30 March 2015

Quick tip: Lace it loose

Here's another quick tip I thought I'd share. I've mentioned a few times that my feet are weird in that they are very narrow in the heels but then they are wide at the front. (Yes, like flippers.) I would find that if I laced my shoes tightly enough that my heels didn't slip too much, then there was too much pressure on the widest part of my foot, hurting the bones. If I laced my shoes loosely at the bottom but tightly at the top then gradually it would even out and become too tight at the bottom.

Then I saw this tip on Pinterest - you skip the holes at the part of your foot that you don't want pressure. By that I mean you take the shoelace straight up to the next hole, instead of across the foot to the next hole.

So that is what I have done, and it makes all the difference! I can lace my shoes at tightly as I want, but it stays comfortable at the widest part of my foot. Hope this tip helps one of you.

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29 March 2015

4 Ways To Keep Your Energy Costs Low In The Summer

This is a sponsored post with provided content.

Every Palmco customer wants to know how they can lower their energy costs. After all, no one wants to pay more than they have to, especially during the summer when air conditioning can cause bills to skyrocket. If you want to enjoy low-cost energy bills during the summer, then try these four tips to keep you energy costs low during the hottest part of the year.

Don't Cool The Outdoors
If you're running your air conditioning or central air system, it's crucial that you ensure that your home is insulated and well-sealed. Allowing cool air to escape to the outdoors makes your system work in overdrive. This means that your system is constantly running, instead of automatically turning itself off when your home has reached its ideal temperature.

Turn Your AC Off Whenever Possible
Sometimes it's impossible to not run your air conditioning system. However, on those days when it isn't a scorcher, give your machine a break and open the windows instead. Your air conditioning costs you money, whereas the breeze from the outside is completely free.

Give Your Air Conditioner a Break at Night
Your house is the hottest during the day when the sun is shining down on it. At night, however, the temperature always drops. Be sure to turn your air conditioning system down at night. Do the same if your house is going to be empty during the day, as there is no point in cooling an empty house.

Monitor Your Kids
When your kids are off from school, there are probably a lot more computers and televisions running than normal in your home. Monitor your kids to make sure that they are practicing smart energy consumption. Teach them that televisions and computers should be turned off when not in use and that a room should never be exited without turning off the lights. Not only will these help you to lower your energy costs, but it will be teaching your kids good habits.

Summer doesn't have to mean a huge spike in your energy bill. If you put these tips into practice, you can get through summer without exorbitant energy costs. Monitoring your energy expenses may mean taking a few extra minutes out of your day, but the resulting inexpensive bill will be well worth it.


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28 March 2015

How to make bone broth

I've been trying out the auto-immune protocol (AIP) diet (click here for more information) and part of it includes nourishing the body with as many nutrients as possible. One way to do that is to include bone broth (click here for more information). It is extremely nutritious and helps heal a compromised gut, which is the aim of the AIP.

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I start off with my slow cooker and a couple of chicken frames. The frames are the part of the chicken that is left after the butcher has removed the wings, legs, thighs, and breasts for sale. I buy them in bags of 4 for $1 at Countdown (local supermarket). I generally start my broth with two frames and freeze the other two.

Sometimes I buy a rotisserie chicken and once we have picked what we want off it, I throw the frame into the crockpot to start the broth.

So the chicken bones are in the crockpot - then I fill the crockpot up with filtered water and set it cooking on low. I leave it simmering all week long, adding bones as they come along (for instance the bone from a roast pork joint that we might have had for dinner.) You can also throw vege scraps in, or add herbs.

I use the broth as needed and top up as needed. As the broth cooks it will reduce, even with the lid on the crockpot.

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Simply top up with filtered water.

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The broth is amazing in gravies, soups, and stews or when sweating down onions, etc. And so good for you! You can also drink it - it tastes better with a bit of salt added. 

At the end of the week I freeze whatever broth is left (to use in soups or whenever a recipe calls for stock) and discard the bones before starting a fresh batch.

After cooking for a week, the evidence is in the bones. All of the nutrients and minerals have leached out into the broth, leaving the bones soft and crumbly. Here's a little video clip I made showing how soft they are.




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27 March 2015

Fashion Friday and the latest Blurb book offer

This is what I have been wearing all summer: a lightweight patterned skirt and a plain t-shirt with sandals. Skirts are so much cooler than shorts!

 photo Paisley skirt 01_zpstolvbun4.jpg

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T-shirt: thrifted
Skirt: made by me
Sandals: Kmart (on sale

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T-shirt:Sainsbury's
Skirt: thrifted
Sandals: Hush Puppies from Stead and Simpson
Earrings: a Mother's Day gift from my boys

 photo A line skirt 02_zpsllocpt2e.jpg

 photo A line skirt 03_zpshbnzisnm.jpg

T-shirt: thrifted (SaveMart)
Skirt: thrifted
Sandals: Pierre Cardin from an outlet store
Earrings: Matalan

Latest Blurb book offer (contains affiliate link)

Offer: 20% Off All Blurb Print Books
Valid: Until 31 March 2015 

Promo Code: 2015BLURBMAR

 


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25 March 2015

Quick tip: baggies in the bath

Here's a quick tip for you: when using your phone in or near the bath to listen to music, browse the internet or Pinterest, read an e-book, or whatever, you might want to pop it into a ziplock bag. This gives you a little safety in case you drop it into the water :)

 photo baggie_zpskdobhjk4.jpg


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24 March 2015

How to Teach Your Kids the Value of Family Heirlooms

Family heirlooms are priceless items handed down from generation to generation. It can be a special Ruby engagement ring, a beautiful Victorian antique chair, or a set of delicate china wares. Whatever it is that your family has, teaching your children about antiques is a must. It is natural that you would want your children to have the utmost respect for heirlooms and their value especially those that your family owns for generation.

#1: The Family Jewellery 
Your family jewellery is priceless and your children have to understand this. These jewels may have been in the family for generations, and these are not objects to be squabbled. Rings, necklaces, bracelets or brooch – eventually these handed down priceless items from generations before will eventually be theirs.

#2: Family China 
Antique china and silver is another heirloom that children often overlook. Young kids do not realise the value of these items at home. For them, the delicate porcelain is nothing but ordinary plates used during special occasions. China wares are made of porcelain. There are different types – it may be bone china, ironstone china, and many more.

#3: Books and Papers 
You would be surprised that there are many books and papers that your family will collect over the years proving to be priceless. These books and papers often carry immense sentimental value for your family and you want your children to understand their importance. Teaching your children to be careful with books and papers is a way to show them that your family is filled with heirlooms that they must treat with incredible care.

Training your children to love and appreciate antiques is not just about owning these things. It is not even about the amount it costs. It is about teaching the value and importance of your family and history. Children must understand the reasons why these items should be treated with the utmost care as they will be handed down to the next generations.


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23 March 2015

Blue



“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.”
- Ashley Montagu


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22 March 2015

Three Things to Consider When Planning Your First Trip to France

This is a sponsored post with provided content.

France is a great destination for a vacation, but if this is your first time visiting a country outside of the United States, there are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your trip. A trip to a foreign country is much different than traveling within the United States, so you must give some thought to particular things that you would not normally need to be concerned with. The following are a few of these things to remember.

Make sure that your passport is in order and make copies
You need to make sure that your passport is valid for several months. A good number is six months. You never know what will happen, and you don’t want any problems after you have left the country. Make at least two copies of your passport. The first copy you should keep with you in a separate place from your original passport. You want to be able to get back home in case your passport is lost or stolen. The second copy you should leave with a relative or friend back home just in case of an emergency. Do this for each family member who will be traveling with you as well.

Purchase travel insurance
This type of insurance covers a wide range of problems that you may have during your vacation. Examples include a flight being cancelled, lost luggage and medical emergencies. Many policies will cover emergency evacuations due to political unrest or natural disasters. Travel insurance is often overlooked, but once you leave the United States, you will rest easy knowing you have this type of protection in a foreign land.

Shop online at comparison website for hotels
Not only Paris hotels, but also your airfare and activities you may be interested in doing once in France. It is also possible to compare vacation packages that include everything that you would want on your first trip to France. Keep in mind that currencies will fluctuate, so it is often better to delay the purchase of your hotel and airfare if the dollar is getting stronger. Of course, hotels understand this, so they will often offer substantial discounts to book your room in advance.

There are many comparison shopping sites to use to find the French hotels that interest you most and will provide the best prices. One example of this type of website is Hipmunk.


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20 March 2015

Fashion Friday and the latest Blurb book offer


I wore this outfit to church.

 photo Black and white skirt 01_zpsfwbijmep.jpg

 photo Black and white skirt 02_zpsdfjk3nxv.jpg

 photo Black and white skirt 03_zpscgtpqjhb.jpg

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Cardigan: thrifted or eBay, I can't remember
White top: Tesco

Skirt: thrifted
Shoes: TK Maxx (on sale)
Necklace: Primark

Latest Blurb book offer (contains affiliate link)


Offer: 20% Off All Blurb Print Books
Valid: Until 31 March 2015 

Promo Code: 2015BLURBMAR


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18 March 2015

Beautiful



“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”
- Amy Bloom


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