Do you have a word for 2021?

It might feel a bit of a naff idea, but choosing a word for the year isn’t just about making a Pinterest board of inspirational quotes, or getting your word made into vinyl wall art, it’s about the intention behind the word.

My word for 2021 is SELF.

SELF as a word is not as selfish as it might first seem. (And is it actually a bad thing to be selfish? That’s for another blog post maybe.) SELF to me is about investing in yourself, understanding yourself, and in doing so becoming the best version of yourself that you can be. Doing this is just about the least selfish thing you can do if you think about it, because it’s only when you are at your best that you can be the best friend, parent, employee, and all of those other roles which we assign ourselves.

On the same day that I decided on SELF as my word of the year, my Dad sent me a picture. It was a picture of me, which my Uncle John had only just had developed from a (very) old roll of film.

Word of the year 2021

If that’s not the universe saying ‘great choice with your word Joey’ then I don’t know what kind of sign I should be waiting for. View Post

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gemstone jewellery

While Marilyn Monroe sang about diamonds being a girl’s best friend, other gemstones are fast becoming a popular choice as far as jewellery and other accessories are concerned. In fact, alternative gemstones featured in as much as 10% of engagement rings during 2019. Gemstone necklaces and earrings are also among the top accessory choices of celebs and ordinary folk alike who want to add a bit of shimmer and shine to their outfits.

Choose a gemstone engagement ring

What better way to accessorise with a piece of jewellery than to veer away from tradition and opt for a gemstone wedding or engagement ring? While gemstone rings have skyrocketed in popularity in recent times, some of the world’s most beloved celebrities sported gemstone rings long before they became a red-hot trend. Back in 1953, John F. Kennedy proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier with a gorgeous emerald engagement ring. Then, in 1981, Princess Diana picked a stunning 18-carat diamond and sapphire ring as an engagement band. Prince William later proposed to Kate Middleton with the same ring. Other celebs to sport gemstone engagement rings include Halle Berry, Liz Hurley, and Jessica Simpson.

Gemstone necklaces are an elegant choice

Although engagement and wedding rings may be one of the driving forces behind the recent gemstone trend, necklaces sporting gorgeous stones are also becoming a hot commodity. In fact, these beautiful jewellery pieces have become so popular that they have even made their way onto the red carpet at some of the globe’s most prestigious award ceremonies. During the 2019 award season, we have seen Laura Harrier and Charlize Theron wearing necklaces adorned with mismatched gemstones, and Allison Janney and Amy Adams sporting rubies. Even Pharrell Williams was seen donning an emerald necklace, disproving the stereotype that gemstone jewellery is only for women.

Make a subtle statement with gemstone earrings

While a gemstone-encrusted ring or necklace demands to be noticed, gemstone earrings can also utter more of a whisper to draw your attention to them. A delicate pair of stud or hoop gemstone earrings can, for example, lend a subtle hint of elegance to an otherwise casual outfit. A gorgeous pair of emerald, ruby, sapphire or amethyst earrings can also complement everything from a business suit to an evening gown. You can also, of course, make a very bold statement with gemstone earrings, especially if they feature a chunkier design, almost similar to the statement pieces that actress Gemma Chan favours.

Gemstone jewellery has enjoyed a significant increase in popularity in recent times. Not only are gemstone wedding and engagement rings becoming a trend, but necklaces and earrings are also becoming very well-loved fashion accessories.

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best coffee makers

When there’s gloomy weather outside the window and no desire to get up in the morning, it is worth treating yourself with something tasty. Many people cannot imagine their lives without coffee. This drink has taken a special place in people’s hearts worldwide and has become the number one drink. It’s not for nothing that there is a huge number of spots where you can take coffee to go and even a bigger number of cute places where people like to meet with friends over a cup of cappuccino. However, if you like the taste and smell of coffee, you can expand your horizons and pamper yourself with a piece of a delicious coffee pie. True admirers choose only good coffee beans for cold brew and other ways of preparation since the quality of beans is crucial here. So, when you decide to bake your pie, make sure to grab coffee beans of high quality not to spoil its taste.

Coffee pie with prunes

First, you need to make robust coffee in a cezve, as usual, just make sure to use freshly ground beans. It is important to get a wonderful bright aroma. Immediately add about 150 gr of sugar and 2 tbsp of honey to the coffee, stir everything well. Rinse thoroughly about 150 gr of prunes, and if they are harder than necessary, cover them with hot water and leave for six minutes. Dry them with a paper towel and cut into pieces. Add prunes to the mixture of coffee, honey, and sugar.

Next, take about 270 gr of flour, combine it with 1tsp of baking powder and introduce slowly to the liquid, actively stirring the blend. Whisk the dough a little with a mixer, but do not overdo it. Otherwise, the pie will be too dense. Heat up the oven to 180 degrees. The oven must be preheated to 170 or 180 degrees. Place the dough into a pie pan and bake for 47 minutes.

Coffee pie with yogurt

Take yogurt out of the fridge beforehand (150 ml) since it should be of room temperature by the beginning of cooking. Make espresso, and if you don’t have a coffee machine, study a budget coffee makers buying guide, so that you can do everything right the next time. You can now replace it with 3 tsp of instant coffee and use a mixer to whip it with yogurt. Take 2 eggs and whip them carefully with 200 gr of sugar. Combine the yogurt-coffee mixture with the egg-sugar mixture, stirring everything with a mixer at the minimum speed.

Gradually add 250 gr flour to the blend, turning into a sticky mass. Add to it about 100 gr of soft batter (it is worth getting it out of the fridge in advance) and ½ tsp of baking powder. Stir everything again with a mixer to make it smooth.

Spread the mold with butter, place the dough into it, and heat up the oven to 180 C and place it there for about 47 minutes.

Coffee pie with sour cream in a multicooker 

If you have a multicooker, you can try to make a pie in it. First, you should whip 7 tbsp of sugar with 2 eggs for about two or three minutes to get the airy foam at the end. Make about 10 ml of robust coffee.

Add 250 ml of fat sour cream, coffee, and 1 tsp of baking powder to the egg blend and stir everything gently. Gradually add about 250 gr of flour to the blend and carefully stir everything again. Whisk the blend with a mixer at the low speed. Spread a bowl with butter, place the dough into it, and cook the pie in the baking mode for at least 50-60 minutes. Make sour cream frosting by mixing 3 tbsp of sour cream with 6 tsp of powdered sugar. Cover the baked pie with icing and serve.

Coffee pie with banana

Whip 3 eggs with 200 gr of sugar to create a foam. Add about 90 gr of soft butter to the egg mixture, pour in 120 ml of milk, and whisk everything. Now gradually add 240 gr of flour along with 10 ml of coffee and vanilla to taste. Also, add 1 tsp of baking powder. Peel and cut the 1 big ripe banana into small rings or cubes and add to the dough. Place the dough into a spread mold, heat up the oven to 170 degrees and bake for about 47 minutes.

Coffee pie with apple

In a large bowl, combine 100 gr of soft butter and 300 gr of sugar until smooth. Add 3 big eggs one at a time, whipping well after adding each. Sprinkle with 1,5 tsp of vanilla and stir well again.

In a bowl, combine 550 gr of flour, 2 tsp of baking powder, and ¾ tsp of salt. Add to the creamy blend, alternating with 250 ml of sour cream. Cut 5 big apples and combine with the blend. Put everything into a spread baking mold.

For the topping, combine 120 gr of brown sugar, 50 gr of flour, 10 ml of freshly made coffee, and 1 tsp of cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut 50 gr of cold butter into small slices. Stir everything until the mixture looks like a rough crumb. Sprinkle over dough. Heat up the oven to 180 C and bake for about 47-50 minutes.

 

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To secure a mortgage in Canada, you need a fair credit rating of 600 or more. You want to have the highest score of over 600 to achieve to get the best interest rate. You can still get a higher rate mortgage with a fair credit rating. Here are some tips to get a home loan in Canada.

Pay Off Outstanding Debts on Your Credit Report

The lower your credit card balance, the better you look to secure a mortgage at a good rate. But that’s not always possible. The most important balances to pay off are the outstanding bills reported to the credit agencies. 

Save a Large Down Payment

Financial institutions look at several factors when deciding to approve your home loan. Although your credit score is essential, they’ll also consider your debt-to-income ratio and the amount you’re putting down. If you have a poor or fair credit rating, consider saving 20 to 5% down. A large downpayment also lowers your overall mortgage and looks great to lenders.

Improve Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio takes into consideration your gross monthly income and your other expenses. It looks at car loans, credit car minimum payments, student loan bills, and different required amounts due. You need to keep the ratio under 43%, with most lenders preferring a debt-to-income ratio of 33%. This shows finance companies and banks how well you manage your money. It also helps indicate if you have enough disposable income to deal with emergency repairs, tax increases, and other expenses related to homeownership. 

Use a Finance Company that Specializes in Low Credit Scores

If you’re credit’s on the low end of a fair credit rating, you could benefit from a mortgage lender specializing in credit issues. These agencies work outside the banks to get you the home loan when your credit score is below the 600-mark. These lenders are great when you have less than perfect credit, but they will have additional costs involved.

Consider a Co-Signer

When someone co-signs for you, it gives the bank or finance company more reassurance that the co-signer would be responsible if you didn’t pay the loan. It also places more incentive for both parties to care for the home and keep it in good standing to prevent reducing the value. A co-signer can also help you get a lower rate and save money. 

To save money on your home loan, try to boost your FICO score to good, which is between 670 and 739. It can take time to build your credit, but the result is worth the money it saves in the end. If you raise your credit score significantly after purchasing your home, you may be eligible to refinance for a lower rate. For more information on how to secure a mortgage, contact Altrua Financial today.

 

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How do I know if my cat is happy?

People who lack unconditional love and loyalty can get a pet to meet their needs. Nonetheless, such a step has its peculiarities, which not everyone is ready for. Thus, you become responsible for another living being and their health. That’s why before you get a pet, it is worth studying all the pros and cons of such a decision and read unbiased cat food reviews. Well, the nutrition issue is on the list of the key moments you should consider to avoid mistakes and not put a risk to your pet’s well-being. The problem is that this question is shrouded in numerous misconceptions, so people treat their furry friends with products that can bring more harm than good at best. If you want to become the best owner for your pet, you should exclude foods that can be dangerous for your four-legged favorite. Besides, bear in mind that the mentioned products are forbidden not only for those allergic to a certain product. If you decide to change your pet’s diet, watch its body reaction to every new product.

  1. Anything containing Xylitol

When you buy sugar-free gum, it can still be sweet. The same goes for various types of candies and cookies. The thing is, all these products contain a sweetener that can become a strong poison for your pet. And while people can consume it without a visible deterioration of their physical state, your pet will face the opposite effect since it negatively affects its liver and drastically lowers blood sugar. It is a real threat to the life of your furry friend. Thus, a dog or cat weighing 5 kg needs to eat only one piece of sugar-free gum to receive a toxic dose. About 14 minutes will pass before its blood level drops down, and your pet may start vomiting and experience loss of coordination.

  1. Alcohol and carbonated drinks

Unlike humans, our four-legged friends cannot break down and excrete ethanol, hops, and their decay products. The blood flow completely and instantly absorbs the latter, so you may notice changes in your pet’s behavior pretty soon. However, the key issues will stay hidden for a while since it is impossible to notice at once that the functioning of the liver and kidneys has worsened.

And mineral sparkling water may lead to the accumulation of gas in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract. This is a potentially hazardous condition in cats and dogs. Sweet, carbonated drinks are not useful even for humans, so it is not surprising it can become a real poison for a furry friend. Besides, such drinks contain either a large amount of sugar or sweeteners (xylitol, for example).

  1. Chocolate

Animals do not have enough insulin to convert sugar into glucose. The toxic dose contains about 7 grams of dark chocolate per 1 kg of an animal. That is, if a cat or a small dog eats even 50 gr of chocolate, you can lose your pet forever. If you have noticed that your chocolate bar or candies disappeared and your pet started vomiting, breathing heavily, or suffering from diarrhea or thirst, you must urgently go to your vet. Bear in mind that animals need more time to digest chocolate than you, so some time may pass before the first signs of poisoning. Besides, chocolate that you can find on the modern store shelves is dangerous even for humans because of ingredients like palm oil, emulsifiers, and vegetable fats. If you want to cheer your dog up, study gnc dog vitamins reviews to know what things your pet may require to improve its well-being but don’t treat it with chocolate in any case.

  1. Potatoes

Its raw form is a solanine source, a dangerous and poisonous substance both for people and animals. And its cooked variant is rich in carbohydrates and starch that leads to an increased glycemic index. And if your pet doesn’t lead an active lifestyle, it may suffer from obesity. The main problem is that animals cannot completely digest it, so their consumption may lead to diarrhea. Thus, there are no reasons to include this food in your pet’s diet.

  1. Freshwater fish

If you regularly feed an animal with freshwater fish, over time, you may notice that your pet suffers from a decrease in appetite, loss of vitamin B, and even urolithiasis. Thus, if there is an excess of fish in the diet, your pet may have serious health issues. Besides, bear in mind that freshwater fish is often contaminated with helminths. Thus, your pet should contain only marine fish and only in small amounts.

  1. Mincemeat

Store mincemeat is often made from stale meat in combination with slaughter products, dyes, and preservatives. Home-made mincemeat should be avoided since animals cannot digest it completely, and they feel hungry even after a big portion. Even kittens and puppies should be fed with small pieces of meat that they have to chew.

  1. Dairy products

Lactase production goes down with age, so your pet loses the ability to break down the protein in cow’s milk (lactose). Therefore, if you treat your pet with milk, it may provoke serious allergic reactions and result in skin rashes and even vomiting. Besides, if your pet has a weak pancreas, you should better exclude other dairy products from its diet since most types of cheese and yogurts have high-fat content that may provoke diarrhea and worsen the animal’s state.

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Slummy single mummy

Remember this photoshoot we did years ago for a newspaper article I’d written? I had to bribe Bee with cash and a pair of Converse. One of the best things about being a single parent is that you can bribe them as much as you like without being judged.

 

Being a single parent is hard work, there’s no getting away from it.

It can feel relentless, both in a practical ‘seriously, I have to make dinner AGAIN? But I already did it 27,928 times?’ kind of way and emotionally too. Having to be responsible for all of the family decision making, without someone to compare notes with, can feel like a huge amount of pressure, and let’s not even start on the fact that you always have to be the one to take out the bins.

Like most situations in life though, being a single parent is essentially what you make it. Yes it can be lonely sometimes, and a bit sad when you get home and literally no one, apart from the cats*, cares about how your day went, but if you pack all that away at the back of your head, there are actually quite a lot of benefits to being the sole parent.

I’ve thought back over my actual years and years as a single parent and pulled out some of the best bits about being a single parent to give lone mums and dads with younger children some encouragement. What’s great is that a lot of these get even better as your kids get older –  they generally don’t want to get in your bed as much, you can go out and leave them in the house alone and they get their own bowls of cereal.

(*The cats only care if you do voices for them, which may or may not be okay.) View Post

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botanical interiors desk workspace

An office cannot function effectively without the right furniture. That is why you should take time to understand your office need before heading to an online or physical furniture store.

Many factors should be considered when buying office furniture. The common ones include comfort, design, weight, durability, and the nature of materials used. However, there are three crucial factors that many people tend to overlook each time they visit a furniture store.

What are they?

The Nature of the Workforce 

When buying office furniture, many managers do not consider the characteristics of the existing or expected workforce. As a result, they end purchasing furniture that makes life difficult for the workers, affecting productivity. That is a mistake you should avoid if you want to get the perfect pieces of furniture.

But what are the characteristics of the workforce that you should consider?

First, you should understand that people vary in physical appearances, such as height and body size. The difference means that the two groups of people cannot use the same chair or desk size comfortably. Therefore, when buying office furniture, opt for adjustable pieces. This is because they can be adjusted to fit the physical size of an employee using it at any given time.

Second, you should make your office disability-friendly. One of the ways you can achieve these is by ensuring the right furniture is available for people with special needs. Doing this will create a friendly working environment for the physically challenged, which will then improve productivity.

Fire Risk 

Office fires are common even with all the measures put in place to prevent such accidents from happening when people are away. That is why you should always consider the risk of fire when buying furniture. This is some of them are more likely to catch fire and keep it burning for a long time in case of an accident.

You can avoid pieces of furniture that are likely to catch fire easily by analyzing the materials used to make the product. Some of those used, such as paints, are flammable, while others are fireproof. Pick those that are fireproof or less likely to catch fire. Among those that you should consider is metal furniture, which you can find at BFX furniture.

The adaptability of the Furniture 

Some pieces are rigid, where they are designed for specific uses only, and others are flexible.

When buying furniture, never go for pieces that can only be used for specific functions. Instead, choose multipurpose furniture. This will eliminate the need to buy more furniture to suit different office needs. You can then save more money and space that could have been occupied by the extra furniture.

In conclusion, consider three less common things when buying office furniture. Analyze the nature of your workforce, fire risk, and the adaptability of the furniture. After understanding your needs, visit BFX Furniture, where you will find every piece of furniture that you might need in the workplace.

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Belle before she had to think about money

A long-haul flight with a toddler might sound like many people’s idea of hell, but it doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds – and the fun and adventures that await you and your little one are well worth the hassle. So, in order to make travelling with a toddler just that little bit easier, here are 8 things you absolutely need to remember:

Always pack extra outfits

Overpacking is often discouraged as an adult, but when it comes to toddlers, the more outfit options the better! Toddlers find new and creative ways to destroy their clothing every day, so if you’re wondering whether to pack that extra t-shirt or not, then the answer is you should!

If your toddler is currently potty training, then take a few spare sets of clothes in your hand luggage too in case of accidents. If you’re only at the beginning of your toilet training journey, you could also consider taking some pull-up nappies for when the seatbelt sign is turned on.

Baby wipes are your best friend

Between touching everything they see, eating like tiny wild animals and those runny noses that toddlers are so famous for, wet wipes and hand sanitiser are going to be your best friend – so make sure that you keep at least two packs in your hand luggage (ideally in a side pocket for easy-access.)

Give yourself plenty of time

It doesn’t matter if you’re heading to the end of the road or to the other side of the world, travelling with toddlers takes at least twice as long as when you’re alone, so allow time for all that exploring, investigating… and toilet breaks.

Get snacking

When it comes to keeping little ones quiet and still on long flights or drives, snacks are even more coveted than toys – so make sure you have a range of healthy ones at hand at all times. Fruit, breadsticks, crackers, carrot sticks, raisins and cucumber are all great options for toddlers to much one, and remember to give them something to drink or a toddler-friendly sized lollipop to suck on during take-off and landing to help if the change in atmospheric pressure hurts their ears.

Pack as many small activities as you can

Travelling can be boring for adults, let alone children so make sure to pack as many small activities to keep them entertained as possible. Colouring books, pens, stickers, puzzles, drawing paper, story books, card games – anything little that isn’t going to upset them if it gets lost in the travelling chaos.

Download your apps in advance

Whilst it’s completely understandable that many parents only allow their children to use electronic devices during certain periods, long flights are definitely an occasion to break your screen time rules. Stock up child-friendly apps and/or downloaded films beforehand as long flight with delays and there only so much colouring your child can do.

Keep your toddler safe in the sun

If you’re jetting off to warmer pastures it should go without saying that your toddler is going to need a very high SPF sun cream applied regularly, or a thorough application of a once-a-day sunscreen, (that are a little more expensive, but save you having to wrestle your little one at intervals throughout the day!) Hats are also vital – and though your toddler will delight in taking it off as soon as you put it on, persist and keep explaining that they need to wear them whenever they are outside.

Don’t forget your first aid supplies

Whether you’re planning a chilled holiday by the pool or an adventure-packed exploration, toddlers have a way of finding ways to bump, scratch and bruise themselves – so, a well-stocked first-aid kit is important. Include plenty of plasters, antiseptic cream, antihistamine for mosquito bites and stings, a thermometer, insect repellent and both Calpol and Nurofen. It’s also important to take out travel health insurance for the whole family before you jet off.

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We have this thing in our house. It goes like this…

Someone will get up to do something like go to the toilet or get a drink. Someone else, who has been waiting for just such an opportunity, will say ‘while you’re up…’ It is then the duty of the person who is up to do the bidding of the second person.

Sometimes it’s something simple like ‘while you’re up could you get me a drink of water please?’ Often though, it’s more complex. As it’s just me and Belle in the house and I’m a little more up and about than Belle normally, it’s often me who takes the brunt.

Picture the scene. I get up to have a wee. Belle, who has probably been secretly waiting for this moment for at least half an hour, stirs on the sofa.

‘While you’re up…’ she begins.

‘Yessss…’ I say, taking a slow intake of breath because she has a cheeky look on her face like she’s probably not going to be asking for a glass of water. ‘What?’

‘Can you get me some kind of pudding?’ She says.

‘What kind of pudding?’ I ask. (The worst requests are the non-specific ones.)

‘Something nice,’ she says.

‘We’ve got bananas?’ I suggest. She raises her eyebrows.

‘Could you get me,’ she begins, and she does a sort of wriggle in her seat, like she’s just thought of the perfect thing and she’s excited, ‘a bowl of ice cream, and could I have a spoonful of peanut butter on the top. And then could you grate a little bit of chocolate over it all? And could you get me my lip balm from upstairs please?’

And I have to do it because those are the rules of ‘while you’re up’. View Post

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cat on a bed

Getting to sleep when you have a cold or a cough can be extremely hard. Easy breathing is important when it comes to drifting off, and your body also needs to be at the right temperature to be able to fall asleep quickly.

So, if you’ve caught a cough or cold, what can you do to make sure it doesn’t impact your sleep? Here is a little checklist on how you can improve your night’s sleep when you or your child is under the weather:

  1. Sleeping Positions

Did you know that your sleeping position can make a big difference when you have a cough or cold?

Front and back sleepers struggle more when they have a cold as it affects their breathing. Sleeping on your front can restrict your airways, while sleeping on your back can worsen your congestion.

The best sleeping position to avoid these issues is on your side. While this may not be the comfiest for those used to sleeping on their back or front, it will regulate your breathing and ensure that your congestion doesn’t feel worse than it is.

  1. Drinking and Eating Right

There are some foods and drinks that should really be avoided a couple of hours before bed. One example is alcohol. While alcohol can help you fall asleep quicker initially, it is likely to lead to bad quality sleep. Drinking alcohol before bed can leave you feeling dehydrated and can swell your sinuses as it triggers the expansion of blood cells in the body.

There are plenty of foods that you should and shouldn’t eat when you have a cold. Some particularly good foods to eat more of are soup and garlic – and you should definitely be drinking plenty of water.

When it comes to foods to avoid, cheese isn’t the only one. Check out this Happy Beds blog for a list of foods that might be hampering your sleep.

  1. Changing Bed Sheets More Often

There is nothing better than snuggling into clean, fresh sheets, even more so when you’re unwell.

Naturally, you’re going to spend more time in bed when you’re ill, and this means you will probably be sweating more. Changing your bed more frequently than normal is important, to make sure there isn’t a build up of germs and sweat. Also, if you’re sharing a bed with someone else, then changing the sheets more could help prevent them getting the same virus that you have.

  1. Stick to a Routine

According to research by the University of California, you are three times more likely to get sick again with a new cold if you’re not getting enough sleep. So, while it’s definitely harder to get to sleep when you’re feeling unwell, try and stick to the same routine. Go to bed the same time as normal and stick to your standard sleeping pattern.

If you’ve tried this for a few nights and it isn’t working, then head up to bed a little earlier than normal. This way, it will give you longer to try and relax and drift off.

  1. Soothe Your Throat

Making a hot drink (without sugar and caffeine) before bed can help when you have a cold, as the steam will help decongest your sinuses, making it easier to breathe throughout the night.

Honey, lemon and cough sweets are also good options too, as they will help sooth your throat. Taking a hot lemon water to bed with you will help, as it will help you sweat the virus out while you’re in a thick duvet.

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best coffee makers

Coffee is a widely consumed beverage and considered a general staple in many households. It is enjoyed by a variety of people, primarily for the high caffeine levels. Caffeine, a natural stimulant, supplies a lot of benefits. It immediately gives you an energy lift, sharpness, and a drive to seize the day, or to get up from a mid-day slump. It also serves as a mood booster and some studies even suggest that caffeine may prevent certain types of diseases. 

However, people have also become unhealthily reliant on this beverage, and a lot of individuals have been experiencing the detrimental side effects from ingesting large amounts of caffeine daily like anxiety, insomnia, and arrhythmia. For those who suffer from these side effects, they have been compelled to cut back on their intakes. As these consumers make gradual changes, a lot of them have already opted to drinking decaf coffee instead.

What is Decaf Coffee?

Decaffeinated coffee, commonly known as decaf coffee, may be considered as an alternative to your regular coffee. Despite the popular assumption that decaf has no caffeine, it does in fact still have low levels of caffeine. Because of this, decaf coffee can still provide you with that quick effective boost. It can be the perfect replacement for your black coffee, especially if you already experience caffeine intolerance or sensitivity.

Likewise, the market is continuously on the move as a lot of consumers have been replacing their regular espresso with decaf. Thanks to the rise in popularity of decaf coffee, there is a wider range of decaf options that have become available. As such, consumers have a lot variety to choose from when looking for the best decaf coffee in the market.

People are now switching to decaf coffee due to its benefits. Although much research into this beverage still has to be done, this drink still has definite perks. 

The Benefits to Drinking Decaf Coffee

  • It may potentially lower the side effects brought by caffeine

Decaf coffee contains very little caffeine. For individuals who are particularly caffeine-sensitive, this is definitely good news. Decaf coffee may lower the probability of side effects induced by caffeine. This may decrease sleep difficulties, jitters, and the inevitable energy crash. Likewise, caffeine is known to aggravate anxiety. Thus, if you are already experiencing anxiety-related conditions, it is best to reduce your intake or switch to decaf.

Moreover, for individuals who frequently experience heartburn, acid reflux, dizziness, headaches, and the like, it might be best to replace your daily shot of espresso.

This may be a preferable option to those who would like to minimize their caffeine intakes. Likewise, this may be a safe choice to those who want to enjoy the flavor of coffee without compromising your health.

  • It allows you to satisfy your coffee cravings without ingesting large portions of caffeine

Due to its low caffeine levels, decaf is recommended to those who just want to satiate their regular coffee cravings. Although it is milder in flavor and aroma, this type of coffee still tastes great. Whether you prefer hot or cold coffee, a decaf drink can fill that gap in your morning routine.

Today, with variety of flavors to enjoy, the beverage may be perfect to those who are attempting to control their caffeine dependence. Likewise, opting for decaf coffee may help you gradually reduce your caffeine intake. It may be helpful to switch to decaf coffee and slowly lessen your daily ingestion rather than going cold turkey. It is not advisable to suddenly eliminate caffeine from your diet because, when you do, you might experience withdrawal and various side effects for a few weeks. 

  • It may be a safer choice for those who are taking certain medications

Have you ever wondered what possible effects caffeine has on your body

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it is much better to ask your physician how much caffeine is safe for you to ingest. Many studies have suggested that caffeine may negatively influence specific medications. It also has been attested to inhibit iron absorption due to its polyphenol contents. Other studies suggest that the influence of coffee and caffeine on iron absorption may depend on when you drink your coffee. For instance, consuming coffee an hour prior to your meal doesn’t inhibit iron absorption. Regardless, it is best to do your own research and consult an expert, most especially if you are currently taking any supplements or medications.

If permitted by your doctor, decaf coffee may be a safe replacement because it has minimal caffeine levels, meaning you are less likely to experience the side effects that come with high levels of caffeine in the body.

  • It has the most of the same nutritional attributes as regular coffee

Decaf coffee still contains the same bioactive elements, antioxidants, and nutrients as your regular coffee. However, it is essential to take note that there is still a slight reduction of antioxidants due to the decaffeination process. 

Antioxidants will aid your body in fighting against daily exposure to free radicals. This powerful compound may lessen oxidative damage and may prevent certain diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. A cup of brewed decaf coffee can also provide some small amounts of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B3. 

The Bottom Line

Decaf coffee has been becoming popular due to its many perks. It has been loved and enjoyed by many, both at cafés and in the comfort of their own homes. Due to its minimal caffeine levels, it has become a relished beverage to those who are caffeine-sensitive and to those who are attempting to reduce their dependence.

With today’s surging decaf options, consumers are able to select and discover their own favorite flavors and blends. There are just as many ways to enjoy decaffeinated coffee as there are to enjoy standard coffee, so don’t be afraid to make the change and find the decaf blend that best suits you. Whatever that blend is for you, do not forget to enjoy and savor that brewed cup.

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love birds

Dating is hard. I’ve done a lot of dating and I can vouch for the fact that even when things feel at their most straightforward, it’s still a complex and difficult world to navigate.

Imagine then adding an extra layer, imagine dating with a disability and how that might impact your search for love. Would you feel judged? Would you feel vulnerable? Would it be as easy for you to meet and connect with someone as if you didn’t have a disability?

My daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome this year, aged 18. She finds social interactions extremely difficult and even friendships are very hard for her to navigate. She’s never been in a relationship and as things stand it’s hard to imagine how that would even come about. She’s very socially isolated, doesn’t work or attend college, and so even having the opportunity to meet new people is difficult.

One of the things she finds particularly hard is reading other people’s signs and signals, and understanding subtext. Dating though is all about subtext. I can only imagine how challenging relationships will be for her unless she can find someone who works on the same wavelength as hers and who values that level of directness as much as she does.

It makes me wonder what the future holds for her. I worry that regular dating apps could leave her vulnerable, exposed to being taken advantage of. She’s incredibly trusting and honest and those qualities aren’t always held by everyone else online. Perhaps a disability dating app might be one option for her, somewhere that feels a little bit more of a safe space for her?

For Belle, dating is going to provide plenty of challenges and there are all kinds of disabilities that can impact on that elusive search for your one true love. Imagine being blind for instance, and the issues with accessibility that this would raise on dating apps. Or how about being deaf? Single disabled deaf dating would present another layer of communications difficulties.

The sad truth is that most online dating apps just aren’t set up for people with disabilities. So much of the ethos of online dating for example is based on looks and making snap decisions based on just a small selection of profile pictures. I don’t think accessibility is high on the agenda when it comes to most mainstream dating apps, and that just makes things even more complex for anyone with a disability who is looking for a partner.

Despite the challenges though, I’m optimistic for Belle as she grows and develops. I’m an optimistic person, I just can’t help it. Life may feel difficult for her right now, and socialising options may be limited, but I am confident that her future can look rosier and that she will learn to manage her disability as she gets older. And it only takes one chance encounter after all doesn’t it?

Who knows, true love for her could be just around the corner.

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