How Buying Local is an Eco-Friendly Choice

local produceWhile it’s obviously common sense that we need to start taking care of our environment, more often than not, a lot of us get discouraged by how difficult or tedious living a greener lifestyle seems. Even the very act of segregating and recycling our trash can sometimes look like too much of an effort, especially since we’re already pretty busy as is with our daily lives.

But not all earth-saving practices are rooted in doing extra work. In fact, there is 1 eco-friendly practice in particular that can help you save effort and the environment at the same time: buying local. Here are some compelling ways on how buying locally sourced items can help improve your health and wellness and the state of the environment.

  1. You’re in proximity to where the product is harvested or made. When you buy local, obviously the source of the product is closer to you in terms of location. You don’t have to travel a long way just to get the item, and the item doesn’t have to be transported from far off places just to get to you. This means that the amount of resources necessary to get the item into your hands is lessened. This doesn’t just save on fuel and cut on the amount of greenhouse gases produced, it also saves you and the manufacturer from having to spend a lot of time on the road. This, in turn, shrinks your carbon footprint and eases the burden on Mother Nature in general. If the distance is reasonable enough, you can also choose to walk or jog to the seller’s place, which can serve as a form of exercise.
  2. There is much less packaging involved. Buying locally means that the product that you’re looking for did not have to travel much to get to your local market. There’s less changing of hands involved, so your item does not need a lot of packaging or preservatives to keep it in tip-top condition. It’s a well-known fact that discarded packaging materials cause a serious environmental issue. By purchasing your desired item in a location near you, you help reduce the volume of plastics and packaging materials that end up in the landfill or in the water. You can even choose to bring your own cloth bag to the market in order to further cut down your carbon footprint.
  3. You’re helping your local economy flourish. Buying local not only makes sense on an environmental level, it also presents a lot of benefits when it comes to the economy. When you buy local, you help the stores and shops in your neighborhood flourish. This allows local shop owners to keep doing business near or within the vicinity of their homes, which in turn eschews the need to travel or commute very far to sell their wares or services. This, then, reduces fuel consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases. As a nice bonus, you’re also forming a close and lasting relationship with your fellow locals, which could score you neat extras and discounts on your next purchase!
  4. You’re able to buy in bulk. Buying locally also means that you’re able to buy as much produce as you want without having to worry about being able to bring it all back home, since you are living nearby. You can buy in bulk to replenish your supplies, which not only saves you money but also cuts down on your packaging use and fuel consumption. It’s convenient for you and beneficial for the environment, plus it takes less effort.

Helping the environment isn’t always a bothersome chore, nor should it be viewed as one. For those of us who are just way too busy to really get into the whole green lifestyle, all we need to do is to make small and doable changes to our daily habits. Small as they may be, these habits can contribute to the global effort. Even the smallest change, such as buying locally, can make a huge difference.

Alternative Medicines for the Naturally Sceptical

Alternative Medicines As someone who has a strong belief in science, there are a lot of things which make me massively sceptical. On an almost daily basis, I see people on social media discussing things like ear candling, amber teething bracelets, “detoxes” and other such stuff which I believe to be absolute hokum; pseudoscience which people parade as fact, which actually does absolutely nothing except separating you from your hard earned cash. It’s a massive bugbear of mine and I range from pure rage to absolute defeated apathy on the subject!

There are, however, lots of alternative medicines in which I do totally believe, things which should probably be prescribed by doctors as they’re so beneficial, and these are a few of them:

Medical Cannabis

I think we’re SO far behind the rest of the world in our attitudes towards medical cannabis and strongly believe in the many, many beneficial uses that it can have, from pain relief to reducing inflammation, stimulating appetite in chemo patients, treating autoimmune diseases – the list goes on and on. Sadly, it’s illegal for use here in the UK but I really hope we’ll start to follow the lead of the rest of the world soon.

Garlic

According to WebMD “Garlic is used for many conditions related to the heart and blood system. These conditions include high blood pressure, low blood pressure, high cholesterol, inherited high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, reduced blood flow due to narrowed arteries, and “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis). Some people use garlic to prevent colon cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, and lung cancer. It is also used to treat prostate cancer and bladder cancer.”

Beetroot

Beetroot has such a profound blood-pressure lowering effect that there were significant debates about banning it from the Olympic village before the games as it can give athletes such an advantage! Beetroot juice can lower blood pressure – in fact, when you consume the juice, you will find your blood pressure drop instantly and stay lowered for up to twenty-four hours. Researchers believe that this impact on blood pressure is due to naturally occurring nitrates found in beets.

Are there any alternative medicines that you swear by?

All Information Displayed In This Post Is For Educational Purposes Only, And Is Not To Be Construed As Medical Advice Or Treatment For Any Specific Person Or Condition. Cannabis Has Not Been Analyzed Or Approved By The FDA. Individual Results May Vary.

Win a Copy of Jumanji on DVD

Husband and I are huge fans of the original version of Jumanji, so we have to admit to having been sceptical when the remake was announced. However, once we saw it (and also realised that it had The Rock in it, who be both kinda love…) we realised that it was actually an excellent film and was a really well-made update to a classic. We both love Robin Williams and are probably a bit over-protective when it comes to his work, but they’ve done an amazing job and bringing the story into the 21st Century.

Fancy getting your hands on the amazing Jumanji DVD which was released only last year – for free? Well you are in luck! This film, starring none other than the The Rock, takes four friends on a journey through a tropical adventure after finding an old console game which transports them to the jungle.

If you love the jungle and games, then why not take a step into the jungle yourself. Bgo.com which offers free spins when join has array of jungle themed games that will get you in the mood after watching this great film. One of the most exhilarating of these is Amazon Queen, which really thrills and excites casino players new and old. This jungle-based slot focuses on the Amazon Queen, it has all your favourite characters from the movie including, gorillas, parrots and other jungle themed forest creatures and phenomena.

If you are complete Jumanji mad and want to try some other slot games, then Go Bananas, Rainforest Dream and Forest of the Wonders are some other great games. Other than the standard 3 and 5-reel slot games, Jungle Madness is a progressive jackpot game so its makes the jungle experience a little bit more enticing! If you hit all 5 tigers on the payline then you can potentially be taking home thousands of pounds!

Jungles are not for the faint hearted, so if you the love the danger and thrill of Jumanji, these other casino games will certainly live up to your expectations. The immersive experience will convey you to the jungle where you will need to keep an eye out for snakes, gorillas, and lots of creepy crawlies beneath you.

Hopefully you will have been awarded for the epic journey with Jackpot wins or something little less but overall the fun experience of these games is what we think is best!

To be in with a chance of winning, just fill in the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Days Out – Visiting Bristol

BristolGiven the fact that we’ve just got a new puppy, a foreign holiday is pretty unlikely for us this year. We are, however, planning a few day trips around the country (now that we’ve managed to rope some of our lovely family members in to look after Maureen for the day!) and one of the places I really want to visit is Bristol. I’ve got a fair few friends who live in or around Bristol, so I thought I’d ask them what the best things were to do on a day out in Bristol. Here’s what they said:

Jennifer from My Mummy’s Pennies said “Visit Brunel’s SS Great Britain and have a lovely walk around the quayside. We were there two weeks ago and really enjoyed it.”

Stacy from It Takes a Woman said “We The Curious is really good. Loads of experiments and activities and you can scan your wristband and access your results/photos etc when you get home…”

Liz from Me and My Shadow said “Do the Banksy trail – there’s an app!”

Aly from Bug, Bird and Bee said “We like visiting Cabot Tower at Brandon Hill. The tower is over 200 ft tall and looks out over Bristol. It’s smack bang in the middle of a nature reserve. There’s a big kids play park.”

Carolin from Mummy Alarm said “The street art south of the river is amazing. There’s so much to see on your own or on of the many street art tours and there are some really cool and quirky restaurants along North Street in Bedminster.”

Rachel from Rachel in Real Life said “For parks I’d recommend St Andrews Park and Blaise Castle. From Easter until September (maybe October, can’t remember) St Andrews has a paddling pool. Blaise Castle is near us and we go regularly. It has two separate play areas and loads of open space. Excellent value for money is Avon Valley. Reasonably cheap to get in and lots to do. Though again, mainly outdoors so best on a nice day.”

Cass from Frugal Family said “I went to Hestercombe Gardens yesterday – it was beautiful!”

My friend Becky, who isn’t a blogger but is a displaced Bristol native, said “Go and see a Rovers game!”.

Lots and lots of wonderful options of things to do! If you need transport while you’re in Bristol, why not give AA Taxis Bristol a call?

Summer Weddings: Finding the Perfect Dress

Husband and I have been invited to a wedding in August, and I am SO excited about it – not only do we get to dress up and have a fun evening with our best friends, we also get to STAY AT A HOTEL for the night, which is something we haven’t done in literally years! Of course, going to a wedding means finding the perfect outfit, so when Fashion World got in touch to ask if I’d like to take a look at their range of women’s dresses, I jumped at the chance!

I knew that I wanted something in either blue or grey, as they’re the colours which suit me best, and if it was blue, ideally it would be navy. I’ve had an obsession with peacock feathers for ages, and wanted to be able style whatever I wore with a peacock-feather fascinator, so it meant that I could narrow down my search on the site by not only size, but also colour and occasion. Here’s what I chose:

BEADED PROM DRESS

To be totally honest, the picture doesn’t do it justice – the beading on the front is not only very intricate, but the peacock-inspired colours really pop, shimmering with blues, turquoises and purples in the light. It’s going to be absolutely perfect with my dream head-wear and I can’t wait to see what the whole outfit looks like together.

My mission now is to find the perfect shoes and bag to go with the outfit. As we’re staying, the bag only needs to be big enough to fit my phone and bank card, so something clutch-sized. The shoes would ideally be a mid-sized heel (I don’t want flats but I walk like a baby giraffe in skyscraper heels!), and would compliment the colour of the dress. I saw an incredible pair or purple platforms in a Kurt Geiger sale, but I wasn’t brave enough to buy them and now they’re sold out! Any suggestions of accessories to complete the outfit would be much appreciated!

What do you think of my choice?

Tips for Puppy Toilet Training

As you many know, if you follow me on social media, at the beginning of March we added a new member to the Mum’s the Word clan – Maureen the Pup. Having a puppy has been a real learning curve for us as Chuck was already 2 when he came to live with us and needed no toilet training, but we’re doing pretty well so far. Here are a few tips that we’ve picked up along the way:

Think about your floors!

Whether you like it or not, puppies WILL have accidents, of both the wee and poo variety, so if you haven’t got something convenient like Karndean flooring, you’re going to have to deal with mess. We got a rug from freecycle for our lounge, so that the majority of the carpet is covered and we don’t mind the odd puddle on a free rug, but we also dotted puppy pads around in the early days, as she often had her “accidents” in roughly the same place.

Take them out regularly

Just like when you’re potty training a toddler, getting them to go to the loo really regularly is the first step to cracking toilet training. Husband and I try to take Maureen out at least once every 30-60 minutes, and at the moment we take her out on a lead and try to get her to go in the same place every time, as this will teach her to go there once she goes independently.

Invest in a carpet cleaner

Husband and I have a Bissell hand-held carpet cleaner, and honestly, it’s been an absolute godsend for cleaning up after Mo’s accidents. It can be filled with an odour-busting spot cleaner and can be used to vacuum liquid out of carpets, making it perfect for puppy puddles! I think life would have been much harder without it.

Reward

Most dogs are fairly food motivated, which means that giving them a treat as a reward after they successfully pee or poop outside will be more of an incentive for them to do all of their business outside. Do remember to adjust the amount of food you’re giving them if you’re treating regularly as you’ll end up with a very chubby puppy!

Watch for cues

After a while, you’ll start to notice your puppy’s behaviour or body language change when they need to go out, and acting on these cues is important to develop the communication between you and your dog. As soon as you see them acting like they need to go out, take them and make a big deal of praising them afterwards.

Be Patient

Toilet training a puppy can be frustrating at times – a puppy can do every single wee or poop outside and then randomly go on the rug, and although it can seem like an act of defiance or like they’re being naughty, this is rarely the case. Puppies get caught short, or sometimes we miss their cues. Be patient with them as getting cross will just make them fear you, which isn’t conducive to a good training environment.

Games To Play If You Love To Decorate

Image

There seems to be something about playing with paint colours and placing furniture which fascinates us as people. We love to create designs and order things in a new and exciting way. If you love to play around with interior design then here are some of the best things you can play!

The Fictional Furnishings Quiz

If you think you know Monica’s apartment from top to bottom or you think you could easily recreate hogwarts from memory then this quiz is perfect for you. You’ll have a piece of fictional furniture appear on the screen and you need to work out what show or film it is from, it’s the perfect way to kill time and relax in the evening.

The Sims 3

There’s nothing quite like using the motherlode cheat on Sims and then spending the next five days creating the perfect mansion from top to bottom. Whether you decide to recreate your own house or build the palace from your favourite Disney movie: it’s super relaxing, fun and you can really go as crazy as you like! You could create a castle with 4 floors and even make a home cinema if you want to, it’s all about being creative and taking your time to make the most fun house you possibly can. Just remember to put a ladder on the side of your pool!

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade

If you are a fan of the Facebook favourite Farmville, then harvest moon will be the perfect addition to your game collection. The whole idea of this game is to run your own farm successfully, get married and then build your home together from scratch. It’s the perfect way to spend your time and is seriously addictive.

Design This Home

If you are looking at decorating your house in the next few months you can actually use this app as a fun way to test what things you want and how you’d like it to look. You can create a virtual version of your own house and have fun playing around with colours, furniture and fittings. You can then use this as a guide for your renovation project and it saves you having to draw it out!

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal crossing is one of those games which makes you feel happy and relaxed. It’s comforting and super fun to play on in the evenings. Your task is to look after a small village, build up your home, pay a mortgage and even plants flowers outside. It’s the ultimate game for anyone who loves more chilled out games and would rather run around catching butterflies than race cars.

Theme Park

If you fancy a different kind of design, one of the most iconic games of all time is theme park. As the owner of a piece of land you will have the task of adding tides, restaurants and facilities, hiring staff and even building roller coasters from scratch. It is supper addictive and will keep you occupied for hours and hours!

Family Fun: Every Child Deserves an Amazing Party

Getting everyone together for a party is an excellent opportunity to reconnect with family and friends while creating lasting memories. If it is your child’s birthday or other special occasion, planning the best party may be your top priority–something for everyone to talk about before and after the event. Unfortunately, the grand idea often falls short of those expectations. That’s okay. An amazing party doesn’t have to be a budget-busting experience. It is a time when your child, family, and guests have a great time in the company of each other.

A solid foundation to start your planning process will make the experience go much smoother. Here are some tips for planning an amazing party for your child:

Make the Invite List

Before making plans for the party’s theme and location, get an idea of who will attend. Younger children may be content with a family party, but those in school may want their friends along for the fun. Determine your potential guests as a starting point.

Create a Budget

Maybe you want to throw your child one of the best parties ever. That mindset could quickly empty your wallet. By setting a reasonable budget before making any plans, you know exactly what your finances allow. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to spurge on the party, there are creative, inexpensive ways to play games, decorate, and feed your guests.

Pick a Theme

Talk with your child about the desired theme. What are his or her current interests? Does your child have a favorite book, toy, show, or movie? Once you agree on a theme, involve your child in the planning process. This could mean picking out party favors, decorations, or helping prepare food. Your child’s input helps build excitement and anticipation of the big day.

Select Your Location

Now that you know your budget and theme, it’s time to select a location. If you have the space and resources, you may pick your home as the best location. Some families enjoy cooking, decorating, and throwing a party at home. Other families like to take the party elsewhere like a local amusement center or bowling alley. They prefer professionals to take care of the party details and want to avoid the inevitable after-party clean up. There are pros and cons of each option. The choice of location is ultimately up to you.

Keep the Food Simple

Though you may think food at the party is a big deal, most of the kids will focus on the games and fun of the party. Save the elaborate dishes and desserts for the holidays. At a child’s party, finger foods and snacks are easy to put out and don’t require a lot of work. Try to include some healthy options, and make sure you know if any guests have food allergies. An allergic reaction in the middle of a party could really put a damper on the festivities.

Make it a Point to Enjoy Yourself

You may have high expectations for the party, but chances are your child just wants to have fun and see everyone around him or her happy. Don’t get stressed if the elaborate games you planned take the backseat to kids playing a game with the balloons you intended as decorations. Ease up on the expectations and enjoy the time together with family and friends. You don’t want to be remembered as the angry type-A parent grumbling in the corner of the party.

By following these tips, planning your child’s party will be easier and more focused. Just remember to relish all the smiles and laughter as everyone enjoys the party you planned.

Working On My Self-Esteem

A post shared by Mum’s the Word (@mumstheword84) on

Something that I’ve always struggled with is self-esteem. I don’t come from a particularly “build you up” kind of family (when I got my first pair of glasses, aged 11, my family decided to tell me I looked like Dennis Waterman and called me that for many years, knowing how much I hated it). One of my worst character traits is my ability to be self-deprecating, and as much as I find it hilarious to make mean jokes about myself, my kids are starting to notice and it’s probably not the best thing for them to hear.

Just last week, Husband said to me “you look nice”, and I replied “don’t be ridiculous!”. I should have just said “thanks love”, but I didn’t and as much as he didn’t say anything I could tell he was disappointed with my reaction. I know I need to work on my self esteem, but the sad fact is, I don’t know where to start.

I’ve heard a lot of women say that a good place to start when trying to make yourself feel good is with your underwear, so I was thinking of investing in a whole new load of undies, like this. I’m not much of a ‘frilly knickers’ kinda girl, so something simple yet pretty would be perfect for me.

Another thing I know I need to do is get back to the gym; when I started weightlifting last year, I felt like I’d finally found an exercise that I loved…and I was good at it, too. But a few things happened to knock me off the rails and I managed to completely give up on what I was doing, watching all the gains I’d made slip away. It was a a double blow because my self-esteem was already struggling and having to admit I’d failed at something AND watch all my hard work go down the drain had a bad effect on my mental state.

We had some friends over last night for the football and they asked me if I was still exercising, and while I was telling them (or more accurately, reeling off the list of excuses that I’ve cultivated about why I quit), I realised that I missed exercising and taking control of myself. I missed being productive and showing my girls that we should look after ourselves. And most of all, I missed that daily sense of achievement I got when I got my butt to the gym, ate within my macros and lifted a little bit more weight than last time.

So, for the sake of my girls, I’m going to try to get back to it.

I’m re-taking control.

Making Our Home Work for Us with Karndean

Karndean OpusAlthough Husband and I rent our home, we’re lucky in the respect that our landlady is pretty easy-going about what we do to the place (providing we don’t tear down walls or paint the whole place black!). We’ve been thinking lately about what we could do to make the place work a bit better for us, and we think that starting with the floors would be a good idea (puppies and carpets are NOT a good mix!).

One of the options we considered was Karndean, as I’ve heard lots of people saying how much they love it, and to my surprise there are a whole load of varieties of Karndean to choose from. I thought I’d ask my friends who have it what they thought of Karndean flooring and how well it fits into their life. Here’s what a few of them said:

My friend Emily said “We had it at our old house and it was our selling point. It looked like real wood and was easy to sweep, and it was warmer under foot than other hard flooring”

Cat from Cat’s Yellow Days said “We have Karndean across nearly the whole ground floor. It looks great and cleans easily but the biggest selling point for me was that they had such a big range I could get exactly the shade I wanted.”

Tara from Sticky Fingers said “I had it throughout my new kitchen/living extension. Bloody love it. Easy to manage with the dog and muddy kids, warm underfoot looks fabulous. Had tiles before and it was cold and everything that came within sniffing distance of the floor broke!”

In terms of the different ranges, there are three to choose from:

Karndean Art Select

“Karndean Art Select is a range of vinyl flooring featuring exciting hardwood, stone and marble designs that will render a touch of elegance to any space. With an overall thickness of 3mm, and a wear layer of 0.70mm, the Karndean Art Select is super soft and warm under your feet. Completely washable and waterproof, the Art Select collection is perfectly suited for any room in your home.”

Karndean Van Gogh

“The Karndean Van Gogh range is manufactured from highly durable vinyl from the world’s number one producer of luxury vinyl flooring. Available in a variety of sizes and colours, the Van Gogh flooring range is available in a wide range of solid wood effects including walnut, oak and birch.”

Karndean Opus

“The Karndean Opus range of luxury vinyl tiles is a relatively new and a quite popular range of luxury vinyl tiles. It features wood finish as well as traditional stone tile finishes. With an overall thickness of 2.5mm that includes a 0.55 mm wear layer, the Karndean Opus range is available in an array of sizes.”

Do you have Karndean flooring in your home? I’d love to hear our opinion, so please leave me a comment below!