Plastic Free Tea from Brew Tea co.

Tea. Do you drink it? It’s our favourite tipple. We drink a huge amount of tea in our household. We switched to loose leaf tea over a year ago. Deciding to use tea leaves to reduce our plastic waste. But we were quite limited with our choice of plastic free packaged tea leaves which could be bought in a supermarket. Multiple times we had to just but an alternative which was not quite what we wanted.

Then we discovered The Brew tea company.

This is the Brew Tea Co starter kit. It contains everything you need to get started. The glass tea pot holds a cup and a half of tea, I do need to invest in a bigger pot, but it is the perfect sized pot for one!

The tea leaves are proper leaves, not granules or dust, but actually leaves. I was impressed with this, although initially worried whether we would enjoy the flavour of the tea. It looked so different to our regular brand. A scoop of tea into the pot and wait for 3 to 5 minutes. (That’s usually long enough for me to make toast!) Then pour. I think it makes a wonderful cup of tea, with an almost sweet flavour. We made the switch at Christmas and we won’t be switching again!

The best bit? The tea is packaged entirely plastic-free! Even what I thought was a plastic inner is actually not plastic at all and can go in with food waste bin collections.

It’s available to buy directly, at Amazon, Waitrose and Holland and Barrett to! Which means I don’t need to worry about running out. I think it is a little pricey, but it is worth every penny!

Mental Health Wellness

Collaborative post.

When did you last consider the mental health wellness of your family? While we may watch our weight, be careful with our diet and try to make sure we exercise. How many of us take time to ensure our mental health is cared for too?

A New Year brings new stresses and the old ones too. As adults we are told to talk about our problems, seek help if we are struggling and to ensure we give ourselves plenty of self-care. My own idea of looking after my mental health wellness is a good chat with a friend. I will grumble for as long as I need on the understanding that my friend does the same! It’s not easy to say if you’re having a tough time, and I genuinely think talking to someone is the bravest thing you can do when things are tough.

Children often find it really difficult to talk about their feelings. I know my children are often reluctant to talk if something is upsetting them. They may feel silly, worry what reaction they may receive or just not be able to explain how they are feeling. Leaving them feeling very unhappy and those around them may feel confused too.

So what to do and how to tell if your child might be struggling? There’s a handy info-graphic which shows some ways in which you can help a child with their mental health;


Mental Health Wellness Guide created by Sami-Aid

Most importantly, always seek advice from a healthcare professional if you have any concerns over your child or your own welfare.

This entry was posted in Reviews.

New Year – New Diet?

I’ve lost track of the number of diets I’ve tried. Calorie counting, cutting food groups, virtual starvation, and an attempt to eat a well balanced diet. The latter was hardest, and had the best results, but unfortunately I began to ‘cheat’ and lost my way. So here I am in a new decade, looking at my winter weight gain and eager to shift the lbs but also well aware that fad diets are no good for me if i want lasting weight-loss (which I do.)

I don’t want to be thin, just have my trousers fit comfortably around my belly. Which is something post-Christmas they don’t. Ahh but do I regret my Christmas chocolate binge? Not a bit. I loved every moment of cake indulgence and every sneaky festive chocolate. It reminded me of being a child, where Christmas and Easter were the only real times of indulgence.

I think my main desire to lose weight is to be able to move easier, 7lbs doesn’t seem much extra weight, until you are carrying it.

Healthy eating is it expensive?

Eating a healthy diet is probably cheaper than my usual diet if I’m honest. Fruit and vegetables, rice, pasta and a choice of proteins can all be purchased cheaply.

I love frozen berries with my breakfast oats. Frozen berries are so cheap to buy and I love them! I don’t mind frozen vegetables, but prefer them fresh so I will try to stick to seasonal vegetables which should help with costs.

I am not a nutritionist or dietician and so i am just going to be using an app to track my food. I guess I am technically calorie counting – although primarily I am using the app to monitor carbs/protein etc. I have honestly absolutely no idea what I’m doing other than trying to avoid processed sugar packed foods. Well, I will still be allowing myself a couple of treats… But I want to choose them with care and really enjoy them rather than eat them in a hurry as I’m hungry! Anyone else fall into that trap?

My initial target is 7lbs, which should mean my jeans are comfortable again! I’ve two birthday celebrations in the house this month so it may be a challenge, but it isn’t a race!

Patchology Best Food Forward – Review

It is Sunday and I’ve decided to start reviewing some pampering treats for Self-Care Sunday. Today I tried out Patchology Best Foot Forward, softening foot & heel mask. I wanted to have a bit of a pampering session while reading a book – the perfect Sunday evening in my opinion!

Patchology Best Foot Forward is easy to use, it’s literally a case of unwrapping the booties and putting your feet in them. So perfect if you’re busy, or don’t want any mess. The idea is to leave them on for 10minutes or more if you wish. I kept them for about 20minutes as I was reading.

So, the big negative is they are plastic and single use. This is not a good thing. They come in a cardboard outer, but they’re packaged in a plastic packet and are made from plastic.

Does Patchology Best Foot Forward work?

I didn’t feel the warning sensation I was thinking I might, in fact my feet felt quite cold. Before I took my feet out of the booties I massaged them through the booties – to try to ensure I get all the cream onto my feet!

When I took the boots off I could instantly see my feet look moisturised. My very dry heels looked like they had been pampered a little! And my feet definitely feel softer. It isn’t a replacement for a pedicure or using a foot file on very hard skin, but it is certainly a good way to treat your feet.

The Patchology Best Foot Forward Softening & Heel mask costs around £10.

2020 My New Year Plans…

I have a love hate relationship with New Year. I love the idea of a fresh start, but the reality is sometimes I feel as though I’ve not achieved as much as I wanted to have done the previous year.

So, I’m finding a balance this year. I shall reward my efforts. Celebrate the small achievements along the way to a bigger goal. So, what are my plans?

Fitness

I really want to start doing park run with my bigger boys. They love running so I feel that would be a great way for us to get out doing something together. I have lots more thoughts for my 2020 fitness plans, but I’ll keep that for a separate post.

Financial

With two residential trips on the horizon, I want the children to be able to enjoy their trips and I don’t want to be worrying about money. So I’m going to try to plan our finances a little better this year.

Green living – grow our own

Our green living continues! I let our vegetable growing efforts slip last year, so 2020 will see an increase in vegetable and fruit growing! Our garden needs a lot of tlc, so I’ll share our antics as we try to make it look beautiful again.

Reading

The more I read the more the children read! I have two keen readers and a competent but reluctant reader. So 2020 is about challenging my children and I to read more!

Travel

I am planning a summer holiday, we may not get on our holiday…but I am planning it! I need some time at the beach no matter which country!

I think that’s it? I’ll write a bit more on each in separate posts, as yes, I intend to start writing more this year!

Baa Baa Bubbles Game Review.

Baa Baa Bubbles Game review – game received for purposes of review.

If you’re looking for a family game to enjoy this Christmas look no further than Baa Baa Bubbles from Spinmaster Toys.

This simple to play game will have everyone laughing as you try to avoid being the player who makes the sheep sneeze and lose her wool!

Setting up the game was simple, we did find we need to add quite a coating of bubble mixture when we first set up the game. I’m not sure whether we covered the sheep enough or whether the bubble dabber wasn’t flowing as well as it could be – or perhaps both?

The aim of the game is to end up with the highest number of points. You get the points by successfully ‘feeding’ the sheep the number of times stated on the meadow cards. If the sheep sneezes on your turn to feed her, then you get no points! Here’s a short video of what happens when she sneezes and loses her wool (aka bubbles!).

At the end of play it’s simple to pack away, just remember to rinse of the bubble residue.

We absolutely love the game, it is perfect if you have younger members of the family. It is easy to understand, encourages counting and taking turns, but is also great fun!

Electronic Cigar: How They Work

Collaborative Guest Post

Just like e-cigarettes, e-cigars use the same mechanism of heating an aerosol liquid into a vapor which is inhaled by the user. Cigars in general, have normally been associated with privileged members of society due to their class and cost. Many cigar users are normally perceived as people who is are individuals of good means and enjoy certain high standards of living.e-cigars, unlike the normal cigars, are battery powered and instead of producing smoke from the tobacco component being vaped, it produces a vapor from the liquefied aerosol. This is normally flavored with different tastes in the form of a mist which is inhaled by the user. The idea, normally, is to give the same sensation as conventional smoking of a cigar gives, minus the smoke and the tobacco smell.

Working Mechanism

Normal cigars contain a roll of processed tobacco, wrapped in a flammable “skin”that aids the burning and channels the smoke to the mouth of the user who inhales the smoke. However, E-cigars have components that include the aerosol liquefied tobacco, a mouthpiece, battery and a coil with a heating circuit. Once powered by the battery, the coil heats the liquid aerosol that is turned into mist or vapors that the user inhales through the mouthpiece giving a feeling of smoking. Nowadays,the e-cigar liquid substance is flavored with various tastes and smells click for more info, that makes it more appealing and non-irritating to other users who do not like smoke. This has been said to reduce addiction to smoking conventional cigars. However, this is debatable due to the many numbers of users who have turned into multiple addicts of all forms of smoking.

Regulations On E-Cigars

The smokeless, smell-free nature of the e-cigars has made them popular amongst the youth whoa tendency to misuse them. However, the regulatory bodies in many jurisdictions control the production, distribution, sale, and consumption of e-cigars. Any manufacturer of electronic smoking products must adhere to strict rules and codes of conduct to be able to sell their products, especially where minors and women are involved. This is due to the health risks associated with E-cigar smoking.

Health Implications

E-smoking, and especially e-cigarettes, have been associated with lung diseases among their users, including irritation of the lungs. The substance nicotine, that is the base product in tobacco,is highly addictive. Studies have shown that e-cigar smoking can lead to addiction to other forms of smoking, including marijuana which is commonly referred to as dual usage. Amongst the youth, it is associated with slow brain development, memory problems and in most cases, irritation of the lungs and breathing system.

Note

It is, however, important to note that some people have associated e-smoking with a reduction of addiction to direct tobacco smoking from normal cigarettes. It is also milder and more relaxing to smoke e-cigars due to no smoke being produced and the absence of odor as opposed to smoke from normal cigars.

Conclusion.

Despite research showing the effects of nicotine use on long-term users, the use of e-cigars has made it tolerable for most people to enjoy a serene smoking experience, even amongst other non-smoking individuals who are irritated by smoke and its smell.

4 Situations Where You’ll Need the Assistance of a Family Lawyer

Collaborative Guest Post


In Maryland, family law encompasses a wide assortment of cases that could emerge at any time and involve families. The laws also protect victims of domestic violence and provide protection orders to prevent further contact with the victims. Families and couples who aren’t sure what laws apply to their cases review the 4 situations where you’ll need the assistance of a family lawyer.

  1. Filing for a Divorce
    Couples who are ready to end their marriage review divorce laws with an attorney. In Maryland, fault-based and no-fault divorce grounds are available. Among the grounds are adultery, desertion, cruelty or harsh treatment, criminal conviction, and insanity. Petitioners must prove evidence to substantiate all fault-based allegations when filing for a divorce.
    In a divorce case, the couple must reach an agreement for the division of marital property, child custody, child support, and spousal support. Couples who cannot reach an agreement participate in mediation practices and negotiate for a fair and reasonable settlement. If mediation isn’t successful, a divorce trial is scheduled. In a divorce trial, a judge makes all decisions for the couple. In some cases, a divorce trial can take up to two years.
  2. Seeking a Change in Child Custody
    Child custody modifications are possible if both parties are willing to make adjustments to their parenting time. However, uncooperative parents might attend a new child custody hearing to settle the matter. Typically, modifications are requested when a noncustodial parent has more time to spend with the child and wants to increase their parenting time. The requests are also made when the noncustodial parent wants to become the custodial parent. It isn’t impossible to get a modification, but the court must see a just cause for the change. For parents who need additional details, shellyingramlaw.com has information about filing a petition for a child custody modification.
  3. Establishing a Guardianship for a Minor or Incapacitated Adult
    Guardianships give the new guardian full control over the individual in question. The guardian controls the minor or incapacitated adult’s financial assets and makes decisions about their health care. In cases involving minors, a guardianship is provided when the minor is unable to take care of themselves and needs financial support. The assignments are available if the minor is at risk and lives with a biological parent, too. Under the circumstances, the petitioner must follow the proper channels for reporting abuse or neglect of the child.
    Guardianships for an incapacitated adult are awarded to a family member when the individual is no longer of sound mind and needs protection. Under the circumstances, family members or a caregiver could seek a guardianship.
  4. Setting Up a Prenuptial Agreement
    Couples start a prenuptial agreement to protect assets before they marry. The agreements define the repercussions of specific actions, such as adultery and explain what each party receives in a divorce. Individuals with considerable wealth choose to start the agreements to lower the chances of a serious financial loss. The terms of the agreements are enforced if the couple files for a divorce.
    In Maryland, family attorneys handle divorce cases and help petitioners create a divorce agreement. The agreements include the division of marital property, child custody arrangements, child support, and alimony. Child custody modifications and new guardianships are available if a child is at risk. Guardianships for incapacitated adults are used to protect disabled and elderly individuals from unethical caregivers. A prenuptial agreement provides protection for assets before a couple marries. Families turn to a family law attorney when taking legal action under applicable laws.

Everyday Habits That Could Boost Your Sex Life

Collaborative Guest Post

When the term libido-boosting is mentioned, it is usually associated with a cheeky supplement. Nonetheless, there are still numerous natural, healthy daily habits that you can concentrate on to maintain your sex drive at its peak. Similar to how dull, stressful times at work or unhealthy meals can disrupt your sexual desire, other actions have the potential to do the same.

If you want to keep a healthy relationship, improve your mental wellness, boost immunity, and maintain a healthy body weight, then you must work on improving your sexual life. To be honest, the main reason to improve in this area is to make sex is even more fun and enticing. However, we will consider all of the other reasons. Try combining these libido-enhancing traits into your daily routine for a better sex life.

1.      Eat Libido-Boosting Meals

Consuming meals that place your body in the mood with texture or delightful taste is a brilliant idea if that works for you. However, we are talking about meals that are considered as sexual stimulants. Such meals trigger the release of hormones that are linked with sexual pleasure and performance like pine nuts, dark chocolate, asparagus, walnuts, watermelons, etc.

2.      Maintain a Healthy Sleeping Pattern

Sleep and sex go hand in hand. Good sex offers good sleep and vice-versa. Make sure that you get adequate sleep each night. Your body benefits a lot when you provide it with sufficient amounts of rest. This way, it can regain the energy lost during a busy day. A good night’s rest can lead to a boost in libido and orgasmic sex. 

3.      Maintain a Consistent Workout Routine

Training will improve your lifespan, aesthetic, and even sexual performance and endurance. Since exercises boost your blood flow to enhance your aesthetics and health, researchers claim that training conditions your body for sex. Casual encounters with individuals who focus on regularly training their body can turn out to be more satisfying than with those who do not keep fit. The act of sex also slightly resembles that of working out through the repetition of various movements for an extended duration. 

4.      Build a Meditation Habit

A study by Lori A. Brotto establishes that mindful meditation is fit for females’ sexual wellness. The study involved 451 females aged 19-70 years. The women were surveyed about their meditation experience and sex lives.

From the study, women who followed meditation (193) had better sexual performance than the ones who never meditated (257). Conclusions from the study show that meditation reduces stress, enhances concentration, boosts self-awareness, decreases anxiety, and helps depression while promoting happiness and relaxation.

5.      Be Kinder

Being kind is linked to better sex. Take note that being kind doesn’t mean being “too pleasing.” This means putting people’s needs before yours. However, if you aim at pleasing individuals, then your self-worth relies on approval from others, and that’s not healthy.

Whether it’s a mere smile or a small act of kindness, it all goes a long way in helping people genuinely connect. It also improves your self-esteem and makes your sexual partner more comfortable around you. Kindness has more impact than just on your sex life.

Elf for Christmas – a review

Items received for purpose of review.

We received an Elf For Christmas, sent from the North Pole the elf will report good behaviour to Santa. He arrived on the 1st December and I understand he will leave on Christmas Eve night. He arrived with a tag around his neck explaining it all!

Our elf.

Having an Elf is a modern tradition. We’ve had an elf for a few years, but this year our new Elf has been a real hit! Having an elf makes the run up to Christmas lots of fun. We have found that our Elf, like many others, likes to get up to mischief! But, I think it’s important to remember that an Elf may have days when he just watches, and doesn’t “do” very much at all.

But, our Elf is also very kind, and most importantly fun! Today he has spent the day driving around the house in a decorative Christmas train – along with a drawing one of the children did of him!

Can the Elf for Christmas help with good behaviour?

The Elf is able to give a warning card if he thinks behaviour could be better, and also congratulate children if their behaviour is good. I really like this, as it does encourage some good behaviour at a time when sometimes we can all be a bit naughty! He even brings a special chart and stickers to help encourage good behaviour or kindness.

Elf for Christmas – Real Magic Tag

An Elf For Christmas comes complete with;

  • An Arrival Letter from Santa – explaining why the Elf is visiting.
  • Mini Elf Report Cards 
  • 2 x Letter to Santa Templates
  • 2 x Official Nice List Certificates 
  • Christmas Reward Chart & a Sheet of Elf Stickers 
  • Beware of the Elf Sign & Santa Please Stop Here Sign
  • Departure Letter 
  • A Thank You Postcard

We were so lucky, as our Elf also came with a Magical Christmas Elf Light up Door! It’s quite a substantial door, and I was rather impressed with it – I think the Elf will use it for many years to come!

He also arrived with a beautiful story book, Elf’s First Adventure Christmas which we love as it is helping us remember to be kind!

If you haven’t got an Elf yet, it’s not too late! An Elf can arrive anytime on the run up to Christmas, it really is great fun – I think we enjoy the Elf staying as much as the children do!