Thursday, 31 May 2018

Giving Up Smoking - One Year Later

Giving Up Smoking - Man masked by a cloud of smokeThere follows a guest post update on my husband's new smoke-free life, after successfully giving up a year ago. Due, in no small part, to the amazing book Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking, it took an enormous amount of determination and self-belief to give up completely and the effect on the family has been quite profound. Not especially dramatic, but lots of little improvements in every aspect of our lives. I no longer sit alone in restaurants, I don't have to avoid hanging the washing near where he smokes, we are better off financially and our son doesn't have a feeling of dread every time those awful anti-smoking ads come on the TV, to name a few. That's enough from me, though, this is his story, in his own words. 

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

5 Quick Ways to Cut Your Monthly Costs

A flowery piggy bank with a hand dropping in a coin. Sometimes, the key to reaching your financial goals is taking a lot of little steps. Most of us can't afford to pay for big things straight away, like a new car or a family holiday. However, when you commit yourself to saving a little bit out of each wage slip, you can reach your goals faster than you might think. This is particularly true when you know how to cut down your outgoing expenses too. While cutting your monthly costs will mean making some compromises, it's important to remember why you're budgeting in the first place. Whether you're hoping that you'll soon be able to afford that next big purchase, or you simply want to stop living from pay-check to pay-check, these tips might help.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Encouraging Children to be Tidier

Encouraging Tidiness in Children, toys scattered on a table top.
Over the years, I have developed a few ideas for encouraging children to be tidier, I have also learned what doesn't work. In this post I will endeavour to impart this knowledge, so that you can learn from my successes and failures and hopefully have a tidier home and an easier parenting life. I make no guarantees, however, as all children are as individual as all adults, so you may have your work cut out, since I know quite a few adults who find being tidy a challenge. Perhaps, though, starting young might be the answer and you could maybe break the cycle of untidy child to untidy adult. Future housemates will thank you.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

A Nutritious Protein Shake Recipe with Indigo Herbs

Protein Shake and Protein Powder on garden table
Everyone has heard the assertion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but, if you are short of time, or money, or both, it can be really tricky to consistently find morning meals that are inspiring and appetising when you first wake up. I've recently started experimenting with protein shake recipes and have found simple ways to make them quickly and cheaply. When Indigo Herbs sent us some of their nutrient-packed protein powder free to try, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share one of my favourite recipes with you, along with some money-saving tips!

The Psychology Behind Product Placement

We all know that advertising is designed and made to encourage us to buy things and spend money. However, what we may not realise is just how often we are influenced and the different approaches that product advertising can take. One of the most subliminal ways that companies try to advertise and then sell their products is with product placement. This is when products are placed within a film, music video or TV programme, offering a promotion to the product to anyone who watches it. But does this actually work when it comes to influencing our purchasing decisions? The product is seen in a natural environment or in use.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Spectacular Miss Saigon: A Bristol Hippodrome Review

Miss Saigon Review Bristol Hippodrome
I love going to the theatre, which might be apparent to anyone not new to the blog. This is the main reason why I get so excited when we get invited to review performances at the Bristol Hippodrome, and Miss Saigon was no exception. What might be a bit more surprising is that, despite its 29 year history, I've never seen it before. It has an impressive reputation and is considered one of the greats, alongside Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and other stage masterpieces, and I've always wanted to see it. So the big question is, did it live up to its hype? Could a show almost in its 30th year still wow an audience? Damn right, it could. 
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