One of the most important things in toddlerhood is getting the right nutrition for your kids. The food they eat during this period has a significant impact on their overall health, growth and development which is why it is necessary that parents always provide their little ones with a well-balanced diet.

By definition, toddler nutrition should be a combination of the five main food groups. This includes fruits, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, protein and dairy products. All of these foods are highly rich in numerous vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that ensure a proper physical and mental development in younger children.

Generally speaking, a balanced diet doesn’t need to be achieved at every meal, but it is recommended that something from each food group is included in breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks.

Here is how the five food groups can benefit your toddler’s wellbeing.

toddler nutrition

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are the biggest sources of vitamins that are necessary for children’s immunity and overall health. They come in many colors, shapes, textures and varieties, all of which can be served to toddlers in endless ways.

For example, most parents give fruits and vegetables to their kids in the form of a snack. Some of the toddlers’ most favorite combinations include bananas, strawberries, melons, grapes, carrots and cucumbers.

If your little ones aren’t big fans of eating these two food groups, then you can take different fruits and veggies and make colorfully appealing, playful snacks for your kids.

Dairy

Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt should also be included in your child’s diet. Such foods are highly rich in calcium which is necessary for building strong bones, especially when your child is a toddler. Dairy products contain other essential nutrients that help with brain development, healthy teeth and eyes.

In order for your child to meet the recommended intake of dairy, you can include milk or yogurt for breakfast which you can combine with cereal, a low-fat cheese sandwich for lunch or with protein and veggies for dinner.   

Starch

Starchy foods such as bread, rice, pasta, cereals and potatoes should also be part of your child’s balanced diet. They contain vitamin B, calcium and fiber, all of which help with proper growth and development while providing energy at the same time which is necessary for active toddlers.

In general, children need at least five portions of this food group per day. Some parents include them as a part of their kids’ lunch or dinner by giving them one slice of bread or three tablespoons of mashed potato. As for snacks, five tablespoons of cereal should suffice.

Protein

Protein is also very important for a child’s growth because it contains essential nutrients that work as the building block of their body. Besides, they provide the fuel and energy the body needs to move and be active every day.

In general, toddlers should eat about two portions of protein per day which includes meat, fish, eggs or lentils. All of these foods are rich in minerals such as zinc and iron which are crucial for the proper development of the body. You can combine it with veggies to make the meals more appealing to your little one.

child nutrition

Water

Although water isn’t considered a food group, it is still an essential part of every toddler’s well-balanced diet. The body needs it in order to perform basic functions such as fighting dehydration and cooling off when the body is heated up.

The number of water glasses per day varies depending on your child’s age, body size, activity levels and overall health. Usually, kids drink water with meals and whenever they are thirsty.

If your little one is out in warm weather playing sports or exercising, you should definitely increase their water intake to fight dehydration.  

Final thoughts

In order for your toddlers to grow strong and healthy, it is important that they follow a well-balanced diet. This way they will be provided with numerous vitamins, minerals and nutrients that will help them develop properly especially when they’re really young.

In case you aren’t sure how your kid’s diet should look like, keep our guide nearby and follow the tips mentioned here to help your little one be healthy at all times. 

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In case you don’t follow me on Instagram, we are getting a puppy at the end of the month. It will be Belle’s puppy, so I’m under strict instructions about the use of things like the term ‘pupdate’ in Instagram captions, much to my regret.

Before the puppy arrives and takes over our lives in the best, fluffiest possible way, we’ve been making the most of our freedom by having days out and weekends away and going to IKEA. One such outing recently was an overnight stay in Windsor.

I think I may have been to Windsor once before, but I’ve never been to Windsor Castle, and to be honest if you go to Windsor and don’t go to the castle, have you even been? It would be like going to Cheddar and not eating some cheese. (I think I’ve done this too to be honest.) During our 24 hours in Windsor then I was definitely going to visit the castle, just to prove I existed. I think that’s how it works.

Windsor Castle

Our accommodation in Windsor

We were put up for the night in Windsor, very generously, by the aptly named Accommodation Windsor.

Accommodation Windsor has a wide range of self catering accommodation throughout the town – 45 properties in fact – ranging from small. serviced apartments through to a 5-bedroom guest house right in the town centre. They’re nearly all walking distance into Windsor, and their vibe is clean, modern home away from home. View Post

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untold stories slummy single mummy

Today’s Untold Stories is contributed anonymously by a mum of one who I met randomly online a few months ago. We got to talking and before I knew it, she was sharing her story. ‘I don’t love my husband,’ she told me, ‘but I don’t know how to leave him.’ (People tell me things, I don’t know what it is.) She asked if she could write a post for my Untold Stories section to help her clarify her own thoughts and to hopefully get feedback and support from other people about what she should do. I know what I think, but I’d love to hear your comments.

I feel guilty even writing this. In so many ways I know I have a perfect life – great friends, a lovely, affection son, a big house, a husband who is perfectly nice…

But that’s the trouble. He’s perfectly nice, but that’s all. He doesn’t hit me, but that’s hardly a reason to stay married to someone is it? When it’s just me and the thoughts in my head though, it feels like it should be. Sometimes I’ve wished he’d do something awful – come home drunk and confess to an affair with his secretary, or tell me he’s slept with a prostitute or something, anything that would make me feel justified in ending our marriage.

I know I could just leave, but as easy as that feels to say to the characters on the TV who are clearly stuck in an unhappy marriage, when it comes to saying it to myself? Somehow the words don’t come as easily. I look at my husband with my son, in the garden at weekends, playing football, laughing, and it feels like such an awful cliché that sometimes I wonder if I’m the TV show, looking out.

My son is nine now. When I try to think back to when I first met my husband, to when I was pregnant, when we were new parents, it feels hazy. I want to remember how it felt to be in love with him, imagining that if I could hold that feeling even just for a moment, that I could recapture it, but I can’t. I’ve thought about it so much, replayed the past so many times, looking for clues, that I can’t even remember now if I ever loved him?

I think I did. Would I have married him otherwise? I’m not sure.

He’s a kind man. He’s sweet and generous and loves his family. Why can’t I return that love? How could I take everything away from him when he’s done nothing wrong?

That’s the crux of it for me, that idea of right and wrong. He’s done nothing wrong and therefore I have no valid reason to leave. My unhappiness isn’t a reason enough, but I’m not sure why. Perhaps because the status quo is passive? I’m already unhappy, suck it up, leaving would make TWO people unhappy – father and son – and it doesn’t take an expert to do that maths. What gives me the right to think that my ONE is worth more than their TWO?

At the moment, while I don’t love my husband anymore, I don’t hate him either. We rub along, I’m good at pretending, maybe he knows, maybe he doesn’t. I worry though that over time this tolerance is going to erode. I don’t want to hate him. I don’t want to start resenting the way he spreads butter on bread.

But I don’t know how to leave. I don’t know how to feel okay with making my own happiness more important than by husband and son’s.

Read more Untold Stories here. If you’d like to contribute your own, please get in touch.

I don't love my husband anymore

Photo by Katie Drazdauskaite on Unsplash

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Advertisement feature in association with Portify – the app that could help improve your credit score

We flew to Ireland a couple of weeks ago to see my sister and to celebrate my mum’s 70th birthday and before we went we all had to do PCR tests. Completing the tests and waiting on the results made me incredibly anxious. I couldn’t figure out why, but then I realised it made me feel exactly the same way I used to feel having credit checks done.

I read the test instructions carefully over and over, filled out all the forms, and sent them off. I nervously awaited the results, knowing it was completely outside of my control and yet at the same time worrying irrationally, as though the results would somehow be a reflection on my very worth as a human being.

If you’ve ever been in debt or had a bad credit rating then you can probably relate. I’ve talked a bit before about getting into debt as a single parent in my teens and early twenties. Doing your degree as a single mum at a university 50 miles away from where you live is never going to be exactly cost effective, and I lived with the consequences of that for quite a long time. Every time I moved house and had to complete credit checks through an agency I would feel that potent mix of dread and shame. I felt judged for my poor credit score, even though I knew the test were probably being done automatically by a computer. I felt the computer judging me.

Facing up to those debts and feeling like I’ve reached a financially secure place in my life is something I’m really proud of. I was pregnant aged 16 and have been a single mum on and off for 25 years. I’ve had very little financial support from ex-partners and honestly, raising a family alone isn’t cheap – the cost of single parenting is high. I’ve also been self-employed as a writer for 12 years, and didn’t necessarily give that a huge amount of thought before I jumped in and bought a second hand desk on eBay*, so finally being able to do things like buy a house feels amazing.

It’s a small house, sure, but it’s mine. I made it happen, no one else. I also finally feel like I have the freedom to start thinking about what I might like to save for in the future. I would absolutely LOVE to have a campervan for instance, and drive around having adventures and ideally solving mysteries.

Why is your credit score important?

Does it really matter if you have a bad credit score? Yes is the short answer. Your credit score not only impacts your ability to borrow money, (including basic things like getting mobile phone contracts), but it also effects how much it costs you to borrow money. If your credit score is poor then lenders will consider you a riskier proposition that someone with a good credit score and so will allow for that by charging you higher rates of interest.

This means that you could end up paying a lot more than someone else for borrowing the same amount of money. This is particularly noticeable for large, long term borrowing like a mortgage. Being charged just a percentage point or two more interest can add up to tens of thousands of pounds over the term of your mortgage. Try the Portify calculator now to see how much money you could save by improving your credit rating from ‘fair’ to ‘excellent’.

How can I improve my credit score?

It takes time to improve your credit score, but the good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to help it along the way. Simple things like making sure you’re on the electoral register, finding out your current score and checking your file for mistakes or erroneous links to other people can all have an impact.

If you long to improve your credit score and lose that shame around debt then I’ve picked out four key ways to improve your credit rating, including one that you might not even know about.

1. Face up to your financial problems

This sounds so easy but being in debt and having a bad credit rating is scary. I understand, I really do. You want to pretend it’s not there, ignore the letters, maybe even try to make yourself feel better about the shame by spending more money. You’re human, it’s normal to want to run away from something scary.

It’s not going to work though. Sorry. Debt isn’t going to go away. Your credit score isn’t going to miraculously improve if you ignore it. Moving house is only delaying the inevitable – debt catches up to you and it’s far better to turn and face it head on than to constantly feel like you’re running. Wouldn’t it feel good to not feel like you’re hiding?

What I learned from being in debt is that most companies are happy enough as long as you are honest. Stuff happens, money gets out of control, it’s okay, you just have to own that and deal with it. Take stock of your finances and write down exactly what you have going in and out. Get in touch with the people you are struggling to pay and lay it out for them. Make them a realistic offer – not a huge amount that you think will please them but that isn’t sustainable – something you can stick to.

Take charge. Be the boss of your credit score.

2. Do not miss payments

Well dur. This might seem obvious, but it’s absolutely key. Missed payments are one of the most significant things that effect your credit score and so making sure you pay all of your bills on time, from your broadband to your mortgage, is vital.

Making all of your payments on time is one of the most important ways to prove to credit agencies that you’re trustworthy and reliable, and it ties into the first point too – taking control, monitoring your expenditure and generally just not burying your head in the sand can help to make sure you don’t miss payment dates.

3. Consider a service like Portify

This is the sort of help that wasn’t around when I was in debt, but it’s something that you might want to consider if you’re serious about building up your credit score. The Portify app works in several ways to help you manage your credit rating, through free and paid for packages, and you can sign up in just three minutes.

Improve credit score Portify review

At the free level, Portify empowers you to feel more in control of your money by tracking your income and expenses, and will alert you to bills that could impact your credit score. Through Open Banking, the app identifies your subscriptions and recurring payments and then sends you smart reminders to help you make payments on time. The app also has a handy expense predictor that will learn your financial behaviour and predict if any upcoming bills may push you into your overdraft.

Portify also offers a Lite and a Plus membership, based on flat monthly fees of just £5 or £9 and with no hard credit checks. These memberships could improve your credit score with the big credit agencies – Experian at the Lite level, plus TransUnion (Credit Karma) and Equifax (ClearScore) at the Plus level – and users typically start to see improvements after around three to four months. Building a good credit score takes time and consistency and you need a while to build up a positive payment history.

Portify is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and the app currently has an ‘excellent’ rating on Trustpilot, based on 752 reviews. Users should maintain good financial behaviour when using the app to get the best results. Results may vary, visit Portify.co for more information!

Improve credit score Portify

4. Keep your credit utilisation rate low

Credit utilisation rate basically means how much of your available credit you’re using, and is another significant factor in how credit scores are calculated – a low credit utilisation rate is better than a higher one.

For example, if you have a credit limit of £1,000 on a credit card but a balance of £100, your credit utilisation rate is only 10%. You can improve your credit score therefore by avoiding maxing out on credit cards and paying balances off in full every month if possible. By doing this you’re effectively showing credit agencies that just because you have access to credit, you’re not rushing out and spending, you’re using that credit line responsibly.

Improving your credit score is a long game and it does take patience and determination, but it’s absolutely possible. Taking back control of your finances is such an empowering experience too, and getting to a place of financial freedom and security is wonderful.

So what are you waiting for? Take your head out of the sand, start taking positive steps to improve your credit score and you’ll be solving mysteries in your campervan in no time.

vintage vw camper

*Everyone knows that all you need to become a writer is a desk right? Like I said, not a great deal of thought…

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Homesense finds

Home improvements are an extremely popular industry in the current day and age. In the past year, people have been spending more time in their homes, prompting many of them to want to improve its appearance, quality and condition. Therefore, now is an excellent time to invest in a home improvement franchise, considering the soaring demand.

There are many different types of home improvement franchises UK and globally. So, whatever your business ambitions, a global franchise directory could help you to find the type of franchise that will provide you with a rewarding and stable investment.

What are home improvement franchises?

Home improvement franchises encompass a wide range of different businesses. They can include construction, cleaning, damp mitigation, pest control, and several other types of business that provide services to improve people’s domestic environments. In some cases, this can include extending their homes, while in other cases it can simply entail making the environment cleaner and healthier. Here is an insight into what is available.

Construction

The construction industry has experienced a surge in demand over the past year. People are looking to extend their homes or refurbish them. Many people are considering loft conversions or simply want to improve their house with a new garage or a conservatory. Construction franchises are therefore a fantastic investment for any investors who want to ensure that their profits can continue to grow.

Some of the most popular types of construction franchises include:

  • Loft conversion, insulation or boarding
  • Home renovations
  • Extensions

Experts predict that the global construction industry will increase in size to 8 trillion US dollars by 2030showing how much potential for profit there is in a home improvement franchise.

Cleaning

Cleaning and home maintenance franchises are an exceptionally popular choice as more people value high standards of hygiene in their homes. With so many people turning to professionals to keep their homes clean and tidy, now is a great time to invest in a domestic cleaning franchise.

Damp mitigation

Damp and mould can be extremely unpleasant to live with and they can also pose serious health risks to a home’s inhabitants. Damp is often linked to severe respiratory diseases and other health conditions. These can affect children even more seriously than adults.

As a result, buying a damp mitigation franchise not only offers excellent scope to generate custom but also provides a rewarding and helpful service. When you are running this kind of franchise, you can enjoy job satisfaction from knowing that you are helping people and may even be improving their health thanks to your company’s services.

Pest control

Rats, cockroaches and other pests affect many homes across the world. They often spread disease and can be a horrible housemate to have. As many pests often seek warmth and shelter inside people’s homes, there is always a constant demand for pest control services. This means that if you choose to invest in a pest control business, then you will be assured of regular business and continual profits.

Pest control franchises are a low-risk investment. In some cases, they can also be run from anywhere, including your home. That means that you would be able to cut your overheads as you would not need to pay rent on business premises. In the end, that can result in a larger profit margin and better returns on your initial investment.

Aesthetic improvements

There is a large industry for people to improve the look of their homes and these kinds of franchises can be extremely popular. For example, there are many different franchises that specialise in blinds. Not only can this be a great option for modernising a room, but it also gives people improved levels of privacy and a feeling of safety and security in their homes.

Therefore, it is no surprise that these are extremely popular when it comes to home improvements across the world. People want to live in trendy and fashionable homes. As trends are always changing and updating, this is great for your investment potential because you will always find new customers who want to keep up with the latest fashions in home appearances.

What are the benefits of a home improvement franchise investment?

Franchises can be highly profitable, low-risk investments. They are a long-term investment that can provide you with a secure and stable income to support yourself and your family. They are extremely flexible with a variety of different levels of investment available. They also provide flexibility once you have invested because you can often work from home or vary your hours around other commitments.

Many home improvement franchises also provide essential services to your customers, allowing them to live in better conditions and to enjoy an improved quality of life.

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I’ve found myself spending a fair amount of time lately on Rightmove. It’s because a house identical to mine in the next street went on the market a couple of weeks ago – it’s exactly the same, but has been listed for £265,000, £85,000 more than I paid for mine four years ago. I don’t imagine it will sell for that, but it did get me thinking.

The more I look at other houses though, the more I remember the bits about my house that I love, the stuff I wouldn’t want to leave behind. This is the first house I’ve ever owned and I think that means I’ve invested way more in it, financially of course but emotionally too. I’ve done things like plants tiny honeysuckles in the garden, knowing that in five years time they will have grown to cover my pergolas. I’ve never had that attitude to a house before and I like it.

In fact my garden, despite being nothing but a square of gravel when I moved in, has become one of the things I would hate to leave behind. What is it about gardens? I guess you can’t take it with you in the same way that you can furniture.

small garden bench gardenbenches.com review

There are a couple of other things that it would be really tough to leave behind, one of them being my built in wardrobes. I had them made for my bedroom not long after we moved in, to fit the huge alcove on one side. Originally they were designed for two people, but then I dumped that loser, (hoorah!), and the wardrobes became ALL MINE. The happiness you get from a custom made wardrobe should never be underestimated. They bring me joy every day. If you get the chance, do consider fitted wardrobes London.

The final thing I like best about my house, and this may sound really cheesy, is my neighbours. This is one of the things that puts me off moving because although you can’t take your garden with you, you could plant another honeysuckle, but you can’t get your neighbours to move with you can you?

I love the area that we live in, and the people around us. There’s such a lovely, ‘friendly but not intrusive’ vibe, and I particular like my adjoining neighbour, who I’ve gotten to know a lot better during lockdown. She’s an absolute sweetheart and it’s so comforting knowing she’s just next door. We’ve been away this week for instance, and one of my cats wasn’t showing up for the sitter at breakfast time. Obviously I imagined the worse and was panicking horribly, so my neighbour took her key and popped in one evening and lo and behold, Camille was sat casually in an armchair, happy as anything. Without my neighbour my time away would have been ruined by cat worry.

So while Rightmove is still an interesting hobby – who doesn’t like a nose inside other people’s house? – I think for now it remain just that.

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Self-love and positivity are two things everyone needs right now, with so much uncertainty surrounding our daily lives it is important we feel relaxed and comfortable in our own homes. Cleaning is a great way to improve mental health and wellbeing, decluttering and creating a tidy environment can go a long way towards positive mental health. Below are three reasons cleaning can support mental health.

Decluttering

With so much going on in the world, one thing we can control is the cleanliness of our homes. If you are struggling to focus a tidy environment can reset the mind and put you back on track.

Decluttering doesn’t have to be a long or tenuous task, instead you can split the tasks into smaller timeframes to make them more manageable. Start with simple changes such as finding a place for things or getting rid of old books, DVD’s and paperwork. Once you have decluttered you will start to feel better already.

Choose the Right Scent

Another element of cleaning that can support mental health is that of scents. Ensuring your home smells clean and fresh can reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. One of the worst things about cleaning is the smell of chemicals but certain cleaning products have been developed with scent in mind.

When choosing your scent think about the affect you want it to have on you and your household. If you are looking for a relaxing scent, try rosemary, jasmine or vanilla, or if you’d prefer an anxiety reducing scent try lavender, lemon, ylang-ylang or rose.

Another thing to consider is changing scents per room, for example in the bedroom try relaxing scents and, in the kitchen, the smell of fresh fruit is always nice.

Cleaning Endorphins

Cleaning is much like exercise – when done correctly – this is the reason that cleaning releases endorphins. To explain it in a short and sweet way when cleaning endorphins interact with receptors which trigger positive feelings, and this is what helps reduce negative emotions of stress and anxiety.

When cleaning be mindful not to become obsessive, this can have the opposite effect you are looking to achieve. Set yourself a time limit to ensure you have a break and don’t over work yourself. If you have any top tips or stories to share about cleaning and mental health share them in the comments below.

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I was listening to a podcast a few weeks ago, I can’t remember what it was or who was talking, but there was a bit in it that really stuck with me. They were talking about boundaries, and how we go about creating them for ourselves, and the guest posed a question:

What time do you really want to go to bed?

She explained that bedtimes are a great starting point for thinking about boundaries, because we rarely go to bed at the time we want to. I thought about it a lot and it feels so true to me.

Consider the question for a minute. If you lived alone, felt no judgement when you were out in the evenings, just listened to your body and prioritised yourself – if you were basically a cat – what time would you go to bed? How different is that from when you actually go to bed?

What time do you want to go to bed View Post

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pregnant tummy

Stretch marks can happen to anyone. But there are a few events in our lives that are often hallmarked by these little scars — puberty, and pregnancy. 

You might develop stretch marks if you’ve gained weight, (hello freshman 15) or most commonly, during pregnancy. 

Between 50 to 90 percent of mothers experience stretch marks during their pregnancy. Doctors estimate that stretch marks appear during the 6th or 7th month of pregnancy. 

But what causes this to happen? How can we get rid of them?

Let’s talk about the most essential topical vitamins for treating stretch marks. 

What causes stretch marks?

Stretch marks can occur on our tummies, thighs, bums, breasts, or hips. Any place where you can expand, you can get stretch marks. 

To dermatologists these are known as “stria” and are characterized as long, thin, groovy/rippled reddish marks that eventually turn white and scar the skin. 

Stretch marks occur as a result of tears in the collagen of the dermis layer of the skin. As the body attempts to heal this rupture, a stretch mark can appear. 

Some are more genetically predisposed to getting stretch marks because some skin is just genetically less elastic than others.  

Even though these scars are very common, most people who have stretch marks would much rather they didn’t. 

If you, like so many, have stretch marks from a weight gain (hello quarantine weight), pregnancy, or puberty — there might be some treatments to help reduce the appearance of these marks. 

3 proven stretch mark treatment options 

Here are 3 essential vitamins necessary to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. 

#1 Vitamin A

Vitamin A, better known as retinol and retinoids, is great at resurfacing skin and increasing collagen production. Retinoids increase skin cell turnover (skin regeneration) and help to boost skin elastin. 

Vitamin A reduces the appearance of scars as it helps to smooth over skin, revealing a more even tone and texture. This is why it’s also used to smooth over fine lines and wrinkles

Please note mums: You should not use vitamin A products while pregnant or breastfeeding. Hold off on using until you are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding before trying this method. 

If you are expecting, in the meantime, it’s a wonderful idea to use topical hyaluronic acid as studies have found applying this early can help reduce scar appearance. 

#2 Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to fight against free radical damage which can hinder collagen production. This important vitamin is required for collagen production and is known as “pre-collagen”. 

If you’re trying to reduce the appearance of scars it’s a great idea to boost collagen production — vitamin C (and vitamin A) to the rescue. 

Vitamin C serums can be applied to the skin topically but don’t mix them with retinol or tretinoin. 

#3 Nourishing body oils and butters rich in vitamin E

Vitamin E is a well-known remedy for stretch marks. Using nourishing body oils or butter can actually help prevent stretch marks as it helps increase the elasticity of the skin. 

If you’ve already developed the scars, vitamin E can help repair and protect collagen. Creams high in vitamin E (i.e shea butter) are best used together with vitamin C as these vitamins work best in unison. 

Shea butter is a wonderful choice for stretch marks as it’s rich in vitamin E, vitamin A and supports healthy skin cell growth. 

Summary

There are three vital vitamins you should be applying to your stretch marks if you want to reduce the appearance or prevent future marks. 

These vitamins are vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. 

It’s best to use vitamin A products (retinol or tretinoin) by themselves at night. Vitamin C and vitamin E, on the other hand, are best used together. Taking the time to massage these into the skin can be great to spur collagen stimulation.

These vitamins are great for stretch marks because they help stimulate and support collagen production, brighten skin, and increase skin elasticity. 

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Regardless of whether you already have a full-time job, nobody would refuse extra income if they can get it with a bit of extra work in their free time. That being said, finding a job that gets you that extra income and you can do it on the side isn’t all that easy.

There are many options to choose from, but the question to ask is whether or not they’ll warrant an income that’s good enough for you to dedicate your time to them. In most instances, no, they won’t, which is why we’ve got a short list of side hustles that, if done right, can be a great source of extra income, and you can even turn them into passive income.

Now, it’s definitely true that things like streaming on cam sites are a great way to make a lot of money, but not everyone is comfortable with that, so let’s check out a few alternatives.

Ecommerce

If you aren’t opposed to an initial investment that will very likely return sooner rather than later, an eCommerce business is perfect. Even though opinions are divided in terms of whether or not it’s worth starting, we would definitely say it’s a good idea if you play your cards right.

The first thing to do is consider the niche you’d be opening the store in, as well as the products you’d be selling. This can make or break your success, so do your due diligence and make sure you’re thorough and know what you’re getting into. Identifying the right target market, and then giving them the product they really need is the key to success.

Once you’ve got the research done, you should have an initial stock of the products you’ll be selling. This is a bit of an investment, but if you do things right, it’ll come back very easily. Don’t get too much – you do want to test the waters first and see whether or not you’ve done things right and whether people are sticking around.

It’s also important that you play things right in terms of marketing. Try to promote your store as much as possible, and push ads to your target market – these will be your first customers. When things start moving faster, you can switch your focus to customer satisfaction. Keep that high, and your eCommerce business can quickly turn into a source of passive income that just brings you money.

Design

The design industry covers a very wide palette of sub-industries that you can work in, but most, if not all of them, can be incredibly profitable if you’ve got an eye for design. There’s web design, there’s UI/UX design, there’s graphic design – you name it. To make things even better, a lot of companies are only now realizing they need to digitalize themselves as much as possible, and they’re looking for designers to help out, which is why this is one of those industries that’s always in demand.

You do need to have a creative eye to succeed in such an industry, but if you do, you can start working in the field that you’ve got the most interest in. Whether that’s designing applications and websites, or working with brands on their identity, that’s something you get to choose.

Starting off, it might be a bit difficult to find clients, but the key is to practice and continue creating designs that you can afterward assemble in a portfolio. That portfolio is going to come in handy when you’re pitching yourself to clients because they’ll be able to see some of your past work and they’ll know that choosing you is a good call. And it only gets easier from there.

Tutoring and Courses

While tutoring is a more hands-on approach, courses are more of a source of passive income. Both, however, do more or less the same thing – you teach others what you’re good at. With tutoring, you need to find people to teach and then do one-on-one sessions with them as much as necessary. On the other hand, with courses, you create a program and then you sell it to others, which is more work initially but in the long run, it becomes a hands-off approach.

Whichever one you choose to try, you should first identify what you’re good at. It doesn’t have to be something that’s taught at university, for example – it could be a life skill or anything else that people are willing to learn. Then you should figure out what the best way to teach it to people is, and prepare yourself. Of course, with tutoring, for example, different people will require a different approach, but you can tailor this as you go.

Both tutoring and courses are great not just because of the money you’ll be making, but also because you’re not just working – you’re helping people learn, and that’s always a great idea. 

 

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how to remove red wine stains

Accidents happen… A glass of red wine spilt down a new top, the dog jumping on the sofa after a muddy walk or grass stains on the kid’s freshly washed football kit, these are just some of the common ways clothes and soft furnishings are soiled in a busy family home. While sometimes your first thought may be that a stained item will need throwing out, there are often a range of natural or chemical products that can do the trick.

It’s important that you get to work fast when something becomes stained, as if left for too long the stain can become permanent. Even if you have to go out to buy new cleaning products, removing a stain is usually cheaper than purchasing a replacement for the item.

There is not one stain removal technique that works for all types of stains. The method will depend on both the material of the item that is stained and what substance caused that stain,

For example, it is essential to remember that some stains must be dabbed rather than scrubbed, as in so instances scrubbing can make the damage much worse. Have you ever spilt something onto the carpet and found that as you frantically scrub it up, the stain starts to spread even more?

It is best to carefully blot the area with a damp cloth that has been soaked in cool water. An ice cube will also work if you happen to have one to hand. This is particularly important for stains such as red wine or fruit juice.

Here are some of the most common types of stains that you might come across and tips on how to get rid of them:

How to remove printer ink stains

Many people now have printers at home and buy their printer ink online and replace the cartridges themselves. It is pretty common that ink finds its way onto your fingertips and even onto your clothing when changing the cartridges over.

To remove ink from your fingers, one natural solution is tea tree oil. Put a few drops of tea tree oil onto a cloth or nail brush and gently scrub the marks. Be sure to wash your hand afterwards to prevent transferring the oil into your oil or on your clothes by accident.

If ink gets onto your clothes, then the removal process is a little trickier and must be started straight away. Firstly, dab the material with cool water to get out the surface ink and then apply an alcohol based hair spray directly onto the stain and dab with cool water again.

If the clothing is white, you can switch out the hair spray for a small amount of chlorine bleach.

How to remove mud and grass stains

Mud and grass stains are a common problem, especially when you have young active children who love to be outdoors. Mud is a little different to stains such as ink, as you will actually need to wait for the mud to dry before you start removing it.

Once dry, shake off and vacuum as much as possible before soaking the remainder in liquid detergent. Rub the liquid detergent into the material before putting the garment into the washing machine as you usually would.

For grass stains, mix baking soda with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide until it forms a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stain and leave for around 30 minutes before rinsing with cool water.

How to remove red wine stains

Lastly, red wine is notoriously tricky to remove. If spilt on a piece of clothing, stretch out the fabric and apply salt to the mark to soak it up and then run it under lots of water before putting it in your usual clothes wash.

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Joey is two years old tomorrow.

Can you believe it? Two whole years since I became a Granny. Children warp time don’t they? On the one hand you have no idea where the time has gone, but also you can’t remember life without them. Individual days as a new parent feel about a week long, and then suddenly they’re off to school.

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Joey enjoying his first ever round of crazy golf

I remember when Joey was small, teaching him to press the buttons in his favourite book, the one that made the animal noises, his chubby finger doing its best to press the right bit. Then learning about his cement mixer toy, and how to put the balls in the top and open the door at the back to have them pop out again. In my mind that’s Joey, opening the little cement truck door over and over, concentrating hard.

And now he’s one day away from being two.

Although he’s a little more dexterous than he once was he still has the chubby fingers, pressing buttons, learning how things work. View Post

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