at a local gym and hit the treadmill. You can also set the treadmill to different inclines so that you are efficiently burning calories but aren’t letting your body suffer for it.

Yoga

Yoga is a brilliant option if you want to get your healthy lifestyle back on track. Double check with your doctor in terms of recovery time and when is best for you to start yoga up, but with a little patience, you can slowly build up your muscular strength, balance, and tone up through yoga. There are even options for mom and baby yoga that you may want to consider if you want to make the most of spending time with your newborn.

Meal Supplements

Meal supplements and low-calorie meal products are another easy, hassle-free solution to getting your fitness levels back to the level you wish after having a baby. There are various diets out there which offer meal supplements in the form of shakes, as well as low-calorie products that don’t compromise on nutritional value or quality. Be sure to head online and check out comparisons to discover the best possible products available.

Drink Water

Drinking water is another essential to keeping fit after having a baby. You will most likely have maintained a good fluid intake throughout your pregnancy. However, it is just as important to keep hydrated after having a baby, too, especially in the first few weeks where you will be physically and mentally tired and drained at times. Help you to help yourself, and keep hydrated so you are as focused and energized as possible, meaning you can tackle the day and enjoy spending quality time with your newborn.

Cuddle Fairy

Signs are important to business. If I ask you to think back to your childhood high street, I bet certain shop signs will spring to mind immediately. Some of that will be based on the fact that you shopped there but also the very look of your high street is probably in your mind as soon as I pose the question. For me Woolworths is the stand out with bright red signage. How interesting  that a more modern store like Virgin uses similar colours.

Purpose of signs

Signs are there to communicate a message and as with all marketing you need to ensure that your business signs reflect the real offering of your business. Only you can decide if you should go with a traditional look or something more modern. How will you choose your colours and shapes? How will you tie in your signage with your marketing both on and offline?

History of signs

Signage for shops is nothing new as it appears to have developed in ancient times in both the East and the West. As I say I remember signs from childhood really clearly. I remember an American diner opening in my Northern market town and the signage actually played a huge part in why myself and my friend enjoyed eating there. I have always enjoyed  the traditional pub signs too and actually weirdly quite resent modern versions. I recently found out that English Law made it illegal to trade as a pub without a sign. I love antiques and adore the signage of yesteryear that you can find at car boot sales and flea markets often in vibrant colours too. I think it is fair to say that some signs can truly be described as works of art.

Long live the High Street

I genuinely hope we never lose our high streets. I think they bring people to a centre where they community spirit can be generated in a way that is not quite the same online. I wonder what shop signs our children will remember when they are adults.

What signs do you enjoy the look of most?

 

 

 

 

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When the seasons change, your wardrobe has to do likewise. You need access to suitable clothes for the weather and trends of the season, without cluttering your wardrobe with unnecessary items tha obscure what you’re really looking for.

The transition from summer to winter to is easy enough in theory: light dresses, swimwear and other summer essentials are packed away and you get out, air and press then hang your winter essentials like thick dresses, jumpers and sweaters and onesies. That’s in theory. In practice autumn and spring are awkward crossover times, when the weather and temperature vary wildly and it’s hard to judge what the correct outfit might be. Putting all your summer clothes into storage on the 31st of August is going to leave stuck for options if the autumn is a warm one.

The art of facing the changing seasons with your wardrobe is one it’s tough to acquire and that’s why we’re putting it under the microscope today.

All Weather Clothes

The first key to successful season change is keeping a core of clothes that can work for you at any time of year. A few sweaters or cardigans in luxury cashmere are stylish insulation on the coldest days of winter and a useful wrap around your shoulders on a long, warm summer night. A smart pair of jeans is a good foundation for an outfit on any but the very hottest of days and most formal of occasions.

This core of round the year clothes will give you options on those difficult days when the weather itself doesn’t seem to know the season. The one thing you should always ensure for yourself is options. For your clothing choices to be expressive of your style, and empowering they need to be choices, not the only thing you have available!

Phasing Out

Work out a plan for putting things into storage – whatever that storage solution is. A different wardrobe in a spare room, vacuum packed and put under your bed, you have lots of options, just take care that your clothes remain dry while they’re stored.

When you know your last holiday of the year has past you can dispense with clothes you’d only wear in extreme heat: this accounts for your first set of packed clothing. Identify the clothes you’ll wear less as the weather gets colder, and set a date to put them into storage too.

This phased withdrawal helps you to manage the change of seasons without restricting your choices, and leaves you able to cut a bold and distinctive figure 365 days a year.

Our feet and legs work very hard for us all our lives, but other than worrying about whether they look good in our new pants or shoes, we often don’t give them a lot of thought. In reality, your legs and feet need as much TLC as the rest of you! There are a lot of things that you can do to keep your feet and legs healthy and help them to stay fit and strong. If you haven’t paid much attention to your lower limbs over the years, now is the time to start pampering!

Diet

What you put into your body makes your body what it is. If you eat more calories than you need, you will inevitably put on weight. Extra weight puts an unnecessary burden on your heart and its ability to pump blood effectively around your body. Because your legs and feet are the furthest away from your heart, they are more likely to suffer the effects of reduced circulation. This can result in swelling of feet and ankles, due to a build-up of fluid. More seriously, reduced circulation can result in blood clots and ulcers in the legs. By maintaining a healthy diet and keeping your weight within advised parameters, you will be able to avoid these unpleasant side effects. It’s also important to drink plenty of clear fluids every day to make sure your body is hydrated sufficiently and to avoid thickening of the blood.

Exercise

Along with maintaining a healthy weight, the best way to look after your feet and legs is to give them plenty to do! The worst thing for your legs is to be inactive, and if you don’t work the muscles in your lower limbs, you will be far more likely to suffer from varicose veins and aching legs. It is much better for them to be active than sedentary, so if your job involves a lot of sitting down, you need to find ways to exercise during the day. For example, make sure you get up and walk at frequent intervals throughout the day, take stairs instead of elevators, and consider purchasing one of the exercise machines that will fit under your desk. You can then gently exercise your limbs while you work. It is particularly important if you find it hard to fit in an exercise routine outside of work. If you can, then the more exercise your legs get, the healthier and stronger they will be. Choose your exercise carefully; for one thing, you want to do something you will enjoy and not want to quit doing; for another, you need to find an exercise that is suitable for your abilities and any health issues you may have. For example, running is an excellent form of exercise and can be thoroughly enjoyable, providing you build your fitness up sensibly and have the right gear. You should get the best running shoes you can afford, that offer the correct support and reduce concussion to your limbs. The best idea is to have your feet assessed to see if you need shoes for flat feet or orthotic inserts; visit Shoe Guide for more information.

Skin

If you are taking care of your insides by eating well and exercising regularly, you should have a healthy body that reflects the good care you are taking of it. Nevertheless, there are still surface problems that can arise. Your skin needs to be exfoliated and moisturized regularly, so find an exfoliation method that suits you, and a moisturizer suitable for your skin type. There are many ways of exfoliating, from simply rubbing with a pumice stone to using one of the ranges of gently abrasive lotions and creams. You need to remove any dead skin before applying your moisturizer, to ensure you are treating living skin cells and to make your skin glow with health. Pay special attention to dry areas such as the knees, on which you may need to use a richer cream. On your feet, you may find you get a build-up of hard skin or calluses, which, although not normally painful, are unsightly. There are several methods of getting rid of this skin using specially designed manual or electric abrasive tools. You may prefer to visit a chiropodist to treat this hard skin, and if you are feeling adventurous, you could try putting your feet in a pool with special skin eating fish, a treatment that sounds slightly bizarre but is very effective. Keep your feet moisturized and use a cream designed to help prevent hard skin forming. When it comes to toenails, keep them short using nail clippers and avoid cutting down into the sides of the nails as this can lead to ingrowing toenails.

Problems

There are all sorts of things that can go wrong with your feet. Bunions, corns, athletes foot, and verrucae are some of the more common examples. If you find any painful lumps, discolorations, or itchy patches on your feet or between your toes, get them checked out by the doctor or pharmacist. There are effective treatments for all these conditions, you just to need to make sure you know what the cause of the problem is. One of the most frequent causes of painful feet – as well as aching legs and backs – is the wearing of poorly fitting footwear. While a pair of heels might be fine for a night out, you will be doing yourself a favor by wearing something less extreme during the day. Don’t ever squash your feet into shoes that are too small or that pinch, you will regret it the next day! If you do want to wear high heels then at least use supportive insoles or gel pads that will protect your feet somewhat.

When you think about it, your legs and feet deserve to get some special treatment considering all the things you make them do! So go out on a cycle ride, or whatever form of exercise you favor to get your circulation pumping, then fire up the foot spa and give your feet the pampering they have earned.

 

 

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