Catherine

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One of the hardest things to come by as a busy adult is a good night’s sleep. Everything in life is go-go-go and with 24/7 access to eBay, it can be really hard to switch off – especially when there’s something you’re bidding on. Feelings of anxiety due to work and relationship stress, worries about the kids at school and even the blue light technology from the screens on your phones and tablets are all ways our sleep is interrupted. We need sleep; there’s no getting away from that fact, and if you want a well-functioning body, you need to rest. Think of yourself like a Sim: without that full rest that you need, you won’t work!

So, how can you get back into a regular sleep schedule where you can get enough sleep each night to feel rested and alive the next morning?

By Japanexperterna.se from Japan – Person looking at smartphone in the dark, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Schedule It! The only way you are going to get your body as rested as you need it to be is to schedule your sleep. If you need to get seven hours of sleep to feel human, then go to bed seven hours before your alarm is set. If you do this regularly enough, your body will come to expect the times that you get into bed and wake up, and you’ll naturally begin to feel sleepy at a certain time. You need to schedule it in so that you actually stick to it, though!

Environment. A big issue when it comes to sleep is the wrong environment. Sleeping with electronics in the room can be an issue, if you are putting off sleeping by staring at your phone for hours on end. You also need to hang Montgomery ready made curtains to keep the light out, while also adding quality bedding to the bed. You can colour match these in soothing colours. The textures in the room are going to make you feel like your sleep space is one that can keep you rested and relaxed, the whole time.

Routine. With the kids, you cultivate a drink –book –  bath – bed routine from an early age. Why should your life be any different? Have a warm drink (not tea or coffee!), a hot shower or bath and fresh pyjamas before bed every single night. Doing this gets your body feeling prepared and rested for the night ahead. Leave your smartphone outside the bedroom if you can; there’s no need to ruin your careful routine by staring at Facebook while in bed.

Relax. Removing the anxiety from your mind before you lay down is so important to drift off properly. Meditate, learn to relax your muscles and find that happy place in your mind where you can set up camp and allow your body to go off to sleep.

Getting a good sleep is so important for your body to function correctly, and the more you put into it the more you will get out of it, so don’t waste time on your sleep routine!

 

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Star Trek, Karen O, and Eleanor Oliphant – Little Loves

Oh, hello there! It’s been a couple of weeks since I last published or joined in with Little Loves and I’ve really missed it! So, here are my Little Loves for this week…

READ

I’m still reading the Harry Potter series but have decided to break it up a bit, and read something different in between each book. I have seen Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine mentioned so many times recently, but it was my friend Hannah’s review that convinced me to buy the book. I’ve just started reading it so I can’t comment on it too much – but I’m already utterly engrossed in it. 
                                                                       

WATCHED

Hi, my name is Catherine… and I am a Trekkie. There, I’ve admitted it. I’m a Star Trek geek. I have always loved it, so was very keen to watch the new series on Netflix. 7

And I’m not sure if I like it or not.

I really like the story arc – it’s clever – but I’m not completely sold on some of the main characters. I feel like I need to watch a few more episodes before I make a final decision on it. 

HEARD

I’ve been listening to Yo! My Saint by Karen O and Michael Kiwanuka a lot this week. It’s not a musical collaboration that I would have ever considered but they go really well with each other.

MADE

I’ve been back on Slimming World for the last few weeks and have been enjoying it far more this time around. My in-laws came to visit last weekend and I was determined to stay on plan as much as possible (to allow for a couple of glasses of synful wine). I always love cooking a roast dinner whenever they come to visit and decided to try the Peppered leg of lamb with saffron potatoes from the new Slimming World “Comfort Collection” recipe book. It was soooo good! I absolutely recommend it if you are doing SW and are looking for a brilliant (and syn free!) roast!

WORE

Jumpers, gloves and woolly hats! It’s been a bit brrrrr this week, hasn’t it? I’m looking forward to Spring making an appearance soon.

AND LASTLY…

It’s half term holiday’s here next week and we don’t have a great deal planned – maybe a couple of days out and about, but I think we are all really looking forward to just getting some much-needed downtime at home. 

Have a great weekend!

 

This post contains affiliate links. For more information on how I use affiliate links please read my disclosure page.

 

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You’ve just secured two weeks off work this summer and you’ve just booked your flights and accommodation. Come August you’ll be hot footing it to warmer climes and escaping the typical British summer. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve booked a trip to a Balearic or a Canary island, you simply have sun, the beach, cocktails, cuisine and relaxation on your mind. The key to making the most of your holiday is ensuring that you pack the most appropriate things. Take a look at this ultimate beach holiday checklist to ensure you have an incredible vacation.

 

Clothes

 

While you envisage it being thirty degrees every day as you relax by the pool, reading a novel and sipping on your iced tea, you could be taken by surprise by a shower or two, especially in tropical environments. Even though you may only wear them once or twice, make sure you take a couple of jackets or long sleeved tops should you encounter a chill in the air. You don’t want to be cooped up in your hotel room because it’s a tad too cold to go out. It’s vital that you try and pack for every eventuality, no matter how slim.

 

You may be an advocate of the t-shirt and shorts combo. This is ideal for when you venture down onto the beach, have a paddle in the sea or go rock pooling. However, it might be nice to mix it up a bit and go on the hunt for the perfect sundress for you. By packing a couple of dresses, you can pair them down by wearing sandals and shades on the beach but also accessorise them up with a pair of wedge heels and a clutch bag if you plan on hitting the beachside bars in the evening.

 

Luxuries

 

Make sure you don’t forget the luxuries you need to make your holiday a haven of relaxation. If you have a vacation reading list, venture to the library or your local bookstore and pick up the novels you want to get stuck into. There’s nothing better than chilling out and immersing yourself in a good story by the pool or lounging on the beach with the waves lapping on the shore.

 

Pack your shades, your iPod and your smartphone. While you’re not planning on whiling away your hours with your eyes stuck to a screen scrolling through your Facebook feed, you might be tempted to post a selfie or two to show your pals back home what a good time you’re having. With your earbuds in and sunnies on, you can embark on a stress-free two weeks in the sun.

 

Sun Cream

 

Don’t be one of those holidaymakers who are so desperate to get a tan that they forego UV protection and bake on a sun lounger. We all know the health dangers of sun exposure so make sure you pack your sun cream and slap it on as and when needed. Sunburn is not only dangerous, but it can leave you in pain and prevent you from enjoying your vacation.

 

Heading off on a beach holiday is a very British pastime. It won’t be long before you embark on your vacation in the sun and enjoy an overseas summer adventure.

 

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You want to believe that everyone is looking to help everybody else but there will always be someone looking to take advantage of those who may be just a little too trusting. With everything in life, you need to ensure that you fully vet anyone who you may be doing business with if you are to hope your business continues to grow as you wish it to.

 

That isn’t to say that you need to walk around being suspicious of every person you come across, and typically, those who want to work with you will be trustworthy. However, there is always the chance that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

 

On the internet, while it has brought everyone together from all over the world, it has also given scammers the opportunity to hide behind their screens and present themselves as something they are not. The problem is that these scams can be a challenge to identify, so due diligence is a necessity.

 

FRAUD

 

Have you ever gotten a call from the William or whoever from the HMRC? Or someone informing you that your computer has a virus that can only be fixed by you handing over your bank details? This is, of course, a load of hogwash and should be treated as such.

 

The minute someone who you have not heard from before starts asking for sensitive information hang up or close your browser. The calls and messages may keep coming and so just ignore them. If it starts to border on harassment, then take measures to report this to the local police and inform your friends and relatives of what is happening.

 

LEGITIMACY

 

If you are buying or selling a product, you want to ensure that you get paid for your services. Most people can be trusted to pay on time and will fulfil this obligation, however without being able to physically see the person, getting the money from them may prove more difficult than you anticipated. There are ways to combat this, including tools to securely establish proof that your customers are real that can ensure that you are not being taken for a ride.

 

And it works both ways, also. Many people have in the past been the victim of vendors selling fake tickets or perhaps legitimate tickets, only to find out that they never arrived in time for the event. This technique is also popular with ticket touts, who will charge fees for tickets that can be upwards of 1000% (not a typo) more than the initial price, especially for high demand functions.

 

SECURITY

 

No post on scammers would be complete without yet another warning about having ample, reliable, and robust security when it comes to your business’ sensitive data and information. This information can be concerned with your accounts, your client information, and customer data as well as your employees, too.

 

Researching a company that will take excellent care of your data will save you from any potential hacks that can prove ruinous for any business no matter how large or small. It will also help avoid losing hundred if not thousands in recouping your information, especially when these hackers try to hold you for ransom.

 

EXTORTION

 

Speaking of ransom, and hopefully this will never happen to you (well, hopefully, none of these will happen to you). But there are people out there who will look to take your money through threats and supposedly life-ruining actions where they claim they have incriminating information about you and will release to your friends and family, thus ruining your reputation.

 

If this sounds familiar, you’ve probably seen ‘Shut Up and Dance’ from Black Mirror’s third season. Often, they will not have any incriminating evidence on you, yet they can be so convincing that even if you are entirely innocent, you still may not be sure. Ensuring that you do not give in to any threats and avoid responses will lead them to get bored and shift their attentions elsewhere.

 

PROTECTION

 

Taking steps towards ensuring that you, your family and your business is secure from any potential scams or hacks will not only save your wallet but also your mental and physical health. There is enough stress and worry in the world already, don’t let some clown too scared to show their face ruin your life.

 

Remaining diligent and aware at all times will save you the trouble of succumbing to problems that are not your fault and any sleepless nights, and all the issues that come with it in the long run. Additionally, get on your social media accounts, report to the relevant persons and spread awareness of potential scams in your area to forewarn others and save them from falling victim to similar methods.

 

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With the housing market a little unsure at the moment, it means that more and more people are staying put. Gone are the days of moving ‘just because’, and staying where they are and looking to add value is rising and rising in popularity. Any planning permission section of your local council’s website will tell you just how popular improving has become, rather than just moving.

 

So if this sounds like you, and moving house isn’t going to really be an option for a while, then what are the best ways to add value to your home? You want to choose the things that are going to be able to help you to add value to your home and not lose you any money. Take something like getting a driveway done or sprucing up the patio or garden. These things are going to be the thing that could help tick the box for a seller. But according to estate agents, they aren’t the thing that will help you to actually add value. So if you’re deciding between refitting the kitchen or getting the driveway done, then the former may be the best option out of the two.

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Adding extra rooms to the home is always going to be a sure fire way to add value to your home. So a good way to add value could be to convert any loft space you have into a bedroom or office space. If you have room, then creating two rooms could be even better, especially if one is a bathroom. It can cost around £20,000 to create a loft conversion. But in reality, it can add more than double that in value. So if you’re looking for more space, want to get your money back when you eventually do move, and want to add value to your property, then a loft conversion is a great idea.

 

If your budget is slightly smaller, then something like a conservatory or an orangery is going to be a good idea. Again, it is creating an extra room, but often it costs less to do so than with a loft conversion. It can be great if you want space for a play room or dining room, or just want another room so that you can add value. A conservatory, or looking st orangeries by Visual, for example, can cost anything from £5,000 up to £30,000. The good news is that they can add around 7% to the value of your home. So they are a good option to be looking at if you’re not ready to move but need some extra space.

 

Garages can be useful for storage. But there are very few Brits that use it as a place to store their car. In fact, over 90% of British garages don’t have a car being stored in them. So if you’re part of that statistic, then it is just a wasted space. You can still create storage, as well as creating a viable living space. It can cost under £10,000 to convert a garage into a living room but you can easily get your money back as it is making the space into an extra room in the house that people do pay for.

 

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