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Monday, 26 June 2017

Average Adult Glugs Down Five & A Half Baths Full Of COOKING OIL In Their Lifetime

Yes - revolting statistic of the day which makes you stop and think "what on earth am I putting in my body" because I think, for lots of us, our eating habits occur on autopilot.

Salad platter with spring onions, tomatoes and a glass container of oil

Research by Frylight, the low calorie cooking oil spray beloved of Slimming World fans indeed suggests that the average adult will glug down the equivalent of five and a half baths full of cooking oil in their lifetime.

That equates to six and a half litres or, for those of us (me!) who haven't gone metric, 11 pints of cooking oil per person every year - based on a study of 2000 adults.

That's 57,500 calories – equivalent to 320 bags of crisps per year or five and a half bathtubs worth of oil over a lifetime.

But despite this, the survey found just seven per cent of the population believe they are consuming too much oil, even though less than five tablespoons of oil equates to a woman’s entirely daily fat allowance.

Priya Tew, dietician at Frylight, which commissioned the study, said: "Oils have long been high on the food trends agenda, with coconut and olive oils often a talking point in press and on social media.

“So, it’s worrying that people are so in the dark when it comes to the level of fat and calories that oil can add.

“Fat is something our bodies need, but we don’t need a large amount of it.

“And while many cooking oils can offer health benefits when used in the right quantities, it’s important to manage the amount consumed.”

With the typical adult using two tablespoons of oil three and half times a week, the survey reveals a worrying lack of knowledge about the pros and cons of cooking with oil.

For instance, nearly 40 percent of people make no effort to avoid saturated fats which can increase cholesterol - carrying a risk of heart disease.

More concerning is one in ten people believe that trans fats are actually healthier than other types of fats. In fact, trans fats (generated by industrial processing) are considered the worst offenders by nutritionists and dieticians.

Both trans and saturated fats can increase levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood – trans fats have also been shown to lower levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body.

Conversely, one in five people aren’t aware that fats can have some health-giving properties, such as vitamins and essential fatty acids.

Surely we all knew about trans fats - didn't we?  

But it seems even coconut oil, widely regarded as a cross between a super food and a multi-purpose beauty product, has also come in for some criticism because of the amount of saturated fat coconut oil contains - largely via a study which is rumoured to have been funded by 'Big Pharma' it must be said.

It's difficult to know who to trust, isn't it?  I would feel a lot more comfortable accepting the results of these studies if they weren't commissioned by firms and organisations with a vested interest in seeing a particular result one way or the other.

I doubt we'll see an independent 'coconut oil think tank' anytime soon though.

In the meantime, reducing saturated fat is, according to the NHS the way to go.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

How Risk Free Matched Betting Can Change Your Life Financially For The Better!

Everywhere you turn at the moment people are talking about Matched Betting and how you can make some tax free cash with minimum risk.  It's a useful skill to have during weeks such as Royal Ascot or during Wimbledon or the football season but it can be done all year round.

Horses racing on the flat at a racecourse

Am I suggesting gambling away the family budget?  Absolutely not.  Nobody is more risk averse than I am and this is a way of building a nest egg for larger purchases, holidays or to stuff in the kids' university fund.  (God only knows what will have happened to tuition fees by the time Caitlin and Ieuan reach 18)!  

But what is Matched Betting and how do you start?  Over to Jon from The Money Shed in this week's guest post.

Money seems to always be tight when you are a parent. It doesn’t matter what age your child might be from 8 months to 18 years there will be times when you dread them coming home with yet another letter from the school wanting money from you. Heck, not even music lessons are free anymore at school like they used to be. There’s no doubt that being a parent is more expensive than ever before right now!

Of course it doesn’t have to be like this and luckily there is a great way to earn money online both RISK FREE and TAX FREE (meaning you don’t even need to register as self employed!) which is the infamous Risk Free Matched Betting.

Now before you zone out either because you think it’s ‘betting’ in the traditional sense or you just don’t have an interest in sports let me tell you THIS IS ALL ABOUT MATH!

There is no traditional betting and certainly NO RISK! Even Linda who runs this amazing blog you are now reading has done it and can vouch for this!

Just before we get going I better explain that I actually run the UK’s Largest Community Website dedicated to earning money from home in the UK, The Money Shed. The site has a forum with over 4500 UK users and nearly 100,000 posts with 100s of people on there also doing Matched Betting and earning a fortune from it so I like to think I know what I am talking about when showing people how to earn money from home!

Risk Free Matched Betting is just a case of doing the same math equation over and over and over again. Don’t worry because everything is taken care of for you so it’s just a case of you copy and pasting some numbers and that’s it!

Example of a matched betting calculator

If you’ve never come across it before here is very brief example of how Risk Free Matched Betting works.

A bookie runs an offer that is ‘Bet £10 and get a £20 free bet!’

We would place a £10 bet on say England to beat Germany and then ‘lay it off’ at an Exchange such as Betfair. ‘Laying it off’ means you are betting on a team doing anything BUT winning.

So no matter now if England win or not we don’t make any money or lose any money BUT we get access to the £20 free bet.

When we then follow the exact same process again choosing a different football match except this time we are using the free bet and this is where we make our GUARANTEED MONEY!
Now don’t worry if even THAT sounds complicated because I can help you right here!

There is a fantastic company called Profit Accumulator which offer a Matched Betting service. What this entails is giving you access to all the offers available and some amazing tools for you to earn even more money when you place your bets but the BIGGEST plus is that they have some AMAZING training tools.

They offer extremely easy to follow videos showing you exactly what to do as you do each offer on their site. In the ‘Signup offers’ section alone there is £1000 worth of offers for you to go through!

Once you’ve clicked through to Profit Accumulator you will see there is a great FREE TRIAL for you to do which will make you around £45 RISK FREE and show you how easy Matched Betting is to do! After that it costs £17.99 a month but obviously that cost becomes irrelevant when you are making £1000 a month from this. The amount of time you are saved as Profit Accumulator do all the hunting for you in terms of finding the offers and basically spoon feeds them to you with VERY SIMPLE instructions so you can make GUARANTEED money from each and every one!

I can’t stress just how much Matched Betting has changed my life for the better. You only need around £50 to start and won’t have to put any money of your own money in it again, EVER!

It takes just a few minutes to do each day and you can do this LONG TERM!  I wrote about it on my blog the other week showing how I’ve made over £25,000 from it in just over 18 months and there is nothing stopping anyone reading this from doing the same!

So next time you are wishing you had money for something, stop wishing and start doing some Risk Free Matched Betting as THOUSANDS of others are and are MUCH happier in every sense of the word for it!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Quick Tips To Freshen Up Your Living Space This Summer

Everyone wants to stamp their individuality on their living space, don't they? But how do you do that without spending a fortune or resorting to homeware items from the major retailers which, although lovely, might appear on many a coffee table, shelf or nightstand?

hammock with a cushion in a living space

Making the most of your budget has never been more important and, whilst we might not have the cash to completely overhaul our living space, there are cost-effective ways to add a bit of verve and pizzazz.

Sometimes a bit of shopping around is all that's needed and with a bit of ingenuity you can completely transform your space and incorporate your own decorative style.

Here's some quick hits to freshen things up.

Change your bedding and curtains

New bedding and curtains can make such a difference and give a room a fresh new look. Now that the weather is hot, crisp white linen or bamboo sheets are best to wick away sweat and keep you more comfortable.

Curtains with a thermal and black-out lining will help your sleep because not only will they keep the room dark, but they will help keep the room cool during the day.

Change your artwork

This doesn't have to cost a fortune.  Why not find some quirky postcards and frame them in ornate photo frames?  Or how about using wall vinyls to create your own, unique, feature wall.  You could use family photos or, if you're a keen photographer, some of your favourite nature or holiday snaps.

If you're artistic yourself, you could create your own artwork - why not try using acrylics to create a textured canvas or get the kids to create a collage.  If you don't mind a bit of mess you could even create your own artwork featuring the children's hand and foot prints.

A colourful graffiti mural

Change your living room soft furnishings

A very easy way to reflect the new season's trends without blowing the budget is to change your cushions, throws and rugs.

For example you could change your throw pillows (or even just the covers) to reflect the new season's colours and textures.  I am particularly fond of doing this at Christmas when we go all Hygge with festive cushions, candles and faux fur throws, although that doesn't really bear thinking about in this current heatwave, does it!

You can even invest in new mats for the front and back door to add a bit of quirky fun - although I'm not sure I'll be getting the one with the Batman insignia Ieuan has his eye on.

Go vintage

You don't have to buy new of course.  Scouring flea markets and antique fairs is a lovely way of passing a Sunday afternoon and you may find some fabulous new treasures.

Adding a vintage throw to your bed or an antique vanity set to your dressing table can make your bedroom look really special.  

Again, you could find vintage or retro prints and frame these too.  

Change your colour palette

Sometimes a complete change from one end of the spectrum to another can really ring the changes. An easy to way to lighten and brighten is simply to repaint in a white (or a tinted white) or a neutral and add accents of colour via soft furnishings.  This will make your rooms look bigger too.

Or a beach theme is quite easy to do - bright white, navy and shades of pastel blue in stripes.  You could use your favourite seaside souvenirs or even, if your kids are like Caitlin, their vast and ever-growing shell collection.

Collection of lavender stems in a small glass

Don't forget flowers

As you know I am a huge fan of fresh flowers and tend to avoid fake ones as they tend to collect dust. There are great bouquets to be had from the major supermarkets these days - and we usually find a bargain bunch or two at Aldi or Lidl.

Make them extra special by using a quirky vase or ornament and don't be afraid to try a row of single stems rather than the more traditional arrangements.

Decorate the garden too

In this hot weather, your garden becomes an important part of your living space so it's worth investing in some exterior decorations to create a little outside idyll.

Create atmosphere with strings of lights, either battery operated or solar, cute statues and even a fairy garden.  Caitlin has been asking for one of these for ages.  If you have room, the sound of a water feature is always calming and soothing.  You could even create your own meditation corner with a Buddha statue or just a lovely sculpture that talks to your mood.

Face of the Buddha status covered in pink flowers

If you are looking for something a little more unusual, take a look at online retailer, who offer unique jewellery, designer decor, tabletop items and handcrafted gifts.

They offer a great platform for artists and designers and each item listed has a link to information about its creator so you understand the thinking behind the piece. And over a third of their collection incorporates recycled or upcycled materials.

I think we're all a lot more thoughtful about our global footprint these days, aren't we?

Will you be freshening up your living space for summer?  

Win A Samsung Galaxy Tab In The Bloggers Summer Giveaway

I have an absolutely fabulous giveaway for you from 9 of my fellow bloggers and me.

As we head towards the long summer holiday, anything that helps keep the kids occupied, or me with a glass of wine in the garden for that matter, has to be a real asset!

So we have teamed up to celebrate the start of summer by offering one of our lucky readers the chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.7.

For those who are new to collaboration giveaways, they offer us bloggers a chance to giveaway a bigger and better prize than we could alone, with each blogger contributing to the prize fund to offer you an amazing gift.

So who has teamed up to bring to you this prize:

Melanie's Fab Finds | Just Average Jen | The Mighty Duxburys | Mrs MummyPenny | Missing Sleep | Boxes & Swatches | Mother Distracted | | Precious Little Worlds | Futures

So how can you be in with a chance of winning the Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.7?

Well all you need to do is let us know:

What is your top tip for keeping cool in the summer heat?

Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget and make sure you pop your answer to the question above in the comments box below this blog post. Terms and conditions apply. UK entrants only. The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Friday 21st July.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck.

This prize is being administrated by Sarah of UK Bloggers / Life in a Break Down for any issues please contact her at For full terms and conditions please view the Rafflecopter widget.

New Releases, Free & Bargain Books Link-Up Week 26 2017

New Releases Free & Bargain Books Link-up Badge

How are you all this week? I have to confess it's been far too hot for me and we've all struggled to sleep.  It's been particularly hard to get the kids to sleep.  Ieuan keeps asking me to turn the heating off!

I haven't really felt like cooking either and we've been relying on quick and easy summer salads. You'll find some great recipes from my blogger friends in this post.

And if you've a pet pooch, I've some useful advice on how to keep your pets cool in a heatwave too.

As usual, there are plenty of great books on the linky if you're sunning yourself in the back garden - and don't forget you can always add your own to spread a bit of the book love.

Don't forget that I still have plenty to be won on my competitions page and don't forget my problem page here.

Happy bargain and freebie book hunting on this link.

Have a great week!

Sharing the Love of Books

Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...

Lynchburg Mama | LibriAmoriMiei | Ali - The Dragon Slayer | Wondermom Wannabe | Deal Sharing Aunt | Rambling Reviews

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date

(Strictly no Erotica please. Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, in case any underage child is viewing it!)

Click here for this weeks awesome selection!

*this post contains an affiliate link

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Problem Page Edition 25 2017

This week - when your precocious 5 year old wants to be a celebrity YouTuber, when you expect all your romances to be like Disney and when you fall for someone with a 'horrible and shady' past.

man alone about to enter the sea at the beach

If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

Here are this week's questions.

QMy daughter is five & wants a YouTube channel; she says she wants to be a star. I think that five is definitely too young for that. What should I do?

A: Who is the parent here? Are you really taking instruction from a 5 year old? You are fully aware, I’m sure, of the risks exposing such a young child on the internet.

As a parenting blogger I write about my children and they occasionally appear on a short video which is uploaded to YouTube but it is MY channel and I carefully monitor what appears - obviously nothing suggestive and no nudity.

You have to be really careful these days.

Explain to your daughter that stars have to work hard to be discovered and they very often have talents other than singing, dancing or pretending to be a beauty queen.

In any case, I’m pretty sure YouTube’s community standards would be firmly against a 5 year old having their own channel. The minimum age for other socal media is around the 13 year old mark.

Time for you to put your foot down.

If you really think your child is a budding talent (and EVERY parent thinks that about their kids), then perhaps look in to modelling agencies or similar but I think you have to ask yourself who really wants your daughter to be a star? Is it possible that it’s really you?

Q: How do I apologize to a female friend for accusing her of cheating in a test?

A: Did you accuse her in private or did you denounce her as a cheat in front of a crowd of her friends.

Hopefully, you were relatively subtle about it in which case you should just say ‘sorry, the stress of the test got to me. I was an idiot, sorry for doubting you’.

If you have accused her publicly then you might have a bit more work to do - starting off with publicly apologising in front of the same crowd.

I’m curious though, what made you think she was cheating? And are you sure she definitely didn’t? If she’s mad at you then apologise but if she is quite quiet about it, I would be tempted to draw a veil over the whole incident and just move on without referring to it again.

Q: How can I emotionally break my childish Disney-esque romanticized view of true love & soul mates?

I understand, logically, that there are many compatible partners for me in the world. But, emotionally, when I meet someone, I long for the romanticized instant soul mate connection you only see in films and books. Then I unconsciously ruin what could be a great real connection with someone new.

A: Whilst you might not be hit by a ‘bolt from the blue’ when you meet the right person, very often I think things just ‘feel right’ if that person is for you.

So, whilst I agree that Disney has a lot to answer for in terms of its romantic notions of love, the world we currently live in can be so dull, so grey, so unpleasant that I don’t think holding on to that dream is so bad you know.

What you shouldn’t let yourself do is judge others too harshly, or dismiss them out of hand before you have got to know them, or given them a chance.

That’s not what happened in Beauty and the Beast, is it, after all.

I don’t think you are ‘unconsciously’ ruining things. I get the sense that, at present, you aren’t all that interested in being in a real relationship.

Q: What does it mean when your ex-girlfriend has a new boyfriend but doesn't delete your photos?

A: You have been a part of her life so why should she erase her history? I know that it may hurt but deleting your photos would make her look mean and spiteful, particularly on social media.

It may be there she still harbours some feelings for you but if she seems loved up with her new boyfriend it seems unlikely.

If I were you I’d stop looking at her social media accounts and concentrate on your life - and finding someone new to love.

Q: If he hasn't texted me in two weeks but is still liking my Instagram pictures, is he just playing with me?

We texted everyday for about a month and then in the middle of a conversation he just read it and stopped replying. This was 2 weeks ago now. There has been no further contact but he continues to like my Instagram pictures.

A: I never understand why people think texting and liking photos on Instagram is a real relationship.

The only way you will find out what is going on is to SPEAK to him.

If he hasn’t texted you in two weeks he doesn’t sound desperately interested and might just be liking your Instagram pictures to tease you or because he’s genuinely interested in your photos.

But really, in terms of a relationship it sounds as if he is wasting your time.

What was in that text that he didn’t reply to? Are you sure there isn’t another reason why he’s stopped texting.

Time to get on the phone to find out once and for all.
Q: Is it possible to get over someone for one month?
There is a guy who had a strong feelings for me at least 1 month ago. Now he acts like he doesn't care anymore and like I don't exist. How can I know if he is pretending or if he has really forgotten me? But if he has, is it possible to get over someone so fast?
A: Is it possible that you misinterpreted his feelings for you? Have you confused friendship for romantic interest? 
Sometimes it’s easy enough to do when we are not feeling very confident about ourselves. We read so much more into an innocent smile or gesture.
How do you know he had strong feelings for you? It does seem odd that he could have had a complete change of heart in just a month.

I can’t see why he would be pretending and although I don’t think he has forgotten you, it sounds like he is not interested in a relationship.

Rather than chase after him, your best bet is to quietly get on with your life with dignity and grace. If he’s interested he’ll soon come running - and then you will need to think very carefully about what he needs to do to earn your trust.

Because, if he has truly dumped you after only a month, he has quite a few bridges to build.

Q: If I’m falling for a woman with a horrible and shady past, should I even be thinking about that?

A: It depends what’s in her ‘horrible and shady past’.

If she’s a criminal, possibly not. If you are judging her for having had, for example, a lot of sexual partners, then that’s a different issue. Only you know what your definition of a horrible and shady past is!

It sounds like there is a complete mismatch of morals and values here though which doesn’t bode well for the relationship.

I would steer clear.

How would you have responded to these questions? I'd love to know. You can find more advice on my problem page

Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom. 

Win Summertime Natural Healthcare Essentials From Indigo Herbs of Glastonbury

There are lots of common health conditions that can pop up unwanted and ruin your summer fun, but from sunburn, to tummy bugs, skin irritations and travel sickness, Mother Nature has a cure for everything.

Women on the beach at an art festival

Taking a natural approach to your health during the summer means you can reduced unwanted side effects, feel empowered and treat your body and your environment with the gentle kindness it deserves. 

I've recently discovered Indigo Herbs, based in one of my favourite places, Glastonbury. They offer a wide range of premium quality nutritionally rich organic superfoods, herbal powders, aromatherapy oils and loose herbal teas - all ethically and sustainably sourced.

Here are just some of their products worth adding to your summer medicine chest - and read on because you can win the lot, worth over £25.

Organic Spirulina Tablets x 100 £4.99 – COMPLETE MULTI VITAMIN & MINERAL ALL ROUNDER

Blue-green edible algae Spirulina is packed with complete nutrition covering all the essential amino acids, all the B vitamins and anti-oxidants and it is also detoxifying. These tablets can work wonders to prevent ill health along your travels and keep you on top form. They are also great for lining the digestive tract and alkalising the whole system so are also helpful at guarding against holiday tummy.

Organic Coconut Oil 500ml £7.99 – SUMMER SKIN & HAIR CARE 

This 100% pure cold pressed oil is not only the best oil to cook with in the kitchen but it’s also a precious ingredient for hair and skin care. It’s naturally anti-bacterial so can aid the healing of any skin sore or wound. It can also be very protective against sun damage for the hair and skin, and it has achieved popularity as an oral hygiene agent by the method of oil pulling. It’s well worth having a jar of this around to take care of your natural health needs. 

Tea Tree Oil 10ml £3.99 – ANTI-BACTERIAL 

This essential oil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and this makes it a No 1 first aid kit must have. It can be used in place of an anti-bacterial agent for cuts, sores, fungal infections and more. Can be used when needed.

Lavender Oil 10ml £4.99 – HEALING SUNBURN 

This essential oil is a No 1 healer for burns, including sunburn. It is also extremely calming and can aid a good night’s sleep or help control anxiety. Again this little oil is a must for the first aid kit. Can be used when needed.

Peppermint Oil 10ml £4.49 – CALMING TO NAUSEA 

This essential oil is very good for calming nausea and indigestion. It can be used to relieve travel sickness. A third must have for the first aid kit both at home and when travelling. Can be used when needed.

You can find more on the Indigo Herbs website where you'll find a natural health guide, healthy recipes and even a directory of alternative therapy practitioners.

Indigo Herbs Summer Healthcare Essentials giveaway bundle
Indigo Herbs Summer Healthcare Essentials Prize Bundle

Entry to the giveaway is via the Rafflecopter widget and the usual terms and conditions apply, which you can find on my competitions page.  UK entrants only.  

The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday 16th July.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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