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Useful Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds

Many parents rely on coffee to give them that jolt of energy to see them through the day; but most just chuck the used coffee beans away and think nothing off it. However there are a few surprising ways you can reuse coffee beans, recycling and benefits, it’s a win win.

Use Coffee In your Garden

Keep Cats Out of Your Garden

Does your neighbours cat like to hang out in your garden? Have a break with a cup of coffee and an orange and then sprinkle a mix of orange peel and coffee grounds around your plants. The smell will keep cat away – unless of course you want them there.

Turn Coffee Grounds into Compost

Not many people are aware but used coffee grounds make a great addition to your fertiliser. Flowers love the acid, especially roses and evergreens.

Repel Snails

You may have wonderful soil but if you have snails and slugs in it your vegetables just aren’t going to grow. Pour some old coffee grounds around the area to poison.. ummm miraculously remove snails from your soil.

Deter Ants

Are you concerned about your kids playing in the garden or local park due to ant mounds? Coffee grounds don’t just deter cats, ants hate it too. Sprinkle some around ant mounds to discourage them from hanging about.

Grow Perfect Carrots

Do you and your kids enjoy growing your own vegetables? Mix carrot seeds with used coffee grounds before you sow to give them a boost of energy. It will also keep pesky slugs away.

Use Coffee in The House

Cover Any Fridge Odours

When you have finished a butter pot but a used filter filled with used coffee ground inside and place at the back of your fridge.The coffee aroma will deodorise your fridge.

Create Treasure Maps

In time for the Easter Hunt you can get creative with coffee grounds. Soak coffee grounds in hot water to make sepia dye, then use it to dye fabrics or paper to make your Easter Treasure map look the part!

Car Air freshener

School girls make holes in their tights all the time! Cut the leg off an old pair of nylon tights, add some coffee grounds and two drops of vanilla extract then make a knot in the leg. Your car will smell like a latte heaven.

Do you have any tips for reusing coffee grounds? Please share below.

What would you do with £1 million?

We all buy lotto tickets now and then – even with the price hike that went on back in October last year. If you missed it, it now costs £2 for a National Lottery ticket, whereas it used to be £1. However, although the ticket costs a bit more, if you’re going to go for a big gamble, then the lottery is one that could pay off big style!

Imagine waking up £1 million richer than you were the night before. It would be life transforming, that’s for sure. Every person who buys a lotto ticket has a little daydream about how they’d spend the money, but what do the big winners actually do with it?

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, there have been 3,000 millionaire winners. Some have won significantly more than £1million, but the average is £2.8m apiece. That compares with the average PowerBall 1st Prize amount of $33 million, so those lucky winners have even more money to decide what to do with. The people at Camelot have carried out a survey to find out what the UK National Lottery millionaire winners choose to spend their money on, and the results aren’t that much of a surprise.

The first thing people tend to do is decide whether to carry on working on not. A surprising number – 19% – stay in their jobs, while the majority throw the towel in on their job (59%). However, about a third of the winners have got involved in some kind of volunteer work.

The money they win is spent on a new home, a new car, and investments for now and in the future. Lottery winners seem to be generous souls – with more than £1bn of the £8.5bn that has been won being spent on gifts for friends and family.

As for luxuries, there aren’t a huge amount of surprises here either. Lots of lottery winners splurge on a holiday, with the most popular destinations being the USA, the Caribbean and Dubai. Home improvements include luxuries such as the installation of hot tubs, walk-in wardrobes and games rooms.

The question is, though, what would you do if it happened to you? It’s worth having a think about it, as you could be the next lucky big winner!

Snoozing and Infusing…

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Well, its all happening. After I saw my consultant last week it was decided that my delivery date needed to be moved forward. A combination of 2.1 being large for her stage and my blood pressure deciding to go haywire means that, even at just under 37 weeks, its safer to have her in than out and the beauty of a planned c-section is that we have control over when that happens. I did not, however, expect to get a call from my Husband while in was driving to the hospital yesterday saying “it’s Monday. Your section has been moved to Monday!”.

After my planned appointment with my midwife, I had to take myself off to the maternity ward for a pre-op assessment and meeting with my anaesthetist so that I could have my section on Monday. In the midst of all of this, I kept thinking “its okay, I still have the weekend to sort everything out at home”.

Err. No.

As it turns out, having the baby before 39 weeks means that (just to hedge our bets) I have to be given a course of steroids which will ensure her lungs have matured enough by the time she’s born, at 36 weeks and 6 days. This would all be fine if I weren’t a diabetic but unfortunately the steroids can play havoc with sugar levels.

The upshot of all of this is that I’m stuck in hospital for the next two days. I’m on a constant infusion of insulin to keep my blood sugars regular and I’ve had a steroid injection today which will be repeated again tomorrow. My blood sugars will be taken hourly, and the infusion adjusted as it needs to be.

Happy Valentines Day to me, huh?

I shouldn’t complain. If anything, despite the fact that I miss Sausage, Husband and Chuck a ridiculous amount and that I’m sat on a crappy chair in the corner of a noisy ward, just knowing that everything is under control is a great comfort to me. My wonderful Husband, as well as his Mum and Aunt have been at home, getting the house spick and span and putting up the cot, ready for our homecoming and Sausage was so brave and strong this morning that even thought I could tell she was upset, she didn’t show it at all. I’m so grateful to them all and would definitely have completely lost it if it weren’t for them.

This is all such a massive contrast to last time, when it felt like everything was being left to chance and ultimately ended up in bad things happening. We have a plan. We know what’s happening and the baby and I are being looked after in a way that makes me feel a whole lot more comfortable than before. Okay, so I almost passed out when the doctor who put my canula in managed to allow about a cupful of my blood to spill everywhere, but that’s been the only major hiccup so far!

I can’t wait for Sunday, when I’ll be able to go home and spend a day with Husband, Sausage and Chuck before the new arrival is here but until then, I’ll be trying to see the silver lining and catch up on as much sleep as I can!

Stairway to Bedtime Heaven

As a child I was jealous of my best friend for a number of reasons, mostly because she had something I didn’t: a pair of high-heeled shoes; cool parents under the age of 40; a pink bike with the spangled handlebars; and, probably top of the list…a bunk bed.

Bunk beds, or cabin beds as they are now known, just seem so much more exciting than your average single bed in a box room – unless put in a prison context and occupied by delinquent cell-mates! I used to imagine that my pal would be having all sorts of adventures in her bunk bed, so, when my seven-year-old child first raised the question about having a bunk bed in his room the romantic in me felt compelled to say yes.

At what age is the right age to have a bunk bed? Well, I reckon their greatest appeal is from the age of about seven or so, when the fear factor of falling off the top deck fades away, until the age of 16 when having to use any sort of effort to get in and out of bed is way beyond the call of duty. Some people like to take it too far and sleep in bunk beds well into adulthood. But when you find yourself calling emergency services to help you get back up the ladder, or call the local occupational therapist to have a hand rail installed, it’s probably wise to call it a day.Another good indicator is when you’re old enough to sleep in the same bed as your significant other. At the end of the day ‘bunk up’ can have very different connotations depending on what stage of life you’re at!
As I wasn’t fortunate enough to have a bunk bed in my youth I’ve not really given them much of a second glance until said offspring declared his interest. I found this useful link, http://www.gltc.co.uk/cabin-beds/dept/fcp-category/list, to a website that has all manner of different bunk beds, and I’ve since gone on to purchase the stairway to bedtime heaven I was never fortunate enough to have.

One thing it could not tell me though – apart from the obvious practicalities like saving on space -is what makes bunk beds so appealing to the younger generation. Personally, I think it’s because they are the closest thing you’ll get to a hideaway indoors. Den-building has become a lost art in the big outdoors, in part due to health and safety constraints, so being able to build one in your own bedroom, using the bunk bed as a frame instead of a few moss-covered twigs, can be a real blessing, especially on a wet weekend.

A day out with a difference

Whenever the weather is nice enough to enjoy a day out in the UK – it seems to take us all by surprise. Everyone heads for the same places, the roads get clogged and, if you have children with you, you wondered why you bothered trying in the first place.

But if you’re looking to find a day out with a bit of a difference, and you haven’t visited a racecourse before – then this is a day out with a difference that can be a lot of fun.

But if you’re looking to find a day out with a bit of a difference, and you haven’t visited a racecourse before – then this is a day out with a difference that can be a lot of fun.

But you have to do a little research before you go. That’s because some racecourses are great for just picnicking on a rug with a great vantage point so the kids can play – then watch the horses run by every half hour. But some aren’t. So have a look at a good guide to UK racecourses before you plan the day – and make enquiries of the course.

There are some simply stunning racecourses in Britain set in beautiful countryside. Some are better known than others, of course. Have a look at Ludlow, Cheltenham, Kelso, Hexham or Cartmel in the Lake District for example. At Cartmel, there are race meetings in May, July and August – so you should be able to get at least one dry day!

Alternatively, Chester races is a wonderful town course with the tightest circuit in the country – which is great fun on a summer’s day for the whole family.

If you like a flutter on the races – put your bets on before you go. This way, you can shout on your selection from your relaxed picnic spot and if your vantage point is good enough, you’ll be able to see or hear if you’ve won.

Betfair enables you to place all your best at the prices you think they should be before you go. Of course, there’s no guarantee your bets will be taken, but as an exchange, Betfair generally enjoys better prices.

Of course, with Betfair, you can bet on your laptop or mobile if you’re really keen – though if you get really lucky and the sun is shining – you may not be able to see the screen; let’s hope so anyway!

Some of the UK’s racecourses truly are in beautiful settings – and good fun to consider for a day out that’s a bit different.

A Great Source of Diversion for Those Long Winter Nights

picby  Lisa Widerberg 

Winter isn’t always the best time of year for many of us. When you’ve got the excitement of Christmas and New Year out of your system, the rest of the winter months stretch out ahead and spring always feels like it’s a long way off.

The evenings can be the best and worst of winter. Although it’s nice to have those cosy times with the family, when you’ve battened down the hatches and are all home for the day and rest of the evening, it can incite a bit of cabin fever too. If you’ve been stuck in all day with the kids because of the cold and wet weather, you can really have had enough of the four walls by the time evening comes around.

Just imagine, though, how lucky we are compared with previous generations. At least, because of the internet, we have plenty of entertainment at our fingertips for those few hours when the kids are tucked up in bed and you’ve put your feet up for the day. Of course, there’s always something on TV, but it’s not always easy to find something you actually want to watch!

Online, however, there’s always something to do. You can get on with some work, or check out what everyone’s been up to on Facebook or the like, or catch up on the latest at celebrity gossip sites. We have so much choice in how we are entertained compared with our parents’ generation!

When you’re looking for something different to entertain you, take a look at all the different gaming options there are. Casino sites have a huge range of games in one place and you could spend many a happy hour trying out the different games. Even if you don’t want to part with any cash to play, you can still find lots to do on a casino site. What makes 32Red online casino of the decade for me is the number of games you can play in practice play mode – which means playing the games as if for real, but without putting any money into them. So you can choose the wildest gambles and nothing untoward will happen. You can have the highs and lows of winning and losing without any real financial risk. The only downside is that you have a big win, it won’t be a real one!

The games you choose to play will vary according to your level of energy and mental alertness. When you’re up for a challenge, you might choose to play a game of poker, but if you’ve had a full-on day and are just looking to unwind with a few entertaining games, then slots are the more sensible choice. Slots are simple games of chance – what you do won’t alter your chances of winning or losing. And in that, there’s a relaxing element to playing – you simply decide what amount to bet and when to spin the reels.

Casino sites offer plenty of entertainment that’s available when you want it, wherever you have an internet connection. It’s just one way of making those winter evenings go by a little quicker.

We’re A Servis Reviewer Family!

Before Christmas we were lucky enough to have been sent a brand new washing machine to review! The lovely people at Servis have challenged us to see how we get along with one of their super low energy machines, which will be really interesting once the new baby comes along and the challenge of babygros and reusable nappies come along. The machine we’ve been sent is the Servis 7KG HydroDrive machine, which uses Servis’ HydroDrive technology which offers “more efficient washing to help save you both time and money. 15 programmes include superfast 12 minute wash and 60 degree, one hour option. A 1400rpm spin reduces drying time.”

Servis HydroDrive Washing Machines

Having a new baby on the way means that we’re not only looking for ways to save money, but also going to be doing a LOT more washing over the next few months, so the fact that the machine we’ve been sent is triple A rated on energy consumption is such a bonus. It also washes at much lower temperatures than our old machine, giving excellent results on just a 20 degree wash – our old machine only went as low as 40 degrees and with modern detergents being so efficient its just not necessary to always have the wash up that high, so we’re hoping that this will all mean a significant saving.

There’ll be a lot more posts over the next few months, showing how our Servis washing machine copes with keeping a family clean and if you’ve got any requests for what you’d like to see our machine do, do let me know!

Sit Down, Love. Have a Cup of Tea…

I’m a live and let live kind of person, you know? I don’t hate anyone because of what they are or what they do, if it’s legal/consensual/doesn’t hurt anybody else. But there have been a string of articles in the papers recently which are seriously making me resent the women they’re written about. Meet Crystal Green and Lea-Ann Ellison:

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Crystal is a martial arts champion who has continued her training right the way through her pregnancy and Lea-Ann has stirred up a whole shit-storm of controversy after posting pictures of herself doing weight-lifting whilst heavily up the duff.

Now, I’m from the Charlotte York school of pregnancy – her doctor tells her that running is fine for her to do because it’s something that she’s always done, so I’m sure that both of these women are fine to continue the levels of activity that they were doing before they fell pregnant (although, the weight-lifting one scares me a bit, I’m sure you’re supposed to be careful lifting heavy things whilst pregnant…?). But, as the title of this post suggests, I do feel like taking both of them to one side and saying “Come on, pet, why don’t you sit in a comfy chair and watch some telly?”.

Having a healthy pregnancy is vital and while part of me admires these women for their get-up-and-go during their gestation, I also can’t help but feel that they should be taking it easy, even if it’s just a little bit. I’m sure they’d look at my sedentary ass and hyperventilate at the thought of sitting on their butts for 9 months, but surely there’s some sort of middle ground.

There’s no way I could do either kick-boxing or weight lifting at the moment. Do you know why?

BECAUSE I’D WEE MYSELF.

That’s right, people. The combination of having had one c-section and being pregnant again means that the only safe place for me to sneeze or blow my nose at the moment is sitting on the loo, for fear of letting an involuntary stream of urine escape when my stomach muscles are engaged in such a way, so squatting down and attempting to heft a barbell around would undoubtedly end in some sort of dirty protest from my pelvic floor.

And, aside from the wee, do you know what happens when I so much as dare to separate my knees at the moment? A loud *CRACK* emanates from my pubic bone and I tend to spend a minute, holding the front of my fanny, trying to recover from the pain.

It’s not so much that I think these women are making me look bad, it’s more of a culmination of the “womens sanitary product advert effect” (catchy name, huh?). Anyone aware of TV in the 80′s and 90′s will know that women were besieged by images of other women, who through the use of subtext and blue water in a test-tube were hinted at being on the blob, yet they rollerskated with herds of Dalmatians, went running, partook of a spot of yachting and engaged in a whole load of other activities to demonstrate how UN-BOTHERED they were by their periods.

Which is great. If that’s what you want to do, then go for it. However, most women I know choose to wear jogging bottoms with a hot-water bottle in the waistband, eat chocolate and carb-based snacks and watch shit TV. WHICH IS ALSO FINE.

All I’m saying is, whilst being active is great, pregnancy is also a time to be gentle with yourself, be happy with the changes in your body and, if the mood takes you, have naps in the afternoon. Women are awesome and we can do awesome things, but sometimes, admitting that you need a rest is just as awesome as swinging a kettle-bell around. Don’t let the standards of others make you feel bad about your own choices.

There endeth the sermon…but mostly because it’s nap time.

Get Your Groove on with Nest Pensions!

Commissioned Post

Nest Pensions got in touch with me and asked if I’d post this video for them on my blog, and after watching the awesome lady getting her groove on, I just had to share it. I certainly hope I’m still dancing like this when I’m in my 70′s (shh, let’s not mention that I can’t even dance that well NOW!)

I’m Going to The Baby and Toddler Show!

babyandtoddlershow_logoWhen I was pregnant with Sausage, I wasn’t hugely aware of the fact that there was such a thing as a showcase for baby products – most of our choices of large items were made by doing hours (many, MANY hours!) of research on the internet, or by browsing in our local baby oriented stores. This time around, I’m thrilled to have been offered tickets to visit The Baby and Toddler Show at BlueWater between 11th and 13th October, so that I can have a proper look at all of the different products that are on offer, and get really hands-on before making any big purchases.

Although we’ve kept almost everything of Sausage’s, just in case we ever had more children, I definitely want a new pushchair for the new baby. Sausage had an awesome travel system which did us proud, right up until she was big enough to start walking everywhere, but I’d love something new for the new baby, and I don’t have to worry about being able to have to get it on and off of buses this time as we have a car now!

I’m sure there will be lots of products on display that simply didn’t exist this time almost 6 years ago, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s new in the world of nursery products, and also seeing what’s endured over the last few years, since I last encountered such baby-centric stuff.

I’ve had a look at the exhibitor list to see if there’s a particular brand that I’m most looking forward to getting up close with, but I have to say, they’re all pretty exciting! There’s lots of names I recognise, such as Silver Cross and Bepanthen, and a few that are new and intriguing like Thrupenny Bits.

If you’d like to visit The Baby and Toddler Show, Mum’s the Word has an exclusive discount code available for our readers to use. Simply go to http://manchester.babyandtoddlershow.co.uk/ and enter the code BT12 to save £10 when you book two tickets. 

Perhaps I’ll see you there!