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Five Friday

Top Five Friday

    Health

    Top 6 Stay-Healthy Tips During the Holidays

    travel tips

    travel tips

    The holidays area good time to reunite and celebrate with our loved ones. On the other hand, others also favor this time to flee to unfamiliar climes and get a break from everyday routine. Yet, although the holiday season offers moments for merriment and festivity, it also has its downside in terms of keeping healthy habits. For in this period, people tend to clamor for more courses on their grand family banquets or indulge in non-stop drinking until 2:00 AM as they try to catch up with the latest updates on their different lives.

    Exercise routines are oftentimes quickly forgotten. People get deprived of sleep and consequently, sleep deprivation leads to weight gain. This is because the lack of sleep negatively affects hormones that control hunger.In addition, individuals are more likely to get ill.

    However, this most wonderful time of the year doesn’t have to cause you misfortunes due to the excessive gratification of your desires. You can still take delight from the celebrations while remaining physically and mentally healthy.

    Stay fit and happy with these top six tips during this season of joy.

    1. Dine right and feel good.

    The best trick of being successful in your healthy diet regimen is by surrounding yourself with the right food and beverages. Although you’re expected to prepare a bountiful entrée,make it favorable as you ready a buffet for your family.

    As the holiday may necessitate social gatherings outside your house, preferto cook a healthy dish that you can bring and share to the group. This way, you’ll never get an excuse for not sticking to your plan of staying in good condition.

    Pick food and drinks those that are low in caloric content and high in nutritional value. You can always accomplish your objectives if you plan and do proper implementation.

    1. Be smart in your choice of snacks.

    No, this doesn’t mean that you should totally get rid of sweet treats. You definitely can still have one from time to time but remember to never over-indulge. Your snack choices are very important as they affect your next meal. If you overdo snacking, you might be tempted to skip meals. As you may already know, skipping meals may entice you to overeat by the time hunger strikes.

    There are many healthy snacks for the holidays to choose from. These are nutritious, delicious and satisfying ones. Notable examples include frozen yogurt fruit bark and zucchini pizza bites.

    travel tips

    Source: Unsplash

    1. Beware of high-caloric drinks.

    Alcoholic drinks are almost always present in every party. But beware because alcoholic beverages supply empty calories. They have caloric content but provide only very little nutritional value. Know that you do not have to deprive yourself. If possible drink them in moderation.

    If you can not say no after a glass of alcohol, it is best that you just totally avoid it and stick to the non-alcoholic kind or the best —water or some healthy fruit juice.

    travel tips

    Source: Unsplash 

    1. Stay active.

    It is tempting to ditch workouts as party schedules, holiday errands and preparations fill your to-do list, right? But there’s no excuse if you want to consistently manage your weight throughout the number of parties you attend to. If it gets extremely hard or challenging to stick to your usual exercise routine this time of year, you don’t have to throw out the towel just yet because you can always adjust how you do it to your own convenience.

    Instead of going to the gym like you used to on normal days, you may do it at home or wherever you are this time. 5-10 minutes will already be sufficient. Select convenient exercises at a moment’s notice, such as push-ups, curl-ups or planking. Then step up your game for this short while by moving at a higher intensity.

    travel tips

    Source: Pexels

    1. Travel safely 

    Luck favors the prepared. So whether you’re traveling to the best restaurant in town or to your parents’ house halfway across the world, you better give yourself plenty of time to research about the holiday traffic, weather conditions and heed warnings.

    Bring with you emergency kits and pack non-perishable foods just in case there might be an unexpected turn-out of events in your trip. It’s always best to make sure that your mind and body is in good condition before you travel. Otherwise, just stay at home and rest.

    1. De-stress!

    Celebrations might become a stressful time for you as there might be an overwhelming amount of job to be done. Such as those that are required as you host special events at home. You may also feel the financial challenge as you budget for gifts and party essentials. Acknowledge these sources of pressure and develop a scheme to withstand the daily stress.

    Although this may mean that you should commit to lesser get-togethers or set a tighter budget, you shouldn’t feel bad. It is better that you stay mentally healthy than feel sorry later.

    CONCLUSION

    Whichever way you want to celebrate the holidays, do not ever forget about these 6 stay-healthy tips. Make a stand —eat healthily, stay active, and don’t spoil the fun.

    Happy Holidays!

    *Collaborative

    Money

    How to Make the Most Out of Debt Consolidation

    debt consolidation

    debt consolidation

    For some people, buying things on finance can cause long term problems, and all it takes is a few unexpected payouts, and you can easily find yourself in a position where you are having difficulty in making multiple payments. These typically fall on awkward dates, and that can make it even harder to keep up with prompt payments, and with debt consolidation, all your monthly payments are merged into one affordable monthly payment and that effectively fixes the problem.

    Online Loan Providers

    If you think debt consolidation might be the answer, an online search will certainly put you in touch with the right loan provider, and with their help, you can look at how much it would cost to transfer all your monthly payments into one. Debt consolidation isn’t for everyone, and it is only by talking to the experts that you can come to a practical solution, but debt consolidation for bad credit is a practical solution that doesn’t cost too much.

    Debt Consolidation Explained

    Imagine a person has 3 or 4 outstanding monthly payments, which are all separate and must be paid on different dates, and debt consolidation means taking out a loan to pay them all off and then have a single monthly payment to make, rather than several. This takes the pressure off a person as they no longer receive final notices and persistent phone calls from concerned creditors, and providing the monthly repayment is within their means, this is a practical solution, and by taking steps to avoid any repeat, things will soon look much healthier. You can refer to finance articles online for detailed information regarding debt consolidation, with a clear explanation of the process and the benefits.

    Unexpected Causes

    There are always unexpected costs, and should a person suffer a few consecutively, this can put them in a position where they can no longer afford to make prompt payments on their outstanding loans. Life is full of uncertainties, and what might have been affordable a few months ago, can easily become too much.

    Ease the Financial Pressure

    Being unable to make payments can be the cause of stress for most people, and once the letters start dropping through the letter box, it can have a dramatic effect on our outlook, and even cause illness. If this is happening to you, ignoring the issue will do nothing but delay the inevitable, and the more time that passes, the worse the situation will become. Contact an online debt consolidation expert, who can be found with a simple online search, and with their help, you can say goodbye to those annoying letters and regain your peace of mind.

    There is nothing to be ashamed about with debt consolidation. Most people do encounter financial difficulties at least once in their lives, and by talking to a professional loan provider who specialises in debt consolidation, a practical solution is only a few clicks away. Whatever the situation, the chances are, the experts can help in some way, and then you can take steps to ensure it never happens again.

    Collaborations

    Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

    Sometimes in life, we might be slow to make changes. If the status quo is working out just fine, there seems no reason to alter things drastically just for change’s sake. However, there’s almost always a few changes we can make that, while requiring plenty of effort at first, will end up more than justifying that effort due to their long-term benefits.
    That certainly applies to carrying out a few changes at home to adopt a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Improving your home’s eco-friendliness does not need to be a mammoth task; even simple changes like adopting energy-saving light bulbs and being cleverer with our use of household appliances can greatly reduce our carbon footprint while also cutting down on our utility bills.

    Another change that’s very easy to implement and has a discernible long-term impact is the purchase of furniture made from reclaimed wood. Most household furniture is intended as an investment to last for many years, such as a kitchen table, cabinetry and display cases, so it’s much better to buy quality, eco-friendly furniture that’s highly durable than skimping on cut-price furniture which could disintegrate within a couple of years.

    If you’re very serious about your environmental commitment and you have the resources to make lasting changes to your home, the installation of solar panels on your roof is an excellent investment. Provided you live in an area that receives plenty of sun, a solar panel is a very efficient way of generating heat and light in your home. Conversely, if your hometown is subjected to harsh winters, a lot of heat can escape your home easily, so you should strongly consider wall insulation to stop heat from getting out so readily. In turn, you’ll be able to cut back on the thermostat and reduce your heating bills.

    Check out the infographic below from EZ Living Interiors (http://www.ezlivinginteriors.co.uk/) for more advice on how to make your home more eco-friendly.

    Collaborations

    Fun For All The Family – Luxury Ski Holidays In Ischgl This Winter

    Ischgl

    Ischgl

    A skiing holiday might not seem suitable for children at first glance, especially children under 5 who can quite easily get into all sorts of trouble – however, you’d be mistaken on that account.

    In fact, Tyrol.com has a list of regions that have excellent child-friendly facilities, many of which are hosted by Kristall Spaces luxury Alpine ski resorts.

    If that weren’t enough, Ischgl is the newest in a line of ski resorts and premier apartments to offer lodging, gym access, saunas, underground parking, restaurants, bars, supermarkets and more! There are separate activities for children and adults to enjoy, and a diverse selection of ‘nursery slopes’ to ease your kids into the swing of things.

    For a more detailed rundown of the skiing options and facilities, check out the Evening Standard post on the topic.

    For more summery pastimes, paragliding, abseiling, mountaineering, lake swimming and white-water rafting are all available, so whether you’re inside or exploring the great outdoors, you’re sure to find something you enjoy.

    Ischgl

    Furthermore, the Telegraph states that it’s important to find a ski resort that has accommodation on the slopes for convenience, as well as a child-specific facility or two to teach the little ones and so you can hit the slopes yourself!

    Best of all, Kristall Spaces luxury rental accommodations can be purchased as investment properties with an average growth rate of 4.6% – what’s more, a fully managed rental service handles the letting of your apartment whenever you’re not using it, which guarantees a steady income as well as a net gain on the value of the property.

    Whether you’re renting for a short stay or buying investment property for sale in Ischgl Austria, there’s a lot happening in the Galtür region right now; 40 brand new extravagant apartments are expected by next year, including onsite restaurant, bar and swimming pool, all on the grounds of a family run hotel – it doesn’t get much more idyllic than that!

    This post was written by David Newman, owner of Ad Lab: a Hertfordshire based e-commerce marketing agency. After recently settling down and becoming a family man, David has developed a taste for writing on lifestyle and travel blogs.

    Lifestyle

    Top Five Friday – Christmas Hampers

    Christmas Hampers

    This week Friday has arrived faster than any other week but I couldn’t have it any other way. Though I wish I could stop procrastinating and actually start working on my 4 assignments due next week for postgraduate. With only 7 days left to submit the assignments I am now even more desperate than before. Today has also been the best one yet, I managed to set up my new coffee machine. I also managed to receive my new Christmas hamper which has me smiling from ear to ear.

    Top Five Friday – Christmas Hampers 

    Prestige Hampers – I am fortunate to be working with them and trying out their Christmas hampers. Christmas is only mere 7 weeks away and I am now looking to get the presents ready for my family.

    Christmas Hampers

    Tassimo – I am a tea lover who also enjoys a good cuppa of coffee especially chai latte. Thanks to Tassimo I have an opportunity to try different flavours of coffee.

    Competition win – a few months ago I won a competition and the prize was vegan skincare. I can not wait to give these products a try as I have never tried vegan skincare products before. Though all my skincare routines are of natural products I don’t how many are vegan friendly.

    October Degustabox – a monthly food box which I can love receiving and trying new products. Though I am not 100% love this month’s products there are a few that I am excited to.

    Socialising – the last few weeks have been just the best for me in terms of socializing. I had a lovely lunch at Quod in Oxford last week then yesterday I had a lovely dinner at Taberu with the same friend. It was lovely being out and about not just coupled up at home doing nothing outside blogging and watching movies.

    Lifestyle

    Top Five Friday – local adventures

    local adventures

    I can not believe it’s already Friday, which means another dose of Top Five Friday, Local adventures. This week has gone by so fast, I am now just realizing I have wasted 4 weeks and not managed to work on my postgraduate assignment. It’s due in two weeks and I am procrastinating too much which is not good as I have 4 assignments to get done ASAP. But never one to dwell too much I am planning on working on one assignment today. The plan is to do the blog things along side my normal day job between 9-5 then only work on assignment tonight. Wish me luck.

    Top Five Friday – local adventures 

    Greys Court – if you follow me on my main Instagram account you will know I visited the national trust property last Sunday. You can read what I got up to HERE, it is such an impressive place and it is family friendly.

    Nuffield Place – another local adventure I am embarking on tomorrow, I saw it on way my back from Greys Court and knew I needed to see it. I am enjoying doing all the wonderful local adventures and playing tourist in my own city. This has been absolutely epic and I can not wait to visit more places. Having the national trust membership has been great and can not wait to visit more places.

    Afternoon Tea @ Quod 

    Y’all know how much I enjoy a good afternoon tea like the one at Chi Kitchen in London. When my assistant asked me if I wanted to do spa or afternoon tea, it was a tough choice. Obviously I wanted spa but budget calls for afternoon tea. I am excited to have this afternoon tea with her and do some shopping as well as sightseeing in Oxford.

    Tassimo UK – I am so excited to be collaborating with them on my main blog A July Dreamer. They reached out to me last week when I was in Barcelona and just had the best of time. I am a sucker for tea and hot chocolate, look out for my review on the main blog.

    The Idle Man

    Continuing with latest collaborations, I am fortunate to be working with The Idle man to help style the man in your life. We picked up a couple of items from them for my father and brother and will be sharing what soon.

    Everyday I am amazed at the opportunities the blogs have brought forth. Not once did I think this was possible, I started blogging with no agenda except to share my random ramblings. Four years on and I am able to make passive income which has been SUCH a help to my family.

    12 months of Happiness

    12 Months of Happiness – September 2017 

    12 months of happiness

    12 months of happiness 2017 is a monthly recap series of all the wonderful things that made me happy every month. If you read the August 2017 recap you will remember I included everything that had happened between January through to July 2017. Whilst the aim is to focus on things that made us happy we shouldn’t be complacent and forget the hard things either. But honestly the world is hard enough without focusing on the bad, so this will only cover the things that brought me happiness.

    12 Months of Happiness – September 2017 Recap 

    September 2017 was such a busy month for more and it had more challenges than I care to share. It’s hard to believe we are already past the middle of October and I am now just getting to sharing this post. As they say, better to be late than never to have done it at all. With that spirit in mind, here are the things that made me happy in the month of September.

    12 months of happiness

    Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon (pre event) 

    To start the month, we were invited to the pre event for the Oxford half marathon hosted by Virgin Sport. The event was held at the Branson Estate in Kidlington Oxfordshire and Freddie was the charming host. At the pre event we were informed of the plans for Virgin Sport and hopes for the Oxford Half. I am happy to report that beginning of October we participated in the Half Marathon and it was incredible.

    Franco Manca night 

    A week after the pre-event for the half marathon we attended an exclusive dinner and wine tasting at Franco Manca. It was such a buzzing night with bloggers and journalists alike attempting to make sourdough pizza. Though sourdough pizza is not something we’ve had before we totally got into it.

    Blenheim Palace

    Blenheim Palace

    One of the most magnificent palaces in England, a true English Heritage and I am glad its close to me. As I mentioned September wasn’t all sunshine and roses, when hard times hit I went to Blenheim Palace. It became a respite of sort for me, something I desperately needed. It also made me realise the importance of being a local tourist in your own city.

    Next Blogger Event 

    After years of not attending the NBN {Next Blogger Network} Events I finally got a chance this year. I was absolutely nervous but my nerves were totally unfounded as I met some lovely influencers. What I love about blogger events apart from the goody bags is the tips we come back with. I am yet to implement the Instagram tips but I am slowly working on that.

    There are many other events that I would love to share but blog wise those were the main ones. I am glad to have finally shared the September 2017 recap of my 12 months of happiness. Sitting here and thinking back, with all of its sadness September 2017 was a good month.

    What did you get up to in September? What would you include in your September 2017 recap?

    Health

    {Guest Post} 7 lessons learned after running half marathon.

    7 lessons learned

    Regular readers of The Myrabev Life know that my sister and I run the Oxford Half Marathon recently. We have both learnt a lot about our capabilities, I for one know how much my body is capable of. I did not train for this half marathon like my sister did and I am not much of a runner. But I did went ahead and participated and have been amazed at what I can do. Now I am imagining how much better it would have been had I prepared for it both physically and mentally.

    I am not the only one reflecting on the lessons learned after running a half marathon. Lucy {young sister} has also learnt some lessons and she is sharing those 7 lessons learned.

    7 lessons learned

    7 lessons learned after running half marathon.

    Now this may just be because I’ve recently turned 25 and I’m starting to get to grips with what life is about. But I realised that the older I get the more the pieces start to slot in and align. Here are the 7 lessons learned after running a half marathon or maybe I knew them all along.

    Lesson 1: Everyone is doing their own thing. This can be distracting at times because you look across and people around you seem so happy and content with their lives. Before you know it, you’re comparing your life to theirs which is not good. They seem to have everything figured out” and that is ok, their journey is different to mine and vise versa. I am happy and content with who I am. The things that I am doing are for me and can only work in my favour. So I guess I have received or learnt acceptance in and of life.

    Lesson 2: Be prepared to work hard for what you want. For a ages I always wanted a nice toned body, to feel better and stronger . I changed my diet which inevitably changed my mindset, I am now healthier and happy with myself. Here I feel I learnt the power of Determination and what it can get you in life.

    Lesson 3: Commitment

    This I learnt early on that I have to be fully committed, I can’t do half the work and expect to just get it. It has to be 100% or nothing, this lesson has never been more apparent than now. Whenever I go running, sometimes the intention is just to get “round the corner” but I surprise myself. I keep going and even though the first 1-4 miles feel so uncomfortable and ready to turnaround. But I preserve and make a conscious effort to continue, I keep going because I am committed to my goal. It’s so easy to just give up and go binge on Netflix at home where it is warm, but if you want results you have to commit.

    Lesson 4: Fear.  Defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.” Everyone has something that they are scared of even when we pretend we are not. I realised it is ok to have fear, we have to learn to accept that there still things that scare us. This is ok, it is normal and for me I’m ready for the winter in my life. There are so many  things that are yet to be taught and I am ok with that. There is still so much that I need to learn.

    Lesson 5: Support

    I am my own greatest supporter, yes support from friends, family, boyfriends and work mates is great. BUT if I don’t support myself, how can I expect someone to support me? It has to start with me putting in the time and showing people I deserve their support.

    Lesson 6: Strength. I have so much strength within more than I realise before. This only comes out when you’re put to the test. But I shouldn’t wait or rely on those “test” to feel strong. I need to know and believe that I am strong enough and that’s how I claimed my strength.

    Lesson 7: Growth. Like fear I am still learning even though at age 25 I thought I should have learnt and experienced everything. BUT it is only the beginning, there is so much more that I need to able to accept growth. By asking I realise that there is a gap, which only growth can fill over time.

    These lessons just haven’t come over night, or by reading an article. They’re a result of constant reflection and willingness to learn and be taught. Once you accept that there is just things that you simply don’t know. You’re half way there. Everyone is doing their own thing and there is nothing wrong with your journey.

    Lifestyle

    {Guest Post} Eco life – why you should go green

    At this point, the reasons are pretty clear. Doing minimal effort in contributing to a more Green life style is still something. But everyone is quite accustomed to living their life the easier way. Our society has built itself in a selfish way that would result in our future generations to suffer. Among us is the group of people that knows that, and just doesn’t care, the group who don’t believe in climate change and continue to get lied to and robbed, and many more groups with different opinions weather they are right or not.
    But for now, forget those people and concentrate on yourself. Changing your lifestyle to be more Eco friendly can be confusing if there is no research done. So this will be sort of a guide and introduction on how to not allow your grandchildren to live in a post-apocalyptic world.

    Eco life – why you should go green

    You already know about recycling and being more energy efficient. Doing that is great and all, but sometimes you need to think outside of the box. You are using an energy efficient laundry machine, but the detergents you are using have chemicals that pollute the water. This also includes every other conventional cleaning product that people buy. When you clean your counter or floor, you can feel the irritating fumes coming into your face. This is not safe for you, your family and your pets.

    Use Natural cleaners

    The best way to handle this problem is to make your own cleaning products. There are countless recipes online on every cleaning product you can imagine that do magnificent job and here is an example for  an elementary one that you can use. You need two bars of your favorite soap, eight cups of baking soda and six cups of washing soda. Grate the bars of soap, into a blender (this is done so the soap is finer, although it is not necessary) and mix it with baking soda. After you blend the mix, pour it in a mason jar with a twisting lid and add the washing soda as well. Close the lid, shake it up, and now you have your own laundry detergent. And one little tip about washing up – use cold water.
    Moving away from cleaning and turning our attention to food. A lot of people get really touchy on this subject so no one is telling you to become a vegan. If you want however, and are interested in doing it, start transitioning slowly. This is more of a “maybe it will work” suggestion rather than a professional one. If you are eating meat every day, let one day be vegetarian, next week, let it be two days and so on. When you have completely removed meat from your diet you will feel lighter and free.

    Change your Diet?

    Now, you can stop here and be a vegetarian, and you will do great. You can also proceed with gradually cutting off all animal products from your diet. This part is very complicated, because a lot of foods are made out of animal produce. You will need to do your research and if you are dedicated enough you will succeed. But know that you don’t need to change your diet, just don’t buy a lot of meat and dairy products. If you know people who are farmers, you can rely on them for these things.
    If you are puzzled about, how eating meat and cheese has anything to do with the environment, it doesn’t. The problem isn’t eating meat, the problem is the meat industry. Thousands of acres of forests are being cut off to make space for pins to keep animals in. These animals are being bred in mass quantities. A single cow releases from 70 to 120 kg of Methane (a green house gas) in the atmosphere. Now just imagine one hundred cows doing that. That’s the conclusion.
    Money

    How to save money for a getaway

    save money

    How does one save money for a getaway when you’re on a tight budget? Regular readers know I am back on the Debt Recovery Journey hoping to be debt-free again within 2 years from 30-Sep-2017. One thing I made a huge point of the last time I went on a Debt Recovery Journey was to not let it stop me from enjoying life. Yes compromises will need to be made but not everything has to go. It can be as simple as not having something for a month or two and save money for a getaway.

    save money

    How to save money for a getaway 

    Today’s post I aim to show you how I have been able to save money for a getaway to Barcelona in less than 20 days.

    Cash back rewards 

    I bank with Natwest and my platinum current account has so many offers including cash back facilities. All the bills I pay via direct debit and shopping with my card in certain stores I get between 1-35% back which is incredible. For the last month or so I have kept all the cash back money and will be using it when abroad.

    Cutting back 

    This one might be hard right now as there is so much going on but I know where to start. Food wastage is my worst culprit, I throw away so much food because by the time I realise I need to eat it it’s off. For 2 weeks I did not do any food shopping instead I cleared up my cupboards. I also cut back on eating out, spontaneous trips that cost money and unnecessary spending.

    Coupons and Vouchers

    Continuing on with no food shopping, I am fortunate to receive the Degustabox monthly and comes with lovely coupons. I was never one to use coupons for food, for some reason I felt ‘cheap’. But now I see the value in them and how they help me save money for a getaway. I collect points from nectar, co-op and other stores and exchange for supplies which is handy.

    Use comparison sites

    For all the trips I plan, I use two main comparison sites; Skyscanner for my flights and Booking.com for my accommodation. I have a 10% discount code you can use if you book via my link but you don’t have to. 

    Passive Income

    I am fortunate that both The Myrabev Life and A July Dreamer make me some passive income. Though I am part-time, I have been able to make over £4,500 in the last 9 months alone. For the last 20 days, I have split the passive income into three categories: Post Grad Funding, Getaway Money and Taxes. I am grateful that on top of my normal salary I have passive income to do with as I please.

    There other ways one can save money for a getaway including cooking meals instead of going out. Though I am not the world’s best cook I do enjoy whipping something up in my kitchen. I hope these tips are helpful to you as you plan your next family vacation or getaway.