Making eco-friendly choices is important. It took me a while to realise this. I was very late to the party in caring about the environment. Of course, having children makes you wake up and want to protect the planet and their future at least a little bit more than previously.

Eco-Friendly Choices

So why is it important to make eco-friendly choices and how can we do it?

It’s selfless

Well it isn’t quite selfless because protecting our environment makes it better for us as well as everyone else. However, it does mean you are thinking of others and that is always a great thing to do and brings its own rewards. We can live in our own tiny worlds or think about the bigger picture and take baby steps to make things better.

It connects us to future generations

Whether we are parents or not, there will be future generations and why should they have a worse time of it than we do?

It’s easy to do

Making eco-friendly choices often means little but powerful changes such as deciding what we buy to eat or how we deal with our rubbish.

It’s better for you and your family

Going green might mean growing your own food and buying locally. So you will be eating healthily and having a strong sense of community for starters. If the worst happens and your income decreases, you have a little safety net knowing you have a degree of self-sufficiency in place.

It’s social

When we work on a common cause we almost always make friends as a bonus. Get to know the stall-holders at your local farmers’ market. Join a recycling group, participates in things like freegle and friends will come your way who share your values.

It’s a powerful way to save money

I used to be a debt counsellor. I still remember a family who became self-sufficient and they paid off their debts so speedily in comparison with other clients as they were not at the supermarket and grew their own food. They also made their own clothing. Some eco-friendly choices like cloth nappies seem more expensive at the outset but save you money in the long run.

Get inventive when making eco-friendly choices for your home, business or school. For example even things like noticeboards and whiteboards can be eco-friendly as I discovered when checking out the Sundeala website. As you can see their products look the business but are also helping the environment and there’s a lesson in that.

Have you made eco-friendly choices? What do you get out of doing so?

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of us dream of entering Masterchef and showing what we can do in the kitchen. Today, I am speaking to Angela who became a finalist on Masterchef following the loss of her beloved mum. She also tells us about her exciting skincare business.

Masterchef

Tell us a little about your childhood and teenage years

I was very lucky – I had a wonderful childhood – brought up in a loving family and got on brilliantly with my family. I still have great friends from my childhood and teenage years too.

What was your first job?

I started off working in marketing and PR. My first job was working for the Prince’s Trust

What led to you entering Masterchef and how did you find that experience?

I entered Masterchef just after my gorgeous Mum lost her battle with cancer. She loved watching the programme as much as I did so I only applied in memory to her. It was a fabulous experience and one that I would do again in a flash.

Masterchef

Please tell us what led to you setting up your skincare business?

It started as a hobby but essentially I was living in Spain and was made redundant and at that time (it was quite a few years ago) I couldn’t get the products that I normally used as I wasn’t coming back to the UK as often. I had plenty of time on my hands and I thought I could possibly make products myself so I started experimenting and then went on a course. That course led me to other courses and I loved everything that I learnt and eventually this led to me setting up my business.

Please tell us what is wonderful about your products?

I research each and every ingredient that goes into every product. I use the best ingredients I can and use high levels of active ingredients from nature’s larder so not only are the products good for your skin, I get amazing feedback from customers who tell me what an improvement they see when they use them.

Who supported you in setting up your business?

I used the money from my redundancy to fund and set up my business. My partner, family and friends have been (and still are) very supportive, offering my advice and encouragement.

What would you say to a woman who wants to try something new but lacks confidence?

Don’t think too hard about it – if you want to try something new, just do it. If you don’t try, you’ll never know if you’ll succeed. Also just doing something new can lead you to amazing things you would never know about had you not taken that first step.

What tip would you give to someone who wants to set up a business for the first time?

Research well and do something that ultimately gives you pleasure and that you love. I spend a lot of time working but it doesn’t feel like work because I’m passionate about what I do and I love it.

Angela Langford creates organic, vegan, cruelty free, mood-boosting skincare products by hand in Somerset. This highly effective, affordable, natural range harnesses the finest ingredients from natures larder to feed your skin – with no chemical nasties. Suitable for even the most temperamental of complexions, Angela Langford Skincare offers a tailor-made solution to each unique skincare concern.

Lucy At Home

Insomnia is one of those things that can affect us at any stage in our lives. The  more we stress about it, the worse it seems to get. Lack of sleep makes life’s challenges so much more difficult to cope with.  What causes insomnia?

Physical and mental health issues

Physical health issues can lead to insomnia especially if you are experiencing pain. To make things even more complex, insomnia can be a side effect of some medications. There are also specific sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea. If you are in any doubt as to the state of your mental health, contact your GP as soon as possible.

Depression and anxiety don’t help when it comes to trying to get a restful sleep. Sadly, lack of sleep can also worsen these conditions. Treatment is readily available so speak to your doctor and improve your waking and sleeping life. Talk to someone about how you are feeling and things will start to get better. If you find it hard to say out loud, write it down.

Drinking

Drinking too much alcohol can play havoc with sleeping patterns. You might feel incredibly thirsty or the hangover starts to show up not long after you hit the sack. Caffeine is a stimulant and can stay in your body for up to eight hours.  It is not a good idea to go to bed over-stimulated.

Food

The nearer to bedtime you are the lighter you should eat. Heavy meals will cause discomfort. Spicy foods can lead to heartburn which is not at all conducive to sweet dreams.

Smoking

I am assuming you know it is a bad idea to smoke as it is a huge risk to your life. It is also not at all good for a good night’s sleep so give it up and do it today.

Work

If you work erratic hours as a blogger, freelancer or shift worker, it can be difficult to establish a good sleeping pattern as you are confusing your body clock.

We all have our own ideas of what to do when everyone else is asleep but we cannot switch off. Although not everyone agrees, I find watching television really does seem to help me relax and make me forget any worries. I have always had a bit of a fantasy about having a bed with a telly so was thrilled to find out about TV Beds and their range of products.

What causes you to stay awake at night? Is it ever a good thing and could you welcome a new TV Bed into your life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winnettes

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep every night. Unfortunately, a lot of us aren’t entirely sure how to go about getting the high-quality sleep that we need.

Insomnia is an incredibly common problem in our society, and many people find themselves at the mercy of their doctor’s prescription pad when they’re trying to catch a few ZZZs.

The truth is that there are a lot of things that you can do that will greatly enhance the quality of your sleep. A lot of these things are quite simple and involve making basic adjustments to your environment to make sure that your brain and body can properly prepare for the night.

Today, we’re going to outline 10 of the best tips that you can implement to help yourself get a good night’s sleep.

Get a good mattress

We’re listing this tip at the top because the mattress is the foundation for all sleeping habits, good and bad. If you don’t have a good mattress for sleep, or if you sleep on a floor, then you’re going to have some problems.

What constitutes a ‘good mattress for sleep’ for one person may not be the same as the next. There are many places that can custom fit a mattress for you based on your body size and your shape.

Unfortunately, lots of people have just been sleeping on an ‘okay’ mattress for many years. They don’t realize that the mattress is the cause of their insomnia – uncomfortable mattresses can lead to many nights of tossing and turning.

Maintain a routine

If there’s one thing that the body is good at remembering, it’s a routine.

If you make a conscious decision to perform the same tasks every night before you go to bed, then your body will begin to associate those tasks with the act of sleeping.

Not only will it be good for you to establish a routine, but the acts themselves will be so closely associated with bedtime that you’ll get sleepy just by performing them.

Put down the bottle

We’ve probably all been made aware of how easy it can be to fall asleep after a few drinks, but what’s less well-known is that the quality of sleep that somebody has after a night of drinking is terrible.

How often do you see someone wake up the morning after getting drunk feeling on top of the world? That’s not just residual alcohol being metabolized – alcohol seriously impairs REM sleep and makes it hard to get a good night’s rest.

Turn off the lights

This tip can’t be underestimated. Our body produces melatonin naturally when it detects darkness. It’s the way that we originally made ourselves tired when the sun sets.

The skin detects light from any source, so even smaller lights like those from your phone can trick your body into believing that the sun’s still out. If you absolutely must do some work that involves needing light, try to dim the lights as much as possible.

Cut back on clutter

Some people say that a cluttered room is a sign of a cluttered mind. This isn’t always the case but sleeping in a room that you know is littered with dirty clothes and covered in old magazines won’t do a whole lot to help you get to sleep.

Just as many people report that cleaning their room allows them to clear out their mind. This helps them fall easier into a deep sleep.

Relax before bed

Don’t just go to bed as soon as you get home after work. Do some relaxing activities – that don’t involve LED lights. That means no TV or gaming an hour or two before bed.

Try meditating or doing some light reading to help clear the thoughts out of your brain so you can get a good night’s sleep.

Have a bedtime drink

There are lots of drinks that you can have before bed that will help you fall into a deep sleep. Warm milk will provide you with a lot of tryptophan that will help relax you.

Chamomile tea, or other herbal teas, can help put you to bed. For more serious cases of insomnia, heavier herbal teas like kava kava and mulungu can be useful for sleep.

Stop caffeinating

Caffeine, especially that from coffee, affects people for much longer than they tend to think. You’ll usually be fine if you have a coffee in the morning, or even one around noon, but if you drink coffee much after 4PM, you might have to expect some problems with insomnia.

There are other caffeinated beverages that don’t provide the same risk of insomnia, though. Green tea contains L-theanine which helps to combat the stimulatory nature of the caffeine, and yerba mate contains tons of other active compounds that help to balance it out.

Stay active

Your body sleeps to rest and restructure itself, so it makes sense that you won’t be able to fall asleep easy if you live a sedentary lifestyle.

If you work at an office job, for example, it’s important that you take time to get some physical activity into your day. If it’s possible, bike to work, or go to the gym afterwards.

Getting a lot of exercise during the day not only makes it easier to fall asleep, it makes it feel better to fall asleep. You’ll feel like you deserve the rest that you’re getting.

Don’t eat right before bed

Your body actually uses a lot of energy to digest food – that’s why you get tired after eating a big meal. That doesn’t mean it’s healthy to go to bed right after you eat, though, because your body also needs energy to help repair itself while you’re sleeping.

If you must eat before bed, make sure you avoid foods that are high in carbs. Enjoy a light snack that’s low in sugar and is easily digested.

 

Hot Pink Wellingtons
Mummies Waiting
My Random Musings

Inflammation is our body’s natural reaction to injury and infection, causing redness and swelling. Whilst healthy in small doses, chronic inflammation can lead to conditions and diseases such as arthritis and cancer. It can also contribute to aging of the skin and body by constantly putting the body under stress. Here are five ways that you can fight the effects if inflammation

Inflammation

Image Source

Consume less sugar

If you eat lots of sugary snacks or consume lots of soft drinks, it’s likely this will be making your inflammation worse. Such foods and drinks cause our blood sugar levels to spike, which in turn causes us to produce insulin which triggers inflammation. Consuming lots of sugar has been proven to make inflammatory conditions such as IBD, acne and arthritis a lot worse. Natural sugars like fructose as found in fruit aren’t so dangerous as the body is better equipped at getting rid of them – it’s the sugars found in cakes and cola that you’ve got to worry about.

Take a hot bath

Another way in which you can reduce inflammation is by taking a hot bath. In fact, it’s often advised by doctors for those that have a bad back. The hot water in a bathtub not only relaxes muscles so they’re not pulling as tightly, it’s also be shown to lower cortisol levels causing high blood sugar levels and inflammation.

Try natural supplements

Whilst you can take medication to ease inflammation and numb the pain, relying on meds isn’t always healthy as they can be addictive. Natural supplements could be worth trying out as a way of fighting inflammation. These include supplements such as turmeric, ginger and omega-3 fish oil. Make sure to always read the label on the bottom as certain supplements may not be advised in certain conditions (for example, taking fish oil supplements whilst also taking aspirin or blood thinners could have a negative effect).

Get enough sleep

It’s when we’re asleep that our body does most of its healing. Infections and injuries causing inflammation may be going unhealed as a result. In fact, a lack of sleep could even make inflammation worse – when we haven’t had enough sleep, our body produces the stress hormone cortisol, which makes inflammation worse. Scientists have also found other correlations between lack of sleep and inflammatory diseases.

Stay active

People with inflammatory diseases like back pain used to be advised to stay in bed by doctors, but newer research suggests that its better to be active. Mild exercise is thought to slow the deterioration of joints and improve mood and sleep. Certain activities may be better for people with inflammatory diseases than others – if you’ve got joint problems the likes of running and jumping should be avoided, whilst swimming and yoga are recommended. When it comes to severe pain, you’re better off resting, however milder chronic pain is likely to be made better through exercise.

The Pramshed
Mummies Waiting