Ooer. That sounds a bit creepy doesn’t it?

We weren’t up to anything suspect, I promise, we were just test driving the Hyundai i30. (Although I will say that if you DID want to transport bodies, the Hyundai i30 has excellent boot space.) We wanted to give it a proper test in a good variety of conditions, so we took it down the M5 until the motorway ran out and then drove our way down to stay at a Forest Holidays place in Cornwall.

It was PROPER RAINY that weekend, but I didn’t mind because I really like being in the forest in the rain. Everything smells so lovely and fresh when it rains in the woods, plus our lodge had a hot tub, and there is something very decadent indeed about being outside in the cold, with your whole body in the warm water, sipping a glass of cold white wine.

Belle had really enjoyed the drive down as Fiancé was coming down to meet us from London on the train, so she got to sit in the front. In the Hyundai i30 this meant two things for her.

  1. She got to plug her phone in to the Apple Play thing and make me listen to songs sung (badly) from the girls from Dance Moms.
  2. Every five minutes or so she could casually switch on my heated seat and wait for me to worry that I had wet myself as I felt the spreading warmth.

Both of which she enjoyed thoroughly.

Hyundai i30 review

Looks like butter wouldn’t melt doesn’t she?

Being in the Hyundai i30 made it a lovely drive for me too, especially as I’m used to driving an ancient, mouldy smelling Seat that has done over 110,000 miles and has a driver window wedged closed with cardboard. I could say that anything would seem good by comparison, but I am a genuine fan of the Hyundai i30. In fact, I used to drive one, and so I speak with two years’ experience. View Post

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Image – By May_Chanikran/shutterstock

We all know that regular exercise is essential for good health. It aids muscle growth, strengthens the bones, keeps the joints supple, and it regulates weight too. So, there is no getting around the fact that you need to stay active. In fact, it is even more important as you get older, because your body becomes more vulnerable.

The risk of osteoporosis, for example, increases substantially over the age of fifty. It is more common in women, but men can suffer with it too and it leads to reduced mobility, breaks, and fractures. In other words, the health of your entire skeleton starts to decline. On the bright side, it is relatively easy to prevent and control osteoporosis symptoms with regular exercise.

The best workouts focus on load bearing exercises, which force the body to work harder and grow stronger. Why not try these osteoporosis exercises for your bones?   

Tai Chi

Tai chi is perfect for anybody who wants to stay away from very vigorous activities like running or weight lifting. This makes it a great choice for older people and those with brittle bones. It is a slow, graceful activity which builds coordination and contributes to the general health of the skeleton. According to a recent study, women suffering from low bone density can actually slow the rate of loss by completing 45 minutes of tai chi per day. 

Yoga

Similarly, yoga has been found to increase bone mineral density if done regularly. The great thing about yoga is that it comes in a huge variety of styles. There are faster disciplines and much slower ones, as well as a range of intermediate options. As the movements are slow and precise, they stimulate bone strength by placing loads on key joints. The hips, spine, and wrists are all likely to benefit. These areas are the most prone to fracture.

Fast Walking

Walking is a wonderful way for older people to exercise, as it gets the muscles and bones moving without being too fast paced or frenetic. It is believed that walking for just four hours every week lowers the risk of hip fractures by 41%. Faster, brisker movements are better but feel free to progress at your own pace. Being outdoors and active is always an improvement on no exercise at all, so if you have to walk slower, that’s okay too.

Lifting Weights

More people should be lifting weights, regardless of how old they are, because it is a fantastic form of exercise. It is straightforward, accessible to anybody with a gym membership (or a weight set at home), and it stimulates bone growth. You don’t have to be intimidated by the prospect of the free weights area at your gym because all kinds of people do resistance and callisthenics training. If you’re a newbie, it is a good idea to get a friend or PT to walk you through the moves at first.

Golf

This sport is often thought of as being a kind of ‘cheat’ activity because it involves lots of standing around in picturesque environments. In actual fact, golf happens to be a superb form of exercise for the bones and it is a lot more exhausting than people realise. For one thing, dragging all of those clubs around isn’t easy. For another, taking big swings activates the bones and muscles in the arms, hips, and spine. Plus, there is all the walking between holes to think about too. So, if you’re a golf fan, stick with it and watch your bones get stronger.

Why Regular Exercise Is the Key to Healthy Bones

Unfortunately, our bodies do get more vulnerable as we age and they become prone to certain conditions and physical weaknesses. However, this does not mean that you have to accept persistent sickness or mobility problems. If you take good care of your bones – and this means exercising and using calcium supplements – you can substantially slow the rate of depreciation.

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I remember once seeing a kebab pizza in Iceland. (The supermarket, not the country.) An actual pizza, with kebab toppings.

I guess in my head, that’s exactly what Iceland was all about – cheap frozen food, that perhaps wasn’t the most gourmet choice going. When I told people I was working with Iceland, reactions seemed to reflect a similar sentiment – raised eyebrows, Peter André jokes, comments about having to defrost my dinner, that sort of thing.

Oh how wrong I was!

I went along last week to an event with Iceland to have a sneak preview of their new autumn collection and my MIND WAS BLOWN.

Here’s the menu, which was created for us by Iceland’s head chef Neil Nugent, all using ingredients currently available at Iceland, or coming out in the autumn:

Iceland new autumn collection

YOU SEE??

That’s not what you expect from Iceland is it? I’d never even HEARD of a deep fried avocado, let alone tried one alongside a crab taco. In fact, I didn’t even know that frozen avocado was a THING, so that was a bit of a game changer. Safe to say I was pretty excited on the train up to London, looking forward to getting my mouth around a warm Welsh cake ice cream sandwich. View Post

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Belle has ALWAYS wanted a beanbag.

You know how kids sometimes get a thing stuck in their mind and they just can’t let it go? Bee was the same with a mini fridge. She wanted a mini fridge in her room for ages – roughly from about birth until her mid-teens when my sister gave in and bought her one.

But with Belle it was a beanbag.

I don’t really know why, during all this time, we haven’t ever actually bought a beanbag. Perhaps because it reminds me of when Bee and I first lived by ourselves when she was three and I was 20 and we didn’t have any chairs, only a beanbag that we took turns on?

big bertha beanbag competition

Isn’t she a cutie?

Anyway, much to Belle’s delight we have one now. A huge, snuggly, furry thing from Big Bertha Original Beanbags. Belle has it in her room and seems very happy with it. It’s very sweet actually.

‘I think I might sit in my beanbag for a bit before bed,’ she said last night as we were saying goodnight, which almost bought a little tear to me eye. View Post

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If you visit different parts of the world, you will see a big difference in the way people approach sustainability. A lot of this is due to how people are educated and the habits that they develop. These habits form what is “acceptable” or “unacceptable” in different societies. For example, in Singapore is known for enforcing severe fines of $1000 to $5000 for littering, and jail time for repeat offenders.

As a result of this enforcement, Singaporeans take care to dispose their waste ethically. Whereas in other societies, such as some areas of China, the environment suffers because people’s habits are destructive to the environment and it is generally accepted.

Making a difference starts at home.

It’s important to start educating children from a young age about the habits that they should be using and how it benefits the environment. Here are some actions you can start teaching at home.

Educate them on the benefits of sustainable lighting solutions.

It’s really important to get children to understand the impact that lighting has on the environment. Lighting is used everywhere and contributes significantly towards carbon emissions, if the energy for the lights are generated by burning fossil fuels.

Get children to practice the habit of turning off lights whenever they leave the room.

It’s a small action that will save energy.

But as they get older, they can encourage others to practice this habit in their working or social environment. There are some children that are taught that more energy is consumed if lights are turned on repetitively. This myth has been proven to be false, so encourage children to turn off lights from any rooms or space that aren’t in use from an early age.

Teach them the benefits of energy-efficient lighting.

Have them understand that there is eco-friendly technology available that can help the environment. There will be times when people’s poor habits won’t change. When this happens, they can suggest to use LED lights, which will minimise energy consumption by up to 60%.

Get them to understand green lighting design.

People use artificial lighting to illuminate dark spaces.

Spaces that are designed well will make the best use of solar lighting and efficient use of artificial lighting to illuminate dark areas. Show them how they can design the interior of their spaces to maximise the amount of light that comes into a space. They might need to use reflective objects such as mirrors, glass or metal ornaments.

Get them to practice living a minimalist lifestyle.

Less is often more and gives people peace of mind.

There are several advertising messages promoting people to have more when they should actually have less. The additional clutter in their lives leads them to dispose of more waste in the future.

By getting them to practice a minimalist lifestyle, they can get into the habit of consuming less, recycling more and purchasing items that provide ‘zero’ impact to the environment. For example, instead of purchasing packaged food, have them purchase fresh fruits and vegetables that are biodegradable. Get them to only purchase items that can be recycled again in the future.

Teach them how to prioritise solar energy, lighting and heating in their day to day lives.

When the weather gets cold, people tend to go and switch on the heater.

If interior spaces become dark, people quickly opt to turn on artificial lights. And when people need electricity, they will typically opt for the cheapest solution, which is often from the burning of fossil fuels. Encourage children to get into the habit of prioritising solar solutions ahead of non-solar solutions.

Teach them the benefits of recycling.

Have children understand the benefits of a zero-waste lifestyle and how recycling habits can benefit the environment. Children can then become accustomed to disposing their waste ethically by seeking out recyclable options before sending any waste to landfill.

The habits that children learn when they are young will be with them for an entire lifetime.

It’s important for them to practice these when they are young as they can implement and influence others to adopt better sustainable habits when they reach adulthood.

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