53 articles Articles posted in Happiness

5 Amazing Moms Who Won the Lottery

It takes a huge stroke of luck to win the lottery, but every once in a while, people get the chance to experience such immensely fortunate events. In this article, we are going to tell you about five amazing mothers who have used their lottery fortunes to provide their families with the happily ever after they had always envisioned for them.

1. Pearlie Smith

Pearlie Smith is the proud mother of seven, and as you can imagine, it has not always been easy for her to provide her children with the best things in life. One night, Pearlie had an amazing dream about the winning numbers for the lottery.

She had played the lottery several times before, but she had never won. Nonetheless, she decided to play the numbers she had dreamt in the US Powerball, and this turned out to be the best decision she ever took because she won a whopping $429.6 million. With such an impressive fortune, the Smiths will never have financial troubles ever again.

2. Sonia Davies

Sonia Davies, 53, underwent surgery for a parathyroid tumor and much to her surprise, she lived to tell the story. When the doctors told her that the operation had cured her completely, she felt absolutely invincible, so she realized it is the best possible time to play the lottery.

Sonia, who was in Florida at the time, called up her daughter in Wales, and she insisted that she buy a ticket for the EuroMillions. And it seems Sonia’s intuition served her well because they won no less than £61.1 million. Sonia and her daughter decided to share their lottery fortune with the entire family, thus providing them with a chance at a stellar future.

3. Hege Jeanette Oskens

Hege Jeanette Oskens seems to have an almost mythical connection to the lottery. Every time she gave birth to one of her children, a lottery win followed in her family. And since Hege is the happy mother of three, the Oskens’ have three lottery wins in their family.

Hege’s father won 4.2 million crowns in the Norwegian National Lottery the following day after she gave birth to her first child. Then, Hege herself won 8.2 million crowns and two days later, her second child came. The latest win in the Oskens family was this year when Hege’s brother won 12.2 million about a month after she had her third child. It remains to be seen if the Oskens’ lottery adventure still has some lotto fortunes to come.

4. Marie Holmes

Marie Holmes is the single mother of four, and all of her life she had struggled to sustain her family. She had worked two jobs to make ends meet, but she never stopped hoping that her life would change, which is why she bought Powerball tickets on a regular basis.

One day, her lottery hobby brought her a massive $188 million Powerball jackpot, so now she never has to worry about providing for her children ever again. Marie decided that not only her children, but the rest of her family as well, would get education funds so that they would have all the chances at a stellar future.

5. Kelsey Zachow

Kelsey Zachow is yet another single mother who struggled to provide for her family. But, like Marie Holmes, Kelsey played the lottery and hoped that it will make her future brighter. She got her big lottery break on a Friday, the 13th, and she won a staggering $66 million in the Mega Millions lottery.

Kelsey also set up college funds for her entire family and aimed to use her lotto fortune to provide her children with the best things in life. The 24-year-old proved to be extremely mature and put her millions to great use, not only for her, but for the whole family.

These lotto moms have some amazing stories, but it is their dedication to their families that we admire the most. So, never stop believing that things can truly get better and maybe even put in the occasional lottery ticket because you may get a lottery story of your very own.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Seeds Pack the Ultimate Punch (Giveaway)

Any parent of young children will be familiar with those times when you grab for something – anything – that will give you the energy to get through the next few hours without falling asleep on your laundry pile or sink full of dishes. A tablespoon of peanut butter at 9pm; half a baguette at 5am; handfuls of dry cereal as the older kids eat breakfast and you look for your keys, and shoes.

While pregnant we are endlessly mindful about what we eat, drink and breathe. We look after our bodies for the sake of our precious, unborn child and are glowing, buoyant gatekeepers – eating well, taking our vitamins and drinking our litres of water. But once baby is born we all-too-often become janitors – shuffling through the day on just enough empty calories to keep us upright and putting all the focus on keeping the children healthy. Actually the truth is that eating a healthy, nutritious diet while breastfeeding, or through days of little sleep, or while balancing households full to the brim with dependents, is just as important as during those serene, pregnant days. And prioritizing a balanced diet of healthy, whole foods for mum – plate-spinner and family-pivot – is crucial for our health, energy, happiness and mental health.

And here’s where we come to the star of the show – seeds – which really do pack a punch for such a small player. Seeds provide us with a wide range of essential oils and nutrients and fall within the guidelines of most dietary restrictions. Snacking on seeds not only offers fantastic health benefits, providing much-needed nutrients, they are full of slow-release energy, so perfect for long days (and nights) as parents of young children.

Share the Love

And let’s not stop there. Seeds are great for kids too. With so many nut allergies around, seeds are a safe go-to gap-filler. And their slow-release energy is a winner when it comes to being focused. Unlike the peak and crash of a high sugar snack, it’s well documented that eating whole foods result in better application, concentration and stamina for the classroom, pitch and playground.

Don’t know your linseed from your birdseed? Don’t worry. Allow us to shepherd you through the seeds currently topping the pops, how best to use them and their various life-bettering properties.Chia means ‘strength’ and as far as fuel goes, it doesn’t get much better than this. Chia seeds are full of nutrients and, unlike some seeds, come with very few calories. Harvested from a flowering plant in the mint family, these seeds can absorb a lot of liquid – they expand to hold about ten times their dry weight. Chia is a real all-rounder; it’s used in puddings and porridge, added to smoothies and sprinkled on salads.

Flaxseed (also called linseed) is packed full of good things including dietary fiber, omega-3 and vitamin B1 – you can see why it is often referred to as wonder food. You have to grind flaxseed before using it but once you’ve done that labour of love, you can add it to anything from morning porridge to homemade bread.

Pumpkin seeds have long been a favourite for healthy snackers, and they haven’t lost their appeal. Bringing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential acids with every handful, these seeds are seriously versatile. They can be eaten raw or cooked in sweet or savoury dishes – or simply roasted for a super on-the-go snack.

Sunflower seeds are crunchy and nutty and usually eaten plain as a snack or simply sprinkled on salads. Filled with antioxidants, magnesium, copper and Vitamin E, they are top of their game and are even said to bring a glow to tired skin! Filled with goodness that’s drawn straight from the sun, they become the star of the show in recipes such as sunflower seed pesto and homemade bread.

Seeds really do deserve the hype. And there’s family fun to be had growing them too. Summer is around the corner, the sun will be shinning and kids love planting and getting their hands dirty so grab a paper cup, pop a few sunflower seeds and soil into it and get kids growing their own in your own home. And for those of us who don’t have the time to brush our hair let alone grow seeds, there’s 9NINE.

9NINE products celebrate super seeds and are the perfect snack for people who care about their well-being but don’t always have time to prepare snacks from scratch. Seeds provide big tastes for even the smallest occasions – if you aren’t already, it’s time to take seeds seriously!

Nutrients in 9NINE:

Magnesium restores mindfulness with good energy
Fibre boosts your body with good digestion
Copper activates your immune system
Phosphorous looks after your mental energy
Vitamin E gets your skin glowing
Thiamin gets the best energy out of your food

Potassium gives your heart the love it deserves
Manganese maintains strength through healthy bones
Calcium keeps the balance with happy hormones
Zinc gives a natural immune boost
Protein is an essential building block for a balanced life
Iron keeps oxygen moving around the body

To win a collection of goodies from 9NINE, leave me a comment below telling me which of the ingredients you need the most at the moment, be it calcium for the happy hormones, zinc for your immune system or something else!

Winners will be drawn at random on 4th July 2017, no cash alternative will be offered.

Creativity for a Happier Life

Whether you’ve always been a bit creative or think that creativity isnt for you at all, it wouldn’t harm to have some creativity in today’s world. Thinking outside the box has always been a desirable skill and can even be gained after practice. You not have to be a natural at it, you can even start bit by bit to experience how creativity can positively affect your life:

1. More energy: If you are in the creative flow, you feel like everything is easier. It is easier to get out of the bed in the morning and easier to work for long periods of time with complete focus. Creative pursuit will also provide you with better moods and will make you happier.

2. Better work life: Your career will only prosper if you get a little creative at it. New innovation has created some major changes in every industry today and it will continue doing so. Even if you don’t own a business, creativity can still help you have a better home and work life as it can provide you with balance.

3. Ability to see opportunities: If you feel like there are no opportunities for you, try getting a bit creative. Creative people can do a number of things and make opportunities out of thin air. The ability to think of possibilities where there seem to be none will only help you in life.

4. Persistence: Any creative activity, whether it is writing, painting or anything else, will require a lot of persistence. And if you are good at it this will also show in other areas of your life.

So why don’t you pick up a creative pursuit today and let it transform your life? Creativity in itself is a reward, but you can also make sure that you follow through by rewarding yourself with things like playing a bingo game with bingo promotions at GameVillage or a copy of a favorite book!

How to Create the Ultimate Night Out Look

Night OutWhen you are talking “night out”, this is your opportunity. It is your opportunity to let loose and feel completely confident in your skin. A “night out” is going to be different from the normal. It is going to be exciting. You are intentionally getting ready to be unrestrained in some way, form or fashion.

A “Night Out” Means Different Things Depending Upon the Company You Keep

A night out with the girls is different when you are on the prowl or happily married and content. A night out with your spouse is different if it’s your anniversary, or just a chance to catch a flick without the kids. Your night out is also coloured by who is accompanying you on the excursion.

Whatever your night out is all about, we want you to make the most of it. The way to make the most out of any evening is your attitude about the opportunity.

Feeling Sexy Goes with Everything

Taking the extra time to slow down and appreciate yourself as a woman should be the backdrop of every night out. Your attitude is an essential part of the wardrobe. Now that you have an attitude of latitude, you are starting to feel sexier by the minute. Now, your night out can go higher and higher.

So, what other things should be an essential part of your special night out wardrobe? Well, we are glad you asked.

Like the 70’s hit song declared, “Let’s Make This a Night to Remember”

Crotch-less Tights – is an essential part of your grown and sexy wardrobe. It is not trying too hard. Nobody but you will know you are wearing them. It is a constant reminder that you have removed a barrier to your fun this evening. Tease your spouse and let them know you have a surprise for them. You can purchase some new crotchless tights and wear with or without undies. You determine your level of naughty for the night out mood you want to set.

A Dramatically Different Hairstyle or Wig – This element gives you permission to be someone different on your special night out. You may pass by a mirror and not even recognise yourself. Donning a different hair colour, length or style will be fun. Trying something out of the ordinary will set your night out apart from the rest of your week with distinction and style.

Stilettos – Here is yet another opportunity to take your night out up a couple of notches. Wearing those four inch heels will be a real escape from the everyday. Women feel sexy in heels and they will definitely be a great compliment to your crotch-less tights. Depending upon your level of comfort, you can go up or down a few inches in heel height. Be careful though – no one feels sexy with aching toes. You don’t want to turn your night out to a “let’s sit this one out”.

A Dramatically Different Makeup Style – Try something you’ve always wanted to try; perhaps a trending trick you saw on the Internet will set your night out makeup apart from your work-week. Staying in line with our sexy theme, you may just apply a little more makeup than usual to give you a sexier edge for the tone of the evening.

Gloves or Costume Jewels – Topping off your night out duds is the embellishments you crave, the finishing touches. If you’re strictly a pearl stud earring lady by day, vamping up with finger-less, lace gloves and long dangling earrings for your night out will be just the level of sexy you desire.

Give your night out look some added glamour or naughtiness with any of the above items!

My Dream Hobby Room

My Dream Hobby RoomI have to admit, I spend more time looking at Rightmove than is really necesary for someone who has no intention of moving. I’ve always loved looking at other people’s houses and can often be found binge-watching episodes of Grand Designs or Location, Location, Location just to get my interiors fix! I love dreaming about what I’d do if space and money were no object and at the moment, a hobby room is at the top of my list. Read on for an insight into what I’d have in my ultimate hobby room:

A Sewing Station

I absolutely love to sew and make clothes but I often lack the space to do it, so a dedicated space with a dressmakers dummy and lots of fabric storage would be a great way to enable me to get sewing. Valentino’s Displays has an amazing range of clothes rails, mannequins, hangers and storage bins and I reckon I could get everything I needed for my sewing area on their site.

A Reading Nook

I’ve always been able to read just about anywhere, probably from years of reading on buses and trains, but these days I do require a little bit of quiet to enable me to get lost in a book. A comfy armchair in the corner of the room with a little table for a lamp and my latte is definitely a bit part of my fantasy room.

A Writing Area

Writing is both a hobby and my profession and although I tend to work on a laptop literally on my lap, Burrito Baby is off to nursery in September which means I don’t have to only work in the room she’s in! A proper working area where my laptop could sit and I could use a decent ergonomic chair would not only be a novelty, but it would probably also be a lot better for my back!

A Proper Coffee Machine

These days, my vices are well and truly confined to the virtuous, never more so than now, given the fact that I even eat clean and don’t drink alcohol (well…hardly ever!). However, one thing that I absolutely refuse to give up is decent coffee! I tend to use my Waitrose card to get a free cup every day and I think I’d be considerably poorer if I didn’t get my coffee fix from there! Having a coffee machine in my hobby room with a proper milk steamer would be the ultimate indulgence for me.

A Yoga Corner

Since I started going to yoga classes at my gym a few months ago, I’ve found a really deep love of it. It’s one of my favourite hours of my whole week and I look forward to it every Saturday. I’d love to be able to do it more often but we really don’t have much space at home for yoga because our house is pretty cluttered. A dedicated space to find my zen and get my stretch on would be a dream!

What would you have in your dream hobby room?

Don’t Let Anything Stop You from Getting Back to Your Normal

Have you not been feeling yourself as of late? Have you, for whatever reason, felt a bit different to how you normally feel? Whether it’s a mental or a physical plight that is making you feel a bit off you can rest assured that there is help out there. There are services that willing and waiting to help you. All you have to do is accept their help.

If your physical wellbeing is in fact bringing you down, and causing you a great discomfort at that, then why stand for it any longer? There are host of professional services out there just waiting to right any wrongs in your body, so use them! You don’t have to spend all of your hard earned cash on bills, food and treats for your family, you know. It is absolutely not a waste of money to spend your cash on a bout of treatment for YOUR aches and pains. Whether this be in the form of a local chiropractor in order to ease your back and neck troubles or a professional massage parlour to relax your muscles, you do it. There’s no point continuing with your everyday life if you feel any discomfort, and there’s no need to do so either. No matter how big you think your problem is you should get it sorted in order to retain the standard of living that you deserve. Even the slightest of pains can be treated, and they really should be before they escalate any further.

Massage

There’s also no shame in taking care of your appearance if that does indeed ever make you feel anything less than normal. Now, you can’t hide your face away at all times which means you do have to subject it to things that will damage it. But you can still take care of your skin, you know. Similarly, you can’t realistically protect your mind from being stretched or frazzled at some points in the day if you live a hectic life. Sometimes life will throw stressful situations your way which will leave you feeling less than normal. But what’s stopping you from getting back to normal once the ordeal is over? If you are feeling nowhere near 100% in your own mind you should never be tentative to tell others. You should never be afraid to say ‘I won’t be coming out tonight’ if you don’t feel mentally up to it. Mental health is sometimes not given the care it deserves, so why don’t you buck the trend by bettering your mental wellbeing.

Mental health

Everybody deserves to feel brilliant every single day. Granted, there are a load of everyday plights that seemingly try their best to stop this. But it’s not about stopping with these plights it’s about managing them to suit you. For example, you can’t stop taking your kids to school in the winter and subjecting your face to the blistering winds. You can, however, fight the effects caused by these winds and keep your skin ‘normal’. Whatever ‘normal’ is for you, you should never let anything stop you from getting back to it!

 

4 Steps to a Healthier Life

With spring in full effect, everyone seems to have woken from their winter slumbers. Suddenly everyone is out and about, making plans and brushing the dust off those summer clothes. The breeze is warm, the blossom is bright and it’s a good time of year for a bit of a shake-up. So try these tips for making your life that little bit healthier. It’s not about dieting or weight loss; it’s about feeling good and enjoying yourself!

Cooking from Scratch

I love cooking from scratch — when I get the time, that is! Sometimes I’m surprised at what can be achieved in just an hour (let’s be honest: Jamie’s 30-minute meals always take longer than he claims…). We all tell ourselves we should do this more often. Well, you should!

We all remember the news story about how much sugar there is in off-the-shelf pasta sauce, right? If you make your own, you’re reducing the amount of fat, sugar and salt that you consume. Why not just make a bigger batch and freeze most of it? Or you can keep tomato sauce in the fridge for a couple of weeks if it’s in an airtight container. When heating it back through, maybe throw in some capers, basil, or cheese and you’ve got a quick and easy meal for the kids.

P.S: Cook the onions for your tomato sauce for as long as possible before you add the tins of tomatoes. This makes the sauce sweeter and tastier…

Vitamin D

This next one comes straight from the horse’s mouth. The NHS recommends vitamin D, as it is “needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy”. While you can acquire vitamin D from some foods, it’s most commonly absorbed through sunlight, so get out in the sun as much as possible this summer and keep your bones and bodies healthy. Don’t forget your suncream!

Some people even suggest that vitamin D is “a natural way to make you shine”. If you’re feeling down in the winter months, maybe it’s due to a lack of it. Try and be outdoors as much as possible while it’s still light. You could even get some vitamin D tablets from the pharmacy — some people swear by them.

Eliminate Vices — Cigarettes and Alcohol

I know, I know: it’s the same story as always here. We all know these vices are bad for your health and, in excess, could be life-threatening, but they really do have a negative impact on your body. While drinking alcohol responsibly can help you live a little longer (my dentist even suggested drinking ale to keep my teeth healthy), the sugary drinks you mix it with add to its high-calorie content. This can cause all kinds of damage to your teeth and body.

Cigarettes are a given; I won’t lecture you on them. However, unlike alcohol, cigarettes have a healthier alternative. You’ll have no doubt heard of the electronic cigarette: the NHS  actually recommends electronic cigarettes for people trying to quit smoking. There are plenty of studies that show how electronic cigarettes are healthier than traditional cigarettes. Here’s a list of some of the best e-liquids of 2017 to get you started.

Smiling

Perhaps the simplest piece of health advice ever given: just smile! While it might sound like an old wives tale, there are many reasons why smiling is good for you. You know what endorphins are, right? Not only do they reduce stress levels, but they are what’s responsible for making you feel happy. Well, movements in your facial muscles help release them.

Not only this, but it is thought that smiling can help develop your brain to think more positively and allow it to remain positive for longer periods of time. It can even affect the way your cells work, making them less rigid, helping us to relax. After all, I’ve never met someone who thinks being happy is unhealthy. So, keep smiling and embrace your healthier life!

Taking Care of Yourself this Spring

I don’t know about you but I’m SO ready for some warmer weather. The winter has really taken it out of all of us and I’m definitely looking forward to longer days and some sunshine on my face. I’ve been doing a lot more to take care of myself lately, eating properly and going to the gym, and I’ve been thinking about ways that I can expand on that in the coming days, so I thought I’d share with you my top five ways to take care of yourself this spring:

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is good for so many things and I’ve been looking at all of the different uses for the different oils, including anti-ageing properties and ways to soothe aching muscles. Neal’s Yard Remedies have an amazing range which are completely organic and have an oil for every ailment imaginable – I’m planning to mix a few of my own scents to use in the bath on gym days.

Massage

A few years back, I went for a massage at a local day spa and I enjoyed it SO much but it’s something I’ve never found the time or money to do again. Now that I’m running and weight lifting, I feel like I’d really benefit from a massage (or even regular massages) so I’m planning to make Spring the season in which I do it!

SLEEP!

Sleep is SO important to healing and mental health and as most parent knows it can also be an elusive thing! It becomes even more important when you’re exercising because the body needs time to heal and repair itself, so I’m planning on revamping the whole look of our bedroom and treating us to some new bed linen, to make our bedroom a palace of relaxation so that sinking in to bed at night feels like a proper treat! Many people struggle with nasal issues which interrupt sleep, so consulting a nose surgeon might really help.

Yoga

As well as the exercise that I’m already doing, I’m planning to throw in a weekly yoga class as well. Running and weight-lifting are both great ways to lose weight, increase strength and tone up but I’m hoping that yoga will help with my flexibility and also help to improve any muscle aches that I get after working out. Invest in a decent yoga mat if you plan to go to a class as the gym’s own ones usually smell of feet!

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a word that I’ve heard a lot of people use in the last couple of years and after looking into it, I think it’s something I could really stand to learn more about. The definition of mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” and it sounds like exactly what I need for my Springtime self-care.

What are you doing to take care of yourself this Spring?

Cute Valentine’s Day Ideas To Show You Care

51% of women believe the main purpose of Valentine’s Day is to show you care according to a recent survey and quite right to. There’s enough hate and disruption in the world around us, why not take any excuse to show the love? Perhaps you always celebrate 14th February, perhaps you and your partner let it breeze by without so much as a card. Whatever your Valentine’s Day style, these cute Valentine’s Day ideas are sure to shake up your Valentine’s Day traditions and have you smiling about your memory of Valentine’s Day 2017 for years to come.

Spoil Him

Did you know that in some Asian countries Valentine’s Day is focused on the man in the relationship, and the woman has to buy the man presents. According to the same survey, only 41% of men believe Valentine’s Day has a point, but you can convince any man of its purpose with the right approach. Sure a snuggle in the morning might get him a touch more excited about things, but why not spoil him rotten all day? What would he most love to do on Valentine’s Day? Maybe you can set up a gaming den and play his favourite computer games with him for a couple of hours. What about an activity he loves you have always refused to try – surprise him and book both of you in to do it. Maybe he is a big foodie – plan a food tour of your local city, accounting for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You might even want to go Big Bang Theory AKA the Valentine’s episode in season 6, where Amy plans a completely no pressure, no romance evening for Sheldon because she knows he hates Valentine’s Day. Only you know what would tickle his fancy, but he will probably be very surprised to find the focus on him this  February the 14th.

He’s got all of the Valentine’s Days for the rest of your life to spoil you, so why not this year, make it all about him?

Who Doesn’t Love Holidays?

A holiday is the most popular valentine’s day gift or, at least, the most wanted gift anyway. Clinking coconut cocktails on a sunny beach somewhere tropical, sharing a bag of hot chips and a cold can of pop on a blustery UK coastal town, stargazing from a hot tub in a remote lodge as it starts to snow – sigh – even we want a holiday for Valentine’s Day now! Escapism is always a romantic prospect, whatever the occasion, the only problem is, it can be extremely costly to go away for Valentine’s Day because everyone else is.

The solution? Give a holiday for Valentine’s Day. Don’t start remortgaging your house just yet, it doesn’t have to cost the earth. This could be one night in a hotel somewhere a couple of hours drive away, or two weeks somewhere tropical. There is a trip to level out against the amount you usually spend on perfume, flowers and a meal out. This prolongs the joy of Valentine’s Day because it gives you both something to look forward to.

Food Is The Food Of Love

Food, relates all of us because we need it to live and to thrive and everybody has certain dishes they get excited about. Food also brings people together, creates a shared experience and it adds to the occasion and atmosphere of any event. Cooking for your partner, is an age old Valentine’s Day tradition, but, that doesn’t make it irrelevant or dated. If anything, with all the amazing ingredients we have access to, the social media sharing of recipes and presentation and the embracing of taking our diets into our own hands, it is the best time to be cooking and sharing that experience with a loved one. There are endless ways you can share the foodie love with your significant other, here are just a few great ideas:-

  • Make homemade truffles and gift them in a pretty chocolate box. Try out this easy chocolate truffles 4 ways tutorial.
  • Make breakfast in bed complete with naked apron attire, rose and an incredible breakfast spread. This ultimate pancake recipe guide should come in handy.
  • DIY sushi rolls – lay out all the ingredients and then make the rolls together. There’s a lot of fun to be had with chopsticks, sticky rice and a shared experience. This how to make sushi guide is a great starting place.

Why go out for food, when you can have so much more fun at home?

Give Love To Others

On Valentine’s Day we focus on our love in our relationships. This is a wonderful thing to do, but when you think about all the different places where love is lacking, you might feel inclined to take this day and spread your love a little further. A lot of people volunteer at Christmas, but Valentine’s Day is just as fitting and you will both feel so good about yourselves sharing the experience of giving. Some ways you could spread the love could be:-

  • Spending the money you would spend on gifts for each other on food for a local food bank, on blankets for a local dogs home, or as a donation to your favorite charity
  • Spending an afternoon volunteering at your local dogs home
  • Spending the morning chatting to local elderly people who may have lost their significant other/s
  • Gifting a hot breakfast to a homeless person
  • Buying a Big Issue
  • Spending some time with a single friend you know gets down in the dumps during this holiday
  • Cheering up somebody you know who is spending this Valentine’s Day alone for the first time in a long time
  • Volunteering at a charity shop for the day

In a world that seems to be so full of hate, why not share the love? Use this charity database to find a charity near you.

Hopefully, these Valentine’s Day ideas have given you some inspiration so that you can have the most incredible 14th February this year. Whether you’re feeding each other, walking dogs without a home or excitedly planning your next adventure together, just remember to enjoy yourself, as there is never a bad reason to celebrate and share the gift of love.

How to Cope with Winter Illness

This time of year seems to be the prime time for illness. The weather is still cold and most of us would rather stay indoors and wrapped up even when we’re well, let alone when we’re poorly, but for most of us, that level of hibernation just isn’t an option! Being the only driver in the house and living as far from Sausage’s school as we do, I’m all too aware of the “make do and mend” approach that most of us mums have to take when we’re struck down, so I thought I’d put together a list of things that you should be doing when illness strikes.

1. REST

I know its easier said than done for most of us, but rest is so important when you’re ill, and it’s so much harder to recover if you’re on the go all the time. The key to resting is picking your battles – school runs, cooking and other vitals obviously still need to be done, but things like hoovering and washing can usually wait for a day or two. Leave these until you’re feeling up to it – we promise, the world won’t end if you don’t vacuum!

2. Get Some Advice

Most of us know the difference between feeling under the weather and being truly ill, but sometimes we’d like a little bit of medical advice and if you can’t get an appointment with your GP, you’re left in the dark. The Independent Pharmacy has an online doctor who can help to advise you if you feel you need medical attention and can suggest over-the-counter medications which might help you to feel better.

3. Accept Help

As a Mum, I know how easy it is to be stubborn and brush off offers of help even when you really need it. Now is the time to swallow your pride and accept that you need help. Call in favours from fellow Mums to see if they can do school pick ups for you, or let your Mum/Mother in Law make a fuss of you – they love to do it really and you can repay favours when you’re felling 100% again.

4. Exercise

If you exercise regularly and don’t want to let it slide, the usual rule of thumb is “if you’re ill from the shoulders up, exercise. If you’re ill from the shoulders down, don’t!”. If it’s a head cold, going for a light jog might help blow the cobwebs away and speed up your recovery, but if it’s anything else, refer to point number one and REST!

5. Dose Up

Dosing yourself up with paracetamol, anti-inflammatories or decongestants might be enough to allow you to get on with everything you need to do if you really can’t bear to take a day off. There are loads of magic potions which are available over the counter which can make a cold of virus seem like to big thing and although we’d prefer it if you sat at home in your PJs, watching Netflix and drinking tea, we also know that sometimes that’s just not possible. Our one bit of advice would be to check that none of your medicines make you drowsy if you intend on driving anywhere.

Get well soon!