7 Gadgets That Will Reduce Energy Waste AND Save You Money

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There are some things we don’t mind paying a little extra for. That extra-safe car seat for our kids, that super-delicious chocolate made from Ecuadorian cocoa, the premium gas that will help keep the car running smoothly. But there’s one thing that it makes absolutely no sense to pay over the odds for… Energy. With fluctuating energy prices and the environmental cost of energy becoming an increasingly worrisome issue we all want to save a little money and help to make the world a better place by making our homes more energy efficient, but many of us don’t realize just how easy it is.

The truth is that our homes don’t need pricey and disruptive renovations to cut energy waste. The consumer technology industry is waking up to the surge of demand for products to make our homes greener without compromising on style or ease of use. Making your home more energy (and cost) efficient needn’t be a case of installing solar panels or replacing your doors and windows. In many cases, it’s simply an issue of deploying some super cool energy efficient gadgets that will scythe down your energy bills while still keeping your home beautiful.

In this post, we’ll have a look over some of the most energy efficient, easy to use gadgets that’ll reduce your household energy waste without breaking the bank.

Light up your home with energy saving bulbs

When it comes to cost effective gadgets to help save energy and money; energy saving LED light bulbs are one of the best possible places to start. Old fashioned incandescent bulbs maybe cheap and disposable, but you’d be astonished at the amount of energy you’re wasting. Incandescent bulbs are only 10% efficient since they work by super heating a filament inside the glass, producing heat and light at a ratio of 9:1. This means that 90% of the energy produced is in the form of heat, and only 10% of that energy is used on light.That’s inefficient by anyone’s standards!

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Until recently, incandescent bulbs were far easier to come by than their money saving counterparts but the market is now chock full of LED (light emitting diode) and CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) bulbs that are as energy efficient as they are beautiful and versatile! Those only familiar with the early ‘corkscrew’ design of CFL bulbs may be surprised by how much energy efficient bulbs have changed over the years. Check out Pretty Handy Girl’s top 12 energy saving bulbs for a true understanding of the style and diversity on offer.

LED lights are made hugely versatile by their small size and light weight, allowing for a huge range of designs. Some of them even incorporate bluetooth speakers for those who like a little music with their light.

Take control of your energy usage with smart plugs

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The humble wall plug has been successfully diverting power from your wall to your appliance for decades. After all these years plugs grew bored and felt like maybe they weren’t living up to their full potential. If only there was some higher calling that could enable them to do something more.

But then, those humdrum wall plugs got smart!

The integration of digital technology to our little friends now enables us to view the energy we use and keep an eye on our energy costs in real time with smart plugs. Smart plugs have been on the market for some time now with a range to suit every budget.

The Smart Future has a useful breakdown on the types of smart plugs available, including prices. While smart plugs are a great way to see and manage your energy expenditure, that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Pairing them with a mobile app not only allows you access to your energy expenditure, you can control your plugs through the app meaning that you don’t needn’t ever have to make the arduous journey to the socket to switch your appliances on or off ever again.

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Take a shower with the “Green Warrior”

The shower is where we reinvigorate at the start of the day and where we go to unwind at the day’s end… But it’s also where we waste a whole lot of water and energy. The average American family uses a staggering 40 gallons of water per day in the shower. The water that’s wasted is ‘energy rich’ having been heated, making it doubly wasteful. To prevent excessive waste experts recommend that you shower for no more than 4 minutes. But who’s going to take a stopwatch into the shower?

That’s where the Green Warrior shower curtain comes in. This innocuous looking plastic shower curtain is covered with inflatable ‘spikes’ that will ensure that your shower stays at exactly the 4 minute mark by inflating to their full length in that time, essentially kicking your soapy butt out of there.

You can double up on your energy efficiency (and style) with a smart shower head.

Coming soon: The ‘Fitbit’ of carbon footprint management

As digital technology becomes smaller and more durable, it has precipitated a rise in wearable technology. If you’re someone who wears a fitbit to monitor your calorie consumption, heart rate, sleeping time and amount of steps taken per day then you’ll know how useful it can be in plotting your course to a new, healthier you.

That’s why UK based design firm Layer have applied this principle to energy management. As of 2015 they have been working with The Carbon Trust to create Worldbeing; a similar device to measure your energy consumption and calculate your carbon footprint.

Cut down on heat waste with SmartZone

If your home is heated by a central thermostat then you’ve probably never stopped to consider the inherent wastefulness of heating the whole house if you and your family are only using one or two rooms? But think about it! You wouldn’t have a single light switch control every bulb in the house, so why pay to heat rooms and areas of the house which are sitting there unused with just one thermostat?

Well, you need tolerate this waste no longer! SmartZone allows you to prevent this by cerating different zones throughout your home, each with its own thermostat affording you greater control over your home’s temperature, staying warm and cool where you need to without wasting money heating empty rooms.

Multiple thermostats even allows you to avoid the inherent discrepancy between the reported temperature and actual temperature that would be unavoidable with a single thermostat. In some cases that discrepancy can be up to 10 degrees. Now that’s a lot of wasted heat. Check out ZoningSupply.com for more information on creating the zoning system, that’s not only easy to use and instal but sleek and unobtrusive with a simple digital interface.

Give your radiators a boost

Your radiators radiate heat… or at least they should. The problem is that the concept of the radiator is fundamentally flawed. The fact is that only 20% of the heat produced is actually radiated. The rest is lost upwardly through convection. This is compounded by the fact that pretty much all radiators are set up against a wall. The problem with this is that more or less all  of the heat that comes off the back of them is absorbed by the supporting wall, creating even further wastage.

Radiator boosters are an inexpensive and ingeniously simple way to combat this waste by sitting atop your radiator, drawing and redirecting the hot air that is produced through convection and (that’s right) radiating it outward. They activate when the radiator’s temperature reaches an optimal temperature of 86ºF (30ºC). At this point, the booster’s fans kick in, redirecting the heat that would otherwise have been wasted, meaning that you and your family get to enjoy the added warmth rather than wasting it on the wall.

They’re an inexpensive gadget that could save you hundreds of dollars a year. No, really! In a 2009 study conducted by the UK’s Energy Saving Trust, it was revealed that users were able to turn down their thermostats by an average of 1- 3 degrees Celsius while still remaining at the desired temperature. This resulted in energy cost savings of about £140 ($220) per year. Not bad for a device that costs less than 50 cents a year to run!

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Never pay to charge your devices again, with the Freeloader

Most of us in the digital age are dependent on some form of mobile device for work, study or just  to keep us connected with the rest of the world. WHile we take them with us wherever we go, we invariably shoulder the cost of charging them up at home? Why, when they’re in direct contact with the most abundant energy source in the universe… the sun? That was the logic behind the inception of the Freeloader. It allows you to charge a range of devices in any weather due to its solar panel and multitude of attachment arms. In fact, its solar charged battery is so efficient that you can run two devices from it at once.

 

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Best 3 Gadgets To Have In Your Car!

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Cars are the main way we get around in the 21st century, for some of us they are just a means to an end, and for others they can be a labour of love, a reflection of the self! But regardless of your interest in cars, there are 3 things that every car must have in order to make your journies just that extra bit easier!

A Phone Compatible Radio

All of us listen to music, it can make the time fly if you’re relaxing, get you excited for something or simply entertain you whenever you’re listening to it. Most of our music nowadays is stored on our phones, but unfortunately a lot of car radios don’t have any way of linking to your phone! This can be a problem if you want to listen to your music but the radio stations aren’t playing it! Websites like BestBuy sell a plethora of bluetooth and auxiliary input radios, meaning that you can link or plug your phone into the radio, turn on your music and enjoy it in your car!

A SatNav

SatNav is a shorthand version of Satellite Navigation, and is one of the best things to have in your car. Gone are the days of using maps or direction printouts, satnavs determine your position via GPS and are able to guide you along the right roads to get to your destination! They imitate the roads on their screen and have some form of signalling, usually an arrow, to show you the correct direction to go. Companies like TomTom offer these handy pieces of technology for a small price, it’s recommended that if you’re going anywhere you don’t know you get one of these to ensure that you don’t get lost!

An Air Purifier

People often think that the only use for an air purifier is for people who smoke in cars, but this is completely wrong! Air purifiers can be used in any car for any reason, it takes all of the odour out of the air and stores it within itself, all you need to do is empty the filter when you’ve finished with it! Websites like Acpulse.com have great suggestions for which air purifier to get for you car, and even larger ones for you home if you need one, the only difference is the size! It can offer you a much better quality of life, if you’re looking for more ways to improve it, check this out.

Using any one of these things can improve your car experience tenfold, you can listen to your own music to pass the time better or to just have more fun when you’re driving, a satellite navigation unit will mean that you never have to worry about getting lost again (unless you forget to charge it!) and an air purifier will mean that your car smells lovely and fresh every time you step inside it, you need to remember to keep that charged too! All of these things are relatively cheap too, so you should definitely try them out!

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How Teens Grow Into Healthy Adults

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Habits are formed when we’re young, which is why most adults who started smoking or binge drinking at a young age have a more difficult time quitting as they get older. The best way to grow a happy and healthy adult is to start with a healthy and happy teenager. However, this might not be as easy as it sounds; these days, junk food is freely available, and often cheaper than nutritious meals. New gadgets are being released yearly, which means they’re more likely to stay indoors playing with them all weekend. Not to mention the workload that keeps stacking up, and the pressure to get into good schools. It’s easy to see the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle in a teenager’s weight and on their skin. But if they cultivate good habits now, these teenagers could all grow up to be healthy adults.

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Don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs

Everything you do when you’re young can catch up to you when you’re older. Therefore, if you start smoking as a teenager, you’re more likely to have cancer, heart disease, or a stroke as an adult. Binge drinking before you reach the legal drinking age can increase your chances of getting liver disease or developing problems with alcohol. Taking any drugs will impact your health, but they will do more damage if you take them young. You might not want to have these conversations with your kids, but the best way to keep them safe is to encourage dialogue about these taboo topics. Avoiding them altogether means that your child is less likely to seek out help if they have a problem down the road. Don’t shy away from your own history, but make it clear why you don’t want your children to follow in your example. There are plenty of tips for talking to teens about these issues, but you will have to find a method that works for you. Don’t just trust their school to cover these subjects for you; they don’t know your child as well as you do, and you have a better chance of getting through to them.

Safe sex

No parent wants to think about their kids having intercourse, but the truth is that it’s going to happen eventually whether you like it or not. If you want them to avoid any unpleasant surprises like pregnancies or STDs, then you need to sit down with them and have a mature discussion. Most teenagers get confusing second-hand information from their peers or older siblings, so many of them might be grateful for their parents or other trusted adults taking the time to talk about it, even if they might be embarrassed about it at first.  However you bring up the topic of sex and relationships, listen to what your teenager has to say and use this to let the conversation develop. If they talk about STDs then you can both check out information at https://www.saferstdtesting.com/free-std-testing to learn more. If they mention condoms or birth control pills, then make sure they know why it’s important to use them, where to get them and how to use them. Having this conversation with your teenager won’t give them a green light to have sex, but it will teach them to be smart and safe when the time comes.

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Diet and exercise

Of all the habits that are toughest to form, diet and exercise are at the top of the list, and they are also the most essential. Teenagers require greater amounts of nutrition because this is when they do most of their growing. A healthy diet equals a healthy teenager. However, eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to stuff your face with spinach and lettuce every day (although leafy greens are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, and can reduce the risk of cancer). Cheese, lean meats, and even dark chocolate can all keep you healthy and energized. They’ll also be thrilled to learn that PB&J sandwiches are an acceptable study snack, because peanuts and peanut butter are a good source of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that protects nervous membranes, and thiamin to help the brain and nervous system use glucose for energy.

Keeping fit is not just good for the body, but it can also increase the effectiveness of studying. Exercise creates many chemicals for the brain that help motivation, focus and alertness which are all key to being a good student, especially around exam time and finals. Exercise also decreases stress hormones and chemicals like cortisol that can interfere with learning and overall health. Fortunately, they don’t have to join a gym to get their regular exercise; just encourage your teenager to join a sports club at school by saying it will look good on a college application.

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Plenty of sleep

Parents may wish their children would get out of bed earlier on weekends, but the average teenager actually needs between nine and ten hours of sleep per night to function well in the mornings, particularly during school terms. You can read more about the studies done into teenagers and sleep at http://sleepcenter.ucla.edu/sleep-and-teens to get a better idea of how you can help your child get the sleep they need. There is a link between tiredness and anxiety levels, as emotional stability is improved when you are fully rested. Studies have shown a link between insomnia and depression, as the brain requires plenty of rest to be able to manage emotions correctly. Additionally, sleep is good for teenagers because when you’re dreaming, your brain puts your thoughts and experiences into the right ‘boxes’, so that they can be easily accessed. So, if they’re trying to retain information for a test, getting a good night’s sleep is the best study aid available. Sleep is as important for brain function as water and a good diet, therefore staying up all night to work on a project or finish off an essay isn’t going to do much to help your teen’s grades.  

 

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The Top Benefits of Living in Another Country

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Many people each year take the bold step to leave their home and start a new adventure in another country. There can be many reasons why someone would choose to begin again somewhere else, but many find the idea an irresistible challenge.

However, what is the benefits of moving to another part of the world? What can you gain from it that you won’t get at home?

Personal Development

Experiencing life in another country doesn’t just develop you as a person, but also in your work and home life. If you have skills that you can take with you, then these may be in high demand in your new home. In fact, some sectors actively recruit from abroad to fill a skills gap in their country.

As well as employment, there are also benefits for your children’s education. They will learn a different way of living and appreciate other cultures. There will be other opportunities for them as well, such as scholarships and apprenticeships. One such opportunity is athletesusa.com who offer scholarships for athletes.

Improve Language and Communication

Living in another country can be difficult when it comes to the language. It takes longer to learn a new language, especially as you get older, but, there are positives. The benefit of living in the country you are learning the language of, is that you are immersed in the whole culture. You will learn to be conversational and recognise local dialect much faster, and become a more natural speaker.

In return, there may be opportunities for you to teach your first language to others so that they too can get the benefit of being bilingual.

Living in a New Culture

Part of living in another country is understanding and embracing the local culture. You will have to learn new ways of social activity and celebrations, as well as local customs and behaviour.

It can all be of enormous benefit to you and your family because it opens your minds to other ways of living and understanding. You may also learn things that you will want to adopt for yourself.

Making New Friends

The most important part of living somewhere new is making friends. The language barrier may limit this at first, but soon, you will be able to meet new people and understand what they say. In fact, you may meet someone who will become your new best friend, and be able to mix with other locals.

For children, making new friends is also important. At school, they will be able to understand new ways of learning and the local customs. It will also help them to learn the language much faster if they have friends who can help them.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should forget about your old friends back home, and having someone you can go home to visit has its own benefits.

Learning to live in another country is a big step, but, if you are open to new ways and willing to learn new cultures, then you should have no problems.

 

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Back to School Savings Made Easy WIth Groupon Coupons

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This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Groupon Coupons but all opinions are 100% my own.

I feel like the summer just started but I blinked my eyes and it’s almost back to school time already. And with back to school time comes all those back to school expenses- school supplies, backpacks, lunchboxes, school clothes, and since my girls have been living in flip flops all summer, they both need new sneakers and school shoes, too. But I have discovered a great way to save money and still shop at our favorite stores. Did you know that Groupon, the site that many of us love for discounted vouchers to our favorite places and deals on all sorts of goods, also has coupons for your favorite stores?  Target, Microsoft, WalmartBarnes and Noble, Aeropostale and tons of other stores have free coupons listed on right on Groupon Coupons. Groupon offers 70,000 deals on over 9,000 retailers and they also offer tons of coupons for favorite retailers, too! I love using Groupon to save money. I don’t know about you but, if there is a chance for me to save some cash I am taking it. I have searched the internet for the best deals and when it comes to saving money, Groupon is where it is at! At this very moment Groupon is even offering 25% off your first Groupon with code WELCOME at check out. Deals on top of deals? It doesn’t get any better than that.
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This is usually an expensive time of year with everything my girls need to go back to school but I love all the deals I can score at Office Depot. They always have items for $1, $.25, and even $.01!!! I LOVE those deals. I stock up on school supplies to fulfill my girls’ supply lists and keep my house stocked for supplies all year long. But I also love stocking up so I can donate supplies to my girls’ teachers as well as kids in need. And now I can find all those great deals and coupons for Office Depot on Groupon Coupons. Right now there are a whopping 33 Office Depot coupons on Groupon. Cheap pencils, erasers, markers, and folders, here I come! What are your favorite ways to save during back to school time?
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Dealing With The Harsh Effects Of Aging

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Aging is something that’s unavoidable. That might seem like an obvious statement, but most of us are in denial even if we won’t say so out loud. Perhaps your denial manifests itself through cringe-worthy attempts at sporting the latest fashion trends, listening to the newest music, or simply acting as if you’re twenty years younger.

There’s nothing wrong at all with striving to be younger than you are in terms of mentality and energy, but you also shouldn’t ignore the truth of your age. Embrace it. Embrace aging, and do all you can to turn it into a positive thing. You should live life as if you’re young because, in a sense, that can help your body and mind to age backward, but you also might want to deal with the consequences of aging in other ways. Here are some tips.

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Your skin.

Your skin will wrinkle and sag with old age. There are things that can be done to delay this process, such as surgery and creams, but it’s almost better to come to terms with the effect of aging; there’s only so far that our tampering can take us. Many of the methods to reverse the aging process of the skin or disguise it don’t work as well as they promise, so it’s important to do a little research into anti-aging products before you blow all of your money on them.

Alpha-hydroxy acids such as citric acids, for example, can help to tighten and brighten the skin, but they can also increase stinging and sensitivity to the sun. Meanwhile, other ingredients in anti-aging products, such as antioxidants, provide a lot of benefit inside our body (vitamins C and E), but it’s debatable as to whether they can do anything for the top layer of our skin. Try out these methods if you want to, by all means, but don’t expect miracles. It’s better to simply embrace your aging and feel beautiful no matter how old you are.

Your aches and pains.

An unfortunate problem with growing older is the rise of regular aches and pains, but it’s not a problem that’s entirely unsolvable. Pain relievers and other medication that you might take will help dull the pain on an instant basis, of course, but there are other ways to help your body feel more relaxed and comfortable on a long-term basis. You might want to try meditative techniques such as yoga because there’s really a lot to be said for relaxing the mind in order to relax the body. The less tight your muscles feel, and the more you draw your thoughts away from painful jolts through your nerve endings, the more those aches and pains will start to feel less pressing and immediate.

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Your hearing.

Your ears aren’t going to work as well as they used to as you get older, much like all aspects of the body; it’s something we all gradually go through. Still, there are things you can do to better look after your ears (again, much like any aspect of your body). A good piece of advice is to stick to safe volumes on TVs or any sort of music-player you might use. It’s tempting to turn up the volume as your hearing deteriorates, but this will only damage your hearing further, causing you to have to gradually turn the volume higher and higher on devices. Imagine having perfect hearing and listening to something at a loud volume; you’d feel how damaging it was to your eardrums, but it’s still just as damaging even if you can’t hear clearly.

Of course, we can’t always control the volume of our environment. If you frequently go to concerts or other big live events with a lot of loud sounds then you might want to get yourself some earplugs to help protect yourself from some of the chaotic cacophony of noise. These are all preventative methods, but they’re still useful even if you’ve suffered some degree of hearing loss already. You’ll probably also want to consider a hearing aid amplifier, of course, because your hearing will likely still deteriorate even if you’re incredibly careful with how you treat your precious ears. There’s only so much you can do to hold off the effects of aging, as has been repeated throughout this article. All you can do is look after yourself to the best of your ability.

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Your family.

It’s important to listen to your children. Old habits rarely die, and you might still find yourself in a position of telling them that you know best, but they’re probably middle-aged (or nearing that age) by this point. You have to accept that they might be offering you very sound and helpful advice; in a few decades, they might be the sole voice of reason in your life because age often leads us to become more difficult. Listen, and you’ll be listened to. Treat your child like an adult if they’ve become one, and they’ll give you the same courtesy.

Your mind.

Often, your greatest enemy in old age is your mind. You might work hard to keep physically fit and eat well (both of which do wonders to keep the brain healthy), but age has a way of deteriorating our minds to the point of struggling to make connections in the way they used to. Depression is a common mental health problem in older adults, and it’s all a result of the general deterioration of the mind. It’s important that you have a strong support network to help you get through the issues that affect your mind.

Your family will do a great deal to help you if you just ask them, of course, but there are options in terms of professional help. You could always talk to somebody about your worries in order to try to find some level ground. There is a multitude of reasons as to why your mind struggles as it ages, and many of them are a result of nature running its course, but some of them are to do with your struggle with the effect of aging in itself.

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Myths That Might Be Harming Your Child’s Health

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We all care about the health of our children and we often look to the wisdom of our elders or the most commonly spread tales when it comes to children’s health. However, often this isn’t the best place to look for sound medical advice. Here, we’re going to look at myths that get spread around often. They’re well intentioned, but they’re worth questioning.

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Feed a cold, starve a fever

It’s an old one, and it has a certain lyrical quality to it. However, the idea that you shouldn’t feed a child with a fever isn’t just misinformed, it’s harmful. Regardless of what illness they have, you should ensure your child eats healthily unless told otherwise by a doctor. If they’re having trouble eating solid foods due to symptoms, then you can always go for chicken noodle soups. But our bodies need nourishment to recover from illness. By starving a fever, you’re depriving the body of the nutrients and energy it uses to fight off illness.

Give them antibiotics

When your child is visibly in distress, it can easily make you worry and rush to the doctor to demand antibiotics. But the truth is that most illnesses in children are viral, not bacterial, meaning that antibiotics do nothing. In fact, they can have long-term harm. People who take antibiotics more regularly than they should make their own bodies more resistant to them in the long-term, decreasing their effectiveness. If you’re worried about the risk of illness, consider preventative measures like Viralex Kids Immune Chews to improve their immune system. Otherwise, listen to your doctor and let them tell you when it’s time to use antibiotics. Studies have found that many paediatricians will give antibiotics on request to give parents peace of mind, but that’s often not a wise move.

Don’t wipe, let their immune system grow stronger

Some contact to bacteria does help our immunes system adapt. That’s true. But the idea that you shouldn’t wipe down kitchen counters just because you want your child to be exposed to bacteria can be hugely harmful. We limit bacteria exposure because we know how dangerous infections are. Especially given some of the bacteria hotspots in the kitchen, and the particularly dangerous kinds that can be found in raw foods, you should soundly ignore the advice to expose your child willfully to bacteria.

They’re too young to exercise

A lot of people hear the dangers of children exercising too much, including long-term injuries. However, these cases are the extreme. If you’re worried about your child’s exercise, you can look at the Ministry of Health’s recommendations of how to get your child more active.

It’s fine to give children over-the-counter medicine

Because you can buy it over-the-counter, many assume that medicines are entirely safe. That’s not true and you should never take that cavalier attitude to medicine. None of them are risk-free and many of them carry a much higher risk to children. Aspirin, for instance, can result in Reye syndrome in people under 18. If your child is under 4, don’t give them OTC medicine without speaking to your doctor about it. Otherwise, make sure you read and completely understand dosage and effects in children older than 4.

When in doubt, ask your paediatrician and listen to what they have to say. Your instincts can lead you to worry when you should but they can also make you rely too much on emotions and not on fact.

 

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5 Ways to Support a Family Member With a Mental Health Problem

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There are few things more saddening than seeing somebody you love struggle with a mental health problem. It can suck the joy out of a family home, make the usual get-togethers more problematic, and set off internal alarm bells because you think that you, in some way, have contributed to the condition or at least could have prevented it. It’s now, however, that your family member needs you to be strong. With your guidance, they can focus on getting themselves back to their best.

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Be Supportive

People are suffering from mental health problems usually don’t like to shout from the rooftops about it. They keep it bottled up, which makes a recovery all the more difficult. Only when they’re able to open up and accept that they need help that the recovery process can begin. As a loving family member, you’ll need to be on hand to offer support. Let them know that you’re there to listen should they need a sympathetic ear to talk to. Getting over a mental illness is difficult enough; make sure they know they’re in a safe space and can take as much time as they need.

Get Informed

Your kindness and understanding will go a long way to making your family member feel comfortable, but you’ll be able to help them more by being informed about the illness that they’re suffering from. Some conditions, like bipolar disorders, can feel alien, or even scary to people who don’t know the symptoms or why a person is acting that way. Get informed. Read through a website talking more about bipolar depression and you’ll be strengthening your ability to help. If you’re educating yourself, you might also discover something about mental illness than even the sufferer did not know, too.

Create the Systems

Each case of mental illness is different, but they do share some similarities. There are some things that can help anybody, whether they have a condition or not. If your family member still lives in the family home, then you’ll be helping in a small but effective way by creating routines, making sure they’re eating properly and looking after their hygiene, and that they have somewhere to go, so they’re not alone. If your family had a habit of everybody spending time in their rooms, you could change this so that instead people socialize in the living room in the evenings, for example.

Create Boundaries

It’s tempting to be overly kind when we’re helping a family member. However, it’s important that establish what is acceptable and what is not. If a family member is lashing out or being disrespectful to other people, you won’t be helping them if you don’t let them know that they can’t do that.

Look After Yourself

Our desire to help can be strong, but unfortunately, this can manifest itself in ways that can be more damaging. If we’re dropping everything to look after our family member, then other areas of our lives, such as other family members, our careers, and overall happiness will suffer. You need to be at your best if you’re going to help your son, daughter, brother, sister, or a parent through their difficult time.

 

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Fine Dining, Inspiring Desserts, And Healthy Recipes – What is FUN Food?

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Have you ever heard of cibophobia? It is the fear of food, and while it’s often associated with a mental disorder, it can also develop as a result of a weight loss journey. Indeed, it’s likely that if you are trying to lose weight – or if you have lost considerable weight – you will be paying close attention to food labels and body image. Food has become a nutrient for your body instead of pleasure. Therefore it is essential to avoid any food that could be fatty, calorie-rich, or prevent unnecessary risks. The main problem when you are on a diet is that you might be afraid that enjoying food could lead you to the heavy side of the scale again.  

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Is It Safe To Eat Out?

Going to a restaurant when you are on a diet can turn into a real nightmare, especially if you feel guilty about eating out. In reality, you need to keep an open mind and look out for the safest options in the menu. You’ll be surprised what is considered safe. As a rule of a thumb, fish and grilled poultry are high in protein and low in fat. Additionally, you can also find plenty of vegetarian options that are low in fat too. In other words, you can safely look for yummy restaurant deals online: Eating out does not mean eating badly. The important here is to pick carb-friendly options so that you can enjoy your evening without feeling guilty about your choice.

Should You Skip Dessert?

Dessert or no dessert that is the question, as Hamlet would say if he were on a diet. Here’s a clue for you: Dessert is not a bad thing per se. Too much of it and too often can ruin your waistline. But you can enjoy a cupcake once in a while, especially if it’s a special occasion, such as a birthday or a garden party. The problem with sugary desserts is that they are addictive. However, if you choose to limit yourself to only one slice or one biscuit, you can still enjoy the party like everybody else. After all, it’s no fun to skip dessert when everyone is having a cupcake.

Does Healthy Means Tasty Too?

Going on a diet means that you need to change your eating habits. That means less sugar, less fat and less processed food. But that doesn’t mean less taste. You can find plenty of healthy recipes that are simply delicious. However, if you’ve been addicted to junk food in the past, you need to educate your taste buds to new foods, such as more vegetables and nuts. Don’t give up if you find healthy food dull at first. Your taste buds will need a few weeks to clear up the layers left by additives and high sugar.

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Have Fun With Your Food

There’s no reason to fear comfort food if you know how to manage it. Food is never the enemy. It’s the way you think about it that can create weight gain patterns. You should allow yourself a treat once in a while especially if you want to avoid desperate craving moments when you feel like eating everything in the house. The 80/20 rule is a good basis to keep in mind. If you eat healthy food 80% of the time, you can lighten up your rules over the weekend, for example.

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Family Friendly: The World’s Best Places To Raise Your Children

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As soon as you become a parent, you worry about your children endlessly. There isn’t a moment of the day that you’re not wondering how they are, fretting about some potential danger or showing concern for their wellbeing. So it isn’t surprising that so many of us feel a little stuck when it comes to choosing a place to locate their family. You want what’s best for your little ones and this entails so many different things. Crime rates, proximity to traffic and main roads, local education institution’s ratings, extracurricular activities available in the local area. The list goes on and on. The community that you choose to live in while your children grow up can have all sorts of effects on their behaviour, attitude, safety and interests. It is also going to be a place that you stick around in for a long time, perhaps until they leave for college or get a home of their own. So it needs to be perfect. So whether you’re planning on starting a family or are thinking of relocating your current one, here are some of the best places in the world for them to grow up in.

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USA

America is the land of opportunity. With so many different states, it can be difficult to decide which would be the most family-friendly. As you can guess, all states will have their pros and cons but some tend to continuously come up trumps when it comes to raising little ones. Here are a few of our favourites.

Rockville, MD

Maryland might not have been at the top of your list of potential family property hotspots, but it should be. Rockville has now featured three times in a row in the 100 best places to live list. Its main advantage for families with young children? It’s astounding public education system. MCPS is the largest school district in the state and all 25 of the MCPS high schools rank in the top 11% of high schools in America. Pretty impressive, right? Obviously, you want your kids to have a brilliant education, as this sets them up with the foundations from which they can build their careers which will determine their quality of living as adults themselves. With the district boasting an impressive 89% graduation pass rate, your little one should do fine. What’s more? All of these schools have optional language programs, meaning that your child could become bilingual or perhaps even trilingual if they show talent. As for the local area? It has all of the amenities that any growing family could want, amazing public transport services, renowned health care systems and over 1,000 acres of parkland for your children to play and exercise in. With this great reputation, however, comes great demand. A home in this area isn’t going to come cheap, with the average property costing much more than average and the average income of individuals living in the area more than double the national average.

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UK

The UK may not be as large as the USA, but it has just as much diversity and opportunity. It could prove to be the perfect place to raise your family. The British NHS is a free health care service that is available to all of the nation’s citizens. This is hugely beneficial, as you never know when the worst might happen. Britain allows its nationals with brilliant service that won’t leave them saddled with a lifetime of debt. On top of this, there are plenty of job opportunities and some of the world’s best higher education systems.

Newcastle

Surprisingly, a poll has revealed that the best place to raise a family in the UK is Newcastle, located in the North of England. A survey conducted by moneysupermarket.com analysed six categories to determine the best place for raising kids: the number of outstanding schools in the area, access to parks, job availability, burglary rates, house prices and average income. Newcastle topped the polls! The city is extremely affordable to live in, with the average property costing £160,000. Compared to the UK’s average of £230,000, this is extremely cheap. In comparison to the average London property, which will put you back about £483,000, it’s a steal!

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Malaysia

Malaysia lies in Southeast Asia and would give your family an entirely new way of looking at the world. A change of culture could do everyone good! It makes children wiser and allows them to see things from different perspectives. The national language is also Malaysian, which means that your children will likely become bilingual. This is an excellent life skill and children who can fluently speak more than one language tend to be more successful later down the line, as employers target those who can communicate internationally.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s capital and is also the region’s largest city. It may be urban but this thriving home to over 1.3 million people will welcome you and your family with open arms. Not only do you have all of the benefits of the Western world, but you get to raise your children in one of the most multicultural locations possible. You won’t be short of work opportunities in this major city, so whatever specialism or interest you may have, there’s more than likely going to be something available. This will allow you to comfortably support your family, even with Kuala Lumpur’s relatively high living costs. Finding property in the area is relatively simple too. You are unlikely to need permission from the FIC (Foreign Investment Committee), so the process, if handled correctly, will be fast and painless. From bungalows, to semi-detached properties, terraced homes or detached houses, there will be something large enough to accommodate any size of family, which is impressive for such a large city.

Penang

If Kuala Lumpur isn’t ticking all of your boxes, try out Penang. It has numerous educational institutes that will see your child receive some of the best lessons available, from kindergarten right through to college. It also has plenty of job opportunities, being home to endless thriving small businesses, as well as major corporations. So regardless of the environment, you want to work in, Penang is likely to have something that is perfect for you and your partner. The region also has plenty of brilliant schools.

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