Silent Signs that Stress is Having a Huge Impact on Your Health

If you're constantly under a lot of stress, then you will know how draining this can be. You may feel as though nothing you do can help to unwind - it’s just one thing after another, most of the time.

If this sounds like you, then it's time to make a change. Changes can come in many ways, but the following symptoms are always worth visiting first...

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Chronic Migraines

If you've deadlines and meetings piling up around you, then you may find yourself experiencing splitting headaches. Even worse, they might develop into debilitating migraines.

There are many different things that contribute to migraine attacks, but stress is one of the main factors. If you have an issue with headaches right now (and eye tests are all up to date) then you may need to evaluate your work load or current responsibilities. Think about making a serious change; whether it's turning off the mobile phone in the evening or looking at a flexible working application. If you don’t, you could find that you end up struggling more than you need.

Craving Sugar

Aside from irritability, if you don’t get enough sleep, you'll be much more likely to crave calories too. This can lead to lethargy, weight gain, blood pressure issues and a whole host of other problems.

When you don't feel great, you're also much more likely to reach out for processed snacks as a form of comfort.  Your hunger hormones, including ghrelin and leptin, will be completely out of sync as well.

Sugar is not the only craving that might rear it's head either. Smokers can become inclined to smoke more leading to increased health vulnerability. Should this be the case, it could be wise to visit a vape shop in anticipation for the days where puffing seems to take precedence over anything else. With nicotine and tar free options, it can help towards curbing your cigarette intake.

Blood Sugar Levels

Usual dietary habits can change dramatically whenever stress is involved. Whether it's under-eating, over-eating, or generally making poor food choices; this will cause problems.

Stress related over-eating will rocket your blood sugar levels causing your body to produce more insulin. Over time, you may become insulin resistant because these circuits will be firing at full whack, all the time.

If you want to help yourself here, try and reach for healthy snacks instead. If you can do this, things end up working in your favour, providing more energy during the day.

Stress Acne or Poor Skin

Stress acne is real. By raising your cortisol hormone levels, you're encouraging your oil glands to go into over drive. More oil means more spots and blemishes.

So take time to look after your skin during stressful periods when cortisol is raging throughout your body. This can go a long way toward reducing stress related acne. Or, take time to get to the root of the stress itself for a better, more prolonged, skin fix.



*collaborative post


 

Experiencing Back Pain? It Could Be a Lot More Serious Than You Think

Back pain is something that a lot of us will experience in our life. Whether it’s a mild ache that we can alleviate with just a bit of stretching or a sharper pain that makes us question our overall health, it’s important to understand why back pain occurs and what we can do to treat it. After all, back pain doesn’t occur for no reason and any kind of pain is usually a sign from your body that something is wrong and you need to fix it.




Don’t shrug off back pain, especially if it’s causing you grief


Back pain can often be ignored because we’ve experienced it before in specific situations. For instance, if you sleep in a weird position and wake up with a backache that eventually goes away after your morning routine, then it’s safe to say you can just ignore that. However, if you experience back pain randomly on your way to work by just walking, then it can end up becoming a huge problem that you should deal with as soon as possible.


Alleviating back pain is fine for now, but you should deal with the problem at its root


Many people use cold and heat patches to alleviate back pain, or they may even take painkillers to inhibit the pain. While this is fine for some situations, it’s a good idea not to overlook the importance of dealing with the problem at its root. Pain is a sign that something is wrong and simply covering it up by taking painkillers day after day is not a good idea. If the pain is debilitating and doesn’t subside after a full round of painkillers, then you should see a healthcare professional.


There are some healthcare professionals that you could consider speaking to


Seeing your doctor should be the first option if you have lingering back pain, but there are also other options such as seeing an osteopath or being referred to one by your doctor instead. These healthcare professionals specialise in the physical manipulation of the body’s muscles and bones, meaning it could be a great option to help overcome your back-related pain. You can let them know when the pain happens, where it happens, and they’ll have a general idea of what’s going on. Depending on the circumstances, they may perform some work on your back or they’ll let you know if it’s a more concerning issue.


Can back pain ever become a medical emergency?


Absolutely. In fact, there are a few circumstances where it should be considered a medical emergency and you should seek help almost immediately:


  • If you experience a sharp stabbing pain in your back, then it could be a torn muscle or ligament. In some cases, it may even be a problem with your internal organs. *Interestingly, my back pain related to a perforated gall bladder which required emergency surgery!*
  • If you feel sudden weakness in the legs that prevents you from walking properly.
  • If the pain moves around, particularly to the glutes or legs. This could indicate a nerve compression condition.


If you experience any of these conditions, then we suggest immediately contacting a medical expert to help diagnose the problem.



*collaborative post

First Time Mums: 5 Baby Essentials For Your Shopping List

Being a mum is fraught with first times. And every first is a big thing!

From first steps and first words to your first time out of the house without baby and the first tooth fairy visit. But there’s no time that’s quite as overwhelming as being a first-time mum. The firsts rack up quickly, from the word go.

And knowing what to buy and what’s not worth your money is a minefield in itself. It can cause undue stress and worry. Even as a veteran mum, the concern continues the second time around, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. 

Thankfully, here’s a short, simple, and easy-to-read list of baby essentials that should be on your first-time mum shopping list. 

Image by lucas mendes via Pexels

Bio-Oil For Your Bump

When considering what should make it to your list of things to buy for baby, you often forget yourself. But your body is going through massive changes. And it deserves some thought and care too. 


Bio-Oil is great because it can work wonders from stretch marks. It’s also super moisturising and makes the most of the soothing scents of lavender, chamomile, and rosemary. The bonus of using this oil is that all those scents promote relaxation too. 


Buy A Moses Basket

The Moses Basket will quickly become your best friend when the baby is still little. They’re great for creating a sleeping stop downstairs while you get on with your daily jobs. Or even for taking to nanny and grandad in case the little one needs a nap.


There are lots of types and styles to choose from. So opt for a version that would suit your lifestyle well. Head to a site like Foryourlittleone, where you’ll find all of your new baby’s needs in a one-stop online shop. Use customer reviews to help narrow down your search. 


Stockpile Nappies, Wipes, and Talcum Powder

You will soon find that you can never have enough nappies, wet wipes, or talc. Nappies for very obvious reasons. But wipes will become your second in command even when your baby transforms into a toddler. There’ll always be an occasion where having wipes might just save your bacon. And talcum powder helps keep the baby’s skin soft and reduces chafing, so you have a happy kid. 


Stockpile these essentials and have spares everywhere, the car, the bathroom, your handbags (all of them), and anywhere else you can think of!


Invest In A Breast Pump

Having a breast pump around will generally just make life easier. Even if you intend on breastfeeding traditionally, a pump will help in loads of ways. It means you can express milk if you’re uncomfortable and keep the milk for later. If you need a break, but the baby needs feeding, having a stockpile of milk means your partner can take on feeding duties. Generally, it just takes a load of having one there as an option.  


Opt For A 3-in-1 Pram

Prams, pushchairs, car seats. They’re all expensive, and they generally all need upgrading once your little one grows a certain amount. If you have the cash to, think about investing in a pram that does it all. 


You can get a 3-in-1 version that does pram, car seat, and pushchair with an easy adjustment or flick of a switch. It means you only have one bulky baby transportation unit to fit in the boot, and a lot of them are adjustable to grow with your baby. So you’re not having to buy a new one every year.


*This is a collaborative post



Luvbiotics | The Probiotic Oral Hygiene Range



It's no secret that I can't bear the dentists. I will wait and wait and wait until its pretty much too late to fix something, or I'm experiencing pain that is unbearable to cope with. To give an example, I held off on tooth pain and an abcess for a lonnnng time, by the time I went to the dentist they did a root canal and gave me antibiotics,  but just a couple of weeks later the pain was back and I lost the tooth.

What an idiot. But, anxieties and fears are not so easy to just push aside for the best sometimes are they? 

When it comes to my own dental hygiene, I am always on the look out for products that will prevent any issues (and also so that my trips to the dentist are as minimal as possible!)

Dental Probiotics - What Are They?

You've heard of probiotics, right? I'm not sure about you but I always thought they related to the gut and that was about it.  Not so! 

Dental probiotics are clinically proven to improve oral hygiene through balancing oral flora. They promote the growth of beneficial bacteria while reducing the bad bacteria which cause dental issues, such as bad breath, plaque build up and tooth decay

The more good bacteria we have in our mouths, the better our oral health. 

Luvbiotics Dental Routine

The Luvbiotics® range is available as toothpaste (whitening or original), mouthwash and lozenges (original or cherry) so you can brush, cleanse and maintain a healthier mouth all day long.

I've been sent their dental hygiene system, which is one of each of the below, to test and review so I will be posting again in a couple of weeks once I've given them a good thorough test:

Luvbiotics Advance Dental Hygiene: Whitening Toothpaste.

This toothpaste helps to balance oral flora, combat tooth decay, and reduce plaque, all while refreshing the breath. The tube is 75ml and at the time of writing is available at Amazon for £10.95.

Luvbiotics Advanced Dental Hygiene: Mouthwash

This alcohol-free mouthwash freshens breath and reduces plaque by fighting harmful bacteria. The bottle contains 500ml and at the time of writing is available at Amazon for £9.95.

Luvbiotics Advanced Dental Hygiene: Original Lozenges

Containing Probiotics, Xylitol, and Aloe Vera, these Lozenges promote good bacteria for fresh breath, healthy gums, and cavity protection. They also aid in the healing of mouth ulcers and oral thrush. With 30 mints in a pack, you can pick these up on Amazon for £8.95 at the moment. 

Initial Findings

I've only had these for a week, so I want to give my initial thoughts here as it will be interesting to see what my thoughts are after a good few weeks of use too. 

Plaque

My first impression is that I do seem to have reduced plaque build-up between brushings, though I can't determine if this is due to the toothpaste or the lozenges in between. Once I've ran out of lozenges, I'll continue use the toothpaste and mouthwash too see, and I will report back on my findings.

Freshness

As a smoker, I've found the lozenges to be the most beneficial to me so far. They have the texture of an antacid lozenge and are far more refreshing than any mint or chewing gum I'd ordinarily opt for. Because smoking kills beneficial oral bacteria, I'm relieved to know that I'm replacing them throughout the day with Luvbiotics.

Flavour

All three have a pleasant flavour. I dislike medicated-tasting dental products since they don't leave me feeling refreshed, which is exactly what I want from my oral hygiene regime. 

Whitening

I have yet to notice a change in terms of whitening, of my teeth but given how effective all three have been combined thus far, I am optimistic.


I'm actually really looking forward to reaping the benefits of using this oral hygiene range for a prolonged period. So far, I'm really impressed! 

To find out more, please head over to Luvbiotics website where all the science is explained, and if you're on Instagram, remember to use #Luvbiotics and show them some Luv! 



This post contains affiliate links and covers products that were gifted to me to try out. 

Protecting Your Family Financially

 

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Taking good care of your family means protecting your finances, as well as optimising your physical and mental well-being. However, it can be tricky to know how to make savvy financial decisions that will benefit your family for years to come. While advice from a finance professional can help you to maximise wealth, there are lifestyle changes you can make too. For inspiration, take a look at these four easy ways to protect your family financially: 


Reduce Unnecessary Expenditure

If you’re spending more than you need to on essentials, you could be missing out on the chance to make higher contributions to savings accounts. By keeping track of your budget and cutting the cost of your usual expenses, you can save money without impacting your lifestyle. 

Finding a cheap insurance company and lowering car insurance premiums is a simple yet easy way to save money, for example. Similarly, switching to a different energy provider or finding a better home insurance company can help you to save hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year. 


Invest Wisely

Investments can be an effective way to increase your capital, which means your family will be better off in the future. However, choosing the right investments and managing risk is critical to success. Playing the stock market or buying cryptocurrency can bring high rewards, for example, but they also carry a significant amount of risk. In contrast, paying into a savings account or purchasing bonds might offer a lower return but there’s also a lower risk of losing your funds. 

While many people generate an income and grow capital via investments, it’s vital to diversify your investment portfolio and assess the risk level before parting with your funds. 


Take Out Life Insurance

If you want peace of mind that your family will have the funds they need when you’re no longer around, life insurance can be a good idea. Although there are many different types of policies to choose from, you can take out life cover for a relatively low monthly premium. While this might increase your current expenditure, you can be confident that your family will have access to the funds they need in the future when you have the right policy in place. 


Teach Your Kids About Money

Knowing how to manage financial matters is a skill that we aren’t usually taught in school. Due to this, it’s essential to teach your kids how to manage money from a young age. Whether it’s encouraging them to save some of their pocket money each week or teaching teens how interest rates work, make sure you give your kids the knowledge they’ll need to manage their finances effectively when they’re older. 


Managing Your Household Budget

By implementing a household budget, you can be proactive about monitoring expenditure and saving for a rainy day. When you know what you’re spending and how much you have leftover at the end of each month, you’ll be able to enjoy treating yourself and your family to some of life’s luxuries when the time is right. 


A collaborative post


Fun Hobbies To Take Up This Spring

 

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Now that spring is finally here it is time for many of us to look forward to a happier summer when restrictions lift and we get to see our family and friends. 


The pandemic had a huge impact on all of our lives from missing moments of people’s lives, losing jobs, and, sadly, even becoming ill. It is important for us all now to take the chance to get back to normality and take the opportunity to make a positive change. 


Today we want to take a look at some of the simple and fun hobbies you could take up this spring to make your daily routine a little different and more fun. There are lots of ways to enjoy your time and some of them can even make you some money on the side. Here are some of the ideas you can try this spring. 



Baking 


The first of the hobbies you can consider trying this spring is baking. Now that you’ll have family and friends to see and bake for - it is the perfect time to get in the kitchen and start being a bit creative. 


Homemade ice cream is a super fun recipe to make and you can change and adapt the flavours to your choosing - and here’s how to make a simple version: 


Ingredients: 


  • 500ml custard 
  • 300ml double cream 
  • Flavouring (melted chocolate, toffee sauce etc)


1.In a bowl or an ice cream maker, mix these ingredients until combined.

2. If you have an ice cream maker - mix for 15 minutes and then transfer to a freezer safe tub for 4 hours. 

3. If manual - place in a tub and take out of the freezer every half an hour to stir the ice cream and stop it crystallising. 

4. Serve with your favourite treats! 



Gardening 


If you have an outdoor space and you are looking to make the most of it this year - consider taking up gardening as a hobby. Gardening can be a great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon and you will start to learn a lot about plants and animals that reside in your garden. You can plant seeds and bulbs, consider starting your own herb garden, and try your hand at growing some vegetables such as tomato or carrot. 



Forex trading 


Forex Trading might not seem like a fun hobby but this can not only make you money but will feel almost like a game of timing and skill. Opening an account with a forex trading platform will allow you to start buying and selling currency and making real money for yourself and your family. There are loads of courses you can take online to help support this and it will be a great way for you to build your skills while having some fun. 



Writing 


If you are a creative person perhaps the best hobby you can try this year is writing. Writing is a wonderful thing and there are no rules. Pick a story and simply start to create something you enjoy. You could write a book, poems, or even short stories and enjoy letting your imagination go wild! 


What are you enjoying this Spring?




This is a collaborative post



A Few Aesthetically Pleasing Gift Ideas for Your Friends and Family

 

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Whether for Christmases, birthdays, weddings or other special occasions, gift giving is something that we all tend to do on a pretty regular basis – but it’s not always easy or straightforward to decide what sorts of gifts to give.


One common approach is to give gifts that are purely and directly practical – things like a new toaster, or a knife set, for example.


Another approach is to give gifts that are for pure entertainment, whether novelty gifts; films; games; or any number of other things that the recipient wouldn't probably buy themselves.


Whatever else the gift you are giving is, however, there are some good reasons why it should also be aesthetically pleasing. After all, beauty, craftsmanship, and harmonious motifs can really help to transform the environment within a home and make it a lot more uplifting and powerful, while simultaneously helping to improve the sense of well-being of everyone involved.


Here are just a few aesthetically pleasing gift ideas for your friends and family, so that you can be prepared in advance for the next special occasion.


Stylish tablecloths and dinnerware


Stylish tablecloths and dinnerware are great traditional gifts that can really help to make mealtimes much more special and positive experiences, not only for you and your family, but also for any guests you might have invited over for a special occasion.


Since the dawn of time, humans have enjoyed coming together and bonding over food – whether in the form of meat roasted over an open bonfire, or in the form of a formal dinner party complete with elaborate decor and extravagant examples of the finest French cuisine.


As with many other aesthetically pleasing gift ideas, great tablecloths and items of dinnerware can stand the test of time in excellent fashion, and can easily end up becoming family heirlooms.


Not only are these gifts totally practical, they can also become proud and storied possessions that are cherished and appreciated for a long time.


Framed art prints


Visual art in the form of paintings and stylised posters can transform the mood and atmosphere in a home like virtually nothing else, by invoking powerful motifs that automatically draw the attention and conjure up particular themes.


Of course, if you’re limiting yourself to actual paintings, your options will likely be pretty limited, and you will tend to have to pay quite a lot for whatever it is you want to buy.


Framed art prints can be a great way of bringing some of the great classics of the art world into your home in replica form that is nonetheless deeply powerful and visually appealing.


If you know that a friend, relative, or other loved one of yours really likes a particular painting or art style, gifting them with a high quality framed art print can be an excellent idea.


Handcrafted statuettes and ornaments


Handcrafted statuettes and carved or sculpted ornaments can be an amazing way of bringing a bit of genuine artisanship into the house, and creating powerful stand-out visual features that can add a lot of life and character to any desk, countertop, or mantelpiece around.


Whether you like particular animal motifs, mythological representations, depictions of famous buildings, or any number of other things, statuettes and related ornaments can allow you to explore and express just about any interest imaginable.


If you can think of a particular hobby or interest that someone close to you has, getting a custom statuette that relates to that thing is likely to be a novel and well-received gift idea.


A high quality pen or lighter


One of the issues that many of us experience with the present state of consumer culture, is that it often seems to emphasise throwaway goods and items, in a range of different ways.


If you need to write down a note, you probably reach for one of a dozen disposable ballpoint pens you have lying around! Likewise if you need to light a candle, you probably have cheap plastic disposable lighters sitting in a drawer somewhere.


Opting instead to give someone the gift of a high quality pen, or an engraved zippo lighter, can be a great way of adding a bit more meaning, aesthetic appeal, and reusability to an everyday object that would otherwise likely be far less significant or resilient.


Don't opt for the toaster or knife set, your options really are endless! Have you bought anything special recently? Let us know below.



This is a collaborative post

Cut Down on Carbon Emissions with These Family Tips

 

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People everywhere are trying to be more eco-friendly to help support the planet. While it's important for businesses and governments to make commitments, individuals are also capable of making a difference by changing some of the things in their lives. Reducing your carbon footprint can help you to be kinder to the planet, and it can be a good way to live sustainably and even save money. You might think it's hard to do when you have a family, but there are lots of things that the whole family can do to be more eco-friendly. Here are some of the steps that you might take.


Start Tackling Waste


A family can produce a lot of waste. From nappies to food waste, the more people in the house, the more waste you can produce. Fortunately, cutting down on waste is easier than you might think. You can use various tactics to do it, starting by replacing single-use items with reusable items. By reusing things, you can reduce your waste by a huge amount. Another tip is to make sure you're recycling as much as possible. Know your local council's recycling rules so you're aware of what you can and can't recycle.


Image from Pexels - CC0 License


Repair and Reuse


Most people knew how to fix things not too long ago. It was important to be able to darn your socks or reuse a dress that was no longer wearable. But now we just buy things to replace anything that's broken or isn't useful anymore. While it's a convenient way to live, it can also be very wasteful. Instead of buying new things all the time, learning how to repair items can help you to save money and also reduce the amount of waste you produce. Of course, if you invest in higher quality items, you'll find that you need to do fewer repairs.


Switch to a Hybrid or Electric Car


Some families get by without a car, but many find that it's much more convenient to have one. However, there are ways to own a car and still keep your carbon footprint low. One option is to switch to a hybrid or electric car, which can be more economical than a standard petrol or diesel car. The new Volvo range has a choice of electric plug-in hybrid options that are also great for families. If you need a new car or you're coming to the end of a lease, it could be worth considering one with lower carbon emissions.


Image from Pexels - CC0 License


Save Energy at Home


Saving energy at home is also a great way to reduce your family's carbon emissions. Everyone can get involved in preventing energy waste. Start with small things such as switching light bulbs to LEDs. You can encourage everyone to turn off lights when they leave a room and put a jumper on if they're feeling chilly to save energy in different ways. Yes, I know, I sound like my Dad... but guess what, parents really do know best!


If you have a family, it shouldn't stop you from being eco-friendly and helping to support the planet. Everyone can get involved in being greener.


What measures do you take yourself?


Share your ideas below.



This is a collaborative post



Win 100 Red Roses for Valentine's Day


Do you want to win 100 red roses this Valentine's Day for your most loved one? Of course you do! Read on...


Gone are the days of romantic wining and dining out, hotel getaways, and mini-breaks without the kids thanks to the global pandemic we are all facing right now. It seems that we have nothing to look forward to doesn't it. 


So I guess you're thinking flowers are the answer. Imagine having to buy them from only an essential store and shoving them alongside your loo roll in the trolley. I mean, talk about completely and utterly taking the romance away. #facepalm


Well picture this, breakfast in bed and a delivery of the most beautiful flowers direct to your door for your loved one. Let's remember that non-essential businesses such as florists have been crushed over the past year thanks to lockdown after lockdown. So help them help you, and support them this Valentine's Day. 


Acacia of Chester Florist are holding their first ever online competition to gift not just the traditional Valentine's Day gift of a dozen red roses, but a whopping 100!  


Thanking customers for their support during these difficult times, Acacia of Chester Florist wants to be a part of this special day in saying 'thank you' or 'I love you' to the precious person in your life.  This symbolic gesture of a competition thanks you in tandem with surprising your loved one. 


Here is how to enter:

For this Valentine's Day 2021 Contest, send an email to contact@chesterflorists.co.uk with a picture of you and the person you love the most. 

Explain why this person deserves to receive 100 red roses on Valentine’s Day.


It's that simple.


So, how will you win?

The team at Acacia of Chester Florist will internally decide who has the most creative, sweet, or funny message that deserves to win.   


This is truly a special moment for the team, during one of the hardest economic times in recent times. So get your thinking cap on and put some love and thought into your entry. It really could be worth it!


Terms & Conditions: 

The contest runs from February 1st to February 10th. As this is a local contest, they can only accept entries from residents of their local delivery area. Only one entry per email account is accepted. 


You can share the contest with your family and friends via email. Should you have any questions about this Valentine's Day 2021 Contest, you can reach out to the team hosting the giveaway by emailing contact@chesterflorists.co.uk


Finally  a note from Acacia of Chester Florist themselves...

Why Join Our Contest?

When you choose to join our contest, you are not only getting a free Valentine's Day gift. You are also supporting our local Chester flower shop in sharing the gift of love. As we want to reach more people and be a partner in celebrating magical and extraordinary moments in life, we are giving you a chance to win gifts that will match your true feelings.

 

Why Send Red Roses on Valentine's Day?

Red roses on Valentine's Day is a must. It is a perfect moment to show your loved one how you feel, and you will never go wrong when you choose to send a bouquet of these beautiful flowers. Nothing says 'I love you' more than fresh-cut red roses.

 

Unlike other colours of roses, red symbolises beauty, courage, and respect. It shows deep feelings such as longing and desire. It can also express admiration, respect, and devotion.

 

It is the perfect flower to express romantic love. So if you want to confess your true feelings this February 14th, use this opportunity to win red roses and send it to the one you love! 


Good luck guys. Remember, its vital we support local businesses now more than ever. Let's make 2021 the year we get more personal in who we buy from, and also where they're based. 

Stay local, save the high street, and say "I love you" all in one go. 


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