Health, My Blog

The Guide of How to Keep a Healthy Mouth

There is a Chinese saying that troubles come out of the mouth, and diseases get in from the mouth. Brushing our teeth correctly every day is not only a way to keep our mouths healthy but also a way to keep our whole bodies healthy. When we brush our teeth correctly, we eliminate the plaque building up and bacteria that could otherwise collect between our teeth and on our tongue. Thus, it prevents tooth decay and gum disease while promoting a better immune system and healthier lifestyle. While some people will get regular tooth polishing from their dentist (be it one at DentEssential or elsewhere) to help with this, it is also important to keep up the work yourself. This article focuses on how to keep a healthy mouth.

Use the Right Tools

The type of toothbrush we should use is quite a personal choice. Some of us swear by electric toothbrushes, but others prefer the simplicity of manual toothbrushes. Nevertheless, we should always use soft-bristled toothbrushes to clean our teeth and replace the toothbrushes at least every three months or when the bristles begin to fray as the worn toothbrushes could damage our teeth.

Do not Forget Floss

Many of us who brush our teeth regularly neglect to floss. To floss our teeth is not just to get the little pieces of food stuck in between our teeth. Our toothbrushes cannot reach all the areas of our mouths easily. Flossing our teeth each day is the best way for us to achieve a completely clean mouth. Flossing could also stimulate our gums, reduce plaque build-up between our teeth leading to cavities, and help reduce inflammation in the area. Usually, flossing once daily is enough to get these benefits.

Apply the Proper Brushing Technique

The American Dental Association advises brushing our teeth twice a day and each for 2 minutes. Usually, properly brushing our teeth takes at least two minutes, but most of us fall short of that. The proper brushing technique is:

  • Place the toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees to our gums;
  • Sweep or roll it away from the gum-lines and do not brush up;
  • Gently move the toothbrush back and forth with short and tooth-wide strokes;
  • Brush throughout outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and also chewing surfaces of our teeth;
  • Tilt the toothbrush vertically to make some up-and-down strokes when cleaning the inner surfaces of our front teeth;
  • Gently brush the tongue to eliminate the bacteria and freshen breath.

Choose the Right Type of Toothpaste

It does matter to choose the right type of toothpaste that could be a good fit for us to have a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile. There are varieties of toothpaste in the market designed for many conditions that consumers have, such as being prone to tartar, cavities, gingivitis, teeth with high sensitivity, and stained teeth. If we are not sure what type of toothpaste is the right one to use, ask the dentist for help at the next dental appointment.

Use Mouthwash

While advertisements make out mouthwash to be a necessity for a healthy mouth, many of us skip it because we don’t know how it works. As a whole, mouthwash helps keep a healthy mouth in three ways:

  • Lower the acid in our mouth;
  • Clean the hard-to-brush areas around or in the gums;
  • Re-mineralize our teeth.

In short, mouthwash is a useful adjunct tool to help make things into balance for a healthy mouth.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Although brushing our teeth is very important, it is not enough. Keep in mind that eating a healthy diet to have a healthy mouth is just as crucial in taking care of our teeth as brushing the teeth. A well-rounded diet could set the stage for successful health throughout our entire body. There is no doubt that the healthier diet we are having, the less plaque build-up will need to remove from our teeth when we come to clean our teeth. For a healthy mouth, try to include the following foods into our diet:

  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Leafy greens
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Water
Home Tips, My Blog

Effective Saving Tips for Holidays

I love all kinds of holidays. We all know that holidays are the most memorable events of the year. However, holidays are also expensive. We can spend all our money if we aren’t careful. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans had planned to spend $998 on decorations, gifts and food in 2020. Moreover, this figure doesn’t include all the expenses that would occur during the holiday season. There is no need for us having holiday stress. Here are five effective saving tips for holidays that we can use.

 

Making a Spending Budget

Before we buy anything during the holidays, I need to create a spending budget. A spending budget gives me an idea of how much I should spend. This prevents me from making purchases that I may later on regret. I can use tools to help me work out my other obligations, such as a secured loan calculator and a budget spreadsheet, to factor these into this.

 

One thing I always do is write a list of everybody that I want to give and allocating the money that I want to spend on that particular person. I then allocate the amount of money I want to spend on food and entertainment during the holidays. A spending budget also gives me an idea of how much I should save so that I can buy other stuff that I might need.

 

Knowing When to Shop

Shopping during the high peak holiday season has never been a good idea. It is ideal to shop in early November. Retailers have discounts on products during this period. The Black Friday deals also happen in November.

 

However, I do not wait for Black Friday deals only because there are also other deals. I always look for other deals and then set up deal alerts on my phone so that I don’t miss out on any opportunity. Different brands send out deal alerts to subscribers once a product has been put on a discount.

 

In this period, I also look for products that have coupon codes. A mobile app like coupon Sherpa can be used while shopping so that we can see what coupons are available on the product that we are buying.

 

Buy One Gift at a Time

It’s never a good idea for us to buy goods and gifts at once during the holiday. If I buy everything at once I often end up overspending and buying gifts that were not in my budget. This also means that I will buy gifts at an expensive price because I won’t be giving myself the chance to look at the discounts on different products.

 

I have found that when I buy gifts little by little I save up extra money instead of using all my money. I therefore never have any money problems the coming January.

 

Shopping Online

Shopping online is flexible. I can shop at any time of the day. I also get to have an opportunity of comparing different products and their prices in an easy manner. When I shop online, I also get to save the time and fuel that I would have used going to the store.

 

Preparing Homemade Gifts

During the holidays I have found that people enjoy homemade gifts more than gifts bought in the store. Since I know most of my friends and their preferences, I make gifts that are suited to their preferences. I can make edible cookies, food and even clothes. By making homemade gifts I also get to save money.

 

Conclusion

The holidays can be stressful if I don’t prepare well financially. Good financial planning will save me and you the stress of having no money in January. It will also enable me to live within our means during the holiday season and even save.

My Blog

Tips for Making A Home Toddler-Friendly

Babies are a source of joy to most households, and when I got my first child, I was more than elated. Nothing can describe the feeling of what toddlers bring to our families. However, as my child began to grow, I was slightly concerned. He started exploring things in the house and was unaware of the dangers lurking. As a responsible parent, I had to act to guarantee the safety of my kid. Here is how I restructured my entire house.

 

Stairs

The number one source of danger to kids has to be the stairs. The injuries that stairs cause to the careless user needs no explanation. Even to adults, stairs pose a great risk. I have broken a leg while rushing down to work! I was lucky; it was just a small accident. Severe injuries and deaths have been reported from staircase falls.

 

Driven by concerns for my child, I made some adjustments to the stairs in my home. At the base of the entire stairs, I added a soft rubber mat. The mat covered sharp edges and posed little risk to my crawling toddler. On individual stair steps, I added a slip-proof mat. As my kid grows, I consider educating him on stair safety and installing non-slip grips on the handles.

 

Electrical Outlets

Electricity is considered a basic need in our modern societies. I can’t imagine life or even survival without electric power. Despite its importance, electricity is a significant hazard to our lives. The majority of adults are aware of this and practice caution when dealing with electricity. For kids, it’s a different scenario. They are usually curious about electric outlets and less concerned about their safety.

 

Among the vital causes of children’s accidents is electrocution. It seems kids cannot resist the urge to insert all manner of things into electrical outlets. I resorted to installing power outlet covers and using furniture to obstruct power outlets. Another great option that I may implement is reinstalling the outlets to a height unreachable by toddlers.

 

Bathrooms

We all know the dangers of wet tiles. I have been a victim of slipping in my bathroom. I haven’t yet had a major scare, but I won’t wish the same experience on my baby boy. That’s why I completely revamped my bathroom to make it less slippery.

 

I started by hiring a contractor to install anti-slip tiles. This was followed by placing rubber mats on the bathroom floor. I also added rubber and soft cushions to the corners and rough edges of sinks and the toilet. I lowered towel hooks to a height accessible to kids. Finally, I took care of all the pipes that were leaking water in my bathroom. My fellow friends (who happen to be parents to toddlers) advised me to hire a skilled handyman from firms like Dependable Rooter & Plumbing (https://dependablerootersac.com/plumber-citrus-heights/) for these kinds of tasks. Now, just as a precaution, I tend to stick around whenever my kid is using the bathroom.

 

Kitchen

My kitchen has always been out of bounds for my kid. Unfortunately, I have been unable to restrict entry to the kitchen area strictly. Many times, my kid wants to hang around and play with utensils.

 

For this reason, I place knives, forks, and all sharp objects in a locked kitchen drawer. Microwaves, ovens, and heating accessories are always off unless I am physically present at home. I also don’t allow my kid into the kitchen when cooking.

 

Shelves, Cabinets, and Tables

Toddlers are adventurous, but climbing on shelves, cabinets, and tables is beyond adventure. It can be extremely dangerous for kids to play around with these household items. I had to stitch my son twice for head cuts inflicted by my table corner.

 

After the last accident, I installed cushions around tables, chairs, and items that have sharp corners. All my cabinets and shelves are securely mounted to the wall. They won’t fall in case my playful kid climbs on them.

 

Living Room Play Area

A thing with kids is that they play almost all the time. I almost gave up on keeping my sofas, chairs, and the entire living room pristine. I would clean and leave the room pretty, only to turn around and find the place in a mess.

 

A friend suggested incorporating a play area in my living room, and I haven’t regretted that decision. I have installed a small area full of toys and kids’ supplies. My boy now spends most of his time in this area as opposed to my sofa.

 

Recipes and Cooking

How to cook with children?

Cooking with children can be a real pleasure or a little nightmare. It all depends on how the parent approaches it. There is, however, a way to turn this activity into a small party and recipes that any child will want to do.

 

The preparation

The first thing to keep in mind is that a child’s perception differs totally from that of an adult. If we really want to interest a child, there has to be something in it for him or her. Therefore, it will be necessary to choose recipes that the child will want to prepare. This doesn’t mean that the child should be introduced to junk food. However, if you have a child who hates vegetables, for example, forcing him to prepare only those recipes during the first cooking session together will not be a good idea. Everything comes with time and patience. So, I recommend that you start with simple recipes.

 

The recipes

It is important not to avoid any product. However, the introduction to the menu should be done slowly and intelligently.

 

Fruit purée

Let’s take some fruit at random. Generally, I choose them according to my taste, but with a little improvisation. I recommend that you allow the child to taste each fruit, especially if you are introducing a new product. Fruit purée is a sweet dish, so add some vegetables, carrots and beets, for example. Add a little milk or cream, and it’s done. To add some texture, let’s throw in a few more pieces of fruit.

 

Pizza

Here the choice is wide. I recommend you not to buy prefabricated dough.  Preparing with our children also means introducing them to healthy cooking. There is nothing complex.

 

  • Simple and easy recipe

Ingredients

 

Flour — 300g

 

Olive oil — 3 tablespoons

 

Sugar — 1 tablespoon

 

Baker’s Yeast — 1 packet

 

Salt — 1 pinch

 

Sift the flour and pour it into a bowl, add the olive oil and sugar at the same time and mix. Pour the packet of yeast into a glass of hot (not boiling) water, add to the flour and knead until a uniform dough is got. Form a ball and leave it in the bowl after covering it with a towel. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes in a warm or slightly warm place. After half an hour, roll out the dough and start the preparation.

 

I advise you to take this opportunity to allow the child to develop his imagination. The portions are not enough for a pizza. If we increase them, we can make several. Nothing prevents us from making mini pizzas. This is a great opportunity for children to discover new flavors. If, for example, there is a vegetable or other product that we have tried unsuccessfully to make him eat since then, I recommend that you put it in the list of ingredients. Children know how to be stubborn. To avoid a culinary rebellion, draw. By slicing broccoli, for example, which we will use to draw the hair, dress or other accessories of the man on the pizza, the child will be tempted to taste it.

 

Sandwich

It’s the easiest thing to do. We can start making sandwiches with children as young as one and a half years old. It’s the best way to have fun discovering new flavors. In western countries, the preference is given to salty sandwiches. There are also sweet sandwiches, but very often we make them with the same products: chocolate paste and jam. That’s why I invite you to take a tour on YouTube and discover the Asian sweet sandwiches. They are incredibly creative.

 

Drinks

Only one keyword here: creativity. Juices, milky drinks, teas, the list is long and depends only on the fantasy of the parent and the child. I regularly recommend to parents to prepare drinks with their children to prevent them from the youngest age to be interested in industrial drinks. We have no difficulty controlling the sugar level and other harmful ingredients in a home-made drink. In addition, children who get into the habit of making their drinks are less likely to drink sodas afterwards.

 

To get the child used to it, let’s start with drinks made only from sugared fruit. Later, as he wants to experiment, we can add vegetables. If the drink is not sweet enough, I suggest adding only natural sweeteners, such as honey.

 

Cooking with the family and especially with the children not only empowers the children but also allows the whole family to have a good time.

 

Home Tips

Take Control of Your Retirement – A Retiree’s Take

There is more to retirement than just leaving work. As far as retiring is concerned, I have always observed that young people are either in the dark or know so little about planning for their retirement. Ask anyone who has been on the job for some time and they will tell you that financial freedom after you leave work results from meticulous planning. As a retiree who has seen and done it all, I have always believed that anyone who wants to leave work someday has a right to be informed. In light of this, here are some of my best pieces of advice for anyone who is planning for his or her retirement.

You Need a Financial Planner

When any young man tells me about his intention to leave work, the first question I ask them is, ”do you have a financial planner?” If not, what are you doing to secure your financial future? I’m always not surprised to realize that these people do not have an elaborate plan on how to secure their financial lives. Planning for retirement can be tasking. I have always believed that getting out of this financial maze requires an objective approach, which is where a financial planner’s service comes in. Yes, I understand that choosing a financial planner in this modern world could be quite intimidating. There are so many of them and each one of them claims to be better than the others. In that case, it could be a good idea to check their track record and work reviews online. Yes, that could really help in choosing! I will give an example. Suppose you are from South Wales (U.K.) planning your retirement and you need some expert advice regarding your finances. You could simply search for Financial Advisors Cardiff online to find reputed consulting firms that can provide you with valuable suggestions. On top of that, you can check their performance history and work reviews. Isn’t it easy? So, I would recommend all those who are planning for their retirement to contact a financial advisor.

Start Early

Like I shared, I did not know much about planning for my retirement at a young age, but at least I was able to forge a plan. Though I started late, from 36 – 47, my passion for retiring sooner was critical in helping me. This meant that I had to make some sacrifices, some of which meant saving more and struggling with investments. If I had been able to start again, which is just a wish, I would start investing and putting away anything I can afford for the future.

Curb Your Spending

I always see young people getting themselves into a financial mess when they could liberate themselves from financial woes later in life. Looking back, I can confidently affirm that instant gratification will never bring happiness, but experience and investments will. I often feel sorry when I come across a young man with a luxury vehicle but not even a single investment. The key to enjoying life past your 40s is to focus on experiences and not material possessions.

Work on Your Credit Score

Having been a financial student to some godfather who understood things finances, I can confirm that I got some good advice early in life. Therefore, I always purposed to ensure that I had a perfect credit score, which meant that I avoided using credit to finance lifestyle pleasures. Because I am also human, I made my mistakes and later corrected them. I have lived a full life with a near-perfect credit score. This means whenever my wife and I decide to tour some exotic destinations, I move freely, knowing that I am not tied to unnecessary debts.

Own a Home

Having a home is key to enjoying life after work. But this does not mean burdening yourself with life-long mortgages when you can live comfortably in a small and affordable home. I had a small and environment-friendly home before I left work. I had always dreamt of owning a luxury home, but my wife was of a different opinion. After serious consideration, I bought my wife’s idea and built a simple house that I could afford. The fact that mortgages and expensive bills do not burden us means most of our paycheck is devoted to family and travel expenses.

Some people are tempted to believe that I had a decent income back in the day, looking at my life. But when we share, they are often left in awe. My salary, at the time, was average, if not meager. But thanks to strategic investments and savings, I managed to get the best out of my average take home. If I had to mentor anyone, I would advise him or her to live within their means and always have the bigger picture in mind: to retire early. Well, it is not easy, especially when those around you are enjoying life with a big spoon, but the focus is key to securing your financial future.

Home Tips

How to Organize Home Cleaning Tasks

Being a homeowner is one of my greatest achievements, but the responsibilities that come with it are something that I have struggled with. Not so much keeping up with the repairs as I expected this. But it’s keeping up with the housework that I found to be a real challenge. As a first-time homeowner, I didn’t realize how time-consuming this would be. So, I decided that if I wanted to have any time to myself, I needed to develop a plan that would let me get all the cleaning done and leave me time for myself. It worked, so I thought I would pass my ideas along to you if you were having the same problems.

 

Start With a List

I realized that one of the problems I was having was that I was not organized. I wrote a list of all the tasks that had to be done. I broke the list down into what had to be done daily, weekly, then on occasion.

 

My daily tasks were simple: Making the beds, doing the dishes, and tidying up the living room at the end of the evenings. The problem here was I didn’t do these tasks at the right time. Then just before going to bed, they all needed doing. I realized I needed to organize my time better. As soon as I got up in the morning, I made the beds. Right after dinner, I did the dishes. Then all that was left was to tidy the living room. I no longer felt overwhelmed.

 

My weekly tasks: I am a working woman, so all of my housecleaning chores got left to the weekends. Which meant that I had no time left over to do some of the things I wanted to do. To solve this problem, I went to my list of chores, which was comprised of:

 

  • Sweeping and washing the hardwood floors
  • Vacuuming the carpets
  • Dusting
  • Doing the laundry
  • Organizing the clutter created throughout the week.

I decided to assign one of these chores for each day of the week. Doing them individually was a lot better than cramming them all into one day on the weekend. Once I had prepared dinner while cooking, I would do all the dusting. Then the next day, I would do the vacuuming. It ended up, so I was doing one of the weekend chores each day of the week. When the weekend came, I was thrilled that all the housework had been done, and I had the whole weekend to myself.

 

I planned to do them on the last weekend of every month for the occasional chores.

 

Taking It a Step Further

I also discovered that I was wasting a lot of time doing the chores. I spent more time getting everything together that I needed than I did on the tasks themselves. It meant I needed to get organized here as well.

 

I set up a cleaning box that had everything in it that I needed. After each use, I made sure that I restocked it, so it was ready to use next time. After using the vacuum, I cleaned it out, so it was prepared to go again. I was almost able to cut the time spent on my cleaning chores by one quarter by following these few steps.

 

Relying on Others

As the home lady, I felt it was my responsibility to keep the house orderly. I now realized that I was not the only one living here, and it was time everyone pitched in. Like the kids putting their dishes in the sink, just simple things helped. Or my husband removing his shoes when coming in from working in the garage. I definitely thought about hiring someone like this Carpet Cleaning Cheltenham company to come and give the carpets a proper, professional clean once or twice a year – I still might one day!

 

The Bottom Line

The biggest lesson I learned from all of this is that it really comes down to two things. One is time management, and the other being organized. I was surprised that I had not applied these two concepts to this area of my life before. I practice both excellent organization skills and time management in my working environment. I didn’t realize I could carry these skills into my home life. I am no longer a slave to housework.

 

Recipes and Cooking

5 Easy Christmas Dinner Recipes

Christmas is an annual festival celebrated worldwide. We decorate our homes and exchange gifts this season. Besides, it’s the time where families and friends come together. Wondering what dinner recipes to prepare for Christmas?

Below are five easy dinner recipes for Christmas to work with.

Apricot- Filled Pork Loin

  • Ingredients
  • Clove garlic
  • Ground Pepper
  • Freshly chopped rosemary
  • Dried apricots
  • Low sodium fat-free chicken
  • Pork thigh
  • Salt

The number of ingredients depends on the people to be served.

Preparation

  1. Place apricots in a pan, add half a cup of water. Use medium heat for the water to boil. Remove the pan from the heat source and allow it to heat for about 15 minutes for apricots water absorption.
  2. Get a long knife to cut a hollow opening on pork loin: mix garlic, salt, and apricot mix in a bowl. Fill the space of the mixture.
  3. Tie the loin at intervals and Heat the oven up to 325 degrees F.
  4. Grind garlic, salt, rosemary, and pepper with a pestle and a mortar. Apply the combination on the pork haunch evenly. Roast the pork loin for 50 minutes.
  5. Pour broth, put back the meat in the oven until 150 degrees F is reached for the internal temperatures.
  6. Get a sheet to place the roasted meat and garnish it with rosemary. The meal is ready to serve.

The whole preparation takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Beef Tenderloin Together With Cauliflower Salad (Roasted)

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Shallots
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Mustard
  • Cauliflower
  • Pepper
  • Beef
  • Kale
  • Lemon juice

Cooking Direction

  1. Preheat the oven to 475° F. Gets a baking pan or sheet for beef placement. Also, use a brush to apply salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of olive oil to the beef. After 12 minutes, remove the food from the oven.
  2. Chuck a half tablespoon of olive oil and shallots in cauliflower. Use salt and pepper for seasoning. Disperse the mixture on the baked meat and place it back in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  3. Use a foil to cover the beef for 10 minutes. Whisk lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, seasoning with pepper and kosher salt.
  4. Heat the baby kale in a pan together with other vegetables. Add the olive oil mixture and the pomegranate seeds. Allow the beef to stand before slicing.

 

Horseradish Sour Cream and Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Sour cream
  • Horseradish
  • Unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh chives
  • Black pepper

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes in salted water for about 20 minutes and drain them. Reserve half a cup of the cooking water.
  2. Whisk horseradish and the preserved sour cream together. Use kosher salt and adequate amount of black pepper for seasoning.
  3. Mash the potatoes with butter and sour cream mixture. Add the reserved water for thinning.
  4. Finally, transfer the mashed potatoes giving it a butter and chive topping.

 

Roasted Mushrooms and Radicchio

Ingredients

  • Shallots
  • Olive oil
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Mixed mushroom
  • Black pepper
  • Leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Head radicchio

Directions

  1. Get a baking pan and chuck oil and shallots. To improve its taste, we can season it using salt and pepper. Then roast the shallots for about 20 minutes with a preheated oven to 425°F.
  2. Add mushroom, oil, and tossing combination. Return mixture into the oven for about 30min so that mushrooms and shallots can become tender.
  3. Put shallots and the ready mushrooms in a container, add the required parsley, radicchio, oil, salt, vinegar, pepper and toss them together.

The preparation takes approximately 1hr. As we await the dish to be ready, we can take our kids through the preparation methods and what to expect from this meal.

Cumin Lamb Leg Served With Roasted Garlic and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes
  • Head garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh thyme
  • Lamb’s leg
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Toss to combine garlic, lamb, tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a pan.
  2. Put the lamb between the tomatoes and add cumin, salt, and pepper for seasoning.
  3. Roast the lamb up to an internal temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit for about 90 minutes.
  4. Transfer the lamb into a wire rest, let it stand for about 10 minutes, and slice it. As such, it will be ready to serve.

Highlighted above are a few easy dinner recipes for Christmas. There are many other recipes available online to work with on the big day. We can use one of these recipes to make exciting and delicious meals for our loved ones.

Home Tips

Modern Living Room Decoration Ideas

I’m a woman and let me begin by saluting all women out there for the great work they do in their homes. As some people say, the home belongs to a man, but the house belongs to us, women. While I rarely subscribe to general views, I’m one of those people who subscribe to this particular view, and I’m sorry to admit this, just in case anyone out there is not one of the subscribers. But let me pose a question; if someone came to my house and found it dirty, disorganized, and cluttered, whom will they point an accusing finger at, me or my husband? Truth be told, I will be the one to take the hit. Besides cleanliness and tidiness, the decor is one thing I value the most – I just don’t compromise when it comes to getting it right.

Need some modern living room decor ideas? That is exactly what I’m going to discuss in this post. After years of tweaking decor ideas, I have managed to come up with what I believe will work for the readers of this post, given that I have seen it work for many people who have been coming to me for advice.

Leveraging the Wall Art

Wall art is one of the simplest ways of defining the theme of any living room while at the same time boosting the aesthetic value of the space. When choosing wall art, I always want to consider the decor of my house. Since I’m in love with coastal themes, I particularly use American flags and faded prints to bring that feel into my living room. If I’m working with a farmhouse or cottage theme, I may want to choose an animal or botanical prints to complement that.

Use of Rugs/Carpet

Having a carpet in the living room is not news anymore, given that most modern houses have them. However, there are still many people out there who don’t know that having a rug in the living room complements the overall decor of the space. Rugs can be found at most places that sell home decor items but, for a high-end treat, you’ll find absolutely stunning rugs in all sorts of colors and patterns for both indoors and outdoors at places like Lulu & Georgia. Now, when choosing a carpet, I don’t just go for any color. I always choose a color that will blend with the theme of my house. Given that I have beige sofas, I opted for a rug of the same color, but with some white accents, just to ensure that the room does not look dull. I also have a cream-white rug, though I rarely use it because the little ones tend to dirty it in a day or two. Nevertheless, it has never disappointed me every time I have turned to it.

Wall Mirrors

If anyone out there thinks that wall mirrors are out of date, then they may be wrong. I held a similar view until I visited a house that belonged to a professor in my locality. And while his living room had lots of valuable things, the mirrors on the wall are what struck me most, given that it was the only unique thing I saw there. Two round mirrors overlooked each other on both sides of the living room. They had a wooden frame, and they looked great – I still remember them like yesterday. Now that I did not want to be accused of copying and pasting (writers would call this plagiarism), I opted for oval mirrors, and they look even nicer. With wall mirrors available in various different designs and sizes out there, it is easy for me to find one that suits my living room.

Wall Clocks

I have seen wall clocks ever since I was born, but the more times change, the more they become modern. I’m not saying this so that anyone out there can continue hanging that 1970-wall clock. Getting a modern wall clock is the way to go. I use a glam wall clock in my living space, and it has always been the center of attention. The secret is to hang it where all the visitors will see it.

What About Shelves?

I use shelving to display my favorite items, including books from iconic authors and family photos. While these items are my treasures, they are decorative as well. While displaying my decorative items using shelves, I prefer choosing color-coordinated items to ensure they blend with my living room theme.

 

Fitness

What We Need to Know About Low-Impact Exercise

While exercising regularly is an essential part of our life, heavy exercise can be harmful to our joints and muscles. It can lower the quality of our lives. Besides, heavy training is not suitable for everyone. For instance, if I have joint pain and I’m lifting heavy objects, the problem can worsen, resulting in long-term complications. Not to mention many people think that the only way to do exercise is by participating in cardio activities like running or a high-intensity fitness class. For many people doing an activity that does not seem like exercise such as dancing could be the perfect way to get exercise and have fun, as well as blogs like https://www.funktrunkchicago.com/ giving lots of tips and advice about how to succeed in your first dance lesson, giving people inspiration to go and get healthy. Furthermore, thankfully, there is what is known as low impact exercise. I commit to sharing with you in detail about this type of activity in this piece. So, let’s start right away.

Low Impact Exercise Explained

Low impact exercise is the exact opposite of high impact exercise. To put it simply, it is a form of exercise which exerts minimal pressure or stress on our joints, including ankle, hip, and knee joints. In fact, some people consider low impact exercise as merely a warm-up to high-intensity training. Examples of low impact exercise include Pilates, Tai chi, yoga, swimming, cycling, walking, golfing, dancing, rowing, and hiking, among other activities.

Who Is Low Impact Exercise For?

I must mention that low impact exercise is not a preserve of any particular group of people. In fact, almost all of us get involved in some form of low impact exercise. Who does not walk, for instance? What we must understand, however, is that there are people who are not suited for heavy training, and this is for some good reasons. So, who is low impact exercise meant for?

Pregnant women: Yeah, I had to mention this, even if it is an obvious one. We must not forget that pregnant women experience an increase in body weight. This exerts more pressure on their joints and could result in joint pain. Thus, subjecting these people to high impact exercise is like adding the proverbial straw to the camel’s back. With low impact exercise, pregnant women can still keep fit and boost their flexibility, which comes in handy during child delivery.

The elderly: While exercise does not discriminate against any of us based on age, we must put this claim in context. Let’s imagine if an 80-year old grandmother was to lift some heavy weights, say 50kgs or so? That would be an injustice to their body. The crux of the matter is that our bodies grow weaker and weaker with age, including bones, joints, and muscles. As such, we are forced to do away with some forms of exercise, no matter how much we love exercising. That is where low impact exercise comes in. We can do yoga even in our 80s, not to mention swimming or walking, etc.

Obese patients: Most obese people experience joint pain due to too much stress on these parts of the body. If we indulge in high-intensity exercise when we are overweight, there are high chances that the pressure on our joints will even be more, leading to further pain and even inflammation. So, we should opt for low impact exercise if we know that we have this condition.

Benefits

Now that we know what low impact exercise is and who can benefit from it, it is now time to discuss the next level and look at the possible advantages.

Improved cardiovascular health: We don’t have to be great runners, such as Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge, to improve our cardiovascular health. If we can regularly undertake low impact exercise, we will experience improved blood circulation, alongside other benefits.

Muscle endurance and strength: A long-term low impact exercise routine can add endurance to our body muscles and make them even stronger.

Weight loss: While most of us still believe that weight loss can only occur when we take on heavy exercise, the fact is that even low impact exercise can get the job done. However, we must be patient since the change in body weight can be slow and subtle.

Health, Recipes and Cooking

The Healthiest Cooking Methods to Cut Calories and Add Flavor

Some people think that healthy cooking can only be attained with expensive cookware combined with the skills of a gourmet chef. On the contrary, it takes basic cooking techniques to prepare a healthy meal, and many people who struggle to learn vital cooking skills tend to use cooking classes that can be found online. One of the main culprits of a poor diet is saturated fats that are found in butter and lard. Roasting is one of the best methods for keeping it low on fats. In my years of healthy cooking, I always consider the techniques that not only reduce calories but also retain valuable nutrients without adding salts and fats. I’m happy to share with you my favorite culinary approaches.

Steaming

Steaming facilitates a consistent flow of hot air that gently cooks food above the liquid without actually being submerged. This allows nutrients to remain in the food. In some instances, I can add some water, wine, or broth as an infusion. The ingredients pieces need sufficient room to absorb hot steam so they can cook evenly. If a liquid is involved, it should not go beyond two inches below the suspended food. The steaming appliance is usually a perforated platform but it is also possible to steam food directly on a plat or basket if the juices are needed in the finished dish. Examples of meals that can be steamed include vegetables, mushrooms, dumplings, fish, and chicken. Steam burns can be severe so I must protect my face and hands from the pot top when removing the rid.

Stir-Frying

Stir-frying is best for cooking a single ingredient that has been fully prepped with high heat and some oil. A classic stir-fry requires the cooking materials to be chopped into smaller pieces for even cooking. The food is stirred by shaking the pan or moving with a utensil. When stirring, I start with the materials that take longer to cook because the others may overcook if I put them first. The idea is to have everything done at the same time. I have found a large skillet or a wok frying pan to be efficient in stir-fries. Examples of recipes for this method include spiced beef and vegetables, chicken and spinach stir-fried with oyster sauce and ginger, and lemon and scallion chicken.

Broiling and Grilling

The two techniques expose food to the source of heat directly. Like roasting, broiling and grilling make the fat drip off. Broiling is the process of putting food on a broiler rack with a heating element above it. Food is best grilled in an outdoor setting. This involves the placement of the ingredients on a grill rack. A bed of charcoal embers is one of the best sources of heat for grilling. Gas heated rocks are also great. Every grill comes with a user manual issued by the manufacturer. Smaller food pieces like chopped veggies should be put inside a long-handled grill basket or wrapped in foil to avoid sipping through the rack.

Best Flavoring Choices

I can’t get enough of meals flavored with herbs and spices. Natural flavorings not only add the much-needed aroma but also enhance the food color without additional salts or fats. Culinary herbs are some of the best flavor boosts for any type of meal. They also contain protective phytoestrogens and can be used to replace salt and cooking oil. When shopping for herbs at the grocery, I must pick fresh and brightly colored herbs that are not wilted. I add these at the end of my cooking session. I love dried herbs as well which come in handy at the earliest stage of cooking. Dried herbs have a stronger flavor than the fresh ones yet each has a unique taste. The only products I avoid are the pre-packaged seasoning mixes since they are infused with excessive salts. Far from boosting the flavor, herbs make perfect additions to salads, mustards, soups, drinks, and bread. My best spice collection for stir-fried vegetables includes garlic, coriander, lemongrass, chilly, and ginger. Other flavorful options I can’t fail to mention are:

  • Low-fat marinades: Best for grilling, roasting, and broiling. A home-made marinade comprises oil and vinegar/citrus juice in the ratio of 1:2. Herbs and spices may be added as desired.
  • Dried mustard: Best for adding zesty flavor.
  • Dried veggies and fruits: Cranberries, mushrooms, currants, cherries, and tomatoes provide more intense hints when dried than fresh.
  • Hot peppers: Fresh pepper needs to be finely chopped after removing the membrane. Less is more when it comes to adding hot peppers.
  • Vinegar and citrus juices: To be added at the last moment on vegetables.