4 Ways To Boost Your Body Confidence

If you’re not happy with the way you look, now could be the time to make some changes. Whether you’re self-conscious about your weight or you’re not happy with your hair, a lack of body confidence can really take its toll on your self-esteem and even your quality of life. To help you feel better about your appearance, take a look at the following four tips.

Banish those bad hair days

It’s amazing how much a good haircut can affect your confidence. So, if you’ve started to feel like every day’s a bad hair day, why not book an appointment for a restyle? Switching up your hairstyle is a great starting point for an image overhaul. Whether you go shorter, get extensions, go curly, go straight or change colour, your new do could help to put a spring back in your step. Check out this season’s latest trends online or pick up a magazine for some inspiration, and don’t be afraid to try something completely new.

What if you’re worried about thinning hair though? It’s not quite as simple as booking a restyle if you’re concerned that your locks are falling out. You’ve probably heard about men’s hair loss treatments. For example, Finaseride for hair loss, which is better known under the brand name Propecia, is taken in tablet form and it can be an effective treatment for male pattern baldness. In fact, 90 per cent of men who use it experience hair regrowth. You might not realise it, but there are specialist treatments available for women too. For example, if you have female pattern baldness and you want to stop or reverse your hair loss, you may want to try out a lotion containing minoxidil. Up to a quarter of women who use this treatment see hair regrowth.

Find sustainable ways to get in shape

Are you sick of perpetual dieting and do you struggle to stick to your fitness routine? For many people, losing weight is a lifelong battle. However, there are ways to make getting in shape easier. For example, rather than trying to completely cut certain foods out of your diet, why not simply reduce your portion sizes at meal times? This is much easier to keep up than a restrictive eating regime.

When it comes to exercise, try to find ways to incorporate more activity into your daily schedule. For example, could you swap your car keys for a cycle helmet on your commute to work? Cycling to and from the office each day can be a great way to burn calories and get fit. If you catch the bus, perhaps you could try getting off a couple of stops earlier to give your legs more of a workout. Simply getting into the habit of taking the stairs rather than the lift should help you burn calories too. You could also test out a new sport. From swimming to badminton, there’s no shortage of options.

Don’t expect miracle results straight away, but this sustainable approach to shedding weight makes it easier to stay trim over the long term.

Revamp your wardrobe

For an instant body confidence boost, treat yourself to some retail therapy. Refreshing your wardrobe with some gorgeous new clothes is one of the easiest ways to feel better about yourself. Make sure you pick out silhouettes that flatter your figure, and try out new combinations and colours to really revamp your look.

Even if you’re waiting until you’ve trimmed down to restock your wardrobe, there are still some staples you can pick out that should make you feel great about yourself. From chic blazers to fabulous footwear and showstopper jewellery, some new additions to your clothing and accessory collection could work wonders for your self-esteem.

Stop comparing yourself to others

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, resist the temptation to continually compare yourself to others. It’s virtually impossible to feel good about the way you look if you’re always judging yourself against images of airbrushed celebs. Instead, focus on learning to love your quirks and features. Doing this should help you to carry yourself with more confidence and it could save you a whole lot of stress.

* This is a collaborative post.

Introducing a Dog To Your Cat

Pets are wonderful, they bring untold joy to your life. Once you have had one pet, the chances are you will want more. If you already have a cat and want to introduce a dog to your home this article is for you.

Pets are wonderful, they bring untold joy to your life. Once you have had one pet, the chances are you will want more. If you already have a cat, and want to introduce a dog to your home this article is for you.

Cats usually like dogs

The first thing to realise is that most cats actually like dogs. They enjoy having company while you are out. Over time, most cats become very attached to their doggy friend.

However, some cats are genuinely scared of dogs. Often, this is simply because they were not exposed to dogs as a kitten. Fortunately, you can usually teach your cat not to be afraid of dogs. This article explains how to go about doing this.

Start slowly

Regardless of how confident your cat is around dogs, you need to introduce them to each other in a controlled fashion. If you are getting a puppy, ask the breeder if you can take home something with the dog scent on it. Cats have sensitive noses, so will pick up the scent and grow used to it before you bring the dog home. He or she will soon realise that the owner of the scent does not represent a threat to them.

When you bring the dog home, give it time to calm down before introducing it to the cat. The calmer the dog is the better that first interaction will go.

Try to engineer the situation so that your cat is not on the floor when the dog enters the room. But, do not stress your cat by trying to make it go somewhere it does not want to go. Rather wait until the cat has settled on the sofa, but is not asleep, then bring the dog into the room on a short leash.

Let the cat react to the dog. If he or she runs off or reacts badly, just leave it for a few hours, and try again.

Supervise contact in the early days

At first, you need to be with the dog and cat while they get used to each other. You should only leave them alone together in the same room when you are 100% sure that they are comfortable with each other. This can take a few weeks, so be prepared for that.

Provide your cat with plenty of private space

It is important for your cat to have access to places where he or she can rest without the dog touching them. This will help them to feel secure, and help them to accept the new member of the family.

Finding a dog

If you are looking for puppies for sale Lancashire is a good place to start. There are plenty of good breeding kennels located in that part of the UK, so it is easy to find the breed of dog you really want. Usually, if you tell them that you already own a cat, or other pets, they will offer you more in-depth advice than I have been able to share with you here.

* This is a collaborative post.

5 Top House Cleaning Tips For Dog Owners

Being a dog owner has many, many benefits but it always comes with one unavoidable nightmare – dog hairs, which can and do spread like wildfire and get almost everywhere! Having two large dogs paired with two long haired cats I know something about this nightmare. So today I want to share with you my main house cleaning tips which hopefully will help you minimise the hairy mess our pets can make.

Being a dog owner has many, many benefits but it always comes with one unavoidable nightmare – dog hairs, which can and do spread like wildfire and get almost everywhere! Having two large dogs paired with two long haired cats I know something about this nightmare. So today I want to share with you my main house cleaning tips which hopefully will help you minimise the hairy mess our pets can make.Generally to keep your house clean as a dog owner you have to remember that cleaning the house itself is only one part of the solution… keeping your dog in perfect health is another…

Good diet

Some of you might think at this point what the hell does their diet have to do with keeping a clean house… well, a proper diet for your dog will help you with unnecessary shedding. Healthy, well-fed dogs, which have a well-balanced diet will shed less, which as a result means less hair to clean up in general, which means less cleaning!

Daily grooming

No this isn’t a joke. A daily 5 minutes dog grooming session will go a long way. It will remove all the dead hairs from your pooch and significantly cut down on the amount of loose hair floating around the house. Grooming during their daily walk is the best way to go. We normally do it near the end of the walk when the dogs are tired and less distracted.

Buy a good vacuum

Invest in the best vacuum you can afford.  Read the recommendations and make your choice wisely as this will be your main cleaning tool. I personally use a Bosh Athlet ProAnimal for my mid-week daily cleaning and a Dyson Animal for a proper weekend cleaning session. And yes, you really need a vacuum designed for picking up dog hairs… it makes things so much easier!

Create a dirty dog zone

If possible, designate a dirty dog zone somewhere outside (or inside your house) where you can clean the pooch after muddy walks. In our last home we used the conservatory for this purpose, now we use a half enclosed porch. This space should be used for cleaning your dog before they are allowed into the rest of the house. If you can’t find the space for a doggy zone, you can simply lay a big dog towel (also known as that old towel you don’t want anymore) by the main door and train your dog to sit on it after entering the house. This will give you time to clean your dog’s paws before they get mud all over your floors.

Clean as dirt comes

I know we are all busy and a daily cleaning routine isn’t always on top of anyone’s fun list but if you clean every day the little mess your pooch left behind, you will greatly reduce the spread of the hair all over your house, you will get rid of pet odours and you will be able to enjoy fairly clean pet friendly home (I said fairly because as much as you might want and try you will never have The perfect home with pets around, but you know what… that’s ok… they are worth it).

Those are my basic cleaning tips for keeping our house in order whilst enjoying the company of some very hairy friends.

What would you add into my list?

Have you found some secret top tip for aiding us in keeping our houses clean?

Tasty Dipping Sauces That Are Sure To Go Down a Treat

As the cold weather persists, a lot of us are getting our thinking caps on when it comes to preparing a suitably warming feast. Of course, it’s not always as easy as it seems, especially when you’re living in a household of pretty specific tastes, with fussy tummies and little ones who can’t quite see the advantages of the humble brussel sprout.

There are ways around those complications though. One is opting for finger foods and light bites, which also have the added bonus of incorporating one of the culinary world’s greatest inventions – dips! Sauces and condiments of every kind grace even the most barren of pantries, but after a while you’ll likely want to push the boat out a little.

Sweet chilli delights

From hummus to beetroot and almond dip, there’s no shortage of ways to experiment. A good sweet chilli dip can get the mouth-watering without setting it ablaze and can be enjoyed with a selection of snacks such as nachos or prawn crackers. Sweet chilli flavours are also great when accompanying a larger meal – think rice, breads and potatoes.

Savour the flavour of caramelised onion

When the kids dig their heels in at your pursuit of sophistication, put together a quick, simple and tasty caramelised onion dip to encourage them away from ketchup. The little ones will delight in knowing that a caramelised onion dip is a good accompaniment to crisps, although if you want to steer them away from the snack table you can also use the same dip to accompany chicken nuggets and oven chips. The more rustic flavours befit the season well here, like McCain Simply Gorgeous or some spicy wedges.

One to please the cheese lovers

Let’s not throw cheese out of the window, either. It’s a versatile foodstuff that’s worth its weight in gold when it comes to inventive dips. A hot corn and cheese dip makes a fantastic addition to a plate of steaming sautéed potatoes, while tacos, nachos and fajitas make for a supremely tasty dish when a spicy beef queso dip gets involved.

Don’t forget the sweet treats

If you’re missing the sunshine, let some Spanish love into the kitchen with some quick and easy churros. There are some great recipes online that also make for particularly good chocolate dips, flavoured with a hint of vanilla and maple syrup for extra richness. That same chocolatey goodness can also be used to dip other treats in, including cakes or, for the health conscious, bananas.

Dips can be gluten free, too

Even the most selective of palates can’t say no to some simple snacks around the table. For those of us with friends who need gluten-free options in their diet, many brands are proving that you don’t have to have to give up flavour in either the crackers or the dips.

What’s your favourite dip?

*This is a collaborative post.

Moving Abroad – Top 5 Things I Miss About the UK

Moving abroad is never easy, no matter how wonderful the new place is, there is always something you are going to miss. Christmas and the incoming New Year’s celebration have put me in a reminiscent mood, so I’ve decided to share with you all those little things I miss about the UK.

Moving abroad is never easy, no matter how wonderful the new place is, there is always something you are going to miss. Christmas and the incoming New Year’s celebration have put me in a reminiscent mood, so I’ve decided to share with you all those little things I miss about the UK. Friends

Well, this is always the biggest downside to moving away. Years ago when I moved to the UK, I had to deal with the same dilemma, leaving all my friends behind… despite having some experience with this no one ever said that the second time round would be any easier, and it wasn’t. I miss my friends and there isn’t a lot I can do about it… yes, there are phones, Skype, emails and all the other social media updates but this simply isn’t the same as some face to face contact. I hope with time things will get better and my friends will someday make the effort to come to us, with a visit.

Car boots

This might not be a big deal for most people but I did love and still do love car boot sales. Every Sunday I would take some “me time” and spend a few hours at my local car boot sales. Sometimes I would bring home a discovered bargain but to be honest most of the time I would come back empty handed, even then I would still be happy and relaxed and fired up for a week to come. Apparently there are some car boot sales here but they only operate during the summer season so hopefully, I will get my next fix soon.

The roads! But not the traffic

Think what you want but the roads here are in places totally diabolical! I can’t even describe them with any justice, just to say it’s bad. The first thing we had to do after moving here was to get ourselves a 4×4 so we could actually move around without huge garage bills. Yes, people do use “normal” cars here but I truly have no idea how… how are they surviving with all those holes (craters) and how do they make sure their car doesn’t fall apart every time after hitting them because you just can’t miss them all! I truly do miss simple, straight and flat tarmac… sad I know! The roads here are hideous, maybe with the exception of the new motorways which are super smooth like a babies bottom and a few country roads that somehow have been dragged into the modern era but the rest…ouch. On the other hand, there is a huge silver lining… there is no traffic… that has to count for something, right? After three months of driving around everywhere, I have not once been in a traffic jam, not even a little one and that includes driving around the cities.

Lottery

I was never a huge Lotto fanatic but every now and then, like most people, I would buy a “lucky” ticket in the hope of winning the jackpot and of course while away some time dreaming about just how I would spend all of that money. Now, as I officially no longer live in the UK, I can no longer participate in the lottery. Luckily for me however, I’ve discovered Lottoland, which doesn’t put any restrictions on your address and I can still indulge myself with the occasional “lucky” ticket, or should I say slip to be precise. Yes, I no longer have the satisfaction of having my paper ticket (which actually isn’t such a bad idea as I do tend to lose things) but I am also not restricted as to what to play. Next time I am feeling lucky I might even try the US Power Ball 🙂

The ease of shopping

Discovering new things is fun, don’t get me wrong but shopping in a foreign land with no real ability to read what is stated on the label can get a bit tedious. Again, with time this will disappear or at least get a bit better but for now, I truly miss going to the store and knowing what it actually is that I have just put into my basket. My friend once told me that discovering new things, especially foods is good for us… and yes, I do agree with the sentiment but then again coming home with a bag of something you thought was caster sugar and then discovering it’s definitely not can get a bit annoying.

 

All that being said, with all these things that I miss about the UK, I still swear that we have made a good choice. I am sure with time some of these issues will fade away and other different things will come to light but such is life… it is never perfect, is it? But this is the closest we have ever got to it.