Holidays

Thanks To The Southern Hemisphere, It’s Always Summer Somewhere

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere  – the US, Europe, Russia – then you’re used to things getting cold in the winter, especially if you live in Canada. But while we suffer through the winter blues up north, there are a bunch of people having barbecues and partying down south.

The great news is that people who live in the north can put this fact to good use. Why spend months wallowing in misery in freezing temperatures, while half the planet is literally bathed in sunshine and enjoying warm, tropical weather?

Here are some southern hemisphere locations, from Australia to Brazil, that will get you and your kids craving a vacation before the end of March.

Check Out The Sunshine Coast, Australia

For the Australians, Christmas and New Year are a time to put on the sunscreen and head to some of the country’s magnificent beaches. Among them is the Sunshine Coast, an idyllic stretch of coastline running along Australia’s Eastern seaboard. Here, you’ll find big Pacific surf that’s had the chance to build up a lot of energy during its journey from the coast of South America.

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Pro tip: don’t go during the holiday season as the beaches will be full.

Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If you’re fed up with the cold weather, consider packing your family’s bags and jetting off to the Ipanema Beach in Rio for one of the best winter sun holidays you can imagine. Here, the average temperature during December and January hovers around 38 C, making it one of the warmest places in the southern hemisphere (you might need to find somewhere that sells tower fans!). Carnivals run from February to March, and the streets are crammed full of party goers and people looking to have a good time.

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There’s plenty for the kids to do along the Ipanema beach too, with regular soccer games, barbecues and ice cream vendors. Beach access is free, and the vendors along the promenade sell everything you might need.

Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island might be claimed by Chile, but it’s also one of the most desolate places on Earth. Temperatures here during December to March usually start in the low 20s and rise from there.

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One of the most fascinating things about Easter Island is the human presence, despite its enormous distance from the coast of South America. Here there are more than 20,000 archaeological sites to explore, the most famous of which are the moai statues built by migrants who traveled from the mainland more than 2,200 years ago.

The island, though small, is also prime real estate for people who love adventure. The majority of the island is covered by the Parque Nacional Rapa Nui which has ample opportunity for family-friendly activities like cycling and horseback riding. There’s also a chance to go hiking up to the island’s main volcano as well as snorkeling in its fertile shores.

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Access to the park is currently around $10. The only airline with service to the island is LAN Chile, which flies from the Mataveri International Airport. Staying on the island costs between $100 and $200 per person per night.

 

#LoveYourself

Keep Decay At Bay: Five Reasons To Focus On Your SMILE!

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When we have time to focus on our health, we tend to keep a closer eye on one thing or another. We try to eat healthily, of course. A healthy weight is always a focus, whether you want it to be or not. We will focus more closely on anything that runs in our family, or that we ourselves have had an issue with. But how much do we focus on our teeth?

Let’s face it, when it comes to personal health, our teeth have become the poor relation as compared to issues like weight. But although it may feel lower on the priority list than some things, it’s still vital to pay some attention to your SMILE.

S, for Social

Yes, as you may have noted from the fact it was all in caps, SMILE isn’t just about gleaming pearly whites. There are several reasons to keep your teeth in good nick, and social niceties are among them.

Dental equipment suppliers are making more and more gadgets available, and it’s worth shopping around for the best. A sound oral health regime will keep teeth clean and breath fresh.

M, for Medical

If the first reason seems a little shallow, this one is anything but. You see, we talk about brushing as though it’s all about the teeth. They need to be kept in order, no disputing that. But your entire mouth will benefit; your whole body, in fact.

If you don’t keep up an oral care regime, you open yourself up to a higher risk of dangerous conditions. These include heart disease, dementia and respiratory issues.

I, for Inspiration

If you’re a parent, it’s all the more important to look after your teeth. Although you may be able to excuse yourself a slip, it’s setting a bad example to your kids, who need to learn sound habits at an early age. Brush with them, if needs be, to ensure they see what it takes to keep a good regime going.

L, for Laughter

A recent study showed that a third of teenagers are too embarrassed about their teeth to smile in front of friends. Given that other studies have shown that the mere act of smiling or laughter can make you happier, imagine the logical conclusion of that! When you’re happy or amused, you want to be able to laugh. So don’t get to the stage where you’re ashamed to!

E, for Employment

If you walk into a job interview with your hair done, new stylish clothes and flawless makeup, you’ve got a better chance of getting the job. If you then open your mouth to reveal decaying teeth, it will put any interviewer off. See, they aren’t just considering your aptitude for the job, but how you’ll fit in a team. Poor dental hygiene can make others uncomfortable – and cost you a dream job!

Opinion

“It Never Did My Kids Any Harm”

It Never Did My Kids Any HarmWhen Facebook first started, way before I had kids, it was a way to catch up with old friends, let the world know what you were doing, share photos and “poke” people, virtually. It’ll be TEN YEARS AGO this year that I joined Facebook (I know, right?) and in that time, the things I use Facebook for has changed quite dramatically. I think the thing I spend the most time doing on FB now is using groups and I’m in various ones, some for diet and fitness, some for make up and fashion, lots of buying and selling and a couple for parenting, and it’s in that last group where I hear my pet-hate-phrase.

There are lots of different questions to which “it never did my kids any harm” gets trotted out as a standard response, everything from smacking to cot bumpers to sugary drinks to watching Mister Tumble and I really wish it would be stricken from the English vernacular. I think I see it used most often in relation to controlled crying, something to which I’m hugely opposed and I just wish people would see how damaging this kind of ‘echo chamber’ response is.

I get that everyone makes different choices and that’s entirely up to them. It’s also good for everyone to have support and camaraderie, especially when it comes to parenting as it’s a lonely old job at times. However, using your own experience to bias someone else’s choices is SO wrong.

The reason things change as generations move on is because of research and development. We advise against cot bumpers and sleeping in certain positions and sleeping in car seats for extended periods and all of these other things because of years and years of extensive research, NOT because someone, somewhere said “Well, my friend Janet fed her kids lead paint and THEY ALL TURNED OUT OKAY”.

THAT’S NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS.

I appreciate that there’s a lot of inherited wisdom which is passed from generation to generation, and generally speaking those things are fine, but basing your opinion of a whole facet of parenting on the equivalent of ONE case study is absolutely bonkers. Would you trust a medicine which had been tested by one person? Or drive a car which had only one safety test done on it? No, I don’t think you would.

If we’re being realistic, there are SO many things that older generations did (giving the baby brandy or whisky in their bottle to help it sleep? Giving it a sniff of the gas tap?! Leaving them outside the shops OR EVEN THE PUB in their buggy??!) that you absolutely would never dream of in this day and age.

The fact is, the reason that rules and regulations change is because people spend time and money working things out in a lab, with finely tweaked variables and control tests and all of those other things that we’re supposed to trust. They produce QUANTIFIABLE results. You can say “smacking my kids didn’t do them any harm”, but on what are you basing that? The fact that they aren’t on top of a bell tower with a high-powered rifle? Because, believe me, when it comes to the psychological effects that spill over from childhood there’s still a VAST space between “fine” and “bell tower” and they aren’t all kittens and roses.

The trouble is, people don’t seem to want to listen to quantifiable evidence when they’re of the “never did any harm” school of thought. MY argument against controlled crying comes from reams and reams of research which was done with kids living in orphanages – children who were left to cry for hours on end eventually stopped expecting comfort and therefore stopped asking for it, leading to an inability to effectively produce cortisol in later life, affecting future relationships and greatly increasing the likelihood of depression into adulthood. But if you bring this up, people latch on to the supposed absurdity of comparing their child to an orphan to poo-poo any sort of data. What you’re saying doesn’t reflect their opinion and therefore it MUST be crap.

I’m not advocating the judgement of other people’s methods as such, I just really wish people would think a little beyond this attitude and realise that things move on FOR A REASON. I swear, half the time people use this phrase as a way to make them feel better about their own doubts about methods they used, or as a defence of their own parents because they see criticism of old methods as some sort of accusation of failure.

What do you think? Are you of this school of thought or do you try to follow current advice and research? Is this something which drives you potty, too? Leave me a comment below.

Education

The Profs Tutoring – University and Beyond!

As much as I hate to admit it, I’m at an age now where some of my friends have kids of university age and older, so as much as my two are still in the early stages of their education, my friends’ kids are moving on to higher education already. It’s a real eye-opener, seeing all of the processes that they have to go through, from UCAS forms to Uni tours and applications for finance, it’s WAY more daunting than a primary school application and that’s before the work has even begun.

Some of you may remember that I started a degree myself, back in 2010 when Sausage was just 2. I had grand ideas of studying psychology and although I managed to get through my first two courses, the workload got too much once I returned to work, not forgetting the huge hike in fees which happened to treble the cost of my courses. It gave me huge respect for the people who move miles away from home at the tender age of eighteen to do it all full-time and made me realise that there must be kids who need help too.

It never occurred to me before that University students might have private tutors, but that’s exactly what the guys at The Profs do. They’re a University tutors service, aimed at students in higher education, and can help with private tuition, applications, academic consultancy, career advice, writing guidance and everything else a student might need to help them to get through their courses.  The tutors are all trained professionals from top universities, so they know all-too-well the rigours of Uni life and how tough it can be to keep on top of everything whilst dealing with what is most youngsters’ first real taste of independence.

The Profs’ mission statement is: 

A Private tutor can improve your understanding, boost your grades, diminish pressure, and enhance employment prospects!

    • We provide private tuition, academic mentoring and educational consultancy for students at all levels. Our tutors are professional tutors with teaching experience at top universities, schools, and institutions.
    • Our tutors are experts in everything from exam technique to revision technique and we seek to give students the confidence and dedication needed to succeed in education.
  • We have hundreds of educators working with thousands of students in pretty much any subject you can think of. Please, give us a call and see how we can help you.The Profs

With the job market being tougher than it’s ever been, even for graduates, it’s good to know that young people (or even people like myself who choose to go back into education after many years) are able to get the help that they need to enable them to get the best results they can. The cost of tutoring through The Profs are really reasonable given that they are all world-class educators and teachers. Many of them can also work online giving students from all around the world ultimate flexibility in having professional classes, no matter where they are based.

If you’d like to know how to find a tutor for yourself or your child, click on the link above to be taken to The Profs’ website.

Health

Cannabis Therapy for Epileptic Conditions in Children

Epilepsy can be a very challenging health condition, particularly for parents who struggle with finding an effective way to manage seizures that comes with the condition. In response to the challenge of epilepsy, the FDA has authorized many medications. While these drugs are very helpful, they are still unable to prevent the occurrence of seizures which has led many parents of epileptic children to adopt marijuana from CBD manufacturers which has proven to be the most viable option.

There have been many indications that cannabidiol is an effective treatment for a wide range of health conditions. For a proper understanding of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis on epilepsy condition, it would be necessary to understand the nature of the condition. Epilepsy is a neurological condition which is triggered by unusual electrical vibration in the brain which provokes uncontrollable disruptions of consciousness which is accompanies by mild to violent seizures. Sadly, there are people who have the resistant epilepsy which does not subside with medication.

Charlotte Figi was one of such cases of resistant epilepsy which showed no improvements with conventional medicine. However, medical marijuana was able to reduce the seizure completely. This and many more similar cases in which cannabidiol was administered have shown tremendous improvements with a reduced likelihood and severity of seizures. Charlotte had tried an assortment of conventional and traditional medicine to cope with unremitting seizures but after trying this therapeutic substance of Cannabis she began to experience dramatic improvements in her health. There are numerous investigations that affirm the healing benefits of Medical Marijuana in the treatment of the seizures caused by epilepsy. Among others CBD oil does not have any mind altering properties and has shown to be very effective in the treatments of anxiety, cardiovascular conditions, and cancer and so on.

The case of Anny who suffered from seizures which forced her parents to smuggle the precious CBD into the country for her treatment from the United States is illustrative of the powerful therapeutic effects of Cannabis. If they’d been in a country where mail order marijuana had been easily available, this would have made things much more simple for them. The medicine had shown to be very helpful in alleviating her seizures but it was illegal in Brazil at the time. After her mother(Katiele) was arrested for smuggling in Medical Cannabis oil, her parents filed a law suit against the government of Brazil which forced The National Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil to decriminalize the use of Cannabis oil as well as its importation. CBD becomes day by day accepted from the medical community as it is proven to be entirely safe medication with astounding therapeutic properties.

The story of Anny became a very popular documentary also, you can watch it on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtJJ1pzMKxs

Maybe it is still early to get to a final and 100% scientific decision that Cannabis Cures Epilepsy.

But all those anecdotal evidence maybe is a good and optimistic start for the future of this horrible health condition.

The decriminalization of medicinal marijuana would certainly alleviate the discomfort and pain that many people suffering from various medical conditions endure. Medicinal marijuana has been decriminalized in many states with an increasing trend towards the use of CBD therapy for the management of numerous conditions.